The Spin: NiGHTS Journey of Dreams is Sonic Team’s Most Underrated Game

If you’re visiting this site, chances are you have a guilty pleasure or two made by Sonic Team. A game with flaws that you overlook because there is something else about it you love. I myself have enjoyed a few Sonic games that are, at best, divisive. But out of all of Sonic Team’s less critically acclaimed games, there are none that I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of than Takashi Iizuka’s NiGHTS sequel, Journey of Dreams.

My feelings on JoD have always been…mixed. But in recent years, I‘ve come to realize it shares more qualities with Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 than some of Sonic Team’s less well-thought-of games. Like the Adventure games, JoD has its flaws, and there are many parts of the game I never return to, and some areas I just don’t like. But what I enjoy, I enjoy a lot, and I’ve gotten hours of entertainment out of periodically returning to them over the years. At this point, it’s probably my favorite Sonic Team game from the post-Dreamcast, pre-Colors era. It is, in my mind, their most underappreciated game from this entire period.

Before I get into the good or the bad, I should probably layout what the game is, right?

Continue reading The Spin: NiGHTS Journey of Dreams is Sonic Team’s Most Underrated Game

The Spin: So About Those SEGA NFTs… (Updated)

Update: On May 4, Double Jump.Tokyo announced plans to move onto an Asset Mirroring System to diversify cryptocurrency payment sources and move towards environmentally sustainable options.

Almost a week ago, TSS reported on SEGA buying a stake in Double Jump.Tokyo and announcing plans to mint and sell NFTs. According to the official press release, SEGA expects to sell NFTs of art and music assets from classic SEGA IP, and plans to incorporate the technology into new IP – to which the reaction from Sonic fans on social media were mainly negative.

Debates have since ensued over what does and doesn’t constitute an environmental impact, and whether or not NFTs themselves contribute to that environmental impact. The short answer is, no, SEGA’s NFTs won’t dramatically contribute to the massive global resource sink that is crypto mining. However, this investment indisputably moves SEGA into that economy, and that itself has caused concern for many fans, including myself with regards to what direction their business is moving. In this article, we will address what exactly the technology is, why it’s controversial, and why I personally am concerned.

So let’s address this by first starting with the baseline. What is the blockchain, what is cryptocurrency, and what is an NFT?

Blockchain technology is a manner of storing data where all new data is grouped into chunks (or “blocks”) and added to the end of a long running chain of data. Each chunk has a unique ID or a “hash,” and the blockchain knows what order all the blocks are in because each block contains the hash of the previous block. Because you can only add new blocks at the end of the chain, blockchains act as a running record, or a timeline, of the data. Every person participating in the blockchain keeps copy of the blockchain and becomes partially responsible for helping maintain the blockchain.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are two of the most widely used cryptocurrencies today, and they both currently require “mining” to sustain themselves. The currency itself is the reward users are issued for helping create new blocks and, in turn, helping maintain the blockchain. But the process of creating new blocks is like having your computer play a guessing game with every other mining computer.

I’m oversimplifying this, but here’s basically what happens:

The blockchain needs to get its next block because it contains all the new transaction data that it needs to store (stuff like “Sonic transferred 0.01 Ethereum to Tails”). It does so by incentivizing miners to figure out what the next block’s hash will be. Using an algorithm, your computer processor churns out guesses as quickly as it can. If it can correctly guess what the new hash will be, the new block is created, and the first person to do it gets awarded with some cryptocurrency for doing so. To find the “right” guess for the next hash, miners could be attempting tens of millions of incorrect guesses before a new block is made.

So if you have a computer that can process hash guesses faster than others in this constant worldwide lottery, you have a better chance at “winning” the next block’s reward. Or if you have a really nice GPU capable of mining. Or a whole rack of computers. Or an entire warehouse. Or an industrial complex strategically located near a cheap coal-fueled power grid. All of those processors doing all that computing work to produce tens of millions of wrong guess calculations just so the blockchain can process another ten or fifteen seconds of data, and only one person or business (or pool of people) gets rewarded each time.

Much like cryptocurrency, NFTs are a kind of data that can be stored in a blockchain. NFTs are a piece of metadata that specify a URL to a file, and an owner. So, for example, if I’m a digital artist, and I want to sell my work, I can host it on a server (or find a hosting service), use a service to create an NFT of that art, and sell it on a marketplace with whatever selling rules I choose attached to it. The catch is, it will be bought with cryptocurrency, because NFTs are generally sold in cryptocurrency marketplaces. However, any NFT runs into at least one important risk: if that file specified by the NFT ever disappears from the server, or if the server outright goes away, (or if you run into complications with marketplaces and terms of service) you may eventually wind up owning a dead URL.

