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Bashing Sonic CD

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by JustAMotobug, May 6, 2020.

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  1. Naean


    Naean H.F. (Nez Man) Member
    United Kingdom
    2D. Sonic Fan Game
    While considering more games from back in the day, I don't think it's fair to say that Sonic CD is the worst classic 2D. Sonic game period.

    One of the lesser-consistent-level-design-quality classic 2D. Sonic games? Sure, I can get behind that.

    The worst classic 2D. Sonic game in general though? In my opinion, hell no. Certain 8-bit classic 2D. Sonic games have some Zones which contain what must be the most obnoxious, frustrating, disorienting and boredom-fuelling pipe/tube maze-like level design I've ever seen in the entire series. Fuck all that nonsense, has absolutely zero place in a Sonic game. In fact, I'd likely find it very unfitting and very poor design in almost any game, Sonic or otherwise. It's just un-fun design, which is a big shame when you consider that some of those same games also have decent to good to even-great Zones in them, some with banger music tracks too.

    I'm saying all of the above in general, by the way. Not targeted at anyone specifically, just wanted to bring the 8-bit games into the equation a little bit; I think it's worth bearing in mind the larger catalogue of classic 2D. Sonic games, particularly when making rankings, comparisons and the like. All of that said, worse level design being out there in the Sonic series shouldn't discredit criticism of Sonic CD's various level design quality inconsistencies, even if they're not as bad.
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  2. SystemsReady


    I Have No Idea What I'm Doing At Any Given Moment Member
    The Twin Cities
    trying to not fall asleep while writing Selenium tests
    REV01 made changes to both background drawing and collision, as well as enemy behavior in some instances too, but the big things that stuck out for me while playing REV00 for the first time were the original spike behavior, which was changed in like Mega Collection onwards, and how the game treated running down a slope - Sonic's angle going downwards is visibly wrong and he also has a more obvious running speed cap. There was a screencap of that somewhere (because I had that moment of recognition in Star Light Zone) but I can't seem to find it here or on TCRF. Basically, the game feels slightly off in the earliest released version, and that's compared to CD, 2, and later versions of itself IMO.

    Re: this topic, I do think OP was memeing...
  3. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    Both cartridge versions have the spike death and that's how Sonic 1 has always been on Mega Drive/Genesis. I usually play my Japanese copy (REV01) but I grew up playing my US cart (REV00) and I've never noticed a difference between the two outside of graphics upgrades like the extra background and water effects. I honestly wouldn't call any released version of Sonic 1 "jank" compared to the messed up pinball physics in CD. I'd say CD wins hands down in the jank department, though that doesn't bother me a whole lot.

    Also, you mention "first time," what version of Sonic 1 did you play first if not REV00? I know that I hardly even noticed the speed cap when playing it as a kid, and I played Sonic 2 a lot before getting into Sonic 1.
  4. nineko


    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    It's not that I don't like Sonic CD, I just think it's annoying. Find this, find that, do this, do that, there are too many rules and too many levels, and the game becomes a chore rather than a pleasure. Sure you can ignore most of it and achieve the bad ending, but it feels wrong to me not to achieve the best possible ending (this applies to all games with multiple endings).

    To this day, I completed only one playthrough of Sonic CD and I don't plan of ever doing a second one, I was tempted to do so for my Youtube channel, but I got bored halfway through Palmtree Panic.

    It's still better than Knuckles' Chaotix, though. That one bored me even more, to the point that I never completed even a single playthrough. I wanted to beat all the classic Sonic games at least once, and I did manage to resist through the entirety of Sonic CD that one time, but Chaotix was just too much for me.
  5. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    I love Sonic CD, it's my second favourite classic Sonic game after S3K, and third favourite Sonic game (Colours just slides in the middle there). But I still have problems with it too.

    I always like exploring in the classic games, and whereas Sonic 3K is designed to let you go through the level with exploration options, Sonic CD is designed to let you explore with an option not to; this is the ideal setup for the time travel mechanic in the game too, as the presence of a third exploratory dimension (time) increases the potential for exploration. Unfortunately a lot of this potential is wasted; for example, there's no area in the game that requires you to time travel into it - as long as you're in the correct time zone, you can get there. (also occasionally the level design can be a dick)

    I also like how it takes the simplicity of the bad ending/good ending mechanic and gives you exploration options there too; you can get the good ending the typical classic Sonic way (just beat the special stages), or you can find and destroy the machine in the past of each act. It's an elegant way of rewarding exploration without punishing the normal way of playing Sonic games.

