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Swing Your Fists! MIGHTY Finally Comes to TSS With A Brand New Theme, 'Armachillo'!

Sonic Forces | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC "The Next Generations"


Badnik Mechanic
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Chris Knopps
1 minute ago, Bowbowis said:

Look dude, I backed you on the idea of giving Eggman a new look to reflect his status as dictator, but I think the examples you're picking to illustrate you point are a bit extreme. I mean, is that supposed to be Eggman, or a steampunk Ganondorf? Seriously, just give him a nice little El Presidente number and call it good.

trailer

 

I will say I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of forces Eggman having a mechanical arm though. Especially if it were one tricked out with a bunch of gadgets that enhanced his abilities. I dunno, it might be fun to have a boss fight against Eggman where he's not piloting a mech for a change.

Now I'm imagining a scene where Sonic enters into Eggman's throne room banters, with the doctor for a bit, then charges up a spindash, and launches himself at Eggman, ready to kick some ass but then Eggman just stands up, effortlessly catches him, and throws him across the room. Sonic wonders what just happened, and then Eggman has this big Edward Elric moment where he dramatically rips off his coat to reveal his shiny new prosthetic.

Image result for Edward Elric jacket rip

"Get a load of this!"

That, or Eggman just raises his arm, deflects Sonic sending him bouncing back as you said, then does the rest you said.

"Seriously hedgehog? You think I'd become overlord without taking precautions to ensure I remain atop my throne? This is a world of power now, not tired heroics from a has-been blur that has all but faded from existence. Man up or get out."

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28 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Colors' bosses at least generally get to the point quickly, you don't end up waiting around for an opportunity to hit them. Gens' Egg Dragoon always felt very sloppy to me, a lot of waiting around as the boss fired potshots at you.

That's a very funny way of criticising Sonic Generations, when just about all arcade style bosses (like both versions of the Egg Dragoon) relying on studying attack patterns and surviving long enough for the right moment to strike. In the most extreme examples of the 16-bit you could end up fighting a boss for a minute or more during an attack pattern before you could damage them again. So I don't think that that Sonic Generation's Egg Dragoon is too different in this respect; as a late game boss the Egg Dragoon really puts you through your paces with its deliberately longer attack patterns.

Of course, the other extreme is Sonic Unleashed's Egg Beetle. Watch this guy destroy the boss in under a minute:

This is also a perfectly legitimate way to design a boss, in the right context. Since the Egg Beetle is the first boss in Sonic Unleashed its attack patterns are far shorted then Sonic Generation's Egg Dragoon, allowing a skilled player to make short work of it.

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StaticMania
18 minutes ago, Kintor said:

That's a very funny way of criticising Sonic Generations, when just about all arcade style bosses (like both versions of the Egg Dragoon) relying on studying attack patterns and surviving long enough for the right moment to strike. In the most extreme examples of the 16-bit you could end up fighting a boss for a minute or more during an attack pattern before you could damage them again. So I don't think that that Sonic Generation's Egg Dragoon is too different in this respect; as a late game boss the Egg Dragoon really puts you through your paces with its deliberately longer attack patterns.

 

Just because this style off boss fights has been done before doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean people have to like it now. It doesn't even mean that people liked it back then. I'd guess that people tolerate that kind of boss fight design at best.

 

But it can probably be guaranteed that people would rather not have to wait in order to attack the boss...

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I think creating boss fights for a series like Sonic might be really difficult. The bosses in this series have always been pretty lacking. The 2D games tend to be a lot better with handling boss fights. I do think Sonic Rush & Sonic Rush Adventure had some of the most fun bosses the series has seen.

Besides that, I generally think the bosses where you're on the move tend to be the best ones. They just seem to work best for Sonic. My favorites to date are the Egg Nega Wisp from colors and Silver from Generations, which was pretty much the same thing. Egg Emperor from Heroes was really cool too. So more bosses like that might be cool.

I think really the only bosses I can think of that aren't on rails that are still pretty good are Chaos 4 and Chaos 6 from SA1. Though really a boss like those wouldn't work too well these days since Sonic's movement has become a lot more stiff when you're not moving in a straight line. So I hope that's something that gets smoothed out. I'm a little more hopeful than usual solely because the boost is limited to white wisps this time around. Control was pretty tight in Colors but that game was mostly 2D anyways so it didn't really matter. With classic Sonic around I doubt modern Sonic's levels will be as focused on 2D as it was back in Colors. So really my reasoning is, more 3D plus limited boost may mean less hallways which might mean looser, more fluid low speed control. 