Because the whole crypto economy is still in wild flux, a lot of companies are making very public, often cynically motivated moves into crypto to wrangle quick profit out of it, to establish themselves as impact-making players in the crypto space, or to just avoid being left behind. Kodak tried and failed to gain foot in that space, right before moving into pharmaceuticals (no really, they actually did that). You may remember that time years ago when a New York iced tea bottler spiked their stock value by changing their name to “Long Blockchain Corp.” The current NFT boom was in part sparked by the NBA selling collectable video clips, the rarest of which are reselling for literally hundred of thousands of dollars. You can bet every entertainment company is discussing NFTs internally whether they actually intend to mint them or not. And if they aren’t discussing it, their investors are.

Maintaining a blockchain does require a certain amount of power across all the computers working within it, but when people discuss the ecological impact of cryptocurrency and NFTs, they usually mean mining. So long as cryptocurrencies hold significant monetary value, there will be an arms race to get them, and the only ways to compete are through either size or efficiency, and both come with huge caveats.

The majority of mining still uses some combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, with more half of all energy consumption coming from non-renewable sources. More miners and bigger miners mean more demand on power plants. Hydroelectric stations can only produce power at a certain rate, while wind and solar can only generate power when conditions are optimal. However, mining is a process that demands consistent and intensive power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thus miners turn to fossil fuel plants, like coal, oil, or natural gas.

When these fossil fuels burn, they release toxins and great amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (this is what people mean when they refer to a “carbon footprint”). Far, far more than we normally make with our lungs. More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means higher global temperature because carbon dioxide traps the heat generated by our sun’s radiation. Higher global temperature means disrupted weather patterns. Hotter hots, harsher and more frequent storms, and the oceans slowly encroaching on coastline. On top of the environmental impact, electricity is subject to supply and demand, so higher electrical demand means higher cost for everyone on that electrical grid.

Continued development of more efficient mining technology may, at best, only briefly mitigate the problem. Many cryptocurrency blockchains are designed in such a way that the complexity of the algorithm needed to find the next hash increases once a certain number of blocks are formed. More complexity means more computing power needed, and thus the only possible way more efficient mining could actually work is if advancement itself outpaces the rate that blocks are mined.

So with ALL that out of the way, let’s get back to SEGA.

SEGA entered agreement with and bought a stake in Double Jump.Tokyo, a blockchain/crypto-focused company whose central game My Crypto Heroes allows users to buy and sell game characters and items on crypto marketplaces. My Crypto Heroes’ economy runs on Ethereum, the second most prolific cryptocurrency, just behind Bitcoin. Ethereum is a Proof-of-Work blockchain where anyone’s chance of getting a payday is proportional to the amount of processing power they’re contributing, thus, it is a currency that encourages competitive mining. Ethereum has expressed interest in moving towards a Proof-of-Stake structure that limits who can mine and how much, but they haven’t fully executed on that yet, plus even Proof-of-Stake systems still requires some amount of mining.

We do not yet know what cryptocurrency system SEGA will be operating in, but Ethereum remains at the heart of the NFT marketplace as we currently know it, and Double Jump.Tokyo itself currently deals in Ethereum. Even if SEGA does not do any mining themselves, they will likely be entering an economy that is built on the back of mining.

Thus, opinion splits here:

Do you believe that any engagement with a wasteful mining system is tacit acceptance or approval of that system? OR do you believe SEGA should only be held accountable for what they are directly doing?

Wherever you fall with that will be purely philosophical.

My personal feelings on SEGA selling NFTs is in how it represents them as a business and how they treat their own legacy of games. There isn’t any need use NFTs to make digital collectables. SEGA has made both physical and digital collectables for years through their mobile games, their MMOs, and their partnerships with toy companies. NFTs in concept aren’t a hot new idea. They’re an old idea in a much more obtuse package with a lot of strings attached.

While most of SEGA’s traditional customers don’t own or use Bitcoin or Ethereum, SEGA still sees NFTs as enough of a priority to buy part of a company and get in on crypto. I don’t know if SEGA legitimately sees a long-term plan for positioning themselves in the crypto space, but if they are, selling scans of classic game art is an unambitious and uncreative start.

