Monthly Archives

June 2011

Community, Game Secrets, Interviews

Interview: Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka at Summer of Sonic

Saturday, June 25th. A thousand-strong horde of Sonic fans descends upon the Camden Centre in London, to celebrate a video gaming icon with music, games, laughs and chilli dogs. So far, so Summer of Sonic, but this was the 20th anniversary show so there had to be something just a bit special going on, and blimey did they ever deliver on that. How? By getting Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka to drop by London to enjoy the festivities, do some signings and some Q&A sessions. That is pretty hard to top, ladies and gents, especially when fans were able to quiz the pair on Madonna, the joint American/Japanese development of Sonic 2, and dat barrel. However, Sonic Retro was also able to get a little more into the bargain and snag an interview slot with Naka and Iizuka. Exciting? I thought so.

Now if you will, allow me to set the scene. Things are behind schedule and everyone is hot and totally knackered, a fact that fellow attendees will attest to. We’re now down to the last interview slot of the day, and another site needs to cram into the session too. We finally get to head in as Jun Senoue takes to the stage to wow everyone downstairs. Still, I know things are going to be at least a little bit good when we’re asked what sites we came from – the mention of our site causes an “Ah, Sonic Retro!” from Iizuka, as he tilts his head back and smiles with a mixture of recognition and amusement. If you were ever in doubt of Retro’s reach, dear reader, that should give you a rough idea of our place in the grand scheme of things.

Then, with little time to spare and more questions than I can possibly ask, we get down to business.

Retro: Naka-san, you joined Sega around the time of its first real console releases, having worked on the SG-1000 and Sega My Card series back in the mid-80s. What was it like to see Sega become a video game publisher that was known all over the world?

Naka: At the beginning, Sega’s real catalyst for success was the arcade, and Sonic pulled it along and really built upon that. Also, the fact that we had hardware and were a first party helped to give us that status in the market, as a global name. So, I feel really happy to be able to be involved, really lucky. It’s really amazing that something created in Haneda, which is not at the centre of Tokyo, sold worldwide.

Hit the post break for the rest of the interview!

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Guess Who’s Back To New York Skies This Fall

After some years of hiatus and not at all due to a terrific crash into a street light and children due to high winds, the original video game mascot balloon is back to celebrate Sonic’s 20th Anniversary.

This year during The 85th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, amidst all the floats, balloons, marching bands and ear-bleedingly bad showtunes, will feature the return everyone’s favorite manic blue hedgehog once again inflated with an air compressor and strung along for the enjoyment of everyone.

While it’s unknown if it will be the same balloon used in the ’90s parades or a newer one of everyone’s favorite green-eyed menace, we can only hope that we don’t have another Hindenburg on our hands, as seen below.

Thanks to the tipsters who reminded us of this as we’ve been busy with our own festivities.


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Got Places to Go? Put Classic City Escape on Your MP3 Player

We gave plugs to some of Sonic Boom’s debut music earlier, and one of the more requested songs so far has easily been the Classic Remix of “Escape from the City” that will be used in Sonic Generations without any of the audience voices.

We hear you loud and clear. While the recent dissection of the demo yielded its own musical results, Escape from the City was missing from the included files.

But Sonic Retro has its ways…

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Game News

Gamestop Wants You, And They’ll Give You “Casino Night”

So you’re busy playing Sonic Generations. You’ve only got twenty days before your demo runs out and you have to go back in time to today to play it all over again. But if you don’t put down that controller, you’re going to miss the other hidden hedgehog secrets that have been sneaking out. Gamestop, the game superstore that’s in nearly every mall in America, has put up yet another of their pre-order incentives, this time for Generations. And what is it? Why, Casino Night Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Though an earlier interview in Nintendo Power made it seem like the level was to be a 3DS exclusive, Gamestop has let the cat out of the bag, those willing to secure their order through the gaming emporium getting the level. Does this mean they get to play it early through some demo trickery? Does it mean the level is free DLC for players who buy the game through them? More then likely the latter, but if so that opens up a whole other can of worms, meaning that Xbox Live account you used to play through the Green Hill today could get you more then you were expecting. Who doesn’t love more Sonic? Well, more good Sonic, that is. Why, the possibilities are practically…not endless, but twenty years worth

Either way, the level looks to be quite enticing in the looks department. You even get “Miles” in big glowing letters, how can you not love that?


Community, Humor

Setting Fire to Generations’ Green Hill Zone: Post Your Best Times

With Sonic Generations’ demo now out for the massive scrutiny and pleasure of Sonic fans on most of the globe (sorry, Japanese PSN users), we thought we’d steal a page from Sonic Boom and start our own Time Attack challenge for the demo stage.

Now, at Sonic Boom, the best time on record was about 54 seconds. Scorching! However, site moderator Chimpo just could not let that stand and, after many attempts and botched maneuvers, scored the commendable time above of 0:51.86.

Now it’s time for you to smoke through Green Hill Zone in the demo. Can you beat Chimpo’s time? If you do, please post a photo and, please, no hack-assisted times. Let’s try and keep this fun for everyone. Don’t think we’ve not seen those Sonic 4 leaderboards!


Once Upon A Time (Or Twenty Years Ago)

It’s a story you’ve heard a million times before. How on June 23rd 1991, the gaming world was forever changed when Sonic the Hedgehog, the original 16-bit classic, was released. For the first time, Nintendo had competition. The 16-bit wars had truly begun. And a company that had been started in the aftermath of World War II whose only goal was to entertain had a bona fide hit on their hands. But no matter the impact Sonic had on the industry, he had a far greater impact on the childhood of millions of gamers. Starting with that first game, what child of the 90’s didn’t demand their own Mega Drive? Who didn’t want their own version of Sonic’s shoes, even though none would ever be sold? Who didn’t wake up early every Saturday just to catch a glimpse of Sonic and his awesome catch phrases? Save their pocket money to get the latest issue of whatever comic was released on their side of the world? Dare to read the junior novels? Fall asleep holding tightly onto that Sonic plushie?

Let’s be honest here. Anyone associated with this site, we stick around because of the impact Sonic had on our lives. Yes, we can admit that there are far more important things than talking about a speedy blue hedgehog. Sure, perhaps the games aren’t as big a part of our lives anymore. We’ve grown up just like anyone must, out of childhood, through those awkward teenage years and into our own 20’s. Even those of us who edit the wiki, write on the message board, or even the passive who just casually read the site or follow us on twitter feel some sort of attachment to “the fastest thing alive,” even if he is only a small part of our current world. Even so, who here can say that haven’t been inspired, even slightly, by the invention of three Japanese fellows who only wanted to make the best game they could?

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