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MetalSkulkBane

Badniks in 3D

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As often as people talk about improving Sonic in 3D I really hear suggestions what to do with enemies.

So far Sega used 3 strategies
1 2D section, which is cheating
2 Make combat-focused gameplay like Hereos, guns in Shadow, Shadow/Silver in 06, shooting in Adventure, Avatar in Forces, Werehog, Black Knight or Rise of Lyric. So far it never worked.
3 Just make enemies a fodder for your Homing/Boost attack. Which to be fair, works just fine. Anyone played Rayman Origins or Legends? Really fun fast-paced 2D platformers (very similar yet different to Sonic) and enemies are total joke.

Still, let's say we want something more. Any suggestions how to keep badniks a threat without making them a complete pace-breaker?

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One thing I liked that the Boost games did was that there were a few enemies that would keep pace with Sonic, so running past them wasn't really an option. 

The Boost games mostly had these enemies appear on the more fixed quick step sections, but I think they were in the right mindset. The very first change you'll notice about the goombas in Mario 64 is that when you walk past it it will try and chase you. Enemies need to be more aggressive. 

It's hard to do this in a way that isn't frustrating, but I think the "Hotaru" badniks in Mania that follow sonic around and take shots at him until he destroys them might be a good start. The player would have the decision of trying to ignore them and making progression a bit more difficult or stopping for a second to destroy them. If taking real damage from these enemies seems a bit too punishing or something, they could have the light flash blind or stun Sonic for a second instead.

I also think it would be neat if the "roller' badnik followed Sonic's movements like the shadow Mario clones from the Galaxy games.

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11 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

3 Just make enemies a fodder for your Homing/Boost attack. Which to be fair, works just fine. Anyone played Rayman Origins or Legends? Really fun fast-paced 2D platformers (very similar yet different to Sonic) and enemies are total joke.

This comparison doesn't work because Rayman games are designed to be much harder than Sonic games. Enemies are usually pushovers, but the actual levels / platforming itself in Origins and Legends are more demanding for players to complete, and Rayman himself is actually as vulnerable as the enemies themselves are--unless you have a heart (serving as an equivalent of Sonic's shield), Rayman himself is practically a one-hit-point wonder. That's not really the case with Sonic games, with levels that are generally designed to not be outright hard and Sonic's ring system (you don't die as long as you hold one ring + rings everywhere in levels) giving the player a lot of chances to recover from injuries. I'd also say enemies merely existing as fodder for the HA/Boost makes them barely register as threats and also qualifies for bad platforming design in general; but this criticism applies more towards the mechanics in question, rather than the enemies themselves.

On another note; I'd also say the application of badniks in 3D Sonic games could stand to be expanded upon just a bit. Namely, I'm referring to incorporating enemies into the fabric of the levels themselves; rather than just their placement (and I'm not referring to absolutely shallow rubbish like HA chains when I say this). Though this is honestly a lack of substance that I'd say even extends towards the 2D Sonic games.

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12 hours ago, Josh said:

One thing I liked that the Boost games did was that there were a few enemies that would keep pace with Sonic, so running past them wasn't really an option. 

The Boost games mostly had these enemies appear on the more fixed quick step sections, but I think they were in the right mindset. The very first change you'll notice about the goombas in Mario 64 is that when you walk past it it will try and chase you. Enemies need to be more aggressive. 

It's hard to do this in a way that isn't frustrating, but I think the "Hotaru" badniks in Mania that follow sonic around and take shots at him until he destroys them might be a good start. The player would have the decision of trying to ignore them and making progression a bit more difficult or stopping for a second to destroy them. If taking real damage from these enemies seems a bit too punishing or something, they could have the light flash blind or stun Sonic for a second instead.

I also think it would be neat if the "roller' badnik followed Sonic's movements like the shadow Mario clones from the Galaxy games.

I agree with this so much! Actually, time ago, in a different thread, I made a very similar suggestion.

Sonic runs fast, a single stationary badnik just doesn't work in 3D, because it's too small and you can dodge it easily; badniks need to have an AI and act according to Sonic's movements: not only it would make the game more challenging and engaging, it would also make the game's world feel more lively.

For example, think about a motobug: if you are slow, it runs in circle around you, then it stops for a while facing you, waits a little and then rams at you at full speed; if you are fast instead, it will keep your speed and run close to you (left side or right side, maybe random), while occasionally trying  to hit you with those blades on its arms. You can hit it by jumping on it while he's doing the attack (because he stops following your movements for a while), or trying to conduct it into a wall or an obstacle, abusing of the fact that he moves according to your position and speed.

Obviously, the camera system is a problem, you can't see the enemies who are attacking you from behind, so their behavior must be designed in a way that they don't do cheap attacks from blind points.

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