Fan creates Sonic Mania Studiopolis Zone Winamp skin

Sonic Mania is a game that embraces old school aesthetics, so it is fitting that fellow SEGA and Sonic fan Ineedmorcowbell created a Sonic Mania skin for the old school program Winamp. Initially released in 1997, Winamp is a freemium media player for Windows, Android, and macOS. If you had a computer between 1997 and now, chances are you downloaded this program and still have it on your machine. What Ineedmorcowbell’s skin does is turn the entire player into Studiopolis Zone.

Ineedmorcowbell has this to say about the project:

After watching game play of Sonic Mania’s Studiopolis Zone, and seeing the Hornet Van. I felt like it needed to dance! This whole project was built around getting that Van to dance! From there, I designed how all the windows and standard features would be reskinned. There is all kinds of animations like the clouds moving, or lights glowing, to the projector playing different animations that react to the music.

All the sprites for this skin have been redrawn by myself! I used the debut, and various game play videos to collect the sprites to use, then redrew them in a much lower resolution. Similar to the original Genesis games. To produce a much crisper look then just using them straight from the videos. The only things that I didn’t redraw were some of the animations for the projector that use the developer logos and intro for the game. Christian Whitehead was redrawn because the original design was very seizure inducing. The Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles Head was done in illustrator.

I spent a lot of time and work really hard on this, so let me know what you think!

You can learn more about the skin and download it here. If you have any questions or comments for the creator, you can chat with him in our forums!

SEGA News Bits: Sonic Forces Fan Theories Discussion

Welcome to another episode of the SEGA News Bits, this week George and Barry discuss Sonic Forces fan theories that have been circulating around the internet. Strap in, because we are in for a weird ride. On this episode we give you our take on some of the more popular Sonic Forces fan theories such as the third gameplay being a customizable character named Buddy, Tails giving up hope, Sonic Adventure style gameplay, and many more. This is more of a discussion episode and not really a news segment, for those of you who watch the show strictly for news. Let us know what your Sonic Forces fan theories are in the comments below. Like always, thanks for watching.

If you enjoy our SEGA News Bits segments and want to support us: Give us a sub and give this video a like so it shows up on more like minded fans YouTube recommendations. You know, how that new YouTube algorithm is.

Interview: Gistix, team lead on fan made Sonic ’06 Unity

gistix

What do you say when the words “fan-made Sonic 2006 PC port” jump at you? What sort of images, reactions, and most importantly, questions, pop into your head when this prospect meets your mind? Is it perplexing? Audacious? Blasphemous? These were of course all reactions I saw when news broke of a demo for a full fan-made recreation of the ill-fated and infamous Sonic 06 in Unity. However, much against others’ reactions, mine was of…curiosity.

Rather than stick with a few fleeting moments of “hey that’s a thing”, the very idea stuck to me so hard that it gave me a jolt of energy. Not because I like Sonic 06, god no, but because I am a huge lover of weird games and weird ports. And to me, a Unity port of this maligned title was far too weird to pass up. So, faced with a lack of information, and a thirst to spread the good will of odd, ambitious projects, I went straight to the source. Ladies and gentlemen and others, I present to you, hopefully everything you’d want to know about the ins and outs of the Sonic 2006 PC port, from the mouth of its current leader, Gistix!

SEGA News Bits: Sonic 2006 being remade for PC by fans with Unity, demo first impressions

Sonic 2006 is being remade in Unity by a small team headed by Gistix. A demo, playable on PC, has just released showcasing their progress in the form of the game’s original demo. We downloaded it and now talk about it in the first SEGA News Bits of 2017! Download the Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) Unity demo for yourself here.

If you enjoy our SEGA News Bits segments and want to support us, give us a sub. If you are already subscribed you can always like the video.

Pokémon GO releasing to the Dreamcast VMU in 2017

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 1.03.10 PM

The creator of Flappy Bird for the Dreamcast VMU, known as guacasaurus_mex on Instagram, has been hard at work on cool fan made VMU games since we last featured him. His Flappy Bird follow-up, Street Race, featured six OutRun-style tracks and a unique grayscale graphics trick which has to be seen to be believed. His latest project dives back into the smartphone remake world with a Dreamcast VMU version of Pokémon GO. Due to the time it takes to draw all the Pokémon, and laziness, the game won’t be ready until 2017. However guacasaurus_mex does promise a randomly generated map grid, in place of a GPS map, and a timing-based mini game to throw Pokéballs. More info on the game, including the release, as we hear it.

Note: Yeah yeah, I know. Any Pokémon GO article in gonna get us clicks, but to be fair we don’t make any money off of site traffic nor do we have ads. At least we didn’t try and tie No Man’s Sky into SEGA… yet.

