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Sonic Frontiers - Final Horizon DLC Spoilers Topic


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2 hours ago, McGroose said:
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Could someone explain to me how you would complete this additional story if you don't have a complete save file? If you have a completed game, you would find a ring portal that would take you to the DLC content, correct?

How does this all work if you're starting a new game and you entered Rhea island for the first time? Does this content replace anything then? 

Are you able to play as Tails, Knuckles, and Amy outside of the DLC area now as well?

Also I actually really appreciate how they added new cyberspace levels, but I have a complaint(pretty dumb I'll admit): there's nine new ones. Originally there were 30, so now there's a total of 39. C'mon Sega, tf kinda number if 39? Why not go for a perfect 40? 

Also I might stand out here but I really could give less of a fuck about the new Super Sonic design. I want Hyper Sonic back, or at least something that looks different. IDK if it's even supposed to be considered a new form or not, but for all the hype the trailers and in-game buildup were leading towards, Super Sonic with blue eyes and some edgy poses ain't doin it for me

 

(This is a spoiler thread so I don't think there's any need for spoiler boxes). (EDIT: See Mechano's response below.)

Spoiler

When you enter the portal ring, you get a pop-up box advising that you complete the game before playing - I doubt that would appear if it wasn't accessible before finishing the game.  I think it's accessible as soon as you reach Ouranos, but you do need a save file at least that far along to access the DLC.

The DLC is set after Rhea Island and everything that transpires there, I don't think it affects anything.

You can only play as them on the remixed Ouranos Island, within the DLC's extra story.

Agreed from an obsessive standpoint lol, but they replace the 9 on Ouranos Island so that's why.

This isn't supposed to be some special new form, it's just regular Super Sonic but beefed up with some extra unstable power.  He appears as Super Sonic with blue eyes when that power is under control, though the form also appears a bit more unusual when the power isn't under his control.

 

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50 minutes ago, JezMM said:

(This is a spoiler thread so I don't think there's any need for spoiler boxes).

 

Recent posts from every thread appear in the "community activity" box on the forum's front page, with previews of the in-post text. So people who don't want to see spoilers might still catch sight of spoilers from this topic, even if they're not actively looking at it. I can see why some people use spoiler boxes anyway just to be cautious.

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5 hours ago, JezMM said:

There's a severe lack of tutorialisation here which is strange too with how hand-holdy the opening of the main game was.  It takes a lot of experimentation to figure stuff out.  Was anyone else's first 5 minutes playing as Knuckles spent listening to the first 10 seconds of his vocal song over and over while dying to that first totally optional platforming challenge they plonk you in front of with no rings?  Bit weird.

Hm? No. I just checked the skill tree to learn how to do the new moves. If you press X on one, it'll let you try it out.

8 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Overall, I'm severely disappointed, personally. So much of this could've been fixed with a far more reasonable difficulty scale. I do not know what on earth Sonic Team was thinking here.

I can understand that perspective. I don't know why, but I never really had high expectations for this content. Frontiers already had it's fair share of jank so I expected some of that would seep in to the other characters. Not to mention adding characters to a game which was designed only for Sonic would naturally create issues.

I'm more impressed they were able to add so much in such a short time. The game was released back in November if I recall correctly. I don't know anything about developing games, but adding new characters and challenges specifically for them as well as new story content and final boss under ten months sounds difficult. They're even doing it with no additional financial incentives since it's free and all.

That being said, I still haven't completed everything and my opinion might become very bitter if I get frustrated. That happened with Paper Mario: Origami King after all.

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I finally figured out where to go and what to do as Amy (I forgot that Sonic Team did this insane thing where they placed story waypoint markers on the game's compass HUD, but not on the actual island map... lol), fought through a lot of that and started playing as Knuckles.

ohhhhhh nooooooooo lol 🥸

I will share my thoughts in more detail when I feel like I've gotten a proper handle on everything but... man they did Knuckles dirty here! Why am I seemingly constantly fighting the game's controls as well? It's not a "skill issue" either, I can barely climb a pillar without Knuckles flipping himself off of it like some kind of mad acrobat!

