Why I Don't Like Sonic Games

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Negative Ion, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. Frostav

    Frostav

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    It's very telling that many non-Sonic fans will go "Now Colors, that's was a good game and what Sonic should be like!" when Colors is the farthest Sonic has ever gone in throwing away even the barest scraps of his DNA in favor of being a subpar blocky Mario platformer, complete with shoehorned power-ups.
     
  2. HedgeHayes

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    This whole thing is very interesting; not the video, which I won't be seeing like i don't watch the 99,9% of this stuff, but all the elements converging in this thread. You've been not only discussing the post, but also the community, the value of having opposite opinions, the quality of said opinions and the way tyo evaluate it... third page and there's already so much here.

    That said, I'll do my part here and share what I think. First of all, I understand the feeling, not with Sonic, but with some other stuff. It's no just an standard age/matureness/experience thing, though it indeed is that kind of thing. It's like being distracted for a long time and suddenly realizing you weren't meant to be doing that, like passing near a TV and start looking at it even if you're not interested, just because it instinctively attracted your attention. And yes, Dragon Ball is a good example as soon as Dragon Ball Z, since it becomes a quite standard shonen instead of oozing imagination like it did with kid Goku.

    Something I understood from you (Ion) is there's no challenge for you in a classic Sonic game. If you say that because you find it easy, there are hacks and fangames that can solve that problem for you, but I sense something else similar to what Frostav said about the "Mario rulebook". be it the difficulty or anything else, I disagree in both cases and will tell you something like Frostav did: (classic) Sonic's uniqueness is not about mindlessly run through a level to complete the task, is about enjoying the trip, like being a tourist in a pixelated world. There are games in which I wished there was some kind of tourist mode where i could explore the map with no enemies or rewards, where I only wanted to experiment with the environment, no matter which engine it was, and I wanted to find that kind of sensation in a lot of modern Sonic games too, in which I got long empty lanes with no appeal instead. If you don't enjoy that uniqueness from Sonic games, I wonder if you enjoy doing a similar thing in real life, like playing a game with your friends with no end and no winner, or just going for a walk through a forest or on a mountain. I'm talking about enjoying the moment instead of ticking a to-do list: If you do, maybe the games fall flat for you compared to real life; if you don't, you should be really worried about that disconnection with your feelings.

    Maybe I'm going to far, but the way you explained it made it sound quite strange, and this idea came to my mind. Also, the situation is evidently weird for you too, so I imagined you could appreciate a deeper thought on it beyond just discussing the real worth of the games. As I said before, I understand the feeling, since I feel that way in regard of some aspects of my life, and I'm trying to find why and "fill that void", so to speak. Everything else is about personal tastes and preferences: I'm the guy around here that really hates Sonic Colours, a game almost everyone else likes, and I still don't get why they do, but I envy them for being able to do that. For you, I'd suggest to check out that video from Hirokazu Yasuhara at Digital Dragons where he talked about how to make a videogame fun if you haven't yet (you can find the link and everything else in the "Hirokazu Yasuhara reveals all kind of interesting stuff" thread). It may help you and, even if it doesn't, it's an interesting view nonetheless.

    There's probably something I'm forgetting to comment, but you have enough to think about here already. Let's see how this thread progresses.
     
  3. The Negative Ion

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    Yeah, I still do think that's a great idea, too. I don't think that Sonic going fast is a bad thing. I just think that if he's going to be rolling around at the speed of sound, the player needs to be able to observe their surroundings in the moment. And to do that, there needs to be enough screen space to accompany whatever speed he's going at so that I'm not feeling cheated when I accidentally jump into a bed of spikes. Sonic may be the fastest thing alive, but he still has eyes... er, an eye... right?


    Before I respond, I just wanna ask you if you watched the video to it's completion yet. I mean I'm sure you have, but I just find it rather odd that you haven't directly referenced anything from it. If you haven't, the go ahead and do that first once you find the time to do so.
    But wow, you were a playtester for Hatred? That's awesome! Man, I'm so jealous.


    I don't think that's false at all. The animated element example that you brought up, I do agree with. There were times in my Sonic Generations livestream where the enemies just blended into the environment and I ran into it because of it. But done right, they can help differentiate the foreground from the background so not everything just looks like an unintelligible mishmash of colors. Because of that, they do play at least some role in gameplay so you can actually tell what the hell is going on and where. I honestly feel rather silly not bringing that up earlier.

