Nintendo Removes Wii Points Purchasing for Wii Shop Channel on March 26

Last year, Nintendo has announced that they will be closing the doors of the Wii Shop Channel for the original Wii indefinitely on January 30, 2019. The change comes as the company has moved on to online networks for the 3DS and Switch, and so, after more than twelve years of activity, the Wii Shop Channel and all its services (Wii Virtual Console, WiiWare, and Wii System Transfer Tool) will go offline at the cut-off date early next year.

Continue reading Nintendo Removes Wii Points Purchasing for Wii Shop Channel on March 26

Mash-Up Monday: Dilapidated Sky High

Nothing like kicking off the week with PUNCHING and KICKING and such! Feel like the world’s turning against you for some reason? Then RAGE!

This quaint little music mash-up was put together by foreversonic from RadioSEGA! Featuring something that most SEGA fans would enjoy, especially those of this Genesis classic, is always welcome!

Dilapidated Town from Streets of Rage with Sky High Zone from the 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog 2!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7ouZ4M8Zqc

Found an interesting mash-up somewhere on the web? Have one of your own that you’d like to see get featured on The Sonic Stadium? Then what’s the hold up? Send what you got over to vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

SEGA Re-Releasing Master System & Game Gear Games?

UPDATE: It appears AtGames is a company that develops Plug & Play consoles with built-in games. The company has released a Mega Drive/Genesis system before and a portable Master System with 20 games in other countries, so this new listing is likely a new portable Master System for Australia. /UPDATE END

Original article below:

A new listing has appeared at the Australian OFLC website that indicates SEGA are planning to re-release many of their Master System and Game Gear games. A variety of titles were all rated together in the listing with a PG rating, but no details beyond that such as platform and developer are given. Among the games listed are four Sonic titles including Sonic Chaos, Sonic Drift 2, Sonic Spinball and an unnamed 4th game simply labelled “Sonic“.

The full list of games includes:
Alex Kidd in High Tech World
Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars
Assault City
Astro Warrior
Aztec Adventure
Baku Baku Animal
Bomber Raid
Columns
Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Dragon Crystal
Ecco: The Tides of Time
Fantasy Zone
Fantasy Zone II
Gain Ground
Global Defense
Golden Axe
Kung Fu Kid
Penguin Land
Putt and Putter
Quartet
Ristar
Snail Maze
Sonic Drift 2
Sonic Chaos
Sonic Spinball
Sonic

Some of the Master System titles have already been released on the Wii Virtual Console, so if they’re coming to a downloadable platform it’s more possible that these games could either be coming to PC Download, the App Store, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network or even SEGA’s online Play SEGA service. On the other hand, since the titles have all been rated together, then they’re very likely to be released on a disc collection, much like SEGA’s various Mega Drive/Genesis collections on PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, PS3 and recently on PC.

We’ll keep an eye out for any further info/media that may come to light and pass it on. Meanwhile, share your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Australia OFLC

The Sonic Stadium Soundtrack Squad Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – 8-Bit vs. 16-Bit


Classic Clash: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-Bit) vs. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-Bit)
byJezMM.

The soundtracks to the 16-bit and 8-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 are quite tough to review this long after their release, what with all the nostalgia involved. These are not just soundtracks to games, but to childhoods after all! The biggest thing that both versions brought was a sense of urgency that the first Sonic the Hedgehog titles lacked. Both 16-bit Emerald Hill and Chemical Plant Zone tracks say “this is cooler than Sonic 1” from the get-go, with their faster tempo, snappier percussion and simpler melodies. The bold choice to start with an intense lava level – and an equally action-packed tune – gave 8-bit Sonic 2 a similar feeling. Green Hills Zone features a fast-paced masterpiece that Sonic fans would soon hear reprised in “You Can Do Anything” for Sonic CD. While the original Green Hill theme will always bring a tear to every nostalgic eye, this one just screams “I’m Sonic; I run around very fast and it’s awesome”. The Scrambled Egg Zone features a touch of surreal by layering lots of interesting sounds throughout and a downright epic solo of bleepy-bloops serving as the main melody.

Then we come to the chilled out songs. 16-bit has the likes of Aquatic Ruin, Hill Top and Oil Ocean Zone themes. Now this is just my opinion, but I found the slower tracks to be the weak spot of 16-bit. They all felt either repetitive or just a bit dull, not quite fitting in with the rest of the soundtrack. 8-bit however, had some much funkier tunes for the slower levels, such as Sky High and Aqua Lake Zone. While Aqua Lake’s melody meanders around a bit more than Sky High, they’re both very catchy, toe-tapping tunes. The Gimmick Mountain Zone theme is incomparable with anything in 16-bit counterpart can offer, and perfectly captures a far more surreal tone than most Eggman strongholds, with many fades, and a mysterious and sinister melody. 16-bit has Casino Night, Mystic Cave and Metropolis, all three of which escape the problem I had with the other slower tracks, thanks to their fantastically written melodies.

