Sonic Rush: SEGA’s Iconic Handheld Classic

As it has been 11 years since this iconic handheld classic was released, Sonic Rush was the first Nintendo DS Game produced and released by Sega. With more than 30-40 levels in the game, Sonic Rush brought to the table the new and playable character, Blaze the Cat.

Breaking away from its old tradition of just being 7 Chaos Emeralds, the introduction of Blaze the Cat brought about the Sol Emeralds. As all the levels for both Sonic and Blaze were indefinitely the same, there was a twist to this game, as the music for every level was almost the same, but did change as you played either character. For instance, playing as Sonic the Hedgehog meant the music for the game would remain as is, but for Blaze the Cat, the music sounded more in your face, but was able to fit accordingly and also very well to the overall concept of the game.

For each level, there were obstacles that were almost impossible to get through, given that some levels were a lot more complicated than they first appeared to be, which proved just how much of a smash hit game Sonic Rush was when it was released.

I got this game the year after it was released when I went through hospital treatment from March to May 2006 after fracturing my wrist/arm and I was in pain, but this game kept me going through the pain and I’m pleased to say that for a game like this, it is absolutely worth every penny and also worth everything that comes with it.

I love games, but the type of games that peak my interest, and Sonic Rush and the Sonic series is the type of series of games I would always play.

In the game, you have not one, but two Eggman characters. Eggman and Eggman Nega.

For Sonic the Hedgehog to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds, you would need to find a spinning wheel of different colours in the level, and if your speed gauge is full enough, Sonic will be able to hang on to it and then speed around full circle on the spinning wheel, to which he will be thrown up but into a portal taking you to the secret part of the level where the Chaos Emeralds can be collected.

All seven Chaos Emeralds are separated accordingly over the entire game but throughout all the levels. All you need to do is collect them. In order to gain each Chaos Emerald as you progress through the game, you will be given a ring count target to reach and if you reach it the first time, you will then be given another ring count target to reach, and if you do reach the second ring target then you will earn the Chaos Emerald. If you don’t reach the required ring count target, you won’t receive the Chaos Emeralds, which in effect sets the difficulty to all-new heights.

As you continue to progress through the game, each boss gets harder to complete but the final boss that involves Sonic transforming into Super Sonic and Blaze transforming into Burning Blaze is one of the hardest final bosses you’ll complete, because just like the final boss in Sonic Heroes, you will be expected to keep collecting rings in order to save both Sonic and Blaze from losing their lives as they defeat Eggman and Eggman Nega. If the ring count hits zero for both Sonic & Blaze, both will die as a result so the final boss is the battle for survival.

Sonic Rush and all the other Sonic the Hedgehog games always send a message, reading out: “Survival of the Fittest“, which keeps the spirits of Sonic Rush and the other Sonic games alive.

With 2D & 3D graphics balancing the game’s concept, Sonic Rush couldn’t have come at a better time. Despite some thinking it didn’t live up to the hype of the previous Sonic titles, I can say that it’s an iconic title that does in fact live up to the hype and keeps the energy and spirit of a true Sonic the Hedgehog fan alive.

Also, the nostalgia of some of the levels remind me of some of the previous games, such as Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2 & Sonic Advance 3, as it feels like some of the ideas from those games were recycled and reused in this game, making Sonic Rush feel nostalgic, which I love, because it’s like the ideas from past games have been recycled and reused into something new, but something that is just as better as the past, present and future Sonic the Hedgehog games.

Overall, I love Sonic Rush because of the fact it doesn’t just live up to the hype of the previous Sonic games, but because it also has that nostalgic feeling that takes you back, especially if you’re someone like me who used to and even now, would still play the Sonic Advance series, especially where Sonic Rush is concerned. Sonic Rush is the best follow-up to the Sonic Advance Game Boy Advance titles in my opinion and is the type of game I would play any day.

Do you own a copy of Sonic Rush? Please let me know what you think of the game by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Sonic Rush Nintendo DS Game Rating: 10/10

Crash Bandicoot is Back!!!

On the 13th June 2016, after years of rumours and speculation, Sony finally announced that the classic Crash Bandicoot series that consisted of the three PlayStation 1 games, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped will be remastered.

Of course, I’ve been waiting for that news to arrive, and I’m absolutely pleased that it’s finally happening. It was only on the 9th July 2015 that I talked about Crash Bandicoot: Warped in a gaming review, and to now hear that all three of the first Crash games are finally being revived, that’s amazing.

The Crash series was the norm 20 years ago, and loads of people would literally lock themselves away in their bedrooms for hours on end playing the games, because the games were that good that you could play it and feel like you were in a world of your own.

Believe me when I say this, when I’ve played the Crash games, I’ve been like that, locking myself away in my bedroom just to play the games because they’re classic games that, even to this day, will always be so good, and the potential for revivals of all three Crash games were on the cards for a very long time.

