Here at Sonic Retro World HQ, the blizzard has more or less passed, but the evidence remains everywhere. Good luck, New England (and to our Australian readers with Cyclone Yasi.) We’ve tallied up the votes on the four level divisions from yesterday’s poll, and have narrowed down our finalists. Sonic Unleashed‘s Cool Edge deserves an honorable mention, as it was neck-and-neck between the water-running, icy half-pipe level and Sonic Adventure‘s Ice Cap–in the end, the margin was only 13 votes.
Our finalists, in alphabetical order:
Blizzard Peaks, the Sonic Rush Adventure snowboarding and springy vine home of the Vikings
Diamond Dust Zone, Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island‘s level full of icy blasts and slippery surfaces
IceCap Zone, the original winter zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and proof that robotic penguins can seriously slide
Ice Cap, Sonic Adventure‘s platforming-heavy level with snowboarding antics
Actually, considering that three out of four of these levels feature snowboarding, clearly it must be a fan-favorite. This final round of voting will determine the greatest winter level for our readers. What particularly makes you like one over the others? The soundtrack? Gameplay styles? That face Tails makes in the Ice Cap cutscene during the level? Let us know in the comments!
As part of the work I do for Sonic and Sega Retro, I spend an inordinate amount of time hunting down rare merchandise and printed artifacts in order to improve the site. Find a Japanese Sonic Advance 3 guide, learn the official names of enemies and bosses, get a boxed copy of Sonic & Knuckles Collection from Korea and suddenly we have quality scans of a rare release, and so on. I was doing some shopping on a Japanese auction several weeks ago and saw a listing for “71枚 セガフリークス” for sale. セガフリークス, or “Sega Freaks,” is a Japanese series of collectible cards released in the Saturn era, featuring individual cards from games of the time like Sonic Jam, Last Bronx, Virtua Fighter 3, and Dragon Force. Collect all of the cards for a particular game, and the reverse side makes a large picture.
So, this auction is going for about one US dollar, and I figure I could scan the cards for the site, so I say “hey, why not?” This is where it gets a bit complicated. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Japanese, 枚 is a counter word for flat objects like pieces of paper or photographs, so I assumed the seller was selling 71 loose cards. The problem? They were using it to refer to 71 packs of Sega Freaks, each of which have 10 cards in them, so the package I wound up receiving?
Far more cards than I could ever possibly need. There are only 60 unique cards total in this entire shipment, so statistically, it won’t take me opening all of these packages to get all 60 cards. This leads to an interesting question: what should I do with all the rest of these cards? “Give them all to me!” is not what I’m looking for. What sort of interesting things could be done with this cheap bounty? The leading private suggestion I’ve received thus far is to film myself opening them all up to make collectors cry, but I’d prefer something more constructive that would benefit everyone.
(PS: Do I love misleading headlines? You betcha.)
Here we are, week four! And maybe the actual week Sonic the Hedgehog #221 comes out. Seems release schedules aren’t as clear as they once were. Either way, we know the deal here – looking at letters fans like us wrote a decade and a half ago. They cover a wide range of topics, and while none of them are looking for Dr. Robotnik’s phone number…well…no harm in reading on anyway, right? Strap yourselves in – we’re up for one crazy rollercoaster of a ride.