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Unpopular Sonic Opinions

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Londinium, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. I actually love the ranking system. It rewards excellence yet is lenient enough to ensure novices can clear the stage and move on since you only need to get a C. Nothing above a C is required to experience the full game, but provides enough incentive to encourage striving for all S ranks. Having it only be pass/fail would be a major step backwards.
     
  2. Palas

    Palas

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    I'm on the "fuck ranking systems" camp. It makes objective something that I think ultimately is more fun when it's subjective. A similar reason why I'm not a fan of achievements/trophies at all.
     
  3. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Ranking is fine, but it should be a side mode for time attack or something, like in Lost World. Sonic doesn't need to judge you on your gameplay so long as you can in fact reach the end of a stage, that's something that hardcore players will worry about and who can stand to just select it from a menu.
     
  4. charcoal

    charcoal

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    I've always loved the ranking systems. When it's done well and actually challenges you to get better like in Unleashed I feel that it adds tons of replay value to the stages, and for the average casual player they're just not gonna care about their rank. Sonic has always been about replaying to get better and better, and I think having an actual measure for that inside the game itself is superb.

    also E rank in unleashed is literally hilarious and if you somehow managed to get it, you probably deserve it lol
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2022
  5. I don't mind the ranking system, because it gives me an incentive to replay and get better at the games. And it honestly fits with a game like Sonic that focuses on getting from A to B as fast possible.

    I feel like people don't like it because it incentives a certain style of play and doing anything else the game is actively discouraging you from doing so, which feels demoralizing. But Sonic has kind of always done that. Its why you only get ten minutes to play any given level in the classics, you really don't get much time to explore and experiment as people let on.

    Granted that has always been a controversial point for Sonic, hence Origins just getting rid of lives entirely and letting players take as many shakes as they desire.
     
  6. Forte

    Forte

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    I'm in the pro-ranking system camp.
    I don't see any problem getting a grade at the end of a level, and if someone gets an "E"... well... they have to wipe their tears and get better at the game. And if getting a "bad" grade after beating a level affects somebody so much, maybe they should reconsider playing said game, because a video game with a blue hedgehog mocking you with being too slow is not something that should upset people.

    I also have very fond memories of the grades in SA2 for individual tasks, apart from passing the level. In pre-trophies times, it was damn satisfying - and it still is.
     
  7. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    The context is entirely different. A time limit is not judgmental. A letter grade is. It'd only be comparable if, once a minute passed on the clock, text popped up that said "Hurry up, bitch". And no, I don't like time overs either, and I'm fairly certain even Sonic Team themselves eventually decided it wasn't a good thing, since even Sonic Jam removed it. In the modern era, it's unacceptable for a game like Sonic, intended for universal appeal, to punish players for going at their own pace.
    I'm not surprised some people feel this way. In much the same way I'm not surprised some people think trash talk in games is ok because that's part of the "competitive spirit".

    Even if you think a letter grade system isn't emotionally affective (objectively it has to be on some level, otherwise they wouldn't include it) my point still stands that there are better, more efficient, more inclusive ways in 2022 to do what the now-21-year-old ranking system is trying to do. My point still stands that the other letters add nothing to the game. If Sonic is a score attack arcade experience like so many claim, then the focus should be on the score. The only thing you could possibly say that an E rank accomplishes is actively telling the player that they suck. Literally, in a vacuum, that's all it accomplishes. If your way of encouraging the player to get better is by otherwise punishing them with "you suck", then...well, I don't know what to say to that. That's just wrong to me. We've long since figured out that positive encouragement works better for that. While there are other games that do a similar grading system, like Metal Gear Rising or Devil May Cry, the difference is those games are not intended to have universal appeal like Sonic is, or target young children, and they specifically target the niche of gamers who actively enjoy being told they suck.

    Of course, I'm also the kind of person who thinks participation trophies are fine, so maybe I'm just a "snowflake".
     
  8. Londinium

    Londinium

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    Who the fuck is crying over an E ranking
     
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  9. Scoring isn’t really a great motivator when you have nothing universal to which to tie it. Scoring systems vary wildly from game to game, while letter grades are relatively consistent and well understood. The only game I care to score attack is NiGHTS, but I try to get top ranks in most games that have a ranking system.

    I don’t remember how I felt as a kid getting an E rank while playing SA2 for the first time, but it for sure didn’t keep me from playing. I do remember having a friend come over to play and him saying, “I got an E for excellent!”… Which was actually our elementary school’s way of grading behavioral things lol.

    Anyway, I like ranking systems. When done right, it encourages people to make better use of gameplay mechanics which will improve their enjoyment of the product as a whole. The Super Meat Boy system could work if it tells you how close you were to achieving the “A”/“S”/whatever.
     
  10. Palas

    Palas

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    Nah, I don't think you could ever attribute your opinion (or any opinion really) to "being a snowflake". That'd be disrespectful. I agree that there are ways to encourage players to get better that are more, well, encouraging.

