Water Erosion
Monday, 13th August 2007, 10:58am (UTC), 6 Comments
Update: Aquatic Ruin Zone added to the Sonic 2 section
I had Aquatic Ruin all finished up and ready for showing yesterday but unfortunately my IP became blocked from my own web host for some reason just as I was uploading. The maps took quite a while this time, what with complicated routes, all those foreground bushes and different colouration for the underwater segments. Worth it though.. then again, come to think of it, I haven't actually received any feedback as of yet about any of the maps, specifically. You guys DO have a look at these maps I invest a fair bit of time on, right? Of course you do, I can see them being accessed in the stats, but I hope they come to good use, or will do in the future. I like Aquatic Ruin Zone, it's a cheerful little level with a very interesting structure that's filled with sub-routes and hidden bits and pieces, though it strikes me as being quite underrated in the community. You never hear people talk about it much, do you?

So, SAGE (Sonic Amateur Games Expo) has come and gone once again and there were a handful of impressive offerings. In general, the fangaming community is now becoming quite successful at making their various game engines emulate the real thing, compared to where they were 4 or 5 years ago, where things like loop-de-loops and platforms that make Sonic move with them were the stuff of the absolute experts. There's also some quite good level design and interesting ideas popping up aswell, but the problem is that still, nothing is ever completed. The only half decent completed fangame I've ever played was Sonic Time Attacked, which now is quite old and can be improved upon. Otherwise, all we ever get is an endless stream of demos featuring only one or two levels, and then the creator usually scraps it shortly thereafter, often replacing it with another game that is essentially the same basic concept. I understand it's all part-time stuff (like me with this site), and sometimes things don't always work out the way they were planned, but surely there should have been more of them that have actually been finished by now. Maybe everyone should just forget about trying to make whole games and just focus on releasing individual, unconnected levels of varying difficulty and type. That's what I'd do I think.

Retro Sonic is one fangame I've been keeping an eye on over the last few years and I'm thrilled to see it back and better than ever at SAGE, even though it was only just released this morning. Its physics are about the best I've seen from anyone, and the level design is excellent. Very smooth and flowing and flat out fun. If there's one game that I really hope to see complete one day, it's this one. Sonic Nexus was also impressive, with some nice, original ojects, and its good to see a fanmade level that isn't just a succession of speedy curves. I don't normally play many hacks on emulators, mostly because I get the impression they usually just replace Sonic with someone like Shadow or Mighty and then warp the level graphics into horrible colour schemes. Yes, Sonic 1 Megamix is partly that, but it also features completely redesigned, and very long levels that add whole new ideas to Sonic 1. Racing through it is good fun, and it's nice to play something that's actually a whole game, from what I've reached so far. Not something that I would have thought might appeal to me, but I liked Tikal and Chaos for its inventive platforming maneuvers given to Chaos, particularly, and just the interesting level design. I know people work very hard on their fangames, so well done to you all. Show SEGA and Sonic Team that level design doesn't always need too many death drops and gangs of enemies with health bars to be a decent challenge.

Now then, what's all this cafuffle about Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity? It seems that PLAY magazine is boasting all the info before SEGA release it. Unusual for some mag to be the very first to divulge stuff about a new Sonic game, but I guess they would have no reason to lie. That makes a cluster of five different games coming our way within the next year or so, which is quite alot, and if Zero Gravity is for real, that makes 46 Sonic games in total, by my list. I break up the series into two distinct generations, Pre and Post Sonic Adventure, and SA was Sonic game #24. That makes the first and second generations now exactly the same size as each other.. Time for a third then? Maybe.

I'm eagerly awaiting the start of the voting phase for the SSA's. Even if Zone:0 is just nominated for something, it'll be a much needed boost to my hits. Although it is doing quite well in Google search results at the moment, coming up quite high for the right kind of phrases. Also, this whole project celebrates three great years of being in production on the 30th of this month. That's right. First two years spent writing, the third spent on building all that you see here right now. To celebrate, I hope to build that system I've been promising, where you can leave comments in response to each level page, and just generally improve the functionality of the comments system. And Casino Night Zone will probably come up along with it aswell.

'Til then!

Comments   6 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by 1963886 on Thursday, 16th August 2007, 1:55am
...Of course we look at the maps. That's funny, Aquatic Ruin is a good level, but I consider it the worst in the game. What do you think is the worst level in the game? What about the best level? The section looks nice... you're a good writer.
#2. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Thursday, 16th August 2007, 8:24am
I would say Hill Top is my least favourite. Ever since I noticed it, I just can't help but be put off by the fact that it has the exact same foreground as Emerald Hill, only turquoise instead of orange. Otherwise it's cool, but I just think it could have done with more originality in its graphics.

As for my favourite.. don't really have one that stands out for me especially, but I've always enjoyed Casino Night, and of course Sky Chase is always pleasant and simple.

#3. Comment posted by Flint on Tuesday, 28th August 2007, 9:35am
Aquatic Ruin's amazing. The huge Greek mythology nerd in me was overjoyed when I played it as a little kid. Just thought I'd say "great work" again, noticed that this site had proceeded to Sonic 2 as I was checking out the SSA stuff (voted for ya btw). Sonic 2's my favourite out of the 2D games, excited about seeing what you can write. Hell, I never knew about the Chemical Plant Zone secret way D: There is however an ounce of criticism here as well, and that's with the music descriptions. I'm a huge music fan and it's slightly disappointing that you don't really insert even nearly the same amount of detail to the music descriptions as to every other description: quite often it's merely "lively and , which fits the stage". Now I do understand it's probably a bit harder to write about short loops of songs in detail than whole levels or enemies, but it's something I see as a tad of a flaw. (I might actually assist you on that stuff, but don't hold on to me on that like it's set in stone. Just an off-shoot mention. Plus I don't even know if you want helping hands) But yeah. Fantastic work still. You have a huge chance of becoming one of THE Sonic sites in the future. Good luck with the SSA!
#4. Comment posted by Flint on Tuesday, 28th August 2007, 9:35am
And for some reason the posting killed my paragraphs and made it all into one big pile of text. OUCH.
#5. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Tuesday, 28th August 2007, 10:16am
Yeah, sorry about the paragraphs. That's just the way it comes out, and I haven't quite sussed them yet, but I will get round to it. In the meantime, <p> tags work just as well.

Thanks alot for your vote and support! There's a reason the music doesn't get as much description as anything else, and it's not because I don't care about it. On the contrary, Sonic music is among my absolute favourite things about the series. It's simply because I really don't know how to describe music, I'm not very musical at all. I try to write more detail there but that's really all I can ever come up with.

If you want to add a bit more to it then by all means feel free, though I won't hold you to it. Very soon I'll be implementing a system whereby visitors can post comments to any specific page, just like you can with these blog entries. This can be used to add things that I've missed, so by all means post anything you want in there and I can add it to the actual page at a later date.

It'd be really cool if I could get someone who actually knows what they're talking about to write the music descriptions, so yeah, go for it! :)

#6. Comment posted by Flint on Tuesday, 28th August 2007, 4:25pm

Ehh, I don't know if I actually /know/ what I'm talking about (I've no clues about notes and whatnot!) but I do love to chat crap about things of musical nature. I'll see if I can find the time to give it a try, mail ya some stuffs when I do (don't expect immediately, I've got pretty long work days so energy goes doooown).

Thanks for the approval though :D

Let's see if these p-tags work!

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