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The spindash was a mistake

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

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  1. Endgame


    Formerly The Growler Member
    Just as a quick theory here, but I'm wondering if the spindash is partially a space-saving device for levels, if you get my meaning.

    As in, since it may require a run up to get over a loop-de-loop, that would take space up for adding other hazards and items to the level - which would make getting around the loops more tricky had there been another way to go over them. So maybe the spindash enabled the developers to add more stuff to levels - and to enable more interesting terrain (as what BounceDeLemos stated) - all the while having larger levels as well. However, that's probably more likely why springs and boost pads etc. were positioned just before loops in later games which took out the need for the spindash; to the point where it's become almost like an interactive movie.

    It'a not the spindash I have a problem with, but the boost pads and automatic sections which are what's ruining the modern games - as we very well know (ignoring Sonic's own Boost mechanic - which many/some people like).
  2. Nova


    I don't really see how the spindash could be called a mistake, personally. The levels are designed around having it (as The Growler pointed out just above me) and it serves as just another part of your toolkit for getting through a level quickly. Spindashing through an entire level is nowhere near an optimal strategy, it just stops that flow being lost for too long - and if you're trash at the game, it's not exactly the crutch that you describe it as.

    In fact, one reason I actually quite like the Boost-style gameplay is that when done right, that boost move has to not only be utilized, but utilized thoughtfully. It's a trade-off; you make Sonic far harder to control and increase his stopping distance, but you get near-instant maximum speed. The spindash, in my eyes, serves a very similar function. It gives you really quick, on-demand speed but with a trade-off - in the case of the spindash, speed drop-off on a flat as well as actually having to stop to use the move. I'd argue that watching a half-decent player use either and comparing them to someone actually really competent at the games is evidence of this.
  3. MarkeyJester


    Original, No substitute Resident Jester
    That's an interesting point, I hadn't thought about layout space being a plausible reason...

    I would throw in the argument that horizontal springs up against a rock would suffice, but there are other implications to that. Likewise, you didn't really see that often in Sonic 1, nine times out of ten it was a hill or long stretch of land. To add to this, eight out of eleven of the levels in Sonic 2 have layouts that would normally require the space but don't thanks to the spindash (i.e. loops, half loops, up-ramps, etc) as opposed to Sonic 1 where I believe only two (maybe three) of the six actually had looping/hill situations that required the space. I think it's a solid possibility that as they made more use of the loops they started to struggle to fit them in without an easy means of getting through them.
  4. JamesRock7


    Pending Member
    Maybe it could exists a "Hard Mode" where there is no spindash or it hurts you for experienced players, or giving a special reward if you don't use it. I recall a MegaMan Battle Network 4 and 5 where the use of a Dark Chip has consequences, and alters the way the game is played.
  5. Hez


    Or maybe like Sonic CD's spindash? It almost had the right idea. It was a pain in the ass to use and almost worthless unless in particular situations.
  6. Clikin


    Actually you don't have it all easy when using the spindash. You still need to have reflections and analyse the environment, because the level design was adapted tor this. The spikes on the walls are the greatest example.
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  7. Frostav


    This is a very weird argument.

    To me, Sonic's appeal is not merely speed or physics (though they support what I am about to say), but is instead based on one very simple axiom: Not Stopping is Fun. I was originally going to say "Moving is Fun" but that doesn't quite get it. The appeal of Sonic is that it's a platformer where the game EXPECTS that you are always in motion. You don't stop to make super tricky platforming or wind back and forth with momentum-killing breaking. It should be telling that there are almost zero autoscrollers, and that stuff like having to ascend vertically while jumping left and right (that is, stopping your momentum to change direction) is also decently rare--and where it is there, it's usually hated like that one shitty part of CPZ2 which sucks because it's a Mario-style platforming a Sonic game. Point is, while this isn't always the case, Sonic is about constant flow and movement. I know some people like the exploration aspect more, but I pretty much play these games to speedrun them--that's just how I play.

