Sonic Robo Blast 2
|Fast Facts on Sonic Robo Blast 2|
Latest Version: 2.0.7 patch
Sonic Robo Blast 2, abbreviated as SRB2, is a fan game for Windows and DOS platforms. It is a 3D platformer developed by a group called Sonic Team Junior, using a modified version of the Doom Legacy source port of Doom, to allow for such things as optional analog control and true room-over-room (something not possible in the standard Doom engine), as well as the standard gameplay elements Sonic games are known for. It has been in the works since 1998 and is currently nearing completion, though several parts of the game are still missing.
Sonic Robo Blast 2 is closely inspired by the original 2D Sonic games for the Genesis and attempts to recreate a game with this style in 3D, though it also borrows elements from the current Sonic games, such as Sonic's signature Air Spin Attack. Entirely original to SRB2 is its Multiplayer mode, a variation of classic first-person shooter games with Sonic elements. Due to being built with a modified Doom Legacy engine, the game is also very easily customizable. Custom levels, characters and even source code modifications can be created with the help of external editors.
Months after Eggman's defeat in Sonic Robo Blast, Dr. Eggman took an interest in harnessing the Black Rock's energy. After claiming it as his own battleship, Eggman chose Greenflower City as his first target for obliteration.
Sonic was enjoying a long overdue vacation when he was suddenly alerted by the presence of Eggman's massive fleet. Sonic gazed at the giant battleship aimed toward Greenflower, and had already bolted towards it in a blink of an eye. Even though Sonic rushed to save Greenflower City as quickly as possible, it was already a pile of ashes by the time he arrived. Now, after a quick reunion with the evil doctor, Sonic and friends journey off onto another quest to save the world from Dr. Eggman.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic is the quickest of all three playable characters, but he's the least versatile. Some areas will be inaccessible to him, so he must find other routes around them. He's also somewhat difficult to control, but to adjust to his controls would make him a powerful asset to the player. His ability is the double-jump "Air Spin Attack", more commonly known as the "thok," due to the sound it makes. The thok gives the player a burst of speed, which is useful for clearing certain gaps and automatically giving acceleration. Sonic also has the added ability of turning into Super Sonic when he has seven Chaos Emeralds; this special ability makes him faster, stronger, and completely invincible for a certain amount of time.
Miles "Tails" Prower
Although Tails is the slowest of the three playable characters, he does possess the very powerful flying ability. This allows him to clear long jumps and reach new areas at a great convenience. His speed and handling are very easy to control, making him ideal for the beginning player.
Knuckles the Echidna
Knuckles can be considered the "moderate" character of the three. While he's not as fast as Sonic, he is faster than Tails. With this speed, he also has Tails' good handling. He has the ability to glide and climb, allowing him to scale gaps and walls with ease, possibly reaching new areas that Sonic can't reach. His jump height is slightly lower than Sonic's and Tails', however. In multiplayer mode, he can shoot rings twice as fast as other characters.
SRB2's main focus lies in its single player campaign. In its final state, it is supposed to span at least 7 zones, each consisting of three acts. Zones are organized similarly to Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, with the first two acts being typical Sonic levels with a start, and end, and obstacles in-between, and Act 3 containing a boss. The levels are similar to the classic Sonic games, with each zone having its own theme, featuring distinct enemies and obstacles. Contrary to official 3D Sonic titles like Sonic Adventure, the levels feature multiple paths and are designed openly, with several hidden items encouraging exploration. Unlike official Sonic titles (past and present), SRB2 does not feature slopes or loops due to engine limitations, which leads to a different visual and gameplay style.
- Greenflower Zone (abbreviated GFZ) is the first zone. It is stylistically very similar to Green Hill Zone, and is a very basic starting stage, for players to get the grasp of the controls and gameplay mechanisms.
- Techno Hill Zone (abbreviated THZ) is the second zone in the game. It takes place in one of Eggman's factories and its surrounding outside area. All water is replaced with slime, similar to the slime found in Chemical Plant Zone, but will damage players on contact.
- Deep Sea Zone (abbreviated DSZ) is the third zone in the game. Placing a lot of emphasis on puzzles, players work their way through flooded ruins and need to stop for air periodically.
- Castle Eggman Zone (abbreviated CEZ) is the fourth zone in the game. The first act is set in a rainy forest where the players makes their way to a castle, which they travel through in the second act. Both acts are currently unfinished and the boss map is missing.
- Arid Canyon Zone (abbreviated ACZ) is the fifth zone in the game, set in a wide canyon. Players must navigate avoid deep pits, hang on to rope pulleys, wade through slippery oil, and avoid sinking into quicksand in order to clear the stage. Only the first act is included in the most recent version.
- Red Volcano Zone (abbreviated RVZ) is the sixth zone in the game, set in a volcano full of dangerous lava. Players have to cross crumbling rocks and avoid suddenly rising lava. Only the first act is included in the most recent version. The second act was once planned to take place on the frozen top of the volcano and be called "Blue Mountain Zone", but the concept was scrapped and act 2 will take place in the volcano as well. A very early version of Blue Mountain Zone is included in the current version.
- Dark City Zone (abbreviated DCZ) is the planned seventh zone in the game. None of it has been released as of now. If it is made, it will not have a corresponding Special Stage.
- Grand Eggship Zone (abbreviated GEZ) is the planned eighth zone in the game. None of it has been released as of now, and it might be canned in the future. If it is made, it will not have a corresponding Special Stage.
