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.
Gone 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.
The 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.
Time 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.