As sure as the air gets crisp and the leaves turn brown (or green if you’re upside down in the world), the Sonic Hacking Contest is live once more for the next generation of game hackers and homebrewers. We’re partnering with SSRG once again to see what the more creative of you can do given a digital game jam of sorts.
To start, you’ll need a forum account for either here or SSRG (the rules are a little more relaxed if you’re actually entering.) Participants will have until Oct. 4 to submit a playable build of their game or hack, and then a further week to work on their projects should the entrant deem it necessary. Voting will then go live on Oct. 19, and also requires an account to either site.
Much like last year, everyone can download and play the entries, but streams will be held that showcase the games for those more interested in hanging out and talking with others.
Don’t be shy if you feel you’ll be swept up by more veteran groups. It’s not unusual for someone to come out of left field and stun the competition, such as with the likes of Robotnik’s Revenge, which in a roundabout way inspired the boss rush mode in Sonic 2 Mobile (2013)/Egg Gauntlet Zone. Practice the craft and have fun with it. Joke hacks are certainly welcome too, but not joke submissions. Basically, you can make something funny, but don’t submit something that’s clearly just stupid (see: Sonic 1337.) If you’re going to swing for worst hack, do it with some grace.
If you’re not into the whole Sonic theme, you can also submit SEGA-themed fangames too. Golden Axe, Shinobi,Jet Set Radio, Puyo Puyo… any of those brands are ripe for the picking. Going off the hip, I can say a Mighty Switchforce 2 styled Burning Rangers may be a neat idea, but you didn’t hear it from me.
And yes, this isn’t just limited to the Mega Drive games. The 3D games like Sonic Adventure, Sonic 2006, and Sonic Generations are encouraged.
Everyone tends to think that Sonic has been dead for an undisclosed amount of time, and generally seem to miss out on or dismiss a lot of interesting games along the way. One of the first games to start the march of “Sonic hasn’t been good since…” was Sonic 3D Blast. So, on this episode of Hit Reset, will take a look at why this game was not the beginning of all our problems, and why you may actually be missing out on something pretty cool.
Last weekend saw an extravaganza of rarely seen footage of more multiplayer madness with SEGA featuring me and some of my friends. Last time we went through several Sonic games from the Game Boy Advance line-up rummaging for chao, racing to the finish, exchanging fists and more. This time we’ve not only gone back to Sonic Advance 3 with a full house of four players, we also got to check out the multiplayer mode of the Game Boy Advance conversion of Jet Set Radiofrom the developers behind the GBA version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. Finally our last surprise was us racing in the future with San Francisco Rush 2049 on SEGA Dreamcast.
Also appearing only on Twitch is a silent longplay of Knuckles’ Chaotix running at 60 frames per second as part of SEGAbits’ 32X month. If you missed out on these liveshowings, be sure to subscribe to us on Twitch or YouTube for updates when we go live again or to catch up on our previous showings.
This past weekend, SEGAbits writers Ben, Shigs, and Nuckles hit San Diego Comic Con and SEGA’s game preview event located at the nearby Nerd HQ. While Comic Con isn’t as game centric as E3, there was quite a bit of SEGA goodness to be found. We were able to check out the latest preview builds of Alien: Isolation and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, as well as interview Archie Comics on the upcoming Sonic Boom comic book series. But the main event had to have been Sunday’s Console Wars panel. The panel, which centered around the SEGA and Nintendo rivalry of the 90′s, featured special guests Tom Kalinske (Sega of America), Al Nilsen (Sega of America), Bill White (Nintendo of America), and Perrin Kaplan (Nintendo of America), as well as Console Wars author Blake J. Harris and Julian Rosenberg, producer of the upcoming Console Wars documentary.
Thanks to Blake, our guys were given the VIP treatment and secured some awesome seats – allowing us to film the panel and Q&A session and meet the SEGA and Nintendo legends! Check out the full panel above, and make sure to pick up your copy of Console Wars if you haven’t already!
