Sonic Community Win SEGA’s Needlemouse Challenge

It’s been a very long four days for Sonic fans everywhere thanks to SEGA’s Project Needlemouse Character Countdown. Starved for information about the game with naught but a teaser trailer and rumours of it possibly being a downloadable title for 360 and PS3 to go on, fans leapt on SEGA’s challenge to whittle down a frankly ridiculous list of possible playable characters. The first two challenges were easy with fans racking up 250 correct replies on SEGA’s blog and Facebook page in a matter of hours. The third day was harder with the target of 1000 answers on SEGA’s forum failing to be reached.

In the final challenge yesterday SEGA were asking for a mammoth 1250 correct answers to be posted to their Twitter account or for SEGA or Needlemouse to reach the trending topic list. It was a long night with an extraordinary effort put in by everyone to push for the goal. Many fans had never used Twitter before and set up an account just for this challenge. Others helped members struggling to Tweet correctly by showing them how. It wasn’t long before Twitter was drown under a wave of #SEGA and #Needlemouse posts. SEGA offered words of encouragement and for a short period we were actually posting more topics per minute than some of the top 10 trending topics. It was a valiant effort but while we never made the trending topics list we still won. At around 7am GMT SEGA gave us the word:

Continue reading Sonic Community Win SEGA’s Needlemouse Challenge

The Best and Worst of the Sonic Community 2008

Happy New Year! And since we’re well on our way into 2009 already, it’s time to look back on the past 12 months and reflect on the good that has come out of the Sonic the Hedgehog community in 2008. There have been simply loads of good times and plenty of bad times, and each of them as memorable as the last. But what have been the reigning moments of the year? We’ve whittled all the good times to one single event, and of course because we would be wrong if we didn’t cover the bad elements of the Sonic fanbase too, we’ve pointed out the single worst event in the Sonic Community as well. Read on and reminisce in The Year That Was. Continue reading The Best and Worst of the Sonic Community 2008

Sonic Vegemite Takes A Hiatus

It’s never cool when a fellow Sonic webmaster gets hit with the trials and tribulations that real life brings, and it looks like the latest casualty is Aussie comedy corner and hoax resource Sonic Vegemite. Before The Sonic Stadium changed radically into a blog-powered resource, I was pretty much in the same boat. Shit just wasn’t getting done, and the will and desire to update simply wasn’t there anymore.

While the problem with Matt Newman’s site isn’t so much a lack of interest on his part (although it is mentioned in a recent update post) it appears people just keep sending the guy too much stuff. “We’ve gotta be one of the only Sonic websites I know where [we close because] the webmaster simply gets too much submitted.

It must have been troublesome to keep juggling all those “What Cheeses Me Off” entries with RL concerns. Anyone who’s had to maintain an HTML-powered site and manually add contributions will feel that pain. The lack of time to update is the reason why many Sonic fansites either fizzle out or get watered down greatly once the webmaster leaves university (although I’m still here for some reason), and it’s a sad fact of life really.

So another long-standing (the site’s been open for over five years, and Matt’s been a regular in the Sonic community since my old Moogle Cavern haunt days in 1999) website and community figure steps down. However, it doesn’t look like it’ll be the last we see of the Vegemite fanatic – apparently the plan is to start updates going again and continue until the backlog is rid.

Until then, I didn’t want Sonic Vegemite to go out with a whimper, so it’s here that I wish Matt and his site all the best, and hopefully he can return so I can talk about how superior Marmite is.

Finally, Sonic 1 on GBA – Done Right!

Remember Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis? The port of the Mega Drive original for the Game Boy Advance, so shoddy it never got a release in Europe? Well, it looks like jokes of ‘five people making this game in their lunch break’ are no longer appropriate (or funny), because one talented Sonic fan’s decided to make a much better port. That’s right, one person. All one of them.

As part of a ‘Proven Concepts’ entry to Sonic Retro’s hacking contest, Stealth has crafted a port of the first three acts (Green Hill Zone) plus Special Zones to damn near perfection – including tweaks such as a spindash, Knuckles and Tails, and a removal of the speed cap. The entire resolution of the original is maintained on the GBA, and it just proves, in Stealth’s own words, “that a Genesis original can be competently represented on the GBA”.

Download the homemade port at Sonic Retro’s Message Board; if the link’s giving you jip just click on the address bar and hit enter, you should be able to grab it then.

The Spin: Is Summer of Sonic the Answer to the Community Crisis?

I came away from The Summer of Sonic convention learning a lot of things. Most of those things involve organisation skills, and things that I could have done better to make the event a smoother day for everyone involved (and saved me a huge headache). But something I learned that I’d like to talk about is about the Sonic fan, and the atmosphere of SOS which greatly surprised and humbled me. Even after eight years or so being at the forefront of it all, the Sonic community can still surprise me.

We have had problems in the past with in-fighting and segregation in the online community. Hell, it only just recently happened when everyone jumped down our throats for being humourous over an announcement of Sonic and the Black Knight. There’s always this notion of what a Sonic fan should like, shouldn’t like; how they should act and damn you all to hell if you don’t agree.

We’ve seen some bitching in the SSMB Forums – “screw you” if you thought Sonic 06 was a good game, “you’re retarded” if you think Classic Sonic is the only way to go. Everyone’s so damn serious on the Internet. What the hell’s going on, it’s like a warzone out here. I’ve considered quitting the Sonic community on various occasions because I feel that one should feel comfortable liking what they like, or disliking what they don’t. Continue reading The Spin: Is Summer of Sonic the Answer to the Community Crisis?

