Greetings, and welcome to a very special edition of Straight Shooting with the Canada Nintendo Examiner!
Okay, maybe not that special. It is about the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, though, with lots of links for your clicking pleasure regarding that. And I have just completed two previews of Sonic Generations for both the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 tandem and the Nintendo 3DS.
But here? I’m really not sure what to say. I am a longtime fan of Sonic, though, so if you’ll permit me, I would like to say a few words about him and his franchise here.
The first time I saw an ad for Sonic the Hedgehog, I was not impressed. “Who the hell does this upstart think he is?”, I thought to myself with words I’d dare not utter in front of my parents. At least, that’s the impression I wanted to give, to others and myself. It was a different time, and I was far younger: in my head, to like anything not Nintendo or aligned with Nintendo was akin to treason.
But there was no Super Nintendo Entertainment System just yet, and the game did look kind of cool…
I did give it a try at a neighbor’s house when he rented the game and console, and tried to convince myself that it wasn’t any good. That didn’t hold for very long, though; after moving back to my hometown and reconnecting with an old friend at school, I learned that he was into games, too! And he had a SEGA Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog (plus Alex Kidd and Batman Returns).
From that point on, Sonic the Hedgehog would cement himself as a part of my life. I was still loyal to Nintendo, and we would argue frequently who the superior company and mascot was, yet I still fraternized with the enemy. Then came Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles, a comic book, two cartoon shows… the Blue Blur was in full force, while even after I got a Super NES, all I had for Mario was Super Mario World.
Sonic was literally running laps around Mario when it came to providing new, fast, fresh, and fun content with regularity. It would have been quite difficult to ignore.
Eventually, SEGA dropped the ball and began their plunge into relative obscurity as a platform holder, before finally giving up the ghost and joining the rank of third parties for, among others, Nintendo. Sonic games on Nintendo platforms? It was like a dream come true.
That is, until that drop in quality for a while there. During that time, I took to viewing Sonic as a cartoon/comic character who also had video games, and followed him in those mediums primarily. But more recently, it seems Sonic has begun to come into his own again.
Plus, Mario and Sonic are now friendly rivals with Olympic competitions and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It took a while to get there, but I’m happy to see it happen.
Okay, so that was more than a few words. I could probably say a lot more in greater detail, but we should move on to news…
- Sure, I just gave my impressions of Sonic Generations for Nintendo 3DS, but it appears some new details and screens have already surfaced.
Most of this isn’t new to people who have been closely following the game, but I think competitive internet play is as new as it is intriguing.
- Ever seen the old DiC The Legend of Zelda cartoon? If not, here is an eight-minute clip of bits from the show.
In truth, it wasn’t that bad, and certainly not for its day. One comment asks why they named Epona “Catherine,” apparently not realizing this was before Epona ever existed.
Also: every single time Link says “excuse me, Princess”? Zelda deserved it. Trust me, I’ve watched it, and not ironically. I know.
- Hmm, retro Nintendo stuff seems to be the trendy thing to look at today, as Kotaku examines an old album that even I didn’t have, White Knuckle Scorin’.
I think what kept me from spending my hard-earned coin on it was the artwork, actually. As I recall, it just didn’t look right. And this was before one could easily sample tracks (and before I had a CD player of my own), so it altogether just did not seem like a wise investment.
But perhaps now, I should look into adding it to my collection…
- Considering Wii Play Motion, but aren’t sure of everything it entails? Perhaps this video, which shows off all 12 games, can help you make up your mind.
Personally, I’m into it… I’m just not sure I’m into it for the price of a Wii Remote Plus, as well.
- For mature audiences: watch as Game Informer “screws up gaming’s most dramatic moments.”
- Well, this is disappointing. It looks like the Kid Icarus: Uprising Augmented Reality card game is even more rigged than a WWE show (hey, just because I like to watch it doesn’t mean I’m afraid to admit it’s largely staged).
- Kotaku has finally debuted its first episode of the English version of Retro Game Master, the popular Japanese television show which inspired the tragically overlooked Retro Game Master for the Nintendo DS.
In this premiere episode, Shinya Arino takes on his first challenge: the awesome but extremely brutal Ninja Gaiden for the Nintendo Entertainment System (now available on Wii’s Virtual Console, if you want to compare your skills to his).
