Sumo Digital Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Sumo Digital RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Let's Compare Yooka-Laylee and Snake Pass! https://www.gameskinny.com/h0fzy/lets-compare-yooka-laylee-and-snake-pass https://www.gameskinny.com/h0fzy/lets-compare-yooka-laylee-and-snake-pass Sun, 23 Apr 2017 14:59:20 -0400 Erroll Maas

Playtonic Game's long awaited collect-a-thon revival game Yooka-Laylee, recently released to mixed reception, while Sumo Digital's all new platformer, Snake Pass, released only a short time before with slightly better reviews than its kickstarted rival. Some expected Yooka-Laylee to be the better of the two due to its lineage and weren't sure what to expect with Snake Pass, while others thought Yooka-Laylee was a waste of time stuck in the past and were excited to see what Snake Pass had to offer.

While both fill voids in the genre, here are some comparisons between the two 3D platformers to help decide if one is truly better than the other.

Initial Concepts

Yooka-Laylee Plays It Safe

Yooka-Laylee could have been the game to make 3D collect-a-thon platformers popular again, but it offered nothing new in terms of gameplay. Instead, it took its gameplay straight from its predecessors, making it feeling outdated and derivative.

All of the features of older 3D platformers comprise its gameplay: jump, double jump, attack, drop attack. On top of that, other seemingly outmoded features such as on-rails sections, copious item collection, and just about everything players remember from games like Banjo Kazooie is found here. This would be fine if Yooka-Laylee expanded upon those mechanics, adding new unique twists to each one, but instead, it keeps them the way they are, making the gameplay rather ordinary and somewhat boring.

Snake Pass is a Similar Concept with a Twist.

On the other hand, Snake Pass does things a bit differently. Sure it has plenty in common with Yooka-Laylee: Both games star a reptile with a flying companion, both are inspired by 3D platformers of the past, both have great soundtracks, and both are available on just about all modern consoles.

But one of the reasons players may be enjoying Snake Pass more is because of its unique mechanics. The movement of the main character, Noodle, is based off of how real life snakes slither, rather than the usual running and jumping seen in other 3D platformers. Snake Pass focuses more on originality and figuring out how to get from one part of a level to the next while avoiding deadly obstacles in a novel and interesting way, rather than doing its best to be a proper spiritual sequel to an older game.

Differing Graphical Quality

Yooka-Laylee Fails to Deliver in the Graphical Department

Yooka-Laylee isn't the first 3D platformer to be in HD, but it is the first Banjo Kazooie spiritual successor to be -- unless you actually count the much-derided Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts as a successor for some odd reason.

According to some, Yooka-Laylee has poor graphical quality, which may be due to the graphics engine used for the game. Yooka-Laylee utilizes the Unity engine, which is commonly associated with affordability and smaller indie games. In his review for the game, Youtube personality and game reviewer Jim Sterling claims:

"While it’s bright and colorful, the game’s choppy framerate and wonky physics mitigate any pleasure one might derive from the graphics. Stages aren’t particularly detailed in their design, featuring lots of basic blocks, platforms, and ramps, while characters themselves are mildly endearing if somewhat forgettable. It’s the kind of game that looks far better in screenshots than when viewed in motion."

Despite having the colorfulness of games like Banjo Kazooie, it seems as if the graphics of Yooka-Laylee haven't improved all that much. 

Snake Pass Has Superior Graphics Over Its Rival

Snake Pass uses the impressive Unreal Engine 4 to power its graphics and as such, it has received few complaints about graphical quality. In GameSpot's review, Oscar Dayus says: 

"As you improve, the momentum you build in gliding up and over obstacles can lead to some wonderful sights -- there's something instinctively satisfying about seeing a snake's tail chase after its head, especially knowing you were the choreographer. And that's helped by the vibrant character and environment art, the latter of which accentuates each world's natural beauty, while the changing color palettes make each level appear distinct from the last.

This is a game whose sense of motion is palpable, with platforms whizzing by and moving reptilian stripes attracting the eye - -and yet I often found myself gazing at a distant treeline or glowing collectible orb."

A stark contrast to Sterling's comments on Yooka-Laylee, the smooth quality and vibrancy of the environments in Snake Pass help show another way it manages to keep the 3D platformer genre fresh, instead of sticking to the basics.

