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Reviews

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal – The Retro Review

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While the verdict on Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is pretty clear at this point, not much attention has been given to its 3DS counterpart Shattered Crystal. Made by Sly Cooper developer Sanzaru Games, this title tries to add kinda-Metroid-like elements while having a hero switching mechanic similar to Sonic Heroes. Unlike the Wii U version, SEGA was confident enough to put up a demo of the game on the eShop before release. And while it wasn’t particularly impressive, the sample given was pretty decent. So the question is if the full game holds up.

So here’s the deal with this Sonic game: it’s not really much like a normal Sonic game. Rather than being about trying to take the fastest path to the finish, a lot of time is spent exploring the levels as you can collect a bunch of crystal fragments and blueprints in most of them. These also take a lot longer to finish than your usual Sonic stage, as they can easily take up to 15 minutes to complete if you’re looking around for collectables. You can also switch between four characters in these stages: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and newcomer Sticks, all of whom work very differently from past games. Continue Reading

Community, Site News

TooManyGames 2014: “Surviving the Dreamcast Apocalypse” & “The Secret History of the Hidden Palace Zone”

SEGAbits and Sonic Retro made our very first convention appearance together this year at TooManyGames in Oaks, PA. In addition to walking the convention floor, Barry the Nomad, Patrick aka Kori-Maru (Website of the Dead), Sonic Retro’s own David the Lurker and A.J. Rosa (My Life with SEGA) held a panel discussing the life and death of SEGA’s swan song, the Dreamcast. The same panel also included a presentation from Retro, covering the history of Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s Hidden Palace Zone – with rarely seen footage of Sonic 2‘s release and early efforts to remake the lost zone. We also met with several fellow SEGA fans, gave away a pile of rare SEGA swag, and did we mention the panel was standing room only? SEGAbits (and Sonic Retro) Does.

Also featured in this video is a convention walkthrough with the crew, and a one-on-one bout between Patrick and A.J.

Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!

Merchandise, Miscellaneous

Greenman Gaming Brings SEGA Sales

asrtoctoberfourth1Let’s say you’ve had the unfortunate streak of bad luck and have missed every Steam sale in the last three years. The folks of Greenman Gaming have you covered with several PC SEGA titles on sale, including Sonic Generations and Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed on deep discount. 2011’s tale of two hedgehogs will set you back $7.49, while Transformed (which you should totally have for our next community day… stay tuned!) is simply $4.99, or fast food value meal without the guilt and shame.

But for those a little tired of the blue blur, a few more SEGA titles are included in the week-long deal, such as the eccentric zombie slaying/typing combo The Typing of the Dead: Overkill ($6.79) or The Typing of the Dead: Overkill – Thou Filthy Love Collection ($8.49), which comes with three DLC released for the game, including The Filth of the Dead, which replaces the words and phrases in-game with terrible innuendos and outrageous insults.  Those looking for something else can pick up the supposedly defunct SEGA Studios Australia’s 2013 remake of the Mega Drive classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse ($7.49).

As a side note, PS+ users with PS3s can nab Castle of Illusion free of charge and if done before April 28, comes with the Mega Drive original free of charge.

For other deals offered, check out greenman gaming’s page.

Game News

Sonic Lost World Moves 640k, SEGA Gets Lots Of Rings

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Now that the fires caused by Sonic Boom‘s unveiling have begun to simmer, SEGA’s financial report reveals Sonic Lost World did okay. The combination of both the Wii U and 3DS versions shipped a total of 640,000 units by Dec. 31, 2013, marking it as the company’s second most successful boxed title behind Football Manager 14.

The company noted however that, in the nine-month span of packaged software shipments, the consumer business side still did not return expected total sales numbers due to “a harsh market environment,” yielding only 6.31 million total games moved. Favorable performance was indicated for Phantasy Star Online 2 and mobile games such as PUYOPUYO Quest and CHAIN CHRONICLE.

The bulk of SEGA’s gain came not only from its Pachinko machines, but from selling investment securities and non-current assets.  This garnered them a whopping 44.3 billion yen, or about $434 million. As a reminder, this is after factoring their 14 billion yen expense to purchase Index back in November.

While this may not seem like the most exciting news, it is at least good to see SEGA floating on some decent cash. Given the Wii U’s humdrum state the last year, Lost World‘s low return isn’t surprising. Perhaps Boom will prove more successful? Let’s just hope it includes a cameo from our new favorite purple mascot, Zazz.

[Source: SEGA-Sammy (1) (2)]

Game News

SoS 2013 – Sonic Lost World Impressions

001_slw-sos2013Summer of Sonic features an in-development game to play every year, usually for the first time to the public outside big industry shows like E3. This year, we got Sonic Lost World, on both Wii U and 3DS, making its debut in the United Kingdom.

First, a quick summary of what was on show. The rep told us this was the Comic-Con build, so for the few Americans in the audience who were there, we played the same game you did. There were three Wii U demo pods and six 3DSes running. On the Wii U game there were 4 levels available to play: Windy Hill, Desert Ruins 1 (styled with a small letter S shoe-horned in between the s and the e on the title card to make Dessert – a pun on the fact it’s a candy/sweets level), Desert Ruins 2 (an auto-run level through honey combs) and Frozen Factory (the Sonic 2-styled casino level). On the 3DS, there were 3 available choices – a Windy Hill tutorial level, Windy Hill 1 and Desert Ruins 2 (here, an Egyptian-themed puzzle level with moving around of blocks & balls). We tried to play as much as possible, bearing in mind that because of queue lengths there was a limit of one level per person. Those of you who recall back to Summer of Sonic 2010 may remember we did a look at Sonic Colours‘ debut – this time we have opinions on the game not just from myself but several Sonic Retro forum members, so read on to see what we thought!

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Comics, Community, Game News

SoS 2013 – The Metal Sonic Edition

001That time of year is upon us once again – Summer of Sonic, the Sonic the Hedgehog fan convention in the UK, held its 6th show this weekend just gone; back in London again following a brief visit to Brighton last year. This year the event boasted as guests Takashi IizukaJun Senoue, and Kazuyuki Hoshino; with a playable build of the upcoming new title Sonic Lost World available. So let’s dive in, shall we? Continue Reading

Humor

A Very Happy 22nd Birthday to Our Favorite Little Friend

22-ANNIJune 23, 1991. 22 years ago today, the world was hit with a concept unlike any other. Sega was gunning for the king’s throne from Nintendo and it had just launched its meal ticket to do just that. Amazed from the cutting edge looks and bright colors not seen meshed together so elegantly before, the world was captivated and a new star was born.

It’s been a rough couple of years for this little bugger, but many can agree that he’s made an amazing rebound in the past few years, like a teenager who pissed away the best years of his life only to realize, “Well, damn, son, I need to get my act together.”

And while we all have different opinions about the character, whether we like his classic stout look or the lankier taller look, we can all agree that without him, these past 22 years would not have been possible at all.

So join us as at the Sonic Retro family of sites raises its glass to one of Sega’s most influential mascots.

Happy 22nd Birthday, Motobug! Please enjoy playing through his exciting debut adventure one more time.