The Spin: Balancing Forces

While clearing out the last vestiges of what was my old room in my parent’s house a few years back, I stumbled across a big pile of fan art I’d drawn when I was about seven or eight years old. Sonic was all I would draw, and I would impress friends and classmates alike by drawing him completely from memory. Unfortunately I appear to have (thankfully) lost all evidence of Rocky: a fan character I created, well before the days in which it was trendy to post your latest creation to DeviantArt. Rocky was a green hedgehog, with upturned green spikes and a penchant for playing a flying-V guitar. I remember pleased as punch with my “original” character, however having played the game of googling [Name] the Hedgehog today, there are plenty of other Rocky the Hedgehogs out there.

I’m sure my pre-teen self would have squealed with delight at today’s announcement regarding the build your own character feature that will be incorporated as part of the third playable game mode in Sonic Forces. Indeed, the delight has been widespread, yet like many announcements regarding modern Sonic titles, the fan base is polarised.

SEGA have made some superb decisions with regards to the Sonic franchise recently; Sonic Mania looks absolutely fantastic, and as one of the old guard, I am filled with child-like excitement at the prospect of a game that is my opinion the true successor to the classic titles of the 16/32-bit era. SEGA have listened carefully to one of their key demographics, and are set to deliver a game by the fans, for the fans.

Equally, the decision to include an original character builder in a Sonic game could be considered an equally smart move; similar features have existed in other games for years, and with a significant parts of the fan base integrated into the many online art communities, it is almost surprising it has taken this long to have been incorporated. The response on social media from these communities to this announcement has been on the whole positive, with many excited at the prospect of a highly customisable character generator. Of course, the memes have been plentiful in the wake of the announcement, and speculation as to what level of monstrosity can be generated is fueling the imaginations of those who are handy with Photoshop.

Some of the broad range of accessories seen so far set to feature in Sonic Forces! Credit: Pink Cat (SSMB)

Conversely, and predictably, there has been criticism. Ignoring the more subjective opinions on the inclusion of fan characters, there are some concerns raised that I and many others believe have merit. The most prominent of these is the fear that the gimmick takes precedence over the gameplay, something that has not only plagued the quality of past titles, but has caused games to stray from the what fans expect a Sonic game should constitute. Indeed, there is a feeling among many that recent titles featuring new characters and / or game modes have caused a detraction from valuable development time being invested in refining the more “core” aspects of these games. Many have postulated that Sonic Forces is trying to be a title that will please all; a near-impossible feat to achieve in this day and age in the video games industry. One can already see there is huge contrast in the footage shown so far; the darker theme of Park Avenue, harking back to the days of Shadow the Hedgehog/Sonic 06 seems disjointed from the jovially-themed classic Green Hill Zone. On the face of it, the game could be interpreted to be suffering from an identity crisis stemming from the “satisfy everyone” mentality. An old acquaintance of mine used to refer to clothing branded as “one size fits all” as “one size fits none”, and I feel the analogy here is appropriate; a game in which time and effort is spread too thinly across multiple modes will result in few being satisfied with any of the finished game elements.

At this juncture, it is extremely difficult to make any judgement – after all, there has been very little in the way of actual game play footage, and much of this will likely still be evolving as the game continues in its development. Undoubtedly, forums like E3 will be the trial-by-fire for this game, at which those on the ground will get a closer look at what is set to be released.

I came to a conclusion with both the Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Lost World titles that I was not the target demographic for these games. Admittedly there was some initial disappointment in this realisation, but in hindsight, I am perfectly fine with this. I can see the necessity for certain franchises to adapt and evolve with time, especially to keep up with evolving markets and trends. Indeed, the secret to success for many enduring series appears to be developing the gameplay in such a manner to keep it fresh and exciting, while retaining the heart and soul of what has become synonymous with said title.The Sonic franchise has seen success across multiple platforms decades apart, and as such the answer to “what makes a good Sonic game?” is heavily dependent on the age of the person you are posing the question to, or at what juncture the series really began to resonate with them.

