Sonic Meme Round-Up: Doc Ock Floats His Way into Sonic Twitter

So, we’re trying something new today: a round-up of all the Sonic related versions of the latest meme craze on Twitter. For anyone who doesn’t frequent social media (or wisely has their media preview setting switched to “off”) the internet is obsessed with photoshopping various things onto this image of Doc Ock altered by twitter user @Rawbertbeef. He removed Doc Ock’s mechanical arms, making him look like some sort of all-powerful being.

For context (and for assisting Sonic fans in their own meme-making) I’ve got the original, unaltered image below:

If you want a version without a background, you can find it here.

If you make your own, link it to us in the comments! If you find someone else’s on Twitter, link to the tweet (not the image).

Anyway, check out what horrible things the internet has wrought below! In an effort to make sure people are credited, we’re only embedding ones we’ve found on Twitter. If any of these don’t belong to the posters, we’ll try to correct it, but please don’t take this too seriously! We’re all just trying to enjoy some fun memes here!

First, we’ll start with the obvious one, created by my boss, which is his most popular tweet of all time, apparently. Because he’s my boss I’m obligated to say its the best one (it’s not):

When all is said and done, this tweet is what Dreadknux will be remembered for.

And now the rest!

If you find one on Twitter, link to the tweet (not just the image) in the comments. If you make one, feel free to share it in the comments. Keep it PG, please!

Not Sonic related, but here’s one more:

After 13 Years, Sonic Chronicles’ Intro Animation Released to the Public

Did you know BioWare’s DS Sonic RPG, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, was originally meant to have an intro animation? I sure didn’t! Well, it did, and that intro animation has now been released by video game animation expert and author Jonathan Cooper. Check it out in his tweet below:

According to Cooper, SEGA cut the animation from the final release, leading to the compilation of game play footage for intro used in the final game. Cooper’s account has some other footage related to Sonic Chronicles, including pencil tests of the intro and in-game animation. We’ve got tweets containing those videos below:

Thanks goes to Discord user visionaryofSuper, who let us know about this!

Sonic Returns to Free Comic Book Day in 2022 With New Story

It has been confirmed by FCBD and IDW that Sonic will be getting a comic featuring an original story for next year’s Free Comic Book Day, which will be on May 7. Earlier this year, Sonic returned to the event after a multi-year absence, and this announcement confirms that that wasn’t a one-off.

Unlike Sonic’s previous FCBD outing, however, this one will take place in IDW’s primary Sonic universe. It will feature writing from Ian Flynn, cover and interior art by Adam Bryce Thomas. The story will directly tie into the comic’s larger ongoing story leading into issue 50.

The synopsis is as follows:

Sonic’s racing into a brand-new adventure with his best buds (and co-stars of the hit new movie) Tails and Knuckles by his side! But Sonic’s not the only super-speedster in town… Get caught up with everything you need to know about Sonic’s evil counterpart Surge before she and Sonic go head-to-head in the epic issue #50, a story years in the making!

Check out the cover below:

Sonic Colors Ultimate’s Second Patch is Out, With Bug Fixes, OST Toggle and New Sonic Customizations

The second patch SEGA promised for Sonic Colors Ultimate is officially out on all platforms. Before you ask, no, we do not know which glitches were fixed yet. We will be running a stream of the game on PS5 later today to look into that. What we do have, however, are the full patch notes. Check them out below:

First of all, the game now has new customization options for Sonic. Called the “Celebration Pack,” it includes the following:

  • Burst Shoes
  • Burst Gloves
  • Fireworks Boost
  • Fireworks Aura

The patch also adds numerous quality of life updates, including:

  • Ultimate Remix/Original Music soundtrack toggle
  • Full screen boost blur effect on/off toggle
  • Tails navigation on/off toggle
  • Full screen movie playback from options satellite
  • Improved visibly of cyan wisp targeting line

The patch also has:

  • Improved stability for all platforms
  • Updates to specific enemy attack speed
  • Improved Green Hover Wisp light speed dash functionality
  • Improved visibly of Big Chaser attacks in Switch version
  • Various bug fixes throughout the game.

If you want to see if this addresses your specific pet peeve, stay tuned to our Youtube channel, where we will be doing a live stream later. It is currently unknown if another patch is in development. If you want to download this patch, it should be available now.

Tangle & Fang Plushies Incoming from Great Eastern Entertainment

The past few years have been something of a golden age for Sonic plushies, with increasingly obscure characters finally getting their own stuffed toys thanks to Great Eastern Entertainment. That trend continues with GEE’s latest plushies: Tangle the Lemur and Fang the Sniper.

Tangle was revealed by GEE on their Twitter just a few moments ago, and is available now on their website for $23.99. The plush is 10 inches tall, and I must say, it looks pretty good:

Tangle is the second IDW character to get a plush, after GEE released Whisper last year. Unfortunately, Whisper is currently sold out on their website, but she will be getting a restock in Q1 2022.

In addition to Tangle, Fang the Sniper also appears to be getting his own plush. Though not officially announced as of this writing, the plush was leaked via Ali Express and confirmed by Sonic Merch News.

Because this is a leak, this is technically a rumor. But GEE itself has more or less confirmed that the leak is real.

Below, we have the tweet from Sonic Merch News, as well as the images from the leak:

Tyson Hesse Returns to Work on the Sonic 2 Movie

Tyson Hesse has revealed that he has been working on Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as a character design lead and storyboard supervisor. He announced it alongside an epic looking piece of art, posted below.

Hesse, notably, was brought in to work on the first Sonic movie, where he redesigned Sonic himself and also developed the design for other characters such as Tails and the echidnas.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Trailer Debuts at The Game Awards

Nearly seven months since it wrapped filming, Sonic 2’s trailer has finally arrived, debuting at The Game Awards. The 2-minute-18-second trailer gives us our first taste of what’s in store for Sonic’s big screen debut.

The trailer has got a lot to offer. There are plenty of references to the games, such as Sonic Adventure. The Master Emerald and its shrine is here, along with the Tornado, Tails, and of course, our first look at Knuckles the Echidna.

