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Let's criticise classic Sonic gameplay. Or criticize, if you prefer.

#106 User is offline TheInvisibleSun 

Posted 16 June 2016 - 05:19 PM

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I might have posted this before a long time ago, but I've always wanted to see loops that behaved differently depending on whether Sonic was rolling or not.

#107 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 15 September 2017 - 05:39 PM

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Thought it would be in good justice to bump this topic, now that Mania has been revealed and has been out for roughly a month for people to play with and analyze it. (Goes without saying that Mania "spoilers" are below.)

In particular, one complaint I've been seeing recently has been the accusation that the time limit is unnecessary, due to people getting constant deaths caused by time overs in Mania. While I do understand the complaints --I'll admit that I myself have also received several time overs during my first Mania playthrough, especially with the later stages-- I also do feel that I've rarely if ever had this problem in the previous classic Sonic games (even in S3&K, only a few levels --Marble Garden, Carnival Night, Sandopolis, and Death Egg in particular-- stuck out to me as being marathon levels). I'd argue that the time limit isn't so much the problem than it is the length of Mania's levels (most of the levels in the game are significantly larger, being similar in size to Sonic 3&K if not more) and the nature of the bosses (a large amount of them are of the "wait for an opening" style, which I'll address in a bit).

One obvious solution would just be to make a more balanced array of levels of varying lengths; but I do wonder if adding a sort of "time" monitor powerup that shaved one minute or two off the clock would also be serviceable solution. I think, that could definitely help make time attack speedruns a bit more interesting, in regards to planning your route.

Then there's Mania's bosses, which seem to be hit-and-miss for quite a fair amount of people. Largely due to several of their designs prohibiting players from allowing them to be damaged directly, and thus requiring players to either follow a specific strategy to defeat them or having to constantly wait for an opening. The result are bosses that the player not only can't attack as frequently as you can in the other classic titles (which, given the fast paced nature of Sonic gameplay, is kinda expected); but due to their long nature is also the culprit for the aforementioned Time Over results deaths and complaints about the Time Over mechanics. This is absolutely a valid complaint but I do think some of the bosses make up for this by going for a more unique approach in their thematic design and requiring some intuition to defeat, as opposed to just frequently ramming them. That of which I think is a bit necessary in regards to taking S3&K approach of having bosses at the end of every act, as I do think a fair amount of the bosses in S3&K can end up feeling a bit repetitive in design, and not really taking advantage of the level theme.

#108 User is offline Lapper 

Posted 15 September 2017 - 05:57 PM

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View PostYeow, on 15 September 2017 - 05:39 PM, said:

but I do wonder if adding a sort of "time" monitor powerup that shaved one minute or two off the clock would also be serviceable solution.

I had the same idea!

I feel this would be a perfect solution.

#109 User is offline AeroGP 

Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:44 PM

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Another possibility would be to simply allow the player to toggle the time limit on or off in the Options menu, or even change the time limit to something other than 10 minutes. Just make sure there's an "arcade" mode that infers the preferred menu settings the game expects you to play on.

#110 User is offline Lapper 

Posted 16 September 2017 - 08:13 AM

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View PostAeroGP, on 15 September 2017 - 10:44 PM, said:

Another possibility would be to simply allow the player to toggle the time limit on or off in the Options menu, or even change the time limit to something other than 10 minutes. Just make sure there's an "arcade" mode that infers the preferred menu settings the game expects you to play on.

I feel it would have to be a solution that applies to everyone, which monitors would. It'd be a bit odd for a classic Sonic game with some people playing 'easy explore mode'. I'd prefer the abilty to explore more to be a reward granted by the act of exploration in the first place. Gives you something to push for, balances the time difficulty for those who play linearly & those who explore automatically, and gives you the satisfaction of finding extra time.

#111 User is offline AeroGP 

Posted 16 September 2017 - 10:37 AM

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View PostLapper, on 16 September 2017 - 08:13 AM, said:

It'd be a bit odd for a classic Sonic game with some people playing 'easy explore mode'.


Howso? It's what a lot of people on this very forum have wanted for a very long time.

View PostLapper, on 16 September 2017 - 08:13 AM, said:

I'd prefer the abilty to explore more to be a reward granted by the act of exploration in the first place. Gives you something to push for, balances the time difficulty for those who play linearly & those who explore automatically, and gives you the satisfaction of finding extra time.


These are not mutually-exclusive ideas.

#112 User is offline TheInvisibleSun 

Posted 16 September 2017 - 10:58 AM

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What if checkpoints gave extra time?

#113 User is offline Lapper 

Posted 16 September 2017 - 11:48 AM

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View PostAeroGP, on 16 September 2017 - 10:37 AM, said:

Howso? It's what a lot of people on this very forum have wanted for a very long time.

People wanted more time to explore sure, we're discussing how the time should be given. To put things simply, I feel there should be a timelimit as there always has been as it promotes people to learn to go fast through stages. However, if you want to explore, doing so will reward you with more time to do more of exactly that.

View PostAeroGP, on 16 September 2017 - 10:37 AM, said:

Lapper said:

I'd prefer the abilty to explore more to be a reward granted by the act of exploration in the first place. Gives you something to push for, balances the time difficulty for those who play linearly & those who explore automatically, and gives you the satisfaction of finding extra time.

These are not mutually-exclusive ideas.

Are you saying you can get those same benefits with no time limit?

#114 User is offline HedgeHayes 

Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:20 PM

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I defend the time limit, but it's true it was established when Sonic games had a much shorter levels. 10 minutes is ok if even a quite slow run takes you just 5 of them, but those 5 mins are sometimes spent in Mania just for the quick route if you stop to get some giant rings or extra goodies on your way, specially in acts with heavily time-consuming bosses or during an inexperienced playthrough, like your first run or a newbie's game who doesn't get used to Sonic's playstyle easily. I personally think this game's a little too long to be played on a single run even when going super soon in the playthrough. I think we're pointing to a balance problem between level design and time limit, not to the time limit itself being a problem.

Btw, I got a lot of Time Overs on my first runs (yes, plural), and I wasn't worried because I had a lot of extra lives to spare and no need to make a perfect run (I only had this need on 8-bit Sonic 1). Losing a life because the boss was abusively time-consuming, on the other hand, bothered me quite a lot, and I hate Metal Sonic boss ordeal because it takes a lot longer than going through the act to reach there. It's also the only place where going super is bad because Super forms send Silver mechas to high and don't hit Metal Sonic (in my runs, at least).

#115 User is offline AeroGP 

Posted 17 September 2017 - 04:27 PM

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View PostLapper, on 16 September 2017 - 11:48 AM, said:

People wanted more time to explore sure, we're discussing how the time should be given. To put things simply, I feel there should be a timelimit as there always has been as it promotes people to learn to go fast through stages. However, if you want to explore, doing so will reward you with more time to do more of exactly that.

[...] Are you saying you can get those same benefits with no time limit?


Collect-athons come to mind, such as Donkey Kong Country 2.

The point of exploring is to find something. If all you're finding is more time to find more time to find more time to [repeat ad nauseum], that's going to get old fast. And if there is something else worth looking for, most people are going to find the time limit a hindrance to that, rather than something that gives it more meaning.

In other words, exploration is a commitment that often comes at the expense of simply making it to the end of the level.

Furthermore, there a times when a player just wants to fool around without particularly looking to "accomplish" something. (But not necessarily via debug mode)
This post has been edited by AeroGP: 17 September 2017 - 04:30 PM

#116 User is offline Okamikurainya 

Posted 18 September 2017 - 04:35 PM

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View PostAeroGP, on 17 September 2017 - 04:27 PM, said:

The point of exploring is to find something. If all you're finding is more time to find more time to find more time to [repeat ad nauseum], that's going to get old fast. And if there is something else worth looking for, most people are going to find the time limit a hindrance to that, rather than something that gives it more meaning.


If I'm understanding it right, this isn't what Lapper is suggesting at all. The Time Monitors are more similar to the air bubbles than a goal in their own right. The monitors would allow you to KEEP on exploring, not for more Time Monitors, but for the things the Time Monitors may allow you to reach.

#117 User is offline AeroGP 

Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:40 AM

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View PostOkamikurainya, on 18 September 2017 - 04:35 PM, said:

If I'm understanding it right, this isn't what Lapper is suggesting at all. The Time Monitors are more similar to the air bubbles than a goal in their own right. The monitors would allow you to KEEP on exploring, not for more Time Monitors, but for the things the Time Monitors may allow you to reach.


Yes, hence the second part of my quote:

View PostAeroGP, on 17 September 2017 - 04:27 PM, said:

[...] And if there is something else worth looking for, most people are going to find the time limit a hindrance to that, rather than something that gives it more meaning.


The reason people don't like the time limit is because it gets in the way of doing things that don't have anything to do with completing the level. Adding temporary means of alleviating this obstacle will not satisfy. Some would rather stay in the level as long as they want without negotiation.

This is why, as @Yeow mentioned, people call it "unnecessary" as opposed to "unfair."
This post has been edited by AeroGP: 19 September 2017 - 10:42 AM

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