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Badnik Mechanic

Summer of Sonic 2016 "Mr Yuji Naka is alright!"

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The event was taken place in the UK. Although Sonic Boom does happen within the US, SoS is mostly UK exclusive

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Thanks for the info, how often does SoS happen and is it in London every time? I live in Earls Court so you can imagine the feeling of missing this lol im a huge sonic fan!

It's usually early August that it happens. Always in London, but different venues for each year depending on what's available at the time.

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What. A. Day!

i can't even begin to describe he incredible SoS was! You guys truly have outdone yourselves and it was so great see to everyone there again! Getting the opportunity to play Sonic Mania was a real treat and from what I've played of it, I'm really looking forward to it now and can't wait to get the full game when it comes out!

 Getting to meet both Mr. Naka and Iizuka was the highlight of my day (I'm still laughing at how Mr. Naka wrote the title of "Pope" in his autograph) and I also got the chance to meet both Mike Pollock and Crush 40 as well. Speaking of Crush 40, they gave an amazing concert towards the end of SoS! 

Thank you so much to all the crew wh out this together! I'm glad to have been able t attend and if there's another SoS in the future, I'll be sure to come back again!

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15 minutes ago, Kevin said:

What. A. Day!

i can't even begin to describe he incredible SoS was! You guys truly have outdone yourselves and it was so great see to everyone there again! Getting the opportunity to play Sonic Mania was a real treat and from what I've played of it, I'm really looking forward to it now and can't wait to get the full game when it comes out!

 Getting to meet both Mr. Naka and Iizuka was the highlight of my day (I'm still laughing at how Mr. Naka wrote the title of "Pope" in his autograph) and I also got the chance to meet both Mike Pollock and Crush 40 as well. Speaking of Crush 40, they gave an amazing concert towards the end of SoS! 

Thank you so much to all the crew wh out this together! I'm glad to have been able t attend and if there's another SoS in the future, I'll be sure to come back again!

Unless he misspelled it on your merchandise, he was actually writing "Prope", which is the name of the indie games development studio he currently runs.

------------

I will be doing a big write up recounting my thoughts for another forum some time this week. I'll paste it here when it's done.

For now, I'll just share my favourite piece of signed merchandise I came out with. I'm so glad the base of this statue was detachable so I could bring it abroad with ease.

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Had an amazing time at SOS '16 yesterday, it's the first Sonic convention I've attended and boy did it not disappoint!

Even the British traditional pastime of queuing to get in was enjoyable with everybody throwing jokes around and playing up to the various video cameras floating around. To see a sense of community amongst people who are basically strangers was really brilliant.

The event itself was no slouch either. The place was surprisingly roomy, even with everyone inside and the air-con seemed to do it's job great. I've heard stories about the heat at previous SOS events and while I could maybe say I felt the heat a bit in the late afternoon, which was going to happen no matter what anyone did, the place was perfectly comfortable to stick around in for the whole runtime. 

I was really happy to get to try Sonic Dash Extreme, I love the mobile game and there's just such a cool novelty about playing on a ridiculously-sized D-Pad. I did manage to make the top 10 leaderboard on the Green Hill Hard Mode stage so I was pretty chuffed with that, if anyone else saw my username on there then that was me!

A couple of the Hardlight guys were sat right beside the game for the whole day giving out signed posters. When I went over there was only the QA tester (his name escapes me just now) and bless the guy for how humble he was. He gave me one of the posters and the first thing he did was admit "the producer's on lunch right now, I'm not...I'm the QA tester, but I can sign it if you like". Of course I took him up on it, I mean he could have been the janitor for Hardlight and I'd have been delighted to have his name on there. We ended up chatting for a few minutes about how amazed the team are about the massive support the game still gets from fans three years later and shared our mutual excitement about the recent Classic Sonic & Green Hill update, the team got really excited when they got the order through for that one. I did go over again when the rest of the team were back. They signed the poster too and were just as humble about how appreciative they are about the support their game gets.

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I did get to play Mania (WOOHOOHOO!) but I'll give that its own post in the Mania topic later on. All I'll say is the game plays even better in person, there's this buttery-smooth fell to both the movement and visuals that tops any previous Sonic side-scroller. If you don't get to try it before the release, trust me you're in for a treat.

Jun and Johnny...I mean I mention them out of principle but, come on, you know. These guys absolutely rocked the place. I've seen videos of them performing live but being in the crowd of raving, singing fans was just something else. The Club Sonic guys did an amazing job too, both acts together made a fantastic two-hour concert to wrap up the show.

My biggest hope for the event was to manage to get Yuji Naka to sign my Sonic 1 sleeve. I was in the morning signing queue and got as far as a bit away from the ropes before they had to close it for the morning. I tried again with the evening session and it gradually became more apparent that it was becoming a pipe dream. I can't praise the queue staff enough though, they were up and down the line multiple times being completely honest but sincere about the likelihood of getting through. In the last ten or so minutes people were being sent in one by one so it was clear things were wrapping up. I made it all the way to the front, next in line and then, with the most sincerest of apologies I've had in years, the line closed.

