Okay, I apologize for the late update, but I had some important matters to attend to. Now that I'm free to play, how about we continue on to:
Windmill Isle Act 2
A.K.A: A Midday Jog Through The Islands Of Apotos
The first section is a winding jog through the streets of Apotos. At the starting area, there are various human NPC's chatting amongst each other and waving to Sonic as he goes by. I must say, it's a pretty nice touch for this level; it's a shame this will only be repeated once (as far as humans are concerned, anyway) in a certain desert stage. Ah well.
Along the way, I'm introduced to the Dash Rings. They are orange and rainbow-colored rings around twice as big as regular rings. When jumped or boosted into, Sonic will do a small aerial trick, giving you points and shooting you further down a path or another section you couldn't otherwise reach. Going through this Trick Rings shoots Sonic over to where the first (of three) Sun Medals is located. From here, I used the Boost Ramps to shoot over to another set of Trick Rings, earning me some extra points in the process.
From here, I come across two small pathways. One way leads to a trails of rings, followed by a Grind Rail; the other leads to a group of regular Egg Fighters just standing there around like idiots., Curious, I walked up to one of them and kicked them. This is where I first found out that they took out Collision Damage (for the most part) in this game. What a surprise.
Going back, I went down the path with the rings and boosted through the rest of the way. As I zoomed along, I noticed that they also brought back the wide springs from Sonic Heroes. Why, exactly, did they that back for this game, I don't know. After that, I landed in the middle of what appears to be a patio overlooking an ocean. Tables, potted plants and barrels were laid around this small area. Three Egg Fighters were guarding a Pulley. After disposing of them, the pulley became operational again. After pulling myself up, it was a hop and a skip away from reaching the first Point Marker.
They're just like the Point Markers from the Sonic Adventure titles and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) in that they're structured like gates, though they appear more like an actual mechanical object in this game. Going through, my speed when I crossed is calculated. Since I walked through for this run, my speed was 5 mph. What greeted me was a group of Spinners hovering over a large cliff-face separating me from the next island. Just like in Sonic Adventure, their initial game appearance, they're basically Homing Attack fodder. They come in two varieties: blue (Normal) and green (electric).
After using them as a "bridge" to cross over, I land in the middle of a small garden area, with plants and tables dotted around. With only one path ahead, I zoomed along, destroying everything (whether they were furniture or robots) in my path. Along the way, the camera perspective changes; before I knew it, I zoomed past the second Point Marker in 2D gameplay.
From here to the next Point marker, the gameplay is that of a 2D sidescroller, one of the main features for the daytime levels. This particular section went by rather quickly, with a couple points where sliding is required here and there.
After zooming past the third Point Marker, I leaped onto a Grind Rail. From there, I have to use a set of three grind Rails to grind over the vast ocean, with various Spikes laid across the rails here and there. After a Rail Corkscrew, I zoomed down a pathway built on top of a tall landmass high above the ocean over to the fourth Point Marker.
I'd stop and look at the simply gorgeous scenery that's made especially present right here, but with the timer present, coupled with that I've already wasted six minutes on this stage, I'll just zoom along. Maybe when I start hunting for medals, I'll bring the scenery to more attention.
Moving along, I leap up to another grinding area, this time with various gaps in the rails. Coupled with the various Spike Trap, I've lost more than a couple lives here when I first started playing this game. After this, I go through a Rail Loop over to the next island, past the fifth Point Marker in sidescroller gameplay.
This section is longer than the previous sidescroller section, with various enemies and obstacles in my way. After a few seconds of dashing, I'm sprung over to a couple platform floating before a Grind Rail. leaping across the platform, I found the second Moon Medal of the stage. Going back to the Grind Rail, I'm zoomed over to the Jump Selector. Introduced in Sonic Rivals 2, they can function as either a Spring (by pressing A) or a Boost Pad (by pressing X), depending on what direction the game wants you to go. For this one, I have to press X to continue on without hassle.
Doing that, I'm dashed over to a small platforming section. Here is where we meet the Fake Springs; springs with the Eggman logo embroidered on it instead of the star symbols. They're usually bad news, for they'll usually launch you into spikes, pitfalls or some other trap.
After that particular trap, the rest of the section was straightforward, with sliding obstacles, platforms and all that jazz. At the end, I come across the first Trick Jump Platform (i.e. QTE's) of the game. At this point, the QTE's are rather simple, with only a lower path and a loss at a chance to earn extra points. Later in the game, though, things will be different. Much different...
