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Apollo Chungus

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About Apollo Chungus

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  • Birthday 01/29/1996

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    Writing, playing music (especially piano), video games, Sonic the Hedgehog
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    The middle of nowhere

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  1. It's worth pointing out that the press release for this game called it a remake, not a remaster. Some might argue this isn't a big deal, but considering how throughly the Crash and Spyro remakes have buggered and distorted the use of the term "remaster" when relation to video games, I'd prefer the correct terminology to be used - especially when the publisher is using that terminology. Otherwise, eh. I never played BFBB back in the day, and I'm honestly surprised that there was demand for a remake. And you can disagree with me on this, but I think the whole "remake all the old good games" trend from the last few years has now just gotten silly with this announcement. I can understand the desire to remake quintessential classics or redo old gems that deserve a second chance, but remaking a fairly well-liked licensed game (in lieu of a port, which would likely go down just as well if not better since it would be the exact same game instead of being a reinterpretation that's bound to change things by the very nature of its intent)? Yeah, this is just taking the piss. I'd rather just have a good port and use the resources to make a new game - then you'd get the best of both worlds.
  2. With the main focus of things being on the live-action movie, which is something not many people seem to be genuinely looking forward to, I thought it might be a good idea to do a topic talking about all the various things we love that have something to do with Sonic the Hedgehog. These can be anything from official, fan works, videos or articles, or just anything related to Sonic; as long as it's had some kind of positive impact on your life, post about it! I'm not asking for mindless fanaticism, but I think it might be good for folks who are currently feeling a bit cynical to remember that this series has done a lot of good things for people, and how those people have done good things themselves. I'm very bad at actually explaining myself right now, so I think I'll start with a few examples: -I played Sonic Unleashed on the Xbox 360 for the first time last year, and I think it might be my favourite 3D Sonic game now. I really like how tightly paced and challenging the daytime stages are, I think the nighttime stages are a pretty enjoyable throwback to early 00s platformers, and I love everything to do with the HUB areas. I've never seen such a fantastic use of HUB worlds and optional missions to build a sense of community with you and the NPCs, and the way that Sonic noticeably improves everyone's lives for the better by helping them out either directly or inadvertently is so heartwarming! Also, remember the two sisters in Shamar who try to make an activist group of some kind? According to an in-game bio, one of the group's previous names was "Fullmetal Shamalchemists"! Whoever handled that part of the game's localization deserves a goddamn medal! -I got into watching AGDQ speedruns last year, and they're a lot of fun to watch! The Sonic ones in particular are great (with this particular bit from the SA2 speedrun making me grin like an idiot), but I've got to single out this recent speedrun by Dr. Fatbody, who provided the most endearingly wholesome, funny commentary to a game I've ever seen: -One of my favourite YouTube channels is The Geek Critique, who's been doing really good videos on the Sonic series during the early-mid 00s. He recently finished covering the Sonic Advance trilogy, and I think they're some of his best, concise videos. (Here's links to the reviews for Sonic Advance 1, Advance 2, and Advance 3!) -I love that the majority of the best things coming out of the official Sonic pipeline are things made primarily by the fans! I love that the IDW (and formerly Archie) comics are written by Ian Flynn, who used to write fanfics and fan comics back in the day, and are drawn mostly by talented artists who got into the business doing fanart like Evan Stanley, Tracy Yardley, and Jennifer Hernandez (the latter of whom recently celebrated her 20th anniversary of doing fanart, and who I followed on deviantart a couple years before she worked on the series)! I love that the Sonic Mania Adventures and Team Sonic Racing Overdrive shorts were directed, written and storyboarded by Tyson Hesse, who used to do fanart and parody comics way back when! I love that Sonic Mania's fantastic soundtrack was done by Tee Lopes, who got into the business doing remixes and arrangements of Sonic music! And of course, the fact that Sonic Mania is made almost entirely by fans like Christian Whitehead, Simon Thomley and many more who made fan games and engines over the years! It's very easy (and admittedly somewhat understandable) to get cynical about Sonic, but I think there's so much good that it deserves to be praised whenever it can. So if you find anything related to Sonic that makes you genuinely happy, please post it here so we can enjoy it too!
