Review: Sonic Mania – Classic Sonic Returns! (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

I have no doubt that many reviews released today for Sonic Mania, releasing August 15 to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch and releasing August 29 to PC, will chart the ups and downs of the Sonic franchise, make mention of the recent Sonic Boom games, and make the assertion that Sonic has not been good for a long time. I also have no doubt that reviews like my own will smugly mention such reviews in an attempt to show how I’m coming at Sonic Mania from a more educated and informed place. Really, I just wanted an intro paragraph and now that that’s done we can get to what we’re all here for: my review of Sonic Mania!

Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth releases October 17, check out the new Fencer trailer

Atlus has announced that Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth releases October 17 in the Americas, and as previously revealed Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth will have a launch day edition which will include extras like a physical 24-page art book, six-track CD and a outer box to hold all your goodies including the game. Amazon has the game for pre-order, if you have Amazon Prime the game will cost you $31.99.

In addition to the release date, Atlus has released a new trailer showcasing the Fencer and included the following description:

It just wouldn’t be smart to traverse the Yggdrasil tree without someone who is pretty handy with a blade, so why not have an Earthlain Fencer watch your back when exploring? The Fencer is master of both rapier and shield, and let’s just say that during fights they really like to get straight to the point. Quick on their feet, Fencers excel at evasion, stabbing, initiating defensive buffs, stabbing, chaining together attacks with other party members, and stabbing. They can further specialize in their agility by sacrificing unnecessary equipment for speed or go all in with their swordsmanship to become a whirlwind of pain.

Sonic Mania revives the beloved Competition Mode

SEGA has announced a new Sonic Mania feature that many classic fans are sure to love: Competition Mode! Players will be able to take on their friends as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles with the winner determined by different factors: clear time, score, number of items acquired, number of rings acquired when clearing the level, and total number of rings acquired throughout the level. Rules can be adjusted via changing the available items in item boxes and the number of rounds.

Update: It is incredibly probably very likely that the announcer is Takenobu Mitsuyoshi.

Check out the mode in the video above, and after the break check out screenshots of the Competition Mode menu.

Fan Made: Sonic Mania Physical Release Box Art Round-Up

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Sonic Mania has fast become the most hotly anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog games in years, in large part because it is not only the return of classic Sonic but also the return to the graphics and gameplay that made the series so popular in the early to mid 1990s. While Sonic Mania is releasing to all major modern platforms, the development team has described the game as Saturn-esque with several fans taking things a step further and declaring Sonic Mania the Sonic Saturn game we never got but always wanted.

While we won’t actually be seeing Sonic Mania on the SEGA Saturn or the Mega Drive/Genesis, that hasn’t stopped fans from creating their own custom box art that can be printed out, trimmed and applied to an old Saturn or Mega Drive/Genesis case of your choosing! After the break, check out the fan made box art we’ve found online and in the comments share your own custom box art.

Rumor: Sonic Forces Day One Edition to include costumes from Jet Set Radio, NiGHTS, Monkey Ball and more

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Via Sonic Paradise comes news (that we’re labeling as rumor for now simply because it has not been officially announced) that Sonic Forces will have a Day One edition featuring avatar costume DLC. The information comes from Amazon.es and XtraLife listings. The avatar accessories consist of wearables from SEGA franchises which include Jet Set Radio, NiGHTS into Dreams, Super Monkey Ball and Puyo-Puyo Tetris. The pre-order notes that there are six items, but only lists four franchises, so my guess is that some franchises have more accessories than others in order to pull off the desired costume. Super Monkey Ball, for example, might just be Aiai’s shirt. The Day One edition also appears to include four postcards with concept art from the game.

DLC from other SEGA franchises is not new to the Sonic series, as Sonic Lost World included NiGHTS DLC when it first released. More info as we hear it!

SEGA gets into the adult coloring book game with SEGA: The Official Coloring Book by Patrick Spaziante

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Penguin Random House continues to announce books today with the reveal of an adult coloring book titled SEGA: The Official Coloring Book. The description reads as follows: “Altered BeastGolden AxeStreets of Rage, Sonic the Hedgehog, and more—all intricately illustrated in this adult coloring book packed with original Sega art. With stunning pages to color, plus all the best action from the classic gaming system, this retro-themed adult coloring book is perfect for any creative gaming fan. Filled with 96 pages of original designs, it will be like you’re playing Altered Beast for the very first time. Power up!”

Sounds great, but you know what is REALLY awesome? All the art is from longtime Archie Sonic the Hedgehog artist Patrick Spaziante. As you can see from the cover, the art is first rate and will surely be a lot of fun to color. Or keep untouched on your shelf, if you are a collector like me. The book is now available to pre-order and is set to release October 17, 2017.

