Sega is having a big sale on some of their top games and products this weekend at major retailers such as Target, Amazon, and Best Buy. The sale includes the Sega Genesis Mini ($49.99), the Yakuza Collection ($39.99), Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD ($29.99), and Team Sonic Racing ($29.99).
The sale is only going on this weekend (9/18-9/20), so if you want to nab any of these deals, you better hurry.
While Tangle and Whisper will be coming to Sonic Forces: Mobile very soon, Tangle herself is available in Sonic Dash today! This lightfooted lemur is the first playable Sonic character taken from the comics and not from the games themselves (Sally and the Freedom Fighters had a non-playable cameo in Sonic Spinball). Tangle is playable by unlocking 500 Tangle tokens in an event going on all this week. Shouldn’t take players too long to unlock her as a good player can nab 20+ tokens per game easy.
The event only lasts a week, so make sure you get in some time on Sonic Dash soon!
UPDATE: Check out footage of Tangle in action below:
The opinions expressed in this article are those of Jason Berry and dot not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TSS staff.
Guilty pleasures. Fan favorites. Cult classics. Names used for a variety of entertainment from movies to music and of course, video games. Usually, it refers to something that is flawed, but nonetheless, enjoyable.
The same can be said for a lot, and I mean a LOT of Sonic games out there. Games that are seriously flawed, but still have some fans who enjoy them. I’m still baffled by some people who say that they loved Sonic ‘06 but hey, don’t let me tell you what not to enjoy. Heck, I kinda like Rise of Lyric and that game is in an even more unfinished state than ‘06. But what I want to talk about are Sonic games that were poorly reviewed by critics, but still enjoyed by fans or vice-versa. Games that are on the cusp of greatness, but some element holds it back. Games that make you say “yeah, it’s not the best, but I like it.” Games that are polished in their design, but their design is ultimately flawed. These are my five Sonic games just shy of greatness.
Sonic and the Black Knight
This is low on the list because it’s genuinely a bad game in the design department, but it has two elements that really shine. Sonic and the Black Knight was the second in the short-lived storybook series just after the arguably better Sonic and the Secret Rings. So why is this one on the list and not Secret Rings? While I didn’t care much for the constant stop-and-slash gameplay of Black Knight, there were two things that really stood out for me.
One, the story is actually one of my favorites in the series. Sonic is back in a storybook world, only this time, he has the knowledge from the previous game to know that his friends are not the same ones from his world and only look the same in appearance. Also, Sonic’s smart enough to realize that something’s off with the titular villain and the surprise twist reveal is something I didn’t see coming. It also includes a moral that, well… you don’t see very often.
Two, the music! Crush 40 is back along with a great, guitar-heavy soundtrack by Jun Sunoe and other talented composers including Tommy Talarico. There are also a few remixes of previous Sonic music, but overall a rockin’ soundtrack to a sub-par game.
Sonic Lost World
Boy did everyone love this game when it made the early rounds at preview shows like E3 and Comic-Con. Most people gave this new and very different entry in the Sonic series a lot of love… until it came out. It’s not that changing the formula for once wasn’t a good idea. I love the boost formula but could’ve used a break. However, once again as most games you see on this list, the biggest flaw is the game design.
Sonic Lost World was doing it’s best to rip off Mario Galaxy and it just didn’t work. The level design, for the most part, was very good. It was the controls themselves that fell apart. Sonic with a run button just felt wrong. Not allowing a more analog run control was a mistake in my opinion, but the other problem was the game’s newest gimmick, the parkour control. Basically, Sonic could climb and run alongside walls in a parkour-style to traverse certain levels. However, it was very hit and miss. Sonic would start to slide off the wall very quickly and it was hard to bounce from wall to wall. It took a more advanced level of skill than normally required from a platformer. Surprisingly, the 3DS port had the opposite problem. The parkour controls worked very well and should have been implemented in the console game, while the level design was pure torture. Had we had gotten both solid, parkour controls along with good level design, Sonic Lost Word could have been a hit.