  3. It's worth pointing out that some of the information in that video is pretty questionable and shouldn't be taken as gospel. I'm gonna quote a Tumblt post written by Ryan Bloom/Blaze Hedgehog (long-time member of the Sonic fan community and TSSZ reporter) on the matter: "...There was an episode of Wha Happun where he had clips of Sonic 06 at the end of the video, during the segment where he was soliciting suggestions on future episodes of the series. So I shot him an email. I figured he was already planning on doing a video, because the Sonic movie buzz was ramping up and it would be good SEO. I told him something along the lines of “Hey, I was writing a book on that game, I’ve done charity marathons centered around that game, my Youtube video for Sonic 06 used to be the top search result for the game, I’ve written for a Sega news site for a decade, and I’m a walking encyclopedia for the Sonic franchise. If you need any help with making your video or fact checking your information, I’d be willing to lend a hand.” He never responded to me. Fair enough, I guess. I doubt that guy would need to slum it with another channel that doesn’t even have 20k subscribers, and we’d never spoken formally otherwise. I was a nobody to him. Maybe he should have, though. Not even 90 seconds in to the video and there’s already things that I’m not quite sure he’s right on. By his account, Sonic 2006 was intended to be a Playstation 3 launch title, and PS3 itself was intended to be lead platform. As far as I’m aware, this isn’t true. Sonic 06 was originally revealed in a press-only behind-closed-doors demonstration at E3 in 2005, running on the newly announced Xbox 360. Here is part of that presentation, leaked via ancient flip phone video, showing numerous other Sega tech demos running on early 360 hardware, including Chrome Hounds, Afterburner Climax, Virtua Fighter 5, House of the Dead 4, and, of course, Sonic 06. You can hear the presenter talking about how some of these Sega games are Xbox 360 exclusives. As far as I’ve ever heard, Sonic 06 was lead on the Xbox 360, as Sonic Team was struggling with the PS3. This was the case for a lot of developers back then – it was often easier to port from PS3 to 360, but not the other way around, thanks in part to the overly-complicated hardware architecture of Sony’s console and its limited RAM. However, because the 360 was so much easier to work with than the PS3, most developers tried to do it the hard way, especially early on. That’s because it often took way less effort to get an Xbox 360 build up and running well. Hence, Sonic 06 came out on the PS3 more than two months after the Xbox 360, and with even worse loading times. That doesn’t sound like a lead platform to me. Microsoft may have been the laughing stock of Japan, but they were very tightly knit with Sega. The original Xbox was even originally intended to play Dreamcast GD-ROMs, and received the bulk of Sega’s exclusives for that generation (Jet Set Radio Future, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Crazy Taxi 3, Sega GT, Gun Valkyrie, etc.). Sega’s Chihiro arcade hardware was also partly based on the Xbox, similar to how Naomi was based on the Dreamcast. Microsoft also fought hard spent a lot of money to get other Japanese developers on board. Namco with Breakdown, Artoon with Blinx the Time Sweeper, Tecmo with Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, From Software with Otogi, etc. This even extended to the 360, with games like Dead Rising, Blue Dragon, Rumble Roses, Beautiful Katamari, Ace Combat 6 and more originally being Xbox 360 exclusives. Japanese people may not have been buying the console, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying on Microsoft’s part. And most of this was YEARS before Matt’s claim that Microsoft “suddenly” wanted to push Sonic 06 as a flagship Xbox 360 game in the late-stages of its development. His claim that Sonic 06′s Xbox demo was “better” than the final product also reeks of a person who is only going by romanticized second-hand accounts and never actually touched the demo then, or now. That demo is actually buggier than the full game, and with considerably more sluggish camera controls. All of this is in service of Matt dancing dangerously close to the old, worn out lie that “Microsoft pressured Sega for Sonic 06 and contributed to its demise.” That’s something I have personally debunked by tracking it down to a Sonic 06 apologist named “pkstarstorm1up” who was going around adding it to Sonic wikis as a way of deflecting the blame off of Sega. There is absolutely no actual factual evidence that this ever happened, but his wiki edits weren’t removed until well after the damage had been done and the myth took hold. Matt also brings up the PC version of “Sonic Free Riders”… a Kinect game… that never came to PC?"
