#Sonic23on23 Celebration Round-up

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A golden birthday only happens once and we at Sonic Stadium wanted to make sure there was some fanfare! That’s why we teamed up with SEGAbits and Sonic Retro for an entire week of articles, features and videos, with the intent of looking back at Sonic’s past, analyzing the present and looking forward to the future. For those of you who may have missed some of it, we thought we’d post a run-down of all the content the awesome staff of our three sites created.

Enjoy!

SEGAbits & Sonic Retro:

SEGA Channel Retro, Sonic Birthday Livestream: Sonic Retro kicked off their week with an hour long livestream of Sonic Jam, Sonic 2 on the Retro Engine and the entirety of Sonic’s story in Sonic Adventure.

Shadow the Hedgehog Review: SEGAbits kicked off their week with a review from Ben Burnham that took a look back at one of the most infamous games in the franchise’s history. One interesting spin this review took was offering a look at how the game was perceived when it was first released back in 2005, before Sonic 2006 one upped it a year later and became the most infamous game in Sonic’s history.

Visual Memories, Digging through Sonic Adventure & Sonic Adventure 2’s DLC: SEGABits’s TrackerTD takes a look at one of the more obscure features of SEGA’s old Sonic games, the free downloadable content. Take a look at what DLC was like back in the days of the Dreamcast when files had to fit within 100KB of storage.

SEGAbits Plays Episode #2, featuring Sonic, Tails and Donald Duck SEGA Pico games: Barry The Nomad livestreams a couple of SEGA Pico Sonic games. If you’ve never seen these obscure entries into the Sonic franchise, there’s no better time to take a look.

Presented Without Commentary, My 1997 Sonic Fan Comic “Sonic The Hedgehog vs. The Bots”: That same day, Barry also posted an old fan comic he drew on Sonic Retro. As someone who’s worked in fan comics, I can say that this is without doubt the most well drawn and artistically crafted fan comic ever made. I bow to your prowess, lil Barry!

The Weekly Five, Sonic Video Game Moments that Make Us Smile: George takes a look at five smile inducing Sonic moments in SEGAbits’s Weekly Five feature.

A Retrospective of Sonic’s Classic Trilogy: A Sonic Stadium guest article written for SEGAbits by Brad. This incredibly well crafted piece takes a look at the original Sonic trilogy. I would highly suggest you take a look.

23 Sonic facts to know on Sonic’s 23rd Birthday: SEGAbits ended its celebration by going over 23 facts every Sonic fan ought to know on Sonic’s birthday.

Editorial: False Positive: Sonic, the Media, and Wrongly Diagnosing the Problem: Though this technically fell outside of the week long celebration, it was meant for it. SEGAbits contributor GX takes a look at some of the most common criticisms of the Sonic franchise and whether or not those criticisms are viable.

Sonic Stadium

TSS/SEGAbits Review, Sonic Pocket Adventure: We at Sonic Stadium kicked off the celebration with a look back at a great, obscure little Sonic game for the Neo Geo Pocket, in a review originally meant for Sonic Stadium, before it was instead posted on SEGAbit, which eventually made its way back to Sonic Stadium several years later!

TSS Discuss, Sonic Boom…after E3: The Sonic Stadium staff give their thoughts on the Sonic Boom multimedia franchise after SEGA finally showed the game off to the wider gaming press and released a trailer that gave us a greater idea of what to expect.

SEGA Games for the Sonic Gamer, Part 1: SEGA makes more than just Sonic, and this little guide suggests some SEGA games that might tickle your fancy in the same way Sonic does.

The Anatomy of a Bad Sonic Game: SEGAbits guest writer Ben Burnham gives his thoughts on what he thinks makes for a bad Sonic game, and how these issues could be avoided in future games.

In Defense of Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric: I take a stab at defending this divisive game.

TSS Review, Sonic Bricks by Paladone: JonoD takes a look at these recently released LEGO-styled collectibles.

Sonic List, My Favorite Sonic Related Moments: Jason Berry relates some of his most memorable moments with the Sonic franchise. Neat pictures reside within!

