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Pollyglot

What Modern Sonic shouldn't have.

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  • Automated Sections - You know those segments in Sonic Unleashed where you're set on an automated track, and you have to dodge attacks with side-stepping? Yeah, don't do that. Why? First off, you're taking control away from the players, and since the stages are automated, it affects how long it takes to get through the stage.
  • Boost Meter - Yeah, I said it. I hate how sometimes I'm boosting, and all of a sudden I'm not because I'm out of ring energy. Sonic is known to run fast, and speed is a known reward in the earlier games. That means that Sonic should be able to boost whenever the players want to, and this won't take skill away from the players since you still need to dodge obstacles and know what you're doing. Besides, I've noticed myself drowning on water just because Sonic runs out of boost so quickly at times. This should also be another one, as Sonic doesn't drown on the fly, he needs bubbles, so why does he die upon water impact in Modern games?
  • Split Level Design - Most of the tracks in Unleashed, Colors, and Generations are split into two segments. The first segment consists of platforming to get to the next part. Usually no boost required. The second segment is a long, turning hallway where you need to drift corners. They usually aren't balanced, though Sonic Generations came the closest to doing so. In the original Sega Genesis titles, speed and platforming were balanced, and would often come with the players doing a good job. That's how the stages in Modern Sonic games should be played.
  • 2D Sections - The reason I love Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 is because they know how well Sonic can move in the third dimension. When Sonic Generations had 3D platforming, I loved it, and has great potential! When Sonic is in the 2D sections, control is being taken away from him, and he loses his Z-Axis.
  • Bottomless Pits - Does this sound familiar? I decide to boost while in the air, but I end up flying off course and into an endless void. This has happened quite frequently, and would really help if they eased off of the "this stage is REALLY high up and you're going to fall to your doom if you screw up" mentality.
  • Quick Time Events - Didn't press the button in time? Well, now you're falling to your doom! Read the one above for more details about bottomless pits. As for quick-time events, they're self explanatory.
  • Platforming With Landscape - Sure, older Sonic games are known to have floating platforms to jump on, but why not have Sonic just use scenery to platform? They did a little bit of this in Unleashed and Generations, and I feel like it could really be expanded upon. Take a look at the following picture. Wouldn't it be cool to see more levels like THIS? 

 

valley-2908.jpg

For the record, here's what a good Sonic stage ought to look like.

 

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Sounds like you need to get better at boosting.  Love it or hate it, the boost gameplay is designed so you have to do more than just not hit enemies if you want to keep boosting.  Good players will never run out of boost because not only are they avoiding enemies, they're collecting rings too.  There is no water section in Unleashed where you HAVE to ration your boost due to lack of rings (even though it is advised to do so for beginners so you can see where you're going).

 

Boost gameplay with no limits on when you can boost would get rid of half the depth the boost mechanic has, and it doesn't have an awful lot to begin with.

 

 

 

Also I'd hate a Sonic game with level design in that video... hardly any platforming, the platforming that is there is tiny and fiddley and the player screws up both times and gets dropped down into a barren empty sea with no platforming (I'd rather just be killed and sent to a checkpoint than play underwater running simulator for a while instead).  Later platforming is skipped by just boosting up the cliffs and sailing across (an example of open level design harming platforming in a 3D space).  Everything is so open and barren, there's no sense of speed because it takes Sonic ages to get from one point of interest to the next... no thanks.  At first glance you'd think these fangames are closer to converting 2D Sonic into 3D but the stage design just never seems to appreciate the difference between 2D and 3D when it comes to giving the player freedom to roll about wherever they go.  I feel like I would have to deliberately ignore all that freedom in order to get a satisfying platforming experience, essentially playing it as if there WERE pits or invisible walls everywhere around the intended "main paths" like in the current stage design.

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Yeah, that video is definitely not what I want out of Sonic level design, for all the reasons Jez said.

 

As much as some people can't stand the controls of the game (I think they're great, myself), Sonic Robo Blast 2 is probably the best example of the level design of the classics translated into 3D, and I think it's more what you're asking for:

 

 

Whoever made that video was crazy for not using Arid Canyon Zone's

awesome, catchy music.

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Personally, I would love to see more level designs like that, but with a bit more platforming. The only major issue I have with the level in that video is the lack of direction once you get off the pier. The rings provide some idea of where you're supposed to go and it does look as if there are alternative routes, which is always a welcome addition, but some markings on the ground to show the direction you ought to be travelling in would help. 

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