For those of you confused about Phantasy Star Online 2’s upcoming update “New Genesis,” you’re in good company, because it’s connected to PSO2, but also it’s its own thing, but… Okay, you know what, let’s just break it down:
According to the PSO2 official news blog, New Genesis will release in place of a new episode next year and targets bringing the 8-year-old game to fit modern tech and design expectations. It features a new world, new enemies, a new combat system, a more open map (though it’s premature to call it true open world yet), and significant visual upgrades.
The news post refers to the setup as “twin universes,” noting that you can you can swap between playing original PSO2 and New Genesis. New Genesis’ PC requirements will be a step above PSO2, but your created characters and emotes can shift between the two games. Both remain free-to-play and use the same account. Further, your weapons, units, and Mags can move over from PSO2 to New Genesis…with some significant caveats.
You will effectively have to treat the two as separate games, as you can’t bring over most of your items and basic character progression (your level/EXP, skills, arts, etc…). Weapon stats may change, and you may not be able to use certain weapons at all until the required class is put in the game (which may imply some current classes won’t be available at launch of New Genesis). Same with Units, but they will not be visible on your character. Mags will… exist, but they won’t impact your gameplay or character, suggesting they could be cosmetic only.
Much like Final Fantasy 14 and A Realm Reborn, this mid-life drastic shift is a high risk move with potentially high rewards, especially if PSO2 continues to grow outside of Japan. At the moment, only Xbox One and Windows 10 are the confirmed platforms with the statement “If PSO2 is added to new platforms, we plan to make PSO2: NGS available on those platforms as well.”
While Tangle and Whisper will be coming to Sonic Forces: Mobile very soon, Tangle herself is available in Sonic Dash today! This lightfooted lemur is the first playable Sonic character taken from the comics and not from the games themselves (Sally and the Freedom Fighters had a non-playable cameo in Sonic Spinball). Tangle is playable by unlocking 500 Tangle tokens in an event going on all this week. Shouldn’t take players too long to unlock her as a good player can nab 20+ tokens per game easy.
The event only lasts a week, so make sure you get in some time on Sonic Dash soon!
UPDATE: Check out footage of Tangle in action below:
Sonic Revolution, the yearly Sonic convention normally hosted on the west coast of the United States will have it’s first digital convention and everyone can attend! The event will start at 10 am US pacific time on Twitch at this link. You can also chat with other Sonic fans and do “Meet and Greets” with some of the Sonic talents at the discord server.
The event will be hosted by Shayne Thames and yours truly, Jason Berry. The special guest lineup includes voice actors Mike Pollock, Cindy Robinson, Ryan Drummond. Actor, Lee Majdoub (Agent Stone). The writing cast from Sonic Boom, Bill, and Sam Freiberger, Alan Denton, and Greg Hahn. Comic book creatives, Ian Flynn, Jon Grey, Evan Stanley, Abigal Starling, Reggie Graham, Gigi Dutriex, and many more Sonic creatives! We’ll also have some special events for Sunday as well.
You can find the full schedule here. See you there! I’ll be cosplaying in my Robotnik costume.
If you asked the average Sonic fan what the best Sonic game of all time was, chances are Sonic 3 (& Knuckles) would frequently be the top pick. Incidentally, this same game is also the most requested game to get a remaster, yet has received none of the love that Sonic 1 or Sonic 2 has gotten in recent years. This changed when one talented programmer by the name of Eukaryot took it upon himself to provide what may be the definitive version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and unlike other mods and ROM hacks, this one requires you to legally own the game!
The opinions expressed in this article are those of Jason Berry and dot not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TSS staff.
Guilty pleasures. Fan favorites. Cult classics. Names used for a variety of entertainment from movies to music and of course, video games. Usually, it refers to something that is flawed, but nonetheless, enjoyable.
