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Wispon Warriors: Color Powers in Sonic Forces


Sonictrainer
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With the reveal of the Custom Heroes came the reveal of a new item called "Wispon", which are weapons that allow Custom Heroes to use specific Color Powers in unique without fusing to the Wisp like Sonic does. The only downsides so far is that from what we've seen, each Wispon can only use the Color Power it was designed for and there's still a limit to how much they can use the Color Power before it runs out.

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The Burst Wispon is powered by Red Wisps and allows Custom Heroes to use a Flamethrower and use a Burst Jump to reach higher areas.

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The Lightning Wispon is powered by Ivory Wisps and gives Custom Heroes a lightning whip and allows them to Lightspeed Dash/Ring Dash near Rings and apparently also enemies.

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There's also a Void Wispon powered by Violet Wisps. However, we haven't seen gameplay of it yet.

 

There appears to be a number of Handheld Exclusive Wispons. I'm also not sure what collecting White Wisps does for the Custom Hero...

 

Discussion Questions:

1. What Wisps/Wispons based on old Color Powers, would you like to see or predict will appear in Sonic Forces?

2. What are some new Wisps/Wispons that you'd like to see in Sonic Forces?

3. Do you think Badniks, Eggman, Metal Sonic, Chaos, Shadow, Zavok, and/or Infinite will also be able to use Wisps/Wispons against our heroes?

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I'd honestly rather not have Wisps at all. Whatever happened to them disappearing off along with their planet? Or was there an explanation for it like some Wisps decided to stay behind on Sonic's world or something?

Anyways, I see no reason why they wouldn't include all the Wisps. Maybe drop a few naff ones like Rhythm and possibly Eagle. Enemies with Wisp energy might be cool. I'd be down with Chaos absorbing some for different effects and abilities for a potential boss fight.

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I think I saw Hover in some of the early Park Avenue Hero footage - well, I checked, they're nulled-out green shadow capsules, but the shade and the fact that they're not present while the Burst Wispon is equipped does seem to imply that they are Hover-based.  The returning Wisps we've seen so far seem to fit fairly readily into existing gameplay styles...  I have a harder time imagining how Violet Void would work for movement without a weird transformation, but if they can fit that in, they can probably fit in any of them.

As for whether I think the Wisps should be back... honestly, no.  But I am impressed that they're actually doing something fresh with them by assigning them to an armament that can be used for attack and movement separately, and apparently not even linking their powers to Sonic.  Conceptually and in gameplay terms it's rather different.  If getting rather close to how Eggman planned to use the Wisps, mind.

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The idea that each weapon can only use one Wisp is a bummer, because the fact that they act like slightly-limited elemental shields that augment your movement without having to stop to activate them in highly contextual situations makes this technically their best implementation ever. I honestly hope that's not the case, or that your weapon changes on the fly when you pick up a different Wisp or something, because having to go back and outfit your Avatar with new gear in order to take some new path in a level is going to be tedious as fuck.

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1 minute ago, Nepenthe said:

The idea that each weapon can only use one Wisp is a bummer, because the fact that they act like slightly-limited elemental shields that augment your movement without having to stop to activate them in highly contextual situations makes this technically their best implementation ever. I honestly hope that's not the case, or that your weapon changes on the fly when you pick up a different Wisp or something, because having to go back and outfit your Avatar with new gear in order to take some new path in a level is going to be tedious as fuck.

The impression that I've gotten so far is that you choose your Wispon after selecting a stage, so it would be a separate option to the rest of the customisation which is (possibly) just cosmetic. So while Colours would have a predetermined set of Wisps for every act, in Forces you can use any one Wispon of your choosing any time you start a level.

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Just now, Nepenthe said:

That...still doesn't seem ideal to me. If Wisps HAVE to be in every game from now on, they should all be fully open to use any time like the Elemental Shields.

Yes and no. With the way that the Wispons work in this game, functioning as both a basic weapon and a special ability, having them all on hand at one sounds like a tall order. So far we've seen the Lightning and Burst in action. Both have a basic forward-shooting attack for taking down those lazily placed lines of enemies that have been described as bowling pins, but there special attacks when powered up vary. Burst more or less lets you fly/infinite jump with fire, while Lightning gives you the lightdash (and maybe some other application to draw yourself into objects ala Lost World 3DS). They're where the true variety in gameplay comes from, in a manner that's not entirely dissimilar to S3K's idea of giving characters a the same moveset and one unique ability. 

