Wow!! Am I late with this one!! So Sorry about that. Check out our hands-on impressions of Team Sonic Racing, our discussion of Sonic Revolution, the end of Sonic Boom, The Sonic toys at Subway (which I have yet to find a Subway in my area that has them) and much, much more!!
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.
CRUSH 40 performed Team Sonic Racing’s Green Light Ride at the Sonic X PUMA Launch Party last night and we got it all on video. Green Light Ride is the band’s first new Sonic song in roughly nine years, and this was its first live performance.
On Wednesday June 13, get ready to party with Belly and Crush 40 as Sega teams up with Puma to give you a rockin’ launch party for their new Sonic-themed shoes at Nice Kicks in L.A. This includes a meet and greet with Sonic Team’s own Takashi Iizuka. While the shoes go on sale on the 12th, the party is on the 13th. While no ticket info is given, it appears to be a party open to the public, so you may want to come in early before it gets too crowded.
Alex and I are bound to be there, so expect coverage right here at the Sonic Stadium. In the meantime, go to the offical launch announcement page for more information.
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)
Sonic music aficionados, get excited! Record label Brave Wave have announced that they will be collaborating with SEGA in order to produce both the SONIC ADVENTURE and SONIC ADVENTURE 2 soundtracks in vinyl format.
The albums will each contain a selection of songs from both games, each coming complete with two 180 gram records (in either a special edition blue / white or blue / red for SA1 and SA2 respectively, or a standard black edition), and will include a booklet containing “a reflective interview with Jun Senoue and head of Sonic Team Takashi Iizuka” in addition to song lyrics and artwork (track listing below).
While no pricing or release date has been announced, Brave Wave expect the albums to see a release this winter.
Stay tuned to TSS for more information on these releases as they come!
SONIC ADVENTURE VINYL SOUNDTRACK LISTING
A1. Introduction …featuring “Open Your Heart”
A2. It Doesn’t Matter …Theme of “SONIC”
A3. Welcome to Station Square
A4. Azure Blue World …for Emerald Coast
A5. Run Through The Speed Highway …for Speed Highway
A6. Pleasure Castle …for Twinkle Park
B1. Believe In Myself …Theme of “MILES”
B2. Be Cool, Be Wild and Be Groovy …for Ice Cap
B3. Theme of “Dr. EGGMAN”
B4. Mt. Red: a Symbol of Thrill …for Red Mountain
B5. Blue Star …for Casinopolis
B6. Lazy Days ~Livin’ in Paradise~ …Theme of “BIG”
C1. My Sweet Passion …Theme of “AMY”
C2. Mystic Ruin
C3. Theme of “TIKAL”
C4. Unknown from M.E. …Theme of “KNUCKLES”
C5. Theme of “CHAO”
D1. Bad Taste Aquarium …for Hot Shelter
D2. Egg Carrier – A Song That Keeps Us On The Move
D3. Skydeck A Go! Go! …for Sky Deck
D4. Theme of “E-102γ”
D5. Open Your Heart …Main Theme of “SONIC ADVENTURE”
SONIC ADVENTURE VINYL SOUNDTRACK LISTING:
A1. SA2 …Main Riff for “Sonic Adventure 2”
A2. It Doesn’t Matter …Theme of “SONIC”
A3. Event: Let’s Make It!
