Sonic Team Looks Back At The Blue Blur's First 30 Years

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Sonic Team Looks Back At The Blue Blur's First 30 Years

Earlier this summer, the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise turned 30 years old. Sega marked the occasion by holding a Sonic Central stream that teased three new projects (Sonic Colors: Ultimate, Sonic Origins, and an untitled mainline Sonic game) in May, followed by a special 30th-anniversary concert featuring an orchestra playing classic Sonic music.

With the bulk of the celebrations in the rear-view mirror, we caught up with five longtime developers from Sonic Team. Ranging from directors and producers to composers and artists, we covered the spectrum to learn about each individual's unique experiences with the franchise, as well as what 30 years of Sonic means to them. 

What is your first memory of working on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise? Takashi Iizuka, creative officer, head of Sonic Team: Moving to America and living there for a year and a half to develop Sonic 3 is my first memory. For someone like me who had never experienced being in a foreign country before, it was an exciting and fresh experience.

Stardew Valley and Death's Door: Listening To Games That Take Their Jobs Seriously

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Stardew Valley and Death's Door: Listening To Games That Take Their Jobs Seriously

I write for Game Informer.

It’s a simple sentence, but I’m still wrapping my brain around it. Go back a few years and I would have laughed in your face if you had told me, sitting in my cubicle plastered with video game posters, this is where I would be today. Fittingly, it’s a video game that is helping me get used to my new position, the same way it was a video game that helped me start the journey towards it.

Death’s Door came out my first week as an associate editor. It had been on my radar, and everyone playing it in the office seemed so excited that I booted it up the night it came out. Late at night the day it came out. It was probably ill-advised for me, a new employee, to stay up playing video games, but I figured my bosses would understand. I was ready for a door, I was ready for death, but I wasn’t prepared to be confronted by an eerily accurate depiction of my first career.

I Still Haven’t Played Mass Effect Legendary Edition Because I Fear Change

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I Still Haven’t Played Mass Effect Legendary Edition Because I Fear Change

“I can’t wait to be an a**hole!” I gleefully thought to myself when Mass Effect Legendary Edition was announced. Bioware’s sci-fi series ranks as arguably my favorite video game trilogy ever; however, I’ve only played through the saga once. I rarely replay games, especially those as beefy as Mass Effect. The larger reason for that, though, is that I consider my single playthrough sacred and the canonical version of the Mass Effect story.

I’m a generally good human being, so I role-played Shepard as if I was in his shoes. I cured the genophage. All of my crewmates survived the suicide run (which I’m still surprised by). I romanced good-girl Tali over that harpy Miranda. If there was an option to talk the Reapers into surrendering peacefully and joining us for a picnic instead, I probably would have chosen it. 

Still, I acknowledge that there’s a wealth of renegade content I’ve never seen, so determining how to approach a return trip was easy. Everything I did before, I’d simply do the hard opposite. Reporters would be punched, friends would perish without a second thought, and somehow, I’d still be the savior of the galaxy despite literally being the worst person. “Excellent,” I said in my best Mr. Burns impersonation. 

Why Mass Effect Andromeda Is A Better Game Than You Think

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Why Mass Effect Andromeda Is A Better Game Than You Think

Mass Effect Andromeda took BioWare's space adventure to a brand new galaxy with a fresh protagonist, new alien races, and completely revamped gameplay mechanics. Ryder was just a kid trying to do what was right after the entire world collapsed around them, kind of figuring out things as they go. Unfortunately, the road leading up to launch was rough and an Early Access period, terrible resource allocation, and poor animations at release set the stage for a halt to Andromeda's growth. That being said, it will have some ties into the next Mass Effect, which we've broken down extensively in the past. With Mass Effect Legendary Edition opening up a ton of new players to the BioWare sci-fi RPG, we thought we'd break down some of the overlooked aspects of Andromeda and why you should give it a second chance. 

Grand Dames Interview: Ageism In Gaming, Skyrim Grandma Has A Sword, And The Beauty Of The Gaming Community

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Grand Dames Interview: Ageism In Gaming, Skyrim Grandma Has A Sword, And The Beauty Of The Gaming Community

From Grandma Shirley talking about her love of killing people and her hidden dagger to Miss Jessa talking about the beauty of the community they built, here is why you should be paying attention to the Grand Dames. 

