Sonic Needs to Embrace its Casino Heritage to Excel in the Modern Age
Thursday, 9th May 2019, 1:15pm (UTC), 0 Comments

Ever since the Casino Night Zone appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 1992, the blue-haired hero from Sega has had strong links to gambling. The special level was so popular that it appeared in numerous other titles in the series, and this has led to other Sonic gambling games coming about. Sonic is looking to regain the popularity it had in the 1990s, but it must adapt in order to appeal to modern audiences. One way to do this is to follow the commonly used franchise model of branching out into the online casino industry in order to attract more players.

There is no denying that there is still a huge market for Sonic games. A lot of players seek nostalgia, while others simply love the character and series. However, if the latest games are to become as massive as those which preceded them, Sega may need to expand the franchise in other ways. One of the main marketing strategies for a lot of modern franchises is to spread out onto as many platforms as possible.

The online casino industry has proven a fruitful place for franchises to gain more attention. This is because this sector of the gaming industry is thriving, and rakes in over $45 billion each year. Game series gain more attention by getting into the iGaming scene, and this has been seen with major franchises like Tomb Raider and Hitman.

Sonic has a long history with casino games, one which Sega could use to its advantage. With there already being existing Sonic slot games for mobile, it would make sense to create offerings which can be played by online casino players as well. Sega Slots came out on iOS and Android in 2018, and the game was similar to the modern slot games found at online casinos in design and gameplay.

Sega Slots is a five-reel offering, which is the same format as the slots at Aspers Casino. These include titles like Reel King and Lord of the Ocean, and players who enjoy these types of game can make use of the Aspers welcome offer, which is a 100 percent deposit bonus up to £500. If Sonic slots were made available at sites like this, it would bring the series to the attention of more players who would then seek the other games out.

The Sonic the Hedgehog film from Paramount Pictures is on the horizon, and set to be released in November this year. The Jeff Fowler-directed offering could reinvigorate the Sonic franchise, but only if it attracts enough viewers. Sega should follow in the footsteps of other successful series such as Tomb Raider, Hitman, and Jurassic World, and use the online casino industry as a way of attracting mass audiences to other areas of the franchise. Because Sonic has a long history with casino themes, it isn’t out of the question for the blue-haired hero to be represented in the prosperous iGaming industry.
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A brief history of Sonic racing games
Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 1:24pm (UTC), 0 Comments
Sonic is a character that seems like he'd fit the racing genre of video games like a glove. And the truth is that the upcoming Team Sonic Racing is merely the latest in a long line of Sonic racing games that span almost his entire career. Some stick to the traditional karts, others have kept Sonic and co purely on foot, while the rest have taken to the likes of hover boards and even transforming vehicles! And indeed, the Sonic universe is full of great locations pre-built and ready to host great racing tracks, including lush green hills, nefarious factories and casino cityscapes filled with slots. So while we get excited about the latest installment, lets look back at how the blue blur has tackled the genre in the past..

Sonic Drift Series

Sonic's first foray into racing came to the Game Gear in 1994, with the Japanese only release of Sonic Drift. Sega's answer to Mario Kart featured characters Sonic, Tails, Eggman and Amy Rose racing karts around tracks inspired by the zones found in Sonic 1. Given the limitations of the hardware, Mode 7 scaling could not be used of course, and the resulting tracks felt rather bland and inferior to Nintendo's counterpart. The game was followed by a sequel the following year - this time released worldwide - Sonic Drift 2 (or just Sonic Drift Racing in Europe). This added long time favourite characters Knuckles and Metal Sonic plus the rarely seen Fang the Sniper. Unfortunately it fared little better with reviewers, who complained of the game's handling.

Sonic R

During the long gap between Sonic Team's Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic Adventure, British company Traveller's Tales were asked to fill the void during the late nineties with spinoff Sonic games such as Sonic 3D and this on-foot racing game for the Sega Saturn, which released in late 1997. Sonic R, one of the first fully 3D polygonal Sonic games, features 5 initial characters and 5 courses. While this was minimal compared to most rival mascot racers at the time, it's worth noting that these courses were huge - brimming with multiple routes, shortcuts and secret rooms in which various collectables were hidden, and used for unlocking more characters, which gradually replaced the core lineup as more challenging AI opponents. The handling could be argued as a little awkward, but those who truly "got" this game enjoyed some great replay value thanks to collectables and a variety of time attack modes. It's also perhaps best known for its cheesy sound track. "Can you Feel the Sunshine", anyone?

