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Sonic and the Fallen Star - Full game out now!!


Sean
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I've played the first two zones already. The level design has a few too many of those practically automated sections where all you do is watch Sonic go fast for awhile, but otherwise I'm enjoying the game so far.

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I never heard of this project until now, looks incredible, I`ll definetely check it out.

Congrats to the devs for finishing and releasing the project.

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Played through the first three zones. Feels...ok, I guess? The basics are all there, it's solid classic Sonic gameplay at its core, but it doesn't have a hook to elevate it beyond that. Maybe it's partially because it's late and I'm tired but the levels so far are all pretty garish; hard on the eyes and hard to tell what's actually solid and what's just background decoration. Cutscenes feel kind of...self indulgent? I don't feel I'm learning anything important for how long they are and the attempts to be stylish or cinematic or whatever just don't work for me, I don't like the closeups or the zooming in making the pixels swim or every single movement making the characters bounce. Bosses all kind of suck but that's most Sonic bosses so eh.

Special stages definitely feel overtuned. I've got 4 emeralds, each only by the skin of my teeth. Took a while to figure out what I was even trying to do and I think I still don't fully get it; doesn't feel like there's any leeway to experiment and the whole "lap" system feels poorly conveyed. Squirrelly controls and the difficulty of aiming in faux-3d don't help.

Diagonal downwards electric shield frightens and confuses me.

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I'm three zones in now too and feel the same criticisms that Diogenes has.  I hated this "flash animation" style cut-scene in BTS/ATS and hate it here and the cut-scenes definitely go on too long for how uninteresting they are.  There's so much of Sonic and Tails standing around swapping between poses with that little bounce in some sort of attempt to convey communication between the two that really adds nothing and gets super repetitive.  I'd much rather these cut-scenes were playing out without all the camera zooms and bounces at a more streamlined pace.  I also agree that the art style is a little garish and often hard to tell solid from non-solid until you've spent a few minutes in each zone and just learned by trial and error.

But yeah, largely just aesthetic concerns - it's fun, solidly put together and Sonic feels good to control.  I particularly like the animation flourish they put onto the drop dash.

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played this through to the end yesterday and had a really good time!

it wears its inspirations from stuff like Before/After the Sequel very strongly on its sleeve, especially visually, but comes with all the perks of being released in a post-Mania world - drop dash, widescreen, better physics, it's all there and it feels great. the level design, while nothing mindblowing, plays with physics and spectacle in a lot of fun ways i wasn't expecting.

only major issues were the enemy placement getting awfully DIMPS-adjacent in the latter half, and the special stages being.... well, they sure are special stages in a sonic fangame. feels like a lot of games just add them out of obligation at this point rather than actually have an inventive new idea. aside from that, a rock-solid classic sonic experience

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I haven't beaten it yet but it's fun! There are some level gimmicks that have actually (pleasantly) surprised me, I love the art and music, and the bosses are usually at least "okay" so far imo. I usually get hit at least once but that's normal for my first runs of 2D Sonic games.

The special stages are pretty bad but hopefully the rebalancing patch eases the issue. I guess I see what they were going for, but uh...it's just way too hard to judge when you're going to hit something. There's no way I'll ever bounce on the item boxes over pits, versus the same trick in Mania's special stages where it felt really intuitive. I think part of the problem is the pseudo-3D, but also the fact that the camera is super zoomed out away from Sonic/Tails.

Also this is silly but I keep missing the names of zones because I keep forgetting the name is at the top of the screen in this game instead of the middle as in like, most Sonic games ever. I can't complain about this with a straight face because it's actually really funny.

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Managed to beat the game with both Sonic and Tails and with (somehow) all emeralds. Had a lovely time with it, I'm already playing through the levels again on my completed saves. The soundtrack in particular is a huge standout for me and I consider it to be the best Sonic fangame OST since After the Sequel. I think it could benefit from some additional content however, like perhaps a time and score attack mode (what with points and rings being useless now that lives are gone) or some options like disabling cutscenes. Many people have (rightfully) drawn comparisons between Fallen Star and B/TAS in terms of presentation but the actual game structure reminds me a lot more of the Sonic & Tails 3 I never knew I wanted until now.

Some final boss spoilers:

Spoiler

I am really disappointed how Tails' playable role feels like an afterthought though; his cutscenes are exactly the same as Sonic's and you even fight the true final boss with Sonic rather than Tails when you get all the emeralds. I think it'd be better for them to either remove the boss entirely for his playthrough or to allow Tails to fight it himself

Not even joking about the OST btw just listen to how much of a banger literally all of it is:

Spoiler

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, J77 said:

Hey, how do I input controller functionality?

My Xbox One controller works automatically for me as long as I have it turned on before I open the app. You might want to try contacting the devs on Twitter (@SATFSDev) and see if they can help you.

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Finished without all emeralds.  The climax was a little underwhelming - I was surprised that the final boss was the final boss.  This is as opposed to S3&K or Sonic Mania where I feel even someone who doesn't collect all the emeralds won't leave the game feeling like they didn't get a proper ending.

I'm now trying to work on all emeralds and... yeah it's weird how utterly brutal these are considering the main game has a somewhat gentle difficulty compared to most fangames.  Special Stage 5 is messing me up at the moment with all the drops, and how many of the (newly introduced for this stage!) floating boost rings send you straight into them at any speed.  Are there any quicker special rings for grinding than the first one of Zone 2?

