It’s hard to imagine a time where Sonic the Hedgehog didn’t exist. A time when he wasn’t ever present on video game shelves, where a cartoon featuring the character wasn’t airing on television, when a monthly comic book wasn’t available to buy at your local comic shop. But back in 1990, Sonic was just a dream. Springing from the mind of Naoto Ohshima, there was certainly a time when he was nothing more than a simple doodle scratched upon a napkin. Mr. Hedgehog, one drawing among a sea of many, all of them vying to become the face, and the hope, of an entire video game company.
What was it like when Ohshima sat in Central Park all those years ago, signaling for random passersby to see his funny, slightly strange doodles? How many of those people had the slightest idea what SEGA was? What videogames even were? Did they just think of him as a cartoonist who had made his way to the big city, looking for inspiration among the towering skyscrapers? When shown the drawings of that egg-shaped man, or that spiny blue critter who couldn’t wait to run off the page, what did they say? Did anyone have the slightest inkling they were witness to history?
Likely not. After all, it was just a drawing on a piece of paper. No grander sense of the world that was being created. Of the gameplay slowly being refined in Japan. No idea that this character, who would take the name Sonic, was destined to forever alter the video game industry. If they had been told ahead of time, those who were aware of Nintendo’s dominance would have surely laughed. Video games were dead in America until Mario brought them back to life, how could anyone attempt to overthrow them? Where would you even begin?
Well, with a hedgehog. As blue and cool as the planet he called home. Continue Reading
There are a handful of games that one could point to and say they forever changed the course of the video game industry. Among them? Sonic the Hedgehog. First released on the Sega Genesis on June 23rd, 1991, it challenged Nintendo’s dominance. It introduced a new kind of platformer to the masses. It sparked the imagination of an entire generation. Nearly 30 years later, the world of Sonic continues to grow and thrive, but it all started in a little black cart with six unique zones hiding inside, waiting for someone to plug it in and explore South Island.
As the kids who played the game grew up, it was only a matter of time before many became curious as to how this game came to be. Through research, interviews, and a lot of persistent digging, much of the game’s development has come to light. The process as to how Sonic and Eggman were designed. The months spent perfecting Green Hill Zone. The debates between the American and Japanese branches of SEGA, arguing how the game would be formed, advertised, and all the million little details inbetween that could make or break the company’s hopes in the 16-bit era. It’s a fascinating story, but there was always one piece that was missing. An early piece of media that would let someone take a peek into the development process, to experience a version of Sonic just a bit different than the one that hit store shelves.
That puzzle piece has finally been discovered. And it is glorious.
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!
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.
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.
On this episode of the SEGA Talk Podcast we cover one of the most important SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive titles ever released: Sonic the Hedgehog! George and Barry discuss the game’s history, our exposure to the game and, for the first time, we are offering a special YouTube enhanced version of the podcast. We are still working out the kinks and feedback would be appreciated. If you like the show, make sure to leave us a positive five star review on iTunes, it always helps!
If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add them as a comment below or send theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!
I’ve always loved the Sonic the Hedgehog children’s books from the 90s, from the junior novelizations to the look and find books to the guide books filled with inaccuracies. The fine folks at Penguin Random House are reviving the world of Sonic the Hedgehog children’s books with three new titles, due out March 6, 2018, as well as an adult coloring book from Archie Sonic legend Patrick Spaziante (the coloring book releases earlier than the others, on October 17, 2017). Check out the covers below as well as full descriptions and pre-order links. “Sonic and the Tales of Deception” sounds especially interesting, as it tells three short stories and will feature full color illustrations from Ian McGinty. Continue Reading
Fastest Food Alive returns with one of the most popular Sonic the Hedgehog food products of all time. That’s right, it’s Blue Bunny’s Sonic bar with GUMBALL EYES! Quit reading and watch as we unwrap this famous Sonic foodstuff, looking back on the history of the bar and seeing just how badly they messed up the eyes.
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On this SEGA News Bits, Barry and George share their analysis of the rumor that Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comics are cancelled. How did this rumor spring up? Is there any validity to it? What could happen to the Sonic comic books should it happen? Give the video a watch to find out!
SEGA News Bits is a production of SEGAbits, covering all things SEGA and Sonic the Hedgehog. When we touch on Sonic stories, you’ll be seeing them here on Sonic Retro as well. If you enjoyed this episode of the SEGA News Bits, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss an episode!