I love the classic Sonic games. I made this thread for the sake of learning more about the design choices that go into their gameplay. I used the word 'gameplay' instead of 'games' because there are things that can be criticised in one game but were addressed in another. Eg: Water levels. Though there's nothing wrong either with bringing attention to things that once were bad; it won't hurt the discussion.
So post something you think isn't good in the gameplay of the classic Sonics. You can be analytical if you want, or just have a vent and express yourself.
OR reply to the criticisms of others with agreement, or reasons for disagreement, or perhaps you agree with someone's observation but want to argue that it doesn't matter... etc.
I'll start with something:
The levels are huge and multi-pathed, but often everything looks the same. Think of Marble Garden or Oil Ocean or Carnival Night. It's often hard to label where you are without describing something like "more of the same stuff". It's not always the case; there are some very clear set pieces. For example, Flying Battery has you running inside and outside the ship, Angel Island is also quite good at providing distinct places throughout the zone (though it's certainly not in my favourite zones). Meanwhile, Hydrocity goes both ways. It flips between moving above and below water, but often it feels very samey to me at the same time. Emerald Hill and Green Hill on the other hand both provide recognisably different areas through their simplicity, mainly because their high and low paths are genuinely high = sky and low = underground. But these cases aren't the typical case.
It suggests that the 'ant colony' approach to level design is partly to blame; Mushroom Hill, Metropolis, or Chemical Plant being more good examples.
I'll end by reiterating that this is about poking holes and exploring problems for the fun of learning better ways to design things. It's not about getting defensive over someone bagging out something you like. As I said, I love the classic Sonics, but I also like to explore what's wrong with them in the interest of learning how to design something better.