Summer Games Done Quick is the annual event, like its alternate event Awesome Games Done Quick, is a week-long charity marathon that helps raise money for the Doctors Without Borders. Donating during each run also puts you n for raffles to win prizes. Be sure to tune in, check the schedule and watch how Sonic has gotta go fast.
While Penny Arcade Expo allowed the general public to play Sonic Boom, Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd and Alien Isolation, along with Bayonetta 2 showcased by Nintendo, very little was new to those looking for new information, which included the updated Sonic Boom demo which unfortunately did not make it to the event. This left very little for new SEGA news for fans to pick apart. That is until you factor in Sonic’s involvement in the upcoming release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. Nintendo was showing off both versions for the general public to play at PAX. With the new installment coming out, there are a few changes that are in place that people can expect to enhance the gameplay, but for what was shown off so far is guaranteed more Smash Bros. to go around. Continue Reading
Oh dear, I got stuck with the Monday Links this week. You know that new Sonic game that everyone is talking about? Yes. No? Well, theres still not much to talk about, or Sonic Boom, or much of anything Sonic lately, and you probably don’t want to talk about sports either. In fact I’ve been busy messing around Phantasy Star Online despite being over 14 years too late, and I haven’t moved on to Phantasy Star Online 2. Why? It was something I had missed out on when it came out for the Drreamcast and Gamecube. Since I had broadband adapters for each, and my curiosity in private servers piqued, I wanted to take a look to see what I had missed.
The game’s aesthetics and gameplay structure were the main reason for me wanting to look back at this outdated RPG, because it used a theme thoat most RPGs have not tried to work with, and most would follow the large, open world that World of Warcraft popularized. In fact several of them had an identity crisis to the point that you’d think the developers just wanted to get away with making World of Warcraft. But not Phantasy Star Online, a game that took Sega’s established RPG series and not only gave it a multiplayer component but emphasized real-time action where you are actively engaged in battle, and avoiding damage and looking for enemy weakpoints requires creative strategy. This is probably the best non-Sonic game from Sonic Team, at least in my eyes. You’re still not going to be won over by the story, and it is absolutely difficult for newcomers to find others to play with online, but it certainly reached a technical marvel and helped kickstart a genre to what was popularized by its successors. Theres also fun to be had by playing the game Single Player, but the social element definitely makes up half the game through social interaction, item trading, and planning with your teammates on what to do.
My only handicap that I am personally following is to play this game as blind as possible. I’m not going to bother with item duping, I know Force classes are utterly broken, and I don’t want to consult a wiki to generate the best possible outcome for my character(s). I want to try to match my experience with the game similar to how others played the game back when it came out. Its incredible how the evolution of game design and social interaction has changed the way we play the game, and for a game like Phantasy Star Online, the experience does not match with a modern massive multiplayer environment. But to get the most out of the game, its best to look at why the game had it’s strengths in the first place. Its not entirely possible, and I do want to try and avoid the technical hurdles the game has, because there’s nothing quite like it out there. I want to see about doing an annual check in with the game as well as have more video podcasts with people who played the game before sharing their experiences. Because honestly? I truly regret letting it pass by me, even with the paid subscription fees involved.
Now, lets take a look at the headlines for Monday.
Barry the Nomad and Shigs talk with GameSpot Editor Peter Brown reminiscing on all things SEGA. [Swingin’ Report Show #54]
Ben wrote an editorial on how Sonic should remain true to himself while branching out. [Sonic Lost Identity?]
You can check out the PSO Adventures on our YouTube Playlist and on Twitch [Tales from Ragol]
F-Zero GXfor the Nintendo Gamecube had an interesting feature that worked with it’s Triforce brother. By bringing your memory card to an F-Zero AX arcade machine, it allowed you to unlock additional content for use in the home version and bring your custom vehicle with you on the arcade version. However due to an extremely limited release of the arcade unit, most of the AX content was basically untouchable for many. Turns out after all these years, F-Zero AX was much closer than one thought. Coming from The Cutting Room Floor, and later reported by Retro Collect, they have turned up the entirety of the arcade game is already embedded with each home copy of F-Zero GX. More or less that is. For more information on how to play through AX on your copy of F-Zero GX, be sure to check out the Action Replay codes on either site, or watch the embedded video to see AX mode in action.
Because the games work so close together and both games were in development at the same time, this should come as to no surprise. Still a very interesting insight of the game, and sure to interest those who have never experienced the F-Zero AX arcade machine first hand.
(SPOILER WARNING: This review contains unmarked spoilers. The game is over a decade old and well-known amongst our readers, so we deemed it unnecessary to refrain from spoilers. If you’ve never played the game before, you’ve been warned.)
In a franchise like Sonic that has been on such a rollercoaster of quality for the past twenty years, Sonic Adventure 2 somehow sticks out in the franchise as possibly the most polarizing game in the series. To one part of the fanbase, it’s the pinnacle of Sonic. Because it was the first major Sonic title on a Nintendo platform, many people cite SA2 as their introduction to the franchise. And yet to others, the game symbolizes the start of everything that nearly killed the franchise forever. So as I review Sega’s recent digital rerelease of Sonic Adventure 2 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I feel it’s necessary to frame the game in context.
Outside of the broader fanbase context, I – like many others – have my own personal relationship with SA2. I was but a wee child when it first came out for the Dreamcast in 2001, and I spent a frightening number of hours engrossed in the game. It wasn’t my first exposure to the series; that title goes to Sonic 2 on the Genesis, whose predecessor and sequels received a similarly obsessive amount of my attention. In fact, the sole reason I asked for a Dreamcast for Christmas in 2000 was so that I could play the original Adventure. So, being the fanatic little child I was, Sonic Adventure 2 earned a special, fuzzy, nostalgiatastic place in my heart. The question, then, is: eleven years later, can it keep it? Continue Reading
Right off, this is not “Xtreme”, the canceled Sega Saturn game, but something else.
You may remember a few months back we posted video of a previously unknown Sonic game found on the hard drive of an XDK Developmental Xbox called Sonic Extreme, featuring Sonic and Shadow on hover boards doing kickflips, 50/50 grinds and going vert off ramps in a Green Hill/Seaside Hill hybrid similar to Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
I promise never to do skateboard talk again.
For those of you craving a little more than videos and want to play this title, and you happen to be near Portland, Ore., the Game Trader booth at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo will feature the game for the public to play.
The game was determined to be an extremely early pitch demo for a Sonic skateboarding game that, after some cleaning up and changes in gameplay, would later become the first Sonic Riders title for the PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, and PC. The earliest rumors of the game’s existence back in the mythical year of 2005 also had it named “Sonic Extreme” and “Sonic R-2.” The “Extreme” part of the name still lives on in-game in the form of the hover boards, “Extreme Gear.”
For more about the history of Sonic Extreme, just check out its page on our wiki. The Retro Gaming Expo is set to start on Sept. 24.
Before you panic from the repressed memories of the game, bear with me here.
Forum member princeofknaves uploaded an old version of the RenderWare Graphics World Viewer, which could be used to view Sonic Heroes level maps as well as possibly allow moving them to other games like Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut.
But that’s not all. DaGuAr, a user at the Spanish-speaking Sonic Reikai forums, found that this viewer can also view Shadow the Hedgehog’s level maps too. This isn’t surprising since the two games run on very similar engines.