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Sonic games that have aged well.

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It's often noted by fans, the general public and critics far and wide that there are a good number of Sonic games that have aged very poorly. It's nothing that should come as a surprise, the Sonic franchise has had well over 50 titles. Yet what about the games that have aged well? Why shouldn't these titles be discussed and praised? So let's put aside another beat-out discussion on how Sonic Adventure has aged and look at some positivity!

 

I won't be making arguments for obvious titles. We all know Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 are masterpieces. Instead, I'll discuss two games which I think are a tad overlooked.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog

 

It feels fitting to look back at the game that started it all. Sonic 1 is a testament to the ingenuity and talent at the original Sonic Team. It's a game that was released way back in 1991 and was in direct competition with other heavyweights like Super Mario World, Megaman, Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania, other excellent sidescrollers on a great competitor system. Yet despite the stiff competition, Sonic 1 managed to better all these games in sheer graphical fidelity and it's unique surreal art style. Imagine what losing all your rings must have looked like in 1991. You get hit by an enemy and bang! All the rings you collected in the level go flying out in all directions! Not only was this a statement on the power of the Sega Genesis but it's still a novel feature that impresses players now. Watching Sonic lose all his rings whilst the level still has active movement is great to watch now. Sonic 1 may not be as good as the games aforementioned, but it's a downright classic with a revolutionary spin on the videogame template with its focus on speed and exhilaration, yet without taking control away from the player.

 

It's easy to critique the game now. It doesn't hold up as well against Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, yet I think that shows just how strong this game truly is. The only simple way to criticise the game is comparing it to other games in its own franchise. Sonic 1 is simply more experimental than its sequels and the problems with the slower zones, like Marble Zone, and the lack of a spindash are symptoms of this. If you were to take Sonic 2 and 3 away then Sonic 1 would still provide a videogame experience that no game before, or since, has managed to achieve. Sonic 1 is still very much unique for how it marries speed to open and expansive level design. Just look at the map of Green Hill Zone, one of the most iconic stages in videogame history:

 

Look at how incredibly complex that stage is with it's openendedness and focus on Sonic's movement philosophy. It's simply a bonafide masterpiece of level design and one of the greatest opening stages in videogame history, teaching the player how to play the game with ingenious placement of monitors and enemies. 

 

For these reasons, Sonic 1 is a classic videogame that has aged phenomenally well. It may not be as good as Sonic 2 or Sonic 3, but it still holds up damn well. 

 

Sonic Adventure 2

 

Poor old Sonic Adventure 2 gets somewhat of a bad reputation. It's certainly not as popular right now as the original Adventure title with hardcore fans and revisionists tend to smite the game down as an unfocused mess, with a myriad of innate problems that are emphasised with the changing playstyles. It's certainly not on the same level as the classic titles, but it's still a game that I do believe has aged very well and is at least good.

 

Unlike the original Adventure, Adventure 2 has a sheen of polish on every aspect of it. Whether it's the smooth animation that can be found even in the tiniest details such as Sonic's change from a roll into a jump, the great graphics that still hold up now, the good lip-synching, the silk-smooth 60FPS framerate or the general lack of bugs or glitches, Adventure 2 is still a blast to play now. The game manages to succeed far more as a smooth experience that the original Adventure title does. Yes perhaps Adventure has better concepts, but it's nowhere near as polished or as enjoyable as a product as its sequel. 

 

Of course, Adventure 2 still suffers from the alternate playstyles, particularly the treasure hunting stages. Yet the speed stages, of which there are far more unique levels than the original Adventure, all hold up well on the whole. Even some of the Mech-Shooting stages have their moments, such as the space stages. The fact every stage is unique and the game doesn't recycle stages just shows how polished and the level of care that was put into the game, which really shines through during gameplay. The Hub World has also been removed, which keeps the game and plot going at a breakneck speed, something which feels natural for a Sonic title.

 

The bottom line is that Adventure 2 offers a rock-solid experience that many of it's contemporaries, and even current games, don't have. What other game has you sliding down a San Francisco inspired stage down a board, darting past cars on the road and fleeing from a truck that's crashing right into you?

 

Sonic Adventure 2, that's what!

 

Yes, Sonic Adventure 2 has its dull moments. The Treasure Hunting stages are dull and frustrating and some of the Mech Shooting stages seriously start to overstay their welcome. Yet I believe that when Sonic Adventure 2 hits peaks, and it usually does, it's a game that still holds up well. 

