Sonic Sounds: The Best of 30 Years of Sonic the Hedgehog Music

A defining element of the Sonic the Hedgehog series is the superb soundtrack that has accompanied our favourite characters across 30 year’s worth of adventures. Here’s the top 10 of what our resident music maniac T-Bird considers the best of three decades of music featured in the Sonic Universe!

10. Sonic R

Often dismissed as cheesy (but come on folks, Sonic is often super cheesy), the Sonic R soundtrack is the first entry on my list. While not everyone’s cup of tea, very few Sonic series soundtracks come close to being anywhere near as upbeat at this first foray by Sonic into a more contemporary sound, drawing from late 90s dance and Eurobeat. Authored by the one-and-only veteran composer Richard Jacques and embellished with vocals provided by TJ Davis (previously of D:Ream and Gary Numan) Sonic R is packed with plenty of guilty pleasures – not that there should be any guilt of course! We think Sonic R has a solid-gold track listing, and we will always sing Can You Feel The Sunshine at Karaoke, given the chance!

Highlights: Can You Feel the Sunshine?, Living In The City, Number One.

9. Sonic Heroes

Follow in on the coat tails of the Sonic Adventure series, the Sonic Heroes soundtrack continued the tradition of maintaining a thematic landscape, heavily drawing on the rock sound that worked so well for the last two titles. Sonic Sound Director Jun Senoue once again utilises his links to the world of melodic rock to recruit the vocal talents of Ted Poley (Danger Danger) and Tony Harnell (TNT) for We Can, in addition to two belting themes from Crush 40. Employing industrial electronic act Julien-K to provide an angsty theme to Shadow the Hedgehog’s team in the form of This Machine is perfect. There are far too many great stage themes to list in this game, but the fact that Wave Ocean and Bingo Highway have seen so many reworks and remixes since 2003 is testament to the enduring nature of this soundtrack!

Highlights: What I’m Made Of, This Machine, Wave Ocean

8. Sonic Rush

A unique entry to this list are the funky tones of the Sonic Rush soundtrack. Lead by the rather eccentric Hideki Naganuma (if you don’t believe me check out his Twitter), the genius behind the unforgettable Jet Set Radio soundtracks, provides an infusion of funk, soul, drum and bass, and a mountain of samples from every corner of the music industry. Naganuma’s approach delivers something that is seldom replicated anywhere else, and will leave anyone earworms for days to come. From the happy-go-lucky Back 2 Back to the darker tones of Wrapped in Black for the final boss, you won’t believe that something so powerful can output from a DS.

Highlights: What U Need, A New Day, Wrapped In Black

7. Sonic Unleashed / World Adventure

In a tonal shift from most other Sonic titles, sound director Tomoya Ohtani elected to take the soundtrack to Sonic Unleashed down a more orchestral avenue, to reflect the more cinematic qualities of the game, the environment, and the exploratory nature of the game’s hub worlds. What is delivered is a grandiose performance from the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, interjected with fast-paced and floaty drum and bass day tracks, and the cool jazz strings and flutes for night stages, more often than not arranged by an unsung hero of Sonic sounds, Fumie Kumatani. Although the Werehog battle theme finds itself being overused, its hard not to adore this soundtrack for its variety.

Highlights: Apotos Day, The World Adventure, Cool Edge

6. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive / Genesis)

It doesn’t get much more definitive than the theme to Emerald Hill Zone (with the exception of Green Hill of course) and as such Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s soundtrack ranks high in this list. Composed by Dreams Come True superstar Masato Nakamura, the music collection featured on the title is one of the most definitive to have featured on the Mega Drive / Genesis, exploiting the full range of channels available to deliver a soundtrack with depth and character, with catchy hooks and brilliant basslines. The game concludes with a rendition of DCT’s Sweet Sweet Sweet, to bring the feels as you save the planet once again.

Highlights: Emerald Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Mystic Cave Zone


5. Team Sonic Racing

The most recent entry into this list is the soundtrack to Team Sonic Racing, another titled directed by Senoue-san. Not only is TSR packed with rearrangements and mash-up tracks from previous Sonic games, The SONIC ADVENTURE MUSIC EXPERIENCE, including long-time Crush 40 session bassist Takeshi Taneda and Crush 40 percussionist Akht, drive the heart of this assembly of octane-fuelled compositions, with a massive supporting cast including TORIENA, Hyper Potions, Tee Lopes, and Tyler Smyth (Dangerkids). As such, Senoue and company have delivered what is definitely one of the high-water marks in Sonic the Hedgehog music of the modern era.

