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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. Palas

    Palas

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    I also like it a lot when people who don't like Sonic (anymore) post their views on Sonic. We tend to talk about the same things over and over, and I appreciate that Sonic is discussed under a different light.

    So anyway, @Laura has it right when she talks about how moving the camera to the left doesn't help as much as the proponents say it should, because vertical movement is very important to Sonic, and also because you'll go left a lot (especially true in Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic CD). This may also change quickly, and having the camera move as fast as the direction of the movement changes is very jarring.

    So really, I don't see how there's a visibility issue. You don't say there's a visibility issue in on-rails games that demand fast reaction times. It's something else altogether; something that derives from not only the camera, but many other factors that are intertwined. I know this is elusive, but it's simply that there isn't a simple fix to Sonic as a whole -- and, once again, proposing as much can only come from applying external parameters of what a game should be to Sonic.

    (Also there's an article I really like about the camera in Sonic, but which I don't think I'll be able to find, that talks about how it works differently when Sonic is on the ground vs. mid-air, and how that interferes with the gameplay. And it really sold me on the idea that, at least at the time, there was no other way it could behave.)

    That's not to say there isn't an issue. It's just not a question of whether enemies are visible when they should or not. Or, at least, not only that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2022
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  2. Yeah. I know from some of my earlier experiences with CD on mobile that the panning camera is pretty darn awkward. And I see what you’re saying about all the different directions Sonic just go, sometimes needing to completely reverse direction near instantly, would make that an issue.

    I do like what Laura said about the dynamic camera issues though. And what I actually had in mind was, not merely a panning screen, but one that zooms out.
     
  3. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    The issue I see here is you're judging Mania as your older self while you used to judge the classics as your younger self, and now you judge those classics as your older self. I mean, it's not just that you're more experienced or that you want a greater challenge, it's you're older. I don't find myself now as engaged with playing Sonic as I did in the 90's, not even as I did when Mania came out, and it was notable how fast I had enough of Mania and with the Plus DLC my interest lasted even less. Last two years I haven't bothered with SHC entries and only a few from SAGE got me interested, but I haven't played them more than once because that's not longer what gets me hooked. That doesn't mean I've lost as much interest as you, of course, but you shouldn't be so revisionist with your former point of view: if you don't find fun in playing the game, everything will fill "dumber". LoL has international championships with a lot of people playing it and I find it boring as hell, especially as something to watch, but there's people there swallowing every streamed championship they can. There will be something right in that game, even ifI can't find it.

    Oh, and you also sound a bit condescendent: "I'm bored because it's so easy for me I find no challenge in those games" somewhat triggers me, as if either you were looking for an excuse to tell us how good you are or thinking that's nothing exceptional, leaving everyone under that bar feeling dumb for finding any difficulty in the games. Well, if I'm any good at all playing these games it's because the first time I played Sonic 1 (when it was still the only Sonic game, you know), I spent quite a long time on Green Hill experimenting with the physics to get the knack of it and play it fluidly, because those physics were what made the game fun for me and I wanted to master them to move as freely as I could. And yes, I was already good enough at "Sonic-ing" before leaving that level to play most classic sonic content with ease, but never good enough to beath Death Egg zone in Sonic 2 without spending a huge amount of lives and even continues fighting the final boss (and that was the not-fun-at-all part of S2 for me, mind you).
     
  4. I apologize. I do not wish to come across this way. I just have….

    really strong convictions on the matter at hand.

    Are you simply saying that I’ve become “jaded?” I don’t deny that. I remember there was a point where 3K was literally my favorite game of all time. It uh…

    It was one of the few games still holding me on to the series. How well it flowed. The satisfaction of getting the super emeralds and unlocking Huper Sonic. The insta shield is still amazing. The sheer scale of the levels, and how immersive the game felt at the time…

    A lot of it is lost on me now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
  5. ChaddyFantome

    ChaddyFantome

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    To follow up on that bit about the camera, it might just be my personal experience messing around with Flash animation back in the day, but my gut tells me part of the reason the camera is the way it is in the 2D games is also because the center and relative space Sonic takes up on screen allows for the sense of speed to be maintained. Sonic CD has a panning camera when Sonic moves fast and the first thing you'll notice is Sonic immediately feels slower and slugging when it happens.
    Generally, the Classics are designed to where unless something is an optional timing challenge of some sort, the level design will not put things in places where you are going to be zooming along that would screw you over or that you are required to react to as a basic principle of the game's overall design (which is a weakness of 2D Sonic from a design standpoint). I say generally because you get stuff like the Mornignstars in Marble garden and the Burrowbots in Aquatic Ruin every once in a while lol.
    But generally, the devs are aware of this and design around it. A common thing you will see even as early as Sonic 2 is the devs will sometimes put things like rocks in the way of straight-aways to stop the player from careening into things or off a cliff, bringing them to a point where they will jump and see whatever hazard or potential pit is just ahead, as well as bring the player to a stall out of a speed section to alert the player organically that a platforming section is just ahead.

