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Opinion: Sega’s New Direction With Sonic

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Sonic has been around for a very long time since his debut in video game form in 1991. The Sonic franchise has sold over 140 million video game products over the years making Sonic one of the most recognizable icons in video game history. Now Sega is rebooting Sonic as “Sonic Boom“. Sonic Boom is to be the new title for the Sonic franchise as Sega tries to keep the Sonic brand and cast of characters fresh and appealing for younger generations of gamers.

Sega’s current thoughts on the Sonic brand now far extend  far beyond the limitations of mere video games alone. Sega’s focus is now on multiple media devices and licensing  deals with toy companies to extend Sonic’s reach to new audiences. With Sega’s chosen demographic now being children, Sonic is now to communicate to a whole new audience. Sega’s thoughts for Sonic Boom are ambitious but will they work in making Sonic relevant to modern audiences?

First off there will be three tiers to Sega’s Sonic Boom reboot which will include games, TV and toys. All are to be linked together to get maximum exposure for the audience and surely to sell more copies of Sonic Boom merchandise. Sonic Boom the game will see a familiar sonic but one that is slightly different than usual for young gamer’s to play with. In a comment about the new reboot and Sonic’s new look Hiroyuki Miyazaki from Sega said “The various pieces of the Sonic Boom project, such as its unique look, mix of comedy, and action and its focus on the whole ensemble with Sonic as the star, offer another exciting part of that universe for people to explore and enjoy.  It will be at once familiar but also new”. 

Sonic in Sonic Boom

Sonic in Sonic Boom

The video games are currently being developed by Big Red Button Entertainment for the Wii U version and Sanzaru games for the Nintendo 3DS version. The game sounds interestingly placed as a prequel to the television series which will allow players to get to know the new Sonic before they delve into the TV series. Gameplay is also said to be different this time around in Sonic Boom as it’s going to be featuring much more collaborative gameplay as its core experience. There will still be the mix of speed and other traditional and recognizable Sonic elements but collaboration will be the main focus. Playable locations will be unlockable and there is a new gameplay feature known as the “enerbeam tether mechanic” which is yet to be detailed.

Collaborative gameplay will be the focus of Sonic Boom

Collaborative gameplay will be the focus of Sonic Boom

What’s also interesting about the game is that Big Red Button Entertainment is made up of old Naughty Dog employees and being from Naughty Dog, it’s actually very good news because they would know this type of game very well, platforming is there thing and their specialization. Being exclusive to the Wii U and 3DS the games are also designed to take full advantage of both Nintendo systems features.

Sonic Boom The Video Game

Sonic Boom The Video Game

The second tier of the Sonic Boom reboot strategy will be the Sonic Boom TV series. I don’t know if anyone remembers the older Sonic animated series that used to be shown, but I watched all of them. Some of them are a bit outdated now, but I do have good memories of the shows when they were on. The new TV series for Sonic is also interesting as well because it will also be the first CG animated TV series for Sonic. It’s surprising I know, but all of them in the past were all animated. This one I actually think will go much better as a tie in with the video games as the characters all look the same as in the game. So transferring between the two will definitely be much easier. Not like when I used to watch it during the 90’s and the video games and the TV series looked completely different.

I think that it’s actually very good that they are going to have some consistency between the TV series and the Video game relaunches. It definitely will make playing the game and watching the show much more exciting if they were linked together. The TV series is going to be produced by Sega of America and OuiDO! productions and will then air on cartoon network sometime during 2014 and continue through to 2015. There will be 52 episodes of the TV series all with a length of 11 minutes each. At first thought though, I do not like 11 minute animated show’s. This is the only thing I am really disappointed on (other than how knuckles looks), but 11 minutes is short. I really would have liked a 20 minute or 21 minute show on cartoon network so I can really get into the characters.

But there isn’t really much to worry about though as the show seems to be something similar to Looney Tunes shorts, or so I think it will be. The stories will be small character driven stories that quickly progress into chaos and danger where Sonic and his friends like Knuckles, Tails and Amy needing to save the world and battle all sorts of things like robots and of course Doctor Robotnik. Recently there was a trailer released for the show by Sega and it looks promising and funny.

