The spindash was a mistake

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Blastfrog, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. Vangar

    Vangar

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    The Spindash is an iconic and super useful move for Sonic. When they added a bunch of moves for Mario to help him navigate in 3D, no one said "oh they make the game easier so it was a mistake".

    If you don't have momentum at the bottom of a ramp and or a loop, you do a quick spindash to get through. It's also great to get a quick boost when the level starts. I'd argue that the games are infinitely more fun with it, and not having it in sonic 1 is the mistake, albeit the levels aren't as well suited for it.
     
  2. OcelotBot

    OcelotBot

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    I'm a fan of the spin-dash. Most of the time it serves as an optional move (much like the drop-dash). If you don't have the momentum you need (or are not particularly skilled at the classic games) then it's a quick way of making it up a steep slope or round the (much liked although mostly time-wasting) loop-de-loops.

    The need to use the spin-dash is rarely mandatory and, therefore, I've never found it harms the gameplay. The first Sonic game I played was Sonic 1, so playing without the spin-dash felt natural. That said, whenever I play the mobile remaster I always play with the spin-dash enabled even though I hardly ever us it. I mean, be honest; how many of you guys use the spin-dash in Marble zone, Spring Yard, Labyrinth or Scrap Brain? I'm guessing not many because the level design doesn't make it a necessity. I would only occasionally use it in Green Hill & Star Light. Oh and when I've played the SEGA Ages version I use the spin-dash even less because the drop-dash (which feels faster than in Mania) pretty much renders the spin-dash unnecessary/obsolete.

    I of course use the spin-dash more in Sonic 2 due to it being more useful with the more open level design, more (including the super-peel out) in Sonic CD because of how important it is in gaining the speed you need to time-travel, and more in Sonic 3 & Mania because of the better level design and improvement/tweaks made to the spin-dash respectively.

    The spin-dash is fun, never feels overpowered or out of place and is so easy to use. It's so much better than the momentum-killing homing-attack & spin-dash in Sonic 4 or the ridiculously overpowered spin-dash in Sonic Generations, which felt like nothing more than a bastardised version of the Modern boost gameplay.
     
  3. To me this seems like a case of someone confusing what is "challenge" in game design. The Spin-dash is a convenience tool, it doesn't speed up the game if you're playing optimally/good, but also means you don't have to slowly build up momentum if you mess up for any reason. Not really meant to be abused and the only people who would abuse it are speedrunners using it in ways that normal players wouldn't be able to do without much practice.

    Gathering momentum is a challenge, but only in the sense of reaching secrets...

    If you per se fail at getting over a loop or fall into one of those half pipes, going back to get enough speed or rolling back and forth isn't challenging...it's just slow which is your punishment, true. It's also just a thing you have to redo...which in platformers is always kinda tedious to some degree.
     
  4. Palas

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    This isn't true because, in Sonic, being still or slow means you're at your most vulnerable. You have no way to deflect attacks or reach enemies that could hit you, so momentum is not only something you do to gain extra points - you have to gain it in order to survive. Being in a rolling/jumping state, and going fast, is how you can best answer to the stage's hazards.

    So while I do agree that Sonic was designed without the spindash, I don't agree that the spindash is antithetical to the design because you have to stop in order to activate it. In Sonic's design, going slower (to understand the area you're in, for example) might be important to be able to go faster. The spindash is just that. You stop, so you can achieve max speed. It does put you at risk.

    Also, Marble and Labyrinth are perfect as they are.

    So OP is right, but also wrong.

    EDIT: Although I will be the first to say I'm a huge fan of SCD's moveset. Peel Out being faster but still leaving you vulnerable, slower spindash etc. I like it. I know it's unpopular, and Sonic 2's spindash is fine too. But, conceptually speaking, I prefer SCD.
     
  5. Aerosol

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    It's a crutch for less-experienced players and a useful tool for more-experienced ones. It does no harm to the core design of the game at all. Just don't use it if you don't want to.
     
  6. Prototype

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    I can see both sides of the argument, and it's certainly interesting to think about. I personally love the spindash. In fact, since playing Mania Plus, I find myself really enjoying the different ways characters can move throughout the stage and the Spindash is just one of those things. Level design and physics will always be key in a good Sonic game and I see the Spindash as a fun way to explore the level and explore the physics. I still get a kick out of running up a wall on my right and using the physics to leap off to a higher platform on my left. It just feels satisfying.

