Sonic Heroes

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Sonic Heroes was a good bit different than the Sonic Adventure games. While those games stopped the furious speed with adventure elements, this game was more true to it’s 2D roots. It was a pretty straight forward platformer with little distractions. ~Adam R.

Sonic Heroes

While Gamecube fans liked the ports of the two Sonic Adventure games, Sonic Heroes was the first original Sonic game for the system. Ironically Sega also produced PS2 and Xbox versions which gave Sonic a home on all the major consoles. Though most critics cite the Gamecube version as the superior edition.

Sonic Heroes - Nintendo Gamecube - Gameplay Screenshot

 Regardless of platform, Sonic Heroes was a good bit different than the Sonic Adventure games. While those games stopped the furious speed with adventure elements, this game was more true to it’s 2D roots. It was a pretty straight forward platformer with little distractions.
Sonic Heroes - Nintendo Gamecube - Gameplay Screenshot
 The game also made use of Sonic’s friends and enemies being forced upon the player. You can pick between four teams of three. So you had the good team (Sonic, Tails Knuckles), the evil team (Shadow, Rogue, Omega), the girly team (Amy, Cream, Big), and the weird team. The last team was comprised of the awful characters from Knuckles Chaotix. I have to give Sega credit for bringing back such strange characters for no reason.
Sonic Heroes - Nintendo Gamecube - Gameplay Screenshot
The game was received well by critics, and fans but nothing compared to the praise of the Genesis generation. I ended up never playing the game myself, but I was very tempted at the time. At least it wasn’t as awful or bizarre as some of the sequels that followed.

Did you know: Sonic had a Girlfriend?

madonna in a red dress

Did you know: Sonic had a Girlfriend?

It’s true our favorite blue hedgehog originally had a girlfriend named Madonna that was to appear in the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. Madonna was described as a blonde haired skinny human woman in a form-fitting red dress.

Apparently Madonna was to chase Sonic around kind of like Amy Rose does in some of the current Sonic games. She was created by Hirokazu Yasuhara, but Madonna eventually was scrapped due in large part to Madeline Schroeder and her wanting to soften the Sonic character for children. She also felt it would appeal better to foreign countries without Madonna feeling that character felt to “Japanese”.

Other Sonic Facts

Sonic and MJ

In addition to losing his girlfriend Sonic originally was to be part of a rock band and only 15 years old. I am beginning to see a pattern here. His shoes were inspired by a pair of Michael Jackson’s boots and the reason Sonic died when he fell in water is because Sonic programmer, Yuji Naka mistakenly thought that hedgehogs could not swim.

As a bonus, check out this retrospective on Sonic the Hedgehog

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Sonic CD

Sonic CD - Main Screen

Of course, this should’ve happened months ago but there are always things that come and go with our lives and other things. It’s finally here though and what better way to reach the one hundred mark than with an incredible game. A personal favorite if you ask me! Lets check Sonic CD out!

Sonic CD - Main Screen

The music of Sonic CD is something to admire. Not even the Sonic 3 soundtrack which was directed by Michael Jackson was good enough to surpass this. There might be different opinions on this matter but the fact is that this game has an incredible soundtrack! Don’t believe me? Just try it out for yourself!!

Sonic CD - Main Screen

The graphics are top notch for a 16 bit Sonic game. The game not only looks beautiful but it also has a 3D view at times especially when Sonic runs through some ramps. The angle switches and almost gives it a 3D look. There is plenty of color to see and lots of graphical beauties to admire. Well done Sega.

Sonic CD - Main Screen

What can you expect from a real good Sonic game? Great gameplay of course. The levels get challenging along the way but not too challenging to make you throw your controller against the wall. The levels stay fresh and offer new ideas which is why this has been one of the more enjoyable Sonic games ever released. You have to search for all the secrets and even try to acquire all the stones. Can you accomplish such tasks?

Sonic CD - Main Screen

The game has a great replay value. You can pick this game and beat it from start to finish and enjoy it every time. This is an example of why these games are referred to as “classics”. They are always a great experience to come back and challenge yourself over and over. Keep this one in your collection for sure!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDuk-wsY0rA[/youtube]

To conclude, the game is just a gem and probably one of the best Sonic games ever. After years of mediocre Sonic releases, we can always go back to this one and enjoy what Sonic was. Thank goodness for Sonic Generations reviving the franchise! Be sure to pick up Sonic CD to battle against Metal Sonic whenever you get a chance!! A must have!!

Sonic Blast on the Nintendo 3DS

From the Euro Desk:

Sonic Blast

Sonic Blast on the Nintendo 3DS

UK fans rejoice soon you will be able to play the Sega classic Sonic Blast on your Nintendo 3DS. The retro Game Gear title will be available via the Nintendo eShop  this Thursday for about  €5.

In Sonic Blast you can play as Sonic or Knuckles in this classic title which comes complete with 14 classic levels. The game is full of power-ups, special advantages like Sonic’s new Boost Blast, allowing you to reach hidden areas and Knuckles super climbing skills to help you gain extra points, and even hidden levels.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T7TcBYUSNo[/youtube]

P.S. Don’t worry U.S. fans, it’s coming soon to us as well.

Sonic 4: Episode 2 Announcement and Trailer

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Sonic 4: Episode 2 Announcement and Trailer

Sonic_4_Logo

Coming next year is the follow-up to the downloadable Sega game, Sonic 4. This all new version will feature brand new graphics and a new physics engine as well. The idea behind the new physics engine is to get you back to the feeling of playing Sonic on your Genesis console.

However, the biggest newest is the return of Sonic’s longtime side kick Tails. We still await word to see if you will be able to play fully as Tails either in the full game or special side stages. For now check out this very small teaser.

Sonic on Sale

sonic-the-hedgehog

Xbox Live is continuing its sale giving gamers additional presents up to the New Year. Today’s deal is on everything Sonic, well almost everything. Take 60% off the normal price of the following tittles.

Sonic 4, Episode 1

800

320

60%

Sonic Adventure

800

320

60%

Sonic Adventure Upgrade

400

160

60%

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

400

160

60%

Sonic the Hedgehog

400

160

60%

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

400

160

60%

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb6ibNBFtcE[/youtube]

Thanks to Major Nelson for the info. Now get out there and get the goods!

Super Mario World

Super Mario World - SNES - Box

There’s no doubt that the Mario series is one of the greatest runs in the history of gaming, and no doubt thatSuper Mario World is near the top (if not THE top) of the list. Here is where I give you my opinion. Let me tell you why I’m a bit odd…

I had mentioned during a Sonic review that I preferred that series over Mario. I understand that I’m in the minority, but let me explain…I’ve always preferred my games a bit linear. I like having a goal. I like going from point A to point B to complete that goal. The thing that drives me crazy about the Mario games is that there is so many hidden things, so many warps, so many crazy-ass things going on at the same time, that I sometimes forget why I was playing in the first place…the GOAL. I don’t care about capturing every coin, or every power-up, or finding every secret entrance…I just want to grab that princess and tickle Bowser with my moustache. …or was that the other way around? I just wanted to make myself clear.

Super Mario World - SNES - Map

Anyway, the first thing I wanted to add was…I had fun. I had a lot of fun. There were a couple of times I got stuck and had to hit YouTube for the walkthrough, but …what the hell.

The game starts with the princess getting captured again…which is ridiculous, but these games aren’t known for their clever storylines. Bowser is back with his little minion-creatures, and you have to stop them. Luckily, your brother can help (if you play co-op), and you have a new buddy named Yoshi, who is kind of a cute, lizardy/dino thingy that eats constantly…including most of the bad guys. You can (and will) ride him like a horse, although I personally didn’t have much need for him as long as I had cooler power-ups (more on them later).

