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.

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  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    hey wiki you're so fine
    For what it's worth, I was critical of the game back in 2011. In fact my position hasn't changed since 2011... because I haven't played the game since 2011.


    3DS Generations annoys me less because different markets etc., but it too has musical issues:



    I've never cared enough to confirm or deny this is the case, but I think Emerald Coast's music is literally the Dreamcast original with a new guitar track on top. The new guitar dominates the mix (and makes the song worse as far as I'm concerned), but there are moments where it's slightly out of sync and you can hear the original tune. There's a level of cyncicism about things like this - use the original track or do something new - doing half a job suggests someone made a decision to cut corners.


    Little things, but they build up.
     
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  2. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    A correction on the point in bold: Generations was directed by Hiroshi Miayamoto. It and 2008's Unleashed (directed by Yoshihasa Hashimoto) are the only 3D Sonic game since 2007's Secret Rings not to be directed by Morio Kishimoto. Kishimoto is responsible for the storybooks, Colours, Lost World, Forces and Frontiers. Miayamoto was only the director the 2016 M&S Olympics game in addition to Generations, and hasn't had any published credits (according to Moby Games) since then. And after Unleashed, Hashimoto jumped ship to Square Enix. FWIW, his tenure there has been much more successful that Naka's...

    Regarding Generations' retrospective criticism... I disagree. I maintain that Generations and Colours got lauded out of the gate in part for what they were, but mostly for what they're weren't. And what they weren't was bad. Two supposedly 3D Sonic games back-to-back that didn't suffer from the issues that 3D Sonic was infamous for. They were very refreshing when they were new and were ultimately good experiences all-round. That all meant though that their flaws were glossed over. As time has gone by, I think that people have been able to let everything settle in and are now more willing to say "Generations is a good/great game and I really like/love it, but it's got more/other flaws than I used to acknowledge".

    Personally, I've never ranked either Colours or Generations above "good". They're just alright. Generations is the better of the two but even it doesn't place anywhere on my list of favourite Sonic games by any metric. The game is full of automation and really limits what the player can actually do. Especially in the boost levels, you're stuck on narrow, linear paths designed to be speedrun and little else. I like to explore, platform and play with physics. Generations is just go go go. The game is super short too. If you don't like speedrunning, there's little replay value to the levels. And the controls just don't feel great.

    All that is probably why I much prefer the Act 1s to the Act 2s in Generations. Those levels at least have significantly different paths that aren't just minor diversions or shortcuts like the Act 2s. Even if Classic Sonic doesn't control nicely and it's rife with "artificial physics" and automated scripted events that strip the player of all agency, the level designs themselves offer a lot of variety. Each play-through of a level can vary significantly because of all the different paths, and within each stage that's always a good balance between moments of speed and moments of slower platforming with unique gimmicks. It never goes ham in either direction, resulting is a very pleasant balance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2022
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  3. Laura

    Laura

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    Sorry I was thinking of Yoshinobo Ubo, who was lead game designer of Generations and was systems designer on Lost World. A point I often try to make it that much of Lost Worlds team were made up of the team of Generations. People seem to think Gens was made by Team A and Lost World by Team B, even though there has been no evidence whatsoever that the games from Colors onwards were made by different teams. Although you are right, Gens' director didn't work on Lost World.
     
  4. I feel like, if nothing else, Sonic Generations is the peak of that specific era of Sonic games. Even divorced from the rocky reception of the games from the 2000's, I would say that Generations holds up remarkably well. It has a very active modding community the likes of which we haven't really seen before or since.

    Its definitely not exceptional and I wouldn't even put it above a B+ personally, but its a damn good B+ and shows that Sonic games can be solid experiences, at least when they're actually consistently designed.

    But yea, its limited gameplay and overall length are definite flaws.
     
