Saturday, 31 December 2011

15th Anniversary Duet of Dreams Dreams!

How's this for a "Sega Memory"? Cameron Strother, the man that as a young boy sang in the game NiGHTS into Dreams, contacted recently with a rather special gift: a brand new duet of the song "Dreams Dreams" between himself and Jasmine Ann Allen, the other original singer! Jasmine sung this song for the Wii sequel on her own but this is the first time since the original Saturn game that they have sung it together! They were both just kids when they originally did this and as a bonus Cameron sent this message reminiscing about his time working on the game and visiting Sega's headquarters.

I was very young when I first heard and sang this song. I'm not sure how many years ago it was now but it seems like I recorded it a year or two before NiGHTS was released. It was my first paid singing job. I was paid a handsome sum (didn't mean much to a kid) and was given an armful of Sega Saturn games (meant the world). More than the money or even the games though, I remember the special feeling I got when visited the Sega HQ building. Video games were my chocolate so I felt like I was walking around Willy Wonka's factory, witnessing a magical process.
I remember seeing the early plans for a game that was supposed to replace Sonic the Hedgehog as Sega's new flagship series. I was supposed to keep quiet about it but I told all my Japanese school friends about this amazing new game that was coming out and how I had seen the secret last boss. Suffice to say, It was an awesome experience and it holds a very special place in my childhood memories and I was glad to revisit that happy time by singing Dreams Dreams again. I myself am a big NiGHTS fan and I'm still holding out for a proper sequel or at least a good re-release for the current generation of consoles.
Thanks for keeping NiGHTS alive!

-Cameron Strother
You can download the MP3 of this new track over at!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Metal Sonic Statue is almost here! Production photos!

 Eeek! It's the brotherhood of Metallix!

I love when First4Figures does this. They have put up production photos of the Metal Sonic statue on their Facebook. You know what this means? They are almost ready for shipment! This also means a big chunk of cash will be leaving my bank account. Ouch.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sonic CD's Secret Strategy Guide

Believe it or not, this is the American strategy guide for Sonic CD! Back in 1994, between the release of Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, strategy guide publisher Brady Games released this guide. The book covers all of Sonic 3, but as Sonic and Knuckles had yet to be released and because Sonic 3 itself was on the short side, the guide itself came up short. I assume Brady Games solution was to fill the last third of the book with a year too late guide to Sonic CD. In celebration of the rerelease of Sonic's SEGA CD classic, let's crack open this book and take a look inside!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

My Sonic CD Art Contest Entry

So Sega has given us the get go to publish our entries for the Sonic CD art contest they set up some time back, with the results being shown on their blog later today. I got e-mailed this morning that I was one of the 50 UK winners! This means I'll be getting a copy of the soundtrack sent in the post! Here's my entry..

..and now you'll know why I wrote so much about the hidden art from the sound test in my previous article! because that was such an inspirational and bizarre element from the game, I decided to pay tribute to it in my entry. It's a re-creation of this art from the game below, with references to most of the other hidden pics too, see if you can spot them!

I guess it was a bit of a risk picking this scene as I wasn't sure if the judges would even recognise it, or if it would even be in the new re-release, although it turns out that not only is it still in, but the Taxman even went to the effort of animating the DJ Robotnik and sticking him on the soundtrack select screen! How cool is that?

You'll notice the creature from that one artwork that inspired a character out of me is also hiding within the image. Well I had to go one step further and remake the entire picture didn't I?

Obviously this wasn't entered into the contest, that would be pushing it! I only put this together yesterday for a laugh really. But really, the only way to experience this image is for it to have the music with it, in particular what played with it on the American version of the game so you go!

UPDATE: Sega have uploaded all the winners to their Flickr account here. Some truly amazing pieces in there, check it out.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sonic CD is my life.

Sonic CD is something of a special game to me. game play and level layout wise, it's not my favourite game and not even my favourite Sonic game, but the art style, soundtrack and general tone of the game is by far the one that has stuck with me the most ever since I played it in 1994 when I was 8. Incoming long ramble about Sonic CD inspired moments of my childhood and beyond!

The first Sonic game I played was Sonic 2, although I think it may have actually been both the cartoons and the fleetway comic that first got me into the character. We got a second hand Mega CD out of the local newspaper classified section and it came with a bunch of games including Sonic CD. I have owned this copy of the game ever since, mainly because barring eBay I have never seen another copy for sale since, same case with most of my Mega CD games.

Childhood doodles and my top 20 favorite pieces of music from the game after the jump!

Today is 'Buy Sonic CD' day.

I did a post like this back when the new downloadable port of Daytona USA was released and I'm doing it again now because Sega deserves to be shown when they do something oh so right. Sonic CD is being released for the X-Box Live Arcade and Playstation Network (in Europe anyway, PSN America gets it in a week) as well as iPhone and Android devices (with PC and Windows Phone releases coming early next year) for an absolutely bargain price across all the formats of $5/£3.59, especially considering just what a special re-release this is.

