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When You Have a Gaming Addiction/Obsession

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another blog post. Today’s subject matter is one I wanted to write back December during the Christmas season, but I never got around to discussing it until now. Video games are one of my favourite forms of entertainment and at several points in my life I how found them consuming my life to the point of addiction and it took me til 2014 to realise that I’m totally obsessed with it all over again.

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Now gaming addiction, anyone within the gaming community knows of it and has seen what it has done to certain gamers when there is no moderation or control. And while the media have tried to understand/show what it is through the news and documentaries, it is mainly just the dark/sad side of things shown and while some of it is true, it isn’t the only form of gaming addiction. To me I think that there are different levels and types of addiction and it also doesn’t have to be so much an addiction as an obsession that just needs to be fed.

So what’s my gaming addiction? Well I think it is just the need to play games and obtain more to extend my super fun time experiences.

th1You see gaming, it makes me feel like this.^^ Milhouse knows. 😛

But in all honesty my obsession comes from childhood. I’ve been gaming since around the mid to late 90’s with my Sega Mega Drive and Nintendo Game Boy Pocket, and then with my additional sessions with Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation. From Sonic the Hedgehog to GoldenEye to Mortal Kombat, my life has been full of video games of all genres and sometimes it can just be like the best feeling ever. Just you and your games, it can be one of the most engaging experiences and people who haven’t played games can’t begin to comprehend how satisfying a good gaming session can be. But it doesn’t have to be alone, it can be done with friends and family. Besides having some of my favourite gaming memories with my friends, at the same I have shared a lot of my gaming experiences with my sister. We both played game franchises like Pokemon, Mario, Sonic, Kingdom Hearts and Zelda to name a few either together or individually. It is one of our major bonding points.

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This was pretty much me and my sister in the late 90’s to early 00’s along with the sleeping father in the background too haha. 🙂

But growing up into my teenage years, I was able to full dive into the world of gaming and find myself getting lost in gaming for days/weeks/months/years on end. I think it was towards the end of my college years in 2010 when I started to move away from gaming and started getting more interested in films, this was mainly due to my only consoles being my Wii, PS2 and DS, so I was limited for choice when it came to new and varied games. But it wasn’t until late 2011 when there was a resurgence and again in 2013 when my gaming fire was relit. By 2014 I was back to being the gaming madman that I remembered from my youth and it was a gorgeous feeling. Going to uni definitely helped as it reminded me why I loved video games and how it really is the best thing for get together or solo activities. But what’s become clearer to me in recent years is that gaming experiences doesn’t end with one game, you need to have more. I mean sure you could play a really good game and you play it anywhere from a few days to a few years, but, once it is over you know you need to find the next best thing, whether it is the same genre or a different one. I’ve always had more than one game on the go, sometimes even leaving a game to play a new one, but the point is that I’m never locked into one game, I’m constantly looking for new experiences and that’s half the fun of gaming; find something new and becoming obsessed all over again. I even buy games when they’re on sale just because they’re games that I like or could want in the future.

Now I just want to talk about some of the games and franchises that have made me feel that insatiable need to play and find similar experiences:

Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II

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In the summer of 2004 my friend lent me this game for the Gamecube and it left the biggest impression on me. PSO Ep  1 & 2 is one of those kind of games that hooks you and never let’s go. Once you get into the game mechanics you want to level grind, find better items, beat more enemies and just see how far you can get. Make no mistake the game is not easy and you’ll get beat a lot if you’re unprepared, however, even in defeat you jump back in because you want to do better and get stronger. This is one of the best RPG’s I’ve played as the combat is real-time, challenging and best experienced with others. I lost weeks of my life to this game and I am not ashamed, that was addiction.

Sonic Generations

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I’ve always loved playing Sonic games especially the games on the Mega Drive and the Adventure re-releases on the Gamecube, but it wasn’t until Generations came out in 2011 that I found that I’m still just as obsessed with Sonic games as I was as a child. Generations was the best of both worlds; the classic gameplay from the 90’s mixed with the modern speed-based gameplay from more recent games like Rush, Unleashed and Colours. I bled through the demo, bled through main game in a few hours and played so many of the stages on repeat because I loved the music, gameplay and nostalgia.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

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If you’re a regular on this blog then you would have seen my recent post on Skyward Sword, but for those who didn’t read it to put it bluntly, I really like this game. Sure it is not the best Zelda game when it comes to the difficulty, side quests and introduction to the game mechanics at the start of the game, at the same time the game was a very refreshing take on the series with motion-based combat, a different approach on dungeons and a more lively and character-based story. I think the game is charming, fun and interesting. The main things that keeps my coming back to the game is the combat, inventive boss battles, character interactions, item crafting and the presentation. I have spent an absurd amount of time just listening to the music, riding on the Loftwing and exploring the different locations below and above the clouds for treasure chests, that stuff is super addictive.

