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Plasme

Are Sonic's stages in Adventure unusually dated?

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I've been playing Nintendo 64 and Playstation plaforming classics lately, and I wouldn't say that Sonic's stages in Adventure are unusually dated. While Mario 64 was a revolutionary title and important in gaming history, it's a chore to play through now. I've been playing it this last week and it's controls are godawful, getting Mario to turn in anything other than a wide turn is a nightmare. Getting him to turn around to pick up a coin is absolutely dire, in a way that I don't think Sonic controls in Adventure. In Adventure, Sonic's controls are wonky, he often smashes into walls and veers off unpredictably, but I'd say he actually controls way better than Mario does in 64. As for Crash and Spyro,  I haven't played Spyro recently, but I played Crash and while I'd say the games have aged well, it can be very irritating to gauge Crash's jumps. It's hard to tell how far he'll go, especially with his long jumps on precise platforms. If anything, I think Sonic's jumping is more precise than Crash.

Then we get to the camera. The camera in Adventure is notoriously bad, and can be downright atrocious in levels such as Sky Deck, but I find the camera in Mario 64 to be almost as bad. Getting the camera to move is really hard to do because sometimes Lakitu just doesn't wan't to play ball. I'd say though, that this is probably an area were Adventure is below it's competition.

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Sonic Adventure's stages in concept and layout, are actually some of the best 3D stages in a Sonic game.

Programming wise....yeah, they're kinda dated. Lots of glitches, not so stable structure, certain mechanics don't quite play right, and the aforementioned camera problem. Sky Deck is indeed one of the most appalling cases of polygon ceiling in a Sonic title, probably due to being one of the most dynamic and ambitious (and gimmick laden) stages in the 1998 game.

Doesn't this fit the Sonic thread though?

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Really unsure what you mean by not getting Mario to turn because he literally has a unique animation for changing direction 180 degrees, during which pushing A makes you do the unique Sideways Somersault jump.  I can see there being an issue with the fact that his wider turning and this quick turn don't really have much in the way of inbetween, but I've never found myself to need such a thing - one or the other always works for me.

Overall though your OP is so cluttered with concepts it's hard to tell what the topic is here... your title is about stages but the body of the post just seems to be about how characters handle.  I'd argue that Mario 64's slight wonkiness at times is much more tolerable than Sonic getting regularly caught on scenery and veering into walls, as you put it yourself.

However they also kind of go in different directions - Mario feels more like a physical object that I'm throwing around with real weight and momentum - his jumps and flings and general movement have a lot more commitment to them than Sonic in SA1, who feels quite digital and - as long as you aren't being pushed forward by stage gimmicks - tends to be able to stop on a dime and move around in mid-air in a quite unnatural way.  Of course Sonic has momentum too, mostly via the spindash, but it overall feels much easier to manipulate and correct mistakes.  In Mario, if you throw yourself into the air in a certain direction, you have to deal with the consequences.  Both styles are valid, of course.

Of course, Nintendo clearly realised the downsides of such a "physical" platforming character, since in every single 3D Mario since, either a permanent part of Mario's moveset or collectable powerups have allowed you some way or another to "correct" jumps in mid-air or apply some kind of after-touch to help you make a more precise landing - FLUDD, the spin attack, Cappy throwing, etc.  This allowed them to keep the good game-feel of such a physical character while also being more forgiving to mistakes using optional extra moves that can be performed in mid-air.

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3 minutes ago, JezMM said:

However they also kind of go in different directions - Mario feels more like a physical object that I'm throwing around with real weight and momentum - his jumps and flings and general movement have a lot more commitment to them than Sonic in SA1, who feels quite digital and - as long as you aren't being pushed forward by stage gimmicks - tends to be able to stop on a dime and move around in mid-air in a quite unnatural way.  Of course Sonic has momentum too, mostly via the spindash, but it overall feels much easier to manipulate and correct mistakes.  In Mario, if you throw yourself into the air in a certain direction, you have to deal with the consequences.  Both styles are valid, of course.

Which is truthfully something that has always been true of Sonic even during the 2D era, besides the extra speed shift, he's easier to control and the games are usually much more forgiving than Mario's.

