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About BaronSFel001

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    Lt. Fel, Section 31 Strategic Analysis, USS Avenger
  • Birthday 07/20/1987

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    Republic of Texas

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  1. "Never played a bad Sonic game." Cynics will scream "of course he has not played them all," but like the fans who chose Sega over Nintendo in the 90s, who is gonna listen to critics without letting the experience prevail? I am filing away this music to my ears while it is out there.
  2. I used to have that, but dang, does time move on! Compiled from comparative analysis found in Concept Mobius and Angel Island Stories combined with my way of dealing with the problem of inconsistent numbers of Chaos Emeralds: to sum up briefly, the 7 from Angel Island (the first to be named Chaos Emeralds) are the most powerful and most important, but not the only Chaos Emeralds on the planet - South Island has consistently had 6, Flicky Island has its own 7 that Sonic cannot go Super with, etc. Here goes... Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) Tails Adventures (could fit before Sonic 1 even, but has to be before Sonic 2) Sonic the Hedgehog CD Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) Sonic 3 & Knuckles Knuckles Chaotix (could fit anywhere from here until the 1996 games) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) Sonic Chaos Sonic Triple Trouble Sonic Blast Sonic 3D Blast Sonic R Sonic the Fighters Sonic Pocket Adventure Sonic Advance Sonic Advance 2 Sonic Adventure Sonic Adventure 2 Sonic Heroes Shadow the Hedgehog Sonic Battle Sonic Advance 3 Sonic Rush And this is not even the full list I had years ago, just the ones I can remember right off. Until 2006, everything could be simplified through enough effort on how to make it work together virtually all-inclusively (only the few glaring titles, like Sonic Spinball, get ruled out). Sonic 2006 helped by retconning itself out of existence, unlike Sonic 4 which until all episodes are released the jury is still probably going to be out on.
  3. It has been years since I have done one of these, but of course the necessity is playing a Sonic game for the first time that was somewhat reviewed unfavorably and addressing issues. My first two entries in this mini-review series of mine were lost to the accidental forum purge that happened a couple years back, and they covered Sonic 2006 (which I somewhat enjoyed but only went back to so often) and Shadow the Hedgehog (which I enjoyed so much I could not put it down). Those parenthetical impressions should give you enough of an indication of the perspective I come from. There is no doubt Unleashed is a cut above, especially when compared to its immediate predecessors (I am still getting used to the controls for Secret Rings, which is ruining the experience for me). And here is one distinctive quality that struck me as a completionist: Sonic Unleashed is perhaps the easiest mainstream Sonic game to beat 100% since Sonic Adventure despite having loads and loads of collectibles within and without the levels. I find this a strength since I can actually enjoy filling up that list of illustrations and soundtracks without having to sacrifice my entire time off work to do so. The somewhat stiff challenge remains in the Day Stages (but simple enough to get that S Rank after a few tries exploring shortcuts) and if you develop a good routine that works the Werehog levels are ridiculously easy to S Rank. Worlds and the means of exploring them are very beautiful (I played the Wii version, which really makes my mouth water for the XBox 360 version) and well-executed. Music is as good if not better than usual, particularly the epic-at-levels-worthy-of-a-movie final boss theme (and I thought Sonic Heroes' "What I'm Made Of" was diehard awesome). Sonic sure does seem different and not just because of his nightly transformation. In fact, I cannot recall Sonic controlling like he does in Unleashed since Sonic R; things are really in the formula of Sonic being fast but far from agile. The camera is still the way I am used to it, including issues with depth perception in far shots. And I really did have to get used to the controls (for the time being I used the Wiimote-Nunchuk combo, but I plan to experiment). The only glaring fault is the Werehog combat controls, as I often found Sonic swinging at dead air and it was very difficult executing super moves. Other than that, I would really have to nitpick to fault this game's play: in my book (which I admit is generous) Sonic Team has a real winner here. Another showcase, the 2D sections, were nice though I thought unnecessary since Sonic can work just fine in 3D. So I did not get the gimmick, but I still had great fun with them. Another aspect I take seriously is story, which started to decline in Sonic 2006. Seriously, Professor Pickle annoys me, and I think Knuckles (sorely missed in this game) could have easily filled the role of ancient manuscript interpreter instead (especially with how closely linked the Chaos Emeralds are to these little cycles the planet apparently goes through - could have even used the Master Emerald to help in places). Forgive me for being taken aback at the relative lack of characters and the damage this is doing to the story-driven elements of the Sonic games. Would I be going out on a limb by saying that Sonic got better with Heroes (and especially Shadow) and got worse with Unleashed as far as these story/character elements? Or do I have that formula backwards? Response time.
  4. Faulty as it was, it still sold very well keeping Sega afloat, and because it was release it garnered feedback (and feedback is what alters planning for the future). In order to get a better perspective on what may have been we should look back to the grand next-gen Sonic game that never came into existence: Sonic X-treme. Again, gameplay good or bad has little effect here since the lack of a game (and the feedback) meant that Sega was even more lost than it already was (saying something due to how Sega was in the Saturn years). You tell me if Sonic Adventure would have been better or worse if Sonic X-treme came into existence.
  5. I know nothing about the Dragonballs, but those who are able to utilize the Chaos Emeralds seem to be the Jedi of the Sonic universe. The Emeralds (notice I capitalize the proper noun) are not inherently evil nor good (though they have light/dark energy that is drawn differently), and not everyone can call upon their power without some kind of innate gift and/or training. If you can use the Emeralds to bring someone back to life, not only will it likely require all 7 but you have to know what you are doing. On the other hand, destiny can put another variable on that equation, like in the first season finale of Sonic X when the Chaos Emeralds were knocked into the water where Sonic's dead body was tossed and a living Super Sonic emerged.
  6. Exactly why I find Sonic 4 to be much more of a wild card. Fact is, up to Shadow the Hedgehog I had canon order of games (8-bit included) pretty down pat, and while Sonic 2006 was easy enough since the game retconned its own events out of existence, starting with Secret Rings and Chronicles the view got obscured (it does not help that I have played few Sonic games younger than 2005, and not very extensively at that). The other fact is that I used such facts as Eggman's appearance for evidence in deciding the canon order, making Pocket Adventure the transition point between classic and modern (which, well enough, melded the best of both worlds more than a decade before Generations revisited the concept). Maybe future Sonic 4 chapters will shed more light, but I am not counting on it and, ultimately, it is not important in the canon quest anyway. I think of it that way because, considering Sonic has been 15 years old for a very long time, every single Sonic game takes place within a relatively short time of each other. Therefore, you could have 10-20 games between Sonic 3 and Sonic 4 and still have the latter take place soon after the former. As for where exactly Sonic 4 fits into the timeline, that is the unanswerable question right now that I hope future chapters help on.
  7. This is the primary reason I could prefer the Dreamcast versions over the Gamecube ports: Tiny Chao Garden's couple of minigames does not compare to either release of Chao Adventure. If only the Dreamcast DLC were still available the experience would be complete.
  8. What made Sonic so unique back in the day (and still does so now, though obviously to a lesser degree) goes beyond just limiting the discussion to speed and platforming. Granted, Sonic did it first, with all attempts at mimickry falling short; the possible exception is Jazz Jackrabbit which appealed by adding shooting to the speed and platforming formula, but the character shamelessly ripped off Sonic even in the game documentation. No, there is one other essential element that completes the package while complementing the speedy platforming well: attitude. Duke Nukem Forever was just released, and while the game itself falls short due to coming from designs that are literally a decade old, the most appealing part, the attitude of the Duke Nukem character, made it intact and is still the most appealing part of the game. With Sonic the situation was even more extreme: in the 90s you could quickly run out of fingers counting the franchises starring "mascots with attitude" that came out after Sonic, so that concept was obviously a large part of why Sonic was/is such a big hit. From standing impatiently when you refused to move him to throwing quips and one-liners and both enemies and friends, Sonic may no longer be unique in the category but he still has plenty of attitude and that is still a very appealing part of his character. With that in mind it makes sense how well attitude complements speed and platforming, because back in 1991 making a platform game that felt more like a 2D roller coaster ride was a radical concept that oozed a "shove it in your face and take it" attitude. I would argue the reverse that was argued here: racing with platforming elements rips off Sonic and not the other way around. And while the transition to 3D meant that level design options became somewhat limited in complexity, all the essential elements are still there and Sonic is still as good as can be, and in my humble opinion the speed and platforming transitioned so well into 3D that it was even more exhilirating.
  9. While I would love to enjoy it someday because I am a Duke fan, it seems that Forever has just become the FPS equivalent of Sonic 2006. On the flip side, I enjoyed Sonic 2006.
  10. One thing that has aggravated me no end was how inconsistent the feedback has been for the past 10 years except for the fact that it was generally negative. I still feel sorry for Sonic Team having an impossible fanbase to work with, and there will still be the naysayers when Generations comes out. But the optimism here can be of a different kind: a good Sonic game that not only shines for being good, but for uniting the two Sonics which, as a figurative indication, could translate into reality where the fans finally unite on a Sonic formula that works. No matter what it is in life you are talking about, feedback is necessary, and it should be clear for at least the past five years that, for better or worse, Sonic Team has been listening to the fans. As I have sympathized with Iizuka's suggestion that not everybody can be pleased, the possibility of that being contradicted in the form of Generations is interesting to say the least. But it is too early to really tell, and optimism has to be complemented by realism.
  11. Except I for one cannot tolerate playing much of Sonic Robo Blast 2. I may get shot for this, but I probably feel about that work of amateurs the same way that they and their fans feel about Sonic Team developments. But this actually helps make the point in this topic. SRB2 uses the Doom engine, built for exploration and a good blast fest, and as such very ill-suited for a Sonic game.
  12. I agree. I have never played Mario 64, but I have watched it, and I get the impression that the extent of its so-called non-linearity is the fact that it is hub-based rather than coming anywhere close to true sandbox. Open levels for exploration cannot put Mario a leg up on Sonic, just to name a few examples: Sonic Jam Sonic World, Sonic Adventure DX Mission Mode, Sonic Adventure 2 treasure hunting, and mission-based levels such as those by Team Chaotix and Shadow the Hedgehog's Central City, Mad Matrix, and ARK levels. The fact is, and there seems to be a general agreement forming on this, that Mario level design is ill-suited to Sonic games because of the necessary speed involved (lest we get the next Sonic Labyrinth or Sonic 3D Blast). And I for one like the linear Sonic formula, with little worry about getting lost (easy to do at high speeds) and focusing on getting the task done. Bottom line: Sonic games are linear because that suits Sonic best, and it ought not be detrimental at all - despite the constant linearity, it is hard to find a mainstream Sonic game with low replay value.
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