Sonic Mania Review

I have no idea what the hell went on with Sonic. Gone are days of creativity, endless hours of fun, and the basic love of rings. Instead, we’ve gotten Poorly Design Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog 2006), Make it Stop Sonic (Sonic Unleashed) Vertigo Sonic (Sonic Generations), Steroids Sonic (Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric)

So when I heard SEGA was giving Sonic another spin, I cried unto the heavens screaming “why?” I hung my head in shame for what I expected would be one of the biggest gaming mistakes in 2017. It’s not often that I’m proven wrong, and it even less often that I’m willing to admit my mistakes, but this is a special case for a special game that has already captured my heart and won’t let my childhood memories die.

Sonic Mania is beautiful from the very beginning. Captivating my soul, it starts off with a 2D animation sequence that transports me to a world of the 90s and I’m a kid again… before everything went to crazy. However, Sonic Mania is more than a game. It’s a “thank you” for “hanging with SEGA despite the numerous times we’ve screwed you over.” It’s forgiveness for all the terrible things that have happened before. Though they can never promise they won’t do it again (Sonic Forces has yet to be released) here is a metaphoric rainbow.

Even the name, Sonic Mania is a perfect way to describe this game. Merriam-Webster defines “mania” as: periods of great excitement and euphoria. an excessive enthusiasm or desire; an obsession.

It’s a rare treat to see a game like this fall perfectly into this category. Why? Because while Sonic may have been created by SEGA, it feels like it was created by Sonic fans which technically is true. Developed by people who originally created Sonic fan projects, they’ve painstakingly created a homage to their childhood while adding in fresh ideas and clever gaming with an old-school flair.

As a massive fan of art, there was something special about the 16-bit Sonic and those bold bright colors. It never felt like it was trying too hard for your attention, instead, it was a sign of prestige and honor. From the very beginning, Mania has that same feeling when those bright and beautifully bold colors splash onto the screen like a Jackson Pollack painting. It whisks you away to Green Hill Zone where those familiar loops and golden rings await to be collected.

While previous Sonic games encouraged speed which often resulted in disaster for me, Mania takes the controlled chaos route. Yes, there are those uncertain crazy loops but the game also encourages you to take your time and explore. By slowing down, I’ve discovered newly added sections, secret coin locations, and opportunities to interact with the expanded environment (hey there, sexy wood chipper). There were moments when I was so lost in the game that I forgot that I had to complete the level. Once I did, I was greeted by another level that was even better than the last.

As a lover of movies and TV shows, I fell in love with the new Studiopolis level. Bouncing on film reels was a delight and the flashbulbs and music felt like a throwback to old Hollywood. Despite the randomness of the level’s inclusion, Sonic never felt out of place and the setting came off like an extension of the original game with even more exciting adventures to come.

One of my favorite new levels is easily the breathtakingly gorgeous Press Garden, which can only be described as magical. Light colors fill the screen as everything is covered with pink, airy and light colors. While I’m not a girly-girl, I was taken aback and enthralled with the level of charm that poured through my screen. Compared to Studiopolis’ darker, jazzy and more adult feel, Press Garden was screaming to whisk my troubles away onto the pink leaves that floated around Sonic. There were moments when I had to stop and just marvel at the game’s details, which quickly prompted Sonic to stare at me with his side-eye and the original “gurl, bye” foot tap (man, did I miss that stare).

As I continued playing, I noticed how easy it was to control Sonic. Previous games often made me feel reckless. Unable to figure out how to handle the controls, I would often crash into things, lose all my rings and spend wasted minutes memorizing how to jump. This game, however, even managed to get the controls right. Tapping into sense memory, Sonic was able to perform all of the commands without any issues. In fact, if I closed my eyes, I would have guessed I was playing on the SEGA Genesis.

Boss battles are the most delightful as they prove most innovative. While there are classic robots, SEGA has built upon their design and how each battle is executed, which keeps the game and each level refreshing. Ranging from weird to “wait.. what?,” there are puzzles, pattern memorization, wind speed, shooting and more. It’s very hard for me to pick my favorite battle because each one deserves to be recognized.

Sonic Mania is not perfect. Even though the good outweighs the bad, there are some frustrations and complications. Mania is much harder than those of yesteryear. While death is not an often occurrence because the boss battles are “unique,” there are moments where death is immediate. As a result, the game landed me back to the beginning, making me complete the stage again. Despite the stage checkpoints, through a series of trial and error, this was a common and annoying occurrence, which can be argued isn’t necessarily the game’s fault but something of my own failing.