 

Conclusion

 

These are two games which I think have aged very well. I think it's a shame that there is so much negativity regarding how certain games have aged yet the games that haven't aged so badly don't get as much recognition. I've only listed two games because I don't want to make an even bigger post than I already have but there are many other games you could make a strong argument for: 

 

The Sonic Advance Titles

Sonic Rush

Sonic Colours

Sonic Generations

Sonic and All Stars Racing

 

If any of you guys want to show how other games have aged well, please go right ahead :)

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Sonic 3 & Knuckles hands down. I first played that game in 2004, that's 10 years after the original release. It's now 2015 and I can still play this without rolling my eyes at how dated it looks or feels. Sonic 1 and 2 have also aged well, not sure about Sonic CD though.

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I think Sonic Adventure has aged somewhat well too. Aged means to be inferior to things that have come afterward, and thus they have become obsolete. I don't know about anyone else, but Sonic Adventure is still one my favorite Sonic games because the controls and gameplay mechanics not only hold up, but are still the best Sonic has to offer in 3D IMO. I keep hearing all the time that this game has aged about as well as milk, but I honestly don't understand this sentiment. Yeah, the visuals have certainly taken a hit, but stuff like Big's fishing, and Amy's slow-ass movement were bad from the get go. 

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Not everything said about SA2 in the OP is wrong (I do think though, while it took longer to do so than SA1, it has now started to age badly) but regarding these two:

 

the good lip-synching, or the general lack of bugs or glitches

 

Did we even play the same game.  The lip-syncing is awful in SA2 unless you played it in Japanese like some sorta NERD (mainly on account of the fact that it was animated to match the Japanese voice track with no changes made when played in English).  And... yeah the game had tons of glitches and general small bugs that affected gameplay until you learned how to avoid them, doubley so when playing in 50hz on PAL systems.

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I guess a more positive example from me would definitely be Sonic 3 & Knuckles, as I never played those two very much as a kid at all (S&K not at all) yet loved playing them as a teenager in Sonic Mega Collection, granted, I played plenty of other Sonic games as a kid so I can't judge them as a 100% new player to the gameplay etc.  The one exception would be S&K Special Stages, which seem far too difficult and memorisation-based to be acceptable design by today's standards, especially due to how much harder to find the Special Rings are in S&K, and the long wait time between retries even if you do abuse an easy special ring like the one at the start of Mushroom Hill.

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Did we even play the same game.  The lip-syncing is awful in SA2 unless you played it in Japanese like some sorta NERD (mainly on account of the fact that it was animated to match the Japanese voice track with no changes made when played in English).  And... yeah the game had tons of glitches and general small bugs that affected gameplay until you learned how to avoid them, doubley so when playing in 50hz on PAL systems.

 

It's bad in that sense but it's good lip-synching for the time in that the mouth animations match to original dialogue and don't resemble nightmare fuel.

 

As for the general bugs, in all my years of playing SA2 I've never encountered any and never heard of anyone running into them aside from hunting for speed-running glitches. It's certainly far less bug-ridden than other 3D Sonic titles.

I don't really think counting Sonic Generations and Colors in could classify as aging well since they aren't nearly as old as others used for comparison like Sonic 3, or Sonic Adventure.

 

Sonic Colours is almost 5 years old.

I guess a more positive example from me would definitely be Sonic 3 & Knuckles

 

Yes, but all I ever hear is people salivating over Sonic 3 & Knuckles and it's getting damn tiring. This is coming from someone who preferred Sonic 3 when it came out too.

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Sonic Colours is almost 5 years old.

 

Yes, but all I ever hear is people salivating over Sonic 3 & Knuckles and it's getting damn tiring. This is coming from someone who preferred Sonic 3 when it came out too.

 

Games really haven't changed much at all in those five years. There are very few 2010 games that could truly be called "aged" that weren't already archaic the day they came out.

 

Also you'd better get used to it 'cause Sonic 3's the best game this dumb series ever got so

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It's bad in that sense but it's good lip-synching for the time in that the mouth animations match to original dialogue and don't resemble nightmare fuel.

True, but there were games with better lip-syncing before it (on inferior hardware too, Conker's Bad Fur Day for example), and if they are to present the game in English then we should judge the game in English.

