Jump to content
MetalSkulkBane

Does Super Sonic Suck?

Recommended Posts

Okay, let me clarify things.

He's pretty ingenious as a reward, like in Mania. Replay value, encourages both exploration and collecting rings and then being a immortal hedgehog go is fun.

With that said, he has a glaring problem: Boss Battles

Every single Super Sonic boss battle is bad. 3D or 2D.

"Aren't you exaggerating a little bit?" you may ask. "I though Sonic 3 or Adventure 1 fight were pretty epic."

Maybe they were, but that's beside the point. Super Sonic boss fight are just fundamentally bad idea.

Why? Because they throw a new controls on you. Final boss should be test of what you learned while playing the game.

Imagine Metroid Prime 4 comes out. Samus prepares to fight Ridley to safe galaxy, when suddenly he flies to space and you need to beat him using her ship, like it's a Starfox, even though it never happened through whole game.

This could be best Starfox level ever, you would still call developers mad. And yet we never question when Sonic does it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The final level/final boss fight of a game like Sonic is supposed to be a test of every skill you've learned and developed throughout the game. The Super Sonic final boss fights pretty much all throw out what you've been doing for the past several hours and introduce new game mechanics* that you have to learn before you can actually focus on fighting the final boss. So, yeah, I agree that the Super Sonic boss fights are all fundamentally flawed.

*Not the least of which is a relatively tight time limit before you die and lose any progress you've made fighting the boss.

But to make this post something other than a complaint, what could be done in future games is to make the final boss more of a formality than an actual fight. Super Sonic boss fights have always relied on spectacle even more so than the series usually does, and that's definitely an approach that has produced a lot of memorable moments. So why not lean into the spectacle, and make the Super Sonic boss fights more of interactive cutscenes where Super Sonic just wails on Eggman or a god or whatever than an actual challenge?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Imagine Metroid Prime 4 comes out. Samus prepares to fight Ridley to safe galaxy, when suddenly he flies to space and you need to beat him using her ship, like it's a Starfox, even though it never happened through whole game.

Tell that to Kirby, it turned into a Starfox game a couple of times already.

 

Anyway, I disagree with this: having some nice extra levels that use different gameplay is good for variety if not overused. Special stages also throw new controls at you, minigames etc. too.

It's something that if goes too far, it becomes Adventure era alternate gameplay, but in small bits it adds variety IMO.

Though I also agree that the final boss should be the final test of what you have learned thorugh the game, so having a Super Sonic boss only as the final boss would be a bit weird. I'm fine with having a regular final boss and then a Super Sonic boss being an extra unlockable only for 100% completion, like it was in Sonic 3 and all the Advance and Rush games.

Else, you can make Super Sonic just the final phase of the boss, when you have already won and it's just an interactive cutscene where you can only win, for spectacle purposes (you can still make it fun even if it's a scripted win).

 

5 minutes ago, Cosmos Rogue said:

So why not lean into the spectacle, and make the Super Sonic boss fights more of interactive cutscenes where Super Sonic just wails on Eggman or a god or whatever than an actual challenge?

I was stll typing when you posted this, but that's exactly what I'm suggesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Okay, let me clarify things.

He's pretty ingenious as a reward, like in Mania. Replay value, encourages both exploration and collecting rings and then being a immortal hedgehog go is fun.


I disagree. In Sonic 2, perhaps. Games like Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic Mania were far too generous with Rings, so there's no risk/reward to the Ring-timer. It essentially hands Easy Mode to the most skilled players. It's the inverse of the newer Mario games, where they give the player a powerful invincibility item if they fail a level enough times.

 

2 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

With that said, he has a glaring problem: Boss Battles

Every single Super Sonic boss battle is bad. 3D or 2D.

"Aren't you exaggerating a little bit?" you may ask. "I though Sonic 3 or Adventure 1 fight were pretty epic."

Maybe they were, but that's beside the point. Super Sonic boss fight are just fundamentally bad idea.

Why? Because they throw a new controls on you. Final boss should be test of what you learned while playing the game.

 

Sonic Adventure 1 doesn't do that. Super Sonic controls the same as regular Sonic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pengi said:

Sonic Adventure 1 doesn't do that. Super Sonic controls the same as regular Sonic.


that’s funny because I remember drowning in the water several times as Super Sonic.

 

Here is what my final boss fight absolutely did NOT look like for reference:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Iko said:

Tell that to Kirby, it turned into a Starfox game a couple of times already.

To this day, I still have not beaten the final boss of Kirby 64 for that reason.

