‘Parks & Rec’ Star Ben Schwartz Cast as Sonic in 2019 Movie

‘Gotta Go FaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaAAASSSSTTT!’ Fans of Parks and Recreation will be excited to learn that Ben Schwartz, famous for playing edgy entrepreneur Jean Ralphio Saperstein in the US TV sitcom, has been cast as the voice actor for Sonic the Hedgehog in the upcoming Hollywood movie. Continue reading ‘Parks & Rec’ Star Ben Schwartz Cast as Sonic in 2019 Movie

New TSR Video Shows off Team Racing Mechanics

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.

Team Sonic Racing is available this winter.

 

Sonic Talk 53: Sonic Talk Live!

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!!

Team Sonic Racing Impressions: Jason’s Take

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. Having gotten my hands on the game at E3, I find that it feels just as good as the previous two All-Stars games. However, there’s one major thing that separates Team Sonic Racing from it’s predecessors and that’s relying heavily on AI in order to win.

The demo begins with you picking a racer out of two teams. Team Sonic (Sonic, Tails and Knuckles) or Team Shadow (Shadow, Rouge and Omega) with red and blue Egg Pawns filling out the rest of the roster. Once you’ve picked your driver, it’s time for the race to start and this is where Team Sonic’s major flaw rears it’s ugly head. The game relies not on you getting first place in the race you’re in, but for all of your teammates to perform well. This is done by trading Wisp power-ups with your friends, skimming past them to help them get a speed boost or driving on their wake to help speed yourself up. Good teamwork brings up your “Ultimate Meter” which will give all three of your teammates a huge boost of speed. This is why teamwork and sharing items is very important. If the three of you do well, your score at the end of the game will determine if your team wins.

While the game is meant to be played in multiplayer co-op for the best experience, the demos at E3 were in single player. This means you are completely reliant on your AI buddies being good enough to not screw you up. Sure you can share items with them and watch their back as best you can, but if they run into a wall, you’re screwed. This leaves you with trying to babysit your team rather than focus on winning the race.

That doesn’t mean this one aspect ruins the game. The racing is still just as smooth and intense as it’s ever been. Drifting and handling is spot on and the enemy AI doesn’t take it easy on you, making for a more enjoyable race. New items such the cube and rocket wisps provide plenty of new ways to antagonize your opponents. Think bananas are annoying in Mario Kart? Try giant, blue cubes everywhere. My favorite is the burst wisp. It lets you shoot flames from the back of your vehicle that do serious damage to the racers behind you.

Another interesting aspect is the sound. What little music I heard is rock solid, with an original track that starts out really jazzy, but quickly brings in the rock guitar in a tune that reminds me a little of Jun Sunoe’s work on Sonic Heroes. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Junoe worked on the soundtrack. The sound effects themselves are satisfactory enough, but the sounds of ring collecting seemed muted and slightly different from the traditional ring sound.

The biggest change in sound is the voice acting. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s still the same voice actors and it sounds like even the announcer from the last game makes a return. But this is possibly the first in the Sega sports series of games to include all original voice acting (not counting the Sonic Riders series) specifically for this game. This means no stock voice work from previous games to save money, but full on taunts and brags to make the game feel more alive. Of course, this being a Sonic game, that means some really groan-worthy lines too. Does all of this extra dialogue mean we’ll get a full story mode as well? Who knows?

As far as graphics go, they’re a bit of a jump from the last game. The game features smooth textures with great lighting and a high resolution. Little details such as particle effects like pollen or confetti in the air and the tread on the tires as it spins are all present. There are even billboards for different things in the Sonic-verse. Some of which I’m sure will have obscure references.

All of this comes at a price. Like it’s predecessors, the game currently runs at 30 frames per second. Whether this will change before release remains to be seen. From what I could tell playing both demos, the PS4 version seems to have a resolution of 1080P while the X-Box One version is running at 720P. The Switch version was not on the show floor, but Sumo Digital has always done a good job at porting their racing games to less powerful consoles while keeping it looking and feeling great.

