Run Away

Recent happenings of pertinence to Sonic fans.
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G.Silver
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Run Away

Post by G.Silver »

Sega has revealed the first trailer for Sonic Runners, and by that of course I mean they have revealed nothing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zohjxhYl53A

The entire tease reminds me a lot of the Sonic 4 reveal which is a wonderful way to lower my already-low expectations right out of the gate. Get your "sumaato debaisu" ready!

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FlashTHD
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Re: Run Away

Post by FlashTHD »

Revorutionary excitement making, stable profit-generating, one-handed running game! Ask your parents for access to their bank accounts, kids, or this F2P thing will fail and we'll have to come up another fad to chase next time and pick another few hundred heads to lay off. We're begging you.

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Re: Run Away

Post by Neo »

I guess I'll try it since it's free.

4/10 "Better than Sonic Boom"

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

I suppose this is the equivalent of a merchandising item. However, since Sonic Generations Sonic Team seem to think that a key to a successful Sonic game is to just reference the 16 bit games. This would be okay if they worked in the mechanics of those titles, but with Lost World and this new game they seem to just loosely ape the aesthetics.

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Re: Run Away

Post by Frieza2000 »

Woooooow. I didn't think they'd come down on them that hard. It's like 1996 all over again. After several failed cartoons SoA invests 2-3 years into Sonic Xtreme, originally tying in with the cartoons but changing the plot several times before ending on something about Prof. Boobowski and the Rings of Order, then Naka drops the hammer, SoA gets new management, and STI is disbanded. This time they at least let the game get released, after apparently forcing some major changes on it, to such catastrophic failure that they moved SoA to a smaller office and relegated them to smartphone games. Guess the cartoon's not getting another season.

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Re: Run Away

Post by Jingles »

Making another smartphone game is probably the safest thing for the big S to do right now. I can't imagine this would cost very much to make, and the 9 billion other Sonic games on mobile routinely hit the top of the charts.
Sonic Stadium wrote:Stages are designed to be one or two minutes long.
How is this going to work, though? Having short, separate, hand-crafted stages is completely counter-intuitive to these kinds of games!

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Re: Run Away

Post by P.P.A. »

Did anyone else feel a sense of dread as the years ticked upwards into the 2000s?

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Re: Run Away

Post by G.Silver »

HMMMMMM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCbd6cHe2Sw

Isn't that Sonic's English voice in the trailer? I wonder if they even bothered with Japanese actors this time?

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Re: Run Away

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Maybe they're on hiatus out of respect for Chikao Otsuka (I wonder if they're already searching for his replacement).

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Re: Run Away

Post by Locit »

I'm genuinely surprised it took them this long to make a game so obvious. I guess it's probably too much to hope that it has discrete, fully realized stages like Rayman Run. More likely each one is cobbled together from procedurally generated stage segments with the occasional Eggman encounter thrown in. : (

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Re: Run Away

Post by P.P.A. »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dxnlVR5P98

Gameplay out. It's got a triple jump, progressively trickier “level design” (unfortunately the video ends before we can catch more than a glimpse of later levels), and a never-ending stream of colourful collectibles for plenty of instant gratification (and grating sound effects). Oh, and a… flying pig.
I'd form an opinion if I could care any less, but I can't.

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

It's actually fairly decent, although it crashes a lot on my aging Xperia Play. It is essentially an item of merchandise, but it feels like more care has gone into it compared to the Hardlight games.

There's a story mode, although the plot is wafer thin and the text feels likes it be written by a child. It does reveal a few new (trivial) things about Sonic's World (A handful of Wisps decided to stay there as they enjoy it and the animal friends don't speak English).

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Re: Run Away

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Image

Eggrobo

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

So after playing for a while, it turns out Sonic Runners is decent. Surprisingly, for an endless runner, they've put quite a bit of thought into the level design (more so than in most regular Sonic games), with plenty of routes through the stages. There's no boosting or homing attack. As a result, the gameplay strongly has the "aura" of the classic Sonic games even though it is significantly different from them.

