Jump to content
Awoo.

Most useless playable character in a Sonic game


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

NOTE: We're only discussing legit playable characters. No hacked NPCs or the like.

Which playable character in any Sonic game do you think is the most useless? I mean in terms of standard Sonic gameplay.

I'm gonna have to go with... Big from Sonic Adventure.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Big, but in terms of battle, or getting around, he's kinda useless.

Yeah he can lift heavy things, but he's slow as molasses, can't spin dash or spin jump, and his only way to hurt enemies is to use his damn lure and I had trouble even hitting them with it. He just feels defenseless at times, with his moveset only serving for his gimmicky gameplay.

I'd be highly surprised if any character comes close to the uselessness. Thank god they buffed him later on, if only to fit into the Power type niche for Sonic Heroes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gonna say one I wish I didn't have to say but... Tails in 3K/Mania. 

Okay, maybe not useless, but unpleasant.

Tails's major distinction from the other characters is that he can reach higher places than most, but his flight in itself slows him down to a very sluggish speed, and the amount of input you have to put in just for him to elevate any significant amount is way more than it's worth. These things would be decent limiters if it weren't for that flight also leaves him completely vulnerable to attack, and there's no way to cancel the flight so you can regain protection or descend quickly.

You have to rapidly press jump just to ascend, lug Tails through the air like you're carrying a bowling ball that will shatter on impact with anything, and then have to slowly and tediously land Tails like an actual helicopter every time you want to get back into a safe state.

It really wouldn't take much to fix these problems (let Tails uncurl, make flying faster to maneuver but faster to run out of strength) and it'd be fine. But Tails as is feels like a punishment to play as when you have Sonic or Knuckles (or even Mighty or Ray in Mania+) offering much quicker, more intuitive ways to interact with the environment.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess it's hard to argue against SA Big; he's designed to do one thing and not much else, and his "one thing" is kind of the antithesis of a Sonic game. But there's not much more to say since it's so obviously wrong that even Sonic Team knows not to do it again. Probably.

17 minutes ago, azoo said:

Gonna say one I wish I didn't have to say but... Tails in 3K/Mania. 

Okay, maybe not useless, but unpleasant.

This is definitely true. I think just being able to drop out of flight into ball form would do a lot to make him feel better to play, though I wouldn't be against a more significant reworking of his flight. Honestly I don't feel any game, 2D or 3D, has figured out a good way of handling it.

Speaking of Mighty in Mania, he doesn't exactly feel bad to play as, but his unique abilities do end up feeling kinda useless. His passive defense is fine but doesn't really change how I play, and I've never found much use for his stomp/ground pound; he can smash a few things other characters can't, but an ability to drop down faster just doesn't open up interesting options. He's probably my least played of the five characters by a wide margin; even if Tails' flight isn't fun, it gets me places other characters can't (or at least not as easily), and that's more valuable than Mighty's abilities.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Knuckles' Chaotix counts, it's Heavy (slow and, well, heavy) and Bomb (can hurt you with explosions). The game even implies that they were literally made to mess with you.

If not, then, yeah, it's Big in SA1. I think his part of the game could have been much better if it was just an unlockable mini-game made for fun instead of something that you totally need to do to get the final story with Super Sonic.

  • Chuckle 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Genuinely surprised nobody has mentioned Amy from 06 yet. She has one attack, and it's so short range you genuinely run the risk of overlapping the hitbox of the thing you're trying to hit in the process and taking damage, and the random out of fucking nowhere cloaking ability seems to only be in the game just to help mitigate that risk whenever something turns or shoots at you. And her doublejump is one of the jankiest things I've ever seen in a platformer - sure it gets mad height, but it's so slooooooooooow auuugh

Honourable mention to Rouge in Sonic Battle, who spends most of her time waiting to touch the ground and yet can't seem to actually do much from the air, which is especially damning because the two best characters in the game can infinite specifically with their air moves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mighty from Mania. He really doesn't warrant another playthrough solo. Also Tails moves slow going up but around as fast as Knuckles while going across. However Knuckles has more protection compared to Tails who will take damage if hit.

Big from SA1 self explanitory.