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  5. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    Yeah, there's absolutely no denying that it hits home with a lot of people. That includes stalwart fans, former fans who has been put off by the series for whatever reasons and new fans. It's still got a vibrant modding scene, although part of that is going to be face that it was the first 3D Sonic game to get a proper PC release. Before Generations, the only other 3D Sonic games to get a PC release were SADX and Heroes, which were never widely available and were very late after the console versions. And like you say, it's definitely the best of that particular era of Sonic games. Forces has a pretty active modding community too though.

    It just doesn't really hit home with me. And I'd still prefer a game based on Generations Classic gameplay that another game derivative of the boost formula. Forces managed to make everything about both worse though anyway.
     
  6. Yea, at that point it mostly comes to preference. Generations showed that they pushed the Boost as far as it could have gone, and that's where it should have been retired.
     
  7. Zephyr

    Zephyr

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    I think Forces showed that Generations was as far as anyone at Sonic Team could figure out to push it. Which, if true, paints a pretty bleak picture of their design sensibilities. Because there's still a lot that's holding back the Boost gameplay, namely the obscene amount of 2.5D platforming gameplay. Get rid of that shit. There's already better 2D platforming gameplay within this series. Even as of Generations, it's still merely a budding racing/platformer that's yet to really spread its wings as the lovechild of Sonic R and the Sonic 06 Mach Speed sections that it almost is. That the Sumo Digital racing games are a thing alongside this, while this is held back as a "one playable character, single player" experience, is honestly criminal. Granted, Forces introduced some mechanical variety with different playable species, so it did manage to progress the formula a little bit. But that's still scratching the surface. Riders had different classes of characters who could access different paths, which none of the Boost games have integrated into the design of their basically-race-course levels.
     
  8. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Umm... Generations was the first 3D game that I considered good enough after the DC games in a time where I was highly intolerant to what had happened to the franchise (or even was happening, hello S4ep2). I'm a lot more tolerant now and it's still there, but maybe the day I try Unleashed HD I change my mind. Hopefully Frontiers will do something right and beat them all or at least please me as much as Gens did.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2022
  9. Did we play the same game? Generations showed good boost gameplay, but it didn't show any signs of there being nothing more to explore there. I also don't see how retiring something that was finally polished enough is the right choice? Like, at the time I was ready for "Generations but with original levels" as a baseline for a new game; "throw it all out and retire the gameplay style" was the furthest from what I would have suggested.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    If anything, Gens' boost levels felt like somewhat a stripped down version of Unleashed's levels to me. They were still good, but they were generally shorter and had a lower difficulty. Some of the levels ended too abruptly, the chase sequences were simplified, there were less collectibles to find, and getting S ranks was laughably easy (not to mention that they only took clear time in account now).
     
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  11. kyasarintsu

    kyasarintsu

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    I don't really remember any level besides classic City Escape. I love the way it uses its environment and its big setpiece. it's the kind of goofy stuff I love to see in an anniversary amalgamation game.
     
  12. Iggy for Short

    Iggy for Short

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    Maybe it would be more accurate to say that Forces showed us how capable SEGA is of botching a solid foundation. :V

    As for the thread topic, I've definitely replayed Generations's Classic stages far fewer times than I have the Modern ones. They were fun on the first go, but Classic Sonic's physics are more serviceable than they are great. They don't get in the way of experiencing each reimagined level and its set-pieces (which is good, because there are some great moments), but the movement itself isn't particularly satisfying like rolling around was in the 16-bit days.

    ...and then Forces was no steps forward and a few steps back on both counts. And several others. But that's a whole other discussion.
     
  13. Zigetch

    Zigetch

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    Generations is a very good game. It was the only Sonic game I've ever preordered and picked up day one because I had so much confidence in it. The Classic stages were pretty fun even though a majority of the 'wow' factor came from controlling Classic Sonic again which was just mind-numbing back in '11. The physics aren't quite there but it still made for some fine platformin'.