Highlights: Ocean View Lap Music, Frozen Junkyard Lap Music, Boo’s House Lap Music

4. Sonic CD

I am going to have to cheat here in that this entry is a two-for-one and include both the American and Japanese soundtracks here (controversial, I know..and not the only time I will cheat either!) for quite different reasons. Naofumi Hataya and Masufumi Ogata’s masterful works are lined with J-Pop sounds, that while might sound a little contemporary and dated, are some of those associated most with Sonic games by the old guard. Spencer Nilsen’s soundtrack on the other hand delivers a much more ambient and darker tone to the game, completely changing the atmosphere; it really goes to show that a soundtrack can completely change the feel of a game. Regardless of which camp you fall into, you can’t deny that both games come armed with a great opening and closing vocal tracks.

Highlights: Sonic Boom, Tidal Tempest (US), Stardust Speedway – Bad Future (US), Comic Eternity (JP), Metallic Madness (JP), Boss!! (JP)

3. Sonic Mania

A modern classic. I probably don’t need to say much more than I have previously, in that Mania’s soundtrack is nothing short of a love letter to Sonic music through the ages. Fan-turned-professional musician Tee Lopes’s universal understanding of the DNA that comprises Sonic the Hedgehog soundscapes is nothing shy masterful, and has set a lofty standard for whatever follows in it’s wake in 2D Sonic titles. Lopes takes the best of the existing material and gives it a polish, breathing new life into well known tracks without detracting from what made them so brilliant in the first place. Additionally, Lopes demonstrates repeatedly throughout that his own compositions are just as phenomenal. Indeed, this is a soundtrack for the ages, and it feels criminal to select just three tracks as highlights!

Highlights: Prime Time – Studiopolis Zone Act 2, Blossom Haze – Studiopolis Act 2, Skyway Octane – Mirage Saloon act 1

2. Sonic 3 & Knuckles

A close call between this and the number 1 spot for sure, but many will hardly be surprised to see this game near the top of the listings. The songs of Sonic 3 & Knuckles are a culmination of tracks that are the very epitome of what makes Sonic soundtracks so good – a completely unique aural experience that has been much emulated but never replicated. Whether it’s the incredible “guitar” licks of Flying Battery, the “steel drums” of Angel Island, or the even the  driving basslines of Ice Cap, this game sounds incredible even to this day, and further augments this great game. The calibre of the soundtrack is hardly surprising given that it’s authors include the likes of Senoue-san, Michael Jackson music director Brad Buxer, and in all likelihood the King of Pop himself!

Highlights: Hydrocity Act 2, Flying Battery Zone Act 1, Sky Sanctuary Zone

1. Sonic Adventure 1 & 2

The crowning jewels of the music of Sonic the Hedgehog are the timeless masterpieces that are the soundtracks of the Sonic Adventure series – and yes, I couldn’t pick a favourite. Pulling out all of the stops, Senoue et al. pulled out of the collective minds not one, but TWO massive musical landscapes to embellish the plethora of game environments, with no constraint on musical genre. Songs like the pop-punky Escape from the City and the spectacular power anthem that is Open Your Heart are unmatched in their power, driven home with a triple threat of galloping guitar work, thunderous percussion, and soaring vocals.

Nearly every playable character across the two games have their own distinct theme tune and genre, so their really is something for everyone. This format extends to the stages but is never forced, in fact quite the opposite; breaking into a vault to a jazz soundtrack has never felt so sincere to a 1960’s secret agent film with I’m A Spy…For Security Hall, or the slow Hawaii-esque guitar twangs of sitars that rings throughout Azure Blue World as Sonic adventures across the beach of Emerald Coast. I’m sure many fans will have stopped in Station Square, Mystic Ruins, and even a Chao Garden or two, to just pause and take in the atmosphere delivered by this soundtrack.

A perfect soundtrack for one of the most celebrated games of the series.

Highlights: Too many to list!

Honourable mentions:

Here’s a handful of soundtracks that just missed out on featuring in the top 10:

Sonic Triple Trouble (Game Gear) – there are lots of 8-bit gems that missed out here, but Sonic Triple Trouble is a real diamond in the rough; Sunset Park Act 3 is a real highlight, and Fang the Sniper’s theme exudes a Mexican standoff – perfect for this rootin’ tootin’ sharp shootin’ Wolf. Or Gerboa (who knows!)

Sonic Colors (Nintendo Wii) – A tonally different game once again, Colors deserves a mention here as it’s soundtrack perfectly complements the lighter tone of the game itself, and Tomoya Ohtani gladly provides this in his distinct fashion.

Sonic Forces – Controversial, but why not! Forces, while being one of the poorer outings of Sonic in recent years, has some crackers in the soundtrack, and a smattering of catchy drum and bass-centric vocal songs. Let’s also not forget the heavy hitting Theme of Infinite provided courtesy of the Dangerkids!

Sonic Generations – This has probably missed out on the top 10 for being more of a revisiting of old soundtracks, but is nonetheless brilliant, and there are some phenomenal reworkings of Sonic CD’s Sonic Boom, and a blistering version of Heavy Arm’s theme.

