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Sonic Unleashed vs. Sonic Colors Extra Round - Final Thoughts

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The game actively encourages you to go fast with all of the dashpads, dash rings, ramps, rails, light dash paths and all the other shit in that game that propels you forward. Not to mention the long stretches of land with absolutely nothing in them, and the fact that Sonic controls like absolute SHIT if you try to go slow. You could tell that he wasn't even playtested at that speed. He slips and slides all over the goddamned place unless you're moving at a decent speed.

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Because for a time it does do that. Unleashed starts off by presenting the boost in a context that you are rewarded for using it with pretty much no downsides. The level design is extremely straightforward, rings are plentiful and none of the enemies present any real threat when using it (but they do when you don't). Then at a certain point it immediately turns around and starts kicking the absolute shit out of you when you do. And there's not much in the way of build up to it. One level it's about as close to BOOST2WIN as the series ever legitimately got. The next level you practically need prescience to know when to do it because it severely punishes using it incorrectly.

 

 

Then it turns around and stops punishing it again.

Which level exactly is this?  I feel they progress quite neatly.

 

 

Windmill Isle - As said this is very straightforward.  There is one pit near the end where being overzealous will punish you.  I admit the bridge before the final 2D section was the first time I died, and when I immediately thought "oh right, need to be a bit more careful than that".

 

Savannah Citadel - Very straightforward again, only the second stage after all.  The final segment punished reckless boosting frequently, but never with death.

 

Cool Edge - Pits begin to appear here and there, but mostly just in 2D sections where you are already platforming.  Pits in 3D sections are heavily forewarned with falling ice to avoid, their movement attracting the player's eyes to the threat.  Water is introduced, but it is very hard to fail on here.

 

Rooftop Run - Punishes reckless boosting frequently with non-fatal injuries.  Pit-wise it's fairly reasonable.

 

Dragon Road - Pits become a very real threat, but only in the spinning platform areas - geometry that couldn't be MORE discouraging of boosting compared to the previous highways.

 

Arid Sands - Punishes reckless boosting frequently non-fatally throughout the stage, then with death towards the end.

 

Skyscraper Scamper - Punishes reckless boosting frequently with death.  This is the eighth stage why are you still recklessly boosting.

 

Jungle Joyride - Punishes reckless boosting frequently with death.  Water sections are the only major super hard point of this stage since boosting is mandatory, however this IS the penultimate stage we're talking about here.  The falling towers are communicated badly in terms of what damages you in what timeframe, but otherwise they'd be perfectly reasonable to avoid.  They still catch me out occasionally.

 

Eggmanland - Eggman finally achieved what he's been trying to do for the last 16 years man the fuck up.

 

The game actively encourages you to go fast with all of the dashpads, dash rings, ramps, rails, light dash paths and all the other shit in that game that propels you forward. Not to mention the long stretches of land with absolutely nothing in them, and the fact that Sonic controls like absolute SHIT if you try to go slow. You could tell that he wasn't even playtested at that speed. He slips and slides all over the goddamned place unless you're moving at a decent speed.

 

I'm not talking about his "walking" speed.  I'm talking about holding up as far as possible but not boosting.  At that speed you can see every hazard coming in reasonable time.

 

I see all the other stuff as being there to provide speed and thrills to the non-boosting player.

Edited by JezMM

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Exploration isnt encouraged nor rewarded.

 

I was encouraged to find Sun Medals, Moon Medals, Art Books, Videotapes, Records, Souvenirs, and shortcuts that rewarded me with more levels, better Ranks, Extra Lives, more time spent in Professor Pickle's Lab, some Power-ups and Experience to level up my Stats, and Rings to buy items. Not to mention Sonic was actually helping some of the Townspeople in need during the missions by exorcising Dark Gaia minions, transporting medicine, playing with children, planning a birthday party, finding lost items, and helping people get started with their careers....wow, Sonic is a pretty awesome guy.

 

I did get all of the Ring Star Rings but more Game Land Levels and Super Sonic wasn't enough for me.

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This is my post from a topic last year where I defend building-block level syndrome. It's not necessary to the games, but since most side-acts or DLC acts were made of these block pieces, it looks like a cheaper and faster way to give us extra levels in the game. They could do better, but I'll take it if the alternative is no extra acts at all.

