Mash-Up Monday: Crisis City Remastered

Crisis City was once a shining and prosperous metropolis before Iblis was unleashed upon the world, and the immortal Flames of Disaster turned the city to ruin and brought all life in the world to its knees. The apocalyptic city appropriately set the tone for the rest of the plot in Sonic ’06, and not even it being wiped from canonical existence prevented its return in Sonic Generations five years later.

For today’s Mash-Up Monday, we take another look at the music of Crisis City across its ’06 and Generations incarnations, all composed and arranged by Tomoya Ohtani. YouTuber Aeon Eric already mashed the original, Classic, and Modern themes up together in the past, but a remastered edition was produced not long after. As a bonus, keener listeners might pick up on a Kingdom Hearts-related surprise towards the end of this mashup.

Check it out below!

Continue reading Mash-Up Monday: Crisis City Remastered

Super Bunnyhop looks at the first level of every main Sonic game

The YouTube channel Super Bunnyhop has uploaded a 39-minute look at the first level of every main Sonic game. Hit the jump to see it, and also to get a full list of the games covered. Continue reading Super Bunnyhop looks at the first level of every main Sonic game

The Completionist 100th Episode – Sonic the Hedgehog 2006

One week ago, Jirard “Dragonrider” Khalil had… changed.

That one video gamer who many have come to know and love as The Completionist, for some inexplicable reason, took a turn for the demonic on the heels of his 99th review for the SNES title Mega Man X 3, and Greg Wilmot, series cohost and the last to have interacted with Jirard, had since gone missing.

Somehow, this was all tied to the black sheep of Sonic games, the forever scorned ugly duckling, Sonic Team’s pitch for the 15th anniversary of the franchise.

Continue reading The Completionist 100th Episode – Sonic the Hedgehog 2006

Mash-Up Monday: Flowering Night of Crisis

Need something fast-paced, intense, and outright crazy to start your long and dreary week? Well, we got just what you need right here on Mash-Up Monday! But, first things first…

How many of you have ever heard of Touhou?

Specifically known as Touhou Project, it is a bullet hell shooter series renowned for its high difficulty, a large cast of characters, and most of all, its crazy music! …no. Seriously. Look some of its music up on YouTube. You will not regret it.

This week, we will feature one of the most synonymous remixes of the series, Night of Nights, combined with a song sporting a much more orchestral touch, yet recognized for being fast-paced and blood-pumping: Crisis City Act 2 from Sonic Generations!

https://youtube.com/devicesupport

Found a really cool Sonic mash-up somewhere in the depths of the World Wide Web? Got something of your own you would like to share? If your answer to either question is “yes”, then send what you’ve got over at vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

Freak-Out Friday: Melpontro Next-Genanigans

Watch out, lassies! For this week’s Freak-Out Friday, we’ve got something that’s pawsitively fetching!

YouTube user Melpontro gave Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 a new leash on life as he hacks into the game and starts playing with the models, unintentionally creating a new story.

It is the story of a young pup who’s had it ruff, until one day, he is found by a certain blue hedgehog who just arrived to the kingdom of Soleanna. What the hedgehog didn’t count on was the impact he left on the beloved dog.

To this day, the pup still looks up to Sonic. Striving to be as fleat as the blue blur, to reach high speeds without having to pawse, to keep a pawsitive outlook on life… and to make all of those Eggman’s robots run for the hills!

This is the tail

…of Pelé, the Beloved Dog.

Pelé the Beloved Dog – Pelé the Beloved Dog in Wave Ocean

Now that’s a good boy!

Check out more of Melpontro’s Sonic ’06 hacks after the jump. Beagl-ad there were puns this Friday!

Continue reading Freak-Out Friday: Melpontro Next-Genanigans

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 ’06 TGS ’05 Trailer Theme Music Found

Via Mefiresu from the Russian Sonic community, fellow fansite Sonic Scene has received an MP3 file of what is believed to be the theme music played in the Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) TGS 2005 trailer.


When compared to the faint music heard in the highest quality version (it was never made available outside of camera recordings) of the trailer on YouTube recorded by Kikizo (above), it does sound identical.

You can grab the full 4 minutes and 58 seconds long track over at Sonic Scene.

Thanks to Woun for the heads up!

Marathon Monday: Speed Demos Archive running Sonic games for Japan

Thursday 7th April – Monday 11th April at speeddemosarchive.com

I’m sure some of you remember when my good friends at Speed Demos Archive raised over $52k for charity at their live speedrunning marathon back in January. Not least, a beast known only as Stanski tore up Sonic 2 on the Sega Genesis in one take.

Normally, SDA isn’t one to do marathons all the time – they usually only have one a year and put everything into it – but last month some place called Japan had its east coast wiped out by a wave reaching 23 metres high, leaving over 10,000 people dead and another half a million without a home.

