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Am I a failure if I don't finish the Genesis classics?

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But are people typically going to have that in the back of their minds to look out for things like color coordinated signals to guide them? You're not really expected to uphold to that standard in any Sonic game, let alone the first one, especially since you're supposed to be going at a reasonably fast pace to be noticing things like that unless you were already going slow enough to be wary of those traps like that where then it wouldn't have mattered what color things were.

Even then, with Scrap Brain's very first instance of its trap floors, they place rings right on top of them, as if to say it's safe to be on them when it's most certainly not the case haha.

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I had no problem with that when I was 9 years old and very inexperimented with video games. 

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you're supposed to be going at a reasonably fast pace

Uh, not really. By Scrap Brain Zone, you should have learnt that going too fast might lead you to traps, spikes or badniks. Even in Star Light Zone, unless you know what you're doing, you have to be cautious. You have to learn, a bit "trial and error"-like, like many games of that time. Sonic 1 isn't a game that holds your hand up like many games nowadays, you know :)

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17 hours ago, StriCNYN3 said:

Hmm, I'm curious about what your thoughts on levels like Sonic 1's Scrap Brain are then. I'd say whatever zone Sonic 2 throws at you, it never goes full savage mode like Scrap Brain does, although it does sometimes sprinkle in some of it's design nonsense particularly in Metropolis zone where it get at its worst, but even then I'd say that level lends the player more leg room to speed off unwittingly and speed run way more so than some of the Sonic 1 levels do, and way more than Scrap Brain zone ever does.

Like literally in the first few seconds of Scrap Brain Act 1, you could die falling through a trap floor if you don't react fast enough, and they expect the player to know this on their first go without any type of testing ground for people to learn there are trap floors to die from, and that sets the tone for the whole zone. But it seems like you overcame that through practice, so I'm kinda curious why that doesn't apply to Sonic 2 here and it's levels.

 

17 hours ago, Adamis said:

The trap floors are red. Red is usually used for danger, so it's logical to be cautious when you reach those traps.

 

16 hours ago, StriCNYN3 said:

But are people typically going to have that in the back of their minds to look out for things like color coordinated signals to guide them? You're not really expected to uphold to that standard in any Sonic game, let alone the first one, especially since you're supposed to be going at a reasonably fast pace to be noticing things like that unless you were already going slow enough to be wary of those traps like that where then it wouldn't have mattered what color things were.

Even then, with Scrap Brain's very first instance of its trap floors, they place rings right on top of them, as if to say it's safe to be on them when it's most certainly not the case haha.

This might be wholly down to opinion, colored by certain experiences and factors we don't necessarily even remember.  However, in general it seems to me that Sonic 1's levels are better at conveying what they're mainly about via their design, and even though it's intended to be hard, Scrap Brain Zone is no exception.  It's full of right-angles, narrow corridors, things that squish, burn, cut, and zap, and at least most of it is foreseeable, so it signals that it's the sort of place you can't just be reckless.  Speed still matters, but in this case it's not for continuous running, but rather, getting through danger zones before it's too late.  Pits, I will concede, are always annoying in 2D Sonic games, but they're a little less annoying when they're covered by doors that open and shut, implying you don't want to stay on when they open--that's at the very least, a better alternative to pits suddenly being deep into Spring Yard Zone and Mystic Cave Zone when earlier sections of the zones suggested they wouldn't be.  Scrap Brain Zone also has a very clean appearance that makes it fair; initially you might run into a flame spurting from an open pipe, but after that it becomes clear that you will want to avoid said pipes, and they are highly visible.

