SAGE 8: Complete Coverage

SAGE 8: Complete Coverage

Marble Zone Showcase

Sonic Titans – Robosonic
For a first title this isn’t all that bad. There are some great design ideas here. The president is killed by a ‘Titan’, and the only way to stop the titan from taking over the world is if Sonic brings the seven Chaos Emeralds to the Stone Temple in time. Despite being a bit buggy, there are some good ideas used here, such as the Sonic Heroes-style swinging around poles and the homing attack and light dash. The first level is designed very well indeed, but the second stage is a little poor, in just going to the top – and there’s a bug where anyone can jump over the top of the screen to quickly reach the green Chaos Emerald :P. However, a new static engine is to be prepared for this, and if any more great ideas for Sonic manouevres are used in later levels, this could be a very imaginitive game indeed.

Sonic’s Journey – PheonixGamma/Meloma
Much in the same vein as Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic’s Journey involves a lot of grinding, homing attacks, points combos and speed. The level design gets good at the second stage of the demo, where your skill rewards you by going to new places. If the game expands on this idea a little more, then it would perfect this aspect of the game. The engine is a little bit buggy, particularly in the first stage of the demo, which needs to be cleared up – and please change the music MIDI for the first stage – that Emerald Coast MIDI is so BAD it bleeds your ears! 😛 One to watch.

Tails’ High Flying Adventure – SP Experience Games
I was never a fan of the dire Tails’ Sky Patrol, so it’s with reservation that I investigate this title. High Flying Adventure is similar to Sky Patrol, where you fly as Tails through levels in an “on the rails” engine, and in Sky Patrol, touching the walls or floor will kill you. Thankfully, High Flying Adventure isn’t that horrendous – you’re slapped in Tails’ Tornado and, armed with limited weaponry, must destroy the robots in your path and make your way through the level. Your engine fuel is boosted by rings, but every second you’re in the air you lose power, so ring collection is paramount. Getting hit or boosting will lose you more rings, and missile pods will boost your missile count. The demo was refreshing, but completing the stage was tight – for a demo there’s not much room for completion – you’ll have to work hard to keep your engine fuel up to scratch. Still, if the idea is expanded a little bit more – for example, ‘action’ stages where Tails goes into turbo mode or very exciting dogfights for bosses – we could have a game that will flush bad memories of Tails’ Sky Patrol down the bog for good.

Sonic FX – Liam Akakpo
Sonic FX has a fair bit to do before it can do what it wants to achieve. It doesn’t look like a static engine has been used, so running and jumping will result in a dead stop when Sonic lands, and the third stage in the demo can be annoying to the point that going up the steps can be slightly cumbersome. Some good ideas have been used, and it’s good to see Sonic and Tails talking to each other throughout the levels. Unfortunately, as the text scrolls across, you’re inclined to stop where you are so that you can read what danger there is ahead – if you keep running you may end up getting to the point that Tails is trying to warn you about and kill yourself before the scrolling text gets to the hazard warning. A better boss is needed in the second stage too. Overall, shaping up, but not likely to raise any roofs.

Secret Agent Metal Sonic – Swifthom
The idea and story for Secret Agent Metal Sonic sounded very intruiging indeed – perhaps we were to get a spy game into the Sonic Fangaming Community? After Sonic is killed by Metal Sonic, Tails destroys it and leaves it in pieces. Eggman takes over the world, with Tails and Amy leading a resistance. Using the parts Tails kept from messing up Metal Sonic, Tails rebuilds the robot and reprograms it to spy on Eggman’s plans. However, when playing the game (after a very inventive James Bons-style intro), it’s clear to see that this is nothing but a platformer, and one that needs work at that. Using the engine for ‘Sonic: Time Attacked’ for this game sounded dubious from the start, but the first stage graphics for SAMS is the same as that for Time Attacked, with half of the level being the same too. Bits have also been lifted from the upcoming classic ‘Chaos Control’ too, such as the sniping section seen in the screenshot above. Unlike Time Attacked though, the controls seem unresponsive at times, and the demo stage seems excruciatingly repetitive and tedious. Some work needs to go into this to keep excitement up and not to let players fall asleep, otherwise a great game concept could very well turn into a below average platformer.

Legion of Chaos – Teamhoax
Nik Jam the Man returns with a team this time, and ‘Paper Sonic RPG: Legion of Chaos’ is their flagship title. Most of it is in a platformer style rather than an RPG, but assumedly you will be able to level up depending on your level completion. You have a health bar that depletes when an enemy attack but collecting rings will regain your health. DC Shines are collectable secret items, of which we know not the purpose of yet. Engine seems good enough for it’s platformer/RPG’ing purpose, and graphics seem good too, the only bug seems to be when you get attacked by a particular enemy, jumping on top of it sometimes depletes your health outright and kills you. Still, it’s shaping up well, one to watch if more RPG elements are implemented.

Squiggle’s and DiscoChao
Squiggle’s and DiscoChao’s booth had nothing to provide for SAGE 8, which both seems a shame and begs the question “Why did you register your booth?”. 😛

Moogle Rush – Kulock
Unfortunately lack of time on Kulock’s part meant we were to see no progress of any of his projects for SAGE 8. Still, he did make use of his booth and entertained us with his comics throughout the show.

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.