“Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition” Will Test Your Skill, Patience

What started off a joke hack has become so much more.

Everybody knows that Omochao is annoying, but only one man has the balls to make an entire ROM hack out of it.  Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition is an exercise in obnoxious from Sonic Retro staffer Cinossu that injects Sonic Team’s favorite floating tutorial into the classic Sonic experience.  While many people will be initially turned off by Omochao’s presence, there is much more to this hack than meets the eye, as it fundamentally changes the entire Sonic the Hedgehog experience.

The hack’s premise is to avoid being annoyed.  See that ring?  Don’t touch it.  See that badnik?  Don’t touch it.  If you do, Omochao will pause the game to inform you of your miniscule accomplishment and play the 1-up fanfare.  With every object you touch, the fanfare becomes longer and longer, making you reach for your emulator’s fast-forward key.  There have been many “don’t touch stuff” Sonic hacks in the past, requiring players to have lightning-quick Sonic skills and an intense amount of patience, but this one bests them all.

At this point, you’ll either be so annoyed that you switch off or be compelled to power through Green Hill without touching anything to collect the game’s medals and rewards.  While it sounds impossible in theory, Cinossu and his testers have been thorough, finding the optimal paths that require the least amount of item contact.  There is a way to beat the stages, but you have to stop, think and be smart about it, using the tight controls and level design present in the original Sonic the Hedgehog.  If there is a section where item contact is necessary, the game gives you an “Omochao Protective Shield” that allows you to progress without being disturbed.

Also, check out this “perfect” run of Labyrinth Zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition is more than a novelty, as it brings more than a patronizing robot to the table.  You’ll be able to select any stage from the outset (presented in a well-designed hub world) and medals and rewards for perfect play.  If you can get over the initial annoyance of the hack, the additions and improvements reward players for dedicated play and elevates this hack above other “joke” hacks that lose their appeal after a few minutes.  Future updates will give Omochao a voice through Cinossu’s SonMP3 plug-in, additional levels and Retro Channel support, allowing players to share their frustration online.

As noted, this hack is not for everyone, but if you want to give it a shot and avoid Omochao, here’s what triggers his prompts:

  • Collecting Rings
  • Item Monitors (doubly bad, as each individual item inside will also bring up a message)
  • Invincibility Running Out
  • Power Sneakers Running Out
  • Extra Lives
  • Destroying Badniks
  • Bouncing on Springs
  • Stepping on or Pushing Objects on Buttons
  • Getting Hit
  • Getting Killed
  • Drowning
  • Getting Game Over (will also eject you from the level and reset your saved Emerald Count)
  • Getting Time Over (will also eject you from the level)
  • Touching Lamp Posts
  • Getting the Giant Ring (without a protection shield)
  • Finishing the Act (without a protection shield)
  • Finishing the Zone (without a protection shield)
  • Hitting the Boss (without a protection shield)
  • Defeating the Boss (without a protection shield)
  • Getting in that Last Hit (without a protection shield)
  • Collecting a Chaos Emerald
  • Touching a GOAL Sign

Good luck.  Download and learn more about Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition here.

TSS Review: Sonic Generations

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.

TALKIN’ ‘BOUT OUR GENERATIONS by Brad Flick

We’ve been celebrating Sonic’s 20th anniversary all year with various online and real-life events, contests and videos. It’s only suitable that a game be a part of the festivities. Sonic Generations is an interactive tribute to the series’ longevity and is one of the most fitting anniversary titles ever to be released. Why? It’s not because classic levels are re-imagined in 3D or that Sonic’s previously portly self is present.

Sonic Generations is fitting because in eerie, yet hilariously appropriate fashion, the game starts off incredibly strong, falters hard and shows a glimmer of hope at the end. It sums up the series’ history so perfectly, allowing you to ride the highs and lows of 20 years in one convenient, 4-hour package.

PREMISE

I don’t need to go into detail on the story. You’re at The Sonic Stadium. You know what the story is and it simply serves as a device to get both Sonics logically in the same game. That’s all a Sonic story should be.