Now really, it was a no harm no foul for me. We'd been giving plenty of warning that it might not happen and these guys are human being after all, you can't ask them to sit there for hours at a time. So, I move aside to enjoy the Club Sonic hour that had started a few minutes earlier. I'm there for a couple of minutes and then I notice out of the corner of my eye that there's a few more people trickling through the line. I look over and sure enough they've somehow managed to keep the signings going! Now my first though was how cool it was that more people were getting let through, then there was the obvious realisation that I'd ejected myself from the line at the wrong time. The guy who'd been running the line (I'm gutted I didn't get his name since I wanted to thank him one more time, he was the one using the clicker) happens to make eye contact with me. I felt a bit cheeky for asking but I asked if there was any possibility of being slid in since I'd been next in line when they'd announced the line to be officially closed. Extremely kindly he was nice enough to let me hop back in.

In the end? Well...

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I'll never be done saying how grateful I am to the organisers for this. I hear Iizuka and Naka were there for something like an hour after they said they'd finish. I've no idea if this was something they just did or if the organisers asked nicely or maybe both but it was an incredible generous gesture from both sides to do this for guests. All through it the staff as well as Iizuka and Naka were smiling away, never showing a sign of a frown or grumble which really speaks volumes about their kindness.

EDIT: Have to give a shoutout to our own Hogfather who was also working the signings area. The guy just oozed hard-work all day. Seriously, great job man!

The organisers have more than outdid themselves this year. I didn't see a single hitch all day and, for an event of this size and ran by fans for the fans no less, that's simply incredible. Now, they did say that "mmmmmaaaaayyybbbeeee" they'll back back in the future but hey I'm happy to play the party line of "One More Run" for now. This wasn't another Summer of Sonic, this was THE Summer of Sonic. If it came to pass that this is where the story ended, it couldn't have had a better swansong.

You threw one heck of party guys, we'll all be waiting to play with you some other time!

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Okay, so I've finally settled back into home (ie I've made my bed), so I'll give a brief overview on my highlights and lowlights, both in and out of the event.

Out of the event;

-Travel was kind of a nightmare, especially on the way there. I booked a taxi for 12:30pm friday, but the company somehow put me down for collection from the wrong address and I didn't leave until over 20 minutes later. When on the train, I found out my reserved seat had been taken because there had been a glitch at Manchester Picc. so I had to find a different seat (but the seat and carriage I eventually got was nice, so at least the journey wasn't bad, and getting used to the Underground and it's various caveats is bloody difficult (and that one happened on the way back too!). 

-The hotel was nice. Didn't have a formal shower on the morning of the convention because the dial was completely jammed (I did wash all of the hair and body, it just wasn't quick and convenient), only for that to be fixed in two seconds when I called the reception and someone came up. The TV got a bit moody on the first night when I was looking through the hotel functions, but it was fine when operated for its TV functions. And I brought this up in the status updates, but for some reason my login for the web corner held over documents of a Sonic stock art and the queue sign from another user. Aside from that, had a good time with the hotel.

-As for the event? Uh, only "lows" I can think of are how I queued for a sketch for two people (Hesse and Dobbyn) and they both were unfortunately cut off right as I got to the front of the line (Hesse because he'd been so wrapped up in the floor stuff he hadn't gone up for the meet and greet bless his heart, and Dobbyn because it was like 6:15pm and getting too dark for that business). To be fair, in the first case I did get the sketch and I'll have to show you guys later because holy shit it's amazeballs and more than makes up for the wait, and in the second case I knew I was hedging bets so it's not really a surprise. But mark my words that if I ever go to a convention where Dobbyn's doing sketches again, I'm going to him first. And any other "low" was me just messing up each and every time (like the Sonic Mania play...).

Everything else? Just highs all around. The atmosphere was electric, everyone was friendly (and I kept running into this one guy I didn't catch the name of. Apparently he went to get something signed by Naka, if that jogs a memory for anyone), I got to do lots of stuff, I got my Japanese Chaotix manual signed by both Iizuka and Naka (Iizuka even asked who my fave Chaotix was...and was a little surprised when I said "and Espio" to his guess. Hope I managed to clarify that both are my faves), the look on Iizuka's face when he heard my question in full in the Q&A was priceless (and I'm definitely getting theories off his answer), Crush 40 were great, I got to play Sonic Mania in its rare quiet lull, the other guests were great, I got merchandise that I wanted (not a lot of merchandise per se, but it's not the quantity that matters), and after spending all day wondering where he was, I finally got to meet @Ernest-Panda in person. Funny story that one; I was trying to get a little artist card to go with one of the sketches since I can't recall who did it, didn't get that, spotted the Sonic the Comic Online physical books being signed en masse out the corner of my eye, and after gazing at that for a few moments spotted that the guy signing nearest to me had a Big plush in his bag. He was only there for about 15-20 minutes longer, but it was nice spending some time with a familiar friend.

And of course, I went for the single person coin tier so I got my rare coin. I'm number 1476. :)

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23 hours ago, BenderMania said:

I was one of the lucky people to see the history of Summer of Sonic [presentation from Dreadknux, T-Bird and the former SEGA marketing guy (I forget his name).

