Classic Sonic and Super Mario 3D World cross paths!

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We cover fan stuff all the time, but have you checked out this cool project? Currently in alpha release, this fan game using Blender sees classic Sonic explore a Mario 3D World inspired level landscape.

Creator Chishado describes his fan game as, “A fan game made in the blender game engine and gimp.  It has a very different art style and gameplay from the norm, however it is very interesting in it’s own way. This game have a lot of inspiration from Sonic Lost World and Mario 3d World game. It was the general look that I was going for and feel. The game will have platforming, team work, and speed.”

We like what we see and while it clearly is a WIP, we still had fun playing it!

Play it for yourself at http://shad-unit.webs.com/sonic3dadventure.htm and share your thoughts in the comment section!

 


Sound of The Sonic Stadium 2014 Available Now

10672401_296361023903218_2687155033402296912_n“Sound of The Sonic Stadium”, a collaborative project lead by :: DJ EAR :: which we reported on a couple of weeks back, has finally arrived for your downloading pleasure. Featuring over two hours of fantastic remixes by the community at the SSMB, this hopefully won’t be the last we see of SoTSS, and next year we’ll see it grow even bigger and better! The track list is as follows:

01 Mesmerist – Out of the Ashes
02 Ample Renitence – Feel the Beat, Y’all!
03 Marvin Valentin – Bridge Zone (Modern RMX)
04 CelerinaTheJackrabbit – Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Blender
05 Faseeh – Evening Mist
06 JCWithTheRojoTee – Under a Blazing Sun
07 KyleAB5000 – Bumper Cars
08 Dizcrybe – Drum ‘n’ Space (Timesig Aggression!)
09 CelerinaTheJackrabbit – Meteor Merry-Go-Round
10 AzureHedgehog – Green Hill Zone
11 Master Jace – Travels of the Far East
12 Sir Spacebar – Time Crisis Averted
13 Mesmerist – Shadow Walker VIP (I Am… The Story is Over)
14 Mrsonic699 – Bouncy Competition
15 General Offensive (feat. Joshua Taipale) – Rhythm Rush
16 Urban Flow – Especially Y.O.U.
17 EAR – Hippity-Hoppity Bippity-Boppity Bosss Time!
18 Marvin Valentin – Wild SunBurn
19 mykono5 – Sonic Knuckles
20 LoboXero – Eggpire Strikes Back
21 Dizcrybe (feat. Joshua Taipale & Celerina Jackrabbit) – Supporting Me
22 Rexy – Pool Party
23 JCWithTheRojoTee – Nuclear Wasteland
24 AzureHedgehog – Puppet TRANCE Zone
25 Ample Renitence – Heartless Chrome
26 mykono5 – City Escape
27 SuperRiderTH – FrigidWinds …for Ice Cap
28 Mrsonic699 (feat. General Offensive) – Running Sky High
29 KyleAB5000 – White Washed …for White Park Act 2
30 S0LV0 (feat. Joshua Taipale & General Offensive) – Pyramid Cave
31 General Offensive (feat. Steven Page) – Beyond the Hills
32 Urban Flow – Ambient Essence
33 Master Jace – Options of the Past

If you’re unaware and want to catch up on some background into regarding SoTSS, check out our original news report here. Until then… what are you waiting for?! Get downloading now and let us know what you think. See you again in 2015, SoTSS!

Download now!

UPDATE: “Sound Of The Sonic Stadium” Album Dropping November, Previews Available

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A community project by SSMB to produce a powerhouse Sonic music album like no other. Sound familiar? Lead by :: DJ EAR :: with the blessing of our very own VizardJeffhog (leader of the popular TSSMA albums of the previous few years), “Sound of The Sonic Stadium” is releasing this month! Featuring twenty artists and over thirty tracks which equals to over two hours of wonderful music, SoTSS is no doubt an ambitious feat which will maintain the spirit of TSSMA.

:: DJ EAR :: says that the goal of the album was to “maintain the fun, creative, collaborative spirit of that project [TSSMA] – while building a stable & productive future for our community of fan musicians, producers, and listeners”. Members could submit up to two tracks over a three month period in terms of music, and the more arty members could supply album art, logos or any other visuals to aid the project as well. The album’s theme was centered around the phrase “out of the ashes”.

One minute previews for nine of the tracks on the album are now available via SoundCloud for your listening pleasure! Make sure that you give it a listen and follow the project on any of their official outlets to be the first to know when the album drops. And of course, we at TSS will be there to help you stay up to date on the project as well. Keep your eyes open for it later this month!

UPDATE: It’s been officially announced that #SoTSS14 will be releasing Friday, November 28th! The release will follow a listening party hosted by Rexy over on RadioSEGA. Make sure it’s marked in your calendars folks – we’ll be tweeting as we approach the date too!

SoTSS Links:

Sonic-a-thon for Child’s Play ongoing, ends on Aug 20th

maxresdefaultWell this hasn’t been posted yet, so I’m here to correct that mistake! HellfireComms as well as guests like folks from BrainScratchComms and others will be playing various Sonic games until August 20th, check it out the livestream HERE!

Right now as I type they’re playing Sonic the Hedgehog 3 while playing as Knuckles with SomeCallMeJohnny playing and Ryan co-commentating.

As well the total donated as I type is at US $11,458.41 with 811 contributions!

Missed the previous games? Worry not! HellfireComms is archiving them on their YouTube channel, so far the games archived are:

Sonic Adventure DX (GC), Sonic Rivals, Sonic Spinball, Shadow the Hedgehog (GC), and Sonic the Fighters (Arcade).

