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Kathryn

I think the importance of speed in a Sonic Game is getting downplayed by fans.

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It has dawned upon me that because of the cliches the Sonic franchise faces with speed, 'Sonic is all SPEED', 'I bought a Sonic game to run fast' e.t.c, that there are some fans who try to downplay how important speed really is.

You will hear people say 'Sonic was a platformer first then speed' or 'Sonic was never mainly about speed'. But I am very familiar with Sonic and I can't think of a single Sonic game that didn't have it's main focus on speed. Well, except Sonic Labyrinth but we all know about that game. The differences between the games is how they executed the emphasis on speed.

Sonic 1 is one of the slowest Sonic games. I think most people would agree with that. However, it clearly was going as fast as the developers could and the way the game was advertised backs this up. The whole game was designed to be a killer-app for the Genesis and show how great the system was compared to the NES. The level design also has moments designed to show off Sonic's and the Gensis' speed. Think of sections like Green Hill where the springs knock you back and forward. So whilst Sonic 1 is a platformer the emphasis is primarily on speed. And this speed is to be a groundbreaking feature to both the platformer genre and game consoles in general.

In fact, the speed of the Classics was not just about Sonic's speed but also the speed of the engine. This is actually equally important to Sonic's speed. Even when you were running, platforming and killing spawning enemies the game would not slow down. The classics were almost a quasi-tech demo to show off the processing speed of the Genesis over the SNES (which was the only way the Genesis was superior to the SNES in terms of system power).

Let's look at the controversial Sonic Rush. It's a very fast 2D Sonic game where the Boost system delights critics and really angers fans. The game's primary selling point is speed, like Sonic 1, but the way it is handled is very different. In terms of Sonic's speed not much has changed: Sonic is going really fast. But the game isn't doing anything genre defying like the classics were. Not much is going on at once in Rush, the framerate was not under stress like the Genesis games, and the game is a rather barren affair. The lazy level design does not help this which is why it is dubbed 'Boost To Win'. So whilst Rush is also about Speed it only focuses upon the speed of Sonic himself rather than the game he is in.

Sonic Rush is clearly not how speed is to be handled in a Sonic Game. I often hear people say 'The Classic games were speed = momentum and a reward for skill' but I don't think this is getting it quite right either.

In my opinion, the speed of a Sonic game is not just about Sonic himself. The Classic Sonic games were so fast for their time because of Sonic but also because of the speed of the engine (at the time), the lack of any slowdown with enemies, the placement of springs and other such gimmick items to hurl Sonic around (used sparingly to show off the Genesis' power) and the speed of which a player could continuously scroll the level and keep platforming. I think that the speed of a Sonic game is incredibly important to a Sonic game and should not be downplayed.

Could you give me some feedback :)

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Speed + Platforming + Dodging obstacles = Classic Sonic.

It's a formula, you can't seperate speed from the other elements.

I agree. But it's clearly the most important element of the formula.

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I agree. But it's clearly the most important element of the formula.

In your opinion it's the most important element of the formula. In a topic like this, there's no black and white "it's clearly like this" response.

Edited by Frogging101

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I think it's more about the platforming and in some cases exploration, although speed is definitely a good part of it. Speed is usually an important part of anything if you're trying to go for a high rank/score. However I don't think it's really the most important core element, although it definitely sets it apart from some other platformers that were in the same classic era.

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In your opinion it's the most important element of the formula. In a topic like this, there's no black and white "it's clearly like this" response.

Oh do chill out! I took it for granted that you would just assume that.

I think we all have the brains to know that each user doesn't think the other is an infallible, omnipotent being.

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Oh do chill out! I took it for granted that you would just assume that.

I think we all have the brains to know that each user doesn't think the other is an infallible, omnipotent being.

I see... I'm not sure I know what you're talking about in that first line (I don't know what I'm assuming, and I'm quite calm I assure you)

But yes, I'm sure we're all aware of that. I was merely pointing out that your post was worded in a way that doesn't make the distinction between opinion and fact.

Edited by Frogging101

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Speed + Platforming + Dodging obstacles

While I agree, the modern games still have all these things. It may not be as balanced as it was in the days of old, but all those things are still there.

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Yeah, speed is important, but so is being able to control Sonic. And speed really SHOULD be a reward for good playing, along with platforming. "The classics did it", yes, but there's a reason the classics are so popular.

I don't want to spend $40 to run down hallways for 3 minutes.

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Nope.

Seriously, no one does. Everyone realizes that speed is important. Vital, even. The problem is that they've focused on it to the exclusion of other gameplay, which is why people have spoken against it. Not its existence, of course, but the mindless and obsessive focus on it.

I addressed this in my post.

I'm assuming you didn't read it.

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It's only a problem when it's overprioritized above everything else to the point that levels are built around speed and only speed. Like this-

"Its to slow Why can't Sega learn that all we want to do is run really fast. If we wanted to play a platformer we would have bought a Mario game"

No seriously, I actually saw someone post this comment on a Destructoid article about Sonic Colors...

And of course, Chris Bores' "Sonic is about three things, speed speed and more speed" (or something like that)

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Speed is important, but it's merely an extension of the series' true virtue: acceleration. Lots of characters and games had really fast characters- hell, even Super Mario Bros. had an intense run speed. But Sonic made it matter by making motion a continuum, where speed is something you achieve more than something you use.

Edited by SuperStingray

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I want fun, inventive platforming alongside speed. The boost should be nerfed or the level design should punish you for using the boost too much. Holding Up and a button for a long time isn't very fun sounding to me. Classic Sonic is usually critisised for "Hold Right to Win", but I have three things to say about that: Labyrinth/Scrap Brain Zone. Metropolis Zone. Launch Base Zone.

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Nope.

Seriously, no one does. Everyone realizes that speed is important. Vital, even. The problem is that they've focused on it to the exclusion of other gameplay, which is why people have spoken against it. Not its existence, of course, but the mindless and obsessive focus on it.

YES! Diogenes has returned with his original name!

On topic: I agree with everything you said Dio. Speed is vital to the Sonic series but it's not the most important part. It's the platforming and physics. With out those, you'd basically be playing a driving game with sonic.The speed aspect sets it apart from Rayman, Mario and um........those other platformers I can't think of at the moment.

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Listen: what people need to remember is that Sonic isn't primarily about speed. Of course, a balanced mixture of both speed and platforming are vital to any Sonic game, but what everyone seems to forget is that, rather than being about speed, Sonic games are about reaction. Remember that Sonic games are the traditional rival of Mario games. In Mario games, all your actions have a large emphasis on timing, such as when to jump - but because it's a slow/moderate platformer in terms of speed, there isn't too much emphasis on reaction. Timing comes first.

With Sonic, however, it's the other way around. Sonic is a fast platformer, so the emphasis is on reaction. You must react fast to avoid that enemy, or react fast enough to do a homing attack in a small window of opportunity, etc. Reaction is the most important aspect, and the timing is secondary. That's the main difference between Sonic and Mario games. That's also why Sonic games are fast, to ensure that the player has to react quicker.

Remember, Sonic is not a racing game. He doesn't just move fast for the fun of it (although it does add fun to the gameplay) - he moves fast to enhance the gameplay in a way that faster reaction and reflexes are required by the player. Essentially, what Sonic's creators did was look at the way Mario was played and say to themselves: "how can we create something similar to this, yet also create a style of gameplay that is unique and has never been done before? How can we twist the foundations of this gameplay style into something that's both similar but entirely different?"....

They achieved this by adding speed, and this radically changed the way platform games were played. And thus, Sonic the Hedgehog was born.

I hope all that made sense...

Edited by BlondeHedgehog

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I think that the physics engine and level design that benefits from it, along with the ability of being in full control of Sonic are far more important aspects than speed, which back in the day was more a reward for playing well, adding a sense of adrenaline that the modern boost oriented games IMO just can't replicate.

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Speed is obviously important to the franchise but it's getting to a point where the games are all speed and little else.

Games like generations and unleashed often feel like you're only pressing forward and the boost button to beat most of the level.

Speed needs to work in tandem with platforming and platforming based level design,

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