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Miscellaneous

25 Years Ago, Sonic Adventure Was Revealed To The World: A Look Back

On a balmy summer morning in Tokyo, Japan, over three thousand people stood outside the Tokyo International Forum waiting for a glimpse of what was claimed to “set a new futuristic standard for gaming.” A piece of software that would outpace and outclass anything that had come before. For the last month, the game had been teased online, alluded to in magazines, and was advertised on television, radio, and even the Yamanote train line before a single screenshot had been shown to the public. The hype was building, but the only way to know if this game could live up to such expectation would be to see it in person. What better way than being crammed into a theater with a thousand other die hard Sega fans?

Twenty five years ago, in a dark theater, a game that would define the Sega Dreamcast was announced to the world in spectacular fashion. Sonic Team had returned to its namesake, and was ready to finally show everyone what they had been working on: Sonic Adventure.

But was it enough? Not just for the Sega faithful, but for those who drifted away during the Saturn era? Could this be the saving grace of Sega on a worldwide scale, and establish the Dreamcast as the cutting edge of the gaming world?

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Miscellaneous

Happy Birthday, Sonic the Hedgehog?

During the holiday season of 1991, the Sega Genesis was already two years old. Jumpstarting the 16-bit era, its sales still paled in comparison to the Nintendo Entertainment System, and with the Super Nintendo finally coming out in the United States, it might have been a safe bet to think Nintendo would continue its dominance in the market. But SEGA had an ace up their sleeve, something that could directly compete with Super Mario WorldSonic the Hedgehog. Suddenly, that safe bet was called into question. Come January ‘92, SEGA had done the impossible – market share in the U.S. for the home console market was split down the middle, with SEGA just ever so slightly having the edge.

Aggressive marketing, mall tours, a character design that instantly encapsulated everything that was hip and cool in the new decade. There was no doubt “Sonic Mania” was just beginning. It’s easy to look back and go “of course Sonic would succeed.” But what was it like to have lived in that moment? Not even as a kid who got a Genesis for Christmas, but as someone who picked up Sonic the moment it came out? Imagine being one of the SEGA faithful, having already bought a Sega Genesis, playing Thunder Force II and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker late into the night. Waiting impatiently for that one game that would prove without a doubt the system was here to stay.

Imagine being one of the first to experience Sonic the Hedgehog. Walking into an Electronics Boutique, and seeing Sonic’s self-assured smirk on the shelves. Finger pointed, a rendition of the Green Hill Zone teasing the obstacles that would block their way to saving South Island. Did they know they were buying a piece of history as the clerk rung them up? Or was it not until they went home, sliding that cart into their Genesis, flipping the switch, and running through that first checkered loop? So filled with excitement, they just needed to tell someone about how great this new game was. Rushing to their computer, firing up that blistering 14.4 kbps modem, sharing with the world what they had experienced. No doubt, June 11th, 1991 became a date they would not soon forget.

Hold on a second. June 11th?
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Miscellaneous

A Quick Look At Some Sonic the Hedgehog Costumes Over The Years

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It’s 4:30 PM. The daylight is already fading, a chill wind rustling against your face as you emerge from the car. Tightly gripping your jacket, you dash towards one of the stores in the strip mall. It used to be a Blockbuster VIdeo, but no one has bothered to replace it on a permanent basis. But a seasonal one? For two months out of the year, someone decides to turn the lights back on, ones which you are glad as you step into the makeshift Halloween Emporium.

You can feel the Spirit of the place gripping you as the large orange signage covers the windows, photographs of unnamed models posing in fifty dollar costumes. Normally, you’d make a joke about the visual fidelity, pointing out how the confused man in a mummy outfit was blown up from a 250 x 180 public domain image from Google, but you didn’t have time for such comedy. It was October 31st, and you had no idea what you’d be dressed up for at the office party.

You hadn’t intended on going, to be fair. You thought you’d spend the night inside, watching black and white horror movies while eating the leftover candy from the lack of trick-or-treaters who would shout outside your front door. Instead, your boss texted you – mandatory attendance. Was this something they could do? You were responsible for bringing all the two-liters of soda, and you knew Marc from accounting would never stop complaining if you didn’t show up with the limited edition Mountain Dew Pitch Black.

So you enter. The chaos of the store matches that inside your head. The shelves are already picked over, costume bags open, their contents strewn upon the floor. You step over one particularly sad looking witch hat, its pointed top clearly not feeling the season. The shouts of parents at their children made you uncomfortable as you walk briskly to the back of the store, hiding in an aisle. You look at what is hanging there – an off brand Ninja Turtles costume, its skin blue. You sigh. Is this your only option?

“Is there anything I can help you with?”

The voice startles you. You look over at the person who addressed you, clearly an employee of this establishment. She smiles, plastic vampire fangs in her mouth. Clearly, they were not molded for her specifically, her words distorted.

