The time limit really isn't part off the story. Nothing is ever happening to push you forwards in the narrative. How is it not a positive to remove the timer? These are not linear levels and they're full of secrets. If you're hunting for Blue Spheres, Special Stages or even just rings and monitors, you can quite easily spend a lot of time on that. Even with several points of no return in each level, you can still back track and explore a lot in different places. Nothing in the game makes it important to reach the goal in 10 minutes. Moreover, nothing really conveys that the limit is even there. There's a time attack mode for speed running. Why not give the player free reign in story mode? The timer can still be used for bonus points and would benefit from having different times in every level - having the same limit for GHZ1 and TMZ2 is blatantly not something that's actually been thought about. Just don't kill the player for not managing it. It's worse when a time over amounts simply to a death and time reset, but the same won't happen if you die by other means. A particularly egregious example was posted previously concerning the SPZ1 boss - of you challenge the boss without enough time left, you'll be stuck in an unavoidable loop of death until you get a game over unless you last long enough to time over. How is anyone defending that design? I would propose this: Beat the level: silver medal Beat the level in the time limit: gold medal That's literally exactly what Advance 3 did and it was a good system. I can't say that a forced, hard time limit actually adds anything to the experience. It just detracts. I'm one of those people who had never enjoyed speed running Sonic games.