The demo for Diablo’s upcoming fan game is now out in the wild, and I must say, it plays very well. Only Sonic is playable right now, but in the finished game you’ll be able to play as one of three other heroes too – Diablo, Blaze and Hez Hedgehog (with a secret fifth character hinted at by Diablo). All four characters have different jump and speed attributes, meaning that completing some levels may prove more difficult for some characters.
As Sonic, the aim was simply to complete the first level of the game. Rushing through the level was quite exhilarating, as it all ran quite smoothly. Sonic looked better than ever, through a jungle type level, killing off mutant pink crabmeat. Ah, well, a first time for everything I s’pose. ^_^
One thing I must comment on (and this is in no way said to degrade the already impressive graphics in the demo) is the difference between the current visual style and the promotional SAGE screenshot. The graphics in the SAGE image looks a lot better than this playable demo. Whether the SAGE pic was a mock screenshot or what is uncertain, but the fact is that the graphics are less detailed here, as good as they still are. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself; the game’s only about halfway done and there’s room for improvement before it’s completed.
Other slight niggles with the game are only cosmetic. They aren’t really crucial to the game’s success, because the gameplay is right up there with the best of them, as is the action. You do feel slightly jaded once you remember the SAGE screenshot and realise that in this demo the rings are twice the size of your head though. Plus, while playing as Sonic, his running animation seemed… wooden. The rest of the animations were fine, it’s just when he’s running.
But those things aren’t important – I’m just trying to pick at holes. Of course, I try to pick holes in every upcoming game (I can’t give a crap game 5/5) but when it came to this game my nit-picking only came down to small, tiny tiny graphic niggles. They aren’t even real problems.
Sonic S-V 2 looks great right now, and should be even better once the final test version rolls around. We’re being promised 24+ levels, a cast of 10 characters (5 playable, each character having 6-8 rounds plus bosses), Boss rounds including the rather cool sounding Chrome Cannon, a miniature Tamagotchi-style Chao garden, save passwords… and it looks as if there’s even room for two players too. Hopefully we should get a full version to toy around with to give you a full hands-on review, when Diablo finishes his game and gives us the link to the final version.
- Lots of depth
- Many characters
- Big levels to explore
- Different attributes a great idea
- More range of Badniks
- Item proportioning
- What happened to the SAGE graphics?