A feature I think every Sonic game should have.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by flarn2006, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. flarn2006

    flarn2006

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    Let's say you lose a life in Green Hill Zone Act 1. Now that would seldom happen to anyone who isn't a noob (no offense if this happens to you), but let's say it does happen. You might say, "Oh well, I'll just keep going." Maybe you're playing on a real Genesis and you're too lazy to get up and hit Reset. :) But anyway, now you only have two lives instead of three. Now that could come back to haunt you later on, once you get to the harder levels. But I don't think it should actually take a life away in the first level unless you've hit a checkpoint.

    This issue tends to come up more often in the later games, however. With checkpoints that persist even after a game over (whenever you complete a level and save the game, not the mid-level checkpoints) this type of issue comes up more often, and in levels that are actually challenging. If I lose a life before I hit the first checkpoint in a level, I'm almost tempted to exit back to the main menu and start again. I'm pretty sure at least some of the games reset your lives then if you have less than the starting amount, but I don't know if they all do, and either way it's still a hassle to have to wait for the level to load again.

    (Hmm...long loading times, frustratingly difficult levels...no autosave..... :argh: Well I wouldn't want to play that game anyway.)

    But yeah, I think if you have not yet reached a point where you wouldn't be able to instantly restart from there after losing all your lives, dying shouldn't actually take a life unless you have more lives than you would normally start with. If you lose a life and keep playing, that could mean the difference between completing the level and having to start over from the beginning once you get some checkpoints. Even in bosses that don't have checkpoints I think this would be good. Back when I wasn't as good at Sonic Adventure 2, I HATED always having to go back to the main menu, and load the game again once I lost all my lives during a boss.

    I get them wanting to be challenging, but if the "challenge" is more just frustrating and can be avoided by performing an also-frustrating task that isn't cheating, and may or may not even be necessary in every case, I think it's something that should be changed. Why don't most games do this?
     
  2. Skyler

    Skyler

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    That's how I feel whenever I play Shinobi 3DS. That game is a hard SOB, and whenever I die before a checkpoint I have to take the time to kill myself 5 more times because I'm going to need every single life to get through the stage.
     
  3. Metalsonicmk72

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    It seems like a nice idea to say the least. What I'd really like though is the ability to restart the level from the beginning without a life getting subtracted every single time you do so, which can make speed running more frustrating then it already is when you suddenly lose all 99 lives you had just because of one mistimed jump or the dash/boost button decides to not respond to input over and over again. The only game that comes to mind that didn't do this was Sonic Colors and it's a major annoyance in Sonic Generations and Unleashed. Is removing the -1 life per restart gimmick really too much to ask for? Or maybe it's time we got rid of the life system altogether like Rayman Origins did...
     
  4. Billy

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    I too and a proponent of removing lives all together. Why do they still exist in gaming? Lives were created to represent how many tries you had left on an arcade machine. Simply put, lives and continues do not make sense in a home setting. It makes sense for arcade games to behave this way since they're short bursts of fun, you're not really meant to make much progress in one long stretch. Games a home, however, are much more spread out experiences, so why hinder someone's progress with an arbitrary limit? It doesn't make it any more challenging, it just wastes more of your time.
     
  5. Andrew75

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    you bunch of noobs.... all these modern game checkpoints have spoiled you.
     
  6. Blastfrog

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    Yes, lives are pointless and a remnant of arcade design. However, aren't Sonic games easy enough for us veterans? Honestly, I prefer the Nick Ardade layout of EHZ over the final, so many more hazards! So much more challenging, or rather, challenging at all.
     
  7. Blue Blood

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    I've thought about this before, and whole heartedly agree. It's especially a problem in Generations where you need to get a perfect bonus to get an S rank, but you lose that bonus if you die before the first checkpoint and then proceed to complete the stage a second time without dying. Where's the logic in that?
     
  8. Dark Sonic

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    I think that lives should no longer exist. Sonic, Mario, and Donkey kong are the only games that seem to still cling to the archaic notion of lives, and seeing as how at least the first 2 of those hand out lives like candy now a days, it's just not worth it.
     
