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The totally unofficial and placeholder SAGExpo thread

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Xiao Hayes, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    Sorry if I shouldn't be doing this, but I made this one because, aside from not having a thread for this (something I know has already happened in previous years), the event will start in a few days and this time not even the front page got an article about the event trailer when it was released a couple weeks ago. Here it is:



    Again, sorry if it was a bad idea to post this, but I usually only know about the dates of this kind of events when Retro gives the info, and I probably would have missed it if it weren't thanks to odd YouTube suggestions, so I chose to post it for anyone else in a similar situation. Which leads me to post the link to the event site, just in case:

    https://www.sagexpo.org/
     
  2. Didn't even realize the dates for SAGE until noticing this thread last night.

    Probably not the right place to post this, but we don't have an official thread and I don't have an SFGHQ account... I don't suppose there's any way that a full-expo torrent link could be made for future expos? It would make it really easy to download everything at once, and a bit more stable and reliable for people with crappy internet connections (Like me, this time around. I'm staying at my grandparents, who have dial-up and a WiFi router, and live in a cell-phone dead-zone. It's making trying to download all the entries for this year really difficult) Besides, if there are any mid-expo updates, it would still be easier to go back in individually re-download the updated games after the initial versions for everything are mass-downloaded at once.
     
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    If someone could post the good things that would be swell. SAGE caters for more these days than the typical Sonic Retro audience and it's a lot to filter through.
     
  4. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Ya what are this year's good games? It's a very not Sonic heavy year, and the stuff that is Sonic related seems mostly underwhelming. Here's what I'd consider "good" out of the bunch:

    - Sonic Classic 2 - fun but glitchy, I posted more of my thoughts/glitch encounters in the Sonic Classic 2 thread.
    - Sonic Encore - Interesting, although a bit too open ended. It's very easy to get lost and turned around. Physics seem a tad off too, and the enemies that home in on you are wayyyy too aggressive.
    - Sonic Triple Trouble - admittedly I've yet to play this, but if it's more of the same from last years I can't imagine it won't be good
    - Sonic Before the Sequel Plus - its BtS but widescreen. Why haven't they redesigned the archaic menus though, and holy shit controller support sucks. You can move with a controller and jump, so you can play the game, but you can only pause and select via keyboard. Also surprisingly laggy. And boy those cutscenes did not age well. There are also a few assets that could stand to be updated, it's LakeFeperds oldest fan game, he wasn't at his prime yet and it shows. That being said, far less glitchy than After the Sequel DX or Omega, so there's that.
    - Sonic Frenzy Adventure - an old fan game that was refined a bit for the modern age. I haven't played this update yet but when I played it before it was fun, but not without its glitches

    I bet more good games exist I just don't know which ones outside of those 5. Emerald Tides looks good, there's a Sonic Riders remake and a Sonic riders mod that both seem to try to accomplish the same thing - refine the original, watching footage got me kinda nostalgic. Turns out Riders DX is a hack of the GC version, so you can play it in Dolphin.

    I don't remember how to play Riders at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  5. MBeca

    MBeca

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    Big's Big World is genuinely good. While it starts looking like a joke game, if you give it a chance it gets really good the more you play. The premise is to find Froggy in a random body of water of a massive open world, but with Big it seems overwhelming and a chore. The catch is that there's hidden Emeralds (and upgrades) in the world, and each one is a new power that helps you travel the world, making it more fun and easy each time. It manages to create a very fun gameplay loop, making exploring the open world really fun, looking for all the hidden secrets with a constantly increasing array of moves. That's not even mentioning how lovingly crafted it is, being composed of Sonic zones (There's even a Mean Bean Machine) It's a shame it's been ignored and discarded as just "Big meme game". One of my highlights from this year's SAGE
     
  6. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    I did a write up of a lot of SAGE games, particularly the Sonic ones, just yesterday and the day before. Big wall of text, so I'm putting it in quotes.

