Game News, Hacking, Site News

Monday Links: Hit ‘Em High Edition

Thanks to SS for covering for me last week.  I was in meetings all day.  I’m putting these up during my lunch break, so apologies for typos, etc.  Just let me know in the comments if something needs to be fixed.

Sonic Retro News

  • Twimfy snapped some pics of Korean versions of the classic games.  The Sonic 1 boxart is pretty neat with all the poses surrounding the larger art. [Alt Box Art Thread]
  • Coinciding with the Game Gear announcement from last week, we’ve got some Sonic Chaos hacking goin’ down. [Sonic Chaos Hacking Thread]
  • Also, try Ravenfreak’s Sonic Chaos hack where the right button is always being pressed.  Hard stuff, man. [Random Hack/Mini-Project Thread]
  • Sonic 1: Upside Down is exactly what it sounds like. Also hard (especially the Special Stages). [Random Hack/Mini-Project Thread]
  • Four years after the S&K disassembly hit the web, the split disassembly has arrived.  Get it here. [S&K Split Disassembly]

Sonic/SEGA News

  • Here’s an article that I want everybody to read.  It’s about how the design of Sonicnever worked to begin with.  While I personally disagree with everything Tevis here has to say, it’s always cool to read another perspective, especially when that perspective never has once crossed you or your friends’ minds.  A well-written read. [tevis thompson: “Sonic and Tension”]
  • Learn how to beat the worst stage in Sonic Colors, Terminal Velocity.  I’m falling asleep already. [SEGA Blogs]
  • SEGA will be publishing another Marvel movie tie-in.  What’s the over/under on how horrible it’ll be (use Iron Man 1 & 2 as a guide)? [SEGA Blogs]
  • SEGA is “tight lipped” when it comes to Sonic Anniversary.  I’m only posting this article because we all know it’ll leak soon anyway. [CVG]
  • Pizza Hut and SEGA team up to equip you with pizza weapons in Phantasy Star Portable 2. [Siliconera]
  • PCWorld gave a shout-out to SEGA’s 3D glasses from 1988. [PC World]

Other Stuff

Monday Video

This song is the best song made for any soundtrack in the history of movies.

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  • Reply

    When I saw this pop up on Twitter, I immediately went “and you hit em low hit em low hit em low.” Good to know I was vindicated.

    PS: Though the Tevis Thompson article is well-written and I understand the point he makes, I really don’t think the millisecond delay between button pressing and action is discernible to the vast majority of players, nor does it really impede gameplay–certainly not in the way say, Space Channel 5 does (despite it being a good game once you get over that hurdle.)

    • Reply

      I totally agree. I just liked it because it was so well-written.

  • Reply

    Tevis’ analysis was like an knife cutting through fluff. Terrible and piercing, yet ultimately an exercise in frivolity and deeply isolated melancholy. But that’s just me. Sonic 1 may have been weak and roughly designed compared to its sequels, but it’s still a fun, humble start. In any case, the article merits discussion.

    Also, he noticed the delay of a few milli-seconds? Get this guy on Retro. He’ll fit right in.

  • Reply

    The Tevis Thompson article is as wrong as it is well-written. That is to say, it is an extremely eloquent, essay-length “DEEEEEERP”. The button response issue has already been covered, so where to start? Since I’m sure this will be dissected at length, I’ll take just one thing.

    The assertion that Sonic’s placement of extra lives is the signal of upcoming design failure is massively flawed. It is more often used as an incentive to explore and master the game’s physics, particularly in the early stages (take, for example, the extra life on the top of the loop in GHZ3). The contrasting claim that Mario’s constant 1-Up feed is somehow not indicative of cheap design is laughable. The simple fact is that with an endlessly recoverable protection mechanism, Sonic has no need to provide so many extra chances. Mario’s extra lives perform a function that is not different, but in fact exactly the same – both exist to allow the player to feel that they are facing a surmountable challenge, and both equally recognise the fact that a player is set up to fail.

    • Reply

      Nevertheless, his point does touch upon an oft-made one about Sonic Team’s later games, specifically Sonic 4, which [i]showers[/i] you with a hundred 1-ups by the time you’re past four zones. That point is that 1-ups or extra lives do not excuse poor game design. That being said, I don’t really consider Sonic 1 to be terribly cheap until later stages, like Labyrinth, Star Light, and Scrap Brain. So, the last three zones out of seven total are the ones I consider the cheapest, while Star Light I consider to be the worst designed.

      He is right about the pacing of the game, though, and yes, it is frustrating. Even moreso is getting 50 rings by the end of each act AND completing the Special Stage. Nevertheless, I find it rewarding in spite of it’s frustrating quality, and it’s part of what drives me when I play Sonic 1: the challenge to utterly beat the game and get everything. It’s thrilling when you do it, but frustrating when you fail.

  • Reply

    I’m probably the only one who thinks Sonic 1 was better than Sonic 2, so I thought that Tevis Thompson article was bullshit.

  • Reply

    I still say ghostbusters is better :shot:

  • Reply

    I appreciate Slingerland posting my essay here, especially given his disagreement. I never expected it to end up on a hardcore Sonic website, and I respect his openness.

    The essay is not meant to serve as a review of the first Sonic. I began with a sensation – my irritation – and I followed it. I wanted to better understand my experience, and this led me to certain conclusions about the tensions in the game.

    It’s interesting to debate the 1up effects (which I think follow from the ‘endlessly recoverable protection mechanism’) or how much a few milliseconds matter. The latter probably says as much about me (control-freak) and my values as a gamer (gameplay usually being paramount) as anything else.

    But this interests me too, the player’s role in the game experience. Obviously different players have divergent experiences of the same game, but I don’t think this is taken seriously enough. I don’t mean the game itself should be downplayed and we should just give ourselves over to unconsidered subjectivity (I tried to be pretty exacting with Sonic, whatever you think of my conclusions). The interaction of both parties, videogame and player, is required to create a particular game experience. This interplay is what I was aiming at with my essay.

    Actually, I would love to read more joyful takes on Sonic. If anyone can point me to writing which details the particular pleasures of playing Sonic, I’d appreciate it.

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