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// article by Jeff

DAMN!

What's wrong, my ominous caps-locked buddy?

I'M TRYING TO DRAW A SELF-PORTRAIT, AND IT'S NOT GOING VERY WELL.

I'd believe that, considering no one has ever seen your face before.

SHUT UP, MAN. I JUST KEEP MESSING UP AND NOW THERE ARE SO MANY PENCIL MARKS ON THIS PAPER THAT I LOOK LIKE I'VE BEEN CARVED BY AN AXE MURDERER!

Maybe what you need... is an eraser!

YOU HAVE AN ERASER I COULD BORROW?

Absolutely! But it's no standard eraser... it's Sonic Eraser!

SONIC...? OH GEEZ, DID I JUST GET ROPED INTO ANOTHER CONVERSATION ABOUT SOME PITIFUL OBSCURE VIDEO GAME AGAIN? I WAS HOPING YOU'D GET FIRED FROM GAMECOLA.

Nope. Nobody proved it was I who set Paul Franzen's (Editor-in-Chief at GameCola) beard on fire.

WELL, I'M FRUSTRATED WITH ALL THIS SKETCHING. I NEED A BREAK. ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, TELL ME ABOUT SONIC ERASER. I IMAGINE IT'S A DRAWING GAME WHERE YOU DRAW SONIC THE HEDGEHOG.

That's as true as "Sonic Blastman" being a game about Sonic the Hedgehog's trip to Taco Bell. No, this is a very rare game that was released back in 1991, but you certainly couldn't have found it in stores! It was only available in Japan via Sega's online service for its Mega Drive (the Japanese equivalent of the Genesis), the Sega Meganet.

WAIT, DIDN'T AMERICAN GAMERS GET SOMETHING LIKE THAT? THE SEGA CHANNEL, WAS IT?

Yes, but that didn't arrive until a few years later. The Japanese public were already years ahead of us, technology-wise. They used the power of the modem to harness substandard digital gaming potential long before we Americans (and the feisty Europeans). Featuring games like Flicky, Teddy Boy Blues, and text adventures based on Phantasy Star II, the Sega Meganet system was the way to be for really pathetic gamers. And they also received the very boldly-titled Sonic Eraser.

SO IS THIS A LONG-FORGOTTEN PLATFORMER THAT WE NEVER RECEIVED? THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING... ER, MILDLY.

It's a puzzle game that has very little to do with Sonic the Hedgehog. Aside from having Sonic in the game as the "character" you play as while committing oneself to puzzle mayhem, there's really nothing else the hedgehog can do. It's somewhat in the same vein as Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Kirby's Avalanche, or Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo -- it's not about the characters at all. Such is the way with Sonic Eraser... It's actually a pretty generic puzzle game where bunches of four varied icons fall from the ceiling and you have to match similar icons to make them disappear.

THAT'S BEEN DONE A THOUSAND TIMES OVER...

You're probably right there. Puzzle games come a dime a dozen, even today. There are four ways to play Sonic Eraser. There's Normal Mode, which is pretty much endless. Doubt Mode eliminates white squares, thus making it just as boring, sans white squares. Round Mode actually has stages. And finally, Block Mode doesn't allow the falling block bunches to break apart, resulting in potentially large stacks of space in the playing field.

YOU HAVE FAILED TO EXCITE ME, LIKE THAT TYPE OF BIKE THAT EXCITES ME.

Excitebike?

YES.

And because of that little factoid, I won't be recommending the game unless you love generic puzzlers. Though, who doesn't? Interestingly enough, this little "gem" was made available for Japanese gamers again in 2004, though only if you were a member of Sega's hip "B-Club" cult. I don't know if it's still available, but that doesn't matter. Avoid this like you'd avoid a bad artichoke on the ground.

VERY GOOD. NOW IF YOU'LL EXCUSE ME, I'M GOING TO ATTEMPT TO DRAW MY PORTRAIT AGAIN.

Good luck! Sorry I couldn't bring you that eraser you needed.

HEY, I FORGOT ABOUT THAT... GET ME AN ERASER! AND A REAL ONE! NOT A JAPANESE SUBSTITUTE MADE ONLY AVAILABLE IN 1991 AND 2004!

Right away... and as for the rest of you, tune in next month for another obscure video game feature at GameCola! GameCola: It's something!

GREAT AD.

It's part of the settlement for that beard-fire thing...


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