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KingK's 60-Minute Sonic 06 Video Retrospective

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, Oct 18, 2022.

  1. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

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    Eh, I’m here because Sonic 3 & Knuckles IS my favorite platformer ever. I don’t think anything from the era comes close in terms of game feel and overall presentation. So unless you want to share the definitive rankings of "best platformers," which I know people have been dying to see, it's a bit of a silly comment to make.
     
  2. charcoal

    charcoal

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    Oh, I know. I was just trying to highlight how stupid the point "There are better things in (genre)" is. Probably should've made it clearer that I was being sarcastic.
     
  3. The Deleter

    The Deleter

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    Part of the reason why I enjoy Knuckles' gameplay in SA2 so much is because it's an arcadey collectathon nature doesn't really exist anywhere else. Stuff like Luigi's Balloon Hunt in Odyssey could have been something similar, but it had a fair amount of flaws that held it back from being enjoyable as an infinitely replayable treasure hunt. In comparison I see Knuckles' SA2 stages in the same way as I do the nature of the gameplay of Sonic's stages - gameplay that is almost infinitely replayable, with a first playthrough involving getting familiar with and overcoming the stage challenges, and subsequent playthroughs perfecting it through knowledge of that stage layout - all with the twist that the level will never be the same goals in the same places, removing the monotony that rote memorization becomes.

    I'm not about to say that TH gameplay should be the only way that multiple characters should be handled based off that preference, but I'm definitely not as adverse to it as other fans, especially since the core appeal is so close to the appeal I see in replaying Sonic stages, just in a different context.

    On top of that, part of the reason why I prefer SA2 over SA1 Treasure Hunting is because the scope is bigger to afford a more substantial gameplay style. If you built an entire game around SA1 Knuckles, there wouldn't be much to it, and would even be over in less than 5 minutes if the hint orbs were kept, but if you were to do the same with SA2, you'd have a decently substantial treasure hunt, ranks to perfect, secrets to find in the stages, and the missions themselves. That largely stands to serve as a testament that SA1 Knuckles can work as a substantial game mode if it is fleshed out, but in spite of the gameplay flaws it does have, SA2 already reached that bar in my eyes. It's the execution that people have an issue with, which not many people really talk about when it comes to how well these gameplay styles can co-exist in the context of a Sonic game or not.


    Most of the time when alternate gameplay comes up in the genre roulette design, it's either as a small side style like stealth sections in spiderman/vehicle sections in Ratchet and Clank - which offer a challenge that is simple enough to play through for the sake of variety, but little depth to go back to - or it's in the form of a substantial optional gameplay style like racing minigames outright - which offer enough depth for their gameplay that you can basically spend hours going back to them to perfect or just enjoy for the sake of it, but remain unobtrusive for the 'main' experience the game is sold as. If Treasure Hunting gameplay were to thread those needles perfectly enough, fixing the hints to be straightforward, getting rid of the emerald padding with the single-emerald radar, and making the stages less labyrinthian than they were in SA2, it could be both of those, while also tied very closely to the premise of Sonic's default gameplay, using the same control scheme and gimmicks.
     
  4. Sneekie

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    I like Treasure Hunting, but I hate how SA2 changed it so you can only pick up the first treasure instead of any treasure.

    But besides that, and also Mad Space being dookie, I absolutely wouldn't mind it coming back.
     
  5. Zephyr

    Zephyr

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    I think "there are better things in the genre" might not have been the best way to communicate the point. Not to speak for Sonic5993, but I've made similar points in the past, to the effect of: within the genre(s) in question, these are relatively simplistic and under-developed entries. It's less that there are better third person shooters than what Gamma's SA1 gameplay offers, and more that what Gamma's SA1 gameplay offers is half-baked by its own genre's standards. Basically, I wouldn't recommend SA1 on the merits of its third person shooter gameplay to someone who is a big fan of third person shooters. I wouldn't recommend it on the merits of Amy's stealth gameplay to a big fan of stealth games, I wouldn't recommend it or SA2 on the merits of Knuckles/Rouge's treasure hunting to a big fan of collectathons, or Unleashed on the merits of the Werehog gameplay to a big fan of character action games.

    Whether I would be right to refrain from doing so, or not, is a fair point of contention (see: the case The Deleter makes for the treasure hunting gameplay, above). That said, I don't think that means they're bad, just that they're practically mini-games. Mini-games are fine and have their place. The original 2D Sonic games had mini-games with alternate playstyles in the form of the Special Stages. I think the reason that these don't draw as much ire as, say, Tails in SA2 or the Werehog in Unleashed, is that they're optional: the player enters them of their own volition, and is free to leave and play the standard platforming game at their discretion. I'd have less not-nice things to say about the Unleashed's Nighttime stages if I didn't have to play them in order to play more Daytime stages.

