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Unpopular Sonic Opinions

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

  1. Palas

    Palas

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    More importantly -- boosting doesn't depend on physics whatsoever. In fact, it negates them.

    Whenever basically any stunt that involves spatial awareness/coordination is mentioned, @ChaddyFantome seems to dismiss it as "just a timing challenge" that can be performed with the boost or, in the Mario games, with some powerup. Maybe the argument is that Sonic doesn't require intricate motion play for progression very often. Which it doesn't, thank God: you can beat Casino Night's boss by accruing speed through spindashing or rolling on the sloped terrain and jumping off the tracks to hit Eggman or use the pinball flippers -- which is a lot riskier, but doesn't use "physics manipulation". But as you and @Zephyr have mentioned a lot of times, jumping while going fast at the top of a slope to do a big jump is playing around with physics, very much so: it just doesn't automatically connect to solving a challenge, framed as such by the game. That really doesn't matter, though, because Sonic stages don't typically frame challenges like that.

    Apart from the need to go from A to B, and that being the one thing you have to do, earlier Sonic games just generally let you be. How you're gonna do that is entirely your problem, and what we call "sections" can be entirely skipped or approached in any way. Emergent play is very much intended here, and I'm basically positive it's a lot more freeform than the question-and-answer syntax that we grew used to with basically all other games. (Except for S3&K, which has more definitive "sections" and expresses its challenges more clearly) In fact, this is Sonic's most distinctive feature, and also what generates all the criticism that Sonic got over the years back when "Sonic was never good" fad started.

    So anyway: you'll almost always depend on the physics and the level geometry to do stuff in classic Sonic, basic as that might be. Spatial awareness, sense of rhythm et al are the most iportant skills, and they are not a given. Boost (is an entirely different framework, which) calls for resource management first and foremost. The same applies to whatever powerup one might bring up from Mario.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2023
  2. kazz

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    I hated that boss as a kid exactly because I thought I had to use the bumpers. I didn't yet think to use the physics to wall jump into him, the knowledge of which elevated it to one of the funnest bosses in the game for me. There's clearly something here that Chaddy seems to just not want to take seriously.
     
  3. ELS

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    Eggman looks goofy but exactly 0 of his memorable appearances include these two generic robots. There's a reason for that.

    He does have henchmen, he has an army of robots. He doesn't need to do the typical cartoon thing where there's 2-3 jobbers that happen to wear sunglasses or whatever. He's been a very hands on guy from day 1. Nearly every boss in the classics is him.
     
  4. This is going to sound kind of weird, but can I just say I freaking love the spinning gear mechanic introduced in Scrap Brain Act 2, called the fly wheel by Sonic News Network? It is probably one of my favorite gimmicks in Classic Sonic.

    I have my own ideas about what makes for good Sonic gameplay and this combines pretty much all of them in a single mechanic.

    It's not a gimmick that kills your flow to use. In fact, you build momentum with it.

    It does take a bit of precision/precise timing to use it to fling yourself where you want to, particularly when spinning at hjgh speeds.

    There is definite tension here because of the precision and because it is generally used in sections where you need to properly time jumps off multiple of them in a row in order to get where you're trying to go, which is generally up. So, all the while you know you might fall back down and have to start over.

    It doesn't take away all your control to watch some freaking boring cutscene play out.

    I can definitely see this being played around with in level design that provides opportunities to use it to fly all over the map and perform crazy skips. Or yiu could use it to fly off to off screen areas with secrets in them, the entrance to which you need to keep a careful eye out for to spot.

    It fits quite well with the aesthetics and theme of the level.

    It's just really good.

    I also like the periodically spinning platforms use to traverse upward in Scrap Brain Act 1 that it is best to time your jumps in tandem with.

    Also, while I hate getting flung on pinball tables like in Casinopolis, Bingo Highway, and Casino Park, and I also don't like getting caught in slot machines as that is always boring, annoying, and pointless, I love bumpers. More levels should have bumpers, and not just the casino themed levels.
     