This is it! The third Console Wars focused episode of the SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show in which Barry and George speak with the man himself, SEGA of America’s former President Tom Kalinske! Tom has an amazing history with the toy and game industry. Before his years with SEGA, Tom served as President and CEO of Mattel, reviving the Barbie brand and creating the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line. During his time at SEGA, Tom reinvigorated the SEGA Genesis brand, helped in the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog, and led the launch of many famous pieces of SEGA hardware including the Game Gear, Pico, 32X, Nomad, and Saturn.
Oh dear, I got stuck with the Monday Links this week. You know that new Sonic game that everyone is talking about? Yes. No? Well, theres still not much to talk about, or Sonic Boom, or much of anything Sonic lately, and you probably don’t want to talk about sports either. In fact I’ve been busy messing around Phantasy Star Online despite being over 14 years too late, and I haven’t moved on to Phantasy Star Online 2. Why? It was something I had missed out on when it came out for the Drreamcast and Gamecube. Since I had broadband adapters for each, and my curiosity in private servers piqued, I wanted to take a look to see what I had missed.
The game’s aesthetics and gameplay structure were the main reason for me wanting to look back at this outdated RPG, because it used a theme thoat most RPGs have not tried to work with, and most would follow the large, open world that World of Warcraft popularized. In fact several of them had an identity crisis to the point that you’d think the developers just wanted to get away with making World of Warcraft. But not Phantasy Star Online, a game that took Sega’s established RPG series and not only gave it a multiplayer component but emphasized real-time action where you are actively engaged in battle, and avoiding damage and looking for enemy weakpoints requires creative strategy. This is probably the best non-Sonic game from Sonic Team, at least in my eyes. You’re still not going to be won over by the story, and it is absolutely difficult for newcomers to find others to play with online, but it certainly reached a technical marvel and helped kickstart a genre to what was popularized by its successors. Theres also fun to be had by playing the game Single Player, but the social element definitely makes up half the game through social interaction, item trading, and planning with your teammates on what to do.
My only handicap that I am personally following is to play this game as blind as possible. I’m not going to bother with item duping, I know Force classes are utterly broken, and I don’t want to consult a wiki to generate the best possible outcome for my character(s). I want to try to match my experience with the game similar to how others played the game back when it came out. Its incredible how the evolution of game design and social interaction has changed the way we play the game, and for a game like Phantasy Star Online, the experience does not match with a modern massive multiplayer environment. But to get the most out of the game, its best to look at why the game had it’s strengths in the first place. Its not entirely possible, and I do want to try and avoid the technical hurdles the game has, because there’s nothing quite like it out there. I want to see about doing an annual check in with the game as well as have more video podcasts with people who played the game before sharing their experiences. Because honestly? I truly regret letting it pass by me, even with the paid subscription fees involved.
Now, lets take a look at the headlines for Monday.
Barry the Nomad and Shigs talk with GameSpot Editor Peter Brown reminiscing on all things SEGA. [Swingin’ Report Show #54]
Ben wrote an editorial on how Sonic should remain true to himself while branching out. [Sonic Lost Identity?]
You can check out the PSO Adventures on our YouTube Playlist and on Twitch [Tales from Ragol]
While I usually wouldn’t link to petitions for video games on Monday Links, this one has actually been acknowledged by SEGA and has a chance of resulting in something happening, so I’ll let this one slide. If you want to let SEGA know that you want games like Bayonetta, Vanquish, Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, Valkyria Chronicles and other such games on PC, go support it. In other news: enough stuff happened in the past week for me to do a Monday Links. So here goes:
The other site staff wanted me to put this video in this week’s Monday Links. Considering the content of the video, I’d like to apologize on everyone’s behalf for putting it here. I’m sorry. I’m so, so very sorry.
Guess Who reviewed the 3DS version of Sonic Lost World and greatly regrets doing so [Review]
Missed some of our Vidya Retro streams? Catch up on some [Highlights]
A new version of Sonic Worlds Delta has been released for MMF2/Fusion 2.5 [The Barrel Update]