Optimistically, I’d say that this is just a business diversification that they can divest out of if (when) the bubble bursts. Pessimistically, this is SEGA joining the blockchain to make investors happy or to chase a big pay off. I am not implying in any way that this is SEGA moving away from publishing traditional video games. But companies build reputation by having a clear, strong philosophy, and using that philosophy to drive decisions; I’m concerned that SEGA is buying into this somewhat dubious one – and hopefully they won’t be following in the shallow footsteps of companies like Atari. Nobody should follow in the footsteps of Atari.

The Spin: Roger Craig Smith Was Sonic’s Best Game Voice Actor, and Will Be Missed

I was at E3 2010 when I heard the news that Roger Craig Smith would be taking over as Sonic’s voice actor. As I sat in a corner of the convention center and hurriedly typed out an article about it for Sonic Stadium, I was only feeling one thing: excitement. This, on top of playing Sonic Colors – easily the most promising Sonic game I had experienced in years – really made it feel like SEGA was working hard to revitalize the character. 

Continue reading The Spin: Roger Craig Smith Was Sonic’s Best Game Voice Actor, and Will Be Missed

The Spin: The Rising Cost Of Sonic the Hedgehog Collecting

Who doesn’t like the constant reminder that Sonic the Hedgehog owns so much of our free time and money? As if our shelves weren’t already stacked high with game cartridges, many companies go out of their way to create a huge array of irresistible merchandise that become objects of desire amongst large parts of the fanbase. Entities such as First 4 Figures have established themselves as one such company that goes the distance and create highly detailed statues of video game and anime characters, Sonic and friends included, in gravity-defying and dynamic poses true to their source material. But as the complexity, scale, and limited nature / scarcity of these pieces of merchandise increase, so does the cost…

Continue reading The Spin: The Rising Cost Of Sonic the Hedgehog Collecting

The Spin: The Case for Shadow the Hedgehog in Smash Bros. Ultimate

On June 12, 2018 via their E3 2018 Direct, Nintendo finally unveiled Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to the world, coming to Nintendo Switch just in time for Christmas. The celebrated blockbuster franchise is back to reunite gaming’s greatest all-stars, this time with series creator and director Masahiro Sakurai going above and beyond to bring back every single playable character in Smash Bros. history, including one-offs like Pichu and Young Link and DLC characters like Bayonetta and Corrin. Continue reading The Spin: The Case for Shadow the Hedgehog in Smash Bros. Ultimate

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

2010 was the year Sonic the Hedgehog came back. Yes, we all heard the stories about how the franchise had declined not long after the jump to 3D, how gaming news outlets and critics even now would begin their pieces with some variation of “Sonic has had a rocky history,” and how every new Sonic game released around the “dark ages” period couldn’t shake off the dreaded “Sonic Cycle.” Continue reading The Spin: How SEGA is Ignoring the Middle Children of Sonic’s Legacy

The Spin: The Notion of ‘A True Threat To Sonic’

[This article will contain some spoilers for Sonic Mania, so if you’re waiting for the PC version, see you next week]

You know how some people have these phrases that they use to try and articulate their feelings? Especially when it comes to Sonic games? Well today we’re going to look at one of them; this one:

“I want the villain to be ‘a true threat to Sonic”

Continue reading The Spin: The Notion of ‘A True Threat To Sonic’

The Spin: Sonic Forces Me To Write This…

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

So when I said in my last article that…

“I’ve seen the footage from SXSW, and the Nintendo Direct, I have a few things to say, mainly on what bugs me about Sonic Generations 2 Sonic Forces so far.”

I didn’t think that it would take less than 2 weeks before Sega did something that would mean I felt it necessary to actually talk about these things.

Continue reading The Spin: Sonic Forces Me To Write This…

The Spin: Happy Birthday Sonic the Hedgehog Oh Six

Today marks the tenth anniversary of a videogame. So myself and a few other staff members have stolen an idea from Sonic Retro to give you our mini retrospectives on said electronic digital media product. A game which had such an impact on the games industry that it’s still talked about to this day, except on the Sonic Stadium forums because all discussion on it is banned apart from one topic for reasons we don’t understand. That game, is Sonic the Hedgehog, in Sonic the Hedgehog Episode 2006, you play as Sonic, Shadow and Cannabis Plant Head Guy, who is a magician. Continue reading The Spin: Happy Birthday Sonic the Hedgehog Oh Six

The Spin: “We are Sega, Your Lunchbox Will Use Our Packaging… Resistance is Futile!”

So we’ve not had an instalment of ‘The Spin’ for a while, the last time we had one was when the live-stream panel at SXSW kicked off, which was insightful if only for the number of people on twitter who said “Lolz complaining that no games were announced” even some people in the comments of that article said this, despite the fact at the top of the article it said “We knew there would be no games” and how the panel felt like a big missed opportunity since all the guests ended up being set dressing instead of actually contributing in some way. My eyes were practically spin-dashing given how many eye rolls they completed. Continue reading The Spin: “We are Sega, Your Lunchbox Will Use Our Packaging… Resistance is Futile!”

The Spin: The Power of Panels

So I watched the 25th anniversary panel at SXSW the other day and… I’m a bit conflicted, see I knew there wouldn’t be any games announced at it, it’s been said constantly, unless you were living under a rock or found out about the event a few moments before it was due to start, it was hard not to know, aside from it being officially confirmed that there would be no game announcements, so many other Sega/Sonic sites and commentators were saying it. Continue reading The Spin: The Power of Panels

The Spin: 2015 In Review “Nothing Happened”

2014 as you may recall was ‘The Year of Sonic’ and lets be honest, it was pretty awful, in fact it was one of the worst years for decades which finished with one of the worst games for decades. So 2015 couldn’t be any worse right? 2015 had to be better right?

Well… in around 3 days time it will be 2016, so how have the last 360ish days been if you are a Sonic fan? Well… Urm… Continue reading The Spin: 2015 In Review “Nothing Happened”

The Spin: Thank God for The Polls!

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

So an interesting thing happened the other day which got a few people talking and I would suggest probably inspired one or two topics on our own forums as well as a few splinter groups to rally their own members if the fate of the future of the franchise was at risk.

Continue reading The Spin: Thank God for The Polls!

The Spin: “Words”

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

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUDjRZ30SNo

This is the first thing which came into mind when I read the interview which has inspired me to write this.

Given the reaction from the community, I think it’s worth talking about. At least I’d like to talk about it, mainly because I for one am in the odd position of… not entirely knowing what to think about it, well actually, that’s a small lie. I do but, each time I try to get either angry or ‘oh good on Sega’ I start to think more about it and basically come to the mindset of, ‘yeah yeah…’ Or something which Sega has been doing a lot lately which I’m calling ‘words‘.

Continue reading The Spin: “Words”

The Spin: Polish It On The Fanbase

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

Now… I’m not saying that I’m responsible for Sega suddenly announcing that Sonic Boom Fire & Ice is delayed… despite it coming almost exactly a week after I asked ‘What is going on with Sonic Boom Fire & Ice’. I’m not saying I’m responsible, but… … … aliens!

Now then, I should be talking about based on this poll the language we use to talk about Sonic games, specifically, in that how we talk about them right now probably isn’t doing ourselves and favours. But more on that later.

Continue reading The Spin: Polish It On The Fanbase

The Spin: What is Going on With Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice?

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I think I have figured out the marketing strategy for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Sega is the Wizard, Dorothy & Friends are the fans, I feel like Toto…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubIpoPjBUds

I get it Sega, you know Rise of Lyric wasn’t very good. You know fan reception of Boom has for the most part been poor, you know this, and we know this, but this is now getting silly.

What is going on with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice?

Continue reading The Spin: What is Going on With Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice?

The Spin: How I learned to Stop Worrying & Love Big the Cat

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Sega recently started a tournament to see which was the fanbase’s favourite Sonic sidekick, and I’m very sad to report that a great injustice has been committed, this is the biggest thing to happen to this fanbase since Sonic’s eyes became green.

That being, Big the Cat may get knocked out in the first round.

At the time of writing, Big sits at just under 40% whilst the Chao sits at just over 60%. Now we have to ask, what is wrong with this picture? What is wrong is that Big the Cat is the best character in the whole series and if he were president of the United Kingdom he would be the best president we have ever elected, since King Charles the third.

Now if you’d take a moment, just to sit right there, I shall tell you why Big the Cat is the best character in the series.

Continue reading The Spin: How I learned to Stop Worrying & Love Big the Cat

The Spin: Dear Sega, Please Fix Sonic Runners

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

*During this article I will be writing about information which is based on secondary research which I cannot personally test or verify, I have used the information in good faith that it is correct, however should evidence come to light which puts that information as being wrong, take that information over the one detailed in this article.

