Sonic Adventure Protagonist E-102 Gamma Plush Hits The Shelves

Great Eastern Entertainment continue their incredible line of Sonic-themed plushes with everyone’s favourite frog-finding robot E-102 Gamma!

The plush is the first incarnation of the Sonic Adventure character since the game’s release in 1998, and commands a significantly lower price than the ultra-scarce original fetches via online auctions.

The plush joins the 12″ range which also recently added Emerl and Tangle the Lemur to the roster.

The plush is now available via GE Entertainment’s website, grab them before they fly off the shelves!

Tikal Plush Listed On GE Animation Website

Great Eastern Animation list a 10″ soft toy of the Sonic Adventure character as “coming soon” on their website!

The company continue their line of fan favourite incarnations (in recent months they have released plushes of Tangle the Lemur, Fang the Sniper, and Emerl).

While there is no further info beyond the listing on the GE Animation website, Sonic Adventure fans will surely be excited at the prospect of getting this plush 24 years on from the release of the game.

More info to come!

Many thanks to @treasurehuntingsonic for the info!

Sonic Adventure Zeebo Port Mystery Finally Solved – Why Was It Cancelled?

Remember the Zeebo? A small console produced by longtime SEGA partner Tectoy released for the Brasilian market over a decade ago, the smartphone-in-a-box was originally planned to have a number of Dreamcast ports launch with the device, including Sonic Adventure. But the blue blur never ended up appearing on the console, and recently we found out why.

Continue reading Sonic Adventure Zeebo Port Mystery Finally Solved – Why Was It Cancelled?

Sonic Adventure Pins Teased by Zen Monkey Studios

Sonic Adventure pins are on the way, courtesy of Zen Monkey Studios. Zen Monkey, a company that specializes in collectible pins and patches, teased some art for the upcoming pins on their social media accounts, including Instagram and Twitter. The pins are based on cover art for Sonic Adventure 1 and 2.

These pins won’t the first they’ve made, as they have an entire 30th anniversary collection, which they first announced last year. You can check out the pin art below:

NiGHTS into Sonic (Team): A Brief History of NiGHTS Cameos

Before NiGHTS into Dreams… became widely available with its HD release in 2012, many people (including myself) first encountered the series through its copious amount of cameos, largely in Sonic Team games.

I don’t think any celebration of NiGHTS would be complete without an overview of the character’s many, many cameos in other SEGA properties. This is hardly a complete list, of course, but we’re at least touching on many of the character’s more notable appearances!

Sonic Adventure

Released in 1998, Sonic Adventure’s NiGHTS pinball game in Casinopolis is the franchise’s earliest cameo, and how many of us were first introduced to it. Players knock the pinball around the table, trying to collect cards which feature numerous NiGHTS characters. Collecting more then one of the same card nets a load of rings, and opens up a portal to a second, Nightmare themed pinball table. 

Between the tables, cards, and two neat looking animations that showcase the NiGHTS world, this remains one of the coolest NiGHTS cameos SEGA has done.

It was also possible to create NiGHTS chao by giving them flying animals. 

Shenmue

When Ryo couldn’t find sailors, he could at least find capsule toys

NiGHTS made a brief appearance as two of a multitude of capsule toys that could be collected in SEGA’s 1999 open world game, Shenmue. 

Sonic Shuffle

Image from Sonic the Hedgeblog

NiGHTS popped up again in SEGA’s Sonic party game, Sonic Shuffle, released in 2000. When the Dreamcast’s clock was set to December 24, NiGHTS would replace Lumina as the game’s guide in multiplayer matches. Sonic Shuffle also takes place in a dream world, and Lumina herself bears some visual similarities to NiGHTS, which is probably why Hudson Soft included the easter egg.

Sonic Adventure 2

The NiGHTS cameos are way less noticeable in Sonic Adventure 2, but they are there. NiGHTS decorated a few levels, such as Radical Highway and City Escape. The game also features NiGHTS-inspired Chao like the first game.

Sonic Pinball Party

When Sonic returned to pinball in 2003 with Sonic Pinball Party for the Game Boy Advance, it was only fitting NiGHTS was brought along for the ride. Featured as one of the game’s three pinball tables, this one drew significantly more inspiration from NiGHTS into Dreams… then the table from Sonic Adventure.

