Sega Mega Drive: Collected Works Art Book Guns for Second Print Run

A reprint of a critically-acclaimed art book covering the history of the Sega Mega Drive is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter. Read Only Memory’s ‘Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works’ was originally released in 2014 and included interviews with Sonic creators Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima, along with illustrations and concept drawings of the 16-bit console’s best titles. Continue reading Sega Mega Drive: Collected Works Art Book Guns for Second Print Run

Sonic the Hedgehog Has Been Inducted Into The Video Game Hall of Fame

Sonic the Hedgehog has now been put in the accolades of fellow major video game franchises such as Pac-Man, Super Mario and Zelda. Today, Sonic the Hedgehog has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame. With Sonic being well known for his speed, it didn’t take long for Sonic to reach the Hall of Fame that’s now celebrating it’s second year. Here’s the announcement from the official site. Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog Has Been Inducted Into The Video Game Hall of Fame

Sonic 3 Composers: Michael Jackson’s Music is in the Game

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A new interview with credited musicians of Sonic 3 have added more weight to the age-old theory that the late pop star, Michael Jackson, was deeply involved with the Mega Drive classic’s soundtrack – and that his work was in fact left on the cartridge, not removed.

“Oh, it did get in the game. The stuff we handed in, the stuff we did, made it. To. The game,” said Sonic 3 composer Doug Grigsby III, who stated that the reason Jackson removed his name from the game’s credits was due to the artist not being satisfied with the audio capabilities of the Mega Drive console.

“Michael wanted his name taken off the credits if they couldn’t get it to sound better,” fellow composer Brad Buxer claimed. The long-form interview piece, found on the Huffington Post, adds that the music tracks ‘started out sounding like typical Jackson songs’ before Grigsby added that “it all had to be squashed down for the game.”

Former SEGA executive Roger Hector admits that Michael Jackson worked on the Sonic 3 soundtrack, however he claims that the pop star’s music was removed – and the deal terminated – due to Jackson’s high-profile molestation allegations that surfaced during the game’s development. “We had to replace it all,” he said, with Howard Drossin brought in to do the job of composing a new soundtrack.

Only problem is, that didn’t really happen, according to Drossin. “There was a lot of music already plugged into [the game],” he said, with the article adding that Drossin ‘didn’t change much… and certainly didn’t rewrite the whole soundtrack before handing it off to Sega for final processing.’

Buxer was the first to speak openly about Jackson’s work in a 2009 interview with a French Michael Jackson tribute fanzine. SEGA has always steadfastly denied Jackson’s involvement, and true to form commented on the story with, “[We’re] not in the position to respond… we have nothing to comment on the case.”

We really recommend reading the whole feature on Huffington Post, as it covers a lot of extra detail on Michael Jackson’s work attitude when composing for the game, as well as a bunch of other tidbits.

Tails Can’t Handle This 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Credits Sequence

One of the things we’ve loved about the Nintendo 3DS SEGA re-releases is just how much time and care has been placed into every title. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is no exception, having recently landed on the Japanese eShop. It’s all down to developer M2, whose efforts clearly show that they care about the games they’re looking after. This is no more apparent than in this quirky credits sequence for Sonic 2. Continue reading Tails Can’t Handle This 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Credits Sequence

New Sonic 1 Alpha Screenshots Uncovered

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 22.05.27New screenshots have been unearthed from the Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) alpha thanks to a scan from the August 1990 issue of old SEGA magazine, Mega Drive Fan, uploaded to a forum for discussion.

The scan was uploaded to fansite SEGA-16 and discovered by Retro members, and quickly identified as the alpha due to their extreme visual similarities to previously discovered media shown at the 1990 Tokyo Game Show, where the title was first revealed to the public.

The screenshots are some of the highest quality available of the alpha, giving us better look at some development designs and alterations the launch title for the SEGA Mega Drive went through.

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Aside from the instantly recognisable differences – such as the majorly differing mountain range background art and a completely different badnik design never seen in the final game, there are other small changes to be seen. These include Sonic’s sprite design, the palmtrees and the title screen logo.

You can also spot what could be various gameplay differences too, as Sonic (seen in the screenshot above) is not in his iconic spin jump form while coming in to seemingly aerial attack the badnik. It could be a possibility that the pinball nature of Sonic had not been established yet.

You can take a look at the screenshots in our gallery below, including cropped, blown up and touched up images thanks to Retro user cornholio857. Credit to the original scan goes to JumpingRyle of SEGA-16!

