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How many Sonic games are actually challenging?


Dscross
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I ran through Sonic Mania first try, hardly any lives lost. So it got me thinking about other Sonic games I've played. I can't remember having very many bumpy rides - or perhaps I'm remembering incorrectly because I have so many years of experience in them. I love sonic games, but should they be more challenging?

There are only 4 that come to mind that I've found hard on the first try (I'm not counting the broken games like 06).

1. Sonic 2 8 Bit (Game Gear Version)

2. Dr Robotnik's Mean bean Machine (but is that really classed as a Sonic game?)

3. Sonic Spinball (last level only)

4. Sonic Unleashed (last level only)

The others, I would argue, have all been really easy... thoughts?

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I think you're just good at them dude.  People have a wide variety of skillsets, and generally speaking Sonic games are seen as having a pretty standard difficulty level, easy to begin, tough in the middle, very hard towards the end.  Difficulty is very subjective.  I got through Mania without a Game Over first time, my wife got two Game Overs on Flying Battery Act 2 and was ready to call it quits until I got her past the bit she couldn't do because she was bored of having to replay Act 1 over and over.

 

On the flipside, referring to your list, I feel Sonic Spinball gets boringly annoying from the second stage onwards, but Sonic 2 8-bit is cake for me, I've played it since I was a kid.  While I grew up with the Master System version, even the notorious Game Gear version poses me little resistance now.  Of course there was a time where, like everyone else, I never saw past the Underground Zone.  And after that, hang gliding through Sky High Act 2's spike tunnel was a very threatening proposition to me once.  Nowadays I can't believe a 3-second long set piece blocked my path for so long.

 

But yeah, I've never heard of a widespread opinion that Sonic games are easy before.

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1 hour ago, JezMM said:

On the flipside, referring to your list, I feel Sonic Spinball gets boringly annoying from the second stage onwards, but Sonic 2 8-bit is cake for me, I've played it since I was a kid.  While I grew up with the Master System version, even the notorious Game Gear version poses me little resistance now.  Of course there was a time where, like everyone else, I never saw past the Underground Zone.  And after that, hang gliding through Sky High Act 2's spike tunnel was a very threatening proposition to me once.  Nowadays I can't believe a 3-second long set piece blocked my path for so long.

Yeah, I don't have a problem with any of them now, but on the first try I remember finding them quite tricky. I had the Game Gear version of sonic 2 when I was a kid so I found the first boss difficult with no rings and a squashed screen. I remember getting lost searching for the chaos emerald on the handglider in Sky High Zone as well. With spinball, I never had a problem until the last level. That level can sod off, but was a challenge. I had to start again so many times.

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I'd consider 1, 2, 3, and CD challenging, as well as the Master System versions of Sonic 1 and 2. The Advance series is also quite challenging, as well as Sonic Pocket Adventure. Other than that, none of the main series games are that hard at all, unless you count Heroes with the slippery controls or 06 for... 06.

 

Mania is exceptionally easy, on my second run I had over 40 lives stacked up with no farming or anything.

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4 hours ago, Daisy said:

I'd consider 1, 2, 3, and CD challenging, as well as the Master System versions of Sonic 1 and 2. The Advance series is also quite challenging, as well as Sonic Pocket Adventure.

Hmmm, I can maybe get on board with the difficulty of getting the chaos emeralds in the advance games, but not the actual levels. 1, 2, 3 and CD aren't really hard at all, not even on your first try. Some people struggled with the end bosses on Sonic 1 and 2 because of the no rings thing I guess, but the rest I believe most people could do fairly comfortably. The master system Sonic 1 definitely isn't hard. I distinctly remember beating that first time when  was about 8 so it can't be hard.

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I thought Mania was challenging, but then that was the first 2D Sonic game I ever played lol. I'm going to use spoiler tages because I have no idea what's a spoiler and what isn't.

Um, how do I use spoiler tags, I can't figure it out :blushing:

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I would say that it depends on the person. For me, as a long-time Sonic fan, the classics were pretty difficult. Sonic 1 (16-bit version) was a pain to me when I was a kid, I couldn't get past Marble/Spring Yard Zone, at times not even getting to the boss. Also, no spin dash, no Super Sonic, etcetera. Sonic 2 16-bit (And the lock-on game Sonic 2 and Knuckles) was quite hard for me as well, even in Emerald Hill, and stages such as Aquatic Ruin and Hill Top got me on my nerves several times. Sonic 3K was not really that hard when playing as Sonic/Tails, aside levels such as Hydrocity, Marble Garden, IceCap, Flying Battery, Sandopolis, and Lava Reef, but as Knuckles, it was the contrary.

