Awesome Sonic Heroes T-Shirt Available to Buy During GDQ 2020 Online Event

The annual ‘Games Done Quick’ charity gaming event for 2020 begins today, and as part of the launch festivities you can pick up a cool Sonic Heroes-inspired t-shirt courtesy of TheYetee. Continue reading Awesome Sonic Heroes T-Shirt Available to Buy During GDQ 2020 Online Event

Get Ready For Sonic Game Speedruns At Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Online

It will be online-only for this year, but Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Online is almost upon us. With just a month ago until the speed-running charity marathon event begins, the schedule of games was unveiled recently. And yes, the schedule includes a block of Sonic games.

Continue reading Get Ready For Sonic Game Speedruns At Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Online

The Spin: Five Sonic games that were just shy of greatness

The opinions expressed in this article are those of Jason Berry and dot not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TSS staff.

Guilty pleasures. Fan favorites. Cult classics. Names used for a variety of entertainment from movies to music and of course, video games. Usually, it refers to something that is flawed, but nonetheless, enjoyable. 

The same can be said for a lot, and I mean a LOT of Sonic games out there. Games that are seriously flawed, but still have some fans who enjoy them. I’m still baffled by some people who say that they loved Sonic ‘06 but hey, don’t let me tell you what not to enjoy. Heck, I kinda like Rise of Lyric and that game is in an even more unfinished state than ‘06.

But what I want to talk about are Sonic games that were poorly reviewed by critics, but still enjoyed by fans or vice-versa. Games that are on the cusp of greatness, but some element holds it back. Games that make you say “yeah, it’s not the best, but I like it.” Games that are polished in their design, but their design is ultimately flawed. These are my five Sonic games just shy of greatness.

Sonic and the Black Knight

This is low on the list because it’s genuinely a bad game in the design department, but it has two elements that really shine. Sonic and the Black Knight was the second in the short-lived storybook series just after the arguably better Sonic and the Secret Rings. So why is this one on the list and not Secret Rings? While I didn’t care much for the constant stop-and-slash gameplay of Black Knight, there were two things that really stood out for me. 

One, the story is actually one of my favorites in the series. Sonic is back in a storybook world, only this time, he has the knowledge from the previous game to know that his friends are not the same ones from his world and only look the same in appearance. Also, Sonic’s smart enough to realize that something’s off with the titular villain and the surprise twist reveal is something I didn’t see coming. It also includes a moral that, well… you don’t see very often. 

Two, the music! Crush 40 is back along with a great, guitar-heavy soundtrack by Jun Sunoe and other talented composers including Tommy Talarico. There are also a few remixes of previous Sonic music, but overall a rockin’ soundtrack to a sub-par game.

Sonic Lost World

Boy did everyone love this game when it made the early rounds at preview shows like E3 and  Comic-Con. Most people gave this new and very different entry in the Sonic series a lot of love… until it came out. It’s not that changing the formula for once wasn’t a good idea. I love the boost formula but could’ve used a break. However, once again as most games you see on this list, the biggest flaw is the game design. 

Sonic Lost World was doing it’s best to rip off Mario Galaxy and it just didn’t work. The level design, for the most part, was very good. It was the controls themselves that fell apart. Sonic with a run button just felt wrong. Not allowing a more analog run control was a mistake in my opinion, but the other problem was the game’s newest gimmick, the parkour control. Basically, Sonic could climb and run alongside walls in a parkour-style to traverse certain levels. However, it was very hit and miss. Sonic would start to slide off the wall very quickly and it was hard to bounce from wall to wall. It took a more advanced level of skill than normally required from a platformer. Surprisingly, the 3DS port had the opposite problem. The parkour controls worked very well and should have been implemented in the console game, while the level design was pure torture. Had we had gotten both solid, parkour controls along with good level design, Sonic Lost Word could have been a hit. 

Sonic Forces

Looks like classic Sonic, but doesn’t quite play like him.