Hop on over, enjoy some great games being streamed (and some not so good games ;) ), and consider donating for a great cause! Chances are, if you have a game you want to see, it’s going to be streamed, check out the schedule on the livestream site above. :)

I want to wish all involved the BEST of luck and keep up the amazing work!

Sonic Revolution in Pictures!

10446480_10152972570759816_533319714706732893_n Pictures courtesy of Christian Gausin and 50 Rings Photography. This past Sunday was the first ever gathering of Sonic Revolution at the Holiday Inn at Buena Park. It’s the largest organized Sonic convention in the U.S. similar to “Summer of Sonic” in the UK, but still fairly small so far. We also are encouraging other Sonic fans across the U.S.  to make their own Sonic conventions or at least a “meet and greet”. Sonic Revolution was founded by Shayne and Charles Edwards, Christian Gausin and Lidice Garcia. It started with them organizing “Sonic Boom U.S. West Chapter” (it was in response to Sonic Boom moving to St Louis) in September of 2013. During our little meet and greet, she asked if we’d like to be involved in building up the community for a full on Sonic convention and we were all in!

The gang who made it happen.
The gang who made it happen.

So how was it? It was great! We had some wonderful guests and a nice amount of attendees. Guests included gaming composer legend Tommy Tallarico, Archie Comics Evan Stanley, artists Elson Wong and Devin Taylor, my brother John and his girlfriend Debbie selling her hand-made jewelry, Darian Gonzalez with his very Sonic-like fan game “Bingo the Multiva” Chris Wilcots of fan film “Sonic Prologue” and rock band Serenity Seven. Not to mention the extra surprise of Sega’s Aaron Webber and Stephen Frost who stopped by to check out the event.  We even had a real life hedgehog show up!

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“Where’s Amy at?”

The schedule of events included a cosplay contest, a panel with Tommy Tallarico talking about his life and video game music (he confirmed that Michael Jackson was the composer on Sonic 3), two concerts by Serenity Seven, Chris Wilcots showed off two exclusive scenes from his upcoming fan film “Sonic Prologue”, Aaron Webber and Stephen Frost had a Q&A panel (or course someone shouted “When do we get Shenmue 3?”),  a very tough trivia contest (hosted and prizes supplied by yours truly), a one minute art contest in which Evan and Elson had to draw Sticks auditioning for Sonic Boom, a gaming competition (with several consoles in the back showing off many Sonic games) and finally, a raffle for some cool prizes and one more concert by Serenity Seven. It was an absolute blast and I can’t wait until next year!  Let’s get to the pics! 10300798_10152972523359816_4530564000308773493_n

Our Gaming Tournament booth.

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Tanner “Ogilvie” Bates showing off his display of Sonic merchandise for sale.

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Our program guide.

10262093_10152972570334816_3423704538990129837_nBlaze and Rouge enjoying themselves.

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Bishop’s son enjoying the show.

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Now THAT’S a big Sonic.

1555347_10152972568569816_3027811355364177089_nTails – Don’t worry Shadow, I’m sure there’s someone who wants a giant, ugly Shadow plush.

10462593_10152972525394816_8131807437238788742_nMore of Tanner’s merch.

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Bishop Gahram’s Silver poster.

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Rouge with what appears to be a piece of the Master emerald.

10382455_10152972526854816_8143465718764279601_nLetting people in to enjoy the show.

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Blaze the Cat.

10415598_10152972540409816_5825149679628149225_nShard’s here and ready to party!

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Mariaaaa!!

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Aaron and Steven Arrive on the scene.

10360689_10152972530319816_3104139430612878713_n“Sonic the what now? Never heard of it.”

10353101_10152972542384816_7269390741591862311_nTommy Tallarico hangs out with Serenity Seven.

10441010_10152972550829816_6582564420626661241_nTommy talks to the crowd about his music career.

10339562_10152972558029816_6389958884070435588_nAaron and Stephen enjoying the show.

10329073_10152972556819816_7002660232995840957_nIt was so cool getting to meet a musical legend like Mr. Tallarico.

10492511_10152972543229816_4488397925994839600_nThis father and son were in line at least 3 hours before the show opened

1514603_10152972550169816_8682820146089877619_n“Gasp!” It’s the Chaos Emeralds!

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“Time to go super!”

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Some classic Sonic merchandise.

10472853_10152972531189816_580155949651627513_n“Hmmmm yes. This does play quite like Sonic. You’ll be hearing from our lawyers soon.”

1907383_10152972567404816_1763084521903635964_nHere, Aaron is showing off a fan’s concept art for a game idea Stephen had were Tails (who’s deathly allergic to bee’s in his official bio) is being chased by Charmy and the object of the game is to keep the pair apart.

10252160_10152972562124816_2096966346903899776_nThis is Aaron idea for a game. Big’s Big Fishing Adventure 3.

10478183_10152972547404816_8864299415244254186_nGuess who won first place in the cosplay contest?

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Aaron and Stephen answering questions on stage.

10430383_10152972551204816_5882430547580918695_nThe fans soaking in the Q&A panel.

10450173_10152972532704816_1141437979947196446_nFan’s at Evan, Elson and Devin’s booth.

10492511_10152972522234816_8164816271954384123_nFounders Shayne and Lidice enjoying the fruits of their labor.

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Evan won the  one minute art contest with her drawing of Sticks jugging. Elson was apparently drawing her on a surfboard,but didn’t quite get to finish.

10440856_10152972567694816_8145892820577018568_nWell, that’s a wrap for now.  There’s plenty more pics on our Sonic Revolution Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/sonicrevolution . There, you can check ou-wait! What’s th-..

RougecloserOh dear lord!!

RougerealcloseRUN AARON AND STEPHEN! RUUNNN!!