Dreadknux – not appearing in Sonic Forces. Credit: Professor-J

I do not think that I am the target demographic for Sonic Forces, as much as I have the feeling the inclusion of classic Sonic is aiming to achieve that in some small capacity. The focus of the game has diverged beyond what I look for in a Sonic game. My hopes for the title are that it provides a sturdy experience for those who have craved a game featuring similar action to Sonic Generations (who have been waiting patiently for six years…where has the time gone?), with the fun addition of being able to bring your fan character to life in some incarnation, should you wish to do so.

I find it hard to be disappointed however, especially with Sonic Mania on the horizon – this is a game that has been created with people like me in mind, and will undoubtedly cater to the massive cohort of hardcore and casual gamers longing for the halcyon days of 90s. We are fortunate to live in times where we, the fans, have multiple upcoming Sonic games to choose from!

Regardless, I will definitely give Sonic Forces a go; I doubt I will be able to resist to allure of creating a bunch of hideous characters…and maybe a certainly green fan character from my childhood, just to satisfy my inner eight year-old!

 

Rejected Sonic Extreme Concept Became Sonic Riders, Claims US Developer

The concept for rejected spinoff Sonic Extreme was lifted by Sonic Team years later to develop Sonic Riders internally, claims a US developer responsible for pitching the early-2000s Xbox demo to SEGA. Continue reading Rejected Sonic Extreme Concept Became Sonic Riders, Claims US Developer

TSS Review: Sonic Boom Season 2 – Robots From The Sky Parts 1-4

I’m sure many of my fellow thirty-somethings have breathed the same sigh of relief in that as we grow ever older, cartoons have not lost their appeal; I’d even go as far to say that we are in the midst of something of a cartoon renaissance – with multiple franchises successfully walking the line between children’s entertainment and veiled adult humour garnering cult followings.

The success of these series is largely down to the creators knowing their audience, and for the writers of Sonic Boom, they have certainly done their homework. I have lost count of the number of references to the Sonic universe the show has now made, and it is wonderful that 75+ episodes in, the jokes and in-jokes show no sign of relenting. The series on the whole to date has been wonderfully self-aware, subtle enough that younger audiences can enjoy the action and slapstick, while purposefully cliché and self-referential to deliver a wink and a nudge to older audiences, or a comical reprieve for parents who probably have already had to endure unending hours of Peppa Pig.

As the second season passes its mid-way mark, this week’s episode will introduce the first in a four-part story, Robots From The Sky (sung to the tune of a popular 80’s cartoon featuring metamorphosing machines, of course). The episode introduces the characters Mighton and Bolt who feature throughout the arc, two sentient robots from a floating city who find themselves stranded on the ground after their ship crashes. In a case of mistaken motives, the two misconstrue Sonic and friends as antagonists following a bout with Eggman’s machines. The episodes each end on a cliffhanger, as the team investigate why robots all over the world have begun to turn evil, with events from the past resurfacing in a series of plot twists.

Before I go on, SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

The quadrilogy is the first in the series with writing credit going to Sonic Boom producer Bill Freiberger (the voice of Comedy Chimp), alongside regulars Alan Denton and Greg Hahn, who once again find their stride in penning a compelling children’s story interspersed with moments of eye-rolling humour most will find themselves chuckling at (unlike Knuckles). Speaking of which, Travis Willingham continues to deliver on his portrayal of his wonderfully simple Knuckles (although I’m sure this is obfuscating stupidity) with fans cheering that seventy-plus episodes in, we get a “legs day” joke. Mike Pollock and Roger Craig Smith have created a wonderful on screen (or off-screen?) chemistry between Eggman and Sonic, to the point at which battles have become juxtaposed with casual conversation, both characters aware they are simply going through the motions.

In a change of style, the story takes on a slightly more serious tone (but only slightly) as it begins to become clear that one of the heroes has inadvertently caused the current predicament. The first episode’s cliffhanger recovers with a deus ex machina deployed as another great comic device, once again nodding to the more senior audiences. This tone makes for a refreshing change of pace in comparison to the self-contained episodes, however fans of previous Sonic shows seeking more involved story arcs will likely find no satisfaction here. Some might have grown tired of the fight scenes by this stage; for this they might be forgiven, but again in context are necessary considering the show’s primary audience and the need to keep pace. Once again, the punctuation of satire should be what mature viewers focus their attention on. The final robot showdown sees an army of mechanical counterparts created with some albeit spurious science, but provides delightfully bizarre conclusion.

