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Was Lost World rushed? (More untagged SLW Spoiler Discussion)


Chaos Warp
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Sonic Team has a bad rep for rushing games. Rushing got us 06, and while Colours and Generations are good (albeit lacking in depth like almost every other 3d game), there is some arguments that can be made in favour of those games being rushed. So, do you think Lost World was rushed, and if so, why? What in the game shows that it's rushed. I'll start with my piece. 

 

-I think the place where rushing is most evident is the various bad bits of pop-in that the game has. Like I've said before, there's literally no justifiable reason for it to happen (again, not graphically demanding outside of framerate: simple artstyle, not that much advanced lighting, tube stages with no background scenery to render, Sonic being slow and the stages being small and compressed because of that) other then Sonic Team either rushing the fuck out of the optimization of the graphics engine or just plain laziness. 

 

-I think that the level design not being as inspired towards the end could be a result of rushing. It could be that ST took to long to work on the first half of the game, so they had to rush the levels in the latter half. Especially shows when Sky Road rehashes Windy Hill and Desert Ruins tropes. 

 

-The story could be rushed, due to the disjointed and incomplete/disconnected feel of it. When you play through the whole game (in terms of the story), it feels like you missed a few cutscenes somewhere along the line. This could be because of a rush to finish the game as well.

 

So those are the issues with Lost World that I feel can be attributed most to the game possibly being rushed.

 

What are your thoughts?

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The only rushed things in Lost World Wii U I saw were Super Sonics inclusion and the an incomplete ending (common, you bulid up the deady six and all the characterization for Sonic JUST to end the game with a even less impressive re-skin of the Egg Nega Wisp?).

 

Everything else, the graphics, most of the level design, the bluck of the story, looks to be much more complete that Generations and the Colors team did have alot of time to get the game done right (Colors came out in 2010, with only some of that team helping out the Unleashed team with Generations).

 

I dont own the game (...dont have a Wii U or 3ds :(), but from what I've seen of the game online, thats just my impressions on the topic :).

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All I'm going to say is, I feel that if they continue with this gameplay style (at least in terms of the parkour), this game will be essentially the "Colours" of the group. Colours is good, but comes across as very "small scale" and--as much as I love it and this game to bits--"filler".

 

Admittedly the only bit of Lost World that makes me feel like it's full on filler is the endgame. There's a lot of awesome build up (in particular Sky Road Zone 4 which gave me massive SA2 vibes), the Zavok fights were actually fairly difficult (for me, anyway!) and then...the actual final boss was really short. It's not even the easiness that made it disappointing to me--Nega Wisp Armor was easy, but it at least had a cinematic flair to it, and unless you know about the boost trick that makes the fight go by quickly, it at least takes longer than ONE MINUTE to go down. Can't say the same for...uh...what're we calling the new Eggman mech, anyway?

 

While I personally feel the game was fairly cleverly designed most of the time, there's a lot of small odd decisions. You know those mechs you can roll around in, in Tropical Coast Zone 1? Well, earlier I found out if you run into them from the side/etc., they deal damage. Why? What's the point? I wasn't aware they really counted as enemies. I know it's a minor thing but there's a few things throughout the game like that, which kind of baffle me. Then there's the whole "not knowing when to use the flying kick or not" stuff.

 

It feels like they could have tweaked the parkour a lot, it's satisfying to use most of the time but it feels way too slow at times, and there's not nearly enough flow. Running up a wall is great, and you can speed up by spindashing once, but then you cling to a ledge and it takes a few moments for Sonic to pull himself up and it just feels...wrong, I guess.

 

Then there's the Wisps, which don't have much use. I know that's supposed to be a good thing since they're a LOT more optional than Colours, but the thing is...I like using them in this game. In that, I had little problem with the controls--except Rhythm which I wish would go away in favour of Spikes or something--and found stuff like Eagle and even Asteroid a lot of fun. But...there's nothing interesting in the levels to really do ANYTHING with them. A lot of them, particularly the new ones, could potentially be great for finding clever new optional paths, but instead they're in areas you can go through fine on your own (Eagle and Magenta (aside from I think one instance in Silent Forest 2?)) or are necessary AND don't allow any options like Drill, or are like Asteroid where they bring you to a hidden room, but return to the normal level afterwards. Although it does let you skip a small portion of a level.

 

Super Sonic is better in this game than Colours and Generations. But then there's the double mouths! Fuck you, Sonic Team okay okay it isn't that big a deal, but could we get a patch? :V

 

I dunno if any of this is truly evidence to whether or not it was "rushed", but it's because of these things that I wouldn't be surprised if it was, to some extent. I think Sonic Team genuinely put a lot of love into this game, really. I just wish they had taken time to iron some things out, because I enjoy this game a lot and that just makes the stuff that does bother me more frustrating.