TSS@E3 – Interview With Stephen Frost

[youtube width=”600″ height=”355″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU3neKGNktA[/youtube]

While on the E3 show floor, I got a chance to interview the producer on Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, Stephen Frost. We talked about the game, some fans concerns and Sticks. I was originally going to do a transcript of the interview, but it’s 16 minutes long and that’s a lot to transcribe and it’s been a long week and I’m lazy. Besides, this way you get to hear it straight from the man himself and reading is overrated anyway. Enjoy!

TSS@E3 – Hands-on: Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric

Sonic "Hey look! No Shadow!" Knuckles "The Hedgehog?" Sonic "No. On the ground."
Sonic: “Hey look! No Shadow!” Knuckles: “The Hedgehog?” Sonic: “No. On the ground.”

After your done reading, get a second opinion from Nuckles87 over at SEGAbits!

Big Red Button’s Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is an odd duck. It’s a Sonic game that feels NOTHING like a Sonic game in almost every sense. At it’s core, it’s an adventure-based brawler with platforming and puzzle elements similar to other adventure games such as Tomb Raider, Ratchet and Clank or Uncharted and relies heavily on co-op. A Sonic game that’s not very Sonic-like in any way.

The E3 demo I played has four different levels. A mining level with Sonic and Knuckles, an underground toxic waste level with Sonic and Amy, a speed traverse level with all four and finally, a boss fight with Eggman. These levels are meant to show you samples of the gameplay you can expect from the game, but when put out of context like this, it kind of gives you a poor idea of what the full game is like.

The speed level is fairly simple with some boosting areas, simple jumps and places where you can grab with your enerbeam to swing around. I did go an alternate path from what was shown in previous videos and found an area with a fair amount of obstacles to dodge. It’s no Sonic Generations, but at least it’s something fun to do when going between worlds. Sadly the level was very short and stopped before we got to our destination.

"Well, we solved that! Now lets stagger around until we find some more switches to move this cart around and MAN! I'm already bored."
“Well, we solved that! Now let’s stagger around until we find some more switches to move this cart around and MAN! I’m already bored.”

Now, here’s where things get very different. I played as Sonic and Knuckles  as we traversed an old mining facility. There were robots and snakes around (at which point Knuckles does a bad Indiana Jones imitation) I couldn’t figure out how the gate opened, but fortunately, Sonic chimed in “maybe we need to use that mine cart up there!” So, I found a switch to drop the mine cart and had Knuckles push it to the gate by way of punching) and used the jump boost on top of the mine cart to get over the gate. During the level, I was constantly having to stop and figure out what to do next. Some of which was done by using each characters unique abilities. Sonic has a spindash that boosts him up into hard to reach places, while Knuckles can burrow or climb certain ledges. At one point, we used our enerbeams to lock on and pull the cart over to another path. That’s right, Sonic and Knuckles have “lock-on cart” technology.

…..Oh, come on! That was funny and you know it.

However, constantly having to stop and figure out another puzzle made the whole thing (up to getting to the mining robot) a real drag. At one point, Sonic sees Tails and Amy up above. They are talking about how what a blast they are having in this upper path. “Well, at least they’re having fun” Sonic quips. Too bad I’m not. I found this to be the most boring level in the entire demo.

"Run away much slower than the speed you normally can go!!"
“Run away much slower than the speed you normally can go!!”

The third demo was with Sonic and Amy in an underground toxic waste dump. At times they are being chased by a giant guardian robot while being assisted by a helper robot. There are a few chase scenes reminiscent of Crash Bandicoot. It seems odd that Sonic can barely run fast enough to get out of it’s way. He basically runs the same speed as Amy. Maybe he’s just slowing down to make sure she’s safe? Speaking of Amy, her gameplay is actually pretty good here. She’s acrobatic and can traverse thin pipes and does some difficult platforming along with swinging from bar to bar. I found using her to be much more fun than Sonic or Knuckles. Also, she sounds a lot more like her old Sonic X self rather than Minnie Mouse.

The final level is a boss fight with Dr. Eggman. He’s using an ancient machine and it isn’t going too well (the Eggmobile doesn’t fit quite right and keeps falling over). He’s also using old, used missiles that don’t hit the gang, but just drop to the ground. You can then grab the missiles with the enerbeam to throw them back at Eggman until he falls over and you can attack him head on. There’s plenty of teamwork going on here and the quips are pretty funny. That’s one thing I really gotta hand this game. The dialog doesn’t constantly repeat itself (except in some casual fights) and is pretty funny while moving the story along. It’s a refreshing pace from the poor dialog we got in games like Sonic Heroes. That’s good for those of you who love some Sonic games for their story.

"GAAH! No fair! What'd I ever do to y-oh yeah. All that stuff."
“GAAH! No fair! What’d I ever do to y-oh yeah. All that stuff.”

Sadly, that’s the best compliment I can give the game so far. The game just demos bad. Having it cut into chunks like this really doesn’t give you a full understanding of how the full game really is and instead gives you these dull puzzle sections that make the Werehog levels in Sonic Unleashed seem like a thrill ride in comparison. Also, if this is a co-op game, why are there no two-player demos out on the E3 floor? As I said though, it’s really hard to judge in the format it’s in here. However if I only had a choice between the Wii U version and the 3DS version (Hands-on coming soon), I’d definitely pick the 3DS version as it has more of what makes a fun Sonic game. This one seems to be more focused on telling a story rather than making a really fun experience.

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric will be out this November and hopefully, we can get a better example of the full game’s experience before then.