The Sonic Boom TV show has successfully created own its personality and carved its own niche in the Sonic universe; it is pleasing to see the progression in its evolution that prevents the concept from going stale. For many, including myself, the show continues to be the highlight of the Sonic Boom franchise – and I hope it continues to provide entertainment, for young and old, for many more episodes to come.

Robots From The Sky Part 1 is billed to air at 6pm ET on Saturday, 6th of May 2017 on Boomerang in the United States.

First4Figures 25th Anniversary Statue Sneak Peak

The First4Figures Official Facebook Collectors Group has shown a sneak peak of the long-awaited 25th Anniversary Statue, which appears to be very close to the computer generated model previously shown of classic Sonic,in his trademark “figure 8” run.

Alex Davis of Firs4Figures, stated in the post alongside the image “Really hope this does well [sales-wise] – dont want this to be a swan song!”, once again reiterating that a continuation of waning sales of the Sonic series could result in the cancellation of statues planned in the future, including Modern Metal Sonic which is currently in the development stage.

Are you planning on purchasing the F4F 25th Anniversary statue? Is it what you expected? Let us know in the comments!

Official Japanese Sonic Mania Website Launches

SEGA Japan’s official Sonic Mania site has launched this week, complete with slick animations and rammed with information on characters, stages and other game content.

While the site only contains information that is already general knowledge, it will no doubt be a source of information in the near future.

Additionally, the placeholder site for the Official Sonic Forces Japanese site is also active, depicting two giant Eggman robots attacking a city, and the phrase “join the resistance”.

As always, we will keep you up to date on 2017 Sonic title announcements as they come.

Official Sonic Mania Japanese Website

Official Sonic Forces Japanese Website

 

Rumour: Sonic Mania to Include Animated Cut Scenes?

Sonic Mania continues to build levels of excitement in our senior staffers not seen since the nineties; we’ve adored every little element and reveal of what is set to be a fitting homage to Saturn/Genesis/Megadrive-era Sonic, lovingly crafted by the Mania team.

Among many speculations, fans have suggested that Sonic Mania may include animations akin to those book-ending Sonic CD. Last week, our eagle-eyed SSMB members spotted this WIP short animation above, posted and then quickly removed from the tumblr of Max Collins. The scene depicts an exchange between Sonic and one of the yet-to-be-seen Hard Boiled Heavies (the character having only been partially revealed in Mirage Saloon’s background). Collins resume includes work for Studio Yotta and Cartoon Network, leading to the postulation that they may have been recruited to develop animations for the game.

While the animation could easily be dismissed as a fan tribute, IndyCotton on the Sonic Retro forums gives even more compelling evidence, by drawing a comparison to the HBH model and the Heavy Gunner silhouette reveal from SXSW, as seen below. This would seem to suggest the artist has heavily inferred the model from this silhouette (including features such as the cape and head crest), or more likely has access to the final character model of this particular HBH (“His Boiled Highness”, perhaps?).

While this is all purely hype and hearsay, we certainly hope there is truth, even if just elements, as this would be a wonderful addition to the game.

As always, Sonic Stadium will keep you up to date on all Mania updates as they happen!

Props to Maxtiis (SSMB) and IndyCotton (Sonic Retro) for their evidence!

First Images of New Sonic Character In Sonic Forces

Today’s Nintendo Direct Live Stream revealed more footage from Sonic Forces today, but more interestingly gave a glimpse of a “new ally”, very likely connected to the third style of game play heavily alluded to in previous announcements. Continue reading First Images of New Sonic Character In Sonic Forces

New Sonic 25th Anniversary Artwork At Castle Galleries

Back in December, The Sonic Stadium attended the launch of the Castle Fine Art Sonic 25th Gallery Exhibition, in which eight artists produced 25 different pieces to commemorate the milestone birthday.

Following the success of the collection, two of the artists, Keith Maiden and Craig Davison, have created more pieces in their signature styles.

