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Sonic Drift: Next Generation
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Genre Action
Kart Racing
Series Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic Drift, particularly)
Rating ESRB: E
Modes Single Player
Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Developers Rainbow Studios
Sonic Team
Publishers Sega
Designer(s) Godzillabrawler
Release Date TBA

Sonic Drift: Next Generation is the name of an unreleased, concept game for the Xbox 360. It will be released solely for this platform, mostly because the PlayStation 3 gets enough new games already. The game is a complete re-boot of the Sonic Drift series. Because it is a reboot, several major Gameplay changes will be made, and many characters will make their debut in a racing game. The game will consist of eight grand pries, twenty-five playable racers, and a variety of items that can be used during races. Rainbow Studios, developer of ATV Offroad Fury 2, will assist with making the game’s engine, however, Sonic Team will finish the engine to suit the game’s Sonic style.

Gameplay

Sonic Drift: Next Generation will be a total re-boot to the Sonic Drift game series. The Gameplay will be adjusted to be more like recent racing games, but to still retain individuality. The greatest change, it seems, is the addition of bikes. Each character has either a kart or bike. Bikes weigh less and can’t do well off-road, but have better steering and acceleration. Karts on the other hand, are faster and weigh more, but have weaker acceleration and turning. Each kart and bike has its own stats. Tracks now contain many hazards and ramps, from which tricks can be done off of. A Chaos Energy meter sits on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and as tricks are executed and items are used, it builds up. However, if the player falls off the course or fails to complete a trick it drops a little. The Chaos Energy bar increases the racer’s speed and acceleration as it goes up. The meter has three levels: Chaos, Super, and Hyper. When the bar fills up completely once, it goes to Super, and if it fills completely again, it reaches Hyper. Each level boosts the racer’s stats (only two or three stats are boosted at a time, not all five at once). If the bar drops down a level, the stats go down a level also.

Items appear for the first relative time in the series, and old items will reappear. The Robotnik Bomb, for example, is from the opening of Sonic & Knuckles, yet it appears as a semi-common item in the game. The Super Sneakers and Invincibility appear again, but old items like the Slow Sneaker and the Rocket Sneakers will return. DLC (Downloadable Content) will be available after its release. All characters can drift, trick, and use items, and only bike characters can do wheelies. There are quite a few modes in Next Generation. In addition to the Grand Prix mode and the single and multiplayer racing modes, Time Trials and Battle Mode appear. Time Trials force players to try and get the fastest times, whereas Battle Mode is a battle to see what racers remain alive at the end.

Racers

Racers are the key component in the game. Each racer has their own unique Speed, Acceleration, Off-Road, Handling, and Chaos stats. Whereas the first four may seem like obvious variables, the last is new. The Chaos stat shows how much Chaos Energy is gained from each trick/item hit. It also defines how much Chaos Energy the racer loses when they fall off the track or are hit by an item. Every racer rides either a kart or bike, similar to the Mario Kart series. The differences in these vehicles can be read in the above section. Here is a list of all playable racers:

Character Vehicle Type
Sonic the Hedgehog Speed Machine Kart
Miles “Tails“ Prower Tornado Wing Bike
Shadow the Hedgehog Dark Arrow Bike
Amy Rose Rosy Dragster Kart
Knuckles the Echidna Earth Rumbler Kart
Dr. Eggman Robotnik Ranger Kart
Vector the Crocodile Croc Attack Bike
Blaze the Cat Sleek Flame Bike
Metal Sonic Metallic Knife Bike
Silver the Hedgehog Future Drift Kart
Espio the Chameleon Ninja Striker Bike
E-123 Omega Artillery Beast Kart
Jet the Hawk Stunt Hawk Bike
Dr. Eggman NEGA Negative Engine Kart
Fang the Sniper Hover Gun Bike
Bean the Dynamite Bomb-Blast Kart
Bark the Polar Bear Shivering Shredder Kart
Wave the Swallow Blitz Bullet Bike
Storm the Albatross Titan Truck Kart
Big the Cat Fishing Bike Bike
Cream the Rabbit & Cheese Rabbit Wagon Kart
Rouge the Bat Bat Dasher Bike
Emerl Gizoid Gear Kart
Charmy Bee Turbo Bee Bike
Super Sonic* N/A N/A

*Super Sonic does not ride a vehicle, as he simply flies down the track. He also runs on Chaos Energy, so he will return to normal if he runs out of energy.