    And I'd go back and actually replay them after clearing the game if there was a Chao Garden in Unleashed. For me, the Chao Garden is the true core of Sonic Adventure 2's gameplay loop, and the action stages are all just mini-games played to farm rings, animals, and drives. I'd have gladly welcomed the Werehog gameplay as another mini-game to farm Chao-goodies in. :V
     
  6. I probably should have pointed out that the only part I was specifically replying to in your post was the part about what other games are like Sonic.

    The rest was just anecdotal to that, so I wasn't aiming that part at you specifically.
     
  7. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

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    As much as I want the "Now that they got the playstyle right, they should add playable characters" meme to come true, if Forces is any indication of how that went the last time we huffed that copium, then I'm not holding my breath.
     
  8. Sneekie

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    Forces did it well though? Shadow was just Sonic. Buddy was an alternate take on Modern Sonic.
     
  9. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    Forces was on the right track with the Avatar and Shadow (not Classic Sonic though), but I still don't like the idea of forcing the player to use different characters, even if they are similar to Sonic.

    Nobody complains about multiple characters in Sonic 2, 3K and Mania precisely because you only play with them if you want to.
     
  10. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

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    It had the right idea, it was just... well... it was Forces. When even the "main" playstyle doesn't play good, then no-one will complain about the others (rollsafe.gif)

    So yeah, I'm expecting any other playable character in Frontiers or a game like it to trigger like 5 Monkeys Paws all at once.
     
  11. If we can cite Sonic 06 for its "good ideas" then we can do the same for Forces. Don't be selective.
     
  12. BlueSkiesAM2

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    Ah, I see what you were saying now. Just because something’s not the “best” doesn’t mean it’s not worth playing. I agree with that point then.

    Still a bold example to make here lol.
     
  13. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    What did you think of them? Genuinely curious.

    Or DM me I guess if you don't want to put it in this topic. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  14. muteKi

    muteKi

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    I find this interesting because, out of all the alternate gameplay modes in the series, I think the night stages are my favorite because they're still mostly focused primarily on platforming, especially if you include the DLC stages, and I think the way the grabby arms work is a good way to handle a lot of the inherent imprecision in aiming in 3D -- just time your jumps well and get close to a thing and most of the time that's enough, and that's fine. Is it heavily derivative of God of War? Yeah, obviously, but it's not terribly worse than that was, and does have a few things to recommend it over a lot of the games in that series (no manpain story for edgy teens, more varied and colorful environments, third-style jazz).

    And while I don't know that the night stages in Wii Unleashed are necessarily better, the lack of as wide a range of enemies to take out means that the game spends more focus on space navigation and platforming challenges, so it feels more in line with, say, Sonic 1. Here's a fast level, now here's a slow level with box puzzles. Sure, the first few areas at night are kinda dull, but by the time you get to Chun-Nan they actually do start throwing some interesting ideas, and even the battle areas end up involving a more complex navigation of space than the HD version. Not perfect, but a pretty enjoyable time-waster for a night of inebriation.
     
  15. I thoroughly enjoy having different play-styles, as best showcased in 3D with SA and in 2D by S3K and eventually Mania. I love Amy in Adventure and Advance, but I don't think anything as radically removed from Sonic as Gamma or Big could even work as an entirely optional play-style in a 2D platformer, as partially evidenced by Amy being made OP to counteract her slowness and maintain the gameplay flow.

    In a 3D space, I enjoy what both Adventures and eventually Forces had to offer. Those three, and evidently 06 and Unleashed too, all made the same mistake to some degree though. You should never be required to play anyone other than Sonic. S3K did it right by giving you options, with those options providing increases/decreases in certain areas, access to exclusive areas, and in the case of Knuckles an epilogue to the main story. A fault of SA was forcing you to play everyone by certain points in order to progress, despite providing enough non-linear freedom. SA2 tragically doubled down on that fault by making it strictly linear... and not only for progression but from stage to stage. Even if you're like me and enjoy all the playstyles, it doesn't mean I want to keep swapping. Should other characters finally become playable again in 3D, I'd hope they're both removed enough from Sonic and not be required to progress.
     
  16. Taylor

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    When I saw that this video existed I didn't really wanna watch it because I had a feeling of what it'd be like, going off his Shadow video. Reading this thread basically validated my feelings :B

    @Laura ShayMay's Sonic Spitball does a decent job of being actually analytical, though he does drift into his 90s UK fan biases at times, but I think it's fine to acknowledge your inevitable biases. I can't help but love that after covering SA2, he basically skipped straight to Colors. No sense in beating dead horses like Shadow or 06.