Continue reading New Sonic 25th Anniversary Artwork At Castle Galleries

Sonic Mania OST to be released on vinyl?

While not 100% confirmed, it was put to the audience at SXSW today by SoA Sonic Community Manager Aaron Webber to whether fans would be interested in owning the Sonic Mania soundtrack on vinyl! At the moment this appears to be a WIP, but we will keep you up to date on whether or not this item makes it to production!

Thanks to TheEmuEmi on twitter for the image!

Sonic-Themed GLAMGLOW GRAVITYMUD Now Available In The UK

Following the launch at San Diego Comic Con last year, beauty products company GLAMGLOW have brought their Sonic the Hedgehog-themed GRAVITYMUD product to UK shores!

The GRAVITYMUD firming treatment, in an exclusive SONIC BLUE, is available from the UK site for the sum of £39, making it significantly cheaper to obtain than importing from the USA.

You can watch our friend Jay over at the Sonic Show try out the product below:

Follow the link to purchase Sonic Blue GLAMGOW GRAVITYMUD

Thanks to Sarah over at the Sonic Merch facebook group for the tip!

New Enemy Character and Green Hill Zone 2 Revealed for Sonic Mania

The Sonic the Hedgehog social media pages have revealed the origin of yesterday’s teaser image of a leg, with the owner of the appendage being a new Badnik on the Block, named Heavy Gunner. HG is part of the Hard Boiled Heavies, who while no further detail was given, will no doubt be antogonists of Sonic and friends in the new game. The stipulation that he is a member of this team alludes to there being more egg-shaped robots to face-off against throughout Mania, possibly akin to the Egg Robot in Sonic & Knuckles.

Additionally, a video was also released today showing off some of Green Hill Zone Act 2 (see below), in which the zone takes place against a vista backdrop paying homage to the Green Hill Zone beta design.

We continue to look forward to hearing more information on Sonic Mania (and the accompanying music to this zone) – and as always, stay tuned!

Cook & Becker Art Print For Sonic 25th Anniversary Art Book Collector’s Edition Revealed

We reported on the release of the Cook & Becker Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book back in October, and we continue to be impressed the more we see! The original press release mentioned a limited edition This week, C&B have shown a sneak preview of the art giclee print that comes packaged with the Collector’s Edition. Continue reading Cook & Becker Art Print For Sonic 25th Anniversary Art Book Collector’s Edition Revealed

Summer 2017 Release for Archie Sonic: Mega Drive Trade Paperback

Archie’s fastest selling Sonic the Hedgehog comic is due to make its way to trade paperback format in the Summer following the release of the third and final installment in the arc, Mega Drive: Overdrive. Many fans who have had difficulty in obtaining the sold-out first issue will be pleased, and probably not surprised these comics will be making their way to this format. Continue reading Summer 2017 Release for Archie Sonic: Mega Drive Trade Paperback

TSS Merchandise Review: Kidrobot Blind Box Figures

Happy New Year! To celebrate the ushering in of a fresh 12 months of Sonic the Hedgehog goodness, we decided to club together and create our very first merchandise review video. Join Adam, Kieran, Mark and Lewis as we unbox some of the brand new kidrobot Sonic blind bag figures! Continue reading TSS Merchandise Review: Kidrobot Blind Box Figures

Tomy 2017 Catalogue Reveals More Boom and Classic Merchandise

The first images from the Tomy 2017 toy catalogue are beginning to surface, and show that their Sonic the Hedgehog license is set to continue well into next year.

Continue reading Tomy 2017 Catalogue Reveals More Boom and Classic Merchandise

Sonic X Kidrobot Blind Box Figures and Keychains Now Available

Following hot on the heels of the vinyl figure diorama, Kidrobot have released their range of “blind box” Sonic the Hedgehog figures and keychains! Sonic has previously enjoyed success in vinyl form with the limited run of figures produced in the Funko Pop! line, although only Sonic, Tails and Knuckles made it into figurine form. Now, Kidrobot have gone the full hog, and produced two different product lines which includes a 14 different figures in the 3″ figure range, and 18 different keychain figurines. Continue reading Sonic X Kidrobot Blind Box Figures and Keychains Now Available

Official Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary art book now available for pre-order

