|Sonic as I remember it
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|Author:||Tobi [ Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:35 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Sonic as I remember it|
Even though I decided to reside on CI in the past, a forum dedicated to a mini-game within a small portion of Sonic games, and also moved onto SC, a forum dedicated to Sega games, I consider myself casual when it comes to Sonic. I used to watch the dutch dub of Sonic X when it was on TV and only saw a handful of episodes. I grew up playing Sonic Advance 3 as my first Sonic game and played a lot of Sonic Adventure DX. From here on out I played a couple of Sonic games and I'd like to express my views on certain games from a casual perspective mainly based on the lore I remember from the games, how I feel about said lore and how it made me experience the game. Since I will be reviewing this from a casual standpoint, I thought it might be interesting to share my views and spark a discussion from people who are casual as well and people who are more involved in the lore. A discussion I feel SC needs more of!
I will mainly focus on the 3D Sonic games since the non-3D Sonic games I've played are Sonic Advance 3 and the games on Sonic Gems Collection, which I feel don't carry a lot of lore. It sort of throws you into the games and it's immediately clear what your goal is. Usually stopping Eggman. Sonic Fighters and Sonic R are pretty self-explanatory in the sense of not including them in a post mostly about lore. I also haven't played all the 3D games either because I don't have access to consoles other than Nintendo (not including the Wii U though so no Generations!).
I should also state that I've never owned a Sega console or even met someone IRL who has owned one, so I can't give commentary on the original Sonic Adventure games, but from a recent discord discussion and watching Speeps' videos and posts I've learned about the issues.
Furthermore, threat this topic as a response to my posts, enlightment towards my confusion, agreement/disagreement or your own opinions on it. Feel free to discuss.
Sonic Adventure DX
The first game I actually played of the games I want to discuss here. I played this game on PC and felt like the lore was a bit off-putting.
First of all, Chaos is my favorite villain of Sonic games of all time. That being said, Chaos felt like he just "appeared" but somehow not in a bad way. The backstory of Chaos was quite unclear and was, from what I remember, scattered among the 6 stories making the picture quite unclear to someone who doesn't read too much into lore outside of the actual game. The backstory involves Tikal and a tribe existing of tall, pink echidnas which seem to come from ancient history. This seems slightly off putting this setting into a Sonic game, but at the same time managed to be very fitting for the game. I don't mind the setting at all.
The lore feels a bit lacking though. The game mainly consists of Sonic and Tails collecting chaos emeralds, Knuckles collecting the master emerald shards, Amy protecting one (1) chaos emerald in the end, Big fishing for a frog that was somehow important to a specific form of Chaos and Gamma who shoots the heck out of his a bunch of other robots that aren't really important to the story. At all. I find this excusable however because the Gamma story line was so much more fun than Amy and Big's.
Either way, aside from Chaos' backstory this games feels lacking in lore. Then again, it's a Sonic game. We don't really *need* lore in a Sonic game so that's fine.
I also want to mention that I got this game with 2 discs back in the day for €5. The issue with this is that playing the game was very complicated and required the following steps:
Insert disc 2 > Start game > Wait for error prompt to insert disc 1 > Insert disc 1 > Go through the prompt > Wait for error prompt to insert disc 2 > Insert disc 2 > Go through the prompt.
Or something similar. Every. Single. Time.
Gotta give credit to Open Your Heart though, my favorite Sonic song.
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Introducing the fake edgehog.
Now I feel like it's important to note that this game first introduced Shadow. This sheds some light on certain aspects of the lore.
For this one I want to mainly focus on the whole "Ultimate Life Form" part of the game. This recently sparked a discussion on the discord chat.
Shadow being the "Ultimate Life Form" seems a little forced to me in some way. My main issue with this is that he looks nothing like the prototype, Biolizard. Biolizard was foreshadowed during the game, but only briefly in a cutscene. The issue with this is that you know next to nothing about Biolizard because you'd have to somehow pause the screen or look it up on the internet. The only resemblense Shadow seems to share with Biolizard is that they are both capable of using Chaos Control (though I think Shadow needs a chaos emerald?).