  4. LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH SUGGESTIONS FROM WEBSITES AND BOOKS I'VE BEEN READING, ALONG WITH THINGS I STUMBLED ACROSS, AS OF 18:29 - 5/APRIL/2019. Hey there, everyone! I hope y'all are doing well! It's been quite a while since the last time I last updated this project (nearly six months, I think - yikes!), and that's because I've been working towards something pretty big. I mentioned in a previous post explaining my absence that I was working away on a spreadsheet version of the suggestions list, which includes more information such as the country it was made in, the nature of the film, and a little more. Well, it's finally, finally finished. And here it is: https://1drv.ms/x/s!AqVD-HKcr39Sgx0SqE2u5i2AgeC3 Doing this gave me the chance to more accurately cover the films I'd already listed, finding proper or alternate names, removing any accidental duplicates I made over the last two years, and seeing how many films were actually in the list. I've also included the recommendations and suggestions I found while creating the spreadsheet, with 82 new inclusions. Combined with corrections, that leaves the total number of films at 3999. That number's not just insane and amazing, but it's also very important in a particular way. For those who don't know, the idea behind this project was to gather as many films as possible before narrowing it down to a final 1001. To stop the suggestions gathering part of the project from going on forever, I established a limit of 4000 films - and we're one film short of that, but I'm going to consider that goal to have finally been reached. What that means is that this is going to be the final update to the 1001 Animated Films You Should Watch Suggestions Project: something that started exactly two years today (April 9th), and something I never thought would be so interesting. My original goal for this project was to prove to the world how much there was to the world of animation beyond mainstream American and Japanese films and children's shows, and that absolutely happened for me. There are so many directors, animators, shorts, films, TV shows, music videos, and so much more that I never would have discovered had I not started this project, and it's one of the greatest things to have ever happened to me. There's no hyperbole when I say that: I can't be thankful enough for all of it, and I hope that I can do something even remotely close for other people by going somewhere with this project. On that note, I admit that I'm a bit nervous about moving forward with this project. My overall idea is to try and contact as many people as possible; animation enthusiasts, animation historians, maybe even directors and animators; to get more perspectives in and to narrow the ridiculous number of films down to a list of 1001 essential animated works. But I'm quite bad at networking and promoting things I'm doing, so I'm not quite sure how to go about that just yet. However, I'll hopefully find a way, and within a few years, maybe this project will turn into something that you can buy in a shop and read - and maybe people will realize that there's way more going on in animation than the likes of Disney and Ghibli, and that they'll find something that inspires them in any way possible. If I can do that, I'll be more than happy to try and move forward with this project. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this project over the last few years; through suggestions or recommendations for films I'd never heard of before, through feedback and ideas on grey areas that had me puzzled, through writing books and articles that I read to find more information, and so much more. I also want to thank my family and friends, both online and offline, for giving me emotional support and being there for me on days when I wasn't feeling great about much (not even this project) - you all mean the world to me, and I can't thank you enough just for being there. And with that, I'm going to close this phase of the 1001 Animated Films You Should Watch Project. Thank you for sticking around, however long you've been doing so, and I hope to see y'all again someday to announce that this has gotten somewhere big. Until then, have a great life! -Jim McGrath/FrDougal9000
  5. Thing is, I am one of those folks who grew up with the original - hell, it was the first game I ever remember playing when my family got a PSOne back in 2000 - and I'm just not seeing it as an excellent upgrade at this point. It looks perfectly fine for what it is, but to paraphrase the Gaming Brit when he talked about the Crash remakes, I'm not looking at this and thinking "BETTER!"; I'm thinking "Oh. That's different." It's a similar situation to the Spyro remakes from a few months back. I love the originals to bits, and nothing about the remakes struck me as being that much of an improvement (not to sell Toys for Bob, or Beenox in this case, short - they're doing a fairly good job, but I just think that the end result could still be better). Like I said, I'm just not feeling it. Maybe I'll change my tune when it comes out and it turns out to be the best feeling kart racer in gaming since... well, the original CTR. But until then, I'm going to keep an eye on it, but not a terribly optimistic one.
