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Bad things about Good Sonic games

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I made a status about this a couple of days ago and was debating to put it into a topic, so here I am. Basically the question is "what are the bad things you have found in good Sonic games?", the opposite of the other topic (good things in bad sonic games)

As a note; when I say good Sonic games; I don't mean JUST the objectively good ones, I also mean the ones you feel are good games as well. 

I am going to start off by saying that I dislike the classic Sonic physics in Sonic Generations, actually classic Sonic's gameplay. It was pretty much was modern Sonic with no homing attack since the spindash was his boost, the rest of CS's gameplay was very automated and misses the point of what made classic Sonic games great entirely. 

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Enemy positioning. Almost all Sonic games, good or bad, have had some kind of issues with the positioning of enemies.

Notable examples of good Sonic games include Sonic 1 and 2 in particular. Everyone knows about Metropolis Zone, but there's also Oil Ocean and its offscreening fucking seahorses. Heck, even our lord and saviour Sonic 3 and Knuckles was not immune to this. There are far too many occasions where a bubbles would just float on-screen with its spikes active while you were running flat-out. Now I know the purpose isn't always speedspeedspeed, but its annoying when you have a rhythm going in Marble Garden only for the flow to be ruined by a bubbles that mosey's on in and gets in the way. 

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Sonic Generations

I LOOOVEEE this game. More than it deserves. Because while it is very gooooooood, there are few things here and there. And I'm not mentioning story and final boss (almost all elements are undercoked here). No, I'll be talking about... strange physics. In modern sections there are sometimes parts of the levels that, with enough speed, you are lunched upwords. And they are wierd. I always feel a script there, always going higher than my speed indicates. Like, I'm geting a boost of speed there. Also in modern, i feel like jumping slows me down. I can understand why it is here, and for new players it's a great way to position yourself. But I played this game 80+ hours (without mods) and at this moment, it's just anoying. 

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

SPECIAL LEVELS!!! I don't like them. Every. Single. Thing. About. Them. I do not like music (I think that game is laughing at me), I do not like the colours, I do not like the execution. And they are here just here to test our petience and memorizing skills. And a fremerate... I just don't like them. Maybe they are better in an Android/IOS version, but I haven't played them. In my opinion, even reward isn't good enough. Not after such a bad time... I just don't like them. And I now they don't like me.

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The whole "one button" philosophy really became a problem in Sonic 3 thanks to the Super transformations being mapped to the insta-shield, flight, and gliding commands. As Sonic, the shield abilities take precedence, but as Tails and Knuckles, even with shields, you're basically forced to transform. It's the major reason I almost always play as Sonic, as he's less forced to become Super Sonic (that, Doomsday and everything feeling most "complete" as Sonic, and that the shield powers are awesome).  Perhaps if Super Sonic was B while the flight etc. was A, it would have worked fine. Not that the automatic transformation in Sonic 2 was any better, mind you.

 

As for Generations, the jumping can be a bit wonky at times, mainly as Classic. It feels like Classic's jump is gimped compared to the Mega Drive games. Moments you swear you'd have easily made in Sonic 3 you'd miss in Generations for some reason. It's there as Modern, but not as bad and I'm mostly happy with how Modern plays and controls.

 

For Colours, I don't really like the Yellow Spring acts, other than Asteroid Coaster Act 3 as it's just a minor part of a very unique level where you have to use the wisps to backtrack to the goal ring, which was a really unusual design choice.

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Sonic CD is a great game and while the Taxman port has improved upon the game tenfold with some simple remedies to core gameplay alone, it still remains probably my least favorite game in the classic series.  Why?

The level design.

Dear god, that level design.

It is so obnoxiously bad.  It feels like the game was designed rather sadistically as a means of punishing the player.  Every single obstacle is made with little thought but to push the player backwards, or send them spiraling through the air and into some impeding death or punishment.  Nowhere is this truer than in Wacky Workbench, which infamously has spring tiles on the floor, that make you go up, down, and all around.  This wouldn't be so bad if everything weren't going a million miles an hour, meaning your ability to perceive and foresee what lies ahead is extremely limited, which will cause you to bounce straight into a nigh-undodgeable laser field or a spiked enemy on more than one occasion.  It's a clusterfuck.  Not intelligent, interesting, or fun by any stretch of the word.  Just a complete mess of game design.