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10 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

That Mario 64 thing might just be a you problem...

 

Also comparing 64 and Adventure...ew.

This isn't a good response to criticism. Mario's controls are awful in 64. He has a good moveset, but his base controls are awful for the reasons I listed above. Getting him to slightly turn to pick up coins can take a few seconds of him making wide turns and veering around to pick it up. 

Saying "nah it's just you" isn't a response.

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It is a really good point that you have made, about how the reoccurring moments of adjusting and correcting are common to most 3D platforming titles of the era. 

Significant, and sometimes impossible (it would have to be programmed for each individual possible interaction) automation would have been required in place of the sometimes ineffective controls and cameras! 

 

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2 hours ago, Plasme said:

This isn't a good response to criticism. Mario's controls are awful in 64. He has a good moveset, but his base controls are awful for the reasons I listed above. Getting him to slightly turn to pick up coins can take a few seconds of him making wide turns and veering around to pick it up. 

Saying "nah it's just you" isn't a response.

I fiddled around real quick (the above is basically me attempting to run around in tight circles repeatedly - ignore the jumps*) and all it really did for me was confirm the whole "yeah when running smoothly he has a fairly wide circle but the quick u-turn movement makes up for it".  Like you can't run around in a SUPER tight circle but the u-turn achieves the same thing in terms of physical-space covered or changing directions so I don't really see the issue.  The u-turn sort of kills his momentum for a split-second too which gives the player a moment to think and avoids Mario suddenly darting in a different direction with no build-up whatsoever.

 

*(I find it hard to resist jumping when doing the quick turn because during regular gameplay I tend to always combine them even when I don't need to - being airborne generally makes things safer since it gives you some wiggle-room to re-center yourself on a precarious platform etc when u-turning).

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4 hours ago, Plasme said:

This isn't a good response to criticism. Mario's controls are awful in 64. He has a good moveset, but his base controls are awful for the reasons I listed above. Getting him to slightly turn to pick up coins can take a few seconds of him making wide turns and veering around to pick it up. 

Saying "nah it's just you" isn't a response.

Maybe when you're moving slow I guess it can be stiff, but that's literally all I can say...since I don't think the game controls bad.

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So is this thread about how Sonic Adventure has aged badly or not (which every knew it had by the time it was rereleased on Gamecube only 5 years later) or how it's better than Super Mario 64 (which it isn't and really never was, but the Dreamcast sure was fucking awesome and Super Mario 64 looked kinda shit even when it was new) and Crash Bandicoot for incredibly vague reasoning?

 

16 hours ago, Plasme said:

This isn't a good response to criticism. Mario's controls are awful in 64. He has a good moveset, but his base controls are awful for the reasons I listed above. Getting him to slightly turn to pick up coins can take a few seconds of him making wide turns and veering around to pick it up. 

Saying "nah it's just you" isn't a response.

Well, first of all, insisting that something is true doesn't actually make it so. The "reasons listed above" amount to you saying the game's controls are awful, saying Mario is hard to turn, repeating that Mario is hard to turn, then talking about Sonic Adventure and saying it is better. You never actually made a criticism that can be adequately responded to in the first place.

But more importantly, when you're making a point about a specific aspect of a game's controls that is demonstrably untrue and applying that point for the entirety of its controls on top of that, suggesting that the criticisms you are bringing up are a result of your inability to understand it is perfectly valid. Most of Super Mario 64's control problems are borne out of how atrocious the N64 controller is and how terrible the game runs on original hardware. It's similar to Goldeneye, which is still great to play emulated on a modern controller setup but borderline unplayable on an actual N64.

 

Most of Sonic Adventure's control problems are a result of the game's physics engine being put together with Elmer's glue. Conceptually Sonic Adventure was great. In execution everyone was more impressed with how much the Dreamcast could do compared to the PSX and how much of an unheard of spectacle Sonic Adventure was for the genre than they were with how Sonic Adventure actually played.