Sonic Riders Series

In the following decade, Sonic Team themselves would have a stab at the racing genre with Sonic Riders in 2006 (GameCube, XBox and PS2), which was followed by Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity in 2008 (PS2 and Wii) and 2010's Sonic Free Riders for the XBox 360 Kinect. These games featured Sonic and friends taking to hover boards in order to thwart a band of miscreants called the Bablyon Rogues. There are some nicely designed courses on offer that employ variety and specific challenges depending on the type of character you have chosen (speed, flight or power). The hoverboard aspect encouraged the developers of the first game to think of various mechanics to mix up the racing action a little, but these largely served to complicate gameplay and make it much less of a pick-up-and-play experience. The sequel dropped these in favour of an entirely new set of complicated features that failed to turn heads. The series was completed by the motion-controlled Sonic Free Riders, which asked players to twist and bend their bodies in real time with the characters to navigate around the tracks. This wasn't an entirely reliable form of control however and again the game failed to hit that core casual market by offering an easy-to-use experience.

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Series

Arguably the most successful attempts to date were the efforts from arcade racing experts Sumo Digital, first with Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing in 2010 for XBox 360, PS3, PC, Wii and mobile. While strictly more of a Sega racing game, the Sonic series is still by far the most prominently featured, but the characters also race alongside heroes from the likes of Chu-Chu Rocket, Super Monkeyball, Billy Hatcher, Space Channel 5 and even Shenmue. This time it's pure, simple, accessible racing with no unnecessary gimmicks and a great handling system. Players race across tracks inspired by the various games, including several from Sonic Heroes. The popular sequel, 2012's Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed does one better by allowing the vehicles to automatically transform between car, boat and aircraft when the situation calls. This leads to some genius track design that often changes from lap to lap. Add to that even more classic Sega IP such as After Burner, Golden Axe and Panzer Dragoon, and more courses inspired by Sonic levels such as Starlight Carnival from Sonic Colours and even Sky Sanctuary from Sonic & Knuckles, and you're looking at one of the best mascot racers ever made!

Team Sonic Racing

Also handled by Sumo Digital, this upcoming racer (for PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC) uses the same engine as the All-Stars games, but differs in that it only concerns the Sonic series and adds an exciting new team-based mechanic to make racing a more co-operative experience. Players will be able to form a team of three to race across new tracks inspired by the Sonic universe, but coming in first place will not necessarily get your team the win. Victors are determined by a points system that also takes other factors into account such as rings collected and average position across the finish line, so you'll need to think much more tactically. Those desperate for a more co-op nature to racing games should be very excited! Originally due in 2018, the game has been delayed to May 2019 to ensure top quality, which should only be good news! Let's find out next month if it can match the dizzying heights of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and claim the title of best Sonic racing game ever!

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How to get Wii games
Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 1:33pm (UTC), 0 Comments

When the Nintendo Wii was released in 2006 is made a splash in the global video game market. Its futuristic design, remote controller, and new games were truly revolutionary. (The first suggested name for Wii was 'Revolution'). Moreover, what we particularly liked about Nintendo's Wii was its ability to run not only disc-based titles, but also a good many retro games and download-only small games. Through the Wii Shop Channel we could download WiiWare, the games designed for the Wii, and Virtual Console content, emulated games released for the Wii's predecessors. Unfortunately, presently, we're unable to download Wii games the way we did before.

Some fans of the Wii will be displeased to know that the Wii Shop Channel was discontinued at the beginning of 2019. It's no longer possible to earn points and exchange them for rewards. (Hope you had succeeded to download the purchased content from the Shop!) Moreover, it's also impossible to download WiiWare and Virtual Console games anymore. Now lots of Wii fans try to figure out the best possible ways of obtaining new games after the Wii Shop Channel being shut down. We bet you also were planning on downloading plenty more Wii games to play on your favorite console but now feel empty-handed. No need to get upset! There's an excellent way to land more cool games for your Wii without using the Wii Shop Channel.

Installing a Wii Emulator

If you player Virtual Console game from the Wii Shop Channel you're familiar with emulation. Emulation is what helps you play games designed for past consoles. Emulators, in their turn, enable you to run your favorite console games on a computer or any other device such as a tablet PC or a smartphone. Among the most popular PC emulators for Wii are Dolphin, SuperGCube, and Dolwin. Currently, the Dolphin emulator is considered to be the most stable tool for emulating Wii games. Of course, you may try searching the Internet for other suitable options. Still, it's highly probable that the emulator you'll find won't be able to run quite demanding Wii titles smoothly. Therefore, we recommend that you use Dolphin to emulate Wii on your computer.