But yeah the way you bounce off of bosses in the Rush games to give you a chance to get tons of hits if you could control it, that was top notch. That coming back would be crisp. It ain't happening though :,,,(

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3 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Just because this style off boss fights has been done before doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean people have to like it now. It doesn't even mean that people liked it back then. I'd guess that people tolerate that kind of boss fight design at best.

 

But it can probably be guaranteed that people would rather not have to wait in order to attack the boss...

What I'm saying is that all arcade style boss battles, like all bosses every created for a Sonic game, operate on the same principle. When the boss is fighting back, as part of its attack pattern, the player usually can't damage them. This is where the enjoyment of boss battle itself comes from, as the player is forced to use the skills they've developed up until this point in order to survive long enough to hit back. The longer attack patterns of the Egg Dragoon are to be expected for a late game boss, which are designed to punish the player as much as possible in the ultimate test of their skill.

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StaticMania
1 minute ago, Kintor said:

This is where the enjoyment of boss battle itself comes from, as the player is forced to use the skills they've developed up until this point in order to survive long enough to hit back.

Unfortunately, Sonic bosses don't take much skill. It's not at all difficult to avoid boss attacks, so it just ends up being time consuming.

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12 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Unfortunately, Sonic bosses don't take much skill. It's not at all difficult to avoid boss attacks, so it just ends up being time consuming.

Depends on the boss. Sonic 1 Master System's Jungle Zone Boss and Sonic Adventure 2's Biolizard will give even the most seasoned Sonic fan a run for their money. But it's all part of the fun; I love dodging and weaving in a boss battle as I wait for that split-second moment to do some damage. Take away the attack patterns in a boss battle and you don't have a boss anymore.

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10 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Unfortunately, Sonic bosses don't take much skill.

That seems like a pretty big generalization to make about a series with as many games as Sonic has.

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StaticMania
9 minutes ago, Kintor said:

 Take away the attack patterns in a boss battle and you don't have a boss anymore.

That's not true, the boss can stay vulnerable throughout the entire fight...but that doesn't mean it can't have attacks that make it difficult to get near and/or hit the boss...you'd still have to dodge those. That's not the same as being forced to wait because you literally just can't even damage the boss.

 

Quote

That seems like a pretty big generalization to make about a series with as many games as Sonic has.

Well, that is correct...that statement pretty much applies only to the main series games.

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8 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

That's not true, the boss can stay vulnerable throughout the entire fight...but that doesn't mean it can't have attacks that make it difficult to get near and/or hit the boss...you'd still have to dodge those. That's not the same as being forced to wait because you literally just can't even damage the boss.

Eh, I feel this is starting to boil down to semantics. If you can technically damage a boss but it's attacks make it physically impossible to approach until the pattern has ended does it really make a difference?

Because it's not waiting. Usually the bosses with the longest attack patterns demand the greater input from the player if they want to survive.

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StaticMania
22 minutes ago, Kintor said:

Eh, I feel this is starting to boil down to semantics. If you can technically damage a boss but it's attacks make it physically impossible to approach until the pattern has ended does it really make a difference?

No. You aren't making it impossible to reach the boss, it's just something that adds difficulty but doesn't require waiting. To use an example: take the G.U.N. Big Foot and Hot Shot bosses. They're always vulnerable and always try to stay out of the way while attacking, but there are ways to keep damaging them during those periods where in other games you'd have to wait for them to stop moving. We can get something like that but more difficult and with a better camera.

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17 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

No. You aren't making it impossible to reach the boss, it's just something that adds difficulty but doesn't require waiting. To use an example: take the G.U.N. Big Foot and Hot Shot bosses. They're always vulnerable and always try to stay out of the way while attacking, but there are ways to keep damaging them during those periods where in other games you'd have to wait for them to stop moving. We can get something like that but more difficult and with a better camera.

Sounds good to me. I like the Big Foot boss in Sonic Adventure 2, lots of different ways to damage it; especially once you get the Bounce Bracelet, allowing you to hit Big Foot even as it's in the flying phase of its attack pattern. I wouldn't mind seeing something like that Sonic Forces.

Of course, I think that Sonic Generation's Egg Dragoon is an equally valid use of attack patterns. The Egg Dragoon is honestly one of my favourite 3D boss battles and fighting against its many and varied attacks before I can land a hit.

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Chavysonicfan

I'm probably the odd one out but, I really like most of the bosses in sonic games. They seem pretty fine to me, I'm not the best gamer so I think the difficulty is pretty good. There's a lot of people who aren't pros at it. There's a few I don't like but can't recall the name of them.

