There’s little I can say to sell this story. So few combinations of letters, spaces, and punctuation that could possibly instigate the kind of arcane, linguistic alchemy required to truly evoke the life-changing sensory journey upon which you are about to embark, the swirling maelstrom of colour and noise, ecstasy and dread into which you are about to hurl yourself.
Ostensibly discovered in a Dreamcast dev kit bought by Arcane Kids (opens in new tab), developer of giddy open-world free-runner/snowboarder Zineth (no, I don’t believe them either), the Sonic Dreams Collection is a set of incomplete mid-‘90s Sonic games made by mysterious Sega development team MJSTUDIO (nope, still not believing it). What do they consist of? Nightmares, basically. Nightmares and the bursting entrails of a once-proud mascot’s decaying soul.
Make My Sonic is a ‘character creator’, with completely randomised properties for body parts, and the ability to twist your hedgehog’s limbs into Silent Hill style parodies of the humanoid form, before bombarding him unceremoniously with rings. Eggman Origins in an MMO that doesn’t work (‘no network adapter connected’, apparently, though God knows if there’s a way to fix that). My Roommate Sonic is a VR prototype (with alleged Oculus Rift support) in which you, as a human being, try to seduce your hedgehog flatmate with the Cyrano de Bergerac-style assistance of Eggman/Robotnik, who’s watching from the building across the street. It gets darkly, darkly surreal very, very fast. The character modelling is good, the production values are relatively high, but the traumas are all too real.
And then there’s Sonic Movie Maker. Sweet fuck, Sonic Movie Maker. I’m not even getting into it. But if you want to walk around a supposed film set witnessing hedgehog orgies, feeding Sonic until he balloons in size, helping him give birth to Tails, and becoming a tiny baby observed by a giant Rouge the Bat, then good Lord, is this the best day ever.
Will the Sonic Dreams Collection remain online, or will Sega’s lawyers hack it down, oblivious to the fact that it’s doing little more to damage the series’ reputation than the series itself has been doing for years? Who knows. But to be on the safe side, get over to hedgehog.exposed (opens in new tab) and enter the password ‘grandpa’ to get in and download.
Goddamnit, video games are marvellous.