[review deleted and reformatted — sorry for any confusion!]
After having played this character for… (checks release date) about two months now, I think I can finally leave a fair review.
Honey is absolutely one of my favorite SRB2 add-ons to date. She's not too simple, but not too complicated — using Jump, Spin, Custom 1, and nothing more — so the learning curve isn't as steep. Her mobility feels absolutely wonderful and the sprites have so much personality to them, and I can honestly say I've come to appreciate the character itself more due to this addon alone.
Particular things I like about the mod:
Using Cat Pounce in the air for that forward thrust feels so nice when correctly applied. It's almost like a more natural-feeling thok. The ability to use it twice is also very fun for traversing gaps and the like.
I also enjoy the auto-attack she has when close to other enemies. Though this isn't the first instance of this gimmick, it works well with her kit and maintaining momentum.
The Wings system overall is also great. She may only have two wings, but they're somehow just enough to both remain airborne for large amounts of time and still be back to the ground to recharge without breaking the flow.
The Moon Kick is about what's you'd expect. It's definitely not a bad thing — goes well with her kit, as does everything else — but it's not something I particularly loved or hated. She wouldn't be the same character without it, though, with it being the main starter to a chain.
Hyper Mode is a fun little thing as well, but there aren't many places in simpler levels where you can find a good use for it. It can lead to crazy skips in the right places, but I also feel like the character would feel relatively the same and possibly closer to vanilla SRB2 without it. Might have preferred it to somehow be locked behind a wall of some sort (other than the 25 rings requirement), like a gauge or maybe 1-2 emeralds?
Butt Bop also feels somewhat limited in application, but I don't often engage in combat while playing levels, so I don't have much complaint there. With rows of single-hit enemies it feels super fun, but when faced with more ranged enemies like Robo-Hoods or Jetty-Syns, or dealing with multiple Sir Lance-a-bots, it feels kinda obsolete compared to other options.
Things I DIDN'T like:
None! The secondcolor support, the Candy mode, the custom idle animation that really gives off the fighting game vibe, and the super clutch Ukemi — it's all there, and it's all great. While some characters get a little tired after repeated plays or just feel a little too far from SRB2's style, this one never loses its charm and I continue to enjoy it. Great work on this and your other characters, light dasher!
I can absolutely see the inspiration behind the meter, that being the Wirebug from Monster Hunter Rise. The regeneration on the ground, the cap of 2, even the things you do with it. (if it wasn't intentional, then it's a huge coincidence.) Given that I love that game and the wirebug mechanics, i instantly fell in love with how honey controls. You might call the recovery "Tech", but I know that it's just the Wirefall. At this point, just give her the wiredash, wall run, and temporary third use, and you got the full package.
Honey is like R-00 in Rivals, Really fun if you know how to play as her. with an extremely high skill ceiling, unfortunately, my brain quite small, so i can't use Honey to her full potential. but she's still really fun to play. and i enjoyed testing her.
While I am not necessarily the biggest Honey fan, I adore how her design interacts with the SRB2. The concept of the gameplay is interesting but the execution could leave a lot to be desired. For example, her kitty pounce does not do any damage which is especially frustrating since you need a somewhat complicated bind of c1 + spin + jump to perform this move. Her moves in battle are short ranged, awkward to use, where it's worsened by her meter. Her overall special moves could be used more intuitively and incorporated better as gameplay where she could use a buff of some sorts. I do like her generally tho which is why I think this needs improvement because it has potential
After playing Honey for a bit, i can say that she's decent. The sprites are really nice! But the complicated moveset is too hard for me to control. It would be cool if you made the stomp was jump-spin instead of jump-jump. I might have to update this review.
Honey is THE mod for this game that I was looking forward to the most. I just really like Honey, I don't know why, and anything that lets me play as her outside of her one game is very welcome. So I speedran my way to the Download button once I saw that she was released. And I started playing and... ah...
There are control issues all over the shop. The butt bop is good, but its auto-aim can easily send you flying wherever and interrupting your flow. Why does it have an auto-aim? Amy doesn't need an auto-aim for her hammer, and the butt bop is basically that but with a larger range. The stomp is not much use at all, yet it's assigned to Jump+Jump as if it's her signature move that you'll use all the time. It's not, and you won't. I spent the majority of airtime with my ring finger firmly glued to Custom Button 1. And speaking of Custom Button 1, though not airtime, the moon kick. It's okay, but it's cumbersome to use due to the Custom Button 1 requirement and ultimately doesn't add much - it's an "ignore platforming" move, which is odd to see here. Isn't Honey combat-focused? Ukemi is very, VERY limited in usage. It fits in with Honey a little better, though I do not comprehend the need for a control lock and ESPECIALLY why it needs to eat the post-damage grace period.
