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Let's criticise classic Sonic gameplay.

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Deef, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Rosie

    Rosie

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    I kind of have to disagree about Sky Chase Zone, it's a welcome change of pace (especially after Metropolis Zone), and I used to think it was really cool as a kid. The idea of being up in the sky was a cool gimmick and I loved flying past Wing Fortress and having that small amount of environmental story telling. I'll agree that it's kind of boring for me to play through now, but I have been playing the game for 20 odd years.

    I'll agree that the Lava Reef Zone boss isn't great though. It's both boring because you can just jump for a few minutes and beat it, whilst being unfairly unforgiving if you slightly mess up.


    I agree with the comments about the characters thematically, but ultimately it would have meant some major work to incorporate massively different play-styles into Sonic 3, as ultimately the levels don't allow for it. I remember for a while as a kid wondering why anyone would play as Sonic when Tails or Knuckles had all their special moves, but now I've mastered the insta-shield and the item shields, Sonic is far more fun to play. If done properly, it would be really awesome to have Sonic be Sonic, Tails be Sonic on easy mode due to his swimming, flying, flying tails attack, but no super form or full ending, and then Knuckles have a very different, slower play-style based around punching and exploration. Realistically this would have risked far too much money because everyone would have said "ugh why the fuck am I going slow in a Sonic game!?" anyway. I think something that I would have liked to have seen addressed in a theoretical re-release of S3K would be some Tails specific paths in the S&K sections, because in S&Ks often more confined levels, he's underutilised at best, and game-breaking at worst.

    I've never felt much of a problem with the general idea of the (classic) ring mechanic, as it allows more freedom to enjoy one of the main selling points of the ability to go fast, and allows for the difficulty to be scaled quite nicely with more hazards, non-killable hazards such as pits, crushers and water and less rings to rely on, as the game progresses. One criticism I would offer would be that most of the bosses don't use any of the skills that you would pick up in the actual gameplay, and become a test of getting to the boss and memorising the pattern rather than a test of your skills at the game. This is especially true of the end game, where you're put in an unfamiliar situation with no rings whatsoever.

    Other than that, things that are bullshit:

    • The timer should reset after you beat the boss on Death Egg act 2 in S&K (or just can the boss because it's boring, requires little skill and takes too fucking long).
    • The spinning pole things sending me the wrong way in Wacky Workbench only serve to annoy.
    • Pretty much everything in Metropolis being an unfair dick move.
    • The bugs features in Metallic Madness 3 are just bullshit.

    Sonic games are good though, really. You should play them some time.
     
  2. winterhell

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    While the Lava Reef Main Boss is on the other extreme of the spectrum compared to most Sonic bosses that you can camp on top of them, it is probably right about the difficulty. You've had 10 Zones and 20 bosses until him, its only natural to be much harder than Angel Island Zone Act 1 boss.
     
  3. Lilly

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    I feel like they addressed that fairly well in Sonic Rush. Holding onto the same set of rings is bad news, because after taking so many hits and recollecting them, the old rings fly farther away from you until the point where they soar off-screen forever. Collecting a fresh ring to reset that is the only way to survive in Rush's boss fights, so the tension of other games with health bars is plenty there; you're doomed if you collect all the rings in the arena in one go.
     
  4. MotorRoach

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    Good lord, these two zones. The LRZ boss is the worst of these two for me (if not plainly the worst boss in the game), because not only it's the most repetitive one, but the concept is just stupid. Technically saying, you don't even defeat the boss, because he defeats himself while you just stay there.

    It was even more boring for me because I usually got to the end of that level as Super/Hyper Sonic, which means I didn't even need to jump at all. Heck, some times it was so boring to me, that I remember actually PRETENDING I wasn't Super for the sake of jumping upon the platforms descending. It still didn't make it any more fun to me.
     
  5. Deef

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    Wow look at all the SCZ/LRZ boss agreements coming out of the woodwork. I guess I was kind of impressed by LRZ boss's challenge (which is perfectly fitting imo) to really dwell on the stand-and-wait aspect of it. Personal tastes aside, at least everyone can understand their criticisms. I didn't realise it was so shared. Good to know. Oh, but hey, what about Sandopolis act 1?! Now that guy bored me.

    Also seems I'm the only one who liked how similar the characters were (and wished Knuckles was even more similar). Complete side note, I loved that Tails did have 1 Tails-exclusive area in Hidden Palace Zone. Like one explicit nod from the developers that Tails is still definitely part of the game.

    The Sonic Rush ring loss mechanism has always sounded ok to me, but I've only played the (3) games enough to finish them probably only once each. So I've never really thought critically about how well it plays out.
     
  6. Dark Sonic

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    No I actually liked that Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles played similarly. That way while the experience was sort of similar, you had some new moves and new paths that could be taken to mix things up a bit. Granted Knuckles probably shouldn't have wheel o feet going on but I think Sonic 3 and Chaotix were the only games Knuckles had that.
     