 

 

 

Robotnik’s Theme, Trombone Edition

For years, fans have wondered “OH GOD! What does Robotnik’s theme sound like when played on a Trombone!?” Well you can wonder no longer.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5dCylVmcvw

Next year… if I have won the lottery, I intend to hire this young gentleman, to come to Summer of Sonic, and follow Svend around, to play this theme… all day long.

Comic-Con 2013 Cosplay Watch: Shard

SAMSUNG CSC

I usually see only a few decent SEGA themed cosplayers at any given convention, and most of them are usually Eggman.  I mean, lets face it, Sonic characters are kind of hard to do well. So seeing someone dressed as Shard was a very special treat! As you can see here, the costume is absolutely phenomenal, complete with the character’s trademark smirk. I will be keeping an eye out for other cosplayers at the convention, so stay tuned! I will hopefully have some more updates. Sunday is the Archie Sonic Panel, so maybe some Eggmans or something will be there.

Also, Shard guy, feel free to give us a special shout out in comments!

Mash-Up Monday: Get Wispy

To mark tomorrow’s release of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, here’s the Mash-Up Monday to suit the occasion!

SexualOmochao went and spliced together the French duo’s recently released hit single Get Lucky, a collaborative work featuring singer Pharrell Williams and guitarist Nile Rodgers, and Planet Wisp’s Act 3 iteration from Sonic Colours.

She’s up all night ’til the sun,
I’m up all night to get some!
She’s up all night for good fun,
I’m up all night to get Wispy!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wki2wBqTmiM

Email me at vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org if you have a mash-up of your own to share or found one you’d like to see featured!

SAGE Spotlight: Sonic Robo Blast 2

Review by Kain of SFGHQ, Submitted to TSS

As a preface to this review, I will say that I am being particularly harsh in my criticisms of this game, because I feel no need to patronize this team or treat the game as “just a fangame,” mostly because of its enormous size, publicity, and history.  I’m also sore because I get motion sickness from playing jerky 3D games and am being doing it for spite from all the physical pain it put me through.  On to the review…Sonic Robo Blast 2 is a project that has been in development for over a decade and it shows.  In the eyes of many fangamers, including this one, it’s in a class of its own.  The volume of content and detail in this game is incredible.  It is and it feels like a full game.  However, it’s far from feeling like a complete game, as there are a large number of truly unfortunate glaring flaws with this game which keep me from really enjoying it. Continue reading SAGE Spotlight: Sonic Robo Blast 2

SAGE Spotlight: Time Twisted

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Last year, I reviewed a game that I’ve been following for quite some time, Sonic: Time Twisted.  While I was happy with prior versions, the 2008 demo was surprisingly mediocre and annoying.  Overbound (Bryce Stock), the game’s creator surely took notice at the comments and reviews left by the community and gave Time Twisted a much needed, and appreciated, make-over.  With one full zone of this new hotness available to play, there are many improvements to see.

dispotdriveGone is the game’s original first zone, City Edge.  In its place, we get “Dispot Drive.”  At first glace, I was somewhat shaky about the quality of this demo solely based on the use of the non-existant word “dispot” in the zone’s name.  Within the first thirty seconds of playing, however, my doubts were cast aside and the game looked, felt, and sounded like a drastic improvement over previous builds.

Time Twisted is designed to be a spiritual successor to Sonic CD, so with that connection comes the “bulgy-polygonal-pattern” foreground.  The yellow diamond foreground is much better than the strange pattern that City Edge, but shades on the side of “too bulgy.”  The foreground can sometimes be a bother on the eyes for always bulging out and providing few opportunities for flat or caved-in tiling.  Otherwise, the graphics are consistent, clean, and one of the best out there in Sonic fangaming.

ddzpastThe slippery controls of previous builds have been left in the past, as the game feels tighter and a bit more like Sonic CD.  While not perfect Sonic physics, they are not game-breaking in the slightest and are tight enough to get you through the experience.  I just wish that jump was mapped to a different key, because the space bar is slightly uncomfortable to me.

One thing that hasn’t improved is time travel.  The means of how you leap through time is now different than Sonic CD‘s, but there’s still no point to it.  I will pose the same question as I did last year: What purpose is there to go back in time?  I need a reason to travel, like destroying a roboticizer or something, or else the mechanic is just a gimmick that would eventually wear on me if the demo was longer.  Everything needs a purpose and time travel still does not have one.

metalsonicTime Travel also becomes aggravating due to the aforementioned new method of activating it.  Rather than hitting a post and hitting high speeds for a set amount of time, Time Twisted throws you into the past/future once you hit a timepost.  There’s no option, like Sonic CD, to time travel.  As a result, the game stops to send you back in time with each time-post that you pass and all you will hear is the first ten to twenty seconds of each time period’s music.

Speaking of the music, it’s still great.  LarkSS, the game’s composer, has created past/present tunes that complement each other nicely, like the Sonic CD soundtracks.  Sound effects wise, the game did away with the “click” sound for when Sonic lands on his feet and that makes the experience leagues better.

Everybody can learn a lesson from Overbound.  He is a guy who had his project assailed with harsh criticism, got upset, but still managed to get up and come back stronger the following year.  It can only get better from here, so keep up the good work, Overbound.

VISIT TIME TWISTED’S SAGE BOOTH AND PLAY FOR YOURSELF!

SAGE Spotlight: Project Mettrix

Perhaps a beacon of hope, glory and good times for many, Sonic the Hedgehog: Project Mettrix has been in the fangaming headlines for quite some time, and with good reason. While many fangames before it have tried to recreate the classic 2D Sonic experience and provide a brand new adventure out of it, Mettrix is the first from-scratch build that, even in its early state, is truly succeeding.