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SenEDDtor Missile
3 hours ago, Chris Knopps said:

And call me crazy, but I'm diggin' this fan re-design for Eggman.

Wouldn't mind seeing this in Forces or something like it in a future game. Could have been perfect for BOOM back when it was called Sonic Synergy.

17309161_1265863116825062_2452173750331857531_n.jpg

Eh, looks more like Ganondorf as a scientist.

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The Deleter

Honestly Sonic bosses will always feel subpar just from the fact that their damage mechanics and feedback in the gameplay feels... weak, tbh

Like fair enough with the classics, that's how the overall gameplay worked and it works well enough for a 2D game of it's time, but for stuff like the boost games... the only feedback we ever get for damage is a mere ricochete, and a sharp, but small "ding" as a result. And that's incredibly lame for a hedgehog supposedly tearing a robot overlord to shreds.

And usually, it always carries the same weight against the rest of the games enemies, as well. Like, compare the boost games to the Sonic Rush games; they work the same way generally, but the sound effects for running into enemies still has a "crash" element to it, and the screen temporarily stutters when you make contact, implying weight and force, at the very least. Not only that, but bosses and their elements have a weightier feel to them than normal enemies, as well. It's not much and it doesn't make much of a difference in the long run, considering simple homing attacks are still the best way to deal damage to the massive robots, but it's there.


But then compare the Starlight Carnival boss for Sonic Colors, and the Rocket Wisp attack you can pull off on it. Forget which version had the most satisfying feel to it, but just slamming the previously unmovable ship out of the sky, and dealing far more damage than normal with it, is probably the most memorable moment I've had with a modern Sonic boss, combat-wise. If we could just get a more involved "Speed = Force = More damage" system going on, I think we could reach that level of satisfying at least, without having to go to any ridiculous combat levels like Werehog or RoL style.

Problem is, we've had this system for so long, I don't see it changing in favor of a more impactful effect anytime soon. Feedback or depth-wise... And that kinda stinks, tbh. :\


I mean this is a hedgehog that is supposed to slice through robots. How cool can that be when done right?!?

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Waveshocker Sigma

The only Modern/Boosting Sonic bosses I can even remember are Perfect Chaos and Egg Dragoon from Generations and I love the both of those. Particularly Egg Dragoon. I honestly feel it's the best boss fight in the entire series. Not even kidding.

I'd be lying if I said I remember any of the Boost boss fights from Colors or Unleashed (Except the Egg Beetle).

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Badnik Mechanic
5 hours ago, Kellan said:

I dunno, what do you think the gameplay has that makes it un-entertaining?

The fact that you have invincibility, going from 0 to beyond standard top speed in less than a second, an attack which hits and kills almost every enemy in the game...

All tied to attack single button.

 

That's not playing a game. That's watching it on fast forward.

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1 hour ago, Mayor D said:

The fact that you have invincibility, going from 0 to beyond standard top speed in less than a second, an attack which hits and kills almost every enemy in the game...

All tied to attack single button.

 

That's not playing a game. That's watching it on fast forward.

That isn't true. 

Because like in the first level of generations they teach you " if you boost all the time, you will die" they then teach you that there are sections you kind of need to be aware of their intricacies or you will miss different avenues, and boosting all the time will miss that. They then again in the first level show you instances where boosting will litterally get you know where. 

Also you don't have invincibility, you can be hit, stopped and killed boosting. 

And each subsequent level get more complicated, filled with falls, and filled with boosting negating enemies where boosting all the time isn't exactly advised. I would argue the two most " boosty " levels in generations is City escape, and.... I forget the real name but " the one from unleashed". 

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I do think bosses that make you sit through long attack patterns can get tedious and might not be the best fit for Sonic.  I enjoyed Egg Dragoon in Generations because it is much more of a satisfying final exam for the boost gameplay than Planet Wisp Act 2 or, of course, the Time Eater was, but watching my friends play I saw them getting VERY frustrated when they messed up the wall jumps and now had to sit through another whole minute of dodging attacks that they had already proven they could survive for another chance.  Gens' Egg Dragoon certainly went too far.  Maybe it wouldn't have but I don't know about you guys but it is like 1 in every 10 times that the boss is in position at the end of the optional grind rails for me to actually hit him.  I dunno if there's some trick to that that I still haven't figured out after all these years but most of the time I can only get a hit in during the wall-jump moment, the freefall moment or when the machine splits into two parts during the grind rail section of the course (latter of two being both near the end of the fight anyway).

