re: resolution, I've been playing on Steam on my TV (I have the world's longest HDMI cable between them) and all I noticed was that things were just getting grainier in the menu :thinking: which is frustrating because the resolution is just oh-so-slightly off for my older TV; the edges are slightly cut off and noticeable in the UI, though it's never given me issue in gameplay. re: this game, I have to actively stop myself playing it. Last night I stopped at 4 AM (having started at midnight) and I had to actively stop myself from playing so I didn't pull an all-nighter. My eyes hurt and my hands hurt but this game has its hooks in me good. I'm about five hours in, haven't left Kronos yet. I've 100% all levels on the island itself (yes, even the bitch of an S-rank for 1-2), cleared all the overworld puzzles, and am now in the process of clearing all the little heart icons on the map, which I initially dreaded but is actually quite fun because it doesn't take long to go grab them once you solve the puzzle of how to get there, which is exactly what I wanted out of this kind of thing. It took me a couple nights to work out what the flow was reminding me of, but now I get it, it's totally Spyro 1. The very first one by Insomniac on the PS1. I saw Gene Park say that this game is like a lost Dreamcast title and I get it because it has that late-90s/early-2000s "roam" platformer vibe. You have your overworld with some rudimentary puzzles, various collectables to unlock skills or zones (like gems, or crystallized dragons, or dragon eggs), and most of the game's challenge lies in how to get to a place to get the stuff as opposed to major tests of reflexes. I say Spyro 1 in particular because from 2 onwards Insomniac was evidently not satisfied with this very good gameplay loop and decided to add minigames everywhere...while the entire trilogy is good, I will always prefer the first one for its relative simplicity and flow. And this game is like that, with the scale pumped up, and it makes me super happy because I haven't played a new game in that platforming subgenre in a very long while! The cyber zones are really good actually? Their design intent is pretty obvious in practice with how each is literally a minute long, and the music...while running 1-2 over and over again for that S-rank I was having this total ASMR effect where I was just totally blissed out running like a lunatic while this amazing music was playing. I definitely didn't have that with Generations. (the key with going fast in the cyber zones btw, is to stay on the ground as much as you can. like with generations, for some reason there is zero momentum carryover in the air, which means being in the air at all, even when going through the trick rings, is an absolute timewaster. so is using the homing attack. once I worked out how to cut those down completely, I was able to barely squeak by with the S rank in 1-1 and 1-2.) The Squid boss is fuckin great. Very unforgiving (I don't see what the point of upping the ring count is when it seems like I always lose all of my rings on hit? maybe it's because I'm playing it on hard?), but very great. While running on its trail like, again, an absolute lunatic, I was just having this huge smile on my face. There is no way that kind of fight would've worked in prior Sonic titles, it's a testament to how surprisingly good this game works on a technical level, even with all the other jank. I can't even imagine that working in the Adventure titles. I haven't gotten super far on the combo system yet...combat is alright, it's mostly over and done with very fast and never feels like a chore to me with how the Cyloop absolutely trivializes some enemies. It reminds me of drawing symbols in Okami (especially with how that game loved its circles). I have seen the batshit stuff people are doing later in the game though, so I'm pretty sure some of it is due to me being relatively early in. The fishing is basic but fun. I'm going to do more of it once I work my way to that end of the island again. The 3-second stinger using "And...fish hits!" from SA1 gets me every time hahahahah The writing is good. I haven't, obviously, gotten too far into the plot yet but I really like Sonic and Amy's interactions in this, after spending the past two decades low-key mad about Amy's character assassination between SA1 and SA2 you get the sense that they do get along and they are fond of each other (though in Sonic's case, not in the way Amy wants), and I like Sonic's general playfulness and cockiness, like saying that being careful isn't fun or spending the beginning of a cutscene literally running circles around Amy or being obviously bored when Amy is talking to the Koco tagging along. And Amy finally has a personality that isn't "must chase Sonic and make him marry me". The interactions between Sonic and Sage are pretty funny to me too, in the sense of Sonic just wants some damn lore about this place and Sage just keeps telling him to fuck all the way off. On a technical level, I haven't seen the game chug at all. The ability to change settings in-game as opposed to some bullshit launcher is extremely welcome, as was the ability to set the voices to JP while keeping the EN subtitles (and, uh, script - I've definitely noticed that some things don't line up between translations). But it makes my PC run like a furnace - I've been playing on my bed at night with the door closed and I basically have to spend the entire rest of the night sleeping above the covers because my PC is putting out so much heat that the room is several degrees warmer than the rest of the apartment (where the thermostat lives). The pop-in, which I didn't really care much about in earlier discussion, is a damn problem here because I'll drop a marker in and then find that it is, somehow, pointing at nothing, and I have to get to some arbitrary spot to get the platform I'm aiming to get to to appear. It seems to be entirely limited to items that have a state tied to map clearing - the rails and platforms that show up after you clear a puzzle, meanwhile enemies and permanent things are perfectly legible from far away. While not having the player-induced state all loaded in at once is good, I think that like with Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Sonic Team has fallen into the trap of too much optimization where it actively impacts things in a way that it really doesn't need to. Some cleanup on this would go a long way and I'm kind of hoping there's another setting in the future that lets you tweak the loading distance for these objects. The game picks up my bluetooth PS4 controller instantly and updates all the prompts automatically for it, which is a huge blessing that you don't think about...until you have to play a game like The Witcher 3 where the prompts will not update unless you have the controller plugged in with the world's longest microUSB cable to get the damn buttons to match what you have. It's always such a crapshoot and I'm happy that this game works with it instantly. All in all...this is the most fun I've had with a 3D Sonic in literal decades. Is it janky even this early on? Oh you bet. But when I fall to my death off the side of the island, I just laugh at it and then move on because the game is surprisingly forgiving with that (as is the checkpoint system). Do things feel kind of basic and arbitrary? Yeah but it also keeps surprising me with stuff like the Squid boss and the cute little minigames the Amy convos throw at you, and traversal is fun. I'm super into this game which is not something I was expecting even with my optimism pre-launch. EDIT: re: voice-acting, as stated I'm playing the game with JP voices, but I think there is absolutely no damn way that the EN voice acting could ever be worse than "LOOK AT ALL THOSE EGGMAN'S ROBOTS" from Heroes that will haunt me to my dying days.