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Sonic Superstars: A New 2D Sonic Game (Fall 2023)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by DefinitiveDubs, Jun 8, 2023.

  1. Beltway

    Beltway

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    Not sure what you mean by "act" (which I don't blame you due to CD's oddball naming conventions), but I guess you're referring to the individual stages ("zones") and their "four" time periods? Because if memory serves me right, the core level layout for each zone is largely the same across each time period, the differences are largely re-arranged object placements (platforms, stage gimmicks, badniks, etc.) and the graphical assets per timezone. I'll also defend Oshima somewhat in that terrible bosses aren't exactly new to Sonic games, nor are they unique to games with Oshima's involvement; not by a longshot. Superstars' only real new fault with the boss design is that it arguably marks a new nadir more than anything else.

    As far as ranking systems go, I feel like Blue Blood's comment about Superstars' inconsistency really hits it on the head, and why as far as the MD/CD games and Mania goes, I would certainly put it at the bottom of the list. On a broader scale, Superstars just fumbles the ball on a lot of small details that --when combined with its more bigger faults-- dampen the package overall; moreover, they are fumbled small details that either aren't there in the other MD games; or they are, but the other games are more focused and/or much more refined/polished that you can tolerate/forgive them.

    Definitely in agreement with those though that think the comparisons to Sonic 4 are way off-the-mark (at least, when not talking about music). The level design and physics would be just as egregious as the boss battles, if not even worse (and we've seen it be worse in the last batch of Dimps-developed Sonic games). If anything, both elements are Superstars operating at peak performance.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2024
  2. qwertysonic

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    Regardless, the level layouts are bad, the special stages are bad and the bosses are bad. Obviously there have been bad bosses before Sonic games, and Sonic games have had bad bosses. But Sonic 1, 2, and 3K all had mostly good bosses, whereas Sonic CD, Superstars, and Mania (which draws heavily from CD) have awful bosses. Naka and Yasuhara understand good boss design and Oshima clearly doesn't.
     
  3. BenoitRen

    BenoitRen

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    The bosses are bad, the level design is divisive, but I'll always defend Sonic CD's special stages. I've always liked running in a trippy pseudo-3D level with cool music and jumping at UFOs.
     
  4. Lyrica

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    I enjoyed Super Stars (got it on release) but my biggest gripe and annoyance was the bosses, especially Nack, where they just DRAG ON AND ON AND ON
     
  5. Palas

    Palas

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    Hm. Have the devs ever talked about this? Because this doesn't seem to hold up to any amount of scrutiny.

    Take a look at Sonic CD's bosses:

    upload_2024-4-8_10-28-22.png

    They have two distinctive features:
    • Their basic loops involve dealing with the arena and its hazards more than targeting Eggman himself, so the boss either eats away at itself (Quartz Quadrant) or resolves automatically once you deal with the arena (Collision Chaos, Stardust Speedway);
    • Their usage of the stage's main gimmick is readily apparent and you must use it as a tool to "solve" the boss;
    As a result, you never have to hit them the usual eight times and the only boss fights in which you and Eggman take turns are Palmtree Panic and Metallic Madness, which is nothing unusual in Sonic. The complaints about CD's bosses usually revolve around that loop being annoying in itself (Collision Chaos) or them being over in an instant (like Mana said). There's exactly one boss that forces you to wait for opportunities to attack, and it's the final boss.

    But then again, how is that different from Oil Ocean's original boss, or even Hydrocity's Act 1 boss?

    Now here are Mania's bosses:

    upload_2024-4-8_10-35-4.png

    So which Mania bosses are in any way like CD's? The bosses that had people complaining the most were in Flying Battery and Oil Ocean, all of which are polar opposites to the bosses in CD, being drawn out and hard to figure out because nothing you ever did in the stage makes the boss easier. And these are similar complaints to the ones about Superstars' bosses. So what are you talking about here?

    This makes me really question the seriousness of anyone who casually throws insults at Oshima around like "CD is like Superstars and both had Oshima at the helm so both suck in the same ways" when they're extremely not alike, 30 years and a whole team that's not Oshima apart.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2024
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  6. Mana

    Mana

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    Until QwertySonic today I've never heard anyone compare Mania's bosses to CD so I don't think it's as wide spread an opinion as you think. I think that's just them.
     
  7. Zephyr

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    Well, Wacky Workbench's also makes you wait for opportunities to attack (can only hit Eggman when the platform you're on bounces up). So that'd be two.

    Personally, I like that CD's bosses involve the environment and the stage's actual gimmicks. I especially like Collision Chaos pretty much just being pinball, and Quart Quadrant having you endure till Eggman defeats himself.

