You can stop holding your breath

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You can stop holding your breath

Postby Pepperidge » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:08 pm

This is my first update on the site in quite a while, and the main reason for that is likely that there just hasn't been anything to say. Or rather, it may just because I'm afraid of saying something in a time when the option of sitting back and praying that everything is finally going to work out for our beloved Sonic is much more attractive. Topics like anime in Canada are much more comfortable for me to talk about simply because it's a subject that doesn't carry an unsettling undertone of a world we love lingering on the brink of absolute collapse.

We may not want to face it, but here in the end of 2006, we may finally reached the exemplar of absolute destruction that we've dreaded for so long. TGS has come and gone, and not so much as a mention of NiGHTS tenth anniversary has surfaced amidst the violent whoring of Sonic's 15th, and one would hope that the Sonic's benchmark entry into the admittedly nifty world of high-definition would be the one lingering possibility for extrication of the entire franchise and all that is connected to it. A lot of people thought that hearing the somewhat unexpected appearance of a "Sweet Sweet Sweet" remix tacked onto the end of the latest trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog showed some hope that the important things haven't been forgotten.

Unfortunately, it looks like Masato Nakamura might be better off wearing a sack over his head for the rest of his career. The demo for Sonic the Hedgehog released this past day on Xbox Live's Marketplace, which should at this point show promise for a game only two months away from release, sucks massive Biolizard cock. Very hard.

I haven't played it myself, but this video should tell more than any kind of description I could personally give. While it looks like the light dash has been improved (and that's always been an area I've personally wanted to see refinement), the camera appears to be the worst ever, and combined with the clunky and unnecessarily handicapped homing dash, the gameplay has just become incredibly stilted and, most importantly, not fast.

This isn't just bad, this is an insult. Sega, I beg of you: delay this game until next year. Getting the game in time for the PS3 launch isn't worth this kind of trauma. Because if this demo is anything to go by, it's something the entire fandom is going to feel, and they're not even going to need to pick up a copy of the game.

Does anyone else have anything to say on the front page? Because I think now would be a good time to say it.
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Postby Green Gibbon! » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:26 pm

I actually updated all the museum pages up to Sonic Labyrinth. The Sonic the Fighters page is done except that I'm snagged on transcribing the combo lists. I also updated the Sonic Team page.
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Postby Pepperidge » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:28 pm

Why are you mentioning this in a reply?
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Postby Segaholic2 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:28 pm

Yeah, make your own front page updates you lazy ass.
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Postby Green Gibbon! » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:37 pm

I was supposed to have like, 3 times since May but twice decided I didn't like anything I wrote so I ended up not doing it. I need to make a new logo and a new avatar first.
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Postby Pepperidge » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:43 pm

I think you should just stick with the current logo. It's too good.
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Postby FlashTHD » Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:05 pm

A few errors to point out. First, on the Chaotix page, why do you keep saying "defeated in 8 hits" if all of the bosses are defeated in 8 hits? :p
Temporarily replaces your Combi Partner with one of the other 4 characters

It counts for the character that bopped the box like the Grow/Shrink monitors.
Grab the requisite number of Blue Spheres to pass each check point. If you cross a check point without enough spheres, the stage ends.

Nope. If you don't bring enough to the end, you're forced to repeat that segment of the stage until one of three things happen:
1. You collect the remaining spheres you need to meet the limit
2. You run out of rings
3. You fall to your doom

Another thing, what is up with the little button images you use in the cheat codes now? See, I save the museum pages to use as research references and it's kind of annoying to try to decipher a button sequence by picking through the source code rather than simply being able to read it.

Speaking of cheats, I can't seem to get the level select to work in the Master System version of Sonic 2. I do it the same way the page points out but it doesn't seem to respond. Could be my emulator (Kega Fusion doesn't make it very clear what buttons 1/2/Start are assigned to), or something weird like the game region, or it's bogus.
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Postby SuitCase » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:00 pm

What's wrong with you, Pep? I saw that same video and came away pretty impressed. It looks like more SA, which isn't great, but it's not bad either, and is about as much as I could hope for from Sega in 2006. It's certainly not as bad as you're saying.
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Postby Shadow Hog » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:08 pm

I played the thing, and it's pretty much what Pep said, actually. I mean, it's <i>okay</i>, but this was supposed to be much, much more than "<i>okay</i>".

<i>DOOM</i> was released in the Xbox Live Arcade on the same day. The port is very good, fun to play co-op in. Play that instead.
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Postby Pepperidge » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:11 pm

You can just tell by watching the video just how agonizing the camera is. I can't even see what's happening half the time! It can't even keep up with Sonic, and with the stilted execution of his moves (it's pretty hard to defend the restriction on multiple homing attacks), he's going pretty damn slow to begin with. Everything is just so choppy and erratic.

Either that or I just wanted an excuse to mention Biolizard cock.
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Postby SuitCase » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:14 pm

My money's on the cock. I just watched it again and the camera looks no more annoying than any other 3D Sonic game, which was never that irritating to begin with.
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Postby Shadow Hog » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:16 pm

It gets worse. Sometimes if you walk near the edge of some of the platforms, the camera begins to shake, like mad.

