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

Disclaimer: The views in this piece may not reflect the views of TSS or other writers on the staff team. The intention of The Spin is to promote debate and discussion of an issue or something that’s happening in the fandom or the world of Sonic.


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

Sonic Rush and Rush Adventure soundtracks Available on iTunes

This is what U need

Looking for a new venture in music? I got what u need right here. Both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure soundtracks are now available on iTunes so you can listen to these awesome tunes back 2 back! Both albums are $9.99 (U.S. Dollars) each with individual songs being 99 cents. But with over 40 tracks per album, you’d have to be crazy to not buy the whole thing. Momma wasn’t raisin’ me up to be foolish with my money. So get edgy and pick up these awesome albums cuz it’s a new day for Sonic tunes!

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!

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

The Top 10 Sonic Games Of The Decade

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 Decade

Sonic Riders Zero Gravity and Sonic Rush Adventure price crash

UK retailer GAME have made some huge spring season Sonic price cuts on Sonic Riders Zero Gravity (both versions) and Sonic Rush Adventure for Nintendo DS.

You can now pick the Wii version of Sonic Riders Zero Gravity up for £19.99, down from £39.99 and the PS2 version for £12.99, down from £19.99. You can also pick Sonic Rush Adventure for Nintendo DS up for £14.99, down from £29.99.

If you were interested in these games before but were reluctant to part with mega bucks for them, then now might be a good time to give these games a look.

Sonic Rush Adventure

If Sonic Rush taught anyone in its release in 2004, it’s that the blue hedgehog can still be relevant in today’s games. It certainly wasn’t the perfect Sonic game (and many even said that the reason it was critically acclaimed was because it wasn’t as lame as recent console titles) but it showed that a decent game can be made using some original design and a bit of franchise savvy.

That franchise savvy, being the use of few characters and the return of level gimmicks and other design features that defined a Sonic game, has been further applied in Sonic Rush Adventure, a sequel that once again deals with the dimensional rifts taking place between the worlds of Sonic and Blaze.

Owing to the ‘Adventure’ part of the game’s name is the new major addition to the gameplay. In Sonic Rush you had a world map which outlined the stages in which you had to progress to. In the sequel, this is replaced with a sea chart that is fully explorable using ships and submarines. Exploring the chart uncovers new areas, but the cutscenes will give you a helping hand in where to chart your next course if you just want to blast through the Zones.

To explore, you simply draw your course using the touch screen and, depending on which kind of ship you use (there are four different kinds, all owing to different types of sea terrain) you enter a short minigame where you venture to that location, avoiding enemies and bombs along the way. It’s not something we see being in every Sonic game, but as a new gimmick it makes Rush Adventure pretty unique without becoming tedious.

There are also some new characters too. As Sonic and Tails end up stranded on a strange desert island, they come across an Australian-talking raccoon called Marine. The storyline in Rush Adventure is pretty good, although the cutscenes – while mildly amusing in places – can be pretty intrusive.

Cutscenes are really something that goes against the grain of the fast-paced arcade style action that we expect of Sonic, and indeed is chock-a-block in Rush Adventure. All in all however, we have no qualms. Blaze is still cool and unoffensive, Sonic and Tails rocking it alone is great stuff and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The Eggman Nega thing is still pretty lame though, and we wouldn’t want to see Marine again lest we have another ‘Cream’ incident.

The levels themselves are improved over Sonic Rush, with a bit of an emphasis on alternate paths and the removal of the cack ‘door’ system – having to defeat enemies in a room before you can progress is a drag, and we’re glad Dimps thought the same. It’s just non-stop action with plenty more gimmicks involved, such as grabbing balloons, bouncing off huge mushrooms and navigating carts through mines.

Unfortunately there are still times where bottomless pits are involved, making for leaps of faith and cheap deaths. But these are few times in a huge level roster that includes countless times more enjoyable gameplay. We would also like to see a bigger emphasis on multi-tiered levels, akin to something like Sonic 2 on the Mega Drive – it would make a sequel to this game pretty much godly.