Classic Sonic from Forces. Utterly pointless entirely both in story and gameplay. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually on second thought, classic Sonic in Forces is maybe the most “useless” character in a Sonic game. Big gives a comedic edge and a ‘village outsider’ perspective to SA1 which I think has value to an extent, at least. Meanwhile Clonic contributes.. basically nothing.

  • Thumbs Up 2
  • Fist Bump 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never liked playing as Tails alone in S3K and Mania. For reasons already stated; his aerial mobility is only marginally better than Knuckles' and Ray's, but it's horribly slow SSMB unfun. Just not worth the time. And even though he's not completely defenceless, his only means of attack is to slowly fly into an unguarded enemy from below. Good luck doing that 99% of the time. I could never beat the Marble Garden Act 2 boss as Tails when I was a child because of this. 

Playing as Sonic and Tails together alleviates some of practical limitations of using Tails alone, because you get access to Tails flight along with whatever abilities Sonic has. But the flight still sucks. It ought to be fully revamped. Faster ascent, and the ability to recurl on descent (with the drawback being that you can't start flying again until landing).

Also special shout out to Tails yet again in Advance 2. Unlike Sonic, Knuckles and Amy, he doesn't have a ground pound move so can't access certain paths. And unlike Cream he doesn't have Cheese to "cheese" the game with. It's rarely worth playing as anyone except Sonic (or Cream) in Advance 2 because of how the levels are so straightforward, but Tails manages to be just that extra little bit more useless. Tails was at least useful in Advance 1 for finding Special Stage springs.

Amy takes the useless crown in Advance 3 at least. Whilst in Advance 1 she was Hard Mode, that was at least something and Sonic was relatively pointless. In Advance 3 however, Amy makes the game much less fun. When you're with her, you can't do shit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tails has a flight cancel in Sonic 3 AIR, and someone made a mod for Mania that ports said flight cancel over. It really is a game changer; Tails went from being a character I never play as because of the reasons mentioned, to being a character who it's actually pretty fun to go fast with, since his flight can act as a quick double-jump with the cancel in mind. 

Personally I think Amy's one of the best characters in Advance 3; with Sonic her airdash, while not as fun as previous games, is still neat. And her ability to hammer springs for way, way more height is fun too. I did used to think she was crap, but I gave her another go and had a lot of fun.

Anyway, for me it's probably Big in Adventure, yeah. Basic answer, but he's just kind of cumbersome when trying to do anything other than fishing, and even that's a crapshoot with how unintuitive his mechanics are. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I think there are more useless characters gameplay-wise (like, I didn't play Shadow the Hedgehog but I believe that Maria does nothing aside of moving around, right?), I agree that Tails is the one that the most needs of a big revamp, if not a complete redesign from the ground.

He's cool in concept, but his gameplay has never been fun aside of maybe Adventure 1, but that was because it was all about flying through dash rings, and flight was fast (unless we count Sky Patrol).

Advance 2 is the game were Tails is useless the most, not only for the reasons already explained, but also because the level design is done in a way that you have to read the hints on screen in order to understand where you are going, and being able to fly will move those hints out of the screen, confusing you and likely driving you into a bottomless pit. Also, Cream (who has more limited flight abilities, meaning that she's less affected by the flaw that I mentioned) can cancel the flight and drop onto enemies to defeat them, while Tails can't do anything like that, he can just get tired and land very slowly into his doom (likely a pit).

EDIT: This thread gave me a couple of ideas for a Tails gameplay revamp. Time ago I did Amy, now I'm doing Cream (not published yet but almost done) and probably Tails will be next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with a few obvious ones here, but I want to add Amy from Sonic Adventure to the list.  When she's running down a hill, she's great, but that kind of movement is how she should've behaved on flat ground, frankly.  On flat ground, she feels a bit sluggish, but any time you have to go uphill as her it feels like I'm moving through sludge.  There are shades of unique gameplay with avoiding Zero and the more puzzley elements but none of them ever advance beyond "square peg in square hole" tutorial-grade puzzles the entire way through, with the final stage offering such brainteasers as "hide behind the only object you can hide behind in the room while waiting for an elevator" and "guess which door out of five identical doors goes the right way".  The most advanced it ever gets is hiding one of the square pegs off camera to be uncovered.  And while it doesn't really matter because there is literally never a situation where you need to use them, her ground-based attacks are bizarre.  The idea of using the slow-ass regular hammer hit is laughable.  The idea of ever using the rotating spin attack is downright hilarious.  Having optional moves is no bad thing, but they should have some practical purpose.  This is why the optional side somersault from Mario 64 has been a mainstay for the franchise while the optional stationary crouch spin kick has not.