  9. RetroKoH

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    I'm all for removing lives as well. Perhaps in multiplayer settings you could make use of lives, but in the standard setting... lives are generally pointless for the most part.

    LBP does the lives system alright, however, where you get a number of lives per checkpoint... so when you hit a new checkpoint, you can respawn at that checkpoint X number of times... even that could be considered "archaic" to some though. Lives could be done in other similar and creative methods... but the standard method has got to go...

    Don't even get me started on Continues... Then again Super Smash Bros 1 had a nice lives/continue system... giving you unlimited continues, but cutting your total score in half if you use one. There are exceptions... I guess.

    I, for one, agree with Generations' ranking system though... not giving a perfect S if you die. Obviously if you die, your run is not perfect... so you get an A instead of an S. That's how it should be.
     
  10. TimmiT

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    All of you are pussies spoiled by the lack of difficulty in modern game design. :v:

    Seriously though, I'm actually all for lives in games that are meant to be challenging. Without them death is no longer much of a threat, but instead a minor annoyance. I don't really try to avoid death in most modern games as a result, as I usually just respawn two steps away from the part where I died.
     
  11. Captain L

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    Mega Man Unlimited. The prime reason lives do not belong anymore. You waste so much time playing Unlimited because of a lack of checkpoints and lives. I've only beaten 1 Robot Master, and I've already wasted enough time through deaths and continues that I could fully play Mega Man 2 again. I don't have a problem with long levels depending on the game (Planet Wisp in Generations can still go die), but it's not fun restarting the level because you died 5 minutes in, especially in a series where full levels take 5 minutes to beat. And when you've drained your lives in the first half of the stage but finally make it through, you'll die quick in the second half and have to start the entire level over again. Congratulations, that's 15-20 minutes gone.

    I'll compare this to the first time I thought about how lives are an outdated concept: Mega Mare X, a Mega Man X/MLP fangame I played at BronyCon (I already talked about this game in the Mega Man General thread). The game has infinite lives because the developers don't think lives are relevant anymore. The levels are really long. There are checkpoints every few minutes. You'll still have to replay sections of the level if you die, but it's not a problem, you just get right back into the action without any loading screen. Think of it like BIT.TRIP RUNNER, except you don't have to start the full level over. It gives a sense of accomplishment when you hit the checkpoint that's visible, because you know you've overcome the challenge before it and don't have to face it again. You don't feel happy when you know that checkpoint means nothing because you'll have to redo the area before it again.

    On the topic of Generations ranking system, checkpoints should restore your time when you hit them, especially in missions. I don't care about losing the S Rank because I died in normal levels, but it's the worst in missions when it could cost you more. Some of the mission times are evil for rankings, with the next rank only a few seconds slower than the previous. It's entirely possible to die once in an inconvenient spot and lose all chance of earning anything higher than a D.
     
  12. Jimmy Hedgehog

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    The logic is you died in the first place, so it's not a perfect run anymore. It still took a second try to finish the stage, regardless of whether it started back at the start or not :v:

    And this is exactly why I went through inFAMOUS as recklessly as I did even on Hard. Because even when I did die during a mission or something, I'd spawn near, or sometimes right next to where I was anyway. Infact since you still keep the experience from enemies you killed there's pretty much no downside to dying.
     
  13. Dark Sonic

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    Ya but in games now a days even if you die completely how much progress do you lose? Oh no, I have to start the whole level over instead of starting from the half way point. This isn't Sonic 1 or 2, where losing all your lives means that you're screwed. Come Sonic 3 though, the penalty for losing all your lives started to become more significant (Well, Sonic and Knuckles kinda screwed you over if you were playing that one alone). Instead of starting the game over, you start on act 1 of whatever level. Come Sonic Adventure, you just start at the beginning of the level. Hell I'd almost rather start the whole level over when I die anyway, because in the modern games your time keeps going and your rank's going to hell and back anyway. Usually when I die I just restart the whole level.