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20 hours ago, JezMM said:

Finished without all emeralds.  The climax was a little underwhelming - I was surprised that the final boss was the final boss.  This is as opposed to S3&K or Sonic Mania where I feel even someone who doesn't collect all the emeralds won't leave the game feeling like they didn't get a proper ending.

I'm now trying to work on all emeralds and... yeah it's weird how utterly brutal these are considering the main game has a somewhat gentle difficulty compared to most fangames.  Special Stage 5 is messing me up at the moment with all the drops, and how many of the (newly introduced for this stage!) floating boost rings send you straight into them at any speed.  Are there any quicker special rings for grinding than the first one of Zone 2?

There's some giant rings near the beginning of most of the levels, like I remember this one in the beginning of Frozen Fountain 1 that I grinded over and over. Though really you're better off waiting for the patch, it's really not worth going for the emeralds in the game's current state (<- got all emeralds with both characters)

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I actually managed it in the end!  Definitely was an unfair difficulty curve though - if they like the idea of it being reasonable to get all emeralds "naturally" (rather than grinding the same special ring) on at least a second playthrough, they need to look at these special stages again.

I do really like the "lap" system, I enjoyed it in Colours DS and it's great to see another take on it.  The main issues I had with the special stages are:

  • I've done 7 of them and still have no idea what causes the gauge to reach the emerald to fill up faster.  Some special stages took me 6 laps, some only took 2 or 3.
  • There are SO MANY instances of seemingly beneficial objects sending you straight into pits, usually on the very act that they are introduced.  Pretty much all of them only seem to be calibrated for use when at full speed, and it's extremely unintuitive/unenjoyable to have to constantly remind yourself not to touch them.  Usually, even at full speed it ends up just feeling safer to go around them than engage with them.  A particularly awful example was on special stage 7, there's a pair of ring monitors just before a pit. You better not fucking touch them, because even if you run through them, for some reason they stifle your jump afterwards so you won't reach the dash rings required to make it across the pit.
  • In a game that otherwise follows that classic Sonic golden rule of one-button play, the widely reviled QTE jumps from Sonic Unleashed are here for some reason in the last two special stages.  These are particularly poorly thought out due to the game being on PC, where players could be using any number of inputs.  In my case, I've been playing on a PS5 controller so I had no idea what to push when it asked "A" and "B" of me.  If they're keeping these, they should probably limit them to Up/Down/Left/Right and rename "A" to "Jump".
  • It's also a little weird that in a game that was modern-thinking enough to remove the lives system, special stages still punish failure as hard as the classics did.  I'm not sure if going all the way and allowing infinite continues on those is right, but it'd be cool if you could spend rings from the main stage to retry a special stage.  As is it kinda bugged me that beyond large amounts = easier to recover more when hit, having a lot of rings is a bit meaningless in this game.

I think if I were to propose a solution that wouldn't require a complete overhaul of the special stage level design, it'd be to replace the pits with Sonic CD-esque time-draining water.  Just give the player a chance to recover, rather than instantly-failing them.

 

Having said all that, yeah I did it, and the true final boss was fairly satisfyingly challenging (although could have used a little better feedback that I was damaging them) - the bosses in general actually seem inconsistent on this, some of them offering clear entire-body flickering, while others I wasn't 100% sure I was hurting them until I got that (very smart) "off-screen damage taken" icon.  The final boss lacks this despite the fact that you're often going off-camera from it.

 

And since I didn't comment on it yet, utterly fantastic soundtrack.  I'm not sure if it's an ATS beater for me - some zones were a little forgettable, but so many were fantastic, almost to the point I was sometimes reluctant to hit an invincibility/speed-up box or would get annoyed when I found myself at the goal quicker than usual.  A patch definitely needs to address the way there is a noticable skip when the music transitions from song introduction to the point that is looped back to at the end of the song though.  Really bugged me.

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The final boss kicked my ass like five times and I legitimately thought it was too hard for a moment.

And then I realized the easy strategy for the attack that killed me the most, where he slams down repeatedly, is to just...jump from side to side instead of trying to keep jumping in the same direction. Huh.

 

Also I think I'll get the Emeralds after an update but who knows, maybe I'll throw myself at them for a few hours at some point.

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As it turns out they released an update around the time I made that last post, whoops

I got all the Chaos Emeralds as Tails! I was surprised that 1) you still fight the true final boss (though you do switch to Sonic anyway) and 2) beating the game with all Emeralds lets you use them from the Level Select menu AND you can use them with both characters automatically. That's actually really generous? I remember thinking the level select menu seemed redundant but that makes it a great bonus.

Speaking of the true final boss, I thought it was interesting. It took me a few tries, reminded me a little of Egg Reverie in that sense but it gave me trouble for a different reason. Usually Super Sonic fights either have something really easy to dodge or (like Reverie) it's pure chaos. This one was like the opposite--two of his three attacks were hard for me to avoid at first, but he also has a really deliberate pattern that makes it feel a lot more manageable once you realize what's happening. Making sure not to run out of Rings was probably tighter than any other Super Sonic finale like this as far as I can remember, but it made it pretty satisfying to finally beat him.

...it's a bit evil that he takes a while to finish exploding and end the game though. I happened to see a comment from someone who died there (F), so when he started blowing up I went to grab Rings. That could have easily gotten me if I wasn't prepared, lol.

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Yeah uhhhh the special stages are a lot easier now lmao. SS6 took me about three tries but the rest was just once. Not that I'm complaining that just shows how much of a God Gamer I am

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