Sonic 2 zones may have more distance between their traps, but a lot of them are built in such a way as to encourage running.  When I see a curve, hill, or any terrain that isn't straight horizontal or vertical, I want to exploit it; I want to send Sonic plummeting  down any terrain with an inverted arch at the bottom just to see how much it will accelerate him and what it will send him up; a want especially encouraged by how much more exploration-heavy the game is and how entering its special stages requires hunting for rings.  But enemies are constantly ambushing.  Making it worse, the look of most stages is much, much busier, leading to enemies and traps hiding behind foreground decorations a few too many times.  It also seems to me that Sonic 1 doesn't impede forward momentum as much; obviously things have to be dodged but it seems that more of them are dodged vertically, meaning graceful jumpers can keep moving forward.  Sometimes you'll have to accelerate or decelerate, but not outright stop or reverse course as much as in Sonic 2Sonic 2's levels being so curvy and maze-like also detracts from being able barrel through.

In an odd way, it feels like Sonic 2's design is applying too much realism at the expense of fun; as if the level designers were actually thinking to themselves, "Hmm; if I was Eggman, how would I kill someone who loves moving quickly?"  It might even have been a valid design strategy if they gave Sonic something to help bring the odds back into his favor, and make no mistake, things can go far in the opposite direction, such as moments in modern games when enemies stand in a neat line parallel to the road Sonic on just so he can boost through them easily, but the key point here is for a game to be fun.  Giving a hero more things to play with is fun.  Difficulty can be fun, but it can be annoying instead when it's due to how unpredictable and unfair a scenario is.  This is why I compared Sonic 2 unfavorably to Mega Man, and also to Sonic games that came after; both give you more things to play around with, rewarding you for your hard work.

When I said earlier that in Classic Sonic games, the reward and punishment are basically the same thing, what I mean is that these games are meant to be played repeatedly; whether you get a Game Over, beat them without all the Emeralds, beat them with some Emeralds, or beat them with all Emeralds, a big part of the design philosophy is that players get better and better, and feel proud of themselves when they finally are good enough to speed through it all.  I notice such improvements even in myself, and Geek Critique adores Sonic 2 for that reason, so clearly there is some validity to that design strategy.

However, all of it is founded on a very reaching assumption: That what people are good at doing and what they enjoy doing are the same thing.  That is what we call "A big if".  If you still enjoy Sonic 2 after enough repeated playthroughs to have perfected it, you might love the feeling of playing it perfectly.  For people like me, though, there just isn't enough to like in the game for that to be the case.  If I kept at it I could conquer the challenges, but when the challenges are the only thing it feels like the game adds to the core Sonic formula, I'm not sure why them not being challenging anymore really improves the game, since logically that just reduces it back down to the bare-bones.  I keep getting better, but in my opinion, the game doesn't.  The series does, but not Sonic 2

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5 hours ago, Adamis said:

I had no problem with that when I was 9 years old and very inexperimented with video games. 

Uh, not really. By Scrap Brain Zone, you should have learnt that going too fast might lead you to traps, spikes or badniks. Even in Star Light Zone, unless you know what you're doing, you have to be cautious. You have to learn, a bit "trial and error"-like, like many games of that time. Sonic 1 isn't a game that holds your hand up like many games nowadays, you know :)

(Edit: How do you put gifs on here? Sorry about that, it's been a while since I've thrown gifs on here)

True, true. Don't get me wrong, I do agree with you with how you're supposed to experiment uncharted areas with caution first before going buck wild with Sonic's full speed. That's a rule that's not just for Sonic games, but just for gaming in general if anyone seeks self improvement (Instead of one blaming the entire game all of their mistakes unfairly because they choose not to be careful and didn't practice). I'm not one of those guys saying "Sonic must always be going fast" haha :P. Trust me, I'm a speed runner and dabble with the classics myself (And one of the apparent crazy ones that actually likes Labyrinth Zone). But with that said, I still don't agree with the player being expected to notice color guidelines in a game like Sonic, I think I should've worded it like this:

The difference between Scrap Brain and Metropolis is that with Metropolis, while still sharing some of the unfair design philosophies like bad enemy placement and enemy choice in general, it's not nearly as bad as Scrap Brain where they literally throw everything at you at every given moment. You barely get any breathing space going in, and you can die oh so easily with one mistake a lot of the time. Let's look at the difference here:

https://imgur.com/5eR82Tr

With Sonic 2, you can see that within the very first instance of Act 1 Metropolis, they put you in a testing ground to experiment with the pistons. This is the devs teaching the new unsuspecting player the gimmicks for the new zone they've just reached. This is one of the last levels of the game as we all should know at this point, so that should tell anyone that it's always good to teach the player of it's new mechanics no matter what stage they're in in any game. Now lets jump into Sonic 1:

https://imgur.com/q9hZfKI

Look at the huge difference here. In complete contrast to Metropolis's first few seconds demonstrating a testing grounds where you can't possibly die, instantaneously does Scrap Brain throw you into the "real world". The trap floor immediately opens within 2 seconds of the stage even starting. Not only that, they place rings smack dab on top of the trap floor, rings being taught as a safety guide in prior zones, BUT!, and as we all should know, these are bottomless pits these rings are leading to! For all the new player could know, this trap floor could've been the way to go. It's literally 2 seconds in the zone with rings on top of a potential passage way and the theoretical new player knows nothing of this zone yet, so how could they possibly know it's dangerous? Even for just curiosity's sake, what if this led to a secret place like the game has shown the possibility of for the player one point or another prior to Scrap Brain like all other secret passage ways (like say kinda like the secret platform at the start of Spring Yard Zone Act 1); Nope. You just die for even being curious what it could lead to.

Of course we would know it's a trap floor, and you can tell the player in the video here was seasoned enough to react to the trap floor. That's easy to say with near 30+ years of experience behind our belts since this first came out, but the point is that it still doesn't change the fact that this part of the level is jank level design at it's finest and condones trepidation because it didn't teach you anything yet get punished severally for it. We just know all of the jank that's coming our way, but just think about how that could've gone wrong for a new player. I wouldn't even blame them if they fell even with them demonstrating the skill of making it all this way, because again, they weren't taught about those trap floors in prior zones!

That's also why I don't agree with "noticing the red on the trap floor" point. You're not held to look out for red colors or any color in Sonic 1 or any Sonic game for that matter. You're not taught this early on. That's not a rule in any zone prior to Scrap Brain zone, and it's not even a rule within Scrap Brain itself. Those trap floor are the only things that happen to be red in the zone (other than fire and the bomb badniks, but we use symbolism to know they're dangerous hazards, not their colors). It just so happened to be red stripped as a color choice for color theory and nothing more. It doesn't even matter if the color they chose was red or any other color anyway because the trap floors were already going off in cycles whether you get to see the color or not. Just look at the gif I showed you above of Scrap Brain. Did it matter what color you saw 2 seconds going into the stage? That trap floor was ALREADY activated for you to die to even notice what color it was before the fact.

I don't want to spam up this thread though, so I'll spare with the thoughts on the whole ordeal for now, but this is pretty much why I'm curious why Sonic 1 gets a pass while Sonic 2 doesn't despite knowing about going through the levels with caution on your first run. Mind you, the trap floor example I brought up is just the first instance of Scrap Brain Zone. It get's so. much. worse than this haha. They throw you obstacle after obstacle after badnik after badnik literally right on top of each other with no rhyme or reason whatsoever. There're a lot of unnecessary waiting, whether it be for invisible platforms on bad cycles,  running on reverse conveyor belts with saw blades going off in front of you, to top pathways leading straight to bottomless pits if you make one mistake and also don't land on the flipping conveyor platforms correctly, to the Labyrinth-esque zone on Act 3 that have bubble rest spots taking unusually long, with more bad enemy and object placements... but for some reason, Sonic 2 is the game where trepidation is enforced despite never getting crazy like that in any of it's levels.... That's why I'm curious.

 

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Look at the huge difference here. In complete contrast to Metropolis's first few seconds demonstrating a testing grounds where you can't possibly die,

...You do know you can die if you hit the steam from those pistons at the beginning of Metropolis ?

