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Bashing Sonic 1

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Joebro64, Jul 16, 2020.

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  1. I have a really hard time trying to bash Sonic 1... It was my first Genesis game, which I got several months before Sonic 2 was released. Sure it has its flaws, but it's not like Sonic 1 is a bad game that was "saved" by the sequels... It's a great game on its own and it'd still be remembered fondly even if it hadn't spawned a franchise.

    The speed and the physics were new gimmicks at the time, and mixing that with slower, more traditional platforming levels was perfectly natural. Gamers weren't expected to throw away everything they knew about platforming, so it's perfectly understandable that the game was still deeply rooted in that genre.

    As Sonic got more notoriety, games indeed branched farther away from classic platforming and into their own thing, giving more focus to speed than to other elements, but look at where that ultimately got us: crappy 3D games that are all about spectacle and nothing about gameplay.

    As for the visual aesthetic of the game, I like that Sonic 1 is more surreal than its sequels. Everything is very polygonal and artificial, giving the game a very distinct look. Sonic 2 looked pretty boring in comparison. 3&K had awesome graphics and great use of color IMO, but its environments were becoming too organic and realistic.
     
  2. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    I like the first Sonic enough to respect it, and, while I have complaints, most of them aren't that big and, funny thing, most of the issues I find in the game aren't the same ones you're pointing around here, so I'll bash it a bit for the purposes of this thread, but I'll "unbash" it a bit too first.


    Unbashing text wall:

    - Catakillers are great enemies, you have to find the right way to hit them or you'll get hurt and put yourself in more danger thanks to the released bouncing spiked balls. Learning how to hit them properly was part of the challenge, not just because hitting the head is its only weak point, but also because the spikes are still there, so you have to hit that head carefully, either by a precise jump or by measuring the speed of your roll carefully. I get the complaints to some extent, especially from people that played the game at a very young age, but, come on, just because they're a bit hard to hit doesn't mean that's unfair or too difficult.

    - Similar thing about the spike bug, which, while I don't enjoy (who would), it made sense: they are long piercing pieces of hard metal supposed to be a serious hazard, so being the exception to that "saying ouch will save me for a few seconds" mechanic is quite coherent, I saw that as extra difficulty but not a dickish move. My complaint would be more about the design of the spikes in that game, which looks less menacing (and uninteresting) than in later games while being just the opposite.

    - About Labyrinth, I'll say something: it's the only zone in all the classic games where being underwater matters, or, in other words, the only true water level from the classic games. Some other levels have some meaningful sections but overall you won't really notice the water once you learn those levels enough (Aquatic Ruin has the other most dangerous underwater area, but can be easily ignored just by taking the upper route). Seriously, Sonic 1 was about physics and gimmicks beyond curves and speed, so handling the effects of water while moving was a great addition, just as good as reversing or lowering the gravity in space levels. About breathing, yes, it's a bit annoying, but you also get a reward for mastering the level when you find you can ignore half of the bubble spots you previously needed to stop on.

    - Something I like from the bosses in this game is that they feel really rhythmical, almost musical. Abusing ringmunity is possible, but most of the time won't be better than doing things the right way, they flow so well when you master them you'll lose little more time by "dancing" with them than you'll do by just thrashing it while rings bounce around.

    - Now, something no one mentioned here, something that goes directly against people complaining about Marble zone or any other slow level in the game: this game gives you a great sense of inmersive adventure, something they hardly achieved back then, levels being instead boards to play on and not so much places to live an epic adventure when you went through. Using the example of Marble zone, yes, there's a lot to wait, to be careful about and time correctly, because, you know? You were exploring ancient ruins flooded with lava and full of other traps, and, I at least, felt like I was doing that, so waiting made sense, being smart felt necessary, because I wanted to come out from there alive. If Sonic was all about speed, ok, but it's about gameplay flow, and I run through Marble zone quite fast, don't wait that much in Labyrinth zone, and Scrap brains forces you to learn that stopping is sometimes the best way to move fast through the level.

    - I like the non-roll jump bug, shows Sonic doesn't need to roll or run to do everything in his life. I, in general, like the inoffensive bugs in any game, they're random amusing surprises for your gaming sessions.


    Bashing text wall (shorter):

    - Now, that said, I'll admit it took me years to beat the game without the level select code thanks to the boss from Labyrinth zone, it was there where they put too many traps and abused the underwater physics. Funnily enough, my aunt found easy to beat that and impossible to beat Star Light boss, which I found really easy, so I suppose everyone has different strong and weak points.

    - The first time I beat the game legitly was also the first one I got all the emeralds, some of those special stages were hard and there weren't many occasions to get them (10 tries to get 6 emeralds at best). While I love to replay this game, I don't remember to have bothered to make a full playthrough with a good ending ever again.

