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Unpopular Sonic Opinions

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



    Okay, I'm going all out with this...

    1. The humans in Sonic X (at least the Japanese version) were genuinely entertaining, even at times being one of the show's highlights. Chris could be annoying, yes, but he was written that way on purpose and Sonic's friendship helping him grow up was a core part of the original series story. The way Sonic taught him to deal with loss, attachment and insecurity, was also not a bad story in the final few episodes.
    2. Archie Sonic Comics from 1994-1999 were an underappreciated golden age of Sonic lore. When it hit the Adventure games it all went downhill and never recovered, but I even found Ken Penders writing and his crazy Echidna cast to be an interesting part of the Sonic world to explore. The man's a total asshole and nut now, but it doesn't change the fact that I enjoyed a lot of his material from that time period.
    3. Conversely, I have never truly been impressed by Ian Flynn's work. He's good at fanservice and has a solid grasp of the characters and game lore, yes, but I don't find he brings much else to the table. His creativity and original ideas have always been fairly bland to me. I think the SEGA mandates are hurting his ability to write a good amount, but I can't say for sure. His character dialogue is better than what we'd get from most of the games before that point, but that's about it.
    4. Knuckles Chaotix is a great game and should be more respected among the classics (though it is much more of a spinoff), you just all hate it because you suck at it. I also love the entire team and their classic era designs.
    5. Sonic Colors DS is way better than people remember, maybe in some ways better designed than the main Wii game.
    6. Sonic Pocket Adventure is a good 2D game. Not the best, but genuinely good none-the-less.
    7. Sonic Shuffle was a lot of fun and yet another underappreciated spinoff that's all but been forgotten.
    8. Sonic Jam's tweaked "normal" stages are the best versions of the classic trilogy's stage designs.
    9. Sonic Spinball isn't a hard game.
    10. I think Sonic 1 master system/GG might have a better OST than Sonic 1 Genesis.
    11. I still prefer the US Sonic CD OST most of the time.
    12. Sonic Mania's recycled stages almost ruin the game and make it objectively worse than the main classic titles from "Origins". Until we get a retro engine game with a minimum of fully 6 original zones, we've never truly gotten a proper successor to S3&K.
    13. SATAM Robotnik is still the best version of the character, with Japanese Sonic X Eggman coming in second, and English Boom Eggman coming in 3rd.
    14. The Sonic Boom TV show is shockingly well written... like... one of the most self aware and clever western cartoons I've seen in years. The game's writing is not great, however.
    15. Sonic Prime, by comparison, is not that great. Replacing Mike Pollock with Brian Drummond makes it almost unwatchable for me.... and I love Brian Drummond as an actor in a ton of shows!
    16. Shadow is by far the best aspect of any Sonic material made after the year 2000.
    17. The Saturn version of 3D Blast is another genuine classic and should be considered a mainline title. If I could get it with the upgraded features of the Enhanced Dev ROMHACK, it'd be as good as the main trilogy. As is, it's only a bit worse. The Genesis version should have never been made, and at best gave us a few good songs.
    18. Sonic 1 MS/GG, Chaos, and Triple Trouble are also worthy of classic status and no respectable Sonic fan should skip playing them. The fan made remakes of 1/2/16Bit TT are worthy versions to play, and Chaos needs a 16 bit remake extremely badly.
    19. SA2 has by far the best engine of any 3D title. Sonic Frontiers might be the next best one (Well, the open world engine, anyway). The Boost Games are fine, but still a huge step down ultimately.

    There... I think I've managed to confuse or piss off every person here at least once.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2023
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  2. I don't only think Sonic 1 Master System / GG OST are better than the Mega Drive one (why did Yuzo Koshiro compose just for one Sonic game?), but the whole game itself is better, lol.

    Sadly, i can't say the same about Sonic 2 tho'.
  3. Chimpo


    I Gotta Be Me Member
    Los Angeles, 2029
    Don't Forget! Try Your Best!
    3. I don't think he's that great either. I absolutely hated his Mega Man run and his Sonic stuff has just been serviceable.
    4. No such thing as skill issue when it comes to Chaotix. That game just straight up stinks. Great everything else though. It's a shame because I absolutely adore the combi ring but the game never actually makes use of it in any interesting way.
    7. Shuffle would have been a lot more fun if it relegated a lot of the flow breaking RPG mini-game horse shit to the affected player's VMU. The game is just always making sure to put a pause on the action and those pauses are not fun to anyone not participating.
  4. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    I'm almost sure there's a section in Sky Canyon in which you're absolutely required to use it, so much so the game shows it to you with an up-arrow made of rings. Almost sure. When I reached it, I didn't really know the trick system existed, so it gave me a hard time too.

