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Dannymax440

What's your favorite and least favorite ranking system?

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Can't this just go in the score system thread?

Regardless, the system has never been as well implemented in any game as it was for in SA2. You could say the same about a few other things in fact. Much like grinding for example, it took skill and practice in SA2, but had become totally boring and effortless by Generations.  

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A ranks felt so rewarding in SA2. Some were, granted, harder than others (fuck you to hell, Metal Harbour). But if you got all A ranks, you were rewarded with another level, and maybe some other bonuses I don't know of. A ranks felt like something you had to earn. And it wasn't based on how fast you went, but instead, it also factored in how many enemies you hit, the combos you do, the tricks you pull off, the rings you collect, how fast you find an emerald piece, etc etc... It was all based on your score. And I thought that was a great idea.

Meanwhile, in Sonic Generations, you just needed to quickly finish a level without dying. And boom, then you have an S rank. Stupid easy.

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I definitely liked SA2's but only really in the context of the speed levels.  You were literally rewarded for doing them as stylishly and smoothly as possible, taking all opportunities to show off with optional tricks and that.  But... that kind of stuff just isn't in the newer games really so I'm not surprised that they changed the way they did.

Honestly?  I'm not all that fussed.  I didn't like what a vague challenge they were in most games.  I'd rather just have a "target time" for each stage that reveals itself after your first victory and that be it.  Maybe have a "speed run" target time as well as a "collect all red rings" target time, and award a medal or something when you beat them.  Medals = prizes, etc.

I feel it's much better to present these kind of "mastery" challenges as entirely optional on the side rather than annoying lesser-skilled players by tainting every victory over a level with a big fat E rank and showing Sonic falling to the ground into the fetal position in abject horror at the player's lack of skill each time they clear a stage.

I mean yeah the "SLAM" moment of that S/A rank appearing on screen DOES feel good but we can get that with a simple target time medal system without treating lesser players to a big "SLAM" of a poopy stinkpoop medal for losers if you don't meet the target time.

 

Mastery shouldn't be about finding the developer's optimised route through the level, it should be about creating your own.  And those who aren't up to or don't want to take on the challenge shouldn't be mocked for the fact.

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I share similar sentiments that Sonic Adventure 2 still did it the best. Score requirements were mostly fair and the game generally rewarded you with bonus points for skilled play and the rewards you earn from it were pretty cool especially for a game of its era.

And since another topic about the importance of ranking systems was made just before this one I'll just say this here: ranks give players a lot of incentive to keep playing the game until they finally ace it. I'm speaking for myself here but whenever I try Bayonetta I always go for at least a gold trophy and will usually retry a section if I screw up badly enough. 

Although I have seen ranking systems act as a deterrent for some players, mostly from people that either lack the skill, motivation or both to try and improve their rank. This was a pretty common criticism I remember seeing about SA2 when a lot of the backlash against it started a few years back, specifically that A ranks were too hard to get. Shouldn't they be? An A rank shows that you completely mastered that level not that you just played it. I'd much rather have it like this than Generations' just handing you an S rank for making through the level without dying (I felt the challenges did it better since they had you actually try and be fast to earn that S rank). Metal Harbor is definitely a bitch to get an A rank on but its sooo satisfying when you finally get it.

If people like Generations' ranking system more power to them but in defense of Sonic Team SA2 was the first time they'd implemented a ranking system, so I kind of cut them some slack if they made it more difficult than it should have been (although in Cosmic Wall's case they actually raised the score requirement by 30,000 points for an A rank in Battle so maybe they thought it was too easy), and besides the ranking system never deterred me and my friends from loving the game even when we were getting D and E ranks on every level. And not that I think credibility matters but this is coming from a guy that got all 180 emblems in SA2 twice, so I'd like to at least pretend I know what I'm talking about when it comes to SA2 and its mechanics.

But if I'm actually going to talk about what game did it the worst I'd say Sonic Colors. I don't like that it isn't possible to get S ranks on your first attempt because you have to unlock the Wisps and then go back and get color bonuses by spamming drill wisp.

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On the subject of something like Metal Harbour, I am going to argue that that one is too harsh. You can play the entire level perfectly, but if one of those dash pads at the rocket send you snacking into the railings, or if you just miss a couple of rings en route, it's a B for you. Literally the entire level done amazingly, and then one tiny fault at the end (that's potentially not even your fault) and lol fuck you. The requirements should never so that tight that you can't fix any mistakes that you (or the game) makes. You got to run a tight ship and too many hiccups will cost you time and points, but be fair. If "absolute perfection" is the only way to win, you're basically demanding that the player plays the game EXACTLY the way you tell them to. And that's crap.

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I can agree that Adventure 2's Ranking System is probably the best way to handle it, just enough of a challenge to get you to feel like you're good at the game and a lot of bonus points for stylistic maneuvers to add to your score. Granted it's not perfect like Blue BalledBlood mentioned with Metal Harbor. But as Indy also mentioned, it's not very fun for casual players to get a mediocre rank so it would be nice if there's a separate mode to earn to those A Ranks for tryhard Sonic players like me while casual players can just play through a stage without having to feel pressured into performing good enough to get a good ranking.

But while people can argue that Colors and Generations' ranking systems makes it laughably easy to get S Ranks, I'm actually going with Rush Adventure for a pretty shitty Ranking System. Which really fucking sucks since Rush Adventure is one of my favorite modern 2D games but good grief, sometimes it's just ridiculous on how difficult to get S Ranks in that game can be. Doesn't help that the better your ranking is, the more Materials you get to build/upgrade your boats to progress the game. I swear, it's impossible to S Ranks Sky Babylon Act 2; all I ever get is B Ranks. But really who's the wise guy to think scores should be limited like 5000 points for rings, 20 000 points for Tricks and 85 000 for Time and to get an S Rank, you have to gain a score above 100K. And that's pretty fucking tight, granted it could be possible to max out on all 3 of those categories. I can do that easily with Blizzard Peaks but as I said with Sky Babylon, sometimes it's not easy and seems near impossible to achieve.

So yeah, Rush Adventure you're probably the best Boost game along with Unleashed's Daytime Stages but good god, fuck your Ranking System!

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SA and SA2 are definetly my faves...Pretty challenging and at least they awarded you with some content bonus...Never tried with Unleashed, but since I've never heard anything about getting something when all S-ranked (besides some achievements/trophies, I guess) I didn't really get concerned about it so much...

and like others I think Colours/Unleashed had a pretty lame ranking system...I don't really like when things come that easy.

PS: I have the feeling that since all this Achievements/Trophies system were set up, games hardly include rewarding bonus for completing them (not only in Sonic games)...and that's lazy :V

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I actually preferred Generations' the best because it was the only one that I never felt like rage quitting when going after the best ranks.

But, I also enjoyed SA1's faux-rank system because it was a rank system without a rank system. You just complete the task and the reward was given to you, without there being an additional grade on top of it. You do the A-Rank requirement? You get your A-Rank emblem, without worry of "You completed the goal, just not good enough!". I just feel that with the proper ranking system of all the games starting with SA2, it could get too strict at times. Except with Generations with how easy they made it.

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