The same can be said for a lot, and I mean a LOT of Sonic games out there. Games that are seriously flawed, but still have some fans who enjoy them. I’m still baffled by some people who say that they loved Sonic ‘06 but hey, don’t let me tell you what not to enjoy. Heck, I kinda like Rise of Lyric and that game is in an even more unfinished state than ‘06. But what I want to talk about are Sonic games that were poorly reviewed by critics, but still enjoyed by fans or vice-versa. Games that are on the cusp of greatness, but some element holds it back. Games that make you say “yeah, it’s not the best, but I like it.” Games that are polished in their design, but their design is ultimately flawed. These are my five Sonic games just shy of greatness.
Sonic and the Black Knight
This is low on the list because it’s genuinely a bad game in the design department, but it has two elements that really shine. Sonic and the Black Knight was the second in the short-lived storybook series just after the arguably better Sonic and the Secret Rings. So why is this one on the list and not Secret Rings? While I didn’t care much for the constant stop-and-slash gameplay of Black Knight, there were two things that really stood out for me.
One, the story is actually one of my favorites in the series. Sonic is back in a storybook world, only this time, he has the knowledge from the previous game to know that his friends are not the same ones from his world and only look the same in appearance. Also, Sonic’s smart enough to realize that something’s off with the titular villain and the surprise twist reveal is something I didn’t see coming. It also includes a moral that, well… you don’t see very often.
Two, the music! Crush 40 is back along with a great, guitar-heavy soundtrack by Jun Sunoe and other talented composers including Tommy Talarico. There are also a few remixes of previous Sonic music, but overall a rockin’ soundtrack to a sub-par game.
Sonic Lost World
Boy did everyone love this game when it made the early rounds at preview shows like E3 and Comic-Con. Most people gave this new and very different entry in the Sonic series a lot of love… until it came out. It’s not that changing the formula for once wasn’t a good idea. I love the boost formula but could’ve used a break. However, once again as most games you see on this list, the biggest flaw is the game design.
Sonic Lost World was doing it’s best to rip off Mario Galaxy and it just didn’t work. The level design, for the most part, was very good. It was the controls themselves that fell apart. Sonic with a run button just felt wrong. Not allowing a more analog run control was a mistake in my opinion, but the other problem was the game’s newest gimmick, the parkour control. Basically, Sonic could climb and run alongside walls in a parkour-style to traverse certain levels. However, it was very hit and miss. Sonic would start to slide off the wall very quickly and it was hard to bounce from wall to wall. It took a more advanced level of skill than normally required from a platformer. Surprisingly, the 3DS port had the opposite problem. The parkour controls worked very well and should have been implemented in the console game, while the level design was pure torture. Had we had gotten both solid, parkour controls along with good level design, Sonic Lost Word could have been a hit.
Sonic Forces COULD have been a great game under the right circumstances. It’s using the Hedgehog Engine 2, Classic Sonic is back, you have your classic 2-D and boost gameplay just like Generations. You can even design your original character (do not steal), making every Sonic fanfic writer’s dream come true. In fact, it did okay with critics or at least critics who weren’t that familiar with Sonic. But as a fan of Sonic, you played the game and realized right away that something was off. It looked like Generations, but it didn’t quite play like it.
I think the main problem lies in that a good amount of the team from Sonic Colors worked on this game including the director, Morio Kishimoto. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Sonic Colors. But that game has very different platform physics than Generations or Unleashed. However, this game seems to have the engine of Generations, but with the jumping physics of Colors. Casual game players might not notice, but if you’re a Sonic fan, it’ll throw you off a bit. Like riding a bicycle, only now the bicycle controls like a unicycle.
What also doesn’t help is the terrible writing once again from Pontac and Graff. I’ll admit, I loved the story in Colors and laughed at Eggman’s PSA’s but those two are comedy writers, and every time they attempt drama in Sonic games, it falls flat. Sonic was supposed to be captured by Eggman and tortured for months, but when we see him, he’s the same ol’ Sonic he’s always been. Crackin’ jokes with (not) Zavoc.
