If you just want to read my review of the mobile version of “Sonic The Hedgehog”, just scroll down to the third paragraph. I waffle on a bit before then!
Nostalgia is a dangerous thing. It encapsulates a memorable period in time, most notably the focal extremities of adolescent fervour and the false depiction of idolised sincerity. Some singular intervals in life are portrayed with luminous vibrancy, rainbows and singing birds, all replenished with “Happy Together” by “The Turtles” fawning your blissful convalescence through a field of flowers. You objectively associate fleeting glimpses of childhood with other venerable branches from that period too, in this instance it’s the 90’s I’m trying to evoke. For me the 90’s signifies injuring myself on a daily basis through my own accentuated stupidity, wanting to live in a bouncy castle reinforced with a moat suffused with chocolate milkshake and dramatic hand gestures that permitted imaginary transformation into any of the overtly stereotyped, and racially profiled Power Rangers. Power up guys! “Caucasian Jock!”, the leader (Red). Because he’s white. “The one no one ever picked” (blue). The openly gay geek, chastised because of his sexuality. (Seriously, look it up!) The “I’m just a girl!” *giggle* (Pink). “The black guy” conveniently portraying the black ranger, (Because of course that’s not racist!) to enforce the premise that this series is multicultural?! And not forgetting “Ethnic minority” (yellow). Who is sadly no longer with us. I’m not sure whether it was an intentionally racist show or not? Evaluated through the eyes of innocence though, this level of complacent recollection is inevitable, conflicting with the ethereal hindrance that is reality. You were ignorant to the bleating cynicism of resentful spectators deriding your euphoric documentation of childhood sentiment. So you can imagine my apprehension when I decided to test the resolve of my deceptive observances by purchasing the mobile iteration of gaming’s most illustrious sub species of Erinaciamorpha, or Hedgehog to you and me. Yes Sonic The Hedgehogs first outing has been converted onto your mobile phone (for quite sometime admittedly).
Sonic The Hedgehog is one of the first games I remember playing. It’s commercial notoriety was only garrisoned by the embellished declarations of school-yard chums, chortling each others achievements. So it’s acquisition was paramount for social parity in school. This was also a time in gaming when doctorates were conferred to questionable practitioners, when the general conceit for villainous activity was incarcerating woodland creatures into easily accessible containers, guarded by mechanised crustaceans and moustache twirling was very much regulated by the level of deviousness. Dr Robotnik was a villain that I will eternally refer to as Dr Robotnik. I mean seriously, Eggman?! Adept at crafting implements of destruction, yet deemed a wrecking ball–with all the ferocity of 3 harnessed kittens–was a more suitable weapon for defeating Sonic than a gun. Perhaps if Miley “The Virus” Cyrus was straddling the thing it could’ve been considered deadly! Even your Mean Bean Machine was more intimidating than this doc! (Top marks to anyone who knows what I’m talking about!). So here I am, back where it all began. Rankled by the colloquial envoys of mobile gaming, anxious to ratify Sonic’s long sustained absence from my life and hoping that time hasn’t blemished it’s once perfect image.
You maybe wondering why I’ve abused 2 paragraphs with an introduction rather than delving into the game? Well that’s because I’m stalling. It’s Sonic the Hedgehog guys/girls, nothing much has changed. Reviewing Sonic is like examining the Mona Lisa and commenting “yep, still a classic”. It still embodies everything I held dear about this game. The frenetic speed, the varied locals, simplistic yet arresting difficulty, the perforating speed-balling (yeah, that made more sense in my head?) and trying to obtain those damnable gilded chaos emeralds is still an accursed exercise in futility. There is something so profoundly endearing about the graphics of this era of platform games that somehow retains graphical fidelity despite its age. This mobile conversion sumptuously translates my childhood into a manageable device, with additional characters to play through including Tails and Knuckles once unlocked. The music is like meeting a friend you haven’t seen in a decade. The acoustic agility not only reproduces auditory memories of being a kid, but also motivates you to engage quicker with heightened tempo, generating a palpable sense of haste that encourages the wilful abandonment of considered vigilance. Oh but that’s the deceiving thing about the traditional Sonic games. They lull your cautious restraint, penalizing tenacity with prohibitive restrictions. Designing huge, pivoting lands abounded with steep rotational revolutions that beg to run at, only for intermittent yet variable environmental hazards to encroach your hastened advances, leading to instinctive deviations and often death. Your volatility was only exacerbated by the limited accumulation of rings. As long as you retain at least 1 “precious” ring then you were granted invulnerability, but lose it and well, you’ll well aware of the consequences. Sharp methodical precision as well as customary supply of luck is still the essential mantra for succession here. It’s regrettable then that I can’t finish here with my nostalgic proclivities intact, because despite its glaring cultural status which has remained largely vindicated, it’s installation onto mobile devices presents an issue the original didn’t.
