Happy New Year everyone, welcome to 2012!
Well 2011 has come and gone and for me it can’t have gone soon enough. Now 2012 is here, there are a lot of things going on personally with me and a lot of things changing (as always) with Sonic Wrecks. Last year was a great one for the site, we moved servers, got rid of a whole host of problems and whilst we’re not everyone’s cup of tea we said what we thought was right and refused to not point out stupid things when we saw them. SW’s much more stable as a site and isn’t relying on any one thing to get us over. We might still be the forgotten man of the community, but we’re still going to continue to be the cheeky upstart of the community too – for as long as its deemed fit to do so. If anyone gets particularly antsy about that, please be aware that we regularly take the piss out of everything and have done for over seven years now!
A common factor of both my and as it turns out Dreadknux’s and TRiPPY’s addresses to our relevant sites, is the necessity to balance site and real life. As some of you may know my real life pretty much went down the crapper in 2011, whilst SW wasn’t a factor in this I have been very keen to start getting other people working on SW more. I still do more than the lions share and am trying to get around me a core of people who can carry the site on in the event I am no longer able to. I’m a lot older than Svend is and life may take me in a different direction… I just don’t know where at the moment.
Content will be more organised this year, we’ll be seeing a return to the comic in a big way – including the actual storyline (remember that) after two years absence. More regular comics will be occurring – there are currently scripts written up to and including SW#106 which will astonish long-term fans. When the huge SW#100 is revealed that will explain some things as well. Nemain and SonicMark will be doing comics more over in the future.
Radio Redux will return again for 2012’s Season 7 by the end of March, although how exactly it will return has yet to be decided. I have been considering its place as part of the SEGASonic Radio line-up although I might well wait until the new site work being worked on comes along before I make the final decision as to whether to leave that network. When it does return expect it to be a LOT more about general gaming discussion and news and less about SEGA/Sonic – especially on quiet weeks.
There will be a lot more original video content next year. Whilst the community has been very tight in 2011, with the new year we’ll be tying up more with other sites for specific projects and I hope this year to synch up more with our friends at Emerald Coast, SEGA Media, RadioSEGA and The Sonic Show. Retro and Stadium are off doing their own thing and don’t need us or anyone really to be honest – whereas I think its in all our interests both creatively and for survival that the rest of us work together. For those who don’t fit in on (or alternatively can’t stand) the SSMB or Retro boards a rejuvenated Entherial Online will be the place for you and it will be a joint Emerald Coast/Fastfeet Media/Sonic Wrecks forum. It, along with SW should be getting some form of facelift this year.
I’ve been asked a lot recently about Summer of Sonic 2012, if it is happening and who might attend. Truth is I do not know if there are plans afoot and ultimately nothing is up to me now – which was kind of the point of me going “go on, get on with it” in 2011. It’s not up to me to push people to start, its time they sink or swim on their own without me behind them to bail things out. Now if TSS/SEGA want to do it, that’s their decision. SW is no longer part of the SOS team, for the reasons previously described – namely that for most people despite our co-founder status we were completely invisible in the eyes of those attending and everyone SW staff wise was a bit tired of feeling like we were a TSS network site. Since I was asked this last night, some SW staff might well assist at future SOS’s as is their discretion but even SW’s general attendance at future events is questionable and will depend purely on availability. I do worry about its future direction and how it will turn out this year (if it does), but I trust in Dreadknux to remember what makes it what it is and control SEGA’s natural impulses to balls it all up.
I look forward to a fresh, stress-free 2012. It doesn’t have much to beat in terms of it’s predecessor.
For now let me at this time present the return of The Handies (as we used to call them), the Sonic Wrecks Awards are back for 2011! Yes, I’ve dug these out for you since no one actually does community awards any more it seems. You probably won’t agree with half of them, if you look over to your left you’ll see us caring. 😛
Most Surprising Release Of 2011 – SONIC TWEET
Notable Others: Sonic The Sketchhog (iOS), Guardian Heroes (XBL/PSN)
Sonic Tweet recently came to an end after nearly a year of Japanese twitter tomfoolery, the card swapping game caught the imagination of a strong percentage of the fanbase. It came out of nowhere and went back there just as fast. What was it for? No reason. What did it achieve? Nothing. Would you like it back again? I’ll bet you would.
