Sonic and Knuckles Articles RSS Feed | Sonic and Knuckles RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The Five 2D Platformers you need to play Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:12:15 -0400 Michael Slevin

Platformers are my favorite genre of game, and there are a ton of great games to play within the genre.

Everybody has games that they haven't gotten to, so to add to your list here are five platformers you need to play at some point in your life.

5. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Forget best platformers, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the best games of all time. With incredible pixel art, music and gameplay, this game is an absolute masterpiece. You can pick this one up on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 even though it was originally a PlayStation game. 

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Oh, how we miss the days of good Sonic games. Despite the infamous recent Sonic games, I still love the blue blur, and Sonic 3 is a part of what makes him great. In this adventure, we meet Knuckles the Echidna, who is actually an antagonist, who we see more of in Sonic and Knuckles. Sonic 3 is the best platformer the series has to offer and, if you get the chance, Sonic and Knuckles is great too.

3. Mega Man 2


This is one that is close. I am only doing one game from each series, otherwise we would see multiple Mega Man games and multiple Mario games. I feel that Mega Man 2 is the best that Capcom has to offer providing great music, incredible bosses who grant unique weapons upon defeat, and world-class gameplay. Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 9 are also among my favorites in the series. 

2. Super Metroid

This one might be a little divisive, as many people consider Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to be the better game. Super Metroid is one of the best games ever made, and set the stage for Symphony of the Night and define the Metroidvania game genre. The incredible music and art, level design, and a desolate world all contribute towards Super Metroid being one of the best games of all time. Super Metroid certainly surpasses any side-scrolling Metroid, and perhaps is only surpassed by its first-person shooter cousin, Metroid Prime.

1. Super Mario World

This one is tough, I can see multiple Mario games being on this list. Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario Bros. are both worth your time. The reason I feel that you must play Super Mario World is because it perfects the 2D Mario formula. This masterpiece introduces Yoshi, who plays a critical role in the game's story. Sprite art and music are both great, but the elite-caliber level design is what makes Super Mario World an absolute must play. 

What 2D platformers do you think are must-play? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Gaming's Best Villains Turned Hero Sun, 18 Aug 2013 22:05:23 -0400 vegna871

It happens all the time in gaming--you get a villain who, over the course of the game or series, sees the error of their ways and turns back to fight alongside the heroes.  There are many iterations of this and it's really hard to pick just five to be the best, but I'm sure as heck going to attempt it. So here we go: the five best game villains who became heroes. Spoilers will follow, you have been warned.

5. Knuckles - Sonic the Hedgehog

Knuckles has been a hero for so long that not many people remember his origins. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Knuckles was introduced as a rival to Sonic. His intentions were pure, he was trying to protect the Master Emerald, which rules over the world's powerful Chaos Emeralds, but he was tricked by Dr. Robotnik into thinking that Sonic was trying to steal it.  In the end, Robotnik steals the emerald, and Knuckles sees that he was wrong to try to fight Sonic. In future games, he progresses from being Sonic's begrudging rival to one of the Blue Hedgehog's closest friends, and he has helped save the world many times over.

4. Axel/Lea - Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts is a series in which characters jump over the hero/villan line more often than Bowser kidnaps Peach, so picking just one of the characters who went from bad to good is really hard. Axel was introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a member of Organization XIII and one of Sora's foes. He is a Nobody, a creature made from the body of a strong-willed person who lost their heart to a heartless.

Axel's first double agenda is shown here when he thwarts the main villain's plan, because it is in contrast with the goals of the leader of the organization. In Kingdom Hearts 2, he continues as Sora's foe, because he believes that by defeating him he can release Sora's Nobody, Roxas, who was Axel's best friend--despite Roxas only existing for a year.  At the end of the game, Axel realises he won't get Roxas back, and instead comes to Sora's aid, sacrificing himself to allow Sora to go and finish off the Organization. Though he appeared to be dead, the Axel nobody somehow merged with its old heart and reformed as Lea between Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. He operates in the shadows, aiding the heroes Sora and Mickey when they are in desperate need of help. At the end of Dream Drop Distance, he obtains his own Keyblade, and looks to be set as one of the heroes of light in Kingdom Hearts 3.

3.GLaDOS - Portal

GLaDOS is the evil robot from the hilarious Portal series that attempts to kill you... for science. She seems to have the philosophy that no science can be performed without serious risk to human life, and basically thinks that killing humans is science itself. 