Sonic Mania should be the reason why developers reboot games, not just because of money, but to witness how happy games make people. Instead of ripping the original formula apart, reboots should build upon a game success. It reminds people why they fell in love with gaming, while also introducing a new generation to that same passion a game can create. Sonic Mania does both and more, it’s a game that will have you fighting to play with others and possibly your kids. The last Sonic game i have enjoyed very well was Sonic Generations but before that game, you would have to take me back to 1994 for Sonic and Knuckles. I give this game a 9.5 out of 10

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Gululu-Review

Gululu smart water bottle, the fun way for children to stay hydrated daily.

Thank you to Gululu for sending a sample for my daughter to enjoy. How did she fair with this product?

Please check out our review below:

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Amazing Yamaguchi No.006 – Magneto (X-Men) by Kaiyodo

Amazing Yamaguchi No.006 – Magneto (X-Men) by Kaiyodo

Magneto from “X-Men” joins the Amazing Yamaguchi figure lineup! He’s about 16.5cm tall, and has joints in an amazing 45 places for superb posability–even his flowing cape is jointed! He has two facial expressions, two interchangeable heads (one with his helmet and one without), two interchangeable hands, and a display stand. Effects parts are also included (they attach with magnets, fittingly enough). Add him to your collection now!

Go to Hobby link Japan

Fighting American interior pages first look

FIGHTING AMERICAN #1 Writer: Gordon Rennie Artist: Duke Mighten FC – 32pp – $3.99 – On sale: October 11, 2017 The Cold War superhero returns – originally launched in 1954 by the creators of Captain America, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby! When the 1950s heroes find themselves trapped in the modern world, how will they handle what society has become, and what dangers will they face? With new villains to contend with and enemies from their past pursuing them, what daring adventures could Fighting American and Speedboy find themselves in now? Goes on sale October 11th, Joe Simon’s birthday! Cover A: Terry and Rachel Dodson Cover B: Art Baltazar Cover C: Jack Kirby Cover D: Duke Mighten Cover E: Blair Shedd Action Figure Variant Interior art by Duke Mighten.

BATMAN: THE RED DEATH and BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE

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Invaders from the Dark Multiverse Attack; BATMAN: THE RED DEATH and BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE are coming! Evil versions of the Dark Knight are coming to terrorize Earth this fall! Seven one-shot comics that tie into the upcoming DARK NIGHTS: METAL event are on the horizon, each spotlighting a different, corrupted version of Batman spawned from the Dark Multiverse.

BATMAN: THE RED DEATH #1 cover by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson How can the Justice League stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of themselves? Find out in these special tie-in issues, beginning September 20 with BATMAN: THE RED DEATH #1 by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico followed by BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE #1 by Frank Tieri and Ricardo Federici on September 27. BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE #1 cover by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson All seven of the DARK NIGHTS: METAL one shots will feature covers by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson. Stay tuned for more cover reveals of BATMAN: THE DROWNED, BATMAN: THE MERCILESS, BATMAN: THE DEVASTATOR, BATMAN: THE DAWNBREAKER, and THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS in the coming weeks!

‘Transformers’ HASCON Convention Exclusive Merchandise Unveiled

TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME CONVERTING POWER BANK (Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available at HASCON): Fate rarely calls upon us at the time of our choosing. When it does, the Hasbro TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME CONVERTING POWER BANK figure will help you be ready and powered up with the spark of a Prime! This special edition power bank converts between robot and charger modes in 16 steps and comes with a blue-Energon LED Light-up sword accessory, mobile phone stand and a Micro USB/USB charging cable.

Compatible with most devices the TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME CONVERTING POWER BANK figure supports 6500mAh of battery power so you can roll out without worry. · TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS TITANS RETURN ARCEE SPECIAL EDITION SET (Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available at HASCON):

The Hasbro TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS TITANS RETURN ARCEE SET lets you harness the power of not 1 Titan Master, but 2! Featuring a G1-inspired Titans Return Deluxe Class Arcee figure with Titan Master and a special edition Titan Master Ultra Magnus figure with die-cast parts. The set also includes 2 blaster accessories, 2 collector cards and special edition TRANSFORMERS packaging and custom art for the ultimate play-at-home experience. The Titan Master figures become the head of Deluxe, Voyager, and Leader Class Titans Return figures (each sold separately). HASCON (Sept. 8-10 in at the Rhode Island Convention Center) will bring Hasbro’s most iconic brands to life like never before, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY and G.I. JOE and exceptional partner brands such as BEYBLADE, DREAMWORKS TROLLS and SESAME STREET. Fans will get a peek behind the Hasbro curtain during the three days filled with exciting first-look previews and panels from Hasbro’s biggest television and movie series, including Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERS: RESCUE BOTS, LITTLEST PET SHOP and MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC as seen on Hasbro’s joint-venture television network Discovery Family.

Sonic Mania preview

I was able to cover Sweet Suite’s Blogger Bash NY 2017 this past week and i have seen a very lot of toy previews and demos. There was also one table for SEGA and i have tried the upcoming Sonic Mania video game. I have been looking forward to this game since it was announced last year and i was happy that i tried it. 