“What goes up, must come down…” Much like the quality of gameplay in Sonic Heroes. Now, Sonic Heroes is definitely one of my “guilty pleasures”. It has a lot going for it that I like. It offers the 3-D gameplay similar to the last Sonic Adventure games, but stripped down to a level-by-level structure, much like the 2-D classics. The new gimmick in this one is that you control three characters at once. One for speed (Sonic, Shadow, Amy, Espio), one for power (Knuckles, Omega, Big, Vector), and one for flight (Tails, Rouge, Cream, Charmy). Four teams with four stories of their own. Sonic Heroes did a lot right. It brought back the Chaotix, introduced Omega, and had probably Jun Sunoe’s and Crush 40’s best tracks in any of their games. “What I’m made of” is unironically a damn good song and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise (not really). For the most part, the “three at a time” formula works and helps keep the platforming gameplay moving at a fairly fast pace. It even did fairly well by critics (for a Sonic game of that era). Seaside Hill is still a joy to play. So what’s keeping it from being one of the best? Level design. That’s the biggest problem. Sometimes it works great (like the aforementioned Seaside Hill) while others are a disaster. Casino Park and Bingo Highway still infuriate me to this day. The game’s difficulty constantly spikes. You can be having a great time of it only to have one of the most frustrating experiences on the very next level. It also doesn’t help that this was the first Sonic game to introduce a massive amount of annoying talking during gameplay. I just want to reach into my screen and choke Tails every time he says “Look at all those Eggman’s robots!”.For a child with a high IQ, he sure has poor grammar.
Now, if you’re a big fan of Sonic Heroes, I understand. There’s a lot to love here. But it’s definitely not without its faults. Speaking of a very faulty Sonic game that I love…
I friggin’ LOVE Sonic Unleashed! But it’s definitely got its flaws.
It starts out soooo good! That Marza animated intro is the best Sonic…. Anything! (Speaking of, when’s that “Lupin the 3rd: The First” movie hitting the western markets?) We then meet Chip and… yeah, his mileage may vary depending on if he grows on you or not. We then meet humans and OMG!! They actually fit well in Sonic’s world for once! Giving them a cartoon appearance works perfectly. Then, after some story introductions and a training level, we are introduced to our first full level in Apotos, “Windmill Isle Act 2” and OMG is it amazing!! Sonic’s running at incredible speeds through narrow streets that blur by. Dodging buildings left and right, grinding rails and smashing through Badniks. It was the first Sonic game to introduce the 3-D boost mechanics that are still present in the latest games. It all feels sooo good and it’s over too soon. And then it happens. The Werehog. The thing both critics and fans felt was a bad idea and frankly, still is. Now, don’t get me wrong. The gameplay of the Werehog is actually not that bad! You’re running, jumping, getting into brawls and shimmying on ledges and it works out okay. It just doesn’t feel like that kind of gameplay belongs in a Sonic game. Also, each level is about a half-hour long or more. Compare that to the Sonic daytime levels that clock in at about five minutes. I’m bored ten minutes into the Werehog levels. The one thing the Wii did right was to break them up into smaller levels so you could take a break from them. The Wii version also didn’t have the frustrating medal hunt. Don’t have enough sun medals for the next Sonic daytime level? Too bad. Back to the old Werehog levels to hunt them down.
With all, it’s faults I’d still be lying if I didn’t say that Sonic Unleashed was one of my favorite 3-D Sonic games. The Werehog isn’t gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are far worse Sonic gameplay options out there (I’m looking at you, Big in Sonic Adventure.)
So what flawed Sonic game do you enjoy? Are there any you think I should have put on the list? Let me know in the comments below.
As Sonic fans, SEGA has invariably played at least some role in the tastes of everyone on the Sonic Stadium staff. Whether it is our love for their hardware, software or intellectual property, we each have a memory that either defined SEGA for us, or allowed SEGA to shape our tastes in gaming as a whole.
Today, on SEGA’s 60th anniversary, we thought it would be good to reminisce about the company that created a character we all have at least some fondness for.
You want box office and Rotten Tomato statistics? A wholly unnecessary return of LCD games from the 90s? A jacket stitched with three wildly different fonts!? We’ve got all that, and we’ll even remind you that all your favorite video game events are cancelled on this month’s Sonic Talk!