As for the general bugs, in all my years of playing SA2 I've never encountered any and never heard of anyone running into them aside from hunting for speed-running glitches. It's certainly far less bug-ridden than other 3D Sonic titles.

While the former isn't unbelievable, the latter most certainly is. SA2 was notorious for being glitchy and most reviews speak of it's glitches. To this day, my original Gamecube copy has unplayably bad camera glitching on Crazy Gadget, consistently at the same spots, 90% of the times I play it.

Yes, but all I ever hear is people salivating over Sonic 3 & Knuckles and it's getting damn tiring. This is coming from someone who preferred Sonic 3 when it came out too.

Okay but I was literally doing what the topic asked of me, and I'm talking about it in the context that I played it out of it's time and enjoyed it, therefore suggesting to me that it has aged well. Maybe people talk about it so much because it's good. =U

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It's bad in that sense but it's good lip-synching for the time in that the mouth animations match to original dialogue and don't resemble nightmare fuel.

 

As for the general bugs, in all my years of playing SA2 I've never encountered any and never heard of anyone running into them aside from hunting for speed-running glitches. It's certainly far less bug-ridden than other 3D Sonic titles.

 

Sonic Colours is almost 5 years old.

 

Yes, but all I ever hear is people salivating over Sonic 3 & Knuckles and it's getting damn tiring. This is coming from someone who preferred Sonic 3 when it came out too.

 

And I didn't encounter any glitches in Sonic Adventure 1. At least ones I didn't intentionally do. The reason I bring it up is you once said Adventure was filled with bugs.

 

Another thing as well was you said Adventure's controls were bad and didn't hold up...But, Adventure 2 more or less has the same control scheme as Adventure 1 with one or two control tweaks for power ups so how is it that you believe Adventure 2 holds up well but not Adventure 1 despite the fact that they both more or less have the same issues as you claimed Adventure 1 had? If you want to go further, many believe Adventure 2 is worse than Adventure 1 due to the Treasure Hunting stages being made worse, and the gun gameplay from Tails/Eggman being meh, meaning most only enjoy the Sonic/Shadow stages.

 

I personally think both games have aged well but If I were to choose, I think Adventure 1 was the game that aged overall better. The Treasure Hunting stages are better, and both the Sonic and Tails stages were good. Using an example from SomecallmeJohnny, while Amy, and Big's sections of Adventure may not be all that fun, and Gamma's is sort of meh, at least you can fully enjoy at least half of the entire game (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Super Sonic). In Adventure 2, you can only enjoy about 1/3 of the game because most of the game is entirely taken up between Tails/Eggman shooting levels and Knuckles/Rouge treasure levels. 

 

Also, I really don't think we should be counting games that aren't even 5 years old, mainly because not much has changed since then. Colours is still regarded as meh or good while Generations is still for the most part praised. I just don't really think opinions can change in less than 5 years, especially when nothing has come to actually top those games. In fact, I'd say the last game we could discuss if it's aged badly or not is Shadow because that's more or less 10 years old.

 

Plus, if you want to speak about glitches. Adventure 2 on it's original release had a large number of the discs released with a default that caused the floor on the second part of Cannon's Core to be invisible, meaning the game was impossible to complete.

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Also you'd better get used to it 'cause Sonic 3's the best game this dumb series ever got so

 

Sorry, but it's stuff like this that makes me roll my eyes. Sonic isn't a dumb series and Sonic 3 isn't far away better than every game in the franchise, like Sonic 2 for example. Sonic 2 is actually better than Sonic 3 in some regards, like how it has better sprite-work, more varied and unique zones and how it introduced more to the actual formula such as the spindash. 

 

I like Sonic 3 a lot. Like I said, I liked it best when it came out. I remember when I was in my younger years and I scoured for it trying to get a Megadrive copy (this was well before it was easily available with Megacollection). But this ridiculous salivating over Sonic 3 really makes me start to dislike it, just because of how stupidly fanboyish people come across. 

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I like Sonic 3 a lot. Like I said, I liked it best when it came out. I remember when I was in my younger years and I scoured for it trying to get a Megadrive copy (this was well before it was easily available with Megacollection). But this ridiculous salivating over Sonic 3 really makes me start to dislike it, just because of how stupidly fanboyish people come across.

