Sonic the Hedgehog 2 HD Remix May Become Reality

sonic2hd-project-header

Remember my post, “If Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Was in HD“? That image got salivary glands working overtime for old-school Sonic fans and turned into one of my most popular posts of all time. Now is turns out that a number of people in the Sonic homebrew community are working on bringing that vision to reality. Of course it is in the early stages at this point, but there are a number of established people involved already. (thanks to LewieP for the tip)

Digg!

Classic games such as Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Bionic Commando are already getting high-definition remakes. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of the best platformers of all time and is just as worth of the attention. Sega hasn’t stepped up in any way, so Sonic’s most hardcore fans are stepping up to bring us some Sonic HD goodness.

The Development Team So Far (Accepted proper official staff )

  • Blue Streak & Athelstone – General Project Coordinators
  • Death of Rats – Level and Zone art Coordnator
  • SANiK & Sm&k (I think) – Programmers
  • ScubaSteve – Music Coordinator
  • Vincent, Blue Streak, Drex, Master Emerald, Elratauru, Death of Rats & Sonica – HD Sprite Artists

Goals of the Project

As stated in their Project Summary post:
“The purpose of the S2HD project is to remaster Sega’s classic Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in high definition graphics, whilst at the same time precisely preserving the original gameplay. New features that were not present in the original will also be made available. The S2HD project is always searching for new talent to aid us in our endeavour to resurrect and improve a timeless gaming classic. All of those significantly involved with the S2HD project readily understand that the birth of this venture was entirely due to enthusiastic individuals showcasing their artistic talents in the Sonic community. Collaboration rather than competition and encouragement as opposed to derision are therefore our most central philosophies.

sonic2enhancedck4

Current Feature Aims

  • Remastered tiles, sprites and music
  • New graphical effects when collecting rings, skidding, spin dashing, dust being kicked up when jumping and more
  • Gameplay physics and collisions replicated from Sonic 2
  • Both original and new sound effects
  • 256 colors with 1 alpha
  • Mp3/OGG/VGM music support
  • Sonic & Tails as playable characters (Knuckles will later be added)
  • All the original Sonic 2 Levels available, with an added Hidden Palace zone
  • True 3d Special stages and a possibility of 3d backgrounds
  • 360 degree rotation for slopes and loops (optionally enabled or disabled)

Possible Post-Project Feature Aims

  • A possibility of more animated frames for characters and objects so that they look smoother
  • A possibility of a multiplayer mode with TC/IP support
  • A possibility of a fully functional level development kit for the community to design levels with
  • A possibility of an animated ending sequence

The HD Artwork So Far

Of course that original Death Egg mockup may serve as the inspiration, but the crew has been busy developing their own fresh graphical elements. Below are some sprite re-creations, but there are also some landscapes, enemies, and other elements that have also recieved a remaster.

sprite-remakes

Discussion & Details of the Sonic 2 HD Development

If you want to read more of the behind-the-scenes details of the project, look no further than the Retro Sonic forums. All the people involved in the project are busy organizing their plans, artwork, and coding within. Here are some of the main forum topics:

Want To Help Out?

If you have talents in the realms of programming, art, or music, the team would love to hear from you. (You can post examples of your work here). Again, read the Project Summary post for more info.

Would Sega Ever Pick This Up?

Looking at the recent history of game publishers (or big business as a whole) I would be quick to say that a company like Sega would sue the developers of a homebrew project like this before they would adopt the project and the team.
(Examples: Chrono Trigger Resurrection, Scrabulous)

But lets step back and think about what publishers should do. Sega is obviously in a funk right now. Many of its biggest names have left the company or aren’t nearly as active as they once were. There have released very few games that have lived up to it’s innovative legacy. In all honesty, they need all the help they can get at this point.

The smart thing to do it to hire anybody with a passion for the games and hire them for relatively low costs. Games like this would definately sell when on a system like XBLA, WiiWare, or PSN. Perhaps this is a conversation that is worthy of it’s own article…. what do you think about the matter?


68 Comments

NEo says:

Lets hope SEGA doesn’t kill this…great news btw. 😀 Hope they finish it by christmas rush 😀

Dig says:

High-Definition Sonic 2? *orgasm*

Seriously, I am liking the looks of this project. Looking at that animated gif in their forums with sonic running made it look like a project that will actually be finished instead of one with a lot of high hopes.

*raises glass*
Here’s to an eventual release.

ryan says:

unfortunately when in HD sonic doesnt look badass, he had kindo serious looking eyes and stuff now it looks happy, o well its still gonna be a blast to play.

Abras says:

This really highlights the increasingly common trend of gamers taking things into their own hands when the companies don’t give them the games they want. Fan games have been around for awhile, of course, but pretty much none of them could compare or compete with the commercial releases. This game (and the two Metroid 2 remakes projects floating around) looks like something Sega might have made themselves. Unfortunately, the more impressive a fan game is, the higher the chances are it will be shut down…

Narles says:

Oh man, this looks great. Don’t you think this should probably be kept on the down low? I’d hate to see this project go the way of Chrono Trigger Resurrection and not just because I am super excited to play Sonic 2 in HD but because of all of the hard work that these teams put into fan projects like this.

racketboy says:

The word is going to get out one way or another. Keeping something like this is near impossible on the Interweb. If I don’t mention it, somebody else will.