A4. Escape From The City …for City Escape
A5. That’s The Way I Like It …for Metal Harbor
A6. Won’t Stop, Just Go! …for Green Forest
A7. Live & Learn …Main Theme of “SONIC ADVENTURE 2”
B1. Unknown from M.E. …Theme of “KNUCKLES”
B2. A Ghost’s Pumpkin Soup …for Pumpkin Hill
B3. Dive Into The Mellow …for Aquatic Mine
B4. Believe In Myself …Theme of “MILES”
B5. This Way Out …for Prison Lane
C1. Throw It All Away …Theme of “SHADOW”
C2. Vengeance Is Mine …for Radical Highway
C3. Rhythm And Balance …for White Jungle
C4. The Supernatural …for Final Chase
C5. For True Story …for Sonic vs. Shadow
C6. Supporting Me …for Biolizard
D1. Fly In The Freedom …Theme of “ROUGE”
D2. Lovely Gate 3 …for Egg Quarters
D3. I’m A Spy …for Security Hall
D4. E.G.G.M.A.N. …Theme of “Dr. EGGMAN”
D5. Soarin’ Over The Space …for Cosmic Wall
SEGA have announced today a wealth of events to be held at the San Diego Comic-Con! To complement the already announced “Behind the Scenes” Sonic Mania panel, the five day convention will also play host to the “Sounds of Sonic” music extravaganza, which will take place at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, and include a suite of music performed by Shota Nakama, creator of the Video Game Orchestra, and Sonic Team composer and Crush 40 guitarist Jun Senoue. Continue reading Sounds of Sonic Music Event Set For San Diego Comic Con
A large proportion of the fan base to this day cite the Sonic Adventure series as being the pinnacle of the Sonic the Hedgehog gaming experience; on the most part, the games were their first jaunt into the Sonic Universe, and have defined what they come to expect from titles to this day. Being one of the more senior fans, Sonic Adventure was an exciting revival of my favourite video game franchise, after several years of stagnation and the glory days of the Megadrive now a distant echo. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Adventure Music Experience 2016, Tokyo
International Superstar and Crush 40 vocalist Johnny Gioeli has announced the launch of a Pledge music campaign to fund what will be the first solo album of his career. Among many Crush 40 releases, Gioeli’s career spans 4 decades and includes more than 30 albums (most notably as the lead singer of the anthemic rock bands Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell) and no doubt hardcore fans will be excited at the prospect of this debut album and an EP of the long awaited Colorblind.
The driving force behind the funding drive is to raise support for a family friend:
A tragic story of our friend’s son who had a horrific accident, leaving him paralyzed. He’s a high school student fighting for movement as simple as moving his finger, and I want to find a way to “pay it forward” and use the good things happening to me, to help someone else. The average cost of rehabilitation in the first year, far exceeds anything they can raise on their own. Let’s all help keep the music alive and help my friends too.
Backers of the campaign can not only look forward to receiving a copy of the new album (with the option of a signature from Gioeli), but will have options to access to a boatload of exclusives such as a streamed live acoustic performance, original (and rare) Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell memorabilia and handwritten lyrics to some of the songs in his extensive back catalogue.
UPDATE: Following the publication of the article, the post on the Facebook Page has since been removed.
Original Story: It probably isn’t far-fetched to guess that SEGA have a Sonic the hedgehog title lined up for the 25th Anniversary this year, however Crush 40 lead singer Johnny Gioeli has given a very strong indication that one is in the pipe line…and that Crush 40 could potentially contribute material to it.
When will there be news about the Crush 40 album? ~We are planning a few performances for 2016 to commemorate the anniversary of Sonic. We “might” participate in writing new songs for the anniversary game…stay tuned…
Although some caution should be exercised with the key word in this response is “might”, the fan anticipation for a new Sonic game announcement will no doubt be further escalated, irregardless of game or new Crush 40 songs.
Stay tuned for more 25th anniversary announcements!
Crush 40 as we know them today has been gracing our ears since “Open Your Heart” in 1998’s Sonic Adventure, and set a new standard for music throughout the following line of Sonic the Hedgehog games – nearly every main Sonic title released since the Dreamcast era has been accompanied with a memorable theme tune of some sort. Most popularly, fans of both the band and the series would immediately think of “Live and Learn” from Sonic Adventure 2, “What I’m Made Of” from the final boss battle against the Metal Overlord in Sonic Heroes, or even “Knight of the Wind” from Sonic and the Black Knight, all performed by vocalist Johnny Gioeli, and Sonic music composer-slash-guitarist Jun Senoue.
The duo have performed at a number of fan venues over the years, namely the Summer of Sonic and Sonic Boom conventions, but most recently, the pair was confirmed to perform live at the recent Youmacon in Detroit. While awesome news, a good many were understandably bummed at missing such a wonderful opportunity to see them live.
IXI! Studios of Toronto, Canada travelled to the Detroit convention and managed to capture an hour of footage from Crush 40’s Youmacon show! Rock out to a plethora of classic Sonic tunes and miss their concert no longer through the video below!
For those of you who make use of the digital music service Spotify, you will be pleased to know that a gargantuan selection of Sonic Soundtracks, from Sonic CD to Sonic Runners, have been added to the vast library of songs available for streaming.
