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Sonic Robo Blast 2 - v2.1 has been released

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It's only been 15 years in the making.

 

For those of you who don't know, Sonic Robo Blast 2 is a 3D Sonic fangame that's been in development since 1998. It has had a long, long history, and is generally considered to be at least one of the best (if not the) best Sonic fangames ever made. 

 

A new version with a massive amount of new content and polish has just been released, the first update in four years. Go download it.
 
Release notes:
 

SRB2 v2.1 has finally been released! Yes, really! Head on over to the download page to download it. This is a new installation entirely, so you probably will want to place it in a new folder entirely instead of overwriting your previous installation.* Do note that as with every major release, we are only giving out a torrent download for the first day.

Read on for an overview of the changes in the new version:

General

  • The collision detection has been improved and can now handle speeds beyond the previous limitations. Super Sneakers and spin dashing have been dramatically sped up as a result.
  • Many bugs involving the controls beyond normal maximum speed have been fixed. This should make the controls feel more responsive when moving extremely fast.
  • When holding back, the character now skids to visually and audibly demonstrate that simply letting go of forward doesn’t slow the player down as much as reversing direction.
  • Dropped rings now travel farther and become harder to recover when taking repetitive hits.
  • Knuckles has been updated with lavish new sprites.
  • Monitors have all-new sprites, and shields now all have individual sprites instead of being palette swaps of each other.
  • You can now record Animated GIFs in-game.

Single Player

  • Techno Hill Zone Act 1 and Castle Eggman Zone Act 2 have been dramatically updated.
  • Techno Hill Zone Act 2 has been replaced with an all-new act.
  • Castle Eggman Zone Act 3 has been added with an all-new boss.
  • The special stages have been completely replaced with new stages based on NiGHTS into Dreams.
  • All the rest of the stages have been given a fresh coat of polish.
  • The final boss has been replaced with a new, actually fun design.
  • The emblem system has been completely revamped, with hidden emblems accessible as all characters. Explore for emblems however you’d like.
  • Record Attack, an expanded version of Time Attack, lets players set records in time, score, and rings for each act they’ve accessed in the main game and record a replay of the run. Beating the requirement in a category for a stage grants an emblem.
  • Record Attack replays can now be raced as ghosts in Record Attack, allowing players to directly see the difference while playing. They can also be saved as a guest replay to send to a friend’s copy of the game for them to race against.
  • NiGHTS Mode allows players to set records on special stages similarly to Record Attack. Sadly, NiGHTS mode does not support replays and ghosts in this release.
  • Sonic can now have Tails follow him around through the single player game like he can in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3.

Multiplayer

  • A large amount of multiplayer stages have been added.
  • In match and capture the flag modes, players now spawn with basic shields and losing players get free basic shields during the round.
  • The grenade ring has been completely redesigned, and the infinity ring from older versions has been reintroduced.
  • The old Classic Race gametype has been revamped and renamed to Competition. Similar to Sonic 2′s versus mode, players race through single player stages and attempt to grab goodies in the stage before completing the stage. This gametype now actually functions well beyond two players.

Editing

  • The software renderer now features skyboxes, allowing for complex, animated skies by rendering another section of the level as the sky.
  • The system for adding custom textures has been changed so that two WADs with custom textures can be added to the game at the same time without issues.
  • Tall patches are now supported, allowing images larger than 255 pixels tall to be imported to the game as a single image.
  • TypeOfLevel can now use gametype names instead of requiring numbers.
  • Level headers for levels 100 and above can use letters instead of the decimal equivalent; eg Level A0, A1, AA, ZZ etc.
  • SOC format now supports internal thing names, other enumerations, and basic math. Porting mods to future versions of SRB2 will be easier, as these names rarely change.
  • blarrg’s Game Music Engine has been implemented, meaning you can now use rips of NES, SNES, Genesis, etc. soundtracks as music in-game.
  • There are now 25 different skin color options for characters to use, including returning colors from older versions such as Dark Red and Black.
  • Super forms for characters now glow like they did in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3&K, allowing yellow to be usable once again for match mode. Super Knuckles as a bonus flashes pink instead of yellow, but this is not available for custom characters.
  • Multiple characters can now have the same displayed name; no more “Tails2″ if you add a custom Tails character.
  • All SOC actions and extra character abilities from SRB2Morphed have been imported, allowing SOC to be even more versatile even without involving Lua scripting.
  • Colors, abilities, and spin items are set by name, as with SOCs, to enable forward compatibility. If the color numbers ever change again, the intended color will still be used.
  • A scripting language based on Lua has been added to the engine exclusively for use by mods. It can be used to create entirely new console commands and thing behaviors in game, allowing a lot more flexibility for mod content without requiring editing SRB2′s source code itself.

 

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So they actually fixed the awful control? This game may be playable now.

 

I might check it out. I liked SRB for what it was, but it was also a good idea running on a shit engine so it was annoying to play.

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I haven't played SRB2 in months, heh might have to give it a go if I can get this torrent file to work (for today only they are offering only a torrent download, the direct download comes tomorrow). 

 

Nvm I got the torrent working, it just contains another installer.

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Wow. I remember playing this game when I was little and the excitement I had for the long awaited release of Version 2.0. After that came out, I waited a bit for 2.1.

Can't wait to try it out.

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It has had a long, long history, and is generally considered to be at least one of the best (if not the) best Sonic fangames ever made.

 

For a very long time I've thought that the main reason people think the latter is because of the former rather than how good it actually is.

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Ok I've gotten up to techno hill and wow what an improvement, the controls for sonic are still slippery, but I don't need to use a homing attack wad just to play as him anymore, he's actually playable this time, techno hill 2 is no longer a living hell ,because the goo no longer hurts you, it acts more like gelatin, the first boss is slightly harder, but not by much. So far 9/10.

 

Somebody posted a direct link, enjoy: 

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Ok I've gotten up to techno hill and wow what an improvement, the controls for sonic are still slippery, but I don't need to use a homing attack wad just to play as him anymore, he's actually playable this time, techno hill 2 is no longer a living hell ,because the goo no longer hurts you, it acts more like gelatin, the first boss is slightly harder, but not by much. So far 9/10.

 

Somebody posted a direct link, enjoy: 

Off topic, but I was listening to sonic youth before this conveniently enough and around the end of the song I was thinking "man this song sure does get jumbled near the end" until I realized it was playing in this one, hilarity ensued.

 

On topic, I can't believe this game is still getting updates, I haven't really played it yet but I do plan too at some point.

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Also the game handles way better using WASD/mouse controls. It's an FPS engine so it's best played like one.

Wait what, seriously? Some people still aren't even using a mouse and have the nerve to say the game controls like shit? I mean, I'd get it if they said collision detection with sprites is iffy, but come on guys, that's ridiculous.

 

Funnily enough the most fun I ever had with this game was in multiplayer Hide and Seek, and Tag to a lesser extent. Thanks in large part to the legacy engine SRB2's netcode is fucking awful, sometimes to such an extent that large parts of the game are only technically playable, so I got more enjoyment there because latency is a lot less important.

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Playing a sonic game (or any game that isn't FPS for that matter) with a controller is ridiculous? What?

 

If you're going to give a game controller support, make sure it actually works right.

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Wait what, seriously? Some people still aren't even using a mouse and have the nerve to say the game controls like shit? I mean, I'd get it if they said collision detection with sprites is iffy, but come on guys, that's ridiculous.

Maybe at some point in the ~14 years they've been working on their Doom engine-based 3D Sonic game they could make it control more like a Sonic game rather than just Doom with floaty momentum. Then controller controls wouldn't be a problem.

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I did once have a set up using a controller that worked comfortably with me, buuut I still had a run button I held down and simply steered Sonic left and right rather than control him like a proper platforming character.

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Playing a sonic game (or any game that isn't FPS for that matter)

SRB2 literally is an FPS. You can't just change the basic fundementals of the way one aspect of the game controls without either creating a dissonance with or outright damaging the other.

 

Maybe at some point in the ~14 years they've been working on their Doom engine-based 3D Sonic game they could make it control more like a Sonic game rather than just Doom with floaty momentum.

They could've, but they chose not to.

 

See, that's the thing. SRB2 is very much its own beast, and they've rolled with it. Arbitarily limiting yourself to the worse option of playing it just on the basis of trying to emulate completely different games it's related to only in name? Call me crazy, but I don't see the logic in that. Why would you even play a game like SRB2 if not to play it like an FPS?

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Why would you even play a game like SRB2 if not to play it like an FPS?

 

I play keyboard-only. Keyboard-only controls are far better than people give it credit for, once you get used to it. 

 

I actually really love the controls of SRB2. I couldn't imagine being able to beat some of these levels using the control scheme from any other 3D platformer. 

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Last I checked poor design decisions don't become good just because you did them on purpose.

 

SRB2 literally is an FPS. You can't just change the basic fundementals of the way one aspect of the game controls without either creating a dissonance with or outright damaging the other.

This doesn't mean anything. The Doom engine is not special in that it's the only one out of dozens of commercially licenced game engines that somehow can't be made to work properly with a twin axis controller.

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I play keyboard-only. Keyboard-only controls are far better than people give it credit for, once you get used to it.

Sure, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. Hell, the original Doom worked with just a keyboard alone, so I can certaintly imagine that. My problem is more with people who are complaining about the controls yet deliberately restricting themselves to a control scheme that doesn't work as well in the process. That's fucking stupid. It's the equivalent of activating the motion controls in Brawl and complaining it's all basically waggle.

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SRB2 literally is an FPS. You can't just change the basic fundementals of the way one aspect of the game controls without either creating a dissonance with or outright damaging the other.

 

How? It's been a while since I played it, but I clearly remember it playing nothing like an FPS, regardless of what shitty engine they chose to run it on.

 

It played more like Sonic R with even worse traction and momentum.

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This doesn't mean anything. The Doom engine is not special in that it's the only one out of dozens of commercially licenced game engines that somehow can't be made to work properly with a twin axis controller.

This doesn't even have anything to do with the point I was making. I was referring to the single and multiplayer modes, which would just clash with each other worse with a control changeup. Best case, you'd have a product where one or the other would feel out of place and tacked on for the sake of it. Worst case, you'd completely ruin the multiplayer entirely for the singleplayer's sake. And honestly, I think it's better off that at least some of the skills learned from one can be applied to the other.

 

Unless you legitimately want to deathmatch with a gamepad. In which case I don't really know what to say.

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The game feels like a niche title almost solely due to them wanting to keep it playing like how a Sonic mod played on an old Doom mod in the 90s, just as it started. It has it's own hybrid feel of platformer and FPS controls, and I can't pinpoint why it's kept that feel for much more reason than it being sort of nostalgic. It's not like it really plays bad IMO because I kind of like it myself, but it is a bit lacking.

 

The level design is really nice, though. That's the part I appreciate most about this game really; the layouts are very wide and multi-tiered. In some ways it's a bit too easy to get lost and quite labyrinthine, but I still like the sentiment. The first levels seem to do it best, though.

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The game feels like a niche title almost solely due to them wanting to keep it playing like how a Sonic mod played on an old Doom mod in the 90s, just as it started. It has it's own hybrid feel of platformer and FPS controls, and I can't pinpoint why it's kept that feel for much more reason than it being sort of nostalgic. It's not like it really plays bad IMO because I kind of like it myself, but it is a bit lacking.

 

Not really. The reason why the controls have stayed the same over the years (with the exception of minor tweaking that comes in every release) is that the controls are really good when you get used to them. They allow for precise platforming at both high speed and low speed, which is something few games get right.

 

The only way I can think of to "prove" it is to link to a speedrun video. I chose this at random. Unfortunately, there's no speed runs yet of the new version, so that's a speedrun of some of the old, crappier levels.

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