Saturday, September 23, 2017

What Sonic Generations Should Have Been

This is less about the game itself and more about the surrounding details, okay?


Sonic Generations was released in 2011 to pretty much unanimous praise. But do you know what platforms it was on? Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo 3DS. Do you know what platforms it should have been on? Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and PS Vita (as a launch title). The 360/PS3 version is great, but the 3DS version? Not so much. And with the Wii and Vita also available, the game itself could have been so much more.

First of all, we'll start with the PS3 version.

It features levels from all main series Sonic the Hedgehog titles- Sonic 1, 2, 3K, Adventure 1 & 2, Heroes, Next-Gen, Unleashed HD, and Colors. Is this a bad lineup? Let's take a look at the levels chosen.

Green Hill
Chemical Plant
Sky Sanctuary
Speed Highway
City Escape
Seaside Hill
Crisis City
Rooftop Run Day
Planet Wisp

Yeah, I'd say this is a good lineup. It's missing a few key games, though; Sonic CD, Sonic Advance, Secret Rings, stuff like that. Now let's look at the 3DS version.

The 3DS features only 7 stages instead of 9. They are from Sonic 1, 2, 3K, Adventure 1 & 2, Rush, and Colors DS. We could've gotten more, but let's see what levels were chosen.

Green Hill
Casino Night
Mushroom Hill
Emerald Coast
Radical Highway
Water Palace
Tropical Resort

Oh, of the 7 levels, 3 are first levels. 4 if you divide up 3 and Knuckles. That's not the greatest.

So those are the 2 versions. What do I propose we do with the game?

For the PS3, not much. The game is very creative and has good control. What I would add is Stardust Speedway from Sonic CD, Hydrocity from Sonic 3, Westopolis from Shadow the Hedgehog, and Radiant Emerald from Sonic R as a race level.

For the 3DS, change the levels and the art design. The Modern Sonic levels looked good, but the Classic ones look too similar; they should have had more of a Sonic Advance style to differentiate it.

What levels would I pick? Here's a list.

Green Hill - Sonic 1 on Game Gear
Aqua Lake - Sonic 2 on Game Gear
Sunset Park - Sonic Triple Trouble on Game Gear
Cosmic Casino - Sonic Pocket Adventure on Neo Geo Pocket Color
Ice Paradise - Sonic Advance 2 on Game Boy Advance
Toy Kingdom - Sonic Advance 3 on Game Boy Advance
Water Palace - Sonic Rush on Nintendo DS
Haunted Ship - Sonic Rush Adventure on Nintendo DS
Tropical Resort - Sonic Colors on Nintendo DS

And then the Wii. Why wasn't there a Wii version released? Sonic Colors was probably finished in early 2010 or even late 2009; they could have had time to finish a Wii version of Sonic Generations. They even had an engine built for Sonic Colors that they could have used. All they had to do was design the levels and add Classic Sonic. And since it's on the Wii, it can have different levels and give people a reason to buy both, just like Sonic Unleashed. How would that be built?

Well it would work very similarly to Sonic Colors. Running in the same engine and having a few shared cutscenes with the PS3 version. The levels would be as follows:

Green Hill - Sonic 1 on Genesis
Mystic Cave - Sonic 2 on Genesis
Stardust Speedway - Sonic CD on Sega CD
Hidden Palace - Sonic 3&K on Genesis
Windy Valley - Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast
Pyramid Cave - Sonic Adventure 2 on Dreamcast
Egg Fleet - Sonic Heroes on Nintendo GameCube
Deep Woods - Sonic and the Black Knight for Wii
Sweet Mountain - Sonic Colors for Wii

The Wii version would support the GameCube controller and the Classic Controller, but they are not required. You know what would be required? The Nunchuk. Sonic Colors didn't require the Nunchuk and the controls suffered for it. D-pads are not good for controlling characters in 3D Space (except for games like Bug!). The controls for the GameCube controller is the same as Sonic Colors or Sonic Unleashed Wii. The 2 schemes can be swapped in the menu. The Wii Remote & Nunchuk controls are as follows.
The stick moves Sonic.
The D-pad moves Sonic in Classic Stages if you so desire, or rotates the camera in Boost Stages.
A and 2 are jump/homing attack.
1 and Z are boost/spindash.
C is to ground pound.
+ and - are to pause.

