The Scrap Yard

Gamerrob’s Top 5 Sonic the Hedgehog Games

Having bothered to get a Wii U just to play Sonic Lost World and the reversely compatible Sonic and the Black Knight, I am no stranger to the franchise, and could even be considered a fan of the speedy hedgehog. So, since I’m sick of reviewing sub-par movies and “hardcore” games (Watch_Dogs review incoming), this will be a fun one-off entry where I can discuss my feelings on what I believe to be Sonic’s top 5 gaming adventures.

5.) Sonic Lost World (Wii U)maxresdefault

Sure, it wasn’t traditional speedy Sonic fair, but it was a mechanically sound game that got a lot of shit for no reason. The controls were tight, the levels had solid difficulty curves, and most of the complaints stemmed from people not willing to learn the basic mechanics. It’s underrated and under-loved, and deserves some attention here.

4.) Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii)Secret_Rings_Promo

Maybe not the most secure control scheme given the Wii Remote’s initial flaky nature, but the environments were among the best in the entire series, the sheer quantity of content astounding and the sundry assortment of modes and unlockables was second to none. This game could keep you playing for months if you adjusted to the control scheme. Not to mention the speed felt much more gratifying than any other modern Sonic game.

3.) Sonic 3 and Knuckles (Genesis, bitches!)S3k_title

Three playable characters, all with the same basic ingredients but with mildly different flavors. Not to mention SEGA’s feat in successfully handling the seemingly quixotic ambition of pairing two separate games into one via cartridge-lock. The levels were top notch, the special stages had the perfect difficulty, and the multi-tiered final boss felt satisfying beyond compare.

2.) Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS)Sonic_Rush_Coverart

Some handheld gems never get proper notice, Rush being one of them. Introducing the boost mechanic and emulating Sonic 3 and Knuckles in the best of ways (a slightly different alternate character and amaaaaazing end-game content) made this the proper continuation and evolution of 2D Sonic that the fans had been clamoring for.

1.) Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360)Wallpaper_sonic_unleashed_01_1920x1200

This felt like Sonic Team’s last hurrah, when they didn’t know whether they’d get the funds to make another title in the series. It featured the best production values, absolutely gorgeous locales and above all else, the revolutionary 3D boost gameplay that changed how gamers thought about Sonic the Hedgehog as a character. This game redefined speed as a whole. While it certainly has more faults than any of the other titles on this list, its successes are so astounding that it deserves the top spot by far.

Movies/TV · Video Games

Wreck-It Ralph References

Wreck-It Ralph had at least a hundred references scattered throughout the entire movie, so here’s my go at naming all of the ones I saw firsthand:
References:
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic)
Doctor Eggman (Sonic)
Tails “Miles” Prower (Sonic)
Chemical Plant Zone (Sonic) (Ridiculously awesome credits opening)
Angel Island Robotnik Boss (Sonic)
Q*bert
PacMan
Orange PacMan ghost
Frogger
Dig Dug
Portal (Vanellope calls Ralph “grumpy GLaDOS” which is pretty great)
Subzero (Mortal Kombat)
Shuma-Gorath (Capcom)
Mario (Felix mentions his name at a party)
Mega Mushroom (Mario Bros.)
Bowser (Mario Bros.)
Star Wars
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Metal Gear Solid (the cheat code from the original game is used in-movie)
Exclamation Point (MGS)
Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland)
Subway (That sandwich chain)
Mentos (not product placement, but essential to the story)
Zombie (House of the Dead?)
Zangief (Street Fighter)
M. Bison (Street Fighter)
Ryu (Street Fighter)
Ken (Street Fighter)
Tapper
Halo/Tron (Not directly references but inferred in the game “Hero’s Duty”)
Lara Croft (name mentioned)
Skrillex

Needless to say, the movie was awesome (if I haven’t already convinced you in my two other Wreck-It Ralph posts).

Movies/TV · Video Games

Review of “Wreck-It Ralph”

If you’re a skeptical type and didn’t heed my advice earlier to just go out and see the freakin’ movie, I guess you’re waiting for a proper review. Well, you’re in luck because I need to gush more about Wreck-It Ralph.

Alright, so plot overview is short and simple: Wreck-It Ralph, bad guy, is sick of being bad. So, he goes about trying out different games in an attempt to be considered a hero, but all that does is get everyone into big trouble. A LOT more happens than just that, but spoilers are uncool so I’ll end it there.

So the movie is obviously kid-friendly. But that doesn’t mean it’s geared towards kids! Sooooo many classic game references abound in the first hour that it’s like swimming in pixel-filled memory lane. From fan-favorites such as Dig-Dug, Pacman and Frogger to more recent characters like Subzero and Shuma-Gorath, your inner-nerd will die, be reborn and die again, repeating the cycle until you’re numb with glee. Not to mention Sonic the Hedgehog on a movie screen (I can barely resist jumping up and down in joy while typing that).

Another important if minor thing the movie does right is the humor and puns. It’s hard for a movie to get that right, whether it be Disney animated or not. But Wreck-It Ralph forms a new standard for cheesy jokes that all other movies must worship and follow from henceforth ’til Wreck-It Ralph 2!

The movie can’t just rely on good humor and references though. It’s gotta have substance, and wings of its own so it can fly and become its own movie. And Wreck-It Ralph soars, with flying colors. I practically cried in one scene, and a movie about video games has got to be pretty darn good to extract that level of emotion. Not only can it be a solid tear-jerker, but the plot itself unfolds into this gorgeous, sprawling adventure that the trailers don’t even hint at.

The voice acting was on par with the rest of the movie, which is to say, AMAZING. John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch all provided top notch performances, and even the woman who voiced Penelope Von Schweetz grew on me.

Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve made my point clear. Go out, see the movie and love it. Best animated Disney movie I’ve ever seen? Yes. Best Disney movie period? Yes. Best movie of all-time? It’s definitely a contender.