Jump to content

Blacklightning

SSMB Moderator
  • Content Count

    7,930
  • Joined

  • Days Won

    23

Reputation Activity

  1. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to Blue Blood in Being Optimistic About Sonic, The Franchise and The Future   
    I see this point brought up a lot. You're not wrong; Forces isn't close to being Sonic '06 bad. But that's not really why Forces gets as much hate as it does. Force is "meh" to the nth degree, and almost comically misses the point on everything that it tries to do. The dark storyline that can't hold a consistent tone for even one scene, the Mania tie-in and use of Classic Sonic, the return of Boost gameplay that's gimped to the extent that it makes Generations' Green Hill look complex, the tiny levels, the most basic character creator ever, the bland visual and audio design, the fact that most of its hole-ridden plot takes place on the menu, the uselessness of most of the characters in the story, the absolute rock bottom production values... That fact that it took four years from the release of Lost World to deliver what is a functional Generations follow-up that fails to understand or recapture the magic of said game. And the fact than Forces came hot on the heels of Mania.
    Seriously on that last point. Over 20 years since the last true Classic Sonic game and SEGA finally delivered with a bunch of indie developers at the helm and it was met with universal praise, the likes of which Sonic hadn't actually seen since the Dreamcast. Classic or not, it was unheard of for a Sonic game to do this well critically. The game was swimming in positive press. And Forces brought that all crashing down just months later with its aggressive mediocrity. I think it may be the case that Forces actually outsold Mania, because at the end of the day the market for cool-looking 3D games is always going to be bigger than sprite-based 2D side-scrollers these days (outside of Mario), and the people talking about Forces negatively online aren't all the same people who actually played and enjoyed it. 
    You may have strong feelings about Forces one way or another, or you might even be totally ambivalent towards to it. But I don't think that you can really say with a straight face that Forces doesn't beckon all of the vitriol it gets. Forces built up a lot of steam for itself pre-reveal and pre-release. SEGA themselves were talking about focusing on quality and regaining the trust of fans. But the game was, in the eyes of many, nothing more than a damp squib. And to someone like me who's been through it all in the series' history, it was something of a kick in teeth not unlike Sonic 4. All talk and no walk. 
    After Forces managed to be such a letdown in so many critical areas that it promised to deliver on and how it took so long to materialise... yeah, I understand the "doom and gloom". I don't necessarily agree with it mind you, because this series had me jaded a very long time ago and I routinely expect Sonic games to miss a very low bar anyway. The series has gone quiet since Forces (and TSR if you remember that game exists). It left us on a bum note and hasn't done anything to inspire confidence since.
    EDIT: Just for clarification, I'm not saying "Forces is objectively bad", since on re-reading my post it does sounds like that might be what I'm implying. My point is that a collection of factors, including Forces on its own own merits, the generally disappointing nature of Sonic games over the past 2 decades and the juxtaposition for Forces and Mania next to each other, make it pretty clear why morale in the online, vocal fanbase might seem low. 
  2. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to Ryannumber1gamer in Balan Wonderworld (Yuji Naka + Square Enix)   
    I imagine using the stage design itself to tell a story, even if you don't necessarily need dialogue to convey it. For example, Sonic 3 & Knuckles taking you through the different areas of Angel Island until you slowly find the areas Eggman's taken over and built militarised bases around, and towards the end, the ancient murals depicting Super Sonic and Eggman's fight, implying that the echidnas had foretold the events of the game would happen.
    Zero dialogue, but a lot of information you can infer from the visual design and level progression alone.
  3. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to Kuzu in Should the Freedom Fighters come back to IDW Comics?   
    Characters are allowed to have more than one defined role. 
    Why are some of you being so obtuse about this every time this subject arises.
  4. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from DabigRG in Humans in Sonic   
    Having recently replayed SA1, allow me to float an alternate reason for that - it's not necessarily just because fans want to hurry up and get over the fluff so they can get to the meat of the game, but also because SA1's absurd jank makes intentionally interacting with anyone a massive pain in the ass. Not only do you have to be in a very specific position and facing to trigger dialogue in the first place, but it's triggered with the same button that most characters in the roster use to attack. Best case, people start feeling like assholes for punching people just for trying to get a word out of them and start abstaining out of respect, and worst case you're playing as Sonic and zip to the opposite side of the map every time you miss because you just triggered a spindash, so they start abstaining out of frustration instead.
    I'm sure the stronger designs and better written dialogue are still key reasons why a lot of people prefer Unleashed's NPCs instead, but I have little doubt that the quality of life improvements that Unleashed brought to hubs was itself a huge factor that a lot of people have taken for granted. I do wish it didn't come at the cost of a nerfed moveset whenever you're in a hub area with NPCs in it, but I also recognize it's kind of a necessary evil until some madman figures out how to make that shit work without compromise somehow.
  5. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to Domino in Humans in Sonic   
    Just make a button prompt appear over the NPC's head when you're in the right position to talk to them. That way, the player doesn't have to wonder what's going to happen when they press the button.
  6. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to SSF1991 in Being Optimistic About Sonic, The Franchise and The Future   
    Rushed and unpolished games, poor writing, and poor level designs didn't help matters either. Those, in my opinion, did the biggest damage to the games.
    When I think of an ambitious Sonic game that kept with the feel of Sonic, I think of Unleashed. I think of Adventure 2. Hell, even 3D Blast was kind of ambitious in its own way.
  7. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to Blue Blood in Being Optimistic About Sonic, The Franchise and The Future   
    The "dark age" didn't just take risks and surprise us though. It took really stupid risks and was wondering down the wrong path. SEGA were pretty tone-deaf then, and they've been pretty tone-deaf since Generations as well. I get it; I'm nostalgic for the SA1 to Unleashed days too. But I just wanna keep things in check.
    SEGA need to strike somewhere in the middle. The pendulum swung really hard one way with games like ShTH, '06 and Black Knight and swung really hard the other way with Generations.  But then Forces and Lost World both struck somewhere in the middle and got it all wrong in different ways...
    lol it sounds like SEGA's got an impossible job. But honestly it's not the case at all. They've just been under horrible direction.
  8. Fist Bump
    Blacklightning got a reaction from MetalSkulkBane in Can Silver gameplay work?   
    I've been over this before, but the tl;dr version is that a good Sonic moveset prioritizes mobility above all else. Preferably you want to be able to both move and attack with the same move, but under no circumstances do you ever sacrifice mobility for it because it makes gameplay feel incredibly janky from a Sonic standpoint. Even if it ever manages to be good of its own merits, it will always beg the question of why the fuck you would ever choose a Sonic game to do it in, because Sega has plenty of other beat-em-up franchises that could stand to benefit from the inspiration. Silver in 06 is a failing in every one of these fields, and yet it's difficult to abandon it completely because it's a big part of his identity and frankly, still what most people remember him for.
    The best compromise that comes to mind is just to make him a Klonoa expy - have him telekinetically grab and pull enemies to him with one button press, and then either jump to use them as a platform or surf them to gain lateral distance depending on the needs of the level design. Maybe let him keep his 06 hover if there's nothing nearby to grab, although I wouldn't make it bring you to a sudden stop every time you use it. That shit's annoying.
  9. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to Blue Blood in Sonic Generations: the forgotten “good” Sonic game   
    I honestly feel like I was saying all this ten years ago, but the loudest voices in the fanbase were still calling Generations an all-time great of video games with its only substantial flaw being that it was too short. There was some pretty extreme tunnel vision going on back then.
    Generations is a decent game, a 7/10. It's definitely well on the good side of the spectrum, no question. But it's a heavily curated experience that sorely lacks depth. It's a platformer with 18 levels, 7 bosses and a final boss divided amongst 2 play styles. Each level takes only a few minutes. There's virtually no story to speak of and the hub is basically an interactive menu. That's makes good a game that's tiny. Teeny tiny! And it sorely lacks an identity; it had this problem when it was new simply because it was a celebration of the past, but that's been doubled down on by Mania and Forces aping much of its premise. There's filler content in the form of some very slap-dash missions that recycle the levels you've already played in very uninteresting ways, and I seriously doubt that anyone is eager to replay many of them. 
    When you get into the meat if the regular levels, they don't really match up the platforming contemporaries of its time or the previous Sonic games. The levels are constructed like a series of set pieces that will play out more or less exactly the same every single time. The game has a physics engine for Sonic's movement, but Sonic's physics are invisibly overriden all the time, changing his speed and direction in unnatural ways. This is completely unlike the more innovative platformers of the 2000s and 2010s and makes Generations seem a bit half-arsed by comparison. Or at the very least, discourages repeat playthroughs by homogenising the gameplay experience.
    It lacks the depth of the games that it's supposed to be emulating and celebrating. It doesn't offer the same amount of content as it's contemporaries. The platforming genre has moved on in the past ten years, and Generations remains the critical pinnacle of 3D, with the 3D games following it widely regarded as duds or failing to capture the same magic.
    Generations, following on from Unleashed and Colours, should have marked the beginning of an upwards trend for 3D Sonic games. But as time marched on, Sonic couldn't match Generations again. People have "forgotten" about it because it was never amazing outside the scope of just how dire things had been for the series in the 2000s. To say that it's been forgotten though is totally wrong. Once people got over the hype of a decent Sonic game, they more or less settled on thinking "yeah its pretty good" and the series has failed to keep people engaged every since.
    tl;dr Generations isn't bad or forgotten, but it is unremarkable beyond its novel use of nostalgic elements at the time and for being better than Sonic "the first good 3D game in the series" Colours. Now that the shock factor is gone, there's not a great deal to talk about because the series hasn't progressed or improved since and we're back to boring or bad 3D Sonic games.
     