Shadow the Hedgehog – Not to everyone’s taste, but I adore this soundtrack, which is heavier than a heavy thing, and a firm favourite of metal fans for sure. The theme song, I Am…All Of Me, is one of the most powerful Crush 40 songs going, and never fails to get the blood pumping.

Sonic Song Sin Bin:

Sonic Underground soundtrack – Apologies to the Sonic Underground gang, but this falls firmly in the sin bin – and although I am often one for a bit of cheese, this is too difficult not cringe through. Sonic and his band should probably not give up their day jobs! I will make one exception here – and that is the theme song, performed powerfully by Michael Lanning. That rocks.

Wonderman by Right Said Fred – During the advertising campaign in the early 90s, SEGA teamed up with dance-pop act Right Said Fred to create the bizarre Wonderman, which while making tenuous mentions to spin attacking and power sneakers in the lyrics, has little else to do with Sonic. It peaks at number 55 in the British charts, which tells you everything you need to know. Watch the bizarre music video below:

Sonic Jam (Games.com) – Barely a soundtrack, this game features single-channel renditions of stages from earlier Sonic games, that are unrecognisable due to having their tempo reduced by an order of magnitude.

Agree with our list? Don’t agree with our list? Let us know your favourite Sonic songs and soundtracks in the comments!

Sound Test Saturday: Super Sonic Racing – Otamatone Deluxe Cover

Mere words cannot do justice to this cover by self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Violinist and Master Otamatonist” Mklachu, but never in my life have I needed something so much and never known until I received it.

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Super Sonic Racing – Otamatone Deluxe Cover

Mash-Up Monday: JoJo’s Sonic Adventure

OH! MY! GOD! Three mash-ups on a single Monday!?

Conceived by Hirohiko Araki back in 1986 and acting as one of the forefathers of modern shōnen, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an ongoing Japanese manga series that tells the tragic tale of the Joestar family, whose members possessing unique latent powers are forever bound by destiny to battle against supernatural forces. JJBA spans across multiple story arcs following the preluding battles between Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando, each part with their own starring JoJo, and is currently well into its eighth part almost 30 whole years later, dubbed JoJolion.

After a handful of OVAs and a number of video games over the past few decades, JoJo has finally received a stellar anime adaptation for its first three arcs so far – Part 1: Phantom Blood, Part 2: Battle Tendency, and Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. However, one of the unspoken rules of a good anime is that it needs a really good opening sequence, and thankfully, the JJBA anime has had four incredible ones as of now!

Why all the JoJo exposition on a Sonic fan-site, you say? Context for this week’s mash-ups, of course! No need for alarm either: I can assure you that none of these are the work of an enemy「Stand」.

First up is mash-up artist BotanicSage‘s concoction, which brings the opening tune “Bloody Stream” for Battle Tendency and Hideki Naganuma’s “Vela-Nova” from Sonic Rush together into an even funkier jam combined. I suppose you could say that the end result is a real match…「Made in Heaven」! Eh?

Eh?

…get it?

. . . . . .

Yare yare daze, you’re no fun at all.

Anyway, here’s “Bloody Nova”!

We’re switching gears from jazz to rock now as we turn to our next JoJo/Sonic mash-up, this one by guilhox!

When some people think of a memorable Sonic theme, chances are they’re going to think of the iconic “Live and Learn” by Crush 40. When it comes to JoJo, understandably, a lot of folks will point to Jin Hashimoto’s “Stand Proud”, the opening track for the first half of Stardust Crusaders, the arc that formally introduces the ethereal spiritual projections known as “Stands” into the JoJo universe. Rock out to the fused “Live and Stand” below!

Albeit this is a Jet Set Radio mashup rather than a Sonic-themed one, we might as well feature this final gem for the week! Richard Jacques’ “Everybody Jump Around” from the SEGA Dreamcast classic is mixed together with “A Fine Fellow Arrives” by Yugo Kanno, the latter straight from the original soundtrack for Stardust Crusaders. Courtesy of Swordy, here is “Jet Set JoJo”!

Found any other interesting Sonic music mashups out there on the web? Maybe you have one of your own you’d like to share? If so, then you can post some in the comments below (as well as your thoughts on BotanicSage, guilhox, and Swordy’s mash-ups above!), or you can reach me via any of the following to see your choice next Monday:

Even Speedwagon would be impressed!

Richard Jacques Does Sega Remixes for SAASRT. Check Out Some Soundtrack Samples!

Jet Set Radio Sample (From Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed) by Destructoid

Richard Jacques is back with Sega again and remixing some of their classic game music with a modern twist. Now, it’s not just the vehicles that transform, it’s the music! In a new preview from Destructoid, Steve Lycett showed off some soundtrack samples from the upcoming game and it’s looking pretty dang sweet.

Richard Jacques had this to say.

