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A funny thing happened when I replayed Sonic Generations...


Badnik Mechanic
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So earlier today I was at a Microsoft Developer conference, this was basically a forum/series of talks/lectures about parts of the gaming industry and a few key areas, mainly regards to Microsofts role.

 

Anyway... a few people had brought down some PC rigs and hooked them up to some huge 1080p HD telly's.

 

Now these rigs were some serious kit, we're talking liquid cooling, custom cases, dual epic graphics/video cards, SSD's etc etc you know the kind, the stereotype ultimate gaming rigs.

 

So I'm there with the rest of my class, and suddenly we discover one of the PCs has Sonic Generations on it, my eyes lit up, a high end gaming PC, connected to a very good HD TV, with a controller with one of my favourite Sonic games on it... I had to play this.

 

So eventually it gets to my turn and they all chuckled when I selected Generations. The guy whose PC it was yelled "OHhhhh turn up the volume!" Because he loved the OST. 

 

It was literally, the near perfect set up to play Generations, my favourite modern Sonic game.

 

Now here's the thing... it dawned on me... I've not played this game since it came out, back in November 2011, that's getting on for 3 years, I knew I was gonna be rusty, and I just had visions of them all laughing at my mistakes... and yeah I was rusty... only.. well this happened...

 

I'm playing Green Hill as classic Sonic, now I used to be able to do all the tricks on this, but now I can't remember the timings... yet I can still absolutely destroy the level by doing the most basic of things.

 

For instance, I do a spin dash, then jump on any ramp... I have just skipped out a huge portion of the level. Why should I be able to do that? 

 

And it wasn't just for Green Hill, Chemical plant zone too, I could skip out huge portions of it, granted I'd have no idea where I landed, but it didn't matter, I'd skipped entire chunks of level. Modern Sonic also had issues, a correctly timed boost jump, chunks avoided.

 

It felt like, here was a simple move I could do, and I could almost skip out chunks of the stage. Now I admit that the classic's did have segments where it was possible to fly right up and skip out segments of the stage, famous example is the Sonic 2 speed runs, but these are difficult to pull off unless you REALLY know the timings and are confined to just coming out of a high speed segment (green hill for example). 

 

Now to be fair, I was just trying to unlock City Escape, but the guy comes over and asks me to wrap it up since he's needed elsewhere and needs his rig, but he says "You can sure tell you know that stage off by heart" and I thought "I don't... I don't like the Chemical Plant Zone in Generations... didn't really play it."

 

In fact everybody watching were saying stuff like "FUCKING HELL!" "Boss!" and a few other praises as I did amazingly basic stuff which meant Sonic flew over the stage as opposed to through it. They enjoyed the show I put on, but I couldn't remember the stages very well, certainly couldn't pose a threat to speed runners, but because I was doing these basic moves which gave the illusion that I was rocketing through the level, when in fact I was flying over it, the watching crowd through I was some kind of master at the game. 

 

And they liked it. Afterwards they all said "That actually looked like a lot of fun" and "Might have to get that game now..."

 

But inside I was feeling "That really wasn't as fun as I remember it."

 

Does anyone else feel the same? That Generations if you go back to it isn't as fun? There's been complaints that it's too easy, but this is also true if you just try for general S-Ranks, this was more "If you just randomly tap the spin dash + jump" or "If you randomly jump + boost" you can skip huge segments of the stage. 

 

The problem I have with this, it gives the illusion of player progression and reward, the player isn't progressing through the stage, there's nothing to actually stop him and this is from a basic ability which is there from the start. 

 

For the watching audience, this was a fun spectacle, they liked it and even went "AWWW!" when I missed a jump and "YES!" when I linked together a homing attack chain." But for me, playing it, it just didn't feel as fun.

 

Is Generations a game which is more fun to watch? Or am I going through the motions?

 

Thoughts?

 

 

P.S. Generations on a serious PC rig is fucking incredible! But, sadly not as fun as I remember.

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I'd LOVE to try Generations on a rig that's pretty much a beast. It must be an incredible experience!

