Scroll to the bottom or follow me on Twitter (@ShhActNaturally) for updates.
Look how happy and relaxed I am in the above photo. Well, that won’t last long. My 24 hour marathon of Sonic games starts with this very post. Between now and 9:30AM Eastern tomorrow, I will be doing nothing but sitting on me bum, fiddling around with Sonic titles from all corners of the blue blur’s world, and eating chili dogs. My original intention was to stream this entire event live via justin.tv, but my ancient Mac has refused to recognize any webcam plugged into it. Because of this frustrating setback, I will be setting aside an hour at about noon-ish to further fiddle with it in hopes of getting some stream up. So really, this thing starts now (8:30AM Eastern) and will go for 25 hours (9:30AM Eastern tomorrow). Provided that I still can’t get my stupid webcam to cooperate, I will be posting one short article every hour, detailing my waning morale and games that I played inside the hour.
Also, please be aware that PRIZE WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED TODAY!
These prizes include the awesome Sonic shirt and the copy of Sonic CD I put up for grabs over the past couple of weeks, but that’s not all! I have two more prizes that I will be announcing today, and if you want to win either of them, comment on any of the 24 posts you’ll be seeing from me over the course of the day. If you still haven’t commented to win these amazing works of art, you can still go back to either of these articles to comment and get your chance at winning a prize.
For more more up-to-date…er…updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter @ShhActNaturally. I will be posting games and announcing winners from there as well. If you send me a tweet pertaining to this Sonic malarky, I will throw it in the running for today’s prizes as well!
Oh! and if you have any ideas on how to get an old 10.4.11 Mac to recognize a new webcam without the use of a program like Photo Shop, please let me know. I am a complete moron with these things, and I have been fighting with it for a whole different 24 hour marathon. If anybody can help me succeed in getting a livefeed of this thing going, you will automatically win an awesome Sonic poster. Cause that’s just how awesome I am. Alright everybody. It’s about 8:30 now. I will kick things off with Sonic The Hedgehog on my Genesis, naturally. Wish me luck!
8:30-9:30 – Played a bunch of Sonic The Hedgehog for the Genesis. You know. It has Blast Processing and stuff. I was driven mad by the same little bits, like that moving platform that always catches me off guard and crushes me in Spring Yard Zone, or the slow-ass lava platforms in Marble Zone. By the way, has anybody else noticed that Marble Zone looks remarkably similar to Altered Beast’s environments? Is this common knowledge and I’m just an idiot noob? Educate me then. For breakfast, I gorged myself on coffee and these:
They’re these peach-flavored ring candy things. Since I want to feel EXACTLY like Sonic today, I found the only ring-looking thing that I could at the grocery store. Now I’m gonna crash from the sugar high in less than an hour. Shit.
9:30AM – 11:00AM – I’ve played the bulk of Sonic 2, my future wife. I realized just now why Sonic 2’s soundtrack is so damn amazing. Each song is just so specific to the theme of the level. Whereas just about all other 2D Sonics have great music that’s still kind of indistinct, Sonic 2’s music switches up genres and sounds to apply to the stages perfectly. Hilltop Zone sounds like it came straight out of the mountains of Kentucky. Mystic Cave Zone has this creepy vibe and even includes the simulated sounds of a theremin!
I will probably be returning to Sonic 2 later today to see if I can do a speedy run through. I usually take my time after the third or fourth zone, just because I enjoy the game so much, but I’d be curious to see how quickly I can beat it.
Gotta take my dog out to pee soon. I can see he’s getting restless. I think I’ve managed to make him really hate Sega. Sorry buddy.
11:00AM – 12:30 PM – Finished off Sonic 2. I wish more of Sonic’s final bosses were as balls-out challenging as this one. I think I’ve only successfully beaten that giant Robotnik robot maybe ten times or so. And that music! So ominous.