Sonic Forces COULD have been a great game under the right circumstances. It’s using the Hedgehog Engine 2, Classic Sonic is back, you have your classic 2-D and boost gameplay just like Generations. You can even design your original character (do not steal), making every Sonic fanfic writer’s dream come true. In fact, it did okay with critics or at least critics who weren’t that familiar with Sonic. But as a fan of Sonic, you played the game and realized right away that something was off. It looked like Generations, but it didn’t quite play like it.
I think the main problem lies in that a good amount of the team from Sonic Colors worked on this game including the director, Morio Kishimoto. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Sonic Colors. But that game has very different platform physics than Generations or Unleashed. However, this game seems to have the engine of Generations, but with the jumping physics of Colors. Casual game players might not notice, but if you’re a Sonic fan, it’ll throw you off a bit. Like riding a bicycle, only now the bicycle controls like a unicycle.
What also doesn’t help is the terrible writing once again from Pontac and Graff. I’ll admit, I loved the story in Colors and laughed at Eggman’s PSA’s but those two are comedy writers, and every time they attempt drama in Sonic games, it falls flat. Sonic was supposed to be captured by Eggman and tortured for months, but when we see him, he’s the same ol’ Sonic he’s always been. Crackin’ jokes with (not) Zavoc.
“What goes up, must come down…” Much like the quality of gameplay in Sonic Heroes. Now, Sonic Heroes is definitely one of my “guilty pleasures”. It has a lot going for it that I like. It offers the 3-D gameplay similar to the last Sonic Adventure games, but stripped down to a level-by-level structure, much like the 2-D classics. The new gimmick in this one is that you control three characters at once. One for speed (Sonic, Shadow, Amy, Espio), one for power (Knuckles, Omega, Big, Vector), and one for flight (Tails, Rouge, Cream, Charmy). Four teams with four stories of their own. Sonic Heroes did a lot right. It brought back the Chaotix, introduced Omega, and had probably Jun Sunoe’s and Crush 40’s best tracks in any of their games. “What I’m made of” is unironically a damn good song and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise (not really). For the most part, the “three at a time” formula works and helps keep the platforming gameplay moving at a fairly fast pace. It even did fairly well by critics (for a Sonic game of that era). Seaside Hill is still a joy to play. So what’s keeping it from being one of the best? Level design. That’s the biggest problem. Sometimes it works great (like the aforementioned Seaside Hill) while others are a disaster. Casino Park and Bingo Highway still infuriate me to this day. The game’s difficulty constantly spikes. You can be having a great time of it only to have one of the most frustrating experiences on the very next level. It also doesn’t help that this was the first Sonic game to introduce a massive amount of annoying talking during gameplay. I just want to reach into my screen and choke Tails every time he says “Look at all those Eggman’s robots!”.For a child with a high IQ, he sure has poor grammar.
Now, if you’re a big fan of Sonic Heroes, I understand. There’s a lot to love here. But it’s definitely not without its faults. Speaking of a very faulty Sonic game that I love…
I friggin’ LOVE Sonic Unleashed! But it’s definitely got its flaws.
It starts out soooo good! That Marza animated intro is the best Sonic…. Anything! (Speaking of, when’s that “Lupin the 3rd: The First” movie hitting the western markets?) We then meet Chip and… yeah, his mileage may vary depending on if he grows on you or not. We then meet humans and OMG!! They actually fit well in Sonic’s world for once! Giving them a cartoon appearance works perfectly. Then, after some story introductions and a training level, we are introduced to our first full level in Apotos, “Windmill Isle Act 2” and OMG is it amazing!! Sonic’s running at incredible speeds through narrow streets that blur by. Dodging buildings left and right, grinding rails and smashing through Badniks. It was the first Sonic game to introduce the 3-D boost mechanics that are still present in the latest games. It all feels sooo good and it’s over too soon. And then it happens. The Werehog. The thing both critics and fans felt was a bad idea and frankly, still is. Now, don’t get me wrong. The gameplay of the Werehog is actually not that bad! You’re running, jumping, getting into brawls and shimmying on ledges and it works out okay. It just doesn’t feel like that kind of gameplay belongs in a Sonic game. Also, each level is about a half-hour long or more. Compare that to the Sonic daytime levels that clock in at about five minutes. I’m bored ten minutes into the Werehog levels. The one thing the Wii did right was to break them up into smaller levels so you could take a break from them. The Wii version also didn’t have the frustrating medal hunt. Don’t have enough sun medals for the next Sonic daytime level? Too bad. Back to the old Werehog levels to hunt them down.