    What's the point of lives when you just save up 99 of em? You'll never get a game over at that point. Hell Sonic 4 is ridiculous since there is no 100 lives cap. You can get 999 lives in that game, and after a certain point you just don't die as much any more. Also, modern games are typically too long to incorporate lives and full game overs. Imagine if you were playing through Unleashed, you got to EggmanLand, likely got a game over there on your first try, and instead of starting the level over you had to start the entire game over. Personally I'd be pissed off. If it was Sonic 1 though I'd be more disappointed. The game doesn't take hours upon hours to get through, but games like Unleashed do. There needs to be another system in place that punishes you for death, and I think ranking is more effective. That way you can still beat the level, but you'll be punished for being careless or bad at the game. But lives have been pointless since the mid 90s thanks to game saves.
     
  14. RetroKoH

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    In REV C, I modded my hack with the score caveat for losing lives... it plays much like most modern Sonic games where you can lose your score for the level when you die. More of a real penalty for dying... especially for games with records or rankings... which mine will have the former.

    There should indeed be penalties for losing lives... though they should just be implemented in a more meaningful way
     
  15. Blue Blood

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    Hitting restart will re-instate the perfect bonus. So long as you're still playing from the start of the stage to the end without dying, what difference does it make?
     
  16. Dark Sonic

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    Fun fact, although I can't find any proof but I know I saw it in some beta footage, but the perfect bonus used to require not getting hurt, let alone dying.
     
  17. roxahris

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    No, beating a stage without dying should be a thing to STRIVE for. Practise should be IMPORTANT. Especially now that lives are a PER-LEVEL concept rather than a PER-SESSION one. Especially when lives restart you at a CHECKPOINT rather than the START.
    You see, if they only put you back at the start, they would be UNBALANCED. With the hub system in play, returning you to the very start of the stage should arguably incur no penalties, due to the paradox/slap in the face of starting over without actually restarting. The life/checkpoint duality is arguably an important elements in games like these. Sometimes the best way to attack a problem is to STEP BACK and retrace your prior steps - with a limit on lives, pushing the player into restarting forces them to reconsider their path and gives them the opportunity to attack the challenges ahead with both a new perspective AND another chance to get a perfect score.
    Lives that last entire play sessions are also unbalanced - that is to say, going through the entire game in one stretch should be a challenge for after completion, rather than a goal from the outset.
     
  18. RetroKoH

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    <div>I quoted the wrong thing... I meant the thing mentioned about running through a level without getting hit to get a Perfect... oops</div><div><br></div>
     
  19. But couldn't you argue that with having limited lives, the player is more scared to try alternate paths and would stick with the safest one they know rather than risking it? Having unlimited lives does ruin some of the challenge, but at the same time the challenge has shifted from "completing the level" to "perfecting the level" and the only way to perfect a level is when you study it inside and out and optimize your route, and if you do that then lives are pointless because all they serve is to send you back to the beginning for messing up a run where your aim is to get a good time/score and not finish the level in one piece.
     
  20. Covarr

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    Wow. A lot of people here agreeing on the same bad idea.

    I do agree that the lives system—at least as seen in Sonic games—is problematic, but I don't think it should be taken out entirely. It just needs reworked. I'm all for flarn2006's idea of not removing lives before a checkpoint, but he's missed a few things more important: lives gained in a level before a checkpoint should also be un-gained, and lives should not be carried over between levels. If I get twelve lives in a single stage, good for me, but I should still start the next one with three. Really, it should be treated like faults in Trials Evolution, except counting down instead of up. Hell, even counting up would be good for a speedrun-oriented Sonic game.

    The thing about per-level lives is that it allows greater control and precision in creating a good difficulty for each level. When you know exactly how many lives a player will start the stage with, you can get away with more difficult levels, and more lives monitors within that level. Without that guarantee, you have no clue whether a player is going in with 3 or 99, so they're not all starting at the same point, and making the level too difficult would just encourage grinding easy levels for lives. Per-session lives somewhat worked in the classic games because there was no way to go back and replay a stage (except in S3/S3&K after beating the game), so developers could still count on what the overall difficulty up to any given point, and how many lives a player could've collected. Now that most modern platformers let us replay stages as often as we want, though, this really needs to be toned back to per-stage lives to prevent abuse, and to open up a wider range of difficulty to level designers.