Monthly Archives

July 2010


Why can’t Sonic games be more like Runman?

I must confess that, despite my love for Sega and platform games and all things big and glorious, I have quite a soft spot for indie games, especially of the $free.99 variety. Therefore, I was already sold when a friend brought up Runman: Race Around the World as a title worth checking out. The game, developed by Tom Sennett and Matt Thorson, has a simple enough premise: Runman, a star-like creature, enters a contest to be the fastest creature in the world; when the other inhabitants of Runman’s world see he’s signed up, they all drop out and Runman is the winner by default. However, our protagonist, not content to win on technicality, sets out to prove that he’s the fastest guy out there.

The basic premise of the game is for Runman to clear levels in a variety of locations as he races around the world. Gameplay is quite simple: players use directional keys, along with a jump and boost button, to navigate through the stages, but the sheer variety of obstacles, enemies and hazards lends to a speedy mix of play: wall-jumping to launch to higher areas, using strategically-placed balloons to take air routes, or sleeping enemies that players must slow down to pass are par for the course. Though the game has “bottomless pits,” the play mechanic bounces Runman back out at the cost of his speed–an effective solution to a problem encountered in Sonic games. Giant monsters chasing you? It’s got it. Icy terrain? It’s got it. Crazy vine-swinging antics? It’s got it.

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Game News

More Sega classics coming to Steam

It’s been a while since Sega released a batch of Mega Drive/Genesis games on Steam. For those looking to play some Genesis titles on their computers with a little bit more legality on their side, Sega’s preparing a batch of 11 games for launch… sometime.

While no specific date was given for their release, these 11 games will soon be available through Steam at a $2.99 nibble to the wallet.

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Ecco Jr.
  • Eternal Champions
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Ristar
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Super Thunder Blade

I give some applause to Sega for not immediately shipping out the usual suspects, as far as Sonic is concerned, though what is being released isn’t terribly fascinating either as they’re the more popular titles when Sega’s 16-bit days come to mind. Looking to pick any up?

Fan Works, Hacking, Hardware

Make a portable N64 with a Game Gear

Game Gear was one of the largest portable systems ever released in the market, causing many people in the early ’90s to look like they grew a massive tumor in their leg.

All that size helped in enabling the system to run Nintendo 64 games (and also making it even more unwieldy!)

The above video showcases Evil Nod’s mod job on the console, lovingly called the N Gear 64, running a few N64 titles like Goldeneye, Resident Evil 2 and Mario Kart 64, as well as a few additional features, such as link cable support and TV Out support, which turns off the screen and speaker for TV play.

I know what you’re thinking; “The Game Gear’s six AA battery life was abysmal at best. What the hell is it with this now?”

Because of all the hardware packed into the console, there are no battery slots. However, the mod creator demonstrates using a Power Grip rechargeable battery pack for the console that doubles as a grip for the system… and adds even more girth to the already monstrous device.

While no step-by-step instruction is given on how to create your own, you can check out photos of the system’s construction here.


Sonic 2 Inspires Real Life Speed Run on “Tosh.0”

In an episode where he also pays tribute to NBA Jam, comedian Daniel Tosh showcased a speed run of Emerald Hill Zone last night on Tosh.0, his stand-up/web video show on Comedy Central. After he shows the video, Tosh is inspired to do a speed run himself… in real life. Does he have Super Sonic speed? Find out in the clip past the break.  (EDIT 2: The clip is now region free.)

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Game News

New Sonic Voice Actors Announced!

So the Internet’s worst kept secret is finally out – the Sonic the Hedgehog game series has gone through yet another voice recasting. Gone are the docile tones of Jason Griffith and Amy Palant as Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles “Tails” Prower. So just who is going to voice the most famous hedgehog in the world?


Meet Roger Craig Smith. His previous voice work includes Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 5 and Ezio Auditore da Firenze in Assassin’s Creed 2. He has also done work for SEGA in the past, including a variety of voice in Valkyria Chronicles.

Additionally, everyone’s favorite two-tailed fox will now be voiced by Kate Higgins, whose most prolific role to date has been Naruto’s Sakura Haruno. Hopefully her work on that show has prepared her for rabid fanbases.

Oh, and Dr. Eggman? He’s still being voiced by Mike Pollock.

Is this franchise-changing news? Maybe not. Is it bound to cause thousands of posts comparing Ryan, Jason, and Roger? Most definitely. While SEGA has confirmed that the rest of the cast has gone through a similar voice-lift, they’re keeping quiet over the identities of these new actors. All we here at Sonic Retro can do is wish them luck, and hope they realize just what they’ve gotten themselves into.

You can read more about this shake-up here.

Fan Works

The Doomsday Zone in Glorious 3D

Community member “MajorDump” recently uploaded this video, a 3D recreation of the Doomsday Zone.  The animation, models and sound design are all top notch.  You have to be some kind of asshole to not like this video.  It runs a little long, but I don’t really care.  Shit’s incredible.