Quote

it still doesn't change the fact that this part of the level is jank level design at it's finest and condones trepidation because it didn't teach you anything yet get punished severally for it.

I disagree. You have the previous zone, Star Light, which has many bottomless pits. You experienced them just before entering Scrap Brain Zone. You just learnt that everything at the bottom of the level isn't automatically safe. Even Green Hill Zone has bottomless pits. You've been taught for minutes not to trust any pit !

 

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23 minutes ago, Adamis said:

...You do know you can die if you hit the steam from those pistons at the beginning of Metropolis ?

I disagree. You have the previous zone, Star Light, which has many bottomless pits. You experienced them just before entering Scrap Brain Zone. You just learnt that everything at the bottom of the level isn't automatically safe. Even Green Hill Zone has bottomless pits. You've been taught for minutes not to trust any pit !

 

Yea I know you could die from the pistons, but you have to do that purposefully, which is the point. It's a testing ground like I said. In the video above, it's clearly shown in Sonic 2 that it gives you rings prior to even reaching up to the pistons at the beginning of the level. That's completely different from the trap floors in Scrap Brain. You die for even experimenting what they could lead to, and the trap floors that lead to bottomless pits are one hit kills. Pistons are not one hit kills. Pistons actually teach you to jump on them, by avoiding the steam and it being an obstacle to jump over in general, and there're rings directly on top of the pistons to show where they lead to, leading to the platform above with a ring box. That's way more careful game design that doesn't severally punish the player, but rather teaches them how things functions in their zone unlike Scrap Brain zone that just throws in new gimmicks in and you die for being curious even.

I disagree on your second point. Of course there are bottomless pits in Sonic 1 prior to Scrap Brain, but how often are they in literally the start of the stage, with rings literally being on top of them to guide you? Seriously. This is the start of the zone! A new player wouldn't have know where they are in a stage. They could've thought they were at the very top and have a safety net to fall from. Hell, not to far off from those trap floors is a downward pathway where you continue one from, but there's a bottomless pit prior to that anyway.... And usually you know a bottomless pit is dangerous because a platform tends to shake and crumble into pieces to warn you you're not supposed to fall here, that's also in conjunction with the camera not panning down any further. Not Scrap brain zone though. You just die because those platforms act like its a doorway to another passage. 

Heck if anything, Green Hill Zone teaches you to check sketchy areas and seemingly bottomles pits at the beginning of the stage. Remember this spot in Act 2?

 

bandicam 2019-01-08 09-07-38-254.png

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55 minutes ago, StriCNYN3 said:

...you could die from the pistons, but you have to do that purposefully, which is the point.

That's not really true. You won't really know the steam from the pistons can hurt you...but because they're solid, you'll most likely jump over them and never know that they do.

On the other hand, you could die just from a momentary pause...which is a different problem.

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On 5/29/2017 at 8:23 AM, Scritch the Cat said:

Confession time: I have played all four of those games a fair amount.  However, the only one I've actually beaten is Sonic the Hedgehog, and not with all of the Chaos Emeralds, either. Since then, I've gone on to complete both Sonic Adventures, Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 2006 (with great pain), and most of the Dimps games--the last of which, I'm a rather severe critic.

It's mind boggling that someone could get through most of the Dimps Sonic games just fine, but struggle with Sonic 2. 

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46 minutes ago, Pengi said:

It's mind boggling that someone could get through most of the Dimps Sonic games just fine, but struggle with Sonic 2. 

To be fair, I didn't 100% complete any with all the Emeralds and whatnot, but some of the main games, I did find a bit too easy, owing to too many times when you can just hold right to win.

Sonic Rush, I think that one is genuinely good.  I have a hard time praising it, though, since it introduced the boost.

