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Secret playable Sonic game hidden in Nike YouTube advert is best 2D Sonic for years

Looks like the days of Sonic wearing Reebok DMX trainers are long gone. These days, he's wearing Nike, appearing in a new playable game on the trainer company's YouTube channel. The game is called Sonic X Vapor and is a massive geek-out opportunity for any Sega fan, being about as fan-pleasing as you can get. For instance:

It's based on an amalgamation of two games. The most obvious is the original Sonic The Hedgehog, from which the sprite art and level graphics have been borrowed, along with the title screen (which also has the flashes from Sonic 2). 

Above: The game's title screen has an obvious influence

But while it looks like Sonic 1, it actually plays like the Sonic the Sketchhog minigame from the 20th Anniversary iOS app, which uses the original 'Mr Needlemouse drawing' in a Canabalt-style auto-run, one-button dash game.

Above: Sonic The Sketchhog in the 20th Anniversary app is similar - and brilliant

More nostalgia-tickling features? It also has the famous 'Sega' soundbite at the start, followed by a new one in the same style for 'Vapor'. Another nice touch. 

Above: Vaaaaay-porrrrrrr

But the thing that makes this rather special and even teases something wonderful is the fact that there are new animation frames for the original Sonic sprite. Sure, he's clearly wearing new trainers in every frame, but look at the 'ready to dash' animation frame here:

Above: Forget the low-res shoe - look at Sonic on the left

That's a 100% authentic-looking new animation frame for classic Sonic. If someone, somewhere is still able to recreate that classic 2D Sonic sprite style, maybe one day we'll get the new 2D Sonic game we've been craving all this time. Until then, there's always Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II. Which, although good, doesn't quite recapture the feeling of those 16-bit classics.

It's worth noting that the Nike video says at the end:

Above: But we're nice and full from eating that 'tunnel', thank you

Have a go for yourself here. Look for this frame (see the timeline at the bottom for where it is) and click on the big boot on the advertising hoarding.

Above: Click on that big red and white sneaker when you see it in the video to play

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11 comments

  • bash street kid - May 22, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    Sonic hitting rock bottom in my opinion (which isn't worth much).
  • W.A.C. - May 21, 2012 3:56 p.m.

    Someone on Sonic Retro ripped all of the game's sprites. http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?showtopic=28886&view=findpost&p=687567
  • TheFabricOfTime - May 21, 2012 3:47 p.m.

    That is awesome.
  • archnite - May 21, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    Well that is cool but is anyone else weirded out by this advergaming?
  • DICEs - May 21, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    Absolutely awesome nostalgia. Nike have done some cool things in the past but this has to take the biscuit. Such a cool easter egg. I like how it uses the original sound effects but with a new song which I like quite a bit.
  • jamesmallone - May 22, 2012 5:48 p.m.

    Is it actually a new song? I thought it was from one of the newer games like maybe Sonic 4 or Sonic Colors.
  • SouthTippBass - May 21, 2012 7:24 a.m.

    Ok,I'l try again, I was clicking while it was paused...
  • SouthTippBass - May 21, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    Not working for me :-(
  • jamesmallone - May 21, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    When I tried it, you had to place the cursor just above the shoe for the link to appear. Also you might have to click while the video is playing as opposed to paused.
  • GR_JustinTowell - May 21, 2012 7:21 a.m.

    Yes, it does seem to only work when the video is playing. Look at the text on the picture and try clicking in that area.
  • SouthTippBass - May 21, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    Success! You got to click it while its playing :-)

Showing 1-11 of 11 comments

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