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  1. While I genuinely don't believe that this will happen... I could see a way that it might. Both the use of Classic Sonic and the return to a darker tone in Forces are reactions to fandom dissatisfaction with non-sidescrolling gameplay and a lighter, low-story approach to recent game plots. Much like Classic Sonic, Metal Sonic is quite popular among fans. I could see him being brought in as a sop to the hardcore fans - in much the same way as he was probably mandated into Rise Of Lyric. In fact, while I've said that I highly doubt that he'll be playable, I wouldn't be surprised to see Metal Sonic in Forces as a non-playable character or villain.
  2. I think JezMM's point above about the amount of "downtime" a boss has is essential. I won't hold the classics or even the Rush games up as some impossible ideal of a game where the boss is always vulnerable and there's never any point at which you can't counterattack, but I would suggest that the waiting period is rarely very long. Furthermore, often those downtime periods are more like breather periods where the boss isn't attacking you, either; I'm reminded a little of the discussion earlier about the value of the part in the Forces gameplay trailer where Sonic is blasted through three boost rings in the air, it gives you a break to prepare yourself before the next phase. Often in the classics then the time when a boss is attacking isn't simply a time where you have to just sit there and dodge, it's more of a time where you weave through the boss's attacks and counterattack. You can even take a hit and use your invincibility period to walk through the boss's attacks and counterattack, and it's not a good method, but it's still a choice you have. And I think that is the vital thing about a boss battle - feeling that you have some choice, that this battle will change depending on how you want to play it, that your personal input matters - whereas perhaps with 3D boost-era bosses it sometimes feels as if the boss battle is only meant to play out in exactly one way and you have no real choice but to do exactly what the designers intended to the letter. I'd also suggest that that sense of choice, of personal significance, has an influence in the debate over classic platforming versus boost games, too. The classics tend to have lots of different routes and approaches to a problem; take it fast, take it slow, go up or down or across. If you boilt it right down you can still characterise it as "hold forward and occasionally jump," but at its best then the full sequence of directions and jumps is going to be fairly sophisticated and individual. Meanwhile, again, the 3D boost games often feel as if there's only one right way to play them; they're getting a little better about having some alternative routes, but even then the process looks pretty rote. To me, the "point" of boost gameplay is very different to the classics; boost is a kind of reaction-based racer, where the emphasis is on how well you play a single route, with mistakes either just costing you rings without really making a difference to where you're going or how fast, or just flat-out killing you, with no middle ground. In that regard I actually think the boost is a better mechanic in 3D, because you can actually see where you're going, but I don't think the true form, the true potential of boost is anything like playing the classics. It's a different animal entirely. Which brings me, by a roundabout route, to the question of "who is the third Sonic?", and let's be realistic, it is going to be a third Sonic. It looks like there is a very high risk of it being Boom Sonic, I'm afraid - I don't want it to happen either, but if you look at things like 25th anniversary artwork, even the recent fine art exhibition, it's very clear that Sega is still highly invested in pushing Boom Sonic. Considering how long Forces has probably been in development, it's not incredible to think that Boom Sonic would have been planned to be in it from early on. And in addition to time shenanigans, all the redesigns of Eggman's various robots do make it seem credible that there are also parallel-universe shenanigans going on as well. Could it be that, in addition to quality improvements and filling a release schedule gap, Fire & Ice was also pushed back a year to keep Boom Sonic in the public eye for just a little while longer? It's possible. I'm afraid to say that, while I will be disappointed, I won't be surprised if the third gameplay style in Forces is that of Boom Sonic. With that said - I do think there's an outside chance of either a new take on Adventure Sonic (who is only the same as Modern Sonic for as long as Sonic Team want him to be), or perhaps some kind of "Fusion Sonic" or New Sonic that's a combination of both Classic and Modern in a single body, which is also the sort of gimmick I can see Forces as a game and Sonic as a franchise attempting to push.
  3. I doubt that they're too fussed about being uneven in game representation, especially since we don't know where the unevenness is going to end up; for instance, if it's two zones from Sonic 1 and one from everything else, which seems plausible, then that's not inexcusable. From my perspective, it already looks highly unlikely that the returning zones will appear in chronological order, an objectively irrelevant fact which nonetheless bothers me, so I find it hard to be moved much further by other uneven zone distribution properties.
  4. Essentially, the Sonic series doesn't like to dwell on lasting consequences or draw links to real-life tragedies. That would compromise its sense of fun and fantasy, where the villains can engage in outrageous plots which in the real world obviously would kill millions of people but which in Sonic can be fixed by fighting a big monster with everything going back to normal at the end of the day. You can criticise it, but that's how it is. All's well that ends well, right?
  5. I'm sticking to my guns on this one, the Mirage Saloon portrait HBH is the leader. Crown motif, most Eggman-like appearance, only shows up after you'd have defeated that zone's HBH, it all fits. It's even in the centre of the HBH cast line-up. Lava Reef thoughts: I think Lava Reef is an amazing level, but it's kind of for that reason that I don't need to see it in Mania? To me, Lava Reef is already perfect; there's nothing I would change. ...Except giving Knuckles a better ending to Act 2.
  6. I don't think anyone's suggested yet that the third gameplay style might be Lost World's parkour... ...and I'm not going to suggest it, either.
  7. My own opinion on Eggman's characterisation is that he isn't really interested in examining the consequences of his actions, so while on a realistic assessment it seems likely that people would have died, it's not Eggman's goal to kill people - just to take over the world and show off. Furthermore, I agree with the statements above that the Sonic series will always do its best to avoid on-screen deaths and deny the occurrence of collateral damage at all (which was the point of my quip in the "who has killed the most" thread, actually). This is basically what I believe, too; that he's actually a jaded future Eggman and that his other backstories (spoken and implied) are just lies to avoid having to admit his failures. He becomes a much more interesting character this way. It's pure headcanon, but given the chance, I'd make it canon in a heartbeat. Will Nega be in Forces? Hard to say. But the redesigned cyclopic enemies and muted colour schemes have to be significant. Maybe it's Nega, but at the very least I think Forces Eggman will have a new outfit. It's worth remembering that time shenanigans are absolutely involved in this game, too - easy though it is a lot of the time to forget that Classic Sonic is involved at all. Also: The media aren't calling them "Death Egg Robot Sentinels," they're calling them "Death Egg Robot sentinels"; in other words, "sentinels which are Death Egg Robots." And it's not even confirmed that that's their official name, for that matter, so I'm not too worried about the clunkiness of the name, which is in fact merely a description.
  8. The supposed "sixth HBH" is just a cape one of them's wearing. I'm confident we can settle on five of them for now - and yes, the central HBH is definitely the Mirage Saloon portrait one, though I maintain that it is probably not the one actually fought in that stage. The crown-motif HBH is clearly the leader, judging not just from the crown but also from it having the most Eggman-like appearance, and Mirage Saloon doesn't look like the kind of stage where the final boss-of-bosses HBH would show up... not least as it'd be silly for his following-eyes portrait to show up after he'd already been smashed to pieces. (HBHs are Act 1 minibosses, not Act 2 bosses.) This should mean that we're looking at a minimum of five new zones, and therefore a minimum of six classic zones, for a minimum of eleven total. I agree with the speculation that Sonic 1, at least, will get a second returning zone, because Green Hill was more or less mandatory and it seems unfair for other S1 zones not to get a chance.
  9. Great stuff. Zooming in close, it looks like probably only four + Heavy Gunner; the ninja on the left, the second-from-left is probably a magician or something, the one on the far right has a flail and all that swirly stuff around the bottom appears to be a cape which is coming from his direction. The middle one I can more or less conclusively identify as the Mirage Saloon portrait HBH; the shape of the "fins" at the top of his head, the antenna-like appendage coming from between them, and the shape of the shoulders all fit. Five HBHs total, so probably five new full-length zones, minimum. Maybe a sixth with a special miniboss, but that's the limit. So we're probably looking at around a dozen zones total. I wonder what this means for division of classic zones? If there are more than five but fewer than ten, that means some of them will get more repeating zones than others. Edit: I'm suddenly getting the strangest sensation of déjà vu...
  10. The title doesn't work for me; it just doesn't flow right. But I'm intrigued by what they've shown so far, at least. Especially the monochrome Death Egg Robot. The mention of three gameplay styles does seem to naturally imply the presence of a third playable character, presumably a Sonic from both the company and the title; Boom Sonic is very possible considering how long this game's been in development. But it'd be very interesting if they were actually adding some kind of open-field gameplay style in addition to Boost and platforming, whether or not it's tied to a new character. I hope the press information this afternoon will give us some information on what the name of the stage might be; that could be quite an insight.
  11. Flying Battery is an interesting choice; as a relatively early level in S3&K, and one which doesn't look like it's been made significantly harder, I wonder if this says anything about returning zones showing up out of their original order (i.e. could this zone show up before a Sonic 3 one or a Sonic 2 one?). I'd also suggest that this makes it considerably less likely - but not impossible - that we're getting that "ruined Death Egg" finale we've been talking about; I don't think they would take more than one flying mechanical Eggman zone from Sonic & Knuckles. I hope that we'll get a clear shot of that Hard-Boiled Heavies tease sometime. Here are shots of it from a couple of different streams, both without and with Heavy Gunner: Once you throw in Heavy Gunner, it looks like there are probably between three and five more Hard-Boiled Heavies. At my most optimistic, there's a one-legged one on the left with a spike-ball arm; a hovering one with a kind of stepped upper body; a squarish one with normal feet and at least one normal hand; a roundish one just next to Heavy Gunner; and one in the back with a whip and some kind of round object (and as an aside, since it has a whip I'm saying that'll be the Mirage Saloon HBH). Assuming this includes the crown-motif HBH from the Mirage Saloon portrait, we're looking at between four and six HBHs, and therefore probably between four and six new zones, if HBHs correspond only and exclusively to new zones. Say one to two more classic zones than new zones, that makes five to eight classic zones. Conclusion: Assuming no unpredictable pattern-defying events like short zones, final boss zones, new zones which don't have an HBH, old zones which do have an HBH, uneven spread of HBHs in general, not all HBHs being in the picture, etc., I'd imagine we're looking at between nine and fourteen zones.
  12. I do think they should put at least a ballpark figure out there before release. Whether we'll get it tomorrow or not, though...
  13. I really wanted somewhere to discuss video games, and the SSMB seemed about the right size for it; not so big that every message is instantly forgotten and every poster is essentially anonymous. Did I also really like Sonic? I don't think I was ever Sonic's biggest fan, but I was interested enough to have found this site in the first place and acknowledged that it was a good centre for Sonic-related discussion.
  14. It seems like what it would take would be Sega having a lot of spare money it has nothing better to do with and being able to get everyone who might have any legal claim on the music to sit around a table and agree on how much they want both for themselves and in relation to everyone else in order to hand over their potential legal rights to Sega. That's a very tall order. It might even be impossible. Alternatively, they could wait, I don't know, taking into account the lifespans of everyone involved, maybe a century? And then the music might be out of copyright and anyone can just use it. That might be easier.