There's something sort of fun about keeping your momentum going and doing the high hammer jump everywhere, aiming/timing it to bop enemies as you go, but it still feels somewhat bad, like you're pushing against a brick wall to achieve it rather than being a smooth-flowing acrobat.  Also constantly doing massive high jumps and flipping around everywhere you go just looks kind of ridiculous in a similar way to repeatedly rolling to get around faster in the early 3D Zelda games. Feels like you're abusing a game mechanic rather than controlling a person in the game world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, JezMM said:

I agree with a few obvious ones here, but I want to add Amy from Sonic Adventure to the list.  When she's running down a hill, she's great, but that kind of movement is how she should've behaved on flat ground, frankly.  On flat ground, she feels a bit sluggish, but any time you have to go uphill as her it feels like I'm moving through sludge.  There are shades of unique gameplay with avoiding Zero and the more puzzley elements but none of them ever advance beyond "square peg in square hole" tutorial-grade puzzles the entire way through, with the final stage offering such brainteasers as "hide behind the only object you can hide behind in the room while waiting for an elevator" and "guess which door out of five identical doors goes the right way".  The most advanced it ever gets is hiding one of the square pegs off camera to be uncovered.  And while it doesn't really matter because there is literally never a situation where you need to use them, her ground-based attacks are bizarre.  The idea of using the slow-ass regular hammer hit is laughable.  The idea of ever using the rotating spin attack is downright hilarious.  Having optional moves is no bad thing, but they should have some practical purpose.  This is why the optional side somersault from Mario 64 has been a mainstay for the franchise while the optional stationary crouch spin kick has not.

The useless attacks always bothered me. I think I tried using the Hammer Spin in her Hedgehog Hammer mini game, but it doesn't even work well there!

To be honest, since in most games, most characters can spin jump or spin dash, stationary ground attacks are useless, or have very limited theoretical use that never gets put to the test. If (in a 2D game), you were in a corridor, spikes above you, spikes to the sides, oncoming enemy, then yes these attacks would be useful. But I've never seen this in a Sonic game.

This also goes for Tails's spin attack in SA1; although it can be upgraded where he can at least move around with it, making it his version of Sonic's spin dash basically. But before the upgrade, it's useless. And I'll get hate for this, but Knuckles's punches are also useless. Enemies die in one hit regardless, may as well just jump on them or spin into them.

Sonic is the only one with consistently useful attacks, due to his Homing Attacks and Spin Dash type attacks. And even then, they give him shit like Magic Gloves which... why?? What use does this serve???

As for Tails's flight... either it's sluggish and awful, or overpowered like SA1. Sega seems to not know how to make it functional yet fair.

Also, Rouge in Sonic Battle... you do realize, you can press A to get her to land, right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of people are saying tails but to be honest I never really found much of a reason to use anyone but Sonic in Mania. The maps are designed so clever thinking and skillful use of his abilities can get him pretty much anywhere, and that's how I prefer it. When I really think about it, almost every additional movement element to classic sonic is at least "useless" in the sense that it's not nearly as fun or nuanced as the rolling physics. Knuckles and Mighty's abilities don't seem all that affected by inertia and with Tails it's only barely a factor. 


 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/8/2021 at 10:07 PM, Blacklightning said:

Genuinely surprised nobody has mentioned Amy from 06 yet. She has one attack, and it's so short range you genuinely run the risk of overlapping the hitbox of the thing you're trying to hit in the process and taking damage, and the random out of fucking nowhere cloaking ability seems to only be in the game just to help mitigate that risk whenever something turns or shoots at you. And her doublejump is one of the jankiest things I've ever seen in a platformer - sure it gets mad height, but it's so slooooooooooow auuugh

This is the correct answer.

I also dislike tails in the classics so I'm surprised so many brought him up in this thread, still I wouldn't consider him useless. Flight makes for easy exploration whether it's at a snail's pace or not and he makes for a decent babby mode. Crazy how they got the flight correctly immediately with cream. She flies faster than tails, but gets tired quicker plus she can cancel her flight to bunny hop on enemies below her. Especially with cheese, cream has babby mode perfected.