Super Mario World - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot- 3

The graphics were the first thing I noticed, where I could tell a huge difference between the NES andSNES processors. The basic look of characters and backgrounds were mimicked from SMB3, but a nice upgrade with the brighter colors. Didn’t look too cartoony, which I thought may be a problem for me. I know this was an early title for the SNES, but was damned impressed with the varied look of the backgrounds, and how smoothly everything ran.

The classic Mario music was all here…light and bubbly for the most part. Very cutesy and expected for the game. It was mixed up for different stages and “boss” fights, the tone changed when necessary…just enough to notice and appreciate, but not distracting.

The sound effects were fun and funny, again expected. Nothing that really jumped out at me…just typical Mario stuff. Jumping, grabbing coins, etc..

The controls were solid, although it can be difficult trying the “combo” buttons like flying (and hold flight). Mario moved fluidly, sometimes a little too fast, but that’s more my problem. Overall, very nice.

Super Mario World - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot- 4

Back to the gameplay, the map system is still present, very similar to SMB3. Complete a level, and a pathway appears for you to travel to the next area. All pretty simple, although there were some hidden areas that needed accessing for pass-through. This is why I needed YouTube. I don’t mind secret areas if they are “bonuses”, but usually frown upon them if they are necessary. Nothing more frustrating to me than completing a level, then finding out I have to redo the level because there was some ordinary block that I was supposed to hit, which will open a secret room, which will give me some key to open another path. Again, I know most people love that stuff, but it irritates the hell out of me. If I’m playing a Tomb Raider game, I don’t want to escape a temple, fly to Rome, complete half that level, then be told the key to the underground tomb is under a rock back in the flippin temple…got it? Having ranted that, this game didn’t nearly have as much of that nonsense as I expected, and (to me) nowhere near as much as some other Mario and Zelda games.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXvHHwOYTFg[/youtube]

I will say the overall challenge of the game was not very high (which I liked), not including my cheating. CHALLENGE, I like. Frustratingly impossible, I don’t. I was grabbing power-ups like they were going out of style, and I found an area or two where I could farm the crap out of 1-ups. Not cheating exactly, but I wanted to make sure I could complete the game. Most levels were pretty easy to get through, and the replay value (for most people) is extremely high because of the countless secrets.

The bosses were ridiculously easy, just bounce on their heads a couple of times…and there you go. Not really a challenge.

Mario could get super, ride a dinosaur, swim, fly with a magic cape, spin-kick some dudes…all good fun. I really did enjoy the hell out of this game, and the imagination that goes into developing something like this should always be held in the highest regard, even if you’re not a fan of cute platformers (which I am).

I also found myself highly addicted to completing the game, which is the highest compliment I can give. I certainly never got bored with it, or probably ever would. Maybe I’ll get back to it someday and try to find those many secrets I passed up…the game does have save features after all.

Overall, I give it a 9/10. In most people’s eyes this is a perfect game, and it is great. But, the game was either too easy or too difficult, depending on the level or if the “hidden area“ NEEDED accessing. That balance was just wacky. But, it was fun…and that’s usually all I ask out of a game.

 

Console Wars: SNES vs Genesis

snes-sega

Ah, the console wars of the 1990’s it was a time when most people only had one and whichever side you were on you believed it was the best. Either you were a Super NES fan or Sega Genesis fan and both companies took advantage of this, but Sega really played to their fanboi audience.

Remember this commercial:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlulSyBI2aY[/youtube]

Blast processing, it was a marketing term to make you believe the Genesis was completely superior to the SNES, but what SNES fans noticed was graphics. Often Genesis fans talked about how fast games seemed and said Sonic could not run on and SNES. However, we know that the Genesis only had a palette of 512 colors while the SNES had over 32 thousand. Not only that, but the SNES could show you 256 different colors on one screen while the Genesis could only show you 62. The result was the sprites and backgrounds did run faster on the Genesis because they were less detailed, but were much clearer and detailed on the SNES.

Mortal Kombat

As far as sound the SNES won again and again we can use Mortal Kombat as an example. The sounds in the SNES port were much better than the Genesis and the reason is simple. The Genesis had a Yamaha sound chip and a Texas Instruments PSG, with 8K of sound memory between them. The SNES had a custom designed Sony sound chip and Sony DSP, with 64K of sound memory giving it the clear advantage. The result was clearer sounds with more audible tones available to be heard.

Now when it comes to controllers that is more players choice, many Genesis fanbois said the size of the controller were made for men and the SNES for little boys and girls, but most gamers will tell you the SNES was a better pad and Sega original game pad was a ripoff of the Nintendo design.

SEGA_vs_NINTENDO_STREET_FIGHTER_2

The most important contest was in the games department. Now don’t get me wrong, Sega had a ton of great games and even ports like Mortal Kombat that looked better on the SNES were more fun on the Genesis. However, talking classics SNES wins hands down which is why they seem to keep remaking those classics over and over.

Oh and BTW there was a bootleg port of all the Sonic games for the SNES and they ran just fine, so much for blast processing.

Ok maybe this isn’t the best example.

So which side were you on?

Sonic CD: Coming Soon

sonic cd logo

Fans of the classic Sega CD game will soon have the chance to play Sonic CD on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, iPhone and iPod touch, iPad, PC Digital Download, Android, and Windows Phone. The release will feature the original Japanese soundtrack and is set to be released in late 2011, most likely right in time for the holidays.

sonic cd

Following the classic story of the original, Sonic CD sees Dr Eggman plan to cause chaos and take control of the future by stealing Time Stones from the Little Planet. Sonic must speed through levels and travel through time while fending off Eggman’s robots to recover the Time Stones, and save Amy Rose from his mechanical twin, Metal Sonic! This fast-paced game will return with brand new features including enhanced widescreen graphics, special iOS features, Xbox LIVE Achievements, PSN Trophies, PC Achievements and more.

FUCK YOU, CAPCOM! YOU ROBOT KILLING BASTARDS!


Yeah! That’s the name of this article! FUCK YOU, CAPCOM!

Whoa, whoa, calm down there, buddy! Take a breather and tell us what’s wrong.

You want to know what’s wrong, readers? Are you deaf? Are you daft? Stupid? Or just plain retarded? Didn’t you hear? They are cancelling the Mega Man franchise! The Mega Man franchise! The whole goddamn thing! Do you even-

So what? Mega Man has been dead for awhi-

Look At That GQ Smile

Don’t you say it! Don’t you dare even say that blasphemous shit! Mega Man is as healthy and as vibrant as ever! Mega Man Network seemed to sell well amongst the little ones! Mega Man 9 & 10 were a great homage to the past and beginnings of our rock n’ roll android hero! Mega Man Zero and ZX kept to the hardcore, instant death pitfall, metal crunching insanity of the old Mega Man X style of game play. The Zero series was the most badass installment for the franchise outside of all the stupid ELF shit!

Umar, Mega Man was cool on the NES. Nothing about the franchise is-

Did I say you could speak, smegma breath? Did you even play Marvel VS Capcom 3? Do you watch the tournaments for the game? Do you know who is one of the most badass characters chosen? That’s right. It isn’t Wesker or Arthur! It’s the Maverick-fucking Reploid, Zero! How can you compete against a robot with a plasma gun and a lightsaber? How? You can’t even concoct an answer for that kind of shit! Even EMPs don’t do a thing to him.

I see your point. That does sound pretty darn bad ass!

Thank you! I’m glad we’ve come to an understanding on the travesty set before us!

Looks Like You Won, Wily!

