Monday, 5th May 2008, 1:29pm (UTC), 2 Comments
Update: Metropolis Zone added to the Sonic 2 section
Now is that the best blog-post-title-that-refers-to-a-level I've done so far or what? I'd be lying if I said it only just came to me, mind you.

Again, my apologies for taking ages with it, especially since I've managed to do the whole thing in just the last two weeks really, but I've been snowed under with other work. I think you'll find it rather detailed though, as always, and the maps weren't as tough to make as I was expecting, although the looping does confuse things a bit. We're closing in on a complete Sonic 2 section now, and neither Sky Chase nor Wing Fortress should take me that long (I reckon if I set aside a whole day, I could get Sky Chase done in its entirity no problem). And then it's just all the other stuff about the game (including Death Egg, don't worry I haven't forgotten about it, I just don't class it as a level, it's a boss), all of which has already been written, but will probably need a few small additions. Although I will probably assemble a PHP system to help me build those non-level pages.

Once I've converted all current levels and pages to a fully dynamic state, it'll be much easier for me to make layout alterations and add new features, and I've got one or two ideas in my head that I hope will improve the experience. Also coming hopefully fairly soon is a full new look, particularly regarding the top banner/nav area (it really needs it in my opinion, and again I have a great idea for it), Sonic CD and a couple of other great, big features for the site. Can't guarantee I'll have loads of time to spend on it within the coming months, as I have a placement job to start in two weeks from today, as well as a new place to move into, but I shall do what I can. I'm planning on a big update week at some point, where a lot of these things will appear throughout it, or if they all take too long, I'll release them more gradually, we'll see how it goes.

So Sonic Unleashed is looking to be on tip-top form so far. If you're interested and haven't done so yet, you should really check out the scans from Play Magazine's interview with Yoshihisa Hashimoto, the lead director, which also includes new screens and loads of info. It would seem that the Wii/PS2 version is being developed with a certain degree of difference to the 360/PS3 version with regard to level design, and the former is being worked on by the Sonic Rush team. Given the game is very like Sonic Rush in pace, it's in good hands as far as I'm concerned. I know some people are a bit up in arms about this decision and worried that, because the Wii can't take advantage of some of the features of this "Hedgehog Engine", it'll lead to a significantly poorer version. I guess I can understand that if you only own a Wii or PS2, but being a Wii and a 360 owner, I'm excited by this decision. It could almost be two different games, if they really do vary significantly. A clever trick to make more money by Sega too, but what can I say? They're welcome to take mine.

This was a great interview too. Play asked all the right questions, and the director proved to me that they're all passionate about getting it right this time, and taking onboard the specific crticisms of past games. Of course, that's not to say they won't make whole new ones, but they're definitely more receptive than they used to be. I believe the reference to the game being half 2D, half full 3D refers to the fact that Were-Sonic will be controlled in full 3D, whereas regular Sonic will only be 2D to the side, and 2D on-rails from behind. Unfortunately it looks like Sega are still in control of things like deadlines and delays (or lack thereof), as opposed to the developers, and if that's still the case, are we likely to end up with another buggy product?

With the success of Sonic Rush Adventure and Sonic Rivals 2 on a more traditional, technical basis, and the very surprising success of Mario and Sonic Olympics and Sega Superstars Tennis on a more casual one, plus Sonic's attachment to Brawl and Bioware, we're building up to a major comeback here, culiminating in the success of Unleashed and Chronicles. I believe the new era of Sonic has already started, and I'm confident that these next two big games can carry the weight of this build-up.

Expect all of my (more well-written) thoughts on Sonic Unleashed soon, in a big article, as we start to learn more about it.
Comments   2 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by iNAUDiBLE on Friday, 16th May 2008, 11:04pm
The guides you've been posting so far have been pretty nice. I came in, expecting for you to have only updated once since I've last seen the place only for you to have updated twice! Stunning! *SHOT*

...I believed that by being "half 2D, half full 3D", that they were talking about the switching between the 2D and 3D perspectives, not necessarily the werehog. Ah well.

IGN's article on it says that SEGA, at this point in time, is keeping the game at 30fps instead of 60. I'm not really sure what to think about that right now, but it does look to be pretty fast at the frame rate it is now...and if it's at full 60fps, you'd run the risk of running so fast, you'd be continually running into walls, and while we want Sonic at lightspeed, we do NOT want him at ludicrous speed! D:
#2. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Saturday, 17th May 2008, 12:50pm
Thanks! Wing Fortress isn't too far off either :)

Indeed, 60 would be great, and if there's one type of game where the difference would be noticeable, because of its pace, it would be Sonic. But then again, Secret Rings runs at 30 and that didn't really bother me for the most part, and if it means that the game runs more consistently in general, with less slow down as a result, then I think 30 is the right choice.
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