Tag Archives: Sonic the Hedgehog

Your Favourite Overlooked and Underappreciated Games

Yesterday, I found myself a bit frustrated by yet another example of Twitter’s never-ending focus on negativity and cynicism. In other words, it was a Thursday.

The tweet that frustrated me a bit probably didn’t have any ill intentions behind it, but its question to the community of what games you “hate but are highly praised by the general audience” almost inevitably became, to the community, an excuse to bash on predictable, popular things. So I decided to flip things around and post a tweet of my own with a more positive angle.

“What’s a game you love that is not well-regarded by the general audience and/or Metacritic?” I asked. Let’s see what people said.

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Team Sonic Racing: Always Better Together

One of the most interesting success stories of the last couple of console generations is the series of Sonic-themed racing games.

While the blue blur’s mainline adventures have had a somewhat mixed reception over the years, Sumo Digital’s Sonic Racing series (to date consisting of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and Team Sonic Racing) has been very positively received by press and public alike.

So how is the latest installment? Let’s take a look!

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Everything Old is New Again

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If one thing has become apparent over the course of exploring the complete Sonic the Hedgehog series, it’s that no-one seems to be able to agree on how to handle it “best”.

We have Sonic Team’s attempts to move the franchise forward with various gameplay styles, new narrative components and a somewhat coherent, consistent narrative that ties in with other forms of media. We have Sonic Lost World’s much-maligned but utterly joyful jaunt into Super Mario-esque territory. And we have probably the most disappointingly “mainstream” opinion: that “Sonic hasn’t been good since the Mega Drive”.

Among other things, the perhaps vain hope of shutting this latter group up is the reason Sonic Mania exists.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Take 2

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Remember back when we explored Sonic 2006 and I suggested that game was an attempt to provide a “big-budget movie” type of Sonic experience? It’s hard not to see Sonic Forces as Sonic Team having another crack at that.

All the major components of “big-budget movie adaptation of popular series” are here: recognisable but somewhat different setting; established characters in unconventional situations; brand-new, original characters designed for newcomers in the audience to attach themselves to; and significantly higher stakes than seen elsewhere in the series as a whole.

If you’re a “once and done” kind of player, you can also probably add “done and dusted in two hours” to that list, too, but rest assured, if you’re the sort of person who likes collectibles, secret levels and objectives, there’s significantly more than that here. Let’s take a closer look.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: A New Twist

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Sonic Generations rather ably demonstrated how the Sonic series’ gameplay had evolved over the years… but where could it go from there?

Certain members of Sonic Team were already contemplating this by the time Sonic Colours had completed development and work on Generations was underway. The concept grew from experimental attempts to make use of the Nintendo 3DS’ unique features, and the subsequent announcement of the Wii U console and the interesting possibilities it offered prompted Sega to focus the new game’s development on Nintendo platforms.

The result was Sonic Lost World; an unusual, highly creative and vastly underappreciated installment in the series, and one that would prove to be an ideal fit for Nintendo platforms. (As always, today we’ll be focusing on the home console version for Wii U rather than Dimps’ handheld incarnation.)

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Old Meets New

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In 2011, Sonic turned 20. 1991 was a big year for the blue blur: he had his first ever public appearance in Sega’s arcade title Rad Mobile, then later in the year thrilled console gamers on both 8- and 16-bit Sega platforms with his first full adventures.

Naturally, such a significant anniversary needed to be celebrated — particularly since poor old Sonic had put up with plenty of resistance from press, public and even his own fans over the years. But how to go about it in a way that would please as many people as possible — or at least attempt to?

By acknowledging both his past and present, of course. Enter Sonic Generations.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Erinaceidae of Colour

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After 2008’s entertaining but divisive Sonic Unleashed, it would be another two years before we’d see the next mainline Sonic the Hedgehog game.

There were two versions of Sonic Colours developed, both of which remembered to put the “U” in for the European version: a Wii-exclusive version that combined 2D and 3D gameplay in the way we’d come to know from “modern Sonic“, and a side-scrolling Nintendo DS version developed by Dimps that was closer in execution to the original Mega Drive games.

Today we’ll be focusing on the Wii version, though anyone who has played a Dimps-developed Sonic game will know the DS version will also be well worth your time. I’ll leave that for you to explore yourself for now, however… we’ve got one hell of a vacation to go on!

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The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Best Common Architecture

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!

This award was suggested by spaktukal.

Environmental design in gaming is a funny old beast; you only tend to really actively notice it if it’s really good or really bad — most of the rest of the time, it’s just sort of there, indicating that it’s doing its job. That job being, of course, to immerse the player in the game world and give that game world a bit of “character” of its own.

There were a number of games that had particularly striking world design this year, but today we’re focusing specifically on the idea of “common architecture” — the way just regular ol’ normal buildings look, rather than palaces, temples and ruins of an ancient civilisation.

And the winner is…

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Sunday Driving: Pudding?! You Were Always So Quirky, Brian – Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed #6

It’s time for another Sunday Driving session as we continue our playthrough of Sega and Sumo Digital’s wonderful Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

We’re making good progress through the World Tour mode — it should only be another episode or two before we clear all the available events on the normal difficulty we’ve been playing them all on so far.

But what then? Hmm, we’ll have to wait and see, won’t we… Hit the jump for today’s video in the meantime!

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Dare to be Different

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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.

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