There was once a time where the idea of two bitter industry rivals sharing the same game (let alone the same console) would have you laughed out of the school playground; yet, Mario and Sonic have been collaborating with each other for over a decade now. In this latest installment for the Nintendo Switch, we find the two beloved platforming mascots once again battling for gold in the Olympic Games, and it’s a concept that may have lost its initial novelty. Does that mean that the game is doomed to fail? Far from it: there’s actually a fair bit to appreciate here!
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie has a whole heap of references to the franchise (and even a famous meme!), but one very brief moment in the film is jam-packed with Sonic the Hedgehog lore. Did you catch it? WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
In this episode of Sonic Talk, we discuss the Game Awards Show appearance that wasn’t, Sonic Adventure’s lost DLC, and Sonic’s latest holiday special. We also talk about the latest merch from Puma, First4Figures, Eaglemoss, and of course, Arby’s. Finally, we discuss a veritable boatload of movie news including, of course, baby Sonic! Continue reading Sonic Talk 66: Siri, Stop Playing Cats
The Sonic Stadium sped its way down to the premiere fan screening of Sonic the Hedgehog Movie in London late last month, for a chance to catch the film in its entirety before general release on Friday, 14th of February 2020!
Sonic Talk is back with it’s latest (and belated) episode. We originally recorded this in November, but circumstances unfortunately made editing the episode difficult. Nevertheless, here it is!
This month we discuss Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the latest goings on in the Sonic comics, Movie Sonic’s new look, Headcannon’s Vertebreaker Kickstarter campaign, Sonic X’s return to Japanese airwaves, and of course, PUMA’s latest Sonic shoes. Before all that we also talk about some of the sweet new games we played ahead of the holiday!
Well, that was a decade and a half wasn’t it? So much has changed in the last ten years, it’s difficult to wrap it all up in a very succinct way. But don’t worry, The Sonic Stadium is here to help you remember. Let us take your hand and chuck you down this hellish warp zone we call a Retrospective, and blitz past all the crazy stuff that’s happened since 2010. Continue reading Sonic Decade in Review 2010 – 2019: The Games
If you never got to play Sonic Triple Trouble on the Game Gear before, you’re not alone. Sadly, Sonic’s handheld outings never got the attention they deserved, especially in the wake of the often more beloved 16-bit blockbusters on the Mega Drive. But what if you took that little adventure and applied it to a 16-bit-esque gameplay engine that really nailed the feel of a genuine SEGA Genesis game?
When the original trailer for the Sonic Movie debuted in April this year, there was… a lot of material to work with, let’s just say. It was pretty common to see snapshots of Sonic’s teeth or dumbfounded expression across the Internet, and it was just as common to see it Photoshopped to be the butt of some joke.
Now, thanks to the new trailer that recently dropped (to some pretty high praise), the Internet has more material to work with, but with a much less “meme-able” design, is it still possible to poke fun at the Sonic Movie? The answer is “yes, absolutely!” Sit back and grab some popcorn (or a chili dog!), because here are our favourites we’ve found on Twitter: Continue reading Our Favourite Sonic Movie Memes on Twitter
Earlier today, Paramount Pictures uploaded the latest trailer for the Sonic Movie, complete with a newly cut trailer and a redesigned hedgehog! We all remember how… unique the first one was, but this new trailer features a few of the same shots! Check out some comparison shots below.
SAGE 2019 had a ton of exciting entries, some of which continued to crack the tough egg that is controlling Sonic in a 3D space! One of those is Sonic Islands, and it’s one of the best ones since the Sonic Utopia demo in 2016! It’s changed a bit since last year’s entry, in fact it looks like they started from the ground up! To get to the bottom of this, we went to the developer himself to see what Sonic Islands is all about.
Sonic Racing was one of the first titles announced for Apple Arcade, a subscription service exclusive to Apple devices meant to provide mobile gaming experiences free of loot boxes and microtransactions. As one of the service’s premiere exclusives, does Sonic Racing make good on Apple’s promise for better mobile gaming?