Edited by ElementofChaos
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Now that you mention though, Sky Road and Lava Mountain support your theory; the former reusing a ton of assets from other levels outside of Act 2 and the later only having one real stage (Act 1 is a boss rush on a sphere and Act 2 is a hard version of Tropical Coast Act 3). The lack of extra stages and the bizzar secret world also support your theory too...

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Oh, and despite mentioning Sky Road as being great at building up the story, at least in terms of Sonic gradually feeling more and more alone as his allies vanish, the level itself is good evidence of the game being rushed, I suppose. Reused assets and stuff.

 

I think it would have worked better if there was a story-related reason for it, like Zavok and co. was somehow smashing together hexagons of Lost Hex or something and it was fucking things up royally. It'd be a good way of showing that the Deadly Six are willing to do anything to get what they want (revenge), even if it means causing destruction to their own planet. EDIT: Now that I think about it, this could've gone for all the "odd levels out". Like, maybe the really odd ones, particularly the Hidden World, were leftovers of completely different areas that the Deadly Six destroyed in the past. Imagine an entire candy world, but Zomom ate most of it and all that's left is Desert Ruins 3.

Edited by ElementofChaos
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Oh, and despite mentioning Sky Road as being great at building up the story, at least in terms of Sonic gradually feeling more and more alone as his allies vanish, the level itself is good evidence of the game being rushed, I suppose. Reused assets and stuff.

 

I think it would have worked better if there was a story-related reason for it, like Zavok and co. was somehow smashing together hexagons of Lost Hex or something and it was fucking things up royally. It'd be a good way of showing that the Deadly Six are willing to do anything to get what they want (revenge), even if it means causing destruction to their own planet. EDIT: Now that I think about it, this could've gone for all the "odd levels out". Like, maybe the really odd ones, particularly the Hidden World, were leftovers of completely different areas that the Deadly Six destroyed in the past. Imagine an entire candy world, but Zomom ate most of it and all that's left is Desert Ruins 3.

 

You know, that would have been a good excuse for the more, "odd" parts of Lost World and it fits well with the story; Eggman's battle to control the deadly six before he got the conc lead to whole sections of Lost Hex to being ravaged and once Eggman got control of the Deadly Six, he just ignored the damage and resumed his plans. As for Sky Road and Lava Mountain, Sonic Team really could have went out with those levels (a litteral Sky Road to run across with Sky Santuary-esc designs would have been amazing and Lava Mountain could have been Lava Reef in 3-D).

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Nope. For the first time in years, I actually don't think that this Sonic games shows signs of being rushed to release. It may have been made with some parts intentionally designed to save time (Sky Road), but it does not seem like they went "shit we're behind schedule what can cut back on?!". The game feels complete and polished.

 

As far as pop-in is concerned. it again seems like a concious decision to keep the draw distance rather low. The level design this time requires that loads of objects need to be present in small areas, which isn't exactly friendly to the notion of 60fps. The camera is tilted slightly down and fixed in place so we don't see too far into the distance either. Less to render = steadier framerate.

 

The story isn't rushed. It just trying to satiate two sides of the fandom at once and in the end pleasing nobody.

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Nope. For the first time in years, I actually don't think that this Sonic games shows signs of being rushed to release. It may have been made with some parts intentionally designed to save time (Sky Road), but it does not seem like they went "shit we're behind schedule what can cut back on?!". The game feels complete and polished.

 

As far as pop-in is concerned. it again seems like a concious decision to keep the draw distance rather low. The level design this time requires that loads of objects need to be present in small areas, which isn't exactly friendly to the notion of 60fps. The camera is tilted slightly down and fixed in place so we don't see too far into the distance either. Less to render = steadier framerate.

 

The story isn't rushed. It just trying to satiate two sides of the fandom at once and in the end pleasing nobody.

 

No one said the game didn't feel complete or not polished; just that elements feel phoned in at times (Lava Mountain, the Hidden Levels, Nights DLC, Sky Road, and Super Sonic missing animation/two mouths).

 

I agree with you on the story; they wanted Eggman to slavage the situation, but with the boss fight being so...adverage, it dampered some things. Sonic just passing out at the end though made sence, he was through alot on Lost Hex, so being emtionally and psycally draned does make sence.

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No one said the game didn't feel complete or not polished; just that elements feel phoned in at times (Lava Mountain, the Hidden Levels, Nights DLC, Sky Road, and Super Sonic missing animation/two mouths).

