All Posts By

GeneHF

Game News

SEGA Networks Declares Sonic Runners a Failure

SonicRunnersFailureIn part of a presentation highlighting the company’s strongest performers, Sonic Runners is ranked as a failure. The game generates a little between ¥30 million [$256,563 USD] to ¥50 million [$427,588 USD] a month.

It should come as little surprise to anyone following industry news that the mobile market is a veritable shark tank, fighting with many others for a limited pool of money and attention spans. SEGA is part of those never ending digital meat grinding, and is touting their successes in the market. Sonic Runners isn’t so fortunate.

These numbers appear under the Domestic Market section, likely indicating they are Japan specific, but the fact Runners fails to even show up in the Overseas section doesn’t bode well. In fact, the game is no longer available for download on the U.S. Google Play Store and hasn’t been since Nov. 2015.

This shouldn’t come as a shock given the negative reception that surrounded Runners. Since officially going global Summer 2015, the game was constantly criticized for performance issues, glitches, and microtransaction practices that for all intents and purposes amount to under-aged gambling for new characters. If anything, it was a fine endless runner at its core drowned by countless terrible design decisions.

Most of these came to a head with the recent 2.0 update that added death walls to runs, offered more performance issues and overheating devices, and did little to improve the character unlock structure to make it less like a gamble.

One thing to note though is Sonic Dash 2 (referred to as Sonic Dash Boom and Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom) is expected to meet continued successes overseas with pushes to continue expanding its market presence.

Site News

PSA: Deadline for RAGE Submissions Friday

[UPDATE: The games will be played on stream here, Saturday Jan. 23 at 8:30 p.m, so drop on by!]

If you’re enrolling in RAGE, our Really Amateur Games Expo, you’ve got until Jan. 22 at 11:59 p.m. CST to produce a game of some sort based on this year’s theme: Sonic Boom.

It doesn’t have to be a full scale game so much as a 5-10 minute long demo or an older game (think Space Invaders or Breakout for example) and it doesn’t necessarily have to be good, just technically sound (read: no crashes, memory leaks, or texture failures.) If anything, have fun with it and maybe it can expand to a bigger (and better) game down the road.

Fan Works, Site News

Monday Links – End of the Year Edition

1270528307698

Continuing the tradition of Monday Links not on Mondays, it’s my turn to steal the glory from Tim!

With 2015 coming to a merciful end, we can look forward to a few exciting things in 2016: a Cubs team that may finally put an end to that dang curse,  a bunch of movies and sequels, Nintendo doing something with the NX, and most importantly, heavily criticizing the brand direction of a certain blue hedgehog.

He turns 25, you know. No rental car agency can stop him now.

Continue Reading

Animation, Community, Fan Works

Christmas with Sonic, Retro Wishes You A Merry Yule

Just like the daylight gets shorter and trees wither in the on-coming cold spell (in the northern hemisphere), a new winter brings a new Christmas with Sonic by Balena Productions.

Christmas with Sonic, a series of animations with Sonic and friends celebrating a festive time with some fun storylines, brings a new installment by Steven Page. You may or may not know his other works such as “Sonic in Jaws” and “Sonic is Scared Stupid” from your “Recommended for You” list on YouTube. This time, the intrepid Blue Blur celebrates Christmas like a proper snowbird: in the tropics visiting the Prower family. The short is illustrated by Riana.

It’s been a largely slow year for a series about a hedgehog that goes fast, but it’s a quiet before the storm as Sonic enters his 25th anniversary (and the ability to legally rent a car!) in 2016. But from us at Sonic Retro, we wish you all a Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Popsicle/Etc. and look forward to rocking 2016 strong with all of you!

 

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.

Community, Fan Works

Sonic Amateur Games Expo Starts Dec. 18

CldwEXn

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.