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Boost and Spindash: Strengths and Weaknesses


Diamond Sonic
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Here's a question for everyone: is the Boost a better mechanic than the Spindash or vice-versa? 

 

For all intents and purposes the two mechanics seem essentially the same. Sonic goes invincible for most enemies (ones that don't have a protective barrier such a spike shield) and goes at a much faster pace. However, they are much more different then they seem. The first major difference is that the spin-dash needs to be revved up, bringing the pace down to a complete halt, whilst the Boost is instantaneous. The second difference is that the spindash plays off momentum, eventually coming to a halt, whilst the Boost maintains top speed and only stops when the Boost meter empties.  They are nuanced differences that make the two mechanics play very differently

 

Each has it's benefit over the other. For the Boost, it increases the pace of the game. Sonic can immediately start accelerating with Boost and doesn't have to stop to rev a Spindash. The Spindash most notably kills pacing when Sonic slows down on an incline

 

Sonic_incline.jpg?noCache=1428234183

 

When this happens, the player has to back up to a stop and then rev the Spindash up. Whilst it's arguable that the game duly punishes bad play it's also easily arguable that this also hurts the flow of the game. The Boost doesn't have this problem because it doesn't need to be revved up and immediately shoots Sonic off at top speed. The revving certainly has it's own appeal: revving Sonic up like a car engine and then watching him shoot off is certainly entertaining. The Spindash is also very nostalgic for many and obviously has a soft spot in player's hearts. However, the flaw of the Spindash is clear for all to see. 

 

Whilst the Boost is good for the game's flow, it falls before the Spindash when it comes to control. The Spindash is a very complex mechanic and plays off the Classic Sonic physics: rolling around and using momentum to reach top speeds. The Boost, however, is far more linear and pushes Sonic to his absolute top-speed instantly and constantly until the player stops using Boost. It makes the game play far more simply and what the game gains in flow and constant speed it loses in more deliberate play.

 

The question is, what do you think is better for the franchise? The flow and speed of the Boost or the deliberation and control of the Spindash? You decide! 

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I don't know how to really answer which is "better" of the two for the franchise. The spindash, as far as I know, has never really had a flawless take in 3D, while the boost has due to its more... simplistic nature? Dunno if that's the right answer.

 

I will say I prefer the spindash by far. It just feels more like Sonic to me. I have a lot more fun spindashing in the Adventures than I ever have boosting. Plus, it's a ball, Sonic's moves were modeled after ball physics. That's why the chose the curling-up hedgehog, right? He may as well be the Flash if he's not using ball-attacks.

 

But even still, it may be better for the franchise to keep doing boosting if SEGA can't perfect the spindash in 3D.

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Adventure, Generations and Lost World remedy the spin dash pacing by letting you hold the button while moving which will then immediately stop you and start revving it up.

 

The spin dash is meant to be a short burst of speed to help get you going again. It starts you off but after that it's all you. You still have to do the work of maintaining/gaining speed via rolling or by bailing out of the roll and heading off on foot.

 

The boost meanwhile gives a satisfying sense of speed but takes away the work & reward setup. Reaching top speed is now an effortless task. Since you're going to be at top speed with a boost far more often than you were without it, level design takes a hit in order to accommodate it. Perhaps the ideal solution would be to bring both together instead of removing one.

 

Here's just one idea. The spindash uses its one button activation method and perhaps grants just a little more speed than the 2D games just to make it more viable in 3D. This means the player will have to put the effort in in order to keep speed which could be done through rolling if it's brought back. The boost would be reworked to be more like how it was in Sonic Advance 2. It's an increased top speed granted to players that can keep momentum for extended periods of time rather than a part of Sonic's moveset. This increased speed is kept until the player slows down for whatever reason. At which point, they must build up to it again.

 

It all really depends on the gameplay style though and to a further extent the level designs built for it.

