Freak-Out Friday: If Mario & Sonic Switched Personalities, Plus Photoshop Contest

What has been said about Mario and Sonic that hasn’t already been said, aside from their bitter history, them being brawl buddies and Olympic sportsmen, and their tentative crossover potential? How about if their personalities were switched, if everything that Mario “Mario” and Sonic “Sonic” were traded?

For today’s Freak-Out Friday, voice actor SungWon “ProZD” Cho and artist Angus McLeod prove to us once and for all that nothing is sacred. Check out the result after the jump, as well as details on our brand new Photoshop Contest!

Continue reading Freak-Out Friday: If Mario & Sonic Switched Personalities, Plus Photoshop Contest

Mario & Sonic Rio 2016 launches 8th April in Europe

Ca2E5ctW4AAruIi

Just announced via Nintendo of Europe’s official Twitter page, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be hitting European store shelves in a couple of months on Friday 8th April. Starring gaming’s two biggest icons in their fifth sporting crossover since 2007, the new game in the best-selling franchise promises more characters, more events, and more fun than ever before.

This follows the recent announcement from Nintendo of America that Mario & Sonic’s latest Olympic face-off would be arriving across the pond on 18th March, a few weeks prior to the newly announced European release date.

Please note both of these dates are only for the 3DS version of the game, with the Wii U version following later in the year – presumably to coincide with the launch of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games themselves. We’ll keep you posted as soon as an official date is revealed.

Are you excited to see Mario & Sonic in Rio? Will you be picking up the 3DS version on 18th March or 8th April, depending on your region? Let us know in the comments!

Fierce Battle Between Fierce Rivals! The Super Mario Bros. Z Reboot’s First Episode is Now Live

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5-ErbSrTOc

Four months ago, Mark “Alvin Earthworm” Haynes announced that he is rebooting Super Mario Bros. Z, his Dragon Ball Z-inspired flash series crossing over fan favourite gaming franchises Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. After Mobius has been reduced to ashes by the merciless and power-hungry Metallix, it is up to Mario, Luigi, Sonic, Shadow, and Yoshi to search the Mushroom Kingdom for the seven Chaos Emeralds before the mechanical menace finds them first.

Now, the first episode of the reboot—”Fierce Battle Between Fierce Rivals”—has finally launched, and is ready for viewing above!

With the Mushroom Kingdom’s first official Smash Tournament underway, the final round of the melee tourney pits the heroic plumbers Mario and Luigi versus the double-crossing bad boys Wario and Waluigi in an all out brawl for the championship title. That is, until the tyrannical King Bowser Koopa intervenes and begins his latest attempt at Mushroom Kingdom conquest – and the first step of his plan? To destroy Mario!

To those familiar with the original series, “Fierce Battle Between Fierce Rivals” combines the events of the first two episodes into a glorious 30 minute-long presentation. In Mark’s own words, this was how he had originally intended it to be back then, but technological limitations at the time caused it to be split into two episodes.

You can continue to support Mark Haynes and Super Mario Bros. Z via his Patreon – as a bonus, those who pledge a certain amount can actually watch new episodes three whole days before the public release.

SMBZ’s first run began in 2006 and spawned 8 episodes in all before the series was put on an indefinite hiatus in 2009. In 2013, Mark spoke of a number of alterations he would perform on the overall story before ultimately confirming a series relaunch.

Source: Patreon

Alvin Earthworm is Rebooting Super Mario Bros Z, Teases With a New Opening

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz8qsmLmgI4

[ Or, to those with trouble seeing the video, here’s a direct link! ]

Super Mario Bros. Z was a massive fan undertaking by one Mark Haynes, also known as Alvin Earthworm, that began way back on Newgrounds in 2006, acting as a crossover between the Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog games with gorgeous Dragon Ball Z-inspired fighting sequences layered on top.
With the seven Chaos Emeralds warped away from a Mobius reduced to ashes, it was up to Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Sonic, and Shadow to gather the mystical gems and keep them from the tyrannical Mecha Sonic’s clutches, all while dealing with Bowser’s latest attempt at conquering the Mushroom Kingdom.

