Right, after Gene stole the glory of doing the last ever Monday Links, it’s time for me to start this Retro Digest thing.
So basically Retro Digest will be replacing Monday Links, the supposed-to-be-weekly summary of what’s been happening around the Sonic scene. Except it was almost never actually weekly and it often wasn’t done on Mondays either. So to stop people from making any more snarky responses pointing this out we’re renaming it to Retro Digest. This is our first step in removing all snarkiness on the internet, wish us luck!
Anyway, 2016 is already off to a pretty decent start when it comes to Sonic stuff, with the community doing cool stuff and Sega teasing the fanbase. So here’s a look at the neat stuff that’s been happening
In case you’ve not noticed, it’s a Tuesday. Besides it being M. Bison’s favorite day of the week, this is a particularly special Tuesday: it’s Sonic 2sday.
Sonic 2 was released on this day 23 years ago. Fairly exciting stuff considering all that it packed after the Blue Blur’s first outing. It even brought along perennial buddy and the sometimes annoying Miles “Tails” Prower.
Five years ago, we hosted our first Sonic 2sday Challenge. The premise is simple enough: you attempt to destroy the arduous task of Nick Arcade Expert’s Challenge of collecting 25 rings in under 30 seconds. I mean, ’90s tv sitcom star Melissa Joan Hart couldn’t! Surely a ragtag group of Sonic fans could. The catch? You must use the existing Sonic 2 Nick Arcade prototype.
Still not enough challenge for you? Then for those seeking to REALLY show off how awesome they are, feel free to submit your own challenges, such as the dreaded Emerald Hill Sweep (getting all seven emeralds in Emerald Hill) using both Sonic and Tails. Or use the mobile version of Sonic 2 and go for the gold as the fastest speed demon of Hidden Palace Zone.
After all, Hidden Palace and Sonic 2 started this lovely mess that became Sonic Retro.
Otherwise, kick back and enjoy a super spin through one of the pinnacle titles of the classic era. Sorry Sonic 3 fans: you’re ignored until further notice. If you really want to show off, you’re welcome to shamelessly plug yourselves in the comments below attempting this dreaded challenge or just streaming some Sonic 2 goodness. You could send it to the contest email from five years ago, but I hear a certain demonic presence inhabits that account now…
It’s always great to see people on our forums get so far as to work on commercial games. One example of this is Poncho by Delve Entertainment, which was released today on PC and PlayStation 4. Matthew Weekes, a member of our forums who worked on Freedom Planet, was the lead pixel artist for this game. Aside from him, it was designed by Danny Hayes and Jack Odell, who also did the programming and music respectively.
The game’s main twist is it’s an open world where you can choose your own path, and switch between multiple layers like in Mutant Mudds. Originally the game was going to be funded through Kickstarter, but after the crowdfunding campaign failed they still managed get funding from publisher Rising Star Games.
You can buy it now on Steam for PC, or on PlayStation Network for PS4 for $14.99/€14.99/£10.99. The game will also be released on Wii U and PlayStation Vita sometime in the future.
So a week has gone by since we streamed the Hero Story of Sonic Adventure 2 – and what a stream it was! Many ups, many downs, and we somehow miraculously managed to start at 20:00 and finish at 22:00 with the credits ending. Exactly two hours!
Whether that will happen again this time is totally up in the air, as we’ll be playing the Dark Story this weekend – and most likely the Final Story, too. Somehow I don’t think Cannon’s Core can carry a stream by itself.
If you want to tune in, chat with some of the staff – and Sam and Spanner – and just spend your Saturday night with some Sonic goodness/badness (14 years on and the jury’s still out on that one), tune in to NovaRetro on Twitch tomorrow at 20:00 BST/15:00 EST/12:00 PST.
See you there!
So, there it is. Sonic Adventure 2. We’ve done a few streams recently, from speeding through the brilliant Unleashed Project and Sonic Generations to a playthrough of LakeFeperd’s absolutely stellar Sonic After The Sequel, so we’re starting to get a bit of a feel for the core ‘stream team’.
I was trying to think of what to play this weekend – I knew we needed something but I struggled with what that should be most of this week. Then this idea hit me. I didn’t want to do the original Sonic Adventure for a couple of specific reasons – first of all, I don’t think it’s as consitently interesting. There’s not as much to riff on. Then you have the fact that the Grumps are playing it currently and I think everyone’s a bit tired of seeing it right now. So this led us to Sonic Adventure 2.
We’re aiming to play at least the Hero story tonight, with the Dark story to follow next week if there’s enough interest. We’ll be watching the often-horrendous cut-scenes too, so it should be a fun packed stream that should neatly carry us to that 2 hour mark or even beyond.
So if you fancy joining us tonight, head on over to NovaRetro on Twitch at 8pm BST/3pm EST/12pm PST.
So the weekend rolls around again and finally (at least if you’re a 9-5 worker in the UK), you can afford to put your feet up, crack open a beverage of choice and enjoy yourself for a couple of days.