That is a really really silly reason to start disliking a game.  You shouldn't let other people's opinions of something affect your enjoyment of it like that.

 

Also like, stop using the word salivating as if we're doing something wrong or mindless or generally negative by praising a game we like just because you don't like it as much as we do?  It's incredibly rude and condescending and doesn't at all endear yourself as someone worth debating with in forum topics.

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I like Sonic 3 a lot. Like I said, I liked it best when it came out. I remember when I was in my younger years and I scoured for it trying to get a Megadrive copy (this was well before it was easily available with Megacollection). But this ridiculous salivating over Sonic 3 really makes me start to dislike it, just because of how stupidly fanboyish people come across. 

 

Not my fault I know a masterpiece when I see it  :wub:

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I really feel like I'm missing something with SA2.  I mean, SA2 was my favorite game when I was younger and even back then I could see that the lip-syncing was terribly off and even worse in the GameCube and PC versions of the game.  Example: After beating Big Foot and meeting Shadow, Sonic says, "Shadow... who is he?" but his lips only move for "Shadow... who."  There's also a scene which was oddly changed in the GameCube version where during the scene where Knuckles and Rouge first meet, Rouge's crying out after Knuckles deliberately shatters the Master Emerald is made so that she does so immediately after the emerald is shattered, whereas before it was meant to show that she was crying out as she watched the emerald pieces fly off in the distance.  I'm assuming this was unintentional and a result of porting it to the GameCube, because the subtitle is still there even though there's an absence of dialogue.  In general, though, the mouth movements clearly weren't changed at all between the Japanese and international versions of the game, and it's evidenced by very modest gaps between dialogue and lip movement.  Also, the dialogue in general is kind of glitchy. ("You guys always leave me behind and have all the FUN-UN-UN-UN!")  Plus, in typical anime fashion, the characters only move their mouths in two cardinal directions, which in itself showcases its age.

 

Playing SA2 today feels like driving a broken down car.  The controls have a very "unstable" feeling to them, and while it's not super common, it's not rare for things like Sonic (or any character) only half-way jumping after pressing the A. button or for the Homing Attack to refuse to lock on.  Glitches aside, there are a number of mechanics that are just terrible by today's standards, such as the infamous "attempting to press the switch but since it's the same button as the somersault button, I end up somersaulting all the time" burden that pretty much everyone faced on Crazy Gadget.  JezMM also mentioned camera issues which are particularly annoying and very common, especially in rail stages.

 

I have a modest amount of nostalgia for SA2, but if I were to be fully honest, it's kind of not that good of a game.  It's not the worst game by any means, and for all intents and purposes it's still fully playable.  Also, recent ports of the game have been extremely kind to it, whereas recent ports of SA1 have really made the game appear a lot worse than it really is. (Though I'm not saying that game has aged particularly well either, even on its native consoles)

 

Also, games that are less than ten years old really aren't that prone to age.  There's not really been any major change in gaming to result in any change of mindset, and there's really not been any major cultural changes to make us reconsider the merits of something.  In general, it's just not a very long time at all.  Like, I still remember when I got Sonic Colors for Christmas vividly well.  Vividly enough that I'm not really nostalgic for it.  Same with Generations.  Playing through the game reminds me of last week at most, not distant memories from a decade ago.

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That is a really really silly reason to start disliking a game.  You shouldn't let other people's opinions of something affect your enjoyment of it like that.

 

Also like, stop using the word salivating as if we're doing something wrong or mindless or generally negative by praising a game we like just because you don't like it as much as we do?  It's incredibly rude and condescending.

 

It's just like Portal, when everyone went fucking nuts over the cake joke. There's nothing worse than people going mindless over something that's really great. It cheapens the whole experience. The reason it's negative is because all the other great Sonic games are thrown away because "Lol SONIC 3!!111!!". We can't learn anything if it's not from our Holy Grail! It doesn't make the game any worse. Sonic 3 and Portal are great games. It's bad because it gives me a sour taste when I play it (and the various normal fans), because it becomes increasingly difficult to separate the game from the fanboysim. It's also totally different to GTAV (as someone mentioned above) because the GTA Community aren't pushing it down everyone's throats like it automatically makes every other GTA game obsolete.