In the new tech demo, codenamed E02, we’re given a tour of four different stages in the updated code. The first is a test level purely for demonstration purposes, but it was real fun bouncing around in this dummy stage using all the contours and springs to our advantage. It seems that Stealth and co are onto a good thing here – focusing on physics-based speed is just what the doctor ordered.

mettrix-siz

Although introduced in an earlier version – E01 – first stage Shining Island Zone seems to pale in comparison to the Test stage in terms of level design. Granted, the former is practically a playground to trial moves and gimmicks, but you can’t hep but feel that not enough of those curves and loops have been used in the tropical paradise level. The graphics are also showing their age, with block browns and somewhat jarring chequered scenery contrasting the blue skies badly. Luckily, this zone is due for a refit anyway according to Stealth, so we should see it in a much more contemporary state later.

As well as a Special Stage (that works exactly like those from the original Sonic the Hedgehog) and a recreation of Green Hill Zone to demonstrate the E02 engine’s capability to reproduce the Sonic experience to the letter, we were treated to a new stage called Bronze Lake Zone. Created for Knuckles, but as with any stage in this demo you can play as Sonic or Tails too, all to exact Sonic 3 & Knuckles specifications with no odd side effects.

blz-example

Bronze Lake itself is very nicely designed, and is actually quite a sizeable Zone. Taking cues from past water levels such as Aquatic Ruins, it consists of two huge, differing paths – one leading you underwater and through the depths of the Lake; the other going high into the skies, complete with dinosaur-esque Badniks to boot. Some great attention to detail is used in the scenery and gimmicks as well, such as the leaves on the trees.

Perhaps the greatest asset to Mettrix however, is its Source engine itself. For a player, it’s the perfect recreation for some classic 2D platforming action. The physics and object collisions are all present and correct, just as if you really were playing a sequel to Sonic’s finest outing. For a developer and fan modder however, this engine is a wet dream, for you can don your coding hat and start creating your own Sonic levels using Mettrix as a base! There’s a list of fan-created addons for the game already available on Mettrix’s website and as the engine gets further in development there’s no question that more complex things can be achieved on it.

Overall, Mettrix provides a very enticing prospect for the fangaming community – on the surface, an enjoyable replication of a 2D classic. Under the skin, a complex yet accessible coding base that can be used to create your very own levels in the same vein. Check out Mettrix’s tech demo E02 at their SAGE booth.

SAGE Spotlight: Sonic Nebulous

By JJ4eva

Sonic Nebulous will most likely go down in history as one of the first ever fully completed fangames at a SAGE event. But there’s a lot to be excited about here too besides such accolades, as Nebulous brings its own quirks and innovations to a game that otherwise is inspired by the roots of the classic Sonic games.

nebulous3

One of the most impressive things about this game is that the graphics are entirely customised sprites. All of the backgrounds, foregrounds and characters have been crafted from scratch, and the additional scenery and easy-to-follow storyline helps bring a very moody atmosphere to Mobius. It really feels like you’re battling for the planet’s freedom here.

The main innovation in Nebulous is the screen rotation, that kicks in when you’re at a point where a wall links up to a roof. The screen rotates to sit exactly along the wall or roof you’re on, so there’s no over or under-rotation. A notable point about this is how well-programmed this feature is – the camera snaps back to position if you jump back onto the ground from the roof.

nebulous1 nebulous2

All of the individual characters have their own special abilities and play styles, showing off the abilities of the game engine, and with 30 characters to choose from it’s amazing to think that Pink Ninja Monkey Studios have thought of all the possibilities for each one while still keeping true to their personalities.

The game so far is great – I only found a couple of problems with it. For example, as Fang I seemed to miss some rings when running into them as if their “action point” was set a fraction too high, and another thing I miss is there being checkpoints in the middle of levels. This however is covered with the levels not being too long to do in one run (even if it is after a couple of tries).

With a unique design style, thirty characters offering tons of replayability and an interesting story to boot, Nebulous is definitely one of the more ambitious and playable titles at SAGE. Give it a go at their booth here.

SAGE 08: Sonic Frenzy Adventure

Sonic Frenzy Adventure is one of those games that started a long long time ago and was never quite finished. Unlike most projects which ended up being canned though, SFA has stuck with it and is here to prove that ambitious fangames can be seen through from beginning to end. The question is though, is it still relevant in today’s fangaming scene, with Sonic Nexus and Retro Sonic ushering us into a new, exciting era of the hobby?

What it does, it does pretty well and in an entertaining fashion. You’re not going to walk away from the latest Frenzy Adventure demo thinking it’s a poor excuse for a fangame. Clearly a lot of detail and attention has gone into this game so far, with a stonking 16 Zones promised plus a Chao raising minigame. The presentation for each Zone is impressive, and BlueFrenzy has thrown some good gimmicks and ideas into each one. Continue reading SAGE 08: Sonic Frenzy Adventure

SAGE ’08: Sonic – Time Twisted

Time Twisted and I have a history together. The game debuted during the same SAGE as my project and we have made an appearance at the show for three years running now. It is always a good sight to see that a project is still alive. Secondly, we both chose the path of emulating Sonic CD, which is a plus, in my book. It remains a highlight of the show for anybody looking for a demo with more content than most (three zones here, broskis). Nonetheless, personally, I am gradually more and more disappointed with each subsequent release.

When it came down to gameplay, the physics are similar to Sonic Panic, in that they are manageable and are not intrusive to the action. A much needed improvement that I noticed this year was the beefed-up spin-dash. It only takes one touch of the space bar to power up Sonic to full speed and that is a godsend, in my opinion. The core gameplay experience does not twist the fun, but there are a few questionable gameplay choices that will. For example, ring loss is, apparently, absent. Sure, it happens, but I cannot collect any rings. None.

