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Sonic Unleashed vs. Sonic Colors Extra Round - Final Thoughts

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Doesn't really change the detail that they operate very similarly, and that for all your constant talk about how awful 06 is, here you are exonerating a gameplay gimmick that is in spirit the same thing.

 

Same thing, light years apart in quality, simple as that. 

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The Amigos aren't only derided on the basis of being poorly programmed. In fact, the few times I've actually argue that their continued inclusion in future games would be a great idea to get alternate characters in there without totally side-lining Sonic, I'm met with resistance from people saying that the very idea of interrupting Sonic gameplay with another character- in-level or not- is fundamentally bad and we shouldn't do it. So I think Ed's point has merit on this basis.

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Not quite sure how determining the quality of the gimmicks over one point is "extremely one-sided and one-dimensional reasoning" when one of the points that you outlined is basically "is it fun" and the answer that a lot of people will respond to that with for the Werehog is "not in the slightest."

 

Right. Because "being fun to use" is a different kettle of fish to the way the forms are utilized in relation to the story/plot/writing, if they are used within their full potential and any elaboration on what they actually are and how they do what they do. I judge gimmicks on every single relation they have to the game as a whole and fun factor is only one factor.

 

Wisp forms are lame in comparison to Werehog this respect because aspects of their abilities are automated, they are never elaborated upon in the story and they are certainly not utlized to their full potential. If that was the case, the level design would be more imaginative and there'd be more utility afforded to the nature of what they are i.e Rocket being used like it is in the DS version to cover vertical and horizontal distance, Spike clinging to things in a 3D environment etc

Edited by Vertekins

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Right. Because "being fun to use" is a different kettle of fish to the way the forms are utilized in relation to the story/plot/writing, if they are used within their full potential and any elaboration on what they actually are and how they do what they do. I judge gimmicks on every single relation they have to the game as a whole and fun factor is only one factor.

 

Wisp forms are lame in this respect because aspects of their abilities are automated, they are never elaborated upon in the story and they are certainly not utlized to their full potential. If that was the case, the level design would be more imaginative.

 

So lemme get this straight. If a gimmick gives me full control of it and fully explained in the story, yet absolutely terrible to use, it's still than a gimmick that isn't expanded on in story and gives you less control, but far more enjoyable to use?

Edited by Big McLargehuge

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You're correct. It is a different kettle of fish to say "is this thing that takes up more than half of the game fun to actually do" than to say "is it implemented into the narrative well" or "is it as good as it could have been." Because the gameplay is a hell of a lot more important than either of those.

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So lemme get this straight. If a gimmick gives me full control of it and fully explained in the story, yet absolutely terrible to use, it's still than a gimmick that isn't expanded on in story and gives you less control, but far more enjoyable to use?

 

Dude, I'm elaborating on my stance when it comes to judging topics Soniman brings up in this topic. I judge things from every angle in relation to the game and derive my verdict from what I think of them in regards to this aside from how much fun I derive from them. Werehog just so happens to win out for me on the topic of gimmicks because as a gimmick, it's far better pulled off as a whole in my opinion.

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Dude, I'm elaborating on my stance when it comes to judging topics Soniman brings up in this topic. I judge things from every angle in relation to the game and derive my verdict from what I think of them in regards to this aside from how much fun I derive from them. Werehog just so happens to win out for me on the topic of gimmicks because as a gimmick, it's far better pulled off as a whole in my opinion.

 

And judge things based on how enjoyable they actually are, cause to me, that's kinda what matters in the end.

 

The Werehog might've won for me if the camera and platforming were better.

 

But they weren't. So it didn't.

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Sonic Unleashed, beyond the shadow of a doubt.

 

As some of you are no doubt aware, I freaking love the Werehog. The Werehog made Unleashed for me and is a big reason why I consider the game the best in the franchise. To me, the Werehog is the best gameplay type that doesn't involve speed in the series. Other gimmicks tried, but they didn't do as well as they could (SA1 Treasure Hunting, Heroes' Team gameplay). And a few of them just downright failed to be fun at all (SA1 Fishing, SA2 Shooting). I simply cannot play them over and over again without getting at least a bit bored after a fairly short period of time.

 

The Werehog? Totally different beast. I can go back to most of the night levels and play them for hours and still have fun. I don't have to 'force' myself to keep going like I have had to do with other gimmick styles in the series. I can legitametly say I enjoy the gameplay for the Werehog.

