Game News

Sonic X Shadow Generations Announced

Over the last couple days, rumors have been swirling about regarding Sony’s PlayStation State of Play, involving a certain hedgehog. Were we getting a remaster of Sonic Generations? Would it be something more? Now that the event has aired, we finally have the answer

Yes, it’s a remaster, but so much more.

Shadow the Hedgehog is back, baby.

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Comics, Humor

“SONIC-GRAMS” VOL. 6: KEN PENDERS EXTRA

It’s been 13 years since David last thrilled us with his look back at the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic’s letter page “Sonic Grams”. Like many beloved long dormant franchises, we’re bringing the segment back to pull at your nostalgic heartstrings AND to introduce some long lost Archie Sonic content from the Ken Penders era!

David sat down with me on the long-running SEGAbits podcast The Swingin’ Report Show to not only discuss the history of Sonic-Grams, but also debut three long lost newsletters published alongside the comic book which featured writings from Ken Penders covering what was happening in the comics as well as shining the spotlight on fellow writers and artists. The full episode is below, and I’ve also linked the comic pages featuring the PDF scans of the newsletters.

But here is the important part: We are missing Volume 1, Number 1! It was released before issue 28, likely in the summer of 1994, but that is all we know. If you own the first newsletter, let us know in the comments and please scan and upload it to the Sonic Retro wiki!

Volume 1 #2: Archie Sonic issue 28
Volume 2 #1: Archie Sonic issue 40
Volume 3 #1: Archie Sonic issue 49

Community, Site News

Sonic Symphony 2023: The Opening Night

It’s been a few years since the Sonic Adventure Music Experience and a lot has happened since then. The next major event that Sega did was during The Event of 2020-2021, namely the Sonic 30th Anniversary Symphony in June 2021. While this was incredible to see, it was a shame that due to the nature of the world at that time, the orchestra had to play to no in-person audience.

2 years on from then, and a slightly remixed Sonic Symphony has finally begun, and embarked on a world tour to hundreds of people per venue. Myself and a dozen or so other members of Sonic Retro were present at the opening night at the Barbican in London, and what a night it was.

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Miscellaneous

25 Years Ago, Sonic Adventure Was Revealed To The World: A Look Back

On a balmy summer morning in Tokyo, Japan, over three thousand people stood outside the Tokyo International Forum waiting for a glimpse of what was claimed to “set a new futuristic standard for gaming.” A piece of software that would outpace and outclass anything that had come before. For the last month, the game had been teased online, alluded to in magazines, and was advertised on television, radio, and even the Yamanote train line before a single screenshot had been shown to the public. The hype was building, but the only way to know if this game could live up to such expectation would be to see it in person. What better way than being crammed into a theater with a thousand other die hard Sega fans?

Twenty five years ago, in a dark theater, a game that would define the Sega Dreamcast was announced to the world in spectacular fashion. Sonic Team had returned to its namesake, and was ready to finally show everyone what they had been working on: Sonic Adventure.

But was it enough? Not just for the Sega faithful, but for those who drifted away during the Saturn era? Could this be the saving grace of Sega on a worldwide scale, and establish the Dreamcast as the cutting edge of the gaming world?

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Community

Sonic Stuff Research Group Reunion Coming To Retro World Expo This August

If you’ve been around the Sonic Internet scene, more than likely you’ve heard of the Sonic Stuff Research Group. Affectionally known as SSRG, it has been a hub for discussing and researching the inner workings of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games, and the techniques in modding Sonic both old and new.

What you may not know is that the SSRG has, in one form or another, existed since 1996. Initially a small subsection on Andy Wolan’s gaming-themed website EmulationZone, it grew to house a number of Sonic websites dedicated to uncovering the history of the franchise, the lost content that sparked the imagination of an entire generation. Sonic the Hedgehog Area 51, Tom’s Hacking Station, Simon Wai’s Sonic 2 Beta Page – separately, they told snippets of a hedgehog’s history. Together? They became the foundation of what would come.

When Andy stepped away from the project in 2003, it was truly the end of an era.

