Would You Rather A Modern Or Classic Style Game For The 30th Anniversary Game

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MagnusTheGreen, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Individual aspects of M64 are dated, like the camera, graphics, controls, etc. But the package as a whole? Nah, I don't think so. I can still enjoy it on replays to this day.

    Of course, the whole matter is subjective. Someone said that SA1 had a more "inflexible" camera than M64 and more control issues, when the opposite is true from my experience. Someone else said that Rayman 2 has aged better than M64 and SA1, and I... kind of agree. It wasn't as affected by the passage of time -- I replayed it a few years ago and it's exactly as repetitive and over-linear as when I first played it two decades ago :V
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  2. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    I'd say it's the exact opposite: You can tell Nintendo wanted to make a game that lays the groundwork for future instalments in general. The package as a whole looks bland, but underneath it all, it's really about nailing the mechanics and did an outstanding job. I can tell because even though it looks dated as hell, it's still fun. BELIEVE ME. It lets you forget how nonsensical the whole premise really is. SA1 went a slightly different route. Nintendo + 3D = Mario 64, SEGA + 3D =/= SA1

    Both were on different missions.
     
  3. Aerosol

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    It was me that said the camera was inflexible. I was referring to how often camera control is outright ripped from you during set pieces.
     
  4. Azookara

    Azookara

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    Not to get too off topic, but what you call over-linear I call some of the most focused and well done platforming I’ve seen in a 3D game. As for the repetition bit, idk what you mean when basically every level introduces a new idea. Unless you mean the combat, which is scarce enough anyways. lol

    It’s imo maybe the best linear 3D platformer out there besides the Adventures. If I were to point Sonic in any direction on how to do gamefeel it’d probably be the one, since it also seamlessly implements story beats throughout the stages.

    Anyways, got on a tangent. Just wanted to say that. :V
     
  5. kyasarintsu

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    DX may have been a glitchy pile of crap but it's certainly no worse than the Dreamcast version was in that regard. For every glitch that got added, there's another glitch that got fixed. The original Japanese was even more riddled with them.
    The increasingly-broken rendering is certainly not giving viewers good impressions when they play DX. I'm weird and don't really mind most of the graphical changes, thinking that a lot of the original color schemes were kinda gross or kinda garish. I don't like Station Square and its weird yellows and blues and all the greenish lighting in some areas, for example. I'm not going to defend the broken lighting and rendering effects, though.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  6. Laura

    Laura

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    Rayman 2 was great. I played I when I was a kid and found the game really hard because it used this new, terrifying control system called an analogue stick :ohdear:

    I didn't play Ape Escape until afterwards lol.
     
  7. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Ok, but I personally found M64's camera more limited, as it only lets you swap between set angles. And those angles are more often than not pretty poor, especially when you're trying to cross narrow bridges. SA1's camera could be freely moved 360 degrees around the player, and it gave me much less trouble. I also found that I could control it in most instances I actually needed to. Again, just my experience.

    Focused, linear, they're the same thing. There is such a thing as being too "focused" in my book; I've always found myself enjoying those kind of games less than more open or non-linear games. Props to you if you like that play style, but the over-linearity ruined games like Zelda: Skyward Sword or Uncharted for me, and I'd personally hate it for Sonic to go Rayman 2's direction.

    Repetitiveness: Rayman 2 had little enemy variety, the player character had very few moves, and the dark and gloomy environments got old after a while for me.

    When I first played it was an ok game, but nowhere near as enjoyable as Mario or Sonic for me.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  8. Overlord

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    Reminder this topic is about Sonic games. =P
     
  9. BadBehavior

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    We already did. Its called Sonic Forces. I have a better chance of getting a PS5 than I do of seeing any substansial branching path in that games levels.
     
  10. Azookara

    Azookara

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    All Sonic games are linear, though. Even the ones you think are not. Forces is just an especially bad one.

    The reason I brought Rayman 2 up in discussion was because that game makes the most of a linear level structure in 3D. The level design is forward moving (but not just hallways) and always engaging the player with different kinds of platforming and puzzle-solving, and any place off the beaten path always served a purpose. “Open” games often suffer from lack of that purpose, even in the best ones, and I don’t think platformers need a lack of that.

    Anyways yeah, moving on lol.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  11. Blue Spikeball

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    I meant "over-linear" as in having a single path or giving the player little to no freedom. Most Sonic levels have branching paths.

    I suppose taking influence from more "focused" games would be ok as long as we don't lose those :V
     
  12. Nope

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    Is a branching path not just multiple linear levels in one level
     
  13. Blue Blood

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    In 2D Sonic games, not really. You've ultimately got to get from A to B, but it's not usually the case that there's a series of discreet routes leading there. The levels are more like webs with a critical direction; the routes are stacked vertically which means that you can switch between them very regularly, and each path nudges you in the direction you need move in to get to the goal (typically this is to the right, but for brief moments you may need to go left or vertically). So the levels are linear if you mean 1 starting point and 1 ending point, but the different paths available to you only remain discreet for so long before they wrap around and through each other.

    It's an area where 3D Sonic games largely fail in their offerings for multiple routes. The paths are spread out horizontally instead of vertically, so there's far less opportunity for the paths to organically intersect and the player to be given choice. You basically just choose a branch at pre-set intervals. The 2D games have this too, but in 3D the paths are much further apart across an extra axis. The concept of upper and lower paths is almost entirely lost in 3D Sonic games.

    SA2 uses linearity as a strength though. It's almost a bit more Mario-esque in its design philosophies than other 3D Sonic games. The paths very rarely split, and when they do the result tends to just be a shortcut. It's all about following a tight path and a very structured platforming sequence. There's little room for experimentation, but tons of room for skill. So that's unlike the 2D games on terms of layout, but it uses the difficulties of 3D level design to focus on different strengths instead. It's clever.

    The boost games... They don't do alternative paths or linearity very well. Boosting means that the levels are typically very linear, and the branching paths are totally separate routes that meet up to the main path after about 5 seconds. You almost always switch between 2D and 3D at choke points; all branching paths meet up suddenly in order to stop the levels from becoming too sprawling. And the linear sections are normally pretty dry too, with the more interesting moments coming from the slower sections. Yes Sky Sanctuary and Seaside Hill are better than several other boost levels in terms of the amount platforming and routes they offer. And the Unleashed levels have more rapid-response 3D sections and the 2D sections are more like diversions than the main attraction but... Ugh.

    I don't really know where I'm going with this. But the boost and 2D sections encroaching on 3D levels have got to go.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  14. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Do you have examples of what you mean? I've never seen an analysis like this before.
     
  15. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    Forget it, Mario's design philosophies are a beast of its own. Even Miyamoto doesn't know exactly how to put it into words. But hey, prove me wrong.

    Looking at the 2D Marios I think the comparison isn't too far-fetched.
     
  16. Blue Blood

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    I've seen lots of people that aren't Sonic fans criticise the 2D games for having "labyrinthine" or "confusing" levels that don't have any single set path, meaning that it isn't always obvious which way to go. They also criticise the non-liearity for disrupting the flow of progression in a stage. That means that you aren't guaranteed to come across obstacles in any one level in the order of ascending difficulty and complexity because of how open the levels are. And most of the time when you come across an obstacle, you can either turn around and take a different path around it or just brute-force your way through thanks to the ring loss system.

    SA2 doesn't follow that same approach (talking about the Sonic and Shadow levels here, if that wasn't obvious). The levels are very narrow and barely branch off at all. Like in 2D Mario games, you have to witness almost everything that the level has to offer on any single playthrough in SA2. This is unlike the Classics wherein you can play the same level a number of times and might not see the same paths at all. SA2 doesn't really make you explore to find the fastest path or the safest path or what you think be the most fun path. You just go on a fairly strict platforming trip directly from A to B without any detours. If you make a mistake in SA2, your punishment is pretty harsh, often dropping you in a pit and bombarding you with more enemy attacks. That's always the way it's felt to me. SA2 laser focuses on optimising your runs, which is the same as 2D Mario.

    It's a pretty loose comparison to Mario. I don't mean to say "SA2 is more like a Mario game than a Sonic game" because lol no. The main point is this: Classic Sonic is fairly open, giving you a lot of freedom in moving through levels and obstacles however you like. Something like SA2 is focuses on giving you much more specific, carefully tailored levels that don't let you experiment as much, but in exchange give you a specific set of challenges and want you to optimise each run. The latter is a design sensibility in 2D Mario.

    The reason that I single out SA2 rather than any other 3D Sonic game that's mostly linear (SA1, Heroes, 06...) is that SA2 really, really makes the paths narrow. You can't really go off the beaten path because there isn't anything there at all. The levels are very tightly focused on just moving from one obstacle to the next. There's not really much physical room to do things differently in SA2.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  17. Laura

    Laura

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    My best friend hates Classic Sonic precisely on these grounds. He said something like "great, there's loads of multiple paths, but they all lead to the same goal so who cares?"
     
  18. I think its safe to say that most gamers have played both Mario and Sonic at some point of their lives, and depending on which one you played first, can really color your expectations of platformers in general. We've all seen the fan rivalries over how Mario and Sonic handle being platformers.

    Mario's approach is definitely more ubiquitous though by virtue of just being far more successful than Sonic, and much more mainstream. Everybody likely hasn't played a 2D Sonic game, but you can be damn sure that most people have probably touched a 2D Mario game at least once. Imagine growing up on 2D Mario games, you check out Sonic and discover that it has a very different approach and feel from what you know from platformers at the time. It's jarring and probably feels like crap at first.

    Think a big problem Sonic has always had is that it's fundamental design principles are completely at odds with what many identify in a platforming game. Platformers are slow and methodical (until you master them to point of speed running that is :V), but Sonic's entire emphasis is on being fast; and before anyone corrects me, I know the further details about Sonic, but how many of those details are known to a casual gamer? It took years of us playing and dissecting these games to understand how they work, and some of us still can't wrap our head around these games.
     
  19. Overlord

    Overlord

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    This is a very American-centric viewpoint. I could say the exact opposite about Europe.
     
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  20. SuperSnoopy

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    I...dunno, in France at least I can guarantee you anyone in my entourage under the age of 50 has either played a Mario game or know who the character is at the very least.
    ...While I can count the number of people I know having played a Sonic game on one hand (My step brother, and that one guy I met in college 2 years ago that said he liked Unleashed)
    Despite how important he's always been in my life, my mom literally didn't know what the fuck was a Sonic until like 6 months ago lol.

    The game field was more even in the 90's (I wasn't there but I feel like it's been documented enough), but when it comes to Europe I wouldn't say everybody hasn't played a 2D Mario game, and I certainly wouldn't say most people have played a 2D Sonic game.