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The Sonic video we've been waiting 16 years to see

"Oh my God" - that was the first thing I said when the title card disappeared from view and Sonic appeared on the screen. Nothing can prepare a Sonic fan for the awesome contained within this humble YouTube window. It's Sonic & Knuckles, exactly as you remember it, only in amazing 3D. Not crappy 'wear some stupid glasses to see it' 3D, but the kind of 3D you bought your Xbox 360 for. Watch it here and then read on for why this is the most important Sonic video for 16 years.



I - and people like me - have been criticised for being too nit-picky about Sonic the Hedgehog 4. "It's what you wanted", they say. "So what if the physics are slightly different, or Sonic doesn't spin so quickly when he jumps? Get over it - move on". Well, words alone cannot convey exactly how Sonic should look on current-gen but, thanks to this YouTube member's astonishing technical wizardry, I can show you exactly what I mean. THIS is the Sonic game I've been wanting since 1994. THIS is how Sonic should move in 3D. THIS is how the scenery should look on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

But (and it breaks my heart to say it) this is not a Sonic game. As far as I can tell, it's simply a 3D pre-rendered video that someone's programmed, most likely traced over the movement from a video of the real Sonic & Knuckles. So you won't be playing this any time soon, or probably ever.

But we can grab Sonic Team by the scruff of the neck and forcibly make them watch this video. This is what we want. Look at the wonderful yet simple touches that make it beautiful:

 

Motion blur on the title card

 

A simple effect, which is used sparingly and vanishes to reveal HD lettering in the original font.

 

3D animated scenery

All those mushrooms are rendered in 3D and smoothly animated to bobble like they did in the original Mega Drive classic. They even spongily react to Sonic's feet before springing him into the air. Note the detail in the 3D tree roots and dry leaves underfoot. This is clearly a labour of love. Take some time to watch the video through again and look at the trees in the background. The undergrowth on the forest floor, all rendered flawlessly in 3D, yet faithful to the original game.

 

Glorious incidental touches

 

Look at the way beams of light come through the trees at the 00:35 mark. It's so beautiful, it makes me want to cry.

 

Shiny metal effects

 

The bonus ring that would take you to the Special Stage is so shiny. Quite how the guy resisted the urge to jump into it is beyond me.

Even the music is great - familiar MIDI but with CD-quality digital reverb applied to it.

 

But then...

Noooooooooo! This is the last frame of the video and, perhaps, the last glimpse we'll ever see of the Sonic game we've always wanted.

The point is, Sonic & Knuckles wasn't even the best 2D Sonic game, but it looks absolutely phenomenal like this. The thought of Ice Cap zone from Sonic 3 being playable like this, or Aquatic Ruin from Sonic 2 is just too much to dare to imagine.

Sega, if you're listening, you could sell a game that looks and moves like this, that's only an hour long (like the old games) for £50. Nay, £60. And we would buy it. Please, please make it happen.

That is all.

25 Aug, 2010

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35 comments

  • BlueScorpion91 - August 17, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    I still think it looks rubbish to be honest. But then again I've never liked Sonic, I don't even think he's a perticular good character, especially compared to Joe Danger and Mario.
  • philipshaw - August 26, 2010 11:14 a.m.

    This does look great but how would it transfer to gameplay?
  • The4X - August 26, 2010 9:14 a.m.

    F#@&!ng SEGA where's my Condemned 2 for PC huh?! HUH?!
  • Imgema - August 26, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    After watching this video, i don't care for Sonic 4 anymore (not that i cared much anyway). Its funny how a single talented person can create something that is 100x times better than anything a big company has done the last 15 years. I'm sorry Sonic Team, but i prefer to give my money to this guy instead.
  • FartJokes - August 25, 2010 11:56 p.m.

    I got so excited when I saw this and then the words tech demo... my boner went down like a balloon with a pin in it. (figure of speach obviosuly)
  • Deckard5627 - August 25, 2010 10:17 p.m.

    i wud pay the rest of my life savings to have this game, please, please sega make this happen!!!!!
  • CARDYKEV - August 25, 2010 7:31 p.m.

    Some smug version of myself is playing this as we speak in his Parallel Universe
  • gamingfreak - August 25, 2010 6:39 p.m.

    Great, now I'm gonna be disaponted when Sonic 4 comes out.
  • Scammeleon - August 25, 2010 6:19 p.m.

    This is truly beautiful, but I can't help but feel it's all a bit too... brown. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is one of my favourite games, and I still play it regularly to this day, but the one issue I have with it are that the visuals are all a bit gritty compared to Sonic 1 & 2. I like the direction Sonic 4's going in; it's bright and chirpy and looks like it'll stand on it's own two legs. Sonic 4's website put up a screenshot of the lost labyrinth and it does look fairly in tune with the above video (and the music is fantastic!) Given Sonic 4 to me seems like Sega are testing the 2D waters again and if it does well hopefully we'll see something as intricate as this vid, but as it is, I for one, am happy with 4's look as it is.
  • theintellectual - August 25, 2010 5:22 p.m.

    wait...this was a TECH DEMO??
  • NanoElite666 - August 25, 2010 4:35 p.m.

    JASLDFKASDFL;KASDG;LIADJHGLAKSDJ;LAKFJGALSJDF DO!! WANT!!
  • flabslapper - August 25, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    i haven't been paying much attention to Sonic 4 so I thought this was it when I watched the video...now I'm sad
  • BodyDamage - August 25, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    .....WANT
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - August 25, 2010 4 p.m.

    DAMN it, I went through the exact same steps of awe, disbelief and then crushing sadness. "Hey that's even the same music!"
  • HDBawllz - August 25, 2010 3:11 p.m.

    I was literally playing Sonic and Knuckles yesterday with my friends talking about how good we really really hope Sonic 4 will be. Then I saw this and proceeded to shit myself. Then I found out it was just a tech demo. Then I shat a second time.
  • Matgta - August 25, 2010 1:50 p.m.

    I agree with VaneTrago, clearly this guy knows what he's doing, which is more than can be said for sega! Have you played sonic on the 360? I snapped the disc in disgust (thankfully it was a birthday present so I didn't lose any money) Can we start some sort of petition to get Sega to make sonic like this?
  • Gahmah - August 25, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    It could be made for pc, there's too much stuff to get it looking that good on 360 and ps3, from the full render of light and trees in the backroground to the enourmously high res textures.
  • FatherTime - August 25, 2010 1:38 p.m.

    Fuck you gamesradar! I watched this absolutly beautiful video and all the fond memories of time I spent playing Sonic and Knuckles as a kid came rushing back to me. Then not till after I have seen this masterpiece you tell me it's nothing more than a tech demo. Fuck you.
  • strikerz911 - August 25, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    Damn... I thought this video was the REVISED Sonic 4..... Until I read the article.
  • DarkTone - August 25, 2010 1:09 p.m.

    Oh my god is right? The kid in me just done an uppercut freeze frame!

Showing 1-20 of 35 comments

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