The animated webseries earned a phenomenal following in its heyday, until production ultimately ceased following the eighth episode, “The Great Doomship Defensive”, in 2009. Due to a busier life offline and waning investment (which is, all in all, completely understandable), Mark withdrew from the Super Mario Bros. Z scene and laid the series to rest, as SMBZ then became an object of nostalgia for many of the web’s denizens while time marched on.

The inaugural battle between Mario and Metal Bowser, the brawls between Team Mario, the Koopa Bros, and the revived Axem Rangers X, the destruction of Yoshi’s Island, the 8bit battles that rocked the fabled Minus World, the introduction of Fire Sonic, that Mecha Mario tease… Needless to say, SMBZ had a lot of memorable high points.

The last that was heard from the series was a rather bizarre 2010 April Fools’ short and an upload of what would’ve been the intro from Episode 9…

…until Mark spontaneously released an animation test back in October 2013 – a remake of SMBZ’s very first scene. He advised fans not to get too excited, or to take it as confirmation that he would be working on the series again, but spoke of a number of alterations he would perform to the story, some of the fight scenes, and dialogue if he went ahead with rebuilding the series from the ground up.

Well folks, get ready to party like it’s 2006, because it is happening. Attributing the introduction of Flash-to-HD Video software Swivel as a major plus, the returned Alvin Earthworm has formally announced that Super Mario Bros. Z is being revived, and that the first episode is indeed on the way!

And, to build up hype for fans old and new, Mark has even gone and redone the opening sequence for the series to  kick things off. Compare with the old opening on Newgrounds! Revisit and marathon the old series (NG / YT)! Get in touch with your old Internet friends from way back when and spread the word! Don a banana suit and shout “I LOVE CEREAL!” to the heavens before spontaneously com–––okay, okay, don’t do that, but hey, you get the idea! GET EXCITED!

Super Mario Bros. Z is BACK!

Mark Haynes, Alvin Earthworm, all the best to you, and glad to have you back!

Were you around during the first run of SMBZ? What were some of your favourite moments, or your most favourite battles from the show? Is this the first time you’ve heard of the series as it is? Let us know below!

And if I may add anything else… might I just say that this really takes me back to the old VGLan days.

…wow, I feel old.

Nintendo UK Store offers Mario & Sonic Wii U Bundle

mariosonicwiiubundleThe Mario & Sonic series is no stranger to being a part of console bundles – the London 2012 entry even came with its very own blue Wii system – so this latest announcement comes as no real surprise. No doubt in a bid to cash in on the ongoing Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as well as to shift a few extra Wii U consoles, Nintendo UK has revealed a brand new bundle featuring the latest entry in the series, exclusive to its online store.

Simply dubbed the “Mario and Sonic Winter Olympics Bundle”, you get a black Premium Wii U console in addition to (of course) Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, NintendoLand, and one of those swanky Mario Wii Remote Plus controllers released towards the end of last year. What’s more, you can get it all for just £299.99, which means a saving of over £75 on the RRP of the individual products.

If you’re swept away by Winter Olympic fever at the moment or are just waiting for the right deal to come along to entice you to join the Wii U brigade… this might be the bundle for you!

Source: Nintendo UK Online Store

Mario & Sonic 2014: 30% off on EU eShop until Sunday

Bfy1G2ICAAAskmlHeads up European Wii U owners! To coincide with the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia this weekend, Nintendo have announced plans to reduce the price of the latest Mario & Sonic game by 30% if you buy it from the Wii U eShop or through the Nintendo UK Online Store.

The offer will run from tomorrow (7th February) to 23:59 on Sunday, 9th February. If you’ve yet to pick up the game or have been itching for a discount on the digital version, now might be the time to take the plunge. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to spend your money, check out our TSS review of the game to help you make your mind up.

This offer is currently only announced for Europe, but we will update you if it becomes available for any other regions.

Source: Twitter

Out Now in Europe: Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V24kJ7qVTl8[/youtube]

It’s time to strap on those skis and hit the slopes once more, as two of gaming’s icons are back to compete for the gold! That’s right, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games for Wii U is out now in Europe! SEGA have released a brand new launch trailer (above) to celebrate the occasion, showing off a comprehensive look at many of the game’s modes. There’s 24 events to participate in and, for the first time ever, you can play online and face rivals from across the globe!

