What do you think of Paraxade0?
He is a very talented person. We’ve had our differences in the past (he has been particularly outspoken against me and the fact I would want to do S-Ranks Unleashed) but I honestly hold no ill-will towards him. He seems like an alright guy who just happens to have a different opinion than I do. The arguments we’ve had have always been the kind of thing where he does not often lash out in to things like calling me an idiot or whatever, and I respect him for that.
Funny story, actually: at one point I had the stupid idea that maybe if I practiced enough I’d be able to run a game like Sonic Unleashed or Sonic Generations at a SDA Marathon like Awesome Games Done Quick. As if by magic, that very same year, they had Paraxade0 on to run Sonic 06 and I think Sonic Generations and I sat there secretly feeling really bad that I ever even entertained such a notion about myself, because there is absolutely no way I could match his dedication and skill.
Just that moment of “Oh. Right. I kind of suck.”
Personally, I just view the beginning of Sonic Unleashed as how whatever happened at the end of Chronicles and the start of that game wound up.
You are the second person to say this! And, when I was writing out that post about Sonic Chronicles, it definitely dawned on me that, huh, Sonic Unleashed opens on an unspecified attack on Eggman’s final fortress.
But there’s no way that could’ve been intentional. Sonic Unleashed came out 6-9 months after Chronicles. With the way CG production goes, Sonic Unleashed’s “Indiana Jones Opening” (as IGN put it) would’ve been set in stone ages before that.
It is nice that they kind of line up, though.
What's your take on all the crazy speedrunning stuff people do in Sonic Unleashed?
Fun to watch, but I don’t especially like doing that stuff myself. This goes back years and years - me and my friends briefly got in to doing Sonic Advance time trials, where we’d tell each other our times in IRC and try to beat them. The fastest guy would spam the same move over and over and over again and while he beat us all, it seemed a little cheap and weird.
I prided myself on “clean” runs, which are defined as playing the game normally but doing it as well as humanly possible.
But skill is still skill, right? And thankfully m-speed and qss and snaking in Sonic Unleashed looks a lot more impressive than spamming Sonic’s dash move in Sonic Advance 3.
I’ll just never do it, because the skill gap between learning how to do all that stuff properly and where I am now is SO massive that I might as well not even bother, even if I wanted to. I’ll do what I’m good at, they’ll do what they’re good at, and we’ll stay separate from each other.
What game do you think you're the best at?
At this point? Probably Sonic Unleashed, I dunno. I put sort of a ridiculous amount of time in to playing that game, and while I don’t do all of the stupid speed runner tricks like m-speed and drift spamming, I feel pretty proud of my skills as far as “clean” runs of levels go.
I’m also apparently really, really good at Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed? Every now and then the GAF thread for that game gets bumped and it’s people complaining about how hard (and even cheap!) it is. I’ve finished probably 75-80% of World Tour and all of the Grand Prixes on that game’s hardest difficulty setting without really coming away feeling like it was absurdly difficult. It was at the start of the game, but I guess I just got better at it. A lot better, apparently. (Though I think most people are probably trying to play that game like Mario Kart, and that will only take you so far - being a good driver is as important, if not moreso)
I also feel like there was a point where I was really good at Super Mario 64, to the point where I recorded this video. Again, not a speed runner, but above average, I’d say. I’m probably super out of practice now, though - I haven’t started a new game in Super Mario 64 in at least three or four years, and it used to be one of those games I played annually.
Why did Lost World even need to exist in the first place? Why not make another Unleashed/Generations-style game? Everyone seemed okay with it.
I talked about this with some friends a few weeks ago and no, actually, people weren’t.
I was okay with it, and maybe you were okay with it, but something I noticed when I posted about Sonic Lost World on TSSZ back when the game was first announced is that a LOT of people came out of the wood work to say variations on, “Oh thank goodness, Sonic Generations was too fast for me.”
Sonic Lost World is an effort by Sega to make Sonic the Hedgehog more palatable to the masses. Think about how comically easy Sonic Generations was, in terms of rankings, and whatnot. They were trying to soften up Sonic Unleashed, which was a game that, your first time through some of those daytime stages, was literally a white-knuckle experience. Obviously, it wasn’t soft enough.
Lost World is a more accessible Sonic, to make the game easier to play for a wider audience. But in turn I think they’re watering down what makes Sonic unique.
What did you think of the Tornado flight segments in Sonic Unleashed?
Unquestionably the worst part of that game. I don’t even know how to articulate it better than that. It’s not fun, just tedious. And the worst part is, you do that first Tornado segment after playing the first stage. Like, what a terrible way to endear players to your game, right?
"Here, play this horrible, unrelated, idiot minigame for babies after you finish the first level and then forget it exists for the next 7 hours until we inexplicably make you do it again for no reason."
The game would be absolutely, 100% better without it.
Would you want to see QTE's come back into another Sonic game?
I did not mind the QTEs in Sonic Unleashed, but I would not say I am especially attached to them.
Though I think the thing to keep in mind is that bad QTEs are the ones used in cutscenes. Where a boulder comes rolling down the mountain and the game goes “MASH THE A BUTTON TO NOT DIE!!!!” That’s a crappy gameplay substitute.