Also, Mario Odyssey did this control-change final-boss segment, but it was pretty damn easy so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonic Adventure 1 has the only final boss battle that is essentially the main gameplay style. I'd argue they could use that style more since it's not entirely out of left field, not that I want him in every single game's finale though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Maybe they were, but that's beside the point. Super Sonic boss fight are just fundamentally bad idea.

Why? Because they throw a new controls on you. Final boss should be test of what you learned while playing the game.

Let me be clear first of all - there are definitely cases throughout the series where this much is 100% true. '06 and Unleashed in particular rank among the worst of the worst for this very reason, because they're huge departures from everything the player has experienced up to that point and often need more time to adapt to than the game gives you. There are also clear exceptions to the rule in SA1 and Heroes, in that they are the same prior gameplay in all but aesthetics and an extra dash of scale added to them. That being said, I feel like making this a single issue argument of learning curves is kind of reductive, and misses the bigger picture of why some of my favourite super fights work as well as they do in spite of this. Which I'm just going to come right out and say are S3&K's and SA2's Super bosses.

The first point is one you all but made yourself: as far as Doomsday Zone is concerned, Super Sonic is a reward. A bonus. Something you really have to go out of your way to unlock. To even get there in the first place you have to go through the Special Stages, which are themselves non-standard and stand in stark contrast to the core of Sonic's normal gameplay. In this respect, they synergize surprisingly well - to unlock Doomsday Zone is to display that you already have a tolerance for gameplay fundementals that can shift unexpectedly, so the shift from platformer to pseudo-schmup can't really phase anyone that's been through a minimum of seven rounds of 3D auto runner. Likewise, anyone who finds Doomsday Zone's gameplay shift distasteful is more than likely ignoring the Special Stages required to get to it anyway, so they don't have a chance to be turned off by it. Both spectrums of players get exactly what they asked for, and both are satisfied.

Secondly, and probably more importantly: they're really not all that complex? Either they're so simple that the gameplay switch almost immediately speaks for itself (seriously, who could play Doomsday Zone and be tripped up with the expectation of pressing a direction to move in that direction?), or they're structured in such a way that the player's own actions form the learning curve needed to master it WHILE they're fumbling around with it. And it's in this respect that Finalhazard, whether accidentally or intentionally, is actually kind of a stroke of genius. One of the first things the player learns while experimenting is that their jump and spin buttons cause them to fly upwards and downwards respectively on the Y axis, but they also cause you to keep drifting in that direction when triggered. So players will often keep floating up and down in rhythm to try and keep themselves level with their target as well to avoid incoming lasers and hazards - and it's through this behaviour that the player discovers, completely incidentally, that either if not both of these buttons also function as a pseudo Homing Attack once they're actually in range of the Biolizard's weak spot. So the diversion from Sonic's core mechanics doesn't even need to matter if you understand what a typical player's behaviour is going to be and use that to coach them into figuring out exactly what they need to be doing and only testing them on it once they grasp it. This is what a good learning curve should already be doing anyway - just that most games don't pack it all concisely into the span of a couple of minutes like SA2's final boss does.

Thirdly, mostly just out of morbid curiosity: how exactly do you do a boss battle of this nature any other way? Much of the time you can't just take Sonic's gameplay verbatim and plonk them unchanged into these confrontations because they're spaces in which platforming gameplay has no opportunity to function - often literally they take place in the cold vaccuum of space, beyond any semblance of gravity or solid surfaces to push your feet off of. Even when the final bosses are terrestrial in nature - like they were in Unleashed and Heroes - the whole thing is just a big void with a giant thing in the middle to approach and beat the shit out of. And even Adventure 1, which is an exception to both of these, has no way to test your platforming chops anyway - the whole thing is just moving in a straight line and occasionally weaving slightly to the left if a projectile approaches you. I realize I'm saying this otherwise as a advocate of characters that are consistent enough with one another that they share a core set of fundementals rather than having to master entirely different genres between them, but a game need not be the same shit from start to finish just for consistency's sake alone. Even the best of them can mix things up every now and then, because they can display a sense of restraint and forethought that Sonic Team usually doesn't have time to engage in - like that one time they introduced an entirely new beam at the very end of Metroid Prime and left the onus on the player to figure out how to use it, if we're still using Metroid Prime examples.

12 hours ago, Cosmos Rogue said:

So why not lean into the spectacle, and make the Super Sonic boss fights more of interactive cutscenes where Super Sonic just wails on Eggman or a god or whatever than an actual challenge?

