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Sonic: Round 7

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Sonic: Round 7 is a fangame created by TheEngineerKappa. It reimagines the Sonic CD Special Stages, and was created in Game Maker: Studio in a mere 3 weeks! The game boasts 7 stages from Sonic CD, a new boss stage, plus an additional secret or two for the best players. The way the stages play has been completely reworked, with the focus now being on collecting rings (destroying the UFOs is still the focus, as each UFO gives 10 rings). The gameplay is incredibly smooth, and far more rapid than the original Sonic CD Special Stages.

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The game is heavily inspired by classic arcade games, with leaderboards, time limits (that result in a straight Game Over if not met), and other small details. The game also seems to take some small influence from NiGHTS, with a similar Bonus Time feature to that game being included here. The game has a huge nod to a certain SEGA arcade game too, but I'll let you all find that yourselves...

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Sonic's controls are now redone; he's got an acceleration button, which feels great and allows superb control (which you'll need for tearing through these courses). The game also contains a Time Attack mode, and there's even an all new boss fight with Dr. Eggman, in the unused 8th round from Sonic CD! The music tracks are a mix of Sonic CD's own Special Stage music, as well as the sublime track used for said stages in Sonic 3D's Saturn version, and it all comes together to form an very arcade-y experience that caught me off guard with how fun it is.

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Sonic: Round 7 is finished, and available to download at SAGE 2016http://www.sonicfangameshq.com/SAGE/2016/sonic-round-7/

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Yeah, this is neat. Thought I'd do a quick playthrough. Enjoy! 

Once I got used to the controls it was a breeze. Got a game-over against Eggman in Round 8, you don't have much time! You only have one life. So I then played time-attack and kicked Eggman's ass!

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Spoiler

Not going to lie, I fucking laughed out loud at the Space Harrier credits. I never would've seen that coming in a million years.

It's a pretty modest game all things said, and I honestly wish more fangames would gun for short and sweet rather than over-promise and never deliver like the apparent majority of SAGE's showings. If I had to make one nagging criticism about the game, it's that it seems like you have to come to an almost dead stop to line up with anything? This was an even worse problem in the original CD because you couldn't stop, sure, but it feels like Sonic could've benefited a lot from a much more sensitive turning circle, or hell, even mouse-based turning. I swear the collision on some of the bumper walls was a bit off too, but maybe that was just me.

Still had fun in spite of that anyways. It's easily worth a try - even if you don't like it, at most you'll probably only waste under an hour finishing the arcade mode. =V

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I love the Sonic CD Special Stages. They're fun if a little challenging and had a great unique idea with a simple objective. 

However. Something in Round 7 feels... really off. I get that you get to control Sonic's forward movement and that makes aiming for the UFOs easier, but a problem I couldn't help coming across is that Sonic goes Super Sneaker fast all the time and the only time I managed to hit the UFOs was when I stopped in front of one and jumped at it whereas in the original game I could easily hit UFO to UFO by pattern recognition. When I learned to control Sonic in the original game the fairly straightforward pacing of the Special Stage was good to keep up with and didn't overload me with being too fast or being too pace breaking. 

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Pattern Recognition to an Extreme

It's a problem that makes the final zone a wholly interesting but slog of an affair. I appreciate getting to see a Sonic boss battle like this. I really do. It's neat. But couldn't SRB2 do this far more easily on the Doom engine? Aiming Sonic to hit the faster and more annoyingly patterned Dr. Eggbotnik fight turned out to be more tedious than it did actually fun. Which is a shame because I loved the concept, but the mechanics just weren't making this easy to get into. I know the mantra of "easy to learn, hard to master" is a huge gaming philosophy but should it really be this frustrating to get into a game? 

I prefer the auto forward movement of Sonic in the original CD stages, everyone. Sorry. It's an easier pace to get into than having Super Sneakers on all the time. That was just frustrating. But maybe it just isn't for me. I'm just trying to figure out who it's for now though. 

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Hi, everyone! Thanks for playing my game, and thanks for all the feedback!

With this game, I wanted to try a different interpretation of CD's special stages. Something with the same art style and aesthetic, but different to play. Something faster and focused around collecting rings like a traditional Sonic special stage with some arcadey elements thrown in. It's definitely not going to appeal to everyone, especially people more fond of the original game, but I had fun making it. It's fun to experiment with things every now and then.

The boss was something I thought would be neat to serve as some sort of climax to the whole game, but nothing too complicated. Maybe it should've been less predictable, but I also didn't want it doing crazy attacks that would be hard to avoid with this movement style. 

 

PROTIP THAT I REALLY SHOULD'VE MADE MORE OBVIOUS THAN A SINGLE LINE IN THE README FILE: You can hold Shift or LT/RT while turning to turn more sharply around corners, kinda like Sonic R. I feel bad leaving that a mystery in-game, because it's a lot harder to control without it. 

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