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3 minutes ago, Dreadknux said:

I finally figured out where to go and what to do as Amy (I forgot that Sonic Team did this insane thing where they placed story waypoint markers on the game's compass HUD, but not on the actual island map... lol), fought through a lot of that and started playing as Knuckles.

ohhhhhh nooooooooo lol 🥸

I will share my thoughts in more detail when I feel like I've gotten a proper handle on everything but... man they did Knuckles dirty here! Why am I seemingly constantly fighting the game's controls as well? It's not a "skill issue" either, I can barely climb a pillar without Knuckles flipping himself off of it like some kind of mad acrobat!

I have to say...

They also did you dirty by doing the character that is partly in your username dirty, if you know what I mean.

I am pretty sure we all feel bad for Knuckles here...

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4 hours ago, Danj86 said:

Hm? No. I just checked the skill tree to learn how to do the new moves. If you press X on one, it'll let you try it out.

Well, that has little to do with the Knuckles thing I mentioned specifically, which is just a surprisingly accuracy-requiring platforming puzzle when you're just learning how wacky the gliding controls are in the game.

Anyway, I did this too, learning moves through the skill tree, and didn't mind that too much, and they put a skill points koco nearby your start point easily to unlock your first stuff on each one so arriving to that conclusion comes fairly naturally.

But there's still a bunch of stuff that isn't super clear at all.  Lots of people were perplexed by the purple treasure spots that require your triangle move to be unlocked - I was doubly perplexed by the ones on walls until I discovered Tails' one could be shot onto vertical surfaces.  Took me a while to realise it's that move that activates the lollipop-shaped switches, especially since they can be targeted for homing attacks.  The boxes covered in force fields eluded me for quite a bit too - I got all the way up to Tails' mandatory section where you're faced with a room full of them.  This was incredibly annoying as I figured maybe I needed a move I hadn't chosen yet and I did have some skill points to use.  So I headed into the skill tree and unlocked whatever I could.  It would turn out to not work... after I made my way all the way fucking back up there because going to the training room and coming out puts you back on the last piece of normal terrain you touched, not where you actually were.  In a DLC where 90% of the content is floating in the sky above the terrain, this is so beyond unacceptable.

What did work was the laser from the Cyclone which... I don't have any memory of unlocking?  Is the one in the skill tree just a stronger version or something?  I'm not even sure what I did to trigger it, I was just smashing buttons lol.  Kind of nuts that those are the only case of them being mandatory to interact with.

Then of course there's issues like telling the player they can only use Perfect Parries without explaining what they are if they haven't been using them already.  I sure didn't!  It's almost as if they designed the parry system with the idea in mind that people who play platformers might not want to do that kind of twitchy combat stuff and then decided to fuck over exactly those people in the DLC.  =S  Yeah I'm still a bit mad, lmao.

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I beat Update 3 yesterday, had to sleep on it a bit. This definitely feels like a direct answer to feedback, for better and worse.

I think open-zone platforming has been mostly fine actually. Open-zone stuff is somewhat easy to deal with once you get used to other characters. Tower climbs are pretty difficult and the punishment is pretty severe, but I enjoyed them a bit.

The most disappointing part of it was definitely the guardians. It's cool that they tried to make them a lot more challenging, but I feel like most of them got overtuned to the point where I just don't want to touch them at all, which is very unfortunate.

The trials were hilarious, because other than Snake's Trial they were all quite manageable, if not straight up easy with the last 2. But since Trial 2 is a puzzle that not many people are able to solve, everyone will go with the "trials are too hard" narrative and it'll be funny in 5-10 years.

Cyberspace levels actually positively surprised me. While the controls can still be hit or miss and visually levels still look the way they do, the level design is actually some of the most involved and fun a Sonic game had since I want to say Sonic Generations, if not Adventure 1. The levels are a bit more open-ended now, with multiple pathways, they are actually somewhat spindash-friendly - you'll still fly over a lot of things, but it feels like they designed levels for that in mind. They also experiment with a bunch of different mechanics, like having a race against Holo Tails, a revving mechanic where the boost gets you faster the longer you hold it (and if you hold spin-dash for too long, you'll just explode, so you can't just spin-dash through the entirety of the leve), the mines they put in places and the radar that detects said mines. There's also a low-gravity level, 2 levels with a Rocket boost, which is just normal boost from previous games and a level where they put a bomb in your brain. Very fun. The collectibles are also in different enough places and also not as easy to collect as in the base game. Overall very impressed, I hope they take inspiration from this for the next game and actually give proper aesthetics instead of "combine platforms into a loop and ramps" Oh, also you have to actually carry animals to the designated spots and I can see people be either okay with that or want to kill them on the spot.