This table aims to replicate NiGHTS in pinball form. The pinball needs to be hit into an ideya palace three times to dualize with NiGHTS. From there, it needs to be knocked into the ideya to get it. After all four ideya are collected, the player can then face the boss, which appears in the upper right corner of the table.

With a total of 12 table designs based on the game’s first six levels and bosses, this is one of the most extensive NiGHTS appearances outside of the franchise’s games.

Billy Hatcher & the Giant Egg

NiGHTS was one of several Sonic Team characters to appear as an “egg animal”  in the developer’s 2003 platformer Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg. Like all those characters, NiGHTS is both difficult to obtain and severely overpowered. Unlocking NiGHTS requires collecting 180 “chick coins.” Once that’s done, NiGHTS can be hatched from a Sonic egg found in Giant Palace’s fourth mission.

Billy Hatcher also had an unlockable downloadable mini-game for the GBA, NiGHTS Score Attack. This game could also be downloaded from Phantasy Star Online Episodes I&II.

Sonic Riders

NiGHTS appeared in 2006’s Sonic Riders and its sequel, Zero Gravity, as a flight-type character. Unlocking NiGHTS in the first game required the completion of all missions, while getting them in the sequel only required beating all story missions. In addition to NiGHTS, Sonic Riders also had a track with an area based on NiGHTS.

SEGA Superstars/Sonic & All-Stars

SEGA Superstars, a 2004 PS2 mini game collection made for Sony’s Eyetoy camera, had a NiGHTS mini game. In this, you waved your arms around to control NiGHTS as they flew through rings. This is arguably NiGHTS’s first playable cameo.

Years later, in 2008, NiGHTS and Reala would both appear as playable characters in SEGA Superstars Tennis, along with a court based on Journey of Dreams’ Aqua Garden. In 2010, NiGHTS would appear as a flagman in Sumo Digital’s second SEGA crossover game, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. In 2012’s Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, NiGHTS and Reala appeared as playable vehicles, driven by a Nightopian and Nightmaren respectively.

Sonic Lost World

The Wii U version of Sonic Lost World came with free NiGHTS DLC in its early physical copies, labeled “The Deadly Six Edition,” and would later be included in all PC versions of the game. This DLC was essentially a boss rush, featuring all of the bosses from the first NiGHTS game (aside from Reala) teaming up with the Deadly Six to fight Sonic. There were also brief auto-running sections where Sonic could home in on blue chips and go through rings from NiGHTS.

The battles were easy, and mostly just variations of the Deadly Six’s original boss battles, but it did give us Wii U-quality HD models of all of NiGHTS into Dreams’ Nightmaren bosses for the first time, which is neat.

Sonic Forces

NiGHTS became the basis for an unlockable costume set in what is currently Sonic Team’s latest Sonic game, Sonic Forces. This set included headgear, body gear, and footwear.

And so…

A few Nightmaren enemies briefly popping up at the start of IDW’s Sonic 30th Anniversary comic

NiGHTS has a pretty long history of appearing in Sonic Team’s games, as well as the occasional title from SEGA’s other developers. With NiGHTS tied so closely to SEGA’s blue mascot, that could continue to keep the character around even if they never get another game. Here’s hoping they pop up in Sonic 2022!

25 Years of NiGHTS (Part 2)

For Part 1 of this article, go here.

The Cameos

Though no new NiGHTS game was on the horizon by the late 90s, Sonic Team and SEGA still had plenty of love for the purple dream jester, and they demonstrated that a lot. Sonic Adventure featured an entire NiGHTS themed pinball table, which likely served as many Sonic fan’s first exposure to the character. When Dreamcast party game Sonic Shuffle’s multiplayer was played on December 24, NiGHTS replaced Lumina. Sonic Adventure 2 featured NiGHTS on numerous level assets and featured a chao based on them. The cameos continued even after the Dreamcast.

Sonic Pinball Party gave NiGHTS a second pinball table, and the character was playable in both the Sonic Riders games and SEGA Superstars, a mini game collection for the PS2’s Eyetoy. NIGHTS popped up in Billy Hatcher as a special unlockable character, and also starred in NiGHTS Score Attack, a special mini game that could be downloaded to the GBA over a link cable from both Billy Hatcher and Phantasy Star Online.

