Here it is, Sega's secret E3 weapon. It ain't Sonic Adventure 2 like you probably thought, but it is a Sonic game and- more importantly- it supports network play. Sonic Square (tentative title) is a multiplayer experience that'll no doubt draw lots of comparisons to Mario Party. In fact, some members of the crew who developed Mario Party are working on the game.
Due for US release this fall, Sonic Square features Sonic and his roster of sidekicks and enemies, as well as several new characters. Most notable of the new guys is Void, the game's main villain, who has locked up the power of special crystals called Precioustones. It's up to you and three other players to compete in Sonic Square's mini-games and see who will be first to get the Precioustones.Characters will also have unique abilities to aid them in their quest, although we're not sure how those powers will factor into the mini-games. All the classic Sonic collectibles-especially coins- will be crucial to the game play, as well.
Like Mario Party, Sonic Square includes several theme boardgame style maps, on which players move their characters by choosing cards. The boards are covered with meandering tracks of color-coded and iconic spaces. It's these spaces that determine the general types of mini-games players will engage in when everyone's done moving their character, much like Mario Party.
The game's profucer in Japan tells us Sonic Square will pack in approx. 50 mini-games. Expect a lot of twitch stuff- plenty of Track 'N' Field-style rapid-fire button tapping. You'll also play, for instance, a shooting-gallery game set in the wild west. And we've seen a few contests that have everyone racing around expansive environments and bouncing off bumpers- all on four-player split screen.
Sega told us the mini-game played online in Network Mode are mostly the same as the ones played in regular Battle Mode. And we've been assured that we'll see no lad in Network Mode.
Sweet, no? Here's some images, too.
And wanted to see the new villain, Void? Here it is!
Source: Electronic Gaming Monthly