Sonic on the Go, Sonic Game for the Game.com: The third part in my Sonic on the Go series (take a look at past entries here), which takes a look back at Sonic’s portable adventures To cap off the celebration on Sonic Stadium, I played and wrote about what is objectively the worse Sonic game ever made. The things I do for you people…

Be sure to look up #Sonic23on23 on twitter to check out some cool Sonic birthday tweets!

There was also some big news this week. First, Sonic 2 HD is back on, with a new engine and staff. On a much more bittersweet note, Aaron Webber announced he was leaving SEGA. We’ll miss you, Aaron!

With this post, #Sonic23on23 is officially over! I hope you enjoyed the content we created for you this week, and I hope you will keep tabs on the other two awesome sites that participated in this as we plow through another year of Sonic.

Sonic Generations Unleashed Project Mod Now… Unleashed!

unleashedproject-logoAfter a little over a year in development, Sonic Retro community members Dario FF, Twilightzoney, and Chimera have released what is likely to be the one of the greatest non-Christmas presents PC gamers could ever ask for. For those who own Sonic Generations, start howling with joy, because the Unleashed Project Mod is finally available to the public!

The mod replaces the Generations stages with the daylight levels from Sonic Unleashed! That’s right: Apotos, Mazuri, Spagonia, Holoska, Chun-nan, Shamar, Adabat and Empire City have been successfully ported and beautifully remastered in high definition for your gaming pleasure! Not to mention a brand spankin’ new White Space to go with it, complete with its own Unleashed White Space Medley!

Be sure to thank the Unleashed Project Team, because this is a job well freaking done. Check out the release trailer after the jump!

Continue reading Sonic Generations Unleashed Project Mod Now… Unleashed!

S2HD Keylogger No Longer the Case, Safe to Download Again

Those who have downloaded and promptly deleted the alpha demo of Sonic 2 HD no longer need to fear of alleged keylogging, GeneHF of Sonic Retro shares, saying that the game demo is safe of said malicious software. This announcement follows that of LOst being booted from the S2HD team. Read the full story after the jump.

Continue reading S2HD Keylogger No Longer the Case, Safe to Download Again

Keylogger Discovered in Sonic 2 HD, LOst no Longer in Team

[UPDATE] Earlier today, S2HD Project Manager Canned Karma announced that LOst, Sonic 2 HD‘s programmer who needlessly added DRM protection to the long anticipated fan game, is no longer part of the project, as stated in the Sonic Retro forum.

All of us had the exact same reaction everyone here did, and we’re actively looking into it to the best of our abilities. That said, we’ve heard just as much from LOst as anyone here has lately, so I’m not sure what, if anything, we’ll be able to find that corroborated or refutes what’s been brought to light. I will say this though. LOst is no longer a part of S2HD. I’ll have a more in depth response soon. We’re just as pissed off about this as the community is.

[ORIGINAL] Scarred Sun of Sonic Retro advises everyone who has downloaded the Alpha Demo of Sonic 2 HD to delete the entire software in light of a recent keylogger discovery, the cause behind triggered antivirus alerts. Read the full statement after the jump.

Continue reading Keylogger Discovered in Sonic 2 HD, LOst no Longer in Team

Sonic 2 HD Alpha Demo Now Available

After a tech demo over three-and-a-half years ago and a teaser trailer last year, the team behind Sonic 2 HD has now made a playable alpha demo available to the community. Eager players can experience the entirety of Emerald Hill Zone in high definition, complete with Sonic 3 & Knuckles-style act transitions and upgraded music.

As of now, the demo can only run on Windows operating systems ranging between Windows XP and Windows 7. Download links are available on the Sonic 2 HD homepage, as well as 1080p screenshots and beautiful desktop wallpapers. Further project details are available on Sonic Retro.

Check out some footage after the jump!

Continue reading Sonic 2 HD Alpha Demo Now Available

“Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition” Will Test Your Skill, Patience

What started off a joke hack has become so much more.

Everybody knows that Omochao is annoying, but only one man has the balls to make an entire ROM hack out of it.  Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition is an exercise in obnoxious from Sonic Retro staffer Cinossu that injects Sonic Team’s favorite floating tutorial into the classic Sonic experience.  While many people will be initially turned off by Omochao’s presence, there is much more to this hack than meets the eye, as it fundamentally changes the entire Sonic the Hedgehog experience.