For me, the real highlight is the story. It's another light hearted Colours style affair, but thankfully, it consists of 20 individual episodes, so Sonic isn't killing time until the ending. "Individual episodes" is perhaps too generous as many of them repeat the same "kidnapping" plot and there's far too much padding. However, towards the end the game focuses on the animal friends and we learn a lot about them, such as:

Their names (Pocky, Pecky, Flicky etc) are not species, but individual names.
Ricky eats bananas, Cucky eats bread and Picky eats candy (lollipops)
Flicky and Cucky are explicitly female. Pocky and Rocky are explicitly male.
Pocky has a mother. Rocky has a girlfriend (who also has a beard).
Sonic can't understand the animals and needs Omochao to translate

Granted, most of this "Story" is like the stuff you'd find in a boy band interview in a teenage girl's magazine. But for me that's the appeal, it's the nostalgic feeling of when I was young and excitedly read things like the Sonic yearbook to learn more about Sonic's world.

The main characters are a disappointment: Eggman is very active, but never goes beyond being a generic bad guy, Sonic merely cheers the player on, Tails provides gameplay advice and Knuckles does nothing more than smash things. Assets rips show that all the Adventure era characters are in the story mode together with their robotic counterparts, but none of this is in the story yet, so perhaps there is more to come.

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Dr. BUGMAN
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Re: Run Away

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

big_smile wrote:Pocky and Rocky are explicitly male.
Who'd've guessed Sayo-chan was trans? Good on him for finally come out of the closet!

Joking aside, wasn't it Flicky who informed Sonic of Eggman's activity on South Island in that early manga? I've always thought omochao was infringing on Flicky's role as exposition fairy, and now she can't even communicate without its help.

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

Gamewise the only time we saw the animal friends speak was in Sonic 3D Blast (Mega Drive Version) and Sonic's Gameworld, which aren't exactly major story titles.
They speak in the Lost World Cutscenes, but it's in their animal language.
It does seem odd for Sonic not to be able to understand them. I'm sure this was not something the original Sonic Team had in mind.

I guess they are a new class of semi-anthropomorphic characters to go alongside the fully anthropomorphic and regular animals that inhabit Sonic's world.

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

Here's some more story trivia. I doubt anyone is interested, but it entertains me:

Flicky undergoes a gender change, as, in a later episode she’s referred to as a ‘he’. She/he has a little brother.

In a special Easter episode, the animals hold a Egg hunting event which attracts visitors from far away lands including Merlina. Sonic doesn’t seem to remember her.
The Easter bunny attends and is referred to as female. Sonic is unsure if she is faster than him.
Sadly, I wasn't able to finish the Easter episode and so didn't see all the cutscenes.

Pecky is able to fly, which surprised Knuckles. Omochao states that Pecky was able to fly until Eggman took over the forest and removed all the happiness from them, so apparently it is the state of being happy that enables his flight.

Later on, it's revealed the forest has an ancient relic that brings happiness to all the animals.
Eggman stole the relic removing both happiness and Pecky’s flight ability. The relic reminded me of the backstory to the Emeralds in Sonic 1, but I doubt that was intentional.

Cucky is responsible for waking all the animals each morning. In one episode, Eggman builds a factory on a hill and blocks the sun, which disrupts Cucky’s sense of time, causing him to oversleep. In this episode, Cucky is used as a species name, which casts doubt on my earlier statement.

Cubot and Orbot actually come up with a good scheme. They created their own Flicky and Picky costumes, which they use to infiltrate Sonic's gang. Their costumes have dark bags under their eyes for some reason, but Sonic doesn't seem to notice. Just when the plan is working, Cubot gets bored and reveals his identity.

A major mystery is cleared up in episode 31, as it's finally confirmed that Knuckles doesn’t leave the Master Emerald unguarded on Angel Island when he goes on his adventures. Instead, he hides it at various temples. In the episode (which is a two parter), Eggman locates the temple and steals the Emerald. In the loading screen of this story, Knuckles talks about needing to restore the fragments of the Master Emerald, even though there is no other reference to it being shattered.

Knuckles seems to be able to communicate with Flicky, but I'm not sure if this was just an error, as he lets Omochao do all the translating in the other episodes. In the Emerald episode, Flicky is the one who tells Knuckles that the Emerald has been stolen. It's not clear if this is a one-off, or if Flicky has guarding duties.

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Re: Run Away

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Huh. I wonder if the inconsistencies here are due to having more than one story writer, translation issues, or accidental references to future episodes.

