The Top 15 TSS Articles of 2016

So last year we decided to look at the sites top articles of 2015, and this year is no different!

Throughout the year our site monitors and keeps tracks of various statistics and we’re able to run various reports based on that data. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what were the top 15 news/articles of 2015 on TSS according to total views, I have discounted individual images or hub pages like the Home page.

The date period is 31/12/15 – 31/12/16.

Lets go!

Number 15

I’m honestly surprised that this is so low on the list, however it’s probably because it came during the night of a thousand announcements and when you have to compete with Dancing Sonic and #Totino’s it was always going to be a tough battle for clicks.

Number 14

Well here is our first big surprise! Sonic Boom Season 2 was an article written in October 2015, yet between December 31st 2015 and today it had more hits than Sonic Mania did! What say you now BooMoaners?

Fun fact, this was number 15 on last years list.

Number 13

First bit of Archie news makes the list, and a well deserved one, Sonic: Mega Drive is one of the best Sonic comics in years, surprising fans of the series and bringing back fans who had left the comic book, beautifully drawn and brilliantly funny.

Number 12

You know in Toy Story, when they’re around the baby monitor and Rex yells ‘It’s a what!? What is it!?’ that best summarises the reaction to this news. Coming from Japan with dodgy fan translations all over the internet, nobody really knew what had happened until several hours later.

But our first clue at a big new Sonic game, of course we got excited.

Number 11

There was a time when 25th Anniversary news was popping up on a near daily level, many places reported that Sega had big plans for large scale events and parties, oddly, despite some of this news coming direct from Sega themselves, some of these events never materialised.

Number 10

We were one of the first places to break this rumour, and not only did it turn out to be true, but it ended up being one of the best Sonic games in years. Sonic in Lego Dimensions ended up being a fantastic game and has already had fans chanting for an official Sonic Lego kit to be made. One for 2017’s Christmas List I think.

Number 9

The end of 2016 saw a bunch of surprise fan projects, but the one which makes our list is Sonic Utopia, a fun little ‘what if’ kind of fan game, not perfect, but a great effort and kept a large number of you entertained for several hours.

Not tried it yet? Go give it a bash.

Number 8

One of the biggest surprises of 2016 was the discovery of an unknown arcade game SegaSonic Bros. a puzzle based game in which you line up coloured blocks. Starring Sonic, Ketchup and Mustard the Hedgehog, hey if we get official names, I’ll gladly stop calling them that.

Number 7

It’s really not surprising this one got as high as it did, I’d be quite surprised if it didn’t make it on next years list? Why? Well for one thing people usually search for ‘Sonic *insert year here*’ when trying to find news on stuff, so the fact this has Sonic 2017 in it means it’s going to be high on the list.

So anyway, the odd announcement from the end of the big party in America was Sonic Project 2017, which has a lot of fans going ‘erm… I’m not sure how to feel’. Well we’ll soon know how to feel as there is expected to be an information blowout of the game following Mania’s release next year.

Number 6

One of the first articles of the year, and what an article it was, another one of those weird interviews which promised a lot of stuff but didn’t quite deliver what was said, news of several new Sonic games which ended up being announcements if you don’t count Lego Dimensions.

Number 5

Sonic Runners should go down as a case study for mobile game developers as an incredible example of how a game died barely a year after it’s global release.

Sonic Runners soft launch was met with near universal acclaim, however following it’s worldwide launch players suddenly found their ability to progress restricted, banned for getting legitimate high scores, micro-transactions forced on them as well as more seriously sending hundreds of contact requests to advert providers and filling up device memory when players of the game discovered that the game was not deleting old data.

Sonic Runners, Not OK.

Number 4:

Is anyone really surprised this article is up here? News of a new character and the keyword ‘Sonic 2017’ will get people coming. Expect a lot articles from all over the Sonic community next year as sources claim things and news gradually leaks out.

Number 3

Sega’s fan event in Japan earlier this year saw not only the announcement of Sonic Project 2017, but also the reveal of a ton of concept art for Sonic and friends. Some of the designs different greatly to the final version, such as Shadow being blind in one eye and Cream being a completely different species.