Eh, nevermind. At least you had a good time there

 

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Hey all, Pete "TitansCreed" Nethercote here.

I just wanted to go and thank everyone who made it to the Community Panel first thing in the morning. Considering we started late, and were first in there, it was a scary prospect as too how many guests we'd have (especially as the Mike Pollock Q&A was on the main stage at the same time)!

I want to give a shout out to all the guys who worked both the Mania line and the signing lines, they worked hard all day with extra signings on them, and it's an extremely hard job to do, especially with having to turn folks away to cut a line.

Many, many thanks to everyone who noticed me and got a second to grab me for a hug, handshake or hello as I was dashing around the floor all day, or came and said hi upstairs after we all finished. It's a very difficult thing to get to see everyone you see who posts on the forum and online in general, but it is especially rewarding to put faces to names. So, many thanks for that.

A note on the cosplay contest, it was EXTREMELY hard to judge this year. With returning winners from previous years (Evie with her Blaze Boba Fett) or to fantastic fursuits (Manic) and voiced big bads (Sally as Perfect Chaos). Overall, we think we picked a good winner, and I hope you all agree.

To everyone who sent in entries for the "What Summer of Sonic Means To You" video, I wanna thank everyone here as well as others who submitted stuff. I had to unfortunately cut the video down to 3 minutes for the event. The good news however, is that I can submit the "Bigger, Longer, UNCUT" version to The Sonic Show and they'll be hosting the final version down the line once it goes through some minor changes. So, please, look out for that.

I also hope that everyone saw their name in the Kickstarter credits video before Club Sonic ;)

To everyone in attendance, and to the hundreds who viewed at home, thanks for watching, and I hope I did you alright on stage towards the end. Especially when seeing a relative unknown with Gavvie from Club Sonic towards the end. Although, the entire crowd being super loud for Team Chaotix and Endless Possibilities was fantastic, so thanks for that.

I hope everyone had a good time and got home safely.

Peace out, and mucn love <3

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Long time user, 10th time poster, first time SoS-goer.

Just wanted to chime in and thank everyone involved for putting on a fantastic event. The staff were excellent, so props to all of them and, though I missed the community panel and StC panel while in signing/Mania queues (which were well managed so very special thanks to the staff on duty there), special props to Adam/Kevin/Svend for the fun history of SoS panel, even if it did unfortunately run out of time. Hopefully, if there is a next time, I can manage my time a bit better and get to everything, but we'll cross that bridge if we come to it. Either way, I got some great stuff to take back with me so I'm a happy chap.

I also learned the Tube isn't as bad as I expected, so it was a great weekend all around. Once again, thanks!

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I'm so glad people enjoyed my Club Sonic set. Yeah, it was just me on my own - Pete helped out as my impromptu hype man, and Turbo passed me the SoS t-shirts to pass out. I worked quite a bit on the setlist and, on the whole, I think it went very well :D

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I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who attended SoS without all of the fans turning up this wouldn't have been possible.

With regards to the signing queues; I'd also like to thank everyone for their patience with us, we tried to get through as many people as possible as quickly as we could but in the end we could only get through so many.

Other than that I hope you all had a great time, I certainly did helping to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.

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I may have arrived considerably later than everyone else, but I had a great (half) day all the same!

I got to meet many of my fellow StC-O humes (most of which were for the first time!) including @MamboCat, Stiv, and many others. And of course I met @VEDJ-F, who I actually stood next to for like half an hour before I twigged that it was her xP

I even got to sit down and have a nice long chat with Deborah Tate, and she introduced me to Richard Burton and Richard Elson! ^^

I also met Tyson Hesse briefly and Nigel Dobyn, AND Jun.

It's a shame I didn't get the chance to do more (try out Mania, meet Yuji Naka, Mike Pollock, etc.) But my time there was undoubtly made worth it by the awesome friends I met ^^

 

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Well this was certainly one of the most fun days out ever! Summer of Sonic was an absolute blast this year as it's always been!

 

I managed to do a bit of everything with the exceptions of anything Sonic the Comic related and the art stuff. I'm not an artist and despite how much I love Sonic the Comic, I always was caught up trying out other stuff first. Should Summer of Sonic return in the future then I must correct this mistake.

 

I started off my day going to the merchandise area as I expected most of the stuff to sell out quickly. I didn't buy anything for myself but I brought 4 Sonic Boom toys for my nephew who absolutely loves the Sonic series and they were gonna be his Christening gifts from me. He's pretty happy with them as I expected. :) 

 

I bumped into TailsChannel afterwords and had a small chat with him. Really nice guy.

 

Next I went to try out Sonic Mania  and Sonic Boom Fire & Ice afterwords which i'll talk more about in a Youtube video i'll make when I find the time, and then I went on over to get my Sonic Boom DVD signed by Mike Pollock. It was such an honour to finally meet the man face to face. Such an awesome guy and very entertaining!  

 

After playing Mania for a second time I went on over to attempt queuing up for the Crush 40 signings but the line was so long that I decided not to attempt it and focus on trying out other stuff. 

