The following review had the potential to be the most pointless thing I’ve ever written. Normally, a review is to help you decide whether or not to buy the game, but let’s be real here; if you’re at The Sonic Stadium, you’ve bought the game. You more than likely love the game. That being the case, I’m going to be more thorough than your typical TSS review, like how I review on Sonic Retro.
Who saw this one coming?
In an unprecedented move that will surely leave a few people scratching their heads, SEGA told MCV today that they will no longer be selling Sonic games that receive “poor or average” Metacritic scores at retail. So… basically… every game released in the last decade? *rimshot*
I wish that were me making a joke, but it legitimately looks like every Sonic game we’ve seen recently will be vanishing from store shelves. SEGA’s SVP of EMEA Jurgen Post said the following:
We have to do this and increase the value of the brand. This will be very important when more big Sonic releases arrive in the future.
We could make a lot of money on back-catalogue Sonic titles, but let’s keep the number of Sonic games available under control. Otherwise you can have cannibalisation. If there are ten Sonic games on the shelves, with people seeing Sonic Rush DS or Sonic Rush Adventure, this may not help our overall strategy.
Out of all the crap released in Sonic’s recent memory, the Rush games have been critical highlights and fan favorites. The Metacritic average for Sonic Rush is 82. Last time I checked, 82 is a damn fine score. Why single these two games out? There are way worse Sonic games to make examples of. If Sonic Rush is cited as “average,” it looks like everything will be disappearing.
With this news, what does that mean for recent critical bombs, like Sonic Adventure for XBLA and PSN? Will they be going away soon as well? We will keep tabs on this situation as it moves forward.
For now, SEGA’s plan is to appeal to the core fanbase from the 90s and the young crowd with their upcoming holiday release schedule while curtailing the sheer amount of Sonic games available.
“Colours will play well to our younger Sonic fanbase, but should also appeal to the older fans once they realise there are no unwanted surprises,” added brand director David Corless.
“It’s the first console title for a while that’s clearly influenced by Sonic’s platform past but also keeps the series moving forward with new ideas and innovations that complement that legacy. Sonic 4 on the other hand is old school and primarily for those core fans who remember the originals. But there are also a number of younger gamers who’ve recently discovered the classics on the iPhone or XBLA, PSN and WiiWare so it’ll appeal to them as well.”
So, they’re making games targeted at specific audiences that should appeal to both audiences. Yeah.
Original Story: MCV
EDIT: The guys at NeoGAF have made a list of the games that will remain on store shelves. Keep in mind that this is speculation at the moment:
OK, just looking through metacritic, these games are being pulled (current gen only):
Sonic the Hedgehog 2006
Sonic and the Black Knight
Sonic Classic Collection DS
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
Sonic Rivals 2
and these are staying:
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Sonic Rush Adventure
Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection
We at The Sonic Stadium have been informed of the passing of former SatAM and Sonic Underground writer, Ben Hurst. His age at the time of his passing was believed to be in his mid-50s. Continue reading SatAM Writer, Ben Hurst, Has Passed Away
A few days ago, I showed you what Bark would look like if were to return in Sonic and Sonic SEGA Sonic All-Sonic Stars Sonic Racing featuring Sonic. Xamoel has uploaded two new bits of concept art, showcasing his vision of what the Chaotix and Omega would be riding in the game:
That little ditty at the end gets me every time. (If this joke goes over your head, there’s probably a YouTube video of Lost Labyrinth: Act 2 still around.)
BONUS VIDEO: The now infamous mine-cart has made its way to WarioWare: D.I.Y:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSQKWNuCLNw[/youtube]
Apple App review site Appolicious is reporting that Sonic 2 will be hitting the app store sometime next week for $5.99. They have a preview up on their website, discussing the games features, or lack thereof in a few cases.
What’s missing from the port of Sonic 2 that was in Sonic 1? Well, the fullscreen option, as the preview only says that a windowed version is available:
The first thing you’ll notice is how strikingly similar Sonic 2 is to the original game; while the first iPhone game had two view options, a full-screen mode and a slightly smaller screen (which also offered sharper graphics), this version only has the smaller view.
While that’s a bit of a downgrade (some people don’t care for stretched graphics), the controls are apparently more responsive than the port of Sonic 1:
While the first game was quite successful and for the most part critically acclaimed, there was a common complaint about the buttons not being responsive enough. This doesn’t seem to be an issue with Sonic 2, though, as the game plays remarkably close to the original (though I do acknowledge it’s been a few years).
