I said that the reason I finally got off my lurking arse was to give my remarks on this fangame in my introductory post and here I am. I guess I'm a little late to the party now that the SAtS is being worked on and this new enhanced edition for SBtS was annouced, but I have to say the afternoon I spent with it was incredibly enjoyable. I had some grievances, but most are reasonable nitpicks.
Lake, you've done a wonderful job creating some very fun and dynamic acts filled with a whole slew of imaginative gimmicks on top of keeping the whole thing quite polished and robust. The physics aren't 1:1, but they clearly aren't supposed to be and still captures the essence of Sonic. I'm actually surprised how it didn't really bother me at all in my playthrough. Though a few acts at first glance looked like a mishmash using art from various games, they are combined and used in ways to make them look and feel unique. One of the limitations of not having an entire art team devoted to a fangame means you have to borrow from somewhere, and for the most part I think you pulled it off. I didn't exactly like the art direction the bosses and some new badniks took though. They looked kind of tacky with the eyeballs and all.
Going back to the acts, the way they transition from one area to another was something I felt has been lacking in the recent 2D Sonic games. Act 1, 2, and 3 all had their unique feel and sense of progress. IE: Rocky Ride starts off at the base near a lake and in early parts of act 2 transfers fully into the cloud backdrop or Sunset Star's roller coaster segment transitioning into the full city. Heck the first transition from the very first act into the rain was completely unexpected when I first started the game up. I have to say I loved it. Level design was serviceable at worst and pretty damn good at best, which overall was absolutely fine. For example, the interesting slope platforming with the pipes in Sonic's water level was a very unique twist. On the downside there exists Sunset Star's act 2 star collection arena...which really rubbed me the wrong way.
I think I enjoyed the Sonic acts more than romping around as Tails though. I didn't particularly care for some of the tropes like the Lost Level acts for example, even though the transitions in the third act were very clever homages. I guess they felt more blocky and restricted because Tails' flight ability needs to be kept in check. There are plenty of really fun gimmicks thrown in that actually impressed me more than I thought they would. Titanic Tower's wall boosters were way too much fun, and pretty much the entirety of the gravity gimmicks in Arcane Altitude made me smile. Adding a water level without the risk of drowning was a very unique take and I enjoyed the change of pace with the double jump bubble shield. Bosses were definitely unique for the most part. I don't have strong feelings one way or another outside appreciating some clever mechanics that never appeared in the originals such as how the end boss's spike attacks were able to be outlasted by spinning into them and destroying them. Though I did make mention that I did not care for the designs. There are some really good use of badniks here, like the electro bunny and the repelling spinnies were neat. Some like the Gear like one and bats were pretty awful though. And yes, I couldn't get over the hilarity of the turtles.
One of my more unreasonable qualms was that the game didn't have it's own unique soundtrack to make the stages much more memorable and not remind me of Kirby all the time. I was surprised to find out someone was already on the job regardless that the game was already "released" so to speak. But Falk here. Goddamn sir. I've been listening to your tunes all day like they are infectious earworms. I cannot wait to hear what you are doing with the rest of the tracks. Excellent job.
I guess that's it. I spent my afternoon enthralled with the game and came out very satisfied given the polished experience. Thanks for the entertainment and keep up the good work. Looking at the demo videos of After the Sequel it looks as though you haven't entirely run out of ideas just yet. I'll be waiting until then.
This post has been edited by Tiller: 04 April 2012 - 08:55 PM