  6. Just watched the gameplay, and I'm not feeling it. It looks like they've managed to approximate the gameplay pretty well (though it's definitely something I'd have to play before I know for certain), but it's the presentation that's got me iffy. I do agree that there's a lot of extraneous detail in Polar Pass and Dingo Canyon that makes it more difficult to parse information, and Dingo Canyon in particular suffers from really powerful lighting and a colour palette with reds and oranges that bleed into each other too easily - never mind the characters with similar colour schemes like Tiny, Pura or Crash (y'know, the main character? The one racer that should at least stand out from any given environment). But the thing that's really got me apathetic is the arrangement of the music. They attempt to capture the same mood as the original versions, but there's a variety of issues with the instruments, mixing, and even arrangement choices that just don't work. It's possible we're listening to unfinished versions and maybe they'll be tweaked before the game's out, but I want to put this out there all the same. Firstly, the overture that plays just before you begin the race is missing the brass that was in the original (or is much less noticeable in the mix). The brass was used to add this brief sense of grandiosity to starting the race that made it feel a bit more exciting, which isn't as prevalent now. Polar Pass is missing a couple of major instruments that lessen the distinct flavour the original version had: the electronic buzz that catches your attention before playing the melody alongside the pizzicato strings to make it more prominent, and the bells at 0:17 that provide that jolly wintery feeling in a way that none of the other instruments can. Crash Cove isn't too great either. The steel guitar that plays throughout the song isn't as distinct, and the steel drums that play the main melody are barely there. They show up for a couple of bars, but they're almost impossible to hear over the brass that's trying to harmonize with it - which just makes the melody sound less impactful and 'strong' than it used to. The original track used the steel guitar and drums to really convey that feeling of cruising at a beach and having a fun time, but that's gone now. Dingo Canyon's not so bad, but the jew's harp (that boingy sound) is definitely a lot harder to hear than before, which detracts from the desert feel of the level to an extent. But the biggest issue, and what crosses from taste in instrumentation into being a genuine misstep, is that the theme that plays when you grab the Aku/Uka mask comes straight from the N-Sane Trilogy. In the original CTR, the mask theme was meant to be a remix of the invincibility theme from the platformers, using the same drums but adding a melody over the top that gave it this sense of progression and bounce that was more suited to a kart racer. But for whatever reason, it's just the N-Sane invincibility theme without anything added on top. I really hope this means that the soundtrack's not completely finished, because this is a really confusing omission otherwise. It's not like we're discussing the exact "Obbligok!" sound Aku-Aku makes when he picks you up from an abyss - it's a pretty obvious aspect of the music that's just not there all of a sudden. I don't mind the idea of these new arrangements going in their own direction, but only if that was clear from the off-set. If they went all-out on completely reinterpreting the originals or adding new touches to provide their own unique take on the music, I'd be more than willing to accept whatever they do (for example, I quite like how Crash Cove's track adds some extra percussion during the final lap). But they're trying to recreate the same mood as the old songs, and there's just a lot of stuff that needs work before I can confidently say that they've nailed those moods.