The writing is substantially weaker than Sonic Colors. Tails is your source for exposition, Modern Sonic supplies the most groan-inducing quips in series history and Classic Sonic is endearing as ever, saying more than anyone with simple body language. All of the other characters never say anything of worth and gang-bang you with inane “tips” when you battle Time Eater. The highlights are when the game attempts self-deprecation, riffing on bad decisions and rattling off inside jokes.

Due to the writing, Roger Craig Smith doesn’t turn in a good performance, but Kate Higgins does an admirable job doing two, motor-mouth versions of Tails. Mike Pollock… still untouchable. All of the other voices are garbage. There, I’m done talking about the story and voice acting.

JUDGMENT: Thumbs Up.

FAVORITE SCENE: “That pink water makes me nervous.”

GAMEPLAY AND DESIGN

Follow me here.

The game begins and you’re thrown into a reimagining of Classic Green Hill. If you were born in the eighties, you’ll immediately feel that something is off at the first jump. Is it better than how Sonic 4 handles? Clearly, but it’s still not ideal. The amazing feeling of being in total control of a seemingly out-of-control character isn’t entirely there and it’s an expected let down at this point, yet not game-breaking. Rolling still is abysmal, a disappointing trend that would be rectified with the proper game engine. Spin-dash is back, but it’s ridiculously over-powered, allowing Sonic Team to propel you to a more-than-fast-enough roll where you don’t notice that the walls and loops are scripted and don’t function well (even when you’re near the game’s speed cap).

If you were born in the nineties, you probably won’t notice and life goes on. Everything is great. Nothing is bad.

If you think it’s super funny that the original Sonic the Hedgehog is included to showcase all of Generations’ faults, you’re not alone. It’s super funny. For all the self-deprecation the game’s cut-scenes lay down on the Sonic franchise, the choice to include Sonic 1 is the crown jewel.

It’s Modern Sonic’s turn now. This time, you’re not looking to 1991 for gameplay, you’re looking all the way back to… 2008 to Sonic Unleashed. Yeah, you thought I would say Sonic Colors, right? Well, unfortunately, Generations’ base is the Unleashed engine, as the welcome, minor improvements made to Modern Sonic in Colors are absent. Platforming at low speeds in 3D is, of course, a mess and doesn’t belong. The amount of moves Modern Sonic has to perform at such an insane speed also muddles the experience. Modern Sonic is at his strongest in 2D or when in an area that focuses on the “quick step.” Those two kinds of sequences are when Modern Sonic is at his absolute best.

Again, if you grew up with Sonic in his current incarnation, you’re none the wiser. It’s another happy day in the park for you.

Now, all of these issues are alleviated with thorough practice. Like, dude, I’m the best Sonic R player around and that game controls like a fresh turd. It’s such a bad game. Why am I so good at it then? The presentation in Sonic R has some strange charm that draws me to replay it and, unlike modern games prior to Colors, Sonic Generations has an appeal that can encourage your perfectionist desires (which I’ll elaborate on later). If you can survive all that frustration and memorization, have at it. You’re the man.

You might be asking yourself at this point why I’m focusing so much on flaws. Neither Classic nor Modern Sonic is unplayable. They’re competent, given the series’ history, but I have to highlight the flaws to make the following point: the gameplay of Sonic Generations is not the tale of two hedgehogs. It’s the tale of a developer that understands and then somehow doesn’t understand its own game.

I mentioned earlier that Sonic Generations mirrors the path of the Sonic franchise in terms of quality over time. At the game’s outset, in the Genesis Era of the game, Sonic Team designs its levels in a way that minimizes the amount of times you encounter the game’s shortcomings. If you miss a jump or accidentally fly astray, there are lower paths that catch you that are usually less fun and possess less red rings, but at least you didn’t fall in a pit and die. The levels are wide open and provide enough wiggle-room to accommodate the controls and physics. Green Hill, Chemical Plant and Sky Sanctuary are a blast for both Sonics and feature sprawling paths that require exploration and a bit of screwing around, leaving the player feeling satisfied and wanting to replay them.

In the Dreamcast Era, some things appropriately start to slide, but it remains a fun experience. Bottomless pits, scripted sequences and grind rails start to become a bit more prevalent and the overall pacing of the game is definitely on the fast side of things, as one would expect from the Modern Sonic stages. Hitting all of the highlights, from helicopters to street-boarding, haven’t lost their rush after all these years. Those sequences are as great as you remember them. Seaside Hill has its moments, but it’s kind of forgettable.

But wouldn’t you know it… the Modern Era opens with Sonic 2006’s Crisis City and it’s… terrible? That’s the damndest thing! Ham-fisted platforming meets the dated Sonic model of killing the player for making the slightest mistake. Crisis City Classic is surprisingly neat, but the mixture of gale-force winds and sluggish acceleration will test your patience. Rooftop Run is not memorable at all. I just played the level to specifically insert a moment into this review, but I forgot what it was before sitting back at my computer. Planet Wisp, like Colors to the Sonic series at large, starts to win you back, but it’s somewhat tarnished by its monotonous, near 10-minute length.

The inherent problem with the Modern Sonic stages is that they are just that: Modern Sonic stages. Instead of continuing to design around the limitations in their engine, the designers felt compelled to try and make Modern Sonic levels authentic to their respective source material, where a player’s curiosity will cause Sonic to go flying off into pits or fall through floors. The source material didn’t work in their respective, flawed engines, so why did they think it would work in Generations’ flawed engine? If they would had stuck to simply using a level’s theme and graphics and adapting well to the Generations design, then we would all have less problems.

Even though he’s strictly 2D, Classic Sonic is not immune to issues in the latter half of the game. Modern levels punish the pudgy one for the tiniest misstep, putting crucial platforms just out of horizontal or vertical reach, all above nefarious pits. There are less branching paths and more cheap shots. Again, Sonic Team, your controls aren’t that tight. Design for the engine that you’ve built and not for what you think you have built.

Sonic Generations’ gameplay proves itself to be convoluted through the return of the robot Chao, Omochao. If you need constant text, voice and button prompts during gameplay, that’s bad game design. Video games are best when they illustrate what you have to do through gameplay. If you have to constantly prompt the player to press buttons at all these given times with limited warning, then maybe there are too many actions for the player to handle or you didn’t give them enough time in a controlled environment.

At the main menu, you can turn Omochao and the control tutorials off because we all know he is obnoxious. However, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage during a majority of the boss fights and the modern era stages. You have no idea what to do unless you read a walkthrough or turn Omochao on.

With tutorials/Omochao on, the game is patronizing. Without them, the game doesn’t teach you enough through gameplay. There’s no middle ground. The latter third of the game is one, giant Carnival Night Barrel. Each stage presents its own set of rules and moves, so it’s difficult for a new player to quickly adjust and learn. The biggest offender here is Time Eater. When you approach him, a homing attack reticle appears on his weak spot. Throughout the course of the game, you are taught to press X to attack when you see this reticle. Well, that doesn’t work and the player is left alone in one of the worst boss fights in recent memory.

When you need all of that explanation, you’ve made things too complicated and it noticeably impacts the game’s flow and direction. Maybe that’s why you only lose 25 rings at a time…

JUDGMENT: Thumb Neutral. Like Sonic 4, your mileage may vary depending on your Sonic history and experiences.

FAVORITE PART: Breaking a bridge with Modern Sonic’s stomp in GHZ and uncovering a cool, new path to explore.

LEVEL SELECTION AND GAME NAVIGATION

Since I’m reviewing a compilation title of sorts, the level selection and hub world deserve their own section and verdict.

If you’re like me and in your mid-twenties (or older), you probably feel old knowing that it has been 20 years since the original Sonic the Hedgehog crashed into our living rooms. You know what makes you feel older? The fact that Sonic’s ever-changing, inconsistent modern form has been around longer than the often fawned-over classic design.