  5. GoldeMan

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    The gears in Scrap Brain are so much fun, I love to build as much speed to see how high I can fly up from a well placed launch. They also appear in Sonic CD too and are just as fun in that too, same with Crystal Egg. Great gimmick that I'd love to see them bring back.
     
  6. Level Zone Act

    Level Zone Act

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    In Sonic 1, I always preferred the air bubble collection sound effect in the Master System version (at 0:23 video time in the first video below) to the Mega Drive version:



    Another comparison:


    As a kid, I played through the MS version of the game first, so I remember when I played the MD version of Labyrinth for the first time, I was surprised and disappointed by how cartoonish that high-pitched "whu-WHA" sound effect was in the 16-bit version. At the time, I somehow thought of the MS version as, if not exactly a realistic breathing sound, then at least more like what a videogame representation of breathing should sound like. Less exaggerated and obtrusive, more subdued.

    Of course over time I've grown to love the MD sound effect too, but I still have a soft spot for the one I heard first!
     
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  7. Probably a dumb nitpick but I've never liked any of the Generations Classic Sonic improvement mods because all of them turn springs into solid objects and it just kills the pacing of the levels.

    And sue me but I love the stupidly overpowered Spin Dash, so mods that change that without having the option to keep it get on my "no play" list too.
     
  8. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Exploration in Sonic is a farce, and I think the Modern games have it right when they treat Sonic as a strictly linear affair.

    To be clear, I do not mean multiple paths are bad and that Sonic should go in a straight line. Far from it, there needs to be replay value after all. But that replay value needs to be intrinsically motivating simply because playing those other paths is fun and different. I see so many fans want exploration to be like Sonic CD where you're scouring a level to find something, or to have the giant rings from 3&K come back, or having secret areas locked by a key you'd need to find or whatever like in Heroes. If your reward for exploring is a better score, that's one thing, but exploration for exploration's sake is completely hypothetical to Sonic as an arcade-y experience. Sonic doesn't need to be "gotta go fast" to drive the point of the character home, but the game does need to encourage the player to always be moving forward at a reasonable pace. That's the whole reason time limits and scoring systems existed in Mario to begin with. You can't do that if you are actively rewarding the player for moving away from the goal. You could make the argument that games like Mario have always rewarded the player for going off the beaten path with things like secret exits or warp whistles while still having a time limit, but I would argue there's a reason Nintendo eventually stopped having a timer or scoring system in singleplayer Mario games and moved away from that arcade-y design. You'll notice that aside from rare instances like 3D Land, the only time they've had this is in games with a simultaneous multiplayer component, like 3D World or NSMBU. The scoring adds a competitive aspect, and the timer keeps everyone on the same page.

    In a singleplayer game, Sonic should pick one: does it want to reward exploration, or does it want to reward going fast? When you ask the player to seek out giant rings to get the Chaos Emeralds, you are essentially separating players into two camps: ones who don't care about their score and just want to get Super Sonic and get the best ending, and ones who want to speedrun. Now, you could make the argument that the time gained from being Super Sonic would make up for time lost finding the emeralds, but even then, you are rewarding one playstyle with an entirely different one, which the player may or may not find as engaging as the other. You could also make the argument that it only increases replay value to encourage the player to play a stage in two different ways, but inherently one of those ways is going to be far more fun and engaging to some players than others, and it'd be better to focus on one instead of trying to appeal to both camps. I personally don't find exploring to find giant rings in 3&K fun at all; I would end up looking at a map of the stage to find where the hell they were, because I sure as hell wasn't going to find them naturally, and exploring a gigantic, dense 2D level like in CD is a nightmare. So getting the best ending requires me to play the game in a way I don't like. On the flipside, if you enjoy the exploration aspect, then the time limit isn't going to do anything for you other than stress you out, and have the game punish you for going at your own pace with a bad score. The system is inherently flawed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2023
  9. Iko MattOrr

    Iko MattOrr

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    I think that there's a middle ground to that approach, one that can work well with Sonic.

