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Ready for more epic Sonic fan games? Following on from the Doom-powered Sonic Robo Blast 2, we also have Sonic 3 A.I.R (Angel Island Revisited) a remaster of Sonic 3 & Knuckles which has a big new release.

This has been in development for 9+ months, during which Linux support was hooked up in a previous preview version which is now properly live for everyone. So now Linux users can enjoy one of the best Sonic fan games around. As a reminder, we spoke to the developer of this previously who mentioned they built it "directly on top of SDL2, OpenGL and Ogg Vorbis".

I gave it a run myself today for the first time and it's absolutely brilliant:

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As for what's actually new in this version (apart from Linux support), some highlights include:

- Added support for directly loading zipped mods (also including multiple mods in one zip file)
- Added HQ3x and HQ4x filters as options
- Changed the two Soft upscalers to adapt better to the actual screen resolution
- Smoother filtering for rotated sprites
- Added options for V-Sync and performance display
- Added option for muffled sound when underwater
- Added an option for the (faster) Sonic 3 version of the continue screen music
- Now using actual emulation for almost all sound effects and emulated music tracks, not just the continuous sound effects as previously
- Added an option to display the lives counter in the upper right corner
- Added a manual game controller selection
- Supporting more keys for custom keyboard bindings (see the Manual for a complete list)
- Reduced LRZ 2 boss hit points down to 8, going back to the original value of 14 is an option
- Larger parts of the cutscenes in HPZ and the start of SSZ are now skippable
- Ported over missing code for a continue screen from S&K when playing as Sonic alone
- Rendering performance optimizations, especially for OpenGL Software rendering (though Hardware is still faster)
- Script / game simulation performance optimizations
- Added support for modded Tails' tails sprites in Time Attack ghosts
- Added support for modded Discord Rich Presence texts
- Modding: Added function "Renderer.drawCustomSpriteWithTransform" for script modding
- Modding: Added function "System.hasPlatformFlag" to differentiate between mobile and desktop versions, and also "PlatformFlags" override in config.json
- Modding: Added support for preprocessor conditions like "#if GAMEAPP >= 0x21050800" so a mod can use newer update's script functions but still stay compatible with the previous update
- Modding: Added support for SMPS audio file playback via S3&K sound driver emulation

Plus quite a lot of bug fixes.

For those curious about how SEGA view fan games, the official Social Media + Influencer Manager for Sonic at SEGA mentioned on Twitter:

Hey Sonic fans - I appreciate you all reaching out with concerns over fan games and monetization! So long as no profit is involved, there is usually* no issue with y'all using our blue boy to hone your art and dev skills. *((for legal reasons I can't promise all content is ok))

Sonic 3 A.I.R. is closed-source freeware and it does require a copy of Sonic 3 & Knuckles from Steam.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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llamajacker May 12, 2021
This had me super excited until "closed-source"
fagnerln May 12, 2021
Maybe I need to look closer but I don't see any difference in the main game, to be honest looks like it's possible to have better results with shaders on Retroarch.

Quoting: llamajackerThis had me super excited until "closed-source"

Meh, the original is closed anyway, so you need to run "evil" software.
supercheetah May 12, 2021
I'm more bothered that it's "fan created", but by making it closed source, that's really limiting the fans that can contribute.
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