You are not going to believe some of the music we’ve managed to get into the game and I am sure the fans will agree this is without doubt, the best soundtrack we’ve included in an All-Stars game to date!

Sega, PLEASE put this on iTunes! Don’t make me beg.

Check out two more tracks in the comment section.

Continue reading Richard Jacques Does Sega Remixes for SAASRT. Check Out Some Soundtrack Samples!

Richard Jacques Attends Signing in Burbank. Possibly at Sonic Boom.

 

Music man of awesomeness Richard Jacques. Composer of well-known Sega games such as Sonic R, Sonic 3-D Blast, Headhunter and Jet Set Radio will be signing at “The Maestros of Video Games” event at Dark Delicacies Books & Collectables in Burbank, California on June 11th. Several other game composers such as Greg Edmonson, Mike Reagan and more will attend for an hour-long Q&A panel followed by a meet and greet signing.

With this news and Aaron Webber mentioning “special musical guests” for Sonic Boom, the chances of Jacques attending Sonic Boom seem pretty high. I’m getting my Jet Grind Radio and 3-D Blast covers ready to sign. Oh man! Can you feel the sunshine? Everybody jump around and get excited!

Source
 

 

Sonic Stadium Soundtrack Squad Review: Tales of Knighthood

Tales of Knighthood Review

JezMM
To me, Black Knight was a disappointing game to play, but it had a saving grace of being presented beautifully – the script, interface, and music being my favourite things about the game. Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for orchestral being mixed with modern styles such as rock, but I found it to be one of Sonic’s best soundtracks to date. Particular stand-outs for me were Misty Lake – that saw Jun’s signature style taken from guitars to violins, Deep Woods with its enchanting layers of instruments and beautifully melancholic melody, and the epic and exciting trio of tracks that were Crystal Cave, Molten Mine and Shrouded Forest. The cut-scene songs are also notably good, with Calm After the Battle… Arondight and Merlina – The Queen of The Underworld being favourites of mine. To the Rescue… A Knight’s Law is also a highlight – it’s so catchy and uplifting I almost wish it could be some kind of recurring “Sonic’s theme” in future games! Even the menu themes are expertly composed – The Ash Grove, Name Entry, and Option are wasted on the small amount of time you hear them in-game!
My only non-personal-taste-driven criticism for the soundtrack would be the oddities that are Titanic Plains, Faraway Avalon and Knight’s Passage. These stage themes have a surprisingly short running time before repeating and somewhat outstayed their welcome after a minute or so. Camelot Castle also drags on a bit longer than it should on the CD. [9]

Thumbs Up: A huge variety of tracks and styles, despite the comforting “Ye Olde English” vibe overseeing every theme.
Thumbs Down: Variety however does come at the cost of there assuredly being a fair few dud tracks for each individual listener.
Favourite Track: Deep Woods

BlitzChris
While I wasn’t too phased by the lacking game play or dull predictable story to Sonic and the Black Knight, the music saved the game from being a complete shipwreck. When you play a stage in a Sonic title you want music that engages the ears; the stage themes to SatBK do just that. I do love a good guitar and it was great to see Senoue back to his finest, accompanying the almost orchestral sound the entire album takes. I was a little ticked at the over use of violins throughout the album. I understand that they are a great orchestral instrument and that they are quite fitting for a ‘knights-themed” game, but to have them in almost every song does begin to drain the individuality of each track. Most of the ‘event’ music sounds the same, but are excused as every other track is a stage theme, and they are bloody fantastic. If a track on this album is shorter than 1:58, I wouldn’t bother listening to it.
Being a lover of remixes and covers I was relieved that they included the It Doesn’t Matter guitar/violin cover used in the fan art area of the game. [7]

Thumbs Up: Stage Themes. Fitting for the stages and just plain fun to listen to.
Thumbs Down: The overuse of violins..
Favourite Tracks: Molten Mine and Shrouded Forest.

T-Bird
In the same vein as Sonic and the Secret Rings, the soundtrack cleverly plays on a rockier take on the archetypal music from the region; with Secret Rings there were a lot of middle-eastern scales used along with sitars and associated percussion. Unsurprisingly with Black Knight, grandiose orchestral pieces are the primary framework for the majority of the pieces composed for the game. In many places this works; for example Howard Drossin’s Dragon’s Lair is a hard hitting rock track with cleverly used synth vocals to emulate a horn section, while Senoue’s Camelot Castle retains his signature guitar sound while pounding ahead with a rather militaristic snare drum. However I am slightly disappointed by the frequency of the hard hitting tracks, with the large majority of the music featuring on this soundtrack falling into the trap of becoming generic incidental tunes. Hopefully with the up-and-coming titles such as Colors, we can expect to see a bit more variety. At least you can enjoy some reworkings of classic tracks like It Doesn’t Matter while you enjoy fan art, eh? [6]

Thumbs Up!: A fitting selection of grand tunes and hard-hitting rock anthems!
Thumbs Down:
Another album full of samey incidental tunes that could have featured on any soundtrack from the past four years.
Killer track:
Dragon’s Lair

A collection of songs with some entertaining rock tracks and orchestral scores. Some fans may find the soundtrack formulaic with the heavy reliance on incidental pieces,  and may be disappointed with the lack of originality in places.
Completely disagree? Let us know in the comments!