  7. Beltway

    Beltway

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    Given that the (likely) intent for their addition was done as an answer to Mario's suits, I think under that context the elemental shields introduced and used in Sonic 3 & Knuckles were a poor response. The main issue is that under most circumstances, they only give the player an couple extra layers of protection, based on their elemental ability as well as the occasional generic badnik/level gimmick projectile. Otherwise, they aren't any better than the standard shield in most cases.

    The Lightning Shield's ability of protection against electricity is only utilized in Death Egg (and even then, it is only for Act 2, for the floating treadmill sections that operate around electrified floors). It would easily be the most poorly-implemented elemental shield, had it lacked the additional power of magnetically attracting rings. (In hindsight, this may also explain why the Lightning Shield is the only elemental shield that has been preserved past the classic series in most cases.)
    The Water Shield provides underwater breathing, which is great if you are playing through Sonic 3, which has underwater sections in almost every zone (with Marble Garden the odd-man out). Come Sonic & Knuckles, however, and there is no underwater segments to be seen.
    This thus leaves the Flame Shield as the least-utilized shield, as Lava Reef is the only zone throughout the game you could use its protection against fire-though to argue on technicalities, it protects against lava in that zone. I don't believe actual fire is used as a environmental hazard in any zone of the game, even the fiery atmosphere in Sonic 3's Angel Island, following Eggman's infiltration, is largely a change on the graphical front (Angel Island boss fight notwithstanding).

    And while the shields do provide some exclusive moves for Sonic, they mostly amount to altering Sonic's jump direction, causing a fair amount of overlap and redundancy. Water Shield allows Sonic to bounce on the floor like a ball. Lightning Shield allows Sonic to perform a double jump. Flame Shield allows Sonic to perform an horizontal air dash.

    I'm on the fence about this. When playing Amy in Advance, I sometimes feel like her moveset was designed for a different game rather than Sonic, and it doesn't gel with the level design at times. Which would mean I largely prefer the gameplay of Sonic...yet at the same time, I'm not really supportive of Sonic being the only playable character in his games nowadays, and still hope for the likes of characters like Tails and Knuckles to be playable again. So I largely prefer the standard gameplay/moveset, yet I still care about other characters being playable.
     
  8. DigitalDuck

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    Bores me too, but at least it's short; also the Flying Battery Act 2 miniboss. It's not impressive in any way, especially when it's just Wing Fortress' boss, and it's not difficult to spindash left, wait five seconds, spindash right, wait five seconds, spindash left, wait five seconds etc.

    I'd argue bosses in Sonic games are crap generally, but those ones especially.
     
  9. Rosie

    Rosie

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    I agree that the shields were under-utilised, a hidden path that you could only get to by traversing lava with the flame shield would have been great.
     
  10. Deef

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    Boss talk yo. Ok, let me throw some bosses at you. I think these bosses are as good as it gets, so I'm interested in any faults you might identify in them.
    Casino Night (especially), Green Hill, Hydrocity Act 2.

    The main thing being that the player never had to wait + could always try to attack. Hydrocity wasn't as threatening as the other two, but I admired how it allowed for at least 3 completely different attack styles which each balanced skill and success well.

    There are many more bosses I think are very good (ARZ, ICZ2, MHZ1, CPZ), but the three listed above are perfect examples I think. I find literally no faults with them. I don't mind a little bit of downtime in a boss fight, a *little* bit, and only if it is *still* filled with some non-patronising, varied, play to stay alive. Oil Ocean is a good example of the non-patronising part, but it simply takes too long between phases. If it had a faster pace I'd like it. I think LRZ1 is a good example of "can't always attack, but when you can't you still have to get involved".

    Bosses I think were simply poor:
    Spring Yard, Sandopolis 2, Hill Top, Marble.

    But overall we have different feelings about the bosses in general; those that did something different were (mostly) a nice change for me.


    I totally agree with this, except with a really different perspective.

    You talk of the shields' protection in terms of "only" and feel that's their biggest issue. I think this part of shields was OP yet compared to their other factors (below), OP shields weren't much of a muchness.

    In my opinion, character was possibly the biggest fault of Sonic's shields when compared to Mario's suits. Shields only feel like tools. That's totally fine, but when you think of Mario's suits with all that character in comparison, you kind of feel that fun that suits just put in your mind. I'm not suggesting Sonic games should have copied that, it would look cheap, but Sonic Colours definitely added character to its powerups and that definitely added appeal to them, and to the game.

    I agree that the shields' moves were completely uninspired. The water shield's bounce is the most interesting, but also the most clumsy. They really do feel like they just got thrown in as an answer to Mario.

    Regarding protection, Sonic was already god-like with the rings, so +1 hit +1 element protection +1 projectiles protection was too much if the concern was keeping Sonic alive. If instead we consider the player who doesn't want to lose the shield itself, then I would probably feel that much protection is ok. The problem being that I just never saw the shields as a big deal to lose. The lightning shield was nice yes, but again, compare it to Mario. Losing a suit in Mario is a big freaking deal. It manufactures fun. Losing a shield is nowhere near that.