Watch it below!


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 features Ben Schwartz as Sonic, Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Tails, Idris Elba as Knuckles, and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. It will debut in the US on April 8, 2022.

Watch The Game Awards With Us, Starting at 7:30 EST!

If you’ve been paying attention to our streaming schedule you already know about this, but we will be running a react stream for The Game Awards announcements tonight! Join GX and Nuckles87 as they patiently wait for the Sonic announcements!

It will run on our Twitch channel until sometime after both Sonic trailers have debuted. It will also be shown on both our front page and on SSMB. If you’d prefer to watch The Game Awards without our heavenly voices, you can do so here.

Colleen O’Shaughnessey To Reprise Her Role as Tails in Sonic 2 Movie

Tails is going to be getting something that is very rare in Hollywood video game adaptations: the same voice he has in the games. Instead of Tom Holland or Chris Pratt, Tails will instead be voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey, who has been playing the character in the games since 2014. This was just confirmed by O’Shaughnessey herself via her Twitter account.

Technically, O’Shaughnessey’s has already voiced the character on the big screen, via the first movie’s after credits scene. It was unknown if she would be asked to reprise her role, since it’s not uncommon for Hollywood productions to recast actors when their character is upgraded to a larger role in a subsequent movie. Now that she’s been confirmed, O’Shaughnessey now has the rare distinction of voicing a Sonic character across video games, movies, and television thanks to her role in Sonic Boom.

A trailer for the Sonic 2 movie is widely expected to debut soon. Stay tuned to Sonic Stadium for that, and all the latest news!

SEGA Hardlight Hiring Game Designers

SEGA Hardlight, the company behind many of Sonic’s mobile games (including Sonic Dash & Sonic Forces) is now hiring. According to Hardlight game designer Antony Lavelle, the company is looking for both an experienced and an entry level UK-based game designer.

If you meet those criteria and want to work for the studio, check out their website here.

via Twitter

Sonic Team & Moor-Art Gallery Collaborate on Sonic 30th Anniversary Print

Sonic’s 30th anniversary is almost over, but the partnerships between SEGA and other companies has certainly not slowed. In the latest of these collaborations SEGA has teamed up with Moor-Art Gallery to produce and sell a special limited edition 30th anniversary print. This print will be limited to just 200 copies, and is currently being sold for £34.99. Given the limited nature of these prints, you can expect them to go fast.

You can find the print here. They ship worldwide. You can check out what it looks like below:

WildBrain Announces Another Round of Hiring for Sonic Prime

WildBrain, the animation studio behind Sonic Prime, is seeking to hire more people for the show’s production. They are seeking CG FX Lead, a CG FX artist, and a Previs Artist. Potential applicants can apply here.

We won’t speculate too much regarding what this could mean regarding the show’s production. We know it’s scheduled for next year, and the show has been in some form of production since at least late 2020. Perhaps this is for the show’s second half (as Netflix often releases shows in multiple chunks) or an unannounced second season. Or maybe they are merely dealing with turnover.

Regardless, we’ll encourage everyone not to read too much into this.

Source, via Twitter

Sonic Colors Ultimate Patch Released (UPDATE: We’ve tested it!)

After months of waiting, and a separate patch that dealt with the rainbow glitch, SEGA and Blind Squirrel have finally released a patch for Sonic Colors Ultimate on all platforms. According to the patch notes, the following issues have been addressed:

  • Improved Stability
  • Updates to save game system
  • Audio mix improvements
  • Music now loops for credits & update to “Giving Credit Where it’s Do” achievement description
  • Various bug fixes
  • Eggman fireworks at the end of Terminal Velocity now work on Switch
  • Fixed glitch that could cause yellow wisp to not damage Captain Jelly on PC

The patch isn’t very large: just 1.2 GB on PS5. So you don’t have to worry about this eating into your bandwidth or hard drive space!

Does this fix the wisp music glitch? Or the disappearing pipe textures? Stay tuned to Sonic Stadium for future updates (and potentially our Twitch channel, where we will try to give the PS5 version a go shortly).

We’d also like to note that according to the Sonic Social media manager, another patch is on the way, so anything that isn’t fixed now will hopefully be addressed soon!

UPDATE: We streamed the patched version on our Youtube, which you can check out below. We’ve got a summary of what we found beneath the video:

What Seems to be Fixed:

  • We did not encounter the wisp audio glitch during the stream, including in places where it could happen reliably.
  • We did not encounter the level end audio glitch
  • Enemies now fall slower when they drop in

What’s Still Broken:

  • There are still various minor visual glitches, including the invisible Sonic in Starlight Carnival Act 3 and the missing pipe textures in Tropical Resort Act 3.
  • The Tails rescue glitch, which can cause 2D areas to become 3D, is still there. This was my first encounter with that, in fact.
  • The game also softlocked on me for the first time, which ended the stream. Not the first game to soft lock on me once on PS5, though.

So stuff still needs to be fixed. Personally, I am rather happy the audio glitches have been fixed. In my many hours spent with the game, that was by far the most common and annoying glitch I encountered. Glad to see that it appears to be gone!

TSS @ SHC 2021: Dash Adventure 2

There are plenty of ambitious mods at this year’s Sonic Hacking Contest, but Dash Adventure 2 is definitely among the more unique ones. This mod seeks to alter all of Sonic Adventure 2, turning it into a hypothetical evolution of what might have happened had SEGA gone with the rabbit character instead of Sonic back when they were searching for a mascot. While the most striking changes may initially appear to be superficial, Dash Adventure 2 has plenty of character and level tweaks that make it a rather unique way of experiencing this twenty-year-old game.

DA2’s most obvious change is, of course, its cast of characters. Instead of Sonic, Knuckles and Tails, we’ve got Dash the Rabbit, Jabs the Kangaroo, and Bolt the Maned Wolf. On the villain side of things, Eggman is a professor instead of a doctor, and Dusk the Rabbit and Pikara the Owl replace Shadow and Rouge. All of their designs seek to mimic Yuji Uekawa’s art style, and they not only accomplish this effectively, but they all look great and fit in well as early 2000s mascot characters.

