Meet the Modders who fix the bad Sonic games of your youth

Sonic the Hedgehog has come a long way in the past few years. From open-world recreations of Sonic Frontiers to the financial success of movie franchises, everyone’s favorite Sega mascot is enjoying boom times. But while some at Sega might want you to forget about some of Sonic’s more mediocre (or downright awful) outings – especially those in the mid-2000s – the moderators tough in the context of 3D Sonic working surprisingly is here to fix the problems that plagued thousands of students back in the day.

Of the many Sonic games that have come out over the years, it’s fair to say 2006 Sonic Hedgehog is the most notorious. Featuring an ambitious spread of playable characters and a ruined interspecies love story between Sonic and a human princess, “Sonic ’06” is one of the prime examples. best example of publisher arrogance. That said, does it deserve its reputation as an all-time bad game? According to Sonic ChaosX fans, not at all. And he’s not the only one who feels this way.

Đang chơi: Đánh giá video Sonic Frontiers

Sonic Frontiers thường được coi là trò chơi Sonic 3D hay nhất trong nhiều năm, mặc dù hầu hết đều đồng ý rằng nó còn lâu mới hoàn hảo.
Sonic Frontiers thường được coi là trò chơi Sonic 3D hay nhất trong nhiều năm, mặc dù hầu hết đều đồng ý rằng nó còn lâu mới hoàn hảo.

ChaosX là nhà phát triển người Argentina đứng sau “P-06 (Dự án ’06),” một phiên bản làm lại không chính thức của trò chơi Sonic 2006 được tạo bằng công cụ Unity. Khi nhà phát triển chơi Sonic 2006 lần đầu tiên khi còn là một đứa trẻ, anh ấy đã bị mê hoặc bởi sự kết hợp giữa âm cao vút và âm trầm sâu thẳm của nó–đây là một trò chơi có một số thiết kế nghệ thuật và âm nhạc hay nhất mà anh ấy từng xem và nghe, nhưng nó lại gặp khó khăn với những điều cơ bản của thể loại nền tảng.

“Có rất nhiều thứ để thưởng thức trong Sonic ’06,” anh nói. “Nếu không, nó sẽ không nhận được sự ủng hộ nào trong cộng đồng. Chắc chắn có những trò chơi tệ hơn ngoài kia. Tôi nghĩ đã đến lúc một số người nên để Sonic ’06 ra đi và kết thúc quá khứ.” [exaggerated] the hatred it continued to receive 16 years later.”

From a certain perspective, you can admit that Sonic ’06 has the core of a good game–the big playable cast and segmented theatrical style seems to make it a step up the expected next in the already fan-favorite Sonic Adventure formula. ChaosX attributes many of Sonic 2006’s shortcomings to it rapid developmentespecially its confusing story and a lot of errors.

While P-06 is the most complete remake of Sonic ’06 available, it’s not the first attempt – in fact, the game has received the support of a dedicated modding community since then. since release. Thanks to this fact, ChaosX was able to use many of the available modding tools to work on the P-06. This scene helped him learn to code in new languages ​​like C#, as well as support beta testing and the like. However, when it came to fixing the game’s buggy physics system or introducing his own mechanics, he had to work hard to realize his own vision for the project.

ChaosX says he doesn’t have any specific aspects of the game that he wants to fix in P-06—rather, he just wants to improve as many parts of it as possible. According to the current project, this involves adding some new moves for the various playable characters in the game, as well as reworking the basic feel of its movement and jumps. Currently, ChaosX is still in the process of finalizing the stages of Silver the Hedgehog for beta testing, as well as adding all the bosses from the game’s story mode. Although progress has been slow, overall he is satisfied with the state of P-06 and he feels he has done justice in the game.

However, while ChaosX enjoyed working on the project, he is personally happy that Sonic Team has left the linear gameplay of 3D Sonic games, especially those created after the series Adventure. In his opinion, the classic 2D Sonic games managed to achieve a high level of replayability by chaining multiple routes in the same stage, a trait that 3D games have. have struggled to reproduce.

Sonic Mania is a great starting point for fans interested in the 2D days of the series.
Sonic Mania is a great starting point for fans interested in the 2D days of the series.

“It might be hard to hear for some, but the ‘werewolf’ parts of Sonic Unleashed are the most replayable part of that game, because it’s more experimental and flexible in gameplay design. ,” I said. “In short, accelerated games have a very compelling appeal, but they can’t stand the test of time. Fortunately, Sonic Team saw the formula’s downsides and chose to define it. back it up with Sonic Frontiers, it was a much-needed change.”

