Sonic Colo(u)rs: Ten Years Later.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. Anyway, to prevent this from getting any more off topic.

    I do like the idea of the Wisps, but I wish they were implemented similar to the Shields. In that they enhance Sonic's movement, rather than being context specific power ups.
     
  2. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    Yeah, that Sonic has been pretty much the only series to include drum and bass as a genre that shows up in its OSTs has made me immensely happy and is one of the reasons why I consider Colors up there with the best. No other mainstream series has had the balls to go "you know what, piano dnb with traditional japanese elements" as a level theme. And while dnb is not a genre that's overly popular here in the States, it is a mainstream electronic genre elsewhere.

    Re: how the game is perceived, I was a teenager when 06 came out, and similarly when Unleashed came out, and I was active on the actual official Sega forums at that time, and Colors was seen as a relief - finally, a Sonic game considered "serviceable" as opposed to "catastrophically terrible" (06) or "completely hamstrung by a gameplay element" (unleashed). That's how it was colored at the time.
     
  3. I liked actually really Colors, even more than Generations. Generations was my least favorite game if you can believe it... it's right below Unleashed for me. lol

    Don't get me wrong, Generations was great. Save for constant death pits (which were hard for me to avoid even with the stupid signs), classic Sonic's mobility/physics, and rehashing of old stages. I dunno, I just gravitate more toward newer aesthetics and vistas, which Unleashed and Colors provided more of for me.
     
  4. Pengi

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    Super Mario Bros. was very much the start of a new series. Nintendo certainly celebrates the anniversary of the "Super Mario Bros." series, rather than Mario Bros.

    Even then, the idea of punching platforms from below got expanded upon, as did flipping over and kicking turtles, enemies coming out of pipes and collecting coins for points/lives. The POW block eventually got folded into the Super series too. When they introduced co-op multiplayer to the Super series, they adapted how it worked in Mario Bros., with characters bumping and bouncing off of each other, being able to bounce on the other player's head.

    So even though I (and Nintendo) would class Super Mario Bros. as a separate series, I think it's fair to say that it was an expansion of ideas from the original Mario Bros. A radical expansion, but an expansion nonetheless.

    The completed product that was put out into the world.

    I disagree. All the core ideas of Sonic 2 can be traced back to Sonic 1. The spin attack, the speed, the loops, the ring/health system, the springs, the items, the check points, the robots, the air bubbles/drowning, the idea of Special Stages and Chaos Emeralds. Sonic 2 refined everything Sonic 1 did.

    That's what I've been saying. They both took different elements of their predecessors and moved in different directions. Four Swords Adventures is as much a Zelda game as Ocarina of Time. In some ways FSA is closer to the original, in other ways OOT is. But they're both drawing from the same core template.

    But Sonic Darts, Sonic Golf, Sonic Shuffle, Sonic Drift - I think it's more than fair to say they're not "proper" Sonic games.

    As I said in my previous post, it all goes into the pot. The Spin Dash itself is a perfect example of an idea being iterated and refined. It's an expansion of Sonic 1's rolling mechanic. Without Sonic 1's rolling mechanic already in place, there wouldn't be a Spin Dash. Similarly, if Sonic 1 didn't already have Special Stages, Chaos Emeralds and the invincibility and speed-up items, would Sonic 2 have introduced Super Sonic? They added a new idea that was entirely informed by what had come before.

    This is a trajectory most long lived series go in, be they games, films, anything. They keep on adding things to the pot, changing and refining as they go along. Eventually, many get to the point of "maybe James Bond shouldn't be having laser fights on the moon", "maybe Godzilla should be scary again", "maybe Tony Stark shouldn't be a teenager" - they re-examine the foundational work and course correct.

    You can see all of this at play in Sonic Colours. The high speed action and ring/health system are still present from Sonic 1. The spin jump attack has been iterated into the homing attack to function in 3D. The pinball and rolling are long gone, but the Boost serves a similar function to the Spin Dash. And the Wisps add all new abilities to Sonic's repertoire. But, at the same time, Sonic Team had course corrected by scrapping the "variety pack game" approach (fishing, treasure hunting, shooting, kart racing, virtual pet, brawler) and keeping it a fast-paced platformer throughout.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  5. I feel like I should mention that there are several places in colors where (without boost) sonic can run down a slope and off of a ramp or jump off of an upward slope to get a lot of air.