Review Scores

Yooka-Laylee is Never Quite Above Average

Working off that, the reviews for Yooka-Laylee have ranged from the low side of positive to astoundingly negative. Most reviewers agree that Yooka-Laylee succeeds in copying the framework laid down by games like Banjo Kazooie and Conker's Bad Fur Day, but at the same time, it doesn't bring anything new to the table, which narrows its key audience.

Due to its outdated gameplay mechanics, bringing nothing new or interesting to the formula, and its questionable graphics, Yooka-Laylee has not been able to reach its full potential.

Slithery Reviews for Snake Pass

Oddly enough, the best review scores for Snake Pass are only slightly higher than the review scores for Yooka-Laylee, and as of this writing, both games have the same metascore (Snake Pass does have a slightly higher user score, though).

This may be because players are not accustomed to the unique gameplay of Snake Pass, and reviews claim the game expects you to learn everything a bit too quickly.  But unlike Yooka-Laylee, players do actually learn in Snake Pass, rather than staying inside of their comfort zone.

Other Problems

Yooka-Laylee was also involved in a rather interesting, albeit short-lived, controversy where a Youtube personality was removed from the voice cast due to some controversial statements made prior to the game's release, which you can read more about here.

The only problems Snake Pass seems to have are awkward camera positions, the previously mentioned claims it expects you to learn its unique mechanics a bit too quickly, and that the main characters are (arguably) not as charming as the mascots of the platformers which came before them. These frustrating problems are likely the reason why its review scores aren't much higher than Yooka-Laylee.

The Verdict

Snake Pass is Cheaper & More Fun Than Yooka-Laylee

Despite having astoundingly similar reception, from this evidence it's clear to see Snake Pass is the better modern 3D platformer of the two, albeit only slightly. Snake Pass introduces a new interesting game mechanic, has the graphical advantage and better-looking environments, and is also half the price of Yooka-Laylee.

You can buy Snake Pass for $20 on the PlayStation Store, Xbox One Games Store, Nintendo Switch eShop, and PC.

However, if you're still interested in Yooka-Laylee, you can buy it for $40 on the PlayStation Store, Xbox One Games Store, and PC. It will be available on the Nintendo Switch eShop in the near future.

And if you're not quite sure about Yooka-Laylee, the game's publisher, Team 17, has a handful of other great games for players to enjoy -- such as 2016's multiplayer smash hit Overcooked!

Which platformer do you prefer, Snake Pass or Yooka-Laylee? Sound off in the comments below! 

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Snake Pass Review: Be One With the Snake in This Fun Platform Puzzler https://www.gameskinny.com/zsx48/snake-pass-review-be-one-with-the-snake-in-this-fun-platform-puzzler https://www.gameskinny.com/zsx48/snake-pass-review-be-one-with-the-snake-in-this-fun-platform-puzzler Mon, 10 Apr 2017 15:03:32 -0400 ESpalding

It's out! It is finally out!

I played a demo of Sumo Digital's Snake Pass at last year's EGX event in Birmingham, England, and again at EGX Rezzed 2017 -- and I've been eagerly awaiting its general release since. It was released on March 28 for North America and on March 29 for Europe and Australia, and it is available on PC (via Steam), Xbox One, PS4, and the Nintendo Switch.

Snake Pass is a delightful 3D platform puzzler in which you must guide the snake Noodle and his hummingbird companion Doodle around various locations while collecting gate gems to progress to the game's next levels. That's the main aim anyway, as there are other collectibles to find for bonuses and more. But these tend to be harder to find -- and even harder to get to.

Although this game is a platformer, you won't find any jumping or running in Snake Pass. You play a snake, after all, so you must move and behave like a snake. Rather than just moving forward, you need to perfect your slither and how to change your speed. Noodles movements are so fluid and perfectly mimic those of a real snake, it's kind of uncanny. You can see that a great deal of research has gone into this element of the game.

Then there is the climbing, which is an art form in itself -- and the most infuriating part of the game. To collect items in-game, you are faced with a lot of bamboo climbing frames. Using what Sumo calls "Snake Physics," you need to learn how to climb and coil by tightening and loosening your body around the bamboo. It really isn't as easy as it sounds, and you will spend a lot of time falling off and having to start a particular climb again. Luckily, there are no "lives" in Snake Pass, so you can start from a checkpoint as often as you fall off.