    I may or may not do a full run-down of the indie games, but yeah. SAGE 2021 is pretty good on the Sonic side! A lot of legacy fangames getting the attention they deserve, some pretty promising 2D releases incoming, etc. Most if not all of the 3D fangames are crusty in their own ways, but I can really appreciate what's in the water lately with the whole low-poly aesthetic and I hope to see it only get more creative from here.
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Yes that Triple Trouble remake which has turned up in the past is... okay. I think it was "okay" last time I saw it too, though not as impressive as the Chaos remake (although I'm doubting that one will be finished).

    However, while I don't follow the ins and outs of Sonic fan gaming as much as I used to, it does feel a bit... dated? The gameplay itself is fine (more than fine really, given how Sonic fan games used to play) but I think the bar has been raised a bit higher for graphics and audio these days, and I'm not sure this remake hits it.

    Sunset Park in particular - to the untrained eye you might even say it's using Game Gear graphics, which is partly due to the limitations of the original game, but suggests to me that more creative liberties need to be taken with the source material to make it look authentically "16-bit". Triple Trouble's a late 1994 release, so were it released on the Mega Drive, you'd expect it to be a step above Sonic 3 (as opposed to Sonic Chaos which would be theoretically somewhere between 2 and 3 on the quality scale).

    Really for authenticity's sake you ought to be comparing it to other games released for the Mega Drive in late 1994, then because Sega had the home team advantage, have everything be a little bit better than the competition. It's no small task - not recycling Sonic 3 sprites might be a place to start, but I guess you could also argue that doing the actual "game" bit first is more important before giving it a new coat of paint.



    Triple Trouble is a strange one, because while it's a decent time on the Game Gear, it's not the best it could be. 8-bit Sonic 2 beats both it and Chaos (and most things on the system tbh) when it comes to audio, and even though it plays around with Nack, it really does feel like "Sonic by numbers", not really elevating the series in any meaningful way. It looks a bit nicer than Chaos (which you would expect with more colours) and isn't stupidly easy, but it needs to be doing... more.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, since the game was designed to give the Game Gear some purpose for Christmas 1994 and in the face of "not a lot of competition", mostly succeeded in that.
     
  8. Anybody know how long the SAGE site is staying up? I'm moving back to the college on Wednesday, and will probably have a stable enough connection to finish downloading the entries at that point. (I've been spending the last week babysitting a shitty connection that gets 30 KB/s at best, and have only managed to get maybe a third of the way through the "Fan Games" section) I'm going to be pissed if the site is taken down before I get a chance to get everything.
     
  9. Crasher

    Crasher

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    From memory, the SAGE sites get archived so you can view and download the games later. That's what happened with the 2020 one, from memory.

    I can't remember if there's a way to view the SAGE 2020 page anymore, but the games should all be on SFGHQ.
     
  10. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    Yes, SFGHQ makes quite easy to locate SAGE entries from any year since they reopened, it's just not as clean as having the sagexpo site, but they're there. Locating fan projects on that forum is overall easy.

    One thing I've seen in this SAGE is 2D fangames adding a second button to have both the drop dash and the insta-shield on the same game, and it puzzles me why they map the drop dash on the separate button as the default or only option, when having the changing elemental powers and their unshielded counterpart would make a lot more sense on the separate button, but it's even more puzzling why both button don't behave exactly the same for everything else so you can choose your "single" button on the fly.

    Oh, and I also wonder why a lot of 3D fangames are becoming even more barren than they used to, and rarely conveying where you have to go or which are the paths you can take. Official 3D games are faulty enough, a lot of 3D fangames tend to copy their lack of quality, but some of them go even beyond. Don't take this as a 3D Sonic hater, some 2D games were even worse (people out there, there's a physics guide, use it!), and the good 3D fangames were really good (or looked like they were, I couldn't try some of them on my machine).
     
  11. Skeit

    Skeit

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    One of the games 'SONIC AND THE SOLARIS PROJECT' showed in this trailer didn't really appear in the SAGE. Anybody knows why?
     