Sonic CD, Knuckles Chaotix, and Sonic 3D Blast for sure are much more challeging than the mentioned games before. Even today I still have problems with getting to the end of these games, though I'm much more used to them now than when I was a child. I won't say anything about Sonic Mania because I still haven't played it, but it seems to take a lot of inspiration from CD and Chaotix.

The 8-bit spinoffs, having played them all, are for sure 100x harder than the Genesis games. About the modern era, the Adventure era games, Sonic Heroes, Unleashed, Generations and even Sonic 4 ep.i and ep.II, they all deserve special mentions.

I also must say that those who don't play Sonic games often may get them difficult as well. I've noticed this often, but we as fans are more used to them. For example, I think that for the vast majority of this site, Green Hill in S1 is pretty easy, but for someone who doesn't play Sonic games it may be difficult. In general, Sonic games can be quite hard, but also some are pretty easy as well.

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4 hours ago, Josef said:

I thought Mania was challenging, but then that was the first 2D Sonic game I ever played lol. I'm going to use spoiler tages because I have no idea what's a spoiler and what isn't.

Um, how do I use spoiler tags, I can't figure it out :blushing:

Did you like it? You should go back and play the classics now! ;)

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8 hours ago, Josef said:

I thought Mania was challenging, but then that was the first 2D Sonic game I ever played lol. I'm going to use spoiler tages because I have no idea what's a spoiler and what isn't.

Um, how do I use spoiler tags, I can't figure it out :blushing:

To use spoilers, either highlight the text you want to hide and click the eye icon in the toolbar above your post, or you can manually type out:

[spoiler]Text you want to hide.[/spoiler]

Remember it has to be square brackets, don't forget the "/" in the second one, and it's "spoiler" not "spoilers".

But of course just clicking the eye icon while highlighting text will do this for you.  If you click the eye icon without highlighting text, it will just make a blank spoiler box that you can then type into instead.

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I think most Sonic games are either easy (like Generations or Colours) or fairly challenging like the classic games. Some are easier than others really.

I'd say there are only a few "Nintendo Hard" Sonic games, like Sonic 2 Game Gear or Unleashed. Both due to poor design. Any Sonic game that is hard is either due to glitches or poor design.

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1 hour ago, Semi-colon e said:

I think most Sonic games are either easy (like Generations or Colours) or fairly challenging like the classic games. Some are easier than others really.

I'd say there are only a few "Nintendo Hard" Sonic games, like Sonic 2 Game Gear or Unleashed. Both due to poor design. Any Sonic game that is hard is either due to glitches or poor design.

What are you classing as 'Nintendo hard'? No Sonic games come close to some NES games like Castlevania, Battletoads, or mega man. Are you thinking of games that Nintendo produced themselves like Mario?

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47 minutes ago, Dscross said:

What are you classing as 'Nintendo hard'? No Sonic games come close to some NES games like Castlevania, Battletoads, or mega man. Are you thinking of games that Nintendo produced themselves like Mario?


I mean Nintendo Hard as in like brutally difficult. It's true that Castlevania and such are still much harder and I would never consider any game even close to the first and third Castlevanias, but I'd consider the likes of Sonic 2 on the Game Gear to be difficult. Not like other games where it depends on how many Sonic games you've played. Sonic 2 on Game Gear is hard no matter what.

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21 hours ago, Dscross said:

What are you classing as 'Nintendo hard'? No Sonic games come close to some NES games like Castlevania, Battletoads, or mega man. Are you thinking of games that Nintendo produced themselves like Mario?

I agree on a scale one to ten comparing snes games to Sonics sonic being a 3 and snes games like toads a 10

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Sonic 2 8-bit and Sonic Spinball, though I have beaten them, make me scream in utter rage. As for Mean Bean Machine, I could never even get past Skweel. The only consistent difficulty I face from the series at all is getting the chaos emeralds in the the 2D games.

