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The spindash was a mistake

#46 User is offline High Fidelity 

Posted 28 November 2018 - 01:21 PM

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View PostAerosol, on 28 November 2018 - 10:42 AM, said:

I asked a couple for times how Sonic 3 would be different if it were designed without the spindash in mind precisely for the reasons you're criticising my argument.

Shadow the Hedgehog was a mistake. I like the shooting, generally, but it would be a better game if it condensed what was good about Sonic Heroes' character switching mechanic into a similar one that highlighted the characters unique abilities while refining the basic movement mechanics exemplified by the 'speed' characters in Sonic Heroes.

There. Now somebody do that for Sonic 3 without the spindash so I can hear an argument that's not just "I don't like the spindash being available cause I'm tempted to use it even though I don't like it". How, exactly, does Sonic 3 change without the spindash? How does even Sonic 2 change without it? And how is Sonic 1 made different just by making the spindash available?

To say that the spindash was a mistake is to say that Sonic 3 is worse than Sonic 1, since the former was designed with the move in mind from the beginning. That might be the opinion OP has but I want to hear the argument of how Sonic 3 is worse. And "I just don't like it as much" is not a compelling argument. That's just a statement of preference in which case...ok. There's literally nothing to discuss.

Also it's arguable that the original premise of the game was using the environment to go fast. I remember Naka saying something like he made Sonic fast cause he hates how slow Mario was and he wanted to just get the first level over with quickly since he knew it well. The spindash then is a natural extension of that idea since, once you know Green Hill well, the spindash can get you through quick as shit. Quicker than you ever could without it. And with the drop dash? Even faster. I wonder if OP thinks the drop dash was a mistake too.


Fixed :thumbsup:

+1 The fact that the S2 was designed with the spindash in mind means it's no mistake. You may not like it, but it's not a mistake. I have a feeling the OP has a different meaning for his use of the word mistake though, and that's where the confusion lies.
This post has been edited by High Fidelity: 28 November 2018 - 01:21 PM

#47 User is offline BouncekDeLemos 

Posted 28 November 2018 - 02:23 PM

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View PostAerosol, on 28 November 2018 - 01:01 PM, said:

View PostBouncekDeLemos, on 28 November 2018 - 12:18 PM, said:

I don't think there's ever a way to argue something subjective as something objective. Lol


Ok? I'm asking for a compelling argument, not an objective one.

Quote

With that said, one simple added move does change the dynamic of everything via the natural evolution of each sequel, regardless of a person's particular play style.

Whether or not that person uses it is a different story, but the way the levels are made, they're structured around the entire moveset for the player to fully utilize. Some players may find that intrusive and don't like change, probably because the effect moves have on the level design. Example would be that in Sonic 1, most large slopes fall from the top left to bottom right (Marble Zone, Spring Yard Zone and Star Light Zone come to mind), encouraging movement to go forward, possibly with the regular spin attack relying on momentum to gain speed and to help damage badniks. Sonic 2 is a bit reversed, with the slopes going bottom left to the right up more, encouraging the spindash. If a player chooses not to use the spindash, it may be a bit more difficult since they'd probably have to rely more on momentum and springboards to go forward, maybe even more so than in Sonic 1.

And yes, I say "maybe" because there's no one side or the other on this. Everybody has a different way they go about playing the game, with a different skillset and play style.

Sonic 3 (and Knuckles) is a bit more harder for me to argue since it's a mixed bag, it's much like Sonic 2 but with longer chasms and a teeny bit more weaponized badniks (encouraging more use of the instashield rather more than anything)


I'm not really disputing any of this. I'm asking for an example, like I gave with Shadow the Hedgehog. You've given some with Sonic 2, and conceded that Sonic 3's usage of the spindash isn't really problematic at all. If you want to say that the spindash influences level design in a way that's detrimental to the ethos of the game, Sonic 3 is the one to criticize though. Have you got some pointed criticisms of Sonic 3 level design that would be solved by not having the spindash?


