Monthly Archives

July 2011

Game News

More Classic and Modern Sonic in Chemical Plant, Plus “The Blocks”

Earlier today, Sega decided to share a few more screenshots of the Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic Generations, the latest level officially confirmed to be getting the star-studded treatment. While the original unveiling was focused on Classic Sonic with only a hint of what the Modern take would be, the latest batch of screens get to show how the green-eyed wonder will handle the same terrain.

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Comics, Humor

How Archie Played The Games, Part Five: Of Rodents and Giants

Everyone loves Knuckles the Echidna. Even if this statement isn’t true today, it was definitely the case back in the 90’s. From the moment Knuckles appeared onscreen punching out Sonic and taking the Chaos Emeralds, everyone wanted a piece of him. They wanted to know more about who he was, what secrets the floating island he lived on held, and most of all wanted to see him and Sonic tangle it up. Sonic 3 & Knuckles delivered on all counts, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy a child of the 90’s. They wanted more, and Sega, knowing the character’s growing popularity, was prepared to give them exactly what they asked for.

This isn’t the best time to get into the short, sad life of the Sega 32X, but needless to say it didn’t do well in any regard. Even though it was on the market for a short time, the powers-that-be knew that some sort of Sonic-related title needed to be released. And what started out as a proof-of-concept having Sonic and “Tails” tethered together turned into the much-forgotten Chaotix, starring Knuckles the Echidna. In the west, the title added Knuckles’ name to the cover, just to remind people that, yes, this was a game with Sonic characters, even though just about every kid in America had no idea what the origins of Charmy, Vector, and Mighty were historically.

I’m sure you can guess by now that Archie had to adapt it.
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Game News

New Generations 3DS Special Stage Shots

So, I heard you kids were really into these Sonic Generations shenanigans, even on the 3DS. Though we’ve seen bits and pieces of Green Hill for the title, things have been pretty hush-hush otherwise. Today, we received a nice collection of screenshots for the never-before-seen Generations 3DS Special Stage. So far, it looks to be quite similar to its home console counterpart: a take on the Sonic Heroes Special Stage, with players dashing down a track and avoiding obstacles. The dash panel from Heroes also seems to be making a return this time around. These shots look pretty nice for a portable system, but who knows how the thing will look running. Full gallery is below the jump. Continue Reading


A Brief Defense For Big The Cat

Much has been said about Sonic Adventure, Sonic’s first true foray into 3D gaming. The sprawling levels, the blistering speed, the last moments of precision platforming, and the entire redesign of Sonic the Hedgehog and his world. Even if later rereleases haven’t received the kindest reviews, when it came out it was an amazing game. Even Famitsu, that near-Bible of Japanese news and reviews, gave it one of their highest scores possible, with one reviewer citing that if Ocarina of Time had come out after Sonic Adventure, there’s no way the Zelda title would have received its perfect score.

But no matter who is talking about it, when the low points come about, everyone will assuredly talk about one of the shorter portions of the game, and the one character associated with it. The part that many people point to as the worst part of the game. A section that people now feel vindicated with their hatred because of the events of Summer of Sonic where Iizuka apologized for it. Yes, I am talking about the fishing stylings of Big the Cat.

All I have to say is…why?
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Game News

New Shots of Chemical Plant, And A Whole Lot More

Ever since the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu unveiled the look of the Chemical Plant Zone that will be featured in Sonic Generations, everyone has been hoping for clear shots straight from the source, something we’ve taken for granted in this Internet world of ours. Well, on Sega’s Flickr stream, we’ve finally got them. And yes. It look so very, very nice.

Look at that. Glowing purple water, the sometimes-named Mega Mack. You can’t get any better than that. Or can you?

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Sega Retro

Hey, History Channel: I’m Calling You Out on Sega Slots!

So, I heard through forums member Donnyku that this week’s episode of the History Channel’s American Pickers featured an old Sega slot machine. “Maybe you could use the episode to get some pictures for the wiki,” he said.