I went to the opposite side of Sonic’s lifespan with Sonic Colors next. After spending hours playing stuff like Secret Rings and Sonic 2006, I can appreciate Colors so much more. I think I’ve played that Planet Wisp Act 1 stage more than any most 3D Sonic levels… Well, let me rephrase that. I’ve played the first half of Planet Wisp more than most 3D Sonic levels. I get so into it, and then die cheaply again and again. Dammit Colors. Stop playing with me!
Same goes for Asteroid Coaster. So much fun until shit turns upside down. Ugh.
Time to take the dog out for a walk and then check on my webcam. I doubt it will work, but here goes nothing.
12:30PM – 1:30PM – It appears that the webcam streaming is just not gonna happen this time. I’m so sorry folks. I let you down.
Speaking of letdowns, I played a couple more stages of the enjoyable Sonic Colors (I had to play just one act from Sweet Mountain before I moved on) and then switched over to Knuckles Chaotix. Maaaan I was way too easy on that thing in my article. It’s no wonder the game has an autosave feature, as I rarely beat more than one level at a time before it froze again!
I got so pissed at the bizarre level design in some areas that I think I scared my dog. Sorry, pup. This is only the first truly annoying game I’ve picked up today, so it’s not all bad. At least there’s enough quirky power-ups (like one that makes you giant!) and odd design choices to really set it apart. But just for the record, Knuckles Chaotix and I are no longer on speaking terms. I ended a level with NEGATIVE RINGS? That’s just abuse. I’m sure I’ll take him back though. What, these bruises? I just… Fell down some stairs. KNUCKLES CHAOTIX LOVES ME, YOU DON’T KNOW HIM LIKE I DO!
1:30 – 3:00 PM – In anticipation of the 3DS release, I decided to pop in Sonic: Triple Trouble on my Game Gear… Then my Game Gear died. Like, DIED died. Died like pogs and tamagatchis. Technology really does hate me.
Luckily, I have the thing on my Sonic Gems collection. This was the first time I’ve played a Game Gear game on my TV, and I’ll tell you, it’s a trip. Felt like I was shrinking or something.
Anyway, I had forgotten just how good Triple Trouble actually was. There’s so much creativity coursing through the thing, with tons of unique level hazards, bosses that AREN’T ROBOTNIK, and awesome power-ups including snowboards (!), springs you can ride (!!), and rocket shoes that let you fly (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). It just smacks of the ingenuity and bold experimentation that made Sega’s earliest efforts so great. Anyone who didn’t dig Sonic 4’s safe really ought to snag this when it comes out on the 3DS. It’s worth it, trust me. Also, this:
I’m getting kind of jittery. All I’ve eaten today are those peach rings. Ugh.
And the winner of the SONIC SHIRT IS…JumpinCrabs!!! HOLY SHIRT, YOU WON! Send your shipping information to segaaddictJosh@gmail.com and I will get it on over to you! I currently have an XL shirt ready. If you need a different size, let me know and I will try to accommodate.
3:00PM – 4:30PM – I started up Sonic CD, and immediately remembered why I’m so torn about it. There’s so much in it that works so well for 2D Sonic, but for every clever tweak, there’s a handful of ideas that simply don’t work.
By the way, does anybody else cringe at the jumping sound in Sonic CD or Knuckles Chaotix? Cause it makes me insane. There’s something so… Plastic-y about it. I can’t explain it. It’s just awful.
I didn’t get all the way through Sonic CD, as my dog knocked over a stack of DVDs and discovered that DVDs make loud sounds when they fall over. Of course, he is now terrified of them. I spent a good ten minutes just trying to calm him down with some treats.
I must admit I’m already getting a little worn. Just trying to muster the occasional pithy comment for Twitter is a day’s work in itself. Add that to a dog who hates videogames, a hallucinatory sugar crash, and Knuckles Chaotix, and I’m ready to eat through my living room walls.
4:30 – 5:30 – Now I’m really switching it up. I played through a campaign of Sonic: The Fighters. Naturally, I played with Knuckles. I find it very hard to believe that anybody else in the Sonic roster would stand a chance against him in a fist fight.
