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Jimpressions: Sonic Fan Remix

2010-10-22 09:37:50·  4 minute read   ·  Jim Sterling@JimSterling
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Sonic Fan Remix launched a three-Act demo this week, unveiling to the world exactly what two dedicated fans can do with just the right amount of skill and spare time. If you've never heard of it, it's a remake of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with all-new graphics and music. 

Naturally, it has won the attention the ever-insane Sonic fan community, who are fervently pitting it in a fight against Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and claiming that Sega has totally been upstaged by two fans. 

Sidestepping the fanboyism and screams of "OMG THE PHYSICS," it has to be said that Sonic Fan Remix is genuinely impressive. 


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Sonic Fan Remix launched a three-Act demo this week, unveiling to the world exactly what two dedicated fans can do with just the right amount of skill and spare time. If you've never heard of it, it's a remake of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with all-new graphics and music. 

Naturally, it has won the attention the ever-insane Sonic fan community, who are fervently pitting it in a fight against Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and claiming that Sega has totally been upstaged by two fans. 

Sidestepping the fanboyism and screams of "OMG THE PHYSICS," it has to be said that Sonic Fan Remix is genuinely impressive. {{page_break}}

I'll be honest, I didn't expect much from Sonic Fan Remix. The screenshots were pretty, but I thought everybody had jumped the gun in going "Sonic Team has been embarrassed" based on a few screens. I assumed people would applaud it just because it wasn't Sonic 4, and anything would be better than that game in the eyes of the jaded Sonic fanbase. 

However, it would appear that my assumptions were wrong. Is SFR a game that completely puts Sonic 4 to shame? I don't think so. Not entirely. Is it a gorgeous looking game that represents an excellent direction that Sega could have taken? Absolutely. 

The biggest issue with the game is the fact that lush visuals, wonderful as they are, intrude on the gameplay. Yes, it looks a lot more detailed than Sonic 4, but there is a reason why Sonic 4 is as simple as it is. Sonic Fan Remix is very busy and it makes it hard to concentrate on playing the game. It's all too easy to get hit by a Badnik that was impossible to make out among all the bouncing flowers, revolving searchlights and rain effects. I love the way the game looks, but it needs cleaning up in order to be more playable. 

The artistic style is wonderful, however. Much as I like the way "modern" Sonic looks, this reimagination of the design is very appealing indeed. He makes a great compromise between the squat retro Sonic and the sleeker modern Sonic. Plus his eyes aren't green, if you're one of the maniacs who had a problem with that. The Badniks, similarly, are really nicely realized. The way the bees spew smoke and piranhas flip as they splash out of the water adds a new sense of life and vibrancy to them.

There are a few minor issues with collision detection, and I've had Sonic fall through a floor on one occasion. There are also platforms with bumps on that Sonic tends to bounce away from if you hit them at the wrong angle, making landing on some surfaces more difficult than it should. 

These small grievances aside, Sonic Fan Remix plays better than one might expect. In fact, it's very difficult to tell that this was done by two guys in their spare time. It feels just right. Not "better" than Sonic 4, but noticeably different and provides a far more retro-centric experience for those who want it. If you wanted Sonic 4 to play exactly like Sonic 2, then this game comes very close to giving you your dream. 

It's also worth noting that a great job was done on the soundtrack. The familiar tunes have been given a fresh coat of aural paint and they sound very lovely indeed. I really can't wait to see what these guys do with Chemical Plant Zone. 

Sonic Fan Remix is, so far, looking like a game that I'd actually spend money on, were it ever released in an official capacity. At the very least, Sega needs to look into hiring these two and letting them have creative freedom. Not that such a thing would ever happen. 

In any case, much respect for Sonic Fan Remix. It's surprisingly impressive and very worthy of your attention. 

 

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