Category Archives: 2018

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Lost Game

After the success of the Sonic games on the Mega Drive, what was next?

Sega had a difficult time ahead of it, since there was a certain amount of confusion over what the real successor to the 16-bit console would be. On the one hand, there was the American-developed, cartridge-based 32X, which would act as an add-on for the Mega Drive rather than a standalone unit. And on the other, there was the CD-based Saturn system, developed by Sega of Japan.

Clearly, in order to be a success, at least one of these new systems needed a Sonic game. But that turned out to be a rather more difficult undertaking than anyone anticipated. Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: The Lost Game

Sonic the Hedgehog: Spinning Off

So we’ve already talked about Sonic’s main 16-bit games on the Mega Drive, as well as his 8-bit adventures on the Game Gear and Master System.

But we have a few more games to explore from this early era before we start exploring the blue blur’s oft-maligned jump into 3D space, and those are the numerous spin-offs that appeared to complement the “mainline” platformer experiences.

Turns out there’s quite a few of them. And they’re pretty much all really cool! Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Spinning Off

Sonic the Hedgehog: Little Brothers

It’s fair to say that, for many people, Sonic’s “golden age” was the 16-bit era that encompassed his first four(ish) games.

What doesn’t tend to get talked about quite so much is the fact that, around the same time, there were some fantastic 8-bit releases in the series on Sega’s Master System console and ill-fated Game Gear handheld.

So, well, let’s talk about that, shall we?

Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Little Brothers

Sonic the Hedgehog: Finding His Feet

So let’s start from the beginning.

The year was 1990. Nintendo was enjoying a protracted period of dominance in the video game market thanks to a combination of high quality games and a highly recognisable mascot in the form of Super Mario. With the release of Super Mario Bros. 3, the company had become seemingly unstoppable. But that didn’t stop Sega from wanting to try.

Sega needed a new mascot. The company’s earlier creation Alex Kidd just wasn’t cutting it any more, since, as a human character, he was perceived as, at best, too similar to Super Mario; at worst, something of a pale imitation. Sega’s CEO at the time, Hayao Nakayama, wanted a character as iconic as Disney’s Mickey Mouse. Oh, what to do?

Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Finding His Feet

Sonic the Hedgehog: Introduction

“Sonic hasn’t been good for a long time.” “Sonic has never been good.” How many times have we seen articles about Sega’s incredibly popular mascot start this way?

The fact is, despite enduring a consistently more mixed (at times outright cynical and negative) critical reception than longstanding rival Mario from Nintendo, Sonic the Hedgehog still has legions of dedicated fans, and has done since he first appeared on our screens in 1991.

This month, we’re going to be taking a look at a wide variety of Sonic the Hedgehog games from across time, ranging from his first 2D platformer forays up until his more recent 3D adventures… and, of course, his extremely well-received return to 2D in the form of Sonic Mania, the physical Plus release of which was the catalyst for this whole set of features.

Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Introduction

Hyrule Warriors: The Real Game Starts Here

You know how dedicated MMO players say that the game is “just beginning” when you reach the level cap? Hyrule Warriors is a bit like that in some respects; completing the main story mode is far from the end of the game.

In fact, one might argue that the “endgame” of Hyrule Warriors, if you choose to look at it in that way, is in fact the most substantial meat of the package. Eschewing the narrative focus of the main story mode in favour of a non-linear, mechanics-centric experience that is all about just having fun as you see fit, this part of the game will keep you busy for a long, long time.

And, moreover, it will do this not by forcing you to grind the same things over and over again, but instead by offering you a huge variety of different, highly replayable challenges that each put their own fascinating twists on the core mechanics of the game.

Continue reading Hyrule Warriors: The Real Game Starts Here

Hyrule Warriors: Leading the Charge

The Warriors series as a whole has experimented with a few twists on its basic mechanics over the years, and Hyrule Warriors most certainly provides one of the most accessible, immediate takes there is.

This is at least partly down to the influence of Koei Tecmo’s division Team Ninja, who played a role in the game’s development alongside longstanding series producers Omega Force. The result is a speedy, fluid Warriors game that is easy to get into but challenging to master in its entirety.

Today we’re going to take a look at the various components that make Hyrule Warriors’ gameplay tick, and see how they come together to create such an enjoyable experience.

Continue reading Hyrule Warriors: Leading the Charge