This, this is when console wars actually meant something.....you either worshipped the little blue speed demon or your loyalties laid with the Italian plumber.
I always remember a friend of mine with his Super Nintendo console and I swear to god all he ever did from the moment he opened his eyes to the instant he closed them was collected gold coins and attempted (pretty awfully) to rescue someone called Princess Peach. Super Mario wasn't really my thing, I personally preferred the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog whether it be flying through the Green Hill Zone at stupid speeds or trying to take down the pure evilness of Dr Robotnik who was just on a totally different level with his mad mechanical contraptions.
Console Wars: Sega Vs Nintendo - and the battle that defined a generation is a 584 page Kindle title that covers the infamous console wars of the 1990's between Nintendo and Sega and has been discounted by 94% down from £18.99!Click here to read more...
A cracking value package, Sonic Hits Collection includes the following:
You'll need to insert a US billing address at the checkout, but the code will redeem on Steam. Thanks to jaystan for the spot!
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced during today's Nintendo Direct presentation that Nintendo and SEGA have entered into a worldwide partnership for Sonic the Hedgehog titles.Click here to read more...
There've been rumblings regarding Sonic's return since the start of the year, and a tipster with a history of rather accurately leaking Sonic-related info has outed this year's return as a game currently codenamed Sonic Excursion, suggesting that it will release in November across current and next-gen formats.Click here to read more...
Nintendo's recent announcement that Namco Bandai will be co-developing the next Super Smash Bros set our minds racing. With such an exciting precedent, backed up by the likes of Ni No Kuni from Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, Metroid: Other M from Team Ninja and XCOM: Enemy Unknown from Firaxis, what else could the best designers in our industry come up with if they were let loose on someone else's IP?
So, here we go. Blue sky thinking. No holds barred. So far outside the box that the box is a dot to us. Here are the ten (probably impossible) developer/franchise crossovers we want to happen, and why we feel that they're a match made in heaven.
Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot is certainly looking good, but it's also looking a lot like Uncharted. So why not let Naughty Dog loose on the IP? They've got the experience at creating visceral climbing and shooting rollercoasters in historical settings, not to mention populating their games with relatable action heroes and memorable villains. Go for it, I say.
I've come to realise that I need more from Pokemon in terms of storytelling and scope, and as far as I'm concerned, the collect 'em all framework could definitely support a stronger plot. Who better to take on the task than Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi, who co-designed Chrono Trigger and the original Final Fantasy? Time-travelling and dimension hopping would be a fantastic diversion, not to mention a great place to find new Pokemon.
If Mistwalker are unavailable, I'd also be happy to give the license to Grasshopper Manufacture. Suda51 would defnitely come up with some worrying Pokemon designs...Click here to read more...
So doing the review for Sonic Generations 3DS got me thinking. What ARE the top ten Sonic games? So we've come up with a rather specific list this Tuesday. Sonic might have made a few missteps in his time, but there can be no denying that the titles on this list should be under consideration for any gamer worth their salt. Enjoy and, as usual, hit us up with your thoughts below if you think we missed any.
Yes, we're in spin-off territory with this one entry, but it's a worthy one. All Star Racing proved that Mario Kart could be matched. Offering up madcap, racing fun for the HD console generation, SaSASR proved to be enormous fun with friends, with some cracking tracks and neat powerups.
It's Sonic in 3D. That by itself was enough to blow minds back in the day. Like many of the games on this list, it stuck to its guns and did the basics well - short, sweet levels and some fantastic bosses. Not only did Sonic Adventure manage to deliver a brand new take on the speedy hedgerow dweller, but it did so by embracing the simple pleasures that made the series great in the first place.Click here to read more...
If you've read Brendan's Sonic Generations console review, then you'll know that this celebration of twenty years of Sonic sees Dr. Eggman and the nefarious Time Eater diddling with dimensions so engineer a situation where 'classic' Sonic bumps into his modern counterpart. Once again we see an array of old and new levels rendered in classic 2D form - although now with impressive stereoscopic 3D visuals.