    And sonic supposedly has no physics anymore. No, he's still got fun physics. Just because they changed a bit doesn't mean they're not there. The only game in recent memory with genuinely questionable physics was sonic forces
     
  6. Mana

    Mana

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    They should have split the games with WISPS into a subline and kept them out of the other mainline games. Feel like they'd have a better reception.
     
  7. As much I want a re-release more for Sonic Unleashed (just because I personally like this game more) than Sonic Colors, I really, really, really, think this game deservers a re-release on PC and Nintendo Switch. Sonic Colors is too good to be stuck on Nintendo Wii (I am not counting the 3DS Version, that technically is just a Rush game).
     
  8. Blue Blood

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    "fizicks"

    So Colours, like every other 3D Sonic game, uses scripted events to make sure that Sonic can get through loops, ramps, winding turns etc. Sometimes they're visible (springs and boosters) and sometimes they're invisible (the video above). The clip I posted is an easily missed example; you've not no reason move slowly at that part of the level, and normally the invisible scripts are less stark than that. This is an extreme case that hopefully explains the situation visually. In Generations, these scripts most noticeably affect Classic Sonic on every single ramp, and they normally have two values: a low speed launch and a high speed launch. It means that instead of creating a fully functioning physics systems like the classics, they can create a partially functioning one and just use duct-tape to fix the rest. In other words, they design the level layouts with little regards for the physics because they can use automation/scripts to make anything work. It creates a very unnatural, jolty feeling when Sonic's launch angle and speed are suddenly changed as he leaves a ramp. The speed and angle at which he launches from are not relative to speed and angle at which he was running. But it's not limited to just Classic Sonic and Generations, as every other level in the boost games works the same way. Typically you're already boosting or hit a boost in the approach to the ramp so that they're better disguised.

    There's a mod for Generations that removes scripting from every level, called the "no automation mod". It's buggy and removes a lot of automation that is essential (SS1's collapsing pillars and CE2's wall run during the lorry chase become unbeatable), but it's interesting if nothing else. You'll notice Sonic flying way too far or not far enough off several ramps, because he's working off the actual physics code instead of a pre-determined value.

    The automation introduced in SA1 was in large part due to the power struggles of the Dreamcast and the teams lack of experience with 3D games. It slowly took over though and became part of the design philosophy in the boost games. Colours is the game where scripted events really started feeling like careless crutches. It's like they design a level layout, and then use scripts to force the physics to behave differently at each point when they're important.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  9. Mana

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    I noticed that too. Like if you watch Sonic as you go between platforms in he 2D sections the game kind of "makes" the jumps for you unless you start fidgeting around even moving him a little higher to bridge a gap if you made it too soon.

    I never realized that might be a problem though.
     
  10. TheInvisibleSun

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    Great post, but it doesn't refute his point though. Regardless of rampant scripting, the are indeed wonderful moments in Colors where you can convincingly launch yourself off of slopes and inclines without the aid of scripts. I noticed this the first time I played Tropical Resort at launch, when I just spent some time screwing around seeing what freedom I had and what I could break with the boost and the cyan wisp and whatnot. And lo and behold, I was able to get quite high in the air via running/boosting at the right places (I first noticed it in one specific small quarter pipe in Tropical Resort, and I kept boost-launching myself over and over because I could), although I don't have a fancy selective video snippet to show for it. Just because there's a ton of scripting doesn't mean the physics don't function, even if the former is a potential indictment of the game's level design.
     
  11. Blue Blood

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    I mean, that's exactly what I said. The games all have physics that involve gaining and losing speed on slopes and inclines, and nobody ever argues that "Sonic doesn't have physics" as he said they do. But the issue isn't just that they're "different" as he said, rather it's how they're used and overwritten. You end up with gameplay that's predetermined to give you the same results every time.

