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October 30, 2018 in Sonic Games
I know that most underwater zones are generally the least interesting parts of a Sonic game, but there's gotta be a few good ones! For me it has to be Hydrocity Zone (however you pronounce it) from S3&K and Aquarium Park from Colors!
Believe it or not but I like Labyrinth Zone from Sonic 1 more than Hydrocity. Then again I like Marble Zone as well and most people loathe that along with Labyrinth Zone. I think what it comes down to to me though is that I find Labyrinth Zone more challenging in how I approach it with Sonic's moveset compared to Hydrocity. One has Sonic out of his element where building and maintaining speed is both difficult and also a necessity for survival while the other is just Spin Dash away and you'll mostly be fine. I personally like being challenged to use Sonic's limited moveset in different ways as it makes for a more diverse and engaging gameplay experience that actually makes me care about the level that I'm travelling through.
Hydrocity Zone and Aquatic Ruin Zone from the 2D games. Aquarium Park from the 3D games.
I don´t care about which underwater zone I like. Any. Be it Labyrinth, Chemical Plant, Aquatic Ruin, Hydrocity, Carnival Night act 2 or Launch Base act 2. Ice Cap act 2 has water, but it´s not really an underwater zone, unless a Game Genie code for Higher Water Level is used. Then it is interesting.
Hydrocity by far. The first and probably still the best water level that features underwater sections without detracting from Sonic's gameplay strengths.
Water palace, ocean base, aquatic ruin and aquarium park. I've played around in hydrocity so much I'm sick of it now.
I love me some Aquarium Park. It's aesthetic (along with the rest of Color's levels) is just the perfect mix of a classic styled setting mixed with modern detail. I just wish Colors had gone a bit more Unleashed with everything and made a full on act of it instead of splitting it up into lesser parts. Like this:
On a bit of a side note, I also wish they had populated the background of these levels with actual crowds of npcs. I mean, the whole theme of the game is an amusement park right? Makes the game feel even more empty than it already is without that kind of background detail. Like, I get that this is Eggman we're talking about here building this so there's already an in-universe reason as to why people would be avoiding the place but I can easily think of reasons they would still show up. Hell, you can tell ST had sparks of this idea as there are egg pawns scattered in one or two places here doing things.
I mean, a lot of sections in this level alone look to be screaming for attention as there's actually a lot of room back there. It's a small detail that games like Unleashed did that really could've brought the environment to the next level. Though, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they simply couldn't do it due to the Wii itself. This game alone is probably already pushing the console quite a bit. An idea for Colors HD at least (but not before Unleashed PC mind you).
Although its a very hated level i always liked labyrinth zones music, its oddly tropical with a oddly steel drum feel to it
Its Tee lopes remix is especially very santana:
- Chemical Plant Zone is an insanely fun level - there are times where you can reach insane euphoric speeds and also challenging platforming sections, and to me it really epitomizes the idea of encouraging level mastery. Aesthetically it's also awesome, especially its music, my favorite in the series.
- Hydrocity is a ton of fun with interesting gimmicks and on top of that is phenomenal aesthetically, both visually and musically.
- Labyrinth Zone is not too bad really. The challenge is kind of fun and the gimmicks are interesting. Aesthetics also have a pretty nice vibe, though they're not as impressive as the previously mentioned zones. Of course, it can be frustrating and annoying, but it still has some merit.
- Lost World anyone? One of the better Sonic Adventure levels because it has a bit more challenge to it.
- Aquatic Ruin LOOKS beautiful and has good music... gameplay wise it could be better; even though I like the idea of "tiered" zones that reward skill by giving you a better path for better playing, Aquatic Ruin's version of this is just TOO punishing. But it has its charms.
There's probably more that I'm forgetting.
Hydrocity is generally my favourite. Massive props go to Ice Mountain and Twinkle Snow too, they're gorgeous levels, and Aquatic Ruin is really fun too. That whole early-mid point of Sonic 2 from Chemical Plant through to Casino Night is just the best part of the game. I've always been really fond of Launch Base Act 2 for some reason.
Pirates' Island is also one of the best water zones since the classics, with lots of really unique gimmicks plus underwater sections. Then there's Aquarium Park, which is imo the best zone in both versions of Colours. Fantastic stage.
I love Hydrocity from both Sonic 3 and Mania. Launch Base Act 2 is also a very favorite of mine. Labyrinth Zone is nice too but I find it a bit too harsh sometimes.
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