So I picked up Sonic Mania from the US eShop in the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. When you see a deal, gotta go fast, right?
I’m not the biggest Sonic fan by any means but I did grow up around (not exactly with) Sonic games for the Megadrive. Of those early Sonic games I spent the most time with my favourite, Sonic 2. 2017, 25 years after Sonic 2 was released, Sega finally released a worthy successor. I kid of course – it’s fun to argue which of the classic Megadrive games is the best but honestly they all have something to recommend them. Post-Megadrive though, there’s no doubt that the Sonic series went from system seller to mixed bag. After all that Sonic’s been through I’m amazed how well Sonic Mania turned out. To the point where I have no qualms saying this is the best Sonic game ever made, even after just a few short hours. Continue reading
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Megadrive/Genesis was a childhood staple of mine. I played it every which way, learning the levels and special stages, even though I never owned the game personally till the Gamecube era courtesy of Sonic Mega Collection. I don’t have that kind of hyper-nostalgia for Sonic as I do for a game like Goldeneye on N64, say, and I am well aware of Sonic 2’s flaws. But on a recent gaming podcast I heard someone describe their first experience with Sonic 2 as an adult, and their picking apart the game’s issues bordered on painful listening. It was so incredibly different to my own time with Sonic – a long, long time, made up of lots of short bursts spread over years of my life, my entire childhood…!
I wish I had grown up with Burning Rangers in the same way. Or if that’s too much to ask, just chatting with someone who had had that experience would be really fascinating. For me, coming to this game now, it just doesn’t fit into with my wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am gaming style of late (see the GGTOW manifesto for more deets). Continue reading
Welcome to a very special NiGHTS into Dreams themed episode, wherein we plumb the depths of this unique 2D/3D hybrid flight-based racing/platforming/action game! Buckle up for nostalgia…
Episode 10: Nostalgic NiGHTS
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There are many accounts of what makes a given game great. And just as many about what makes a game appalling, terrible and an utter time-waster (go check out reviews for Bubsy 3D, Superman 64, Big Mutha Truckers and so on). The challenge with Sonic Adventure though is to consider what exactly makes it so… mediocre. Competent. So-so.
Trying to point to why exactly Sonic Adventure is so average has become a strangely compelling challenge for me. I complained in my post about Nights: Journey of Dreams about Sonic Team’s storytelling in the Sonic Adventure games, I whined on the most recent podcast episode that Sonic Adventure isn’t challenging (and for that reason isn’t memorable), but I’m still (sadly?) finding more left unsaid about the remarkable unremarkableness of this game. Continue reading
Now, I only have limited access to a Wii, but when I found this game going for £2 at a local shop I could hardly say no. The original NiGHTS Into Dreams, which I have a few brief posts about is one of my favourite games, dare I say, ever. I was of course aware that its 2007 sequel, Journey of Dreams, got a fairly muted reception upon its release, garnering fairly average reviews and I imagine less-than-fairly-high sales. But, thankfully, from the little I’ve played, Journey of Dreams does at least retain the exact same gameplay of the original, with the expected modern visual effects and clarity. I haven’t played enough yet to talk much about the game as a whole, but I felt compelled to post because the opening to this game is revealing of a number of issues from the word “go”.
This brilliant arrangement of the Nights Into Dreams theme song, Dreams Dreams, is a tribute to my neighbours, we’re not halfway into November and yet Christmas decorations and fairy lights are already up in their garden. It’s completely inexplicable but so damn good at the same time.