With how positively Sonic Adventure had been received on its original release — and many subsequent Sonic releases being compared unfavourably to it — it’s surprising that Sonic Team didn’t return to the concept sooner.
Return they did, however, with an ambitious multiplatform title that was originally intended to be the third official Sonic Adventure game. Initially developed under the working title of Sonic World Adventure — a title it would keep in Japan — Sonic Unleashed was intended to shake up the series in a few fundamental ways.
These days, in retrospect, Sonic Unleashed is seen as one of the earliest examples of what some people describe as “Boost Sonic“, but it’s an interesting game in its own right. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Dare to be Different
Declaring anything the “best thing ever” or the “worst thing ever” is a dangerous game, for a variety of reasons.
Tastes change over time. Preferences vary between individuals. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned since starting MoeGamer — well, quite a bit before that, to be honest — it’s that something getting critically panned doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth checking out.
It was with this in mind that I was greatly looking forward to investigating the much-maligned 2006 reboot of Sonic the Hedgehog for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — a game that Wikipedia claims (without citation) to be “among the worst games not only in the Sonic series but also in the video game medium.” That sounds like a challenge to me.
Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: The Dark Age
Following some discussion on the podcast recently, I decided to revisit some old favourite arcade racers, including Bizarre Creations’ swansong Blur.
For the uninitiated, this “powered up racer” features a delightful blend of real-world cars and locales with purely fantastic, neon-coloured power-ups. This makes the racing enormously aggressive and a huge amount of fun, and it’s a crying shame that Activision completely failed to market the game effectively.
But, well, the game still exists, so I’m damn well going to play it and enjoy it, and you can join me for the ride! Hit the jump for the first part of this new video series.
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Blur – Powered-Up Racing
Oh, Digital Age. You bring such convenience to our lives, but no-one told us there would be a cost!
After our lengthy Sega discussion on the pilot episode of The MoeGamer Podcast, I was in the mood to boot up After Burner Climax on PS3. Thankfully, this has sat proudly on my PS3’s hard drive ever since I bought it back on its original release back in 2010… because you can’t buy it online any more!
Yes, After Burner Climax was one of the earliest casualties of the age in which we live, getting delisted from both the Xbox 360 Marketplace and the PS3’s PlayStation Store in 2014. So join me as we pour one out for an arcade classic for which you really had to be there…
Continue reading Requiem for a Dead Game: After Burner Climax
“The eight soldiers get to attack the wicked terrorists!!”
So ran the promotional blurb on the arcade flyer for SNK’s Shock Troopers, a well-regarded installment in the Neo Geo library developed by Saurus and originally released in 1997 to both home- and arcade-based Neo Geo systems.
This is not by any means a unique setup for a video game, particularly an arcade title from the era, but what makes Shock Troopers truly special is its execution. And its presentation. And, well, everything.
Continue reading Neo Geo Essentials: Shock Troopers
Almost exactly a year after its previous installment, Ridge Racer got another mainline entry — a title which marked the franchise’s return to Sony platforms after its temporary dalliance with Microsoft.
Ridge Racer 7 was an exclusive title for Sony’s new PlayStation 3 platform — and in keeping with series tradition, it was a launch title, too — but it represented a less radical reinvention of the series than some of the previous games. In fact, those who played Ridge Racer 6 might find an awful lot of it quite familiar.
Ridge Racer 7, you see, is largely a reinvention of Ridge Racer 6, similar to how Ridge Racer Revolution was a reinvention of the original game. But that doesn’t make it a game you should pass up. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Continue reading Ridge Racer 7: The New “Revolution”
There have been a number of attempts to dethrone Nintendo’s Mario Kart over the years, but none of them have been successful, at least in the multiplayer sphere.
There is one aspect of Mario Kart that has pretty consistently sucked over the years, though, and that’s the single-player offering. Offering little more than predefined Grand Prix championships, one-off races or time trials even in the most recent installments, Mario Kart has always struggled to provide anything of real substance for the solo player. Which is fine, as the series has always been known for being best experienced with at least one friend, right from its inception in the 16-bit era.
This has, however, left a decent-sized gap in the market for other developers to come along and offer more robust solo experiences in kart racing titles. And one game that succeeds admirably in this regard is the cumbersomely titled Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed from Sega.
Continue reading Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: Driving Into Dreams