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Unpopular Sonic Opinions

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

  1. I'm going to be honest. As far as Sonic's rolling physics, I don't really think losing speed when going uphill actually contributes anything meaningful to the game besides being "realistic," and when I see someone criticize a game for lacking this particular aspect to the degree it "should" (like for example, Freedom Planet), I can only really wonder what all the fuss is about.

    The only time it actually affects my gameplay, the only time it's a thing I kind of, SORT OF think about, is if for some reason I don't have enough speed to overcome a momentum based obstacle to where I can just hold right to automatically overcome it. And in such cases...

    All you need to do is just go back and charge up a spindash, which is nothing. There's no skill, thought, or real consequence there.

    I know people say that the spindash isn't that spammable because you need to be standing on level ground and because you sacrifice control. But thinking about the actual level design of these games, I'll say it once again:

    I can't think of a single instance where you need to use this to overcome a momentum based obstacle where either of those things are actually a problem.

    There is level ground right before these obstacles in every case I can think of, so finding it so as to use it is not going to be a problem at all.

    And when you need to overcome a momentum-based obstacle, they don't generally design these levels where spindashing through them will rob you of the control needed to deal with what's coming up in the level. Not in well-designed levels with good conveyance, at least.

    Outside of like speedrunning, in which case there are a million other more interesting things to think about and optimize than this, the only thing that losing speed uphill actually contributes is being at most a minor annoyance that sort of disrupts the flow to a very small degree.

    I can think of ONE exception. And that is Sonic Advance 3. Some of these momentum based obstacles, some of these ramps are SO TALL that the only way to have enough speed to overcome them is if you're Sonic, because he has much higher top speed and acceleration than others in that game.

    That's it, my guy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2023
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  2. kazz

    kazz

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    Well where would it stop? Should I be able to walk on ceilings like Sonic 06? Being able to lightly jog up a wall just looks and feels unsatisfying IMO. I think what makes mastering a physics system like Sonic's (in the earlier games at least) so satisfying is that said momentum can be used against you as easily as it can be used for you. You dismiss the physics having to be "realistic" but that's actually the advantage and what makes them feel so intuitive. If you know how to do cool stuff with a real pinball machine you can figure out how to do cool stuff in Sonic. And I think that's neat. The double edged sword of this design approach is that it clearly frustrates many players and so I think Sega eventually grew to agree with you and now we can hold boost to blast up all the hills we want anyway.
     
  3. Zephyr

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    I dunno, going slower uphill seems like a natural consequence or byproduct of going faster downhill. Which feels good. Ain't that complicated.
     
  4. Is it really that intuitive if so many struggle with it?

    I have not played the original 06. But while being able to slowly walk through a loop looks freaking hilarious and stupid, again, I don't think it actually takes away anything of real value.

    I mean...

    Why would you slow down to walk through a loop anyway? Only reason to do that is to prove a point and show it's possible. No one is going to do that when they're really trying to play the game. They're going to run through full speed.

    No, there are other, far more significant problems there than the lack of real gravity physics there.

    When it comes to games, realistic =/= fun or even good in every case. And you can design a system where going downhill grants you speed while going uphill doesn't take away so much momentum you can't progress, and still make a really fun and satisfying game.

    Freedom Planet is one. Fancy pants adventures is another. Sonic Advance 3 has problems, but being able to maintain so much momentum as Sonic when going uphill is not among any of the problems that truly take away from how fun the game is. Spark just let's you keep dashing to continue up hill.

    Like, I'm not saying it's an awful, horrible mechanic that should never have been conceived. It at most causes minor annoyances at times. But at the same time, I'm not going to be angry if it is toned down, even to the point it's not there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2023
  5. kazz

    kazz

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    I struggle playing tennis. It's still an intuitive game.
    They're going to run through it at full speed because it wouldn't be intuitive to walk through it.
     
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  6. TheCleanerDragon

    TheCleanerDragon

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    How is losing speed on an incline un-intuitive? It's a basic physical phenomenon everyone has experienced.
     
  7. You are asking the wrong person. I'm just saying what I see when I watch people play.

    But that is besides the point of what I actually wanted to express here.
     
  8. ChaddyFantome

    ChaddyFantome

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    How is pressing down when you see slope any less so than holding the boost button at a hallway in a Boost title? Of course it is.