“I don’t think there’s much you can do,” you say, gesturing at the madness outside the isle. A teenager chucks an apple they bobbed for earlier in the day, seeing if anyone will catch it. “At this point, I’ll buy anything that’ll fit. Too late to be picky.”

You grasp the Bootleg Turtles costume. “Is there any reason why this looks like Sonic the Hedgehog?”

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Community, Miscellaneous, Site News

Weekend SRB2 Kart nights with Sonic Retro

After a relatively successful but impromptu ‘game night’ on Discord last weekend, a few of us rather decided we liked playing SRB2 Kart. We then thought “well, why not make it a weekly thing?”

So here it is!

We’re planning to gather some of the Retro community every weekend (for the foreseeable future at least) to get together and play some of this, quite honestly, ridiculously fun off-shoot of SRB2. This weekend we’re going to have an official date and time of tomorrow, Friday 24th April at 7:00pm UTC (That’s 8pm GMT, 3pm ET and Midday PT). We may even play on Saturday as well dependent on turn-out – in the future, if and when a certain public health crisis is over, Saturday is likely the day we’ll be aiming for. Proceedings will be streamed on both the official Sonic Retro Twitch channel, as well as my own channel here.

You can check out the thread here which includes a pack of various mods we’ll be playing with and installation instructions, and join Discord here to hop into the voice chat if you’re so inclined! See you on the track!

Community, Miscellaneous, Reviews

Sonic Adventure Music Experience UK – The Retro Review

From the moment the Kickstarter was announced, my UK-based Retro compatriates and I knew this was going to be a special occasion. The Sonic Adventure Music Experience was headed to our shores courtesy of Sonic Stadium patriarchs and event organizing extraordinaires, Adam “T-Bird” Tuff and Svend “Dreadknux” Joscelyne. Excitement was instantly at fever-pitch. To top it all off, it was in December, which lined up perfectly with the latest Sonic Retro UK Winter Barcade – the timing was impeccable. So, how was the show and the events surrounding it I hear you eagerly ask? Hit the jump to find out!

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Miscellaneous

SEGA Channel Retro/Expansion Pack: SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive Mini on Sunday at 7PM Central/12AM GMT

Watch live video from SEGA_Channel_Retro on www.twitch.tv

By the time you read this, we’re live! Watch both Bartman3010 and Neo Hazard stream simultaneously through this link: http://multitwitch.tv/sega_channel_retro/neohazard

SEGA’s most iconic console has turned 30 years old this year. With that comes their Mini console that celebrates the legacy of the hardware. Myself along with Neo Hazard will be dual streaming the device on Sunday at 7PM Central, 12AM GMT. We’ll check out Retro-bit’s 6-button controller compatibility, check out the region swap feature and test other functionality to see how it stacks up with the competition.

Miscellaneous, Opinion

A Look At Sonic the Hedgehog Bootleg Games


As we’ve had documented in the wiki for a long time, Sonic has seen his fair share of bootleg games across the last three decades. On a personal level, I’ve found these knock offs fascinating but the plethora of ‘Tubers out there who would rather make unfunny jokes about fan games and hacks (arguably our bread and butter) than properly cover them. So I’m here on my own little channel to take a look at the mystifying under belly of video games, starting with our most favoritist blue video game guy from 1991. Enjoy!

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Humor, Interview, Miscellaneous

Sonic & Chuckles 48-Hour Charity Stream Benefits Refugee Aid at 7PM PST


What happens when artists and animators band together to run a Sonic-themed charity event? You get Sonic & Chuckles, a 48 hour livestreaming event starting at 7PM PST today! Sonic & Chuckles is benefiting the Refugee Aid run by both Geneva Hodgson (Storyboard artist and writer for OK KO, Teen Titans, co-creator of the new horror game Tattletail) and Frank Gibson. (The Amazing World of Gumball comic series, Capture Creatures comic series, writer for season 1 of Bee & Puppycat) They’re bringing together their love of Sonic to promote a good cause.
You can check out more information on the event by hitting the jump or head straight to their website at www.sonicandchuckles.com and follow the event on Twitter.
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Merchandise, Miscellaneous

SNATCHER Soundtrack to be Released on Vinyl

The soundtrack for SNATCHER, Hideo Kojima’s cult-classic adventure game, is coming to vinyl later this year from Ship to Shore PhonoCo. Various SNATCHER OSTs have been released before, but this marks the first time the SEGA CD version soundtrack has been made officially available. This release takes the in-game songs and puts them together with all of the songs from the Zoom Tracks album, and also includes inserts of rare official SNATCHER artwork.
From Ship to Shore’s website…

Ship to Shore PhonoCo is proud to continue its relationship with Konami Digital Entertainment with the first ever official release of the SNATCHER soundtrack. Originally released for the PC-8801 in Japan, SNATCHER was later localized into English and ported to the ill-fated Sega CD. Over the years, the game (and its music) have developed an indellible cult following that persists to this day!

The double LP, coming in four color variants, can be pre-ordered from Ship to Shore and The Yetee, and is set to be released this March.