One minor thing I noticed is that the PS4 demo has a bit of a performance issue. Sometimes when boosting, the frame rate will suddenly chug and drop heavily. This also leads to the sound stuttering as well. I wouldn’t worry too much about it as the game is still in development and it has a long way to go before release, so I doubt this will be an issue.

While I’m not to crazy for the teamwork game play aspect in it’s current state, Sumo Digital has never let me down and since Aaron Webber has already confirmed more modes within the game, I have great confidence that the more we see of this racer, the more hyped I’ll be for it. That said, Team Sonic Racing’s got a long drive ahead before it can beat All-Stars Racing Transformed past the finish line.

Team Sonic Racing speeds into stores on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, X-Box One and PC this holiday season.

TSS @ E3 2018 Interview with Aaron Webber

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.

SEGA Wants to sell you a Sonic branded toaster, but needs you to fund it by July 12

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.

Crush 40 and Belly Headline Sega and Puma’s Launch Party

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.

First Screenshots And Price of Team Sonic Racing Leaked

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.

Big thanks to Bobnik on the SSMB for the link.

As always, stay tuned to TSS for more information as it comes!

“Team Sonic Racing” Cover Image Leaked

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.

Credit goes to Sonic Revolution’s own Lidice “Angelidia” Mendoza for discovering the leak.

Sonic Talk 52: Amy is the new Sally

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.

Sonic Talk 51: A Pile of Princesses

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.

TSS Review: Sonic The Hedgehog #1 (IDW)

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. This issue features a story by Ian Flynn, along with Tracy Yardley on pencils, Jim Amash on inks and even Matt Herms doing the colors. IDW knew the strength of the Archie Sonic books for the last ten-plus years was the strength of it’s creative team, so it only made sense to bring them all over.

So what’s different? Well, for one thing this is a full reboot focused primarily on Sonic as the main character and taking place in the game universe (but not canon to the games themselves). There’s no Mobius, no Ixis Naugus, no Freedom Fighters (yet) and no baggage from over twenty years of continuity.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD! (Please note that this is the start of a new story arc so there’s not a lot to spoil.) The comic is adapted from “Sonic Forces” and takes place after the end of the game. Eggman has been defeated and is currently missing, but his robot army has been on auto pilot without him. Most of them have been only a minor threat with some going off blindly and even walking right into the ocean. However, after some more difficult bot battles, Sonic and Tails have noticed that the robots seem to be more organized. Has Eggman returned or is there someone else at the controls? With Eggman not appearing until issue five, I’d say it’s the later.

The main plot is almost background fodder for the bot-kicking action of Sonic and Tails. The book does a good job of showing off their camaraderie. Sonic is arrogant and full of bravado while Tails mostly uses his wits and fights alongside Sonic in a few scenes. One scene worthy of note is Tails worrying about Sonic getting into too much danger. While those who have never played Sonic Forces may see him as being a bit of a worry wort, those who played the game and know what Tails went through will get a bit more character depth out of the scene.

I also like how the citizens react to Sonic. While there are some resistance fighters, most are inexperienced and scared. They see Sonic as not only a hero, but a celebrity of sorts. They gush over him and want his autograph.

Tracy, Jim and Matt haven’t lost a step. The art’s great and the colors really make it pop. One minor complaint is that the paper stock is a bit too stiff and crinkly for my tastes. While re-reading for this review in the quiet comfort of my home, every turn of the page was extremely loud with more crackles and pops than a bowl of Rice Crispys. Basically the paper stock used for the cover is used for every page. I know it’s a weird critique to make, but it’s true. Also, while the inks and colors are very bold, the print is a bit dark. They use dark purple borders around the panels and Sonic himself even seems a darker blue. I don’t know if this is on purpose or the printing just came out too dark. I will say it does look sharper than Archie’s prints.

While yes, your favorite creative team is back, it does lead to this feeling of the book being new but not fresh. It’s as if I haven’t picked up the Archie book in over a year and just came back in at the end of a game adaption story arc. It may not be the same world or all the same cast, but it doesn’t feel much different. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. I imagine most fans wanted Ian, Tracy, Matt and all the others back on board. I did too and I’m glad they returned. But those who may have been looking for a brand new Sonic experience like they’ve never gotten before probably won’t find it here.