Anyway, for this run, the button prompts were Y, A and X. Solving this easy prompt earned me some points via rings. After the pulley ride, we're launched back into 3D gameplay. From here, it's a short jug to the sixth Point Marker.
From here, there are two paths to take. The left path leads to the third Sun Medals and some extra rings; the right path leads to nothing noteworthy. Being curious, I took the right path. Either path leads to a sliding hole, followed by a couple Pulleys. From there, I'm launched to the seventh Point Marker.
Following the Marker is a short platforming section to the next island, with the Spinners as obstacles. On the island, I'm boosted over to another sidescroller section. Other than a couple Jump Selectors, Egg Fighters and the like, it was a rather straightforward section. After that, I'm boosted over to another QTE Ramp. The prompts were as followed: B, A and A. The prompts launched me to a higher path. Following that was a straightforward run, grind and jump over to the Goal Ring.
For this run, I got a C, with an overall score of 59,092. I took too long...
The following cutscene was also covered by my fellow liveblogger, so I'll just skip covering this one as well.
Now, we move on to... Sonic the Werehog. As most of you already know, the Werehog's gamep;ay is completely different from that of the Hedgehog. His gameplay is a mix between that of God of War, Prince Of Persia, and Ristar; in a nutshell, a combat-focused platformer. Unlike the Hedgehog, the Werehog has no sidescroller sections at all; it's 3D all the way for Mr. Monster Guy. In the night, the Moon Medals in the hubs are replaced with Sun Medals, hidden in different places.
Speaking of medals, in the nighttime levels, there are more Sun Medals to collect (10) in any given stage than the Moon Medals (6). For the Hedgehog, there are more Moon Medals to collect in a given stage (7) than the Sun Medals (3). But enough about that for now, let's see what the night holds for the denizens of Apotos. If
Dan Green the Ice Cream Man's reaction is an indicator, it could be quite interesting...
The Emo-Turned-Ice Cream Man has this to say:
Ice Cream Man: The planet's broken! It's all over!
You've just noticed that? Really?
There's no point in making ice cream anymore.
Wait, no! Where will I get my ice cream from now?! I sure hope there's a way to fix his case of the blues...
At any rate, let's go explore this are before we move on to the Action Stage. While we're here, let's look for the Sun Medals. But firstt, let's see what Gregorios has to say:
Gregorios: Hm? You look... Well, you present quite a frightening visage. Not that it matters.
With the world in a mess, the planet splitting... What really matters? Oh, who CARES?!
Whoa, what a change in attitude! From here, Sonic got three choices as to what to say:
"What's the matter?!";
"Are you all right?!"; and
"You got that right!"
Since this isn't the Sonic The Comic rendition of Sonic, let's go with a less smartassed response. Hmm... how about:
Sonic: What's the matter?!
In response, Gregorios says:
Gregorios: Oh nothing. That's just it. It just does not matter.
Hmm? When he said that, dark spirals emanated from him, same as with the Ice Cream Man. Rather suspicious...
As our conversation with Gregorios ended, a thin, elderly man (Lucas) walked by. Might as well talk to him to see if he's acting anything like Gregorios...
Lucas: A leisurely stroll at night like this isn't bad! Heh heh!
Well, at least there's one ray of sunshine around here. Let's see what Sandra has to say:
Sandra: Ooh, my, my, my!
A-Are you the gentlemen I met earlier today?
Well, uh, yeah, kinda. It's hard to explain...
I knew it! Yes, I remember your little friend.
Hey, someone recognizes them! About time!
Good evening to you both. How are you doing? Which reminds me...
I saw a two-tailed fox fly past, heading toward the Entrance Stage. He wouldn't be a friend of yours, would he? He was in a terrible hurry.
... Okay, change of plans. We're heading for the Entrance Stage, now.
Along the way to the Entrance Stage, we come across Lambros, standing near a house. Let's see what he has to say:
Lambros: Hey, pilgrim! How're things going? You look... shorter and stouter than before!
Really? I could have swore the Werehog was a bit bigger than the Hedgehog. Maybe it's because he slouches a lot?
Did you eat something funny?
Maybe a little bit of that fru-oh, right. To the Entrance Stage!