    Instead of hiding the collectables away from the player, make them all visible, easy to find; instead of encouraging the player to explore the levels, throw them at the player's face, but make them challenging to reach. (1)

    The game should never ask you to collect all the items, only up to a certain amount, balanced in a way that doesn't force you to focus on collecting; instead you should be able to get them on the go by playing normally.

    Ideally there should also be several different options to get the same result (good ending in CD, act completion in Sonic Chaos, fishing in Frontiers). Maybe not to the extent of allowing to bypass entire parts of the game, but personalizeing the playthrough is not bad if done right. (2)

    Alternatively, if you want to still have exploration but make it compatible with Sonic's gameplay philosophy, you can implement a different form of exploration that guides the players by giving them a clear direction: I discussed this in another thread, and now to make it simpler I decided to call it dot-to-dot exploration. (3)

    The life monitor in Bridge Zone act 2 (Sonic 1 8 bit), that one floating in the water stream that you can get by bouncing on it. It's not really hidden, but in order to get it, you need to perform a cool trick, while still making progresses on the main path; you don't have to deviate into a closed secret area like with most of S3&K/Mania's giant rings (also because the level is an autoscroller, but this is a different story). Sonic 1 8 bit uses this type of approach in another couple of places too, usually with Chaos Emeralds or life monitors.

    Still a bridge zone, but this time it's Bridge Island from Superstars. One of the gameplay videos shows a giant ring in the middle of the level, into an open area: it's easily visible but it cannot be reached by jumping. There seem to be 2 ways to reach it: one way is to climb a near loop and use a swinging gimmick that sends you into the ring; the second way (if physics allow for that, I'm not sure yet) is to jump on a slope that's right below the ring, and let the angle of the terrain increase your jump's heigth until you eventually reach it.

    In general, it's common for the classic (and classic-like) games to put items on top of loops, so that they are visible but not easy to reach: they can usually be reached by doing tricks with the physics.

    I know that the Special Rings in Advance 2 are a nightmare for most players, but let's forget about the requirement of collecting them all in a level, and focus just on the individual rings: some of them are "hidden" in this way too, they are easy to see, but maybe in order to reach them you have to do a cool trick or a timing/platforming challenge. I like how some of them encourage the player to be creative with the tools the game offers, experiment with physics and level design (not unlike the life monitor in Bridge Zone or the items on top of loops).

    In Sonic CD you can get the good ending by destroying the generators in the past, but you can also get it by collecting all the time stones with the Sonic 1 system, without exploring. If a player doesn't like to do one thing, the player can choose to do the other thing... one can attemp to do both and see what method is more fun.

    Sonic Chaos makes even completing the levels optional: if you get 100 rings, you are teleported to the special stage, and the actual level is considered finished (when you exit the special stage you are sent to the beginning of the next act).

    Sonic Frontiers lets you get items useful for progression, by purchasing them at the fishing pond instead of by collecting them in the regular gameplay.

    This is an idea of mine. When I first thought of it, it was really confusing even for myself; I decided to optimize the concept and write a more focused explanation so it's easier to understand. If you don't care, you can skip this part.

    EDIT: also the quote doesn't work well for me and sometimes hides part of the text without allowing to be expanded, for some reason.

     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2023
  10. Palas

    Palas

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    Yeah that's the golden take here really, and also quite the unusual, albeit not exactly unpopular opinion. It's crazy that it really is self-evident if you play any classic Sonic game, yet people will sometimes take exploration to only mean "finding hidden rooms" (even if out in the open).

    When Dubs says the game can only reward the player for exploring or for going fast, what does that really mean? What's the measure of going fast? Is it just a time attack? Because otherwise there has never been a single classic Sonic game that didn't do both in some way. At the very least, the most palpable reward for either going fast or, say, getting a lot of rings is score, which, in turn, gives lives as a reward. In Sonic CD, you have to either find an area that has a looping movement of some sort or an area with enough room to maintain speed for enough time to travel through time. Either way, you're essentially looking for where you'll be rewarded for going fast.