The reviewer also said that it was hard to preview the game due to the nostalgia washing over him. Color me surprised that he hasn’t had the opportunity to play Sonic 2 on the millions of other devices that it has been ported to. I hear it’s going to be on SkyNet in 2020 before it takes over the world. At least it will be fun for a little bit.
Ports of the Genesis games have been widely reported to have instances of lag. Will this port fix that issue? With the track record of quick and easy SEGA ports, I doubt it. Yet, it will sell thousands.
UPDATE: PocketGamer is reporting that Tails is axed from this release. We all figured that 2-player mode wouldn’t make it due to the nature of the iPhone, but to have Tails not even be an option is puzzling, especially with the two-tailed fox on the cover. PocketGamer has contacted SEGA for comment.
And I agree, commenters. It’s nice to have something to talk about this week. It has been a slow-go for Sonic anything the past two weeks.
Kind of pointless, what with all the leaking and shit, but if you want some high res media of GreenSplash Hill and its boss, SEGA has released some screenshots today. Check out the gallery below:
Man, do you remember when the first screen of this boss was leaked and a majority of you guys thought it was fake? Remember when you thought everything leaked was fake? Oh, memories.
Submitted to us by Xamoel from DeviantArt comes a concept piece for the return of an old friend in Sonic & Sonic SEGA Sonic All-Sonic Stars Sonic Racing featuring Sonic:
Brings back memories of the old Aurora Icefield. The only music to fight to:
Yeah, this video is two years old, but I just found it today. I died a little inside. Come join me, will you?
Via our friends at UK:R, we have links to two different pairs of Sonic underpants that you can purchase and show off to ladies everywhere. The first pair is from ASOS and is only available in “extra small” (waist size 28-30) It was recently discounted to £4.00. Bulge not included:
The second pair of underpants is on eBay and runs for £11 (~$17) and is only available in large (waist size 34-36). Here’s the listing’s description:
You are looking at a super cool, SEGA official merchandise, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG cotton boxers/briefs. They have an elasticated waist. It is made from 100% cotton and machine washable.
If, like me, you loved playing the Sonic games on the Megadrive when you were young then don’t miss your chance to own a super funky pyjama bottom – you will cherish it forever! It will make a super gift for a trendy guy that appreciates all things retro!
If you want in on this action, there are only two remaining.
Here’s some crap, Easter-heads. I hope you’re celebrating with friends and family today. If you’re displaced from those people for one reason or another (like I am right now by being in Minnesota on business), then you’ve come to the right place? Let’s be bored, eat Reese’s Eggs and watch some dumb videos.
Sonic Easter Eggs:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb7tbmeewNo[/youtube]
That Easter Bunny ain’t no good. Sonic delivers those eggs, bronik:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1PbXya2mnc[/youtube]
“I have plushies and a camera. That means I should make a YouTube video. Everybody wants to see that:”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spcqb0HNnAs[/youtube]
“Yeah, I misspelled Easter in the end credits, so Happy Easter:”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqE-x7kAxQ[/youtube]
A lot of you probably have already seen the first season of “Sonic X” many times and own the DVDs, but hey, why not watch it again on your computer?
Today, Hulu has uploaded the entire first season! Currently, the episodes are only in Japanese with English subtitles that you can switch on and off with Hulu’s closed-captioning feature. Hulu will be working with 4KIDS to obtain the English-dubbed episodes. In addition, if you’re outside the United States, you will be locked out from watching them.
The University of Manchester “Korfball” team (linkage here if you said, “what the fuck is Korfball?”) loves to play Korfball and have team socials. With all that partying, the kids have to mix it up every once in a while, eh? At their most recent social, they decided to all dress up like Sonic.
Here is the result of college students, lots of alcohol, and blue paint:
The man who submitted the photos to UK: Resistance says that these photos were the least incriminating. Save us all.
Some dude at Sonic Retro named “infinity” has managed to get a hold of the Sonic 4: Episode 1 soundtrack and has posted it at SoundCloud. These are not fake and not an April Fools. We will not be posting the actual files here, but if SEGA wants us to take the link down, then we will comply as always.
UPDATE 1: The “ending theme” has been added to the page.
UPDATE 2: The soundtrack has been pulled from the link below. Again, we will not be hosting the files here, but I’m sure somebody you know downloaded the whole thing. Ask around if you still want to listen. I recommend not hosting them though, because SEGA is making their rounds. I’m all for discussing leaked material, but not distributing it.