Sonic Forces COULD have been a great game under the right circumstances. It’s using the Hedgehog Engine 2, Classic Sonic is back, you have your classic 2-D and boost gameplay just like Generations. You can even design your original character (do not steal), making every Sonic fanfic writer’s dream come true. In fact, it did okay with critics or at least critics who weren’t that familiar with Sonic. But as a fan of Sonic, you played the game and realized right away that something was off. It looked like Generations, but it didn’t quite play like it. 

I think the main problem lies in that a good amount of the team from Sonic Colors worked on this game including the director, Morio Kishimoto. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Sonic Colors. But that game has very different platform physics than Generations or Unleashed. However, this game seems to have the engine of Generations, but with the jumping physics of Colors. Casual game players might not notice, but if you’re a Sonic fan, it’ll throw you off a bit. Like riding a bicycle, only now the bicycle controls like a unicycle.

What also doesn’t help is the terrible writing once again from Pontac and Graff. I’ll admit, I loved the story in Colors and laughed at Eggman’s PSA’s but those two are comedy writers, and every time they attempt drama in Sonic games, it falls flat. Sonic was supposed to be captured by Eggman and tortured for months, but when we see him, he’s the same ol’ Sonic he’s always been. Crackin’ jokes with (not) Zavoc. 

Sonic Heroes

“What goes up, must come down…” Much like the quality of gameplay in Sonic Heroes.

Now, Sonic Heroes is definitely one of my “guilty pleasures”. It has a lot going for it that I like. It offers the 3-D gameplay similar to the last Sonic Adventure games, but stripped down to a level-by-level structure, much like the 2-D classics. The new gimmick in this one is that you control three characters at once. One for speed (Sonic, Shadow, Amy, Espio), one for power (Knuckles, Omega, Big, Vector), and one for flight (Tails, Rouge, Cream, Charmy). Four teams with four stories of their own. Sonic Heroes did a lot right. It brought back the Chaotix, introduced Omega, and had probably Jun Sunoe’s and Crush 40’s best tracks in any of their games. “What I’m made of” is unironically a damn good song and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise (not really). For the most part, the “three at a time” formula works and helps keep the platforming gameplay moving at a fairly fast pace. It even did fairly well by critics (for a Sonic game of that era). Seaside Hill is still a joy to play. So what’s keeping it from being one of the best?

Level design. That’s the biggest problem. Sometimes it works great (like the aforementioned Seaside Hill) while others are a disaster. Casino Park and Bingo Highway still infuriate me to this day. The game’s difficulty constantly spikes. You can be having a great time of it only to have one of the most frustrating experiences on the very next level. It also doesn’t help that this was the first Sonic game to introduce a massive amount of annoying talking during gameplay. I just want to reach into my screen and choke Tails every time he says “Look at all those Eggman’s robots!”.For a child with a high IQ, he sure has poor grammar.

Now, if you’re a big fan of Sonic Heroes, I understand. There’s a lot to love here. But it’s definitely not without its faults. Speaking of a very faulty Sonic game that I love…



Sonic Unleashed

 

 

 

I friggin’ LOVE Sonic Unleashed! But it’s definitely got its flaws. 

It starts out soooo good! That Marza animated intro is the best Sonic…. Anything! (Speaking of, when’s that “Lupin the 3rd: The First” movie hitting the western markets?) We then meet Chip and… yeah, his mileage may vary depending on if he grows on you or not. We then meet humans and OMG!! They actually fit well in Sonic’s world for once! Giving them a cartoon appearance works perfectly. Then, after some story introductions and a training level, we are introduced to our first full level in Apotos, “Windmill Isle Act 2” and OMG is it amazing!!  Sonic’s running at incredible speeds through narrow streets that blur by. Dodging buildings left and right, grinding rails and smashing through Badniks. It was the first Sonic game to introduce the 3-D boost mechanics that are still present in the latest games. It all feels sooo good and it’s over too soon.