One thing I’ll say is that I do really like the new fan section “Sonic Letters Squad”. Not only does it include letters and fan art, but they are also posting pictures of fans in their cosplay. It’s nice that this is starting with issue one. I also hope they bring back a form of “Off-Panel” in the future or allow fans to make their own little comic strips for the back of the comic.

Overall, while IDW’s Sonic does feel more familiar than fresh, the new comic is off to a great start. There’s plenty of action, character interaction, fun and a bit of mystery to hook you into the next issue. Let’s hope Sonic gets another twenty year run at his new home.

Wondercon 2018: Interview with Ian Flynn

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.

But the most interesting thing for me was IDW’s booth with it’s large banner for Sonic the Hedghog. It features Sonic, Blaze and new gal, Tangle all striking poses. IDW’s acquisition of the Sonic license has given the blue blur a much larger spotlight than he’s had in the past few years with Archie. All the way to the cover of Diamond’s “Previews” catalog and Tangle making headlines across the internet.

IDW wants to make sure Sonic is a huge success and what better way than to bring back much of the old team that made the previous book a huge hit to begin with. Including bringing back head writer, Ian Flynn.

After his afternoon autograph session, I had the chance to chat with Ian Flynn about all things Sonic.

TSS: What differences will there be in how you approach writing IDW Sonic compared to the reboot era of Archie Sonic?

Flynn: The reboot era of Archie Sonic was an attempt to please everyone at the same time including both fans of the old style and fans of the newer style while blazing a new trail and doing it all in the first year or two which in hindsight, was impossible. IDW Sonic is a new take. Nothin’ but good ol’ distilled Sonicdom with no outside baggage attached.

TSS: Has the announcement of Sonic Mania Plus had any effect on how you were planning to use “certain characters”?

Flynn: Yes and we’ll be getting into that at the panel.

TSS: Are there any broad concepts you’d want to revisit in the future of the comic (for example; colonies of fish people existing alongside regular land characters)?

Flynn: Maybe. Meropis was the brainchild of Aleah Baker so I’d feel a little dirty just cribbing that idea again without her involvement. The series is so new that it’s hard to say what we will or won’t do in the future. The book hasn’t come out yet. Give us some time to establish what IDW Sonic is and then we’ll start building and exploring from there.

TSS: Will there be any sections for user content? Like Fan art, questions, letters to the editor?

Flynn: Yes. (I can confirm this having read the first issue.-Jason)

TSS: When Tangle was first introduced, my Twitter account just blew up with fan art of her. Were you surprised at just how well she was received?

Flynn: Yes and no. I’m not surprised at just how much people love her. Tyson Hesse did an amazing job designing the character and I knew people would dig her once the book came out. I wasn’t anticipating the VOLUME of fan love this early on. It’s exciting, I’m very happy for it, I just wasn’t expecting it this early on.

TSS: Which of your characters from the Archie era do you regret that you can’t bring to IDW?

Flynn: If I could transplant a couple, I’d love to bring Relic the Pika and Eclipse. I think those resonated the best with folks. I know folks would have loved to have seen Razor come back, but those first two are near and dear to my heart.

TSS: Are any plans for the Freedom Fighters in the future?

Flynn:  We’ll cover that in the panel tomorrow.

TSS: There was once going to be a comic conclusion to Sonic Underground. Is there any chance that can now see the light of day?

Flynn: Probably not because the factors that got the story pulled have not changed from what I understand.

TSS: How soon did IDW approach you after getting the license from Sega?

Flynn: I’m not sure, but I can say with some certainty that they had me on board for a while before the New York Comic Con announcement.

TSS: Thank you very much for your time.

Flynn: Thank you.

