The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle on Steam is on Sale for 66% off this Week Only

In April, SEGA released the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Classics Hub for Steam, which created a wide-spanning virtual hub that encompasses all retro releases from the company, complete with Steam Workshop support for modders to play around with. The hub became available for free to any Steam user with a Mega Drive game in their library, from Alex Kidd all the way to Wonder Boy, including all of Sonic’s 16-bit outings.

In fact, those who wish to complete their collection can do so for a cheap price this week only, as the all-encompassing SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle is now on sale for 66% off the usual price. Internationally, we’re speaking $21.07 USD ($61.99 USD), £16.31 (£47.99), and €20.05 (€58.99). The full list of games is as follows:

Continue reading The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle on Steam is on Sale for 66% off this Week Only

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

The8BitDrummer Played an Amazing Cover of the Entire Sonic 3 & Knuckles OST in One Take!

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The Man. The Myth. The Legend. & Knuckles.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles, compared to the original Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequel, had an entire team of artists behind the game’s musical score, compared to the talents of Masato Nakamura working on the first two games in the series solo. Spearheaded by the late Michael Jackson, the King of Pop himself, and Brad Buxer, the result was that nine different composers had worked on the soundtrack for the 1994 SEGA Genesis classic, leading to an incredibly cinematic and highly varied OST that still resonates with fans to this day.

One such fan, Jerod “The8BitDrummer” C., hosts a number of live drumming streams on Twitch, and sometimes in sessions where he would tackle not just given song requests, but entire scores from a video game on his drum set. Recently, he did an absolutely phenomenal job of covering the entirety of the Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack from start to finish, thus adding a new layer of depth (and percussion!) to a soundtrack that folks can learn to appreciate all over again.

As for my other personal recommendations, you should definitely check out The8BitDrummer’s awesome drum covers for the soundtracks of Undertale, Dust: An Elysian Tail, and Shovel Knight.

Be sure to subscribe to him on YouTube and Twitch, and to follow him on Twitter!

Happy 20th Birthday Sonic the Hedgehog 3!

Sonic3_titleIt still feels like only yesterday! Sonic the Hedgehog 3 turns the grand old age of 20 today, marking two decades since the title hit the shelves way back in 1994 for the SEGA Megadrive / Genesis; this date also marks the anniversary of the introduction of Knuckles the Echidna to the franchise. While not one of the best selling Sonic the Hedgehog titles to date, Sonic 3 is heralded by many as one of the definitive titles released, along with it’s sister title Sonic & Knuckles, which will also be celebrating it’s birthday later this year.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 still causes debate to this day with regards to the level of involvement Michael Jackson may have had in the creation of the soundtrack.

How will you be celebrating today? Maybe you’re having a speed-run party, rocking out to some remixes of your favorite levels, or perhaps you’re digging a hole in the back garden to hide your emeralds in? Share your thoughts, ideas and reflections in the comments!

Aliens: Colonial Marines has a Sonic 3 Reference

Aliens: Colonial Marines – Sonic 3 And Knuckles Easter Egg

Aliens: Colonial Marines was released last week and… it’s pretty bad. No really, it’s bad, and not in the good ‘Who’s bad!?’ kind of way.

Anyway, it’s also a game that’s full of hidden Easter Eggs, including a reference to the Special Stages from Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. During chapter 6 ‘For Bella’ you enter a large building and have to run past a room with a sentry gun on the left hand side. If you then enter this room and disable the turret, you can now safely check out the lockers. Inside one of the lockers are 3 small balls, one red, one blue and one textured exactly like ground you run on during these stages.

Nothing happens once you find this, just a small hidden extra added to the game. Please, do not buy this game just to see this for yourself, it really isn’t that good.

Thanks to… I can’t believe I’m typing this… Barack Obama on SSMB for bringing this to my attention.

Freak-Out Friday: A Whole Lotta Blast Processing

Get ready for Sonic’s longest adventure yet!

Sonic & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles confirmed for the year 19999999999999999999999994… That’s a whole lotta blast processing right there.

Whoever put this together must have had a great deal of time, patience, and money to have gathered 24 Sonic & Knuckles cartridges to do THAT.

Sonic Generations Mushroom Hill 3DS Gameplay Footage from Gamescom 2011

A full stage-and-a-bit’s worth of gameplay footage from Mushroom Hill Zone on Sonic Generations with both modern and classic Sonic! Fans will no doubt be pleased to see the return of losts of features from the original stage along with a host of the most recognisable badniks.

By the sound of it, Modern Sonic’s music for Mushroom hill is identical to the original version from Sonic & Knuckles; however the track for this stage may not have been finalised and this is a placeholder track. Classic Sonic’s Mushroom Hill stage does appear to have a musical makeover however, and is sounding pretty nifty…but you will need to wait for the end of the video for that!

Thanks to Phantomime for the news tip!

Destroy All Slackers Interview with Video Game Composer Howard Drossin

Web podcast Destroy All Slackers get down to the nitty gritty with Howard Drossin, sound composer for Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Spinball and Sonic and the Black Knight (along with some other amazing titles like Comix Zone!) in their latest podcast released.

Drossin gives a very frank account of working for SEGA, putting the Spinball theme in two hours and the big question that seems to still be on everyone’s mind of Michael Jackson’s involvement in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – it’s a fantastic interview, so do go check it out!

Link to Destroy All Slackers Podcast page.

Props to TSSZ for spotting this!

Oh…and if like me you’d eat your own hat to hear a Howard Drossin compilation CD (with unreleased stuff!), let your voice be heard in the comments!

Ex-Archie Writer Ken Penders Claims Copyright to Archie Characters & Stories

Ken Penders, as most die-hard Archie readers will know, is one of the more prolific writer/artists to have contributed to the Sonic the Hedgehog Archie comic universe over the years. However it has come to light today that Penders, in a statement on his website, will be pursuing copyright claims to the stories and characters he has been responsible for creating in the past. For those who don’t follow Archie comics – this is a substantial amount of material, not only including popular characters such as Julie-Su and Geoffrey St. John, but a large amount of the Sonic & Knuckles story arcs. Penders also claims that plotlines used in the Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood title were adapted from his works.

To quote the statement on Penders’ Web page:

As for how it affects the SONIC THE HEDGEHOG titles published by Archie Comics, while it does not prevent them from publishing the SONIC series, they are not allowed to use any of my characters, concepts or stories without further discussion with my representatives. For now, they cannot reprint any of my stories in any media whatsoever, nor can they use any of my characters. Julie-Su, Geoffrey St. John, Hershey, Rob O’ the Hedge, Lien-Da, the Dark Legion along with the rest of the characters and concepts I created – including the alternative universes and future timeline – cannot appear in the series.

This could potentially affect a large number of factors in the future of the comic’s publishing, as many editions of the Archie Archives books as well as current and future story arcs, currently being written by Ian Flynn include works Penders claims property of.  Penders also states he is seeking intellectual property advice from an LA-based attorney, and also warns of cease and desist letters being issued to anyone using these characters and concepts without permission.

This is of course not the first time there has been ill feeling between Penders and Archie Comics, with Penders lashing out at Ian Flynn earlier this year.

What are your thoughts and feelings on this situation? Let us know in the comments!

You can read the rest of Penders’ statement on Ken Penders Official Website.

Again, I would like to request that comments keep in mind that both Ken, Ian and other writers and artists actively use and read the internet; out-an-out flaming and insults will be removed. Cheers! -T

Sonic & Knuckles Wii VC Gets An 85% From ONM

Official Nintendo Magazine UK have reviewed the recent Wii Virtual Console release of Sonic & Knuckles and given it a good score of 85%.

