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Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2014 Review Round-Up 4

Sonic Black Ace

Where the hell did this game come from and how come there’s so much of it?

Sonic Black Ace is an extremely high speed, high skill and just high everything fan game that tests you’re ability as a Sonic player with stages that feature as many gimmicks and set pieces you could possibly imagine. This game is simply crammed full of interesting ideas and becomes a huge melting pot of brilliant Sonic gameplay that took me completely by surprise.

Sonic Black Ace offers a large roster of playable characters each with their own unique abilities, but the game really shines when you have Modern Sonic active. This way you can experience homing attacks, grinding, boosting, stomping and light-speed dashing which creates some of the most visceral Sonic gameplay I’ve seen since Sonic Unleashed. Yes, it really is that fast.

All of this is complimented with a fantastic engine which is extremely precise. If you fall of a ledge or run into danger it often feels like it really was your fault and not the game’s. Stages are designed to make use of every skill available to you and it can be absolutely fascinating to watch Sonic run along ceilings at break-neck speed.

We haven’t even got around to mentioning how much game is available here. I was confused when I completed the ‘Test Zone’ and more and more stages kept appearing. The first stage really makes it feel like you’re playing an early beta as the graphics are very bland. This really threw me off when I started to experience the stages that followed. The first stage is obviously supposed to act as an introduction and teaches you all the various mechanics in a more controlled environment.

Speaking of graphics this is Sonic Black Ace’s weak point. Almost every stage is pieced together from existing Sonic assets. This isn’t a bad thing as they function perfectly and certainly get the job done, but I want to see something different that compliments the unique nature of the gameplay. There are occasions when you see a glimpse of this like in the wonderful Snowy Hill which has one of the most beautiful, dynamic-snow effects I’ve seen in a fan game. Unfortunately these moments are few and far between.

Overall Sonic Black Ace was a huge surprise at this year’s SAGE and something that seasoned Sonic fans will not want to miss. If more attention was given to the presentation and including a save feature (come on guys, this is 2014) then we could have had a near perfect example of how creative the Sonic fan gaming community can be.

8/10

DOWNLOAD SONIC BLACK ACE BY CLICKING HERE

Bingo the Multiva

Bingo the Multivitamin is one of the few games at this year’s SAGE that is actually an independent game and not a Sonic fan game. However it’s pretty clear where the inspirations for this game lie and it’s obvious that the character sprite itself is actually an edit of an existing 16 bit Sonic sprite (complete with certain animations that are unfinished and still in the original resolution).

As Bingo the Multipass it is up to you to navigate the four stages you’re given to mess around with, collect coins and jump on robots. You know, typical Sonic stuff but with coins instead of rings. The developer has clearly spent a lot of time making this game stand out from its peers by employing a complete set of custom graphics. This would be a nice effort if it wasn’t for the fact that a lot of the time they look bland, flat-shaded and generally lacking in flair. Bingo the Multiple Sclerosis is nothing special to look at.

It’s also nothing special to play either. Bingo doesn’t have any unique skills of his own except that spin attacks and spin dashes are assigned to specific keys instead of simply holding down and pressing the jump key. We often found Bingo got stuck in the environment if we jumped upwards into floating platforms or even collided with walls in mid air. The collision detection with slopes is also a bit wonky and Bingo often awkwardly bumps down slopes instead of smoothly rolling down them and building up speed.

The biggest problem is Bingo the Multimap often feels like we’re playing an old Klik ‘n’ Play title. When a game built in 2014 plays like something made 15 years ago then you know you’re in trouble.

Also, what the hell is a Multiva?

2/10

DOWNLOAD THE BINGO THE MULTIVA DEMO BY CLICKING HERE

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