Kickstarter Launched For UK Sonic Adventure Music Experience Performance

The Summer of Sonic team has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an official live UK performance of music from Sonic the Hedgehog series Sonic Adventure and Team Sonic Racing! Continue reading Kickstarter Launched For UK Sonic Adventure Music Experience Performance

TSS Review: Jun Senoue’s The Works III

Good things tend to come in threes, and this is certainly no exception with Sonic-themed music releases of 2019 so far; the phenomenal Team Sonic Racing soundtrack saw general release with the launch of the game in May, a new Crush 40 compilation is due in July, and sandwiched between these is Jun Senoue’s third instalment of “The Works” collection. Continue reading TSS Review: Jun Senoue’s The Works III

Jun Senoue’s Sonic Adventure Music Experience Performing in Tokyo on June 22

If you thought SEGA was just stopping with a party at Tokyo Joypolis to celebrate Sonic’s 28th birthday, you’re sorely mistaken. Sonic series sound director (and author of the incredible Team Sonic Racing soundtrack) Jun Senoue will also be performing live with his band ‘Sonic Adventure Music Experience’ in just a few days time. Continue reading Jun Senoue’s Sonic Adventure Music Experience Performing in Tokyo on June 22

Jun Senoue’s “The Works III” Release Date, Tracklist Revealed

UPDATE: The Works III is now available for pre-order from CDJapan (click to follow link to site)

SEGA Sound Director and Crush 40 guitarist Jun Senoue will release his third compilation album “The Works III” on June the 19th, 2019 release via Wavemaster Entertainment.

Continue reading Jun Senoue’s “The Works III” Release Date, Tracklist Revealed

TSS REVIEW: MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE – Team Sonic Racing Original Soundtrack

If you aren’t already feeling ancient at the prospect of Sonic the Hedgehog turning 28 next month, here’s a fact that’ll age you; it’s been 7 years since SEGA Sound Director Jun Senoue led the creation of a Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack (Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, for those who can’t remember!).

Senoue’s absence has been by no means a sabbatical, having been involved in several other SEGA titles – as well as peripherally with most Sonic games – and regularly performing with a multitude of live acts across four continents. Those who have taken the reigns in the meantime have accomplished some phenomenal feats, particularly Sonic Mania composer Tee Lopes who pulled a rabbit out of a hat with a perfectly blended score of old and new material, while simultaneously tipping the hat to the synonymous tones of the 90s titles. But with the classic itch well-and-truly scratched, many have longed for the return of Senoue and his trademark rock sound, in the context of a modern Sonic game.

As such, the anticipation for MAXIMUM OVERDIRVE, the Team Sonic Racing Original Soundtrack, reached fever pitch. Expectations have flown high based on the calibre of the tracks that had been drip-fed to us via Sonic the Hedgehog’s social media channels over the last few months. Now that the full OST has been released, we can firmly say that it does not disappoint.

Continue reading TSS REVIEW: MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE – Team Sonic Racing Original Soundtrack

Team Sonic Racing’s ‘Maximum Overdrive’ Tracklist Revealed

The official soundtrack to Team Sonic Racing, dubbed ‘Maximum Overdrive’, is about to release worldwide on May 29th! And we can’t wait to finally get to listen to Jun Senoue’s latest series works while at the office/bus/plane/pit stop. We can reveal the full track listing on this whopping THREE-CD OST release, so you can prepare for an epic listening session tomorrow (both physical and via streaming services). Continue reading Team Sonic Racing’s ‘Maximum Overdrive’ Tracklist Revealed

Jun Senoue’s “The Works III” To Include Sonic Mania Adventures Songs and Sonic Adventure Re-recordings

Alongside the release of “MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE”, the 130-track soundtrack to the soon-to-be-released Team Sonic Racing, comes Sonic Sound Team Director Jun Senoue‘s third installment of “The Works” compilation album series.

