OK, so I know the Sonic Unleashed article in ONM/NOM (don't ask) didn't have any new information. Well, I was flipping through Play Magazine in the local Borders and they had a couple of interviews, one with the director and another with one of SoA's higher ups (I want to say producer but I don't remember for sure). There was some info there that I hadn't heard/seen, so I figured I'd relay it along.
Oh yeah, and allow me to remind you that this is Play Magazine. I.E., the magazine that initially gave Silver the Hedgehog 9.5/10. And these interviews were, by the tone of them, done by the same reviewer that gave Silver such glowing reviews. Don't say I didn't warn you.
* In my eyes, the biggest piece of new information: reportedly, the one problem with past games that Sonic Team has been focusing the most on? Removing cheap deaths from falling down bottomless pits. Finally. Also, second on their list of problems-to-fix was loading times; apparently Sonic Team spent a lot of time fixing those. I take it a few lessons were learned from Silver the Hedgehog.
* Some of the levels will be at LEAST six miles long, so long that the levels will actually dynamically load while playing. Why? Because that's even too much for the PS3 and X360 available memory to handle. Though, if you consider Sonic's supposed top speed, that should take - just over 28 seconds. I dare SM to try THAT one.
* There will be hub areas. Though the director promised that there would be few annoying NPCs to talk to. These were emphasized to be more Sonic-like free roaming than past incarnations of the game.
* New abilities will be found with items in the stages. Odd, because even though this has been done multiple times in the series, they will be in the stages themselves, not in the hubs. Such abilities include a "Sonic Boost" (sounds similar to Speed Break/Chaos Control, he even said it has separate music - boo, Hero-type music is never as good as level music) and a wall-jump.
* The stages in the Wii version will be different enough from the PS3 and X360 versions (as the Wii levels will be designed by Dimps) that Sega is expecting a few people to even go to the point of purchasing both the Wii and one of the other versions to see the differences. Expecting it, not banking on it. (Come on, even Sega isn't that stupid.)
* Silver WILL. NOT. be in this game (because the Play reviewer was practically begging for it <_<). The director seemed to suggest that there would be few other characters in the game, but also mentioned the need for Sonic Team to create new, interesting, and compelling charas. Right.
* The director confirmed that Eggman/Robotnik will not be the final boss, but he also said that Eggman is much more evil in this game, and does something much worse than usual (blowing up the earth, anyone?)
* The music will be done by Tomoya Ohtani (sp?). Yeah, you can go ahead and act surprised now. Personally, I think this is good; Ohtani was junk for Billy Hatcher but pretty good otherwise. Though I am disappointed that Jun Senoue has left the building.
* Images with the article included a more modern city street in gameplay (as compared to the Mediterranean city). The view was actually from inside a small shop (the window writing was in a foreign Latin-based language but from what I understand was a deli perhaps) looking out through the glass to see Sonic running in the streets. A few other images of this area were present as well. There was also a castle/cathedral-like area that also showed Sonic's wall jump. Finally a concept art of a far-east grove with buildings similar to the Gigan Rocks from Zero Gravity (either Chinese or Japanese and I didn't feel like guessing wrong).
* Finally, not a word was said about the werewolf or time changes, so we're still all in the dark about that. Also nothing was said about Super Sonic, even though he's already appeared in cutscene screencaps.
Speculating away. Please no flame wars. Note the flame barrier as the message icon. Meaning this topic is protected from flames. Kthx.