YouTube user serbadork has done us all a favor(?) and made a video version of the wildly popular Boxer Hockey series of Sonic comics. I love the use of “Ren and Stimpy” music!
Be warned, though, your ears may get raped. Somebody doesn’t know how to read a peak meter. Clip clip clip clip…
Thanks to DVD Smith for sending us the quotes and the scan (check the update at the bottom).
British gaming magazine, NGamer, just sent out their latest issue in the mail and within its many pages lies a preview of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. Most of what is detailed within the preview was described to us back when a community member playtested the game a month ago. A lot of people decided to blow off what he said as “fake” or “a bunch of bullshit,” so it wasn’t “truly” confirmed (that’s par for the course when materials are leaked, I guess). Now, we can say that more details that he described have been verified, including a few new ones, like how many episodes will make up Sonic 4!
Here are a few key points in NGamer’s preview:
“The sound effects are pulled straight from the 16-bit days, and both the loading screen and the extra life icons rip their sprites straight from the heart of the nearest Mega Drive”
“The bonus stages, activated by finishing a level with over 50 rings, resemble the mazes from the very first Sonic the Hedgehog, but with a modern twist. Now, instead of reacting to the spin of the maze, the player controls it by titlting the Wii remote. A Chaos Emerald is still the prize, but now Sonic has to fight for his right to even be in the same room as the gem – doors blocking off access have t be removed by collecting a set number of rings.”
“Sonic 4 will be split into three episodes, each containing four zones of three acts (and a boss) apiece.”
“Act 3 of Splash Hill Zone is the only act to take place at sunset.”
UPDATE: DVD Smith has sent us a low-quality scan of the preview. Check it below (click for larger size):
UPDATE 2: Sonic Retro member, Wolf Rogers, has better scans of the screenshots included in the preview. Check out the gallery below:
Guess who’s back. Back again.
Today, in honor of the recent release of Splash Hill screenshots and music, we’ve got a pair of remixes (holy shit, already?). This first one is a “modern” twist on the latest obligatory green zone by remixing it in the style of the Adventure games or Sonic Heroes:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FxHLb5F6GU[/youtube]
Reminds me of Seaside Hill, so big ups on this one. Seaside Hill is my joint. P4KO, nice work on this remix and thanks for sending it our way, bronik.
This next remix of “Green Hill: Part 7,000” is by none other than Gecko Yamori. His interpretation is of the “classic” variety, using the 16-bit sounds found within the Genesis/Mega Drive:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIwQQGOGcCQ[/youtube]
Once again, I am personally wowed at how fan remixes have been making the Sonic 4 songs catchy. I guess I just find the choice of instruments obnoxious in the official tracks, especially the synth. That’s just me, though, so what do you guys think about the music and these remixes?
Do that shit.
What’s the deal with the Steam release?
If you were looking to download the PC version of Sonic and Sonic SEGA Sonic All-Sonic Stars Sonic Racing featuring Sonic yesterday, you might have already seen the date change and have gotten miffed at it. The game’s Steam profile changed the release date, with no announcement whatsoever, to March 2nd.
Previously, the release date was changed to yesterday, the 25th, from its original release date of the 23rd. SEGA and Sumo Digital have not acknowledged the delay at this time and many retailers are listing the PC version “out now.”The Temporal Conduit]
Thanks to Silva Rymes for sending us these photos.
Photos via Wendy Cat’s Flickr.
Seen at AOU 2010 in Japan:
Also, a sweet Sonic costume:
In the U.S., Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog Vol. 3 is now up for pre-order over at Shout! As mentioned in a previous post, it will only be sold online through Shout’s online store.
The price is $29.99 + S&H, and the release date is March 16, 2010.
Beyond the final 22 episodes, the set will include “Sonic Christmas Blast,” and a bonus featurette, “How To Draw Tails.”
Yeah, it’s a downloadable game, but people still make boxart for it. A listing at Nintendo’s website reveals the game’s “boxart.” It’s nothing that you wouldn’t expect, but I figured most of you guys would be interested to see it:
Looks pretty similar to another piece of boxart (amongst other things), if you ask me.[via Nintendo.com]
“NO LONGER MUST WE ENDURE RACING WITHOUT BALLS!!”
Nintendo Power have just released their preview of Sonic Classic Collection in their latest issue (#252) and give an expectedly straightforward preview. It mentions everything that you thought that it would, thanks to the recent string of media that hit the net last week. One thing that sticks out is the preview’s mention of “framerate issues.” Nintendo World Report’s preview also made light of hiccups in the collection’s framerate.
