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Posts Tagged ‘SEGA’

Blu-ray Review: Sonic the Hedgehog

May 19, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
Sonic the Hedgehog
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Over the history of video games there have been certain series that inherently lent themselves to becoming motion pictures. Sonic the Hedgehog, a game about an ultra-fast hedgehog that collects golden rings and contains only the most basic of narratives, didn’t seem like one. Despite that, Jeff Fowler was tabbed to make his feature-length directorial debut on the film adaptation that included a complete visual redesign of Sonic. While that sounds like a recipe for disaster, the results are better than you might expect.

THE PLOT

Hunted on his own world for his incredible speed, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) uses a golden ring to escape to Earth where he lives in secret seclusion for a decade around the small town of Green Hills, Montana. Eventually, the loneliness gets to him, causing him to lose control and emit a massive electromagnetic pulse that knocks out power across the Pacific Northwest.

This draws the attention of the United States military, and the brilliant but eccentric Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) is dispatched to investigate. Using advanced machines, Robotnik is soon able to pick up Sonic’s trail, following him to the home of Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), who accidentally shot Sonic with a tranquilizer. Wachowski elects not to turn Sonic over to Robotnik, however, knocking out the doctor and becoming a fugitive.

With his cover blown, Sonic must now escape to another world, but he needs the golden rings that he accidentally dropped into an open portal in San Francisco. As Tom and Sonic head toward the Bay Area, their every step is dogged by Robotnik, who wants to capture and study the hedgehog. As they travel, Sonic and Tom strike up an unlikely friendship, which they’ll need to rely on to overcome Robotnik and his advanced machinery.

THE GOOD

If you’re a fan of Carrey circa Ace Ventura, you’ll likely enjoy him as Dr. Robotnik. He brings the manic energy that put him on the map as a cast member of In Living Colour, talking over people, insulting them and just generally being a jerk. That shtick has a shelf life, but in a secondary role for a kid’s movie it’s spot on. He’s instantly unlikable to kids, who want to see him get his comeuppance, and provides some humour for parents as well. It’s perfect casting.

Going back to the drawing board with Sonic was a smart move. We re-watched the original trailer, and the lithe, more human look that Sonic had there wouldn’t have worked nearly as well. The other visual effects, most notably Robotnik’s various craft and robots, are quite good, something that often gets kicked to the curb in children’s films. Marsden is solid as the human lead, and there’s some good interplay with his wife’s sister, played by Natasha Rothwell.

THE BAD

Outside of Carrey’s antics, which are pretty juvenile, there isn’t a lot for the adults to get into, which feels like a miss considering it’s the parents that grew up with the SEGA Genesis — the number of nods to the gaming world are shockingly small, and that’s counting what we assume is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Mario with the Mushroom Kingdom. As such, most of the enjoyment adults are likely to pull from Sonic is watching their kids get into it.

THE BONUS FEATURES

There are almost 15 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes, some of which feature unfinished animation. They don’t offer a whole lot, though, other than the subplot of Sonic feeding off of batteries being (wisely) cut from the finished product. Beyond that you get a handful of short featurettes, the best of which is one that delves into Sonic’s origins as a game.

OVERALL

If you have a kid under the age of 10, Sonic the Hedgehog should make for an entertaining evening thanks to its blend of action and silliness.

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Video Game Review: The Yakuza Remastered Collection

March 2, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: The Yakuza Remastered Collection
This was our introduction to the series, having missed the first two games that launched on the PlayStation 2, so it was fun to revisit it. We were blissfully unaware of the controversy of having elements like the massage parlour removed from the U.S. launch, so it was fun to go back and tool around with a more complete version of the game. It’s also the only one of three here to feature Kiryu as the primary protagonist.
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Video Game Review: Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle

February 19, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
As you’d suspect, both games have been remastered to output in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second on the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, closing the visual gap between their respective releases and the current era. It’s time to fire them up to see how kind (or cruel) the last 10 years have been.
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Video Game Review: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

November 6, 2019 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
Events on the 2D side are simpler, often employing a two-button approach to mimic what you would’ve seen with an NES controller, though some events do use the analog sticks and/or the other buttons (such as the vault). The throwback element works well here, and even though there are fewer events in the Toyko 1964 section, the enjoyment was more consistent. It’s worth noting that many of the 3D events can be played with motion controls, but we found it to be less fun that way and stuck with the buttons.
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Video Game Review: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD

November 1, 2019 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
Our biggest complaint, however, is the camera, which remains locked in place as you try to move around these winding levels, often to your detriment. It felt incredibly outdated to not have the option to swing the camera around for a cleaner look or more subtle adjustments, and the constant motion of the screen was borderline stomach turning after a while — it’s worse in handheld mode. There are also some mini-games that offer different setups, all of which at least control adequately.
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