Taking that fact into consideration, it’s understandable why two-thirds of the game is post-1998. There are more modern games. What doesn’t make sense is repetition of level tropes. The Genesis Era takes you from a lush, green landscape to an intimidating facility to a ruin adrift in the clear, blue skies. The variety opens a vast well of creativity, giving the player something new to see and do as the game progresses.

After that amazing rush, it gradually comes to a halt. The modern stage selection is also a comment on the last 12 years: same old, tired shit. You’re treated to a city at night, a city at day, a second green “hill,” a city under attack, a foreign city and a green landscape tarnished by industry. I know modern Sonic games have mostly taken place in the “real world,” but I know there are more tropes than green lands and cities in those games. There’s only so many times you can run on the sides of buildings or on scaffolding. It gets boring and screams, “lazy.”

The stage selection seems to be based more on the popularity of the stage’s music more than making Sonic Generations a thematically diverse package.

There’s a real missed opportunity here with Sonic Generations. Instead of more levels, you’re left with challenge levels within the set of 9. These challenges are 90% optional and while some of them are fun and clever, most of them are clearly showing the challenge mode’s “filler” nature. In one challenge, you have to stop what you’re doing, call on Rouge and have her shake her tits to distract robots long enough for you to kill them. Some challenges are that absurd.

Challenges feature many level gimmicks not seen in the main acts. Why aren’t they? They would only enhance the experience on the part of the game that is mandatory. As mentioned earlier, Crisis City Classic was cool, but it needed something else to really bring it together. Well, the challenge stages had level gimmicks, like spikey seesaws, that could’ve really diversified the main act and made it memorable.

The way you get to these challenge levels is a great example of how you don’t create a hub world. Navigating the main acts is great, but you have to ascend awkward ramps, platforms and sometimes text in this Sonic purgatory to reach the multiple challenge doorways. Whatever happened to menus? Not only are the challenges filler but also simply getting to them is a time-sink in itself.

Instead of challenges, Sonic Team could’ve supplied more levels or, better yet, more bosses. There are a pitiful amount of bosses on display here and each one takes very few shots to defeat. Outside of Metal Sonic, the rival battles are confusing without Omochao and only seem to exist to tap into your happy memories for a brief moment. Special Stages are also a huge part of the Sonic legacy and they’re nowhere to be found in Sonic Generations.

JUDGMENT: Thumbs Down.

FAVORITE ASPECT: Selecting levels from a list using “Online” mode.

PRESENTATION

Nobody expects bad presentation from Sonic Team and they continue to deliver with gorgeous graphics and well-produced music.

The graphics are solid, but there’s an iffy texture here and there if you happen to be moving slowly. If you’re playing on the consoles, you’re going to be disappointed at the game’s frame rate. Sonic needs to run at 60 FPS to be successful. At 30, it’s too hard to follow the action and Sonic can become lost in the detailed scenery.

The true champion here is the music. Solid remixes of classic and modern tunes to suit, uh, classic and modern levels ensure that you’re in for an aural treat from start to finish. Each song evokes a past emotion and guarantees that you remember this second visit by adding some additional flair. The option to select from a wide library of other songs is nice (hell yeah, Toxic Caves), but many of the bonus songs sound like MIDI and thrown in without care.

Nostalgia plays a huge role in Generations.

The sheer amount of fan-service in this game is ridiculous. It’s so awesome. Clearly, all of the effort went into this aspect of the game. From the many Easter Eggs, musical cues and classic forms of characters, Sonic Generations might have the most fan-service ever included in a video game.

All of the familiar sights, winks and nods make for one sick nostalgia trip that, upon contact, almost makes you forget all of the game’s flaws. The sense hits some people stronger than others (I mean, look at all those glowing reviews on Metacritic/our forums) and it’s undeniable that most of the game’s appeal lies here. If you’re a die-hard fan of the series, your devotion to useless knowledge will be rewarded here.