    Of course, I wouldn't say that your way of enjoying games is wrong either. It's just that we both set different priorities as to what makes a game enjoyable. To me, a game without an objective is like a race without a finish line. There're no winners, there's no challenge, there's no point. But as I said in the video, I do have a reward to look forward to achieving when it's all said and done. Otherwise, I wouldn't even bother. That's just me. I still think it's possible to like Sonic games even when you put gameplay above all else. The fact that I like any Sonic games at all (as you saw in my video) should be proof of that. Hell, even Mr. Anti-Sonic himself, Egoraptor, likes Sonic 3.

    Um... you did see the video, right? Just making sure.
     
  4. Palas

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    This is not about me or the way I play games. It is about you, however, and about how it's perfectly valid that you should like a game because of its presentation etc etc. That's because, and I repeat, the process of playing a game encompasses a lot of things even if you value objectives more than anything.

    So right, you think playing Sonic is a chore. That's fine, but this doesn't make of Sonic's gameplay only what you value in games.
     
  5. Laughingcow

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    To completion, nope and I do not intend to. You preface your video for people to convince you to like Sonic which is foolish then proceed to nitpick reasons as to why it isn't fun (such as the final boss spindash fingers complaint). Either you are having fun or you are not and trying to convince someone they aren't feeling a certain way (outside of mental illness) is the type of brainwashing you would expect from a gay conversion camp. If you aren't having fun, that's fine, play something else. If you want someone to yell at you and scream about how "you're doing it wrong" this is the wrong place for that. Try Twitter or Reddit.
     
  6. The Negative Ion

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    Yes, it's about me; You're not wrong, but please understand that I'm not trying to invalidate everything that you said. I never said in the video that presentation in games didn't matter, period. Only if the game isn't worth me playing past my first go. Listen, I understand why you may be angry with me judging games differently; Rarely do we see any non-Sonic fans come up with reasonable points to dislike the franchise. And I won't deny the possibility of me not being an exception. But it's not like I can't appreciate...
    *sigh* I'm sorry, Palas. I'm sure you're an intelligent person, but I don't think we're going to get anywhere with this conversation. Thank you for your time, regardless.


    Then we have nothing more to discuss.
     
  7. The Negative Ion

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    Okay, guys. Up until now, I've been giving you all the benefit of the doubt. I made the assumption that everyone who wrote a post here watched the video and knew the full extent of my opinion on the Sonic franchise. Yes, I did it for a promotional purpose, but as I said earlier, another reason I posted here was because I wanted to have a discussion so you guys could maybe help me change my mind. I wasn't lying about that. To some, it was a stupid idea and I can understand why. Honestly, even I was hesitant on doing this. But I felt like it was a necessary move to make and I was stepping out of my comfort zone for the sake of hearing out the other side. I made the original post in the way I did to entice the viewer to watch the video, which is where the meat of my arguments are. I thought that would pique people's curiosity because on the surface of it all, this seemed like a group that would be more than happy to see another side. But had I known that no one here would be willing to go any further than the text, I wouldn't have bothered creating an account on this website. I can't help but feel like this is my fault to an extent.

    I'm sorry, everyone. I'm really having a hard time continuing this discussion when no one knows what the hell I even said.
     
  8. Josh

    Josh

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    What am I, chopped liver? :P

    To the point of your post, you are going to have a helluva time trying to convince most people to commit to a 5-minute video, let alone one that'll take up almost an hour of their time. Particularly if they're not already familiar with your work, if they're not actively LOOKING for a video to occupy their time (which isn't why anyone comes to a message board), and most ESPECIALLY if you seem to be hostile toward what is, for most of us, one of our very favorite things.

    I know that struggle well, I know how many dozens (and sometimes hundreds!) of hours of work goes into a video like this, and yet the opening paragraphs of your script that you posted in text here very nearly put ME off from watching it. Your pitch might be well-suited to a general audience who doesn't already have such strong positive feelings toward the series, and indeed, it's probably not a bad fit for YouTube itself. But honestly, you chose one of the worst parts of your script for THIS audience. The vast majority of your video AFTER the opening, especially those parts where you broke down the idea that you weren't trying to change anyone's mind and were only offering your own thoughts and perspective was where I actually started to _enjoy_ the video. It was more nuanced, self-aware, and analytical, and would've been a much better fit here as well.