Another problem I have is the Spin Dash being clunky and weird to use, but this was fixed in the 2011 remastered version of the game, so it's not a big deal anymore.

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I hate how the Super music plays constantly in most games when you transform. It's made worse how in 2 & 3 you're forced to transform if you jump or try to do a insta-shield, or fly, or glide. It's especially bad in colors where the music is like a 4 or 5 second loop and the music is just the main theme and the song just never drops. It's almost like audio blue balls or something.

Speaking of colors, as breathtaking as Starlight Carnival is, I don't think that it's a fun level to play. Well when you actually get to play at all. There's so much auto run parts in those levels it's ridiculous. At least in the first act, I can't remember the later ones very well right now.

I don't like the Sky Chase levels in Sonic 2 or in Sonic Adventure or in Sonic 4. Anywhere they appear to be honest. They're just so dull and just plain not fun to me. Though I did find myself enjoying the tornado levels in Unleashed for some reason. I guess there's more tension with all the insane QTE's. 

Going back to music I absolutely can't stand how the battle music in the Night stages in Unleashed take priority over the incredible music in the stages. Seriously the night time stages have such good music, you barely get to sit and enjoy it. Seeing how the Werehog levels are beat em ups, you're going to be fighting enemies a lot. Meaning you'll hear that stupid song, A LOT. It's a shame too because the battle music is not even bad, you just hear it so much it's hard to appreciate it. 

Also, this series could use better boss fights. 

 

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As much as I adore the Classic games, there's one huge problem that shows up in varying intensity in all of them: running into obstacles you couldn't see coming.  Since it's an old 2D series where Sonic takes up a fairly significant portion of screen space, the high speed gameplay makes it inevitable that you'll run into shit unless you've memorized the level.  It also doesn't help that Sonic doesn't have a ton of lead room.  For the majority of the time he'll be smack dab in the middle of the screen, or sometimes even a bit to the side of the screen he's running towards if he's moving fast enough.  Considering how fast he moves, it would have been beneficial for the camera to pan over so that there's more room in the direction he's facing, though with the small resolution of these games it would still probably not solve the problem entirely.  The Sonic CD remake's widescreen resolution certainly helped a bit, and shows how much the extra visibility can improve these games.

Were they to make a new Classic-style Sonic game nowadays, they'd have much higher resolutions to work with, so all they'd have to do would be to zoom the camera out a fair bit.  Generations Classic Sonic did this to an extent, and it makes some of the levels feel a lot more comprehensible as a result.  Unfortunately his top speeds in Generations are kind of ridiculous, especially his spin dash, meaning they sorta brought back the problem even though they almost fixed it.  Still, it was a good effort.

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Just a minor complaint, but I think Generations could have had more levels or at least some DLC. I would have paid out the ass for more levels to blast through.

And I hate the fact that Heroes hasn't been ported to any consoles besides the ones it was originally released on.

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The whole 'one button' thing in Sonic as a whole is just dreadful. Why on earth did SEGA map somersault and the lightspeed dash to the same button in SA2, it's such a run-killer.

Sonic 3 has a load of 'gotcha' enemies that will hurt you if you dare run fast in some zones, coming in just off the screen. Not cool. Speaking of Sonic 3, the length of the levels is an issue - Carnival Night Act 2 seems to take an absolute age to complete. Blue Spheres can suck it.

Unleashed has the Werehog, obviously, but the over-reliance on QTEs that punish you with death as a shortcut to 'increased difficulty' is pretty lamentable in the late game. I suck at QTEs for some reason, so Tornado Defence is pretty much my definition of a bad time. But Eggmanland starts off with an 8 button sequence, and if you fail, you die! 