Coming to the finale tracks, 8-bit’s Crystal Egg Zone is one of the more surreal endings in the franchise. A totally wacky and chirpy tune portrays this strange zone fantastically. I find 16-bit’s finale to be a mixed bag though. Sky Chase is a beautiful song, but I can’t help but think its all “sky” and no “chase”, making it a little unfitting. In a similar manner, Wing Fortress perfectly represents Eggman’s triumphant creation, but not the fact that Sonic is running about messing the thing up. Death Egg is also a bit of a funny track. The bit you hear is great but the unused portion of the song is just weird and loses the sinister feeling of the start. I’m glad that Death Egg was not a full stage with this looping in the background.

To close, we come to the boss and ending themes. 8-bit’s boss theme is used for every boss, including the final one. The Game Gear uses a very fast-paced tune, whereas the Master System is a more scrambled sounding manic theme. Both are very fitting, but certainly not something you’ll be humming the next day whereas the boss themes of 16-bit version have become legendary melodies. The 16-bit ending uses the classic medley formula, whereas the Master System goes for a very sombre piece with a gorgeous melody (getting the good ending on Game Gear grants a different tune which, while not quite as memorable, is also a very pleasant listen).

8-bit has fewer tunes of a consistent quality, which likely means you either love or hate the whole thing, whereas 16-bit is larger and more varied, making it more likely for one to love or hate individual tracks. I do however feel that both soundtracks are still fantastic, and paved the way for an all new tone of cool for Sonic in his first sequel.

Favourite 16-bit track: Chemical Plant Zone
Favourite 8-bit track: “Bad Ending”
Personal Favourite: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit version).

BLITZCHRIS:
“It’s really quite a difficult task to compare the soundtracks from both of the 1992 versions of Sonic The Hedgehog 2, especially when there is an existing bias already in position for one of them. All things aside, each soundtrack brings something different to the table. Nakamura’s work on the MegaDrive version is brilliant. Each piece really captures the atmosphere and mood of each stage, whether it be the simulated brass and slap-bass in Casino Night, the scratching and popping of the mechanical Metropolis or the eerie wails of the dark Mystic Cave. One of my greatest joys about the soundtrack are the 2-Player tracks, which use essentially the same instruments as their “1-Player stage” counterparts, but tune to something more suitable for competition.

Contrast this with the Master System collection of tracks. The tracks are hearty for an 8-bit based soundtrack, but I’m not convinced that if the tracks were recreated 16-bit style, they would have the same flair. Using what he had, Tomozou Endo created the very jerky and sporadic Scrambled Egg which lives up to its name, while Sky High is just too simple a track to enjoy and really doesn’t spark enthusiasm. However, Green Hills Zone will always have a special place in my heart as the music that eventually grew into the theme song for Sonic CD, “You Can Do Anything”. Having said this, Tomozou Endo hasn’t really done a bad job with the technology he had. Nakamura just set the bar way too high. ”

Favourite 16-Bit tune: Casino Night Zone 2P.
Favourite 8-Bit tune: Green Hills Zone
Best Soundtrack: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-Bit Version)

T-BIRD:
“I think some would see the comparison of these two soundtracks as a bit one-sided in favour of the Megadrive/Genesis score. Granted, the 16-Bit iteration is close to superb, but guys, go back and listen to the 8-Bit version. The Yamaha sound chip on the MS may not be up to its big brother’s standard, but Endo’s pushed that to the limit. Crystal Egg and Gimmick mountain have nearly four “voices” in each track (percussion, bass, rhythm and lead melody), and that is extremely cool consider most other titles on the console rarely utilize more than two. Plus, I dig anything vaguely rock, and I’m pretty sure that both Scrambled Egg, Underground Zone and the boss themes were all written with a thrash metal vibe in mind, so Endo-san rocks!

What starts to really rake me back though is listening to Chemical Plant and Mystic Cave, with an incredibly convincing slap-bass synthesised by Nakamura-san. Each track shines in its own respect with a real clean sweep across a huge range of emulated genres and all maintaining an allegro I think no other Sonic game has managed. Who can say the mechanical resonance of Metropolis (what with that wonderful scratch and guitar-riffic chorus!) doesn’t send a shiver down their spine? So how do I choose between these two soundtracks? I think actually can’t…but because I have a feeling it won’t get as much love (and I have to make a decision!), my vote goes to the underdog!”