I personally don't know what you find compelling. Apologies if I've assumed you were looking for facts in this ocean of opinions. That's my bad.

I did state it's a bit difficult for me to pinpoint any faults to Sonic 3, but I did state it's similar to Sonic 2, just with added stuffs. Take that what you will. Sorry if my argument isn't compelling, I'm not really trying to give examples on how good and bad something is, or even how it's a detriment or not to level design, but rather stating what I perceive as fact as to why it is the way it is and what I assumed people to like within the way levels are. I personally have no say since I don't really care one way or the other, and I guess the reason why nobody else is giving a good answer is that they may feel the same way(?)

In either case... again, I'm sorry that I'm at no help. lol

#48 User is offline Aerosol 

Posted 28 November 2018 - 02:31 PM

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Compelling as in it makes me think. I considered your "Sonic 2 is more uphill and invites spindash usage" and I see what you're saying, but I don't agree that it's a detriment to the level design because I barely notice when I'm playing Spinlocke* Sonic 2. But it was moderately compelling.

I want more of that.

#49 User is offline Naean 

Posted 28 November 2018 - 04:00 PM

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View PostXCubed, on 23 November 2018 - 09:52 AM, said:

Show me a platforming game where the protagonist does not gain extra moves in the sequel. Sonic 1 was not the end all be all of Sonic's moveset. Unlike the drop dash (which is awesome), the spindash didn't replace a move that was there before. The move added to Sonic's true definition. However, the Sonic 1 ports with spindash are strange indeed. It's a very strange revision, but they figured they would add it for those used to it in every other Sonic game in existence.

While it is true that many - if not most platforming games - introduce more moves/abilities in sequels, I don't think that they are always necessarily good additions, in my opinion.

Specifically, I personally see Crash Bandicoot 3 as an example of over-egging the pudding when it comes to different abilities. While I appreciate the desire to take Crash's existing moves and expand upon them (Such as altering the spin attack so that you can glide with it.), one of my major gripes with Crash Bandicoot 3 (Another major gripe I have being the over-reliance on non-platforming gimmick levels.) is that after defeating all bosses and unlocking all abilities, Crash goes from being reasonably flexible in movement to being an over-powered character. Adding insult to injury, a lot of the game's level design does not compensate for this, and as a result, this makes a significant portion of the game's platforming levels way too easy. This is most evident in the more open (Non-side scrolling.) areas, where Crash can take out many enemies at an overly-safe distance using the wumpa fruit bazooka, and spin glide over/around chunks of level design hazards with little repercussions for the most part.

Crash's moveset is, in my eyes, most optimal in Crash Bandicoot 2. It expanded Crash's moveset from the previous game, but not to such an extent that Crash felt broken, and I feel that they hit a sweet spot here. Crash can now crouch, crawl, perform a high jump from a crouch, get a short burst of speed by sliding (As well as slide into a high jump.), and body slam to destroy some otherwise unbreakable crates. He's not an overly beefed up powerhouse however, and much of the level design (Especially in the latter half of the game, and also most gem/skull routes.) cannot be so easily dodged in large chunks unless you're an at least somewhat experienced player.


Crash Bandicoot tangent aside...

The Spin Dash is interesting in that Sonic 2 (Despite being the game that introduced the Spin Dash.), as far as I am aware, can still be beaten in its entirety without using the Spin Dash even once, if you take the right routes and utilise momentum effectively.

Retroactively adding the Spin Dash to Sonic 1, in my opinion, only works optimally in Green Hill Zone, Star Light Zone, and some of Spring Yard Zone. Marble Zone and Labyrinth Zone are quite blocky Zones, and outside of a few exceptions, I cannot think of many areas where the Spin Dash could be utilised effectively in these Zones. Their terrain is largely antithetical to the Spin Dash ability; usually I find Spin Dashing in these Zones is almost entirely meaningless, as it typically leads to either dashing into a hazard, or swiftly coming to an abrupt halt via a wall or block. Furthermore, with correct timing and practice, using the Spin Dash in Final Zone's boss battle can make dodging the electricity balls easier, so much easier in fact that I'd say it slightly reduces the tension of threat that they pose when you are unable to Spin Dash.