  10. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to Wraith in Sonic Generations: the forgotten “good” Sonic game   
    Colors and Generations just aren't that remarkable in the wider scope of gaming. New Super Mario Bros, Donkey Country Returns and Rayman Origins were all much better value for your money and that's not even getting into the wide amount of non-platformers we had as alternatives. They weren't groundbreaking technical showcases, they didn't have any flashy gimmicks or endearing new characters, and they often couldn't even live up to the depth of the Sonic games they were emulating. All they had was their gameplay, and on that front those games are just too shallow and devoid of content. 
    I don't want to be too mean to these titles since I certainly got my money's worth out of them, but they certainly weren't as competitive as Sonic games were in their heyday. Unfortunately they made some creative decisions that put them in direct comparison with older Sonic games and they couldn't measure up to that either, putting them on notice with hardcore fans. 

    This is all okay with me, btw. I don't think they'reunderrated or anything. They got the exact amount of recognition I think they deserved before everyone moved onto better things. 
  11. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to Diogenes in Sonic Generations: the forgotten “good” Sonic game   
    I don't think people forgot Generations. I think they realized it's just ok. Gens Classic was always a pale imitation of actual classic Sonic, and with Mania crushing it at that goal there's not much reason to go back to it. And while Gens Modern may be some of the best the boost gameplay has been...it's still the boost gameplay, and with the game approaching 10 years old I can't imagine there's much left to get out of it.
     
    Generations is definitely miles better than games that are bafflingly designed or outright broken. But looking back at it, long after the honeymoon period...it's just ok.
  12. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Zaysho in ITT BL reminisces over his entire game library   
    This is more what i was referring to. Kirby's had a lot of spinoffs, sure, but there's usually a substantial amount of its iconography and mechanics intact enough to justify calling it a Kirby game, and it was clear from a glance that they were built from the ground up with him in mind. Without Kirby's face in Epic Yarn, you probably couldn't tell they were related. The mechanics are fine, but they're as alien to Kirby as Doki Doki Panic was to Mario, and it can be kind of a bad habit where Nintendo are concerned.
    It's actually in large part because of the icy reception I had with Epic Yarn that I skipped over them, honestly. Especially because it was drawing the spotlight further from Fluff, who is honestly an interesting character who could stand to be seen and explored more, and because Yoshi didn't really feel like he had a "main" game since the N64 so humouring more of the wooly stuff felt like a bad idea. I dunno, maybe I'll give it a shot eventually, but I have a gut feeling I'd only enjoy it marginally more than i did Epic Yarn.
     
     
     
    Aaaaaand with that, the list draws to a close. Today's the last sprite. And honestly, I think I feel a little frustrated more than anything, because this has been a steady habit for almost a year and now I need to find something else to do to occupy my time. Maybe it's about time I thought about time I started trying to actually animate something, cos I started this list with the intention of being able to make a game someday and that intention definitely hasn't changed. Maybe I'll come back to this thread later to give a few awards to certain games, maybe eventually I'll put everyone together into one group picture like I originally intended. Eh, no point dwelling on shit I'll probably end up doing as spontaneously as this project started. So I guess I'll just say thanks to those of you who have been staying tuned all these months, and finish off with:

    Hobo (Jazzpunk)
    "Comedy" games usually elicit a huge groan from me. It's not uncommon for a game to establish itself as nothing more than a basic concept and a name and try to claim it's funny based on that alone, like what happens every 4-8 years when the internet has a new president to make fun of: "OooOOOooOOO lEt'S pUt ObAmA iN a ZoMbIe SuRvIvaL gAme" and then not doing anything else beyond making a functional zombie survival game that just happens to star an unusual main character. Even games that attempt to tell actual jokes tend to fall flat a lot because as it turns out comedy is a very difficult and subjective that tends to be found fairly rarely in people who program and design for a living. Even when you directly involve people who can make genuine jokes in their own medium, it matters a lot less in a videogame because good videogame humour is told through subverting the expectations its own mechanics create, not just telling it through dialogue and cutscenes, which is something that career comedians in other mediums tend to struggle a lot with. Even Stick of Truth and Fractured But Whole, despite modestly good and honest attempts in weaving the two together, tend to fall flat on delivery a lot bar a handful of honestly brilliant outliers. These are none of the words I would use to describe Jazzpunk.
    Jazzpunk is simply put, the funniest god damn game I've ever played. It may essentially be a walking simulator in all but name, but it constantly subverts expectations with all the mechanics and situations it does give you, and is always keen to reward you with more for looking around. You can get all the way through the intro and the first mission in under two minutes if you really wanted to, but you won't because they pack a RIDICULOUS amount of gags into such a tiny space, even going as far as to provide sidequests that don't give any material award and don't need to because the gag is its own reward. Hell, even the way your character interacts with the world on an incredibly basic level can still make for a convenient gag every now and then, such as how your character reacts to falling from a great height. As usual, trying to refrain from giving specific examples here, because genuinely funny games are best experienced with as little context as possible, just like genuinely well written games are, because honestly both are two sides of the same coin anyway.
    There isn't a whole lot I can bring myself to complain about. One could say that there's an overall lack of direction, but sometimes the gag is that you can interact with a specific object or NPC at all so honestly, providing any more direction than the game gives you like highlighting interactable objects might end up taking something out of the humour instead. There are occasions where they'll play the same joke more than once over multiple locations in the same level, and as much as I can appreciate the dedication necessary to make a full fledged Quake 3 clone complete with functioning AI for a single gag it definitely left me feeling frustrated that I kept re-opening it over several different places expecting something else to happen. And honestly, your player character could stand to be a lot faster than they are right now, partly because it takes too long to get anywhere and partly because that could have led to other gags of its own. On the whole though, Jazzpunk is consistently hilarious slapstick almost all the way through, and there are very, VERY few games I can say that about. It's definitely a game everyone should play once if they have the ability to, even if it won't bite the same way on subsequent playthroughs. It's just that brilliant at what it does.
     
    And that's a wrap!  I'll try to fix the rest of the broken links on previous pages whenever I get a moment, but thanks again to everyone who's been keeping track of this stupid project all the while!
  13. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Azure Blue Tori in ITT BL reminisces over his entire game library   
    Ditto (Pokemon Stadium 2)
    Pokemon has an... interesting relationship with console games, almost exactly the opposite as they would be with any other IP. Whereas handheld titles were once known as bargain bin distractions designed to hook people into their console variations, console Pokemon games have a habit of being supplementary experiences to the handheld ones, to the point that a main Pokemon title recently releasing on the Switch at all was seen as precedent forming. We'll get into the how and why of that later - the point I'm making is that console Pokemon games were by design completely different experiences to what you tend to expect from their main output - sometimes to a frustrating degree - and Stadium 2 was by no means an exception.
    The first thing that stands out about Stadium 2 for me is the Pokemon Academy. Understand that until this point, fighting in actual Pokemon battles was typically ever seen as a strategy with two elements - being higher level than the enemy, and having an advantage against the enemy in the game's signature scissors-paper-rock roulette that is the typing system. The former, however, doesn't actually occur in this game, because every scenario either has strict level limits, or your opponent's levels will match your highest level Pokemon. More on that later, too. The Academy was incredible at the time because it taught you in no uncertain terms that there was actually quite a bit of strategy at the highest level of play if you had the patience to suss out a team and their moveset synergy and raise them up from scratch. From simple stuff like Thunder and Earthquake being able to stuff Fly and Dig spammers respectively (of which there were a LOT of back then) and weather effects having an effect on certain moves beyond just being a power buff, to stuff that I never would have considered such as Endure + Reversal, the separation of Defence and Special Defence and the ability to hit Pokemon with high evasion boosts. Even the MAIN Pokemon games never covered its own strategy in this kind of depth. Why the fuck did they not? It feels like something that should have gone without saying, and yet main Pokemon games seem to exhibit a greater degree of confidence in being a numbers game and not much more.
    Well, one point is that Stadium 2 needs players to grasp its strategy, because people can't brute force this game with levels. To wit, there is absolutely no focus on raising your own Pokemon from scratch - instead neary every single Pokemon of the first two generations is available to you right from the start and you simply mix and match them for the task at hand, where importing your own team is merely an optional bonus made possible by the Transfer Pak, a controller plugin that accepts Gameboy carts. This SHOULD have been the game's greatest strength - to completely remove the tedious process of levelling up your team as a barrier to competitive play, just pick some Pokemon and make them beat each other up. There's just one problem - the rental Pokemon are intentionally underpowered, with completely base stats and movesets you can't actually change to your liking, made worse still by the fact that evolved Pokemon often have significantly worse movepools than their weaker, unevolved forms. It's actually comical in a way how much of an advantage NPC trainers have over you just on account of being able to design and execute synergizing movesets completely to their liking where you can't, to the point that importing your team from a cartridge is legitimately your only option for completing some fights.
    What Pokemon Stadium 2 SHOULD have been is Pokemon Showdown before Pokemon Showdown Pokemon Showdowned. Just a game where team building and strategizing forms the core of the experience and all the obstacles in the way of doing so are removed, essentially forming a competitive Pokemon sandbox. What we got instead was a scheme purpose built to force people to buy Transfer Paks, knowing full well that the game would be a chore to play without it, and knowing full well that the ability to pick your own distribution of stats and moves would have solved this problem without the need for an external Pokemon game to make it playable. Dick move, Gamefreak. Dick move.
  14. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Azure Blue Tori in ITT BL reminisces over his entire game library   
    Pikachu (Pokemon Yellow / Gold)
    It always did puzzle me how Pikachu became the mascot of this series. You can only find them in two places in their game of origin, and the earliest chance you get of finding one is a mere five percent chance per encounter. Meanwhile the one they DID intend to be a series mascot (Clefairy) faded into relative obscurity pretty quickly. How the shit did that come about? It can't have been just the anime alone, right?
    As far as JRPGs go, Pokemon stands out among many reasons because your party is never set in stone. Granted, there are some specific picks that benefit you more at the earliest stages (probably most infamously in Gen 1's first gym, which specializes in Pokemon that resist nearly all attacks commonly found in that region), but the franchise as a whole has made a big deal of appealing more to the player's tastes and living with the hand they're dealt, as well as collecting a wide variety of them to keep your options open. Of the games I've played, the level progression is pretty well balanced - it's not uncommon for a boss-tier trainer to have a pokemon 5-10 levels above yours, but that's usually because it forms the centrepiece of their team and can't withstand an assault from several well-balanced Pokemon of your own.
    However, I find that the overarching messages of Pokemon fall apart very quickly once you dip into the competitive scene. Not only are a relatively small number of Pokemon considered viable in serious matchups, it even comes down to a relatively small number of variations of those specific Pokemon. Getting a good team together these days has devolved into an absolute shit show of breeding googleplex amounts of eggs out of Pokemon and then throwing them away immediately after hatching them if they aren't born with a very specific set of skills that you can't change any other way. Isn't it super fucked up to proclaim a message of "any choice can be good with persistence and a bit of love", and then actively fucking encourage people to abandon them by the hundreds when they don't have the exact stats they want? Nevermind that the bestiary is unbalanced as it is - I CAN understand the difficulty in that, considering they've got to be approaching quadruple digits by now - but the overall effectiveness of a specific Pokemon being determined by how they're born and not what you can train them to do goes against basically their entire fucking narrative, not to mention forms a barrier to competitive play that has no business being there. That was the exact moral being taught by the first movie all the way back in fucking 1999, for crying out loud.
    For the longest time, the Pokemon franchise to me has been in a state of stagnation - much like Sonic, knowing they can get away with just about anything as long as people keep buying into them and don't question it too much. And don't think for a second that this is me jumping on the Sword/Shield hatewagon, because this is a stance I've held since Diamond and Pearl. Almost the only real major changes Pokemon seems to demonstrate between games is an increase in roster, in fact in more recent years it's even fallen into the very same "make up a game-specific gimmick and disguise it as progress" trap that Sonic has ever since Heroes. If Gamefreak doesn't stop being lazy and bother to get their shit together, sooner or later this whole thing is going to crash and burn spectacularly, and they're not going to know what to do with themselves when it happens.
  15. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Azure Blue Tori in ITT BL reminisces over his entire game library   
    Master Hand (Super Smash Bros)
    I realize I've harped on a lot about the standards of fighting games on this list so far, but Smash Brothers stands out as the exception to most of those rules. Most people, especially nowadays, remember simply for the star power of its roster, and it's difficult to argue that it doesn't factor into its popularity - it stands as one of the most ambitious crossovers of all god damned time, growing steadily more and more so with each successive entry in the series, to the point that it has singlehandedly mended old rivalries, buried hatchets and even crossed party lines in the name of gathering gaming's greatest icons all in one place. If you told me 15 years ago that there would be a fighting game where Mario, Sonic, Cloud and fuckin Terry Bogard could all be fighting each other in the same match, I'd have thought you were taking the fucking piss.
    Smash would never have gotten that far though without its unique approach to fighting, offering an incredibly low barrier of entry while still keeping the same ludicrously high skill cieling that modern fighting games are best known for. See, I've already criticized the genre for dressing up cheat codes as a part of its standard controls, but that's only a part of the problem - the other part is that characters have a tendency to not even have the same cheat codes. Sure there are QCFs and double QCFs, but some characters don't even have those, and some have inputs that just make no sense at all unless used through some buffering system that's never explained to you (such as Zangief's full circle motions). Neither of these things serve any purpose at all but to foster a culture of elitism and necessitate hours apon hours reading out movesets in a training mode to be able to play a character at a bare minimum level to be considered viable, to say nothing of the level of execution you need to be able to string these motions together sometimes just a matter of frames apart. Smash sees that stereotype in action and says "no, fuck that. Everyone has the same controls, and you never have to press more than one direction and one button."

