Sonic Streamers Plan to Run Through Sandopolis Zone 601 Times Back-to-Back

What’s that age-old saying… “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again”? Well, a UK-based Sonic fan is taking that phrase a little too literally, as he and a group of mates have announced a plan to race through the first Act of Sonic & Knuckles’ Sandopolis Zone more than 600 times in a row! That’s very brave!

Continue reading Sonic Streamers Plan to Run Through Sandopolis Zone 601 Times Back-to-Back

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!

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

2020 Chris Tang Battles 1994 Chris Tang To Redo His Old Sonic & Knuckles Rock the Rock Run

The year was 1994. Sonic & Knuckles was featured in SEGA and MTV’s Rock the Rock competition, and Chris Tang managed to win. 26 years later, Tang was inspired to give his winning run a redo, in an effort to see if he could beat his own record.

Continue reading 2020 Chris Tang Battles 1994 Chris Tang To Redo His Old Sonic & Knuckles Rock the Rock Run

This Sonic 3 & Knuckles Mod Keeps Getting Better and Better

If you asked the average Sonic fan what the best Sonic game of all time was, chances are Sonic 3 (& Knuckles) would frequently be the top pick. Incidentally, this same game is also the most requested game to get a remaster, yet has received none of the love that Sonic 1 or Sonic 2 has gotten in recent years. This changed when one talented programmer by the name of Eukaryot took it upon himself to provide what may be the definitive version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and unlike other mods and ROM hacks, this one requires you to legally own the game!

Continue reading This Sonic 3 & Knuckles Mod Keeps Getting Better and Better

Sonic & Knuckles is BETTER than Sonic 3, and Here’s 7 Reasons Why

It’s the 25th anniversary of Sonic & Knuckles! 1994 was the year of the Death Egg Saga, and on this day 25 years ago that saga ended with a rather innovative little cartridge. You might think of it as the second half of Sonic 3, but I think it deserves a more fitting title: the better half of Sonic 3! True, you can combine Sonic 3 & Knuckles to get the full experience, but today is Sonic & Knuckles’ birthday, not Sonic 3’s, and I say that if you look at them individually, you’ll find that Sonic & Knuckles has just a bit more to offer, and is the better game! Here are 7 reasons why this is the case.

Continue reading Sonic & Knuckles is BETTER than Sonic 3, and Here’s 7 Reasons Why

Happy 30th Anniversary, SEGA Genesis!

Today marks 30 years since the SEGA Genesis (known as the SEGA Mega Drive elsewhere, the name was changed in North America due to trademark issues) made its debut!

This name would turn out to be quite fitting, as the SEGA Genesis became the system that would not only make SEGA and many of its franchises household names on the continent, it would also serve as the birth place for the company’s most successful character: a blue hedgehog named Sonic!

Continue reading Happy 30th Anniversary, SEGA Genesis!

SEGA Reveals Mega Drive Mini CD, 32X, Sonic 1 and Sonic & Knuckles Decoration Models

SEGA Japan surprised an entire globe of fans today by casually revealing that its upcoming Mega Drive Mini micro-console will launch alongside several decorative add-ons that replicate the Mega CD, 32X and Sonic & Knuckles’ lock-on technology! Continue reading SEGA Reveals Mega Drive Mini CD, 32X, Sonic 1 and Sonic & Knuckles Decoration Models

How McDonalds Couldn’t Keep Up With The World’s Fastest Hedgehog

Happy birthday to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, which turns 25 years old today! As Sonic the Hedgehog mania reached fever pitch in February 1994 with playgrounds across the plane buzzing with Sonic 3 hype, with plentiful promotions abound (but the less we talk about that Right Said Fred single, the better!)

To coincide with the launch of the game in the US, branches of the fast food restaurant McDonalds launched their Sonic the Hedgehog Happy Meal promotion, with millions of Sonic the Hedgehog toys ready to be given away from Friday the 4th of February, alongside a sweepstake in which participants could win one of 10,000 copies of Sonic 3.

