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KingK's Sonic the Hedgehog retrospective.

#16 User is offline Flygon 

Posted 27 October 2017 - 08:59 PM

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Whew, that was quite worth going through.

I'd enjoy seeing his thoughts regarding the Master System/Game Gear titles at some point, but I can very much understand why he wouldn't.

#17 User is offline Jayextee 

Posted 28 October 2017 - 05:42 AM

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View PostTadashi, on 11 September 2017 - 05:33 AM, said:

I feel like this "wah, the classic games don't let me go fast all the time" complaint is getting a bit stale.


QFT

KingK is almost single-minded with this, and inconsistent about when he's going to praise the games for platforming; or condemn them. I like that he concludes Sonic 3 and/or Knuckles is overrated, but I dunno about his commentary overall; we're going to have to agree to disagree about the homogenisation of the zones being overall a good thing, for example. Video ends with "bawwwww, people love Sonic 3 and attack Sonic Adventure 2" though, so I'm just going to question the man's taste.

And this is coming from a guy who still loves the original first game over the rest. I'm very (self) aware that I too come from an uncommon POV on this one.
This post has been edited by Jayextee: 28 October 2017 - 05:43 AM

#18 User is offline Sean Evans 

Posted 28 October 2017 - 10:26 PM

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Some of his thoughts I agreed with, some I didn't, but I can't say I really gelled with these all that well.

One big issue for me was how all over the place it kind of was. I liked the Retropolis vids well enough because they hung on single topics, linked to stages and did them in a reasonable and consistent way. Then when he called back a point, I had a perfect reference to what was being said. Here, he just kind of bounced from thought to thought dependent on where the script lead him, and that's not the "wrong way" ro do it or anything. But when he would make a point about how the half pipes in Collision Chaos have no purpose, then almost immediately after talk about the time travel, I didn't feel his point was strong enough, and I kind of disregarded it.

The Sonic 3K video was better, but it still suffered from this. And yeah, the rant at the end...was that really necessary? It kind of warped the video from being about Sonic 3 to being about how we should embrace every Sonic game and stop praising the originals because they have flaws. Especially when most of his complaints range from design limitations or dated aspects that plague ANY game from that era. Just felt so...tacked on. Didn't add anything to the video...just kind of felt pompous and a bit bias.

These were interesting little vids though, he made some decent points I never really thought of.

also he calls it "hy-drah-sitee", so his video is immediately invalidated

#19 User is offline JaxTH 

Posted 28 October 2017 - 11:34 PM

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I'll admit I hated him calling Hydro City by the wrong name.

#20 User is offline Axion 

Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:28 AM

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I really liked his analysis, and while I can't share or understand his love for modern Sonic games, I agree with some of the points he made.

It's true that Sonic isn't all about speed, but I think defensive fans can go too far the other way. A big part of Sonic isn't that Sonic is fast, but that Sonic can go fast, and that managing to go fast is rewarding. What makes classic Sonic particularly addictive is the micro-reward and micro-failure structure given by the combination of Sonic's physics, and the path structure of the levels. So I would say that while Sonic is also a good platformer series, what makes it uniquely Sonic and gives it an edge over Mario is its physics. I'm not shitting on the Mario games (I suck at them anyway), but I feel like they're more one tier in their reward structure; you're either hurt or you're not. Sonic turns movement itself into a reward in a clever way. The creators of later Sonic games misinterpreted the core concept to be about being fast, but the core of classic Sonic is acceleration and momentum. In many of the 3D Sonic games he accelerates instantly and there's no gameplay to the speed.

The best levels play with and utilize Sonic's physics. Upward facing slopes cause you to gain height if you run and jump off the end of them, whereas downward facing slopes cause you to gain speed, jumping into slopes when you shouldn't will slow you down and then you'll look like a doofus, and the difference between Sonic running and Sonic rolling has to be considered at times. I think his point about Green Hill nailing the formula and then nervously dropping it for Marble is mostly correct, though I don't think that makes Marble a bad zone, it just makes it more like something Mario could have done anyway.

So I think with Sonic 2 they managed to crystallize that formula with a run of three fast zones and then introduced more and more platform elements as things continued. Chemical Plant introduces platforming, but it's done in a way so that it doesn't break the flow, depending on how good you are. Everyone remembers the part in Act II with the moving blocks underwater (assuming you don't use the secret path), but players who know you can jump higher after a spin dash up an incline can utilize the helix shaped paths to fly up to the top of the area and bypass laboriously jumping from to block (I can't help but feel this is deliberate by design). Aquatic Ruin has a very clear two part structure, with a speedy top path and a micro-failure bottom path with more arduous flow breaking platforming.

After these kind of flow zones, the game fully transitions to a platform focused run of zones, beginning with Casino Night. The important thing about that zone and why it's one of the best platforming focused zones is that they found a way to make the player slow down that is actually fun instead of just sticking things in Sonic's way that he has to tap his foot at until they're done. Unlike waiting around for traps to set and blocks to move, Casino Night has lots of fun springs and bumpers to bounce off of. The bumpers might hold you up, but they do so in an intrinsically fun way because you are constantly in control when you fight to bounce off them in a way that gets past them. You also might slow down in order to land in the slot machines, and again we see micro-failure and micro-reward theory in action. I can see why this zone struck a chord with him.

Using my own theory I can concur with what he's saying, but to expand on that, I think that Sonic 2 is the most Sonic game; it plays to a formula relatively unique to Sonic and utilizes it in a well thought out way. Sonic 3 and Knuckles might be a better game/games overall due to its greater number of features, and more epic themes but I do feel like something very pure came to its pinnacle in zones like Emerald, Chemical, and Aquatic Ruin. I would say that when Sonic 2 does become a less unique platformer the execution isn't quite to the level of Sonic 3 (with the exception of Casino and perhaps Hill Top), so in a way the perfect Sonic game would be a combination of Sonic 2 flow zones and Sonic 3 platforming zones. I think one of the reasons I like Hydrocity Zone so much is that it lands smack bang in the middle of that formula combining the Sonic 3 sense of scale with a Sonic 2 path structure, whereas on the other end something like Marble Garden gets lost in its own scope.
This post has been edited by Axion: 30 October 2017 - 12:32 AM

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