don't click here

Why does anybody like the time limit in Sonic games?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Willie, Mar 29, 2012.

Do you like the time limit in Sonic games?

  1. Yes.

    34.8%
  2. No.

    25.2%
  3. I don't care.

    40.0%
  1. Willie

    Willie

    Each day the world turns Laugh 'til it all burns Member
    I was tempted to make this thread about game time limits in general, but I'd rather focus solely on the Sonic franchise since I don't understand how the time limit ever benefits Sonic games at all. Worst example of the time limit is Sonic CD. Here you have a game that took the time to design four iterations of the first acts for each zone and had a much bigger emphasis on exploration...only to punish you for not doing it insanely quick. If you're trying to get the Saviour of the Planet achievement from Sonic CD's 2011 remastered version, doing that without getting killed by the time limit is an absolute bitch, especially if you have no idea where things are. Not to mention if you want to go to the past, destroy the robot teleporters and Metal Sonic holograms, go back to the present, and then go to the future, you have barely any time to enjoy the level in the future at all.

    Then with S3&K, the levels were much bigger than Sonic 2's levels yet you still had to complete them in under ten minutes. While I usually don't have any difficulty beating the stages in under ten minutes, this was a different story when I was a young kid. I remember I used to frequently get time overs in Marble Garden Zone Act 2 and Death Egg Zone Act 2. Not to mention the fact there's a time limit often makes me want to explore the levels much less just so the stupid time limit doesn't kill me. I think the main reason why I generally choose the same paths is entirely because of the time limits. Some paths take much more time...which means I'm more likely to get killed by the clock. For a franchise where its games are at it's best when there's a ton of multiple paths, this is somewhat of a maddening concept to me. I've never really been much of a speedrunner. Yeah, sometimes I want to mostly just go through Sonic levels as fast as I can, but it varies. Sometimes I just want to explore every nook and cranny of a level, but the time limit makes achieving that rather difficult and much more frustrating. What benefit does the time limit add to the series? At least the Advance games gave me the option to turn the time limit off. That was an awesome feature and I never bother to play any of those games with that stupid limit on.

    But I'm clearly in the minority on this issue. I've bitched about this quite a few times in the past and I rarely ever see anyone else here express their distaste for the time limit. If anything, I've seen the opposite. I can't think of any rom hacks that removes the time limit and lots of very well made fangames include it too. Last year, three really impressive fangames released (Sonic Classic, Sonic Before the Sequel, and Sonic Axiom) and all of these games games included the time limit. Now, I don't know the reasons behind the inclusion. Maybe it was done out of tradition or for other reasons, but it just makes no sense to me why both a lot of official Sonic games and fanmade games use it. Can someone here explain to me why the time limit is good for the series? It wouldn't bug me at all if I just had the option to turn it off like in the Advance games. :/ If you hate the time limit as well, I'd love to hear your thoughts about that as well since it isn't talked about much.
     
  2. Candescence

    Candescence

    Member
    2,020
    21
    18
    Sydney, Australia
    3D Indie Stuff
    I'm actually inclined to agree - for the most part, the time limit death is pointless as fuck. If the player wants to take as much of their time as they want, I say let 'em. The only reason time limit deaths were in those games was because it was common in platformers back then. Like lives, I feel it's a pointless and archaic feature in this day and age.

    The only time in a platformer that I don't mind having a time limit is in Super Mario 3D Land, because some of the special (aka hard) levels have a hilariously short time limit, and you gotta collect timer collectables strewn about as you make a mad dash to the goal, and in later special levels, you gotta do that by taking out enemies and/or getting the fuck away from Cosmic Mario. Challenging as hell, but fun, and it's a neat way of turning an old retro feature into an actual level gimmick.
     
  3. Volpino

    Volpino

    Things are looking up! Member
    1,207
    0
    0
    A secret. >:3
    If there's one thing that really turns me off to games, it's a time limit. I hate time limits, I hate the pressure they put on me, and I hate them especially in platformers or other genres largely associated with exploration. In some minimalistic arcade game for an iDevice, I could see it being relevant, although it would still kill any cance of ME ever playing said game, but in a platformer, I want to explore and look around, not be hurried along if I don't want to be. Pace, in general, should be optional anyway. If I want to move like a slug in a Sonic game, who the fuck cares? If someone else can speed by like a freaking mach 9 jet, more power to them, as long as I don't have to.