Villain Of The Year 2011 – GAMING HACKTIVISTS
Notable Others: Dimps, “She Who Will Not Be Named”, Ken Penders
Despite everything else that was going on in the world there can only be one recipient of this award. Misguided and unwanted attempts to show the gaming companies a thing or two for “our benefit” led to hack attacks on numerous video game companies including SEGA which resulted in lost data and the stopping of services. The worst casualty of course being Sony and the PSN network, which led to a huge backlash against the hacktivists and a lot of furious back peddling from them.
You can also count in this community site victims, TSSZ have had problems again, The Sonic Show lost their YouTube channel, Retro suffered an attack as well if memory serves. Indeed since then these hacking organisations now seemingly go out of their way to try and justify what are in fact crimes with “goodhearted” excuses – such as stealing peoples data and then using their funds to donate to charities.
Awww, all’s forgiven! Not really. You’re a bunch of pricks. Sod off.
Unsung Hero of 2011 – TAKASHI IIZUKA
This may surprise you, but Takashi Iizuka is our winner of this award. Over the last 18 months he’s been doing a very good job in providing Sonic fans, trying to take on the problems of Sonic and delivering with the product such as with Sonic Generations, that and he has supported community endeavours such as Sonic Boom and Summer of Sonic. What you probably aren’t aware of is that the incredibly friendly Iizuka is a HUGE supporter of Summer of Sonic and loved attending this year.
A lot of what we get in the community would not occur without Iizuka’s support or his generosity. Iizuka was the one who supported the community voting for levels in Generations and he is determined to get Sonic working for all. His wish to take Sonic in a fresh direction after Generations (presumably with a new look) which is good as Sonic enters a new decade perhaps a new look would be beneficial.
Ultimately he cops a lot of flak from the Community but still is willing to listen and interact. That is pretty awesome frankly.
Community Event Of 2011 – SUMMER OF SONIC 2011
Well its me deciding and as such it wasn’t going to be Boom was it? Ask me for advice on organising it, invite me, then de-invite me without saying so, then having my mates tell me endlessly about how awesome it was is hardly going to make me want to make you give you the vote.
Regardless of Sonic Boom, Summer of Sonic would still be in this position as it kicked all kinds of posterior in 2011. It was SOS who went and did all the legwork for Iizuka, Senoue and Naka – Boom just came in at the last minute with a “can you do us as well” and then got to announce first cheekily. SOS’s fourth convention took things in a whole new direction, SEGA actually turned up to help for once and as always you got a huge amount of bang for your buck. Julien-K, Yuji Naka, Takashi Iizuka, Tracy Yardley, Ian Flynn, even Dr. Eggman himself, Mike Pollock even turned up unannounced – heck you still weren’t even charged a buck!
Ultimately though Dreadknux got told by Iizuka himself that he thought SOS was better than Sonic Boom was and that he was very impressed by everything. So in the battle of Boom Vs Summer Of Sonic SOS wins by KO!
Not that it was a contest (ahem), indisputably brilliant fun.
Community Supporter Of The Year 2011 – JUN SENOUE
Notable Others: Mike Pollock
Whilst I praised Iizuka for his openness to the community, the person who has been the biggest supporter of the Community in 2011 is probably Jun Senoue. Jun openly engages with us, talks to us, wants to meet with us. He’s determined, DETERMINED to be at any community event he can to support it and ultimately wants to play in front of you just so you can have a good time and enjoy yourselves. Jun works such long hours that its ridiculous, yet in between pushing out a staggering soundtrack from Sonic Generations and all his other work Jun is in regular contact with people over Twitter and is supportive in every way he can. SOS is almost like a holiday for him.
We praise you Jun for your hard work and dedication to your fans.
Stupidest Sonic Search Of 2011 – “CALL OF DUTY ZOMBIE COSPLAY”
Yesk, people have been coming to this website based on this term.
Thanks Nemain. This is all your fault.
ALL YOUR FAULT.
