Posts tagged sonic
When I lived in Texas I never went to a Sonic fast food restaurant. I was on my own in a new country and just didn’t know how they worked. I had the idea that you stayed in your car and they came to you, or maybe you used one of those drive-through intercom things to order. I was intrigued and kept looking at my local Sonic wistfully, but never had the balls to go try it out.
I was worried that it might use the intercom thing because that never, ever worked for me. I had enough trouble making myself understood in person, let alone through the scratchy, wax-cylinder-style filter of those terrible speakers. This always baffled me, because being middle class and from south east England I don’t have an accent. Everyone else has accents, we’re the ones without accents from which all others deviate in strange and disturbing ways.
(If my lovely wife reads this post I can probably expect a good old American ass kicking when I get home – or least a wifely look and a shake of the head. For some reason she thinks I have got an accent, even though I clearly don’t! Crazy American lady!)
Anyway, I never went to Sonic.
Thinking about it, the real reason was that whenever I wanted fast food I would always go to Taco Bell, it being my favourite place in the world. Lord, I miss Taco Bell. On, nachos, how I long for you! And free refills of Mountain Dew! Oh!
I’ve only just had lunch and now I’m hungry again.
Oh, and after munching on the tasteless crap I grabbed in Spar I played some Sonic The Hedgehog 4.
I’m stuck on the first Mad Gear level, so I played the second one and completed it without a problem. Very much enjoying myself at the moment. Although Mad Gear Act One is kicking me all over the place, I don’t mind. It’s a fun level. It’s just a shame I haven’t quite managed to work out how to deal with what might well be the final obstacle.
(There’s a long line of crushers and I guess you have to spin dash through them, but the moving platform next to the crushers doesn’t sync up with them, so I have no idea how I’m meant to prepare myself.)
It’s tricky. Tricky, tricky, tricky.
So, that level I was stuck on all yesterday evening?
Yeah, I just did it this lunchtime. First time, too. (I lost a life or two, but I didn’t get the Game Over screen.) The trick with spikes seems to be just to wiggle gently. I’m still not entirely sure how it works.
Then it was on to the Boss stage and the first bit of genuinely rubbish design I’ve seen so far in this game. Let us count its failings.
1) There’s a fairly long level before the boss fight with no checkpoint before the fight itself. This level isn’t difficult, but it is underwater and has fairly tight time limits, so one missed jump can kill you. If the boss kills you, it’s back to the beginning to do the whole tedious sequence again. What’s the point in having boss stages at all if you pad them like this? And if you’re going to pad, why pad with an underwater stage? Why do they exist in the first place? They’ve never been much fun in Sonic games, serving only to illustrate how rubbish Sonic is when he can’t run really fast and zoom about.
2) The boss fight itself has Robotnik or Eggman or whatever he’s fucking calling himself this week hovering near the ceiling. Stones come out of the walls, floor and ceiling and let you get near him, but if you get caught between them or against the edge of the level you will die. You won’t lose your rings, you’ll die… which means running through the whole level again.
3) The stone doesn’t come out of the edge of the level in predictable patterns. The first few times you won’t know where to jump and will die. Okay, so you can be sure that the boss won’t be in a crush-zone, but if you don’t know what’s coming it’s very hard to react in time. The patterns aren’t even the same each time, so you can’t learn it by rote.
The whole thing adds up to an immensely frustrating level, where you’re doing a long, boring underwater bit again and again just to spend ten seconds in a boss fight. Sure, it didn’t take me too long to finally beat the bastard – twenty minutes at the outside – but it felt much, much longer. I hope this isn’t an indication of things to come. The game so far has been excellent, I don’t want the end to be spoiled by artificial difficulty.
Oh yeah, this is what I’m talking about.
So I was having a great time, rattling through the game.
But then… then… then I got stuck.
There’s a timed section in the third act of the water zone. It’s the first time the controls have let me down. You see, if you’re too slow at the beginning, you need to do a spin dash to get up a slope. (If you’re fast enough you can just run up the slope, but once its underwater that’s no longer possible.) It turns out that doing a spin dash under pressure using the virtual control stick is a complete lottery.
I died. I died and died and died. I spent most of my evening trying to get past this spot, practicing the same section again and again.
I’ve now got to the stage where I can complete it quite often. It’s not the sticky point it once was. The trouble is, after that section there’s a bit I can’t work out how to do. You have to tip yourself out of a water-filled room. There’s one earlier in the level that’s fine, but this time there are spikes in the room and it seems impossible to get past them. I don’t know what I’m missing, but I just can’t see a solution. It’s a shame I only see that room every ten minutes or so, because I keep losing all my lives and then have to restart the level and go through all the easy stuff and the timed section again, just to die on the spikes again.
It should be game-breakingly terrible, I know this. It’s not, though. I don’t actually mind retrying over and over again. I enjoy it. I’ve spend a couple of hours or more on this one level so far and I don’t care. Now, if the spin dash move was essential then I’d have a huge problem with this and would probably declare the game broken, but it’s not. I just have to do the level as fast as possible and there’s no problem.