Side Scroller Sanctuary: A Classic Trilogy Retrospective

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Art by Veronica Vera, Not Enough Rings

This is a retrospective I did of the classic trilogy of Sonic games for SEGABits, celebrating the hedgehog’s 23rd anniversary week last year. I decided to spring (get it?) new life into it, since I was feeling pretty nostalgic today and recently played through these fantastic titles again I remembered how much of a treat they are. Let’s get to straight into it!

Ah, birthdays. The perfect times for parents to get out those old, embarrassing pictures of you when you were a baby. Our spikey blue hero is no exception to this, however his own classic outgoings were never something to be embarrassed about. In fact, many fans still refer to the original trilogy of games as some of the best games the series has made. I’m not far removed from this ideal, and as such I wanted to look back at these old gems of classic gaming, chronologically.

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Filled with the sights of chequered hills, loop-de-loops, and the iconic sound of the SEGA chant on the boot up, the original Sonic the Hedgehog released in 1991, setting the stage for a future 23 years of Sonic. So much about this classic has been said already, but it’s worth giving it another run through, right? Let’s look at why this title is so iconic, and how it laid the groundwork for the future.

1

Sonic’s well known for his speed, yet this title doesn’t really capitalise on that gimmick during your time with it. A key element with Sonic is that speed is earned as a reward for your skill and mastery of a level, and this really is the title which began that train of thought. Green Hill Zone is easy enough and gives the player plenty of freedom to get used to Sonic’s top speeds and style of level design, but immediately after, Marble Zone punishes you for trying to charge in without thinking.

This isn’t the only zone which forces a player to slow down and plan what their next moves are. The iconic Labyrinth Zone brings Sonic to the speed of snail underwater, all while avoiding deadly enemies and remembering to collect those all important air bubbles to ensure you don’t drown. Fortunately, in between these two platform heavy zones are Spring Yard and Star Light. As long as you’ve mastered rolling by that point, there’s crazy high speed thrills to be had.

Rolling is the key way you’ll be the speed demon this time around. Since the hedgehog has a speed cap on foot, putting yourself into a ball lets you bypass that. This is where the idea of rewarding a player’s mastery of a level comes in – you’ve gotta know what dangers lie ahead and the layout of the acts so you can most efficiently beat the clock and overcome the obstacles in your path. My current best on Green Hill is about 24 seconds.

2

To finish the game 100%, you’ll need to defeat the final boss with six Chaos Emeralds in hand. Collecting the emeralds wasn’t much of an easy feat back in the day, especially when you’re going in blinded – the rotating stages could often get frustrating, especially if you didn’t know what you were doing (GOAL? That’s not my goal, that’s the exit!), and accessing them in certain zones was a nightmare (specifically, holding onto 50 rings). More recent versions like the current mobile ports allow you to quit and retry special stages, making it significantly easier on the player. A change I welcome, since it’s totally optional.

Sonic the Hedgehog is a solid title. It’s a little overrated nowadays, but without the iconic ideas it introduced we wouldn’t have its two sequels that built on the ideas and created fantastic experiences. The level design is solid, the visuals for its day were great, you can achieve a great sense of speed and the bosses are nice mix of challenging to simple. If I was going to recommend a version of this game to you, it’d certainly be the rebuilt mobile version, even with the touch screen controls. It’s the best port of this game to date.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992)

Jump to a year later, and say hello to Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Building upon its predecessor, Sonic 2 features more zones, more Chaos Emeralds, more bosses, more characters… and is commonly referred to as one of the best titles the Sonic series has ever made. It’s certainly one of the most popular and best selling, and only helped to propel Sonic to further mainstream popularity back in the day.

I think part of what makes Sonic 2 so successful are its zones. Sure we start with the typical green hill-ish zone once more, but immediately after we’re thrown into Chemical Plant, sporting purple water and giant ramps to roll down. Later on down the line there’s an ocean of oil, a bright casino, a chase in the sky… these unique level tropes were fantastic to look at and run through. All of these are enjoyable in their own way, sporting some individual platforming and exploration ideas in all of them. Not all of them live to this standard, but even then they still have some great level design.

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Something that should be noted about Sonic 2 is that the design has shifted to push much more of the “speed” gimmick. You’ll find yourself flying down giant hills and soaring into the air often, and loop-de-loops are common. This makes for some exhilarating moments you feel in control of. This speed focus can also be seen in the inclusion of the brand new move, the Spin Dash, now a staple of the franchise. Revving yourself up and releasing to a top speed is extremely satisfying, and helps to overcome those ramp issues you might have struggled with once before.