The reasons restricting them giving the game an even higher score is as follows:

Naturally though, the main gameplay change is the addition of Knuckles, whose ability to glide and climb walls changes the feel of the game drastically. The levels aren’t laid out as well as those in the previous Sonic games however, and the game suffers slightly as a result.

So while it’s not as essential as the main Sonic trilogy, Sonic & Knuckles is still highly recommended for all platform fans.

Guess ONM arent fans of Knuckles gameplay change though they do give a + at the end of review for being able to play as him, the only – they give the game is in their words “Not as good as Sonic 2 or 3”.

What do you think of their review? Let the debate begin in the comments section.

Sonic & Knuckles FINALLY Coming To Virtual Console

Remember a long time ago Sonic & Knuckles for Virtual Console was registered at the ESRB and PEGI rating board sites? Well it looks like SEGA had a plan… wait for Sonic 4 to be announced! Now all of you Wii owners in Europe can finally experience the conclusion to Sonic 3 from Feb 12th next week before you move on to Sonic 4. There’s no word on wether the game will have the lock-on feature or wether this will be coming to the U.S. soon too but we’ll try to find out and keep you posted.

Source: ONM

Sonic & Knuckles To Hit Japanese Virtual Console

Looks like SEGA have figured a way around that pesky Sonic & Knuckles lock-on technology problem, as Japan is about to get the classic mushroom-shaped Mega Drive game soon on the Wii Virtual Console, complete with backwards compatibility across other Sonic MD games.

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SEGA Japan announced the lock-on feature workaround, which involves an additional menu before you boot the ROM up asking you if there is another purchased Sonic game you would like to connect it to. Nintendo itself made no mention of the feature, which led us all to worry that the VC version would have nixed lock-on play – as has been the trend these days with Sonic & Knuckles re-releases. Sonic & Knuckles on Wii Virtual Console will hit Japan on the 27th October for 600 Nintendo Points.

The original Mega Drive classic was released in October 1994, eight months after the launch of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. As the two games were confirmed to be two parts of the same game, Sonic Team created a special cartridge that allowed copies of Sonic 3 to be ‘locked on’ the top of it. As a bonus, copies of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also worked on the lock-on; the former as an ‘endless’ gauntlet of special stage game ‘Blue Sphere’ and the latter allowing players to control Knuckles in Sonic 2 Zones.

Source: Andriasang (thanks for the tip, BassDS!)

Sonic & Knuckles XBLA OUT NOW

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

Bargain, how could you possibly say no?

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

Sonic gets a mention in Penny-Arcade

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A lot of popular references to Sonic seem to focus on the new Sonic games these days, so it’s always a nice change to see reminiscing about the good old days; something I was delighted to spot when I visited the popular web comic Penny-Arcade today.

Today’s comic delves back into the past of one of their fictional protagonist’s history, in which he was a lowly SEGA fanboy amongst a school of SNES gamers. As well as what appears to be a reference to the horde of Sonic games that appeared on the Megadrive/Genesis (and that possibly Sonic was the only “memorable character” to feature in games on the console?), there’s also a quick quip about SEGA’s obsession with lock-on cartridges and software!

You can check out the new comic here, and hopefully later today there will be a news post which will discuss the subject of the comic in greater detail.

So, did you fight in the console wars, and what was the SEGA/Nintendo split in your playground?

Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles XBLA Coming This Summer

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SEGA UK have today confirmed SEGA Vintage Collection 2 for Xbox Live Arcade. Among the games to be released in the new collection are Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Sonic 3 has been known about for a while after the achievements were released to the net a few weeks back which you can check out in our article here.

Sonic & Knuckles will also include the lock-on feature we informed you about 2 weeks ago if you have Sonic 3 and Sonic 2, a feature missing from the recent SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection version.

