Sunday, June 23, 2013

6/23 the day of the hedgehog

Twenty two years ago, a blue hedgehog was born. On the Sega Genesis, a gaming icon emerged from a creative team like no other under Sega's foundation. Built on a new system, outdoing all of its competition the title character blazed across tv screens so fast no one could keep up with him. Taking the name of Sonic Team, the developer consisted of an amazing array of talent, production, art direction, and music. It won acclaim for its design, presentation, and character.

Main villain - Dr. Robotnik
A genius scientist, who created a vast amount of cybernetics that emulated the physics of its enviornment. Since day one, this baddie has been after Sonic since they first fought one another. Until recently he's become more than a villain, but a character like no other.

Many years later the blue hedgehog named Sonic still influences gamers creativity today.

Genesis -
1991, Sega needed something to boost sales, their Mark II system faired okay. But they wanted killer app, seeing their competition pushing the Super NES with new concept of 16bit / 32 bit designs. Sonic and a few other titles were selected to pave the way for the Genesis to push everyone's buttons. Leading the way on a new console was challenging because most consumers were hungry for Nintendo next big idea. Although the systems were different, Genesis was on the same level as the SNES. Boasting a unique library over time, the blue character was the highlight of several games on the system. Mario had competition, and it was a speedy hedgehog wearing sneakers.

Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles
In Sonic II, the blue hedgehog was joined by a two tailed fox named Tails. Created as a new buddy, and a 2 player character, the lil guy did his best to keep up with his speedy friend. And at the end of their adventure, they board a plane nicknamed the "Tornado". This biplane was classic for taking them to new heights against the gigantic flagship.

The Red Echidna -
Sonic III introduced a new friend / foe, the protector of the Emeralds. A tough cookie, Knuckles strength was trust and eventually help Sonic & Tails prevent a huge catastrophe from taking his floating island.

Sega CD-
After becoming a household name, Sega decided to take on the CD game based format. But the main issue was memory, and disc loading. Aside from the issues, it gained an audience that played it for its content. Sonic CD paved the way for taking side-scrolling and some 3D levels. What made this game unique was its manipulation with time, being able to change past, present, and future. Depending on choices you made, the in-game world would eventually change on those paths you created along the way. Including the use of cutscenes at the beginning, middle and end (good or bad).

Amy and Metal-
A young lady kidnapped by the crazed inventor, calls for our hero's aid. Being chased by a robot copy of Sonic, is one thing, but when it just as fast its another adventure altogether. Metal Sonic would chase our hero to the ends of the earth, as the little planet took them across vast lands, and timelines.

3D Blast -
Before the nextgen craze of 3D graphics, developer Travelers Tales worked on a concept game that took Sonic on a mission to save his bird buddies "Flicky's". Taking a spin from Marble Madness, the game was made in a 3rd person perspective, or "outside" your point of view. Every level as mapped out in a strategic fashion, but also challenging boss fights versus Robotnik. Included like always was a catchy music score.

Xtreme -
The lost in the series, a follow up to 3D Blast, taking Sonic to new heights. Before Mario 64 dominated the market, Xtreme was bent on turning the world upside down. With isometric platforming, and intrinsic atmosphere, it was meant to rock the gaming world. Only problem was, it wasn't ready for it, the game engine was far ahead of its time. (Some years later, it has come back as we know it as "Lost World")

Dream-cha 9/9/99
With the release of the DC, Sega pushed its publishing to its limits. Sonic Adventure became the biggest game to date, boasting over seven playable characters, each with their own mission. With a new foe named Chaos, this guardian is fueled by emotions and energy via the emeralds. When past and present collide, his true form emerges calling upon a set of heroes that will fight to save their world. Sonic (speed), Tails (recovery and flight), Knuckles (treasure hunting), Amy (escape the wrath of an Eggbot, RE style), Big the Cat (fishing, yes fishing), Gamma (run and gun missions), and ? (play to find out).

Chao' -
This little character was introduced through the in-game system. Raising these creatures as a life sim, they obtain skills and can be used in mini-games throughout the game hub. In addition they can also be taken on the go via the vmu memory card. In fact they have their own life cycle, which can used in extent to collect a variety of rare versions of the critter. (more in SA2)

Sonic Adventure II-
With part I deemed as a success, Adventure II takes place shortly after their bout with Chaos and making the world right again. But this time around, a being from the past awakens to change Sonic & his friends lives forever.

Enter Shadow - a manifestation of another time, lost in the space colony ARK never to be awakened, thanks to old Robotnik for unleashing insanity. Turns out he has lost memories, a past that collides with Sonic's identity and a new power "Chaos Control".

Rouge the Bat -
An elusive hunter, like Knuckles, but with a fondness for jewels.Eventually they bunk heads in a contest to bring the emeralds together for their own reasons. But turns out she is working for someone outside the team.

Advance I-II - Mixing up the best of the Genesis days in a smaller format (like the Game Gear). With catchy tracks, and a variety of levels (including Chao mini-games).
Rush +Rush Adventure - Taking Sonic and friends on a 2.5D mission versus  Nega Eggman. Timelines are crossing over and only the heroes can stop them. *music by the fantastic Hideki Naganuma (JSR + JSRF music producer) and many more works!

Sonic Riders -
Mixing air boarding with racing, Sonic and pals take on new competition "the Babylon Riders". A legendary troupe that protected a lost island in time, only to be awakened by the Emerads power. A big competition pits the two sides versus one another in a race against time. (later obtained a sequel with free movement as its core design)

Sonic 2006 -
Branded as the rebirth of the franchise, sadly didn't win over the community. However it boasted a new voice acting crew, great music, and some moments that left us scratching our heads. But what it did deliver was a neat idea, new adventure, and some new friends (and enemies). What didn't help was how crippling the in-game engine truly was, with hiccups left and right, or unable to get past certain areas w/o dying. It is a true test of patience and dexterity.

Blaze the Cat - A princess of her own dimension, protects time itself. Watches over Silver like an older sister.
Silver the Hedgehog - A time travelling being from another world, trying to stop his timeline from being destroyed by an unknown force.
Princess Elise - The leader of Soleanna, guardian of the "flame of Ibby" (or the girl Sonic has to save in every cutscene.)

The power of the Emeralds takes Sonic on a quest to fix the planet. Taking on every continent, recovering all seven stones would bring the it whole. But the biggest challenge is night and day, tunring into a Werehog (a beast form, strong, fierce, but cannot speed up). Working with a new friend named Chip, to prevent the world from falling apart.

Next to Adventure I&II, Unleashed is the biggest game yet. With a multitude of bonus missions, side quests, and experience points that vary for either form of Sonic. This game will keep you coming back for more, and there is so much to explore and find.

Colors -
Planet Wisp, a lone place changed by Dr.Robotnik's evil scheme.Sonic and friends come to their aid, before their world is gone. Challenged by a world transformed amusement park, everything is turned upside down. Working with their new allies, sonic can become any element needed to save their world. One part Mega Man, Metroid, and another keeping to his roots. This fun game stands out on its own, and is worth the ride.

Generations -
Two worlds collide, past and present, classic and modern Sonic work side by side. With a crazy set of stages, and fun challenges along the way. Classic tunes remixed to either format of the title character. Its up to two Hedgehog's working together to save their  friends and worlds. If you were a part of any generation of the series, this one is for you.

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