Sonic Boom TV Series Trailer

In terms of the new characters and how they look for this reboot to me they are all familiar. Maybe I’ve just played way to many Sonic games and watched too many episodes of the TV series when it was on. But as a fan of Sonic I would say that everything in this reboot looks good. The only character that looks a bit different to me is Knuckles but honestly it’s not the biggest deal ever that he looks like a brute. I also think that this new scarf that Sonic is wearing now, looks much better. He did look very plain in recent times. Also the animations in both the video game and the TV series all look great. Everything looks very fresh and new. Some of the recent Sonic games I feel looked the same as they have been looking since the Dreamcast era and not much change. But this looks all fresh and new.

From looking at some of the video’s and images I would say that this refresh of Sonic is very welcome and I’m hoping that it’s good and not poorly made in the end. I do hope they have paid attention to the quality of both the game and the TV series as it will pay off for Sega with their third tier strategy of licensing the toys to companies like Tomy. Making sure that the game and the TV series is monetized through toys though though is difficult, because it relies on how well the games and TV shows are perceived when they are released. But if Sega can deliver on a good quality game and a good quality show then surely there will be an increase in the demand for Sonic Boom merchandise.

Now this looks like a cool toy for young kids to play with

Now this looks like a cool toy for young kids to play with

It will remain to be seen how well received this reboot is but so far it looks good, I know I’m not the demographic for this but to me it seems that this may be something that will work. Hopefully it is for Sega and for Sonic because as a fan of Sonic since I started playing games on my Sega Mega drive in the early 1990’s I would like to see the quality return to the franchise that has been missing for so long. I’m hoping this goes well although I am worried about the roboot, considering that recent games haven’t been the best for Sonic. Maybe this generation of gaming will be the one where Sonic takes back some spotlight. I guess we’ll have to just wait and see……

What do you think about the latest Sonic design?

What do you think about the latest Sonic design?

What are your thoughts on this Sonic reboot? What’s your favourite Sonic memory? Do you think this three tier strategy will be a success for Sega?

Bryan loves writing about movies, TV shows and games and tries his best to give a balanced and honest view in all his reviews or opinion pieces on Resident Entertainment.

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Need For Speed Heat Australian Release Date

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Need For Speed Heat Australian release date Is November 8

The Need For Speed Heat Australian release date is November 8 2019. The game will be published by Electronic Arts and comes developed by Ghost Games. The game will be available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

EA says “The game deepens and expands everything Need for Speed  fans love – expressive customisation, authentic urban car culture, and an immersive narrative that pulls you into the game.”

What is Need For Speed Heat about?

Need for Speed Heat sends fans to Palm City, a brand-new open world where street racers have gathered to make their names known. By day, players compete in the Speedhunters Showdown, a sanctioned competition where they earn Bank to customise and upgrade their garage of high-performance cars. At night, players risk it all to build their Rep in underground races where a rogue police task force roams the streets, ready to take racers down and swipe all their earnings. The roads, the risks, and the rides never end in this street racer where a player can roll deep with their crew, build their garage full of hot cars, and make the city their nonstop playground.

Riley Cooper, Creative Director at Ghost Games said “Our fans have been clear that they want more cars, more customisation, and more challenges, and we’re tuning up on every aspect. From your character’s style to your car’s performance and your driving style, we’re fuelling everyone’s creativity with this new game.”

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review - Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review - Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a film which comes written and directed by Quentin Tarantino who some may know for films such as The Hateful Eight (2015) or Pulp Fiction (1994). The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning and Al Pacino. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is about a fading Hollywood actor and his stunt double who are striving to achieve success in the final years of the Hollywood golden age.

Before going into this film, I must admit I was quite excited about it. This is the 9th film from Quentin Tarantino, who is one of my favourite directors of all time and the cast is filled with so many great actors there’s no reason to not want to see this one. Even though my expectations for this film were set very high, I came out of the cinema incredibly happy, very entertained and extremely impressed with what I just saw. Quentin Tarantino has truly delivered something very special this year and I highly recommend going to see it.