And then it happens. The Werehog. The thing both critics and fans felt was a bad idea and frankly, still is. Now, don’t get me wrong. The gameplay of the Werehog is actually not that bad! You’re running, jumping, getting into brawls and shimmying on ledges and it works out okay. It just doesn’t feel like that kind of gameplay belongs in a Sonic game. Also, each level is about a half-hour long or more. Compare that to the Sonic daytime levels that clock in at about five minutes. I’m bored ten minutes into the Werehog levels. The one thing the Wii did right was to break them up into smaller levels so you could take a break from them. The Wii version also didn’t have the frustrating medal hunt. Don’t have enough sun medals for the next Sonic daytime level? Too bad. Back to the old Werehog levels to hunt them down.

With all, it’s faults I’d still be lying if I didn’t say that Sonic Unleashed was one of my favorite 3-D Sonic games. The Werehog isn’t gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are far worse Sonic gameplay options out there (I’m looking at you, Big in Sonic Adventure.) 

So what flawed Sonic game do you enjoy? Are there any you think I should have put on the list? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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

Neo Metal Sonic Skateboard by Finesse Releases December

Neo Metal Sonic, the antagonist of Sonic Heroes, will finally get his first piece of official merchandise in the form of a skateboard deck, 15 years after his video game appearance!

Continue reading Neo Metal Sonic Skateboard by Finesse Releases December

The Spin: How SEGA is Ignoring the Middle Children of Sonic’s Legacy

2010 was the year Sonic the Hedgehog came back. Yes, we all heard the stories about how the franchise had declined not long after the jump to 3D, how gaming news outlets and critics even now would begin their pieces with some variation of “Sonic has had a rocky history,” and how every new Sonic game released around the “dark ages” period couldn’t shake off the dreaded “Sonic Cycle.” Continue reading The Spin: How SEGA is Ignoring the Middle Children of Sonic’s Legacy

Sound Test Saturday: Spooky Scary Mystic Mansion

Isn’t this that time of year where you put on a costume and threaten to prank strangers if they don’t give you candy? You know, New Year’s!

Boom jokes aside, the season of Halloween is indeed upon us, and for tonight’s Sound Test Saturday, we’re putting the remix spotlight on one of the more haunted locales of the entire Sonic series: Mystic Mansion from Sonic Heroes. Naofumi Hataya and Jun Senoue masterfully set the tone for the teams’ respective treks through the eerie manor, crawling with evil spirits and spooky scary skeletons around every corner. Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Spooky Scary Mystic Mansion

Mash-Up Monday: Team Chaotix X Sweet Mountain Area

The Chaotix Detective Agency: the team that never turns down work that pays, a force where one and one makes three, and experts at taking a look at… more clues. Now, the subject of this week’s Mash-Up Monday!

When Team Chaotix was brought back and redesigned from Knuckles Chaotix into their more modern iterations established in Sonic Heroes, their re-debut came with an awesome and really catchy self-titled theme song with vocals by Gunnar Nelson. It also turns out it mashes together quite well with the Mariko Nanba’s Area theme for Sweet Mountain from Sonic Colours, as YouTuber Newbiespud found out by bringing both tunes together.

Check out their tribute to Vector, Espio, and Charmy below!

Continue reading Mash-Up Monday: Team Chaotix X Sweet Mountain Area

4 new Sonic themes out for 3DS in NA (one is free!)

This past Thursday, Sega released 4 new Sonic themes for the 3DS Theme Shop in NA. One of the which, the 25th Anniversary theme, is free to download! The other three can be bought individually for $2 USD each (sadly I can’t find the CDN prices) or in a 3-theme bundle for $4.99 USD or $6.49 CDN.

The 4 themes with their names and songs are:

  • Sonic series: 25th Anniversary (Music: Sonic Heroes “System Screen: Team Select”)
  • Sonic series: Sonic Style (Music: Sonic Generations: “System Screen: Option Menu”)
  • Sonic series: Classic Style (Music: Sonic the Hedgehog 3: “System Screen: Character Select”)
  • Sonic series: Boom Style (Music: Sonic Boom: “Main Theme”)

You can see pics of all themes below.

Continue reading 4 new Sonic themes out for 3DS in NA (one is free!)

