Monthly Archives

March 2012

Humor, Miscellaneous

The AVGN Has Never Played a Bad Sonic Game

All I can say about Sonic is…it’s awesome! – James Rolfe a.k.a. the Angry Video Game Nerd

Not something you expected to hear from what is possibly the world’s most irate game player. James Rolfe has put out a video of him outside of the role of the Nerd and unscripted describing his memories on playing Sonic the Hedgehog games. Surprise! He states in the video that he has never played a bad Sonic game. If the video is of any indication, he probably stopped playing them after a certain point. The video covers his fond memories of Sonic 1, 2, 3, Spinball (Briefly) and Sonic CD.

Like any enthusiast, one will probably dissect the video and see how his memory stacks up to their own experience with the games. While James recounts his fondest memories from what seems like years that he last played a Sonic game after being introduced to the series by his neighbors, there’s something a bit off from the footage used for the video.

If the red number didn’t throw you off, you’ll notice that the font is taken from…Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It’s not supered over the actual game. It’s running in real time. The Nerd is usually known for using actual hardware to play games. No save states. No modifications. Where did this footage come from? The Nerd is at Game Trailers  and is probably not compiling the video himself. However, running behind him is footage from what is definitely a modified version of Sonic 1 and most likely through an emulator. Not to over analyze the video, as the other games don’t really have anything that any enthusiast here at Retro would find amiss.

Outside of that, the Nerd has some fond memories on Sonic, from the debug mode, the lambasting Tails, up to Sonic CD, using footage from Taxman’s port. (As well as the instrumental version of You Can Do Anything laid for the opening and closing of the video.) Worth a look if you’re into the Angry Video Game Nerd.

[Via Angry Video Game Nerd: Sonic Memories (HD)] 

Community, Fan Works

Guest Editorial: In Which I Rain on the Sonic 2 HD Parade

(The following is a guest editorial written by forums member Guess Who, because frankly, someone needed to say it.)

Starting in the late nineties, a sizable community formed around reverse-engineering Sonic games. Thanks to the work of this community and its extremely talented individuals, amazing feats have been achieved. The original Sonic titles have been disassembled into their raw Motorola 68000 assembly code and thoroughly documented, allowing for substantial modifications; Sonic Adventure DX has similarly been torn apart, allowing for the creation of useful tools such as level and model editors; even the brand-new Sonic Generations has already been hacked wide open for creating custom levels, porting levels from Sonic Unleashed, and importing music. One thing all of these accomplishments have in common is that all of them are the result of collaboration. Many people worked for days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years to acquire and share the knowledge necessary for all of these technical marvels to come to fruition. Sonic Retro has always fostered a collaborative environment thanks to its forums, wiki, and Mercurial repository, and consequently has become the de facto hub for all things Sonic hacking.

So in March 2008, when Sonic 2 HD was announced, it was hailed as a shining example of the collaborative community environment that’s been so crucial to the Retro community. Media outlets like Kotaku covered the game’s announcement with great anticipation. It was given its own forum where members could contribute their own assets to the game, whether it was art, music, programming talent, or just general feedback. The engine, coded primarily by long-established community member LOst, was built using the disassembled code of the original Sonic titles (you know, that code collaboratively reverse-engineered and documented by a number of community members?) as a basis for its physics. The original Sonic 2 HD board received a whopping 14275 replies, mostly from members offering their own work or feedback for the product.

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Community, Game News

Sonic 2 HD Alpha Release Now Available, Continues Development As Closed Project

You waited for nearly two years. You questioned whether this project was still alive and kicking.  But with time comes development, and to show you that things ARE getting done, the Sonic 2 HD team has released a new playable demo.

Being an alpha release, it’s understandable that not everything is perfect and things can (and likely will) go wrong. But what we do have is an impressive feat of love and creativity from a group of fans with a passion to give Sonic the Hedgehog 2 a visual spit shine and touched up music.

However, a small bit of controversy around the project is the nature of it being listed as a Sonic Retro Community Project, despite being a rather closed operation. Project Manager Canned Karma addressed this further by confirming the project will continue a closed development cycle.

