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  • Sonic Underground Re-Runs Airing Weekdays on Canadian Television

    Canadian fans might want to keep an eye on their television sets this week, because it looks like everyone's favourite sibling cartoon adventure Sonic Underground has returned for a daily re-run.

    According to 'Ronic Warihog' on Sonic HQ, episodes of Sonic Underground have been airing on the TELETOON channel at 7:00am Eastern Time, Monday - Friday. No clue if this will be a permanent fixture, and with DVDs for these shows incredibly hard to come by this might be the perfect chance for anyone who missed out to catch up on Sonic's quest to find his royal mother.

    Source: Sonic HQ

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    • Sean
      It's very cute. I feel there weren't actually enough moments where the two got to bond with each other and reconcile their different approach to things, but it's definitely a relationship I enjoyed seeing and hope gets brought back in future games. I really like Sage too and I don't want her to become some one-off character.
    • Sean
      I finished this last night (not counting the DLC). It was okay. I legitimately don't feel too strongly either way about Frontiers at the end of the day which I think is the thing that sucks the most about my experience. It has good highs and some bad lows, but not HIGH highs or ATROCIOUS lows either. Things I enjoyed about the game: +Running around the open zones and doing whatever I feel like, occasionally solving small puzzles or mini platforming sections is fun and a good way for me to relax and just mess around as Sonic without needing to commit to a playthrough of another game. It brings back memories of when I used to mess around in SA1's adventure fields not doing anything in particular. +The level design in cyberspace is generally good when it's not reusing old level layouts. Definitely several steps above Colors and Forces' designs. +The soundtrack is stellar all across the board. The ambient open zone music, nearly all of the cyberspace level themes, several of the vocal boss battle themes, and the credits theme are all good here. No complaints. +Characterization is spot-on for everybody and Ian did a pretty good job salvaging some of the more contentious character moments of the last few games lol. It's really nice seeing Sonic actually comment on environments and shoot the shit with the cast without having to crack one-liners about it, it gives me the impression that he's this very worldly guy who's interested in culture and history as befitting of someone who loves traveling the world in his spare time. Things I have mixed feelings on: *Sonic's controls. Some of the updates did alleviate some of my initial complaints such as not being able to maintain a boost while jumping or the heavy deceleration while in the air. But something about Sonic just doesn't feel good to control when doing precision platforming. He turns around like Mario does in SM64 where they do this little circle instead of snapping to the direction you push the stick... except sometimes they do anyway?? It took me a while of messing with the options screen to get a version of Sonic I felt I was comfortable with, but not being able to use the majority of them in cyberspace makes them moot in one of the game's main attractions. *The writing and story. I actually couldn't follow the story very well and most of the cutscenes are just characters standing around talking, not getting enough action done. I still don't even fully understand who or what the main villain of the game was lol. The writing is good as expected of Ian, but I think there are far too many winks and nods to past Sonic games that don't really need to get mentioned all the time (e.g. when Sage talks about Eggman having worked with Sonic in the past, she namedrops the ARK and Neo Metal Sonic). I'm fine with bringing up past events when it's done in an organic way but the references are mostly just "Hey this reminds me of the time when X." Things I hated: -The combat is fucking terrible. Sorry but there's just nothing good about it. Battles are so frustrating and always grind whatever enjoyment I'm having in the moment to a halt; part of the reason it took so long for me to finish this game was that I just didn't want to progress the story and deal with the next guardian or titan on the agenda. Enemies get more and more annoying as the game goes on; special shout out to that fucking wolf pack on Ouranos where you have to parry six of them in a row and if you mess up you have to start all over and this continues until a certain amount of time where they just fucking kill you, and no there's no way to actually escape this battle which is the only non-boss enemy encounter in the entire game where this happens. The inputs are all whacked and I often end up performing moves I didn't mean to, like Sonic's orb attack when all I wanted was to fucking homing attack. The strategy I employed for 80% of all fights in the game was just to spam that aerial wind kick move with the L2 button because it's the fastest way to kill most enemies. I legitimately enjoyed the werehog gameplay in Unleashed more than I did any of the combat in Frontiers whatsoever. It sucks ass. -The final boss of the game. What the hell were they thinking? I hate bullet hell and it blows my mind they thought to put these minigames into a game aimed at children. I legitimately thought it was going to lead into another phase until I realized 5 minutes already passed and it was taking fucking forever to beat him, and I only barely managed to do so because you only get two lives and it's random when the game decides a shot is gonna kill you or not. Also I played in Japanese and the boss is talking during the entire fight meaning I didn't understand a fucking word he said, and even if I were playing in English I doubt I'd be able to catch most of the dialogue because I was so focused on trying to not fucking die and THERE ARE NO SUBTITLES. So if you're playing in another language or are hard of hearing then Sonic Says you can go fuck yourself. Yeah. I honestly thought I was gonna have a much longer list than this, but these are the only real things I can think of at the moment because Frontiers didn't wow me the way I hoped it would. I had decently high hopes for it and was even having a lot of fun at first until partway through the second island when I realized this was the entire gameplay loop and it was getting old extremely fast. There's a lot of padded content and it took me about 30 hours to finish the story when I feel if I remove all the stuff I didn't care for or straight up hate, it'd probably be half that time at most. If I had to give Frontiers a rating it'd be a 7 out of 10, with 5 being middle of the road - for comparison's sake I consider Forces a 4. So both games are above average and below average respectively, but while I liked Frontiers a whole lot more than Forces, neither game impacted me the way some of Sonic's best games in the past have. The fact that Sonic Team wants to build off this gameplay formula worries me since I want them to get rid of the fucking combat system and improve Sonic's controls during platforming.
    • Scritch the Cat
      Oh yeah, totally.  Restricting camera control to just one thumbstick is pretty rough in just about any 3D platformer, in a 3D platformer that's supposed to be about going fast, almost intolerably so. Worth an aside: It is getting increasingly fashionable to dunk on Yuji Naka, reminding the world for the umpteenth time that he's a selfish and bossy prick whose head is way too far up his own ass with his fixation on simplistic controls, and sure, I agree that a lot of the hatred is warranted.  But there really is a lot of merit in the sort of control schemes he designed the Genesis Sonic games around, or perhaps, vice-versa.  Likely a bit of both.  The fundamental idea of having to move your fingers as little as possible, with one thumb permanently resting on the D-pad and the other permanently resting on a button, truly does suit a game that at least ideally can be moved through more quickly than most others, as well as the need to react to things much more quickly.  Yes, you can't be that simple in 3D, and something something yada Sonic rough transition 3D yada blabla something, but I feel that ideal of having to move each finger as little as possible is still worth maintaining, and while 3D has complicated things, controllers have also steadily gained more buttons to compensate, letting more than just thumbs press buttons so giving every digit an easy time, at least if done correctly.  I don't think it's impossible to design a comfortable control scheme for 3D Sonic, but it probably demands either sacrifices or a just a continuous increase of buttons. I replayed Sonic Heroes some months ago, and that is overall not a mechanically-sound game.  It's glitchy, accident-prone and slippery to control, and the camera's actual programming hasn't necessarily improved much from the Adventure games...but my word, mapping the camera's horizontal rotation to the shoulder buttons was a great idea, and as much more pleasant as Sonic Generations is to control in so many other ways, it's hard to go back to playing it and not have a rough time trying to control the camera in that old way, only to quick-step instead.  Granted, you also need to control the camera a lot less in Generations, and you likely need the quick-step more in that game, but the same can't be said of Frontiers, so we're stuck in a world where the franchise is ailing from discontinuing probably the best camera control idea it ever had.  Still, would it kill them to use a button to automatically reposition the camera behind Sonic, such as is used in almost every other 3D platformer?  I feel Frontiers had enough free buttons that they should have been able to do that. And while we're here, how did they arrive at the absolutely horrible idea of activating light dash with a thumbstick click?!
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