In case things do appear to be going wrong, you can get Doodle the hummingbird to grab the end of your tail to help keep your balance. This, however, won't hold you up or stop you from falling off what you're climbing on. But if your back end seems to be dragging you down on an obstacle, this is a little helping hand. What's more, Doodle also acts as a little guide, showing you where you need to be heading, in case you ever get lost. 

As well as not having to worry about falling and using a life, the other nice thing about Snake Pass is that there are no mobs or combat in any way. You only have to concentrate on collecting and mastering how to move effectively. This is great from a parent's perspective.

While some are ok with their children playing games that have some form of combat, there are others who don't let their children play games because of it. Snake Pass is purely a puzzle game. It is fantastic for helping children refine their motor and problem-solving skills.

On top of that, all of the graphics are bright and, for the most part, happy, while Noodle and Doodle are very loveable and look like they wouldn't be out of place in an animated movie. Saying that, the look of the game is truly nostalgic. To some, it is pretty obvious where the developers got some of their inspiration from.

But not everything in Snake Pass is so cheery. While not damning, there are some things about the game that can prove to be a nuisance. Firstly, some of the checkpoint positions seem to be a bit out of place. Having spent a while navigating a particularly hard climb, and then retrieving the gem at the top, I would have liked a checkpoint in a reasonably close location to that treasure, rather than risking a fall (which happened. It angered me. I had to put it down and come back to it ...). I guess I should be grateful that there are checkpoints at all!

I can also see why the camera might not be everyone's friend. It has some really strange angles, and this is very evident in small areas or smaller rooms. The camera gets itself into an interesting position, lodged up against the wall or an object. Sometimes it zooms in completely, which makes it hard to see where you are supposed to go next. Out in the open, however, the camera can move around Noodle freely and makes for some pretty impressive views.

While we can't expect a game to go on forever. Eventually, a line has to be drawn. But with Snake Pass, it feels like the line was drawn too soon. The game only consists of 15 levels across four worlds.

Ok, this might be because the developers have some expansions or DLC updates hidden up their sleeves, but if you are just going to complete the main game, it might not take too long. If you are a completionist and want to collect all the orbs and coins, then it's probably going to take quite a while, so the lack of levels probably won't bother you that much. Really, it's a toss up in how you want to play the game. 

But regardless of your style, you will need to use a controller to get the most out of the game on PC. I know that not all PC gamers like to use a controller, and while Snake Pass does support keyboard and mouse, I can't really recommend it. As I have reviewed this on PC, I made sure that I gave both a shot, but I just couldn't get the same fluid movements using the keyboard and mouse I could when using my controller. Don't get me wrong, it is totally possible to play it this way, but I think that it was designed to be played using a controller.

In a year when other similar looking platformers are being released, Snake Pass certainly stands on its own with its own unique gameplay mechanics and loveable characters. Even though the camera can be a bit annoying and the game itself is a bit short, it is nonetheless a great experience. For anyone who wants to try something new and just escape reality for a bit, you don't need to look any further. I've thoroughly enjoyed Snake Pass, as have my children, and I really hope that there are going to be more levels to come! Let's see what other adventures Noodle and Doodle have in the future!

Snake Pass was provided for review by developers Sumo Digital and is currently on Steam for £15.99/19,99€/$19.99.

 

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First Student-Made PS4 Game Coming on July 15th https://www.gameskinny.com/7b43o/first-student-made-ps4-game-coming-on-july-15th https://www.gameskinny.com/7b43o/first-student-made-ps4-game-coming-on-july-15th Thu, 09 Jul 2015 20:13:31 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

After three different development teams, ten months of development time, and various iterations over two years, the first fully published PlayStation 4 student game will be released on the PlayStation Store on Wednesday, July 15th.

From Steel Minions Game Studio, created in 2010 at Sheffield Hallam University to provide students with a merit-based "work simulation" studio environment, Piecefall is a Tetris-inspired 3D puzzle game where abstract floating islands destroyed by a storm have to be rebuilt piece by piece on a horizontal plane.

