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The 3rd Option

Is the lack of "alternate gameplay" the only reason why people liked Colors at first?

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Because looking back, it really feels like that was the reason. The level design meshes really badly with the boost style, and the mechanics emphasizing the Wisps (to the point that they're outright required to take the series' famed alternate routes) really don't either. But people were desperate enough for "Unleashed without Werehog" so much that they took whatever they could get.

And even then, why don't we point fingers at the Wisps as "alternate gameplay" as much as we do Treasure Hunting, Shooting, and the Werehog?

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Probably because they're time sensitive Elemental Shields most of the time and if you're not worried about Red Star Rings, Game Land, or Super Sonic, they don't really affect Sonic's gameplay to the point where things feel too slow.

Also, the 4 different controller options, shorter Acts, small plot, and the fact that most of this game is 2D help remove some complaints from Unleashed.

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Not shitting the game up with something that didn't fit at all certainly helped. But it's not just that. There's still a half decent platformer in there, even if it's mostly a 2D game masquerading as a 3D one, even if it's not really that great at being a Sonic game.

6 minutes ago, The 3rd Option said:

And even then, why don't we point fingers at the Wisps as "alternate gameplay" as much as we do Treasure Hunting, Shooting, and the Werehog?

Because they don't involve abandoning Sonic gameplay entirely for entire levels. They're powerups, brief bursts of different abilities to spice up the gameplay, not replace it.

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Just now, Sonictrainer said:

Probably because they're time sensitive Elemental Shields most of the time and if you're not worried about Red Star Rings, Game Land, or Super Sonic, they don't really affect Sonic's gameplay to the point where things feel too slow.

Also, the 4 different controller options & shorter Acts help add to the illusion.

I don't buy this. None of the Wisps aside from Laser are all that fast, and although the Wisps are largely optional in regards to complete the stage, you NEED them in order to actually replay the levels. The latter point makes Super Sonic rather underwhelming since he disables all the Wisps.

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When did people suddenly decide Colors and Generations aren't fun? I'm legitimately curious. 

Anyway I like Colors because I find it fun to play. I never really had any problems with the Wisps and I also don't constantly boost soI never found the stages mixing with the boost that much of a problem. 

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1 minute ago, The 3rd Option said:

I don't buy this. None of the Wisps aside from Laser are all that fast, and although the Wisps are largely optional in regards to complete the stage, you NEED them in order to actually replay the levels.

In Colors, only hover and cube are actually slow, the others are all plenty fast enough unless you accept nothing less than boosting speed. And even if you need to use the wisps to fully explore levels, where and whether to use them is still always your choice, which isn't the case in other games where you're forced to play other gameplay styles to continue through the game.

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Just now, GreatP. - ProjectHedgehog said:

I agree with SBR2. When were Colors and Generations not fun? Heck, I'm an Unleashed fan. 

The wisps, to me, were AWESOME additions. Don't make them feel useless, because they were NOT.

I'm not saying they were useless; hell they had the opposite problem: the game forces you to use them in order to experience the game to its fullest potential.

It just feels like accessing alternate routes was no longer based on observation, exploration, nor tricky jumping. Unleashed's day stages, Generations in both styles, and even Forces had at least some of that. Colors' idea of alternate routes was just using the right Wisp at the right time. That's not skill; that's the same lack of gameplay depth that killed point-and-click puzzle adventures.

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I figured people were more welcoming to Colors because at that point in time when it first released, Sonic Colors was a game that made the franchise feel like it was seemingly heading in the right track again. Of course it wasn't perfect at the time and it's much easier to point what it didn't do right and wrong in hindsight, but that's no reason to not give credit to where credit's due.

With your alternate gameplay point.... Gonna have to strongly disagree with that. For one, the Wisps were temporary items for Sonic to use, the only playable character within that game. That was the main gameplay. That's a huge stretch comparing them to Treasure Hunting, Shooting and etc since you're playing whole levels with new rules, separate main goals and mechanics to complete an entire level for whole different characters to choose from within the same game. Saying the Wisps are "alternate gameplay" in line of what SA2 did is like saying the Speed Shoes or the Bubble Shield are alternate gameplay that should be pointed fingers at.

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1 minute ago, Diogenes said:

Something you'll often only be able to accomplish through observation, exploration, and properly executing game mechanics.

Yeah, but those "mechanics" are done in such a way that it flows really poorly with the core gameplay.

And it's not like alternate paths were even challenging to find. You see vertical walls? Spike. You see refracting diamonds? Laser. You see a whole mess of "wisp blocks" everywhere? Cube. You see rings that point to a vertical area? Rocket. The game always gives you the right Wisp for the right situation; it doesn't let you experiment and use them in different ways. It's the same reason that holds back the Spinner in Twilight Princess from being a great mechanic as opposed to Breath of the Wild's Stasis.

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1 minute ago, The 3rd Option said:

Yeah, but those "mechanics" are done in such a way that it flows really poorly with the core gameplay.

They're not perfect, and nobody's going to argue otherwise, but that's a far cry from observation, exploration, and challenge not even existing.

1 minute ago, The 3rd Option said:

And it's not like alternate paths were even challenging to find. You see vertical walls? Spike. You see refracting diamonds? Laser. You see a whole mess of "wisp blocks" everywhere? Cube. You see rings that point to a vertical area? Rocket.

Plenty of routes and red rings require you to actually pay attention to your surroundings. The ones that make themselves obvious are usually execution challenges, not exploration challenges.

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37 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

In Colors, only hover and cube are actually slow, the others are all plenty fast enough unless you accept nothing less than boosting speed.

