With a decade under his belt, Adam is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Adam is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.
Metal Sonic fans will pleased to hear that their favourite doppelgänger, celebrating his 25th anniversary this year, will be featured in this month’s Loot Gaming crate, which features the theme of “Metal” this month.
Toy News and Reviews has revealed an image of the classic design Metal Sonic figurine, complete with flying stand and Stardust Speedway base, that will make up part of this month’s box of video gaming goodies.
The Loot Gaming crate will be available to pre-order until September 27th 2018, which will also include items from the Doom, Spiderman and Metal Gear Solid franchises, and can be ordered on the Loot Gaming website for the sum of £28 (UK) or $28 + shipping (US).
As always, TSS will keep you up to date on all Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise news!
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie just got a little bit closer this week, with the release date having been moved forward one week to Friday, November the 8th 2019.
The move appears to have been in response to the shift in release date of Terminator 6, which has also been moved forward one week to the 15th of November 2019. This may be to due to avoid clashes in opening weekends, or down to commitments of Tim Miller who is both directing Terminator 6 and is an Executive Producer on the Sonic Movie.
As always, stay tuned to TSS to keep up-to-date on all Sonic movie news as it comes!
Sonic Battle Racers, the successfully funded Kickstarter project by Shinobi7 saw more than 1000 fans back the action-packed board game, drawn by the impressive collection of figurines and pieces the set promises to include.
Unfortunately, those backers looking forward to receiving their copy of the game in October this month will be disappointed, as the latest update has announced that due to production issues the board game isn’t due to arrive in backer’s hands until early 2019.
While some will be sad to hear this, others will be pleased to see that Shinobi7 are taking advantage of the delay, and have made a major improvement to the Super Sonic piece (now in a pose based upon official artwork) that will be included exclusively with the Kickstarter-backed editions.
We at TSS look forward to playing and reviewing the game next year!
Petit Hedgehog is probably one of the more notable entries at this year’s SAGE, with a refined version from last year’s expo being showcased for 2018. Created by Chengi, Petit draws upon influences from the Sonic Advance era, as well as translating elements from the Sonic Adventure formula into a 2D environment.
Fresh off the press from Gamescom 2018, Gamespot are reporting the announcement of InkyPen, a Nintendo Switch app that provide users the ability to read comics and graphic novels on their console, including Sonic comics!
WWE Stable The New Day paid tribute to Sonic the Hedgehog this Sunday at Summerslam, debuting their new ring gear. Kofi Kingston appeared in a Sonic-themed outfit, adorned with trademark rings on his boots, while Xavier Woods and Big E appeared in Tails and Knuckles-themed outfits respectively, emblazoned with Tails’s tails and Knuckles’s knuckles!
SEGA today announced their line-up for Gamescom 2018, which is set to include among other titles such as two Persona dancing titles, First of the North Star, and Team Sonic Racing, which will be showcasing new features:
Team Sonic Racing, developed by award-winning studio Sumo Digital, is the ultimate arcade and fast-paced competitive style racing experience, featuring your favourite characters from across the Sonic Universe. Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to race on an all new track, Ice Mountain, and experience two brand new playable teams.
Stay tuned to TSS for more details on these teams as the news comes!
The image, purportedly from Pitt Lake near Vancouver, shows a town sign for the fictional location of “Green Hills” (which although is cut off in the image is also written on the side of the police cruiser in the background). Note the extra “s”, in the location, likely a bit of creative license on the writer’s part rather than a nod to the lesser-known zone of the same name from the Master System version of Sonic 2.
The sign also comes with the town motto of “The little town with a big heart”, along with the town’s population and elevation above sea level (although they missed a trick with the population – should have been 1991, not 1981!).
If this image is anything to go by, it is probably a good indicator we will see more nods and references to the game throughout the movie.
Stay tuned to TSS for more Sonic the Hedgehog movie news as it comes!