So, towards the end of March, and with marathoning for Japan seemingly de rigueur right now, SDA decided to join the bandwagon and plan a top marathon in two weeks. Unlike their usual efforts, this one will be done online from the gamers’ homes, and yours truly will also be joining the party.

Japan Relief Done Quick: April 7-10 2011

This time Japan Relief Done Quick will be raising funds for Doctors Without Borders, the American branch of the international medical aid group Médecins Sans Frontières. A Nobel Peace Prize recipient, MSF has operations in over 60 countries, and is in Japan right now providing medical treatment to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Now, January’s marathon was a bit disappointing from a Sonic point of view, but that’s not the case this time. Early Friday morning in the UK, there’s a solid four-hour slot where five Sonic games will be played through:

  • First up is the original Mega Drive title, Sonic the Hedgehog, played by MilesSMB on Genesis.
  • That’s followed by Sonic 3D on Saturn, played by Zyre who recently had a speedrun of another Sega classic, Skies of Arcadia Legends, published on SDA.
  • Next Venick will hammer his way through Amy’s story on the original Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast.
  • The greatest Sonic game ever made is next – Sonic 2006 on Xbox 360. Depending on donations, either Venick or Parax will go through one character’s story. If you’re planning on donating, personally I recommend Silver because some of the tricks will blow your mind.
  • Finally, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will be seeing a full game run. The runner is Parax, the top single-level speedrunner for Sonic 4 in the world right now. If you’re on 360, check the leaderboards and then check your calendar.
  • This marathon starts at 9PM in the UK on Thursday, and is set to run into Monday. You can see the full schedule at the JRDQ site, though if you’re planning on watching a certain game, bear in mind times can change pretty easily.

    Be there, if only to laugh at me when I die in-game during my slot…

    Sonic ’06 Xbox360/PS3 discontinued?

    If your looking for a Sonic fix on Xbox 360 or PS3 this Christmas, don’t expect to find it in your local high street or shopping centre. Many major video game retailers in the UK have now removed stock of Sonic the Hedgehog for Xbox 360/PS3 from their shelves. Stores include: GAME, Gamestation, HMV, Zavvi, Currys/Digital and Comet.

    Many online retailers have stopped listing the game too or have it listed as ‘Out of stock’. Gamestation’s site had it listed as ‘Out of stock’ this morning and removed the game this afternoon. Some online retailers still have it in stock at very cheap clearance type prices.

    • HMV’s website lists both formats currently out of stock;
    • Zavvi’s website lists both formats at clearance type prices;
    • AmazonUK only list it by other sellers and no longer sell it themselves now;
    • GAME’s website list the PS3 version as ‘Stock alert’
    • Gamestation’s website listed both formats this morning as ‘Out of stock’ and now this afternoon it is no longer listed but replaced with “No results” messages.

    Continue reading Sonic ’06 Xbox360/PS3 discontinued?

    Sonic the Hedgehog Vocal Collection due out 2008

    Good news for those of you who, like me, love your Sonic tunes!

    It looks like we are set to see a compilation album due out early next year which will include a selection of the best vocal tracks from Sonic the hedgehog games, past and present.
    Here’s what CD Japan have to say:

    “Look back on fifteen years of “Sonic the Hedgehog” with the best vocal songs from each of the previously released “Sonic” games. Includes unreleased tracks, CD debuts, the latest remixes, and even bonus tracks from some of today’s hottest artists!”

    I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more exciting than a CD of unreleased material and remixes!

    Keep your eyes on CD Japan for updates on album art, release dates and track listings!

    Sonic 06 Unearthed

    We don’t normally cover stuff like this (hacking discoveries and whatnot), but we felt this was interesting enough to warrant a news story.

    If you’ve ever been to Sonic CulT, S2Beta, or the like, you’d know that they tend to specialize in ROM hacking, and reverse engineering of Sonic games. Local guru, Link, decided to take that a step further, and delve into Sonic the Hedgehog, for Xbox 360.

    What he found was certainly interesting.

    In addition to many nifty tweaks, such as tweaking Tails’ gameplay to not suck, he made a single key discovery; one the likes of which hadn’t been seen in a Sonic game for years beforehand. Continue reading Sonic 06 Unearthed

    Sonic ’06: PC Release Confusion

    If you’ve been reading many gaming websites or magazines (here and here) lately, you’d be forgiven for thinking that SEGA/THQ and plenty of reputable magazines had confirmed a PC release of Sonic the Hedgehog 06.

    Fan ‘theshadowofsonic’ wrote to SEGA Europe asking when the PC version may be released after realising it hadn’t hit store shelves. Both a Finnish magazine and Finnish store website had stated 28th Feb 2007 as the release date, with the former saying it was confirmed by SEGA.