The hack’s premise is to avoid being annoyed.  See that ring?  Don’t touch it.  See that badnik?  Don’t touch it.  If you do, Omochao will pause the game to inform you of your miniscule accomplishment and play the 1-up fanfare.  With every object you touch, the fanfare becomes longer and longer, making you reach for your emulator’s fast-forward key.  There have been many “don’t touch stuff” Sonic hacks in the past, requiring players to have lightning-quick Sonic skills and an intense amount of patience, but this one bests them all.

At this point, you’ll either be so annoyed that you switch off or be compelled to power through Green Hill without touching anything to collect the game’s medals and rewards.  While it sounds impossible in theory, Cinossu and his testers have been thorough, finding the optimal paths that require the least amount of item contact.  There is a way to beat the stages, but you have to stop, think and be smart about it, using the tight controls and level design present in the original Sonic the Hedgehog.  If there is a section where item contact is necessary, the game gives you an “Omochao Protective Shield” that allows you to progress without being disturbed.

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Also, check out this “perfect” run of Labyrinth Zone.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition is more than a novelty, as it brings more than a patronizing robot to the table.  You’ll be able to select any stage from the outset (presented in a well-designed hub world) and medals and rewards for perfect play.  If you can get over the initial annoyance of the hack, the additions and improvements reward players for dedicated play and elevates this hack above other “joke” hacks that lose their appeal after a few minutes.  Future updates will give Omochao a voice through Cinossu’s SonMP3 plug-in, additional levels and Retro Channel support, allowing players to share their frustration online.

As noted, this hack is not for everyone, but if you want to give it a shot and avoid Omochao, here’s what triggers his prompts:

  • Collecting Rings
  • Item Monitors (doubly bad, as each individual item inside will also bring up a message)
  • Invincibility Running Out
  • Power Sneakers Running Out
  • Extra Lives
  • Destroying Badniks
  • Bouncing on Springs
  • Stepping on or Pushing Objects on Buttons
  • Getting Hit
  • Getting Killed
  • Drowning
  • Getting Game Over (will also eject you from the level and reset your saved Emerald Count)
  • Getting Time Over (will also eject you from the level)
  • Touching Lamp Posts
  • Getting the Giant Ring (without a protection shield)
  • Finishing the Act (without a protection shield)
  • Finishing the Zone (without a protection shield)
  • Hitting the Boss (without a protection shield)
  • Defeating the Boss (without a protection shield)
  • Getting in that Last Hit (without a protection shield)
  • Collecting a Chaos Emerald
  • Touching a GOAL Sign

Good luck.  Download and learn more about Sonic the Hedgehog: Omochao Edition here.

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Sonic Generations 3DS Special Stage Screenshots

SEGA released 13 new screenshots on Monday of the previously seen Special Stage in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations. For those who have not seen it before, the Special Stage is similar to the one found in Sonic Heroes, and like that one, the goal is for Modern Sonic to race to the Chaos Emerald before it reaches the end of the track. While doing this, the blue blur must gather coloured balls to keep his boost gauge filled for his speed boosting ability and avoid obstacles that could slow him down.

Check out the screenshots below:

Source: Sonic Retro

SPOILERS: Sonic Generations Level List, Items, Badniks, Music and More Leaked

This news post contains spoilers, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, then click your back button now.

The Sonic Generations demo released June 23rd on Sonic’s 20th Birthday was hacked on that very day by various community members, including those at Sonic Retro. Found within the unusually very large file was the game’s entire level list, boss list, mission list, characters, badniks, items, some music files (though nothing past Green Hill Zone) and the presence of the Chaos Emeralds and super forms for both Sonic’s.

Stages:

Green Hill (Sonic The Hedgehog)
Chemical Plant (Sonic The Hedgehog 2)
Sky Sanctuary (Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles)
Speed Highway (Sonic Adventure)
City Escape (Sonic Adventure 2)
Seaside Hill (Sonic Heroes)
Crisis City (SONIC The Hedgehog/Sonic 06)
Rooftop Run (Sonic Unleashed)
Planet Wisp (Sonic Colours)

Casino Night – DLC Only

Bosses:

Metal Sonic
Shadow The Hedgehog
Silver The Hedgehog
Death Egg
Perfect Chaos
Egg Dragoon
“Time Eater” – Said to be the final boss.

