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- Your resident DCT fanatic.
- 23 years old
- April 25, 1990
- Watford, England.
As stated in the old personal statement, I'm a spriter and a writer, two hobbies which pretty much occupy my time outside of school. I make various comics, and fanfics and stuff. Trying to branch out into completely original fiction as well. I just find starting stories difficult.
I'm a pretty political person, as can be seen from my University studies. My focus on English, while not formal in my education, also comprises much of my attitude. Aside from my writing activities, you can often notice my rather grandiloquent speech. I also abhor text talk. It seems to serve much the same function as Orwell's newspeak. Double-plus ungood.
Musically, I'm into a lot of J-Pop. Dreams Come True in particular. They've captured my imagination and my auditory nerve since I first heard 'Sweet Sweet Sweet'. I'm also a fan of 80s ska and new-wave stuff. Madness and Oingo Boingo are particular faves.
I'm a big fan of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, to the point where I'd call myself a Haruhiist as a religious choice. If a book is enough to base a faith on, at least Nagaru Tanigawa appears to be a snappier writer than the apostles.
I also tend to find the good in most Sonic games. I still play Sonic 06 from time to time, avoiding levels with mach speed areas or buddy sections (with the exception of Blaze, who plays ok.) The only games I consider really not worth playing are the Nintendo handhelds after Advance 1, and Secret Rings.
- Various Visual Novel concepts.
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Topics I've Started
13 June 2008 - 02:44 PMRandomly started playing Sonic Rivals 2 again recently, and the quality is still astonishing. So I decided to do something between a review and an essay on it. Thought I'd post it here to see what people thought. So here we go.
It's funny, to me, when people point to Sonic Rush as the supposed heir apparent to the Genesis/Mega Drive. For I believe that it is not the DS that holds the best Sonic game in the current era, but rather the PSP. And yet, Sonic Rivals 2 seems to get very little recognition in comparison to the Nintendo counterparts.
Sonic Rivals, the first game on the PSP, was fairly good. Not too many characters, quite nice level design. But it did have its flaws. For a start, it was all racing, so you didn't really get a chance to go through the levels in any way other than holding right and speeding through. And it was the type of game where you could just hold right and win, just like the supposedly brilliant Rush games. Plus, if you got far enough ahead of your opponent, you could relax, as they'd never catch up. Similarly, if your opponent got too far ahead, you could restart, as no amount of skill would let you catch up. In terms of replayability, it was also rather annoying, in that the 'cards' that acted as rewards for completion were given seemingly randomly, making it very hard to collect them.
Sonic Rivals 2 corrected almost all of these mistakes. In doing so, it became, and remains, probably my favourite Sonic games, and also one of the closest to the Genesis era.
First off, there's now a variety of stage types. While the majority of the game is races through stages, every few acts, you'll get a minigame, like knock out battles, ring collection stages, capture the Chao, and so on. I quite like these in that they break up the gameplay a bit and add some variety, without being too long or too focused on. The best variations on level type, howeveer, are Time Attack stages, where you have no opponent in racing through the level, and thus get more of a chance to appreciate the surroundings, and Free Play mode. Free Play mode should be focused on. Because it really showcases the levels. This is where I think Rivals 2 can most rival (no pun intended) the Genesis. Because at first glance, you can just race through them. But Free Play mode allows you to see the depth of the levels, all the different paths. And in putting 10 Chao in each stage to collect (for slightly macabre reasons I'll note later), they really do encourage such exploration.
Now, they've obviously put some research in, as not only can definite classic level design be noted, most notably in Zone 3, but also some classic gimmicks, and even enemies. Mystic Haunt contains ghosts very similar to the Sandopolis ghosts, who operate in the same way, even with the switches throughout to turn on the lights and shoo them off. Then we've got what appears to be a genuine Crawl/Gaadon from Casino Night, appearing in Neon Palace, the game's own casino level. You also get the classic green flippers in this level, and so on. Sunset Forest also has a rather retro feel to it, seeming somewhere between Mushroom Hill and Sunset Hill. The latter for obvious reasons.
Onto the story, then. It's not exactly rocket science, but where it shines is character interaction. All the characters, in some way, come across each other, team up to some extent, and face Eggman/Eggman Nega, eventually taking on the fearsome Ifrit, the archetypal huge monster boss. The character alliances are done in quite a nice way. Sonic and Tails start off working together, Knuckles and Rouge are constantly antagonistic, but end up following each other and working together to a degree, due to necessity. Espio and Silver don't trust each other at first, but slowly begin to gain a degree of trust as Silver reveals more about the problem (knowing about the effects this disaster has caused to his future). As for Shadow and Metal Sonic, I can't quite remember their relationship, as I haven't done their storyline for a while.
One of the bits of the storyline advertised when the game came out was that the Chao were disappearing, but this really isn't too much of a focus in some of the storylines. Sonic and Tails are essentially going after Eggman. The storyline in which you do find out about the Chao is that of Silver and Espio, and Silver reveals he's been taking the Chao, as in his timeline, the Ifrit gained its power by actually devouring masses of Chao. Now, tell me that isn't quite macabre for a Sonic game, and also totally awesome. Anyhow, you travel into the dimensional rift from which the Ifrit has come, and defeat it while tumbling through the sky. Standard fare, but still fun.
In terms of gameplay, it's rather well done. Essentially a better 2D version of the newer Sonic games. Your main moves are Spindash, standard jump and Homing Attack. You can also do a regular attack while moving forward. From my adventures in the Knock Out stages, it seems that Knuckles might have a slight advantage over other characters in terms of this, as he always seemed more able to attack than I was as Silver. Maybe I'm not as good, but either way.
Then you've got power ups that can be used by pressing the Triangle Button, that are picked up throughout the level. In a race, each one has a defensive purpose (if in the lead) as well as offensive (if you're behind), while in a battle, they'll use the offensive by default. You've got fire, which can give you a shield in defensive, or shoot a fireball in offensive. Ice can leave behind an ice block which freezes the opponent if they run over it, or shoot out a snowflakey thing which freezes an opponent if it catches them. And so on, and so on. Stuff like Oil and Glue can be found in Cup Circuits as well, which have obvious slowing-down properties,
Then you've got signature moves. Sonic shoots forward and runs a lot faster, which is good if that's your style of play. Tails is able to fly for a limited period of time, which is very good for exploration in Free Play. Shadow has Chaos Control, freezing time for the opponent for a limited time. Silver uses ESP, reversing the controls of the opponent, which is good in multiplayer. Rouge throws bat-shaped bombs at the opponent, sort of a combination of her Sonic Battle attacks, with the bombs she plants taking the place of the freaky balloons. Knuckles does an attack all around himself by striking the ground. Metal Sonic's rather neat in that he steals the attack of his opponent.
So yeah, all around, the gameplay is fairly good. Lots of techniques you can use. In terms of replayability, the game's very good. For a start, you have four teams to play through the story of, each split into two so you can focus on a particular character. Then you unlock a cup circuit with each completion. You can explore and get the Chao in Free Play, and so on. Then you've got the card system.
As I said before, the granting of cards in Rivals 1 was somewhat random. I still haven't completed it for this reason. However, each card in Rivals 2 is granted for completing a specific challenge, doing an action an amount of times, completing a Circuit, beating one character with another character, beating certain times, and so on. This makes it a lot easier to actually get the cards. Some cards are only for nostalgia purposes (old bits of Sonic art, and so on), but some grant you little bonuses, like alternate costumes and such. Each character has 5 costumes, gainable in various ways. The only guaranteed method to get a costume is to complete a character's Cup Circuit as any character. The rest are gained through various character specific challenges. Also, you can view the challenges you need to do in order to get the cards by selecting them in the gallery. This makes it a heck of a lot easier to know what you've actually got to do.
I'm not generally the type to go for 100% completion in games. Even when I am, I give up pretty soon, as with Sonic Adventure 2. Had it for years, still haven't got many A-Ranks. But Rivals 2 is fun enough, and the challenges varied enough for this to be a valid goal for me.
In light of Unleashed taking a bit of a Rivals slant on things, with a similar 2.5D viewpoint, maybe it's time we looked a little more favourably on the game. It's not perfect, but in terms of Sonic, it's pretty damn good. One of the diamonds (or maybe emeralds) amongst the rough.
24 May 2008 - 10:44 AMNot sure if this really needs to be included, but it may be better for the sake of accuracy on the Dreams Come True page.
Firstly, 'Marry Me?' isn't really from Dreamage, which is a popular misconception for the origin of the song. That's merely a collection of some of their songs which work in a particular theme. Like a best of collection. You can note that the track immediately after MM was Sweet Sweet Sweet, which is listed with its proper source album.
The song actually was first included in 'Sing Or Die', and an English variant was in 'Sing Or Die ~Worldwide Version~. It was track 9 in each case.
Also, is it worth adding Sweet Dreams on the page for the sake of completion? (The classic version that acted as the b-side to their single 'Winter Song', rather than the Akon travesty. :P)
07 December 2006 - 04:35 PMSo, playing Marina Madness act 5 as Mighty and Vector, and I get one of the switch monitor things. So I control Vector for a while, but when they pop back, their pallettes are completely messed up. They still operate normally, and nothing else seems to be affected. Is there any reason for this to happen just in this zone? (I did exactly the same thing in Techno Tower act 5, with nothing unusual happening.)
11 February 2006 - 10:32 AMWell, I decided to play S3&K on Sonic Mega Collection +, for the PS2. I was playing as Knuckles, and all was fine until Mushroom Hill. When I came to face the boss, I didn't see the Egg robot, but Eggman himself. Weird, but probably just a glitch. I decided to play as Sonic. Again, everything went fine, up until Hidden Palace. Here, Knuckles had the wrong colour shoes. Some sort of Sonic 3 esque mistake? Must have been. Played through, and went to Sky Sanctuary. Knuckles' shoes had thankfully changed pallete. Unfortunately not to the right one...
Any idea on why this would happen? (Sorry for the low quality of the pics. On reflection, taking out my TV card for a new Graphics card was a wrong move...)
18 October 2005 - 12:28 PMI want to make a game with my character, who is a Megaman 8 edit. Are these sprites too big to put in a Sonic game, and if so, is it possible to edit the size limit?