For over a decade, this was essentially how NiGHTS stuck around. It wouldn’t be until 2007, eleven years after the original game’s release, that this finally changed.

The Sequel

Takashi Iizuka had often talked about wanting to do a NiGHTS sequel, and finally got his chance in late 2005, after the completion of Shadow the Hedgehog. My mid-2006, NiGHTS Journey of Dreams was in full production for the Wii. Though some have speculated JoD may have been originally planned for HD consoles, Iizuka later confirmed it was built from the ground up for Nintendo’s system.

After a small delay, JoD launched in December of 2007. It would not be as well received as its predecessor, receiving mixed-to-positive reviews. The game also likely didn’t sell especially well, though sales numbers appear to be hard to confirm.

JoD kept several aspects from the original, including its 2.5 perspective, its focus on flight, the timer for NiGHTS, and the ability to link rings and blue chips together for higher scores. Unlike the previous game, players needed to chase down nightmarens riding large birds in order to collect keys to free NiGHTS, and there is no incentive to run the timer down. Instead, JoD encourages players to simply complete its stages as quickly as possible. 

JoD also introduced a lot of brand new features, such as multiple missions per level, a significantly more fleshed out plot, an online multiplayer mode, and most infamously, platforming levels starring the children. It also has an area where Nightopians can be interacted with called “My Dream,” which is essentially a barebones chao garden. This open space can be filled with random objects from the game’s levels, as well as Nightopians and Nightmarens, which are sent here via paralooping. 

JoD does a lot to try to modernize NiGHTS. While it has the same number of levels as its predecessor, it stretches those levels out by giving each five missions that reuse assets, including the aforementioned platforming sections. It also features loads of cutscenes and voice acting for all the characters.

JoD’s plot is essentially a reboot of the previous game, but with new kids: Helen and Will. The game features a new helper character, “Owl” who essentially serves the same purpose as Tikal and Omochao. Aside from NiGHTS, Wizeman and Reala also make a return. Everyone is sporting new, more complex designs.

There is a lot I could say about JoD, but that’s best left for another article. To this day, it continues to serve as the only other full game in the NiGHTS franchise. It would not be the last NiGHTS game released, however. The original would soon be getting a remake.

The Remake

Just a few months after the launch of JoD, SEGA launched a full remake of the original NiGHTS for the PS2, exclusively in Japan in February of 2008. It featured completely remade visuals, Christmas NiGHTS, and a complete port of the Saturn original. Each copy of the game also came with a second printing of the rare NiGHTS story book. The PS2 version featured additional timed events in Christmas NiGHTS, including special summer and Halloween outfits for Claris and Elliot, and a special Halloween skin for NiGHTS. Unfortunately, the game didn’t sell particularly well, charting just over 6,000 units. The remake version of the game is also infamous for featuring somewhat slower speeds, as well as inferior (potentially 8-way directional) control instead of full analog.

This version would later become the basis for the HD remake, which as released on Xbox 360 and PS3 four years later in 2012. This remake presented NiGHTS in HD for the first time, and featured true 16:9 widescreen as opposed to the stretched 4:3 widescreen of the Saturn and PS2 games. It included all the special features of the PS2 version, as well as all the control issues. These issues would later be patched, though.

NiGHTS into Dreams… HD continues to be available for both Xbox and Steam users, and can also be played by anyone who has Game Pass or PS Now, making it far more accessible then it once was.

The Legacy

NiGHTS hasn’t had a single release of any sort in nine years, but as with before JoD, the character hasn’t disappeared.

NiGHTS was a playable racer in 2012’s Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and inspired a whole DLC level in 2013’s Sonic Lost World. NiGHTS, Reala and Wizeman all returned to Archie as part of their World’s Unite crossover event. They appeared as “buddies” in 2015’s Sonic Runners, and inspired a costume in 2017’s Sonic Forces. Elements from the games even popped up in Sonic’s 30th Anniversary Comic and orchestra just last month!

Finally, NiGHTS as a brand has recently made a return…as a slot machine in certain casinos. I can’t say I’m exactly happy about that, but it does show that someone somewhere still sees value in NiGHTS as a franchise.