The first issue of IDW’s Sonic the hedgehog will be out Wednesday April 4th. You can pick up a convention exclusive #1 issue at Wondercon this weekend. Stay tuned later this week for my review of the first issue.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course is available for pre-order

While Battle Racers is still in it’s funding phase on Kickstarter, Gamenerdz and IDW games have announced a similar board game of their own. “Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course.”  In the game, You can play as either Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Eggman in their classic style as you race to collect the Chaos Emeralds. The game has an MSRP of $29.99, but is available for pre-order for $18.97. Check out the official statement below and go to the official  website for more details.

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!

Contains:

  • 60 Item Tokens
  • 24 Chaos Emerald Tokens
  • 12 Damage Tokens
  • 4 Extra Life Tokens
  • 10 Track Tiles
  • 4 Character Tiles
  • 1 Reference Tile
  • 4 Pre-painted Miniatures
  • 1 Rulebook

 

Sonic Talk 50: “The More Things Change…”

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.

Speaking of topics for the month, Jason, Chris and Alex discuss a wide range of topics. From Night in the Woods, to Atari 5200 and Colecovison games, to the insanity that is Sega Hard Girls.

Eventually, we also talk about Sonic too! Hence the name of the podcast. We cover the latest news from IDW’s first looks into the new Sonic comic, the Sonic Battle Racers Kickstarter, Sonic and Pac-Man fusing like Gotenks and a 15 minute discussion on the new Sonic movie despite not knowing a dang thing about it.

Namco and Sega bring Pac-Man over to Sonic Dash

In a couple of silly tweets, it seems Sonic has called Pac-Man to come over and celebrate the 5th anniversary of Sonic Dash and after saying hi to himself and playing with….an arcade machine, Pac-Man has taken the call and decided to join the party. Continue reading Namco and Sega bring Pac-Man over to Sonic Dash

Sonic Stars in New Sega Slots Game for iOS and Google Play

 

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 Talk 49: Unstoppable Forces vs. Immovable Objections

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.

By the way, sorry this one is so late,, but I had a ton of computer problems after I had this originally set up, so the audio in this month’s episode is done by our own GX Echidna.

 

 

Sonic Boom Season 2 Arrives on Hulu This Sunday!

Get your favourite breakfast cereal ready, because Sonic Boom Season 2 arrives on Hulu in America this Sunday! No more SD video off of Boomerang. No more scouring Youtube for clips because like a good chunk of Americans, you don’t HAVE Boomerang! Instead, you get Sonic Boom Season 2 in glorious HD the way it was meant to be seen. All 52 episodes will be available along with season 1 to give you a whopping 104 episodes of hilarious Sonic silliness!

There’s currently no word on season 2 streaming availability in other countries (especially the UK which hasn’t even aired any of season 2 yet). We will keep you up to date if anything else is announced in the future.

Source: Hulu (Twitter)

 

A new Sonic Forces Comic Arrives “Looming Shadow”

Omega’s in big trouble, Rouge is worried and Shadow’s coming to help and…do I see pictures of Sally Acorn? Nah. Couldn’t be. The third Sonic Forces comic is here! It’s written by Ian Flynn with art by Adam Bryce Thomas. Check it out in the gallery below and check out the first issue here and the second one here.

 

New Japanese Sonic Trailer Focuses on Story

A new Sonic Forces trailer was recently released from Sega of Japan. This new trailer focuses more on the story mode, but also gives more detail on what you can expect from the game more than any trailer released so far. This includes being able to borrow your friend’s avatar, a sneak peek at more stages and more details on customization options. So what do you think? Has this trailer got you any more hyped for the game? Let us know in the comments section.

Here’s a translated version on the trailer from Woun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxM3uKSYhD0&t=10s

Sonic Talk 48: Succubus Mouse

When is a weasel a kangaroo rat? When is a duck a woodpecker and since when does a bat have it’s wings on it’s back instead of it’s arms? But the real question that needs answering is,…..Hooters? Seriously?!

Join Alex, GX and Jason as they discuss the insane way you have to purchase Sonic  Runners Adventure in America, our de-escalating hype for Sonic Forces, Denuvo, Shadow the Hedgehog’s return and Bill Frieberger’s departure from Sonic Boom. All this and much more!