The cat pounce, even if it's not much more than a more risk-reward thok, is a move I enjoyed, but it's brought down by the same requirement of needing Custom Button 1 to be held to use. It's actually even worse than that - the pounce is an aggressive-looking move, and Honey is established to be a character that can jump-damage enemies even though she's no-spin. It's communicating that the pounce is an offensive move except it actually isn't... *unless* you press Spin again, it which case she curls up and can do damage. It's a pounce, why *shouldn't* it damage enemies by itself? Using the spin also automatically transitions Honey into a spin when she hits the ground. I'm not sure how I feel about that, given that Honey makes a big deal of being no-spin.
The meter seems to exist solely to give Hyper Mode a purpose other than being mini-Super Sneakers on command. Beyond that, it only muddies up how each move is supposed to function and can even get you killed because you thought you could pounce but nope, meter not charged yet. I do appreciate the Fighters reference, but...
It feels like there wasn't much thought put into Honey, gameplay-wise. Like there was no plan beforehand, and no review afterwards. Honey's shield abilities are disabled, yet she has no moves assigned to Jump+Spin. All that focus on Custom Button 1, yet it does nothing in the air other than let you use the pounce - and that should be the place of the stomp, as the ability the player will need less immediate access to. I wonder how much her control could be improved with some re-thinking. Maybe having to use Custom Buttons at all could be avoided!
(side note: I understand the necessity to make Honey more "complicated" so that she can properly represent a fighting game, but Honey as she is right now really does not merit it)
Before playing as her, all I had to go on were Twitter posts showing her off, and she does make a good showing visual-wise. You went the distance to make her ecclectic color palette customizable and her animations are all great. Having a dedicated Candy alt was a fantastic touch too! My only real complaints on that front are that her signpost sprite and victory animation look like they're not *quite* finished yet, and she has no "standing" NiGHTS animation so when she exits the Special Stages she looks really off. Minor stuff, I mean who cares about NiGHTS?
I can't ignore the gameplay issues, however. I don't know. I feel like I'm being a mite too harsh here. But Honey is a character who doesn't get enough representation, and I waited a long time to have a Honey in SRB2 (if I knew the first thing about good spriting or good 3D modelling I would made a Honey myself a LONG time ago), and I'm a lot less impressed by the result than I hoped I'd be. Perhaps trying to make another "combat" character after Cacee nailed it in one go wasn't a good idea. Oh well.
Very complicated and inconvenient control. I didn’t enjoy playing as this character. I constantly need to press the additional Custom 1 button, which is very inconvenient. The sprites look interesting, but she doesn't have an idle-pose (or what is it called right?).
I get the feeling that this character was made for something else.
Great sprites, and the hair colour system is neat, but her moveset isn't very fun. Using Custom 1 is awkward, and her moves aren't as combat-orientated as I would expect them to be (why doesn't the pounce destroy enemies?). Some changes to shift the focus towards defeating enemies would be nice.
So I made my review on my first impressions, and was confident in just leaving it there, but shortly after her release, I heard a friend complain about it, describing her as "completely unfun to play". I found this pretty crazy, even knowing how Honey's controls are a bit on the higher-end of required understanding. I felt that maybe I should go back and really give a proper play and review instead of a rushed one.
Now, let me start by saying that I don't share the same opinion. I still think Honey is well crafted and has a lot going for her, but more flaws show themselves as I played. A lot of it comes down to how she needs to use Custom 1. Most characters stray from custom buttons due to the sues that arise from the many different ways to control the game. As a Gamepad player, I use my bumpers for spin and jump, with the left trigger having Custom 1. As a result, my control setup means I basically have to hit the left trigger and left bumper simultaneously or near simultaneously on a constant basis.
There's also all the button combos you need to remember in order to execute your moves, which admittedly isn't a big problem from my perspective - Mario in his 3D outings effectively has 3 action buttons; A for jumping, B for actions like attacking or dashing, and Z for crouching, much like Honey does. Honey's C1 button is also effectively your "use meter" button since its primarily used for the pounce that uses it. However, it does create some odd combination logic when used in conjunction with her other actions.
For example, spin on the ground does the butt bop, which is already an odd move in itself. It has homing properties for no reason I can logically think of (aside from battle?), especially on the ground where you wouldn't even need homing. It makes it jarring to attack enemies, as you home into the nearest enemy and you then go sailing way past where the now defeated enemy was, and awkwardly into a wall at best, or into trouble at worst. The move also completely kills your current momentum, which I suppose is an anti-cheese method to prevent BLJ situations, but since using the butt bop more than once in a chain uses meter, there's already a prevention system for this.
