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One button philosophy in classic Sonic games

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Felik, May 10, 2023.

  1. Laura

    Laura

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    I think @Palas makes a very good point (as he always does) about the Classic Sonic games being good precisely because of the limitations of the moveset. Even assigning spindash to one button makes it far more powerful. The limitation of slowing you down and having to position yourself on a flat surface is an adequate trade off for the move. I think the fact you have to be on flat terrain to crouch is especially important. Its not actually a small trade off at all. It creates real tension when you are on curves and are threatened with crushing, badnik missile attacks, or drowning. The Generations' button press completely erases this depth.

    I wouldn't consider Super Sonic a downside either. Well apart from Super Knuckles and gliding causing unavoidable game overs. There should be a trade off for Super Sonic and I think the fact you cannot de transform is an essential one. It's the only tension and risk at all in the Super transformation. The problem in Sonic 2 was that it was rushed and did not require a second jump press. Sonic 3 rectified this error. I think Super Sonic disabling shield power ups is also a good trade off. Super Sonic is overpowered and needs something to act as a risk or even trade off.

    Intention is always going to be extremely difficult to know. There's a reason intention is ignored in sophisticated analysis. Even if the design implications of the one button moveset weren't intentional, they function as they do. It's a point which can be applied to many games.
     
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  2. Palas

    Palas

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    After re-reading OP a few times I've come to the conclusion that there's a fundamental misreading in what said one action button philosophy means, or what it ultimately does (at least from my and smart people like @Laura's perspective).

    OP puts there being one action button as a consequence of how the games were designed. But Yasuhara's interview gives insight on the thought process: it's not that the games are so well designed that the player only needs one button. The one-button thing was a precondition: it was thought up and defended by Naka before Sonic was even a hedgehog. His ability to curl up into a ball, and therefore have spikes on his back, was a consequence of Naka reportedly being so annoying about it.

    upload_2023-5-14_13-24-34.png

    So, for the designers as well as for the players, it's not a bragging right: it's a constraint. It's not that you can do anything with one button. It's that you must do everything with only one button. You can either appreciate that or not though.

    So this is where I agree with @Laura again: not even Super Sonic demanding some sort of tradeoff bugs me. Within this framework, it does make sense (even if it wasn't exactly anyone's intention).
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2023
  3. kazz

    kazz

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    The one-button system just being Naka weirdness at the end of the day certainly explains why Balan uses it for no good reason
     
  4. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    I feel like it is by design a bragging right, though. Naka put that limitation on his developers specifically to one-up Mario's two button gameplay.
     
  5. Palas

    Palas

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    It seems to be Yuji Naka's thing as a game designer. His mark, his obsession, you name it. Let's Tap was all about turning any number of game genres into a one-action rhythm game -- including a suspiciously Sonic-like racing platformer. Rodea the Sky Soldier is some sort of real time point-and-click NiGHTS, again based on only one action button (you decide where you'll throw yourself, and that's basically it).
     
  6. Felik

    Felik

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    I understand where you're coming from, @Laura and @Palas and I guess it just comes to perspective. The limitation that Naka & co. put on themselves did help to shape up Sonic core gameplay the way it is and ultimately helped him to find his own identity (gameplay-wise) and differentiate from other platformers of the time. I do think, however that the one-button claim is a bit disingenuous especially past Sonic 1 because down button is actually used as an ability button.

    I do however completely disagree on this:
    What did Sonic 3 rectify exactly? If you played Sonic 3 considerable amount of times you more likely than not do NOT want to constantly transform into Super Sonic because playing as normal form is simply more fun than breezing through the game as super (and listening to the same tune over and over). If you want collect the emeralds solely for the sake of getting good ending you're actually punished for that because you can no longer use insta-shield and elemental shield abilities. Something you were able to do up to that point.
    This could be completely avoided if dev team weren't so stubborn and just mapped Super transformation to another button.
     
  7. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Not for me. Blazing though the levels as SS is a blast.

    There is a reason Super Sonic playable in regular levels was one of the most oft-requested features in the 00's.
     
  8. kazz

    kazz

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    Speak for yourself. Marble Garden and Carnival Night especially are much more fun super/hyper if you ask me.
     
  9. Felik

    Felik

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    Hey. I thought we established here that I and only I decide what's the proper way to play a Sonic game :colbert:

    Jokes aside if SS transformation was mapped to a separate button (and it actually WAS in every modern release of the classic games and Mania, I wonder why :rolleyes:) both parties would be satisfied.
     
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  10. rata

    rata

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    Thing is, just taping the jump button isn't the same than holding it. The first one will give you a smaller jump, so anyways you would still be losing a HUGE part of your moveset.

    But under the constraint of having to use only one action button, honestly I don't have an answer. What about tap the button thrice? That would surely do for elemental shields, instashield and knuckles glide! Oh wait, there's a thing called Tails which requires repeatedly tapping action to fly or swim. Buckets.
    Up + Jump while mid-air? Yes, you can learn it if you see it on the manual, but I don't think it's a viable choice. Remember how popular was to rent games back then? Good luck finding any manual on a rental cartdige.
     
  11. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    Up + Jump while grounded
    Only one game utilizes that combination for an action and it doesn't even have a super form.
    Or be rich and own a SEGA six pad and now you have 3 buttons.
    No, I will not sacrifice a face button for a super transformation. I want to piano my spin-dash.
     
  12. kazz

    kazz

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    You're telling me you like transforming at any stage but the tip of your jump? Different strokes I guess.

    But yeah you're right, it's why I suggested possibly a higher time requirement.
     
  13. nineko

    nineko

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    This is still better than the transformation mechanism used in Prince of Persia 2: the Shadow and the Flame.
     
  14. rata

    rata

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    I... never said I like that. In fact I hate the facts I mentioned later in the post. Super is forced upon you even on S&K requering two jumps because you need to glide to progress. Or in S3, if you want to fly as Tails. I just don't have any real solution for it while retaining the one button requisite. Holding it longer? Sure, how long? What's the longest you have to hold the button to get the max jump? Half a second, one second? Who else keeps the button pressed for as long as you're jumping? So, 2 seconds of hold to activate super? Same issue that using an arrow, who's gonna figure out without the manual?
    For what matters (nothing really) I prefer needing to press a different button to transform, screw you Naka.
     
  15. kazz

    kazz

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    I agree. Having to hold a button would just probably be what I'd go with if I had to design around the one-button system. My only problem with an alternate button system would be in the case of an OG Genesis controller it would limit my ability to mash out spindashes. And that's just too fun to give up so this method I think would require at least a 4-face button or more controller to be optimal. Preferably the topmost button since it seems the most appropriate and the furthest away from the jump buttons. Though on the other hand I think you could actually convey the arrow+button way without a manual by having the character glow when they look up or just otherwise press up with 50+ rings. Yeah that's just my same idea from earlier idk I think it could work.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2023
  16. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    Same way everyone else figured out everything else out. Playground rumors and your current issue of Tips & Tricks.
     
  17. Palas

    Palas

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    To be fair I'm not even sure I would have known about rolling if my aunt, who gave me my first console, hadn't told me about it. I was always a little daft. So whether an ability is natural or not isn't something I question too much -- after all, I try to think of games more as a language, a syntax you learn by creating and experimenting in a discretionary space shaped by objectives and conflict between desires, rather than assimilating and processing information given to you. So at some point one is bound to find out how things work, or hear from someone, somehow. Not that the way I think is better in any way, it's just something that flies over my head.
     
  18. Felik

    Felik

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    When I played Sonic 3 for the first time I broke my controller right after the first miniboss. I didn't know that you were supposed to spindash into the rock that was blocking the S-pipe and kept bubble-shielding it from above ad nauseum.
    I did figure out how to spindash eventually though
     
  19. kazz

    kazz

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    It's really dumb that rolling into that doesn't work especially when Sonic could destroy whole walls the same way three games ago.
     
  20. You guys are really funny. You know that?

    Okay. So having to stop to perform a spindash makes you vulnerable for a second, which, in a vacuum where you're not considering these game's actual level design/hazard placement and the fact that the ring system exist, could potentially lead to a feeling of tension when doing it.

    Okay. I won't argue that. But how does that make a one button system superior to mapping a spindash to seperate button then jump?

    You guys do realize they can simply make it to where tapping or even holding spindash while moving doesn't allow you to spindash, but just makes it to where you roll or does something else (maybe even nothing), right? So that way, you can still make the player have to stop in order to charge up a spindash?

    The ability to spindash while moving is the reason the spindash can be continuously spammed for infinite "invincibility" in the 3D games and Generations. Not it being on a different button. Just play SRB2 and you'll see what I mean.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2023