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General Rotors / Good god... This place is STILL HERE!
« on: April 06, 2014, 12:02:02 AM »
Some things just... never die it seems. Most of your names I even still recognize...

Hasn't it been, what, 15 years since the old MC that eventually morphed into this community began?

I noticed there's no active thread for the game here, so I figured I'd start a new one given the recent leak of the episode. I'll start by copying my review from Retro.

Be warned, it does contain major spoilers on some things. Not that spoiling a Sonic game is all that big of a deal, but still.

So I finally got the chance to sit down and play (most) of episode II...

And I must say, I am pleasantly surprised by many things in this iteration. It's still not perfect, but it fixes far more complaints than I expected, and I was even able to do physics tricks I didn't think they ever paid attention to.

1. Physics. Rolling is still kind of gimped, if you let go, it doesn't go anywhere near as far as it should. However, it is remarkably improved and generations didn't fully fix this either, so I'm willing to live with what we have for the time being. On the plus side, everything else about the physics that bothered me is fixed. Momentum, uncurling, heck, the thing that sealed the deal for me is the fact that I can still do a high jump trick when running up the very top of a ramp, just like in the classics. This pleases me 'greatly'! Overall? Thank you for listening Sega. Just tweak the rolling a bit more and I'm satisfied. Also, while I do find the forced co-op play to be a bit of a cop-out (honestly, multiple pathways for the sonic trio will always remain the best gameplay design), I must say that they use all of the combo moves very well, and that they're all easy and fun to use.

2. Stage Design. At first, I followed along with everyone else's fears that things would be automatic homing attack pitfests, but in truth, this is not the case at ALL. Pits are rarely used, which shocks me, there are many paths in most levels, and even homing chains are actually quite rare and effectively used. There's still something a bit "dimpsy" about the stage design, object placement feels far more artificial and less like a natural extension of the world, but that may just be a matter of aesthetics and personal taste. Highly subjective I'd even venture to say. Overall, again, a MAJOR improvement and a pleasant surprise. I didn't think they'd ever listen to us on this. Also, the level design is very fair for the most part. Far less enemies you can't see creeping up on you.

3. Visuals. Wonderful, all around. Great visual design on the stages for the most part. Yes, we have recycled stage tropes out the wazoo again, but they're well used for the most part and each have enough new touches to make them feel fresh. And the visuals look amazing all around, nothing technically phenomenal, but each character model is perfectly animated and feels exactly like they should. Seeing Metal Sonic fly and pose again really felt cool and got me excited for his return. Again, going with my earlier comments, the gameplay elements (abundance of speed pads, springs, dimpsy things) don't mesh with the stages as well as they should, but that remains my main complaint, and some parts of the levels suffer from copy/paste blandness. Everything else looks pretty good.

4. Bosses. The first boss was easy, but still fairly unique. The Metal Sonic fight was tough, exciting, fun and I LOVED it. It made me giddy. Felt like one of the boss fights against him I've been waiting years to see. I liked it more than the generations one. I can't see a better way to do it. The Oil Desert boss was also very unique. Haven't played beyond that yet. Overall, wonderful work, Sega. You completely addressed rehashing complaints here.

5. Special Stages - I've only played 3, but the best thing I can say about this version of the half pipe? It reminds me somewhat of the 3D Blast Saturn half-pipe, and that is no small compliment, as the 3D Saturn half-pipe remains the best special stages ever in the series. You have multiple layers, many gimmicks to make the stages fun to play, and challenging.

6. Music - The instrumentation could be far better, as everyone has said, but I like the tunes themselves this time around almost universally. I wish they'd just do a standard OST with real instruments ALA Colors/Generations, but oh well. Many of these tunes will make great remixes. Oh, and Metal Sonic's new boss theme is sexy.

Overall? I am pleased, far more than I thought I'd be. Yes, I never hated episode 1 as much as some people, but its flaws WERE quite glaring to me, even if I did have fun with it. Now I desperately want Episode 1 remade and fixed with this engine. Where is the Sonic 4 (& Knuckles) combo pack that makes both episodes 1 game? (Though I do want to play Episode metal.) Still, while it doesn't beat the classics, this episode to me solidifies it. Sonic is back, and he is worth playing again. Sonic 4 Ep 1 was an insult to classic fans, but a passable game. Colors and Generations, both iterations of each, were now solidly good, even great games. Taxman's Sonic CD remake is (almost, I'd still like a patch tweaking some time travel issues) perfection incarnate, surpassing the quality of the original game. Sonic 4 episode 2 continues the streak. Sonic has truly recovered from his downfall at this point for me.

General Discussion / Otakon, anyone?
« on: July 22, 2008, 12:46:52 AM »

2nd largest anime convention in the US with an annual 3 day attendance of roughly 25,000 paid attendees. This will be the 3rd year since 2004 that I've gone, and I'm definitely looking forward to returning... especially with a JAM Project concert being set to take place there.

Is anyone else going? I've had the pleasure of meeting both Ku and Mirai in the past at the event, and I certainly wouldn't mind another small gathering of Ring Eaters on either Thursday, Friday, or Sunday.

General Discussion / A Winnar is Blu-Ray?
« on: February 20, 2008, 11:40:16 AM »

Yeah, so Toshiba surrendered, and HD-DVD is a lost cause.

...Now what?

So, I've been living in the midst of a pretty heavy situation for about a week now.

I've known a rather infamous but admittedly somewhat antagonistic member of 4chan for years. We met at Anime Central back in 2003 and became friends of sorts... the truth was that he was a natural troll, including in his real life behavior... but since he treated me differently back then, I assumed that perhaps he was just one of those people who always gets a bad rep and more social punishment than he deserves...

Far from it.

Due to an odd set of circumstances, he became my roommate this year. He was eventually banned from ACEN for his troublesome behavior and annoying harassment of others... but it, combined with an extremely disproportionately cynical view of people, sent him off into a somewhat suicidal depression that only grew worse over time. The problem is that it's also not just suicidal... it's a 'vengeful' suicidal. Even before his banning, he began talking about plans he has to hunt and target members of the ACEN staff that he felt he had a grudge with, and that he'd like to pull off a columbine type incident at a con before perhaps killing himself (though he claimed he'd only target his "enemies"), and then, last week... in addition to dropping another name or 2 from his hitlist, he finally began giving me death threats if I blurted out any information about him he considers privy information (like his real name, which he actually kept secret from me for years until I saw his ID card one day).

I reported it to the university, and he was suspended... but it seems that, at home, no one is doing anything to pay any attention to this other than setting him up for a psyche evaluation. He's still apparrently had full internet access and has been trolling people all week. I've been relocated, but still fear for my safety since he's been to my house before. According to a friend he briefly messaged, he believes he's returning to the univeristy in a week (They've told me they won't even consider it without at least 2 evaluations... but still...) The convention also knows about this and is trying to set up a report that they could work together with my school with to keep themselves secure from his presence, but it's all still in the works...

What should I do? My mind's been in a messy state all week because of this, and if he were to actually return to the school here... I'd pretty much have to leave. The kid is extremely manipulative and can usually talk his way through a lot or argue things in his favor... but he really isn't stable either... and heck, I'm not even sure if the people doing the evaluation know anything about his net tendencies and what his threats are even about. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I honestly fear for my life and the life of fellow con-goers here. Is there anything I can legally do?

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