That said, I do appreciate the effort given to expanding the series's lore and tying up its loose ends.

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

I got an email from Brazilian GHZ fan “Bogro” who wanted to know the rest of the Runners story. I was going to email him, but I received other messages asking for details as well, so I’ll post here.

Naturally there are spoilers, but if you’ve played ahead, please use spoiler tags, because I don’t want it spoiled (I know that’s hypocritical, but I get the impression that I am the only one playing).

Everything comes from memory. Plus, the game has a bug where some of the cutscenes are skipped (it’s probably because my phone is so old), so there might be some dodgy parts.

Sonic and the gang chase down Eggman, who gives a lengthy speech about why he deserves to own the Master Emerald. This pleased me, as I always thought it was odd Eggman gave up chasing it, but we can assume he just wasn’t able to find it (a theory that’s reinforced later on).

After being defeated in a boss battle, the doc flees. Knuckles strikes out, shattering the Emerald in the process. Despite being the third time this has happened, the Echidna seems genuinely surprised. Sonic reassures him by telling him that the Master Emerald isn’t really that fragile. It’s an odd thing to say, but it’s great that Sonic is doing something more than just cheering the player on or taunting Eggman.

I assumed that the shattered Emerald would let the writers re-use the kidnapped Wisp/Animal stories from the first 20 chapters, by substituting the gems for the creatures.
Thankfully this isn’t the case and the Emerald marks the start of a new story arc. The quality of writing has improved considerably. I’d say it’s on par with [img]Sonic%20Pinball%20Party[/img], which may not be a compliment depending on your standards.

The gang proceed to find the pieces of the Master Emerald. They come across Pecky who is suffering from heat exhaustion. The tropical zone he lives in should be frozen over as it’s winter, but it’s hotter than ever. It’s a strange set up, as Pecky seemed fine with the heat the last time we saw him (in fact, his happiness was so intense that he could fly), but perhaps that was a different Pecky? Being the sensible one of the group, Tails suggest that they put the Emerald quest on hold to help out, and, being the dutiful guardian, Knuckles is more than happy to oblige.

This would be the perfect opportunity for Eggman to bring back his weather control machine from [img]Sonic%203[/img]. Instead, he has built a factory which has made the environment so hot that the winter weather can’t come. That doesn’t make any sense, but when Knuckles smashes the factory the problem is solved.

The gang hear rumours that Metal Sonic has an Emerald fragment, so they track him down. Metal Sonic would make the perfect boss in an endless runner, and, as he has the Emerald shard, they could have had a Sonic & Knuckles throwback, with the bot powering up as Mecha Sonic did. Unfortunately, just as with all the other Metal Sonic encounters in this game, Eggman steps in to take on Sonic himself.

After defeating the doc, or “Egg-breath” as they like to call him, the gang retrieve the Emerald shard and meet Ricky, who despite being a squirrel is determined to knock down a tree. It’s located out of the way, but that doesn’t seem to bother Knuckles. Upon smashing it, he somehow finds a map inside of the trunk that shows treasure in a sky zone called Dragon’s Road. Tails mentions the area was once inhabited by the mythical creatures. Knuckles expresses his excitement by describing himself as a ‘treasure hunter’ (Sonic called him this in SA2, but I think he was mocking him).

So with the gang distracted by treasure, what will happen to the Master Emerald? Tune in for the next post.

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

After getting the treasure, the gang stumble-upon Orbot who is using a device to find the Master Emerald. True to his cowardly self, he immediately hands over the device, not wanting an argument. The trio finds the next shard, but are stopped by Eggman. The cutscenes skipped a little, but it seems like Eggman wanted them to have the tracking device.

After defeating Eggman and securing the shard, our heroes investigate reports of shooting green stars. Picky has one of these in his pocket, which is strange, as he doesn’t wear any clothes. The star is, of course, a Master Emerald shard. Picky wants to give it to his mother as a gift. Tails explains that the fate of the world could depend on them acquiring it.

Before Picky has a chance to respond, Knuckles butts in stating that they can’t get in the way of this mother/son moment and vows to find Picky a substitute. Omochao doesn’t even get a chance to translate Picky’s response, as Knuckles dashes off looking for a gift.