Continue reading How McDonalds Couldn’t Keep Up With The World’s Fastest Hedgehog

Various Sonic games for Xbox 360 are on sale worldwide for up to 50% off

Microsoft just held their weekly sale and among the games on sale are a bunch of Sonic’s titles for Xbox 360 for up to 50% off. While the games below have their US prices listed, the sale should be available worldwide and presumably the same discounts should apply. The sales for these games below shouldn’t require XBL Gold as well. Continue reading Various Sonic games for Xbox 360 are on sale worldwide for up to 50% off

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!

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

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 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. Continue reading Aliens: Colonial Marines has a Sonic 3 Reference

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

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe8LoLwlJ_M&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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. Continue reading Sonic & Knuckles FINALLY Coming To Virtual Console

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.

s3k-lockon

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

Sonic_And_Knuckles_MD

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

pennyarc1

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

sonic_3__knuckles_title_screen

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.

Sonic + Bad Influence = Awesome

Are you from the UK? Do you remember an old gaming TV show on CITV called Bad Influence? No? Then you were either too young to remember or living under a huge rock. Bad Influence was the coolest TV show of the 90’s, you just couldn’t wait to get home from school and watch it. No-one had the internet to keep up with the latest videogame news, previews, reviews and gameplay video’s – sure, we had our magazines but to see games in action we needed our TV shows.

The show was presented by Andy Crane and Violet Berlin and contained news, previews, reviews(from actual gamers), reports on the latest technology, U.S. coverage, reports from the latest gaming events, cheats from Nam Rood and competitions. It was awesome!

Anyway, what has all this got to do with Sonic you ask? Well, the show covered the early console days back when Sega and Nintendo were rivals. Sonic features a number of times on the show and thanks to amazing James Osborne who has managed to get permission from Patrick Titley at Yorkshire Television(who own the show) the public now have access to a new website and a YouTube channel for the show and it’s episodes.

Sonic 2 proved to be very popular on the show, in Episode 4 their panel gave the game 2 5/5’s in their review. In the same episode Violet show’s a copy of the first Sonic character design sketches handed to her by creator Mr.Kanari. It’s the same sketches we’ve seen around the net for ages now but still cool to see an official copy.

Andy Crane got to visit the Future Entertainment Show where SEGA were in attendance allowing the public to get their hands on both the 16 Bit and 8 Bit versions of Sonic 2 for the first time ever in Episode 3 – Part 1(8:40, Future show begins) Part 2(0:04 Sonic 2 segment begins). You can also see a couple of the first official SEGA Sonic and Tails costumes, Tails suit has bushy eye brows for some reason.

In Episode 8 Violet visit’s SEGA Japan HQ to look at SEGA’s arcade machines and meet’s the head of the Sonic 2 project team who’s name couldn’t be revealed due to security reasons(anyone who recognises him, let me know by PM over at the SSMB). Violet is shown alot of Sonic 2’s design sketches for the Zone’s, 2 of which are shown up close in the episode. A cool Sonic statue/model can also be seen on the desk(Do want very muchly). The SEGA visit starts at 6:14 and the Sonic 2 bit starts at 6:42 just after the funny sleepy SEGA employee at 6:40.

Sonic Spinball got reviewed in Series 2: Episode 9 and given 2 5/5’s.

Sonic & Knuckles got reviewed too and given 2 4/5’s.

So, have any of you seen/remenber this show? Do any of you guys new to the show like it? What are your thoughts on Sonic 2 zone design sketches?
Let us know in the SSMB topic.

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!!!

Here’s the Official Sonic Mega Collection Game List

Sonic Team has announced the official list of games that we can expect to find on Sonic Mega Collection. And if you were expecting a lot of Sega Mega Drive titles, well… you’d be right! Continue reading Here’s the Official Sonic Mega Collection Game List

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