    - Now that we're talking about the good ending, it's so "meh" that it even took me a moment to notice the difference with the standard one. Yeah, giant flowers, ok. The good ending was seeing Robotnik pissed of, I think. The 8-bit game was much better in this regard, not only the emeralds did something meaningful, but it fitted the environmental theme of this games.

    - I never got the design of Spring Yard either, it's all over the place. It has things I like, but overall is my least favourite level thanks to its design (and huge bottomless pits).

    - Three acts are too many, specially when differences between them aren't noticeable. The game is about as long as Sonic 3 without S&K locked on, maybe shorter, but two distinct longer acts with a boss each helps a lot to feel progression, while, in Sonic 1, it's hard to remember which act are you on save for Scrap Brain. Just think about act 1 in Mania Green Hill, where having a different background for the lower part of the level already made you feel some progression. Well, I shouldn't have said they're too many acts, but it feels like that because there's so much of the same.


    tl;dr:
    The game has its flaws because it's the first one and there was no previous reference on what people would like from the game and what not, but I see most complaints in this thread have more to do with not understanding what they were offered than with actual faults, and mastering this game really feels rewarding.
     
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  3. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Speaking as someone who started with Sonic 2, got 3K, and then only got 1 second hand some time afterwards.... needs more spindash. =P

    Also needs no spike bug, the cumbersome waiting sections of Spring Yard removed... and not too much else, honestly.
     
  4. Dark Sonic

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    That's exactly the same order I played the games in. I feel like if your first game was Sonic 2, Sonic 1 is probably not going to be your favorite of the classic series.
     
  5. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    Sonic 2 was my first game of the series, and I love Sonic 1. Second favorite behind 2. I think Sonic 1 should be played first by newcomers since it teaches the player the importance of pressing down. It wasn't until I started playing Sonic 1 that I realized how useful that is. The lack of spindash is a strength in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  6. qwertysonic

    qwertysonic

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    I played 1 first but got 1, 2, and spinball together. 2 is still my favorite.
     
  7. Frostav

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    I just do not see what positives 1 has over 2 and 3 (and now Mania). Green Hill is fun but there's a better version of it in Mania and the game is a clearly unfocused bit of a mess suffering from serious "early installment weirdness" with everything from entire existence of Marble Zone to there being only 6 emeralds and no super sonic.
     
  8. Palas

    Palas

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    I don't get what's so wrong about Marble Zone when Sonic 3 has Marble Garden, which is so much worse in every aspect.
     
  9. Sid Starkiller

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    Marble Garden at least has slopes and branching paths. Its only major fault is being too long.
     
  10. Palas

    Palas

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    Slopes and branching paths are absolutely unimportant if using them is confusing and haphazard, there's no coherence in how the level works or what skill you're supposed to hone in order to beat the level or - especially - if the music sucks.

    Like really, Marble Zone not having branching paths is just not important. Branching paths are not important if there's no incentive for you to use them in different situations - if there's no difficulty variance, if you have no idea what you're missing, if the branching paths don't build a whole. Marble Zone has a whole without paths: there are rooms you can see, but may not be sure if it's safe or worth it to reach. Even if there's a lot of waiting, there's a lot of having to move because the danger is coming to you. There's a lot of missing opportunities, and then dying, and then going back and trying harder to catch the opportunity you missed before. The branching path is built by you trying different things.
     
  11. Sid Starkiller

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    ...im not really sure how to respond to that (well, I could be a douche and say "git gud scrub") other than that I never remember getting lost in the level so im not sure where your confusion stems from. Haphazard you could justify by saying it's a collapsed ruin, so you could argue that that's the point (just a tiny bit of drilling on Eggman's part causes massive sections of the locale to collapse further). And while it's definitely my least favorite track in the game, I wouldn't go so far as to say the music outright sucks.

    To be clear, I still think Marble Garden is the worst level in Sonic 3, but that, again comes down to its length, and being the final hurdle before my favorite level.
     
  12. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    "Git gud" doesn't even apply to this. Marble Garden Zone isn't hard. The level design simply has no sense of progression. You're basically wandering aimlessly the whole time. This is actually a problem I have with 3&K as a whole, with the acts being too long with little sense of progression. This is why I say that Sonic 1 and 2 are both better games. But compare Marble Garden Zone to (the high route of) Aquatic Ruin Zone and there's a big difference in how the level feels to play. I'm not saying Marble Garden Zone's level design should be exactly the same or that vertical level design is bad, but it illustrates how a good stage feels to play versus a big waste of time. Marble Zone is good, in fact it's great, and Palas' point about slopes and branching paths is 100% accurate. It doesn't matter. And Marble Zone at least has some great shortcuts and secrets.

    Also, the music in both Marble Garden Zone and Mushroom Hill Zone sound like farts in a tin can.
     
  13. Crappy Blue

    Crappy Blue

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    Bad. Inexcusable. Terrible. Criminal. Horrific.