Everyone knows Shirley, AKA Skyrim Grandma, by now. Her community loves her so much, for good reason, because of the calming gaming experiences she has to offer the public through her adventures in Tamriel. In fact, she is even a fully voiced follower in Skyrim now thanks to this mod, and she's even going to be an actual character in The Elder Scrolls 6. But what you may not know is that she's a part of a group of phenomenal women called the Grand Dames, and we sat down with these amazing gamers to learn more about their journey and hear more about their thoughts on the gaming community. 

You can learn more about these amazing women right here, but here's an intro into each Dame before diving into our video interview! 

Best PC Games To Play On Steam Deck When It Releases

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Best PC Games To Play On Steam Deck When It Releases

Valve announced its own handheld device just a few short days after Nintendo's reveal of the Switch OLED. Called the Steam Deck, Valve's contribution to handheld gaming is literally a small PC in the palm of your hands. If you have huge hands, this thing is not small. Shortly after this announcement, we shared which games you cannot play on the Deck at launch; though Valve is currently working on circumventing that restriction, we thought we should even things up slightly. So, here are the games I can't wait to play and that you should check out when the Steam Deck arrives! 

Exclusive: Meet Darkest Dungeon II's New Character The Runaway

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Exclusive: Meet Darkest Dungeon II's New Character The Runaway

The world is at its end. Wild accelerationist cults set fire to the cities. Pastoral baronies become insatiable hungering mouths upon mouths. Only your ragtag band of guilt-ridden adventurers can kindle a glimmer of hope to stop the ancient, encroaching evil. With a host of new terrors to overcome, a massive shift to a run-based roguelike structure, and a bold new character, the cosmic aberrations of Darkest Dungeon are poised to serve up fresh challenges and horrors with this scintillating sequel from Red Hook Studios.

[Editor's Note: This article also appears in Game Informer Issue 338]

Darkest Dungeon 2 isn’t content to live in the shadow of the hamlet from the first game. Instead of continuing with the town-building aspects and dungeon crawling of the original game, Darkest Dungeon 2 puts players on a doomed caravan ride into cursed biomes crawling with unbridled decadence. With the stakes as high as the world coming to an end, environments that were hanging on by a thread have spiraled into madness, embracing the worst elements of themselves that were always hidden away. As you ride through the world with a hand-picked crew of adventurers, death and despair are always lurking right around the corner. The same great turn-based combat and stylish gothic look of the first game return, but with constant decisions to make around every corner of each run.

Indie Watch: Smaller Games Worth Keeping An Eye On

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Indie Watch: Smaller Games Worth Keeping An Eye On

We're firmly in the half of 2021 and inching ever closer to the holiday rush of big-time triple-A releases. While we’re excited to play the next Halo, Metroid, and Forza, it’s always worth keeping in mind the slate of promising indies releasing alongside the big guns. That's why we put together a list of smaller titles that we can’t wait to play, several of which we haven't spotlighted until now. These games are arranged in chronological release order, and a few are just around the corner. If you're itching to play something off the beaten path, hopefully you can find something here that perks your ears. 

Neo: The World Ends With You – Review In Progress

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Neo: The World Ends With You – Review In Progress

The sequel to Square Enix’s acclaimed and inventive The World Ends With You drops tomorrow and it’s bringing plenty of infectious beats, stylish fashion, and over-the-top boss battles. I’ve been playing the game for review and have clocked in over 40 hours so far, but I have yet to reach the end credits. Until then, I’m not ready to deliver a final score but can share some impressions to give you an idea of where the game stands, especially in comparison to its predecessor. In many ways, Neo: The World Ends With You is just more of the DS original. It captures the magic of what made the first game so special, but it also retains some of its bigger issues and frustrations with difficulty balancing and the repetition of tedious tasks. 

We’re Overdue For A Great Masters Of The Universe Game

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We’re Overdue For A Great Masters Of The Universe Game

The 1980s were rife with crazy cartoon properties that were all about big battles, crazy genre settings, and over-the-top characters. Those properties often arose from the need to sell related toys, but the power fantasies they engendered also happen to be excellent fodder for video games. While I could point to any number of fallow cartoons as fertile ground for revival, none is as ready for the big time as Masters of the Universe.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe debuted as an animated series in 1983, delighting kids like myself who were excited by the myriad characters, colors, vehicles, and playsets that continually flowed out from Mattel. To this day, few children’s playsets match the style and excitement of the Castle Grayskull set, with its trapdoor, opening “jawbridge,” and other tricks. Without fail, afternoons brought the opportunity to see the castle brought to life in the cartoon, with He-Man, Skeletor, and the rest of the heroes and villains duking it out, often against the backdrop of that familiar structure.