As if this wasn’t enough, you can also enjoy a selection of Crush 40 songs including their “Best of title”, the 2012 “LIVE” album and the tracks from their 2012 EP.
While Spotify does not contain a complete library of Sonic the Hedgehog songs, many fans will be pleased they can now access many of their favourite songs on the go without the need to purchase songs through other services or track down physical copies of the official soundtracks.
Toby Fox’s UnderTale has pretty much taken the web by storm at this point. Released for PC and Mac through Steam back in September, the EarthBound-inspired title by the one-man dev team was released to widespread acclaim for its game-changing morality mechanic, unconventional combat, quirky characters and even quirkier writing, and stellar soundtrack. The game has already received a handful of nominations for The Game Awards 2015, for the categories of “Best Independent Game”, “Best Role-Playing Game”, and “Games For Change”.
To those unknowing, the world of UnderTale is that of a realm of monsters, banished from the surface and sealed away beneath the earth following a terrible war against humans countless years ago. You play as a human child named Frisk who falls through a gap up Mt. Ebott, a mountain from which no one who climbs it ever returns from, and finds themselves trapped underground among the same monsters of legend with no way out, save for a magic barrier at the end of the caverns. Filled with determination, Frisk then travels through the underground, but how they travel is ultimately up to the player.
You can either spare the monsters you come across and move on, adopting the route of the pacifist, or you can kill them and unleash a full-blown genocide onto the denizens of the underground and level-up conventionally. The path you choose will ultimately and entirely affect the rest of your time spent playing UnderTale, to a degree that has yet to be explored in video games up until now.
Now with that short stint of exposition out of the way, why not see out how UnderTale music meshes with classic Sonic tunes? Three of ’em, in fact! Special thanks to my friend Stingybee365, for her support and input on selecting this week’s mash-ups!
For your sakes, I’ll try to keep major spoilers to an absolute minimum where avoidable.
Our first mash-up, courtesy of Lavalamp, is… well, special.
Carnival Night Zone stood out as a stage in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles for the sudden change of tone it provided: after blazing forest fires, wide-spanning and interconnected underwater tunnels, and ruined remains of a long lost civilization (all thematically fitting for a fabled floating island) came a theme park with flashing bright lights and towering machinery, colourful balloons floating about, and that damned barrel that brought many Sonic players to their knees way back before online guides were even a thing.
As wacky as some of UnderTale’s characters and locations can get, none can really compare to the very infamus (VERY!!!!!!!!!) hidden village of the Temmies within the Waterfall region… called Temmie Village. Its citizens? Temmies. Their diet? tem flakes. The save point? Fills you with detemmienation.
So of course, it warrants for both of their abominable songs to be blended together into one unholy union.
celbrating tems new colleg degree, proving tem learnt MANY THINs, “tem go 2 carnivl!!!!!”
Now that we’ve said b0i!! to Temmie, we can move on to the nittier and grittier mash-ups and higher standard grammar.
Next one up, called “Genocide Adventure 2”, is by MtH!
Crush 40 need no introduction, but Toby’s “MEGALOVANIA”? Definitely. Played during a particular boss fight exclusive to the game’s dubbed Genocide Route, the tune originally appeared in the EarthBound Halloween ROM Hack back in 2009 (made by the same guy, actually!) for the final boss, and again as Vriska’s theme for one of the official Homestuck Adventures albums.
it’s a beautiful day outside. birds are singing, flowers are blooming… on days like these, kids like you….
S h o u l d b e b u r n i n g i n h e l l.
Take heed should you choose that particular path… because you’re going to have a bad time.
This next one wasn’t one that I’d have ever anticipated, but the end result was definitely a song worth savouring! Why? Of all things, this is a Sonic Rush Adventure mash-up — didn’t see that one coming, did ya?
The sequel to Sonic Rush saw its release on the Nintendo DS back in 2007, starring Sonic and Blaze once again as they chase after the scourge of the seas, Captain Whiskers. The robotic and familiar looking pirate made off with the Jewelled Sceptre: native to Blaze’s world, the sceptre possesses the Power of the Stars, which has the power to alter reality to one’s favour, and dwarves even the Chaos Emeralds and Sol Emeralds in comparison. After Sonic and friends succeed in retrieving the sacred artefact, it is stolen once again under everyone’s noses, this time by the real villainous masterminds behind the game’s events: Doctor Eggman and Doctor Eggman Nega.
