Ian, aka "bmn", is the guy that keeps TSS up and running. If something goes wrong, you know who to blame call. When he's not stealing about making invisible changes, he writes in an attempt to justify his existence. Poor guy...
Saturday 21st October sees the UK’s more cozy Sonic convention, Weston Super Sonic, hit the Grand Pier in Weston Super Mare for its fourth year, with special guests Ferran Rodriguez of Sonic the Comic, and Tom Fry and Kieran Gates from the Sonic Mania team.
Established in 2014 by Claire Cameron and Jonathan Dixon, Weston is a convention in the more traditional sense, featuring artists, merchandise vendors, panels and cosplay in a 200-person seaside venue. As in previous years, The Sonic Show will be in attendance live-streaming the event. It’s always a good time, so be sure to stop by and check it out.
On the other hand, if you’re attending in person, feel free to say hi to the TSS crew if you see us!
The event begins at 11am UK time (GMT+1), running until 6pm.
In addition to a download code for the game itself (of course!) on a metallic collector’s card, the pack features a 12 inch statue of Sonic standing on a Sega Genesis console – with added “Sega!” chorus when you flip the power switch – and a mock Genesis cartridge for Mania that opens up to reveal a golden ring. It’s about at close as we’ll get to an actual Sonic Mania cartridge!
You know Games Done Quick, don’t you? Now in their fourth year, the teams organised by speed gaming group Speed Demos Archive have raised over $300,000 for various charities.
This year’s Awesome Games Done Quick, the biggest charity gaming marathon of the year, starts tonight at 6pm GMT, for over 150 hours of gaming in aid of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and with its biggest collection of Sonic games yet.
The schedule is a fluid one and subject to change at any time, but the estimated times for Sonic are here:
Sonic CD: 7pm Monday Sonic 2: 7:30pm Monday Sonic 3 & Knuckles: 8:10pm Monday Sonic Generations: 4:10am Thursday Sonic Colours: 5:40am Thursday Sonic ’06: 7:20am Thursday Shadow the Hedgehog: 9am Thursday
Be sure to tune in if you like quality gaming, and maybe slip in a few squid for a great cause.
SegaSonic Radio and Summer of Sonic’s JayZeach will be joining gaming crew Respawn Point tomorrow for their Sonic Marathon 3 & Knuckles show.
Starting Friday at 3PM GMT and ending on the 4th of January (just in time for this year’s Awesome Games Done Quick…), RP will be streaming a load of Sonic games to help raise money for children’s charity Child’s Play.
With charity streaming the in thing right now, members from Sonic game superplay site The Sonic Center are joining the fun with their own marathon.
Taking place over six days, the TSC Charity Marathon will be playing through a buttload of Sonic games, along with Sonic Team classic Ristar and the NiGHTS series, in aid of the game-oriented children’s charity Child’s Play. If you want to support a good cause, be there and consider donating or spreading the word.
Also taking place on Friday will be open lobbies for Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing and Sonic 4 Episode 2‘s co-op mode – both on Xbox 360 – and Puyo Puyo VS 2, a Windows sim for the series that included Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. Have one of those games, and you could take part live on stream.
TitansCreed’s latest Community Spotlight focuses on Saturday’s convention in the south of England, Summer of Sonic.
Community Spotlight – Summer of Sonic '12 Part One – History & Favourite Moments
In a special three-parter over the next few days, Pete talks to SoS staff Dreadknux, Roareye, T-Bird, vger, SonicYoda, TallGuy91 and Hogfather about the con’s beginnings, what’s in store for this year’s event, and the direction SoS might be going in the future.
Udon Entertainment yesterday announced a deal with French publisher Pix’n Love to bring their book The History of Sonic the Hedgehog to North America.
The book released in France in late April, and Pix’n Love have reportedly been working on an English release since then. The “UDON Edition” of the 300-page hardback will retail in September at a $49.99 list price.
So, with the recent E3 announcement that US racer Danica Patrick will be featured in new game Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, I’m sure you’re all wondering what the not-Hornet – a Chevy Impala, actually – she’ll be driving in a November NASCAR event looks like up close.
No? Well too bad, our man – or at least one of them – at E3, Alex (aka nuckles89) is here to show you anyway, with a bonus wave from the nearby Sonic…
E3 2012: Close-up of Danica Patrick's Car
At least that’s what I think he’s meant to be doing.
Meanwhile, our other man Jason caught up with Sumo Digital’s Joe Neat at the event to talk about what’s changed recently and how Danica will fit into the game.
Their Sonic segment is set to start at around 9pm tonight (depending on how fast the preceding games are), and feature runs of the original Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Mega Drive, and Sonic Adventure DX Director’s Cut.
If you like seeing games played with speed, this should be your bag.