Big thanks to Cory “Jet” Holmes for the header art. Here’s the original, unaltered image.

Sonic Talk 47: Sonic Mania is Runnin’ Wild!

Well let me tell ya somethin’ brother!! I was at Venice beach pumpin’ iron when I heard someone listenin’ to a podcast! It had these three nerds, Jason, Alex and GX, all talking about that new Sonic game, Sonic Mania and heapin’ a bunch of praise on it! Jason was reviewing that new Sega game, Yakuza Kiwami and giving his hands on impressions about Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. They also talked a bunch about all the news on Sonic Forces and reviewed some of the latest episodes of Sonic Boom! Continue reading Sonic Talk 47: Sonic Mania is Runnin’ Wild!

EB Games Australia Offers Shadow DLC Skin With Sonic Forces Pre-Order

Looks like we’re not done with pre-order news yet! EB Games Australia has just put up a pre-order offer on top of Sega’s. If you pre-order from their stores, you will get a Shadow the Hedgehog costume for your avatar. It looks just like him! Albeit a bit skinny. Before everyone gets outraged at possible exclusive content, it should be noted that no where does it say that it’s exclusive. This means that there’s a good chance the costume is available in-game, so I wouldn’t worry just yet Shadow fans.

There’s some other things of note. It says it also includes “13 more in-game outfits and items and accessories” and “four Sonic Forces Art Cards”. These extra bonuses may be replacing the controller skins in Australia as there is no mention of them on the page.

Now since EB Games is an offshoot of Gamestop, chances are we may be seeing a similar offer in the US or UK. Time will tell.

Sonic Forces Releases on Nov 7. US Price and Pre-Order Bonuses Detailed

 

Looks like the rumors are true! Sega has announced on the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account that Sonic Forces will be arriving on November 7th along with a US price tag of $39.99. On top of that, folks who pre-order the game will receive a controller skin for their system of choice. Along with the controller skin comes five different skins for the avatar based on several Sega/Atlus game properties including Jet Set Radio, Persona, Puyo-Puyo, Super Monkey Ball and NiGHTS. Looks like a great price and bonus for those interested in the upcoming game.

Sonic Forces will be available for Switch, PS4, X-Box One and PC November 7th.

Sonic Mania Arrives on Steam With Bug Fixes And DRM

After a two-week delay, Sonic Mania finally sees its PC release today on Steam. As a reward for their wait, PC gamers can expect a version of the game that includes several bug fixes that are still present in the console versions, in addition to the Super Sonic transformation that can now be activated via a dedicated button (and allowing continued use of the drop dash once the player has collected more than 50 rings with all Chaos emeralds in their possession). Continue reading Sonic Mania Arrives on Steam With Bug Fixes And DRM

Sonic CE Statue Contains An Actual LED Light And Can Be Modded to Work.

A twitter user by the name of Jojo has discovered that if you open up the Genesis/Mega Drive stand of the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition statue, there is an actual LED light in the display! (NOTE: Doing so would void any warranty you might have on it.) What’s more, you can make it work! The tiny circuit board for the “SEGAAA!” sound includes two holes marked “LED”. All you need is a bit of copper wiring and a screwdriver. You can check how he did it on Jojo’s Twitter page, but man! What an easy mod! It makes you wonder though. Sega seemed to back out of the LED light working at the last minute. Why?

 

Sonic Talk 46: Comic Con Carne

In this month’s episode, Jason talks about his trip to the San Diego Comic Con and we discuss all of the big Sonic news that happened during the event along with recent news, including some Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces discussion, Archie’s Sonic cancellation, IDW’s Sonic acquisition and much, much more! Continue reading Sonic Talk 46: Comic Con Carne

TSS Review: The Sounds of Sonic Concert (With Video Highlights!)

On Thursday, July 20th in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront, I witnessed a concert by Sonic fans, for Sonic fans. A rocking music extravaganza with trumpets, saxophones, guitars, drums a keyboard and a lot of passion. It’s obvious that Shoto Nakama wanted to create something special and he truly has.