 

Sonic Dash Extreme was next after Jam with Jun during the queue which made the wait a ton of fun. Especially singing along to City Escape! Sonic Dash Extreme was really good fun. It took some getting used to playing with a massive D-pad but I came 11th place in the end which I was happy with. I'd like to see the Arcade machine in areas close to me but it might be a one-time experience as arcades are still barely alive. I then got a Sonic Dash poster signed by the guys at Hardlight who were really nice people. I credited their awesome work on the games and they looked really pleased.

 

I attempted to queue for Mania for a third time but by that point the lines were closed which I didn't mind. So I finally decided to sit down for the first time all day and end off SOS with Club Sonic and Crush 40. Club Sonic was a lot of fun and Crush 40 were once again amazing as always ending the show in style! What an end it was to a fantastic day overall! 

 

 

I didn't make any friends there and I never really have honestly but getting to talk with fellow fans for small exchanges was really nice. I don't know a ton of people who are as passionate about the franchise as myself so being in an area full of them is always a treat.

 

 

I've been going to every Summer of Sonic since the 2nd one they did, and this one is without a doubt the best show the organisers have ever put on. The staff did an absolutely fantastic job as they always have done in the past. Always making sure things were running smoothly and being really friendly to all the attendees. I can't express enough how thankful I am to the guys who put this show together for us many Sonic fans! Their hard work has always paid off and their dedication is strong. I feel so honoured to have been a small part of raising the funds to make this show happen. They have always been great in the past so it was my way of saying thank you.

 

 

If Summer of Sonic does make a return in the future then I will keep coming back. I love this show and will continue to support it whenever it makes a return. Such a fantastic show! 

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I was in the queue at 0:40. What a loooooooooooooooooooong queue.

Anyway, had a great time. Arrived down in London on Friday and met some fans for drinks and dinner. We chatted for ages and after a long while, Steve Lycett even joined in. Great guy by the way :)

So me and my friends got there early and sat in the queue. The feeling was great and even got some merch I'd bought online (I'd recommend the Badnik Bazaar topic guys, really good service!). So we went in and got some merch (A Metal Sonic plush for me, a Shadow plush for my Nephew and a Shadow toy for my Brother). Looking around at this point we came across Mike Pollock!

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What a swell guy, can talk for ages but man was it all good! We were able to meet Iizuka and Naka san (Generations art book signed!), Duncan Gutteridge (Sonic Metal City Mayhem signed!) and Mike again (Signed photo and Generations art book signed). We sadly missed Johnny and Jun but I did get Jun to sign my Hardline CD after the convention (He did one track for the CD).

Met a load of people and had a laugh, especially during Nevermind the Buzzbombers! Laughed so hard at the masks and Johnny the Chevy. Jun played some great tracks, including Chaos 6 which had my jumping for joy! Crush 40 were fantastic too but my voice was so sore after XD A highlight of the day was meeting Yuji Naka, who noticed my Chaos plush, grinned and said "Chaos!" I laughed and said I was happy to have Chaos merchandise. Naka then prodded Iizuka saying "Chaos!" They both grinned, staring at him.

So big thanks to the team and everyone who helped me have a great day! I really needed it and will always remember it. For now, rest easy heroes...

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It.Was.Absolutely.Brilliant!!

Thank you guy for such an incredible event...It Definetely was one of the best days of my entire life!! Only the chance to meet Mr Naka and Mr. Iizuka made the journey from Madrid worth!!

The only thing we missed was the signing session for Mike Pollock, we were at the queue but we quite don't understand what happened that we didn't make it at the end...At least we were there in the front line for Crush 40 session :P

Ahh, I spotted a wild Steve Lycett around there, but I was in the queue for Sonic Mania and I couldn't get out to meet him...When I was over playing I couldn't see him anymore!! Steve, I wanted so much to give you some greetings from the spanish community!! 

Some items I could get signed:

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It was a dream guys! I'll make sure I get there for the next Summer of Sonic!!

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It was a great weekend. Summer of Sonic was the main event, but Sunday was good as well.

Don't think I said much on my day, but me and friend were stood in the queue to get in behind someone with a @JezMM shirt on. Once we got in after listening to some tunes from the radio behind us [someone had a phone tuned to SEGA:Sonic Radio played through loudspeakers] we explored for a bit and I bought a poster from the merch stand, then we sat down for the event to begin. We loved both the Mike Q&A and Buzzbombers. We then stood in the queue for Mania.

After Jam With Jun, we stood in the queue for the Jun and Johnny signing, though didn't get anywhere with that. It was good that we at least saw them live. And we wanted a good seat to do that. We were near the front on the left side. In fact, you can see me in the centre of that It's a wrap photo posted to the Summer of Sonic page. The event itself was an absolute blast.

Sunday we set out on a walk to Hammersmith and visited King's Mall. After a short while there, we jumped on the number 10 to Hyde Park. Starting from the west side, we walked all the way to the east side, over to Buckingham Palace, and ended at the River Thames near Big Ben and the London Eye. Got back to Holiday Inn on the underground.

Today, getting back, was smoother than arrival. We caught earlier trains than planned [except on the reserved seats between Watford Junction and Birmingham New Street] and got back to our houses just after 14:40. Summer of Sonic, as I've already said, was a massively brilliant experience, and seeing all the fans together - and being with them - was an especially great thing.