In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the Spin Dash's relevancy is much more notable. This is clear as early as Angel Island Zone (The first Zone of the game no less.) as it puts reduced emphasis than its predecessors on placing breakable walls or rocks near to significant inclines. (Which would be used to break obstacles using just a ground roll.) In fact, the Spin Dash here is more than just notable, it's sometimes outright mandatory. There are numerous occasions in Angel Island Zone where, without Knuckles' strength, Fire Shield or Super/Hyper Form abilities, it is outright impossible to break certain large vertical rock obstacles unless the Spin Dash is used.

It is made even more clear that Sonic 3 & Knuckles is designed with the Spin Dash in mind, when you reach Lava Reef Zone later in the game. There is a gimmick in this Zone, an elevator, which can only be moved by Spin Dashing on it, which moves the elevator's wheels along its rails. Unlike the large vertical rocks in Angel Island Zone, this gimmick is exclusively passable only by using the Spin Dash, unless the player utilises glitches (Typically with Super/Hyper Forms.) to bypass the gimmick through unintended means.

In my opinion, the Spin Dash was not a mistake. To me, the Spin Dash is a move that is at its most interesting state when it is used to achieve results which differ from using, for example, Sonic 1-style momentum conservation methods. I think that there is great potential, for future level gimmicks and boss battles, to expand upon different consequences and outcomes occurring depending on whether a Spin Dash is or isn't used. Something that I think is worth exploring in a Sonic game is the idea of non-spindash areas in level design, inspired by the 'no-chanting-allowed' robots in Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. You could first introduce the player to a gimmick that is easily passable using the Spin Dash, and then later in the game, present the same gimmick but with the Spin Dash ability temporarily revoked, which may encourage the player to think just that little bit more on how to utilise 'raw' momentum in order to pass the gimmick. (If they don't wish to try passing said gimmick, they should be able to take a different and less challenging route, but they may miss out on some Shield power-ups or a Giant Ring as a result.)


When it comes to moves somewhat similar to the Spin Dash, such as the modern Boost ability, I personally wouldn't agree that the Boost itself is bad either, even in a 2D. Sonic game. Rather, to me, the Boost's implementation is sometimes the weak factor. Why? Well...

While I think Sonic 3D Blast: Flickies' Island is a flawed, clunky-to-control game, I will however praise its implementation of the Homing Attack. In this game, the Homing Attack is not a built-in ability of Sonic, instead it must be earned by acquiring a Gold Shield, and the Homing Attack ability is lost if Sonic takes a hit, losing the Gold Shield. This is what I consider to be an ideal implementation of the Boost: make it a Shield ability, not one Sonic has by default. Additionally, I would strip away the mechanic of collected Rings and destroyed Badniks adding to a Boost gauge, and would in fact remove the Boost gauge entirely. Instead, I would make the Boost ability 'infinite' in the sense that, provided Sonic has the Shield, he can perform the Boost. However, if the player is reckless and tries to "Boost to win", the level design would be structured in a way that would punish such behaviour, with reckless Boosting resulting in hitting an environment hazard or a Badnik hazard, which would remove the Boost Shield and thus remove the ability to Boost. Of course, the Boost ability would be lost if the player picked up a different Elemental Shield too, which may also happen if the player mindlessly Boosts through such an item monitor!

Furthermore, much like the Spin Dash, the Boost should be most enjoyable to use when utilised thoughtfully on multiple playthroughs. Notably, it would include the process of thinking "When should I not Boost?", in order to dodge hazards swiftly and effectively, while also not Boosting into walls to keep the action going smoothly. My preference of the Boost ability's design would also be to dial back the amount of speed it grants Sonic to move at, perhaps make it a tad faster than the Drop-Dash ability in Sonic Mania, but not as fast as the Boost is in Sonic Generations. Looking back at the Spin Dash-specific Lava Reef Zone gimmick, in a similar fashion, it would be cool to have the Boost allow Sonic to access optional routes and interact with certain gimmicks differently. Perhaps one such gimmick could be a giant fan, of which its strong air flow can only be pushed past with the Boost ability, rewarding players for finding a Boost Shield earlier and also for keeping said Shield.