Favourite 16-Bit tune: Mystic Cave Zone
Favourite 8-Bit tune: Scrambled Egg Zone
Best Soundtrack: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-Bit Version)

EXTATICUS:
“Undoubtedly, the main problem with the soundtrack to the 8-Bit iteration of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 soundtrack is the boredom factor; there just seems to be a distinct lack of any kind of excitement or variation throughout the whole thing, and it almost sounds like a lethargic and dull version of Sonic Chaos’ superb music. It even uses similar note sequences to its successor, although they were far more polished and improved in the latter game than they were in Sonic 2. Save for some points of Underground Zone (the intro was rather repetitive and dull) and the Boss theme (Master System version only), the entire OST was generally monotonous, uncreative and uninspiring; a huge disappointment for all who were expecting a stunning follow-up to the first game’s awesome soundtrack.

The MegaDrive version‘s musical score, on the other hand, is a marvellous concoction consisting of nothing but purely excellent electro and synth-pop, played out on the astonishingly outstanding YM2612 synthesizer chip. Masato Nakamura really outdid himself with the likes of Chemical Plant Zone and Emerald Hill Zone; making excellent use of the vip-vip-vow synth sounds of the MegaDrive and conveying shockingly good melodies and basslines, they both shine out from all the other tunes as the absolute finest pieces of music on the game, and completely blow the 8-Bit version’s soundtrack out of the water and into orbit. Additionally, catchy classics such as Aquatic Ruins Zone and Metropolis Zone will be lodged into your brain for years; you’ll doubtlessly find yourself involuntarily humming them in public toilets for all the world to hear!”

Favourite 16-Bit tune: Chemical Plant Zone
Favourite 8-Bit tune: Boss Theme (Master System Version)
Best Soundtrack: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-Bit Version)

Well, it looks like we can’t reach a unaninous decision folks, so I guess this means you guys are going to have to settle the debate for us once and for all! Do you have a favourite out of the two soundtracks? What is your favourite track and why? Let us know in the comments!

Fanatics: Sonic 2 LD

I’m on an 8-bit Sonic binge as of late, aren’t I?  Wait, who am I kidding?  I always am.

A SEGA Master System hack, Sonic 2 LD, a title playing on Retro’s HD Sonic 2 remake, by doc eggfan at Sonic Retro is probably my favorite project at  that forum.  The project’s goal is to take the Sonic 2 levels for the Genesis and put them in the Sonic 2 Master System ROM.  A novel concept, considering that I’ve always wondered why SEGA made different levels for the Master System version (aside from making Aqua Lake Zone, aka “the best zone ever” – ride that shuffle beat).

Doc Eggfan recently released a new screenshot of his work-in-progress, 8-bit Emerald Hill.  Hit the break for the screenshot.  Warning: Contents May Be Awesome. Continue reading Fanatics: Sonic 2 LD

Who Wants A New Master System?

Apparently Brazil are STILL crazy for old tech. Sega’s distributor and licensee for games in the South America region, Tectoy, are back with a vengeance and have announced a brand new Master System model. Imaginitively titled the ‘Master System 3’, the console will resemble something of a cross between a Mega Drive and a 3DO, with two six-button pads, 131 built-in MS games and a picture of Sonic the Hedgehog painted on the top.

There’s no cartridge slot for inserting old games, so you’ll have to make do with the ones already pre-loaded – all said to be G-rated games. Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Drift 2 (a Game Gear-only release outside of Brazil – Tectoy were famous for porting GG games over to the Master System) are among the Sonic games you can access on the console, with other titles including the Alex Kidd series, Enduro Racer, New Zealand Story and Cyber Shinobi. Cyber Shinobi!!!

It actually looks quite funky. Collector’s item for the Sonic fan? You (or T-Bird) decide. Probably not worth it’s asking price though – equivalent of £72.

Oddities: Brazil Keeping Mega Drive Dream Alive! – Kotaku

Virtual Console – Master System Sonic 1 On The Way!

Sonic the Hedgehog - Title Screen.

Oh my. Look at all the wonderful colours!

Fear not Wii owners, your retro gaming dosage of Sonic the Hedgehog doesn’t stop at Sonic 3D, oh no! You may remember our very own TSS journalist Shadzter reporting yesterday morning that a mysterious Sonic related game rating appeared on the OFLC web site. Fans of the blue speedster pondered on to what this game might have been, ‘Sonic and the Seven Dwarves’ perhaps? But no, rest assured after confirmation by the ESRB site that it is none other than the original 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog wonder that’s hitting the Wii’s Virtual Console service in the near future.