Time Twisted, as stated earlier, takes after Sonic CD and its time travel element. In previous years, I did not think there was a reason for the time travel, as Overbound, the creator, might not have thought of a purpose for it at the time. That said, now that development is three years in, there should be a reason why I should even bother going back to the past. I had to destroy something in the past levels of Sonic CD, so there was a reward for keeping my speed up in the present. Here, I am simply unmotivated to brave the journey through time. Time Twisted treats this feature like a novelty and it feels phoned in for the sake of having time travel while other fangames do not. Continue reading SAGE ’08: Sonic – Time Twisted

SAGE ’08: Sonic – The Fated Hour

Kuzko.  He found his groove.The man on the left is Kuzko. He found his groove in Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. In this forgettable animated movie, starring David Spade and John Goodman, Kuzko (Spade) is turned into a llama by some crazy, usurper bitch and Pacha (Goodman) has to save him. They run around and do a whole bunch of wacky shit, avoiding the crazy, usurper bitch as much as possible. They get to Kuzko’s palace to reverse the process, an epic battle ensues, and Kuzko returns to being emperor and the big, stupid, comic relief character teaches some kids how to talk to woodland creatures. What does Kuzko learn? While a llama, he changes his arrogant, selfish ways and embraces the world and the people that inhabit it. His 180-degree turn is truly heartwarming, albeit formulaic and uninteresting.

What does Kuzko have to do with a Sonic fangame? Well, BlazeHedgehog’s Sonic: The Fated Hour has been in development for ten years. Ten. Read up on it, because I’m not lying here. Finally, after years of gameplay changes and data wipes, Fated Hour has finally found its “groove” in the alpha version of Sonic Worlds. Kuzko’s change of heart happens after he is transformed back into a human and Fated Hour is at this point still in the “llama” stage. The project has made a huge change for the better, hopefully leading to greater things, but there is still a long way to go to fully develop its character, like Kuzko.

Fated Hour offers up your standard fare of Genesis-styled gameplay, while expanding upon it to keep it more unique amongst the sea of booths at SAGE this year. These new inclusions are first made apparent by Amy Rose, who offers to explain the controls to the game. Rather than only have the jump button, there are four in use during the game. However, only two are in use during this showcase: jump and jump cancel. Jump cancel will break the ball Sonic normally goes into during a jump and allows him to grind a rail or wall-kick. The multiple button setup sounds good on paper, but trying to wall-jump between two walls with two buttons is cumbersome and mapping Sonic’s wall-stick to the jump button or making it automatic would work better. When the game offers high scores for best times, the time-attackist might have difficulty trying to blow by a section of wall jumping. This button tandem is like an old man, because it threw off my groove. Continue reading SAGE ’08: Sonic – The Fated Hour

SAGE ’08: Previews, Mecha Madness Release, LeeBro

It must be that time of the year, being that the few days before SAGE are always filled with last minute hype videos for just about every project. I am well prepared to wait and let ’em all pile up, rather than flooding this here front page, devoting a single news post to a game’s preview video.

With one entire day before the show (which starts at 12 AM EST, by the way), SFGHQ members Aylingling, Nitemare, and Shadow5561 have released preview videos of their SAGE demos of Sonic Zenith, Super Mario Kingdoms, and Sonic Unleashed Advance, respectively. You can check them all out in the links below:

Check out Sonic Zenith in action!

Check out Super Mario Kingdoms in action!

Check out Sonic Unleashed Advance in action!

In other news, SFGHQ member, Streak Thunderstorm, has jumped the gun and has released the SAGE demo of Mecha Madness early. You can access his SAGE booth, which has the download to the demo, at the following link:

Mecha Madness’ SAGE ’08 Booth

One last thing to be on the look out for is the ever-updating schedule, because we have added two new guests to SAGE: Lee Brotherton and Eric Iwasaki, a developer from Naughty Dog studios (Crash Bandicoot series). Times have yet to be set in stone, but they are confirmed to be guests in the SAGE chat room. Special thanks goes out to SSMB member EXshad for annoying the living shit out of us until we got him into the chat room schedule.

When the show begins, we will have the entire front page staff reviewing all the games with playable builds. You read correctly, I will not be the only one doing SAGE reporting. Please check back throughout the week for more SAGE 2008 coverage (100% free of pretentiousness and the word “first”).

SAGE 7 Interview: Mj2

Today we have an exclusive interview with Mj2 the creator of the fan game Chaos Control a very unique game which takes on a very ‘stealthy’ approach to Sonic. I take a peek closer at the past, presnt and future of the game. Interview by FastFeet.

TSS: Welcome to the Sonic Stadium Mj2, I can call you mj2 right?
Mj2: Thanks, sure.

TSS: So you’re main game as far as I know is Chaos Control, tell us a little about the game and yourself.
Mj2: Well, I started Chaos Control 3 years ago. The plan for the game was to make something different, so I wanted to change the gameplay from a normal Sonic game and create a storyline that will keep the player on the edge of his/her seat.

TSS: Well originality is always something to look for in a game, what changes have been made to the game into the lead up to sage this year?
Mj2: I have remade the whole engine. I have made a much more advanced AI for the guards, they now follow you, work in teams and hunt you out. I have also added a lot more to the gameplay such as new player movements, more interactive levels (example, if you hide behind an object, the guards can now shoot the object away) and made the game much harder. One feature I am very pleased with is the ‘Wild-life’. I showed this in the SAGE trailer, the bird flying out of the bushes and waking the guard up.