I mentioned earlier that I became insanely good at a terrible game like Sonic R because it was presented with such charm. Sonic Generations oozes charm. Despite all the bad things I’ve said about it, the presentational aspect draws me back for brief spurts of play.

JUDGMENT: Thumbs WAY Up!

FAVORITE PART: Fighting Silver the Hedgehog with Palmtree Panic music.

LONGEVITY

Sonic Generations is short, clocking in at 4-5 hours to beat the mandatory sections of the game. Even if you suck at the game during your initial play-through, you’ll probably walk away with B, A and S ranks and a handful of red rings. Deaths are limited to frequent trips to the abyss and that’s all. A level obstacle or enemy will never kill you because you only lose 25 rings at a time. It’s really sad.

Online leaderboards are present, but the real attraction that I don’t see many people mentioning is the “30-Second Trial” mode, where you try and make it as far as you can in 30 seconds. I’ve never experienced a mode in Sonic so addicting. Whoever created this mode deserves a beer or two for actually extending the mileage of a game that was clearly desperate for it. Absolutely genius idea.

But why is there a single save file? Who decided that one save file is a good idea? Fire that person.

JUDGMENT: Thumbs Down.

FAVORITE TIME WASTER: 30-second trials, dude!

CONCLUSION

Everybody is saying that this game “shows great promise for the future” and is “a step in the right direction.” I hate to break it to you, but Sonic Generations is a one-off deal that’ll never be happening again anytime soon. Classic Sonic is going back into the vault and Iizuka is already looking to create a new Modern Sonic. This game only services the present and the past; reminding us of the crazy ride we’ve all been on.

Sonic Team put all of their eggs into the presentation and fan-service baskets to win back the hardcore, yet jaded fans and the fans that haven’t paid attention in years. The marketing for Sonic Generations was nothing like we’ve seen before. It certainly worked. They’re paying attention now.

However, nostalgia is a temporary fix unique to this game, a crutch that Sonic Team has been leaning on for the past few years. Bringing back Classic Sonic, Genesis stages and strictly 2D gameplay does not a good game make. These changes are simply cosmetic. Sonic Generations’ existence is conspicuously born from years of criticism and complaints, but the real ills with Sonic today still weren’t addressed.

The remedy isn’t hermetically sealed in Green Hill Zone and has been apparent for over ten years; Sonic Team has no idea what’s wrong with its games on a fundamental level. Until they realize that tight controls, physics and level design ultimately trump presentation and nostalgia, we’ll continue to be stuck in our own Sonic purgatory.

For having a mostly mediocre existence, Sonic gets an average adventure to celebrate with no indication on where he is headed. Sonic Generations is an inoffensive title that has frequent flashes of brilliance, but is once again hog-tied by legacy issues. Its strongest feature isn’t within the game, but rather, your memories.

See? I told you Sonic Generations was the most appropriate anniversary release.

SECOND OPINION by Shadzter

Sonic Generations is a perfect celebration of Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th Anniversary and fans of both the classic Sonic titles and the modern titles will be happy with Sonic Team’s Birthday efforts. Classic Sonic’s gameplay handles very close to how it does in the original Mega Drive/Genesis Sonic titles and Modern Sonic has been tweaked with controls even tighter than those in Sonic Colours.

All of the game’s nine stages you revisit have been given fresh redesigns with plenty of routes to explore in multiple playthroughs. Add Red Star Rings to collect, 10 missions for each stage (5 per Sonic), rankings and online leaderboards and you’ve got plenty of replay value. Sonic Generations is one of the best Sonic games of all time.

JUDGMENT: Thumbs Up!

FINAL WORDS

THE GOOD

+ Copious amount of fanservice.

+ OMG NOSTALGIA.

+ Amazing graphics.

+ A well-produced soundtrack spanning the series history, even a few of the spin-offs.

+ Layered level design with many alternate paths.

+ The first half of the game.

+ Classic Sonic’s reactions to anything.

+ Great 2D platforming areas for both Sonics.

+ Getting all S-Ranks.

+ 30-Second Trials.

THE BAD

+ Most of the writing.

