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The spindash was a mistake

#1 User is offline Sodaholic 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 02:04 AM

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Unpopular opinion incoming!

The spindash is antithetical to how Sonic's gameplay was designed. You were meant to build momentum using your environment and retain it by not smashing into obstacles. The spindash grants you instant speed without having to do any work at all. It's basically there just to help shitty players get through the game. I know I relied on it all the time as a kid, precisely for this reason. Challenge and learning curves are not a bad thing, players should've been forced to learn to play it properly. At least SCD's version had more consequence to using it, since it was much slower - a tradeoff. S2's lets you eat your cake and have it too.

Oh, and fuck that delay when looking up and down, makes that function much less useful. SCD had the sense to let you do so immediately by double tapping.
This post has been edited by Sodaholic: 22 November 2018 - 02:07 AM

#2 User is online Dark Sonic 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 02:22 AM

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Eh, Sonic 1 also had half the levels revolving around block platforming and tight spaces. Maybe Sonic's original design revolved around building momentum by going down hills and what not but is it really fun going back a bit to gain speed to go through a loop? I don't think so.

#3 User is offline winterhell 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 03:03 AM

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I have always been under the opinion Sonic 2 is better without the spindash. There are only 1 or 2 places that a harder without it, namely one curve in Metropolis Zone and Casino Night Zone's Boss. Its infinitely more fun without.
Sonic 3 and Knuckles however were designed with the spindash in mind from the start.

#4 User is offline Sodaholic 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 03:26 AM

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View PostDark Sonic, on 22 November 2018 - 02:22 AM, said:

Eh, Sonic 1 also had half the levels revolving around block platforming and tight spaces. Maybe Sonic's original design revolved around building momentum by going down hills and what not but is it really fun going back a bit to gain speed to go through a loop? I don't think so.
I won't argue that Labyrinth and Marble were totally inappropriate and clash with the design. But the likes of Green Hill, Starlight, Spring Yard etc are actually built around open spaces with uphill and downhill slopes. Spring Yard in particular is a good example of what I'm talking about: those tall U shaped sections were clearly designed to get enough speed to roll back and forth till you get higher and higher; the spindash completely subverts that and makes normal spinning almost pointless.

As for "is it fun to have to build up speed for loops", yes, it's the reward for not screwing up. You shouldn't be struggling to get through loops, if you are, you're not building enough speed beforehand.

View Postwinterhell, on 22 November 2018 - 03:03 AM, said:

I have always been under the opinion Sonic 2 is better without the spindash. There are only 1 or 2 places that a harder without it, namely one curve in Metropolis Zone and Casino Night Zone's Boss. Its infinitely more fun without.Sonic 3 and Knuckles however were designed with the spindash in mind from the start.
Full agreement. S3 was a whole different beast, but Sonic 2 largely followed Sonic 1's formula. Same applies to Super Sonic; crammed into S2 without regard to how it relates to the level design, but S3 found better use for those mechanics and built the game around it.
This post has been edited by Sodaholic: 22 November 2018 - 04:00 AM

#5 User is offline High Fidelity 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 03:35 AM

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Hmm, unsure about this. I'd argue that the spindash is probably the best implemented ability aside from the bog standard jump. It has so many handy uses other than just getting up slopes easier. Close second to the spindash is the insta shield which is just next level dopeness. Homing attack is utter garbage, drop dash I've yet to master it so I'm reserving judgement on that.
This post has been edited by High Fidelity: 22 November 2018 - 03:36 AM

#6 User is offline DigitalDuck 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 04:56 AM

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The spindash is great. Although it lets you build speed instantly, it does so while putting you in a rolling state, so you don't have the control you would have if you'd earned that speed while running, which is what makes it less attractive to use. Generally its only purpose is to get you moving again when you've stopped, because holding left for two seconds and then holding right for four seconds is not interesting, not fun, and not challenging - it's just a waste of six seconds you could've been using actually playing a game.