    You may dislike any of these approaches, but they are there. They exist. Not only they are not a farce, they show just how exploration is often tied to going fast and going fast often means you had to scout ahead, be it willingly, dying or getting hit and thrown to another path.

    Re "you can't reward different playstyles especially if the reward is yet another different playstyle": maybe this is unpopular, but games really aren't supposed to mirror or cater to the players' pre-existent tendencies. A game is a negotiation, indeed a dialectic process, between its rules and the player's tendencies, creating a secret third thing (a perceived, ever-shifting decision-making space in which a player weighs the game's declared objectives against the tools they are given, how they feel about these objective, their knowledge of the game's workings and their own pre-existent inclinations or preferences). So if you say t a "natural speedrunner" they have to get all the chaos emeralds, they just... might. And they might find that more or less engaging, but that's really a minor issue because, after all, we all like different things about the games we like. That's great, actually.

    Like, I get it. I agree that exploration withut consideration for speed and vice-versa feel off. I hate it when I'm told I have to get all SP Rings in Sonic Advance 2, and I hate that I need all red rings in recent Sonic games. That'd be shitty exploration on its own, but in games in which you're always going forward anyway, surely there are better methods. If we're not talking about a classic philosophy for game and especially level design, I agree I'll mostly be actively choosing if I want to replay a level to finish it as fast as possible or if I want to get the hidden items, but even then what @Iko MattOrr said is really important: if you don't need to get all of them, suddenly it isn't so bad, and you won't have to get out of your way as much.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2023
  11. Yeah....

    No. I'm not going to agree with getting rid of hidden secrets that reward a curious, attentive eye and an understanding of how the level design hints at them...

    ...in favor of just the exact same gameplay of getting to the end except a level being broken up to into multiple ends that you reach one after the other. That's not a good trade off. What is even the point of that? Might as well just get rid of exploration in It's entirety and be point a to b.

    And maybe I'm reading it wrong. Honestly, the way you guys word things gets me kind of lost sometimes as to what you're even saying. (Like, Palas. That second to last paragraph is uh....) But that is what it sounds like you're saying.

    Having secrets that just ask you to take on some particularly tricky platforming challenge is great. That's what I want. In fact, I'm begging for it because it would make it to where I don't have basically resort to quasi-speedrunnung in order to get a satisfying amount of depth and challenge out of playing these games...

    ...but not at the cost of the first mentioned, thing.

    You can have both, bro. Secrets that require skill, secrets that require an attentive eye and explorative leaning, and/or secrets that require both. I know I sing Celeste's praises quite a bit, but there's a reason for that, and this is yet another case in which Sonic can learn from it.

    As far as things that require both, you can just have things that act as naturally-integrated but kind of hidden "doors" to sectioned off areas of the level a bit more challenging. This is how the red strawberries work a good deal of the time.

    As far as having to collect all hidden secrets...

    ...if you don't want to do it, just don't? There's nothing telling you you HAVE to collect all of them, not even in the modern games with red rings. There are just (non-essential) rewards for doing so...

    ...Which is a good thing? Rewarding those who go the extra mile? Maybe you guys issue is that there shouldn't be a reward, making it feel even less "necessary?"

    I guess. I mean, It's not like Celeste makes you collect all the red strawberries in order to progress through the game. At most "making you" find a few crystal hearts or completing a few challenges for them in order to reach the optional, endgame, harder, levels.

    As far as not being able to do both at the same time, or being forced to one playstyle where you don't want to...

    1) Again. There is no rule saying you HAVE to do either. You don't HAVE to get all the emeralds or get the "good ending" as long as you're having fun playing the game. I know of several people who just don't do it because they don't find it fun. And you can also just beat the game, use the level select to go to a level you don't mind running repeatedly and already know where a big ring is, and just repeat that.