+ The quality of a few of the alternate music tracks.

+ (Unless you’re a veteran) Convoluted Modern Sonic controls.

+ Drifting.

+ The hub world.

+ Challenges.

+ The latter half of the game’s level design.

+ Lack of multiple save files.

+ The meager selection of stages and bosses.

+ Omochao and his unfortunate, occasional necessity.

+ The lack of difficulty, artificially created by bottomless pits.

+ The short length.

Both the main review and second opinion were based on the PS3 version of the game.

Special thanks to Ian (bmn) for providing the HD game footage.

Mash-Up Monday: Go Go Gadget Mystic Cave

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg8q1BI-c0Y

I’m in an Inspector Gadget mood.  It was my Halloween costume this year.  I had a secret robot arm punch people in the groin.  NBD.

This mash-up is nothing too intense.  Just a simple A/B mash-up with two songs that are already pretty similar.  Mystic Cave and the Inspector Gadget theme work well together.  If Mystic Cave were in Sonic CD, I could see the Japanese version of its theme totally having those “hoo-hoo” vocals in there.

Bonus Beasties:

Submit mash-ups to bradflick AT sonicstadium DOT org.

GameStop Handing Out Sonic CD On Tablets?

Sonic Retro member RGamer2009 snapped this picture at his local GameStop and certainly has all of us confused. He noted:

It seems that GameStop has gotten ahold of the game on their tablets in the store. They said it should be out NOW according to it being on their tablets.

Not only that, but apparently they had the game on a tablet IN THE STORE. I could not play it, as they weren’t set up yet. The tablets were in the back.

For those of you not aware, GameStop will be throwing its hat in the tablet ring this Friday with a line of gaming-centric Android devices. Madden NFL and Dead Space will be included on the tablets, but this image and RGamer2009’s words indicate that Sonic CD will be there, too. The problem is that Sonic CD isn’t currently available and hasn’t had a release date formally announced.

If what RGamer2009 says holds up to be true, then it’s a great move by GameStop to help move yet another line of tablets. Go away, tablets.

A Rad Report From the “Sonic Generations of Skate” Event, Brah

I went to the “Sonic Generations of Skate” on Saturday. It was a thing that happened.

Sega of America, probably in response to past criticism that they “do not advertise their Sonic games enough,” is going balls out with Sonic Generations. We had “Sonic Boom” back in June during E3, a slew of online/print ad campaigns and now a skateboarding competition on the iconic shores of Venice Beach. I’m going to preface the rest of what I’m about to say by mentioning that I didn’t show up until about 3:30 PM. See, every Saturday, I have a commitment to drink beer and watch college football in the afternoon. Standard operating procedure.

I had a friend check out the first half of the show, sending me texts and mobile photos. There was a mobile skate park for kids to trick on (very cool), a gaming tent with many XBOX 360 kiosks and the large half-pipe for the competition. The weather was shitty and remained shitty the rest of the day. Misty and overcast with heavy fog. It was completely different from the partly-cloudy Hollywood I had just driven from. It was unfortunate to have the event run under these conditions, but they powered through it like champions.

The event was like any other skateboard competition that you’d see at Venice or on Fox Sports Net at 2 AM after bowling or f-ing poker.  It just had Sonic Generations advertising, swag and gaming booths. The competition results I won’t comment on because a) I don’t want to spoil it b) I missed most of it and c) I’m lazy. You can watch it on Fox Sports Net on November 25th. Check your local listings. It was cool to see Tony Hawk and other skaters that I only know from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater to perform in person, despite it not being 2001 and my increasing disinterest in skateboarding.  I’ve been on TV crews for sporting events and they were doing a great job keeping things moving and the crowd energized in the bad weather.

Having a good event is key when you’re trying to sell copies of a video game and allowing the skateboarding faithful to check out City Escape and Green Hill in Sonic Generations doesn’t hurt either. There were about a dozen kiosks and SEGA staff on hand to answer questions and meet the media. You could also get some awesome bootleg-looking merchandise with the event logo on it. Totally sketch.