I believe Sonic's modern abilities such as the Boost and Homing Attack have some pretty solid untapped potential in both 2D. and 3D., which I think could be achieved if they were implemented with deeper thought, and not often utilised in more vanilla, shallow depth level design.


The Spin Dash for Classic Sonic has sadly lost a lot of relevancy in some of the Modern Sonic games. This is most notable in Sonic Forces, where multiple paths in every Classic Sonic level are typically littered with generic speed booster placement, rendering the Spin Dash not as useful. This goes from bad to worse when you also add the fact that Classic Sonic in general has no proper momentum physics going on in Sonic Forces. This has been previously explained thoroughly on this forum, so I don't feel the need to elaborate further, besides this I also went slightly off-topic enough already by bringing up the Boost, although I do think it was worth mentioning in relation to the Spin Dash.
This post has been edited by Naean: 28 November 2018 - 05:44 PM

#50 User is offline BouncekDeLemos 

Posted 28 November 2018 - 04:38 PM

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View PostAerosol, on 28 November 2018 - 02:31 PM, said:

Compelling as in it makes me think. I considered your "Sonic 2 is more uphill and invites spindash usage" and I see what you're saying, but I don't agree that it's a detriment to the level design because I barely notice when I'm playing Spinlocke* Sonic 2. But it was moderately compelling.

I want more of that.


It's only detrimental to the people who perceive it as such IMO. Well... It's not much of a detriment as much as a just a change. I think it bears repeating that the spindash was one of the things that was implemented due to beginners in Sonic 1 having trouble with some steep hills and the loop de loops. It wasn't the only reason though, level designed also had loops placed on hills in Sonic 2 rather than next to them to hills, but it also had uses for things in 2 player mode like quick gains on the other player during a race.

What ever it's use, it was made to pull the player forward, and help quell some of the concerns people had with the first game. However, (and this is just an assumption) people who see it as detriment are probably the ones who enjoyed the overall structure and physics usage of the levels of the first game, and in turn how that made full use of the those particular design elements. Changing one element such as a move, whether the usage is made mandatory or optional, can change the whole dynamic of how a game's structured. Sonic 3 again I can't pinpoint, as the spindash can be perceived as a tool (unlock doors in Marble Garden Zone) or something shoehorned-in to open a deadwall which in both usage and execution does stop the momentum. Then again, Sonic 1 had a lot of momentum stops too.

I guess Sonic 3 is just a hodgepodge of both Sonic 1 and Sonic 2's strengths and weaknesses that seems to cancel each other out that also just eludes me. lol That could be due to some of the pullback Sonic 2 may have gotten.

I think what it all boils down to is Sega doing a balancing act by both listening to fans while trying to create something new.

#51 User is offline Aerosol 

Posted 28 November 2018 - 04:55 PM

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It's like you said there's not going to be any definitive proof of anything.

Put another way, you pointed out an objective difference between Sonic 1 and 2's level design and attributed that to the spindash. You went further to suggest that without the spindash, Sonic 2 may not have had those trends, which end up negatively impacting the game. That's how you make a compelling argument. Whether I agree or not is a different matter. And like I said, I don't agree in the case of Sonic 2 but I get it.

#52 User is offline HEDGESMFG 

Posted 29 November 2018 - 12:48 PM

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I've beaten Sonic 1 both with and without the spindash ever since they added it to Sonic Jam back on the Saturn.

I try not to ever play any version of Sonic 1 that doesn't have it any more. Been playing the classics since 91.

No thank you. The spindash is a tool which gives me extra methods of control over my speed/momentum. I will always take this over having 'less' control.

