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  1. 5 points
    Went to the Kirby cafe yesterday and came away with some swag Also ended picking up a Rick plush from the store itself after taking this photo.
  2. 5 points
    Sonic Free Riders Original Platform: 360 Kinect Original release: 4th November 2010 Available to buy: Yes I’ll be fully honest in saying that I didn’t fully complete this game. I played the overly long tutorial, a fair amount of missions and went though the different modes and tracks. Sonic Free Riders is the third in the Sonic Riders hoverboard racing series of games. The mechanics of this are somewhere in between the two games. Crouching for a jump and timing your jump now gets you air again, which can be used for boosting. Quarter pipes on turns can also be used for a quick boost of speed, encouraging you to do tricks instead of just turning. Collecting rings will upgrade your gear, giving you access to speed, fly and power shortcuts. Items also make their way to standard races, letting you attack other racers. The story mode features 43 missions, and will take a while to complete. The game itself actually seems to be pretty good, with some interesting track design and plenty to do and unlock. The main issue, however is the controller. This game exclusively uses the Kinect, which is a very fancy webcam with depth perception and infrared sensors. You have to stand in a hoverboard pose and tilt left and right to turn and jump and spin to do tricks. It sounds simple, but it really does not work well at all. I could never get tilting backwards to reliably make my character turn, often resorting to repeatedly switch sides so I was always tilting forward. Combined with spinning while jumping, it’s a very exhausting few hours. The game also repeatedly paused itself, I could never figure out not causing it – my only guess was Kinect not being able to detect me occasionally. It’s all round a frustrating experience, although me and my fiancée had a lot of fun laughing at the sheer absurdity of the controls and how bad they are. It really is a shame, as I think this would have been a good game with a regular controller. Sonic Tennis DX Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release: 2010 Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. An improved version of Sonic Tennis with a lot more features. This time there are six characters you can play as (instead of just one), each with their own special ability. There are also four courts. This also features two control options, one where the character automatically runs to the ball and another where you have to do it yourself. Sonic Speed Spotter 2 Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2010 Available to buy: No The second spot the difference game based on Sonic X. This one is much more creative in its differences, with full objects being added or removed or changes made to background elements. Other than that, it’s more of the same – click on the differences that you see. Sonic Speed Spotter 3 Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2011 Available to buy: No The third and final Sonic X spot-the-difference game. This one is quite strange in that it almost entirely focuses on the human and robot characters of the show. Dr. Robotnik appears a few times, Sonic appears on one image and characters like Tails, Knuckles and Amy make no appearances. As for the game, it’s the same as the previous two, except the differences are much more obvious. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (3DS) Original Platform: 3DS Original release: 10th February 2012 Available to buy: No This Mario & Sonic Olympic game is actually quite different to the previous ones. It doesn’t try to emulate the sports at all, instead simplifying them all into simple minigames, similar to the ones found in Mario Party. As a result, this game does feature a lot of sports, but none of them feel much like playing the actual spot. Badminton, for example, isn’t played directly against an opponent. Instead, there are shuttlecocks that repeatedly come at you and you have to either press A to hit it if the shot is “in” or dodge if the shot is “out”. All players do this individually. Hockey is more like an adaptation of Pong where you control both paddles, it’s all very strange. There is also massive variety in controls, via touchscreen, buttons, tilting and microphone and can involved holing the 3DS at awkward angles. Some even require you to put the 3DS on a table to play. All of the movement also makes the 3D effect in this completely useless, as your angle on the screen is constantly changing. This has a story mode like the previous game, which has also been simplified. The overworld has been completely removed and you just select missions from a menu. It’s fairly easy but the story is amusing and uses the large cast fairly well. Sonic x Vapor Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2012 Available to buy: No A flash game promoting some trainers, based on the original Green Hill Zone. This is an auto runner where you have to collect rings and jump over badniks, occasionally having the chance of kicking a football through a bunch of enemies. There are a lot of adverts that Sonic runs past, and the amount of gaps increases the further along you get. It’s a decent auto runner.
  3. 4 points
    Yup, GoldenEye is definitely the big one:
  4. 4 points
    Bonus update: games that Sonic is playable in. Fighting Vipers Original Platform: Arcade Original Release: November 1995 Available to buy: No This is only partially official. While this isn’t a mod, Sonic and Tails are only playable by modifying the code for the game – they were originally in the game, but were removed at some point (with the data being left in). The developers possibly didn’t have full authorisation from Sega to include the characters, but the creation of Sonic and Tails in Fighting Vipers likely led to the creation of Sonic the Fighters, using the same engine. Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams Original Platform: Saturn Original Release: 22nd November 1996 Available to buy: Yes, but without Sonic level. Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams is a promotional version of Nights released with various magazines. It features a single level with slight alterations for the characters Elliot and Claris. Most of the game is played as NiGHTS, who can fly around flying through rings and collecting spheres. The object is to collect these spheres and take them to a large Metroid-looking enemy. Do this multiple times and you’ll fight a boss. If you run out of time, you’ll turn back into the child character and have to run and jump to collect the orbs, following an arrow. If you complete the stages, you’ll be given rewards (which require a pairs-matching minigame to unlock). One of these is a Sonic version of the game. In this, Sonic controls much like the children. So there’s no flying around, but as Sonic’s jump is higher, he can access more orbs. The game is pretty much following an arrow, but you can explore a lot more in this mode. As this came out before Sonic Jam, this is actually the first time that Sonic was playable in a 3D platform environment. NiGHTS also appears in quite a lot of Sonic games, either as background elements or costumes. There’s a full NiGHTS themes level in Sonic Lost World Le Mans 24 Original Platform: Arcade Original Release: August 1997 Available to buy: No Le Mans 24 is an arcade racing game that only released in Japan. With a button combination, you can play as Sonic, who drives a buggy-like vehicle instead of a car. The game itself is a simple racing game. You need to complete laps in a simulated 24 hour period (it only lasts a few minutes). A timer counts down and you need to overtake racers to add to your time. If you make it to the end of the 24 hours, you’ll have a one on one race for one lap to add to your score. Throughout the game, you’ll need to refresh in the pit stop. Sonic actually has a second racer – a strange bunny like character – that replaces him after a pit stop. Virtua Striker 2002 Original Platform: Arcade Version Played: GameCube Original Release: 2002 Also Known as: Virtua Striker 3 ver. 2002 Available to buy: No A football game that was released in the arcades. For a football game on the GameCube, it seems pretty decent (although Mario Strikers and Red Card are still the best ones). In this one, you can unlock a Sonic team – FC Sonic. The team consists of Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, a bunch of Chao and Dr. Robotnik as the goalkeeper. It’s pretty fun to see Sonic and co running around playing football against international teams. Super Smash Bros Brawl. Original Platform: Wii Original Release: 31st Jan 2008 Available to buy: No This was a colossal thing when it was first announced, Sonic and Mario finally being able to battle it out. Smash Bros is a brilliant series of fighting games where the object is to throw your opponents out of the stage. The more damage a fighter has received, the easier it is to throw them. The games are a celebration of Nintendo Brawl was the first instance of non-Nintendo characters making an appearance, with Sonic being one of them, bringing Green Hill Zone with him and Shadow as an assist trophy. He also makes an appearance at the very end of the story mode. Samba De Amigo (Wii) Original Platform: Wii Original Release: 23rd September 2008 Available to buy: No Samba De Amigo is a rhythm game originally released on Arcade and Dreamcast using maracas as controllers. The Wii version on this game introduces Sonic’s Challenge, where Amigo and Sonic dance together in a Green Hill Zone stage. Instead of Sonic’s levels consisting of music from Sonic the Hedgehog, he has the songs “Mambo Number 5”, “Low Rider” and “Un Aguardiente” Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS Original Platform: Wii U & 3DS Original Release: 11th September 2014 Available to buy: No Following on after Brawl, this Smash Bros game adds a stage based on Sonic Lost World, along with Mii Costumes for Tails and Knuckles. An enemy from Sonic Generations also appears in the singleplayer mode on 3DS. Super Mario Maker Original Platform: Wii U Original Release: 10th September 2015 Available to buy: No Mario Maker was a level creator that let you make levels based on multiple different Mario games. In the settings for Super Mario Bros on NES, you could add power ups based on Amiibo, including one for Sonic. The power-up functions identical to Mario, but the animations are based on Sonic on the Mega Drive (but scaled down to 8-bit). If you hold the run button, Sonic will be in a spin dash animation, although this doesn’t hurt enemies. If you get hit, Sonic will revert back to Mario. LEGO Dimensions Original Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U Original Release: 27th September 2015 (Sonic Pack 18th November 2016) Available to buy: No From the developers of Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R, LEGO Dimensions was a multi-franchise LEGO game utilising NFC toys to unlock content. One of these level packs was Sonic the Hedgehog. This level pack featured a story mode that lasts for just over an hour. It’s packed with references and humour. The game plays mostly like the LEGO games, but with movement mechanics based on Sonic like spin dash and homing attack. It’s a lot of fun. On top of the main story mode, there’s also an Adventure World. This is an explorable 3D world that is made up of multiple Sonic zones, including Chemical Plant, Lava Reef and Death Egg. There are lots of hidden things to find and quests to complete for different Sonic characters. I think it’s a complete shame that LEGO Dimensions didn’t get a release without the physical toy requirement. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Original Platform: Switch Original Release: 7th December 2018 Available to buy: No The biggest Smash game so far, featuring all previous character. All the Sonic stuff in this one is from previous Smash Bros. games, with the only addition of Knuckles as an Assist Trophy. Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD Original Platform: Xbox One, PS4, Switch Original Release: 29th October 2019 Available to buy: Yes A HD remake of the not-so-great Super Monkey Ball game. Once you have completed all stages, you unlock Sonic the Hedgehog to play as. He doesn’t really make any difference to how the game is played, but is nice, especially as it replaces the bananas with rings. I go into more detail into Super Monkey ball in my article about Banana Mania Minecraft Original Platform: Everything Original Release: 22 June 2021 (Sonic DLC) Available to buy: Yes Minecraft is a survival, mining and building game that uses a block-like graphical style for the environment. It’s great at what it does. The Sonic DLC removes the survival, mining and building elements from the game and instead gives us a few sonic levels – based on Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Sky Sanctuary Zone and Labyrinth Zone, to play though with movement that was never built for platforming like this. Understandably, it’s very wonky. Some blocky versions of the levels look poor, while others look good – Labyrinth Zone in particular suits this graphical style really well. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania I've already posted this one before, so I'll just link to my previous article. I've very much enjoyed going through all the different Sonic games, and I definitely want to do more franchises. Some I'm considering are: Star Trek Zelda Star Wars Rare James Bond Mario
  5. 4 points
    Very solid wave. Good set of tracks. Some weird gravity mechanics on the half pipes on DK snowboard. So @Glen-i and @Dcubed metioned about Riverside Park seemed different right at the start. Yes it is. they have removed the left kink on the start straight and it now just turns right straight off the bat. Anyway fun times.
  6. 4 points
    Some information from the latest update. Fixes detailed here. Birdo is added as a new column with five mystery slots. But there's only two more Booster Course Pack waves remaining...
