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…
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At the end of 2015, three years after it had been superseded by the Wii U, the last game for Nintendo’s phenomenally successful Wii console hit the shelves.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…
Originally written in 2010 and 2012
This year marks Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary, and come April it’ll also be 4 years since I first started contributing to The Sonic Stadium as a staff writer under the alias of “Doctor MK”. While I’ve written a variety of articles for the site during my time there to date, including news articles and features, I thought now would be a good opportunity to look back on one of my favourite parts of the job – the eagerly anticipated TSS reviews. I’ve been lucky enough to write a fair few so far, and they’re always good fun to sink your teeth into, even when the game itself isn’t quite up to par. Which, given Sonic’s track record lately, is more often than might be hoped!
So then, what are we waiting for? Here are all my TSS reviews so far, in order of publication from most to least recent. Some of the presentation isn’t quite what it used to be following server issues on the site, but my original writing remains intact – enjoy!
In order to bring my back catalogue of writing to a new audience, I will be re-uploading some articles from my time as Deputy Features Editor and Features writer for The Rabbit (the University of Essex student newspaper), starting with my very first article! More to come!
This article was originally published in the 2010-2011 academic year.
Back in 2011, when the Official Nintendo Magazine was still alive and well (rest in peace, old friend!), I contributed a short article to their online “My Favourite Game” feature which invited readers to write about a game which had left a highly positive impression on them. The best entries got published on their website, and lo and behold, on 31st July my submission appeared for all to see! At the time, it was the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, so my mind instantly raced to that series for the topic of discussion – and particularly, one of the most surprisingly fun games in recent memory, Sonic Colours.
Since ONM’s demise, their website – and subsequently my article – has been lost to the depths of cyberspace, but luckily I copied and pasted the contents into a word document. So, for the sake of sharing my complete backlog and making it live once again, read on…