Mario & Sonic 2014 can be purchased from both physical and online retailers, but if you prefer to own your games digitally, Nintendo has got you covered – the game costs £39.99 to download from the Wii U eShop. The game will arrive in the US next Friday, 15th November.

This fourth entry in the series has been receiving a mixed reception from critics so far but if you’re wondering whether we think it deserves a spot on the podium, you can look forward to our upcoming TSS review which will be hitting the site in the near future. Stay tuned!

Will you be picking up Mario & Sonic 2014? Show your support for your country by letting us know in the comments!

M&S 2014 Blowout: New Artwork, Gameplay and more!

Promo_Web_Artwork_-_Mario_&_Sonic_SochiWith Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games releasing on 8th November in Europe and 15th November in the US, there’s not long to go until the two gaming icons hit the slopes once again – and we now have lots of juicy new artwork, gameplay footage, and more to help whet your appetite!

For starters, the official Mario & Sonic website has updated with full details on all of the game’s modes, including the Olympic Events and Dream Events, as well as showcasing some brand new character artwork for Teams Mario and Sonic.

And as if that wasn’t enough, we have lots of new (albeit brief) gameplay videos courtesy of TheBitBlock and GameXplain on YouTube, giving you a chance to see the game in action ahead of its impending release. Say what you want about the game, but it’s certainly looking rather slick – and who doesn’t love the idea of a Bullet Bill sledge race around Sweet Mountain from Sonic Colours?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHA6y1Stn1Y[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgeGEl7uAdo[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-thZzTbXLo4[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iQuEinbsuQ[/youtube]

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

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMIQtQOIN94[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgvle1jIUpQ[/youtube]

Will you be picking up the new Mario & Sonic game? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Official Site, TheBitBlock, GameXplain

NoE Product Page: Even more new M&S 2014 Screenshots!

WiiU_MarioAndSonicattheOlympicWinterGamesSochi2014_06_mediaplayer_largeSonic Claus is coming to town!

The Nintendo of Europe product page has updated with a whole cavalcade of brand new screenshots from the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. There’s a healthy mix of old and new stuff, including some rather interesting sights like the Bullet Bill sleigh seen above. There’s also Dream Curling in Green Hill Zone where one player sits on top of the stone while the other pushes it, and a mysterious looking castle with a picture of a key above its entrance. Could we be seeing the return of some sort of story mode, or at least something akin to the Festival mode from the first Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games?

And if that’s not enough, there’s some new artwork for Shadow and Donkey Kong along the sides of the product page too:

shadowdk

We also get a clear look at the PAL box art for the game:

PS_WiiU_MarioAndSonicattheOlympicWinterGamesSochi2014_enGB

You can see all of the new screenshots in the gallery below. Let us know what you think of them in the comments!

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be available in Europe on 8th November and in the US on 15th November.

Mario & Sonic 2014 Official Site Goes Live

ms

Looking forward to the next sporting crossover between two of gaming’s giants? Well in that case you’ll be pleased to hear that the official website for Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is now live! Nintendo of Europe made the following tweet earlier today:

Check out the new website for the latest game in the @MarioSonicGames series, coming to #WiiU this November!

But there’s not much to see as of yet. In fact, there’s nothing new there at all. Just an old trailer and a themed background. It’s teased that the full site will be coming soon though, hopefully with plenty of juicy new details along with it.

One new bit of information (or clarification) from this news though comes in the form of the game’s release date, which – as stated in the tweet above – is now officially “November”. It seems that despite Nintendo’s error regarding the 8th November launch date, Mario & Sonic will still be arriving on Wii U in time for the holiday season. Exciting!

And with a Nintendo Direct planned for tomorrow, who knows what potential Mario & Sonic related news we might see? Stay tuned to TSS for more as and when it happens!