  7. 4 points
    Sonic Speed Simulator (Frist Version) Original Platform: Roblox Original release: 30th March 2022 Available to buy: No A Sonic game released inside the child labour and child abuse game Roblox. In this game, you start off as a custom avatar based on the knock-off LEGO figures you find in places like Poundland, with the unlock for Sonic hidden in the first level (thankfully, very easy to get). Other Sonic characters are available, but they’re just skins that don’t change anything. The game starts out super slow. It’s a game of grinding experience orbs. You just run around (or walk around at the beginning) and pick them up. You collect them and level up, which makes you faster so you can collect more to level up. You can find some time trials in the levels (which do set your speed to a certain level) and there are multiple levels to explore. You start off with Green Hill Zone and one level is unlocked by levelling up. The remaining ones are locked behind the “rebirth” system – once you reach max level, you can reset back to zero and gain a higher max level. The benefit (other than accessing new areas if you do it enough times) is that levelling up is quicker. The game features a few attractions. You can fly the Tornado for a mission – it’s very slow and the level lasts for way too long. You can have a race against Jet on “Extreme Gear” hoverboards (it’s nothing like Sonic Riders, though) and a race against Metal Sonic in Metal Madness. Once you level up, Sonic definitely feels very fast, but the controls are always a bit janky. The entire game is quite janky, some parts can look great visually, but have low quality stuff right next to it. It’s a mixture of random assets (plus advertising billboards). There are a lot of cosmetics to unlock, either from a massive amount of grinding, or by buying them with real money. This is a game with little to actually do other than run around in circles, and feels like it’s on the verge of falling apart at any moment. It feels like another game pretending to be a Sonic game. Note: This version of Sonic Speed Simulator was removed and replaced with a very different version in February 2023. Sonic Origins Original Platform: Xbox One/Series, PS4/PS5, Switch, PC Original release: 30th March 2022 Available to buy: Yes This compilation release features the following games: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Blue Spheres, New Blue Spheres These are the Retro Engine versions of the games, with Sonic 3 & Knuckles being available in this engine for the first time. This compilation also acknowledges that Sonic 3 & Knuckles is a single game. The lives system has been removed and replaced with coins, which can be spent on retrying special stages or unlocking artwork and music. This also features a campaign mode where you play all the games in order (with CD being put before 2). Sonic 1, 2 and 3 also have new animated cutscenes, which look fantastic. Another addition is a mission mode. Each game has a bunch of missions which take place on unique mini stages, these are a lot of fun to complete, and the short stints even make Sonic CD more enjoyable. There’s a lot of variety and lots of different ways to play. New Blue Spheres Original Platform: Xbox One/Series, PS4/PS5, Switch, PC Original release: 30th March 2022 Available to buy: Yes The second Blue Spheres game, New Blue Spheres is an extra game bundled with Sonic Origins, although it’s quite easy to miss. This is another full Blue Spheres game with an impossible number of levels. This one takes elements from Sonic Mania‘s blue sphere stages. Green spheres turn into blue sphere when you run into them, so you need to run into them twice while pink spheres teleport you to another pink sphere. The new mechanics make for more dynamic levels and a bit more thought when dealing with areas with green, blue and red spheres. I did have issues distinguishing the blue spheres and pink spheres due to my colourblindness, which made some levels annoying. That said, it’s still a very fun game. Sonic Frontiers Original Platform: Xbox Series, PS5, Switch Original release: 8th November 2022 Version Played: Xbox Series S Available to buy: Yes While the focus on Sonic Frontiers is on the open world – or open zone as Sega call it – I think it’s worth taking a look at the more traditional levels first. The disappointing thing about these are the themes, they take a few level themes from older games (including the much repeated Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant Zone) as a basis for the levels, I would have much preferred if they just used the theme of the current island instead. At the very least, each individual level has its own unique (and really solid) music. That said, the levels are still fun to play. They are a bit simple with only a few branching paths and don’t reach the height of Sonic Generations or Colours, but they’re still a ton of fun to play. Some levels focus on specific gimmicks while others are a bit more traditional. With these levels alone, Sonic Frontiers would be a pretty good game. But, the main bulk of the game is the open zone islands, something that sounded like it could easily go very wrong, especially if they don’t get Sonic’s movement’s right. Luckily, they did a great job. Sonic went where I wanted him to go, and turning was incredibly easy. Running around enemies is extremely easy, which ties into Sonic’s new power where he can draw a shape to hurt enemies or activate objects inside. I do wish that Sonic’s starting speed was much faster. Towards the end of the game (with my speed levelled up to around 25 out of 99), it felt amazing, but this really needed to be the starting point. Each island consists of collectables, challenges, levels, story missions and fishing. The collectibles are “memory tokens”, used to progress the story and unlock little side cutscenes. Most of these are found by completing mini levels on floating platforms (although some are nicely integrated into the world itself). There are a lot more than you need to unlock everything, so they’re more of something to find on the way between everything else and not something you have to painfully track down one by one. The floating platforms that these are made from do have major pop-in issues – although it does seem to be managed in a smart way where parts you need to work out a route to an object are visible. I feel like they could have added a “cyber” animation to these objects to make them seem like they’re being generated by cyberspace instead of just popping in, Challenges help unlock the map, some are little puzzles, some are timing challenges, some are time trials (which are like mini levels integrated into the world) and some make use of specific powers. They’re fun to discover and do. One kind I did find odd is one where you have to parry objects, as to parry you just need to hold down the button, there’s no timing, but these challenges were definitely designed with timing in mind, so I think they changed the parry system fairly late on in development. Story missions are…quite bad. They’re a bunch of mini games that involve herding, pinball and a hacking minigame which is a very simple Ikaruga-inspired 2D space shooter. These could have been missing and nobody would care. Fishing is an optional extra and is nice and relaxing, although it seems like way too much effort has gone into the rather detailed fish models – and there are a lot of different fish. Combat is a lot of fun. With the cyloop opening up enemies for attack and a lot of special moves to perform. There’s also an option to perform these automatically (at the cost of slightly reduced damage) if you prefer to button mash instead. Each enemy also has specific ways to deal with them and their design is a clue as to how to defeat them. In the open zone there are also “guardians” to fight – large bosses which feel like full on bosses from other Sonic games. These are an absolute delight and it’s very surprising that they work well in the open world as they feel like full on set pieces. The final boss of each island is also spectacular – although the final boss is downright awful, nothing more than a quick time event. There are some parts of the open world that feel like a mini level, parts like long underground tunnels or other small sections. These parts are brilliant, and I really hope the next game focuses more on this – having levels built into the open world itself is a great way to go about expanding on the formula. I really hope Sega builds upon Sonic Frontiers instead of their usual method of ditching something and trying something new. Overall, I absolutely loved Sonic Frontiers, and while the standard levels aren’t quite Sonic Generations, I do rate this as Sonic’s best 3D game. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Happy Meal Game Original platform: Browser Original Release: 2022 Available to play: Yes A Sonic game that was made accessible via a QR code from a McDonald’s Happy Meal. It was made to promote the second Sonic the Hedgehog film, so features the Sonic design from the film. Sonic runs forward on his own and when he approaches a junction, you press left or right to take that corner. The aim is to collect rings, emeralds and boosts. It feels very much like a modern version of the LCD Sonic games that McDonald’s used to give out in Happy Meals due to the simplicity of it. Even if you do absolutely nothing, you’ll still get a good score. One bonus feature is that you can use your camera and have it be the background of the stage. UNO: Sonic The Hedgehog Original Platform: Board game Original release: 2019 Where to get: Limited availability The classic game of Uno. Take turns getting rid of cards, matching the colour or number shown at the top of the pile on the table. The aim is to get rid of all your cards and special cards can force you to miss a turn or pick up cards. This version of Uno has pictures of Sonic characters on each card, each one matching a different number or special ability. This version of Uno has an additional special card: Victory Lap (featuring Super Sonic). This works similar to a wild card (where you pick which colour it turns to) but also makes all other players pick up a card. Aside for the additional card, this is regular Uno. Sonic Battle: The Search for the Chaos Emeralds Original Platform: Board game Original release: 2022 Where to get: Amazon UK Like Dice Rush, this is another board game with the “Classic Sonic the Hedgehog” brand, featuring the old artwork. This also feels like a classic board game, but not in a good way. Each turn you move one space, look at the token and do the action printed on it and then replace the token. There’s zero strategy or thought involved. The aim is to collect all 7 chaos emeralds then defeat Dr. Robotnik. The tiles will make you draw an emerald (of a certain colour), give you actions like steal emeralds from other players or it will force a battle with Dr. Robotnik – if you win, you gain an emerald, if you lose, then you have to put one back. To battle, you have a deck of cards numbered 1 to 6 (multiple of each number) and draw a hand of two. You play one of these and reveal one of Dr Robotnik’s cards. The highest umber wins. Due to losing/stealing emeralds and having to collect seven of them, this game is slow, boring and goes on and on. Sonic Super Teams Original Platform: Board game Original release: 2019 Where to get: Limited availability in Germany/UK The most striking thing about this is the absolutely gorgeous artwork. Our of all the Sonic board games, this has by far the nicest original art. In Sonic Super Teams, characters are paid into groups of two: Sonic & Tails, Knuckles & Amy, Shadow & Silver and Metal Sonic & Rouge – these pairings are a bit odd and feels like they picked the characters first and the teams second. Personally, I would have paired up Shadow & Rouge and replaced Silver with Dr. Robotnik to team up with Metal Sonic. Each team has a deck of movement cards (with movements of 1-6). However, the team playing as those characters doesn’t get their team’s cards. Instead, the cards are shuffled and each player gets six. You take turns playing a card and moving a character from that team, meaning you can send them into traps. As you select item cards, the team being moved can play a bonus card to influence their movement, such as moving one more space or protecting themselves from spikes. The game is very simple but there’s a lot of depth do it, you have to work out how to best use the cards in your hands to hamper enemies – you can use loops to waste some cards (if you end your turn mid-loop, you return to the start of it) while using bonus cards to push yourself onto better spaces. I also think a few variants could also be fun, such as a full four player mode (in the rules, players form teams of two) for more chaos. One let down is that there’s only one board, so the map will be the same every time. A bit more variety would be nice. Still, this game is pretty fast paced, is nice and short, easy to set up and is easy to understand. It’s the best choice for a Sonic game if you don’t want something as complicated (or expensive) as Sonic Battle Racers. Sonic Speed Simulator Reborn Original Platform: Roblox Original release: 11th Feb 2023 Available to buy: Yes The new version of Sonic Speed Simulator, called Sonic Speed Simulator Reborn, replaced the old one and boasted bigger environments and a boost feature. It also removes a lot of stuff that was previously available – the Tornado mission, Jet hoverboard race and Metal Sonic race are all gone, along with multiple areas such as Metal City, Chemical Plant and more. The remaining levels, Green Hill Zone, Lost Valley and Emerald Hill Zone have been reworked. The new Green Hill Zone is a complete mess. It seems like they weren’t planning on expanding this world until the last minute, you’ll go out of bounds just trying to explore and you can even see floating trees and the edges of the blocks of water by following the actual paths – there’s even a grind rail that shows off all this broken stuff. The new stuff seems poorly botched onto the old map. Surprisingly, the Lost Valley and Emerald Hill maps have been completely rebuilt from the ground up and are actually quite nice maps. At least, they would be if there was something to do in them. The core gameplay remains the same repetitive grind of running around in circles. Progression though levels is now quest based, but the quests are mostly just the same griding. Occasionally you’ll have to spend rings on chao. There’s one mission where you have to destroy 10 power generators, but they respawn so you just destroy the same ones a few times instead of properly exploring. It’s still by far the most interesting mission in the game – the rest are just grinding by running around in circles. This version of the game also desperately requires using codes to unlock promotional chao (these increase the rings and experience you collect). The grind is already miserable, but without these promotional chao, it would be a hundred times more tedious. The game even knows how tedious it is because they added an “auto run” feature, where the game plays itself for a bit so you can grind while doing other things. While the Lost Valley and Emerald Hill levels are nice, this version of the game pretty much removes the only fun parts of the game
  8. 4 points