I agree with Diogenes' mention of Sonic Rush Adventure because I feel to date that game has the most enjoyable bosses in the entire series (apart from maybe the true final one but that was another seperate Super Sonic minigame so, irrelevant).  They're super creative and satisfying and you are pretty much always looking for ways to attack them.

I think the best bosses are ones that have a variety of attacks - but all, or at least MOST of them, provide opportunities for you to attack back.  I don't feel a boss battle should ever go more than 15-20 seconds without presenting the opportunity to do SOME damage.  Of course, some attacks should be harder to seize the counterattack opportunity than others - let the player decide whether they want to play it safe or not.

I don't feel a franchise like Sonic should ever have any prolonged moments of the player feel they are simply waiting around for something to happen.  There's a point where you have to deconstruct the boss down into pure mechanics and figure out "is it providing a dynamic challenge that plays out differently depending on the player's actions, beyond simply success or failure, or is it basically saying "okay you dodged these hazards once... but can you do it SEVEN MORE TIMES!?""

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44 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

That isn't true. 

Because like in the first level of generations they teach you " if you boost all the time, you will die" they then teach you that there are sections you kind of need to be aware of their intricacies or you will miss different avenues, and boosting all the time will miss that. They then again in the first level show you instances where boosting will litterally get you know where. 

Also you don't have invincibility, you can be hit, stopped and killed boosting. 

And each subsequent level get more complicated, filled with falls, and filled with boosting negating enemies where boosting all the time isn't exactly advised. I would argue the two most " boosty " levels in generations is City escape, and.... I forget the real name but " the one from unleashed". 

After enough repetition most people can stay boosting through almost all levels in Unleashed and most parts of most levels in Generations without dying. 

2 hours ago, Mayor D said:

The fact that you have invincibility, going from 0 to beyond standard top speed in less than a second, an attack which hits and kills almost every enemy in the game...

All tied to attack single button.

 

That's not playing a game. That's watching it on fast forward.

That having been said I do think you're are underestimating the skill ceiling of the boost gameplay. The difference between someone who's competent at the game and a person who's mastered the mechanics (and glitches) is pretty fucking huge. As a person who is bad at video games in general, I can never quite reach a point where the boost games are so easy that I can mindlessly blast through them. They are engaging enough, most of the time. Maybe you can just play the game on autopilot just fine, but I personally can't, so its down to anecdote.

I will say however, the needless automation between boost2win segments makes things a whole lot worse. If there were more areas where you cannot boost, or at the very least make it so hard to do so successfully that the safer option is to not use it, then the long spectacle rush sections would be less egregious. I think the problem is, is that a lot of stages are BOOST>CUTSCENE>BOOST>CUTSCENE>Patforming>CUTSCENE>BOOST. Of course the boost and platforming sections vary from stage to stage, but they're almost always separated by a short 'cutscene' that takes all control away from you.

As I have mentioned I am not completely opposed to these sections when they're employed as breather moments to better pace a level and/or create some visual spectacle, the problem is when literally every single spring is a small automated cutscene that launches you exactly where you need to go. There aren't any springs that you can hit and then actually require your own player input to go the right way using momentum. This stuff can be annoying when you're running at 300mph at you hit a vertical spring and you just bounce straight up....all of your forward momentum is erased. In reality you'd be bounced upwards and forwards; upwards due to the spring providing an unward force and forwards due to Sonic's initial intertia, but nope, this never happens. Same shit with booster-pads which automatically lock you in a direction for a set period of time. I can understand them adding a force that pushes you in a direction, but you should at least be able to keep some of your inertia and it shouldn't totally reset your controls.