One of the things that did take getting used to in Rush Adventure however, was the music. After hearing Hideki Naganuma’s awesome soundtrack in the first Sonic DS game, the sequel’s game music was instead crafted by Sonic Team sound designers, which at first made Rush Adventure sound like it wanted to be Hideki Naganuma’s handiwork.

Listening to Plant Kingdom for the first time will instantly remind you of ‘Right Here, Right On’ in the previous title, but bear with it. After playing through the game a few times and learning not to compare the two soundtracks, it’s clear that Tomoya Ohtani and crew have made the game its own with irresistable hooks in Machine Labyrinth and a blasting tune in Blizzard Peaks. There’s even a Carribean style remix of the Sonic 3 Data Select screen in there.

Collecting Chaos Emeralds (and Sol Emeralds) is a slightly different practice than usual. The main villain, Captain Whisker, has a sidekick robot called Johnny who you race in a Waterbike to earn the Chaos Emeralds on the sea chart map. Blaze can collect Sol Emeralds in specially designed mission modes which usually consist of defeating bosses encountered in the main Zones. The Sols are quite simple to obtain, but the last few Chaos Emeralds will test your very fibres – it can frustrate, but you always have that ‘one more go’ attitude until you finally do it.

Speaking of which, the bosses are very original takes on the successful Sonic Rush idea. The very first boss is a huge dinosaur that you fight through two floors of jungle to take out. It’s great to see the kind of animation, design and attention to detail in the whole game, but the bosses really embodies the extra mile Dimps and SEGA have gone with thus.

The only thing we can gripe about with the setup of the game as it is, is the nature of replayability – we feel that as gamers we have to ‘want’ to replay a level rather than being forced. During your travels you collect ‘materials’ that are used to build new ships and travel further throughout the map. When you don’t have enough of a certain material, you will need to replay a particular level until you get the right amount. When the Zones are as good as they are here that doesn’t become too much of a problem, but we don’t like the kind of precedent that might set with future Sonic games.

Not content with all the extra clout that’s been shoved in the main gameplay areas, Sonic Rush Adventure also comes with a horde of additional mission modes that range from simple to challenging; a well-constructed online multiplayer full of different modes; a leaderboard and even little cute extras such as the ability to add decorations to the island that Sonic and Tails reside on during the journey.

In Closing:
Sonic Rush Adventure has taken what worked in the first Nintendo DS title, left out all the crappy bits and added new elements that although might be gimmicky to an extent, really suit the Sonic universe (… or Blaze’s universe, if you want to be picky).

The levels are tight, stage design and bosses that hasn’t been as original since Sonic CD, and a great wealth of longevity has been built into a game that has had real dedication spent on it. This has been the best example of a Sonic game in years, even surpassing Sonic Rush, and long may we see this handheld series evolve to become even better.

10/10

Sonic Rush Adventure in stores

Sonic’s latest DS adventure, Sonic Rush Adventure, is now available at retail for $29.99 US, or £29.99 in the UK.

In Sonic Rush Adventure, Sonic sails around an archipelago in various water craft. He’ll visit villages, fight off pirates in sea battles, and take on the nefarious Captain Whiskers and his henchman in blazing fast platforming levels and epic boss battles. The game uses the DS’s WiFi Connection for leaderboards and online races between two players.

Sonic Rush Adventure for 14 Quid?

Looks like those who are wanting the latest handheld game pretty bad are being targeted by UK Supermarket Tesco, as the chain store advertises Sonic Rush Adventure in their sales catalogue for a paltry £14.

Click image to see whole scan

In what can only be a printing error, the yet-to-be-released Nintendo DS title has been placed alongside other budget titles as Cars and Avatar. It’s one thing to misprint ‘Sonic Rush’ as its sequel due to similarities in name, but the box art is the same as well. Continue reading Sonic Rush Adventure for 14 Quid?

Sonic Rush Adventure US Site Open

SEGA of America have released the official Sonic Rush Adventure game site today! You can access it though the link in the ‘LINKS’ part of this report. Please be aware that the website is in flash. A lot of information is availiable for viewing, including new zone screenshots, music and general information about the game.Just follow the link road and all shall be revealed. Blaze is confirmed as being ‘playable’ in gameplay.

