Let's be honest here, Sonic's recent outings haven't been all that hot. Sonic Lost World on 3DS and Wii U was a crushing disappointment when you consider the level of hype it received, and most of the character's recent 3D outings have failed to recapture the brilliance of his early adventures. Compared to his one-time rival Mario, Sonic has starred in less must-have outings lately — although there's the chance that Sonic Boom could well change that, of course.
What's the tonic for these rather dismal showings for Sega's famous mascot? How about some fan-made titles which pay tribute to Sonic's glory years on the Genesis / Mega Drive?
That's exactly what Felipe Ribeiro Daneluz — better known online as LakeFeperd — has done. A student from São Paulo, Daneluz has created three "new" Sonic games: Sonic: Before the Sequel, Sonic: After The Sequel and Sonic Chrono Adventure. Built using an open-source engine called Sonic Worlds, this unofficial trilogy of titles has so far been downloaded 120,000 times.
Speaking to Red Bull, Daneluz explains how he began working on his own vision of Sonic:
All [the engine] had was Sonic 1 and Tails sprites so with that limitation, I thought ‘What can be done with this?’ Later, I decided it would make sense for the game to take place somewhere in the classic timeline, Sonic 1 to 3. So to make use of what I had, I decided it should be a bridge between Sonic 1 and 2 to get people's attention.
The games are impressive on their own, but the original soundtrack — which showcases the talents of Falk, Funk Fiction and Andy Tunstall — is just as noteworthy. Funk Fiction — real name Pejman Roozbeh — also spoke to Red Bull about the creation of these new tunes, which use the original tracks as inspiration:
A lot of Sonic music is practically just as iconic as Sonic himself. Like most 20-somethings of today, I grew up playing a lot of Sonic and Mario in the 16-bit era and among many other influences, it informed a lot of my taste in music...it's a mixture of our own original ideas as composers combined with music from not just Sonic, but Donkey Kong, Kirby and Final Fantasy to rock, jazz, disco, trip hop and so on.
Amazingly, Daneluz reveals that Sega hasn't been in touch regarding his games. It's very common for such fan-made projects to be shut down by the companies which own the IP, but so far this unique Sonic trilogy has been left alone.
With his trilogy complete, Daneluz explains that he is done with Sonic for now, and is instead working on his own original game, called Spark The Electric Jester. However, he's not finished with re-imagining classic games, and has his sights set on a rather less attainable target:
If I had the money, power, copyright, skills and wide interest, I would resurrect the game Stunt Race FX.
Nintendo is less likely to turn a blind eye to such activities — it has shut down similar projects recently — but we'd love to see the classic SNES racer get a new lease of life.
What do you think of these fan-made Sonic games? Have you played any of them? Let us know with a comment.