Nobody knows if Monday Links is alive or not. Sometimes is just kinda pops up again, while at other times it just kinda seems to have died into obscurity. Some wonder if Monday Links was ever truly alive for the past year or so, as it only sometimes kinda popped up and then disappeared again for who knows how long. Others just don’t care cause really why would you you probably normally don’t even look at the front page and just go straight to the wiki or forums you jerk. >:(
Anyway, these Monday Links articles usually takes quite a bit of time to make so I’m gonna trim them up a bit from now on. From now on it’ll focus more on Sonic and less on SEGA in general. If you want to see the latest SEGA news and cool SEGA features, you should go visit SEGAbits. Those guys do a pretty damn good job covering all things SEGA and really I’m just wasting time linking all the stuff they put up there when you can just visit their site.
No, Sonic’s not going to be mobile and PC only. SEGA of America is gonna have a huge re-structure but that’s not gonna affect any Sonic games Sonic Team or whatever has in production. SEGA is gonna push mobile and PC games harder (which they’ve already been doing), but they’re not gonna stop making console games. It’s still bad news of course, but not as bad as some make it out to be. [Not really Sonic related but it’s a rumor that needs to be cleared up]
No, not the game, but an amazing original 16-bit soundtrack called Sonic Jam!!!, by LoneEchidna (Sean Evans)! Take a listen, check out all his other great tracks, and don’t forget to subscribe to his soundcloud!
Hey! The Zone Runners album is now out for purchase! New in from DiGi Valentine, halc, and Sir Jordanius, it’s a hip hop album based on Sonic tunes, and the Zone Runner’s adventures through the zones their songs are based on. Check it out! http://zonerunners.net/
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]
Yup, it’s almost Christmas. Meaning there’s Christmas stuff you can watch on TV, the internet, your phone or some futuristic machine that hasn’t been invented yet that you’re reading this on at the moment. Or you could actually be spending time with your family or loved ones, because that’s a Christmas thing you can do. Anyway, this week Balena Productions made another Sonic Christmas cartoon, some of our staff did commentary on a different Sonic Christmas cartoon and cool music guy Falk made a thing. Also some other stuff including:
Balena Productions made another Sonic Christmas cartoon [See the video above]
Ryo Hazuki found a way to make vehicles out of arcade cabinets and will be racing around in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed while playing Outrun at the same time sometime in the future [It was a leak so shush don’t tell SEGA]
Another couple of classic SEGA games got a 3D revamp on 3DS this week, this time Streets of Rage and Shinobi III [Fantasy Zone next please]
Last Sunday, the winners of the 2013 Sonic Hacking Contest were revealed by judges through a livestream event which has been preserved on Twitch for everyone to watch in the above video. During the two hours it took, the winners were announced for each category, including categories decided upon community members of Retro and SSRG. You can view the results immediately on the Hacking Contest website here, or you can check past the jump for the complete list.
Don’t forget to check out the available entries for yourself, and even for the ones that didn’t win, they still deserve your attention for their hard efforts. Congratulations to everyone involved!
Another fine release by Lake Feperd (and his crew of musical co-horts) today as Sonic After the Sequel which is a fan-made sequel to Sonic Before the Sequelwhich was a prequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2. You can visit this link here to grab the game for yourself. Pretty impressive considering the previous release was only a year ago, yet retains its own unique level themes, branching paths and more. In addition, Lake Feperd has announced a few months ago that he is working on a new Sonic fan game titled Sonic Chrono Adventurewhich takes inspiration from other titles such as Sonic CDand involves time travel and more open world gameplay.
But don’t get ahead of yourself, check out After the Sequel today! While you’re waiting, you can view the release trailer shown above.