The Long-Awaited Fan Game “Sonic Time Twisted” is Finally Released

The spring season will likely pass as another dry spell for Sonic fans looking for a new classic gameplay fix, as SEGA delayed Sonic Mania to the summer. To their relief, however, one long-anticipated fan game finally saw a timely launch for Windows earlier today after many years of work and several SAGE demos.

Developed by Overbound, Sonic Time Twisted boasts a number of Genesis-era features and callbacks, including CD-inspired time travel, a dizzying number of Zones to explore, and a variety of old and new elemental shields. The unique Dueling Ages soundtrack has also largely been composed and performed by Hinchy—along with collaborators Andy Tunstall, Joshua “EXshad” Kruszyna, Jogurt, Christopher Wright and Michael Davis—which you can download separately here.

As for the story, the game’s events take place in a separate timeline after Sonic CD and the destruction of the Death Egg, this time leading to the demise of Dr. Robotnik. Metal Sonic aspires to resurrect his fallen master using ancient alien tech, and it is up to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to gather both the Time Stones and Chaos Emeralds to put a stop to the mechanical maniac’s fiendish plot!

Be sure to check out the Overbound Studio website for more information and the actual download for the free fan game. A Mac-supported release for Sonic Time Twisted is also pending.

Have you been keeping track of this game’s development, or will you be going in with a fresh pair of eyes? What have you enjoyed most from Time Twisted so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

SAGE Spotlight: Time Twisted

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Last year, I reviewed a game that I’ve been following for quite some time, Sonic: Time Twisted.  While I was happy with prior versions, the 2008 demo was surprisingly mediocre and annoying.  Overbound (Bryce Stock), the game’s creator surely took notice at the comments and reviews left by the community and gave Time Twisted a much needed, and appreciated, make-over.  With one full zone of this new hotness available to play, there are many improvements to see.

dispotdriveGone is the game’s original first zone, City Edge.  In its place, we get “Dispot Drive.”  At first glace, I was somewhat shaky about the quality of this demo solely based on the use of the non-existant word “dispot” in the zone’s name.  Within the first thirty seconds of playing, however, my doubts were cast aside and the game looked, felt, and sounded like a drastic improvement over previous builds.

Time Twisted is designed to be a spiritual successor to Sonic CD, so with that connection comes the “bulgy-polygonal-pattern” foreground.  The yellow diamond foreground is much better than the strange pattern that City Edge, but shades on the side of “too bulgy.”  The foreground can sometimes be a bother on the eyes for always bulging out and providing few opportunities for flat or caved-in tiling.  Otherwise, the graphics are consistent, clean, and one of the best out there in Sonic fangaming.

ddzpastThe slippery controls of previous builds have been left in the past, as the game feels tighter and a bit more like Sonic CD.  While not perfect Sonic physics, they are not game-breaking in the slightest and are tight enough to get you through the experience.  I just wish that jump was mapped to a different key, because the space bar is slightly uncomfortable to me.

One thing that hasn’t improved is time travel.  The means of how you leap through time is now different than Sonic CD‘s, but there’s still no point to it.  I will pose the same question as I did last year: What purpose is there to go back in time?  I need a reason to travel, like destroying a roboticizer or something, or else the mechanic is just a gimmick that would eventually wear on me if the demo was longer.  Everything needs a purpose and time travel still does not have one.

metalsonicTime Travel also becomes aggravating due to the aforementioned new method of activating it.  Rather than hitting a post and hitting high speeds for a set amount of time, Time Twisted throws you into the past/future once you hit a timepost.  There’s no option, like Sonic CD, to time travel.  As a result, the game stops to send you back in time with each time-post that you pass and all you will hear is the first ten to twenty seconds of each time period’s music.

Speaking of the music, it’s still great.  LarkSS, the game’s composer, has created past/present tunes that complement each other nicely, like the Sonic CD soundtracks.  Sound effects wise, the game did away with the “click” sound for when Sonic lands on his feet and that makes the experience leagues better.

Everybody can learn a lesson from Overbound.  He is a guy who had his project assailed with harsh criticism, got upset, but still managed to get up and come back stronger the following year.  It can only get better from here, so keep up the good work, Overbound.

VISIT TIME TWISTED’S SAGE BOOTH AND PLAY FOR YOURSELF!

SAGE Sneak Peak: “Sonic: Time Twisted”

Sonic: Time Twisted has been a mainstay at SAGE since 2006 and, if you remember my review of it on the Stadium front page last summer, I was let down by how little of it had changed over the years and how the awkward design choices ruined the experience.  Well, it looks like Overbound, the game’s creator, has addressed all the issues with his project and is looking to deliver at SAGE 2009.  Below is a video of the new hotness:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK0bkBilQ2M[/youtube]

The 2009 Sonic Amateur Games Expo runs July 25th through the 31st at “http://sagexpo.org.”  It is the biggest online community event that showcases the best Sonic fan projects around.

UPDATE: Since people decided to be silly and troll the comments box with “NEW SKOOL RULZ,” Overbound has now made sure to cater to your audience.  You can thank him later: