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Yuji Naka doesn't think Sonic games are as fun anymore

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Dark Sonic, May 18, 2012.

  1. Hukos

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    Eh, I'm not bothered by it. Difficulty in Sonic games very rarely seems to be something that can be well done, due to the whole ring system. The only way to make Sonic games really challenging is by including cheap things like an overabundance of bottomless pits or cheap enemy placement that you have no possible way of countering without explicitly knowing where the enemy is beforehand, and that honestly just feels cheap instead of actual difficulty and comes off as frustrating. Either a Sonic games is too easy, or it becomes too cheap and frustrating.

    If I want a difficult game, I'll go back to playing Castlevania 3 for the 100th or so time, which despite its flaws feels incredibly rewarding for getting past it's difficult sections. I play Sonic games for reasons outside of being difficult (Music, level design, aesthetics, controls, physics, etc.).

    For a Sonic game to be difficult without being cheap, I honestly think the ring mechanic would have to be scrapped in favor of a health system or something along those lines. In the old games, if you get hit, you have plenty of invincibility frames to go back and grab a few rings as well as taking out any nearby bosses/enemies without regard for Sonic's safety. Essentially, if you're a smart player then Sonic has virtually unlimited health unless he falls into a pit or something.
     
  2. Guess Who

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    It's true. Generations, as polished and pretty and fun as it can be, is easy as hell. The only modern Sonic game with any real difficulty is Unleashed HD. Too bad everyone complained about how cheap it was. Babies.
     
  3. LockOnRommy11

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    I wouldn't say that anyone blames Yuji solely for 2006, though I think there was definitely something in it.

    C'mon, a founding member of Sonic Team - who was Sonic's godfather - leaves the scene during the worst year of Sonic history? There were time contraints, but Yuji leaving could have put extra strain on a game which was already without creative drive and distinction. Obviously Yuji had his own plans for the franchise when he and BigIsland fell out over the direction of Sonic Adventure 2- which was a turning point in the franchises history, aesthetically and design wise, and this shows in other games during his time like Shadow The Hedgehog.

    As soon as Naka left there was a change in the direction and style of the franchise. It was whittled down to Sonic, it became more colourful, it relied less on Dragon Ball Z style writing and design and started going back to his roots. Sonic & The Secret Rings was the first of these types of games feating simplistic gameplay and only Sonic (who was also sporting a redesign from 2006). Sonic Unleashed was next. We've since had both Episodes of Sonic 4, Sonic Colours and Generations, all games aimed at re-exploring the original Sonic stylings and bringing the series firmly back to the ground. Though it still had games in the transition to this period that kept it on the rocky road at times, like Sonic & the Black Knight, it's clear that since Naka left the series has been coming back full circle, and I dare not say that this is a coincidence.

    Whilst I loved Adventure 2 and Heroes, and I miss some of the deeper storylines of the Sonic series, I think we'l be seeing some similar things again. We're in another period currently that we're actually almost out of- what I like to call the "roots" period. Sonic is reconnecting with it's past to bring the old school and new gamers together in what made Sonic good in the first place. This is something which is becoming increasingly common in media since 2005, and is popular for such a reason. Film series reboots like Batman, Spiderman and James Bond have shown that films are starting to become more realistic and gritty, as they often were in the 60's when these franchises were at their peak, and this is reconnecting their audiences and tying their franchises up again after they've gotten out of hand (Did you see Die Another Day?). Games are also doing similar things in redesigning and remarketing their iconic series. Mario has been doing it with his recent outings, Rayman Origins is another good example, and even games like Call of Duty are going back to that old "FPS DEATHMATCH" style. Anything retro has been the rage in all stylings of media for the last few years, and I think we're starting to leave that "freshness" behind now and carry on and expand upon this new and suited style, as films and games alike are starting to do.

    Expect a fully new Sonic game in the near future with queues from the old, but totally reliant on itself without needing to go back in time or redesign graphics from past games as the recent Sonic titles have.

    I hope that made sense- I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed this whole shebang with media lately.
     
  4. Aerosol

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    They're easy...once you wrap your head around the way he moves in his environment. Watching my fiancee try to play Sonic 3 had to be one of the most hilarious things I'd ever seen, bless her heart.
     
  5. Turbohog

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    I mostly agree with what SpeedStarTMQ said. I for one don't blame Naka for SA2 onwards, but I feel like he still could've stepped in and said no to a lot of the shit ideas. He wasn't looking after the franchise or his company's name like he should have been. That being said, I absolutely love his work on the original Sonic games, Adventure, and a lot of the other sonicteam games.