    I totally get people who prefer the games without the Spindash, but I suppose Spindash or not, all the levels have to be suitably designed around the character's ability (or lack thereof), so it's hard to be objective if a level in one game was designed around speed and a level in another was designed around blocky platforming.

    Now, since the Spindash has become a mainstay in the "classic" games (to the point of porting the spindash back to S1), would it ever be feasible to make a new classic game without it? Certainly the more modern games have dropped it. One way I could see it figuring in is, instead of new power-ups, make more power-downs. Maybe have a fake shoe monitor that restricts your ability to spindash and reduce your moveset to the S1 moveset for a time period. It would make enemies and obstacles more dangerous and you'd have to rely on manually getting enough speed to navigate the level. That being said, the last time Sonic was given move-inhibiting shoes it was a disaster! :P
     
  7. Covarr

    Covarr

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    This reminds me of something I saw in one video about Sonic 2006 (Warning: yelling).

    This mindset isn't really out of the ordinary. To a lot of people, the spindash is a huge part of Sonic's identity, and what they like about the games. Regardless of its effect on the balance of the games, I do think it's fair to say that if a lot of people thought the spindash was fun, it can hardly be called a mistake. Ultimately, there is more to game design than just balance and difficulty curve, and a move's impact on how the character and game are perceived, especially by people newer to the franchise, cannot be discarded simply because the move can be abused.
     
  8. Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japanese ver. a.k.a. "lost levels")

    Granted, Luigi has a different weight to him and there's an extra power up (Or power "down"? Talking about the death mushrooms here...) and level hazards, but overall Mario was still the same. :P
     
  9. Aesculapius Piranha

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    I agree with the idea that spindash was a mistake. Am rather surprised to see so many others here agree. I feel like this is going to be an argument between those who loved and loathed Marble Zone, though. For some, trying to find the optimal path with a fast character feels fun when you get it right and have a feel for the momentum. For others holding right to win should be relatively unobstructed with a few amusements on the way to keep them distracted from the fact they are just holding right to win.
     
  10. Aerosol

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    But I don't get it the spindash is rarely actually faster for any reason other than set pieces. The drop dash is more broken than the spindash. And if you're trying to tell me spindashing down the long water slides in Hydrocity isn't the tightest shit, we can't be friends.

    I like Marble Zone. I also like the spindash, and would never try to use it in Marble Zone except in extreme, exploitative circumstances.

    How is it an actual mistake? How does removing it make the game better, rather than just not using it if you don't like it? Cause all I'm seeing is "I personally don't like using it".
     
  11. Palas

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    But that's not what anyone said. Everyone said, "the game is better without it because then you play the way Sonic was originally designed". The stages are built around not having to spindash. Besides, "just don't use it if you don't like it" is a really strange argument. I've seen it thrown around to defend the travesty that is the homing attack, ignoring that games have - or should have - some cohesion to them.
     
  12. Covarr

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    That's a really bizarre argument, because it's not against the spindash at all (except when added after-the-fact to games like Sonic 1), but rather the level design.
     
  13. Aerosol

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    Error, false equivalency. Unless we're talking about the HA in Sonic Advance in which case...you can really just not use it if you don't like it.
     
  14. Trying not to go too far off topic, but what's y'all's opinion on the recent drop dash mechanic?

    Although I like the spindash, I felt that it kept the momentum going a bit better when it came to slopes, more so than the spindash.
     
  15. Palas

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    ...Well, yes, but these matters are intertwined. The level design is more or less everything in Sonic, and it's what gives the abilities value or not.

    Though a better way to word it would be, "the games weren't designed with the spindash in mind".

    No, see, what I'm saying is that the discussion is not about personal preference. And that the argument about "not using it if you don't like" is not the point, as it's a rather strange argument to be made in a discussion that is simply not about that. The equivalency is on point.
     
  16. Laughingcow

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    Calling it now, this thread is will descend into the "No true Scotsman" Fallacy just like every Sonic Adventure 3 argument.

    The thing about the spin dash is that we already have a game with a perfect example of what happens when we remove it from current level design sensibilities: Amy in Sonic Advance 1.