Don’t mistake these characters for mere reskins, though, because they each introduce brand new mechanics that, in some cases, significantly impact how the game is played. Dash can jump much higher then Sonic, has a drop dash in place of a bounce attack, and can double jump with the Y button, giving him a lot of aerial maneuverability. This allows for Dash to move through a level very differently, letting him pull off feats Sonic never could. Dusk, likewise, can also jump higher than Shadow, has an air blast that lets him shoot forward, and even has a unique spindash move that lets him move forward while its charging. Other characters have similar improvements in their jump height and aerial maneuverability, especially Pikara, who can outright fly. As cool as these new abilities are, however, they also give rise to…issues. For one, Pikara’s aforementioned flight ability isn’t really practical to use, since it requires holding both the Y and A buttons, which forces me to contort my hand. The abilities can also kind of…break the level design a little?

Perhaps the most obvious of these issues is the simple fact that Sonic Adventure 2’s levels were not designed with these abilities in mind. This means some levels are easy to break and cheat through, while others (primarily the speed levels) have certain design bits that don’t work as well. For instance, in City Escape, after running down the side of the building and hitting the springs, instead of reliably bouncing into the swing bar, it is now very easy to overshoot. It’s possible to maneuver into it of course, and none of these moments typically result in death or otherwise break the level, but it does interrupt the level’s flow in a way I don’t like.

DA2 is at its best in its handful of fully customized levels. While most of the levels have been significantly altered aesthetically, a few boast some notable design alterations. Metal Harbor (changed into Chemical Plant here) features some pretty major changes, including an opening bit of platforming that encourages heavy use of Dash’s double jump. That, combined with some new paths through areas, make this level among the best experiences currently available in the mod. 

Speaking of the levels, the new looks they sport are also pretty nice…for the most part. I’m just not a huge fan of the look of Weapons Bed, which employs a lot of purple for the floor texturing. I also find the usage of classic Sonic level aesthetics in this game to be a bit odd. Why is Marble Zone being used for the Chao Garden? Why has Aquatic Mine been turned into Hydro City? It still looks nice, but given that SA2 was an even bigger visual departure from classic Sonic then SA1 was, I’m not sure why a hypothetical DA2 would utilize retro aesthetics outside of Green Hill Zone (which has been turned into Marble Zone here). This is something that would probably only bug a video game history buff like me, as when I sweep all that aside…I do rather like seeing these classic Sonic level aesthetics in SA2’s visuals!

Dash Adventure 2 was one of the mods I checked out last year, and while I found it curious I ultimately decided not to write about it. It has come a long way since then, and while it still has some issues, the sheer ambition on display here is wild. There’s a brand new soundtrack and new, well done voice work for each character. While it does currently have some issues, the mod as it is is still well worth checking out. I do hope the final mod features more level alterations, and maybe figures out a better way to map Pikara’s flight. But even if it doesn’t, I definitely intend to play the mod’s final release. Anyone who owns SA2 should at least give this a shot!

You can find the mod here. You can learn how to install it here.

Sonic Hacking Contest Announces This Year’s Winners

Sonic Hacking Contest has announced the winners for the more than 50 trophies up for grabs this year. The community, the contest’s judges, and the media panel (which included us!) got to vote for their own favorites. You’ll find a few familiar names, as we covered several of these games throughout the week. You can find that coverage here. And while the event may be over, and the winners have been chosen, stick around! We’ll be doing more SHC 2021 coverage over the next few days.

Sonic Hacking Contest has also confirmed its 2022 dates: October 10-16. You can find out more info about this year’s SHC, and what they have planned for next year, in the 2021 Winners newsletter here.

The winners for each of these votes are as follows:

TOP THREE RETRO (JUDGED)

1st – Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

2nd – Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

3rd – Sonic The Hedgehog: Ancient Isles by Catswell

TOP THREE RETRO (COMMUNITY)

1st – Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

2nd – Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

3rd – Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Epilogue by Hardline Team

Best Retro Voted by Media Panel

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team and Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Epilogue by Hardline Team

TOP THREE 3D (JUDGED)

1st – Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

2nd – Sonic ’06 – Emerald Coast by Nonami

3rd – Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

TOP THREE 3D (COMMUNITY)

1st – Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

2nd – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

3rd – Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

Best 3D Voted by Media Panel

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer 

Honorable Mention: Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

TOP THREE 2DPC (JUDGED)

1st – Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcNuggie

2nd – Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

3rd – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

TOP THREE 2DPC (COMMUNITY)

1st – Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcNuggie

2nd – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

3rd – Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Voted by Media Panel

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honorable Mention: Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Of course, there are far more SHC categories than just the best overall games. Games were competing in a variety of categories. For the complete list of winners for each available Sonic Hacking Contest trophy, look at the list below:

RETRO CATEGORY

Best Visual – Judged

Sonic the Hedgehog: Ancient Isles by Catswell 

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Best Visual – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Audio – Judged

Sonic the Hedgehog: Ancient Isles by Catswell 

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Audio – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Technical – Judged

Sonic 1 Blastless DX by vladikcomper

Best Technical – Community

Sonic 1 Blastless DX by vladikcomper

Best Level Design – Judged

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Best Level Design – Community

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Most Entertaining – Judged

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Most Entertaining – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Most “WTF?!” – Judged

VTuber in Sonic 1 by ProjectFM

Honourable Mention –  SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Most “WTF?!” – Community

SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Honourable Mention –  VTuber in Sonic 1 by ProjectFM

Best Team Entry – Judged

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Team Entry – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Best Multiplayer Entry – Judged

SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Best Multiplayer Entry – Community

SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Best Character Implementation – Judged

Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Pink Edition by E-122-Psi

Best Character Implementation – Community

Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Pink Edition by E-122-Psi

Honourable Mention –  Big the Cat in Sonic the Hedgehog by E-122-Psi

Best Boss Design – Judged

Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Epilogue by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Best Boss Design – Community

Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Epilogue by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Judged

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Community

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  SNOLF: Tournament Edition by drmelon

Most Potential – Judged

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Most Potential – Community

Sonic 1 Definitive by RadiantNexus Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic the Hackable – Splash Hill Demo by CHRdutch

