The History of Slot Machines in the Sonic the Hedgehog Franchise
Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 5:01pm (UTC), 0 Comments


Slot machines have been a part of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise for longer than most fans will realize. Players are typically encouraged to interact with these video slot games to help them unlock additional in-game rewards, or run the risk of losing gold rings. Since their first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, video slots have becoming a recurring feature, although the slots have been given a revamp in line with the differing themes of each Sonic release.

The first image that slot machines conjure up in the heads of most is the packed casino floors of Las Vegas. According to Vegas Betting, there are 40,000 slots on the Las Vegas Strip. Although the Sonic slot games found in the Sonic franchise don't offer the same mega wins and progressive jackpots that you find in "Sin City", they are certainly a great starting point for those new to the slot concept - and all you're risking is some in-game gold rings too!

From Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to Sonic Forces



The very first appearance of a slot machine in the Sonic franchise was in the second instalment. Within the Casino Night Zone, players could take part in a slot game within the pinball tables of the Zone. The key was to land two jackpot symbols with either a Sonic, Tails or Bar symbol in the remaining reel. This would earn you up to 120 gold rings and a 2x win multiplier. The launch of Sonic & Knuckles also included a slot game within the game's Bonus Stage. The game was in the shape of a + sign, with the reels embedded within it. It was another three-reel slot, with only a single payline to play with and hunt out more jackpot spins and a chance to win up to 120 gold rings. 1998's Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut was designed with a "Casinopolis" feature, which had the slot machines based within it. SEGA opted to try and gamify the slots in this release by fusing slot and pinball gameplay in the 777 Slots Pinball game.

Fast forward to 2011 and the Sonic franchise was still enchanted by slot gaming. In the Sonic Generations game, released on PC as well as games consoles to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, the slot machine is located within the Casino Night section of the game. In homage to Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the reels were designed to look almost identical, with similar gold detailing around the edges.

A year later, the Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed karting release, akin to the world-renowned Super Mario Kart, also nodded to the franchise's history with slots. Video slot terminals were displayed on-screen during the loading of every race. Players with a minimum of five All-Star coins could spin the reels. In the event that all three reels landed a matching symbol, players would be rewarded with a new item to use at the start of the race, or indeed at the beginning of each lap. If the reels didn't match first time, players could spin once more before the race, providing they had enough gold coins in reserve.

The most recent example of slot machine gameplay in the Sonic franchise was found in 2017's Sonic Forces game. The reels are only accessible in the Casino Forest feature. Again, the reels are designed to act as part of the pinball game. Just like in the first appearance of video slots in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the slot is only activated once the playable character is inserted within the parallel bars on the slot.

Yuji Naka, the former head of Sonic Team and lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game, admitted that the nod to Las Vegas and slots was due to the team's own experiences during their trip to America, which they dubbed "Entertainment Research".
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From Sonic to The Simpsons: Classics Living on in Video Games
Friday, 15th May 2020, 9:39am (UTC), 0 Comments
From Sonic to The Simpsons: Classics Living on in Video Games Why let go of your favorite classics when they are constantly being revived? You can always find new ways to enjoy retro games, TV shows and movies that have left their mark on the world. And this is thanks to the video game industry above all else. Over the years, developers have breathed new life into classic entertainment and kept beloved characters from fading away. However, this doesn't mean that other industries have stood idle. The combined efforts of entertainment mediums have helped hallmark characters and their worlds thrive. It's because of their enduring popularity and fans' dedication that they re-emerge every now and then in new forms to bring back good old memories. Below are four examples of classic franchises still going strong today.

Sonic the Hedgehog

The 2020 movie, starring Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, may be the pinnacle of the blue speedster's revival, but he's held his place in the spotlight thanks to numerous projects across the entertainment industry. Video games have been doing a particularly good job of bringing Sonic to new generations. Apart from platformer titles, there have been a number of great racing games - as if the character even needs more speed. Team Sonic Racing is the latest production, released in May 2019 and combining the best of two worlds: classic arcade themes and modern high-tech multiplayer technology.

Mortal Kombat



Another franchise still finding success no matter how many years go by. It helps that new characters keep emerging in pop culture to add combatants to the series. Mortal Kombat 11 (2019), for example, includes Terminator T-800 and the Joker alongside all of the classic fighters we know and love since the game was first introduced in 1992. Things get even more exciting when retro foundations get upgrades. In the case of this installment, they include enhanced graphics and performance, as well as a cinematic story mode that puts you in the shoes of several Mortal Kombat characters battling their way to saving the world.

Star Trek

Moving to classic cinema and TV, this is one of the biggest and most timeless franchises in existence. Many industries, from movies to music to fashion, have or seek a connection to Star Trek. When it comes to gaming, fans have an especially wide range of options. Developers ensure a constant supply of casual Star Trek entertainment for PC and mobile is on the table for when gamers need a break from mainstream releases, with a range of Star Trek titles being available from iGaming developer IGT. It's not even a surprise that the franchise has branched into MMORPG territory with Star Trek: Online. You get to test your skills as a Starfleet captain through battle and exploration in a vast and regularly updated universe.

The Simpsons



Since the famous family's debut in 1987 on The Tracey Ullman Show, we're happily enjoying every new season, not to mention a range of themed entertainment. It shouldn't be long before Playdate With Destiny, a short film focused on Maggie Simpson and released on Disney+, will be outshone by the show's next great move. In terms of video games, The Simpsons: Tapped Out (2012) was the last title to hit the scene. It's a mobile game developed by Electronic Arts that has you rebuilding Springfield after Homer accidentally blows it up. Several updates aside, it has been a while since a new game has appeared. But, once again, it's only a matter of time before this or another developer comes up with another way to make loyal fans happy.

Classics were loved for a reason. They each filled a gap in their time's entertainment and paved the road for modern creations. But many of those original masterpieces never went away. They evolve from one medium to another, while maintaining qualities that made them special in the first place.
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