Community, Miscellaneous, Retro Contests, Site News

Hey, You! Take the Sonic 2sday Challenge

Hiddenpalaces2In case you’ve not noticed, it’s a Tuesday. Besides it being M. Bison’s favorite day of the week, this is a particularly special Tuesday: it’s Sonic 2sday.

Sonic 2 was released on this day 23 years ago. Fairly exciting stuff considering all that it packed after the Blue Blur’s first outing. It even brought along perennial buddy and the sometimes annoying Miles “Tails” Prower.

Five years ago, we hosted our first Sonic 2sday Challenge. The premise is simple enough: you attempt to destroy the arduous task of Nick Arcade Expert’s Challenge of collecting 25 rings in under 30 seconds. I mean, ’90s tv sitcom star Melissa Joan Hart couldn’t! Surely a ragtag group of Sonic fans could. The catch? You must use the existing Sonic 2 Nick Arcade prototype.

Still not enough challenge for you? Then for those seeking to REALLY show off how awesome they are, feel free to submit your own challenges, such as the dreaded Emerald Hill Sweep (getting all seven emeralds in Emerald Hill) using both Sonic and Tails. Or use the mobile version of Sonic 2 and go for the gold as the fastest speed demon of Hidden Palace Zone.

After all, Hidden Palace and Sonic 2 started this lovely mess that became Sonic Retro.

Otherwise, kick back and enjoy a super spin through one of the pinnacle titles of the classic era. Sorry Sonic 3 fans: you’re ignored until further notice. If you really want to show off, you’re welcome to shamelessly plug yourselves in the comments below attempting this dreaded challenge or just streaming some Sonic 2 goodness. You could send it to the contest email from five years ago, but I hear a certain demonic presence inhabits that account now…

Game News, Merchandise

SEGA Dumps Sonic Discography, Others on Spotify

kickitJamitShort of piracy, YouTube channels, or paying some exuberant amount of money for what might be a bootleg, not every soundtrack is easily accessible. SEGA in the past has eased this and offering fans a way to actually support the musicians on iTunes and Amazon Music. Joining those two fronts now is Spotify, which in the past few days has seen quite a handful of soundtracks hit the freemium service.

If there is one thing this lovely splintered faction of fans can agree on, it is that the Sonic Series is nine times out of ten loaded with some great music. And why wouldn’t it? The folks at SEGA Sound Team are pretty great at their jobs and have some fun, like referencing the original Phantasy Star games in Phantasy Star Online tracks.

Almost every recent (within the last 10 years) set is available right now for your perusal. Sadly, some of these are not complete sets (Shadow’s OST alone is missing a handful of tracks), and regional blocks may forbid some tracks from even playing in your part of the world. That can’t be helped, unfortunately.

Joining the Sonic upload stream is Jet Set Radio Future‘s soundtrack, a game that criminally still resides as an original Xbox exclusive. While not a part of SEGA Sound Team, Hideki Naganuma no doubt has an infectious sound. Float like a butterfly, son. (That’s nice~)

The nice thing about Spotify is it’s available for free and makes a handy playlist generator for work. Though to get the most of the program, a monthly subscription is available and unlocks additional features on mobile devices.


Poncho is out now on PC and PlayStation 4

It’s always great to see people on our forums get so far as to work on commercial games. One example of this is Poncho by Delve Entertainment, which was released today on PC and PlayStation 4. Matthew Weekes, a member of our forums who worked on Freedom Planet, was the lead pixel artist for this game. Aside from him, it was designed by Danny Hayes and Jack Odell, who also did the programming and music respectively.

The game’s main twist is it’s an open world where you can choose your own path, and switch between multiple layers like in Mutant Mudds. Originally the game was going to be funded through Kickstarter, but after the crowdfunding campaign failed they still managed get funding from publisher Rising Star Games.

You can buy it now on Steam for PC, or on PlayStation Network for PS4 for $14.99/€14.99/£10.99. The game will also be released on Wii U and PlayStation Vita sometime in the future.


SEGA Hosting Official Lost World Community Event in London, October 31st


Sonic Lost World is right around the corner for those that don’t own a Wii U – trusting of course that they do have a PC and a Steam account – and it seems that SEGA is pulling off at least one official community event this year after all. Summer of Sonic it ain’t, but SEGA Europe is going to be hosting a relatively small community open day at London’s Loading Bar on Saturday, October 31st.

The event starts at 14:00, finishes at 20:00 and you must be at least 18 to enter – alcohol will be present, this being the Loading bar after all. Visitors will be able to play the new version of the game ahead of it’s general release on November 2nd, as well as get the chance to meet Dan Sheridan, the new European community manager. There’ll be a chance to win prizes, presumably from some form of challenge involving the game itself, though this isn’t clarified. The first fifty people to turn up to the event will receive goodie bags, apparently again featuring that Sonic hat. Yes, the same one as Summer of Sonic 2011.

Tickets are limited, so grab one from the event page here. You can find the Loading Bar at 97 Stoke Newington Rd London, London N16 8BX, but the map on the event page is probably easier.

I’m starting to wonder how many of those Sonic hats were or are still being made.