    Blue Spheres Original Platform: Mega Drive (Sonic & Knuckles Lock-On with Sonic the Hedgehog) Original Release: 18th October 1994 Version Played: Xbox Series S Available to buy: Yes Blue Spheres (or sometimes just Blue Sphere) is a full version of the special stages from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. You can access it by combining the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge with the Sonic 1 cartridge. You could also get access to single levels by combining Sonic & Knuckles with other catridges. In Blue Spheres, Sonic is automatically running forward. The aim is to turn all the blue spheres into red spheres by running into them – but running into red spheres will end the game. If you create a rectangle of red spheres, then they and all the spheres inside it will turn into coins. If you manage to collect all of these you get to skip levels. There are other kinds of speres, such as bumpers and bouncers to help or hinder your movement. As time progresses, the game will get quicker and quicker. It gets extremely manic. There are an immense amount of levels – 134,217,728 (or 128,016,000 distinct layouts) so it’s pretty much a “play until you get bored” kind of game. It’s a lot of fun for a quick blast, though. (I decided last minute that this counted as a game). Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Original Platform: Switch Original release: 1st November 2019 Available to buy: Yes While the Rio game seemed like it didn’t want to be a Mario & Sonic game, this one delves into it a lot more, making this game feel like a celebration of Mario, Sonic, Tokyo and the Olympics. This has a full story mode which involves Mario, Sonic, Dr. Robotnik and Bowser getting sucked into a video game made by Dr. Robotnik based o the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games. This is a pixelated game that features the famous classic looks of Mario and Sonic, with Sonic based on his Mega Drive games and Mario based on the original Super Mario Bros. The story switches back and forth between retro and current times, going through each Olympic event in the game, so no need to repeatedly do the same event or grind. It’s the best story more in the Olympic titles. Throughout the story you’ll also encounter minigames, both 2D and 3D which, for the most part are a lot of fun. There’s ones where Sonic is chasing a train or a taxi, Mario flying a plane in a side scrolling shooter, Mario sneaking through a museum, finding toads in a crowd and some more. These are a great addition and can be played on their own once you’ve gotten past them in the story. The 2D events are a lot of fun. They’re simple, but they’re supposed to be (apart from Volleyball, which I couldn’t figure out). Diving is surprisingly a lot of fun, Shooting is a bit like Duck Hunt and there’s just a lot of charm across all 10 of them. The 3D events, for the first time, contained none that I had trouble with or flat out hated. The standard events still have character powers, making returning games like Rugby Sevens even more fun. Skateboarding and Surfboarding are fun new trick-based ones and Karate has a surprising amount of depth to it. You have different controller options, with all except Discus having options that don’t involve motion controls. Dream events also return, although there are only three of them. Dream Racing is a lot of fun, and is essentially a simplified Sonic Riders as characters race downhill on hoverboards. Dream Shooting is also a target shooting third person shooter and very enjoyable. Karate is the weakest dream event, but still enjoyable. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is easily the best one in the series, there is a lot of love and detail, right down to lots of trivia about the Olympics. Monopoly Gamer: Sonic the Hedgehog Original Platform: Board Game Original Release: 2019 Monopoly gamer is a quicker, simplified form of Monopoly, which is a huge improvement as it means you can stop playing quicker. Another improvement is no player elimination, so others aren’t waiting around for the game to finish. That said, it’s still very much a “roll and follow instructions” game. The most interesting part of this are the boss battles. You can select another player to be your sidekick. If you win (by rolling dice), you get a Chaos Emerald while they get bonus points. If you both lose, the boss escapes and Dr Robotnik is harder to defeat at the end as he will have more Chaos Emeralds. Sonic: The Card Game (2021) Original Platform: Board game Original release: 2021 Sonic The Card Game is a blatant rip off of a board game called Diamant or Incan Gold (It has been released under different publishers form the same designer). There’s are no credits credits to the original designers (Bruno Faidutti and Alan R. Moon) I’ve played Diamant a few times and it’s a very enjoyable push your luck game where you’re exploring a cavern. Before each card flips, you have to decide if you carry on or retreat (you have two cards representing this, you all decide in secret and then flip your choice over at the same time). Any players that retreat will share the gold (rings in this case) on all previous cards and are out of that round (there are five rounds in total). If two of the same trap type (or enemy type in this, with Dr Robotnik, Metal Sonic and….er Orbot and Cubot, who have never been much of a threat on their own and there could have been so many better choices, even just a Motobug and Buzz Bomber), then any player still racing end up collecting nothing. At the end of five rounds, the player with the most rings is the winner. There are also relic cards (bonus cars in this, depicting Cream, Charmy, Big, Cream and four Chao), which are worth 5 points, but can only be collected if only one player decides to retreat in a round. There are a couple of differences in this to Diamant. It only does six players, instead of eight, consisting of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow and Blaze. There are enough characters to pick to do two more. You also have three lives, if you get defeated by enemies you lose one. Lose all three and you’re out of the game. Frankly, this is a terrible addition to the game and you should just ignore it (not collecting anything is enough of a punishment). The tokens for lives are handy for putting one above the cards and removing it when you leave, so players can easily see who is in or out of the current round. The other change are special abilities for the relic/bonus cards. I quite like these. One lets you see the top card, one shuffles an enemy back in and one lets you change your card after players have revealed. The risk being that these are worth 5 points if you don’t use them. I like the aspect of sacrificing 5 points for a risk or a potentially higher reward. There’s one that counts as an extra life, which as said above, is a poor feature of the game. If you want a more portable version of Diamant, or very specifically the Sonic theme, it’s fine, and you can play with the original rules (ignore lives and you can just keep the bonus cards as being five points with no abilities), but overall it’s a worse version of Diamant. Sega Streaming Theater Sonic Edition Original Platform: PC Original release: 24th June 2021 Available to buy: No Not played: Only available to a small number of streamers in Japan This is a special version of Sonic the Hedgehog where the players have to collet 200 rings in three acts of Green Hill Zone, Labyrinth Zone and Scrap Brain Zone. The level layout is completely controlled by commenters. Various words will add slopes, loops, rings, springs, enemies and item boxes, along with stickers that fly across the screen. The words can even act as platforms. As you can expect, it’s a bit of a mess, but definitely in a fun way.
  9. 4 points
    Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (3DS) Original Platform: 3DS Original release: 18th March 2016 Available to buy: No The main story mode of this one – Road to Rio – is absolutely awful. It’s all about grinding stats by playing “training” games as your Mii instead of the main sports. These training events aren’t even original, they’re taken from the 3DS London Olympics game, although I do like the admission that the events in that game aren’t proper events. It makes the mode very tedious. Luckily, the individual events are much better, with this version being a lot more enjoyable than the Wii U version. It had 14 events and each one has a “plus” version, which is essentially the dream variant. Golf is a particular highlight. The main mode is a very good gold game, using the 3DS touch pad to hit the ball. The plus version adds lots of fun obstacles and features, such as ? blocks, ramps and boost pads. It’s an extremely fun mode. I would have loved to see this turned into its own game with more courses and it may by my favourite event in any of the Olympic games so far. The rest are all pretty good, some utilising the touchpad (like Javelin) and some using the buttons. Archery uses the gyro really well. There’s nothing overly annoying such as blowing into the microphone, so it created a nice variety of events. The plus versions are a lot of fun, except for Boxing which just made it much worse. Volleyball has an interesting bingo mechanic, while Long Jump adds a spring which you have to use as a right angle. While the main story is quite bad, the events more than make up for it, especially golf. Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Wii U) Original Platform: Wii U Original release: 24th June 2016 Available to buy: No This game does away with the Wii Remote requirements, allowing you to use any controller. It seems like it should benefit the game, but all the controls are massively simplified and there’s no motion control whatsoever – even when it would be useful. Games just use two buttons, catering to those who want to use a Wii Remote on its own. The progression of this game is even worse. First you have to play five single events to unlock tournaments, which is the main way to play the game. In tournaments, you play as your Mii against other Miis, playing three rounds of a sport. If you end in the top three you get a medal. It’s extremely tedious and you only get to pick from three sports at once. It also makes it feel like the developers didn’t want to make a Mario & Sonic game as the game seems to be almost entirely lacking in the aesthetic of either. After around 5 medals, you’ll unlock the Hero Showdown, which is a decent multiplayer mode, although takes far too long. At 25 medals you unlock the ability to use Mario and Sonic Amiibo to unlock the Mario League and Sonic League, which is just playing a few games with a texture swapped (like the table tennis table or volleyball ball) with a Mario or Sonic icon. The sports themselves are not good. The biggest highlight is rugby. It’s a fairly in depth sport and it’s all kept intact, and is a lot to fun. Rhythmic Gymnastics is another highlight, as it’s a decent rhythm game. Archery I had high hopes for it after the Biathlon in the Sochi game, but as it doesn’t use the gyro, it loses all appeal in this. There are only fourteen games, too, so not a big selection. Dream events are also gone, instead Football, Rugby and Volleyball have “dual” variants. These are all the same: attack opponents to build up your score, get a goal/try to bank them all. They’re not very creative and aren’t a lot of fun. This is a pretty poor game and just really annoying to play. Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Original Platform: 3DS Original release: 27th September 2016 Available to buy: No The sequel to Shattered Crystal, this gives Sonic and team fire and ice powers. It’s mainly used for freezing and melting blocks of water, but I think the simplicity helps the game. However, the most significant change in this game is how the collectibles are handled. In Shattered Crystal, you had to go slow and explore every inch of the map in order to progress. In Fire & Ice, the collectables are still there with sections of the map to find and discover, but the collectables are all entirely optional. Although I think this game goes slightly too far as the rewards for doing so are quite meaningless. On the flip side, it does mean you can blast through all the levels as Sonic, and doing that is quite a lot of fun. Other than the first few levels, which introduce the different abilities of each character, the character abilities (other than a few Sonic-only racing levels) aren’t actually used in the “main path”, they’re only used for finding collectables. So if you aren’t bothered by them, then your choice of character makes no difference, which can be a good or bad thing. That said, with the jump, homing attack, grapple and switching between fire and ice powers, there’s a lot of abilities to play around with. The game is at its best when you get to string along these abilities, it feels almost like a rhythm game where you have to quickly press the correct buttons. The game will go from these sections that require precise timing to sections of the game where you don’t have to do anything at all for a bit. Overall, Sonic Boom Fire & Ice isn’t a bad game, but it’s also not terribly exciting. It’s fine for a quick blast through, ignoring all the collectables. Sonic Runners Adventure Original Platform: Android/iOS Original release: 10th June 2017 Available to buy: Yes While the Sonic Jump sequel when from a level-based game to an infinite grind, the Sonic Runners games have done the opposite. This one is no longer an endless runner, but is instead level-based. The gameplay is very similar to the first, which was the one thing the original game got right. Everything is fast and tapping to jump (or fly/glide as Tails and Knuckles) along the paths of rings, enemies and obstacles has a great rhythm to it. There are four different areas, each with 10 main levels plus an extra endless level as a bonus. Each level has three objectives which earn you stars for progression, although annoyingly some are tied to particular characters you need to unlock (the amount of grinding is quite minimal, though, and there are no microtransactions to skip). These are generally collecting X amount or rings or destroying X amount of enemies. Levels will have up and down paths, which have signs indicating if they’re better for rings or enemies. Some levels will also loop a couple of times. Badniks will respawn, but rings won’t, so you need to find the right paths to keep your targets. This is a really good Sonic mobile game. Sonic Runners Adventures (Java) Original Platform: Java Original release: 10th June 2017 Available to buy: No I had no idea that Java games were still being made in 2017, but I guess some areas are still mainly using cheaper phones, so this caters to them. This is based on the smartphone game of the same name, and is a much worse version of it. There are a lot fewer features: Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are the only characters, there are no helpers and there are only six stages and a boss fight per area, four fewer per zone. Because of the lack of helpers, the game is much more difficulty as you only get one attempt per level – you also can’t spend rings to continue, either. The game feels very wonky. While you could chain together a lot of cool movements in the main version, in this everything feels just off. The movement doesn’t sync to the levels quite right and you’ll die a lot because of following the rings and coming up short for a jump. The game comes in touch and button versions, although the graphics and content are exactly the same. The touch