The game emulates the gameplay and 2D sprite animation of the original Sega Genesis Sonic games. In this game, you can choose between Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. On the demo that i have played, only Sonic was avaliable and i was shown two stages. One is a remastered Green Hill Zone which has a few noticable differences as you play along during the stage, and the other is a new stage called Studiopolis Zone. Studiopolis is a more challenging stage and i had fun trying it. It took me almost 5 minutes to complete it but anyone who tries a new stage in any game will take some time to get used to it. 

In addition to the standard Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash maneuvers, Sonic Mania introduces the Drop Dash, which allows the player to instantly dash into a Spin Attack upon landing from a jump. Also, the shields from the past Sonic games return in this game and some of them has effects that can affect an stage such as the flame shield burning away spiked bridges in the Green Hill Zone.



Overall, i cannot wait to try the full version of this game when it releases next month for the PS4, XBOX ONE and Steam. There is also an collectors edition for anyone who preorders the game. I have not been anticipating an Sonic video game since Sonic Generations and i love that game.

 

I have also taken photos of some of the cool merchandise line as well. check them out.


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Gululu, the Interactive Water Bottle for Kids,Launches 3D Version, Expanded Gululu Universe and Charitable Tie-In

Gululu, the Interactive Water Bottle for Kids,

Launches 3D Version, Expanded Gululu Universe and Charitable Tie-In

 

New features include a social board for interaction with other Gululu users;

Strategic partnership announced with Generosity.org     

 

Boulder, CO, July 13, 2017 — Gululu, the world’s first interactive water bottle that keeps kids hydrated, invented by Bowhead Technology, today announces a major upgrade featuring the launch of a 3D version. The new design also includes an extended social-interaction feature, expanded and enriched game play and an enhanced automatic update system that strengthens Gululu’s impact as a healthy-habit training kit for children.  

 

According to a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health, over half of all children are under hydrated, which may contribute to poor health, cognitive problems and poor emotional development.

 

Gululu helps children stay hydrated by caring for a virtual pet and keeps parents informed of their children’s progress through a connected app. As kids drink more water from Gululu, their chosen virtual pets grow and make friends. The new 3D version gives vivid life to the virtual pets and more engaging drinking and interaction experiences to the kids. Kids embark on new journeys in the Gululu universe, where they win more collectables and rewards, and explore more stories.

 

The social interaction component is one of the most popular features among the kids. They can add each other as friends by shaking two bottles side by side. As of August, the social interaction feature extends to the bottle’s game play in the form of Social Board, where the kids can see and compare the “Treasure Chest” rewards they collect as they progress along their Gululu journey. On the connected app, parents can compare the “habit scores” of their kids and friends.

 

A pilot test proved Gululu’s new upgrade with 3D animation and new social interaction features to be at least twice as effective in user retention as the previous 2D version.

 

“In the pilot test of our recent product upgrade, we were pleased to see that kids are drinking more water with Gululu and appearing more eager to share their experiences with friends,” said Chief Gululu and Founder, Alvin Chiang.

 

With the new upgrade, the Gululu Universe also starts to unfold. “Ocean Brim” and “Wonder Woods” stories and settings are now available, and “Floating Desert” and more chapters are in the making, supported by a Hollywood-pedigree animation studio. The game upgrade also introduces “Nims,” the virtual pets’ own little sidekicks, such as the “Peek-a-boo” Crocodile, the “Cheese-Bees” and “Rolling Cactuses” in the Wonder Woods chapter, and this new layer provides a whole different experience.

 

Gululu’s learning-through-play proposition is solidified by its automatic software update system that constantly offers new features, with the goal of developing a healthy water-drinking routine.

Increasing consumer demand also drives the company to develop more accessories and peripheral content around the Gululu Universe, even including music. The first theme song soon to be released is a collaboration project with five-time Emmy Award-winning music producer Eddie Wohl.

“We gradually realized the importance of staying hydrated is much bigger than we thought, after being approached by more children’s hospitals, health insurance companies and medical foundations that address kids with special needs,” noted Chiang. “As a diabetic, I know the importance of maintaining healthy routines. Helping kids form a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime is a gift we can give to the kids around the world.”

 

To advance its mission to hydrate the kids of the world, Gululu formed a strategic partnership with Generosity.org. For every Gululu interactive bottle purchased, a child in a developing country will be provided with clean drinking water for life. The first Gululu project is underway now in Peru. Generosity.org is a humanitarian non-profit organization that is helping to end the clean water crisis in developing countries, one community at a time, with 778 projects funded, Generosity.org has served more than 450,000 people in 20 countries. Gululu together with Generosity.org was invited to participate at UN’s Ocean Conference in New York City in June 2017.

 

Gululu is now available on Amazon exclusively and b8ta stores in the U.S.