Where this iteration fails is not due to lack of quality, poor conversion from the original source material or even the games age; but rather modern technology. The name Sonic denotes acceleration, exhilaration and the level design enforces that propulsion, before inditing your velocity with interspersed obstacles, presumably to keep you on your toes. Just when you think you have the bearing of the level, bang! Your caught out. Here this obstacle is a constant hindrance simply because the touch screen controls are entirely too sensitive and can’t accommodate the reactionary physicality required to negotiate the rapid momentum. Competency is not as proficient as it would be with a Megadrive controller. The reactionary latency is such a nuisance that it almost immobilize’s you, or worse you inadvertently spin Sonic into a propelling spike or lava pit when all you wanted to do is leap over a small crevice! Though the controls restrict your movements through much of the stage, it’s when you reach a boss fight that it’s complications become an evident hindrance, as you fight the controls trying to reposition your thumbs into the correct area. The touch-screen display really doesn’t translate your actions into deliberately encouraged manoeuvres. There’s no neutrality, no reactive physicality to your manoeuvres, just gestural touches that have to be constantly monitored in case your thumb moves 2mm to the right. I can’t tell you how many times he would spin in the wrong direction! The probability of collisions doesn’t just increase, it’s inevitable. You begin postulating the repercussions from simply alternating between a stroll or a stride, totally defeating the point of the game.
Any rapid momentum is mitigated by the gestural nuances of the touch-screen, which directly contributes to the majority of your deaths. Your Sonic the Hedgehog, accelerated velocity and dynamic rapidity is what defines you, not stumbling through stages reticent to exceed an actual hedgehogs pace, lingering on a busy intersection before capitulating to the next set of wheels?! When the environment’s are constantly shifting and spraying ample obstacles for you to engage you need to be in complete control, and your just not. And that’s a shame because it’s clear that huge detail has gone into re-crafting one of gaming’s most illustrious staples. The visual absurdity of propelling a rotating, Nike wearing blue Hedgehog across a course with as many lateral precipices as a teenagers derrière is still as rapturous as it was when I was a kid, just not on your phone.
Have you played any mobile games that originated from an earlier device? And do you like touch-screen games.
The term role-playing game has always confused me, especially in the way it’s regarded by the gaming community.
Your vicarious assimilation, however inured is a participation attributed to a specific role. Whether that’s a footballer or an intrepid adventurer. So why is there such a neglected recognition for anything that isn’t steeped amid extrapolated mysticism? For me the interpretive definition, commonly applied to anything with wizards dragons and other variants on asinine mythology is one made through convenience. I’m sure there are many that consider the term “RPG” a succinct appellation of the abbreviation, an aberration that meekly defines a specific game, but there’s such an exponent variation on what constitutes as an RPG that it’s difficult to accurately extract it’s specifics. If you’re simulating the role of Batman, Lara Croft, Nathan Drake or even a pixellated Hedgehog, are you not by the systemic rule of interaction playing the role of a character? An acquaintance of mine was telling me recently that he doesn’t play RPG’s as “that kind of thing is boring” he suggested. He is evidently more infatuated with a generic FPS in all of its asinine persuasions. Not that I’m criticising (much), but isn’t something like Battlefield or Call of duty a composite of both FPS and RPG? Isn’t every first or third person, racing, sport or any other abbreviation that categorises a genre, canopied under the governing prelude of an RPG?