version lets you see a lot more screen at once, even if the repeated background looks very odd. In the button version, you don’t get much of a chance to react to anything. I also found that there are no invincibility frames – if you ran into an enemy, you seem to just die instead of losing rings and moving on. If you have access to a smartphone, there’s no reason to play this version at all. It’s just a scaled down version that doesn’t work as well. Sonic Forces Original platform: PC, PS4, XBO, Switch Original release: 7th November 2017 Version played: PS4 Available to buy: Yes My first time playing this, I absolutely loved it. Playing it again and I still like it a lot, but can definitely see the flaws. First off is Classic Sonic. He doesn’t fit the same, he isn’t very important to the story and his levels are just really poor. The physics seem off and the level designs aren’t fun to play. I really think they could have had some fun Tails missions instead, as you can just have Tails do his role in the story. The other big addition is the avatar, a character you can create and customise. I really like this addition and the use of Wispons allows for a few different gameplay styles which open up different routes and change up the gameplay a bit. It does take most of the game to unlock enough stuff to customise them how you want, though. The Sonic levels I enjoy a lot and have some great moments of level design, but a lot of levels just feel like they stop half way though. They’re short and don’t seem to have any “climax”, they just unexpectedly end. I also don’t think it needed to use Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant again, as much as I love those levels. We didn’t even get remixes of the songs – although with that said, Sonic Forces does have a great soundtrack, especially with Fist Bump and the tune of it being used elsewhere (without playing the start of the song on every menu). Overall, I think Sonic Forces is just fine. It has some stunning looking levels, but also some bad aspects. It’s definitely not terrible, it’s just not great, either. Sega Slots Original Platform: Android/iOS Original release: 11th January 2018 Available to buy: No Not Played: Required servers have been shut down. I’m kind of glad I can’t play this one. You can install the game on your phone, but can’t get past the starting menu as it requires a connection to the now offline servers. This is an out-and-out gambling game, and even included the ability to buy coins with real money. This is not the kind of game that should have characters that children like in it. Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog Original Platform: Switch Original release: 20th September 2018 Available to buy: Yes This is another emulated version of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, but has quite a few features that are worth mentioning. The most interesting thing about this version of Sonic is the inclusion of the Mega Play version of Sonic 1, which gives a time limit to beat on each level and gets rid of the slower levels – Marble Zone, Labyrinth Zone and the third act of Scrap Brain Zone. It’s an interesting way to play the game, and has a high score mode. Oddly, this is buried in the options rather than being a different mode. Another new feature is “Ring Keeper” mode (this was originally made for the 3D version of Sonic 2). In this, you start each level with 10 rings and only lose half of them when you get it, making it much easier. There are a couple of challenges: a time trial of Green Hill Zone and high score for the Mega Play with only one life, both with online leaderboards. The emulation is pretty good, with lots of visual options like scanlines, choosing different versions and letting you use the spin dash from Sonic 2 and the drop dash from Sonic Mania. I do think it is a shame that this is done on an emulated version, as the Retro Engine version of Sonic 1 was already out. It’s a shame we can’t have these features combined with the Retro Engine version. Sega Heroes Original Platform: Android/iOS Original release: 14th November 2018 Available to buy: No Not Played: Required servers have been shut down. A Bejewelled clone mixed with an RPG battler. Swap two neighbouring icons to form a match of three to make them vanish, which causes the other icons to drop down and hopefully create new sets of three to form combos. This features multiple Sonic characters including Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Shadow along with an array of characters from other Sega games. They must defeat enemies, including Dr. Robotnik and badniks. While this game can still be installed, it requires a connection to the game’s server to function. As this is now offline, it’s impossible to play this game.
  10. 4 points
    Sonic Athletics Original Platform: Arcade Original release: 24th April 2013 Available to buy: No Not played: Was only available to play at an arcade in Japan. An arcade game that comprises of eight screens, each with its own treadmill. It’s based on the Mario & Sonic Olympic series and features three events: 100m, Long Jump and 110m Hurdles. You control the game by running, the treadmill will move at your pace and measure your speed. It also features a jump button for the events that need it. Sonic the Hedgehog (Android) Original Platform: Android / iOS Original release: 16th May 2013 Versions Played: Android Available to buy: Yes The retro engine is the best way to play the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Originally only playable on mobile phones, then later on other platforms via Sonic Origins. This is a full port of Sonic the Hedgehog to a new game engine, built specifically so the game can work better at higher resolutions and without the need for emulation. All the sound is recorded so it plays perfectly based on the original sound from the Mega Drive. It also runs in widescreen or pretty much any size and shape you need to fit your screen. Options for the Spin Dash are added and you can unlock Tails and Knuckles to play as, with new parts added to the game to work with their different play styles. The main controls are a simulated touch screen analogue stick and button, which isn’t ideal, but these are still the best simulated controls I’ve seen. You can change size, opacity and location. The analogue stick functions a short distance away from it so you don’t have to worry about moving too far from it, while the jump button is mainly for show as any press in the bottom right of the screen will activate it. After a couple of levels, you should have no issues making them invisible and still using the touchscreen. Of course, it’s still better to connect a controller. This version of Sonic 1 is a brilliant port. Sonic Lost World Original Platform: Wii U Version played: Wii U & PC Original release: 29th October 2013 Available to buy: Yes Originally released on Wii U then ported to PC, this Sonic game has its own unique mechanics and style, ditching the “boost style” games. It didn’t perform well and future games went back to the boost formula, but I really do love Sonic Lost World. Sonic Lost World has a “parkour” system, which means running up and along walls. It can be a bit fiddly at times, but movement as a whole is very smooth and enjoyable. Out of all the 3D Sonic games (excluding the 2D classic levels from Sonic Generations), Lost World feels the most like the classic Mega Drive games, and even uses elements in ways that don’t feel forced – there are a lot of classic enemies that are implemented well into the game, rather than re-using level themes. Lost World isn’t afraid of having some slower paced platforming levels, which I’ve always felt are an important part of Sonic games. The visual style is very nice, too, with levels that still look gorgeous, helped by some really nice backgrounds. Sonic animations are also adorable, including the running animation, which I think is the best out of the 3D games. I also even like the basic story this game has. It doesn’t try anything emotional, but sometimes a simple story is all you need. The game does have some issues. Similar to Sonic Unleashed, the game doesn’t want you to progress too quickly. New areas are gates by how many animals you have collected, and you’ll have to replay previous levels to collect more, it really slows down the game in an unnecessary way. The game also has wisps which feel like an unnecessary addition, although unlike the DS version, the wisps are more for alternate routes and don’t have entire levels focused on using them. I think Sonic Lost World is a great game, and it’s a shame we never got to see this formula evolve at all. Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Original Platform: Wii U Original release: 8th November 2013 Available to buy: No No 3DS version this time, this Winter Olympics game only released on the Wii U. You also need a fair few accessories to play it: a Wii U gamepad, a Wii Remote Plus (optional nunchuck) and a Wii sensor bar. The games don’t feature many options for alternative control schemes. The main singleplayer move is “Legends Showdown”. There’s not much of a story: everyone is working together to win a trophy and has to compete against shadow versions of themselves. The game is split into groups of four characters (each with 2 Mario and 2 Sonic characters) and you go through a bunch of events as each. During this, you’ll play each game once. It’s simple, but I like it a lot. My only issue with it is that the instructions for the games don’t appear in this game, so you need to figure it out yourself. The games themselves are a bit mixed, partly due to the controls. The Wii Motion Plus really doesn’t work well in this game, often becoming misaligned. Skiing and Speed Skating were both horrible due to this, and I couldn’t get parts of the figure skating to work at all. Snowboarding used the Game Pad tilt instead and worked extremely well. As you play through the games, you’ll swap between the Wii Remote and Wii U Game Pad – including Curling and the Biathlon, which uses both for different parts of the event. The best use of the controllers was the shooting part of the Biathlon, using the gyro for aiming and giving a closer view on the Game Pad screen – it bodes well for archery in the next Olympic games. The dream events are a lot of fun, too, including a ball game that uses a snowball machine gun, a bobsleigh roller coaster race. The final event has competitors swapping between skis, skates, snowboard and bobsleigh as they have to take different routes to complete the course. This also features a great multiplayer mode called “Action and answer tour” which combines a quiz and minigames. For example, there’s one where a you have to feel the pattern of a rumble, proceed through numbered gates to hear different ones and match the one to the first rumble. The best thing about this mode is that these use the controls and mechanics from the standard sports, so it feels like an extension and not an unrelated minigame collection. This is is one of the better Mario & Sonic Olympic games. 3D Sonic the Hedgehog Original Platform: 3DS Original release: 29th October 2013 Available to buy: No While this is an emulated version of Sonic the Hedgehog, it does have additional features worth talking about. The biggest one being the 3D effect. Each layer has been separated out and given depth that can be seen on the 3DS screen, with the option of having it go into the screen or pop out. The effect is well done, yet also subtle. It doesn’t make a huge difference to the game, but is still a nice novelty. You also have additional options such as selecting the International or Japanese versions of the game (the Japanese version has extra graphical effects) and selecting which Mega Drive revision to emulate for the sound. Unfortunately, the emulation itself isn’t very good. There’s a lot of slowdown (especially when you get hit) and a lot of sprites that flicker in and out of existence. The 3D is an interesting novelty for a quick 3D Blast, but there’s no reason to play this version for more than a few minutes. Monopoly: Sonic the Hedgehog Collector’s Edition Original Platform: Board Game Original Release: 2013 Available to buy: No A Sonic themed version of Monopoly. These versions of Monopoly don’t do anything with the actual theme, it’s just the basic game with different pictures and player pieces. If you’ve played one licences Monopoly, you’ve played them all (other a small amount of special ones). Monopoly is a terrible roll-and-move trading game. The mechanics were originally designed with a runaway winner in mind to demonstrate how bad landlords are, only for the game to be stolen by someone else and mass produced. The game is also often made worse by people incorporating “house rules”, such as putting fine/tax money under “free parking” – something that just makes the game drag even longer. Almost everything you do is determined by rolling two dice. For the first few turns round the board, there is property you can either buy or send to auction (a rule most people forget) and the it’s the case of trying not to land on ren, although as it’s all dice based, there’s to tactics for doing so, other than not paying to leave jail early (it’s actually beneficial to stay in jail). There’s also a lot of negotiating and trading properties with other players to try and create sets. Due to being just a version of Monopoly, this is easily one of the worst Sonic games. Memory Challenge: Sonic the Hedgehog Edition Original Platform: Board Game Original Release: 2013 Available to buy: No This is an extremely basic game: turn over two cards. If they match, you win those card. If they don’t, you flip them back over. It’s the classic game of pairs. This version does include some bonus powers if you match the Chaos emeralds, so it at least does something with the Sonic theme. Sonic Runners Original Platform: Android/iOS Original release: 26th February 2015 Available to buy: No I had to play a fan restoration called “Revival”. This is an endless side scrolling runner game. Sonic will automatically run right and you tap the screen to jump. While the game is responsive and quite speedy…it’s just incredibly repetitive. There’s a “story” mode but it alternates between just getting points in the main mode and doing the same boss battle over and over. There are a lot of characters and costumes to unlock, but there’s an immense amount of grinding needed to do any of this. The core of the game is fine, but there’s really nothing to do at all with it. Monopoly: Sonic Boom Original Platform: Board Game Original Release: 2015 Available to buy: No The same terrible Monopoly board game as the previous one, this time with a Sonic Boom theme. There’s really not that much to talk about that wasn’t covered in the write-up for that, other than pointing out that the use of screenshots for all the places makes the board look cluttered and rather hideous. Sonic Boom: Link n Smash Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2015 Available to buy: No This is the same kind of puzzle game as Sonic Heroes Puzzle. Icons come down as blocks of three, you can alter the order of the icons and place them. You need to match the character to the items they link to to make them score and disappear, hopefully making more combos. Having five types of items instead of three makes it much better, although it’s still quite easy. Each character also builds up a special ability meter which lets you get rid of all of their kind of symbol.
