2010 was the year Sonic the Hedgehog came back. Yes, we all heard the stories about how the franchise had declined not long after the jump to 3D, how gaming news outlets and critics even now would begin their pieces with some variation of “Sonic has had a rocky history,” and how every new Sonic game released around the “dark ages” period couldn’t shake off the dreaded “Sonic Cycle.” Continue reading The Spin: How SEGA is Ignoring the Middle Children of Sonic’s Legacy
The original version of “Why is Sonic in a car?” is now one step closer to being at our fingertips.
Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car has now been dumped and emulated courtesy of a Mame expert called David Haywood aka ‘Haze‘. For those not in the know, Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car was an arcade amusement released exclusively in Japan way back in 1991. This was along with another obscure title, Segasonic Cosmo Fighter Galaxy Patrol. You play as Sonic in a patrol car, and the goal of the game is to chase down Eggman on the mean streets of a non-specified city. With no release overseas, and a lack of interest in obtaining it prior to this due to its short and very basic nature, it has previously only been shown to us through videos of people playing the arcade unit itself. Now Haze, with a combination of technical skill and donors to afford the board itself, has brought it into a format that’s playable on PCs and far more accessible to the average Sonic fan. I’m no expert on the technical side of things, so for those who are more interested, these are Haze’s words on those aspects;
The game has 4 buttons (Lights, Jump, Accelerate, Turbo) as well as a Left / Right ‘Winker’ (indicator) and a Steering Wheel (which in reality just acts as another left/right joystick, it’s not analog at all)
The Lights and Winker buttons seem purely cosmetic, triggering sounds and animations on the screen. The Accelerate and Turbo buttons allow you to move faster and overtake cars but really have no real influence on the progression of the gameplay, you’ll get to Robotnik regardless. The Jump button has no real purpose until you reach Robotnik, at which point it’s used to jump attack his car, destroying it is optional, the game will end after that either way.
The hardware used is the Sega C2 board, the very same PCB as Puyo Puyo etc. It’s a board using the Genesis VDP, but with some changes to the rest of the hardware compared to the home system. The protection chip used on this one is the same as Bloxeed. The C2 driver is one of my older drivers (actually one of my first major contributions to MAME) and getting this running in the C2 driver didn’t really require any additional work, just mapping of the inputs.
As of yet, this emulation hasn’t been released to the public, but with it existing it all we’re now much closer to being able to try this obscure piece of history. Below is a small sample of the screenshots taken of the emulated game in action, there’s more provided in Haze’s article above.
In a surprise turn of a events, SEGA is re-releasing the Genesis games on another platform. The iPhone isn’t foreign to SEGA, but it’s a little bit different this time around. In a stroke of genius (yes, I said “genius”), SEGA will be releasing an official emulator for the iPhone with its own store, allowing you to purchase ROMs. With the iPhone App Store becoming obnoxiously bigger every day, SEGA’s plan to break free and sell their games within its own store is a smart idea. The emulator will come packaged with Space Harrier II and with the ability to purchase four additional titles:
• Sonic the Hedgehog: $5.99
• Golden Axe: $4.99
• Ecco the Dolphin: $2.99
• Shining Force: $2.99
Will you pay $6 for the original Sonic (again)? Will the emulator recognize the Sonic app that was released last year? Will lag be present in these emulations? All these questions and more should be answered when the app releases later this year.
A team of hackers known as “Team Typhoon” have apparently enabled homebrew on the new PSPgo. The video above showcases a Genesis emulator running Sonic CD, which is super cool. Even if you were one of the few who purchased the new handheld, however, Team Typhoon will never be releasing their custom firmware. In a silly disclaimer, Team Typhoon says:
This video is for bragging rights ONLY (since it’s very cool nowadays) and shows our Proof of Concept 6.10 Custom Firmware running on the PSPgo. This will never be released to the general public or anyone else at all whether you are a dev or not, this is Team Typhoon internal material, we have no reason whatsoever to waste a perfectly good exploit.
Remember Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis? The port of the Mega Drive original for the Game Boy Advance, so shoddy it never got a release in Europe? Well, it looks like jokes of ‘five people making this game in their lunch break’ are no longer appropriate (or funny), because one talented Sonic fan’s decided to make a much better port. That’s right, one person. All one of them.
As part of a ‘Proven Concepts’ entry to Sonic Retro’s hacking contest, Stealth has crafted a port of the first three acts (Green Hill Zone) plus Special Zones to damn near perfection – including tweaks such as a spindash, Knuckles and Tails, and a removal of the speed cap. The entire resolution of the original is maintained on the GBA, and it just proves, in Stealth’s own words, “that a Genesis original can be competently represented on the GBA”.
Download the homemade port at Sonic Retro’s Message Board; if the link’s giving you jip just click on the address bar and hit enter, you should be able to grab it then.
A rather nice discovery has been made, amidst all the console doom and gloom. It turns out that a rather crafty member of the Sonic community has got his hands on a working ROM of a long-lost Sonic game called ‘SEGASonic the Hedgehog’. The title, originally released in Japanese arcades in limited numbers, has been difficult to emulate due to its unique trackball control scheme. But now, someone’s played it on a computer! Continue reading ‘SEGASonic the Hedgehog’ Arcade Game Discovered and Dumped