    But I don't think explaining it wuld make it any better because I didn't know abut the spindash either when I first or second played S3&K and it still never sucked.

    This seems to be a very Brazilian opinion lol
  5. Isn’t it directly out of one of the spinning fan launchers that you run into after going up those back-and-forth ramps? I’m almost positive it’s required. Maybe there’s an alternate path but I’m pretty sure you need to do it.

    I don’t remember how I learned to do the tricks but I assume it was from reading the manual on the car ride home or I just naturally figured it out during my initial “press every button” learning experience.

    To the guys who didn’t know, did you just not read the manual or did you first play on an emulator? I guess even if you do the “press every button” thing, you can still miss it because it’s context sensitive.
  6. Neither is ideal, but the only way in which SA1's Sonic levels are (significantly) better than SA2's speed stages are the aesthetics and presentation, but I'm not sure how unpopular that is.

    This is unpopular though. I've never played it personally, but Beta Windy Valley is absolutely not the peak of level design that 3D Sonic needs to be modeled after, but instead looks empty, easy, and boring

    (Wait a second, that's SA1's levels in general)

    From a gameplay perspective, the only appeal it seems like it could possibly have are the opportunities for slope play, which are the exact thing that SA1's overpowered spindash and inept jumping physics (particularly how quickly the jump loses momentum) ruin the appeal of.

    Even without SA1's buffs, the spindash completely destroys the inherent tension of momentum based gameplay and turns it into something I don't value (in itself) very highly, especially in the 3D games which make the speed you can gain from it and from the environment indistinguishable/insignificant. If they want me to care about that playstyle, they should make more games in it without the spindash (at least making it an unlockable or something) all the while building levels that can be traversed and (fully) explored without it, tricks and all.

    I'd daresay that the spindash existing is part of the reason TrackMania does momentum based gameplay better than any 3D Sonic game I've played.

    If you didn't know, that's a car racing game. And I've played almost every mainline 3D Sonic game.

    Alternate paths do not (in themselves) mean a single thing to me. What I value is hidden secrets you need to actively look for or at least have an attentive eye to spot, room for (conscious and thought out) experimentation as far as creating alternate/faster ways to traverse levels, and (most importantly) opportunities for skilled play. (That is, gameplay calling for MECHANICAL skill, such as precision and/or precise timing) If a level provides that without alternate paths, it's a good level in my eyes.

    And if their implementation don't bring elements like that, alternate paths are completely worthless to me as a concept. Otherwise, I'd regard Heroes as a better game than I do.

    Forces at first making it impossible to recollect dropped rings was a step in the right direction, or at least a proper acknowledgement of a serious issue that needs to be addressed in 3D Sonic.

    And it's instant retries and doing away with lives was a great idea that caters in an amazing way to those who play Sonic games with the "perfect run" mentality. I was reminded of this last night when I (quite literally) got the dust off my PS3 and took up playing SA2 again.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2023


    Going to add one more...

    The only reason Sonic games are worth playing at all past 2011 is because of the PC based modding community, fangaming, and ROMhacking scenes. If SEGA ever drops PC ports or cuts off mods entirely, or pulls a Nintnedo and stops most fanmade projects, the games should be completely abandoned and the IP should be allowed to die out. Sonic Mania is the sole exception to this, but even that is vastly inferior to what the modding community has done for the final product.

    If I ever buy a console Sonic game, it will be a holdover until I later get a PC port.
  8. I get genuinely baffled when people mention exploration in Sonic games and cite instances of turning around and going backwards a little to get some ring boxes as "rewarding". Its more forgivable in the 2D games but when there's a whole 3rd dimension available and common examples of the Adventure games' perceived "openess" is basically just looking at the corners of walled off linear paths, it just baffles me. Its part of why I have a hard time understanding praise of those games (especially SA2), a lot of their perceived gameplay strengths just seem like extremely basic things that previous and later Sonic games did better.
  9. Sonic Adventure 1 gets way too much credit for its “openness.” The level design isn’t much more open than SA2, the terrain is just more naturalistic in its design philosophy (edit: I mean the visual not game design) and you can actually see how the level fits into the broader environment. For the most part, SA2’s Sonic stages are just gameplay elements suspended in the air or in a closed-off hallway. Look at Speed Highway vs City Escape. When you (pardon the unintentional OST-related pun) run through Speed Highway, you can see the buildings and city in the distance around you. In City Escape, you’re constantly walled-in and surrounded by an unbroken block of buildings.