I just don't feel like both of these creatures could be the ultimate life form (or a prototype) at the same time. The biolizard would have made sense as a stand-alone ultimate life form as it has certain aspects that make it a powerful being, though I'm not sure why you'd want to create such a creature if not for evil purposes. Now for some reason, when looking at Biolizard, Shadow feels pretty forced into being the ultimate life form. It would have made sense if Shadow himself was the ultimate life form since... well... that's his main role in this game!
But he feels forced because when you look at the biolizard you see a giant lizard with a strong tail and the ability to both breathe balls of energy and release small balls from his body (I've been told these are eggs) while not having the ability to move much except from going in circles and teleporting. Meanwhile, Shadow is a bipedal hedgehog with the ability to talk, and run as fast as Sonic with none of the abilities posessed by the biolizard (except from chaos control of course). I also can't emphasize enough on how they look nothing alike. No similar color scheme, no similar body parts, no similar eyes, nothing. They feel 2 complete different entities. While that is true, it doesn't feel like they are part of the exact same project while they should supposedly be. Biolizard is a giant, monstrous lizard that looks like he truly is artificial. Shadow looks like a normal living being with a dark look.
Aside from that, the gameplay doesn't really suffer much from it. A few bosses like the giant ghost feel out of place as well, like they're put there to fill up empty space. Sure, there's more goofy ghosts throughout the levels at that take place at the same location but even that doesn't make much sense to me. I'm sure a lot of things that seem to be random as of now can be explained by someone who delved more into the lore than I did.
Oh man, I remember that I somehow got a demo of this game on PC which includes only the first level of the Team Sonic stage and I must have played it like 10 times at least as a child. I loved the idea of playing as a group that can all do different things to progress the game.
Unfortunately, there have been some issues with this game. I personally encountered some glitches that involved me clipping through walls and floors from what I remember. A handful of stages and bosses are recycled through four (4) different stories with characters that baaaasically all did the same thing. It's kind of like if you played SA2B but there were 4 stories intead of 2. At least the re-introction of Amy and Big were bearable. Not even bad at the least. The introduction of Team Chaotix was my favorite part of the game to be honest. That and Omega were a cool addition.
Lore-wise, I can't really say much about this game. I think it was just Eggman trying to take over the world but it ending up being Metal/Mecha Sonic or something? I think there was a secret part of the game you could unlock that I don't think I ever did...
I really want to play this game again for nostalgia reasons. I don't feel like I can do it much justice here since it has been so long.
Shadow The Hedgehog
As a kid, I was really, really looking forward to this game because the ads looked so awesome. Eventually I never managed to find a gamecube copy of this game and ended up playing it on my softmodded Wii about 2 years ago. I think I finished about 5 storylines. I gotta say, not the worst Sonic game. I feel like it definitely wasn't the best. It was short, it had frustrating missions and the gameplay felt a bit off. I'm gonna go ahead and ignore the fact Shadow has guns and shoots people because I don't think that's necessarily the issue here. Sure, it seems off for a Sonic game, but at least they were trying something unique.
Now the lore kind of slipped me on this one. You're just listening to Shadow who has his internal monologue about his amnesia and suddenly the town goes to hell by a guy named Doom (I think?) who then proceeds to stalk you and be your dark Kermit as you progress through the game while Sonic is your Jiminy Cricket. When playing the individual parts of the story it just... Doesn't really seem to matter? Like, you get to see slightly different parts of the game and if you play through at least a few times you get to see all the stages which you won't if you only play once but in the end it doesn't seem to truly matter which evil path you take, Shadow kind of says the same at the end. The endings didn't really give me any satisfaction for completing the game either. It felt abrupt.
Sonic The Hedgehog (Sonic 06)
My opinion of this game is entirely based on videos by multiple youtubers and things I've read up on online.
Sonic 06 was pretty hyped up because it was basically the Xbox 360's launch title and a Sonic game that looks aesthetically pleasing... if you watch the cutscenes at least.
Now I want to get the whole Elise x Sonic thing out of the way because we've had this discussion on discord a while ago, I don't see the big deal about it. Human x Anthro has been a thing for the longest time. For example, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Get over it. Personally, I don't care a lot about this ship because to me it feels like a "hero saves princess, princess kisses hero" kind of thing without any other relation between them.
