Sonic Retro user Morph and several others have gone through Sonic Adventure DX and created a mod that restores the lighting effects that were previously seen in the original Sonic Adventure into the PC version. The difference gives off more vibrant colors in the environment that also reacts to objects and characters. You can download the mod from the discussion thread in our forums.
Lighting can be used to set a specific tone or mood in an environment. But why is it such a difficult thing to remain consistent when converting this to other game platforms? The game featured an artistic shift that occurred when the game was converted to other platforms. A combination of technical hurdles and creative liberties can dampen the original artistic intent, and Sonic Adventure is no exception. The original Dreamcast version featured a “Lantern” engine which provided impressive looking lighting effects using palettes on SEGA’s then cutting edge game console. However the dozens of ports of the game left out these lighting effects in favor of using drop shadows instead, until now. Check out additional videos, comparison screenshots and an interview with Morph on the mod after the jump!
Also appearing only on Twitch is a silent longplay of Knuckles’ Chaotix running at 60 frames per second as part of SEGAbits’ 32X month. If you missed out on these liveshowings, be sure to subscribe to us on Twitch or YouTube for updates when we go live again or to catch up on our previous showings.
Come join our live SEGA Channel Retro stream as we celebrate Sonic’s birthday the only way we know how!
Come check out Sonic games and more on stream.
Now that the stream has concluded, jump to any point you’d like from our initial stream, and be sure to stay tuned this week for more Sonic games streamed live on SEGA Channel Retro. Videos are up on YouTube and on Twitch.
Uncut Stream [Twitch]
Sonic Jam (With Sonic 3 Easy Mode) [YouTube] [Twitch]
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Retro Engine [YouTube] [Twitch]
Sonic Adventure (Sonic’s Story) [YouTube] [Twitch]
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]
While I usually wouldn’t link to petitions for video games on Monday Links, this one has actually been acknowledged by SEGA and has a chance of resulting in something happening, so I’ll let this one slide. If you want to let SEGA know that you want games like Bayonetta, Vanquish, Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, Valkyria Chronicles and other such games on PC, go support it. In other news: enough stuff happened in the past week for me to do a Monday Links. So here goes:
- We need more Dreamcast title screens for the SEGA Retro wiki, so please help out if you can. [Remember that SEGA wiki we have]
- We also need more Saturn title screens for the same reason, so if possible please help out with that as well. [Pretty please]
- SEGAbits posted a bunch of articles about the awesome Mega Drive game Ristar. [Like this one, this one, this one, this one, this one and also this one]
- Remember when SAGE was still a thing? Well, it still is. SAGE 2014 Act 1 will start February 23rd. [Also not just for games now]
- My Life With SEGA kills some time on the SEGA Genesis with [Time Killers]
- Sonic Team’s upcoming Puyo Puyo and Tetris cross-over game has gotten a new trailer. [Japan-only®]
- The indie Dreamcast shmup Redux: Dark Matters is being shipped to Kickstarter backers. [The Dreamcast refuses to die]
- Another indie Dreamcast shmup called NEO XYX has gone gold. [Shmups refuse to die]
- Like mentioned above, fans are petitioning for PC releases of SEGA games. [Here’s the NeoGAF thread with more info]
This week on Vidya Retro we look at what could have been after the passing of the Dreamcast as we take a look at unreleased games and other elusive Dreamcast products as well as a pre-show look at the Android version of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing.
Games covered include released and unreleased Dreamcast games, as well as games running on commercial and homebrew emulators through Dreamcast such as Half-Life, Bleemcast! with Metal Gear Solid, Propeller Arena – Aviation Battle Championship, Wacky Races, Fur Fighters, Sam & Max: Hit the Road and Doom II – Hell on Earth.
Commentators include Sonic Retro members Bartman3010, TimmiT, Overlord, Cinossu and David the Lurker. Listen as they trudge up old Dreamcast information from the US Dreamcast magazine and guess review scores for Dreamcast games.
The stream is done for the day, despite technical difficulties. The stream is embedded in the video above which features gameplay from Sonic Adventure 2, Jet Grind Radio, Unreal Tournament, Soulcalibur, Dynamite Cop, Spider-Man, Sonic Shuffle, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, Looney Tunes: Space Race and South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack.
The Dreamcast is still thinking this month with another set of hits (and misses!) streaming live on Vidya Retro which should be underway if you’re reading this. Be sure to talk with other fans in the Twitch channel and for any particular requests you may have.
The stream has ended, but the entire three hours have been embeded above for your viewing pleasure. We’ve gone through Sonic Adventure, Typing of the Dead, Power Stone, Space Channel 5, Rayman 2 – The Great Escape, Crazy Taxi, Sonic Shuffle, and Quake III Arena.
What better way to celebrate the birthday of the Dreamcast with a live stream? Vidya Retro will be streaming starting at 5PM Central taking a look at some of the biggest games, hardware and more with SEGA’s last major console.
Because only the American release date of a console matters, people decided that today is the 14th anniversary of the Dreamcast. And to celebrate this on Sonic Retro is me: the one staff member that didn’t even know about the Dreamcast until it was already dead! Or you can just take a look at the things SEGAbits is doing, that might also be a viable option. Also we might stream something later today.
- We had some fun with Ruby! [Ground breaking PAX coverage]
- Bartman wrote a preview about Heroki [Actual PAX coverage]
- The latest Swingin’ Report Show features former Official Dreamcast Magazine and Gamespot writers [SEGAbits]
- Phantasy Star Nova was announced at a Japanese Sony press conference today for the Playstation Vita and is being developed by tri-Ace (known for Star Ocean and Resonance of Fate) [SEGAbits]
- Another likely Japan-only game, Yakuza Ishin is coming to the PS3 and PS4 [Youtube]
- A new trailer of Hero Bank was released [Also Japan-only]
- SEGA has some new hardware named Nu, and the first game to use it is Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone [Siliconera]
- The Creative Assembly got Extra Credits to do a video series about Roman history for Total War: Rome II [Youtube]
- The Castle of Illusion remake was released on XBLA, PSN and [Steam]
(SPOILER WARNING: This review contains unmarked spoilers. The game is over a decade old and well-known amongst our readers, so we deemed it unnecessary to refrain from spoilers. If you’ve never played the game before, you’ve been warned.)
In a franchise like Sonic that has been on such a rollercoaster of quality for the past twenty years, Sonic Adventure 2 somehow sticks out in the franchise as possibly the most polarizing game in the series. To one part of the fanbase, it’s the pinnacle of Sonic. Because it was the first major Sonic title on a Nintendo platform, many people cite SA2 as their introduction to the franchise. And yet to others, the game symbolizes the start of everything that nearly killed the franchise forever. So as I review Sega’s recent digital rerelease of Sonic Adventure 2 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I feel it’s necessary to frame the game in context.
Outside of the broader fanbase context, I – like many others – have my own personal relationship with SA2. I was but a wee child when it first came out for the Dreamcast in 2001, and I spent a frightening number of hours engrossed in the game. It wasn’t my first exposure to the series; that title goes to Sonic 2 on the Genesis, whose predecessor and sequels received a similarly obsessive amount of my attention. In fact, the sole reason I asked for a Dreamcast for Christmas in 2000 was so that I could play the original Adventure. So, being the fanatic little child I was, Sonic Adventure 2 earned a special, fuzzy, nostalgiatastic place in my heart. The question, then, is: eleven years later, can it keep it?