SA1 - the lightspeed dash is pretty much useless due to its revving up time. I much prefer the instant version in SA2. There's also repetition - beating Chaos 4 three times, doing Sky Chase 4 times, that sort of thing. In the most nitpicky of nitpicks, I kinda dislike how much slap bass is on the soundtrack. And the vocals on Bigs theme are a bit off key at points.

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Sonic Heroes could've hit really strong if it were better executed. Besides the slippery controls, glitchy automated loops and sometimes copy and pasted zones, they should've really expanded on how team formations and level ups could work. 

I used to play the demo over and over again, thinking so much more was going to happen as far as team formation, new power ups and all that goes, but nope. It's just lots of the game feeling very limited and repeating itself, fighting mindless eggpawn fodder who only kinda try in being fought with team formations in mind. And with the game having you do basically the same thing again 4 more times with majority of the characters only changed aesthetically, it gets pretty maddening.

Sonic Battle also pretty much shares the same problems. What they have presented can be pretty fun, but It's just too repetitive and the movesets and combo system are just way too limited. Also, customization is a good idea, but why with only one character? I get that it's in context of the story, but the other characters could've used some of that, too, to remedy the monotony.

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Sonic 1's music is a little bit weak compared to many of the other games in the series (aside from Eggman's theme which I honestly love). It also contains a few weird glitches, such as Sonic spontaneously failing to curl into a spin attack when he jumps if he's standing nearby certain objects, and not getting mercy invincibility from spikes.

I don't care for the Special Stages in Sonic 2 at all, I don't find them fun or interesting and they can be incredibly frustrating. Plus, unlike other special stages, they don't even give out continues, and for a not-so-great gamer like me who likes to keep a lot of them on hand, that's really pretty disappointing. I usually never go to the special stages because they just aren't worth it to me, especially since you have to lose all your rings to get them. Outside of the Special Stage issues, the enemy placement in the game is also really obnoxious sometimes, especially in Oil Ocean Zone and especially in Metropolis Zone...uggghhhhh.

Some of the zones in Sonic 3 & Knuckles feel like a bit of a drag, more so than in other classic games, such as Carnival Night and Sandopolis. It's just too easy to get to a point in those stages where you get tired of it and wish it was over.

The bosses of Sonic 2 8-bit are way too hard, I literally can't even get past the first one x) (Yes, I am a terrible gamer, but I have heard similar laments from others!)

Sonic Spinball in general is way, way too hard. I enjoy the basic gameplay but can't even finish the first stage.

Sonic Chaos and Sonic Rush Adventure contain too many death pits for my liking, and in the latter's cutscenes, Sonic's personality is really dull.

And I agree with Apple Kid, the series in general often doesn't have the most impressive bosses.

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To lay it on some of my utter favourite Sonic games:

 

Sonic 2 8-Bit

Sky High's emerald isn't crazy hard to find but it is obnoxious to obtain - using the hang glider is incredibly difficult (through tons upon tons of plays I only ever managed it twice to memory as a kid) and the spring that launches you right into it is so far away it'd be near impossible to figure out that hitting it with a rolling jump would send you as far as the emerald (and the exact right height for it too).  The Gimmick Mt. one is just plain 100% obnoxiously hidden.

And of course, the Game Gear version has that incredibly unfair first boss and unlike Sonic 1 made zero concessions to aid players with the reduced screen space.

 

Sonic Unleashed

The medal system is stupid and the game is a decent length without it, especially if they had encouraged players to discover the bonus daytime acts more to even out the ratio of day to night content in the story.  The Werehog is just plain boring at the start of the game and the level-up system is not significantly explained to aid players in making him fun as quickly as possible.  The battle music, while a great song, gets old so fast, and it's surprising considering most of Unleashed's music team worked on Phantasy Star Online, a game which made them perfectly familiar with composing for a simple but effective dynamic battle music system.  The final boss, while I love it, was a sour point for so many players and I definitely get why.  Other than that the game's myraid of complaints mainly come from a lack of clear teaching or communication to the player as to what is expected of them and when is the best time to use certain abilities, such as the boost in particular.

