SEGA says they're planning more short-form animated content for future Sonic games

Well that's great to hear!

Sonic Mania and Team Sonic Racing saw a number of different animated shorts released to promote the titles, and they were all a huge hit. Can we hope for more content like that in the future? According to a Comicbook.com interview with Yukio Kusumoto, Sega's Director of Animation, that will indeed be the case.

I can say we have a plan of continuing this trend creating short-form content per game release, and we can't announce yet, but several projects have been planned; for those projects, we are in early development, but yes, we will continue releasing this type of content.

Listen to another unheard demo track for Sonic 3D Blast from Jun Senoue

Another lost track preserved

TT Games founder Jon Burton has shared yet another previously-unreleased track from Sonic 3D Blast. This tune, again from Jun Senoue, is a demo version of the Knuckles Bonus Stage music. While it didn't end up getting used in Sonic 3D Blast, the tune would later reappear in Sonic Adventure for the "Pleasure Castle" stage.

Check out more pics of the Sonic Mania physical release

Due out very soon

Earlier in the week, we found out that Sonic Mania is getting a retail release. This is the standard Sonic Mania without the 'Plus' content, and it's priced at $20. Now you can get a better look at the full package, and just how similar it is to Sonic Mania Plus' retail release!

New Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games 2D event screens released

Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games lets you get your mini-game action in with standard 3D events, or throwback 2D events. If you're excited for the retro action, then today's batch of screens are for you. Check out another look at the various 2D games here.

SEGA explains how Sonic Mania's animated shorts came to be

Absolutely wonderful stuff

Sonic Mania was a fantastic experience top to bottom, and the icing on the cake were the animated shorts that released alongside the title, and were part if it through the intro and more. In an interview with ComicBook.com, we hear from Sega's Director of Animation, Yukio Kusumoto, on how the shorts came together.

ComicBook.com: How did these animated shorts come about? How did this all come together?

Yukio Kusumoto: I joined Sega about two years ago and this creating short-form content was a brand-new initiative following Sega's last effort of creating a series called Sonic Boom. And production wrapped for Sonic Boom, and we were thinking about doing something new. Thus, this short-form content idea came, and the original purpose of creating this short-form content is to create something like a companion piece to the game, really. And at that time, when I joined, Sega previously released Sonic Mania game, as a digital download I believe. And then when I joined there was a plan of creating additional SKU. It's a physical package branding called Sonic Mania Plus, and Sega had the idea of adding a few new elements to the game, and we thought, why not create a short-form content to highlight that new element and start with a companion piece, but also promote the brand as a whole. And it was, again, it was a brand-new initiative. Sega had the idea for a while, but they just didn't have a person to do it. So I joined, and that was the very first thing I did with Sega and we created six episodes so far on Sonic Mania Adventure series, and it's been a great success.

ComicBook.com: What was the actual process like for creating the series? Designing stuff, making sure things looked right -- that the series was what you wanted it to be.

Yukio Kusumoto: So as you know, Sonic Mania the game is all about nostalgia, if you will. It's recreating the old side-scroll platform game. So I wanted to make something to speak to that. So my first mission is to find somebody who's really in tune with the original world of Sega. The creator I hire has to be a big fan of Sonic, and has to know about Sonic in and out, and it wasn't too hard to find that person. We were very lucky to have Tyson Hesse as a director who has been working with some Sega projects on and off prior, but at that time I believe he was a storyboard artist, and this was a really nice opportunity for both sides to make something brand new and having Tyson as a supervising director.

And then once we have Tyson on board, we had been discussing how we can replicate this innocent, untapped original world of Sonic, and how we can replicate the ‘90s Saturday morning cartoon type of feel. So our conclusion was we're not gonna do 3D, but let's do hand-drawn animation. And that was a challenge itself, 'cause as you know, only a very handful of production houses does hand-drawn animation at this time, and we were searching Japan, Korea, the U.S., but finally we reached this production house called Neko Productions, located in Burbank, actually not too far from our office in Burbank, and it's a little bit small production but they have a really good pool of hand-drawing animators. And we talk about the style and something close to the game, yet original. So we came up with this look that is hand drawn and not too polished to have kind of, you know, “for the fans, by the fans” type of feel. And we spent a few months designing the character, and we worked very closely with Mr. [Takashi] Iizuka, the head of [Product Development] here, and we finally nailed the look. And the rest is history.

Standard Sonic Mania seeing physical release on Nov. 5th, 2019

This is going to cause some trouble

In a move that's sure to confuse consumers, SEGA is releasing the standard Sonic Mania as a retail release on Nov. 5th, 2019 for $20. Just to be clear, this doesn't include the "Plus" DLC, so that will have to be downloaded separately. Hopefully people pay very close attention to the cover art when making their purchase.

Listen to an unheard demo track for Sonic 3D Blast from Jun Senoue

A Sonic 3D Blast from the past

Interested in hearing a bit of Sonic 3D Blast history that has never seen the light of day before? Jon Burton, founder of TT Games, has shared a demo track for the game in the video above. This track was composed by none other than Jun Senoue, longtime Sonic composer. This tune should certainly sound familiar to Sonic fans, albeit a bit rougher and unfinished. This is one of three demos that Burton plans on releasing in the coming weeks.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD - Special Announcement trailer

A special announcement for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD!

Sonic the Hedgehog rolls in to Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD as an unlockable character! Sonic, along with costumes for AiAi and friends, can be unlocked by playing through the game.

Check out the Japanese intro for Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games launches Nov. 5th, 2019, but we've already seen the NA/EU intro for the game. What about the Japanese version? Check out the intro for that region above, and see if you spot any differences!

Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - demo gameplay

Celebrate the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with your favorite characters, loads of events, and so many ways to enjoy the party on your Nintendo Switch™! Have a blast competing with your friends in 30+ action-packed 3D and classic 2D sports games—including new events for Tokyo 2020!


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