I wrote an Underappreciated Gems article about The Fighters some time back, and I stand by just about every point I made in it. I have a strange crush on this game. It’s goofy, stupid, flimsy and short, but there’s just so much to be said about the game’s endless supply of fan service and perky personality.
Everything was going great for a little while, but then I hit a snag that I was not expecting.
I know, right? TAILS? KNUCKLES? VS. TAILS? Of course Knuckles would mop the floor with that high-pitched ninny-whimper. Of course I wasn’t going to have to play the same stage a good six times, repeatedly cursing Tails for his ability to fly and flail his arms like a petulant third-grader. Of course I wasn’t gonna cry. A lot.
Ok yeah so Tails beat me. Again and again. Finally, I managed to catch him from behind with a couple gliding moves and a few road spikes to the cheek, but dammit I hate Tails a hell of a lot more now.
Keep watching the site or subscribe to @ShhActNaturally on Twitter to find out who won the next big prize, A COPY OF SONIC CD! I will be announcing the winner at 8PM Eastern via Twitter, and shortly thereafter on the main site.
While we’re at it, I have one more announcement. ANOTHER PRIZE IS UP FOR GRABS!
It’s this radical and tubular SONIC POSTER!
The game is the same: just leave some comments below, and I’ll choose my favorite for the win! As with the rest of these prizes, the winner will be announced later on in the marathon.
6:00PM – 7:30PM Eastern – Ok, I just burned through a whole bunch of Sonic Adventure DX levels. I had never done the trial mode on my XBLA version before, so it was a pleasant surprise to see Tails following me around. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I like seeing that little squirt hurt himself. Is that particularly creepy?
I played through most of Sonic’s versions of Emerald Coast, Windy Valley, Ice Cap, Twinkle Park, Speed Highway, and Red Mountain. When just burning through the purest essence of Sonic Adventure, it’s easy to see why this game still boasts so many stalwart defenders. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something here that gave me exactly what I wanted from a 3D Sonic. What’s even better is that it doesn’t hold your hand. Sure, glitches often carry me off edges, and being able to run wherever I want makes it all too easy to kill myself, but having that freedom is just so liberating when it works.
I also played my favorite Knuckles stage, Red Mountain. People give his admittedly bland bits a lot of crap, but being able to glide and climb to peaks you didn’t even know existed is just undeniably fun. There’s a sense of discovery that comes with Knuckles’ levels that isn’t really present for anyone else.
Also, just for shits and giggles– Ok, just shits– I played a Big The Cat level. It sucked. I’ve never played Sega Bass Fishing, but if it’s anything like this, I hate Sega for releasing it as part of the Dreamcast Collection. For shame.
Here’s how I’m feeling now:
AND THE WINNER OF A COPY OF SONIC CD IS… SCOTTYMOFOSHO! Somehow, I didn’t pick up on the fact that my copy of Shadow the Hedgehog was a Greatest Hits edition, and he pointed this out. Thanks for making me vomit, Scotty! Email me your info at segaaddictJosh@gmail.com, and I’ll send you your prize!
7:30 – 9:00PM – I can’t believe it’s nine o’clock already. I’ve been playing for about 12 hours (not counting the few minutes here and there for tweets and website updates), and my eyelids are starting to get a wee bit heavy. BUT PAH! I’VE GOT LOADS OF ENERGY TO SPARE!
I just played all four major zones of Sonic 4. I spent a little extra time trying to finally get those last couple of Chaos Emeralds I need, but they continue to allude me. Sega really wants us to work for those things, eh? I purposely put off Sonic 4’s Legends Of The Hidden Temple stages until the very end, because I just didn’t want to deal with that awful torch puzzle. Sure enough, I decided that I had had enough once I finally reached that dreaded area. What was Dimps thinking? Ugh.
I’m now ready to continue into the night with my head held high and my Pepsi Max clutched in my mits. If I get hungry during the night, I’ve got all the ingredients for a decent chili dog… I’m serious.