Sonic 2006 might be considered the worst Sonic game out there, but Shadow the Hedgehog definitely ranks among the weirdest. While it’s not as much remembered (or remembered) as the ’06 disaster, Shadow is a game that fully embodies the spirit of its era, for better and for worse. Best known for giving its astute protagonist a gun, Shadow also introduces novel “moral choice” mechanics into its levels, leading to different endings depending on the path. you choose. Sonic LimblessVector moderator describes the game as a “odd duck”, which is what motivated him to mess with it in the first place.

“Shadow the Hedgehog certainly has its strengths,” he explains. “Branching paths offer plenty of replay value, and the Chaos power states are like a more fun version of the Super Sonic dynamics from the classic games. But the overall game feels pulled. painfully long to get an arbitrary amount of playtime.It’s a combination of some really good ideas, some fun, some annoying and uninteresting parts, and some very strange decision about the brand image.”

Shadow the Hedgehog's sharp looks and penchant for guns have made him somewhat of a meme in the Sonic community, but he's a beloved character in his own right.
Shadow the Hedgehog’s sharp looks and penchant for guns have made him somewhat of a meme in the Sonic community, but he’s a beloved character in his own right.

LimblessVector and fellow modder dreamyntax created an ambitious project for the game called Shadow the Hedgehog: Reloaded. Described as an enhanced and quality-of-life mod best played through the Dolphin emulator, Reloaded overhauls many of Shadow’s basic moves, as well as fixing bugs and restoring unused content applications, including music and conversation. However, much of the mod focuses on what LimblessVector calls “simple changes”–the very changes that inspired him to create the mod in the first place.

Both moderators had relatively simple goals when they first considered modifying the Shadows – for example, dreamyntax wanted to create a multiplayer version of his campaign, which he mistaken thought it was easy. The original idea of ​​LimblessVector was to accommodate certain mission objectives, which were either too burdensome or simply tedious to complete. When he discovered that the numbers were saved in a plain text file, he edited the file and was more than shocked when the game accepted the new value without complaint. That was the real start of the Reloaded project.

LimblessVector explains: “The problems seem too obvious to fix. “It’s not even that the game is particularly buggy or incomplete, it’s that these numbers are simply too high. It’s too easy to bring them down. I feel like I’m taking revenge on the game for causing me pain. But over time, we decided to try to improve the overall design of the game as much as we could.”

Reloaded’s full list of changes runs the glove from basic to very small that only high-speed runners will notice the difference. For example, the mod speeds up all of the “horrible slow” elevators in the game, and it overhauls Shadow’s controls and in-game vehicles at the base level. Some transitions require creative solutions: For example, in the original game, Shadow’s ability to “pass the light” (which allows the player to zoom in on large detours) stalled his momentum. ta. To fix this, the developers put an extra hoop below the level at the end of each line so that Shadow could stick to the ground and continue running at full speed.

Modifying the game on the console is often considered an arduous exercise, but both Reloaded developers commend Dolphin’s abilities, noting that its design is particularly mod-friendly. Dolphin’s ability to run unpacked files (i.e. content extracted from real game discs without repacking) is key to the project and allows the duo to achieve more they used to think for a short period of time.

Recent Sonic games have eliminated the bulk of the playable characters in previous 3D games, focusing instead on Sonic himself.
Recent Sonic games have eliminated the bulk of the playable characters in previous 3D games, focusing instead on Sonic himself.

Although both LimitlessVector and dreamyntax are currently focusing on other projects, both are open to further improvements to Reloaded. The two discuss the possibility of adding new geometry to the game for mixing levels, as well as an overhaul of Shadow’s “expert mode” to make it a more real challenge.

On the whole, however, they believe they have succeeded in improving one of the most misunderstood games in the Sonic series—a game that deserves a better fate than serving as a villain. lazy guy. Dreamsyntax notes that the game’s internal build date seems to suggest that the game was developed in less than a year. Like Sonic 2006 – and many impressive games before it – Shadow was the victim of an overly short development cycle forced by the brutal realities of the video game market.

As you explore the world of video game mods, you’ll want to ask yourself: Why would someone choose to improve a game that wasn’t so good in the first place? In the case of notable series such as Sonic the Hedgehog, there will always be a degree of lively interest in the most scandalous entries in the series, such as the rubber stranglers causing any kind of earaches. which accident. But while games like Shadow the Hedgehog might deserve a slight rating, these dedicated moderators simply give the game what they missed the first time around—time and consideration.

The products discussed here are independently selected by our editors. GameSpot may receive a share of the revenue if you purchase anything featured on our site.

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