This doesn’t mean Sonic 2 is devoid of the platforming that Sonic 1 embraced fully. You’ll still need to slow yourself down at points and slowly make your way through areas. However, I can’t deny that Sonic 2 feels more linear. As long as you’re not playing blind, for most of the game you can comfortably charge forward and not get punished too often – apart from one or two zones. You can make up your mind if this is a strong suit for the hedgehog or not.

Sonic 2’s lowest points for me come in two areas – Metropolis Zone, and the special stages. Metropolis Zone is well known to be Sonic 2’s most difficult stage for good reason. The badniks are the toughest in the game and most cheaply placed, often found in almost unavoidable spots. You’ll find Shellcrackers waiting at the top of high ledges to knock you back down, or running ahead where a Slicer will suddenly appear and throw its twin blades at you. But aside from these guys, there’s platforming blocks with spikes that stick out of them, conveyor belts above lava, gears that you travel across, corkscrews to run up and black platforms that crush you. The corkscrews should be noted as one of the more challenging obstacles since they’re almost always littered with the exploding Asterons who will knock you down to the ground the minute they detect your presence. And the worst part? All of this goes on for three acts, rather than the usual two.

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And anyone who played Sonic 2’s special stages will understand where my pain comes from. Like the previous game, you’ll need 50 rings to access them, however this time it’s via checkpoints via levels. Never assume past the first few zones you’ll get to the special stages without actively trying to keep your rings. The special stages themselves are now iconic, sporting a half pipe design and littered with rings and bombs. Often though it’s difficult to see what’s ahead of you, I feel the design of them tries to confuse you in later stages. There’s no chance you’ll complete all of them blind. It took me many tries on later special stages to get to the end, and remember if you get thrown out you’ll have zero rings and have to collect 50 again. And of course, there’s nothing more frustrating than having the ring count needed and reacting to a sudden bomb in your way, but Tails just isn’t fast enough and you lose out on the goal. It could be just me, but I’ve always found these stages a nightmare, even more than Sonic 1.

Overall, Sonic 2 is a much more enjoyable title than its predecessor to me. It builds on the good of the original and expands on it. The level design gives more freedom for thrilling moments, the spin dash is a smart and satisfying addition to Sonic repertoire, the music is catchier and captures the essence of each zone brilliantly and the visuals look great and really capture the atmosphere of the zones. If you pick it up on mobile platforms, you also get access to the once forgotten Hidden Palace Zone through a certain pit which many remember the misery of…

Sonic 3 & Knuckles (1993/1994)

And finally, we come to the big one. Famous for making use of “lock-on technology” and creating the biggest 2D Sonic game to date, Sonic 3 & Knuckles is the true version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. There’s so much more content here and improvements, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles to date still stands as my favourite title in the series, and my most played one too.

3

Pushing on from Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles goes on to push more of a mix of high speed sequences and platforming. For me, it’s almost perfectly balanced here. There’ll be times where the hedgehog will do his thing and curl into a ball and zoom across the screen at a thrilling speed, and the game won’t punish you for having that fun. But then it slows down, and you have to methodically make your way through areas. Even the famous water zone Hydrocity contains high speed, water slide based segments. The design of the levels is expansive and feels far more immersive to travel through in general, since all acts and zones have transitions here.

Storytelling is a much bigger thing in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Unlike its predecessors which story was told in the levels themselves (to such a subtle point, you wouldn’t be reprimanded if you didn’t know it existed), this title actively shows the adventure which the speedy blue hero has through effective zone transitions, and events within levels which change their atmosphere (see – Angel Island setting on fire). The story isn’t intrusive, but still pushes you to want to keep moving and defeat Robotnik and his scheme to build the Death Egg. It’s also nice to see the rivalry between Sonic and new character Knuckles build and build to a point where they butt heads, and eventually unite. Seeing the Death Egg rise again above the clouds in Sky Sanctuary Zone feels suitably like a challenge to the player, and works on a great story level also.

The game contains fourteen zones overall, which is a pretty comfortably long adventure. These zones also continue with the unique zone trope ideas, creating a collection of enjoyable levels which never feel like retreads of ones you’ve already been to. What’s even better is that zones can be different from act to act – it might just be visual differences like Mushroom Hill’s seasonal changes throughout the zone or seeing the Death Egg in the background of Launch Base, but certain zones like Sandopolis go from traveling a outside in the desert to being inside a pyramid haunted by ghosts, and Lava Reef goes from being a scorching hot cavern to being a crystal wonderland.

