Freak-Out Friday: “I thought this was Sonic 2” by Hat-Loving Gamer

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was a perfect game back when it launched in 1992, pushing the known boundaries of blast processing even further with faster gameplay and more expansive Zones. The Genesis classic also introduced series mainstays Tails and Super Sonic, it marked the beginning of the Death Egg saga, and most importantly, it slices, dices, and makes thousands of julienne fries!

And to top it all off, who could possibly forget the climactic showdown between the fastest thing alive and the Death Egg Robot? Innumerable tributes to this fateful battle have been made already, but that of animator Hat-Loving Gamer—who previously worked on Sonic in the Mushroom Kingdom (1, 2) last year—puts a whole other unique spin on it! Eh? Ehhh?

…check it out below.

Continue reading Freak-Out Friday: “I thought this was Sonic 2” by Hat-Loving Gamer

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice and SEGA 3D Archives 3: Final Stage Will Both Be at Tokyo Game Show 2016

This year’s Tokyo Game Show kicks off on September 15th, and with it will come plenty of big reveals from some of the industry’s biggest developers and publishing giants, as well as over 200,000 people expected to be on the show floor to try out upcoming titles.

SEGA will be attending the event with livestreams going on throughout the show, showing off the likes of Yakuza 6, Persona 5, and the new Puyo Puyo Chronicle among other wares. The latest SEGA 3D Classics compilation title from M2, SEGA 3D Fukkoku Archives 3: Final Stage, and Sanzaru Games’ Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice will also be present, complete with new gameplay footage and a live stage event featuring special guests like M2 President Naoki Horii and Sonic series director Takashi Iizuka respectively.

Check out SEGA’s complete TGS 2016 schedule below!

Continue reading Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice and SEGA 3D Archives 3: Final Stage Will Both Be at Tokyo Game Show 2016

Smooth McGroove Releases a Lovely A-capella Rendition of Sonic 2’s Emerald Hill Zone

smoothmcgroove_emeraldhill

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 introduced a number of staples in the Sonic series since it first launched in 1992: the Spin Dash ability, a seventh Chaos Emerald and subsequent Super transformation, the two-tailed fox Miles “Tails” Prower as the Blue Blur. Aside from its prequel, Sonic 2 was the highest selling game on the Mega Drive/Genesis, having sold over 6 million copies on its initial run, and cementing SEGA’s status as a successful and legitimate threat to Nintendo and their plumber mascot.

Like Sonic 1, the sequel title was scored by Dreams Come True musician, Masato Nakamura, and a number of the game’s most memorable songs still resound with fans to this day.

Smooth McGroove, renowned on YouTube for his faithful a-capella covers of video game music, uploaded his mesmerizing rendition of the introductory stage of Sonic 2, Emerald Hill Zone.

McGroove previously covered Chemical Plant Zone from the same game, and Sonic 3‘s Ice Cap Zone Act 1, as well as Sonic 1‘s Green Hill Zone, Marble Zone, and Star Light Zone.

No Mash-Up Monday this week, but if you have any Sonic music mash-up suggestions for next week, you can either share your suggestions in the comments section below, or you can reach me via any of the following to see your choice next Monday:

Tails Can’t Handle This 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Credits Sequence

One of the things we’ve loved about the Nintendo 3DS SEGA re-releases is just how much time and care has been placed into every title. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is no exception, having recently landed on the Japanese eShop. It’s all down to developer M2, whose efforts clearly show that they care about the games they’re looking after. This is no more apparent than in this quirky credits sequence for Sonic 2. Continue reading Tails Can’t Handle This 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Credits Sequence

TSS Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (iOS)

unnamedI’m sure I am not alone when I say I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve purchased Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in various incarnations, be it through a port to a 7th gen console or a compilation release over the last decade. Yet, SEGA keep coming back to these classic titles in order to capitalise on those still reminiscing of a golden age, and indeed I keep coming back to these epitomes of gaming on the Megadrive. I might have been apprehensive in purchasing this game once more, had it not been for the involvement of the now legendary Taxman and Stealth in this port, and going off their incredible rebuilds of Sonic 1 and Sonic CD for iOS and Android I couldn’t resist.

Indeed, even after playing for a few minutes, it is obvious that there was no misplaced faith. The Retro Engine lends itself perfectly to the title, with Emerald Hill looking crisp from the get-go. Once you pop into the special stages though, your eyes are in for the real treat; gone is the old frame-by-frame half-pipe, now replaced by a glorious gliding 3D environment that is so silky smooth it’s almost hypnotic. It’s impressive that even the busiest screens don’t show any break in frame rate, which really helps maintain the pace; even when other iOS applications are throwing update after update at you.

I’ve never been fond of the touchscreen interface with mobile ports, but one thing that has made these titles much more bearable is playing them on one of the larger devices, specifically the iPad; the larger footprint of the D-pad makes for a much more pleasant experience than on the iPhone counterpart (or maybe it’s just my fat thumbs). That said there were some experiences where precision was required and my thumbs missed the control, resulting in my hurtling down the level after failing to avoid an Asteron explosion.