    That’s not to say that there isn’t anything to what these people are arguing, as there is a perceptible difference in design philosophies. I just don’t think it’s as extreme as people make it out to be. Sonic Adventure 1 has plenty of direct, point A to point B level designs, and there are still a decent number of branching paths in SA2.

    For the record, I’m not a fanboy trying to defend SA2 (well I’m definitely a Sonic fanboy, just not an SA2 one in particular lol). I probably prefer SA1 overall, but I think too many people act like it was essentially Sonic Utopia when it shares much more with SA2 than it doesn’t.

    Quick edit: The Knuckles sections you play through as Sonic do a lot to boost the perception of SA1 in this regard. Those section are genuinely open and they are pretty great because if it.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2023
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  10. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the sections shared with Knuckles are "great." Traversing them is still generally not very interesting due to SA1's level design being afraid to challenge the player in any way. And the exploration potential that is there (which is also overblown by the fandom) is not incentivized at all.

    Lol despite SA2's levels being more linear and (debatably) having less potential for "exploration", SA2 actually does a better job at incentivizing exploration because there are meaningful things to explore for like, for example, the upgrades which are in the stages this time or, if you're playing find the lost chao missions, the freaking end of the level.

    For the record, I am not an SA2 "fanboy" either. I don't think it's a very good game or one that is all that well designed. In some ways it is a regression even of SA1, which I REALLY don't think is a good game...

    But I still find it more fun than SA1 at least. For one, I feel like I actually need to pay attention to what I am doing when I am playing the game.

    Then again, it's also very possible I simply haven't played SA2 enough to get bored of it yet.
  11. kyasarintsu


    I don't think the appeal in SA1's level design is about the freedom as much as it's simply, as said before, the more-organic feel. I love that we can have all these unique setpieces and shapes that go in all sorts of directions. You simply won't see the spiral structures of Twinkle Park and Final Egg, the bizarre second and third acts of Sky Deck, or the crisscrossing nature of Red Mountain and Lost World's final area in other games. SA1 simply feels better ("vibes"), even if its movement is clunky and the level design barely accommodating it.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2023
  12. You know what, can we trash the previous comment? Honestly, I myself honestly don't even care about what I said in it. And I doubt it will lead to anything.

    Nor will this probably, but I actually do care about it.

    People hate the boost game's "tank" controls, making him feel like a car that can jump. I can get why the concept is unappealing, and how limiting it is. But gotta' admit, I did want at least one more game with that approach to control...

    ...except this time make him ACTUALLY control like a car. A car in your typical racing game.

    Boost Sonic really has two or three set speeds to consider. Cars have a range of speeds to consider, and you have to control your speed to bring it down/up to a certain point on that scale because it affects your ability to turn and corner.

    What gives racing games some of their depth is that your ability to take turns properly is determined by your PRECISE speed (I know of Unleash wanting you to exist boosting, but that's just switching to a lower set speed, not lowering to a precise amount on a scale), the point you start turning from, when you start turning, how hard you turn, etc. These are considerations that turning in the boost games typically don't ask you to make at all.

    So you're having the unresponsive turning of a car in a racing game without the depth and skill that controlling a car in a racing game asks of you....

    What? What on earth? Why would you do that? lol

    I'm just curious what the end result would be if we got a game like that. Not the perfect Sonic formula, for sure. But I think it'd be interesting.

    Also, why did the playstyle made to mimic racing games never get online multiplayer racing.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2023
  13. I think it is probably more engaging. SA1 I sort of derp around from place to place, but SA2’s scoring and trick system really force me to engage with the mechanics and have me constantly moving around, looking for opportunities to do stuff. SA1’s fun is generally self-directed with you finding fun ways to break the more organic and exploitable design, while SA2 is more focused and feels like a set of challenges deliberately placed by the devs.

    I personally like both, but I fault no one for preferring one to the other. I don’t think my general preference for SA1 comes from its actual levels, but rather the sheer audacity of Sonic Team trying something so huge for Sonic’s (true) 3D debut. Renting that Dreamcast and SA1 from Hollywood Video as a Sonic-obsessed 4 year old ruined the possibility of a normal life for me lol.