Two Pieces Of Sonic R Music In ASR


Do you like fan service? Do you like the music in the SEGA Saturn and PC game Sonic R? Planning on picking up Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing? Well you’ll be glad to hear that two songs from Sonic R are in your new racing game. Composed by TJ Davis(the singer) and Richard Jacques(the music) the songs that will feature are Super Sonic Racing and Can You Feel The Sunshine, two songs that are still loved by the Sonic fan base to this very day.

What do you guys think about this new development? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Sonic Wrecks

Richard Jacques Interview: Simon Mayo’s Drive Time Tonight on BBC Radio 2

SEGA composer extrodinare Richard Jacques will be appearing on BBC Radio 2 later on this evening on Simon Mayo’s Drive Time, between 5:05pm and 5:25pm GMT according to Richard’s facebook page. As to what Richard will be talking about during the show, we currently don’t know…but it is fantastic to see Richard getting more mainstream recognition!

Listen in Live tonight via BBC’s iPlayer link (at the top of the page).

Richard Jacques Still Very Much Involved In ASR

Richard Jacques

After yesterdays announcement that Bentley Jones’ new song So Much More will be the theme song for upcoming game Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing some fans were worried that Richard Jacques involvement might not come to be after all but Sumo Digital’s Steve Lycett(AKA S0L) has laid those worries to rest.

In the SSMB’s Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing topic Steve Lycett posted the following:

For those worried that Rich Jacques isn’t behind the music in the game – rest assured he very much is. All the menus are Mr Jacques creations, as well as other music used throughout the game.

Bentley’s tune is used for the end credits, and it’s pretty damned awesome. You can blame us for the extravagent Guitar solo used in it – we forced it on him 🙂


S0L

Look’s like the soundtrack is shaping up to be as fan pleasing as every other area of the game. Excited? We sure are.

Summer of Sonic 2009 Venue Revealed!

boilerhouse

The wait is over for many fans waiting for the location of the second ever Sonic the Hedgehog convention – the Summer of Sonic 2009 is to take place in the Boiler House, at the Truman Brewery venue in London’s Brick Lane. The location makes it easy to get to for those traveling to the capital.

SOS 2009’s official website broke the news just now, with some information on the venue – the room holds 500 people, includes an outdoor area for extra space and fresh air, and has a distinctive chimney slap bang in the middle. We don’t think it works though, so toasting marshmallows (or cooking chili dogs) doesn’t look like an option, unfortunately.

The organisers have also dropped some hints to the happenings on the day – entry will be free, name registration will be required once again (although this time for legal obligations, not like 2008 where registrations were taken to prevent overcrowding) and Richard Jacques and TJ Davis could well attend a second time. The duo have been pencilled in for an appearance, but nothing has been set in stone, the website stresses.

More details are said to trickle in on a regular basis, so check out the Summer of Sonic website and The Sonic Stadium for the latest!

WHERE: The Boiler House, Truman Brewery (Summer of Sonic 2009)

Tallarico, Jacques Working on Sonic and the Black Knight


Whilst the TSS crew were at Video Games Live last night watching things rock out, we were surprised that the set contained no Sonic the Hedgehog medley this year. We didn’t mind though, as someone on stage let slip that co-creator and presenter, Tommy Tallarico, is to be working on the music to Sonic and the Black Knight.

The reveal came during the evening show when the editor for the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition, Keith Pullin, took the stage to award Tommy with for his contribution to video game music (some 200-odd games he’s composed for, from Earthworm Jim to Disney’s Alladin to Metroid Prime). Pullin stated that Tallarico is working on a Sonic the Hedgehog game, whilst the presenter turned to the audience and shhh’d everyone down. Even ArchAngelUK, Sega Europe’s community manager, was surprised of the detail. Continue reading Tallarico, Jacques Working on Sonic and the Black Knight

Interview: Richard Jacques

Yeah, so this one’s been sitting in the archives for a while. Originally recorded on 30th June 2006, Mark Kidley from RadioSEGA and myself sat down with the one and only Richard Jacques for a chat about his career, experience working on Sonic soundtracks and with Sonic Team and much more besides. This was to be used for the original Summer of Sonic event in 2006, but time flies when you’re all of a sudden organising a real life convention.

