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Homing Attack or Not?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MegaDash, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Cyberblade


    Can't catch me ya bastard! Member
    Sonic Shift
    I hear a lot of, "Ur, it's not classic Sonic, get rid of it." in this thread. But really that's just a bunch of horse shit. I'll be the first to admit its an absolutely stupid thing in a 2d game, but in 3d the homing attack is an absolute necessity if you want to keep the games speed up.

    Now, I know Sonic looks really fast in classic 2d, even in Generations, but alot of you fail to realize just how very different 2d and 3d gameplay are to implement, let alone doing it fast. First off, in 2d you can't see as far ahead as you can in 3d, this makes even a slight speed increase feel greater than you would expect. Lots of little details can easily flow by and make things even faster looking. In 3d, if you want to increase the speed that's great, but then you need to reeeeaally up the speed or it won't feel as high, because you can see further ahead.

    When you really bump the speed up, lining up a jump with a similar sized enemy is just very very very difficult for a player to do. It also means that the player will feel its very cheap if they keep running straight into things or missing enemies. This is why modern Sonic features boost and homing attack. In long stretches of speed you can boost straight through enemies without feeling like they got a cheap hit off on you because you couldn't see them. The homing attack fixes the other problem, you can attack enemies at very high speeds without feeling frustration of constant missing. Its the combination of these two issues that have never really let me like SRB2. The speeds so high you can't bop the enemies properly without slowing down, and quite often its easy to just run straight into something you didn't see.

    The problem, as Chimpo has pointed out, is that enemies are too underpowered now. Few enemies can counter either of them, even late in the game. Generations tweaked a few enemies to better do this (Such as the Egg Robos with the rockets), but still didn't do a very good job at making enemies a threat during homing/boosting because they're usually too slow to keep up. In exchange they forced Sonic to slow down later in the game so enemies became a little more threatening. They definitely need to make some more threatening enemies to counter the boost/homing attack, but those two things should remain in some way or another for the purposes they fulfill.

    That said, Sega has certainly made the homing attack much better over the years. Whatever genius added the reticule so you know which enemy you'll hit certainly made the whole things so much more useful. And while there are still homing attack chain areas, they're slowly toning them down. In my honest opinion, I don't mind the homing attack chains to reach new areas, but I absolutely despise them when they're forced above bottomless pits. Make these chains more useful to access extra areas and make them harder to maintain while allowing the player to keep moving if they fail and I'd have absolutely no issue with them whatsoever.
  2. Rosie


    aka Rosie Member
    Personally I'd prefer it if they got rid of it altogether and replaced it with something else entirely, but as that doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon, I'd settle for it getting a smaller trajectory, and to at the very least have an option to turn those ugly ass reticules off, or at least make them less obtrusive, like a sort of shining light coming off the enemy/spring/thingymajig that you're currently homing into.

    But get that shit out of my 2D Sonic. I think the next 2D Sonic should be based on Sonic 4: By being exactly the opposite in every way.
  3. DNLeal


    Former MMO addict Member
    Costa Rica
    Reading the archives...
    I am not one to hate the homing attack. Ever since its inclusion, it has become a solid ability in the series. Personally, I'm ok with the attack as it is currently, however it's true its use should be polished a bit, mostly on the fact that it shouldn't be an overpowered attack and should provide you with options.

    While I like the idea of the homing attack leading to new areas, I disagree on the "experienced" players needing to tap and tap to reach "better or faster areas". The homing attack is very easy to use as it is, and the only challenging factor that colors and generations have provided have been to place certain enemies after long jumps or huge boosts so you have to quickly react and notice you can homing attack in a specific area. Homing attack should provide alternate routes yes, but it shouldn't define you as a better player than the others. There should be a variation of the homing attack to select an alternate area, or alternate areas to select within a "homing attack route". At the same time, the "homing attack route" should not be the best of them all, and make faster or more enjoyable routes harder to reach.

    To me, the homing attack is more of a hit and run skill where it gets you to places be it higher or lower to reach a specific point faster. The best example of where I've seen the homing attack at its best has been in the balloons on rooftop run modern in generations. Instead of the homing attack stopping your momentum and then pull you up vertically so you can tap the a button again to reach another foe (as in going up), the balloons push you forward again completely, reaching more distance in the process. This is perfect considering there's one area (correct me if I'm wrong though) you can even choose between a left path or a right path by holding the control stick in the desired direction. The homing attack is perfect as it is to keep aerial or middle fast routes at a constant pace. Bottom routes should sometimes be faster than the aerial ones, but by different means.