Mashup Monday this week brings you what, from looking at Youtube, was apparently the logical conclusion with these two songs.
Warning: Swearing. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending how you feel about it – these mashups use the uncensored version of the song. Never let it be said that we at TSS don’t care about your virgin ears!
Shout it from the Rooftops – Fuck You vs. Classic Rooftop Run
Tickets for the live US Sonic event Sonic Boom 2012went on sale today via the venue’s ticketer Ticketmaster.
This year’s event, being held at the House of Blues in San Diego on July 13, has already confirmed the presence of rockers Crush 40 and Jean Paul/Alex Makhlouf from Cash Cash. As is Sega’s way, more guest and event announcements will be coming through a sieve in the coming months.
Though Sega have yet to announce today’s opening, they did announce the date and time last week. Tickets this year are priced at a total of $20 per head, which includes food and a drink during the evening.
The switch to paid ticketing came about due to Sega of America’s experience with the inaugral Sonic Boom in 2011, where there was a great deal of confusion over how many ticketholders and non-ticketholders would actually arrive at the Los Angeles venue. It remains to be seen whether the UK’s Summer of Sonic convention – where similar confusion over numbers came to a head last year – will go the same route.
Our good friend Kevin “ArchangelUK” Eva got up to quite a bit in his time at Sega UK, so it stands to reason he’s got his fair share of rare Sonic merch. Now the former Community Manager is raising funds with a load of his stuff seeing the light of eBay.
Now I’m no merch hog, but most of this stuff I didn’t even know existed, so if you like your collectables, you know what to do.
It’s that time again. For the last three years, the guys at Speed Demos Archive have been doing speedrunning marathons for charities, and at 8PM GMT, their latest Awesome Games Done Quick begins in aid of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 – SDA Charity Marathon
That they’ll spend over 5 days beating who-knows-how-many games is a given. What isn’t, however, is Sonic representation. This year, though, four classics from the series are going to get ruined over the course of a 3-hour segment.
The whole schedule is here, but starting at about 9pm on Thursday, the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles (does that count as two games?) and Sonic Adventure 2 (with a 2-man race) are up.
UPDATE: SEGA’s adjusted the schedule on their blog. The game will be released on iOS December 15th and on Android December 14th. A date will be announced for the PC version soon.
Sega today announced the release dates for Sonic CD on multiple formats. The rerelease is set to see its worldwide Xbox Live Arcade and iOS release on Wednesday, along with a PlayStation Network release in Europe.
It will be available for 400 Points (XBLA), £3.59 (PSN) and £2.99 (iOS), a real bargain for a game rebuilt with widescreen HD support, both soundtracks, Tails as a playable character, and achievements.
To mark the release, Sega of Europe have published a launch trailer on their YouTube account:
Sonic CD Launch Trailer
As seen with the second Sonic Generations demo earlier this year, the PlayStation Network outside of Europe will see its release later. The American PSN release is scheduled for Tuesday 20th December. Android and Windows Phone versions are set for the new year, likely for extra development time.
Interactive music in games has been around for a while – Street Fighter 3 Third Strike was transitioning smoothly between its theme variations over ten years ago, the original version of Phantasy Star Online back in ’01 was not-so-smoothly moving to and from its battle themes, and even Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake way back in 1990 was using groundbreaking music transitions in its alert mode.
With the launch of this generation’s consoles came the real rise of middleware – generic software that runs in the background of a game doing a specific task. The Havok physics engine is probably the best-known example, but among them there are those that work with audio in real time. This audio middleware is now used in many games, particularly those with cinematic soundtracks such as the Call of Duty series, to immerse you more than ever in the game by having the music seamlessly fit the action.
In recent Sonic games like Sonic Unleashed and of course Sonic Generations, Sonic Team have been experimenting with this kind of thing themselves. They seem to like high-pass filters a bit too much, but that’s besides the point. They’ve never taken to actually chopping up their themes to fit specific events though.
So that’s what Falk over at Sonic Retro decided to do for a college assignment in advanced video game scoring. Given the task of taking an existing game sequence, composing new music for it, and using Wwise to make it work interactively with the gameplay, he picked Sonic Unleashed’s lively Rooftop Run sequence, and gave it a whole new lick of paint.
Yeah, I totally forgot about Sum-Up Sunday this week, and judging by the title I don’t even know what day it is today (although if you’re in the UK, it makes perfect sense)! But that won’t stop us from rounding up last week’s news, just a little later than normal.
Hey guys. With Generations barely a week away, we know that plenty of you will have already preordered it in anticipation of ripping open the packaging on Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/whatever-day.
But for those of you who haven’t yet taken the plunge, we’re opening a new Buyer’s Guide section of the site. While we’ll eventually be expanding to cover all sorts of Sonic merch, we’re starting with the big name right now.