Opening & Eating 15 Year Old Cans of Sonic the Hedgehog Pasta

Courtesy of Justin Todd – whose Sonic collecting can be followed on instagram under the username @treasurehuntingsonic – we have a video unboxing (uncanning?) of Franco-American Sonic the Hedgehog Pasta with Meatballs in Tomato Sauce! These two cans date from around 2000/2001 and are the second and third, and so far final, iterations of the Franco-American Sonic canned pasta. The first version of the can was featured on the latest episode of our own Fastest Food Alive Sonic the Hedgehog promotional foods video series.

What does Justin find when he opens these 15 year old expired cans of pasta? Learn for yourself by watching the video! Follow Justin on Instagram for more Sonic goodness and join the Sonic the Hedgehog Collections group on Facebook, where this video debuted.

If you enjoy our videos, make sure to subscribe to us on YouTube where we post a grab bag of SEGA and Sonic content. Thanks for watching.

This Virtua Fighter fan made robot is very impressive

A Japanese Virtua Fighter fan has embarked on a project to make a Akira robot based on the Virtua Fighter polygon model. Using specs from the recently released Virtua Fighter  action figure, 3D modeling software and of course a 3D printer we got ourselves a robot Akira Yuki that looks like he is straight out of the game.

A few little things I noticed on the Virtua Fighter themed robot was that they added a small SEGA Saturn on his back, sort of how SEGA did it for their Typing of the Dead characters but with a small Dreamcast backpack. According to the video the robot is 50cm (19.6 inches) in height and I have to be honest the movement is rather impressive. Look at his side steps! Can someone put this thing on sale, please!

[Via: VFDC]

SEGA Saturn copy protection cracked after 22 years

The SEGA Saturn has long been that one SEGA console that was near impossible to crack, and console owners could forget trying to easily play copied games (which currently relies on a mod chip and burning CDs). But now, thanks to electronics fellow and coder James Laird-Wah aka “Dr Abrasive”, the Saturn’s copy protection has finally been cracked.

Detailed in the extended video above is the process which Dr Abrasive took to achieve this. Essentially, games are loaded from USB via the expansion card port. The Saturn was so difficult to crack due to DRM requiring discs to have a physical mark on them (called a wobble) which was etched into the CD. Dr Abrasive got past this by figuring out how the disc drive worked and emulating it via USB. The project is still in the testing phase, but there are plans to make boards available for sale. The work will eventually open up doors to homebrew communities and preserve the console’s functionality years beyond the eventual death of the CD drive.

You can follow the project at Dr Abrasive’s Twitter account and at the official Assembler Games topic, and you can join the discussion at the SEGAbits forums.

Dreamcast 2 Fan Project Shuts Down

sega-dreamcast-2Last year a group of fans got together to try and get a Dreamcast 2 console off the ground. They aggressively tried to use petition sites like Change.org and showed off several videos showing off concepts like the menus. We even did an opinion piece on the project, pointing out concerns we had with how it was being handled.

It seems that what we expected came true and now ‘Project Dream’ is officially dead. Yes, that means there is no Dreamcast 2.  They have now shut down their website and facebook group. But left this message as an explanation:

“The project has been taken offline. This is due to a schism within the team caused by inefficient and amateurish conduct resulting in members being removed and others leaving the team. In light of such unprofessional behavior and an embarrassing lack of progress, seasoned members of the gaming industry have chosen to distance themselves from the project. I too am stepping away from Project Dream. Please note the Twitter account @Project_DreamDC is no longer associated with this group.”

According to a inside source from Dreamcast Junkyard, there is a lot of ‘schism’ within the team and in-fighting. This turned into a rift between core members of Project Dream. Let’s be honest, SEGA said in 2001 that they were leaving the console hardware space, they aren’t coming back. This was bound to fail even without the in-fighting between the members. I mean why would SEGA even call it the Dreamcast 2? What are your thoughts?

[Source: Dreamcast Junkyard]

Original Sonic Adventure Sega Dreamcast website returns thanks to a true blue fan

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 12.16.01 PM

Remember the days of logging on to the Internet using your Sega Dreamcast? Even when games didn’t tout online multi-player, more often than not you’d encounter a webpage option which allowed you to visit the game’s website through the in-game menu. Of course, as time passed many of the Dreamcast webpages have since gone offline, into disrepair, or were bought up by some porn site. Thankfully, fan and friend of TSSMB member JmTsHaW purchased the sonic-adventure.com domain and has (mostly) restored the Sonic Adventure’s original site in all its 640 pixel wide glory! Features include the Updates Archives, Community links including Chao Gardens, Hints and Support information. Very cool to see this piece of SEGA internet history back up and running. Check it out for yourself here, bonus points if you use the Dreamcast.