Things are pleasantly distinct at first, with classic Sonic restricted to just his trusty spin dash, while modern Sonic enjoys the benefits of the speed boost, enemy-felling skids and, of course, his characteristic homing attack. It's also worth noting that this is the first game for the 3DS that I've played where the game looks significantly better with the 3D slider set to 'Ultimate Migraine'. Not only is it bearable, but the stages come to life like never before, the sub-standard graphics plainly visible in 2D, suddenly look far more striking once they have an extra dimension.
I played the console version and loved it, but those looking for a replication of that game on the 3DS may well be disappointed. In spite of sharing the same title, this version plays quite a bit differently than its larger counterpart and that's actually something of a shame. You see, some of the best levels are missing. Yes, we get Casino Night from Sonic 2, but there's no City Escape. Emerald Coast is a welcome addition, but there are two fewer levels in this portable iteration, and the first three are identical replicas of their respective Mega Drive originals. Given free rein to 'classicise' the Dreamcast and modern HD levels, though, Dimps have opted to insert a whole bunch of cheap insta-fail pits and death traps that Sonic will quite merrily plunge headfirst into with very little warning. Sometimes it's challenging, often it's simply cheap.Click here to read more...
Remember our E3 preview of Sonic Generations, where we got to see the freshly announced CIty Escape level behind closed doors? Well now you can feast your eyes on it too, as German site Gameswelt have slung up a video that sees everyone's favourite blue hedgehog dashing through the Chemical Plant, followed by a spot of urban chaos in City Escape.Click here to see the vid...
SEGA's Takashi Iizuka has poured water on the fiery possibility of a Mario-Sonic crossover outside of overblown sporting events according to an interview between Iizuka-san and Nintendo Power.Find out more after the jump...
Following on from our pleasingly rather successful Twitter competition parties towards the end of last year, we thought we'd shake it up a little bit and try out a similar thing over on our Facebook page TONIGHT. With that in mind we're going to be holding something of a classic gaming night and offering participants to win a bunch of retro-flavoured goodies from t-shirts to rebooted games and rounding things off with a chance to win a handheld console stuffed with SEGA goodness.
Head on over to the Facebook page and hit the like button, make sure your mini-feed is primed and ready, because we're going to be settling in for a nostalgic night of retrotastic reminiscing. As usual though, it'll be BYOB.
Facebook is an altogether different beast to Twitter, but we'll be running things pretty similarly to last time. Every hour, on the hour, Dealspwn will be putting forth a rather broad question designed to spark off a little bit of debate on our wall. Some are a little bit left-field, others might well reignite old rivalries, and all you have to do to stuff your name into the hat is to comment on the competition post. We'll be sparking discussions throughout the night, but you'll know which posts are the important ones as we'll present them like so:
6pm - COMPETITION ROUND 1: If Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter ever got into a bar-room brawl, who'd win?
Make sure your name is on the list and you'll be in with a chance. Here's how the night's going to run, with the general hourly themes regimented below and the relevant prizes in parenthesis:
Just get involved on the competition thread and you'll be in with a chance.
There will be seven winners every round, to be chosen at random and, to add a little bit of incentive, because the prizes for each round are different this time, entrants can participate in all six mini prize draws.
As suggested above, we'll be sparking off mini debates on the main wall throughout the evening too and we actively encourage you to fire off any questions or start some heated old-school debate in the discussions tab as well.
A few house rules:
Put it in your diaries now!
Sonic Rivals is a racing game which eschews the traditional wheels in favour of legs which makes sense as creating a frantic sense of breakneck speed has always been one of Sonic's biggest strengths. There's some nice stages to zoom through, in classic rollercoaster-esque style but unfortunately there's just not that many of them. It's marred by a few flaws but it's fun and more than decent enough for this price. Thanks to angelochristou at Hotukdeals!
If a clinical psychoanalyst conducted a thorough study of our gaming habits, I expect we'd be branded as borderline kleptomaniacs. Whether it's hoarding loot or searching every nook and cranny for the inexplicable scattering of hidden treasure, we simply must have it all. Often it serves no other purpose than to achieve this particular feat, rather than benefiting your in-game character or social standing.