9:00PM – 11:15PM – It’s been little longer since I last updated, but with good reason. Per Sega Addicts reader grolt’s recommendation, I picked up Sonic Jam for this here event. I fiddled around in the Sonic World bits for the first time, and my face is still plastered with a ninny-hammer grin. If you aren’t aware of Sonic World, it’s sort of a “What If” chunk of 3D Sonic gameplay that never made its way into its own game. While the controls and camera need some real tweaking, I really would have loved to see this fleshed out into a full title. Sort of the Mario 64 of Sonic, if you will. Will you? Good.
Let me say that this version of 3D Sonic is utterly adorable. Seeing his pudgy blue body on runty little legs just makes me want to play Sonic Generations that much more. I want to cuddle up to him like he’s a puppy nibbling on his tail. OOOOSHIE KOOSHIE BOOSHIE LITTLE SONIC WONIC WIDDLE WUBBUMS!…
Where was I? Oh yes. This miniaturized hub world is peppered with little morsels of Sonic fan service, including museums for character art, Sonic history tidbits, cheats for the Genesis games, and even some unreleased CG footage. This is probably one of the least experienced Sonic things out there, I’ll post a few chunks below for your viewing pleasure. I apologize for the deplorable quality. In the interest of saving time, I just used my phone for documentation purposes.
I laughed at this photo for approximately 12 minutes. Every single element is just pitch-perfect.
When I was done with all that, I figured I might as well dive into Sonic & Knuckles, since it was on the disc. Except for some inexplicable sound effect changes, it’s the same great game.
I will say that the unnecessary length of the later zones really got to me this time around. My running time for the awful Act 2 of Sandopolis Zone? 8:50. For the slightly less irritating Act 2 of Lava Reef? 7:36. I know they were just trying to flesh a smaller game with these needlessly long zones, but simply stretching out the existent gameplay makes things frustrating and tiresome, especially for a series that’s built on a foundation of speed and momentum. I love Sonic and Knuckles, but I despise Sandopolis Zone with everything that makes me a human.
Getting tired. And, as ninjajosh points out, grumpy as hell. Now I’m playing Sonic and the Secret Rings… Blech.
11:30PM – 1:30AM – Oh boy, I’m starting to feel it. It first kind of hit me at around 12:30PM. My eyelids are starting to feel heavy. My mind keeps habitually drifting to the concept of slumber. I keep trying to remind myself that sleep isn’t an option, but my brain just reacts like a confused puppy who doesn’t yet understand his master’s command. I don’t wanna see hedgehogs anymore. Especially blue ones. So why stay awake. NO! NO, DAMMIT!
It may very well be my play session with Sonic and the Secret Rings that did it. My emotions keep going back and forth with this game. At times, I even wonder if I’ve been way too harsh on it in the past. There are some really lovely moments throughout the campaign. Stages like Pirate Storm, Sand Oasis, Evil Foundry and Dinosaur Jungle have some breath-taking set pieces and deliver a rush that just isn’t present in a lot of modern Sonic titles. It’s just that the basic foundation of the game’s ludicrous implementation of motion control is flat out broken. I will never understand why the developers insisted upon making Sonic move perpetually forward. It completely strips the player of any sense of control or coherence. Whereas most of Sonic’s worst adventures feel far too loose, Secret Rings’ control feels frustratingly restrictive. No amount of special moves and upgrades can mollify that aggravation.
I can’t believe I’ve still got another 7 1/2 hours to go.
You can do it Josh. Just have another refreshing Pepsi Max.
By the way, I just realized what my coffee table looks like right now. I just thought I’d share it with you all.
1:30 – 3:00 AM – It makes me sad to say it, but I’ve played through all of the Genesis 2D Sonics now. I’ve still got plenty of great games available to me, but I can’t help but feel a little sad that I still have games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic 2006 sitting in front of me, and not Sonic & Knuckles.
