Date: Sunday, 15th November 2009 at 6:28 pm
From the mind VexusVersion at the Sonic Technical Institute comes the next version of his fighting game Super Sonic Knockout. The game comes in two parts, simple vs mode fighting on either 1 vs 1 or 2 player tag team combat, as well as small adventure mode. The game tries to mix the 2d elements of the platforming games with a solid battle system similar to Sonic Battle on the GBA. So how does it fair?
The best fangames are usually the ones built from the ground up and it shows wonderfully here. The engine isn’t perfect but it works for its purpose, with good collision detection for the fighting moves, decent controls and landscaping work. It’s a solid foundation for the game making the game playable (better than a large majority of fangames) and with the added tutorial mode gives the game groundwork as a properly formulated game. It’s not without its flaws however, the collision detection isn’t perfect usually having the ability to hit what is behind the player as well as in front, but more importantly the attacks have a noticeable delay on them, made worse by the fact that the CPU opponents seem to factor this into attacks and occasionally seem to be able to skip them entirely. This causes rather large problems for 2 reasons. The first being that all of the other controls are directly responsive and the attack animations start as the button is pressed making the delay in actions all the more confusing. Another slight problem is the CPU taking advantage of cornering you at the side of the screen making it impossible to get out or recover as they can pull of endless air combos when there (harder when you do it because of the timing). Certainly a recommendation would be to allow much better recovery times as currently you have about 3-5 seconds where you can not do anything between hits.
The game concept falls into two parts. The first is the knockout battles part, which is the core part of the game, and comes in a variety of flavours. The main concept is to “knock out” your opponent (not too surprising) with a combination of basic hits and stronger hits along with the ability to store up chaos energy to unleash stronger attacks or super moves. It’s a simple concept executed well in all modes, story, training and VS. Secondly you have the “adventure” style stages which have small platforming challenges combined with weaker enemies and are only available as story mode related quests. These give a nice break between the battle stages and because of this the weaker enemy balance is welcomed. There is also a story connecting the events, not important gameplay wise but there for the perfectionists who need their games to have some sort of story with closure (obviously since the game isn’t finished we can’t tell that yet).
There are some very nice graphical touches such as the loading pop up for the game and some decent art for the character select (does the job) all the other graphics for the game (or at least for the characters we have seen) are all borrowed from other games, most noticeably Sonic Battle and Sonic Advance 3. They work, but nothing special.
The game is worth a download, while it may not hook you, it is a brilliant example of how hard work on a custom and new concept can work, and with refinement and a rather large amount of effort, could be a commercial standard game.
The advice for working on this game is simple, work on the controls to create a better feedback system when attacking, either by making the attack system hit on button press or find a way of balancing it with the CPU’s ability to predict your movement better than you, and to create a better recovery system to again make a balance between the CPU (one thing to note is that I had this problem even on Easy).
However as far as gameplay goes, that is the main weak point to sort, and the rest should hopefully fall into place as more content is created, certainly one to watch it’s progression.