Sonic2-BossFightControls aside, what will really sell this to the veteran Sonic fans is the new inclusions to the game, namely the much talked about Hidden Palace Zone, which until now only existed as screenshots from the Beta version, an unused track in the sound test and years of speculation on forums. Should you be fortunate enough to find the new stage (as its name suggests, it’s hidden, and hidden in the most ingenious place), you’ll discover a level that has been built from the ground up by Taxman and Stealth. Without spoiling the mystique for those who are yet to play through, the stage feels like it’s been part of the game forever; alternative routes, Badniks and obstacles unique to the environment are some of the highlights of the stage, along with the most original and refreshing boss fight I have played though in many, many years. The Hidden Palace Zone music from the original has not been utilised to accompany the stage, but instead has been replaced with the 2-player stage theme to fit the pace of the level; a wise choice in my opinion.

On the subject of the two player mode, the feature has been completely revamped in order to open it up to the competitive arena of the internet, bringing in elements such as randomised item boxes and the shields from Sonic 3 / S&K, making for a much different experience from previous incarnations. While not an element of gameplay I generally garner the most pleasure from, many will find the ability to drop in and out of the multiplayer mode a huge attraction, even if the odd disconnection and lag occurs from time-to-time; this seems to be symptomatic of networks rather than a flaw in the game itself. The various time attack modes available also offer an extra dimension of re-playability that will extend the game’s interest long after completion of the main game.

I’m unsure whether it was intentional or not, but in both play through with Sonic and Tails I failed to encounter the Hill Top Zone boss. The first time through, the change only builds anticipation of the additional zone, however, many will be disappointed that this boss has been left out the final version, or only appears in certain circumstances. [UPDATE: Apparently the omission of the boss was a glitch, and the new update fixes this – T].

Flaws aside, and smalls flaws at that, this game makes for the hat-trick of classic ports that have regenerated the titles universally thought to be virtually perfect. The title is a testament and an example of a game in a franchise where those working behind the scenes have a great passion for what they are creating. Taxman and Stealth should once again be proud of their magnificent endeavor, and I only hope SEGA are now negotiating their work on a fourth title. If you own an mobile device, this is a must have purchase regardless of your level of dedication to the franchise. Even if you have defeated Sonic the Hedgehog 2 a hundred times, you’ll want to revisit it at least once more through the mobile port; it makes for a strangely new, yet nostalgic experience.

You’ll Love:

+ Three playable characters from the get-go for three different game experiences

+ A brand new level, faithful to the world of Sonic the Hedgehog 2

+ Boss and stage time attack modes

+ A rejuvenated multiplayer mode with online play

You’ll Hate:

– Some frustrating moments with connection issues

– Using the touch screen controls in vital situations

– Putting the game down

 

“Not Enough Rings” Webcomic Holding Kickstarter for Physical Comic Release

We know video game webcomics are a dime a dozen. Especially Sonic ones! But in all our years on the internet, we never came across the comic we wanted. No sprite recolors, no tribal Echidna warriors, definitely no werehogs — just a real comic retelling of the remarkable games we grew up playing.
~Veronica Vera

And the Not Enough Rings webcomic (which you can read at your own leisure), spoofing the Genesis saga from Green Hill all the way up to the Doomsday Zone, is nothing short of the latter.

notenoughrings_s2special

Veronica Vera and Oliver Bareham, the duo behind the affectionate Sonic the Hedgehog parody webcomic, are hoping to bring their work into print form, with a Kickstarter page gone live since yesterday. Going for a minimum goal of $6,500, the Not Enough Rings Kickstarter has already reached $5,300, and is open for donations up until July 19th!

Supporters can nab themselves a copy of the 106-page comic for as little as $25, but shipping will cost extra for those outside of the United States. Extra rewards include a signed copy of the book, a TIME OVER t-shirt featuring the Carnival Night barrel, a framed strip from the comic of your choice, advance copies of the Upstage card game for Bittersweet Candy Bowl (the duo’s main project), and if you’re downright insane, a Not Enough Rings-esque strip of any stage of any Sonic game of your choosing!

The only stretch goal to this project is to cover the funds to upgrade the books themselves into hardcover copies, the goal itself being a now realistic $10,500. Perks of supporting this project also include reading the already completed webcomic before it’s been fully uploaded online, as well as strips dedicated to the Sonic 3 Competition stages – BOOK EXCLUSIVE. Now THAT is a good deal.

That being said, head on over to the Kickstarter page and help this labour of love come to fruition!

notenoughrings_kickstarter

notenoughrings_kickstarter1notenoughrings_kickstarter2notenoughrings_kickstarter3notenoughrings_kickstarter4

Sonic Master Collection On PSN For a Limited Time Only

Sonic CD PS3 Theme Good Future

Have you ever wanted to own every digitally released Sonic game on the PlayStation Network? Well now is your chance! For a limited time only, PSN will be selling the “Sonic Master Collection” for a paltry $29.99. This collection contains the following:

1. Sonic Adventure

2. Sonic Adventure DX Upgrade

3. Sonic Adventure 2

4. Sonic Adventure 2 DLC

5. Sonic CD

6. Sonic The Hedgehog

7. Sonic The Hedgehog 2

8. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

9. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2

This content usually goes for $61 collectively, so you will be saving a little over 50% in this deal. That is, if you haven’t bought these games already!

Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Additional Game Gear eShop Titles Unveiled via Nintendo Direct

Woah nelly, Sonic fans were in for a freaking treat this morning!

First up, as you may recall, the name Sonic Lost World was trademarked by SEGA yesterday, prompting a large amount of buzz within the community as a reveal seemed to be right around the corner. This morning, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata unexpectedly began today’s scheduled Nintendo Direct with news pertaining to Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic Lost World has been officially unveiled by Ninty’s bossman, with Iwata confirming that it will be exclusive to both Wii U and 3DS consoles. More details to the game will come before E3.

Sonic Lost World

Forest world, jungle world, ice world, desert world, volcano world, water world… Oh this looks gorgeous!

But this wasn’t the only new Sonic game to be revealed! Before Lost World was showcased, Iwata gave a presentation concerning Mario & Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, tying in with the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Screenshots of the Wii U game are available after the jump!

Continue reading Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Additional Game Gear eShop Titles Unveiled via Nintendo Direct

Freak-Out Friday: Forgetting Something?

The most unexpected thing happened at the Metropolis Zone, and the victim? None other than CelestOrion, with the folks from Sonic Paradox’s ParadoxPowerPlays roaring at his expense.

[PPP] Forgetting Something? (Sonic the Hedgehog 2)

I couldn’t believe it either at first, but holy crap!

Continue reading Freak-Out Friday: Forgetting Something?

Mega Drive Classic Sonic 1 Coming to iOS & Android, Sonic 2 Also Planned

Sonic 1 Android 2 width=

SEGA has announced at GDC 2013 that the classic Mega Drive title that kickstarted their mascot’s career Sonic the Hedgehog will be released for iOS and Android in April. The game will cost $2.99, run at 60FPS and will include a new time attack mode, widescreen support and a completely remastered soundtrack. Android Police reports that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is also planned for release on Android too, but SEGA didn’t give any details.

Christian Whitehead, who made the recent Sonic CD port, made this tweet to a follower on March 23rd. (Thanks, TimmiT)

Those feels, I’m preparing a build for GDC and I won’t even be there.

Could he be behind this port?

Hit the jump to check out some screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog on iOS & Android.
Continue reading Mega Drive Classic Sonic 1 Coming to iOS & Android, Sonic 2 Also Planned

Mash-Up Monday: Dilapidated Sky High

Nothing like kicking off the week with PUNCHING and KICKING and such! Feel like the world’s turning against you for some reason? Then RAGE!

This quaint little music mash-up was put together by foreversonic from RadioSEGA! Featuring something that most SEGA fans would enjoy, especially those of this Genesis classic, is always welcome!

Dilapidated Town from Streets of Rage with Sky High Zone from the 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog 2!

https://youtube.com/devicesupport

Found an interesting mash-up somewhere on the web? Have one of your own that you’d like to see get featured on The Sonic Stadium? Then what’s the hold up? Send what you got over to vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

Mash-Up Monday: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

As the title says, we’re going Daft Punk for this week’s Mash-Up Monday!

We have a pair of really cool mashups combining Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger with Sonic music! I hope all of our fans and readers around the world will enjoy this to the point where they’d just keep listening to each track one more time!

First one up is the Chemical Plant Zone mix, with Stardust Speedway Bad Future after the jump!

Chemical Punk Zone (Breakmaster Cylinder)

Continue reading Mash-Up Monday: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Mash-Up Monday: Bartman’s Casino

Everybody, if you can, do the Bartman!
Shake your body, turn it out, if you can, man!
Move your butt to the side, yes, you can, can!
Everybody in the house, do the Bartman!

“Do the Bartman”, the 1990 song from The Simpsons, with a cover of Casino Night Zone 2P from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on my Mash-Up Monday? Yes please!

Bart's Casino [MIXER PRODUCTIONS]

There was originally a version with the actual music video, but it unfortunately got Foxblocked. D’oh!!

Found an interesting combination you would like to see on Mash-Up Monday? Have a mash-up of your own you would want featured on the Stadium? If your answer is yes, then send your wares and findings over to vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

Freak-Out Friday: A Scheming Session with Dr. Robotnik

Throw silliness and whimsy out the window, everyone: it’s time to get serious.

Today, we join Eggman as he pitches some new Eggmobile attachment ideas to his Badniks during a brainstorming session.

His ideas just don’t seem to work for some reason or another…

A Scheming Session With Dr. Robotnik

Video game boss logic is best logic.

Made by Burtzman20!

Mash-Up Monday: The Final Showdown! Bowser vs Robotnik!

Yes, yes, oh my god yes.

Likely the Mash-Up Monday to end all Mash-Up Mondays (METAPHOR. Do not take this seriously!), we’ve got a real sexy piece of ear candy for you all!

Possibly one of the greatest RPGs available on the Nintendo DS, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story brought about one of the most chaotic final showdowns ever experienced in the Mario series. In fact, it shares quite a few similarities with that of Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s Death Egg Robot.

For one, both battles take place in an isolated area on top of the world: one being on a tower atop Peach’s Castle, another being in the colossal Death Egg orbiting the planet.

