Today Sega is announcing several titles they have slated for release this winter, and during a recent trip to San Francisco I was able to sit down with representatives from the company and check out early versions of a few of them. If you're a fan of the Blue Blur, both Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed are set for release before the end of the year, with Rhythm Thief and Demon Tribe both set for the more vague winter timeframe.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 - This past May, Sonic fans were treated to an extraordinary free update to the original iOS version of Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99]. As has been hinted at since, a similar treatment is being given to its sequel Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99]. You can expect all the same enhancements from the remade original, like fantastic touch controls and a rock solid framerate.
What's possibly more exciting than the enhancements we know about are those which we don't. The first Sonic The Hedgehog remake was chock full of awesome secrets, and I'm fairly certain we'll see the same from the sequel. I tried out an early build and can confirm that this remaster is just as polished as the first, so I'm more than a little excited to get my hands on it when it launches next month.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed - With no real Mario Kart substitutes on the App Store, his '90s nemesis Sonic has come through with his own spin on kart racing along with a full cast of Sega characters. Like the first Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing [$3.99], the iOS version of Transformed will be a pared down version of the console game which hit late last year.
Transformed on iOS will feature a brand new World Tour mode designed for gaming on the go, and will include multiplayer both locally and online for up to 4 players. I tried out an early version of Transformed on the iPad and it seems right in line with 2011's iOS release in terms of handling and feel. A boost in visuals and a huge cast of Sega characters should make this latest iteration another great mobile kart racer, so be on the lookout for Transformed to hit the App Store this December.
Rhythm Thief & The Paris Caper - This adaptation of the 2012 Nintendo 3DS title is something like a rhythm game combined with Warioware. Rhythm Thief takes place across iconic locations in Paris as you play rhythm-based mini-games in an effort to unravel the mystery behind your father's disappearance.
This was another title I had a chance to try out, albeit in an early state, and I was really interested in what I saw. Rhythm Thief has a ton of personality, and the mini-games are fast-paced and challenging. The whole game is rather wacky, but in a good way. With 50 missions, 20 different songs, and several variations of game modes Rhythm Thief should have a lot to offer when it launches early next year.
Demon Tribe - Unfortunately, this is one title that I wasn't able to get my hands on, which is a bummer because it sounds very cool. Demon Tribe is described as a MOBA, card collection action-RPG. Why the heck does everything have card collecting in it nowadays? Anyway, the goal in Demon Tribe is to build up a team of fighters and upgrade them by catching demons and fusing their powers. You can also use "Demon Summoning" abilities which will actually turn your team into demons, whom you'll then use to continue fighting off other demons. There's an Xzibit joke in here somewhere I'm sure.
Demon Tribe will feature real-time online multiplayer for up to six players, either cooperatively or competitively in 3v3 team battles. There will also be a whole system for Clans with an entire ranking and rewards system. If you're not the online type, Demon Tribe will still feature a lengthy single-player campaign. Demon Tribe will be free-to-play, so we'll have to collectively cross our fingers and hope that's implemented in a friendly way, but based on everything else it sounds like a pretty interesting title. Look for it to hit this winter as well.