  11. 4 points
    Sonic Dash Quiz Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release: 28th April 2009 Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. A quiz game with some platforming included. The game will ask some questions, with all the players in a Green Hill Zone themed level. At opposite ends of the level are numbered rings which correspond to the answers of the question – once the question is asked, you have to hurry to the ring corresponding to the answer. This sounds like it would have been a really fun multiplayer minigame in another Sonic game (or even its own downloabable title). Sonic Unleashed (Java Buttons) Original Platform: Java Mobile Original release: 8th June 2009 Available to by: No A 2D version of Sonic Unleashed. I tested out the “touch” and “non-touch” versions of this for different levels of phones – they’re actually quite different, so will get separate write-ups. This version of Sonic Unleashed is heavily based on the gameplay form Sonic Rush, using boost and the checkpoint designs. There are four Sonic stages (plus two boss fights) covering Chun-nan, Apotos and Spagonia – although interestingly, the loading screens mention Athens, Greece for Apotos and Middle East for Spagonia. The Sonic stages have alright level layouts, but the controls are quite bad. Parts of the level also look badly copy and pasted and the graphics don’t quite line up. The Rush influence is clear from the boost rings and grind rails. There are also two Werehog stages, which are slower paced platformers and some combat sections, which tell you the number of enemies left like Rush. You just bash a button for a basic attack. There are no werehog bosses in this version. This version is functional, but as you can turn off the touch controls in the main version, stick to that one. Sonic Unleashed (Java Touch) Original Platform: Java Mobile Original release: 8th June 2009 Available to by: No This was made for fancier phones, but still pre-iOS and Android. While the touch controls are atrocious, this luckily also works with buttons – so turn of the on-screen joystick and use the buttons instead. This has much nicer graphics than the button version (including some lovely backgrounds), plus more stages. The gameplay is still heavily inspired by Sonic Rush, it’s just a bit clunkier. The levels themselves are really nice, too, with multiple routes and some interesting gimmicks. Some sections are pretty annoying as the controls aren’t as precise as they should be, but for the most part, they’re good. This time round the Werehog has more than one enemy type to beat, plus boss fights against Robotnik. He also has multiple moves, including a combo that destroys most enemies in one hit. The platforming can again feel a bit broken, but they’re still decent levels overall. It would have been nice to see something like this on the DS, with a bit more polish (and a few more levels), it could have been a good Sonic game. Sonic Bowling (2009) Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release: 28th April 2009 Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. A bowling game in 3D. Each character (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy) has their own abilities. On top of regular 10-pin bowling, this also features a mission mode. This was part of the Puyo Puyo! Sega line of mobile games. Sonic the Hedgehog Golf Original Platform: Java Mobile Original release: 2009 Available to by: No A golf game mixed with a 2D platformer. This golf game takes assets from the Mega Drive Sonic 1 and builds a golf game out of it, with three courses (Green Hill, Marble and Spring Yard), each with nine holes each. Surprisingly, this game is a lot of fun. The levels have lots of platforms to navigate, jumps to make, bumpers to use to your advantage and even secret passages to skip parts of the levels, although these can only be broken through when you hit them at full power. The new assets merge with the original sprites really well, too. While it initially seems like a silly idea, it just works really well. It’s like one of those games that shouldn’t work, but just does. Sonic the Hedgehog Level Creator Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2009 Available to buy: No Not played: No backups of the game can be found their own Sonic levels, mainly based on assets similar to Green Hill Zone, but with a different colour scheme. Levels could be played by other players. From the looks of it, the controls for playing the levels were quite good. Sonic Knight in Training Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2009 Available to buy: No Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain and Sir Percival are firing apples at Sonic (I initially thought they were oddly anatomically correct hearts as they also make up hour health bar). You have to turn Sonic to point the right direction and he’ll automatically hit the apple. The controls are quite annoying. As the game is in an X shape, the directional buttons are slightly off – so pressing up faces Sonic up and left. It’s just a really bad flash game. Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Original Platform: iOS Original release: 29th January 2010 Available to buy: No I managed to get hold of an old iPod Touch for a coupe of old iOS games, such as this one. This is a game based on Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, but with no Mario, similar to the java and more recent Android/iOS Sonic Olympic games. This game was originally only available on the Apple App Store for less than one week. This game features four events. Skeleton is the first event. You slide down a large slow and have to tilt the phone to steer, trying to keep to the racing line while hitting the boost pads. It controls well and there’s an extra course to unlock with a night-time setting. Curling is very different to regular curling, with its very own points system. You hit the pick and then brush to steer it into rings and power-ups, trying to get it into the middle of the target. The goal isn’t to be the closest, but to get the most within the targets for the most overall points. Figure Skating has you tapping and drawing shapes to classical tunes such as “I Am The Very Model of a Scientist Salarian”, with three to start with and one more to unlock. Snowboard Cross is a four placer race with power ups. You tilt to steer and have to align yourself in mid-air by tilting forwards/backwards. Get the position right and you’ll get a boost. It’s a really fun mode. The game also has both wireless and pass-and-pay multiplayer, with Snowboard Cross having people race against the ghost of the previous players. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Original Platform: 360 (with Banjo-Kazooie), PS3, PC Original release: 23rd February 2010 Version played: PC Available to buy: Yes Going through Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing again brought back some fun memories. I didn’t enjoy Mario Kart Wii, so for me this was the kart racing game that picked up the slack. It’s since been improved upon by Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Transformed, I still found the original a lot of fun to play. Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing (which I will just call Sonic Racing from now) is quite clearly a Mario Kart clone, with items and powerslides. It does feel different, with more focus on long, sweeping drifts. It’s hard to explain why exactly, but it does feel more like you’re using cars as opposed to karts. The items in Sonic Racing aren’t as exciting as in Mario Kart, but at the same time are a lot less frustrating. When you get hit, you slow down a little bit, but not to a standstill. You also have a brief invulnerability period, which means you won’t have moments where you are constantly pelted with weapons. Weapons do feel less tactical, as it’s a lot harder to use them defensively. If you’re lagging behind, you might get an All-Star, an extremely powerful move that lets you rain down destruction on your opponents, working differently for each character. There are 24 tracks in the game, which come in sets of three of the same theme (three Super Monkey Ball tracks, for example). Sonic gets three sets of tracks: Seaside Hill, Casino Park and Final Fortress. It seems strange to me that all nine Sonic tracks are from Sonic Heroes. On top of that, the Casino Park tracks just feels like a casino level, focusing more on the casino part than on Sonic gimmicks. If you’re playing on your own, there is also a mission mode, with 64 challenges. These can be driving through gates, winning races, collecting rings, bananas or chaos emeralds or even a couple of boss battles. They’re all good fun, and a few are tricky – although strangely the most difficult ones are the Big the Cat levels. Sonic Racing is a very fun kart racing game. I’m not sure there’s much reason to play it instead of the sequel, but there is still enjoyment to get out of this. Sonic & SEGA AllStars Racing (DS) Original Platform: DS Original Release: 23rd February 2010 Available to buy: No A handheld port of the first Sonic & SEGA racing game, and a really good one at that. The track designs have been altered to fit the DS more, ensuring it runs smoothly, but it still has the full array of tracks and characters. Even though there’s no analogue stick, the handling feels extremely solid, particularly drifting, perhaps even feeling tighter than Mario Kart DS. It’s much harder to defend yourself from items, so you’ll be hit a lot. The best defensive weapon is a Mega Horn, which sends out a shockwave of sounds that hits opponents and destroys incoming weapons (wait, that sounds familiar…). The DS version of the game features a completely different mission mode to the home console versions. Instead of getting rankings, you gain stars for how well you perform, and stars unlock more missions. These can be races, elimination races, shooting or avoiding obstacles, drifting or driving through rings (some of which I found difficult due to colour choices). It won’t take too long to complete them all, but getting 10 stars on all of them is definitely a big challenge. Sonic the Sketchhog Original Platform: Java Version played: iOS Original release: 1st July 2010 AKA: Sonic Freehand Available to buy: No A cute little auto running game. This adorable drawing of Sonic will run on his own and you tap the screen to jump, trying to collect rings, land on badniks and make it over jumps. Rings will help you survive, and the game starts off with spikes covering the pits until you get to the harder difficulties (where falling into the pits will be instant death). Accompanying the game is a really nice chilled out version of the Splash Hill Zone music. While it’s a very simple game, it’s just really, really charming.
  12. 4 points
    This is relevent to @Cube's interests... The long-lost English language version of Sega Sonic Cosmo Fighter has just been found! And it features Sonic's first canonical English voice-over! Pack it up Ryan Drummond, Jason Griffith and Roger Craig Smith, this dude's got you all beat. This is Sonic's true voice now.
  13. 4 points
    Just posting the image larger as I think it's funny that Toad seems to have smart steering on. He has the antenna that you have on the back of your kart the you do.
  14. 4 points
    Did some shopping! Public bathrooms don't have hand drying facilities so everyone carries their own hand towel and I needed one. All the bullet train tickets are paper and I wanted a little thing to keep them in. I don't need another tote bag but I did need this tote bag
  15. 4 points
    I think I'm officially done with purchasing what I wanted from the 3DS eShop. Which means that in the past year, I got: Physical Games Fire Emblem Fates (+DLC, including the other routes); Mario&Luigi: Dream Team Mario&Luigi: Paper Jam; Dillon's Dead Heat Breakers; Kid Icarus Uprising; Dragon Quest VIII VC Titles Wario Land 3; DK Land Trilogy; Kirby's Dream Land 2; Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon; Mega Man V; Defenders of Oasis; Crystal Warriors; Shining Force: Sword of Hajya Other Digital Titles Stella Glow; Virtue's Last Reward Theathrythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (+20€ worth of DLC); Aero Porter; Fallblox; Mighty Flip Champs; Mighty Milky Way; Ninja Battle Heroes; SADAME; Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D; Shin Megami Tensei IV; Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse; SMT: Soul Hackers; SMT: Devil Survivor 2; Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Stuff I thought I was gonna get, but didn't Dillon's Rolling Western (Sorry, @Glen-i. Tried a bit of Dead Heat Breakers, and the gameplay didn't do much for me) SMT Strange Journey Redux (I bought enough SMT to last for years. This one looked to be the most dungeon-crawly, so skipped) SMT Devil Survivor 1 (See above. Also, this one was unreasonably expensive, on top of me already having the sequel) Dr.Mario Miracle Cure (After purchasing several puzzle titles, I looked at this one and said "likely not worth it") The DLC for SMTIV:Apocalypse and Radiant Historia (After spending so much money at once, it's easy to cut minor DLC from the list) So yeah, how did your own hoarding backlogging year go?