Super Bunnyhop looks at the first level of every main Sonic game

The YouTube channel Super Bunnyhop has uploaded a 39-minute look at the first level of every main Sonic game. Hit the jump to see it, and also to get a full list of the games covered. Continue reading Super Bunnyhop looks at the first level of every main Sonic game

ESRB Rates Sonic Heroes for PS3

Sonic Heroes EU PS2 Box Art

US ratings board the ESRB has rated Sonic Heroes for the PlayStation 3, suggesting the PlayStation 2 game will finally be making its way to the US PS Store following its release on the European PS Store last February. No official word from SEGA or Sony, but as soon as there is, we’ll be sure to pass on the details.

Source: ESRB (via PlayStation LifeStyle)

Freak-Out Friday: Sonic HACKED

Let’s kick off the New Year of Freak-Out Fridays with an oldie but a goodie!

One day, UltramasterBDJ discovered the unholy magic of Action Replay.

And then he had a bit too much fun with his Sonic Gamecube titles.

Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s CutSonic Adventure 2: BattleSonic Heroes, and Shadow the Hedgehog are put to the test in this 20+ minute compilation of hacks and laughs! Part 2 is found after the jump!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVo9_PtSR9o

Continue reading Freak-Out Friday: Sonic HACKED

Sound Test Saturday: Heroic Hedgehog

What is this day filled with so many wonders, casting its spell that I am now under?

…oh yeah, it’s Saturday! And what other wonder is there to feature on The Sonic Stadium save the Sound Test?

We’ve got a trio of remixes put together by members of the Sonic community: one that can only be done beautifully through the ebony and ivory, one that allows listeners to soar above raging dogfights, and one that can only be spelled through guitar as an epic win!

First up is, believe it or not, a compilation of all 4 Sonic Heroes themes in a wonderful 6 minute medley on the piano. Yes: Follow Me for Team Rose, We Can for Team Sonic, Team Chaotix for… well, Team Chaotix, and This Machine for Team Dark. Imagine my reaction when this landed in my inbox!

Without further ado, here’s Mister Macanulty with Heroic Hedgehogs!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi8yJN1vjnM

Now this is the kind of thing I love seeing in my inbox! There’s nothing like a good piano rendition of some of my favourite tunes, you know? And Macanulty here did a spectacular job here weaving four entirely different tracks together. Nerves were soothed, emotions were calmed, and it was a start to a great day. Thanks for sending this gem over, Mac!

For Act 2, Dill Tasker sent over his take on Sonic 4 Episode 2‘s sky-piercing stage, Sky Fortress Act 2 D&B Remix!

Does this make you want to get up and dance like a pro? …or dance like an idiot when no one’s around, maybe? Yes? Good. Smooth to the ears, but with a fast pace to keep you going. A definite winner for a remix on a Sonic 4 piece. Great job, Dill!

And for a bombastic finale, we got something for the metalheads! To those who grew up with Sonic in the 90s, this mouthwatering medley put together by 331Erock is for you! Here’s Sonic Meets Metal!

Eric Calderone’s feat here is nothing short of the word amazing. I feel faint just listening to him tear his instrument a new one. As if his solo towards the end didn’t spell “awesome” out for you, this mixture of Green Hill, Emerald Hill, Chemical Plant, and the theme to SatAM is a true love letter to a way past cool childhood! Special thanks to Etna on the SSMB for the find!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be abusing the replay button to each of these tunes over and over again until I end up turning deaf.

Found an interesting remix, cover, or original track somewhere on the web? Got one of your own you’d want to show the world through The Sonic Stadium and SEGASonic: Radio? If you’ve answered yes to either question, then send everything you got over to vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

The Summer of Sonic 2012 Shorts!

From SoS’12, we managed to bring you the Crush 40 concert, the Club Sonic setlist, NiGHTS’ and Reala’s unveiling in S&ASRT, as well as a contest to win some goodies (just closed!), but there’s one thing we’re missing: the shorts! To those who haven’t had the chance to see them up front and live: no need to fret! As of yesterday, all shorts featured have been uploaded!

