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a sonic update at Sun 7-Feb-16 12:45:14
Well, where to start.
First of all, you may or may not be aware that over the past several months the Sonic the Hedgehog official Twitter account (which follows the SV Twitter account like everyone should) has been going into a meme-induced fever dream of truly glorious proportions. But we keep seeing hints, mostly in posts to Egoraptor, involving the dates 23 March and 1 April.

Speculation is rife as to what exactly will happen on these dates, but given the 25th Anniversary is this year the most common guess is that these dates pertain to information about the 25th anniversary Sonic game. This is of course supposed to be a real game by actual Sonic Team, rather than another terrible adaptation of the rather excellent cartoon. All evidence points to one thing: the long-awaited release of Big's Fishing Adventure. Don't worry - they've already got you covered on the music.

But in all seriousness, given that SEGA appear to be embracing people like RubyEclipse who actually seem to know or care what the fanbase thinks, is it wrong to hope for something good? I know, I know, the Boom games poisoned the well to the point that the trendy retrospective downgrading of good Sonic games' quality has sped right up to the awesome/outstanding/amazing Colours now, and possibly onto Generations next, but a man can dream...
Conversation wheel | Tags: sonic boom sonic new sonic game twitter memetic insanity

a sonic update at Fri 12-Jun-15 11:37:19
I still wonder how this happened. Generations and Colours were so good. They were so good that we could take the announcement for Lost World with cautious optimism. But now, three games later, the news of Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice just leaves me rolling my eyes. I'd like to believe that this is going to be better than the last abomination they put out. After all it can't possibly be worse. Right? Lightning has struck twice already, it can't possibly be three times, right?

Methinks it can. Mehopes, still, for some reason, it won't. And I still hold out some small hope that Sega Japan are going to announce a real Sonic game. Please, Sega?

Sonic Lost World fell prey to some of the old faults - especially where someone decided instakills in a limited-lives system equal fair challenge. And where someone else came in from a weekend of reading GameFAQs posts about other game series and decided that, for some bizarre reason, what the Sonic series really needed was a godsdamned stealth section. But they made these errors in Unleashed, and then the next game was Colours. A Lost World 2 could be really good. And the idea that Sega's share of the proceeds might go towards it is literally the only reason I am prepared to countenance Fire and Ice right now.

Sega. We're watching.

In SV news, I intend to more actively participate in E3.
Conversation wheel | Tags: sonic boom sonic lost world 2 e3

a sonic update at Sat 15-Nov-14 01:10:22
So, apparently a cartoon tie-in game by an unheralded third-party developer turned out to have a solid-yet-unremarkable portable version and a terrible rushed-to-meet-the-cartoon-launch-date console version. Who'd've thunk it? And yet, apparently, for some people this is coming as some sort of a shock, in what I can only describe as some sort of temporary amnesia where people forget how the video game industry has worked since the Eighties. "Not the licensed platformer!", they cry. "How could that possibly have turned out badly?" Maybe it's a holdover from those naive days when Sammy took over Sega, when people inexplicably thought that Sammy would promptly fire Sonic Team and get third-party devs in to "do it properly". Of course, what we got was Sonic '06. I guess what I'm trying to say is... I am right and have always been right, about all things, ever. Especially the things I'm wrong about. Joking aside, though, I really cannot fathom how people couldn't see this coming. It's a shame Sega-Sammy's finances are so bad, because this now puts a serious dampener on Sonic Lost World 2...
Conversation wheel | Tags: sonic boom sonic vindication

a sonic update at Thu 6-Nov-14 11:54:08
Have you heard the name of my new band, "My Sonic Obligation"? I digress. My Sonic obligation is, of course, the fact that Sonic Boom was playable on 3DS at PAX Australia, and so of course it was my duty to play it and report on it. Or so I thought, not knowing at the time that SEGA wee going to release the exact same demo to the eShop within the week anyway. So you've now played it and judged it already anyway. And the fact is you're not likely to change your mind based on things like comparative opinion. But we press on anyway.

It's... not bad. I've been told that this means I'm "trying to be optimistic" but truth be told this game is a lot better than I thought it would be. But then of course I thought it would be a train wreck. It had its fun moments playing, and I was genuinely impressed by some of the uses of Sonic mechanics among the standard action-adventurey stuff. That's basically what this is. Solid. Standard. Safe. But relatively enjoyable. This won't be the grand Sonic Return To Form. This will be on the better side of average. But seriously, I was thinking up nightmare scenarios, and at least it is a relief that these will not occur.
Conversation wheel | Tags: sonic boom sonic pax aus

a sonic update at Mon 9-Jun-14 13:59:56
So. Sonic Boom, then.

Never let it be said that I don't give a game a chance. I was one of the many successfully fooled by the launch trailer of Sonic '06, for pity's sake. And so we've seen gameplay footage of Sonic Boom now, but I will reserve judgement for a later product.

Because right now? I'm not overly impressed.

Sega, you had it. Colours and Generations were great. Even Lost World, for all the flaws it had and the myriad other imaginary flaws people liked to imagine it had, showed promise. So why now are we taking another stab at Sonic Heroes? (Yes, I know you're actually going for more of a Sonic 2/Sonic Advance 3 thing. We'll see, is all.)

I get that this is a cartoon tie in, it's by Big Red Button, and back in Japan they're still working on, if you'll excuse the medium reference, our regular scheduled programming. But it seems from the admittedly limited footage released that you're taking what you know worked in 3D and scrambling in the opposite direction. I'm not sure if it helps or not that this extensive use of the rope swing mechanic reminds me greatly of the Chain powerup from Rayman 3, also known as "one of the greatest platform games in the history of the everything". All I can say, BRB, is that you better be damn good at using this mechanic.
The instant I game over because I missed a microscopic window to attach to an Ener-Rail is the instant your review goes down by 2 or 3 out of 10. But do it right, and all is forgiven.

Now, let's discuss other things from the footage.

Music: Thumbs down. Sorry. It's generic cartoon music and after the insanely catchy music of Lost World it seems a step backwards.

Graphics: Thumbs kinda sideways. I know the WiiU can do better than this. But it fits the cartoon vibe I guess.

Voice talent: Thumbs up. Amy is outright better, Knux is good, and Eggman steals the show as normal. As for Sonic...? See...

Use of voice talent: Thumbs vacillating wildly. There were some genuinely funny lines of chatter (Knux: "Hey! There are things inside these things!") and there are some where all I could hear for the next second was the sound of a hundred thousand mute buttons, simultaneously, all over the world. It's going for that Kid Icarus: Uprising vibe and that game was genuinely funny. So we'll see. If some of these generic lines get repeated too much ("Hey!" "Nice one, Big Blue!" "It's like these courses were built for me!" et cetera ad nauseam), they're gonna get real old real quick.

But like I say. I want to play it. I want a demo. I want to give it a try. Sega I want to like this game, but it's difficult, especially when I know there could be a Lost World sequel that improves on the original like Colours did for Unleashed.

This game is an experiment, a side project, I know. But we thought that about Colours at first, too. Hell, "The Lion King" was made by Disney's B team while the real blockbuster was supposed to be "Pocahontas".

Sega, I'm unimpressed so far. Please prove me wrong. Please do this right.
Conversation wheel | Tags: sonic boom sonic rant

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