    That's not to say characters are designed uniformly, or even that they're equally as simple - far from it. The meta has had... hiccups over the years, there's no doubt about that, but the roster has still been incredibly diverse in its application no matter which game you're drawing from, and Ultimate in particular is notable in that there's so many otherwise obscure character picks that have managed to stand out because of the amount of work the team had done to level the roster out.  There's something for just about everyone nowadays - yes, even the people who prefer to have cheat codes sprinkled into normal gameplay. It's fucking crazy that we have characters that can fight almost exclusively with projectiles, with borderline rube goldberg machines and Fsmashes that can kill in two hits if they manage to bait someone into them, all in the same game as more mundane punchy kicky characters and characters that might not even be necessarily bipedal, and they'll all still have their own individual merits at the end of the day.
    It's just unfortunate that these days I see it as a franchise that's failed to keep with the times. If you play it with people in the same room it's still fantastic, but shoddy network architecture and shockingly bad netcode have kept it from performing well anywhere else, especially now in these trying times where playing the game in person is no longer an option for much of the developed world, and for many wasn't even before we had a fucking global pandemic forcing us to stay in our homes. And honestly, it's a struggle to play Smash Ultimate for any other reason, because its singleplayer offerings have become steadily worse and worse over time - even with the push for World of Light, which turned out to be little more than a series of infuriatingly poorly designed event matches without much real connection to one another. I haven't actually played the game in any meaningful capacity since the Joker update, because a single character and a series of balance changes doesn't really do anything to draw me back to the game even when it's as monumental as Banjo fuckin' Kazooie. Was it really so hard to just bring Smash Run back? ffs
  16. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Azure Blue Tori in ITT BL reminisces over his entire game library   
    Sometimes it feels like comedians have the easiest fucking job in the world today. Some of them don't even really have to write actual jokes about modern affairs anymore - you can just run a clip of a political gaffe completely unaltered and in context, and the absurdity of the shit they spew on a regular basis will often draw laughter just by itself. Reflecting on it a little more made me think back to some of the earliest years I spent on the internet interacting with other people, who shared much the same sentiment towards videogames - often the best way to get a point across was to make it funny, and often the best way to be funny was to be blunt as a fucking brick. A lot of this did lead to dozens of people trying to be internet tough guy at once, and admittedly it had a tendency to create a lot of drama that didn't really need to be there, but there's a part of me that still feels slightly nostalgic for those years, where it wasn't yet socially inappropriate to just murder a motherfucker with words to make a point, even if they weren't asking for it.
    Some internet personalities embraced this way in covering videogames themselves, which brings us right back around to the angriest gamer you've ever heard...

    The Angry Video Game Nerd
    A character concocted by one James Rolfe, AVGN holds a fair bit more influence over my outlook on things than I'd probably like to admit, and is probably the reason I find the bad easier to pick out than the good in any given game. He originally started out as the Angry Nintendo Nerd before he was picked up by Screwattack, and his schtick was mostly picking on shovelware in the NES library - "playing the shitty games so YOU don't have to", or so the saying goes. And true to the opening paragraph, AVGN was at his funniest when showing a game exactly as it was and letting it speak for itself, albiet with his profanity overlapping it. Out of all the episodes I've watched, I don't think a single one exemplifies this better than the one that got me into him in the first place, the Dick Tracy episode:
    Usually when he cuts from the game, it's to elaborate on his thought process a little more, engage in dramatic cartridge smashing (or system smashing, as it was in the 32X episode), or just to playfully vent about the given situation some more. But he sometimes has a bad habit of going off on some extended skit that is almost irrelevant to the game at hand, and to be perfectly honest I can't think of a single time it's actually been funny? He was so close with the Atari Jaguar episode, but he milks out what should have been just a cut and dry gag of a character breaking the fourth wall and instead milks out out with almost two minutes of shooting at gifs with various peripherals and teasing his cat with a laser pointer. That's pretty tame compared to some of the shit he pulls in later episodes where he more or less draws it out into short films in of themselves, to the point that I've started just shutting off videos out of habit once he runs out of game to cover because I already know the video is just going to go downhill after that point. Some people can pull off this kind of irrelevant humour practically without thinking about it, like Jontron, but James is definitely not one of those kinds of people. Are his fans just too nice to tell him that or something?
    I think one last thing that's unique to AVGN, though (besides his unique perchant for shit jokes, of course, and I mean that in the most literal sense and not as a jab), is that he's very much a sole survivor of the old guard of his era. He wasn't the only person from back then who based himself around openly raging against terribly designed videogames, and he even had many copycats trying to flock to the success he had doing it - but he's one of the few people I know of who's STILL doing it, yes even today, without even a single controversy to his name. And believe me, there were controversies. And I think this is a better indication of his true character than anything he shows as a character - he has no ulterior motives, no histories of abuse, not even any tendencies to beg for likes and subscribers. He's just a guy that loves doing what he does, and I hold a hell of a lot of respect for that, and I probably still would even if he DID stagnate somehow.
    Judging from the Ecco video he put out not long before I made this post though, I'd say he's still got it.
     
