Green Hill Zone Showcase
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Sonic Smash – Squirrel Productions
Sonic Smash is a game that takes Sonic and co to battle, much like Shadow Team’s effort with ‘Sonic the Fighters 2’. A demo was only provided at the end, and to be honest was way too large to download, so until that’s sorted we can’t really judge gameplay on its merits. However, what we did see of the game looked sharp enough, with two player fighting looking available. The backgrounds are nice, but most likely the reason the demo (even without music) was a whopping 35 Megabytes. Perhaps a little bit of conservative image usage for the future, eh guys? ^_^
Sonic 2K4 – MSonic
This goes as the outstanding game in the Green Hill Zone category, Sonic 2K4 may have a rather cack name to it, but the gameplay in the three-level demo available is very solid indeed. Playing as Sonic, with Tails, Knuckles, Shadow (eh) and an original character thrown into the final version, the demo pits you through a Green Hill style zone. The engine is very tight, and the level design on the first stage is quite good too. Perhaps more complex differing routes could be used to improve later levels, but other than that this could be quite a polished off game.
Maximum Speed – Chris the Hedgehog
Booth was not available throughout SAGE 8.
Vehemence – Kizna Co.
Vehemence looks very polished indeed – it’s obvious the engine is there and kosher. The demo is a one-stage affair, with it’s only purpose only seeming to show off this engine, because although the auto-sequence is nice to see on occasion, the level design needs some serious work. Which is no bad thing, considering Vehemence’s developers are vowing a total redesign of the levels. So judging the game on it’s engine alone, Vehemence seems to be well put together, but it could be some time before we see any real good coming from this, if the level redesign is to be believed and any good.
Mecha Shadow: Uncontrollable A.I – Mecha Shadow
For an original game, this isn’t half bad. Forget the storyline and don’t even get started on the whole “Shadow’s ‘new’ robotic body” story thing – the fact is Shadow was a robot to begin with since SA2… still, let’s not get debated about this, it’s the game itself that counts. It takes Shadow, as intolerable as he is, and bungs him in a robotic flrying suit of doom (OK, I made the ‘doom’ bit up). Using this suit, you control the new Shadow as you would an aircraft – if you slam against a wall, you take damage, and too much damage will blow you up. You have weapons at your disposal, a pop-gun thingy and a drop-below-you bomb weapon too. The demo only gave us two training missions; sadly there was no 1-player main missions to try out, but on the basis of this demo the engine seems to be coming along nicely, with the ethos seeming to be ‘gameplay first, graphics later’. And why not?
ShenSonic – SimSonic
ShenSonic returns for another SAGE exposition, with a new demo to show. The new demo doesn’t really seem to be much different from the previous ones, but maybe my eyes are going. ShenSonic is the 2D adventures of Shenmue, starring Sonic instead of Ryo Hazuki. Taught. You can save your game while finding out who killed yo’ daddy. For more information on ShenSonic, check out the previous SAGE reports that this game has appeared in.
Heart of the Hedgehog – Super Napalm
Heart of the Hedgehog seems to be coming along okay, but the engine needs a little bit of work. Sonic needs some collision detection work on him, as well as on the platforms – sometimes Sonic gets stuck, or later on in the first stage you fall through the blocks you have to hop across to evade a bottomless pit. Also, the level design is very linear, with just right to hold and jump to press a few times, with the second level just having Sonic fall down a pit collecting rings. Hopefully later levels will hold a greater challenge and better level design to entertain players, but for now it seems that Heart of the Hedgehog is coming in leaps and bounds for an early demo.
The Fugitives – Blue Flame Productions
Blue Flame Productions are being very reserved about their latest title, The Fugitives – they claim no screenshots exist, but TSS is here with screens from their site before they took them off. No demo was available though, nor any story to go by. However, the screens must be early development, as the team are currently looking for a graphics artist for the levels that are shown in bare-bones form in the screens above. No clue how the game will play or anything else, only the screens to check out – so this game will most likely remain a mystery until SAGE 9.