Continue reading Jun Senoue’s “The Works III” To Include Sonic Mania Adventures Songs and Sonic Adventure Re-recordings

Tee Lopes and Jun Senoue Remix ‘Theme of Knuckles’ for Sonic Mania Adventures

Sonic Mania Adventures is surely the gift that keeps on giving – as Jun Senoue has today unveiled a brand new retro-inspired remix to complement the awesome series of animated shorts. Continue reading Tee Lopes and Jun Senoue Remix ‘Theme of Knuckles’ for Sonic Mania Adventures

Jun Senoue and Tomoya Ohtani Hanging Out With Masahiro Sakurai Might Be The Coolest Thing You See This Week

It’s not often you see a number of video gaming legends in the same room at once. Besides Summer of Sonic, of course (hi Naka-san, Hoshino-san, Senoue-san and Iizuka-san!). But that’s exactly what happened in Japan last night, as Super Smash Bros Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai threw a party for all of the musicians he collaborated with on the crossover project. Continue reading Jun Senoue and Tomoya Ohtani Hanging Out With Masahiro Sakurai Might Be The Coolest Thing You See This Week

The Making of the Team Sonic Racing Soundtrack

Team Sonic Racing’s soundtrack certainly seems to be shaping up as one of the most rock-centric OSTs to feature in a Sonic the hedgehog title for many years, and this insight into the recording process doesn’t let up at all!

Check out the video below to see Sonic Sound Director Jun Senoue, accompanied by long-time Sonic soundtrack bassist Takeshi Taneda, and Act. on percussion putting down tracks for “Market Street”, “Frozen Junkyard” and the game’s theme song “Green Light Ride” in the recording studio…

Rock Out to the Sonic Mania Adventure Remix of Big Arms

Time to get metal!

SEGA today release the first of five remixes featured in the Sonic Mania Adventure cartoon series, commencing with a guitar-driven version of the “Big Arms” theme from Sonic 3 / Sonic & Knuckles, rearranged and performed by Sonic Sound Director Jun Senoue and Sonic Mania composer Tee Lopes.

You can check out other work by Tee Lopes, including his latest album Youniverse on Bandcamp.

Check the track out in all of it’s glory below!

Sonic X Mega Man: Jun Senoue On His Contribution To Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Soundtrack

Back in July we reported on the Mega Man 4 medley created by Sonic Sound Director Jun Senoue that features in the Smash Bros. Ultimate soundtrack.

In a recent column on Sonic Channel, Senoue-san talks about how this unlikely collaboration came about…

Continue reading Sonic X Mega Man: Jun Senoue On His Contribution To Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Soundtrack

20 Years of Sonic Adventure Merchandise

To celebrate 20 years of Sonic Adventure, we take a brief look at some of the best Sonic Adventure-themed merchandise released in 1998 and beyond!

Continue reading 20 Years of Sonic Adventure Merchandise

Happy 20th Birthday Sonic Adventure!

Sonic Adventure celebrates it’s 20th anniversary today after hitting screens in Japan way back in 1998.

We take a look back at what made this game one of the most enduring Sonic the Hedgehog titles, and why SA1 was such a trailblazing title in not only the series, but in video game history.

The Hype

SEGA of the 90’s certainly knew how to pull out all of the stops when it came to generating a buzz around the next Sonic game, and the anticipation of what was in store brought kids and grown-ups alike to fever pitch…and the announcement of Sonic Adventure was no different.

On the 22nd of August 1998, a few thousand lucky punters were invited to attend the first presentation of Sonic Adventure at the Tokyo International Forum – an event that was luckily recorded for posterity (which you can watch below). The first foray into the world of 128-bit high speed action was introduced by Yuji Naka, entering the stage in Rock star fashion by emerging from a balloon to a face-melting guitar riff.

The event also showcased a “Making of Sonic Adventure” semi-documentary presented in a light-hearted manor, in which Sonic Team embarked on a fact-finding trip to central America to visit the Tulum Ruins, the Caribbean Sea, the Tikal Ruins of Guatemala, and Machu Pichu amongst other locations – all of which influenced stages in the game.

Some members of the Team even became ill on their research trip from altitude sickness – talk about dedication to the cause!

The design

Sonic has undergone several redesigns in his 27 ½ year history (we won’t mention the most recent!), but most fans regard the Sonic Adventure iteration of the neon protagonists to be one of the most successful. Characters traded their pot-bellies in for coloured irises and longer limbs, allowing for some incredibly elastic posturing that would become Yuji Uekawa’s instantly recognisable stylisation which remains the norm for modern Sonic artwork to this day. While the classic design of Sonic has since been translated to 3D, the modern Sonic style allowed for a much easier transition to the medium.

Dr Eggman was given a particularly significant redesign, along with both western and eastern franchises aligning on the Japanese name (although Robotnik would be kept as the name for his grandfather in the sequel).