    But one major problem I have with Sonic is that the time limit is always there. Aside from my disinterest in playing as Sonic in Sonic 3, one reason I prefer Tails or Knuckles is because it takes them less time and effort to go more places. I guess you could go to those places as Sonic if you had the skill, but I don't, and fuck anyone who thinks I need to (Free country, bitches) because I can't be assed, every other memorable platformer I play lets me do things at my own pace (Spyro, BK, Crash) so why should Sonic have a clear hindrance to my enjoyment of the game?

    Even in the 3D games, any timed level pissed me off. All the timed missions for Knuckles in Adventure were a nightmare, Security Hall in Adventure 2 was a suckfest, and Cannon's Core can eat shit and die, worst, most frustrating level since Scrap Brain Zone. Those levels were not fun, and I'm pretty sure that's the intent of video games.

    On top of that, the fifth generation was my introduction to video games with Spyro being my first, a lot of games from the 6th generation fill my drawers of games, and I don't remember a time limit being a huge concern in a lot of them. In fact, a lot of games that had fast-paced moments in them (Scaler, Okami) didn't force it on me, and I could also go slow at times, enjoy the game world, and have fun without feeling pressured. Why am I mentioning that generation? Because for whatever batshit insane reason SEGA can pull out of the crack of their ass (AKA where a lot of PR statements come from) a time limit plagues MODERN games! Sonic 4 being the most angering, and the most hypocritical. Of all the things they want to be "loyal" about for the sake of authenticity, they choose the worst fucking thing about the Genesis games? Not the classic appearance of characters, not a 16-bit style game, not Genesis-style loyal gimmicks, the FUCKING TIME LIMIT? For the sake of authenticity? Suck my authentic asshole, Sonic Team.

    Gotta agree about the lives thing, however, and maybe I just have a bad history with platformers especially in the 6th generation *coughspyroandcrashcough* every time "infinite lives" was introduced, the game, in some way, was insanely broken, and I feel the developers included it to balance out cheap deaths. Which is stupid anyway, because as you said, lives make it redundant. I rather like Rayman Origins' approach on dying, it makes deaths frustrating, but meaningful.

    I actually did not buy 3D Land because of the time limit. As soon as I found out how fucking short it was, I was like "Fuck that shit" and skipped it. How dare some game developer tell me how much time I'm allowed to spend in a level, I feel sorry for the artist that had to decorate that level only to have people zoom through it out of necessity.
     
  4. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Member
    14,631
    1,610
    93
    Working on my art!
    They are kind of useless. If you need more then 10 minutes then what's the problem with having more then 10 minutes (of course newer games got rid of this). At the same time, lives are also useless. Archaic reminders of when dying all the time meant something more then just start at the beginning of the level again.
     
  5. Candescence

    Candescence

    Member
    2,020
    21
    18
    Sydney, Australia
    3D Indie Stuff
    Actually, the time limit in 3D Land is VERY forgiving, and there's timer collectables in each level (or most, at least) that lets you increase the time limit, usually by a generous amount. And even then, that game's levels are linear like the 2D Mario games, so there's really not much to explore and find except hidden special coins and stuff. Chances are you'll find everything of note in a level and get to the goal easily with plenty of time to spare.

    The Special levels that involve a short time limit are basically the same as normal levels anyway except with a few special conditions and whatnot, like nearly all of the Special levels.
     
  6. Mercury

    Mercury

    His Name Is Sonic Tech Member
    1,740
    21
    18
    Location Location
    AeStHete
    You took the words right out of my mouth. Time limits are a HUGE pet peeve of mine, too. (Which probably explains why Majora's Mask is my least favourite Zelda game, as cool as it otherwise is. I just can't stand the pressure the time limit gimmick puts on me.)

    I like Sonic games to be timed, because time attacking is fun and the time counter is a classic staple. But I don't want the timer to kill you when it hits 9'59''99.

    Incidentally, that's how Sonic Time Twisted will work; the timer will be there, there's just no limit.
     
  7. Molotok

    Molotok

    Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha Member
    Cranky Kong mode go!

    I remember when you had only three lives to get through an entire game and if you didn't get the points or items for an extra life, then you were right [bleep]ed! :v:
     
  8. SteelBrush

    SteelBrush

    603e Member
    1,194
    0
    0
    the home of spotted dick, Devon
    Tramadol, Tamazepam and finding a reason to exist.
    I have never been killed by the time over in SCD. I have completed the game every way possible. Even as a child, when I was just beginning to master the levels, it never happened to me. I would spend hours in debug just looking at the levels, their layout and the art, so I became familiar with the layout. I think the only place the time over catches me out is if I piss about too much in CNZa2 and DEZa2, when you fight the Death Egg Robo the timer doesn't reset.

    I don't know if this happens in Taxman's remake, but if you time travel with the timer over 5 minutes it will reset itself back to 5 minutes, so in the original at least it's possible to stay in a level indefinitely.
     
  9. null1024

    null1024

    Member
    161
    0
    16
    I don't particularly like time limits too much... but I don't have a problem with them either.
    Unless we're talking fucking Security Hall in Sonic Adventure 2, that was retarded. On a related note, time limits in all of Sonic CD when you're actually going through to find the machines.
    Also, when I was younger, I'd always time out on Carnival Night Zone, act 2. Not even because of the barrel, I'd just reach the boss with 8 minutes on the clock, and time out during the fight. Bothersome, but it hasn't been a problem during runs for me in a while now.

    But, in a setting where the goal is just "go get to the exit now, nothing to go off and find", like the Mario 3D Land example, or in a stage like say, Egg Rocket Zone, time limits work, and aren't too bothersome. Hell, they ramp up the intensity.

    I still like the life system. Even if they're now stupid easy to get in Sonic games now [levels where a normal route has 200+ rings on it anyone?], lives still made me feel like dying had some sort of impact. Even if it isn't much of one [I have 198 Sonics and whoops, I died. 197 Sonics to go!].
    In fact, the lack of lives was one of the things that bothered me a bit in Knuckles Chaotix. Not a major bother, what with the stages having no checkpoints, but hey. It felt weird.
    I probably only like it out of sheer tradition though, ever since saving was introduced to Sonic games [or hell, games in general], lives have become far less important.
     
  10. steveswede

    steveswede

    Member
    5,032
    1
    16
    Ask my hand
    Fighting against the Unitary State of Europe
    Man some people just don't like a challenge no wonder games of today are like playing a movie.

    Yes lives are pointless in this day of age and that is only because you can get too many for minimum effort or the game is too easy to be of any relevance. As for the timer in platformers, it's there to encourage risk and give you the thrill of achievement after beating it. If I took out the timer in the original Prince of Persia, would there be any point in taking those risks jumping the platforms or would there be any point at trying to get better at it if there is very little chance of failing?
     
  11. Volpino

    Volpino

    Things are looking up! Member
    1,207
    0
    0
    A secret. >:3
    You actually unintentionally made the game less appealing for me, linear level design is also something I can't stand, it doesn't directly discourage exploring but it doesn't contribute to it much either, the linearity was my biggest gripe with Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, but that's off-topic.

    Well, in a short version, the thing that has always bothered me personally is that it discourages pissing around. Not sure what the problem with pissing around in a video game could be, considering it's not like you're paid for your time or anything.


    I like this approach, it's there for people who want it and not there for people who don't at the same time. Speedrunners rejoice, I guess.
     
  12. Sparks

    Sparks

    Member
    3,140
    179
    43
    Sondro Gomez / Kyle & Lucy
    Time limit only really means anything when there's no save, and only continues. :v: If there's saving, you might as well eliminate life limits and game overs.
     
  13. Billy

    Billy

    RIP Oderus Urungus Member
    2,112
    178
    43
    Colorado, USA
    Indie games
    If I ever go on to make a hack or a fangame, the first things I'm doing is removing score, time, and lives. I'm serious.
     
  14. Volpino

    Volpino

    Things are looking up! Member
    1,207
    0
    0
    A secret. >:3
    Does anyone actually pay attention to the score? I don't.

    Avoiding the usual tart remarks about oldfags and bitching about newfags for the sake of diplomacy, by the way.