Right near the Entrance Stage, I spy an elderly couple (Eric & Anastasia). Let's see what they have to say regarding a certain two-tailed fox we all know and love/like/tolerate:
Eric: Did you see a two-tailed fox? He was right here just a minute ago.
Anastaia: Mnzts... Sssgrt!
Huh? She can't speak?
Eric: He had big, bushy tails swinging' all around. You can't miss him.
Um... thanks. Anyways... on to the Entrance Stage!
Unfortunately, just as in the daytime, certain areas have been blocked off for now. Fortunately, though, we can reach the area above the daytime stage marker, thanks to the Grab Ledges. Just press B to grab on to them, even from a long distance away!
Anyway, now that we're on the ledge, we come across our first Record.
Record 59: Stage Clear - the tune that plays whenever you beat a stage with a grade higher than E.
Since there is no other areas we can reach right now, we might as well enter...
Windmill Isle Act 1... Night
A.K.A: A Moonlit Stroll Through The Streets Of Apotos
Since the cutscene show prior to the start of the level has already been covered, let's just skip it.
We start in the middle of a square, just as Chip informs us that Tails has went along this path before us. Lucky
Anyway, we start off with a rather paltry lists of skills:
- Were-Hammer Y, Y, Y, Y
- Double Kick Combo Y, X, X
- Sho-hog-ken Y, Y, A
- Wild Whirl X, X, X, X
- Rolling Kick Combo X, Y, Y
- Sho-claw-ken X, X, A
- Flying Double-Punch Y, Y in the air.
- Aerial Claw Slash X, X in the air.
- Diving Bodypress A in the air.
Anyway, first thing we gotta do is bust that door apart. Luckily, any attack will do.
As the Werehog, the rings has a different effect; here, it restore health. The Super Ring (slightly bigger ring with the number ten in the center, also present in the Hedgehog stages) heals ten times more so. A Full Life Ring (an even bigger ring with a blue star in the center) fully restores your health.
Going down the street, we encounte-
... Yeah, Might as well get used to that song, because it will be blaring for every battle you get yourself in. Well...
Anyway, the first enemies in the game are the Little Rexes, little dinosaur-like creature. Most of the enemies you'll be fighting as the Wertehog will be spawns of Dark Gaia, though the exceptions appears to be fueled by Dark Gaia energy as well. Any attack can kill them; preferably, I'd just grab them and "Bowser" them to death.
Anyway, after their deaths, Chip pops up, informing us of the dark, hazy balls of light that shoot out of their bodies. They're called Dark Gaia Force. Gathering them up fills your Unleashed Gauge (think the Kai-o-ken).
Moving along, we come across our second obstacle: another door. To break this gate, as it's set on stairs, you have to do an Aerial Attack (Moves 7-9). One of the steps is set high enough that you have to do a double jump (Just tap the A button twice).
Anyway, after the climb, I bust down the door to the right (with an overhead camera angle, showcasing some of the gorgeous scenery), revealing an area guarded by a group of Little Rexes, accompanied by our next enemy, the Nightmares. They are the basic grunts in the Werehog levels, just as the Egg Fighters are in the day. The way you attack them is a little different: after you take down half of their health, a flaming arrow will appear over their head. From there, you can go over and press B to perform a QTE Sequence. If you get the button prompts right, you'll killed them instantly, as well as earn some bonus points in the process. if you screw up, you'll lose health, while they gain some back. The closer their health is to the halfway, the faster the QTE prompt will be and the bigger bonus points you'll get if you don't screw up.
Anyway, after we've disposed the area of Nightmares and Little Rexes, we're formally introduced to the Chaos Orbs (they look more like diamond, though...). These yellow gems give you EXP, with which you can use to level up. As stated before, I will not use them at any point in this liveblog. Moving on, we're introduced to the Grab Ledges in-level. Just grab 'em with B to get to higher places.
From here, it's just a long sprint to the next obstacle, breaking wooden doors in our path. Along the way, we're informed of the use of the left or right triggers to dash faster. Quite useful, especially in the later levels. After a short sprint, we come across another door. This one, seeing as it's made of stone, can't be broken down with physical force. Luckily, a switch to open it is a couple steps back, obscured by potted plants.
Pressing it reveals our next area, an enclosed part of town guarded by Little Rexes and... the Egg Fighters. No, you can't just one-shot them like you would in the daytime; though they're still easy to defeat, you'll have to fight them the hard way: force.
