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October 16, 2016 in Sonic General
Emerald Ties is a fangame by Emerald Team, that's been in on/off development since 2004. This thing's like, 12 years old. Hot damn.
Anyway, it's got a new build at SAGE, running on the shiny newest version of the Sonic Worlds engine, one of the most popular and most widely used Sonic fangame engines. This new build is much improved over the version of the engine used in Sonic Before/After the Sequel however, and Emerald Ties particularly feels great; the physics are incredibly accurate to the classic series, which surprised me as I've never been too fond of Worlds.
The game's a classic-style Sonic sidescroller, though Sonic's using his Sonic Adventure 2 design complete with rockin' SOAP shoes. In the SAGE build there's three acts to play, each from a different zone. There's also new powerups introduced in Emerald Ties, such as the Tornado Shield that allows Sonic to glide for a short time.
Visually the game looks pretty nice, though I'm not 100% sold on Sonic's spritework. The music's also great, with Relic Retreat's theme being a particular highlight. On the whole I was pleasantly surprised by Emerald Ties; I found previous builds alright, but this build really represents an improvement. Later builds are also planned to include a time/score attack and leaderboard function, to add replayability.
The demo for Emerald Ties is available at SAGE: http://www.sonicfangameshq.com/SAGE/2016/emerald-ties/
Another good demo. Physics feel pretty much nailed on to the classics. Level design is also very classic like. This game does give off a Sonic Advance vibe. Sparkling Seaside and Fuming Factory are nice stages.
Relic Retreat unfortunately has a poor frame-rate everytime I load it up. The lava chasing sequence at the end is quite good and I do like this levels background.
I haven't had the chance to play everything I picked up from SAGE this year, but Emerald Ties has so far been my favorite of the Sonic Worlds-based games. To the credit of the current build of the engine, it feels SO much better than Before/After the Sequel, and while I am also not quite sold on the spritework and animations done on Sonic himself, I do want to give brownie points for the SA2 design being used. The Tornado shield was a pleasant surprise, and didn't feel out of place alongside the returning shields from S3&K. The level design was really nice, and felt intuitive compared to some other older fangames and ROM hacks I've messed about with as well.
All in all, it's honestly a sweet demo, and I really wish there was just a little more content because the game felt genuinely fun to play, but that's obviously just my way of saying I really like this, and want to see more in the future.
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