Bashing Sonic CD

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

  1. nesboy43

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    What are you talking about? Sonic CD is an incredibly well known and loved game. It is one of the most popular Sonic games period. I've loved it ever since I got it on PC in 97.

    Many of my friends who aren't "sonic fans" also loved this game growing up.
     
  2. Frostav

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    I actually think the ring system is part of what leads to this perception--not because it's bad, but because it allows these people to bumble through the games with zero fun and wonder what on earth people like about them. In comparison, much harder/more memorization-heavy games like Celeste and Cuphead just kill you if you mess up, so the only way to actually play through the levels is to be good enough to do them well. It's possible to beat Sonic while having an absolutely miserable time and never learning The Fun Way to actually play it. Those two games and their ilk just straight don't let you finish until you play it The Fun Way.

    @Josh also mentioned a rather salient companion to this in his Shadow video--Sonic games are meant to be replayed until you get good at them, a design philosophy that the gaming industry has so clearly moved away from that most people view a game demanding replays as some kind of badly-designed punishment. I saw, in real-time, the category, word, and concept of "replayability" just vanish from the collective gamer consciousness over the past decade and the one before it. "It's fun, but not replayable" used to be a common criticism of games that you straight-up do not see these days.
     
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  3. Pengi

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    One of the smartest things about Sonic 1 was that if you wanted to get the best ending, you had to get the Chaos Emeralds, which meant getting to the Special Stages, which meant getting good enough to finish levels with 50 rings.

    It's really organic layered difficulty.

    (On a related note, I think it's a real shame people have been so dismissive of the Sega Ages Sonic 1 and 2 releases on Switch. The "Ring Chain" feature adds a whole new way to play and enjoy the game, without changing the content of the game.)
     
  4. Wafer

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    Calm down, nobody's telling you that you're wrong for enjoying the game. The thread's purpose is LITERALLY for finding fault with it, and taste is subjective. Read the replies and you'll find people EXPLAINING WHY they feel the game is, in someway, flawed.

    If it's the tone of the OP that's got you rattled, here's a clue:

    sarcasm
    /ˈsɑːkaz(ə)m/

    noun
    1. the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.
      "she didn't like the note of sarcasm in his voice"
     
  5. Vanishing Vision

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    Agreed, and the score attack mode added to 1 is phenomenal. It makes classic Sonic FINALLY viable as a balanced score game that demands a "perfect run" of time, rings, and enemy combos, instead of just rushing to the goal, or slowly combing through the stage to pick up every ring. I wish it was in Ages Sonic 2, and other classic Sonic games as well. Score attack in Sonic, when done right is so much more fun than time attack, and it's irritating how infrequently it's featured nowadays.
     
  6. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    I don't get most of the complaints here, since Sonic CD can be played fast like Sonic 1 and 2 if you ignore the possibility of exploring, and you don't even need to time travel in order to get the good ending. :eyebrow:
     
  7. Hanging Waters

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    I can see that there's a big difference there, but I think that reaction seems a little bit... antithetical. If their complaint is that a game is too unforgiving, then naturally a mechanic that says "feel free to try again, immediately, and without handicap!" should be completely welcome.
    As Vanishing Vision said, I honestly think the ring mechanic is a big plus on that front. By comparison, games that kill you and make you start over whenever you fail a skill check fall into the same boat, but there is no failsafe, no bungee cord if you fall.

    I like to have faith that most people do try to engage with the game's design logic. Take us for example! People who got hit by a hazard, lost some rings, then understood more and more of the game's rhythm each time. I don't think the ring system enables people to refuse to engage, I think it makes it EASIER to get up and engage again without getting frustrated. If someone is saying to themselves, "I'm going to do the same thing over and over again, and even if it didn't work before, maybe it will this time!" then I think that says less about the game's design and more about the person's disposition toward the game. Heck, even while the player is meant to grow and get "better" on successive playthroughs, the game gives you so many chances to learn some of its patterns on your first playthrough.

    I second Pengi saying that it helps create a more organic system of difficulty. There are plenty of games that I put down, not just because they were hard or encouraged you to replay sections, but because you would get ONE SHOT at a challenge, and if you failed you had to go ALLLLL the way back to the beginning and work your way back up before you could even try again. I could understand if people were saying what you're saying, that they feel like there is no pressure to play "the right way" because the game is too forgiving".... but on the contrary, the complaints I'm citing are ones where they explicitly call 2d Sonics unforgiving and unnecessarily difficult. That's why it feels strange to me... it 100% feels like a bad faith argument.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  8. TailChao

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    Anecdotally the Windows 95 version of the game felt really common - like, nobody I knew at the time thought Sonic CD was some obscure lost title but rather "the one on the computer".

    That trend always felt like confusion between "this isn't for me" and "this is bad". There's other series which are far more rude to the player but don't get called out because of the attracted audience or some other factor.


