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    Sonic Makes The Cover Of EGM !!!……….Again.

    EGM's latest issue has come out! And guess whose on the cover again...... :)

    This time its Sonic with the cast of Phantasy Star reflected from his eyes. Included in this issue is an article celebrating 10 Years Of Sonic The Hedgehog and an SA2 Blowout at the end! The issue is selling for $4.99 and you can click the cover for a larger view. :)

    Sonic #96 Spoilers – Color Cover Released

    The Color Cover for Archie Sonic's Sonic The Hedgehog #96 has been released. Spoilers included below....

    "The Messenger"
    "The Chosen One - Part Two"
    Writers: by Karl Bollers & Ken Penders
    Artists: James Fry, Ron Lim & Ken Penders

    The answers to many questions are revealed - and a few new ones are raised...Has his Majesty's Secret Service learned of Sonic's heroic, secret trip to Robotropolis? Will Princess Sally and Sonic finally see each other again? And has Dr. Robotnik finally figured out a way to get back into Knothole Village? And in the Knuckles back up - the Chosen One arc continues...

    Cool. But what did they mean by will Sonic and Sally ever see each other again? O_O My guess is that thier building up the breakup we've heard rumors on. I wonder who will break up with who first - Sonic or Sally?

    In the meantime I can now comment on the cover since it doesnt look all gibberishy now. ^__^ Either Doc R.'s Shadow Swatbots have learned how to cloak themselves OR theres a new brand of clear Swatbots (the color cover releases are never fully accurate - so I'm guessing) but either way Sonic and Mina reflected off the surface of the bot is pretty cool. Click the cover for a larger view. ^__^

    OT – Have You Seen My Bleemcast?

    This is CERTAINLY NOT Sonic news, but I know a lot of you are still wondering about this - so I figured I'd post it and inform you guys.

    Even though Bleem! has made it clear that there has been no set date for their upcoming PlayStation emulator on the Dreamcast, decided to fire off an email to the company anyway, wondering what the holdup is with Bleemcast! Here below is the reply they received:

    The good news is, there are something like 6 million Dreamcast consoles out there that will be able to play bleemcast! with no problems. The bad news is, (for the time being at least) bleemcast! will only run on those machines, until we can figure something out for the new units.

    However, we anticipated this change when we first heard about the system being cracked and our projections have been based on the installed base of MIL-CD compatible Dreamcasts, so it doesn't affect our product plans in the slightest. And now that the new machines have hit the streets, we're looking to see if there's a way to make bleemcast! work without putting the platform at risk by exposing another backdoor for the pirates to exploit. In the meantime, we'll do what we can to help potential customers determine whether bleemcast! will work with their DC.

    Frankly, we can't blame Sega for killing support for the MIL-CD format, given the explosion in piracy in recent months. It's a pity that the information was put out there so irresponsibly and so much piracy has sprung up so quickly - Sega made a great console at a great price, and offers some of the most creative and innovative content out there. What's sad is that many of the same people who steal Dreamcast games will also be the first to bash Sega if they drop out of the market because they can't make any money.

    Of course, it's good to know the reason why we haven't seen this emulator grace our Dreamcasts yet given the fact that we were expecting it back in October. With the recent announcement that Sega will be reducing the console price to $100, smart shoppers may benefit from buying the Dreamcast and Bleemcast, getting the best of both Sega and Sony. Hopefully the Feburary or March release date will stick this time.

    Source: Sega X

    Genesis Classics Come To Advance !!!

    Think Sonic Advance was it huh? Think again...

    It seems the Game Boy Advance will be getting a LOT of the classic Sega Genesis games as well - and hopefully there may be a few classic Sonic's thrown in there as well!

    After Sega's big announcement, IGN got in touch with Charles Bellfield, vice president of marketing communications for Sega of America to talk about the company's future plans with the Game Boy Advance. While he couldn't go into specifics about what the company has in the works for the system, he was genuinely excited for the future with the handheld. The big question was asked – will Sega dig into its classic Genesis library and revive some of the best titles of the 16-bit days? "It's a natural thing to do," he told us. "Just look at the backlog of titles Sega has…there is plenty to work with."

    Unfortunately, other of the hit games published by Sega may have to be left in the past, as many of them utilized licenses that weren't directly owned by Sega itself. Six big titles from the Genesis era: Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion, Aladdin, and Donald Duck's Quackshot were Disney titles, Gunstar Heroes and Dynamite Headdy are Treasure property, and Toejam and Earl is owned by…well, Toejam and Earl Productions. While Sega could work its legal magic with the respective companies, it may be easier just to work with what Sega has. Nothing is known if the games listed above will end up being ported. Time will tell.