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Alongside the focus of storytelling and unique level tropes, Sonic 3 & Knuckles also contains music unique to each act. This aids the progression idea significantly, but is just downright a pleasure to listen to. Act 2 is commonly a remix of Act 1’s music which feels just different enough to be both recognisable and brand new. It really helps create an atmospheric change too, such as Launch Base Act 2 feeling like a calm before the storm, or Hyrdocity Act 2 feeling like you’ve travelled to the deepest part of the waters. A special exception is Lava Reef Act 2, which completely changes its music style to suit a complete new area, and an idea of a mystery unravelling itself – this area leads to the discovery of Hidden Palace Zone where the prophecy of the Doomsday fight is, and where the Master Emerald lies.

The special stages here are the most enjoyable I’ve played in the series thus far – Blue Spheres is even a little addicting. The idea is to turn all the blue spheres into red, but touching a red sphere kicks you out of the stage. Unlike previously where you had to collect 50 rings, these stages are accessed via hidden giant rings in stages. This encourages the player to explore these large stages high and low. The stages themselves contain I believe the right mix of challenge for those who are blindly going in or are experienced – obviously, if you know these stages well, it’ll be smooth enough sailing to fight against the increasing pace, with only a little pressure kicking in at top speeds in later stages. But a newbie player will feel that pressure each time they enter a new stage. I never found myself wanting to throw my controller in rage even when I was kicked out once or twice on my first tries, it often felt like a mistake on my own fault. Either way, it’s always satisfying to create a square of red spheres and turn them into rings.

5

There’s a few other little improvements I want to mention about Sonic 3 & Knuckles too. First off is the ability to have multiple save files which comes with level select, meaning you can pop in to any zone you fancy after you’ve finished. Second run throughs with Super/Hyper Sonic is something you may do often, I know I did. I also enjoy how each character feels just unique enough to want to use all three – Sonic’s has a insta shield which gives momentary protection, but more importantly he can take advantage of the new elemental shield powers which are a lot of fun (my personal favourite is probably the electric shield – double jump plus a ring magnet), Tails’ flight ability is finally usable here and helps out newbie players in difficult area and to find hidden secrets, and Knuckles has his own unique pathways and specifically designed sections (and story!) only he can traverse through. Because of this, replayability is far increased from what was there previously. Finally, I think the game’s multiplayer needs a little shout-out. These aren’t anything much more than races against a friend, but there’s fun to be had and the music found in these levels are hidden gems.

The reason why this title will stand among all other to me within this franchise might be partially down to nostalgia, but everything it does it does so brilliantly to me. It succeeds on a lot of levels – it takes steps visually with the environments, the music is lovely and easy to get addicted to, the level designs feel sprawling and fun to speed through, the story is told non-intrusively but is still surprisingly engaging… it feels it took all the best and worst elements of the previous two and made it all just downright fantastic. All three of these games will always stand on a pillar to me for their impact of the franchise, but this game especially holds a special place in my heart.

What are some of your favourite memories of the classic games? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.

SEGA 3D Classics Confirmed for Western Release

It seems that Sonic the Hedgehog is finally coming to the Nintendo 3DS eShop… but this time, he’s not alone: he’s got some friends along!

Through a recent Nintendo Direct Mini, Nintendo of Europe President Satoru Shibata has recently confirmed that the SEGA 3D Classic series will be coming ’round the European eShops soon, with the SEGA Blog confirming North American releases as well. Added features with the Genesis rereleases include 3D depth, a staple for Nintendo’s appropriately named handheld, and toggling sound formats if 3D Sonic the Hedgehog is of any indication.

Nintendo Direct Mini Presentation – 18.07.2013

Though no official release dates have been given yet, the following games, announced from 5:15 onward, are set to roll out in the near future!

  • 3D Altered Beast
  • 3D Ecco the Dolphin
  • 3D Galaxy Force II
  • 3D Shinobi III
  • 3D Sonic the Hedgehog
  • 3D Space Harrier
  • 3D Streets of Rage
  • 3D Super Hang-On

Plan on downloading these babies once they reach their street dates? Giving a whirl on Mega Drive titles you never got the chance to play before? Picking up a bigger SD card for your 3DS as a precaution? Taking up extra shifts for extra money? Finding the com—you get the idea.