Can you define an RPG by its merits, stature or size? Whether by its limited linearity or expansive setting? It seems a socially acceptable exclusion to anything that doesn’t depict imposing lands replete in swords and dragons, with ideologies specifically reserved for knights of valour as being the pictorial aggregation of a genre loosely defined. You’d think that amid the swell of secularised platforms that someone could recognise the clear parallel that most genres fraternised with role-playing?! An FPS for instance by its very definition is neutrally identifiable, evidenced in the banal troupes and indentured servitude. (Again I’m not having a go, honest!) If the game represents a first person perspective and you shoot things, then it’s probably an FPS. If your goal is to, well score goals in a game of football, then that’s sports. If you’re driving a car round a track, then that’s racing. But all of these types of games are emblematic depictions of an RPG. Aren’t they? Of course many gamers would resist the proposal to refer to anything outside of Tolkien or featuring spaceships as an RPG, which is rebellious in a conformists kind of way, that only conflate’s the negative association with this parlous conduit.
The dimensions that are proportionate to RPG such as size, themes and scale indicates the constitutions of what a contemporary RPG’S are supposed to be. I understand this is a very broad acquaintance and that games need to be regulated into condensed categories, but to me signifying something that conjures so much expansive connotations, the arbitrary RPG description facilitates a multitude of attributes. I may be misguided in my reasoning, it’s been known to happen on occasion, or perhaps Cod fans are just as geeky as the kids that dress up as their favourite gaming characters. So just admit that your cool, blowey uppy world war simulator is a role-playing game! Ugh. Nerds!
Are all games RPG’s? Leave a comment that agrees me entirely……by which I mean leave an impartial suggestions. Cheers.
Drifting off to sleep for approximately 6.5 winks has become a regulatory theme for me, largely part to my newly acquired senility, which is considerably problematic. Not because it punctuates continuity or that my character remains as stationary as a detected spider trying to cross the living room carpet, but because of the superfluous progression I make while idle. I often attempt to extend my evenings beyond sensibly recommended passage of time, as such my vacant listlessness presents a lucid cacophony of vivid monochromatic imagery and new dimensional immersion into whatever game I fell asleep playing. While my physical self diminishes into interim dormancy, with my chin resting on my chest, shoulders hunched, hands clasped around the clammy controller, girlfriend shaking her head in disconcerted irritation my mind is active, alert, continuing where my conscious self left off. I attempt to make full use of my lucidity by amending any arrears that have risen through my passive absence. For instance while playing The Witcher 3 I inevitably drifted into a state of riposte, whereby I attempted accumulate funds through the exchange of harvested materials and amenities derived from the vanquished corpses of droopy boobed aquatic wenches. I knew I was dreaming, yet I felt inexplicably linked to my PS4.
Shorn of consciousness I was determined to veer stridently into the verbose disillusions that rippled with such earnest placation. The flourishing world appeared so accepting of me, submissive to my lingering poverty that I had sustained through the negligent restoration of my weapons. I was now trotting through pristine verges with a huge, vascular stallion between my legs (Oh grow up you!). The extraneous pastures that ordinarily housed some subverted vagrant were now replete with an array of continually spawning treasures, to which I plundered with succinct glee for my own affluent leverage. Even though my horse was fully laden I still found time to indulge in alternate “activities” with my concubine, Yennifer, if you know what I mean? *wink, nudge, wink*. Even detained in the custodial prison of my mind it’s still exhausting going “at it” for such an extended period of time. Going back and forth, in and out, shuffling and posturing with no protection! But I needn’t tell you how addictive Gwent is. Of course I was riding on the back of a unicorn, naked! But being steeped in the vestigial activities of variable commodities that has allowed me to achieve so much were sadly figments of unconsciousness. Realising the futility of my ethereal clemency was incredibly deflating. It also doesn’t help that your lids are roused out of their slumberous embrace by the familiar blow to the back of my head, from an agitated girlfriend who had begun tapping her foot and shaking her finger like Sonic the hedgehog.