The ensuing final battle that takes place in the Deep Core underneath Southern Island was a memorable one indeed, all the more with the music provided by Seirou Okamoto. Sir Spacebar felt it appropriate to combine it with one of UnderTale’s own climactic boss battle tunes, “Finale”. Without further ado, here’s “DeepCoremination”!
Last, but not least, isn’t the kind of mash-up you might be expecting, but nonetheless, I just wanted to share it because it sounds plain friggin’ cool.
Martyn Davies, also known as BlastProcessed, rearranges tunes as though they were being played off of a SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive. His effort is worth noting, seeing he bars himself from ever using MIDI files and simply transplanting them into a different sound font before calling it a day, instead relying on a YM2612 VST alone to get the job done (and going over the actual console’s sound limitations for the plain hell of it). That calls for some serious time, effort, and energy.
That is why I feel the need to cap off this Mash-Up Monday with his take on “ASGORE” from UnderTale, the tragic theme to the King of All Monsters in the Underground!
Found any other interesting Sonic music mashups out there on the web? Maybe you have one of your own you’d like to share? If so, you can reach me via any of the following to see your choice on the next Mash-Up Monday:
As though Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball hasn’t garnered enough success during its initial run in print and on television the world over, the famed manga and anime series is having quite the revival period in recent years.
Sequel films Battle of Gods and Resurrection: F have since contributed to the series mythos with the introduction of the Super Saiyan God, and a new sequel anime series – Dragon Ball Super – continues to add to Goku’s many adventures, following the defeat of the alien warlord Frieza, Doctor Gero’s Androids and his ultimate creation in Cell, and Bibbidi’s evil, planet-levelling monster of eons past, Majin Bū.
Numerous parallels exist between Dragon Ball and Sonic the Hedgehog – a set of seven magical artifacts said to grant miracles, Super transformations, time-travelling heroes sent back to the present to save their future, just to name a few – but there’s only one such parallel we explore here on Mash-Up Monday (or would a “Fusion Friday” have worked better for this one?), and that’s music!
Our first mash-up – “Dragon Spring” – was submitted to us by TrueBlueFuse, combining the opening to Dragon Ball Z Kai with one of my favourite tracks from the mobile endless runner, Sonic Runners! Takayoshi Tanimoto’s “Dragon Soul” fuses with Tomoya Ohtani’s “Spring Emotions” below!
Thanks for sending it in, TBF!
On the other hand, Dragon Ball fans in the West are likely to have grown up to Bruce Faulconer’s score, so perhaps the next mash-up, “Knight of the Power” by Hyper-Shan, might suit your fancy!
Faulconer’s “Gohan Powers Up”, first played during the Z Warriors’ climactic battle with Cell (heck, some of you might even recognize this tune from Chakra-X’s Sonic: Nazo Unleashed animated fan film!), combines with Crush 40’s “Knight of the Wind”, from Sonic and the Black Knight, and the end result makes for a rather mystical take on an otherwise rock-heavy track. On one hand, it’s easier on the ears, but on the other, it sounds otherworldly!
Found any other interesting Sonic music mashups out there on the web? Maybe you have one of your own you’d like to share? If so, you can either share your suggestions in the comments section below (as well as your thoughts on TrueBlueFuse and Hyper-Shan’s mash-ups above!), or you can reach me via any of the following to see your choice next Monday:
Conceived by Hirohiko Araki back in 1986 and acting as one of the forefathers of modern shōnen, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an ongoing Japanese manga series that tells the tragic tale of the Joestar family, whose members possessing unique latent powers are forever bound by destiny to battle against supernatural forces. JJBA spans across multiple story arcs following the preluding battles between Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando, each part with their own starring JoJo, and is currently well into its eighth part almost 30 whole years later, dubbed JoJolion.
After a handful of OVAs and a number of video games over the past few decades, JoJo has finally received a stellar anime adaptation for its first three arcs so far – Part 1: Phantom Blood, Part 2: Battle Tendency, and Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. However, one of the unspoken rules of a good anime is that it needs a really good opening sequence, and thankfully, the JJBA anime has had four incredible ones as of now!
Why all the JoJo exposition on a Sonic fan-site, you say? Context for this week’s mash-ups, of course! No need for alarm either: I can assure you that none of these are the work of an enemy「Stand」.
First up is mash-up artist BotanicSage‘s concoction, which brings the opening tune “Bloody Stream” for Battle Tendency and Hideki Naganuma’s “Vela-Nova” from Sonic Rush together into an even funkier jam combined. I suppose you could say that the end result is a real match…「Made in Heaven」! Eh?
. . . . . .
Yare yare daze, you’re no fun at all.
Anyway, here’s “Bloody Nova”!
We’re switching gears from jazz to rock now as we turn to our next JoJo/Sonic mash-up, this one by guilhox!
When some people think of a memorable Sonic theme, chances are they’re going to think of the iconic “Live and Learn” by Crush 40. When it comes to JoJo, understandably, a lot of folks will point to Jin Hashimoto’s “Stand Proud”, the opening track for the first half of Stardust Crusaders, the arc that formally introduces the ethereal spiritual projections known as “Stands” into the JoJo universe. Rock out to the fused “Live and Stand” below!
Albeit this is a Jet Set Radio mashup rather than a Sonic-themed one, we might as well feature this final gem for the week! Richard Jacques’ “Everybody Jump Around” from the SEGA Dreamcast classic is mixed together with “A Fine Fellow Arrives” by Yugo Kanno, the latter straight from the original soundtrack for Stardust Crusaders. Courtesy of Swordy, here is “Jet Set JoJo”!
Found any other interesting Sonic music mashups out there on the web? Maybe you have one of your own you’d like to share? If so, then you can post some in the comments below (as well as your thoughts on BotanicSage, guilhox, and Swordy’s mash-ups above!), or you can reach me via any of the following to see your choice next Monday:
The juggernauts of Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks, Crush 40, are set to play the Youmacon convention in Detroit later this year. Crush 40 have recently played at the JOYPOLIS theme park in Tokyo to promote the launch of their latest album 2 Nights 2 Remember, but have not played any shows outside of Japan since 2013.
Youmacon is a celebration of Japanese pop culture, including video games, anime and music, running across three days from Friday 29th of October until Sunday 1st of November. There is currently no information as to which day Crush 40 will be performing as of publication of this article, however we will keep you up to date as more details come to light.
In June I had an opportunity to complete the set of SEGA-affiliated fan events and attend SONIC FEST 2014, SEGA of Japan’s answer to Sonic Boom and Summer of Sonic at SEGA’s Tokyo theme park, JOYPOLIS. SONICFEST this year was also a celebration of Sonic’s golden birthday (the birthday for which the age in years matches the date of the month of birth) which is a big deal in eastern culture. Although I’ve had a lot of contact with fans based in the Europe and the US, I’ve not spoken to many Japanese fans; whether this is because there are fewer of them or because there is a language barrier, I was unsure. Suffice to say we arrived at the gates of JOYPOLIS on Daiba island, unsure what to expect in regards to both the order of the day and turnout.
I was pleased to see Japanese Sonic fans are just as enthusiastic as the rest! By the time we had arrived (about 45 minutes before doors opened), the queue was already down the boardwalk, heaving with fans dressed for the occasion, excitedly talking and greeting each other as the queue built. The first 200 fans through the door were given special individually numbered tickets, which allowed them access to the “golden circle” for the main stage event at SONICFEST (other fans could watch but from further back from the stage).
The park itself was open as usual on the day, albeit dressed a little more Sonic-themed than usual. In addition to these extras, the park recently underwent a large refurbishment, removing a lot of the old and outdated features and replacing them with attractions more akin to Sonic’s more modern appearance. A large portion of the first floor in the park is now an area known as the “Sonic Carnival”, an area dedicated to Sonic-centric games, as well as a very impressive Sonic statue, who exclaims various statements (in Japanese) when activated; fittingly, Sonic had been adorned in a crown and fur coat for the day. Several of the games are typical fairground affairs in which the most skilled players are rewarded for their efforts in the form of a lovely Sonic plush.