Sonic Wrecks Post Of The Year – SONIC GENERATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT
Notable Others: The Generations/Simpsons Tie-In
Purely as a result of hits alone the Sonic Generations announcement was the one that really got your attention, although it was our reveal to the general audience of the deal to sponsor the Simpsons in the UK on Sky that generally got us the most traffic from external sources. Still since the sever WordPress shake-up it was the most viewed story of the year.
Missed Opportunity Of 2011 – NiGHTS 15TH ANNIVERSARY
Notable Others: Sonic Generations, Sonic Documentary
The notables could have easily taken this, especially the final version of the Sonic 20th documentary which disappointed in what it left out and SEGA’s cutting left it a shadow of what those involved from the community know it could have been. Let alone what it should have been. However the biggest crime is surely the missing by SEGA of releasing NiGHTS into Dreams . With it being Sonic’s 20th its arguable that this got put on the back-burner, but it was the perfect time to re-release the much in-demand title.
The fans were hyped as usual through NiD.com‘s sterling work, NiGHTS even got a bit of a showing at Summer of Sonic – because we wanted to honour it. The time is right for Saturn games to break out onto XBL and PSN, but instead we get Guardian Heroes and 20th celebrations for Puyo Puyo of all things. If it comes out in 2012 it just won’t have nearly as much meaning as an N15 release would have.
Writer Of The Year – SHADZTER (TSS)
Notable Others: Tristan Brensen (TSSZ), TitansCreed (SW – for Community Spotlight work), Scarred Sun (Sonic Retro)
Writers are important to any site, they set both the tone and the regularity of the content. In this regard Shadzter is the man when it comes to The Sonic Stadium, regular as clockwork and seemingly never asleep, Shadzter is without question one of the most prolific news correspondents out there in the community. That he considered retiring form his role earlier in the year sent TSS staff into minor panic stations, that should tell you how valuable he is to the site.
Community Outreach Of 2011 – JAPAN EARTHQUAKE AID RESPONSE
Notable Others: RadioSEGA’s 24 Hour Marathon, “GreenAid”
The terrible events in Japan proved once again that when there’s tragedy the Community bond together and get things moving. Whilst I’m going to say that a lot of sites were a tad slow in realising that this was actually damn important news that should be reported (in fact SW and TSSZ were the only ones actively doing so for the longest time), there was an awful lot of panic and we all immediately set to with trying to track down our friends and colleagues. Regular updates and bulletins were shared between sites. When it came to raising money for Japan the Community really pulled together organising charity drives, contests, competitions and more. SEGA of course it should not be forgotten got in on the act with money from download sales going directly into the Japan aid kitty.
It was wonderful to see not just across the SEGA fanbase but the gaming community itself beyond how the west responded to coming to Japan’s aid as a thank you for all the country has done for us over the years in terms of entertaining us.
Community Hero Of 2011 – CHRISTIAN “THE TAXMAN” WHITEHEAD
Sonic CD’s re-release has been one of the most successful releases for a Sonic game in not just memory but in fact. Helped greatly was that it was a Sonic game not previously ported to death, but the quality and feel of the game was such that it wasn’t just a port but an improvement. The hard dedicated work of Christian Whitehead, better known to the community as Taxman showed not just SEGA but the Community itself what could be done and litterally added a whole new layer onto what the community is about.
SWA Creative Award 2011 – SYAMING-LI
In the fanart world no one burned brighter than Syaming-Li over 2011, keeping us captivated with his ridiculously skilful and seemingly effortless art.
His livestreams were super-popular for fans and fellow artists of all styles and skill levels and his DeviantArt account alone brought in 38,500+ favourites during 2011. His activities garnered attention and congratulation from SEGA themselves and impressed the great and the good.
Whether it be his cards or his work on Sonic Soundspeed, Li continues to inspire other artists and leave us mere mortals with our jaws somewhere on the floor.
One To Watch In 2012 – SONIC PARADISE
One thing’s for sure about Sonic Paradise, the Spanish language site certainly got the attention of SEGA in 2011. Whether or not that was a good thing could be debated, especially after the ongoing saga of the Sonic Generations reveal and subsequent arguments with representatives /SEGA of Spain. However even without this they’d still be here in this slot.