 

I noticed they have a way of taking scenery pieces and restacking them like Legos, like using a certain platform x10 to build a floor ten miles in the sky as another whole act. Colors should consider itself very guilty of this, entire 2D acts comprised of nothing but metal boxes. Cheap as it is though, it adds length and sometimes creative design to the game. Levels in Colors had some puzzle elements to them because of the Wisps no doubt, but I suspect it's also because they had to find new ways to lay out the same crap over and over again. I support this cheap crap because levels can be made quickly (an amateur could do it with an editing mode) and it forces the devs to get creative with their recycling. It also allows them to showcase gimmicks, like in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf9KP0eDpxs. A real act centered on this would be a waste of time. It is crap. But they were able to use it after all and it kinda reminds me of the special stages from the 8-bit Sonic 1 strangely enough. These recycled acts really feel more like bonus stages from Ristar or something like that. Small contained areas focused on one particular gimmick or platforming skill, like one of these puzzle-platformer games with 100 levels where the only thing that changes is the pacing and types of obstacles. Maybe that's the kind of thing that's popular now if you look at mobile and downloadable games. But yeah I say it's good for padding, for gimmicks, creative layout, and for act themes. They're not supposed to be 100% or anything.

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The problem is in Unleashed and Generations these lego block levels were optional extras.  In Colours they are presented as mandatory stages, and take up almost 50% of the levels on offer (granted more like 30-40% given that they are shorter levels, but still).

 

 

Then every single secret stage is LITERALLY made of lego blocks, with the only fun ones being the ones which had their level design deliberately copying Sonic 1's.

Edited by JezMM

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I was encouraged to find Sun Medals, Moon Medals, Art Books, Videotapes, Records, Souvenirs, and shortcuts that rewarded me with more levels, better Ranks, Extra Lives, more time spent in Professor Pickle's Lab, some Power-ups and Experience to level up my Stats, and Rings to buy items. Not to mention Sonic was actually helping some of the Townspeople in need during the missions by exorcising Dark Gaia minions, transporting medicine, playing with children, planning a birthday party, finding lost items, and helping people get started with their careers....wow, Sonic is a pretty awesome guy.

 

I did get all of the Ring Star Rings but more Game Land Levels and Super Sonic wasn't enough for me.

And this is one of the reasons why Unleashed is the superior title because so much effort was invested in motivating the player to make the most of the world and to explore it, this being very in-line with the game's premise as a World Adventure. You're rewarded with very worthwhile things.

When you've dealt with the bad design of Colours regarding it's one and only collectible, put up with the frustration of needless invisible barriers or having utilized a Wisp accidentally before having reached an area with a red ring that demands it or can't control Frenzy with anything remotely close to refinery to get that red ring in that one Starlight Carnival mission all for the sake of an unlockable as horribly limited as Super Sonic, you realize just how much Colours fumbled the ball when it comes to rewarding for exploring.

When I picked up a book or a video or an item, I instantly wanted to know what it was. It was a delight, trotting off to Pickle's lab to see what it was and being presented with a piece of concept art that attests to the love and creativity invested in the game or a charming cutscene to view or Pickle's very charismatic opinion on the souvenir he's been presented with that, you guessed it, contributes to the expansive feel of the game . Can't say that about Colours.

Edited by Vertekins

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Windmill Isle - As said this is very straightforward.  There is one pit near the end where being overzealous will punish you.  I admit the bridge before the final 2D section was the first time I died, and when I immediately thought "oh right, need to be a bit more careful than that".

 

Savannah Citadel - Very straightforward again, only the second stage after all.  The final segment punished reckless boosting frequently, but never with death.

 

Cool Edge - Pits begin to appear here and there, but mostly just in 2D sections where you are already platforming.  Pits in 3D sections are heavily forewarned with falling ice to avoid, their movement attracting the player's eyes to the threat.  Water is introduced, but it is very hard to fail on here.

 

Rooftop Run - Punishes reckless boosting frequently with non-fatal injuries.  Pit-wise it's fairly reasonable.

 

Dragon Road - Pits become a very real threat, but only in the spinning platform areas - geometry that couldn't be MORE discouraging of boosting compared to the previous highways.

 

Arid Sands - Punishes reckless boosting frequently non-fatally throughout the stage, then with death towards the end.

 

Skyscraper Scamper - Punishes reckless boosting frequently with death.  This is the eighth stage why are you still recklessly boosting.

 

Jungle Joyride - Punishes reckless boosting frequently with death.  Water sections are the only major super hard point of this stage since boosting is mandatory, however this IS the penultimate stage we're talking about here.  The falling towers are communicated badly in terms of what damages you in what timeframe, but otherwise they'd be perfectly reasonable to avoid.  They still catch me out occasionally.

 

Eggmanland - Eggman finally achieved what he's been trying to do for the last 16 years man the fuck up.

 

3 stages where you could boost through them and not worry about much of anything in the way of it coming to bite you; certainly not frequently enough to condition the player away from using the boost recklessly.

 

 

Then Rooftop Run happens and the game drops the hammer on you.

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Then Rooftop Run happens and the game drops the hammer on you.

