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T-Min

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Posts posted by T-Min


  1. Just watched the Rainbow episode. Overblown exaggerated rant incoming.

    Wow. Just...wow. Meme jokes? Twerking? Seriously? They actually drew out a joke about Bubbles saying "I can't even." I hadn't even seen that awful "NO ME GUSTA" clip before, but that alone is enough for me to cry foul. When a show - especially a reboot - starts resorting to obnoxious and outdated memes and Internet slang for the sake of "humor," it becomes pretty clear that the writers' aim is not to meaningfully build off of the source material, but rather a soulless attempt at "connecting" to those "HIP AND RAD AND CRAZY KIDS WITH THEIR CAN'T-EVENS AND THEIR SELFIES AND THEIR APPS AND THEIR ANGRY BIRDS." SMARTPHONES-APPS-SELFIES-MEMES XDDDDDDDD is the 2010s equivalent to the 90s kid wearing a backwards cap riding a skateboard. It's done in the same obnoxious spirit, and when it happens in a reboot of an already-beloved property, it's honestly kind of insulting. You know why the original Powerpuff Girls resonated with people so much? Because the writing was strong enough on its own that it didn't need to rely on lame modern-day pop culture references to get giggles out of Minecraft-obsessed tots. It was an actual attempt at making a funny, clever, original show, and it worked. This reboot is just an annoying means of exploiting a nostalgic property for the sake of money by people who, presumably, do not actually give a shit. It's a shame that the majority of such reboots end up that way.

    So yeah. It's garbage.


  2. Geez, guys. It's a fan project. Considering what the team has to work with, I think both trailers look excellent.

    Actually, I do think the second trailer's animation feels smoother and more polished, even if it is a little slow. The first trailer looks great, but the backgrounds occasionally do look more "3-D" than the characters - in particular, the President looks a little flat when he stands in the doorway. I think both styles have their charm, but if you can bring the first trailer's animation style up to the level of polish shown in the second, that might work best for your movie.

    I WILL say that the lack of footwear on the characters DOES feel a bit odd (Sonic's feet in particular are jarring), and it would probably be best to avoid that if only for the sake of staying on model. It's not that off-putting, though; I feel like people in this thread are kind of overreacting.


  3. Pretty great Christmas this year. Between today and yesterday, I got:

    - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D

    - Tales of Zestiria

    - Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    - Splatoon

    - The Ico Collection

    - Rise of the Tomb Raider

    - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

    - 128-gigabyte SD card

    I was also gifted Undertale, Fez, and Battleblock Theater on Steam. All in all, pretty awesome stuff!

     


  4. ...Honestly, I was hoping for something like this:

    2330688-0820652777-b9vkk.gif

    I mean yeah I know that was pre-rendered, but come on. Wind Waker HD was such a big leap, and WW still looked good on GC. They're only going to barely upscale a game that hasn't aged anywhere near as well? And I was actually looking forward to this.

    Oh well, might still get it depending on what else they change. It's a shame. I honestly do like TP's art direction a lot, it's just the technical aspects that bring the visuals down so much all these years later. Those grass textures in Hyrule Field still look pretty awful.


  5.  

    - Jokingly suggested making a boring, tedious game. Because that would indeed be surprising.

    Yeah, I was pretty surprised when that's exactly what Nier turned out to be.

    BAM

    SNAP

    CRACKLE

    POP

    (sorry)

    Anyway, yeah, game looks super cool. Combat's got that Platinum flare to it, and it looks like the art direction and soundtrack are going to match up to the original. Consider me cautiously optimistic. With that much talent at the forefront, hopefully nothing would go wrong.

    Gotta be honest, when I saw the trailer, my first thought was "NieR May Cry"


  6. Hey all! Happy June 23rd! And what better way to celebrate than with a college thesis-length analysis of a two-year-old video game?!!?

     

    I used to post massive reviews like these in individual topics on the Sonic Discussion forum, but I always felt a little "eh" about doing that because it seemed like I was just trying to boost my popularity and get attention. So I figured it would probably be better to just collect them all in an easy-to-ignore Showcase topic, especially since that's the sort of place people usually put these kinds of personal works. In the unlikely event that your hopelessly ambitious friendly neighborhood T-Min ever develops the video editing prowess and/or patience to move onto YouTube and become the next JonTron, you'll be seeing those as well.

     

    In any case, just in time for Sonic's birthday, I have finished a massive review of Sonic Lost World for the Wii U, going into gratuitous detail on almost everything. I'm serious, this was almost, like, twelve pages in Microsoft Word Document by the time I was done with it. If you choose to read it, beware, but this is basically my will and testament on this game. If you do read it all the way through (and wow thank you), I'd appreciate it if you have any suggestions for improvement! Anyway, without further ado, here's the massive text dump. Enjoy!

     

    As a big Sonic fan, the cynical turn fanbase attitudes have taken leaves me a bit…disheartened. Yet, it’s hard not to feel a little cynical when the most you’ve been getting game-wise these past couple of years is horrible spinoffs of an altogether pretty good cartoon. Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice was announced just recently as an immediate successor to the critically panned Shattered Crystal, sister game to the even 

    more critically panned Rise of Lyric. So, tough luck for us Sonic fans, we’ll just have to, uh…make do, I guess. For most in the Sonic fanbase these days, this seems to involve turning in on ourselves and declaring the future eternally bleak. Which is a shame, since, as recently as 2011, things were really looking up. We had gotten at least one genuinely great game, and it sucks that two years later, what came next would apparently shatter the hopes of most, especially when I personally don’t think the end product was half-bad at all. So, if you’re going to indulge me here, sit down, it’s time for a history lesson.

     

    The year was 2013, and the Sonic fanbase was rabid. Sonic Generations had left a promise of hope that few could deny, itself a culmination of mechanics the series had been tweaking since 2008. Sonic 4: Episode 2 had seen release in the interim, but failed to satisfy fans, especially those in the mood for something grand. In the midst of the dry period, revisionism ran rampant as fans turned a more critical eye to some of the well-received recent titles, comparing them to the games of yore and drawing mixed impressions from these dark experiments. The wave of positivity we had all been riding since Sonic Colors was slowly, but surely, forming into a trough. We needed something, and we needed something big. And then, out of the blue, came Sonic Lost World.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yse-qyyU0nU

    Announced in May of that year, Lost World promised a revolution, a complete reinvention of the 3-D Sonic mechanics to which we had grown accustomed. Drawing inspiration from Nintendo’s own Super Mario Galaxy, the game would offer a complete overhaul of Sonic’s controls to accommodate a gameplay style more befitting of an adventuring experience. Additionally, we were promised parkour as an exciting new addition to the hedgehog’s move set, allowing us to slide up and across walls with the greatest of ease. The doors had been opened, the flame had been lit, the floodgates had unleashed their deluge. A revolution was upon us, and hype levels shot through the roof. And with the unveiling of those first reviews came a crash so powerful that the cynicism that had slowly been setting in became firmly ingrained, cemented eternally by the destructive evil that followed, which served as the killing blow to any sort of positive reputation the poor blue hedgehog might have regained.

     

    Such is the unfortunate odyssey of Sonic Lost World, a game that had a lot riding on it from its very announcement. Whether the series’ reputation will recover or not, one thing is for sure: this is a doozy of a game to write about. Camps are divided sharply on where it went wrong as well as what it got right, if anything at all. The same could be said for a fair number of 3-D Sonic games, to be sure, but Lost World in particular is divisive – and as tends to be the case, most people err toward the negative side of the fence. So I guess this is the part where I admit that I actually like this game.

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    Lost World is a bit messy in some respects, sure. Some of the new mechanics may leave one ambivalent, as they are a big change of pace from games past and take some getting used to. Compared to other mainline 3-D entries in the series – well, mostly the functional ones – the game is highly unorthodox and eccentric in its design. It constantly throws new ideas at the player, and not all of them just click. The Mario Galaxy inspiration is heavy and obvious, but the game still makes an effort, even if a subtler one, to offer the speed the series is known for. There is a slight, but noticeable roughness to the way the game feels at points, as if the developers were more concerned with design than with polish, and its mechanics might have served as the skeleton of something far more refined (heck, they might still, for all we know). It is most certainly not the Sonic game for everyone, and yet, if you’re one of those who can get into the game, you will – for at least moments at a time – have an absolute blast.

    250px-Sonic_Lost_World_Wii_U_Box_art.jpg

    So let’s start by talking about how this game is different from previous Sonic games. Lost World directly follows, in preceding order, Generations, Colors, and Unleashed, all of which featured a heavy emphasis on a boosting mechanic, which gave you an immediate and constant burst of speed. This put fast reaction time and pure, unbridled speed at the forefront of gameplay. Generations worked a great deal more platforming into the mix (brace yourself, I’m going to be using the word “platforming” a lot), but out of the entire “boost trilogy,” so to speak, Lost World actually has the most in common with Colors – I’ll elaborate on that thought later. In any case, Lost World makes a point to give the player a greater range of control over Sonic through its new control scheme. Simply moving Sonic around with the analog stick gives you a leisurely walk, holding the right trigger sends Sonic moving at a brisk run, and holding down both triggers lets you cut loose with the unstoppable spindash, bringing Sonic up to a level of speed comparable to the boost. The practical application of this is that the levels of Lost World tend to be more complex and platform-heavy than the more forward-focused – even if divergent – levels of games past, and this greater freedom of movement makes traversing the worlds easier and less awkward.

    39330187_scre_9.jpg

    This new gameplay style does work quite well to its intended end. Sonic is no longer as stiff as he was in the boost trilogy, and the greater level of control is much appreciated for the sort of design this game offers. As for how it feels, on the other hand, that depends somewhat. I would like to say first off that the spindash in Sonic Lost World is absolutely fantastic.  Not only is it fast, but it just feels great to control. Movement with the spindash is fluid, smooth, and there’s a real sense of weight and momentum to it that the level design actually allows you to use. It’s fast, but you still feel completely in control, something I can’t say for the boost, as much as I enjoyed using it. If Lost World is really as far as this gameplay style is going to go, then I think it’s kind of a shame partly because the spindash is so good. As for running, it’s fine, but it doesn’t feel quite as smooth. In 3-D sections, Sonic’s movement curves a bit when turning left and right, which takes some getting used to, and while I understand why the developers kept the base running speed at more of a neutral pace, it feels like it could still have been a bit faster. Actually, I noticed that Sonic seems to move slower when running left and right than when running forwards and backwards, which is especially noticeable in the 2-D areas. So while it works well, especially with the game’s design in mind, it feels like it could have used some more time in the oven.

     

    This is basically how I feel about the parkour as well. Now, the parkour is another thing I’m going to be a little bummed out about if it doesn’t return, because there’s so much potential for a parkour system in a Sonic game! The thing is…Lost World only scratches the surface. That’s fine for what the game is trying to do, but the system feels more so…useful than fun and inventive in its own right. Basically, running up to or jumping on any wall while holding the right trigger will allow you to scale it either straight up or straight across depending on how you’ve made contact. Pressing the left trigger down while doing parkour also gives you an extra boost, and the ability also quite helpfully allows you to grab onto ledges. What you will be using this for most often is as a means of climbing walls so that you can reach areas Sonic might have some trouble getting to normally. Every now and then, you will be presented an alternate pathway that requires you to jump smoothly from wall to wall, which, typically, is about as interesting as the parkour gets. There is one really neat 2-D section in Desert Ruins Act 1, where you can use parkour as a quicker, optional means of climbing a vertical shaft. It actually requires quite a bit of skill to pass through the whole section with style, which makes pulling it off feel pretty rewarding. If you ask me, the game could have offered more opportunities like this for skilled players, especially since most of the wall-jumping sections are suspended over spike pits and whatnot, making them more compulsory. The parkour is so much more fun to use when you’re doing it just because you can.

    Sonic-Lost-World.jpg

    This screenshot makes it look a bit more impressive than it actually is.

     

    As for the game’s other mechanics, the majority of them work fairly well, but they’re not all incredibly well-explained. I will say that Lost World probably gives you the most expansive base move set out of any of the 3-D Sonic games. The bounce attack finally returns from Sonic Adventure 2 and…the game that must not be named. It’s mostly used for breaking things, but it’s also useful for coming to a complete stop from a jump, similar to the stomp move from the boost games. In addition to the trademark homing attack, Sonic now has a kick move that knocks enemies back, ideally into other enemies, and even the homing attack is expanded now. It can lock onto multiple enemies at once and then take them all out quickly, and can even lock more than once onto bosses for extra damage. There is also another parkour move that allows you to shift your position left or right while climbing walls, which I…did not actually know about until I saw someone do it, and even then I had to figure out how to pull it off on my own. Lost World does have a hint system, but even that is easy to miss, which still doesn’t account for just how obtuse a couple of the bosses are. While some of the moves are easy enough to figure out, you can potentially get nearly to the end of the game without having any idea you can “charge” the homing attack or bounce, and both of these moves are suddenly required for two of the later bosses in the game. Sadly, I do have to admit that this is some pretty bad design.

    mqdefault.jpg

    F' this guy.

     

    Aaaaaand lest we forget the Wisps. I mentioned earlier that, out of the entire boost trilogy, Lost World is most similar to Colors. In fact, it was made by the same team, and I’d call it a spiritual successor of sorts. The…honestly unexplained and mostly useless presence of the Wisps is one of the reasons why. Now, in Sonic Colors, the Wisps were basically what gave the gameplay its soul, adding a lot of varied possibilities to the design and spicing things up quite a bit! In Lost World, they feel…tacked on, to say the least. See, whereas Colors was designed around the Wisps, Lost World is designed in spite of them, relegating them to little optional gimmicks for the most part, at best necessary for an item or two. The only exceptions are the Drill and Rocket Wisps, which do have some expanded functionality that’s kind of neat. Plus, there are only a few levels that make you use them, so they don’t really overstay their welcome. The rest, though, are barely noteworthy. Laser is basically the same as it was in Colors except with some touch screen controls that suck, Asteroid is bizarre and clunky and you only need it for a couple of Red Rings, Eagle gives you a slightly boring flying ability, and Rhythm is so mind-numbingly stupid that you wonder why they even bothered to put it in the game. Wow, that got kind of snarky.

    U4670P115DT20130826154539.jpg

    Sadly, I actually thought this one would be the most fun.

     

    So, with all the mechanical stuff out of the way, let’s move on to particulars regarding the level design. If I were to describe Lost World’s level selection in a word, it would be “eclectic.” Sonic Lost World’s various…ahem, worlds basically adhere to standard tropes: you have the always-essential Totally Not Green Hill Zone, a desert world, a beach world, an ice world, a forest world, a sky world, and to cap things off, a fiery volcano world, all of which are typical platformer fare. However, Lost World doesn’t stick strictly to what you might expect from these types of zones. In the middle of Desert Ruins, for instance, you’ll find an inexplicable acid-trip dimension full of floating confections, as perhaps the most striking example. Frozen Factory contains a random casino smack-dab in the middle of it, while one stage of Silent Forest takes place within an icy cave itself. Sky Road, meanwhile, is mostly comprised of rehashes of the previous stage tropes. The variety isn’t just aesthetic, of course. Sonic Lost World inherits more inspiration from Mario than the planetoid-based level structure; just like in the Mario series, almost every individual level throws you something new to work with. This wild eclecticism is part of what has led to Lost World’s quite mixed reception, especially since not all of the game’s ideas put speed at the forefront.

    da0c5c493e283deb19316367b53a3698af794757

    This, for instance, is an auto-scrolling level.

     

    As for myself? I quite appreciate the diversity. That said, the execution isn’t flawless: some of the ideas are absolutely wonderful, some of them are slightly bizarre and yet still fun, and some of them are well-intentioned but at the same time too unpolished to work completely. Among one of the game’s experimental highlights is Tropical Coast Act 3, a stage that takes place quite literally on-rails, forcing the player to jump between them with timing and precision in order to avoid obstacles and proceed through with finesse. It’s a quite satisfying stage that shows off the strength of the game’s grinding mechanics, which aren’t used much in comparison to other 3-D Sonic games. Silent Forest Act 2 features an impromptu stealth section that’s surprisingly challenging, and Sky Road 2 – the only really unique stage out of the world’s whole batch – features some of the higher-risk platforming in the game, which, combined with the blood-pumping music, makes for an altogether pretty badass level. The casino level, Frozen Factory Act 3, is also a pretty solid change of pace whose pinball mechanics serve to freshen things up a bit. Tropical Coast Act 2, meanwhile, falls in line with the “bizarre” concepts, forcing Sonic to herd evil, sentient fruit into juicers randomly placed in the ground so that he can ride the ensuing juice flow to the next planetary body. It’s weird, but I enjoy it nonetheless. The odd anti-gravity skydiving levels are a bit slow and I don’t like them quite as much, but the way they hearken back to Sky Chase is cute, even though I would probably have preferred an actual Sky Chase-style stage.

    a4cc8e0e1ec0495cb79db1db7de5bf05142f093e

    I don't understand why Sonic is so tiny in this screenshot.

     

    As for the ones that don’t work, well, we have Frozen Factory 2, a fine example of an inventive concept horribly botched due to painful execution. You basically maneuver a giant snowball around a sky track, gathering up Rings and stuff, and while it’s a cool idea, the controls are far too floaty and it’s just too slow. Sky Road 4 is actually a pretty interesting stage for its mostly vertical structure, spliced in between by sand-sliding segments rather directly inspired by the Slipsand Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy 2. Unfortunately, the really awkward integration of Castlevania-style camera-pits is a bit hard to excuse. Finally, there’s Lava Mountain Act 2, which tries to build onto Tropical Coast 3’s concept, but mucks things up by peppering the level with insta-kill bomb carts and just generally not having the same flow. These are the only three levels in the game that I have any real problems with. I enjoy all the rest to at least some extent…but, admittedly, I do think the “to some extent” clause is kind of a problem.

     

    It’s one thing to make a game with several great levels and a handful of good and decent ones, and another entirely to make a game that’s awesome all the way through. Even though I enjoy most of what Lost World has to offer, the game simply isn’t consistent, and that’s kind of a shame. It’s another way it feels sort of…unpolished, I suppose. With a little extra development time, Sonic Team might have been able to make every stage stand out as much as the last. As it is, though, I see it this way: some of the levels are great, some of them are good, maybe a few here and there are just okay, and a couple of them are really frustrating. That’s still a fair enough quality distribution, but it could have been better.

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    Seriously, though, this level is pretty bad.

     

    Anyway, to answer the question of whether or not Lost World is truly “fast,” I personally think that kind of depends on how you’re playing it – but before I elaborate on that thought, I’d like to say that I really don’t think the de-emphasis on speed is necessarily a bad thing. Actually, this brings me to another way Lost World feels kind of like Colors: it prioritizes platforming and exploration above speed. Yes, Generations blended them all together brilliantly in its Modern Sonic stages, but I feel like Lost World’s design philosophy reflects Colors most of all. Colors had sections here and there where you could cut loose and enjoy the spectacle, but a great deal of the game’s actual substance involved…well…jumping on things. This was one thing that made Colors stand out compared to the almost purely speed-driven Unleashed…aside from having no frustrating and misguided decisions bogging it down (I don’t actually hate the Werehog, but that’s beside the point). Lost World is also a game very focused around jumping on things, but the things Lost World gives you to jump on tend to be more interesting than the things Colors gave you to jump on.

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    I actually remember being kind of surprised when I first saw these.

     

    Whether you still love the game five years later or you’ve changed your mind since, it’s just the truth: Colors’ level design was blocky. That doesn’t necessarily make the platforming bad, per se, more so just sort of simplistic. Lost World’s platforming is far more dynamic, which is a breath of fresh air if you ask me. From the windmills in Windy Hill to the levitating stones in Desert Ruins to the waterspouts in Tropical Coast to the flytrap flowers and spinning vines in Silent Forest, Lost World feels so much more creative with its platforming than most 3-D Sonic games that came before. Even the way a lot of areas are put together works environmentally. The platforming isn’t all focused on wacky gimmicks, but it feels a lot more organic than Colors did. Windy Hill Act 2, in particular, is fairly simple as far as Lost World goes, but the stage is put together in such a way that its platforming still feels natural, complementing the environment without feeling disconnected from it as Colors arguably did at points. This is also an area where those Super Mario Galaxy gravity mechanics really help, especially in stages that are mostly 2-D. The way levels like Windy Hill 4 and Tropical Coast 4 curve and wrap around as you run through them really adds a lot of flow and satisfaction. Aside from all that, I just think it’s nice to see Sonic fully embrace the fact that is a platformer – and capitalize on it.

    fd4574c4-s.jpg

    And the trademark speed is still there – it’s just not as immediately obvious. This is where the spindash really comes into play, and to me, it reveals the subtle brilliance of some of Lost World’s levels. If you just look at the way stages are put together, they don’t always look like they came straight out of a Sonic game – there aren’t many big action setpieces and not much really screams “fast.”  The spindash is where the speed comes in. I’ve already sung the praises of its fluidity and control, but I need to emphasize just how well the spindash works with the level design. It carries momentum for as long as you keep using it, which the game’s platforming rewards. You often can maintain speed if you’re a skilled player, and that’s very much within the philosophy of the classic Sonic games: speed as a reward for skill. That’s not to say that you’ll never need to slow down, but the fact that you can do so quickly and without much hassle keeps the game’s flow from getting too disrupted. One thing I also love is how you can even use the spindash to pass through otherwise automated segments in a way that’s far more satisfying. Homing attack chains and dash pads have been a somewhat controversial topic among fans, at least since Sonic 4 shoved them down all our throats, but the spindash can leap and bound over them with ease and it’s actually faster. Whether the developers intended this or not, it’s tons of fun – and the completely unscripted ramps in Desert Ruins Act 1 show that they at least knew there was something to this whole “momentum” thing.

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    You know what the world needs more of?

     

    When it comes to exploration, Lost World is no slouch there either. Actually, I know I keep pressing the Sonic Colors comparison, but this is an area where I feel the two games are sort of inverse of each other. Colors had really simple and straightforward 3-D sections, but the 2-D areas had far more complex layouts with a lot more to do. Lost World, on the other hand, has more complex 3-D areas, while 2-D stages tend to be a bit more straightforward, despite still featuring some hidden paths and secret areas here and there. To be fair, most of the larger 3-D stages are the first Acts in each world, while the rest tend to be more linear and experimental. Even still, seeing Sonic further expand on 3-D gameplay after Generations is great, and Lost World’s largest levels do offer a lot of possibilities. The Mario Galaxy-esque structure is pretty essential here, actually, since a lot of the alternate paths you can take are found by running along the various planetoids. Probably the best example is Silent Forest Act 1, which is the one level I found myself replaying just to see all the different ways I can go through it. All the different paths stand out from each other quite well, which is commendable.

     

    Actually, I’d like to elaborate a bit more on how Sonic Lost World applies the Mario Galaxy inspiration, since that is pretty significant to the game. While we do get levels here and there that revolve around spheres, in general, Lost World’s level geometry tends to be more cylindrical or tube-like, more fitting for Sonic’s running-based play style. The most intriguing levels in this regard tend to be the ones that actually are tubes. Windy Hill 3 and Silent Forest 3 actually ended up being some of my favorite stages in the game. These levels take place inside tubes and play with your perspective as you blast through them, all the while dodging obstacles and enemies in a way that feels fast, satisfying, and Sonic-y. Windy Hill 4 and Frozen Factory 4 are really interesting, too; the 3-D section of the former is an elongated half-pipe that is so much fun to spindash through, while the latter features spinning ice tunnels filled with traps that require some skill, timing, and, at one point, even a good eye to pass, which I found pretty clever. There are also some mostly optional on-rails sections that you can reach by finding gold cannons, where you run forward and dodge obstacles while collecting rings Unleashed-style. You actually have to move around the planetoid as you keep going, which is a pretty neat take on the Mario Galaxy style as well. Desert Ruins Act 2 actually applies this concept to a hexagonal design, and the end result is pretty cool.

    2setssonic_829591.jpg

    At the same time, I would like to point out that this is level is a massive series of honeycombs in the middle of a desert. Which makes even less sense than the inexplicable candy level, since it doesn't even have the "dessert" pun excuse.

     

    So with all that out of the way, there’s just one more thing to cover: the bosses. Mmmmmm…they’re okay. I can see why most of them are pretty simple, since the devs probably didn’t want to discourage players from returning to the levels. The vast majority are really easy, though, with the only two exceptions being for reasons that are less than legitimate. Frozen Factory 2’s boss is terrible for the same reasons the level itself is terrible, and Sky Road 4’s gives you only a vague idea of what you’re supposed to do and can be a bit finicky even when you figure it out. There are some neat ones, though. The first battle with Zomom is pretty unique, as well as the first fight with Zor. Zavok’s first boss fight also reminds me of the Egg Viper from Sonic Adventure, so I enjoy that one too. I also like the last fight with Zavok, but it’s still pretty silly that you barely get a hint as to how to damage him. The rest of the bosses are just sort of “there,” though I will give a dishonorable mention to the final boss for pretty much being a carbon copy of the one from Colors. The rehashing is just shameful.

    0352ab9d0d06013d20535d0df07d4e031c65e503

    A mere screenshot isn't going to get it across, but believe me, it is shameful.

     

    Well, that finally covers everything worth talking about with regards to design! Now, let’s talk visuals. I specifically remember that a lot of people were really hyped for this game’s graphics, so it’s a bit funny that the general opinion now is a bit “meh.” Lost World’s visual style is very simple, shying away from the much more lush environments of Generations and especially Colors. The problem with Lost World’s art direction, really, is that there’s no visual context to anything. Most levels just amount to a bunch of scattered planetoids floating in the sky with no sense of order or unity, and it lacks the gorgeous backgrounds, colors, and – honestly – detail that make the Mario Galaxy games pop. If they were trying to go for a Mario-esque look, then they missed the point entirely – and if they were trying to make the game look more like the classics with this sort of stark simplicity, they missed the point still. The tragedy here is that placing Sonic in this strange new “lost world” was an opportunity to make an actual world that felt new and fresh. Sonic CD pulled this off, and even Sonic Colors took the interstellar amusement park theme and ran with it. Both of these games were gorgeous. Lost World’s “worlds” just…don’t feel like worlds at all. The only exception is Silent Forest, which is probably my favorite world overall. This was the one area where they fired on all cylinders with the visual design, and it captures that sort of “familiar but surreal” vibe that I honestly think the rest of the game could have had. It’s lovely to look at.

    U4670P115DT20130826155240.jpg

    Aside from that, I do really enjoy the soundtrack of this game. It might not be one of my favorite Sonic soundtracks, but I like how it feels quite different from most of the others. The instrumentation is a lot more varied than usual, and it generally captures a different feel that complements what the game is going for. The music isn’t always as memorable as in Sonic games past, but the soundtrack still has its standouts. Among my favorites are Windy Hill 1, Windy Hill 2, Frozen Factory 1, Sky Road 2, Tropical Coast 2, and Tropical Coast 3. I will say that Wonder World is a bit disappointing as a main theme, though.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmVOEV29bIk

    And finally, I have to talk about the story. I’ll admit, much as I liked this game, its story was pretty much my pet subject to rant about around the time it came out. And before you ask me why I’d devote so much energy to hating the story of a kids’ game, well…shut up, that’s why. In any case, I did not like it one bit. I felt like it completely botched its potential and used the two main characters mostly as a vehicle for unfunny, mean-spirited wisecracks. This…is pretty much how I feel even now, although I’ve cooled down a bit, so I can discuss it candidly without devolving into…as much of a hyperbolic rant. Now, before I begin really digging in here, I want to make clear that I understand that humor, just like everything else I’m going to complain about here, is subjective. I’m prefacing my spiel like this because I’m going to be coming in pretty strong with some of the things I’m about to say and I don’t want to alienate any of this story’s fans. There are more of them than you’d think, and believe me, I understand how discouraging it can be when something you genuinely like is torn apart nonstop. 

    537937fcc7fc59b65b000009.jpg

    No your FACE is overrated now SHUT UP

     

    At the same time, though…I don’t want to hold back. Lost World isn’t one of the worst video game stories out there – even though I would probably have told you it is only about a year ago – but I still have some serious, serious problems with it.

     

    WARNING:

    I TALK ABOUT THE STORY FOR A REALLY LONG TIME SO IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE WHOLE RAMBLE YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND SKIP TO THE LAST COUPLE OF PARAGRAPHS THANKS FOR READING SO FAR I LOVE YOU

     

    The most pervasive problem with Lost World’s story to me is, if you’re going to write a story focused almost purely on comedy, you had better make sure the jokes are funny. I’d be lying if I said Lost World’s writing never makes me crack a smile, but for the most part, I just find it far too painfully childish. Now, since I’m comparing to Colors a lot, I will admit that sometimes Colors wasn’t much better. There’s a reason why the phrase “salad underwear” will send shivers up the spine of any Sonic fan who hears it: it was a bad joke. “Baldy Nosehair” was atrocious (and of course they bring it right back up again in this game because they love us so much). Most of the stuff with Eggman and the two bots was really dumb, generic "silly comedy villain" humor. Colors’ writing, comedy-wise, really wasn’t the best. I think Colors’ best moments were stronger than Lost World’s best moments, but its worst ones were far, far more sour. I wouldn’t have liked Colors’ story much at all if not for one very big thing that saved it.

    sonic_colors_sonic_and_tails_by_astroboy

    THIS.

     

    What made Colors' story special to me was the interaction between Sonic and Tails. I still love the way Sonic and Tails played off each other in that game. They felt, for once, like honest-to-goodness best buddies. Little moments like Tails giving Sonic a hard time for gloating at a scrapped robot or Sonic asking Tails to pay up before Tails reminds him that they didn’t actually bet on anything were more than just amusing – they had soul. And “Baldy Nosehair” may have been an awful joke, but seeing Sonic and Tails laugh around about this silly translator hiccup still redeemed the moment – at least somewhat, anyway. My enjoyment of Colors’ story went beyond it actually being that good. I don’t think it’s awful, but I don’t think it’s just great either. Above all else, for me, Colors made Sonic and Tails feel genuinely likable in a way that they hadn’t in years, and that made me happy – even if I still cringed a few times along the way.

     

    With that in mind, I suppose I could say that my love of Colors’ characters is part of what leads me to hate those of Lost World. A lot of people tell me the characterization is pretty much the same, and…no, I don’t agree at all. In Colors, Sonic liked to crack wise and gloat like the cocky little freak he was – and I liked that. In Lost World, Sonic’s wise cracks come out more like petty, childish insults – and I’m not as much of a fan. I used to complain that the characterization was too mean-spirited – and I still think that, for reasons I’ll get to in a bit – but what most people would tell me is that Sonic is only mean to the villains, who basically deserve it. If we’re just talking about the Deadly Six, then…fine, I guess. I still don’t like it just because I prefer Sonic to be arrogant rather than snarky, but I get it. With Eggman, though…no, I have a big problem here.

    500px-Sonic_disarming_conch_shell.jpg

    And this has a lot to do with it.

     

    Sonic and Tails both spend half of the cutscenes kicking Eggman while he’s down, making petty remarks that often have no justifiable context, when Eggman was, for once, not the one who went and messed everything up. Sonic – that is, the magnificent hero – was the guy who went and ruined everything for everyone. And you know what? I like that. I think that’s a great setup. This story was a wonderful opportunity to derive character development on both sides, perhaps forcing Sonic and Eggman both to swallow their pride as they work together to defeat a common threat, while Sonic learns that he’s not infallible and can’t be so rash. But in the actual game, Sonic acknowledges that he caused the game’s whole mess only once, and it quickly gets brushed aside so that he and Tails can remind Eggman that he, ahem, “bites.” Hahaha, no, seriously, though, let’s not make Sonic learn from his mistakes, let’s just throw it all on the poor butt monkey who didn’t actually screw everything up, because that’s totally how it works. It’s just asinine. The only thing that causes Sonic to feel any actual self-doubt in this game does not have anything to do with his biggest mistake: Tails gets captured, and Sonic laments that he “wasn’t fast enough to save his buddy.” Welp, there’s some character development for you! Sonic needs to be faster! Tough luck, looks like ditching the boost didn’t work out so well for him after all! And one more thing: Orbot asks Sonic a completely sincere and innocent question at one point and Sonic tells him point-blank to shut up. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen! Great role model for the kids!

    3d81a63340.jpg

    look at sonic's smug freaking face here i just wanna punch it

     

    And Tails…is somehow even worse. Not to say that no one could, but I’ve never actually heard anyone defend the weird moment of forced drama about midway through the story in which Tails randomly assumes that Sonic trusts Eggman more than him. That conflict comes completely out of nowhere and is a shining example of how – in my opinion – generally incompetent this game’s writing is. At the end, Tails even comes in with a “SEE, YOU CAN TRUST ME” speech, as if that was the character development Sonic was supposed to go through. Better learn to speed up, Sonic – and remember to always let Tails do everything because he will get really, really pissy if you don't. More on point, though, Tails is even worse than Sonic when it comes to shoving snark where it doesn’t belong. When Sonic says he’s sorry that Zeena has nothing better to do with her life after she complains about her nail art, or when he suggests that Zomom take up diet and exercise as he swallows down a massive sandwich, those quips at least fit the situation. Tails, though, just comes off like he’s beating Eggman down for the sake of beating him down – or, worse yet, just to impress Sonic. When I first played this game, the cutscene where Tails sarcastically remarks “because you asked so nicely” followed by a hearty “heheh, good one, buddy” from Sonic was the moment I realized that this story was a bust. The worst part is, you know all that wonderful Sonic and Tails buddy interaction I loved so much in Colors? Yeah, in this game, that scene is about as far as it goes. When Tails isn’t baselessly accusing Sonic of distrust, he’s kissing up to him like some kind of yes man. Because that’s how I always envisioned Tails. It’s good to know someone out there made my dream into a reality. Hahahaha. Ha.

    7961144e1e.jpg

    Heh.

     

    As for the Deadly Six, I don’t like them either. They’re basically the “One-Note Stereotype Gang with One Guy Who’s Actually Kind of Funny.” You’ve got the menacing leader, the crazed psychopath, the food-obsessed glutton, a guy who’s really old because that’s funny I guess, a girly-girl, and a depressive emo teen. I’d like to give some special attention to Zeena and Zik. I think Zeena is basically the sort of character you would get if you asked a second-grader who has watched way too many dumb cartoons what girls act like. Zik is just sort of confusing. They introduce him as a highly respected “sensei” character and then just use him as a vehicle for a bunch of lame “haha I’m so old” jokes. As for the one member I do like, that would be Zor. A lot of people like Zor compared to the others, actually. Maybe his dialogue just turned out a lot funnier, or maybe his cynicism resonates with Sonic fans on a personal level. It kind of sums up the current mind set, don't you think?

    SONIC_LOST_WORLD_E3_FINAL_COLOURS_ZOR_RG

    "Just give up, Sonic. That's what I'd do. As a matter of fact, I've already given up on hope..."

     

    download.jpg

    "...happiness..."

     

    sonic-boom-shattered-crystal-game.jpg

    "...success..."

     

    3max.jpg

    "...Come to think of it, what am I still doing here? I should just crawl back into bed..."

     

    1TwmO7A.gif

    "Only the reaper wins in the end."

     

    And on the subject of characters I actually do like, you know what? Playing through the game again, I realized that Eggman really isn’t half-bad. Mike Pollock’s excellent performance certainly helps, but I think his position as the butt monkey in this game actually does make his role more likable. We identify just a little more with him and his whole vendetta with the Deadly Six, and that kind of goes a long way. He also gets points for having most of the lines I actually thought were funny. As for Orbot and Cubot, I wasn’t really a fan of them before the Boom cartoon, but I’ll be honest, they aren’t that bad in this game. I think that what makes them endearing is that they feel so…innocent. Even though they were built by Eggman, they aren’t really that evil themselves, and, in fact, this game shows that they aren’t entirely happy being Eggman’s henchmen. Plus, it’s nice to have a sort of Scratch and Grounder equivalent in the games.

     

    As for the plot, it just sort of…goes from place to place with no real flow or coherence. Potentially interesting subplots are brought up and then never really developed much – things just happen. The cutscenes are short and really disjointed, and it doesn’t help that the game isn’t very long either. They tried to cram so many ideas into about half an hour’s worth of cutscenes (in a five-hour game, no less) and the result is just clunky and unsatisfying. Honestly, to me, the game’s pacing really shows that you should design a game with the story in mind if you’re going to have one. Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 understood this – you had a story-driven reason for going to every stage you went to. Lost World tries to make the writers work around the game that’s already there, and even with the rest of the flaws discounted, the result is just too much and too little all at once.

     

    Really, the whole story feels like a lot of good ideas that went either underused or misused. I really like the idea of a forced partnership between Sonic and Eggman, but while it could have led to a lot of interesting and fun interaction, in the end it only brought out the worst in Sonic and Tails. I really love the idea of introducing a new gang of villains, but they just ended up being a bunch of unfunny, disposable one-note characters. I like the idea of leading Sonic to a new and mysterious world, but there was no development or back story given to make us care at all. I know I’ve spent a lot of time on the story, but...when I first played this game, it sort of struck me how much I disliked it. I've not exactly been gentle dealing with this aspect, but I do understand that some people like Lost World’s story and, really, I think that’s swell. If you enjoy it, good! I’m not here to argue; I just want to get my thoughts out there.

    sonic-672x372.jpg

    Now there's a winning smile!

     

    So, there’s the big, detailed analysis, and what a big and detailed analysis it was. How do I sum things up at this point? Well, I can understand why Lost World isn’t exactly the most popular game among fans, but I personally really appreciate it. I have my problems with the game, and while I enjoy the variety of ideas, I do feel like the quality of execution could have been more consistent. At the same time, though, those excellent notes this game hits when all the design elements fall into place make it so worthwhile, and the experimentation still leads to a lot of really fun and memorable moments. And sure, I could rant about the story all day, but in the end, that’s not where this game’s soul lies. It was designed foremost as a reinvention of 3-D Sonic, and despite the niggles, I think it’s a really good one. I wouldn’t feel right calling Lost World a truly great game on the whole, but I do think it’s well worthwhile. It’s not one of my favorite Sonic games, but if the whole thing were as good as its best moments, it probably would be. If you haven’t played this game already, I’d recommend at least trying it. I understand it doesn’t have the best reputation, but don’t dismiss it without giving it a shot. For all you know, you might be surprised.

     

    As for my predictions of Sonic’s future…I don’t know what to expect. I don’t think everything’s going to end in a destructive sonic boom, so to speak (heh). Even if the games are abysmal, Sonic Boom is just a side series, and Sonic Team are supposedly working on something right now. Whatever it is, I’m hoping for something really awesome, but even if it’s another Lost World, I’ll probably find at least something to love. Sonic doesn’t have the best track record out of all the major franchises, I know, but…well, I’m still here playing the games, if that says anything. Here’s to a brighter future with 100% less atrocity. Until then, see you next review!


  7. Guh, Nier was so disappointing. "Best story ever" my tail, the characters were flat with only one exception and the plot didn't even get all that interesting until, like, the last dungeon. Not to mention it hid pretty much everything that made the story intriguing behind a New Game+ and on top it all made you get all the weapons to see the full ending! The art and atmosphere were excellent, I'll give you that, and it had some neat parts here and there, but the combat was so weak that-

     

    ...oh my gosh that is gorgeous

     

    And wait a minute, Platinum is working on this?

     

    ...Okay, count me intrigued. We'll see how this turns out.


  8. Yep, mhm, this is what we wanted. Yep. Mhm. Dumb multiplayer co-op game - probably mission-based - that doesn't even let you play as Samus. Yep. MHM. Five years. FIVE YEARS. WE HAVE WAITED FIVE YEARS FOR A REVIVAL.

     

    AND NINTENDO HATH DELIVERED

     

    ...oh well you know what they're giving us a new star fox I can't stay mad for long


  9. IT RETURNS

     

    Not sure how I feel about that Fox design but I'm thinking it might grow on me, that detail's nice in any case. Game looks like legit, classic Star Fox. Basically what we've all wanted for years. Graphics are great, too. Yep. I am happy.


  10. Bruh

     

    SEGA forums were my first real actual forum experience when I was a sheltered 14-year-old and all I knew before then was 4Kids

     

    Not really active over there anymore, though. Most of my friends migrated over here, plus discussion there got to where it didn't interest me much. Still, though, there were some special times. I wouldn't even be here if not for the time I spent there. I made my first longtime online friends there.


  11. Remember how Nintendo rereleased Super Mario All-Stars with zero changes or additions on Wii as a boxed game for 30 dollars? No Super Mario World or anything? Remember how silly and pointless that was?

     

    How neat would it have been to have the entire classic series remastered in one collection, MM9 and 10 included? Maybe even Mega Man & Bass? You know, I've never actually played those. That would have been cool. But nope, that'd require too much effort on the part of a company that no longer cares. If this is the most they're giving us right now, Mega Man's future still looks quite bleak.


  12. Now, the game sucks but has the reception to the plot of the game been good? If so then I will get hype for this anime adaptation, potentially getting to experience the story without the bad game attached to it

    ...So is Tales of Zestiria basically Tales of 06 or something?

     

    I thought that was Tales of the Tempest.

     

    Seriously, though, come on guys. The U.S. doesn't even have the game yet. We had one Tumblr post that raised some probably more-or-less legitimate points (and I get the Alicia thing even though I didn't pay any attention to it), but it seems like it's jumping the gun a bit to dismiss the game as garbage already. In fact, it was overall pretty well-received in Japan even if there were some issues. Besides, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Graces, Xillia, and Xillia 2 all have weak importer impressions before receiving fairly positive reviews once they came to the West? I think it's too early to say Zestiria's goose is cooked.


  13. So just how widespread is the Zestiria backlash? Is it just widely accepted as a terrible game now or what? ...Is this mostly because of the Alicia thing? :U

     

    But yeah, that character looks neat. Still planning on going into Zestiria with an open mind, and I'll probably do the same for this one as well. Also:

    TGdo9DO.png

    Teddie sends his regards.


  14. Okay, holy crap, you guys. As the apparently eternally neutral party, I guess I have to give my extremely neutral two cents.

     

    Who freaking cares.

     

    No, don't misread me. I get it if you have ethical concerns. I also get it if you applaud him. But why are we arguing about this? This is a matter of Autosaver's personal finance and family relationships. Why do any of us need to get involved to the point of jumping down each other's throats? Why even bother going out of your way to defend him? This has nothing to do with me and it has nothing to do with you unless the "you" reading this is Autosaver himself. I can't get mad here. It's not my business. I just don't care.

     

    Are we looking for excuses to argue and build up animosity at this point? I really hope I'm not making things worse by posting this. I'm just getting kind of fed up.


  15. That weird flying skit with The Magic School Bus or whatever was really lame and almost modern Nostalgia Critic-tier. Everything involving the game itself was really funny, though. All in all, great episode as always.


  16. I still love the series.

     

    C:

     

    Honestly, I went through a period of doubt during the Boom hysteria, but when it comes down to it...I still love Sonic, yo. It's not even the characters (hell, I think they're horribly mishandled more often than not) or the world or anything like that. It's just...I like Sonic. Sonic's my thing. It's been my thing since I was three years old. It'll probably still be my thing when I'm thirty-three. I didn't give up during 2003-2009 dark age and I sure ain't giving up now since I've basically enjoyed every game that's mattered since Sonic Colors (okay to be fair Boom did matter but it's still a spinoff so I can just ignore it). The first few episodes of the Boom cartoon, like, made me happy because it was so darn good and genuinely made me laugh really hard. When I see this series really succeed, it makes me happy. And hey, I admit I'm pretty forgiving and generally an open-minded gamer. With all but the most heinous exceptions, I want to at least indulge what this series throws at me, and more often than not I have some sort of fun. I went through the "Sonic Heroes sucks lol" phase but in the end I can have a bit of fun with it every now and then. Sonic 4: Episode 2 gets all kinds of crap but I still enjoyed that. Lost World may not have been one of the best games released that year, but I still got a big kick out of it and went back to it pretty often afterwards. In the end, the series still leaves me with more I've liked than I haven't, and as a whole contains some of the games I've gone back to the absolute most out of my entire library. In the end, I just...freakin' like Sonic, yo.

     

    (Also you guys are really cool so that helps)


  17. I have become obsessed with a similar act by the name of Being As An Ocean. They're a Christian post-hardcore band that also uses ambient guitar chords and spoken word poetry to achieve a desired effect. Their lyrics are very thoughtful and reflective. This band has even helped me feel closer to God. They're among the few bands that have deeply enriched my life to such an extent. I think it's a blessing that I have discovered them. And I'd like to share Being As An Ocean with as many people as possible. ^_^

     

    Being As An Ocean - "The Hardest Part Is Forgetting Those You Swore You Would Never Forget" 

     

    Being As An Ocean - "This Loneliness Won't Be The Death Of Me" 

     

    Ooh, these guys seem really neat! If you like those bands, you can probably get into mewithoutYou. Very much in the same vein of contemplative Christian-y lyrics with a post-hardcore sound. I think you'd like 'em.

     

    Also, man, Hop Along are awesome. Love the rawness of their sound. Gonna have to check them out more. Laments is probably my favorite out of those Remy linked. And hey, nice to see I'm not the only Imagine Dragons fan here. 8D

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