She is extremely passive aggressive and insists she is still alive after you drop all of her AI cores into a fire at the end of the original Portal.  In Portal 2, she makes a return, and though she tries to kill you for much of the early game, she ends up having her AI placed in a potato battery by the game's idiot villain Wheatley. Potato GLaDOS is furious and agrees to help you defeat Wheatley so that she can return to her main AI core and continue performing science.  At the end, you help her get back, and she lets you go, because you keep impeding her "scientific progress."  

2. N - Pokemon

N spends most of the original Pokémon Black and White as your adversary, not because he hates you, but because he holds a vastly different idea than you do. N believes that people and Pokémon need to coexist without Pokeballs, and that Pokeballs and Pokémon battles are cruel to Pokémon. He is in charge of Team Plasma, a team that steals people's Pokémon in order to release them from their Pokeballs.  

However, while N's motives are pure, his guiding hand is that of his foster-father, Ghetsis, whose motives are far less pure.  Ghetsis wants to make everyone else in the world free their Pokémon, so that he and an elite few would rule the world using the great powers possessed by the Pokémon they control. When N learns that the goals of his Team are more sinister than he realizes, he takes your side to help you defeat his father, and then leaves to contemplate whether he was right in trying to make people give up their Pokémon.  Ghetsis makes a return with a new plan to control Unova in Pokémon Black and White 2. N also returns, in an attempt to stop Ghetsis.  His attempt fails, and it is left for the player to solve the problem, but N still tries. Once you win, he offers you his legendary Pokemon as congratulations.

1. ProtoMan - MegaMan

Protoman was the first Humanoid Robot created by Doctor Light in an attempt to create robots to make human's lives easier.  Protoman was a faulty prototype, however, and needed to be modified or else his power core would run out and he would die.

Fearing modification, he ran away and Dr. Light gave up  on him, instead building Rock and Roll, perfected versions of the Protoman model.  Light's nemesis, Dr. Wily, found Protoman dying, and upgraded his power core to repair him, as well as giving him several items to help outfit him for combat.

Protoman was then indebted to serve Wily for saving his life, and thus was forced to fight his younger brother, Megaman, several times. At the end of Megaman 3, he saves Megana, who is left almost destroyed after defeating Dr. Wily.  In Megaman 4, Protoman turns against Dr. Wily and aids Megaman with information. He appears again several times throughout the series offering aid to Megaman, though he doesn't actually fight directly against Wily until Megaman 10, where he is a playable character.

Those are my five favorite villans turned heroes. Who are your favorites? Sound off in the comments, and stay tuned to Gameskinny for more gaming news and culture.

Lions, Tigers, and Mamas, Oh My! A Gaming Memory Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:59:47 -0400 MirandaCB

I don't think this is my very first gaming memory, but it's the most poignant and awesome. I think I was about five or six years old and this whole thing took place in a K-Mart long ago... Well, not that long. I don't want to be old yet...

Anyways, I'm there with my mother shopping and my birthday was either coming up or had already happened. They had these white wire bins brimming with all sorts of games. My first console had been the late, great Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog was my first video game love. Not long before that day I rented Sonic and Knuckles and adored it. Climbing and gliding around in the jungle as Knuckles was all I wanted to do (I also thought he was a girl and had no idea what an echidna was at the time, oops) so I was scouring the bin for it. And there it was, in my reach...

Until some old woman snatched it away. Snatched. Without a passing glance. And there were no other copies. So, as I was shy and sensitive, my feelings were crushed and I went to my mother to get ready to leave. She noticed I was clearly dispirited by something and when I told her what the woman did, it was the most incredible thing to me. 

She marched over and chewed that lady out; I expected punches to be thrown, honestly. The other woman, flabbergasted and flustered, handed the coveted game to my mother and she came back and gave it to me. I'd never seen my mother do something so aggressive, it was like she was a lioness providing food for her cub, except less for nourishment purposes. To say the least I was ecstatic and grateful, and I'm also exceptionally proud of how badass my mom is on a daily basis. I certainly enjoyed that frustrating game for a very long time after that incident. 

Another early gaming memory comes to mind where I had a new set of Final Fantasy VIII disks and I couldn't play the first disk because the minutest little chip occurred on the edge of the center circle. Bummed me out. The end. See? Much less exciting.

Do you have any early memories revolving around video games? Can you remember that far back?