Even though this interview is two years old, it’s well worth a listen for any RJ fan, particularly as we were out of time during Summer of Sonic 2008 to ask him any pressing questions. Juicy tidbits such as Sonic R’s original work-in-progress name being Sonic TT, his role behind Video Games Live and what game fans pester him the most about. You can download it from the TSS Media Portal – link below.

Summer of Sonic 2006: Richard Jacques Interview (TSS Media Portal) – 10.1MB
Right click and select ‘Save As…’

SAGE 2008 Interview: Richard Jacques

SAGE director, Shadix, and I got to interview Richard Jacques during SAGE and we had an extensive discussion on his favorites, creative process, and various other thoughts. The interview takes about a minute to get into it, as there’s a strange hiss for a bit, but yes, there is an interview after that noise. Also, whenever a caller-hangs up, there’s a bit of dead air. Technical difficulties, ya know.

DOWNLOAD THE RICHARD JACQUES INTERVIEW NOW!

Also, reminder! At 9 PM EST on Thursday, August 20th (which would be today), Mike Pollock, the voice of Dr. Eggman, will be in the chat channel to field questions and on the air to host a gameshow! It’s a can’t miss event!

SAGE 2008 IS NOW OPEN!

IT’S FINALLY HERE! THE 2008 SONIC AMATEUR GAMES EXPO IS HERE!

We invite any and all Sonic fans to come to the 13th iteration of this long-standing, Sonic community tradition, hosted by one of the community’s original sites, Sonic Fan Games HQ. Play the latest and greatest fan projects all in one place for one glorious week of celebrating not only Sonic the Hedgehog, but our community as well.

Please, hop right into the chat room, look at the schedule, and just read everything there is to read about the show! It’s going to be great!

A word of warning about certain booths: Sunday is usually the slowest day for the booths section, as dead links will be weeded out and some people will be putting up their demos throughout the day, due to time zone differences. Bear with that fact, because it happens every year. Come Monday, everybody should be ready to roll.

Be sure to check here for TSS Staff’s input on all the fangaming action!

With that said…

ENTER SAGE 2008!

Bird’s Eye View: Summer of Sonic 2008

YOSH!I remember back to October 2006, chilling out at Lee Rosey’s Tea Room in Nottingham after watching Richard Jacques and TJ Davis perform for the first time. I was conversing with my two new friends Kevin and Svend about the event; “We could do something like this” I remember one of them saying. The thought didn’t cross my mind that two years later I’d be setting up a mixer desk and sound system at 8:30am for the Summer of Sonic 2008 event in London, while having a quick chat with Richard Jacques about life in general, as he sifted through the selection of CDs I’d brought along to play.

To say the event was a success would be a massive understatement; it was a roaring torrent of win. Walking around the event after finishing up on my slot on the decks, my ears were treated to what I can only describe as a choral rendition of Live and Learn – everyone was singing along to the song as they explored the event, and it was beautiful!!! I couldn’t walk five steps without spotting a familiar face, or having someone stop me to introduce themselves, to put a face to a (screen) name. Nigel Kitching was trapped in his corner, surrounded by fans asking questions having cherished copies of Sonic the Comic signed. The room was filled with people of different colours, creeds and ages, some having travelled hundreds, even thousands of miles to be here, and all to celebrate their one mutual love…Sonic the Hedgehog.

Continue reading Bird’s Eye View: Summer of Sonic 2008

The Sonic Show: Episode 2-3 available for download!

Hey, Sonic Show fans! Are you ready for another episode of TSS’ chart-topping podcast?! Well, here it is! Season 2, episode 3 is a “Summer of Sonic” special episode, so this go-’round is not your traditional offering of Sonic Show goodness, as it mostly acts as an archive of all the media Jay (aka Disco Ponies) and other expo-goers managed to film at the event.

However, there are a few non-SoS skits in there, so there are some surprises to be had in this episode! Featuring:

  • Exclusive Summer of Sonic coverage and footage! Featuring all the concert numbers by Richard Jacques, TJ Davies, and Lee Brotherton, T-Bird’s Quiz Show, and more!
  • An exclusive promo video for the re-opening of the Sonic Cage Dome!
  • The SAGE 2008 Promotional Video!
  • What’s going on as SoS U.S.A.? Our cameras dropped in on the show!
  • RedHedgehog doesn’t have an episode this time, but they show up to announce a new contest! What is it and what is the prize?
  • Slingerland’s Corner at the Olympic Games

With the Olympics in full swing and my love for attention, I shoved a Corner segment out the door. Fun fun fun. RedHedgehog will return to its usual antics next week, as well. We really hope you enjoy all the SoS coverage in this episode, though. The audio quality of the concerts is really good!

GET EPISODE 3 HERE!  GO GO GO!

Episode 4 will air on TSS on September 5th. Be on the look out for brand new content and higher production values?