Capcom… what the fuck, man? Why are you doing this shit to me? My daughter is due in a couple of days. How am I going to explain this to her? “Daddy?”, she’s going to ask me, “Why aren’t there any games with super fighting robots? Perhaps ones with androids that thwart the plans of a comically evil mad scientist who time and time again proves he is untrustworthy. Why hasn’t this existed?” After a pause that thickens the air she will look at me baffled. “Daddy? Why are you crying?”

This is like telling me Disney World is closing down. Do you fucking grasp the literal hole you’ve placed in my heart? I went to the doctor and they told me I have a HOLE which shouldn’t be there in my heart! Thanks for handing out my death certificate, you reapers of childhood dreams! Thanks for killing away Mega Man while Sonic the Hedgehog thrives in the festering mounds of shit it has enterprised on.

I can’t handle this insanity, Capcom. I don’t even know what else to tell you!

“Good luck with your future endeavors!” No, I wouldn’t wish you safe tidings on your journey without Mega Man.

“I hope it all turns out well.” We both know this would be a lie pouring out between the gaps of my teeth.

“Please bring back Mega Man!” As much as I despise you right now, as much as my stomach twists in knots, as much as my blood boils in unbridled wrath, I know pleading won’t bring back Mega Man. I’m realistic about this kind of shit. You just don’t care. You’ve lost money and cut your losses. Mega Man isn’t cool right? It’s all about Lost Planets, Ace Attorneys, and Street Fighters. No room in your hearts for an android boy and his dog Rush? It’s fine. You may kill one of the greatest heroes of all time but you’ll never kill off Dr. Wily’s Stage song in Mega Man 2. That sweet harmony will always resonate in my heart and echo within my soul forever!

But seriously, though…

Fuck you!

Retro Love: Buy a Dreamcast

Sega Dreamcast Logo

It’s been quite some time since I’ve got my brand new, but also (and that’s quite an oxymoron) second hand, SEGA Dreamcast, and let me tell you, I am as happy a punter as one can be. I’m a 100% converted and a newborn SEGA fanboy (well, not a boy in the full sense, but you get the idea… at least I’m not in my thirties just yet). I’m also rather thankful to the Dreamcast Junkyard for fuelling my DC obsession.

All things considered I’m thankful to dear Mr. Elderly too, for providing this blog’s comments space with a healthy dose of Irish surrealism, but that’s definitely none of your business. All you should focus on is buying a Dreamcast (unless of course you already got one, in which case you should consider buying a second). Why? Well, because…

1) It’s a matter of price.

The Dreamcast is dead cheap. You should be able to buy a brand new one for less than 80$ (that’s 60 euros) over at Lik-Sang (try clicking on the banner at the end of the article to see for yourself), or follow my example and buy a second hand one, either at e-bay or at your local second-hand-store-bazaar-whatever for quite a bit less than 50$. And this is paying for a 100% current-gen console.
Sega Dreamcast Console
the Dreamcast (via)

2) It’s the bleeding hardware

It doesn’t only look smart, it is smart. SEGA’s Dreamcast is miles ahead from both the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation, even though it’s not as powerful as the PS2 or the GameCube. It sports a RISC 128bit CPU capable of 360 MIPS (N64 ~120 MIPS, PS1 ~30 MIPS), a special edition PowerVR2 graphics processor, that can cope with 10 times PS1’s polygons, 16MB of RAM, a 1 Giga “GD-ROM” (aka fancy, fast and easily pirated CD-ROM) drive, brilliant 64 channel audio and a modem. Yes. The first console modem ever. Oh, and European players will apparently enjoy full 60Hz PAL support.

Sega Dreamcast Motherboard

the insides of the beast (via)

3) It’s the brilliant (and admittedly very cheap) games

With more than 300 games, the Dreamcast has something for everyone, except perhaps for us poor football minded maniacs. Most used (and abused) games should be picked up at ridiculous prices of 5-10$ (less in euros, even less in pounds), while published titles include such brilliant gems as Soul Calibur, Rez, Sonic Adventure 2, Rayman 2, Phantasy Star Online, Quake 3 (you might even be able to track down Half-Life), Metropolis Street Racer, Shenmue, Ikaruga, Crazy Taxi 2, Jet Grind Radio and the quite legendary Samba de Amigo.

Soul Calibur - Sega Dreamcast Screenshot

Soul Calibur

 

I could actually go on and mention at least a dozen more distinctive and defining games, but I’d rather mention something else. Dreamcast games are still being produced! Have a look at the 2006 released Under Defeat or the forthcoming Last Hope shooter.

Under Defeat - Sega Dreamcast Screenshot

Under Defeat

4) It’s the innovation and the quirkyness

And I’m talking innovation, beside the Internet connection or the PAL ting. The Dreamcast controller featured a brilliant analog stick, the now-standard shaped triggers and interestingly the Virtual Memory Unit, or VMU. This VMU thingy was far more than a memory stick. It plugged into the controller and used its little LCD screen to display relevant game information or graphics and even was a wee version of Gameboy, as it also functioned as a completely separate portable handheld gaming device (from hell). VMU games can be found right here, but searching and googling around will lead you to quite a few more cyber-stashes.

Sega Dreamcast VMU

the VMU (exposed)

 

As for quirkyness, one could mention the DC Keyboard, the Fishing Rod, the quite new-at-the-time Vibration Pack and above all Dreamcast’s Wii capabilities.

5) It’s the scene

By saying the scene I’m talking of the vibrant DC emulation, demo, homebrew and even amateur journalism community. On the Dreamcast you see, one can play anything from old arcade, to MegaDrive, Amiga, Atari, Gameboy, Playstation or NES games. There’s even a ScummVM port that makes those old Lucasarts adventures of yore DC compatible. Then again one can listen to MP3s, watch DivX videos, see the Dreamcast get pushed to its limits and play zillions of Tetris versions. All of these courtesy of the scene.

To start tasting sweet freeware offerings (you will need DiscJuggler to burn things on CD) try the following links: DCEvolution.net, Dreamcast Homebrew, IGN Dreamcast, Dreamcast @ pout.net.

6) There is no 6

Go on. Buy one! It’s cheap and powerful, but also quite the retro machine. Oh, and the Wii isn’t out yet.

Your very first experience with a 3D game and its hits you

Back in 1990s when games were mainly popular on arcades in India,some of the many popular arcade games here were – Cadillacs‑Dinosaurs,Super Mario Bros,Street Fighter 2,King of Fighters,Sonic and some more.

It was the year 1998 when I witnessed the very first 3D game right in front of my retinas.For a complete first 10 minutes of focusing hard on the visuals, I was awestruck. That piece of innovation hit all the right wavelengths in my head to an extent that I could not play it at all(What??You can see that environment in a 360 degree rotation)during my first several attempts.I was fascinated.I loved it! I felt a sudden emergence of an entirely new exuberance in me.The information was too much for the young brain of mine and I shivered in great excitement when I saw what I saw at that time.I am short on words here.

The game I am talking about here was Mortal Combat 4,arcade edition.

The finishing moves were obviously for a 18+ gamer but I suppose that at that time the ratings system was not in place.Even if it was then I must say that it’s still pending implementation in my country and thank goodness for that.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwkMMmLHD7s

All that gore and ruthless killing in the game, which otherwise, would have hurt my tiny little brain soon transformed to super cool fun.I,with my couple more friends,started to enjoy the game and the new revolutionary “3D-graphics” took our experience of gaming to a whole new level.