- It’s Sonic’s 20th anniversary, but that also marks 20 years of Eggman. To celebrate, can you endure the “E.G.G.M.A.N. Challenge”?
I love this song. I’m playing the challenge as I write this, in fact.
Or at least I was, until this (second!) lousy new modem Rogers tricked me into dropped my connection.
- At IGN: “Sonic the Hedgehog: A Visual History of SEGA’s Mascot.”
- While this relates more to the PlayStation 3 and Move, I disagree with Ken Levine’s assertion that “any experience that sits in the realm of motion play needs to be kept separate from the main experience.”
Rather, I think there are some games which can really only work with motion controls. As for implementing them into other more traditional game types, I favor the power of choice. For example, I believe Donkey Kong Country Returns should have had an option for traditional controls, as well as the motion-based kind. Motion controls weren’t needed, but some people may prefer them, while using a Classic Controller Pro would be favorable to others.
- Were you wondering why Sonic Generations features its blend of old and new gameplay? Sonic Team lead Takashi Iizuka explains.
Now to just hope they try to appease fans of both styles in the coming years.
- Have a few hours to kill? Then you might be interested in reading Kotaku’s birthday gift to Sonic: a guide by Tim Rogers on “how not to suck.”
Personally, I think Sonic’s already a little ahead of Tim there. Oh, well. To each his own.
- G4 pays its respects to Sonic, too. Sorry this isn’t more detailed, I have not yet had time to read all of these tributes…
- Want a reason to be jealous of Europe? Would a free all-Kirby TV channel do it?
- And here, we have Destructoid/Jim Sterling’s tribute to Sonic.
- In a bit of interesting timing, SEGA admits they made too many Sonic games of low quality, but still sees the future of the brand as “brilliant.”
While I don’t know if I’d go that far, I do believe things are looking up for ol’ Blue.
- A new Iwata Asks is up for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, now featuring the developers of the original game.
- It looks like the need to grapple opponents before applying your finishing move has been removed from WWE ’12. Now the RKO really can come from out of nowhere!
- Interested in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D? Then here is what you should know.
- And now, 1UP says a few words about Sonic turning 20.
- In what one might describe as a bit of self-deprecating humor, GamePro looks back upon its humble origins in print.
I still have that first issue, somewhere. It contained not only a two-page article for Super Mario Bros. 3, which was still some ways from being released here, but also Mario Bros. (a game I’d not heard of prior; until then, I thought the series began with Super Mario Bros.) for an Atari platform.
“Mario Bros.?! On Atari?! Carpenters?!”
My young mind was blown. Good times.
- A rumored list of stages and bosses to be included in Sonic Generations has begun making the rounds. Interestingly, it seems SEGA has had the original forum post from which it originated taken down, seemingly adding an air of legitimacy to it.
If it is the real deal, then I’m a little disappointed that Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are being grouped together as one game.
And no Sonic CD, either. A pity, as a remade Stardust Speedway would have been fantastic. Maybe as part of the rumored DLC, with Casino Night (which I guess isn’t exclusive to 3DS, after all)?
- So, Jamie Kennedy is sore over E3 2007, or something, and might have dropped an insult at Zelda fans?
…yeah, I don’t even know why I’m mentioning this. When he bothers to learn English, then maybe I’ll care.
- Over at Press The Buttons, Matt has rolled this article back out for Sonic’s 20th, featuring his top ten Sonic stages.
- And for something completely different, Games Asylum has also rolled out an old Sonic article, but this one focuses on the Blue Blur’s 8-bit hits.
- From Dorkly: no one ever said Contra‘s enemy soldiers were smart.
- Also from Dorkly: Mushroom Kingdom Public Service Announcements.
- Even the BBC gives Sonic the nod on his 20th birthday!
- And, since digging up old Sonic articles seems to be the cool thing to do for this 20th anniversary:
Dissecting a Hedgehog: An In-Depth Analysis of Sonic the Hedgehog
Celebrating 20 Years of Blast Processing – This covers some of the same material as the top of this post, but on a broader SEGA Genesis scope.
Tails and Sonic 2 Turn 17
Whew, and that does it for today! I have some stuff to work on, so I may not do any E3 Impressions tomorrow, but I’ll bring you the last Straight Shooting for the week, and if you’re in Toronto, the latest in video game deals at the Toronto Video Game Examiner, too!