The annual Sonic Amateur Games Expo (SAGE) is set to make its return this year on August 25th, with a jam-packed lineup including Sonic Z-Treme, Sonic the Hedgehog PC and Sonic Advance Revamped among many other titles you can check out in their launch trailer above.
The event is still accepting submissions to be featured at the event all the way up until August 18th – details on how to submit your fan game can be found here.
You can find further details on the event in general over at Sonic Retro.
Following the developer diary videos, the latest installment of the behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Sonic Mania universe focuses on the creation of the Sonic Mania Adventures shorts, narrated by director Tyson Hesse. Check out the video below!
Last year’s explosive release of Sonic Mania wasn’t just about a game that ended up thrilling both new and old blue blur fans. It was also proof that a brand new, ‘classic’ style 2D Sonic title will sell – and sell it most certainly did, cementing itself in the annals of hedgehog history. But, while widely regarded as one of the most critically-acclaimed Sonic titles in recent memory, there were some clear presentation omissions and missing elements in the base game – elements that you would think Christian Whitehead and co would have included, if they were just given more time to bake it in.
In true social media style, the Sonic community team have created an homage to the commercials of old with this 90’s-style advert, pitching Sonic Mania Plus against the not-so-fictional parody game “Finger GunZ” (I actually want to play Finger GunZ now).
In a world full of first-person shooter games, one game store customer has a choice to make.
As the launch of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate draws closer, Nintendo continue to tease the new and exciting features included in the game – and today’s blog post on the Official Super Smash Bros. Ultimate site is delectably Sonic AND Mega Man-themed!
Sonic Team sound director and Crush 40 guitarist Jun Senoue has been revealed to have created a Mega Man 4 Medley for the game, following on from the reveal of Tomoya Ohtani (sound director for Sonic Forces and Sonic Colors) has created his own rendition of a track from Splatoon for the title.
The Japanese Sonic birthday party is often full of surprises – and at this year’s 27th birthday event at the JOYPOLIS theme park, Takashi Iizuka and the party hosts have used to opportunity to announce three new playable characters for Team Sonic Racing!
Images of Amy Rose, Big the Cat (in a suitably frog-themed car) and Chao (that’s four chao, comprising the Neutral, dark, and Hero Chao along with Omachao!) have been revealed as the Team Rose combination, with the Chao replacing Cream the Rabbit as the technical-based character in the established Team Rose configuration.
Check out the images of the individual characters from the stream in the gallery below.
As always, TSS will keep you up to date on all TSR news as it comes!
Adding to the growing list of US-based Sonic the Hedgehog fan conventions and meets alongside California’s Sonic Revolution and Georgia’s Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam comes a new event taking place for the first time this year: the Sonic Artist Meetup in Dallas, Texas.
The event is scheduled to take place on June 29th, 2018 from 12pm CDT. While the event is expected to be smaller than it’s counterparts, it promises to include talks on voice acting, various activities throughout the day, a gallery put together by artists and a raffle for artwork with proceeds going to a local charity. The event will conclude with a karaoke party set into the evening.
Sonic the Comic is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, having first appeared in corner shops and news agents across the UK back in May 1993.
For fans living outside the UK (or are too young to remember!) the publication ran for nine years from 1993 to 2002 through Fleetway comics and later Egmont magazines, producing a total of 223 issues. The darker tone of the comics and the portrayal of characters garnered a cult following of fans, inspiring a resurrection of the comic in an online incarnation in the form of Sonic the Comic Online, which continues to present day.
To celebrate this milestone year in the comic’s lifetime, STCO has released issue number 275 with a 32-page story bringing to a conclusion some of the longest running storylines in the series.
Additionally, a Sonic the Comic 25th anniversary party will be taking place on Sunday, 3rd of June 2018 at the FAB café in Manchester. More information on the event, which will see many of the prolific contributors to Sonic the Comic including Richard Elson and Nigel Kitching in attendance, can be found on the event’s facebook page.
From everyone here at The Sonic Stadium, we wish Sonic the Comic a very happy birthday!