    It should also be telling that in most Mario games, getting hit doesn't actually stop you, but in Sonic, it not only does that, it actively throws you backwards. Given how easy getting a ring back is, it should be clear that the punishment in Sonic for getting hit is losing your flow, not losing rings (unless you care about special stages, which as I said above, I do not, and in S3&K they aren't even gated behind rings anyway)

    The spindash is a punishment and crutch, but it's not a malicious one either. It's a punishment because you Stopped. You're not in the flow any more. You didn't keep your momentum and now you have to stand still, charge it, and then continue--continue in a roll no less, where you have less control than normal and thus probably can't keep your flow up. Still, it doesn't actively hurt you. That's what makes it a good move: it's completely optional, helps new players or when you fucked up, and punishes you without actively kicking you in the groin like how most platformers punish failure.
  8. Pexs


    Otherwise known as Spex Member
    You know, I think you just summed up all the things I like about classic Sonic, S2 in particular, and the disconnect I've had with most "classic callback fangames". I agree - the reward of playing Sonic is because "Not Stopping is Fun". I started with Sonic 2 as a kid, and Sonic 3 was pretty good too, but I always went back to 2. When I actually got to play S1, I maybe got to the 3rd zone before I dropped it. It's a different game, really. I could never understand why Retro (and other retro Sonic fans) put so much emphasis on the "exploration" bit. Exploration is a detour to my goal of "staying on the move".

    S1 actively stops you with its level design at times. It is fast, but not about going fast. I honestly didn't enjoy Sonic Mania until I separated the goals of "trying to find the bonus rings" and "go fast and actually enjoy the game", because exploration and "not stopping" are two opposing goals and can't be reconciled on a first playthrough. In that same way stuff like the Spindash is a really neat recovery tool to get you back into the fun faster, and stuff like the Drop Dash is more tools in the toolbox to keep you moving. The Sonic 1 punishment of "you need to slog through the next section because you didn't hold your momentum" really seems like more of a detriment to the player's interest in continuing, right? The way I see it the punishment should be that you stopped at all, not that you need to suffer to get back to the interesting part.

    It's kind of like there's two groups, one side doesn't like it because the fun part of "not stopping" is using skill through gaining momentum and keeping it and the other side does because the fun part of "not stopping" is using skill to traverse the level in as little time as possible.
  9. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Because different strokes for different folks. Myself, I never understood people who claim that Sonic is (or should be) just about speed and nothing else. I've always loved how classic Sonic stages (particularly those from S3&K) are speedy, yet they have dozens of paths and secret areas, making them extremely rich in exploration. That way they can be played in two different ways. Depending on your mood, you can either run to the goal, or explore around. Or even alternate between the two play styles within the same stage.
  10. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    I didn't enjoy Mania for "not stopping" because in most levels in Mania you just hold down until you reach the end; I only had the exploration to keep me interested, and had to explicitly stop to do it, so in terms of Mania I would argue that exploration and "not stopping" are opposing goals.

    However, in S3K that's not true at all. Exploration and "not stopping" are not only not opposing goals, but work hand-in-hand, at least when playing as Sonic (Tails and Knuckles have more vertical exploration options which necessarily slow them down). They're not necessarily separate, they can work together.
  11. Hez


    You finally pinned why I didn't love Mania. The level design was a bit too much of a "hold right to win" for me. S3k got semi-close, but somehow balanced it enough that I wasn't necessarily forced into exploration, but was slowed down enough to catch some areas in my eye.
  12. Beltway


    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    When people talk about Mania being "hold X to win," being automated, or whatever; is it in the context against the other Genesis games or against other Sonic games as a whole? Because I'd argue Mania isn't really that far away than 3&K (which I'd say is the most streamlined/automated Genesis game on this point until Mania) and it doesn't even come close to almost any of the post-Genesis games, besides probably the first Advance and/or Adventure. "Hold X to win" is still something that's far more demonstrable in something like Forces or Advance 2 than Mania in that regard.

