Saturday, July 25, 2015

Another Thing About Action Henk

It's official: Action Henk is my new whipping boy. Not the game itself, but its fans who insist this is the best Sonic game since the Genesis days, when it's blatantly not. In fact, the game epitomizes why Sonic has been total shit since 2013 or so.

1) SPEEEEEEEEED! No pressure.

Sheer speed is a major spelling point of the game, and is only achieved through momentum-based movement, like Classic Sonic (more specifically Sonic 1). However, AH in the end incorporates speed very differently from how Sonic does. One uses speed in Action Henk as the main goal, rather than the means to an end.

Speed is effectively all there is (except reclaiming your trophy from Kentony, but that's directly tied to your speed). Platforming is obscured by the loops and chutes, with momentum-aided running jumps being absolutely necessary later on. Story is just as ridiculous as the Pontaff era. Combat is out of the way, with boss battles all being races against an opposing toy even more grotesque than you. 

2) No Annoying side characters? Not really. 

Action Henk has been stated to have "all the rush of a 2D Sonic game, without any of the annoying sidekicks."

Well, Sonic's friends and other supporting characters didn't become annoying and useless until later, and moreso over time. Even Sonic himself became an utterly unlikable character starting with Lost World.  Action Henk's side characters were doomed from the start.

Henk is the sole remotely decent character in the game. While ugly, he has that old Digimon/Toxic Crusaders feel to his design. He is a fine and okay character. The rest of them range from bland to horrifying. I've already shown you the nightmare that is Betsy before, and I don't want to show her off again. On the other hand, I will show you a character who could have been okay:

Afronaut (named "Neil" in the final draft) originally looked way better in the concept art than in the final game.  The final draft of the character didn't work as well. A cel-shading filter would have been very stylish and made him not unbearably grotesque.  There were also some characters who did not make it into the final cut: Stacy (a parody of Paris Hilton) and one in an astronaut suit.  Unlike Honey and Tiara, nobody cares about them. This is because of poor design. None of the characters really stand out (except UGH... Betsy). None have distinct abilities. None have real personality, only ghastly face value.

3) Robotnik/Eggman/Baldy/whatever

Kentony is not threatening in the slightest. His goal is to steal Henk's trophy and make him miserable, just like current Baldy. His threat to conquer the world comes out of nowhere. Kentony is Gaston's skin over Baldy. 

It turns out Henk's development history is much more interesting than the final game. However, I would like to grant the final product with a:

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