    But there's the rub: No matter what you said, or heck, even if your video was instead a glowing recommendation on how you realized how much potential the franchise has always had through playing the glorious classic series, MOST PEOPLE who clicked on this thread _still_ wouldn't have taken the time to watch it. I love long videos, but most people aren't going to commit that to someone they've never heard of, and that's one reason it's so freakin' hard to get a YouTube channel off the ground. Until my sub count hit five digits, I felt ignored SO often, like people would take one look at my channel and say, "I don't need to even WATCH this! If this guy was any good, he'd be more popular than he is!" And that's no failing on anyone's part, by the way! I did the SAME THING for years before I started my channel.

    If your main goal was to, as you said, spark a discussion about the positives and negatives of the classic Sonic formula and see if a community of diehards could help you uncover what you feel like you're missing, then you'd have been much better off posting a truncated version of your full script in text, editing around some of the more over-the-top "entertainment" aspects and keeping the criticisms that showcase just HOW MUCH and HOW HARD you've thought about this series. And then, once your post has showcased some of your BEST and brightest points, THEN you could link to the video as an expanded (and visual!) version of what you'd shared with us.

    As it is, and especially with the way you're bemoaning and dismissing the people who AREN'T watching it, you're coming across more like you're just frustrated that people didn't watch your content, making it look more as if you joined primarily to promote your YouTube channel. (Heheh, yes, I suppose this sounds funny coming from the guy with his channel logo emblazoned all over his profile. But I was here for many years before I ever dreamed up TGC, and if for some reason I never made another video, I'd still be here.)

    But I mean, you said as much yourself:

    Like I said, I know firsthand how much effort and thought and passion goes into a video like this, and I know WAY too well how frustrating it can be to have something you're proud of be so summarily ignored. But people come to message boards first and foremost _for_ text, to read and engage in discussions, and to be a part of a community. Expecting everyone to commit an hour of their time to a video that initially comes across with hostility for a series so important to us _just to participate in the discussion_ isn't going to work.
     
  9. steveswede

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    If you do critique videos it's to be expected that there are people who will give criticism who won't watch your video but you already know that there are posters here who have watched the whole video and gave you critique. This is part and parcel of anything that's critical of something. I've watched the whole video and I enjoyed it even though there are things I disagree with. The only reason why I haven't discussed anything in detail is because I've got my attention focused on other things ATM and I don't want to take my mindset out of them yet.
     
  10. Laughingcow

    Laughingcow

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    And with that, I believe we can delete this thread. My first reply was correct.

    If you want to have people watch your hour long video till completion, you have to have to make a compelling argument not just nitpicks and "I don't want to feel this way about Sonic".
     
  11. Laura

    Laura

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    Just watched the video properly. I think it was really good, I've given you a like. Some points of critique:

    - I think your video's introduction could have been more concise. It's not until nearly 8 minutes in until you actually start addressing problems with the game. It's not until the 15 minute mark until you really get going.

    - I disagree with the elemental shields. I think it's pretty neat the way you can break the game with them if you know what you are doing, which is part of the reason I like Mario World's cape. However, I would admit that it's stupid when the game gives you a shield which breaks a boss so shortly before it happens (although I always interpreted Lava Reef 3 as a difficult item to get before the boss starts - although whether that's actually true is debatable).

    - I agree that the final boss is pretty bad, I find the atmosphere is what saves it. I actually agree that the Mecha Sonic boss is the best boss.

    - Now, for your criticisms of the gameplay. I agree that the classics are let down by a lack of screen space, and I believe Mania and the mobile remasters are greatly enhanced by widescreen. I agree with you that looking up and down is badly implemented.

    - I disagree with the skill aspect of Sonic, because I always interpreted people's claims that 'Sonic rewards skill' as 'Sonic rewards skilful use of momentum by letting you complete stages quicker and giving you mastery of the level' rather than 'Sonic rewards skill by letting you play an already simple game formula better, ie jumping on badniks'.

    - On the replay value, which is where I most strongly disagree with you, it's not that you *have* to replay the stages to enjoy them. For example, I really enjoyed Mania the first time I played it and had no idea what to expect. It was intuitive and enjoyable first time around, and with Mania I had an actual adult experience of playing a Sonic game blind, rather than trying to remember my childhood experience which will obviously always be inaccurate. It's more that the game has so much depth with it's moveset mechanics and alternate paths that replaying the stages allows you to experience the game in different ways and let you feel a sense of accomplishment when you can dominate the level and get through it very quickly. I wouldn't say this is a mandatory aspect of Sonic, but I would say its enjoyable. I would actually compare it to action games such as Devil May Cry 3 which have a similar approach to replay and mastery. I agree that trial and error is atrocious, and I feel that Sonic usually strays away from this.

    Now for the second half of the video:

    - I agree that trial and error shouldn't be in the game, but I think in the best Sonic games it's usually not an issue. While badniks can be unfairly placed, especially in games like CD, they usually don't kill you. I know that's not a perfect defence, but it's not as aggravating to cause a game over. In fact, I only think that Chemical Plant 2 and Titanic Monarch commit cardinal sins in this area with their unseeable crushing traps in Sonic Mania.

    - I agree with you that camera controls would be a great option! I'm actually somewhat stunned that I've never heard anyone suggest this before. I would actually suggest you check out Megamix if you haven't already, because that rom hack seemed to respond to the camera panning criticisms you have of the game (and you might be surprised to hear that I think the camera should pan with the player).

    - Actually, in regards to the camera panning, I suggest you look at Sonic Generations' Classic stages, because I think those stages handle camera panning really well. I actually think they handle the camera better than the Genesis games, but I'm careful not to annoy too many people with my admiration for Generations' classic stages :ssh:

    - I agree that faster time completion should give rewards. This is something I liked a lot about Whitehead's Sonic CD re-release, because getting good times in time attack gave you the level select code (which had a purpose due to the time travel variants of each stage), debug mode, etc. And even when they weren't unlocks i was interested in such as the D.A. Garden, it still felt great to unlock things for completing levels quickly. I strongly, strongly disagree with locking levels and bosses behind time banks or gates. That's the kind of barrier that Sonic games usually do to stop progression. I do agree that fast time completion should give rewards, I liked your idea of secret level unlocks. I could also suggest characters and other unlocks.

    - I found your parody of Nick on Planet Ripple really funny :v: . And that's coming from someone who really likes his content.

    - I agree with you that Sonic CD handles exploration really well, it's actually the aspect of the game I enjoy the most. You know, despite the flaws of its time travel mechanic and the pointlessness of the future time posts.

    - I've always loved the 3D Blast Special Stages, was great to see someone else who liked them as much as me!

    - I agree with your criticism of the giant rings, this is something I've always been uneasy with. I have a sentimentality for finding giant rings maybe because of childhood nostalgia. But I also think people like them because they are better than the alternatives. Beating a level with 50 rings to unlock the special stage is too frustrating and I find the checkpoint system frustrating too. So I kind of think that they are popular because there hasn't been a better alternative in Sonic games. I would like to see a new option which would be better.

    I do find it very disappointing that so many people here are trying to shut this guy down and get the thread trashed out of bad faith. I would like to think that we can listen to the other side of the argument without being children about it. The video is really good and everyone should check it out. It's not an immature criticism of Classic Sonic.

    This was a really enjoyable watch for me. Actually, for the OP, maybe'll you'll want to check out one of the threads I wrote here on the flaws of Classic Sonic. It wasn't super popular, but it was surprisingly well-received here:

    http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?showtopic=37057&st=0&p=904621&#entry904621
     
  12. Aerosol

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    You seem to need practice on targeting an audience, especially one most likely to disagree with you.

    Best of luck mate.

    To be clear, you need to do a bit more work to distinguish your 'Sonic Isn't Good' take from the 30 million other ones floating around in your opening salvo if what you want is thoughtful discussion.

    And not, you know. Views.
     
  13. Fadaway

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    Dear Negative Ion,

    This is why I like Sonic games. I have no video to post. I like Sonic games (the classic ones at least), because they were fun to play. The gameplay necessitated experimentation with speed and jumps, et al. That was a bit unique in a platformer at the time. The levels were mostly nonlinear, which fit the gameplay wrll enough. The presentation was to die for. The whole thing had a really great atmosphere. I am talking about 1, 2, CD, 3+K. The ones that made the series.