    Yes and you need to bring Racoon Mario into the first mid castle to fly over the ceiling to get a warp whistle.
    Again, I did not say there were 0 instances where you could use it, I said it isn't a core part of the game, because it isn't. And even in that case, you're describing a scenario where your speed comes from 2 forms of automation (coming out of the tube and jumping after hitting the spring) as opposed to any intricate momentum manipulation. So it's just a timing challenge.

    I'm pretty sure the actual point if it is to, like many things in the series, be a timing challenge, in thus case rewarding the player with automated movement along a path and a burst of speed.

    ...When did I bring up Wavedashing in Melee? Let alone "keep"? Melee is a game that is celebrated for a lot of interactions that give it tons of exploit potential in general.
    I think there is some fundemental disconnect here where some people are confusing the engine for the controls and steering wheel so to speak. Games and the design of games are ultimately the way the play intent experience and the way we interface with them rather than just the minutia of how things are working under the hood.
    Something can be present in a game's coding without implying it is a super core fundemental aspect of the game design depending on the implementation from an actual design and play experience perspective.
    Like, Minecraft has tons of mobs and combat, but no one is calling it a stylish beat-em up hack n slash game for example, even if you could set it up to make scenarios to pretend it is one.

    In the vast most cases in the Classics, the physics are more a mechanic for game feel than any deep gameplay mechanic the player is meant to apply consciously or continuously to solve problems, overcome obstacles, etc.
    It's almost always just a question of timing, reflexes and level layout knowledge with very few cute optional exceptions ( like the big halfpipe in Springyard you can jump off the side of to get goodies) that get more scarce as the series evolved, and I think that is important to recognize when making statements about the design of the games and what is core to the play experience.

    I don't think avoiding a deliberate overt mechanic of the game on purpose and going out of your way to avoid it us comparable... The fact the move is in the game with enemies and obstacles that require it's use to get through makes these not analagous.
    Caterkillers and things like the walls in GreenHill are very deliberately made as obstacles the player us meant to overcomes with the move, as stated by Naka himself, as a means of maintsining forward movement and taking out enemues or obstacles without having to come to a stop. Its a basic aspect of the gameplay design as opposed to some intricate application of how the under the hood mechanics interact that itself doesn't have any overt application purpose.

    People aren't calling that physics manipulation though. You neither need physics or momentum the way it is romanticized in the Classics for that. The Boost does it. It just, imo and seemingly the opinion of most, feels less good than in the Classics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2023
  9. BenoitRen

    BenoitRen

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    And I say it's a core part of the game, because it is. :)
     
  10. ELS

    ELS

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    I wish they would discontinue orbot and cubot. Eggman doesn't need dumb comedy robots.
     
  11. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    SA-55 in Unleashed was legitimately funny and was actually a voice of reason for Eggman when he was getting too caught up in the moment. But the second they turned him into Orbot and brought along Cubot for the ride, all hope was lost. They're desperately unfunny characters that being nothing to the table. I can't even begin to imagine why Eggman would keep them around. Just get rid.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2023
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  12. Zephyr

    Zephyr

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    Here:
    I guess you only mentioned it by name once, and referred to it implicitly one additional time. Either way, you used it as a point of comparison more than once, and as explained I don't think it's a good analogy here.

    Yes engine is about game feel, but I think you're understating the impact that these have on the "core" aspects of the game's design. As a platforming game, Sonic is about jumping off of and landing on things; the S tube in Green Hill Zone Act 1 ends just before a quarter pipe that launches you into the sky (a byproduct of the engine), where you can land on Buzz Bombers to get more rings in that area. Being launched into the sky is effectively like a "jump", setting the player up to land on enemies, to bounce back up as effectively another "jump". I don't really think that was some unintended accident that just happened to slip under their radar completely unnoticed, but if you want to believe it is (alongside any example anyone will give you of this sort of thing) I can't change your mind; the "agree to disagree" part of the conversation has been reached. But even if that was a complete freak accident, the way the engine facilitates certain platforming moments is part of the good game feel. These things all interact, deliberately or otherwise.

    What Palas said about "emergent play" is important. Point out how optional X and Y platforming trick are all you want, but the fact that the game feel allows me to experiment with X and Y platforming trick and integrate them into my moment-to-moment platforming for a more smooth and satisfying play experience is......fun! Yes, the series evolved over time to accommodate this sort of emergent play less and less, and I think it's totally acceptable to think that was maybe not a good thing? When making subsequent entries in a game series, a game designer should 'follow the fun'; take what's already fun about the games, and lean more into that. Obviously different people are going to have fun with different things, and so different game designers will lean into different aspects of a game's design. But you seem to want to argue that since the 3D Sonic games gradually abandoned this sort of engine and game feel that they were never intended to facilitate this sort of emergent play in the first place, or were never aware that they did so at all. I would have a much easier time buying that argument if the 3D Sonic games still featured Naka as a lead programmer and Yasuhara as lead game designer/director. And even then, game designers are perfectly entitled to want to aim for different game feels over the course of their career, even if working on the same IP. It's just not a very good indicator for what was or was not known or intended in older games.