As if that matters. As a kid, I couldn't resist the urge of Mario's stars or Sonic's emeralds, and I'm a little worried by my reaction to hearing a throbbing, rhythmic hum as I then begin searching my surroundings for Agility Orbs. As such, I thought it was only prudent we collect a list of our favorite videogame collectibles, whether we've found them all or not! So, may we present The Top 10 Videogame Collectibles!
I've always felt like inFamous is the Playstation 3's answer to Crackdown, and if you can't have Agility Orbs, you must settle for Blast Shards. Scattered across Empire City, often nestled on windowsills or overhangs, you must employ Cole's echo location-like 'ping' ability to discover their location. I made a point of collecting all of inFamous' Blast Shards, having been foiled by Agility Orbs.
Fallout 3 is an enormous game packed to the brim with hidden quests, forgotten relics and, yes, Pip Boy Bobble Heads. They're incredibly difficult to find if, like me, you don't rely on the internet or guides. You can't 'ping' your surroundings or find a map or compass to help guide you. They don't emit a pulsating green glow or begin chanting melodically. But when you stumble on one, sitting on a shelf or in an old shack, it's quite special.
I was a big fan of Ubisoft's Nolan North-starring Prince of Persia reboot. I can understand the complaints, but it was a bold reinvention with some big ideas. And I was quite addicted to finding all the Agility Orb-inspired Light Seeds flung across the sheer rock walls and seemingly unassailable structures. Part of the appeal was actually reaching them, as despite PoP's oddly linear platforming flow, it was genuinely difficult mastering the controls to gather all the rows of Light Seeds.
Banjo & Kazooie have numerous collectibles, but I always found my time spent searching for Musical Notes. To begin with, collecting Notes opened Note Doors, vital to your progression, whereas in the much-maligned Nuts and Bolts, Notes were simply a currency. But they're still one of my favorite videogame collectibles, and I was rather proud when I found the entire lot.
You hear a rustling. Clicking up on the C-Stick, you gaze around the land of Hyrule or whatever dungeon you're currently conquering, and spot a gold-ish spider the size of a small dog shuffling round and round. Gathering Gold Skulltulas is quite the adventure, as they often require a specific gadget, like the Hookshot, to reach and retrieve, requiring a far bit of backtracking.
In Halo, collecting the dozen or so Skulls scattered across forgotten alien artifacts, war-torn cities and Covenant cruisers, not only achieves a sense of accomplishment but actually affects the game itself. Skulls can make the Covenant better at dodging grenades, or force you to replenish health by clubbing foe with your gun. They're often hidden in the most unlikely of places, and require a very keen mind.
Make no mistake, Pokemon are collectibles. Some are so difficult to find and legendary in stature, they're virtually mythic, whereas others are so useless they're inclusion is baffling, ala Magicarp. But Pokemon declares its intentions from the off; Gotta' Catch 'Em All! I did, at least on Red and Blue, although I struggled in later games as the roster grew. I spent months searching for Entei, that damn roving cat.
Oh, Stars. How I adore thee. Any self-respecting fan of Mario has fallen victim to the Star quest, collecting all the plump little things scattered across Mario's fantastic adventures. I was obsessed - literally, I dreamed of finding Stars - with finding all of Mario 64's Stars, and had the entire game-world mapped out in my head I'd searched it so much. Not exactly the healthiest pursuit, I imagine.
Sonic was my first game on the Sega Mega Drive, so it holds a place dear to my heart. My first experience with finding videogame collectibles was the search for Emeralds scattered up and down Sonic's 2D landscapes. I can't quite remember their function, or why it was so important to collect them, but I just couldn't shake the urge to seek them out, and the feeling of finding them has yet to be matched. Until...
Would I be wrong in claiming at least half, maybe more, of Crackdown's appeal isn't throwing cars and bandits around with merry abandon or driving an SUV bristling with remote explosives into a truck, but finding all the Agility Orbs scattered like luminous confetti across Pacific City? I was, quite literally, addicted to Agility Orbs. I understand why the term 'Crack' is included in the title. Very meta. And yet, despite my addiction which once had me gazing out my window's at the neighbors' rooftops for a green, pulsing sphere, I'm still, still on 499 Agility Orbs. I refuse to bow to walkthroughs. I shall find it, one day...