While the game seems to be broken in so many ways beyond repair, I do want to say that the whole Mephiles arc looks interesting. But then again, I haven't fully experienced that part of the game so I wouldn't actually know about that. Not much else I can say about the game because I don't actually know.
His World was an awesome song btw. Definitely top 3 of Sonic songs.
Sonic And The Secret Rings
In my opinion the worst Sonic game of all time.
To me, the most important thing about games is their gameplay. Sonic And The Secret Rings had the worst gameplay I have ever experienced. Jumping requires you to hold down a button and release it which feels VERY off for a Sonic game in which everything is fast paced and you can't exactly know when you're supposed to jump when you reach the place you have to jump from so soon. You also walk CONSTANTLY. You have to hold down a button to stop moving. Going backwards involved having to rotate your controller towards you. It's complete ass.
I never got far in this game to encounter any lore because I just... couldn't stand the awful controls. Game Grumps did play this game for a bit and actually got further than I did even though they're barely anywhere. I came to the understanding that Sonic was quite literally dropped into some arabian universe. Now, this is gonna be a theme for the next two games as well. Sonic just being... dropped the fuck into a random place so it's like "welp here you are". In the case of this game and Sonic And The Black Knight it seems to be a running theme that they put version of existing Sonic characters (Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Eggman, etc) but they aren't those characters, they are someone else. Don't you just love that trope? It's fine, but it feels like they were too lazy to design new characters especially when it has been done at least twice as far as I know. Don't you just love it when a character that obviously looks like Tails comes along and is like "Tails who? No, my name is UUUHHHHMMMM METERS PRSECOND."
Anyway, Sonic falls asleep after reading something and wakes up in another world. That's it, that's the story. The theme song is pretty cool though.
One of the many Sonic games people claim to be the worst while I, personally, liked this game.
People who criticize Sonic games seem to mostly care about Sonic and him running fast, nothing else. In this game, you also get to play as a werehog half the time in which the game becomes a much, much slower paced Sonic stage involving more platforming and beat-em-up parts. Personally, I enjoyed this because you have some diversity in your game. One time you're running fast and another time you're beating up monsters. I personally didn't enjoy the Sonic stages that much because it felt like it was just holding forward while now and then clicking the jump button.
I also want to mention I played this on the Wii so even though I like this game I apparently played the worse version? At least I used a gamecube controller.
Lore-wise, it's at least better than the previous game. It actually has the same characters that are actually Tails etc, but you do get this new companion that is quirky but feels like he's in the wrong game. I personally didn't mind him. You do, however, kind of get dropped into the game quite literally. After fighting Eggman some reaction to the Chaos Emeralds caused Sonic to become a werehog. None of that made sense, it's pretty far-fetched and makes it feel like it was forced so that they could introduce Sonic as a werewolf. To be fair, werewolves are awesome. The werehog form looked pretty dumb though. How did his shoes get spikes from transforming? Are they even shoes or are they feet??? Either way, the whole Gaia thing is kind of fitting because Sonic has had ancient themes previously, but I didn't really care for the lore because it was barely touched upon. You just rip open the world which I'm sure should have been a lot more devestating that they made it out be. No worries, just shove the earth back together. It's fine.
Sonic And The Black Knight
I only saw this game on a let's play and lore-wise they pulled the same crap as Sonic And The Secret Rings. Some character from a world full of knights and stuff summons their "champion" and who falls down in a rain of chili dogs? You guessed it. Do any of the characters that resemble Tails, Knuckles, Shadow and Blaze recognize Sonic? You bet they don't! You think Sonic would also wield a sword now that talks to him and is taller than he is himself? You bet your ass he will!
Way to make a story uninteresting. It feels like this game and Sonic And The Secret Rings were solely made by someone in the group going "Wouldn't it be cool if we made a game about knights?" and someone else was "HELL YEAH LET'S PUT SONIC IN IT!!" and everyone for some reason let all of that happen.
I think these games would have been a lot more acceptable if they just... weren't Sonic games. Or at least had more sense to them. Dropping Sonic into random universes so he can do stuff is the dumbest, laziest writing you could have ever done.
I'm not sure how much fun the game is. I think they removed the ability to use a gamecube controller, so that sucks. Then again, you kind of have to swing a remote to swing your sword so I get it. At least you use a nunchuck and walk with the joystick instead of full-on motion controls so at least this game is better than Secret Rings.