  12. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    Bumping because SAGE is back again, and, again too, Retro frontpage hasn't advertised it. Sorry for not telling before if you've missed some streaming you'd have liked to watch. Different year, same link to the event page:
     
  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Points, as always, to whoever filters the list. There's a lot there - tell me what the good ones are.
     
  14. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    Well, I'm advertising but I'm no longer in the mood of trying games. And there's the fact that I usually don't like the same games as others.
     
  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    It's wiki time. There's no need to be afraid.
    Okay I did play one, based entirely on "that's an interesting looking icon"

    [​IMG]

    aka "we've run out of words to put after 'Sonic' so have to invent new ones"

    And it's... fine I guess? I'm not remotely in the loop anymore when it comes to Sonic fan games, so I'm not sure where it lies on the quality scale - some bits look nice, others... less so. It's one of those games where half of it adheres to Mega Drive palette rules, and the other half is super smooth gradients and rotations and transparencies, which doesn't really fit. And the "not homing attack" makes Sonic's game very easy. But three stages, shows some vague promise. Ehh.

    The list of things I would change is massive - I'd probably want to lean in towards the psuedo-pre-rendered look of that title screen, and axe as many recycled assets from Sonic 1, 2 and 3 as possible. Make the second stage, "not Labyrinth Zone", not look like Labyrinth Zone. Make the third stage, "purple Zone", a bit more colourful. Have some of the music not sound like random notes being pressed on a keyboard, and don't remind me of Sonic 4 with that Metal Sonic theme.

    But yeah interesting to see where this goes, just think it needs more of a push to get it to that next level in quality. But kudos for having a more interesting icon than most of these projects.
     
  16. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    Having played the demo for Hoshi ("hoshi" meaning "star" in Japanese by the way) it feels similar to Sonic XG in presentation. It could very well be there was inspiration there and with XG evolving past it's last demo recently, I think presentation-wise it fits that niche fairly well. I do agree that if they are going for a 32X aesthetic like XG was, they need to work a bit more on the zone art.

    I think the two Saturn games are interesting if in need of a lot more polish. Ringworld is still in it's very early stages so I can forgive it for being a test stage in the expo. I've seen their progress on Twitter and it's fascinating seeing where it's going. Xtreme could be the result of the original level design being poor, but I kept finding myself falling off levels and certain switches not working as they did in the footage of the original game. Very impressive that they got fisheye working without lag, but other things with the presentation such as modern sound effects and music ruined some of the immersion for me.

    Honestly, I'm very curious about what other stuff seems to stand out in the expo. Much like Black Squirrel, I'm only tempted by certain stuff due to the icons on the site and I'll admit I'm very hesitant to try the original IPs that I see returning from previous expos.
     
  17. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    I downloaded triple trouble from sage and didn't like it despite having a lot of thing that would be wonderful on a game that actually worked as I expected, so, as I said, I'm not a reliable source for what the average fan likes.
     
  18. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    For people who like Sonic Adventure, Sonic World DX Release 1 released ahead of the expo. It's supposed to be way better than the old legacy version and they long since kicked out the controversial creator. Now they just have to take the time to fix and re-add new versions of the old levels that are less buggy, and gradually build the character roster back up. The DX version of this game is more about quality control but they also added new tools to make it easier to create mods and encourage more user created content that can be added optionally.
     
  19. Crasher

    Crasher

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    I am admittedly biased towards liking Advance and Rush, but Sonic Momentum is an incredibly polished and high-quality Rush-like with it's own twist. I tried them out last year and was pretty impressed. There's also the 2.0 release of Sonic Riders DX 2.0 which has some neat advancements in Riders hacking (including custom racers and adding in skins, among other things).

    Not a fangame or hack, or Buck Up And Drive! is incredibly good and I'd recommend trying it out. It's a neat take on the Outrun genre.

    I have a number of games I still need to try out, but admittedly nothing new really stood out to me this year.