Let’s NOT Talk About Sonic Battle

sonic battle front

There’s a reason as to why certain games have a bad rep behind them and it’s not because everyone’s all like “oh but INSERT FAVOURITE CHARACTER NAME HERE wouldn’t do that at all” – no, no. It’s because they’re shockingly poor and about as much fun as shingles. Picture the scene in the offices of Sega and Sonic Team and imagine that they’re wondering where to go next with their series of Sonic games. I mean, they’d had such tremendous success with the Mega Drive era and the Gameboy Advance games had also done incredibly well.

What HADN’T gone so well were all the games in between. Like Sonic R. And Sonic Drift. And Sonic the Fighters. And Chaotix (which you can skirt around all you like, that game was SHIT). And Sonic Shuffle.

And yet…

“WE NEED A NEW SONIC GAME THAT ISN’T A SONIC GAME.”
“I THINK WE SHOULD DO A FIGHTING GAME.”
“WHAT A GOOD IDEA THAT IS EVEN THOUGH SONIC THE FIGHTERS WAS A PILE OF PAP.”
“I KNOW. I AM THE BEST AT IDEAS.”
“WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING.”

Except no. You don’t.

sonic battle 5

“LET US MAKE OUR CHARACTERS LOOK EDGY WITH SLIGHTLY EDGIER LOOKING CHARACTERS.”
“WE HAVE THE BEST IDEAS.”
“WE KNOW HOW TO MAKE GOOD GAMES SO MUCH BETTER.”
“I LIKE US.”

Yeah. Remind me what was wrong with his old design? Honestly, I think Sonic must have some sort of degree in Yoga or reflexology because the positions they draw him in are pretty unreal. Who can forget the Sonic Adventure pose?

sonic adv

Yeah. Yeah, that.

Look, you don’t need me to tell you that the series completely fucking lost it when consoles made the jump to 3D. 2D was so out, it was never going to be very well received. It wasn’t realistically until Sonic Generations that we were reminded of how GOOD the platforming in those games could be. And everyone sat there going “but it’s all about speed, wah wah wah” – yes that is a primary factor of those games but to get to the end of the stage as fast as you can was NOT the end goal. It was a platformer WITH SPEED in the same way that Mario was a platformer albeit without speed. They are two very different games. Get over it.

I remember reading a blog post from someone who said they HATED people who preferred Sonic over Mario like it was something to be detested over. Seriously, dude, you need to sort out your fucking priorities. It’s not life or death. I prefer things that are blue over green. Please hate me. Go and get a life. [/rant]

Sorry. Some things just need venting.

So Sonic Battl- oh FUCK. Better start the [rant] tag off again…

sonic battle 2

If you can’t tell by now, the clue is in the title. This is a fighting game. It is a Sonic fighting game. They didn’t learn the first time and they didn’t learn anything afterwards. There is no reason for games like this to exist. Now, although I did say that “oh but INSERT CHARACTER NAME HERE wouldn’t do that” wasn’t the excuse for a being a shitty game, it actually sorta stands in this one as an argument – or one of the MANY arguments – as to why this game is shit.

Look, to put it bluntly, the whole reason Sonic the Fighters made no sense was that there was no reason for any of the characters to be fighting each other. Knuckles has his bones to pick with Sonic at regular intervals seeing as he’s a gullible twat, and Amy has a massive hammer FOR WHATEVER REASON but Sonic and Tails are not FIGHT ME NOW buddies. They’re friends who look out for each other. There’s no reason for them to fight. THEY HAVE A COMMON GOAL: the chaos emeralds. I mean, fucking hell, guys, if you really wanna wrestle so much, get a room.

The same reasons apply in Sonic Battle. You can justify some of the characters having beef. Sonic and Shadow for example. Rouge and Knuckles MAYBE (GET A ROOM) but everyone else is sorta… there. With no real reason to fight. It’s the gaming equivalent of a minor scuffle or having a mild argument over whose turn it is to do the dishes.

That really is about all the reason I can think of for these characters kicking seven shades of shit out of each other.

But anyway, it doesn’t matter a jot either way whether they WANT to fight each other. They just are and you’ve gotta get over it.

sonic battle 6

OH FUCKING HELL THERE’S A HUB WORLD. WE’RE DOOMED.

Sonic Team, you don’t put hub worlds in. That’s a clear sign you can’t be bothered to actually give us LEVELS or things to do… I mean, Sonic Adventure was fluffed up with filler like an overstuffed pillow. And inside that pillow, you put like a Game Gear or something. No one wants a Game Gear. It’s 2000. Getting through the fluff to find a Game Gear? Fucking hell, guys. No wonder people look back on that game and think WTF all of the time. Where are the levels? Somewhere in the hub world? Jeez… can you not just… you know… go back to the way it was when Sonic 3 was the greatest Sonic game ever?

sonikku 4

OH FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK NO NO NO NO NO NO GET IT A-FUCKING-WAY FROM ME

God, they really did fuck up a lot of things, didn’t they?

sonic battle 7

OK, so seriously, despite its massive ‘this game is going to be fucking terrible because it has a hub world’-ness, there is a reason for it I SUPPOSE. There’s a story to be had here I SUPPOSE. And it involves Sonic and Doctor Eggman I SUPPOSE. And robots I SUPPOSE.