Summer of Sonic Gets Live Internet Broadcast

Did you hear about the spectacularly awesome Summer of Sonic a little too late, or really wanted to come but couldn’t because you live too far away? Couldn’t bear the thought of missing Richard Jacques talk about his life story? Well guess what? You’re in luck.

The Summer of Sonic team have been testing a method of providing a live video feed to everyone who otherwise can’t attend the convention in person. That test being successful, you can expect a bird’s eye view of the show floor as stuff happens during the day. If we get a few willing volunteers, we may have someone walk around with said camera within the hall to give you a closer look in on the action. The best part is, you won’t miss the main stage shows such as the mega-Q&A I will apparently be hosting, and the live Sonic Hour show. Due to quality issues though, it’s unlikely we will be able to provide a live video of Richard’s awesome performance – you have to see it yourself to believe that.

Interested now? Yeah I bet you are. Gimme that funky chunky donkey.

Current SAGE Schedule released, confirms times and more

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE SCHEDULE!  ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN STANDARD.

Pink slots are workshops, red slots are SAGEcasts, skin-tone (wtf color is that) slots are interviews in the chat room, and baby blue slots are concerts.  Other colors are just random events.

Well, now we can finally confirm the first SAGE workshop, as Chris Senn, the developer of Sonic X-Treme, has agreed to hold a workshop on game design on Monday, August 18th at 6 PM EST! His regular interview time in the SAGE chat room has been changed from the last post.  He is now appearing at 6 PM EST on Thursday, August 21st. Continue reading Current SAGE Schedule released, confirms times and more

Richard Jacques, TJ Davis to attend and perform at Summer of Sonic

In news that will make you wish you either lived in the UK, were able to get to the UK, or in any case signed the Convention’s attendance form in time, Richard Jacques and TJ Davis have just been confirmed as special guests to the Summer of Sonic event in London. Richard in particular has been kind enough to dedicate some of his time to help organise and set up things, as well as agreeing to a very special performance that will take place on the main stage. What a guy.

The performance in question will be on the piano, with vocal songs being performed by TJ Davis and Lee Brotherton. In particular, you can expect Sonic R renditions from TJ, an exclusive live performance of Dreams of an Absolution from Lee, and a duet of some kind involving both TJ and LB. We’ll leave exactly what that is, along with other unconfirmed tracks, as a surprise until the day. Gets you wetter.

Richard and TJ will also be milling around the convention hall throughout the day, and are more than up for people chatting to them about Sonic and things so go nuts. Richard’s a bit of a confessed Sonic fanboy anyway from what we hear. The two will also join Lee Brotherton and Nigel Kitching on stage after the performance for a Q&A session that will likely rock your world. Four of them, one of me? I call that Pimm’s o’clock.

The Summer of Sonic takes place in 12 days time. Awesome hall? Check. Playtest Sonic games before their release? Check. Win stuff? Check. Community? Check. The greatest lineup ever? Check that shit. August 9th’s going to be hot.

Richard Jacques, Chris Senn, Live Concerts for SAGE

In addition to the last SAGE 2008 informational news update, posted here at TSS, SAGE director, Shadix, has released new information! The updated post includes updated photos of the games that were previously confirmed, as well as brand new confirmations:

MORE CONFIRMED GAMES

  • Dlpha – A Sonic RPG based in the AoStH universe.

MORE CONFIRMED GUESTS

  • RICHARD JACQUES – the composer from Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R comes to chat with SAGE visitors. A time has yet to be determined.
  • CHRIS SENN – designer of Sonic X-Treme. A time has yet to be determined

MORE CONFIRMED EVENTS

  • LIVE CONCERTS – concerts will be airing over the SAGEcast channel! Three bands are confirmed: Riker Out (featuring Hunter Bridges, the composer of Sonic Nexus’ soundtrack), The Polites (headed by The Taxman, creator of Retro Sonic), and Dom (live requests and the all around Sonic jukebox).

Stay tuned for even more SAGE 2008 confirmations! A SAGE news thread has now appeared at TSS in the Sonic the Hedgehog forum as a sticky.  Check it out here!

SAGE, again, will take place on August 17th through the 24th at http://sagexpo.org/

Check out the SAGE 2008 news thread at Sonic Fan Games HQ.

Check it out at SSMB!

Where In The World Is Jun Senoue? Why, planning for ‘Sonic Next’

Sonic Unleashed is kicking all sorts of arse, and it’s just round the corner. Has you thinking a few things. Things like, “OK, this is like the third game in a row that Jun Senoue (a person that for some reason TSS strikes a similarity with Ken Watanabe) hasn’t had an involvement in the soundtrack. What gives? Is he gallivanting with roadies on stage or something?”