    But if you're so dead set on that, then sure. Have different ways to achieve the same thing, like CD and Frontiers, is fine.

    2) As Palas said, going fast, or at least going TRULY fast, already requires exploration. At least initially. You have to route that stuff out to optimize.

    Exploration for exploration's sake is stupid, but hasn't been a problem since the second game. Yeah, I even include Sonic 2 because while most are on the main path, there are some checkpoints that you do need to kind of go out of your way for if you want more chances to get the chaos emeralds earlier.

    The time limits in Mario are so lenient that they don't really act as a particularly strong incentive to keep moving for "just get to the end players." They do act as an annoyance for those leaning more to an explorative playstyle....

    ...But I think I just described perfectly the problem there: It's either insignificant, or it's an annoyance that discourages a way to play the game. And it doesn't even do that latter thing all the time. It's not like Mario's levels are just so huge to where exploring them is always going to be a hassle due to the time limit.

    And no, you do not need to pick which playstyle you're going to cater to. That is...

    Just no. No, you don't.

    Literally the only thing you need to do is add something else that encourages continually moving besides a time limit that kills you when time runs out. There's an infinite amount of ways you can do that...

    And one of those ways is just by simply not having the timer kill you when times run out. Maybe it just fails some other objective like getting a medal or something. Or maybe we can have Palas' idea mentioned in another thread where it affects how you progress through the game. But if you don't care, you can just continue exploring like what you were doing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2023
  12. Iko MattOrr

    Iko MattOrr

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    @Technically Inept I think that the problem is less about getting rid of hidden secrets and more about getting rid of/reworking the objectives that require you to explore the levels to complete the game.

    I understand that getting the true ending is optional, but still, the true ending is the intended way to end the game, the "100%". If, in order to get the 100%, you have to explore the levels up and down at slow pace, then that does not really fit Sonic. (search the generator in the past of Sonic CD, search for the 7 SP rings in Advance 2, and I never played it but I guess the medals in Unleashed HD too).

    What you are saying is fine in my eyes, noticing little hints and finding secrets by following them is part of the level design and it's ok. It's not ok when the hints aren't there, and you have to fall into a pit without having an idea of what lies under (might be bottomless, but you have to try regardless, because the secret might be there).

    I kinda agree that exploring by having to climb each wall as knuckles can be annoying, and the type of exploration that you are suggesting ("hidden secrets that reward a curious, attentive eye and an understanding of how the level design hints at them...") falls totally under the skill-based challenge IMO, because noticing a different route that's just barely hinted, and figuring out how to reach it, is still part of the skills required to play the game well.

    Another problem discussed are the routes that are there just to hide a secret, then they become dead ends and you have to return to the main path. They break the flow of the level, and it would be better if they were more naturally mixed with the level layout instead of being just dead ends (Mushroom Hill did this in a couple of spots).

    When I mentioned that there should be multiple ways to get the same result, I meant that you can leave the exploration (to be clear, the exploration in question is the one mentioned before, climb every wall as Knuckles and fall into every pit) in the game for the people who like the exploration, and at the same time put another way to get the same reward. The same thing that Sonic CD did with the 2 ways to get the good ending, and Sonic Chaos by allowing you to complete the levels by exploring them and collect rings instead of reaching the goal.
     
  13. It is skill based, but it's a different type of skill. It's knowledge skill rather than physical/mechanic skill. I feel that making that distinction is important because, personally, without the latter being required, these games get boring to play.

    Otherwise, I'd probably like Sonic's stages in SA1.

    If it "fits Sonic" I feel is really subjective. The fact that people play this way and enjoy it, in some cases to the point jt beung why they enjoy playing these games, is in itself reason to allow for stuff like this.