Secondly, being final showdowns, the fate of the world rests on the heroes’ shoulders. Sonic chases Eggman through emerald hills and metropolises to thwart his dastardly efforts of taking over the world for the second time, without the bare essentials to keep him alive for longs (rings); Bowser, with the intention of ruling the Mushroom Kingdom in the future, takes on a Dark Star-created, destruction craving clone of himself in a battle of the titans, while Mario and Luigi destroy Fawful and the Dark Star Core from inside Bowser’s body. All sorts of chaos is happening in both scenarios.

And three, with final bosses comes FANTASTIC BACKGROUND MUSIC.

Hence, I am happy to share with you all the most glorious mash-up to hit TSS. Combining the final boss themes from Bowser’s Inside Story and Sonic 2 (with a little bit of Super Mario Galaxy on the side), we present to you:

“Bowser vs Robotnik”!

“SHOWTIME!”

https://youtube.com/devicesupport

Mashed up by Hauntershadow! Special thanks to PC the Hedgehog for the find!

Summer Games Done Quick set to Speedrun Sonic Games

Update: The segment is over, but recordings are available: Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic Adventure DX

 

Speed Demos Archive‘s Summer Games Done Quick is running right now, a live stream speedrunning 70-some games in aid of the Organisation for Autism Research.

Their Sonic segment is set to start at around 9pm tonight (depending on how fast the preceding games are), and feature runs of the original Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Mega Drive, and Sonic Adventure DX Director’s Cut.

If you like seeing games played with speed, this should be your bag.

Summer Games Done Quick (full schedule)

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

Awesome Games Done Quick Running Sonic Games (Again)

It’s that time again. For the last three years, the guys at Speed Demos Archive have been doing speedrunning marathons for charities, and at 8PM GMT, their latest Awesome Games Done Quick begins in aid of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 – SDA Charity Marathon

That they’ll spend over 5 days beating who-knows-how-many games is a given. What isn’t, however, is Sonic representation. This year, though, four classics from the series are going to get ruined over the course of a 3-hour segment.

The whole schedule is here, but starting at about 9pm on Thursday, the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles (does that count as two games?) and Sonic Adventure 2 (with a 2-man race) are up.

Continue reading Awesome Games Done Quick Running Sonic Games (Again)

Sonic Titles on 60% Off Sale Today Only on Xbox Live Marketplace

As part of the Xbox 12 Days of Deals, you can grab a range of Sonic the Hedgehog titles at a whopping 60% off on the Xbox 360 Xbox Live Marketplace for today only. Almost all of Sonic’s Xbox Live Arcade releases are included in the offer, with the exceptions being Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic CD.

Here’s the list of games and discounts:
Sonic 4, Episode 1 Was: 800 Now: 320
Sonic Adventure Was: 800 Now: 320
Sonic Adventure Upgrade Was: 400 Now: 160
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Was: 400 Now: 160
Sonic the Hedgehog Was: 400 Now: 160
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Was: 400 Now: 160

Source: Xbox Live’s Major Nelson Blog

Sonic 2 Now Available for Free to EU PS Plus Subscribers Until December 3rd

Sony’s got a Christmas treat for European PlayStation Plus subscribers with its ‘The 12 Gifts of Christmas’ promotion. Starting today, PlayStation Plus members will be able to download one free game, every two days, and you will be able to keep them for as long as you’re a subscriber. SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the first game, with seven more PSN titles, two minis and two PSone Classics to come. The next game will be available December 3rd, so be sure to grab Sonic 2 before then.

Source: EU PlayStation Blog

Sonic 1&2 Soundtrack Releases in Japan

Masato Nakamura’s Sonic the Hedgehog 1&2 Soundtrack was released in Japan on Wednesday.

As part of Sega’s 20th Anniversary celebration-cum-cash-in, this new soundtrack is three discs big. While the first contains the same old tracks we’ve heard a jillion times, the second disc has the never-before-released original demo tapes of all the games’ tracks. The Dreams Come True bassist reportedly sent these tapes via snail mail to Sega to be sequenced into the games.

The third disc is a mini-album containing Sweet Sweet Sweet from Dreams Come True’s hugely successful The Swinging Star album, better known as the ending theme in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as well as its English version, Sweet Dreams. They’re accompanied by the equivalent themes produced by Akon for the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack in 2006.

The Sonic the Hedgehog 1&2 Soundtrack is available to import from Play-Asia and CDJapan. There’s no news yet whether it’ll see a release in the West, however.

Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2 Soundtrack Available for Preorder

Although news on it’s release has been pretty sketchy, it now finally looks like the Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2 soundtrack will be seeing the light of day this October.

With distribution through the Universal Music (the record label of Japanese super group Dreams Come True to which the original composer Masato Nakamura belongs), the soundtrack is set to contain the full workings from the Megadrive / Genesis titles, along with unheard demo material all reworked.

You can preorder this soundtrack now through Play-Asia for $36.49 (about £27) and CDJapan for ¥3000 (about £26), and you will be pleased to know they will ship to most countries worldwide. The soundtrack is set to be released on 19th of October 2011.

Although no announcement of track listings or box art has been confirmed, the price would indicate that this may be a double-CD soundtrack [EDIT – Sonic Retro claim it comes on a massive 3 CDs with 88 tracks -T] , although again this is speculative; we will keep you informed as always through the Sonic Stadium as more information comes to light.