Art aficionados Cook & Becker today announce the opening of pre-orders for their much anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog 25th anniversary art book! Each tome is set to contain more than 200 pages of artwork and interviews, with the special edition arriving in a collectors box which includes an exclusive print created by Sonic Team artist Yuji Uekawa. Continue reading Official Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary art book now available for pre-order

TSS Review: Castle Fine Art Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery Opening

The Sonic Stadium spent last Wednesday night enjoying a spot of high society, quaffing champagne, dining on hors d’oeuvres and indulging in the opening night of the Castle Art Gallery’s Sonic the Hedgehog 25th anniversary art exhibition. And, while we were initially apprehensive of what we might find, we left the gallery discovering some fantastic and inspiring art featuring our favourite hedgehog. Continue reading TSS Review: Castle Fine Art Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery Opening

UK Pre-orders Now Open For Sonic Mania Collectors Edition With Amazon

maniaboxset

[UPDATE 4 – Oct. 18] The CE is back in stock again, hopefully for good this time.
[UPDATE 3 – Oct. 17] The Collector’s Edition is now out of stock. As a note, this happened with the North American listing as well shortly after availability, so this may open up again in the near future.
[UPDATE 2 – Oct. 17] Pre orders have returned at Amazon, to coincide with the official announcement.
[UPDATE 1 – Oct. 16] Links to the pre-orders have been removed – we will keep you up-to-date when they return! Amazon is currently still honouring all orders placed. Original story follows:

Continue reading UK Pre-orders Now Open For Sonic Mania Collectors Edition With Amazon

ESP×SONIC SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25th Anniversary & SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG 15th Anniversary Guitars Announced

Guitar aficionados rejoice, as Japanese guitar producers ESP announce a brand new range of Sonic the Hedgehog themed guitars! The designs, SONIC-II and SHADOW-II are both based on the signature guitar played by Crush 40 and Sonic Team guitarist and composer Jun Senoue, which have been used at a number of performances around the world. Continue reading ESP×SONIC SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25th Anniversary & SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG 15th Anniversary Guitars Announced

Summer of Sonic Guest Announcement: Duncan Gutteridge & James Wallis

The Summer of Sonic guest roster continues to expand!

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The most recent announcement includes Sonic calendar and box art illustrator Duncan Gutteridge, synonymous with some of the most recognisable artwork in circulation during the early 90s.

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Additionally, the special guest list will also include James Wallis, known for his writing work on the Sonic the Hedgehog adventure game books Metal City Mayhem and The Zone Rangers.

Sonic the Comic Artists Nigel Dobbyn and Richard Elson to Attend Summer of Sonic 2016

The Summer of Sonic 2016 roster of guests continues to grow, with the announcement today of Sonic the Comic artists Nigel Dobbyn and Richard Elson to be in attendance at the event. Dobbyn has been a frequent guest at previous Summer of Sonic events, contributing to the special edition of Sonic the Comic given away in 2013. This year sees the first appearance of Richard Elson at the event, having also attended Sonic the Comic Con in 2014.

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Adventure Music Experience 2016, Tokyo

A large proportion of the fan base to this day cite the Sonic Adventure series as being the pinnacle of the Sonic the Hedgehog gaming experience; on the most part, the games were their first jaunt into the Sonic Universe, and have defined what they come to expect from titles to this day. Being one of the more senior fans, Sonic Adventure was an exciting revival of my favourite video game franchise, after several years of stagnation and the glory days of the Megadrive now a distant echo. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Adventure Music Experience 2016, Tokyo

Sonic Revolution: Sonic Boom TV Show Producer & Writer Confirmed As Special Guests

Sonic Revolution 2016 has announced the attendance of two more special guests to their event roster.

BFRIEDBERGER

Co-executive producer on the Sonic Boom TV series, Bill Freiberger, will be in attendance. In addition to his production role, Bill also provides the voices of Comedy Chimp and Lady Walrus, and was one of the writers on the Sonic Boom comics during their run.

Alan_Denton

Accompanying Bill is Alan Denton, Creative consultant and writer for the Sonic Boom TV series, accredited with penning such classic episodes as “Battle of the Boybands” and “Cowbot”.