 

I've loved Sonic 3 for probably a lot longer than some of the fans in the community who go fanblind in it's praise, intentionally trying to discredit the rest of the series to show how great it is. I paid £50 for a Megadrive copy when it was actually very rare to get a hold of, before MegaCollection signalled the start of it being ported to everything. Yet I'm not going to sit here in a fanblind frenzy and pretend it has no problems and it's the physical incarnation of Christ.

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I would argue that all the classic games have aged perfectly, even Sonic 1 if you can get over the no spindash and spike physics. There will always be a place for those games and there's a reason Sonic 3 & K is my most played Sonic game to date.

 

As for the Adventure games, I think they've aged horribly. Don't get me wrong, I love both Adventure 1 and 2 to death, but much like a lot of games from that era, Some problems are so glaring that they can't be ignored. I would find it hard to recommend these games to anyone that's not a fan of Sonic.

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 It's also totally different to GTAV (as someone mentioned above) because the GTA Community aren't pushing it down everyone's throat like it automatically makes every other GTA game obsolete.

Anyone who is not into GTA would probably disagree with that but I digress.

 

While I understand being a little sick of the hype (though I don't agree with it in your context, but that's another thing), it really seems a little shallow and maybe a little odd that rabid fanboys are constantly on your mind to the point where you can't even play a game you admit to liking?  I mean, I'm a fan of My Little Pony, Five Nights at Freddy's, and indeed, Sonic the Hedgehog, which are the literal most rabid and often annoying fanbases I can think of, but I still enjoy all those things.  I don't think of the rabid and annoying fanbase until it's ever brought up, in any case.

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It's just like Portal, when everyone went fucking nuts over the cake joke. There's nothing worse than people going mindless over something that's really great. It cheapens the whole experience. The reason it's negative is because all the other great Sonic games are thrown away because "Lol SONIC 3!!111!!". We can't learn anything if it's not from our Holy Grail! It doesn't make the game any worse. Sonic 3 and Portal are great games. It's bad because it gives me a sour taste when I play it (and the various normal fans), because it becomes increasingly difficult to separate the game from the fanboysim. It's also totally different to GTAV (as someone mentioned above) because the GTA Community aren't pushing it down everyone's throat like it automatically makes every other GTA game obsolete.

 

I've loved Sonic 3 for probably a lot longer than some of the fans in the community who go fanblind in it's praise, intentionally trying to discredit the rest of the series to show how great it is. I paid £50 for a Megadrive copy when it was actually very rare to get a hold of, before MegaCollection signalled the start of it being ported to everything. Yet I'm not going to sit here in a fanblind frenzy and pretend it has no problems and it's the physical incarnation of Christ.

 

First off, there's a massive difference between a overused joke and a game that is praised. That's like comparing the ''Shut up and take my money'' meme with Gravity Falls or Avatar. It just doesn't work

 

I'm sorry but Jez has a point. Sonic 3 can't help it if the game is widely liked and approved of and hating on it for no reason other than ''Other people like it!'' is a stupid reason. Everyone has an opinion. If the wide majority of the opinions is the game is a masterpiece, it doesn't remove anything from the game. If you are going to hate on it, then actually discuss what the game failed to do rather than just claiming ''I HATE IT BECAUSE OTHERS LOVE IT!'' That's like hating Super Mario Galaxy or Zelda OOT and Majora's Mask because they are regarded as the best of the best.

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It's not that it makes the game worse, it obviously is literally incapable of doing so. I'm talking about how irritating it is that all the other games are blindly thrown away so everyone can appreciate just how great Sonic 3 is. It's damn irritating and it's like watching my game that I've loved for well over a decade be hijacked by a bunch of rabid fanboys :P

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But why should it matter? So what? In a fanbase like Sonic in which the majority of games are hated on, then why the hell should it matter what the fanbase thinks? Why should the fan base have anything to do with how you have fun? It's still a very shallow reason to say why a game isn't good. If that was the case, I'd hate to think what would happen if you played Zelda Majora's Mask, Zelda OOT, or Smash Bros because of how greatly they are regarded. It's just a really silly reason to hate on a game because the fan base has absolutely nothing to do with the quality or fun factor of the game.

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Don't know how to help you there. I do know the feeling, truth be told. Even acted on it, much to my regret. But there isn't much you can do about it.

 

Besides, why single out Sonic 3 (& Knuckles)? Sure, I don't consider it the best in the series, but I still found it enjoyable...other than that damn barrel.

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