7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Sonic the Hedgehog Review


It’s time to finally take a look at the legendary Sonic movie that came out recently. Sonic has always been the greatest video game series of all time as soon as Sonic Adventure first came out. Once Sonic Adventure 2 Battle arrived the series cemented itself as a legend. Despite that we hadn’t gotten a big budget film like this one. Well, that’s finally all changed. It’s definitely a pretty fun film and a good way to get Sonic out into the mainstream. To an extent he’s already there as you often see kids playing the mobile games so it makes sense to launch a movie now since they’ll all check it out. If not for Covid this very well could have cracked 700K and I know the sequel will do incredibly well.

The movie starts off with a quick action sequence as Sonic is evacuated off the planet by a wise bird. Sonic barely escapes the Echidnas but his Mom figure is unable to make it through with him. Sonic’s last words of advice were to make sure that nobody saw him and to always teleport to a new planet if something happened. His rings allow him to go anywhere he is thinking about. Sonic makes a good life for himself on Earth but he is still pretty lonely. One day he gets a little too fired up and launches an EMP that takes out a quarter of the country. Dr Robotnik is called in to find Sonic and this guy has never failed a mission.

Meanwhile the human main character of this movie is Tom. He has always been a pretty great police chief in Green Hills but he wants something a little more exciting. Now that he has been approved for a position in San Francisco he is ecstatic but that’s when Sonic shows up. Tom helps him out but he is now labeled as a terrorist. Tom’s too deep in to back off now so he will have to help Sonic find his rings in San Francisco so he can escape to another plane. Will he be able to do this or will Robotnik get to Sonic first? It’s definitely not going to be an easy journey.

This is a comedy adventure movie so it’s a blend of both but the first genre is likely the most important. Sonic’s always been able to achieve a good blend, just look at Sonic Boom which to date is probably Sonic’s most impressive show. They’ve all historically been solid though and as expected Sonic works in this medium as well. The gags involving Sonic running around and playing by himself against himself are really solid. I like all of the speed effects and the humans are good too. Rachel is Maddie’s sister and works well as the character who is always trying to escalate things. She panics a whole lot and really doesn’t like Tom. She’s absolutely as exaggerated as you can get but it works well.

Most of the characters here are extremely quirky and they make for a memorable cast. Eggman’s right hand man was a lot more fun than I expected him to be. Part of why he succeeds is because he takes everything in stride. While some characters would be puzzled the whole time or panicking this guy never does. He just follows Robotnik’s lead and does whatever he can. Robotnik can be a bit extra at times for sure, but he’s a fun character. A lot of the best moments with him are his banter with Tom. Ultimately I imagine it will become more of an exchange with Sonic but for now this works. Tom really gave it to him with those punches. I also liked Robotnik’s montage while testing out Sonic’s quill for power. We even got a quick dinosaur thhere.

As the main human, Tom gets a lot of screen time so you’re definitely hoping that he’ll be good. Fortunately he works out quite well. The film is going for that buddycop feel and he gets a lot of fun dialogue with Sonic. He can also fight surprisingly well as seen in the bar. His wife Maddie is also pretty good. I’ll give her props for not panicking the whole time the way a lot of characters do when they see an alien. Maddie is just ready for the experience and doesn’t really let it get to her. There are a few more characters but the final important one is Sonic. His character has been through quite a lot like with the design issues. Ultimately this design is way better than the first one they were going for. It’s definitely not quite up to the real Sonic design from the games but as this is definitely aiming to be a much younger version of Sonic than what we are used to, it works out pretty well. I can’t quite imagine Sonic acting quite the same way if he looked more like his adult self.

It’s a lot of fun seeing Sonic use his speed to save the day. We also got some Quicksilver type scenes of him messing with the room. Sonic’s very entertaining and I’d say that the film did him justice. As you can see, the cast here was solid and the writing was also pretty good. Most of the jokes land and the film is just a lot of fun to watch. The pacing is quick and you’ll never be bored here. The effects are also solid for the action scenes we do get. There aren’t a whole lot of them, but they work quite well. The best one is naturally the high speed chase with Robotnik at the end of the film.

While the film has a lot of things going for it, there are a few elements that do keep this to being a very good film rather than hitting the elite level. First off, the power levels are pretty bad. This is almost inevitable for a speedster based film but it’s especially noticeable here. Are we to believe that Sonic can be hit with a tranq dart, an explosion after he gets the button off, or that he can’t outrun Robotnik’s robot at the end of the film? None of these scenes make sense in the same context as the bar scene existing or the missiles on the roof. Both of those scenes show Sonic as being so crazy fast that time is basically stopped and there is absolutely no way anyone can catch him. Even if Eggman has one quill and part of the power his robot simply wouldn’t be that fast. I think the film saw the Quicksilver scene and wanted to do their own version as well but little did they know that scenes like that always bring up a ton of plot holes.

My other issue is that Sonic was a little too weak here. He is shown to physically have the strength of a toddler. He lands a lot of direct punches on people in the bar brawl and they do no damage. That doesn’t really make sense to me. With speed comes power. The Flash shows this often since building up momentum and throwing a punch always does more damage than a normal one. It’s the same concept so super speed automatically gives you super strength but a lot of films don’t really think about this. These two aspects of the film aren’t huge in the sense that they’ll cripple the score or anything like that. They’re just very noticeable and I think the movie could have done better here.

The soundtrack here is also pretty good. There are a lot of solid danger themes here and they flow well with the action scenes. One thing I was shocked about though was seeing the Final Fantasy VII theme in the film. Seriously, watch the scene where Sonic and Tim are in the car trying to fend off the various robots Robotnik keeps sending out. It’s a sped up version of the main battle theme. I have to see if someone made a comparison video on Youtube yet because that was really cool. It’s a battle theme that has withstood the test of time so naturally hearing it in a theatrical film like this is definitely worth it.

Overall, Sonic The Hedgehog is a very fun film. It sets up some good plot elements for the future as well. Make sure you stick around after the credits for a quick stinger. I’m hoping it doesn’t take too long until the sequel comes out because I’m ready for more Sonic hype. There are quite a lot of ways the sequel can go. Personally I’m expecting a return trip to Sonic’s home world but I’m also game for Metal Sonic showing up or Shadow The Hedgehog. We need to get close to the events of Adventure 2 Battle, that will be great. If you haven’t seen this film yet then you definitely need to check it out. It’s really just a lot of fun and has a high amount of replay value.

Overall 7/10

Game Records

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 2h 46m

Best Times

Alpine Skiing Downhill 2m 11s
Ski Jumping Large Hill 219.35
Freestyle Skiing Moguls 25.11
Freestyle Ski Cross 1m 5s
Biathlon 26:59
Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom 47s
Snowboard Slopestyle 73.66
Snowboard Cross 1m 27s
Skeleton 1m
4-man Bobsleigh 58s
Figure Skating Singles 130.09
Figure Skating Pairs 163.53
Speed Skating 500m 30s
Short Track Speed Skating 1000m 1m 24s
Winter Sports Champino Race 3m 41s
Groove Pipe Snowboard 2m 12
Roller Coaster Bobsleigh 2m 4s
Bullet Bill Sledge Race 1m 45s

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Review


It’s been a little while, but now it’s time to look at the next installment in the Olympic Game series. This one has been a mixed bag for me because some of the titles here have been really solid while others were pretty bland. I have to put Sochi in the weaker half as well. While it does have the best story in the series the gameplay is definitely the weakest. The game made the odd decision of having you switch between the Gamepad and the Wii remote constantly for story mode. That’s just an odd decision if you ask me and it’s one that slows everything down. I’ll go into that more in a second.

The story revolves around Team Sonic and Team Mario getting ready for another round of competition. They are interrupted when a giant castle shows up and mysterious keys lock down all of the doors. The heroes will have to fight past shadow versions of themselves to make it to the top and find out who is doing this. What mastermind could possibly be giving the heroes such a difficult fight? One thing’s for sure, the heroes can’t afford to hold back if they want to claim victory here.

So I definitely do give the game credit for actually adding a story here. That’s where the credit stops. I’ll talk about the positives in a minute, but the controls need to be addressed right away. Not only do you have to switch controls but you have to have the Wii Remote Plus or you won’t even be allowed to play the story. It’s a pretty slick way of making sure everyone bought the add on, but definitely a shady method if you ask me. The player shouldn’t be required to jump through all these hoops just to have some fun playing these Olympic titles.

Would it have been so hard to have just made all of the minigames Gamepad compatible? It’s just really strange that you have to keep switching. Also, the series has never been particularly good with this, but it’s really hard to understand the controls at a glance here. You can see the controls after you’ve paused the game, but the first time around you’ll probably be winging it. The controls are heavily motion based as well so get ready for the game to keep doing things when you don’t want it to. As a result this can make the game a bit more difficult than it is actually supposed to be which is definitely pretty iffy.