    Also, I don't know about Yuji Naka, but my biggest gripe about Modern Sonic is the boost. To me, that is what makes it so easy. Although Generations wasn't as "boost to win" as Unleashed, I still feel like it was there too much. I'd rather see boosting as some sort of temporary power up personally.
     
  6. LockOnRommy11

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    Agreed, I like the boost, but I feel that there is a heavy reliance on it when there should not be. We've had quite a number of games with the boost in and it is so ingrained now as part of the series as well as now one of Sonic's abilities that I can't see it going away in future, not that I'm saying that it's had it's day yet, because it hasn't.

    The boost does shape the entire design of the 3D games though. Without the boost, I think there could be a much better transition from 3D to 2D without the game either having to have you turn a corner and stop you dead, leading to slow and clunky 2D sections, or turning in to 2D mode and having Sonic slow down to a jog, which is something Unleashed often did which just felt weird. Without the boost they could do greater things with the 2D aspect of the modern gameplay.
     
  7. MathUser

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    Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Adventure 1 I have played and enjoyed and think are pretty easy. I don't think games need to be hard to be enjoyable. It's fun to sample all the games worlds, not replay the same ones over and over to unlock the next one.
     
  8. corneliab

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    Unleashed, Colors, and Generations have demonstrated more difficulty than most of the mainline games that have come before them. He doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Funny he should be mentioning "fun" as well, considering that he seemed fine with letting Heroes and Shadow go out the door, in addition to leaving Sonic '06 to flounder.


    Yeah, no. Unless you're referring to the PS2/Wii version that no one gives a shit about, Unleashed often punished you for recklessly boosting.
     
  9. Turbohog

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    I've actually played both versions, so they might be a bit jumbled in my mind. Even if it punishes you for recklessly boosting, I'm still not fond of the many sections where you boost through a straight area and run through enemies like you're invincible. There just seemed to be a lot of autopilot in the game to me.
     
  10. corneliab

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    Autopilot sections aren't something that Unleashed spearheaded. I can probably name comparable sections/gimmicks for nearly every zone in Sonic 3&K- it's just harmless visual flair that, no, does not overshadow the rest of the game.
     
  11. Aerosol

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    The only problem I have with boosting in Unleashed (and much more so in Generations) is that it's treated less like "Sonic running really fast" and more like "Sonic activating his GO FAST powers".

    Example? How exactly do you boost down a water slide (Chemical Plant Zone)? How do you boost on a errant hook floating in the sky? (same level)? How is running directly into something a good idea? Does that magical blue aura around you deflect shit or something?
     
  12. I'd love for boosting to be some sorta "gain momentum much easier, become lighter and more agile" instead of "going full speed instantly".

    And I dunno guys, he could just be saying he doesn't find Sonic games hard because of his experiance with games? my cousins find some of the newer Sonic games very hard, similar to how I foud the classics hard when I was younger. Infact, many games nowadays that I play don't feel as hard to me as back then, even when I play old games.
     
  13. TheInvisibleSun

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    This always bothered me as well. However, I've assumed for a while that the boost is a chaos ability Sonic naturally gained, like Chaos Control (which would explain why its funded by rings (or 'ring energy') like Super forms are. Sonic basically became able to do that "Lightning Dash" Super Sonic move from Sonic Adventure, in normal form. This would explain why Super Sonic now has unlimited Boost by the time of Colors. [/irrelevant]
     
  14. Aerosol

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    An in-universe explanation is all well and good, but it's boring from a gameplay standpoint. It's like rolling every-goddamn-where in the classics. You knew you were basically indestructible as long as you had enough momentum to keep running. It was alright then, though, since you had to have some idea of what you were doing to roll around everywhere.

    But putting enemies in your way just to let you boost through them is...dumb. It does nothing to enhance the sense of speed, since it's treated more like a "kill stuff and go fast" ability rather than a reward for player skill. Boosting's only saving grace is that clever use of it is intrinsic to getting great times.
     
  15. Metal Man88

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    I'm more noting it as a "Pot calling the kettle black" situation—Yuji Naka complains about current games missing something, despite his own games (yes, including the Adventure games) being no better at addressing the basic holes that have existed since Sonic 3K was made and nothing came close to it ever again.

    I will just as heartily reject the "It's 2012 now, let's forget anything from 6 years and older ago" notion as being no better than blaming it all on Yuji Naka. What he did remains there, as a testament to how he does not have the answer and regardless of what position he is in, cannot recapture the universal appeal his earlier works had.

    He had his time to try, letting him at it again would do little to change the issues surrounding the drift away from what Sonic games used to be.
     
  16. BlazeHedgehog

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    Yuji Naka might be right with regards to Sonic's difficulty level. Part of the reason I found Sonic Unleashed's daytime levels to be so memorable and replayable is because your first time through them was a harrowing, white-knuckle experience. You were constantly teetering on the edge of going way too fast, and I found that learning to parse and master those levels was a deeply rewarding experience.

    Colors, and to a lesser extent Generations, weren't. Generations was fast, and full of plenty of spectacle, but Sonic Unleashed felt like you were constantly under pressure to repeatedly thread a needle for six minutes straight - and if you didn't, the penalty was probably death.

    I wouldn't mind another Sonic game that was like that.
     
  17. Candescence

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    Unleashed was hard as fuck, but it was for all the wrong reasons. The earlier stages were alright, but then the latter half of the game throws obstacles at you that you literally cannot avoid dying from without knowing they were there in advance, no matter if you were using the boost or not. And let's not get started on the QTEs. Eggmanland was the worst by far. The writing on the wall came when I realised that the designers were placing 1-Ups in easily-accessible locations right in front of incredibly difficult areas, especially right after checkpoints, because they could not be arsed to fix their blatantly broken level design. And Dark Gaia. Dear God, Dark Gaia SUCKED.

    Say what you will about the Wii version of Unleashed, but at least it was fair. Even Eggmanland in that game was difficult, but not for the wrong reasons, as was Dark Gaia (hell, the very first phase of the fight was so much better than the HD version, and Perfect Dark Gaia wasn't just a QTE-fest). Colours and Unleashed toned down the fake difficulty considerably, thankfully. I don't mind difficult games, but Unleashed was where I drew the line, the fake difficulty was enough to turn me off the idea of replaying it ever again.
     
  18. Hukos

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    Is it bad that I don't think Eggmanland is hard at all? Then again this is someone who can kill Robotnik in the maze in Labyrinth Zone Act 3 without breaking a sweat so maybe I'm not one to talk about difficulty. :colbert:

    As a Castlevania fanboy, I thought Eggmanland was pretty simple in comparison to something like CV3's later levels (The section where the Gargoyles are floating up and down while you're walking through a room with staircases and Bone Dragons are constantly spitting fire at you. I HATE that room), but that just might be my inner Castlevania fanboy talking. But I still though Unleashed was pretty basic in regards to difficulty, but my background with really difficult games probably influences that opinion.
     
  19. Ravenfreak

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    Gaining lives pretty quickly can make the game easy, since you'll have a shitload of lives to save you from getting a game over. And apparently, gaining lives in Sonic 4 is pretty easy. :\ In the classic games (excluding Sonic 1 rev.00) you'd need to get at least 50,000 points to get an extra life but dimps thinks you only need 10,000. :v: Though the special stages in Ep. 2 are challenging especially the last one. >.> Though I can definitely see what Yuji Naka means. It'd be nice to see him working on a new Sonic game though. :3
     
  20. Dark Sonic

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    ^ That's Dimp's way of throwing in the old continue bonus from Sonic 2, but since continues no longer exist because they would do absolutely nothing, they give you a 1 up. Granted they could bump it up to 50,000 since getting about 50,000 points is pretty easy with the score tally, but since points don't roll over to other levels for some reason, it's almost impossible to get 50,000 points without the score tally (Casino Street Act 1 is an exception at the very least due to Super Sonic god slots).

    Sonic games need to ditch lives. For some reason, Mario, Sonic, and Kirby are the only three game series I can think of that still hold on to the archaic concept of lives. They don't do anything at this point. "Oh no I lost my lives, I'll just go back to the title screen and restart." I mean, lets be honest, when was the last time anyone of us has gotten a game over in a modern Sonic game? Either the game is easy as piss or they hand out lives like candy. Honestly the only difference between losing a life and a game over is that a game over forces you to start from the beginning of the level where as losing a life means you start over from a check point. And either way you're still punished because the clock keeps ticking and you lose all your points. I really want to just see lives go away for good at this point. They mattered in Sonic 1 and 2, but even in Sonic 3 they didn't do anything. Game saves have rendered lives useless.