E-van reacted to Wraith in The Lost World of the Echinda
When a game's narrative is firing on all cylinders it's art and mechanics are working in unison to craft a story through space. Top notch level design can be perfectly serviceable as a test of the player's skills but the aesthetics, music, and even mechanics can be used to completely immerse the player. I'd argue that there are a few Sonic games that absolutely nail this.
Lost World is the penultimate level in Sonic Adventure's main campaign. It doesn't hold a lot of significance for the battle between Sonic and Eggman and even in the wider narrative that it's more relevant to not a lot of attention is drawn to it. As far as atmosphere and tone though I considered it one of the game's strongest sequences on my last replay. Almost every setpiece and mechanic uses the theme well, with tricks and traps throwing back to action serials and puzzles implying that there's an ancient secret to be found.
I like to time my entrance to the pool segment with the music: It's a much more laid back segment of level that fits the somber piano really well. It's a puzzle that I've warmed to on repeat playthroughs when I realized the Snake's placement doesn't determine the pacing of the segment at all once you know how to move Sonic around. This level has a couple more moments like that that I'll point out.
Once you go deeper though you realize this level isn't just stopping at the temple. Sonic sprints past a cliffside before falling deeper into a ravine, a segment dedicated solely to the levels scale. I wish there was more of this type of scenery since it really sells us on the scale of the Echidna world and what they managed to achieve before it fell to ruin. I'm sure there would have been more without hardware limitations and time constraints to consider.
Mirrors are significant to the Mayan culture but I couldn't really find much of a historical link between that and the Mirror Puzzle. That's not really surprising since I doubt this game would get a ton of points for historical accuracy overall. I still think the segment is fun and the dark lighting should have been used more. It's a really effective mood setter that makes the atmosphere feel a little more oppressive. Some people think the puzzle is clunky but I know this segment of the level so well that I don't need the lights anymore. Even if you don't like it it's cool that you can skip it with skill.
The sliding panel puzzle doesn't have much to it but I like how you can use Sonic's momentum to jump all around the room to skip parts of it and grab bonuses. These wider segments where the goal is to move upward end up having a lot of decisions for you to make compared to how straightforward every other segment of a Sonic level can be.
Anyway, The entire time you're trying to make it here: the source of this lost world's hollowed halls and ruined architecture: A great calamity. As much as the level seemed desperate to hide it from you, it's no secret. It's very same one foreshadowed in the game's opening. Sonic Adventure sells Chaos's capacity and destructive tragedy just as he is on the brink of doing it all again. The quiet tension and the way it builds to this reveal in Lost World is a very big understated of that whole arc, but an important one.
It's also just a fun level, so that helps.
E-van reacted to Dreadknux in 2020 is The Sonic Stadium's 20th Anniversary! A Year of Festivities!
I've already written a story about this on the news side of this site, but I wanted to make a note of all this right here too because SSMB has been such an important part of the TSS journey... but this year will be our 20th anniversary! Hooray!!!
We've created some new imagery to promote the occasion, the banner can be found on our social media channels but I've also included it here. Over the years, we've had loads of SSMB members and site fans create fan art / fan banners for TSS and SSMB. It'd be awesome if anyone here got inspired to do the same for our 20th year on the internet!
Over the years, Sonic Stadium has come to cover all sorts of things. The site and forums are still standing, but we had an Awards Ceremony, SEGASonic Radio station, Shadow Team fan game studio, Sonic Spriters Network resource, a TSS Network family of sites to wrap all of them together... and obviously we established Summer of Sonic, which is still going every now and then with new events.
Even on the SSMB there's so much history to talk about over the last 20 years. We have had the Sonic Battle Stadium (a role playing forum which allowed members to battle one another), various events with account Badges up for grabs as prizes, SSMB community-produced music albums and much more! You guys have really helped to shape the story of these forums and the site, and I'd love for you guys to help celebrate this anniversary because it belongs just as much to you as it does to little old me.
The big month is October 2020, but over the course of the year I'll be sharing various things on social media and on the main site (and on here too where it makes sense and doesn't get in the way). Retrospectives on our biggest events, best features, old looks and things like that. I hope you guys can join me in helping making this year one to remember for the site and forums!
Here's to a great 2020! Happy New Year!