So, when I first heard about this game I thought it was pretty cool. You get to insert your own OC to side with Sonic and be the hero of the story? OH. MY. GOD. Buuut apparently the game wasn't well received. I have, once again, only seen a let's play of it.
From a lore point of view, I feel like there was little buildup to what was going. It just kind of dropped you into the game while all of that went down and eventually you'd get an explanation. The whole thing looked slightly off for a Sonic game. Suddenly all characters get together to stop Eggman as some sort of rebellion group?
The villain seemed pretty OP as well. From what I remember he was basically an immortal, god-like being. I think Sonic has fought his fair share of "immortal" or "god-like" beings, yet this one felt like it crossed the line.
The combination of the fact you can insert your own OC, they introduced so many characters to the point in which they *again* quite literally dropped Sonic from Sonic Generations into this whole mess as well as made a villain that is so powerful, it feels like they can't really top it made me feel like they tried to make Sonic Forces "definitive" if that makes sense. They tried so hard to add so many things to this game to please everyone but I feel like it was too much for a game that tried to have some form of lore or story.
Now I know I missed a bunch of 3D platformer games but it's mostly because I know nothing about them. I didn't even know Lost World existed! I played Sonic Colors only on the NDS and it gave a bad impression because 100%d it in a day... But as I was writing this I also found out that Generations, Lost World and Forces are on Steam! So I might give those games a try in the future and post again in this topic.
Thank you all for reading and I can't wait to see your reactions.
|Author:||「DoodClaw」 [ Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:14 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Sonic as I remember it|
I've only got a phone keyboard to work with (no internet connection for me for a few weeks at least). So...
I can't comment on everything you've said. I've discussed a good chunk on it on discord anyway, we're cool.
Still, I'll get my opinions out. Heads up, I'm double posting. There's much more I have to say about the Adventure games than the others, hence the split.
Sonic Adventure DX. (5/5)
Absolutely adore this game. I believe it had the best graphics of any console game in 1998, but more impressively still, had sacks of content to back it up. The Rashimon plot does a great job at establishing Sonic's world, the sheer scope and atmosphere is incredible and the music is on point. Sadly DX was a botched port of the Dreamcast original; but I can look past that since the core game is so great. Nothing says 90s optimism like SA1.
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. (5/5)
If SA1 established Sonic's world, SA2 had an field day with it. The entire game just feels tighter - and all the better for it. With its raising stakes, the story gripped me from the start; I especially loved how Shadow's backstory was handled. That ending!
Each level felt like the inside of an action movie, yet Sonic Team didn't skimp on the details. There's sweet little touches (f.e: the characters each having different music genres to suit their levels). All of this made the game feel more alive, with the insane depth of the Chao Gardens being the icing on the cake. This is my favourite Sonic game, perhaps my favourite video game, if you disagree - 1v1 Final Rush multiplayer.
Note that if it wasn't for the Adventure games, Chao Island wouldn't have existed. We all met each other thanks to these games, which is rad!
|Author:||「DoodClaw」 [ Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:50 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Sonic as I remember it|
Now to venture into the world of later 3D Sonic games.
Rapid fire review time!
If you want a moment when I think the series started declining, this was it. That being said, I don’t think Heroes was a bad game. I simply think it abandoned the content, world-building and scope of the Adventure era. If you can look past the long levels it’s solid entertainment though. Music and graphics remain high quality too (although I miss the graffiti style 2D art from before). The magic wasn’t lost quite yet.
Take Heroes, refine some aspects, then sabotage most improvements with a restrictive mission system. I adored Shadow's story arc in Sonic Adventure 2, as mentioned previously, so this game was off to a good start. Unfortunately, it retconned a good chunk of the plot and over-complicated things. Still appreciate the effort. You call this game edgy, I call it cute. It’s a fine standalone game which irks me in the canon.
I could see what they were going for. Sonic 1 was created to show off the power of the Mega Drive, Sonic Adventure was created to showcase the strength of the Dreamcast. The next step to the HD generation seemed logical, but we all know how it ended. Needless to say, I appreciate the ambition. There was an attempt at a truly huge game here, but it burned in the oven; only the soundtrack was saved.
