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The Evolution of "Classic" Gameplay. Where to go from here?

#76 User is offline Boxer Hockey 

Posted 20 January 2019 - 05:19 AM

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It's interesting because I found Mania pretty easy as well, but on release I saw no shortage "Sonic games are so hard" comments. Makes you wonder where your experience and the reality meet.

#77 User is offline Prototype 

Posted 20 January 2019 - 05:24 AM

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I think that maybe it's a bit of a learning curve due to the unique momentum physics that other games don't have. Combine that with enemies and obstacles and I can see why someone would think it was hard. But I think that maybe once you've figured that out, as long as you're somewhat decent at platforming games the rest kind of sorts itself out. Level design often holds your hand in these games, and if you miss one path you're bound to fall ass-backwards into another, and given the lack of collectables there's not much need to backtrack unless you're specifically looking for Giant Rings.

#78 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 20 January 2019 - 09:14 AM

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The difficulty of the classic games are a question of memorizing the level layouts and muscle memory more than skillful execution hence why my first playthrough of Mania was on the painful side. Skill is staying on the higher path in most cases.

The difference between them and some of the modern games is that punishment means falling to a lower path instead of dying (usually by pit). That is one of the fatal errors I wish they'd fix in the modern games. I don't think you can make the Classic games harder without making them really cheap.

#79 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 20 January 2019 - 12:30 PM

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If you're here, chances are you're going to find Mania easy. I can tell you that the rest of my social circle who bought it did not have the same ease of playthrough that I did.

#80 User is offline Dark Sonic 

Posted 20 January 2019 - 12:41 PM

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Yea Mania was basically muscle memory from the start for me lol, but I did get a time over in Flying Battery act 2 the first time which surprised me.

#81 User is offline Zephyr 

Posted 20 January 2019 - 05:07 PM

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I think the ease with which we all played Mania, even the first time around, is the same kind of ease with which someone will play, say, one of Spelunky's random levels, after playing a lot of the game, even if this is a brand new layout to them (and, since it's Spelunky, it is).

We know what most of the gimmicks do. We know how Sonic interacts with the terrain. We know when the terrain is encouraging us to roll at high speeds through it. In other words, we're familiar enough with the tropes that comprise a "Sonic level", that you could theoretically have a procedurally generated "Sonic level", and we'd probably still be acing it.

When I think of really good, really difficult, Sonic levels, I think of the Sonic VR romhack. It's difficult, and the challenge is largely for you to figure out how to nail certain tricks in order to clear each level. Having parts of level design turn into physics platforming puzzles could be a good way to force the player to figure out how to progress, without bloating enemy health or instant death zones.

#82 User is offline DigitalDuck 

Posted 21 January 2019 - 05:25 AM

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View PostZephyr, on 20 January 2019 - 05:07 PM, said:

We know what most of the gimmicks do. We know how Sonic interacts with the terrain. We know when the terrain is encouraging us to roll at high speeds through it. In other words, we're familiar enough with the tropes that comprise a "Sonic level", that you could theoretically have a procedurally generated "Sonic level", and we'd probably still be acing it.


Theoretically? :v:


Mania is definitely easier than any of the other classic games, though, even S3K. Part of this is that the game plays itself when you hold down, but it seems to just have less danger overall. Then again, S3K is considerably easier than S1/2 too, in no small part due to the save system (that Mania shares).

#83 User is offline SoNick 

Posted 01 February 2019 - 10:23 AM

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View PostPrototype, on 19 January 2019 - 07:12 PM, said:

How could that be implemented though? The addition of more enemies? Different types of enemies with multiple hitpoints? Less rings? I think that the Encore Mode set up of no-lives with a switchable character roster could improve the difficulty.


Late to the discussion with this one, but enemies with multiple hitpoints would be a strict no-go; the enemies serve multiple purposes. The first is to provide a small obstacle to surpass, and in that case multiple hits make sense (see: Mega Man enemies). However, with momentum-based gameplay such as in the Sonic games, they also function as something to bounce off of to control your momentum. By adding multi-hit enemies, you're slowing the momentum to a crawl (see: Sonic Heroes for an extreme example of this).

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