With all the hype of Sonic Boom launching this month it seems right that I pick up the tie in comic which came out in the UK this week and start to get my head around this new re-imagining of our favorite blue hedgehog and friends.
As many of you aware, The Sonic Stadium recently finished a massive community project in the form of a music album, which they used to close out the SSR feed before it went down for maintenance.
Thanks to the lovely Dreadknux and TSS staff, I have had a copy of the album for perusal and I thought I’d do a personal review of the album for EC.
The album itself boasts 45 tracks of which some are original as well as remixes of songs throughout the “generations” as it were of Sonic’s history. We’re talking about games that span throughout the “Classic” era on the Mega Drive/Genesis to the “Dreamcast” era to the “Modern” era, as well as take useage from some handheld titles and throwing a bit of a Generation-esque spin on some titles, like the track below from FreenInGreen:
For an album that comprises over 4 discs worth of music, it’s a spectacular piece of work, and an amazing piece of community interaction.
That’s not to say it’s all gold though. While it is ALOT of music provided by the community, there are some low points within the album, things that just don’t seem right. But I think it’s fair to say that the good on the album far outweighs the bad, and don’t get me wrong, there is ALOT of good on this 4 discs worth of awesome. Like the track below from Plumegeist:
For the nostalgia fan in you, it’s really good to listen to the album without the song titles showing and then realising what certain tracks are from which games. You get that warm feeling when you hear that familiar tune without watching the title for the track.
I was a BIG Dynamite Headdy fan back in the day, and I was really looking forward to seeing what this album could deliver. As it stands, it’s an absolutely fantastic album, which reeks of pure nostalgia as well as gives a slightly modern feel with all the updated musical tools available.
With a strong 26 tracks, between 14 artists, it has some diversity. Although some artists have hands in multiple tracks, the majority of the album has a very unique feel to it.
One of my favourite tracks, although early in the album (very early, we’re talking track 2), is “Redbot Gives You Wings”, which you can find below. Lots of memories from the opening riff, if you’ve played the game, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Overall, I REALLY like this album, and I suggest to you all to immediately download and give your ears a good dose of awesome.
The music album is available via direct download in .MP3 and .FLAC format from the Secret Bonus Point website.
Feel free to mention in the comments below what your favourite track from the album is!
This week, I took a moment to review Sonic Free Riders on the Xbox 360.
You can catch a sample of the review here…
Having picked up the Kinect and subsequently Free Riders recently, I decided to give it a go and see how it felt. Generally, the game is very good, for something that was apparantly made within 6 months. But there are a few niggling issues that are very obvious.
The biggest of these being that while in the middle of a race, it can jump onto a pause menu, which then leads onto the frustration of losing your current in game pose while you either try to physically continue, or even verbally continue. Loosing your stance midgame is one of those highly crucial things that can make or break a race.
Other niggling items revolve around the innacuracy of the Kinect movements. The issues are more noticeable on bends in the actual raceways, as it doesn’t always pick up body bends for the game to notice. Although a player can adjust to these, and make further adjustments, it requires larger playing spaces, which is one of the Kinect’s general downfalls.
As usual, you can find the review in it’s entirety here at Radio SEGA
Last week, I updated you folks with a review I performed back in April on Spiral Knights. this week, however, I took a more updated look at the game by Three Rings and SEGA.
So, what has happened in the realm of the Clockworks in the last 4 months?
Recently, we have had the official announcement of a million players on Spiral Knights, which, I imagine quite a few of those have come from the also recent Steam partnership.
Slightly prior to that, we had the first new low-tier boss addition in the form of the Snarbolax, which is great fun, and a really good introduction to specific tactics used for bosses for low-tier players.
We have also seen the inclusion of the in-game auction house, which if you’ll notice, is one of the things I felt was one of Spiral Knights’ flaws at the time. Talking to some of the older SK players, some feel, that the auction house has taken slightly away from the community feel of trading, which, it does, to an extent, but then, it allows those players, who don’t like to talk openly with strangers, to actually help themselves in the game. Overall, I think it is still an overall improvement to it’s in-game economy structure as well.
More recently, after the Steam partnership, we have had the new Tier 2 boss of the Roarmulus Twins. Which, I personally, have managed to defeat for the first time quite recently, and it was a REALLY good boss encounter. The levels prior to it, are slightly overtuned, and even the slightest bit of lag can hamper getting through there solo, but as a party group, theres definately some extra margin. But overall, it’s really fun, which is the most important thing.