Twenty years later, Andy Wolan, along with three charter members of the SSRG community, are coming together for the Sonic Stuff Research Group Reunion panel. Taking place at the Retro World Expo in Hartford, CT this will be the first time that these four individuals have ever been in the same room together, telling the story of what once was, and how it informs where we are now. Who knows what stories they have to tell? Or what wild things could happen live and in person?

Who are the others joining Andy on this trip down memory lane?

The expo will take place on August 26th and 27th of this year. A schedule has yet to be set, but the OG crew will be hosting two panels, “one for a general talk and historical reflection on SSRG and it’s impact, and another focusing on the technical challenges we faced as we attempted to tear into the classic games for the first time ever to figure out how they worked.”

If you plan on being in the area, be sure to check it out. For more information and future updates, be sure to keep an eye on the panel’s dedicated thread on the forums.

Game News

Oh Look, A New Sonic Game – Sonic Superstars Announced

It’s that time of year – Geoff Keighley is back on stage, looking business casual as he hosts the Summer Game Fest. Being a Sonic fan, you never really know if you’ll get anything at these events, yet you can’t resist tuning in anyway. Today, sandwiched between news about Remnant II and Honkai: Star Rail, a certain blue hedgehog suddenly ran onto the screen, with a certain weasel watching from the shadows.

Sonic Superstars is coming this fall. It’s a new Sonic game! That’s what we like, right?
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Fan Works, Hacking

Sonic Hacking Contest 2023 Announced, Trophies Listed, New Judges

Looking to introduce your Sonic hack or mod to the public at large? Want to put it to the test to see how it stacks among the rest? Wonder no longer as this year’s Sonic Hacking Contest is on track to arrive later this year in late October. This year introduces new guidelines and judges over last year’s event. Make sure to catch up to speed by taking a look at last year’s winning entries and the 2022 trailer showcase.

This year introduces upload limits, three per person, to address issues the community had raised over last year’s event and to ensure that judges are given time to address the community’s inevitably large output for this year. Entries will remain unlimited for team entries and non-judged Expo entries. To help tackle this workload, new judges have been introduced for the three entry types; ‘Retro’,’ 2DPC’ and ‘3D’ Entries. This is to also help ensure fairer evaluation for unique fan projects such as Sonic 3 A.I.R. mods that were introduced last year. The judges participating are subject to change before this year’s contest begins.

For more information on what to expect this year, head on over to the Hacking Contest’s website. You can also receive up-to-date information following the official Twitter account. Discuss the contest in the Sonic Hacking Contest 2023 thread on our forums as well as on Sonic Stuff Research Group’s own thread.

Opinion

I Never Wrote A Review For Sonic Origins, So Let’s Talk About It For A Minute

On June 23rd, 2022, Sonic the Hedgehog’s legally recognized birthday was celebrated by releasing a game compilation featuring some of his greatest adventures. Called Sonic Origins, it was a collection that many considered a no-brainer to put together. After all, people had been asking for the 2013 mobile versions of Sonic 1 and 2 on consoles and PCs for years, with the added hope that Sega could finally clear up the legal issues that were preventing Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (and/or Knuckles) to get the same widescreen, Retro Engine treatment. At a point when it was extremely unclear how Sonic Frontiers would turn out (spoilers: Frontiers ended up being pretty good!), Origins seemed the safe bet of having one solid, if not fantastic, release featuring our favorite hedgehog.

Then the game came out. And. Well. It was fine.

To preface: Sonic Retro was sent a review code for the game. I had intended on writing a review months ago, yet when I sat down, nothing came. After some false starts, I just sat there going “what do I actually want to say about this game?” So I kept on sitting. And thinking. And sitting. Got up to get some coffee. Played the game a bit more. Then gave up.

I know, I know. Exciting story.

It’s been over eight months since Origins came out. And with news that a physical version has been given a rating, it’s made me think once more about Origins. What worked, what didn’t, and why I couldn’t bring myself to write a review.

I don’t know if what follows is a review or not, but here we go.

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Opinion, Podcasts

SEGA Talk Podcast: Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble

On this SEGA Talk we dip back into the world of Classic Sonic with the portable classic Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble! We look at this Game Gear exclusive and the creation of Fang… or is it Nack?

[iTunes – Stitcher – YouTube – RSS – Download]

If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add  them as a comment below or send theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!

YdP BRXDA th SLF