Terraria

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Before Terraria, I’d played a few games on Steam like Microsoft Flight, Super Crate Boy and Fieldrunners, but this game was the first to change my opinion on games that could be fun on PC for me personally. This game is like the 2D equivalent of Minecraft, but for me it was way more interesting for me. What I like about the game is the crafting, exploring and fighting, it is simple and yet so gratifying, plus even you really get into the game then you can get lost in it for hours and that’s happened to me on many occasions.

Pokemon series (Pokemon X & Y)

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It wasn’t until I started playing Pokemon X upon its release that I realised how closely I’ve been associated with this series since childhood. I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years with the Pokemon series on my Game Boy Pocket, Colour and Advance. I mainly have love for the first two generations mainly because that was when the series was still new, special and crazy popular, and when you’re young, Pokemon just seemed so much more fun. Pokemon X brought me back to my childhood and gave me that same sense of discovery, mystery and fun that I felt was missing from previous entires. The graphics and music was incredible, the online features were awesome, the new region was fun and the game mechanics had changed just enough so that there was new things to experience for veteran characters. I wasted so much time listening to music and trading random Pokemon with people online, it was great while the fun lasted.

Super Smash Bros. series (3DS & Wii U games)

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Then we have the Smash Bros. series, oh how I love it. Since the first game on N64, the SSB series has become more and more dense, inventive, fun and addictive. I have to say that the peak of my SSB obsession was with Melee due to the fact that I played it for so many years before the release of Brawl and still went back to it because of the faster and more chaotic gameplay. But with the release of SSB for the 3DS it felt like I was getting back to basics with the game, having fun and beating up characters with stylish attacks. Playing Smash on the go was something I wasn’t sure that I would love but I honestly couldn’t get enough and the Wii U version is no exception. With the HD graphics and 8-player fights, stage builder and additional music, I find myself getting lost in this madness.

Fire Emblem: Awakening

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Now we move onto my most recent obsession. I first played this game in the early part of 2014 and I was addicted. Not since Pokemon X had I felt such a rush and a need to play a game nearly all of the time. I never played any FE games prior to this but since there was so much hype behind it I decided to give it a try and I can say that the hype was to be believed. This is one of the best games I have ever gotten into thanks to the game mechanics, leveling up, various weapons, character relationships and job classes. I spent 47 hours on my first playthrough, but then I had to get rid of it. However a few months ago I bought the game and fell in love with it all over again, my current playtime is around 54 hours. This game is the main reason I turn on my 3DS these days as I love to come back to the game mess around fighting the Risen or Streetpass players.

To conclude video games, they have become my jam again and while I still love my films and going to the cinema, I have really gotten back to gaming and am not satisfied with having one good experience. I need more. I’m constantly on the hunt for more games that will feed my obsession/addiction and I love it. Well that’s another blog post done, thanks for reading and I’ll catch ya later!

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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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Sonic Generations (3DS) Review

Now I know this game is pretty old and has been reviewed by many people a while ago, but when I played the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations earlier on this month I just had to do a review on it to express my thoughts on it.

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Story

The story of Sonic Generations 3DS is the same as that of the home console version. It involves Sonic and his friends are celebrating his birthday when a mysterious dark entity shows up and creates holes in time, sucking up everybody into different dimensions and tearing time apart. Sonic attempts to take on the beast but is knocked unconscious, Sonic then awakens to a white dimension where everything is lifeless and lacking in colour, he then travels through the different worlds, restoring colour to them and freeing his friends along the way and even running into his former self too. Eventually both Sonics along with both versions of Tails work together and figure out who is behind the whole time collapse in the first place.

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The story is presented through models of the characters talking via text bubbles, this sucks when compared the console versions that have actual cut scenes. Now I know the 3DS isn’t a graphical powerhouse, but the Wii was able to give us down scaled versions of the cut scenes from Sonic Unleashed and from what I hear the 3DS’s graphics are equal to that of the Wii, so there really shouldn’t be too much of an issue with give us cut scenes in my opinion. The story was alright in the console version but it really did suck when compared to Sonic Colours and on the 3DS it comes across worse because there’s a lack of voice acting and proper animated cut scenes.

Gameplay

When it comes to gameplay it comes in two flavours, 1) Classic Sonic has the old school 2D platforming levels similar to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and 2) Modern Sonic who has very similar to the Sonic Rush games on the Nintendo DS.

