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.
No “what we’ve been playing” this time. We get straight to the Sonic Talk as there’s a lot to discuss. From the Sonic movie delay to terrifying Sonic children’s costumes to new Sonic voice actors to finally, the all new Team Sonic Racing (or Sonic Team Racing as GX keeps saying by accident). Continue reading Sonic Talk 61: Sonic Team Sonic Racing Team Racing Sonic
We didn’t want to wait until the end of the month to talk about this one. Recorded the day after the trailer’s release, Jason, Alex and Chris discuss their opinions on the Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer. We may have seen leaked images early, but we weren’t going to pass judgement until we saw the hedgehog in motion. Well we did and…..it’s even worse than we thought. Join us and listen to what we thought of Sonic, James Marsden, Jim Carrey and more.
Those anxious for the first issue of Tangle and Whisper can get their first taste today courteousy of IDW comics. Tangle and Whisper #0 is available for free both online and at your favorite local comic store. The issue itself is a short preview of #1, but the best reason to buy it is if you’re new to IDW Sonic as it features a nice recap of the first year of the book. So why are you still reading this? I gave you a link! Go read the comic! Go drive to your local comic shop and nab a copy while you still can! Go! Continue reading Tangle And Whisper #0 Available Now And It’s Free
Don’t blink! Don’t think! Just go-go, go-go, g-g-g-g-go-go down to your local video store on May 28 to pick up Sonic X: The complete series on Region 2 SD Blu-Ray! (God, that was corny.)
The good folks at Disctek Media are bringing all 78 english language episodes in one volume. (Sorry Japanese sub fans, you’ll have to stick with Hulu for now.) This includes the extras from the DVD version as well as the original pitch video where the world of Sonic X had a lot less humans.
The Blu-Ray retails for $69.99, but you can pre-order it from rightstufanime right now for $45.47. Check out Brady Hartel’s Twitter for more info. In the meantime, here’s the cover.
During the SXSW Sonic panel today, there was a surprise bit of Sonic Boom news. No, not Season 3… rather, they announced that a second volume of Sonic Boom DVDs called “Go Team Sonic” will be arriving at store shelves on June 4th. Continue reading SXSW Sonic Boom DVD Volume 2 Announced
On this much shorter episode of Sonic Talk, Jason discusses Apex Legends (that other game with Roger Craig Smith) only for GX to suffer a power outage which results in about half an hour of our discussion being cut off. We still have plenty of Sonic news and a review of the first dozen issues of IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog. So prepare for 45 minutes of Sonic-y goodness!
Another month, another late Sonic Talk podcast! In our “Holiday special”, Jason, Alex, GX and this month’s 4th chair, Cory “Jet” Holmes discuss the latest topics going on in the world of Sonic including Smash Bros Ultimate, Sonic Unleashed on X-Box One, Sonic in “Ralph Breaks the Internet”, but mostly, we dicuss the bizarre design on Sonic in the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie posters. Like movie Sonic, this podcast has long legs. So join in on the fun and listen in!
Before you send me a ton of hate mail, let me explain.
First, we gotta go back to the beginning of cartoon adaptions of video games. It wasn’t always easy to do. In the early days of video games you had a protagonist that you played as, an antagonist but no real story tying them together. If there was one, it was VERY bare bones. With very little to go on so the cartoon creators had to come up with some kind of plot that could play for 13 episodes on a Saturday morning. Look at Pac-Man. How do you make a cartoon based on a series of games where the protagonist is a yellow ball that eats tiny, white dots in a maze while being chased by ghosts? If you’re Hanna Barbera, you rip off one of your own properties (The Flintstones) and make it about a family man who’s trust trying to get through his daily life while being chased by ghost-monsters who are trying to find the power-pellet forest because that’s the only thing they’re weak against. Somehow, that was enough for a few seasons and a Christmas special. That’s just one example. There was all kinds of crazy cartoon adaptions of games. Some faithful to the source material, some not.
Then, in the fall of 1993, DIC came up with two wildly different adaptations of Sonic the Hedgehog that could not be more different in tone. One was “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog” that aired on weekday mornings. It was a silly, goofy take on the video game franchise. It took inspiration from cartoons such as Ren and Stimpy and Looney Tunes. The other was “Sonic the Hedgehog” otherwise known as “SATAM” by fans because oit played on Saturday mornings. Where Adventures was super goofy, “SATAM” was much darker and took a more serious tone.
