I'm not really opposed to simple, like others have said in the topic. The original games were simple in story, but they were... I don't wanna say immersive... But rather its the sense of progression I miss in Sonic story. S3&K has a certain feeling of direction in its levels, where story events (Knuckles encounters mostly) only punctuate the feeling of moving forward towards your goal. Small things in the game really set a tone of wonder, Hidden Palace was just a story showcase level for example, or the Death Egg in the background of Sky Sanctuary, these things really gave life to a really basic plot of "stop Robotnik" that was still the norm. To contrast this with Sonic Colors, a recent game with a simple story, you can ask did the cutscenes and humor round the basic plot out into something memorable or not? I would say something like the Eggman PA announcements succeed in that respect, where the regular cutscenes do not. It was okay for Sonic to be simple in the past because his world made it up with layers of color and charm, and I would say charm is lacking more often than not in titles. Wonder and charm are two essential parts of the story and setting that make classic games still stand out again story heavy titles like SA2. Wonder was laid on thick in Colors I'd say, the level themes and setting execution are so good in this game that it makes you excited to be in an interplanetary theme park saving squiggly aliens, and ultimate lifeforms be damned, you know? If Colors had less actual dialogue I don't believe the game would suffer, the environment is strong enough. Now a game like SA2 I feel, has minimal wonder in its levels, and I have to ask if that's because the levels are so geared towards adrenaline, because its predecessor SA1 executed this nicely in hub worlds. But recognizing that they were telling a different type of story in SA2, I gotta say there is nothing wrong with that either. As opposed to simple stories which need to be driven by supporting environment and interesting cast, SA2 is all about what's going on as the story gets more complex. There's nothing wrong with that, SA2 resembles a movie much more than a bare bones video game plot, and the game does it well because despite being hailed as the first type of "serious" Sonic game, there is plenty of humor in the script to balance it. SA2 as a cutscene driven game is actually quotable, which is just what a story like that needs to do. And maybe this is where I bring it back around to say that a simple story need not be cutscene driven, because the story isn't really the main attraction there, its the background and the setting. Sean said Unleashed and I agree. The world locations give the story flavor, because it's otherwise just a game about putting stones in altars to stop a monster. Like Colors, if Unleashed had less cutscenes, I don't think it'd suffer greatly. So in total I think Colors and SA2 both succeed highly at different things. Colors and the classics win in environment and charm and background story, while SA2 wins in strictly by the script terms which is what most people mean when they say story. Its a shame that Generations didn't have a better hub to create progression for the player, because all that game was missing was not this idea of a strict plotline, it was missing a cohesiveness, a chain of events kinda thing that would've brought the levels together in progression instead of literally just worlds from an abyss. There's a third type of story in Sonic, and that's the Storybook games which were more moral based type of stories I think, but I'll write about that another time.
I wouldn't mind a Sonic into Dreams kinda crossover, but NiGHTS hasn't really been popular since like... the year it released. NiGHTS is a good candidate because the power of dreams type of fantasy is something that hasn't been explored yet in Sonic's series.
But then the two series are similar enough that it may as well be a new NiGHTS game then, right?
I don't think calling him a lone wolf is really an attempt to not take responsibility. While conservatives in general seem largely tuned-out of racial issues, hostile to affirmative action and so on, the majority like any decent people do not associate with white supremacy groups. Do you mean the mindset is basically the same? When I say he acted alone, I mean that it's scary that a person can just be convinced by a bunch of shitty websites and YouTube videos to go on a rampage. You think there was a climate of hate surrounding him in his regular life? I am really asking because I don't think I've ever met a white supremacist, towns where I live are heavily mixed. I certainly have heard frustration from all races regarding others, but most racially frustrated people don't go on a shooting mission. Who then, is responsible?