Racecourses

There are a total of thirty-two courses in eight grand pix cups, one for each of the Chaos Emerald colors and one for the Master Emerald. All of the courses are from previous games in the Sonic series, from Marble Zone to the Apotos Alleyways.

GREEN

The easiest cup in the game. It is a beginner’s track set, as the courses have minimal obstacles and aren’t extremely long.

  1. Green Hill
  2. Windmill Isle
  3. Ocean Palace
  4. Leaf Storm


TEAL

The second easiest cup. More trick ramps and drift areas appear in this cup, along with more difficult jumps and terrain.

  1. Gigapolis
  2. Marble
  3. Hot Crater
  4. Sandapolis


YELLOW

The next cup after Teal. The courses begin to step up here, although they are not terribly challenging. More shortcuts will begin to appear after this cup, also.

  1. Lost Jungle
  2. Metal Harbor
  3. Kron Colony
  4. Sky Troops


RED

This cup steps up the difficulty a bit, as tracks must now be more carefully navigated, with sharper turns and more gaps. Tricks can also help with various speed boost areas and even aid in shortcuts.

  1. Music Plant
  2. Dragon Road
  3. Dusty Desert
  4. Flying Battery


WHITE

A most obviously harder set of races, as the tracks are now loaded with hazards and sharp drifting turns, and gaps where failing a trick means costing major time.

  1. Hill Top
  2. Hang Castle
  3. Frontier Canyon
  4. Dead Line


BLUE

The third-to-last cup in the game, it consists of some nasty new obstacles, however, with careful precision they can be nearly overlooked. Item battling can become a problem in some of the difficult sections.

  1. Final Fortress
  2. Oil Ocean
  3. Space Gadget
  4. Hydro City


PURPLE

The penultimate grand prix. This cup is very challenging, with hard turns, rough hills, and strategically placed boost pads. If the player is able to figure out how to navigate the courses, he will be ready for the final cup.

  1. Voxai Colony Beta
  2. Metropolis
  3. Chaos Angel
  4. Crimson Crater


MASTER

The final cup available normally. This cup is gruelingly hard, although it should be, considering it is the final cup. If the player has not mastered the arts of drifting, tricking, use of shortcuts, and item battling, it will be an extremely tough ride.

  1. Exception
  2. Black Comet
  3. Death Egg
  4. Doomsday

Battle Mode

Battle Mode is a new mode where racers go down a track with infinite laps, trying to defeat all the other racers. Players can change rules to fit their play style, from winning according to KO count or having a set number of laps and having to get the most points in the allotted time. Ten tracks are solely playable in this mode:

  1. Zoah Colony
  2. Huge Crisis
  3. Casino Night
  4. Ice Paradise
  5. Megalo Station
  6. Neo South Island
  7. Sleeping Egg
  8. Cryptic Castle
  9. Hidden Palace
  10. Azure Lake

Each player has four Shield-Bots around themselves, and each attack landed against them loses one, and if all are lost the player has to respawn with all bots again.

