Laois senior and U-20 football teams named for Meath and Kildare clashes

first_imgHome Sport GAA Laois senior and U-20 football teams named for Meath and Kildare clashes SportGAAGaelic FootballLaois Senior Football TeamLaois U-20 footballers RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role The inter-county season roars back into life this weekend with three Laois teams set to be in action.And two of those – the seniors and U-20 footballers – have named their teams for games on Saturday.The Laois seniors are in action first as they face Meath in round 3 of the O’Byrne Cup.Mike Quirke’s men come into the game with one win and one defeat – against Wexford and Offaly respectively.With only one team to qualify from the group, Laois will need to defeat Meath at 2pm in Navan and hope that Wexford defeat Offaly in order to have a chance of reaching the semi finals. Twitter Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory By Alan Hartnett – 2nd January 2020 TAGSJohn Keirns CupLaois senior footballersLaois U-20 footballersO’Byrne Cup Pinterest WhatsApp GAA News Twitter Facebook Facebook Meanwhile, Laois U-20 boss Eddie Kinsella’s charges will begin their 2020 journey on Saturday January 4 in the league.They are in the John Kerins Cup which has Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Galway, Cork and Kerry – so it is certainly the top tier.Laois are in a group with the other three Leinster teams and begin away to Kildare in Hawkfield at 6pm this weekend. Pinterest Laois senior and U-20 football teams named for Meath and Kildare clashes Check out both teams below:LAOIS SENIORS: Niall Corbet (Clonaslee); Ruaidhri C-Fennell (Rosenallis), Gearoid Hanrahan (Mountmellick), Shane Bolger (Killeshin); Eoin Buggie (Stradbally), Robbie Pigott (Portarlington), Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington); John O’Loughlin (Rosenallis), Rob Tyrell (Camross); Eoin Lowry (Killeshin), Mark Barry (O’Dempsey’s), Michael Keogh (St Joseph’s); Garry Comerford (Ballincollaig), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard), Diarmuid Whelan (Ballyroan-Abbey)LAOIS U-20s: Matthew Byron (Courtwood); Neil Keane (The Heath), Jack Owens (Clonaslee), Alex Mohan (Portarlington); Dean Brophy (St Joseph’s), PJ Daly (The Heath), Jack Lacey (St Joseph’s); Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood), Sean Michael Corcoran (Portarlington); Barry Howlin (O’Dempsey’s), Damon Larkin (Portlaoise), Colin Slevin (Portarlington); Damien McCaul (Annanough), Jack Owens (Emo), Daragh Galvin (Portarlington) WhatsApp 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin Previous article2019 Remembered: Laois hotel probed over accommodating, ‘persons seeking international protection’Next article2019 Remembered: Dear Electric Picnic Acts – You are not in Dublin! Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. GAA last_img read more

All Eyes on Kaesong Once More

first_img There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak News Following last week’s events in which enterprise managers and staff began to enter the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) in order to remove finished goods, raw materials and equipment, all eyes now move to today’s third round of inter-Korean working-level talks on the future of the inter-Korean manufacturing zone. Although the first round of talks saw agreement reached on the principle of restarting KIC operations, South Korea wishes to see both a guarantee that there will be no repeat of the ongoing shutdown and certain changes to the way the complex operates. North Korea has thus far not shown a willingness to comply with these goals; instead, it continues to emphasize the need to move fast so as to avoid rainy season damage to facilities. As a result, there has been no concrete movement on how best to realize the basic ideal of a restart. North Korea has been increasing the pressure in advance of today’s talks, warning on Saturday that restarting the KIC is a requirement for any future improvement in inter-Korean relations. “Unless the Kaesong Industrial Complex issue is resolved, there cannot be any progress in inter-Korean relations,” Chosun Central News Agency revealed, publishing the text of a statement sent to the South Korean government at the end of last week by the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland. The fact that North Korea suggested talks on restarting Mt. Geumgang tours even before Kaesong discussions had reached a satisfactory conclusion appears to suggest a desire to obtain the financial benefits that would accrue from such a step. At the same time, the Chinese government’s message is that if the KIC is not operating well, and predictably, it makes it even harder to convince Chinese investors to enter the North Korean market. Nevertheless, it is unclear how much either side, North or South, will be willing to give in the pursuit of consensus. Today’s talks will be led on the South Korean side by a new chief negotiator, senior Ministry of Unification official Kim Ki Woong. He replaces Seo Ho. SHARE News AvatarCho Jong Ik Facebook Twittercenter_img By Cho Jong Ik – 2013.07.15 9:17am North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China News News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR All Eyes on Kaesong Once Morelast_img read more