Let me say this movie was loads of fun, but for me the fun was mostly visual. This was strictly an action film for me, and is better viewed that way. The original Jurassic Park leaves much more room for wonder and suspense, and these moments are entirely absent from Jurassic World. From the original I can think of the vibrations in the cup of water, the talking DNA strand, the hatching raptors, Lex with the shaking Jello, Jeff Goldblum and the objects are closer than they appear scene, all from the top of my head, but I can't recall one bit of this type of cinematic goodness from World, having just viewed it last night. There's not one scene that leaves you in awe of what's happening. The movie continues to beat you over the head with action, which I can't deny is hella fun, but it doesn't really leave an impression. I can be compared to the jaded teenager in the movie, because I've become tired of seeing CGI effects. The characters in this movie are also exceptionally blunt. Their motivations are so plainly spoken that the result is a script that sounds written for dumb people. The kids were pretty much extras in this movie to me, I'd have preferred it if they became Pteranodon food. Some of the action was even borrowed from Jurassic Park. The JP scene with the Rex and the Jeep comes to mind, down to Lex fumbling with the flashlight. At least they made no attempt to disguise the borrowing, with literal throwbacks to JP in the movie. As far as the Velociraptors go, they were my favorite characters in World, and I have no complaints. Pratt and his raptors were an upside to the film for me, even if watching them ride through the jungle was slightly ridiculous. Irrfan Khan, and the raptors shone for me here. BD Wong, and Vincent D'Onofrio fail as villains however. Bryce Howard, in her role as a prissy female executive is too stereotypical when contrasted with Pratt's fix-it man to be appealing in any way to me, and their love subplot is an afterthought. In general the movie feels rushed to get to the action, even though it takes a good 40-or-so minutes. Some of the family scenes could've been cut for instance. For action scenes I give this movie an enthusiastic A+, but Jurassic World still feels closer to the Transformers series for me than Jurassic Park, all style and no substance. But this is the trend with summer blockbusters now. For having no memorable scenes that don't include chomping and not one bit of quotable dialogue I'd knock it down to an overall C+ grade, a fun but forgettable film, definitely not movie classic material.
I wanna put this kid squarely into the same category as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the first Boston bomber. Two violent losers who after reading some internet hate material, decided that they didn't have to be losers anymore, if they could only join some whacked out cause. The irony of it is that while Tsarnaev's motive was to tear down American values, the Charleston shooter was out to restore them through racial war. The end result for us bystanders is the same. Both attackers were created by internet radicalism, and both acted alone and violently. Is there a name for this type of psycho yet? The delusions-of-grandeur internet martyr type? Because this type of killer will be increasingly common.
To those who said this won't be called terrorism, it's probably not true. Supremacist groups and militant religious groups have been given the terrorist label before. The Oklahoma City bombing particularly was called domestic terrorism. Politically motivated attacks are given the label of terrorism. Random attacks with the purpose of broadcasting an extreme political cause, are usually labeled as such. Be it guns, bombs, or whatever was used.
As far as the Confederate flag goes, fuck that flag. At least now be sensitive about it. Maybe I don't understand it because I am a New York ass person, but that is basically an enemy flag, am I wrong? How do you fly it next to the stars and stripes without a contradiction. If you wanna say it's part of your history, maybe it belongs in a museum then, next to the cotton gin, and descriptions of plantations and slave labor economy. Please someone explain to me this flag.
In response to the early post that gimmicks are a weakness I strongly disagree.
Some of the gimmicks may not have been favorites. Marble Garden certainly comes to mind with the spinning tops, but even in what I consider the game's weakest level, the earthquakes were a great addition. There were layers of gimmicks expanding on the gameplay of the previous three games, much more so than Sonic CD. Gravity in Death Egg is a great example of how levels can be so distinct from each other based on one gimmick. They flipped tropes from previous games. Hydrocity is a fast water zone, compared to the original lumbering Labyrinth Zone. You can say Chemical Plant started this trend, but Hydrocity takes the idea to a new high. Levels have two faces in this game. Carnival Night with lights and lights off. Mushroom Hill green and Mushroom Hill "autumn". Lava Reef hot and Lava Reef crystal. Inside the Sandopolis pyramid. The ghosts are a gimmick many hated, but putting a play-based time limit on a whole act is just a novel concept. The ghosts essentially made Act 2 into a sand-based water level, where the lightswitch is the air bubble. So many ideas used in new ways. There were four special stages in this game guys. Acts that differed in gimmick and sometimes appearance. Mini-bosses! Two different final bosses between characters. The ante was just upped so much to make this the perfect sequel. It took everything that was good before it and piled on gravy, that's why we love this game. This is still what people look for in great sequels. These things still stand out.
I'd like to bring up a negative no one's mentioned though, and that's the Knuckles fight.
What a let down, am I right? He was the easiest or second easiest boss in the game. I feel as though they struggled with how to adapt a boss fight to a non-mecha character, being that Knuckles was roughly the same size as the player, with similar moves. But then Mecha Sonic was the same size roughly. Why was the Knuckles fight so bad?
They're starting to match the comics and games because Sega prefers it simplified, and it's just easy to do now that the lawsuit took half of the background characters. If it were just that I'd say you got a 1/100 chance of that happening. But since we got Boom on the way, it's clear that that will be the secondary continuity. Archie will continue its own thing, probably invent some new comics-only characters, but I never see it jumping from the page to the screen, like ever. We'd be extremely lucky to even get toys. Which I want so bad, by the way, like poseable Freedom Fighters, aw man.
The singular horn pretty much confirms for me that ROBOTNIC became the concept for Naugus. Naugus was gonna appear as the villain of season 3, in place of Robotnik, right? Now it makes sense, because the wizard was their first and original villain! It must have been their creative darling. Also "electric ponytail"? That's hilarious.