    Regarding paths, I've always wondered if the explicit absence of shield-specific paths was a deliberate design feature or a fault, just because it is so explicit. Paths and shields have nothing (nothing deliberate anyway) to do with each other. I honestly liked the way this communicated to me that I was never going to be patronised with a shield. I have (and at that young age, I had already-) had it up to the eyeballs with game design that says "Here's a power" followed by "Must use power to proceed". This makes me feel like I'm watching Home & Away and that the target audience I've made myuself a part of is apparently meant to be stupid. If I collected a shield in Sonic, I knew it was 100% for my enjoyment, not some level designer's lame spark of upcoming non-brilliance.

    But having said all that, I must admit that secreting away some paths and making them shield-dependent would have been a good thing. More for the player to lose, more meaning in a shield. Again, Mario 3 set the example and set it well. Shields, like many things Sonic, were rushed and under-developed. I imagine the devs just designed the levels.... then put shields in them. I imagine someone pointed out the potential being missed, and received in response a reminder that Sonic 3 was so hard up for meeting its deadline that it was about to be chopped in half.



    So, I would lift the gameplay brought by shields by:
    * adding character (somehow, I don't know how).
    * adding meaning (they make a bigger difference somehow without being more OP).
    * redesign their controls to something that's more fun and interesting (again, haven't thought of how)
    * creating paths that require a shield, BUT never making these paths obligatory, nor even obvious.



    I am afraid this will kick off a heap of "Yo I want the <element> shield with move X and protection Y!" posts. Keep it about game design people. :)/>
     
  11. Covarr

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    I kinda disagree with this one. While they don't have maybe as much character as Mario's suits, they are designed to complement Sonic in specific. They are balls. He is a ball. I think they suit the aesthetic of the games and are a good fit for Sonic.
     
  12. Ayu Tsukimiya

    Ayu Tsukimiya

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    I think 2D Sonic games don't really have the kind of level design to make different play styles work, which is probably why it feels like Amy is a hard-mode character sometimes in Advance. CD was a step towards something different, and it sort of worked (a bit too cluttered, but they were onto something).

    It's a shame that Boom was such a terrible game, because now Sonic Team might think that games with different playable characters are automatically doomed to be trash.
     
  13. Felik

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    The very next game released by Sonic Team right after Sonic Boom has practically all the modern playable cast and 3 different playstyles.
     
  14. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft

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    And runs at a solid 5 fps. :colbert: (Also, on my phone at least, it occasionally stops drawing frames for several seconds, then interpolates all the actions between the two frames, usually resulting in failure.)
     
  15. Ell678

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    Knuckles' Hidden Palace Zone is without a doubt the most engaging zone in Sonic history.

    You want to talk about shit bosses? What about this piece of wank -
    [​IMG]

    I really do not like Sonic CD, anyway, but on the off chance I do play it, this makes me rage.
     
  16. Dark Sonic

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    Most of Sonic CD's bosses were kinda trash IMO. The only interesting one was the Metal Sonic race. The rest range from pointlessly gimmicky to annoying.
     
  17. Felik

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    That's why it was such a huge disappointment Taxman didn't add the final final boss to the game. The concept sounded really cool and actual final boss was such a joke it's not even funny
     
  18. DigitalDuck

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    Tidal Tempest's boss is probably my favourite of all the bosses. Manages to be genuinely clever with what it does.

    Collision Chaos boss is just frustrating, though. Luckily you can skip it. :v:
     
  19. synchronizer

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    I thought Wacky Workbench's was interesting. I suppose I'm in the minority, but I like CD a lot; the exploration element is fun to me.
    For some reason 2 becomes boring for me somewhere around Mystic Cave.
     
  20. Blue Blood

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    This is actually way harder than it should be. Uh... CD's Time Travel is virtually useless. The Time Stones accomplish the same thing with a lot less hassle. It's seriously not fun to try and find the lone generator in those huge stages after going through the hassle of first finding a "past sign" and then getting enough speed. On top of that, literally what's even the point of going to the future? Good or bad future, there's absolutely no benefit to it. It's a mixture of poor design and convoluted design.

    S1 is generally awesome, just less refined than the game that followed. S2 I can think of a couple of things for; Metropolis can be cheap as fuck and Sky Chase is really boring once the gimmick wears off. The Final Boss bothers me too. It's pretty cheap and leaves you with no chance to experiment or find a strategy before throwing a game over in your face. Design wise though the game is pretty sound.

    And then that brings me to S3K, my favourite game ever. It's brilliant. The only real problem with it is that once you reach Hydrocity, the entire game sounds like this. Too many opportunities to enter the special stages, and too easy to go Super and kill any challenge the game might offer afterwards.