In this month’s episode, Sonic is blasting off as a mascot for a Jupiter space probe. Jason and Chris discuss Mario Kart World Tour while Alex talks all about Apple Arcade including Sonic Racing and Chu-Chu Rocket. Sonic rolls up into Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz as a playable character. We discuss the passing of Sonic the Comic artist, Nigel Dobbyn and finally see if Genesis does what Nintendon’t as a plug and play, mini console. All that and much more!
Sonic Smackdown was one of the many games featured at this year’s SAGE event, and probably one of the more notable. The game pays homage to the Capcom style of fighting games, drawing it’s inspiration from the Marvel series of beat ’em ups.
It’s the 25th anniversary of Sonic & Knuckles! 1994 was the year of the Death Egg Saga, and on this day 25 years ago that saga ended with a rather innovative little cartridge. You might think of it as the second half of Sonic 3, but I think it deserves a more fitting title: the betterhalf of Sonic 3! True, you can combine Sonic 3 & Knuckles to get the full experience, but today is Sonic & Knuckles’ birthday, not Sonic 3’s, and I say that if you look at them individually, you’ll find that Sonic & Knuckles has just a bit more to offer, and is the better game! Here are 7 reasons why this is the case.
Sega has just released a Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Tokyo 2020 demo onto the Japanese E-Shop. The demo is in full English and contains seven events. Five from the normal, Olympic games and two from the Tokyo 1964 mode. The events include 110m Hurdles, Surfing, Karate, Badminton and Archery on the Olympics side, along with Long Jump and 10m Platform Diving on the 1964 side. You can play as Mario, Sonic, Bowser, and Dr, Eggman in the Olympic events or just Mario and Sonic in the 1964 events. You can also add an analog mode to the 1964 events to give it that CRT TV look.
This year is the 20th Anniversary of the Western release of the Sega Dreamcast and flagship launch title Sonic Adventure (its European anniversary was actually yesterday)! But, while everyone can talk about the game’s original release until the cows come home, a lot less remembered is its Gamecube/PC port, Sonic Adventure DX. Let’s take a Look Back at it! Continue reading Hero of Legend’s Look Back – Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut
Another month, another (incredibly late) episode of Sonic Talk!
In this episode, we discuss Sonic’s appearance in OK KO!, and how he single-handedly caused the series to end (kidding). We also chat about Tangle and Whisper, a Mighty plush, Sonic #19, Mario and Sonic 2020 Olympics arcade and much, much more! So what are you waiting for? RECENT topics?!! Hah! Like we’d do that!
“Speed returns, in an all new 2D adventure built from the ground up.”
Ten years ago, on September 8th, 2009, mere hours before the 10th anniversary of the Dreamcast, SEGA dropped a teaser trailer for “Project Needlemouse.” Catching the gaming community by surprise, this mysterious project promised to bring Sonic the Hedgehog back to its 2D roots with a new 2D platformer in the style of the Mega Drive games. This project would later be officially titled Sonic the Hedgehog 4, an episodic download game that hoped to please the older Sonic fans who grew up with the classics. Continue reading TSS Retrospective: The Needlemouse Debacle: Episode I
With all the hype surrounding Super Mario Maker 2 for the Nintendo Switch, there’s no doubt the thought of a Sonic-esque equivalent is on the minds of Sonic fans around the world. Indeed, what if there was a Sonic Maker?
Well, if you haven’t heard, one Sonic fan has gone above and beyond to bring this fantasy to life, and The Sonic Stadium is proud to provide you with an exclusive interview with the brains behind the project known as Sonic Studio!
Today marks 30 years since the SEGA Genesis (known as the SEGA Mega Drive elsewhere, the name was changed in North America due to trademark issues) made its debut!
This name would turn out to be quite fitting, as the SEGA Genesis became the system that would not only make SEGA and many of its franchises household names on the continent, it would also serve as the birth place for the company’s most successful character: a blue hedgehog named Sonic!
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