Sonic 3 is good. Very good. I don’t know what to say about it, to be honest with you. It doesn’t have all that many differences from Sonic & Knuckles, except that the levels aren’t as creative and the music isn’t as catchy. But that’s all subjective opinion. It’s 3AM and all I can think about is that theme song for the Sonic cartoon show. Not the Jaleel White chili dogs one. No, the uber-dramatic “FASTEST THING ALIIIIIIVE” one. Sonic, he can really move. Sonic, he’s got an attitude!
I’ve been running my remaining gaming options through my mind, and there’s really quite a few.
-Sonic 3D Blast
-Sonic and the Black Knight
-Both Tails games on the Game Gear
-Sonic Adventure 2
-Any of the Sonic Advances (though my DS Phat is dead and I can’t seem to find my charger)
Anybody else awake? Anybody have a preference? Anybody know what human flesh tastes like?
I’ve pretty much come to the decision that I will finish this marathon with the Sonic Generations demo. Seems like the perfect button to bookend things, and I’ve been dying to play it ever since it was announced. My hands have just been a little, *ahem* full.
3:00 – 4:30AM – I feel bad for Sonic and the Black Knight. The game was released after one of the biggest disappointments in Sonic’s modern history. For a short period, people actually seemed resistant to the fabled “Sonic Cycle,” but that could only last so long. From the outside, Black Knight just looked like it was ridden with the same awful issues as Secret Rings. Sonic is set in a world we don’t care about, put through a story that we don’t care about, and then… Given a sword? Are you kidding me?
I, like so many others, had ignored Black Knight. I felt so betrayed and exhausted by the frustration that came with Secret Rings that I simply couldn’t bring myself to accept that a game about a sword-weilding medieval Sonic could fathomably have any redeeming factors.
Going in with no expectations or even interest saved me with this game. After playing a bunch, I can tell you– it ain’t that bad.
Sure, it’s pointless in Sonic’s lifeline. There’s no real reason for this game to exist other than to give Secret Rings a sequel. The sword combat is serviceable at best, but really, how many high-quality sword fighting games does the Wii have? Red Steel 2 and… … …? Anything?
To be honest with you, I really quite enjoyed my time fiddling with this game. The levels are some of the prettiest things I’ve seen on the Wii in a while. The combat, while simple and flailing, is mindless fun that’s easy to understand. Best of all, Sega really seemed to have been listening with our complaints with Secret Rings. Sonic doesn’t perpetually run forward (though he still can’t turn around), the annoying and convoluted leveling system receives a lot less focus, the controls make a hell of a lot more sense, and music doesn’t even sound remotely like “MAKE BELIEVES REBORN.”
Trust me, this thing has plenty of clunky gameplay, terrible boss battles and awful cutscenes, but that can’t take away the quick bit of fun it provided me. At the very least, looking at Knuckles and Shadow in full medieval armor is nonstop hilarity.
I can hear the morning birds outside. I can’t believe it’s already 5AM.
Time for Sonic 2006.
5:45 – 7:30AM I… I don’t know what to say.
I just played about an hour and a half of Sonic 2006, and I think I may have stumbled upon the greatest artifact in gaming history. I’m actually delighted that I pushed this thing to the end, as my half-dead sleep-deprived brain is even more susceptible to this brand of nonsensical hilarity. Watching Sonic uncontrollably slam into walls, all the while circling in mid-air – funny as hell. Watching Tails get stuck running at a single corner for a good five minutes straight – Comic gold. Watching Sonic carry a girl through a desert, using “the power of two” to walk on sand – Summer comedy of the season.
But this… This is the holy grail. I could have listened to this for hours on end, but I knew I needed to progress somewhere in this game. I only have a couple hours left in this marathon, so I forced myself to move onward. Watch this video. Do your best to ignore my stifled laughter, and enjoy:
This is how people talk in the Sonic world? Screw it then! I don’t want to be Sonic. I WANT TO BE AN NPC IN HIS WORLD! I want to flail my arms for no good reason and blurt out mono-syllabic moans. Maybe I’m just stoned on sleep deprivation, but this is the kind of stuff dreams are made out of.
