Opinion

Waxing Philosophical On The Nature of Little Planet

Sonic the Hedgehog CD. For a time, even saying the name produced an aura of mystique. Released during SEGA’s nearly-undisputed reign in the 90’s, the fact it was only available on the Mega-CD forced the next entry in the Sonic franchise to become a cult classic. There was no Mega Drive counterpart, kids without the hardware add-on instead being gifted Sonic Spinball for the holiday season of ‘93. Sonic CD would become this mythical game for those it was out of reach, screenshots in magazines being the only way to experience it. Even when Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were released the following year, there was still the sense that, somehow, one had missed an important chapter to the Sonic the Hedgehog saga.

True, it would be released on other platforms in the coming years, but somehow it still seemed a curiosity. The PC version from 1996 was harder to come across than it should have been. A port was meant to be in the Sonic compilation Mega Collection, but due to emulation issues was held back until the less-successful follow-up, Sonic Gems Collection. It wasn’t until the 2011 rerelease on the Retro Engine that it became accessible to a wider audience. No collections needed, just an Internet connection and enough hard drive space to experience the definitive version of the game.

Even before it was released on modern hardware, people argued how great the game actually was. Debates on the game’s level design, which version of the soundtrack is better, and where it ranks as one of the best or worst in the Sonic pantheon are topics that have been repeated in nearly every corner of the Sonic Internet community. It’s an argument that began the moment the game was released – GamePro gave Sonic CD its highest honors, while the review on UK television show Gamemasters felt it was “a problem” that Sonic was still going through platform levels. But regardless of how one feels about Sonic CD, it can not be denied that it delivered to the player some of the most iconic aspects of the franchise. The opening animation. Metal Sonic. Amy Rose.

And? It gave us time travel.

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Movies

Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Sequel Arriving 2022

Back in May, Paramount and SEGA confirmed a sequel to the Sonic movie was in the works, with Pat Casey and Josh Miller returning to writing duties and Jeff Fowler to direct. Why change a winning formula, after all? The success of the movie all but ensured a sequel would happen and given the ending, many fans will be happy to see it. So, just how long will they have to wait?

Paramount have given us an answer to that question – April 8, 2022. Considering the current global situation, it’s not unexpected that it would be a while off, yet two years doesn’t seem like a long time at all. Details are scarce and as of right now, no casting choices have been confirmed but it’s expected that at the very least, Ben Schwarz, Jim Carrey and James Marsden will all return to their roles.

Community, Site News

The Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2020 Guidelines and Deadlines are now live!

The guidelines for SAGE 2020 are live! There’s a lot of updates this year, including a bit of a change on submissions, so make sure to give them a thorough read. After 20 years, we’re looking to make this the best SAGE yet! Keep an eye on the SAGE Twitter as we’ll have announcements about streams, guests, interviews and more leading up to the event, and we’ll see you on September 5th – 12th, 2020!

Merchandise, Reviews

Sonic Battle Racers Board Game Guest Review

Kickstarter has a rich history of popular board games. Titles such as Exploding Kittens, Rising Sun or Zombicide: Black Plague (all funded on KS) are often known even by persons who are not passionate about board games. At the beginning of March 2018 another project gathered enough supporters (and their $$$) to become real – Sonic the Hedgehog Battle Racers, by team S7 Games (formerly known as Shinobi 7). And from the very beginning, it had some promising looking features – aesthetically presentable figures of playable characters, the theme of “racing game” quite fitting to the main hero of the series, the random construction of the board – enough to make the project interesting for fans of board games and Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Now the time has come to verify promises and check the game in practice – let’s get busy!

Disclaimer – this review is written based on Kickstarter “Hyper Pledge” variant of the game, with all possible add-ons.

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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!

Comics

Evan Stanley Takes Over IDW Sonic Writing Duties, Ian Flynn Still On Board

If you’ve been paying attention to the comic book industry at all over the last few weeks, you know things haven’t been exactly smooth. With comic book shops having to close, Diamond suspending its distribution services, and production behind-the-scenes seemingly grinding to a halt? It’s hard to know when any comic, let alone Sonic the Hedgehog, will be back on a normal schedule again.

Luckily, IDW announced today some news regarding the future of the Sonic titles, letting fans know that even during this time of uncertainty, they’re not planning on cancelling everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog anytime soon. With the “Zombot” arc meant to wind down over the next few issues, questions have been raised as to what is next. With a couple solicitations (sans date, of course), we’ve gotten our first clue to the future of Sonic. And behind the writer’s pen? None other than Evan Stanley.

If you don’t want to know the slightest bit of spoilers, don’t click the jump. Otherwise, read on.

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Fan Works, Hacking

Sonic Hacking Contest Website Opens Vault, Reveals 2020 Event Details

The Sonic Hacking Contest has two announcements, one of which you may be familiar with. The details for the Hacking Contest for 2020 has been revealed and can be read on our forums here.

That’s not all however. While the contest staff is working to revise the website, they’ve now opened access to download entries from previous years. While there are entries still missing, plenty of submissions have been restored, including entries that were previously hosted offsite. These entries are preserved in download only format, meaning there is currently no way to preview entries or look at screenshots. That said, plenty of favorites have been put into once place for easy access. The Unleashed Project, Sally in Sonic 1, Big’s Fishing Derby, Sonic Bash and countless others are now available in one spot.

There are still entries missing and the vault is dedicated to hacks and mods only shown to the public. But if there was a favorite you’ve been looking to try again after so long, the vault is your best bet to find exactly what you’re looking for. Contest staff are also looking for missing entries to add into the vault, especially those that were available off site at the time. If anybody is holding onto the entries, especially the original authors, please sound off if you wish for your previous entry to be added to the vault.

Head on over to the vault which can be accessed here.

Movies, Reviews

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: The Retro Roundtable

February 14th, 2020. Love was in the air. Flowers exchanged, candy eaten, movies watched. And what movie could one possibly go see? Why, Sonic the Hedgehog, of course! Starring Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, James Marsden, and directed by Jeff Fowler. Even if you were flying solo that day, how could one resist getting a ticket, sitting back, and seeing the blue blur on the big screen? We here at Sonic Retro couldn’t. Which is why we’ve all come together to share our thoughts on the latest offering from Paramount Studios. Were we amazed? Did we feel like Sonic was actually sitting next to us in the theater? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out.

Be mindful, there are some minor spoilers ahead. So if you’re still waiting to see the movie and don’t want to know anything…well, I’m not sure how you’ve avoided Twitter so far. And if you don’t intend on seeing the movie anytime soon? You can still read this, we don’t mind.

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