PREORDER: Play-Asia, CDJapan

Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2 Commemorative 20th Anniversary Soundtrack Announced

Masato Nakamura, the mastermind behind the original Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 soundtracks and member of the popular Japanese super-band DREAMS COME TRUE will be producing a commemorative CD soundtrack to be released over the summer.

Not only will the soundtrack contain songs taken from the first two Sonic the Hedgehog titles for the SEGA Megadrive/Genesis, it will also include a reprint of the original sound demo tapes from both games, along with other bonus tracks yet to be announced.

This will surely be a must-have item for every fan amongst the community, let alone videogame music connoisseurs. Similar to the Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes re-release soundtracks, this CD album looks set to only be available to Japan.

Sonic Stadium will keep you up to date as we learn more about this fantastic compilation!

Original story taken from Japanese Famitsu Webpage

Joe Stanski Blasts Through Sonic 2 For Charity

Earlier this month we reported on Awesome Games Done Quick, a marathon in Maryland organised by speedrunning powerhouse Speed Demos Archive.

Over five days playing through a hundred games, SDA smashed their donations target to raise over $52,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. But you’re here to see Sonic, surely?

One top guy taking part was Joe Stanski, one of – or perhaps the – top Sonic 2 player on the net. He had a simple remit – plug the game into a Sega Genesis, and get through the game as fast as possible in one attempt. On the Player 2 side providing somewhat questionable (but capsule-hitting good) assistance was MercuryZelda, who “won” a donation battle against everyone else at the marathon.


Gameplay starts at 4:35.

Here’s the level results:

  • Emerald Hill: 0:22, 0:39
  • Chemical Plant: 0:24, 0:53 +0:10
  • Aquatic Ruin: 0:23, 0:59
  • Casino Night: 0:31, 1:12
  • Hill Top: 0:44, 1:06
  • Mystic Cave: 0:38, 0:47
  • Oil Ocean: 0:42, 1:04
  • Metropolis: 1:13, 0:20, 1:40 +1:23 🙁
  • Sky Chase: 2:06
  • Wing Fortress: 2:00
  • Death Egg: 0:51

SDA are uploading all the game runs from AGDQ right now, at http://speeddemosarchive.com/marathon/schedule/, so check it out. There’s a number of good runs on there: Funkdoc’s demolition of the (S)NES Castlevania series; Kareshi taking on the ultra-hard Ghosts ‘n Goblins series; four people destroying four copies of Ocarina of Time; an Expert and Master mode run of Super Monkey Ball; Mike Uyama and Funkdoc one-credit clearing Streets of Rage 2 Mania with default lives…

Just… pretend Halo doesn’t exist.

SEGA Permanently Drops Prices of Sonic 1, 2 & 4:Ep 1 on iPhone

SEGA has announced permanent price drops on most of their iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad games, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. All three games have been jumping up and down in price in recent months, but now you can grab them pretty cheap without worrying about special sale time limits (and just in time for Christmas, too). The two classic Mega Drive/Genesis titles Sonic the Hedgehog & Sonic the Hedgehog 2 have been reduced to £2.99/$4.99 each and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, which is barely 2 months old, has been dropped to just £3.99/$6.99.

Check out the full list of games and prices at the SEGA of America Blog (via SEGA Bits)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 3D

YouTube user Eyspire has uploaded a video of a project in the works involving Sonic the Hedgehog 2 zones in 3D, and judging by the video, it looks amazing, but would you believe this is being made for satire use?

This is the result of many hours of persistance during my spare time over the last fortnight. As I played through the original Sonic 2 on a genesis emulator, I snapped screenshots along the way, and recreated the levels in true 3D. using textures from the game. Imagine if the Sonic Team made something along these lines!

This is a fan-made animation. It’s part of a satire series i’m working on, this is just a segmented portion.

Great work Eyspire! We’ll keep an eye out for the final product.

What do you guys and gals think of Eyspire’s work?

TSS Competition: Know Your Enemies – The Winner!

A few weeks ago we set a competition in which we challenged you to name all of the badniks from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. A whole load of you dazzled us by correctly naming all 20 badniks shown in the picture, plus the 3 that did not feature! Not only this, a whole host of you got the Japanese names for these badniks! Some of you even named all the unused badniks too!

The 23 badniks are:
1)      Clucker – Kokekkou
2)      Buzzer – Stinger
3)      Masher – Gabuccho
4)      Slicer – Kamakiller
5)      Asteron – Terustar
6)      Shellcracker – Kanipunch
7)      Spiny – Randaa
8)      Grabber – Grabber
9)      Rexon – Saura
10)  Turtloid – Dousun
11)  Crawl – Gaadon
12)  Nebula – Potosu
13)  Balkiry – Barukiin
14)  Coconuts – Aiai
15)  Aquis – Shiidora
16)  Crawltron – Zakiin
17)  Flasher – Flasher
18)  Whisp – Punpun
19)  Spiker – Shinshin
20)  Octus – Octa

Extras:
21)  Grounder – Handrill
22)  Chop Chop – Piranha
23)  Sol  – Gola

There can only be one lucky winner however, and by the power of the random number generator this is:

Brad M, UK

Congratulations! If you didn’t win this time, there will of course be more competitions in the future…or tune in to T-TIME tomorrow at 5PM GMT where there will be more opportunities to bag some goodies!