The really weird thing is, though, that I’ve not seen anyone else mention a difficulty spike here. I’ve possibly spent longer on this level than the rest of the game put together, but nobody else seems to be having any problems. I know I’m missing a solution to the spikes in the water-filled room, but what else am I missing?
And, really, why am I genuinely happy to keep trying this level? I should be hating it, surely?
I’m just not. Strange.
I am not a Sonic fan.
Sure, I’ve liked many of his games (especially the Master System version of the first game, but that’s probably some very rose-tinted specs in full effect) and I’ve definitely got something of a spot soft for the spiky wee fellow, but I haven’t had him tattooed on my arm or my heart. He does not represent my childhood. When I see Sega repeatedly raping his twitching corpse in endless failed reboots and spin-offs I tut, but I don’t cry.
As such, I’m probably less precious about Sonic 4 than some other people. Or, to put it another way, I’m going to be more easily pleased.
If the game involves Mr. Hedgehog running through green fields, round loops and jumping into spikes and there aren’t any technical or control issues, then I’m going to be sitting there with a grin on my face and loving it.
Or liking it, at least.
Now, these are very much first impressions. I’ve played the first act of the first zone twice and the second act once. That’s all. I’ve not investigated any other zones (all the levels except boss levels are unlocked after finishing the Zone 1, Act 1). I’ve not seen a boss. I’ve not played any of the difficult levels. I’ve not done much… except enjoy myself. The controls work well, with responsive on-screen controls and the homing attacks feels like a natural part of the mix. The graphics are very colourful and while the framerate isn’t completely solid it’s never been bad.
Whether my enjoyment will last, though, I don’t know. Sonic’s always been about replaying levels for me, so I don’t mind that the lack of content as much as some. (Though I’ll admit paying six quid for “Episode One” of an iPhone game rankles a bit. Episode Two better be a cheap in-app purchase or THERE WILL BE GRUMP.) You can play each level as Score Attack or a Time Attack, to add to the fun.
(Hmm, wait a minute. Are there any leaderboards? I’ve not checked. Game Center support now, please!)
So, first impressions are good, but bear in mind I’ve not played much of the game yet. Also, I’m playing on a 3GS, which seems to be the best device for this, iPhone 4 users don’t seem to be happy with the performance.
I just don’t want you to spend six quid on my recommendation and feel ripped off, but there’s no getting around the fact that the game gave me a great big smile while I was doing my morning poo today.
Excellent. All I really wanted from this was the nostalgic rush of playing the first level with the killer whale. As that’s the demo level, I don’t need to spend any money on the full game. Thanks Sega!
I would like to play in the Chao Garden again, though. I have many fond memories of, er, carrying them around. I’m sure I used to do other things, too, but it’s mainly the carrying I remember.
Another two or three races last night. I do love this game. I can see where the complaints come from, but they’re either about technical issues that we’ve been assured have been fixed for the full game or they’re about things that are features of the whole genre. It would be very interesting to see if there’s a mode without weapons, where it’s all about the racing, but I’m happy with the knockabout, infuriating fun of the power-up-fueled battling.
And, whatever else, it’s still the sunniest game I’ve played in ages.
It’s basically Sonic Kart, but with loads of Sega characters, from the iconic to the obscure, and a lovely drifting mechanic.
The framerate is horrible. Not ModNation horrible, but very bad indeed. They’ve said it’s early code and fixed in the final release, though, and I trust them.
I also think they probably should have had it set on the easier difficulty by default, because I didn’t come better than fourth in the five races I played.
Apart from those two points, though, I really, really liked it. It’s colourful, full of characters I either love outright or have a nostalgic affection for and the drifting is lovely. I had a horrible day yesterday – surprise root canal surgery! – and then the sunny Sonic Seganess of the game put a smile right back on my face before bed.
I’m almost certain I’ll buy it at launch after that, if I possibly can.
Still, though, it’s another weapon-based racer, so anyone annoyed with the whole “get hit by an item and go from third to eighth in the final lap” mechanic that all these games feature should probably steer clear. Good thing there’s a demo to help you decide, eh?
It keeps telling me I’ve got the trial version, even though I bought it, and won’t let me play. Nor will it let me buy it again (not that I would) because I’ve already bought it. I deleted it and redownloaded it, but nothing helped.
I played this while the CoD4 Beta was downloading, but couldn’t get off the Green Hill Zone. First time I died before getting to the boss, in my second game the boss killed me.
How rubbish am I? I mean, really.
Put another hour or so into this. It’s really quite good. It doesn’t flow as nicely as I’d like it to, but that says as much about my skills as the game itself. I’m at the stage now, though, where I’m not sure when I reach a hard challenge whether I’m being rubbish or whether I need to level up a bit before attempting it.