    As for rankings, I'd put Superstars comfortably below CD and even Advance 1, but well above either episode of Sonic 4 and the Classic sections of Generations and Forces. It comes close to nailing the basic template, sans proper badnik bouncing (a crime especially egregious in a game so vertical), and the places it experiments are either botched (custom robot, 4 player co-op) or forgettable (Emerald powers). CD and Advance 1 both nail the template, and I enjoyed the ways they experiment much more (heavy focus on exploration and backtracking in CD, Ring economy -> Tiny Chao Garden -> SA2B connectivity in Advance 1). But like, I am still replaying (parts of) Superstars, and enjoying myself, which certainly isn't happening with Sonic 4 or the classic halves of the Boost games.

    So, mechanically it's sort of inbetween both "sets" of games, and its audio is like that as well. Sonic 4 styled music with Mania jingles and menu sound effects is kinda jarring.

    Can't agree with this more. Pick one of these, not both. I used to really gas up 3K and Mania for having more bosses, but playing through this game made me retroactively appreciate Sonic 1 and 2 having levels without a boss tainting them at the end. However tedious some of Mania's bosses may have been, Superstars' are in another league entirely.
     
  8. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I'm pretty sure qwertySonic was just saying that CD was a big influence on Mania in general, and that extends to the bosses not being great. I personally disagree somewhat, but it's not that big a leap.
     
  9. Vertette

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    Game developers should hire me to be their boss designer slapper. If they ever write down the words "and then the player waits until", I will slap them upside the head. If I can slap some sense into Arzest, I'll happily do it.
     
  10. qwertysonic

    qwertysonic

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    Yeah this is more what I meant.
     
  11. Wraith

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    If they're bad in different ways though it doesn't speak much to Oshima's competence(?) as a designer, so I don't see a point in bringing Mania into it. It's got it's little own quirks. They're different enough that I can say Mania's bosses have (mostly) grown on me while CD's still haven't over 20 years and countless playthroughs later.
     
  12. Mana

    Mana

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    How exactly does Mania take from CD? Yes the general art style and sound design was inspired by CD but that's it. Mechanically it's nothing like it.

    To the point where neither CD level in Mania uses ANY of the original level design, which every other retraux level does. They're completely different in design philosophy and that occurring is an example of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2024
  13. Nova

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    I wish people would stop trying to claim that CD has 'objectively' bad level design and making presumptions as such. The level design is not objectively bad and, arguably, some of the best in the series for giving players opportunities for both exploration and speedrunning. Wacky Workbench is less-than-ideal, admittedly, but even great Sonic games can have some stinkers here and there. Sonic 3 ended up doing it better in my opinion, but CD was a fantastic go at it for my money.
     
  14. Mastered Realm

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    My tier list is like

    Mania = Sonic 3K > Sonic 2 > Sonic Superstars > Sonic 4 EPII > Sonic 1 > Sonic 4 EPI
     
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  15. This is pretty much my tier. Except I would still maintain Sonic 3 & Knuckles on the top, but I love Mania just as much.

    Despite me thinking CD is worst than Superstars, I think CD is better than Sonic 1. Despite this game having flaws, I had fun with it. It's not a bad game, I think the problem with some of Sonic CD's execution is that the game was way ahead of its time.
     
  16. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    Sonic 1 is a pretty great game and I'm tired of pretending it isn't.
     
  17. plushifoxed

    plushifoxed

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    sonic 1 is... fine. it's like, above average. but thats with almost 35 years of context and a wealth of games in the same vein (or at least a stab at the same vein) to compare it to. that it was mostly good enough on the first go and later installments of the era (mostly) only polished and improved on the formula over time is a credit to how well designed it was to begin with.

    i prefer CD though :colbert:
     
  18. Chimpo

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    You were pretending?
     
  19. Mana

    Mana

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    If I had a nickle for everytime Naota Ohshima directed a Sonic game, with really cool concepts and innovations on the forumla, that sounded way better on paper than they were in execution, I'd have two nickles. (Time travel, 4 player multiplayer, Every character having their own special act).

    Which isn't a lot but it's still strange it happened twice.
     
  20. Mastered Realm

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    Vanilla Sonic 1 isn't that fun to play. The unforgiving spike behavior, the speed cap, and the lack of spindash set it apart in pace compared to other games in the series. Rereleases fixed my issues with it but we have to be fair when comparing the games.

    I'd put Origins Sonic 1 tied with Origins Sonic 2 but also put Origins Sonic 3K lower than Mania, for example.