Paradise have been working hard and have secured the slot of number one slot Spanish speaking fansite (in my opinion at least). They are constantly finding out new things and are excellent at reporting news and rumour a definite must follow for anyone working in SEGA/Sonic news.
Awesome Moment Of 2011 – YUJI NAKA ADMITS TO AND APOLOGISES FOR CODING THE DREADED BARREL IN SONIC 3, SUMMER OF SONIC 2011
Iizuka apologising for Big The Cat was one thing, but cheers and applause was elicited when Naka-san admitted responsibility for causing pain to thousands of children and apologised for the issue:
“I presume people found that level quite difficult to understand and I would actually be the person responsible for programming it. I am so sorry! Thank you!”
Suddenly there was closure for all.
WTF Moment Of 2011 – SONIC CD IS NOW PREQUEL TO SONIC 4?
Unneeded, unnecessary and a cheap marketing ploy to make Sonic 4 seem more relevant and to tie it in more with the Classic series. Basically what Episode I failed to do.
Until such times as it is explained exactly why it was necessary to do this I’m going to keep thinking this, and I’m sure many of you will as well.
SEGA’s MVP Of 2011 – DAVID CORLESS (SOE)
Notable Others: Takashi Iizuka (SOJ), Miles Jacobson (SI), Kellie Parker (SOA)
Sonic’s new Brand Director based at SOE has his finger on the pulse and understands the need for Sonic to change for the future and to recapture the heyday. An avid supporter of Community outreaches and especially Summer Of Sonic, Corless will be the one shaping Sonic in the West – and he actually gets what needs to be done. He’s already begun putting something of a lid on things at SEGA and keeping everything much more under control – it might not be that obvious to people but those in the know know that Corless is the man. And if he isn’t no one will be.
That and he went on Total Wipeout and got to the final. There’s got to be worth an award for that alone.
(6 mins 30 secs onwards)
Take Care, Spike Your Hair Award For Male Grooming 2011 – KEN BALOUGH (SOA)
A VERY late entry to the awards, but only one man can take a game announcement, announce it, wait months to announce a tease of an announcement then tell us what we already know with a video that reveals nothing. Whilst wearing a beard designed to look like Tails’ backside.
There is no man that can match Ken Balough for his foxboy beard. WWWYKI.
Even Robin Williams could not believe the Tails beard.
And so… we…
Actually, you know what… I’m taking it back. One man could surpass the foxboy beard.
Take Care, Spike Your Hair Award For Male Grooming 2011 – ROBIN F’N WILLIAMS.
Robin Williams was delighted by his victory.
Why Do I Bother Again? Award 2011 – AAUK ADDRESSES GAME CANON/SEGA BOARD SELF DESTRUCTS
If only someone would explain the situation with Sonic Chronicles and which games SEGA/Sonic Team considers canon? Bemoaned the SEGA (and Bumbleking) boards. So someone did.
What followed was a vast network of forum threads all of which missed the main points due to people point blank refusing to acknowledge common sense (same games with different endings due to platform can’t both have happened) and plain inability to read (that what is canon changes all the time). Essentially this all boiled down to a list of things that had to have happened in the current time frame based on shared history and progression of characters to their current state of play.
The response was mixed. Most people seemed to have some degree of problem with it but were open to discussion, however a very hardened percentage started to behave as though someone had just slapped their mother about the face with their great-grandfather’s codpiece. Some refused to believe it because it wasn’t someone directly from Sonic Team (specifically Iizuka himself) confirming this – which of course wouldn’t happen. Some were openly abusive, others took that everything was canon regardless of it contradicting everything else and some just decried it because they were right and nuts to everyone else.
This is why no one helped you before on this topic and this is why no one will bother to engage with you on it again. Silly people.
By the way, in all seriousness what makes you think that Sonic Generations is itself canon? Hmm?
Best SEGA/Sonic DJ Of 2011 – TURBO for TURBO DRIVE LIVE (SSR)
Notable Others: Gavvie for Saturday Night SEGA (RS)
If there’s one thing that both SEGASonic Radio and RadioSEGA need it is regular shows and no one is there regular as clockwork like Turbo with his Turbo Drive Live show. Discussing a huge range of subjects and getting right down to the nitty-gritty of any arguments TDL might not be the most recognised of SEGASonic Radio’s line up, it might not be a fixture of the weekend super Sunday line-up but it IS a must listen.