That’s a good question, but fear not! Rather than sitting in a palace garden reminiscing about Cherry Blossoms (maybe), we have it on good authority that Jun may be busy preparing for the next Sonic the Hedgehog title, and our sources tell us that Lee Brotherton (Sonic Rivals, Silver’s theme in Sonic 06) and Richard Jacques (Sonic Chronicles, Sonic R) is to meet with the Japanese rocker soon to discuss possibilities (maybe ‘Endless Possibilities’?.. Oh God, that joke really will get old very quickly).

According to our super-secret-squirrel, this new Sonic project is very likely canon and not a spin-off – Jun’s involvement only reinforces that. But still, such a project is eons away; given the usual time frame for Sonic games, we’ll probably see this one in late 2009 or 2010 unless it’s continuing to use the Hedgehog Engine. It’s just nice to know these things though isn’t it?

So for now enjoy Sonic Unleashed, safe in the knowledge that Junny Baby is not out, and that as clockwork SEGA are planning the next game in the franchise. Can you imagine a possible soundtrack involving Senoue, LB and Jacques though? Epic. If there’s a God, He better well make it happen.

Video Games Live Glasgow: A Scottish Report

Video Games Live, a concert dedicated to the music of the computer games we play, took place for the first time in Glasgow on June 26th 2008. Richard Jacques was there (as you can see, plotting some evil scheme) as was Tommy Tallarico (Earthworm Jim, Metroid Prime) and many other composers of legend. Two brave souls, JJ4Eva and ForeverSonic, entered the concert as boys and emerged as men. Or something. Here’s their account of the night. Take it away boys.

Report by JJ4Eva

A nice rainy day of June 26th 2008 sees our two travellers James “JJ4eva” Maloney, and Simon “ForeverSonic” Shirley making their way to Glasgow for a big Scottish event. That event is Video Games Live, the first time the musical concert has ever been held in Scotland.

The day started off well, with JJ and ForeverSonic meeting none other than Richard Jacques outside of the concert hall in the late afternoon. Much conversation and laughs were had. We met Sonic, Mario and Ai Ai outside of the Glasgow Royal Concert hall. A lot of pictures were taken with Sonic and co keeping our men happy until they were called away back inside. Continue reading Video Games Live Glasgow: A Scottish Report

Jacques Spotted in London Pub

After spending some time in the Wii Flat playing Sonic Chronicles, we did the British thing and sat in a pub drinking our sorrows away. Looking for a beverage with a bit more pizazz than “beer, innit” I noticed a curious bottle calling to me. Playing a song. A ditty that made me think of my childhood years and a promise of long, crisp Summer days.

Picking up the bottle of fruit cider, I proceeded to have a snifter and taste its rather flavoured body. When asked for my opinion of the drink, I responded “This isn’t bad. It’s has a rather well-built texture. Yes, it’s rich”.

It was a Rich Jacques.

SEGA Superstars Tennis Teaser

IGN have uploaded a new teaser trailer for Sega’s upcoming smash hit Tennis title ‘SEGA Superstars Tennis.’

The trailer features some very fancy CG footage giving introduction to some of the characters available to play in the game. The music heard in the trailer is the main theme for the game composed by none other than Richard Jacques.

Watch the trailer over at IGN here!

SEGA Superstars Tennis is set for release very soon on the PS3, 360, Wii, PS2 and DS platforms.

Keep checking back to TSS for all the latest news as it happens!

Big thanks to Streetballa for the heads up!

Sonic City interviews Richard Jacques

Good old ArchangelUK over at Sega Europe has released some early Christmas presents to fans on the official European Sonic City website.

Site goers can now:

  • Read an interview with popular game composer Richard Jacques about creating the main theme for Sega Superstars Tennis
  • Listen to 2 Sonic Riders Zero Gravity tracks on Sonic FM
  • ArchangelUK has also managed to get a Sonic City EXCLUSIVE. The main theme to Sega Superstars Tennis is now available on Sonic FM for your listening pleasure.

Congratulations ArchangelUK! Stay tuned to Sonic News for further updates as they happen!

Meet Yuji Naka & Richard Jacques!

Yuji Naka (the self-titled “Father of Sonic”) and Richard Jacques (music composer for Sonic 3D and Sonic R) are listed to appear in person at the Video Games Live touring concert, during a pre-show event alongside many other top brass game developer superstars.

To kick off the Stateside tour in the US, the VGL team are preparing a special “pre-show” event on July 6th 2005, taking place from 5:30pm – 8:00pm. It will be held at the LA Hollywood Bowl, the venue for the debut concert, and will be free for all who have purchased a ticket. Continue reading Meet Yuji Naka & Richard Jacques!

New Video Games Live Tour Dates

Following from our initial report a while back on Video Games Live – the touring concert dedicated to video game music in America – the team have provided us with more tour dates available. Those who can’t get a seat at the debut concert at the Hollywood Bowl in LA can catch it a little closer to home, with events in Boston, Detroit, Dallas and many other places.

You can catch their latest tour dates on their website, at http://www.videogameslive.com/.