It started off with the usual stuff. Sound tests, followed by a ton of trailers. There was a funny moment as I watched Jun Senoue hanging out on the side, head-banging to his own tune, “Infinite’s Theme”.

The first song off the bat is of course, “Green Hill Zone”. The saxophone and trumpets really added a jazzy vibe to this classic tune. The video screens off to the side were showing off the original classic along with a bit of the level from Generations. Next, we go from the first Sonic tune, to one of the newest, Studiopolis! It’s cool hearing an instrumental version of a tune almost entirely programmed digitally and it’s done really well.

Next up, the lead singer, Dave Ross came onto the stage along with Crush 40’s own Jun Senoue. Now this was a rock concert! “Live and Learn” was the first tune up and they really rocked it. Dave shows a strong passion in his singing and a great range as well. Especially since the next song up was “Believe in Myself”. A song originally done by female singer Karen Brake, was sung by Dave himself and he did a surprisingly faithful version.

I gotta say this about Dave. He really knew how to work the crowd and was full of energy. When he wasn’t rocking out onstage, he was constantly jumping off the stage and running around into the crowd, giving out high-fives and making damn sure that the audience was having a great time.

Next up was “Endless Possibility” which must have been a favorite for the band as it was also the encore of the night. Dave was incredibly into it and seem to really love the number. After that, it was “Reach
For The Stars”. It was great hearing a number normally done mostly in chiptune and tonebox done with full instruments and vocals. Another great highlight of the night. They followed that up with “Escape From The City” which Dave seem to take as something he wanted the audience to do as he jumped off the stage, running around the large crowd. After fooling around for a bit and having Jun do a VERY short guitar solo, they went into “It Doesn’t Matter”, a song that fit Dave’s vocal range very well. The concert wrapped up with another performance of “Endless Possibility”.

All in all, this was a fantastic concert. The people onstage were full of energy and passion for the music they were playing and that passion was absorbed by the crowd watching. Dave Ross had a great vocal range and the performance of a true rock star. They asked if they’d like to see this concert tour close to a town near you. Hell yes, I would! I’ve seen a lot of Sonic concert performances (mostly Crush 40) and this was by far the best one. If they turn this into a full tour, don’t miss it!

Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel from San Diego Comic Con

Check out the Sonic Mania panel at 2017 to get all the details we couldn’t cover! Join host Aaron Webber with guests, Takashi Iizuka, Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, Tom Fry, and Simon Thomley as we get more details on what went into this game.Get the full scoop on the game, check out some wacky glitches and the fan Q&A it’s all here! Continue reading Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel from San Diego Comic Con

Sonic Talk 45: E3 Mania

Join Alex, Jason and GX as they discuss all the happenings at this year’s E3. Alex and Jason were at the show and they discuss their hands-on with Sonic Mania, Sonic Forces, their time at Sonic Revolution and Alex’s first trip to Disneyland. We also talk about ARMS, Sega Forever, Sonic Runners Adventure and more! It’s out most jam-packed podcast yet, so listen in and enjoy!

Sonic Forces: Soundtrack Style Is Character Dependent

During a recent interview with Playstation at E3, SEGA Community Manager Aaron Webber revealed that each character in Sonic Forces (Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic and “the Rookie”) will have their own unique soundtrack style. Continue reading Sonic Forces: Soundtrack Style Is Character Dependent

Sonic Forces E3 Impressions: Jason’s Take

At the front of Sega’s booth at E3, there were two different lines; one queue was for Sonic Mania, while the other, about half the length, was Sonic Forces. The crowds definitely seemed more excited for one over the other. Have Sonic’s recent flops affected fan’s love for modern Sonic titles, or is there enough love for both the modern era and a fun romp through the golden age? More importantly, has Sonic Team learned from the mistakes of it’s past?

First off, it should be noted that this game doesn’t try to experiment with new game types – it’s a back-to-basics formula of what worked in Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors (the better received 3-D Sonic games since SA2) and building on that. For the first time in a long time, Sega is playing it safe. Do you want me to tell you how modern Sonic plays? He plays EXACTLY like modern Sonic. Do you want to hear how classic Sonic plays? He plays EXACTLY like classic Sonic. If there are any slight differences, I didn’t notice them myself.

