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About EXshad

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    I can see into your soul.
  • Birthday 03/24/92

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    United States
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    Somewhere in the middle of no where.

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  1. Shameless music plug from the resident Sonic fan with an electric guitar. Check out my band's page and listen to our new single "Soldier of Legend!" https://www.facebook.com/destinyneverdiesofficial

  2. Unpopular Sonic opinions? I have a few.... -I don't think Sonic 1 is actually quite the masterpiece it's made out to be. It feels like there's a lot jarring transitions from speed to awkward platforming, and too many levels rely on you either standing still and waiting for things other things to happen. Don't get me wrong, it's still a fun game, and of course it deserves to be remembered for its contributions to gaming, but it pales in comparison to its Genesis sequels. -I'm honestly not sure when this became an unpopular opinion, but I think Adventure is still a very solid game, albeit with some major flaws. While it does have camera issues, a few levels (and characters) with some poor design choices, and some collision detection issues, the positives far outweigh the negatives: smooth controls, a great sense of speed and momentum, and the fact that the majority of the game is spent with characters that are really fun to play as. The voice acting reaches "so bad it's good levels," and the soundtrack is probably one of my favorites in the entire franchise. Speaking of the soundtrack... -Jun Senoue is my favorite Sonic composer. I adore his work on Sonic 3 and the Adventure titles, and as a guitar player I have a strong fondness for the tunes he penned for the latter two titles. Sonic Heroes even had a couple of stand-out tunes, and the vocal themes from the games are so stupidly entertaining... or is it entertainingly stupid? Whatever, I love his music to death, both for nostalgic and compositional reasons. -Sonic Adventure 2 has not aged as well as it's predecessor. The controls tend to feel very twitchy, especially at high speeds. The mech controls are not as smooth as Gamma's were, and the treasure hunting levels are MILES worse than the ones from Adventure 1, due to a selective radar system and a lack of any sort of direction. Compounding these problems, you don't even get to pick which character you're playing as in the story! Sure, Adventure 1 had some pretty insipid playable characters, but they were contained in their own selectable stories, allowing you to play the fun Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles segments unencumbered. In Sonic Adventure 2, you are forced to bounce from the fun Sonic stages, to the tolerable mech stages, to the abysmal treasure hunting stages, and it's so freaking jarring. Not to mention the camera still sucks. Don't get me wrong, I love the game, but it baffles me when people say it's better than Adventure 1. I also love the soundtrack, which can be considered an unpopular opinion as well...
  3. Man, I love Sonic Adventure to death, but sadly it hasn't aged as well as classics like Super Mario 64 or Majora's Mask. It just bit off more than it could chew - there's gameplay styles ranging from running, flying, gliding, treasure hunting, fishing, and... whatever the hell Amy does. But when the game gets good, it's pretty amazing, and while the game does reach some pretty deep lows, most of the game is spent with characters that are a total joy to play as. To this day the controls feel smooth, the sense of speed and momentum is gratifying, the music is a blast to listen to, and the graphics are a pleasure to look at. Even the voice acting is so whimsically bad that it just adds another layer of enjoyment to the experience. Still, some glitches and wonky level designs compound the other problems I mentioned, and prevent it from being immortalized to the same degree as those aforementioned classics. It's also important to remember that the game came out in 1998; people were much more forgiving of the occasional glitch or wonky camera than they are now. Hell, I still think the game has aged very well, even better than the second Adventure title has, but as much as it pains me to say it, it isn't quite worthy of all the accolades it received when it first came out. Still, if you say that this game is broken, especially when comparing it to something like Sonic 2006, then it's quite clear that you're talking out of your ass. That said, the Grumps playthrough is just absurd, for all the wrong reasons. For one, they're playing a gimped port of the game that is actually more unstable than the original, complete with more glitches, a fluctuating frame-rate riddled with slowdown, and graphics that lack the original life and color of the original. Not to mention that the "free camera" function takes an already screwed up camera and breaks it in half. I remember playing DX when it first came out and just feeling like something was wrong. Hell, I can personally guarantee you that half the glitches they experienced in Emerald Coast were not even present in the original. They're also playing this game with the taste of Sonic Boom, Sonic 2006, and Shadow the Hedgehog still fresh in their mouths, so of course they're going to see the worst in it. Still, it doesn't help that they play the game like a spastic 5-year-old with ADHD experiencing a bout of epilepsy, and then proceed to blame it on the game when something goes wrong. Again, they are playing a pretty crappy port of an old game that hasn't exactly aged perfectly, but there's only so much you can blame on the game before it becomes apparent that you're just trying justify your own preconceived notions of a franchise. And I think that's what really puts me off, especially considering that a lot of people who haven't played the game are experiencing it through the first time with this playthrough. So in short, yes, Sonic Adventure is a good game. It's just not the masterpiece we may remember it being. Just my 0.02. I will say the comments are pretty entertaining though. Mindless mob mentality vs. extra salty Sonic fans = fun for the whole family.
  4. Gotta say, it was a treat getting to see everything, especially since I don't own a Wii-U or 3DS. I was always extremely interested in this title, and I still think it looks like the most ambitious Sonic game since Unleashed. I love how the gameplay looks, with maximum control over Sonic and his speed, coupled with gravity-defying levels that allow for some mind-bending level designs. The art-style is very.. simplistic, almost like the developers tried directly porting the art style from the Genesis titles. While I prefer the more complex and aesthetically-pleasing graphics of Generations, this looks great in its own right. My only gripe is, at times, some level designs appear to take far too much of a cue from Mario Galaxy, but beyond that, this looks like it stands well on its own. The bosses looked really varied and interesting, with multiple matches against each Deadly Six member giving us different types of battles against them. Nothing ground-breaking, but fun nonetheless. Even the final boss, being a clone of the Nega Wisp, didn't look TOO bad.. I wouldn't have minded as much if it didn't look even EASIER than the boss it was based on. Plus, its design looked pretty slick: the segmented, cape-toting robot is right up there with the Egg Dragoon, or one of the final boss mechs from the Genesis titles. The story and voice acting are mostly great. I haven't been this invested in a Sonic game's story since Adventure 2, and I certainly enjoyed the dynamic tone of the game, knowing when to be outright silly and when to be dark... like, the darkest the franchise has been since Adventure 2. The characters were equally dynamic, with the exception of most of the Deadly Six.. but I didn't mind too much. Zavok got most of the attention, and he's probably the best non-Eggman villain the franchise has had since Mephiles the Dark. He's cold, calculating, has no time for humor (contrasting nicely to Eggman), and knows how to mentally mess with his opponents. And him capturing Tails and threatening to turn him into a robot was just vicious! I wasn't expecting that kind of depth out any member of the Deadly Six, thinking they'd just be bland plot devices for the sake of giving Sega more characters to cash in. But the fact that Zavok was such a strong villain dispelled that. Not to mention that the other Deadly Six members have some great bits of dialog, though bits like Zeena's rambling about manicures during Frozen Factory Zone 2 does nothing but break level immersion. My only real gripe with the story is we don't get enough of certain things. For example, once Sonic defeats the Zeti at Lava Mountain, we don't see what happens to them: he just wins and they.. escape? Die? I don't even know. Why couldn't we have gotten a simple cutscene of them, defeated before Sonic, with Zavok saying something like, "This isn't over, hedgehog. We will return, and when we do, you'll lose everything you hold dear!" Then, they vanish. That'd be, what, a 20-second cutscene or something? Also, this isn't a big deal, but I think it would have been interesting if the bond of the Deadly Six, based solely on power, was compared to the bond of friendship between Sonic and his friends. I mean, Zavok easily could have brought up how Sonic's weak friends aren't worth having around, and how power is all that matters and stuff, with Sonic retorting about how his friends would never leave his side no matter how bad it got, and that is worth more than any power. Stuff like that would have been a nice layer of frosting on the cake. Then, when Eggman makes his triumphant return, we don't hear anything about why he saved Sonic. I mean, sure, it can be inferred that he did it so Sonic could take down the Deadly Six, but why didn't he expound on why he didn't take the opportunity to drop his greatest foe into lava? Or why can't we Sonic get absolutely furious as to how he actually almost felt guilty over Eggman's "death?" Or how he even wasted his time palling around with his nemesis, who really didn't end up changing much at all? Or howabout Tails rubbing how he was right in Sonic's face, considering how much lip service he gave him about it before? Speaking of which, Tails just really got under my skin at times. Yes, he has every right to be upset about Sonic not listening to him. Yes, I'd be mad too if my best friend was warming up to my worst enemy and giving me less attention. But my God, he acted like such a little shithead at times that I could barely relate him to the cute little death magnet that followed me around in the Genesis titles. Plus, he was needlessly arrogant, and from day 1 he's always had a respect for Eggman's robotic prowess, despite them being enemies.. until this game. Don't get me wrong, I loved how the writers are giving these normally simple characters such added depth, but I think they took it a bit too far with Tails. Sure, he had his moments, but then again, so did pretty much everyone else. Oh, I didn't mind the ending. Sure, I wish we could have gotten the stuff I previously mentioned, but beyond that, it was solid enough. Eggman threatens to use the Zeti again, leaving the door open for a sequel, Sonic goes home, overjoyed to see his pals again, and Sonic just relaxes and appreciates the things he nearly lost. Oh, and Eggman losing half his mustache was pretty funny. Still, I'm left wondering some things. I may have missed something, but what exactly is the Lost Hex? What are "Zeti" and why did Zik form the Deadly Six in the first place? Why are they allergic to the magic conch?Learning about little things like these could have added a bit more to the game's mythos for me. That, coupled with some excellent looking extra content, and I'm left wishing I had a Wii-U. Thanks to whoever streamed the game yesterday, it was an interesting ride, to say the least.
  5. If you have fall allergies and catch a cold, you're going to have a bad time.

  6. Well, so far, things sound solid to me. I think it's interesting how Sonic just walks now unless you use a trigger to start him running. It's definitely a different way to approach the core gameplay, as it now seems Sonic can be slowed down on the dime when running at high speeds. This also puts an end to Sonic controlling like an asshat on ice-skates at lower speeds, like in Unleashed and Colors. I also like how the other trigger will control the spin dash, which can be used as sort of a boost. Kinda like the spin dash from Sonic Adventure 1? As for Sonic's "new moves" that were advertised in the trailer, initially, I wasn't impressed. What new moves? "Hey kids, check out Sonic Lost World! Take on brand new enemies with Sonic's cutting edge new ability to pull himself up from a ledge! He can also run on walls, and do the homing attack, a classic ability triumphantly making its return after a 3-week absence!" But the fact that these actions are going to be automatic, so long as the player holds the running trigger, seems like a smart way to keep the action moving fluently without having stop because they tripped over a rock, or something. Still, I hope the level design punishes players who use this system as a crutch. I also hope the drift and slide moves from the past 3 games return to further compliment this fluent gameplay. I just hope momentum plays a roll (tee-hee) in this equation, particularly in terms of the level designs, as it's currently all that's missing. Speaking of which, I like how they're actually taking the widely complained about "island in the sky" level design and turning it into something interesting. I mean, you can't deny how wild the level in the trailer looked, especially considering the apparent lack of gravity. It's definitely something new for the franchise, and as long as it's well-executed I welcome it. Also, like Colors, it seems some levels will focus more on platforming and some will focus more on speed. I don't mind this, so long as we get some levels, like what we got in Generations, that meld the two smoothly. I don't mind some levels with almost nothing but face-melting speed, as well as other levels that take their time with careful platforming, but I don't think the solution for designing balanced levels is to always separate the two. Again, the levels themselves also seem to REALLY ignore gravity.. definitely a nod to the Mario Galaxy games, but I hope other previews recognize that this game is taking cues from the, ironically enough, lost Sonic X-Treme. I gotta say though, the 2D to 3D transitions do seem tighter than ever as well. As for the aesthetics .. eh. So far, it sounds like we're getting Green Hill Zone Version 503,205 and a desert level with some food in it. Okay, cool, but I hope the other levels push the envelop a bit more. I'd love to get some in-between levels set in the borders of the lost world; maybe a burning jungle level akin to Angel Island, or how about a partially frozen desert? Stuff like that would really be cool, and make up for otherwise overused tropes. But yeah, overall I'm looking forward to hearing more about this. It looks really, really good, and I'm even liking the more cartoon-y, old-school art style the game is taking, the six Skylander ripoffs notwithstanding. All we need is a T-Rex voiced by Jeff Goldblum and we're good.
  7. Oh yeah I've got at least 2 songs that I'm working on for next year, though I'd love to bump it up to 3.
  8. It's finally out! Everyone did a phenominal job. I can't even begin to try to choose favorites because I think everyone brought their A-game and really gave it their all. I WILL say, however, that as terrific as last year's album was, this album shows miles of improvement. My only regret is that I could have contributed more :/
  9. Hinchy outdid himself, this was definitely my favorite remix that I've ever participated in
  10. Myself, I dislike Unleashed, but still find plenty to enjoy in it. I guess I should talk about the HD version, since the SD version isn't even worth the time. For one thing, I enjoyed the game's tone. The story itself is kinda barren and leaves much to be desired, not to mention that it has Chip in it, the Jar-Jar of the franchise. But the game knew when and when not to take itself seriously, and pulled off both tones really well. It's the style I think all Sonic games should follow, rather than the overly-silly nature of the most recent few games. And it was funny! Remember when Eggman got pegged in the face with a rock? The music was also great: diverse in instrumentation and tone, depending on the level. The songs were tailored to each fit the culture of the level you were in, but still sounded like something you would hear in a Sonic game. I prefer Jun Senoue's stuff, but it was still an excellent soundtrack. Rooftop Run is one of the best level songs in any Sonic game ever. The world itself was also diverse and gave the game a sense of scale I haven't felt in a Sonic game since Sonic Adventure. The unique cultures of each country and vibrant atmospheres made the game a joy to just take in, mainly in part to the absolutely amazing graphics. The hubs had interesting people and the entrance stages were chocked full of secrets and places to explore, and getting to the level was half the fun.. unless of course you didn't have enough sun and moon medals, but we'll get to that shortly. The only problem was traversing the "entrance level" portion of the hubs, due to how slippery Sonic controlled at low speeds. This was fixed in Generations though, so if this concept returned I feel it would work beautifully. Oh, and the art-style was also spot-on for the franchise, being super cartoony and stylized as opposed to super-realistic like Sonic 2006 tried and failed to be. In fact, it worked so well that it's the style that the franchise has stuck to since then. The day-time stages were, overall, really fun, and set the blueprint for the franchise's future by merging 2D and 3D gameplay. Platforming was indeed present, but took the backseat to blazing through the level as fast as you can. Your score was dependent on how cleanly you made it through the level, by relying on making split-second manuevers in order to keep the pace going. These kinda levels made you feel like you were Sonic, like you could finally do all the cool shit you saw Sonic do in the cutscenes of the previous few games. The only real problem I had with these levels, besides the slick controls at slower speeds, was the boost. I still have mixed feelings about it, as it totally removes the need to include any momentum-based physics, nullifies the usage of the spin dash, and makes enemies a complete joke as Sonic can now just run through everything without fear of any reprocussions. I even had this gripe with Generations and hope they can find a way to limit the boost and reintroduce the feautres that the franchise was built upon. Still, for what it was, the day stages were solid, and definitely better than anything that we've gotten on a home console since the Adventure games. The problem comes with the night-stages. The reason that the day-stages barely focus on platforming at all is because Sonic Team decided to contrast the day and night stages as much as possible, making the day stages feel like racing levels, with the night stages containing almost all of the platforming. But they also decided to combine the platforming with combat. And, for the most part, the combat is actually done well. Rather than being a dumb button masher, you're encouraged to use combos to take out as many enemies as possible, as quickly as you can. And hell, there's actually a lot of combos you can use, so what is there, is well done. But given the Werehog's lumbering pace and focus on combat, as well as slow and methodical platforming as opposed to high-speed platforming, it's definitely alien to the traditional elements of the franchise. And that in and of itself is not bad, but the problem is that the game FORCES you to play as the werehog. What's more, in total, his gameplay accounts for 50% or more of main story. There are times when, after playing a 3-4 minute day stage, you cannot progress the story until you beat a 7-8 minute Werehog level that feels absolutely nothing like the day levels, and it doesn't even matter how many medals you've collected. This jarring change of pace not only contradicts the entire point of the franchise, but even when you play it as a stand-alone game, it STILL feels disjointed and unfun. After getting immense satisfaction by blazing through a level, the game expects you to have fun by slowly meandering through environments where you have to backtrack to find the items you need, so you can slowly progress to the next designated area, in which you cannot progress until you eliminate all enemies, so you can slowly progress again to an area where you have tight-walk carefully over a chasm at the speed of a snail with parkinson's, then rinse and repeat until you want to hang yourself. The werehog on its own wouldn't be so bad if the levels were designed for him to move quickly through them, but they're not. They're designed exactly in the same way I mentioned, and it's not fun whether you're a Sonic fan or not. It doesn't matter that these levels completely contradict the point of the franchise, they just suck on their own merits. It just happens to add insult to injury when you're doing this stuff in a Sonic game. I mean, hello, the main character's name is SONIC, what kind of levels do you think the fans expect in a SONIC game?! But beyond the fact that these levels are longer than the day stages, you have to progress to the next levels by collecting sun and moon medals. Moon medals allow you access to the night levels, and sun medals allow access to the day levels. The problem is that, for some ungodly reason, the majority of moon medals are found in the day stages and the sun medals are mainly in the night stages. So that means you have to drag your feet through the night levels and search as thoroughly as fucking possible in order to find the sun medals to get to the next day stage. At times, this can easily double the time of an already bloated night level. If the Wii version of the game did anything right, it's that you were awarded sun medals and moon medals based on how high your ranking was after beating a level, and you actually got sun medals for beating the day stages and moon medals for beating the night ones. And that's why I dislike the game as a whole. It's the same problem Sonic Adventure 2 had, but amplified, since the Werehog doesn't even move very fast. I feel that if the game focused on tightening up the day-stage formula, the game would have been excellent. And hell, they still could have done something creative with the day and night cycle. For example, the entire game could have been played as normal Sonic, but depending on whether or not it was day time or night time in the level, there would be different challenges, like the Dark Gaia enemies would only come out at night, or you could only access certain paths of the level during the day. That would have been awesome. But as it stands, we have Unleashed, and I think it did a lot of good for the franchise, both by setting the blueprint for the games to come and by affirming that shoehorning in a completely different gameplay style to flesh out the game was no good. Gimmicks should enhance the overall style of the franchise, not completely can it. Totally different gameplay styles should be saved for the spinoffs or minigames.
  11. Episode 2 in general, to me, felt more like a true sequel, just marred by some poor design choices. I liked the ideas of executing co-op moves with Tails, although I think they could have put a bit more thought and care into the moves' execution. The level motifs, besides the last 2 levels, felt rather fresh to me, feeling and looking like new levels rather than blatant rehashes. The plot was interesting, to say the least, tying it in with Sonic CD by revealing Eggman's true motivation as turning Little Planet into another Death Egg (although they really didn't resolve anything, with Metal Sonic being brought back just to be defeated and disabled on the planet AGAIN, and the planet still being encased by the Death Egg 2 by the game's end). The physics felt really well-done, the only problems being that an over abundance of dash panels and the sex dash co-op move essentially nullifying it's value. The boss designs were also creative and grand, and really brought harkened back to the creative designs of the bosses in the Genesis games. Hell, the lack of creative bosses was one major reason Episode 1 disappointed me so much, besides the fact that it was, y'know, broken. So overall, I think episode 2 was a step in the right direction, but it wasn't quite enough. I think there should be an Episode 3, simply to wrap up the story, as well as introduce features that should have been in Episode 2. For example, I'd love to see Knuckles appear, since so far, each Episode draws parallels to the classic title its number corresponds with. But one idea is that perhaps, this time, you can create a co-op team with any of the 3 characters, each having unique moves and the like (also hopefully meaning that Sonic doesn't always need to be in the team, nor be the lead character). I'd also like to see some new power-ups; perhaps new shields, maybe a power-up that makes you in invisible, or maybe even one that allows you to temporarily get rings for destroying enemies.. I dunno, just something new and creative. It would also be nice to have creative level designs that aren't peppered with speed boosters and other automated bullshit. That'd be cool too.
  12. So. I installed Windows 8. During which I almost lost everything music-related, from my VSTs to my projects. Took almost a week, but I recovered almost everything except EZ Drummer. I'll have to contact Toontrack about that... But yeah, I'm getting to work soon. I'm helping Hinchy with Ice Cap (I'd love to see if we can get a preview of that out for you guys to salivate over), and I can start my own piece for you guys. I really think it's going to be It Doesn't Matter, though it'll be a bit more free-form than the original song(s), since it's an instrumental and I can't sing for shit. Still, i've got some great ideas kicking around for it. I might, however, be open to a second song, though I dunno what that song should be... I would certainly be up for requests Btw, here's my latest remix just so you guys can gauge my style, level of quality, and all that jazz. It's not Sonic-related, but perhaps it would give you ideas for those requests: http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/511692
  13. The video speaks for itself.
  14. The Amendments fortunately CAN be changed, via ratifying other amendments. However, it is a very arduous process to do so and quite sadly, due to how divisive politics have become in America, I don't see it happening any time soon. Also, in other news, someone on facebook just posted about how apparently in the same town this horrible shit happened in, there is now a bomb threat. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in that town, whether or not this is true or not, though I'm sincerely hoping it's not. These people have been through enough tragedy, and I for one and tired of hearing about these kind of stories. I'm also going to refrain from posting a smart-ass comment how this could have been prevented if guns were outlawed.