#7 User is online LordOfSquad 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 08:24 AM

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I agree wholeheartedly with the spindash naysayers, it's brought more bad than good and it's full integration was the point-of-no-return as far as the general public's perceptions of the series' mechanics go; "SONIC IS ALL ABOUT GOING FAST!!!!!!" VS hitting the slopes and getting a handle on the game's physics (granted, SoA's marketing did the most damage as far as that goes but that's another thing). Sonic CD's was a good middle-ground in tandem with the peel-out. It gave you the reward of speed and/or protection, but you had to pick to prioritize one of the two, and only after taking forever to charge and pissing you off in the process. You're kind of supposed to not want to use them if you're adept at navigating the level layouts.
This post has been edited by LordOfSquad: 22 November 2018 - 08:25 AM

#8 User is offline doc eggfan 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 08:31 AM

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I don't think it's a waste of 6 seconds, it adds weight to the gameplay and puts you more in tune with the games physics and rules - the spindash basically breaks those rules and disconnects the player from the reality of the game world.

Watch any sonic 2 speed run - spamming the spindash is not in the spirit of the original game philosophy.

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I won't argue that Labyrinth and Marble were totally inappropriate and clash with the design


I would argue they aren't inappropriate. Each zone in Sonic 1 is perfectly designed with a deliberate intention in mind.

Green Hill - Instant crowd pleaser, easy, introduces the curved surface and ball rolling elements early, but almost in an "on-rails" way (eg the "S" tunnel)

Marble - Back to traditional platform design, blocky grid patterns, traditional spike and lava hazards. PLayer is more familiar with this design from other games (ie Mario), but it will feel a bit different with the fluidity of sonic's movement and the taste of what was to come offered up by green hill

Spring Yard - Slowly introducing curved surfaces in a hazardous way (unlike the fun curves in Green Hill). Still retains some traditional blocky/grid elements, but with a twist (moving blocks). Half pipes are an obvious introduction to gaining momentum. PLayers may struggle to rise to the challenge on first play through.

Labyrinth - Back to a more traditional platform design to tap back into player expectations and prior experience - challenges the player by removing sonic's speed and adding the risk of drowning

Star Light - Brings back elements of Green Hill zone's design, but with more threat and challenge, to once again test the players ability to cope with curved surfaces and managing momentum. Bottomless pits feature as the primary obstacle.

Scrap Brain - ties all of the previous elements together - testing the players abilities that have been learned and honed along the way.

#9 User is offline BouncekDeLemos 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 07:08 PM

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I felt the spindash was a great mechanic, although one implemented mainly because the trouble people had with Sonic 1's momentum-based physics. Most first-time players just wanted to go right, a la Mario. You'd see some of them slowly moving up a hill, not thinking about using speed and momentum to help with that.

HOWEVER, when it was implemented, it seemed like they did go a little overboard a bit with it. Some of Sonic 2's EHZ's hills were worse than Sonic 1's GHZ, solely made to force players to use the spindash. The spindash really did change the way level design was made, that's for sure.

#10 User is offline Sean Evans 

Posted 22 November 2018 - 11:18 PM

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What Duck said is pretty much on the money, but with an additional point. Spin Dash is only antithetical if you look at it as a raw speed boost, when it's not. If anything something like the peelout is more of a speed boost, as it puts Sonic at top speed in a state where the player has full control afterward. It's really an easier way to enter the rolling state without having to build that speed initially. The appeal of it isn't just the speed, it's the defense you get from rolling, meaning most enemies can't hurt you when moving quickly. The challenge is of course, to maintain the rolling ability you have to use momentum to your advantage or else you slow down without having direct control over Sonic. It's only useful if applied in situations where you know you can easily get away with it. Using it to build some speed and get through loops are great usages, but a more experienced person knows how to use it to get up to high platforms and cross large gaps without having to stop. You can even still flub it up, launching yourself off cliffs into obstacles, or hitting a wall and coming to a complete stop prematurely. There's also the fact that you have to time the initial take off well enough to even get the most speed out of it, meaning you can end up with diminishing returns. Stuff like the peel out can also be canceled, the spin dash can't naturally. Plus, what's wrong with having a button to get a little extra speed if the game still revolves around the core momentum mechanics. It's not like the spin dash completely reworked how you play the game, just gave you more options on how to approach it. Giving the player more options is almost never a bad thing so long as it doesn't demolish the intent of the game to begin with.