You can either fight the army of foes... or you can just ignore them and head over to the Pull Lever and grab it with B. This will cause the platform above to activate hovering up and down. From there, I used the Grab Ledge to climb up the small building, jumped onto the platform, and jumped over to the other side of the building complex.
Near the "entranceway" of the building sits the Grab Pole. By grabbing them, you can either use them to climb up to higher elevations or slide them safely to a lower ledge. You can speed up the climbing process by tapping the grab button. Once at the top, it's just a short jog down the hill to another door. Though you can't break it down, seeing as it has a handle, you can force it open by tapping the grab button.
Once opened, yet another battle with the Rexes and the Nightmares. This battle can't be avoided, so you'll have to bust their heads open. After they're gone, the door to a new area will open. Entered, the door will close shut, preventing any chances of back tracking.
This area is just a short pathway leading to a small house, lined by shrubbery. Use the grab ledge to reach the roof. The roof leads to a wide field, filled to the brim with Rexes and Nightmares. You can either fight them or evade them. At the other side of the park lies another house. A couple jumps to the roof later, I come across a narrow pathway. By "narrow", I mean "tightrope-narrow". You'll have to use to cross over a deep pool of water. As the Werehog, you still can't swim worth a damn; you'll drown instantly if you fall in. You can always do bunny hops if you're having trouble crossing obstacles like this.
Once at the other side of the "death water", I come across a Egg Fighter skulking around in a small field. Once disposed of, I hit the Point Marker, at which time, five Little Frights appear before a stone door blocked by dark fire. They're basically hovering Rexes with Homing Attacks instead of headbutts. The best way to get rid of them is grab a pair of them and "Bowser" them at the other Frights. After killing the first five, five more Red Frights appear. They're just that: red Little Frights. Same procedure: grab 'em, Bowser 'em. Done and done. Destroying them finally disperses the Gaia Flame, revealing that the door is a Handle Door.
Forcing 'em open, I found myself in the middle of a cul-de-sac, guarded by Rexes, Nightmares and their leader, the Deep Nightmare. They're bigger, purpler and hardier than their normal counterparts, Unlike the regular Nightmares, they'll actually block your attacks; a strong punch combo will force their guard down. From there, they're disposed of in the same manner as the Nightmares.
After getting rid of them (because they'll just make the next part harder), I come across a stone door (labeled "Seaside Parlor") that can only be opened when the jewels are put back in their pedestals. One of the jewels, a red one is found nearby, behind a wooden door. The other, a green jewel, is hidden in the lefthand house furthest from the door.
After the jewels are replaced in their proper spots, the door opens. From there, it's just a short climb up the ledges before I found myself face-to-face with an Egg Fighter standing before a cliffface, with certain death via drowning awaiting those who slip and fall.
In order to cross over to the next island, I must use the tightwalks, Grab Ledges, Climb Poles and Swing Poles as well as the Darkbats, which are basically grabbing targets and can't even directly harm you. It wasn't as hard as it sound, thanks to the fact that you can hang onto the sides of the tightwalk and shimmy along it.
Once on solid ground on the other island, I came across an Egg Fighter guarding a Handle Door. This one had a shield, though it was nothing a punch combo couldn't break through. Once destroyed, I threw the door open and, after a short jog down a pathway, made it to the final Point Marker of the stage.
Standing before me was a door opened by a Lever. I checked the nearby object for anything valuable. From them, I found a Power Shield (doubles defense), a Super Claw (double attack power) and a Shield Charge (refills the Shield Gauge). I opened the door and found myself in the same area that Tails was in the cutscene.
The area was covered in Rexes and Nightmares. The spawns of Dark Gaia were led by the creature known as the Dark Titan, or just Titan for short. They're the miniboss enemies in the nighttime stages; as such, they are pretty tough. Even with all the powerups available on hand, they still put up a pretty tough fight. Taking them is just like with the Nightmares; as of this runthrough, though, I will be using the Action Command method to take these bad boys out.
After finally disposing of them, the Goal Ring appears.
The score for the Werehog stages is graded by Time, Rings Collected, Enemy Defeated (includes Bonus Points earned from QTE attacks), Combos Used and Various Environment Objects Crushed. For this run, I got an A, with a score of 226680.
Skipping the following cutscene, we move on to Tornado Defense Act 1...