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4 hours ago, Tornado said:

So is this thread about how Sonic Adventure has aged badly or not (which every knew it had by the time it was rereleased on Gamecube only 5 years later) or how it's better than Super Mario 64 (which it isn't and really never was, but the Dreamcast sure was fucking awesome and Super Mario 64 looked kinda shit even when it was new) and Crash Bandicoot for incredibly vague reasoning?

 

Well, first of all, insisting that something is true doesn't actually make it so. The "reasons listed above" amount to you saying the game's controls are awful, saying Mario is hard to turn, repeating that Mario is hard to turn, then talking about Sonic Adventure and saying it is better. You never actually made a criticism that can be adequately responded to in the first place.

But more importantly, when you're making a point about a specific aspect of a game's controls that is demonstrably untrue and applying that point for the entirety of its controls on top of that, suggesting that the criticisms you are bringing up are a result of your inability to understand it is perfectly valid. Most of Super Mario 64's control problems are borne out of how atrocious the N64 controller is and how terrible the game runs on original hardware. It's similar to Goldeneye, which is still great to play emulated on a modern controller setup but borderline unplayable on an actual N64.

Are you actively trying to stawman me and be the king of snark?

As I've said many times, making Mario do tight turns is extremely finicky and difficult to do. This is just a fact, look at the gameplay Jez uploaded, Mario moves in a very rigid wide circle when turning. It's actually fine when he's running in a straight line or has to jump over gaps, because the game is designed in a way where you don't have to make tight moves or make super precise jumps.  The levels are constructed in a way that jumps are forgiving and you usually jump straight ahead rather than left or right. There's a reason why there's so few question blocks and jumps where you have to move on one moving platform to the other. It's because the developers knew that it was difficult to make Mario do tight turns and that he wasn't super precise. 

The only person who has actually bothered to address my point without snarking out and going 'nah' is Jez, who's shown that you can do these sharp u turns to counter act Mario's wide turns. I didn't actually know you could do that because the game never introduces it, so I think that'll help, but I still think it looks quite clunky and stiff. To make Mario move slightly to the left to pick up a coin you have to do this sharp u turn in place. As I've said, if you try to turn left he'll just make this super wide turn instead.

I mean seriously guys, go play a more refined Mario game, the difference in Mario's movement in 64 and Odyssey is incredibly notable. And yes, Odyssey came out way later, the point I'm making is that Mario 64 doesn't have perfect, flawless controls. And to be honest, most Mario fans I know online admit that 64 has dated.

I'm also not saying Sonic Adventure's controls are better than Mario 64, so I'm not sure where you are projecting that from. I'm saying that I don't think Sonic Adventure is as unusually dated as people claim it is. It has some terrible control problems at times, and the camera can be unspeakably awful. When it comes to making tight turns, I think Sonic Adventure is better in the specific example of turning, as Sonic doesn't make wide turns as Mario does and it's easier to make him move slightly to the left or right without doing these sharp u turns.

And as a sidenote, when did Adventure become the object of everyone's criticism on the SSMB? I remember reading these forums years ago and everyone here would come down hard on anyone who even dared to criticise it. I think it's pretty funny when those same members are now telling me how dreadful it is as if I had no idea they once held those views when I used to browse this forum as a guest.

 

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I don't see many hating on SA1 in particular, just being willing to admit its shortcomings such as how badly it's aged and it's unfinished structure due to being rushed onto the shelves. Otherwise I still see people holding it in concept and the better parts of its gameplay in high regard.

It's maybe not helped by the fact that modding has become much more advanced in the past years, which is often used to fix some of its problems, making it more obvious how rough around the edges it is when going back to play the unedited original versions, especially SADX.

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43 minutes ago, Plasme said:

As I've said many times, making Mario do tight turns is extremely finicky and difficult to do. This is just a fact, look at the gameplay Jez uploaded, Mario moves in a very rigid wide circle when turning.

So it's in fact... not a fact, because having played SM64 and watching Jez's video that's not the case. A turning circle that is literally as wide as two character models at full run is not an extremely finicky and difficult to comprehend process. Even if you ignore the way around doing so that you had no idea existed.

 

 

But don't worry, it's definitely not you to blame for SM64's controls.