 

Sonic Generations

The cut-scenes are such a missed opportunity for great fanservice and jokes and they totally squandered it.  Planet Wisp's second half and the Time Eater respectively were just an awful way to end an anniversary game celebrating the entire series in terms of regular gameplay/final boss gameplay respectively.  At least Egg Dragoon is a fun and testing boss to bid farewell to the boost trilogy's gameplay with.

 

Sonic 3 & Knuckles

The Sonic & Knuckles special stages get pretty stupidly hard considering the special stage gameplay is already a massive departure from the regular gameplay.  I usually have to refer to a map in order to have an okay time with them and plot my route out in advance, since I just cannot visually hold the layout of the mazes in my head due to the limited draw distance provided.  Sandopolis is a really dull zone, and I dislike how the Big Arm fight, a fight so memorable and classic it made it into Generations, is cut out when playing in lock-on mode.  There's no option other than Sonic 3 Complete for me these days when I fancy a go.

22 minutes ago, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

The bosses of Sonic 2 8-bit are way too hard, I literally can't even get past the first one x) (Yes, I am a terrible gamer, but I have heard similar laments from others!)

*puts a megaphone to your ear and ears of everyone else with this complaint*

*gently whispers "Play the Master System version"*

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5 hours ago, Tara said:

Sonic CD is a great game and while the Taxman port has improved upon the game tenfold with some simple remedies to core gameplay alone, it still remains probably my least favorite game in the classic series.  Why?

The level design.

Dear god, that level design.

It is so obnoxiously bad.  It feels like the game was designed rather sadistically as a means of punishing the player.  Every single obstacle is made with little thought but to push the player backwards, or send them spiraling through the air and into some impeding death or punishment.  Nowhere is this truer than in Wacky Workbench, which infamously has spring tiles on the floor, that make you go up, down, and all around.  This wouldn't be so bad if everything weren't going a million miles an hour, meaning your ability to perceive and foresee what lies ahead is extremely limited, which will cause you to bounce straight into a nigh-undodgeable laser field or a spiked enemy on more than one occasion.  It's a clusterfuck.  Not intelligent, interesting, or fun by any stretch of the word.  Just a complete mess of game design.

Another problem I have is the Spin Dash being clunky and weird to use, but this was fixed in the 2011 remastered version of the game, so it's not a big deal anymore.

Those problems don't really make it sound like a great game I've only played 1 Zone though but never played any further than Palm Tree Panic. From what you're saying it's just full of messy level design and problems all through out and not a very good experience all around and is the opposite of a great game in your first sentence.

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5 minutes ago, Alice Twilight said:

Those problems don't really make it sound like a great game I've only played 1 Zone though but never played any further than Palm Tree Panic. From what you're saying it's just full of messy level design and problems all through out and not a very good experience all around.

It's not that bad. It's definitely the worst classic Sonic game, but I decided to finally complete it recently and I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I was having. Tara's not wrong, (especially with Wacky Workbench) but my error was playing it like Sonic 2. It has a weird rhythm to it that takes a little getting used to. 

All that said, I'm probably not going to play it again for a long time, so take the above with a pinch of salt.

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I'll have to play more than, a game being called great but also being described like it's a bad game? Sounds interesting. It's only a few extra MB's on Steam got nothing to lose.

As for what I hate for the thread topic (Is this games people personally find good or objectively good among the community? Tara's CD post has me confused)

Pacing in Sonic the hedgehog on Mega Drive, Green Hill Zone looks like it's setting the standard for how the game is going to be structured, lots of platforming but said platforms are designed in a way that Sonic can keep moving and any dead stops are few and far between depending on the route you take. Then you go to Marble Zone and it ignores the established Top and Bottom route level design and just strings you along through a blocky boring stage that would rather you go at the pace it wants you to rather than how you wanna play and it will keep on teasing you like that. Sonic the hedgehog 2 didn't have this problem too much. It's why I don't hold Sonic Colours with such high regard like most people speaking of which

 

Sonic Colours - The Blue Wisp < this guy ruined the game for me with how it wants to bring things to a crawl when its mandatory to use.

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55 minutes ago, Tara said:

The topic is "bad things in good Sonic games."