What are your favorite videogame collectibles? As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below.
We've been raised to expect good triumphs over evil, but as life often teaches us, the reality is quite the opposite. However, in videogames our plucky young heroes and grizzled veterans can rest easy, as their blessed with a roster of rather terrible villians, more interested in pretentious monologues and posing than actually fulfilling their diabolical plots. So, in honor of these unqualified despots, may we present the Top 10 Most Incompetent Villains!
You can't fault his persistence, but Bowser's inability to defeat a squat, plump Italian plumber who hasn't had a job in years is shameful. Bowser commands an entire army of reptiles and other odd creatures, and he himself is a capable combatant with a sturdy shell, chomping jaws and the ability to breath fire. And yet he's done little more than singe Mario's uniform. He's also incredibly predictable, always snatching princesses and then hiding them in looming castles run by even more inept lackeys.
Despite being capable of interstellar travel, the Space Invader aliens made one fatal mistake in the design of their ships; they can only go right to left on a lateral plain, or down by incremental stages. They're also confounded by curious defensive blocks and a fleeting turret. If they just built ships capable of aiming at an angle, dropped remote explosives down the gaps between blocks or simply flew down to ground level from the very beginning, then they wouldn't be on this list. Alas.
He's the clone of a legend, has escaped death by being grafted to another villain's forearm, is often in possession of nuclear-armed mechs, and yet a particular grizzled, chain-smoking spy has, time and again, put an end to his nefarious deeds. It's difficult to get a hold of Kojima's plot-tangled epic, but it's pretty clear Liquid Snake isn't qualified for megalomania.Click here to see who else made Felix's list...
I'm sat in front of Takashi Iisuka, the man behind the wonderful Sonic Adventure (read Jon's preview of the XBLA/PSN updated version here), level designer for Sonic Unleashed and lead producer on Sonic Colours. He's a man steeped in world of modern Sonic, with the blue hedgehog bravely taking on new platforming heroes who've long since embraced three dimensions and blasted into space.
It's not uncommon for developers to throw everything including the kitchen sink at a game to see what sticks, particularly when revitalising classic franchises. But whilst Mario seems to have gone from strength to strength, Sonic's route has been a little more haphazard. These days variety seems to be the spice of life but, as Sonic Unleashed displayed, sometimes changing things or adding in new elements just for the sake of it really isn't the answer. When gunning for the top, having your central protagonist turn into a werehog, whatever the hell that's supposed to be, is really not the answer.
With that in mind, there's really only one burning question I want to ask Iisuka-san before we go on, the answer to which will undeniably outline what he hopes to strive for with Sonic Colours: just what exactly are the core principles, in his opinion, that make an excellent Sonic game. The answer? Multi-route platforming and speed... lots of it.
Click here to see how Sonic Colours is coming along...
SEGA have produced some timeless classics over the years- and they're never afraid to recycle them over and over again for some extra bucks. Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch are the latest platforms to enjoy the Sonic treatment, and you can now pick up some golden retro oldies at a knockdown price courtesy of the 'Back to School' iTunes sale. This price reduction will run until September 1st, offering up to a 67% discount on the following gaming apps:
Naturally you'll need iTunes to peruse and purchase SEGA's sale items.
So there are some classic games and household names up for grabs... but there's also a catch. Many of these games suffer from significant emulation and control problems that render them nearly unplayable. Always have a gander at the user comments and reviews to size up whether a game's worth grabbing even at the reduced price. As a good rule of thumb, an on-screen D-Pad is usually a clear sign of inevitable aggravation.
Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2 avoid the hateful control issues by using an intuitive tilt interface to manipulate the game world. Considering the bargain prices and the sheer amount of fun that they're capable of providing, these two cutesy games are easily the standout bargains of the bunch.
Thanks to alex-_ at Hot UK Deals
Not much to report this week as all of last weeks deals are actually running for two weeks.