An additional ticket option “Classic Sonic Pass” is now available for $4.99 via EventBrite, which grant entry into the event. All tickets are available at http://sonicrevolution2016.eventbrite.com/

To find out more about the event, visit the Sonic Revolution Website

F4F Announce Modern Silver & 25th Anniversary Statues

f4f25th

First4Figures have today revealed 2 renders for their upcoming additions to their Sonic the hedgehog statue range. The 25th anniversary statue depicts Sonic inset into a base playing games consoles, which according to the images are interchangeable, including a SEGA Dreamcast.

The Silver statue will conform to the “modern line” of statues (which so far includes Sonic, Shadow and Super Sonic) and feature a Kingdom Valley base (No Crisis City love?) and lighting in the exclusive version as seen previously with similar models.

f4fsilver

Many thanks to Peter Robinson for the spot at Weston Super Sonic!

Johnny Gioeli Launches Pledge Music Campaign For Solo Album

SOS024

International Superstar and Crush 40 vocalist Johnny Gioeli has announced the launch of a Pledge music campaign to fund what will be the first solo album of his career. Among many Crush 40 releases, Gioeli’s career spans 4 decades and includes more than 30 albums (most notably as the lead singer of the anthemic rock bands Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell) and no doubt hardcore fans will be excited at the prospect of this debut album and an EP of the long awaited Colorblind.

The driving force behind the funding drive is to raise support for a family friend:

A tragic story of our friend’s son who had a horrific accident, leaving him paralyzed. He’s a high school student fighting for movement as simple as moving his finger, and I want to find a way to “pay it forward” and use the good things happening to me, to help someone else. The average cost of rehabilitation in the first year, far exceeds anything they can raise on their own. Let’s all help keep the music alive and help my friends too.

Backers of the campaign can not only look forward to receiving a copy of the new album (with the option of a signature from Gioeli), but will have options to access to a boatload of exclusives such as a streamed live acoustic performance, original (and rare) Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell memorabilia and handwritten lyrics to some of the songs in his extensive back catalogue.

Check out the Johnny Gioeli Pledge Music campaign here, or check out the Johnny Gioeli facebook page for more details.

UPDATE: Johnny Gioeli Hints at Possible Crush 40 Involvement In 25th Anniversary Title

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UPDATE: Following the publication of the article, the post on the Facebook Page has since been removed.

Original Story: It probably isn’t far-fetched to guess that SEGA have a Sonic the hedgehog title lined up for the 25th Anniversary this year, however Crush 40 lead singer Johnny Gioeli has given a very strong indication that one is in the pipe line…and that Crush 40 could potentially contribute material to it.

Via a Q&A on the Official Johnny Gioeli Facebook Page today, Gioeli gave the following response to a question regarding new Crush 40 material in the works:

When will there be news about the Crush 40 album?
~We are planning a few performances for 2016 to commemorate the anniversary of Sonic. We “might” participate in writing new songs for the anniversary game…stay tuned…

Although some caution should be exercised with the key word in this response is “might”, the fan anticipation for a new Sonic game announcement will no doubt be further escalated, irregardless of game or new Crush 40 songs.

Stay tuned for more 25th anniversary announcements!

Japanese Sonic Fan event to take place at JOYPOLIS, Tokyo

271215eventJapanese Sonic the Hedgehog fans will once again be treated to another Sonic fan event, due to take place at the SEGA JOYPOLIS theme park in Odaiba, Tokyo on Sunday, 27th of December, 2015.

The event, similar to those that have taken place at this venue in the past, will include appearances from Takashi Iizuka, Yuji Uekawa, Tomoya Ohtani and Jun Senoue, and a musical performance. For the first time, a cosplay contest will take place, which will require entrants to submit their photo applications prior to the event in order to be selected for the finals which will take place on stage at the event.

Are you going to Japan in December and are you planning on attending the event? Let us know in the comments!

2015: The Year of the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter Account

HaveUEver

Today saw the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account featured on prolific internet social media hub Buzzfeed.