With Iizuka expressing an interest in returning to NiGHTS yet again, there is yet hope that we’ll be seeing the purple dream jester again in a proper game. Until then, we’ve still got 25 years of games and legacy to remember them by.

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!

Scott Pilgrim vs The World’s Physical Packaging Cover Art Looks Familiar

Scott Pilgrim isn’t exactly unfamiliar with referencing numerous game franchises, so it isn’t all that surprising that the just-revealed physical edition from Limited Run has a few. The game’s cover art features Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers performing a pose that will be very familiar to Sonic fans. Check them out in the images below!

Scott Pilgrim’s reversible cover combines posing from the original Sonic Adventure with aesthetics from the Japanese Sonic box art.

As the images say, the games will be available to pre-order from Limited Run on January 15.

Revisit The Adventure Era With Some Never-Seen-Before Concept Art

The Sonic Official Extra Life 2020 charity livestream that had been recently held had a special treat for Adventure fans. For the first time, fans got to see a handful of concept art from three 3D Sonic games.

Continue reading Revisit The Adventure Era With Some Never-Seen-Before Concept Art

Xbox Series X/S Launches Today – These Are The Sonic Games You Can Play Right Now

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, we don’t mean Christmas – pfft! – but instead Next-Gen Console Day! This month sees the launch of two new platforms in the Xbox and PlayStation family of gaming systems, and we couldn’t be more excited about both. Today, Microsoft formally releases the Xbox Series X and S, and with backwards compatibility a major factor we decided to dig into the archives and check which Sonic the Hedgehog titles you can play from Day One.

Continue reading Xbox Series X/S Launches Today – These Are The Sonic Games You Can Play Right Now

PSA: PlayStation Store Web & Mobile Browser to Stop PS3, Vita and PSP Sales – Get Your Sonic Games This Weekend!

Recently, Sony announced that it was making big changes to its PlayStation Store. From Monday 19 October, you will no longer be able to purchase PS3, PSP or PS Vita games from a desktop web browser, and from 28 October on mobile browser. This may have an impact on your ability to buy and download a range of Sonic games, so consider this a Public Service Announcement.

Continue reading PSA: PlayStation Store Web & Mobile Browser to Stop PS3, Vita and PSP Sales – Get Your Sonic Games This Weekend!

Find Tikal’s Lost Chao in New, Fan-made Sonic Adventure Dreamcast DLC

The Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure has received its first brand new downloadable content in nearly twenty years, thanks to the efforts of the Dreamcast community. This new DLC, called “Tikal’s Challenge,” has players traveling back to the past as Sonic to find five chao lost in the ancient echidna city. They’re tasked with finding the chao as quickly as possible, and bringing them to the Master Emerald shrine.

Continue reading Find Tikal’s Lost Chao in New, Fan-made Sonic Adventure Dreamcast DLC

Sonic Team, It’s Time To Bring Back The Chao Gardens

When I was 18, it was in 2010 and I had yet to become a Sonic news writer. It was also the year that I got Sonic Adventure 2: Battle on the Gamecube. I wanted to get all the game’s emblems, only to learn that doing so meant that I had to go raise these little creatures that are called Chao, enter them in races and Karate tournaments, and get some emblems there. It didn’t take long before I discovered that raising these cute, adorable Chao is fun and addictive. Now, a decade later, I think it’s time that Sonic Team decided to bring that back.

Continue reading Sonic Team, It’s Time To Bring Back The Chao Gardens

Brave Wave’s Vinyl Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 Soundtracks Are Getting A Reprint

A few years have passed since Brave Wave’s vinyl releases of the Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 soundtracks first came out. If you still haven’t gotten them yet, now’s your chance, because a reprint is on the way.

We don’t know how much they will cost. We also don’t know when they will release, although Brave Wave has suggested that fans “stay tuned for information on where to pre-order”. But we do know that the reprints will be 180g black vinyl.

If you need a refresher on what’s on the soundtracks, they contain the character theme songs and level tracks for both Adventure games. You’ll also get a comprehensive booklet featuring an interview with Jun Senoue and Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka.