    The Modern stages on the other hand, cripes. They were really the reason I'd come back to the game after 100%ing it. Smashing through those stages really elicited feelings of badassery for me, with just the right amount of polish over what Unleashed did. Sonic Team did good with this game.

    Overall the entire game as an experience felt a little empty, and the final boss and ending were... yeah, really just there. But I had a lot of fun with it.

    The moment I heard 'Door into Summer' play in the Collection Room, I nearly died. Thanks, Jun c:
     
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  14. Crimson Neo

    Crimson Neo

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    Oh yeah, the final boss is one of the lowest points for me... :V

    (The music is epic tho', but I still think it should have been Big Arms theme).

    Oh, I was really surprised by that too. And the Mega Collection reference was really a nice surprise for me too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2022
  15. Laura

    Laura

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    I think the Boost of Generations definitely had room for exploration. I think the best level was Seaside Hill because of how much freedom of movement was given to the player. That level has a level of non-linearity that surpasses the Adventure games. Speed Highway was an excellent linear level which had lots of alternate paths and quirky shortcuts. If we had a whole game which built upon those ideas we would have something great. Especially with better controls.

    I understand why some people prefer Unleasheds levels. They had more memorable aesthetics and were unashamedly rollercoasters. Maybe they fit the boost controls better. But I do think that Generations' non linearity works, especially if the controls were honed.

    Honestly I think Unleashed day stages are far inferior to Gens. The controll mapping for boost and homing attack in Unleashed is a death blow as far as I'm concerned. But putting that to one side, Unleashed is marred with loads of BS trail and error death pits.
     
  16. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Fo sho, Gens improved the controls and had less cheap deaths, which I definitely appreciated. I also loved the more intricate, less linear levels like Sky Sanctuary. I just wish the levels had been a bit longer and richer in content.
     
  17. Crasher

    Crasher

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    If I'm honest, I feel like Unleashed's levels work better for the Boost formula because while they're definitely roller coasters and largely one path, there's a decent amount of variety within that one-path. This helps a ton on repeat playthroughs, because you can easily stumble into a different route, or take another path through a section without it being too difficult to get on and off of it.

    Generations', imo, has an issue of variety within it's paths. Since there's a very clearly defined "slow route" and "fast route", once you're good enough to go on the fast route, you never need to actually engage with the other half of the level. Alongside that, there's only really one or two points where you can swap between paths (barring some exceptions like Seaside Hill, but even that has this problem to an extent), which means that a lot of your replays will feel real similar after a certain point.

    Mind you, Generations is definitely more akin to the classic games, but I'd prefer something with a bit less definition in it's paths and more opportunities to swap between them.
     
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  18. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Everyone talking fondly about Seaside Hill, and I can only remember running out of boost while crossing the ocean time and again because water surface paths weren't well conveyed but had no trouble in drowning you if you didn't take the exact path you had to; boost gauge emptied at any mistake. I can also remember the messy controls when fighting the fire monsters of Crisis City and some other levels where they asked a lot of precision but didn't give us tight controls in return.
     
  19. LuigiXHero

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    I put way too much time into generations and well that's because it's my favorite sonic game. I just absolutely love the level design and all the cool gimmicks and missions they put into the game. Also if you want classic sonic to play like a dream throw on all the physic skills... isn't perfect still but vastly better.
     
  20. Chibisteven

    Chibisteven

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    I decided to replay Sonic Generations recently after replaying the classics and the adventure games. The classic stages aren't bad, in spirit they are a bit like the classics, the control is noticeably different from the classics, not so much to be annoying but it's there and quite noticeable. I prefer another Sonic Mania over what the classic gameplay style of Sonic Generations has to offer. The modern stages are alright after just playing the adventures, it does feel bit stiff and tank like as it took me a bit to get used to boost Sonic gameplay after not playing for a while. Overall this game is alright and enjoyable to me. I love the remake and reimagining of classic stages in 3D and I love City Escape as classic Sonic.