    As far as false hints in the case of pits, yeah. That's not good. In fact, a while ago I took a look at Grreen Hill's (originals) level maps and noticed that issue to a surprising degree. Jumping over spike beds sometimes gets you secrets earlier or in the first place, while in other places it just kills you. That's not good design in my eyes. We either need some better telegraphing there (i can think of several ways), we need to prevent the player from jumping into such pits in a stronger way, or we need to get rid of bottomless pits.

    That last thing might sound extreme. But I don't truly think so when there can be other forms of incentive to play well.

    Dead end paths for secrets doesn't sound like the worst thing ever to me. Just depends on how long it takes to get back. But sure.

    As far as higher up secrets gotten by Tails flight and Knuckles' climbing. I suppose it is ideal for there always to be secrets up there, so you aren't wasting time. Honestly, I just find that a part of the experience, and adds to the sense of anticipation-build up as you're really wondering if there is a secret up there or not, which would be a little ruined by there always being one. But okay.
     
  14. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    This sounds like a bonus room in a Mario game. Something on the main path that's easy to spot but also easy to ignore. Which sounds fine until you realize that it would need to be on one specific path. Sonic Team have kinda already tried to do this, with having red rings or silver medals on specific paths. In theory, it incentivizes the player to explore all available paths in a level and experience all the level has to offer. In practice, it forces them to play the same level, which may take upwards of 10 minutes to complete, multiple times in a row. Which is why a lot of fans hate that approach. Not ideal.
    Ok, but here's the problem there: the game needs to account for both styles of play. So you CAN go to the end of the stage, sure, but the level isn't really designed for that to be fun. Playing CD like a Sonic game, and playing CD to go back in time to find the generator and Metal Sonic projector then go to the future to see the good future you made, are entirely different, and the level design is an infamously schizophrenic mess because of it. So yes, you can go either/or, but neither way ends up being very satisfying, because it doesn't commit to one idea. Try playing CD like a Sonic game and see how fun it is compared to S2.

    I have nothing really to say to your third option. I don't mean that in a bad way, I'm just not sure what to make of it or how exactly it could apply to Sonic and still feel like Sonic. I need to think about it.

    There's also the argument "if you don't want to do it, then just don't do it". My counterargument is this: if you like finding hidden secrets, then why are you looking for that kind of gameplay in Sonic, of all franchises? If you don't want to speedrun, then just don't play Sonic. See what I did there? You don't have to engage with 100% of a game in order to see the ending, but if a designer sees that you have refused to engage with a significant (and I do mean significant, as is the case with SCD) amount of the game's content, that's considered a failure. That is not "the player's choice", that is a failure on the designer's part to make the game's content enticing.
    You know, people aren't really going to want to post unpopular opinions in the unpopular opinion thread if they get a dickish response that talks down to them like they're insane and stupid for such an absurd opinion.
     
  15. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Sonic Labyrinth is a good game.
     
  16. Iko MattOrr

    Iko MattOrr

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    You got my point correctly, the comparison to Mario's bonus rooms fits enough. I think though that the solution to the problem of the alternate paths is to fill all the paths with that type of secrets, so whatever path you take, you will end with finding something useful. The red rings were a problem because the games required you to collect all of them (for 100% at least). When you don't need to get all, you don't have to backtrack to every path or restart the level, because you will be fine with the ones that you found on your path that you went through naturally.
    Well, the path themselves can be the rewards (for example a shortcut, or a route with many bonuses in it): even if you don't see the reward directly, the fact that the route is hard to reach alone suggests that there might be something valuable in it.

    I agree on Sonic CD, but to be honest, I think that the idea of having multiple optional objectives to reach the same goal can work well if done right. I used to play Carmageddon a lot (2 and TDR2000). That game has 3 victory conditions: win the race, destroy all the opponents, and kill every npc on the map. The latter is probably impossible or almost, I never did it, but the other 2 goals are well balanced and I remember that depending on the situation I switched on the go between one or another. Both defeating the opponents and completing the race would require you to push opponents into walls and use a few items, so the two styles were similar enough; defeating all the opponent required you to leave the main path and search for items to increase the timer and attack, but in general you still needed to follow the indicators on the map and run toward them in both styles.
    Back to Sonic, you also don't need to have drastically different requirements as options... even just the ability to enter the special stages in 2 different ways (hidden giant rings and giant ring at the end of the act with 50 rings, both coexisting in the same game) fits this criteria and can let people bypass exploration if they don't like it.

    It's not necessarily a failure though... there are games designed around chosing a path and having different experiences. Some RPG games for example, or even as simple as Kirby's copy abilities. If I don't like Bomb because it's boring, I just avoid Bomb and get Sword instead. I can play the entire game multiple times and pretend that Bomb does not exist. The same can be said about playable characters in many games, even in fighting games where they are the big deal. It always depends on the amount of content gets bypassed, and how the options are balanced (for example, bypassing an entire game through a fishing minigame IMO is not really a good idea). In that post I also said that having options should not allow you to skip entire parts of a game.
     
  17. Londinium

    Londinium

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    That's it, I'm ending this thread right here. Literally no opinion more unpopular than this, we hit the end.
     
  18. RDNexus

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    /thread xD

    Now seriously... I hope it was the finest joke...of the week, at least ^^"
     
  19. I'll concede that what I said could have been better said. Much better said, even. Had that thought pretty much the instant I posted it, but it was a bit too late then. Was glad Iko MattOrr dn't give me crap for it.

    I don't think the reason CD's level design makes it to where playing the normal way is unsatisfying is because it to caters to exploration. I think the reason CD's level design doesn't make playing the normal way satisfying is because it doesn't make playing the normal way satisfying.

    I don't think this is something that can be really discussed with generalities and blanket statements. We have to look at the specifics of the routes through a level themselves and what happens on a moment to moment basis when you're just playing through them, which I'm not about to do right now so...

    So whatever.

    The reason that people would go to Sonic for explorative gameplay is because that's always been an element of Sonic from the beginning. And it just got more and more incentivized as things went on.

    Nor do I agree that it is a failure if someone did not take on these optional objectives and the content involved with them.

    Yes, both of these are optional. Exploration, and speedrunning. Neitherr of those are necessary to beat the game, especially not speedrunning which isn't even tied to the good ending. Only thing you really need to do at the end of the day is finish levels.

    And this is in fact what I think a ton of people do. If you have some statistics or something to prove me wrong, I'll shut up. But I don't think most or even half of the people who play these games today are seriously concerned about speedrunning or the optimization and stuff involved. And there is definitely a lot of stuff involved there, almost to where it could be thought of as a different game.

    So if you're saying that not engaging with a vast majority of content makes for failure on a designers part, then that applies just as much to speedrunning as it does to exploration. Probably even more so because exploration is tied to a set objective.

    Also, I heard Sonic Labyrinth actually is really fun to speedrun, but I haven't tested that myself
     
  20. Palas

    Palas

    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
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    I like autoscrolling levels or sections. Or, at their worse, I don't mind them much.

    I like Bridge Zone Act 2. I like Sunset Park Act 3. I like the Angel Island Act 2 boss, a well as Sonic Advance 2 bosses in general. I don't even hate the autoscrolling portion of Iron Fortress in Sonic Forces. They can be a nice change of pace that brings focus to your most immediate surroundings, highlighting a stage's hazards and exercising reflexes. They really make it feel like the game has decided to test your skills when you can't run away.

    Of course, in roder to be good they really have to double down on tough, quick choices for which you don't get a second chance or a second look. Featuring some quick-witted, quick-footed platforming is pretty cool too, especially if it preys on the player's impatience or greed -- in which case they're much more effective than the same challenge posed outside autoscrolling parts.

    These are all notes one could take from shoot'em ups (and, of course, I'm a huge huge huge Touhou fan, so it tracks), and there's even opportunity to use music creatively during them. So they're not bad at all if they only happen every now and then, and if they add dramatic effect to a stage.