 

What makes the Werehog so easy for me to love comes from the execution. I will admit, the concept itself made me very skeptical when I first heard about it in early 2008. I was pretty worried about it, and I pictured myself playing a slow, lumbering beast that would have bored me to death. However, SEGA managed to take such a concept and make it fun. What I liked about the gameplay for one came from the sheer variety of what you can do as the Werehog.

 

Let's look first at his battle moves - there are a lot of them. As I leveled up the Werehog through combat, I found myself with a wide repertoire of moves for me to use. There were ever-expanding methods for me to defeat enemies; I could jab them, I could throw them, I could throw things at them, I could cartwheel into them, I could perform some weirdly awesome somersault move thing into them, I could fling them around like dolls, and so on. There are just so many ways to take out enemies that I never get bored playing through the night stages.

 

One of the things I love about the standard Sonic gameplay (you know, the kind where you are running really fast through levels) in most of the games, particularly in the classic games, is the use of the environment in the levels. Whether it's those see-saws in Starlight Zone, the vines you can swing on in Angel Island Zone, Red Mountain's steam that sent you flying high into the air, or those barrels in Final Chase, I enjoyed those little gimmicks. Yeah, a lot of them were small parts, but those small parts added to the gameplay and made it more enjoyable.

 

Well, there's a similar thing in the night stages of Unleashed. I know Verte already touched upon this, but I like how you can use the enemies with your environment, such as using Egg Flames to melt ice blocking doors in Cool Edge or throwing Little Rexes at switches in Savannah Citadel. It's a small thing, yes, but it still adds on to the enjoyment of the Werehog gameplay. Platforming is also great fun and I actually like those silly stretchy arms. A lot of the gameplay style shows how creative Sonic can get in utilizing the piece of Dark Gaia that is inside him that gives him this form. And I love it for that.

 

Narrative-wise, I think this is the weakest point of the Werehog, but it's still fairly well done. The forced transformation into the Werehog,indirectly caused by Sonic himself and his own cockiness proved to be good character development for him. When he first realizes that he's going to transform into a Werehog every night, he is filled with disbelief and worried about people seeing him. When Amy doesn't recognize him, he is actually sad about this, something you wouldn't have expected to see going into that cutscene for the first time. And after a while, he gets used to the form, as you can see by the cutscene when Chip reveals his identity; he doesn't fight the transformation. It could have been a little better in some respects, maybe focusing more on the negative and allowing more of a struggle of Sonic getting used to the transformation throughout the game, maybe have more people be a little frightened of him.

 

All things considered, it's was done fairly well narrative-wise, which is a lot more than I can say for the Wisps.

 

Now, I'd like to state for the record that I do not hate the Wisps. I think they are fun and I like the cool abilities they give Sonic. But to me, they did not reach the potential they could have, both gameplay and story-wise. Now, yes, I could say that the Werehog didn't either, but I thought he came a whole lot closer in that respect.

 

One of the major problems I have with the Wisps is the limitation of them. A lot of the abilities are automated and a few of them can't even be used in the 3D planes. There's a lack of input from the player, input that could have made them more fun to play with. As well, there tended to be only a couple Wisps in an act. Why? Why the limit? Sonic Team could have added more. They would have to change the levels to implement them better, but that would be a good thing and make the gameplay more enjoyable if you had all these powers to use. Maybe one Wisp could take you to one section, while another takes you to some place totally different, and still another allows you to get through some other place. I could see the potential to work in some cool multiple paths with the Wisps, something that the actual game did, but better done.

 

But where the whole Wisp gimmick loses a lot of the luster it could have had comes from the story. Did you know that the different Wisps types actually have personalities? Yellow Wisps for example are very energetic and playful with a love of water. Cyan Wisps are a bit scatterbrained. Orange Wisps are very sensitive and emotional. Did anyone know that? Unless you looked at the instruction manual, probably not. The game could have fleshed out these personalities and made the Wisps more than power-ups and creatures Sonic had to rescue. It would have made them feel more like actual characters in a way. That cutscene where Sonic and Tails find out how Eggman is transforming them into the Frenzy forms could have been much more powerful.

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I don't hate the Werehog. I actually enjoyed playing as it. But I only played as it because I had to. I never found myself going back to play Werehog stages. The beat 'em up aspect was fun, but only to a point. For what it was, I enjoyed it. I wouldn't like a whole game centred around it though.

 

Despite my fun with it, it's not a Sonic like Gimmick. It does stick out against the fast paced day stages and it breaks the flow of the game.

 

And that's why this round, for me, goes to Colours. Yeah, I spell it with a U. Dealwithitlol.

 

With the exception of Frenzy, these Wisps attempt to keep the flow of the game going. Yes, at points they may bring the game to a slight halt and yes, they aren't optional. But, they do run out. While I did enjoy the Werehog, it is clear that others did not. I'm sure that some would prefer to not spend the whole level as a gimmick, especially one that differentiates from the "core" gameplay rather than assisting it. As a gimmick, the Wisp's seize control for a few seconds and then put you back into the action, despite being a bit automated. The Werehog gives you full control, but takes you away from the other gameplay style for a whole level.

 

I do think however, that there was a bit of wasted potential with the way the Wisps interact with the environment. The Werehog does this a lot better. 

 

Overall I prefer the Wisps, but for the time I was playing as it, the Werehog was fun. I dunno, maybe I have Stockholm Syndrome or something. tongue.png

 

 

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Someone needs to do a Wisp-less run of Sonic Colors to prove to me that every single one of them is 100% optional throughout the entire game. At the very least, I would think that Drill and Rocket are the minimum that are needed to actually progress through their respective levels.

Alright guys as promised I have completed the wisp-free play through of colours. Here is the breakdown:

Tropical Resort

Act 1: no wisp

Act 2: no wisp

Act 3: no wisp

Act 4: no wisp

Act 5: laser, laser, laser, laser

Act 6: no wisp

Boss - refreshenator: no wisp

Sweet mountain

Act 1: no wisp

Act 2: no wisp

Act 3: no wisp

Act 4: no wisp

Act 5: no wisp

Act 6: no wisp

Boss - Captain Jelly: no wisp

Starlight Carnival

Act 1: cube

Act 2: no wisp

Act 3: no wisp

Act 4: no wisp

Act 5: hover, hover

Act 6: hover

Boss - Frigate Orcan: no wisp

Planet Wisp

Act 1: spike

Act 2: no wisp

Act 3: cube

Act 4: laser

Act 5: no wisp

Act 6: no wisp

Boss - Rotatron: no wisp

Aquarium Park

Act 1: no wisp

Act 2: no wisp

Act 3: no wisp

Act 4: no wisp

Act 5: no wisp (all red rings no wisp)

Act 6: no wisp

Boss - Admiral Jelly: no wisp

Asteroid Coaster

Act 1: no wisp

Act 2: no wisp

Act 3: cube/spike

Act 4: no wisp (all red rings no wisp)

Act 5: laser

Act 6: frenzy

Boss - Frigate Skullian: no wisp

Terminal Velocity

Act 1: no wisp

Boss - Egg Nega Wisp: all wisps (FINAL COLOUR BLASTER!)

Act 2: no wisps

Total of 45 levels

You use wisps a minimum 15 times in 11 levels

45 - 11 = 34

(34/45) X 100 = 75.5

So you can complete 75.5% of the game without wisps

Coincidentally Nepenthe Drill and Rocket are the only two that you DON'T have to use the entire game :P

Hope this is what you wanted guys :D

Edited by Jolt_TH

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I little late here, but i want to share my opinion on gimmicks.
 
For me Wisps wins. 
 
This comming from my own game expiriance.
I actually dont know what to blame, my copy of the game. my xbox, gamepad, myself or GAME itself, but werehog was never has responsive controls for me, that mean i dont have a good time with it, also with bad framerate i wasnt able to  pull off some basic commands sometimes and fall into bottomless pits and die, and die, and die.
Even if wisps lucks in originality and have time limit, they was fun to play in my opinion. 
​If werehog was responsive for me, i think it would be tie.

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Round #9 - Level Design

 

SonicUnleashed-2.JPGsonic-generations-screenshot-06-500x300.

 

 

Sorry this took longer than usual, but here it is, the next round, level design, yes we're getting super technical now. Level Design is a very important aspect of the Sonic series, probably the most important aspect because it can easily make or break a Sonic game more than controls or story can, which game shines the most in that department? Guess we'll find out.

 

 

sonicunleashed.png?w=950

 

Now with Sonic Unleashed I'm not well versed with it as I am with Colors so ill explain it to the best of my ability using past experience and youtube videos. Now Sonic Unleashed is a super fast game, so the level design will be have to made to compliment that fact, so what you have is a very forward focused game that doesn't really promote a lot of exploration and more like quick reflexes. The obstacles are made to impede your progress rather than outright kill Sonic (though they're are some that indeed do) and the player will either have to react to these obstacles quickly. As you probably guessed this game takes a lot of cues from Sonic Rush, along with the boost which the level design is centered around. They're are tons of set pieces/cinematic moments like the chase sequences and the Rooftop Run Clock Tower grind, perhaps to add flash to an already flashy game. The 2d to 3D Ratio is pretty equal though neither side has a whole lot in the way of straight up platforming (most of which was saved for the Werehog). This was a really bad explanation of the level design, I hope someone who actually plays this game regularly well be able to explain it better than I did.

 

236c1922.jpg

 

Sonic Colors does this vastly diffrent then what it does for Unleashed. Due to the focus on the Wisps and power up experimentation the levels had to be opened up and generally slower paced as a result. This first thing where you see the difference is the fact that you have a truck load of alternate routes and paths to take, being separate from the "main" part of the level, and unlike Unleashed you can stay off  they main part for much longer. There is also a more heavy focus on platforming, at least in 2D, a lot of the platforming is simple blocky fair but you'll come across several stage gimmicks that keep things interesting like the Lollipop swings from SM, The push blocks from AC, and the water in general from AP. The 3D areas don't have a lot of depth to them though, they're either automated or semi-automated sections which seem to serve as transitions to the next 2D area (Starlight Carnival) and very rarely will you see a 3D area that you're free to play around in (Aquarium Park and Asteroid Coaster Act 1). Other than the main levels you have gimmick levels that aren't very deep when it comes to level design and are more like brief time wasters. The Simulator Levels are more of the same thing.

 

---

 

Once again, Colors. The thing with Sonic Unleashed's levels is that, while getting the perfect routes and avoid the obstacles in the fastest possible way can indeed be very satisfying, chances are that you're probably not going to play the levels in any other way after that, there is real no incentive to explore the levels because of this and imo the levels end up being a tad shallow, that doesn't mean they're aren't some part where this isn't the case though. The levels can also be plain unforgiving at times, rely way to much on trial and error in order to become better on repeated playthroughs. Colors on the other hand promotes multiple playthroughs of the levels, this goes back to the wisps and how they're used. The levels are made in a way that you take a completely different route through most of the level (as seen in Aquarium Park with how it has above and below water routes). So yeah, overall it's Colors for me.

Edited by Soniman

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Yeah Colours easily. Had more alternate paths, more focus on exploration, and more platforming. Unleashed was fun, but way too linear and boost focused and relied way too much on Trial and Error. When I play Unleashed, I get bored of it quicker because there's really only one way to play the levels, but in Colours there's many ways to go so I find myself playing that one for longer.
 

So in short, Unleashed is only fun in short bursts, while Colours I can play for longer, not to mention the level design is overall better. Colours wins.

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Sonic Colours. Because even though it has mostly 2D platforming and not enough 3D boosting parts like Unleashed it has more exploration, more alternative paths and it has A LOT less bottomless pits! In fact, the game is kind enough to tell you when you might fall to your death by showing a triangle with an exclamation mark for a few seconds. 

 

Like Chaos Warp said, there was just too much trial and error in Sonic Unleashed to make me want to replay the stages again and again.

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Sonic Colors is the clear winner here. Sonic Unleashed's level design, like a lot of things in the game, is focused on being fast and flashy. Sonic moves at such insane speeds that you have to rely on either your own reflexes or just plain old trial and error. Reflexes arent up to snuff? Welp. Have fun struggling to move slowly and carefully with sonic's slippery ass controls or just memorizing where those damn pits and spikes are. Of course, once you get it down, it's satisfying, but at the same time, you don't feel any urge to replay the levels since there's only one real way through them with the occasional offshoot. Exploration isnt encouraged nor rewarded.

Colors slows down Sonic and focuses more on platforming than fast travel. To make it through levels quickly, explore and to find secrets, Sonic wil have to use the wisps, which add a bit of variety and replayability without forcing the player through trial and error bullshit. The wisps gradually unlock over the course of the game, opening up more paths in previous levels. It's not as fast as it should be, no, but it's better than the insanely speed focused to the point of crippling the game Unleashed for sure.

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Hm...this is a tricky one. I'll split my thoughts on Unleashed into Day and Night.

 

Unleashed has earned the reputation for having Daytime Level design that is HEAVILY focused on speed, and as a result platforming is somewhat minimal to account for Sonic's blazing speed. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering I doubt Unleashed Sonic has the precision needed to navigate smaller platforms, but it can definitely contribute to the idea that the Unleashed level design is shallow. It should also be noted that Daytime stages are notorious for having beautiful scenery, but limited interaction with that scenery, thus creating a feeling of being boxed in (although nowhere NEAR the level of Colors, but I'll get to that in my thoughts for Colors' level design).

 

Night stages are definitely more involved when it comes to level design, helped by the fact that the Werehog is (by comparison) slower than Daytime Sonic, thus making platforming easier to integrate into his stages. The primary issue with the Werehog stages comes more from the excessive length of stage, compounded by a large number of boxed in beat em-up sections and occasionally stupid level design that proves too precise for even the Werehog to navigate (spiked girder section in Skyscraper Scamper, I'm looking at you DX).

 

With the above mentioned, it would seem like Colors is a shoe-in to win this round, a first for me considering I've only seen footage of Colors gameplay and never actually touched it myself right?

 

Well not really.

 

Colors level design isn't bad by any means, or is at least inoffensive...but I don't think they really FIT Sonic's gameplay that well, ESPECIALLY the super fast Unleashed Gameplay style. Now to be fair, they DID incorporate a double jump and they DID slow him to down likely make it easier to control him, but let's face it: Unleashed Sonic is simply too imprecise to really work well with the level design of Colors, which HEAVILY emphasizes blocky platforms with almost non-existent use of slopes. Granted Unleashed certainly fell into this territory on occasion, especially the slower paths, but they weren't THIS blocky.

 

Also, for all of people's constant complaining of how slow Sonic was in games like 06, I personally thought that Colors Sonic was a close second mainly due to the level design being so tight and small and BLOCKY, which SEVERELY hampers the Unleashed Sonic's intended design of SPEED. If they had used Adventure Sonic, it wouldn't be AS much of an issue, but they didn't so the weird contrast sticks out like a sore thumb.

 

I also find it INCREDIBLY hypocritical that for all of peoples constant complaining about how Unleashed is jarring when it comes to transitioning from the fast paced Daytime stages to the slower Werehog stages, when COLORS does the exact same thing mid-stage, only MANY times more frequently due to there being anywhere between 5 - 10 wisps scattered throughout the level, and roughly half of these wisps are even slower than the Werehog IMO (Hover being particularly guilty). Hell just from looking at it, I could make a comparison with 06 here, although I'd probably be shouted down for daring to compare the almighty Colors to a POS like 06.

 

Also, a final note: Colors had even LESS interaction with the background than Unleashed did.

 

TL;DR: Daytime Sonic might have been narrow and too heavily focused on speed, while the Werehog was just poorly paced level design-wise, but Colors goes too far in the other direction and uses a level design that doesn't really fit with the speedy nature of Unleashed Sonic (even if the speed is watered down a little), and is ironically almost as slow as 06. So Unleashed narrowly wins.

 

EDIT: Before someone claims I'm a mindless speed junkie, here me out: I don't think slowing down Sonic is a bad thing, because then the level design can be less focused on speed and used more creatively. The PROBLEM comes from the fact that Unleashed Sonic was NOT designed with more precise platforming in mind, and simply slwoing him down isn't going to change that. If anything, all that has really happened is that Colors Sonic is simply a neutered version of Unleashed Sonic, and frankly from what I can tell, still looks like he controls like a car, only a gimped one. And cars don't do small spaces well, no matter how slowly you go. Adventure style would have been a little more appropriate, mostly because it's generally slower.

Edited by 743-E.D. Missile

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Sonic Unleashed relies way to much on trial and error to make the game more difficult. I can't remember one moment in Sonic Colours where I died because of an enemy popping out of nowhere or sudden bottomlesspits or something else really cheap.

 

though I have to give some compliments to Unleashed though, I found the 2d segments a little bit more fast-paced and more fun than those in Sonic Colours. Sonic Colours level design is also a lot more blocky and slower paced than unleashed, but in Sonic Unleashed you're a bit to fast, you'll probably run a lot into spikes or bombs just because you couldn't react fast enough, and to me that is a lot more frustrating than the blocky platforming in Sonic Colours.

 

My pick: Sonic Colours

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Colors, easily.

 

The first problem I have with Sonic Unleashed is that it's primarily designed for quick reflexes over actual platforming challenges.  As a game goes on the difficulty typically rises to challenge the player even further; unfortunately there's really not much you can do for quick reflexes before it becomes outright horseshit.  The latter stages in Sonic Unleashed are just cruel and unfair with this, where getting damaged becomes the least of your worries when death becomes the punishment for failure (some instances, they put a fucking 1-Up right before the cheap bullshit segment because it's cheap bullshit and they know it).

 

The second reason is because there's not much for the exploratory types.  Sonic Unleashed has a plethora of short-cuts to seek out, some of which are cleverly hidden, however Sonic Unleashed's focus on break-neck speed kind of goes against the idea of slowing down to take in the sights.  There are a few things to look out for, Windmill Isle Act 2 has a few medals hidden off on the side for instance, but there's really not much else to it.

 

The third, is because some of Sonic Unleashed's levels just don't fucking work.  The side stages are particularly guilty of this.  One side stage in particular is supposed to hone your skills with the drift move, so the stage is built like a race-track and you take a lap or two to beat it.  Lo and behold when you try to drift only for it to not fucking work at all.  So what's the trick to beating the drifting stage?  By not drifting.

 

The only thing I can give Sonic Unleashed is that it has better set pieces, though eye candy like that loses its charm quickly.

 

Sonic Colors is pretty much the anti-Unleashed.  The levels are designed with a slower pace in mind, focusing more on the platforming and color powers instead of the quick reflexes.  So now we have more emphasis on clever platforming challenges in the latter portion of the game instead of horseshit reflex challenges.  There's much more to explore (Aquarium Park in particular is just one gigantic playground for the drill power) along with a large array for shortcuts for those speed running types.  On top of that, Colors has more incentive to go back and revisit levels; when a new color power gets unlocked later in the story, you can bet your ass that there's more than a few uses for it in the levels you finished prior.  Game Land also sprinkles some good old fashioned nostalgia at you by recreating some classic levels for you to play through (Game Land levels themselves are unlocked by exploring the main stages and collecting red rings so there's even more incentive to go out and explore).  

 

Sonic Colors' levels overall are just more competently designed, and I got a lot more bang for my buck because of it.

 

I'll probably talk about the Werehog's level design in some form later.  But for right now, I'll say it's boring as hell.

Edited by Nix

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Physical exploration without proper pay-off is boring, and it's a problem that plagues not only Colors but other Sonic games or games in general that have this faux style of exploration too. So I can go around the corner. Nothing really interesting to see or do. In fact, the path is almost indistinguishable from the main one, but hey, I can push my control stick in that direction and get there, so winner. Huh? False paths and branches makes a game feel more robust than it actually is, which has the ironic effect of making the game hollow than it otherwise would've been when you realize how little there is to do, like weapons or fighting combos or reskinned characters that exist in a game but don't really do anything in regards to further augmenting the game's design itself. Stuff for stuff's sake annoys me, not only as a gamer, but also as an artist. Fo

 

 

 

 

Okay so, can you give examples of this or something? Because I don't remember coming across an alternate path in Colors that didn't at least have SOMETHING in it  (be it a red ring, or a wisp, or just whole gaggle of rings) that made the effort to look for the at least somewhat worthwhile.

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Okay so, can you give examples of this or something? Because I don't remember coming across an alternate path in Colors that didn't at least have SOMETHING in it  (be it a red ring, or a wisp, or just whole gaggle of rings) that made the effort to look for the at least somewhat worthwhile.

 

When I want to explore in a game, I want to see shit I've never seen before- of which rings and Wisps, the main gameplay gimmick, don't really count much towards- or something I feel would be adequate rewards. Red rings and Chaos Emeralds would count, but personally I stopped giving two shits about unlocking Super Sonic the first time I did so as a kid, so there goes my incentive to explore for them.

 

But I don't even mean to argue from a standpoint of basic risk vs. reward, so much as I seek to refute this strange idea that having two paths automatically makes a game better than a game with one path. Diversions, like any other property of level design, are not inherently interesting level design in and of themselves. There is nothing saying that the more you have of them, your game will automatically better. They have to trend towards something that is meaningful and satisfying within the context of the game itself, and extra paths in Sonic games don't do that for me because they don't augment the way the game is played or experienced. They are functionally and visually indistinguishable from the main path most of the time, so their inherent utility is limited to the point that I don't bother with them or consider them capable of making the main game any more fun than it already is. The only exception would be ShtH- yes, that fucking game- where you actually get completely different levels and story options for exploring and doing different shit.

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