Thanks to SEGA’s recent ‘deal’ with Nintendo allowing Master System games to become available on the service, for the low price of around 500-600 points you can relive the hedgehog in his glory days by downloading the first game that sent Sonic off flying released in parallel to the Mega Drive/Genesis equivalent. Knowing SEGA and Nintendo, we should also be seeing other Sonic Master System games hitting the service in the future too, those being Sonic 2, Sonic Chaos and maybe even the 8-bit versions of Sonic Spinball and Dr. Robotniks Mean Bean Machine. All of these titles are fantastic fun and VC releases will be great for those unfortunate souls who have never ventured away from the 16 bit era of Sonic before.

Check back with TSS and stay in the ‘know’ about the release of the title on the VC. Keep on saving those pennies- I mean, points!

“Sonic the Hedgehog” rated by the OLFC

The OLFC, the Australian equivalent of the ESRB, has rated a game titled “Sonic the Hedgehog.”  There is no indication of which “Sonic the Hedgehog” it will be, since they’re are three games out there with the title “Sonic the Hedgehog:” the abysmal XBOX360/PS3 game, the Master System version, and the Game Gear version.

Since the Master System is already out on the Wii’s Virtual Console service, I’m going to assume that the MS version of Sonic 1 will be making its way to the Shop Channel in the near future.  I doubt they’d port the Game Gear version (again) or that garbage from 2006.

More SEGA to hit the Wii’s Virtual Console!

Nintendo have announced that starting February ‘Master System’ games will be available to download from the Japanese Virtual Console.

Just like the NES, Master System games will cost 500 points a download each and will shine in all their 8-bit glory. The first two games available to download will be ‘First of the North Star’ and the iconic ‘Fantasy Zone.’

But that’s not all, Game Gear games and SEGA Mark III titles will also be appearing on the service for your downloading pleasure. Also take note that the Gear Gear games are the first handheld based titles available to download from the VC!

Popular Sonic titles such as Sonic Chaos, Sonic Triple Trouble and <b>Sonic Labyrinth</b> could also be making an appearance in the near future.

Keep checking back at TSS for all the latest Sonic and SEGA news as it happens!

TSS REVIEW: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (8-Bit)

In another unprecedented ‘Sonic’ port over to Game Gear and Master System from the Mega Drive, Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine pits you against 13 stages of puzzle-mania! Basically, beans drop endlessly from the top of your chamber. The aim of the game is to link up four or more of the same colour to make them disappear, and in doing so foil your opponent in achieving the same goal. You see, when you release beans, ‘Refugee Beans’ come dropping into the chamber of your rival, blocking his chamber up. The player who fills up their chamber first is the loser. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (8-Bit)

Zone Guides: Sonic the Hedgehog (8-Bit)

This guide will be going into each level and giving you the lowdown on what dangers there are and what to avoid. Since that Sonic the Hedgehog was released for the Master System AND Game Gear, there are going to be certain differences between the two versions. Do not worry – this guide will cater for both versions. Continue reading Zone Guides: Sonic the Hedgehog (8-Bit)

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Spinball (8-Bit)

Released some time after its Mega Drive counterpart, Sonic Spinball arrived on Master Systems and Game Gears during ’94 and ’95. Everything is in pretty much the same style as the 16-Bit console versions… but… hmmm… well. There are a few differences that make this game different from other versions of the game, and these are explained below, along with a verdict. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Spinball (8-Bit)

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Chaos / Sonic & Tails

Like the Mega Drive, this third instalment in the Master System/Game Gear series has totally renewed graphics and offers the ability to play as either Sonic or (at last) Tails as you attempt to foil Eggman’s plans. Robotnik has gone on another ‘take over the world’ bender, and has created a new fortress: the Electric Egg Zone. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Chaos / Sonic & Tails

TSS REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-Bit)

The Master System and Game Gear counterparts of Sonic 2 sees you play as Sonic and Sonic alone. You must rescue Miles ‘Tails’ Prower from the vile clutches of Burger Boy (ahem, I mean Dr. Robotnik ^_^) as he plans to rule all of the planet. Luckily for Sonic, ‘Eggman’ appears to have lost the Chaos Emeralds. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-Bit)

TSS REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog (8-Bit)

This was Sega’s first Sonic game on the Master System and the Game Gear. The objective? The classic – Dr. Ivo Robotnik wants the cute little animals to turn into mega metal monster machines. With the help of these machines, Robotnik (more commonly known as “Eggman”) plans to rule all of Mobius. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog (8-Bit)