Wasn't Frenzy Wisp kinda slow too? Not that it mattered to me because it was still fun to use. Also the Hover Wisp is fast when using it's power to ring dash.... which for some reason was ripped off of Sonic and put on the Wisp... Same deal with the Spike Wisp allowing Sonic to spindash... xD

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40 minutes ago, The 3rd Option said:

I'm not saying they were useless; hell they had the opposite problem: the game forces you to use them in order to experience the game to its fullest potential.

Because if there's one thing that makes a good game, it's not making incorporative use of most of it's consistent mechanics.

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53 minutes ago, The 3rd Option said:

I don't buy this. None of the Wisps aside from Laser are all that fast.

Orange Wisps will get Sonic high into the air faster than flying with Tails, Cream, or Charmy or climbing up a wall with Knuckles or Rouge.

Most of the Wisps even send Sonic flying in whatever direction that he's facing when he uses it.

From I remember from the Wii Version, all of the Acts can be completed without a Wisp except for Starlight Carnival Act 6, which was a Green Hover puzzle.

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I think it's unfortunate that all the hand-wringing and debate about whether Sonic Colors's praise was earned or not has shrouded that it's a perfectly servicable slice of platformer in it's own right. Right from the word "go" it is straight up surreal to play a Sonic game with that level of polish. Glitches and bugs usually come easy to me even in the "better" Sonic games but not that. This is partially because the mechanics are so reigned in, but it's not really a bad idea to go back and learn to walk before you try to run.

 The game has a fun and unique aesthetic and gameplay that works and is fun enough. There's some light platforming, puzzle solving and reaction based challenges that are all satisfying to do but lean way too far on the easy and shallow side for my liking. Still, the thing you have to accept about games is that most people aren't really looking for difficulty. Something that feels breezy and satisfying to play is gonna sit just fine with most people. 

It's a solid and polished but everything about it's core mechanics feels like it's been done already. From my experience the people who are less kind toward this game have been playing platformers their whole lives, so there's not much to get out of this one if you're a more experienced player. No matter how sloppy or poorly executed any of the previous Sonic games were there was pretty much a guarantee it'd feel unique. 


It's nothing groundbreaking, but it's important to remember that the game wasn't actually treated as groundbreaking by most of the people who played it back when it came out. It even had a fairly negative review that Sonic fans were incredibly hostile toward. It had a sort of rep as some holy savior inside the fanbase but I think most people agree that was kind of a mistake. I legitimately think that poisoned the well of discussion on this game. There's an eagerness for Sonic to be accepted by the mainstream gaming community and this was one of a few games to actually break that threshold. On a Nintendo exclusive system no less. People got a little excited and overhyped the game IMO. The annoying thing about overhype is that it comes with pushback: takedowns laced with unwarranted aggression.

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16 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Oh look--someone else whining about Colors and the Wisps and the Boost formula and how none it was ever good.

Just accept that timing is important for innovation and impressions.

You're missing the goddamn point. I like the Boost formula, and it has lead to great games or at least great halves of games.

I'm saying that the only reason people even liked Colors was the lack of anything like Hunting, Shooting, Werehog, etc.

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Colors was just a fundamentally solid game throughout, even if it lacked many of the common conventions we expected for a follow up to Unleashed. Sometimes all a game needs to appease its audience is to be fun, and evidently Colors was fun enough for many people to consider it a good game, which I still do despite it not playing much like any other game in the series, what with how heavily emphasized it is on more precise platforming. The wisps didn't fundamentally change anything to the same degree the boost did. In many of the levels they were largely optional for getting S-ranks or Red Rings and they felt like extensions of Sonic's normal abilities, without being a complete nuisance like in Lost World. This isn't even counting the music and overall aesthetic (for a Wii game) being pretty top notch.

Hell, Colors made underwater levels fun. Let that speak for itself. Hopefully we'll see it brought to modern hardware at some point, as I'd love to see the game in a higher resolution.

I've never played the DS version though. I loved the Rush games when I played them a long time ago, and Colors DS sort of looked like a more polished version of that style of gameplay, so maybe I'm a bit overdue for finding a copy.

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1 hour ago, Maxtiis said:

In many of the levels they were largely optional for getting S-ranks or Red Rings and they felt like extensions of Sonic's normal abilities, without being a complete nuisance like in Lost World.

That's the exact problem though. Why is getting S-Ranks and Red Rings so centralized on using the right Wisp at the right time and not on precise jumps and smart usage of boosting? I grant that the Wisps are largely optional for just making it to the end, but Sonic is like 50% (maybe even 70%) replaying levels for a better time/score by mastering the mechanics and stage design. The latter in Colors, while I admit it isn't the worst thing ever, is still detrimental to the gameflow.

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Just now, The 3rd Option said:

That's the exact problem though. Why is getting S-Ranks and Red Rings so centralized on using the right Wisp at the right time and not on precise jumps and smart usage of boosting? I grant that the Wisps are largely optional for just making it to the end, but Sonic is like 50% (maybe even 70%) replaying levels for a better time/score by mastering the mechanics and stage design. The latter in Colors, while I admit it isn't the worst thing ever, is still detrimental to the gameflow.

Why would the game not ask for you to master the mechanics it's centered around before giving you high marks?

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2 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Why would the game not ask for you to master the mechanics it's centered around before giving you high marks?

Because said "mastery" is just about as engaging as Wii-era Zelda asking you to master pointing and shooting the Clawshot on its dedicated targets while making it useless on everything else.

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1 minute ago, The 3rd Option said:

Because said "mastery" is just about as engaging as Wii-era Zelda asking you to master pointing and shooting the Clawshot on its dedicated targets while making it useless on everything else.

You still should be expected to do it. Whether you actually find it fun is subjective, but the S rank is given to you for mastering the level, ideally. 

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