Amongst the standard affair are three unique Sonic games. Sonic Athletics sees players take to treadmills, in order to compete in three track events including sprints, long jumps and hurdles. The players physically run on the treadmill, with the forward pressure applied dictating the velocity of the chosen character. Conversely, Sonic Brain Training requires competitors to flex their grey matter through a series of five of a possible ten games, involving memory, mathematics, fast reflexes and a keen understanding of Japanese! Players stand at podiums containing touch screens, and compete to score the highest each round. Those scoring above 1,000,000 were rewarded with a keepsake card to mark your achievement, with those exceeding 1,200,000 earning a special card (the latter being just out of the reaches of my abilities!). Children can also enjoy the Sonic Ghost Shooting game, where a small cart takes players around a small track while blasting Sonic Adventure 2 era ghosts with a gun.
For the seasoned merchandise hunter, JOYPOLIS is heaven. The gift shop is filled with a huge range of current, generally available items, as well as a lot of exclusive pieces which can only be purchased at JOYPOLIS. More excitingly, the UFO machines had been especially stocked for one day only with the entire range of seasonal Sonic plushes, which included Surf Board and Water Melon Sonic (Summer exclusive), Halloween Vampire Sonic (Fall exclusive) and Santa Sonic (Winter exclusive). While some were easily obtained by unhooking a ring holding the plush in the catcher machine, others required you to destroy a load-bearing paper tie with a needle-like UFO arm – One Japanese fan pumped thousands of yen into a machine in order to obtain their prize!
For those feeling a little peckish, a special drink and chilidog combo was available, which came with a sticker to prove you’d devoured the foot-long. A limited edition range of sweets were on offer, including a special branded E-MA capsule which contained little cherry candies.
The main event of the day was a 90 minute show on the main stage, hosted by a gentleman in a SEGA boiler suit [EDIT: The guy is called Sexy Saito! Good to know! Thanks to Shane for the info – T]. He was soon joined on stage by Takashi Iizuka, who introduced the trailer for Sonic Boom (branded as “Sonic Toon” for the eastern market), after which gameplay was demonstrated by Iizuka-san himself, Jun Senoue played a selection of Sonic songs accompanied by Sonic himself with fans accompanying by singing along. AiAi from Super Monkey ball made his presence known for the blowing out of the candles of Sonic’s birthday cake.
Iizuka-san then issued a challenge to the audience for three competitors to go head-to-head against at Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed, with participants receiving a goodie bag of Sonic goods. Amusingly, none of the challengers has the skill to beat Iizuka-san, who came in first in the race!
Yuji Uekawa, best known for his signature Sonic the hedgehog designs that have graced the franchise since the days of Sonic Adventure, also made a rare stage appearance at SONICFEST to talk to the fans during the show. Soon after, a raffle also took place on stage, with the numbers of the 200 golden circle audiences being drawn at random to receive a special prize. After several of these prizes had been amusingly “modeled” by Senoue-san, we were ecstatic to realise that one of our number had been drawn (The winner being Lewis from Segadriven)! Not only that, Uekawa-san also presented three hand-drawn original Sonic sketches, which were also given away to three lucky winners (unfortunately my number was not picked!)
After advertisements for several SEGA games, the stage events concluded, and fans were invited to a meet and greet session with Iizuka-san, Senoue-san and Uekawa-san, with an impressive range of rare Sonic items being brought out by fans for signing (Kieran also got an opportunity to present Uekawa-san with a hand drawn gift). Post-signing session, I had an opportunity to talk to some Japanese fans and take some photos; some of the hand-made items were incredible, and it was obvious to see that a lot of them were extremely passionate about Sonic. More impressively, we saw an attendee wearing a Summer of Sonic shirt! We also got to meet Act, one of the drummers from Crush 40’s live shows, who was also in attendance for the day.
SONIC FEST was a fantastic day out, and it is great to see that community events like this have also caught on in the east. Hopefully SONIC FEST will be a reoccurring event, and I implore you to go if you’re in Tokyo next year! JOYPOLIS is open all year round, with admission starting from ¥800 ($8 / £5) – you can find more information about the park on the English JOYPOLIS page.
Crush40-fanclub.de founder Angie Fabian had a chance to catch up with Crush 40 superstar Johnny Gioeli while he was out on the Axel Rudi Pell last week. In amongst many Johnny-oriented queries, Johnny fields questions on Crush 40, including their future direction, and hints that 2014 will yield new Crush 40 material.
Johnny also answers questions about his favourite films, his artists, how much Chinese chicken was consumed during the recording of the Crush 40 album and his favourite ice cream (also my favourite!) Want to know the answers? Check out the video of the interview below!
