Sonic Mania; Review Roundup

It’s amazing.

Okay, I’m done here. Review round up over. Everyone go home!

Nah, just kidding. I mean, I could say that, and it’d be pretty much entirely accurate. Sonic Mania is an amazing game that’s gotten near perfect reviews across the board. So, in that sense, you really could sum it up by simply saying how incredible it is.

But I won’t. Instead, I’ll do my job properly and tell you exactly what the critics think of the game overall. So, strap yourself in, get comfy and get ready to look at all the critic reviews for Sonic Mania!

Starting with the entirely positive ones. Namely, Gaming Age and The Sixth Axis’ perfect reviews for the game. These two give the game 100%, saying it surpasses the Mega Drive games and calling it a fantastic entry in the series overall.

And while some other critics aren’t quite that generous, they’re not alone in the high review score camp. Jim Sterling (always a controversial internet critic) has given the game a very positive 95% score, saying it acts as a true sequel to the Genesis games in every way. That’s pretty good for him, especially when compared to his somewhat more critical reviews of titles like Zelda Breath of the Wild.

Another site in the extremely positive camp (which isn’t really a surprise given its origin as a Sonic exclusive site) is TSSZ News. These guys don’t just say Sonic Mania is a great game, they outright state it’s the best Sonic game of all time. That’s… impressive. Especially given that the Sonic fanbase would presumably be some of the hardest to please where a full successor comes in.

Moving down a bit (to the 90% range), you’ve got Metro GameCentral, Attack of the Fanboy, Dual Shockers and Gamespot. All of these sites are deeply positive towards the title, though perhaps not enough to say it’s a perfect game. This is probably where most big site scores will fall to be honest, especially given how they’re usually a tad more cynical about nostalgia than lesser known ones.

Meanwhile, IGN gives it a reasonable 87% score, saying it’s the classic throwback fans have been waiting for. Their only negatives are that boss fights can drag a bit, and that they wanted more checkpoints in certain levels. Eh, seems acceptable now. Though perhaps a little indicative of how modern critics are a bit rusty with the old game playing skills.

US Gamer goes down to an 80% score, shared with God is a Geek, Push Square and Destructoid. Why the lower score? Well in the case in the former, they simply think it’s a bit heavy on nostalgia, and think the game should have gotten more original levels. Again, fair enough. Sonic Mania does reuse some old level themes for whatever reason, and that may not be to everyone’s taste.

And then that brings us to the few mediocre reviews. Oh boy, these are the most controversial by far.

Why? Because sometimes it feels like these critics didn’t quite understand the appeal of the series. For example, Polygon goes as far as to say Sonic is terrible with precision platforming and complains about lives and checkpoints.

However, here’s the issue:

Those aren’t really problems with the game. They’re problems with the reviewer not really being all that good at it.

Yes, you have to go back to a checkpoint if you die. And if you get a game over, you have to go back to the start of the level.

But that’s just how every platformer works. Mario works like this (even in New Super Mario Bros and 3D World). Donkey Kong works like this. Wario Land works like this (heck, Wario games before Shake It don’t even have checkpoints!). Heck, I’m pretty sure everyone from Mega Man to DuckTales to Rayman likely does it.

Sonic using this setup is just continuing how the original games worked. Which, guess what? Worked perfectly for millions of fans in the 90s.

It just feels like they got someone who never really enjoyed a Sonic game and who wasn’t all that good at it to review the newest one.

Which contrasts rather amusingly with Slant Magazine’s negative review. Whereas the Polygon reviewer said it was too hard, the Slant Magazine reviewer says it’s too EASY. It makes you want to imagine the two reviewers in a debate. Seriously, can you imagine it? You’d have the Polygon one saying “God I hate these bosses, they keep killing me” and the Slant Magazine one saying “God I hate these bosses, they’re too easy” while the two of them look at the other like they’re from Mars. It’d be absolutely glorious!

As far non-scored reviews go… well those seem to be pretty positive for the most part. At least, Kotaku’s is, saying the game is pure joy and a ‘spinning ball of fun blazing towards the next adventure’. Interesting choice of wording, though a sentiment most would agree with none the less.

Onto video reviews now, which seem pretty positive towards it. You’ve got GameXplain’s mini review here:

Which despite being short (for embargo reasons) is entirely positive about the game and how it plays. And that’s also true of Dunkey’s review, again entirely positive about the game and its design:

So overall, it seems the game is doing pretty damn well for itself. Has it all pleased all critics? Nah, there’s always a few who don’t understand 90s game design or classic Sonic gameplay. But for the most part, they’re extremely positive about it overall.

And for a series like Sonic, that’s amazing to see. Kudos Sega, Headcannon and PagodaWest Games, you’ve made the dream Sonic game fans have waited years for!

Let’s hope Sonic Forces continues the trend!

WatchMojo Caught Stealing Content from Guru Larry on YouTube!

As you may know, WatchMojo is one of the most popular channels on YouTube. Covering everything from TV and films to video games, their videos are usually your standard top ten lists about various subjects. Like the top ten worst selling consoles or the top ten most expensive sci-fi movies.

You know, the typical stuff you find on Buzzfeed like clickbait factories. Poorly researched, minimal effort attention grabbers that often retread the same ground as legions of others beforehand.

But in itself, that’s not a bad thing. After all, top ten lists aren’t a crime against humanity. And hey, everyone does need to just switch off and watch something a bit more mindless every now and again, right?

Well, I guess so. Except there’s just one problem.

Namely, the info in the videos is stolen from other YouTube creators.

Yep, I’m not kidding. All the facts are straight from other people’s work with no credit given.

How do we know this?

Because Guru Larry has seen his whole video ripped off and reused as a WatchMojo list. Yep, they took one of his Fact Hunt videos, noted down the entries there and remade the entire thing as a video on their channel.

Normally, that wouldn’t be too noticeable. Unfortunately for WatchMojo though, Guru Larry was prepared.

That’s because Guru Larry (like many map makers and dictionary writers of old) is known to sneak ‘copyright traps’ into his work. These traps are very minor ‘mistakes’ that can then be used to prove someone stole your data and reused it in their own work. They’re quite common on maps, with ‘trap streets’ often used to prove a mapmaker copied one of their rivals.

And since WatchMojo clearly didn’t do any other research on the topic, they copied the fake information without checking. Good job guys! How lovely of you to tell us where you get your information from now!

Here’s Larry’s tweet about the subject going into a bit more:

As well as Top Hat Gaming Man’s great video about the controversy:

So either way, the cat was out of the bag and Twitter was talking about it. So what did WatchMojo do?
Did they apologise for their actions like mature people would? Take down the video to stop people being fooled by fake information?

Well, not quite. They took down the video sure, but actually admitting they stole someone’s research never factored into it. Instead they sent Guru Larry the following, rather hilarious letter:

As you can see, it’s filled with examples of questionable journalism ethics. For example, why don’t the organisation credit people for their findings?

Because they don’t know said people are the original finders. Yes really. They outright say they won’t credit anyone because they don’t know said people are the ones they should be crediting.

That’s just… wow. Can you imagine if someone did that in school or college?

Like, if they handed in an essay with no citations because they ‘didn’t know’ the researcher was the original discoverer? Or told the lecturer they didn’t credit anyone because they didn’t know whether their sources were the original ones?

They’d probably get thrown off the course. That’s an obvious example of plagiarism, no matter how you cut it.

Yet that’s not all the letter implies.Oh no, it also implies they’re rather terrible at research.


Well, isn’t the job of a journalist about verifying the information they’re posting about? Aren’t journalists supposed to hunt down the source of a piece of information before writing about it?

Yeah, I think they are. But thanks to the fact WatchMojo clearly isn’t finding the original source, it implies the channel’s ‘researchers’ don’t actually do much research at all. That they find whatever a few other YouTubers or writers have said about a topic, copy down the information and merely assume it’s accurate. Verifying stuff? Who has the time for that, right?

Additionally, they also seem to imply they don’t really check their videos for originality all that well either. That’s because their letter goes and says ‘their tool didn’t pick up the similarities to your video’, implying the only thing they do is put the information through an automated plagiarism checker and hope nothing comes up as a match.

That’s again pretty bad for a channel like this. It’s basically admitting that people can send in anything and they’ll post it so long as it doesn’t ‘look’ enough like the source it’s paraphrasing. It feels like one of those cases where someone assumes Copyscape or Turnitin is good enough on its own.

And when you add this to the clear mistakes the channel makes in their videos (Top Hat Gaming Man references the terrible ‘Jaguar sales data’ in his response), you’ve got a lazy, uninspired YouTube channel trying to cash in on other people’s work for their own gain. Which is a trend that’s all too common now. Giant clickbait channels spamming low effort videos based on other people’s work for quick views.