Now at this time, there was only two Sonic games and both took place in fantastical lands with only Sonic, Tails and Dr. Robotnik (Knuckles and Amy did premiere in games that year, but that was after the shows had been released). Even the planet they were having their adventures on had no name. Just “zones”. Since like many video game adaptations there was little to go on, DIC (along with Archie comics) made a ton of characters and world-building of their own. Now, I’m not going into what they did with “Adventures” because that’s not important. “SATAM” is what we’re going to focus on. On that show, Dr. Robotnik basically won. He had taken over and polluted the planet to near devastation. The only ones in his way were Sonic, Tails (who was barely used) and the Freedom Fighters. Sally (co-lead character and Sonic’s love interest), Antione (love rival and comic relief), Bunnie (strongman and very encouraging) and Rotor (genius mechanic with the personality of wet toast). The Freedom Fighters were added mainly due to Sonic having a small cast of characters at the time of production.
Sonic fans LOVED this show and for most, it’s still their favorite and why not? Sonic and Sally’s constant struggle to end the grotesque and evil Robotnik’s reign of terror made for delicious drama. This series gave us a ton of Sonally fans (fans who ship Sonic and Sally) and who can blame them? Seeing these characters struggle so hard to defeat this tyrant only to fail or achieve very small victories was heartbreaking. They lost friends. They lost family. The only joy they seemed to have was in their comradery with each other and we loved seeing that relationship grow. For a while, Sally was HUGELY popular with fans. So popular that she was the third hero at the Sega amusement park “Sega World” in Australia, had a puppet musical show with her in it and she even got some of her own merchandise.
But all good things must come to an end and the series only lasted two seasons. From there, it continued on the in pages of Archie comics for nearly 25 years. Originally, Archie went the comical route with the book, but after the success of SATAM, they turned it into pretty much a continuation of the series, only now with game elements added in as well. However, after many adventures in the Archie comics, the series met it’s inevitable end. When the Sonic comics were picked up by IDW comics, it continued off not from Archie with the Freedom Fighters, but a non-cannon continuation of the 2017 game “Sonic Forces”. For those who didn’t play Sonic Forces, the same basic premise applies. Dr.Eggman (formerly Robotnik) won and had taken over the earth and a small band of resistance fighters led by Knuckles (Who’s brilliant idea was that?) fought back to end Eggman’s tyranny. Sound familiar?
But enough of the history lesson. While the IDW comic has introduced two new heroes, Tangle and Whisper, the Freedom Fighters are nowhere to be found. Why? Who knows? Could be they are tangled in some kind of copyright issue, could be Sega would rather focus on the cast that appears in the games rather than a 25 year-old cartoon. Whatever the reason, Sally, Bunnie, Antione and Rotor are gone….for now. But in my personal opinion, that’s fine. Maybe, just maybe it’s time to let them go. Why? Several reasons.
Reason #1: They are characters that only exist outside of the games.
Like I mentioned before, when SATAM premiered, there was only TWO heroes in the games, Sonic and Tails with Amy and Knuckles only premiering in brand new games that year. Nowadays, our heroes include Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Big, Cream, Blaze, Vector, Espio, Charmy, Silver, Rouge, Shadow and…did I leave anyone out? These characters exist in the games and the comic needs more focus on them rather than characters who are cartoon and comic exclusive with their only game appearance being a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in Sonic Spinball. The comic exists to expand the world of the games. The CURRENT games. With a cast so huge that a lot of nerds bitch about it while hypocritically complaining that Luigi’s evil twin brother isn’t playable in Smash. My main point is that the comic’s are there not only to make a profit, but to help promote the games. Something the Freedom Fighters have never been a part of.
Reason #2: Thanks to shows like Sonic X and Sonic Boom, The SATAM fan base is shrinking.
Remember when I mentioned that the 90’s were full of Sonally fans? This was very true. If you browsed the internet on the Sonic fan base during the late 90’s early 2,000’s it was all about Sonic and Sally. Then Sonic X happened and there became more and more kids who grew up on that cartoon rather than SATAM and gradually a good chunk of Sonic discussion and fan art went from mostly Sonic and Sally to Sonic and Amy and that’s only getting bigger. In fact, I rarely see Sally or the Freedom Fighters in fan art on my Twitter anymore.