For those unable to view the site, the stry revealed there is as follows;

One day, a mysterious energy signal appears on Tails’ radar and he quickly grabs Sonic to go and investigate. As they fly further and further, a sudden storm comes and bowls them way off course. Soon after, Tails loses control of the plane and they go into a tail-spin over one of the islands. Continue reading Sonic Rush Adventure US Site Open

New Sonic Rush Adventure info in Famitsu

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

The highly respected japanese videogame publication Famitsu has provided us with a nice big plethora of Sonic Rush Adventure information, including the official name of the new female character. We can officially confirm her name as Marine the Racoon. The promotional art on the pages also depict another new green torpedo-resembling character who is presumably a henchmen of primary antagonist Captain Whisker. Continue reading New Sonic Rush Adventure info in Famitsu

Sonic Rush Adventure video released!

It’s no secret that Sonic Rush has easily been the diamond in the rough, as far as Sonic games go over the last few years. Needless to say, we are quite excited over Sega’s sequel to Sonic’s critically acclaimed DS debut. If you aren’t as excited, just take a look at the video below and see what we’re raving about.

Sega’s E3 line up revealed!

E3 is here, kiddies, and with it comes the long awaited goodies we’ve been… waiting for. The following Sonic Team games will be at E3:

  • NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams: Take to the skies of Nightopia as the purple flying jester NiGHTS! Sequel to the critically acclaimed Saturn game, NiGHTS into Dreams…, NiGHTS:JOD will satisfy fans of the original and newcomers alike. Coming to the Wii November 2007
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympics: Formerly bitter rivals, Mario and Sonic are now taking their 16 year long rivalry to the Olympics games! Any guesses on who’s going to win the 100 meter dash? Coming exclusively to the Wii and DS winter 2007.
  • Sonic Rush Adventure: Sequel to the critically acclaimed DS platformer Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure takes Sonic on a voyage across the high seas and on seven islands. Will Sonic be able to defeat his newest enemy, the robot pirate Captain Whiskers? I think we all know the answer to that. Coming exclusively to the DS September 2007.

Sonic Rivals 2 looks like it’s going to be a no show at E3, but nevertheless, this event should bring us some much needed info on these games. Expect plenty of screens and media on these three games in the next few days.

Sonic Rush Adventure box art revealed!

It is not at all uncommon for online retailers to break the finer details of any given game; Sonic included. EBGames/Gamestop.com has recently revealed the box art for Sonic’s latest DS adventure, “Sonic Rush Adventure”. You can see it at the game’s page, here.

Ahoy, matey!

In addition to the box art, EB Games has also revealed SRA’s release date in the US: September 19th. The retail site also has NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams listed for November 13th.

Blaze and New Raccoon for Sonic Rush Adventure

A new banner created by Sega Europe displays Blaze and a brand new Raccoon character, both set to appear in Sonic Rush Adventure.

The Sonic Stadium posted the banner last night upon finding the image, but has since removed it on Sega’s request. The image was curiously leaked somehow from the European offices and had yet to be approved by the Japanese branch. We apologise to our readers for stripping our content, but in return Sega will exclusively reveal details of the brand new raccoon character when they are ready to surface. Continue reading Blaze and New Raccoon for Sonic Rush Adventure

Sonic Rush Adventure Confirmed!

Avast ye scurvy dogs!

Late this afternoon it was confirmed by both SEGA Europe and SEGA America, that development is now underway on a sequel to the Sonic Rush title, speculated a few weeks back on TSS. Sonic Rush Adventure is set to wash up on the shores in time for the Autumn this year.

Sonic will this time be pitted against a motley crew of Pirates, while fighting through 7 action-packed stages. Keeping in tradition of Sonic Rush, the game is pegged to “seemlessly Utilise” both of the DS screens once more. Not only that, but players will be able to assemble an Armada of ships to sail the seas, gathering rings, performing tricks and engaging in battles with other ships; all using the DS stylus control. Continue reading Sonic Rush Adventure Confirmed!