The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, today announced the 15 finalists for induction into the hall. They are: Angry Birds, Doom, FIFA, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pac-Man, Pokémon, Pong, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and World of Warcraft.
Sega has released a first Sonic Boom behind-the-scenes video featuring commentary on both the upcoming video game and TV series. The English language voice talent for both the game and TV show includes: Roger Craig Smith as Sonic, Mike Pollock as Dr. Eggman, Colleen Villard as Tails, Travis Willingham as Knuckles, Cindy Robinson as Amy, Kirk Thornton as Orbot, and Wally Wingert as Cubot. Jack Fletcher serves as voice director.
Faster than greased lightning, Sonic the Hedgehog is one tough Erinaceinae to keep up with, and admittedly, I haven’t been trying. I had the first Sonic the Hedgehog game when it came out way back in 1991, but not long after, I went through a dry spell in which I kept away from video games. During the interim, Sonic evolved as both a pop culture icon and corporate mascot for video game publisher Sega, while I—well, I got slightly taller.
Now here we are in 2013, and with the Sonic franchise still going strong, I thought I’d rekindle my relationship with him by checking out some recent Sonic games and toys.
Sonic Lost World, by Sega: The original Sonic the Hedgehog was a side-scroller with pretty simple game play. By comparison, the latest installment is a radically different experience at times, with some levels consisting of “classic,” 2-D, side-scrolling play, while the others are immersive 3-D from an angled, top-down perspective. Players now have the option of moving in nearly all directions, and interact with terrain in ways that would have been impossible during the 2-D days.
In Sonic Lost World, players can use the trigger button on the Wii U controller to rev Sonic up, and send him zipping along extra fast (Be warned: He can get a little out of hand if you aren’t used to it yet). When approaching tight spaces, he can subsequently ricochet off walls and perform other special maneuvers. During my demo, I actually kept my finger mostly off that button, and the game still managed to be a kinetic, occasionally vertiginous experience, with lots of rocketing off springboards into the air and pinballing faster than the eye could keep up. [Read more...]
Genius Brands International Inc. and A Squared Entertainment LLC will merge to form an intellectual property (IP) and multimedia content creation and distribution company focused on branded content with a purpose for kids. The assets and experience of both companies will be consolidated under the Genius Brands International banner.
Andy Heyward, formerly CEO of DIC Entertainment and co-president of A Squared Entertainment, will assume the role of Chairman and CEO of Genius Brands International. Amy Moynihan Heyward, formerly co-president of A Squared Entertainment, will serve as president. Klaus Moeller, currently CEO of Genius, will become vice president of special markets, and will continue with the company as a member of its board of directors.
The company will utilize its combined strengths to build upon its unique “content with a purpose” positioning. In addition to producing original content with subject matter experts, the company will develop interactive digital entertainment in all formats including broadcast, online, mobile, tablets, and more. A comprehensive consumer products program will be created to extend the learning into other areas outside of digital media.
Andy Heyward is a multi-Emmy Award-winning producer of children’s entertainment. He has produced more than 5,000 episodes of award-winning children’s programs, including Inspector Gadget, Alvin and the Chipmunks, G.I. Joe, Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theatre, and Sonic the Hedgehog. Amy Moynihan Heyward is a brand-marketing executive who has spent more than 20 years managing, creating, and launching brands with a focus on kids.
Nintendo has partnered with the U.S. Olympic Committee to kick off its nationwide Road to Sochi Tour in Times Square in New York City on October 29 with a 100 Day Countdown event, celebrating 100 days until the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The event will take up three blocks in Times Square and will include athlete demonstrations on a ski and snowboard ramp, as well as an ice rink for curling, figure skating, speedskating, and ice hockey.
Nintendo will also be there with hands-on demos for its new game, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which launches for Wii U on November 15. The game features characters from the Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog universes competing together in 24 winter events, including the new event snowboard slopestyle, which is making its Olympic Winter Games debut in Sochi.
Jamie Anderson, slopestyle snowboarder and six-time X Games medalist, will be at the event to help promote Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. He may meet with visitors in a designated area. In addition, the Mario and Sonic costumed characters will make appearances to take photos with attendees.
Sega has announced that Sonic, the iconic blue hedgehog with four TV series and more than 70 video games, will be returning to the TV screen next year in a CGI-animated series. Produced by Sega of America Inc. and Genao Productions, the new Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sonic Boom, will premiere in the U.S. on Cartoon Network, and on Canal J and Gulli in France, with a global rollout to follow.
Sonic Boom is a character-driven comedy that leaves a trail of robot wreckage in its smoldering wake. The series centers on Sonic, his best friend and sidekick, Tails, their search for adventure, and their battles with Sonic’s arch-nemesis, Dr. Eggman. Rounding out the ensemble are fan favorites Knuckles and Amy Rose, plus a rogue’s gallery of enemies—some familiar to Sonic fans and some brand new.
After being licensed in areas such as toys, apparel, comics, and animation, Sega has also signed a three-title exclusive partnership with Nintendo for the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. Sonic Lost World will be the first title to launch under this agreement, and will be available in stores later this year for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS platforms.