    I don't play video games for a challenge, fuck challenge, it isn't all games have to offer me. I love Pokepark 2, bought it on release date, there is not one god damn thing that is hard about this game, but it lets me be a cute animal and explore a bunch of really pretty and relaxing environments, and that is fun to me. You know what else is fun? Flower, a game you can beat in two hours that has no difficulty, but I don't care, I can fly like the wind and do loops while watching all the beautiful petals and actually have something to feel good about in this miserable existence we call life. That's what games do for me, they give me something to feel good about.

    Challenge is not fun for me, I'm not competitive in any sense of the word; I actually avoid competition if I feel like it's too stressful. I don't play video games to be stressed, I don't play video games to feel like shit, I don't play video games to throw controllers and break TVs, I play them as a means of escapism.

    You know what I try to get better art? Drawing. That means something if I have more skill at it; I have a wider means to express my imagination. Being skilled at a video game means fuck all to me, especially when I'm only playing them to stare at pretty things and interact with a more idealistic environment. Sometimes, games even inspire me to draw, so being immersed and involved in them without stress serves a productive purpose for me.
     
  15. Willie

    Willie

    Each day the world turns Laugh 'til it all burns Member
    That actually doesn't sound too bad because it at least has a unique twist instead of just a pointless time limit. Very rarely do I feel games benefit at all from time limits unless it's a situation like OMFG THE PLACE IS ABOUT TO BLOW! GET OUT OF HERE IN __ AMOUNT OF TIME! GOGOGOGOGOGOGO!

    Definitely. I like the timer, I just hate the fact it kills me.

    Sweet.

    I've never used debug in a single Sonic game so I didn't have that benefit.

    I don't know why but in Taxman's remake, the timer doesn't reset to five minutes. o_O

    Let me make this clear: I love difficult games, but I hate stupid difficulty. To me, time limits and limited continues with no progress save generally falls under that. Maybe my view is a bit biased since I grew up with the SNES and not the Sega Genesis, but most of my games had no time limit and gave me the ability to save my progress. I think the only SNES games I owned as a kid with a time limit were Super Mario World, Super Mario All Stars, and only one of the games in Kirby Super Star. For all of the games without a time limit (including the rest of the games in Kirby Super Star), I felt they benefited from that game design decision. All time limits generally do in games is just discourage exploration and create unnecessary frustration.

    I would too, but that would largely be due to how none of those things would benefit or makes sense in the type of fangames I would make.
     
  16. Volpino

    Volpino

    Things are looking up! Member
    1,207
    0
    0
    A secret. >:3
    This seemed relevant.
     
  17. Hybrid Project Alpha

    Hybrid Project Alpha

    It's what's for dinner Oldbie
    5,202
    0
    16
    Douglas, NB
    Getting a life
    I hated the time limit when I was a kid, because I was terrible at the game
    Now I hardly notice the clock at all
    10 minutes is actually a very generous amount of time for a Sonic game
     
  18. Volpino

    Volpino

    Things are looking up! Member
    1,207
    0
    0
    A secret. >:3
    Unless you're trying to piss around. :V

    Doesn't anyone think it's nice to, I dunno, stay in a level you like and goof off in it? I think I clocked more time in Mystic Ruins in SADX than any other part of the game, bar the chao garden.
     
  19. Yash

    Yash

    CHOCOLATE! Member
    751
    342
    63
    I don't really care about the time limits because I rarely run out the clock dicking around in a level.

    The thing about Sonic CD is that the clock is supposed to reset to 5:00:00 every time you travel to a different time zone, which was neglected in the XBLA port. The time travel mechanic in that game is kind of jank anyway because of how much of a hassle time travel is - you end up missing a good chunk of the game on a normal play through. I wish there were an option to run through all of the levels in a certain time zone without having to worry about it.
     
  20. GeneHF

    GeneHF

    SEGA-ier than you'll potentially ever be. Site Staff
    8,425
    56
    28
    Scenic Studiopolis
    Complete Global Conquest
    Don't care. If you need more than 10 minutes per act in the classic Sonic games, something is terribly wrong with you.

    Failing that, just flip on debug mode. No more timer!