The Wii version also supports multiplayer modes like race and battle from Sonic Heroes. A nunchuk is required for both players.

And finally, the Vita version.

For the Vita version, I would make it the same as the proposed 3DS version from above, but with updated graphics and textures. It would also look nicer due to the 544p OLED screen on the Vita. Hopefully that's enough to get people to buy it. That's why I would buy LEGO Batman 2 on the Vita- It's the 3DS version that I like, but with a better resolution.

So what would you have liked to see for Sonic Generations? Tweet me @Icystorm9 telling me (if you care). Goodbye!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Minecraft for 3DS: Update 2

So Minecraft for 3DS is finally here. I'd like to talk about what I'd think of it.

First off, let's start with the home screen. It looks nice. The logo is on the top and the menu is on the bottom.
Top Screen on the Home Menu - pic by YouTube user CharzBall
The bottom screen doesn't have a "Singleplayer or Multiplayer" menu because there is no multiplayer at this point in time. They plan to add that. I think that should be in the game from Day 1; multiplayer is a big part of the game. I hope multiplayer doesn't require an update in the physical version. Anyway, this game does have a menu similar.

Anyway, that's how I would have done it exactly. Well, not exactly. DKC Returns 3D has a digital manual that can be accessed from the 3DS Home Menu and I think that would have been a better way to do it. I actually did make concept art that looked similar, but I didn't post it for some reason. At least not that I can find. Oops.

Press Play and you can begin the game. After it reads the SD card, you arrive at the World Menu.
Does this look familiar?
So far Minecraft on 3DS is hitting all the right notes except for multiplayer. Other Ocean even added new features that mine didn't have; the ability to rename worlds from the menu. Smart.

Anyways, tapping a world will bring you to that world. And that's where we talk about the controls. I made a chart comparing the current controls to the sets I made back in December.

So as you can see, Other Ocean did a good job adapting my new 3DS controls to their version of the game. I also heard that there's a set of touchscreen controls, but I couldn't find anything about what they might be. I assume they're similar to mine (which is based on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare DS) or to the Club Penguin games on Nintendo DS.

So now I'd like to talk about how the touchscreen was utilized.

If you take a look, you can see that the touchscreen has the hotbar, XYZ coordinates, and map, as well as a set of buttons for inventory, crafting, and armor. XP, health, and hunger are on the top of the upper screen. This is similar to how I designed mine, but with a few changes.
Mine, for comparison.
On mine, there are 3 tabs for inventory, crafting, and armor instead of buttons. Health and hunger are on the bottom screen and XP is on the very bottom of the top screen. Mine doesn't have XYZ coordinates. I should add that to the pause screen. And in my version, the map is accessed by pressing Select instead of it being available all the time. I think my map system and touchscreen OS is better; but Other Ocean did a good job using the 2 screens to their advantage. Take notes, 4J Studios. A quick update allowing access to my inventory/map system would be greatly appreciated.

And now, exclusive features.

Minecraft for New 3DS has a few unique features that are as follows:
1) World sizes are bigger than they are on the Wii U, but smaller than they are the Switch.
2) The game comes with 5 free skin packs preinstalled.
3) The map is not an item; it is available from the start.

World sizes being bigger may or may not be a good thing. Minecraft for New 3DS is in the middle in regards to world sizes on game systems. Above it are the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. Below it are the Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita. I think the world size on Wii U was perfectly fine. If the 3DS had the same size of worlds, Other Ocean and 4J could have worked together to make a cross-save feature, similar to how the Vita and PS3 can.

The skin packs are cool, but it would have been much more worth it if they had used my idea to create custom Nintendo skin packs exclusive to the 3DS.

The map being available from the start is something all console versions have, but it takes up an inventory slot and can be lost. In my Minecraft for 3DS post, I remedied this by making it accessible by a button instead. Other Ocean seems to have read my site and implemented it in a similar manner. Now the map is always displayed on the touch screen. This is useful, but like I said before, I think my design is better.

So I think that covers it all. I think Minecraft for 3DS is a good version of Minecraft, but definitely wait for a physical version; the digital copy takes up something like 3600 blocks of storage. (That's 3.5328 GameCube Memory Card 1019's.)