C’mon, Donnyku. Like I’m going to turn down a fabulous opportunity to talk about old Sega items. When I go to the parts of the Internet that actually do talk about these things, it’s just me and a bunch of 60-year-old British men. I need to proselytize.

In this episode, the Pickers stop by Smitty’s Big Barn Antiques in Mayer, Ariz., and find a working Sega Mad Money slot machine. The owner, Smitty, mentions that it’s a 1940s slot machine, but hey, we’re Sega nerds. We know better than to take the word of one guy. Besides, the Mad Money is one of Service Games’ more interesting slot machines.

The Sega Mad Money was originally branded to highlight the popularity of the then-new Mad magazine, and featured the publication’s iconic Alfred E. Neuman on the machine’s attraction display. However, at this time, Service Games was a rather rogue company, and had not bothered to actually obtain the license for Mad‘s mascot. When Sega heard that Mad wanted to bring a lawsuit, the company decided to just sell the machine overseas to avoid any legal issues.

So, how did a machine that was never meant to be in America wind up in Mayer, Arizona, and with no Mad artwork on it?

Mayer is located about five hours southeast of Las Vegas. In the late 1950s, after Service Games was increasingly banned from U.S. military bases, the company decided to come back to America (where slot machines sales were legal once again) to try to sell to the domestic gaming industry, so they opened a small office in Las Vegas. Sega of Nevada, if you will. In order to sell in the American market, the infringing material would have to be removed, so the attraction showing various payouts instead makes sense.

(Trivia: the site of Service Games Nevada’s office today has an adult video store built on it.)

So, what does this mean for the actual date of this slot machine? Given that the machine would have to be distributed from that office, and given that the Mad Money shares many parts with the Sega Diamond 3 Star (manufactured in 1958 and sold in 1960), this slot machine is realistically dated somewhere between 1959 and 1962—a good 20 years off the owner’s guess. The Mad Money model continued to be popular for a while, though: Sega later manufactured two newer versions of the machine, and continued to sell it with the Mad branding overseas even after becoming Sega Enterprises.

At any rate, it’s a neat little slot machine. Check out the episode if you get the chance–I imagine it’ll be on rerun for a good while.

Game News

Famitsu Grants First Look at Chemical Plant, Metal Sonic in Generations

During our little downtime (more on that later), Famitsu scans flooded the Internet confirming another level for Sonic Generations, Sonic 2‘s Chemical Plant Zone, and the boss for the stage in Metal Sonic.

From the start, Chemical Plant looks much darker and grungier than its Sonic 2 counterpart, looking like a hybrid of it and Eggmanland from Sonic Unleashed. The double helix paths, Mega Mack-lined tubes and purple water all return in Classic Sonic’s version of the level. If you had nightmares about that one area in Act 2 with the rising water, get ready as it will likely return.

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Game News

Sneak Peek of Modern City Escape Music in Japanese Trailer

Over a week ago, we made available the full Classic version of City Escape’s stage music in Sonic Generations and the download ticker showed you all ate it up. Some even caught the Endless Mine reference within the auto-tuning (meaning yes, there was a point to the auto-tuning.)

Thanks to the Japanese trailer for City Escape, instead of the generic butt rock techno we got, we catch our first listen to the new modern remix of “Escape form the City”, featuring new vocals by series singers Tony Harnell and Ted Poley.

Opinion injection time: I don’t know about this one. I hope it’s just a studio draft because the vocals just sound like the singers are tired or have food in their mouths. There’s no strength in the guitars either. It just sounds passe and lackluster.

What do you guys think?

Game News

New Sonic Generations Wallpaper Released

One of the stranger joys of being on Sega mailing lists is that often I’ll get e-mails that are at best barely relevant to anything Sonic Retro does, but every so often the two things overlap–in this case, a promotional poster for Sonic Generations. So while we may not have any place to hang a poster, at least you can get a couple of nice wallpapers out of the deal.

As the Brits would say, cheers!