Unseen64 has reported on Sonic The Hedgehog Extreme, a previously lost Sonic-themed hoverboard game prototype its developers believe sparked the creation of Sonic Riders.
SEGA exec Alan Pritchard has revealed more about the company's plans to delist less-than-stellar Sonic games - suggesting the publisher may take a leaf out of an old rival's book.
SEGA has signed a three-year deal with Alton Towers, the UK's most popular theme park.
SEGA has offered no comment on speculation that a Sonic Riders sequel is heading to Wii and PS2.
The news erupted from PLAY magazine, which outed the Sony version as Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity.
According to the mag, the blue hedgehog and friends are back to try and get their hands on a silly old artefact to save the day - racing across levels like Botanical Kingdom and Crimson Crater.
Even SEGA would probably agree that Sonic Riders isn't the most exciting PC release of the year (seeing as they also publish Football Manager and Medieval 2), but with a beige-box version due out this Christmas we now have a demo to help make our minds up.
Not content with its persistent whoring of the Sonic license on consoles, handhelds and mobiles, SEGA of America has announced the development of Sonic Riders, the hoverboard racer, on PC.
Sonic Riders begins as if upside down. Instead of cleverly introducing all its ideas one by one on the race track and relegating its paper-thin storyline to the manual (which is obviously made of paper and therefore ideally suitable), it stupidly spends ages introducing its paper-thin plot and relegates to the manual all the important details, like what the hell all the things on the screen mean, and how to turn corners without smacking repeatedly into the wall. (Incidentally, neither game or manual explains why Tails is still alive.)
And of course, apart from a brilliant bit where a hawk-lady makes Tails the-stupid-fox-who-I-hate angry, the cut-scenes are full of unnatural, second-language dialogue acted out by the usual crowd of unquestioning voice actors, who by now must be used to delivering sentences like, "These players, they're hot, the best racers I could find!" with an array of inflections previously uncharted by humankind. (In fact that's probably why the actors keep coming back for more work.) Anyway, since the game doesn't bother to tell you, I might as well give you an idea of how to play it.
Sonic Riders is a hoverboard racing game. In other words, a range of Sonic the Hedgehog characters (including some birdy types called the Babylon Rogues - yes, their back-story is the sort of thing that makes you wish you were five again so that you could beat yourself around the head with a spiky piece of wood for 18 hours for being so stupidly tolerant of things like this) zoom along on gravity-defying snowboards, building up speed by riding each other's wakes, boosting and hitting boost pads. And collecting rings. And building up air. And using pitstops. And grinding. And doing tricks. And levelling up. So there's quite a lot and it's a bit messy.
Imagine how different things would be if it had been Sonic and not Mario thrust into that kingmaking kart; if SEGA and Nintendo "swapped" driving stuffs. Instead of cursing stupid Princess Peach/Daisy/WHICH-IS-IT we'd be cursing stupid Amy, instead of invincibility stars we'd have invincibility sparkly-firework-boxes, instead of pushing your friend in the lava we'd have smacking Tails' stupid head against the cobbles over and over and over and over and over and over and over ten out of ten.
SEGA will release a sequel to its racing game Sonic Riders on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 according to producer Takashi Yuda.