Easter Madness

Guess who’s back?  Back again.

Here’s some crap, Easter-heads.  I hope you’re celebrating with friends and family today.  If you’re displaced from those people for one reason or another (like I am right now by being in Minnesota on business), then you’ve come to the right place?  Let’s be bored, eat Reese’s Eggs and watch some dumb videos.

Sonic Easter Eggs:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb7tbmeewNo[/youtube]

That Easter Bunny ain’t no good.  Sonic delivers those eggs, bronik:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1PbXya2mnc[/youtube]

“I have plushies and a camera.  That means I should make a YouTube video.  Everybody wants to see that:”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spcqb0HNnAs[/youtube]

“Yeah, I misspelled Easter in the end credits, so Happy Easter:”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqE-x7kAxQ[/youtube]

Take Sonic On An Adventure – The Winning Photo!

It’s Easter, and so everyone’s making plans to go on holiday somewhere. Sonic’s already had his World Adventure in the form of Sonic Unleashed, but perhaps the sights of Apotos and Chun-nan hasn’t given our hedgehog a complete view of the world we live in.

This is where you come in. Courtesy of our friends at SEGA Europe, we have an Xbox 360 Elite console plus a game or two to give away to a special someone on The Sonic Stadium. As a runner-up prize, we also have a copy of Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection (Xbox 360, PAL) for one of you. This is all made possible by the good folk at the Sonic City Blognik – click the link to visit them and have good times.

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The Challenge

So what do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a brand new console? Simple. We want you to take a Sonic plushie on an adventure and take a photo of where it ends up. Much like Sonic Team’s famed plushie photo shoots (example above) we want Sonic to see all the sights of the world – be that eating at a TGI Friday’s in New York or skulking down the beaches in Skegness. The craziest photo will end up with a spanking new Xbox 360 Elite. Magical!

The Entries

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Image 1: No sooner had we opened our contest than we suffered the good old Rule 34, with our first entrant displaying a somewhat “tough encounter between rivals”, courtesy of Yuluga. Not quite sure if Tails is experiencing anything about the world apart from the fact that it can be a cruel, cruel place, but I’m sure Eggman is having a good time. So er, thanks for this Yuluga.

Image 2: Silencer226’s entry attempts to add some toilet humour to the proceedings. It’s quite impressive how he’s managing to balance that Archie with his feet, either way. According to Silencer, “…Shadow has always wondered why Sonic loves those chili dogs, so he tried one. Big mistake… from his facial expression I could tell he had much to do. Now he must live his life as the ‘Ultimate Crapper'”.

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Image 3: Here we have Shadow ‘enjoying’ the sights of Disneyland in Anehiem, California. As much of a traveller as the Ultimate Lifeform is, apparently the Happiest Place on Earth wasn’t part of his agenda. Entrant Waaurufu promised a Haunted Mansion ride to get him to come along. It’s a nice photo, let’s just hope the angsty one doesn’t find out about it.

Image 4: Peter had no Sonic plush, so he entered with his favourite figurine instead. We suppose it counts, particularly if you end up having a Bug’s Life-esque adventure as Sonic seems to be having here. Makes even a Bulgarian garden an exotic locale for some exploration.

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Image 5: Sonic climbs among the rocks of Barry Island, Cardiff in this photo, immortalised by Frobman. Doesn’t look like he’s breaking much of a sweat – maybe all those past adventures have kept him fit over the years. It’s an awesome picture nonetheless, and almost won the contest.

Image 6: Josh enters a photo of a particularly knackered Sonic, which kind of links quite nicely from the last entry here. “He didn’t quite save [the world] this time, so he gave up because there was no hope–because the earth was already taken over, and so he decided just to take a nap on the beach.” Apparently beaches aren’t what they used to be after the world got destroyed by Eggman, hence the photo. Nice try, Josh.

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Image 7: Amy tries the economy-busting approach to holidaying, by fishing in a bucket in MilesDX’s backyard. Well, at least she can’t complain about the quality of the food or accommodation this way. Let’s hope she doesn’t end up with a frog for dinner, otherwise Big won’t be happy.

Image 8: Rather than go on a world adventure, Deancast shows Sonic that the best place in the world can be home, as the blue blur is caught finding some chili dogs to cook up. The way he’s looking, it seems ol’ Sonic’s had his fair share of dogs as well. Getting a bit porky there. Deancast, just how long has Sonic been stuck in your house living on this stuff?

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Image 9: The chili dog scoffing must have taken its toll on Sonic’s fitness, as Chaos360 sends us a picture of our hero gallantly failing his daily training in a gym in Catford. Bonus points to Chaos360 for the confused onlooker on the rowing machine there.

Image 10: Sonic needs gems! Emeralds! Shiny things! To satisfy his desire to complete his gems collection, Pri0n took his plushie to a New York jewellery shop. After ‘detecting some strange energy patterns’, the hedgehog discovered that the store had Chaos Emeralds, and they were for sale too. If only Dr. Eggman knew how easy it would be collecting the elusive seven…

Image 11: The Word Tamer lives up to the name by sending us a short story alongside this entry, where Sonic valiantly escapes from his most dangerous foe yet – Sonic Man! While quoting a bunch of hyperactive side-characters, Sonic’s task in “Sonic Adventure 3” is to reclaim the stolen Yuji Naka-Sanchinity orb from Sonic Man, all the while abandoning Tails and Knuckles via rope swing in Wivenhoe Woods. An ‘A’ for effort here, and an ‘A’ for sympathy as Wordy apparently fractured his wrist on that very rope swing prior to his career change to unconvincing villain.

