Once upon a time, on the nineteenth night of February 2017, I had fallen fast asleep on my sofa. An issue of Sonic the Comic lay strewn out upon my face, its pages fluttering up and down in the makeshift breeze as my body gently breathed in and out. A fireplace roared away in the corner of the room as the quiet ticking of the grandfather clock permeated the silence. Eventually, the two hands pointed upwards and the simple staccato beats transformed into a melodic chime. A strange magic seemed to fill the air…
LEGO and Sonic the Hedgehog. Now there’s two things we never thought we’d see officially put together in the same product. Sure, maybe it’s not as earth-shattering a crossover as the Mario & Sonic series (I mean, who’d have ever seen that one coming, and at the Olympic Games no less?!), but it’s just as mind-bogglingly unthinkable. But, then again, almost anything is possible in the crazy world of TT Games’ LEGO Dimensions. You know what’s even crazier though? This bonkers mash-up of blue blurs and bricks is arguably the best thing to come out of Sonic’s 25th anniversary celebrations this year.
It’s often the case that you find hidden classics late into a games console’s life cycle – but they don’t come an awful lot later than this.
At the end of 2015, three years after it had been superseded by the Wii U, the last game for Nintendo’s phenomenally successful Wii console hit the shelves. Except it didn’t. Well, it did and it didn’t. That’s the thing about Rodea The Sky Soldier – it’s got a long and complicated development history that’s intriguing and baffling in equal measure. In short, the game was originally designed for the Wii, but was finished just as the new system was launching so was held back in favour of newly developed Wii U and 3DS versions instead. Now, courtesy of the Limited Edition set (still just about available on Nintendo’s UK Online Store) you can get both the Wii and Wii U versions of the game in one exclusive package. But, the question is: after all this time, has the game actually been worth the wait?
2010 was an interesting time to be a Sonic fan. At the start of the year, the franchise was at one of its lowest points, with jokes about the Sonic Cycle being thrown around every which way following the downward spiral of quality in the games – Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 2006, Sonic and the Black Knight… even 2008’s Sonic Unleashed, the closest thing to a step in the right direction we’d seen, was critically panned and bogged down by poor design choices. Luckily, there seemed to be a shining ray of light on the horizon, one that the entire fanbase was clinging their hopes onto, something that promised to set the series back on track at last…
This past weekend I attended the Summer of Sonic 2016 convention at the ILEC Conference Centre in London, a day of celebrating all things Sonic the Hedgehog – organised by the fans, for the fans. This was actually my sixth time attending the convention over the years (out of a possible seven!), and though I missed out on the very first event in 2008, I’ve seen it grow from small and humble beginnings to becoming one of the community’s most prolific achievements. With Summer of Sonic’s “one more run” now over and fond memories left in the minds of many, I’d like to take a look back – not just to this year, but to all the years – to remember the good times that have always made it such an enjoyable fixture in the Sonic calendar.
Sonic the Hedgehog has turned 25 this year, and to celebrate this momentous occasion there’s a brand new game on the way – Sonic Mania! Initially announced at Sonic’s official birthday party at San Diego Comic Con, this upcoming title is a retro 2D side-scroller in the vein of the classic Mega Drive games, developed by programming whizz Christian Whitehead (the man responsible for the excellent Sonic CD remake – read my review here). I was fortunate enough to get some hands-on time with a demo version of the game at this weekend’s Summer of Sonic 2016 convention, and I’m very pleased to say that I’ve come away with hugely positive impressions.
Originally written in 2010 and 2012