Games like: Sonic 3, Sonic the Hedgehog
Time played: 1.5 hours
Sonic is definitely a word that creates a bad taste in the mouths of gamers. Sonic ‘06, Sonic Boom, Sonic Heroes. Sadly the list can go on and on. As hard as Sega and other developers try to recreate the magic and whimsy of the Genesis blue hedgehog, they all seem to fall short. Extremely short. It would appear that the fastest mascot in gaming is about dead.
Until 2013, Brazilian student Felipe Daneluz (known around the web as LakeFeperd) took the challenge of recreating the wonder of the original Sonic franchise by himself. Using the Sonic Worlds engine, Sonic After the Sequel takes place between Sonic 2 and 3 but also follows his first entry into the series Sonic Before the Sequel. You’ll play as Sonic accompanied by his friend Tails as they race to collect the Chaos Emeralds after they fell to the clutches of Doctor Eggman (still not sure what happened to the name Robotnik).
Controls consist of either using the keyboard or a controller. To access the controller, at the initial start up screen, you have to press CTRL+Y to bring up a different menu to select the joystick for position one. I’m not sure if this is due to the restriction of framework of Sonic Worlds (which is a variant of Multimedia Fusion 2) or just an after thought. More likely it’s the previous since, I mean, it’s a Sonic game. Your left analog stick will move Sonic around and the A button jumps. You also have your spin ball by holding down and pressing A rapidly to charge up your spin. You can also “peel out” by holding up and pressing A. Sadly, unlike the Genesis series, A is your only jump button. Not every single button on the controller. A sad day indeed.
At the end of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic and Tails are flying through the air on Tail’s biplane known as the Tornado. Off in the distance they see an island covered in forest and decide to touch down and check it out. After finishing the first zone, Sonic comes across a robot that resembles Tails which ends up being a trap laid by the clever Dr. Eggman. Trapping Sonic in a forcefield, Eggman steals the Chaos Emeralds from Sonic and takes off. Now it’s up to Sonic and Tails (again) to recollect the emeralds and stop Eggman from taking over the world.
The second the first act loads up, you will be transported back into the glory days of Sonic. Side scrolling, fast paced action is the core of the Genesis Sonic series. It’s amazing how they’ve mucked it up so much. The graphics and sprites feel and react exactly as you’d expect from playing on the console with a few touches to improve both with the sprites and background effects. There’s a few added frames to Sonic’s animation that makes him react to the environment and the actions to certain enemies. It gives Sonic a bit more roundness to his character which would make sense if this series had actually been continued by Sega. Thumbs up all around.
The music. God, the music. The game was developed basically (or so they say) by one person. The music, on the other hand, had multiple artists contributing to the project. The soundtrack feels straight from the Genesis hardware with the flat bass notes and high tremble hits. These artists truly took their time and developed a scene with the restrictions of the original hardware had and push it to its limits. Sure, there are a few spots that feel a little out of the elements, but all around it is an impressive collection of Genesis spirited tunes.
Much like their predecessors, After the Sequel is divided into seven worlds or zones and each zone is themed to present different level design elements, enemies, and environmental hazards. The zones themselves will range from Technology Tree, Sugar Hill, and Moon Mansion. Each level is designed to the point where it feels like it came right out of the Genesis era Sonic games. You’ll have your common elements like hitting enemies and watching tiny animals popout, ring boxes, sweet loops both above and below water, and your spring shots giving you a boost. The challenge continues to see just how fast you can get through the act. There’s also those great moments of “gotcha!” where you’ll be speeding through only to come to a dead stop due to a wall or well placed enemy. Most will think this is bad design, Sonic fans will feel at home.
There’s also no shortage of surprises for those who take their time to explore the world. Hidden throughout many of the levels are boxes that will give you temporary power ups like invincibility or a bubble shield that gives you an extra hit before losing all your rings. There are also some extra power ups that were once featured in Nintendo’s Kirby series including the Beam power up for Sonic and a Mirror power up for Tails.
Special stages? You bet cha. Collecting 50 rings before the end of an Act will give you a chance to jump into the giant ring in the sky to be transported to the bonus stage. These bonus stages allow you to collect enough points to get more lives. Across all of the Sonic games, these stages have varied from game to game. Some where an interesting 3D-esque “half pipe” game where you are collecting rings towards the end. Another had Sonic and Tails running on top which can only be described as a giant bouncy ball changing red orbs into blue ones. After the Sequel has decided to create a new experience of their own. These special stages will have Sonic in an endless run while dodging showstopping bells and hitting boosts to speed up. If you can reach the Chaos Emerald at the end of the stage before it has a chance to get away, you’re awarded a huge amount of points leveling extra lives.
After completing the game, you’ll have a chance to unlock the level select mode and special mode. Level select is fairly self explanatory and the special mode will allow you to go through the different special stages, a boss rush mode, and the infamous debug mode that was originally found in Sonic the Hedgehog. This mode will allow you to switch the sprite of Sonic to any of the other characters within the game on the fly. Not as cool as the original debug mode which allowed you to basically create a brand new level by switching to the different elements of the game and placing them wherever you’d prefer.
I am a huge Sonic fan. I was submerged in the essence of the blue blur from the first release of the Sega Genesis console. It was Mario, but faster and more edgier. Sure it was all a ploy to create a more “adult” Mario style game, but I was hooked. Sonic 2, Sonic 3 (still my favorite), and even Sonic & Knuckles, I couldn’t wait to play them after reading about them in Gamepro magazine. I was even a victim that fell to the “Knuckles in Sonic 1 with Game Genie” April Fool’s joke. Yes, I am not afraid to admit it. Playing After the Sequel was something that was just too hard to put down.
Sonic: After the Sequel is an amazing fan creation that stays in step with the original Sonic series that was released on the Sega Genesis. Created by one person and a slew of talented musicians, Sonic After the Sequel is exactly what the community needs after the drops of Sonic Boom! and ‘06. Taking place between Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, After the Sequel provides the need of a Sonic platformer that deserves to be on a console. Plus it’s free. FREE! FREE! FREE! Download it now.
Check out more pics from Sonic After the Sequel!
Want to continue the conversation?
So do I! Let me know what your thoughts are and how you would recommend this game or if you have one that you would like me to review!
Follow me on Twitter.
Friend up on my Facebook Fan page.
Or leave a comment below!