Most Improved – Judged

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic the Hackable – Splash Hill Demo by CHRdutch

Most Improved – Community

Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team

Honourable Mention –  Sonic the Hackable – Splash Hill Demo by CHRdutch

3D CATEGORY  

Best Visual – Judged

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Honourable Mention – Sonic ’06 – Emerald Coast by Nonami

Best Visual – Community

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Honourable Mention – Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

Best Audio – Judged

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Best Audio – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Best Technical – Judged

Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC Restoration by DeaTh

Honourable Mention – Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Technical – Community

Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC Restoration by DeaTh

Honourable Mention – Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Level Design – Judged

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Best Level Design – Community

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Most Entertaining – Judged

Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Most Entertaining – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Most “WTF?!” – Judged

Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Honourable Mention –  Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

Most “WTF?!” – Community

Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Team Entry – Judged

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Sonic Riders DX by Extreme Gear Labs

Best Team Entry – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

Best Multiplayer Entry – Judged

Sonic Riders DX by Extreme Gear Labs

Best Multiplayer Entry – Community

Sonic Riders DX by Extreme Gear Labs

Best Character Implementation – Judged

Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Character Implementation – Community

Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

Honourable Mention –  Sonic 06 Definitive Experience by brianuuu

Best Boss Design – Not Awarded in Judged or Community

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Judged

MISSION REPLACEMENT: SA1 Gamma-Timer Variant over Kill X Many Missions by Twilord

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Community

MISSION REPLACEMENT: SA1 Gamma-Timer Variant over Kill X Many Missions by Twilord

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Most Potential – Judged

Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

Honourable Mention – Shivery Mountainsides by Goalringmod27

Most Potential – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

Most Improved – Judged

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Sonic Forces Re-imagined – SHC 2021 Demo by brandonj

Most Improved – Community

Sonic Forces Overclocked – Freight Frenzy DEMO – SHC2021 Edition by TheDuckDealer

Honourable Mention – Dash Adventure 2 by Revenir

2DPC CATEGORY  

Best Visual – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Best Visual – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Audio – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Best Audio – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Technical – Judged

Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Best Technical – Community

Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Honourable Mention – SONIC CD: EPISODE METAL by jackelzxa

Best Level Design – Judged

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Honourable Mention –  Sonic The Hedgehog: Lost Island Demo by CartoonsAnimate22

Best Level Design – Community

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Honourable Mention –  Sonic The Hedgehog: Lost Island Demo by CartoonsAnimate22

Most Entertaining – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Most Entertaining – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Most “WTF?!” – Not Awarded in Judged or Community

Best Team Entry – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Best Team Entry – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic the Hedgehog Forever by Team Forever

Best Multiplayer Entry – Not Awarded in Judged or Community

Best Character Implementation – Judged

SONIC CD: EPISODE METAL by jackelzxa

Best Character Implementation – Community

SONIC CD: EPISODE METAL by jackelzxa

Best Boss Design – Judged – Not Awarded

Best Boss Design – Community

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Judged

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone – Community

Mystic Cave Zone Mania-fied by campbellsonic

Most Potential – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic The Hedgehog: Lost Island Demo by CartoonsAnimate22

Most Potential – Community

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Honourable Mention – Sonic The Hedgehog: Lost Island Demo by CartoonsAnimate22

Most Improved – Judged

Sonic 2 Mania SHC2021 Demo by AChickMcnuggie

Ian Flynn Consulting on Sonic Prime

We’ve known for a little while that Sonic comics scribe Ian Flynn has at least been informed about Sonic Prime’s production since before it was publicly announced. We now have a better idea as to the extent of his involvement in the show’s production, thanks to a tweet by Man of Action writer and artist Duncan Rouleau.

He confirmed that Flynn has been consulting on the project and “has been invaluable.” This confirms that, at the very least, Man of Action is actively seeking input from creators who have experience with the franchise. Here’s hoping that bodes well for Sonic Prime’s quality!

Sonic Prime is being produced by Man of Action and Wildbrain, and is expected to hit Netflix sometime next year. Thanks goes to Alex Hedgefox over on our Discord server for the news tip!

TSS @ SHC 2021: Sonic Forces Re-Imagined

It seems like any Sonic Forces mods seeking to improve the base game’s content had hit on two solutions: increase level length, and up the fan service. If today’s entry proves anything, it’s that this is definitely a winning formula. Sonic Forces Re-imagined, a mod by Brandonj, significantly alters Arsenal Pyramid and Sunset Heights. 

My biggest issue with Sonic Forces has always been rooted in the length of individual levels. Levels often felt like they ended just as they were getting going, which kept them from leaving much of an impression. Because the levels are so short, the levels themselves often didn’t have time to mix up or add variety to their design, or to iterate on game play ideas. Reimagined fixes this by doubling the length of these levels, giving them more room to breath, and they’ve never felt better!

Arsenal Pyramid significantly expands on the area outside of the pyramid itself. There are way more opportunities to mix and match Sonic and the avatar’s abilities to both move through the stage and deal with enemies. Quickly figuring out whether to use Sonic or the avatar’s abilities in certain situations felt great, and the way the level used both Sonic and the avatar to provide multiple paths and traversal options lends some nice depth to the stage that was missing before. 

Sunset Heights got an even cooler makeover. While the start of the stage is largely unaltered, a whole additional portion has been added at the place where it typically ended. What follows is a series of side-stepping chase sequences as airborne Badniks try to bomb you. Then, you get to face Infinite’s Shadow apparition, as he pops up in several parts of the stage and tries to do damage to you. Finally, there’s an awesome and challenging rail grinding sequence, before the stage finally ends. Not only is Sunset Heights more satisfying to blast through now, but it also gives us the showdown with fake Shadow that the original game failed to deliver on. 

This mod does currently have a few issues, unfortunately. The altered levels appear to be poorly optimized, resulting in a lot of frame rate issues on higher settings, something I don’t usually see on my PC. Arsenal Pyramid has a few spots in boost areas where I can accidentally get caught on geography or miss springs, though this is an issue can be avoided by remaining towards the center of the path while boosting. The gear platforms inside the pyramid itself also seem to be slow to move to allow progression.