  7. Y'know, I felt something similar when listening to that old theme, but it's only recently that I realized why - and it involves a bit of basic music theory. The reason the end of the song seems particularly unsettling is that it ends on a suspended chord. When you play a chord, you typically play the first, third, and fifth notes of the scale of that chord (e.g. a C chord has you playing the notes C, E and G). However, a suspended chord changes the middle note being played; either the second note or the fourth note (going back to the C chord, a C suspended chord can be played as C, D and G or C, F and G). What this does is create a dissonance in the music that you would normally resolve by playing the same chord but with the middle note either pulled up or pulled down to the third note (e.g. going from C/F/G to C/E/G). But what makes the level complete theme sound depressing or 'off' is that the suspended chord isn't resolved. The song ends without any resolution, which loses that innate feeling of satisfaction that the listener expects from hearing the dissonance be resolved (this isn't to say the song is bad for making the listener feel unsatisfied; that's just as valid a feeling to leave them with as any feeling the composer wishes to express when writing a song). I can't say for certain whether Masato Nakamura intended for the song to end on what can be perceived as a depressing note, but I like the idea that he might have been trying to musically convey the feeling of "you've gotten through this level, but the journey's far from over" by having the song be as unresolved as your progress in the game. It's worth considering, if nothing else.
  8. Here's the big damn post for the album (sorry for it being so late that it's already New Year's Eve)! I'll update the OP to showcase this album! Thank you to everyone who contributed something to the album!
  9. LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH SUGGESTIONS FROM WEBSITES AND BOOKS I'VE BEEN READING, ALONG WITH THINGS I STUMBLED ACROSS, AS OF 11:47 - 6/OCTOBER/2018. Hey there, everyone! I hope you're all doing well! I apologize for the lateness of this post (I'd actually updated the list some time last week, but I haven't written a post promoting it until now). Things had gotten quite busy and stressful on my end recently, and while most of it's been sorted out thankfully, it left me pretty tired and unable to write much of anything. I'm going to try and get some creative energy going again, and I hope that doing this post will be one way of doing that. Anyway, I do have to write this post, since it's kind of a big deal. With 101 films, episodes, shorts, music videos and the like added to the list, that means the current number of suggestions is a little over 3900 FILMS! For those who don't know, my original plan with this project was to stop gathering suggestions for the list when the number was around 2000. I thought that might've been a bit too restrictive given how many animated works have been made, so I doubled the limit to 4000 films quite some time ago. But yes, this update means that we're less than 100 films from reaching that limit. Good lord. I don't plan on extending that limit again, because I do think it's stretching it at this point, so it's likely that the suggestions gathering will be officially finished in the next update or two. It's possible that there are a few duplicates scattered about (considering it's nearly 4000 films organized in a Notepad file I've been working on for a year, that's practically a given), and I'll knock those off. But regardless, it does mean that this stage of the project is very nearly done. On the one hand, that's amazing. I've read a lot of books, browsed through many articles and websites, talked to a good number of folks, watched a heck of a lot of stuff - and it's all made me realize how fascinating the world of animation is. There's so many connections, so many interesting ways to visually depict an idea, and generally so many things out there to find and enjoy. That we've nearly reached that limit is testament to that fact. However, I'll admit that I'm slightly worried about where to go from here. The plan I had was to try and turn this into some sort of official work that people could read, in the style of the "X THINGS IN Y MEDIUM YOU MUST SEE" books it's based on. But that means trying to communicate and organize an effort to get this done, and to do it as much justice as possible. This is somewhat scary because I'm pretty bad at trying to promote anything I do and trying to communicate with people online, and I have no idea how to go about doing anything. Hopefully, I'll figure out something when the time comes, but I'll keep looking for more suggestions in the meantime (and maybe turning it into an Excel document to make it more easily readable, as someone suggested some time ago). For now, please keep contributing to the project with suggestions and feedback, share this project around to friends and anyone who might be interested, and check out anything that catches your eye. Thank you very much, and until we meet again, have a great day! -Jim McGrath/FrDougal9000
  10. RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE! It's now coming to the Nintendo Switch this winter! This is a bit of a weird announcement, mainly because it's coming out alongside the SEGA Ages line of games. I know some folks might balk at the idea of having a collection of (what I understand to be) quite middling emulations when there's a much better line of games coming out alongside it, but I kinda get the logic behind it. The Genesis Classics are a cheap collection for people who aren't too fussed about the emulation quality and are more concerned with just being able to play old favourites, or having a whole bunch of games on the go (if I'm ever going to play Phantasy Star IV to completion, it'll be on a handheld). Meanwhile, the SEGA Ages line is a more expensive series intended for the die-hard SEGA fans - the people who really care about the quality of the porting, who want something special to make it stand out, who want to play SEGA games that haven't been emulated 3 billion times before. It was always weird to me that the biggest divide between these two options was which console you owned, so I'm glad to see that the Switch has at least got both options (considering the overall shite nature of the Switch and re-releasing old games, it's just as well). It would be pretty cool if SEGA Ages did something similar and showed up on the PS4/X1, but we'll see how things go.