The final boss is a bit messy, with the camera being wonky and in general it expecting you to do some pretty obtuse things the boss doesn't telegraph, but once you figure those things out, it's relatively easy still at max level. Spectacle-wise I think it's the coolest Sonic has ever been both as a character and as a series and I want them to do more of that, just with better presentation maybe.

Spoiler

I do find it funny that the reward for completing the island is the Master King giving you tips on how to beat the boss. I don't know what they were thinking with that, I thought it was funny, I hope they never do that again.


The characters I still need to figure out how I feel about them in terms of combat, but in terms of platforming I think only Knuckles really struggles due to his glide working the way it does and wallclimbing being in general a jank mechanic, but even then I had fun playing as him in general. Amy feels solid - triple-jump, slower hover for more precise platforming, the card bike boost are fun. Tails not having a homing attack is actually not that much of a problem just because he can fly, in more ways than one even. Cyclone is straight up busted and I wouldn't have it any other way when it comes to this game. I do think infinite boost is gonna be gone for the next game tho to balance things out. Overall I'm quite satisfied with 2 out of 3 characters, and Knuckles mostly needs adjustments to his core moveset. Much better implementation than probably every other iteration since Adventure 1.

The music is great, as usual. The cyberspace stages are remixes, but they're really cool remixes and they deviate quite a bit from the original tracks. Open-zone tracks for every character are also a bit more energetic compared to base game (tho I like the more ambient, atmospheric tracks as well). The Guardian remixes are overall pretty neat, tho those are somewhat closer to the original tracks, they didn't deviate as much as with cyberspace remixes. Still great tho. The final boss tho. Man.

Spoiler

It's not a new track, but they did an orchestral version of I'm Here, which sounds awesome, then, when you take away the gun, they play a transitionary piece that tries to go from phase 1 to phase 2, and then you start phase 2 and Kellin Quinn comes in and sings I'm Here and ngl I kinda got goosebumps. Again, they've made Sonic cool again, after more than 10 years or being sterile, baby-friendly, boring. And sure, the music has always been great in the series, but this was probably the most hype-inducing music Sonic had since I want to say Black Knight. They understood the assignment.

Overall I do feel more satisfied by the end we got, tho I wouldn't call it an outright improvement in every aspect and it's definitely something made for those who really liked Frontiers. And also sickos. Which is me I guess.

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1 hour ago, JezMM said:

Then of course there's issues like telling the player they can only use Perfect Parries without explaining what they are if they haven't been using them already.  I sure didn't!  It's almost as if they designed the parry system with the idea in mind that people who play platformers might not want to do that kind of twitchy combat stuff and then decided to fuck over exactly those people in the DLC.  =S  Yeah I'm still a bit mad, lmao.

Yeah, I didn't know about the Perfect Parry either. But I was aware that the parry function is broken and can be maintained forever, yet in these fights, I kept getting the timing wrong which resulted in getting knocked away for miles. So it couldn't be abused which made me work out that it required better timing. I also enjoy the boss fights so the trail and error approached didn't bother me. Plus I'm a fan of games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta so I guess the twitchy combat stuff was something I was more willing to accept.

It goes to show that it's all a matter of perspective.

I'm not saying this stuff to imply your opinion is wrong, cause that would be silly. It's just interesting to me how we both had a different reaction to the same thing. Even while typing this, I still haven't complete that Boss Rush trail, but I'm enjoying attempting it and am slowly getting further with each attempt.

I also learned the hard way that if you get hit as Sonic at any point, it's all over and you might as well restart. Oof.

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40 minutes ago, Danj86 said:

Yeah, I didn't know about the Perfect Parry either. But I was aware that the parry function is broken and can be maintained forever, yet in these fights, I kept getting the timing wrong which resulted in getting knocked away for miles. So it couldn't be abused which made me work out that it required better timing. I also enjoy the boss fights so the trail and error approached didn't bother me. Plus I'm a fan of games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta so I guess the twitchy combat stuff was something I was more willing to accept.

It goes to show that it's all a matter of perspective.

I'm not saying this stuff to imply your opinion is wrong, cause that would be silly. It's just interesting to me how we both had a different reaction to the same thing. Even while typing this, I still haven't complete that Boss Rush trail, but I'm enjoying attempting it and am slowly getting further with each attempt.

