Vidjagame Apocalypse 227 – Sonic Spinoffs

With Sonic Mania restoring Sega’s mascot to critical success this week, we invite Heidi Kemps (who reviewed Mania for IGN) to join us for a look at our five favorite Sonic spinoff games. Then it’s on to (what else?) Sonic Mania, Agents of Mayhem, Okami HD coming to PS4, a new Swery65 game, and the gritty games you’d like to see get cute sequels.

Question of the Week
What’s your favorite Sonic the Hedgehog game?

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22 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 227 – Sonic Spinoffs

  1. QotW: Easily Sonic 2. Fantastic soundtrack, tighter controls, and it took everything that made Sonic 1 great and made it better. Introduction of Tails and the spin attack plus the 2 player mode were icing on the cake. Player 2 being able to control an immortal Tails in the single player game was a nice little “secret.” The only “bad” about the game was the AI of Tails was stupid as hell, and was useless in the special stages, and the special stages themselves were pretty crap.

  2. QOTW: I haven’t played Sonic Mania yet (though I intend to), but my favorite is probably still just the standard edition of Sonic 3. I got a Genesis as a kid because I wanted blood in my Mortal Kombat and Sonic on my TV. I played the first three, plus Sonic & Knuckles, extensively and much later in life I’d buy a Sega CD and Sonic CD. I have a special fondness for Sonic 3 because it’s probably the first I game I ever beat completely. I had save files of Sonic & Tails, Sonic solo, and Tails solo and on all three I cleared the game with every chaos emerald. I was pretty disappointed to see Tails didn’t have a “super” form and instead just gets permanent invincibility stars. Anyway, it was definitely cool to actually have worthwhile co-op with Sonic & Tails after Sonic 2 made it an after-thought since Tails could actually have controlled flight and carry Sonic around. The levels were mostly great, though of course the game was too short. Objectively, Sonic & Knuckles is probably better but by the time that came out I had some Sonic burn-out and I never played that game as extensively as Sonic 3. Thinking about the “impending doom” audio from the water level still makes my heart race.

  3. I love the concept of Sonic Dreams Collection, although I’ve never played it. It’s just a combination of all the presuppositions about the fandom. It’s a really strange and disturbing fan game. It’s worth checking out a playthough on YouTube.

  4. I guess Sonic 2, since it is Peak Sonic. Great music, Spin-dash and there’s Tails! It’s all I want from a game that only has one button to press.

    1. Also fuck you Chris. The best Sonic song is Live & Learn. And the best Sonic stage music is Rooftop Run.

      Chemical Plant is still great though.

  5. QOTW: Since a couple people already said the correct answer of Sonic 2, I’ll instead go to bat for the much-maligned Game Gear. Having grown up in a household where consoles were forbidden until I was 14, the only way I could get my Sonic fix (aside from the comics, the Saturday morning cartoon, and visits to friends’ houses) was the 3 inch screen of Sega’s game boy killer. Maybe it was Stockholm syndrome, but both Sonic Chaos and Triple Trouble always felt like fine approximations of the console titles…Triple Trouble even had a level named after the neighborhood in Brooklyn next to ours, Sunset Park! Fewer Mexican restaurants, though.

  6. The Mean Bean Machine trophy is actually pretty easy to get. All you have to do is create a save state right before you start the match with Robotnik and keep reloading it. For whatever reason, about 10% of the time, he’ll just kill himself by slamming beans down one right after the other and you’ll win. That’s how I got it, and I am also no good at Puyo Puyo.

  7. I don’t care about those Arkham games BUT i would play the shit out of a Batman ’66 game, as Wikiparaz mentioned…….!

  8. QOTW: The best Sonic games are Super Smash Bros for 3DS/Wii U because they are the only Smash games that let me play as Mega Man, rendering the previous games obsolete.

    …My serious answer would be Sonic Colors for the Wii. It laid the groundwork for the gameplay that we would eventually get in Generations, introduced the Wisps which made for some interesting mechanics, and gave Robotnik the nickname of Baldy McNosehair. You got to give Sega extra credit for that last point.