    The compensation is adding either a floating platform at short half pipe sections which you can only get up with the spin dashes' speed boost, placing a longer stretch of land before hand to build momentum (which feels clunky if you mess up the first time) or putting Dimps standard boosters where momentum is necessary. It's not a question of how you FEEL Sonic gameplay design should be but of what influence it has on the level design.

    The drop dash seems more built for speedrunning than general gameplay. It's level design utility seems best suited to crumbling platform situations where you don't have time to spin dash and normal running speed is not quick enough. It also has defensive capabilities in say hitting a boss then drop dashing out of the way. I don't think we've gotten a good enough taste of this mechanic yet but these situations are what comes to mind.

    As for the Boost...That's just a cheap knockoff of Super Sonic and is outside of the realm of Classic Sonic so I'll ignore it for now. The homing attack was made specifically for 3d so it shouldn't be applied in 2d at all.
     
  17. Covarr

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    Them being intertwined really just furthers the point, though, that the move itself can hardly be blamed alone if it's in a game that fails to utilize it properly. If they are intertwined, it's completely reasonable to say "The spindash in Sonic 1 was a mistake because it was added after the fact to a game that wasn't designed for it", or "The spindash in Sonic 2 was a mistake because the level design didn't really make good or enough use of it", but it's rather not reasonable to say the spindash was a mistake altogether, particularly when the following several games (3/K/M) made quite good use of it.
     
  18. Aerosol

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    Every argument I've read in this thread as to why the spindash is a mistake boils down to "I don't like it". Not a single convincing argument as to why it's detrimental to the gameplay as an optional move has been made thus far.

    In other words, if you're going to say it's a mistake, you have to show how it negatively impacts the game whether you use it or not. That hasn't happened. Except one person said "it takes longer to look down now" which is such a minor beef but ok.

    I don't like the Super Peelout. At all. I see no point to it, especially when there's no control lock with a rolling jump in CD. But I wouldn't call it a mistake. I just don't like it.

    Edit: And like Covarr said, it's not enough to say it was mistake in specific circumstances either. The topic is "was the spindash an outright mistake", not "was the spindash in this circumstance a mistake". So at the very least you have to show how it's negatively impacted the direction of comparable games in the franchise.

    Is Sonic 3 worse because it was designed with the spindash in mind? How so? Would Sonic 3 be better if you took the spindash out? How so? What would you change in Sonic 3 if you had designed it with the spindash missing? How is that better than what we got?

    The answer to these questions will form a convincing argument that the spindash was a mistake beyond "I don't like it".
     
  19. Palas

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    The problem here is that if we go by this view, we're going to fall into an empty discussion about things being good as long as they're good. Given that 3&K made good use of the spindash and 1 made good use of something else that didn't have the spindash, OP is proposing that 1's framework for level design is better because it doesn't have the spindash, and therefore the emphasis on using the stage to gain speed is stronger - not that you can't make a good game with the spindash, or build a functioning framework with it. Now, do I agree with that? I don't know, I don't think so. But the discussion is not simply the spindash, as an ability detached from everything else, being good or not.

    I'm not going to play devil's advocate anymore because a-) that's not my point to make b-) you're not going to listen anyway because you're going to reduce the arguments to "I don't like it" even though that's not, again, what anyone said. The spindash, it is pointed out by the op, is a mistake in the circumstance of a game that was built with building speed from stuff in the environment, and with it, you don't need to use slopes to gather speed, which would break the framework within which Sonic 1's level design was made. Thus, the spindash changed the philosophy of the game, and it doesn't matter whether I want to use it or not.

    Now I don't think it's a mistake. Like I said, I think it's very much in line with the original concept. I also think we should discuss in good faith though.
     
  20. Kail

    Kail

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    When I was a kid I loved the spin dash because my goal was never to beat the game in the most stylish, fastest way but rather to explore and have fun. I'm in the camp that not every game should be inherently difficult/challenging without any options for newer/younger/casual players. Nintendo's Super Guide/Funky Mode/Casual Mode/Etc that they've been doing for the last decade is great. Players who want a challenge still get it, but those who are more casual can still enjoy the game. I don't think the spindash compares to Funky Mode, but its an element that gives the player more opportunities for speed and its extremely satisfying even if you shoot yourself into a bottomless pit.