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Hard mode?


The Adventurer

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Here's a complaint I've been hearing tossed around a bit on other sites. People are always saying that Sonic games are too easy, too simple, with no lasting difficulty. This is a valid complaint; a lot of Sonic's fans are in their late teens, so things that might be hard for a twelve-year old might be too simple for them. That was my major complaint from Sonic Heroes through now. On the other hand, Eggmanland. What does SSMB think about this? How difficult should Sonic games be? And how can the game be challengeing without being 'cheap', 'unfair' or 'annoying'?

Personally, I say there should be something like the missions in SA2B, where you could select a harder version of the same level with more obstacles and enemies thrown in. A significantly harder level, hopefully. I'd like to feel like I've earned that credits scroll, but I don't want to grind like it's Ninja Gaiden.

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I'd like a Hard mode, if they actually made the levels hard, and not just changed a few little things like in Sonic Heroes' Super Hard mode, which was just a beefing up of Team Dark's game aside from Mystic Mansion (which was absolutely fantastic). Things taking more time to kill doesn't necessarily mean it's harder

What they need to do is extend levels, give enemies more attacks, make them use their more dangerous attacks more often (if they have alternate ones), take more rings off when you get hit by stuff (if not all of them like classic style), put in less lives, etc. Not necessarily make the action slower, just tougher.

Either that, or have very different level design on the same level - so it'd have all the same gimmicks and stuff, but it'd be a lot tougher.

Also I want to play Eggmanland so bad. It looks so hardcore.

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Well then I guess some of these people have not played freakin eggyland in sonic unleashed. That level kicked my ass so many times that I had to stop, breathe,..... then try the damn stage again.

But yeah I agree, sonic games should have the option to up or lower the difficulty. Hell it would make the games funner and add a little more replay value to it.

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Depends on the context. Some games were already too hard to begin with (Unleashed, Secret Rings to an extent) - others actually DID include a hard mode and not much really came of it ('06, Heroes)... you know, I don't even fuckin' care. I just wish they'd be a little consistent with the difficulty curve for once.

Though if you ask me, at least as long as the level design stays the way it is right now (ie: terrible), they should make the normal mode in line with Mirror's Edge, with viable routes actually outlined a little more clearly so you don't have to be precognitive to see them in time. Then with the hard mode, simply remove them. There ought to be more to it than that, but defining difficulty could work simply by defining the actual path and then removing it when it wants to be more difficult.

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I think that the games COULD really use difficulty levels. Not like the Hard Mode's from Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog, either. I've heard that Sonic Rush had a difficulty level setting, and that's something I'd like to see in a lot of other Sonic games. At the start of the game, you an choose the difficulty level of how hard the game is, and play on from that point (or even add in the ability to change during the game) and also maybe have unlockable even -harder- difficulties.

Sonic Riders games are something that could REALLY use this most of all, though. That's for sure.

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I think the difficulty in 360 Unleashed was perfect. The final level was long and damn hard, as final levels should be.

However, Sonic has a large children's fanbase, so I think an easy/normal/hard difficulty level would be great.

I posted this back before the wipe, but here's my ideas on how difficulty settings could work:

ON EASY:

You never lose all your rings in one go. Even the most powerful enemy attack will only make you drop a maximum of 50 or so.

Floating platforms or homing attackable enemies are added to aid the player are added in tricky platforming or puzzling sections.

All bosses and enemies which take multiple hits have their health halved.

Dangerous moving obstacles are slowed down a little, and some dangerous obstacles (such as spikes) are removed.

Rank qualifications are also halved.

ON HARD:

Every attack makes you drop all your rings as in the olden days, and enemies regain their classic microscopic layer of acid, (i.e., it hurts to merely touch them).

In some areas, the regular platforms or obstacles may be removed or replaced with an entirely different trickier set-up.

All bosses and enemies which take multiple hits have their health increased to 150% (for fluidity, enemies that take one hit STILL take one hit - otherwise it'll be Sonic Heroes all over again).

Dangerous moving obstacles are sped up slightly, and some new dangerous obstacles are added.

Rank qualifications would remain the same as normal mode - hard mode has the added bonus of perhaps more enemies though so higher scores may be possible: if you can survive the whole level of course.

The most important thing is that the difficulty remains an OPTION, not a MODE. Regardless of what setting you play on, you can unlock everything in the game. If you want the personal satisfaction of doing such a task on a harder difficulty then you can get it. But rewards for beating the game on harder difficulties would stretch no further than seperate records being saved for leaderboards, or perhaps an achievement or two for completing the game on hard.