I can kind of echo what you are saying about Gens being easy. I think there's a trick in City Escape Act 1 where if you spin dash around the beginning you can gain some serious height and skip some platforming. It's more difficult to pull off due to precise timing being more of a necessity here but I know the one in Green Hill at the beginning is very easy to pull off.

However, I actually find doing things like this harder with Modern Sonic due to being on a 3D plain. I can take shortcuts, but sometimes it requires me to retry it a few times (though I think the 360 version has some input lag).

I can easily boot up Generations still and have fun, but really only for short bursts. It eventually does become too easy. I'll hopefully be playing the game again on my family's new computer this week (on the provisal it can run it), so I guess I can try and re-assess it then. Maybe set myself a challenge to complete the game without dying or something to make it slightly more interesting.

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I agree with you OP, it's still a fun game but Sonic Team hasn't nailed the balance of difficulty in a long time IMO.

 

If classic Sonic had to earn his speed by rolling down hill instead of the instant boost Spin Dash, it would be a lot more fun. You would have to time your jumps correctly after a roll, instead of just hold X, release and quickly tap A at an incline. They got the air momentum right (aside from the ridiculous speeds which while fun, make it way too easy), we just need that rolling.

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Generations not being very fun is a message I can get behind.

Seriously though, yeah, the spindash especially can break levels in half without much effort. The boost I would say less so, but it is still not good.

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I found it easy on the first run as well, so I don't think lack of difficulty in retrospect is really an issue for me.

I find Generations fun still. It's good for a knockabout if you want some easy playing, and I still get engaged by the references. Certainly more visited than other games like it.

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I just want to touch note on something here

 

1. playing PC on an HDTV is doing it wrong.

 

2. My Gaming PC can run it at 60fps with everything maxed @1080p FXAA on. You don't need a dick-measuring build to run this.

 

And yeah, the PC version was such an upgrade it wasn't even funny. Even a cheapshit APU rig will run it awesomely.

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I loved Generations, but I do admit the novelty has worn of a lot. Unlike Adventure, I really don't need to come back to this game. Adventure had charm, a cheesy, but awesome story, and an interesting world for me to explore. Generations had fun levels and challenges, but I don't find myself picking up a copy years from now. 

 

Still a good game in my eyes.

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I felt the same exact way. I used to be on Generations all the time. I thought it was so fun blasting through the levels doing sped run type skills, blasting off, spindashing over multiple segments being a boss. But then- I couple months later I decided I'd give it a go again and- wasn't very satisfied, I thought maybe because I had officially 100%'d it I was cool, then came my PS3 having to factory format because it got unplugged one day while I was playing a game. So I decided "yeah lets do this again!" yet couldn't make it past one playthrough. I liked seeing the sights and cutscenes again but it was such little enjoyment compared to when I was first playing. Even though I was rusty unless I was trying to do speed run type stuff I didn't die and still completed levels with no problem and overall just wasn't fun. Even going back to try to 100% it was kind of boring because of the repetitive mission structure. This may just be my opinion but Generations isn't as much a go to game like the sorts of other games in the series. Don't get me wrong Generations is structured quite well but can't keep my grip for longer than a stage or two. Enjoyable but only for so long I'd say.

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In regards to the actual topic, I have to disagree.

 

I have never gone from calling a game shit to calling a game awesome just by bumping the framerate to 60.

 

You mentioned that the stages you played were Green Hill and Chemical Plant.

 

greenbronzem.png

 

"Dominating" those stages is like an able person entering the Special Olympics and expecting to lose. They're the first 2 levels, I'd hope you were good at them otherwise hahaha this isn't the game for you.

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In regards to the actual topic, I have to disagree.

 

I have never gone from calling a game shit to calling a game awesome just by bumping the framerate to 60.

 

You mentioned that the stages you played were Green Hill and Chemical Plant.

 

greenbronzem.png

 

"Dominating" those stages is like an able person entering the Special Olympics and expecting to lose. They're the first 2 levels, I'd hope you were good at them otherwise hahaha this isn't the game for you.