    The response received, as many SSMB’ers probably know by now, was as follows:

    I’m afraid that at this time there are no plans for a PC version of Sonic the Hedgehog. I have seen this advertised on a few sites but I’m afraid that the information is not accurate.Continue reading Sonic ’06: PC Release Confusion

    Sonic ’06 Gets Amigo Team Attack

    A new downloadable was released for Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) today on the Xbox Marketplace, the all new Amigo Team Attack Episode. Once you downloadit, it becomes available through trial mode.

    In this mode, you play through the whole game as Tails, Blaze, and Omega. You first play Crisis City as Tails backwards. you then move onto Sonic’s Kingdom Valley as Tails going through the stage backwards. You then play Tropical Jungle as Blaze through Sonic’s first section. You then go to Aquatic Base as Blaze in Sonic’s second section. You then play as Omega in Dusty Desert, in a very different scenario than past level experiences. You then finish off with Omega in White Acropolis, ending with a boss fight with the Egg Genesis. Wave Ocean and Flame Core are not in this download. Continue reading Sonic ’06 Gets Amigo Team Attack

    Sonic the Hedgehog for 360 gets a price drop!

    According to Amazon.com, the 360 version of Sonic the Hedgehog (360) just got a nice price drop – from the original $59.99, now to $29.99! Hopefully this calms the nerves of those wary about trying the game out, and gives them a chance to do so with less to lose for doing so.

    Amazon page
    Thanks to Gamerguy of Sonic World for the heads up!

    Sonic 06: Very Hard Mode UK and US-bound

    In the first of three downloads, SEGA has released Very Hard Mode on to the Xbox Live Marketplace for 200 points ($4) for each character. For 200 points, you can purchase Sonic’s, Shadow’s, or Silver’s Very Hard Mode.

    You may be wondering if it’s worth it, though? Though their are lots of changes in enemy numbers and item locations, here’s the biggest differences in Very Hard Mode to the original:

    • You now play Wave Ocean in reverse and must jump to the platforms on your own during the whale chase scene.
    • Sonic now plays Dusty Desert on his own (without Elise).
    • Silver’s Crisis City is now way longer with no Blaze section.
    • Sonic’s Flame Core is reversed.
    • Continue reading Sonic 06: Very Hard Mode UK and US-bound

    SONIC The Hedgehog Confirmed For PC In Australia

    Up until now details surrounding the PC release of SONIC The Hedgehog have been vague and scattered, however SONIC NEWS have discovered numerous sources which have confirmed the title’s impending release in Australia.

    THQ, whom are responsible for distributing SEGA and Sonic titles in Australia have listed SONIC the Hedgehog for PC in their upcoming release list for retailers. Numerous Australian online video game retailers (Listed below) have in turn listed SONIC the Hedgehog for PC with a Thursday 15th March release date with an RRP of $79.99. Curiously enough, the title will be released on PC more than a whole week before its local PS3 debut.

    This new information combined with the earlier pieces of evidence can be taken as confirmation that SONIC the Hedgehog will indeed be appearing on PC very soon. Continue reading SONIC The Hedgehog Confirmed For PC In Australia

    Sonic Next-Gen PC release date and specs announced!

    Finnish gaming magazine Pelit announces release date and system specs for Sonic Next-Gen for the PC in their latest issue. The game ships from SEGA on February 28th. Along the fact of the confirmed release date from SEGA (who announced it as February 2007 recently) the magazine has also released the game system specs.

    OS: Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP
    CPU: Pentium3 1GHz or faster
    Memory: 128MB RAM or more
    HDD: 3GB or more
    12x CD-drive
    64 MB Graphics card (DirectX 9.0c compatible)
    Sound card (DirectX 9.0c compatible)

    Sonic Stadium will keep you updated on the PC release of the game.

    Sonic Next downloadable content revealed!

    According to The GHZ, the optional downloadable content for Sonic the Hedgehog has finally been revealed, and is available for download on both Xbox 360 and the recently-release Playstation 3 version in Japan for about 350 yen each (about $2.89 USD).

    But what is it, you ask?

    Well, we’ll tell you – “Very Hard Mode”! Sega continues their cliche of optional increased difficulty levels, with three versions for download – one for each character (Sonic, Shadow, and Silver). The download is labeled as “1st Download,” which hints towards more possible content in the future. However, so far, no other downloads are available; no fixes for glitches, no faster loading times, etc.

    Stay tuned to Sonic News for further updates!

    Sonic 06 Nominated for GamePro award

    In the latest issue of the American game magazine “GamePro”, Sonic the Hedgehog 06 has been nominated for the magazine’s “Reader’s Choice Action/Adventure Game of the Year” award. The game is going against some very strong contenders, including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Okami.