I've heard that Sonic Rush had a difficulty level setting, and that's something I'd like to see in a lot of other Sonic games.

All the Advance series and both Rush games had difficulty settings, but only the Rush ones actually admitted on the options screen that the ONLY change it makes is lowering the boss health slightly on boss stages, nothing more. The regular levels remain the same. This is true in the Advance games too.

Edited by JezMM
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I think that the games COULD really use difficulty levels. Not like the Hard Mode's from Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog, either. I've heard that Sonic Rush had a difficulty level setting, and that's something I'd like to see in a lot of other Sonic games. At the start of the game, you an choose the difficulty level of how hard the game is, and play on from that point (or even add in the ability to change during the game) and also maybe have unlockable even -harder- difficulties.

Sonic Riders games are something that could REALLY use this most of all, though. That's for sure.

If I recall correctly, hard mode in Rush just gave the bosses more HP. Which isn't bad necessarily. The Rush games had some fairly challenging levels towards the end, but I think it could have stood to go a little harder than that, even.

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Sonic Riders games are something that could REALLY use this most of all, though. That's for sure.
Riders 1 (less so Riders 2) is an extremely competitive game, so I thought the difficulty was one of its defining points. Though I guess I can't blame people for failing to grasp the basic concepts of the game, seeing as ST made virtually no effort to reinforce them. It's a game that works fucktons better with multiple players anyway.

Personally, I think it's moreso a problem of getting the player to grips with the actual game than it is the difficulty itself. Most of the perks of Riders are actually very simple once you get to grips with it, and I'm willing to bet there'd be less complaints about the difficulty itself if the game didn't just hand you a controller and say "figure it out yourself, bitch".

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Too many Sonic games have polar extremes of easiness and unbelievable cheapness. You'll be cruising along and even on the first level, a misstep or misfired homing attack can send you flying off an edge, a often unwarranted death.

It's pretty upsetting. I didn't bother to A-rank Sonic Heroes, because it happens so much in that game. Fun but too easy, until a chasm claims you for some glitch or spaz in the controls. It's why people say Sonic games are trial and error.

The one game I've enjoyed hard mode on was SHtH, because it was a stage rush mode with no continues. Hardcore. For a game with average difficulty, the hard mode there was exactly what it needed. Ironically, I think if difficulty was raised, the cheap deaths would be less noticeable, because you'd be dying at a higher rate to things that deserve to kill you. I love a good challenge. My favorite 3D stage is Final Rush just because of the things you can do there if you've got skill. Often A-ranking or even surviving a difficult level can only be done in one way though. A hard level shouldn't be too linear, otherwise it's Guitar Hero. If hard mode means I have to take a certain path, or do the same thing each time I play the level just to stand a chance, that's not fun.

If Eggmanland is anything like Final Rush, I'll love it, but I've never gotten that far in Unleashed. I'm for hard mode in the right games. It shouldn't replace real unlockables though. I consider it a pretty weak reward for getting 100% on a game.

Edited by Badnikz
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Riders 1 (less so Riders 2) is an extremely competitive game, so I thought the difficulty was one of its defining points. Though I guess I can't blame people for failing to grasp the basic concepts of the game, seeing as ST made virtually no effort to reinforce them. It's a game that works fucktons better with multiple players anyway.

Personally, I think it's moreso a problem of getting the player to grips with the actual game than it is the difficulty itself. Most of the perks of Riders are actually very simple once you get to grips with it, and I'm willing to bet there'd be less complaints about the difficulty itself if the game didn't just hand you a controller and say "figure it out yourself, bitch".

Yeah. Basically, this.

My friend from Arizona came over to visit us in Cali, and it turns out he's on spring break. So while I went to school, he was able to play my Wii, so he wouldn't get bored.

Now, he says it's actually pretty fun (non-Sonic fan), and the main thing was getting a grip on how the "damn thing handled", in his words.

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I was pretty content with the level of difficulty in say Unleashed 360. Had platforming and challenge but wasn't really designed to defeat you, nor was it just a walk in the park. I'd say it had the best amount of difficulty in a Sonic game thus far. Saying that, I guess a harder mode wouldn't be bad after beating everything in most Sonic games. Though I never unlocked the Hard mode in Heroes, I wouldn't mind it returning.