What has yet to be determined is whether these framerate issues are old or new. Yeah, when you had a lot of rings and lost them all, for instance, the originals chugged, but are there new framerate issues as a result of porting? We will find out soon enough.
Check out the scanned image of the preview below:
MaxieDexide sent this in to TSS and I had to double take at what I read. He went to the old Japanese Sonic webpage and had Google translate it. Big’s character description is the best:
Heh, now I have an excuse to post this video. Thanks, Canada:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t73W-LxdjjA[/youtube]
According to Toys ‘R’ Us’ weekly newspaper ad, if you purchase the DS version of Sonic & Sonic SEGA Sonic All-Sonic-Stars Sonic Racing featuring Sonic, you’ll get a free Sonic toy (valued at a whopping $4.99).
The deal only lasts through February 27th until 5 PM.[via Toys ‘R’ Us]
A recurring contest at Kotaku, the “‘Shop Contest” has always produced some quality images that are worth a chuckle. Kotaku staff writer Owen Good is looking for people to Photoshop characters from other IPs into the upcoming SEGA kart racer.
You can use any image that you’d like. Submit them in the comments section of the contest’s page found below.
NBC might be losing over $200 million broadcasting the Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t mean everybody has to. SEGA and Nintendo decided to remind us that the Mario and Sonic series prints money. How good are times at SEGA HQ? Just ask SEGA West CEO Mike Hayes:
“The original Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games was a huge success for SEGA,” commented Mike Hayes, CEO for SEGA America and SEGA Europe. “Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is one of the leading third party games for Wii and DS and we were confident the title would have longevity within retail. The start of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games is a perfect time to ensure SEGA is at the forefront of the consumer’s mind when it comes to recreating that Olympic Winter Games feeling in living rooms everywhere.”
Funny. Not once have I thought of blue hedgehogs and pudgy plumbers while watching the games. Oh, press releases…
Speaking of the Winter Olympics, is anybody here watching them as avidly as I am?! Speed skating and snowboarding have been very entertaining, but nothing is as compelling as the play unfolding in men’s ice hockey. A classic battle between Russia and the Czech Republic unfolds this afternoon, but USA vs. Canada will be in an all-out rivalry game at 7:40 PM EST tonight. Canada, David Backes will run you over.
It has been a busy few weeks for Sonic 4 news. We’ve had more foliage and badniks revealed, a gameplay video leak, and a community member/game localization employee attempt to leak the whole damn thing. We’ve seen more than enough to maybe gauge how much this game is worth to us. So, today’s Sunday Poll deals with the game’s price point.
How much money are you willing to spend on a single episode of Sonic 4? (Prices are in American dollars, since I am American. If you’re British, convert that shit.)
- NEW SAWNIK GAME I WILL PAY ANYTHING RRRAAAAWWRRR
- I felt like giving a joke answer and saying “free.” (aka “Where’s my leak, Endri? A C&D can’t stop you!”)
[via Vaporotem of DeviantArt]
This kind of article is usually relegated to the community blog, but I believe that it is newsworthy enough to sit up here.
One of my fangaming buddies from SFGHQ, Endri (creator of Sonic Attitude), got the chance to play Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. How? He was invited to playtest the X360 version of the game on a Developer’s Console. He had to run in and out, but he managed to post his impressions at Sonic Retro. He will be elaborating further, but here is what he has said thus far (keep in mind that he is from Brazil and English is not his native language):
Early in the morning today, I, and a other few (un)lucky people, had the opportunity to playtest the X-BOX 360 version of the game. In fact, any of you could do it as well, provided you own a Developer’s Console, or a J-TAGed system.
I’ll try to give a very briefely analysis of what were my thoughts about this game.
Graphically (and artistically, I must say), the game is very beautiful, even thought I can’t really eat that celshading effect they put in Sonic’s model, to make it look like a differed shaded Genesis sprite.Something important to notice is that, the 3D models are not really 3D models, instead, they are sprites of pre-rendered 3D models. SO we are pretty much dealing with a 2D game here. That goes for everything else but Sonic, since I’m not sure as if Sonic is really a sprite itself, but I pretty much think it is. THat might explain the akward animations.