    For those of you whom wish to take part in the awards, you can access them through GamePro’s website via the following link: http://www.gamepro.com/rca/sweepstakes.cfm

    Oddly enough, Sonic the Hedgehog scored a 2.75/5 in the very same issue.

    Special thanks to Neo Hazard of SSMB for providing the news.

    Sonic Next for PC confirmed!

    According to a scan of the back of the Sonic Riders PC manual, and Amazon.com, what Sonic Next fans without any of those newfangled consoles have been waiting for is no longer just a nice idea!

    zomg?

    Thanks to Shadow Hog of The GHZ for pointing this out – perhaps this will bring new opportunities to fans of the new Sonic game, eh?

    US: SONIC the Hedgehog Bombs At Retail

    According to the latest monthly report from NPD Funworld, the well known video game sales tracking company, Sonic the Hedgehog was a huge bomb last month at US retail, selling a total 38,000 units throughout it’s first two weeks.

    For the unlearned, these numbers are very, very bad for a series like Sonic, which can often garner anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 in it’s launch month.

    Despite the ad blitz Sega put behind the game, it seems ultimately, the games poor reception from the press and gamers alike was it’s downfall. Only time will tell if it’s sales will shape up.

    PAL: SONIC The Hedgehog Hits Top Ten

    Let’s face it, SONIC The Hedgehog has fought an uphill battle since the first critical impressions leaked out in early November. This, however, it seems has not managed to slow Sonic at all, with the new title reaching top ten XBox 360 sales charts in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

    In the United Kingdom, SONIC The Hedgehog has fallen from it’s position in ninth place last week to a still reputable tenth place.

    1 Gears of War
    2 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas
    3 Call of Duty 3
    4 Pro Evolution Soccer 6
    5 FIFA 07
    6 WWE Smackdown! Vs. RAW 2007
    7 Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
    8 Need For Speed: Carbon
    9 Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent
    10 Sonic the Hedgehog

    UK charts provided by ELSPA. Continue reading PAL: SONIC The Hedgehog Hits Top Ten

    Sonic the Hedgehog suffers another delay

    Just as fans of Sonic the Hedgehog had eagerly awaited the launch of Sonic’s newest high definition outing for the XBox 360, they are awaiting the Playstation 3 version in hope that SEGA has patched the coding errors in the game that managed to lessen the gameplay experience on Microsoft’s next generation console. But is the wait really that short? Online journalism website Gamespot seems to disagree.

    As a rather ‘last-minute’ update to their Sonic the Hedgehog section for Playstation 3, they have changed the debut date for the Blue Blur’s Sony outing to January 30th, 2007.

    Quite a kick in the bollocks for those fans whom camped out for days waiting for Sony’s newest console, however all is not lost – you could always hoard your console with videos to pass away the time. You’ve done most of the deed, now it’s time for the waiting game.

    Famitsu Scores Sonic

    The latest Famitsu magazine has hit store shelves in Japan, and the four editors have rated Sonic the Hedgehog on XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 rather healthily.

    Sonic’s latest adventure was rated on both next generation platforms and received overall scores of 30/40 and 29/40 respectively. A bit of a surprising score considering the general panning the game has had from other outlets, stranger still rating the 360 version higher than the PS3 offering.

    Famitsu is regarded as the ultimate gaming tome in the land of the rising sun, and is even highly respected in Western circles. Their reviews are hyper-critical most times, and feature four writers or editors assessing the game and each giving a score out of 10. As such, games scoring 30 or higher out of a possible 40 is seen as a promising assessment. Continue reading Famitsu Scores Sonic

    SEGA Announces Advertising Campaign

    While avid Sonic fans are entertaining themselves with their newly acquired games for both the PSP and XBox 360, SEGA has begun to step a bit further into comsumer space to advertise these games (Sonic the Hedgehog on XBox 360 and Sonic Rivals on PSP) to a more expansive audience via Microsoft’s own advertisement network.

    On the fourth of December, an agreement was signed with Microsoft to launch a theme pack for Windows Live Messenger, that allows users to easily and effectively have their conversation windows remind them of the blue blur himself.

    The Head of Marketing at SEGA UK, Tina Hicks, also had a comment regarding the newly signed agreement: “We have a wide audience to reach and converse with. The MSN theme pack enables users to interact with the Sonic brand in a way that is not possible with standard online advertising or rich media, which can be a far more passive way of talking to consumers.”

    From the description of the theme pack given, it sounds as if it will feature a complete Live overhaul – this, of course, includes winks, emotions, and backgrounds. A release date for the theme pack and starting date for the advertising campaign has yet to be announced.

    Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)

    It has arrived. After changing the formula with Sonic Heroes and getting mixed responses, the Team have gone back to basics and stuck with what works. The result is a mixture of Sonic Adventure’s town stages and level structure and Sonic Adventure 2’s involving plot lines. Now we’ve hit the next generation of consoles, does the tried and tested work in Sonic the Hedgehog?

