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Underrated gameplay genres in Sonic games


Crystal Kingfisher
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So what do you think are some of the most underrated gameplay genres or segments in a Sonic game?

For me, it would have to be the mech stages in SA2, or the treasure-hunting stages. The mech stages were really fun and badass, and the treasure-hunting ones were fun and challenging too, but I hated a couple of them.

Your thoughts?

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Team play wasn't that bad in my opinion, it just needed a bit more polish and they should have ironed the glitches out and the game would have been fantastic, as opposed to simply "Good, but with some issues". I liked Sonic Heroes and the team gameplay, it just wasn't as refined as it should have been.

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One of the most underrated, for me, were the treasure hunting stages and mecha-platforming in SA2. They were a lot of fun and helped break the flow of playing only "speed" levels.

The "shooting" in ShtH was not bad to me, either. They were actually a lot of fun to play, and the gave me a really good challenge that helped fulfill my like for the game.

Edited by Dark Qiviut
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I agree on the Mech-Stages of Sonic Adventure 2. When People speak of the Great Parts of SA2:B they mostly refer to The Sonic/Shadow stages and while they were Indeed Great (and also my Personal Favourite Parts) I have to say that they were also quite Fun. Plus Eggman was Playable in those stages, so yeah.

Treasure Hunting stages...sort of. I Enjoyed them and they are really not as Bad as some may say, though the Space Levels were annoying, Same goes for the "Collect 100 Rings" side Mission But thats Just me.

Overall they were Decent I guess.

Also the Team Gameplay of Sonic Heroes, I found to be quite Fun. That Power-Flight-Speed thing was rather Interesting In my Opinion and I personally wouldn't mind if it would Return (Improved of course) one Day.

Combine Hunting with Brawling.....in a mech!....that can climb walls!....and glide!!

EDIT: It can also fish.

Well now we know what Sonic Adventure 4 will be all about.

Edited by Mr Beowolf
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You know which Sonic gameplay is really underrated?

That one where, like, you run around sort of fast but not so fast that it's obnoxious, and there's some actual personality to the levels and the platforming and obstacles are creative! What ever happened to that one?

... Christ, every post I make sounds more and more cynical.

Okay, seriously, the treasure hunting was actually pretty fun in SA. I always thought the alternate gameplay styles should be sprinkled on between traditional Sonic gameplay no matter what character. An example, Tails has three or so levels utilizing traditional gameplay and then he gets a level that strategically coincides with the story forcing him to use the Tornado as a mech walker or something.

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The sword gameplay in Black Knight was much like the Team gameplay in Heroes. It had a lot of potential to be a very interesting and fun twist on Sonic's normal gameplay but was just too simple and had too many issues.

Though to be honest, nearly every gameplay genre in Sonic games are underrated for the simple fact that none of them were developed to their fullest potential.

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I think the treasure hunting in SA1 was better than SA2, to the point where I actually enjoyed it (whereas I didn't in the sequel). It really seemed like the camera was a lot less rowdy in SA1. I just got through revisiting some Knuckles stages in SA2 last night, and the camera angle almost never cooperated with me if I was in even the most slightly enclosed area. It wasn't such a problem when I used to play the game a lot and knew the areas well, but coming back to it with what might as well have been fresh eyes, I just plain couldn't find my way around in some stages, like the Aquatic Mines, because I just couldn't look certain directions. That, plus I don't know why Knuckles can only sense emeralds in order in SA2. Oh well.

I liked Gamma's stages from SA1 as an alternative. Somehow felt faster and more easily maneuverable than Tails and Eggman did in SA2, too, and his cannon made more satisfying sounds than the pew-pew lol-lazerz garbage from SA2's walker mechs.

EDIT: Oh, yeah, and I didn't have to listen to really terribad rap lyrics while playing Knuckles in SA1. GIVE UP DA EMUHRULDS O' DIE I DON'T LOVE YOU.

Edited by psikeout
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The werehog. Honestly, I think it's the best non-Sonic gameplay the series has had, even better than some of the crappier Sonic-styled gameplay types, and this based just on the Wii version. It's got plenty of flaws, of course, but it's a decent platformer gimmick with a decent pace once you get used to it (though sidling along walls and tiptoeing across beams is a bit too slow), and the combat is pretty fun when it doesn't get excessive. It's definitely something I'd prefer they refine in future games (faster, more/better swinging from stuff, maybe less focus on combat) rather than just throw out, but considering how it ties into the story I doubt we'll be seeing it again.

Gamma was pretty fun to play around with, too. Not very well-made, but fairly agile and it was fun to blow things up.

