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June 2021

A Symphony Of Sonic

Sonic SymphonyThe video gaming community is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis this month, and Sega is celebrating too with a series of events, products, and new games all coming out this year.  Last week one of those events blew the doors off the Internet, so if you missed the Sonic Symphony, it's time to set aside two hours and watch some of Sonic's greatest musical hits performed by a symphony and fan-favorite rock bands such as Crush 40 that have contributed to the franchise's soundtracks over the years.  The expected games are all represented with Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic Adventure are all featured, but there are some deeper cuts such as a medley from the Game Gear titles that are largely overlooked now, there's a Sega Saturn-era piece that covers Sonic Jam of all things, and there's a surprising focus on the disastrous Sonic the Hedgehog from 2006 that is notorious for its unfinished state, but did feature great music.  Noticeably, the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 / Sonic & Knuckles medley did not include any selections from the music tracks composed by Michael Jackson and his team that are now allegedly the reason why the games have not been re-released on any platform since 2011.  I enjoyed the show and even if you're not familiar with everything in the concert, I bet you will too.

Power Button - Episode 331: Days Spent With Days Gone

Power ButtonBend Studio's Days Gone for the Sony PlayStation 4 landed with somewhat of a thud when it released two years ago, but multiple patches, being free for PlayStation 5 owners, and a recent PC port have revitalized the zombie apocolypse title, giving it a second wind and a new admiration that it didn't have before.  On this week's podcast, I explain to Blake Grundman why more people need to play this game by spoiling the hell out of it, so if you want to know the main story beats before deciding to invest thirty hours or more into the game, come on in and let me explain everything you need to know. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 

Who Is Shantae?


Plenty of us passed over WayForward's Shantae when it was released for the Game Boy Color back in 2002.  After all, it showed up very late in the GBC's lifespan and, if you didn't know any better, you might mistakenly peg it as a childrens' game about a cute little genie that uses the power of dance to fight her enemies including the dastardly pirate, Risky Boots.  Boy, did we miss out.  There's actually a lot of tricky platforming and sly innuendo that makes the game more appropriate for an older audience than a younger one.  As series co-creator Matt Bozon says, the games are "too sexy to be a kid's brand, and too girly for a male gamer brand."

It took a while, but that little game eventually spread its wings into a whole franchise of fantastic character platformers in the Metroid style of collecting new abilities and backtracking to see what has opened up in previous paths.  Today there are a bunch of Shantae games spanning a variety of platforms (not including the games that were cancelled before they could really get off the ground including pitches for Super NES and Game Boy Advance versions), and it can be difficult to keep them all straight.  WayForward has produced a short retrospective detailing all of Shantae's adventures in celebration of the entire series arriving on Nintendo Switch (including that first GBC game!) and, soon, other contemporary platforms.  Review your history lesson and then jump in with whichever adventure appeals to you the most.

Metroid Dread Revealed After Fifteen Years

Metroid DreadNintendo announced a new 2D platformer Metroid game earlier today and for those of us who have been around a while, the title of the game, Metroid Dread, set off a few bells.  Metroid Dread was first rumored back in 2005 when it supposedly appeared on a Nintendo release list just prior to E3.  I never saw that list posted from an official Nintendo source, so I was doubtful that it was truly a real project, but the game hung around in the mythos for a while as fans wondered what it could be.  Then Dread was supposedly cancelled, but popped up again in a cheeky reference in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in 2007.  Now in 2021 we have Metroid Dread officially revealed.  Is this new Nintendo Switch game the same project that has been kicking around Nintendo's studios for the past decade and a half, or is it a new project that just inherited the notorious name?  Thankfully, Metroid director Yoshio Sakamoto appeared in a Nintendo Treehouse video to explain where Dread has been all of this time, why it was cancelled (twice!), and why it's been revived now.  At last, closure!  Sweet, sweet closure!