You can support the team by making a donation via their Just Giving donation link…and if you’d love to own the “Dash-mobile”, the car will be auctioned after the race with the proceeds also going to charity!
Check out the gallery below for some images of the car and the team before they set off on this wacky race!
Funko Pop! fans heading to E3 this year will undoubtedly be giddy with delight at the prospect of getting their hands on a very exclusive figure of Super Shadow, who will be exclusive to the LA show taking place next month.
If you are attending the show you will have to be quick however; only 1500 of the figures will be produced, and with Funko’s current popularity will likely sell out quickly!
It is no revelation that Sonic the Hedgehog has drawn upon pop culture in its creation (the Death Egg probably being one of the more obvious tributes to Star Wars), but it appears that the influences from Dragon Ball extend further than super forms and collecting 7 powerful objects!
Initial ideas for names for Sonic included “Raisupi” and “LS”, truncation and plays on the word “light speed”
Naka quit SEGA after finishing work on the first Sonic game with aspirations of joining Nintendo
Tails was initially a Tanuki, modeled after a UFO catcher plush
Sonic was purposefully made more of a “bad boy” for Sonic Adventure, so that his character didn’t become too cutesy like so many other character mascots (Naka stated that Hello Kitty already owned the market in cuteness)
Naka saw protecting Sonic’s image as being very difficult, citing Sonic Underground as an example of something damaging to the character’s image (making reference in particular to Sonic’s siblings)
Check out the full interview translation, along with other Sonic Team interviews at Shmuplations.
If you’ve always wanted to blast the Sonic Mania Soundtrack from your car stereo, you’re going to want to look into investing in the Japanese release of Sonic Mania Plus, which along with all of the perks of the western release will be packaged with a double CD album!
The Japanese Sonic Mania website details the full 54 track double CD, which not only includes all of the songs that appeared on the Data Discs’ Sonic Mania album release (which contained all of the original tracks in the game and will be back in stock for the launch of Plus), it also holds all of the “re-imagined” classic stage songs [EDIT: Nearly all!]. If that wasn’t enough,there are four Sonic Mania Plus bonus tracks included, along side all three Hyper Potions tracks constituting Friends and both versions of Time Trails including the version with Crush 40’s Jun Senoue on guitar.
While most will be pleased that the game is seeing an OST release on CD, it is not packaged with the western releases of Sonic Mania Plus. The special edition is available from Amazon Japan for about the same price as the western releases, however buyers will likely have to play extra for shipping and import fees in order to get their mittens on a copy. If you’re feeling even more flush, Ebten Japan are offering another edition which includes a limited edition T-Shirt, canvas purse and art cards, but these extras will set you back more than ¥8000.
SEGA have announced today that the release date of Sonic Mania Plus is Tuesday July 17th 2018 for both Europe and North America.
Along with the announcement comes a new animated trailer featuring the two new protagonists, Mighty and Ray, animated once again by Tyson Hesse.
The trailer and the images in the gallery show more of the gameplay fans can expect in Mania Plus, including Mighty’s ability to destroy obsticles, and Ray’s ability to glide. In addition to this, the new “Encore mode” provides fresh looks and challenges in already established zones in the games, alonside a 4-player competition mode.
Those looking to get a glimpse of the physical release can also check out images of the reversable cover art (including a retro Genesis cover) and the artbook to be packaged in a holographic cover.
For those who already own the digital version of Sonic Mania, the Encore DLC pack will be available via stores for £3.99 to upgrade the game to Plus.
As always, stay tuned to TSS for more information on Sonic Mania Plus as it comes!
Charity gaming event Gameblast18 kicks off this Friday 23rd of February, and to help launch three days of festivities, SEGA will be hosting a 24-hour stream, starting at 6pm UTC (6pm GMT). Those wishing to tune in can do so via the SEGA Europe YouTube channel.