Characters:
Tails
Knuckles
Amy Rose
Cream
Rouge
Blaze
Vector
Espio
Charmy

The items revealed include the return of elemental shields from Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. The lightning shield, fire shield and bubble shield item boxes were both found in the demo assets, along with images of how they look in-game. The Spike Wisp and Rocket Wisp powers from Sonic Colours also make a comeback. As for the Chaos Emeralds, they too appear to be an item, which suggests Classic and Modern Sonic’s Super forms will be playable in the game’s various stages.

Update: Images removed at SEGA’s request.

Sources: Sonic Retro, Sonic Wrecks and various Sonic forums, including our very own SSMB.

What do you think of the level list? Did your favourite stage make it in? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Sonic Fan Remix Available For Download [Links Updated, HD Video]

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After weeks of screenshots and videos, you can stop salivating.  Sonic Fan Remix is here.

Sonic Fan Remix is a 2.5D game by Pelikan13 and Mercury, creator of the “Sonic Physics Guide.”  In this three level demo, you get to experience a re-imagined Emerald Hill Zone.  Act 1 and 3’s layouts will seem familiar, but Act 2 is entirely original.  What’s also unfamiliar is the crazy amount of detail put into this project.  From the water/rain effects to the game’s lighting, this is truly Emerald Hill as you haven’t imagined it.

A welcome addition to 2.5D Sonic are the original physics that made Sonic a hit in the first place.  There are even a few adjustments to suit Mercury’s tastes.

About the whole “rolling off a cliff onto a badnik rebound height” thing:

I didn’t really like the way classic Sonic physics handled this. If holding the jump button is what makes Sonic rebound, then that should happen in all cases. I don’t like the fact that in some cases the player has no ability to cut the rebound short by releasing the button. There’s no homing attack or anything, so you can just hold the button down as you hit the enemy to rebound.

In other words, the change was intentional.

A second intentional change is that Sonic can control the trajectory of his jumps even if he jumps while rolling. Sonic CD is the only one of the classics to do this, and I find it vastly superior. In fact, I can’t imagine why the other way was ever used – what’s the logic behind it?

Some of the physics inconsistencies aren’t intentional, though. Unity can be a pain sometimes, and I wasn’t able to make everything as accurate as I’d have liked. (For instance, the camera isn’t accurate to the classics yet.)

I, along with many other members of the community, have been beta testing this game for a few days and we’ve caught a few of the issues lingering in the demo.  Pelikan has released this project a bit ahead of schedule and has yet to correct everything that we’ve given back to him.  If you find an issue with the project, don’t hesitate to air it.  It will only make a great project even better.

I’m sure that this demo will be all over Destructoid tomorrow.  They love the shit out this project (5:11 mark).

Visit the official website HERE!

Download Sonic Fan Remix HERE!

Rapidshare has removed SFR from its webspace for being “illegal” or whatever.  Here are a pair of mirrors:

Mirror 1

Mirror 2

Cream Kills Everybody: A Dramatic Fanfic Reading

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Our running crew at Sonic Retro usually hops on Skype once a day.  It’s pretty ridiculous.  A recent tradition at the annual Sonic Amateur Games Expo has been to get together and read incredibly awful fan-fiction (aka most fan-fiction) with Dom of Rare Candy.  Back in 2008, this was the most ridiculous fan-fiction that we had read to date.  It still stands as one of the all-time greats.  Retro member H_Hog recently finished an animation on his DSi, a project two-years in the making, to accompany the audio.

Complete with Dom’s amazing musical talents, his Andross-inducing reverb and H_Hog’s Flipnote Studio animation, Sonic Retro presents… “Cream Kills Everybody: A SonicBlast08 Masterpiece.”  Warning: language and poorly-drawn gore.

Starring the voice talents of: Dom, H_Hog, Kroze, InstantSonic and Katzu Niku.  Stay tuned for more dramatic fan-fic readings.  Trust me, we’ve got plenty.  Yes, I play Rotor in most of them.  He’s so fabulous.