TSS: Sounds brilliant tell us a little about the story of Chaos Control?
Mj2: The story, this is something I want the player to experience for themself so I cannot give too much away. After the events of Chaos Control 1, Sonic died in a blast at the Dust Hill Zone, he asked Tails for help, however it appeared Tails turned off his radio. Chaos Control 2 (the current game) is set two years after the ‘Dust Hill Event’ and has Tails returning as a leader of a military group. You play as one of the members of this group, a young fox called Raiden. Expect a lot of twists and turns, some I know will shock the player.

TSS: So what sort of secrets or additional features is the game incorporating or going to incorporate into it?
Mj2: Secrets and Additional features, 50 VR missions, 3 unlockable levels, 4 unlockable characters, art gallery, cheats 😛 and a cell shaded mode, something that really changes the look of the game. Then we have the online mode . . .

TSS: This is sounding to be one hell of a game and with 3 years in the making when is the game going to be released?
Mj2: 2004 hopefully.

TSS: I’ve noticed you’ve also contributed your efforts to other games and developer why was this?
Mj2: I started working on Chaos Control Online with Sparks to give the game a ‘team’ feel and I have always wanted to make an online game. CC Chronicles : Revolutions is to give the player a bit of background on whole story of Chaos Control, I had so many ideas what could not fit in a single game. I have also helped out other peoples games as and when they have asked me.

TSS: How long is the game going to be and how many characters can you play as, seeing as there are some completely original characters?
Mj2: The main Chaos Control series will be 3 games long. Chaos Control 1 was very short due to the fact it was basically just an introduction to the series. Chaos Control 2 is much longer, with at least 9 levels, most of these levels are split into 3 parts. Chaos Control 3 I have 7 levels planned at the moment, however I fell that CC3 will end up being the biggest game of them all. You play as Raiden and Maria mainly in Chaos Control 2, you do get to control Hardaway and Viper at some stages, as for CC3, well lets say the characters you control on that game will be a shock. You get to control all the characters from CC2 in CC:Online and in CC Chronicles : Revolutions you control ‘Slither’.

TSS: Very nice indeed. How do you feel this year’s sage has been and what has caught your eye this year?
Mj2: I have been kinda disappointed with the last two SAGE’s, people seem to be making the same old Sonic games, Eggman gets the Emeralds and it is up to Sonic to save them. What has caught my eye? Well I have been waiting (like everyone else) for STA, however I was also kinda disappointed with that, the games that I really want to see completed is Sonic Switch and Sonic XG, Shadow Team’s games look good as well, I am looking forward to seeing how they come on. I have been told SAGE 8 will be something great, so I have my fingers crossed.

TSS: I agree with that very much so. Well we’ve run out of time unfortunately anything else to say to the readers from SAGE-land? ^_^
Mj2: Thanks for all the support and feedback you have sent me, I am looking forward to releasing the game to you all. Thanks again.

No thank you Mj2 it’s been great speaking to you again, hopefully be speaking soon. Watch out for Chaos Control a very good upcoming fan game, not to be missed!

SAGE 7 Interview: UltraSonic

Day Two of SAGE: A New Beginning, Sonic Ultimate: New Beginnings that is! Today we have an interview with Ultrasonic the creator of this fabulous game, read on to see more info on Ultrasonics game…

TSS: Good afternoon Ultrasonic it’s a pleasure to have your company today ^_^.
US: It’s a pleasure to be your company today. Now on with the questions!

TSS: This is the first time we’ve spoken to you on Sonic Ultimate, now titled Sonic Ultimate: New Beginnings. My first question would have to be why the change in name of the game what’s so “New” about this game?
US: Well, “The New Beginings” is less telling of something new then that it actually means I went to a new begining. During mid development, my computer went to heck and I lost the game in the process. The New Beginings basically means that I started basically back at sqaure 1 with very little of an engine left.

TSS: I see, so what is left of your game engine and is there any major changes that have been implemented into the new beginnings version?
US: Well, the new beginings actually retained much of the original engine, which by the way I can’t take credit for. A few modifications have been made, such as a slightly better spindash, and the original had no sound. None, rings didn’t ring. Supersonic is being implemented but is early right now, but a nice flame effect is finished for him but more spriting is necessary.

TSS: So what sort of a storyline have you cooked up for us in the game?
US: Well, I wanted something extremely basic. Not as detailed as some of the other things out there. The story was also cooked up to represent the random levels system in game. Eggman has found a chaos Emerald, which he has used to power a machine which changes zones. Sonic now has to find his way to eggman without knowing wheres he’s going. The random levels system amy be simplified due to space restrictions. One level and it’s already about 5 megs.

TSS: That does present problems for people who want to download it. I’ve noticed that there are some secrets already included in the game such as the Hidden Palace Zone can we expect to see similar secrets in the full game?
US: Oh god without secrets my game would be like all the other games out there which have failed! I’m planning a ton of secrets which may end up also linking to my comic series The Sonic Chronicles. Supersonic is a given, and you may find some TSS favorites including one of my good buddies Dread. I’ll be in there as well, and many more secret levels are also planned.

TSS: Ah so nothings to be leaked until the release ^_^. The game handles fairly nicely when played what sort of improvements could you inflict upon the game in the near future?
US: Well, probably an easier wall jump. Dread seems to say it’s hard to do but it’s easier. I also noticed it takes 500 miles just to stop from braking, and you get flung miles away when you get hit. I’m also considering a completely new set of graphics. Sonic’s has already been completed but other then Sonic I have no clue about new graphics everywhere.

TSS: So any new characters for the furture at all?
US: Well, plans for Tails and Knuckles are being made, and many secret characters are also being planned. No details on them yet because they’re on paper at the moment.