The way the story is told is very interesting. The audience follows the career of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is trying to maintain his stardom and Hollywood status in a time when things are changing. The actor is trying to transition from being a major TV star to a Hollywood actor, but it’s very difficult. On top of this, Rick Dalton is ageing and he is no longer in his prime, he’s sort of becoming obsolete. Cliff (Brad Pitt) is sharing a similar fate with his career tied to the success or failure of Rick’s. In contrast to these two, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is a character who is everything good about Hollywood in 1969, her personality is welcoming, she helps people and she’s friendly. Quentin Tarantino’s Sharon Tate is the ideal Hollywood star of the time.

Quentin Tarantino with this film captured the spirit and essence of Hollywood in 1969. I felt like I was watching real people going through real things. The attention to detail on each of the characters and also watching them develop as the film progresses was very well done. This film also one has of the best endings and is maybe the best film that I’ve seen in 2019.

The actors were all great, I really enjoyed watching Leonardo DiCaprio in this film. The actor has a very wide range of things he could do as his character Rick Dalton is going through quite a lot and there are a lot of different emotional elements. On top of this, as a character who is an actor, Rick is seen acting in other films within this film as different characters he is playing. There are some very good performances within this film from Rick Dalton and in some ways, I wish I could watch the films that he was making within this film. Brad Pitt does very well and so too does Margot Robbie. Dakota Fanning surprised me a lot in this film as I didn’t even recognise her as Squeaky Fromme, she was only in the film for a bit, but for that time she was, she was very impactful.

Overall, I have no further comments to make about this film without having to go into major spoilers discussing all the different elements of it. It’s hard to write a long review for a film when everything was awesome in it. The directing, acting, writing, music and everything else about Once Upon A Time In Hollywood was awesome and Quentin Tarantino exceeded my expectations for this film. It may just be one of his best ones yet. I highly recommend going to see it at the cinema this week or as soon as you can. I am already wanting to see it a second time and probably will re-watch it on Blu-Ray when it’s released.

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Crawl Review

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Crawl Review

Crawl is a film which comes directed by Alexendre Aja who some may know as the director of The Hills Have Eyes (2006). The film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper.

Crawl is a film about a young woman named Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who attempts to save her father (Barry Pepper) who is trapped in his house during a category 5 hurricane. Tremendous damage has occurred to the home and the surrounding area during the storm, with the streets slowly flooding But that’s not the only danger to be wary of, the flood waters have paved the way for dozens of alligators to come into town and they’re ready to feast on anyone still around. Will poor Haley and her father survive though?

Going into this film. I was actually quite excited. I do enjoy these action films where there’s some creature out there and it’s preying on whatever character the film is about. This film is a little similar to The Meg, but it most reminded me of Anacondas (2004). All of these films and Crawl included wouldn’t be ones I’d say were legendary films, but gosh, I definitely have fun watching them!

Crawl as a story is about survival. There are themes all throughout it related to man vs nature and also the idea of the apex predator is scattered all throughout it. Both characters in the film are constantly challenged and struggle to survive in the a town getting torn apart by the storm.

The main reason most people would go to see Crawl at the cinema would be for the action and that’s the same reason I wanted to go along and see this one. I wanted to see what the alligators could do and I wanted to see some people get eaten up. Did I get that? I certainly did! Did I need much more out of this? Probably not.

As for Crawl being scary. I’m not too sure, I find it all quite fun. But there are people who this would probably frighten a little. Much of the film is cgi and for what it is and for the type of movie this is I think it was just the right quality. They didn’t try to go too big like in The Meg where the cgi seemed to struggle in certain areas. Although the limitations of the cgi are visible in Crawl, it’s not too bad in the end.

The acting in Crawl isn’t too bad. Kaya Scodelario is who you’ll be watching for basically the entire film and she delivers a pleasant performance. Some may recognise this actress from her appearance in The Maze Runner (2014) where she played Teresa. Hopefully there is more to come from her in future films.

The tone of the film, while at times can be a little intense with all the danger out there did actually feel a little light. Alexandre Aja seemed to keep the tone not too serious and embraced the silliness of it all in certain areas to keep it light and fun. But it was also tense and scary when it needed to be.

Overall I had a good time with Crawl at the cinema last week. This isn’t a film that is going to blow anyone away with how good it is, but it’s something to see for a bit of fun over the weekend. You get to watch two characters try to survive a massive hurricane and not get eaten by alligators. Crawl was 1 hour and 27 minutes of fun!

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