With Classic Sonic you’re playing through 2D left to right stages with you jump, spin dash and speed just like the 90s. The physics for Sonic in this game are actually more accurate than the home console version which is good for people who really care about that kind of thing; it is too bad that most of Classic Sonic’s levels are pretty boring for the most part. All of his levels are 2D recreations of their originals, in the Classic Era it feels horrible because all of the levels feel so confined and squashed together. However in the Dreamcast Era things get interesting with Emerald Coast, but then get ugly with Radical Highway and then from there in the Modern Era I just wasn’t enjoying myself anymore. One of the real killers is the fact that Classic Sonic gets the homing attack, it breaks the “classic” element completely and later levels are structured around it so it’s MANDATORY and it just feels wrong.

As for Modern Sonic his gameplay resembles that of Sonic Rush, so Sonic has a boost button, homing attack and few of the other moves he got from Unleashed like skidding, wall jumping and foot stomping. Since I enjoyed those games a lot I thought the same would apply with this game and it does to a small degree. I had way more fun with Modern Sonic’s levels when it came to some of the levels in Classic and Dreamcast Era, but as soon as Radical Highway came everything went downhill. I just found the level design to be unfair, bizarre and hardly fun.

The boss battles in this game were just tedious, painful and lame. The major boss fights range from incredibly short and simple to long and annoying! Like the battle with Big Arms from Sonic 3 is easy because the boss movements are predictable, but the battle with the Biolizard from Sonic Adventure 2 is even worse than the original, his movements are harder to read and it doesn’t flow like the original. The worst offenders are the rival races with Metal Sonic, Shadow and Silver, there’s nothing to them. All you do is hold right and hope for the best. The problem with these races is that they’re completely erratic when it comes to difficulty, there are moments when you’ll outrun your enemy with ease only for them to appear ahead of you out of nowhere with no way for you to catch up. If you make a mistake just once the AI characters jump ahead of you by miles! Once you memorize the level layout then you should be able to complete the level. I spent too many minutes trying to beat these guys because of the horrible level layout and erratic AI character movements (Fuck you Silver!), and that’s why I hate them.

Presentation

Graphically the game doesn’t look that bad, they have so lovely use of colour and some interesting levels of detail, but I can’t say I was overly impressed though. The best way to describe it would be a much sharper and fancier version of the Sonic Rush games. I just don’t like how squashed everything looks in Classic Sonic’s levels especially in the Classic Era levels. Also I feel like I’ve seen much prettier 3DS games so I guess I expected more. Sound-wise the audio quality of the game isn’t that bad and is tolerable (though that’s mainly because of the soundtrack). Most of the sound effects are good and match the home console version, though I’m not too keen on the way the homing attack/air dash sounds in this game, it just sounds weaker in this game. The soundtrack for the game is great with Jun Senoue along with the other game composers really finding a lovely way to upgrade some of these other songs and breathe new life into them.

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Longevity

When it comes to replay value I have to be honest, it is very little. This game is incredible short and features seven stages with two acts in each, but that’s two less stages than the console versions! There’s the same amount of boss encounters and there’s also a challenge mode and online compatibility too, but unless you’re interested in that other stuff your time with this game will be incredibly short. As for me, besides replaying some of Modern Sonic’s levels, I had no reason to revisit any of the other levels. What’s really bad was that I never even bothered to finish the game, the last time I did that with a Sonic game was with Sonic Unleashed. I owned the game a total of THREE DAYS before I traded it back into the shop I got it from, that’s how bored with the game I got. This game just had nothing addictive about it, I only played a few of the levels and never played the boss battles more than once and I never even tried the special stages because I couldn’t be bothered. And the strange thing is I would gladly play Sonic 4 Episode: 1 & 2 before picking up Generations on the 3DS again, and that’s saying a lot!

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Conclusion

In the end Sonic Generations on the 3DS was a massive disappointment in my eyes, I knew from the footage that I saw online that it wouldn’t be worth my time but I never thought it’d be this lacklustre. Now there are some decent aspects of the game when it comes to the gameplay of Modern Sonic, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to console versions. In truth there’s much better games you could be playing on the 3DS, I’d say go play the Sonic Rush games from the Nintendo DS, they are much better and are worth your time unlike this game.

Rating: 6/10 (I do not recommend!)

So what did you think of the 3DS port of Sonic Generations? Did it fulfil your needs or did it fill you disappointment like me? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and let me know! Until the next time, later on people!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another review from your jolly blogger friend the hypersonic55! Today I’m going to bring you my long-awaited review of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2!