Not to mention, you can only make it move left or right. And even then, it's at the <i>slowest speed imaginable</i>.

Also, I think they messed up the dead-zone. Sonic's walking speed, which you, naturally, get if you nudge the stick just a smidgen, is much faster than it should be, and for some reason using the analog stick in the pause menu causes you to immediately jump to the option at the extremity of the direction you pushed, while using the D-Pad works just fine. The heck?

I suppose I might be being a bit too harsh on it - I did kinda like it. It's just too flawed for it to be a GREAT game, though, and I can easily see it being a BAD game if the flaws get to be more noticable later on in the game.
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Postby Shake » Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:18 am

For what it's worth, I agree with what Pep is saying - the dying transmission on my car still runs smoother than this. It might've been me, but I got portions of massive slowdown, which really pissed me off.

Also, I can't tell if this is true or not, but I tried jumping on an enemy - you know, regular jump, Old School Genesis style. It did NOTHING. That right there takes points off the game for me. :\

If they can somehow manage to patch this up, I'll be amazed.

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Postby big_smile » Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:06 am

I’m don’t think the delaying the game would help. The control system and level design were the main problems of previous games and none of the promotional material released so far has shown any sign of these issues being addressed.

Instead, Sonic Team has tackled the ‘Sonic problem’ by adding new gameplay styles and features and enhancing the graphics and story. As such, the only way to fix the game would be to scrap it entirely and make a new one that specifically addresses the level designs and controls.

Being a PS3 and Xbox 360 title, this game won’t be able to rely on a child audience to support it sales, as was the case for Riders and Shadow. The media have grown weary of the Sonic series and are unlikely to support another sub-standard title.

The severe critical and commercial failure of Angel of Darkness finally prompted Edios to rework the core mechanics of the Tomb Raider series. Hopefully, Sonic the Hedgehog will be just as big a failure, as it might be the only thing that would motive Sega to really address the core Sonic problems.
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Postby Senbei » Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:33 am

Were the guys at Eidos as stubbornly set in their ways as the remainder of Sonic Team appears to be?

I could very well be wrong, but it seems like Western developers are usually more inclined to listen to the complaints of their audience than the big name Japanese are. Sonic Team seems to have lost their creative capacity and open-mindedness and are falling further into a mindset that believes their way is the best way. It's going to take a seriously failure to get them to start rethinking their method and with Sonic's vast, sometimes blindly dedicated fanbase, I'm not sure such a failure is possible, even if the game is restricted to "older audiences'" consoles. I hope so, though.
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Postby Gaz » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:01 am

Thing is that after Angel of Darkness Eidos disbanded Core Design who had handled the Tomb Raider series up to that point and got Crystal Dynamics to devleop Tomb Raider Legend. Although it was far from perfect it was a major step in the right direction for the series. I can't help but think that Sega should do the same thing with the Sonic series. Unfortunately, if some of the Internet forums I visit are anything to go by this game will just be yet another case of critical flop but commercial success. The hardcore Sonic fanbase will declare it as one of the greatest games ever made and Sega won't learn anything.

Personally, after watching the video of the demo I had something of an epiphany. This game is going to be crap and I can't be bothered to anticpate it anymore. I've deleted all videos and trailers that I've downloaded off my hard-drive and I'm just going to ignore it now until the reviews appear.
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Postby Locit » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:37 am

Is the video of the gameplay anything we haven't seen already? Most of it strikes me as having been put out in video form at one point or another, if not all in one video then at least in short clips periodically throughout the year . We've seen pretty much the entire thing, and various game sites have already posted impressions from the gameplay they've gotten with it. None of it was terribly positive (some note the camera being too close to the ground, some talked about Sonic handling erratically) so why is it such a surprise that the demo would be slipshod?
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Postby Frieza2000 » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:01 am

I don't know. With the RPG elements, the more mature story, and the emulation of SA1, it sounds like they <i>are</i> listening to their fans. I wasn't under the impression that young Sonic fans who liked Shadow particularly cared how touchy the controls were or how boring the level design was. They're in it for the characters, the story, and the fast and flashy graphics.

I'm not even sure I'd say this is actually targeted at older gamers. It was intended to be, but I think the usual economy of 8-12 year olds will provide the funding they always do. As expensive as the next gen systems might be, there's always Christmas. Every kid who wants this game will get it sooner or later and I'm sure they'll love it so long as it's playable, which I'm sure it will be. I mean, really, I enjoy doom saying and all, but a 15 year old institution like Sonic Team releasing something more broken than Heroes would destroy any legitimacy they have left. It's especially unlikely after the reaction it's gotten. If this was a litmus test, we incinerated the paper.