Even once your addled mind has adjusted to the municipal evocation of reality and ocular synchronism has been stabilised, seemingly watching from afar as Geralt responds to your arrival with continued stoic resolve, your instantly aware of your brief convalescence as though you’ve just hit pause in your mind, instantly reactive to your previous contingencies and continue gaming. And in that pithy euphoric moment before you recognise that your assured capacity for discovering ample wealth and owning Yennifer over and over again (in Gwent) that all your versatile solutions and gathered provisions were simply falsified depictions of the game. All that hard work accumulating honey combs to sell to a sugar loving vendor is now absent, resulting in 2 hour-long vacuity. And a nasty headache where my girlfriend hit me over the head for nodding off again!
How often do you fall asleep while gaming? Let me hear about your unconscious gaming experiences. Cheers.
Since the dawn of time, mankind has sought to quench its most primitive carnal desires; to levy the swift eradication of any species that can be used as a food substitution. To fornicate with anything that retains a pulse and a suitable orifice or a denoting phallus. And above all else humanity has strived to complain about bloody everything! I am a revered luminary in this participle field of hereditary conduct. Moaning has become a staple of effusive solidarity amongst my local residents and the binding unification of the British people, through typically derogatory countenance. The weather for instance is the rhythmic literate of all British derision and the fettered proverb for national ambivalence. “Oh its too hot, I wish it were cooler”. “Oh its too cold, I wish it were warmer”. Seriously, if Goldilocks had been written today by myself, the porridge would be too hot, too cold, and the one that was just right, would have discarded in the nearest waste receptacle, and replaced with a bowel of Co-Co Pops. If it’s not the atmospheric climate, then it’s mocking the stationary resilience of our national transportation, the degradation of our roads, or popular culture. Research I conducted and verified by a private, anonymous source proved that sinking of the titanic was a direct result of not employee incompetence, negligence or latent municipal visibility, but actually a disgruntled spotter bemoaning the girth of the doors in the cabins “I’m telling you, they’ll never be resilient enough to support 2 people!” And the moon landing was merely a false pretence instigated to facilitate man’s accentuated curiosity, and prove conclusively that this celestial mass is in fact made of cheese. That last bit was completely irrelevant to the point I’m endeavouring to make, but moaning seems to have been culturally diffusive across the globe, especially among the gaming community.
The detracting promiscuity of gamers is always fodder for interpretation, with many opinions imparted with similar arresting authenticity of an angular regaling you with the vascular circumference of a fish they once caught. The biggest accusatory grievance professed by these acolytes, is the current generation of consoles reliance on Indie contributions rather than high spectrum content. Gamers appear genuinely bewildered as to why powerful pieces of hardware such as the PS4 and Xbox One retain side scrolling, 1 dimensional content. But lets face it; their simple, immediate and cheap to develop, which is beneficial for individuals such as myself ,who have to prioritize expenditures and seriously question how I’m going to explain to my girlfriend that I have spent the electric money on FIFA 15! Some gamers feel that games should reflect the affluent hardware we are exposed too, retain the conventions of contemporary fidelity and set aside this sustained rural community that are besotted with cubicle pixelations that, to them is little more than nostalgic whimsy. Though I do agree that indie games with moderate polish that relish in the effusive memorial of classic gaming, should be something that is more auxiliary rather than a the focal attraction. But–and I can’t emphasise this cursory note enough–have you ever looked at the big multi selling games of the past generations? You have! Good, then you’ll agree when I say that they are ugly! Most, despite their anecdotal prowess, have aged about as gracefully as Axl Rose, ie: not well. Yet titles such a Sonic the Hedgehog have preserved its traditional simplistic sensibilities despite the ascendancy of time, even without the providence of 1080p. Just saying.
Is there too much emphasise on Indie gaming? Let me know you thoughts. Cheers.
Do do do do do dodododododo, do do do do do dododododooo…Now this musical notation really doesn’t need clarifying, considering that its glaringly apparent that this musical composition converted from it original audio, is Sonic the Hedgehog’s antagonistic parable (Dr Robotnik’s) theme music. Altering the exuberant tones that accompany your accelerated endeavours to more urgent intonation, and even after adolescence has absconded me, coercing me into reluctant maturity (well, older anyway) this piece of scoring is still distinctive as well as abiding encapsulation of my absent youth. Though the variable encounters that you engage with this questionable physician are as onerous as a scuffle with candy floss, it is lamentable to think that such vivid boss battles have become somewhat moderated, diminished by the advent of multi-player or if not completely relegated. The latent catharsis is so apparent in modern games that its difficult to differentiate between one ambivalent, mutated creature and another repellent engineered mutation augmented by a dilatory, shady corporation with clear apathetic ethics. The glaring abstinence of villainy has only been compounded by the swelled infirmity of developer creativity.