    Well, you would think so, but it’s all a bit of a mixed bag. From the moment you turn on the game you’re introduced to a series of wonderful cutscenes. As ever, the CG team behind these stunning pieces need awards or something. Impressively, sequences using in-game graphics look amazing too. The difference between CG and in-game cutscene is very slight, you really couldn’t tell the difference.

    The story is involved and very entertaining, and if you can forgive the plotholes here and there (and the irritating “Lose-Princess-Save-Princess-Lose-Princess” structure of Sonic’s Episode), it can easily rival Sonic Adventure 2 for its mature premise and ultimate foreboding in the Last Episode. Voice acting is your typical Sonic fare – they should probably all button it. Jason doesn’t put a foot wrong as Shadow though, and Mike Pollock does Eggman further justice. Lacey Chabert’s role is really rather token but she makes the most of it.

    The levels are varied and have many decent challenges within them.

    One thing this game has gotten perfect is the personality and animation of the characters. The graphics are pretty basic for a next generation console, but for a Sonic game they are more than adequate. The one thing the series has lacked until now is a perfect personality representation of the characters. The moment Sonic bounces into view you know our cocky hedgehog is back. Hell, we even like Shadow again now, as his new role is pretty badass. Seeing Omega do hilarious standby animations by rotating and scratching his robotic belly is a joy to behold when passing the time.

    While looking superb, the characters control pretty well too. For those new to the game, it can be a bit of an adjustment as even Sonic is considerably slower than in past games. This is not a bad thing; in fact it’s perfect. Unlike Sonic Heroes or Shadow, where moving forward a little bit would result in you speeding off with little traction, the inertia here from walking to running speed suits Sonic just right. Sonic’s attacks have been stripped so that only his bounce attack and homing dash will actually destroy enemies. Just jumping does nothing, which is just a little bit irritating. There will be times when the bounce attack is executed when trying to do a Light Dash, and the Spin Dash can only be used from standstill. Otherwise, Sonic plays pretty well. Just not with as much accessibility as we’d have liked.

    Shadow plays much better without guns. He has a homing attack melee move, which can knock down an enemy’s health bar considerably. This is a great move because we really, really hate enemies with health bars in Sonic games. They shouldn’t exist. Far from being cheap, it makes your level flow a bit better. The vehicles work much better too, although you will hate the town missions involving jeeps and motorcycles. It’s not without its moments of tedium but simply put, Shadow the Hedgehog should have played like this.

    Silver adds a new dimension to the game that is enjoyable to play.

    Silver’s the new kid on the block, and his levels are very enjoyable. You can pick up items and lob them at enemies, use your PK to cross-large areas and hover across gaps. It’s a welcome gameplay addition, and it’s just a shame many of his levels are marred with slowdown. Each character has a special meter for powers – Silver can use his PK energy to lift items, Shadow can use Chaos Boost to perform major attacks, and Sonic can customise his abilities with shoe gems purchased from the shops. Obtaining new abilities via shop is novel, but very simple as you always collect more rings than you need. Aside from Silver, you won’t be using your special abilities most of the time, as Sonic’s gems usually just get in the way and Shadow is more than adequate without Chaos Boost.

    Amigo characters are annoying at the worst of times, with jumps not harming enemies, leaving them to defend themselves using crummy close range moves. Knuckles’ attacks you can get the hang of, but it’s no great shakes, while Tails’ item box bomb instead of his tail whip is just plain lazy. The amigos serve to be more frustrating than enjoyable; especially considering Knuckles/Rouge can’t even jump off a climbed wall 90% of the time.

    Interview: Return to the Remix Factory

    UK based music production studio Remix Factory have come a long long way, but you wouldn’t think that one of the main areas they’re making waves in is the Sonic community. The studio, who are all pure Sonic fans through and through, first made an impact making two remixed tracks for Shadow the Hedgehog.

    Now studio head Lee Brotherton (aka LB, who has actually dabbled in amateur Sonic remixes under alias ‘LeeBro’) has a much bigger role in producing new tracks for the Sonic series. Including work on Sonic the Hedgehog and upcoming Sonic Rivals, LB also has a solo album via Remix Factory coming out, and is pushing for a UK release of the next gen OST. We sat down and had a chin-wag with the dude and play catch-up.

    • Visit the Remix Factory website to find out more about their upcoming projects!
    • Check ‘Music’ and ‘Solo Projects’ on the site for a brand new Dreams of an Absolution remix!

