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Sonic 4: Episode 2 Discussion Electric Bogaloo

#991 User is offline TheInvisibleSun 

Posted 18 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

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View PostShade Vortex, on 18 February 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

I suppose I was exaggerating, but the point stands. -Some- people have higher standards than the world's finest food critics. But regardless,, I'm going to just ignore the posts of the incredibly obnoxious people who act like Kogen and Andrew were/are acting.

Anyways, it seems that thanks to Woun, he has gone ahead and begun translating the Famitsu article on S4E2 (I think into Russian, though), and some other people at Sonic Stadium have seemingly divulged the first stage's name as Sylvania Castle Zone. If that's true, at least they're using the Latin word for "Forest land" instead of saying Forest Castle Zone.

Apparently the ice stage is White something. White Carnival Zone, I'm guessing?


View PostTokkan, on 17 February 2012 - 06:21 PM, said:

View PostArique, on 17 February 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

Sonic 4 Ep. 2 just got unveiled in Japan through Famitsu. I'm in the process of getting watermark-less scans from Woun over at Sonic-Scene.ru that I'll post over here in a bit.
EDIT: Ok, he said no. I'll just go ahead and post the link to the magazine scan with the giant watermark on it. It's a really huge image, so be warned!
{SNIP}
tl;dr - No new screenshots. Just the same ones from Xbox.com and Sega's Flickr account.


No one took notice that on that Famitsu scan we got the names of the "Aquatic Ruin"-alike and the Christmas Carnival. They're "Silvania Castle" and "White Park" respectively.



View PostRitz, on 18 February 2012 - 05:32 PM, said:

View PostShade Vortex, on 18 February 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

I suppose I was exaggerating, but the point stands. -Some- people have higher standards than the world's finest food critics.

So you aren't actually able to approach the subject without grandstanding. That's very funny!

Also I'd be half-satisfied if just one person would even acknowledge that they're using the same tree in the middle ground for both zones and that this isn't an acceptable thing. Anyone?


As I said before, I would find it acceptable only if it was part of a stage transitional-effect. Even if that that isn't the case and they were being lazy, this is such an inconsequential, minor and insignificant complaint to have when looking at the entire game! Surely you understand that something this innocuous and (and not always very visible) bears such little importance compared to the more important and prevalent problems of the game's art in the end. In other words, it may be a problem, but it's not the huge issue that its being made out to be, at all. I'm surprised that not many people complained about the 2D foreground textures that look a little awkward in the screenshot.
This post has been edited by TheInvisibleSun: 18 February 2012 - 10:16 PM

#992 User is offline Shade Vortex 

Posted 18 February 2012 - 10:26 PM

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Ah, thanks for the correction on the Ice Stage's name. Sorry, didn't read the previous pages of the topic before posting that.

Those are pretty interesting stage names, at the very least! But that's all I've got to say until the 23rd, since I already talked about the graphics, badniks and stages.

#993 User is offline SteelBrush 

Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:12 PM

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View PostTheInvisibleSun, on 18 February 2012 - 10:14 PM, said:

As I said before, I would find it acceptable only if it was part of a stage transitional-effect. Even if that that isn't the case and they were being lazy, this is such an inconsequential, minor and insignificant complaint to have when looking at the entire game! Surely you understand that something this innocuous and (and not always very visible) bears such little importance compared to the more important and prevalent problems of the game's art in the end. In other words, it may be a problem, but it's not the huge issue that its being made out to be, at all. I'm surprised that not many people complained about the 2D foreground textures that look a little awkward in the screenshot.


Reusing a tree may seem inconsequential but it indicates something about the developers attitude towards their product.

#994 User is offline Tyty 

Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:26 PM

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View PostSteelBrush, on 18 February 2012 - 11:12 PM, said:

Reusing a tree may seem inconsequential but it indicates something about the developers attitude towards their product.

That's because it -is- inconsequential. Game companies have been doing this for YEARS and STILL do. Art assets take time to make, if they ever want to make a game on schedule, they'll reuse assets whenever they can get away with it.

Why do you think lots of FPSes have large groups of enemies that look the same? Because then they don't have to individually make each one.

Hell, plenty of Sonic games have reused assets between stages before. This is nothing new to the series even.