TSS Competition: Know Your Enemies for Classic Goodies!

To kick-off the month of May, we at TSS have got a distinctly classic set of goodies to give away to one lucky winner, which includes two remote control characters (1 x Sonic, 1 x Tails), a cap, a beanie, sweatbands x 2  and a metal keyring! Not a  bad haul eh? To keep with the classic theme we’ve devised a rather devious task for you to perform in order to be in for a chance to snag yourself this lot.

Here’s what you have to do:
Below is a montage of all of the badniks who appear in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. We want you to name as many of these as possible!

An impossible task to name them all? Perhaps, but the entrant with the highest number of correctly named Badniks (and yes, if it comes down to it we will pick on spelling!) will snag themselves this awesome bundle. But that’s not all! The keen eyes amongst you may also spot something missing…perhaps there are more than the 20 badniks listed here? Bonus points will be awarded for identifying those possible missing badniks too! So what are you waiting for? It is time to impress with your encyclopedic knowledge of this classic game!

Please send all entries with your badniks listed and numbered, along with your name and address like this:

e.g.:
I. Robotnik
Mountain Fortress
Western Mobius
EGG 1000

1) Chicken launcher
2) Squid nose
3) etc…

SCORING:
1 POINT FOR EACH CORRECTLY NAMED BADNIK
1 ADDITIONAL POINT FOR EACH BONUS BADNIK
1 ULTRA BONUS POINT FOR ALL 20 PICTURED BADNIK NAMES PLUS ALL JAPANESE NAMES !

And oh yeah, Silver Sonic doesn’t count! Please send all of your entries to the usual competition email: tbird [at] sonicstadium.org. Please submit all entries by Tuesday, 18th of May 2010. The winner along with the correct answers will be announced shortly after. The competition is open worldwide, with the exception of residents of Dead Horse, Alaska.

Good luck, and May the 4th be with you!

The Sonic Stadium Soundtrack Squad Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – 8-Bit vs. 16-Bit


Classic Clash: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-Bit) vs. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-Bit)
byJezMM.

The soundtracks to the 16-bit and 8-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 are quite tough to review this long after their release, what with all the nostalgia involved. These are not just soundtracks to games, but to childhoods after all! The biggest thing that both versions brought was a sense of urgency that the first Sonic the Hedgehog titles lacked. Both 16-bit Emerald Hill and Chemical Plant Zone tracks say “this is cooler than Sonic 1” from the get-go, with their faster tempo, snappier percussion and simpler melodies. The bold choice to start with an intense lava level – and an equally action-packed tune – gave 8-bit Sonic 2 a similar feeling. Green Hills Zone features a fast-paced masterpiece that Sonic fans would soon hear reprised in “You Can Do Anything” for Sonic CD. While the original Green Hill theme will always bring a tear to every nostalgic eye, this one just screams “I’m Sonic; I run around very fast and it’s awesome”. The Scrambled Egg Zone features a touch of surreal by layering lots of interesting sounds throughout and a downright epic solo of bleepy-bloops serving as the main melody.

Then we come to the chilled out songs. 16-bit has the likes of Aquatic Ruin, Hill Top and Oil Ocean Zone themes. Now this is just my opinion, but I found the slower tracks to be the weak spot of 16-bit. They all felt either repetitive or just a bit dull, not quite fitting in with the rest of the soundtrack. 8-bit however, had some much funkier tunes for the slower levels, such as Sky High and Aqua Lake Zone. While Aqua Lake’s melody meanders around a bit more than Sky High, they’re both very catchy, toe-tapping tunes. The Gimmick Mountain Zone theme is incomparable with anything in 16-bit counterpart can offer, and perfectly captures a far more surreal tone than most Eggman strongholds, with many fades, and a mysterious and sinister melody. 16-bit has Casino Night, Mystic Cave and Metropolis, all three of which escape the problem I had with the other slower tracks, thanks to their fantastically written melodies.

Coming to the finale tracks, 8-bit’s Crystal Egg Zone is one of the more surreal endings in the franchise. A totally wacky and chirpy tune portrays this strange zone fantastically. I find 16-bit’s finale to be a mixed bag though. Sky Chase is a beautiful song, but I can’t help but think its all “sky” and no “chase”, making it a little unfitting. In a similar manner, Wing Fortress perfectly represents Eggman’s triumphant creation, but not the fact that Sonic is running about messing the thing up. Death Egg is also a bit of a funny track. The bit you hear is great but the unused portion of the song is just weird and loses the sinister feeling of the start. I’m glad that Death Egg was not a full stage with this looping in the background.

To close, we come to the boss and ending themes. 8-bit’s boss theme is used for every boss, including the final one. The Game Gear uses a very fast-paced tune, whereas the Master System is a more scrambled sounding manic theme. Both are very fitting, but certainly not something you’ll be humming the next day whereas the boss themes of 16-bit version have become legendary melodies. The 16-bit ending uses the classic medley formula, whereas the Master System goes for a very sombre piece with a gorgeous melody (getting the good ending on Game Gear grants a different tune which, while not quite as memorable, is also a very pleasant listen).

