Everyone loves podcasts. Podcasts are great, and with some countries still imposing lockdown measures into early 2021, the mini podcast renaissance we’re experiencing looks set to hold with so many working from home or otherwise just having more time on their hands – but what is surprising is the relatively small number of Sonic-related offerings out there.
This is where Tom Campbell comes in. Well-known to wrestling fans for his work at Cultaholic, Tom has launched a new podcast series called A History of Sonic the Hedgehog which covers, well… Sonic’s history. It’s all fairly self-explanatory, but there are a few things that set this effort apart. Not only is it extremely well produced, it’s absolutely packed with information while keeping things relatively brief and is peppered with various snippets of adverts and interviews from back in the day to tie everything together, as well as a few new interviews and some roundtable discussions that give the whole thing a nice personal touch.
Episode 1 and 2 go over the history of the main series games with a few pit stops along the way and while the amount of new information here will depend largely on how familiar you yourself already are with the tale (and why not acquaint yourself with our wiki?), the way it’s all presented here is very entertaining. Episode 3 goes into the history of the comics and touches mostly on Fleetway and Archie with a quick swing around to IDW to close it out. This episode is utterly fantastic for anyone with even a passing interest in any of these comics, featuring interviews with Nigel Kitching, Michael Stephenson, Ken Penders and Ian Flynn! What a line-up!
All in all, this is not only a fantastically well-written and well-produced look into the entire Sonic franchise, it’s origins and history and how things got to where they are today, it’s also a love letter to it from someone who is very clearly a passionate, lifelong fan and whose expertise has allowed him to do it the justice it deserves. It goes without saying that I think you should absolutely check it out wherever you get your podcasts from, or go straight to the source!
I reached out to Tom to ask him a few questions about the podcast and his plans with it, and what brought him here in the first place. I was pleasantly surprised by his final answer and you might be too! Hit the jump to read on.
Those of you with a good memory may remember that several months ago, Arvin Bautista, formerly of Backbone Entertainment, revealed on Twitter that at one point a pitch was being worked on for a GBA racing game that seemed, at the very least, heavily inspired by the Sonic Riders series. Providing a work-in-progress title screen, Arvin certainly set a few imaginations running wild and so we thought at the very least, we should ask a few questions regarding the project. Hit the jump to read the full interview!
If there’s one universal aspect people can agree upon when it comes to the Sonic the Hedgehog series, it’s that the music has always been pretty darn good. This is true even for Sonic 2006, a game which has become the punching bag for the series since…well, 2006. For many, one of the highlights to that soundtrack is Silver’s theme, “Dreams of an Absolution.” The man who sung his heart out on that track all those years ago, Bentley Jones, revisited the track just in time for Sonic’s 28th anniversary. And he made a music video to go with it!
Sonic Robo Blast 2 has been around for twenty long, eventful years and despite this long development, the community has thrived throughout it all. Mods of all sizes have been the backbone of the project and one of the biggest, most recent mods is none other than SRB2 Kart, which changes the game from a platformer to a kart racer, similar to the Team Sonic Racing game released last month. We had a lengthy correspondence with the team behind the mod, Kart Krew, and like their project, their answers were massive! After working for ages to compile their answers, we’ve decided to split this particular Spotlight into three separate articles, which will be released in the following weeks. So enjoy part one of this three part series from the Kart Krew and the development of SRB2Kart! Continue Reading
On this Swingin’ Report Show, Barry talks with Kiel Phegley. Kiel is the author of “Sonic and the Tales of Terror” and the Sonic The Hedgehog “Race Against Chaos Sticker Activity Book”, and is a freelance author who has worked with Penguin Random House and Marvel. Kiel is currently is a professor teaching writing and literature and was the news editor for Comic Book Resources.
We discuss how Kiel landed the Sonic writing job, his approach to books for younger readers, Sonic’s personality, his Sonic The Hedgehog fandom and his future projects! Check out Kiel’s Penguin Random House books!
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It’s the nineties. While it is time for Klax, it is also time for movie adaptations of popular video game franchises. At least that would also be the case for the blue blur should the deal between SEGA, MGM Studios and Trilogy Entertainment had gone through. Luke Owen recently wrote a book called Lights, Camera, Game Over! How Video Game Movies Get Made that details the process of how video game movie deals get made, the process of their development and why they usually become far removed from what their core audience comes to expect. The details of the never-before revealed cancelled Sonic movie were put into an article on Kotaku UK which details the painfully 90’s plot of the movie as it loosely tied itself with the upcoming release of Sonic X-Treme, only for a CG animated Sonic to break into the real world teaming up with a young boy named Josh. The article goes into detail on screen writer Richard Jeffries’ plot for the movie, how SEGA of America’s and SEGA of Japan’s played a role on the movie’s development leading up to it’s ultimate demise. Adapting to new mediums was still a concept that was not usually met with critical success and translating Sonic to the big screen was not going to be easy.
This is a very crude paraphrase on the actual article itself which is definitely worth a read. Read more on the Sonic movie that was not meant to be on Kotaku UK’s website or you can check out other video game movie projects in Luke’s book.
[Source: Kotaku UK]
Level creators are nothing new to video games at large, but throughout the long history of the series, Sonic the Hedgehog has only had one level editor officially released. While long since gone, as PlaySEGA itself has been shut down for several years now, those who played it will likely recall a less than stellar recreation of the original Sonic the Hedgehog with some new sprites thrown in for a fairly limited experience. Enter Lapper, a Sonic Retro user who has been working diligently since 2010 to create a more thorough and consistent level creator based on previous Sonic titles on the Genesis dubbed Sonic Studio (formerly known as Sonic Maker.) We took some time to grill Lapper about his project and what we can expect in the future. Continue Reading
If you’re like me who wasn’t able to visit GDC this year and are hoping to find a way to watch the GDC talk on Sonic the Hedgehog. You’re in luck as GDC has begun uploading this year’s panels, along with the Sonic GDC panel, onto their website the GDC Vault. The video has been made available for free viewing on their website and may even appear on their YouTube channel. Currently the GDC Vault does not allow video embed, so you’ll have to go over to their site by clicking on the image above or one of the many convenient links like this one here.
In case you missed it, Naoto Oshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara hosted a panel talking about their perspective on the creation of the character, what made him stand out as well as the game design and art direction that brought us the Mega Drive/Genesis title. Previously we were only given a glimpse thanks to the efforts of Frank Cifaldi on Twitter. Now we are able to witness more with an edited video that presents the two speakers along with their slides for easy viewing. The Q&A session follows after the panel, plus a bonus speed drawing from both Oshima and Yasuhara.
The GDC Vault is home to plenty of talks that range from game development tactics, to important topics and postmortems of other games. Some panels will require a paid subscription for viewing. You can watch the Sonic panel or other panels from this year’s conference here.
[Source: GDC Vault]
Going on three years now, Freedom Planet launched on Steam after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. For the uninitiated, Freedom Planet drew heavy inspiration from Sonic the Hedgehog, while also adding a huge emphasis on combat and exploration. Fast forward to now, and we’re highly anticipating the release of the sequel, Freedom Planet 2. Sporting a fresh look, new engine, and so much more, GalaxyTrail is looking to up their game significantly. We sat down with Strife, a very active member of the Retro forums, to discuss the sequel, transitioning tools, and much more.