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Old 11-03-2014   #18
Legendary Emerald
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Haunted Heights Zone > Ring Valley Zone > Mud Mines Zone

Haunted Heights
I don't know what to say about this stage that hasn't been said before. It's beautiful, unique, and a very fitting send-up to my favorite videogame stage theme, horror/halloween. I do wish there were a lot more alternate paths, though. As it stands, only Knuckles can explore off the main path.

Edit: Oh, there's one other thing I need to point out. With skyboxes turned off, the level does not display correctly, and is almost unplayable. I typically play SRB2 with skyboxes turned off because they are too system intensive for me. The skybox in this stage doesn't impact performance much at all, so it isn't as much of an issue as it could have been, but there should still be some way for the skybox-deficient to play the level without seeing textures stretch and blend together all over the place.

Ring Valley Zone
I'd actually been thinking about how a Rare style collect-a-thon game could work in the SRB2 engine, and this is a pretty good demo of what that type of game type could be like! The level itself isn't particularly great, but it does have lots of room to explore, and I do genuinely love hunting for rings, so I enjoyed it. It also looks pretty nice for a grassy level, though the lens flare looked much better in the animated gifs than while playing it.

If you continue with this gameplay style, or better yet, create a full map pack based around item collection, I'd suggest adding an actual health meter so that rings can't be lost. Emblems can be used for Jiggies/Golden Banana stand-ins, and unlock more stages. You could do so much with this concept if you really go full hog with it.

Mud Mines Zone
As of writing this, I still don't think I managed to beat the level. I'm sure if I gave it a few more goes, I could beat it, but it just isn't fun enough for me to make the effort. Which isn't to say the level is terrible; for the most part, it's above par. But there are some issues that really drag it down. Key among them are the terrible lighting in software mode, and the level-up system. I'll just quote Mystic now because yeah, there's no way I can say it better:

Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
  • Your level up script is terrible. Delete it. It actively makes this stage worse than it already was by disrupting muscle memory for absolutely no gain. I'm basically always level 3, and even though my statistics are better than normal SRB2 I'm never happy about it because it throws off all my normal jump arcs.
Above all else, the one thing I absolutely hated in Sonic Heroes was the level-up system. It made all the glitched-out deaths even harder to stomach because I'd need to level up all over again just in order to have the same attack power I had by default in Sonic Adventure 1 and 2. And this wad manages to have an even worse level-up system.

I love the way Sonic controls in 2.1; everything about him feels perfect, which is what makes SRB2 such a joy for me to play. When you mess with that delicate balance of acceleration and speed, even just the tiniest bit, it throws off my entire game.

Last edited by Legendary Emerald; 11-03-2014 at 08:23 PM.
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