The number of Wisps that exist suggest to me that they're still going to be fairly context-specific. But if only one Wispon can be chosen per level, then yeah, they should be usable at any time. It really irks me that Burst Wisps still show up when Lightning is selected, and vice versa. It's slightly confusing, and looks messy.

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I wonder if Classic Sonic will have Wisp powers or not. Haven't seen anything about him at all. 

But the Wisp Weapons sounds... Eeeeeeeeeeh. As long as the Wisps are varied, then sure I'll accept it. But don't give me just four Wisp powers across the entire game SEGA, give me options. 

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30 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

Yes and no. With the way that the Wispons work in this game, functioning as both a basic weapon and a special ability, having them all on hand at one sounds like a tall order. So far we've seen the Lightning and Burst in action. Both have a basic forward-shooting attack for taking down those lazily placed lines of enemies that have been described as bowling pins, but there special attacks when powered up vary. Burst more or less lets you fly/infinite jump with fire, while Lightning gives you the lightdash (and maybe some other application to draw yourself into objects ala Lost World 3DS). They're where the true variety in gameplay comes from, in a manner that's not entirely dissimilar to S3K's idea of giving characters a the same moveset and one unique ability. 

The number of Wisps that exist suggest to me that they're still going to be fairly context-specific. But if only one Wispon can be chosen per level, then yeah, they should be usable at any time. It really irks me that Burst Wisps still show up when Lightning is selected, and vice versa. It's slightly confusing, and looks messy.

Well, what I mean is, your weapon should simply be compatible with any Wisp in any given level. In fact, you would think that having Burst Wisps in Park Avenue regardless of your gun's previous set-up, that this would be the case.

Hell, you could do a Color Splash and have each given Wisp in a level its own energy bar a la the different primary colors of paint, and if you have any energy left for that particular Wisp, your weapon can use that specific power in the appropriate context. See a trail of rings? Light Speed Dash with Lightning. See a platform above your head? Start double-jumping with Burst. No need to worry about equipping weapons and whatnot to have access to that ability at all, especially with Red Rings back (the moment I can't get to a Red Ring because I don't have the right gun equipped, I quit). Instead, you worry about resource management and accurate use and timing with the Wisps on hand.

In short, Avatar's access to Wisps should be treated as if they're a character that simultaneously has multiple abilities and yet limited energy to use them all, rather than a character who only has one ability at a time and requires tinkering to change. Simple. Quick. To the point. Sonic games.

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*when you write a really long post but take so long writing it that you get logged out and have to write it all over again*

Well, I don't really feel like writing the big blob of text I had before about Wisps, so I will just say that I am largely undecided regarding Wispons. I always appreciate bringing over elements from Colors since that's one of my favorite Sonic games, and I like that Sonic Team is using a substitute because it wouldn't make sense to have the real ones appear when the point of Colors was to bring them home. At the same time, Sonic Team... doesn't really have the best track record with Wisps post-Colors. In short, Gens's wisps were overly limited and unremarkable and Lost World's wisps were weird and terrible. But I need more info to decide if Forces will continue or break the trend. So I'm undecided, leaning on negative.

As for the questions

3 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

1. What Wisps/Wispons based on old Color Powers, would you like to see or predict will appear in Sonic Forces?

I would like to see the drill return, with the caveat that it only gets used in 2D sections since Lost World demonstrated that it doesn't translate well to 3D. I thought that the drill was especially good for underwater sections, since it successfully finds a compromise between using water physics as an obstacle and letting Sonic go fast and forces you to take risks and find new paths. It also rewards skill with more drill energy and rings, but if you aren't skilled and keep crashing into stuff, you'll quickly run out and be punished with less rings and having to contend with slower speeds. Other Wisps I would like to see are spikes and laser, since they both have the potential to be good assets for puzzles and forging new paths. Void would also be good, but I imagine that it would be best suited for a bonus stage where you try to absorb as many rings, orbs, etc. as possible for weapons or something else that's useful. I also think the white wisp would be good for a beginner/amateur's weapon-- one that doesn't have any bad stats that would cause a lot of trouble for a newbie, but that also doesn't excel in any stats to encourage players not to overrely on it once they get skilled in the Custom Hero system.