Quote

Watch any sonic 2 speed run - spamming the spindash is not in the spirit of the original game philosophy.


That's not really fair. Speedruns abuse techniques and oversights all the time even if it means playing the game in a way it was never intended. You can't use a player attempting to utilize the "dominant strategy" as a hallmark for how something is meant to be used naturally. It's like saying invulnerability after taking a hit is bad because because players use damage boosting all the time to skip over parts they don't like, and have systems for intentionally losing health without dying. Besides spindash has other uses than just letting you go faster and plays into the other aspects of Sonic's gameplay as well.
This post has been edited by Sean Evans: 22 November 2018 - 11:24 PM

#11 User is offline Blue Spikeball 

Posted 23 November 2018 - 12:27 AM

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View PostSodaholic, on 22 November 2018 - 02:04 AM, said:

Unpopular opinion incoming!

The spindash is antithetical to how Sonic's gameplay was designed. You were meant to build momentum using your environment and retain it by not smashing into obstacles. The spindash grants you instant speed without having to do any work at all. It's basically there just to help shitty players get through the game. I know I relied on it all the time as a kid, precisely for this reason. Challenge and learning curves are not a bad thing, players should've been forced to learn to play it properly. At least SCD's version had more consequence to using it, since it was much slower - a tradeoff. S2's lets you eat your cake and have it too.

Oh, and fuck that delay when looking up and down, makes that function much less useful. SCD had the sense to let you do so immediately by double tapping.

Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. I didn't think much of the spindash as a kid, but now I have a more critical-thinking mind, in I've come to view it as a mechanic that clashes with the classic games' essence for the very reasons stated here.

#12 User is offline High Fidelity 

Posted 23 November 2018 - 12:59 AM

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I'd like to point out that the spindash is not really a 'cheat sheet' as it is sometimes described as, it still requires skill to master.

It wasn't uncommon to see new players revving up and careening down wrong the path, or into a bottomless pit of doom. It requires skill that takes time to learn which I think is often overlooked by allot of us more experienced players.
This post has been edited by High Fidelity: 23 November 2018 - 01:00 AM

#13 User is online Laughingcow 

Posted 23 November 2018 - 02:43 AM

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View PostSodaholic, on 22 November 2018 - 03:26 AM, said:

Full agreement. S3 was a whole different beast, but Sonic 2 largely followed Sonic 1's formula. Same applies to Super Sonic; crammed into S2 without regard to how it relates to the level design, but S3 found better use for those mechanics and built the game around it.

You undermine your entire argument with this.

First by admitting that the implementation in Sonic 3 was good which shows that any shortcomings in Sonic 2's level design to accommodate the new mechanic was not a fault in the mechanic itself but merely just growing pains in that they haven't figured out just how to design levels around said mechanic. Had Sonic 3 not shown improved utility for the mechanic then yes it should be discarded but by your own admission, that is not the case.

Secondly by trying to compare it to Super Sonic whose whole point was to reward the player with speed & invincibility after completing seven optional challenges. This is a false equivalency.

Lastly, if you really think Sonic 1 is the pinnacle of Sonic game design, I won't try to sway you but I am of the mind that Classic Sonic games have gotten better from Sonic 1 to cd to 2 to 3&K and finally to Mania. It was a clear line of improvement from game to game.

#14 User is offline steveswede 

Posted 23 November 2018 - 06:25 AM

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I disagree, the spindash makes you sacrifice some control over Sonic while the peelout is antithetical to the gameplay, though personally I would like the option to come out of the roll by pushing up, that shit was satisfying to do in Sonic 2 Retro Remix.

#15 User is online Black Squirrel 

Posted 23 November 2018 - 08:23 AM

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It was probably designed so you could easily break through those walls of Green Hill Zone... and then they made a game without any breakable walls.

I have no time for Sonic CD's implementation - that really does slow the game down, because you're forced to stop and wait until the game decides you're good to go. Likewise games like Generations make the move too powerful, to the point where might as well be a boost button.

There's definitely merit to not having it at all if you want the extra challenge, but I think it makes the game more fun.

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