Hey! The Zone Runners album is now out for purchase! New in from DiGi Valentine, halc, and Sir Jordanius, it’s a hip hop album based on Sonic tunes, and the Zone Runner’s adventures through the zones their songs are based on. Check it out! http://zonerunners.net/
Oh dear, I got stuck with the Monday Links this week. You know that new Sonic game that everyone is talking about? Yes. No? Well, theres still not much to talk about, or Sonic Boom, or much of anything Sonic lately, and you probably don’t want to talk about sports either. In fact I’ve been busy messing around Phantasy Star Online despite being over 14 years too late, and I haven’t moved on to Phantasy Star Online 2. Why? It was something I had missed out on when it came out for the Drreamcast and Gamecube. Since I had broadband adapters for each, and my curiosity in private servers piqued, I wanted to take a look to see what I had missed.
The game’s aesthetics and gameplay structure were the main reason for me wanting to look back at this outdated RPG, because it used a theme thoat most RPGs have not tried to work with, and most would follow the large, open world that World of Warcraft popularized. In fact several of them had an identity crisis to the point that you’d think the developers just wanted to get away with making World of Warcraft. But not Phantasy Star Online, a game that took Sega’s established RPG series and not only gave it a multiplayer component but emphasized real-time action where you are actively engaged in battle, and avoiding damage and looking for enemy weakpoints requires creative strategy. This is probably the best non-Sonic game from Sonic Team, at least in my eyes. You’re still not going to be won over by the story, and it is absolutely difficult for newcomers to find others to play with online, but it certainly reached a technical marvel and helped kickstart a genre to what was popularized by its successors. Theres also fun to be had by playing the game Single Player, but the social element definitely makes up half the game through social interaction, item trading, and planning with your teammates on what to do.
My only handicap that I am personally following is to play this game as blind as possible. I’m not going to bother with item duping, I know Force classes are utterly broken, and I don’t want to consult a wiki to generate the best possible outcome for my character(s). I want to try to match my experience with the game similar to how others played the game back when it came out. Its incredible how the evolution of game design and social interaction has changed the way we play the game, and for a game like Phantasy Star Online, the experience does not match with a modern massive multiplayer environment. But to get the most out of the game, its best to look at why the game had it’s strengths in the first place. Its not entirely possible, and I do want to try and avoid the technical hurdles the game has, because there’s nothing quite like it out there. I want to see about doing an annual check in with the game as well as have more video podcasts with people who played the game before sharing their experiences. Because honestly? I truly regret letting it pass by me, even with the paid subscription fees involved.
Now, lets take a look at the headlines for Monday.
- Barry the Nomad and Shigs talk with GameSpot Editor Peter Brown reminiscing on all things SEGA. [Swingin’ Report Show #54]
- Ben wrote an editorial on how Sonic should remain true to himself while branching out. [Sonic Lost Identity?]
- You can check out the PSO Adventures on our YouTube Playlist and on Twitch [Tales from Ragol]
- I was also part of another stream with three other people and we defeated Dark Falz [Jay’s Gaming and RetroGaming Stream]
- Wait. What happened to Vidya Retro? In a joint effort with SEGAbits, we renamed it to SEGA Channel Retro. [That Logo is Pretty Nice, Barry]
- On 2/2/2014 was the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. [You’re Old]
- Retro user MarkyJester releases another Sonic 1 ROM hack titled Ring Ride 3. [Fill Sonic with Lead]
- Jazz Jackrabbit 1 mod Sonic With a Gun by VioletCLM releases on Feburary 23rd [I Miss the Jazz Days]
- Relic Entertainment and Creative Assembly Fight to the Death in Counter Strike [Relic’s Victory is Similar to the Super Bowl]
- Akira Yuki was officially revealed as the next statuette in the SEGA All-Stars line [First 4 Figures]
Yup, it’s almost Christmas. Meaning there’s Christmas stuff you can watch on TV, the internet, your phone or some futuristic machine that hasn’t been invented yet that you’re reading this on at the moment. Or you could actually be spending time with your family or loved ones, because that’s a Christmas thing you can do. Anyway, this week Balena Productions made another Sonic Christmas cartoon, some of our staff did commentary on a different Sonic Christmas cartoon and cool music guy Falk made a thing. Also some other stuff including:
- Balena Productions made another Sonic Christmas cartoon [See the video above]
- Here’s the SEGA Cinema holiday special featuring Barry, David and Bartman [Featuring Sonic Christmas Blast]
- Falk made a new Endless Possibility remix [Actually it’s really a cover]
- The folks who do Sonic Talk talk about Sonic Lost World in their holiday special [SEGAbits]
- LakeFeperd (known for Sonic Before- and After the Sequel) has released his latest fan-game: Sonic Chrono Adventure [Here’s the download] [Discuss the game here]
- Wait, Sonic Lost World getting a Yoshi’s Island Zone wasn’t some weird fever dream? [Also a Legend of Zelda zone?]
- I’m not sure what to think about this trailer SEGA released for the aforementioned Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC [Seriously I don’t]
- You can get all the Sonic games on Steam for only 15 bucks until January 2nd [Maybe wait for the daily deals for individual games]
- Ryo Hazuki found a way to make vehicles out of arcade cabinets and will be racing around in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed while playing Outrun at the same time sometime in the future [It was a leak so shush don’t tell SEGA]
- Another couple of classic SEGA games got a 3D revamp on 3DS this week, this time Streets of Rage and Shinobi III [Fantasy Zone next please]
Last Sunday, the winners of the 2013 Sonic Hacking Contest were revealed by judges through a livestream event which has been preserved on Twitch for everyone to watch in the above video. During the two hours it took, the winners were announced for each category, including categories decided upon community members of Retro and SSRG. You can view the results immediately on the Hacking Contest website here, or you can check past the jump for the complete list.
Don’t forget to check out the available entries for yourself, and even for the ones that didn’t win, they still deserve your attention for their hard efforts. Congratulations to everyone involved!
Another fine release by Lake Feperd (and his crew of musical co-horts) today as Sonic After the Sequel which is a fan-made sequel to Sonic Before the Sequel which was a prequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2. You can visit this link here to grab the game for yourself. Pretty impressive considering the previous release was only a year ago, yet retains its own unique level themes, branching paths and more. In addition, Lake Feperd has announced a few months ago that he is working on a new Sonic fan game titled Sonic Chrono Adventure which takes inspiration from other titles such as Sonic CD and involves time travel and more open world gameplay.
But don’t get ahead of yourself, check out After the Sequel today! While you’re waiting, you can view the release trailer shown above.
We first reported on the Unleashed Project over a year ago, when Sonic Retro community members (and all-around beautiful people) Dario FF, Twilightzoney, and Chimera revealed the earliest footage of their experiments with porting stages from Sonic Unleashed into the PC version of Sonic Generations. Today, thanks to the incredible efforts of Dario and his team, they’ve released the first completed version of the project, including all eight major daytime stages from the original Unleashed ported to Generations, along with a redesigned hub world and reworked level progression.
Now you can play through all of the best parts of Unleashed without having to endure the suffering caused by Werehog fatigue and medal-hunting. Plus, you can enjoy the beautiful art direction of each stage in full 1080p at 60 frames per second (provided your computer can handle it – my Phenom II X4 cries during Jungle Joyride), and many of the game’s lower-resolution textures have been recreated in higher quality so you can get the most out of your PC’s graphics card. Of course, the stages also benefit from improvements and changes Generations made over its predecessor, such as tighter controls and the addition of customizable skills.
Be sure to check out the trailer after the break, complete with an orgasmic remix of the Unleashed final boss theme by Retro musician Falk, known for his work on fan games such as Sonic Before the Sequel and After the Sequel (and who also did the hub world remixes of the Unleashed stage themes for this project). You should also head to the project’s ModDB page, where you can find links to download the mod for yourself. Finally, a tremendous thanks to the Unleashed Project team for all the hard work they’ve put in over the past year to get this polished up and ready for release. This project is a stellar example of the kind of awesome stuff we love to see from the Retro community.
Okay, even I wasn’t sure of what would happen on the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines when I wrote my initial preview of the game. If you’re a PC user, you could look over some fixes and patches a dedicated community is looking into. A real unfortunate turn out for a game that’s been in development for over six years. Either way, it’s a
Monday Tuesday which we put off for a week, but word is still mum in the world of video games, which will change shortly. Until then, here are a few things that are worth your attention.
- User reassembler has ported Yu Suzuki’s classic arcade title Outrun to C++ under the name… [Cannonball]
- User Hezman introduces a new camera system in Sonic Classic 2. [Youtube]
- Nicalis has picked up The 90’s Arcade Racer to publish on Wii U. [Computer & Video Games]
- GeneHF mixes a Transformed/Sonic R mash-up of Back in Time. [Jammin’]
- David also continues to take you Back in Time…or forward in time to Mobius 25 Years Later with part 16! [Ken Penders]
Colonial Marines & SEGA News
- A user on Reddit claims to be a tester for the game and gives a lowdown on some of the shadier things to happen during the game’s development. Though at this time, take it with a grain of salt. [VG247]
- Colonial Marines pays homage to a popular Sega franchise [Youtube]
- We did tell you the PC version of Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed is out now, right? [Steam]
- Well there are a few things broke with it, and Steve Lycett needs your help testing the new fixes. [Steam]
- Also the Outrun Bay track with Metal Sonic will be available for PC users tomorrow for purchase […oh yeah, Steam]
- We also told you that the 3DS version of Transformed is out too? [SEGA Blog]
- SEGA of Japan produces a line of laptops featuring designs based on their console hardware [Joystiq]
Hey look, it’s Sunday. What do you do on a Sunday? You listen to the twelve billionth remix of the Green Hill Zone. But that’s OK, because this one sounds super nice.
Performed by the YouTube band Tetrimino, their story is a familiar one: four people who have never met each other use the power of the Internet to play music together. Video game music, at that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The individual members have been bouncing about on the video site for a while, but only recently have decided to team up, this rendition of the Green Hill Zone being only their second track together. Their previous video was a Chrono Trigger medley, which you can listen to here.
So yeah, give it a listen. You can never get enough live music, and those solos? Just proves you can still listen to this song after Generations and not get sick of it.
Well, unless you are.
Sonic is 21 today and as we’ve already seen, he’s wasted very little time in letting the world know it. And while Sonic’s fans may be a very divergent group of varying ages, opinions and levels of sanity, we can all agree on one thing: the music for the games is usually quite good, if not the strongest point across the series.
With that, to celebrate Sonic’s 21st Birthday and to give you an exciting inside look at how video game music is developed gradually, Sonic Retro is proud to bring you not one but two tasty delicacies of Sonic Heroes prototype soundtracks.
Both soundtracks contain songs in development, including the demo track of Crush 40’s “What I’m Made Of,” pure synth versions of Ocean Palace‘s stage, and a completely different Lost Jungle track among others.