On the positive side, the graphics look pretty good as always. It’s always nice to see modern Sonic and Mario on the same screen here. All of the characters look sharp and the same goes for the level designs and animations. The soundtrack is also quite solid as it gives us various remixes for both the Mario and Sonic titles. This adds a little spice to the mini games for sure. It also just makes a lot of sense since the game should not use any generic themes when it has such a vast library of good tunes to choose from. That’s the way I see it anyway.

There’s a good amount of replay value here. The games are all made to be ones that you can replay a lot with friends and family to just have a good time. There are a lot of records to break and content to unlock. It’s not quite as vast as the first Winter Olympic Games which had a whole store filled with things to buy, but it’s definitely not bad either. There are a lot of modes here, but of course what will ultimately decide whether you want to play or not is how much you like the minigames.

On that note, they are very hit or miss. There are some minigames that are a lot of fun like Hockey, sliding down the hill, skateboarding, bobsledding, etc. On the other hand, there is the classic Curling game which seems to make it in every year. This game is as bad as it always was with the outcome basically being luck and the game drags on forever. You never get to walk in and out for this title. The dancing minigames also take quite a while to end. I believe they may be 4-5 minutes long which may not sound crazy, but for a minigame that is really pushing it.

At the end of the day the Olympic series has always seemed like a watered down version of Mario Party. The various games usually aren’t made with quite as much heart and there’s always a dicey one in there somewhere. Most of the games are good and I think they’ll all be reasonably enjoyable once you’re not playing a computer. This is still a good party game, but it’s definitely not the first one I’d recommend getting. I’m hoping that the new one coming out for the Switch does something different. I haven’t played the newest Olympics title yet so maybe by now they’ve fixed everything, but I can say that t this point in time I’m not in a huge rush to get the next one. I certainly will, but I do hope it’s better than this one.

Overall, The Sochi 2014 games aren’t a whole lot different from the other years. I feel like they phoned this game in to an extent. Many of the games share the same controls and aren’t terribly inspired. At the same time, the story is fun though and I think you can get some good enjoyment out of this one. The game is pretty cheap by this point so it isn’t much of an investment. I think it’s also fair to say that the game is not misleading. You should absolutely know what you’re getting yourself into before you play the game. It’s very straightforward about this so I think even without this review you should know whether you enjoy it or not. If you decide to buy the game then just be prepared to switch controllers every other match.

Overall 6/10

Animated Short Reviews, Animated Shorts, Reviews

Team Sonic Racing Overdrive Review


It’s time to take a look at the 2 part segment Sega released. It’s roughly 10 minutes or a little shorter than that, but it’s a nice way to cross promote the game. I was lightly tempted to get the game day 1, but there are just so many good games coming out right now that it’s tough to know which ones to take the plunge on. Regardless, I do look forward to playing it some day. I imagine it will be quite solid just as this special is.

The plot is pretty straightforward. The various heroes and villains have entered a race where the winner will receive a large gold trophy. Team Sonic, Chaotix, Rose, and Dark are all entering the race. Only one team can win though and it quickly becomes clear that Shadow and Sonic are the front runners here. That being said, there are a lot of racers on the track and so anything can happen. Be sure to stay glued to the seat so you don’t miss a second of the action.

The animation is very smooth and this style is definitely good at energetic scenes like this one. In general it’s a nostalgic style and one that’s very “clean” You will always know what’s happening and the designs are simplistic and so they are able to go through a lot of movements very quickly. It’s always been one of the big strengths of this animation style and Overdrive puts it to good use. A whole show like this would be quite fun for sure. Although the characters don’t talk here you can still get a lot of their personalities instantly because of how well animated they are.

As always Shadow is definitely a stand out character here. He actually does really well while at the same time knowing when it’s best to finally put his abilities into motion. The other characters also have to deal with a lot of interference on the track. It puts all of their skills on the line. There’s certainly nothing negative about this special and so it’s pretty much ideal. Between this and the Sonic Mania shorts, it’ll be fun to see if Sega decides to keep them up. I remember at the big Sonic event they did say that it takes forever to animate these scenes but maybe if they bring more animators on board they would be able to make a whole show like this. I’ll certainly be ready if they do.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend checking this special out. Even if you aren’t planning on getting the game it’s fun to see the cast just hanging out and getting all competitive. It’s also a lot of fun for fans who grew up in the Adventure era as there are a bunch of references and remixed tunes from the old game. You’ll likely remember all of them even if you don’t know the exact names. It’s the little things like that which really help take Overdrive to the next level. Also, it’s super short so it’s not like it’ll take all that much time out of your day to check it out right?

Overall 7/10

Game Records

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Stats and Records

Doing the stats for a game like this is always tough for a bunch of reasons. The first of which is that since I’m still actively playing it all of these stats will be outdated as soon as I’ve published them. As a result I will only publish some basic stats for now and add more in once the game has settled down a bit.