I also learned the hard way that if you get hit as Sonic at any point, it's all over and you might as well restart. Oof.

To be honest, I would have given it more of a chance if they had just cut out the filler.  Getting up to the emerald on each boss is exactly the same as it was in their original versions - none of the limits of the challenge apply and Wyvern in particular is a super boring 2 minute long autoscroller.  It's so meaningless to force us to play these bits again on every attempt, as well as watching all the unskippable QTE success and boss defeat cut-scenes along the way.

It should have cut straight to the main fights, and any moment where the ring counter isn't counting down and there isn't a QTE coming up should have been skippable.

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1 hour ago, JezMM said:

To be honest, I would have given it more of a chance if they had just cut out the filler.  Getting up to the emerald on each boss is exactly the same as it was in their original versions - none of the limits of the challenge apply and Wyvern in particular is a super boring 2 minute long autoscroller.  It's so meaningless to force us to play these bits again on every attempt, as well as watching all the unskippable QTE success and boss defeat cut-scenes along the way.

It should have cut straight to the main fights, and any moment where the ring counter isn't counting down and there isn't a QTE coming up should have been skippable.

What's worse is that Wyvern does not remotely feel designed for a speedrun. Giganto and Knight, you can find different tricks to skip phases and avoid some of the more annoying and time-wasting aspects of their fights (For example, I discovered it was very possible to beat Giganto within 50 rings by using Sonic Boom to quickly build up the Quick Cyloop meter), and the Knight can have the shield sled portion skipped much the same as the mechanic you use on the final boss.

On the other hand, Wyvern not only relies on a mechanic that is downright broken with the perfect parry - which again - if on anything that's not hard mode - is frame perfect - but almost the entire fight is complete busywork because it's all so scripted. You can only speed it up slightly by parrying the missiles back, but there's so much immense visual clutter during that segment that even that is difficult to do, and even harder with the garbage tier perfect parry. 

That's also not to mention that Wyvern for whatever reason is the most scripted in terms of damage. You cannot damage him to a quick cyloop on the first go in my experience, not unless you got lucky enough with Giganto to still have meter left. You can only dish out enough to fill the meter but he immediately becomes invulnerable again, and chunks of it's damage is locked behind QTEs. What is a two-phase fight with Giganto and Knight are easily closer to four phases with Wyvern, and that's not including the insulting side-scrolling segment you have to waste your time on each and every single time. 

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I've been making my way through this (slowly but surely), and honestly? I've been having a pretty good time. The trio's quest for the emeralds actually reminds me of the final story scenario from Sonic '06... except for the fact that the characters are actually programmed to be playable here (jank notwithstanding). In general though, I'm having fun with Amy, Knuckles and Tails so far.

Amy's triple jump and hover move does alleviate platforming fears (I just wish the camera would direct itself down so I can see where I am landing rather than up as it makes manual repositioning awkward). Knuckles I'm actually quite comfortable with - the glide is fine once you realise this isn't Sonic Adventure style turning on the spot, the wall climbing I didn't find that problematic personally and it feels pretty reasonable. Tails I think is my favourite of the trio - I really like how he boosts himself into the air for flight after a short animation, and he has his own ratchet and clank style of attack with spanners. BUT unlocking the mech from SA2 to break the level design and fly around really won me over on fan service alone, spiffing stuff right there. There's quite a lot of SA2 callbacks / similarities spread throughout Frontiers overall which is probably why this game in large won me over. I'm pretty easy like that admittedly. 

Whilst I don't have any big issues with how the three newbies control, I do find it pretty funny that the platform constructs in the sky all seem to have "catching" safeguards to help you land. It's an amusing workaround for a game that asks for precision platforming which is not always possible.

The instant spindash unlock was also appreciated when Sonic comes back under your control. I never got that far in the previous updates to unlock it (simply because I was playing other games), but I LOVE just crouching and rolling awkwardly around like a real hedgehog. We got some physics in there - but there's something to be said when Super Mario Odyssey still outdoes Sonic it in this department for rolling.

