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StaticMania

How to make enemies a threat again

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In the recent sonic the hedgehog games the enemies have been really easy hit. I mean they're not a threat they can't even get a chance to attack before they die. Its really pathetic. The only way you would get hit is either if you weren't paying attention or just decided to let them hit you. I think the only enemies in Generations that could actually hit you were the Egg Robos and the Egg pawns in Planet wisp. So how can you make enemies an actual threat again in the newer games. Also by a threat I mean that they have a chance to actually hit you at least once before you hit them.

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Enemies have never been any significant threat in Sonic games unless they've been given the advantage of cheap level design to have to trawl through in order to avoid them. This isn't some new development of the modern games. As such, I don't think enemies in general need some kind of significant overhaul to be "threatening," mostly because I fear any such developments will lead to an extra focus on combat in the main gameplay style which is kind of antithetical to the point of Sonic games.

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You want difficulty, but you want flow. For that, don't go "health-bars away!" ala Heroes-06. You want enemies that are clever, enemies that can hurt you if you're not very careful. Have an enemy that trips Sonic while he boosts? And then take some rings? I think that'd be a somewhat challenging enemy...for the first few times at least. And then there's the artificial chaos from SA2, which I thought were pretty good with the extending arm things.

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Enemies have never been any significant threat in Sonic games unless they've been given the advantage of cheap level design to have to trawl through in order to avoid them. This isn't some new development of the modern games. As such, I don't think enemies in general need some kind of significant overhaul to be "threatening," mostly because I fear any such developments will lead to an extra focus on combat in the main gameplay style which is kind of antithetical to the point of Sonic games.

I was just thinking to just make them attack faster, you know like the Egg Robos and Construction Egg pawns in Generations.

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If you haven't notice the enemies weren't really a threat in the classics either. The only threat were how the levels were design and the obstacles in the level.

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Slow Sonic down a bit and design levels so he might actually stay near them for more than three seconds. Remove the boost's nigh-invulnerability. Give enemies some kind of defense against the homing attack (though be sure there are effective ways to attack them otherwise).

Personally I'm not a huge fan of contact damage by default. If the enemy's spiky or electrified or otherwise obviously harmful then okay, but otherwise I'd prefer they be required to attack in some way if they're going to do damage.

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This topic really makes me think of the blue badniks from Marble Garden Zone. They would ALWAYS hurt me in Sonic 3, but as of Sonic 4, they are the goombas of Sonic...

I can't pinpoint what went wrong with them, but dang, they are not menacing anymore :(

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This topic really makes me think of the blue badniks from Marble Garden Zone. They would ALWAYS hurt me in Sonic 3, but as of Sonic 4, they are the goombas of Sonic...

I can't pinpoint what went wrong with them, but dang, they are not menacing anymore sad.png

Sonic 4 and it's blasted Bubbles chains which completely neutered most of them aside from the new pink ones which do what the blue ones did originally :S

Otherwise, Generations kind of started to make them a little more of an issue, where you've got the black Egg Robos you need to attack either instantaneously or be patient. Same with the axe throwing Egg Pawns in Planet Wisp which are mostly a threat in 2D sections only but the point is there. The Iblis enemies are also more of a threat than most of the enemies too, but not by a great deal.

Stuff like City Escape's GUN robots needs to go though. They fire SO SLOW it's pointless. At least the Iblis monsters fire pretty quickly or accurately.

It seems like enemies tend to be more of an issue in 2D than 3D. In 3D you can just go round them and have more room to dodge attacks even when you're not boosting (because I've pissed around in Generations a lot to test this), but in 2D you've just got to either get far away or above/below the attacks.

Edited by Semi-colon e

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I agree that most enemies were never much of a threat besides those bloody Mantis (However anything after Chemical Plant is neutered by Super Sonic) things in Metropolis but the inclusion of the homing attack just made everything so pedestrian in Sonic 4. Anything in 2006 could probably count due to how lovely that game felt to play but the real enemy there was my own disdain for having to sit down and play the thing.The most dangerous enemy in Sonic was always the screen border. That's the one I'll be addressing my hate mail to.

When the gave the enemies health bars in Heroes to make things harder it just didn't feel right.

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In my opinion, health bars belong in fighting games/RPGs and the like, not in an action platformer. All I felt they did was slow things down which goes against the point of Sonic.

Homing attacks have made the games easier for me and I agree with Quilava, it can be better to have enemies that can hurt you if you mindlessly jump into them.

Also, there's one zone that holds a special place in my heart for having particularly evil badniks. When I was a kid, this stage was nightmare mode. unsure.png

33f3xb4.jpg

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I differ from most people in that I don't think health bars are bad by default. One thing I'm not gonna argue is how shit they were in Heroes, ShTH, and to an extent Sonic 06, but aside from that I don't think it would be bad if some enemies took more than one hit to take down.

The max hit points for the strongest mook should be no more than 2 or 3 hits (and even 3 may be pushing it). So unless you're gonna make a boss out of them, they don't need health bars that make it tedious to kill.

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I differ from most people in that I don't think health bars are bad by default. One thing I'm not gonna argue is how shit they were in Heroes, ShTH, and to an extent Sonic 06, but aside from that I don't think it would be bad if some enemies took more than one hit to take down.

The max hit points for the strongest mook should be no more than 2 or 3 hits (and even 3 may be pushing it). So unless you're gonna make a boss out of them, they don't need health bars that make it tedious to kill.

I think a not-readily-recognizable health bar would be a better route. It makes you feel like you're gaining progress against an enemy, adds a nice touch to the design, and...uh...would be cool.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, I mean, say, one kind of Badnik has armor on. The first hit breaks the armor, the second kills the badnik. Boosting into the enemy while they were armored would make you bounce off, but if you homing attack them first, then stomp, you can kill them quickly while still giving somewhat of a challenge. Later on, they could even become electrified briefly after the first hit, making you wait a moment before stomping or simply finding an alternate means of attack (or conveyance).

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Sometimes I think, rather than making enemies more difficult, they should be made more interesting to interact with. Like, in a typical Mario game, what makes the average enemy interesting isn't being difficult to kill, but the nice bounce you can get off of them, which you can use for an extra boost or to chain bounces between enemies. And, like, kicking shells to break blocks and kill other enemies. You don't need Koopa Troopas that spit fire and have retractable spikes on their shells; it's okay for them to just wander forward blindly and do nothing else because you can still do interesting things with them. Sonic enemies, you tend to just bop them and that's it.

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I'm going to defend the health bars a little bit. I think they're justified, at least from a designer's point of view.

In Sonic Heroes, the Health Bars were incentive to use Knuckles more, or level up your characters. I always level up tails to level 2 first before I even think of the others, because this attack are so weak without it.

In Shadow the hedgehog they're justified because they encourge you to use the guns more. Would unlocking the Shadow rilfe be so rewarding if one hit just killed everything anyway?

In Sonic 06... meh, I can't really justify this one. Not for Sonic anyway. Anyway, SonicTeam Japan made this one, unlike the last two.

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*sigh*

Heroes: Life bars encouraged using the otherwise useless Power characters. Okay.

Shadow: Life bars encouraged using the guns. Both were completely unnecessary, but sure, fine.

06: Life bars encouraged selling the game on ebay for 6 bucks and buying a fucking lolipop to brighten your mood.

Life bars are pointless if all the enemies do is stand there like an idiot.

Enemies were never really a threat in Sonic games. I personally don't think they need to be, honestly.

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