Source: Nintendo of Europe on Twitter

Recent M&S 2014 release date “an error”

M&S2014_Wii_U_Boxart

 

You may remember we reported a week or so ago that Nintendo had seemingly revealed the release date for Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as 8th November by means of a Wii U notification. For those of you who were getting excited, you’re about to be a little disappointed because it turns out that was just a mistake on the Big N’s part. Nintendo have provided the following clarification regarding the game’s release:

The Nov. 8 launch date for Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games that was recently listed in a Wii U notification was an error. A confirmed launch date will be announced in the future. We apologize for any confusion.

So, it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer for our next sporting crossover – but at least we have Sonic Lost World to look forward to in the meantime! And you can be sure that, 8th November or not, Mario & Sonic 2014 will be hitting retail and digital stores before the year is over to cash in on the inevitable Christmas rush.

When do you think Mario & Sonic will be released? Anyone who predicts correctly gets bragging rights!

Source: GoNintendo

Mario & Sonic 2014 Release Date Revealed?

M&S2014_Wii_U_Boxart

Sonic Lost World is only a month away now but it seems you can already look forward to getting your next Sonic fix after the hedgehog’s debut Wii U adventure. That’s right, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (what do you mean you forgot it was coming out?!) has now seemingly has been given a release date as well, following hot on the heels of the much-anticipated main series installment.

The news appears to come from Nintendo themselves, as SSMB member CC14 the Franken Frog posted the below snapshot from their Wii U notifications, listing the game as launching on Friday 8th November. The message also indicates that you will be able to download the crossover title from the eShop on the same day, tying in with Nintendo’s current policy of simultaneously releasing new games in both physical and digital format.

mariosonic2014releaseeshop

Please bear in mind that, despite being a Friday – in other words, the usual day for releasing games in Europe – we can only assume this to be the US release date for the game so far, as no such listings have been found in European regions.

So, with a release date now seemingly set, will you be picking up Mario & Sonic 2014 for your Wii U? And if so – retail or download?

 

SEGA and Nintendo Announce Worldwide Partnership for the Sonic Franchise, Includes Unannounced Title

Mario-and-Sonic-Final

Today, SEGA and Nintendo have announced a partnership that will make the Sonic franchise games exclusive to Nintendo platforms for the next three titles.

“Sonic the Hedgehog has proven incredibly successful on Nintendo platforms and we are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Nintendo,” said John Cheng, President & COO, SEGA of America. “As we initiate this new exclusive partnership with the next three titles we believe that Wii U(TM) and Nintendo 3DS(TM) are ideal platforms to showcase the evolution of the Sonic brand.”

According to GameIndustryBiz, the partnership includes an as yet unknown game, and involves Nintendo publishing Sonic games in Europe. Lost World will still be published by SEGA in America.

We’ll bring you more info as it comes. Expect hands-on previews of these games at E3!

Source: Wall Street Journal

 

Two Sonic Games Make Game Informers Top 200 Games Of All Time

TSS Readers in the USA may be more familiar with Game Informer than I but despite recent troubles the magazine is about to release their 200th issue. To celebrate the milestone they have comprised a list of the top 200 games of all time. With such a large list of games there’s lots of room to debate what came where but being a Sonic site first and foremost it’s Sonic games we’re looking for the most.

The good news is that the blue blur makes the list twice; the original Sonic The Hedgehog for the Genesis at a respectable 34 and it’s sequel Sonic The Hedgehog 2 a little further down but still just within the top hundred at 97. The bad news is that no other Sonic games place in the list at all.

The full list can be found here courtesy of Nintendo Everything.

One last thing of note, games with ‘Mario’ in the title appear 11 times in the list with 4 Mario games being placed above Sonic 1.

TSS Takes To The Slopes for Mario and Sonic

ben takes tips

TSS took to the snow with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games hopeful and Half-Pipe Snowboarder extraordinaire Ben Kilner to watch some spectacular stunts on the slopes at Manchester’s massive indoor snow slope Chill FactorE. We also got a taste of the action, and another sneaky peek and play at some more of the up-and-coming Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games title for the Nintendo Wii!