#53 User is offline Hez 

Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:07 PM

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This topic is very interesting. I'd love to see a hack where Sonic 1 physics/sprites/etc are put into Sonic 2 just to see how different the game-play is.

REQUEST: Sonic 1 sprites/physics/titlecards in Sonic 2 plz.

EDIT: http://www.hacking-c...org/?hacks/64/x

Someone already did it. Interesting play through. I...actually somewhat agree with this.
This post has been edited by Hez: 01 December 2018 - 09:50 PM

#54 User is offline SystemsReady 

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I feel that the spindash rounded :v: out Sonic as a concept.

Rolling isn't very utilized in Sonic 1 and so it kind of feels like an afterthought, something tacked on because "how do we make him more hedgehog".
  • All of the levels except for Green Hill and parts of Star Light are pretty much platforming (jumping) based, with few opportunities for going above a walking speed for longer than a couple of seconds;
  • Which means that the player is moving very slowly most of the game;
  • But the roll can only be used if the player hits down while walking, which you are not doing if you're jumping;
  • And also the rolling state handles terribly at low speeds, making it even more pointless. Somehow in most cases the rolling is slower than just f***ing walking, making it even more inferior.


If you want Sonic to not handle like a drunk, very slow child and also want to get to the end of the act with 50 rings, you just don't roll ever. You go slowly and look out for enemies, that is if you're not already jumping between platforms and dodging other hazards. Not a lot of running in Sonic 1.

The spindash beefs it up by giving you a speed boost and also making rolling easier to do in jumping-based layouts, because it can be started from a stop instead of having the movement prerequisite. This means that Sonic can roll even in levels where he isn't running very much, and the speed boost means that the rolling status also handles better. This also means that the player has more flexibility to decide when they want to get rolling.

...It is of course also very useful for occasional cheap enemy placement (especially in Sonic 2). :v:

#55 User is online ICEknight 

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View PostSystemsReady, on 08 December 2018 - 04:14 AM, said:

If you want Sonic to not handle like a drunk, very slow child and also want to get to the end of the act with 50 rings, you just don't roll ever.
Dude, you don't know how to Sonic. :colbert:

#56 User is offline JamesRock7 

Posted 31 January 2019 - 08:15 PM

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After reading all this thread, and considering what some of you (Naean, BouncekDeLemos) maybe it could be fun if downgrading the characters for not using the spindash (as Hez previously said, and also adding alternatives to cross certain sections like Marble Garden yoyo-wheels or Lava Reef elevators), or granting to the use of the spindash a cost (10 or 20 rings for example). Maybe some designer here could make a hack likewise (or it is already done).

But a mayor question for me is how it would have been if the entire Sonic franchise would have strengthened more the momentum mechanics instead of its speed with the momentum relevance sacrifice it maybe did. I am talking about a true Sonic 1 successor, not Sonic 2 - with different emphasis, not the more soft-paced Sonic CD. Will it be funnier? I don't know. But it is interesting to think about it.

#57 User is offline JamesRock7 

Posted 31 January 2019 - 08:31 PM

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View PostHez, on 29 November 2018 - 01:07 PM, said:

This topic is very interesting. I'd love to see a hack where Sonic 1 physics/sprites/etc are put into Sonic 2 just to see how different the game-play is.

REQUEST: Sonic 1 sprites/physics/titlecards in Sonic 2 plz.

EDIT: http://www.hacking-c...org/?hacks/64/x

Someone already did it. Interesting play through. I...actually somewhat agree with this.

It is amusing indeed. Thank you very much for the link :)


#58 User is offline Fadaway 

Posted 31 January 2019 - 09:29 PM

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When Sonic 2 came out, I had the same reaction. I loved figuring out I could break walls in S1 with momentum and ballin' it. It was a really special moment figuring that out in S1. Sonic 2 sort of made that type of thing no big deal. But, I am of the opinion the spindash is great and I prefer having it completely. I learned to love it almost immediately.