Sonic and the Secret Wiimote Which Never Responds To My Input. (2/5)
"I will choke you with my nunchuck." - Anonymous.
Was this a return to form? Well, I could definitely call it an attempt. Half the levels were riddled with sucker punches, while the others dragged for ridiculous lengths. However, in the occasional moment where everything fell into place, it was a dream. No game in the series features a sense of speed like this one. Sonic Team took a completely different route than before, while far from perfect, it was progress.
Sonic and the Black Wiimote Shaking Festival: Frenzied Wrist Strap Collision Edition. (2/5)
"The soundtrack is better than the game, oh well." - Anonymous.
Perhaps it’s sacrilege, Colours was certainly another building block after Unleashed, but it never appealed to me. Exhibit A: the blocky, puzzle-oriented levels. Fan favourites such as Knuckles and Shadow were cast aside in favour of… soulless coloured floaty things. Exhibit B: the story was written by someone without any prior knowledge of the series - and it shows. In other words, it's Sonic without spectacle.
Now we're talking. Admittedly, it’s a short game with an unimmersive narrative; but what a game it is! Blending the best of Adventure and Unleashed (plus a slightly overwhelming portion of 2D stuff); we get a game which is consistently enjoyable to experience. Without longevity, it fails to make a major impact, though thankfully mod support on PC brings extra depth. Now if only they could change those voice actors…
Lost Mind. (1/5)
I knew we would eventually get a Sonic game where I couldn’t stand the story; but never in my wildest imagination did I think we could get one with a hateful art direction. Oops. While not a glitchy trainwreck, it commits a worse crime. If you were to remove every instance of the blue dude’s face, this game would lack any coherent identity. It’s as bland as it gets, I would say more but seriously: music note wisp.
It has been over ten years since the blue hedgehog fell from grace in the eyes of the public. Sonic Team made a respectable recovery in the form of Unleashed, Colours (admittedly) and Generations. …Then they threw the series in the toilet and used plenty of paper. The ironic age gave rise to the post-ironic age, in turn spawning to post-post-ironic age - in which the Sonic franchise grimly lay. What were we to expect?
Were the Adventure games any good? They’re running on 20th century hardware. Was Sonic any good in the first place? Maybe it’s inherently flawed. These questions became all the more commonplace among the more enthusiastic fans, the others disappeared altogether.
So here we have it. It’s Generations-lite. It’s a missed opportunity. The longest levels take two minutes. And yet, I’m happy it exists.
After the success of Mania, I doubt future 3D titles will receive much priority or thought at Sega. The cost/benefit analysis reinforces such.
Although, if there’s one thing we know, Sonic Team never learns. Forces was a waste, but it’s a stepping stone regardless. Here’s Dood, signing out, hoping another rash decision from the developers gives us a creative game again. It can happen, it’s just a matter of when.
|Author:||Tobi [ Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:26 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Sonic as I remember it|
It's very interesting to see that the original Sonic Adventure games seem to hold despite the translation and porting issues compared to the newer games. At first I thought I loved them more due to the chao system, but when thinking back about my experiences it seems that they somehow made the mistake of making sonic... too fast.
When controlling Sonic in the Sonic Adventure games you actually feel in control mostly. Sure, sometimes you get bounced around or go through a pre-programmed mini cutscene through a speed boost or event, but aside from that you're actually in control of Sonic. I feel like this isn't as much the case in the later games. You just run and jump sometimes. Maybe a homing dash. The Sonic Adventure games also allow you to walk around certain parts while some of the newer games if not all fix you in one direction in one path to allow the speed.
The previous issue migjt also be partly the cause of the next issue: The levels lack creativity. Sonic Adventure didn't repeat much of the aesthetics of the levels when you don't count the levels between different characters. The stages were all unique and had their own thing. Something that can't always be said about the later games. This might partly be because the speed prevents creativity.
|Author:||Tobi [ Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:14 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Sonic as I remember it|
I want to bring this topic back because I've no finished both Sonic Forces and Sonic Generations.
Now that I've actually played it instead of watching a let's play I feel like I can give a better opinion of the game.