Highlights of the stream are set to include:
Yakuza 6 and the PC version of Puyo Puyo Tetris, ahead of their release
Sonic Mania, Sonic Generations, and Sonic Adventure 2
An SOE staffer will be transformed into a Space Marine on Friday
Midnight Alien Isolation
Bayonetta, with a very special guest from 2pm on Saturday
The stream will be raising funds for the great cause of helping thousands of people with physical disabilities enjoy video games through specially designed games controllers. You can donate to the cause through the SEGA Gameblast18 JustGiving page.
Charity Fan Magazine Green Hill Zine, a charity comic project comprising 70+ pages of artwork from every zone in Sonic 1, 2, 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic CD has opened Pre-orders for both the digital and physical releases.
The zine includes artworks from artists approached for the project including Sonic Mania team members Tom Fry, Paul Veer and Midio, alongside the likes of future IDW cover artist NathalieFourdraine, animator and Archie comic artist Tyson Hesse, and a host of other talent selected through a submission process last year.
All proceeds will go to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmentalist group whose many missions include the protection of the worldwide environment and wildlife.
Pre-Orders for the Zine are now open via the Green Hill Zine site, where either obtain a digital version of the zine for $10, or a physical edition can be purchased for $25 plus shipping. The zine can be purchased over the next fortnight until February 15th, 2018. The comic will be released between March and April 2018.
Start saving your pocket money, as board game purveyors Shinobi 7 LLC will soon be launching their Kickstarter campaign for their newest board game Sonic the Hedgehog: Battle Racers! The product is advertised as a strategic board game designed for 2-5 players, in which each participant takes on the role of one of multiple Sonic the hedgehog characters represented by a set of fantastic, size-scaled figurines.
Shinobi 7 plan to launch their Kickstarter campaign this month, offering up exclusive and Limited-Edition items to those who pledge their support. A retail edition of the game will be available later in the year through Diamond/Alliance.
The description of the game on the Shinobi7 site is as follows:
“Burst into action with Sonic the Hedgehog: Battle Racers! Select your racer, choose your route, and fight your way to the finish while avoiding opposing racers and a variety of dangerous obstacles. Control your speed, use your abilities, and activate your special powers to collect as many rings as you can in an amazing race.
Based on Sonic the Hedgehog, the world-wide phenomenon, Sonic the Hedgehog: Battle Racers allows you to take on the role of Sonic or one of his many friends and rivals in a strategic race through a variety of exciting locations. The course changes with every race, so no two games are alike!“
Other information from the Shinobi7 site states:
The base set of the game comes complete with five figurines of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Eggman, along with all neccesary parts to play the game
3 “Boss packs”, themed around Infinite, Metal Sonic, and Shadow, include a new character figurine along with new playing tiles and parts to expand the game
12 additional character expansion packs (Big, Blaze, Charmy, Cream, E-123 Omega, Espio, Jet, Rouge, Silver, Sticks, Vector, and Wave) will be available, with each character bringing new elements of gameplay to spice up the base set’s play
During this period of vinyl resurgence, it is great to see seminal Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks are receiving LP incarnations, and as such, following on from 2017’s Sonic Mania vinyl soundtrack released through Data-Discs, Japanese record label Brave Wave have produced both Sonic Adventure 1 and Sonic Adventure 2 soundtracks in 12″ vinyl format.
This first pressing of each soundtrack comes as either a double LP, or packaged as a limited edition box set containing all four LPs in a presentation case and the addition of a certificate of authenticity signed by the series sound director himself, Jun Senoue. As an absolute sucker for anything limited edition, I opted for the latter choice, shelling out an additional 20 euros for the full experience.
Opening the box, you are greeted by the Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 box art in gloriously large dimensions, and to Brave Wave’s credit, perfectly reproduced in the original vivid colours and high resolution. The gatefold for the Sonic Adventure OST impressively opens up for a full splash (pun intended) of Perfect Chaos straddling both pages, complete with lyrics to the game’s theme song Open Your Heart. Both albums come complete with a large 20-page book, containing character artwork, lyrics to vocal tracks, and an interview with Senoue-san and series director (and now Sonic Team head) Takashi Iizuka.