#59 User is offline Powpuck 

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The ring cost occurred to me once, too, but that would be disproportionate to the unskilled player that wouldn't typically have many rings even if they weren't de facto health, whereas the skilled player would not be really all that affected. At the crux of it, it's the skilled player who's looking for that "catch" to keep things interesting.

The "noob" won't mind inasmuch as it will let them get through the game they spent money on (a fair enough thing). If they want to aspire to ADGQ, that's entirely on them to see a boon for the limiting crutch that it is (or ought to be).

Or maybe factor in the grading system from more recent games where use of "OP" abilities will cause deductions in the players grade. Again something that only completionists and competitive types will actually give a hoot about.

View PostNaean, on 28 November 2018 - 04:00 PM, said:

Something that I think is worth exploring in a Sonic game is the idea of non-spindash areas in level design, inspired by the 'no-chanting-allowed' robots in Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. You could first introduce the player to a gimmick that is easily passable using the Spin Dash, and then later in the game, present the same gimmick but with the Spin Dash ability temporarily revoked, which may encourage the player to think just that little bit more on how to utilise 'raw' momentum in order to pass the gimmick. (If they don't wish to try passing said gimmick, they should be able to take a different and less challenging route, but they may miss out on some Shield power-ups or a Giant Ring as a result.)


What this calls to mind are those spherical enemies from Metroid that home in on Samus when she charges her beam weapon; I can easily see a badnik that'd do likewise to Sonic.

Or maybe something with the terrain, such as soft soil/sand/snow whereupon spindashing will embed Sonic into the ground the longer he revs up. Or perhaps a flinty surface that'd spark and thereby set off explosives that harm Sonic.

#60 User is offline Palas 

Posted 01 February 2019 - 08:59 AM

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View PostPowpuck, on 31 January 2019 - 09:36 PM, said:

The ring cost occurred to me once, too, but that would be disproportionate to the unskilled player that wouldn't typically have many rings even if they weren't de facto health, whereas the skilled player would not be really all that affected. At the crux of it, it's the skilled player who's looking for that "catch" to keep things interesting.

The "noob" won't mind inasmuch as it will let them get through the game they spent money on (a fair enough thing). If they want to aspire to ADGQ, that's entirely on them to see a boon for the limiting crutch that it is (or ought to be).

Or maybe factor in the grading system from more recent games where use of "OP" abilities will cause deductions in the players grade. Again something that only completionists and competitive types will actually give a hoot about.

View PostNaean, on 28 November 2018 - 04:00 PM, said:

Something that I think is worth exploring in a Sonic game is the idea of non-spindash areas in level design, inspired by the 'no-chanting-allowed' robots in Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. You could first introduce the player to a gimmick that is easily passable using the Spin Dash, and then later in the game, present the same gimmick but with the Spin Dash ability temporarily revoked, which may encourage the player to think just that little bit more on how to utilise 'raw' momentum in order to pass the gimmick. (If they don't wish to try passing said gimmick, they should be able to take a different and less challenging route, but they may miss out on some Shield power-ups or a Giant Ring as a result.)


What this calls to mind are those spherical enemies from Metroid that home in on Samus when she charges her beam weapon; I can easily see a badnik that'd do likewise to Sonic.

Or maybe something with the terrain, such as soft soil/sand/snow whereupon spindashing will embed Sonic into the ground the longer he revs up. Or perhaps a flinty surface that'd spark and thereby set off explosives that harm Sonic.


I'm on board with this. I especially like it if you CAN use the spindash, but it hurts you. I don't like arbitrarily taking abilities away from Sonic. And I don't like stuff made for one kind of player either - either it's in everyone's experience in one way or another or it shouldn't be there at all. So missing out on something trivial, but so many ties that it actually affects your survivability, is much better than deducting from grading systems or whatever.

Let's remember: it's okay to die and make different decisions because of it.
This post has been edited by Palas: 01 February 2019 - 09:00 AM

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