    Time travelling itself is frustrating, though. It almost always devolves into finding a post, getting to a pair of springs without going fast (actively avoiding speed should never be a thing in a Sonic game) and bouncing between them for a few seconds. And if you want to see all the time zones of one act, you have to do this FIVE TIMES (Present -> Bad Future -> Present -> Past -> Present -> Good Future). This makes exploring much more tedious, and if I could only change one thing about the game it'd be this. Cut out Present entirely, start in Bad Future, and have portals that can be freely traveled through instead of requiring top speed for X seconds; then use these portals for more complex navigation and puzzle solving.

    I don't mind the Sonic CD spindash, but the Peelout makes it useless because it's better in every way (faster charge time, and you can just press down after you launch to be in a rolling state). Classic spindash at least has enough differences to make the two viable together (classic spindash can be launched near-instantly at a lower speed, but forces a rolling state).

    I love the art style of the game, and I always say that it feels like there's a subseries that consists of Sonic CD, Chaotix, Sonic Heroes, and Sonic Colours where we have this completely different Sonic universe, visually. It's not the same world we see in other Sonic games, but that's okay - it's not a numbered sequel, it can do things differently, and it's all the better for it.

    TL;DR: CD might've been my favourite game ever if it actually wanted you to time travel
  6. I wish the remaster devs where able to implement instant time travel, instead of the cutscene.

    That would have been epic.
  7. camcommunicates


    I must be in the minority with the Super Peel Out. I love it for this specific game. It makes exploring a whole lot easier as you can use the speed from it to launch yourself off slopes in running form, which has benefits over the Spin Dash.

    A personal story about this game for me, that could explain some of the hate it gets. My Mum picked up a Mega CD and Sonic CD from some guy in the local classifieds as a surprise for me as she knew I had all the Mega Drive games at that point. I get this amazing gift, set it up, and start playing. What do I naturally do? Treat it like I had with 1-3k. I went in with the intention of making it to the end quickly and expecting similar momentum based gameplay. I remember beating it in the most basic form and going back to S3K, thinking it was unfinished or worse than Sonic 1. It wasn’t until picking it up again over the years for a quick game that I truly appreciated how good it is. The exploration, replay value, secrets and Japanese influence in it are great and I would love if Sonic kept to the same style in terms of aesthetics (for the most part). You definitely cannot treat it like the other classics. I think the hate stems from people playing the Mega Drive games and then judging/playing CD as if it was the same as them.

    Specific negative things? The Special Zones frustrate me because of the collision detection. I almost feel like it’s luck at some points and just hope for the best once jumping. I would put them above Mania’s (which are my favourite) if they fixed this issue. Also, I hate the Sonic 1 sprite. With the amount of effort they put into this game, they could have at least drawn original sprites. Something in line with the Sonic in the intro/outro would have been great.

    Another negative thing is the US soundtrack. I do like some tracks from it, but overall, it’s not a great soundtrack. I have really tried to give it a chance (I love Sonic music as much as the series itself), but a lot of the stage music sounds like generic rock or pop that reminds me of stock music. If I took out the 3-5ish tracks I like in it, I would easily put it as my least favourite Sonic soundtrack ever.

    Maybe that’s harsh but definitely bottom 3
  8. TheInvisibleSun


    Buffalo, NY, USA
    The Water
    These comparisons with Sonic 3 make me wonder if time travel would be more fun if it were done the way Sonic 3 does the special stage rings. As in, little alcoves throughout the level that hold time travel portals.
  9. Rudie Radio Waves

    Rudie Radio Waves

    happy! :D Member
    Many a game.
    It would be nice to have Giant Rings that don't disappear, so you can time travel in and out of them as much as you please. You could access secret areas in other time periods this way.
  10. TailChao


    I Must Eat Muffin Gear Oldbie
    Being Busy
    Sonic CD is my favorite of the classics. Loved the visuals and never minded the cluttered stage layouts.

    But I'm also of the opinion that it's the most janky and least accessible - both of which can knock it down several pegs when playing it now rather than back in the day. There's a big difference in what you can get away with in terms of design when your target demographic is a bunch of kids in the early - mid 1990s without internet access and when games were all stupid expensive.

    The only changes I would have liked were removing the peel out and spindash entirely, and doing small tweaks to the stages based upon this. So more focus on speed as something to be earned and the time travel as more of an accomplishment. Having more to do with the time travel would have also been appreciated, there's almost no reason to go through all the permutations unless you're curious. If your paths affected later stages and there actually was something to do in the futures that would have been neat, but also super expensive.