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I don't have much of a problem playing Riders. However, Riders suffers a lot with the default settings. The nice thing about Mario Kart that it is able to stand out above Sonic Riders is the difficulty levels giving more variety, and unlocking more content. The Story Mode is just fine the way it is; early stages should have lower difficulty settings, while later ones should have higher difficulty settings.

The problem is in the other modes. Riders 1 wasn't so difficult, but it could really use difficulty levels as an asset. With lower difficulties, dumb down the AI so they aren't as good, and higher up, make them a lot better and use a lot of the shortcuts.

Zero Gravity is where the problems start. Free Mode is insanely hard in Zero Gravity, while Grand Prix is much easier. I'm really good at playing, but even I constantly get trounced, primarily when I haven't played for an extended period.

And competitiveness is pointless when no one knows how to play the damn game. I love Sonic Riders, but there's only one other person I know that can even PLAY the game. The controls definitely need some work. That's the biggest issue, but difficulty levels would really be an asset, too, and it would add in a lot more variety than just having the game on its own.

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Hmm, Me and my Brother picked up both Riders fairly quickly. After a few multiplayer bouts for practice, comm. no longer posed a threat in any of the modes.

As for difficulty levels, I liked the approach unleashed took. The first few levels were fun little romps, with the difficulty getting amped up a notch until you ran in the incredibly cheap Eggmanland (PS3) that was designed specifically so you could watch Sonic die over and over again and scream bloody murder. The Wii version was less difficult, but still rewarding.

This way, the kiddies can play, and I get my impossibly difficult stage. Everyone Wins!!!

Edited by Sega DogTagz
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Sonic Riders was insanely hard, while Zero Gravity was insanely easy (except for Free Race mode, where difficulty spiked way back up). I know it took me forever to complete Babylon Garden in Story Mode. What these games really needed was a difficulty setting. Second game controlled a lot easier than the first, though.

As for hard mode in other games, ah... well, I find them pretty boring if you have to unlock it. Allow a difficulty setting from the get-go, or don't include it at all, because Sonic Heroes's ultimate reward isn't worth the trouble I would have to go through to unlock it.

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If Eggmanland is anything like Final Rush, I'll love it, but I've never gotten that far in Unleashed. I'm for hard mode in the right games. It shouldn't replace real unlockables though. I consider it a pretty weak reward for getting 100% on a game.

Prepare to be disappointed, because Eggmanland is a demonic stage that you'll absolutely despise by the end of it.

Honestly, I don't think it's a good idea to have difficulty levels unless the actual level design and mechanics are good enough, because they affect the difficulty enough on their own.

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Sonic Riders was insanely hard, while Zero Gravity was insanely easy (except for Free Race mode, where difficulty spiked way back up). I know it took me forever to complete Babylon Garden in Story Mode. What these games really needed was a difficulty setting. Second game controlled a lot easier than the first, though.

As for hard mode in other games, ah... well, I find them pretty boring if you have to unlock it. Allow a difficulty setting from the get-go, or don't include it at all, because Sonic Heroes's ultimate reward isn't worth the trouble I would have to go through to unlock it.

Agreed on that, though I don't think Sonic Riders is as hard as everyone says. But yeah, Free Mode in Zero Gravity is insane. That should be, like, 150cc in Mario Kart. They'd probably just use "Easy", "Difficulty", and "Hard", though. Maybe even an unlockable "Expert" mode.

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Yeah, I thought Riders' difficulty was perfect. It's a short game that I can now complete in a day, but at the time it took me about a week to finish the story. I thought an intense but short game made a pretty nice change. Zero Gravity was way too easy in comparison - I think I finished the story the day or day after I got it through casual play. The variety of missions made up for the story mode (mixture of races and time limits etc) made up for it.

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I get frustrated easily with stages in most of the Sonic games I own, but I get most frustrated with final or later levels. Final Rush/Final Chase, Eggmanland, Sky Road, Digital Circuit and Crazy Gadget are the top most frustrating levels I have ever played. What bothers me is that it seems they decided to pump up the difficulty on later stages to the point where it is near impossible to get past (I haven't picked up Sonic Unleashed for a month because of Eggmanland). What I do love though, is that when you do finally get past you get this swelling feeling of success. :lol:

I guess I would love a 'hard' difficulty. I almost hope SatBK is as hard as Unleashed.

Edited by Ivana
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