    "But we wouldn't just rehash our old software just to sell," Bellfield told us. "If we didn't add to the original as an incentive to buy it, we wouldn't do it." In other words, for those who remember it, you might not see >b>Altered Beast on the Game Boy Advance unless it was updated or enhanced in some way – such as new levels, new graphics, or new gameplay elements. Or, at the very least, included in a compilation pack similar to what Sega recently released on the Dreamcast as the Smash Pack. Something that would make the game less of a "shovelware" -- something to give the title an incentive for folks to buy itIf the company doesn't increase the value of the game with new elements, then folks might not buy it. It's the "been there, done that" syndrome.

    While Sega Enterprises (the Japanese branch) is responsible for the production of the first three games for the Game Boy Advance, Sega of America will also actively produce titles for the GBA down the road – just as it had for the Dreamcast, Saturn, and Genesis. The company's both a publisher and a developer – and nothing has changed in this transition – several titles produced by Sega deserve a return, and with this recent turn of events for the company, the possibility has turned into a probability.

    Source: IGN Pocket

    The Demo Disks Return !!!!!! – Sonic Adventure 2 Yuji Naka Interview Included!

    Though the Official Dreamcast Magazine will stop releasing a Dreamcast demo disc, don't fret dear readers... you'll still be able to get a demo disc full of all the future SEGA titles as SEGA has unveiled its replacement, the new Dreamcast, Ltd. The demo disc will be released quarterly from SEGA, similar in style to the PlayStation Underground Discs you see in places like Electronics Boutique and Software Etc.. The first volume will release on March 27th, 2001 nationwide at a suggested price of $4.95.

    “The ‘Dreamcast, Ltd.’ program lets us showcase the unparalleled quality of content coming to Dreamcast,” said John Golden, director of product marketing, Sega of America. “By making the discs available at a very low price point at retailers across the country, every Dreamcast owner will have the opportunity to experience the very best of what’s coming up for Dreamcast.”

    On the first volume of Dreamcast, Ltd., the disc will feature demos of:

  • Unreal Tournament
  • Spider Man
  • Championship Surfer
  • Bomberman Online

    and other hot titles. Addtionally, there's also this great interview with Yuji Naka (the creator of Sonic), where he talks about the development of Sonic Adventure 2 as well as a good look at whats new in the game! Oh what about the demo of Shenmue 2? Oh, it's in there, too! ^__^

    Source: IGN Dreamcast

  • Sonic Advance Confirmed !

    Sega made history this morning when the company revealed its future publishing plans for 2001 and beyond (see our news story below) – the company is slowly leaving the system business and transmogrifying into one of the biggest third-party publishers for the Game Boy Advance, Gamecube, XBox, and PlayStation 2. The company announced that it has three Game Boy Advance games currently in the works, Chu Chu Rocket, Puyo Puyo and:

    Sonic The Hedgehog Advance. The game is reported to be along the lines of the Genesis 2D sidescroller, with brand new levels unique to the Nintendo system. The game is currently scheduled for a worldwide release with the US system this July. Blast Processing not needed -- just look how well the NeoGeo Pocket Color version measured up.

    Whats important about this is that it will not only be a Game Boy Advance launch title (**@_____________@**) but it will be the first Segasonic videogame on a system that is NOT fully Sega supported AND the first Sonic game on a major Nintendo system.

    Sonic Pocket Adventure, The SNK-published game for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, was a decent game and took Sonic through a 2D world filled with rings, bursts of speed and graphic splendor. But the game did have some flaws, most of which will be now non-existent on the Game Boy Advance. For example, one complaint from some: "There's no parallax scrolling." The GBA -- the 32-bit RISC processor will be able to handle parallax and depth with little to no problem. And although the Neo Geo game was very similar to the Genesis versions of the platformer, it's almost certain that the GBA Sonic will be superior to the older games, especially since the little handheld has just as much power as the older Sega system.

    We're not completely sure whether the game will really work like the Neo Geo game, or if it will be a completely different style of gameplay. (Rumor has it that the game and levels will be all new and not remakes of older boards designed differently) Either way - It will likely be Sega's flagship product on Nintendo's new handheld, and it will doubtless have incredibly high production values and endless amounts of fun.

    So here goes Sonic's next step...The Game Boy Advance...

    Source: IGN Pocket

    The Dreamcast Is Dead. Sega, however, Is NOT

    The two posts below are prime examples of the latent confusion, reactions, and outbreak of the news that everyones been going on about The Death Of The Dreamcast

    You havent see me post any of it on SHQ News because quite frankly I had no idea if any of it was true and neither did many of the sources at the time. So I'm composing this news article to get some facts straight and hopefully inform people as to whats going on....

