I want to be an Awesomenaut

Watch that video. Bask in the delightful theme song that heralds back to my youth, where a chubby ranga with a gimpy leg (me!) would stare in delight as television taught me about (token) multiculturalism, technology, family values, science, environmentalism (thanks CG!) and capitalism.

I have no idea what Awesomenauts is, aside from it featuring an amazing title song and that it plays in two dimensions.

But that’s enough for me. I showed that clip to Wifey, who made the comment “Wow, it looks like a game made by people like you”.

You know what? She’s right.

If you want to be an Awesomenaut too, it’s coming out this week on PSN and XBLA. Props to Silicon Era for posting the trailer last week.

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Report: Sonic 2 HD contains a keylogger

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Turns out the magnificent Sonic 2 HD alpha has some keylogging tomfoolery running under the hood as part of the software’s ironic use of DRM to protect the engine – it’s been reported on Kotaku, and has also been followed up on by Sonic Retro.

The recommended fix is to delete all the program files and ro take out the registry entries inserted by the software – Kotaku’s piece above lists where in the registry the entries are currently sitting. The reports above suggest there’s no evidence of the keylogging phoning home as yet, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It’s… disappointing that this kind of thing has followed in the wake of an extremely promising project. Fingers crossed the team takes care of things and development continues… or maybe Sega can give the game their blessing and help with finishing the development with the existing team to get a release on XBLA, PSN and a PC-based distributor like Steam. Now that would be something really special :) They could look at making Bombergames’ Streets of Rage Remake receive the same treatment while they’re at it, too!

Thanks to CG over at the Madboards for giving me the heads-up. I’ve also updated my previous posts with the details.

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Update – Sonic 2 HD is officially amazing

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UPDATE: Turns out there is some keylogging under the hood, be sure to protect yourself if you have downloaded and used played the demo, which I’ve noted in an updated post.

I’ve talked about Sonic 4 before and my hopes that Episode 2 will not be terrible.

But you know what? As excited as I am about the impending release, I’d rather Sega give the keys to the vault for the group hammering away on the Unofficial Sonic The Hedgehog 2 HD Project, because it is completely outstanding. The physics are spot-on, the HD sprites look incredible, all that extra animation blends in seamlessly, the soundtrack sounds good and for an alpha build, this thing has a golden halo of awesome surrounding it.

I’m not sure how it works on different system specs, but on my humble build (Win7 x64, AMD 1055T, HD 5670), it was flawless.

So, bring on Episode 2 of Sonic 4. I’m sure it will be significantly better than Episode 1. But Sonic 2 HD is a project that should migrate to being an official release on PSN and XBLA, the quality is simply outstanding.

My only complaint? To secure the game’s code the heuristics, the programmer(s?) built some checks and balances into the game to keep people from hacking it, and on my PC my anti-virus software knocked the program from being opened. Looks like the issue’s been raised by others on Sonic Retro too.

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Sonic 2 HD is… shaping up really, really well!

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UPDATE: Turns out there is some keylogging under the hood, be sure to protect yourself if you have downloaded and used played the demo, which I’ve noted in an updated post.

While checking out awesome website Retro Collect, I came across the news that the Unofficial Sonic The Hedgehog 2 HD Project has a new alpha build out for download.

I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but here’s a video:

Unbelievable or what?

In a perfect world, Sega would repeat their sterling effort that resulted in the fantastic Sonic CD port now available on PSN and XBLA. While I’ll happily play Sonic 2 HD on my PC, it deserves a commercial release on a console hooked up to a TV :D

Thanks to Retro Collect, who in turn have acknowledged the original source, Sonic Retro.

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Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 trailer looks fun

So, the above is a teaser trailer for Sonic 4: Episode 2, and it does look much better than episode 1, which I downloaded a while back and find myself hating the more I played it. For every step that made the game fun and exciting, it followed up with cheap deaths and terrible stage design that was more interested in punishing you rather than giving you options to explore without the fear of death nipping at your heels. The controls were also a bit wonky, the music needed work (Gecko Yamori remixed the first stage’s song on the Mega Drive’s audio chipset and it sounded so much better) and the fact you lose speed when you’re in a spin (and coupled with the face you break out of a spin when you roll into the air – WTF?) broke the entire game, at least in my book. That’s probably part of the reason why I still haven’t finished it, which I really want to do before episode 2 comes out.

So, it’s with mixed feelings that I’ve watched the above preview, because after Sega’s double-whammy at Christmas in the guise of two excellent Sonic games (Sonic Generations and Sonic CD on PSN/XBLA), I’m hoping we might get a better, more refined and enjoyable Sonic title with this release.

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