  16. 3 points
    I enjoyed doing the Sonic one so much that I wanted to do more! These are the voyages of the starship Cube. My continuing mission: To explore strange new games. To seek out new fun and new gameplay. To boldly play where noone has played before. This is my challenge of trying to play through all Star Trek games, both video games and board games. On top of all the official games, I will also be playing a few select home-made games, such as the original text-based Star Trek game from 1971 (no mods of other games will be counted, though). Star Trek Game (1967) Original Release: 1967 Developer: Julie Cooper Publisher: Ideal Toys Platform: Board Game The first Star Trek boardgame, which I have recreated in Tabletop Simulator. If it wasn’t from the box design and the name on the board, you probably wouldn’t even guess that it’s Star Trek related, as the ships are just regular pawns and the design of the fuel ship art is a very strange design. There’s a Starfleet delta on the mission cards, but that’s about it. The game is set in a solar system that consists of Earth and six planets names after Greek letters. Your mission is to visit three planets (a card will tell you which ones and the order) then return to Earth, first one to do so wins. Each turn you will play a fuel card and move that amount of spaces either horizontally and vertically. You start off with cards numbered 1-10 but as you refuel you can pick our of what everyone has discarded, so you need to carefully plan your route. Your target is the “Orbit entrance point”, which you need to and on exactly to start landing – once you land on a planet, you can refuel by picking three cards. After you’ve made a movement, you roll the dice and move one of the two fuel ships that many spaces. If you manage to get it to land next to you, you can draw a fuel card. This is rare, though, as players are constantly fighting to move it closer to them. If you run our of fuel, you move one space per turn, making it very slow progress. It’s existence of the game is interesting, but it’s ultimately quite boring to play. Star Trek (1971, Mike Mayfield) Original Release: 1971 Developer: Mike Mayfield Publisher: Self-Published Platform: HP Basic Version Played: Direct C# Port by Michael Birken (No enhancements) The first Star Trek video game, made for the Sigma 7 and then ported to the HP 2000C minicomputer. These were devices that had no screens, but were instead connected to a printer and printed the new game game as you played. This game was ported to many different systems, under a lot of different names such as Apple Trek, Tari Trek and Dragon Trek. I have chosen a couple that I will go through with significant changes, as the vast majority run the same, just ported to different systems, with the latest major version being released in 2023. In this game, you need to destroy a set amount of Klingons in a few days. You need to explore the area, as well as dock at stations to repair yourself. Here is one of my complete failure attempts: ENTER SEED NUMBER 12 INITIALIZING... YOU MUST DESTROY 19 KINGONS IN 30 STARDATES WITH 6 STARBASES COMBAT AREA CONDITION RED SHIELDS DANGEROUSLY LOW -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- <*> +++ STARDATE 2900 CONDITION RED QUADRANT 4,2 SECTOR 5,1 * ENERGY 3000 SHIELDS 0 PHOTON TORPEDOES 10 -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- COMMAND 2 LONG RANGE SENSOR SCAN FOR QUADRANT 4,2 ------------------- | 008 | 001 | 003 | ------------------- | 007 | 101 | 008 | ------------------- | 114 | 003 | 008 | ------------------- COMMAND 0 COURSE (1-9) 8 WARP FACTOR (0-8) 5 118 UNIT HIT ON ENTERPRISE FROM SECTOR 2,2 (0 LEFT) THE ENTERPRISE HAS BEEN DESTROYED. THE FEDERATION WILL BE CONQUERED THERE ARE STILL 19 KLINGON BATTLE CRUISERS YOU MUST DESTROY 13 KINGONS IN 30 STARDATES WITH 5 STARBASES COMBAT AREA CONDITION RED SHIELDS DANGEROUSLY LOW -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- * STARDATE 3200 * +++ CONDITION RED <*> QUADRANT 4,4 * SECTOR 6,4 * ENERGY 3000 SHIELDS 0 * * PHOTON TORPEDOES 10 -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- COMMAND 2 LONG RANGE SENSOR SCAN FOR QUADRANT 4,4 ------------------- | 006 | 001 | 007 | ------------------- | 008 | 106 | 002 | ------------------- | 002 | 016 | 007 | ------------------- COMMAND 0 COURSE (1-9) 5 WARP FACTOR (0-8) 3 273 UNIT HIT ON ENTERPRISE FROM SECTOR 5,3 (0 LEFT) THE ENTERPRISE HAS BEEN DESTROYED. THE FEDERATION WILL BE CONQUERED THERE ARE STILL 13 KLINGON BATTLE CRUISERS This game is very difficult, as you need to hunt for Klingons, navigate around and so lots of actual calculations to work out how to navigate as well as aim torpedoes. For such an old game, there is a surprising amount of detail in it, with enemies that attack you, systems that break, scanning and even a built-in calculator for torpedoes. Your systems breaking are completely random, though, and something like your warp drive breaking can render a playthrough unwinnable as you won’t be able to find a starbase in time. Even without any damage, navigating around is very difficult as you need to set a direction and speed, and take into account both sector and quadrant locations. Despite all this, there’s just something that’s a lot of fun about trying to do all this with such basic input, having to figure it all out yourself. It’s a fascinating game and it’s definitely impressive for what it was originally made for. Star Trek (1971, Bill Peterson) Original Release: 1971 Developer: Bill Peterson Publisher: Self-Published Version Played: Version 32-9, modified by Don Daglow & James Underwood A much lesser known Star Trek mainframe game, written in a form of BASIC used by the CDC 6000. Wikipedia credits Don Daglow with this. While he did revise it in 1972, the credits in the code say that it was originally made by Bill Peterson from Cal Tech. This Star Trek game describes what it happening through dialogue with Spock, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov, with you entering commands to defeat enemies. Each time you play, you get a slightly different story, all of them will lead to a battle against single enemy. You have to give commands (by typing numbers from a list of options) to position yourself, fire phasers/torpedoes and try to defeat the enemy. By moving and using sensors, you’ll be given the position and bearings for both you and the enemy. It’s extremely difficult to use the coordinates to figure out where you are in relation to the enemy, as well as which direction you’re pointing and which weapons you can use. If you sustain enough damage, Spock will mutiny and flee the area. I’ve seen this section of text a lot. The only time I won was by not fighting, but instead boarding the enemy ship. There are a lot of ship names that are generated by the speed, I like that the seed number 47 gives you the Enterprise – a complete coincidence as the use of the number came about much later. Star Trek (1972, For-Play) Original Release: 1972 Developer: For-Play Publisher: For-Play Platform: Arcade Version Played: PC port of Computer Space The first commercially released Star Trek game. Not only was this not officially licensed, but it’s also a clone of another arcade game called Computer Space. The only difference is that the controls are slightly reworked to use a joystick instead of buttons. As there’s no way for me to play the Star Trek version, I played a PC port of Computer Space as it’s the same game. The game works exactly the same as the later and much more popular game Asteroids. Spin the ship around, use thrust to move and shoot. The aim is to destroy the two enemy ships more times than they destroy you. The game only lasts a couple of minutes. Super Star Trek Original Release: 1973-1975 Developer: Mary Cole, David Ahl, Bob Leedom Publisher: Self-Published Platform: Basic-Plus Version Played: Direct LUA port by Emanuele Bolognesi Super Star Trek is the first major enhancement of the 1971 Star Trek game. This makes the game much easier to decipher, with some information given via dialogue from the crew, and generally making everything much easier to visualise and making actions easier to perform. Permission was even supposedly given by Paramount to use the name Star Trek. The regions are given names, and the icons for the Enterprise and Klingons use letters to help distinguish them better. That said, the game is still difficult, losing access to some functions is still a major hazard – I even lost access to damage control in one playthrough. Super Star Trek is a really nice version of the original Star Trek game.
  17. 3 points
  18. 3 points
  19. 3 points
    Mario Kartma thankfully hit @Dcubed like a ton of bricks after that.
  20. 3 points
    Legit looking forward to Prodigy: Supernova getting its turn here as if it isn't outright terrible I wouldn't mind giving it a go. That's right! The two-parter where they repackaged the pilot episode. His motivation/reasoning was sound as ever.
  21. 3 points
    Oh, BTW. I fibbed... Mini-Game Trial No picture is available of this board, I'm afraid. But if you remember Mini-Game Stadium from the first game, then you'll get what's going on here. There are no Stars, victory is purely determined by your coin count, which you will mostly get from mini-games. Blue spaces and red spaces have no effect on your coins, but you get an extra 10 coins from completing a lap. Instead of the single player game spaces, there are 2 Battle Spaces, and I'm sure we all know by now how much influence those have! I'll have to get back to you for when we'll be able to play next.
  22. 3 points
    Uhhhh yeah. Kinda forgot to take a screenshot of the final results. Woops. Luckily... (Cheers for the save, @S.C.G) Got a lot of clips this time, it was a great finale! Disgusting @Dcubed, I'm sure everyone on this entire site will back me up that I was warranted to make the Bowser Parade go in your direction afterwards!
  23. 3 points
    Just a heads up that the NSO room will open soon for @BowserBasher and @S.C.G
  24. 3 points
    Thanks for the races. The real-world courses seemed pretty decent this time and Yoshi's Island was like a mini-tour of the game.
  25. 3 points
    Clearly going to be Roy, Marth, Rose Gold Roy, Rose Gold Marth, Cat Roy
  26. 3 points
    A friendly reminder that Fusion lands on the service today! Urgh, I really want to get back to a Metroid adventure, it's been a minute since I played and loved Zero Mission...
  27. 3 points
    Thanks for the games. Well... that happened. Roll on Mario Party 3 for next week, I know we've already had Metroid Fusion, but due to it being 'MAR10' next week, there's surely a chance for an "early" Mario Party 3 release? Or we really are only getting one N64 game every second full moon, in a month ending in either "y" or "er" or... no idea, who knows? Here's a link to this week's stream... Mario Party 2 on the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack - N-Europe Multiplayer (03/03/2023)
  28. 3 points
    At this point, I would've preferred Mario Party 3. We're running out of boards!
  29. 3 points
  30. 3 points
    Physical copy of the game arrived today from Nintendo, very early received and very much liked.
  31. 3 points
    I'm gonna have to use that Dreamcast Flipping Of The Bird next time
  32. 3 points
    I'll also like to mention that I think the Koopa that runs the bank was a winner in that game too. He made off with like 50+ coins of ours in the end didn't he?
  33. 3 points
    Well that may have been the best game to date. Very close all throughout and I was actually leading through probably the majority of the game. But bloody hell, how the hell did @Dcubed pull that off! I feel a little robbed as I was finally doing so well.