But that’s not all. Also included are song lyrics, character art and even Liner Notes by John Linneman of Digital Foundry. You’ll even receive a digital download with your physical copy, in case you’d prefer listening to the music that way. You will want to hurry, though. The original releases sold out, so it’s very likely that these will do the same.

Via Twitter

Fan-made Radio Drama Sonic and Tails R Light-Speed Dashes onto YouTube

Hold onto your light speed shoes, remember that radio drama that was teased a while back? Well, it’s out now, and we couldn’t be happier to hear such an all-star cast lend their talents to what is shaping up to be quite an adventurous project!

Continue reading Fan-made Radio Drama Sonic and Tails R Light-Speed Dashes onto YouTube

Xbox Super Saver Sale Spotlights Significant Sonic Savings

Good things come in pairs, and following the Sonic sale on the U.S. Nintendo eShop, Microsoft joins in with intense 50% discounts on ten more Sonic games for multiple Xbox Marketplace regions, most of which aren’t part of the Nintendo sale. As a reminder, all these games are playable on the Xbox One, and will likely be playable on the Series X in the near future.

Prices in USD/GBP respectively.
Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis) – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis) – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic CD – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic the Fighters – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic Adventure – $2.49/£1.69
Sonic Adventure 2 – $4.99/£3.37
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I – $4.99/£3.37
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II – $7.49/£4.99
Sonic Unleashed – $7.49/£5.99
Sonic Generations – $9.99/£7.49

Via @videogamedeals and xbox.com

Oh, you can play Sonic X-Treme… In your (copy of) DREAMS!

Media Molecule’s Dreams is a new PS4 game (well, more of a tool than a game) that lets users create their own games with much more freedom than you had in their previous creation title, Little Big Planet. It’s been in a beta stage for a long time and people have been using that time to make unique and interesting games along with some that are inspired by other popular genres.

One player, JPG240SX has created 2 stages inspired by Sonic X-Treme, the long-lost Sega Saturn title. The version he created uses low-res textures and a fisheye-lens camera to get the effect of what the original title was going for. It’s really impressive.

The engine that Media Molecule is using in Dreams is so impressive that people are already making levels based off of Sonic Adventure and other Sonic titles and even making their own original, momentum-based Sonic games. It’s a game creation tool like no other.

Dreams is available now for PS4 at $39.99 US.

Sonic Talk 66: Siri, Stop Playing Cats

In this episode of Sonic Talk, we discuss the Game Awards Show appearance that wasn’t, Sonic Adventure’s lost DLC, and Sonic’s latest holiday special. We also talk about the latest merch from Puma, First4Figures, Eaglemoss, and of course, Arby’s. Finally, we discuss a veritable boatload of movie news including, of course, baby Sonic! Continue reading Sonic Talk 66: Siri, Stop Playing Cats

Report: Sonic Adventure 2020 Music Event Suggests New Port/Remake Incoming

SEGA Japan is apparently preparing to stage a Sonic Adventure-themed event, due to take place late in 2020. If true, this adds fuel to the fire that a port or remake of the Dreamcast launch title is in the works.
Continue reading Report: Sonic Adventure 2020 Music Event Suggests New Port/Remake Incoming

Lost Sonic Adventure DLC Rediscovered

A long lost DLC event for the Japanese version of Sonic Adventure has just been uncovered. Moopthehedgehog, a member of the Dreamcast development and homebrew website DCEmulation, found a copy of the game’s 1999 New Years event on an old memory card he ordered from Japan.

Continue reading Lost Sonic Adventure DLC Rediscovered

Unused 3D Blast Demo Music Reveals Shocking Connection to Sonic Adventure

Remember those cool music samples from Sonic 3D Blast? Well, Jon Burton has uploaded another lost demo track onto his GameHut YouTube channel, and fans of Sonic Adventure for the SEGA Dreamcast might find it to be quite familiar!