Re-built by programmer extraordinaire Christian Whitehead, previously known for producing some of the slickest fan games in the community  in his custom built Retro Engine, this is how you port a game right (coughcoughbackbonecough) and is now the definitive version of the game thanks to containing both soundtracks, solid 60fps and widescreen support, and extras including an option for the Sonic 2 spin dash and the ability to play as Tails!

So what are you waiting for? It's an absolute steal of a price and is better than ever before. I have another article about Sonic CD coming later in the day, so watch this space.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

New shirt designs from Meat Bun: including Alex Kidd!

Meat Bun have been selling unique creative video game t-shirts for quite some time now (such as the day of the Dead inspired Samba De Amigo design) and recently they released a new batch of designs including 2 Sega themed ones! First off, an Alex Kidd design! Never thought I'd see that! This one can be bought in either red or black and is illustrated by Ashley Davis, who has a great Tumblr dedicated to un-sung video game character illustrations, with many Sega characters!
Next up is 'Needlemouse' which is very much the same concept of some of the artwork displayed at the Sonic Generation art exhibit in that it gives us the bastard love child of Sonic and Mickey Mouse. This one is up for grabs in blue, black and gray. They are all available at $24 each. Must admit I need more t-shirts like I need a bullet to the head but I'm tempted in that Alex Kidd one!

Sonic CD Developer Diary with Kazuyuki Hoshino!

Wow, this came out of no where. With Sonic CD due to be released this week there hasn't been a whole lot of marketing for it yet now Sega have released this rather special video. In it art director Kazuyuki Hoshino shows us a whole ton of concept art from the game, including a lot that has never been seen before! What a wonderful surprise for fans of the game! Now all I'm wondering is why the room he is sitting in is full of rocks..maybe he's in the past version of that room?

Friday, 9 December 2011

Another display of Sonic Art, this time in a French magazine.

So there is another show of art celebrating Sonic's 20th anniversary, but in this case rather than an exhibit this a collection of art produced for French magazine 'Amusement'. Also unlike the Generation exhibit in the US, many of these are photography and digital illustration based rather than paintings and sculptures. For example these two illustrations representing classic and modern Sonic and pop culture from their eras (or the years 1991 and 2011 to be particular).

So classic gets the Terminator, Michael Jackson, a Mega Drive controller, Silence of the Lambs and Nirvana, whereas modern gets Justin Bieber, Avatar, a Wii remote and a Facebook 'like' button? And you thought having green eyes was modern Sonic's biggest problem! Haha, I kid. Still, it's mighty clever is it not?

See more examples after the jump!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Another Sonic Generations Statue is Coming, This Time from Jazwares

Thought the Wii charger, the Collector's Edition, the First4Figures exclusive and the Japanese arcade prize were the only Sonic Generations statues we'd be seeing? Jazwares says "think again". Due to arrive the first quarter of 2012 is another statue featuring classic and modern Sonic, only this time the two aren't standing around. Instead, they're running side by side much like they do in the game's teaser trailer and box art. Note the "exclusive game codes", I'll best they're statue codes for the statue room in Generations. The big ring is very shiny, I hope the final figure released has that shine to the ring. At first I thought the blue bits under their feet was water, but I'll bet they're trying to depict that blue energy that Sonic creates when he boosts.

Unlike past figures, this one will be quite easy to find. In fact, fans can pre-order it for only $21.99 over at (retail price is $24.99). They even ship internationally, for those fans who don't trust their home country to offer the statue. I'd assume other stores, like Gamestop and Toys R Us will carry it come next year.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Let's Go to the "Sonic Generation" Art Show in Philadelphia!

When Gagaman wrote about the "Sonic Generation" fan art show in Philadelphia, PA, I knew I had to make the long trek to check it out. Grabbing my old near-broken digital camera (my new one is being repaired), I headed out into the tepid weather and braved the 9 minute subway ride to the Brave New Worlds comic book shop. The show, which is actually rather small despite the spiffy website, features various renditions of Sonic, Tails and Eggman from a variety of artists. Located in the outer lobby of Brave New Worlds, the gallery takes up what usually would have been a blank wall.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Check Out the "Virtua Tennis – 10 Years Gone" Documentary!

Out of nowhere, SEGA has released an awesome 40 minute long documentary to celebrate Virtua Tennis's tenth anniversary! Lots of emphasis on the mechanics of the game, and the history. Series creator Mie Kumagai even gets in front of the camera and shares her thoughts! Virtua Tennis has long been one of my favorite franchises, despite me having very little interest in the actual sport of tennis. It's just SUCH a SEGA game: the music, the arcade gameplay, the quirky mini-games and the fun SEGA references. Enjoy the documentary and make sure to play your favorite version of Virtua Tennis this week.