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.

    35.1%
  2. No.

    24.7%
  3. I don't care.

    40.3%
  1. Selbi

    Selbi

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    I honestly don't care. If I remember correctly, there were only two instances of me ever running out of time, and one of it wasn't even in an original game.

    1. The first one was Carnival Night Zone in Sonic 3. This stage (both acts) is so frustratingly huge, I don't recall ever reaching Eggman before hitting the 8th minute. Obviously, when I still was young, I had no chance of doing this.
    2. The second one was in Sonic Megamix 3, Dark Castle. All of these levels are ridiculously long and I'm more than glad they redid these with the 4b release.
     
  2. Jen

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    To be honest I really don't care either way because I don't remember the time limit ever being a persistent problem for me, even when I was a little kid. On the rare occasions I got a "time over" I took it to mean "I need to get better at this level", in much the same way as a "game over" meant that I needed to try harder.

    Video games are DESIGNED to be challenging. You are supposed to try and improve at them in order to complete them. Get a time over in a Sonic game? Go faster! Sonic is a game designed primarily around speed and momentum after all, it makes sense for the game to push you to go fast. If anything, the ten minute time limit in the classics is extremely over-generous in certain zones (not so much in others, but like I said, it's a challenge). In any case, if you want to freely explore and piss around in the classics "just for fun" and/or remove as much challenge as possible, there's always debug mode; not only does it remove the time limit but it also lets you skip massive areas of the game if you want to...
     
  3. Jayextee

    Jayextee

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    I DONE MAKED GAMES.
    5 minutes. That's what the time limit could be, in Sonic 1 and 2, and still not be a challenge for most. You are not telling me that you're going to exhaust every possible route of exploration in that time, because the level design isn't that complex in either game. It may be in S3K but I've always held that S3K is an over-long, bloated mess (which is just my opinion, yo - and not the dicussion of this thread). I still maintain that a 2 minute limit for S1 (maybe 3 minutes for SBZ3 because it has that long route) and 3 minutes for S2 would be nice and snug. Wouldn't bother me, but it would be a lovely incentive to move players along instead of collecting EVERY. DAMN. RING. THEY. SEE. And hold off special stage spam in S2. Hell, that would make Super Sonic before Chemical Plant actually a task.

    And I'm not bitching that the games are too easy (which, for the record, they were back in the '90s according to the videogame press of the time) but the 10 minutes is completely arbitrary and not even a factor.
     
  4. gold lightning

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    To be honest I think if you take 10 minutes to complete a level you deserve to lose a life. Unless you suck really bad you probably gained a few lives during that 10 minutes anyway. The only stage I remember really causing problems for me in the classics is Sandopolis zone. But by that point in the game I have always had so many lives that I never really cared about the time limit causing me to lose one. I always just saw it as justice for me not playing well enough.

    Another thing is that levels should never be designed to where they do easily take more than 10 minutes (I'm looking at you Sonic Heroes).
     
  5. Volpino

    Volpino

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    Wrong.

    Video games are not just a sport, they stopped being just a sport when artists got involved with them, now they are multi-purpose, and should accommodate as many people as possible because they're multi-purpose, and I'm not just talking about the "difficulty" thing which seems to disgustingly be a huge hangup with some of you, but has it ever, even one time, crossed your mind that someone plays a video game for other reasons than s "good sporting challenge"? Because I never have.

    Parts of video games are challenging because limits help with balance - a game can't be too god-like an experience or people get bored and the experience is flat, rising and falling challenges help keep people interested and feeling something through the experience and that makes it last longer. People like to think, their brains are always working, but it should never be the be-all-end-all of game design ever, because that basically throws away half of the reason for playing video games.
     
  6. Tanks

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    I really don't feel like reading all these posts so I'm just going to say this whether or not its already been said:

    In a game where the premise is to get from Point A to Point B, awarding bonuses for lower time AND the collection of objects/destruction of enemies, it would only make sense to have a kill time. If anything, its something that sticks in the back of your heading as a reminder that you have little choice but to move forward. Sonic isn't about exploration of zones. Well, it is, but you don't spend your act running around various paths. You're supposed to play through the game over and over again until you find the smoothest path that offers the max amount of coins you can attain while gunning for the lowest time achievable within the act.
     
  7. Impish

    Impish

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    Right, so ignoring the obvious opinion vs fact argument that has to be made, but which I won't be, the fact is that it is still called a GAME. If you want an "escapist experience" that has no challenge or means to improve, that's not a game, but some kind of weird interactive experience, like Minecraft creative mode, or Second Life.

    The definition of game applied here is
    If you don't want a challenge, don't play video games. I'm sorry Volpino, but a game isn't something that should simply be a work of art that is to be admired, that is interactive art, or whatever you want to call it. A video GAME is supposed to be a challenge, with some kind of competitive or challenging aspect. What you want isn't a game. What you are describing isn't a game.
     
  8. Mercury

    Mercury

    His Name Is Sonic Tech Member
    Not an entirely fair appraisal.

    So, essentially: Game = Structured play. Nowhere is it implied that challenge is the raison d'etre of games.

    And even if it was, "video games" is a hopelessly inadequate term that just stuck, like the equally stupid-when-you-think-about-it "movies". Adam Sessler has often said that they probably need a new term, but that by now anything else would just seem awkward.

    The use of "game" in "video game" is idiomatic at best. It's not an invincible warrant for the inclusion of features whose sole contribution is challenge.

    ...Lest I be misunderstood, I should probably make a finer point. Yes, pretty much all games are / have to be challenging in some sense because structure = challenge (in the sense that if there's a wrong way, you must expend energy to find the right way). But what I mean is that the point of games is not "to be hard", so you can't justify a feature just because it makes the game hard(er). Yes, some genres, like shmups, are predicated on ridiculous difficulty, but I'd argue that Sonic games scratch another itch entirely.

    And all of this aside, I think what the OP (and I) have implied (more than once) is that the time limit is hardly a real challenge at all; because of its poor implementation it's merely an annoyance. Where limited time actually has been a challenge in Sonic, for instance in Sonic CD's Time Attack or the clever continually speeding up Special Stages of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, I embrace it wholeheartedly.
     
  9. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher

    Not all videogames are designed around offering a challenge, but Sonic games indeed were. Artists created their art, and musicians composed their music precisely to accomodate a game where you needed to reach the goal as fast as you could. Even the Time Over is part of the whole arcade-ish design.


    That's part of what makes them exciting and not a walk in the park, having the pressure of dying not only if your reflexes fail on you, but also if you don't think and react fast enough.



    That said, that damn Time Over fucked up my latest try at doing a Perfect Bonus in Emerald Hill 2, just as I was about to fall onto the Egg Prison's button. :(
     
  10. Impish

    Impish

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    I can agree with that. I just find the stance that a game specifically shouldn't have challenge in it wrong, because that's an inherent part of game design, and game theory. As a game designer yourself, I hope you can understand what I mean.
    quick Edit: Read the introduction of wikipedia article on "Game", specifically the part about a game's "key components" to understand where I'm coming from.
     
  11. Volpino

    Volpino

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    I never said a game shouldn't have challenge, I even implied it needs it so that the experience isn't completely flat, but that is not the most important part of games anymore, in fact, it's dated to believe "hard" is what makes a game "good" at all.

    Also I agree with everything Mercury said, he did a better job at responding than I could.

    Edit: Much as this makes the blood of alleged "0m6 1337 h4rd(0r3" gamers' blood boil, a lot of what said gamers would call "interactive art" still qualifies as a video game. See: Flower, Journey, Proteus, Minecraft, To The Moon, Dear Esther, and a bunch of other games that all have questionable amounts of "difficulty" but which are still games and which some of have actually been critically acclaimed.

    Edit2: Not directed at you Impish, mostly at some people posting on some earlier pages.

    Edit3:

    I guess that's fair enough but seeing as the games themselves have gotten rid of it recently, I'm surprised barely anyone considers what it actually contributed in the first place.
     