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So after a long time of waiting and waiting and WAITING, Sonic 4: Episode 2 finally came out on as a digital download around mid-May… However I didn’t have the funds to get the game at the time, so I had to wait for the reviews to come around so I could get an idea of what to expect before I got the game myself. Suffice to say that the critical and fan response to Sonic 4: Episode 2 was mixed. Some fans loved it, while a lot of fans and critics didn’t. For those who didn’t like it the main points of their argument was that Sonic Team and Dimps fixed many things in terms of gameplay and handling of Sonic’s physics, but introduced some new problems in regards to the level design and the co-op gameplay with Tails. Well I was going to reserve judgment until I played the game myself. And so I downloaded the game on PSN around early June and I can say is that it wasn’t what I was expecting. I actually hated this game a lot when I first started playing it, but over the summer my opinion changed a great deal. So what’s my statement on the game? Well read on and find out.

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Plot

Following the events of Episode I, Metal Sonic has returned to form a formidable alliance with Dr. Eggman! To face this new evil, Sonic will have to call upon an old friend to help him save the day! Now joined by Tails, race across four brand new Zones and take down fearsome new badniks with deadly combination moves in order to put an end to this dastardly duo’s plans!

Gameplay

The gameplay is similar to Sonic 4: Episode 1, but there are a few enhancements. Episode 2 sees the return of Sonic’s friend Tails who can be controlled by a second player or the computer online or locally in co-operative play. Tails isn’t a playable character like 16-bit games, also Sonic can’t be played on his own and it forced to play with Tails. This game also introduces combo moves that Sonic and Tails can perform together from Tails carrying to places through the air to rolling up in a massive ball to do a big spin attack that’ll smash through walls, enemies and give you loads of speed. Other than those few enhancements everything’s still the same, you still have to go through 4 zones with 3 acts in each and a boss encounter at the end. After completing all 12 acts and all 4 boss encounters there’s the final boss to take care of too. You still have a world map can to use but unlike the last game you can’t pick acts in any random order.

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When compared to the last game Sonic handles a lot better than before, while he feels a little slower at first his physics are a hell of a lot better. Sonic has a little more weight to him, he rolls downhill a lot more and he’s finally stopped uncurling when coming off of ramps. However it still can’t hold a candle to Mega Drive/Genesis games, Sonic’s physics are still a bit off, how can you stand on a slope, press down and not go into a spin dash and gain speed? I don’t understand how Dimps and Sonic Team can’t get physics and the basics of momentum based platforming right. It’s ridiculous. Level designs are better than before, there are less bottomless pits and less gimmicky sections. However the game now has this camera that zooms in close to Sonic and then zooms out from him at points which makes it difficult to see what’s coming ahead and can lead to some unfair complications with hazards ahead. There are also some question level design in Oil Desert Zone and Sky Fortress Zone and there are still moments of unfair death via bottomless pits, a dodgy camera and bad enemy placement.

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Oh and the boss battles, holy man… I HATE THEM. Well more specifically I’m talking about the Dr. Eggman fights. They are so long and drawn out and some of them require pinpoint precision to defeat and should you fail to defeat the boss you’ll have sat there and watch the introduction animation every bloody time and it’s so tedious. The boss fights are one part of the game I never revisit because they are so slow, so tedious and not worth retrying at all. Though I can say that the Metal Sonic fights are way more fun and entertaining and not as tedious, though they are bloody hard at certain points. And finally there’s the Special Stages in this game which are modelled after the ones in Sonic 2, and they aren’t as fun as the versions from the 90s. These Special Stages still have you running through a half-pipe collecting a specific number of rings before reaching the goal, if you have the reach the target amount you get a Chaos Emerald. And obviously after collecting all seven you can once again become Super Sonic.

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Presentation

Graphically the game is really good and miles better than the first game. Rather than that flat-looking 2.5D looks of Episode 1, the graphics in this game have been reworked with a 3D style that’s way more colourful and visually appealing than before. The character models for Sonic and Tails are more in line with their recent games like Sonic Colours and Generations, I love this look and it really works well on a 2D plane too. The rest of the art and animation in the stage locations are incredibly detailed and look amazing, from the snowy locations of White Park Zone to the epic vast skies of Sky Fortress Zone and then there’s the Death Egg Mk. II Zone which has some amazing lighting and a great presence to it.

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In the audio department it is a bit of a mixed bag, Jun Senoue comes back as composer for Episode 2 and while this soundtrack has been reworked with more electronic instruments it doesn’t always work out. While Episode 1 didn’t have the best soundtrack, it did have some memorable songs. Episode 2 has some highlights with Sylvania Castle Zone Act 1 & 3, White Park Zone Act 2, Oil Desert Zone Act 1 and Sky Fortress Zone Act 2. Death Egg Mk.II Zone would be better if it was longer. Everything else in this soundtrack is either okay or just pants. I don’t like reworked version of the Sonic 4 theme, it just sounds awkward and clunky, White Park Zone Act 1 sounds annoying, Oil Desert Zone Act 2 is just the worst track ever and the Boss music is terribly short and repetitive.