Because Quick TIme Events are quite rightly derided as lazy-ass non-gameplay in its absolute most distillied form - a crutch that incredibly bad game designers use when they can't be bothered either designing game mechanics to suit the narrative outcome, or using the desired narrative outcome to inform the emergence of gameplay mechanics. Final boss QTEs in particular are rightly derided as the biggest possible anticlimax a game can be short of detailing the aftermath in a plain text epilogue, and it's for many of the same reasons that the OP claims - because they themselves have no respect for any of the skills the player has built up over the course of the game and relegate the final blow of the game to a glorified game of Simon Says. We already did this in the ending of Sonic Unleashed, and nobody liked it. Why on earth is anyone even entertaining the thought of going back to that now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a tricky needle to thread - it's certainly possible to design a new form of gameplay that is fun and easy to understand and challenging enough.  But it's also worth mentioning that saying "well as long as we get a proper "final exam" boss beforehand it's fine to do whatever for Super Sonic" isn't quite as simple as it sounds either.  Lots of people too issue with Unleashed's final boss, but the regular Sonic sections on Dark Gaia were exactly that, and it wasn't enough to make up the difference.

To be honest I think my ideal Super Sonic boss wouldn't play TOO differently to Time Eater from Generations - like a Star Fox esque on-rails shooter where the path is automatic but you can move around to dodge/collect things, and use physical attacks instead of shooting.  The problem was Time Eater was just a super weird/confusing boss, and the MASSIVENESS of the arena made it feel like there was no sense of speed.  I'd love a Super Sonic final boss that feels somewhat like a playable version of the Unleashed intro, with passing through lots of different bits of scenery to get a proper sense of speed.

The only other tricky part is Super Sonic's invulnerability, but I think as long as the enemy is narratively powerful enough, they can justify some attacks getting through and causing Sonic to lose rings, with smaller attacks just costing time as is tradition.

But yeah, I definitely want more (good) final exam bosses, whether they come before or after the Super Sonic bonus fight, and I definitely want more final bosses with a focus on speed and/or momentum if applicable (I was bummed out that neither of Sonic Mania's final bosses made use of momentum, aside from a few of the (pretty confusing, tbh) Hard-Boiled Heavies snippets).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of you have good points (especially @Blacklightning ) but

1) Yes, variety, change of pace is fine. But Super Sonic boss battle is something you do ONCE and at the end of the game. So it doesn't count.

2) Even if Super Sonic battle is easy to learn, it wasn't the game you've been playing.

Remember when Sonic Mania did puyo puyo boss? Most people said "kinda fun, but don't do that again, kay?". Super Sonic is same thing, only much flashier and with years of tradition, so we don't question this.

3) It limits how hard final boss can be. I'm pretty sure that super-hard-to-unlock hidden boss suppose to be a challenge, not just spectacle.

 

But I will concede that some times Super Sonic did continued core mechanics and in my opinion, this is the direction his battle should take.

How to do that? Ehh, fine, I'm not sure. I think it's commonly agreed that making Sonic bosses in general is hard. But it doesn't mean we should use formula as a crutch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Blacklightning said:

Because Quick TIme Events are quite rightly derided as lazy-ass non-gameplay in its absolute most distillied form - a crutch that incredibly bad game designers use when they can't be bothered either designing game mechanics to suit the narrative outcome, or using the desired narrative outcome to inform the emergence of gameplay mechanics. Final boss QTEs in particular are rightly derided as the biggest possible anticlimax a game can be short of detailing the aftermath in a plain text epilogue, and it's for many of the same reasons that the OP claims - because they themselves have no respect for any of the skills the player has built up over the course of the game and relegate the final blow of the game to a glorified game of Simon Says. We already did this in the ending of Sonic Unleashed, and nobody liked it. Why on earth is anyone even entertaining the thought of going back to that now?

Though it doesn't have to be a QTE...

Since other people mentioned Metroid, there's the final battle against Mother Brain in Super Metroid, where at a certain point during the fight you are given a much more powerful beam that makes you extremely overpowered. The gameplay is still similar to the original one, but at that point it becomes a joke and you have already won; it's mostly a matter of spectacle. They can make it this way, where at the end of the fight Sonic steals the last emerald from Eggman, or something, and manages to transform into Super Sonic... didn't something like this already happend in Sonic Colors with the wisps? That except that it's a whole new phase with actual gameplay.

Another game with this type of concept is Psychic World for Gamegear. After you defeat the final boss, you get a chance to fight the real bad guy before he escapes in space. The bossfight is scripted and simplified, it's not really an actual bossfight, rather an interactive cutscene.

