After a turnaround from last year’s showing, the Sonic Hacking Contest 2017 draws to a close with the winners of this year’s showing for trophies rewarded by both Hacking Contest judges and the community. The contest celebrated big this year for it’s 15th anniversary with a brand new website, a public showing at this year’s Fan Jam and featured a game industry participant, Jon Burton of Traveller’s Tales, with Sonic 3D Blast Director’s Cut. There’s plenty to be excited for this year’s showing of ROM hacks and mods for Sonic R, Sonic Heroes, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Mania and Sonic Lost World. You can discuss the results of the hacking contest after the jump or via the forum here. You can also watch the first part of the results show from MegaGWolf’s Twitch channel at the top of this post. You can then watch part 2 of the show here.
Sonic 3D Blast
How’s this for a little role reversal? Where Sonic Mania features fan game developers work in a commercial Sonic game, a Sonic game developer makes works on a ROM hack?
GameHut is the YouTube channel run by Traveller’s Tales founder Jon Burton which recently celebrated his achievement of 25,000 subscribers. The channel provides a constant stream of video material showcasing old prototypes, special builds and insight on coding techniques of Traveller’s Tales’ work over the years. There’s a greater focus on Mega Drive material and more recently a focus on their work on Sonic R and Sonic 3D Blast / Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island. As an example I reported on videos on SEGAbits that covered a prototype for Sonic R and unseen footage of an unannounced sequel to Mickey Mania.
In a surprise announcement for achieving 25,000 subscribers on the channel Jon announced that he is working on releasing an unofficial patch for Sonic 3D titled Sonic 3D Director’s Cut that focuses on restoring content and adding enhancements to the game. This has no involvement with SEGA or any other company and is only being developed by Jon himself in his spare time. Details about the hack can be seen in the jump.
Everyone tends to think that Sonic has been dead for an undisclosed amount of time, and generally seem to miss out on or dismiss a lot of interesting games along the way. One of the first games to start the march of “Sonic hasn’t been good since…” was Sonic 3D Blast. So, on this episode of Hit Reset, will take a look at why this game was not the beginning of all our problems, and why you may actually be missing out on something pretty cool.
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On our most recent SEGA Channel Retro stream, we got to check out the DLC for the recently released Legend of Zelda Zone for Sonic Lost World. If you think that’s old news, then how about going old school? We also took a look back at SEGA’s attempts at bringing the blue blur to PC with sister site SEGAbits during their Genesis month with a look at Sonic & Knuckles Collection and Sonic 3D Blast (Or Flickies Island if you’re THAT guy…) complete with the awkward bonus stages. We even got a look at SEGA Smash Pack 1 and 2 on PC that features an interesting, exclusive screen resolution for the 2 Player VS. mode in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. All this and more is currently rehosted on our YouTube channel. You can also watch the original, uncut stream on our Twitch page here.
Or at least, that’s how Sega of America wanted you to think back in 1996. Five years after the release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the western branches of the company were scrambling to celebrate Sonic’s first semi-prominent anniversary. The original plan was to release Sonic X-treme, the first true 3D game featuring everyone’s favorite hedgehog. The story behind that title’s cancellation has become the stuff of legend, not just infamous in this here part of the world but in the general gaming community. Without that title, Sega decided to heavily promote Sonic’s swan song on the Mega Drive – Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island, also known as Sonic 3D Blast in the United States. With a port of the game hastily developed for the Sega Saturn, along with a similarly titled Game Gear game that was otherwise unrelated, the marketing blitz began.
It was only natural for Archie Comics to craft a comic adaptation of the newest game in the franchise. Not since issue thirteen’s “This Island Hedgehog” had Archie released a comic at around the same time as the source material it was promoting, SEGA’s huge push filtering into the otherwise left alone plotlines of Archie. Did this unique timing help the 48-page special become a masterpiece? Well, that would be giving it away, wouldn’t it? Either way, let’s strap ourselves in and experience the very last of Archie’s stand-alone specials. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I present to you our seventh piece of evidence…Sonic Blast.
When does fan-film season end? Any time soon would be great.
Sonic Retro News
- Remember when I posted that weird Pakistani McDonalds commercial? I’ve got a follow-up. Osama isn’t hiding in a cave. He’s kart racing with Crash Bandicoot. [YouTube]
- 2008: “Unleashed sucks.” 2011: “Oh man it’s so underappreciated.” No, bros, it definitely sucks. [January’s Most Amazing Thread]
- An update on Uhvye’s Sonic X-Treme engine. Lookin’ good, man! [SX Engine Thread]
- If you want to hack Sonic 1 and don’t know where to start, Mercury will set you off on the right foot. [Planning to hack Sonic 1?]
- Kellie is back to help you dominate Starlight Carnival: Act 1 with the official SEGA guide. [SEGA Blogs]
- The amazing Sonic Colors soundtrack is coming to iTunes. [GoNintendo]
- Our friends at SEGAbits (who are really good at getting news during dead periods, by the way, so read them) break the news that The Condizzle 2 has been delayed again. This time, back to April 19th. In related news, SEGA loves to make sequels for games that nobody asked for. [SEGAbits]
- SEGA also loves to whore out its back catalog to remind you, “Remember when we made good games?” [Eurogamer]
- 411mania’s “Bytes & Flops” takes a retrospective look at Sonic 3D Blast. Is it deserving of the scorn it has received? My answer has been the same since it came out: of course, dummy. See if their opinion differs. [411mania]
- Another retrospective review: Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Spoiler: it’s great. [DigitalSpy]
While I was recording the Sonic Retro podcast with the rest of the crew here (it may quite possibly be our fourth attempt on getting an acceptable fourth podcast), the issue of SEGA Genesis & Mega Drive Classics pack now being available on Steam came up, along with the issue of the game’s filesize (reported on the pre-purchase page to be 50MB, but in actuality… 107MB.) In the interest of SCIENCE (and proving that I have no issue with spending $5 of my own money on pointless purchases), I bit the bullet and bought a Steam copy of Sonic 3D Blast.
Why they’re pairing the Sonic 3D: Flickies’ island wordmark and horrendous Sonic render I’ll never know.
I went ahead and installed the game, and I must say–I’m incredibly underwhelmed. Now, given that this is basically a glorified emulator frontend, I had low expectations to begin with, but as I played it became clear why Sega never released any promotional screenshots for this game–and no, I don’t know why that one screenshot shows up oddly in gallery; it’s correct in full-size.
Needless to say, this has been a pretty large disappointment and I would recommend you spend your hard-earned 5bux on a used copy of Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the PC instead.