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About Harkofthewaa

  • Rank
    The Waaest Luigi
  • Birthday 03/10/1996

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  • Interests
    Sonic, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Fable, Sly Cooper, Minecraft, Crash Bandicoot, Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Achievement Hunter, Team Four Star, BrainScratch Commentaries, Super Gaming Brothers, AVGN, Kirby, Borderlands, Pokemon, Resident Evil, Mario, Dragon Ball Z, and last but not least, Megaman.
  • Gender
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    United States
  • Location
    The Dark Side of the Moon

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  1.    I know this comes down to personal taste, but for me what makes a bad Sonic Zone isn't necessarily hard layouts, water or weird gimmicks on their own, but in what ways the zone can be tackled on repeat playthroughs. Everyone's first time through Labyrinth is going to suck, but if you stick to it and learn the level eventually you can carve a path to get through without having to put up with it (both acts 1 and 3 have shortcuts that bypass most of the levels).

      Then there are zones like Wacky Workbench or Oil Ocean where no matter how much time you put into them you always have to deal with their crap. You will never be able to avoid getting bounced to the moon or dealing with a zone with so many paths through the blend together and you can never tell where the heck you're going.

       Oil Ocean followed up with Metropolis ( a half and half case, one can get a good groove going through the layout but the badniks, well you know how they are) are one of two reasons Sonic 2 is my least favorite of the original quartet. In comparison once you take the time to learn them Labyrinth and Carnival Night become non issues, and while Wacky Workbench is indeed worse then both the Sonic 2 zones the other six zones make up for it in my book. The other reason I like Sonic 2 the least are the Special Stages. They may look cool but between the slippery control needing either super reflexes or spot on memory I find them the weakest of the classic Special Stages.

    1. Azure Blue Tori

      Azure Blue Tori

      I never got Super Sonic in Sonic 2 because the Special Stages demanded too much trial-and-error memorization to be worth my time. It comes off as "If you're good enough to get all 7 emeralds, you're already good enough to beat the game anyway, so it's just bragging rights."

    2. Diogenes


      i can get most of that but i feel like if the "solution" to labyrinth sucking is that there's shortcuts to skip most of it, that's still just labyrinth sucking.

    3. StaticMania


      The logic of "if you're good enough to get the thing you don't need it" doesn't really apply to gameplay shifts...being good enough at S2's special stages doesn't make you good at S2.

    4. Polkadi~☆


      I would find myself to agree. Even zones that may be unfavourable to bear through, one can carve a path to finishing them as quick and efficiently as possible, including slow levels like Labyrinth Zone. But if one can't cut through the level no matter how much they memorise it, as the games otherwise expect and encourage in repeat playthroughs, then it's just a slog every time.

      and yeah, sonic 2's special stages are super wonky, especially with goddamn TAILS as a a partner

    5. Azure Blue Tori

      Azure Blue Tori

      @StaticMania I feel that in the amount of time it would take me to complete the Special Stages, I would have already beaten the game several times over.

    6. StaticMania


      In that case, yes being good at the game means you wouldn't need it

    7. Iko


      I agree as well... I also dislike that in some areas, checkpoins are hidden and treated as secret collectables... this goes against the very concept of what a checkpoint is supposed to be.

      Not only Sonic 2 is my least favorite classic game, but it's also gradually sliding down in my personal chart to become one of my least favorite Sonic games in general, because even if it has the classic physics®, when a game is not fun to play, it's still not a good game in my book.

      A couple of months ago (I think) I made a status update where I said that I played both Sonic 2 and Sonic 4 ep1 and I had more fun with Sonic 4.

      Though I adore Aquatic Ruins, that's a great zone and my favorite water level overall.

    8. StaticMania


      Considering how checkpoints are used in S2...it makes sense some are hidden.

      Though, can't say it's worth complaining about since those are often very close to other check points or near the beginning/end of the level anyway.

    9. Blue Blood

      Blue Blood

      I like enjoying levels to their fullest, never sticking to any one preferred route and getting a slightly different experience every time. And if significantly different routes aren't available, then relatively similar routes where there's still more to do than just optimise you're performance. That's why I unapologetically love the layouts of several of Sonic's levels in '06 (Kingdom Valley, Tropical Jungle, Dusty Desert, Flame Core...) and why SA2's Sonic/Shadow levels get tiresome for me. Metal Harbour for example is a really nice layout, but there's only one very narrow path to take and has absolutely no fat. You get the same experience every time. It's a good experience, but one that feels shallow to me.

      Levels like Labyrinth and Wacky Workbench are laden with crap that I don't like having to deal with. And if you somehow avoid all that crap... You're probably avoiding playing upwards of 90% of the level. That's not fun. It's hard to call that "playing the game" when you're making every effort not to play some of it. 

      @Iko Checkpoints are never treated as secret collectibles. In some areas of S2, there are checkpoints stashed away behind secret walls or on top of loops, but that is solely for the purposes of entering the Special Stages. There are always checkpoints along the main path as well. The method of entering Special Stages in S2 is a problem for sure, but I really don't think that checkpoint locations are the issue. The ones that are out of the way aren't practical of worth bothering with seeking out unless you're going for the Emeralds. And in that case... Yeah, why shouldn't they be hidden? S3K, Mania and Rush handle Special Stage entry methods much better.

    10. Wraith


      There are now multiple classic games where every path you can take is fun so we dont have to settle for labrynth zone anymore

    11. Iko


      @Blue Blood and @StaticMania From my last playthrough I remember going through some zones without finding any checkpoint for a very long time... I can't remember details, but I'm pretty sure that at some point I needed a checkpoint but I couldn't find it, and it happend more than once throught the game. Anyway I think that hiding checkpoints makes very little sense even if they are extra ones, it's kinda stupid... if you don't want people to access special stages easily, just hide the rings or make the level harder so you will more likely lose them... or use a completely different method for accessing special stages, such as the big rings of Sonic 3.

      There are 7 checkpoints (if not more) just in Emerald Hill, you can get Super Sonic there and then cheese the whole game, while even just Chemical Plant (the zone right after) has very few of them.

      Though, on the subject of alternate routes, I think that Aquatic Ruins is a good example of how to handle them: there are very few actual routes, most of it is just one wide route that can be traversed in different ways depending on the skills of the player (if you are skilled enough you can stay at the top and skip most the water, but it's actually challenging to do so, and not really a "shortcut"). If you make a set amount of completely separated alternate routes then you have the problem of the boost games where occasionally there are different routes but they never cross each other once you take one.

    12. StaticMania


      Late reply: but some stages only have 2-3 checkpoints and it's less that they're hidden and more them being on certain paths..

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