Play Time 40h
Challenges 124/124
World of Light 100% complete
Spirits 800
Highest Online GSP- Marth 1.3 million

9 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Review


It’s time to look at a game that could go down in history as the greatest of them all. That may sound like hyperbole, but at the moment the Super Smash Bros Wii U title currently holds that spot so it’s not unreasonable to imagine a world where this one surpasses it. I’ve been hyped for this game for many months now. A new Super Smash Bros title always brings with it a certain level of expectations like that and even more so for this one since it was touted as being the ultimate Smash title. It’s effectively an upgraded port of the Wii U game while bringing in all of the previous characters and most of the stages. I’ve already put in close to 50 hours here and that number’s only going to keep on rising.

First off lets talk about the gameplay even though by now it is fairly iconic. The goal of the game is to get the opponent’s damage% up. The higher it is the farther they will be launched when you attack them. Once you’ve knocked the opponent off the stage entirely they lose a life. Once you’ve taken all of their lives away the match is over and you will have claimed victory. While the goal is simple, it’s still a fairly complicated game. I imagine that if this is your first Smash title that you’ll have a pretty steep learning curve at first. Nevertheless you’ll definitely get the hang of it.

Multiplayer is definitely where you’ll spend the most time in this game. The battles are legendary here and with over 70 playable characters and 100+ stages you can keep the matches feeling fresh the whole time. Online definitely helps the replay value even further if you have no friends. Fortunately even just fighting the computers can present a really nice challenge. There are certainly some online issues you will want to be aware of though. Currently the match settings allow you a preference but you can still be sent into types that you did not ask for. If that happens watch out because it will still affect your GSP which is effectively your online rank. I wouldn’t get too attached to it though because that may make you afraid to keep on playing when you see your score go down. It’ll definitely go up and down as you go through more matches, but the important thing is watching your skills improve which won’t happen if you are too nervous the whole time. What you should be most excited about is the fact that this will ensure you fight tougher and tougher opponents as you get better.

Meanwhile there are a ton of other modes to play. While we sadly don’t see the return of a story mode like what Brawl had, we do get a new adventure mode which is similar to Melee’s in the sense that there is a basic story but not too many cutscenes. You are placed in a large overhead map where you have to get to the end. You do this by freeing all of the fighters who have been possessed by the cosmic being. Each fight you go through has some kind of gimmick or element that makes it unique. These can be quite challenging for a new player so I recommend taking a look at the spirits. They will help you overcome these battles but they can be a little overwhelming at times so take it slow.

There’s also the Spirit Board mode which lets you get new spirits by completing more event battles. It’s basically the same as Adventure Mode but without the story behind it. There are over 1200 spirits in the game so this should definitely help you get a lot of play time in. The actual story is around 10-11 hours if you rush it and to 100% the story you’ll probably need more like 20 hours. There are also a few other single player modes like All Star and 100 Man Brawl. You fight hordes of enemies in this mode and see how quickly you are able to finish them off. The single player options are a little more limited than in past options, but compared to the average game it is still a ton of content. As mentioned, most of your time will probably be spent in multiplayer mode anyway.

As expected the graphics are absolutely top notch here. Everything looks really clear and pristine. It’s all so colorful and amazing. A lot of things are always happening on screen at once but you’ll never feel lost. Super Smash always shows up as the best looking Nintendo game on each console and the Switch looks like it won’t be an exception. You’ll be hard pressed to find any game that looks better than this one. The soundtrack is also extremely impressive as there are over 800 songs to be found. I think its safe to say that this game easily has the best ost of all time. There are just so many songs to choose from. You’ll start out with most of them and then you get to unlock the last few hundred. I will add that I think the developers did a good job of letting you start out with all the stages and most of the music while leaving all the characters to be unlocked. The challenger approaching screen has always been one of the most enjoyable parts of the game after all.

Between all the spirits and gameplay this title has unlimited replay value. At the time of writing this review I currently have 4 challenges left to complete. I expect to have those done by the end of the week. I’ll certainly still keep on playing this title daily but I guess it may be time to tag in another title. It won’t have much time before the Christmas batch gets in though which is why I’m still pretty undecided on how to go about that. Ah well, I’ll have time.