Items

  1. Super Sneaker (the player receives an instant burst in speed)
  2. Slow Sneaker (the player’s top speed is temporarily dropped)
  3. Robotnik Bomb (the bomb from Knuckles’ opening in S&K drops on the track and explodes under a time limit or if contact is made, flipping over racers)
  4. Chu² Bomb (from Sonic Battle, the Chu² Bomb reappears! This small bomb comes in threes, and are motion-sensing, exploding when contact is made. Also, if they are left alone for a bit, they begin to walk around)
  5. Omochao Missile (the player shoots Omochao at a nearby opponent. This projectile homes in and spins out racers when hit)
  6. Fake Chaos Emerald (the Fake Chaos Emerald from Sonic X creates a lightning blast that strikes all racers in front of the user, spinning them out and temporarily draining their Chaos Meter)
  7. Golden Wings (based on the Special Rings from Sonic Advance 2, this power-up grows golden wings out of the back of the vehicle, and, for a limited time, the player can executed unlimited boosts)
  8. Rocket Sneakers (after a long absence, the Rocket Shoes from Sonic Chaos return; when used, a flamethrower blast of fire sprays from the vehicle’s rear, spinning out opponents)
  9. Invincibility (the racer is surrounded in a great glow, and any opponents who make contact with the user is flipped over)
  10. Gaia Bat (a Dark Gaia minion who swoops forward down the track, flipping over the racer who it was aimed at)
  11. Barrier (protects from one attack)
  12. Wrecking Ball (the checkered wrecking ball from the first Sonic game. When used, it drags behind the vehicle and can knock over opponents)
  13. Energy Cannon (Tails' energy weapon from Sonic Battle shoots a large energy ball down the track, exploding on contact)
  14. Tension Increase (from Sonic Rush, this item temporarily amps the Chaos Meter up to the max)
  15. Laser Wisp (straight out of Sonic Colors, this little guy surrouds the driver with energy and bounces them off the racers in front of them to boost them ahead)

Unlockables

RACERS

  1. Bean the Dynamite (beat the Green Cup with an S Rank)
  2. Big the Cat (beat the Teal Cup with an S Rank)
  3. Emerl (beat the Yellow Cup with an S Rank)
  4. Jet the Hawk (beat the Red Cup with an S Rank)
  5. Silver the Hedgehog (beat the White Cup with an S Rank)
  6. Bark the Polar Bear (beat the Blue Cup with an S Rank)
  7. Eggman NEGA (beat the Purple Cup with an S Rank)
  8. Metal Sonic (beat the Master Cup with an S Rank)
  9. Super Sonic (beat the all cups with an S Rank)
  10. Cream the Rabbit (do a Time Trial on all courses in Time Trial mode)
  11. Wave the Swallow (get an S Rank on all courses in Time Trial)
  12. Storm the Albatross (start the game 15 times)

BATTLE ARENAS

  1. Sleeping Egg (get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the first four Grand Pries)
  2. Cryptic Castle (get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the last four Grand Pries)
  3. Hidden Palace (play the game for three hours)
  4. Azure Lake (play as all characters)

Voice Actors

Character English Voice Actor
Sonic the Hedgehog Jason Griffith
Miles “Tails“ Prower Amy Palant
Shadow the Hedgehog Jason Griffith
Amy Rose Lisa Ortiz
Knuckles the Echidna Dan Green
Dr. Eggman Mike Pollock
Vector the Crocodile Marc Biagi
Blaze the Cat Bella Hudson
Metal Sonic Roger Craig Smith
Silver the Hedgehog Quinton Flynn
Espio the Chameleon David Wills
E-123 Omega Andrew Rannels
Jet the Hawk Jason Griffith
Dr. Eggman NEGA Mike Pollock
Fang the Sniper Kirk Thornton
Bean the Dynamite Michael Yurchak
Bark the Polar Bear He doesn’t talk.
Wave the Swallow Bella Hudson
Storm the Albatross Dan Green
Big the Cat Jon St. John
Cream the Rabbit Michelle Ruff
Rouge the Bat Caren Manuel
Emerl N/A
Charmy Bee Amy Birnbaum
Super Sonic Same as Sonic.

As you can see, the game’s voice actor set is a mixed bag of old and new voices. Jason Griffith will voice Sonic, and Roger Craig Smith will voice Metal Sonic. Jason Griffith will also play Shadow, and Kirk Thornton will now play as Fang. Michael Yurchak will have a more comical role as Bean the Dynamite instead of Jet. Cream and Silver are the only characters that will use their new voices. Big and Vector will have their Sonic Heroes voices.

DLC

The game will have DLC support, and over time, more DLC will be added. Individual characters can be bought, but entire Cups must be bought. All characters will be 50 Microsoft Points and each Cup will be 100 Microsoft Points.

DLC Racers

Character Vehicle Type
Mighty the Armadillo Dillo Digger Kart
Ray the Flying Squirrel Gliding Roller Bike
Tails Doll* N/A N/A
Metal Knuckles War Grind Kart
Metal Sonic 3.0 Jet Rift Bike
Chaos 0 Hydro Shark Bike
Gold Shadow Android Power Spear Kart
Mephiles the Dark Dynamic Demon Bike
Sonic the Werehog Razor Claw Kart
Super Shadow** N/A N/A
Shade the Echidna Energy Leech Bike
Dr. Eggman (2006) Dictator Kart

*Tails Doll is infamous for simply hovering, so he does not have any vehicle.