    Edit : a little late, but...
    ...yeah, definitely - "too much" was my reaction to Chaotix then and still is now.
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  11. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    I think time travel as a game mechanic would work best if Sonic Team implemented it the way they/Dimps implemented Special Stages in the first Sonic Rush. Anyone agree?
  12. qwertysonic


    creating the biggest sonic collection
    I'd rather have the time travel thing be automatic based on acts. Like act 1 is present, act 2 is past, and act 3 is future. Depending on if you destroy the robot generators in the past and present acts, you get the good future or bad future for act 3.
  13. Billy


    RIP Oderus Urungus Member
    Colorado, USA
    Indie games
    Actually, kind of opposite of what people are saying, I think that Sonic CD's time travel mechanic of having to maintain speed would be an interesting way to get into the special stages. Certainly more interesting than having to keep hold of a certain number of rings until you get to a checkpoint/the end of the level, anyway.
  14. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    Pretty much this. Watching Grumps has made me realise that he just can't see what he talks about specifically in Mega Man X in literally anything else.
  15. Vanishing Vision

    Vanishing Vision

    I've cleared Chaotix 100%, and yeah, it's average at very best and really boring at worst. The levels are all very similar and have almost zero gimmicks/hazards. Shame though as the art and sound is spectacular, Door into Summer is probably my favorite song in the entire franchise, and Midnight Greenhouse, Seascape, and Evening Star are also excellent.
  16. Mana


    Good! Great! Awesome! Outstanding! Amazing! Member
    I'll just say it.

    Sonic CD only got the attention it did because it was hard to come by, despite what it was. It was a full Classic Sonic game with CD sound, animated sequences, Metal Sonic and Amy's first appearances, and a cool time travel mechanic we never saw again. It also had TWO soundtracks depending on what region you played it in, TWO. On paper this sounds like a clear hidden gem. Something that once rediscovered will surpass any and every classic Sonic game as the greatest. Just like all those guys in their late 20's and 30's told me online, right?

    Nope. When I finally got to play it full, and not just once or twice but several times, I realized the game was severely lacking. The stage design was more puzzle like because of the Robotnik Machines they wanted you to bash in every stage, the game focused on exploration while giving you several 'point of no returns' per stages so if you missed the Machine you're just screwed, and because of some glitch in the Gems Collection version you HAD to get the time stones to get the good ending. Destroying all the machines just didn't cut it.

    This actually ties into my next point. The Future and Past versions of the stage don't even matter and that makes the game overly short. Once you get the time stones you don't ever have to go to the past again except by choice and if you go to the future you have no enemies to face. If you want a challenge of sorts you COULD stay in the present but...the stages are still 2 minutes at best. The game also WANTS you to go to the past and future but make it so hard to build up momentum by the 4th zone that it's damn near impossible to do so. The game actively makes its defining gimmick impossible to use.

    The game also has bosses you can beat before they start their attack cycles. Why would I want this?

    I'm glad I had gotten into the original trilogy and knuckles heavily before the Christian Whitehead remake of CD had dropped. I know a lot of people my age (early 20's) and 18-19 who actually never wanted to play another Classic Sonic game after CD gave them a poor first experience. I actually bought Sonic Mania for one of my friends who hated CD and never played another Classic last month (after the movie got him back deeply into sonic) and he's in love with it.

    The game is, stylistically, is the best of the OG Classics. The music is great (both versions but I prefer JP), the sprites look amazing, the worlds are weird and alien and they pop just right. Some of the set pieces like Sonic vs Metal Sonic are very cool. It's just not a fun game.

    The BEST thing this game did was give Christian Whitehead to prove himself to SEGA with his port of Sonic CD to mobile. Sonic Mania and the Sonic 1 and 2 remasters are treats and I'm so grateful to have them. Also Metal Sonic, Amy, and TOOT TOOT SONIC WARRIOR of course. The game itself I can take or leave.
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  17. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    A few more quarterpipes should do it imo.
  18. Frostav


    I'll just put it like this:

    There's a reason Mania threw out the original level design COMPLETELY for its two CD Stages and just created all new layouts. All the other stages got to keep at least parts of theirs.
  19. Rudie Radio Waves

    Rudie Radio Waves

    happy! :D Member
    Many a game.
    I don't agree it would be the best solution, but it would still be a pretty good one. Good call on that!
  20. Unlimited Trees

    Unlimited Trees

    we Do a Little Mischief, Mischief... Member
    UNITRES, Project Time, etc.
    this thread is cock and balls and nuts and cum sonic cd for the japanese sega mega cd is literally the only good sonic game why must every sonic fan be into cbt
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