    TSS: LB from Remix Factory, it’s a pleasure to speak to you again. It must have been fun working on the new soundtrack, especially now you have a bigger part to play. Can you give us a little commentary on your work for Silver’s theme, Dreams of an Absolution? How you approached it, the process of the track, what was most difficult about working on it…
    LB: It was a lot of fun, but very hectic. Especially doing ‘Rivals’, album promo and other remixes simultaneously. The meaning behind DOAA was actually first-hand experience from something I was going through at the time – which was completely unintentional – but with a little extra spin I managed to make it very relevant to Silver and the general game plot of ‘changing the past’ . I wanted to write it in a way that was relatable as a song so if someone heard the lyrics they wouldn’t instantly assume it was written for a character from a video-game.

    TSS: You’re credited to doing Silver’s theme, but has Remix Factory worked on any other pieces for the game’s soundtrack?
    LB: For ‘Sonic’ I’ve done some more production work (as DOAA wasn’t produced by myself) but I can’t talk about that just yet. It’ll be a pleasant surprise.

    TSS: What was your approach musically when you understood that Sonic the Hedgehog was to be a ‘back to the roots’ kind of game? How did the atmosphere, story and ambiance of the game help direct your work on the project?
    LB: Well, as you know, I’m a huge Sonic fan so I’d already seen early footage of the game when they asked me to work on the soundtrack and knew the music had to match the gameplay excitement, anticipation and plot intensity and drama that a rebirth to the series would inevitably have. Coupled with my personal excitement and anticipation for the game made things quite easy. (And yes, I’ve already noticed the similarity in the bridges of DOAA to the original Green Hill music too!)

    TSS: When we last spoke to you on the Shadow soundtrack, your nature of work was very remote, working on tracks and using the grand ol’ Internet to send copy to Jun Senoue. Did you work on Sonic the Hedgehog in the same way, given that you created original pieces for the soundtrack and had a lot more involvement in the project?
    LB: Believe it not, yes. I did eventually meet the team when work had started but before and long after then it was all done online. It was slightly crazy because I was using SEGA USA to help communicate with SEGA of Japan but on the odd occasion when I couldn’t quite understand what was being said I had to e-mail America again for them to translate! But it was all part of the fun, we had a giggle. Another issue though was the deadlines – try syncing up with San Francisco and Tokyo when it’s a sleepy Sunday afternoon in the UK and you’re still recovering from a press party and a chest infection… ah memories…

    TSS: It seems you’re pushing for an official UK release of the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack. This will no doubt please a lot of fans if this turns out to be successful – what exactly are you guys doing to help bring the OST over here and do you think it could happen?
    LB: I work very closely with a lot of labels here in the UK and when I mentioned the idea to SEGA they basically said ‘why the Hell not?’ It’s tough because I’m honestly not sure how certain labels will view the marketability of a project like a Sonic soundtrack. The response I’ve had so far has been incredibly enthusiastic so who knows, it’s very possible but I’m not holding my breath just yet.

    TSS: We understand Remix Factory is releasing their own album soon too, would you like to tell us more about it? Will it all be remixed material or some original compositions too?
    LB: Haha! It’s a common misconception. The Remix Factory album is basically my album as a recording artist. The reason it’s going under the Factory name is because it’s partially collaborative. It’s all brand new original material – aside from the odd couple of covers. It’s just been promoted in Europe and Asia and now (finally) has a confirmed release for next year. The new artist website has been implemented so that people can find out more about the Remix Factory album and follow its progress towards release.

    TSS: As an overall package, what is the best thing about the soundtrack to Sonic the Hedgehog? Do you feel it’s a set of tracks that effectively captures the personality of the series?
    LB: That’s a difficult question because, as you have said before, it’s slightly unfair to compare ‘Sonic’ to the rest of the series since it’s supposed to be a rebirth. However it’s incredibly hard not to. The best thing about the music is that it captures the look and feel of the new title perfectly, especially the gameplay – in my opinion. Also I was mighty impressed with the production. Haha! I’m such a suck up! But seriously, I really do love the new soundtrack and I’m just so happy it’s being received with the warmth it deserves.

    TSS: Finally, what’s your favourite Sonic soundtrack and why? And what’s your favourite track on the StH soundtrack? We have a massive favouring for Wave Ocean – The Inlet and the White Acropolis tracks.
    LB: In terms of composure I’d probably say ‘Sonic 3 and Knuckles’ – it’s a classic! But soundtracks on a whole I’d say ‘Sonic Adventure’ – but I have a sneaky feeling the new ‘Sonic’ soundtrack might rival it. I love the Wave Ocean track too, but my other favourites are the final boss from the last story and one from the vocal collection – which you’ll have to wait for because I’ve had my wrist slapped for saying
    too much about that already!!

    TSS: I guess you’re not going to talk even if we tortured you Casino Royale style eh? Thanks for speaking to us LB, great to catch up.