Number 2

This news beat out Sonic Mania, it beat Sonic 2017 and Lego Dimensions news, think about that for just a moment.

It’s really… not that much of a surprise. The fact that GlamGlow is mentioned in the article is the reason why this article did as well as it did, see a lot of fans of beauty products search for limited products so it’s really no surprise that this article did as well as it this year, add onto that Sonic Merch Collectors, not that hard to see why it scored as high as it did.

The only really sad part about this is that Sega didn’t really announce this, it was discovered accidentally by fans and instantly put into the hands of ‘Instagram celebs’ who barely talked about it, if only they had made the product obtainable to the general public.

Number 1:

11 days into the year, that’s all it took for the first major 25th Anniversary news to break, the fact that this is our most viewed article of 2016 is proof enough that the thirst was real.

Hinting at new style guides, huge branded events and a major celebration, it was the first hint that Sega would be taking the 25th anniversary seriously and had big plans for it.

Honourable Mention: BIG NEWS

April 1st 2016 saw the return of Big News! Big the Cat took over the TSS main page as well as the Twitter and Facebook accounts, posting informative articles such as the best games which feature fish and a review of Bigs Big Fishing Adventure 3 Well… Big News’ central hub was actually number 16 on the list. But because it got taken down shortly after April 1st, it hasn’t had the pleasure of a whole years worth of exposure, odds are if it had remained accessible it would have been in the top 15.

The lesson here, never underestimate Big the Cat.

See you in 2017.

HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG!

It’s incredible how time flies, isn’t it? One moment, you’re seven years old, sitting on your living room floor with eyes glued to the screen as a speedy blue ball bounces around to the tune of Green Hill Zone. The next, you’re replaying those golden oldies as an adult, celebrating 25 years of epic platforming fun.

Happy Anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog. We know SEGA has plenty of plans in store for you, but we at the Sonic Stadium have some plans of our own too. Continue reading HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG!

TSS Staff Chat With TitansCreed and Sonic Yoda About Sonic’s 25-Year History

What does Sonic mean to you? It’s the blue blur’s 25th Anniversary in June, and to celebrate some good friends of ours will be hosting a Sonic Month on YouTube. To kick things off, how about a nice video where we talk about our favourite Sonic things? Continue reading TSS Staff Chat With TitansCreed and Sonic Yoda About Sonic’s 25-Year History

TSS UPDATE: Welcome to the New Look 2016 Sonic Stadium!

Why hello there! The site’s looking a bit different today, isn’t it? Allow me to welcome you to this new version of The Sonic Stadium, modernised for today’s discerning blur blur fan! Incidentally, it’s the first design change for this website since 2013, making this the longest time time it’s taken for a layout refresh. I think you’ll agree that it was totally needed though. Continue reading TSS UPDATE: Welcome to the New Look 2016 Sonic Stadium!

#BLACKOUT is the Name of the New Sound of TSS Album

Did you know that The Sonic Stadium houses its very own collaborative music remix project? Well, now you do! Starting life on the SSMB Forums as The Sonic Stadium Music Adventure and evolving (thanks to the co-ordination of DJ EAR) into a sub-brand called Sound of The Sonic Stadium, ‘SoTSS’ is a twice-yearly album series of Sonic (and SEGA) remixes, all crafted by our enthusiastic community. Continue reading #BLACKOUT is the Name of the New Sound of TSS Album

The Top 15 TSS Articles of 2015

So throughout the year our site monitors and keeps tracks of various statistics because numbers are fun. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what were the top 15 news/articles of 2015 on TSS according to total views, I have discounted individual images or hub pages like the Home page.

Please keep in mind that due to the data loss earlier this year, some of the articles featured are no longer on the site meaning their positions might have been slightly altered had they remained online. Continue reading The Top 15 TSS Articles of 2015

TSS Timeline: The Year 2002

This is part of an ongoing series of features that looks back on the history of The Sonic Stadium, written by Dreadknux. You can find out more about how this website changed the Sonic community, what it looked like back in the day, and even special images and update notes from the archive.