 

...Where?  I don't get it.  The only pit of particular note is the first one in the rail grinding section (funnily enough, the one that comes right after that bit where the lasers actually get you and slow you down if you're boosting unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing there).

 

 

Also if 3 levels condition you at the start, why do the remaining 6 not rewire that conditioning?

Edited by JezMM

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To JezMM, yeah it's true for sure that Sonic games have a padding problem. But these cheap looking levels are their best solution yet. It's not alternate gameplay or side missions in the same level, it's an actual new level, however prefabricated. I feel like they're also taking cues from newer Mario games when they make short gimmick-focused acts.

Edited by American Ristar

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The game actively encourages you to go fast with all of the dashpads, dash rings, ramps, rails, light dash paths and all the other shit in that game that propels you forward. Not to mention the long stretches of land with absolutely nothing in them, and the fact that Sonic controls like absolute SHIT if you try to go slow. You could tell that he wasn't even playtested at that speed. He slips and slides all over the goddamned place unless you're moving at a decent speed.

 

Well that's kind of the point of the level design: To move really fast and to accomodate the nature of Sonic's controls. You might not like it, but it works with the level design (Diogenes would disagree for a number of reasons, but then again he hates both games, so that's not a surprise). Colors is taking that same control and placing it in an environment meant for something that moves at a far slower pace.

Edited by 743-E.D. Missile

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Because it barely punishes you at all in the first few levels. It doesn't matter that when it starts getting pissy at you for spamming it that it does it fatally or not, since the only functional difference (especially as the game goes on and gets increasingly cheap) is that you have to restart a bit before instead of just continuing on; particularly later in the game where the game confuses "difficulty" with "here have some lives." It just decides around Rooftop Run that "No, spamming the boost is bad;" and the only way it actually escalates from there is scaling the frequency that it punishes you for it upwards.

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Sonic in Colors controls nothing like Sonic in Unleashed.

I'm giving you my impression of what I see, and using a mixture of experiences from both Unleashed and Generations to "TRY" to give a somewhat coherent response. In my case, based on my observation, the level design of Colors works in opposition to the gameplay control that Sonic generally has across the board, mainly because the often times SMALL and really blocky platforms means you have to use a control scheme MEANT for a fast paced level design in an environment more suited to a much slower character.

 

If anything, one of the prime examples I feel is evidence of this is the fact that Sonic was given a double-jump in this one game, yet it doesn't appear in ANY of the other games. The double jump acts as a crutch to make up for Sonic's poor precision.

 

I understand that I haven't played Colors, and to you that might cause my argument to be seen as invalid, but I personally think my experiences with the extremely similar Generations and Unleashed and the things I've noticed in those games are sufficient enough to give my opinion on it.

Edited by 743-E.D. Missile

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To JezMM, yeah it's true for sure that Sonic games have a padding problem. But these cheap looking levels are their best solution yet. It's not alternate gameplay or side missions in the same level, it's an actual new level, however prefabricated. I feel like they're also taking cues from newer Mario games when they make short gimmick-focused acts.

 

Admittedly they didn't quite work for me since it only took me a couple of plays to notice all but one or two in Colours do in fact reuse existing level areas.

 

 

For the padding problem, I'd rather be given new ways to play existing fun, smooth-flowing acts.  Something I think multiple goals in a stage would work for.  Or in a game like Unleashed where you unlock moves as you go along, having you return to a previous level to discover a plot-important item in a route previously unaccessible.

 

I agree that lego-levels are fun, but they should certainly be used MUCH more sparingly than Colours did.

 

Because it barely punishes you at all in the first few levels. It doesn't matter whether that when it starts getting pissy at you for spamming it that it does it fatally or not, since the only functional difference (especially as the game goes on and gets increasingly cheap) is that you have to restart a bit before instead of just continuing on; particularly later in the game where the game confuses "difficulty" with "here have some lives."

 

Again I just dunno what to say really, how you folks can get hit/die and have to restart as often as this and still insist on going fast.  I legitimately just don't get it, because playing like that literally did not even cross my mind on my first playthrough.  When I could see ahead that there was nothing in my way, I would boost.  When I had crossed that safe distance I would stop boosting.  I would boost when there was a hazard in my way or it was a chase sequence, and then stop when the sequence was over.  Blargh.

 

And I still don't see what's so bad about Rooftop Run.

 

 

Oh and I've never been bothered about when they start throwing lives at you because I just saw it as them saying "okay this level is really fricking hard and we know it is, but we want it to be.  We don't want you to have to pointlessly redo all the earlier stuff again when you fail though, that's not fun, so have infinite lives for this bit".

Edited by JezMM

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Then Rooftop Run happens and the game drops the hammer on you.

