A cool effort by Gamersmix - a game in which you are completely... small? Well, that's saying something. ... Actually, well... no I guess it's not. This game featured in February 2002's SAGExpo, and was nearly complete at the time, so we decided to give it a spin. Let's take a look.
Badnik Hunt 2, at first glance, looks very impressive indeed. To my knowledge it seems to be the first game to feature a tiny/chibi Sonic sprite throughout the entire game. You play as Shadow (who looks very cute with his massive eyes and tiny body supporting his larger-than-proportionate cranium).
It seems that your aim is to collect Chaos Emeralds throughout the level - or defeat bosses - to progress to the next stage. I only managed to reach three stages in this demo (what can I say? Deadlines stopped me ^_^) when I tested it, but I can already tell that it's becoming an original title worthy of acclaim.
Don't think for a minute that just because the character is tiny that the gameplay is slow. In this game, your little nipper of a character can go at a fair old pace, as if he was powered by baked beans or something. This helps the gameplay become very exciting and tense in some cases. The levels look outstanding, although in practice are nothing really special. The levels serve as quite the original backdrops indeed. I was too busy playing to notice if the game had any parallax scrolling but it certainly seemed like it...
There are only a few niggles here that need ironing out before release. The game is a zippy little bugger, but it may be a little bit too fast. Sometimes running at full speed can result in you crashing into a badnik, which will either lose you rings or kill you. Sometimes you die, whether you have rings or not. This means that when playing you'll always try to refrain from going a little bit too fast, which seems a bit restraining. So, maybe the speed, or the placement of the badniks is a slight issue here.
Aside from that, there seems to be a few glitches in the game. One time I ended up at the start of the third stage when I died on the second. Weird stuff like that needs to be ironed out too.
On balance, it seems that Badnik Hunt 2 will be a pretty original game! It's just a shame that the booth didn't attract as much attention as it really should have at SAGE 2002 - hopefully it won't be one of those great original titles that disappear because of lack of interest. With any luck, a complete version should be winging its way to SSNG's Sonic Fan Games Club soon...
- Very original
- Great level design
- Nice graphics
- Badnik placement
- Weird, weird glitches that need to be ironed out
- The speed - perhaps a bit too fast for the game's own good?