There's a reason for this, though; Sony have been hard at work launching their new subscription service Playstation Plus and in this first month if you sign up for a whole year you can nab yourself a free copy of LittleBigPlanet! I sincerely hope Microsoft are taking notes....but I doubt it.
It's also worth noting that this freebie will not vanish along with your subscription at the end of the year, but is in fact yours to keep. Honestly, it just keeps on looking better and better.
There are a few new things of interest on the PSN this week, though, Super Stardust HD has tumbled down to just £1.19 this week and the price of the excellent Fat Princess has been permanently reduced to £7.99.
As previously noted, the rest of he offers were all covered by Jon in last week's roundup, but they are again to refresh your memory...
Sonic Birthday Mega Sale:
This week's update brings us a slew of special offers, two mediocre permanent price reductions and a SEGA mega sale to celebrate Sonic's 19th birthday! The Special Offers and the SEGA sale will run until the 7th of July (giving you a fortnight to make a decision or scrounge up the cash!).
Naturally, we've honed in on the deals. Check out the entire update (including new releases) here.
Sonic Birthday Mega Sale:
Permanent Price Reductions:
Sonic is 19 years old today, and in celebration of his almost twin decades, Microsoft have discounted the price for Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2 and 3, along with Sonic and Knuckles, from 400 Microsoft Points each to only 240 each!
This deal applies to both Gold and Silver subscribers, and goes Live (geddit?) tomorrow. If you're unaware of who Sonic is, perhaps due to a stint underneath a rock, then he's a blue, anthropomorphic hedgehog who can run at incredible speeds and has a great love for chillidogs. Sonic was something of a phenomenon in the 90s, Sega's rival to Nintendo's own mascot, Mario. Like most children, he had a troublesome teenage period, struggling to adapt to the pressures of a 3-D environment and the rising expectations of his fans. Despite growing problems, the series has still managed to sell over 150 million copies worldwide,
These original Sonic games are easily the best of the series, and have been retooled and polished for their Xbox release. The ferocious speed requires multiple plays of certain tracks, to learn the loops, the jumps, the dashes and so on. It's an arcade game, pure and simple, with none of the fluff associated with most games these days. Don't expect an epic storyline delivered with lavish cutscenes. You'll drop in as Sonic on an oddly shaped and constructed course, sprint to the finish and often encounter your nemesis, Dr Eggman, who'll be trying out his latest robotic armaments.
The Hut are offering Sonic's Classic Collection for just £15.93 as part of its Daily Deals promotion. The next cheapest adds £2 onto The Hut's price and comes from Asda Entertainment.
There's a reason why there are so damn many Sonic compilations out there. Even now the gameplay shines even if the presentation fails to impress. In amongst all the dregs of Sonic games out there, it's great to see four of his best adventures brought together for the DS. The graphics aren't too hot thanks to the DS's resolution capabilities but the games look nice enough on the small screen and the brilliantly catchy/maddeningly irritating music sounds great and is nice to revisit.
Sonic Classic Collection is a functional port of some fantastic gems of the game world, packing plenty of fun for the price, but as a package it's a fairly utilitarian offering.
Dealspwn Rating: 8/10
This should get your retro skills up to scratch before the release of Sonic 4 which is making a return to Sonic’s 2D roots. Put simply this compilation collects the best four Sonic games out there. Pure, 2D, Sonic gold.
These are the best Sonic games to be released on the Mega-drive System in the ‘90s, before it all went wrong with his steps into third dimension adventure platforming. This package contains Sonic 1-3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Unlike past Sonic compilations we’ve seen over the years, this one allows you to play through Sonic 2 and 3 as Knuckles. Which, as anyone that owned the original Mega Drive cartridge of Sonic & Knuckles knows, makes this an unmissable purchase.
Basically, you could plug Sonic 2/3 into the Knuckles cartridge in a tower over your mega-drive. It was more exciting back then than it sounds, but good times were had all around. Knuckles the new guy plays like a cheat version of Sonic as he can glide long distances and also climb walls.
Of course the games are a classic purchase without the Knuckles attachment. Sonic 1 introduced a gaming icon to the world stage and posed the first real threat to Nintendo’s Mario with dazzling use of colour and fast-paced gameplay.