Society Urged to Motivate Fathers to be Active

first_imgRelatedSociety Urged to Motivate Fathers to be Active Society Urged to Motivate Fathers to be Active UncategorizedMay 17, 2007 RelatedSociety Urged to Motivate Fathers to be Active RelatedSociety Urged to Motivate Fathers to be Activecenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Senator Floyd Morris has called on the society to develop incentives to motivate delinquent fathers to play an active role in their children’s life.The State Minister who was speaking at the Ministry’s Early Stimulation Programme Fathers Award function yesterday (May 16) at the St. Paul’s United Church in Kingston pointed out that the issue of absentee fathers is very prominent in Jamaica, but the problem is even more prevalent when the child is disabled.“Some fathers don’t want anything to do with their children once they have a disability because some of them hang on to the stupidness that it must be some curse that has caused the child to have a disability. So it is extraordinary fathers who really give the sort of the support that they give to children,” he stated.Senator Morris commended the 25 fathers and grandfathers of children with disability who were recognised for the support and contribution that they have made in the children’s life.“When we see men who stand by their children, we have to hail them and salute them, especially in the context of Jamaica. A significant portion of our Jamaican men are not standing up to their responsibilities, and worse yet when their children have a disability,” he said.In the meantime, Senator Morris disclosed that the Government is now in the process of putting in place the National Disability Act to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disability.“We believe that for too long persons with disabilities have been discriminated against and marginalized, and certainly the committed to correcting that wrong that has been in our society for years”. Advertisementslast_img read more

Montague Annnounces Cultural Development Fund for Local Authorities

first_imgRelatedMontague Annnounces Cultural Development Fund for Local Authorities FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail State Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, today (Sept. 16) announced a community Cultural Development Fund, which will help local authorities fund cultural or heritage development projects in their communities.Mr. Montague made the announcement as he addressed this morning’s session of the Inter-city Intangible Cultural Co-operation Network (ICCN) International Local Government Workshop, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.He said that the Local Authorities would have access to up to $500,000, each, for long term cultural or heritage development projects. However, the projects must be done in conjunction with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), which falls under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.“One of the conditions of project evaluation is that, at least two community consultations must be included,” he noted. The Local Authorities can start applying for the funds as of October 1.The Minister said that, as the Government structure that must provide a significant contribution to community development, Local Government must create the framework for capacity building in the context of Jamaica’s history, values and traditions.“It is those values which define our communities and, in turn, influence the governance mechanism to be adopted,” he observed.He said that Local Authorities need to take on cultural heritage as a central responsibility, and link it with the formulation of sustainable development plans which need to build around culture.“The preservation of cultural heritage must be incorporated into programmes developed by Local Authorities in a meaningful way, thereby expanding the role of the Councils beyond traditional responsibilities,” he said.The announcement was warmly greeted by the many local Mayors and Councillors attending the three-day workshop, which opened on Tuesday and ends Thursday.The Local Government workshop on the preservation of intangible cultures is being hosted by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), in partnership with the ICCN and UNESCO. It is being attended by dozens of Mayors and other Local Government officials from various cities, worldwide. RelatedMontague Annnounces Cultural Development Fund for Local Authorities Montague Annnounces Cultural Development Fund for Local Authorities CultureSeptember 17, 2009center_img RelatedMontague Annnounces Cultural Development Fund for Local Authorities Advertisementslast_img read more