Sonic was on hand to greet those on the boardwalk and lure people in. He posed for photos, presented the trophies and super-fans got to live their sick, deviantArt fantasies by hugging him. He blended in well with the other costumed crazies on the Venice Beach boardwalk. I distinctly remember a pair of 30-somethings dressed as a devil and Princess Leia saying, “Man, Sonic was great 15 years ago!” Who knew boardwalk crazies could say something so coherent and correct?

The rest of the night was also standard operating procedure. When the event’s over, you get some drinks and chat. Right across the street from the event was a hotel with a rooftop bar. If you follow me on the Twitters, you’ll already know the score for the evening. Kellie and I had a great time, Aaron was hella late but he eventually joined the party.  Great night.

That’s it.  Venice Beach is dirty.

Freak-Out Friday: Pimpin’ In the Alley

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox0eToGCy90

There’s a lesser known meme on the YouTube involving this guy dressed in all black, wearing a pumpkin mask and doing a stupid dance.  It’s such a versatile clip, as you can set just about any music to it.  The clip is from the CW affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska (KXVO) and in my four years in that state, I was unfortunate enough to not see this clip live.  College is now officially a failure.

It was brought to my attention last week by a TSS reader because Halloween is quickly approaching (plus, Pumpkin Hill is the jam, okay?).  It definitely deserves a spot here on FoF.

Have a great weekend.

Mash-Up Monday: Who’s Bad in the Launch Base Zone?

DJ Max-E (MaxieDaMan), who was regularly featured here during the last run of Mash-Up Monday, recently returned to YouTube with a healthy offering of Sonic music.  Michael Jackson & Sonic 3 remixes might be the most common Sonic mash-up,  but this one is so well produced that it warrants another trip to Neverland.  It’s not your typical A/B affair and features remixing on both ends, resulting in a natural blend that any DJ would spin on a Saturday night.  It’s only a 1-minute vamp, but this one minute is better than most 2-4 minute mash-ups that you can find out there.

While not a mash-up, Max-E also laid down an original track using Genesis soundfonts called “Combat Night Zone.”  I highly recommend you press play:

That’d be a kickass Mega Man song, too.

Submit mash-ups to bradflick AT sonicstadium DOT org to have them featured here on Mash-Up Monday.

Mash-Up Monday: Prime Unleashed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFlVlguyrn0

See, the good that has come out of a Mash-Up Monday hiatus is that there’s actually mash-ups to post.  This one isn’t of the pop music variety and features boss music from Metroid Prime.  Flaahgra meets Dark Gaia in this tribal drum-heavy mash-up.

Now, you feel accomplished.

Ken Balough Speaks On PartnerNET Version of Sonic CD

Late last month, a game-testing friend of mine hopped on Twitter and talked about what he was going to be testing on PartnerNET that day.  Sonic CD was one of the games and he was disappointed with what was a 4:3, 30 FPS demo with performance issues.  Well, that Tweet made its way around and some confusion ensued, especially since the news of Christian Whitehead’s involvement in the port was made known a few days prior.  (Fact checking, how does it work?)

While the PAX demo of Sonic CD cleared up some of that confusion, Sonic CD Brand Manager Ken Balough gave me a ring this afternoon, wanting to make everything clear.  “The version of Sonic CD developed by Christian Whitehead has never been on PartnetNET.  The PAX version that is widescreen and runs at 60 FPS is the version,” said Balough.

SEGA has been susceptible to PartnerNET leaks in the past, but the version of Sonic CD on the service was never meant to be for private testing, let alone known to the public.   Balough noted, “The PartnerNET build wasn’t created by Sonic Team.  It was something that we were playing around with to see if a port would work.  It was never intended to be played by anybody outside of the company.  When we were thinking seriously about this project, we started looking at talented developers.  That’s where Christian, his Retro-Engine and Sonic Team come in.”

“It’s a non-story at the end of the day.”  Words we’ve heard many times.  Many, many times.