I really hate having to do updates like this… I utterly hate it, I also find myself saying this a lot but my god it’s becoming harder and harder to say it with sincerity. Believe it or not, I want Sega to do well, I like Sega, I like the people who work there, I love the games they put out and they’ve entertained me for hours.

Continue reading The Spin: Dear Sega, Please Fix Sonic Runners

The Spin: Can a Sonic Boom game be done right? I think so

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In today’s edition of The Spin, I want to talk about something I think that, despite being a question no one will ask; if a Sonic Boom game can be good let alone should be made, is that if such a game period can be good or even GREAT. Short answer? Of course it can!

The long answer? I have some ideas.

Continue reading The Spin: Can a Sonic Boom game be done right? I think so

UPDATE: The Spin: “What Do You Mean? There’s a Problem With Sonic Runners?”

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UPDATE: Following the publication of this article, the following happened.

A YouTube Video was posted showing a possible workaround for the instant crash bug. Looks like it was related to the always online DRM.

UPDATE 2: Sega has published a new update for Android users, the instant crash bug has been fixed but performance problems are still being experienced.

Game still can’t be downloaded by some users despite the fact it runs on those devices fine.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Continue reading UPDATE: The Spin: “What Do You Mean? There’s a Problem With Sonic Runners?”

The Spin: What if Mario & Sonic at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games came out on GameCube?

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Torino 2006 Official Video Game

So we got a new Sonic game announcement in yesterday’s Nintendo Direct squarely aired for the Japanese audience (and today a “Micro” Direct aired for NA also showing the game), which is weird since this is very unusual where Sonic games are typically announced mainly in the west and certainly not having a world-first announcement in Japan…. except Sonic Runners just before… are we seeing a new trend?

Continue reading The Spin: What if Mario & Sonic at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games came out on GameCube?

UPDATE: The Spin: A look into Sonic’s history with Nintendo

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UPDATE: I just found out and added that Marvelous (then known as MarvelousAQL) helped with Mario & Sonic London 2012 3DS!

Hello again! 🙂 Over the past while I’ve made lookbacks covering two Sonic games on Nintendo systems, specifically Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Unleashed, both for Wii, and I thought, you know what, why don’t I just cover the whole history? Of course, the opinions in this article reflect my own thoughts and may not reflect the thoughts of the other Staff members. With that, let’s start from the very beginning…

Mario & Sonic Together

A rivalry past, comes friendship to last

Continue reading UPDATE: The Spin: A look into Sonic’s history with Nintendo

The Spin: “Sega of America used Downsizing, it’s Effective”

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

I have seen a number of comments, both on and off TSS as well as articles and forum posts both on and off TSS lately regarding the health of a certain company and a certain videogame icon. This has since increased following news regarding Sonic Booms sales figures. There seems to be an interesting if not unexpected reaction going on, it seems that if you are a member of a website or a commentator on a news site, or even a hired writer, everybody seems to have or be giving ‘their say’ on what’s going on and why it’s happening.

Continue reading The Spin: “Sega of America used Downsizing, it’s Effective”

The Spin: Sonic Boom – What The Heck Happened? Part 1

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

Article contains spoilers for Boom, also this is not our review of Boom, that is being handled by another staff member. This is more looking into what happened during Booms development and what could have been, not reviewing the final product, that is coming later this week all being well.

Well now, this is going to be an odd one first entry into this feature. For a long time there was a regular feature on TSS called ‘The Spin’ which was a more ‘bloggy’ type thing in which we’d look at stuff with a more personal tone or insight into what was happening in the news or the Sonic fandom. For the past two month’s it’s been my intention to bring it back since it feels like every week for the past two months there has been a new ‘thing’ to talk about.

So, for our first episode of ‘The Spin’ what shall we talk about?

Continue reading The Spin: Sonic Boom – What The Heck Happened? Part 1

The Spin: The Folly of the Sonic Fan

It sounds totally cliche for a journalist to start a Sonic-related article in this manner, but Sonic fans like myself have understandably had plenty to moan about in this past decade. I don’t need to make a list, you know the drill. But 2006 was a long time ago. Now it’s 2010, and it seems like the fanbase at large is actively trying to pick a fight every five minutes. The target? Take your pick – Sega for not getting it, Sonic Team for losing it, Bentley Jones for having a life, Dimps for screwing up 2D (despite actually being good)… even fellow fans and fansites. It’s slightly ridiculous.