You can read the rest of this follow-up review here, and remember you can check out all other reviews done by the Radio SEGA review team on the site as well!
There was an announcement that I spotted a while back for the Project 20 music album, created and produced by the folks over at Sonic Paradox. Now while I was interested, I kind of forgot this was happening until AAUK of Sonic Wrecks mentioned on his Radio Redux show about the album.
To which I was reminded of it, and promptly went to download it from their site, and have been listening to the tracks for the last few days to get a good feel of it.
There is a lot of nostalgia value in the 28 odd tracks available, there are certain tracks you can expect to be about, and a few of which you don’t. An example of which, is currently my favourite on the setlist, goes by the name of “The Burning Wing”, which is a remix of a track from Sonic the Fighters.
Don’t get me wrong of course, there is a lot of good tracks for perusal there. Most of which use different melodic tones and styles. A name that jumped straight of the composer list was Blake Robinson, as I remember certain Sonic related sites linking his orchestral medley of a smittering of tracks from Sonic’s 1,2 and 3. His outing on Project 20, certainly doesn’t disapoint either. Going by the name of “Flight of the Robotnik”, which is a combination of boss themes from Sonic’s 1,2,3 and Knuckles. The first time I had actually heard this song though, admittedly, was via Mike Pollock‘s Facebook feed, I enjoyed it then, and I enjoy it even more so that I can listen to it at my leisure.
My only complaint, overall, with the album, is that there is a few tracks done by one composer, instead of one track per composer. Probably due to time restraints on both composers and a set time limit to get the album out to general populace.
By checking the Sonic Paradox forums, you can see that there was an original load more songs ot be there, which would of made the album really big. As such, it’s a shame that all are not available, as it would of most likely added a lot more depth and variety with a more varied composer list.
A while back, while doing reviews for Radio SEGA, I did a small review of Spiral Knights a little while after it’s release back in it’s infant days. upon reflection and considering it’s considered to be a “MMO” game (Massivly Multiplayer Online, for those of you not in the know).
Considering that there have been several updates to the game in general, including two low-tier bosses, and more recently a Player vs Player arena type option, I felt like a link to the previous review I had once done for Radio SEGA before I take an updated look and do a re-review of how I believe, in my opinion, the game now stands.
Spiral Knights is a “Free-to-Play Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game”. Developed by Three Rings Design and published by SEGA.
A free-to-play MMO, doesn’t really appeal to me at a perspective off the bat, mainly due to the fact I will know, from experience that it will cost some monetary in-game item. But with this in mind, I hooked up with Capn Cloudchaser and The Tall Guy, and we set about discovering the wonder of what Spiral Knights had to offer.
Jumping headlong in, the character creation screen offers few choices, but enough to get a semi-unique look to get you started. So after spending a few minutes finding something that looked decent and grabbing a name, our newly created hero finds themselves thrust headlong into our tutorial level to learn how to move and attack.
Now, while the tutorial doesn’t show and tell you everything off the bat, you do learn enough to get started. Which is always good in any game. Learn by doing, and you do quite well. Get introduced to some starter enemies, and then proceed thusly into your first town. Where, by talking to some of the ever-present NPC’s you learn about your vendors and also, some lore about the game and area itself.
Your next area, is the intermission “training area” between this hub and your main hub staging areas, and the main thing this part of the tutorial teaches you is the party system. Unlike some other MMO’s, you don’t form your parties in the hub worlds and more when going to your dungeon areas. Now for your tutorial dungeon, you can complete it solo, or you can form and gather a party as you go, when you get into the “main” dungeons you can form your parties from your friends list and guild, which is what we did, and while talking over Skype had a fun time of it as well.
There are a few limitations to just constantly dungeon running though, each floor you trek in requires a cost of 10 energy. Now overly this isn’t an issue, because energy can be regained in a few ways. You can regain 1 energy every 15 minutes, and for you math buffs out there, that would make 25 hours to regain your entire energy bar. So, for something a player can generally empty in the space of 1-2 hours, takes more then a day to refill naturally, and at time of writing, I am unaware if this can happen while you are offline from the game.
Whatever you may think about the Sonic games the music has always been a high point managing to stay fresh and interesting for most of Sonic’s 20 years. From the simple yet catchy melodies of the early 90’s Mega Drive/Genesis console offerings, to the more recent soft rock approach of the late 90’s to now where we have the latest evolution in the sound of Sonic in Colours which I can only seem to define as a mix between a full orchestral and techno.
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