A total of three animations were featured in front of a live audience. First up is Shadow the Hedgehog in Brief, followed by Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 in Brief, both parodies handled by Frobman, who previously animated Ring Energy’s Before the Machine and Sonic Heroes in Brief, the latter having been made for Summer of Sonic 2011. Though some would say they’re parodies, some would say both shorts depict each game as is… but that’s for you to decide!

The third and final animation is brought to you by Sonic Paradox! Instead of going with Shorts, the team took a more different route through Sonic Heroes with a music video. With Recorderdude on lyrics, Seaside Denied is split between four animators to handle the four different teams with numerous singers and voice actors, poking fun at every opportunity at both the game itself and the Paradox’s signature Shorts.

Enjoy!

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

Continue reading The Summer of Sonic 2012 Shorts!

Sound Test Saturday: 21st Anniversary Edition!

My readers, this day is what all true Sonic fans strive for!

Yes, today is June 23rd, and you all know what that means! The Blue Blur himself, Sonic the Hedgehog, is celebrating his 21st birthday today!

So, let’s have a bit of an extravaganza ourselves! 21 is the magic number, so why not go for that many tracks, just for today? A great number of these tracks have been tipped by you guys, and I thank you all for your contributions!

Due to the sheer amount of music to be featured beyond the jump, I’ll refrain myself from commenting on each track. Instead, I will leave you all with this. If everything goes according to plan here, Sound Test Saturday will be moved to SEGASonic: Radio next week. Yes folks, SS:R will return sooner than you think! And with the big move, we will introduce a new feature on our weekly music column: interviews! First ones up are Freen in Green, followed by xTrickyWolfy and Ring Energy should all go well!

If there is any particular artist you would want featured on a future Sound Test Saturday, if there are any remixes, covers, or originals you want to share, if you have work of your own you would like to see up on the site, then do not hesitate to notify me at vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

That being said, Happy 21st Anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog! Still unstoppable after 21 years!

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

Title: Green Hill Zone
Author: TheSymphonicGames
Tip: Faseehudeen

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: 21st Anniversary Edition!

Sound Test Saturday: Summer is Upon Us!

Rocketing temperatures, trips planned to a number of resorts, schools closing their doors, burdens of all sorts being lifted from people’s shoulders… It can only mean one thing!

What time is it? Summertime! It’s our vacation!

And, to celebrate the oncoming season, it’s only fair that this week’s Sound Test Saturday joins in on the party as well, wouldn’t you say? We’ve got a total of five tracks to mark this joyous occasion (barring insanely hot temperatures), so kick back, take a nice swig of whatever you have in your glass or bottle, and relax!

First up on the playlist is a cover of Emerald Coast’s “Azure Blue World” from Sonic Adventure, put together by jparecki95!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y1fwZOSQos
Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Summer is Upon Us!

Sound Test Saturday: Unlimited Colours!

For this week’s Sound Test Saturday, we will be taking a look at a couple of remixes dedicated to Sonic Colours, a Nintendo exclusive entry that breathed new life into the franchise with some of the most zaniest yet colourful stages, gameplay mechanics, and of course, music, in the entire series.

Let’s start with something unique: a House mix of the Green Hover Wisp theme by Stylez-T!

Update: The video has been removed. Thanks to Darksonic20 for the notice.

As if the Hover theme wasn’t relaxing enough. Stylez here somehow managed to make a blissfully happy and sleep-inducing track even more sleep-inducing and happy. Of course, what’s most impressive is how Stylez turned a short, soft, situational loop into a full fledged 4 minute track! Definitely the last sort of thing I expecting! His “Hover House” mix at least deserves that credit.

And now, we dive into a unique remix, combining Aquarium Park with… Mystic Mansion from Sonic Heroes!

…wait, what?

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Unlimited Colours!

Mash-Up Monday: Michael’s Mansion

Woah, hey! Halloween came early!