  34. 3 points
  35. 3 points
    Anyone that has seen me post in the amiibo thread knows that I'm not into merch because it just ends up taking up space but I really like the art style for this series. Not that I'd get it (maybe if Yoshi was there) but it's nice all the same
  36. 3 points
    Shadow Shoot Original Platform: Java Original Release: 23rd January 2006 Available to buy: No An autorunner game with an isometric view. Shadow runs to the right and can move up and down. There are speed and slow panels, with the objective being to reach the end of the stage and defeat the boss within three minutes. The dash and jump panels causes Shadow to spin and destroy enemies, while you also have a pistol for shooting ahead. It’s fairly enjoyable, while still being clunky and, even though it’s short, does get repetitive by the end. Sonic Golf 3D Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release: 27th February 2006 Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. A mobile golf game, but in 3D. This has the standard golf controls you’d expect from Golf games before Wii Sports. Choose your aim location, set spin, press a button to start a bar. The first press determines power, the second determines the accuracy of the shot. This one has three nine-hole courses. You can play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Amy. Sonic’s Sevens Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release: 26th June 2006 AKA: Sonic no 7 Narabe Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. This is a Sonic cafe version of the card game Sevens. All of the 7 cards are placed face up and you have to empty your hand by placing cards that go up or down the line. This mobile game featured a mode where you could upload your score to a leaderboard, but only three times a day. Sonic’s Napoleon Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release: 28th November 2006 AKA: Sonic no Napoleon Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. A Sonic version of a Japanese card game called Napoleon. It’s a trick-taking game where you’re tiring to collect the face cards and 10 cards of each suit. It has similar online leaderboard features as the other games, but by far the best thing about the game is the image of Sonic in Napoleon’s hat on the title screen. Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos Crush Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2006 Available to buy: No A Arkanoid/Breakout clone. Use the paddle to bounce the ball around to break all the blocks, some blocks require multiple hits. If you hit the blocks containing icons of Sonic, Shadow or Silver, your next hit will trigger a special shot, such as Shadow’s which fires up and breaks all blocks in its path. Sonic Rivals Dash Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2005 Available to buy: No A single-level racing game which pits Sonic against Shadow, or Sonic against the clock for playing solo. The controls are awkward: for Sonic, it’s Z to run, X to jump and C to slide. This is so the person playing Shadow can play using buttons on the other side of the keyboard. The game is functional, although the platforms are all completely straight. There are no annoying power ups or catch-up mechanics, so it’s less frustrating than the main Sonic Rivals game. I also decided to play the following as they do have significant differences to the Mega Drive versions: Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (8-Bit) Original Platform: Game Gear Version Played: Master System Original release: December 1993 Available to buy: No A version of Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine for the Game Gear and Master System. This features much simpler graphics, but due to the more limited colour choices, I can actually tell them apart a lot more, so I can actually play it much better than the Mega Drive version. Another addition to this version is the puzzle mode. It gives you 30 challenges with a set-up of beans and an objective, such as eliminate all beans of one type, getting large combos or just getting rid of all beans. It’s a really nice addition to the game, one that elevates it to be better than the Mega Drive version. Sonic Spinball (8-bit) Original Platform: Game Gear Version Played: Master System Original release: September 1994 Available to buy: No The Game Gear version is pretty much a worse version of Sonic Spinball, with even clunkier controls, the game feels extremely sluggish and it’s just not a nice experience. The levels have the same names and while the layouts are roughly the same, they’re adapted based on what the Game Gear can do, with different colour schemes and obstacles. The bosses are also not part of the level itself, instead you warp to a separate area with the boss. Some bosses are similar, but the first and final bosses are completely different to the Mega Drive version. Another big difference is the special stages, which are now small platforming levels that take place in giant bird cages. You have 90 seconds to collect rings and open up pods, some of which contain continues.
  37. 3 points
  38. 3 points
    The NSO sub is coming up for renewal in the next couple of weeks so what better excuse to not continue something like Persona 3 Portable, not get back to something I've left hanging, not buy something new like Theatrhythm and keep ignoring unopened games on the shelf such as Ni No Kuni II, SMT V, KH Melody of Memory, Nier Automata, Life is Strange, Disgaea, etc when there's old games to revisit and decide if I'll keep them around another year. I've even been back on the Fantasy Life postgame but that's now sidelined for this. (Spoilers: of course I'll keep the NSO subscription another year. The real question is if I'll play anything much on it before the next renewal deadline rolls around. ) Recently, I've been getting into Wario Land 3 from the GBA selection but I've opted to meet with the terrible fate that's been calling to me for almost exactly a year now. Majora's Mask. Still one of the best. Though I'll be open about it: it took a little bit to get accustomed to the controls and camera. Like, just to frame the view I want and line it up to go in the right direction to get the auto-jump I want (the heart piece in N. Clock Town took a few goes to reach, for example ). Feeling comfortable with it again now. I remember reading there's input lag with the NSO games but it's not something I noticed until now with MM. It's something I felt immediately on the file select screen then later playing instruments. Definitely feels like it takes a beat or two for what I select/ press to be reflected onscreen in these situations. It's jarring for the songs but after botching a few due to thinking my button press hadn't been read, I've learned to plough on, safe in the knowledge the game will catch up. I'm relieved to say it's not felt like the movement or sword swings or anything are behind so in general it's pretty much all good on the controls front. Wii VC was the last time I played MM... when it was a wee bit dodgy on the classic controller no matter what we tried to tell ourselves during those days. To be brutally honest, it's a game I worry about revisiting in case it doesn't resonate with me any more, or perhaps I'll discover I was just wrong to hold it in such high regard altogether. Thankfully it seems every bit as good as I remember. What a game. The way the atmosphere goes further askew with the passing of each day and you learn of everyone's individual plight. The way, without trying to memorise everything, it'll get its hooks into you until you randomly glance at the ingame clock to see how long you have left in a level, and you'll know what a character will be doing now, and remember you helped them... then realise you've reset to day one since then so they're with their plight again. The way you'll start planning ahead for the next three-day cycle. There's so much crammed into each area. Day 2 rain is a highlight. I have far from encyclopaedic knowledge of MM, but there's enough buried back there that I'm having a go at picking up a few masks and heart pieces earlier than when I was first discovering and rediscovering what Clock Town and Termina held. It's fun to experience it from a different perspective like this just as it is in other Zelda's when I deviate from what I consider is the "correct" order to do things. Gloomy as it might all be, there's still plenty of wacky things. Father and son. When Majora's Mask first came out, I thought Tingle was an old weirdo. Totally unrealistic. Then on the Wii VC, I thought he was an embarrassment who had let his life go beyond the point of getting it on track. Now, I think he's just a lad following his heart. More power to him! ...And yes, that bird outside Milk Road made off with my bottle. That won't deter me from taking it down again in a future cycle.
  39. 3 points
    I don't really have the words to accurately articulate how I feel about leakers and leak culture in gaming. In simple terms, I find it utterly pathetic. Goes without saying but can this thread be leak free please, even indirect references to it when talking about something else etc. Sad state of affairs.
  40. 3 points
    Sonic Millionaire Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release:24th January 2005 AKA: Sonic no Daifuugou Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. Another card game given a Sonic theme – this one a Japanese card game called Millionaire. The objective of the game is trying to get rid of all of your cards. This game featured leader boards for high scores. Sonic Jump Original Platform: Java Original Release: 21st February 2005 Available to buy: No While Doodle Jump was a very popular game of this style, spawning multiple clones and even an Android/iOS remake of Sonic Jump, this actually came out four years before it. Sonic automatically jumps and you have to steer him up all the platforms to the top of the level. The bottom of the screen means death, so you can’t fall down very far. As you get through the levels, more kinds of platforms will crop up: moving platforms, collapsing platforms, spiked platforms, as the game gets more difficult. The controls, however, feel fluid, so it doesn’t feel frustrating when you fail, and practice will help you through the more difficult sections. This is a great little game, so it’s good that it got a remake. Sonic Reversi Hyper Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release: 28th July 2005 Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. An updated version of Sonic Reversi, featuring nicer graphics. There don’t seem to be many other differences, other than a neutral chao has been replaced with a dark one. Amy’s American Page One Original Platform: Sonic Cafe Original Release:24th January 2005 AKA: Amy no Page One Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs known to exist. The card game Page One or American Page One doesn’t seem to be hugely well known, with Google results leading to articles about this Sonic version of it (starring Amy). It’s essentially a version of Uno using standard playing cards. As there are no special cards, some of the numbered cards count as special cards: 8 is a wild, 2 is draw 2, 3 is skip and nine is reverse play order. Sonic Kart 3DX Platform: Mobile (Java) Original Release: 20th October 2005 Available to buy: No Not played: No ROMs leaked to public, copy known to exist The below video shows someone from Japan playing this mobile game. It appears to be a 3D kart racer, but with no items. Players would be able to compete each other online, or post their times to leaderboards. Shadow the Hedgehog Original Platform: GameCube, PS2 Original Release: 15th November 2005 Version Played: GameCube Available to buy: No Sega’s attempt at a darker Sonic game, starring Shadow the Hedgehog and featuring guns. It also has a lot of words like “Damn” because they chose to not stretch as far as actual swear words. And the humans you shoot are all just wounded. The structure of the game is a bit like Lylat Wars on the N64. Each mission, you pick between Dark/Normal/Hero objectives to get through six levels. Your choices will alter which mission you play, so you’ll need to play though the game multiple times to see them all. I actually really like this style of choices, and I think it works well for a Sonic game. The problem is that you have to get to each of the five final levels twice, picking a different choice at the end of each one, so a total of 10 playthroughs. This unlocks the end of the game with a final mission. The story is also a bit of a mess. There are some interesting themes for Shadow, as he learns different parts of his past in different playthroughs (and then some random Shadow Android stuff in others), but each “ending” feels more like the build up to the final moments rather than an actual ending. The proper ending then doesn’t seem to fit any playthrough, incorporating elements from different ones. This could have been sold by tying them all together – some time convergence that causes people to remember things from multiple timelines. The gameplay is enjoyable, but really rough. While there’s a lot of combat in the game, I don’t think I ever died through a lack of rings. I did die a lot form falling. Getting shot near an edge is pretty much instant deaths, and Shadow’s attacks can sometimes overshoot and send you tumbling to your doom. The missions are also things like “kill all enemies of X type”, and if you miss one early on, you have to use warp pads to try and explore the whole level again to find them. Another cause of frustration is that it’s difficult to target one type of enemy, you’ll end up killing the people who are supposed to be on your side. Sometimes you’re even forced to in order to progress (with the person helping you moaning about it). It works both ways, too, as both sides will attack you. If you’re helping the main villain, Black Doom, he will tell you off for killing his troops, even though his troops are trying to kill you. That said, I actually quite liked my time with Shadow the Hedgehog. It has a ton of problems, but there’s a cheesy charm to it that was just fun. Sonic X Snake Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2005 Available to buy: No A flash game version of Snake, the classic mobile game where you eat bricks to get longer. In this version, you collect rings. It’s a very speedy version of Snake, so appropriate for Sonic. The background is quite ugly for the game, a faded out Sonic X logo with “Snake” added. Sonic XS Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2005 Available to buy: No A 60 second flash game where you have to get to the top of the platforms, collecting rings as you go. The crudely drawn Sonic doesn’t control anything like Sonic, with a very slow floaty jump. He also attacks enemies by throwing rings at them. While this looks and plays like a flash game made by someone who has only had Sonic badly described to them, it’s an official game made to promote the show Sonic X. Shadow XS Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2005 Available to buy: No The sequel to Sonic XS, a flash game that seems like a bootleg, but is actually official. This one features a black Sonic (the title suggests Shadow, but it’s clearly Sonic) and the enemy aggressiveness has been turned up a lot. Sonic X Bowling Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2005 Available to buy: No A flash bowling game featuring Sonic the Hedgehog. Use the mouse to move the bowling ball, the arrow above it will sway from side to side to aim the direction. Click to let go. Instead of following the normal rules for bowling, this has its own strange points system where strikes and spares are worth more points as the game goes on. Aiming is very strange. Hitting the side of the pins seems to get strikes, which doesn’t look right at all. Sonic the Broad Jump Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2005 Available to buy: No A very short flash minigame. Sonic starts running and you have to plan Sonic’s jump angle and power by aiming and holding down with the mouse. Once Sonic is in the air, you can perform more mid-air jumps, but only while ascending. Once Sonic lands, the length of the jump will be recorded. Shadow the Hedgehog Flash Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2005 Available to buy: No A 2 level flash game to promote Shadow the Hedgehog. You can damage enemies by shooting them or jumping on them. Jumping does way more damage and you’re out of the way of enemy fire, so the weapons are completely useless. The platforming is pretty bad, with a bling jumps and a section of moving platforms which aren’t synched properly. The second level features Shadow on a motorbike. You have to avoid obstacles and shoot down enemies. It’s quite basic, but at least you can see what is happening. Sonic X Trading Card Game Original Platform: Board Game Original Release: 2005 Available to buy: No I’ve bought a copy of this in the past, but I’ve never played it – it was a secret santa gift for someone else. Unfortunately, I can’t find a reasonably priced copy of this anywhere now. I have, however, recreated it in Tabletop Simulator. Players can build decks (from the starter pack or by bundles you can buy) and put them against each other with the goal of being the first to collect three chaos emeralds. Once you’ve selected a deck of 30 cards, it will form your deck for the game. You then draw 7 cards and place 5 of them in your “Chaos Row”, with the other player doing the same. They get placed face down (although you can look at your own to remind yourself). You then take turns flipping over a card in the chaos row. You can’t flip over a card in the same column as what the opposing player has just flipped. If there’s an action on the card (which can involve forcing the other player to discard cards, or allowing you to alter the placement of your or your opponent’s card), you do it as it gets flipped. Once all this is done, you will count up how many “Rings” you have earned. These are the large number printed on the cards, and some abilities will add more rings to your count. The player with the most wins gets a chaos emerald. The current cards will then become the “Spare Row”, which will count for your ring score and interact with the new chaos cards. These will be discarded and replaced with the chaos cards each turn. Play carries on until someone gets three chaos emeralds. It has some interesting mechanics, and you can build some very powerful decks. I’d have to play a lot to fully comment on the balance, though, although if you have higher scoring cards, there’s not much point using the blank low scoring cards. I think the point of these were to fill up the blister packs with useless cards. Sonic Skateboard Original platform: LCD game Original release: 2005 Available to buy: No While you would expect this to be a direct copy of Sonic the Hedgehog Extreme Boarding, this is a much more simplified version of it. It condenses it back to three lanes, making it more like Sonic Speedway with the addition of collecting rings, although it’s still much slower than that game. Tails Sky Adventure Original platform: LCD game Original release: 2005 Available to buy: No A fun and simple space shooter. Move to the right lane and hit the fire button to gun down enemies. As the difficulty increases, the enemies will dodge more. This gets the LCD game format right. Amy & Rouge Tennis Original platform: LCD game Original release: 2005 Available to buy: No A game where you’re against an actual opponent. You play as Amy trying to beat Rouge the Bat at tennis, you have to move into position and press the hit button at the right time to it it back towards Rogue. For a little device you can just turn on for a round of tennis, it’s quite decent.