    In the early 1990s, they hit the spot in a major way. It was an involving, sometimes challenging, colorful, sometimes maddening, but overall fun series. If you are looking to have your mind changed, come over and hang out with me and we'll get lit and play some Sonic on an old Sega and a monitor.
     
  14. Caniad Bach

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  15. HedgeHayes

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    Funny how the guy that moans about people not paying attention to his efforts making the video refuses to pay attention to the efforts of other people writing their posts. I wanted to help you like again Sonic, not to enlarge the views of your video, primarily because I tend to ignore youtube, twitch, etc., not because I'm dismissing your work. My apologies for losing time in trying to help you. Also, dissecting the games so much won't help you a bit to like them, that's just overthinking. The way I see it, when you were a kid you were all heart and no brain, now you're all brain and no heart about this.

    About the conversation between Ritz and Palas, it's very interesting but I'd like to see it on a separate thread, both to focus on it and to not go offtopic here, and I'd like to take part, but it's hard to do it properly here. Would it be possible to move it to the members lounge or the videogames sub-forum?
     
  16. Laura

    Laura

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    The video brought up interesting things which I think warrant discussion. I'd be up for camera control options that let you zoom in and out to get the screen space the player desires. Actually, It'd be comparable to the GTA games.

    I also think the OP's video is right to point out that Sonic games don't really reward beating levels quickly. I think receiving unlocks for getting fast times in time attack mode, ala Whitehead's CD, is a good idea which should be adopted.

    There are a lot of good points in the video, but those two really stood out to me.
     
  17. Pengi

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    This was in the original release of Sonic CD as well. It's definitely an idea that should be revisited.

    I've said this many times, but bonus missions or a ranking system add a lot of replay value and challenge to Sonic games, if done right. Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Rush Adventure's missions are a good starting point.

    Each level could have missions along the lines of:

    * Finish level within X amount of time.
    * Finish level with X number of rings.
    * Finish level without taking damage.
    * Defeat boss without taking damage.
    * Defeat X number of enemies within X amount of time.

    Then there could be bespoke missions for individual characters (like a gliding challenge for Ray) or particular stages (finish Aquatic Ruins Zone without touching the water) and their gimmicks (travel X distance on a spinning top).

    These could work on a Pass/Fail basis, or on an A-E ranking system. And of course, it could keep track of the player's best scores with each character, to maintain the replay value of beating your personal best, even after clearing each mission.

    This philosophy would be an expansion of something that was baked into Sonic 1, but has gotten lost along the way. In Sonic 1, decent players could fumble through each level and get to the end of the game. But getting the good ending required players to finish Acts with 50+ rings and beat the Special Stages. This was layered gameplay - the ring health system is very forgiving for less experienced players, but players who want to get the good ending have to play a lot more carefully and skillfully, making fewer errors in their playthroughs. And this was without game saves - it had to be done in a single run!

    Sonic CD had the same system, but added an additional layer to it. You could get the good ending by beating levels with 50+ rings and beating the Special Stages OR you could get the good ending by destroying each of Eggman's machines in the Past of every level. So the good ending was made accessible both to players who valued skilled gameplay, and players who valued exploration.

    Sonic 2, 3&K and Mania lowered the skill barrier to accessing the Special Stages, and gave the player significantly more attempts, so getting the good ending became more about the Special Stages themselves and less about playing the core game skillfully.
     
  18. Overlord

    Overlord

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    I've split off the posts along the lines of Ritz & Palas' sub-discussion as best I can here: http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?showtopic=38372
     
  19. The Negative Ion

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    I'll keep it short and simple: I've learned my place and it's certainly not here. I'll spare you guys the tear-jerking monologue because I know that's not even the last thing you wanna see from me. But just know that all of this was my fault, not yours. I made myself look like a common brainless idiot who was only hating sonic for nothing more than attention right out of the gate and whether I intended to or not is irrelevant. To anyone who watched the video anyway, thank you guys for at least giving it the time of day whether you liked it/agreed with it or not. I've read all of your posts and have taken them into consideration, but I'm clearly not ready for this just yet; I'll take my leave for now. Overlord may do whatever he feels is necessary with me or this post.

    Stupid, stupid me and this post... stupid fucking idiot...
     
  20. FollOw

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    Didn't watch the video but I assume its along the lines of "Sonic was never good" IGN goofiness...