#995 User is offline Guess Who 

Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:53 PM

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Fucking lazy developers think they can just take Emerald Hill's tiles and color them blue and call it a new level. Sonic 2 is going to be shit.

#996 User is offline Kogen 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:17 AM

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View PostGuess Who, on 18 February 2012 - 11:53 PM, said:

Fucking lazy developers think they can just take Emerald Hill's tiles and color them blue and call it a new level. Sonic 2 is going to be shit.

Opposing inferior Americans for the glory of Nippon > using unique art

#997 User is offline Metal Man88 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:58 AM

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And lo and behold, the DEVIL TREE appeared, and the most extreme of Sonic fans were apopletic in their hatred. For this reused tree was an act of war, the signal that all games now and forever would suck, and so their only remaining task was to mourn the death of the Sonic franchise, for this reused tree indicated the end of any potential goodness.

Yet it became confusing as to why, having determined the game and all other games like it would interminably suck, they continued to post about it, since clearly background tree #356 billion being reused had already sealed its fate, and there was no more discussion to be had—only repetition about the devil tree and it's vile powers of Sonic gameplay destruction.

As for those of us who do not expect Sonic games to possess arboreal perfection with every tree different in every stage, it's kind of hard to tell whether it will be another mundane disappointment or something else entirely from, well, you guessed it, a bunch of screenshots.

Though I'm quite sure the DEVIL TREE will somehow ruin everything. It should be known as the TRUE villain of the franchise, and not, say, the bad gameplay programming decisions or horribly ear-rending electronic cat death music that made the first episode a pretty mediocre experience. :p

#998 User is offline Ritz 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:38 AM

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View PostTheInvisibleSun, on 18 February 2012 - 10:14 PM, said:

As I said before, I would find it acceptable only if it was part of a stage transitional-effect. Even if that that isn't the case and they were being lazy, this is such an inconsequential, minor and insignificant complaint to have when looking at the entire game! Surely you understand that something this innocuous and (and not always very visible) bears such little importance compared to the more important and prevalent problems of the game's art in the end. In other words, it may be a problem, but it's not the huge issue that its being made out to be, at all. I'm surprised that not many people complained about the 2D foreground textures that look a little awkward in the screenshot.

That you're still clinging to the idea that this can be passed off as a transitional effect is seriously pushing me to say some things that aren't likely to go unpunished in a Shark Year thread! A stage transition can be accomplished with a 3 second cutscene, or a handful of tiles from the previous stage that immediately segue into new art assets, right? What you're suggesting here is that we needed a transition spanning 6 entire acts because we wouldn't have gotten the fucking idea otherwise. And I guess it was totally necessary that they only use one tree, because multiple trees would've confused us, right? I think there's a base misunderstanding here: I'm not talking about using the same species of evergreen in two separate zones, I'm saying that they drew one tree and Photoshopped iterations. This isn't minor, this is one asset taking up a massive chunk of the backgrounds. Snow stage could've gotten away with it because there's actually quite a lot of foreground detail obscuring the forest. The upper half of ARZ doesn't have anything to hide behind, and it's ugly. Bad for one stage, unacceptable for two.

Honestly, I'm really not all that concerned about it- they could've used multiple trees and it wouldn't have made either stage look appealing when considered as a whole. But when I can't otherwise convince everyone to see what I'm seeing here, I thought it'd be profitable to latch onto an objectively poor design decision and see how logically you all dealt with that! I mean, it seems everyone's only gripe with E1's art was the lack of polish and effort, and what we're discussing here is a clear-cut lack of polish and effort. The game has been in development for well over a year now, they're only doing 4 zones, and they're still cutting corners? Even if style and polish don't concern you, you should still be up in arms over the lack stage variety. 50% of the game is now coniferous forest. 25% of that is shoddy remake. They're both water stages.

View PostMetal Man88, on 19 February 2012 - 12:58 AM, said:

Yet it became confusing as to why, having determined the game and all other games like it would interminably suck, they continued to post about it, since clearly background tree #356 billion being reused had already sealed its fate, and there was no more discussion to be had—only repetition about the devil tree and it's vile powers of Sonic gameplay destruction.

Rusty, bro, this post was kinda retarded! First, the tree isn't even the issue, I just explained that. Second, every Sonic game that ever went criticized for its appearance has always been met with the argument that screenshots weren't enough to judge the art. Not once has it ever held water. 2 screens are enough, I've got at least 6 for each zone here. Third, why are you trying to make gameplay an issue here? I wasn't, I don't need screenshots or video to know this is going to suck. I'm not even concerned about that. The art style is what hooked me on this franchise to begin with and it's all I really watch these games for. This is launch day for me and I'm laying it down.

You people have relapsed something fierce and the illness is now inoperable. I fought hard to set you guys straight over the years, but there's nothing left to be done! I should've left when Chimpo did!

#999 User is offline Candescence 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:16 AM

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View PostMegaDash, on 17 February 2012 - 08:40 AM, said:

Trine certainly is an impressive-looking 2.5D game, but how would you like to see that kind of visual quality translate to a Sonic game? Just graphical detail and sophistication, aspects of the art direction, or is it also a matter of camera perspective and/or the presence or absence of Genesis-style parallax?

Well, it's mostly bits of all of these, honestly (and I'm speaking mostly in respect to Trine 2, not the original game, Trine is damn pretty, yes, but the sequel is godly). Trine 2 has an insane amount of visual detail in its levels without hindering the gameplay in any manner (hell, in some respects it enhances it, more on that in a second), the levels are lovingly crafted, the visual direction is saturated and produces stunning Scenery Porn, and there's plenty of detail in the backgrounds as well, not just the foreground. I'm honestly content to say that Trine 2 looks better than even Generations does. And keep in mind that Trine 2 is a downloadable indie game.

In comparison, Episode 2 looks barren, bland, not very colourful and, once I got the fact that it's much better-looking than its predecessor (mind you, that's not saying much), I realized it's not very interesting to look at.

View PostGreg the Cat, on 17 February 2012 - 08:40 AM, said:

You're probably getting this feeling because of Episode 2's sparing use of colour and hold in "realistic environments". It may be because Trine takes its genre to develop ridiculously beautiful environments.

Partly, as I said above. I know Sega/DIMPs COULD put in that kind of effort to Sonic 4's visuals, but I honestly doubt they'd bother. :(
This post has been edited by Candescence: 19 February 2012 - 06:16 AM

#1000 User is offline BlazeHedgehog 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:15 AM

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View PostCandescence, on 19 February 2012 - 06:16 AM, said:

Well, it's mostly bits of all of these, honestly (and I'm speaking mostly in respect to Trine 2, not the original game, Trine is damn pretty, yes, but the sequel is godly). Trine 2 has an insane amount of visual detail in its levels without hindering the gameplay in any manner (hell, in some respects it enhances it, more on that in a second), the levels are lovingly crafted, the visual direction is saturated and produces stunning Scenery Porn, and there's plenty of detail in the backgrounds as well, not just the foreground. I'm honestly content to say that Trine 2 looks better than even Generations does. And keep in mind that Trine 2 is a downloadable indie game.

In comparison, Episode 2 looks barren, bland, not very colourful and, once I got the fact that it's much better-looking than its predecessor (mind you, that's not saying much), I realized it's not very interesting to look at.


I for one beg to disagree; Trine 2 has that problem where sometimes, it's difficult to tell what's in the foreground or the background. It's a gorgeous game, no doubt, but it's literally an assault of densely-compacted detail and hyper-saturated colors. Levels are built as 3D environments that you move through on a 2D plane.

Posted Image

Trine 2 is also a very, very slow game. Characters move at what can best be described as "Mario's walking speed". The camera frequently gets locked to an X or Y axis or frames areas as individual screens rather than free-scrolling worlds. This in itself is very important, because it explains why Trine 2 is so detailed. For starters, it means you have plenty of time to process the environment - if it's difficult to tell where the foreground ends and the background begins, just stand around and look at it for a second or two. It also allows you to appreciate that detail; you spend a lot of time looking at each individual area. It also matters as far as things like data streaming is concerned - the slower the characters move, the more time the game engine has to load in new assets for what's coming up next.

Sonic games do not typically have this luxury. You can even see it in something like Sonic GDK - load up one UDK's Unreal Tournament 3 maps and pay attention to the framerate. The faster you move, the choppier things get, because those maps were not designed to support characters that move that quickly (at least, not as far as my system is concerned, and I typically get 60fps at "normal" traversal speeds).

There's more to good graphics than just endlessly heaping detail in to a scene. If S4E2 looked like Trine 2 you'd be constantly lost as to what the fuck you were even standing on at any given time. You'd also be clipping through - or getting caught on - every stray errant piece of level detail (something that also happens in Trine 2, but since it's not a fast game, it doesn't matter as much).

S4E2 looks fine.
This post has been edited by BlazeHedgehog: 19 February 2012 - 12:09 PM

#1001 User is offline Dark Sonic 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:23 AM

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^Wow I could not play a Sonic game in an environment like that.

As far as the repetitive nature of the zone tropes is, I fail to see it. Two zones involve trees, yet one is deck the halls with bounds of folly and snowing while the other one is aquatic ruin. They may both have water, and they may both have trees, but they barely look alike (Also it's good to make up for Ep 1's lack of any water what so ever. Only one level involved water). I think the consistency of environments is actually a good thing, it shows some transition and shows that they're running around the same area. The world map was absolutely stupid in Sonic 4 Ep 1 because why the hell is there a Casino next to a grassy plane, next to ruins, next to a factory. Wtf kind of world is that? Where the hell would you find these things on an island? This game seems to be from aquatic ruin they take a plane to the forests behind them where it happens to be snowing. Once inside the forest they come out to find a carnival set up, where they notice, Oh fuck it's Metal Sonic, and then they run off after him to the oil refinery. That last transition isn't too coherent right now but the rest of it makes sense. And during all of this Little Planet is being turned into the Death Egg, and each level we see that happen a little more each time.

What I didn't like about Sonic 4 Ep 1's art style was more then simply "lack of polish." It was the fact that the art was just awful. Everything is somehow shiny and grainy at the same time, like someone took forehead grease and rubbed it on top of sandpaper after painting it green. Some how that's supposed to equal classic. Just... why?
This post has been edited by Dark Sonic: 19 February 2012 - 11:25 AM

#1002 User is offline Machenstein 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:26 AM

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This is why the next 2D Sonic game should be sprite-based. It would look better and be easier for the hardware to process. Whether it be retro-styled or high-res, it would be better than this 2.5D nonsense.

#1003 User is offline Dark Sonic 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:28 AM

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View PostMachenstein, on 19 February 2012 - 11:26 AM, said:

This is why the next 2D Sonic game should be sprite-based. It would look better and be easier for the hardware to process. Whether it be retro-styled or high-res, it would be better than this 2.5D nonsense.

Oh well this obviously, I wanted Sonic 4 Ep 1 to look like Wario Land Shake it way before we got pictures of what it came to be. This is a step up, but not nearly the best option. A Sonicfied Rayman Origins all the way

#1004 User is offline Solid SOAP 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:53 PM

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View PostDark Sonic, on 19 February 2012 - 11:28 AM, said:

Oh well this obviously, I wanted Sonic 4 Ep 1 to look like Wario Land Shake it way before we got pictures of what it came to be. This is a step up, but not nearly the best option. A Sonicfied Rayman Origins all the way

As cool as that would be, it wasn't a realistic option. Sonic 4 has taken inspiration from NSMB from the beginning, which is a 20-million seller. Both Wario Land: Shake and Rayman Origins sold abysmally, so I find it doubtful that SEGA would draw inspiration from two games that were generally unsuccessful.

#1005 User is offline jasonchrist 

Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:11 PM

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View PostSolid SOAP, on 19 February 2012 - 12:53 PM, said:

View PostDark Sonic, on 19 February 2012 - 11:28 AM, said:

Oh well this obviously, I wanted Sonic 4 Ep 1 to look like Wario Land Shake it way before we got pictures of what it came to be. This is a step up, but not nearly the best option. A Sonicfied Rayman Origins all the way

As cool as that would be, it wasn't a realistic option. Sonic 4 has taken inspiration from NSMB from the beginning, which is a 20-million seller. Both Wario Land: Shake and Rayman Origins sold abysmally, so I find it doubtful that SEGA would draw inspiration from two games that were generally unsuccessful.

They could draw inspiration from Sonic CD, which IS successful... at least it is now.

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