Housing stress to surge in NT unless we invest in social housing

first_imgHousing stress to surge in NT unless we invest in social housing Everybody’s HomeAccording to a landmark economic study measuring the economic fallout of COVID-19, homelessness will surge by 5.4% and 24.3 per cent more Darwin households will experience housing stress in 2021 due to the impact of the crisis.However, if the Federal Government invests $7.2 billion in social housing across the country, it could make a serious dent in homelessness, turbocharge the post pandemic economy by $18.2 billion, and create 18,000 jobs per year over four years. In the NT an investment of around $225 million would create 476 new homes.The findings are contained in Double return: How investing in social housing can address the growing homelessness crisis and boost Australia’s economic recovery. The Equity Economics report was commissioned by Everybody’s Home, a broad-based civil society coalition attempting to fix Australia’s broken housing system and end homelessness.The report projects NSW will be the hardest hit state by rising housing stress, owing to the larger proportion of households that rely on two incomes to pay mortgages or rent. Housing stress is set to increase by 41.9% in NSW, 32.4% in Victoria and 23.7% in the ACT. In Tasmania, it will go up by 25.9% and 10.2% in the NT.At the same time, the number of homeless people is forecast to rise by 19.1% in NSW, by 13.1% in Vic and 14.1% in Tasmania.“A secure, stable home is among our basic needs. With decent housing, we can fulfil our dreams, raise a family, and connect with our community. Take it away and even the most resilient person’s world will shatter into a million pieces,” said Kate Colvin, spokesperson for Everybody’s Home.“Homelessness and housing stress are a hothouse for anxiety, depression, and family breakdown. It’s in everyone’s interest to prevent this.“This modelling paints a frightening picture of the months and years ahead. No child should go to school unsure if their parents will lose the house before they get home. But that is the type of stress that’s about to be inflicted on thousands of Australian families and individuals.“It need not be this way. A Federal Government investment in social housing provides the most compelling social and economic return possible during an economic crisis. Social housing investment simultaneously attacks homelessness from multiple angles, giving more people a secure home, creating thousands of jobs and boosting economic demand.Investing in social housing is a no-brainer that will boost prosperity and help tens of thousands of people whose lives have been destroyed by COVID.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Act, Australia, Australian, community, covid-19, depression, Economy, Federal, federal government, Government, homeless, homelessness, Investment, NSW, Tasmania, Victorialast_img read more

More Students to Receive Fruit Juices

first_imgAdvertisements More Students to Receive Fruit Juices AgricultureJuly 27, 2012 RelatedMore Students to Receive Fruit Juices RelatedMore Students to Receive Fruit Juicescenter_img RelatedMore Students to Receive Fruit Juices FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Come September, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will be extending the provision of fruit juices under the School Feeding Programme to all 136,000 students in 850 schools served by Nutrition Products Limited. State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Ian Hayles, in his presentation in the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 25, said the Ministry will be working closely with the Ministries of Education and Health, Jamaica Bureau of Standards, and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) on the initiative. He noted that with this expansion, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in collaboration with a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will identify groups of women/farmers at the community level, and assist them to make viable and sustainable inputs into the feeding programme of schools in their locale. The State Minister said the programme will be demand-driven, and groups will be asked to work with a specific school to indicate what input they can make from their agricultural production or cottage industry. “We are making this demand-driven because we want the community groups to come up with innovative ideas in conjunction with the schools,” he said. He informed that some $14 million has been allocated to support the groups, and resources will be made available to ensure their viability and sustainability.  “For example, if a group of farmers can supply local fresh fruit juice to a particular school on a daily basis, and require juicing equipment, packaging or utensils, a one-off grant funding will be provided, with appropriate food handling training,” Mr. Hayles said.   The Ministry of Agriculture has been working with the Ministry of Education to provide some 32,000 students with natural fruit juices one day per week instead of bag juice or syrup.last_img read more

Water pipe replacement works beginning in West Donegal

first_img Pinterest Google+ Harps come back to win in Waterford WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By News Highland – August 1, 2018 Twitter Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Facebook DL Debate – 24/05/21 Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction Twittercenter_img AudioHomepage BannerNews Facebook Previous article24 people awaiting admission at LUHNext articleNew car registrations in Donegal down over 10% News Highland WhatsApp Water pipe replacement works beginning in West Donegal Pinterest FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 Work is beginning on the replacement of five kilometres of water pipe from Derrybeg to Brinaleck, with a local councillor urging Irish Water to consult with the local community about any road closures or cut offs to supply as part of the work.It follows comfirmation in June that replacement works are to be carried out on line from Meenaleck to Ranafast.Cllr Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig says Derrybeg to Brinaleck line has been susceptible to bursts, with the most recent happening this morning………Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Google+ News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th last_img read more