Continue reading Unused 3D Blast Demo Music Reveals Shocking Connection to Sonic Adventure

Hero of Legend’s Look Back – Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut

This year is the 20th Anniversary of the Western release of the Sega Dreamcast and flagship launch title Sonic Adventure (its European anniversary was actually yesterday)! But, while everyone can talk about the game’s original release until the cows come home, a lot less remembered is its Gamecube/PC port, Sonic Adventure DX. Let’s take a Look Back at it! Continue reading Hero of Legend’s Look Back – Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut

Tee Lopes and Jun Senoue’s Station Square Remix is Here, and it’s GREAT

Yesterday, we reported that a new official remix from Tee Lopes was on the way soon, and we speculated that it would be Sonic Mania themed… and we were wrong! Sonic fans old and new will get to listen to a fantastic arrangement of “Welcome to Station Square” from the beloved Sonic Adventure, and even Jun Senoue gets in on the action!

Continue reading Tee Lopes and Jun Senoue’s Station Square Remix is Here, and it’s GREAT

Happy 20th Anniversary, SEGA Dreamcast!

Back in 1999, SEGA was on the ropes. Their 32-bit console, the SEGA Saturn, had been a failure everywhere but Japan. The SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis was long dead. The arcade market was struggling. Japan was in the midst of a decade-long depression. The SEGA Dreamcast was its last hope at remaining a contender as a console maker.

Of course, we all know how that went by now. The Dreamcast struggled in Japan, initially selling out when it launched on November 27 1998, but then failing to meet subsequent sales targets. The Dreamcast had a record breaking launch in America, where it sold 500,000 units in just two weeks. The system also did very well in Europe, where it managed to sell 400,000 units in about 5 weeks. Unfortunately, this success would not last, and on January 31, 2001, SEGA announced that the system would be discontinued.

Despite its short life, the Dreamcast has become something of a cult hit among hardcore gamers. It saw many acclaimed releases, like Soul Calibur, Skies of Arcadia, Jet Grind Radio, Grandia 2, and Shenmue. It pioneered console online gaming, becoming the first system to feature a built in modem, which allowed many developers to inject online functionality into their games, including DLC, leaderboards, and online multiplayer.

Around here, the system is probably best known for being the machine that powered Sonic’s first true 3D outings, permanently changing the franchise forever.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the system’s iconic 9.9.99 US launch. Do you have anything memories of that launch? Or the system? Or its games? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

This won’t be our only Dreamcast article marking the occasion. Keep an eye out for a few more articles over the next month!

The Best References In OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes – Let’s Meet Sonic

Sonic the Hedgehog recently made his appearance in an action-packed episode of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, in which the nods to Sonic the Hedgehog history came thick and fast! Here is our comprehensive TSS guide to the many references contained in the episode!

Warning – MANY spoilers ahead!

Continue reading The Best References In OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes – Let’s Meet Sonic

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

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

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

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

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

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

TSS Interview: Sumo Digital on Team Sonic Racing

Sumo Digital has been a close partner of SEGA’s for many years, ever since the Sheffield-based studio worked on a console port of OutRun2 back in 2003. But in recent years, the developer has worked on several racing games featuring Sonic the Hedgehog – Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which were released to critical acclaim.

For the third outing, the company’s new Nottingham studio has taken a brand new direction with the series, focusing on Sonic’s friends and co-operative teamwork. We caught up with Derek Littlewood and Ben Wilson to find out more about the creative process that went into making Team Sonic Racing! Continue reading TSS Interview: Sumo Digital on Team Sonic Racing

Ex-Sonic Team Sonic Adventure Artist Hiroshi Nishiyama Rejoins SEGA

The Official Sonic Twitch channel had a surprise guest appearance last week, as Sonic Community Manager Aaron Webber introduced Ex-Sonic Team artist Hiroshi Nishiyama to the stream, announcing his return to SEGA. Continue reading Ex-Sonic Team Sonic Adventure Artist Hiroshi Nishiyama Rejoins SEGA

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

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

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

Takashi Iizuka is Really Interested in Remaking Sonic Adventure

Speaking with Retro Gamer magazine in their newest issue featuring a making of Sonic Adventure feature as teased before, Sonic Team’s boss Takashi Iizuka, who also directed Sonic Adventure (as well as Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, and Shadow the Hedgehog), said the following:

Continue reading Takashi Iizuka is Really Interested in Remaking Sonic Adventure

20 Years of Sonic Adventure Merchandise

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

Continue reading 20 Years of Sonic Adventure Merchandise