For us at that time,even those 500 Tris character models were the most super realistic digital form of moving art ever witnessed in a game before.The ending moves were the parts for what we were playing the game.Soon the two player versus gaming mode took a similar shape as of the previous arcade fighter games offered and it elevated how we used to enjoy digital gaming earlier even more. And then no one wanted to finish a game again and again for fun or for scores.We all just wanted to kick and slam each other’s digital asses for good in 3D.

The impact of this one 3D game was so successful to have put some serious impact on my head at that time and I instantly found ,in my 8th standard of junior schooling, that I wanted to make games in the future as a career. I am pretty sure I wasn’t alone with such an uprising feeling of doing something which was totally fresh as a career option at that time and most of the people didn’t even know how to generalize it with a term.

With time I realized the diversity in this one field and hence I choose to be a 3D designer.I still have to get my hands on my first game design project,but I have been pretty content with what I have done so far.However I am happy with the fact I am doing something which I loved at first glanced.

So let me ask you,which was the first 3D game you played and what impact/change/effect did it have on your brain in terms of gaming experience.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Fan Q and A

Q and A session

This week on the Obsolete Gamer Show we turned to our fans to answer their questions from our Facebook Fan page. We had our good friend Tom in the studio and was able to get though most of the questions.

Here is a list of the questions we answered.

Why did bloody EA have to buy Criterion Software and shag up the Burnout series?

What is the most unusual game console you ever had the opportunity to play?

How long before sony gets serious about their portables?

What are your favorites quotes taken from games and why?

Which chips challenge do you prefer and why?

What is Batman’s stance on legalizing marijuana?

Who would win out of Sonic and Mario in a Hell in the Cell match?

For those questions we did not get to don’t worry, we will add a question of the day part to our show to answer your questions.

In the meantime, have a listen and leave us some feedback.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Q and A

Or have a listen on our official OGS page and let us know what you think.

Or download our podcast from Itunes

 

Sonic 2

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Sonic 2 is a game to pick up and play and have a good night with. It should definitely be in everyone’s gaming collection. ~Luis Zena

Sonic 2

Sonic 2 defined the way we looked at sonic games. This is probably the best sonic for the Genesis (Sonic 3 comes real close) because of how many memories we had with it. For me, it was the first Genesis game I ever played, in fact, it was the first time I ever saw the Genesis and it was all thanks to the popularity of this franchise. The game is breath taking from beginning to end with some of the best level design in any Sonic game.

Sonic 2 - Gameplay Screeenshot 1

The game consists of three levels per world and a boss fight. If I remember correctly, there are eight worlds with three levels each. I myself haven’t reached the end but one of these days I will try to accomplish it. Either way, anyone can pick it up especially since the game is so common to find and usually has a collector value of .50 cents so there really shouldn’t be any problem picking it up. The reason this game was so common was because Sega packaged it with the Genesis console to help pump up sales which worked for a while and gave Sega the lead over Nintendo during the early 90’s console wars. Furthermore, the game has excellent sound and peculiar bad guys that turn into animals when you kill them.

Sonic 2 - Genesis Box

To conclude, this is a game to pick up and play and have a good night with. It should definitely be in everyone’s gaming collection. I also suggest if you don’t want to buy a genesis get the recently released Genesis Collection disc for the next gen consoles. It brings tons of games and will definitely satisfy your Sonic needs. Until the next retro game of the week.

Obsolete Intros: Sonic CD

Sonic CD intro
Sonic CD intro

So your uncle who you really hated kicked the bucket and you were forced to go to a wake, on a school night only to be poked, prodded and questions by relatives you wished were in the casket next to dear old Uncle Ted. Then from the corner of your eye you see your cousin’s hot friend who feels so sorry for you that you end up making out in the janitor’s closet all night. Well my friend’s that is called getting something good out of a bad situation and Sonic CD is that hot friend at the horrible wake called the Sega CD.

This game was one of the few reasons to purchase a Sega CD and the cool anime-style intro helped set the mood. Sure, by today’s standards it may look and sound cheese, but for 1993 the visuals were pretty nice. What turned the tide however was the cool intro song titled; “Sonic Boom”.

If you’re strong, you can fly,
you can reach the other side of the rainbow.
It’s alright, take a chance,
’cause there is no circumstance
that you can’t handle (when you use your mind)

Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom
(Trouble keeps you runnin’ faster)
Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom
(Save the planet from disaster)

Sonic Boom was performed by Pastiche, a band comprised of members, Sandy Cressman, Jenny Meltzer and Becky West. Sonic Boom was used as both the beginning and ending music with the instrumentals changed slightly for each. The actual full motion video was edited and shortened to sync up with the music.

Personally I thought this was the perfect video game song. Sonic Boom had those easy memorable lyrics and the pacing of the music both in the beginning and the end told the story you were about to enter and the one you just left.

As for the intro video itself you started off with a mountain valley and as the music starts we see our hero dashing in at super speed giving you a feeling of just how fast Sonic really is. I really though the effect of Sonic creating a rainbow when running across the water was a nice touch. In addition, showcasing how he does actually have to jump from place to place and spin dash through various debris in his way gave more credibility to the jumps and moves you would have to do in game.

We next get a shot of Sonic’s Lamborghini red shoes before he sprints across the landscape to perch himself atop a rock formation to view the target ahead of him. From there we see the super chain holding the planet at bay which conveniently broke up some boulders so Sonic can jump and spin dash through to his final viewing spot, again a nice touch and pretty good animated action sequence. We get a final overview of the landscape as Sonic locks onto his target before he runs down the rock formation, spin dashes and leaps into the air onto the chain and rushes toward the planet.

Overall, I enjoyed this opening, it was well animated with great music and got you hyped up to play the game.

Five Treasured items from my Console Days

a lot of NES stuff
a lot of NES stuff

Five Treasured items from my Console Days

Everyone has items or knickknacks that they keep because of the fond memories. It can be the ticket to the first baseball game you went to or a lock of hair from that girl you’ve been stalking. Just like baseball cards and comic books there are items that we treasure and if we had the time and space would create a shrine to. Unfortunately, when it came to my console gaming days I didn’t take very good care of my stuff and so much of it was either, destroyed, and lost, sold or traded. However, there are items that I would definitely put in a safe place to remind me of the joy it brought me.

The Gold Zelda Cartridge

NES Zelda Gold cartridge
NES Zelda Gold cartridge

Believe it or not it is rarer to find the grey Zelda cart than the gold, but for me it was just too cool to open the box and find a shiny gold cartridge. The gold cart just went along with the game and collecting the tri-force of power and began long before the overused term “bling”. The golden cartridge just stood out in your collection.

Sonic 3 & Sonic & Knuckles

Sega Genesis Sonic & Knuckles cartridge
Sega Genesis Sonic & Knuckles cartridge

I was a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan and as such the last thing I wanted was my game to come to an end. When these carts were released so you could connect them I geeked out hardcore. When you finished Sonic 3 the game would automatically transition into Sonic & Knuckles.

This was called Lock-on-Technology. Originally Sonic 3 was to feature Knuckles and many of the levels found in Sonic and Knuckles but due to time constraints the game was split into two. There are a bunch of differences to the games when using the Lock-on-Technology including the ending being different in Sonic 3, Knuckles being playable in Sonic 3 and having modified levels in Sonic 3. You could also connect Sonic 2 to the Knuckles cart to make Knuckles in Sonic 2 and gain the ability to play as Knuckles.

The Super Game Boy

Super Gameboy cartridge
Super Gameboy cartridge

I was a Game boy freak. Sure, it did not have the graphics or the color of the Game Gear, but I fell it love with the games and played it more than my GG when I finally got one. The Super Game Boy allowed you to play the original Gameboy games and the first Gameboy color games. For the most part the graphics remained the same at least in early games, but later on the some of the Gameboy games could take advantage of the SNES hardware and display more colors.

