Sonic 4: The quest for physics.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Laughingcow, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Dr. Mecha

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    Well, making multiple thread on Dimps sure isn't the answer; so I suggest merging this all into a Dimps Sonic retrospective thread so that we can talk how they somehow help made (and break) the post-modern Sonic as we know it. Because I'm starting to see a pattern with these threads.

    Still, it's good to discuss what went wrong with Sonic along with how to fix it, but at the same time we kinda have a discussion like this before; not in depth mind you, but still....
     
  2. Laughingcow

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    The original idea was to discuss each section of games individually, analyzing them as such with the differing opinions being solid data to digest. Being a "Dimps Sonic retrospective" is more a byproduct of that. The changes had to be analyzed separately and well, the threads were made as I finished the games. Merging them would make everything messy. That said, I think I covered individual changes here.
    http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?showtopic=38229
     
  3. I definitely do want to talk about it (modern), but when I do I find myself being overly negative and ranting about it. I try and refrain these days, don't want to bring people down that may enjoy the games

    EDIT: I'm getting old and boring
     
  4. SpeedStarTMQ

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    Oh man, these games.

    I was waiting desperately for Episode I like a dog who's owners just nipped to the shop for a minute. When it finally arrived I downloaded it via WIFI on my iPod Touch 2nd Gen whilst I was out shopping (public WIFI was a huge thing 8 years ago!) and instantly the physics massively let it down for me. It didn't feel like I was playing Sonic and it was just weird. I eventually learned to live with the hilarious physics and got really good at the game, making the top leaderboards for a number of levels with both the iPod and Wii versions in the first few months. My younger brother did the same and we frequenly beat each other's times.

    I played the game to death on iPod and got 999 lives and all achievements. I didn't reach that number on Wii but still played it to death. It still wasn't a great Sonic game but to speed run it was great.

    Episode II came out and I played through it once and 100%'d it. I've tried to play it again but despite the better physics and 2-player mode it just doesn't hold my attention. The co-op feature makes the game far slower and less interesting to me which is really the opposite of how I felt about Sonic Advance 3 (I loved all the Advance games).

    Really I've barely ever gone back unless I just wanted to remind myself about these two odd games now and then for 5 minutes.
     
  5. big smile

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    I agree that the name was the main draw, but the marketing was also excellent. They started of with the "guess Sonic's new friend" campaign which included Mr Needlemouse as one of the options, and many took it as Sega's way of acknowledging that all these new characters were not a good idea. Then they had those videos with quotes such as "Speed is something you earn." It really did seem like Sega had learned the lessons of the past few years.

    It's too bad that the actual game devs were going in a different direction. Iizuka once said that Sonic 4 EpII had been finished a year in advance, (and so was presumably held back to avoid competing with Generations). So it's quite likely that the whole Sonic 4 project was deep in development before the decision to name it Sonic 4 happened.
     
  6. DigitalDuck

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    I enjoyed Sonic 4 Episode I. It wasn't a classic Sonic game, and as a platformer it was mediocre, but it was enjoyable.

    Episode II much less so, given that you spend more of the game waiting for animations than actually playing.
     
  7. CHRdutch

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    Ah yes, I've been waiting for this topic.

    I actually enjoy Episode I, I think that (most of) the levels are fun to play through and allow for quick movement. The physics, I don't really mind; you can get some stupid speed and precision after you've mastered them.
    I do agree that the game is rough on the first playthrough, however. There are some really dumb moments that ruin the initial experience of some of the levels, like the room in Casino Street Act 3 where there is a single cannon and you have to guess in which direction you have to go. Then you of course have the torch puzzle in Lost Labyrinth Act 2, but I don't think I need to explain why that sucks.
    Sonic 4: Episode I isn't the only game to pull off bullshit moments like that though: Sonic 2 had Metropolis Zone and that rising water section in Chemical Plant Act 2 to make sure newcomers would feel frustrated, but people still love that game (that could have course have to do with the fact that Sonic 2 has more style to back it up, but who knows).

    The second playthrough is where I believe Episode I gets better, because then you're already familiar with those crap moments and know how to deal with them accordingly (, just like the rising water section in Chemical Plant Act 2, which is bullshit at first, but tolerable when you know how to get past it).