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Sonic Stadium News Group

TSS’ 2002 can largely be summed up by the launch (and subsequent un-launch) of the Sonic Stadium News Group. SSNG was a merger of the Sonic Stadium and another fansite, Sonic News. The idea was, that I would provide the information pages and web design and Sonic_Hedgehogs (Sonic News’ owner) would provide the rolling daily updates and news.

We went through a number of designs before we landed on the right one – the home page in particular would undergo a couple of format alterations, as you can see below. For SSNG, we wanted to give our merged site its own colourful-yet-atmospheric feel. The Sonic Stadium would end up hosting the project, with a lot of content from Sonic News moved across. The SSMB Forums also got design and name changes, which were not well received from long-time users.

The site was launched close to Sonic the Hedgehog’s 11th Anniversary, in June – and lasted approximately two weeks before the entire thing was shut down and thrown in the proverbial bin. One of the major reasons for this involved allegations of plagiarism from users of another Sonic fansite, Sonic HQ. It turned out that the source of some of the Sonic News material had been called into question. It didn’t help that many of the pages on SSNG used backgrounds that were already being used by, or were created by, Sonic HQ as well – a design snafu on my part.

On top of this, Sonic_Hedgehogs had been absent throughout the ordeal, and updates were not as frequent as originally planned. Having dealt with the fallout almost on my own, there was little that I could do to salvage the project other than kill it entirely. I took a short break due to the exhaustion, and later decided to revive The Sonic Stadium instead of letting the story end on such a low note. I changed the SSNG design slightly, making sure to remove all the offending content, before starting work on a proper reboot of the site.

The Sonic Stadium Reboot

Before the launch of SSNG, The Sonic Stadium saw another design change, with a rounded content area and navy-blue corners and a three-column design on the homepage. The second image above is what TSS looked like during the aftermath of SSNG, with various hijacked elements of the merged site design and a removal of various other things.

But, things started picking up after SSNG’s demise which led to a reboot and complete design refresh in October. Zifei, the founder of Sonic HQ, offered to host the reborn TSS on his personal server, telling me that he believed in my vision for this site to become the best resource for Sonic the Hedgehog online. That’s some high praise indeed. After officially quitting and retiring Sonic News, Sonic_Hedgehogs came back and offered to write for the new Sonic Stadium, and I found a renewed focus to make the best site I possibly could.

Below was the result.

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This was the point where I started to build a team to work on the site, to assist me in creating content – although I would still end up doing the editorial content, the Sonic Fan Club segment got some assistance in the form of Fastfeet (Fan Games reporter) and Biafra Republic (Fan Art maintainer). With Sonic_Hedgehogs on news, the presence of the team allowed me to broaden the site and cover other high profile Sonic Team games, as well as go full pelt on Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Mega Collection coverage.

Ultimately, the redesign did the trick – TSS’ reputation went up massively upon the relaunch and with a steady stream of content, there was a huge surge in visits and popularity from November onwards.

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Unofficial SEGA Magazine

This year saw the introduction of the Unofficial SEGA Magazine, which was a digital fanzine created by SonicVerse Team. It was originally exclusive to the fansite Sonic News, but since the launch of SSNG became a part of The Sonic Stadium. It was a valiant attempt at re-igniting the fire of SEGA fans, but due to the huge task of building each issue with limited resources the project only last for three (and a half) issues.

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Sonic Battle Stadium

The SSMB Forums saw the start of a brand new interactive game, called the Sonic Battle Stadium. I created a basic ruleset for a text-based battle adventure, where forum users could create characters and pick an ‘element’ (similar to Pokemon) as well as a set of moves that they could assign damage points to. Battles would be manually moderated, with referees taking hit points away based on the various conditions that affected play throughout the topic.

