Am I crazy, or are the classic stages in Sonic Generations just not fun?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by _oliver, Feb 17, 2022.

Tags:
  1. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

    Member
    287
    156
    43
    Denmark
    That was a good video. I always enjoy videos from people who actually love the subject rather than ones who don’t. I definitely don’t consider the classic stages my favorite part of Generations but I will pick up a copy tomorrow and am looking forward to revisiting them with that person’s thoughts in mind.

    Even watching videos like J’s Reviews’ video on 06 () has made me reconsider my thoughts about that game. I grabbed my PS3 from my parents’ recently so I bought and played Sonic 06 for the first time since its release when I was 11. While I definitely don’t consider it a great or even good game, understanding why people love things does give you a greater appreciation for them.

    Back to the subject at hand… I think the main problem others on this board and I face is viewing the levels in relation to Sonic 1-3K and Mania. The levels were definitely not designed in the same manner, but it’s important to view them as their own product and avoid comparisons when evaluating them, even if it does seem to invite them.
     
  2. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    I liked the Act 1s but knowing they were nothing like the 16-bit games, so I treated them like it was the return of 8-bit Sonic instead. I didn't play that game beyond 100%-ing it, so I'm not particularly inclined to replay one playstyle over the other, but I can confirm I hated Sky Sanctuary 1 for having marble garden spinners that worked even worse, while Sky Sanctuary 2 is so beautiful and nice to play that it made the game worth buying. I like those 2D levels also from a traditional platforming POV, as they felt like they used to be in the old times in any above-average platformer (don't pay much attention to me, though; I deliberately played and finished Ardy Lightfoot on my SNES back then).
     
  3. Frostav

    Frostav

    Member
    578
    173
    43
    I don't think they're terrible, but you do have to understand that when Gens came out the idea of even getting Mania would get you laughed out of the room for such a childish and idealist fantasy so we took what we could get.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  4. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    Sonic 4 came out before Sonic Generations so I don't think you can say it was childish or idealist at all. Mania was in many ways the logical continuation of Sonic 4 and Gens. The only part of it which was unlikely was it was made by fans but then it was also a logical continuation of Sonic 1, 2, and CD on mobile.

    I think Mania's quality and apparent unlikeliness can conceal how conservative it actually is. Its not unusual and is similar to the later Megaman games.
     
  5. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    Member
    5,375
    368
    63
    I've always really enjoyed the Act 1s in Generations. They're fun and have some creative gimmicks and mechanics. TBH, I prefer them to the Act 2s. But do they play anything like the Classic games? No, not really. They're slower, clunkier and a lot more rigid than any of the Classic games. One of the worst things about them is the way that every single ramp, spring and so many other little areas of the level design are scripted events that disregard the physics system already in play.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  6. Vanishing Vision

    Vanishing Vision

    Member
    160
    110
    43
    I like them a lot. There are cons, but they're outweighed by the pros. Despite the inaccurate physics, I feel that they still capture the design philosophy and "flow" of classic Sonic well. Timing quick sequences of jumps, spindashing up a hill and jumping to launch over a big gap, and challenging yourself to stay on the top route. Some of the physics/control differences are quite fun, too, like the little height boost from jumping into flying enemies, and the ridiculous one-button super spindash. More than anything, these levels are still the absolute best use of "2D in 3D" in the entire franchise, with lots of creative camera work, foreground/background interaction, and separate 2D paths crisscrossing and reversing over each other on different planes. Reminds me a lot of Klonoa on PS1.

    The only glaring flaw for me is how the rolling works, or rather how it doesn't. The rest of the physics feel close enough to classic Sonic that it's easy to get into a rhythm and instinctually tap down to roll on a slope, only to slowly uncurl and take a hit. There's a particularly nasty bit in Rooftop Run where I have to actively remind myself to not tap into a roll when passing through it. I guess the one-button spindash is supposed to totally replace rolling, but it's still strange they couldn't have incorporated both.
     
  7. Yash

    Yash

    CHOCOLATE! Member
    700
    274
    63
    They're fine, but the modern stages are the clear highlight of the game for me. I agree with everyone who said the physics feel too off, everything feels heavy and stiff.

    I do like the level design well enough that I think it's a solid 2D platformer in its own right, but it's hard not to feel like Mania's made it redundant.
     
  8. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

    Member
    287
    156
    43
    Denmark
    This is how I feel. A lot of the concepts introduced in Sonic Gen’s classic Sonic sections are definitely cool in their own right, but as a “classic Sonic game,” their status has definitely been outdone by Mania.

    If the goal of them wasn’t simply to recreate levels in the “classic Sonic” gameplay, then yeah, I find them super fun. However, what they wanted to achieve ended up being accomplished more successfully later.
     
  9. Beltway

    Beltway

    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    1,576
    124
    43
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    I cherish Mania aplenty but I wouldn't say it eclipses the Classic Sonic levels in Generations in every capacity. In regards to stuff like the core gameplay (including physics, secondary mechanics, shields, playable characters, et. al.); then yeah, no question there. Even when you incorporate mods that bring you more accurate physics and cut back on the automation/scripting (which I'd strongly recommend doing if you have the PC version); the level design and the overall structure/context of the game (as a secondary piece of a Boost game) is of a different beast entirely, so the improved gameplay/controls doesn't hit the same high.