Basically, Eggman dumps this useless robot in Emerald Town, which is where Sonic and Tails et al now live I SUPPOSE. He was a big piece of shit I SUPPOSE so he dumps him on the beach in this city and Sonic finds him there I SUPPOSE and eventually, this robot thing forms some sort of ‘link’ with Sonic I SUPPOSE and everyone suddenly wants the robot because he/she/it has the capability to mimic/learn/adopt different fighting techniques if you hit him/her/it with one of them I SUPPOSE.

That is essentially what the whole thing centres around – Emerl OH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE BECAUSE CHAOS EMERALDS HO HO HO NAMING FOR THE WIN learns how to fight through you and eventually will become sentient and take over the world because of course he/she/it will. It won’t actually but it’d be funnier if it did. You set it up to be the best fighting robot ever and suddenly it turns on you and you’re all like “OH FUUUUUCK, if only I hadn’t taught it my super special awesome techniques that no one can counter…” when in hindsight, you should have taught it how to use a phone or something. “HERE’S MY SUPER SPECIAL TECHNIQUE: CALL MUM! NO ONE HAS EVER SURVIVED THAT!”

sonic battle 9

The heart of this game is the fighting and it’s going to need a mighty, mighty shock with a defibrillator because if this thing has any depth at all, it’s definitely lost on everyone who ever played it. The combat is essentially trying to be something akin to Smash Bros on a 3D-ish plane. You have jump and attack buttons and you have a special attack as well. You can choose from three different special attacks at the start of the bout, one for the ground, one for the air and one for defence. You can mix and match, which is a nice feature, I’ll admit, and it adds a small amount of tactics into the mix.

But the fighting.

Oh my word, the fighting.

You live or die as a fighting game based on the MECHANICS OF YOUR FIGHTING ENGINE.

This one dies. On the floor. In a compromising position of your own creative choosing.

It’s basically a massive button mashing mess. Connection of your attacks in not necessarily accurate because who needs a hit box? You can hit with your first attack and maybe the last one but those two in between? It’s almost in the hands of Random Number Jesus or something because it’s definitely not always fair. Some attacks hit that should and some attacks hit that shouldn’t. It’s entirely up to the hands of NOTHING IN PARTICULAR AND IT IS RIDICULOUS. You could easily win a fight in the same way that you could easily LOSE one. I was playing 2 on 1 against Tails and he was 7 KOs up on us, leading 9-2 at one point. If you get the last strike in, you win the point. I COULD PUMMEL THE LIFE OUT OF YOU AND IF YOU SO MUCH AS TAP THEM, YOU GET THE FUCKING POINT.

Honestly, now I know how my brother must have felt when we used to play Streets of Rage 2 and I always stole the last blow to kill the boss. I mean, we got the points shared out anyway but I always seemed to take the glory like a little sneaky bitch. I don’t do that anymore. THIS GAME IS FUCKING WHY.

There are different ways of playing the game but the predominant one is getting the most KOs and THAT is significantly unfair in the same way that is CAN be in Smash battles. But Smash battles are fun and you can actually see everything on the screen. And you know when an attack is potentially coming. And it’s not MONUMENTALLY FRUSTRATING THE WAY THIS GAME IS.

sonic battle 4

Here you go. An example. Aside from the fact Sonic has just used a BOMB because of course he does. Where the fuck is Rouge? She isn’t on the screen. She could be anywhere. She could be stripping off for all we know or kicking a wall randomly because she feels like it. She’s not there. Characters off screen could be beating the crap out of each other while you’re trying to beat another one. And they might win because they’re quicker at beating each other than you are. WHAT? SERIOUSLY?

As long as you bounce around the screen and press the attack button, you’ll be mostly fine. Press a directional button occasionally and the R button once or twice and you’re good to go. Where’s the fun in that? Particularly is that tactic isn’t going to give you ENOUGH of a chance of winning? It’s almost down to pure luck which can be downright unfair in games like this.

sonic battle 1

Look, Sonic Team, you tried twice. You tried once and clearly that wasn’t enough of an indication for you so you went ahead and did it again. Sonic doesn’t do fighting games because YOU don’t do fighting games. Sonic doesn’t NEED to fight. And again… Sonic Boom should be enough of an indication that Sonic DEFINITELY doesn’t fight. I mean… WOW.

You know what games did REALLY well for you? 2D ones. The Sonics and the Sonic Advances and the Sonic Rushes of this world. THOSE GAMES.

And the All-Stars Racing games were good too, I’ll you that. And the tennis one. That was fun…

Look, we don’t need your stinking fighting games because they really stink. We need you to remind yourself of how to actually… code? And make a decent game? Look, stick with the Sonic Boom thing if you like but… you know… remember how to make games again.

Otherwise Sonic will go boom.

When he explodes.

Because he’ll get really angry with you for making him shit.

Or because he sucks so much people stop buying the games.

Either way.

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