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On my personal enjoyment of older sonic games vs. modern ones...


Blazey Firekitty

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Hope I'm not beating a dead horse here...

I'm by no means a classics purist. I've enjoyed the gameplay of the modern Sonic platform games I've played quite a bit. I even greatly enjoyed the Werehog, despite it getting pretty tedious and exhausting at times.

However, somehow I still wind up being more satisfied when I played the older games.

My current feeling is that my main complaint about the gameplay of modern Sonic platformers is not that it is bad. It's that there just doesn't seem to be enough of it.

I blame this on the switch from making Sonic games traditional platfomers to making them racing/platforming hybrids. I mean...the problem isn't as bad as it used to be. I enjoyed the Rush games much more than Sonic Advance 2, even though they follow the same basic formula.

Still...I feel the biggest problem nowadays is that Sonic gameplay is seen as something that should be literally fast instead of fast in spirit. It's become far too much about simply getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible, which means that while what gameplay is there is still a lot of fun...you still are, even during the most complex and challenging levels, left with a very short, linear track that's a far cry from the larger, more explorable environments of old.

I may seem like I'm demanding a return to the old ways...But I'm actually learning to adjust better to the new way of doing things, learning to enjoy the new games for what they are, and appreciating that Sonic Team is at least trying to address the problem, even if their latest attempts to do so seem a little strange. I just figured I needed to acknowledge what I missed from the past, perhaps what a lot of us miss from the past, before I could move on.

And for those who haven't moved on, I certainly won't look down on you. I'm trying to embrace the future, but I do feel like something was lost along the way, and I wouldn't mind if a return to form occurred, even though it doesn't look likely at this time.

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I feel the same way.

Wow, really?O_o I know you've detailed your love of the physics of the Mega Drive/Genesis titles in the past, but it's a nice pleasant surprise to see that we apparently share more in common than I thought.^_^

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Well, I tried to accept the direction the series has taken, though I'm not quite as accepting of the random gimmicks they've tried. I understand that they're experimenting, but I feel like the solutions to many of the problems that Sonic is facing right now are present in his older games.

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Chalk two up. This is also my main problem with the series at this point.

...Although, I still do enjoy most of the 3D games, sometimes even more than the classics. It's just hold-button-to-win games like Sonic Advance 2 and, to a lesser extent, Heroes and Unleashed, that get to me. My ideal Sonic game would be one with Adventure/2006-inspired gameplay with level design more like the classics (and perhaps, as was mentioned, new physics to fit).

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Well, I tried to accept the direction the series has taken, though I'm not quite as accepting of the random gimmicks they've tried. I understand that they're experimenting, but I feel like the solutions to many of the problems that Sonic is facing right now are present in his older games.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Haven't played Black Knight yet, so I can't comment on how it plays yet, but I did like how they tried to add more action into the speed based gameplay without splitting it into basically two entirely different games like what happened with the Sonic/Were-Sonic divide in Unleashed.

Chalk two up. This is also my main problem with the series at this point.

...Although, I still do enjoy most of the 3D games, sometimes even more than the classics. It's just hold-button-to-win games like Sonic Advance 2 and, to a lesser extent, Heroes and Unleashed, that get to me. My ideal Sonic game would be one with Adventure/2006-inspired gameplay with level design more like the classics (and perhaps, as was mentioned, new physics to fit).

Yeah, like you, my problem is chiefly with the "hold right" style of gameplay.^_^;; Apparently you've been exposed to a few games that don't do that though, so that makes me more hopeful.^_^

Edited by BlazeyBakeneko
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Honestly, the only main problem with Sonic these days in my opinion is that the game are genuinely bad games. I could care less if they don't have momentum physics or checkered hills or whatever the fuck, if what I'm playing is fun, who gives a shit? Luckily Sonic Unleashed provided the fun that has been absent from the Sonic franchise for about 10 years, so if SEGA keep the same team who made Unleashed the series will be back on track in my eyes.

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This is what happens when new staff come in. Game design philosophy changes. But I guess it mostly has to do with the fact that most of the people that worked on the genesis games are no longer with the franchise. They've moved on with their lives.

Though, truthfully I'd really like to know what the older team members who used to work with the company, are doing right now. Like the guy who created Tails, or the zone artists from sonic 3 & knuckles.... or what about all the sonic cd staff? what the hell are they doing as of 2009? Are they dead? Do they still work in the game industry?...who knows...

The only people from these older teams that still work with sega, are Takashi Yuda (knux creator, and artist for sonic 3), Takashi iizuka (sonic 3 designer), Kazuyuki Hoshino (sonic cd main artist). I think that's it.

But as of 2009, the 3 people I mentioned above have pretty much ranked down to supervisors.

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The thing about the newer games is that once you beat it, there's almost nothing to go back to playing it again.

The Classics only had Super Sonic, but it's achievement lasted folks a good while in trying to get to make the game their bitch.

Also the newer games genre roulette isn't doing very well. Don't get me wrong I love Unleashed, despite what flaws I see that could be done better, but metaphorically speaking, Sonic shouldn't be changing himself from Water, to Fire, and then to Steel and Wood with each new title. I expect it to follow the transition in a stable way before spicing up the recipe. No telling how many different types of ice cream we get from each title alone.

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...but metaphorically speaking, Sonic shouldn't be changing himself from Water, to Fire, and then to Steel and Wood with each new title. I expect it to follow the transition in a stable way before spicing up the recipe. No telling how many different types of ice cream we get from each title alone.
Or better still, throw it all into one pot for a change. Burning liquid steel could easily kick the crap out of anything else the series has to offer. B)

What really irritates me about the modern games is that Sonic Team seems to have to establish a completely seperate gameplay style for everything these days, even for things as simple as running and platforming. There is absolutely no reason why they couldn't make a single playstyle with functionality of all of these things - mach-speeding, platforming, le Parkour-ing, hell, even melee fighting - and still make a great game out of it. Don't get me wrong, I still like most of these gameplays seperately, but the fact that Sonic Team needs to keep every single aspect of the game isolated from each other as a crutch to save them the effort of making a unified playing style is just sad.

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Rather strangely I can relate to this topic, even though for the most part I prefer more recent games over the classics. They're not bad games by any means - I still play them and can get enjoyment out of them, but I just don't share the 'connection' that a lot of older people might. I can still really see where people are coming from in the Mega Drive games having great innovation, art direction, music, level design and the fact that they were actually consistent in their quality and gameplay, but I just can't really get into them as much as I can with a nice 3D game like Sonic Adventure.

In a way it's kind of a reverse effect to what Blazey experiences, but it's probably more to do with me generally just preferring to play games on a 3D scale. I remember going from playing Ocarina Of Time to the 2D Zelda games on the Game Boy Colour and as well made as the games might have been, I just couldn't get into them. I suppose it goes to show that where you start playing a series can mean a lot to your future enjoyment of that series - whether that be for better or for worse.

There's that, and...well; I've gotta admit - I love taking part in the build up of games. It really makes it seem that much more special when you find out what's going to be in it, get excited and then actually play it for the first time. Considering I was much too young to keep up with the latest video game news; I never got the chance to actually get excited for any of the early games. The first time I played them was on Mega Collection anyway, so I'm sure there's a huge difference between that and actually being a new game that you can't wait for.

So yeah, I don't know how different things might have turned out if my first Sonic game was 2D. It can still be a crap game no matter how it's rendered, but I don't think SEGA should ever have to feel like they have to go backwards to make progress - because strangely enough that's how I feel when I play the older games - in that sense I think they've made quite a bit of progress; they just need to expand on what they've done right and maybe one day we can have a Sonic game that more than half of the visible fanbase enjoys.

And if they don't, I'll probably enjoy it anyway. :P

Edited by Tombi
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I disagree with a lot of what people have been saying.

If you look at the layout of the first level in universally despised title Sonic 2006, i.e. Wave Ocean, and compare it to the Classic Green Hill Act 1 they are very similar.

- From the first moment you can go straight ahead or Climb up (GH) / Move Right (WO) to get a bonus.

- Shortly after a straight you reach your first split where you can Stay High (GH) / Climb the left hand path (WO) or Go low (GH) / Beat the robots to the right and LSD up the other path (WO) leading to bonuses

- After that there is a another split, where going straight forward (GH) / Going left (WO) will take you through a set piece (in both cases a loop). Or you can climb (GH) / Head right towards the Island and Rainbow Ring (WO), a trickier path that leads to more rewards.

- After that if you stay on the high path (GH) / jump high and hit the Rainbow Ring (WO) you'll get more rewards or stay low (GH) / Head left (WO) and you'll meet some more enemies.

At this point Green Hill finishes while WO goes through a set-piece, followed by an Amigo bit and then a Mach Speed stage.

So the layout is not so radically different. Sonic 2006 was bad due to it being a rush job, not because the design was bad. If it had been given more time we could've had something special.

The big problem is not their ideas but the fact they have to rush production to keep the company afloat. That to me is the difference between the classics and the modern games. And for the Record I don't have a beef with either era, I love it all.

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I think it's to the point where people can't speak their own preference for whichever generation without some kind of backlash; people who like the new games more are called noobs, etc. while those who prefer the old games are dismissed as classic purists.

Either way, I'm not going to hold back: with the exception of two fantastic games, Sonic Adventure and Sonic Rush Adventure, I like the Genesis games more. Good levels, good music, good flow, and in my eyes, they're better than the majority of what's put out today. And I don't consider myself a classic fan, it's just a simple matter of which games I like more. My opinion isn't something I'm willing to compromise with, it's how I feel and it shouldn't bother anybody just as long as I'm not shoving it down others' throats, and others ought to feel the same way.

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I like the newer games better, and it looks like I'm one of the very, very few (if any) people who do. It's just something about the way 3D works, and the sense of speed that I can get in 3D. 2D doesn't feel as fun.

Of course, this is coming from someone who started off playing the more modern games instead of the classic ones.

Edited by OvErLoRd
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Whatever side of the fence you choose, I feel it's more a matter of acquired taste - most people in the fandom will stand by the approach that was first handed to them, and find most others somewhat unappealing to them in some way. Modernist fans will usually find the classic games to be primitive, dated affairs and prefer a direction that takes the series into modern standards, and classicist fans will usually find the modern games to be unecessarily complex, unfaithful entires and prefer a direction that holds reasonably true to the first games in the series. Neither are wrong or right. It's all preferences when it comes right down to it - both can be viable ways to make a great game out of, so attempting to prioritize one approach over the other is quite frankly, silly, especially considering there's almost a 50-50 divide in the fanbase when it comes to these two fields.

The way I see it, it's best to treat this argument like a bizarre sexual fetish - don't force it on others and you won't face the possibility of being labelled an absolute sicko. :lol:

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I agree with the OP. The series has undoubtedly gotten weaker but I still make the best of it and enjoy it very much. I certainly want it to revert to its more original style in many ways, at least as far as gameplay and level design goes, but the last thing I want is utter stagnation. What I feel is that they don't know what direction to take the series in so it just seems to jump around everywhere. All I think they need is a game plan. Now, I don't want to preach a "fix Sonic" idea here, but I have thought of a sort of hypothetical plan, not necessarily to make the series better (although it should), but rather to give current and former fans more hope for the series:

1. Make a "Sonic 4" (a la Megaman 9). With the way the gimmicks have been executed, many fans are alienated by even the smallest changes to the series. At first, I was skeptical of this idea as it may lead to a series without progress, but I think it can be used not only to make the series more welcoming to people who've lost hope for it, but I think Sonic Team should use ONLY the first games as a frame of reference in its creation and that would give the "new" team a better image of where Sonic's original appeal came from.

2. Use said image to develop a 3D Sonic game. Not all concepts that work in the 2D games can necessarily work in three dimensions, but the same design philosophy can be applied. I can't really describe what that "design philosophy" is like, but I think that site Phos posts a lot (like just above) has a good explaination of the general idea for the most part. This game will serve the function of allowing the series to progress while avoiding radical deviations.

3. Create an extremely farfetched title. I'm serious, go crazy like "Sonic in Escher World" or something. People may become more open to the idea of spin offs and gimmicks if it's proven they can be done properly.

No guarantees, but after that, I believe the series should be home free. It's essential, though, that this isn't a rush job; if one of these games fails, the whole plan does.

Edited by A Ham Sandwich
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Yeah I pretty much get that feeling too.... although I probably enjoy Sonic Rush less than most of you.

Sonic Adventure 2 was such a great game, especially the Sonic levels...but the thing is, there was no slowing down to investigate something ( save for Green Hill ) . Not at all like the old days, where you see a little ramp, and check out the possibility of using it to fling yourself backwards onto the shuttle loop to get the extra life, or breaking through a wall instead of climbing over it. The sense of exploration is gone, and it feels more like a race to the finish, than a speedy character in a basic platformer. Sonic Adventure 2 is where this trend seems to have started, although it wasn't a hundred times better in Sonic Adventure.