    However, Mania's retraux presentation keeps it on the low end of freshness in regards to what I feel a modern MD Sonic of today could look (and presumably, also sound) like. (I say this while also commending it for having an aesthetic Sonic games have rarely done --especially following a string of generic 2.5D Sonic titles-- and going the extra mile of striving for Saturn hardware capabilities than being a full-on revert to Genesis limitation.) The only Sonic games to try that I guess is Forces (which suffers from being heavily recycled in assets and being mostly bankrupt in new locales) and the Sonic 4 episodes (which aside from having the same problems as Forces, are also much lower-budget/cheaper-looking, Epi. I especially). I was hoping Mania's success would be a stepping stone to getting that hypothetical MD Sonic game built in 2021/2022/etc. could be like; but alas.

    The other thing with Generations that Mania doesn't scratch is also the use of 3D graphics and its dynamic camera for the multi-plane level design and the setpieces that it incorporates. I really do love the way the levels are structured to where you're exploring a 3D environment despite being locked to a 2D plane/2D gameplay; and I love the gimmicks incorporated to help build on that. From the stalking GUN truck in City Escape that changes the level design landscape, to Rooftop Run structured as how it's an actual travel from the streets, to the top of the buildings, to the underground barrel storage rooms, to the top of the clock tower and the airship. Much like with the presentation, Forces again feels like a giant step back as it has nowhere near the amount of creativity in the way the levels are designed.

    With the way Nintendo and other studios have effectively revitalized their 2D gameplay with modern production values to notable success like the NSMB series, DKC Returns/Tropical Freeze, Kirby's RtD, Mega Man 11; et. al. I see the Classic levels in Generations as the surface being scraped quite a bit. I feel like there's a lot of potential of a hypothetical standalone followup, where it was a "sequel" to the Classic Sonic levels that was its own game that built on/expanded the ideas it had with its level design/presentation; while also refining the gameplay to be up to par with the Genesis titles/Mania. I think it would be something quite special to say the least.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2022
  10. Yash

    Yash

    CHOCOLATE! Member
    700
    274
    63
    That especially is a totally valid point - I think what allows Generations' level design in the classic stages to shine is the degree to which they play with being a 2.5D platformer, yeah, and the City Escape truck is probably the best example, so no surprise many people have already said it's their favorite classic stage in the game.

    Speaking of City Escape though, I also love the skateboard power-up. It reminds me of a lot of the weird gadget/vehicle power-ups in the Game Gear games, namely Chaos and Triple Trouble - not super practical (and I'm glad it only appears normally in one level, it could have worn out its welcome very quickly), but worth it just for style points alone.
     
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    7,053
    1,131
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    I played the demo on 360 when it was fresh, and I remember Sonic not picking up speed while rolling down slopes. I decided my money was better spent elsewhere.

    Unfortunately because you kids haven't stopped talking about it, CeX still charges £15 for the game second-hand, so I can't even justify buying it for a laugh!


    I'd say Generations was a step up from Sonic 4, but "not turning your console on" would be step up from Sonic 4. It has always struck me as a product chasing trends, built by a team who neither understood the trends, nor knew how to make Sonic games. It's less obvious than Sonic Lost World (Mario Galaxy) or this Breath of the Wild clone that Sega are threatening, but it's still... soul-less? Re-hash Old Ideas: The Game™.


    But while I don't much care for the concept and agree that classic Sonic's model is curiously unappealing, a lot of people thought otherwise, so whatever. There is one thing in Generations that I can't get over though, and that's Sky Sanctuary:



    Ignoring the fact it's the wrong colour in-game, the music's lead instrument is a fraction of a second behind where it's meant to be. In ADSR terms, the "attack" is too long - between this game, and All-Stars Racing Transformed which has the same mistake, I notice it every loop and it annoys me waaaay more than it should.

    And I think know why it's been composed this way. From what I recall, old Mega Drive emulators (we're talking pre-Fusion, pre-Gens emulators here - maybe the AtGames clones too) played this tune incorrectly. Now maybe I'm not the one to please - I can identify builds of Sonic 2 from life icons, but little things like this lead me to believe the developers were basing their experiences of Sonic on crappy emulations (or fan works!), rather than sitting in front of a real Mega Drive. Are the physics weird in Generations because their emulator has input lag? Is that why they thought 30FPS was sufficient on consoles?

    Extrapolating, yes, but it's the same school of thought as that teaser trailer for Sonic 4 - the one that has prototype Sonic 2 animations, because this was the first sprite sheet Google Images was returning back in the day. That only one eye is open.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  12. almeda

    almeda

    you are now watching madTV. Member
    I like the classic stages a little, but it's Sky Sanctuary that really stands out for me. I find it cool to play as him in newer stages though like Speed Highway. They have some interesting level layouts that are fun.