Four islands, each with twelve puzzles to be solved, allow players to gather points to unlock the ultimate level of the Zen Island by rebuilding the ancient spiritual monuments. The 3D visuals bring a sense of Minecraft, while the soft textures give off a tranquil calmness during gameplay.

 As part of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's (SCEE) academic development program, PlayStationFirst, Sheffield Hallam University has the largest PlayStation teaching facilities in the world, with an extensive suite of PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita development kits. With the help of local game developers, mentors, and a dedicated PlayStationFirst producer, the first student game for the PlayStation 4 will finally be published.

Developed by students who have already secured jobs at LittleBigPlanet 3 developer Sumo Digital in Sheffield and Elite3D in Valencia, Piecefall will be available on PlayStation 4 for only £1.00 on Wednesday, July 15th, 

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Finn and Friends Join LittleBigPlanet 3 https://www.gameskinny.com/bgh7r/finn-and-friends-join-littlebigplanet-3 https://www.gameskinny.com/bgh7r/finn-and-friends-join-littlebigplanet-3 Sat, 02 May 2015 15:15:52 -0400 Thomas M Gumbel

Out of nowhere, we have Adventure Time-themed DLC for LittleBigPlanet 3!  No announcement, hype, build-up, etc. from either Pen Ward or Sumo Digital.  A welcome surprise, to be sure; just one heck of a well-kept secret.  The Adventure Time Level Kit has 16 exclusive Materials, 4 Objects, 25 Decorations, 81 Stickers, and several new tracks by Adventure Time composer Tim Kiefer.

 

Oh my God it’s so cute.  Look at it.  I mean, Sack-Jake is kind of frightening (I don’t know, he looks like a lungfish to me or something) but otherwise: so frigging cute.  We can see Sackfolk versions of Finn, Fionna, Ice King, Gunter, Jake, and the Cosmic Owl in the trailer - all playable!  Bizarrely, Fionna comes as a bonus with purchase of the Level Kit, separate from the other costumes.  You can also use the Adventure Time costumes as PlayStation Avatars; PlayStation tells us how in this blog post.

The Adventure Time Level Kit is $5, $6 for the Costume Pack, or $2 for each costume individually.  Adventure Time games have been more miss than hit; if this DLC counts, then whee!  We have a good Adventure Time game!

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LittleBigPlanet 3 Review https://www.gameskinny.com/oaiwn/littlebigplanet-3-review https://www.gameskinny.com/oaiwn/littlebigplanet-3-review Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:59:23 -0500 Matt_Paprocki

At a time when the industry feels hopelessly separated over issues of journaistic ethics and inclusitvity, LittleBigPlanet can draw us closer through playful togetherness. With all of its hyper-niceness, waggling tongues, and soft pun-ny British-accented narration, Sony's creatively overdosed platformer remains importantly genuine.

This is a fairy tale – a chintzy one – but a fairy tale nonetheless. Sackboy, perfected smiles and adorable anger in tow, inhabits the intelligently non-violent Imagisphere. Brought to life by a logical developmental hivemind (this time born of Sumo Digital not Media Molecule) LittleBigPlanet 3 is brightly different. Villain Newton, a literal light bulb of ideas voiced by Hugh Laurie, constitutes the series' heart of overeager ambition and productivity – an incidental scoundrel if you will.

Miniature Sizable Celestial Body to the Third

Yes, LittleBigPlanet is coddling. Death is brisk and non-eventful. Stage designs at their worst feel delicately threatening, and even then it's with a smirk. The messy structure which slips up with a half-in open world is but a brief distraction. It does things wrong, fouls, and even fails. Then Sackboy grins.

Physics have become toned and ripped, slipping away from the frustrations which sent Sackboy (and by default also his latest company, Oddsock, Toggle, and Swoop) careening helplessly across levels. Renewed focus on stage designs and a drizzle of licensed music add alluring flavoring to an already charming first-party spectacle.

LittleBigPlanet hoists up a critical shield. So much of what it does (and does well) is still cycling through the minds of its community members. Most of it doesn't exist yet. It grows like a beautiful shapeless blob as creative types finagle new ideas from the delightful core. What they do is what this PlayStation 4 edition will ultimately become.