If you weren't sure whether you saw me, just remember the chorus to Escape From The City and a dark blue t-shirt.

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Even the BBC is tweeting about Summer of Sonic!

 

16 hours ago, The Tenth Doctor said:

I was in the queue at 0:40. What a loooooooooooooooooooong queue.

Anyway, had a great time. Arrived down in London on Friday and met some fans for drinks and dinner. We chatted for ages and after a long while, Steve Lycett even joined in. Great guy by the way :)

So me and my friends got there early and sat in the queue. The feeling was great and even got some merch I'd bought online (I'd recommend the Badnik Bazaar topic guys, really good service!). So we went in and got some merch (A Metal Sonic plush for me, a Shadow plush for my Nephew and a Shadow toy for my Brother). Looking around at this point we came across Mike Pollock!

13880208_10205475520401490_6712267208874

What a swell guy, can talk for ages but man was it all good! We were able to meet Iizuka and Naka san (Generations art book signed!), Duncan Gutteridge (Sonic Metal City Mayhem signed!) and Mike again (Signed photo and Generations art book signed). We sadly missed Johnny and Jun but I did get Jun to sign my Hardline CD after the convention (He did one track for the CD).

Met a load of people and had a laugh, especially during Nevermind the Buzzbombers! Laughed so hard at the masks and Johnny the Chevy. Jun played some great tracks, including Chaos 6 which had my jumping for joy! Crush 40 were fantastic too but my voice was so sore after XD A highlight of the day was meeting Yuji Naka, who noticed my Chaos plush, grinned and said "Chaos!" I laughed and said I was happy to have Chaos merchandise. Naka then prodded Iizuka saying "Chaos!" They both grinned, staring at him.

So big thanks to the team and everyone who helped me have a great day! I really needed it and will always remember it. For now, rest easy heroes...

I think I saw you a few times, walking about! Were you hanging out in the George & Dragons pub upstairs after the event? I was the guy with the Classic Sonic/Tails/Knuckles shirt, and the Drop Dead Robotnik hat, in case you saw me!

I'll do my write-up post soon. Just have some things to do IRL and need to collect my thoughts. I also want to get a particular photo off my friend, since it's one of the cooler ones.

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Gonna copy/paste my experience from my dA journal:

So Summer of Sonic was another blast!

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Woke up at 5am to give the pup a nice long walk since he'd be shut in most of the day (friend came round to walk him for us in the middle of the day at least).  Headed into London at 7am and arrived perfectly on time at 8:20.  Grabbed a coffee (I told them my name was "Jez, J-E-Z" but alas I'm pretty sure they're trained to misspell names so people can take funny instagram pictures - or to be fair, it was very busy).

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We got into the queue at a pretty nice time, only JUST out of sight of the start of it.  Was about an hour's wait from then until we got in, but it went by surprisingly fast.  Someone nearby us had a boom box playing SEGA radio which would have bordered on obnoxious had everyone in the vicinity not been massive Sonic nerds who would appreciate the ambience.  Also behind us in the queue was the most adorable cosplayer ever.

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Was all pretty nice inside, ticketing went smoothly with no hiccups (thank goodness because they warned us to have a printed copy of our ticket in case of technical difficulties on the day but we weren't able to do so, was relying on our phones).  Even though they weren't turned on yet, I headed straight for the Sonic Mania pods.  Acquaintance/fellow SSMB member/SoS staff member Hogfather came over and warned us that the demo pods wouldn't be turned on until after the welcome messages on stage, and for a moment I thought he was about to advise not queuing up yet but - quite the opposite happened, so we stayed in queue and I got to play it pretty quickly.

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I decided to go with Studiopolis since Green Hill is partially rehash and I'm GUESSING it's going to be the first stage in the final game.  Even if it isn't I don't get the impression Studiopolis will be.  Much as during previous SoSes where I chose Splash Hill Act 3/Sweet Mountain/Desert Ruins Act 2 from their respective games, I went with Studiopolis so when I play the final game, my first gameplay experience is a fresh new stage.  The game was fantastic, pretty much exactly as good as it looks.  All the creative physics play of Sonic CD with the fluidity and forward momentum of the stage design from Sonic 3 & Knuckles - and yet, those who do choose to stop and explore the less obvious path will be constantly rewarded for doing so.  Great stuff.  I'm glad headphones were on offer to so we could enjoy that sublime soundtrack and audio design clearly without distractions too.

After that, even though the queue was significantly shorter (and partially BECAUSE it was) I went straight for the Sonic Boom demo to get that out of the way too.  The Fire & Ice mechanic seems fairly arbitrary to be honest.  You see an obstacle that reacts to one or the other, you stop and switch to it, you carry on.  MAYBE they get more clever in later stages but it doesn't have much depth to it in the demo stage.  Other than that the gameplay felt more or less the same as Shattered Crystal.  A bit of Sonic platforming inbetween gimmicks where you just have to recall which character's ability to use and do so.  The tutorials are heavy handed with long messages appearing at the bottom of the screen to explain each action when it would be much easier to just flash some button prompts and let the player learn by doing without having to look down and/or block off the touch screen controls.  I'll prolly still buy it coz I'm Sonic trash, but this (presumebly first) stage didn't wow me.

