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I kind of feel the spin dash takes away about as much as it adds

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Technically Inept, Feb 3, 2022.

  1. Unpopular opinion, I’m sure. Also, if there is a thread on the spin dash itself, let me know because I would rather post this there, as I don’t think it’s worth an entire thread.

    I recognize that the spin dash can be used as a tool for exploration in that you can use the momentum it gives and slope jumps to reach higher/farther areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. And it makes the game more forgiving in that if you lose speed, you won’t have to backtrack to overcome momentum based obstacles. Yet, I do think something was lost when it was added, a potential.

    Primary example I always think about is this small section from spring yard. Hopefully the video will play from the point I posted it at this time, and not from the beginning. (Still figuring this stuff out) If it does go to beginning, please go to 0:38.

    Without the spin dash, I always get a feel of tension approaching this area. I know that I have to time this jump just right or I won’t make it to the top path. It is a small window because of how fast you are moving, and it approaches fast. You have to wait a bit, but yeah

    With the spindash? Not really. You can simply just stop, charge up a spin dash and then immediately jump. It’s not like spindash jumping is a particularly challenging or complex input. There is no real sense of tension. (Well, maybe there could be a little more in this particular section, where if you fail you can’t backtrack and try again. But in most cases where you use momentum jumps off slopes, not really) There is no real timing involved, no way to do it “too early.” You can jump immediately after charging.

    In the 2D games, there isn’t as much potential being squandered. Like, to maintain the speed and momentum needed to properly take advantage of an upcoming incline, all you really need to do is hold right and maybe vault over some obstacles.

    But in the 3D games, there is potential being missed. You could get up speed, and then you have to turn through the winding and curving terrain, through the turns, without running into anything so you don’t lose that built up momentum, until you can make it to the incline that will take you the higher path/secret area/whatever.

    There is real tension because there is real consequence. You can’t just get that back from spindashing.

    I would like to see them experiment more with maybe not having the spin dash, or at least making it an unlockable.

    Another idea is already kind of done, at least in the Classics and in fan games like Sonic GT. That is simply making sure the spin dash can’t get you to max speed. There is a speed cap that can only be broken with rolling down hill that the spindash alone can’t break

    Then if you run into something, you can get your speed back, but not enough to take advantage of that incline.

    It is this aspect that I feel neither the Classics nor GT really capitalize on. In more cases than not, I feel they make it to where the spin dash, even if it can’t get you to top speed, get’s you to enough speed to take advantage of it. In these cases, I feel it is more a level design issue than the mechanic itself.
  2. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    I agree that the spin-dash set a dangerous precident of instant gratification / SPEED at the expense of other elements for the series core gameplay. The Sonic CD version of it was better because it had drawbacks. About 30 years too late to do anything about it now though lol
  3. The second time you guys made me realize I used a lot of words to describe a simple concept, that could be condensed into one paragraph. Lol
  4. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    Aw, well don't feel bad, it's a good write-up. I definitely agree as well that what potential the spin-dash does offer hasn't been utilized properly in the 3D games, but that has more to do with their general inability/disinterest in recreating the physics systems and level design philosophy of the classic games in a 3D space.
  5. Endgame


    Formerly The Growler Member
    There's already been a big topic about this already. You can read it all here:

    The Spindash was a mistake

    My take on it was the idea of the spindash being partially a space-saving device for levels, if you get my meaning. As I noted before:

    As in, since it may require a run up to get over a loop-de-loop, that would take space up for adding other hazards and items to the level - which would make getting around the loops more tricky had there been another way to go over them. So maybe the spindash enabled the developers to add more stuff to levels - and to enable more interesting terrain (as what BounceDeLemos stated) - all the while having larger levels as well. However, that's probably more likely why springs and boost pads etc. were positioned just before loops in later games which took out the need for the spindash; to the point where it's become almost like an interactive movie.

    It'a not the spindash I have a problem with, but the boost pads and automatic sections which are what's ruining the modern games - as we very well know (ignoring Sonic's own Boost mechanic - which many/some people like).​
  6. Thanks for that thread, I will have a look at it later.

    Monentum based obstacles such as loops. Adding the spindash so the player can overcome them.


    Okay. But if all you have to do is stop and fire up a spindash, are these even obstacles anymore? Is there even any real point to them? Because that provides no challenge.

    What skill is it testing? Precision? Timing? Pattern recognition? Reaction?

    And I’d argue that loops themselves never provided a challenge. Yes you have to maintain momentum as you’re coming upon them by jumping over obstacles and such, but that’s where the gameplay is, where the real test of skill is.