    Episode II is quite the opposite of Episode I for me: the graphics, the music and the overall presentation all got quite an improvement. But the gameplay took a hit. The reason why has already been discussed here (Tails sections & boss fights that take forever).



    Overall, I would say that both Episode I and Episode II are a pretty okay ~7.2/10, but they both fail as a "Sonic 4". I find both of the games fun to play through, but agree that they do not bring anything new to the table, aside from the controversial homing attack/air dash.
     
  8. Dr. Mecha

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    Back on subject, I already came to the conclusion that Dimps just use their game engine from the Sonic Rush series for Sonic 4, and that pretty much highlight the core problem of the game itself.

    Granted, I only played episode 1; never bothered with episode 2, nor the metal extension for 1.
     
  9. big smile

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    Wasn't the Engine for Sonic 4 EP II supposed to be the one from 3DS Generations?
     
  10. Laughingcow

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    Sonic Rush, Rush Adventure, Colors DS, Generations 3DS, Sonic 4 ep 1 and ep 2 all use the same base engine with minor improvements made. It's a moot point as said engine doesn't rely on a physics engine (like how the Hedgehog Engine uses Havok) ergo everything is coded manually. They are incapable of programming Classic Physics with the funny thing being I am damned certain if they asked Yuji Naka for help (like M2 did), he would give them some advice. Blast Processing is just good programming at the end of the day.

    Edit: Remember, Nintendo added rolling physics in Super Mario Odyssey for shits and giggles. Checking the credits, nobody is listed as a "physics programmer" which means all that was manually programmed.
     
  11. SHowin

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    Jeez everyone here seems to hate EP2.

    I seem to feel the other way around.

    EP 1 is not only worse graphics and physics wise but its also a lot more gimmicky level design wise. Everything aside from those obnoxious gimmicks is a rehash. It's an alright game that doesn't deserve the name.

    EP 2 got an increase in quality in every aspect. Everyone complains about Tails and the special moves and while I would prefer the game without them I don't think they ruin the game by any means. The level design quality aside from that doesn't differ much from episode 1 but the attempt to make the levels more original makes the game feel a lot less rehashy in general. The boss fights can drag on but since they are they're own stages it doesn't bug me that much. It's also an alright game that doen't deserve the name but there's one thing that makes it stand out as a pretty good game that I'd recommend.

    The coop. It's fantastic! I always wanted to have good coop in a 2D game but its always shit in the classics. No one would ever want to be Tails except this game fixes all the issues by keeping both players on screen at once and making it follow them both. If you get off the screen you can instantly teleport back to the other player. Playing through this game with a friend is a pretty good time all things considered. I wish Mania would have tried to make the coop better but for the sake of being like the classics they didn't change anything about it. This results in Mania's coop being trash like the classic games.

    Sure EP2 isn't a fantastic game by any means but it has some good qualities and great coop that is definitely something that should be carried over to future games.



    I know I'm beating a dead horse but these games also really should have had Classic Sonic instead of Modern. The title just feels so less fitting without Classic Sonic being the design they used. Gameplay is always first but I gotta admit its always been a thing that has made these games feel particularly wrong.
     
  12. Lapper

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    Not played it but cant say any of the coop I've seen looked fun in the slightest. Screen pausing animation then an auto boost move or a 2 second flight? From what I've gathered it's absolutely awful and I can't see how it adds any challenge or fun.

    If this had happened we'd have only had a crappy segmented classic game and classic Sonic would be dead on his feet. (I'm glad the only new classic focused game was a hit and so much has and will spawn from it)

    I hate that 3D Sonic games use real physics. It should all be manual imo. If the classics used true 2D physics they'd handle terribly in comparison.... oh yeah case and point classic Generations and Forces. Sonic should move in very deliberate ways when reacting to surfaces, it was never meant to be truly realistic no matter how much you tweak certain values or use scripted arcs. Of course, it has to be done RIGHT if done manually - but that's just the fault of those specifically doing it. It's not hard.
     
  13. Billy

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  14. Beltway

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    Ahaha, oh wow, I forgot to address this in my writeup!