With all, it’s faults I’d still be lying if I didn’t say that Sonic Unleashed was one of my favorite 3-D Sonic games. The Werehog isn’t gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are far worse Sonic gameplay options out there (I’m looking at you, Big in Sonic Adventure.)
So what flawed Sonic game do you enjoy? Are there any you think I should have put on the list? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’re looking to complete your Sonic collection on 3DS or Switch, Sega has you covered.
From May 17th to the 26th, a huge library of Sonic games are on sale on the Nintendo eShop. The games include the following…
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – $39.99
Sonic Forces – $9.99
Sonic Mania (Standard) – $9.99
Team Sonic Racing – $19.99
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog – $5.99
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $5.99
Sonic Generations – $9.99
Sonic Lost World – $9.99
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal – $9.99
Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice – $9.99
3D Sonic the Hedgehog – $2.99
3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $2.99
Lee Majdoub, known to Sonic fans as Agent Stone from the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, will be attending Sonic Revolution 2020 this year.
Normally, the convention is held every June in Southern California, but for the first time ever, the convention will be held digitally and will be seen streaming live and online through Twitch and Discord. The convention will be available online on Saturday, June 20th. Guest lineup and more details will be coming soon.
US Sonic fans, take note! Despite the Sonic the Hedgehog movie not being available for purchase on DVD/Blu-Ray until May 19, you can rent a copy of the movie at Rebox kiosks right now! The movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray, with the 4K version coming soon. Continue reading You Can Rent the Sonic Movie at Redbox Now
In celebration of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie being released on digital, Microsoft is giving away a custom X-Box One X with a Sonic the Hedgehog movie graphic and a custom Sonic controller. Just head over to Xbox on Twitter and retweet their post with the hashtag #SonicXboxSweepstakes to enter a chance to win the custom console. You have to be over 18 to enter. The contest ends on April 14th.
In a statement from IDW president Chris Ryall, IDW will suspend May releases and “reduce its overall publishing line for products originally scheduled through July, with a focus on releasing our biggest projects in special editions to help drive traffic to stores through the summer.”
What does this mean for the Sonic comics? A report from Tails Channel has helped clear things up.
Issues 29 and 30 are indefinitely delayed (Future issues likely to be delayed too.)
Issues 27-32 and the 2020 Annual are returnable within 60 days if already ordered
The issue with digital releases is unclear.
The good news is this doesn’t affect issue 27 which will be out Wednesday (if your local comic store is still open or allowing pickup). The 2020 Annual and issue 28 are still due for release in April.
With many movie theaters now closed due to the pandemic, Hollywood is taking its theatrical releases like “Onward” and “Trolls 2” and putting them available to download digitally. According to an iTunes listing, Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” will be available to purchase digitally on March 31st. What’s more, it will include bonus features likely meant for the Blu-Ray release, coming May 19th, as well.
Media Molecule’s Dreams is a new PS4 game (well, more of a tool than a game) that lets users create their own games with much more freedom than you had in their previous creation title, Little Big Planet. It’s been in a beta stage for a long time and people have been using that time to make unique and interesting games along with some that are inspired by other popular genres.
One player, JPG240SX has created 2 stages inspired by Sonic X-Treme, the long-lost Sega Saturn title. The version he created uses low-res textures and a fisheye-lens camera to get the effect of what the original title was going for. It’s really impressive.