    I also agree on enemies being weak to a single homing attack and they should be much powerful to resist a homing attack on later levels. Here's an example of how a homing attack can be used as a hit and run concept using the mechanics of the balloons mentioned before and as a battle concept, while at the same time it provides you with alternate routes with its specific consequences:

    Let's say sonic is running and a huge enemy appears to attempt to stop you from running. You can use your homing attack sure, but it won't do much or nothing on the robot unless you "weaken it first, then spam the homing attack". What would happen if you were given these 2 options on how to use your homing attack. Fight the robot as if it were a boss to get rid of it move on, or actually escape and overrun the boss with a weak but fast homing attack at a specific point that pushes you forward from the foe and makes you move on? Many would say the homing attack route is faster, but here's the thing, because of your decision to avoid your foe to go faster, the robot is still alive making your life hell behind you. This would provide a greater challenge to some who didn't want to defeat the robot to escape while people who fight the boss right away get a "safer but surely route". Both depend on skill in the long run, and the homing attack is there for you to choose how to use it.

    As for 2D sections, I'm actually ok with the homing attack being in or not. The thing is, most of the time I don't really need it to begin with considering the mechanics (I've rarely used it in sonic advance for example) and the other tricks you have at your disposal, also, it was nice to use in sonic 4 on certain paths, as long as you have the option to use it or not depending on the route you took.
  4. Penguin


    Slower speed, more fickle jumping physics, more boring level design and huge enemies? Just off the top of my head.
  5. Covarr


    Sentient Cash Register Member
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    The homing attack isn't even the same from game to game. In Sonic 4, it's instant speed with no consequences, and it removes difficulty (at least when it doesn't arbitrarily uncurl you). In Sonic Generations, the homing attack goes so far as to punish you for abusing it. It can give you a little extra distance on a jump or fall, and it can aim into things in some places, but attempting to use it for additional speed will generally slow the player down, and spamming it all the time will hinder player control and most likely cause the player to fall and die a lot.

    Actually, I didn't mind the homing attack at all in Generations and Colors. Based on that, it seems to me that it's really a matter of how its executed, rather than whether or not it's even there.
  6. Chimpo


    Atomic Sonic Part II
    You're arguing spamming the homing attack as a method of gaining speed. You could never do that in the 3D games. They were pretty nerfed there.

    Most of the complaints are about the homing attack as an actual attack.
  7. I think that the homing attack is necessary for faster game-play runs. But I generally dislike how when you use it nowadays (not targeting anything) you lose all of your momentum, I like how it was when it was in Sonic Adventure where you retained your speed. Sonic Advance 2 did it well.
  8. NomadTW


    I ain't gotta impress you fucks. Member
    Yeah I have to agree there, the HA makes the gameplay feel a bit disjointed at times. I'm going HOLYFUCKFAST and then suddenly I homing attack and there goes all the momentum I had by the end of the HA. I just wanted to reach a platform not come to a dead stop.

    Feels kinda lame to me. But then again that might not be a HA problem but more of a game design issue in general, so I digress.

    Also, I wish I didn't absolutely HAVE to have a targeting thing pop up in order to perform one. (This goes for the light dash too. I can't tell you how many times I died thinking I could light dash a row of rings only to remember all too late that you can't without the prompt. :c) Half the time they don't pop up when they need to (Vector's music note mission is a prime example of this) even if I'm two feet away from them. And don't tell me 'You're right on top of them then the HA won't work' because it does sometimes when I am. All and all it feels kinda finicky in Generations. I think it was better in Colors despite having insane range on it. :v:

    But yeah, I don't mind HA. I just wish it was implemented more intuitively and complimented the speed based gameplay more.
  9. Josh


    I'm with the OP, I think. In 3D, it's perfectly okay so long as it's quick and snappy, and not TOO powerful. The attack was a bit overpowered in SA, nerfed nicely in SA2, and of course completely broken in '06. Still, it's a staple of the series, and I think it serves the 'hog well in 3D.

    In 2D... Megamix showed me that if it's designed well, the homing attack can be a really, really fun gameplay mechanic. But a big part of that was that it also served as a great means of acceleration, and the stages were designed around that. Playing Megamix in original mode, that makes it seem WAY too powerful, but Megamix has smart (and tough) level design that makes it work.

    Compare all this to Sonic 4, which made the attack a necessity, but a boring one.

    Generally speaking though, I don't think it's needed. With Generations though, I don't mind it being an OPTION, and that's the key. If they make more games with classic Sonic and want to give him the homing attack, great! But it needs to be either

    A) Powerful enough to be fun, with stages designed well around it (as in Megamix), or
    B) An optional upgrade that won't hinder Sonic's progress either way, as in Generations.
  10. In terms of the homing attack, it's kinda disgusting, but there were times playing Generations that I found myself trying to use the homing attack on enemies as Classic Sonic. This only lasted for a short time, and I managed to break it. If used properly, the homing attack can work with classic sonic, but overuse would lead to it just being too gimmicky. Modern Sonic games get much better use out of it, because sometimes it's necessary to use it to cross obstacles, drops, etc.
  11. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    It's a bit sad really, the fact that all forward momentum is lost when using it in that game. If they'd just made more enemies easily reachable from a single jump it wouldn't even be necessary for reaching paths, as chain-jumping would be so much easier.