I also didn't realise we were getting new Cyberspace levels too. I've done 4-B so far and it was... well, it was freaking awesome. More of this please Sonic Team. Don't get me wrong, it was so bloody hard and there was a lot of trial and error to master certain sections, but the new objectives to complete and multiple routes that you could take through the level (not to mention the insane reaction times) made me feel really good about myself when I beat it. It's like playing Final Rush for the first time in SA2, and I'm looking forward to going back and mastering this one. There was also some really cool set pieces and automated sections where the camera actually follows Sonic around the loops behind him, we don't get this all that often, but I love it when this happens. Whilst I can work with what we got, if they could just fix or tweak how Sonic feels to play in the Cyberspace levels "equivalent" in a sequel then this would really be something next time. 

Now, the only real downsides to this update that I can think of are the lack of proper tutorials / explanations for all the new shit going on. I am happy scouting out what my characters abilities are by myself in the menus, but it was pretty odd to be dropped into the world and told "go!" ...I mean surely tutor the user on your new characters first in an area designed around them? That's pretty standard these days. I sort of felt like I was thrown into a Smash Bros stage and spent some minutes working out my moves before going. Sure, there is always an objective and a marker on the compas, but it felt very obtuse and abstract to be thrown into the game with no understanding of how to play, especially because the game has previously been training you to know how to get things done on the previous 4/5 islands as Sonic. The gameplay loop is different here and it's like they trusted the player to figure out what to do by themselves which is... bold, and arguably not the wisest choice. 

In the end I meandered through and got the first few emeralds. But all these new and different Koco types still don't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think the concept is solid to have different varieties and types... but it felt a little too late to decide on this now, this should have been here since the base game. We've already been conditioned to understand the gameplay loop, language, and mechanics of Sonic Frontiers already so to suddenly have a mapping Koco, or a challenge Koko, or a tracking Koco (still don't know what this does) is...weird? Unless I have yet to understand their actual story purpose. And when saw a Koco with a backpack on this also put the fear of god into me - I get this was a TOTK reference but I sure as hell wasn't going to help him reach his friend if he asked me. XD

It also wasn't until I completed Tails' missions that I finally understood the point of the computer / hacking Koco... which was to release the locked off Emeralds... but I still don't really understand why they are a thing - are these special Koco just a conceptual representation for Tails hacking the Starfall islands systems or something? I don't understand. 

Anyhoo, I'm presently at the first Trial Tower... and I've fallen off more than a dozen times (and often not my fault) - there are no checkpoints pulleys which is very cruel (have Sega been playing Only Up or something?). The timing with certain button presses and the precision required to not fall off is on another level here, and it's only the FIRST tower. Thankfully, I'm laughing whenever it happens. I'm not at a place of frustration yet and get a "just one more go" thrill. But still, Jesus Christ Sonic Team.  

Edited by Sonicka
2am posting - tired & full of lovely grammatical errors.
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The trees in front of the final boss obscuring your vision that simultaneously obscured the spectacle of the fight we waited to see is so uniquely amateurish and incomprehensible incompetent that this one minor thing (minor compared to the rest of the issues this DLC carries) gives the strongest proof to me this wasn’t properly tested and rushed out, it’s just such a bafflingly stupid mistep that is immediately noticeable to everyone who played it the first time that I have to imagine it’s just one of many things that slipped through the cracks in a effort to make something presentable on release 

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Just beat the final boss and got the ending. And...

It was awesome! The ending did almost make me cry!

Spoiler

I loved the touch that during the final battle, Sonic, as Full-powered Super Sonic, ending up losing rings during the battle after one point and had to continue the fight with about 100 left. Also, I liked how Full-powered Super Sonic was battered after that last battle.

Over, it was a great way to end the game as a whole! I loved every bit of it!

Do you all think we will still see The End again?

 

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The one thing I don't get is why a decent chunk is just reused content (like the boss rush) along with making the optional challenge stuff from update 2(?) mandatory. The hell was the point of doing 2 challenge mode DLCs?

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Oh, I forgot to say...

Spoiler

If I'm With You, Vocals Version; the credits theme of the final update's story mode; had another name, I'd call it Dear Father: Good Future.

 

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So I'm picking up where I left off in the base game since I never actually finished this.

Can I skip the DLC? Like is it something you select on the title screen or is it integrated into the main game. I genuinely absolutely fucking do not want to play this shit

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7 minutes ago, Sean said:

So I'm picking up where I left off in the base game since I never actually finished this.