New Sonic the Hedgehog books announced for 2018, now available to pre-order

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I’ve long had a soft spot for the Sonic the Hedgehog kids books of the 90s, from the look and finds to the junior novelizations. Penguin Random House have just announced three new Sonic books and all three are now available to pre-order! All three books are due out March 6, 2018. After the break, check out full descriptions of the books. I’m especially interested in the junior novelization featuring short stories and color illustrations.

Jones Soda releases Comic Con Limited Edition Sonic Mania soda

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If there are two things I love, it’s weird food promotions and Sonic the Hedgehog. So when those two combine, I’m a very happy man (hey, I even made a YouTube series dedicated to such things). Jones Soda, creator of delicious and decidedly weird sodas, has teamed with SEGA to release Sonic, Tails and Knuckles inspired beverages to promote Sonic Mania. TheLimited Edition Sonic Mania Jones Soda bottles are currently exclusive to Comic Con, but comments on their Facebook demanding a wide release have been met with Jones Soda replying “stay tuned”. It is worth noting that Jones Soda has a robust online store, so perhaps an online exclusive is in the works? As for the flavors themselves, we have Sonic Blue Bubblegum Soda, Tails Orange Cream Soda and Knuckles Strawberry Lime Soda. If you are attending Comic Con, swing by the Futurism Pavilion at the Omni for a chance to win some.

Too bad Jones Soda didn’t release an Eggman Scrambled Eggs Soda. Hey, the company has already made Robin’s Egg Lemonade soda and Egg Nog soda!

Bayonetta amiibo release today – two versions available

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Nintendo news on a SEGA website!? Don’t worry, it’s SEGA related. Today Nintendo’s long overdue Bayonetta amiibo release as part of their Super Smash Bros. line, featuring the beloved witch in two styles: the Player 1 Bayonetta 2 design and the Player 2 Bayonetta design. The player 2 design is a Best Buy exclusive, and is likely to be the more popular of the two. The player 1 design can be found anywhere amiibo are sold (such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart) and both designs retail for $12.99.

Sonic Forces “Enter Infinite” Trailer Released

The Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube account has released a new trailer for Sonic Forces showcasing some cutscenes featuring the new villain Infinite. Worth pointing out, that we also get a glimpse of additional stages from the game. All the previously revealed villains make appearances as well in Park Avenue, which lines up with past reveals. So we will likely see all the villains right after the first stage. What are your thought on the trailer, sound off in the comments!

Data Discs Sonic Mania vinyl pre-order starts July 22, releases September

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Data Discs have announced that their Sonic Mania vinyl will be available to pre-order this coming Saturday, July 22nd, from their website. The album will be available in three editions: 180g Clear with Blue, Red, Orange & Yellow Splatter (Limited Edition), 180g Translucent Blue, and 180g Classic Black. The LP features 16 new tracks by composer Tee Lopes, as well as new gatefold art featuring Sonic, Tails and Knuckles in Green Hill Zone Act 2.

The limited edition is exclusive to the Data Discs site and will only be available to pre-order for a set amount of time. The sale will begin at 8:00am (BST) on Saturday 22nd July and finish at 12:00pm (BST) on Monday 24th July. Anyone ordering during this period will be guaranteed a copy. Once this period is over, they will not accept any further orders of the limited edition. However, the other two editions will remain available.

Data Discs also mentioned that their Streets of Rage 1 and 2 vinyls will be reissued and will be available for pre-order July 22nd with an August ship date.

Fastest Food Alive: Unboxing SEGA Forever Sonic the Hedgehog Gold Rings Cereal

Fastest Food Alive takes a look at a modern promotional item advertising something classic: SEGA Forever Gold Rings cereal! Made to resemble a box of cereal, complete with actual cereal and a toy surprise, SEGA Forever Gold Rings was released to spread the word of the SEGA Forever classic games collection. The collection will bring games from the SG-1000 through to the Dreamcast to mobile devices in a free to play or $1.99 each to remove ads format.

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SEGA Talk Podcast #12: Crazy Taxi (1999)

We’re back! SEGA Talk turns its high beams on and takes a closer look at SEGA AM3’s classic arcade and Dreamcast game Crazy Taxi. Despite its seemingly simplistic premise, Crazy Taxi offered up a lot of depth and has seen a long and successful history as a franchise with games still being released as of 2017. What are our memories of the game? What was the development history? How do the in-game cabbies compare to real life cab drivers? All this and more is talked about on SEGA Talk!

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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!