I quite liked this scene. It’s quite common for NPC to demand something before parting an object that could save the world. Whilst it sets up gameplay objectives, it makes the NPC seem selfish. Here they step around the awkwardness by making Knuckles the one who does the bartering. It adds a caring, sensitive side to the character. Granted, it is a sharp break from the dutiful guardian that we saw in the Adventure games. However, Knuckles was shown to be a friend to the animals in the S&K opening, so it isn’t without precedent.

Another good scene follows when Sonic suggests that Picky gives his mum a chili dog. Naturally, Picky hates the idea, but Sonic genuinely doesn’t seem to understand why. I’ve always wondered why Sonic eats the animals he saves, but now we know: He’s blissfully oblivious of the implications.

Knuckles finds the perfect gift in the form of a pearl necklace. Before Picky accepts it, Eggman strikes kidnapping both the pig and the Master Emerald shard. Sonic defeats him in a boss battle, so to avoid capture, Eggman hurls Picky, hitting Sonic in the face.

By the time the gang recover, Eggman has gone. Knuckles seems more concerned about Picky’s well being. Once he’s established that the porker is okay, the gang chase after Eggman.

Unfortunately, the skipping bug occurred, so in the next scene the trio are on a quest to restore the Master Emerald in the lava temple.

After the Emerald has been restored, Eggman strikes but is promptly defeated. But the doc doesn’t care. Now that he knows the location of the temple, he can attack at anytime.

Knuckles is depressed as it means he’ll have to guard the Emerald while Sonic & Tails go on their adventures. Omochao, however, recruits all the animal friends and when Eggman arrives they bite him.

This scene clears up quite a bit of Knuckles' story. We can assume that sometime after SA2, Knuckles found a hidden temple and left the Emerald there, allowing him to spend more time with Sonic & Tails. Seeing as most of the duo’s time is spent battling Eggman (who still has a deep desire for the emerald), it could be argued that Knuckles is taking a proactive role. Either way, his old life of patiently standing guard by the Emerald are over.

The temple isn't on Angel Island, so it's not clear how the Island is able to float or even if it does anymore.

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

23_s.png
23_s.png (221.48 KiB) Viewed 27604 times
It looks like classic Sonic will be an unlockable character in Sonic Runners (presumably for the 24th Anniversary). "Mega Drive", "Death Egg" and "Sonic 1 & Knuckles" will be available as buddies. The game will launch worldwide on June 25th.

From the screenshot it looks like there might be another Special Stage event (in the style of the previous Easter and Pyuo events).

I've got to say I really am loving Sonic Runners. It does an excellent job of translating the classic pinball mechanics into an endless runner.

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Re: Run Away

Post by G.Silver »

Is this available in the US app store yet?

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

It launches on the 25th.

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Re: Run Away

Post by Esrever »

Sonic Runners is really solid, and I enjoyed it thoroughly for a few weeks.

Unfortunately, once you get up to the higher levels it just becomes too tedious to advance. You need higher and higher scores to progress, and are given fewer and fewer rewards as you do so. And it becomes harder to GET those high scores once you advance to a certain point, because the stage selection switches to "random surprise mode", which makes it impossible to pick the matching character deliberately.

If these annoyances could be alleviated with small purchases, I'd have considered it, because I was really enjoying the game. But they can't be. Money is just for buying extra lives (totally unnecessary) and spins of the roulette wheel for new characters and companions (which are way, WAY too expensive for how rarely you win a good one.)

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Re: Run Away

Post by big_smile »

I've found the trick is to participate in the Runners League. If you can get in the A or S rank group, you get generous bonuses which make it easier to level up. Once your character's invincibility and laser Wisp powers are at 30 seconds, much of the frustration is removed. Playing the league also unlocks Shahra. If you can get her to level 5, you'll start getting more power-ups which help greatly (Merlina is another good companion, but she's no longer available). With level 5 Sharara and level 80 Charmy, I can beat a stage in 6 goes (where as before it took around 15).

Although, I agree, Sega has really missed an opportunity with the payment system. It's baffling: They've done a good job of creating just enough frustration to tempt people to pay (without going over the top), but then not offered any suitable purchasing options. How can a company be so stupid and clever at the same time.

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