Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sonic the Hedgehog - A Gift to the World of Games

Its popularity can be well assessed by the fact that the Sonic series has been able to spread its wings through print media, books, and motion pictures alike. The Sega mascot has become a name to reckon with through its journey from 1991 until now.

The designers Oshima, Hirokazu and Yuji put their creative minds together to invent the fifteen year old anthropomorphic hedgehog who was befitting to be a brand mascot because of his unmistakable blue mane. A team of 15 more people further contributed to the image by dressing him up in red shoes, which was a borrowed infusion of styles between Michael Jackson and Santa Claus.

To help the masses relate to him, sonic the hedgehog was granted an amiable personality. However, the amicability was not to be mistaken for passiveness, as Sonic called upon all his supernatural abilities when he needed to defend those he loved. He could run faster than light and he could roll up into a ball in his defense. This could also be due to his low tolerance with anything or anyone who encroached upon his freedom.

Other characters were also worked on, so that Sonic had a special niche for himself. His main foe was drawn up in the form of Mr. Robotnik aka Dr. Eggman. His ladylove was Amy Rose while his friends were Knuckles and Miles Prower. The distinguishing element was his look alike Metal Sonic.

With all of this, the protagonist for the game series was ready. What Sonic now needed was packaging. The game called for a soundtrack that would keep the tempo alive. Masato Nakamura who was associated with the band dreams come true marvellously did this. Post this; Sega felt the need to market Sonic the Hedgehog, so that the audiences knew that the next big thing after Mario, of Nintendo fame, had arrived. This was done by organizing a Wonder three tour, which prepared the masses for the big launch.

The final launch happened in 1991 with Sonic the Hedgehog. The subsequent glides into a host of other series were very well received. The next series for Sonic the hedgehog was launched the year after and was followed suit by Sonic 3D blast, Sonic R, Sonic Pocket Adventure, Sonic Shuffle, Sonic Rush and the very latest Sonic and the Black Knight. For the year 2010, Project Needlehouse, is planned from Segas kitty.

While the video game industry was occupied with the consecutive successes of Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sega involved them in engaging Sonic in cameo appearances, popular soaps and snippets. The buck did not stop here because the print media also took to Sonic the Hedgehog, fondly. Amongst others, the notable contributions by Sonic are those to Disney Adventures, Virgin Books, Archie Comics, and Manga.

With so much said about Sonic the hedgehog it is no wonder that even though he was designed only as an animation character, it is indeed supernatural to catapult to success consistently over the years.

Friday, February 14, 2014

To Mod, Or Not To Mod - That Is The Question

Modifications to standard build cars have been going on since practically the first one rolled off the production line. These days, car tuning and 'modding' in order to improve the performance and handling or to customise the looks of a vehicle have become big business.

Most cars are designed to leave the factory with a suitable initial set up for the average driver's expectations and average road conditions; however many people don't like to be viewed as average, and as cars are often seen as an extension of the owner's personality, 'modding' and tuning have become ways to personalize the vehicle to suit the owner's own sense of style.

In Japan especially, the modification of cars has seen not only a rise in its own owners' sub-culture, but it has also hit the Manga comics and anime in the form of Initial D, and gone on to worldwide box office hit films with The Fast and the Furious. The modification market has become so important to certain manufacturers - most notably Nissan, Subaru and Mitsubishi - that some have even started to release certain models to big name tuning, performance and aftermarket specialists, prior to the actual launch, in order that there are non factory custom modifications ready as soon as the car officially hits the market.

Today there is an extensive array of performance parts available for many different makes and models or car; however body kits and 'body tuning' parts currently make up by far the largest market share of aftermarket parts throughout the world.

Following on from the lead in Japan, and the increased availability of Japanese import cars and parts, the UK scene has exploded in recent years with an extensive list of parts now available, such as neon under-body lights, tinted windows, candy, iridescent, colour shifting and pearlescent paints, decals, custom exhaust tips, spoilers, roof scoops, not to mention lowered suspension, and custom rims!

In the current world of car tuning, style is king. Every tuner wants to post their car photos [] on the latest blog, owners club or online forum. Even those without their own car can create a virtual tuned car with the aid of computer games like 'Need For Speed' before then posting pictures of it online, for others to see their idea of the ideal modified car.

The world of the car as a means of personalized transport has come a long way since Henry Ford is reputed to have made the statement "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." These days a car owner can change the performance, shape, colour or any other styling detail they like.

It seems as though the car truly has become an extension of the owner's personality like never before.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fun Japanese Collectibles

If you're looking for fun and cute things to collect then look no further than Japan for inspiration. Collecting things is a big part of popular Japanese culture and competition is fierce to have the newest, cutest or coolest item to add to your collection. There are lots of ideas for things you could collect but be warned - once you start this hobby can become addictive!

Japanese erasers are an inexpensive and easy thing to collect. If you think erasers are boring then you're probably thinking of the type you used in school. Japanese collectible erasers are cute, fun and made in every shape possibly imaginable, with minute attention to detail. Miniature food items are particularly popular and look good enough to eat - who could resist a miniature slice of cake, hamburger or piece of sushi in eraser form? Japanese erasers are widely available from online stores and are very inexpensive so it's easy to start your collection and keep it going.

Action figures are also a popular thing to collect in Japan and you can choose any type you're interested in from cute girls to action fighting anime heroes. Figures range from small inexpensive versions that are purchased from vending 'gashapon' machines to large highly detailed and expensive models. Try stores specializing in Japanese merchandise or eBay to start your collection.

If you're into comic books then manga is the obvious thing to collect. These Japanese comic books are read by everyone in Japan from school boys and girls to business men and housewives. As you can imagine, they come in a wide range of subjects with each series containing several sets of manga. The most popular stories have been translated into English and are readily available from bookstores and online stores in the USA and Europe but if you really want to be hardcore, you can also order the original Japanese versions.