 

Are you talking about that mission "Lunch Thief", that's like a hard mode version of Rooftop Run Day Act 1 starting from the Skydive Pit?

 

I remember being able to play the mission before actually playing Day Act 1 and it is hard.

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I'm honestly not seeing what you guys are talking about, you make it seem like Unleashed's daytime stages are nothing but gauntlets, they aren't that fucking hard with the exception of Eggmanland, the only bit that is bullshit to me is RANDOMIZED QTE's the set button pieces are easy to remember otherwise after a few attempts and they stop becoming a problem.

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Sonic in Colors controls nothing like Sonic in Unleashed

Actually he does.

Stomp? Yep.

Homing Attack? Yep.

Flash Step? Yes again.

Boost? Yep when he has White Wisps which are very easy to obtain.

Walking? Equal to the control over it as in Unleashed.

Air Dash? Boost in the air.

The only real differences is that Flash Step is confined to certain areas and Ring Dash is exclusive to Hover form.

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Admittedly they didn't quite work for me since it only took me a couple of plays to notice all but one or two in Colours do in fact reuse existing level areas.

 

They did do that, didn't they.

 

But they usually change it up somehow with the little pieces they've rearranged. That's the thing about the Lego acts, it's easy to just remix crap around for the devs probably. I am still undecided on Lego acts honestly.

 

Also I agree that Unleashed is really hard to play the first time if boosting. After a while, maybe just stop boosting?

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I actually don't have too much trouble running at normal speeds with sonic (if anything sliding off of walls when you run into them kind bothers me a little though but not too much since its never really bad in situations). 

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Also you can't keep bringing up the "Sonic Handles like shit at low speeds in Unleashed" because he fucking handles like shit in all 3 games at low speeds, there's times i've wanted to throw my wii mote out the window because of spazzy nunchuck controls when i've been grinded to a hault in colours, also the drift is fucking shit in colours, Sonic even handles like shit at slow speeds in Generations, so stop playing that card as if it's something Colours has over Unleashed, because it doesn't.

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Actually he does.

Stomp? Yep.

Homing Attack? Yep.

Flash Step? Yes again.

Boost? Yep when he has White Wisps which are very easy to obtain.

Walking? Equal to the control over it as in Unleashed.

Air Dash? Boost in the air.

The only real differences is that Flash Step is confined to certain areas and Ring Dash is exclusive to Hover form.

 

Aside from walking all of those are the moveset, not CONTROLS. And I can tell you that Sonic controls pretty differently in 2D then he does in Unleased.

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They did do that, didn't they.

 

But they usually change it up somehow with the little pieces they've rearranged. That's the thing about the Lego acts, it's easy to just remix crap around for the devs probably. I am still undecided on Lego acts honestly.

 

Also I agree that Unleashed is really hard to play the first time if boosting. After a while, maybe just stop boosting?

Pretty much, also its a good idea to just tap the boost button on water segments when its your first time since not only do you stay afloat but you can also see the level better by just boosting when necessary.

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Aside from walking all of those are the moveset, not CONTROLS. And I can tell you that Sonic controls pretty differently in 2D then he does in Unleashed.

How differently exactly? Because based on my experiences in Unleashed and Generations, Sonic's turning capabilities at slow speed is really not all that good, so it stands to reason (or at least following a trend here) that Colors would not be that much better.

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Again I just dunno what to say really, how you folks can get hit/die and have to restart as often as this and still insist on going fast.  I legitimately just don't get it, because playing like that literally did not even cross my mind on my first playthrough.  When I could see ahead that there was nothing in my way, I would boost.  When I had crossed that safe distance I would stop boosting.  I would boost when there was a hazard in my way or it was a chase sequence, and then stop when the sequence was over.  Blargh.

 

It's funny you'd mention boosting during chase sequences, because Rooftop Run's last chase sequence killed me quite a few times.  

 

They decided it'd be cool to do some rail chasing.

 

With broken rails.

 

And the assholes fire their weapon right as you make a fucking turn.

 

So you take damage, and can't jump out of the way and head straight into a pit (I think you can't anyways, haven't played in awhile for reasons).

 

Otherwise Rooftop Run has some pretty dickish obstacle placement, though luckily death isn't the punishment for most of them (most of them is annoyingly stopping you in your tracks for a few seconds).

Edited by Nix

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Aside from walking all of those are the moveset, not CONTROLS. And I can tell you that Sonic controls pretty differently in 2D then he does in Unleased.

He hardly handles differently at all. The controls feel more 'refined' because the moves in his moveset are uncommonly used and the game is fixated with 2D, which constrains Sonic's overall potential and makes Colours' level design so banal in comparison to Unleashed.

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