In addition some games had extras and enhancements when plugged into the SNES. One example was if you played Space Invaders you got the full SNES from the Gameboy cart. Also some games such as Killer Instinct allowed you to use your second control for two player action. Finally some of the Gameboy color games featured additional sounds when used with the SGB.

 

 

 

Sega 32x

Sega 32x
Sega 32x

I know this was a failure, but I loved connecting my Sega CD with the 32x and making a big super console. I felt like it was some kind of transformer like the one that turns into the Autobots base. Honestly, the only game I ever played on this was Doom and by the time I did I was already playing it on my PC. In the end it was a waste of time and money, but I enjoyed just having it if nothing else as a bragging piece.

The Game Genie

Sega Genesis Game Genie cartridge
Sega Genesis Game Genie cartridge

Let’s face it, if you weren’t using cheat codes you were missing out on the full gaming experience. The Game Genie changed the way we played console games allowing you to do all types of things with games you normally would have never had the ability too.

The was a Game Genie for pretty much all the major Sega and Nintendo consoles including the Gameboy. You could get the codes from magazines or even by calling an 800 number. Personally I only used codes once I finished a game because I wore beating a game like a badge of honor, but once I did it the legit way it was open season. Truly having a Game Genie expanded the playability of games by a lot.

Jeroen Talman: Games Factory Online

Games Factory Online logo

Name: Jeroen Talman

Company: Games Factory Online

Profession: Project Manager / Game Producer

Favorite Classic Game: Alexx Kidd in Miracle World

Quote: As a little kid I never owned a NES, but we had a Sega Master System II instead. This console had the game Alexx Kidd in Miracle World build in. I spent so many hours playing this game as a 6-year old boy that the nostalgic feelings I have with the game overrule other games like Sonic.
The use of vehicles and mini-games such as rock-paper-scissors were impressive, just like the shop system. Alexx Kidd, where are you nowadays… We miss you dearly!


Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1: A Mediocre Adventure Begins!

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 title
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 title

It has been sixteen dark years since the last true Sonic game made its debut. Sega ventured on towards 3D adventures with their signature Blue Flash and since then the fandom that followed Sonic slowly converted to Mario or lost interest in the platform genre as a whole. The masses cried out, their faces stained in the salt of dry tears for Sega to remember the past, remember their roots! After witnessing the success of Megaman 9 and 10, Sega’s minds opened up to hope and the prayers of their fans finally fell upon eager ears. Sonic the Hedgehog 4, the continuation of the main 2D adventure line was to be restored! Thousands upon thousands of loyalist creamed their pants at the mere thought of Sonic returning to his true form. Surely, Sega would remember what made Sonic great.

Unfortunately, they didn’t. The return of Sonic is anything but a sequel to Sonic and Knuckles. The developers of Sonic 4 didn’t seem to know what made Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Knuckles stand on their own as epic platforming adventures. All that they remembered was the formula of level design and loops. The game plays like a mix mashed combination of both Sonic 1 and 2.

The first thing I noticed about this game that bothered instantly once I noticed it, was Sonic’s amazing brakes. I remember in the old games that Sonic used to come to a skidding stop. In this iteration of our hero, he just stops. If you want Sonic to stop where you want, he will. Sometimes midair I could just stop moving forward during an initial jump and slide down an invisible wall when all I wanted to do was reduce my jumping speed. The biggest most daunting issue I had with this was when I’d complete a zone with 50 gold rings and attempted to jump into the bonus stage golden ring at the sign post. Most of the time, I’d run right past it and think “Crap!” and try to run back in time as Sonic zooms off screen. As I made the jump toward the ring, autopilot would kick in and Sonic would just collapse like a ragdoll to the ground in front of it and walk away off screen again.

Orbinaut – Sonic the Hedgehog
Orbinaut – Sonic the Hedgehog

Our hero also seems to enjoy walking like a robot because his running animation from start to finish is one of the least inspiring displays of speed picking up I’ve ever witnessed in a game before. His legs stiff up like Al Gore as he slowly walks forward. I seemed to be in top speed during this ridiculous take off as Sonic trudged off with an ungraceful motion due to his lack of kneecaps. Suddenly, his legs would turn into red blurs as he ran at what was supposed to depict top speeds. Regrettably, the robotic movement lacking any fluid shift was already top speed so this animation lacked any real dramatic achievement.

An inclusion to the core game play is a homing missile aerial dash which was introduced in Sonic Adventures. While this attack was a welcome addition to the 3D adventure, its transition to 2D is rather obnoxious. The difficulty of calculated attacks and hitting small openings on enemies vanishes with this ability and takes away from the nostalgia of Sonic. Many menacing old school villains which took clean precision and timing to kill, such as Orbinaut, become trivial obstacles in Sonic’s path with the addition of the aerial assault.

Super Sonic by MRi
Super Sonic by MRi

The tracks in the zone Sonic robotically glides through are lacking any real enemies. Sure a villain shows up every now and then but they are easily bypassed with the homing attack. Most of the perils in the levels are spikes and pitfalls but the track you go by makes these traps seem more like scenery than anything else as most ramps toss you over spikes. Pitfalls can be easily avoided since the levels are set up in multiple tiers and you can go cascading through the air and end up landing on a lower section of the zone. When you do die though from pitfalls, it is a surprise as there are no real warning signs of its upcoming occurrence. 90% of the time you land on something when you fall. 10% of the time there just isn’t anything and the plummet is so stretched you don’t even realize it’s a pitfall until you hear the reminiscent Sonic fatality sound.

Super Sonic makes a return once you manage to collect all the Chaos Emerald in their tilt-a-whirl secret zones. I did mention earlier how the game is mostly comprised of traps, remember? Super Sonic doesn’t seem to really run faster than his blue form and there aren’t many enemies in the way to pummel through. What you end up having is useless invincibility that slowly eats away at your life force. I didn’t find any use for Super Sonic in this game at all since most deaths were instant kills anyway.

Another thing that peeved me about the game was the music. Sonic is known for its memorable songs. I can still remember a few and hum them every now and then when I sit on the toilet seat while reading a book. The musical director for this installment must have been Keyboard Cat as all of the songs use and abuse repetitive keys with a trumpet blaring every so often. I can’t recall a single song in my head right now despite how hard I may try.

The art style in the game lacks any inspiration at all. In fact, most of the zones are just rehashed models of zones from Sonic 1. The backgrounds in the game are bland and look like something found in a free game application on the Android Market. I was reminded of games with a smaller budget and less gameplay like Totemo as I ventured further through the game’s uninspiring scenery. Some of the cogs you were supposed to interact with in Dr.Robotnik’s Lair (Yeah, I said it. Eggman sounds stupid.) seemed to be part of the background because of their dull color and slow almost shuddering movement. There were times I’d be standing around a level wondering what I am supposed to be doing only to realize that the background was actually part of the foreground.

Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog
Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog

Speaking of the good doctor, he seems to have lost that knack for creativity we had come to know his boss battles for. In each of the four zones, you fight a familiar nostalgic battle with Robotnik. As your heart flutters from your excitement of revisiting these famous bouts, half way through the battle Robotnik changes gears and gets a bit more hardcore. Each of the initial four encounters are pretty easy and Robotnik does his usual fleeing as you free your bunny friends. When you finally reach Robotnik’s space station, Sega decided to pull a Mega Man and have you fight Robotnik again in each of his four forms you battled him in throughout the campaign. The only difference in these battles from the previous skirmishes is that the doctor kicks up his rage a notch. None of his geared up antics were too difficult and are unbelievably forgettable. I just beat the game two hours ago and I can barely remember any of his new antics. To top off the insult of mutilating old battles, they decided to change one of the greatest fights with Robotnik at the end of the game. Robotnik jumps into the colossal robotic version of himself with a jetpack from Sonic 2. The major difference between that battle and this one is that you have a homing jump and there are a ton of openings to hit the suit this time. To say the least possible without ruining the tactics involved in this battle, I didn’t have to think or struggle too hard to end the game.