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Next up was Never Mind the Buzzbombers which I always enjoy.  I swear the guests just never seem to get into it that much but they try their best and are always thoroughly entertaining in spite of their relative lack of Sonic trivia compared to team captains Svend and Adam and the audience guests - one of which this year was my longtime internet friend Laurie whom I've known since 2003.  Really happy she got to take part.

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After that was a fairly dead period in the schedule likely timed so people could go get lunch, so we did just that.  Looking up the area the night before, we were lucky enough to find out there was a vegetarian restaurant only 5 minutes from the venue, so we decided to dive in and give it a shot.  It was called 222 Veggie Vegan and was utterly gorgeous.  At lunch they do an all-you can eat buffet as the only option so naturally that's what we had.  Clockwise from 12 o'clock on the plate was Steamed Broccoli in Pumpkin Gravy, Mashed Potato with Parsnip, Pumpkin Noodle Salad (cold), Lentil Peaks (little savoury mounds with a sort of dumpling-like texture on top of slices of tomato), mixed bean curry and then in the middle a Carrot tart (which had the texture of a firm quiche somewhat).  On second trips up I also tried Roast Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes and Plantain (wasn't keen on the latter thing there) and an Avacado and Spinach salad which was exactly what it says on the tin.  Anyway it was all utterly gorgeous and I'd definitely like to go there again someday.  I'm usually a bit iffy about vegan food being a dairy-lover myself but the variety of flavours and textures here was incredible, especially considering nothing was spicy (other than the curry of course, though that was very mild).  Veggie food so often resorts to spiciness to create easy flavour, so to eat such a hearty meal that was entirely vegan let alone vegetarian was a real treat.  I adored the mash potato with parsnip and the carrot tarts the most but Molly was a fiend for the Broccoli in pumpkin gravy.  Funnily enough two other Sonic people followed us in and we're so used to most of our Sonic online friends going for junk food or whatever is available at the venue on the day that we were like "did they just come in here coz we did?  They know it's vegan right?  Nerds don't have varied palettes!"  Then remembered we too are nerds.

Oh right... Sonic.

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After that was Jam with Jun, which was neat since he played a few tracks different from the 25th Anniversary party that I didn't expect, such as This Way Out (Prison Lane) and Be Cool Be Wild Be Groovy (Ice Cap Act 3).  We mooched around for a bit and caught up with friends, Molly and I were starting to feel a bit worn out so we grabbed some more coffee during the Iizuka and Naka Q&A which I admit sadly I didn't concentrate on due to the tedium of waiting for translations back and forth.  Most of it seemed to be old ground anyway, chatting about their inspirations for Sonic Adventure 1&2 (visiting temples/moving to the US etc).  After coffee I decided to go queue for Tyson Hesse.

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Molly actually saw him earlier in the day while I was waiting for Sonic Mania.  He was about to do a panel, but Molly only wanted a quick sketch of one of his frogs from Boxer Hockey which he was really happy to do for her since it was super quick lol.  As I was queuing Molly texted me saying I was in the wrong place coz she could see Tyson and I was nowhere near him.  After much confusion and back and forth she realised she was looking at the guy from Hardlight Studios, and only confirmed this once they were called on stage for the Sonic Jump event.  To be fair I can see the resemblance lol.  Anyway I rejoined the Tyson queue and bought his prints and a copy of Big Fat Adventure.  I asked for an Amy doodle in the cover.  During the queue I couldn't decide whether I wanted Classic or Modern, since I adored his interpretation of her in Mega Drive, utterly adorable.  When he asked, on impulse I just said Modern to be easy since I never know whether saying "you choose" is easier or harder on a tired artist who has been drawing all day lol.  When he got 90% through he realised he had accidentally drawn Classic but I didn't have the slightest care because what he had done was super lovely and I was kind of hoping for a goofy/cute expression as the main thing anyway since that's what I loved about Amy in the Mega Drive comic lol.  Was great to meet him regardless, super friendly, inspirational and talented guy.

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After that it was wind-down time.  I grabbed a pen and a sheet of paper from the (as usual mostly hijacked by bored parents) art tables to draw my traditional SoS picture.  Then we had Club Sonic (uploaded two videos of nice little moments from that).  Then of course, the day ended with Crush 40.  Johnny, despite saying he wasn't well, did a fantastic performance which I'm glad of after the slight awkwardness of him clearly not being at the top of his game at the 25th party.  I love Crush 40 but they did play the same set as the 25th party and this is the third time I've seen them at SoS so for me it was just going through the motions a little, but there's no other way to end the day and it's nice seeing everyone else get pumped up even if I'm an old fuddy-duddy lol.  Their new original songs are really good too.