Face Masks may become mandatory in certain circumstances

first_img Facebook By News Highland – April 27, 2020 Pinterest Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Twitter WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Google+center_img Community Enhancement Programme open for applications WhatsApp People may have to wear face masks in certain settings when any coronavirus restrictions start to be eased.It comes amid reports restrictions may not be lifted at all or only eased slightly from next week because of concerns at the high number of new cases being recorded.701 new cases of Covid-19 were announced here last night, along with an additional 26 deaths. There are now 446 cases in DonegalChairman of the Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group, Cillian De Gascun, says facemasks are forming part of their discussions……….Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Google+ Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens further Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Previous articleA coaching insight with Jim McGuinnessNext articleChampionships could go into next year News Highland Pinterest Face Masks may become mandatory in certain circumstances AudioHomepage BannerNewslast_img read more

Nintendo posts biggest Q1 loss in five years

first_imgNintendo posts biggest Q1 loss in five yearsLast year’s profit turns to $232 million loss in the face of collapsing Wii U sales and the absence of new revenue streamsMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefWednesday 27th July 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleNintendoNintendo made a net loss of ‎¥24.5 billion ($232m/£177.3m/€211m) in the first quarter of the fiscal year, its largest Q1 loss since 2011.The company made a ‎¥8.3 billion ($78.7m/£60m/€73m) profit in the same quarter last year, but collapsing sales revenue from its current hardware and software – and, it’s reasonable to assume, rising costs associated with its forthcoming NX console – drove a swing in a negative direction. Nintendo earned ‎¥61.7 billion ($585 million) in revenue during the quarter, down 31% from the previous year.Revenue from hardware sales almost halved, falling from ‎¥44.6 billion to ‎¥25.1 billion ($238m/£182m/€216m). For the most part that was down to the Wii U, which sold only 220,000 units in Q1 – versus 470,000 sold in the same quarter last year. That was still enough to push the system just beyond 13 million units sold life-to-date. The 3DS was more consistent, selling 940,000 units in Q1, compared to 1.01 million units the year before.Software unit sales were up across both platforms year-on-year, from 7.9 million to 8.5 million on 3DS, and 4.6 million to 4.7 million on Wii U. Nevertheless, software revenue declined overall, from ‎¥44.4 billion to ‎¥34.9 billion ($331m/£253m/€301m) this year.Miitomo, the first release under Miitomo’s nascent mobile strategy, certainly boosted revenue in the “Smart devices and IP related income” segment, but perhaps not as much as expected. Revenue for the segment was ‎¥1.6 billion ($15m/£11.6m/€13.8m), up from ¥932 million the prior year, despite Miitomo being released on March 17, and therefore available for the entire three-month accounting period.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games One can only assume that we’ll see a more significant increase in smart device and IP revenue in Q2, which will be the first to register income from Pokémon Go. Nintendo received a huge boost to its market value in the wake of its release, with almost $17 billion added to its market cap at the peak of the hysteria. However, a statement released last week reminded shareholders that the game was developed and released by Niantic Inc. and The Pokémon Company, in which Nintendo owns only a 32% stake. The company’s share price dropped by 18% almost immediately, and has stayed in roughly that position since then.Nintendo’s revenue forecast for the fiscal year, which it has stated includes projected revenue for Pokémon Go, is ¥500 billion ($4.7b/£3.6b/€4.3b). That is only a 1% increase over the prior year, indicating that Nintendo’s cut of that Pokémon money will do little more than offset the decline elsewhere in its business, and that we’re unlikely to see an NX launch until after March 31, 2017.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesNintendo appointing Despicable Me studio head to board of directorsAnimation studio behind Mario movie gains influence as Illumination Entertainment CEO Chris Meledandri expected to join board next monthBy Brendan Sinclair 6 days agoNintendo reports record full-year profits as Switch nears 85m units soldAnd, despite forecasting decline, the platform holder expects console to beat Wii’s 101 million lifetime sales this yearBy James Batchelor 6 days agoLatest comments (5)Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments4 years ago “…that we’re unlikely to see an NX launch until after March 31, 2017.”Haven’t Nintendo confirmed previously it would ship that month? 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyBob Johnson Studying graphics design, Northern Arizona University4 years ago Coincidence NX leak appears day before? 4 years ago This article comes off as click bait to me. Yes, profits are down right now. Nintendo’s Wii U sales are down. NX is looming within the next year. They have moved onto the NX obviously. If it wasn’t already promised to come to the Wii U, Zelda would have been pushed to the NX as well. Nintendo is just fine. With the success of Pokemon GO and the new Mini NES console coming holiday. Nintendo is going to bank it later this year. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyAnthony Chan4 years ago I think this article paints a overly “doom & gloom” picture for Nintendo. While they are not absurdly financially ‘rolling’, they are far from dying. I think the drop in profits signals a shift in their strategy and changing of product lines. The Wii U has stagnated and all of us knew that. 3DS sales are still great which is a good sign of their control over the handheld market.With NX being a combination of traditional game console and handheld – hopefully they will be able to capitalize.Finally what Pokemon GO shows, is despite the “immature” nature of their IP, it is still widely popular. They have proven even when its not created in their stables, their IP still pushes sales.I am excited to see what Nintendo has coming down the line for mobile. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyBen Link Video Game Enthusiast and Graphic Artist 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyShow all comments (5)Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes4 years ago Pokemon Go’s value to them is more the value of their investments in Niantic and The Pokemon Company rather actually cash in the door.last_img read more