If you need any more proof that they are not needed anymore, just look at the reaction when the IDW comic premiered without them. There was no outrage. No controversy. Almost zero. The only thing close was an online article where they were upset about Ian being vague about their return and that’s it. Instead, the internet got flooded with fan art of the newest hero for the Sonic book, Tangle the lemur.
Reason #3: The comic has a new band of Freedom Fighters AKA “The Resistance”
As I said before, the IDW Sonic comic is a non-cannon continuation of the Sonic Forces story line. A story where Sonic has a new band of freedom fighters all based on game-related characters and is pretty much twice as big as the original Freedom Fighters. Knuckles is the leader this time with Amy as the strategist which allows Sonic the freedom to world travel and help build up the resistance to the currently-defeated Eggman and any new villains that may rise in his stead. This includes brand new characters to help freshen up things, making bringing back the original Freedom Fighters a moot point. They’re not needed.
Reason #4: Their stories have been told.
Let’s face it. Archie did just about everything they could with them. Twice, we’ve seen Sonic and Sally’s future where they were king and Queen. We’ve seen Eggman/Robotnik fall, rise, fall again then rise again like a rollercoaster. Antione finally gave up on Sally and eventually married Bunnie. Finally Rotor became more useless than ever after Tails became the mechanical genius. The character evolution was basically in limbo. Even in a reboot, what more can they do with them?
Now, all that said, does this mean they’re gone for good? Who knows? Just because they are not being used in the comics anymore doesn’t neccesarily mean IDW can’t use them in the future. Like I said, could be legal entanglements, could be they just have no current use for them. Maybe rebooting them and introducing them to a new audience would be great, but as I see it, it’s unnecessary.
Would I like to see them back? Sure! Who wouldn’t? But I think there NEEDS to be a reason to bring them back and currently, I just don’t see it. If you want more of the Freedom Fighters, there’s always other methods like fan-fiction or fan comics like Archie Sonic Online. A fan-created continuity of the Archie Sonic comics. Thing is, sometimes it’s good to let things go if it’s outlived it’s purpose rather than let things drag on. Here’s hoping to see more of the Freedom Fighters in the future but if we don’t, well that’s okay too.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not neccesarily those of Sonic Stadium.
With the popularity of Amiibo figures, it was only a matter of time before other companies followed suit. Gamestop saw the profit in this and with their “ThinkGeek” brand made their own line of exclusive, “Amiibo-ish”, non-electronic figures called Totaku. They don’t interact with your games in any way, they just look pretty on a shelf and they have a plus-shaped base that allows you to connect the bases together for a nice display. It’s a neat way to get non-Nintendo figurines to stand side by side with your Amiibo ones. There are many characters in the line-up including Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Parappa the Rapper, Sackboy, Lara Croft, Kratos and many others.
But of course, I’ll be focusing on the classic Sonic trio recently released. Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are all here in their classic glory. Each one with their own fine details. I’ll be going over each one individually.
Sonic has his old finger waving pose with a 16-bit ring laying at his feet. There’s striped grass at the base with the checkerboard dirt underneath showing that he’s standing in the Green Hill Zone. This is the same for all three figures. The paint job is fairly well done with a few very tiny blemishes here and there. For instance, the white of the eyes bleed a tiny bit into the muzzle, but only if you’re looking at it from an upper angle. It’s a common flaw in Sonic figures. The ring has several different pixelated levels of colors to make it as exact to it’s game counterpart as possible which is a very nice touch.
Here he comes! Rougher than the rest of them! While he’s not guarding the master emerald, Knuckles is standing over a green chaos emerald. He’s got a cute smirk on his face and looks like he’s ready to enjoy a good fight at a moment’s notice. This is a real solid figure with no paint blemishes at all. Probably my favorite of the bunch.
Last but not least, Tails is seen flying just above the striped grass. Shown in a pose that says he’s ready to go and an adorable smile on his face, Tails paint job is also flawless. The only downside to this figure is that he has no extra object on his base. No ring, no emerald, just Tails.
Overall this figure set looks great. With the plus-shaped bases and striped grass, you can make a nice display that connects the three figures together. $10 American each isn’t too much for these quality figures. They also make a nice gift for the holidays. You can pick them up at Gamestop in the US, EB Games in Canada or GAME in the UK.
Oh…..My….God! An episode of Sonic Talk that’s up just days after being recorded rather than weeks?!! That’s insane!!