EDIT: I just remembered that there's also Kirby and the Amaing Mirror (that Kirby game developed by Dimps). The final boss has many phases, and the in last one the gameplay becomes shoot em up, but in that part of the fight you can't lose, even if you get hit. In fact, during that phase there's the staff credits roll going on screen and it's just a Super Smash Bros inspired minigame where at the end the boss explodes anyway, and it tells you how many hits you managed to deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Blacklightning said:

Thirdly, mostly just out of morbid curiosity: how exactly do you do a boss battle of this nature any other way? Much of the time you can't just take Sonic's gameplay verbatim and plonk them unchanged into these confrontations because they're spaces in which platforming gameplay has no opportunity to function - often literally they take place in the cold vaccuum of space, beyond any semblance of gravity or solid surfaces to push your feet off of. Even when the final bosses are terrestrial in nature - like they were in Unleashed and Heroes - the whole thing is just a big void with a giant thing in the middle to approach and beat the shit out of.

I mean, that's a choice the developers make; they weren't forced to have the final boss take place in space, or the sky, or an empty cavern over the planet's molten core. And even once they chose to, they weren't forced to keep out anything that could've acted as a platform; Doomsday could've had you running along the crumbling remains of the Death Egg and hopping from asteroid to asteroid, Metal Overlord could've involved the ships from the Egg Fleet, and Dark Gaia could've had any sort of rock formations that they wanted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Razule said:

We've mostly had normal Sonic final boss fights the past decade, so I guess Sonic Team feels the same way. Maybe Super Sonic could be for an extra final boss.

I guess copy pasting the same boss over and over again for their normal Sonic fights is.......better? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I like the idea of Super Sonic's final bosses having the same gameplay as Super Sonic in the normal levels. Take regular Sonic's controls, but make him faster, make him jump higher, just make him a lot more mobile in general - and then build a boss and arena around that. 

I think this is a way to have a boss fight where you legitimately do feel more powerful in your super state, but it still ultimately feels like you're playing as Sonic, with the same fundamental mechanics you've been using for the entire game - just amplified.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an alternative idea - they could make it so Super Sonic is a proxy to some other kind of gameplay.  A good example would be the Special Stages from Sonic Lost World 3DS (ignoring the controversy of them being gyro controlled).  It wouldn't have been so out of the blue if a Super Sonic boss tasked you with fighting a boss under those same gameplay conditions. Like this example, a Super Sonic boss could use the basic control scheme of a pre-existing "minigame" that has been a part of the game the entire way through, with an extra ability or increased speed to make Super Sonic feel just a little more special than being just a reskinned version of said minigame.

Understandably I could see people taking issue with this if they'd rather the game be one consistent gameplay style all the way through - it's a valid request, but at the same time, many Sonic games have already inserted alternate gameplay in and been well-recieved, and plenty of critically acclaimed games have incredibly contrasting gameplay moments without issue.  Shrine gameplay and Horseback Archery gameplay in Breath of the Wild are worlds apart in terms of style, but I don't think many people would say that the Shrine gameplay would've made for a better climax.

I used the term "minigame" here as a shorthand to communicate that this gameplay would be different from the core Sonic platforming experience, but as long as it's fun and well-integrated, it doesn't have to present itself as a "minigame".  It could just be a natural part of the game that just happens to be different from other parts of the game, and an option to make the Super Sonic gameplay less out-of-nowhere.

Special Stages, "Sky Chase" Stages and Mach Speed sections are some existing examples from the series that could be recurring throughout the game and lend their gameplay to serving the basis for the Super Sonic fight at the end (preferrably following a final exam boss or stage of the "main" gameplay style).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d just make Sonic gameplay have the Spindash while Super Sonic has the boost, and center the challenge on trying to maneuver a map with that much speed. Maybe even let him retain speed in homing attacks? 

I’ve always found Super Sonic kinda boring since outside of bosses it’s effectively just having speed shoes and invincibility at the same time, so a changeup or two like that could be a fun addition. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, azoo said:

I’d just make Sonic gameplay have the Spindash while Super Sonic has the boost, and center the challenge on trying to maneuver a map with that much speed. Maybe even let him retain speed in homing attacks? 

I’ve always found Super Sonic kinda boring since outside of bosses it’s effectively just having speed shoes and invincibility at the same time, so a changeup or two like that could be a fun addition. 

I think it's a fun combination, with the added element of a ring timer.

Yeah, you're super mobile and (mostly) invincible, but you have to constantly get rings to maintain that. So rather than remove the challenge entirely from a level, it changes what that challenge is. A Super Sonic run of the game can still be engaging if the player has to work to keep their super form up.