A lot of you probably don’t… you really, really should.
Best Soundtrack Release Of 2011 – SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 1 & 2 SOUNDTRACK BY MASATO NAKAMURA
Notable Others: NiGHTS: Lucid Dreaming (OCR)
Please note this is soundtrack release, so a full soundtrack has actually come out. As such those of you thinking Sonic Generations at this point will be disappointed to know that Sonic Generations does not count as it is released on January 12th 2012.
The Nakamura released triple CD was not a SEGA nor a Wave Master release and wasn’t the most original item of those done for Sonic’s 20th anniversary, but from a musical history sense it was not only what was wanted but what was required from the anniversary. Ignoring disc three and it’s Akon/Sonic 06 content, the original tracks 16-Bit tracks all remastered over disc one and a second disc containing 38 tracks of original demo versions – many so different to the originals and even ones are arguably better this CD is a must for anyone serious about Sonic musical history.
Best Remix of 2011 – TAILS SKY PATROL: “PICOLESCENCE” BY ZIRCON (OCR)
Notable Others: New Jack Mantle By DiGi Valentine
Okay, I’m horrendously biased on this one, under the circumstances of it’s creation, mainly that I teased OCR about their lack of SEGA Pico remixes and the resultant banter led to OCR’s second in command Larry Oji initiating a call to arms which resulted in the fantastically talented Andrew Aversa, better known as Zircon slamming down this awesome mix of that well known track “‘Travels with Tails: Invitation Screen”.
Okay maybe not well known.
Point is I actually can’t recall a Sonic remix, a SEGA remix or even a remix full stop during the last year which I genuinely thought sounded better. It even gained praise from the original composer!
Worst Musical Performance of 2011 – “LIVE & LEARN”, SUMMER OF SONIC 2011
Notable Others: Julien-K Fail To Grasp Their Audience – SOS 11
- Out on feet.
- Owing to accident, jeans held together with multiple safety pins all of which had broken themselves and are stabbing you directly in your gentleman’s area.
- Given exactly three seconds warning.
- Plus you can’t sing.
It was never going to be the performance in the world was it?
I humbly accept this award – and may I never see a recording of it again.
Welcome To The Phantasy Zone Award 2011 – KEN PENDERS
In a special new award we acknowledge the most deluded individual of 2011, a man so out of touch with reality that they really ought to name a deep space probe after him.
Ladies and gentlemen we salute the work of Ken Penders, who in 2011 managed the astounding feat of talking out of his mouth and backside at the same time and launched legal claims to most everything he ever created at Archie for the Sonic comic. The fact that SEGA clearly have finally ownership on all matters relating to Sonic and he wants to make money off of these creations that clearly exist in Sonic’s universe has not occurred apparently to Mr. Penders who continues to work on a graphical project regardless to the obvious. Even recent precedents go against him. I rather would like this legal mess to end in 2012.
Most Underrated SEGA/Sonic Website 2011 – SEGA DRIVEN
Notable Others: Emerald Coast, RadioSEGA, SEGA 20th Anniversary Portal (JPN)
It’s somewhat a testament to its author Lewis “Sonic Yoda” Clark that the site is still going. Now a TSSNET site, I’m a big fan of SEGA Driven’s review and reporting style as well as their deep passion for SEGA past and present. Oft overlooked, in fact it’s original guise as Sonic Yoda won this award in the 2007 SWAs.
Do yourself a favour some time and check the site out, especially the reviews section.
Game Of The Year 2012 – SONIC GENERATIONS (PS3/360)
It may have been lacking in some details, may have been short and in my personal opinion didn’t go nearly as far in celebrating Sonic as it should have done. But there is no question that Sonic’s time-travelling, life unravelling adventure on consoles was a feel good adventure that many fans had been waiting years for. Where Sonic goes from here has yet to be decided upon of course, but its a game you can get a lot of replay mileage out of and closes the door on Sonic’s second decade in a grand farewell.
That and M&S London was hardly going to take the crown was it?