I guess the question you may be asking now is..why hasn’t this game passed the Wii U one yet? We can ignore all of the modes and just get to the gameplay because that’s the deciding factor when it comes to Smash. This game series is in a league of its own to the point where all modes are thrown to the wayside in favor of the gameplay. Whoever has the best gameplay wins, it’s that simple. Smash 4 prioritized combos over everything else. Once you learned each character’s combos you would try to get in place to land them. It made you have to learn how to study everything and get into position. In comparison, Smash Ultimate is all about the neutral game. Attacking is now prioritized over defense, but most hits don’t combo into other moves so you simply have to keep out thinking your opponent until you land enough hits for the win.

This results in both players throwing out quite a lot of attacks as most of them are safe now. As someone who likes playing aggressively this is definitely a lot of fun. It’s really tough to fight against though as it can sometimes feel like there are no openings (Especially when fighting a quick ranged character like Roy) but there will always be one somewhere. It’ll take some getting used to. I do think eventually this game will likely surpass the Wii U one, but I don’t think it’ll happen for a little while. I put in over 2200 hours into Super Smash Bros Wii U so it makes sense that I can’t drop it so quickly. I also just prefer doing a lot of fancy combos to the one hit moves but again, I think that’ll change.

I really have no meaningful negatives about the game at all. As mentioned, the online is definitely lacking at present. You’re thrown into matches that you didn’t want and there is no way to team up with a friend locally against other friends online. Hopefully they will be able to resolve that as well as adding in other features like stage morphing and Squad Strike. The latter is something I had been particularly looking forward to in the game so it was a shame to see that it is offline only. In the meantime I’ve had fun growing my GSP with the characters. I got most of them to over a million with my only elite fighters currently being Bayonetta, Marth, Lucina, and Pac-Man. Naturally they are also my 4 mains at the moment since I figure I’ll let the game help me decide that. Usually I end up maining a bunch of characters so this will help me whittle that list down a bit.

Meanwhile I should also talk a bit about some of the new items and assists. For the items, my favorite new weapon is probably the Death Scythe. I believe if you hit someone with it when they are over 100% they will instantly lose a stock which is cool. Likewise, I like the Rage Blaster for its similar function although in this case it gets stronger as you grow weaker. The banana gun is also a fun weapon that may not be super powerful or anything, but it’s just a great concept. I think unlike the characters and stages we did lose a lot of items over the years, but I guess it makes sense not to make the list too huge or you’ll never see some items.

For the Assists, we finally have Knuckles! Along with the fact that most assist trophies can now be destroyed they feel more like pseudo fighters than ever. Some are incredibly flashy as well like the Moon from Majora’s Mask. I can see how fans get a little upset when their fighters shows up as an assist, but never lose hope. All they need is a patch at some point and the character can be playable at any moment. For the Pokemon we also have Solgaleo who is one of the strongest creatures in the game. It’s very hard to dodge his fire charges while avoiding the other players. In general I think the game has heavily buffed these assists so now most of them are lethal. That’s a good thing as it is a lot more rewarding to grab them. Don’t worry, you’ve still got the trolls like Goldeen.

Finally, lets talk about the newcomers. First off we have echos which is the official term used by the game for the clone characters. This was a great way to bolster the character size with requested characters who are similar to their main counterparts. Two very good ones are Dark Samus and Ken. These echos have some slight differences from their main counterparts while being similar enough where you can easily use both versions. My only regret is that we didn’t get more echos. I think this could be a landmine of cash for the company if they reconsider their stance. Imagine having over 50 echos in the game? I’d certainly break out the cash for them.

Then we have the full blown newcomers. One has gotten a lot of hype and naturally that is Ridley. After Project M was able to get him into the game Sakurai had no more excuses so he relented and allowed him to join the party. His moveset is a blast. He may be pretty heavy so getting stuck in repeated attacks will happen, but his massive power is a good counter to that. The game seemed to like adding heavyweights as we also have King K Rool. He’s an iconic DK villain who also looks pretty good. His moveset is pretty fun and you won’t want to underestimate him in the ring.

Repping the newer Splatoon is Inkling. She’s a speed character who is looking incredibly good, but also very complex. I think once players master her various ink gimmicks she will be even more of a force to be reckoned with. With Bayonetta being severely nerfed it will be tough for any character to stop this squid kid’s reign of terror. As a surprising addition we also have Simon and Richter from Castlevania. They are as annoying to fight as you can imagine with their projectile spam being even tougher to get around than Link’s. They’re fun to play as though. Isabelle feels like an echo but is actually treated as a full character. She’s a nice alternative to Villager and her fishing rod is a fun attack to use. It’s pretty hard to avoid when you’re on the ledge.

