As you may have gathered if you’ve looked through the blog at all, I’m something of a retro game fan. I grew up playing the Sega Master System and Mega Drive and had a Dreamcast before Sega moved to being a third party developer. I even owned a Saturn and Game Gear in there somewhere.
Still being a big Sega fan I love being able to replay these games, but it can be a little hard or inconvenient to do so. The original hardware is tricky to get to work perfectly on modern TVs (remember, this tech is 30 odd years old) and original games can go for insane prices. While it can be easy enough to set up an emulator on a PC, a PC isn’t really something you can just whip out for a quick game of Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.
For those who may not be aware, Shenmueis a game originally released for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999. An early example of an open world game, it was incredibly innovative for its time. Recently, Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki announced that the long awaited Shenmue IIIwas finally being developed. To celebrate, the original two games have been re-released on modern consoles and PC.
I played Shenmue for the first time when it originally came out on the Dreamcast, but 14-year old me was never able to get past the early parts of the game’s closing act. Hopefully, with age and wisdom, the re-release would afford me the chance to finally see the game’s end.
Sonic Mania was a huge success when it came out, and the recent release of Sonic Mania Plus has been just as successful. Indeed, the “main” Sonic game to have been released just after Mania, Sonic Forces, has been all but completely overshadowed by the reaction to Sonic Mania.
If you’re reading this you probably have a bit of an idea of the story behind Sonic Mania and its Plus expansion, but if you don’t check out the below video from DidYouKnowGaming.
So, Sonic Mania was made by fans. Hugely talented fans who had years of experience developing 2D Sonic games and were hired by SEGA, sure, but fans nonetheless. The irony that the “highest rated Sonic game in 25 years” – a line SEGA itself has been using in its promotion of the game – was made by fans has not been lost on the wider Sonic community.
Recently I had let go of my first love; comic books. I had been reading comics pretty much continuously for 24 years, most of that with a monthly standing order at my local comic store. Comics were my favourite hobby, my addiction. When something is that big a part of your life for that long a time it is very hard to let go. However, I was not prepared to give up on the comic book medium completely. No, siree! If monthly comics were no longer practical, then I was going to do the next best thing; I was going to move to collected editions!
However, it was not just a quick switch. I had to prepare! Remember, this was a 24 year habit I was moving away from. Certain “i”s had to be crossed and “t”s needed to be dotted. Here’s what I did to ready myself for the big change.