Conclusion

In the end Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 is actually a decent game, there is much to appreciate about this game from the incredible visuals to the improved physics. However this game isn’t perfect by any means, this game should have been better than Episode 1 by miles and it should have been the best thing since Sonic Generations. However as it stands, Sonic 4: Episode 2 just feels like Sonic 4: Episode 1.5, it improves on a few things, but it still leaves many of the inconsistent or bad factors of the previous game intact and also finds ways to introduce new issues in this latest episode too. Sonic 4: Episode 2 for me is a good game once you get into it, but it’s still not the amazing Sonic game that I wanted.

Rating: 7.5

Well there’s my review, I know it’s a little late but I had to get this review done before the year was out. Anyways I hope it was worth the wait and as always leave me a comment below as well.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 Gameplay Trailer

So here it is, after waiting 7 days after the “official” release of  the screenshots (click here to see my blog post on it) for Sonic 4: Episode 2 by Sega and their massive announcement to release a gameplay trailer  a week afterwards, we now have the first proper trailer for the game and I am here just to give you my immediate thoughts on it.

Now straight from the outset when the gameplay in the trailer begins you can see that this game is a totally different beast from the first episode of Sonic 4, but at the same time there are many notable similarities that don’t make it seem all that different from the original and in a way that isn’t a bad thing because this new Sonic series will need some consistency from game to game or things would look incredibly out-of-place.

So let’s start with what’s new, well for one let’s talk about the visuals, this game looks incredible and so different from the last game in terms of art direction, character animation, the environments, everything just seems to have a different tone and feel than it did before in Episode 1. The Sonic character model seems to be fairly similar to the last game, but he seems to have a new coat of paint, a sharper level of detail and his animation seems to be increased from what it was before with more movement when he flies around when being bounced around on springs which is interesting to see. When it comes to Tails I think he has been rendered pretty well, this version of him in 3D on a 2D playing field looks pretty well and has a lot of similarities to Sonic 2 & 3 in terms of movement and animation. Both Sonic & Tails seem to have adopted their more “modern” looks from more recent Sonic games like Sonic Generations because it is clear from the art style their colour tones too. Even small things like the look of Sonic & Tails’ curled up spin dash form look very pretty good with a great deal of detail, motion blur and vivid-looking colours too. When it comes to the environments every location looks at least 5x better than Sonic 4: Episode 1. Fact. All of these places are rammed full of life and detail in the foreground and backgrounds with loads of animation and detail. Beyond that the game happens to have some similarities to Sonic 4: Episode 1 in terms of the weight and physics of the Sonic’s movements, which isn’t a bad thing since again consistency is good, let’s just hope the physics are up to the challenge this time around.

From a gameplay standpoint there seems to be a much more greater emphasis on co-op gameplay as Sonic & Tails happen to be together a lot in this trailer, straight from the beginning we see Tails carrying Sonic while flying (like in Sonic 3), but we also see that same sort of helping aspect can be applied underwater with Tails lending Sonic an extra hand in the water (probably due to Sonic’s inability to swim) and like most other Sonic games Tails is trailing behind sonic as he blazes off ahead, though there are surprising moments where Tails is ahead of Sonic! Wow the times are a changing! Sonic & Tails even seem to have some power-up where they team up into what looks like a massive spin ball of death and smash through anything in their path which looks pretty neat too. Aside from that the game looks pretty similar to Sonic 4: Episode 1 and other previous entries in the series on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis; you still collect rings, smash enemies, bounce off of springs and spin dashing all over the place, you know all the good stuff.

But funnily there seems to be references to other Sonic titles of the past, some more obvious than others. When it comes to environments two of the levels happen to have a clear resemblance to two levels from Sonic 3 and those levels are Marble Arch Zone and Carnival Night Zone. And while they are clearly referenced from Sonic 3, they seem to have more of their own look and feel and don’t feel like carbon copies from previous Sonic games like other zones did in Sonic 4: Episode 1 in some cases. One other level that could be inspired from Sonic 3 is a snowy level that may be a reference to the Ice Cap Zone, though I believe it may be more of a reference to Dimps work on other Sonic games like Ice Paradise from Sonic Advance 2 (because of the Christmas theme) or Blizzard Peaks from Sonic Rush Adventure (running away from an avalanche). Either way these levels do have similarities to games of the past, but it doesn’t seem to overdo it here. Also in this trailer there seems to be a greater emphasis on perspective as Sonic & Tails look like they move from the foreground to the background when being bounced around on springs and I find that really interesting as that was one of the same techniques implemented in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, so again it looks like more modern aspects of Sonic gameplay seems to be finding its way into this new game.

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Okay so to summarize, overall as a first look into what to expect for Sonic 4: Episode 2 I am generally intrigued. I am curious to see where Sonic Team and Dimps take this game and so far everything looks like it’s on a much better level than Episode 1. If the developers can brink us a good co-op experience and get the handling and physics system down then we may be witnessing a great Sonic game in the making yo. Luckily we won’t have to wait too long as the game will be coming out in Spring 2012 so that is definitely close by. I’m excited now 😀

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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Sonic Generations Review

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Okay so the time has come, after months and months and months of waiting I finally have played and properly experienced Sonic Generations, so what is my verdict?… It’s bloody awesome!

Sonic Generations happens to be a love letter of a game for fans of the series, highlighting all of Sonic’s big moments in gaming from the early days on the Sega Mega Drive to the here and now on the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s a game that’s full of nostalgia from not only the levels, but also in the cut scenes and use of music in the challenge missions, it’s like looking through an old photo album remembering and celebrating what you love in life, in this case it’s Sonic. The game isn’t perfect however, it has its problems here and there, but there is so much awesomeness in the game, it outweighs the bad by miles and while I can’t say it’s the best Sonic game ever, it makes a pretty damn good effort and I was left smiling.

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Now before I go in-depth, let just say that this review is purely based on my impressions of the game after completing it and they are subject to change possible over the next fortnight, plus this is my opinion not only as gamer but as a loyal Sonic fan so don’t be hating, thanks 😀 Alrighty let’s do this thing!

Story

So the story of Sonic Generations is a simple one, one day Sonic and his friends are celebrating his birthday when a mysterious dark entity shows up and creates holes in time, sucking up everybody into different dimensions and tearing time apart. Sonic then finds himself in a white dimension where everything is lifeless and lacking in colour. And so as he travels through the different worlds, he happens to restore colour to those worlds, find his friends along the way and even run into his former self, and eventually discovers who is behind the whole time collapse in the first place.

Overall the story was alright, though there was some questionable voice acting (Amy!), some poor dialogue for characters to say, a general lack of cut scenes and a story not as big as Sonic’s previous two outings (Sonic Unleashed & Sonic Colours). But it’s an interesting and funny little tale that really reflects on the past in a great way and there are several moments of joy and laugher to be found, I did find myself smiling and laughing a lot throughout my playthrough. So in short I believe any Sonic fan shall get a kick out of this.

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Gameplay

But enough about the story, what you really want to hear about is gameplay, you want to know how good or bad it is don’t you? Well I can safely day that it’s good, sometimes it’s absolutely amazing and sometimes a tad frustrating, but it really does depend on which Sonic you’re playing as at the time. So what I’m going to do now is describe my opinions of both Sonic’s taking into account, gameplay, handling, level design, music and difficulty.

https://i1.wp.com/images.wikia.com/sonic/images/0/06/Classic_sonic_43212453.jpgWith Classic Sonic you are getting classic 2D gameplay reinvented with a 3D graphical makeover rendered in HD and the gameplay result is an incredible one. This is Sonic from 1992, from his days in Sonic 2 with a few new features here and there. Playing as Sonic in 2D hasn’t felt this good in like forever, not since the Megadrive days have I felt that true sense of speed you get when you the Spin Dash downhill and feel the momentum carry you along. It’s an amazing feeling realised in this game. Long before this game had come out the most important factor on everybody’s minds was the physics, they had to be solid or this game would fail. Luckily Classic Sonic’s physics are up to scratch, they are miles ahead of Sonic 4 and feel about as close as you’re going to get to the originals in a 3D game format. Everything feels great from jumping, the speed and acceleration, my goodness it’s all just lovely. However the physics aren’t perfect, but they’re as close as we’re going to get for now. Though fans of the Megadrive titles who really played Sonic to death will notice the difference especially when you play Sonic 1 in Generations and see how different the Megadrive version is from its latest incarnation. Also unless you charge the Spin Dash when immobile, when you try to curl up into a ball while running, you are still slower than when you are running at top speed which is still kind of annoying. For me it took some time to adjust to the fact that the Spin Dash was now mapped to one button, but after a while it becomes second nature.

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When it comes to level design Classic Sonic is totally in full-effect, his levels are nostalgic, well-crafted and are just a blast to play. The balance between speed and platforming is done well here as well as enemy placement too and thanks to the multiple pathways one can always find different routes and create interesting speed-runs too. Now when it comes to acts in specific obviously Green Hill Zone comes to mind and it really is the best level in the game, it can be played over and over and never get boring. The reworked version of the Chemical Plant Zone kicks ass as well with the look and feel being preserved well and feeling totally similar to the original. But I think Classic Sonic really comes alive when he tackles the Dreamcast and Modern Era levels, with Speed Highway, City Escape and Crisis City being some of the games highlights in my opinion. When it comes to difficulty I think it’s fair to say that it’s your standard Sonic game affair, starts out easy and progresses as you go along, though some levels do have some harsh areas, Sky Sanctuary is a tad unforgiving, Crisis City as much as I like it had me dying a good number of times, the level design of Seaside Hill was very questionable and I wasn’t too keen on it either. But those are just nitpicking points. In the end Classic Sonic works and it kicks so much ass to be playing as him when you find your feet, you feel invincible and I feel that the classic levels sort of outshine the modern ones because they are well-balanced and have a massive nostalgic factor that one can’t ignore.

https://i0.wp.com/images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110421222010/sonic/images/1/19/Modern_sonic.jpgNow that I’ve talked so much about Classic Sonic, you’re probably expecting me to say that Modern Sonic sucked or was very terrible. While I’m not, its pretty much the opposite, Modern Sonic is incredible and there is a great sense of speed and adrenaline once get when playing as him. Even though a lot of his levels require a lot of boosting and homing attacks, it does pay off as the game has been designed around those factors of speed, platforming and technique and it comes together in a spectacular fashion. When it comes to handling Modern Sonic those who have played Sonic Unleashed will feel right at home here, the same could be said for those who have played Sonic Colours too. The homing attack is tight and responsive (at least 90% of the time), the trick system works like a charm becoming very addictive and blasting around at breakneck speeds in using the boost feels incredibly satisfying. The difficulty of Modern Sonic comes across as fair at times, then switching to being unruly, to then being just downright unfair.

If you’re not too careful, towards the latter half of the levels (mainly in the Modern Era) is where things start to become frustrating very fast and then its cruel death after cruel death. Though if you choose to persevere and refine your skills then the levels do become a blast to play. When it comes to level design Modern Sonic’s levels have platforming sections that feel well put together, better enemy placement and has a good sense of speed too. And depending on what moves you use during levels you can chain them together and move through levels faster while looking cool at the same time. However the later levels in the game are very questionable in content and they suffer from some familiar problems that Sonic has faced in Sonic Unleashed, Colours and the Rush games like bad enemy placement, questionable platforming areas, strange level design and the all too common pitfalls. The places I had issues in were a little bit of Seaside Hill and more so with Crisis City, Rooftop Run and Planet Wisp (funny how I liked the latter two levels before in their previous games and now not so much in Generations.). They were just lengthy, unforgiving and left little room for error and its surprising how Sonic Colours seemed to write some of the wrongs in the gameplay department and yet this game felt like a step backwards, probably due to lack of innovation or inventive gameplay. The best levels with Modern Sonic are easily Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Speed Highway and City Escape.

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Now in the game both Sonic’s will have to fight main bosses from their pasts, some of which is fun and some of which is confusing and hard to figure out. But the one thing that all of these bosses share in common is their length… The battles are too damn short, hit them around 4 or 5 times and bang! It’s over and you’re left thinking “Is that it?” Yes, all bosses in this game once you figure out how to beat them can be destroyed in a matter of minutes in a very anti-climactic way. Plus none of them offer any real challenge as they all have a simple method of destruction. However the last boss in the game I have to say is one of the worst bosses in Sonic history, it is long, tedious and a right pain in the ass.

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Presentation

Now when it comes to presentation Sonic Generations definitely doesn’t disappoint there. Graphically speaking the game looks wonderful, its sharp, colourful and just oozing with character and charm. The game’s graphical highlights is seeing all of the classic Megadrive levels redesigned and updated, they feel so alive and there are so many nods to the past and little intricate details in the foreground and background taken into consideration when looking at stages like Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone and especially Sky Sanctuary. The Dreamcast levels also look fabulous in this game with Speed Highway and City Escape looking amazing and brimming with life and nostalgia. And to be honest I’ve always wanted a HD remake of City Escape and the end result in Sonic Generations made me so happy when it got announced and playing it brought all my memories flooding back. While I haven’t been able to check out the game in a HD format, it still looks great in standard definition. One a whole the game looks pretty good, however I don’t feel the game looked as great as it could have, there’s none of the pre-rendered cut scenes to enjoy like in Sonic Unleashed or Colours or the ones used for the advertising campaign preceding this game’s release. I also feel like the production values were a lot highly in Sonic Unleashed too. It’s not too much of an issue but one does have to question why the visual production of Generations hadn’t been pushed all the way to the max for the 20th anniversary Sonic game.

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But what’s probably even more impressive is the audio; the soundtrack of Sonic Generations is completely jam-packed with Sonic music from nearly every corner of Sonic’s library. If you’ve been keeping up with Sonic Generations since its conception then you would have heard the epic remix of Green Hill Zone, if you haven’t then I have to ask why not? The music from all nine levels have been remixed and updated for this game, when it comes to my favourite song I’d have to say the modern versions of Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Sky Sanctuary and Crisis City take the cake. When I started getting into this game and heard songs from challenge stages I so surprised at all the songs I heard, so many songs you collect from the along the way your eyes will be filled with nostalgia. The Sonic tunes in this game show up from nearly every Sonic game in existence, from spin-offs you’d never expect to hear like Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Battle, to Sonic R and some surprising songs from Sonic 3 and Sonic 06. All of these songs are just filled with memorabilia for the fans.

Longevity

So now it comes to the longevity of the game and for me it’s good but not nearly enough. At the time of writing this review I had played the game for a round 11 hours straight and I had completed the main game and done half of the challenge missions. There are 9 levels each made up of 2 acts, along with I think around 5 main bosses and loads of challenge acts to do as well which is pretty good, but I found myself a little underwhelmed once I started to plough through the game. Now don’t get me wrong there is a lot of stuff to do and collect in Sonic Generations and it is a lot of it is fun, however some of the challenge missions come across as tedious, cheap additions that the developers put in without proper care. And I feel a lot of this stuff could have been left out in place of a possible multiplayer component or something more worthwhile like the Chao Gardens from the Sonic Adventure games. And considering how hard some of the later levels can get some of these challenges do become very cruel and frustrating. Most of them you’ll just want to get through so you’ll never have to do it again. It’s strange, in some ways Generations feels like it’s missing something, this game feels so small, I guess when you take the challenge acts out of play you are left a pretty small Sonic experience. Now this may sound strange but I feel like the last two Sonic games (Unleashed & Colours) felt a lot bigger as an overall package than Generations. I guess without some fancy, innovative gameplay or proper additional acts or gimmicks like in Colours, Generations feels just feels a little empty. It’s still good but still lacking in some ways. I think it’s the lack of a Chao Garden.

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Conclusion

So in conclusion Sonic Generations is still a pretty damn good game, it met and exceeded my expectations in a lot of places and had many surprises here and there for me to enjoy. However it’s still not the game that’ll replace my love for Sonic 2 or Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. It’s got the gameplay down, but some of the later level design is off, challenge missions are more a chore than they are fun, boss battle are too short and the last boss in the game is the worst one in the history of Sonic. But all those nit-picking points aside, the game is still a blast to play; I replayed so many stages over and over trying to discover more routes and get faster times or get more music. Sonic Generations may not be perfect, but it’s pretty damn close, for true blue Sonic fans this game is a must.

Rating: 8.5/10

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Waiting for Sonic Generations is near impoosible!

Hello there to all how may be reading, basically as you can tell from reading the title of this blog, I am growing a tad impatient waiting for the release of the latest Sonic game, Sonic Generations. I’ve waited for this game since it was visually confirmed back in April 2011 and now that the game is so close to its release date the waiting process is killing me!!!

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This is me right now!

As one can see from all of the footage in the gameplay videos and trailers Sonic Generations is a love letter of game to all Sonic fans who have been playing since the days of the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. Ever since the game has come out I’ve kept up to date with every little bit of news that’s emerged, because I don’t know if you can tell yet but I am a Sonic-obsessed fan, I love Sonic to death. He was the whole reason I started sketching and was the first video game I played when I kid back in the 90’s. Even in recent times when Sonic games have not been nearly as good as former years, I still have a lot of love for games like Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, Rush 1 & 2, the Secret Rings, Unleashed & Colours too.

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Having to wait for a game this awesome-looking should be against the law!

It’s totally unfair that US gamers get to play the game today while we over here in the UK have to wait until Friday, its soooooo painful having to wait for something that you really, really need! After some thought and after talking to my flatmate I decided to play the Sonic Generations Demo on his Xbox 360 and my god was it good, it was like getting super satisfaction all in one place, I went through the Green Hill Zone as classic and modern Sonic several times over and it felt so amazing I can’t even describe it to you. My flatmate saw it and he laughed for ages because I sat there in same position for ages with massive grin on my face, I was so high on that demo it was crazy. So now I am playing music from the soundtracks of Sonic and the Secret Rings, Unleashed and Colours which is really gearing me up and making me well happy! But still… I NEED THIS GAME NOW!!!!!

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THIS PICTURE PRETTY MUCH SUMS UP MY FEELINGS TOWARDS SONIC GENERATIONS AT THIS POINT IN TIME!

Well Friday better come pretty soon as I am just about ready to explode from all this waiting for the latest Sonic game. 😛

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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