On 2/9/2021 at 5:38 AM, Iko said:

While I think there are more useless characters gameplay-wise (like, I didn't play Shadow the Hedgehog but I believe that Maria does nothing aside of moving around, right?).

Maria has a slap attack she can hurt enemies with. She has a very low jump height though.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Wraith said:

A lot of people are saying tails but to be honest I never really found much of a reason to use anyone but Sonic in Mania. The maps are designed so clever thinking and skillful use of his abilities can get him pretty much anywhere, and that's how I prefer it. When I really think about it, almost every additional movement element to classic sonic is at least "useless" in the sense that it's not nearly as fun or nuanced as the rolling physics. Knuckles and Mighty's abilities don't seem all that affected by inertia and with Tails it's only barely a factor. 

Mania doesn't implement extra characters as well as S3K. In S3K, especially the S3 half, you get a nicely different experience using Sonic and Knuckles. Knuckles has harder bossed and alternate paths in most levels. His lower jump is used against him every now and then too. Tails is useless though; you're better off playing as Sonic alone or Sonic and Tails together for what miniscule use Tails has. 

In Mania, there's like what...  only five Knuckles exclusive paths in the entire game? The starts of GHZ1 and MSZ2, optional paths in CPZ2, LRZ2 and MSZ2. And of course all of MSZ1, which is a legitimately really good level and much better than the Sky Chase act that the others have. And the rest of the time using his gliding or climbing skills really doesn't add anything and break the flow in an unwelcome way. At least he has has a few uses, but I'll agree that he's not of much use over Sonic.

Ray is great though; he's got a very high skill ceiling, but you can pull off some amazing feats with him if you understand his gliding and know the level layouts. That makes Ray worth playing as, because even if you haven't mastered his skills (like I never will because I'm bad at games), his abilities let you experiment and encourage aerial play that isn't as mindless as Knuckles' and Tails'. Mighty plays like an easy mode variation on Sonic. He's not great, but you can get some satisfying use from his Hammer Drop. Using it correctly on loops and slopes does net you speed, but I'd virtually always prefer the Drop Dash or shield abilities. 

So yeah, in S3K you get two distinct ways to play with Tails being superfluous. In Mania, Sonic reigns supreme, with Ray being a cool twist. Knuckles' routes are almost entirely gone, whilst Tails and Mighty aren't really up to much. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

Mania doesn't implement extra characters as well as S3K. In S3K, especially the S3 half, you get a nicely different experience using Sonic and Knuckles. Knuckles has harder bossed and alternate paths in most levels. His lower jump is used against him every now and then too. Tails is useless though; you're better off playing as Sonic alone or Sonic and Tails together for what miniscule use Tails has. 

In Mania, there's like what...  only five Knuckles exclusive paths in the entire game? The starts of GHZ1 and MSZ2, optional paths in CPZ2, LRZ2 and MSZ2. And of course all of MSZ1, which is a legitimately really good level and much better than the Sky Chase act that the others have. And the rest of the time using his gliding or climbing skills really doesn't add anything and break the flow in an unwelcome way. At least he has has a few uses, but I'll agree that he's not of much use over Sonic.

 

I specifically remember a few Tails only niches in Sonic 3 but you're right for the most part. This is all true but I don't actually mind this much in practice. It's actually cool that mastering Sonic feels so rewarding even if I might never actually complete my Tails file because of it. He still has some value as the defacto easy mode and I think that's enough to justify his inclusion even if he doesn't have much use to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Wraith said:

I specifically remember a few Tails only niches in Sonic 3 but you're right for the most part. This is all true but I don't actually mind this much in practice. It's actually cool that mastering Sonic feels so rewarding even if I might never actually complete my Tails file because of it. He still has some value as the defacto easy mode and I think that's enough to justify his inclusion even if he doesn't have much use to me.

There's a small handful of places in S3K that only Tails can access, but nothing on the scale of Knuckles' levels and all are out of the way and cumbersome. Yeah he's technically easy mode, but he's aggressively unfun. If they changed his flight controls and speed, he's be worthwhile.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.