Community, Fan Works

Sonic Amateur Games Expo Starts Dec. 18


With the 2015 iteration of the Sonic Hacking Contest now in the rear view mirror, those who missed the chance to enter can instead opt to enter the Sonic Amateur Games Expo.

Billed as a platform for amateur game developers to showcase their projects, the event offers an open invitation for anyone developing a game to register and give it exposure, even if it has nothing to do with Sonic or Sega.

Historically, SAGE focused on a week-long celebration and exposition of these games, and has featured guests such as MAGfest maestro Dominic “Andross Guy” Cerquetti and Mike Pollock. Events include entertaining activities such as Bad Fanfic Readings or a Dr. Eggman Voice Contest as judged by the good doctor himself. In between, people are invited to run a radio station or to stream shows to the community.

For a fully detailed list of guidelines for registration to stream or to submit a game, hit up this link. The last day to register is Dec. 11.

Arcade Games, Game News

SegaSonic Popcorn Shop Dumped

Recently, Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car finally made its way onto MAME thanks to the work and funds of some pretty cool individuals. I ended the article with a little bit of a rib saying that SegaSonic Popcorn Shop should be the next game dumped.

Now that one can be marked off the list because it too has now been dumped and should be hitting MAME. The main notable note is that this game also operates on MegaDrive-type hardware named the SEGA C2. It also curiously comes with an English switch, meaning there is a possibility the game came to the West in limited numbers, or at least was planned to.

800px-Segasonic-pop-corn-shop3You won’t find much of a game here since this was more a little video demo that played as the “player” waited for the selected popcorn to be finished. The cabinet did have button and a crank to distract the player, but it didn’t particularly matter if you played or not. Naturally, emulating it won’t yield much unless you have a microwave near your general vicinity and some flavoring agents (salt, butter or curry, if you want to keep the authenticity of the machine.)

But this could make for a neat arcade board to setup at home for the more dedicated.

The story is pretty simple: Sonic and Tails want popcorn, Eggman wants to bludgeon Sonic with a hammer (because that’s his way of saying he wants some too or something), Eggman steals popcorn as it pops, Sonic blows up the machine and roasts Eggman, because he’s a jerk and doesn’t share. Enjoy those calories.

So that now makes two of the rare three obscure arcade Sonic titles dumped and preserved on the Internet. That basically leaves the most obscure of them left: SegaSonic Cosmo Fighter Galaxy Patrol.

Much like with Waku Sonic, I encourage those that want to or are interested in arcade game preservation to look into sending in donations to the dumpers (as it’s usually not cheap to do this) or join up communities that specialize in preservation.

Full disclosure: I’m not taking any credit for this happening, but it does amuse me.

Game News

New Sonic Xtreme Release Brings 150 New Levels

Sonic Xtreme has been seeing quite the resurgence as of late, but this takes the cake for the most impressive release to date.

Forum member Andrew75 announced the release of never before seen iteration of Xtreme head programmer Ofer Alon’s V037 NV1. This is a PC port created by Jollyroger and it packs a staggering 150 stages to play around with, most of which never before seen. Andrew does mention that a number of these stages are simply just reskins of other stages in the list, but with either new textures or with some setting changed for testing. Most of these are just test levels after all.

For a full breakdown on changes and download links, direct your favorite point and clicking device to this little bit of text.

Community, Fan Works, Site News

Sonic Hacking Contest 2015 Voting Now Open

SHC2015_LOGO[UPDATE: The SHC site seems to be overloaded! For now, hang out in the IRC channel provided below for as-they-happen updates.]

Rise and shine, Retro. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re already groaning that another work week has come in this hamster wheel called life. But that’s fine, because there are several new hacks waiting for you to get your digits all over.

If you swing on by the Sonic Hacking Contest 2015’s website, you now have a selection of titles from some of the Sonic Scene’s more technically inclined to try out and evaluate. While you can play the games without restriction, voting does require a Sonic Retro or an SSRG account, so try to snag one by Saturday if you want to guarantee your vote.

If you’re not about that, you can enjoy a week of streams, with one kicking off in a less than 20 minutes. These streams will let you see some of the community’s finest play the games for you to watch and just hang out with fellow fans. Fan-favorites MegaGWolf and SomecallmeJohnny also return, with a music workshop hosted by DalekSam Saturday, if you’re interested in learning how to create songs for games. The schedule is as follows:

5pm BST / 12pm EDT to 7pm BST / 2pm EDT – Monday to Friday: Donnie
7pm BST / 2pm EDT to 9pm BST / 4pm EDT – Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Spanner
9pm BST / 4pm EDT to 12am BST / 7pm EDT – Monday to Friday: MegaGWolf
12am BST / 7pm EDT to 3am EDT / 10pm BST – Monday to Friday: SomecallmeJohnny
5pm BST / 12pm EDT to 7pm BST / 2pm EDT on Saturday: DalekSam Music Workshop
7pm BST / 2pm EDT to 11pm BST / 6pm EDT on Saturday: Nova
7pm GMT / 3pm EDT to 9pm GMT / 5pm EDT (clock change on Sunday): Results Show

So come on by and relax in the Sonic Hacking Contest’s IRC. Just point your favorite client (or mibbit) to #shc2015.