    And let me piggyback on your post to add the coup de grace to that fiasco: the only reason people those buggy updates were even pushed out in the first place was apparently just to insert advertisements for other Sega games. The descriptions gave a generic "bugfixes and enhancements" but nobody was able to find any significant changes.

    The iOS version for Epi. II also stopped working after the iOS7 firmware update in November 2013. Sega said they were working on a patch....which originally didn't happen. Instead, they pulled the game from the store (the US iOS store anyway)....a year and a half later around May 2015. And Sega continued to sell the game during that period of time! (Sega eventually brought back the game to the iOS store in January 2016, with an update that fixed the bugs...but again nuked existing save files!

    Even the Android versions weren't safe--Episode II suffered audio glitches (no music aside from the Sylvania Castle intro, only playing sound effects) and also suffered occasional crashes. It and Episode I also asked for unnecessary and intrusive permissions (asking for access for stuff like your location via Wi-Fi/GPS, the state of the phone, contact list and call logs).

    lmao They didn't give a fuck!
     
  15. Haha, the quest for physics. I don't think that quest ever ended to be honest. What Sonic Team game in the last decade has a reasonable approximation to the classic physics in it?


    Episode I for me was....not terrible? Not because it isn't actually a bad game but because I hadn't had a taste of anything really resembling the classic gameplay in a long time prior to that. Maybe the last original 2d sonic game I'd played before that was the SAdv3 title...which again wasn't too close to the classic formula but closer relative to the few games I'd been playing in that era.
    Just so I'm clear, there was a period of time in which I wasn't doing much gaming at all. This all happened during that stretch. My perspective is probably a little warped due to that.

    In hindsight, Episode I is bad. Episode II, if not for the Sonic and Tails roll boost/fly combo garbage, would have been fairly tolerable. Part of me even looked forward to an episode 3, thinking to myself "There's no way they can't learn these basic lessons this many times in a row. Even if its just baby steps, we'll get there eventually?"


    So yeah, we never arrived with Sonic Team; they're still on that quest. If they do figure that out I think the average quality of their output will increase substantially.
     
  16. muteKi

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    Episode 1 was tolerable mostly. I don't like the way tilt control was implemented on the mobile ports, and playing it on PC made it clear this was a game whose roots were in the Android marketplace which was at the time very fragmented. Episode 1 isn't maybe a "classic" game but it does feel of a kind to, say, Sonic Chaos or possibly Triple Trouble, but not as artful as either. It is first and foremost a mobile game for a set of mobile devices where physical buttons were unheard of. An interesting idea obviously aged out and lacking in purpose outside its original target platform, where it reads more clearly as an inheritor to 8-bit Sonic
     
  17. SHowin

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    I don't think the tag moves are that annoying but I do think the game would be better off without them. Like I said it doesn't ruin the game for me. But that wasn't really my point about carrying the coop over. The coop keeps both players on screen which would be great for the classics / mania. Since the camera always followed Sonic, it would suck to have to be Tails and makes the coop a shitty afterthought in general. Coop can work in a Sonic game if it functioned in a similar way to EP 2.

    It should have been Classic Sonic if it was going to be called Sonic 4. Just because it should have been Classic Sonic doesn't mean that it shouldn't have also been a better game in general.
     
  18. Laughingcow

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    While I do like the sentiment of a Coop Classic Sonic game (or rather a Coop Sonic game period), you run into the same hurdles that Ep2 ran into i.e. why should the player bother using them? It is the same problem Advance 3 ran into. A given mechanic needs purpose in level design and unfortunately the downsides of Ep2 is just that (fly here sections, swim here section, use 69 combo to break wall). Even then, you can still use Tails' flying in Sonic Mania during Sonic & Tails mode. Just holding up and hitting the jump button a couple times with Tails next to you works well enough....And as much as I hate to invoke it, Sonic Boom did alright with the standard two player beat'em up formula.
     
  19. Skyler

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    Sonic 4 Episode 2 is my masterpiece.
     
  20. Sparks

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    The only impact Sonic 4 left on me in the long term is the Mine Cart level audition video.