The story mode

Story was not an element that featured heavily in Sonic the Hedgehog games until Sonic Adventure; in fact, one of the initial ideas while the game was on the development bench was to in fact create a Sonic RPG. For Sonic Adventure to include cut scenes and a narrative was a significant change to the game, and novel in that it in itself was derived from the intertwining stories of six different protagonists (one in fact executed in very few other video games at the time).

The seventh and final story in the game, and the true conclusion only accessible once all six main stories were completed, crescendos in the final showdown with Chaos with the player taking the controls of Super Sonic – something undoubtedly cemented as one of the most memorable video game conclusions for many Sonic fans.

Sonic Adventure was also the first Sonic the hedgehog game to include voice acting (besides SEGASonic Arcade) – and while the jury might still be out on the quality of the dialogue, SA1 is definitely one of the most quotable!

The soundtrack

Hum the Green Hill Zone theme and just about any video game fan will tell you that its from a Sonic game – indeed, the soundtrack has always been a core component of what makes a Sonic game so, well, Sonical!

While Sonic Adventure is not the first video game to include vocal tracks (Sonic CD was doing that five years before) it is one of the first to have a fully-fledged album-like feel, complete with a swathe of character themes and a main anthem Open Your Heart, performed Crush 40, that is unparalleled in magnitude. The intro FMV undoubtedly still brings goose bumps to many!

The shift to a rock-centric soundtrack, a decision made by first-time Sonic Sound Director Jun Senoue, was a bold move; the music for the original trinity of Sonic games were after all composed by Masato Nakamura of Dreams Come True (and most likely Michael Jackson), resulting in a prolific pop influence. However, the move would prove highly successful and would be followed up with the equally popular Live & Learn in the sequel.

The magic of the soundtrack however derives from a brilliant use of multiple genres – rock, pop, rap, electronic, and jazz to name a few all feature throughout.

The game’s soundtrack has endured long enough that it has been celebrated since with the Sonic Adventure Music Experience, which saw Senoue-san and company re-record and perform key songs from the game and its sequel.

DLC

The Dreamcast was the very first games console to provide a connection to the internet as standard, and as such, Sonic Adventure is the very first game in history to include downloadable content! This came in the form of the Sonic Adventure Christmas download, which was only available for the first few days of release (it was no longer available after Christmas day). While this content only included Christmas trees in station square which played played music and gave a seasonal message when interacted with, it was another example of how SEGA and Sonic games were well ahead of the curb.

Happy birthday Sonic Adventure!

What makes Sonic Adventure special to you? Let us know in the comments!

 

Sonic Adventure’s Sand Hill Returns in Team Sonic Racing

SEGA’s bi-weekly reveals of new Team Sonic racing courses has continued with the reveal of a brand new course: Sand Road. Inspired by Sonic Adventure’s sand-surfing course, Sand Hill, Team Sonic Racing will let players race across the location’s sandy dunes for the first time in nearly twenty years.

When they do, players will also be treated to a remixed version of Sand Hill’s music track, which will feature Tee Lopes and Jun Senoue, with Takeshi Taneda on bass. Check out the music track (and a screen shot of the course) in the video below:

Mega Man 4 Medley by Senoue to Feature In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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.

You can check out a sneak preview of the track over on the Official Super Smash Bros. Ultimate music page.

Will the theme of collaboration in SSBU mean a Sonic the Hedgehog cover from another prolific composer in the video game music industry? Stay tuned to TSS for news as it comes!

Source: https://www.smashbros.com/en_GB/sound/index.html

Sonic Mania Plus CD Soundtrack Packaged with Japanese Release

If you’ve always wanted to blast the Sonic Mania Soundtrack from your car stereo, you’re going to want to look into investing in the Japanese release of Sonic Mania Plus, which along with all of the perks of the western release will be packaged with a double CD album!

The Japanese Sonic Mania website details the full 54 track double CD, which not only includes all of the songs that appeared on the Data Discs’ Sonic Mania album release (which contained all of the original tracks in the game and will be back in stock for the launch of Plus), it also holds all of the “re-imagined” classic stage songs [EDIT: Nearly all!]. If that wasn’t enough,there are four Sonic Mania Plus bonus tracks included, along side all three Hyper Potions tracks constituting Friends and both versions of Time Trails including the version with Crush 40’s Jun Senoue on guitar.

