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Sonic 4: The quest for physics.

#16 User is offline Dr. Mecha 

Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:44 PM

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I have a feeling that you could've created an Dimps Sonic Retrospective with these posts LaughingCow, detailing the rise and fall of their take on the blue blur.

#17 User is offline 360 

Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:21 PM

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View PostDr. Mecha, on 08 October 2018 - 06:44 PM, said:

I have a feeling that you could've created an Dimps Sonic Retrospective with these posts LaughingCow, detailing the rise and fall of their take on the blue blur.


Echoing this. LaughingCow's posts have been the lifeblood of Retro this past week. The best content on here and super interesting threads. Good work dude.
This post has been edited by 360: 08 October 2018 - 07:23 PM

#18 User is offline HedgeHayes 

Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:41 PM

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Ah, my weird experience with Sonic 4. I'm guilty of having bought Ep1 twice: I got it first for Wii, then Ep II was not released for that console, so my only chance of getting Episode Metal was buying again that game, leading my to actually beat it a second time. Let's go!:

Ep1 First experience (Wii):
Overall, I liked it when I played it, and found even fun that cheap One-hit KO the Death Egg Robot... I mean, the E.G.G. Station Robot threw as its last resort. Didn't get many Chaos Emeralds, since the Special Stages were so overwhelmingly colourful and quite a challenge for a game that asked you to replay a lot in order to try them, often in acts where there was no easy way to actually access them. Even if it was far from being a true Sonic game, at least I enjoyed it. of course, Things like the end of LLZ1 and the Metropolis-like boss at egg station were horrible, and rehashed graphics were a huge letdown. I don't hate this game's music, but I'm no fan of it either; and, for some reason, Lost Labyrinth music is stuck on my brain and resurfaces every now and then like some kind of curse.

Ep1 Revisit (Steam):
I liked the game a lot less this second time, but it was still an acceptable experience. I got more emeralds this time, but, again, not all of them. Anyway, all of its faults were more evident after the charm in the "return" of 2D Sonic was gone.

Ep. Metal:
Really liked the chance of playing as Metal Sonic in an offical 2D game, and the ep itself was quite developed for this kind of bonus content, so it felt short. Levels themselves weren't very enjoyable when Dimps' concept of hard mode enters the scene, but whatever.

Ep. II:
I hate this one. When I first tried it beating act 2 of the snow park level was a pain, and I had a similar experience with the sand level, in both cases at places where I had to abuse the tag team mechanics. I left it there, but tried it again when I got a new computer just because part of the problem was how old was the previous one; I got to sky chase, then hated it even more, left it aside again. A year or two after that, I forced myself to beat the game because I had paid for it, and I did, but I felt something beyond hatred while doing so. I must admit the final boss concept was great, but I didn't like its execution, which ruined it but at least was a tiny bit of relief. Again, didn't got all the emeralds, thanks again to what was needed to try them again, but I really tried before beating the game, to be able to get super and have an easier trip on final levels.

As you can see, I liked ep1 more than ep2, and epM was my only good reason to have bought both on steam. I know physics were bad, but the worst was always the way Dimps designs levels. Remember, I hate Sonic Colours (Wii), and that game had a good dose of Dimps in it.


#19 User is offline TripleXero 

Posted 08 October 2018 - 10:00 PM

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I don't have too much to say about these games that haven't been said to death, but have a lasting hatred with how the games were handled on iOS over the years.

I played a lot of Episode I when it first came out. I got it on my iPod touch at the time and thought it was pretty fun. Special stages kinda sucked but it was playable. I had even 100%'d the game. Eventually an update came out and my save data was deleted. I've had an iDevice since 2008 and still have save data from games back then on my current iPhone, games that cost $1 from one-hit-wonder developers, how could Sega not handle save data well enough? I think I ended up deleting the game for a while, at the very least I didn't play it any more.

Eventually Episode II came out, along with Episode Metal. I went back to Episode I a bit to compare gameplay and I think I needed to open it at least once to unlock Episode Metal. I feel like I remember Episode II not running very well on my device at the time, but I think I completed it. Eventually with an iOS update, the game stopped working for a few years, despite Episode I was still working. I deleted the game in hope that it would fix the crash because that was a common problem fixer at the time, but it didn't and it also lost me my save data for that game. When it was finally updated again, Episode Metal no longer was playable due to how they set up the unlocking process.

It was all a mess. I don't know if Episode Metal ever got fixed on iOS, but Episode I eventually got an update that updated its presentation to be on par with the other systems it was released on. The update kind of took away a bit of the charm (the idle animation of Sonic jamming out to music on an iDevice was now gone and I believe the mobile specific levels were gone, for example), but by the time it arrived I had long lost interest in the game realizing how truly awful it was. I also somewhat recall losing what little progress I made in Episode I again at some point.
This post has been edited by TripleXero: 08 October 2018 - 10:04 PM

#20 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 08 October 2018 - 10:41 PM

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View Post360, on 08 October 2018 - 07:21 PM, said:

View PostDr. Mecha, on 08 October 2018 - 06:44 PM, said:

I have a feeling that you could've created an Dimps Sonic Retrospective with these posts LaughingCow, detailing the rise and fall of their take on the blue blur.


Echoing this. LaughingCow's posts have been the lifeblood of Retro this past week. The best content on here and super interesting threads. Good work dude.

The main problem with Modern Sonic is that nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to answer the question of just how we go to this point. For every redundant video about "Everything wrong with Sonic" and the endless "Do this to fix Sonic", none of them take any time to analyse why we got to this point. It is just "Sonic Team are incompetent, do this to fix their mistake" which is just over simplifying thing. This is compounded by those who don't want the Classics used as a foundation for Modern Sonic but at the same time couldn't tell you what said foundation should be outside of vague notions based on whatever their favorite game happens to be. At a time where nobody knows what Modern Sonic is, discussion is important.

#21 User is offline Dr. Mecha 

Posted 08 October 2018 - 11:30 PM

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View PostLaughingcow, on 08 October 2018 - 10:41 PM, said:

View Post360, on 08 October 2018 - 07:21 PM, said:

View PostDr. Mecha, on 08 October 2018 - 06:44 PM, said:

I have a feeling that you could've created an Dimps Sonic Retrospective with these posts LaughingCow, detailing the rise and fall of their take on the blue blur.


Echoing this. LaughingCow's posts have been the lifeblood of Retro this past week. The best content on here and super interesting threads. Good work dude.

The main problem with Modern Sonic is that nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to answer the question of just how we go to this point. For every redundant video about "Everything wrong with Sonic" and the endless "Do this to fix Sonic", none of them take any time to analyse why we got to this point. It is just "Sonic Team are incompetent, do this to fix their mistake" which is just over simplifying thing. This is compounded by those who don't want the Classics used as a foundation for Modern Sonic but at the same time couldn't tell you what said foundation should be outside of vague notions based on whatever their favorite game happens to be. At a time where nobody knows what Modern Sonic is, discussion is important.

Well, making multiple thread on Dimps sure isn't the answer; so I suggest merging this all into a Dimps Sonic retrospective thread so that we can talk how they somehow help made (and break) the post-modern Sonic as we know it. Because I'm starting to see a pattern with these threads.

Still, it's good to discuss what went wrong with Sonic along with how to fix it, but at the same time we kinda have a discussion like this before; not in depth mind you, but still....
This post has been edited by Dr. Mecha: 08 October 2018 - 11:36 PM

#22 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:27 AM

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View PostDr. Mecha, on 08 October 2018 - 11:30 PM, said:

Well, making multiple thread on Dimps sure isn't the answer; so I suggest merging this all into a Dimps Sonic retrospective thread so that we can talk how they somehow help made (and break) the post-modern Sonic as we know it. Because I'm starting to see a pattern with these threads.

Still, it's good to discuss what went wrong with Sonic along with how to fix it, but at the same time we kinda have a discussion like this before; not in depth mind you, but still....

The original idea was to discuss each section of games individually, analyzing them as such with the differing opinions being solid data to digest. Being a "Dimps Sonic retrospective" is more a byproduct of that. The changes had to be analyzed separately and well, the threads were made as I finished the games. Merging them would make everything messy. That said, I think I covered individual changes here.
http://forums.sonicr...showtopic=38229

#23 User is offline High Fidelity 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:27 AM

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View PostLaughingcow, on 08 October 2018 - 10:41 PM, said:

View Post360, on 08 October 2018 - 07:21 PM, said:

View PostDr. Mecha, on 08 October 2018 - 06:44 PM, said:

I have a feeling that you could've created an Dimps Sonic Retrospective with these posts LaughingCow, detailing the rise and fall of their take on the blue blur.


Echoing this. LaughingCow's posts have been the lifeblood of Retro this past week. The best content on here and super interesting threads. Good work dude.

The main problem with Modern Sonic is that nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to answer the question of just how we go to this point. For every redundant video about "Everything wrong with Sonic" and the endless "Do this to fix Sonic", none of them take any time to analyse why we got to this point. It is just "Sonic Team are incompetent, do this to fix their mistake" which is just over simplifying thing. This is compounded by those who don't want the Classics used as a foundation for Modern Sonic but at the same time couldn't tell you what said foundation should be outside of vague notions based on whatever their favorite game happens to be. At a time where nobody knows what Modern Sonic is, discussion is important.


I definitely do want to talk about it (modern), but when I do I find myself being overly negative and ranting about it. I try and refrain these days, don't want to bring people down that may enjoy the games

EDIT: I'm getting old and boring
This post has been edited by High Fidelity: 09 October 2018 - 12:28 AM

#24 User is offline SpeedStarTMQ 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 01:25 AM

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Oh man, these games.

I was waiting desperately for Episode I like a dog who's owners just nipped to the shop for a minute. When it finally arrived I downloaded it via WIFI on my iPod Touch 2nd Gen whilst I was out shopping (public WIFI was a huge thing 8 years ago!) and instantly the physics massively let it down for me. It didn't feel like I was playing Sonic and it was just weird. I eventually learned to live with the hilarious physics and got really good at the game, making the top leaderboards for a number of levels with both the iPod and Wii versions in the first few months. My younger brother did the same and we frequenly beat each other's times.

I played the game to death on iPod and got 999 lives and all achievements. I didn't reach that number on Wii but still played it to death. It still wasn't a great Sonic game but to speed run it was great.

Episode II came out and I played through it once and 100%'d it. I've tried to play it again but despite the better physics and 2-player mode it just doesn't hold my attention. The co-op feature makes the game far slower and less interesting to me which is really the opposite of how I felt about Sonic Advance 3 (I loved all the Advance games).

Really I've barely ever gone back unless I just wanted to remind myself about these two odd games now and then for 5 minutes.
This post has been edited by SpeedStarTMQ: 09 October 2018 - 01:26 AM

#25 User is offline big smile 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 05:59 AM

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View PostLaughingcow, on 08 October 2018 - 12:50 PM, said:

Speaking purely based on the Metacritic score, the ONLY REASON it was well received was due to its namesake. "Sonic the Hedgehog 4" sold a bad game. It set up expectations and failed thus when Episode two came around the project was dead in the water. The novelty wore off on casuals and the fans suffer.


I agree that the name was the main draw, but the marketing was also excellent. They started of with the "guess Sonic's new friend" campaign which included Mr Needlemouse as one of the options, and many took it as Sega's way of acknowledging that all these new characters were not a good idea. Then they had those videos with quotes such as "Speed is something you earn." It really did seem like Sega had learned the lessons of the past few years.

It's too bad that the actual game devs were going in a different direction. Iizuka once said that Sonic 4 EpII had been finished a year in advance, (and so was presumably held back to avoid competing with Generations). So it's quite likely that the whole Sonic 4 project was deep in development before the decision to name it Sonic 4 happened.

#26 User is offline DigitalDuck 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 07:38 AM

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I enjoyed Sonic 4 Episode I. It wasn't a classic Sonic game, and as a platformer it was mediocre, but it was enjoyable.

Episode II much less so, given that you spend more of the game waiting for animations than actually playing.

#27 User is offline CHRdutch 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:42 AM

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Ah yes, I've been waiting for this topic.

I actually enjoy Episode I, I think that (most of) the levels are fun to play through and allow for quick movement. The physics, I don't really mind; you can get some stupid speed and precision after you've mastered them.
I do agree that the game is rough on the first playthrough, however. There are some really dumb moments that ruin the initial experience of some of the levels, like the room in Casino Street Act 3 where there is a single cannon and you have to guess in which direction you have to go. Then you of course have the torch puzzle in Lost Labyrinth Act 2, but I don't think I need to explain why that sucks.
Sonic 4: Episode I isn't the only game to pull off bullshit moments like that though: Sonic 2 had Metropolis Zone and that rising water section in Chemical Plant Act 2 to make sure newcomers would feel frustrated, but people still love that game (that could have course have to do with the fact that Sonic 2 has more style to back it up, but who knows).

The second playthrough is where I believe Episode I gets better, because then you're already familiar with those crap moments and know how to deal with them accordingly (, just like the rising water section in Chemical Plant Act 2, which is bullshit at first, but tolerable when you know how to get past it).


Episode II is quite the opposite of Episode I for me: the graphics, the music and the overall presentation all got quite an improvement. But the gameplay took a hit. The reason why has already been discussed here (Tails sections & boss fights that take forever).



Overall, I would say that both Episode I and Episode II are a pretty okay ~7.2/10, but they both fail as a "Sonic 4". I find both of the games fun to play through, but agree that they do not bring anything new to the table, aside from the controversial homing attack/air dash.

#28 User is offline Dr. Mecha 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:47 AM

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Back on subject, I already came to the conclusion that Dimps just use their game engine from the Sonic Rush series for Sonic 4, and that pretty much highlight the core problem of the game itself.

Granted, I only played episode 1; never bothered with episode 2, nor the metal extension for 1.

#29 User is offline big smile 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:26 PM

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Wasn't the Engine for Sonic 4 EP II supposed to be the one from 3DS Generations?

#30 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:44 PM

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View Postbig smile, on 09 October 2018 - 12:26 PM, said:

Wasn't the Engine for Sonic 4 EP II supposed to be the one from 3DS Generations?

Sonic Rush, Rush Adventure, Colors DS, Generations 3DS, Sonic 4 ep 1 and ep 2 all use the same base engine with minor improvements made. It's a moot point as said engine doesn't rely on a physics engine (like how the Hedgehog Engine uses Havok) ergo everything is coded manually. They are incapable of programming Classic Physics with the funny thing being I am damned certain if they asked Yuji Naka for help (like M2 did), he would give them some advice. Blast Processing is just good programming at the end of the day.

Edit: Remember, Nintendo added rolling physics in Super Mario Odyssey for shits and giggles. Checking the credits, nobody is listed as a "physics programmer" which means all that was manually programmed.
This post has been edited by Laughingcow: 09 October 2018 - 12:52 PM

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