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Sean

Sonic Robo Blast 2

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http://www.srb2.org/

This probably needs no introduction. SRB2 is a fan game that has been in development for roughly 11 years; it's based off of the Doom engine and has gone through a number of substantial developments throughout its lifetime. It takes upon the appearance and aesthetic of a classic Sonic game, complete with colorful levels and gorgeously crafted hand-drawn sprites that give the game life. There are also a damn lot of secrets for you to uncover - a lot more to say than any recent Sonic game has even attempted. Although it has taken the vein of a platformer, keep in mind that the controls are still those of a FPS. It might be better if you ditched the default controls and whip out your good old fashioned mouse to control your character; it's just about the only way to navigate some of the later levels' sadistically designed areas, as well as the Special Stages.

Anyway - this is about the only Sonic fan game I ever actively keep track of on a yearly basis, having first played demo 4.1 and never looked back since. And now, a new version has been released for Sage with an assload of brand new content. And how it surpassed my expectations! Apparently some fans on the forums didn't take the new changes and additions so well, but come on, everything new in this game has truly blown me away. We have a number of new zones that flesh out the main game such as Deep Sea Zone and Arid Canyon Zone. A few aspects were nerfed, such as the save system and liquid shield, in order to flesh out the difficulty. Castle Eggman Zone has gotten a new makeover, and this time, it's actually awesome and doesn't suck ass like the previous version did. Knuckles himself has a brand new skin, and while I probably would have rather it had been completely finished by SSNTails (since it's mostly an edited Sonic), it's grown on me and it's still an infinitely better replacement than the last shitty Knuckles skin we've been stuck with for god knows how many years. And then there's Egg Rock Zone, the brand spanking new final level that we've been waiting for for all these years, loaded with enough gimmicks, traps, and a high difficulty curve enough to make Eggmanland squirm in its seat.

Just recently, one of the lead game designers, SSNTails, departed from the project after an 11-year reign, determined to make sweet times with his newfound wife (and baby factory). I have no doubt in my mind that this new version of SRB2 was totally worth the wait. SRB2's development will continue, but he'll be missed, especially for aiding in a collaborative effort to leave one of the most profound marks on the Sonic fangame community.

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Of all the times for it to come out, I have to be on a computer that dosen't support it. D:

SRB2 is a great little game though. It's quite easy to mod, and I enjoy modding games. So it's awesome for that. Hell, i've got a few (two. lol.) levels released. And hell, if a dumbass like me can do it anyone ever can.

Come on I wanna play the new version. XD

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Had Sonic X-treme gotten additional development time at some point along its retarded development cycle, I imagine it ending up something like SRB 2.

I have a hard time keeping my bearings when I'm playing this game, and I have a hard time seeing springs, what with them being 2D sprites. I've always had a hard time with small 2D objects within otherwise 3D spaces.

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Phos, you just pointed out the biggest flaw with SRB2. 2D sprites make up the objects, which is fine, but damn they should be larger. They're small in size comparison to Sonic and co, and the fact that they're 2D in a 3D world makes them much worse.

That said, I love SRB2. People over at the official message boards though are treating this latest release like a piece of fresh shit had been thrown in their face. I really feel sorry for SSNTails because this was his last release before leaving the project he put over a decade of work into.

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That said, I love SRB2. People over at the official message boards though are treating this latest release like a piece of fresh shit had been thrown in their face. I really feel sorry for SSNTails because this was his last release before leaving the project he put over a decade of work into.

Tell me about it.

Ritz pretty much summed up my thoughts about it: people can't appreciate what's in front of them. Some of the complaints I've seen included nerfing the save system (which is exactly like Sonic 3's now, by the way) or the fact that they can't beat the seventh Special Stage or ERZ (okay, I can't beat this level either, but I have an excuse; I really can't seem to find any way to fix it, so I hope to god that somehow this is fixed in an update, because not even playing in a supported resolution helps any). Doesn't seem like this is going to push any creativity out of them after all, so whatever. I'd go so far as to say that they're ungrateful, considering that these people are mostly likely fans that had been following the game's progress for so long, and not simply people who played the game for the first time and didn't like it. Not everybody is going to like the game obviously, but come on, the SRB2 community was supposed to keep this alive, and now they're just letting it go to waste.

I am one for complaining about bad level design in Sonic games, and I don't see any bad level design in SRB2, despite my suckass ability to beat some of it. I don't even like playing hard games most of the time! But being able to beat ERZ1 is truly exhilarating. I love this level so much - I just wish I could actually play Act 2.

I for one am completely amazed by everything new this version has to offer. In fact I'm almost tempted to dig out my old account on the forums (stopped posting there long ago, got fed up with almost everybody there) in order to commend the team, and especially SSNTails who's leaving, for a job well done.

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Played it, made it up to Deep Sea Zone, three days later, in the recycle bin. I don't know if it's because of the serious control issues that I've had, mainly when jumping, I can't stop my momentum when in the air, and you will not believe how frustrating that was. Simple platforming became so insane from having to back track so many times from slipping off the edge, even times where backtracking was near impossible.

And it doesn't help that some of the level design is horrendus, unneeded and unwanted in some areas.

For instance, there's this puzzle section in Deep Sea Zone that goes on longer than it really should and is just tedious as all hell. And what's worse, it's your only option at the beginning of that zone if you don't make it to the higher route, which in my case, happens a lot. I could take maybe one of those rooms, but there's like five of them in that particular area and it just goes on, and on!

Even worse, an area in act two where the ceiling is swaying up and down like a big crusher, and the only way to make it through is to hide in holes along the way. Considering the whole thing's underwater, I have to be fast or I'll drown, but I can hardly control myself when jumping which I do to get moving fast so I could make it to the next hole, but since I can hardly control my momentum in the air, I keep going and miss the hole, and die. The area is unforgiving enough as it is, and it doesn't help that it's underwater, and my horrible control was just the nail in the coffen for me.

Another thing that happens a lot, is from falling off a platforming area, you have to go through this entirely different route just to end up at the beginning of the platforming area when just a simple spring would have been a lot faster and easier.

And I really wanted to give this game a chance. When I played the first zone, I loved it. The level design was okay, it was nice and open, not confusing most of the time, and I had a blast playing through it. But the further I got in the game, the worse the experience became. I got stuck on Deep Sea Zone for days, and it doesn't help that the game has to have lives which are pointless, and makes the whole experience more frustrating when I have to play the same tedious level from the very beginning over and over just to get past one simple area, and most likely die at the very next, rinse and repeat, and go mad.

I try to be simpithetic, I know that it's not going to be absolutely perfect, and there's little that the developers could do about it, and I applaude them for being able to make it this far, but at the same time, some of the design choices in the game make me wonder what they were thinking when they made it.

Edited by VirgoTheCougar

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I know, I'm probably going to get jumped, but I'm also yet another person who doesn't care for SRB2 that much.

Yes, Virgo, you are not alone.

Now, don't get me wrong, the game looks pretty good (besides what Phos pointed out, that 2D sprites in a 3D world don't mix), and the level designs are very good as well (tons of exploration, and I excuse the lack of slopes since of course there's no real physics), but the controls are horrendus.

Now it's bad enough that I can't stand how FPS control (especially DOOM) since they are so jerky and give you Ultimate Motion Sickness Syndrome. So, if I'm driven mad by constantly rotating a camera playing as Master Chief as it is, then how does it feel to play as Sonic?

Sonic plays just like a third-person version of a first-person game, but on crack, which makes it about four times more disorienting than before! And not just that, but did you think Sonic's jumps in Unleashed were momentum-heavy? Wait until you play THAT. Platforming is almost impossible on that game, and so is turning around corners and such without feeling sick to your stomach. Also to note that your top speed is a little too fast (about boost speed on Unleashed), and don't even THINK about turning at top speed if you've had motion sickness problems at slower speeds!

Also to note that Sonic is slippery as soap and slides all over the place when you try to get him to go somewhere.. which is yet another reason why platforming is almost impossible. The "Speed Thok" is extremely disorienting as well, and is very hit-and-miss when it comes to aiming at something (since it's hard to see objects in a 3D world when they're 2D sprites). Spindash and rolling are almost useless, since you could go top speed in about 4 seconds flat.

I'm sorry, no offense to anybody who worked on the game, but I ... just can't handle that game, literally. I played until the 2nd boss in the SAGE 2009 build and just stopped. Haven't continued since. And yes, I've played this game for a long time (and have known of it and played it since 2004), but back then I actually enjoyed it because I didn't know what good handling in a video game was. Now coming back to it... I really think it's hype was all in the nostalgia, really.

Once again, no offense to anyone who helped create it. It's just what I thought about how it handles. Everything else (except the "2D sprites in the 3D world" thing) was fine, and you guys achieved much after all these years. And I'm not trying to say nobody should like it, I'm just saying I can't handle it.

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You can do Light dash and all that jazz but before 2.0 got updated you could of done it in Single player and multi player. Now you can only do cheats in multiplayer. I been playing SB2 since 1.09.04 came out and been loving it since.

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Loved the three zone demo they made years back so I'm excited to hear about new zones at last.

Are they ALL there now? Every single one that's listed in the levels page? Or is this still an "incomplete" version content-wise (not that there's any shortage of content in the previous one).

Also, does it actually run full-screen on vista? Coz for some reason I can't get it to not run windowed on the old version... (and given how tiny the resolution is, that's painful on the eyes).

I agree the controls are wacky and the tiny 2D sprite objects are really confusing. The stages are so huge but the routes are a puzzle to find in themselves sometimes.

Oh, and are there any new bosses? I remember playing the "mystic" level pack (I believe it was called) a while back, and while understandable, and well-dealt with (lots of variety in arenas) it was kinda funny how every zone had one of the two bosses from the original demo, including the final boss.

Apologies for all the questions, I'm away and won't get to try this for a few days...

Overall I really like the game, but it's flaws do make it VERY inaccessible for casual play.

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Sonic is a little slippery and no Homing Attack and Light Speed Dash makes PSIwind a sad panda. Other than that, its a good fan game.

Sonic doesn't have these moves in standard gameplay because it's supposed to be like the classics. However, considering how this game controls I don't think it would be a bad idea to give every character a short range homing attack mapped to another key. Short range would mean that it wouldn't play like a post-Adventure game and being mapped to a separate would mean that if there was nothing about to home on that the move would do nothing.

And JezMM, it's not got all the levels yet. Far more complete than anything before, but still not entirely complete. But I've not played enough to answer your other questions.

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The complaints about Deep Sea Zone (on here and elsewhere) intrigue me; I've never had any trouble with that zone, ever (in fact, I never got lost). I was pretty sure I had encountered everything there possibly was to find in that level, but I guess not?

I'll try taking that other route that Virgo mentioned.

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I have had more fun on this game than quite a few other offical sonic games, although this is mostly because of the fact that it has a co-op and a multiplayer FPS in it. It did however cause me to be late for work once I wsaa told, aren't you going to work today at about the time I should of left whilst I was still in layabout mode.

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This game is amazing!!! I haven't beat it yet, I am still on Castle Eggman, but I almost can beat it. I been playing SRB2 since the final demo came out and this has been improved by a mile! This is the best Sonic game I have ever played. Can't wait until the final version comes out! Keep on going SRB2! Man, there is a lot of ! in my post...

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You know what? I was actually really dissappointed with SRB2 V2.0...

Not only were the new levels blatantly uninspiring and repetitively dull, but the horrendous slowdown on the the slightly more packed stages was absolutely unbeleiveable; maybe my rig ain't what it used to be (mainly due to DirectX having a slightly senile moment), but Deep Shit Zone took an excruciating 90 SECONDS to load next to the split second entry to Green Flower Zone, and the frameskip? Let me just say that it is the gaming equivalent of the ripping of ones balls. No joke.

Yeah, so... I didn't really have much fun. And I've always HATED the online play, but that's just a part of who I am (although as a concept, it is pretty amazing)...

All in all? To quote homer Simpson: "A wasted opertunity of dmb frg shn trgghh grr..."

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I'm looking at the website right now and it looks intriguing. I love the mix of the Genesis-era gameplay and stages with the 3D graphics ans such.

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So I just went through the route that Virgo described, and I didn't encounter any area in which such stuck-ness occurs. Am I really missing out on something here, because even Tweaker was complaining about it on Retro!

Not only were the new levels blatantly uninspiring and repetitively dull

Uninspiring? Repetitively dull? What the, how far did you play into this game?

Sorry, but I have some difficulty comprehending this statement. How could you overlook all those new gimmicks? Every new zone is designed differently from the last, and this time they're actually loaded with unique, stage-specific gimmicks that set them apart from one another. What about Egg Rock Zone? Say what you want about it - hard, tedious, annoying, unfair, horrible, disgusting, etc. - but "uninspiring" and "dull" are just not the right words to use for it at all. That zone alone has left more of an impression on me than any single Sonic final zone after SA1. It really stands out, for better or worse, and I just can't see how it can be any more uninspiring or dull than GFZ or THZ1.

Edited by Jake

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I always mained Tails in the previous version - I simply couldn't imagine this game being playable at all without some controllable ability to fly around the place. That said, you can imagine my horror when the level design in the later stages consisted heavily of bottomless pits and otherwise insta-death-centric schemes. A couple of examples have already been mentioned, but most of the ones that really piss me off are in the motherfucking Egg Rock Zone. More specifically, the vaccuum sections. Whenever you enter these bits, you immediately start running out of air just like the 5-sec countdown in the underwater parts. The first time this happens, you're given absolutely no warning this was going to happen, and thrown into a big empty room with no obvious exit or air source. I can fucking guarantee you that almost nobody will ever figure any of these rooms out on their first try, resulting in an almost inevitable life loss at least once for each of them. Unfortunately to my recollection, there are at least three such sections in ERZ, and I haven't even finished Act 2 yet. Naturally, it doesn't help matters that they aren't the least bit consistent with this, so there's no way to tell whether or not you're about to step into another deadly vacuum. The

reverse-gravity

bits are similarly unpredictable, but not as much of a problem given it's not quite as easy to die from them.

I ain't saying exactly that it's a bad game though, so much as the level design for later levels is absolute crap. If any of these stages are hard with a character that can fly freely, I simply can't fathom how much of a masochist you'd have to be to even attempt the entire stage ladder with Sonic, armed only with an unguided air dash. I'm also kinda annoyed that there's no backwards compatibility whatsoever, so none of the custom content I loved about the previous version works anymore. But for what it's worth, I hooked it up to a LAN and it's a fun romp - surprisingly, the Hide n' Seek mode was one of the most fun things I've played in a game of this type.

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OK, so I played it again, giving it another chance. This time I played as Knuckles.

Thank god I did too. It was MUCH better. Handling was less jerky and it was less painful to jump and maneuver yourself around because thankfully I had Knuckles' trusty glide and climb!

However, I had two game overs at the 2nd boss. FIXING to give up (again, as I did last time) I went again and won finally. (That boss is evil, BTW. I destroyed him twice and died right then because he splattered Mega Mack on me!) Anyways, I went on to Deep Sea Zone, which is flat out evil, so THEN I quit. =P

The game is technically better than I said to begin with (just admitting, Sonic sucks on that game), but the level design (while full of inspiration and has a great artstyle) is pretty unforgiving at times. That's why I gave up at DSZ1, because some of the walls didn't even allow me to climb on them! And not only that, but there were only like 2 air-bubble things I saw anywhere, so I drowned (constantly)! :angry:

All in all, pretty good game, just pretty hard and unforgiving, and Sonic's controls are atrocious.

Edited by Azukara

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You guys do know that there are alternate routes to take in Deep Sea Zone, right? And they're constantly merging and crossing each other from time to time, too. I'm starting to think that some players aren't aware of this, due to the overwhelming nature of the level design.

That's why I never had a problem with that level. I never got lost, ever. Not even on my first time playing it, when I was playing as Sonic and had no clue on where to go (and I'm not saying this as a way of saying you guys suck (or do you!?), since I can be pretty bad at the game sometimes). I've explored that level as much as I could, and I don't think there's any instance in which you are stuck and have nowhere to go.

I am starting to think that the problem you guys are having is running into particular parts that deviate from the main formula, but these parts are optional. If you're talking about the part where you have to spin-dash through a crumbling wall maze, then that's entirely avoidable. Just backtrack for a few seconds, and bam, you're on the main route again.

By the way, Sonic pretty much is a character that only people proficient at the game can handle well (I can only properly use Sonic if I'm using the mouse, using the keyboard is nightmarish). There's little room for error, and he is pretty insanely hard to control. I guess since most people pick him the first time, this can be troublesome. Knuckles definitely has the best handling.

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Man, I guess I'm just used to Srb2, because the controls aren't bad at all from my point of view.

I've been playing Srb2 since version 1.09.02 was out, and that was a long time ago indeed!

The best part about Srb2 is its online play.

It never gets boring to me, ever.

With v2.0 out, now single player is more challenging, which makes me want to play it a lot more.

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Okay, so I finally made it to the final boss...

only to find that there was no obvious way to kill it. Any attempt I made to damage it only resulted in me getting killed (ordinarily you'd think that one ring was a godsend, but that doesn't stop you from getting knocked into ANOTHER bottomless pit). That's not what gets me though. I just reloaded my game after losing all my lives (I had 9 on the savegame btw, plus the 3 that came with the extra continue I hadn't used yet)... and found out I had to REDO THE ENTIRE ZONE AND EVERY ACT THEREIN TO GET BACK TO FIGHTING A RIDICULOUSLY TRIAL-AND-ERROR BOSS FIGHT. I am simply shocked, SSMB. Even Eggmanland wasn't quite this much of an absolute CUNT when it comes to unforgiving and downright unfair design.

Edited by Blacklightning

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