But in midair, spin does... nothing. At all. Not without C1, anyway. No ability, no shield functionality. I can't figure out why that would be the case, it just seems like Honey can't use a shield ability for no reason. While most of SRB2's shields are honestly underwhelming, its still a problem, especially if this character has Battle Mode support, where you are more likely to encounter the actually useful S3 shields. You miss out on potential combos like using the flame shield and pounce for a pseudo "Double Thok", for example. If you're insistent on not having shield on pressing spin, I'd rather it at least be a double tap of Spin.
Honey's midair ability is a stomp move that you yourself admit is more for utility. The midair jump move for just about any other character is a core part of their moveset, sometimes even the only true unique move to them. However, Honey's core moves are mapped to C1, so having stomp be on the most primary of buttons you can have in your jump heavy platform game feels so strange. It's another momentum killing move for starters, even moreso than the butt bop. Its also something you could easily execute on accident, for one reason or another, making the momentum killing far more of a problem. If you ever did do it by accident, it requires your pounce to cancel at all.
Now, lets get down to properly talking about this C1. Custom 1 on the ground has you crouch, where you can do your backflip and pounce, but in midair, while you can do the pounce from there, pressing C1 + jump does... nothing? At all?? If this input isn't being used for anything, why isn't this Shield? Or heck, why isn't this the stomp? I feel like C1 + Jump could be stomp, and then jump in midair could be a shortcut for midair pounce, since midair pounce is a midair action you will be performing a LOT more than players would ever stomp, and I don't see why it couldn't be an easy input for some players.
Although the pounce sends you fast, it also does not account for your current speed, so if you're going faster than your pounce sends you normally, it'll have a speed cutting effect, noticeable with speed shoes, slope play, and possibly momentum mods. I also find it odd that the pounce has no attacking hitbox on it whatsoever, given how the input to spin in midair means that to do a forward attacking thrust in midair, it requires you to have meter, press C1 and Spin at the same time, release, and then re-press spin, in the same game where Sonic presses jump once. Call the Thok overpowered if you must, but its strange just how much more input is required from the player for an action that doesn't seem that complicated. Going off my previous suggestion as midair jump being an "easy operation", you could have a double tap send you into a pounce-into-spin.
So that's how I feel about her core moveset, a very technical character that has room to be easier for users to use. I wouldn't want her boiled down too far, as I still believe there is room for more technically inclined input characters. After all, fighting games have a variety of input types by design, so it makes sense that a fighting game based character would be the same way. It's still an excellent display! But there's still room to do more work here.
As for one more complaint I have, it's with how her meter appears. First, its attached to the character herself, meaning its affected by her position from the camera and her lighting changes. When I made [M A R I A], I made her meters into proper HUD elements that position themselves near the center of the screen, ensuring they would always be present near her and always easily visible, consistently in the same location on the screen while never being in the way, and never requiring you to drift your eye to the side like with the other HUD elements.
I'd recommend doing the same with Honey, and perhaps making it look like a proper fighting meter, and allowing you to visualize the meters actively rise, and blink when ready. I'm not sure if putting them on honey herself was intentional for the same of Battle Mode, so you can see your opponents' meters, but I say it'd be best if that info was restricted to the user, and its pretty difficult to see that at the speed of player movement in battle mode anyway. Opponents will have to read you instead.
And finally, I actually like how Honey has a resource management thing going on, with having a purpose for rings that actually matters. I do find it odd that going Hyper Mode seems to be the only way to trigger the Armageddon shield, and I don't even know if that's intentional. Lacking invincibility is actually neat to me, as it means you can't get too reckless around hazards like spikes or projectiles. It's pretty great to spend rings into going aerial ham for a few seconds.
Even though I rated this a star lower than last time, I still think this mod is a great showing. A lot went into making this character, but i still think some more can be done. I still had fun with this mod, but with some more changes, she could be more accessible to others without compromising her existing abilities.
(Also please look into Persona support, I swear its easier than it looks, Persona support is always a plus in my book, and I just really want more Persona supported characters okay)
This character has an interesting yet kinda confusing gameplay, but that's what makes it good. It was a blast to play Honey through the main campaign and other level packs. She being able to reach almost every place makes the levels more fun to play and taking other paths is also fun. Overall, excelent mod.
a fun little character mod that had hype surrounding it that was, in the end, very deserved! her moveset may seem complex at first, which may seem like a downside since not many people enjoy custom button use, but personally i didn't find it much of an inconvenience at all. her moves are light and quick, and they're incredibly easy to get used to and are fun as hell. do i recommend this character mod? absolutely, honey is a pretty fun time. there isn't much else to say.