    The source I'm going by is IGN's News Articles (as thier the best to decipher) which you can find here: IGN Dreamcast. The article is being reprinted here in full. Important things to note will be in bold and underlined.

    The Death of Dreamcast: Sega Confirms Price Drop, Inventory Reduction, and More

    How's that for an elaborate revenge plot, EA? Come witness the coming shift of power.

    A great man once said, "It's true, it's true." After months of denial, the house that Sonic built decided to follow suit, confirming what many thought to be unthinkable: Sega of America is calling it quits in the hardware business, and as part of their plans to completely wash their hands of that side of the business, they are dropping the price of the Dreamcast to $99.85 US as of February 4th, 2001. In addition to the price drop, Sega will be offering a number of incentive plans to retailers to help move the excess stock, though details were unavailable at press. Sega manager of marketing communications Heather Hawkins stated, "We'll continue to support the hardware through December 31st, as we anticipate some hardware will still be in retail at that time, but we'll no longer be holding inventory as of March 31st."

    As reported earlier this week, Sega will be re-focusing its hardware efforts, and will look to license Dreamcast technology to outside hardware manufacturers. While Pace Micro Technology was the first such partner to be announced by Sega, VP of Corporate and Marketing Communications Charles Bellfield did not rule out the possibility of other agreements entering the picture, "Pace is going to be a key partner for us, the main one, but we're looking at other opportunities for the technology, obviously."

    As hinted at by multiple announcements from Sega of Japan, the company will now approach a new focus as a publisher (WB note: For those that dont understand this - Think along the terms of Square and Capcom and how they are big game producing companies, but develop thier games for multiple platforms - The best examples of them being mega Man and Final Fantasy). This multi-platform strategy, dubbed "platform agnostic," will mean that from this point forward Sega will now be openly and aggressively developing content across all platforms in an attempt to become the world's leading game publisher.

    Hawkins sees the position as the best route for Sega, stating, "Being platform agnostic means that we will have the opportunity to look at all platforms to determine which one will be the best fit for our content, both from a development/technical side and a demographic one, meaning we won't have to determine the feature set of a title by what by the constraints of any particular system."

    On that note, Sega has announced several titles already in production for other platforms, most notably Yu Suzuki's upcoming sequel to the popular Virtua Fighter Series, Virtua Fighter 4, which is being developed from the ground up as a PlayStation 2 exclusive for a Fall release. [Ed's note: Pick your jaws up off the floor now, please. Done? OK, good. You may now continue reading.] Sega also confirmed that United Game Artists' Space Channel 5 would make its way to PlayStation 2 from Sega later this year, as well as titles in the Sakura Wars and Let's Make a Pro Sports Team series, though the latter 2 look unlikely for release in the States.

    Sega finally confirmed the poorly-kept secret of their deal with Acclaim, and stated that the company will release Crazy Taxi, 18 Wheel American Pro Trucker and Zombie Revenge on the PlayStation 2 some time after April 2001.

    Confirming statements made by Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s president Hiroshi Yamauchi earlier this week, Sega has revealed that they are working on multiple titles for Game Boy Advance, including Sonic the Hedgehog Advance (WB note: This had actually been rumored for quite a long while, before the Sega news ever came into existance), Chu Chu Rocket!, and Puyo Puyo. Sega officials also noted that while they made no announcements with regards to Microsoft's Xbox or Nintendo's other hardware effort, the upcoming GameCube, they are currently in negotiations to provide content to both platforms, with more concrete information undoubtedly on the way.

    Sources inside Sega also mentioned that the company is looking into bringing some classic Saturn titles to the original PlayStation, though no decisions have been made to that effect yet.

    All hope is not lost for the Dreamcast platform, however. Bellfield explained that "We're not giving up on Dreamcast. We'll continue to support the platform well into the next 18 months, and beyond that, as long as it is profitable." Now that Sega is moving out of the costly hardware business, this should prove to be a tricky proposition, as the system's limited install base will undoubtedly limit sales potential for new software.

    Sega has confirmed over 30 titles for Dreamcast for the remainder of 2001 (WB Note: Sonic Adventure 2 - which looks to be the final Sega produced Sonic game on a system of thier own, is one of these), many of which we have revealed here, and it appears that Sega will be carefully evaluating where they will focus their content beyond this calendar year, where it will truly begin to expand on its new focus.

    "Sega is a company that has always dared to be innovate and push this industry forward," said Peter Moore, president and COO, Sega of America. "Sega will continue to do so with its new strategy, and the result for consumers will be what you would always expect from a 'rules-breaker' like Sega – a library of pioneering, jaw-dropping content now available any way you want to play."

    While the move will obviously benefit Sega, the effect of their new direction will have on Dreamcast owners remains to be seen. Expect the picture to become increasingly clear as we approach E3 2001, where the announcements should surface like baby seals in the wake of the Exxon Valdez.

    Thier second story on this matter had this to say...

    Sega of Japan has issued a few statements regarding the discontinuance of the Dreamcast hardware platform. Yes, folks, it's happening even in Japan. Throughout the world, Sega has amassed a surplus stock of 2,000,000 units, and these must all go out the door.

    Here's what went wrong, according to Sega. Previously, game consoles were sold on the oft-publicized "Razor Principle", where you sell the razor at or below cost and make all your money selling blade cartridges. Similarly, one used to sell game systems at or below cost and make all the money back on software. According to Sega, this strategy didn't work with Dreamcast as the hardware cost was too high. Furthermore, the company was forced to discount the price of its hardware in order to remain competitive, which further added to the problem (WB note: Remember the Dreamcast Price Drop a while back?). Combine this with a difficult software market, and the Dreamcast business model was not able to meet the required returns in software for balancing out hardware sales.

    It is because of this that Sega has decided to stop Dreamcast production. Additionally, the company mentions that it has suspended research and development on new hardware (WB note: This means that there will ABSOLUETLY BE NO DREAMCAST 2 OR NEW HARDWARE or WHATEVER. Software will continue, but no more hardware. Got it?). Anyone hoping for a new Sega system five or six years down the line when Sega has recuperated its losses are probably in for some disappointment.

    Sega comments that it will continue supporting the Dreamcast system into the future, as previously mentioned. The company states that it has 30 first party titles in development with third parties accounting for an additional 40. We're not sure how one gets the previously mentioned total of 100 Dreamcast titles from this, even adding in American support, but we have a feeling even the 30 and 40 numbers are being optimistic.

    So will Japanese-based Dreamcast product and support become hard to find in the future? Sega doesn't seem to think so. Dreamcast Direct and the various Sega partner shops will continue to carry Dreamcast product, meaning if someone in Japan wants a game, they need only turn here. If your Dreamcast should malfunction, Sega promises to have you taken care of. The company will keep various Dreamcast parts in stock for the next six years and will be open for servicing and repairs.

    But what should happen if you write for a videogame website devoted to the Dreamcast platform? What do you do then? We'll see… we'll see… but I don't know nothin' 'bout writin' 'bout no Xbox! ^_^

    And ladies and gentlemen - THAT is THAT.

    All your questions and whatnot on just what the Death is have been answered. Dreamcast is DEAD, Sega however will continue as a third party platform. Whether or not they will develop for X-Box or Gamecube has yet to be decided (my sheer biasness for the PS hopes that Sonic will end up on one of the two) More news will surface on the up and coming weekend and I'll keep you posted.

    So what does thsi mean for Sonic?

    To be honest. No one knows that yet. Sonic Team is independent now and is still doing Sonic Adventure 2.

    Sonic Advance was talked about ages ago since Sega did not wish to start a new Game Gear, so this was already known by many, but probably forgotten with all of the recent talk.

    What is known is this - Considering that SA 2 will be a fouth quarter release in America, Sonic Adventure 2 will be the final Sonic Team produced Sonic game _PERIOD_ on ANY SEGA SYSTEM. THIS DOES NOT MEAN that this is the final Sonic game, but rather we'll probably no longer see him after this on a Sega Console. Consider it the end of the second Segasonic era. Its rather ironic really. Sonic began Service Games and kept it going. Sonic will now end out Service Games as its last hurrah and take it into its next step.

    Sonic The Hedgehog however is NOWHERE near dear. Sonic Advance (appropriate title for the situation) will be the very first Sega Sonic game on a new rival system and will mark the beginning of the 3rd Segasonic Era. I cannot specifically say this, but I think I remember reading somewhere that Yuji Naka had actually liked the X-Box. And perhaps that Sonic/Mario crossover RPG that had been talked about and laughed at for YEARS may now have a way of actually seeing the light.

    And thats that folks. Hopefully that will clear everything up. And if you have further posts or disccusion the topic (and this news story), like others is free for discussion on Station Square. And is now the Editorial Focus for the month of Feburary.

    Hope to see you there!

    Discussion: The Station Square Message Board: Sega's Big Goodbye

    Sonic #95 Spoilers – The Chosen One Starts Now….