    Though I do have an equally great memory of when Sonic Adventure 2 came out. I was 6 and even though I knew that SA2 was coming from magazines, I wasn’t aware of actual release dates back then (at least I don’t think I was). My dad asked me if I wanted to play Sonic Shuffle with him which surprised me because I knew he fucking hated that game. We went up to the guest bedroom we had our consoles set up in and I started up the Dreamcast, assuming Shuffle was in. That sick SA2 title screen popped up with the Live and Learn riff kicked and I hugged the shit out of that man. I hope I can do something that great for my kids one day.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2023
  14. Antheraea


    Bug Hunter Member
    I let this sit in my head for a while, and shockingly came across the same conclusion re:spring yard, now that you mentioned it. I was initially going to say Labyrinth but that level has a very clear aesthetic and set of gimmicks, and I could say the same for Scrap Brain too. Spring Yard just never really recovered from its rebranding from Sparkling Zone; there's just something unfinished-feeling about it when you compare it to all the other levels.

    I'd say that SA1 inexplicably both has clunky and intuitive movement. I think Sonic feels great to run around as...but, like, a good number of the levels just don't handle that movement very well (Sky Deck act 1, looking at you). Something about it...I don't know, somehow they managed to nail the "move fast" but also "turn well" aspect and it feels good to, say, run in circles like a lunatic in the beginning portion of Emerald Coast.

    But yeah, SA1's levels as a whole feel more "crafted" and thought-out than levels later in the game. I can't really place it. Maybe it's nostalgia.
  15. charcoal


    Be Cool, Be Wild, and Be Groovy Member
    SA1's levels feel more like actual places that give you a bit of room to run around in. Still abstract, but they feel like they were intended to be at least a little natural.

    SA2's levels feel like linear obstacle courses handcrafted specifically to fit Sonic's abilities and speed by some deranged architect. Which one is better is entirely up to preference IMO, but me personally, I prefer SA2's levels.
  16. I only spent like a single night playing that fanmade Sonic 06 remake before deleting it off my computer, and that was some time ago, so maybe what I am about to say is really stupid.

    But for some reason, I remember feeling like P-06 combined the two approaches in a (less than ideal but fine enough) way, which was what I was looking for out of an Adventure styled game at the time.

    Though I also remember feeling that it was quite repetitive with spamming homing attack chains.
  17. GoldeMan


    Maybe its because I grew up in the era where Sonic Heroes was still decently new, where games were more direct at telling you what they expect, but I remember having issues getting into Angel Island 2 because I didn't know how the spin dash worked. I had a similar issue with Sonic 1 of all things where I struggled to get past the title screen since it didn't tell me to press start, of course every other game on Sonic Mega Collection Plus told me to press start so that added to the confusion for me.

    I'd like to think I'm not so dumb these days.
  18. This is part of why I like a lot of the levels from SA1, Unleashed, Colors, and Gens, they feel like actual places (for the most part, long stretches of floating rails over bottomless pits is way too common) but still have that bit of typical Sonic world absurdity (like the insistence of natural landmarks and man-made structures to have a loop shape). SA1 is still kinda the king in this regard because nothing else in the series comes close to Twinkle Park's castle or Speed Highway At Dawn, but the latter 3 make valiant attempts.

    I like other levels in the series too but most of them being very "video gamey" and not feeling like part of an actual world makes them less interesting. 06 goes too far in the opposite direction to the point that a lot of the levels don't feel "Sonic-y" enough.

    Frontiers drops the ball hard with that in 2 different ways, the islands lack abstract elements and Sonic doesnt really interact with the environment at all outside of a funny little cactus trick. The islands are functionally just backgrounds that Sonic can run on with the actual levels being the random shit floating around everywhere.
  19. Taylor


    SA1 stands out because of how open its levels are, you can spindash-jump through a lot of stuff and it's very satisfying to speedrun, which the game does encourage you to do via medals. SA2 requires TAS-level wallclipping shenanigans to get similar results, because of how much of its levels are in corridors. There's a certain appeal to that but it's not as intuitive as SA1

    On the flip side, SA2 does encourage more exploration with the upgrade and improved Chao Garden system, but that requires you buying into the Chao mechanic to begin with. If you don't care about that then yea, SA1 does it better
  20. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    SA1 carries with it an air of being unchallenging because it is intentionally designed to be simple to finish a stage in it, for the most part. The challenge SA1 is built around is, like Sonic CD before it in particular, beating levels as quickly as possible, not merely beating them.

    SA2's design philosophy shift from time attack to score attack mostly comes about as a means of padding a game that an experienced SA1 player would otherwise have been able to beat in an hour or two, even with the concessions to things like the spin dash. Players have to engage more directly with more of the level mechanics, and think a bit harder about whether or not they actually want to try to skip a section in order to be fast. Heroes and on put more of a focus on speedrunning (with significantly larger chunks of a player's bonus coming from time -- Shadow normal missions especially are all about time attacking in particular) because the levels were, for better or worse, significantly longer overall than SA2's.