After that we grabbed some overpriced if delicious burgers at St Pancras station and headed straight home since we didn't want to keep pup waiting any longer than he had already.  Maybe next time we can sort out a second walkies for him with a friend so we can hang with people more after the event as we did last time.  Actually my only disappointment this year was not getting to meet a very close friend of mine who was there but their anxiety was too severe to introduce themselves.  The missed opportunity was extremely frustrating and did put a dampener on the day for me a fair bit, but we've talked since and laid our feelings out on the table and everything is cool, just disappointed that things went the way they did.  Hopefully next time, if there is a next time!

Guess that's it.  Overall another success, thank you and well done to all the kickstarter backers, and also naturally, a hundred times the thank you and well done for the organisers, staff and guests who put all that money together into another fantastic SoS!

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I'm also copy-pasting this from elsewhere.
 
So now I will attempt to sum up my Summer of Sonic experience as briefly as I can. Though it's still gonna be a long post either way, as there is so much for me to talk about!
 
The queue for the event was extremely long, winding out of the hotel and way down the street, probably around the corner of that street too (there were over 1,000 people in attendance, after all). I was further down the queue than I thought I'd end up, but not by much. I was there for an hour in the queue, but I was there very early too, and they opened a bit late because of guests like Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka showing up a little behind schedule. I saw them walking by and they were given a hearty welcome by the crowd.
 
I entertained myself in the queue by chatting with people and playing some Smash 3DS. But I also saw lots of the cool cosplays. The most impressive of which (and the one who ended up winning) was right in front of me in the queue - a spot-on Perfect Chaos cosplay!
 
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This cosplay was simply unbelievable. It was very mobile, with a body that could swing around, a mouth that could move dynamically like a puppet or something, and even the limbs were individually articulated. The appearance was spot on too, as you can see. Though if that wasn't enough, the girl under the costume had a speaker with a huge selection of voice clips from the Sonic Adventure games, as well as Classic Sonic sound effects, and was able to use them to hilarious effect. She often played Sonic's "Sound Test! You get to listen to cool sounds!" line at random points, and Tikal's Chaos Emerald speech. There was also a pair cosplaying as Tikal and Chaos Zero, and when they showed up, Perfect Chaos ran towards them to confront them, playing Sonic's "I've finally found you, faker!" line. And when the pair started walking away, she played his "Where are ya goin', ya big drip?" line, and we all lost it at that point! The cosplayer's brother guided her around (she actually couldn't really see while in-costume) and helped her carry stuff around. She was able to reach her hand out of the mouth though! Her brother also had a Super Sonic figure stuck to a rod with a rope on the end, and would swing it around for her to chase it, recreating the fight from Sonic Adventure in a humourous fashion!
 
There was also an impressive Manic the Hedgehog cosplayer who passed by, and he had a face-off with Perfect Chaos! I also met him later on in the elevator, when I was dropping my merch up to my room, and had a chat with him. He was a cool guy!
 
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Not long after the fun with cosplayers, I finally made it inside! In there, I saw Yuji Naka and Iizuka once again, and managed to snap a photo of them this time! Yuji Naka was taking photos of the crowd coming in too! (...Also, prepare for my ugly mug!)
 
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Then I picked up my free goodies, including the t-shirt and 25th Anniversary Silver Coin I pledged for on the Kickstarter. The goody bag included the event schedule, details, and map of the venue. It also had some posters and previews for upcoming entries of the unofficial Sonic the Comic (the old UK-made comic) continuation. And most surprisingly and awesomely, the goody bags also contained a card with a download code for a free copy of Sonic Generations on Steam! If anyone wants it, be sure to let me know, since I already have Sonic Generations on Steam. I also saw MegaGWolf, a well-known YouTuber in the Sonic community. However, being my first convention and the fact he was here as a visitor (and looked focused on something on his phone), I was too nervous to go up and talk to him, and ask for a photo. A lot of people apparently did though, as he mentioned in his own vlog about the event, so now I feel like I missed out. I saw him multiple times too so I had multiple chances. Oh well, maybe next time!
 
The hall itself was massive (I have a video of this. I will be posting a few short clips to Twitter soon, and will make a separate post about them). Even with over 1,000 people filling it within the hour, I still found it fairly easy to get around. The first thing I did was head to the Sonic Merchandise section, and bought most of my stuff for the day, since I noticed people heading towards it and didn't want it to sell out before I got a chance to look at anything. My favourite things that I bought there were the Sonic Boom: Big Head Sonic Plush, and an art print of some concept art of Classic Sonic from Sonic 1's development stages (I still have not opened it though because I want to frame it), as well as a pair of figurines of Orbot & Cubot from the Sonic Boom toy line. I also got a really nice leather Sonic bag with some Uekawa (Adventure style) artwork of Sonic on it, and his name printed on it in Japanese. I returned to it near the end of the 9 hour event to get a couple more things from it. Overall, the merch selection was fantastic, and I would have bought more, but I was being careful with both money and bag space for my trip home (could only take so much luggage on the plane, after all). Regardless, I ended up buying way more than I thought I would, for way cheaper than I expected. A lot of the products were being sold at a discount, and the key chains were free! I didn't find that out until the end of the event though, so I only managed to get one of the last Eggman ones.
 