During MGS3: Snake Eater for your confronted by many gregarious oppositions with varying conceptual eccentricity, composed of individuals such as “The Pain” who largely spent his time propelling projectile hornets at my crutch (probably), a former cosmonaut known as “The Fury” that spews incendiary retardants with flame-thrower while elevated by combustible jet pack, and The Sorrow, who though technically dead can still kill you. But the boss that is most visceral in my mind is the sniper extraordinaire referred to as “The End”. Which is ironic considering that this battle (loosely termed) never ended! You were required to identify the location of a surprisingly nimble geriatric, camouflaged amongst the dense foliage that required passive mobility to avoid detection from his remarkably precise reticles. Hours were emaciated tracking him to various environments across a linear, though vapid environments, culminating in a number of indolent manoeuvres and vocally expressive retorts.“You sneaky son of a gun. I’ll get you next time (paraphrased statement).” At one stage I became so ingrained in my environment that we spent 10 mins lying parallel, innocuous to one another’s stationary presence despite the close approximation of our adjacent equivalent’s, before I crawled surreptitiously into Captain Birdseye’s sniper barrel. The misery of being repressed by a boss that spent the majority of his time preserving what little vitality he had left by sleeping is humiliating enough, but the most disconcerting thing was that this entire protraction could have been averted if I had simply dismissed nobility, by shooting him while he was slumped defensively in his wheel-chair earlier on in the game.
The Tyrant in Resident Evil 2 still evokes anxiety too, with his almost harmonic, synchronised steps that reverberated throughout the dilapidated corridors in Raccoon City Police Department. With the clattering of wood that heaved under the excessive force of his gargantuan frame indicating his nomadic return. Though his massive frame prevented much urgency in his mobility, this giant, follicle infirm vagrant with cumbersome pace, still strode with menacing pace that always appeared to catch you up. It was his perpetual presence, his motivated penchant for your death that made every pious step excruciating. The DMC series has often revelled in the eccentricity of its extenuate portrayal of mythical beasts and demonic spawns, secreted from the depths of hell with intriguing abstract depictions, they also required collating tactical awareness. You had to parry at the exact moment, cultivating your moves with minimalistic button prompts as simply squeezing the attack button wasn’t enough. Patience wasn’t just a virtue but vital to succession as much of your time was expelled utilising cover and dodging projectiles rather than extruding aggression. But sadly even this series has pandered to some nonchalance of sterility.
Now we are presented with enemies that resemble a pulsating phallic with an angry tumour attached! Or an angry demonic bald man who diminishes as a prospective bogeyman, as without rhyme or prior exposition mutates into a generic giant, composed of concentrated tarmac and metal. Why?! But that’s the problem; nonsensical boss’s that pander to the conventions of simple extraction of weak points; dodge a few wayward, choreographed moves that are easy to interpret and counter with sardonic exclamations of your exuded captivation “Ooh isn’t this exciting!” This may not necessarily apply to all current games, but there is an endemic nuance on aesthetically pleasing abominations, with grittier, bigger and with more grr presentations! That are shallow, simplistic are most notably, forgettable.
Let me know what your favourite boss fight is, and are boss fights really relevant now? Cheers.
Without the sacrificial gallantry, chivalrous deeds of heroism and the admirable sacrifices that defines an individual as a hero, how many of our beloved virtual worlds would be deprived of existence? Without Commander Shepard’s singular expertise, Earth would have been destroyed/saved/partially eradicated, depending on the varied recourse at your disposal. Tombs would remain unexplored crevices and dinosaurs would remain unmolested and very much alive, if not for the intervention of Lara Croft. And Arkham City would be manipulated by various factions of maniacal villainy, if not for the interference of the pointy eared billionaire, Batman. But with the various accolades and auditory praise received by each individual recipient, where is the same flattering appreciation that has been vacant from the supporting participant’s? What about the noble contribution of the crew of the Normandy? The unfortunate sherpa that guided Lara to a tomb, located atop a perilous mountain peak? Or the distinguished morale comfort afforded by Alfred’s vocal musings, not to mention the seemingly inexhaustible aid, dutifully delivered with prompt valour at Batman’s request? Do these individuals not deserve the same respectful, if not modest appreciation for their unflinching, stoic candidacy?