 

I agree with you on the story; they wanted Eggman to slavage the situation, but with the boss fight being so...adverage, it dampered some things. Sonic just passing out at the end though made sence, he was through alot on Lost Hex, so being emtionally and psycally draned does make sence.

 

Certainly looks like someone said that to me!

 

-I think the place where rushing is most evident is the various bad bits of pop-in that the game has. Like I've said before, there's literally no justifiable reason for it to happen (again, not graphically demanding outside of framerate: simple artstyle, not that much advanced lighting, tube stages with no background scenery to render, Sonic being slow and the stages being small and compressed because of that) other then Sonic Team either rushing the fuck out of the optimization of the graphics engine or just plain laziness. 

 

-I think that the level design not being as inspired towards the end could be a result of rushing. It could be that ST took to long to work on the first half of the game, so they had to rush the levels in the latter half. Especially shows when Sky Road rehashes Windy Hill and Desert Ruins tropes.

 

I'd certainly not call a game complete if I felt they cut corners towards the later stages of development, and if they didn't bother to fine tune something as pivotal as the framerate and draw distance I'd not call it polished either.

 

If something is rushed to release, it's incomplete and lacking in finishing touches. I just don't think Lost World fits that category.

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I felt that the story wasn't rushed, but instead it was Sonic Team backtracking REALLY late on it, after two games playing safe on the story, not trying anything that could potentially  be risky, they give us this, and it feels like Lava Mountain happens the story starts falling appart, It felt like Zavok had his own agenda and plans after collecting the energy, the twist with Eggman, the six's demise, all the emotion this point of the game could have, It felt like right at the end Sonic Team was all like ''Shit guys, this game has actually a strong story, last time we did that we got guns and princesses, lets tell them to stop'' and then at the end cut a lot of stuff just to make it a bit more safe.

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There hasn't really been a mainline Sonic game since Unleashed that didn't feel "rushed". I'm still shocked that Sonic Team managed to squeeze out something like Unleashed a mere two years after 06, yet have every single game since then come out on a bi-yearly basis and feel even lazier despite them having a better foundation to sit on. Maybe it's just placebo and not thinking about how much shorter Unleashed would have been without the Werehog segments.

Like Blue Blood said though, Lost World is probably the least "rushed" game since then. The game accomplishes what it's tying to do in terms of content mostly well with a lot of exposition and actual context as opposed to the likes of Generations. What is there has a generally sound presentation and all the aspects are generally well made - which incidentally goes the same for the bad elements, which are so badly well done that it makes issues in this game stand out higher than the predecessors. It all only really begins to fall apart near the ending but I'd say that has more to do with developer incompetence as most of the content still manages to be "new" or at least be re-used for the sake of being a hard-mode gauntlet.

The endgame only seems to have been written with the presumption that Sonic Team weren't sure whether the Deadly Six were to be mainstays in the future installments, and it's implied that they're still out there. So if that's what they actually wanted to do then kudos I suppose. It just doesn't feel like the proper sendoff you'd expect, which is the real disappointing part about it. It mostly just seems to show that despite having a weightier plot it still has to end on an inconsequential note enough that it's possible to pick up on it in the future without contrived explanations (i.e Shadow's excuse for still existing after Sonic Adventure 2).

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Funny thing about the side swapping mouth, I was pretty drowsy when I first noticed it in unleashed and thought for a moment that they had just put a mouth on both sides, but now in this game Super Sonic just is like that?

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Funny thing about the side swapping mouth, I was pretty drowsy when I first noticed it in unleashed and thought for a moment that they had just put a mouth on both sides, but now in this game Super Sonic just is like that?

Generations models would have mouths on both sides for ease of animation but the side that wasn't on display would have been masked. Super Sonic showing both mouths seems more like an oversight or a glitch, assuming they're reusing some assets.

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Generations models would have mouths on both sides for ease of animation but they would be masked. Super Sonic showing both mouths seems more like an oversight or a glitch.

If I remember right the Unleashed model had a mouth on one side and just mirrored his muzzle area. I think that sort of masking would leave a seam on his face.

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I wouldn't say the game was rushed at all. If anything, I'd say it was poorly handled and generally poorly executed. Some nice ideas that just don't work in many places, and some seriously questionable design decisions.

Also, had this nagging feeling that this game borrowed a little too much from Mario. You don't have to agree with that, you could in fact say that its a good thing. I think its a pretty shite idea, myself. The Sonic franchise, while reactionary to Nintendo's darling mascot, prized itself over how different and exciting it was compared to the Mario games of the time. Sonic as a character himself, was designed to be much more dynamic than the unapologetically "square" Mario.

Maybe taking some trope ideas is all right, but straight up ripping boss-fights and certain sequences as well as the ideas behind certain level designs, is just not what I want from the franchise.

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I agree that story probably wasn't rushed, although it felt a little lackluster. But in my opinion, the game feels far more rushed than Generations and Colors. Sure, there are no obvious huge mistakes, but crunch time did its job, presumably. There are on the other hand many "little" mistakes, which for various reasons were discussed in spoiler thread. A certain double-mouthed abomination was already mentioned here. But there is something, if you will, because I don't know if I could call it something, far more impressive found out recently.

Doing all Omochao Missions grants you...

nothing, with sparkles and announcent that this is your prize. No, no your usual "you get nothing" thing. You are given... it, but it's apparently nothing.

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Well, thats odd; I would think that beating all the Omochao missions would unlock something really cool, but from what your saying stan423321, thats not the case at all :(.

 

I don't agree with you about the game being more rushed then Generations though; as good as it was, Generations felt like a large missed opertunity at every turn, and most of that comes with the game feeling rushed. The repepative level tropes, the lack of any additional acts for modern/classic sonic, the gimped Super Sonic, crapy final boss, and a incomplete story (I mean.....come on; so much potental to poke fun at the series more silly elements but nope, just go to level to level like its nothing, even when Sonic and Tails comment on Green Hill and Chemical Plant....dry.png).

 

Lost World feels much more complete; even if Sky Road and Lava Mountain feel weaker compared to prior zones with them reusing assets and in Lava Mountains case, having one new level, you still have 4 very fleshed out zones with solid parkor machaics, improved controls, and strong level design. Sure, super sonic having two mouths is....glaring to say the least, and the hidden world is really out of place (fighting a Pac-Man hamster...WTF Sonic Team, were you on something blink.png?), but in terms of general content, story and gameplay, Lost World feels like the most complete Sonic game since Sonic Unleashed and Colors.

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Given your post I believe we are talking about different phenomena with some similarities in results.

 

Sure that there are many wasted opportunities in previous games, by the way they are there many in SLW as well. I could argue that the better a small game is - and let's face it, Sonic games aren't long - the more wasted opportunities it generates, by pulling you into itself as well as stimulating your imagination while failing to satisfy it - I think this is what you call incompleteness. Then, there are questionable design choices, which also happen to exist in both older Sonic games and SLW.

 

But a game being rushed is something completely different.

 

Wasted opportunities may happen for various reasons, and this indeed includes developers thinking they won't manage to do something in time for the game to be released. This however does not imply developers rushing to release the game. In fact, the game being rushed is caused by a complete reverse of what I described above: developers decide (for various reasons) to implement something despite not having sufficient time to do this at normal pace.

 

Let's take a look at an imaginary example. Suppose developers of, say, Sonic Colors Unleashed are taking a look at their game progress six months before they will submit it to testing. However the game has got roughly 20 levels, and devs feel the game in its current shape should havearound 40 levels or else it feels too short, and they know they won't make 20 levels in 6 months. (And this is for some reason the only concern they have with the game.) What can devs do?

  • They can decide to release the game as is, with a few new levels included and present ones polished. This probably will lead to people complaining the game is short.
  • They can make some mechanic enforcing/inviting people to replay levels. Many people will claim dissatisfaction, but it's not because the game was rushed, it's because time enforced devs to use a weird design choice. Note that there are some games with replay mechanics done well.
  • They can add some additional levels specifically designed to stall the player's progress. This rarely ends well, but happens sometimes.
  • They can decide to delay the game. (Supposing the publisher is alright with this.)
  • They can decide to release the game as is and supply new levels as DLC.
  • They can decide to somehow try to implement 20 new levels in 6 months.

It's the last scenario which can make and probably will make the game rushed. Unless devs of Sonic Colors Unleashed will suddenly deploy advanced development tools.and call publisher to hire some help for them, the probability they will somehow win against time is terribly low. This will lead to decrease in level quality compared to devs' potential.

 

So while I understand your feeling that SLW feels more complete than Generations, this hasn't got much to do with the game being rushed.

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I find it interesting that the last three major Sonic games - maybe even the last four, if you count Sonic 4: Episode 2 - have been justifiably accused of having a rushed and incomplete plot.  Whether it's an accurate accusation in a sense doesn't matter - it's so long-standing that it's clearly becoming a real problem with the series, and one which it didn't need on top of all its other problems.

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