QTEs in Sonic Unleashed were more twitch based. You weren’t usually in a “press A to not die”, situation, it was more just… “get the sequence right to take a different path”. That’s not so bad, I guess. But there are undoubtedly smarter ways to go about it.
Two questions in one. Why haven't you fully converted to the PC master race? And other than the S-Rank system, do you think the difficulty balancing in the Unleashed Project is fair? Like, they modified some level designs because either they couldn't replicate it in Gens or they plainly felt that "This section sucks, let's change it."
Why haven’t you fully converted to the PC master race?
I’m not sure what this means. I need some clarification.
Other than the S-Rank system, do you think the difficulty balancing in the Unleashed Project is fair? Like, they modified some level designs because either they couldn’t replicate it in Gens or they plainly felt that “This section sucks, let’s change it.”
It’s fine. There are a couple of places where they added extra enemies or some extra spikes but largely they aren’t excessively mean. I’d kind of want to remove them just on the principal that they shouldn’t be there, but in all honesty they’ve never “gotten in my way”, so to speak, so they don’t actually matter.
I did make a post in the thread on Sonic Retro of two bits I really did not like, though:
These crates were added to The Unleashed Project and they obscure a dash panel for no reason at all; I think they should be uncovered because it doesn’t make sense to hide the panels.
This section never works right. In Unleashed, it’s a QTE ramp and doing the QTE properly takes you to the upper path, while failing the QTE takes you through the lower route. Instead, this trick ramp never works right and usually ends with me taking damage from enemies or spikes.
Another section I didn’t mention in the thread and wish I would have is there is a section in the last quarter of Jungle Joyride. In Unleashed, it’s a button you have to use the stomp attack on, but in the mod it’s a regular button surrounded by Eggman Springs. Those Eggman springs are annoying as hell; I don’t know why they’re there.
But that’s literally it. Most of the other changes made to the levels were just things Unleashed did that Generations does not support. And I think Skyscraper Scamper actually turned out better in the Generations Mod than the original game, because the part where you have to quickstep through traffic is exactly what I always wished the original level had.
Is any of the DLC for Sonic Unleashed worth getting?
It depends on what you want out of it. The DLC is made up mostly of:
Each pack is usually divided up by continent and usually contains three day and three night levels, though the last two packs are combo packs and contain nine levels divided up between two continents.
If that sounds like something you’re in to, $3 per probably isn’t the worst price in the world. But I wasn’t really in to them, no. Though it does bring up a curious comparison - the shorter Werehog levels in the DLC feel so much better than the much longer ones in the real game. They don’t really do anything appreciably different, but just by virtue of being shorter, they feel more tolerable. There are, however, some truly abysmal Werehog DLC levels, though (Arid Sands Night 3, Jungle Joyride Night 1-2, Rooftop Run Night 3).
Incidentally, sorry in advance for the quality on some of those videos - posting videos of Unleashed DLC is kind of how I cut my teeth in learning how to encode videos. Most of them look fine if you switch to 480p, but not always.
I think Sonic Generations was a huge missed opportunity for DLC, probably DLC a lot of people would be chomping at the bit to play, at that. '06 and Unleashed got it, but not Generations for some reasons. Your thoughts?
Sonic Generations was practically MADE for them to sell DLC. Especially for how lame the level selection ended up being - all those city levels. They could’ve picked levels from games they didn’t support very well, or just pick new levels from each of the games they did support.
Like, they could’ve effectively doubled the game’s content through DLC, and I probably would’ve paid a good $40-$60 for another 9 levels, assuming each level pack came with Modern/Classic versions and a handful of missions (and maybe throw in extra music for the music selector).
It was a massively wasted opportunity to be sure.
OH MY GOD ARE YOU ACTUALLY SAYING YOU WISH THEY HAD MADE YOU PAY EXTRA FOR GAME CONTENT
YOU ARE THE WORST
I’m assuming you’re overreacting for the sake of humor but you’re actually right. Sonic Generations did feel too short, and there should have been more content in it.
But that’s the eternal struggle for developing Sonic games, especially ones that are that style: you have to create so much content that is on screen for less than a full second. I think somebody from Sonic Team said some Sonic Unleashed levels were around 16 miles long.
For reference, the whole entire game world of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is 16 miles.
Hence why Sonic games typically had so much filler - it undoubtedly cost so much money to develop these huge, massive stages that they had to find ways to stretch things out to last a little bit longer. Item collection, slower characters, RPG quests… Sonic Generations is Sonic Unleashed minus all of the filler, and Generations is a two hour game - and one that probably cost seven figures to produce. That two hours of content is more than likely all they could afford.
DLC can be used for good or for evil. Evil DLC is where it’s obvious they cut features and content out of a retail game with the intent of selling them separately. The credits roll, but they remind you that hey, not all these loose ends are tied up! For $10 more, you can find out what REALLY happened to that thing or that guy!
Good DLC is like… something like Dead Money in Fallout New Vegas, where you have a full, complete game, and they just add an extra area with more quests on top of it. You don’t need the DLC to feel satisfied, but there’s more stuff if you want it.
Sonic Generations was a game with an ending. Not a very good ending, but it still felt like a complete product. But I would have liked more. If those 9 levels were all they could afford to produce, DLC sales could help fund the creation of more. I would tenuously be okay with paying for that.
Not all DLC is inherently bad; it just has to be for the right price and the right type.