Posts Tagged ‘sonic’

San-nick Lerst Werld

May 19, 2013

Probably the biggest announcement in the most recent Nintendo Direct was the news that the next big Sonic the Hedgehog platformer, currently named Sonic Lost World (Pretty sure that will probably end up changing to something else), would be exclusive to Nintendo consoles, namely the Wii U and 3DS, as would the next two entries in the franchise, which includes the new Mario & Sonic at the Olympics game and a heretofore unannounced title.

Great, I thought to myself, if Nintendo’s doing the publishing duties (at least in some territories, it’s not that clear at the moment), they’ll be breathing down Sega’s neck to make a good game.

Naturally, my second thought was, I wonder when the Internet is going to go all Bayonetta 2 on this news?

Thank the stars, I didn’t have to wait long, as the Sonic fans who thought Sonic 2006 was a gaming masterpiece soon took to their mom’s computers and spewed their bile upon the interwebs.

“Horrible news, Are there going out of the way to piss off class sonic fans? Exclusive rights is the worst move sega could have done, it’s on a sinking ship/console that is already doing pretty badly.”

“We the fans waited 2 years for the next canon game, we got it, turns out not everyone can play it, the majority can’t because nobody really has a wii u.”

“Sonic fans who are not interested in have WiiU will miss at least 3 games!.   We respect your decision but we want you to please give us in the future Sonic Games for all plataforms!”

Because, you know, there was absolutely NO PRECEDENCE for an exclusive Sonic title to appear on the Wii U.
None whatsoever.

Fortunately, there was sanity among the madness.

“So, all of you saying exclusive is bad for Nintendo… You piss ants would praise God if the titles were PS3/4 and 360/next exclusive wouldn’t you? Suck it up, grow up, and get a U and 3DS.”

“I will buy a Wii U for this. I don’t have any issue with Nintendo taking exclusivity. It is a good home for Sonic as he is favored by children first and foremost. Maybe they will stop trying to do serious things with him then such as human-like characters and love interests.”

“I was going to get a Wii U eventually, and I find it much more reasonable for SEGA to focus on a single party rather than port their games to every company and their mothers. Nintendo and Sonic need each other, IMO. Sonic will attract more attention to Nintendo, and both Nintendo and SEGA will benefit from this.”

I do find it amusing that the reason most ‘gamers’ state as the reason for not buying a Wii U is the lack of exclusives. But with each exclusive Nintendo unveils, these ‘fans’ complain that Nintendo has somehow ‘stolen’  games from their systems, games that they wouldn’t buy anyway since they’d be playing Army of WarGears 4: Space Zombie Edition or Morbidly Obese Football Coach Sim Roster Update 2013.

Five Fave Non-Nintendo games

April 12, 2012

Let me get one thing clear. I LOVE Nintendo. In a purely plutonic way, mind you. Though they have made a mis-step or two along the way, the last twenty-five-plus years have been filled with awesomeness. But, I will admit, it’s not an exclusive relationship. I enjoy titles on other platforms; maybe not so much to actually purchase said platforms, but I’m not shy about trying out the latest 360 or PS3 game on a friend’s system if it looks interesting enough. So what is the point of this? I thought it’d be fun to list five of my favorite non-Nintendo system games, starting with

Virtua Cop 1 & 2
A friend of mine loaned me his Sega Saturn and a selection of games for a month. Despite such classics are Magical Knight Rayearth and NiGHTS, most of my time was sunk in Virtua Cop. It’s a short, mindless arcade shooter, but dammit, it’s FUN. It’s especially fun in co-op mode, which eventually degrades into seeing who can shoot the most civilians. I actually ended up buying a used Sega Saturn for the express purpose of playing Virtua Cop once in a while. The fact we never saw this ported to the Wii is a tragedy.