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Hmm...Racing, perhaps? I know many people (myself included) are psyched about Sonic and Sega Allstars Racing, but otherwise it seems like there's not much love for the driving levels in Sonic games (prime example being the amount of people who argue that Sonic Drift sucks when I found it pretty enjoyable, even if it doesn't hold a candle to some of the other games on my computer). Being a racing game enthusiast you can probably understand why I like the idea; hell, I've even done an RP with Hyper Sonic where we mixed the Sonic universe with a PS2 game called 'Mashed' to make a mad 'death race' style racing tournament. Yeah...Feel free to hate me for that. I love Sonic crossovers. Anyway, apart from Allstars Racing, I think I'd love the karting sections of SA2 if I could ever play that game. :P

Also, how about the fighting aspect of Sonic games? I know I'm not alone in liking the werehog combat, or heck, even the gameplay of the werehog itself (except for the controls on the PS2 version that make Ol' fluffy run at full speed if you accidentally move the analogue stick too many times) I also quite liked the Sonic Battle game on GBA...I mean, that thing kept me amused for years...First doing the story mode all those times, then beating Eggman's rotund hind quarters, and then finally just randomly picking Sonic characters to mercilessly beat each other to death. Just a pity I haven't gone and downloaded it again...

I suppose I'll chime in with the others (again) and say that I really loved the 'power of teamwork' concept that Heroes had. If it had been less twitchy while switching, I would have loved it even more...I'm not quite sure how they could bring it back, but if they can, and improve it somewhat...hats off to 'em!

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The Treasure. I'm in the minority here, since I prefer the SA2 stages. They were larger which allowed for more exploration. Characters moved enough like Sonic (jumpy and fast) and the levels took advantage of the open spaces that Knuckles and Rouge could fly and dive around in. The SA2 camera also gave a wider angle to the action, where the SA1 camera didn't offer much of a view on the floor behind Knuckles. I also consider the wide open spaces a decent example of how a free-roaming open Sonic level would look like, Sonic could have levels like this.

The On-Rails. Even though I'm an advocate of open spaces and killing the corridor platforming in the series, Secret Rings is an exception. This style was like a half-pipe special stage with advanced controls. The gameplay has its own kind of fun. You're always moving forward and the challenge is to take an obstacle as it comes, almost like an on-rails shooter with Sonic moves. The slide and the splash jump were favorites of mine. But the quick steering you had to do was tough in SatSR, both rightfully (love a challenge) and because of bad motion response. If they could've got the controls right in SatBK they could've continued this, but they killed the auto-run for some reason, making it harder to steer. I like the gameplay that came with the concept, it really was a nice try.

The Stretchy Werewolf. Pretty pitiful that they needed to rip off God of War for this. That game's extremely overrated in the hack n' slash genre IMO. Boring. But I can't argue with the execution. I would've liked them to put some extra Sonic flair into it. It seemed like a pretty cut and paste job. But this was done well.

The Piko-Piko. Yes, the Amy Rose gameplay from SA1! While she wasn't nearly agile enough here, I see plenty of potential in her acrobatic hammer style. Most of her actions halted her, like her basic hammer strike, and she was pretty slow overall. But if you try to go as fast as possible, it's really fun to string hammer moves together. You can jump-hammer into a run, and then spring all over the place with her flip move. I imagine an advanced version of this would involve a faster Amy with more moves, comboing hammer attacks and flipping around. Acrobatics is the key here, it was her unique way of getting around, and with levels tailored to an acrobatic moveset I believe this would be hella fun. Hella fun. And being chased by Zero the pervert Badnik gave a great chase feeling to it.

Edited by Stretchy Werewolf
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The only way I see brawling working is if they remove the health bars from the enemies and have them go down in one hit. Of course with larger enemies you'd go behind them to strike which would be their WEAK POINT causing MASSIVE DAMAGE!!

If only Sega had a Sonic character that was able to fight and glide. Sadly I don't know of any...

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I think the treasure hunting in SA1 was better than SA2, to the point where I actually enjoyed it (whereas I didn't in the sequel). It really seemed like the camera was a lot less rowdy in SA1. I just got through revisiting some Knuckles stages in SA2 last night, and the camera angle almost never cooperated with me if I was in even the most slightly enclosed area. It wasn't such a problem when I used to play the game a lot and knew the areas well, but coming back to it with what might as well have been fresh eyes, I just plain couldn't find my way around in some stages, like the Aquatic Mines, because I just couldn't look certain directions. That, plus I don't know why Knuckles can only sense emeralds in order in SA2. Oh well.