Finally we have Incineroar. He’s a pretty tough boxing Pokemon who has a lot of power and a pretty cool revenge mechanic. With it he can deal massive damage with a single blow. All in all, I’m pretty happy with our new characters so far. It’s hard to be upset when we already have so many options to choose from. The characters all have their fans for sure. While I would have liked some other characters to make the cut as well like Isaac and Waluigi, maybe DLC is their chance. The first 2 DLC characters we know of are Piranha Plant and Joker. They will definitely be great additions as well with the latter especially being very exciting. I can’t wait to play as him, I’m thinking that his moveset is going to be amazing. With that said though, while the new characters are super cool for now I’m still going for the wins with my classic Marth.

Overall, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is indeed the ultimate experience for Super Smash fans in terms of content. It’s got just about everything here. While we had to say goodbye to some fan favorite modes like Target Attack and Home Run Contest, I wouldn’t be surprised if those are added in at a later date. With how patches come into play nowadays you wouldn’t want to rule such things out. We also have more characters and stages coming through DLC as well so this game is going to stay active for a very long time. If you’re afraid of getting into the series because of the high learning curve, I’d say not to worry about it. We all have to start somewhere and you’ll definitely be having a blast before long.

Overall 9/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Sonic Mania Plus Review


It’s time to look at a Sonic game that is generally known as one of the best of all time! I remember hearing all the reports of how good it was, but I was too busy experiencing the amazing Sonic Forces story that I couldn’t buy it. Well, the game is finally out physically on console so now this was the time to snag it. It is definitely a lot of fun. While I think Sonic Advance 2 is still the best of the 2D games, I would definitely say that this is the best of the home console 2D titles. The original classics just can’t top this one.

The basic plot is that Eggman is back and he plans on using the Gems to destroy the world. This also leads the gang into an alternate world where a bunch of robots are up to no good as well. Sonic decides to foil their plans and he enlists the help of Tails and Knuckles as his drivers from time to time in order to do this. The villains may have a bunch of tricks up their sleeves, but that won’t deter our hero! There aren’t really any big cutscenes so for the most part the game just shows you this visually through the levels and quick little moments after each zone. You can grasp what the plot is pretty easily.

There are 13 zones which each have 2 levels. The average level takes about 4-6 minutes so each zone is close to 10 minutes. Make sure that you travel through each level carefully because if you lose all of your lives in act 2 you will have to start from scratch at the beginning of the zone again. It’s not something that will likely happen all too often, but it can be brutal in the later levels where each zone takes a while to complete. Dying near the end will result in a lot of lost gameplay. Aside from the main Mania mode there is also an Encore Mode which is effectively the same thing, but now you get to use Mighty or Ray. Whoever you don’t choose at the beginning will get abducted.

The graphics are definitely on point with the modern retro designs looking pretty crisp. The levels are very easy to see and so you always know where you are going. I also enjoyed the soundtrack quite a lot as we got many really solid themes. The final levels had the best soundtracks out of them all as they were quite epic. At 3 and a half hours the story is also at a reasonable length considering the price. It’s almost as long as Sonic Forces so if you bought both games as intended then you have more of a normal sized game length.

As for the gameplay, it’s fairly good. In general I’ve never been a huge fan of 2D Sonic gameplay though. As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s actually some of the weakest in the genre mainly because in Sonic games like this you never really get to use his speed. In fact you are actively penalized for it. That’s why Sonic has always worked best in 3D. Just try going full speed in Sonic Mania, all that will do is cost you a bunch of lives and all your coins. You’re encouraged to make your way through the levels at a reasonable pace as you look before you leap. Ironically as a result you typically have a faster pace of gameplay in Mario and Kirby than Sonic. I think adding more checkpoints and allowing you to restart from the second act after getting a game over would have definitely helped to make your loss not feel so bad each time.

The gameplay is definitely more streamlined than the retro part of Sonic Forces though. In that game you never wanted to jump because the physics were just off. In this game that is never an issue. At most it can just take a while to build traction so when you get hit sometimes you aren’t able to chase your coin down. That was probably an intentional choice to prevent it from being too easy. It did make the bosses more challenging even if the game had to resort to cheesy mechanics. I died against a boss in the glitchiest way possible in one level as I beat him, but because I was on the right side of the screen it counted as a loss. There’s also one part where you have to move across various elevators and it would always stop you just long enough to get squashed. As long as the character model was even close to the part being squished together you were finished.

As far as replay value goes the obvious option is grabbing all of the Chaos Emeralds. You find them through giant coins in the levels and then you have to catch the robot holding the Emerald. I managed to snatch 2 of them. The levels aren’t easy and there’s no quick way to get to them aside from replaying the whole level again so that will add a lot of time. You can also try beating the game with all 5 of the characters if you want. There are also the various PS4 trophies to be snagged. All in all, there’s a lot of content here.