As such, introverts need not apply. Those seeking alone time are amongst the rare breed of excluded players. LittleBigPlanet is almost preachy with its message of friend gathering and cooperative hangouts. Enriching play should be shared. Few offer a better platform. Even fewer are so nonchalant in their unisex appeal.

Ingenuity powers everything in LittleBigPlanet 3. It's like an electron current running through it all, powering character designs, dialog, and pacing. Last year Sony tried The Puppeteer, an interesting and magnetic platformer with gumption. With time, LittleBigPlanet 3 has done it better. The swinging, the jumping, the cautious layered style; this series has grown up.

Play Adorably

There is so much to see through a story few will probably care for short of unlocking a suite of deliciously whimsical stickers. Backgrounds enact chaotic stage shows and themes prey on the concept of miniaturization. Cleverness is applied to use real world objects where possible. Sackboy's world is also flushed with vintage toys, becoming a type of adventure seen only in high-strung imaginations. Cue another reason to share.

The reality is we need more LittleBigPlanet. Lots of it. The sensation of “Look what I did,” and the bliss of finding a splendid, “Look what they did,” level is often incalculable. It is what you make it. With such a malleable engine (Sumo Digital's shows such with smart yet slender mission design), the game is allowed to slip in almost unnoticed against the barrage of brutish target practice sims. No guns allowed here. The Imagisphere shows what else video games can be at their most clear-headed.

“Let's spark together,” LittleBigPlanet 3 asks of us. So lets. Ignore the vileness, the social media bickering, the puerile hate, the swirling accusations.

Let's make something incredible, together, because: video games like this? They're awesome. Let's play.

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LittleBigPlanet 3's Got You Covered with Goodies Galore https://www.gameskinny.com/882wc/littlebigplanet-3s-got-you-covered-with-goodies-galore https://www.gameskinny.com/882wc/littlebigplanet-3s-got-you-covered-with-goodies-galore Sun, 02 Nov 2014 22:34:06 -0500 KieraB

Up for release this month is the third game from the LittleBigPlanet series by Sumo Digital, and the game has some goodies in store for players.

These goodies include three new characters added to LittleBigPlanet 3 to help keep Sockboy and Sockgirl moving forward: Swoop, a bird who possesses the gift of flight and carrying objects and other characters; OddSock, a wall-jumping dog whose speed is unmatched by any Sack-Person on two legs; and Toggle, a large Sackboy who can weigh down objects, as well as turn himself into Little Toggle to run across water and fit into tight spaces. Players will have the freedom of choice between these new characters for each stage as well.

On top of getting new characters with new abilities, LBP faithfuls who want to keep their wardrobe and Level Packs together will have no worries. All previously-bought DLC and collected goodies--materials, costumes, objects, custom content and the like--from the first two LittleBigPlanet games will be made transferrable over to the new game, even going between the PS3 and PS4 consoles, via in-game Prize Bubbles.

In other words, PlayStation has ensured that LBP3 will be wholly backwards-compatible. All players would have to do is re-download the content from LBP3's in-game store to their respective Popits, publish levels containing these Prize Bubbles, and pick up the goods with their preferred Sack-Person.

One final addition to the backwards accessibility of LBP3 is that of a player's LittleBigPlanet Earth as well. If a player has created and published levels on either LBP or LBP2, or both for that matter, they will be made available on the new LittleBigPlanet Earth to be preserved or finished.

Making sure that they always have your back to top it all off, PlayStation has announced a FAQ containing instructions and help on how to transfer materials and content over to the new game will be made available on LittleBigPlanet.com.

Be on the look-out when the game graces stores on November 18th! 

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Things Are Going to Get Very Vocal in Little Big Planet 3 https://www.gameskinny.com/i0ooe/things-are-going-to-get-very-vocal-in-little-big-planet-3 https://www.gameskinny.com/i0ooe/things-are-going-to-get-very-vocal-in-little-big-planet-3 Sat, 11 Oct 2014 09:36:49 -0400 Jay Prodigious

We all love the silent protagonist act. The strong silent types and the quirky mute heroes always inspire joy and excitement. From an immersion standpoint, silent protagonists allow the player to get farther into character and feel like they are the ones saving the world. 