Getting Games for a Wii Emulator

If you don't own a physical Wii console but like playing Wii games, you're probably using a nice emulator to run favorite titles on your PC. Still the only problem you've confronted is the lack of nice games or ROMs for your Wii emulator. You can solve this problem easily by visiting RomsMode, the online resource boasting a vast collection of ROMs for your favorite game.
On the website, select the video game console whose games you're looking for.

Once you access the "Nintendo Wii" section, you'll see all the games available for download.

Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Kirby's Return to Dreamland, Wii Sports Resort, and lots of other popular Wii games are waiting to be downloaded! You're free to download as many ROMs as you want. Just click on the preferred ROM file and hit the "Download" button.

Once the download is complete, you can proceed to installing the new games on your computer. In the majority of cases, games intended for emulators come in compressed formats. So, make sure to decompress the obtained files after downloading it. You can do it by means of any unarchiver at hand. After decompression, extract the files into a "ROMs" folder.

Once you are done with installing your ROMs, fire up the Wii emulator and choose the game you want to play. Now you see that you can download and play the best Wii games notwithstanding the fact that the Wii Shop Channel has been shut down.

Enjoy your game!
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What are the Best Anime Online Slots Games?
Thursday, 17th January 2019, 9:40pm (UTC), 0 Comments
Anime is a popular genre when it comes to online slot games and there are hundreds of titles that feature this Japanese cartoon theme. A number of leading online casinos provide access to video slots with an anime theme. These online casino games offer great betting options and have innovative bonus rounds that can lead to larger wins. Some great anime slots can be found at top rated sites, where players can enjoy free and real money versions of the game. Here, we take a look at some of the best anime slots that are being featured at online casino sites.

Magical Stacks

This is an anime slot from Playtech and it offers a five reel layout with 20 paylines. The game makes use of traditional slot icons like bars, bells, and cherries. The wild in the game is the Wild Party Girls and players are free to bet between $0.01 and $100 per spin. The highlight of this anime slot is the free games round where wins can be multiplied by the use of a Dynamic Multiplier. During the bonus round, added Magical Stack icons are added, so there are even more chances to generate payouts.

Fortune Girl

This is a great themed game at Microgaming casino sites and it offers an Oriental theme. The game presents 5 paylines with a range of betting options. Players will have the chance to win a bonus round that offers 14 free spins and there is also a Mystery Symbol feature for more payouts. Scatter wins with this game can be as high as 1200x the bet amount, so Fortune Girl is one of the top paying anime games from Microgaming.


This is a thrilling game from Play N Go and it is played on five reels with 25 paylines. The game offers a superb free spin round and great themed graphics. The Arian Anime slot comes with oriental themed icons and is a medium volatility game. Players can bet between $0.25 and $100 per spin. The free games bonus round is triggered with three Mask symbols and added masks can appear, adding extra spins to the bonus round.

Koi Princess

This is one of the most popular anime slots from Net Entertainment and it is played on five reels. Payers will be able to bet on 20 paylines and will benefit from easy to recognize symbols. The highest paying icons in the game are Japanese artifacts and the Koi Princes icon will act as the scatter, paying up to 400 coins for five on a payline. There are four random features that can be triggered on the game, so there are tons of bonus opportunities and many ways to boost overall payouts when betting real money on the game. Koi Princess can be found at almost every operating NetEnt casino online.

Ghost in the Shell

This is an anime slot game developed by 888 and it is based on the popular Anime series. The game offers five reels, but there are just 9 paylines, making it an affordable option for any gambler. With this game, there is the chance to win a progressive jackpot and bets can be placed starting at just $0.05 per payline. This slot features two wild symbols, one of which will multiply wins by 3x. There is also a Pick Me bonus round as well as a standard free spin bonus. This exciting game is one of the higher paying anime themed slot games found at online casinos.
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Is it Time the Sonic Franchise Diversified into New Gaming Territories?
Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 4:24pm (UTC), 0 Comments
Since 1991, SEGA's Sonic Team have developed a video gaming character that all four corners of the world have cherished. As of this year, Sonic The Hedgehog games have sold more than 800 million units combined. However, with so much success on video game consoles, isn't it time that the Sonic franchise diversified and tried its hand in other gaming territories? Possibly so. The franchise has only largely spun into other forms of offline media. In fact, the Sonic The Hedgehog comic book series received an award from the Guinness World Records in 2008 for becoming the longest-running comic series based around a video game. The series has been running since July 1993, with more than 180 monthly issues since its first release.

