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Sonic Labyrinth.... isn't so bad


Rey Skywalker-Ren
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Yes THIS Sonic Labyrinth

I'll let everyone on to a little secret: Sonic Labyrinth is one game that I enjoy a lot and I am very disappointed it didn't make it to the Steam market. Oh well. This game was released for the game gear and it stars only Sonic and Robotnik. Sonic's speed is generally non-existent thus the number one complaint about this game. That the game is too

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SLOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW

Yes, the game is slow, very slow. However that is the point of the game. The game is SUPPOSED to be slow. It's a puzzle/platformer game, not a speed game. It's not like in some other games where they say Sonic is fast but he ends up being slow (looking at you Sonic 06). Also there is a little story behind why Sonic is as slow as toothpaste in this game, and it makes sense.

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So Dr Robotnik was chilling in his room, thinking of a new evil plan. He got angrier everytime Sonic would foil his plans. That damn blue scoundrel. Dammit!  He then thought of something.... his speed! Is that the main reason Sonic always wins? What if it were removed from the equation? With this in mind, Robotnik smile was wider than the Grand Canyon. With the power of the all mighty emeralds of chaos, he snuck into Sonic's room and switched out his sneakers' speed for the Slow Down boots. Now Sonic cannot jump, nor can he run! This plan is perfect! Nothing can stop Dr Robotnik now! And to add more salt to his wounds, he taps Sonic in his labyrinth, which was under construction. 

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What's our hero gonna do? He has no speed. He can't jump, and he is trapped in a puzzle maze. He needs those emeralds in order to get those sneakers back, since his boots are riddles with chaos energy. He only has his street smarts.... however he realizes something! Robotnik the genius never took away his spindash ability. The boots have no bearing on his spin abilities, which is his only source of speed. So he needs to rely on that to get things done quickly. Though all 4 zones (well the first 3), he needs keys to unlock his way to get through the other levels. He regains his speed by getting all of the chaos emeralds.

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So... real talk, this game has it's share of flaws such as:

-take damage when having the keys with you, you will drop them all and you need to pick them up fast before they go back to where you originally got them from. 

-Badnicks can be chameleons so watch out!

-the first 3 acts of a zone do not have rings, so keys work as protection

-the puzzles CAN become tedious

-the music

However, for what it is.... I find it pretty enjoyable. I like the fact that it did something ballsy when it came to Sonic himself and how Robotnik had the upper hand. I guess you can say that this game was the first to knock Sonic down a peg. Sonic had to do the game as a normal mortal. It partly asks: can Sonic save the day even without his trademark speed? Answer is: yes he can. Aside from that, the puzzles themselves can be pretty interesting when you know what you are doing. The colors are pretty abstract for the game but it is meant to be another dimension. The concept is there and while I particularly don't care to see it again, I felt it was done well.

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All and all, I like Sonic Labyrinth and I think the game is rather overhated. Yes, it DOES deserve most of the criticism it gets. The puzzles can be rather slippery and some acts can be really frustrating an tedious and the music is eh. From a gaming standpoint, it is a bad game, however I wouldn't go as far as to say it's the worse Sonic game ever. For the charge of being slow, well that is how it was designed to be. It's supposed to be slow. It's even in the game's plot. So it's up to you if you think that aspect alone makes it a bad Sonic game or not.  

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At most, Sonic Labyrinth is tedious, but that's mostly because the gameplay isn't anything special. There's nothing wrong with it technically, it does everything it's supposed to do, it's not even that the execution of the idea is bad. It gets a lot of hatred for the plot, but I personally consider ranking it one of the worst Sonic games ever is just...disingenuous. 

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Haha, I thought I was the only one who liked this game.

It's slow to run around but you can get around with the spindash easily if you know how to handle it without overshooting it. Most of the enemies are pretty easy to get around if you're not trying to destroy them either.

Oh, and the bonus stage is pretty fun if you look past the ridiculous requirements the game has for unlocking it. (Without looking the code for it up beforehand anyway)

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It still bothers me that people rate Sonic 2006 higher than this one. 

It's a totally different style of game, so it's like comparing apples to oranges, even. I mean, yes, Labyrinth isn't really all that good, but it isn't a broken mess, and it's premise is really easy to understand and it's not difficult to pick up and play at all. Overall, I feel like Labyrinth is an alright distraction, it'd be nice as a part of a mini game collection or something. 

Otherwise, it's... well it's just nothing terribly special to me. Worth noting, it was literally the only Game Gear game I ever had, so there's that.

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I've never spent too much time with Labyrinth, and I certainly wouldn't call it a good game, but I've always felt its reputation as one of the worst games in the series was pretty exaggerated. I think a lot of people come into it with the wrong mindset, seeing it as something like a companion to 3D Blast (an easy enough mistake to make given the isometric view and focus on collecting things to open the exit) but it's got almost a golf-like feel, where you're supposed to be relying primarily on the spindash. It's a weird game, and not very successful, but it isn't the trainwreck it sometimes gets painted as.

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I made a topic on Labyrinth once here after doing a complete run through of it back in 2014, but it got lost to the March data wipe of the forum that happened last year (that first gif in your post was actually made by me during said run lmao)

But I completely agree, Labyrinth most certainly isn't a good game but people calling it the worst Sonic game of all time or even in the top 5 worst are really exaggerating badly compared to some of the other poorly designed or just plain malfunctional games in the series.

Sonic Labyrinth isnt technically bad, it does what it was supposed to do. be a slower paced puzzle game featuring Sonic. And I guess the mixture of 'slow' and 'Sonic' is what led to its negative reception, but actually calling it one of the worst? no chance.

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It's not the worst Sonic game (That honor would still go to Free Riders for me). But it's nowhere near good, and even decent is pushing it. The game is unbelievably slow, the puzzles/gameplay isn't even that fun or interesting from a normal game's standpoint, let alone Sonic's gameplay standpoint, and even then, it's got the exact same problem as RoL. One of the key features that makes Sonic stand out is his speed. That's his unique gimmick. As SomeCallMeJohnny put it. Without the speed element, Sonic becomes exactly what he mocked in the 90s, a slow repetitive platform hero. 

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I enjoyed playing it on SADX for a little while, but gave in somewhere in the third of the four zones.  The difficulty increased too much for me to care to play it anymore, since I didn't enjoy the gameplay enough to keep going.

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So I've said this before on numerous occasions, but Sonic Labyrinth is a decently enjoyable game.  Not one that I'd be happy to pay full price for in 1995, but for a nice bonus mini-game on SADX, it was pretty okay.  Enough to entertain me for a short car trip, and nothing more.

The only thing I really don't like about the game was one of the levels towards the end where the only way to get the key was to ride a platform to the other side, but that platform takes like five minutes to appear and is in the most random spot where you wouldn't think to look.  Like, come on guys, that's not level design.  That's just some Castlevania II red crystal tornado shit.

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I played Labyrinth after unlocking it on SADX, expecting the worst but after a try out I have to say it was tolerable. It's hardly a great game, but there's worse ways to waste half an hour. The graphics are tolerable for 8 bit, the music is catchy and the engine is stable, though like 3D Blast some issues sometimes occur with the isometric perspective. The plot is a joke, but it's exaggeratedly enough of one that it's actually kind of amusing (actually it sounds exactly like something Boom Eggman would do). :P

I don't really see the problem with Sonic being slow because, really, that's the entire point. It's a bit tedious, but the gimmick is all about working around it and using precise spin dashes to still make a quick search around the areas.

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