Summer of Sonic UK fan convention attempts a revival via Kickstarter

photo-original

Having taken a break since the last event in 2013, the Summer of Sonic organizers are feeling revitalized and ready to bring the event back for 2016 – and they need your help! Dubbed the largest fan run officially recognized Sonic the Hedgehog event in Europe, Summer of Sonic is relying on a Kickstarter campaign to fund their 2016 convention. With a goal of $28,675, and $20,842 already raised with 28 days to go, it should be no difficult task to fund the event. The planned location is the ILEC Conference Centre in Earls Court, London, and the proposed date is August, 6th, 2016. Activities at the event are said to include meet and greets with the special guests, competitions in art, gaming and cosplay, Q&A sessions with guests, and fan showcases.

If this sounds like the event for you, head on over to their Kickstarter and show your support!

You can now play Flappy Bird on your Dreamcast’s VMU

12901511_1156202091077801_6632965311063464141_o

Thanks to Instagram user guacasaurus_mex, the world’s most frustrating iPhone game can now be played on your Dreamcast VMU! guacasaurus_mex is not new to the world of VMU game creation, having also created Deadpool and Star Wars: The Force Awakens VMU games, but Flappy Bird pushes things to a whole other level of absurdity. guacasaurus_mex had this to say regarding how to get the game working on your own VMU:

“If anyone is interested I just finished making a Flappy Bird clone for the VMU. Just put the file on an SD card, load with Dreamshell and once Speud’s VMU Tool has loaded navigate to ‘Open CD’ and copy FLPPYBRD.vmi to the VMU.

Like most VMU games this doesn’t work properly in the emulator so please use on an actual VMU!

Also, for anyone giving this a go, you hold A rather than tap like in the iOS and Android versions. Tap functionality didn’t work so well with only 32 vertical pixels!”

You can find the direct download link for the .VMI file here.

[Via The Dreamcast Junkyard]

Play Shenmue on Dreamcast in widescreen

ShenmueWidescreenHackWe know that Codebreaker codes change aspects of games, from infinite lives to instant unlockables. But did you know that you can use a code on games to get them to display in ‘anamorphic widescreen’? Assembler Games forum user S4pph4rad decided to release his anamorphic widescreen codes for Shenmue I & II and this lead to quite a few users contributing back.The idea is to have codes for most of the games, if possible.

“Similar to the codes for other platforms, this is anamorphic widescreen so you’re not getting higher resolution. Some additional changes could probably be made like shrinking the HUD too, but this is the simplest solution. Consider these version 1. There’s still some pop-in occasionally near the edges of the screen, but it’s not as bad as when you use an emulator to extend the visible area. That could probably be fixed with deeper analysis into how it decides when something goes out of range.” – S4pph4rad from Assembler Games

You can read all about the process of Anamorphic widescreen over here and if you want to check out more progress on codes for other games check out Assembler Games’ forum thread. This is all a work in progress, of course and the community is submitting codes to other Dreamcast classics.

Hit the jump for the Shenmue I & II widescreen codes!

Fan Made: Hearts for Hardware by Randy Gallegos celebrates the SEGA Genesis and more!

randy-gallegos-the-next-level

Like paintings of classic consoles? Artist Randy Gallegos has you covered. From the series dubbed “Hearts for Hardware,” described as a platform-agnostic celebration of older gaming hardware, comes three SEGA focused oil paintings featuring the SEGA Genesis and the original 3-button and 6-button controllers. You may have seen Randy’s work before, as he spent two decades working as an illustrator in another area of gaming, creating imagery for Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. With “Hearts for Hardware”, Randy combines his love of classic gaming with his painting skills. The results look great!

Check out Randy’s other “Hearts for Hardware” paintings on his website, including the NES, Playstation, and others. More SEGA works are on the way, including some import Japanese consoles. Looking forward to seeing where the series goes! After the break, check out the 3-button and 6-button SEGA Genesis controller paintings.

Attention Virtua Fighter Fans: NYGX Event is August 14th-16th in Brooklyn, New York

Are you a Virtua Fighter fan in or around the New York area? We may have the perfect event for you!

NYGX is a Virtua Fighter fan gathering which will run from August 14th to August 16th at NextLevel in Brooklyn, New York. The event coordinators promise that every Virtua Fighter game will be there in some capacity (except for the arcade version of the original Virtua Fighter), with arcade iterations of Virtua Fighter Remix, Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter 3, Virtua Fighter 4: Final Tuned and Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown. There will also be tournaments for 3, 4: Final Tuned, and 5R with 5: Final Showdown‘s tournament being the main event. Can’t make the event? No worries! The three day event will be streamed at twitch.tv/NYC_VF.

For more information on the event, and Virtua Fighter itself, click on over to virtuafighter.com!