    @Sneekie This confirms what I've been suspecting about the whole "no ambition" complaint. It's not exactly that, though it overlaps with the real reason: the time in which the games came out. The Adventure games are relics of the 00s, where furry mascots could be as dramatic as possible without the slightest hint of irony. The games try to immerse you in their reality, by not letting you have any control of how the story goes*, and by rarely relying upon the past (since bringing back iconic levels like "Green Hill Zone" will remind you you're playing a video game). Frontiers may have a more serious story and is the most ambitious Sonic title in over a decade (you could make the case that it's even moreso than games like Shadow, but I digress) but it's very obviously influenced by the current gaming industry and relies a lot more on reusing levels and assets from previous games, so it doesn't truly carry the spirit of 00s Sonic.

    As for the multiple characters in 3D Sonic discussion, I don't really like them but you either have to put up with them, have a short game, or be like Frontiers and reuse levels from previous games. Sonic levels have to be large which is very taxing for video game development. SRB2 is my favorite 3D Sonic so I guess that shows which I prefer but I don't think you could get away with selling a game of that length at full-price.

    *Shadow is a bit of an outlier here I agree, though even that has a very obviously canon ending
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2022
  17. Zephyr

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    Seconding this. I've yet to see another Sonic the Hedgehog gameplay analysis that matches what ShayMay offered. Even if I don't agree with all of his points, he really raised the bar.

    One might call his analysis.....ambitious. :V
     
  18. Starduster

    Starduster

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    So I’ve seen the “ambition” stuff come up a few times now and I feel the need to weigh in. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve never played 06 and I don’t have particularly strong feelings about it one way or the other. Despite that, I feel wholeheartedly that it’s ambitious. I feel that the narrative is perhaps still the broadest in scope that this series has ever seen and so many different gameplay styles and characters are packed into it. Sonic’s (at the time) next gen debut also features some graphically stunning levels for their time, each with their own share of unique gimmicks.

    Now, none of this is a reflection of the quality of all that stuff but I think it’s entirely fair to say this game was one hell of a big swing and, while I vehemently disagree with those who say that they stopped trying after this, I can at least understand why they’d say that. I really don’t think ambition is just some empty buzzword used to justify an indulgence in nostalgia for a bad game.
     
  19. Vanishing Vision

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    While I don't really disagree with any of this, the strange thing is that I feel 06 is significantly LESS ambitious in presentation and scope than the Adventure games. As a result, it's odd seeing it propped up as evidence of a time where Sonic Team was "still trying", when, in my eyes, Sonic Team was trying a little less for this game.

    Three stages come straight from SA1, and each one doesn't just reuse the level theme, but specific setpieces and gimmicks as well. Wave Ocean is the most obvious, with its' covered boardwalks, spiked doorways, and of course the (significantly less dynamic) whale scene. White Acropolis has an awful, sluggish imitation of Ice Cap's blazing fast snowboard and avalanche scene, and Flame Core copies Red Mountain's exterior to volcano interior path, with the same steep banked curves once inside.

    There are many more examples. Shadow's vehicles seem to be there only based on them featuring in his self-titled excursion. The adventure fields return, but lack all of the detail and unique indoor sections and puzzles they had in SA1. Silver's initial conflict with Sonic immediately comes off as a lesser version of the Shadow rivalry, and the "Eggman teams up with the good guys to fight the real threat" ending is repeated for a third time in the most uninteresting way yet. The stylish, cinematic flair that SA2's cutscenes had is completely gone. No more time cards, most of the cutscenes have no or very minimal BGM, the bosses are no longer introduced with the typed text and subtitle ("The Prototype of The Ultimate Life"), and the stages aren't introduced with the animated title card and slash sound effect anymore either.

    On almost every level except for the amount of characters, both playable and featured in the story, 06 feels like a pretty serious step back from the scale of the Adventure games to me, and comes off as kind of dull and lifeless in comparison, so I can't really see why it's being held up as an example of boundless ambition at all.
     
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  20. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I feel like when Sonic fans say "ambition" they just mean the game is long and has a lot of stuff in it. 06 and Unleashed are both long and have lots of stuff in them. Frontiers, indeed, is long and has lots of stuff in it, so it gets called ambitious. But Shadow is long and doesn't have a lot of stuff in it. It is famously fucking tedious and repetitive, so it doesn't really get called that. Colors has a lot of stages with game land in mind, but game land is optional, so it doesn't take very long to complete, and thus is not ambitious.

    If I were to call any Sonic games ambitious, it would be the ones that try to actually push the series' boundaries. SA1 did this by switching the gameplay to a radical new form-factor, but also by attempting big cinematic cutscenes (lol) that most other games at the time didn't have, especially other platformers, and by experimenting with a bunch of different approaches to the Sonic platformer gameplay (Big notwithstanding, I don't think Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Gamma are that far out of the series' range). Unleashed was ambitious because it was trying something no other Sonic game had before, not because the stages were big and pretty, and certainly not because it was padded to hell and back. Lost World honestly fits this criteria too, it just dropped the ball so hard on length and storytelling that it felt underwhelming.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2022