Inside you’ll find a list of what we think are the best deals in the UK right now, along with a couple of US options, and all we know about the dwindling stock of the Collector’s Edition. If you’ve been out and about and have found another retailer (particularly in the US) with a competitive price, we’d love to hear from you.
We’d also love to hear with you think of the Buyer’s Guide idea, or any suggestions for it, here in the comments.
Masato Nakamura’s Sonic the Hedgehog 1&2 Soundtrack was released in Japan on Wednesday.
As part of Sega’s 20th Anniversary celebration-cum-cash-in, this new soundtrack is three discs big. While the first contains the same old tracks we’ve heard a jillion times, the second disc has the never-before-released original demo tapes of all the games’ tracks. The Dreams Come True bassist reportedly sent these tapes via snail mail to Sega to be sequenced into the games.
The third disc is a mini-album containing Sweet Sweet Sweet from Dreams Come True’s hugely successful The Swinging Star album, better known as the ending theme in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as well as its English version, Sweet Dreams. They’re accompanied by the equivalent themes produced by Akon for the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack in 2006.
The Sonic the Hedgehog 1&2 Soundtrack is available to import from Play-Asia and CDJapan. There’s no news yet whether it’ll see a release in the West, however.
Thanks to Simon Perry via email and some guys in our comments for jumping on this. At around 8pm Tuesday, Sega released the second demo of Sonic Generations on Xbox Live Arcade for Gold account holders.
Sega France, and later Sega Everywhere, late last week confirmed the release for Wednesday, but rapidly backtracked to bring it forward. The PSN release in America, however, was pushed back to Tuesday the 25th.
The demo, the best part of 650 megabytes big, contains the classic Green Hill Zone featured in the previous time-restricted demo, as well as the modern version of the same zone, which has previously only been seen in the press and at game shows. And via hacking of the original demo, but let’s not go there.
PlayStation Network currently does not have the demo, so we’d love it if you guys can give us the heads up when it does!
With Sonic Generations’ release creeping ever closer, this week’s been a busy one for Sega, and they certainly haven’t been sitting down either. Here’s what made the news here on TSS over the last seven days.
When you think about great Sonic music, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Game Gear (and Master System, don’cha know?) isn’t usually the game that comes to mind. That’s nothing to do with how good the music is, though – the little S2 has some real forgotten classics.
French jammer SongeReReveur hasn’t forgotten, though. We featured him last year for his mellow rendition of Sky High Zone – that and a somewhat… different Marble Zone – and he recently returned to Sonic with another Sonic 2 gem.
This time it’s Green Hills Zone, which was famously re-jigged for the European and Asian versions of Sonic CD (as well as the worldwide re-releases later this year). SongeLeReveur has a habit of taking his themes in a different direction than most, and this dreamy track is no exception.
This new run is from Felipe “son1cgu1tar” D’Andrade, a man with a number of SA2 Sonic Center records – not to mention good luck, consistent execution, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game. It was actually recorded late last year, but rest assured the play is a lot faster than SDA is at publishing it.
The run is chock full of quality, from knowing exactly where to go with Knuckles, to an impressive number of tough shortcuts with Sonic. Not least Crazy Gadget, which is totally destroyed in a little over a minute!
One story we didn’t follow up on previously was April’s Japan Relief Done Quick speedrun marathon. In raising $25k total for medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières, there were live runs of Sonic 1, Sonic 3D Flickies Island, Sonic 4 Episode 1, and everyone’s favourite…
Sonic ’06?! This run from Parax was, I think, the best Sonic run of the marathon. A character selection bidding war raised over $1k alone, eventually picking Silver, who went on to show just why Sonic ’06 is one of the most busted Sonic games in history. Clipping through walls, riding on flying boulders, finishing stages with the wrong character…
I’m sure some of you remember when my good friends at Speed Demos Archive raised over $52k for charity at their live speedrunning marathon back in January. Not least, a beast known only as Stanski tore up Sonic 2 on the Sega Genesis in one take.
Normally, SDA isn’t one to do marathons all the time – they usually only have one a year and put everything into it – but last month some place called Japan had its east coast wiped out by a wave reaching 23 metres high, leaving over 10,000 people dead and another half a million without a home.
So, towards the end of March, and with marathoning for Japan seemingly de rigueur right now, SDA decided to join the bandwagon and plan a top marathon in two weeks. Unlike their usual efforts, this one will be done online from the gamers’ homes, and yours truly will also be joining the party.
This time Japan Relief Done Quick will be raising funds for Doctors Without Borders, the American branch of the international medical aid group Médecins Sans Frontières. A Nobel Peace Prize recipient, MSF has operations in over 60 countries, and is in Japan right now providing medical treatment to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
Now, January’s marathon was a bit disappointing from a Sonic point of view, but that’s not the case this time. Early Friday morning in the UK, there’s a solid four-hour slot where five Sonic games will be played through:
First up is the original Mega Drive title, Sonic the Hedgehog, played by MilesSMB on Genesis.