    That said, where I'd say what 3&K gets right in its balance of speed that Mania doesn't is that it has a better balance of pacing in regards to level progression. Excluding Press Garden, the first two-thirds of Mania is mostly faster-paced levels; while the last third of Mania's zones are the zones that require a slower pace to get through. Primarily borrowing from 3&K's template of level design (levels being 2x/3x the size of 1/2/CD and having more automated gimmicks/speed segments to compensate) and having a slightly more faster-paced returning levels than slower-paced returning levels I'd also say are contributing factors, but the latter two could be forgiven if the progression of those levels was more careful. Whereas the original Green Hill was followed up by Marble, which had a methodical design that discouraged a reckless playstyle; Mania's Green Hill is subsequently followed up by the speediest zone from Sonic 2. Likewise, Metallic Madness, the final level from Sonic CD with all of the difficulty that entails from that role, in this game is actually a warmup to the actual final stage, which is easily the hardest of the new stages Mania brings to the table.

    If the overall zone progression was structured more like how the breezy Mirage Saloon transitioned into the hazard-heavy Oil Ocean, that would had been a better choice IMO. Like, say, blowing up Flying Battery dropped you off into Metallic Madness, and you went to Stardust Speedway from there. Or in the new Hydrocity, an earthquake kicked off and the resulting chasms opening up in the ground took you further underground to Lava Reef, and then re-surfacing above ground took you to Mirage Saloon. I'm effectively making up my own version of Mania in my mind when saying this, but I think something along those lines would had helped prevented the game pace from being stuck in a constant of speed up until the endgame.

    On a side note, I wouldn't be surprised if this higher ratio of speed also had an impact on the bosses requiring more time to defeat for contrast (faster-paced levels vs. more slower-paced bosses), but getting into that would steer the topic into an even further tangent away from the spindash, so eh.
  13. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    For me, Mania's level design only felt like 3K's in spurts (barring the levels that are literally from it); Studiopolis 2, Stardust Speedway 1, and Press Garden 1 stick out in my mind. Beyond that it's more reminiscent of Sonic 2's, but super-sized and far more satisfying. It's really it's own beast though, those boys nailed a great balance of level design elements in my books. I never grit my teeth in Mania the way I do through some parts of 2 and 3K; Mania is a joy to play.
  14. Liliam


    Mania has a lot of stuff that just pushes you forward, whereas S3 mostly has stuff that prevents you from going back. The difference is slight, but the former feels restrictive because it actively wrests control away from the player, whereas you don't really notice the latter.
  15. ChaddyFantome


    Rolling exists because Naka and the gang wanted a way for Sonic to attack while maintaining his movement without having to stop in order to defeat enemies and dispatch obstacles while at speed. All this while also accommodating his desired 1-button move setup, which itself is why The SpinJump exists as Naka needed a way to get the character to attack and jump at the same time to accommodate this.
    Sonic being a hedgehog came in response to that as opposed to the other way around. The process went with speedy rollercoaster level design > spinning > hedgehog character.

    I personally think that while 2D games shouldn't necessarily be designed with the Homing attack in mind, the mere inclusion of it is fine so long as its as a correction tool much in the same way the InstaShield is in Sonic 3 that also carries some forward momentum. I think the range on it in the advance games and Rush 1 and 2 as well as the games offloading the mechanic to the shoulder button was a good choice in that respect.

    I'm interested in hearing an elaboration on this. Sonic #&K is my favorite Sonic game, and while I think it does a good job at rewarding the curious and observant eye, I wouldn't actually call the level design "explorative" either. My my count, its a lot more linear than its 2 predecessors.
    One of the biggest keys to Sonic 3s design is how taking a detour from forward progression is rarely if ever something that takes a lot of time or deliberation on the players part, which allows it to have tons of goodies and secrets without compromising the pacing of the level. But i still wouldn't describe it as a game with heavy emphasis on exploration either.

    EDIT: Oops. Sorry for the double post. Would someone be so kind as to merge them please? Thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2022
  16. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    Read what you quoted again. I never said the level design was "explorative" or had a heavy emphasis on exploration. S3K shows that you can have exploration without breaking the pace of the game, which Mania fails at.

    I certainly wouldn't call S3K linear though, especially not compared to S1/S2.
  17. Aerosol


    Not here. Moderator
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    This thread was dead for two years...don't necrobump threads please.
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