Parappa the Rapper
I’m actually pretty bad at this one, but it’s just so goofy and fun. It’s pretty obvious that this was the inspiration for rhythm games such as Rock Band and Rhythm Heaven. I actually find myself muttering “Kick, Punch, it’s all in the mind” from time to time… perhaps I should get that checked…

Bonk’s Revenge
From the same friend who loaned me his Saturn came a trip to Turbo-Grafx-16 land. I had read about Bonk’s Adventure in an issue of Gamepro, and it looked like a lot of fun. Bonk’s Revenge apparently took the same sense of fun, and made it totally insane. It has a very warped sense of humor, and the animation is top notch. The head-bonking mechanic was kind of clunky, but it also added to the charm. Years later, I wasted no time downloading it onto my Virtual Console.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Yes, back in the “Bit Wars” I was firmly on the side of Nintendo, but I still found myself interested in the Sega Genesis library. My local Service Merchandise store (God, I’m dating myself here) had a Genesis on display, and during the entire time the Genesis was available, it always had Sonic the Hedgehog 2 playing. I enjoyed the synthesiser soundtrack, and the graphics were nice and colorful, which made me a bit envious, at least until I got a Super NES later on. I always got stuck in the second act of Chemical Plant though, drowning in that gross pink water, or whatever it was. Still, a fun game, and arguably the best Sonic game ever.

Crazy Taxi

AYE YAI YAI YAI YAI!!!!!” Yeah, you remember that track from the Offspring blaring into your ears as soon as you sat down in the arcade cabinet. And admit it… you enjoyed the hell out of it. Crazy Taxi was an amazingly fun arcade game, and hilarous when you attempt to run over pedestrians and repeatedly crash into oncoming traffic. The Dreamcast port was equally fun, as that game clocked the most time on my friend’s system back in college.

There ya go, five of my fave non-Nintendo games. Don’t be a system hater! It’s fine to be loyal to one system if that’s what you want, but variety is the spice of life, and it doesn’t hurt to branch out once in a while.

The Return of the fall… and further fallening of Sonic the Hedgehog (Part 2)

October 5, 2011

Previously, I said that after many months of waiting for a price drop, I finally picked up Sonic Colors for the Wii. This came after many disappointments from the blue rodent, and even after many glowing reviews I was hesitant, but after it dropped to just over $19, I decided to risk it. After several days, it arrived on my doorstep. I tore open the package and popped the disc in. This was it. Sonic’s last chance.

Oh boy… another 4Kids worthy intro video… horrible singing… though the music itself ain’t that bad. Aw, dammit, the song’s in my head now.

Hey, the orchestrated version on the title screen is actually pretty damn good. And you can actually control the camera… nice.

What? No long winded cinema scene about evil clones, ancient gods or werehogs? Right into the action? That’s… damn, thanks Sega! And the music is pretty damn good here, no talentless hack singing about racing through a theme park? Control’s a little squirrely, but nothing I can’t quickly get used to. The 2D segments are full of platforming goodness, the level designs are interesting, the 3D segments are quick and to the point, there are occasional cut scenes, but they’re actually kind of amusing and well acted, and…

Oh my God…


They did it. They finally did it.

A Sonic game that doesn’t suck, isn’t merely mediocre, but is actually GOOD!

I spent the whole game waiting for the other shoe to drop… thankfully, I can say that it never did. The whole game (well, maybe not the 2 player mode, more on that later), has a certain polish to it, it actually feels like, well, EFFORT was put into it. Little touches, such as the fact you can jump and break through the results score at the end of a stage to find random 1ups, stand out to me. The camera, probably Sonic’s biggest enemy, has finally been fixed; the only issue I ever had was when it drew back from the action too far, to a point where I had a hard time seeing Sonic, but those instances were few and far between. The music is outstanding, enshewing the Pearl Jam from previous entries for a more orchestrated/electropop feel. Also worth noting is the voice acting, which is vastly improved by recasting Sonic and Tails. Robotnik, however, nearly steals the show, as he is constantly speaking over the park’s P.A. system, and each smartass comment is more hilarious than the last.

The plot is also fairly lighthearted this time around… no ancient gods or evil clones here, just Robotnik acting like a dick, creating an interstellar amusement park as a cover for kidnapping aliens to use as a power source to, you guessed it, take over the world.
Of course, none of this would matter if the gameplay wasn’t any good. Fortunately, the gameplay (finally) delivers, with (mostly) 2D platforming action, interspersed with 3D speed segments, and it all controls rather well. The aliens Sonic rescues also give him the “Color” powers of the game, allowing him to burrow through the ground or hover in the air, which gives you plenty of opportunites to explore the levels and find hidden areas, and you’ll have to explore them all to unlock hidden levels within the 8-bit themed “Sonic Simulator”, which is basically a 2 player mode that works much better in theory than in practice. Fortunately, you can play through it in single player mode.

They even found a way to make the water levels in a Sonic game not only tolerable, but actually FUN. The only negative thing I can say about the game is that the difficulty spikes pretty high in the last few stages, mainly due to poorly placed (or in one case, lack of) checkpoints. That, and the credits song is an auto-tuned piece of garbage. But hey, those are all minor notes in what is Sonic’s best game since his 16-bit days. If you enjoy platformers, then by all means, check out Sonic’s latest adventure. It’s a Sonic game that finally makes him a contender against that pesky plumber again.

I think it was in the game’s fourth world, Planet Wisp, when it finally clicked… I was jumping around, smashing through blocks and zipping through tight spots, when I realized… hey, I’m actually ENJOYING this. THIS… this is what Sonic should’ve been all along. No tag teaming with his shitty friends. No manditory fishing games. No epic final battle with a demon god. And no making out with a human. Just Sonic bouncing along a bunch of grassy hills, gaining enough speed to leap up and grab some rings. That’s all we need, Sega. Just keep that in mind and Sonic will be just fine.

The fall… and further fallening of Sonic the Hedgehog

October 1, 2011

My Wavebird skidded across the floor… why, you might ask? Well, I had thrown it out of frustration while playing Sonic Heroes. It was 2004, after the whole “Sega Goes Third Party” dealie, and this was Sonic’s first brand new multi-platform game. This was the one, they promised, the one that would return to the fun of the Genesis titles (oh, how many times they would re-use THAT line over the years). I somewhat enjoyed the two Sonic Adventure games, in spite of the horrid level designs that would plague the latter halves of both of the titles, not to mention that gawd-awful camera.

And here it was, years later, and I was still having the same issues, only moreso. I was in some stupid haunted house stage, trying to get Sonic and his loser friends through to the end. The level design was insipid, and the camera had somehow gotten worse, deciding right in the middle of a jump that it should cut to a different angle, causing me to plummet to my death. But it was one segment that caused me to just turn the game off forever… to get across a bottomless pit, I had to homing attack a series of enemies. Only one problem… half the time Sonic would not auto target an enemy, and plummet to his death. I could NOT get past that segment due to the stupid camera and awful controls. Finally, I said those three magic words I’m sure anyone probably said while playing a modern Sonic game.

“Fuck this SHIT.”

I pressed the power switch on my Gamecube, took out the disc and put it back in its case, never to be played again. Fifty bucks down the drain, that I could’ve spent on a GOOD game. Or some decent entrees at a good restaurant. Or fifty 20oz bottles of Pepsi.

The next several years were not kind at all to Sonic… not in the least. Things only went downhill after Heroes, with some terrible spin-offs like Sonic Riders and Sonic and the Secret Rings, culminating with the universally reviled “Sonic 2006“, which most assumed would be the death-kneel for the series. The only bright spot was Sonic Rush on the DS, which was decent, if only because it was a 2-D platformer that kept the spirit of the Genesis games alive. And in all honesty, I was disappointed. I was a Nintendo kid growing up, but I still enjoyed playing the Sonic games on my friend’s Genesis. I wasn’t a console snob; I’d play anything if it was fun. So it was kind of sad to see Sonic go out like this, with the best memory gamers would have of modern day Sonic was his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

When Sonic Unleashed was revealed, it showed a lot of promise, with a comprimise of both 2-D and 3-D gameplay, and many people believed it could finally be the game that redeemed Sonic. Even I started to believe that Sega learned from their mistakes and stopped shoving in more stupid friends and pointless gimmicks…

Until that damn werehog showed up.

At that point, I gave up hope. Sega had learned nothing, and Sonic was doomed to suck. Not that it mattered much to me, as Nintendo was providing plenty of platforming love in the shape of Super Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Even when a new, Wii exclusive Sonic game was announced, I dismissed it, expecting some other stupid gimmick to be involved.

Then the reviews and player feedback started to come out. And it was almost all POSITIVE. Sega had actually pulled off the impossible, brought out an enjoyable Sonic game that wasn’t filled with gimmicks, horrible controls, or an insipid story involving clones or ancient gods. But still, I resisted. I’d been burned too many times already, and I wasn’t going to be fooled by that blue bastard again. I told myself that if I ever saw the game for under twenty bucks, I would pick it up, since I could probably recoup my purchase by reselling it if it sucked. And for nearly a year, it stayed in the $40-50 range.

Then, one day, while browsing, I saw it marked down to $19.16.

“Oh, fine. What the hell.”

I placed it into my shopping cart and clicked ‘Check Out’.

to be continued