Continue reading The Spin: The Folly of the Sonic Fan

The Spin: Why Abhor Sonic 4?

Sonic the Hedgehog 4’s reveal has had a huge impact on the Sonic fanbase. As I wrote in a similar piece, sitting in my position at the forefront of the community, it’s clear that this game has had the biggest impact in the fanbase than anything Sega has announced before. If more proof was needed, just look at forums such as Sonic Retro – who are pulling apart those short three seconds of gameplay and trying to eke as much information as possible beyond the official line. That shows how excited we all are about the announcement of this game, positive or otherwise.

Earlier today, Brad wrote his own feelings as to why there’s a reason to be worried about the upcoming ‘return to the classics’. It’s a topic that I have been debating with him and others who share his view on the SSMB Forums. There are two sides to every argument however, and as much as Brad was right in posting his feelings, so too should I write something of a friendly counterpost detailing why I think there’s nothing to worry about. Yet.

Continue reading The Spin: Why Abhor Sonic 4?

The Spin: Is Summer of Sonic the Answer to the Community Crisis?

I came away from The Summer of Sonic convention learning a lot of things. Most of those things involve organisation skills, and things that I could have done better to make the event a smoother day for everyone involved (and saved me a huge headache). But something I learned that I’d like to talk about is about the Sonic fan, and the atmosphere of SOS which greatly surprised and humbled me. Even after eight years or so being at the forefront of it all, the Sonic community can still surprise me.

We have had problems in the past with in-fighting and segregation in the online community. Hell, it only just recently happened when everyone jumped down our throats for being humourous over an announcement of Sonic and the Black Knight. There’s always this notion of what a Sonic fan should like, shouldn’t like; how they should act and damn you all to hell if you don’t agree.

We’ve seen some bitching in the SSMB Forums – “screw you” if you thought Sonic 06 was a good game, “you’re retarded” if you think Classic Sonic is the only way to go. Everyone’s so damn serious on the Internet. What the hell’s going on, it’s like a warzone out here. I’ve considered quitting the Sonic community on various occasions because I feel that one should feel comfortable liking what they like, or disliking what they don’t. Continue reading The Spin: Is Summer of Sonic the Answer to the Community Crisis?

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…

Continue reading The Spin: 8 Out of 10 Prats

The Spin: Getting Vocal and Sonical

Given that a lot of things are riding on the new Sonic the Hedgehog game on XBOX 360 and PS3, it’s good that journalists are able to get the chance to really get a feel for the apparently ‘make-or-break’ title. Of course, having a rather dodgy demo released on XBOX Live probably doesn’t help — I had the chance to play the early E3 2006 demo in August at SEGA HQ and it played better than the half-a-level with stodgy controls given to us through our XBOX hard drives (PSU on the other hand was sublime, but I digress).

Continue reading The Spin: Getting Vocal and Sonical

The Spin: Single, Seeking Caring Consumer…

Walk into a Japanese music or games store. Look left. Look right. Notice anything different, apart from the eclectic colour and anime freaky cartoons screaming in your earhole rendering you half-deaf? Amongst other things, an abundance of video game soundtrack CDs. The Japanese love the aural aspect of gaming, so much so that society has deemed the compositions as a bona fide form of audio art. As such, you can expect to see many original soundtracks (OSTs) littered about the place for any such game.

This trend is catching on in the West, particularly America. The large-scale video games are getting standalone soundtracks. Granted, most of them happen to be either Final Fantasy (whatever else?) or the chav-gathering titles aimed at those who like gritty, grey realism with as much life as a beige sweater. Not that I’m biased or anything, you understand. Jun Senoue’s getting in on the act by doing his best to ensure Sonic OSTs are brought to the US mostly intact.

Continue reading The Spin: Single, Seeking Caring Consumer…

The Spin: Single, Seeking Caring Consumer…

Walk into a Japanese music or games store. Look left. Look right. Notice anything different, apart from the eclectic colour and anime freaky cartoons screaming in your earhole rendering you half-deaf? Amongst other things, an abundance of video game soundtrack CDs. The Japanese love the aural aspect of gaming, so much so that society has deemed the compositions as a bona fide form of audio art. As such, you can expect to see many original soundtracks (OSTs) littered about the place for any such game.

Continue reading The Spin: Single, Seeking Caring Consumer…