The game doesn’t stand on its own in the series. Fans who may run for this installment of Sonic’s latest and greatest adventure for scraps of nostalgia will be sorely disappointed and only the most hardcore of Hedgehog fans (Laraque) could find any real entertainment in this game. I, on the other hand, wish I played Comic Jumper instead. It is only the first episode of the Sonic 4 series, and more episodes may add more features but the lackluster experience of Episode 1 has left me with the taste of duran fruit in my mouth, something I never want to taste again regardless of presentation.

Sonic Crackers

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Sonic Crackers

Was this to be Sonic 4, an extension of Sonic 3 or a mash up of various Sonic games into one? There are still some who debate what this game was to be but the common wisdom is that Sonic Crackers was an early prototype for the game that would come to be known as Knuckles Chaotix for the Sega 32x system.

Sonic Crackers

This uncompleted game features Sonic and Tails who are tethered together by rings, which also appears in Knuckles Chaotix. Sonic can pick up tales and throw him to higher areas and use “bungie-like” physics to pull him up to platforms.

There were two main uncompleted levels in Sonic Crackers that had music, but no sound effect as well as bonus areas (which you entered when you died or completed the first level). There are no enemies anywhere within the zones and you cannot collect any rings but lose a large amount when you die. Also when paused you can float around the world and un-pause to get to new areas.

Who am I?

One of the first things you will notice if you get your hands on a copy of the ROM is that Sonic Crackers is named Sonic Studium. This alone has caused some to believe it was to be a completely new chapter for the series. What we have learned about ROM’s is that they don’t always contain the correct or real name of a game.

Sonic Crackers

Also the name “Studium” is not a misspelling (at least not by us) it is how it is spelled on the code. As we all know “Studium” is not a real word. Now they could have meant Stadium, but even so it is not the name of the game.

4/1/94

Another theory about Sonic Crackers is that it was a hoax by Sega.  The reasoning behind this is the date of release was April 1st 1994. While in the planning stages for Sonic 4 a new technology was announced called Lock-On, no one knew what Lock-On technology was.

Sonic Crackers

In the Sonic Crackers game Sonic and Tales are linked together by rings and a tether and the idea was that people would believe (mistakenly) that this was the Lock-On technology.

The Sound of Music

One of the reasons it was believed Sonic Crackers was its own game at one time was the music. In the end, when Chaotix was released you could hear some similar sounds between its music and the one from Sonic Crackers. However, some believe the music sounds as if beats and tones where taken away.

Sonic Crackers field zone

The idea is if Sonic Crackers was either a fake or a very early build the music would sound less complex on Crackers and more complex on Chaotix.

Industrial Zone

The first level has an industrial theme which looks a lot like the Techno Tower level from Chaotix that fuels the fire that this was just an early prototype of that game. In the ROM you can move freely through the level and as stated before you can pause the game and “float” to wherever you want.When you reach the top of the level the “Game Over” music activates and that leads you into the first “Field” or bonus level.

Sonic Crackers

The music and palettes within the game changes each time you enter which shows that a time of day features was already being tested. While you cannot conventionally die on this or any of the other levels once the times reaches three minutes you get the “Game Over” music.

Field Level A

This bonus level has a pink and yellow tile on the floor as well as rainbows and waterfalls. It appears to be in the sky as there looks to be clouds in the open areas of the level. However, despite the different sections you cannot interact or fall through anywhere within this zone.

Sonic Crackers

You can exit this stage by hitting any button.

Circus Zone

The second level in the game has a carnival/circus theme which resembles the Speed Slider Zone from Knuckles Chaotix. You cannot beat this level as it just loops around, but after one minute of play time the game over music activates.

Sonic Crackers

The overall level design looks fun with tons of loops and spins however the prototype was buggy making it had to walk on the “floor”

Field Level B

The second field is much darker and has more of a technical feel to it. It appears you are high above a futuristic city, but once again you cannot interact or fall through the level.

Sonic Crackers

In this video, made by PaxPredicate, you can see all the zones and bonus levels for Sonic Crackers. In addition, he points out many of the bugs in the game including the physics issues with the connecting rings, the lack of rings even though when you hit spikes you lose a ton of them and the level instability.

Field Testing

Now you can get your hand on this game. Pretty much it is a simple Google search and you can find a ROM for it. I used the GENS win-32 emulator to try the game out, but I have confirmed it works with many of the other popular Sega Genesis emulators. Keep in mind the game will be buggy and there are no bad guys or sound effects and you cant really finish the final level. However, it was still fun to try if nothing else than for research purposes. There are two flavors of Sonic Crackers. They are the 1MB dump and the 2MB over-dump. The 2MB over-dump contains about half of a prototype Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. The precise game that the prototype is for has not been determined.

CSI Sonic Crackers

During my research I found a few emulation sites that have people decompiling Sonic Crackers in order to learn more about the game and try to either complete it, fix the current prototype to become stable or incorporate it with an existing Sonic game. Now, I don’t know if these guys want the press so I won’t mention who they are, but the good news is many of them plan to release a copy you can play on an emulator pretty soon. If this happens and it’s safe and stable and they allow it I will follow-up and bring it to you.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1

For fans of the classic Sonic games Christmas has come early. This month you will be able to purchase Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 on the iTunes App Store, Wii Shop Channel, Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in just about a week.

Story

The story takes place right after Sonic and Knuckles. With Mecha Sonic destroyed and Eggman defeated Sonic returns the Master Emerald to Angel Island, but as you can guess the ol Doc isn’t going to take his defeat lightly.

Characters

SONIC:

Sonic is back and retains all his signature moves from the previous series including super speed, spin dash and homing attack. After defeating Dr. Eggman Sonic flies off into the sunset with Tales. Soon after he decides to take off on his own to discover a new territory and so begins the next adventure.

Dr. EGGMAN

Sometimes when you lose you think back on what you did wrong. After his defeat Dr. Eggman decides to go back and revisit and refine the best of what he created in the past. What this means for fans is some of the best areas and badniks from the previous titles with some new improvements.

Zones

Like many of the classic Sonic games Sonic 4 will bring you something old and something new. Some zones will have that familiar feel, but with updated graphics, music and badguys.

Splash Hill Zone

This zone will mirror many of the starting zones from classic Sonic including The Green hill zone. This costal paradise has green trees, rolling hills and bright blue waters, a perfect place for Dr. Egghead to start his mischief.

You can expect a lot of what you saw in Angel Hill with lots of rolling hills, spikes and springs to rocket you across the landscape. You can also swing from vines to get to higher ground and the waterfalls look pretty cool and you can swim up them to get to your destination.

Lost Labyrinth

Some fans call them zone clichés and I guess I have to agree to a point, but there is a reason for the pattern and in this case the old mixed with the new makes a great combination. In Lost Labyrinth the theme is ancient ruins in the vein of Aquatic Ruin from Sonic 2 and Marble Garden from Sonic 3. However, while this zone has the underwater ruin feel of its predecessors it adds a lot more including a Indian Jones style mining cart riding experience and you even get chased by a bolder and yes the water bubbles are still there.