- Egg Rock Zone (abbreviated ERZ) is the final zone in the game. Similar to many final zones, various unique obstacles will impede progress in this space station. In act 3, players must fight a giant robot called Brak Eggman to complete the game. Brak Eggman will be moved to Dark City Zone Act 3 in future versions.
The single player levels can also be played in Time Attack mode. In this mode, the player must try to complete the levels as fast as possible and can record and play back their best attempts at getting a good time. In future versions, this mode will be replaced by a Record Attack mode, in which the player can attempt to get the best time, score, and ring count in each level of the game.
SRB2 features several multiplayer modes that can be played either via splitscreen or over network connection. An official Master Server is provided at the games homepage to organize netplay. Multiplayer modes include Co-Op (which is basically the single player campaign with multiple players allowed), Race and Classic Race, Match and Team Match, Capture The Flag, Tag and Hide & Seek.
Race is a simple race to the finish, either on the single player levels or on a set of ten Circuit levels, designed specifically for that gametype. These are short tracks with a circular layout, in which the player have to complete four rounds. Alternatively, Classic Race is available, in which points are awarded for collecting items as well as finishing quickly, á la Sonic 2. Here, the player with the most points wins.
Match is a variation of a typical first-person shooter Deathmatch game with Sonic elements. Match is played in first person on a set of nine maps designed specifically for that gametype. The players shoot rings at each other, and each shot removes one ring from the ring counter. Since rings fly considerably slower than projectiles, and players are much faster than in regular Match games, rings must be aimed ahead of the opponents to hit them. Hitting a player awards 50 points and drop all of their equipments, hitting an unequipped player awards 100 points and kills them.
On top of the regular red rings, there are six weapon rings, each with different effects. To shoot a weapon ring, one must collect the corresponding panels and have enough ammunition for that weapon. Shooting any ring will also take out one ring from the player's ring count. Ammunition pickups are also scattered throughout the stage. The weapon rings include:
- Rail - a hitscan weapon that you can use to snipe away players from across the stage, or otherwise make a very precise and direct shot.
- Auto - similar to a machine gun, this weapon tosses out rings very quickly, making it difficult for players to dodge; however, it eats up ammunition and rings just as quickly.
- Bounce - this ring behaves mostly like a normal ring, except it will bounce off of walls instead of dissipating. Good for area denial, particularly in tight spaces.
- Scatter - shoots out five rings instead of one, shaped in a plus formation, which gradually spread out as they go farther. If it hits an opponent very close to the firing player, the opponent will be shot back farther than usual.
- Grenade - drops little bombs on the ground which detonate if enemies get too close or if doesn't get triggered after a certain amount of time. Good for area denial.
- Bomb - behaves like a normal ring, but will detonate when it hits a wall, hitting anyone within its blast radius; similar to most game implementations of rocket launchers. It also knocks players back farther than usual.
Additionally, Chaos Emeralds spawn in Match games on random spots, and collecting all seven allows the player to become Super, which makes them invulnerable, faster, and gives them an additional special ability, depending on the chosen character. Rings are drained every second while being Super however, and getting hit makes a player lose 10 rings immediately, and there is no temporary invincibility. Team Match is simply a Match game with two teams. The team that scores the most points win.
Capture The Flag works just like traditional CTF games in first-person shooters, such as Unreal Tournament. The players are divided into two teams, and each team has a base that contains a flag. The players must try to steal the flag of the opposing team and bring it to their base to score a point (as long as their own flag is in their own base). Apart from that, the setup works like a regular Match game, but is played on its own set of six maps.
Tag/Hide & Seek
Tag and Hide & Seek are two closely related gametypes, both played on the Match maps. In Tag, one player is IT and much chases the other players. Once they hit another player, that player becomes IT as well. As long as a player is not IT, their score increases per second, and for every player that is tagged, the Tagger receives 100 points. Hide & Seek works similarly. At the beginning, the players who are not IT have time to hide. Once the hiding time is over, they can't move anymore, and the player who is IT must shoot them. Scoring works exactly as in Tag.
SRB2 features a lot of additional content that can be unlocked by various means. This includes several bonus stages, some of which emulate the style and gameplay of other video games. To get a full list of unlockables, one must beat the single player campaign. Bonus content can be unlocked primarily by two things: Collecting either emblems or the Chaos Emeralds.
The seven Chaos Emeralds can be acquired by collecting Special Stage Tokens that are hidden in all non-boss acts. When the player exits a level after collecting these, they are sent to a Special Stage where they have to collect a certain number of rings in a certain time to collect an emerald. In later versions of the game, these special stages will be replaced with stages similar to the SEGA game NiGHTS Into Dreams similar to the zone the token was found in.
Also in every non-boss act, one emblem in the form of a Wing Logo is hidden for each character. With these emblems, players can unlock bonus stages. Among them are a Super Mario-themed zone, a NiGHTS Into Dreams-based level and a remake of the original Sonic Robo Blast.
Because it is built on top of the Doom engine, SRB2 is easily customizable, and the multitude of user-created addons is a source for the game's popularity. It uses Doom's WAD file format, which allows for custom levels and characters to be made with the help of a WAD Editor. SOCs are a type of text script that allow to change many settings of the game. Source code modifications can also easily be made by altering the openly distributed source code and compiling it.