These minor issues aside, Sonic Forces Re-imagined is pretty great. These level alterations are quite natural, and make them feel far more complete. I didn’t finish these levels wanting something longer or more substantive. I’m happy to see Sonic Forces becoming more popular in the modding scene, and I’m excited to see where this project (and Overclocked, which I wrote about earlier in the week) go. Superb work!

You can download the mod here. Go to the Sonic Hacking Contest website for information on how to install the mod.

TSS @ SHC 2021: Sonic the Hedgehog Blastless DX

I’m relatively new to the world of PC Sonic hacks. As I’ve never been much of a PC gamer, I never had much inclination to check out PC-only Sonic hacks until I decided to help cover last year’s Sonic Hacking Contest. Sonic ROM hacks are a different story, however. I’ve been exploring those for nearly a decade now, on my actual SEGA Genesis, through my Mega Everdrive or SEGA CD, as I’ve always loved the novelty of seeing these games running on my actual, ancient gaming hardware. I’ve played some true technical marvels over the years, but I don’t think any have impressed me quite as much as Vladikcomper’s Sonic the Hedgehog Blastless DX. An improved version of an April Fools hack released earlier this year, Blastless DX is a technological showcase with a fun premise: Sonic 1 has “lost” its blast processing, and the player needs to restore it.

Before getting into the game, I’ll explain exactly what “blast processing” is, in case you don’t know. It was a fancy marketing term SEGA of America used to highlight the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive’s CPU speed, which was faster than the Super Nintendo, making speedy games like Sonic easier to make on the machine (SNES devs did eventually figure out how to get around this limitation, but it did plague early games like Gradius 3). Faster CPU aside, however, blast processing was little more than a marketing buzzword, and a key part of this game’s joke.

So, what does Sonic 1 look like without “blast processing”? An 8-bit demake, apparently. The central goal of the hack is to restore “blast processing” by filling up a blast processing bar in the bottom right of the screen, and keep it from emptying until the end of the level. Doing this successfully will “restore” an act, and essentially replaces the chaos emeralds, which can’t be gathered here. The bar can be filled up by gathering rings, destroying enemies, and smashing breakable walls. The bar is emptied whenever damage is taken, downgrading the game’s visuals to less powerful hardware. It’s here where this hack truly shines.

In addition to the 8-bit Master System visuals, there are two lower rungs of visual fidelity, which are reached after taking damage. Getting hit in Master System mode will downgrade visuals to “Atari.” Not the Atari 2600/VCS you’re probably familiar with, but an Atari 8-bit computer (at least, I think, because I know VCS games never looked this good.) Get hit in Atari mode, and visuals are downgraded further, to the colorless, green scale Game Boy. If these visual changes weren’t enough, each graphics mode also has its own music track and sound effects.

These changes are instantaneous, which makes it all the more wild that this actually works on real hardware. I’m used to the more impressive hacks requiring PC emulators, and so the fact that this is all being done with a stock SEGA Genesis absolutely astounds me. And what’s even wilder? This is actually fun to play. It’s more than just a gimmick. It changes how I play the game, and it’s fun. 

Because chaos emeralds are no longer in play and I have incentive to seek out enemies and breakable objects, I actively seek that stuff out in the level. The blast processing bar is constantly draining, so I’m incentivized to both try to get through a level quickly, and also clear that level out as thoroughly as possible. Taking damage also carries different penalties, since it can result in multiple visual downgrades, which makes filling the blast processing bar before the end more difficult.

And the visual modes themselves look and sound really cool. The 8-bit mode looks like an 8-bit demake of Sonic 1 that’s graphically taxing the hardware, with accurate looking sprite art and loads of sprite flicker for moving background objects. The accompanying music tracks sound like genuine downgrades, but are also kind of catchy in their own ways. The Atari mode is probably the least impressive of the graphical modes to me, though that might be because I’m not very familiar with how those games looked and sounded, but it at least looks noticeably different and less advanced visually. Game Boy mode is thoroughly impressive, bringing Sonic 1 down to something that does kind of look like something from the platform, albeit without much in the way of music.

Perhaps my only real issue with all this is that these modes do include some graphical issues that may or may not be intentional. The sprite flicker might be a little much, and I do wonder if that’s just the Genesis buckling under everything it’s being asked to do. In Game Boy mode, there are brief moments where Sonic himself will disappear. And with every downgrade, in-game text becomes more and more indecipherable. I didn’t find these issues to affect playability much, but if things like sprite flicker bothers you, this hack might not be for you.

A screen from the hidden DOS graphics mode.

On my Tuesday SHC stream, someone in chat told me Vlad is a magician when it comes to coding for the Genesis. It’s kind of impossible for me to disagree on that front. I don’t know how he did it, whether he really managed to get it to switch between multiple kinds of graphics, or if he employed some sort of visual distorter or filter. But regardless of whatever tricks he used, I find them truly impressive, and Blastless DX is easily one of my favorite retro hacks to come out of Sonic Hacking Contest 2021. Check it out!

TSS & SHC 2021: Shivery Mountainside

You know what Sonic Generations had a severe lack of? Proper DLC levels. Thankfully, it’s a Sonic game, so the fan base has provided with loads of mods over the years. Shivery Mountainside by Goalringmod27 is among the latest of these, and I’ve got to say: it’s a fun, fascinating experience…if you’re looking for a challenge that can at times be a little unfair, but also do things regular Generations levels never did.

Shivery Mountainside starts in a cozy log cabin, which acts as a small hub area where players can buy upgrades and lives before setting off on their run down the mountain. It’s here that you’ll notice the start of a trend: the hub is in full 3D. The whole mod is in 3D, in fact. This alone does a lot to set this level apart from Sonic’s official boosting stages.

The demo starts out with a brief, exciting snowboarding section. After Sonic bursts out of his cabin on a snowboard, the player must then boost through hordes of enemies while navigating the mountain’s snowy slopes. There are two paths to take here, as well as some rings for more skilled players to jump through, to get them to grinding paths on top of some cabins. It’s not long before Sonic reaches the town at the foot of the mountain, where he ditches the snowboard and starts running on foot. And it’s here where the fun, and brief bouts of frustration, begin.