    PS: Here is your Ducktales x Sonic crossover
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ALJy4NFBHqE

  9. Ok I’m legit confused. How the hell is the boss hard in oil ocean? How is oil ocean hard? I beat both levels with zero deaths and the boss was the easiest boss in the game you can beat it in one round of the ground falling.

    Not trying to brag I’m being serious there are much harder bosses and levels.

  10. QOTW: My favourite is obviously Sonic 2, but fuck it; let’s go with my favourite ‘bad’ one; Sonic R!

    Yes it handles like melted arse, yes it’s absurdly short and yes there are invisible walls littered everywhere…but I still dig the hell out of it, I honestly think it successfully captures the aesthetic and level design sensibilities of the 16-bit era. Tracks have multiple winding routes that all converge in clever ways, and they look just like Mega Drive stages re-birthed in glorious low poly 3D

    Plus that soundtrack is gloriously memorable in all its deliciously cheesy glory; truly, can you not feel the sunshine, does it not brighten up your day!? (please don’t mock me too harshly lots of love thank you xxxxxx)

  11. I’m with Michael on this one: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is my favorite Sonic game. I love the variety of levels and gameplay; I love that each level has multiple missions; I love the secret areas to explore once you collect later upgrades; I love the Chao Garden!!!!!!!; It’s even got great multiplayer featuring exclusive characters like Tikal and Chaos not featured elsewhere. The game is dated and imperfect, but it’s incredible at its core.

  12. Chris, you’ve entertained me for something close to 8 years now, the laughs have been many, my gratitude is deep. But after this podcast I’m near to breaking point. Some of you’re opinions are really starting to get to me. I’m not talking about the politics, I don’t live in the US. We need to talk about The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog the cartoon. Why must you continually crap all over my beloved AoStH? It’s not as bad you say. There are some genuinely funny moments. It was a cornerstone of my childhood, show some respect!!! I won’t demand a formal apology but maybe you could make a whole podcast about how you are wrong and the show is actually great… [Although you are right about that Xmas episode]

    My favourite Sonic spin off is the cartoon show.

    Yours sincerely Ghostbaby

  13. QOTW: Hey guys, since this is my first time responding to a question of the week I’m going throw in a little butt kissing. I love all the laser time podcasts especially VGA. Nothing is better to speed up a boring work day than listening to you guys. Anyway, I would go with Sonic 2 but I think instead I’m going to say Tails Adventure for the game gear. Yeah I know it doesn’t even have Sonic in it but it still counts right? It’s the closest thing to a metroidvania game that has ever happened in the sonic series. Also it’s fresh in my mind right now because my son got it on the DS’ eshop and I’ve been helping him play through it. Keep up the good work fellas.

  14. QotW:

    Going with the overlooked Wii U gem: Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games! It’s got a great roster of awful Sonic characters (everyone loves Zavox and Zazz!) competing in absurd Olympic events! Metal Sonic and Shadow performing baton twirling rhythmic gymnastics routines are fucking superb. Rugby is easily the best event in the game (and might be the most fun rugby in a video game since the 90s), and having the game take place in approximations of real-world Rio de Janeiro olympic locations is hilarious. There’s very few pipes leaking sewage and not nearly enough child gangs, but the world is charming, Sonic and Robotnik Carnavale floats are unlocked as rewards, and the soundtrack is loaded with Samba-ass remixes and an epic theme song that is overloaded with Engrish, except that it’s in Portuguese, so it’s even crazier. It’s a great game that I can only hope is surpassed by Mario and Sonic at the 2020 Olympics and its Tokyo setting. That shit should, nay, MUST get crazy.

  15. QOTW: My favorite Sonic game is the Sonic Unleashed demo for Xbox 360.

    It was over in 5 minutes. That makes it the best Sonic game. Mario rules! Sonic drools!

    But seriously, it was a really focused Sonic platforming level that distilled down the essence of what makes Sonic fun. If the whole game was just that, with no werehog and no friends to pad out the length.

    I still replay that demo level to beat my high score.

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