43 minutes ago, Plasme said:

There's a reason why there's so few question blocks and jumps where you have to move on one moving platform to the other. It's because the developers knew that it was difficult to make Mario do tight turns and that he wasn't super precise.  

Or it's because Nintendo was literally writing the book on how to do the genre, and making Super Mario Brothers 2 Japan in 3D form would have been more than a bit alienating.

 

Incidentally, how much have you actually played of Super Mario 64? Because Tick Tock Clock is... almost entirely jumps from one moving platform to another. And rotating platforms. And moving platforms between moving obstacles.

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I mean seriously guys, go play a more refined Mario game, the difference in Mario's movement in 64 and Odyssey is incredibly notable. And yes, Odyssey came out way later, the point I'm making is that Mario 64 doesn't have perfect, flawless controls.

No one said it did. Jez even literally said the opposite. Don't lecture on strawmen if you are going to resort to them yourself at the slightest pushback.

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I'm also not saying Sonic Adventure's controls are better than Mario 64, so I'm not sure where you are projecting that from.

20 hours ago, Plasme said:

In Adventure, Sonic's controls are wonky, he often smashes into walls and veers off unpredictably, but I'd say he actually controls way better than Mario does in 64.

20 hours ago, Plasme said:

but I'd say he actually controls way better than Mario does in 64

20 hours ago, Plasme said:

he actually controls way better than Mario does in 64

 

 

 

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I'm saying that I don't think Sonic Adventure is as unusually dated as people claim it is.

It didn't control as good as its contemporaries when it was new (Spyro 2 released a month later and was a dramatically better playing game, and I'd say that the first game was as well despite it's own camera problems and overly demanding controls). It was called out over this repeatedly as little as 4 years later when the game was ported to Gamecube.

It's camera system was never good. It was called over this repeatedly even when it first released on the Dreamcast; and I remember a couple reviews praising Sega for it not being even worse like it was originally.

 

 

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I think it's pretty funny when those same members are now telling me how dreadful it is as if I had no idea they once held those views when I used to browse this forum as a guest.

You want to be an ass saying people are strawmanning, and now have jumped to saying people are being hypocrites because your badly written OP is getting torn to shreds. So here's what you're going to do, and don't for a moment think that this is optional:

 

Prove it.

 

 

Find a post from myself, or any of the other members in this thread, saying that the first Adventure is a great controlling, great playing game. I've been on this forum 15 years. The history on this forum goes back 9. You can use the site's search functionality, or type it into Google. I've also had this username for almost the entirety of that time. So has Jez. That should help you.

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19 minutes ago, Tornado said:

Find a post from myself, or any of the other members in this thread, saying that the first Adventure is a great controlling, great playing game. I've been on this forum 15 years. The history on this forum goes back 9. You can use the site's search functionality, or type it into Google. I've also had this username for almost the entirety of that time. So has Jez. That should help you.

I'm not talking about you specifically, but there's absolutely fucking loads of evidence that people used to adore Sonic Adventure on the SSMB. I remember people getting torn to shreds and threads getting deleted by moderators whenever Adventure got criticised (usually  I remember mods deleted them for trolling which is fair enough, but people still jumped to its defence vehemently).

But just as an example:

The thread eventually turns into full SA2 defence force.

I'm not looking for any more, I'm a busy person and have lots of stuff to do.

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I have put nearly 160 hours into my Adventure 2 Battle save. I also had it on Dreamcast. I also have it on PC. I will to this day go to bat for Sonic Adventure 2.

 

 

Sonic Adventure 2 is, I'm hope you're aware, notably not Sonic Adventure. It's even a significantly different game to play, to boot.

 

11 minutes ago, Plasme said:

I'm not looking for any more, I'm a busy person and have lots of stuff to do.

Then this thread has passed its sell by date. If you are going to call out members on this forum in response to questioning your trainwreck of an OP for the audacity of having different opinions about something over a period of several years (something that professional reviewers also did to Sonic Adventure 15 years ago), to the extent of saying you can prove it as it pertains to people posting in this thread (and yes, you were doing that), you should have had stuff prepared. You don't get to tar people as being hypocrites because they aren't falling in lockstep with you repeatedly insisting things to be true.

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