Now, we’ve seen a number of big releases this year. Sonic Generations. The Sonic the Hedgehog CD remake. But there is one release that has been pretty much ignored here on the front page of Retro, aside from a small blurb about when it was announced. Before the two big releases, iPhone/iTouch/iPad users got an entirely different game to waste the time away. It might not have been the biggest, most in-depth game, and it’s true that it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Christmas. But you know what? I’m not going to let that stop me. I’m already running late on this, so we here at Retro are going to give you another review for your money’s worth.
Sonic 20th Anniversary
When news originally broke about the forthcoming release of the Sonic Generations Collector’s Edition, I must admit I was a bit jealous. Seeing as I lived in America, it would require money I couldn’t justify, importing a game that I had no idea would even work on my region’s hardware. So I sat and waited, to see just what the contents were. Yes, we all knew what they were supposed to be, but no one knew what songs were to be on the music CD, what the art book contained, or how nice the statues would stand. For me personally, however, it was the documentary that intrigued me the most. A history of Sonic the Hedgehog put together by Sega themselves? They hadn’t done anything like that in years, and definitely never in English. As should be evident by the title, I’m not going to review the entire collector’s edition for one simple reason: I don’t have it. There are plenty of other people who have shown it off and gushed over the limited-edition ring (which I must admit is pretty nice), but because of the wonders of the Internet, anyone can watch the Sega of America-produced documentary. Now with six extra minutes straight from the horses mouth. So the question must be asked…is it any good?
This has been quite the year in terms of Sonic the Hedgehog music releases. We received the amazing deluxe version of the Sonic the Hedgehog 1&2 Soundtrack. We just got the first official release of the Japanese soundtrack to the fan-favorite Sonic the Hedgehog CD. We have all been jamming to the love letter that is the Sonic Generations soundtrack, though its official release is still over a month away. And of course, we did get those Best-Of compilations for Sonic Adventure, Adventure 2, and Sonic Heroes, though those seem so far away. Well, get ready to add another music album to the pile.
History of Sonic Music 20th Anniversary Edition is a 42-track two-disc music compilation spanning every major title in Sonic’s two-decade career, starting with the original Sonic the Hedgehog and ending with last year’s Sonic Colors. If you want to be kept in the dark over what the track listing is, refrain from continuing on. Just know that only seven of the 42 tracks are repeats from the 20 Years of Sonic Music/History of the 1st Stage releases in each region’s respective collector’s edition. Those that are have been marked with a handy asterisk, for those keeping score.
One of the things I’ve always lamented about is the fact that there has never been a proper written history of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sure, the story has been touched upon by short and/or poorly made documentaries, and the English did have magazines about the history of Sonic. However, there has never been a comprehensive single printed volume of the twists and turns of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. That is about to all change…as long as you’re able to speak French.
So it’s pretty much accepted that the soundtrack to Sonic Generations is awesome. Of course, unless you just sit in front of your television watching the game (or enjoy the music through other means), there hasn’t been a way to enjoy the music on its own. Even in some of his worst showings, Sonic has always been about the music, and yet much hasn’t been said about an official release.
Without much fanfare, SONIC GENERATIONS Original Soundtrack: Blue Blur has been officially announced on amazon.co.jp. Slated to be released on January 11th, 2012, the three-CD set looks to be the final hurrah for the 20th anniversary celebrations. Aside from that info, there hasn’t been anything else said about what the release will contain. No track listing, no number of songs, nothing about anything extra. All we know is that it will exist, which is enough for now. Hopefully, nothing will be missing on the track listing, since I know some people have been afraid it might not even come out since the DREAMS COME TRUE tracks are still owned by Masato Nakamura. Either way, it should prove to be exciting, if only so you can slide in a CD to impress your friends while you’re driving down the highway, unable to resist the urge to jam to Chemical Plant.
The set will retail for ¥ 4,200. No word on a western release just yet.
It finally came out. Sonic Generations, the game that has been hyped beyond belief since its initial reveal in April of this year is now in the hands of the masses of the western gaming public. Containing the hopes and dreams of three generations of Sonic fans within, the title is perhaps the most fitting way one could celebrate 20 years of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Starting with the first game that lit up homes the world over and wrapping up with last year’s Sonic Colo(u)rs, Sonic’s entire gaming career is chronicled in some fashion inside Generations. With everything that has been said about the game on message boards and game sites across the globe, how much more can be said? How much can one review dictate whether or not someone should go out and buy it? Or at the very least, ask to get it for Christmas? Seeing as the game is a retrospective on Sonic’s greatest gaming moments (and a few of his misses), it only makes sense that the game is not perfect. But I want to make something absolutely clear: just because the game is not perfect doesn’t mean that it is not fun. On the contrary, I’ve had a blast going through it. Of course, if you’re reading this review in the first place, more than likely you’ve already at least played the demo, if not outright own and unlocked everything within. Which is perfectly fine, since this website is called Sonic Retro. Sonic the Hedgehog is our figurative bread and butter. You’re not coming here to read our reviews on the latest Final Fantasy game. So with that said, there isn’t much more to do than jump right into things. If you can curl, now’s the time to do so.
It is near the stroke of midnight on the east coast of the United States of America. Unless you happened to live in Austin, Texas, the moment is now here. Sonic Generations will be live before you know it. Every reimagined level, each remixed track are waiting for your gaming pleasure. Sure, if you live Europe you have a bit longer to wait…well, unless you happen to live in France. Which is apparently the Best Buy of Europe.
The below video has spoilers only if you don’t want to know track listings and see inside books of art. And yes, it is in French, so if you are morally against such things, be sure to hit the mute button.
For being a game that has caused a musical debate for well over a decade, Sonic the Hedgehog CD has never seen its original Japanese soundtrack released. Sure, nearly all the songs for the Spencer Nilsen soundtrack composed for the North American release were seen on the CD Sonic Boom (which itself was a pre-order bonus for Sonic the Hedgehog 3), and one can not forget the excellent Japan-exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog Remix, which used the Japanese soundtrack as its inspiration. But the songs originally composed by Naofumi Hataya and Masafumi Ogata have never seen a stand alone release. Hot on the heels of the best-of compilations for the “Dreamcast Era” of Sonic, Wavemaster continues to celebrate Sonic’s 20th anniversary in style by announcing the Sonic the Hedgehog CD Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition. Calling itself the first complete release of the game’s music, it’s sure to cause some people to get very excited to relive the soundtrack Ohshima demanded be on there.
Set to be released on November 23rd, the disc looks to be the best desert one could expect for the 20th anniversary, winding down after the main course that is Sonic Generations. But that appetizer we have been waiting patiently for? We knew how many tracks there were going to be, but the list has finally been revealed.
Earlier today, gaming website IGN posted online the latest trailer for Sonic Generations, and game that is now only a little more than a month away. Styled in a similar manner to the “Classic Era” trailer uploaded earlier this month, the hallmark Dreamcast titles Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2 and the multi-platform like-it-or-hate-it Sonic Heroes are showcased for those who first fell in love with the hedgehog in the land of three dimensions. And what music accompanies this trailer?