  17. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Azure Blue Tori in ITT BL reminisces over his entire game library   
    Guildmaster Wigglytuff (Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series)
    God. It feels like nobody, not even Gamefreak, knows what they have with the PMD games. Am I really the only one who genuinely prefers them over the main games? Is that really a controversial thing to suggest?
    Alright alright, fine, I'll elaborate. You remember what I said all the way back on page one?
    Well if I had to pick one word to describe PMD's gameplay, it would definitely be "imposing". In just about every game in the series, dungeons are long, trecherous slogs, where packing and preparing beforehand are key and a single mistake can potentially doom the entire expedition. And not everyone can handle strategizing their way around Pokemon 10-15 levels higher than them - fine, I get that. But I still wouldn't have it any other way, because it makes EVERYTHING feel like a genuine accomplishment, even the little fundraising side missions you do in between encounters with the main storyline. I won't say it's absolutely perfect. Hell, there are a LOT of things I wish they would change, because I honest to god believe it could stand toe to toe with the main series if Gamefreak and Spike Chunsoft took it seriously, even though it has steadily been improving with every successive game.
    For example, you only directly control one Pokemon in your party at any given time, leaving the rest to be controlled by AI. There are aspects of their behaviour you can influence, such as their aggression or which specific moves they're allowed to use, but positioning and strategic moveset application means a LOT in PMD fights, and simply put, you're almost always not given the options to utilize it to its fullest extent, and often it feels like it could have been as simple as allowing players to go through every party member's actions a single turn at a time whenever they're not just wandering around looking for loot and exits. What makes this lack of strategy all the more annoying is that there is a great deal of importance placed on getting through confrontations with minimal losses, and again, can mean the difference between living another day or having to restart an entire 20 floor dungeon from scratch - quite literally, in the first few games, losing either yourself or your partner to fainting is a failure state, even when you have other team members to carry on. And it doesn't help that you also lose almost everything you were carrying, which is a layer of punishment none of these games need and it pretty much forces you to reload from a save for how much time and money it wastes getting back up to that point again.
    I also think that, despite quite obviously being fashioned after a roguelike, I think it could sometimes stand to be more... well, roguelike? Granted, I totally expect some aspects of it to have limited options - making character portraits for nearly a thousand Pokemon is already a pain in the ass, nevermind the eight or so frames you need to make for major character's mood portraits. But just the same, I kinda wish something like Zero Island was a standalone mode or a side game you could pick up and play at any time, where you're given a literally random level 5 Pokemon instead of one of a selection of existing starters and a few fan favourites you can choose from in the story mode, then forced to clear a gargantuan dungeon with only whatever resources and party members you can gain along the way. It would be nice to have some element of it I can play at any time without having to invest in it beforehand, in much the same way I would get out of The Binding of Isaac or the survival mode in Puyo Puyo Tetris, not so subtle foreshadowing.
    One aspect of PMD that unquestionably shines above the others, though, is its writing. It's something that I wish that I could explain in better detail, partly because it's hard to talk about without spoiling it and partly because I'm honestly pretty bad at talking about characterization to begin with, but PMD is just so goddamn good at creating likable characters out of their pocket monsters where previously they were just somewhat intelligent animals with a one word vocabulary, and I would honest to god have the audacity to say they all trounce the main series's writing by a pretty fucking huge margin - yes, even Gates to Infinity, widely upheld as the absolute nadir of the series for its comparitively mediocre writing and smaller roster. They're really good at getting you invested in its setting and its characters, and will always set you up for a real tear jerker of an ending whenever it can help it, even when you know exactly why ahead of time. There is a single digit's worth of games I can say that about and genuinely mean it. I am dead fucking serious.
    Look, at the very least, you owe it to yourselves to try Explorers of Sky and see for yourselves, because so much of the gaming populace is really missing out on what should be considered a classic in its own right, and I think that just might be a sadder truth than any ending that Pokemon Mystery Dungeon can muster.
  18. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Azure Blue Tori in ITT BL reminisces over his entire game library   
    Lemmings
    This is a title that's seen a lot of audiences. PC, Genesis, SNES and Amiga just among the ones I can recall off the top of my head, to say nothing of the legacy it's had since. So in a way, it almost defies the need to introduce them. So instead I'll lead by saying I had the Genesis version, which will probably come as no surprise if you've been paying attention to my list thus far.
    Which has the best version of the soundtrack and I will fight tooth and nail on this one
    Anyway, Lemmings is a bit hard to classify. It's got shades of puzzle and real time strategy games, but doesn't really fit snugly into either niche. Essentially, lemmings file out of a starting point one by one, wander forth and only turn if they hit a wall, and it's your job to give them commands to save them from walking right into deathtraps and guide them towards the level exit instead. A lot of these are very simple solutions early on, like a single mass of solid ground separating start and finish and only requiring you to dig one tunnel to safety. Later on, though, you're simply given too many to take care of at once, usually requiring you to either guide your lemmings into a ditch and ramp up or through, or to sacrifice one to keep all but a select few behind, where they blend into a completely indistinguishable mess of white, green and blue pixels. And it's hard not to feel like a lot of it will boil down to luck.
    There's really no way to target a specific lemming of your choice when they start to overlap on the screen, so it's rare that the finnesse you either need or want actually comes to fruition. At the very least it would've been nice to isolate which direction you want your command to be executed in, because quite often you'll waste them by making diggers punch air or making builders slap right into a wall next to them - and those commands have limited uses, especially later in the game, making the lack of precision all the more frustrating. Oh and just to rub salt into the wound, this version didn't have battery saves. Which in a pre-savestate, pre-emulator world, meant writing down a long-ass password somewhere every time you had to put the game down, and hoping you weren't called away suddenly before you had a chance to.
    Honestly Lemmings feels like it could have solved a lot of problems if it just calmed the fuck down and not shoved like 100 individual units into a level at once. It's a great and original concept, but too much of it is spent hoping you pick the right individual lemming in an incredibly dense crowd, and that shit sucks.
  19. My Emmerdoods
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Angyu in ITT BL reminisces over his entire game library   
    Prince Fluff (Kirby's Epic Yarn)
    It isn't hard to see what Epic Yarn was going for here - it's a game themed around soft things, scored with a minimalistic, largely solo piano soundtrack, sports absolutely no fail state and is narrated entirely by one guy who is clearly trying to run an impression of a very young English children's show. I understand what they were going for - I just don't like it very much. And okay, picking on a game clearly meant for people much younger than me is obviously kind of a cheap shot, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to find value in its design decisions. Key among them being its philosophy on difficulty. Now if you're anything like I was when it first came out, you're probably asking "what difficulty? Didn't you just say there's no way to die in this game?", and honestly, you'd be right to ask. Even falling into a bottomless pit just has the game lift you back up onto a nearby platform.
    The basic idea is that your end of level rank is determined by how many beads you collect in the course of any given level, and taking a hit or falling off the screen causes you to drop some. From the outside, it looks like it tries to tap into the same kind of magic that Kirby's Dreamland had - people of any skill level can play it, and none of them are entirely left out. Avoiding damage is one thing, but I find it difficult to consider obsessively hunting hundreds of meaningless pickups engaging, let alone enough of a measure of the player's skill to grade them on it. It's pretty much the same problem I have with most TT Lego games - most of the time it just feels aimless in its design and hoarding shit for hoarding's own sake, although even the Lego games at least left you SOME reward for it that wasn't just a shiny medal. And I dunno, just in general I feel like it really fucks with the perceived stakes of any given game when you literally cannot lose it, and I liked it better when Dreamland simply just gave you an alternate, much harder mode instead for those left wanting more after the first playthrough.
    To make a statement that's less controversial though, this is one of those kinds of games any franchise of decent legacy seems to inevitably get. You know the type - your Super Mario Bros 2's, your Starfox Adventures's, your Metroid Prime Federation Force's and your Castlevania Lords of Shadow's. It's a game that has absolutely no business being a Kirby title, but gets thrust with the name and face of it anyway just for brand recognition and an incredibly vauge resemblance. Credit where credit's due, it's astonishingly smooth and well animated in gameplay, is a unique concept in its own right and as far as I can tell, works just fine with its actual intended audience. Did Nintendo really not have enough faith in those things for it to be able to hold up based on its own merits? This was a Wii title after all, right at the height of the public impression that they were ultimately for kids above all else, and I can't imagine it would have fared much worse if it'd sold on Prince Fluff's likeness instead. For me personally though, I just find it kind of dull once I get past its visual style. There is certainly room for difficulty without fail states, but it requires difficulty to be based on something other than tedium as a punishment, and this ain't it.
  20. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Cuz in Does Super Sonic Suck?   
    Let me be clear first of all - there are definitely cases throughout the series where this much is 100% true. '06 and Unleashed in particular rank among the worst of the worst for this very reason, because they're huge departures from everything the player has experienced up to that point and often need more time to adapt to than the game gives you. There are also clear exceptions to the rule in SA1 and Heroes, in that they are the same prior gameplay in all but aesthetics and an extra dash of scale added to them. That being said, I feel like making this a single issue argument of learning curves is kind of reductive, and misses the bigger picture of why some of my favourite super fights work as well as they do in spite of this. Which I'm just going to come right out and say are S3&K's and SA2's Super bosses.
    The first point is one you all but made yourself: as far as Doomsday Zone is concerned, Super Sonic is a reward. A bonus. Something you really have to go out of your way to unlock. To even get there in the first place you have to go through the Special Stages, which are themselves non-standard and stand in stark contrast to the core of Sonic's normal gameplay. In this respect, they synergize surprisingly well - to unlock Doomsday Zone is to display that you already have a tolerance for gameplay fundementals that can shift unexpectedly, so the shift from platformer to pseudo-schmup can't really phase anyone that's been through a minimum of seven rounds of 3D auto runner. Likewise, anyone who finds Doomsday Zone's gameplay shift distasteful is more than likely ignoring the Special Stages required to get to it anyway, so they don't have a chance to be turned off by it. Both spectrums of players get exactly what they asked for, and both are satisfied.
    Secondly, and probably more importantly: they're really not all that complex? Either they're so simple that the gameplay switch almost immediately speaks for itself (seriously, who could play Doomsday Zone and be tripped up with the expectation of pressing a direction to move in that direction?), or they're structured in such a way that the player's own actions form the learning curve needed to master it WHILE they're fumbling around with it. And it's in this respect that Finalhazard, whether accidentally or intentionally, is actually kind of a stroke of genius. One of the first things the player learns while experimenting is that their jump and spin buttons cause them to fly upwards and downwards respectively on the Y axis, but they also cause you to keep drifting in that direction when triggered. So players will often keep floating up and down in rhythm to try and keep themselves level with their target as well to avoid incoming lasers and hazards - and it's through this behaviour that the player discovers, completely incidentally, that either if not both of these buttons also function as a pseudo Homing Attack once they're actually in range of the Biolizard's weak spot. So the diversion from Sonic's core mechanics doesn't even need to matter if you understand what a typical player's behaviour is going to be and use that to coach them into figuring out exactly what they need to be doing and only testing them on it once they grasp it. This is what a good learning curve should already be doing anyway - just that most games don't pack it all concisely into the span of a couple of minutes like SA2's final boss does.
    Thirdly, mostly just out of morbid curiosity: how exactly do you do a boss battle of this nature any other way? Much of the time you can't just take Sonic's gameplay verbatim and plonk them unchanged into these confrontations because they're spaces in which platforming gameplay has no opportunity to function - often literally they take place in the cold vaccuum of space, beyond any semblance of gravity or solid surfaces to push your feet off of. Even when the final bosses are terrestrial in nature - like they were in Unleashed and Heroes - the whole thing is just a big void with a giant thing in the middle to approach and beat the shit out of. And even Adventure 1, which is an exception to both of these, has no way to test your platforming chops anyway - the whole thing is just moving in a straight line and occasionally weaving slightly to the left if a projectile approaches you. I realize I'm saying this otherwise as a advocate of characters that are consistent enough with one another that they share a core set of fundementals rather than having to master entirely different genres between them, but a game need not be the same shit from start to finish just for consistency's sake alone. Even the best of them can mix things up every now and then, because they can display a sense of restraint and forethought that Sonic Team usually doesn't have time to engage in - like that one time they introduced an entirely new beam at the very end of Metroid Prime and left the onus on the player to figure out how to use it, if we're still using Metroid Prime examples.
    Because Quick TIme Events are quite rightly derided as lazy-ass non-gameplay in its absolute most distillied form - a crutch that incredibly bad game designers use when they can't be bothered either designing game mechanics to suit the narrative outcome, or using the desired narrative outcome to inform the emergence of gameplay mechanics. Final boss QTEs in particular are rightly derided as the biggest possible anticlimax a game can be short of detailing the aftermath in a plain text epilogue, and it's for many of the same reasons that the OP claims - because they themselves have no respect for any of the skills the player has built up over the course of the game and relegate the final blow of the game to a glorified game of Simon Says. We already did this in the ending of Sonic Unleashed, and nobody liked it. Why on earth is anyone even entertaining the thought of going back to that now?
  21. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to JezMM in Does Super Sonic Suck?   
    Just an alternative idea - they could make it so Super Sonic is a proxy to some other kind of gameplay.  A good example would be the Special Stages from Sonic Lost World 3DS (ignoring the controversy of them being gyro controlled).  It wouldn't have been so out of the blue if a Super Sonic boss tasked you with fighting a boss under those same gameplay conditions. Like this example, a Super Sonic boss could use the basic control scheme of a pre-existing "minigame" that has been a part of the game the entire way through, with an extra ability or increased speed to make Super Sonic feel just a little more special than being just a reskinned version of said minigame.
    Understandably I could see people taking issue with this if they'd rather the game be one consistent gameplay style all the way through - it's a valid request, but at the same time, many Sonic games have already inserted alternate gameplay in and been well-recieved, and plenty of critically acclaimed games have incredibly contrasting gameplay moments without issue.  Shrine gameplay and Horseback Archery gameplay in Breath of the Wild are worlds apart in terms of style, but I don't think many people would say that the Shrine gameplay would've made for a better climax.
    I used the term "minigame" here as a shorthand to communicate that this gameplay would be different from the core Sonic platforming experience, but as long as it's fun and well-integrated, it doesn't have to present itself as a "minigame".  It could just be a natural part of the game that just happens to be different from other parts of the game, and an option to make the Super Sonic gameplay less out-of-nowhere.
    Special Stages, "Sky Chase" Stages and Mach Speed sections are some existing examples from the series that could be recurring throughout the game and lend their gameplay to serving the basis for the Super Sonic fight at the end (preferrably following a final exam boss or stage of the "main" gameplay style).
  22. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to azoo in Does Super Sonic Suck?   
    I’d just make Sonic gameplay have the Spindash while Super Sonic has the boost, and center the challenge on trying to maneuver a map with that much speed. Maybe even let him retain speed in homing attacks? 
    I’ve always found Super Sonic kinda boring since outside of bosses it’s effectively just having speed shoes and invincibility at the same time, so a changeup or two like that could be a fun addition. 
  23. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from azoo in Does Super Sonic Suck?   
    Let me be clear first of all - there are definitely cases throughout the series where this much is 100% true. '06 and Unleashed in particular rank among the worst of the worst for this very reason, because they're huge departures from everything the player has experienced up to that point and often need more time to adapt to than the game gives you. There are also clear exceptions to the rule in SA1 and Heroes, in that they are the same prior gameplay in all but aesthetics and an extra dash of scale added to them. That being said, I feel like making this a single issue argument of learning curves is kind of reductive, and misses the bigger picture of why some of my favourite super fights work as well as they do in spite of this. Which I'm just going to come right out and say are S3&K's and SA2's Super bosses.
    The first point is one you all but made yourself: as far as Doomsday Zone is concerned, Super Sonic is a reward. A bonus. Something you really have to go out of your way to unlock. To even get there in the first place you have to go through the Special Stages, which are themselves non-standard and stand in stark contrast to the core of Sonic's normal gameplay. In this respect, they synergize surprisingly well - to unlock Doomsday Zone is to display that you already have a tolerance for gameplay fundementals that can shift unexpectedly, so the shift from platformer to pseudo-schmup can't really phase anyone that's been through a minimum of seven rounds of 3D auto runner. Likewise, anyone who finds Doomsday Zone's gameplay shift distasteful is more than likely ignoring the Special Stages required to get to it anyway, so they don't have a chance to be turned off by it. Both spectrums of players get exactly what they asked for, and both are satisfied.
    Secondly, and probably more importantly: they're really not all that complex? Either they're so simple that the gameplay switch almost immediately speaks for itself (seriously, who could play Doomsday Zone and be tripped up with the expectation of pressing a direction to move in that direction?), or they're structured in such a way that the player's own actions form the learning curve needed to master it WHILE they're fumbling around with it. And it's in this respect that Finalhazard, whether accidentally or intentionally, is actually kind of a stroke of genius. One of the first things the player learns while experimenting is that their jump and spin buttons cause them to fly upwards and downwards respectively on the Y axis, but they also cause you to keep drifting in that direction when triggered. So players will often keep floating up and down in rhythm to try and keep themselves level with their target as well to avoid incoming lasers and hazards - and it's through this behaviour that the player discovers, completely incidentally, that either if not both of these buttons also function as a pseudo Homing Attack once they're actually in range of the Biolizard's weak spot. So the diversion from Sonic's core mechanics doesn't even need to matter if you understand what a typical player's behaviour is going to be and use that to coach them into figuring out exactly what they need to be doing and only testing them on it once they grasp it. This is what a good learning curve should already be doing anyway - just that most games don't pack it all concisely into the span of a couple of minutes like SA2's final boss does.
    Thirdly, mostly just out of morbid curiosity: how exactly do you do a boss battle of this nature any other way? Much of the time you can't just take Sonic's gameplay verbatim and plonk them unchanged into these confrontations because they're spaces in which platforming gameplay has no opportunity to function - often literally they take place in the cold vaccuum of space, beyond any semblance of gravity or solid surfaces to push your feet off of. Even when the final bosses are terrestrial in nature - like they were in Unleashed and Heroes - the whole thing is just a big void with a giant thing in the middle to approach and beat the shit out of. And even Adventure 1, which is an exception to both of these, has no way to test your platforming chops anyway - the whole thing is just moving in a straight line and occasionally weaving slightly to the left if a projectile approaches you. I realize I'm saying this otherwise as a advocate of characters that are consistent enough with one another that they share a core set of fundementals rather than having to master entirely different genres between them, but a game need not be the same shit from start to finish just for consistency's sake alone. Even the best of them can mix things up every now and then, because they can display a sense of restraint and forethought that Sonic Team usually doesn't have time to engage in - like that one time they introduced an entirely new beam at the very end of Metroid Prime and left the onus on the player to figure out how to use it, if we're still using Metroid Prime examples.
    Because Quick TIme Events are quite rightly derided as lazy-ass non-gameplay in its absolute most distillied form - a crutch that incredibly bad game designers use when they can't be bothered either designing game mechanics to suit the narrative outcome, or using the desired narrative outcome to inform the emergence of gameplay mechanics. Final boss QTEs in particular are rightly derided as the biggest possible anticlimax a game can be short of detailing the aftermath in a plain text epilogue, and it's for many of the same reasons that the OP claims - because they themselves have no respect for any of the skills the player has built up over the course of the game and relegate the final blow of the game to a glorified game of Simon Says. We already did this in the ending of Sonic Unleashed, and nobody liked it. Why on earth is anyone even entertaining the thought of going back to that now?
  24. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning got a reaction from Soniman in Does Super Sonic Suck?   
    Let me be clear first of all - there are definitely cases throughout the series where this much is 100% true. '06 and Unleashed in particular rank among the worst of the worst for this very reason, because they're huge departures from everything the player has experienced up to that point and often need more time to adapt to than the game gives you. There are also clear exceptions to the rule in SA1 and Heroes, in that they are the same prior gameplay in all but aesthetics and an extra dash of scale added to them. That being said, I feel like making this a single issue argument of learning curves is kind of reductive, and misses the bigger picture of why some of my favourite super fights work as well as they do in spite of this. Which I'm just going to come right out and say are S3&K's and SA2's Super bosses.
    The first point is one you all but made yourself: as far as Doomsday Zone is concerned, Super Sonic is a reward. A bonus. Something you really have to go out of your way to unlock. To even get there in the first place you have to go through the Special Stages, which are themselves non-standard and stand in stark contrast to the core of Sonic's normal gameplay. In this respect, they synergize surprisingly well - to unlock Doomsday Zone is to display that you already have a tolerance for gameplay fundementals that can shift unexpectedly, so the shift from platformer to pseudo-schmup can't really phase anyone that's been through a minimum of seven rounds of 3D auto runner. Likewise, anyone who finds Doomsday Zone's gameplay shift distasteful is more than likely ignoring the Special Stages required to get to it anyway, so they don't have a chance to be turned off by it. Both spectrums of players get exactly what they asked for, and both are satisfied.
    Secondly, and probably more importantly: they're really not all that complex? Either they're so simple that the gameplay switch almost immediately speaks for itself (seriously, who could play Doomsday Zone and be tripped up with the expectation of pressing a direction to move in that direction?), or they're structured in such a way that the player's own actions form the learning curve needed to master it WHILE they're fumbling around with it. And it's in this respect that Finalhazard, whether accidentally or intentionally, is actually kind of a stroke of genius. One of the first things the player learns while experimenting is that their jump and spin buttons cause them to fly upwards and downwards respectively on the Y axis, but they also cause you to keep drifting in that direction when triggered. So players will often keep floating up and down in rhythm to try and keep themselves level with their target as well to avoid incoming lasers and hazards - and it's through this behaviour that the player discovers, completely incidentally, that either if not both of these buttons also function as a pseudo Homing Attack once they're actually in range of the Biolizard's weak spot. So the diversion from Sonic's core mechanics doesn't even need to matter if you understand what a typical player's behaviour is going to be and use that to coach them into figuring out exactly what they need to be doing and only testing them on it once they grasp it. This is what a good learning curve should already be doing anyway - just that most games don't pack it all concisely into the span of a couple of minutes like SA2's final boss does.
    Thirdly, mostly just out of morbid curiosity: how exactly do you do a boss battle of this nature any other way? Much of the time you can't just take Sonic's gameplay verbatim and plonk them unchanged into these confrontations because they're spaces in which platforming gameplay has no opportunity to function - often literally they take place in the cold vaccuum of space, beyond any semblance of gravity or solid surfaces to push your feet off of. Even when the final bosses are terrestrial in nature - like they were in Unleashed and Heroes - the whole thing is just a big void with a giant thing in the middle to approach and beat the shit out of. And even Adventure 1, which is an exception to both of these, has no way to test your platforming chops anyway - the whole thing is just moving in a straight line and occasionally weaving slightly to the left if a projectile approaches you. I realize I'm saying this otherwise as a advocate of characters that are consistent enough with one another that they share a core set of fundementals rather than having to master entirely different genres between them, but a game need not be the same shit from start to finish just for consistency's sake alone. Even the best of them can mix things up every now and then, because they can display a sense of restraint and forethought that Sonic Team usually doesn't have time to engage in - like that one time they introduced an entirely new beam at the very end of Metroid Prime and left the onus on the player to figure out how to use it, if we're still using Metroid Prime examples.
    Because Quick TIme Events are quite rightly derided as lazy-ass non-gameplay in its absolute most distillied form - a crutch that incredibly bad game designers use when they can't be bothered either designing game mechanics to suit the narrative outcome, or using the desired narrative outcome to inform the emergence of gameplay mechanics. Final boss QTEs in particular are rightly derided as the biggest possible anticlimax a game can be short of detailing the aftermath in a plain text epilogue, and it's for many of the same reasons that the OP claims - because they themselves have no respect for any of the skills the player has built up over the course of the game and relegate the final blow of the game to a glorified game of Simon Says. We already did this in the ending of Sonic Unleashed, and nobody liked it. Why on earth is anyone even entertaining the thought of going back to that now?
  25. Thumbs Up
    Blacklightning reacted to JezMM in Does Super Sonic Suck?   
    It's a tricky needle to thread - it's certainly possible to design a new form of gameplay that is fun and easy to understand and challenging enough.  But it's also worth mentioning that saying "well as long as we get a proper "final exam" boss beforehand it's fine to do whatever for Super Sonic" isn't quite as simple as it sounds either.  Lots of people too issue with Unleashed's final boss, but the regular Sonic sections on Dark Gaia were exactly that, and it wasn't enough to make up the difference.
    To be honest I think my ideal Super Sonic boss wouldn't play TOO differently to Time Eater from Generations - like a Star Fox esque on-rails shooter where the path is automatic but you can move around to dodge/collect things, and use physical attacks instead of shooting.  The problem was Time Eater was just a super weird/confusing boss, and the MASSIVENESS of the arena made it feel like there was no sense of speed.  I'd love a Super Sonic final boss that feels somewhat like a playable version of the Unleashed intro, with passing through lots of different bits of scenery to get a proper sense of speed.
    The only other tricky part is Super Sonic's invulnerability, but I think as long as the enemy is narratively powerful enough, they can justify some attacks getting through and causing Sonic to lose rings, with smaller attacks just costing time as is tradition.
    But yeah, I definitely want more (good) final exam bosses, whether they come before or after the Super Sonic bonus fight, and I definitely want more final bosses with a focus on speed and/or momentum if applicable (I was bummed out that neither of Sonic Mania's final bosses made use of momentum, aside from a few of the (pretty confusing, tbh) Hard-Boiled Heavies snippets).
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.