  12. Ross-Irving

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    I like the time limits in the classic games. The games have quite a bit of depth, but they still feel like arcade games to me. High risk, high reward, fast-paced type stuff. If anything, I'd argue that the time limits in the classic games should have been shorter. Five minutes max. It forces you to move faster and would increase the replay value by making you want to go to a different path the next time you play, since you wouldn't have had the ample time before to dick around. Sonic games are not about exploration. They are about being flowing and smartly accommodating to your actions. Be good at the game and you shouldn't have to go out of your way to get the best opportunities for points. Not to get too off-track, but that's why I like games with points. It gives you another reason to play.

    Maybe being forced to go through a level quickly could be frustrating, but only if the game doesn't have a lot of levels. Taking classic gameplay mechanics into account, acts should be between forty-five seconds to two and a half minutes. Taking modern gameplay mechanics into account (homing attack , rail grinding, boost rings, etc.), each act should be between seventy-five seconds to three and a half minutes.

    In short, Sonic games should be for people who want a challenge and who respect the concept of death and consequences in a video game.
     
  13. Afti

    Afti

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    Also- Sonic CD is brought up as an example of a game that doesn't need the time limit? Speak for yourself- time limit is BEAUTIFUL in that game. If you want the good ending you need to explore heavily, and you have 10 minutes per Act in which to do that; searching through a huge level for the capsule while the clock counts down to your inevitable death is fantastic, and it's an example of what should be done with the time limit- make it something that you might actually run into. A threat.

    And, yeah- there are games that are more about the experience than anything. Sonic games don't number among those.
     
  14. Chibisteven

    Chibisteven

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    I played Sonic Adventure 2 (Dreamcast). Anyway. A stratigy guide is useful for looking at maps of such levels at and what the points you need to get an A rank, which is certainly lower then the first mission. Got one after trying to find lost chao and upgrades were difficult.

    Security Hall isn't terrible in the first mission. 5 minutes is easier then the 3 something minutes you get for the time mission (that is where I draw the line). Some trick to it that I can't remember since it's been a few years. Storywise I remember Rouge saying she only needed 5 minutes.

    Hard mode for Mad Space will really piss you off trying to get an A rank for.
     
  15. steveswede

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    Sonic CD is though.
     
  16. Chibisteven

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    If you're able to clear the special stages and get all time stones it's a free ride afterwards. On the otherhand there is the other method that envolves alot of exploring. Both achieve the same goal as far as the good ending is concerned.
     
  17. TheInvisibleSun

    TheInvisibleSun

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    This doesn't change the fact that exploring is what the game is about...
     
  18. steveswede

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    The point I'm making is that stuff has been put in there to encourage exploration. I'm not debating the fact you can only do that to get the good ending.
     
  19. Willie

    Willie

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    A lot of the paths in a game like S3&K are very well designed. Some are slower paths than others, but a Sonic game shouldn't feel like I'm supposed to only be taking only one path every single time because it's the superior path and all of the other paths are inferior. One of the biggest problems I had with Sonic Generations' level design for the Classic stages is that some levels (most specifically act 1 of City Escape) made the gamer feel like there was only one good path. I never felt this way whenever I played S3&K but some (definitely not all) of the level design in Sonic Generations promotes that idea which isn't a great approach to level design that has tons of multiple paths. It can work out well for some stages, but to have that as the basis for every stage in a game can get boring and make a game feel less interesting.

    Which makes the time limit even more maddening. I have never viewed the Sonic series as very arcade like and I have never felt the time limit was a great addition to arcade styled games in the first place. For example, the original Sin & Punishment had a time limit where you can earn additional time but the sequel scrapped that element entirely which I felt was a great decision. I also don't understand why so many people here are opposed to long Sonic levels. The only problem I have with them is when there's a time limit.
     
  20. Volpino

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    I've never seen them as arcade style either. A lot of arcade games I played as a kid didn't have time limits anyway.

    I actually think arcade games are completely obsolete now; I cannot think of any reason they'd be remotely more appealing than any other genre that has evolved for more than nostalgic or historical reasons.