Yet in terms of other forms of gaming, the Sonic franchise has done little to find its way into the psyche of other audience demographics. Other franchises like Jurassic Park have sought to tap into the iGaming industry by developing one-off video slot games for online casino players to enjoy and attempt to play for real money prizes. Given the mammoth growth of the iGaming sector worldwide - an industry that is forecast to be worth almost $60 billion by 2020 according to Statista - it could be a good strategic move to maintain Sonic's place within 21st century popular culture through such means. It has certainly worked for Jurassic Park given that its video slot is now one of the most popular to play at Spinit Casino online and various other operators.

The success of the 1993 Sonic Spinball would suggest that a genuine arcade-style Sonic Pinball could be an absolute winner in pubs and hipster bars across the globe. It's also worth looking at tapping into the next generation of Sonic fans. Super Mario Bros - Sonic's biggest rival of the 1990s and beyond - recently dabbled in the card game sector with its release of Super Mario Bros Powerup. Although the card game was reviewed as somewhat simplistic and lacking in gameplay, it should certainly be a family favourite among youngsters over the Christmas season. A Sonic The Hedgehog card game could also help develop the personalities of each character within the franchise for young video gamers.

Given that Sonic is still available to play on the latest eighth-generation games consoles, isn't it high time that Sonic became part of the eSports industry? One of the longest-standing platform gaming franchises has not had a look in when it comes to professional eSports, but Sonic's inclusion could breathe new life into the brand for SEGA. Newzoo's insights report believes that the global eSports industry will be worth more than $900 million by the end of this year, representing year-on-year growth of 38%, so you can see just how popular eSports is to the next generation of video gamers.
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Is the Video Game Industry Dying?
Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 10:13am (UTC), 0 Comments
In an increasingly saturated market, it can be hard for new video games to impress audiences, or for old ones to improve their formats to bring in new players. It is becoming more and more difficult for games to support their production costs on sales alone, leading to a wide range of negative downstream effects for both the producers and the consumers. With this in mind, we are left with one question which has seen ever-increasing airtime in the current market - is the video game industry dying? The most common line which we see in this regard is that video game production is becoming more expensive, while the prices remain the same. While it's often reported and seemingly perfectly sensible on the surface level, we'll need to look deeper to gain a real understanding of this claim.

While it is true that the base cost of many video games has remained fairly steady, which is especially problematic given how there is a lack of adjustment for inflation, a closer look reveals that this isn't quite true. Modern games today are often reliant on special additions to sell the complete product, for a start, which was rarely the case for older games. We also need to take into account the larger overall market size, with video games long having surpassed even the Box Office in terms of sheer revenue. Combine this with the almost standard inclusion of microtransaction systems, and we can see that no, game prices have not really remained the same in reality.

The gaming market has already adjusted to many of these realities, so the truth isn't quite as simple as "just too expensive to make".

"2011-06-03_00017" (CC BY 2.0) by JBLivin

Also important to note here is that the gaming industry is one which chooses to increase its own budget and chase additional markets, in lieu of appealing to their base fans. Take Dead Space 3 for example, a great game series in the prior generation which has now fallen by the wayside. Instead of focusing on the intense single-player horror experience which made the series so popular, Dead Space 3 instead went for an action-oriented co-op experience loaded with microtransactions. The failure of this game to meet expectations was not at all surprising for fans, yet apparently, it was for Electronic Arts, a company notorious for ruining titles by forcing unwanted and unnecessary changes upon their developers.

Compare this to games which have maintained a strong player-base since inception. Take a browse at the range of online slot games or casino table games, for example, and you'll see an industry still thriving because they still maintain a devotion to what made the games popular in the first place. Yes, slot games have received the additions of new features, extra reels and so forth, but the base gameplay remains the same, unlike Dead Space 3.

"New Star Wars Battlefront 2 Trailer Show" (CC BY 2.0) by BagoGames

When we take into account all of these factors, we can see some patterns emerge. Yes, there are some major producers which find themselves in trouble when it comes to the continuation of their series, but overwhelmingly this comes down to their own choices and avarice. These companies put in more money than they can afford, betray what made their games great in the first place, and then act shocked when their properties underperform. No, the video game industry is not dying, and indie developers are doing some amazing things, but there are some AAA producers and developers who have undisputedly dug too greedily and too deep, and these are the ones who could face major problems if they fail to address the issues that they themselves created.
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Sonic's latest Wii U outing turns away from the popular and well established speed dashes of recent games, in favour of a more traditional platformer approach. But does it work? Get ready for one of the most different Sonic games in every respect!
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