  11. Okay, I genuinely don't mean to cause any offense when I ask this, but what are you actually talking about? How, and more importantly why, do you believe that the only way to 'save' the Sonic the Hedgehog series is to take "the Hedgehog" out of the equation and make him a human? I'm genuinely curious to know, because I can't figure out for the life of me what that's going to accomplish. So we've taken away one of the series' most defining traits: the main character being an anthropomorphised animal. It's a trait that the character design was made around, and is one of the series' most appealing concepts. It's a style of character design that has fans the world over, and has influenced many artists in how they get creative. (Never mind the huge furry fanbase it's attracted, which I see as a positive since it encourages creativity and a general sense of positivity about the things that furries like about the series.) To remove that would be like deciding that Bugs Bunny isn't a rabbit, but a frog; or that Master Chief is no longer a soldier, but an insurance salesman. We've removed a crucial key to the character's appeal, both visually and conceptually. In that case, what benefit does making him a human do? Even if we stuck with the stylized Uekawa that kicked this debate off all those years ago, what does that have anything to do with the series being good or not? It doesn't matter whether Sonic's a furry animal or a lanky teen if he still stars in "shit" games. And I'm using the quotation marks there because I don't believe that the series is so beyond repair that you need to make drastic changes to its core concept. Really, the only part of Sonic that might require a drastic change is at Sonic Team (and I say might, since we don't really know what's going on over there). Sonic Mania's done very well, the IDW comics are doing fine, and while I'm kinda iffy about the upcoming movie (not to mention the possibility of the series trying to change to fit the movie, though that's just a thought), there's no real indication that the series is DOOMED. I agree that something might have to change to make Sonic Team's games worth caring about, but making Sonic human is not gonna do anything about that.
  12. LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH SUGGESTIONS FROM DK VINE, ALONG WITH OTHER WEBSITES AND BOOKS I'VE BEEN READING, AS OF 18:54 - 4/SEPTEMBER/2018. Hey there, everyone! I hope you're all doing well! Today's update isn't quite as big as the previous one (more on why in a bit), but with 48 new films, episodes, videos and more, that takes us just a little over 3800 FILMS! That's right: we're less than 200 films away from reaching the 4000 film limit I decided on months ago. It's really weird to think that I was originally going to stop gathering films when the limit was only 2000, but we've nearly doubled that in the span of just under a year and a half. It's crazy to think that, but it's proof that the world of animation is indeed wide, weird, and wonderful! I don't have much else to say for this post, and I don't have any YouTube video news to talk about, since I'm currently going through a pretty nasty drain of motivation right now. I was working on a couple of other things besides this project, but they'll all wrapped up and I don't know what to do with myself for now. I had a plan of remaking a video I did last year, but I gave up when I realized that it would have had only slightly better audio and video (which isn't really worth the pain of trying to make Windows Movie Maker Live co-operate). So I'm just existing for the moment, occasionally taking the time to watch and research more animated things, but not much else. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things. Besides, there's less than 200 films till that goal is reached. Let's keep moving towards it, eh? In the meantime, please keep contributing to the project with suggestions and feedback, share this project around to friends and anyone who might be interested, and check out anything that catches your eye. Thank you very much, and until we meet again, have a great day! -Jim McGrath/FrDougal9000
  13. THE ALBUM'S FINISHED, AND HERE IT IS! In the spoiler is the original post I made, just to have it there for prosperity's sake.
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