Join Jason, Alex, GX and our special-guest-maybe-new-fourth-chair Queen Misty Lakes as we discuss the latest games, Sonic’s upcoming movie and his cameo in Ralph Breaks The Internet. We also discuss the delay of Team Sonic Racing and how everyone in the Sonic Universe might have a slight cameo in Super Smash Bros Ultimate thanks to the new spirit mode. Listen in and join the fun!
In this month’s Sonic Talk, we talk about Shenmue and how sometimes nostalgia isn’t enough. More on Team Sonic Racing, our final thoughts on Sonic Mania Plus, the Sonic movie, GX’s distain for Funko Pops and much, much more! Continue reading Sonic Talk 55: Funko Pooped
If there are three things we’re sure of in life, it’s death, taxes and the original Sonic the Hedgehog being ported to just about every Nintendo system. So what sets Sega Ages Sonic The Hedgehog apart from the billion other ports of the game? Continue reading TSS Review: Sega Ages Sonic The Hedgehog
Over in Birmingham, the annual EGX Expo is currently underway giving UK fans the chance to try out Team Sonic Racing for the first time. Well our very own writer Dave was there and during his time on the Planet Wisp course spotted a Metal Sonic billboard on the side of the track while playing the game! Continue reading Metal Sonic/Eggman Spotted in Team Sonic Racing
Wow!! Am I late with this one!! So Sorry about that. Check out our hands-on impressions of Team Sonic Racing, our discussion of Sonic Revolution, the end of Sonic Boom, The Sonic toys at Subway (which I have yet to find a Subway in my area that has them) and much, much more!! Continue reading Sonic Talk 54: Party of Four
This morning, Sega put out a new video for Team Sonic Racing that highlights the different team gameplay mechanics including skimboost, slingshot, item swapping, Team Ultimate and more. Highlighting the video is gameplay from not only the Planet Wisp stage, but the new ice level first shown at San Diego Comic Con along with some Big the Cat and Amy Rose gameplay.
Live! From Sonic Revolution 2018, it’s Sonic Talk with Jason and Alex! In this episode, the two hosts have a (semi) full audience for their show. They discuss Team Sonic Racing, IDW Sonic comic #5, the upcoming Sonic movie and much more as they desperately try to fill the 45 minute mark as Jason forgot to write down notes! Revel in the awkwardness!! Continue reading Sonic Talk 53: Sonic Talk Live!
If there’s one thing Sumo Digital is best at more than anything, it’s making a solid racing game. From Outrun 2 to Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, the development team has proven that they are the best at what they do. The only thing that could possibly hold them back is a good concept with a fatal flaw. And this is where Team Sonic Racing comes in. Continue reading Team Sonic Racing Impressions: Jason’s Take
Yesterday Afternoon during E3, I got a chance to sit down and chat with Sega’s social media manager and world’s biggest Big the Cat fan, Aaron Webber. We chatted about all things “Team Sonic Racing” including extra modes and customizations. This is a good one folks, with plenty of new info. So sit back, click and enjoy. Continue reading TSS @ E3 2018 Interview with Aaron Webber
Editor’s Note: The original version of this article stated the funding deadline had already passed on June 12. The actual deadline is July 12, at 12:59 AM PST
Have you ever made a grilled cheese sandwich and thought “this would be even better with Sonic’s face on it!”? Well, Sega may just have the product for you!
On shop.sega.com, you can purchase a Sonic toaster for only $34.99! There’s a bit of a catch though. It needs 1,000 orders in order for the toaster to become an actual product and get produced. At the moment, it’s only sold 376, so it’ll need to sell over 600 more to get made.
SEGA has 29 more days to reach that goal, so hopefully we will all be eating Sonic branded toast soon! The toaster has until the end of July 12 to reach its funding goal.
On Wednesday June 13, get ready to party with Belly and Crush 40 as Sega teams up with Puma to give you a rockin’ launch party for their new Sonic-themed shoes at Nice Kicks in L.A. This includes a meet and greet with Sonic Team’s own Takashi Iizuka. While the shoes go on sale on the 12th, the party is on the 13th. While no ticket info is given, it appears to be a party open to the public, so you may want to come in early before it gets too crowded.
Alex and I are bound to be there, so expect coverage right here at the Sonic Stadium. In the meantime, go to the offical launch announcement page for more information.
