Sega surprised everyone today by announcing a new Sonic the Hedgehog game for Windows Phone. No, it’s not a surprise that they’re doing a second one after Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I turned out so well (see our review). What we didn’t expect from the next mobile Sonic game is that it would be a port of… Sonic CD.
Sonic CD (AKA Sonic the Hedgehog CD) was originally released on the Sega CD/Mega CD, a CD-ROM add-on for the 16-bit Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console, back in 1993. It marks the first appearances of Sonic’s would-be girlfriend Amy Rose and fan-favorite villain Metal Sonic. Sonic CD has seven huge zones, each with three acts, as well as unique 3D special stages. Most uniquely, Sonic can travel into past and future versions of most stages by passing through time portals at high-speeds. Successfully defeating Eggman’s Robot Generators in the past actually changes the future for the better. Sonic CD also features a fully animated intro and two different endings. By the way, it's my all-time favorite Sonic game.
Head past the break for details on the new Sonic CD port and the concept video that helped make this port a reality!
Sega hasn’t released a ton of information about the new Sonic CD port, but it’s still enough to get excited over. The game will be coming to XBLA, PSN, PC, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone (as an Xbox Live title). It will feature true widescreen support in which the field of view has been expanded from the original, rather than stretching a 4:3 image. The original Japanese soundtrack (also used in Europe but not the US) returns, and it now loops properly rather than pausing at the end of each song. Gamers can select between the original Sonic CD spin-dashing and physics or the Sonic 2 and 3-style, which worked a bit differently.
This super slick Sonic CD port is a result of programmer Chris Whitehead’s fan project, the Retro Engine, which impressed Sega so much that they licensed it from him. Check out his original video from 2009.
Sonic CD has no official release date yet but we expect it by the end of the year.
In other Sonic the Hedgehog news, we’ve learned from Eurogamer that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II is coming in 2012. It looks like Sonic CD will tide Sonic fans over while allowing Sega to improve on the physics and level design criticisms that dogged the first Episode. The long wait for Episode II should also give Episode I plenty of time to go on sale, giving gamers who refuse to buy Xbox Live games at the $6.99 price point a chance to try it out.
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