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SAGE: ShenSonic - Magitek Software - Preview

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One of the most boasting titles on show at SAGE, this. Promising a 2D version world of Shenmue, but with Sonic at the forefront rather than Ryo Hazuki. It's certainly an interesting project, and the SFC checks its progress...

Preview Playtest: 1st July 2002


Developed by SimSonic, from Magitek Software, this game is looking pretty sweet indeed. This is going to be a bit of an ambitious game, and it should be one that doesn't go unnoticed. Come on, Sonic as Ryo Hazuki, who could have thunk it! ^_^

The graphics are very good, with great use of the Sonic Crackers sprites, and a hilarious Robotnik version of Lan Di (you gotta see him run. Wheeee!). Much of the Shenmue world has been recreated as best as possible into 2D, however not all the aspects or dialogue of the Dreamcast game has made the transition into ShenSonic, purely because they may make the game too boring, or merely couldn't be done. This is understandable at the moment, this is the first 2D RPG of it's kind.

The demo is pretty expansive, and lasts until you get to "that nightclub where you throw that guy over the top of the bar" ^_^. You'll know what I'm talking about if you've seen Shenmue or played it. So, anyway, it's a big demo, and the controls are easy and great to use. 'Shift' is your action button, and 'Control' is your 'Y Menu' from Shenmue. Some other events needs you to make use of the letters on the keyboard though, for example the fights you come across. Like Shenmue, there's more to it then just fannying about the town (although this was much of the case in the DC original) - you'll come into QTE fights, the YOU Arcade and other little bits like Cassettes you can buy in Tomato, and Gumball machines where you get the likes of Sonic game boxes, or other game characters. A very cool break from all that super-sleuthing you gotta do in the main game.

There are a few things that would be nice to be sorted before it's release. A terrible glitch bug is apparent in the demo - one moment you're in the YOU Arcade, you switch to your menu to see how many Gumballs you have, then when you return out of the menu, you find yourself past a wall at your house - which is pretty aggrivating. Also, it would be great to have a button function to skip text - you won't believe how bored we got trying to wait 10 minutes until one text block disappeared; you cannot move while someone is talking. An 'Escape Conversation' button would be nice too. Finally, a kind of 'Notebook' (ala Shenmue) where findings you have or info goes, so that you do not forget where to go next.

These things need to be sorted if ShenSonic is to be extremely enjoyable. At the moment, you'll find yourself falling asleep at the speed of the text boxes... we perservered though, and found an admirable game in development.

*Take heed Fan Game developers. It's the...Playtest results*

+ Sides
> Just like Shenmue
> Lots to do
> Expansive world
Worth Considering...
> Unforgivable glitches
> Pleeeeease let us skip the dialogue!
> Information save feature that one can refer to?

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