    Further to your point, there's a 3D area on the upper route of Asteroid Coaster 1 near the beginning that has an unscripted ramp, and it's very satisfying to mess around with that and see how Sonic behaves naturally. Those moments are few and far between unfortunately. I didn't say that the physics don't function. I said the opposite in fact, because they do function. It's just that when it comes to the moments that we know as Sonic-style platforming, the levels aren't designed to make proper use of the clever physics and scripts take over.

    I struggle to look past the rampant scripting in not just Sonic games but just about any game with artificial platforming. It feels cheap, it feels lazy and it breaks all immersion. Scripting has a purpose, and Colours abuses it horribly.
     
  12. I feel like Sonic Team's abuse of scripting illustrates their lack of confidence in making a working physics engine for 3D. Some scripting is honestly needed for the type of game Sonic is, but it shouldn't be what the entire game is, because then the game feels artificial to play.

    Forces is the culmination of that mindset, because there's very little in Forces that's up to the player's input. The game is almost a cutscene with occasional inputs at times.

    With Boost though, it kind of makes sense because it's very easily for Sonic to go flying with a well timed boost.
     
  13. DigitalDuck

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    But the thing is, the physics are absolutely still there. There are plenty of times when you can, for example, jump off an upwards slope to get some extra height. Most speedruns for the games rely on this.

    The issue isn't the physics, it's that the level designers want to make setpieces and that's much harder to do when you don't know how fast the player is going into it.
     
  14. Laura

    Laura

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    I wish the Boost games relied on their own physics more and leaned in less often on set-pieces because there are memorable things you can do within the sandbox of those games. Jumping into the water in Seasidehill and using your momentum to boost across. It's very hard to do but is very fun and completely non automated.

    I think the air boosting is also fun to time properly to get across gaps or enemies. Even Forces has the air boost, which can be used on Mortar Canyon to bypass parts of the level. It's probably too powerful but it's something worth mentioning.
     
  15. Blue Blood

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    When I say that I don't like the boost and want that formula to be retired, what I really mean is that I don't like how throttled the boost gameplay is. If SEGA went all in on giving the player control and opening up the levels a lot more, the boost could be amazing. But instead we got Forces, which is like Colours with worse control.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  16. So after waking up and reading these replies, I do agree with a lot of the points, but I do need to mention that I'm fully aware of the automation that's virtually breeding deep within colors. However, I appreciate that TheInvisibleSun remembered the same quarter pipe I did in tropical resort that has no scripting that you can play around with.

    My original post was simply saying that "sonic's physics aren't gone (yet), you just need to know where to find it"
     
  17. SystemsReady

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    funny thing is, this goes back all the way to SA1, where you literally cannot go through loops (such as the one in the game's very first level) without a script making you. honestly, the only real physics that game has is spin dashing up the edge of a slope, which launches you ridiculous distances, and is probably why they nerfed the hell out of it in SA2.

    And SA2 had the same automation for loops, and you can't tell me that rails in that game were even more automation, and Heroes just upped both even more. It's not a sin that started with Colors...
     
  18. Dek Rollins

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    SA1 had obvious limitations in development that led to the necessity of scripted set pieces for certain things to be possible, i.e. loops. In fact this was already mentioned today:

    The thing about this is that, SA1 has an excuse in my mind. But by 2006 I feel that excuse had thoroughly run out (development problems with '06 aside), so I don't think Colors has any excuse at all for leaning on scripts to carry the gameplay.

    Of course, stupid automation isn't only a problem in Sonic games. I feel like it can affect anything with spectacle driven gameplay (if that phrase makes sense), like Spider-Man PS4/5 having more automated webswinging than a game from 2004. But Sonic Team's continued reliance on scripts and the lack of actually good physics and controls, tells me that they either don't care, or they're just that incompetent.
     
  19. Dark Sonic

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    Especially considering how many other games have done loops where you maintain some form of control (hell even Sonic R tried. You were propelled forward but you at least move left and right). The scripting needs to stop, I want to actually play my games
     
  20. Agreed