steveswede, on 07 May 2012 - 05:17 PM, said:
It's more than just getting the physics right, the fresh and original content is just as important.
And that's part of the irony, because they could most certainly add new features and spruce things up- as long as it was applied appropriately across the entire game.
- higher top speed
- spin dash
The levels were build to allow the player to take better advantage of the snappier control and speed.
The levels were designed around the original core gameplay mechanics but allowed the spin dash to be used with moderate risk involved, if you knew how to plan your route and reaction in advance. There was never anything that just let you spin dash with disregard or anything that relied solely on the new ability.
Sonic 3 & Knuckles:
- insta shield
- elemental shields
- Tails can fly/swim
- knuckles can climb/glide
The insta-shield allowed you to ninja your way past enemy attacks and projectiles, land attacks on bosses if you were brave enough to take a risk (the lumberjack miniboss in Mushroom Valley is a perfect example, you can take him out while attacking him with the insta shield right through his jet flame).
The elemental shields all gave you a small advantage, but simultaneously created further obstacle.
The lightning shield gave you a double jump to get up higher, but you had to pay more attention to where you would land afterward.
THe fire shield gave you a brief air dash but you immediately lost the momentum (unless you did it right along the ground and continued running/rolling).
Both of these were also instantly taken away if you touched water, which was present in a significant number of the levels.
The Water shield let you breathe underwater, and increased your rebound from enemies/boxes substantially, but didn't offer you any boost in lateral progress, as it always made you come straight down on your double jump.
Tails' flight/swimming was limited; you were never forced
to fly or swim unless you traversed your way to one of the exclusive paths. The exclusive paths often had their own specific trials to tackle (Tails' path in Marble Garden was a fucking gauntlet
Knuckles could climb and reach higher areas, but it typically offered no speed advantage... There were also often many walls that his lower jump-height restricted him from latching onto.
His gliding was very convenient for tackling enemies, gaining vertical height off attacking an enemy/box, but whenever you came out of a glide, you always stopped dead when you landed, and started running from zero (unless you landed on a platform or bridge or something with different ground characteristics, but whatever)
In all the different paths and new opportunities in Sonic 3, they built the levels to challenge and oppose those new updates.
In Sonic 4, they've made no effort to do anything to make the homing attack something new and inclusive- you just use it everywhere without even having to think about it. The level designs of episode 2 look a little more interesting and possibly offer more exploration than episode 1, but they're still clunky and uninspired.
You can't even intelligently maintain control over sonic because if you try to jump at the edge of a platform or ledge, but accidentally press it too late- you instantly air dash into fucking oblivion somewhere. You should only be able to air dash if you're doing it after a jump.
You can't break out of loops or dash areas because of the scripted running mechanics.
There's just no attention to detail from a technical platforming perspective in Sonic 4. They have a general grasp of what THEY think
a Sonic game "should be;" jump here, loop here, break this, bounce bounce bounce... but none of it has any beauty or ingenuity. The guys who made the original games weren't just cobbling shit together... hell, all the different Sonic 2 beta roms should be a PRIME example about how particular they were with building levels. Emerald hill, we've seen how many different builds of it by this point? I'm not saying they haven't spent time trying to tweak Sonic 4 to get it "right," but there's still no sense of continuity, they don't know how to make the game an engaging experience.
This post has been edited by Eric Wright: 07 May 2012 - 05:42 PM