People of the Year 2017: Christian Whitehead

first_imgPeople of the Year 2017: Christian WhiteheadSonic the Hedgehog is relevant again, thanks to the indie developer who succeeded where Team Sonic repeatedly failedHaydn TaylorSenior Staff WriterThursday 14th December 2017Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareIt’s safe to say that Sonic the Hedgehog has had a troubled past. While each new Mario game is awaited with eager anticipation, Sonic’s offerings are frequently met with scorn and derision, and 2017 is a perfect example of this unfortunate paradigm. This year Super Mario Odyssey burst onto the scene with critics throwing perfect review scores at its feet like so many roses. Sonic Forces meanwhile was batted around like a mysterious bucket emitting an array of strange odours. Some of the more generous comments made about Sonic Forces came from our colleagues at Eurogamer who were kind enough to say that Sonic Forces “isn’t an utterly abysmal game by any means” but remains a “profoundly empty experience.” Of course, Sonic Forces wasn’t the only entry into the franchise this year. Sonic Mania’s surprise announcement in 2016 caught the world off-guard and when it was eventually released this August, it received the kind of critical reception Sonic Team could only dream of, earning the highest Metacritic score of any Sonic game in the last 15 years. Unfortunately the dreamers at Sonic Team must keep on dreaming because while Mania is the best entry to the franchise in years, it was actually the product of indie designer Christian Whitehead who served as lead developer and programmer. It says a lot about the state of the franchise that the first good entry since 2011’s Sonic Generations (arguably longer) had nothing to do with Sonic Team. So how did this Australian-based indie achieve first-time something which Sonic Team has failed at with such aplomb as to make the whole world think a good Sonic game was no longer possible? This is where the Mario comparison once again serves a purpose. When you pit Sonic the Hedgehog against Mario it quickly becomes clear why one is a timeless classic and the other is Sonic the Hedgehog. Mario was designed to be fun whereas Sonic was designed to be cool. Mario isn’t held back by the trappings of the era in which he was born, whereas Sonic is constantly hamstrung by the fact that not only is he a product of the 90s, but he positively exudes the worst possible traits the decade. As Ian Danskin from Innuendo Studios commented: “[Sonic is] a time capsule of early ’90s adolescent cool. A bright blue, anthropomorphised animal mascot with sneakers and a bad case of the Dreamworks face, somehow still trying to remain relevant… something Mario continues to do effortlessly.””It says a lot about the state of the franchise that the first good entry since 2011’s Sonic Generations (arguably longer) had nothing to do with Sonic Team” This has left Sonic in the awkward position of always trying to remain cool but cool is, by its very nature, ephemeral and ever changing. So how does Sonic remain relevant? It’s a near impossible question, and one Sonic Team has repeatedly failed to answer, opting to constantly reinvent not only the character and his ever expanding entourage of anthropomorphic animal friends, but the fundamentals of what a Sonic game is. There was a simpler time, long ago, when Sonic had attitude and went fast. Since then he’s been a werewolf/hedgehog abomination, a medieval knight, and whatever Sonic Boom was supposed to be, plus countless other ill-fated expeditions into gaming territory that never should have been explored through the lens of a cocky anthropomorphic hedgehog, namely that one time he became embroiled in a human-hedgehog romance subplot that skirted uncomfortably around the edges of beastiality. With the gradual attenuation of Sonic’s cultural relevance, the likelihood of a game which broke free of the mascot’s desperation to be “cool” seemed less and less likely. Sonic Team had taken the franchise in every conceivable direction and each had been a dud. Even Sonic 4, which attempted to re-imagine classic Sonic