Writer Josh Miller had a chat with Popcorn Talk to discuss the latest Sonic movie and what he’d like to see in a sequel if that happens. “We wanna bring in more characters” was his first response. He has an affinity for Tails, but would also love to see Knuckles introduced as well.
He also mentioned that he’d love to see Sonic’s first voice actor, Jaleel White to make a cameo in the next movie should a sequel occur.
The above video is just a clip of the full interview that you can find here.
With just over two weeks before release, the Sonic movie promotion train is at full speed. Several different media outlets are already interviewing the cast about the film. So let’s check out some of these interviews to see if we can find any juicy details on the upcoming flick!
BackstageOL did a sitdown interview with Ben Schwartz and James Marsden.
Jake Hamilton’s gift of speedy gab is almost as fast as Sonic’s feet. Here he is with Ben Schwartz and James Marsden.
Finally, on Mama’s Geeky, several kids get to talk to the whole cast. Jim Carrey gets deep on Robotnik.
The Motion Picture Classification and Rating Administration has given the Sonic the Hedgehog movie a PG rating for “action, some violence, rude humor, and brief mild language.” The rating is typical for a family-friendly movie, but it’s good to know the Sonic movie won’t have anything too raunchy!
Sonic the Hedgehog speeds its way into theaters on February 14th.
In this month’s episode, Sonic is blasting off as a mascot for a Jupiter space probe. Jason and Chris discuss Mario Kart World Tour while Alex talks all about Apple Arcade including Sonic Racing and Chu-Chu Rocket. Sonic rolls up into Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz as a playable character. We discuss the passing of Sonic the Comic artist, Nigel Dobbyn and finally see if Genesis does what Nintendon’t as a plug and play, mini console. All that and much more!
Sonic Smackdown was one of the many games featured at this year’s SAGE event, and probably one of the more notable. The game pays homage to the Capcom style of fighting games, drawing it’s inspiration from the Marvel series of beat ’em ups.
Sega has just released a Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Tokyo 2020 demo onto the Japanese E-Shop. The demo is in full English and contains seven events. Five from the normal, Olympic games and two from the Tokyo 1964 mode. The events include 110m Hurdles, Surfing, Karate, Badminton and Archery on the Olympics side, along with Long Jump and 10m Platform Diving on the 1964 side. You can play as Mario, Sonic, Bowser, and Dr, Eggman in the Olympic events or just Mario and Sonic in the 1964 events. You can also add an analog mode to the 1964 events to give it that CRT TV look.
Another month, another (incredibly late) episode of Sonic Talk!
In this episode, we discuss Sonic’s appearance in OK KO!, and how he single-handedly caused the series to end (kidding). We also chat about Tangle and Whisper, a Mighty plush, Sonic #19, Mario and Sonic 2020 Olympics arcade and much, much more! So what are you waiting for? RECENT topics?!! Hah! Like we’d do that!
While Sega of America did show off a great, new Mario and Sonic 2020 trailer, there was a bit left out. The Sega of Japan trailer seems to show off a lot more of the game. In the four-minute trailer, we get a sample of the 21 events in the main game, along with 10 events for the 1964 retro mode. Speaking of, the story mode is shown off a bit and appears to center around time travel as Mario, Sonic and a few of their friends end up in 1964 Tokyo. The trailer also shows off some of the dream events including a skating event through Metropolitan Highway from Sonic Forces. There’s even dream events in the 1964 mode as well, bringing the event count to well above 31!
This trailer’s got me hyped! Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is starting to look like it could be the best one yet. Race to the store when it hits November 5th in the U.S. and November 8th in Europe on the Nintendo Switch.
While at Comic Con last week, I managed to grab a SDCC exclusive copy of Tangle and Whisper issue number one, The very first IDW spin-off mini series based on comic exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog characters. Written by Ian Flynn with art by Evan Stanley.