While most will be pleased that the game is seeing an OST release on CD, it is not packaged with the western releases of Sonic Mania Plus. The special edition is available from Amazon Japan for about the same price as the western releases, however buyers will likely have to play extra for shipping and import fees in order to get their mittens on a copy. If you’re feeling even more flush, Ebten Japan are offering another edition which includes a limited edition T-Shirt, canvas purse and art cards, but these extras will set you back more than ¥8000.

Stay tuned to TSS for more Sonic Mania Plus news!

TSS Review: Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 Soundtrack Vinyl Editions

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. Continue reading TSS Review: Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 Soundtrack Vinyl Editions

Sonic Adventure 1&2 Soundtracks On Vinyl Available For Pre-Order

Early last month we reported the release of the Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 soundtracks on vinyl through video game soundtrack record label Brave Wave.

Pre-orders have just commenced for the limited edition versions of the soundtracks (each containing 2 x coloured 12″ vinyl records) which can be purchased individually at the cost of $40/40€, or $100/100€ for a box set containing both soundtracks totally 4 vinyl records and a certificate of authenticity signed by Sonic Team sound director and composer Jun Senoue. The box set is to be strictly limited to 300 copies worldwide.

Orders from Europe can be made through French music purveyors Bigwax as of publication of this article, with US, Canadian and Latin American sales going live at 12PM PST today through Fangamer (links below).

Pre-Orders for Europe, Middle East and Oceana

Pre-orders for America, Canada and Latin America

Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 Soundtracks To Be Released On Vinyl Record

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

Side-A
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

Side-B
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”

Side-C
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”

Side-D
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:

Side-A
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”

Side-B
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

Side-C
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

Side-D
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

 

Sounds of Sonic Music Event Set For San Diego Comic Con

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

Sound Test Saturday: Spooky Scary Mystic Mansion

Isn’t this that time of year where you put on a costume and threaten to prank strangers if they don’t give you candy? You know, New Year’s!

Boom jokes aside, the season of Halloween is indeed upon us, and for tonight’s Sound Test Saturday, we’re putting the remix spotlight on one of the more haunted locales of the entire Sonic series: Mystic Mansion from Sonic Heroes. Naofumi Hataya and Jun Senoue masterfully set the tone for the teams’ respective treks through the eerie manor, crawling with evil spirits and spooky scary skeletons around every corner. Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Spooky Scary Mystic Mansion

ESP×SONIC SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25th Anniversary & SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG 15th Anniversary Guitars Announced

Guitar aficionados rejoice, as Japanese guitar producers ESP announce a brand new range of Sonic the Hedgehog themed guitars! The designs, SONIC-II and SHADOW-II are both based on the signature guitar played by Crush 40 and Sonic Team guitarist and composer Jun Senoue, which have been used at a number of performances around the world. Continue reading ESP×SONIC SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25th Anniversary & SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG 15th Anniversary Guitars Announced

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Adventure Music Experience 2016, Tokyo

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

UPDATE: Johnny Gioeli Hints at Possible Crush 40 Involvement In 25th Anniversary Title

SOS022

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.

Via a Q&A on the Official Johnny Gioeli Facebook Page today, Gioeli gave the following response to a question regarding new Crush 40 material in the works:

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!

Sonic Adventure Music Event and more announced at the Sonic Appreciation Festival 2015

Sonic Appreciation Festival

As reported earlier, in Japan a Sonic fan event called the Sonic Appreciation Festival just took place and recently wrapped up. Special guests included series producer Takashi Iizuka, character artist and designer Yuji Uekawa, and composers Jun Senoue and Tomoya Ohtani. In the event, several announcements were made, while not of a new game, were still notable.

First and possibly most notable is the announcement of an upcoming concert called the Sonic Adventure Music Festival, which will be held on April 2nd, 2016 at the Future Seven venue in Japan.

Another announcement was that Jun Senoue is working on a new album called “The Works II”. This will be released on February 24th, 2016 in Japan.

A third announcement was that Sega will be holding another concert called the Symphony Sega Concert, which will be held on July 17th, 2016 in Japan also.

Finally on a minor note, it’s been reconfirmed that Sticks and the Deadly Six will be featured in Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which is also reconfirmed to launch on 3DS again on February 18th, 2016 in Japan. The Arcade version was also shown off but no info has surfaced, if anything new was shared of that version in particular. And once again there was no word of the Wii U version.

TSSZ has rounded up lots of pictures from the event right here.

I wish to thank SSF1991 aka Donnie at TSSZ, Sonic News Channel and BlueParadox on twitter, and Woun on our own forum for rounding up and delivering the announcement on their respective sites.