    Also, I actually appreciate having a genuine conversation about Sonic with a person who professes to not like Sonic as opposed to someone simply speaking in bad faith disparagingly about the series. It's easy, especially o the internet, to get caught in your own bubble and get closed off to points of view or information you are not privy too, and I personally find that particularly enticing!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
  6. Besides literal obstructions such as rocks, they may also put a ramp that naturally converts most of your horizontal momentum into vertical momentum, that the same effect may be accomplished.

    Ye, yes. I am aware. It is what I had in mind when I said, “I am well aware of at least 2 methods 2D Sonic level designers may attempt to use to make Sonic’s speed not a source of frustration. Both of them involve manipulating Sonic’s momentum.”

    That being said, for the sake of discussion, I do think that can be compared to where, if you were dealing with particularly tight turns in a racing game, the game decided to break and let go of the gas for you rather than you having to judge the best point to start doing so and how much to do so yourself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
  7. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

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    I think it’s a bit more similar to how the majority of roller coasters aren’t straight shots down, and instead have a mix of inclines and declines through the ride. The natural building and release of tension is more satisfying despite people generally associating greater speeds with fun.

    It’s also what Yasuhara-san was intending.

    As for placing rocks in front of pits and other hazards, I think that’s an acceptable way to get new players to slowdown and play carefully in tricky parts. They’re also unobtrusive enough that those who are skilled can quickly bypass them.
     
  8. I don’t think this tactic really works on me, at the very least as executed in Sonic games.

    Maybe I don’t feel that enough tension is generated before heading into these higher speed areas. Because rather than feeling like a relief of tension, these particular higher speed sections, at the very least in mania and 3K, just feel automatic to me.

    As far as obstructions that prevent players from speeding into hazards, I think bypassing that might actually be something one would not want to do.

    First example that comes to mind are some rocks in hill top zone that prevent you from running into the flaming balls on the seesaws.



    around 0:16 or better 0:46

    also see the orbinaut around 3:13. If you had speed, and tried to maintain it by jumping over this ramp that is trying to slow you, that would actually put you at a disadvantage
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
  9. ChaddyFantome

    ChaddyFantome

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    Well yea. They largely are. Sonic games use it as part of the gameplay loop. The tension comes from the platforming section and the speed section acts as the release, creating a feed back loop. Other times, there will be timing challenges tied to them that will gain you access to bonuses, alternate routes or shortcuts though.
    I think what he means is that a more experienced player would already know that given hazards as well as the rock is there, and thus would be able to maintain consistent pace better in accordance to that thanks to existing familiarity with the level's layout.
     
  10. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

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    Yeah, I've definitely made the mistake of overshooting the ramps and hitting the Sol, but just because I get hit doesn't mean the game is flawed in its design. No one will ever be able to pull a no-hit run on a game 100% of the time. Furthermore, just because a Sonic game does require you to slow down for a moment, doesn't mean the actual gameplay is flawed at a conceptual state or that the design is in opposition to the concept.

    While this is moving FAR away from the initial thread topic, I think a big problem inexperienced players face in Sonic games is the desire for 1-to-1 control over Sonic like you have in traditional platformers like Super Meat Boy or Mario (though Mario isn't as precise as Meat Boy, it isn't as momentum-driven as Sonic). I approach Sonic more similarly to driving a car, where the left and right d-pad serves as an accelerator or brake more than, "This is precisely where I'm moving." I'd estimate that close to 30% of the time I play Sonic, I do not have my finger on a direction, and am instead cruising or rolling at a pace at which I feel I can react to oncoming obstacles.

    Anyway, while reading the criticisms can be constructive like @Laura and @Palas stated, I'm worried that this is becoming too much of a former-fan says something he doesn't like, then others and I defend the reasoning for its inclusion lol. On a purely mechanical level, i.e. notwithstanding the desire for more varied environments and graphics unrestrained by cartridge and hardware limitations, I really can't think of too many things I would change about the classic games to improve my own enjoyment of them. Sure, I disliked the ground/air speed-caps in Sonic 1/2 but they weren't present in Sonic 3&K and were removed from the iOS releases.