8-bit has fewer tunes of a consistent quality, which likely means you either love or hate the whole thing, whereas 16-bit is larger and more varied, making it more likely for one to love or hate individual tracks. I do however feel that both soundtracks are still fantastic, and paved the way for an all new tone of cool for Sonic in his first sequel.

Favourite 16-bit track: Chemical Plant Zone
Favourite 8-bit track: “Bad Ending”
Personal Favourite: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit version).

BLITZCHRIS:
“It’s really quite a difficult task to compare the soundtracks from both of the 1992 versions of Sonic The Hedgehog 2, especially when there is an existing bias already in position for one of them. All things aside, each soundtrack brings something different to the table. Nakamura’s work on the MegaDrive version is brilliant. Each piece really captures the atmosphere and mood of each stage, whether it be the simulated brass and slap-bass in Casino Night, the scratching and popping of the mechanical Metropolis or the eerie wails of the dark Mystic Cave. One of my greatest joys about the soundtrack are the 2-Player tracks, which use essentially the same instruments as their “1-Player stage” counterparts, but tune to something more suitable for competition.

Contrast this with the Master System collection of tracks. The tracks are hearty for an 8-bit based soundtrack, but I’m not convinced that if the tracks were recreated 16-bit style, they would have the same flair. Using what he had, Tomozou Endo created the very jerky and sporadic Scrambled Egg which lives up to its name, while Sky High is just too simple a track to enjoy and really doesn’t spark enthusiasm. However, Green Hills Zone will always have a special place in my heart as the music that eventually grew into the theme song for Sonic CD, “You Can Do Anything”. Having said this, Tomozou Endo hasn’t really done a bad job with the technology he had. Nakamura just set the bar way too high. ”

Favourite 16-Bit tune: Casino Night Zone 2P.
Favourite 8-Bit tune: Green Hills Zone
Best Soundtrack: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-Bit Version)

T-BIRD:
“I think some would see the comparison of these two soundtracks as a bit one-sided in favour of the Megadrive/Genesis score. Granted, the 16-Bit iteration is close to superb, but guys, go back and listen to the 8-Bit version. The Yamaha sound chip on the MS may not be up to its big brother’s standard, but Endo’s pushed that to the limit. Crystal Egg and Gimmick mountain have nearly four “voices” in each track (percussion, bass, rhythm and lead melody), and that is extremely cool consider most other titles on the console rarely utilize more than two. Plus, I dig anything vaguely rock, and I’m pretty sure that both Scrambled Egg, Underground Zone and the boss themes were all written with a thrash metal vibe in mind, so Endo-san rocks!

What starts to really rake me back though is listening to Chemical Plant and Mystic Cave, with an incredibly convincing slap-bass synthesised by Nakamura-san. Each track shines in its own respect with a real clean sweep across a huge range of emulated genres and all maintaining an allegro I think no other Sonic game has managed. Who can say the mechanical resonance of Metropolis (what with that wonderful scratch and guitar-riffic chorus!) doesn’t send a shiver down their spine? So how do I choose between these two soundtracks? I think actually can’t…but because I have a feeling it won’t get as much love (and I have to make a decision!), my vote goes to the underdog!”

Favourite 16-Bit tune: Mystic Cave Zone
Favourite 8-Bit tune: Scrambled Egg Zone
Best Soundtrack: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-Bit Version)

EXTATICUS:
“Undoubtedly, the main problem with the soundtrack to the 8-Bit iteration of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 soundtrack is the boredom factor; there just seems to be a distinct lack of any kind of excitement or variation throughout the whole thing, and it almost sounds like a lethargic and dull version of Sonic Chaos’ superb music. It even uses similar note sequences to its successor, although they were far more polished and improved in the latter game than they were in Sonic 2. Save for some points of Underground Zone (the intro was rather repetitive and dull) and the Boss theme (Master System version only), the entire OST was generally monotonous, uncreative and uninspiring; a huge disappointment for all who were expecting a stunning follow-up to the first game’s awesome soundtrack.

The MegaDrive version‘s musical score, on the other hand, is a marvellous concoction consisting of nothing but purely excellent electro and synth-pop, played out on the astonishingly outstanding YM2612 synthesizer chip. Masato Nakamura really outdid himself with the likes of Chemical Plant Zone and Emerald Hill Zone; making excellent use of the vip-vip-vow synth sounds of the MegaDrive and conveying shockingly good melodies and basslines, they both shine out from all the other tunes as the absolute finest pieces of music on the game, and completely blow the 8-Bit version’s soundtrack out of the water and into orbit. Additionally, catchy classics such as Aquatic Ruins Zone and Metropolis Zone will be lodged into your brain for years; you’ll doubtlessly find yourself involuntarily humming them in public toilets for all the world to hear!”

Favourite 16-Bit tune: Chemical Plant Zone
Favourite 8-Bit tune: Boss Theme (Master System Version)
Best Soundtrack: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-Bit Version)

Well, it looks like we can’t reach a unaninous decision folks, so I guess this means you guys are going to have to settle the debate for us once and for all! Do you have a favourite out of the two soundtracks? What is your favourite track and why? Let us know in the comments!