    But the only gripe I do have is the physics. The way he controls is permissible, but a far cry from the original classics. He feels like a brick sometimes, but abusing the overpowered spin dash can be fun sometimes. Idk. And admittedly, the Act 2 stages are a lot more fun than the Act 1 stages, so I get that annoyance.
     
  13. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I don't think it's fair to call Generations soulless at all. It'd brimming with creativity and you can tell thst the team really cared about it. The truck in City Eacape is a famous example of how the team played upon levels in good humour but there's loads of other examples. The troll tornado in Crisis City, the Mania-esque references to other underwater levels in Seaside Hill Classic, the silly bobsled, rolling stones, and orcas in Seaside Hill Modern, and the deceptive number of hidden paths in linear levels like Speed Highway and Chemical Plant. I think it's abundantly clear that the team really cared about the games they were referencing and even the very levels. I'd say it's on the same level as games like the original Dissidia for respect and love for the source material.

    I've never liked the retrospective criticism Generations has garnered. The game is certainly dated in some ways. The physics of Classic Sonic are bad as everyone knows. The controls are sloppy. But load up an Xbox 360 game and see just how dated it is to play. Generations isn't unique for being dated and Id say its actually better than most games of its era for presentation and level design.
     
  14. qwertysonic

    qwertysonic

    Member
    757
    223
    43
    creating the biggest sonic collection
    Sonic Generations is a great game. It's really the only Sonic game (other than Mania) to have branching-paths level design in the last 20 years. It's obvious a lot of effort went into it. It's just crazy that Sega didn't try to iterate on it and improve some of the less-great parts (like classic Sonic).
     
  15. Yash

    Yash

    CHOCOLATE! Member
    700
    274
    63
    I think Generation holds up remarkably well as an Xbox 360 game from ten years ago. (god, I'm old) It and Unleashed are both great examples of games where strong visual design help it shrug off dated tech, in contrast to something like Sonic 06 which, on top of never looking that good to begin with, has aged atrociously.
     
  16. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    Most the team who worked on Gens (including its director) worked on Lost World and I think that despite its many deep flaws, Lost World has a similar passion. I mean okay it is copying Mario Galaxy, but you can tell a lot of thought went into the levels. They are all unique from each other and try something new, even if the execution left a lot to be desired. And while the core mechanics are a bit fucked up, they were daring for trying to reinvent Sonic away from Boost. It was a widely criticised decision at the time but it would probably be more appreciated nowadays.

    After Lost World I think Sonic Team definitely stopped caring as much and have largely phoned it in. It's tempting to say it's because the most passionate developers of Gens left after Lost World. There's some truth to it. But it may also be that Sonic Team were really hit in confidence by the poor reception of Lost World and were too scared to take risks, which led us to drudgery of most the 2010s.

    Sonic Frontiers reminds me of Lost World. It's clearly copying a Nintendo IP which is eyebrow raising. However, they are trying something new which means surely they must care again. That at least is reassuring.
     
  17. shilz

    shilz

    Member
    335
    74
    28
    getting my daily allowance of vitamin kk
    I find it a bit perplexing but still interesting seeing many people come at this with comparisons to the original genesis games or even Sonic Mania. It seemed like "common knowledge" to me that Generations' Classic Sonic isn't and was not built to be a direct recreation of the Genesis games, but a reimagining of its ideas under the design philosophies adopted from Sonic Unleashed. Guess that's not the case, though. (this isn't saying you're wrong for not looking at it that way. Just the observation.)

    I could see how this part of the game could be unfun to some people, either because it isn't the modern stages or it isn't a direct translation of what it's representing, or even just on its own merits since at points it feels weird trying to correctly utilize the spindash in place of the boost.

    It makes me wonder how many of you might prefer the 3ds classic levels, either in design or raw gameplay, instead.
     
  18. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    1,579
    528
    93
    *raises hand*

    I found the 3DS levels (both classic and boost) more playable and enjoyable than the HD version's classic gameplay, which to me was just broken. The spindash and jump felt much more natural, the physics were acceptable, and Sonic didn't randomly uncurl on roll. Granted, the recycling of classic layouts was really disappointing, but that wasn't as offensive as HD's classic controls and physics IMO.
     
  19. Overlord

    Overlord

    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    18,665
    614
    93
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    I actually noted in my review of the 3DS version for Retro that the classic physics on the 3DS version are more accurate than the main game. Go to the bottom of the U pit in Casino Night, run up one side, then let go of everything else and hold down. It'll take longer than in the classics (and you won't go as high by the end), but you will eventually get to the top of each side.
     
  20. Vanishing Vision

    Vanishing Vision

    Member
    160
    110
    43
    Speaking of Generations 3DS and physics, the classic stages in that game have a very interesting trick involving the rolling. After jumping, tapping down to roll will give you a sharp burst of speed, and you can then jump again and chain these boosts together. It can be seen at 1:00 in this video. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but it's a lot of fun, and it feels like a precursor to the Drop Dash.