The Nintendo Download – 2/21/13

mh3ultimate

The Nintendo Download kicks off strong this week with a free demo for Capcom’s upcoming retail title, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. You can partake in quests (over 200 in the full game) with two AI companions, or join with up to three friends in online multiplayer hunts. As you slay various monsters and creatures, you’ll be able to forge new weapons and armor to help in future hunts.

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Some of you may remember that a couple of months ago, we got our first peek at NASCAR racer Danica Patrick’s in-game appearance in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and with it, a look at a GameStop-exclusive promotion to receive a free Hot Wheels “Danicar” die-cast toy with the purchase.

Fast-forward about a month and some change to the game’s launch on November 18th, and if you picked up a copy of the game, you might have noticed something: No Danicar toy. It had been confirmed to me by SEGA that Canada would be included in the promotion, so perhaps it was cancelled?

As it turns out, not at all.

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One of the worst-kept secrets around here is how excited I am about Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed; just one look at the tag shows that it has some of the most extensive coverage of any single game on the site (as well as a few articles over at PoisonMushroom.Org). And when I found out that Steve Lycett, Producer at Transformed developer Sumo Digital, was doing interviews with different websites (such as this one at TSSZ News), I leaped at the chance to do one of my own. And, to my delight, he accepted!

Before we get started, however, a little background: While I’ve played the original Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing a lot (it’s one of my all-time favorite games), at the time this interview was written, I had not played Transformed at all yet. I’m still waiting on my review copy from SEGA (shipping to Canada can take a while, I’ve learned) as I make this post, but between sending these questions off and now, I have had a chance to sit down with the Xbox 360 demo and watch people talk about it on the Wii U’s Miiverse.

Though I am working on several reviews together, once this game comes in, I’ll definitely make it a priority and give you my full thoughts on it. But for now, please enjoy this post-release interview with the game’s Producer, Steve Lycett.

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We’ve been following the development of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed here for a while, and while there has been a lot said of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, less has been said of the Wii U version until just recently.

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Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph finally hits theatres today, and to celebrate, SEGA has released a new trailer for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed which focuses exclusively on the movie’s title character. Check it out:

Gotta love the way Ralph lampshades the whole “Sonic in a car” thing. Plus, his vehicle has a unique effect when it transformers, changing in a more pixel-animated sort of way than the mechanical Transformers-esque part-shifting of everyone else.

When this game hits shelves later this month, are you gonna wreck it?

SEGA has just released some new screenshots for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed featuring their other big guest star, Wreck-It Ralph from the upcoming Disney movie of the same name. So not only will Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman be getting a little bit of time on the big-screen when it hits theatres on November 2nd, but they’ll return the favor for the movie’s star when the game is released across various platforms throughout this holiday season.

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Though we recently caught a glimpse of race car driver Danica Patrick as she will appear in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, SEGA had yet to debut her in-game appearance officially. But what a difference a few days makes, as now we not only have three screens of her in action, but word of a special Hot Wheels promotion and a video, too:

Looks like SEGA is going for something of a “girl power” theme here, with Patrick sticking it to Eggman after he torments Amy Rose and Ulala on the track, then going on to challenge Sonic for first.

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Some fun new tidbits in the Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed pool today, including ten new screenshots released by SEGA. These are said to be for the Wii U version, though there doesn’t seem to be anything to specifically identify them as such, meaning that you can undoubtedly discern the same information for other versions as well, including what Ulala’s neon-rimmed vehicle looks like. TSSZ News also identifies two of the courses as being “Dream Valley” from NiGHTS Into Dreams and a House of the Dead-themed stage.

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Via TSSZ News, the official Xbox website recently updated their product page for the upcoming Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed with new screens and details, including the confirmation of playable Avatars with their own exclusive vehicle (while Miis will be in the Nintendo versions), four-player local multiplayer, and eight-player online multiplayer (though some reports have stated ten for online), as well as downloadable content, leaderboards, and voice chat.

In additional news, the recently-released 282nd volume of Nintendo Power has revealed that Gum will be joining fellow Jet Set Radio star Beat as a racer in the game. However, much like Danica Patrick, there are no pictures of her at this time.

At the top of the article, we get a clear look at the ground-based version of the vehicle driven by Shinobi‘s Joe Musashi, plus some interesting use of onomatopoeias during the race.

Here’s a close-up look at some of the other newly-released screens:

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Just a few quick items about Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed for you today. First, TSSZ News reveals something tucked away within a GamesRadar report on the Wii U. Specifically, that version will feature five-player local multiplayer, with the fifth player using the GamePad’s screen, something sure to help set it further apart from the other versions.

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IGN brought us a new trailer and some info about the upcoming Wii U version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed the other day, and today, SEGA has released several new screens for both the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 and Wii U versions of the game. However, though they came in separate files, one would be hard-pressed to tell the difference from the screens alone, which isn’t a bad thing.

Join me as I take a look at some of the highlights from this new batch, and then check the rest out in our gallery below.

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While we’ve seen a bit of SEGA’s Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed over the past few weeks and months, very little of it has had anything to do with the Wii U version of the title, much of which has been kept under wraps. That is, until now.

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SEGA has announced today that those who pre-order Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita platforms will receive a special “Bonus Edition” of the game while supplies last.

The box art (Xbox 360 seen at right; click here for the PlayStation 3 version and here for the PlayStation Vita version) has little different from what has been shown previously, save for the banner at the top denoting this edition’s “bonus” status.

What sets this version apart from the regular edition is the inclusion of an exclusive OutRun Bay track, which is based on the OutRun series of games, some of which were made by this game’s developer, Sumo Digital. In addition to the track itself, there will also be exclusive challenges and time trials specific to this track, ensuring there is plenty to do here.

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Well, it didn’t take long for more news to come, did it?

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As the headline says, SEGA has released a new video for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed to coincide with their appearance at the San Diego Comic Con:

It’s a neat touch how the Sonic/Eggman bit seems to recall their interaction in the intro to the first game.

Beyond that, there’s not too much new to speak of at the moment. At the recent Summer of Sonic event, they did show some footage which reveals a NiGHTS course and racers (NiGHTS and Reala themselves turn into vehicles), but otherwise, things have been mostly quiet.

If you are interested in my thoughts, however, I discussed the announcement and a bit of the previous game at the Toronto Video Game Examiner, while I examine some E3 footage at PoisonMushroom.Org. I hope that will suffice for the moment, but don’t worry– the first is one of my favorite games, and I’m sure I’ll have much, much more to say as the release draws ever nearer.