Boss talk yo. Ok, let me throw some bosses at you. I think these bosses are as good as it gets, so I'm interested in any faults you might identify in them.
Casino Night (especially), Green Hill, Hydrocity Act 2.
The main thing being that the player never had to wait + could always try to attack. Hydrocity wasn't as threatening as the other two, but I admired how it allowed for at least 3 completely different attack styles which each balanced skill and success well.
There are many more bosses I think are very good (ARZ, ICZ2, MHZ1, CPZ), but the three listed above are perfect examples I think. I find literally no faults with them. I don't mind a little bit of downtime in a boss fight, a *little* bit, and only if it is *still* filled with some non-patronising, varied, play to stay alive. Oil Ocean is a good example of the non-patronising part, but it simply takes too long between phases. If it had a faster pace I'd like it. I think LRZ1 is a good example of "can't always attack, but when you can't you still have to get involved".
Bosses I think were simply poor:
Spring Yard, Sandopolis 2, Hill Top, Marble.
But overall we have different feelings about the bosses in general; those that did something different were (mostly) a nice change for me.
Yeow, on 21 July 2015 - 08:37 AM, said:
Given that the (likely) intent for their addition was done as an answer to Mario's suits, I think under that context the elemental shields introduced and used in Sonic 3 & Knuckles were a poor response.
I totally agree with this, except with a really different perspective.
You talk of the shields' protection in terms of "only" and feel that's their biggest issue. I think this part of shields was OP yet compared to their other factors (below), OP shields weren't much of a muchness.
In my opinion, character
was possibly the biggest fault of Sonic's shields when compared to Mario's suits. Shields only feel like tools. That's totally fine, but when you think of Mario's suits with all that character in comparison, you kind of feel that fun that suits just put in your mind. I'm not suggesting Sonic games should have copied that, it would look cheap, but Sonic Colours definitely added character to its powerups and that definitely added appeal to them, and to the game.
I agree that the shields' moves were completely uninspired. The water shield's bounce is the most interesting, but also the most clumsy. They really do feel like they just got thrown in as an answer to Mario.
Regarding protection, Sonic was already god-like with the rings, so +1 hit +1 element protection +1 projectiles protection was too much if the concern was keeping Sonic alive. If instead we consider the player who doesn't want to lose the shield itself, then I would probably feel that much protection is ok. The problem being that I just never saw the shields as a big deal to lose. The lightning shield was nice yes, but again, compare it to Mario. Losing a suit in Mario is a big freaking deal. It manufactures fun. Losing a shield is nowhere near that.
Regarding paths, I've always wondered if the explicit absence of shield-specific paths was a deliberate design feature or a fault, just because it is so explicit. Paths and shields have nothing (nothing deliberate anyway) to do with each other. I honestly liked the way this communicated to me that I was never going to be patronised with a shield. I have (and at that young age, I had already-) had it up to the eyeballs with game design that says "Here's a power" followed by "Must use power to proceed". This makes me feel like I'm watching Home & Away and that the target audience I've made myuself a part of is apparently meant to be stupid. If I collected a shield in Sonic, I knew it was 100% for my enjoyment, not some level designer's lame spark of upcoming non-brilliance.
But having said all that, I must admit that secreting away some paths and making them shield-dependent would have been a good thing. More for the player to lose, more meaning in a shield. Again, Mario 3 set the example and set it well. Shields, like many things Sonic, were rushed and under-developed. I imagine the devs just designed the levels.... then put shields in them. I imagine someone pointed out the potential being missed, and received in response a reminder that Sonic 3 was so hard up for meeting its deadline that it was about to be chopped in half.
So, I would lift the gameplay brought by shields by:
* adding character (somehow, I don't know how).
* adding meaning (they make a bigger difference somehow without being more OP).
* redesign their controls to something that's more fun and interesting (again, haven't thought of how)
* creating paths that require a shield, BUT never making these paths obligatory, nor even obvious.
I am afraid this will kick off a heap of "Yo I want the <element> shield with move X and protection Y!" posts. Keep it about game design people.
This post has been edited by Deef: 21 July 2015 - 10:38 AM