Mega Drive Classic Sonic 1 Coming to iOS & Android, Sonic 2 Also Planned

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SEGA has announced at GDC 2013 that the classic Mega Drive title that kickstarted their mascot’s career Sonic the Hedgehog will be released for iOS and Android in April. The game will cost $2.99, run at 60FPS and will include a new time attack mode, widescreen support and a completely remastered soundtrack. Android Police reports that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is also planned for release on Android too, but SEGA didn’t give any details.

Christian Whitehead, who made the recent Sonic CD port, made this tweet to a follower on March 23rd. (Thanks, TimmiT)

Those feels, I’m preparing a build for GDC and I won’t even be there.

Could he be behind this port?

Hit the jump to check out some screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog on iOS & Android.
Continue reading Mega Drive Classic Sonic 1 Coming to iOS & Android, Sonic 2 Also Planned

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!

https://youtube.com/devicesupport

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!

Original Mega Drive Sonic the Hedgehog Unlockable in Sonic Generations

Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka announced at SEGA France’s Paris Games Week presentation over the weekend that the original Mega Drive/Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog game will be an unlockable bonus in Sonic Generations. This won’t be news to those who followed the June demo leaks, but for those who didn’t, this should be very welcome news. That is unless you own the original or one of the many ports out there already.

Source: Destructoid (via PSX Extreme)

Thanks to SSMB member Blur of Blue for the news tip!

Classic Mega Drive Titles Coming To PSN, Sonic 1 Now Available

After being exclusive to PS Plus members for four weeks, Sonic the Hedgehog was made available to purchase from the PS Store for non-subscribers yesterday in Europe, and Tuesday in the U.S. The game costs £3.99/$4.99 and continues to be free of charge for PS Plus subscribers for another week. Trophy hunters will be pleased to hear the game does indeed include Trophies; 12 of them to be exact.

Bronze
* Centurion – Get 100 or more rings
* Clear Green – Clear the Green Hill Zone
* Fast Green – Beat Green Hill Zone Act 1 in under 35 seconds
* Fast Marble – Beat Marble Zone Act 1 in under 80 seconds
* Star Light Zone – Get to the Star Light Zone
* Spring Yard Zone – Get to the Spring Yard Zone
* Labyrinth Zone – Get to the Labyrinth Zone

Silver
* Chaos Emerald – Get one Chaos Emerald
* Chaos Master – Get all the Chaos Emeralds
* Win – Beat the game
* Fast Win – Beat the game in under 40 minutes

Gold
* Perfect Win – Beat the game without dying

SEGA’s Digital Campaigns Manager Mike Kebby took to the EU PS Blog yesterday and announced the release schedule for three of five other SEGA Mega Drive titles making their way to the PlayStation Network.

* Sonic 2 – free for PS Plus users on April 6th, released onto PS Store on April 20th
* Streets of Rage 2 – free for Plus users on May 4th, released onto PS Store on May 18th
* Golden Axe 2 – free for Plus users on June 1st, released onto PS Store on June 15th

Altered Beast and Comix Zone will be released afterwards, but unfortunately SEGA’s not set dates for those titles yet.

As yet we can’t confirm the release dates for Altered Beast and Comix Zone, but they will be rounding up our Mega Drive Classics schedule.

Source: EU PlayStation Blog

First Footage Of Sonic Classic Collection

UPDATE: The same YouTube user has posted game play from Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 2. Thanks Eggman123 and Pearl for the heads up.

Original article below –


Thanks to YouTube user RondoOfBloodX fans of Sonic’s Mega Drive/Genesis series who are on the wall about purchasing Sonic Classic Collection on Nintendo DS can now rejoice as from this footage we can see everything is running perfectly smooth, graphics are fine and the sound seems to be fine too. Check it out in the above video and let us know if its a yes or a no from you in the comments.

Direct link to video

Thanks to sagagadego09 at the SSMB for the heads up!

Take Your Cards For A Mega Drive

It’s unofficial Mega Drive day here at TSS because I say it is. That and because both Brad and I have found amusing Mega Drive related things for your viewing pleasure. His might literally move but mine can make you look like you mean business, literally.