Guinness World Records Clarifies Sonic 2 Record

James Richards successfully earned a Guinness World Record for completing Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 in the fastest time. The only problem was, that fastest time was 22 seconds, a whole two seconds shorter than a time officially achieved at the Summer of Sonic convention in 2008. So, what gives?

Gaz Deaves, who was the adjudicator on the Summer of Sonic 2008 Sonic 2 time, explained to The Sonic Stadium that it was a matter of console configuration. James’ record was achieved on an Xbox 360, while Louis Tsiattalou (SoS 2008 record holder) used a Sega Mega Drive. The differences are more significant than you might think, says Deaves:

Bearing in mind the differences between controllers (remember, the Megadrive has 3 useable buttons which allow for faster spin-boosting if used correctly) I’m not convinced 20 seconds is even possible on a current-gen console (but would love to be proven wrong!). James may be in danger, though, as I’ve already had an unauthenticated claim from a guy who says he can consistently pull off 21-second runs on PS3 and Xbox 360.

So that’s that. The main point of contention for some was whether Louis’ record, a faster time despite the apparent difference in configuration, would be dumped for the slower record just because it was a newer attempt, at a higher profile event sponsored by an energy drink. Having something like that muscle out a bona fide achievement accomplished by dedicated Sonic fans would be pretty damning. But Deaves says that all awards get phased out of the book anyway as a matter of keeping things fresh;

The content of the book is never sponsored or paid for – what goes in is always based on what we think is interesting for the reader rather than brand exposure for Lucozade or Nintendo or anyone else for that matter.

As it happens, I don’t think either Louis or James will be featured in the 2010 Gamer’s Edition: we went to press on Thursday last week so there’s no chance of James’ 22-second run getting in. Plus, we don’t feature every record every year (we need to do this to make room for new records) and I’m pretty sure Louis’ time hasn’t been featured in this one. Although, I do know we included a speed run of the Wyle[sic] Coyote-inspired Sonic clone Desert Demolition for Megadrive (dunno if you remember that one?)

Sure, Wile. E’s alright, but it’s just not the same. Deaves notes that he attempted to contact current record holder Louis to defend his title on the Xbox 360, but received no response. Louis, what are you waiting for?

“New Sonic 2 World Record” Doesn’t Actually Beat World Record

no-world-record

Various sources are reporting that gamer James Richards, in association with Lucozade and the Guinness World Records, has apparently broken a time trial record for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at the Golden Joystick Awards show in London.

The only thing is, he didn’t.

James attempted the World Record, which involved speed running through Sonic 2’s Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 as fast as possible, and managed a very respectable time of 0:22. Guinness World Records representatives were at the event to adjudicate and officiate the new record.

However, the current World Record for Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 lies with Louis Tsiattalou with a time of 0:20. This was achieved at the Summer of Sonic Convention in August 2008, and funnily enough was also officiated by Guinness World Records representatives. The record was even published in the Guinness Book of World Records: Gamers Edition 2009.

Which begs the question, how did Guinness come to forget their own World Record?

James was happy that he got a quick time, all thanks to Lucozade Alert Plus, apparently. “I’ve been training for weeks for this. Getting my mental preparation right has been just as important as honing my physical co-ordination and reactions. Lucozade Alert Plus has given me the energy boost I’ve needed to increase my focus, concentration and overall mental performance. I’m so happy to have broken the record – one that I hope will stand for some time to come!”

I wonder who will be the poor sod that has to break the news to James that he didn’t actually break any records?

James attempted his World Record on an Xbox 360. The current World Record holder, Louis, achieved it on a Sega Mega Drive console. There are faster times on speed running sites that clock in as quick as 19 seconds and beyond, but these use ROMs, engineered copies of the game or do not take place in front of a Guinness World Record adjudicator, and thus aren’t qualified for World Record placing.

Sonic 2 World Record Attempt At Golden Joystick Awards

Emeraldhill

Gamer James Richards will be attempting to break the current world record for fastest completion of Sonic The Hedgehog 2’s first stage Emerald Hill Zone on three formats, Wii Virtual Console version, Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade version and the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection version on PS3.

The event is being held by Lucozade to promote their new energy drink shot Lucozade Alert Plus. This new drink is proven to boost mental performance, focus, reactions and alertness all of which are a fitting suit for Sonic’s character.

Can James do it? Well he already holds the Guinness World Record for his blistering speed run of Sonic The Hedgehog 3 which stands at 49 minutes and 17 seconds so he’s very capable.

Editor’s Note: The current Guinness World Record for the fastest time through Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 was achieved at the Summer of Sonic convention in 2008. The world record holder is Louis Tsiattalou with a time of 0:20.

Source: CVG

Golden Joystick Awards Official Website

Sonic 2 Mobile Released

While we’re all still waiting patiently for SEGA in the west to give us the other half of the original Sonic the Hedgehog on mobile phone, lucky Japanese ketai holders can get the sequel since November 1st.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 pretty much recreates the original Mega Drive classic, with a different looking HUD situated at the top of the screen. 903i models of mobile phone can get a special edition where “Eggman Battle” and “Special Stage Attack” appear as two bonus modes.

Check out the Sonic Cafe page for more info (in Japanese) and images.