This zone really takes the ruins aspect to the max; it almost has a Tomb Raider feel to it. There are classic areas to the zone including running through a maze, traversing underwater and needing to take in air bubbles. In addition you can ride a mine cart roller-coaster style and try and keep your balance on a metal bolder. If that isn’t enough there are water slides and a part where you have limited light.

Casino Street

It’s all bright lights and big city, the Casino inspired zone is taken directly from Sonic two and expanded upon with more bells and whistles than a Vegas slot machine. Speaking of which the Sonic slots are back where you can win or lose coins. Also returning is the pin ball themed areas that bounce you around the zone.

I loved the Casino Zone from “2” the slot machines were my favorite and I’m glad to see it back in “4”. I loved what they did with the playing cards being able to ride them and play mini-games with them. The pinball areas are well done and look to be a lot of fun and the over-all theme is presented nicely.

Mad Gear

It is the world Dr. Eggman wants to see, industrial with gears and pistons and I am sure a ton of pollution. This zone is in the same vein of Sonic 2’s Chemical Plant or Sonic 3’s Metropolis Zone. The colors here are not as bright and vibrant and that’s the point.

Every Sonic games has a zone like this which represents what kind of world Eggman wants, the steel and iron replaces the glass and trees of earlier levels. Also often the levels are harder to speed through as you end up spending more time jumping and avoiding traps and pitfalls.

Music

The music still has the melody of some of the earlier games, but a lot more is added to it compared to the tracks of Sonic 2 & 3. In each of the tracks you can hear the slightest hint of the original zone it was created based on and in some cases it is very clear.

[mp3player width=300 height=150 config=fmp_jw_osg_config-xml.xml playlist=sonic-the-hedgehog-4.xml]

Personally I like the simpler themes of the older games. I understand what Sega is doing adding more to their stage themes, but sometimes simple is good especially for those of us who love to remix.

Interview


From E2 2010

Breakdown

Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about Sonic 4:

  • This is only Episode 1 meaning there will be future episodes
  • There will be alternate endings if you collect all the emeralds and the ending will connect and continue with episode 2
  • There will be 4 total zones with three acts per zone plus boss battles and bonus world
  • There will be achievements which will unlock special endings
  • New skills and characters along with zones will be released in future episodes

Some fans are already claiming Sega is milking it with the episodes, but from the looks of it you will get your money’s worth per episode. This is a complete game and while short will give you the bang for the buck, that is if you are a Sonic fan.

Release Info

Now that you have an idea of what to expect here is the low down on when and where you can find it and for how much:

  • Nintendo Wii – Via Shop Channel – Oct 11th for 1500 Wii points
  • Playstation 3 – Via PlayStation Network – Oct 12th for $14.99
  • Xbox 360 – Via XBL Marketplace – Oct 13th for 1200 Microsoft Points
  • Iphone/Ipad – Via iTunes App Store – Oct 7th for $9.99

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Overall

There was a lot of hate over some of the later Sonic games, fans wanted more of the original, but the question remains if this version will satisfy the purists who want their Sonic 2 & 3 days back with those who don’t want to shell out $15 bucks for what some call “New levels for an old game.”

I, like many old school gamers, care about the gameplay over the flashing lights, we rather play a good game that stays true to its roots than a re-envisioningthat ruins the franchise. The idea of updating slightly, but not changing too much is not new, just look at StarCraft 2 for an example. Personally as a fan of classic Sonic this game is a winner for me. Is it groundbreaking and new, no, but we tried that with Sonic and for me it did not live up to the name.

I look forward to this game and once I get my hands on it will bring you a more in depth review.

 

Gamer Culture: OverClock Remix

Overclocked Remix logo

OverClock Remix

In this new editorial series I wanted to go over different aspects of gamer culture. When video games you could play in your own home came on the scene a whole new world was created. Today there are so many different communities and groups within gaming that you could spend your entire life discovering and experiencing them. From blogs, to LAN parties to institutions dedicated to everything gaming, if you have a niche you can easily find a haven for it.

Now ever since the earliest games on the Atari as far as consoles and the Commodore as far as personal computers, music has been a very important part of the gaming experience. As gaming evolved the music did as well and entire scores were created for games performed by those self-defined as novice musicians to orchestra led presentations of music.

I personally became a fan of video game music after listing to some of the tracks from popular games such as Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog and Final Fantasy. In the past it was almost impossible to find the music from video games and if a soundtrack was created it was often only available in Japan.

Slowly but surely websites began to emerge that offered downloads of game music in the midi format. While it was not an exact representation of the music from the video game it at least gave fans something to keep of their own.

Later, more websites were born offering wav files of music. This was a golden age for game music fans as often the music was spot on and could be burned onto a CD. Almost at the same time specialty websites were created offering the direct sound file from a game meaning it was taken from the programing itself so it sounded exactly as it would on the game. For these files you would often need a specifically created program to play it although many created Winamp plugins so you could listen to authentic game music on your media player.

Then came something that for me personally changed the face of video game music. It started with a friend playing a song from Megaman 2 but it was slightly different with added beats and sound effects. When I asked what it was I was told it was a remix. From there I was introduced to the website Overclock Remix.

Overclock Remix was founded in 1999 and was created to showcase video game music as the art form that it is. OC Remix offers fans of video game music a place to remix and re-mastered their favorite video game music arrangements from all across the video game spectrum.  OCR showcases hundreds of re-mixers that have created thousands of remixed versions of video game music all free to download.

From there the site grew to what it is today, a place where fans, fanatics and students of video game music can go to listen, create, learn and remix video game music. You can even learn how to create remixes of your own and read the profiles of the original and remix composers.

I fell in love with this site and spent countless hours listening and downloading remixed versions of my favorite songs many that I play in my home, at the office and even in my car. OC Remix’s artists do not just take a song and make a few changes here or there. Sometimes a song is totally re-envisioned creating a completely new piece of music. These are true fans of video game music and offer it to the world free of change. In addition the remixes help preserve the essence of the original music and credit is always given to the original composer.

David “djpretzel” Lloyd is the founder of the site and after seeing many specialty music sites wanted to create a place where music from all gaming could be found so you can find music from platforms ranging from the Amiga to current systems today and everything in-between.

Music is undeniably a part of gaming culture and the remixes and mix masters from OverClock Remix have made their mark on it. If you like video game music you will love OC Remix and Obsolete Gamer recommends you check it out. They are an important part of gaming culture and gives us fans yet another outlet to enjoy our favorite past time.

Here is an arrangement of a few of my favorite OverClock Remixes.

Sonic CD OST

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Sonic CD OST

I will be honest I think this was the only game I ever placed on the Sega CD and in my opinion it was the best. Not only did Sonic CD retain the classic gameplay of the originals, but it had an incredible visuals and an awesome soundtrack starting with its animated intro featuring the song, Sonic Boom.

Sonic CD OST

Released in 1993 this story takes place after Sonic 1 and once again our hero has to go up against the evil Dr. Robotnik. However this time two new characters are introduced, the pink female hedgehog, Amy Rose and the evil robot Hedgehog, Metal Sonic.

I just loved the idea of traveling between four zones in each area including Present, Past, Good Future and Bad Future and it had real reply values because of the different endings. Sometimes only small changes are needed and Sonic CD added just enough to make it new, but didn’t strip away what made it a classic.

Oh and the music, so so good!

As always Obsolete Gamer supports the artists and composers of our favorite video game music. Support great work by purchasing the original soundtrack.

Happy Birthday Sonic – Sonic Sale

Sonic the Hedgehog Cake
Sonic the Hedgehog Cake

Our little Hedgehog turns nineteen tomorrow and to celebrate Sega is slashing prices on all their downloadable Sonic titles. The sales will be spread out across different platforms meaning Xbox Live will have a sales period, Playstation Network and so on.