Obviously, I am fully expecting Burst, Lightning and Void to appear since I would hope that Sonic Team would be able to finish what its advertising as a feature in its game. Eh, I suppose there are worse concepts for weapons. I also expect rocket to appear since Sonic Team included it in Gens and Lost World, but I'm not as pleased since I'm not very fond of rocket-- it requires breaking your momentum to use and line up, and often doesn't provide much in terms of reward. I suppose it could be made as a rocket launcher instead of a rocket you use to launch Sonic, or Sonic Team could surprise me and not use it at it... but yeah, haven't really felt rocket since 2010. White wisp is likely too since its the most iconic of the wisps and the type that gets most highlighted in any material featuring wisps.

4 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

2. What are some new Wisps/Wispons that you'd like to see in Sonic Forces?

None, truth be told. One of the biggest mistakes with Wisps that was made in Lost World was overcomplicating them-- adding ones that are completely pointless (hi rhythm), adding ones that are just plain not fun to control (hi eagle), and having too many to the point where I suspect that one of the the reasons they were nearly always optional in Lost World was because there simply wasn't enough time or money to incorperate all or even some of them into one level.

So I'd work on improving what we have instead.

4 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

3. Do you think Badniks, Eggman, Metal Sonic, Chaos, Shadow, Zavok, and/or Infinite will also be able to use Wisps/Wispons against our heroes?

Chaos, Shadow, and Zavok have never shown any interest in wisps or their energy potential. Shadow and Chaos tend to seek the Chaos emeralds when they want to tap into immense sources of power, and Zavok was much more interested in using the life energy of Earth/Mobius/whatever for ultimate power than wisps, so I don't see it as in-character for them to turn to Wispons as the weapon of choice. I don't know enough about Infinite to really say what his personality is or what his fighting style and strategies are, so I cannot answer if it would make sense for him to use Wispons or not. At the same time, it does seem obligatory for Sonic villains to take advantage of the new gimmick when possible, so it wouldn't surprise me if they did end up using them.

Eggman is a different story. Of all the villains mentioned, he was the only one to actually show strong interest in wisps and their potential as energy sources. Heck, he's the one that found and kidnapped and conquered them and their planets in the wisps's first appearance. It wouldn't be out of character for him to try to reverse-engineer compounds with the properties of wisp energies, or to observe how Sonic used wisp abilities to stop him and try to make weapons that allow him to access those abilities as well. So I think he will definitely use Wispons. As for letting Badniks and Metal Sonic use it, I would note that in Colors, he was the only one shown to control and operate the mind control devices and the Nega Wisp Armor. It wouldn't be out of character for him to restrict use of wisp-related weapons to just himself-- I'm thinking because Eggman's ego leads him to believe that he is the only one worthy of this power, or because he knows Wispons have the potential to undo his plans as much as they have the potential to further them, but some other reason would do. So no wispons for your standard badnik. However, he does seem to trust Metal Sonic and his other elite badniks more than the standard badnik, so they may lead him to trust them with the Wispons. In short, I really can't decide if Metal Sonic and/or elite badniks would have Wispons or not.

-----

Despite what my initial setback might indicate, I quite like writing about wisps. I am considering making a forum post that discusses the pros and cons of different 3D Sonic games' approaches to those little aliens-- what they did right, what they did wrong, and how what each game did right and the proposed improvements for each game can be combined and integrated into an improved level gimmick. What do you think?

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10 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

The number of Wisps that exist suggest to me that they're still going to be fairly context-specific. But if only one Wispon can be chosen per level, then yeah, they should be usable at any time. It really irks me that Burst Wisps still show up when Lightning is selected, and vice versa. It's slightly confusing, and looks messy.

It's odd that it does appear to work that way.  In the original Custom Hero gameplay video, Wisps not applicable to the Wispon you were using at the time only showed up as coloured-out shadows, so it was clear that they weren't available to use.  In the more recent footage, though, even Wisps that you can't use show up in full and then just seem to fizzle out if you break open their capsules; between versions, that clarity has been lost.  Very strange.

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