Ultimately, players would fight one another and obtain points, with the ultimate goal being the ability to challenge ‘Grandmaster Dreadknux’ at the end of the Season and become the true winner by defeating him. Awards were given out to the overall winner and runner-ups. The Sonic Battle Stadium ran for two years/seasons, with the second season introducing changes to the gameplay in order to make moderating easier – these changes weren’t well received and the lack of activity brought the game to an eventual and early close.

Other Notable Developments

  • We may have ended up discovering something new in Sonic 2 – some remnants of Wood Zone that can be found on any retail cartridge.
  • It was the year of fan creations for sure: TSS was the official home of coverage for the Sonic Amateur Games Expo (which led to our first ever contest), as well as the Sonic Comic Con in late 2002; the Sonic Hoaxers Club brought about many doctored images of classic Sonic games; we went big on fan game reviews and previews; and there were even fan animations in New Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Fight 4 Freedom to talk about.
  • The SSMB Forums moved away from its old ezBoard home and onto a specialist forum software. It was initially moved to YaBB, before making a permanent home with Invision Power Board.
  • The Sonic Site Awards returned for a second year following the success of the 2001 online event. More awards were on offer and the reception was even greater.
  • The Sonic Stadium announced a ‘partnership’ with fellow fansite and creative portal SonicVerse Team this year. SVT’s upcoming online event Sonic Comic Con would be covered by TSS, and we would also have the exclusive on publishing new pages from flagship comic Sonic Shadows.

Old Template Images

All images and layouts are © copyright The Sonic Stadium. You are not allowed to use these on your own website. Permission must be given for any other personal use.

HAPPY 15TH TSS! Legendary TSS Staff Share Their Fondest Memories

Yes, on this day fifteen years ago The Sonic Stadium opened its virtual doors to the World Wide Web (that’s what we called the Internet that back in 2000). And over the years, I and a trusty team of awesome Sonic fans have done our best to entertain, inform and excite with news, features, columns, podcasts and videos of anything involved with everyone’s favourite hedgehog.

We started life as a simple fansite, formed of a collection of HTML pages. After several failed attempts, we added a successful forum in the SSMB. We grew to build a streaming radio station (which later introduced Sonic-themed podcasts), an annual awards ceremony, a fangame development team, a massive video/music depository and a network that included a fan showcase, video podcasts and competitive Sonic gaming. We also kick-started a series of events in the Summer of Sonic that led to the establishment of a number of fellow fan-run conventions.

We’ve accomplished an awful lot, and yet none of it would be possible without the insane amount of contribution of TSS Network staff, past and present. So to celebrate The Sonic Stadium’s 15th Anniversary, I reached out to a number of our old and current staff and asked them to reminisce and talk about their favourite memories and moments of TSS history. Continue reading HAPPY 15TH TSS! Legendary TSS Staff Share Their Fondest Memories

On October 24, The Sonic Stadium Will Be 15 Years Old

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Strange Scary, isn’t it? In just four days, this little website about Sonic the Hedgehog will be a decade and a half old. I personally would have spent half my entire existence keeping this thing alive (actually, let’s not think about that bit). It was on that day, 24th October 2000, that The Sonic Stadium was introduced to the world via the wonder of Angelfire‘s then-generous 20MB hosting solutions.

I’m working on a few things to celebrate the week in style, largely involving heady walks down memory lane. Timeline updates, discussions with staff old and new about their favourite memories of the site, hopefully a contest… and a special project that, as you’d expect if you know me by now, is top secret right now (that might not be ready this week though, but definitely soon). It’ll be worth it, I promise.

No, it’s not Sonic Smash Cards.

I’ll be decorating the site soon enough to get everyone into the mood. While you’re here, if you’ve been visiting TSS for a while, feel free to share your memories of this place – favourite features on the site, SSMB threads, SegaSonic Radio podcasts, anything (and if you want to do that on SSMB, you can do it here).

And as always, we’re only here because of you guys. So from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of the TSS team (past and present) thank you so much for your support and for making us your home to talk utter bollocks about a cartoon blue hedgehog for so long. It’s humbling, and I hope to keep this place alive for as long as you guys want it around.

We’ve got some plans for you all. We hope to keep you entertained and informed for many more years to come.