BlueTube: When Your Mind Can’t Comprehend A Place Or A Time

Roareye from the Sonic Showcase Network was sent this video by Sasso Studios – it’s an attempt at turning a real life movie out of Sonic the Hedgehog. Le sigh. To be fair to the chap, this is a pretty well produced effort for an amateur endeavour, and his heart’s in the right place. And at least they were bold in making Knuckles a gurning white guy.

I guess it just shows that no matter how hard you try, you can never ever create a project like this without it looking completely and totally cheesy. And we’re not even talking Keith Chegwin cheesy, we’re talking Dale Winton’s Special Brand. “SON OF A GUNS!” Classic.

There are several parts to this production already on youtube, and it’s a valiant effort so worth the watch. Beats all those Shadow music videos anyway. Some of the acting is legend (I want to buy the bald guy a pint) and you could cut the sexual tension in the last 30 seconds with a chainsaw (the music when getting into the car is the icing on the cake). Oscar winning material.

Help Name New Enemy Race in Sonic Chronicles

The Sega of Europe Sonic blog, “Sonic City Blognik”, has announced that Sega Europe will be running a poll between March 3rd and March 14th, to allow fans to determine the name for a new enemy raise in Sonic’s upcoming RPG adventure, “Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood”.

The poll will be available on the Sonic City website. The winning name will be announced March 15th.

Sonic 06 Unearthed

We don’t normally cover stuff like this (hacking discoveries and whatnot), but we felt this was interesting enough to warrant a news story.

If you’ve ever been to Sonic CulT, S2Beta, or the like, you’d know that they tend to specialize in ROM hacking, and reverse engineering of Sonic games. Local guru, Link, decided to take that a step further, and delve into Sonic the Hedgehog, for Xbox 360.

What he found was certainly interesting.

In addition to many nifty tweaks, such as tweaking Tails’ gameplay to not suck, he made a single key discovery; one the likes of which hadn’t been seen in a Sonic game for years beforehand. Continue reading Sonic 06 Unearthed

April Fool Madness

April 1st has come and gone, and many Sonic Websites got into the habit of tricking their visitors and members. This story provides a shortlist of Sonic sites that did their part in tricking their members. If your Sonic site is not listed here, be sure to give Dreadknux an email at dreadknux at yahoo dot co dot uk.

What remains humourous about both this list of April Fool pranks and a news report SONIC NEWS reported on March 31st, is the fact that each had their fair share of visitors who were not impressed, even stating to some websites, including Sonic Online and SonicAnime.net, that they should be ashamed of themselves. SONIC NEWS reminds the Sonic community of the age-old April Fool superstition; if a victim reacts to a prank in an angry or disagreeable fashion, they are conditioned with bad luck forever. Continue reading April Fool Madness

Beware of April Fools

Ah, April Fools, don’t you love them? Well, you would if you’re the “doer” and not the “doee”. But a whole day before the pranking festivities, a Sonic site has decided to get into the spirit of hoaxing already.

SonicAnime.net, well respected Sonic X resource, has today posted an unsourced news story, claiming that SEGA of America have plans to strip Sonic the Hedgehog of his duty as company mascot and replace him with angsty sour-faced git, Shadow. Despite the amount of Shadow fans online, all who fell for the trick were not pleased that Sonic seemed to have had his job removed.

Continue reading Beware of April Fools

New Sonic Secrets Event Underway

With all the morale of the Sonic Internet Community at an all-time low, things have been taken into action in order to spice things up. First it was SAGE, the Fan Games expo in 2000. Then it was The Sonic Stadium with the Sonic Site Awards in 2001. 2002, and with SVTcc and newly-born show SSG it seems that events are popping up here, there and everywhere.

And why not? Surely we need a little celebration for the things about Sonic we hold so dear – let’s just try to make it overkill… a newcomer for the online events holster, Striker (of SSG fame) has been revealing to The Sonic Stadium about a new festival that may be in the works. Details are scarce, and the event may not even take place (it’s in the talking stages thus far), but here’s some of the official word from Striker.

“Every hacker will have a booth for there work, hack, discovery, etc. This will be mixed with the SSG Awards. There will be several chats, message boards and several other things, im also going to try to open a radio station for the event…”

Continue reading New Sonic Secrets Event Underway

SVTcc (Comic Convention)

Hello, ladies and germs. This is SA speaking of the SonicVerse Team. I recently announced a big event that’ll take place three times a year. It’s an online comic convention called SVTcc. Of course, the name is pending upon it’s first event so we’ll see how that goes. But anyway, for those of you who want to get an idea, refer to the past few SAGE events (for those of you who are famliar with SAGE).

SVTcc will commence starting this December and from there it’ll take place every March, June and December. Basically, this is an open event/contest that’ll span for two weeks. Anybody who creates fan comic can enter. You are required to make your own booth (like in SAGE) using your own webspace (sorry, I’m not offering any due to the already many hosted sites).

All your booths will be linked back to the main SVTcc page under the booths section. When the event opens, people will come and look around. It’ll be the biggest fan comic event ever with a GREAT sum of comics to look through. At the end of their reading, they’ll vote for their favorite comics (by category) and at the end of the two weeks, the polls will be counted and winners will be issued with small custom awards handed out. Continue reading SVTcc (Comic Convention)