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Green Hill Paradise: FINAL MIX

Indigo Rush

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Green Hill Paradise was born out of a question. A question that has all but torn the Sonic the Hedgehog community asunder:
Can a Sonic the Hedgehog game be made such that it supplies a rich and robust experience in a fully 3D environment while staying true to its platforming roots?
We are here to answer this question, not through an in-depth analysis video, not through a lengthy forum post, but through a fully playable video game experience. After 10 months of research and development we believe that, yes, Sonic can not only exist in 3D, but he can THRIVE in it. GHP’s massive environment, winding paths, dynamic physics and hidden collectibles provide players with the freedom to choose where they want to go and how they wish to get there. The only limitations are the laws of physics and the player’s own skill.
No Spline paths.
No Boostpads.
No scripted cameras.
No Boost Button.
Gotta Go Fast?
Earn it.
This is Green Hill Paradise, reborn.

This fangame shouldn't be news to most of us, but for those not in the know, Green Hill Paradise started out as an open world Sonic game powered by Sonic GDK. Later, development moved it away from its open-world focus and instead decided to improve upon Sonic's control mechanics in an attempt to "truly" bring Classic Sonic gameplay into 3D. This resulted in the technically impressive and divisive Green Hill Paradise Act 2, which had received coverage ranging from ShaySays to the Game Grumps to Kotaku. Receiving both praise and criticism, the team decided to take everything to heart and make changes to the game just in time for SAGE 2016!


Noticeable changes include an improved spindash, more sign tutorials, new Badniks, changed level design, the addition of the Stomp move, beacons for Chaos Emeralds and improved halfpipe interaction, among the many fixed glitches. This is Green Hill Paradise, reborn.. ..reborn. Again.

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You know, maybe it's just because I'm an artist. But I thought the level design in the first portion of the level was extremely straightforward in how it lead your eyes to the next place to go. It even follows the golden bezier circle. 


It's kind of an actually really smart choice to model a level. You being in the eye of the spiral and moving out of focus into a much larger world than you imagined. It makes you feel like you can do anything

I'm happy to see that there's a clearer tutorial and that this first portion barely changed aside from some fencing and the much needed splines to give us "Edge Assist". I'm an advocate for splining in smart places to help make the game easier to maneuver but not for taking the control of freedom from a player which is why I'm happy to see that the level has only changed for the better but kept what really worked. I'm glad I don't have to fight to land on a ramp now. I feel like that was a huge contention for people that first time, and well, the problem of the physics based Mach State being tied to the performance of your computer (really though, most of us don't have Gaming PCs, please tone it down). 

I was really happy to see Bloominator and Butterdroid added to the Badniks in this update. They add much more life to this level now. Now if we can get some Pickies (pigs) and Rickies (Sally squirrels) hopping out of the Badniks that'd be splendid.

And like you can see in the gameplay video there have actually been some much needed sprucing up all over this project. The final corridor of the game has been made to be all that more of a fun little wonder to run through and was absolutely stunning to see. Certainly something that pleasantly surprised me. I still wonder if people will enjoy the mapping of the huge second area of the zone though. I still feel like if this game had had more stages than the one act level that the Chaos Emerald hunt would have been spread across different locales in the game than all huddled up in playgrounds in this zone. Still for the sake of the hunt the level design does what it sets out to do. It sets you on a fun adventure across this one world. If they did a whole game like this but split into more than just Green Hill I'd have no complaints whatsoever.   

It does a lot with what it wants to do and I still love it. I kind of miss the Giant Enemy Motobug around the "Coliseum" area though. It was a neat little miniboss (wink wink nudge nudge). 

Overall, this is the most impressive thing to come to SAGE this year and is the thing I've had the most fun with. I feel like people will want to have their say on the level design but it totally works for what it needs to do. Nicely done, Team Paradise. You made someone's dream Sonic game come true. I can finally be the Sonic CD Cutscene Sonic. And wow, it's as good as I imagined it. 

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Somehow this version runs even worse on my pc than the last one. My problems still persist, with what little I could play - everything's too small (I got hit several times by enemies I couldn't see, which didn't happen last time), homing attacking seems broken now (trying to attack the orb enemies is impossible), and the mach state is still too finicky = roll into a ball and you cannot steer, run and you steer far too quickly, killing momentum. 

I mean, this is probably due to my PC not being strong enough for it, but if they go any further with this, they need to fix that problem. It's kind of a shitty barrier to entry. 

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