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The WereHog Was a Great Idea


The Conductor
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When I first played Sonic Unleashed I was in the same boat as most of you "Wow, Sonic stages are fun...but why do we need another Gimmick?".

I'll tell you why we need another 'gimmick', what are the two schools of thought on Sonic Games? "Sonic should be fast" and "Sonic should be about platforming"...well recently I popped Unleashed into my Xbox as I have yet to complete it (look I don't like collecting meddles), and as I played through a Werehog stage (it was the one where you climb Big Ben...is it Spangolia?) I stopped and I thought "hmmm...the werehog is kinda slow...gotta make that jump..."

Wait a fucking minuete! The Werehog is a traditional platform hero! Unleashed was both schools of thought together as one! Ofcourse there is nothing that the Werehog really did that couldn't be done by Sonic in a slower level...or even Knuckles! Hell maybe Unleashed will be the dawning of Sonic and Knuckles 2!

~Koyosan OUT!

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I don't see why people hate the werehog. His levels can span to 15 minutes if you're not good yet, but the Sonic levels spanned to 10 as well when I played them, since they handle differently and I like to take my time exploring around and not blast through the level, that's for later. The controls were good as well, at least the HD version (bare in mind, that I haven't played Eggman land yet).

I wouldn't say it was a brilliant idea overall, but for what ST needed to do and show for the new Hedgehog Engine, and have a game out so fast, that was really, really a great idea.

Edited by redmenace
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It could have been handled so much better than it was. Some of the stages had some quite novel ideas in them, but it was marred by incredibly tedious and repetitive play. The Wii version was particularly dire - with less variety of moves for taking out enemies, the "kill them all to move on to the next area" thing got old FAST.

Honestly, I guess I fall into the camp of "I don't play Sonic for this kind of gameplay" and I didn't like that I was forced to play through those stages in order to get to the speedy gameplay levels that I play Sonic games for. But I do think I could have enjoyed the WereHog stages more if they had been more interesting.

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I do think they should have been balanced out more. Both the 360 and the Wii version have whole stages of daytime gameplay that remain locked for the majority of your first playthrough. If they had mixed these in the regular story it'd have been a lot more balanced.

I like the Werehog, but even I can admit with the new DLC stages it's getting a little tired. And the sheer amount of total daytime stages with DLC and unlockable ones just goes to show they could make a whole game of just Sonic and have enough content to fill several hours, especially if they took a Secret Rings style mission approach to each stage as well.

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I'm speaking from a slightly uninformed position, because I don't actually have the game. Watching the DLC videos though, it seems like the new levels are much shorter and platform heavy. I think this would've been the best way to go for Mr. Werehog. Short sections allow gameplay themes and gimmicks to be split up in small doses, and the platforming breaks up the monotony of the brawling. Much like Sonic Heroes, I'd rather play a variety of short levels with interesting themes, than a few 10 minute marathon levels that just become really hard to rank. They should have eased the genre-crossing with more platforming for the Werehog IMO, but whatever.

Do you really feel like the Werehog is platforming more than brawling? Because I didn't get the same feeling.

From the perspective of Sega, I think the Werehog might have been included to grab younger players who want to play God of War, only without the blood and violence. The Werehog is a G-rated version of blood and guts for kids, Sonic style.

Edited by Badnikz
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Unleashed was both schools of thought together as one!
Actually it was both schools of thought with one in this corner and one in the opposite corner. And they're not allowed to talk or even look at each other.

That's the main problem, it's not that people want just speed or just platforming, but these things need to be part of the same gameplay. Separating them is like making a Mario game with two characters, one who runs and one who jumps.

And wereSonic is still nothing like Knuckles.

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Of course there is nothing that the Werehog really did that couldn't be done by Sonic in a slower level...or even Knuckles! Hell maybe Unleashed will be the dawning of Sonic and Knuckles 2!

If they'd replaced the title "Sonic Unleashed" with "Sonic & Knuckles 2" and replaced the Werehog's animation with Knuckles, then A ) no-one would have realised it wasn't always meant to be like that, and B ) all aspects would have been improved for everyone.

EVERYONE!

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The problem with Knuckles is that he's an exploration machine, and his levels need to be built around that. It's why his 3D stages have always been wide open playgrounds instead of linear levels. Any platforming sections with Knuckles become "I stick to this wall, and I glide". This is even apparent in S2&K where you can glide over entire levels once you get enough height.

Edited by Badnikz
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They kept the two very seperate. It's like asking for a vodka and coke and getting a glass of vodka and a glass of coke, and being told that you're not allowed to mix them.

I don't want speed on one side and platforming on the other - I want the speedy levels of Sonic, WITH the pole-jumping, platform-hopping and post-swinging of the werehog. As for beat-'em-up gameplay, it has no place in Sonic, especially if it changes to that damn fight music every time some enemies crop up.

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While the Werehog could be fun, it really has no place whatsoever in a Sonic game. It's really more of a God of War clone than it is a traditional platformer.

I'm not saying he is like Knuckles, I'm just saying that it would be easy enough for Knuckles to fill that role.
Seeing as how everything the Werehog does revolves around his chains of... I mean stretchy arms, Ima say "No" Edited by Venom
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If they'd replaced the title "Sonic Unleashed" with "Sonic & Knuckles 2" and replaced the Werehog's animation with Knuckles, then A ) no-one would have realised it wasn't always meant to be like that, and B ) all aspects would have been improved for everyone.

EVERYONE!

This is true, it would sell millions on name alone. Although I do say, that the werehog levels could be a bit shorter, even if Knuckles was in his place.

'Cept the people who whine about not wanting to play as Sonic's "annoying friends". 83
Knuckles was never slapped as annoying pre-2002. He still isn't for the majority of the fanbase, to this day.

While the Werehog could be fun, it really has no place whatsoever in a Sonic game. It's really more of a God of War clone than it is a traditional platformer.

Seeing as how everything the Werehog does revolves around his chains of... I mean stretchy arms, Ima say "No"

Replace the swinging and grabbing with gliding and climbing. It could be done, it's not that hard. I always thought the gameplay of the werehog was more like the long lost Ristar and that's before whatever copied it later.

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I don't think the Werehog was a "good" idea - more just like an "idea" they happened to have. They could have made platforming and speed into this game without adding in the werehog. Take him out and have Sonic blasting through levels at night but instead of just blasting through in a 2D-ish sort of world with a few 3D bits in there to throw you off, they could have just had a view of Sonic from behind and have him solving puzzles to get to high platforms and killing enemies...

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Replace the swinging and grabbing with gliding and climbing. It could be done, it's not that hard. I always thought the gameplay of the werehog was more like the long lost Ristar and that's before whatever copied it later.
You do realize that making those changes would change the gameplay almost entirely though, right?

My point was that you can't just "switch" the Werehog with Knuckles and expect it to work the same way.

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You do realize that making those changes would change the gameplay almost entirely though, right?

My point was that you can't just "switch" the Werehog with Knuckles and expect it to work the same way.

No, that can't happen of course, but when does the werehog needs to swing or grab onto places? When he needs to reach higher and/or farther away. How could you accomplish this with Knuckles? By climbing and gliding. A row of spikes or a ledge/ balcony could make him not climb more than a certain altitude to force him to the paltforms the Werehog has to take for example. I'm saying it wouldn't be hard to adapt.

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Here's what I thought of Unleashed: great game, terrible Sonic game. While I liked nearly everything about it on its own, it failed to execute Sonic's key elements. Sonic is neither defined by speed or platforming alone but rather a harmonious integration of the two. And Unleashed did the polar opposite- it split them up into two entirely different worlds. What makes 'smores unique and tasty is that you get graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate all in one bite; eating them separately defeats the purpose if you get my analogy.

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The Werehog would be great in his own game. Mixed in with normal Sonic, though... no.

The main reason I buy Sonic games is that Sonic games are speedy (platformers), which not many other franchises can claim to have done. When something like the Werehog comes along, it defies the whole point of buying Sonic games, and so I might choose to play something else, like Mario Galaxy. (Gasp! Entertaining the thought of playing Mario game while on a Sonic forum! Scandalous!)

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Werehog was cool and all but..yeah, it definitely didn't mix in well with Sonic's speedy gameplay. There's just such a big difference..and such an obvious gimmick too!

I also hated the fact you played as him 85% of the time in the Wii version. I'd rather play speedy Sonic stages thank you very much!

Oh, and that repetitive music that kept popping up whenever there was a brawl with enemies got real annoying, REAL fast. >__>

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Hell, I feel they should've done away with the battle music entirely. The levels themselves had some incredible musical backing, but you never really had a chance to get into it because that fucking battle theme kept cutting it off.

As far as the Werehog idea itself goes? Neat idea, less than neat execution. Platforming and combat always seemed to be worlds apart in this game and trying to do both would usually get you killed. The combat in particular, while decent to be fair, was still unsuitable for a game like this in that it robs from the pacing of the game and forces you to do an entire combo to get the move you were actually hoping for. I mean, look at the cartwheel. I have to press Y FOUR TIMES before I can access a move which for all intents and purposes should have been a stand-alone attack. Any Devil May Cry game would let you retrive almost any move of your choice in the right context with a direction and a single button press - why the heck didn't the Werehog take that approach?

And even despite the Werehog's supposed natural lack of speed, the pacing could have been a lot faster and a lot more consistent than it was on release. I mean, look at the cutscene where Amy learns about the Werehog transformation - he disappears in less than three seconds simply via stretch-arm-grapple between light posts. Why doesn't anything happen that quickly in-game? Hell, looking at the more tense jumping sequences it almost looks as though they were trying to make it all feel incredibly sluggish (just try jumping from a pole and see what I mean).

In all, I feel the Werehog is proof that Sonic Team can't handle a universal single style of gameplay properly to the extent that they have to make two completely seperate gameplay styles to handle running and fighting simultaneously. Honestly, until they get both in one gameplay style, they're not going to get anywhere.

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