We all have, so far, got a taster of the new version of Crash Bandicoot, as he makes his debut on the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, the XBOX 360, XBOX ONE and the Nintendo Wii U in the new Skylanders game, Skylanders Imaginators, which will be released in three editions, the Standard Edition, the Dark Edition & the Crash Edition, on the 14th October 2016. The Crash Bandicoot Remastered Series is being released next year, though more details of the trilogy will follow nearer the time of release.

All I can say is that as long as the remastered versions of Crash Bandicoot’s 1, 2 & 3 for the PlayStation 4 live up to the same potential or to the highest potential as the PS1 Classic versions of the games, then I’ll be pleased, and as long as the remastered versions of the Crash PS1 Series live up to the hype that the originals had at release, then I’ll consider getting the trilogy when it comes out, after I see gameplay videos of the remastered versions in action on YouTube of course.

Are you just as excited as I am about the Crash Bandicoot series being revived? If so, please me know by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Remembering Satoru Iwata, One Year On (1959 – 2015)

Exactly one year ago today, the gaming world lost an iconic gaming legend. Satoru Iwata, who was best known for being the man behind the iconic gaming consoles, such as the Game Boy Series, the Nintendo DS Series, the Nintendo Wii Series, the Nintendo 3DS Series and the Nintendo Wii U Series, sadly passed away a year ago today following a bile duct growth, which Nintendo officially announced in a statement they published on the 11th July 2015.

I still find it hard to believe, even now, that he has gone, it just doesn’t feel real. To think he passed away on this day last year shocks me.

On this day last year, when Satoru Iwata’s death was announced to the world, everyone paid tribute to the iconic gaming legend, with one company even creating an image showing the flag pole from the end of a Super Mario Bros. level at half-mast, which would pay respect to Satoru Iwata.

It’s hard to think and believe it was actually a year ago today that he passed away. He is an iconic gaming legend who was also famously behind the Mario series, as well as other games that he was behind on.

Thanks to Satoru Iwata, he helped to re-shape and redefine Nintendo’s love and passion for games including his own, and he also helped to shape our lives for the better. I want to thank Satoru Iwata entirely for helping this world become a better place. I also want to thank Satoru Iwata for changing mine and everyone else’s lives for the better.

Even to this day, and even in the future, we will always miss you Satoru Iwata. Thank you for being the iconic gaming legend that you are and always will be, and thanks so much for changing everyone’s lives, including mine for the better. We will and always will miss you Satoru Iwata, but you will be forever remembered in our hearts.

Alex Smithson

Miitomo. Out Now!!! (My Review of Nintendo’s First Ever Mobile App)

After a lot of widespread anticipation, following its historical début on mobile, which saw 1 million users in Japan getting their hands on this app within 3 days of its release in Japan (17th March), Nintendo finally released their first mobile application, Miitomo, to the world. The release of Miitomo comes exactly two weeks after it was released in Japan, and within less than 24 hours after it was released, Nintendo’s first ever mobile application on the iTunes App Store and Google Play débuted at Number 1.

I’ve been playing around with the Miitomo app for 48 hours now, and I actually love it, it’s really cool, and I quite like the fact that you get rewarded everytime you achieve something good, especially where the games are concerned, as they do games inside the app, which allow you to use any game tickets that you were given upon using the app for the first time.

Since its release on the 31st March in the United Kingdom, the United States and everywhere else in the world, a lot of users around the world have been creating funny memes, using their own Mii‘s, which has resulted in the app going viral within a matter of a few days. I decided to put my own spin on the Miitomo meme effect that has gone viral on the web by making my own one for this article’s featured image. I wanted to create a kind of cheesy but interesting approach for this article by getting my Mii to do different poses and funny facial expressions :D.

I have always loved Nintendo for their creative and innovative ideas, as they have revolutionised the way we play games. For instance, when the Game Boy Advance came out, that changed the way we play games, and the Game Boy Advance SP (SP stands for Special) was no different, but it was the Game Boy Advance SP that eventually paved the way for the best-selling handheld console, the Nintendo DS.

I remember waking up on Christmas Day in 2005 unwrapping and unboxing the Nintendo DS, along with the Super Mario 64 DS game that came bundled as another Christmas present, and I absolutely loved playing on the console, especially the game, and it just goes to prove how the handheld console revolution has evolved for Nintendo since the original Game Boy was released all the way back in 1990 in Europe.

But with Miitomo, this will help to redefine and shape Nintendo’s way of developing games for the future. It’s such a fantastic app to use, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. You can link your Nintendo Network ID to Miitomo, including your Facebook & Twitter accounts, which is also useful if you’re looking to add some Facebook friends you know that may use the app, including some of your Twitter followers.

To download Nintendo’s first ever mobile app, choose the designated App Store below to be directed to your chosen App Store:

iTunes

Google Play

Overall, I absolutely recommend you download the app if you’re on the iTunes App Store or Google Play, I highly recommend it. It’s such a fun-filled addictive app that will keep you going for hours on end.

If you’ve downloaded Miitomo on your Android or iOS device, please let me know what your experience with the Miitomo app has been so far :-).

Alex Smithson