(Warning! Some swears and lewd material…but it is Johnny!)
Currently Crush 40 are rocking the stage. If you’re currently rocking the place in St. Louis right now, hope you’re having fun. If you’re having to watch the live stream. We’re currently having a bit of a ‘party’ down at SSMB right now. So turn on the stream, get on SSMB and come join us for the fun.
Boom! Now the announcements start! Sega & the official Sonic the Hedgehog twitter account have announced that fan favourite Crush 40 will be coming to Sonic Boom this year. Although no details were given as to what Crush 40 will be doing, it’s safe to assume that they will be performing, afterall, the venue is a concert hall. However, don’t forget, Sonic Boom does other stage events and both Jun & Johnny have taken part in booth SOS & Boom stage activities at previous conventions, so they might appear in other regards.
Tickets for the event have also just gone on sale and can be purchased from Ticketmaster, according to TicketMaster, a single ticket will cost $29.
What better way to celebrate the upcoming release of Sonic Adventure 2 HD on XBLA, PSN, and PC, than with this ?
We’ve got quite a super Mash-Up Monday for you all today! Those who cannot withstand mash-up power levels exceeding 9000 are advised to proceed with caution. (There, I just saved you all the joke.)
The main theme to the Dreamcast classic, Crush 40’s Live and Learn, fuses withBruce Faulconer’s SSJ3 Ascension theme from Dragonball Z to commemorate this great occasion! Super Sonic and Super Saiyan Goku? Now that, I dig.
Those asking about the featured image, drawn by Trunks24, can find it here.
The Crush 40 Facebook page recently revealed the release date for the Crush 40 Live album (currently untitled) as October 3rd 2012, with a release through the Wavemaster record label. The single-CD live album contains tracks recorded at the Crush 40 Live performances in Tokyo in March with the full band ensemble of Johnny Gioeli, Jun Senoue, Takeshi Taneda on bass and Toru Kawamura on drums.
The track listing as stated on the facebook page is listed as:
01. Sonic Youth
03. His World
04. Sonic Heroes
05. Open Your Heart
06. Knight Of The Wind
07. I Am… All Of Me
08. With me
09. Never Turn Back
10. Fire Woman
11. Revvin’ Up
12. Watch Me Fly…
13. Into The Wind
14. Rise Again
15. Sonic Boom
16. All Hail Shadow
17. Live & Learn
18. One Of Those Days
19. What I’m Made Of…
The CD is currently up for pre-order on CDJapan for the cost of ¥2,500 ($32 / £22).
First up in the 3-part series of Summer of Sonic interviews, we have two legendary guys – Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli! Together this duo makes Crush 40, but I’m sure you all knew that already! Without further ado, let’s get on with the interviews, shall we?
Sore you couldn’t go to Summer of Sonic? Bummed out that you can’t go to Sonic Boom? Nothing can compare to being there on the day, but we hope to give two very lucky readers out there a little piece of the UK experience with our Summer of Sonic goodie bag!
We have a pair of these to give away, which include the Summer of Sonic tote bag, an Archie comic, a Summer of Sonic programme, a stick of Summer of Sonic rock, a Sonic birthday card and a code for Sonic Generations on the PC. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re throwing in one of the awesome 20th anniversary pin badges that have only been available at a few events, along with the brand new Crush 40 EP containing their three new tracks and a Crush 40 poster. What’s more; you will also receive the autographs of both Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli!
So what do you have to do to nab these awesome prizes? Well, all you need to do is answer these three easy-peasy questions about this year’s Summer of Sonic Event!
1) Which two SEGA characters were announced for Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing: Transformed by Steve Lycett?
2) What are the names of the two character theme songs that were performed by Jun Senoue and guest singers during the Jam with Jun?
3) Which two of our invited guests in attendance were involved with the UK Sonic the Comic?
Send your answers to all three questions to the usual competition address at email@example.com along with your name. The competition will close at 5:00pm BST on Friday 20th of July, and two winners will be chosen at random out of correct entries; winners will be notified by email soon after. This competition is open worldwide, so wherever you are on the planet, feel free to enter!
My readers, this day is what all true Sonic fans strive for!
Yes, today is June 23rd, and you all know what that means! The Blue Blur himself, Sonic the Hedgehog, is celebrating his 21st birthday today!