Other games to be released in this collection are –
Gunstar Heroes(XBLA, PSN)
Comix Zone(XBLA)
Shinobi (Arcade) (XBLA)
Phantasy Star II (XBLA)
Altered Beast (XBLA)

New features in the games will include:
Re-worked for High-Definition
Online Leaderboards
Network Play (Excludes Phantasy Star II, Shinobi, Comix Zone)

All of the games are currently planned to be released summer 2009 except for Sonic & Knuckles which will be released late summer 2009. No news on the collection being released outside of the UK yet but we will update you when we hear news.

UPDATE:
SEGA Of America have confirmed in their blog that the games will be released in the U.S. too.

Also, SEGA have posted a blog entry about this news on their European blog confirming their release in the whole of Europe.

Sonic & Knuckles for XBLA To Feature Lock-On Ability

Old technology becomes new as ‘lock-on technology’ has been reported to feature on the Xbox Live Arcade version of Sonic & Knuckles, according to Netherlands Sega Online Website which holds pictures of the feature in action. This would allow you to couple Sonic & Knuckles with any of the previous Sonic XBLA titles to unlock their ‘& Knuckles’ feature. The lock-on feature was missing from the recently released Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection.

Sega developed lock-on technology for the original Mega Drive/Genesis cartridge as a way to basically split the game in half to release two Sonic games in 1994. Combining Sonic & Knuckles with Sonic 3 created ‘Sonic 3 & Knuckles’, basically the complete version of Sonic 3.

Sega were also able to make Sonic & Knuckles work retroactively with Sonic 2 placing Knuckles as the sole playable character, something that was never though of on Sonic 2’s release in 1992. Finally coupling Sonic & Knuckles with the original Sonic game gave you access to a vast number of ‘Collect The Blue Spheres’ special zone

No news is available regarding a release date for either Sonic 3 or Sonic & Knuckles on XBLA at this time

Thanks to TSSZ

Fanatics: Sonic & Knuckles Finale

The final boss battles of Super Sonic & Knuckles meet in this work by Mit-Man.  Dr. Robotnik’s final mech at the Doomsday, the Death Egg, and Hyper Metal Knuckles are being destroyed by our powered-up heroes…in space!  The Mit-Miester comments:

[T]he pictures depicts Super/Hyper Sonic and Super/Hyper Knuckles defeating Robotnik’s final robot form and Hyper Mecha Sonic. They didn’t do it at the exact same time like this in the game, nor was Knuckles in space, but hey, it’s a cool effect I think that I incorporated into the picture, that sums up the ending quite well.

This piece was submitted for the Black Knight art contest, but was rejected.  If this piece was rejected, then the art that was selected better be the fuckin’ bomb, because I’m really happy with Mit’s work.

SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for 360/PS3 Announced

Because you simply cannot own enough copies of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive, SEGA have announced today they are developing the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for the XBox 360 and PS3 consoles. Looks like our original rumour story wasn’t that far off the mark.

As well as being the first opportunity for players to have a go on Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3D Blast on current generation consoles, this compilation will also include other kick-arse titles from SEGA’s extensive 16-bit catalogue, including Streets of Rage 1, 2 & 3, Alien Storm, Golden Axe 1, 2 & 3, Ristar and Ecco the Dolphin. Not only that, there will be a whole host of unlockable 8-bit Master System titles as bonus material too!

Some fans will be a bit miffed that they have already shelled-out a few hundred Microsoft points for these games already, but I think that will probably be drowned out by the fact there are well over 40 titles to play; that’s a lot of gaming for your pennies! Plus, there will also be a set of achievements for XBox owners to collect – always another incentive to play through those classics once more!

The collection is due out early 2009, check out the Official Website for more info.

Me? I’m thrilled they’re putting Dynamite Headdy on there! YEEEEAAS!!!

Games Update: Classic Cheat Codes for Your Mega Drive Games

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

TSS REVIEW: Sonic 3 & Knuckles

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

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

TSS REVIEW: Sonic 2 & Knuckles

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

TSS REVIEW: Sonic 1 & Knuckles (Blue Sphere)

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

TSS REVIEW: Sonic & Knuckles

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