Soon after that, I, of all people, was asked by a nice girl if they could take a picture of me, who was wearing a Shadow themed outfit IIRC. She really liked the Drop Dead Robotnik hat I was wearing. It was actually on display at a small section for the DDxSonic range of clothes, and I was going to take it off for her so she could take a picture of it. But she wanted to specifically take it with me wearing it because she thought it suited me...dunno if that's a compliment or an insult, but it's humbling either way!
 
I then queued up for the first signing session with Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka. I talked to a lot of Sonic fans while in the queue, so that was a good time. I got my copy of Rodea signed by Yuji Naka here, as well as my Sonic amiibo and Sonic Unleashed promo copy signed by Takashi Iizuka. Yuji Naka was acting a bit strange at this point. Seemed a little quiet, maybe he was nervous or tired or something. I gave him the Wii version side of the Rodea cover to sign (that was the one he made and encouraged everyone to play), but for some reason, he turned it over to the Wii U version's side and signed that. Maybe it was just because he liked that cover art more or because the blue Wii U banner goes better with the blue Wii U box? Iizuka, on the other hand, was EXTREMELY cheery and friendly, he kinda reminds me of Iwata. When he saw me giving Rodea to Naka to sign, he cheerily said "Ah, Rodea, hahaha!", surprised and pleased to see someone bring it to the event. He must be a fan of the game! I then gave him the Sonic amiibo to get signed. He asked me where I wanted it signed, and I told him to sign the cardboard part above the plastic box. As he was signing it, he started laughing and explained "This is very difficult!". I felt kind of bad (he had suggested the front of the plastic box but I was afraid of the ink not sticking as well there), but he was kind enough to do the whole thing for me and it came out looking well too. My friend got the Unleashed promo copy signed for me. I shook hands with both of them too so that was an honour. I also got a picture with both of them. They were taken by staff, and unfortunately, the one with Naka somehow didn't register (my phone camera was being fussy on the day, unfortunately), and the ones with Iizuka came out all saturated because the guy didn't know how to use the focus on the camera. However, you can still make us out. I want to get some of these photos printed and framed soon, even if I look like a huge twat in them! :p
 
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I then got a Facebook text from a guy who initially wanted to buy my third ticket spot, but ultimately got one from someone else. He was looking to get my third t-shirt off of me, and I was happy to comply. I wanted to give it to him for free, but he insisted I take £10 for it. I asked him if he was here with anyone, and when he told me he wasn't, I invited him to hang out with my friend and I for the day, and he did just that! His name is Max. Really cool guy and I had a lot of fun hanging with him, both before and after the event when we went to the pub for some dinner and drinks. Gushed a lot over Sonic and discussed favourite games and other non-Sonic things. If I'm ever in London again (and I'm sure I will be), I'll be sure to meet up with him again!
 
In terms of cosplay, I saw some more. I took a picture of a girl who had a Nack the Weasel/Fang the Sniper head mask on, especially for my friend in new York who is a big fan of the character.
 
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Other cosplay highlights were the pair of ladies dressed as Jet the Hawk and Wave the Sparrow (who were invited to sing a line each in the Crush 40 concert! They had beautiful singing voices!), a perfect Classic Eggman, a female Eggman (complete with a Sonic plush in a cage!), a Shadow cosplay with a big Chaos Emerald, someone cosplaying as Blaze the Cat cosplaying as Boba Fett from Star Wars, a tougher than leather lady with an awesome Knuckles cosplay, and a Sir Percival Blaze cosplay. There was also an amazing Amy Rose cosplayer, and we met up with her (and her fianceé) on the night before, in the pub. Her hammer was MASSIVE. I unfortunately could not get pictures with or of most of these, but I will be making a follow up post with more things that I don't talk about here, and will look for photos of some of them taken by other people.
 
I think I will leave it here for now, this ended up way longer than expected...this can be Part 1 of 2 or 3! I might actually make a video of this too.

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For my first time, it surely was quite the experience. Never been to any sort of convention type event before so I was a bit taken aback at everything.

It's also very surreal seeing so many Sonic fans in one place. I haven't really met another Sonic fan or people who have even talked about Sonic outside of the internet. It's amazing seeing such passion for the series with your own eyes. So many cool cosplays too.

Unfortunately, I didn't get around to meeting any guests for signatures. The queues... my god, the queues. I swear I must've been standing in the same spot for about 15 minutes before giving up. The line went from one end of the hall to the other AND curved right around. Eh, maybe next year I'll get one but maybe being patient would've landed me one.

However, there was a moment when Jun came out of nowhere and was standing directly next to me while I was watching the Naka and Iizuka Q&A towards the side of the stage. I've never internally squealed so hard in my life.  He took a pic with two other fans and quickly hurried back to his signing session. Man, I should've piped up and said hello.

Had fun with Mania. It's so nice having proper momentum again. The game controls and looks incredibly smooth. Can't wait for its release.

Above all that, seeing Crush 40 live was absolutely fantastic. I feel like I got my money's worth just for that last segment of the event. So much hype, so much excitement and the atmosphere was off the charts.

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Hopefully I can find someone to have tag along with next time. But despite going alone, it was still a blast. I've no doubt we'll get another Kickstarter next year. I'm more than ready for it now.

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