So if ROBOTNIC was first a wizard type it makes sense that Cluck looks more like a raven than a robotic chicken.
I was thinking USA was toast after Ghana's one goal. It was a beautiful goal, dude threw it backwards and I don't think Howard knew where the ball was for a second there. Also Ghana was aggressive and took like six wild shots on goal, I was so sure we were gonna eat one of those, they just kept pressing. We were lucky. Also it seemed to me like Ghana's man screwed up and gave us the corner in order to set up goal? Dude was like tripping over the ball for no reason when it when out. Ghana's coach looked SO serious in the seconds before the kick and that look didn't leave his face until time ran out. Good job USA, but I think we were lucky. I think we make it out of our group alive though.
That camera defense game though, doesn't it seem like something you could do on the gamepad on the side while something bigger is happening on the tv? Like something they tell Slippy to do on a mission, watch the cams?
Also I think what Miyamoto meant is that he didn't want to do FLUDD in Starfox and ask us to get excited about it. Because Mario Sunshine was pretty much Mario 64 with a water pack, do you get what I'm saying? If giant robots play into Starfox because Miyamoto says it's fun then I'm damn well inclined to listen. Also why are robots un-Starfox?
Well the SA1 spindash is like that. Not charging it enough will cause it to peter off into a weak roll. And the boost fails in close quarters, it's just a big dumb jolt forward. SA1's spindash is very flexible, you can send Sonic in several circles and figure eights before it cools to regular speeds. It's vital to the game but not the only aspect of gameplay like the boost, which had several games dedicated to its concept of just flying forward. Colors cut the boost in half, probably to make room for gimmicks that weren't that. The boost is OK, but it limits things. It feels to me like a very carefully tailored move for the game when compared to the boost, or later spindashes. Also, balls man. I wanna be a ball.
(Also Diogenes I know your argument is more like, well you don't have to slow down to keep charging it, so it's like the boost in that respect, BUT... One main difference between the 2D and 3D version, in the scheme of it, is the lack of crouching in 3D. It just makes more sense to map it to a single button like that. And this makes it more spammable, however it's not as if abusing the spindash is not an acquired skill, just like abusing it in the classic games can be. Spamming the spindash in SA1 requires a constant bearing on where you are going, even a half a moment to tack out a new direction, and I'd argue that changing course in 3D is similar to quick stopping and smashing out a 2D spindash while speed running, and as skillful. No skill, no reward. The boost doesn't require skill, so it's not a fun concept.)
I want the spindash from SA1. The one that can be tapped for a ball or spammed for constant speed. Go start a new game and realize how different the first 3D spindash is. It's still vital unlike the games after Heroes, and not delayed like the one in SA2. We only get the fan service spindash now, spindash while drifting, spindash as speed mode. None of this is real. The spindash in SA1 was so fast you could zip up vertical walls in the Mystic Ruins if you abused it. And it should be abused. It made the game fun to break and speed run. Let me become a fast blue ball and I'll be happy.
I also want expanded combat, to give players freedom instead of just using certain moves at certain times (badnik riding would be badass plz), but that's another post that I haven't really worked out in my head yet.
I'm gonna compare this to my favorite piece of ambient sound maybe in all video games...
This is the piece that plays in the beginning of the final level of Mirror's Edge. A large portion of this game is fast dashing and acrobatics, with music to match, nervous and tricky. But sometimes the game slows, you find yourself alone in an empty area, and you're faced with the strictly jumping part of the game, the puzzles. How do I reach that ledge? The game matches slower music to these sections, along with the feeling of relief that comes with not running like hell anymore, and the different gameplay of carefully timed jumps. The puzzle themes in the soundtrack are more reflective to match the pace of the game. This song plays when you enter the top level of the compound you're infiltrating, the objective. It feels like the beginning of the end of the game, and the halls and duct shafts are this gilded color that might ring and echo like the large noises and chirps in the song. Why is this song effective? Final level music, it's a climax moment. And taking advantage of the quieter parts of the game with a reflective piece like this song.
I think the hub world examples, Aquarium Park is a great example mentioned above, all do this to good effect. Planet Wisp's hub similarly, it sounds like a NiGHTS song or something. Lava Reef act 2 was also a great example, and it's effective because the contrast between the full on lava and the crystalline cave setting is so sharp, the blank black start to act 2, and mysterious start to the music are all cues that something different is coming up. The music foreshadows the Hidden Palace. A similar effect is used in Tidal Tempest with the silence and the echoing droplets. The first time you hear this the background displays a flowing volcano, you hear the droplets, and you roll downhill into an underwater ruin. The water zone is a slower and more ominous and tense type of level that we don't have in the series anymore.
The overworld in Knuckles' Chaotix cycled through different times of day according to the background, and each time it changed so did the song. Coming out from winning a special stage into music like this was wonderful. It's the timing of it.