Well, originally, when I played Sonic Unleashed, I found that game very challenging, but for the wrong reasons. The primary reason, at least in the daytime stages, was because the levels were filled with bottomless pits and other traps that impeded your progress, and the level required intense memorization and quick reflexes to master, rather than carefully-executed platforming like in the classic games. However, Sonic Colors fixed this problem with its level design, but as a result, it was a bit too easy since the memorization shit was one of the ONLY things that added challenge to the Unleashed style. Still, I found some levels pretty tough, primarily the final stage, Planet Wisp Act 4, and Asteroid Coaster, however even then, some of that was a cheap way of adding difficulty to the level, such as the beloved bottomless pits.
Sonic Generations fared a tiny bit better in this department, but it still wasn't enough. I only truly felt challenged by both Crisis Cities, Rooftop Run Classic, and both Planet Wisps, while the other levels were just gleeful romps through memory lane that didn't really challenge me very much at all.
Sonic 4 Episode 1 was also piss easy until the final stage, which was just stupid for so many reasons. But surprisingly, I thought Sonic 4 Episode 2 came the closest to challenging me fairly. Yes, there's a bit too many bottomless pits sometimes, but in stages such as Oil Desert, or Sky Fortress Act 3, cleverly navigating the stage and using your platforming prowess was the key to success. The bosses also were rather challenging, sans Eggman's
Japanese tentacle porn machine
Serpentleaf, and the last boss actually felt like a REAL last boss, putting everything you've learned in the game to the test, including how to cleverly take advantage of the combos you could perform with Tails. I'll shamelessly promote reading my review of the game so you can better understand where I'm coming from. Don't get the wrong idea though - I'm not claiming it's better than Sonic Colors or Sonic Generations because of this. Challenging doesn't always equal fun.
Still, I get what Naka-san is saying, but I don't think it's fair to claim that the difficulty not being high enough alone is the reason that the games aren't as fun as they used to be (though I found Colors, Generations, and Episode 2 to be some of the best quality titles since the Adventure games). It also has to do with a lack of ironing out some bugs, which even Generations had every so often, such as the camera getting stuck at a strange 45 degree angle here and there when attempting to change from 2D to 3D, or when you press the jump button and there's a small lag between the button being pressed and the action being performed. It also has to do with some lazy design choices, such as the automated clusterfucks of springs and boosters that permeate Sonic 4. Finally, it has to do with Sega trying to shoehorn bullshit mechanics into Sonic games that just don't belong, like treasure hunting, telekinesis, or Gumby the God of Warhog, though Sega has seemed to have ended that bullshit with Unleashed.
But as a whole, I think now is a great time to be a Sonic fan, with the home console games being as good as they were over 10 years ago. But hey, if Naka-san comes back, I welcome that too, he could very well put the quality of the titles over the top, taking them from being great to "fucking amazing and actually rivals Mario" quality.
Edited by EXshad, 18 May 2012 - 10:33 PM.