Can I skip the DLC? Like is it something you select on the title screen or is it integrated into the main game. I genuinely absolutely fucking do not want to play this shit

It would probably be best if you do skip the DLC. If the base game was not your thing, then the DLC is very likely to be something you may despise.

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2 hours ago, Sean said:

So I'm picking up where I left off in the base game since I never actually finished this.

Can I skip the DLC? Like is it something you select on the title screen or is it integrated into the main game. I genuinely absolutely fucking do not want to play this shit

You can just ignore it. You specifically have to jump into a ring portal on the final island to start it. I wouldn't say it's worth bothering with even though the new final boss is way better. I liked the new ending, but it's a ymmv thing because it alters a major scene related to Eggman.

I liked the base game quite a bit, but the DLC is the no fun zone unless you like Only Up, double time enemies, being locked to level 1 stats, and having to fight the first 3 Titans again under that ruleset PLUS a parry that only works if you hit it frame perfect on any difficulty over easy. Like there's stuff there with the 3 new characters but it will assuredly be better in a sequel game if Kishimoto really does take feedback that seriously.

 

I actually saw someone say it was Frontiers' Limit Cut (KH 3), which is kind of apt but KH 3 actually is a pretty decently put together game if you engage with all the systems. Sonic Frontiers kind of coasted on leniency in the main game.

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Good

At this point I'm kind of forcing myself to finish Frontiers and I don't think I have it in me to attempt a kaizou hack version of what is already a mid game. I'll probably look up the new ending on Youtube though

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It bothers me more than it should that they never address how Sonic's friends are suddenly able to physically interact with things now despite still being cyber-ghosts. I haven't seen all the side conversations yet, but so far, the closest they've come is one between Amy and Knuckles where Amy complains about Knuckles' punches working when her hammer doesn't (even though it does? Cyhammer???).

Also, new deepest lore just dropped (sorry I didn't catch all of the first lines):

Spoiler

The Chaos-like Ancients we've seen so far are actually only one of five tribes of Ancients, and the smartest ones; the other four were wiped out by The End. The Titans' bodies were designed to represent the Chaos-dudes' determination to avenge the fallen tribes.

https://streamable.com/mlnlhj

Dash Panels are real and the Ancients used them on their highways. Their vehicles could charge from underground energy by driving in tunnels or over Dash Panels.

https://streamable.com/2b3m9s

Also, goddamn it, Flynn.

Finally, I didn't think my video of this was worth uploading because there were whole lines missed, but Sonic asks Tails why the volcano control machine on Chaos Island was designed like a pinball table, and Tails thinks it was a "playful idea" on the part of the engineer.

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Well... I'm slowly chugging through. Tails is the best of the three 'amigo' characters to play as, but even he has a weird 'priming' animation before he flies up and it makes it really unpredictable to reach things in midair. It's not as bad as Knuckles though because you can at least use that split second to hover around a bit.

I did the first tower and the first challenge as Sonic...

Spoiler

I am not enjoying it, on a conceptual level. It all feels a little bit pointless.

The tower challenge is fun on paper, but "difficulty" isn't the issue here. The problem is that I have to do these challenges while using Frontiers' janky-ass physics. It really highlights how terrible Sonic feels to control when you're forced to engage in precision platforming sections (which I normally love). It's very depressing.

The Koco challenge was pointless on a gameplay and a conceptual level. It was combat, which sucks beyond the surface-level joy of button mashing, so having to actually use tactics against a bunch of weird spin-sponge dudes was boring af. On Hard difficulty it was impossible and cheap, on a lower difficulty it was just tedious and boring.

I also enjoyed* that the story now seems to be that the Koco pilots are mad at Sonic for wrecking their stuff, and this is demonstrated with a cutscene at the top of the tower where a Koco said to Sonic, "yeah you're a bad guy and ruined our chance for survival, I'm gonna kill you", and then you beat the challenge that the Koco is suddenly all like "oooohhh I didn't realise how extremely passionate you are about killing our guys to save your friends, we're cool now peace out".

* It was incredibly cringe lol

I was happy to just play it, expecting it to be mid but inoffensive, but this journey I've been on so far... I feel compelled to write something now! 😅

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It's kinda of amazing how one dude picked the base of what Sonic Team from 2006 did and made it better than stuff from 2023. Just proves that even with good intentions, they can't program for shit nowadays. Oh, and the P06 has double the number of playable characters... I'm playing Frontiers right now and I will say it again, this is bar none the worst Sonic ever controlled in 3D (in cyberspace at least) and the open zone gameplay is only mildly bearable once you adjust those stupid sliders, and even then, it's still a far cry from the Adventure games... which didn't needed any fucking slider, mind you. I don't even wanna imagine how this played on launch, lol. 

