Monthly Archives

February 2010

Fan Works, Miscellaneous

Custom Launch Base Act 2 Arrangement

I thought this was really, really cool. NewAgeRetroGamer from YouTube whipped up this neato remix of Launch Base Zone’s music from Sonic 3 using TFM Music Maker and Madtracker, citing distaste with the lack of variety in the Act 2 remix of the song from the actual game. The results are really funky and totally worth a listen. Check it out!

Miscellaneous

Toronto: Sonic Graffiti Spotted

A Toronto-area graffiti artist recently gave a shoutout to Sonic and Robotnik on some wall and was spotted by Robert m Williams. It’s certainly an interesting artistic take!

Miscellaneous

Mac OSX 10.7: First @ Retro?

We recently noticed that our AWStats statistics page listed a user running Mac OS X 10.7. As most of you are aware, the current version of Mac OS X is 10.6, so we decided to take a closer look. Upon closer inspection of the HTTP logs, we found this entry:

17.x.x.x – – [16/Feb/2010:17:13:28 -0600] “GET /SNASM68K HTTP/1.1” 200 8447 “http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=snasm68k&aq=0&aqi=g1&oq=snasm” “Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_7; en-us) AppleWebKit/533 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.1 Safari/533” (In:-) (Out:-:-pct.)

The IP range 17.x.x.x/8 is owned by none other than Apple, Inc. It seems that an Apple employee was researching the SNASM68k assembler for some reason. It may have something to do with compatibility with older Macintosh models, since the Macintosh line used the original Motorola 68000 CPU series up until the PowerPC CPU was created in 1991. (Compatibility with 68000 CPUs was dropped starting wtih Mac OS 8.5, and compatibility with 68000 applications was dropped entirely with Mac OS X 10.0.)

Incidentally, as of this writing, Sonic Retro’s SNASM68K page is currently the #1 hit on Google for “SNASM”.

Game News, Site News

1up chats about Sonic prototypes.

The popular gaming news site 1up recently decided to take a dive into Sonic projects that never came to be. Of course, they just HAD to make mention of Retro within the same article and I thought it would be suiting to return the favor. This article, written by Frank Cifaldi, takes a look at some of the most interesting projects to come up over the years. These include Sonic Crackers, Sonic Edusoft, and of course Sonic X-Treme among other things. So what are you doing reading our blog! Get over to 1up and read that article! Then follow the link back here.

Game News

Sonic 4: First Impressions?

Forum member Endri claims to have played through the entirety of the available Sonic 4 demo available through the Xbox 360 online service accessible by anyone with a developer or J-Tagged 360. Pending future evidence, this is technically a rumor, but it’s a pretty lengthy read nonetheless.

Quoting him from the forums:

Okay. I don’t even know how to start. But, here we go.

Early in the morning today, I, and a other few (un)lucky people, had the opportunity to playtest the X-BOX 360 version of the game. In fact, any of you could do it as well, provided you own a Developer’s Console, or a J-TAGed system.

I’ll try to give a very briefely analysis of what were my thoughts about this game.

Graphically (and artistically, I must say), the game is very beautiful, even thought I can’t really eat that celshading effect they put in Sonic’s model, to make it look like a differed shaded Genesis sprite.Something important to notice is that, the 3D models are not really 3D models, instead, they are sprites of pre-rendered 3D models. SO we are pretty much dealing with a 2D game here. That goes for everything else but Sonic, since I’m not sure as if Sonic is really a sprite itself, but I pretty much think it is. THat might explain the akward animations.

The level design. I played through Splash Hill Zone entirely up until Casino Street Zone. Splash Hill ZOne is pretty much Neo Leaf Forest Zone (for those who don’t know, Sonic Advance 2’s first stage). Everything about it looked like Leaf Forest. Hell, even the level art itself reminds Leaf Forest some way or another. The level design pretty much encourages the player to keep going to the right, except when the levels abruptuly decides to force you to go in the opposite direction by inserting unexpected walls, making you jump, jump to the left, jump to the right, keep running to the right. It is especially strange, considering the level layouts encourages you to keep running right. The acts are actually considerably huge in size, but quite short in time, much like Sonic Advance 2 stages. I don’t remember any level especific gimmick on the first stage, which is pretty unfortunate. You gotta love Casino Street Zone, since it’s freaking Casino Night Zone. It’s exactly identical. The colors, the tiles, everything. The level layout however is much like Music Plant Zone from Sonic Advance 2. A level that right encourages speed. Ha, about the Special Stages, they are quite fun actually, it is Sonic 1’s Distorted Dimension, but with a new twist: instead of controling Sonic, you control the stage itself. So yeah, my oversight was right after all. In terms of difficult, I found it harder than Sonic 1’s Special Stages (and provided, they were rather easy). I belive they are going to be even fun/harder with the motion controls of the Wiimote/Six-axis/DualShock3, since you have to rotate the stage using the trigger buttons in the X-BOX 360 version (RT rotates to the right, LT to the left, etc). Looks like a pinball of sort. Oh, don’t let me get started on the bossfight. You might already imagine how it is by now.

The gameplay is pretty solid, actually. Which is a great thing. However, the game pretty much have the physics of Sonic Rush. I hate I hate I hate I hate I hate, I can’t stress enough how I hate the jump! Fucking jump! It’s the worst jump I’ve ever seem in a Sonic game to date. Apparently they tried to mimic the ‘the longer you hold down the jump button, the longer you accent’ mechanic of the classic games, but as a result, they fucked the freaking cake with it. The jump is all over the place: if you rapidly tap the jump button, Sonic almost don’t jump; if you hold a little and release, Sonic starts accending, but he breaks to the floor as soon as you release the jump button. If you hold the jump button all the way down, Sonic jumps like if he had touched a spring, he jumps so high and almost no gravity, it’s like you are jumping on the freaking moon. And I thought the jump in the Rush series were bad. This one is even worse. The jump is so bad that I preffer to keep running right to win really. Don’t let me get started on the spin dash. THe spin dash don’t have enough power, no matter what. It behaves much like Knuckles’ Chaotix spin dash. Running rewards you with much more speed than spindashing.

My final remark of this game? It’s freaking Sonic Advance 2! It’s written Sonic Advance 2 all over the place. It is Sonic Advance 2 all over again. In fact, they could have named this game Sonic High Speed, and I wouldn’t mind it at all. But it is supposed to be Sonic fucking 4. To be honest, the name Sonic High Speed would fit this game better.

I am afraid to say that we are actually dealing with the very final product here, folks. Since the developers already sent the software for the Microsoft Evaluation Proccess. Additionally, the game’s software was sent to ESBR game content analizys team. Considering the game is already been analized and rated by ESBR, the development team cannot overgo any significative change in the game, visually or otherwise, which therefore pretty much means that this is what the game looks like.

I’m in a hurry here, and I’m sorry to not give a better insight on the game, but I’ll make sure to edit this post or whatever, whenever I have the time.

Assuming this is true–and given Endri’s technical prowess and experience with piracy, it very well may be–the glorious return to Sonic‘s roots may not be as wonderful or new as people had hoped. But hey, that’s just one man’s opinion. Feel free to make your own.

If you have a J-Tagged system or a developer 360 console, feel free to try this for yourself and let us know if it’s legit or not.