This week’s Mash-Up Monday provides you with yet another Michael Jackson/Sonic mash-up… through an interesting combination that hasn’t even been tried until now! MJ’s “Thriller” meets Mystic Mansion from Sonic Heroes in “Michael’s Mansion”!

Quite fitting, I’d have to say! Makes sense considering the tropes of both songs!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIOa6WhQu10

Mashed and sent in by TrueBluefuse!

Found an interesting mash-up? Want to send in one of your own and get it featured? Then send it over at vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

Sound Test Saturday: A Funky Premiere of Green Symphonies!

Hello, readers! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week through April’s first seven days. If not, then hopefully this is the sort of that is sure to boost your spirits! Ladies and gentlehogs, you are now reading the premiere article of an all new weekly column: Sound Test Saturday! Just like Mash-Up Mondays feature music mash-ups between Sonic and any other party, Sound Test Saturdays will highlight music – original compositions, covers, or remixes – made by the Sonic community. That’s right! Sound Test Saturdays will concentrate on music created by you! Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: A Funky Premiere of Green Symphonies!

eBay Watch: Little-seen Stuff Going Under the Hammer

Our good friend Kevin “ArchangelUK” Eva got up to quite a bit in his time at Sega UK, so it stands to reason he’s got his fair share of rare Sonic merch. Now the former Community Manager is raising funds with a load of his stuff seeing the light of eBay.

Now I’m no merch hog, but most of this stuff I didn’t even know existed, so if you like your collectables, you know what to do.



Continue reading eBay Watch: Little-seen Stuff Going Under the Hammer

Sonic Heroes Now Available on EU PS Store

PS2 Classic Sonic Heroes has randomly been released on the European PlayStation Store today. PS3 owners can download it for £7.99/€9.99, and if you do purchase it, you’ll need to make sure you have 4.5GB of storage space free. There is no word from SEGA or Sony about whether this game will also be made available on the US PS Store.

If you want to refresh your memory or have never seen/played Sonic Heroes before, here’s an old trailer for the game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmWwg-diUWs[/youtube]

Source: EU PS Blog

Thanks to SSMB member Hogfather for the heads up!

At SOS 2011 Get Ready To Rock… With JULIEN-K!

Consider me T-Bird in disguise for this one…

Summer of Sonic is delighted to announce alternative electronic rock act Julien-K will be appearing as part of the amazing line up at this year’s Summer of Sonic convention! Julien-K defined the sound of Team Dark with their fan-favourite track “This Machine” for Sonic Heroes, and returned a few years later to perform the song “Waking Up” which was featured on the soundtrack to 2005’s Shadow the Hedgehog title. The band have since worked on a whole host of projects including the soundtrack to the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen video game, released their first album Death to Analogue and have collaborated with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington on his solo project Dead by Sunrise.

Ryan Shuck, Amir Derakh, Elias Andra and and Anthony “Fu” Valcic will be joining us during their current European tour to perform a music set as part of the afternoon’s entertainment on the main stage. The band will also be appearing later in the afternoon for a meet and greet session to give all you boys and girls the opportunity to meet the band in person as well as grab a few autographs if you wish.

The band will also be playing the London Borderline on the 22nd of June to promote their upcoming album We’re Here With You, so if you’re in the neighborhood go and check them out!

Get ready to rock at this month – Summer of Sonic is going to be a scorcher!

Decade Moment: The “MarioKart: Double Dash!!” Demo Disc

What is a “Decade Moment?”  It is a moment from the past ten years that us here at TSS remember vividly to this day.  A game announcement, completing a tough level, or acquiring some slick merchandise… everything memorable and certifiably Sonic counts.

In the last ten years of running Sonic forums, playing Sonic games, and just simply being a fan, there is one moment that trumps all… and it’s from the least likely of places: a pre-order bonus for a Mario game.  In October of 2003, Nintendo announced that the long-awaited entry in the MarioKart series would be giving away demo discs with a pre-order.  I could care less for demo discs and the crap that they try to push on people.  Even today, with Nintendo’s DS Download Service, they rarely have anything worth checking out.  This demo disc was different though… it was stacked.