Oh yeah, and maybe I just suck at pinball, but I've yet to finish Sonic Pinball Party either.

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The 8-bit GG game is the only one that comes to mind for me. Its kinda brutal to throw a zero-ring boss right at you out of the gates. Younger-Me didn't stand a chance. Nowadays I can breeze through that boss, but if you were to tell me that the Egg Antlion has claimed more Hedgehog lives than any other boss in the series, I'd believe it.

 

Outside of that, other games have some tricky sections or endings (HELLO PS360 EGGMANLAND) but I don't think any of them can be deemed as overly challenging if you possess the skillset to run a speedy platformer. It also doesn't hurt that the games are usually very generous with extra lives, allowing you to stockpile them quickly for that one or two places where you might need it.

Sonic CD had a more... natural difficulty to it if you were trying to get all the good futures I guess...

 

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On 8/28/2017 at 6:59 PM, Dscross said:

Hmmm, I can maybe get on board with the difficulty of getting the chaos emeralds in the advance games, but not the actual levels. 1, 2, 3 and CD aren't really hard at all, not even on your first try. Some people struggled with the end bosses on Sonic 1 and 2 because of the no rings thing I guess, but the rest I believe most people could do fairly comfortably. The master system Sonic 1 definitely isn't hard. I distinctly remember beating that first time when  was about 8 so it can't be hard.

IDK man. Sonic 2 I think is pretty easy but I feel like Sonic 1, 3 and S&K both have some difficult spots, and all three have pretty challenging second stages for newcomers. (actually CPZ is kinda hard too if you don't know how to play yet)

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I can't decide between Sonic 1, 2, and Sonic and Knuckles. all three of them are hard in their own ways. Sonic 1 had difficult precision platforming, Sonic 2 had the most levels, and Sonic and Knuckles was just all around hard.

What do you think?

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One reason why I love the Sonic series so much is that the franchise offers a great variety of gameplay styles over many different games. As a result, different games will be challenging to people in different ways. What might come naturally for one person might be very challenging for another.

Personally, I love the Classic and Modern Sonic games equally -- I don't prefer one over the other. On the contrary, I view each category as a completely different experience that I very much love and enjoy in different ways and for different reasons. That being said, I tend to encounter the most challenge with the Classic games because some of the platforming can become very challenging. It gets easier with practice, but on average I tend to encounter more difficult moments in Classic games.

In regard to the Modern era, I typically view Sonic Unleashed as the most difficult in many ways. The Werehog stages can be challenging but overall are not that difficult for me. I primarily encounter challenge with many of the Sonic stages, especially when you get into subsequent optional acts, missions, and DLC. Unleashed provides some of the most difficult Sonic levels I've ever played, but that is one reason why I love Unleashed so much. I feel like it provides the right balance of difficulty. Most of the main/required levels, while often having challenging moments, are not too difficult overall until you get to Eggman Land. I do think the required levels before that point can become very difficult, but not to any kind of extreme. With enough practice I don't feel like they are too challenging. However, the game also offers many optional levels and missions with greatly increased difficulty for anyone who wishes to give that a try. I feel like that's the best way to balance the difficulty in a game. Make the main game challenging but reasonable, and save excessively difficult, convoluted and advanced content for optional levels and missions.

Aside from Sonic Unleashed, I've also had some difficulty with Sonic Heroes. I also think Sonic and the Secret Rings can be extremely difficult, but I'm not sure whether or not I would consider it harder overall than Unleashed when counting all of the optional levels available. However, just counting the main required levels, I think Secret Rings is actually harder overall because some of the levels were extremely difficult for me, particularly some of the boss battles. Aside from those three games, while I have definitely encountered some difficulty and challenge in every Sonic game I've played, I haven't experienced too much difficulty overall.

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On 30/08/2017 at 3:26 AM, sonicdudeatdawn said:

I'm a weird one but it was a sonic game gear that gave me absolute hell. i don't remember which though, i do remember a train stage. 

does that sound familiar to anyone?

It's probably 8 bit Sonic 2. Was the first level called underground zone with minecarts and stuff? It's the boss on that level with the bouncing metal balls with no rings and a squashed screen.

 

edit: just realised it could be triple trouble. Surely not though - that game was much easier than Sonic 2 8 bit

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