Here is a list of the sales for each group:

PlayStation Network: June 22-July 6
Sonic All-Stars Racing: Metal Sonic Death Egg $7.99 $5.49
Sonic All-Stars Racing: Ryo with Forklift Character $4.99 $3.49
Sonic Unleashed Apatos & Shamar Adventure Pack $2.99 $1.99
Sonic Unleashed Chun-nan Adventure Pack $2.99 $1.99
Sonic Unleashed Empire City & Adabat Adventure $2.99 $1.99
Sonic Unleashed Holoska Adventure Pack $2.99 $1.99
Sonic Unleashed Mazuri Adventure Pack $2.99 $1.99
Sonic Unleashed Spagonia Adventure Pack $2.99 $1.99
Sonic the Hedgehog 2006: Very Hard Missions $2.49 $1.49
Sonic Unleashed Add On Bundle $17.94 $8.99
Sonic Racing Add On Bundle $12.98 $6.49
Sonic Rivals 2 (PSP via PSN) $19.99 $13.99
Sonic Rivals (PSP) $15.99 $10.99
Sonic Rivals 1 & 2 Bundle (PSP) $35.98 $17.99

iTunes AppStore: Wed June 23rd to Wed June 30th
Super Monkey Ball $4.99 $2.99
Sonic the Hedgehog $5.99 $3.99
Super Monkey Ball 2 $5.99 $3.99
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 $5.99 $3.99
Streets of Rage $2.99 $0.99
Golden Axe $2.99 $0.99
Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Ed. $7.99 $4.99

Xbox LIVE Marketplace: June 24 (one day only)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 $5.00 $3.00
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 $5.00 $3.00
Sonic the Hedgehog $5.00 $3.00
Sonic & Knuckles $5.00 $3.00

Ode to the Evil Twin

In almost every hero’s journey they come to question their actions and the possible outcome of their quest had they taken a step to the left rather than to the right. Could the world have been saved in a different method? Could the fallen comrade have survived? Could all this mayhem have ended swiftly if they only took the opportunity to finish off the antagonist when the moment presented itself? The darkest parallel thought a hero could imagine is “What if I had fallen to darkness instead of striding upon the path of the righteous?” For some few unfortunate heroes, this “what if” can present itself in a physical manifestation and even become one of the biggest road blocks in their journey.

Kill yourself or die trying
Kill yourself or die trying

Today, we take a look into some of the most iconic evil counterparts in video game history, what they represented to the hero, and the epic battles that proved as pivotal moments in the game’s timeline.

**SPOILERS BY THE WAY**

Dark Samus (Metroid Prime):  Poison has always been a substance that plagued any living organism but it remained passive and indifferent. It was only used for killing in the hands of its user. In Metroid Prime, the poison Phazon is not only deadly but also sentient.  Responsible for the death of two planets, this entity looked to spread its plague further and melded the DNA of Samus Aran and her foe, Metroid Prime to create Dark Samus.  To see your greatest foes taking your form as their avatar would fill any hero with rage. Our heroine managed to disintegrate Dark Samus into particles in the Agon Wastes and then once again by breaching the monstrosity’s Phazon Shield with a charge beam. Though defeated, Dark Samus has the potential to return in the future through the game’s savior by a Mark of Corruption left upon her. Only time will tell if we will ever see this enemy rise again.

Wolf O’Donnell AKA Star Wolf (Star Fox 64): Rival companies are always taking blows at each other. Look at Microsoft VS Macintosh, IPhones VS Droid, PS3 VS Xbox 360 for examples. While they normally dish out retorts via commercials or improving their own technology to eclipse the other, mercenary groups don’t normally play the same game. Star Wolf is the rival mercenary group led by Wolf O’Donnell. Their number one priority is to become the top dog group in the Lylat System. The only foreseeable way to achieve this is simple; recruit old Star Fox members, work for your rival’s mark, and hunt them down till they are left in a smoldering wreckage. While Wolf has been unsuccessful in defeating Fox McCloud he still remains a huge pillar for the team to overcome in every instance he has led an assault. He will be most remembered for telling Star Fox  he can’t do that.

Omega Zero (Megaman Zero series): Zero has always been a hero who walked that fine line between right and wrong but can you blame him? He was Dr.Wily’s greatest creation, he is supposedly responsible for the death of the original Megaman, and is rumored to be the bringer of the end of days. Like a rebellious child, though, Zero forged his own path and strayed away from the road Dr.Wily left for him and became a hero. However, the idea of bringing about total chaos and destruction never left Zero’s mind and weighed heavily upon him. Luckily for him, he isn’t the real Zero but only a copy. What a weight off his shoulders! Turns out Omega Zero is the true body of Zero and guess what? He wants to tear his copy a new asshole and end life as we know it. Finally seeing that dark “What if” version of himself, our hero vowed never to travel down that path and defeated his original body dying along with it.

Dark Link (The Legend of Zelda): Link has defeated zombies, ghosts, witches, blobby things, grand sorcerers, and anything else you can think of in all his journeys. The one enemy though who manages to stop Link in his tracks is his own shadow. Normally appearing in a large desolate and eerie hallway, this abomination knows everything about Link. He even knows what you’re going to do before you do it. Going to spin that sword around? He’s going to evade. Going to charge up a heavy sword slash? He’s going to poke you in the face quickly. Thinking a bomb might work? He will just throw it back at you. The best way for Link to defeat himself is to flail erratically and hope something lands while slowly dwindling away his hit points. To this day, Dark Link remains an iconic foe to add to the Legend of Zelda’s rogue gallery.

Metal Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog): Thought I’d put Shadow the Hedgehog down? Nope, I don’t consider characters introduced when a series goes to garbage as cannon. Besides, Shadow never fought Sonic like his roboticized counterpart did. He has been used in many iterations in the franchise and has taken many different forms. He is superior to Sonic in every way. His spikes are sharper, his plated skin is more durable, and he is even faster than the series’ hero. His first appearance was in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 where the two would clash in a small enclosed area. He mimicked everything the hero could do and could even shoot projectile spikes to harm the hedgehog. This battle’s level of greatness is paltry compared to his battle against Sonic in Sonic CD. In Stardust Speedway, the only thing keeping Sonic from saving Amy and defeating Eggman is to defeat Metal Sonic in a race. Not only is he faster than our hero, he can destroy obstacles and is invulnerable to damage. The only way to defeat him is to haul ass through loops and leap over spikes while he eats shit behind you. It is like a Tortoise and Hare battle except there isn’t a tortoise and there are two hares. The difference between the two is that the other hare has a jetpack and dies when it barrages itself into a wall. I hope to see Metal Sonic return in some more worthy Sonic adventures in the future and to bring the level of intensity he normally delivers to a new generation of gamers.

There are many more video games out there with evil counterparts but this was just to name a few that I can still remember to this day. Are there any other instances where the hero fought their doppelganger that you remember? Post a comment if you recall any!

Winnie Wong: MonkeyPlum Media

Monkey Plum Media logo
Monkey Plum Media logo

Name: Winnie Wong

Title: I am the CEO of MonkeyPlum Media and I do it for the love of supporting gaming and tech companies everywhere.

Company: MonkeyPlum Media

Favorite classic game: There can’t be only one… so many to choose from: Tetris, Frogger, Hydro Thunder, Gaunlet and Sonic Sonic (is that a classic?) and of course – Diablo.

Quote: Diablo hands down… I’m patiently waiting for Diablo 3 to come out… BLIZZARD… do you hear me??? Your fans want DIABLO 3!!!!!