    Dub here! And today we get the long awaited Sonic #95 spoilers! Bunnie Rabbot fans will definetely want this one for the first story. But Miles "Tails" Prower fans - buckle your seatbelts: "The Chosen One", the final Knuckles arc before Sonic #100 and the follow up to one of the biggest side storylines in Archie starts here.....

    Sonic The Hedgehog #95
    "Enemy Mine"
    "The Chosen One - Part One"
    Written by Karl Bollers and Ken Penders
    Art by James Fry And Ron Lim
    Inks By Andrew Pepoy and Ken Penders.

    A trip to Robotropolis to rescue the roboticized Overlanders baffles Sonic and Bunnie, as many of the Overlanders haven't even been roboticized! Meanwhile, Kodos has gone over the top, affected by radiation, leading Sonic and Bunnie to assist Arachnis in battle against Kodos as they attempt to make their way through the Great Forest. Is Kodos' condition part of a bigger threat? Can Arachnis be trusted? And just what can Robotnik be up to by allowing the Overlanders to exist free of roboticization? And in the backup story - His fellow enchidnas might not have the answers to Knuckles' problem, but Athair believes he does. He recruits Tails, along with Merlin Prower, to assist with the solution, leading to the moment many have asked for: the ultimate destiny of Sonic's major domo revealed...

    Coolness. Not only do we get a story with Sonic and Bunnie (my personal fave of the FF's) but we get the long requested Chosen One arc that I know a bunch of you will be happy to hear, plus the return of Athair as Tails may possibly meet his uncle Merlin Prower who hasn't been seen since back in the day. :)

    As an off note, the miniature version of this cover doesn't really do it justice. Sonic trapped in Spaz's "Spider Man" webbing makes this a SWEET cover and probably his best one in a while just for the layout. I'm not that happy with Ron Lim doing the art for the Knuckles/Tails back, but overall this looks to be a pretty good issue in the making. And if it follows the upswing trend the books have been taking since #88 (skipping SSS#15 - it doesn't exist >_<) then #100 may be looking good after all...

    The Sonic HQ Interview! – Daniel Drazen and Sonique!

    Howdy folks! Dub here - it's been a LONG TIME coming, a LONG TIME waiting, and a LONG TIME in getting it here - but I can assure you the waits are more than worth it! Today - for the month of December we present what I've promised you since the anniversary: The SHQ Interview with Daniel J. Drazen! And if thats not enough to appease you, we even got an interview with Alison "Sonique" Scharlemann - THE Sonique credited with Sonic Pandemonium, Perfect Chaos, the late Shadow Of Light, and now FUS: the online fight to get one of the fandom's cartoons back on the air!

    I can guarantee that these are two of the biggest and neatest fan interviews we've ever done, so get to reading!

    Daniel J. Drazen - Would you believe he's one of the oldest and most well respected Sonic The Hedgehog fans online? Have you ever wondered who that well spoken dude on the mailing lists is who consistently churns out reviews of the Archie Sonic Comics every month since..oh, Sonic #18? :) Or have you heard of the infamous fanfic called Mobius Apocalypse? From Archie, to its writers, to Sega, to writing fanfiction, to practically everything else as well as tips for the young aspiring writer and whats new, take a peek and get to know Daniel J. Drazen - one of the cream of the crop among Sonic fans.

    Sonique - She can be one of the nicest people you meet if you talk to her, but cross her the wrong way and she wont hesitate to tell you what she thinks. ^__^ She's vocal, she's outspoken and she's one of the most well known long-time webmasters in the Sonic fandom! Her name is Alison Scharlemann, but you all know her as the unique "Sonique"! From Sonic Pandemonium, to Shadow Of Light, to currently FUS, join us as we have a sit with tonights lady of the evening and discuss whats new since we last saw her! And Sonic Underground fans, bring your flame retardant sheets ready...Prepare for a liitle Pandemonium - Sonique Style! :O) (Note: ***There is some mild language left in to keep the interview in tact)

    Thats it for today! Read those and then check out our Poll Position below! And feel free to discuss anything you read there on the Station Square MB!

    Poll Position And Reader Reviews: December!

    Howdy folks! And welcome to our brand spanking new "End Of The Year" Poll Position! This month, the Sonic The Hedgehog #100 Speculation Poll as well as Sonic #88 and Sonic Super Special #14 Reader Reviews! Also 2 new polls and 4 new reader reviews of Archie Sonic 89-91 and a special review for reader input concerning Sega's new videogame release of the party game Sonic Shuffle! Considering we've got a lot of ground to cover, lets get right to the point:

    There was only one question on this months Poll Position and that was - What event would you like to see happen sometime within the timespan of Sonic 100? (Choose 5 Answers)

    Here are the final results.....