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Image 12: Frack’s entry speaks for itself: “Before being relocated to a maximum security, underwater GUN prison , Sonic was temporarily held in a similar facility in San Diego, CA. Poor guy.” He doesn’t quite look like he’s enjoying his world adventure there, does he? It’s OK Sonic, Amy will save you… at least she would, if she wasn’t bucket fishing.

Image 13: Tracy sent in a pretty cool photo of Sonic jamming in a band with Tails and Knuckles. She says the gang had just defeated Eggman for yet another time and playing the drums helps Sonic relax. Well, as long as Sonic doesn’t go anywhere near a guitar that shoots happy hardcore laser beams, we’ll be okay. And I think the neighbours would accept loud drumming noises compared to that as well.

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Image 14: Sonic enjoys a well-earned rest in a nearby tree – well, with all this exploring around the world and seeing all sorts of sights, you do need a break every now and then. Dylan took this photo while Sonic was napping, but I’m sure he won’t mind.

Image 15: “Sonic is on in adventure this Easter Cracking One Bad Egg at a Time…” reads this entry from Future. Sonic finally gets Eggman into a corner – or should we say cup – as he declares “This is going to happen to you next!”, pointing at a broken egg. My my, we never knew Sonic had it in him. Eggman’s understandably a bit soiled at this threat, and the shocked face slapped on that egg is awesome. Nice work.

The Almost-Won-Its

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Image 16: Foreversonic took this stylish photo of Sonic trying his luck in Great Yarmouth’s crane game machines. The story goes that Sonic’s friends got caught in this catcher so Sonic must try to free them. The setting feels very much like a location Sonic would be seen in, and the story behind it is pretty sweet too.

Image 17: Looks like Rio went on his own world adventure round about the same time most of the TSS Staff did, as he takes a photo with his Sonic plushie by a lake in the Chu-Zenji mountains in Nikko, Japan. It’s truly an amazing view, and we can say we’ve seen similar sights in our own journey in the land of the rising sun. This almost won because it was about the only entry that actually took the contest seriously. Great work.

Image 18: Leo’s entry sees Sonic hitchhiking in rural Germany, with the Bavarian Alps looking beautiful within the town of Garmisch. It was a real close call between the winning entry and this one, as the view is absolutely breathtaking and the photography here is worthy of praise. Sonic’s all bandaged up like that as the result of a traffic accident. Trying to get to Spagonia those few seconds faster doesn’t really seem worth it now, does it Sonic?

Leo’s entry is the clear runner-up in the contest, which means he bags himself a PAL copy of Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection on Xbox 360.

The Winner

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Khyber’s entry won the contest by the width of a fishing line – literally! Setting up a scene where Tails is carrying Sonic over Bellingham Bay, WA is a unique way of staging a world adventure (as long as Tails doesn’t get too knackered after all that flying) and very fitting for the games as well. What really got us was the effort that went into taking this photo – believe it or not, the image above is not photoshopped, but rather a couple of plushies hanging on a fishing line. Kyber explains:

“I switched to fishing line instead of string because the string kept showing up in the picture. Sonic and Tails are held together with safety pins, and the angle is such that the pins aren’t visible. This was HARD to get right, but definitely worth it.”

You can see how Kyber set up the shot by taking a peek at this image. The imagination alone has earned you an Xbox 360 Elite console, a copy of Sonic Unleashed, a bonus game and a bundle of Sega goodies to boot, so well done Khyber! Thanks to all of our entrants, all of your photos were awesome and detailed a very interesting (if not sordid at times) adventure that the Sonic crew will certainly not forget!

What’s your favourite entry out of all of these photos? Let us know in the Comments box!

Easter Holidays – How Do You Eat Yours?

So a guy died for our sins once, but then he got better. And as a result, we celebrate this occasion with copious amounts of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns. I thought I would treat you guys to a brand new skin for The Sonic Stadium so you can get fat on choccies in style! And who better to be the face of Easter than Cream the Rabbit?

Yes, it’s the return of the skin selector, which last made a gracious appearance in this form a good few years ago. All part of bringing TSS back to its former glory. ‘Creamed’ is now the default skin for the website, but if you don’t happen to like it you can change it back to ‘Sonical’ using the drop down menu on the left hand sidebar. It’s just underneath the login/account details.

I’m working on more stuff behind the scenes too – at the moment I’m finishing up on the new Screenshots gallery, which will be a place to see still images of Sonic games past and present. I’ve had a huge archive of old ones from 2005 and beyond, so there’s a good few of them. Any new screens (that are good enough) will be added to this gallery too. I should be done with this, and a few more things, during this week.

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, we got the new ticker up and running. What do you think of it? Enjoy the coming Easter!

EDIT: Looks like this website is getting into the spirit of things by periodically dying and reviving. Hmm. We’re looking into it guys, sorry for the inconvenience (Turns out it was our new ticker borking things up. Why people can’t make decent plugins that don’t result in database floods is beyond me but needless to say I’m not impressed with the person who wrote the ticker code).

PSO X-Buns – Easter Hits Sonic Team’s Online RPG

Easter has arrived on Phantasy Star Online, and that means special in-game events! Giant Easter Eggs and Fireworks on the Pioneer 2 are expected to be added to the game, along with special music whilst in the lobby area.

It’s rumoured that certain special items, and even new enemies, will be making a temporary presence in the ultimate Easter egg hunt. Be careful of giant attacking bunnies!