Following our news story on the the title and cover of Sonic’s latest racing game come three screenshots, courtesy of Walmart.com. The images show Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Shadow racing on what appears to be a track taken from Planet Wisp. Wal-Mart have also listed the game price-listed at $39.96 (USD). Whether this is just a place holder or this is a Switch exclusive game remains to be seen. For now, here’s two more screenshots from this upcoming game. Click on the images for a higher res version.
UPDATED WITH HIGHER QUALITY IMAGES. The full title of the mystery Sonic game along with what’s likely the official cover has finally been revealed thanks to a leaked image on Wal-Mart’s app. Team Sonic Racing (Super Sonic Racing would have been so much better IMO) is the third in the Sonic racing series in the past ten years, only this time there doesn’t appear to be a regular Sega character in sight. The cover is from the Nintendo Switch version, but it should arrive on PS4 and XB1 as well.
Just two days ago, Sega teased the game from it’s official Twitter account. This leads me to believe we should be getting a full announcement later today if not Thursday. Team Sonic Racing is likely due this fall or holiday season. We’ll be giving you more and more coverage of this game is we get closer to E3.
In a four-man Sonic Talk that will in no way upset anyone, Jason, Alex GX and guest, the Evil Dr. Reef discuss the first four issues on IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog and whether ot not Amy has replaced Sally. We also chat about Sonic Generations now on X-Box One, Sonic Mania Plus, the Sonic Mania Adventures cartoon and more! So give it a look and the opinions on Sonic Talk are not neccesarily those of the Sonic Stadium and all that other legal mumbo jumbo. Continue reading Sonic Talk 52: Amy is the new Sally
In this month’s Sonic Talk, we discuss Sonic’s IDW comic debut with Sonic #1, Sonic Mania Plus, the Sega Genesis collection that’s not coming to Switch for some reason and finally, censored Puma shoes! Meanwhile, Alex still refuses to show his face, so GX piles a ton of Nintendo stock images on top of him. All this and much, much more so give it a watch!….Please. We need the views badly. Continue reading Sonic Talk 51: A Pile of Princesses
The old phrase “The more things change, the more they stay the same” has never been more true when it comes to the return of Sonic in comics in IDW’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” #1. After being gone from comic shelves for over a year thanks to a fallout between Sega and Archie, Sonic’s found a new home with IDW. But the creative team has not left. Continue reading TSS Review: Sonic The Hedgehog #1 (IDW)
Walking around Wondercon today, I came across quite a few interesting things. Cosplayers, tons of artists, every other booth requiring a few hundred Funko Pops for sale, a booth that sells only Ewok heads (I’m not kidding) and (formerly) Sonic Boom’s own Bill Freiberger. Continue reading Wondercon 2018: Interview with Ian Flynn
Sonic, Tails, Knuckes, and Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik are on a crash course for the Chaos Emeralds! Speeding through the classic Green Hill Zone, players in Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course race to be the first player to collect the most Chaos Emeralds! If you want to take the victory, then you gotta go fast! Game design by Sean McDonald.
HOW TO PLAY
-RACE forward and leave your opponents in the dust
-COLLECT items then heal damage
-WIN if you’re the fastest to earn the most Chaos Emeralds!
Three months in the procrastinating, it’s the 50th episode of Sonic Talk! With our 50th episode comes a new look for the podcast. Now you no longer have to look at a static image, but two of our three mugs (Alex refuses to be on camera) and the fourth image is related to our topics of the month. Continue reading Sonic Talk 50: “The More Things Change…”
Sonic has his first game of 2018 and it’s not what you’d expect.
Introducing Sega Slots. A new game for iOS and Android. It’s a gambling simulator slot machine game. One of many kinds you can find on mobile devices. In Sega Slots you start with Sonic Slots only and level your way up to Shinobi, Golden Axe, Super Monkey Ball and more. The top level game at 101 is Classic Sonic in Casino Night Zone (makes sense). It includes mini games as well as the regular slot machine games.
Sega Slots is available on iTunes and Google Play for your Apple and Android devices now if you feel like taking a gamble and trying it out.
Sonic Forces has come and gone and the Sonic Talk crew of Jason, Alex, GX and special guest (and occasional header artist) Cory Holmes weigh in on the game. We go in and critique every detail of this new 3-D outing from Sonic Team. Is it as good as we’d hoped or as bad as we feared? Listen in to find out. Continue reading Sonic Talk 49: Unstoppable Forces vs. Immovable Objections
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