    SEGA DIRECT Offers “Sonic ’06 Vocal Trax”

    SEGA of Japan is pre-ordering a CD on their SEGA DIRECT site with all 7 SONIC the Hedgehog ’06 vocal songs. The CD, temporarily titled “SONIC THE HEDGEHOG VOCAL TRAX” is selling for 1,905 yen. The pre-order ends November 30th, so get it while you can.

    Although the exact track list is undecided, is it said that Zebrahead will be on the CD for sure, with their song “His World”. It’s also safe to assume that Sweet Sweet Sweet remix by Dreams Come True and Akon and the other vocal songs in SONIC the Hedgehog ’06 will be added on.

    If you can buy off of SEGA DIRECT, here’s a great addition to your Sonic soundtrack library, or maybe a stocking stuffer. 😉 Stay tuned for more SONIC the Hedgehog news coming soon.

    The Spin: 8 Out of 10 Prats

    So Sonic the Hedgehog has been released in the US, and all the media outlets are going wild. SEGA have bigged this up supreme and all the fans are clamouring to see if this really is a return to form after Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog. Reviews are trickling out already, and as I suspected, they are all very sporadic. And crap.

    Upon a quick scan of the SSMB searching for collated review scores, one website thinks it’s rubbish and another thinks it’s simply superb. I don’t think the situation will get any better with other professional outlets. There’s simply too much bias in the world – particularly in the US media – to ascertain whether Sonic the Hedgehog is truly good or bad at all. You’ll no doubt see a few magazines that will mark it down severely for one reason or another, and another selection will rate it one of the best in the series to date…

    What does it all boil down to? The past. Yes, that classic little chestnut. Reading one website’s score of 5.5 filled me with no satisfaction whatsoever, as it became apparent that the reviewers were still stuck in 1994. Can you expect the game to be exactly as the Mega Drive outings, only in 3D? No. Of course not. That’s just plain stupid. Even Super Mario went through a massive change when he hit the 3D space.

    Do levels like these scare fanboys so much to give an inaccurate judgement?

    It was obvious that someone was expecting a story not unlike Sonic 3 & Knuckles, with few characters, straightforward plot (although some might contest that, regarding S3&K) and no confusing controls. And this is the crux of the matter – this is where every Classic Fanboy’s brain is rooted, to the point where their minds cannot accept rational thought or objective analysis. The mechanics of the game.

    “Is Sonic the Hedgehog on XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 supposed to be a return to form for the series?” A simple question at first, easily responded with a ‘Yes’, but let’s get a bit more specific. A better poser would be “Is Sonic the Hedgehog on XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 supposed to be the Mega Drive games, only in 3D?”

    All of a sudden, you’ve tapped into just why people are giving the game crap scores. This game is not meant to be a modernised Mega Drive game. Throughout its entire development it has been earmarked as a renovation of the series – a complete change in dynamic. We shouldn’t be looking at this game and comparing it with Sonic 1 or even Sonic Heroes, because Sonic the Hedgehog has started fresh. It has cleared the slate. On some levels, it’s like every game before it never existed.

    And that is the correct way of thinking when reviewing Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s a brand new game. The characters are all the same, sure, and the general aim of each level may be similar. But the emphasis on a deeper storyline, the co-existence with humans on a grander scale, and the execution of the gameplay elements altogether distance this from any other Sonic before it. Put simply, you are wrong to be looking at this game and even considering any of the past games, especially when it comes to comparisons.

    The large change in story development and game play mechanic is too much for some fans.

    In an ideal world, every single game reviewed should be based on its merits instead of whether its franchise is going down the pan. Naturally though, the game’s plus and minus points have to be considered – I’m not at all suggesting that rational analysis be thrown out of the window just to entertain the idea that it’s a brand new game. But when you consider the majority of people disliking the modern games all have this anal desire to be 7 years old again (remember, things seemed better than they actually were when you were a kid – for instance, I used to like Geri Haliwell!), you start to wonder whether these outlets really have anything of worth to discuss.

    Of course, I’m not too impressed reading US reviews of the game that give it 9.5 out of 10 and saying it’s the best thing ever, without even considering there may be a few niggles in the programming. Can’t we just for once, in the world of The GHZs and Sonic Passions, have an objective middle ground? Where the games in the series are ranked on their own merit instead of past successes? Where flaws are rationally pointed out instead of ignored because “it’s so awesome” (or even blown out of proportion because “it sucks so bad”)?

    I try to do this every day, both on TSS and other outlets that I work for – and seeing reviews like this just make my face fall and wonder why anyone bothers wasting their attention reading such publications. By all means judge the games for yourself after reading professional reviews – they are only meant to be a guideline.