Shivery Mountainside’s level design is tailored around the idea of encouraging new and unorthodox utilization of Generations’ physics. Sometimes, to cross a pit, you need to hit the boost button at exactly the right moment to send yourself flying into a set of rings to your next platform. On other occasions, you’ll need to interrupt your momentum with a stomp in order to reach a ring or boost pad. This sort of thinking isn’t always necessary, and sometimes its possible to clear a gap through some other means, like attacking enemies.

It’s pretty cool playing a level like this in Generations, but I must admit it can also lead to…frustrations. One inherent issue in this sort of design is that the level can just be really difficult. When those mid-air boosts become required to survive a pit, messing up their timing results in instant death. 3D platforming was also never Generations’ strong suit, as it can be a bit slippery, so having to navigate a level full of areas like this will inevitably result in a lot of falling into pits. It took me hours of trial and error to fully figure these areas out, and I still mess them up on occasion. This is not the Sonic Generations you’re used to: it does not allow for much margin of error.

All that said, while the level can be quite challenging, that challenge is, for the most part, quite fair, and makes mastering this level exhilarating. It is only when you reach the ice caverns that the design becomes a little…mean. After navigating a series of narrow ice platforms, you reach a cavern full of red ice. While gorgeous, I found this area very hard to navigate effectively. The lower water path, which was the first one I took, was very confusing to navigate. Even with the big arrows made out of golden rings, I simply found the area unnavigable because, between the red ice pillars and the water, there was no clear path through to an exit. So I simply died repeatedly. I eventually managed to make my way through the area by taking one of its other, optional paths above the water. I did eventually beat the area on the lower path, but I’m still not entirely sure how I did it.

Right after this is the second worse area of the level: a curved ice path, with no guardrails, over a bottomless pit, that leads directly to a wall-running section with bombs that are impossible to dodge, at least with my human reflexes. I eventually managed to get past this part by slow walking on the path, and then activating a new power up introduced in this mod, “time break.” This slows down time, which allowed me to avoid the bombs, and finally beat the cavern section of the level. While these areas are quite beatable, especially after some trial and error, I do hope they are redesigned somewhat. Nothing breaks a Sonic level’s flow more effectively than having to worry about getting confused by the level itself, or having to slow walk on a path to avoid falling off. I do think this goes a little beyond the sort of challenge one should expect from a Sonic boost level.

All of these criticisms aside, Shivery Mountainside truly is a standout Generations mod. Its got great visuals and a superb music track that’s still stuck in my head. It’s only six minutes long, but I’ve already spent hours on it, trying to perfect all the tricks and find all the shortcuts. Even in my latest playthrough, which I did while I was writing this, I managed to reach some extra lives by boosting through rings that I hadn’t been able to get through before. If you’re hungry for a new Sonic boost level, check this out!

You can download the mod here. For instructions on how to implement hacks, check out Sonic Hacking Contest’s website here.

TSS @ SHC 2021: Sonic Forces Overclocked

It’s Sonic Hacking Contest time again, and you all should know what that means: hands-on articles for a bunch of mods from lots of awesome fans!

SHC 2021 has a lot of entries worth checking out, but Duck Dealer’s Sonic Forces Overclocked demo, “Freight Frenzy,” is definitely one of the most ambitious. Acting as both a remix of the original game’s levels, and a sequel to its storyline, this mod features original voice work, still-frame hand-drawn cutscenes, a remixed music track (composed by Landy & Tabebo and featuring vocals by Cisconic) and a newly designed level based on Sonic Force’s “Spaceport” stage. 

The production values are pretty solid, especially for a fan work. The voice acting is good, the hand-drawn cutscenes tell this demo’s little story effectively, and the remixed track is just as catchy as anything from the original game. On the whole, it’s really impressive work, and not at all the sort of thing I’d expect out of SHC. But as impressive as all this stuff is, it’s the new level that sits at the heart of this mod.

While I never hated Sonic Forces, its level design could certainly be overly simplistic and lacking in any true set pieces. This is something Freight Frenzy aims to fix and it mostly succeeds. This level is meaty, with a length of about five to six minutes, which is perfect for a Sonic stage. It features several areas and obstacles meant for specific wisps, like drill and hover, which provide some nice traversal options.

The mod also employs a neat gimmick: dodging Dr. Eggman’s many freight trains. These were wasted in the original Forces, but here they provide a very nice level gimmick On the whole, this level has a superb flow, and is more engaging than any of the avatar stages from the original game. That said, there are some problems.

This demo features its own omochao. Attack it, and it’ll remind you it has a chainsaw for an arm.

One of the freight train obstacles doesn’t telegraph things well. Players have to leap off rails three times in a row to avoid oncoming trains, and there is literally no time to react before the trains hit and kill you. I had to memorize which direction to dodge, and I just started pressing the button to leap over to another rail before the next train even came into view. Anything else simply resulted in getting hit. The final train obstacle can also result in a cheap death, because if you don’t successfully dodge all the trains and hit the speed boosts at the end, a train you have no idea is coming will run you down from behind.

Memorization is critical to Sonic game play. These games are built to accommodate that, with their forgiving health systems and checkpoints. But these bits of SFO don’t really feel fair, even by Sonic standards. Players need to be given more lead time during the first segment I mentioned. I’d also just prefer if the final segment where the train comes at you from behind was simply automated, instead of dependent on hitting speed boosts that are a little too easy to miss.

Finally, the segment where players need to sidestep on top of several trains is just sort of broken. Side-stepping is sticky and slow here for some reason. Hopefully, Duck Dealer will be able to sort out whatever the issue is here, though some memorization does get you passed it.

I think once SFO fixes these issues, it won’t just be a fun hack, but a prime example of what Sonic Force’s avatar stages should’ve been: meaty stages with lots of wisp-centric traversal options and Sonic Generations-quality gimmicks. As it stands, it’s still a very fun, impressive mod, and more than worth checking out for anyone who owns Sonic Forces.