  41. 2 points
    Was checking last night for any footy and thought it was hilarious there was a minute-by-minute for this unfolding instead. The list of BBC double-standards that Skysports person reeled off was quality. The clip should be included in this: I see Rishi is saying this Linekar thing is a matter for the BBC, not the government. Come onnnn. Yes, I agree. Though it's not like they depend on the beeb since they all present/do punditry/co-commentate for other channels. Wonder how the Bargain Hunt ratings today were. Liverpool will have been glad they had one less media outlet to explain themselves to. Idiots.
  42. 2 points
    Started watching Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood because of a friend's recommendation. Motherfucker didn't tell me that it will destroy me emotionally. 4 episodes in and tears have been shed. Also loved that the show just casually throws in god in the second episode. "Haha, main characters fucked up. Here it is: the universe, everything, the truth, god!"
  43. 2 points
    Bowser Land Guys! It was Bowser all along! What a shocking twist! Mario Party 2's final board is here and much like the Bowser themed one from the first game, can be pretty rough. The various structures function differently then what we're used to. The Bank works in reverse, giving you 5 coins whenever you pass the bank space. Sweet! Huh? What happens if you land on the bank space? Uhhh... Best not land on the bank space, trust me on this. The Item Shop at the top right kinda blows, you're forced to buy an item at a marked up price, even if you don't want it. Think carefully before passing it. The one on the bottom left functions like normal. The real thing to watch out for is the Bowser Parade, which happens every five turns, it starts at the top of the board and follows the direction of the footprints as it moves towards the start. Anyone in the way will be taken with it and lose 2 coins for every space they travel. That... is pretty brutal, so always be aware of which way the Bowser Parade will go, as there are ways to dictate the direction it travels. Our session will be on Friday at 8pm.
  44. 2 points
    For anyone wanting to catch up. Featured Titles INAZUMA ELEVEN: Victory Road DECAPOLICE FANTASY LIFE i: The Girl Who Steals Time MEGATON MUSASHI: WIRED Professor Layton and the New World of Steam
  45. 2 points
    I thought he looked a cool customer and would be a good ally for the home straight. But Wilf played it well knowing a guy had to be brought under suspicion and as soon as that geezer got a whiff of his name being mentioned he couldn't cope. I couldn't believe his reaction. He just had to keep a lid on it for one day; he was not ready to be a traitor at all. The parting gift was the icing on the cake for Wilf, imo, but I see where you're coming from because the others left quietly. The big doll was there for the attention. No idea why they let her become the alpha. Let's get two of us in there for the season one bf/gf dynamic and breakfast table reveal. "I am 100% faithful and I know he can't be a traitor because we're from N-E and we've played mafia games!!" Says you need up to six weeks availability for it.
  46. 2 points
    @Beast @darksnowman @killthenet @WackerJr They've got applications open for season 2, let's get one of us in there
  47. 2 points
    Really enjoying playing through this again. Loving every minute of it. I've tried all the "new" control options and really wanted to like motion controls using the joy cons but I just couldn't get it to click for me. Think it is just the fact that the joy cons have no natural centre like the WiiMote did. as such I was constantly re centurion it. Even the hybrid control just didn't do it. But the duel stick is perfect, at least for me. Taken me no time to get the hang using that mode.
  48. 2 points
    Caught the headlines. I watched Rillakuma so I'll probably give Pokémon Concierge a look. Already anticipating the spin-off game that's just a Pokémonised Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise that's sold as two versions. You gotta take the Plusles with the Minuns.
  49. 2 points
    Sonic Jump 2 Original Platform: Java Original Release: May 2008 Available to buy: No Not only does this play exactly the same as the first Sonic Jump, but all the levels themes and backgrounds are exactly the same. Sonic Jump 2 isn’t really a sequel to the firs game, but rather a hard mode. There are sections in this game that are more difficult than the first, although it’s really not noticeable while you’re playing – not until you encounter a boss. The bosses are exactly the same, they just take double the number of hits as the original game. . As Sonic Jump was a good game, this is still good, but you won’t really tell that much difference from the first due to using the same levels and assets. Sonic Unleashed (Wii) Original Platform: Wii, PS2 Original release: 18th November 2008 Version Played: Wii Available to buy: No While people are more familiar with the HD Sonic Unleashed, the game also made an appearance on the Wii and PS2. However, it wasn’t simply a downscaled port of Sonic Unleashed, but is a completely different game following the same story and locations. While the settings for the levels are the same, the level design is completely brand new. For the Sonic levels, they aren’t as much of a spectacle, but I actually think that the Wii levels are better designed and more fun to actually play, with interesting branching paths. The Sonic gameplay is also different. The boost gauge is in segments, with one hit of the boost button acting like a use-anywhere dash pad. You have to be careful where you use it, as slamming into a wall knocks Sonic back (although the animation of it is a lot of fun). I also found that the drift in this game worked much, much better than the HD version, it felt great going past corners. Another thing was the “action point” mechanic where hitting multiple enemies and other things can be chained. Unfortunately, not much is done with this, and it feels like they didn’t have time to fully flesh it out. The biggest issue with Sonic Unleashed on Wii is the amount of Sonic levels. There are only 7 levels, as Mazuri (other than a boss fight) and Empire City have been cut. There’s also only one act per level. Instead, you complete challenges (collecting rings, time limit, not getting hit) in sections of the main stage. One good thing is that Eggmanland is separated into Day/Night stages, with the Day stage being a lot more fun, better than the overly long gauntlet in the HD games. On the flip side, the Werehog has three to five levels per stage. The combat controls are very different, having to alternate shoulder button presses to punch (or shake the Wii Remote/Nunchuck). It makes it feel more of its own thing and less of a direct God of War copy. These sections are fine, but nothing special, although some of the grabbing onto objects can be a bit wonky. Some sections of the game also make you play multiple areas of Werehog stages – there’s around two hours of game between the first and second Sonic levels. With how enjoyable the Sonic portions of this were, it’s a shame that Dimps didn’t get a chance to make a full Sonic game based on the gameplay in this. Sonic the Hedgehog (Leapfrog Didj) Original Platform: Didj Original release: 2008 Available to buy: No Not played: Console too expensive. While the Sonic game for the first Leapfrog console was just a clone of another educational game, this one is a proper Sonic platformer with some educational elements added. It plays similar to the Mega Drive games, with four different zones to get through. The main difference is that you’ll come across giant rings that will give you spelling challenges. This seems like a great way to do an educational game – by mixing it into proper gameplay. Sonic Chronicles (Flash) Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2008 Available to buy: No A demo version of Sonic Chronicles, letting you test out the movement and interface of the game. You can move Sonic around across a few locations, collecting rings, and interreact with characters and obstacles. Unfortunately, the only version I could find is missing all the text data, so the main chunk of what the game was showing off – the dialogue – is missing. Sonic X Emerald Grab Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2007 Available to buy: No A Sonic clone of Bejewelled (the most popular clone being Candy Crush). Swap two neighbouring icons to form a string of three to make them disappear and get points. If the falling tiles make another matching set, you get a lot of points. This Sonic one has a very short time limit. Sonic X Ring Thing Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2007 Available to buy: No Rings, Emeralds and Dr Robotnik will fly from the bottom of the screen to the top. Clicking on rings gets you 1 point, emeralds get you 5 points and Dr Robotnik takes away 10 points. It’s very, very basic. The icons also barely react to being clicked, so you get points, but there’s no clear visual response to it. Sonic Speed Spotter Original Platform: Flash Original Release: 2007 Available to buy: No It’s spot the difference featuring images from Sonic X. Hover your curser over the parts of the image that look different and click. You get 20 points for a correct click and -5 for an incorrect click, with a time bonus if you find them all in a short time. The differences got repetitive throughout the game, most of them had the inside of an ear missing, a different band of colour a character’s hair was gone in three images in a row and so on. There is also inconsistency over which things count as a single large change or lots of small ones. Sonic and the Black Knight Original Platform: Wii Original release: 10th March 2009 Available to buy: No The second Sonic storybook game after Sonic and the Secret Rings. This one is an adaptation of the legends of King Arthur, with Merlina the Wizard summing Sonic into her world to help defeat an evil King Arthur. The biggest issue people had with Secret Rings has been fixed in this game. The game uses both the Wii Remote and nunchuck, with the analogue stick controlling movement. Sonic is still on a “track”, so will automatically make turns, but your movement is still important. The other big change is that Sonic wields a sword, shaking the Wii Remote to attack. You can plough through most enemies while retaining speed if you time things right, so it’s still a fast-paced game. The levels are all set in a medieval world, but are still really nice to look at. Other than one section involving a collapsing bridge, I really enjoyed them. There are also additional missions which take place either on parts of the main level or levels unique to the mission. One thing I did find odd about the game is that it has a fake credits. There’s a fight that could potentially be a final boss, then the credits roll. Unlike other games with fake credits (like Kid Icarus Uprising), there’s no interruption. The game even boots you to the main menu afterwards, but there is still a decent chunk of the game afterwards, including unlocking the ability to play as Knight versions of Shadow, Knuckles and Blaze. It really wouldn’t surprise me if someone had no idea that part of the game existed. Sonic and the Black Knight is a lot of fun and, other than a few annoying moments, is a very enjoyable experience. It also has an outstanding soundtrack, with Knight of the Wind being one of the best songs in the franchise. (Also, in terms of playing, I'm on the last game that I think is feasible).
  50. 2 points
    Thanks for the games. Yep... standard Mario Party 2. It was good to see Wario win for a change, especially as it fitted well with the ending. I reckon we should have Mario Party 3 available soon, before this month is out, it might as well be released to complete the set, even if the rest of the planned N64 NSO EP games aren't out for a while. Here's a link to this week's stream... Mario Party 2 on the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack - N-Europe Multiplayer (24/02/2023)