Yeah, I do enjoy both Modern and Classic games...but the classics do satisfy me more.

Edited by Lando The Bat
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Well I got into Sonic with SA2 so I guess I like the modern games more than the classic games, I play them more at least but in saying that I do like the classic games. In fact Sonic 2 is one of my favourite Sonic games, up there with SA2 and Advance. Part of this may be due to the atmosphere of the modern games, eg. the story and characters but I also find modern games easier and able to hold my attention longer. I've never really noticed the "hold right to win" or "racing game" people talk about, even in Sonic Unleashed PS2 I found it to be more than that.

In terms of future games I don't think totally going back would work but more of a mesh between classic and modern.

However I think Sonic 2 might be a good inspiration as while it doesn't have the complexity of Sonic 3 or the heavier platforming of Sonic 1, it still has plenty of platforming and exploration but if you want to just speed through the levels you can, without getting stuck or hindered.

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I like both if I'm honest, and yes, I've been with the series essencially from the begining. Sonic 1-2-3-&K-CD are really good games, with the option of slow plaforming and exploring allied with momentum based movement if you want, a fast race if you don't. Music is also great, levels are colourful and there is tons of stuff to do and find out in every level.

Enter 3D. Music is still great, levels are still colourful and imaginative but the ammount of stuff you can do in every level is smaller and there aren't that many alternative routes or platforming. Momentum mechanics are still present in SA and SA2, absent from every other and present again in SU (in small ammounts, but they're still there). Sonic Heroes has everything but classic gameplay and has some alternative routes, but still feels very direct. Unleashed is by far the best 3D game since SA/SA2. In my first run of SU, I went slowly and explored around, boosted only when I had to and except one or two levels, it was worth it. Sure it's not like the 2D games, but it was very much alike SA and SA2.

But even the difference between 2D and 3D isn't that big and people exagerate a lot the difference between the two. What we need is more momentum based gameplay, alternative routes with more platforming (but in 3D that's a hard thing to do, especially with speed freak character) and perhaps more styled gameplay levels, each of the classics had something special about one level that wasn't repeated again. Cool Edge is different from the others as is Dragon Road for example and I think that's the way to go as well. Make some of the levels coiling around itself like Twinkle Park (although I have nothing against direct routes, since Green Hill is a great level) and we have a winner.

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For me its obviously the classics, but then again I did grow up with them.

I've always thought a great game is one that you can go back and play no matter how many times you've completed it or how old it is. Every now and then I get urges to play the classics, that makes me smile.

Thats not to say I don't like some of the modern Sonic games, Sonic Heroes I hold almost on the same level as the classics in awesomeness, and SA2 was pretty cool. I like some of the ideas behind the newer games, just not them in their entirety.

The main problem I have is the way Sonic Team have warped Sonic from his origins, Sonic was always this odd whimsical series filled with fantasy things, but these days all they want to do is cram it full of realism, masses of humans, real life take-off cities, real looking "badniks", drama drama drama, misguided forays into genres....pretty much none of the stuff that made feels like Sonic, and made him great.

I love Sonic, but honestly I find little enjoyment with most games that come out these days, I'd still rather go back and play any of the older games than be disappointed by the newer ones.

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I think that, especially judging from some of the other responses in this thread, that Tombi's notion that we tend to be more comfortable with the gaming style we started with, and feel out of our element in ones we aren't familiar with, makes a lot of sense.

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That's true, but it's not always the case. :)

I first got into Sonic through the classic games (via Mega Collection), and since I liked them so much, I decided I was a "Sonic fan" and wanted to know what the most recent game was, which at the time was Sonic Heroes. I didn't like Heroes at all, so I had it in my head for a while that the classic games must be better than the newer ones. Then I hear all these good things about the Adventure games, so I get them just to see if they're better than Heroes, and I'm like "HOLY WHOA THIS IS AWESOME".

Then again, maybe it's not so much I adapted to a new gameplay style, but that I realized the modern games aren't bad just because they're newer. The modern games I like best tend to be the ones that are more similar to the classics (slower, more platforming, greater control, etc.).

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The modern games I like best tend to be the ones that are more similar to the classics (slower, more platforming, greater control, etc.).

Hmm, I'd probably be into that too. I guess I'd probably find something to my liking in Adventure One, and maybe even in Sonic 06, despite its unusual story.

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