Check out this line-up: Mario Party 5, F-Zero GX, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike.

About three games out of those four ended up being any good (and in F-Zero and Rogue Squadron’s case… fantastic).  You would think that this list would have me hooked right then and there.  I was surprisingly not sold, however, until I got to the bottom of the list and read “Sonic Heroes.”

Flashback to a few weeks ago.  A trailer had just come out for Sonic Heroes that was SEGA’s trailer of the decade.  It gave me goosebumps to watch words fly at you, Sonic and company blazing past bright and colorful levels reminscent of the Genesis days, and to hear a movie trailer voice-over narrate it all.  But nothing… nothing prepared you for the fangasm that was “The Return of Metal Sonic:”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqMoXT3VJEk[/youtube]

Needless to say, I was a happy as a sophomore in high school could be.  My childhood icon was calling back to his 90s glory.  I knew that I was going to get Double Dash!! but this demo alone sweetened the deal.  Once the option was available, I immediately went to put a pre-order down at GameStop so that I could get my hands on “the return of a legend.”  Luckily, the store is not too far away from my house.  I was only a permit-carrying driver at the time, so with my parents at work, I was breaking the law.  I couldn’t contain myself though… I needed this demo disc.

I put $5 down and got back home safe and sound.  The only thing that wasn’t safe was my grades, because I’m pretty sure I gave a big “fuck that” to my homework that night.

There were only two levels: Seaside Hill with Team Sonic and Bullet Station with Team Dark.  Those two levels turned into hours of entertainment and eventually became days of satiating my desire to play the full version.  I had to keep myself occupied until January 5th.

Sonic Heroes fulfilled the insane amount of hype that I had running through me once I purchased it with my two Best Buy gift cards on that fateful day in January.  I played it for months until I got all A-ranks.  Still, the memories of playing Sonic Heroes until completion have faded and standing strong today six years later… is a demo disc for a Mario game.

The Top 10 Sonic Games Of The 2000’s

2009’s almost out. That means we’ve enjoyed a whole decade of Sonic the Hedgehog goodness in the last ten years, from 2000’s Sonic Shuffle (for Americans, we didn’t get it until the year after, damn SEGA) to 2009’s Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. So, rather than just round up the games of the year, The Sonic Stadium crew have taken to list their Top 10 Sonic games of the decade!

This is how we’ve done it. A bunch of TSS Staffers wrote over their unique Top 10 (which will be listed at the end of this article). Along with it, a short paragraph as to why they ranked each game the way they did. When bunching all of these lists together, we formed an average by giving points to each game’s placement on each staffer’s countdown (so a #1 position would get 10 points, and a game in 10th place would get 1 point). Add all the points up, and we have our own, not-so-scientific average. What game will get TSS’ #1 Sonic Game of the Decade? Read on, dear reader… Continue reading The Top 10 Sonic Games Of The 2000’s

Fanatics: What I’m Made Of

With Sonic’s new super-form revealed, let’s take some time to reflect on some “super” moments from the past.  Metal Sonic’s return in “Sonic Heroes,” a game that I really enjoy for some reason, was nothing short of awesome.  BlazeTBW captures the moment Metal goes berserk and becomes an “overlord” in his piece “Fight with the Overlord.”

BlazeTBW drew this work for the Black Knight contest and didn’t win.  Like I said with a previous rejected entry, the ones that were picked must be amazing if they didn’t accept this one.  BlazeTBW sketched the work in pencil and uses her Wacom tablet, Photoshop, and Corel Painter X to color and detail the whole thing.  She thinks that it is her best Sonic work to date and I certainly agree.

My own take on this work relates the expressions on Knuckles and Tails’ faces.  I like to think that they aren’t grimacing over Metal Overlord and his ability to “ownz jOO,” but rather, why they don’t get a super form, something that we all questioned within the community when Heroes’ ending was revealed.  Look at Knuckles, he’s so mad about not getting his super form!  Haha…oh, I’m getting sidetracked.  Nice work, BlazeTBW.

