GDC 2012: Hands-On with Sonic 4 Episode 2 and Virtua Tennis Challenge from Sega

GDC 2012: Hands-On with Sonic 4 Episode 2 and Virtua Tennis Challenge from Sega

Mar 13, 2012

Sega was at GDC showing off some of their latest titles, and mobile was a big focus for them. Including new titles and updates for iOS, they showed off a pair of Android games: Sonic 4 Episode 2 and Virtua Tennis Challenge.

Sonic 4 Episode 2, the next episode in the 2.5D Sonic revival series, was shown running on a Transformer Prime, with two levels available for play. Fans will be glad to know that the physics system has been revamped from the original; no longer is it possible to stick to walls, defying gravity as Sonic runs up at impossibly slow speeds. It feels much more like a classic Sonic game.

The game uses both a jump and action button, used to fly with Tails when in mid-air, and to do a forward rolling attack when on the ground that keeps going until canceled out or when they hit a wall. The Android version will support external gamepads such as the Xbox 360 controller, along with the Xperia Play. The on-screen joystick has been improved from the original, though.

The Android version launches later this March, and will be available for two weeks exclusively on Tegra 3 devices. When asked, Sega said that the game should run on any device that will run Sonic 4: Episode 1.

Next up was Virtua Tennis Challenge, developed by the same team at Sega who developed classic iterations of the franchise. The game was shown running on the Xperia Play, with full support for the device’s controls, using the d-pad and four face buttons to serve and return shots. The analog touchpads were not in use. The CPU opponent is very tough to start off with; expect to get annihilated when starting out.

The game also features a touch-based control scheme, utilizing gestures in order to pull off the 5 shot types. Bluetooth multiplayer is also available for playing with up to 4 people wirelessly. This one is scheduled for release at some point in the near future. That was their Android showing, and no other details were available on future Android titles from Sega, but this feels like it will be a bigger push from them on the platform.