Long before Sonic the Hedgehog was their mascot, SEGA was known the world over for their fantastic arcade outings. Space Harrier. Hang On. Out Run. Each game compelled whatever young mind was near to slide quarter after quarter into the cabinet, keeping the company relevant even while their home content, featured on the Sega Master System, was overtly eclipsed by the competition. Finally finding success in the console market in 1991 didn’t slow the videogame maker from producing titles for the arcade circuit, but it did raise the question of whether or not SEGA would deliver Sonic outside of the Mega Drive, making those crazy about The Most Famous Hedgehog In The World to venture outside the home and hunch over a static arcade cabinet.
Wanting to exploit the character that was to define them, SEGA was immediately aware of the demand. In 1991, they released a pair of early games exclusive to arcades, Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car and its spiritual successor, SegaSonic Cosmo Fighter Galaxy Patrol, two early attempts that were geared directly at a younger demographic. The first two 16-bit titles would also be retooled for arcade consumption, released on the Mega Play platform where players were given the same levels as the home version but with far shorter time limits.
It wasn’t until 1993 that the first dedicated arcade experience featuring the hedgehog was released, the aptly titled SegaSonic the Hedgehog. One look at the title screen made it clear it wasn’t just a rehash of home content, featuring two brand new characters joining Sonic in an isometric world where players had to use a trackball to get Sonic and his friends out of the never-ending trouble following them. Released at the height of Sonic’s popularity, the game was virtually ignored, in part because it was almost exclusively a Japanese title. Those few that were exported to the west came with Japanese vocals and text intact, and as such was overlooked by the writers of both Sonic comic books being published at the time.
In 1999, that all changed.
Remember that time some guy with a Sonic hat on just ran alongside a subway? Cause some guy somewhere did that, and there’s a video of it that I can’t find right now. There’s this gif though which pretty much shows all you need to know about it anyway, that being that some guy with a Sonic hat ran alongside a subway. Or it’s a metro, but who can tell the difference really?
By the way, I recently started watching this anime I barely ever see mentioned called Dennou Coil and it’s super good and all of you should watch it. Just thought that I should put that out there. Anyway have some links:
- Josh has finished his Classic Sonic retrospective for the Mega Drive-Saturn era [Go watch all of it here]
- Forum member doc eggfan found a Sonic Labyrinth proto [Gotta preserve as much of that one game where Sonic lost his shoes]
- In this week’s Round Table SEGAbits and Sonic Retro writers speak about what they think Sonic Adventure 3 should have been like [My answer: “Just rename Sonic Unleashed to Sonic Adventure 3” didn’t make the cut]
- Barry talks about the Power Stone 2 box-art in his new SEGA by Design feature [He just loves the US one]
- Ben has a few words to say about what Japanese RPGs could learn from Skies of Arcadia [For one thing they need more pirates]
- This new edition of Sonic Talk is all about those Sonic Adventure games people liked so much [I thought incredibly long names were exclusive to Street Fighter games]
- My Life with SEGA busts some ghosts in this new episode about [Ghostbusters]
- New gameplay of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal was shown at Tokyo Game Show [It looks about as good as it did at E3]
- Also Rise of Lyric‘s release date has been pushed up to November 11th, a week earlier than the original release date [No change for Europe though]
- Yakuza Zero looks far too awesome for something that’s probably only gonna be released in Japan [I’m not gonna shut up about that until we get it!]
- As if that trailer wasn’t enough reason to want Yakuza Zero, it will also feature various classic arcade games by AM2 [Just let me have this game please]
- Wait, China is getting Yakuza Zero but we’re not? [AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH]
- SEGA will be publishing Persona 4 Arena Ultimax in Europe this November [Still a big improvement over the way previous Persona games were handled]
- Alien: Isolation will have a survival mode, which will just have one map. It will also have DLC just three weeks after release with more maps. [Hmmmm…]
So SEGA showed some new gameplay of both Sonic Boom games at Tokyo Game Show today. First up is the new Shattered Crystal level they showed off:
The video shows a new tropical-themed level, with the player once again dashing through blocks, swinging over pits with some electric whip thing and switching characters to get past certain obstacles. Overall it’s not really that different from what has been shown in other demos already aside from the setting.
The Rise of Lyric gameplay however shows a side-scrolling level in which Knuckles and Amy go underground to save some mine workers. Each character explores a different part of the level, with the player being able to switch between them at any time to use their special abilities whenever it is necessary. Also there’s some more fighting.
[Source: Woun from Sonic Stadium]
Throughout the summer, YouTube channel The Geek Critique has been covering the classic Sonic games in a six part Classic Sonic Retrospective which is, as described by the video’s creator, as being “essentially a feature-length documentary covering every single game in the classic series”. The retrospective covers why Sonic was such an influential series personally, and to the industry as a whole. It also does a good job in tackling the recent notion circulating the internet that Sonic was never good to begin with. Give the series a watch and stay tuned to The Geek Critique’s channel as he plans to cover the Sonic Adventure series next summer!
Yup, after half a year it’s been decided to make Monday Links a thing again. Many board meetings at the Sonic Retro HQ were held to discuss the return of this beloved (?) weekly (???) feature, and we finally decided that it’s probably not worth our time. Then we realized that handling a Sonic news fansite in this day and age isn’t really worth our time either, and that there really hasn’t been any point to anything we’ve put up on this front page for years now. So with that taken into consideration, Monday Links has returned after all, cause really it’s not any less pointless than anything else on the front page.
- Josh released the first part of his retrospective video series about Sonic spin-offs [Sonic Jam Spinball: Flickies’ Island]
- Matwek is doing the art for this neat looking game called Poncho on Kickstarter [An open-world puzzle platformer]
- Barry is doing a 9 hour Dreamcast marathon tomorrow for the 15th anniversary of the Dreamcast [The Dreamroom Dreamcast Marathon returns]
- SEGAbits is holding an event on November 22nd called the Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam [All of the info about it can be found here]
- Nuckles87 shares his impressions of the Japan-exclusive game Cool Cool Toon for Dreamcast [SEGA Import Guide]
- It’s time for another one of these round tables [What Dreamcast game defined the console?]
- My Life with SEGA takes a look at the SEGA CD games made by Digital Pictures [The magic of FMV games]
- Sonic XG still exists and looks awesome [Giant Crabmeat!]
- A new album called Passion & Pride with songs from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 is being released, containing instrumental versions and a new remix of It Doesn’t Matter [Coming September 10th]
- This new Persona 5 trailer reveals the game’s protagonist and that the game is coming to the Playstation 4 as well as Playstation 3 [I want it I want it I want it]
- The first trailer of Yakuza Zero, which will be coming to Playstation 3 and Playstation 4, was released [*Put Zero chance of coming out of Japan joke here*]
- The latest Nintendo Direct has half an hour of Bayonetta 2 goodness to make you excited about the game [Controls that meld with your mind]
- It looks like Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will be published by SEGA in Europe [Maybe we won’t have to wait forever for it to be released here]
- SEGA points fingers at Gearbox for the Aliens: Colonial Marines marketing mess [As if Randy Pitchford didn’t look bad enough already]
- Hi Score Girl gets copyright complaints from SEGA [Remember kids: using SEGA properties in commercial stuff will probably get you in legal trouble]
- Dawn of War II now uses dedicated servers instead of Games for Windows Live [Because Games for Windows Live is terrible and also almost dead]
- Super Monkey Ball Bounce is now out on iOS and Google Play [Also known as Not Peggle]
- Sadly there will probably never be a cure for liking Sonic the Hedgehog [Guess we’ll just have to continue living with our condition]