I liked Gamma's stages from SA1 as an alternative. Somehow felt faster and more easily maneuverable than Tails and Eggman did in SA2, too, and his cannon made more satisfying sounds than the pew-pew lol-lazerz garbage from SA2's walker mechs.

EDIT: Oh, yeah, and I didn't have to listen to really terribad rap lyrics while playing Knuckles in SA1. GIVE UP DA EMUHRULDS O' DIE I DON'T LOVE YOU.

I get the impression that they wanted to make the SA 2 treasure hunting stages something like the second act of an Indiana Jones movie (Avoiding traps, finding secrets), but didn't have the chops to pull it off. What I do know is that they made the levels too big and sprawling with not a lot really going on in them (Or in the case of security hall, way too damn much), it feels like you're stuck even when you're not.

As for Gamma, I think a big asset to him was ironically that they didn't make levels just for him. They just stuck a whole lot more crap to shoot at into the regular levels. It was a total mess, but in the best possible way. He also changes direction more readily, Tails and Eggman both have this long animation every time they want to change directions, Gamma would just start going the other direction. I also think he had an essentially linear acceleration curve, whereas Tails and Eggman seem to only reach their top speed after a larger amount of time. Gamma also had much less reason to stop, The levels that Tails and Eggman went though were essentially long corridors followed by stopping and shooting at things.

One particular thing about the Werehog that kind of bugged me was how rarely would could ever pick up a large enemy and use the heavy throw to know down a bunch of guys. It always took way too long to do the whole thing that I could never get it off. Makes me wish for a 3D Astal.

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Character Races.

The stages that stem back to Sonic CD when you take on Metal, and become fully realized in SA1 for Tails gameplay. I don't know if people would consider them underrated, but where ever they are listed, it is not high enough.

They push the pace almost like a Sonic stage, but they have that extra element that keeps you buzzed, especially when the difficulty gets cranked up. SA1 did a pretty good job with this, and I can't count how many times I found myself playing speed highway to stick it to the Eggman.

If I am not mistaken, this style got a revival in Shadow, but Sonic posed such an insignificant threat in the stage that it barley mattered. (I remember waiting at the finish line forever for him to catch up).

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I think Treasur hunting is underrated. I now its slower than usual, but it was also really fun and it fit to Knuckles (and Rouge). Also fishing: I think it was cool even though I always forget that I have to push down to get hold of Froggy -_-..

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Yeah, Treasure Hunting levels in SA1 wasn't that all bad. It was a bit slow, but still played like Sonic levels with some amounts backtracking and wall climbing. It was pretty fun and one of the reasons why I like Knuckles in the game. At least, I prefer it more than Big's fishing -_- .

Edited by AdventChild
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I get the impression that they wanted to make the SA 2 treasure hunting stages something like the second act of an Indiana Jones movie (Avoiding traps, finding secrets), but didn't have the chops to pull it off. What I do know is that they made the levels too big and sprawling with not a lot really going on in them (Or in the case of security hall, way too damn much), it feels like you're stuck even when you're not.

As for Gamma, I think a big asset to him was ironically that they didn't make levels just for him. They just stuck a whole lot more crap to shoot at into the regular levels. It was a total mess, but in the best possible way. He also changes direction more readily, Tails and Eggman both have this long animation every time they want to change directions, Gamma would just start going the other direction. I also think he had an essentially linear acceleration curve, whereas Tails and Eggman seem to only reach their top speed after a larger amount of time. Gamma also had much less reason to stop, The levels that Tails and Eggman went though were essentially long corridors followed by stopping and shooting at things.

Astute of you. I think that probably is the difference for Gamma. You could really go on a pedal-to-the-metal rampage and just watch everything around you explode non-stop while playing as him. A lot of Tails' and Eggman's stages absolutely required you to stop, and frequently, too. I didn't notice the animation stuff until you mentioned it, though looking at it now, I think even Gamma's projectiles moved a lot faster.

Also, am I the only person who took extra special care to destroy every single beach chair, umbrella, table, etc. in sight on Emerald Coast as Gamma on each playthrough, even though it earned no extra time? It was just so fun. Gamma's targeting computer thought chairs were enemies... Must be some sort of underlying bitterness over his huge, chair-incompatible bird legs.

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The mech-stages were pretty awesome. I'd like to see an Eggman game based off of a souped-up version of it.

And I know it doesn't quite fit the category of the topic, but I liked the Riders games. (First one, at least) I think they need to be handled better, yes, but it definitely has plenty of potential to be the definitive Sonic racing genre. A Mario Kart killer? Not likely, but it's own racing genre? It could be.

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