At least Sega is usually a bit cooler about this type of thing than the likes of Nintendo or Square Enix.

racketboy says:

Another thing — wouldn’t you (or the developers) rather it be taken down before too much work is put into it than have it most of the way done and then taken down.

It’s less painful for fans and less wasted work for those on the project.

Worst case scenario/Heaven forbid, of course.

Uhhh RacketBoy I think you are forgetting that you can already play Sonic in HD on the Xbox Live Arcade. [/bad PR joke]

This is awesome stuff, Sonic 2 is my favourite of all the Sonic games and what is already in place sounds awesome. Huge props to these guys for attempting such an incredible feat. Thanks for sharing this exciting news with us.

GSZX1337 says:

Eh, I liked Sonic the Hedgehog 3 better, but still, can’t wait for this game to come out! 🙂

“Unfortunately when in HD, Sonic doesn’t look badass…” Sonic was about being “cool,” not “badass.” Two different things.

Tancred says:

Disgusting. Down with remakes!

Lee says:

Looks and sounds absolutely amazing. Keep up the outstanding work guys!

blah says:

Sega will shut this down, hire their own offshore programmers and artists to do the same project, put out a lame effort, and when that effort fails in the marketplace, then they will blame “lack of interest” and “piracy”.

Lord Majestros says:

If Sega wants a truly good Sonic game to come out they know they won’t be making it! Hopefully this game makes it.

rabit says:

Neat idea! I’d love to see this happen with other games too. Who knows, maybe the next trend in emulation is to patch old games and give them brand new high-res graphics. If you want the game to look really amazing, you’ll use a 2D vector engine that can do anti-aliasing and can zoom in/out smoothly.

Jon says:

I think it is great to see independent projects like this. However, I have to say that the art direction you are taking is way off base. Pixel art is sacred in video games, and if you are going to make it high resolution, than you better add some more detail and shading. For an example of a higher resolution sprite, take a look at street fighter 3. Or for a higher resolution example, Steam Brigade. http://www.pedestrianentertainment.com/images/9.jpg

These are only examples of directions you can take artwork.

Actually I just realized you have a perfect example of what the ideal sonic would look like. Look at the logo at the top of this page. THAT is what an idealized HD sonic should look like.

You know what, you should really just make your own original game, and not focus too much on the graphics. The key is fun gameplay, and charming characters. The developers of Sonic are not gods, they are mortals. You can do better if you really want to.

Blue Streak says:

Hey everyone, I’m one of the sprite artists on this project and I just want to thank everyone for your support. Just so you all know, this project has only been under development for a month and a half or so and we’re still organizing things and getting our feet wet. I don’t think that image of the title screen is in anyway going to be the final image and lots of elements may undergo several improvements. Also, the aim here is to replicate the original game first with higher quality art and music; extra features that aren’t in the original game are certainly possibilities, but we have decided to focus on recreating the original game first. In response to those who think we should create an original game instead of updating Sonic 2, this is the first time this has been approached at this level and if it’s successful (and if Sega gets it in their head that this is a good thing for the franchise) we will start considering original projects at this level. There is a lot of interest in this project and we’re going to do our best to bring one of the best video games ever made into the new millennium.

racketboy says:

Thanks Blue Streak, for the clarification and insights.
I look forward to hearing/seeing more!

Evan says:

Those graphics look sweet! I agree though, Sega is more likely to sue than to pick up the project. Keep it going though!

Blue Streak says:

Racketboy, we’d be honored if you’d continue to cover the status of this project in the future. There are a good many years of knowledge and experience behind the community trying to make this project happen and we’d all love to see it be a success. Readers should know that there are no real timelines at this point, but so long as there’s interest there will be progress. And if Sega tries to interfere, well, that is in some sense their right to do so. But, hopefully they’ll realize we’re trying to do them a favor by helping people remember Sonic for how great he used to be.

racketboy says:

Sure thing man — and take your time — quality is most important 🙂

fdouble says:

“Hope they finish it by christmas rush”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…

Don’t get me wrong – I love fan remakes of any kind, and I believe making one is such a valiant thing to attempt… but dude, these things always take a lot of time to be finished, if at all. This is people doing an entire game in their spare time, for free. And risking possible project-ending legal battles.

Louis Lang says:

Hi,
I own Sonic2HD.com and would like to donate it to the project! If anyone is interested please shoot me an email at:

louis.w.lang [at] gmail [dot] com

Thanks 🙂

kashif says:

Great News for me coz im a huge fan of sonic retro games and this one is all time favorite. thanks for making in HD. and what about sonic 1 & 3 and sonic & Knuckles?

TheWatcher says:

Sonic 2 was fantasic and why stop there? Streets of rage 2 and Desert strike would also be worthy of a high-def make-over.

Sam says:

hey , is this gunna be a real game to download?? its sounds great

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *