Sonic 2 Retro Remix

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Thorn, May 30, 2008.

  1. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Yeah, my main issues are that it's possible to complete a level without collecting any emeralds (I agree there should be one given for merely completing each level in the first place), and that it's actually fairly hard to backtrack a lot of the time. Two of the emeralds in the first level strike me as particularly frustrating to reach, as the window of opportunity for getting to that route is very narrow.
     
  2. Rokkan

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    I just played the new demo. Collecting enough emeralds to procceed is pretty easy - actually, a lot more easier than the 2010 build. The new forest level which is super easy to get emeralds from and the emerald radar does help a lot! (specially in finding emeralds that, before this new build, you had no idea where to get them. Now I feel a lot less clueless and a lot more interested in collecting some of them) I played it in just one day and already got 45 emeralds (more than enough to get to Metropolis and Death Egg). Of course, I did know at first how to get a bunch of emeralds because of the 2010 build, but I wouldn't say that collecting the emeralds is hard or bothersome, seems to work and pace perfectly to me!

    Just a few things that annoy me are how Metropolis is such a long level (basically, never bothering to try time attacking and score attacking on such a long level), and how Chemical Plant 2 is so goddamn hard (I should get an emerald for just surviving that). The difficulty of the level makes me not really bother getting any emeralds at it. I might have tried to get some on it if it wasn't for how you positioned Sonic to spawn at the "hub world" so far away from the warp ring to the level! I mean, I sort of get the design around not positioning Sonic right next to the warp ring of the level that he was on: By placing Sonic "between" the path of the level that he was on and the next level, you induce the player to get to the next level, but you also do that so that the player doesn't "accidentally" enter the level he just got out of, so you position Sonic in a way so that if the player wants to retry the level, he needs to take actions that will actually require him to think whether he wants to replay the level or to go another one. But still, the warp ring of Chemical Plant 2 is so far away from the place in which Sonic spawns when he gets out of it, that re-entering the level takes so long and is so bothersome to do. It wouldn't be if I only needed to re-enter it once, but, because of the difficulty and also because of missions such as Score Attack and Time Attack, a lot of stages take a lot of retrials to get those emeralds, and when you retry that level more than a handful of times, the whole section that you need to cross to get to it does get very bothersome to do it again and again and again just to get to the level and quickly die or screw up your shot at Time/Score Attacking and have to do that again and again and again...

    Basically, yeah, those are my only issues I think! I like the new Wall-Jump, it was really weird getting used to it at first (WHY ARE YOU CONSTANTLY STICKING YOURSELF TO THESE WALLS SONIC COME ON I DIDN'T PRESS A), but after getting used to it, it is safe to say it works a lot better than the old one.
     
  3. steveswede

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    I thought this initially when I played Chemical Plant act 2 but considering I only gave the level a quick go the thought didn't give me too much bother. But now that you have mentioned it, it's something that should be addressed and not just this one but others as well. I agree that a spawn position needs to be reasonably placed away from a warp ring but not to the point where you are constantly running the same bit over and over again in the hub world because it gets a bit boring doing that, Cascade Valley between act 2 and act 3 is another example of this.


    Also if it's a possibility, is there any chance you would consider adding an options menu to customize the game mechanics and other stuff if people want it. I still find using the new wall jump crap to use and wouldn't mind having an option to switch between original controls and new, plus have an option to turn the radar on or off. Considering your coding genius would it be worth your time to implement something like this?
     
  4. TheBarAdmin

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    I love the mission system, and how it flows with the layouts. The levels, even after several replays, feel fresh and freaking gigantic, in which some parts resemble Sonic Rush and others resemble Sonic CD. In terms of level art, it's a nice twist, my favorite being Cascade Valley. The music is good; are some of these original compositions? Because I can't remember them from other games.

    However, it feels like in later zones, emeralds are much harder to obtain, even if I didn't get lost too often, due to the radar. It's... just not as entertaining. I wish the later levels were more like Mystic Woods or Cascade Valley, because those were REALLY entertaining.

    But so far nice work! It's an unique concept for a sonic game, and I can see the you guys put a lot of effort in it :)
     
  5. dsrb

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    Bumpan to say I finally tried the SAGE 2011 build. Not bad! 30 emruldz in so far. I think I'm going to end agreeing with TBA above that “I wish the later levels were more like Mystic Woods or Cascade Valley, because those were REALLY entertaining.”, but I may be wrong. Definitely not looking forward to CPZ, though!

    More to the point, I just updated the wiki page to have the SAGE 2011 version and added Mystic Woods to the level list. That this hadn't already been done is a travesty! Will someone please think of the children! Those with more encyclopaedic knowledge of the game than me might want to update any other relevant parts.


    Edit:

    I should make more of an effort to be praiseworthy. Whilst I'll leave the debate over the details and specifics to others, I really appreciate the overall idea behind this: adding several new layers to the gameplay and experience—and from games that I love, I.e. SM64 and NiGHTS—that totally transform it. It's hugely ambitious, and it's paying off, especially as it evolves and fits together better with every version. Don't stop what you're doing! Listen to feedback, sure, when it's valid; but keep the core idea intact.

    In that last respect, as an example, I think the emerald radar is a good thing on balance. Perhaps making it optional is a decent idea, for the players who are sufficiently confident in their abilities—unlike myself! I thought of suggesting some bonus for players who keep it off, but I'm unimaginative and it'd be hard to stretch such a concept across the entire game. I'm sure there are those like Steve who would prefer to have it off; I might be the same if I were more skilled at, or used to, searching, but it's been pretty helpful so far.
     
  6. dsrb

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    These have probably been reported, but I'd better write them down somewhere before I forget.
    * After completing + - the (only?) Special Stage   , no text is shown for the scores (although the usual tally SFX are played).
    * CVZ2 lists its score attack threshold as 17000, but it's actually 20000—as I realised after considerable frustration! :P (No idea how I'll beat its time attack, or most of the others’; off to YouTube, I guess)
    * It's probably not coming back, but—Classic Mode in the SAGE 2010 version resets scores between levels; this makes sense for the standard mode, but not so much for Classic.

    Also, 60 emeralds and (slowly) counting. The + - final bosses   were surprisingly easy, particularly the second one, but I raged a fair amount at + - their doubled HP   .
     
  7. Thorn

    Thorn

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    Right, might as well post here since the topic's received a bump.

    @dsrb: The text removal was deliberate in an attempt to make clear that there is no reward for getting a certain score. I wanted to remove the screen entirely, but it seems that VRAM is toyed with during it in order to get back to displaying normal level graphics, so I did a quick and dirty edit. I'm pretty sure you're talking about the score error in Cascade Valley 3 instead of 2, which I spotted last month and have fixed for the next release (it should have been 17000). Lastly, if I didn't increase the HP on the final bosses, they would be beatable before they even get two attacks off, I.e. before they start their new attack patterns (and seriously, I made it so that you can whale on the final boss with little consequence, so I think the added HP is pretty necessary).

    All around I am very displeased with the 2011 build, both in terms on circumstances around it and the game itself. I lost my last computer to hardware failure (but was smart enough to make constant backups as it started to die) about a month before the hacking contest, causing me to miss that and to be late to SAGE by half a day. I also had the misfortune of my SAGE entry e-mail landing in the recipient's junk folder, where it wasn't seen until right before SAGE started; hence, my booth was posted too late to be on the slide-out list of 24 and was only viewable on the main booth page. The game itself was a rushed job to get something out before all of the main Sonic fan game events were done for the year, so bugs like the ones in the previous post and the sharing of overworld respawn points between Acts 2 and 3 cropped up, and DNX's admittance that he may not continue on the project meant that I had to work with things I was capable of making art for.

    So where does the hack go from here? The original plan that I conceived back in late 2009 or early 2010 was to create a large selection of levels, then to try to fit a stupid little story to it... something along the lines of fitting in a second character such as Mighty that has more "classic" Sonic gameplay while I give Sonic all of the new moves I've made so far, and to have the player proceed through with both characters. Except in the time I spent making levels and tweaking the hack, keeping this story to myself so that the Internet didn't barf at the sight of a fan game with a story, SEGA made exactly that game. FUCK. That's not to say I couldn't still do it, but the novelty's gone now. :P I do have other things in mind to do with the hack, such as replacing the overworlds with a world map and having alternate exits that lead to other acts, having more special stages and using the Chaos Emeralds from there in the same way that early Crash Bandicoot games used Color Gems for platforms, and having many acts per world to compensate for my now lacking ability to have more zone art.

    On a random note, I know Sik asked me to integrate Puyo / Mean Bean somehow, and I know how I could do it, but I lack the know-how to get it working (I'd imagine having up to 72 Puyo objects on screen would cause serious lag with the whole of the Sonic engine running, so I'd have to pause everything else going on).

    I am very open to ideas right now, whether they be people saying "have the hack do this" or people who care to contribute art/music/whatever to prevent this from being a solo project. I'll probably get back into serious work on this early next year when I am done playing all of the new games from the holiday season and I'm on break from classes.
     
  8. dsrb

    dsrb

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    Of course you're right; my mistake!

    Haha, no, it is a good thing; it just took me a while to get used to. Admittedly, I never play Sonic 2, at least not that far, so I was at a disadvantage to begin with! It was easy once I got warmed up. I like how you added + - platforms and a couple of ‘new’ moves   so if you plan to develop that further, I'd be interested to see what comes out of it.

    As for the rest: The build was pretty great, all things considered. Shame DNX is leaving—for what it's worth, Frosty Peak is beautiful!—and hopefully there are other artist(s) here who'd like to contribute. I'm too unimaginative to have any good suggestions for the gameplay, but I'm looking forward to seeing what emerges in any case. :)
     
  9. Rokkan

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    Thorn, please contact me if you're in need for new graphics/pixel-art work. I'd be absolutely blissful to work in one of my favorite hacks of all time.

    Also, outside from what I said on my post... Could you add gimmicks and stage elements from non Sonic 2 games? Idk if that's even possible, but it'd be really interesting to have, idk, that spiky log from Green Hill for instance in Mystic Woods Zone. While the level layouts are really fresh and new, they could mix elements from even more other stages to feel even more new and interesting.
     
  10. Willie

    Willie

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    I think it would be awesome if the game tried hard to move away from Sonic 2 and tried to make all the levels feel original. Chemical Plant could be turned into something like an industrial wasteland, Casino Night Zone could be turned into something like this, etc. Cascade Valley Zone and Frosty Peak Zone are such original looking levels and it would be great to see the other levels get similar treatment. Also, I have not played the SAGE 2011 version yet but I remember the boss battles in the SAGE 2010 version being just alternative takes on Sonic 2 bosses. It would be awesome to see something radically different for a lot of those boss battles. Also, I like the emerald collecting but it would be nice if the game gave people more incentive to try to collect them outside of it being mandatory to get a certain amount to pass certain areas. Also, will Tails ever be added to the game?
     
  11. Cinossu

    Cinossu

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    Honestly? I like the hack exactly as it is; new moves for Sonic, new/remixed levels, missions for each level, and an overworld with things to do.

    Keep it the same, and keep going. Don't give up and change things now, not when you have everything working so well.
     
  12. Icewarrior

    Icewarrior

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    I'm with Cinosssu there.
    People complaining about world hub and emeralds to collect in order to progress?
    Screw those lazy gamers that are so used to their save states to finish games off quickly in 5 minutes, you have a fantastic hack with a lot of things that are unique in the Sonic hacking scene.
     
  13. Selbi

    Selbi

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    I was always one of the "Yeah, this is a pretty cool hack and looks nice and all, but I just suck at it, so I won't really play it". The problem with Retro Remix always was its difficulty. As a new player of this hack you are being thrown into a complete new world, both artistic and level design wise. And if that isn't already enough, you have to search for fucking gems.

    Please do not think I'm trying to say "This is a good hack but not executed well", because it isn't bad executed, not at all. In fact, this is one of the cleanest and most polished hacks out there (if not the one). It simply doesn't give people (or at least some of them, I read the older posts of this topic) that "Man, I really want to continue to play and finish this game" feeling. The emeralds aren't really "cleverly hidden" in the way you would imagine. Take Mario 64 as an example. It was clear what you had to do or at least had some sort hint that actually hinted you. Here you do have hints, but they merely act as a little pointer, than something that actually gives you a proper idea what to do. The idea to add that distance meter was a step in the write direction, but as Egoraptor once said "The minor tweaks can't fix an overall broken concept".

    My conclusion: Re-invent part of the wheel for this hack. Don't start at zero, just re-think your ideas and see what you can do. I'm not against the emerald hunting idea. In fact, this makes this hack unique and therefore you should definitely keep it in. All I'm saying is that there might be better and more entertaining ways to get players to approve this sort of hack. The time where you can only impress with awesome graphics and programming skills are long gone - solid gameplay is now your best friend.

    Criticize me if you feel to, I don't mind at all. This is just my honest opinion about this hack.
     
  14. dsrb

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    Yeah, I'd like this too (short of asking for a Retro Remix of the other classic games ;)), and good example. Whilst this kind of thing should obviously take a back-seat to the gameplay itself, it would be a nice touch on top. Similarly, W.A.C. has some good points, but again the gameplay should be the main consideration: This is one of the few hacks that can get away with using familiar graphics (when it does) because the level layouts are distinctive—and actually matter, unlike so many others.

    Selbi: To be fair, it is a lot easier now than it used to be. I used to think almost exactly the same, but in the latest version I think the balance is almost there, perhaps with the exception of the Time Attacks—although maybe I just suck at those! I'm actually almost coming to enjoy the 7 emerald monitor missions, which I would never have expected.

    Overall, yeah: keep the core concepts intact, rather than bending over backwards to please people who just want to hold right for half an hour for the millionth time.
     
  15. steveswede

    steveswede

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    Just keep on trying as I used to think that the time attacks were unfair (CPZ act 2 was a bitch when trying to get that the first time) but you will get so much better over time when finding out the quickest route.
     
  16. Hitlersaurus Christ

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    Please, please, please keep the hack's gameplay the way it is. The overworld and level progression are one of the main draws to the game. Adding a map screen would take away from the experience. Since the mechanics are in place, I think you should focus on adding more original levels and maybe tweaking the number of emeralds required at parts. The ideas you've mentioned aren't bad by any means and I'd love to see them done in a hack some day, but they aren't Sonic 2 Retro Remix. This is my favorite hack, and I'd hate to see it become something else entirely.
     
  17. dsrb

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    77 emeralds, about ready to kill myself now. And not due to satisfaction!

    I could construct a long and undulating lament about many different things, but for now I'll just mention how much fuck CPZ and its emerald monitors. Overall, I guess I'll have to look for hints on YouTube before next time.

    Not to say I'm not looking forward to more! Apparently this is the kind of punishment that I can't get enough of. :D



    Edit (to avoid bumping this again and looking like a big old attention whore):

    Now at 89. CPZ2 almost reduced me to a blathering husk of undiluted bitterness, but I came through. After an untold number of hours! I'm gonna take a break, largely due to the thought of Metropolis.

    A couple of graphical things I noticed: (1) Since the new sprites for the horizontal/vertical spring dashes/attacks use the objectively correct and superior prism-y (can't think of a word) spines, is there any chance that the Mobius-strip/springboard sprites will be altered accordingly; that is, to remove the horrible razor-blade style spines? (2) The K in the title-card font is missing the black shadow on the bottom of one of its legs.
     
  18. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    With Sonic 2 HD's revival and Sonic 1 Megamix reappearing, I figure now would be a good time to ask how Sonic 2 Retro Remix is coming along?
     
  19. Willie

    Willie

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    This is one of my favorite rom hacks, so it would be cool to hear an update. It's been so long since we've heard anything about it.
     
  20. steveswede

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    I think this hack is done and dusted guys.