The new game mode is played with the avatar, a character you create and referred to as “the rookie” throughout the game. You decide how the character looks and what species he/she is. I believe you buy extra gear for your character through both common gold and red star rings, thus giving a reason for you to replay levels and giving the game a whole “carrot on a stick” feel (although I’m guessing this seeing as how you can no longer regain any rings you lose). This makes some boss battles more challenging as me and Alex watched one poor soul who just couldn’t seem to beat Eggman during the classic Sonic boss fight.

During our play through of the demo, our avatar was generated completely at random; sometimes I’d get a purple cat, other times a black bunny, and there are videos on youtube of some playing as the red wolf from the trailer. Before you enter the level, you’re given the choice between two different “Wispons”, a wisp-powered weapon. A flamethrower Wispon allows you to use the burst wisps to project your character higher into the air, while the other weapon, a lightning whip, allows the player to execute the light speed dash and quickly follow a trail of rings. There were two different stages in the demo depending on the system: the Nintendo Switch got a level very similar to modern Sonic’s stage, in which you eventually travel a slightly different path, and I found this level to be the most fun level in the demo. He/she can use their grappling hook to swing up to higher paths or attack robots via a homing attack. Alternatively, you can also use your Wispon to bring down a whole group of robots all at once. The Switch level was fast, visceral and overall, fun. This was mainly due to going through the levels a breakneck speeds only stopping to attack your enemies, with no real emphasis on platforming.

…And that’s where the PS4 level comes in to play. Oh boy.

The level sees the player racing down the Green Hill zone as it appears to be undergoing industrialization, while being chased down by a giant robot crab while smaller robot crabs try to squash you along the way. This level is entire 2-D and requires precise platforming to get through – if you read Alex’s take on the avatar character, you’ll have some appreciation for why this is a bad thing. The physics while jumping with the avatar doesn’t feel right, and it is almost impossible to turn in mid air; small platforms throughout the stage make playing the level a bit of a chore rather than fun. However if this issue can be remedied for release, then the Avatar mode could be the best new gimmick yet avatar controls much like Sonic. Personally, I don’t want to fish, I don’t want to brawl, I don’t want to pilot a mech. I want my extra character to control like Sonic as I think that is what works best in a Sonic title! It seems that Sonic Team are really investing in the avatar stages, embellished with vocal songs that are only present in their stages. These stages have the potential to be the best stages on the Switch version of the game, and if they can nail the physics, this is looking like it could be a top-tier 3-D Sonic game.

I managed to play the demo on all 3 systems, and one thing I noticed was that PS4 version of the demon was playing on the PS4 Pro…and it showed. The 1080P graphics looked incredible, and were of similar caliber to Sonic Generations on the PC with ultra-high settings. The XBox One version looked to have been running at 720P as it seemed lower resolution; this might be due to anti-aliasing and as Alex mentioned in his article. The Switch version, while still very detailed, appeared to suffer the most graphically and seemed to be at 720 or sub-720P with jagged edges due to no anti-aliasing.

Physics aside, Sonic Forces is looking to be a solid, above average Sonic title. I think Sonic Team have made the right choice to stick to proven game styles, with the new gimmick being pretty much “Sonic with weapons”. I doubt it will beat Sonic Mania in reviews or sales, but still, it appears we are getting two great Sonic games in one year.

Sonic Mania E3 Impressions: Jason’s Take

I have a confession to make. I was never a huge fan of Sonic Retro. I’d lurk on their forums from time to time and I thought they tended to act a bit arrogant and cocky at times. They’d say that they could make a much better Sonic game than Sega. “Right!” I thought to myself. “A bunch of amateurs make a better game than veteran programmers? Bah!” However, Sonic Mania, lead by Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, is proof that it wasn’t arrogance, but the truth. Continue reading Sonic Mania E3 Impressions: Jason’s Take