 

I don't think the topic is about how good he is or not, but how when he played the stages felt easy and ultimately not as fun to play. The not as fun to play is the emphasis on the topic not whether or not he's good. If he was horrible he still woulda spindash jumped and felt the same, that the overall experience wasn't as fun to play. Not trying to be rude as it seems you like this game but overall you're missing the point.

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Well that's a point exactly (in my eyes at least) why are the first levels boring? While you don't want a super complex level at the very beginning, it shouldn't feel boring. Example Emerald coast (In SA1) In my opinion it's a pretty well designed level that is not only fun to play the first time but to get better at the second and third tries and even more. 

 

In my personal opinion levels don't get any less boring than Green Hill or Chemical Plant but more complex allowing for making different choices which in turn makes in fun. In my opinion again. I feel all the levels have some fun factor but it's all around the same level. The only time it increases is how the player perceives it, "Guy we already know this- this is game 101" sorry : ( I'm not good at text yet.

 

But what I'm saying is- why are these two levels boring to begin with? They could be more intricate with more ways to complete it but it's designed as "Hey this is the first level" which could be handled better 

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I know what the point of the topic was.

 

Are you sure about that, only your replies so far suggest otherwise.

 

I have never gone from calling a game shit to calling a game awesome just by bumping the framerate to 60.

 

Since when did I say the game was shit?

 

Furthermore, since when did I say I've always found the game shit?

 

Since when did I say that I expected it to be awesome by bumping the framerate?

 

I would have thought that writing how I wanted to play Generations was a big clue that I liked the game, the second big clue was this line "the near perfect set up to play Generations, my favourite modern Sonic game."

 

Image of a speed run record

 

That's not the point of the topic, as I mentioned, I was never going to be able to pull off all the tricks since it had been so long, one of the problems I had is that it's possible in several stages to bypass entire chunks of the game by using a simple move such as jump button followed or preceding a boost/spin attack. And it's true for more or less all the stages. 

 

You are given the illusion of game progression when in fact all you're doing is flying through or over a stage without much of an obstacle. To people watching it looks like you know the stage and you're some kind of expert at it, yet to play is fulfilling. Now for me, when I originally got this game, being a fan of this series, I continued, however for an average player this presents a fundamental problem with the design of the game, if it has 4 levels (2 green hill 2 chemical plant), which are boring and unfulfilled to non fans of the series. I put it that most people will stop playing and mark this as being a boring game.

 

I mentioned how some of the people watching saw me by passing huge chunks of these stages which were literally just Sonic flying over the stage saying stuff like "that actually looked like a lot of fun" and "Might have to get that game now..."Yet it's not, for the player this isn't a fun experience, it feels unfulfilling since you're not doing anything other than a most basic of actions to progress through a non existent level. Yet for a watching crowd it looks awesome.

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Since when did I say the game was shit?

 

Furthermore, since when did I say I've always found the game shit?

 

Since when did I say that I expected it to be awesome by bumping the framerate?

 

I would have thought that writing how I wanted to play Generations was a big clue that I liked the game, the second big clue was this line "the near perfect set up to play Generations, my favourite modern Sonic game."

 

I have no idea how the hell you took the word "I" as "You". I was talking about myself.

 

And the game is hardly boring without the tricks, assholes with rigs like that always buy it for Battlefield and Crysis or process heavy MMOs, which shows the difference in demographics.

 

You were just a Sonic fan in a crowd of people who don't give a rat's ass about Sonic. And it clearly shows if they thought you were kicking ass at the 2 easiest stages in the game.

 

 

Unless you played more than that?

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*post*

Okay, do you even know what this topic is about? Sorry for sounding like a butt, but this topic is about how he felt Sonic Generations didn't hold up in the fun department and how stages aren't fulfilling if you can just spin jump over big chunks and pieces of them.

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Okay, do you even know what this topic is about? Sorry for sounding like a butt, but this topic is about how he felt Sonic Generations didn't hold up in the fun department and how stages aren't fulfilling if you can just spin jump over big chunks and pieces of them.

 

Yes, I know. And I'm saying I don't see how he can say that when he only played the first 2 stages, the most bland stages in the game bar Planet Wisp. Like I blatantly stated in my last 2 posts.