    Whether this or that are "core" to the experience is honestly moot. They made some fun shit, whether on purpose or on accident (and there are clearly two camps who are in disagreement about that point), and "they" (read: a different lead programmer and a different lead game designer) stopped following that 'fun', whether wittingly or unwittingly. It's honestly fine if someone wants to use the presence of an engine which features this sort of game feel which facilitates this sort of emergent play as a litmus test for quality when looking at followups to games which do feature such an engine, game feel, and emergent play. By making new Sonic games, you invite comparison to older Sonic games, and if a game from 1998, 2003, 2010 or whenever has a worse game feel than a game from 1991, that's just how it is. Game feel goes a long way.

    "Game feel" also sounds like gibberish to me now. :V

    Edit:
    Well then I guess I'm not people. Since I wasn't given examples of what "romanticizing" looks like with regards to this stuff, I still don't know what that's supposed to look like. But going fast and having momentum are effectively the same thing in the old games. When you're going fast up a hill, you have momentum. When you jump at the top of that hill, while going fast (ie: having momentum), you do a big jump. That's taking advantage of the physics ("manipulating" them, maybe) to do cool and fun shit. Cool and fun shit which is part of the platforming experience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2023
  13. kazz

    kazz

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    You're arguing in circles. You're only considering the 'rolling down the slope' part and not the 'player still has control while they roll down the slope' part. Boost really isn't comparable at all. By 'physics tricks' I mostly mean converting horizontal momentum into vertical which boost mode isn't ideal for. What I can do with a halfpipe and a well-timed jump is COMPLETELY different than what I can do with boost on a flat plane. It's not just a matter of watching Sonic go forward.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2023
  14. Zephyr

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    To be fair you still have control while boosting too. You can jump, slide, quick step, and drift while boosting. You can also stomp while air boosting (and I think you can light dash out of an air boost).
     
  15. kazz

    kazz

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    Maybe my post was poorly conveyed as I rewrote it a bunch of times. I wasn't implying that boost was uncontrollable, just referring to the idea that using slopes is only about going forward faster and leaving jumping out of the equation which misses the entire point. Boost 'isn't comparable' as in "boosting at a hallway" is a different situation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2023
  16. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Counterpoint: They fit in just fine for a goofy villain, which is a better role for the character than the serious version.
     
  17. kazz

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    My biggest problem with the butler bots is their generic robot aesthetic compared to Scratch and Grounder or y'know the classic animal-inspired badniks those two were inspired by. Modern Eggman(?) robot theming is generally a snoozefest.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    Yes. Orbot and Cubot are fine in almost every game they were in, because Eggman was goofy. But in Forces everything was a serious threat so they don't mesh well.
     
  19. Deep Dive Devin

    Deep Dive Devin

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    I mean, they had like two lines in Forces? Not exactly a great way to judge. Mostly the issue is that Eggman should have henchmen, not commentators. Scratch and Grounder are infinitely more fucking annoying than any of Eggman's goons since then, but the one reason they can compare favorably sometimes is because they actually got to do stuff (this is also why Orbot and Cubot are easily at their best in Sonic Boom). It's part of the reason I love the Egg Army so much, it gives the Empire a sense of personality and reach beyond the Doc himself. Whether they do any big above-Eggman villains for the next game or not, I do think they should seize the opportunity to give boss fights or miniboss fights to Eggman and his group. Metal, obviously, but you could formulate something for Sage (play with her dynamic with Sonic a bit as well!), and I'd be willing to accept Orbot and Cubot joint-piloting a boss or mech of some sort (Egg Devil Ray is piloted by a bunch of nameless enemies and uses SA-55's voice after all). Or, hell, just replace all the guardians with good ol' super badniks, remember those? The things that had all the personality of normal badniks but were an actually decent fight?

    (and then the 8-bit games took away your rings for them because they're fucking stupid)
     
  20. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    What I failed to elaborate is precisely this. Orbot and Cubot are almost absent from Forces because they are goofy, and Forces was not a game for this.