News: The hedgehog is back in his first side-scrolling home console game in a long time.
In honor of the Dreamcast's 10th anniversary, GameSpot sat down with Ken Ballough, Sega's Associate Brand Manager, to talk about the very bright future of the company's mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog.
After years of poorly reviewed 3D outings, it seems that the blue hedgehog with the shiny red sneakers will soon be returning to his 2D roots. The game is currently known inside Sega as "Project Needlemouse" and it is scheduled for a 2010 release. It will also be done completely in 2D using brand new, high definition sprites. It seems that after years of asking, the fans are finally getting their 2D wish:
GameSpot: Why did Sega decide to bring Sonic back to 2D? Did the success of Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure play a part?
Ballough: Old-school Sonic fans have long asked to see Sonic return to a more 2D style of gameplay. Many liked the daytime stages in Unleashed, but wanted to see a game that plays purely similar to the early games of the Genesis. Project Needlemouse is that critical first step that brings Sonic back to his 2D roots.
Project Needlemouse (AKA Sonic the Hedgehog 2010
) will be coming to unnamed consoles (but not the Wii) next year. To that end, it's also unknown how the game will be available next year. It could be a full retail title or, owing to the popularity of a game like Mega Man 9
, it could appear on a downloadable service like the Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network. Until Sega is ready to provide more details on the game, the company has released a teaser trailer (complete with classic Sonic sound effects) that promises "Speed returns in an all new 2D adventure built from the ground up". For once, I think Sonic fans have a right to be optimisitc...
We'll have more soon.