For those who aren’t connected to the Twitterverse, you will have missed the rather spectacular recent awakening of the account, which gained a new level of sentience this year. In among it’s now self-awareness of the sizable collection of Sonic the Hedgehog internet memes, the account also called out several big name commentators and competitors this year, including Nintendo, and was temporarily taken over by Doctor Eggman for a day (although we’re sure we’ve heard that voice somewhere else before). Needless to say this has caused several internet-breaking moments, so much so it has caught the attention of many media outlets.

The account has even received an endorsement from Sonic the Hedgehog creator Naoto Oshima:

TwitterOshimaSanWe at TSS salute the Sonic Twitter account and crafty creatures on the media team running it (including a certain Aaron Webber!), and we can’t wait for the next post!

Gotta go fatsr.

New Crush 40 album in the works for 2016

4563CRUSH40 fans who follow the official Johnny Gioeli facebook page will have noticed a recent surge in activity as Mr. Gioeli has become more involved its running.

During a recent Q&A post, Johnny hinted that a new Crush40 album is being worked on, and is due for launch next year. The album will be the band’s second studio album (and the first in over a decade), and would follow the band’s recent success through the release of two live albums, a “best of” and an EP in 2012.

In the wake of several live shows in the US, Japan, and Mexico, Johnny alluded to potential live shows in 2016. Although it is currently unclear as to whether or not any of the tracks featured on the new album will be connected to future Sonic the Hedgehog titles, it has lead many to speculate as to the correlation of the album release with the 25th anniversary celebrations.

Stay tuned for more information as it comes to light!

Sonic Runners version 2.0 released

runners2Friday saw a swathe of changes made to Sonic Runners with the release of the second version of the mobile app. Along with a number of superficial changes, a rather sizable overhaul of the game rules have been made. The main game has been divided into Story, Quick and Daily Battle modes, and a number of rules have been alterations have been made with regards to roulette probabilities, promotion and rankings. A special character, ESP Silver is now available via the roulette or through 5 consecutive daily log-ins. All non event-specific characters are also now permanently available, with the character egg drop probability increased to 10%.

Some players will be pleased to hear the game recharge rate has been reduced to 15 minutes and that a maximum stock recharge of lives has increased to 5, however this is likely to have been implemented to compensate for the relatively short length of the timed game. The scoring system has also been revamped in order to compress the game duration while still allowing high scores to be achieved, without the player having to demonstrate incredible feats of stamina and runs lasting for many hours (for reference, to score around 50 million points in version 1 of the game could take around an hour).

Alterations to the game which will no doubt infuriate long time players is the significant reduction of Wisp power and item power-up duration, but even more so will be the significant weakening of buddy abilities, including those which many players will have purchased extra red rings in order to improve. A number of players via social media have also complained about game breaking bugs and crashes, along with in-game obstacles that cannot be avoided.

What are your opinions of the new version of the game, positive or negative? Let us know in the comments!

Huge selection of Sonic the Hedgehog songs now available on Spotify

Spottysonic

For those of you who make use of the digital music service Spotify, you will be pleased to know that a gargantuan selection of Sonic Soundtracks, from Sonic CD to Sonic Runners, have been added to the vast library of songs available for streaming.

As if this wasn’t enough, you can also enjoy a selection of Crush 40 songs including their “Best of title”, the 2012 “LIVE” album and the tracks from their 2012 EP.

While Spotify does not contain a complete library of Sonic the Hedgehog songs, many fans will be pleased they can now access many of their favourite songs on the go without the need to purchase songs through other services or track down physical copies of the official soundtracks.

Crush 40 to play Youmacon 2015 in Detroit

C40COKEThe juggernauts of Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks, Crush 40, are set to play the Youmacon convention in Detroit later this year. Crush 40 have recently played at the JOYPOLIS theme park in Tokyo to promote the launch of their latest album 2 Nights 2 Remember, but have not played any shows outside of Japan since 2013.

Youmacon is a celebration of Japanese pop culture, including video games, anime and music, running across three days from Friday 29th of October until Sunday 1st of November. There is currently no information as to which day Crush 40 will be performing as of publication of this article, however we will keep you up to date as more details come to light.

Details on tickets and registration for Youmacon can be found here:
http://www.youmacon.com/registration