    But when you get past that and get to the loops and tall ramps themselves? Well these are overcome by simply holding right.

    They themselves are not really a challenge. They are just an indicator of how you did in the challenges you were just facing. Like touching the flag pole at the end of a 2D Mario level. The fact that you do it means you were able to overcome the challenges that preceded it in the level. But touching the flagpole itself takes almost no thought at all.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2022
  7. Crappy Blue

    Crappy Blue

    Knuckles' Chaotix is a perfect game with no flaws Member
    I got it easy coming into a thread like this. I don't really care about Sonic games being challenging as much as I care about them being specific experiences that are satisfying to go through, and having the spin dash is part of what does that for me. I like to keep my flow up, I like making big jumps, and I like seeing more of every level, and the spin dash makes it simple to do those things.

    This isn't really arguing against you or anything, I just wanted to put this perspective out there. It's cool to want challenge out of 2D Sonic games, and I can see all your reasons why the spin dash takes away from that challenge, but that aspect of Sonic doesn't really matter to me. The spin dash lets me do things I like doing.
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  8. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think it's finely balanced. It's awkward to use sometimes because you have to be at a standstill, and on slopes and angles it can be finicky to set up. So sometimes it is better to run back, build up speed, and just jump.

    The spin dash is one of those quality of life improvements where I understand why some people prefer to get rid of it but I just disagree. Failing to run up steep slopes on Sonic 1 and running back to get speed and run up it is just incredibly annoying even if it is more 'organic' (if you know what I mean).
  9. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    The spindash is very much in line with Sonic's core philosophy. That you have to stay still in order to use it is very important. I still stand by what I said in the other thread:

  10. As far as having to use the spin dash in angles and slopes, an impossibility, I can’t really think of any specific instances where you’re prevented from just going a little back and finding level ground. I see people struggle with momentum based obstacles in YouTube videos sometimes, particularly with people who are unfamiliar with Sonic, but I’m yet to see a case where It’s a pretty clear reason why they are having trouble besides just trying to the same thing repeatedly (holding right.)

    I can see how it can be annoying, though. Having to run back a bit.

    What do you think of the idea of keeping the spin dash but just making it less powerful. Powerful enough to overcome momentum based obstacles like these, but not powerful enough to reach optional areas like the above mentioned one in Spring Yard.

    it doesn’t have to be the spin dash itself that get’s nerfed either. Just simply make the higher/farther area higher or farther, to where you need more momentum to reach it?

    So you’re saying that there is a degree of tension in using the spin dash, because you have to put yourself in a vulnerable state to activate it?

    In a vacuum, I suppose that it correct. But it largely depends on how aggressive and threatening the enemy design is, and how many enemies there are.

    Because if there are no enemies around, or if they take six years to attack you, then there really is no problem being “vulnerable” at all.

    Makes sense.

    Yeah, I used to be really into Classic Sonic for a number of reasons. These days however, I just find they can’t really hold my attention, nor can I stay invested in them because where the difficulty level appears to be.

    In my personal opinion, that level is too low. But I recognize that’s just an opinion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2022
  11. Endgame


    Formerly The Growler Member
    I suppose what you're saying, Technically Inept, begs the question as to whether you've played through Sonic 2 and 3/3K without ever using the Spindash yourself?

    I've seen there are videos out there that have a 'no Spindash challenge', so I was wondering whether you would stick to the rule of not using it - if you find it takes the enjoyment/challenge away from the experience?
  12. I started out doing it for Sonic 2 just a few days ago. I stopped after Mystic Cave, as I started to get bored.

    I don’t remember if I felt much difference, tbh.

    Not using spin dash doesn’t in itself make for a challenge. It just removes the possibility of certain challenges, or if certain challenges come up in the level design like the one mentioned in Spring Yard, it trivializes them.

    But I don’t recall if I ran into any level design like that in 2 in the first place.
  13. raphael_fc


    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    I don't see the problem in sacrificing a little bit of a pure momentum gameplay, for the sake of having pure fun.

    While I like the drop dash better than the spindash, if it makes the game more fun, I approve.
  14. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    I mean, you don't have to be put in immediate danger every time you stop to spindash. It's just -- you have to pay attention to the surroundings, if even for a moment. How much you actually feel in danger depends not just on the actual enemies around but in how many rings you have, whether you've been in that particular section before, whether you know what's ahead etc.

    There is no problem being vulnerable. It's just good that most things about the spindash affect you somehow, even a little. It's something you're always doing anyway, doesn't need to be a set piece every time.
  15. I’m sure in the end, this is just a matter of opinion, and just my personal experience, but I don’t really agree. Well, on paper it sounds right. But in practice…

    It seems to me that kind of dropped the ball here after Sonic 2.