So, let’s have a bit of an extravaganza ourselves! 21 is the magic number, so why not go for that many tracks, just for today? A great number of these tracks have been tipped by you guys, and I thank you all for your contributions!
Due to the sheer amount of music to be featured beyond the jump, I’ll refrain myself from commenting on each track. Instead, I will leave you all with this. If everything goes according to plan here, Sound Test Saturday will be moved to SEGASonic: Radio next week. Yes folks, SS:R will return sooner than you think! And with the big move, we will introduce a new feature on our weekly music column: interviews! First ones up are Freen in Green, followed by xTrickyWolfy and Ring Energy should all go well!
If there is any particular artist you would want featured on a future Sound Test Saturday, if there are any remixes, covers, or originals you want to share, if you have work of your own you would like to see up on the site, then do not hesitate to notify me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
That being said, Happy 21st Anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog! Still unstoppable after 21 years!
[EDIT: Apparently the songs are available now! Go get them! – T]
If you really can’t wait until Sonic Boom or Summer of Sonic to get your Crush 40 fix this year, new songs from their upcoming EP are available for download.
iTunes currently has Rise Again and Sonic Youth listed for a 4th of July release (although you can download them right now), for the not-so-bank-breaking cost of 79p each. As of this moment, One of Those Days is not listed for download.
You may also be interested in the physical CD release of their Rise Again EP, which will contain Song of Hope (also available through iTunes) along with the three new songs. The CD will likely be a Japan-only release through Wavemaster Entertainment, retailing at 1,260 yen (approximately £10/$15). This is due for launch on the 1st of August, and can be ordered online through HMV Japan; anyone outside of the land of the rising sun will have to import in order to get hold of a copy.
Due to the incredible demand for Summer of Sonic tickets this year, the entirity of wave 1 tickets (that’s 400 tickets!) sold out in less than three minutes. If you didn’t manage to grab a ticket the first time around, then here’s your next chance!
Three months ago, the community team down at SEGA gathered questions for the musical talents behind the 20th Anniversary title Sonic Generations. As many as 300 questions were submitted by eager fans, spanning from the composers and arrangers’ personal favourite tracks as well as what other songs from Sonic’s history they would’ve liked to tackle.
Today, these questions have been answered by a majority of the Generations sound team. To see what questions Jun Senoue, Tomoya Ohtani, Kenichi Tokoi, and Alex Makhlouf have answered, their replies are available in full at the SEGA Blog, as well as Original Sound Version.
If you couldn’t hold on much longer for news on special guests at this year’s Summer of Sonic, you’ll never let go of this announcement! Prepare to open your heart and get ready to roll out the blue carpet, because Crush 40 will be making a booming return to the annual SOS convention!
Hello readers, and welcome back to a special second edition of Slam-Up Jamday! If the rumours circulating around SASASR2 don’t add your needed slam jam on your morning toast, then this surely will!
Like its predecessor, this week’s Mash-Up Monday brings you another batch of Sonic music mashed up with Quad City DJs’ infamous “Space Jam”, the main theme for the movie bearing the same name. As you may have guessed, we’re looking at a couple of slam-ups with famous tunes from Sonic Adventure 2!
With that out of the way, dust off your SEGA Jamcast as we continue to follow the adventures of Slamnic the Hedgehog and friends!
Now, back to adventure! *badum-TSH*
The Lost Slam Colony!
If you’re still itching for an extra jam, catch “Live and Slam” after the jump!
A lucky handful of Japanese fans got to experience the full tenacious force of Crush 40 in Toyko over the weekend just gone, with two shows over two nights at the Shibuya GUILTY venue followed by a meet and greet session on Sunday night. Johnny Gioeli and Jun Senoue were joined by Takashi Kaneda and Toru Kawamura to create a full-bodied ensemble to present a history of Crush 40 tracks covering three decades.
After announcing development on three new tracks back in January, Crush 40 released a two-and-a-half-minute preview of Sonic Youth, One of Those Days, and Rise Again on their YouTube channel this morning, granting fans and listeners a quick sample of what to look forward to once these tracks are available in full.
On the group’s Facebook and Twitter pages, Jun Senoue teases that they will perform all three tracks in Tokyo for the first time this week, and advises fans to stay tuned an iTunes release in the near future.
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