EVERYTHING is going to sound bad.

I get the title. But calling Sonic CD great and then going on to make it out like it's the worst classic game sounds contradictory.

What I got out of the title was minor bad things in the video games where the majority of the content is good. Not the other way around. Level design of Sonic games is a big part of the franchise so that's the majority of CD right there.

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Bad things about good Sonic games huh? I want to go super in-depth again but there's so many times I can repeat my heart-broken ramblings about the lack of content in Sonic Generations and what the stories were relegated to in both that game and Colors. I probably would have given Colors a pass since the last game was probably one of the biggest conflicts of the series and I could probably make due with saying "Hey, the characters deserve a break" despite the fact that I already assume they take breaks in between games. But then I had to make the mistake of re-watching the cutscenes and actually thinking about the logic behind the story and the jokes and I just had to go and make myself mad.

It's tough for me because even though I admit they're good games, growing up with Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and Heroes made me someone who values stories and abundance of characters more then anything.

So I'm kind of fucked. I just gotta grit my teeth and be like "Yeah... Colors... I... it's... a gooooood game...it is. I'm just not... you know... uh..."

Sometimes I wish I could just shove some of my Archie Comics into the PS3 and play those.

 

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Those stupid spinning top things in Sonic 3's Marble Garden Zone and Sonic Generations Sky Sanctuary Zone. Holy fish are those things nightmarish to control or what. Go too slow and you won't move, go too fast you can't control where you are going and if you try and stay in the middle you just float around a bit before you drop like a rock. Who ever put those things in there should be slapped upside the head.

The black hole wisp in Colours DS is horrible to control as well, you move like a slug struggling to maintain any momentum while trying to clear your path. Also those stupid hard to control rockets in both Rush 1 and Colours DS really grind my gears.

These games would have been much better IMO if people would stop putting these fiddly, annoying, poor controlling, moving things in the games. 

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19 minutes ago, Komaru Naegi said:

I get the title. But calling Sonic CD great and then going on to make it out like it's the worst classic game sounds contradictory.

What I got out of the title was minor bad things in the video games where the majority of the content is good. Not the other way around. Level design of Sonic games is a big part of the franchise so I'd assume that's the majority of CD right there.

The "worst" of the classic games does not intrinsically make it "bad."  Sonic Colors was the "worst" of the boost trilogy (in my opinion alone), but it's still a fine game in its own right.  It just fails to grip me on quite the same level that both Unleashed and Generations managed to.

It's true that level design is a large part of a Sonic game, and indeed pretty much every game ever made, but it is still only one factor, and it's far from even the worst level design I've ever seen from a Sonic game.  It still controls superbly well, minus the clunky Spin Dash in the pre-2011 versions, but that only becomes a nagging problem in one area of the game, it still has a great visual presentation and two beautiful soundtracks.  It's still up there with the rest of the classic games, but simply falls just short of where the others excel.

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Sonic Adventure 1 and 2's F*CKING CAMERA, ALWAYS TRYING TO SCREW ME OVER.

Sonic Heroes' controls in general when in highspeed make Sonic Unleashed look easy.

Sonic Colors just sucks IMO, graphics were good, controls were good, level themes were amazing. Everything else was bad IMO.

Knuckles Chaotix's sense of direction makes Sonic CD look like a straight line. lol. I got lost in KC so many times. Atleast I know where i'm at with Sonic CD, in Chaotix, I'm not even sure straight is NOT gonna kill me. Love the game tho.

Sonic Adventure 1 and 2's F*CKING CAMERA, ALWAYS TRYING TO SCREW ME OVER.

Sonic Heroes' controls in general when in highspeed make Sonic Unleashed look easy.

Sonic Colors just sucks IMO, graphics were good, controls were good, level themes were amazing. Everything else was bad IMO.

Knuckles Chaotix's sense of direction makes Sonic CD look like a straight line. lol. I got lost in KC so many times. Atleast I know where i'm at with Sonic CD, in Chaotix, I'm not even sure straight is NOT gonna kill me. Love the game tho.

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