Overdrive is an ongoing project, and the mod promises more is coming in the future. I can’t wait!

Check out the Sonic Hacking Contest website for the mod, as well as instructions on how to implement it, here. You can find the mod here.

Lee Majdoub to Reprise Agent Stone in the Sonic 2 Movie

It’s National Coffee Day, apparently, and the Sonic Movie twitter account decided to mark the occasion with a tweet featuring latte art revealing that Lee Majdoub would be returning in the Sonic movie sequel as Dr. Robotnik’s loyal henchman, Agent Stone.

This isn’t terribly surprising, as he was spotted on set months ago, but I guess it’s official now. Check out the latte art below!

G-Fuel Releasing Another “Sonic-Inspired” Energy Drink Flavor

G-Fuel has been doing…a lot with their Sonic partnership, and thankfully their latest product at least isn’t chili dog flavored. This new flavor is called “Party Punch.” Aside from being adorned in 30th anniversary imagery, and probably being punch flavored, we don’t know much else about this.

If you absolutely can’t wait for this new flavor, there is a waitlist you can join.

Strange Sonic Colors Ultimate Glitch is Real, and Makes Colors a Little Too Bright

It looks like Sonic Colors Ultimate is having a bit of a rocky launch. Though we have had a rather pleasant experience with it so far, the Sonic community has been finding and documenting numerous glitches within the game, both large and small. We’ve experienced a few of these smaller glitches, as Dreadknux noted in his review, but there’s been a particularly bad Nintendo Switch glitch that has been garnering lots of attention and controversy.

The controversy stems from allegations that these glitches are being faked in Yuzu, a Nintendo Switch emulator. While that certainly has been true for a few, the most notable Switch glitch (which I like to call the “rainbow Sonic” glitch) is most definitely real, and I have just been able to confirm it.

So how is this glitch activated? It requires a few steps. Firstly, all six worlds need to be unlocked. Secondly, the player has to enter and immediately exit a minimum of four separate worlds. The glitch gets worse when this is done six times. From there, playing any stage appears to activate the glitch. After completing or exiting a stage, the glitch appears to immediately deactivate, and the second step needs to be redone to reactivate it.

If you suffer from epileptic seizures, we do NOT recommend doing this, as lots of flashing lights can be involved. If you don’t, the experience can be…trippy. Characters can glow bright colors, Sonic’s model can be swapped with a shark torpedo badnik, graphics can disappear and become corrupted. Some speculate that it could be a memory leak, though no one at Sonic Stadium has the expertise to say that with confidence.

We’re not linking to a video right now, but this should give you an idea of what it’s like.

What we can say, is that it appears to be a glitch that is difficult to activate by accident. Four people on our staff have access to the Switch version, and none of us have come across it by accident. I had to follow instructions online to activate it.

You should be able to exit and enter a world up to three times without activating the glitch. The Switch this was tested on was a launch model, and was downloaded onto a SanDisk Ultra 10 speed SD card. We haven’t tested it on the Switch’s internal memory as of this writing.

Sonic community Manager MiniKitty has confirmed that a patch is in the works, and that the development team is listening to feedback while assessing it. Hopefully, this glitch will be among the ones addressed.

Sonic Colors Ultimate’s Red Star Rings Aren’t Where You Might Remember

Sonic Colors Ultimate, which becomes available to anyone who bought the digital deluxe copy today, brings a lot of changes big and small to the classic Wii game. One change we are only just now finding out about comes from the locations of the red star rings, the original game’s primary (optional) collectible. So anyone who thought they’d be able to rely on memory or old guides to collect them all will need to do it the old fashioned way for a bit! While many rings are where they used to be, others have been moved, and replaced with park tokens.

This was something I personally came to realize just a few hours ago, while trying to collect them all from Planet Wisp Act 2. A few had been moved around, including the final one, which now requires the Jade Ghost wisp to access.

The red star rings are required to unlock levels in Game Land, which is a set of additional levels that can be played in single player or co-op. Beating these levels is how you unlock Super Sonic. We’ve got more Sonic Colors Ultimate content coming down the pipe, so stay tuned to Sonic Stadium!

Sonic Colors Ultimate Music Heading to Tokyo Game Show

The Tokyo Game Show will be holding a concert featuring video game music called “Tokyo Game Show FES” to commemorate its 25th anniversary, and Sonic Colors Ultimate will be among the games featured.

The Sonic Colors Ultimate portion of the concert will take place at Stage 01 at 5:00 PM JST on October 2.

SAGE 2021: Hands-on With Sonic the Hedgehog Classic 2, a Fan Game a Decade in the Making

It’s always awesome to see a long-time Sonic fan project reach its conclusion, and this year’s SAGE has brought us the completed release of a great one: Hez’s Sonic the Hedgehog Classic 2. Having been in development for more then a decade, Classic 2’s road to completion has been a long one. As a Sonic fan hungry for more classic content, it’s come at just the right time for me.

Continue reading SAGE 2021: Hands-on With Sonic the Hedgehog Classic 2, a Fan Game a Decade in the Making

SEGA Releases Sonic Colors Web Comic UPDATE: Now in English!

It looks like Sonic Colors Ultimate is getting more than just a web series: Sonic’s Japanese Twitter account has released a three page web comic! At the moment, the comic is only available in Japanese, but Kazuyuki Hoshino has confirmed that an English translation will be released soon. This web comic is considered “episode 1,” so there will be more.

We’ll be sure to update this post with the English translation when it becomes available! Until then, check out the web comic below:

UPDATE: We’ve now got English pages!

SAGE 2021: Sonic Riders X Hands-On

It always fascinate me which aspects of Sonic’s game library engender nostalgia in fans. I got to say: I did not expect the Sonic Riders series to be one! This year’s SAGE plays host to not one, but two Sonic Riders projects, and I decided to take a look at one of them. I enjoyed the original and its weird, creative mechanics back in the day, though I didn’t love it (and I was never great at it). So while I’m familiar with it, I’m hardly an expert at its mechanics, so please keep that in mind!