    I have always loved how Sonic CD handles the time attack rewards: the total time counts, not the individual times. I believe evaluating a player's performance should work like that, always: aggregating, not dividing. So aggregating score, or rings, or time, or everything and then giving out rewards looks cool to me. Hell, it's not even necessarily more lenient, but the idea that you're the one figuring out how to get better, and not the game telling you what to do, feels better to me in every way.
     
  11. I mean, I've always been of the opinion that Sonic functions way better when it isn't trying to cater to everyone, but just doing what it does best. Like how many times have people complained about the Classic games "being too punishing"? We all know that's a bullshit excuse and just means the player simply needs to learn the level layout better. That might sound harsh, but it's honestly how I feel personally as a gamer.

    Buuuuuuuut, since Sonic is more a marketing brand nowadays, unfortunately I am in the minority. I don't know why they even bother including rankings in the games nowadays if they're just going to get progressively easier. You may as well either put them in a separate mode or nix them altogether.
     
  12. charcoal

    charcoal

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    Small addendum but Generations actually tells you how many seconds off you were from achieving the next highest rank. It's useless in vanilla because that game's ranking system is literally for babies, giving you an S rank for just not dying, but in Unleashed Project which has very tough ranks, it's actually quite a good motivator to keep going because you always know how far you were from getting an S rank. Hopefully something like that returns for Frontiers' cyberspace stages.
     
  13. Oh, I know. I just meant that in relation to a hypothetical implementation of Super Meat Boy’s system, not past Sonic games. I think Generations’ system was good in theory, but the difficulty was just so screwed. If a ranking/scoring system was balanced like Sonic Adventure 2’s but then incorporated an S rank if you achieve an A without getting hit, that’d be brilliant. Dying usually ruins a run and makes you restart anyway, so it’s too lenient as a bonus.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2022
  14. shilz

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    In the games I did play that had rankings as a kid, I never really cared about them unless I was given something I wanted for getting them. Completing the levels at all was the accomplishment most of the time.

    I had the experience with P-06 which originally kept the same requirements from 06 (50,000 points and frugal time bonuses) and had the best time trying to make the perfect deathless damageless "blow up everything and collect every ring" speedruns to maintain that, but then the next couple updates bumped up the time bonuses to essentially participation trophies and it felt way too easy to get S ranks after that. (I suspect I liked it because it felt kind of like what it used to feel like to just beat the level I was stuck on.)
     
  15. Vaiz

    Vaiz

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    I grew up on the PC Sonic and Knuckles collection, so the music replacements in Origins don't bother me in the slightest, and the instrument choices aren't much worse than 1997 fm synth.
     
  16. Josh

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    "It only sounds a little worse than a bad MIDI," is kind of faint praise. ;)

    But I will say, I've made it a point to play Origins with the prototype music (since I figure those'll be the "canonical" melodies going forward), and they've all definitely grown on me. Although on the PC, I'm modding better compositions of those songs, haha. But still! Gives all three stages a completely different vibe. Even the one I like least, Ice Cap, sounds pretty good like this!
     
  17. Forte

    Forte

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    You see getting the "E" as "You suck" and I see "E" as - "You have a lot to learn about this game". We have entirely different viewpoints on this. To me, Sonic was always about self improving, getting better ranks, conquering the stages. I don't see any need to fix something that is not broken, and the ranking system works fine.

    And it's not, like You can't beat the game if You don't get an "A". You still pass the level, You can still continue. It doesn't halt Your progress or anything. When You beat the game, You eventually get better at it, so getting back to these old levels, and beating them in more efficient way should be fun.
    Also, in SA2 getting great ranks unlocked extra content in 2P mode, and it was fine. A neat reward for you trouble. I actually think, that removing it, would punish the players, who want the challenge. Just like in real life, sometimes You have to work extra hard to achieve something.

    I really miss, the challenge in games. Like, i remember the first Crash Bandicoot, and collecting the diamonds, to unlock secret ending.
    When I was a kid, there was no easy way to find out what lies ahead the "diamond route", so I spent hours, and hours, trying to break all these boxes without dying... and when I finally did it, I was really proud of myself.

    (Heck... i still am actually, but I'm more proud of how much patience I had back then. :V)
     
  18. Overlord

    Overlord

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    My problem with ranking systems in earlier games - certainly in, say, SA2; though this problem seems to have gone by Generations - is that it never feels like it's rewarding you clearing a level quickly, but for farming enemies. You can blaze through and get a C or D rank, but take your time and farm every single enemy you can possibly see and you'll get A or S.
     
  19. kyasarintsu

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    I don't think ranking needs to be based on a letter grade, which tells you if you did good or bad. I think there should just be a "challenge" score to reach instead, akin to a staff ghost unlock in Mario Kart 64.
     
  20. Josh

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    Judging it purely for myself, I don't really have a strong opinion on ranking systems, one way or the other. I have a ton of intrinsic motivation to play and replay Sonic games because I find that process to be inherently rewarding, so something extrinsic like assigning me a letter grade doesn't really impact how much or whether I'm enjoying it.

    Sonic 3 has no ranking system, and I love it. Unleashed has a harsh ranking system, and I love it. Generations has a super-forgiving ranking system, and I love it. It's not the sort of thing that'll really make a difference to me.