Overall, Sonic Mania is definitely fun. Fans of the 2D Sonic genre are sure to enjoy it and it’s definitely a big homage to the classic games. I’d probably say that it’s the best classic Sonic game. (Not counting spinoffs like Sonic Fighters) It was definitely nice to see some of the classic characters like Metal Sonic get their moments to shine. The cameos for Fang and Bark through the illusions were also pretty solid. I’m definitely ready for the next big plot based Sonic game to come up soon but in the meanwhile it’ll be good to have the retro Sonic games continue as well. Hopefully the next one adds a bit more of a plot though and the perfect way to kick things off would be to have Fang return in person. As a bounty hunter there are a lot of ways that they can set him up as the antagonist.

Overall 7/10

7 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Sonic Mania Adventures Review


It’s time to look at the little promo series Sega came out with to promote the complete Sonic Mania collection. It’s always nice to see a company put out a little extra effort to bring something like this to the table. It’s just a cool thing to do and I’m always up for some new animations. When you combine the 5 parts the series is around 11 minutes. In that time we get to see the main cast of Sonic Mania mix it up a bit. It’s a solid promo that I would recommend to anyone.

The basic premise is that Sonic and Tails are having fun on the island when they notice that Eggman is up to his old tricks once again. They decide to put a stop to him while grabbing the Chaos Emeralds along the way. Meanwhile Knuckles, Mighty, and Ray are also having some trouble with Eggman. The group all head towards Eggman’s location from various directions. Eggman was prepared for this though and sends out Metal Sonic. Can the heroes defeat a being who is as fast as Sonic and is powered by the Chaos Emeralds?

Right away you’ll have to give the series a lot of credit for its nostalgic art direction. The characters all really look like their counterparts from the original games. The animation is like something out of the original Sonic cartoon but possibly even more retro. It’s all very smooth and once again you’ll wonder why we get this level of animation for a web series while the cartoons on TV don’t even look as good. It’s a very different style from many of the other Sonic cartoons, but it holds its own against all of them. Sonic X certainly still looks the best, but this one would give Sonic Boom a run for its money in the graphics department.

Then you’ve also got the classic music which is a lot of fun as well. It makes all of this feel like a 2D Sonic adventure. Considering that this was before any of the characters could talk either, the series has to be very expressive with them. You can always tell what the characters are thinking and doing so that’s another bit of credit we have to give the animation team. Sometimes a character can just be annoying when they can’t talk as poor writers can’t use them well, but this show had no problems there.

Sonic is a solid character as always and I was glad to see him head right for Metal Sonic and enter battle. He’s as fearless as always and Sonic also puts up a great fight considering that he was holding his own against Metal Sonic while in base form. Tails is nice as well although he doesn’t really get to do much. It’s still always good to have a sidekick. Mighty gets a considerable amount of hype here as he completely destroys Metal Sonic in a fight. Who knew that this guy was so high tier? Ray doesn’t do nearly as well, but then again he never was too much of a fighter so I suppose it was to be expected to an extent. Then we have Knuckles who got less of a role than the others, but did come through in the end when it counted.

I can’t say that Metal Sonic’s appearance was too positive though since he was treated as a big punching bag the whole time. It’s unfortunate because he should be way stronger than these guys. This isn’t meant to be a very serious action show so it’s not like we were ever going to get really long fights, but Metal Sonic still could have looked more powerful with the amount of screen time that he was given. His fight also had some stills when I would have preferred to see him speed blitzing, but we got scenes of both varieties for him so it’s not really a problem. Eggman was also consistent as always which is good.

Overall, This special was a lot of fun to watch. I’d recommend it to anyone and at 11 minutes you have no good excuse not to watch it. It’s a fun adventure with a little action, you can’t go wrong there. Hopefully one day we will get another full length Sonic show since the possibilities are always endless for it. If TMNT can get so many different shows within such a small time frame, Sonic should also get the same treatment. He has proven that action as well as comedy works within his universe so no matter which direction they take the franchise in, we should be set for a golden experience. Yes, I don’t have Sonic Mania at the moment, but I’m sure its time will come. As a Sonic fan I’d expect nothing less.