    However, if you don’t have the money and are counting on a journalist’s opinion, make sure you read the article thoroughly, because there are giveaways to be spotted when a writer isn’t judging the game fairly. It’s in their tone, style and general stance on the whole game. Reviews are meant to be unbiased and looking at the game’s strong and weak points in a balanced way. If you don’t see this in a review – and I’ve not seen it in any Sonic the Hedgehog review to date – then do yourself a favour and trust a well-informed friend or outlet instead.

    Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 Released in US

    While we can do nothing but wonder why the US omits their ‘u’ in words like honour and release video games on the Tuesday of every week (bit random), lucky Americans will be waking up to find that the next generation Sonic the Hedgehog is released today.

    The press release we got sent this morning pretty much alludes what we already know, but humorously includes such continuity gems such as this: “For the first time in the franchise’s history, Sonic and the rest of the cast will also enter the human realm.

    Indeed. Early birds that pre-ordered the game over the pond will be able to grab some limited edition postcards, in a deal that appears to be mirrored in GAME stores across the UK. EB Games are also promising a free 15th Anniversary figurine with purchases of Sonic the Hedgehog in their stores. Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 Released in US

    Sonic To Miss PS3 Launch

    SEGA America have announced that the PlayStation 3 version of Sonic the Hedgehog will no longer be released in time for the console’s launch, instead being delayed until an unspecified time in “Holiday 2006”.

    The reasons for the delay appear to be involving downloadable content for the game, wherein SEGA are said to need more time incorporating this feature into the PS3 version. With the extra time, potential PS3 owners could download items and levels, although SEGA would not confirm just what they have planned for this service.

    No mention was made of an alteration to the XBOX 360 version release date, so there is a likelihood that the 360 may still see a November 17th street date for the US. The release date for the game in Europe remains unchanged for November 24th.

    Expect The Sonic Stadium to get a massive playtest of the game and to have a special during the launch week where we reveal all about the next generation of blue blur platforming.

    SONIC the Hedgehog USA Game Site Updated

    The american SONIC the hedgehog site (Link in the “MORE INFORMATION” box at the foot of this page) has undergone a large and interesting update, now including official renders of all of the game’s main stars and fascinating new information about them and the game’s aspects! The new images show Amy Rose (Sonic’s self proclaimed girlfriend), Blaze the cat, Knuckles the echidna, Rouge the bat and E-123 Omega (Special thanks to “Genius Prof Rick” of the SSMB forums for ripping the following renders):

    Amy Rose

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Continue reading SONIC the Hedgehog USA Game Site Updated

    Sonic The Hedgehog XBox 360 Demo Released

    After taunting us with barrages of screens and trailers, SEGA has finally come good with a playable demo of the much anticipated upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog title. Available now via the Xbox 360 Marketplace in the US and Japan, the demo weighs in at 315MB including a short playable Sonic stage and a trailer for Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, included as part of Microsoft’s current “Bring it Home” campaign for the upcoming X06 event.

    Given that it’s one of the smallest downloadable demos available, there’s no excuse why any Xbox 360 owner or Sonic fan shouldn’t grab it immediately. As first comments about the demo are just beginning to slowly trickle in, check back later today for some early impressions.

    Over the next few days TSS will too be overhauling a major content update, make sure you check out the TSS Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic And The Secret Rings pages later this week for the much overdue but well worth the wait updates.

    Dreams Come True song features in Sonic Nextgen


    A new trailer surfacing on the Internet showcases an aspect of the new Sonic the Hedgehog game that not many fans were anticipating – the inclusion of ‘Sweet Sweet Sweet’, a song more commonly known as the ending theme to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Sega Megadrive.

    You can watch the new trailer by RIGHT CLICKING HERE and selecting ‘Save Target/Link As…’. For a split second, the trailer also shows Silver battling a boss (likely Iblis or an Iblissy creature) with Blaze following beside him. Continue reading Dreams Come True song features in Sonic Nextgen

    Princess Elise’s voice actor interviewed!

    Lacey Chabert, voice actor for the new character in the upcoming NextGen title, “Sonic the Hedgehog” (PS3/360), sits down for an interview with GameSpy, where the two discuss many aspects of both her career, and the new Sonic game. The interview will be transcripted here for your reading pleasure (Original Interview by GameSpy): Continue reading Princess Elise’s voice actor interviewed!

    Sonic the Hedgehog site updated, trailer released

    Thats right, folks. The website for Sonic’s big next gen title, aptly named “Sonic the Hedgehog”, has seen a huge make over, with new info to boot. You can access the website here.

    The site is entirely in Japanese, and may have some trouble loading. If you have trouble loading pages, just reload the page and everything should work.

    With the complete redesign of the website, comes some interesting new info. Firstly, it is now confirmed (via ambiguous sillohoutte outlinings) that Knuckles, Tails, Blaze, Omega, Rouge, and Amy WILL be in the game. But judging by the size and placement of the pics, they will not be playable. Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog site updated, trailer released