“With the game’s Alpha Release, this means our involvement with Sonic Retro’s Community Projects also comes to an end as, in all honesty, S2HD hasn’t been a community game for a long time,” Canned Karma said. “In line with this, we’ve now closed out the topics in the Community Project sub-forum in favor of a single discussion thread here.”

Currently, the demo only supports Windows operating systems from Windows XP through Windows 7.

Updates and downloads on the project will continue to be posted on the team’s official website. For now though, big props go out to the team for all their work so far and we look forward to seeing the project grow and mature even more. Let them know what you think of the game so far in the comments down below.

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Crush 40 Puts Up Previews of Their Upcoming Songs

Crush 40, the band that performed the theme songs for past Sonic games such as both Sonic Adventure titles and Sonic Heroes,  has put samples of three of their songs that will be on their upcoming EP. While none of the songs are tied to a new Sonic game, one of them is related to the franchise.

The first of these songs, Sonic Youth, heavily references past songs they made or remixed for the Sonic franchise such as Open Your Heart, Live and Learn, His World and Sonic Boom. The as of yet untitled EP will be available on iTunes sometime in the future. The full versions will be performed in Tokyo later this week.

Game News

Sonic Games Being Removed From Japanese Wii Virtual Console

This is bound to set off those of you against digital download services. Over in Japan, developers are beginning to pull games down from Nintendo’s Virtual Console service on the Wii. On top of WiiWare titles from the now-defunct Hudson and Irem’s library, Sega is pulling several Sonic titles from the service.

According to a report by Japanese website Inside-Games, these titles include the Mega Drive’s Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2,  and Sonic & Knuckles, as well as the Master System version of  Sonic The Hedgehog. The titles are expected to be off the service by the end of the month. It’s currently unknown if other titles will disappear as well or if they will remain up for a while longer.

This development certainly begs a few questions: for those that bought the games and aren’t privy to the homebrew side of the Wii, will they be able to access the titles for redownloading? More importantly, will such a move make its way over to Western shores? It’s too soon to say, but the move is no doubt very discouraging for Virtual Console supporters.

[Via Nintendo World Report]

Game News

OXM Shows Direct-Feed Sonic 4: Episode 2 Gameplay

While we have had lots of cam recorded footage of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 already, we haven’t seen any clean footage longer than 2 seconds so far. However, the Official Xbox Magazine got their hands on some for their interview with the brand manager Ken Balough, who reveals even more new details on the game. Press the image that looks like an embedded video because I can’t figure out how to actually embed it below to visit the page with the actual video:

Here Ken talks a bit more about the game’s story, like how it will have an excuse for why everything in the first episode was taken from the previous games. The upcoming Sonic Super Special #3 will also contain a small comic which explains what happens between the first and second episodes. An exclusive feature for those with both the Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 has also been announced. The versions will support cloud saving, so if you play the game on the WP7 and save it to the cloud you’ll be able to continue the game on the Xbox 360.

Game News

Lots of New Sonic 4: Episode 2 Stuff

I don’t know what the deal is between the press and Sonic games at events. For some reason they are terrible at playing them on camera, with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 being no exception. Most videos released so far of people playing the game either have them not knowing what they’re supposed to do or falling into bottomless pits, so it’s nice to have a full playthrough of the first act of White Park Zone where the player actually knows how to play a videogame:

Last week SEGA held an event where they showcased all of their upcoming digital releases. From this came some new screenshots showing more of the game’s boss battles and a few interviews with Takashi Iizuka with quite a bit of new information on Episode 2 and Sonic’s future. All of this can be seen after the jump.

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Game News

Phantasy Star Online 2 Coming to Playstation Vita

The true sequel to the Dreamcast classic Phantasy Star Online is coming to the Playstation Vita. The portable edition will be the same as the PC version and will even support cross-platform play. This means that if you own the Vita version you can play the game with PC users. You’ll probably notice that it doesn’t look like the PS Vita can handle the game very well. That’s because this version is less than 10% complete and is currently running on the lowest settings, so it goes without saying that the graphics and framerate will be improved considerably.

While it hasn’t been announced if the game will be released in the west, the chance of it being localized is pretty big considering that most of the other games in the franchise did get released stateside. Phantasy Star Online 2 will be released in 2013 and is being developed by Sonic Team. After the jump is an older trailer of the game.

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