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18 hours ago, StriCNYN3 said:

Yea I know you could die from the pistons, but you have to do that purposefully, which is the point. It's a testing ground like I said. In the video above, it's clearly shown in Sonic 2 that it gives you rings prior to even reaching up to the pistons at the beginning of the level. That's completely different from the trap floors in Scrap Brain. You die for even experimenting what they could lead to, and the trap floors that lead to bottomless pits are one hit kills. Pistons are not one hit kills. Pistons actually teach you to jump on them, by avoiding the steam and it being an obstacle to jump over in general, and there're rings directly on top of the pistons to show where they lead to, leading to the platform above with a ring box. That's way more careful game design that doesn't severally punish the player, but rather teaches them how things functions in their zone unlike Scrap Brain zone that just throws in new gimmicks in and you die for being curious even.

 

No, you don't have to do it on purpose. I died the first time because I didn't get any rings and I was waiting next to the piston. It's then I realized the steam is deadly. Oh and you can die by being crushed by it. They're one-hit hazards.

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I disagree on your second point. Of course there are bottomless pits in Sonic 1 prior to Scrap Brain, but how often are they in literally the start of the stage, with rings literally being on top of them to guide you? Seriously. This is the start of the zone! A new player wouldn't have know where they are in a stage. They could've thought they were at the very top and have a safety net to fall from. Hell, not to far off from those trap floors is a downward pathway where you continue one from, but there's a bottomless pit prior to that anyway.... And usually you know a bottomless pit is dangerous because a platform tends to shake and crumble into pieces to warn you you're not supposed to fall here, that's also in conjunction with the camera not panning down any further. Not Scrap brain zone though. You just die because those platforms act like its a doorway to another passage. 

Heck if anything, Green Hill Zone teaches you to check sketchy areas and seemingly bottomles pits at the beginning of the stage. Remember this spot in Act 2?

Scrap Brain Zone is the last level (and if it's your first time playing, "one of the latter levels"), it's supposed to be hard and full of traps. It's basic video game logic. The game taught you multiple times about bottomless pits. But the game is also about trying. At worst, you only lose a life. If you're on your last life, then it's up to you to be cautious or not. The better you get at the game, the more lives you'll have, allowing you to take risks. You're not in an easy game like Sonic Generations that places warning signs above every bottomless pits. You have to earn your victory, like it or not.

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Of course not. I've never beaten the final bosses of Sonic 2 or Sonic and Knuckles and I've never come close to collecting all of the emeralds in either. Sonic 1 is the only Genesis game i've actually completed.

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Going back to Scrap Brain Zone, the weird thing is those first two pits beneath trap doors are at the beginning and a bit of a false precedent for the rest of the level.  Often later, falling isn't fatal, and in fact, there are some useful things down beneath the main path.  Arguably an example of trial and error, but you don't necessarily need those items.

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11 hours ago, Adamis said:

Scrap Brain Zone is the last level (and if it's your first time playing, "one of the latter levels"), it's supposed to be hard and full of traps. It's basic video game logic. The game taught you multiple times about bottomless pits. But the game is also about trying. At worst, you only lose a life. If you're on your last life, then it's up to you to be cautious or not. The better you get at the game, the more lives you'll have, allowing you to take risks. You're not in an easy game like Sonic Generations that places warning signs above every bottomless pits. You have to earn your victory, like it or not.

I haven't played Sonic Generations, so I can't opine on how easy it is, but grant that plenty of games in which it's obvious that pits are bottomless aren't considered easy.  The mere presence of pits can be plenty challenging, when the challenge is in not falling into them.  The thing with Sonic is that at least in the 2D games, none of the pits really offer much challenge once you know where they are, so arguably they belong right alongside limited chances of getting Emeralds, Fishing and the Werehog as things that are there just to make the games longer without putting in a lot of extra levels, which for this series is unfortunately understandable as speed-focused levels have to be huge.  

Still, these bits have fallen prey to critics once it became fashionable to diss Sonic, and while I think it's pretty crummy how critics seem to like kicking developers when they're down, they have a point here.  To play a Sonic game is to invest time into something that often has less real content than its peers, so you'd better really like Sonic to choose it over something else.

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