From a general perspective the game seems to want to be everything. They included as many characters as possible by letting heroes (and anti-heroes I guess?) join forces (heh) to save the world and this way they could add as many as they wanted even when they had no significance to the story whatsoever. They maybe get 3 lines of dialogue and call it a day. To add in as many villains as possible they had the new main evil guy create clones of previous villains like Shadow, Metal Sonic, Chaos and that dude that is apparently from Lost World who got a boss fight while Chaos got nothing... great.
The plot feels very off for a Sonic game. While an apocalypse happens more often in the Sonic universe than I'd like to admit it just doesn't feel like a theme that fits a Sonic game. Your avatar was sort of wedged inbetween so they'd have a reason to exist at all because that was pretty much the stamp of this game and since I'm a slut for customization I loved that aspect. You get to double-boost together with Sonic???? Yeaaahhhh!!! *cough*
But then there is the gameplay. I feel like in some aspects they dropped the ball on this one. Bringing back classic Sonic, for one, was a mistake. It felt VERY unnecessary since there was not really any explanation to it. It just... happened. Poof! There he is. And I don't remember that clearly but I believe Tails might have given some dumb nonsense science reason for it because for this game he became a little too much part of the nerd-like "according to my calculations" kind of smart guy and that's a bit of a shame.
Sorry, that wasn't much about the gameplay... What I was getting at was that classic Sonic has his own stages you require to complete that are 100% 2D stages and classic Sonic has this issue that he can't perform the moves that modern Sonic can do. He can't boost or use homing attacks which make him feel much slower and more limited. This makes his stages feel tedious. While playing as modern Sonic in the 2D environment it doesn't feel great either though. The issue I had with the 2D platforming maybe is that when you jump and hold a direction you go faster towards that direction once you've held down that direction for a while. It's similar to how when you hold the backspace key for a while to erase a message and after a while it suddenly starts erasing much faster. That's what jumping in the 2D environment in Sonic Forces feels like. It's super annoying to make jumps that way because you either under- or overshoot it. Then there's also the issue that, unlike Sonic Adventure games (kind of a stretch but still) there's no forward dash while jumping. Instead, you perform a double-jump. Now this is kinda nice for classic Sonic because before he had nothing but this takes some getting used to and is in my opinion worse. I've had way more scenarios in which I lacked distance or wanted to get back to a platform I was previously on and the forward dash allowed me to get there quickly. Now I have this slow double jump instead and it feels off. Finally, the avatar. The avatar has a weapon that you can change before entering a stage and they all do different things while requiring the wisps or whatever from Sonic Colors to charge them for their special move. Aside from that they also have a unique firing ability. The good thing about this is that you can pick your own style and use it to your advantage. The disadvantage, however, is that certain levels have lots of shortcuts you can take by picking up wisps for a certain gun. If you don't have the correct gun equipped, you can't pick up the wisps or take the shortcut. Granted that levels support multiple guns you never know which one is the smartest pick for the level until you've already played it. It should have given a recommendation of one or two guns. When you fight Infinite there's charge for a single gun, so why not recommend that gun for that particular fight?
I also want to point out the plot advancement in both the main game and the DLC. The main plot felt like it went really slow, then at a very fast pace and then dragged on. The beginning is all about how it started, getting Sonic back and introducing classic Sonic as well as Infinite. Then you very quickly build up an army and take the world back. Then when it feels like you already finished the game you're only halfway through the game. The DLC includes a prequel of what happened before the events of Sonic Forces and includes 3 whole levels in which you play as Shadow. The ending is very abrupt and just a conversation on the map screen between Shadow and Rouge similar to any other dialogue in the game. And that's it. Once you finished it you feel like you should have unlocked stage 4 but it never appears because you finished it. What a great DLC.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the game. It was quite addicting and while some stages were infuriating it was overall not that bad at all. I liked it, but despise the classic Sonic stages.
Now I think when discussing Sonic Generations I'd like to point out that I had quite some high expectations for this game. A lot of people would say this was the best 3D Sonic game that has been released for a very long time. Now as I mentioned in the part above, I disliked the classic Sonic stages and I had the same problem with Sonic Generations, but I'll get to that in a second.
