Thursday, February 4, 2010
A Refreshing Return to Form (And Whining)
I haven't been this elated since when they first announced the game. TL;DR, it just looks great.
But you know you want to read more, right? This is my first post in like, what, 6 months now? Longer? (Sawwy Arun; I been vewy bad)
Anyways, enough of that. On to the news of the howa!
(Man, I'm really likin' those wubbayous)
So Arun's already got you guys up to date with the latest, but I'd like to recap exactly what we know so far about the game, and what to expect from here on out. First thing's first, though:
PEOPLE ARE COMPLAINING THE HELL OUT OF THE GAME. WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT?
Geez, I mean seriously. We've seen not five seconds of actual gameplay footage, and people have already managed to eternally damn any prospects of the game being worth a damn. What for? Green eyes. A lot are crying that it's not black. In fact, most are pretty much crying that the 3D Sonic model is the worst thing since sin, mostly on the basis that SEGA promised a Genesis game with most all the fixings of retro Sonic games.
Oh, what? Beautiful multi-layered scrolling backgrounds aren't enough? How about confirmed for Wii and iPhone? Smooth motion? No, SEGA's obviously ruined everything, even the power sneakers they said they would include in the game, which we haven't seen since Sonic Adventure 2. Totally ruined. FOREVER.
I swear, I was physically exhausted after spending so much time at the SEGA Sonic 4 subforum. It was mostly a bunch of paranoid fans whining and getting all griefy over the apparent possibility that Sonic definitely won't have that red spinny running motion or the figure eight from Smash Bros and CD. Yeah, I'll be fair and admit that excluding those visual staples would actually be stupid of Sonic Team, but that's also why I think it is, in fact, in the game already. We just didn't see it. And even if it isn't, who's to say that it never will, even if it doesn't appear at first? That's the same argument I pose when people complain about the ferschliggin Sonic model. Really, ask yourself: what's to stop SEGA from even considering offering the skin as optional DLC? Hell, it might not even be that. Maybe Sonic will temporarily regress in age and turn back into the chubby Sonic we all know and love as part of a plot device, but all of that is besides the point. We're getting Sonic the Hedgehog 4, so quit bitching.
Then there are those who still remain understandably cautious about getting excited for disappointment. That's about all I'll say about them: it's understandable. But it's still not worth ignoring the events of last year till today concerning SEGA's marketing of this game. SEGA have clearly taken this project more than seriously. They've done so much to connect to the fans via their American blog site, the forums, Twitter, Facebook, you name it (actually I think that's all of them). They've gone back to badniks, to momentum-based speed you have to earn, to strictly 2D-perspective gameplay, and even to Mega Drive chiptune-esque music. They understand what we want. They also understand what kind of a fanbase they're dealing with: anywhere from kids to teens to young adults. The kids recognize the new-model Sonic for the most part, so it only makes it easier for them to take the trip back to the past with all the jaded and old school fans as long as they're not to pricky about it.
Don't get me wrong, though. SEGA's not magically become the model third-party company because of a great and sincere marketing campaign. They still have their history, and I'm not particularly thrilled about their association with Zone40. It just seems like now they're doing something about fixing their tarnished image, and that's a great thing. And they're done it in the most gutsiest move I've seen them do since their original guerilla advertising for Sonic 1: by working on Sonic the Hedgehog 4 across downloadable episodes that are just about as big as your regular Genesis game. Just think about that a moment. Everyone's been asking for that, whether they are jaded Sonic/SEGA fans or not. Also, that's probably going to be a big package, perhaps even bigger and more epic than Sonic 3 and Knuckles, and that's my favorite Sonic game of all time.
So, what do we know about the game, and what can we expect? Well, we know it's going to be released on all major consoles and iPhone as downloadable episodes. We know Sonic is going to be the only playable character (yet another major concession to the fans), but there likely will be other NPCs like Tails and Knuckles. We know he's going to fight Robotnik exclusively, unless they wanna throw in a new robot or upgrade one of Sonic's metal iterations. We know the first zone will be called Splash Hill Zone (last I heard), and it looks much better than I ever expected. So far, it's totally faithful to the Genesis visual style and stage mechanics, most likely. We know that Sonic 4 will appropriately leave right off from where Sonic 3 & Knuckles left off, which may or may not indicate the function of the game as retconning other games like 3D Blast or the early handheld games. Finally, we know there's going to be power sneakers, spin-dashing, and the homing attack, which I'd be interested in seeing how they incorporate it into the dominantly Genesis-themed Sonic 4. Anything else we'll be finding out from here till June or July.
My only hopes for this game, besides it being totally awesome and fun? Hope it isn't much like Sonic Rush.