with all of the edge and glamour of modern Sonic, was ultimately an awkward patchwork. Its only real achievement was quite how spectacularly it missed the mark. From the heady days of the early ’90s when Sonic could shift over 22 million units, to Sonic Boom which failed to break a million, the blue blur’s condition looked terminal. Retro, however, is very much in vogue and a faithful recreation of classic Sonic, brimming with all his original ’90s pomp, right down to the Sonic CD-style intro cutscene, made more sense that it has ever done before. A recreation, rather than re-imagining, stuffed with fresh ideas but staying faithful to Sonic’s origins, Mania feels like a game from 1993 in the best possible way. “Whitehead succeeded in doing something Sonic Team repeatedly failed to do. He recognised that if Sonic changes with the times, he changes beyond recognition” Not only are there remixes of classic levels which scratch that nostalgia itch in ways you wouldn’t imagine were possible, but it also offers entirely new zones that feel completely at home in the pantheon of classic Sonic games. Sonic Mania is a ultimately a fan game and its origins reflect that, but that’s not to discredit its validity as an entry into the franchise. It’s a celebration of the series made by the people who tirelessly supported Sonic, even in his darkest hours. Whitehead began developing fan games based on the Sonic franchise in 2009. His relationship with Sega began when the publisher ported his version of Sonic CD onto Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iPhone, and Android in 2011. It was a real coup, especially considering Sega reportedly slapped him with a cease and desist for a video he uploaded as a proof of concept for the port two years prior. From there, working with his friend and colleague Simon Thomley, Whitehead was commissioned to port Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to Android. The pair also put together a prototype to bring Sonic 3 and Knuckles to mobile but, for whatever reason, the pitch was rejected.Undeterred, Whitehead pulled together a crack team of Sonic fan game developers with the goal of making an entirely new 2D Sonic title. Alongside himself and Thomley he also recruited designer/artist duo Jared Kasl and Tom Fry from indie studio Pagoda West, plus musician Tee Lopes whose work on the soundtrack is nothing short of superb. Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games After developing the phenomenal Studiopolis Zone as a taster, Whitehead pitched the game to Sonic series producer Takashi Iizuka who took the idea and ran with it, envisaging it to be bigger and better than originally conceived by Whitehead and his team. Iizuka saw the potential of Whitehead’s pitch as more than just another addition to the franchise, but a celebration of Sonic’s glory years. After getting the greenlight from Sonic Team, Whitehead pulled in more luminaries from the fan game world, including artists and level designers. The end result was Sonic Mania, one of the most inspired additions to the franchise’s long, complicated, and uneven history. Whitehead succeeded in doing something Sonic Team repeatedly failed to do. He recognised that if Sonic changes with the times, he changes beyond recognition, leaving him a hollow fabrication, completely devoid of what made him special in the first place. While Sega frantically scrambled around trying to make lightning strike, despite being completely unversed in the fundamentals of meteorology, Whitehead and his team were making something special. Their work is to be commended for revitalising one of gaming’s greatest and most misused cultural icons. For the first time in years, I’m excited to see what Sonic does next. Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarterQ4 and full year revenues close to flat and profits take a tumble, but publisher’s bookings still up double-digitsBy Brendan Sinclair 5 hours agoEA Play Live set for July 22Formerly E3-adjacent event moves to take place a month and half after the ESA’s showBy Jeffrey Rousseau 6 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more