Forgive the lateness of our podcast as we recorded this one a few weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s not chock full of Sonic-ey goodness! In this episode we discuss Jason’s trip to E3, the fan revival of Sonic Runners, Sonic Revolution 2019, Funko Pop Sonic cereal, an unofficial Sonic book that uses fanmade images and much, much more. Because hey, who needs copyrights when you can just slap a bunch of images together, right?
Special Note: We used the cover from the plagiarized Carlton Sonic book for this month’s podcast image. That render on that plagiarized book was created by Deviant Art user FinnAkira, and you can find it here.
Tangle and Whisper fans rejoice! There is some official merch coming your way care of the Sega Shop website. Everyone’s new favorite femme fatales are getting their own, exclusive pins. For $14.95 (US Dollars) each, you can pick from the excitable and carefree Tangle or the introvert assassin, Whisper.
Despite saying SDCC (AKA San Diego Comic Con), these pins do not seem to be available at the convention as they are not listed at IDW’s merchandise booth. The pins are available for preorder now at shop.sega.com and are due to ship on July 30th.
While a good chunk of Sega’s booth was dedicated to Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, there was a corner showing off some of Sega’s other properties slated for release later this year. Among them was the Sega Genesis Mini, Sega’s answer to the NES and SNES Classic. I sat down in a bean bag (which means my fat rump had a hard time getting back up) and sampled SEGA’s miniaturized console.
The first thing you’ll notice when playing the demo at E3 is that the part of the booth you’re at looks like a living room, complete with a bean bag to sit in. Much like the virtual living room in some of the recent Genesis compilations, there are posters of Genesis games everywhere, along with with old VHS tapes with cheesy labels like “Cartoon collection! Do not erase!!” on them. They really went all-in on the “90’s bedroom” aesthetic.
The nostalgia doesn’t stop with the booth aesthetic, as the mini console itself gets a lot right. Its controller has an ergonomic feel and shape that perfectly replicates the original, and the console itself is a faithful, shrunk-down recreation of SEGA’s 16-bit system. Once you boot the mini console up, you’re treated to a screen filled with about a dozen Genesis titles, with the rest coming into view as you scroll down. I don’t know if I care for this, as it shrinks down the box art and makes each game feel less important. Hopefully, the interface can customized in the final product.
Despite the September release date, the console already feels ready for release, as all 42 games were playable on the show floor. I went with Mega Man: The Wily Wars and Road Rash 2 for this preview. Both played great and judging by Road Rash 2 alone, are identical to their original versions. The emulation is perfect.
Holding start for five seconds brings up a menu where you can make a save state and exit back to the main menu. There’s your usual options such as screen filters and what aspect ratio you want the game in, but one of the most interesting features is the language menu. You can set the game menu to many different languages and the games will play in their original language as well. Going back to aspect ratio, another neat feature is that many of the games feature a more natural 16:9 aspect ratio by zooming in on the game while keeping the UI in place. Sonic 2 was shown off as an example of that. It keeps the sprites from looking stretched, but at the cost of zooming in on the picture a bit.
Overall, with a great controller, cool menu features and pixel perfect emulation, the Sega Genesis Mini is something to get hyped for. It blows the old AtGames Genesis consoles out of the water in every way, and should definitely be worth picking up come September.
In addition to the regular kiosks, SEGA also had a Genesis Mini running on a giant, 5-foot-wide Genesis controller that folks could play Streets of Rage and Sonic 2 on. When I tried to play Sonic 2’s Chemical Plant level, I had to stretch my arms out and punch the A button with my first just to get around. While it was a neat novelty, it wasn’t exactly the most wieldy controller, since I couldn’t even spindash with it.
Still, even on this giant cumbersome monstrosity, I was able to get enough rings to enter the special special. As I began maneuvering Sonic and Tails through the half-pipe, a crowd formed around me. Despite the massive controller, I made it through and even got a small amount of applause! Here’s hoping SEGA’s booth features and equally cool gimmick next E3.
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