Just like other Sonic games this one was quite short. Or actually, you can make it very short. Basically to finish the game you do the following:
(3x Modern Sonic stages + 3x Classic Sonic stages + 3x Challenges + Mini-boss fight + Boss fight) x 3 + Final Boss fight = Sonic generations completed
In general I think what gives this game so much charm is revisiting the most famous levels of previous games. To me, I was hyped up when I got to play a new take on Speed Highway, City Escape and Seaside Hill because these are the most aesthetic to me. Of course nothing gets more aesthetic than Green Hill, but Green Hill doesn't hold as big of a place in a my heart as the other stages. They felt amazing when playing as Modern Sonic at least. I also absolutely loved that they added my boi Chaos as a boss fight, that made me so happy and, if I'm honest, I should have probably stopped playing at that point because it was as good as it was going to get. Though you can "finish" the game so soon, there's a lot of post-game you can also do before completing the game in the form of challenges that you unlock once you beat all 3 stages as both modern- and classic Sonic. They're fun and usually don't feel as repetitive as other challenges that you see in Sonic and the Secret Rings for example in which you essentially play the exact same stage but this time you collect 100 rings or something. It felt better executed, though gameplay was the main issue I had with that game.
Now I personally experienced a lot of cheapness in this game. The levels were usually designed around something I like to call a "beginner's trap". The game's path often seems to focus on lightning-speed reaction timing to make a jump so you can do an easier, faster part of a level which you won't ever reach unless you replay the level and remember to jump there. Sometimes this can also result into you running into enemies because you had no way of knowing you had to boost at a certain part, didn't react fast enough to slide under something and have to now look at Sonic slooooooowly sliding under the passage, propel yourself off the stage or throw yourself into lava. Even when you jump in time it's still possible you fall into another trap just because you didn't jump at the right time or because you didn't stick your landing perfectly. Also, they added (not sure if this was in previous games) this feature in which you can do air tricks and by pressing the trigger buttons after a combo but before landing but sometimes they make you go through a waterfall or cloud or give you an angle that doesn't show you the ground you're landing on so you can't even begin to time it correctly.
Plot-wise, there's not much to say. Eggman found some entity once again and this time it's breaking the world through space and time and he's working together with the classic Eggman or Dr. Robotnik. Through these portals classic Sonic and Tails got together with the modern Sonic and Tails and the other characters that are just there for support during challenges and to be rescued. You can't really blame the plot for anything because it never tried to be plot-heavy unlike other Sonic games as of lately. It was mainly intended for a nostalgia trip by including stages from previous Sonic games and while I haven't experienced all of them before, it felt good to see them include the few they did. Even when playing the classic Sonic stages, while they weren't that fun to play because 2D is poorly executed in this game as well a lot was going on and it was aesthetically pleasing to look at. They were very creative with these stages.
As for the gameplay, it's mostly the same as Sonic Forces but with a couple of differences. Most obviously, avatar isn't there. Secondly, there's no double jump and while classic Sonic gets nothing modern Sonic has his forward dash that I missed in Sonic Forces. Furthermore I either don't remember, didn't really notice or found other gameplay difference worth noting.
For some reason though I found the classic Sonic stages to be even worse than in Sonic Forces. They were a lot more frustrating because it seemed like the stages were built around a double jump I obviously didn't have, you need the lightning reflexes I mentioned before way more and sometimes it felt like ledges you have to jump to were designed to cause you to get hit without being able to avoid it easily. The ledges would be at a distance that you can juuuuust about reach it if you jump at full force, but if you jump a pixel too far you end up hitting the enemy. Your jump at full force JUST won't reach the enemy which means you're not mid-spinjump meaning you don't kill the enemy but you land just far enough to land, be out of spinjump and hit the enemy. Sure, there's a certain sweet spot that prevents this but it seems to be a very small space. Another issue I've had was that the damage-boosting (when you get hit and you're invulnerable for a short period of time) also prevents you from picking up rings while the damage-boosting is almost as long as the rings last so I found myself not being able to pick up rings or collect myself in time to pick up rings I've dropped by getting hit meaning I died a lot more by lack of rings. Also, the wisp powers were fun but way too frustrating too use.
While I enjoyed playing through the mentioned stages and fighting Chaos once more, I felt like this game was not that bad but I think I completed it more because I wanted to complete it rather than because I enjoyed the game and I'd say I liked Sonic Forces more than this one.
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