Japanese Sonic Fan event to take place at JOYPOLIS, Tokyo

271215eventJapanese Sonic the Hedgehog fans will once again be treated to another Sonic fan event, due to take place at the SEGA JOYPOLIS theme park in Odaiba, Tokyo on Sunday, 27th of December, 2015.

The event, similar to those that have taken place at this venue in the past, will include appearances from Takashi Iizuka, Yuji Uekawa, Tomoya Ohtani and Jun Senoue, and a musical performance. For the first time, a cosplay contest will take place, which will require entrants to submit their photo applications prior to the event in order to be selected for the finals which will take place on stage at the event.

Are you going to Japan in December and are you planning on attending the event? Let us know in the comments!

New Crush 40 album in the works for 2016

4563CRUSH40 fans who follow the official Johnny Gioeli facebook page will have noticed a recent surge in activity as Mr. Gioeli has become more involved its running.

During a recent Q&A post, Johnny hinted that a new Crush40 album is being worked on, and is due for launch next year. The album will be the band’s second studio album (and the first in over a decade), and would follow the band’s recent success through the release of two live albums, a “best of” and an EP in 2012.

In the wake of several live shows in the US, Japan, and Mexico, Johnny alluded to potential live shows in 2016. Although it is currently unclear as to whether or not any of the tracks featured on the new album will be connected to future Sonic the Hedgehog titles, it has lead many to speculate as to the correlation of the album release with the 25th anniversary celebrations.

Stay tuned for more information as it comes to light!

“Passion & Pride” and “It Doesn’t Matter” Remix now on UK iTunes

Making love to that guitar

Sonic music lovers, get ready to rock! As we reported not long ago, a brand new album titled “Passion & Pride: Anthems with Attitude” featuring a collection of music from the Sonic Adventure era was set for release in Japan – but now it’s made its way across the waters (or rather, across the internet) to the rest of the world too!

That’s right, if you’re happy to forgo a physical disc and avoid all the hassle of pre-ordering from Japan, you can now download yourself a copy of this new compilation from iTunes. The album is split into two separate volumes – Vox Collection and Instrumental Collection – which cost £7.99 apiece, or 79p for individual tracks if you don’t want the lot. The track listing for these albums is as follows:

Vox Collection

  1. It Doesn’t Matter (Sonic Adventure)
  2. Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure)
  3. Unknown from M.E. (Sonic Adventure)
  4. My Sweet Passion
  5. Lazy Days -Livin’ in Paradise-
  6. Theme of Dr. Eggman
  7. Theme of E-102 Gamma
  8. It Doesn’t Matter (Sonic Adventure 2)
  9. Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure 2)
  10. Unknown from M.E. (Sonic Adventure 2)
  11. Throw It All Away
  12. E.G.G.M.A.N.
  13. Fly in the Freedom

Instrumental Collection

  1. It Doesn’t Matter (Sonic Adventure)
  2. Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure)
  3. Unknown from M.E. (Sonic Adventure)
  4. My Sweet Passion
  5. Lazy Days -Livin’ in Paradise-
  6. It Doesn’t Matter (Sonic Adventure 2)
  7. Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure 2)
  8. Unknown from M.E. (Sonic Adventure 2)
  9. Throw It All Away
  10. E.G.G.M.A.N.
  11. Fly in the Freedom

Now, eagle eyed readers will notice that one track, the much anticipated “It Doesn’t Matter” 2014 remix from Tony Harnell and Jun Senoue – arguably the biggest draw of the entire album – is missing from these digital releases. Well, fear not! You can download the remix on iTunes as well – it’s just listed as its own individual single (priced at 99p) rather than being bundled in with either of the albums. A strange decision, but at least we still get it!

Click on the handy album covers below to take you straight to the UK iTunes links:

passion_A.170x170-75passion_B.170x170-75passion_C.170x170-75

 

Happy listening! Time to rock and roll! If you’re planning on downloading any of the music, let us know in the comments!

A Day Out at SONIC FEST 2014

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.

Queue for Sonic Fest 2014I 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.

Sonic statue dressed up!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.

JOYPOLIS storeFor 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.

Iizuka-san introduces the main eventThe 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!

Posing for photos

Uekawa-san on stageYuji 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.

IMG_2899SONIC 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.

Us at Sonic Fest!

 

Johnny Gioeli Interview: New Crush 40 Material Lined Up for 2014

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!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuI86DoVnYM[/youtube]