The thing is, much like the spindash, I actually like the boost as a mechanic, because it has a lot of potential to be really fun. Or at the very least, to me, its pretty satisfying to get that sudden burst of speed going forwards. If it does get removed at some stage in a normal capacity, which I think it might (Sonic Team tried to move away from it once before, I wouldn't be surprised if they tried again if Forces is able to repair the reputation to some degree), then I'd like to at least see it come back in some capacity. Maybe as a cool little powerup that's like the speed shoes, except you get a temporary boost bar that you need to economise to get the most value out of it, or something.

~~~~~

On a slightly related note, looking back at the footage, it seems to me that the booster pads don't lock your control any more. If you slow the footage down when Sonic is uses some boost pads to go up some stairs, he misses the ring-trails, but then veers to the right and ends up collecting the last couple.

Slow this down to 0.25 speed and have a look.

If my suspicious are indeed correct, I'd say that seems like a step in the right direction.

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I feel the boost games don't "play the game for you" but they do "funnel" you into going certain ways unless you resist through skill or curiosity to try other things.  I feel those who say the games play themselves are basically 100% embracing that funnelling.

Of course, that is completely and utterly the most effortless, unrewarding and boring way to engage in what the boost gameplay offers, and is pretty much there just to allow lesser skilled players and kids to enjoy Sonic's rollercoaster extravaganza without pushing them too hard to play perfectly - but there is fair critique in the fact that the game enables you to do that of course - the classic games didn't.

 

You can just get straight to the end of the level by spending most of your time holding the boost button with occasional jumping... you can also visit a theme park by just buying a ticket, walking through it without going on any of the rides and leaving again, but your choice to do that doesn't validate claiming the theme park had nothing to do.  If you tried the rides and didn't like what they offered though (see Diogenes previous critiques of how they find the platforming on alternate routes to be run-of-the-mill/uncreative stuff for example), fair enough.

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1 minute ago, Scar said:

After enough repetition most people can stay boosting through almost all levels in Unleashed and most parts of most levels in Generations without dying. 

 

You got good at the video game?

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4 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

You got good at the video game?

Hehehe.

I get what you're saying, but as I mentioned before, I am shit at games, so no. I did not get good. :(.

 

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I think JezMM's point above about the amount of "downtime" a boss has is essential.  I won't hold the classics or even the Rush games up as some impossible ideal of a game where the boss is always vulnerable and there's never any point at which you can't counterattack, but I would suggest that the waiting period is rarely very long.  Furthermore, often those downtime periods are more like breather periods where the boss isn't attacking you, either; I'm reminded a little of the discussion earlier about the value of the part in the Forces gameplay trailer where Sonic is blasted through three boost rings in the air, it gives you a break to prepare yourself before the next phase.  Often in the classics then the time when a boss is attacking isn't simply a time where you have to just sit there and dodge, it's more of a time where you weave through the boss's attacks and counterattack.  You can even take a hit and use your invincibility period to walk through the boss's attacks and counterattack, and it's not a good method, but it's still a choice you have.  And I think that is the vital thing about a boss battle - feeling that you have some choice, that this battle will change depending on how you want to play it, that your personal input matters - whereas perhaps with 3D boost-era bosses it sometimes feels as if the boss battle is only meant to play out in exactly one way and you have no real choice but to do exactly what the designers intended to the letter.

I'd also suggest that that sense of choice, of personal significance, has an influence in the debate over classic platforming versus boost games, too.  The classics tend to have lots of different routes and approaches to a problem; take it fast, take it slow, go up or down or across.  If you boilt it right down you can still characterise it as "hold forward and occasionally jump," but at its best then the full sequence of directions and jumps is going to be fairly sophisticated and individual.  Meanwhile, again, the 3D boost games often feel as if there's only one right way to play them; they're getting a little better about having some alternative routes, but even then the process looks pretty rote.  To me, the "point" of boost gameplay is very different to the classics; boost is a kind of reaction-based racer, where the emphasis is on how well you play a single route, with mistakes either just costing you rings without really making a difference to where you're going or how fast, or just flat-out killing you, with no middle ground.  In that regard I actually think the boost is a better mechanic in 3D, because you can actually see where you're going, but I don't think the true form, the true potential of boost is anything like playing the classics.  It's a different animal entirely.

Which brings me, by a roundabout route, to the question of "who is the third Sonic?", and let's be realistic, it is going to be a third Sonic.  It looks like there is a very high risk of it being Boom Sonic, I'm afraid - I don't want it to happen either, but if you look at things like 25th anniversary artwork, even the recent fine art exhibition, it's very clear that Sega is still highly invested in pushing Boom Sonic.  Considering how long Forces has probably been in development, it's not incredible to think that Boom Sonic would have been planned to be in it from early on.  And in addition to time shenanigans, all the redesigns of Eggman's various robots do make it seem credible that there are also parallel-universe shenanigans going on as well.  Could it be that, in addition to quality improvements and filling a release schedule gap, Fire & Ice was also pushed back a year to keep Boom Sonic in the public eye for just a little while longer?  It's possible.  I'm afraid to say that, while I will be disappointed, I won't be surprised if the third gameplay style in Forces is that of Boom Sonic.  With that said - I do think there's an outside chance of either a new take on Adventure Sonic (who is only the same as Modern Sonic for as long as Sonic Team want him to be), or perhaps some kind of "Fusion Sonic" or New Sonic that's a combination of both Classic and Modern in a single body, which is also the sort of gimmick I can see Forces as a game and Sonic as a franchise attempting to push.

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