Continue reading SAGE 2021: Sonic Riders X Hands-On

Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps Part 2 Out Now!

The second half of SEGA’s Sonic Colors short, Rise of the Wisps, is now out on YouTube. The short voice work from Roger Craig Smith and Kate Higgins, and writing from Tyson Hesse and GGDG. It was animated by Yeti Farm Creative.

Check it out on YouTube here, or watch it below:

SAGE 2021: Emerald Ties is the Next Classic Sonic Experience You’ve Been Waiting For

There are two types of SAGE games I love: experimental fan games, and fan games that are so good they feel like professional products. When I go into a fan game, particularly an incomplete one, I never expect a polished or thoroughly well-designed experience. So any game that provides those things immediately gets my attention. Today’s game from ph33rtehgd and their team, Emerald Ties, definitely has my attention.

Emerald Ties simply has all the trappings of a great classic Sonic game. The level design is multi-tiered, providing a variety of paths to take through a stage. There are lots of fun platforming gimmicks and level set pieces, like a collapsing level, a badnik that needs to be destroyed and used as a platform, and tiny ice platforms that require precise, quick platforming to be navigated before they fall. The game constantly shifts between speedy bits and areas that require more platforming skill, providing a nice, consistent balance between the two. On the whole, it is exactly what it sets out to be: a really well designed set of classic Sonic levels.

The game features two bosses, Eggman and Fang. Eggman is an effective first level boss, but Fang is definitely a solid fight, and probably one of the best Sonic character boss battles I’ve played, period. The character is constantly shooting, teleporting, and littering the battlefield with landmines, and players have to be constantly on their toes to avoid everything.

Although Emerald Ties is not a Sonic game that seeks to reinvent the wheel, it does polish that wheel until it sparkles, and it tweaks it with some fun little additions. It adds a new “wind shield” which lets Sonic hover left or right for a few moments, which adds a neat little twist to platforming. It also combines both the insta-shield and the drop-dash by delaying the initiation of Sonic’s drop dash by a second. This is an interesting way to enable both moves, and it certainly didn’t interfere with my ability to use the drop dash.

The visuals and music are both top notch. The pixel art for the backgrounds is gorgeous (Fuming Foundry is a personal favorite), and the music from Polar Peak is still stuck in my head even as I write this. The game’s whole presentation is polished and feels professional, which makes its status as a fan game all the more impressive.

Given “Tails Doll,” do we call this “Bark Funko Pop?”

Obviously, Emerald Ties is still incomplete. It lacks cutscenes and the team still has more levels to make. In spite of that, I really only have one issue. The game is definitely a little too easy, with player errors far more likely to result in simply falling to a lower path or losing some rings than losing a life. I almost got through the entire demo without dying once, until Fang put an end to that streak. Still, I prefer “a little too easy” to making things far too difficult, and I’m hopeful that future levels will be a little more challenging.

In short: download this. Play it. Enjoy it. It’s a superb classic Sonic experience. I eagerly await the next demo.

Sonic FCBD Issue Now Available Digitally

Earlier this month, IDW released a new Sonic comic as part of this year’s Free Comic Book Day. That comic is now available to download for free from Comixology!

You can check it out here.

The comic takes place in IDW’s Classic Sonic universe, and largely focuses on Amy Rose as she explores a new hobby. The entire comic is not devoted to this story, however, as the comic also features a recap of the primary IDW Sonic universe, to prepare readers for the road to issue #50.

SAGE 2021: Hands-On With Sonic Red Ridge

Fan games have been at the forefront of Sonic game design experimentation for a long time, and among the most interesting concepts fan have been pursuing is the idea of combining large, open levels with lots of paths with a momentum-based movement system. Games like Sonic Utopia and Sonic GT have made stellar use of the concept, and Tigersonalex’s Sonic Red Ridge has now joined their ranks as another excellent example of the idea, albeit with its own twists that make it feel quite different.

Continue reading SAGE 2021: Hands-On With Sonic Red Ridge

Physical Shipments of Sonic Colours Ultimate Delayed Across Europe and Most Other EMEA Markets

Looks like some people who want to own Sonic Colours Ultimate physically will be waiting a bit longer than expected. SEGA of Europe has announced that unforeseen logistical problems have caused a delay in shipments of the game to most EMEA countries, the only exceptions being Australia and New Zealand. This means that anyone in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa who’s pre-ordered the game won’t be getting it at the same time as the rest of the world.

SEGA of Europe hasn’t yet elaborated on what these logistical problems are, but did specify that this will not be affecting the game’s digital release in these regions. Sonic Colors Ultimate will be going on sale on September 7 in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand, and September 9 in Japan and Asia. Anyone who’s pre-ordered the digital deluxe version of the game will be able to play it September 3.

Stay tuned to Sonic Stadium as this story develops.

First Details, New Characters Revealed for IDW Sonic Mini Series “Imposter Syndrome”

We only found out about IDW’s next Sonic mini series a week ago, and we already have details of what we can expect. The mini series will be tying into the main book and act as part of the “road to issue 50.” According to the solicit, “imposters” of various characters are appearing, spelling trouble for both the heroes and Dr. Eggman. The first issue will be available on November 10.

The characters featured in the cover were likely first hinted at in last year’s Sonic Bad Guys mini series, as mysterious figures hidden in green tanks:

Like last year’s Bad Guys, Imposter Syndrome is being written by Ian Flynn. Check out the cover and solicit below:

SONIC HEDGEHOG IMPOSTER SYNDROME #1 (OF 4)

(W) Ian Flynn (A) Thomas Rothlisberger (CA) Mauro Fonseca

The ROAD TO #50 continues here! Enjoy a TEN-ISSUE long adventure leading up to the EPIC SHOWDOWN in milestone issue #50.

A surge of imposters spells trouble for Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, and even Eggman! Dr. Starline is pulling every tool from his kit as he creates his fastest and smartest inventions. An all new mini-series from Sonic writer Ian Flynn, Imposter Syndrome #1 will have readers seeing double!

In Shops: Nov 10, 2021

SRP: 3.99