It’s actually a Mega Drive Card Case which was spotted by the SEGA Twitter people earlier this week. Personally I think it looks great and sort of want one. If only I had any business cards to display. They are available at “Geek Stuff 4 U” and it’s just a guess but I don’t think English is the sites first language. For example, take a read of the description on their site:

“For every geek in you! Hold your business card with style thanks to the latest Banpresto Business card case, the Mega Drive 16-Bit Card Case! Separated in two compartment, one is dedicated to hold your own business card, and the other is design to keep the business card you got during business meeting.”

I swear I’m not making this up! If you want one they are up for pre order on the Geek Stuff 4 U website until January 27th. After than the expected shipping date is ‘March’. The price is ¥2,250.00 which is roughly $24.53 or £15.07 at the time of writing.

So who wants one?

FOUND: 1993 Israeli Sonic Ads

This blog submission comes to us from Kit Fox from Israel.  Kit has dug up some old magazines and found some interesting advertisements from Israeli gaming magazine, “Freak.”  The page that he found was apparently from an issue exclusive to those in a SEGA club back then.  The two scans below are the top and bottom of one page, featuring Sonic (click to enlarge the images).

Here’s what the top half of the page says, as translated by Kit:

“SEGA” does it again and in big-time! After years of absolute domination in the European sales, SEGA has recently conquered in a storm also the U.S.. . In a poll published by the U.S. toys industry journal Play Thing (May ’93 issue), it appears, that SEGA is holding the first and fourth places in the American Genesis (“Mega Drive” in the Israeli and European version) while Nintendo is pushed to the second and eighth places. And on the Americans, as is well known, you can trust. And this is not everything. It also appears from the poll, that the MEGA-CD (see separate item) came up from the 18th place to the 13th, and experts estimate, that until the end of the year, it will conquer one of the first places. In Israel the situation is alike. In the 16 BIT technology SEGA reigns supreme. And this actually says it all.”

Kit also explains the bottom half of the page, which, as you can see, features a few hands pointing to parts of Mega Drive boxes.  What’s that all about?:

[The bottom half] tells the readers how to distinguish between the original Mega-Drive in the black box to the fake one in the white box (also notice the certificate of an “Authorized Dealer” you had to look for while in search of the original 😛 ). It also warned customers what to expect if they bought the fake (low quality, no Mega-CD connection etc’…). I remember seeing the fake once in a grocery store. LOL! But yeah, there were lots of fake consoles back then, mostly of 8-bit Nintendos. Apart of that you can see another small ad announcing the soon arrival of the MEGA-CD and the sell discount for the Game Gear’s TV tuner.

Kit also found an advertisement for Coca-Cola in the same article.  Hmmm… I wonder who’s in it?… 😛

DRINK COKE.  PLAY SOCCER.

A very special thanks to Kit Fox for providing us with, and translating, a piece of Sonic history from elsewhere in the world.  If you have any cool Sonic stuff, send it our way!

Nostalgia Trippin’

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A resident member of the SFGHQ forums, my buddy Cstyler showed up on Monday with a pleasant and awesome surprise.  He has created these images of the old Genesis levels with a pseudo-3D viewpoint.  Each aspect of a level’s background is twisted and skewed to create a new, yet trippy, perspective.  In short, they’re epic.

These images have become an instant hit and I thought that I’d share them with the rest of you.  If you have a standard 4:3 monitor, they make a great desktop wallpaper (they’re not quite to scale, but they’re close enough). Spring Yard, pictured above, is especially epic.  Check out the entire gallery of these new look classics past the jump:

Continue reading Nostalgia Trippin’

SEGA Zippo Lighters Spark Nostalgia

croppedsegazippo_550x333For $114, you can make smoking cool twice over with these SEGA-themed Zippo lighters.  Recently, Zippo has been manufacturing lighters featuring other companies, like Namco, but now SEGA gets love.  I’ve never seen so much detail put into a lighter.

You can totally afford them, right?  I mean, you just have to skip this week’s trip to the grocery store or hold off on drinking for about four Saturdays in a row.  😉

Buy these things already.

Sonic & Knuckles XBLA OUT NOW

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Xbox Live’s very own Major Nelson has confirmed via his blog that Mega Drive classic Sonic & Knuckles will definitely be arriving on Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday 9th September for the cheap price of 400 Microsoft Points just like Sonic 1, 2 and 3 despite the extra functionality of linking up with those 3 titles if you have them.

Bargain, how could you possibly say no?

If you point hunters haven’t seen the achievements for this game yet you can check them out here.