You Just Can't Beat a Great Cast of Voice Actors

Developer Sumo Digital decided to take Little Big Planet 3 in a whole new direction with regards to its voice acting. While the narrator, voiced by Stephen Fry , has always been a constant element in the LBP series, the third installment wants to add more voices to aid the Creator Curators.

Fry, known for his British comedy stylings and a fair amount of narrative work in video games, will be joined by a few more heavy-hitters this time around.

Hugh Laurie (of House M.D.) will be joining his old comedy partner to voice the game's main villain. Laurie plays Newton, a mischievous and a mildly crazy person who wants to destroy Sack Boy and the world he inhabits. Newton is best described as a blacklight bulb who dons a villanous cloak and a bowler hat that appears to be made from an old egg timer. 

Check out these images of Newton below, provided by the Little Big Planet Community Playstation Blog:

Laurie and Fry are not the only voices to star in Little Big Planet 3. According to the blog, there will be more characters and NPCs in this game, so the developers "needed a wonderful array of voices to help bring all these characters to life."

Who else is in this wonderful array? Lots of big names. 

  • Peter Serafinowicz (Pete in Shaun of the Dead & Denarian Saal in Guardians of The Galaxy)
  • Simon Greenall (British comedian credited with several voice parts in Tomb Raider II.)
  • Nolan North (Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, Deadpool in Deadpool, and the Black Hand in Shadow of Mordor)
  • Tara Strong (Paz in Metal Gear Solid V, Rikku in Final Fantasy X)

With an impressive cast so far and teasers for more to come, we can be sure the world of Little Big Planet will definitely be a lot louder than it ever was before. 

Little Big Planet 3 is scheduled to release November 18th on PS3 and PS4. 

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Over 10 Years Later and We're Still Looking for Those Sailors: Why it is Now or Never for Shenmue 3 https://www.gameskinny.com/qd3wi/over-10-years-later-and-were-still-looking-for-those-sailors-why-it-is-now-or-never-for-shenmue-3 https://www.gameskinny.com/qd3wi/over-10-years-later-and-were-still-looking-for-those-sailors-why-it-is-now-or-never-for-shenmue-3 Fri, 03 Jan 2014 07:43:28 -0500 Ryan Kerns

It has been 13 years since the original Shenmue released on Dreamcast, and 11 years since the second game ended on a cliffhanger. That makes the six year wait since the cliffhanger ending of Half-Life 2: Episode Two a walk in the park. A lot has changed since 2000; if a third Shenmue game were to happen, would it even be able to live up to expectations? 

Shenmue was originally planned as a Virtua Fighter RPG on the Saturn, and became the most expensive game ever made in its day by the time it finally released. The game pioneered the open world concept, but was largely overshadowed by Grand Theft Auto III, which released one year after Shenmue. Game budgets have inflated by quite a bit since then, and Grand Theft Auto V cost over three times as much to develop. 

The Sega of today is also an entirely different entity. No longer a console manufacturer, and primarily a publisher, there are only three series left that they steadily develop: Sonic, Hatsune Miku, and Yakuza.

Yuji Naka, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Yukio Futatsugi, and pretty much anyone else responsible for producing classic Sega hits have long left the company--including Shenmue creator, Yu Suzuki. 

Yakuza is generally considered a spiritual successor to Shenmue, and after Shenmue Online failed to make it out of development limbo, one would assume Sega doesn't have much interest in a Shenmue 3. At least until this image of Ryo in Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing: Transformed surfaced. 

Besides having the trifecta of classic Sega arcade cabinets (OutRun, Hang-On, Afterburner) as his vehicle, there is a pretty auspicious license plate catching people's attention. Some have seen this as Sega declaring the intention to finally complete the Shenmue trilogy; however, I do not.

The developer for Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing: Transformed is Sumo Digital, a third-party studio. They've developed games for Sony, Microsoft, and Konami aside from their work for Sega. 

A year passed between Sumo Digital's DLC character poll and Ryo releasing. Even now, he's only in the mobile version of the game; the PC DLC confirmed by a leak, and the console DLC is still a big question mark. With so little support from Sega's end, I would highly doubt any insider knowledge coming from Sumo Digital as to the future of Shenmue. 