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I'm like 95% sure it's disrespectful to fan game creators to compare their passion project to a game that costs money. Free update or not, even if it's in favor of fan games it feels a little distasteful in my opinion.

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Finally beat the Final Horizon last night, still need to go for 100% and I've only dipped my toes into the new Cyberspace content.

Non-spoilers TL;DR verdict

An impressively meaty update. I mostly enjoyed the overall increase in difficulty, and there's fun to be had with all 3 new characters albeit with a couple rough edges that could've been done with some tuning up. The new story content is great and succeeds in making the entirety of the final island feel suitably climatic.

However, I can't say this works as an outright replacement for the original final island and I think the devs have made a very deliberate decision in making the new content a completely seperate thing you need to opt into, rather than overwriting the base game content. I can absolutely recommend Final Horizon to fans of the base game looking for a real challenge, just be prepared for a challenge that doesn't always play fair.

Spoiler-y observations below:
 

Spoiler

I think the biggest issue with the update across the board, in different contexts, is a lack of communication of new concepts to the player. The update throws an impressive amount of new stuff at the player, but often neglects to explain it.

  • The island challenges sometimes require skill-tree abilities you might not have but you're able to partially brute force the puzzle with your current skillset, so it's not immediately clear if you're doing it right or not.

 

  • The new Cyberspace stages are a highlight for me but even it has concepts like the animal friends that I had no idea what to do with initially. I'm not far into Cyberspace yet so for all I know these are introduced better in other stages.
     
  • The new narrative is a bit confusing regarding how it fits in relation to the base game. Is this the "true" story? A What-If? The update is explicitly expecting you to have already beat the base game first, so it's not overly clear. The new ending was very effective and did make me emotional and smile but again I can't tell if this is a replacement or not. No idea what Sage's canonical fate is now, what does this mean for the post-credits tease from the base game?
     
  • The Perfect Parry. The new final boss convinces me that the game CAN support a perfect parry, the issue is the Titans are extremely poor in telegraphing what the correct timing is. The final boss highlighted this when, even on hard, I was able to consistently parry the meteors only to then keep failing in dodging The End's swipe attacks. Every other game would dictate you time it right before contact but Frontiers will consistently punish you for that.

    The Master King trial is also an extremely poor place to introduce such a demanding mechanic. Even on Easy mode where the perfect parry becomes a non issue, you're still trying to speedrun 3 titans under a very tight time limit with level 1 stats. The perfect parry on top of that is ridiculous, God help that one person on Twitter that went into Final Horizon on Extreme difficulty! Worst of all, there's no way to practise the perfect parry beforehand. As far as I know the game doesn't acknowledge a perfectly timed parry in normal fights you'll never know if you did a perfect or normal one.


My only other major gripe with the update is the seemingly broken deceleration slider on the new characters which means anything other than the default setting (instantly stopping) will have the characters slipping around even with a quick flick of the analogue stick. I'm really hoping this gets a patch.

In spite of ALL that though, I mostly really enjoyed myself. The increase in difficulty of the platforming and island puzzles was a very welcome surprise. I enjoyed all of the towers climbs and got a good laugh the first time I found one of those "stand on the green square" puzzles and got my arse kicked when it sped it. The new characters are each fun enough in their own ways that I enjoyed my time with them, a couple control issues aside like the wind-up on flying and gliding. The new narrative content was super enjoyable and really helped to further flesh out some of the lore from the base game, I still have a load of the character interactions to find on the map, looking forward to it.

I really hope they're prepared to make a final bugfix patch to tune up some of the issues. If the deceleration can be fixed and SOMETHING can be done about perfect parry to rebalance it a bit then I'm plenty satisfied with the update overall.
 

Outside of the new content, has anyone been able to find out what any of the new bug fixes & QOL changes are? The game never mentioned any. The only change I've noticed so far is the asterisks in Cyberspace have been replaced by this segmented pentagon thing. There seems to be five segments VS the four previously possible asterisks so I'm not sure if anything else has changed.

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