New Sonic Heroes Budget Price

Sonic Heroes has finally been released at a budget price, also becoming a “Player’s Choice” title for the Nintendo GameCube. The game has been re-released for $19.99 for GameCube, PS2 and Xbox.

“The tremendous retail success of Sonic Heroes across all platforms makes it clear that everyone’s favorite hedgehog is still at the top of his game,” said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Entertainment Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. “And this value-priced re-issue is just the beginning; Sonic has a handful of other big surprises in store for gamers throughout 2005.”

Sonic Toys Hit McDonalds UK

Last year, just after the release of Sonic Heroes in the UK, McDonalds and SEGA Europe held a promotion involving various miniature Sonic the Hedgehog electronic toys inside Happy Meals.

During Christmas and earlier this year, a new wave of Sonic McDonalds Happy Meal toys have been released for mass consumption within the USA and Australia respectively. This week, McDonalds chains in the UK will be promoting the new ‘Sonic Electronic’s over the course of the next few weeks.

Continue reading Sonic Toys Hit McDonalds UK

Sonic Scansday Deluxe: Day 1

Righty then. Wednesday. Sonic Scansday. Been missed a few times. So here we go – enjoy the huge deluge of scans we have for you this week. We have new boxart for SA2BattleSonic DX and Mega Collection, thanks to Rally the Cheetah. Then we have new Scanned Material for Sonic Heroes (8 pieces), Sonic DX (2 pieces) from Psychobob, and a music page on theSupersonic EP, a Sonic single that was released in the UK, with scans also by Psychobob.

Finally today, the Sonic Sprites section had a few sheets added to it – expect the amount of sprite sheets to balloon over the next few days too. We have a dedicated sprite ripper – Dark Sonic – to help out with the creation of sprite sheets for new Sonic games, so expect some more Sonic Advance 3 sheets soon. As for the gaps, they will be filled very quickly. More scans to come tomorrow – including a whole TON of new Sonic Comic material, including scans from a very intruiging SEGA Manga that I acquired some time ago! Make sure you don’t miss it!

Sonic Heroes in 2004 for Europe?

Sonic Heroes. One of the most anticipated games of the year. First Americans were told to wait 16th-ish January 2004 for the game, while Japan had it coming mid December ’03. Europe was unconfirmed.

SEGA Europe treated us to a 5th December release date for Heroes, something so that us Europeans could be thankful for living in the hell-hole of games releases (not including New Zealand and Australia) for once.

Then the US release date went FORWARD (very uncommon), the Jap release got pushed BACK and the European release was still the same. It’s most likely that there was some miscommunication, but apparently SEGA Europe assured everyone the date of Heroes will be before the Japanese release date.

5th December has come and gone, and no Sonic Heroes. It looks like the online shops are right about the game being pushed back as far as FEBRUARY 2004 for Europe. At present we’re contacting SEGA Europe about this, but at the moment, it looks like there’ll be no promised Sonic this Christmas for us Europeans. Shame that.

IGN Playtests Sonic Heroes

IGN has reviewed Sonic Heroes at TGS 2003. From IGN:

Sonic and heroes made their Sonic Heroes debut in Japan earlier today as the Tokyo Game Show kicked off just outside of Tokyo. Sonic Team’s latest take on the Sonic franchise was first shown at this year’s E3 through a demo of a single level that showed off the game’s cooperative play mechanics. The Tokyo Game Show version of the game featured the same level and its team of Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, but also had another level featuring Shadow, Rouge and E-102.

We first tried out Sonic, Tails and Knuckles level and were very much impressed. The level moves fast, has lots of sections to show off the series’ trademark blazing speed, and offers up good chances to make use of each character’s abilities. We honestly can’t think of a single complaint about this level, aside from a few times where controlling the characters can become difficult. Camerawork, in particular, seems to be superb, with the occasional difficulties from E3 having apparently been cleared up. If the entire game ends up being like this level, we’ll be in Sonic heaven later this year. Continue reading IGN Playtests Sonic Heroes