Showing posts with label Sonic Mania. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sonic Mania. Show all posts

Tech Demo Video: Taxman's Sonic CD Running On Dreamcast

As Sonic Mania grips the globe, more than a few minds have pondered whether a Dreamcast port would be possible. We even did a stupid video editing the launch trailer to include the Dreamcast logo. No one can imagine that Sega would commission such an enterprise, but the question remains, would it be technically feasible?
How did Namco's lawyers not catch wind of the blatant plagiarism?
Tom reached out to Christian Whitehead, aka 'The Taxman', one of the key persons behind the Retro engine that powers Mania and the recent ports of Sonic 1, 2 and CD to Android and iOS devices. He was optimistic that a DC port would be possible.
And just yesterday, a new post on the Sonic Retro forums provides some videographic evidence of such a feat being achieved. Forum member 'sonicblur' has posted a video of Taxman's 2011 remake of Sonic CD running on real Dreamcast hardware. While this isn't Sonic Mania, it is in the same family of games, running on the same engine, or at least an earlier version of the same engine. While the video shows many glitches and graphical bugs, it is still an impressive technical achievement.

Remember, sonicblur is quick to point out not to make too big a deal about this. He has little time to work on it, so don't expect to be downloading a disc image any time soon. There are also some copyright issues to be wary of, as Sega is still profiteering from the 6 year old game.

So don't get too excited, just sit back and bask in the warm glow of the knowledge that Sega's last little white box is still full of surprises, and in small corners of the globe, talented coders can still produce magic from its rusty, two decade old hardware.

Some Thoughts On Sonic Mania

So Sonic Mania has finally landed, and it's every bit as good as we hoped it would be. The last time I bought a Sonic game for a contemporary console was probably when I got Sonic Adventure 2 for the Dreamcast way back when, and since then I've pretty much given the franchise a bit of a wide berth; the negative press subsequent releases have garnered always putting me off investigating them.

For some weird reason, the post-Adventure 3D games (with the exception of Sonic Generations and - reportedly - Sonic Colours) have been...misguided in their attempts to keep the spiky blue one in the public eye. Or rather, they've kept him in the public eye for all the wrong reasons. But this most definitely isn't a review; and it isn't meant to be one of those 'Sonic is crap' think pieces usually written by games journalists too young to even remember Sonic's first game on the Mega Drive. No, these are my random and meandering thoughts on the awesomeness of Sonic Mania and why it is such an important release for Sega's flagship series.
I remember when Sonic 2 came out and my brother asked for it for his birthday. As we're twins, it was my birthday too. That would have been March 1993, so my 11th birthday. Do you know what I asked for? A toy coach. A fucking coach. A die cast toy coach with luggage compartments that opened and a door that opened and little rubber tires that you could peel off the metal wheels. I still have no idea why I asked for - and got - a toy coach. Meanwhile, my brother had Sonic 2. One of the greatest platform games of all time.

The reason I bring this up is that I vividly remember the differing levels of enjoyment we gleaned from our respective gifts. My coach was all but redundant after a few minutes pushing it around the carpet and smashing it against a wall simulating an horrific road traffic accident. Sonic 2 though...well that cartridge stayed firmly implanted in our Mega Drive for weeks (in between sessions of European Club Soccer), and I still hold the game in the highest regard now, 20-odd years later. Why? because it's a masterclass in platforming and added just enough to the original Sonic template to be considered a completely new, yet wholly familiar experience.
That's kind of how I feel about Sonic Mania. The familiar levels and visual style, and the outrageously good music that harks back to the original 2D side scrollers. It all just reeks of old-skool Sonic yet somehow manages to be brand new, shoehorning in new visual effects and graphics techniques that wouldn't have been possible on the 16-bit system the Sonic series was born on. If you haven't already, I recommend watching Digital Foundry's video on Sonic Mania because it goes into detail on how the game came about and the tricks employed in the visuals that you probably wouldn't notice unless they were pointed out.

Sonic Mania Is Here...Anyone For Sonic Adventure?

Sonic Mania has finally landed on consoles and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive - hurrah! We think now is a great time to celebrate this with the first YouTube upload from our new video maestro James Jarvis, and what better game than Sonic Adventure? James is a bit of a veteran when it comes to creating videos focusing on the Dreamcast, having been producing similar content for his own channel ItsMuchMore since 2013; and now we're thrilled that he's come on board at the Junkyard to continue the great work that Aaron 'The Gagaman' Foster started all those years ago! We'll be sharing all of the latest videos from our YouTube channel here anyway, but be sure to head over there to subscribe, like, share, comment and all that other stuff the cool kids are doing these days! Please enjoy this cool lets play along with James' commentary...