Overall 7/10

Editorial

5 Reasons why I won’t main a low tier in Super Smash for Switch.

I take no credit for the images used in this article. Credit goes to their respective creators


So the next Smash Bros game is coming out soon and you’re wondering who to main. I don’t blame you, this is the kind of decision that is super important and will come back to bite you if you aren’t careful.I’m going to impart some wisdom to you here on not only why I won’t main a low tier, but why you shouldn’t either. I mained Fox in the first 3 iterations of Smash Bros and upgraded to Bayonetta for Sm4sh. For Sm5sh I fully expect to be maining a top tier fighter as well. You need to choose quickly because otherwise you will become stuck. For example, if you approach most players who main a low tier they will deny it. You can yell it as loudly as the character in the picture above but they can no longer recognize that their character is low tier. You simply lose sight of the character’s faults and that’s why you need to make the right choice the first time around.

1. You have to develop your own Metagame.

When you pick a top tier like Diddy Kong or Bayonetta you’re in for a fun time since you can just toss out the same old combos that you see the top players pulling off. For Bayonetta just keep using her witch twists until it gets the KO. It’s an extremely safe attack so don’t worry about getting punished for it. See, the thing with low tiers is that everybody is always eager for someone else to main them, but nobody wants to do it personally. That’s because you are the guinea pig here. They want you to learn the combos so they can just steal it along with the character once you prove that they can be viable. Of course, that’s hardly a guarantee in the first place. Odds are that you’ll be doomed. Worst case you think you are picking a great character as seen in the picture above, but then the reality is a little different.

2. You can’t have any Johns

If you lose to someone when you’re playing one of the best characters then you can easily make an excuse like you didn’t sleep well or something and people might believe it. After all, how else could you lose to a low tier? However, if you lose to someone while playing a bottom 5 character then you only have yourself to blame for picking the character. At least that’s going to be the counter argument and it will be a very tough one to get around. How do you debunk such a statement? It gets tricky and this actually leads into my 3rd reason.

3. You always have to settle for 2nd best

Whether you are second in your pool, in the tourney, or in your half of the pool, there will always be a ceiling that you can’t shatter. After all, when was the last time someone saw Buff The Puff win a big tourney or Melee Kirby doing anything? You’ll ultimately never get to see most of the prize money for the Smash tournaments and that will turn the game into a very expensive hobby. If you can’t make money off of it then why continue to spend money to enter the tournament? It just doesn’t make any sense. Character loyalty will only hold you back in bracket. Better to be just another Bayo than to be known as the Zelda guy who is always stuck at pools. If you don’t know any better you’d think you were out of the range of another character’s attack like in this picture, but hitboxes can be very deceiving.

4. You won’t get Top Player privilege.

Prepare to be treated like everyone else. Overslept through a pool and want the TOs to give you mercy? Not unless you’re a top player and last I checked, to be a top player you can’t use a low tier. It’s a tough predicament, but one that you will ultimately have to live with. A loop hole that you could use for any of the reasons on the list is to pick a top tier and just call him/her a low tier. Some top players have attempted this and while most will smirk you can probably trick a few into thinking this. Top character privelege is a thing as well. Top tier characters have a lot of cheesy gimmicks and techniques to break their fall so the player can afford to get outplayed the entire set and still win anyway. If you main a low tier then there is nobody to save you from the fall.

5. The more you play, the worse your results get

This may sound contradictory but it’s true. Low tiers thrive on match up inexperience and gimmicks. Most of them are really one trick ponies. At first they will terrify the opponent but then they realize that their attacks actually aren’t so dangerous. Zelda has her down throw to up air, but that’s it. Ganondorf has his powerful attacks, but will get combo’d to death way before that. Buff the Puff dies against anyone with range, etc. Once your opponents figure out what you are doing then it is over. Unfortunately for you, they will inevitably figure it out since this will become obvious the more you play them. You want to play a character who is really OP so even once they know what you are doing it won’t matter.

I say all of this to help you enjoy the game more. You may think that as long as you enjoy a character that you will be fine, but this isn’t usually the case. After all, if you are still losing a lot then that will take away the joy. You can play a boring character all day meanwhile but if it delivers the wins then you won’t mind so much. Of course it will be tough to tell who the top tiers for Smash 5 are right away (Assuming it’s not a port although I have my doubts) but just listen to the general consensus and stick with it for a while. Listen to the Twitch chat or the Reddit professionals and just copy their ideas. It will help you win a lot of tournaments before everyone has picked up the pieces. This was a relatively short editorial, but one that I felt was necessary to release before the game came out. Pick a main wisely as you won’t be able to switch right away without the world taking notice.

Game Records

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 50m
Event Play Time 10m
London Party Play Time 40m
London Party Complete: Gold Medal
Challenges Complete 4.8%
Events Won 3%
Stickers 9/104

Character Stats (Times Played)

Shadow 3
Sonic 1
Metal Sonic 1
Terry 1
Everyone Else 0