April Fools: Sonic 2 Beta Secret Reveals Super Tails

Ah, yes… the famous beta of Sonic 2.  It sparked an entire website and became one of the most talked about version of any game out there.  Well, we received a news tip from a fellow named “SonicLoof” a few hours ago and he attached the picture below and explained to us what it is. Continue reading April Fools: Sonic 2 Beta Secret Reveals Super Tails

What is ‘Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection’?

A hawk-eyed TSS reader has informed us about “Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection” (highlighted), which is listed in Gamestop’s latest release schedule. Priced at $29.99 for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and due for release on the 10th February 2009, it appears SEGA haven’t yet given up on providing all of Sonic’s classics to current consumers. It makes sense – with half the community bitching about how much better the Mega Drive games were (which I can’t say doesn’t hold merit) it seems wise to let new gamers experience the hedgehog’s glory days. For fans, it opens up a whole new world of speculation — will SEGA provide loads of meaty bonus content ala Sonic Jam this time? Will players actually be able to play Chaotix without locating a 32X? What the heck does that mean for those that purchased Sonic 1 and 2 from Xbox Live Arcade?

Before we all go jumping the gun though, it’s important to note that SEGA haven’t officially announced such a title. Having said that, retailer’s secret schedules are regularly a source for getting to know of new projects ahead of time. Jot this down in your Sonic filofaxes as a ‘rumour’ for now. Many thanks to our anonymous tipster who sent this in – top stuff.

New Mega Drive/CD title in the works

The Sega Homebrew community are currently working on a new Mega Drive and Mega CD game called Pier Solar and plan to release it on cartridge for Mega Drive and of course CD for Mega CD. The game is not licensed, produced or endorsed by Sega so I don’t know how they plan on mass producing it on cartridge and CD to the public.

Anyway, the game is an anime stype RPG and look’s quite good from the screenshots and trailer. The guys have even made an official website for the game.

The game is set for a Fall 2008 release.

In other news Sega have re-released Boarder Down on to their Dreamcast console, the game looks to be produced on the Dreamcasts GD-Rom disks. The game is released today at 7,140 yen.

Stay tuned to Sonic News for further developments!

Sega reveals Wii Virtual console line up

It was revealed some months ago that Genesis/Mega Drive games would be available via the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual console service. The titles are as follows:

Altered Beast
Columns
Ecco the Dolphin
Golden Axe
Ristar
Sonic the Hedgehog
Toe Jam & Earl

These titles where revealed courtesy of ESRB’s website. Considering the ESRB doesn’t officially list games unless it has reviewed them, this list is 100% factual.

Anyone up for some Ristar?

SEGA Mega Drive games on Revolution

In news that will no doubt carry some irony – not just because SEGA and Nintendo have been rivals for years, but because Sonic’s fast and SONIC NEWS isn’t in this instance – Satoru Iwata, president of the house of Mario, has revealed the Nintendo Revolution will include the facility to download SEGA Mega Drive games.

At his keynote speech during the Games Developers Conference in San Jose, Iwata went on to say that the next Nintendo console will include an online download service, where players can access a huge back catalogue of past Nintendo titles (Warning: Rare may not be included). Continue reading SEGA Mega Drive games on Revolution

Sonic 1 Concept Art Reveals ‘Sonic the Hedgehog Band’

A new discovery within the Sonic community has unearthed new concept art for the original Sonic the Hedgehog game on Mega Drive that features the blue blur in a band, along with a host of new characters that would have predated Miles ‘Tails’ Prower as the hero’s sidekicks. Continue reading Sonic 1 Concept Art Reveals ‘Sonic the Hedgehog Band’

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 BETA – Playing the Legend

Sonic 2 Beta. The image that sparked the biggest conspiracy in the Sonic community was a picture of a level select screen that no-one had seen before, found in the Official Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Guidebook. The booklet featured whole black and white maps to all the levels to the Mega Drive classic and included every cheat possible… Of course, there was one little thing that no-one could quite figure out. Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog 2 BETA – Playing the Legend

Games Update: Classic Cheat Codes for Your Mega Drive Games

Remember the good old days, when you could use a third party cheat cartridge to expand the limits of what you could do in your favourite Mega Drive games? We do! Which is why we’ve updated the Games Back Catalogue on The Sonic Stadium with a range of codes that you can use on Game Genie carts to play around with some classic Sonic titles.
Continue reading Games Update: Classic Cheat Codes for Your Mega Drive Games

Pulling ‘Sonic Crackers’