    The difficulty with the series from a design aspect (from my dumbass perspective) is that the first game was balanced extremely well. You can only go fast with good knowledge of the layouts plus skill in building and controlling Sonic's momentum. When a player has both of these downpat - it's straight up cool to watch. But it takes significant investment to get there.

    It's not trivial to add anything to the base rules without upsetting this, even the tiniest bit.
    Bla bla bla, whatever.


    Yeah, nudges like this would be really neat - especially if the time travel was immediate / more like DeLorean the Hedgehonk. Hopping around the timeline should be really gratifying.

    One small detail I always appreciated is that traveling to the past is actually more difficult - since all the badniks are in tip-top shape. Head to the bad future and they're all neglected and busted up. So I think there was some intention of dynamically changing assets like this, but it just wasn't expanded upon. I can't really blame the team though, it's hella expensive.


    Edit : ...thinking about it more, what if the time travel was instantaneous only after you got all the time stones? So it'd work more like Super Sonic where you could just warp on the spot (maybe with a ring penalty). Then you could block out the stages so a new game+ playthrough with the time stones actually was a whole second quest. It could even be built into some greater narrative or whatever.

    Little Planet was the moon from Majora's Mask all along.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  9. SystemsReady

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    Given that it was originally planned to be immediate...
     
  10. Vanishing Vision

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    Instant time travel with the music switching to the same moment in the past/future song would be unbelievably cool.
     
  11. Pengi

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    Ohshima has said he'd like the Sonic CD iOS team to do a director's cut version without the time travel loading sequence. If the Whitehead version of Sonic CD is ever ported to Switch or PS4 or included in a new compilation or something, I really hope that's something they take the time to implement.
     
  12. Rudie Radio Waves

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    I guess so, but "fast" is kind of pushing it. I get that in Classic Sonic games you have to replay the levels a lot to get better, it's fine, but CD often just plonks rocks, spikes, spring and whatnot in order to straight up halt your momentum, whereas the other Sonic games (barring 95% of Sonic 1 :0 ), and even CD in some areas, slow you down organically.
    Also, if you want to get the good ending and you're not time traveling, you're playing the Special Stages, which are sucky and bad. >:[
     
  13. Master Emerald

    Master Emerald

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    Well they might be weird but if you accept Sonic 2 special stages you have no right to complain about Sonic CD's, though.

    Seriously, Sonic 2 Special Stages are very, VERY unfair compared to the others.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  14. ICEknight

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    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  15. Rudie Radio Waves

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    I completely agree. I hate those. Pitting CD's Special Stages vs 2's, the formers absolutely come out on top.
     
  16. DarthDub

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    I thought that was only a thing in 0.2 prototype/later? unless I'm thinking of something else..
     
  17. Palas

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    On the flipside, I do believe the ring system is the responsible for Sonic being as fun to play as it is even if you're not speeding through the stages. Exactly because you don't have to be good in a very specific way in order to beat the stages, you can develop your own playstyle and try out new moves. Often, players can just throw themselves off a cliff just to see what happens and the game, because of its life system, won't make you feel exactly judged for it: if you died, you can always collect rings before hand and try again. So all parts of a stage end up mattering in a way that's unique to your playthrough and that's what makes any exploration truly organic.

    The fact that classic Sonic games in general -- and Sonic CD in particular -- don't feel like puzzles to be solved is what makes them great. But it's a tradition that was lost to time because it could never evolve. The same happened to most SEGA games. Nowadays they're considered weird because they more or less ceased to make an impact on what is considered good game design. But that's bullshit anyway.
     
  18. TailChao

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    I always thought the little unused loops for each stage's music were for a shorter travel sequence like this, but they couldn't rig it within the development schedule or such. They prefix all the stage tracks fairly well, and are just long enough for the laser to drag its ass across the disc.
     
  19. Frostav

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    The problem is this only works under the mindset of, like, a six year old in 1992 who got a Genesis for their birthday, has like, one other game, and has the free time to just dick around for hours each day learning the game because they don't have anything else.

    Modern gamers do not approach games like this. I have talked with a lot of these "Sonic was never good people" and when I point out that yes, you are supposed to suck at first, yes, you are supposed to just mess around and have fun, yes, you are supposed to replay it over and over again, they metaphorically look at me like I'm insane. They don't merely reject that philsophy, they act like said philosophy is so fundamentally absurd and baffling that I'm speaking Latin to them.
     
  20. Palas

    Palas

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    But this is hardly a problem. It's just the way it is, the reality of how we play games is different. The mentality of preparing for a whole week in order to play a game with your friends at an arcade, searching for hidden clues in foreign magazines etc. and thus being almost some sort of a theorist before being a player, can't exist nowadays. But still - old Mario or even Zelda games are also hard, but they have a different, hands-on approach that thrived and evolved and are now the absolute standard.

    We can speculate for days what an evolved form of Sonic's philosophy would be, but nevertheless there is merit in it.