Bashing Sonic 1

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. Sai Start Marker

    Sai Start Marker

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    I don't agree with this at all. Sonic should be a platformer, first and foremost. Interesting and engaging level design in platformers often hinges on waiting and analysing your environment and the enemies/objects inside of it. It's a slippery slope from "you shouldn't have enemies you wait for" to "hold right/boost to win", to my mind.

    Labyrinth Zone falls under this umbrella. It's definitely not hard or irritating to deal with at all, if you're observant of your surroundings. But again, I realise I'm in the minority here.
     
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  2. Palas

    Palas

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    Count me in this minority, but there's a caveat. Sonic's platforming is defined by motion, so if waiting and analysing is not in the context of motion, the potential is wasted. Think Chaos Angel Act 3, in which you're always in motion, so there's inherent pressure in waiting.

    Which is another reason to like Labyrinth Zone, actually: the safest option would be to wait in some cases, but you can't, because if you do it, you'll drown. If there's no tension whatsoever in waiting and analysing, it's not even good platforming in the first place -- but, in Sonic's case, it's even worse.
     
  3. qwertysonic

    qwertysonic

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    Caterkiller sucks. I have died far too many times after killing it.

    Marble Zone was really hard as a kid. I have spent probably 100 hours on that cube floating across the lava only to miss the jump and have to do it again. That being said, I actually like Marble Zone. Maybe it's Stockholm syndrome? I really like the music too.

    Labyrinth Zone is slow and boring, and there are lots of cheap spikes. I'm very glad they extended the time before suffocating. That beta footage looked miserable.

    Scrap Brain is hard also there are no save points in it.

    I like Sonic 1. Other than Caterkiller I think my biggest issue with it is that it's really hard. I didn't beat it in a single run (without using level select) until like 5 years ago.
     
  4. Sai Start Marker

    Sai Start Marker

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    I think you present an interesting point, but I don't think that any careful platforming in Sonic 1 is without that context of motion. The very mechanics present within the game don't allow for it. At least, that's my perception. People raging against the Marble/Labyrinth machine present a different story, I suppose.

    Completely agree with this. It all works together coherently, and when I say "waiting", I do mean within the context of the Drowning counter.

    That's why I find Sonic 1 a lot more interesting and replayable than Sonic 2, where you're flying along and there doesn't seem to really be any bits that make you stop and consider the environment in any significant way until the latter half of the game. But I do think they did manage to strike the perfect balance of these two "styles" with 3 (and, later, Mania).

    A related aside: I really do love the structure of Sonic 1. Having a more speed driven level (Green Hill, Spring Yard, Starlight) followed by a more platform intensive level (Marble, Labyrinth, Scrap Brain) feels like such a conscious choice, and one that I enjoy so much.
     
  5. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    from our very own wiki:

    I'm not fond of the "they hated the player" or "they're lazy" kind of statements about stuff like this. Game development is always a battle between concept and constraints, be it technical, time, monetary etc..
     
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  6. XAndrew

    XAndrew

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    I agreed. By far one of my least favorite parts of the game. And the thing is? I actually really love the first two acts of Scrape Brain Zone. It felt like a true final level that puts the things you learned to the test. Unfortunately Scrap Brain Act 3 aka Labyrinth Zone Act 4 basically reuses a level that was already annoying enough when you played it, and so it's annoying again. Basically that Act of the Scarp Brain doesn't do anything new compared to the last two Act's.
     
  7. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    While they obviously wanted unique level art for Scrap Brain act 3, I find the reuse of Labyrinth pretty cool narrative-wise. You've made your way into Eggman's base, and just as you approach him he sends you down. The fact that you land in an extension of Labyrinth Zone raises the tension a lot. Labyrinth Zone was difficult, and now Eggman has sent you back into it. Fighting your way back up to face him in Final Zone is triumphant and rewarding. It also adds some world building by showing that the ancient underground caverns in Labyrinth Zone are present throughout the island.

    It also helps that I like Labyrinth Zone. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  8. Wildcat

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    Im not discrediting the work that goes into creating a game but I think it’s obvious they reused Labyrinth because it’s the most frustrating. Scrap Brain 3 is more than just a Labyrinth repaint. It still functions and plays as another Labyrinth act.

    Maybe it was made beforehand and plugged in there due to constraints but it feels like...here’s the most frustrating zone again because it’s the end.

    To be fair Sonic 1 is not the worst offender. Plenty of games reuse things simply because they knew how hard they were. I hate boss rushes or whatever they’re called. I think that’s so cheap...instead of a new challenge or stage...just fight the bosses over again in a row. Even modern games do this.

    @TheOcelot thanks for the video. I’ve never seen that. I’ll have to try that next time.
     
  9. XAndrew

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    Fair perspective. I just wished they actually had a new design for Act 3. Both level and aesthetic wise. I like how they had the outside of Scrap Brain Act 1, which looked so menacing. And the level design played up to that. Then we had Act 2 the inside of Scrap Brain which showed how dangerous Eggman/Robotnik is, and how you had to stop him. The level design got more tense. And when I first played Sonic 1, I couldn't wait to see how dangerous Act 3 was, only for it to be Labyrinth Zone Act 4 with a gray wash on it. It was just so disappointing to me. It didn't help that I already hated Labyrinth Zone, (Still do) so that added to my disappointment, which turned to frustration. I just wish they did more. On the bright side...at least they never made you played that part of the level 10 times to get the TRUE ending. (Looks At Westopolis On Shadow The Hedgehog -_-)
     
  10. TheInvisibleSun

    TheInvisibleSun

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    I guess should make a proper response to this thread, now that I have the time.