The level design. I played through Splash Hill Zone entirely up until Casino Street Zone. Splash Hill ZOne is pretty much Neo Leaf Forest Zone (for those who don’t know, Sonic Advance 2’s first stage). Everything about it looked like Leaf Forest. Hell, even the level art itself reminds Leaf Forest some way or another. The level design pretty much encourages the player to keep going to the right, except when the levels abruptuly decides to force you to go in the opposite direction by inserting unexpected walls, making you jump, jump to the left, jump to the right, keep running to the right. It is especially strange, considering the level layouts encourages you to keep running right. The acts are actually considerably huge in size, but quite short in time, much like Sonic Advance 2 stages. I don’t remember any level especific gimmick on the first stage, which is pretty unfortunate. You gotta love Casino Street Zone, since it’s freaking Casino Night Zone. It’s exactly identical. The colors, the tiles, everything. The level layout however is much like Music Plant Zone from Sonic Advance 2. A level that right encourages speed. Ha, about the Special Stages, they are quite fun actually, it is Sonic 1’s Distorted Dimension, but with a new twist: instead of controling Sonic, you control the stage itself. So yeah, my oversight was right after all. In terms of difficult, I found it harder than Sonic 1’s Special Stages (and provided, they were rathereasy). I belive they are going to be even fun/harder with the motion controls of the Wiimote/Six-axis/DualShock3, since you have to rotate the stage using the trigger buttons in the X-BOX 360 version (RT rotates to the right, LT to the left, etc). Looks like a pinball of sort. Oh, don’t let me get started on the bossfight. You might already imagine how it is by now.
The gameplay is pretty solid, actually. Which is a great thing. However, the game pretty much have the physics of Sonic Rush. I hate I hate I hate I hate I hate, I can’t stress enough how I hate the jump! Fucking jump! It’s the worst jump I’ve ever seem in a Sonic game to date. Apparently they tried to mimic the ‘the longer you hold down the jump button, the longer you accent’ mechanic of the classic games, but as a result, they fucked the freaking cake with it. The jump is all over the place: if you rapidly tap the jump button, Sonic almost don’t jump; if you hold a little and release, Sonic starts accending, but hebreaks to the floor as soon as you release the jump button. If you hold the jump button all the way down, Sonic jumps like if he had touched a spring, he jumps so high and almost no gravity, it’s like you are jumping on the freaking moon. And I thought the jump ing the Rush series was bad. This one is even worse. The jump is so bad that I preffer to keep running right to win really. Don’t let me get started on the spin dash. THe spin dash don’t have enough power, no matter what. It behaves much like Knuckles’ Chaotix spin dash. Running rewards you with much more speed than spindashing.
My final remark of this game? It’s freaking Sonic Advance 2! It’s written Sonic Advance 2 all over the place. It is Sonic Advance 2 all over again. In fact, they could have named this game Sonic High Speed, and I wouldn’t mind it at all. But it is supposed to be Sonic fucking 4. To be honest, the name Sonic High Speed would fit this game better.
I am afraid to say that we are actually dealing with the very final product here, folks. Since the developers already sent the software for the Microsoft Evaluation Proccess. Additionally, the game’s software was sent to ESBR game content analizys team. Considering the game is already been analized and rated by ESBR, the development team cannot overgo any significative change in the game, visually or otherwise, which therefore pretty much means that this is what the game looks like.
I’m in a hurry here, and I’m sorry to not give a better insight on the game, but I’ll make sure to edit this post or whatever, whenever I have the time.
So, to recap:
- Sonic 4 is pretty.
- Sonic 4 plays like Advance 2/Sonic Rush.
- The special stages are the Sonic 1 levels with a twist, rotating the special stage instead of controlling Sonic.
- Spindash… still gimped.
- Casino Street Zone looks exactly like Casino Night Zone.
I’m going to catch up with Endri and talk to him about his playtest. If he posts any more information, I will update the entry here.
Steve “S0L” Lycett, the producer of Sonic and Sonic SEGA All Sonic Stars Sonic Racing featuring Sonic, has been filling us in on the game’s development every step of the way through forum posts and a diary. The fourth entry in his Developer Diary talks about the painstaking amount of work that the art team has had to endure and the capabilities of the game’s “Sunshine Engine.” The work involved when creating the game for each console is discussed as well.
While detailing all of the intricacies of the game, Steve takes us on a tour of the Sumo Digital building. Interesting, to say the least. I really want that Virtua Tennis 3 cabinet.
I haven’t checked one of my favorite webcomics, “Brawl in the Family,” in a long time. The guys behind it went on break and forgot to check it again. I went there after finding it in my internet history and found this following gem: