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Sonic Souls

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For those who loved Sonic Incursion but crave to play a longer and fully finished Sonic game running on the Unreal Engine there's a game called Sonic Souls by Doky.

It features the same gameplay element of collecting the red rings in a rotating 3D environment, but there's somewhere around 30 stages to choose from, and supposedly around 30 characters to play as. (Although I only have around 10 characters available right now, due to just having started playing this 2 nights ago and not having unlocked anyone yet.)

And yes, there's also a 2-4 player feature supposedly included. I trust that it is indeed included, because I can see that the designer totally poured their entire heart into getting this game to a finished state, but I just don't have neither the time nor the people for testing this.

The only downside is that I couldn't find what the background story for this game is. There was no cutscene and no dialogue to tell me what it possibly could be. I was left guessing that the reason why it's called "Souls" is because it's very easy to earn extra lives as you play. I was literally able to earn 13 lives after playing for only a half-hour and beating the first 3 stages. (Yeah, perhaps my guess is crazy and wrong. But whatever.)

Seriously though, I fell in love with this game after only beating 3 stages so far. And here's a screenshot:

ScreenShot00001_zpsftzfymqp.png

I hope you enjoy it too! I was impressed.

 

 

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1 hour ago, FlareSakithaSol said:

it would be great if we could have a link

You mean to the actual download page? Fine, here it is: https://mega.nz/#!98QE3bCT!byBOVOAmISdpN0KGvglwhhCA7YBcEmJw9K1AMRjmkWQ

It's a 3GB compressed file, and you will be required to install a special browser plugin for downloading something of that size. And no, there's no virus or malware there, because I already went through this process and came out clean.

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Sigh.

I don't usually download anything over a gigabyte for most things like this on account of my data plan, but for all the glowing praise I've heard for it so far I was willing to take a risk for it. I'm just going to say it straight - I came out feeling pretty disappointed.

The first thing I should point out is the simply bewildering selection of characters. Off the top of my head I can't think of a single playable character that doesn't get represented in Souls in some form, save for guys like Ray, Bean, Bark and Nack - it feels like there's everything from Sonic to Knux to Charmy to friggin' Mighty. Now, I don't have a problem with variety. I've always advocated for characters that share core basics and differentiate with a handful of moves in between them, and this would be no different, but Souls doesn't do that. It feels more like they threw a bunch of models onto a generic moveset template and allowed/denied certain moves depending on the character rather than actually tailouring any semblance of a unique playstyle to any of them. Hell, I'm not even convinced their stats were altered at all - they're effectively interchangeable with one another, and what scant differences they have are poorly balanced to the point of ridiculousness (predictably, the Boost characters will always have a massive advantage).

This quantity over quality is an attitude that seems to permeate almost everything the author does with the game, and I can only assume they must be incredibly desperate for that kind of padding because they included what I can only assume is a pink Tails recolour OC as a playable character. I'm not even saying that out of facetiousness - "Pink Miles" is literally her fucking name. That lack of originality, too, is something that permeates a lot of what the game sets out to accomplish. Nothing new for Sonic GDK games, sadly - I'm sure the engine has plenty of untapped potential, but people keep using it for cookie-cutter design and I find it extremely grating.

Another reason I decided to try this is that it was one of the few fangames at SAGE that was billed as a finished game. In hindsight, frankly I'm not really convinced it fits that bill on anything more than a technical level, because it comes off as incredibly unpolished at the best of times. There are areas as early as the tutorial that still use placeholder textures. Character animations, or at least what of them aren't stock animations, range from nonsensical to outright hilariously bad, to the point that I can't even tell what half of them are supposed to be doing when I hit the attack button - Amy, from what I played, is easily the worst offender of this. Level design is way too open and I feel like I'm doing way too much running and not nearly enough platforming, only GDK doesn't have a feature set like GHP's or Utopia's to make up for it. There's a Seaside Hill level in it, and the texture stretching is so bad in huge chunks of it that I swore to high heaven that I was playing an N64 game rather than something running on Unreal Engine 3. Then I played another level crammed so chock full of special effects that the framerate slowed to a completely unplayable crawl, and that was all the patience I had left for Souls.

I'm sure there's plenty more words I could find to describe my experience with Souls, but I find only one really sums it up best.

Sigh.

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Well, I'm still playing my way through this and enjoying it, but there's only 1 tiny glitch that I've discovered... Basically, the glitch is that sometimes when I reach the goal ring at the end of a stage then instead of being returned to the adventure field I get returned to the start of the currently completed stage. But fortunately this minor mishap doesn't prevent the savedata from being recorded, and I'm able to resume my progress by exiting to the main menu and loading the savedata which spawns me back at the adventure field with all of my newly accumulated lives and allows me to make my way into the next unlocked stage.

You might argue that it's unpleasant to keep going to the menu to load the savedata, but on the bright side this gives me an opportunity to select a different character if I got bored of using the same one for multiple stages in a row.

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