So why is it now or never? 

Grand Theft Auto has set the bar for open world games, and I find it hard to think Sega would devote the resources to making a game on that scale. The studio responsible for Shenmue, Sega AM2, hasn't developed anything outside of a port since 2010, with the arcade release of Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown. This could mean the studio either quietly dissolved after Suzuki left, or the long-shot that perhaps they've been developing Shenmue 3 in secrecy for the last three years. 

I tend to believe AM2 is still alive, because there is a pretty active Virtua Fighter 20th anniversary site. VF characters have been all over the place recently, appearing in Project X Zone, Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate, and Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax. I think it is more than likely they're working on Virtua Fighter 6 rather than Shenmue 3. 

I think this year we will get an answer from Yu Suzuki himself as to the future of the series. March is right around the corner, and he will be giving a postmortem on Shenmue at GDC 2014. Interestingly enough, the lead architect of the Playstation 4, Mark Cerny, will be translating for Suzuki. You could wildly speculate this means Shenmue 3 is coming as a Playstation 4 exclusive. In reality, it just means Cerny worked at Sega in Japan for a number of years and is friends with him. 

If it will make money, anything is possible in video games.

Would it make as much money as Grand Theft Auto V? I really don't think that's the case, there's already a whole generation of gamers who missed the series entirely. The games have aged quite well, however, and perhaps a HD port of the first two games would help grow the brand recognition. With Sega's reluctance to even release the recent Yakuza games in the USA though, I don't have much hope at all. 

Shenmue was a terrific and influential game. The series is nothing more than a cult classic at this point... on which Sega isn't likely to make a profit on if they made a proper third game. The game will live on in our hearts and the occasional Ryo Hazuki cameo. 

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Review: Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed for PC https://www.gameskinny.com/hipuw/review-sonic-and-all-stars-racing-transformed-for-pc https://www.gameskinny.com/hipuw/review-sonic-and-all-stars-racing-transformed-for-pc Fri, 01 Feb 2013 11:35:29 -0500 Jeremy

Sonic and his friends are back!

Sonic racing transformed was released not too long ago on the PS3 and Xbox 360, and just yesterday for PC. Normally, a PC port for a game released on console is a 1:1 kind of thing, no real changes from the various releases. But not with this game. SEGA and Sumo did a good job on the PC version, giving desktop players quite a few bonuses.

First and foremost, the obvious stuff is in there. Enhanced options to tweak with the controls, resolution, anti-aliasing options things like that. But, the PC port adds a few new characters to the roster, which are specifically for PC. A samurai from Shogun 2 shows up in his custom wooden...thing. Three of the characters from TF2 have their own transportation, taking turns driving it in it's various forms. But my favorite addition has to be "The Tactician," from the Football Manager series, a game about managing your own soccer team.

So, how is the game?

Personally, I am in love. Every little bit about the game makes me squeal with delight. From the visuals, to the music, to the crazy tracks chocked full of detail. Whether you are running through the Casino level from Sonic, flying through a major ship battle in the Skies of Arcadia level, or riding a wave of lava in the gorgeous Golden Axe track, sometimes it's hard to keep your eyes on the road when you want to see all the little things put into this game.

The racers themselves are varied and come from all sorts of Sega Classics. My personal favorite is Vyse, from Skies of Arcadia, an old favorite of mine. Grabbing an all star power up on him, and watching his car turn into a crazy pirate ship, delivering broadsides loaded full of Blue Rogue justice to anyone on either side made me holler out loud in excitement! And each racer can level up, allowing you to swap points from various stats, taking a hit in one to improve another, until you have unlocked the racers true potential, usually giving you a stat above 5 points in one area.

Is it worth it?

Between tons of racers, challenges, achievements, and online play, Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed offers you a whole lot of bang for your buck. I'm still in the process of clearing the career mode and unlocking characters, but I'm having a blast. Whether it's doing drift challenges, dodging holographic cars, or flying through the skies leaving giant puffer fish floating in the air, I have to say this game is awesome.

So if you are a long time SEGA fan and want to see some of your old friends, or maybe some of their old homes, hop on Steam, or Amazon, or whatever and buy this game. I don't just recommend it, I label it as a major must buy!

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