    Having this opinion will definitely send you to some kind of hell, like instantly. I think it already happened
     
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  14. Sid Starkiller

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    Thinking back, one of my sisters did make such a complaint about Sonic 3, but the sister in question is very much a "turn your brain and barrel forward" kind of gamer. You could make the argument that we just memorized it over the years, but we had to get there somehow. Again, of the complaints I've had and heard leveled against Marble Garden and Sonic 3 in general, "getting lost" usually isn't among them.

    But since this is SUPPOSED to be discussing Sonic 1, how about I make a Bashing Sonic 3 thread and you can continue this there?

    Also:
    ...really? It's one thing to dislike the songs, but is such a juvenile simile really necessary?
     
  15. Dek Rollins

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    I was unaware this was an unpopular opinion. These tracks are severely removed from the rest of the series and even the rest of the game in quality.

    "Getting lost" probably isn't the best word for it, more like a "I don't know where I am half the time because this act is super long" kind of thing.

    A Sonic 3 thread would probably be a good idea.

    Yes, it is, because that's what I think of when I think about the music in those zones. Both of them suffer from 16bit farting synth syndrome. I also don't see how that's excessively juvenile in reference to music. It's not that I "dislike the songs", it's that I think they sound bad. In fact, they've grown on me quite a bit over the years.

    EDIT: Just noticed that the Sonic 3 thread exists already! :p
     
  16. Frostav

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    Oh, I agree with you there. The first Sonic game I ever played was 3&K's old-ass PC port and I never could get part MGZ... (moving the rest of this to the thread dedicated for it)

    However I will concur that MGZ's music is borderline unlistenable
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  17. TheInvisibleSun

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    -The only complaint I have with Caterkillers is that they are a bit buggy sometimes; you can still take damage if you roll into them too quickly. Otherwise, I agree.

    -Nope, the spike bug still doesn't make sense to me logically, as even the other 'spiky' objects in the game don't behave this way.

    -I agree with your take on Labyrinth. I'm not even sure I ever really hated the level, as its music stood as my favorite track from the game for a long time. I've taken a liking to the zone, especially now that I'm far better at the game than the six-year-old me was. Also, upper route in act 1 ftw

    -
    The walk-jump bug is actually problematic in some places, like near the end of LZ1, for instance.

    I also stan Marble Garden Zone, but I'll reserve my comments for the other thread so as to stay on topic.
     
  18. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    I actually have a real bashing to do to Sonic 1 and Labyrinth zone: while the music may be beautiful, I don't see it fit the level at all. I mean, it may sound a bit adequate for a water level, but not for flooded primeval ruins at the earth's heart. Blue Ocean in the concept art for Sonic 2 seems a lot more fitting for that track because it's more like a natural seabed.
     
  19. Laura

    Laura

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    I just completed Sonic 1 a few times over the past few days on Switch. Got all the emeralds too (using savestates :ssh: ).

    I still think it's a lot of fun. even if it's not as good as Sonic 2, 3 or Mania (or even CD in my opinion). I do think it's funny that half of the levels are slower paced and more conventional, but they aren't badly designed on the whole. I do think the collapsing platform with the fire engine is really annoying on Scrap Brain 1, and Labryinth and Starlight have some irritating sections where enemies and hazards come up suddenly on screen, but they aren't game ruining or anything. And while I think Marble Zone is pretty annoying and slow at times, I don't think it's a badly designed level.

    And to be honest, I think Sonic 1 is more attuned to the series' identity than some make out. It has loads of secret paths and hidden monitors even in stages you wouldn't expect, like Labryinth and Scrap Brain. It's more linear in some of its levels than 2 and 3, but it's a lot more open than most other platformers still. Even Marble Zone has hidden invincibility monitors which can skip large sections of it.

    It's a game which still has the arcade mentality of expecting the player to play it loads and loads until they've learned where a lot of the secrets and invincibility lives are, and that's not trial and error, but classic exploration. Sonic 2 has a bit of it still, but it's not as central to the game as Sonic 1 I think. And while that's an archaic way to play a game by today's standards, I think it does it well.
     
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  20. JustAMotobug

    JustAMotobug

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    Guess I'm nobody then. I enjoy water stages for their variety and change of pace. Obviously, not a popular opinion. Also, out of all the things I enjoyed about Labyrinth Zone (and Marble Zone, which is also commonly criticized for being 'slow'), I hate the boss of the zone to the point that I would never want to see that boss again unless it's the 8-Bit version of Sonic 1. It would've been fun if it wasn't for the fact that if you get hit on the fight just a little bit, you will have either a hard time getting back to Eggman or you'd inevitably drown due to how fast the water rises compared to the speed of Sonic underwater if it gets far ahead of him. Besides that, if the boss had a few improvements, I'd say it's a solid stage.
     
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