Does a lot of things really well, but has some trouble understanding why some things don't work well in 3D
Sonic Robo Blast 2
, despite its painfully generic name, is a rare exception to the "fangames are terrible" rule. It has a ton of the old-school Sonic
feel, and plays a lot like the 2D Genesis-era (or Megadrive-era for you Europeans) Sonic
games transferred into 3D. But despite the parts where it shines, it's very rough around the edges.
Let's start with the good. Level design is often fantastic. There are very clever ideas all over the place, and even some of the "thrill rides" that Sonic
is often known for, such as a level that features fast-moving up and downhill rivers and has multiple routes you can take, sometimes by jumping from one river to another. You never know what kind of obstacle or design element will happen next in any level. The play mechanics are generally very good as well, with Sonic being heavily affected by momentum. This makes controlling long jumps a challenge, but one I find fun, and I love running at high speed through the levels.
The game also avoids fanwank tendencies and sticks to mostly what the Genesis games themselves would have done, albeit in 3D and using the Doom
engine. Even the "play without saving" option from Sonic 3
is there! Levels are massive (to me, a plus), and the 10-minute time limit is gone.
There are problems though, and while not insurmountable, they're pretty big.
The game is at its best when it recognizes what works in 3D, and at its worst when it fails to recognize what doesn't work. There are platforming segments that involve jumping on some very small platforms, some of which fall down shortly afterwards, as well as stupidly designed boss fights where the controls and camera really work against you, and other poorly thought-out aspects. The default controls are Doom
-esque of the "forwards, backwards, turn" variety, though a buried option to enable "analog controls" changes that. There are pros and cons to both, as oftentimes, particularly later on, levels feel as if they were designed with the Doom
-esque controls specifically in mind.
The moments where the game tries things that really do not
work in 3D really hurt it and are frustrating, and it's a real shame that one of the few fangames that's otherwise excellent in a lot of ways is held back by such a massive flaw. It's still worth checking out.