E-van reacted to Dee Dude in Sonic SXSW 2018 Panel ~ It's happening again ~
I do wish for one thing:
To never see this miniature sized, pot-bellied, black eyed, soleless shoe wearing, short spined, physics poisoning, non speaking, friend-stealing, nostalgia pandering, half-assed, momentum murdering, time-wasting, pointlessly added, last minute motherfucker in a 3D game ever again. >:U
E-van reacted to KHCast in Badass game covers(and just...bad ones)
Box covers. While they don’t actual determine the quality of a game, they are what will catch the appeal of people passing by. They can invoke the tone and feel of a game, and frankly, just look really nice. A good cover art can show ones pride in their work and really invoke a sense of passion put into a game.
With that little intro, I’d like to know what game covers really stand out to you as some of the best, or the opposite. They don’t have to be new, this is in general. Even old vintage game covers can still invoke the same as new ones. For me personally, and this probably won’t be a unique answer:
I was genuinely amazed at how just the cover alone told me so much about the game. I really got a vibe of “this is something new and fresh.” I didn’t have to turn the box to see what was in store. Link gazing into the horizon over all that land, giving you the sense of scope, the lack of his iconic green tunic and master sword, implying a deference from the typical Zelda style,etc. There was so much from the cover alone that set it apart from the expected, and I love it. And it’s just beautiful to look at; the color choices, the lighting in the distance, the art style, there’s little about this cover I have a problem with.
E-van reacted to KHCast in What are the consequences of Forces failing to sell?
Sega isn’t just sonic, and with persona 5 being the success it was, along with a few other franchises of theirs doing decent, I’m sure forces not selling well won’t bleed Sega to death or anything super serious
E-van reacted to Dejimon11 in The State of Sonic Team
I'm starting to think that the problem with Sonic Team isn't really the talent but the management. If these people were able to move on from sonic and work on other SEGA IPs like Yakuza and Valkyria Chronicles and they turned out to be good then how come SEGA's flagship franchise is still really hit and miss?
E-van reacted to ThePrinceOfSaiyans in Sonic Forces Reviews Thread
What the fuck even is a 6.9 score? It's just as ridiculous as that 7.8 for ORAS. Just say they're a 7 and 8 respectively. I understand scores that end in a point 5 to suggest they're between scores, but these scores are just asinine.
E-van reacted to Remy in Why did a level designer write the story for Sonic Forces?
From your link in the OP:
His roots were in cutscenes, so it's not a stretch that he'd move onto script writing. Furthermore, he's credited as the director on Secret Rings. You can also see him on there as Sonic Character Supervisor, so what is that, if not a writing position? Trying to reduce him to just a "level designer" is a stretch. I imagine a stretch taken to get a rise out of people.
On the other hand, I don't think it's a stretch for someone to move around various roles due to the open ended nature of game development, which lends itself to people wearing many different hats, so to speak. Plenty of writers start as programmers, composers, or artists. Plenty of programmers, designers or composers become writers.
To answer your question of who wrote the game: Eitaro Toyoda did. Anything else is conspiracy theory nonsense.
Is the writing of this game really the problem anyway? Shouldn't you be torch and pitchforking the lead game designer?
E-van reacted to Dee Dude in A “Mania” for the Adventure Series?
HA, we wish...
Ozcrash developing it? Hell to the no, dude is an asshole and World plays horribly.
Now, I really do love and support the idea of an Adventure Mania.
The important thing to make something like this a reality would as twice as much as Mania ever, you'll need a very skilled, dedicated, and visioned team to make it truly work and I'd absolutely be delighted if the Utopia and Islands ever got involved in the making.
Not sure what Engine what would be used but it's gotta look beautiful
I don't know about what sort of content would be in it regarding story and such but that's up to the team.
For playable characters? Main four are a given but rest of the cast is possible if one is lucky.
I dunno man, 3D games are a whole another story, they would require twice as much work and effort to even look like a real game and not some cheap looking animation project.
E-van reacted to Nuggets in Sonic Forces Launch Trailer
It might just be because the writing has been mostly trash for a couple years now, but hearing Knuckles narrate the trailer and sound competent as fuck while doing it may be the most satisfying thing I've heard from this franchise character-wise in a very long time tbh
E-van reacted to Dr. Detective Mike in Euro Gamer Interview Nakamura on Forces, Mania and the Future of Sonic
Okay so I actually read through the entire thing on the site and I'm going to change my tune a little bit here.
Because what the man is actually saying really isn't bad. There's definitely problems with the methods employed here but ultimately the sentiment of wanting to find a balance between the fanbase that you divided with your really weird decision making in the past is a commendable one.
The problem of wanting to reintroduce Classic Sonic to Modern fans comes with some varying issues though. For one, Generations may have been years ago at this point but it still happened. It's not so old that sweeping it under the rug and re-doing it again for Forces for that goal makes any real sense. Two, I know that Forces was in development way before Mania was but that doesn't really excuse the idea that continuously mish-mashing the two styles together is the thing that'll end up winning the day. It worked with Generations because, well for one, the level design compensated for it, but two, it was a very cool idea for the 20th Anniversary. However, even in Generations, the idea that it was okay to force Modern Sonic to still have 2D sections within his supposedly 3D stages was ludacris.
The fact that it's still happening at all is weird but now with this game you thought it'd be a good idea to just bring him back like that? You guys were lucky you got Mania off the ground when you did if this is the case. Maybe it'll make you see the value in not awkwardly splicing shit together in the hopes that forcing everyone to shift between two play-styles will somehow make them love it.
The 2.5D idea was cute back when it was introduced but only really because (for some reason) people found novelty in seeing 2D sections reappear in 3D Sonic titles. I was going to say "Recent" Sonic titles but that's absolutely not true. Sonic was still pumping out 2D games on handhelds at the time. 2D never went anywhere. Nowadays, I can't really excuse it anymore.
If you want a 2D game, make a 2D game. If you want a 3D one, make a 3D one.
There's ideas and level design decisions that you can take from the 2D games and apply it to the 3D ones of course. You say that's what you wish to do? That's great! Absolutely, do that!
Please, just don't take that to mean "We need more 2D in the 3D games cause then we'll get more praise that way!" No. No you won't. Just look at all the Forces threads on here if you're unsure of that. No one who dislikes Forces is throwing it a bone because of the 2D, if anything it's a contributing factor for why it's so bloated and weird for them.
Get inspired by the level design and how to transfer that into a 3D space. I like the boost but maybe it'd be better if you design a Sonic that doesn't need to blast through your level and functions better when he's going in a straight line. Perhaps take a clue from how the Classics (and Mania) handled the other characters so that they can come back without the weird as hell excuse of "Shadow's here because Iizuka told the Adventure fans to fuck off" or whatever. Just let them function normally.
When it comes to gameplay, keep things relatively simple. This kitchen sink mentality you have with how Sonic should function is gonna get you killed. Programmers worrying about making Modern Sonic 3D but also 2D WITHIN the 3D but also FULL 2D Classic Sonic with Avatar gadgets and shit... and before it was parkour and ... a werehog... just...
They've got the right idea but this is Sonic Team so they're gonna take it to mean something else entirely.
E-van reacted to Wraith in What's the best 3D Sonic Stage in terms of Level Design?
Final Rush shows why SA2's rail grind mechanics were dope. There were so many ways to approach that level and make it faster/take shortcuts. Timing tricks at the edges and using the air time to steady yourself to land on the next rail. Switching rails. Jumping off at the right time to fall on a rail in the lower part to take a shortcut. Getting momentum to shoot up those rails that go up at 90 degree angles. I LOVED how much you could do with them.
It's not my FAVORITE level though. Twinkle Park's second part comes to mind. You can play the bowling minigames or fuck around in the pools or you can skip a lot of itby hopping fences or holding A on the springs to bonce a little higher. There's a light dash segment where you can choose between charging one up or just running sonic along the tricky slanted rooftop yourself manually and risk falling for time/flow. The level in general is just good vibes all around and has what's probably my favorite track in that game.
I just...wish that wack bumper cart part wasn't the first part of it.
There's also Speed Highway which is pretty much gold all the time with the wall running and setpieces ending in that really open ended "at dawn" bit to top things off, and final Egg which I think is the best Eggman level in the series. SA1 has a lot of good examples of 3D level design in it. It's hard for me to pick.
E-van reacted to Ryannumber1gamer in Sonic Forces PS4 Trophies to be Leaked
As a trophy hunter, I am absolutely loving the sound of these trophies. I really hate it when the trophies end up begin generic "oh, collect this, do that, and have this trophy thats just got a name based on what you did". Having actual trophies with a lot of unique icons, naming conventions, references, and creativity in it is actually pretty damn nice. Especially those story trophies. Unleashed and Gens which had more creative lists even fell into the generic hole with those, so I'm happy Forces is dodging it.
E-van reacted to Wraith in How should Tails and Knuckles play in a 3D Sonic game?
I'll stick my neck out and say giving them seperate goals based on their abilities like in the Adventure games may not have been a bad idea. It's either that or nerfing them.
Just stick to the classic playbook and don't do anything like shooting shit and it'll work out a lot better I think.
E-van reacted to Ratcicle King in Sonic Forces PS4 Trophies to be Leaked
Uh no they're not
These are achievements, things you go out of your way to collect, it's not ''Beat the game with all species to unlock the true ending'', it's ''beat the game with all species if you want to get an achievement'', not only it's entirely optional but it's not intrusive.
E-van reacted to Ryannumber1gamer in Sonic Forces PS4 Trophies to be Leaked
I'm just pointing this out because I'm an avid trophy hunter. I've gotten all of the trophies in mainline Sonic titles to this point (Yes, including Unleashed, Generations, Mania etc). Trying to claim that the game is trying to manipulate the player into wanting to get achievements is downright silly and an absolute grasping at straws to throw another stain onto Forces. Like seriously, as someone who's been a trophy hunter for years, and someone who loves collecting them, with nearly 100 to my name in terms of platinums, I do it for the challenge and for the fact it actively rewards me for fully completing games. It sounds like such a small detail, but I actively feel a lot more motivated to try 100% stuff on PS4 as compared to something like Wii U or Switch because not only do I get an small reward for doing so, but it easily lets others know about the challenges and such I've done. It makes me feel good about my gaming skills to overcome a legitimate challenge. Perfect example, Unleashed was nothing short of downright frustrating at times, but the challenge of it was enough to make me keep going, and I felt a massive feeling of achieving something when I did manage to beat Unleashed 100%. I didn't do it because the game somehow magically read my mind, and mentally manipulated me into doing it, I did it because I wanted a challenge, as I'm sure others would do if they want a challenge.
And yeah, of course we get a burst of excitement when we hear that *ding*. It's because we've managed to do something that was challenging or took a bit of time and pulled it off, is that not meant to be the inherit point of achievements? To actively make the player feel good for pulling off something in the game? Like at the end of the day, absolutely nothing forces you (pun not intended) to go after Forces' achievements. There's plenty other games out there with easy trophy lists if you want that feeling of "oh i did something cool". Forces shouldn't be given shit for wanting to give the player various challenges. Honestly, next thing you know, we're going to be giving Mania shit for mentally manipulating the player to play through the shitty Blue Sphere stages because "oo, trophy for gold medals!!!".
And on that note, I also would like to point out that you don't need to speedrun a platinum trophy? Like unless you're a hardcore gamer who absolutely must keep playing a game until you get that platinum, you can simply just walk away, take a break, play other games, and come back and do a bit more for the grinding trophies. On top of that, I heavily doubt a Modern Sonic title is going to be a massively long game that's going to immensely burn you out on multiple plays of it.
If you like Forces, then you'll probably go for the trophies because they provide extra challenge and you don't mind a few extra playthroughs. If you don't like Forces, then just go find another trophy list for a game you enjoy. Giving Forces shit for something other games have done worse on a far worse scale is really silly. Like seriously, if you think this is a bad trophy list, then go see the levels of grinding a Danganronpa game or even Rayman Legends forces you through for it's platinum.
E-van reacted to Dr. Detective Mike in New Sonic Forces Zone revealed: Casino Forest
My ultimate dream is to see the plot and level design work in harmony with one another again. Not really in just a way where the levels you visit are dictated by what needs to happen next in the story but in a way where the level is designed to make it seem like you're progressing through an area.
Adabat in Sonic Unleashed is one of my favorite level examples of that kind of feeling. Where you start on a path full of several wooden walkways by a shoreline then as you go through the level you end up in the middle of a forest, through some ruins that make it more clear you're getting closer to the temple, then you end up at a large waterfall that's clearly deep within the forest that suddenly makes it more obvious you're at the specific spot where the temple is. Really made me feel like I was actually traveling somewhere as I went through the level as opposed to something that just kind of looks the same but with reused assets strung about the place.
My favorite sequence where this is in full effect is actually the end of Sonic Unleashed. You start off in Eggmanland, making your whole way through it and traversing through what are obviously different sections and parts of the place, going from the outside of it to a more enclosed space outside of it, to inside of it, to DEEP inside of it, and eventually reaching the entrance to the temple. Then the cutscene starts and ends at the same place where you ended up at the end of the level before the Egg Dragoon bursts through and sends you down the long shaft.
The boss battle starts with you STILL falling down that shaft, Eggman breaks it apart with his drill and you fall through the floor, suddenly at the center of the Earth where you beat the boss. The CGI cutscene starts with you now at the center of the Earth because that's the story the gameplay told you had actually happened and Dark Gaia shows up and you finish off the game exactly where it spat you out at.
I love shit like that.
Not every game takes it's time to do shit like that. In Lost World, I remember being extremely confused by how the ending's gameplay and story were supposed to compliment each other. You start up the cutscene with them in an area after Lava Mountain that you clearly weren't when you beat Giant Zavok only for Eggman's giant mustache robot to show up. Then when the cutscene ends and the gameplay part comes back and starts with... Sonic being shot out of a cannon? And then suddenly he's on this long runway where ... I guess the robot got in front of him and now the two are fighting that way? Did Sonic do the Goku thing of "Hey, let's go fight over here" or something? And Eggman just said "Yeah. Sure why not?" And then when Eggman is beaten in the same way he lost in Colors, he's suddenly ... next to Sonic and Tails again in the same area back in the cutscene? In Colors it actually made more sense. His Eggmobile was sent shooting off in the distance, so when the cutscene started he was nowhere near Sonic and got sucked into the wormhole. I don't understand how Eggman suddenly ended up back there except now he's got no robot.
Usually stuff like this would be fixed by just setting up them arriving at the area they were going to fight in, within the cutscene that preceded it. Heroes did that. Shadow's game did that. And that's fine. It's not as impressive as what Unleashed pulled off but it works for the most part.
I want to be impressed by how much care is put into how the gameplay flows into story-telling again though. That's the truly magical shit right there.
E-van reacted to Dr. Detective Mike in New Sonic Forces Zone revealed: Casino Forest
I love the idea of separating Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic's continuity.
I hate the idea of saying that there's a "human world" and a "animal NPC" world. There's literally no reason for it. Just have both species exist in the same world. Eggman's a human. His Grandfather's a human. His granddaughter was a human. Shadow and Rouge are apparently still G.U.N agents in Forces. We know that their Commander is a human.
Even when they do something that I feel is less confusing they've gotta double down by saying something that overcomplicates shit for no reason.
It's a world of weird looking animal people and weird looking human people.
Dude's shaped like eggs and animals with rainbow colors and weird powers.
Welcome to Sonic's world. It's fffffffucking weird and that's okay!
E-van reacted to Ryannumber1gamer in Sonic Forces - Story Trailer (English and Japanese)
I think the biggest issue is as what was already said, outside of Silver, Knuckles, Eggman and perhaps Infinite, they feel like completely random lines taken out of context. The end result is some funny moments and genuinely nice character moments (I.E Knuckles' egging on the CaC), or awkward moments like Sonic calling the CaC his partner, or Silver saying they don't need strength in numbers only for the trailer to contradict him literally in the next scene. The trailer itself is pretty well constructed IMO, and I'm beginning to feel genuinely interested in Infinite. I really don't see the so called overblown edginess, just seems like your standard badass boast in this trailer, same way in DBZ when Cell or Frieza comes out with badass boasts about making their victims see fear before they meet their end.
I still don't like how the trailer shows the CaC though, I mentioned this earlier, but I hate when main/important characters call CaCs their partner or best friend or whatever. It just seems to be there to say "MY CHARACTER IS BFFs WITH SONIC". I really hope they give him lead-in to work with Sonic as opposed to him just being there. Also, it's said if you turn down the music settings in the game when playing the tag-team stages, you can hear Tails crying.
seriously did sega just forget that tails is meant to be sonic's best friend and partner in action
E-van reacted to Blue Blood in Iizuka: There will not be a Sonic Adventure 3 & what future Sonic titles will be like
I generally think Iizuka comes off much worse in interviews than he really is. From what I understand, he was part of the driving force behind Mania. He genuinely believed in that project and allowed it to become what it is. If he was given free reign to direct a new Sonic game withotu being strong-armed by anyone higher up in SEGA, I wonder what we'd get.
The Adventure style gameplay (for Sonic, not the rest of the genre roulette) is the way forwards for Sonic in 3D. It's almost 20 years since SA1 first came out. There's a lot of way it could be improved and expanded upon.
E-van reacted to Blue Blood in Sonic Crushes <3
Also the Lost Labyrinth boss was similarly bad.
With both of these, it's one mistake and fuck you it's over. Crushing ought to be replaced with ring loss and possibly some sort of temporary incapacitation (slow/paralysed/dizzy for a few seconds afterwards?), just like in Generations.