    Returning to the spin-dash, I see it as a necessary evil. I think that removing it would encourage a more satisfying playstyle for those that invest the time in attaining that skill level, but it would also cause more people to bounce off the games because they can't experience the big "draw" of Sonic which is the speed (whether or not that should be considered its big draw) and have their momentum interrupted too frequently by hazards.
     
  11. Oh, wait. Are you referring to that approach where you do a periodic tapping motion on left/right instead of holding them to keep Sonic below a certain speed?

    I can recall doing that on my initial runs of 3K. Well, not my initial runs, but on the beginning of the runs I started to enjoy it and come to love it as much as I did.

    Also can recall doing it in CD on my runs when I was beginning to finally like and understand that game. Before that, I very much hated it more than any of the other Classics. Lol

    You can kind of stop doing that as you become more familiar with the levels.

    The speed you go at when you do this is non problematic, I feel. However, I also feel it is a somewhat unnatural input, and not something most would even think to try on their own. But I came to enjoy it personally.

    Also, yeah. This is getting pretty off topic. I am pretty sure that is my own fault.
     
  12. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

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    Yeah, it's more of a tactic for managing speed when you're either unfamiliar with the level, or you know that you need to be at a certain speed to avoid something. I hesitated to say it was more than 30% because I know classic stages enough that I can book through them holding down the d-pad for most of the run unless I'm rolling or am in a tricky platforming section such as Marble Zone 3's dropping weights.
     
  13. kyasarintsu

    kyasarintsu

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    I appreciate what Generations does to give the player enough screen space, but I struggled anyway because Sonic was just this tiny thing in a super-detailed background. The world felt weirdly huge compared to Sonic—even regular objects like springs, monitors, and the simplest robots—and along with the zoomed-out camera it gave the game a very weird feeling to me.

    I wonder if this kind of zoom-out would look good in Mania.
     
  14. Zephyr

    Zephyr

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    With regards to alternating left and right directional input, I'm doing this practically all the time. It allows for so much more control, and as a result makes the games feel so much nicer to play. It especially makes navigating some of those blocky, diagonal shafts in Labyrinth Zone a relative breeze, as I'm not landing on unnecessary steps as often when I'm trying to go down.

    And I agree with the car driving analogy, and have thought of it in a similar way. Braking and accelerating is one way of thinking about it, but I also think of it like "steering".
     
  15. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    I didn't think it was possible to play Sonic without doing this. Using Sonic's midair control to make your movements more precise seems like one of the most basic skills for learning the game.
     
  16. Palas

    Palas

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    I was kinda not getting what you guys were talking about when you mentioned alternating left and right directional input, but now that I got it I had the same reaction as @Dek Rollins -- do people not do that?
     
  17. I used to often find myself watching gameplay videos of people playing Sonic, taking special interest in newcomers and what they contend with and uh…

    No. Not everyone knows to do that.
     
  18. actually wait. Perhaps I was misunderstanding you.

    I don’t believe we are referring to midair, though you obviously have to do it there.

    we are referring to on the ground, keeping Sonic below a certain speed.
     
  19. Zephyr

    Zephyr

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    To be fair, newcomers often don't seem to realize that you can roll, or that rolling is really worth doing. Despite playing Sonic 1 and 2 to death as a child, I never thought to actually utilize rolling (outside of the Spin Dash) until I was much older.

    This isn't necessarily an indictment against said newcomers, though. I've come to the opinion that the main thing these games are lacking at this point is a tutorial that teaches players some of the finer ins-and-outs of play, if not just some of the basics.
     
  20. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    Uh, I've never done that left-right thing on the ground except when waiting for some badnik to shoot or something like that. Well, I did that with the gliders in Sky High zone, but that's a gimmick in an 8-bit game, so it doesn't count. What I do a lot is go against automation when exploring a level, mostly for the first times, but not always. Overall, I'm quite a kamikaze that rolls at every loop and downwards slope and jumps at the end of any ledge of upwards slope, jumping even more with a magnetic or flame shield. I don't find any issue in stopping and waiting if I have too, and never found to bad to go back and forth to escape from U-shaped pits in Spring Yard, doing so even on Casino Night zone where spindash was already available because I find fun in experimenting the physics more than taking the easy option to end sooner. I'm also so stubborn that I can keep on trying some stunt to get to where I want to go even if it takes minutes.

    Actually, I've recently been thinking of playing and recording some game sessions so people here can give me their opinion because, a lot of times, I read stuff here that sounds nothing like my approach on how to play these games and I feel I must be a really weird Sonic player. I was thinking of using Sonic CD as the first example since it's what seems to be a "love it or hate it" game which I indeed love for the reasons others hate it (spoilers: I don't use its spindash, I use the peel-out and roll almost immediately).