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The main thing that honestly decides whatever or not this Sonic game should have a boost or spin dash mechanic is if the levels in the game are designed for such a mechanic in the first place. The boost games had very drastic level design compared to something like Adventure or Lost World, which both had different level design to accommodate the spindash mechanic. I honestly don't care which one gets put in as long as it works and as long as it accommodates incredibly well with the level design. If you want levels that act more like a racing game with more control, then a boost mechanic would work well within that. If you want levels that focus more on platforming with a element of speed, then the spindash can help accommodate momentum challenges should the player happen to struggle getting over a loop or going up a hill.

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I actually really love the "spin-boost" from lost world. I think it'd work very well with the drift mechanic. More or less that'd be pretty ideal for me.

 

Overall I much prefer the spin dash to the boost, like most people might believe, I think it fits Sonic way more.

 

This may be another topic but I don't think every character should be able to go into a ball. I love how in Runners only Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles go into a ball during their spin dash. Everyone else just kind of boosts along.

 

Not like it matters though there probably won't be any other playable characters in a real Sonic game ever again.

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To add onto what Azookara said, I think a meter of some kind could be implemented for the "spin boost." It could fill up the more you charge the spin dash. When you blast off the meter either drains almost instantly normally, or you can slow its rundown if you press the spin dash button again like in SLW. Once you run out, you eventually slow down to crawl before stopping, like in the classic games.

Oh, and I'm a Spin Dash enthusiast if you couldn't tell. [emoji14]

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I just want to see the Spin Dash, Sonic Boost, and Super Peelout all put to use in the same gameplay style.

Wouldn't that be a bit redundant, though? Noone would find a plausible use for the Peel Out or the Spin Dash if there's another move that gives instant gratification without much setback. Unless they are to come to use when the boost gauge is out, but wouldn't that make them feel like punishments for running out of boost energy?

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Wouldn't that be a bit redundant, though? Noone would find a plausible use for the Peel Out or the Spin Dash if there's another move that gives instant gratification without much setback. Unless they are to come to use when the boost gauge is out, but wouldn't that make them feel like punishments for running out of boost energy?

I say take inspiration from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Generations, and have the Spin Dash build up boost energy. 

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I just want to see the Spin Dash, Sonic Boost, and Super Peelout all put to use in the same gamepay style.

Wouldn't that be a bit redundant, though? Noone would find a plausible use for the Peel Out or the Spin Dash if there's another move that gives instant gratification without much setback. Unless they are to come to use when the boost gauge is out, but wouldn't that make them feel like punishments for running out of boost energy?

Yes - what Sparky is saying is something along the lines to what I've wanted for years

For Boost:

First, nerf Boost so it does not damage enemies (also prevents redundancy with Spin Dash)

Second, Boost only lasts a short time and uses one full segment of Sonic's segmented Boost Meter and anything short of one full segment in the meter means Sonic cannot Boost (this segmented Boost system is how it worked in Unleashed for Wii), after the Boost ends the momentum based physics take over and it is on the player to maintain the Boost-like speed

Third, building energy in the Boost Meter is momentum based as running faster or maintaining high speed increases the Meter while slowing down comletely stops the Meter's building and stopping will actual lead to the Meter losing energy (obviously non-running moves and Boosting do not build the Meter, though performing stunts could build it)

Fourth, using the Peel Out while stopped builds the Boost Meter, but releasing the Peel Out before one segment of the Meter is filled will send Sonic off at his max non-Boost speed

Also, Dash Panels or accelerators and such are like a free Boost

For Spin Dash:

First Return the duck button, ducking while running creates a standard rolling spin like Sonic did in his first game before Spin Dash even existed - and obviously any rolling and ground based spinning uses the old ball physics

Second, holding duck while standing still and then pressing the Boost button (press and hold or tap like classics I don't care) sends Sonic into a Spin Dash

The Spin Dash revving builds the Boost Meter just like a Peel Out: if it fills one segment of the Boost meter before release then the Spin Dash will reach Boost speeds, if not then Sonic will only be at his max non-Boost speed

Further differentiation would be that Spinning is harder to control than the running of Boost, and with running Sonic can use Quick Step and Drift which he cannot do when spinning, but obviously spinning damages enemies which Boost should not do

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