    Sonic 2 was one of the first video games I ever played, and I gleefully played it over and over. I played Sonic 1 afterward and always hated it as a kid (probably due to the lack of spin-dash, lack of Super Sonic, and the slower paced level design, since going FAST was paramount). As I became an adult, I gained an entirely new appreciation for Sonic 1; it began feeling like such a clean, basic, and solid game to me. So many nights I would often come home from work/college and just run through Sonic 1 as catharsis. As an aspiring designer, I started to appreciate some of the wonderful yet simple design elements and aesthetic decisions made, and this was only strengthened by my dabbling into rom hacking. Although I don't find it to be the best classic game, I've really come to love Sonic 1.

    However

    The game does have some 'early installment weirdness' that I still can't ignore, despite my perspective of the game. I joked about it earlier, but the spike bug/feature really is such a random middle-finger to throw at the player, intentional or not, especially if you can encounter it in the opening level (it feels nitpicky to point out bugs, but the walk-jump bug is also a stand-out frustration point worth mentioning). Also, as much as I like Marble Zone, Act 2 seems to really drag on beyond it's welcome, and it's linearity only enhances this to me. The special stages aren't awful, but they feel like more of a chore to complete now, to the point that I don't even bother playing them anymore.
     
  11. Sonic 1 was one of the very first video games I ever played, which makes it difficult to nitpick. To echo some thoughts already established in the thread: I too had difficulty with Marble Zone as a kid, and still feel that Labyrinth is just too long. With constant practice I overcame my platforming woes in Marble Zone and I now see it as one of the best levels in the game. The Marble Zone theme used to make me anxious, while it now brings me joy.

    None of the badniks, or their placement, ever bothered me. That being said, I do generally avoid Caterkillers. While I remain fascinated by the early zone orders, I wouldn't actually want the order to be any different. The speedy level followed by a blocky level pattern simply fits. It fits so well that CD retained the philosophy.

    Sonic 1 may not be the best entry in the series, but it sure was/is the most significant.

    Oh yeah, I also rarely bother to collect the emeralds. My reluctance stems from sucking at it when I was little, short of the very first one. My continued reluctance to do it boils down to there being no real reason to collect them each run.
     
  12. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    Sonic 1 actually has my favorite special stages, and is the only classic game I usually bother collecting emeralds in.
     
  13. I've never bothered to collect all the emeralds in Sonic 1 either. The Special Stages - even with the improvements of the remaster - just aren't fun for me. They're slow and tedious, and some of them are just flat-out unfair IMO. In fact, Sonic 3 & Knuckles is the only one of the original Genesis games (excluding CD) in which I collected them all. (I didn't collect all the emeralds in Sonic 2 until I played the iOS version.)
     
  14. 1 is just kinda rough as a whole, feeling more like a prototype to the games that followed. It's kinda like playing Kirby's Dream Land in that it's really short, primitive, a little clunky and ultimately doesn't feel like it explores on any of it's concepts enough, especially in comparison to how it's immediate sequels do it.

    I can't hate it or really have much to whine about with it, but it is what it is. Sonic 1 certainly exists. lol

    Though the special stages in Sonic 1 are better than 2's by a country mile, and yes this is my green hill I'm willing to die on.
     
  15. Fadaway

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    Marble Zone and Labyrinth Zone were my two fave levels as a kid. And Star Light Zone to a lesser extent. But, I was a weird kid.
     
  16. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    I won't bash Sonic 1 because I don't think it's fair. It was the first game, so its flaws are okay for what it was. This is not the same thing for Sonic CD, which took the flaws of Sonic 1 and extended them for the entire game.

    And I think Sonic 1's aesthetics are way better than Sonic 3K's, which to me are the worst of the classic games (despite the level design being the better). The colors in Sonic 3K are just too pale, too realistic, it's weird.
     
  17. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    I'm not sure what I can really add to this discussion since I typically just give up during Marble Zone, but I have to agree that pacing in the levels is a bit more clunky than in later games. It probably doesn't help that all the team really had to go off of is maybe work that had been done on the Alex Kidd games (Miracle World was pretty clunky imo) and what every other platformer since Mario had been doing for 6 years up to that point. Green Hill is probably less clunky if because of its numerous slopes and fluid level design that's just kinda lacking in later levels. I wouldn't necessarily bash it since it was their first attempt, but it was clear even to them that they needed to streamline the rough edges. Sonic CD went full force with the clunkiness and Sonic 2 streamlined it a little too much for my liking (the stages felt a little barren). Honestly it really wasn't until Sonic 3 that they got it right imo.


    I don't necessarily agree that Sonic 3 was too pale, but I think I can agree with you that Sonic 1 was more vibrant. I have a feeling the difference might be due to the American influence on level design for 2 & 3 as opposed to a full Japanese staff. As an animation student, I've noticed that Japan was and kinda still is a lot more into vibrant colors than the US and certainly had more surreal and fantastical content. American artists (at least back then) will typically strive for realism even in exaggerated cartoon settings where Japanese artists could care less. As a result, I think Sonic 1 definitely had a more J-pop feel to it compared to a mixed style for 2 & 3 (it's especially apparent when you compare with Sonic CD).

    Also, I hate Sonic's palette in this game. He's not supposed to be indigo.
     
  18. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    Forgive me guys, but I'm now going to sum up why Sonic 1 was in fact the best goddamn thing that's ever happened to not only my, but also your childhood:
    [​IMG]
    That's exactly the reason why Sonic 1 is so utterly important, why the OVA rocks, and so on and so forth.

    There you have it, case closed.
     
  19. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    ...not for lack of trying on the SoA side though...

    I still to this day absolutely hate all the American Sonic art. it's not a goddamned mohawk. he is not """rad""".
     
  20. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    But that's just marketing, right? We're lucky they didn't change the in-game graphics.