On the turntable the recordings sound fantastic having been remastered for the 180g pressing, with mixes that on the whole feel balanced and close to the original. Tracks feel fully fleshed and in many cases the clarity offered by the medium really amplifies elements that many might have missed depending through what platform you’ve listened to the soundtrack previously; the Shadow side on the SA2 album sounded particularly fresh. Of course many will be buying these editions for the vocal tracks, which all sound satisfyingly grandiose in this format when played through a good sound system.
As with the Sonic Mania product, the limitation of producing a Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack on vinyl is the available space; as such both OSTs have been truncated by approximately 50% when compared to their CD equivalents, which offer the more complete experience. As such, some real belters have been omitted from the roster, with a notable attrition of Knuckles vocal tracks from Sonic Adventure 2, and the almost ‘criminal omission’ of either rendition of Choose Your Buddy! The sequence in which the tracks are presented feels a little odd as well as being inconsistent between each album, with Open Your Heart concluding side D on the Sonic Adventure soundtrack, while Live & Learn sits as the last track on side A on the SA2 album.
Given the wealth of artwork produced during the production of the Sonic Adventure games, the presentation of both products feels a little sparse, particularly given the opportunity the size of these vinyl editions present to showcase some of the series artwork by Yuji Uekawa, and really does seem like a missed opportunity to appeal to a larger audience. Those expecting E-102 gamma artwork will be disappointed at his complete exclusion from the SA1 booklet!
The production quality of the records themselves is good, although my personal experience is marred by a red blemish on the otherwise solid white LP. While this is superficial and does not affect playback, I would have been very upset had I purchased these for display, as I imagine many fans will, and I therefore hope this defect is limited to a minority of copies [EDIT: I appear to have been the only person to suffer from this defect, and Brave Wave have very kindly replaced it – AT]
The greatest disappointment I feel comes with the limited edition box set, which includes a cardboard box and little else. The cover of the box does little more than amalgamate the cover art from both games, and as such feels reminiscent of a bargain bin 2-for-1 DVD case, looking cheap and unexciting alongside other box sets in my record collection. The certificate of authenticity has a ‘street flyer handout’ feel to it, when I think something of this nature should really be produced on heavy gauge, high quality paper to embellish the premium paid. This edition comes across as an afterthought, and an opportunity to make a few extra bucks from die-hard fans; indeed they have succeeded, with this edition selling out as a pre-order. For a cover price of over £100 all said and done for British punters (about twice the price I would expect to pay for two double gatefold albums at retail, although probably not helped by our poor exchange rate), I would have expected a lot more.
Overall, it is fantastic to see the soundtracks to the Sonic Adventure make it to vinyl, albeit in a truncated form, and that these are hopefully the first of many more Sonic the hedgehog re-releases on record in the near future.
It is a real shame however that both soundtracks come at such a relatively high cost (€40 each plus postage in Europe), and that the limited edition box set has resulted in product that feels inferior to its individual constituents.
That being said, Brave Wave have shown they are exceptional at their craft with their mastery of these two selections of highlights, from the titles that set the musical standard for the series for more than a decade.
*Soundtrack reviewed on a sound system comprising a Rega Planar 2 turntable, Marantz PM6006 amplifier and Dali Zensor 3 speakers)
Pre-orders have just commenced for the limited edition versions of the soundtracks (each containing 2 x coloured 12″ vinyl records) which can be purchased individually at the cost of $40/40€, or $100/100€ for a box set containing both soundtracks totally 4 vinyl records and a certificate of authenticity signed by Sonic Team sound director and composer Jun Senoue. The box set is to be strictly limited to 300 copies worldwide.
Orders from Europe can be made through French music purveyors Bigwax as of publication of this article, with US, Canadian and Latin American sales going live at 12PM PST today through Fangamer (links below).
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