    I’m getting into a different issue here now, and feel like I am making an issue over something that is trivial in nature. I don’t even really know where I’m going with this, just expressing how I feel. I must say…

    I appreciate the 3K and Mania approach to entering special stages for making exploration feel more incentivized and forgiving. And I think that making the game require you to not take damage while having the visibility issues Classic Sonic is kind of infamous for at this point, which is kind of what the old system is asking of you, is contradictory. However, I also believe the new system kind of messed up a little bit.

    Because in the previous games, you had to kind of pay attention these things because you needed to hold on to at least 50 rings to activate special stages. But since they’ve done away with that system….

    Well, I personally don’t feel much reason to pay attention to that at all if I have even one just ring. And it’s not like it’s all that difficult to collect them if you drop them.

    Also, I’ve played the Classics too many times. Now, at the very least when I’m playing the CW remake, I don’t often feel such tension when playing at least 1 and CD, even when going for special stages.

    The “issue” I mentioned in this post is another thing I’d like to see addressed, btw. Bring back real incentive to hold on to rings besides a score bonus or an arbitrary mission system like that found in the Adventure titles.

    I ran into some who’ve said that the drop dash might be literally worst than the spin dash in this area. I can’t say I don’t see where they are coming from.

    Avoiding tedium is good, I think. And really, having to maintain momentum through the level to take advantage of it later in the level is in the end only one possible source of “tension” that Sonic can have. There are others that can exist.

    I just think it’s a shame it’s been mostly neglected. I feel it fits Sonic’s gameplay very well, and is an element that I already find appealing in the cases where it is done.

    But yeah.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2022
  16. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    @Technically Inept Stop double/triple posting. You've done that multiple times now. The edit button exists, use it please.
  17. Unlimited Trees

    Unlimited Trees

    we Do a Little Mischief, Mischief... Member
    UNITRES, Project Time, etc.
    the true secret to the sonic games is that sonic 1 is actually the best designed and most well put together game out of all of em . but Also actually all of the classic games suck except for sonic cd as its the only one that is different compared to the others.

    Im right ur wrong , kiss me .
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  18. Frostav


    For me the appeal of Sonic has been less speed and more "flow" (from which speed naturally comes). It's one of the few things that has remained consistent throughout the series--SA2 (SA1 to a lesser extent) and Generations/Unleashed are both heavily focused on flowing movement and rarely ever stopping for more than a second or two, and I personally dislike the games that force you to stop and break your flow constantly, such as Heroes or Colors. Likewise, there's a reason autoscrollers or even sections where you have to stand on a slow-moving platform are extremely rare in Sonic compared to most platformers; Sonic's about always relentlessly moving forward (maybe a bit too much in the boost era). Anyway, yes, the spindash is "free speed". But it stops you. You must break your flow to use it. When so much of Sonic's appeal to me is chaining together your moveset and the physics to fly through levels fluidly, I view the spindash as a fine punishment for messing up. That's what makes it different from boost--you can boost whenever and instantly rocket to full speed. It's quite different than the spindash.

    I don't think it needs to go. One thing it does allow is that you rarely get awkwardly stuck at the bottom of a hill/slope and have to backtrack to gain momumentum like in Sonic 1. While that is a punishment for messing up and losing your momentum, I think it's way too much of one (that section in Spring Yard with the spiked balls circling through half-pipes is just torture if you fall in the pipes). The spindash cuts down on the tedium, while still punishing you having to stop and lose all your flow. The loss of flow is the real punishment, so it doesn't matter how long it is--losing it for even a second hurts!

    Now, if you're talking about the SA1 spindash, yeah, that was broken as hell. But I do gotta admit, it sure is fun as hell to spam it and fly everywhere :V
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  19. Okay
    Sorry about that. I forgot.

    Also, will it show to everyone that I “quoted” them if I combine quotes from different comments?

    Also, is there a way to make YouTube links play from specific points in the video at all?
  20. kyasarintsu


    Honestly? Spin Dashing feels like a consolation prize for when I can't maintain my speed or react to something. While it's nice at helping me get back on pace more quickly, it doesn't take away from the immense pleasure that would come from successfully taking on a stunt like the one depicted on my first try. I don't really think there's much value to simply heading backwards so I can accumulate speed again, but in the area depicted in the video it's a bit more interesting because it shows that speed can be a one-way, one-time trip—you cannot climb back up there and (presumably) can't get nearly the same speed you had the first time.
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