I'm not seeing the homing attack problem in that video though. That's the rhythm I've done the homing attack at since SA2. Any faster and there's a good chance it'll miss. That's probably why it's been changed.
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Postby FlashTHD » Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:19 pm

The control system and level design were the main problems of previous games and none of the promotional material released so far has shown any sign of these issues being addressed. Instead, Sonic Team has tackled the ‘Sonic problem’ by adding new gameplay styles and features and enhancing the graphics and story.

Shun Nakamura interview around E3 time wrote:When I played the game demo, in some cases it almost seemed too fast, especially when your perspective changes. The original Sonic was 2-D and flat, and the speed was all just left to right kind of stuff, but when you’re in a 3-D space and you’re darting in different directions, and the perspective is changing—the camera is changing—a couple of times it seemed disorienting. While it’s early and there’s still time for tuning, is there a problem with too much speed?

Sonic Team: One of the things that the team hears about from many of the previous Sonic games has been issues with the camera, and falling off things and dying. Those are things they definitely do want to address—they want to aggressively address, not just try to minimize as much as possible. However, if they just slow him down, then that’s not really Sonic anymore. So they want to find ways to make sure that players get the experience of speed, but not be frustrated by the controls or the camera.

And we know from that interview on the official site that he's aware of how much this game is riding on here. "Because Sonic is the most important product for the company, you are not allowed to fail." But I know you guys will find some way to turn this quote into a depressing sign of the end times somehow!

Again, I think the demo is broken for reasons far less straightforward than "this is how it's gonna be" and the TGS demo did not nearly sound as shoddy as people make this one out to be (the 360 verision, that is).
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Postby big_smile » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:41 pm

However, if they just slow him down, then that’s not really Sonic anymore. So they want to find ways to make sure that players get the experience of speed, but not be frustrated by the controls or the camera


The last line seems like an excuse. Improving the level design and the controls has nothing to do with slowing Sonic down.

I don't know. With the RPG elements, the more mature story, and the emulation of SA1, it sounds like they are listening to their fans.


They are listening to the fans, but for the wrong reasons. Ever since Sonic Adventure, Sonic Team has become obsessed with having a 'big feature list'. The inclusion of elements such as multiple characters, unlockable content and RPG qualities has less to do with improving the experience and is more for creating a feature list that can boast of offering ‘value for money’.

This is understandable, as there is increasing commercial pressure for larger feature lists. However, the main problem with the Sonic games is the level design and controls and it is entirely possible to fix these while offering a mature story, RPG elements and other such extras. Admittedly they would have to cut the extra play styles to free up more time to refine the level design, but this would only satisfy consumer demands for a game that focuses on Sonic.
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Postby Professor Machenstein » Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:25 pm

FlashTHD wrote:Again, I think the demo is broken for reasons far less straightforward than "this is how it's gonna be" and the TGS demo did not nearly sound as shoddy as people make this one out to be (the 360 verision, that is).

I haven't played the XBL demo but there's a TGS video at GameTrailers that seems to reflect all that's been said about the demo (Click here and scroll down to "Dash n Roll Gameplay"). There's also another video that's been recently added called "Rail-Ride Gameplay" that has a goal ring exactly where the demo ends.

As for me, I have nothing to say about the outcome of this game's success/failure. I have not played the demos so what would I know? I'll just be parroting what's already been said. Yes, there's many possible reasons why the demo is as broken as it is. I don't think it will matter once the game reaches gold or release candidate though, but let's not jump the gun. This game has received so many modifications that there's honestly no telling how the final product will turn out.

In the meantime we can wait for impressions of the game, as opposed to, you know, the demo.
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Postby Sniffnoy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:13 pm

By the way, on the topic of the Sonic Museum, there was apparently a Sonic the Hedgehog boardgame published in 1992 by Milton Bradley. I don't know anything about it aside from what little is at its entry on Boardgamegeek, but apparently it existed so it should probably be mentioned on the 1992 page.
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Postby Green Gibbon! » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:17 pm

Nope. If you don't bring enough to the end, you're forced to repeat that segment of the stage until one of three things happen:


Damage repaired. I have cut off my left pinky toe as penance.

Speaking of cheats, I can't seem to get the level select to work in the Master System version of Sonic 2. I do it the same way the page points out but it doesn't seem to respond. Could be my emulator (Kega Fusion doesn't make it very clear what buttons 1/2/Start are assigned to), or something weird like the game region, or it's bogus.


I never tried it in Kega, but it works in Meka. You don't think I actually played through the entire game to get those screenshots, do you?

Is that all, then? Surely I missed something somewhere else. Or is everyone just getting too lazy to proofread my shit?
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Postby FlashTHD » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:10 pm

You prolly did, but the rest of your toes are spared for the moment as I can't remember where. :p
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Postby Neo » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:08 pm

Just skimmed through the Sonic 1 (16-bit) page and noticed two little tidbits -- you state that Beetons always come from the right, when this is not true, especially in the elevator rooms in Spring Yard: they come at you from both sides at the same time; and that the mines in the Star Light teeter-totters flash, when indeed they don't, only the boss variants do. =P

I'll post more as I get off my lazy ass and read through the remainder of the pages.
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