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2016's finest enthusiasm for Mania and Forces both.
Hell Yeah: Wrath of the Dead Rabbit reviewed! Does immature humour affect an interesting idea?
Sonic's Twitter account has lost its mind, and it's wonderful.
Should Sonic get a "cautious" redesign, or is it the indie developer making the proposal that should tread carefully?
So I'm sure you were all watching that (he says, implying his readership is in the plural).

Um, wow. Even with the Ryu/Roy leak, that had some surprises. Like the rival series game costumes. OK sure they're only costumes, but you realise it's now possible to have a Ryu vs. Heihachi vs. Akira matchup. OK so the first two were already possible on Street Fighter vs. Tekken, as admittedly were Mega Man and Pacman, but now all this is tied in to both the Virtua Fighter and Smash Bros rosters too. Now, SEGA and Capcom, your next step is to work the Smash Bros universe into another Project X Zone.

But anyway.

Ryu's moveset, huh? Multiple moves for each button mapped to a C-Stick style tap vs. hold mechanism. Stronger B specials activated by inputting their original SFII button combo. Two Final Smashes. People are going to get scary good as this character, I can see Ryu players exploiting the subtle differences between the Smash-moveset and SF2-moveset strengths of the move. Gonna be a bitch to play against.

His stage also looks awesome.

Also impressive, speaking of stages, was the Miiverse stage with character-specific Miiverse posts showing up as you play. I'm sure this will not be abused at all.

This is impressive stuff.
I still wonder how this happened. Generations and Colours were so good. They were so good that we could take the announcement for Lost World with cautious optimism. But now, three games later, the news of Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice just leaves me rolling my eyes. I'd like to believe that this is going to be better than the last abomination they put out. After all it can't possibly be worse. Right? Lightning has struck twice already, it can't possibly be three times, right?

Methinks it can. Mehopes, still, for some reason, it won't. And I still hold out some small hope that Sega Japan are going to announce a real Sonic game. Please, Sega?

Sonic Lost World fell prey to some of the old faults - especially where someone decided instakills in a limited-lives system equal fair challenge. And where someone else came in from a weekend of reading GameFAQs posts about other game series and decided that, for some bizarre reason, what the Sonic series really needed was a godsdamned stealth section. But they made these errors in Unleashed, and then the next game was Colours. A Lost World 2 could be really good. And the idea that Sega's share of the proceeds might go towards it is literally the only reason I am prepared to countenance Fire and Ice right now.

Sega. We're watching.

In SV news, I intend to more actively participate in E3.
Argh. The zero people who read this still will notice that there are no reviews here as of yet. One is done, and more shall follow. In the meantime I can only offer you this. I don't think that's a bad effer for someone who'd never used Blender before today. What do you think, oh humble reader(s)? Let me know in the comments...
If you'd told me that Rayman would be trending on Twitter, I'd.. likely not believe you. And yet, there he is, just above Smash. For therein lies the rub. The rumours are circulating that Rayman might be new DLC for Smash Bros! Anyone who still reads this knows well how I feel about both participants in this little equation, so you can well imagine that I'd like this to be true. It certainly looks convincing enough - there's lots of little details there, like the Rayman 1 reference pose on the character select screen, an Origins Lum as the series icon, et cetera.. there's even a video purporting to show Rayman on the character select screen. And we know Ubisoft already allowed Rayman and Globox trophies, so the licensing shouldn't be that hard if it's an issue at all. And yet... I'm not entirely sure. SV, as you know, became a base for Sonic hoaxes, and one of the reasons it isn't that anymore is that hacking and video editing are easier than ever. So video alone isn't going to convince me. No, I need leaked sound files. I need to hear the Ali Hillis-voiced Palutena's Guidance file on Rayman. I need the announcer's Rayman sound file. When you have the game's actual voice actors putting in voice work for a character, that's when I'll believe it's real. Although if it isn't, maybe I'll get to troll people with stories of having to win Hungry Hungry Kirby on Hard 10 times on a rainy Wednesday all while your WiiU clock is set to 1995...
So, apparently a cartoon tie-in game by an unheralded third-party developer turned out to have a solid-yet-unremarkable portable version and a terrible rushed-to-meet-the-cartoon-launch-date console version. Who'd've thunk it? And yet, apparently, for some people this is coming as some sort of a shock, in what I can only describe as some sort of temporary amnesia where people forget how the video game industry has worked since the Eighties. "Not the licensed platformer!", they cry. "How could that possibly have turned out badly?" Maybe it's a holdover from those naive days when Sammy took over Sega, when people inexplicably thought that Sammy would promptly fire Sonic Team and get third-party devs in to "do it properly". Of course, what we got was Sonic '06. I guess what I'm trying to say is... I am right and have always been right, about all things, ever. Especially the things I'm wrong about. Joking aside, though, I really cannot fathom how people couldn't see this coming. It's a shame Sega-Sammy's finances are so bad, because this now puts a serious dampener on Sonic Lost World 2...
Continuing this now-long-overdue PAXAus roundup, let's get on with the indie games that I played there. I got to chat to some of the developers there and even get handed stickers and Amazon codes and other such swag, and I didn't even have to give them a favourable review in exchange! Now watch as I give them all favourable reviews anyway!

Expand: A beautiful, stark little game that takes some of your favourite platforming tropes and twists them into a serene, ever-changing black and white (and red) maze that grows and shrinks and pulses and causes people to form pretentious run-on sentences such as the above. Comes complete with vaguely comforting messages that make you feel slighty better about failing this particular screen for the 9,042nd time. Beautiful music.
Go at a hoem paeg for to look more at it!

One More Line: Should be regulated with all the other addictive drugs. Speed along the track swinging from circle to circle! Try not to crash! Crash anyway, pitifully early! Try to beat your score! Come close to it! Equal it! Fail utterly at it! Play it again! And again! And again! And again! And oh god there is a queue behind me of so many people and I don't care one more line one more line one more line...

Under The Sun DISCLAIMER: Stegabyte Games, who made this, are among the pitifully inadequate number of you who follow the SV Twitter account - this is a thing you can immediately rectify.
Now that I'm finished desperately pretending I'm important enough to need to disclaim such things: Under the Sun is a cool little puzzle game where your every move takes years. Well, no, that's not what I mean, they take seconds to actually play out, but years accelerate for your character as you move him, inorexably, towards the campfire before the symbolic nightfall of his life and my word I'm being artsy-poetic today. Trees grow, bridges crumble, rocks move and things get surprisingly complicated as you advance and reverse time in your endless quest for simple warmth. Not yours, reader, I can't comment on the warmth or lack thereof in your personal life. Head to the site, young one, while you still can.

Merchants and Mercenaries: I must admit I've not actually played Settlers of Catan. So when I was told that this game was like that meets Civilization I was mostly focused on that end bit. Now that I'm better read up about Catan I can agree that this is very like that except expanded in a number of interesting ways such as tech-levels, different mercenary types (who need different resoruces), towers, a quite frankly massive game world, and the fact that it's realtime, meaning that Mr. No Reaction Time here managed to fail at it quite spectacularly. I want to play it again though. They don't appear to have a website, but they do need to be Greenlighted on Steam, so you should go and do that instead