Happy New Year Everyone!
We hope you’ve all enjoyed whatever celebrations you’ve attended over the past weeks, and are looking forward to what the New Year has to offer! 2010 has been and gone, and boy it’s sure been a rollercoaster year! We’ve seen the long-awaited Sonic the Hedgehog 4 released and met with mixed reviews. We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the new cast of Sonic voice actors and with how fantastic a title Sonic Colo(u)rs turned out to be. Some of us got the opportunity to rock out with Crush 40 at Summer of Sonic ’10, and some of us have probably fallen over while trying to play Sonic Free Riders.
If you’re resident to the UK then no doubt your parents or grandparents will have insisted on watching the Queen’s speech on Christmas day, where our majesty usually talks about something relevant to the past year’s events. Well, I’m not royalty, but I’d like to talk to you guys and gals about friendship and tolerance. One of the things that makes this fan base so unique is the variety of talent and knowledge that you all harbour…not to mention the kindness, the generosity and the good nature you all display on a regular basis. I know a lot of you have forged strong friendships and have even found love through a mutual passion for Sonic. These principles of friendship are undoubtedly the backbone to many elements of what this community provides from general day-to-day conversations on the forums to real life meet-ups. Another thing that makes the community special in many ways is the diversity of opinions. I’ve always maintained we’d have one pretty boring world if we all agreed on everything, and it’s been rewarding to have lengthy discussions debating music, games and merchandise with many of you over the many years I’ve been a part of this community. I’m sure many of you who share the same passion will have had similar experiences.
Of course sometimes this passion can mean we lead with our heart and not with our minds, and from time to time discussion can become heated. More often than not the result causes an exchange of words that serves any purpose but to antagonise the other party. I am pleased to say that over the last year I’ve seen a massive decline in this happening in the comments on articles or on the SSMB forums, and I hope that you guys will continue this attitude, as well as to extend this to our brethren across all other sites and forums as well. Opinions are exactly that: opinions. We are all allowed to have them, and regardless of whether or not you agree with them, you have to respect the opinions of others. I hope TSS will continue to be a place where thoughts, feelings and opinions can be shared and discussed constructively.
Our network of friends continues to expand every year, and we are pleased to have been able to add many new names to the list of sites we communicate with, and we hope to add more to that this year as well as reinforce our bonds with those we already work with. 2010 has also seen our connections with SEGA grow even stronger; this has included opportunities for exclusive news, but it has most notably manifested with the increasing support we have had for the Summer of Sonic convention. I’m sure that the near thousand-strong crowd who came along to play games before anyone else, to pick up prizes and freebies available nowhere else and to see the UK’s first Crush 40 performance will agree that this event was something special.
These things don’t just pop into existence however; without the creative powers of Dreadknux (our very own Svend Joscelyne) and AAUK (Mr. Kevin Eva, SoE) to mobilise the massive undertaking, without the financial support from SEGA, and without the band of merry men and women from TSS, Sonic Wrecks, Emerald Coast, Nights Into Dreams (who will also be celebrating NiGHTS 15th anniversary this year!) and so forth, Summer of Sonic simply wouldn’t happen.
Our ties with SEGA still don’t end there though; we’ve also been fortunate enough to have been in a position to be able to give our feedback on games such as Sonic the Hedgehog 4 directly thanks to SEGA Community Events (attended by our very own Brad Flick late last year). Events like these are heralding the beginning of a paradigm shift to an era in which SEGA are listening more and more to what the community and to what the fans want. Even if you don’t think Sonic 4 is the perfect title, the feedback our community contributes will assist future direction to the franchise. For those of you were totally unimpressed with the title, exercise tolerance; creating the perfect game is surely an iterative process, and thus we should exercise patience as frustrating as it is. In any case I toast AAUK, RubyEclipse (Mr. Aaron Webber, SoA) and the many others who have taken the time to make this their mission to talk to us fans, and hope they will continue their work on into 2011 and beyond.
For those of you still sceptical, then I invite you to come along to Summer of Sonic this year and meet fellow fans for yourself. Dread often talks of something that has now become affectionately known as “SoS syndrome” – the fantastic feeling you get from coming along to Summer of Sonic, and which usually lingers for weeks after the event. I’m sure it will change your mind.
So what does 2011 have in store for us? Well it looks like there are two or three new Sonic titles to look forward to, as well as Sonic’s 20th anniversary, which is already being teased by SEGA of Japan’s website. Of course if that wasn’t enough, you can expect Summer of Sonic ’11 in June as well; I can guarantee you won’t want to miss this year’s festivities! As per usual we’ll have some awesome stuff to give away to you guys as well, so keep your peepers peeled for new competitions just around the corner!
On behalf of all the staff here at TSS, I wish all of you the best for the year to come, and we hope you all enjoy sharing and celebrating two decades of Sonic the Hedgehog with friends new and old with us here at the Sonic Stadium!
T-Bird, TSS Staff