Sonic Crackers was announced for the Sega 32X soon after Sonic 1 and 2 was released on the Mega Drive. It’s initial WIP title was actually ‘Sonic Stadium’, believe it or not! Crackers featured much of the same action that you can now find in Knuckles Chaotix, which was released in 1995. It was assumed that Sonic Crackers was lost to the world, but a ROM of the prototype has surfaced and we can now tell you the odds and ends of this curious little game. Continue reading Pulling ‘Sonic Crackers’

‘Mega Drive 21’ Handheld Console to Launch in Japan

The Mega Drive lives on! In Japan and Asia at the very least – word on the street is that a new handheld device will be made available that comes pre-loaded with over twenty 16-Bit games. It’s called the ‘Mega Drive 21’ and will be on store shelves April 27. Continue reading ‘Mega Drive 21’ Handheld Console to Launch in Japan

Sonic 2 Gets A Cheeky PC Port in Japan

Remember when Sega of America was producing a Mega Drive classics pack for the Dreamcast? Well, it seems like Sega Japan is also getting in on the compilation action – only on PC. Whereas a single Sega Smash Pack exists in the US right now, in Japan there are three such bundles for Windows computers, one of which includes Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Continue reading Sonic 2 Gets A Cheeky PC Port in Japan

TSS REVIEW: Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island

Here’s the final Sonic game released on the Mega Drive, before the blue blur moved on to the Sega Saturn. On a similar note, but on a different whistle, this game marks Sonic’s debut on Sega’s 32-bit powerhouse. A totally new ploy has been devised by Eggman, involving Flickies. These strange birds live in another dimension and can warp anywhere via large rings. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island

TSS REVIEW: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

This is a rather unusual ‘Sonic’ game. Firstly because it’s actually Puyo Puyo in disguise, and secondly because although it features Sonic characters (Robotnik for example), the blue blur himself is nowhere to be seen. Our favourite belligerent scientist can no longer stand the happiness of Beanville, so he intends to use his new invention, the ‘Mean Bean Steaming Machine’ to transform the village’s bean-shaped inhabitants into slaves. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Spinball

Sonic Spinball sees Sonic thrown into a world of pinball objects. While you might think that’s quite a basic premise, the game actually feels pretty unique. It’s not your average pinball table… The story? Well, Sonic’s gotten himself in trouble again, isn’t he? After an airborne encounter against Eggman on the Tornado, the blue blur is flung into the sea and into Mount Robotnik’s sewage duct. At least Sonic can begin his counter-attack in earnest. Just watch the smell. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Spinball

TSS REVIEW: Sonic 3 & Knuckles

When Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are locked together, they produce one of the greatest Sonic the Hedgehog games ever made. This page largely focuses on the changes between playing the games together compared to playing them individually.

Our extensive guide starts off with when Sonic and Tails defeat Eggman at Launch Base. You don’t fight Big Arms from Sonic 3 in this extended version, which is nice. You are then moved on to S&K’s Mushroom Hill Zone, but SEGA have added an extra scene to the beginning of it. It features Knuckles being very sneaky and hiding something. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic 3 & Knuckles

TSS REVIEW: Sonic 2 & Knuckles

Well, here we are with Sonic 2 & Knuckles. It’s Sonic 2, only you play as Knuckles! Still with us? Cool. Graphically speaking, obviously if Knuckles from S&K was just plastered onto Sonic 2, then he’d look weird, so SEGA has done a good job recreating Knuckles so that he doesn’t look out of place. The only downside is, unfortunately, this is still Sonic 2 – you’re just playing as a different character, so no points on the originality side there. But who cares if you’ve got S&K with Sonic 3, right? Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic 2 & Knuckles

TSS REVIEW: Sonic 1 & Knuckles (Blue Sphere)

OK then. I’m not going into great depth with this one, but basically Sonic and Knuckles, when linked with Sonic 1, gets you this monstrous mini-game thing. You can play as either Sonic or Knuckles, through literally millions of Sonic 3 Special Stages. Sounds fun eh? Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic 1 & Knuckles (Blue Sphere)

TSS REVIEW: Sonic & Knuckles

Sonic & Knuckles arrived in the form of a very clever lock-on format cartridge, so that SEGA could continue their massive Sonic 3 saga. To get the most out of S&K, you of course need Sonic 3 but if you don’t have it, SEGA has made it compatible with Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 as well. But on its own, S&K makes for a decent game too… Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic & Knuckles