In the rich tapestry of virtual narrative–in a very broad specification–you play the hero thrust into dire situations, saving the world from some villainous terror, who wallows in the depreciation and torment of the world, and in frequent instances, rescuing the helpless damsel before embracing one another in warm, comforting tryst, which is of course a prelude to other more exhausting activities. All the while your faithful, though supplementary associate stands idly by, while the hero reaps all the generous recourse expected for the satisfactory deliverance of global tranquillity. “I’ve had to suffer the indignity of listening to you rattle on about your torturous progression through simulated life, tolerate your constant censure of my abilities, laugh at your highly juvenile jests and your unrefined wit, and all without a solitary consideration of my needs, opinions or even a polite enquiry about my past? Find yourself another partner”. The proud accomplice begins walking listlessly towards the exit, all the while the chiselled features of your hero are indignant to the flustered declaration recently disposed, as he resides hopelessly consumed by the loins of the appreciative victim (These simulated heroes don’t hang around do they?)
The congenital defect that naturally persists in gaming, is to divulge an extensive back story on the lead character, or even antagonist, that highlights the reasoning for their often terrifying endeavours, to engage the participant manipulating them to become more empathetic to their courageous motives. All the while forgetting to define the reliance of a partners ambitions, without it feeling like a belittled afterthought like; “because he’s my friend” or “because I want to be of assistance”. I have friends too, but even I have to seriously consider my own brittle mortality before I could competently decide whether or not to attend someone’s birthday, because of the volatile nature of the venue, let alone a conspicuously instigated gunfight! Of course without the blind gallantry and foundation of the subordinates, what would be the point of their inclusion? But occasionally these seemingly derivative cohorts become liberally sympathetic. In Uncharted, Elena and Chloe were distinct personalities, with varied desires that stabilised drake as a grounded individual. He’s conflicted obligations became influenced by his support cast; whether driven to distraction by Chloe’s derrière, Elena’s incessant musing for justice and moral stability, or Sully’s desire to suppress Drake’s ambitious fervor, in spite of the regularity of the instances that purposefully contradict him.
But any distinguishable background characters that retain any purposeful relevance or poignancy is scarce. Many are deliberately monotonous, merely implemented to engage in a vocal to and throw with the superior cast, that simply allows the story to progress with a more coherent purpose. Of course the dynamic altercations between the core protagonist and the menacing adversary are the pivotal considerations, that really encourages the story forward with aplomb, but many games appear hesitant to provide anything more than a name and objective for the supplementary cast, leaving us with tenuous presumptions as to what defines each individuals actions. Averting attention to other, amiable members of the narrative could offer a brief respite that would allow subject matter to endure with increased coherency, rather than relying heavily on the perceived heroes and villains. Perhaps motivations that really flirt with the ambiguity of good and evil, highlighting the fine, though distinguishing fictitious line between the two comparatives, as well as the culpable reasons for cavorting with their companion. Perhaps its a little too much to ask of a mere game, and it’s simply my ambitious complaints, lovingly concealed beneath a palatable request, but it couldn’t hinder progression.
Sophistry aside, the purpose of this article–other than venting some pent-up, vocabulary frustrations–was to highlight the negligible revisions of additional cast and the cavalier importance of their being. We take for granted the underlining pretence that someone is good or evil with measured, almost passive acceptance, and as such, these characters would be accompanied by similar minded individuals, and though perhaps soliciting too much relevancy for their associations is a little ambitious, the importance of their actions is somewhat diminished by the undefined specifications. Without their modest inclusions, the core hero/heroine would cast a solitary, forlorn shadow. I mean where would Sonic the hedgehog have been without his duelled-tailed companion? “Better off “I hear you rebuke, probably; but sonic would have been a very lonely blue streak through Emerald Hill.
How important are the side cast for you? And should they have more developed back stories? Let me know what you guys think. Cheers.