don't click here

YouTuber raises some interesting criticisms of the 16-bit Sonic games

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Josh, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Josh



    I _did_ really enjoy his video, but I think what he addresses as criticisms are very difficult for me to see as such.

    First, the bosses. I know you were suddenly confined to a smaller space with no way to recharge your rings, but Mega Man did the EXACT same thing, and I consider Sonic's bosses to be a lot more creative than that. Beating them comes down to mastering skillful movement and timing, which is EXACTLY what being great, rather than good, at a Sonic game is all about.

    But I get what he's saying. Sonic games lose accessibility as they go on. Anyone can blast through Emerald Hill and have a fun time, but by the time you hit Mystic Cave, that same newbie will be slamming into enemies constantly, losing rings, losing flow, and getting more and more frustrated.

    Another good example of this is shown when he's talking about the water levels, and how you have to be "lucky" enough to find a bubble. He dies, despite the fact that a bubble just spawned right above his head. It's not really about luck... those bubble spawners all make big bubbles at the same rate. Had he mastered the timing of them, he'd have jumped earlier and survived.

    I think the problem, then, is that "mastering skillful movement and timing" simply isn't something you HAVE to do to get through the game. At no point, until those tough-as-nails end bosses, does the game ever impede your progress completely. You can slam into enemies, pick up a few rings, and limp through to the final level. Then, because you were never expressly DIRECTED to do anything but blindly push ahead, you'll lose all your lives to the final boss because you never became skillful.

    But Sonic isn't about winning. Sonic is about mastering the flow of the game. That's exactly WHY the early levels are so quick and easy to breeze through... it's a game that you're meant to come back to again and again, getting better and better each time. That's the "arcade" style mindset taken to its best conclusion. It's why 19 years after getting Sonic 2 for my birthday, I can still fire it up and have fun with it.

    That kind of game simply isn't _for_ everyone, though, especially not if you're more into the idea of "games-as-experiences." There's nothing wrong with a game being more about the experience than the game, of course. I just beat Bioshock Infinite, and I adored it. But Sonic, even NOW, is more about the mastery of the mechanics through trial-and-error.
  2. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    He does raise very interesting points about what constitutes Sonic and what are the inherent contradictions to some of its premises, but... no, Sonic isn't about speed. It's a game like any other (which means it is abut winning). You use the speed to win, that's what's important. Whenever people start from the premise that is actually their perception, they'll reach such conclusions.

    In order to win and for that to feel fully satisfying, you must lose. It's simple as that. Frustration is what happens when the game crosses the line, true. But it's interesting, yes, for a game to have its remarkably difficult parts because, see, the whole point is being remarkable. So then the guy talked about how "games were short blablablalb cheap parts to make it longer blablalb" I believe he's talking nonsense. Not because it's untrue - and even then I'm pretty sure there is a slight distortion of perception there because he (and mostly everyone) talks as if today's standards were already present in full extent at the time. RPGs were there, sure, but so what? But the main thing about the "cheap parts" is - it's the fucking final boss. No game has to "keep the flow" or even force itself to be fun.
  3. FuzzballFox


    Hmmmmm Member
    UK - Hampshire
    Nothing anymore
    Sonic 3 & Knuckles EASY MODE
  4. winterhell


    I agree that some boss fights are a bit of a letdown(final boss fights are fine). Checkpoints before the end of level is a dick move too.
  5. steveswede


    Ask my hand
    Fighting against the Unitary State of Europe
    Most boss fights are garbage in the classics. There are only a handful that are genuinely well thought out and creative and tend to be the ones that you face late in a playthrough. If Sonic 5 became a reality I would love to see bosses on par with Final stage boss, Flying Eggman, Barrier Eggman, Crystal Egg Zone boss, Screw mobile, Big arm and Red eye.
  6. Metal Man88

    Metal Man88

    Time Traveller Oldbie
    Water levels did suck, and the platforming would get egregious in it, but I think he was fishing for problems that don't exist when he began screaming about Super Sonic—the bosses are pretty easy, the only exception is Sonic 2's final boss, which remains the most evil Sonic boss ever.

    Realistically, it's the lack of advertising that cripples them today. If you compare the old 16 bit games to games like Sonic Colors, you can see the quality is about the same, but the advertising was just not there for Sonic Colors, so nobody really played it, knows that it exists, or would ever believe it's any good if you told them about it.

    SEGA simply doesn't have the money or consoles to do that with, so Sonic will remain "fallen" from competing with Mario. Even though it had nothing to do with quality and everything to do with advertising after you break the "decent" quality barrier.
  7. The good things he said about the games were right, but the bad things I sorta disagree with. I basically always had fun whether going slow or fast, but the most fun I had was when I used my momentum to reach basically anywhere I wanna go, which is why exploring in Sonic is fun because I'm not restricted by the jump height and fixed speed like other platformers.
  8. redhotsonic


    Also known as RHS Tech Member
    United Kingdom
    I never realised how many checkpoints near bosses there were where you couldn't get rings. Probably because I never died so much on them when I first played.
  9. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    IIRC, this is mainly a problem with Sonic 1. S2 has some instances of it, but by S3K you were always safe.
  10. Lord Nero

    Lord Nero

    Resident Nintendo Hater. Member
    Claymont, DE.
    Let's Plays, Work and Animation.
    That....was certainly interesting, but, as has already been stated before, some of those "problems" he was going over did indeed seem like fishing for them.
    Case in point: Confined bosses. :v: What game doesn't do that? (At least back during that era) Megaman does it, I don't see people complain about that. Mario does it as well. He was talking about reaching the bosses without rings and blah blah blah, but in both previous examples, its just as simple to reach a Robot Master will little to no energy or a Koopa Kid/Bowser while small, so, where's the difference?
    Fishing for problems aside, it was still interesting to watch, and the classic series does have its fair share of problems, as all games do, but I couldn't agree with the lot of the so called "problems" he was saying. At least it wasn't a straight up "let's bash the series just because" kind of video though.
  11. LockOnRommy11


    I have to disagree about most of what this video suggests. The games got harder when your skill didn't .. that's a negative? No, there's always room for improvement, otherwise I wouldn't be able to now beat the classics without dying, or beat games like Mario which are played in pretty much the same way.
  12. Hukos


    The only valid criticism is that the boss fights were garbage (Which they are, even the dreaded Death Egg Zone boss fights in Sonic 2 are easy enough if you're good at the game).
  13. Tiller


    HDK & World Runner
    I'll agree with the bossfight rhetoric. Sonic Bosses still haven't evolved passed memorize a pattern on Eggys gadget of the week and bop on the head. Even modern bosses suffer from it, with Generations and Colors having some of the worst in the series (TIME EATER AEDFADFA). It's something I wish would grow out of and take a much different direction. I actually might prepare a topic on this very subject if someone else doesn't get to it first.

    Everything else though....nope. For the reasons highlighted above. When you advance in level, your skill should be growing in game. If you refuse to learn to get good, or are simply incapable, maybe video games aren't for you. These games were made at a time where difficulty people coming back with gameovers and no saves, not the everyone can feel good about beating the game due to severe handicaps.
  14. Hukos


    Am I the only person who thinks Sonic games were some of the easiest games in the 16 bit era? Compare it to like, Megaman or Castlevania and Sonic's pretty easy in comparison.
  15. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy

    Tech Member
    Doom 32X
    The only time I had trouble with the air bubbles was playing Sonic AND Tails... that little f-cker would ALWAYS steal my air bubble right when I needed it most! :argh:
  16. Captain L

    Captain L

    The guy who likes Shadow the Hedgehog Member
    Waiting for the coming of the Great White Hankerchief
    Air bubbles were always an issue in Sonic 1 especially, when it could seriously just take too long for one to come up.

    My real problem with the 16-bit Sonic games, which I still love, is the sometimes questionable level design, 2 and CD especially. Both games had an issue with enemies, spikes, and bottomless pits greeting you just for moving forward, impossible to dodge unless you memorized the level or had insanely fast reflexes. There was one point in Sonic CD where I was running across a clear pathway, hit a spring hidden into the ground, and got carried into something that hurt me. And it was at the end of the level too, so if I was going for a Time Stone (not that I am, because CD's special stages are balls), I'd be screwed. And I know that 2 had issues like this too.
  17. So this kid's problem is the same ones that other kids have these days: he has ADHD, needs his hand held constantly and needs immediate gratification every two seconds. Because if a game isn't playing itself while telling you you're a winner, what's the point?
  18. Herm the Germ

    Herm the Germ

    Hmm, not bad. Well done, doctor! Member
    Dresden, Saxony, Germany
    MIDI-to-SMPS-conversions, mostly. Takin' requests, too.
    Considering I have objectively shitty opinions on Sonic games, I am positively surprised to actually see someone else having noticed this. That is exactly my primary problem with Sonic CD and 2 in particular.
  19. Josh


    In Sonic 2, I don't notice it. I think that's due to my extreme familiarity with the game more than anything, but also the fact that the level design is a LOT more compact.

    In Sonic 1, 2 and CD, I always disliked the "boring" parts of stages. Marble Zone is full of them. Springyard has the dull moving block columns. Metropolis's screw bolts are terrible offenders. Because I'm so damn good at the games, these sections aren't difficult by any means. They're just dull. They're impeding my progress, and there's NOTHING I can do to become more skillful at them, so I feel like I'm just waiting.

    Sonic 3K wasn't nearly so bad about this. The airship in Angel Island goes on too long, I suppose. Sandopolis has the rising sand, but that's more of a skill challenge. Probably the only out-and-out offender I can think of is the elevators in Flying Battery, but that's not repeated often enough to be too dull.

    But I really, really despise Sonic CD's level design sometimes. There are people who like exploring in Sonic games, and there are people who like finding the fastest path. If my earlier grievances didn't make this obvious, I'm definitely the latter. Sonic CD isn't always kind to us. For most of the game it's pretty manageable, but Stardust Speedway can be obnoxious, and FUCK EVERYTHING ABOUT Wacky Workbench. The awesome music is the only thing that makes me drag myself through that level.
  20. Hukos


    If it's any consolation, you can skip all of the rising block sections in act 1 in Spring Yard if you get the speedshoes at the start and have the bumper shoot out over the top of the level :eng101:

    I don't think you can skip them in act 2/3 though.