After the success we enjoyed last week with the Sonic Generations stream – well, popularity-wise, anyway; gameplay-wise, I wasn’t particularly successful but hey, I’m out of practice and it’s something to work on – we’ve decided another stream might be a good idea for a weekend event again. In lieu of this, and combined with the fact that the creator behind popular fangames Sonic BTS and ATS LakeFeperd has announced a kickstarter for his new, original project named Spark The Electric Jester, we decided a stream of Sonic After The Sequel could be a great idea.
Don’t panic – it’s not tonight, so you have time to plan ahead if you were particularly interested in seeing the game played. We’re going to kick things off tomorrow (Saturday 1st August) at 8pm BST/3pm EST/12pm PST.
The stream will be hosted over at http://twitch.tv/NovaRetro.
Of course, I don’t want to leave you high and dry for your Friday night so have some tunes directly from the game, neatly featured in a soundtrack playlist for your listening pleasure.
LakeFeperd, a member of our forums who is probably most well known for his fangames Sonic Before the Sequel and After the Sequel, just put up a Kickstarter for his upcoming game Spark the Electric Jester. He’s asking $7,000 as the base goal for the game, which he calls a mix of Sonic (obviously), Mega Man X and Kirby Super Star.
The main reason for the Kickstarter is to raise funds for the soundtrack and sound design, which is mostly being done by people who worked on his past fangames including Falk Au Yeong, James Landino, Andy Tunstall, Pejman Roozbeh, Michael Staple and newcomer Paul Bethers. The planned release window is Spring 2016 for Windows and Mac, with the game coming to Steam Greenlight. They plan to release a DRM free version as well.
Be sure to take a look at the Kickstarter here. And if you want to try out the game, you can try out the demo.
Another summer, another Summer Games Done Quick. If you’re not familiar with what the it is: basically it’s an event where a lot of speedrunners do live runs of various games for charity. In this case for Doctors Without Borders. And this year they’ll be streaming some Sonic games on the first day already.
You can expect speedruns of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, the neutral story in Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic’s story in Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut on the first day, with an additional speedrun of Big the Cat’s story if a certain amount of money is donated. On the second day Shenmue II, the Castle of Illusion remake, Toejam & Earl, Streets of Rage 2 and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe will be played. Then we’re getting more Sonic on the fourth day with runs of Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic Advance and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as well as the fantastic Sonic-inspired game Freedom Planet. Finally there’ll be speedruns of Chester Cheetah: Wild Wild Quest and Mega Man: The Wily Wars on the fifth day of the event.
Of course, these are only the SEGA games that’ll be played there. You can find the full schedule with times of when games will be played in your timezone here, along with details on which speedrunners are playing them and estimates of how long it will take to beat the games. Be sure to take a look at the stream and maybe even donate some money. I mean, more Big the Cat speedruns are never a bad thing.
Also, click on the link on the bottom of the site’s home page to get a neat little SEGA easter egg.
Watch live video from NovaRetro on www.twitch.tv
[Update: Okay, show’s over. If you missed it you can watch the archive of this stream over here. Also it gets NSFW at the end because of Nova being drunk. Dammit Nova. -TimmiT]
WHERE DID THE LAST THREE WEEKS GO?!
Okay, I didn’t do a Something For The Weekend post for them. I kind of felt guilty about just constantly doing music-related posts when this was meant to be a catch-all for ‘fun, weekendy things’ so I held off for a little bit.
However – and it’s a good however – I have actually somehow acquired a half-decent gaming rig and as I showed myself last night, it is completely capable of streaming Sonic Generations while running at 60FPS. So, I had an idea.
Tonight at 8pm BST (12pm PT/3pm ET), I’ll be speeding through some Unleashed Project while slightly under the influence. SUI? Is that a punishable offense? Hopefully not.
You’ll be able to find the stream on my personal channel here, and there may even be a guest appearance.
“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.” – Satoru Iwata, GDC 2005
Yes, we know, this has almost nothing to do with Sonic. But Satoru Iwata was one of the most influential people in the game industry, and I don’t think there’s any executive that you could find more lovable than him. And because of how much we admire him and the games that he made possible, it would feel wrong not to honour him somehow. So instead of your irregular Monday Links, we bring you these stories about him. Directly to you.
- A ton of heartfelt tributes that were made to Iwata [NeoGAF]
- This series of incredibly interesting and entertaining interviews with the people who work at Nintendo is just one of many reasons why we loved him so much. [Iwata Asks]
- This special Game Center CX episode in which Arino chats with Iwata and plays Balloon Fight with him is a must watch [Game Center CX]
- A lengthy discussion between Itoi, Iwata and Miyamoto about the cancellation of Earthbound 64 [Yomuka!]
- Hirokazu Tanaka, the original composer for Balloon Fight, made a remix of the game’s theme as a tribute [Tanaka’s Soundcloud]
- All of the skits the Jim Henson Company made for Nintendo’s Digital Event from last E3 [Eurogamer]
- Instead of firing his staff when things got rough for the company last year, Iwata cut his own pay in half [Polygon]
- The last time Iwata did programming work was on Super Smash Bros. Melee, which he worked for three weeks on to make sure that it’d be released on time [Nintendo Life]
- That time when Iwata and Reggie fought for real but then suddenly stopped and decided to fight in Smash Bros. instead [Eurogamer]
- And last but not least, Iwata’s memorable “Heart of the Gamer” keynote from GDC 2005 [CARSLOCK]