That’s followed by Sonic 3D on Saturn, played by Zyre who recently had a speedrun of another Sega classic, Skies of Arcadia Legends, published on SDA.
Next Venick will hammer his way through Amy’s story on the original Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast.
The greatest Sonic game ever made is next – Sonic 2006 on Xbox 360. Depending on donations, either Venick or Parax will go through one character’s story. If you’re planning on donating, personally I recommend Silver because some of the tricks will blow your mind.
Finally, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will be seeing a full game run. The runner is Parax, the top single-level speedrunner for Sonic 4 in the world right now. If you’re on 360, check the leaderboards and then check your calendar.
This marathon starts at 9PM in the UK on Thursday, and is set to run into Monday. You can see the full schedule at the JRDQ site, though if you’re planning on watching a certain game, bear in mind times can change pretty easily.
Be there, if only to laugh at me when I die in-game during my slot…
Over five days playing through a hundred games, SDA smashed their donations target to raise over $52,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. But you’re here to see Sonic, surely?
One top guy taking part was Joe Stanski, one of – or perhaps the – top Sonic 2 player on the net. He had a simple remit – plug the game into a Sega Genesis, and get through the game as fast as possible in one attempt. On the Player 2 side providing somewhat questionable (but capsule-hitting good) assistance was MercuryZelda, who “won” a donation battle against everyone else at the marathon.
Gameplay starts at 4:35.
Here’s the level results:
Emerald Hill: 0:22, 0:39
Chemical Plant: 0:24, 0:53 +0:10
Aquatic Ruin: 0:23, 0:59
Casino Night: 0:31, 1:12
Hill Top: 0:44, 1:06
Mystic Cave: 0:38, 0:47
Oil Ocean: 0:42, 1:04
Metropolis: 1:13, 0:20, 1:40 +1:23 🙁
Sky Chase: 2:06
Wing Fortress: 2:00
Death Egg: 0:51
SDA are uploading all the game runs from AGDQ right now, at http://speeddemosarchive.com/marathon/schedule/, so check it out. There’s a number of good runs on there: Funkdoc’s demolition of the (S)NES Castlevania series; Kareshi taking on the ultra-hard Ghosts ‘n Goblins series; four people destroying four copies of Ocarina of Time; an Expert and Master mode run of Super Monkey Ball; Mike Uyama and Funkdoc one-credit clearing Streets of Rage 2 Mania with default lives…
I don’t know how this took 6 years to hit international waters. Apparently the Middle East shares our love of Sonic, and for the release of Sonic Heroes in ’04, McDonalds in Pakistan duly responded with the same terrible LCD games the rest of us got in our Happy Meals.
…and by “our”, I mean “your”; I’m way too old for Happy Meals. Honest.
Thing is, it looks like the overworked and underpaid animators for the advert only had those games to work with, and left their glasses at home. The result is quite horrific.
Now aren’t you glad you live in a country where the only thing you have to worry about is green eyes?
Thanks (I think?) to TheGLaDOSTYIE on the SSMB for bringing this freak of nature to our attention.
If that was too much for you, BlazingTales saves the day with some… shall we say more recognisable adverts from elsewhere:
Normally I’m not big on marathons, because, well, I kinda like to see games played well. What sets SDA apart from other groups that organise marathons though, is that, without exception, all the players are experts in speedrunning the games they play. This motley crew includes Super Mario Bros. world record holder Andrew Garkidis who will be playing said game blindfolded, a man called Joe Stanski who you can see plastered all over Sonic records portal The Sonic Center’s Sonic 2 time records, and The Speed Gamers‘ Kari Johnson, better known as the girl that speedruns Final Fantasy games without saving. This is a group you don’t want to #### with.
Unfortunately, Sonic isn’t going to be well-represented this time. In fact, it’ll only be Stanski on Sonic 2. But you guys want to see this game destroyed live on camera in less than half an hour anyway, surely? Joining Sonic from the Sega camp are classics like Moonwalker, Earthworm Jim, Rocket Knight Adventures and Streets of Rage 2, as well as not-so-classic but still awesome games like Super Monkey Ball and Bayonetta.
In addition to all this cool gaming, donations of $5 and up will get you into a raffle for small prizes related to that game, and the top donations will decide important, or not so important, aspects of the run like character and weapon choices, character names in RPGs etc. Finally, some games will be races between 2-4 top players, and there’ll be live piano accompaniment for a couple games as well.
Bound to be a fair bit of fun, so if you’re in, check out the schedule, and turn up at the SDA site starting on Thursday at 9PM GMT for a top marathon ending on Tuesday at 8AM.