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See but that's the point while he may have only played the two stages there, he realized that many of the stages, have this problem. Jumping over big parts of levels with a boost jump or a spin jump which leads to levels feeling boring to the player if they can do it over and over. Which is for the most part true, jumping after a boost can get you over many stages obstacles leaving levels feeling dull and samey. That's why the levels as a whole are boring not just the first two because this trait carries onto the game as a whole.

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Yes, I know.

 

No you don't... First of all, why even bring up the 'I have never gone from calling a game shit to calling a game awesome just by bumping the framerate to 60.' when it has nothing to do with the opening post other than it was something I wanted to experience?

 

However I think the further example comes from this gem.

 

 

 

assholes with rigs like that always buy it for Battlefield and Crysis or process heavy MMOs, which shows the difference in demographics.

 

Where do you get off making generalisations like that? 

 

Very first line of this topic "I was at a Microsoft Developer conference," Lets think for a moment? Why do we think they had impressive PC rigs? Could it be because they were game developers? They were making games as well as very specialist software? That they had to test their own stuff with that stuff as well as being enthusiasts of the hobby? They just happened to open up their Steam page and we decided to have some fun playing a bunch of games on them during the break?

 

Furthermore, you have no clue as to what games this person had on his system. and you certainly have no idea as to how many people where fans in there of any genre or franchise. I'm guessing it would surprise you to know that one of the guys in there who brought his rig had Sonic on his desktop? That another guy had Sonic Adventure 2 and that was also one of the games doing the rounds at one point, and the guy who had generations on his system also said that he wanted to get the sonic racing game?

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Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Speed Highway (Classic), City Escape, Crisis City. These all have some way or form to jump skip / air boost skip pieces of the level. It's about how they got boring. The levels are designed samey with different gimmicks which isn't bad but to some becomes boring.

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A little aside, I actually think Dark Souls 2 is a lot better of a game at PC frame rate.

 

Pretty much from the time I got my hands on Generations, the impression I got was that it was a fun game without any real replay value.  I never really liked their faux genesis stuff, partly because of how naners the spindash was but mostly I didn't think the levels were all that great.  

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The thing about Generations is that it suffers from being one of Sonic Team's short games which started in Colours. The game doesn't really provide enough content to future-proof itself. That's not to say the content is bad, there just isn't enough of it. 

 

This leads us to replayability. Okay so the game's short but at least you can go back and still have fun right? Well, the problem is you'll blow through a good chunk of stages in no time at all so it's really something you can only play in bursts. The game might suffer slightly as well because so much of it relies on nostalgia. The stage themes, gimmicks, music, bosses etc all come from past titles. Obviously that's the whole point but it could be problematic when paired with the length issue.

 

The upside to all of this, is that the PC version had such a huge modding community that the amount of content you have to play with is massively increased. Other characters, new stages, recreations from other games and so on. The game can be so much more because of all this addition content.The only problem with the PC version is whether or not you can run it which is a no in my case and considering I'm getting a PS4 shortly then I doubt Generations PC will be an option for me for some time. for everyone else though, if you can run it, this is where to go.

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Honestly I do think the early levels are stupendously easy to beat.  It doesn't really get punishing for flying around wilynily with the spin dash and boost until Sky Sanctuary.

 

I think as long as you have a basic grasp of Modern Sonic gameplay, it is very easy to break these stages without a 100% clear memory of their layouts.

 

 

 

It kind of makes sense for the game design though.  Generations was a celebration game that rode on nostalgia appeal, so a lot of players bought it who had never played a modern Sonic game before.  They needed to seriously reteach everything that Unleashed and Colours introduced in these first couple of levels.  Us veterans breezed through them.

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But inside I was feeling "That really wasn't as fun as I remember it."

 

Does anyone else feel the same? That Generations if you go back to it isn't as fun?

 

But for me, playing it, it just didn't feel as fun.

P.S. Generations on a serious PC rig is fucking incredible! But, sadly not as fun as I remember.

 

Uhm... why did you titled your topic "A funny thing happened when I replayed Sonic Generations" when in actuality the thing that happened wasn't that funny? wacko.png

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