    That said I was always mixed in regards to the inclusion of the homing attack in Megamix. It certainly made things a lot faster but also tended to make dealing with enemies too simple, even for a Sonic game. Haven't touched it in a while though so I won't stick my neck out too far on the matter.
  12. I had that habit too. Then I actually unlocked Homing Attack for Classic Sonic and it was worse because I had just broken that habit.
  13. BetaTwizzler


    I've grown to love the Homing Attack over the years, and I use it almost every chance I get, but I could easily start up Sonic 1 and not give a damn that it's not present. I really don't see why anyone rages over this, I mean, yeah, it's annoying when you're forced to use it like in some areas of Sonic 4, but I can't remember many areas where you're forced to use it in the other console games. Personally, I love it, and I think it should be included in every future Sonic game. Why? 'cause it's fun, convenient, and a staple for modern Sonic. At the same time I also think it or rather the levels should be tweaked to accompany it. One should never need to use the Homing Attack, it should be completely optional, and since someone somewhere is going to bitch because it's simply in the game this is the least they could do. Take for example the first bridge in modern Green Hill Zone, you don't need to Homing Attack the Motobugs, but if you want to chain your way to the other side just for fun or you're tying to fill the boost gauge you can. You have the option to do it, and that's awesome! Another place I can think of is later on in modern GHZ, you're coming off a platform or rail, something, and you have the option to either Homing Attack a Buzz Bomber and continue on or fall down and spring back it. Again, you have the OPTION to use it.

    "Was that an extra life on that floating platform? I think it was, I'm gonna go get it, I just gotta Homing Attack these 3 Buzz Bombers first!"
    "Dang, I missed the high platform, there might be something good up there...I'm gonna go back and Homing Attack the robots to get up there."

    That's how the Homing Attack should work. It should be completely optional and only need to be used IF YOU WANT chain to a different area/destroy multiple things at once. Having to use it to get over bottomless pits and having to use it in general is stupid.
  14. Rosie


    aka Rosie Member
    Watching the videos of Classic hacked into the act 2 levels of Sonic Generations, it really made me think that just jumping onto enemies would be perfect, with a slight pull towards them to bring you into the right direction, much like the floating platforms in Sonic Adventure, but smoother and perhaps more subtle.
  15. Or pull a Mario and have a shadow directly below you, but I imagine that won't work too well with the wrong camera angles and high speeds.
  16. Aquaslash


    Emerald Dragoon Moderator
    Hampton, VA
    The S Factor: Sonia and Silver
    I think this is just the latest thing that was fine before and is suddenly awful, and only for the sake of bitching. Absolutely nobody had a problem with the homing attack OR Modern Sonic until Sonic 4 showed up because you had nothing left to bitch about. You all go "waah homing attack is such a game breaker", yet nobody said slag about it in Megamix or Advance 2 or any other 2d game, official or fanmade that had it.

    Next you punks will whine about how fat Robonitk is >_>
  17. Metal Man88

    Metal Man88

    Time Traveller Oldbie
    I'm neutral on homing attacks, as I actually liked how it was used in SA2, and SA2 had the whole gamut of hated things like no reticule, huge homing attack chains, etc.

    I don't think homing attack in of itself was a problem in Sonic 4 but how it was used there, as it seems those homing attack chains are much more boring when seen in 2D.
  18. TheInvisibleSun


    Buffalo, NY, USA
    The Water

    The Homing Attack was a problem in Sonic 4 for a couple reasons: First, It is a very unneeded thing in 2d Sonic game play in the first place. Because of this, it sort destroys the flow the game play just so that the player doesn't have to just easily jump on an enemy in 2D. Second, This wouldn't be that much of an issue though, if the stages hadn't been designed around this unneeded move. It is extremely annoying when the game forces one to use a move that is unnecessary to the core, promised gameplay in the first place I.e uncurling, bottomless pit chains etc. This, at least, is why I hated it in Sonic 4.

    As for Advance 2, lets be honest here, does this example really count when the homing attack in that game was actually much more difficult than just pressing A mid-jump?

    As for Megamix, the attack is implemented well within the level design and doesn't really force you to use it anywhere, and the game is free.
  19. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    This would have the added advantage of making the homing-attack-over-pits paradigm a thing of the past, as it wouldn't be sustainable.

    I can also agree with the "slight pull toward enemies in 3D" since it definitely IS hard to aim without the homing attack or otherwise.
  20. Dr. Mecha

    Dr. Mecha

    Dallas, TX
    3d Models
    If It would be technical, the Homing Attack was actually introduced in "Sonic 3D Blast: Flickie's Island" in the form of the Blast shield. It then introduced as a "no barriers required" move in Sonic Adventure.

    And have you used the spindash instead to blast through the stage.

    God I missed the SpinDash. To be honest, it's more fun to rapidly press the spin dash button to move real fast as opposed to just holding down the fucking Boost Button.