So don’t support these guys. They clearly don’t put a lot of work into their videos, they steal from other people and their journalistic integrity is virtually nil. Treat them like you would Brash Games or other thieves. Organisations you refuse to support for their complete lack of morals and sheer laziness.

Because WatchMojo doesn’t deserve your patronage. And nor do any other such channels who refuse to credit people for their work.

Sonic Mania; Opening Animation

Yesterday, Sonic Mania was leaked online. That’s because various shops broke the game’s street date and sold it early, leaving lucky buyers a way to post everything about the game online.

Fortunately, Sega found a way to move attention away from that leak. Why? Because to ‘compete’ with it, they just posted the game’s opening video online! Here it is if you haven’t seen it already:

As you can tell, it looks fantastic. You’ve got bright and colourful character designs for the entire cast. There’s fluid animation throughout.

And well, in general the hand drawn cartoon opening looks a million times more interesting than the CGI deals found in most games. Indeed, some might say it looks good enough to have a TV series styled after it. One that’s a bit more… official art like than the actual Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons out there at the moment.

So good job guys. You’ve made a fantastic intro for Sonic Mania, and one that brings back the personality so many games are missing nowadays.

Let’s hope other titles do something like this in the future!

Resident Evil Revelations 1 and 2 Are Coming to Nintendo Switch!

Back in 2012, Capcom released Resident Evil Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS. The game was a hit, getting good reviews and selling well for the series, and ended up being one of the best titles for selling the system’s 3D capabilities.

For the first time since Resident Evil 4, Nintendo fans got to play a main series Resident game on a system they owned.

Which was more than you could say about the sequel. Why?

Because unlike the original title, that never did come to Nintendo systems. It was released on every other console under the sun sure (including PlayStation Vita), but neither the Wii U or 3DS was a platform it was made available for.

But now it seems Capcom is making up for that a bit here! Why?

Because they’ve just announced that Resident Evil Revelations 1 and 2 will be coming to the Nintendo Switch! Yep, both games will be available for the system in late 2017 and will be sold for the low price of $19.99 each. Complete with a special compilation set including one game on cartridge and one game as a digital download.

It’s a pretty neat deal, especially given how the Xbox One and PS4 only seem to be getting one of the games remastered. Here’s a trailer showing the first game’s remastered version in action:

As you can see, it looks fantastic so far, regardless of the system the games are on.

So yeah, it’s good news all around really. Makes up for the second game not seeing a Wii U release anyway…

But what do you think about it all?

Are you happy that Resident Evil Revelations 2 is finally on a Nintendo system? Is the idea of getting to play remastered versions of the games on Switch an exciting one?

Or do you wish Capcom had done this much earlier on?

Post your thoughts on the matter here or on social media today!


Resident Evil Revelations Comes to PS4 and Xbox One, Both Games Come to Nintendo Switch (Capcom Unity Blog)

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy May Be Heading to Other Consoles!

Given its status as a PlayStation classic, you’d be forgiven for assuming the N Sane Trilogy would remain a PlayStation 4 exclusive. After all, Crash himself was originally Sony’s mascot. The games themselves were the company’s equivalent to Mario. And well, with all the marketing Sony is doing for the title, the remake’s status as a PS4 exclusive almost seemed like a guarantee.

But now it seems that’s not the case! Why?

Because a concept artist working on the game has posted a very interesting video of the game’s menu online. Here it is:

As you can tell, it features Xbox One icons for the buttons. In other words, it’s a look at the N Sane Trilogy’s menu as if it was being accessed on an Xbox One version of the game.

And that’s really interesting. After all, didn’t Sony say it’d be an exclusive?

Yes. Yes they did.

But from the video posted, it seems that may be a lie. Instead, the exclusivity could merely be a time limited one. A quick way to keep Sony fans happen for a while before porting to the game to other platforms to bring it to an even wider audience.

Which isn’t really a bad thing. N. Sane Trilogy is a great remake of the first three games, and one many Xbox and Nintendo fans would like to play.

So to see it come to other consoles would be amazing. It’d be a way for millions of people to try out some of the best 3D platformers ever made.

Can you really be unhappy with that? I know I can’t.

Still, what do you think anyway? Are you happy Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy could be coming to other consoles?

Or does it feel weird having this remake potentially get ported to other systems?

Post your thoughts on the matter here or on social media today!


Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Artist Shows Save/Load Screens with Xbox Prompts (Reddit)