TSS: I see very interesting I shall have to watch out for any new developments.So how long and how big should I say is the final product going to be, and is there any sort of release date at all?
US: Release date? I’m not going to give a release date because I have no clue. The way I see it is it’s released when it’s released. You’l know when, but expect the final product to be huge at the rate it’s going. Not just game wise but size wise. It’s already 5 megs!

TSS: Well I’m looking forward to the final product just last couple of questions, what have you thought of this years sage compared to previous years?
US: Well, I’ve only been to one othe a few years ago, and I only went there to see SRB2. This could be considered my first SAGE in most ways.

TSS: Anything else you’d like to share with us about Sonic Ultimate: New Beginnings?
US: There’s a chance that something huge will happen with it soon, but theres also a chance of it not happening. Chances are getting higher, but trust me that you’ll definately know if it happens. The SSMB will definately know because I’ll brag myself to death if it happens.

TSS: Good good, Ultrasonic it’s been a pleasure chatting to you about Sonic Ultimate New Beginnings, hope we can do this again some time.
US: Me too. You’ll be chatting with me again about something else should that big thing happen. Trust me.

SAGE 7 Interview: Myst Hedgehog

Our first peep to interview about this SAGE on is Myst Hedgehog, who is the developer of Sonic: Eternal Rings. We spoke to him last year about the same game, and you can read it back in the SAGE archives. This year we catch up with the dude about progress on the game, new additions and feelings on the current event…

TSS: Myst Hedgehog, it’s a pleasure to meet up with you again to have this cosy lil’ chat.
M: My pleasure really.

TSS: So, the last time we spoke – which was back about March 2002’s SAGE, you were showcasing Sonic: Eternal Rings. How did things go for the popularity of the game after the SAGE event, after I interviewed you?
M: Well, the game got some good comments, some bad comments, nothing too special. There’s also the fact that I didn’t release anything between that SAGE and this SAGE, apart from some buggy engine tests and some screenshots.

TSS: Sonic Eternal Rings in this year’s SAGE went a makeover in engine, didn’t it? How much of the game did you change since your last SAGE appearance?
M: Since last SAGE, Sonic Eternal Rings as changed a lot. And by a lot, I mean A LOT =P! There have been plot changes, sprite changes, gamplay changes, I went through several different engines… you get the point.

TSS: Explain a bit more about the engine. What was it about the old S:ER engine that you felt uncomfortable with? I thought it wasn’t too bad myself.
M: Well, I didn’t feel satisfied with the engine at the time, because I was constantly playing games whose engines were a lot better than mine. Also, the engine was made in TGF’s pre-built platform movement, and was too limited for what I had in mind for the game. Also, I heard at the time about this type of movement called static, which was apparently much more powerful than platform. And I wanted to check that personally =P

TSS: Cool. Anything that you can reveal about the story of the game? You say also that you have changed plot elements of the game, but does that mean you’ve completely rewritten the story too, or just parts?
M: Well, I just made the plot a little more complex. I really didn’t have a good excuse to include the Eternal Rings in the game at it’s early stages, and since I couldn’t find a better name for the game, I thought I’d better come up with an half-decent storyline. As for details on the story… Well, it’s kind of related with the story of S3&K, because it deals with the events after the fall of the Death Egg. And that’s all you get from me.

TSS: Heh, ok fair enough. While playing the game I noticed that there were unbreakable walls in the demo (I was playing it just now, BTW ;P). Does that mean there will be another character? Are those walls for Knuckles to break, or perhaps a new face? Or does it even contain unlockable secrets? We must know! ^_^
M: Hehe, I thought about explaining in a readme, but I was too lazy and thought it would be better if people found out all by themselves. Actually, you can break the walls in the demo. I’m going to give you a little tip. Next to the first wall of the level, there should be a spring. Use it to go to a platform a keep walking right from there until you find… you’ll see =P

TSS: Ahhhhh… sounds very interesting ;P You mention gameplay changes. Care to tell more about this aspect of the game? Or does it simply mean more baddies and better bosses and level design?
M: Well, it’s basicly what you pointed out, but I’m trying to include original features in every level, much like in S3&K, to add more variety to the game. This is basically your oldskool game. Oh, and there’s grinding too, don’t forget =P

TSS: Ah, I see. How well do you feel that S:ER is progressing? Do you see it being finished soon?
M: Well, I think the game is progressing really well. Some level layouts are already done, the engine just needs some fine-tuning. Not sure when it will be done, but maybe sometime next year. Only time will tell.

TSS: I’ll be waiting for that. Will there be any other characters playable other than Sonic in the final version? And how long will the game be roughly, in stages? Average Sonic game length?
M: Tails will be a playable character in the full game, maybe even in the next demo. I’d include Knuckles too, but I can’t fit him in the storyline so far, but we’ll see… as for stages, yes, it’ll be your avarage Sonic game length, with 7 zones and one hidden zone you can only access if you have the 7 Chaos Emeralds =P

TSS: Tasty. Finally, as we are coming to the close of the interview, what do you think of SAGE this year? Any favourite games on show that have caught your eye?
M: Oh yes, SAGE was much better this year than it has been in the past year. We really got some nice games like Sonic & Ice, Sonic XG (my favorite), and Sonic Slash. And of course there was Sonic Time Attacked. The concept for this year’s SAGE was interesting too, and mostly unexpected =P

TSS: Sonic XG was very good, as was STA. Any last words about your game you’d like to say before we depart?
M: Well, watch out for the game next SAGE, as there are some MAJOR changes taking place right now, and not involving just my game, but another TKgames game. And I’ll leave you at that =P

TSS: Myst Hedgehog, thanks an awful lot for sharing your time with us.
M: Hehe, no problem.