Additional Awards: Full Details Will Be Filled In Later…
Most “Original” Concept Of 2011 – SONIC GENERATIONS for “LOLZ! TIMETRAVEL SHENANIGANS”
Special Recognition Of Charity Work Award – GAVVIE (RADIOSEGA) & T-BIRD (TSS)
Best Specialist Sonic Website 2011 – ZONE:0
Best Use Of Images/Graphics 2011 – ZONE:0
Best Newcommer 2011 – SONIC SCENE (RU)
Best Sonic Webcomic That Isn’t Sonic Wrecks Award 2011– EMERALD COAST
Most Essential Service or Feature 2011 – THE SONIC SHOW
Most Improved Site Of The Year 2011 – TSSZ
This may surprise some of you who haven’t been taking notice, but TSSZ actually had a really stellar year in 2011. Yes, they still rub people up the wrong way and the endless debates over use of real names should really have been settled by now (personally, whilst I see both sides I believe the wishes of the individual should always be upheld in this matter). Regardless of these factors however, TSSZ have over the last 12 months really got their act together. Half of this is due to Tristan understanding that we’re not all out to get him and taking things with a pinch of salt, they still stir the pot occasionally but frankly the pot does need stirring every now and then.
In fact TSSZ have been having a lot of fun in recent months, outgoing and entertaining, not afraid to poke fun at themselves and they have continued to support community drives and charities as much as they can. Go follow their Twitter account, its always funny and informative. In short, they’ve been trying REALLY hard and this change is one we all welcome, I hope we’ll see even more of Happy Tristan in the future!
Well done TSSZ. (Go here for TSSZ’s own end of year message.)
Sonic Resource Of 2011 – SONIC RETRO
Notable Others: Zone:0
An old SWA award that should really be filled, the amount of items on Sonic Retro is peerless. The only thing remotely close to it is ourselves and Sonic Wrecks and the Shadow Depository or the specialist information of a personal favourite of mine Zone:0 . Sonic Retro’s archive of material has served SEGA themselves well in the past and it was through them that a lot of details regarding the Generations/20th anniversary documentary which they subsequently weren’t credited for. Quite a slight in my opinion and something we shared since SW got done in a similar fashion.
When it comes to in-depth information, graphics, research and creative outreaches Sonic Retro – partly through their genesis from multiple sites – have the greatest resource available on the web. Their repository of knowledge often doesn’t get the credit it deserves for one thing and another, but there’s a reason why they are “Second Only To SEGA“; one could argue they know a damn sight more.
News Site Of The Year 2011 – TSSZ
Notable Others: Sonic Paradise, The Sonic Stadium, Sonic Scene
I said they’d had a good year.
TSSZ have always been a bit boastful of their news prowess; I tend to put them on a different standing to TSS/SW/Retro etc because of this. TSSZ are a service not a fansite and operate in different parameters. This last year though they’ve really honed their craft, they report on things that you may think is irrelevant… but that is the level of detail they go into.
Who else in the community tracks and reports on share prices, looks into and gains legal files pertaining to court cases relevant to the community? No one. TSSZ goes into an AWFUL lot of detail on things and operate on a level that the rest of us frankly do not. This award is a recognition of that commitment.
Silver Hand Award: For Special Effort Or Contributions To The Community – BMN/B’Man (TSS)
Previous winners of this are: Shadow Of A Hedgehog (2005), KnucklesChaotix.Info (2006), Green Hill Zone (The GHZ) & Svend “Dreadknux”Joscelyne/The Sonic Stadium (2007)
TSS’s techno-wizard is the keystone of Sonic Stadium’s network. He manages the servers, sorts the problems, codes the backends, sorts the media and even writes the news and does it all with a smile on his face and with very little in the way of recognition for all his hard work. A part of the TSS team since 2003, B’man has been an administrator to the site since 2004 helping to guide TSS through their growing phase into their place as top European and best known Sonic fansite out there.
Some say you have more chance of seeing Bigfoot than Ian but he’s there, at every SOS he’s there. Heck he coded the video screen we used on the day during setup… on the fly. The guy is all kinds of awesome that way.
He very quietly gets on with his job, doesn’t make a fuss and he’s PRICELESS to everyone. Thank you Ian.
Thats enough for now
– AAUK –