Continue reading TSS Takes To The Slopes for Mario and Sonic

Miyamoto: ‘Avoid SEGA-style design’

Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto has gone on record to tell Wired News that the motivating factor behind the quality control in their games is to avoid the styles of other developers. Namely SEGA’s. Quoth:

I’m always instructing my game designers on the history of the characters and worlds we’ve created. Often we’re in development and I’ll say, ‘Oh, this looks like a Sega game. We need to make it look more like Mario.’

It’s a double edged sword really, I guess he has a point. On the one hand, SEGA have been doing nothing but running their old franchises into the ground lately. On another, it’s good that Nintendo distance their style so much so that no-one else’s name is tied in with Nintendogs or Wii Fit or whatever waggle fad is cool these days. And on a third hand I just created out of plasticine and sticky tape, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games felt MUCH more like a Nintendo game than a SEGA one, and that ended up stealing Nintendo’s own lunch money.

Of course, there’s a 100.1% chance he’s using SEGA as a mere example of avoiding another company’s style and not running the boys in blue into the ground, but of course we’ll wait for the million and one fanboys to start cursing Ninty’s name in the street bearing torches. Give it ten minutes.

15th Anniversary: Revenge of the Wii (Wired, via Kotaku)

Sonic Wishes Mario a Happy 20th

There was a time when the uttering of Sonic and Mario in the same sentence would only be used in the context of one of the many fanboy riots that took place on school playgrounds during the early 1990’s. These days, it’s no longer the case – since SEGA hopped off the hardware platform and bounced to the third party column, they’ve been quite friendly to their old rivals. Continue reading Sonic Wishes Mario a Happy 20th

Yuji Naka Interview reveals Miyamoto talks

Following on from our news report on the 18th March, the UK Nintendo Official Magazine that promises a full interview with Yuji Naka has been obtained since the magazine’s release in 14th February.

TSS and SONIC NEWS has had the magazine and full interview for a month or so now, but discussion has so far been limited to the SSMB Forums on this issue.

The interview is based mostly around the release of the new Sonic Team game, Feel the Magic XY/XX (Project Rub in Europe). There are also questions expanding on Sonic DS, more on Naka-san’s meetings with Shigeru Miyamoto, and a small tidbit on NiGHTS and Burning Rangers. The latter part of the interview sparked massive false rumours last month, particularly on GameSpot Communities, about a NiGHTS 2 and Burning Rangers 2 being developed.

Continue reading Yuji Naka Interview reveals Miyamoto talks

Yuji Naka Hints at Sonic & Mario

In the latest issue of NOM Magazine, Yuji Naka has a quick exclusive interview. Yuji Naka discusses a new Sonic GameCube title, as well as the new Sonic DS game. There is also a strange hint at a possible Sonic & Mario video game, we can only dream. Below is the article:

Sonic Team head, Yuji Naka, revealed two new Sonic the Hedgehog games for Nintendo in an exclusive interview with NOM in London at the end of last year.

“We are in development with a new GameCube Sonic game, which we hope to release before the end of 2005,” Naka exclusively revealed to us. “Sonic Team is also currently making a Sonic game for the DS. We are taking our time to make sure the game makes good use of the DS’s many new features.” Double whammy!

Continue reading Yuji Naka Hints at Sonic & Mario

Sonic Visits Nintendo Offices for ‘First Day At Work’

Sonic the Hedgehog, reporting in for his first day of work… at Nintendo! Yeah, we thought this bit of PR was a little wacky ourselves, but it’s all in good fun. Nintendo’s official website covered the initiation of SEGA’s mascot, which featured the two characters shaking hands and having a great time. Apparently Sonic is also fast at magazine cover turnarounds too. Continue reading Sonic Visits Nintendo Offices for ‘First Day At Work’

Woah Woah Woah! Hold the Phone! MARIO and SONIC?

No, this is not a blatant lie – there is very big rumour that Sega and Nintendo are indeed in working on a game. But – and get this – this will be a landmark game that’ll bring Sonic and Mario together for the very first time! According to the latest issue of the UK ‘N64’ magazine by Future Publishing, the news sounded pretty much like it was no rumour – so if this is true, it will bring a tear to many feuding Nintendo/Sega fans of old. Truly remarkable news. Sonic and Mario, joining forces it seems, the thought of it is just… wow! And I mean WOW!