**Super Shadow is almost the same as Super Sonic of the normal game, but he has better offroad and a better Chaos stat.

DLC Racecourses

TIME STONE

A cup based on the levels of Sonic CD. This cup is moderately aggressive, similar to the Yellow and Red Cups. These tracks are actually quite long, and have intricate paths and trick areas.

  1. Palmtree Panic
  2. Tidal Tempest
  3. Quartz Quadrant
  4. Stardust Speedway


SPECIAL KEY

A cup straight from Sonic Heroes. This is a slightly hard cup, a little tougher than White, but not as hard as Blue. This course has some large gaps and a bucket-full of drifting areas. These tracks are medium-long and have quite a few shortcuts.

  1. Frog Forest
  2. Bullet Station
  3. Grand Metropolis
  4. Egg Fleet


GUN

This cup is a difficult course set from the game Shadow the Hedgehog. These tracks have tough drift sections and loads of obstacles, but also have multiple shortcuts. The cup features Black Arms creatures as obstacles, so it proves they did not all die at the end of the aforementioned game.

  1. G.U.N. Base
  2. Mad Matrix
  3. Final Haunt
  4. Death Ruins


DRAINED EMERALD

This is a new course set based on the levels from Sonic Unleashed. These courses aren’t that tough, but aren’t extremely easy either. There are a large amount of boost pads and shortcuts in this cup.

  1. Clay Castle
  2. Skyscraper Scamper
  3. Rooftop Run
  4. Crimson Carnival


SOL EMERALD

This cup comes straight from Sonic Rush. The courses are not that tough, but there are some sharp turns and a few gaps that can cause trouble for some racers. Item battling is a prime hazard in these tracks.

  1. Altitude Limit
  2. Water Palace
  3. Mirage Road
  4. Night Carnival


GREAT EMERALD

Straight from Sonic Chronicles: the Dark Brotherhood comes a frantic four-track rush. It is medium-hard; hazards are not so much of a problem, but huge gaps and obstacles can become distracting. Shortcuts are not in short supply either.

  1. Blue Ridge
  2. Voxai Colony Alpha
  3. Mystic Ruins
  4. Ruined Metropolis

Sonic Drift: Next Generation Turbo

Next Generation Turbo is a re-release of Next Generation. It includes all the different DLC packs and DLC characters that have been released prior to the re-release. The game will also include a new menu layout and music options. The game also includes five extra characters that will only be available to that game:

Character Vehicle Type
Nazo N/A N/A
Ashura the Hedgehog Disturbance Bike
Wechnia Morpher Kart
Honey the Cat Shattered Flower Bike
Tiara Boobowski Adventure Axel Kart

*Nazo is a super form of Sonic that was supposed to appear in Sonic X, so he flies

It should be noted that these five characters are all cancelled/glitch characters, and thus do not fit into the game in a canonical sense, only to increase the roster.

Voice actors will be interchangeable in the options menu, allowing players to choose voices for each character. For example, Roger Craig Smith will be Sonic's default voice in Turbo, but players can go and change it to Jason Griffith if they want to.

Trivia

  • The game was originally conceptualized as a Mario & Sonic title, but creating the Grand Pries became a problem, and it was changed to a Sonic-only title.
  • This game marks the first racing game appearance of Emerl, Espio, Charmy, and Vector.
  • It is the first "modern" debut of Fang, Bean, Bark, and, if DLC is counted, Tails Doll, Metal Knuckles, Mighty the Armadillo, and Ray the Flying Squirrel.
  • Did you know that Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman's vehicles are all slightly redesigned versions of their Sonic & SEGA All-stars Racing vehicles?
  • This is the first playable appearance of Eggman NEGA.
  • This is really the first Sonic title to extensively use Downloadable Content.
  • Similar to the recent game, Sonic Generations, this game re-visualizes stages, but is a little more faithful to the originals.

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