With the added speed, some platforming is arguably harder as well. I'd argue pit-heavy stages like Wing Fortress might honestly be easier as regular Sonic, since in your super form it's so easy to overshoot your jumps or go flying off the stage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that it's an excuse...but this is hardly exclusive to just Sonic. Hell, Mario literally just had this type of final boss in Bowser's Fury less than a month ago. Having a final boss with a new superpower is as common as dirt. 

And since most of these boss fights are simple to begin with...I don't really see the problem? The only boss you could honestly claim is somewhat obtuse is Perfect Dark Gaia. But every other one? Simple. 

 

Now if the preference is for boss fights that test the player's skill level, well fine. But Sonic boss fights in general are kind of simple by design even outside of the final boss, so what exactly can serve as actual tests for the player?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Not that it's an excuse...but this is hardly exclusive to just Sonic. Hell, Mario literally just had this type of final boss in Bowser's Fury less than a month ago. Having a final boss with a new superpower is as common as dirt. 

I mean,

Spoiler

you use Plessie for the final boss, unlike the other battles which use Giga Cat Mario, which the player does get plenty of experience with beforehand since you can use Plessie just to get around the islands.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

I mean,

  Hide contents

you use Plessie for the final boss, unlike the other battles which use Giga Cat Mario, which the player does get plenty of experience with beforehand since you can use Plessie just to get around the islands.

 

My point still stands. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wish they put more effort into their boss fights than just recycling the same one from Colours like they're trying to out-lazy yearly sports game developers. It just removes all tension if you've played the previous games, you recognize the patterns and go "I instantly know how to beat this boss, now all the excitement has evaporated".

Though I guess that's a different problem entirely that won't be fixed by making Sonic go Super during the fight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

Yeah, I like the idea of Super Sonic's final bosses having the same gameplay as Super Sonic in the normal levels. Take regular Sonic's controls, but make him faster, make him jump higher, just make him a lot more mobile in general - and then build a boss and arena around that. 

I think this is a way to have a boss fight where you legitimately do feel more powerful in your super state, but it still ultimately feels like you're playing as Sonic, with the same fundamental mechanics you've been using for the entire game - just amplified.

This is more or less what I was going to say. Normal Super Sonic gameplay is just Sonic's, only faster, higher jumping, and nigh-invincible. Build the final boss around that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

1) Yes, variety, change of pace is fine. But Super Sonic boss battle is something you do ONCE and at the end of the game. So it doesn't count.

Doesn't it?

Although Super Sonic tends to be the most extreme example of it, at least as far as specifically designed final bosses for it are concerned, most Sonic games introduce weird, gameplay altering gimmicks on a stage-by-stage basis all the time. S3&K alone has Marble Garden (spintop), Lava Reef (spindash elevators) and Death Egg (inverted gravity), among a host of smaller examples we take for granted because their applications are concisely demonstrated the first time you interact with them, such as the big rotating pillars you grab hold of in Carnival Night. I would honestly go as far as to suggest the concept of a Super Sonic finale is itself a stage specific gimmick in this regard, and despite not functioning as platformers really aren't as out of place as a lot of people are suggesting.

As far as "super challenging final Super boss that tests fundementals rather than adaptability", I feel like you'd have to rethink the concept of Special Stages to go through with it, at least if they're still a requirement - so that they too test the same fundementals that the final boss will later use against you. I'm not against that per se? I just think the system we have works fine too, and either option can work.

8 hours ago, Iko said:

Though it doesn't have to be a QTE...

Oh, well when you put it that way, I'd say the best ones in the series really aren't all that different to what you're suggesting? S3&K's is almost completely self-explanatory, SA1's is basically just the existing gameplay repackaged, and SA2's is structured in a way that uses its own self-contained learning curve - all three aren't terribly complicated and use their spectacle to sell themselves in complexity's absence. Am I understanding correctly that this is exactly what you're after?

8 hours ago, Diogenes said:

I mean, that's a choice the developers make

Absolutely. I'm entirely aware it was kind of a Thermian argument - I was just genuinely curious what people would do in the absence of the traditional Super Sonic mixup, and I appreciate that anyone bothered to humour me on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably the super boss battle that stuck me the longest was Knuckles vs. Mecha Sonic in Sky Sanctuary (S3&K). Purely because Knuckles is severely underpowered compared to his opponent, who can harness the Master Emerald.

You actually have to dodge his attacks long enough for his energy to run out, then attack.

A boss battle where the enemy gets to use the ME or the Chaos Emeralds, not Sonic, would be a far better test of the player's abilities. It might be a good showcase for Sonic's quick wits too (and I don't mean his mouth). He'd be on the back foot and vulnerable the entire time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • 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.