I didn't realize it until this most recent time I decided to replay through the levels. This game has all the makings of what make the Boost games what they are without the boost button. The one word I most associate with the boost games is "rhythm" as in if you understand the level and the way it wants you to move you can keep going without ever slowing down. This is a good and bad thing and achieving the best path feels fun the loss of exploration does hurt. Adventure 1 is the only 3D Sonic I can think of with a focus more of exploration and careful platforming over just speed, and yes, this includes Adventure 2 as this topic is saying. Adventure 2 hides that it's a rhythm game or at least isn't as bad with this as it rewards exploration during early playthroughs, with many of the upgrades unlocked behind backtracking and clever use of moves you unlock in later levels. However when everything is unlocked the game offers up a clear "best path" that can be taken in any level and you can keep speed and momentum the entire time without slowing down except to beat an enemy or quick puzzle or two. I didn't realize this until I played with Metal Harbor today. I decided to take every short cut I knew in the level (and there's several) and I realized I didn't really stop even once and the levels moved so breezily. Even the summersault parts seamlessly move into the next portion if you go exactly where the game wants you to as it puts you directly under the lift. This helped me FINALLY clear the last part of the level where you can take the higher level of the rocket ship to get an A rank. I understood the rhythm of the stage and how it moved and it allowed me to move from speed ramp to speed ramp then homing attack, light dash, and bounce my way to the higher path. I understood the rhythm of the stage and I was able to achieve victory. I always understood that Adventure 2's stages were more linear, I just didn't understand what they were trying to achieve. Honestly rushing through the stages using the upgrades smartly to get faster times feels satisfying and it's making replaying the levels and again and again a big joy. I feel like implementing something that this in later Sonic games, even boost if they can, will go a long way. Gives the game two distinct and fun ways to be played and both have a lot of merit.