In all seriousness though, Sonic 2006’s story seems ridiculous and awkward, the gameplay has been buggy as hell so far, and even basic gameplay amenities are nowhere to be found (No Autosave? Really?). I appreciate the massive references to Sonic Adventure in the first stage, and the visuals are quite pretty at times, but everything about this game is so sloppy I can’t help but crack up with laughter. I want to play this game now.
Unfortunately, this was the only game in this marathon that I’ve never had the chance to play before. Any judgement I make is immediately tainted by this, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. Just please believe that I am very much genuine in my desire to play this thing now. I haven’t laughed like this in ages.
ALRIGHT! THE WINNER of this badical, awesometacular, tubularistic poster is…
ninjajosh! I actually want to throw out a special thanks to ninjajosh, who has been the single most diligent reader and supporter of this 20 Days of Sonic malarky. He even wrote an acrostic poem using my name and details of this whole ordeal! What a guy. Email me your info, ninjajosh, to segaaddictJosh@gmail.com. We’ll get this thing out to you ASAP.
7:30 – 9:00 AM – Holy Lord I’ve done it.
These last couple hours were filled with a few different games. I tried to stick to just one so I could get a nice, substantial bite before the end of the run, but my dog had just woken up and was thus brimming with energy and the need for immediate attention. Making matters worse is the fact that he’s terrified of any and all videogame controllers, so once I let him out of his crate, it became a real uphill battle to get any kind of gaming done.
First, I played the Sonic Generations demo, for which I’ve been foaming at the mouth for days. And boy, it did not disappoint.
I want to liquify it pour it into an IV, then eat the IV bag because I just don’t have the patience to wait for a needle. I’m honestly that excited. The level design is immaculate and really flowing, the visuals are nothing short of stunning, and every little detail looks like it was handled with a boatload of care.
I do have a couple small problems having to do with some animations and physics in the game. I was bothered by the way Sonic takes his time to fall on his ass every time an enemy hits him. The physics of his jumping felt a little heavier than anything else I played over the past day, but maybe that’s just me being anal.
Anyway, I played the demo three times in a row, and I imagine I will do so several times more before we get the game later this year. It’s really fascinating to go through a marathon like this, only to end with the next step for our blue hero. Even after burning a Sonic shaped hole through the back of my skull, I’m now frothing at the mouth to play Generations. That’s a damn good sign.
I then started up Sonic Shuffle, but that was doomed from the start. My puppy was wide awake by that point, so I had a very hard time paying attention to what the game was asking me to do. There’s a story in there somewhere; it had something about a place called “Maginary World,” where there are “Precioustones” and a villain named “Void,” but none of it really seemed to matter.
To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have had such a hard time paying attention if it wasn’t just so bland. Everything felt like a stale, uninspired idea that got chucked from the Mario Party 27 development meetings. The mini games were all cliche and boiled down to crappy controls and a whole lot of luck. The game progressed using cards instead of dice, so I guess that’s interesting… I don’t know. I just couldn’t pay attention. My dog kept nervously sniffing my controller, jumping back violently and running into the corner. He was never properly socialized when he was younger, and so oddly shaped things that he’s never seen before are nightmare fuel to him.
AAAAAAnyway, had no choice but to give up on the Dreamcast and go to my iPhone. I have Sonic 2 on there, and since I played on the Genesis yesterday, this totally counts as something new… Right? Anyway, I played up to Casino Night Zone, and when the time hit 9:00AM, I came on to finish up this article. I don’t want to play another minute right now.
So there it is ladies and gents. 24 hours of Sonic games – played dominated, and written about… At length. You all are awesome for sticking it out with me. I am happy to report that I do not yet hate Sonic the Hedgehog. I just think that he and I need to see other people for a little while.
In the meantime, I’m going to bed.