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The two different kinds of momentum


Tyranno
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The "figurative momentum" your referring to is flow, and it's generally what you described. It's that flow that makes people see the Sonic games as being very fast, even though compared to today, they weren't all that fast most of the time, mainly in the first game. It was the ability to keep yourself moving while still feeling like your playing a platform game, which generally require a lot of stopping and waiting to masterfully progress through levels.

Sonic had to ability to float like a butterfly and speed like a formula 1, and is something that Sonic has yet to expand on in his games, both in moves and in level design. What Sonic needs nowadays is a more diverse move set that allows him to move nimbly through his environment.

But I do not believe the boost was a good way of achieving that flow, since it sacrificed nearly every other aspect of what makes a Sonic game great, and it was more about breaking through everything than actually maneuvering around it.

Edited by Black Spy
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The "figurative momentum" your referring to is flow, and it's generally what you described. It's that flow that makes people see the Sonic games as being very fast, even though compared to today, they weren't all that fast most of the time, mainly in the first game. It was the ability to keep yourself moving while still feeling like your playing a platform game, which generally require a lot of stopping and waiting to masterfully progress through levels.

Sonic had to ability to float like a butterfly and speed like a formula 1, and is something that Sonic has yet to expand on in his games, both in moves and in level design. What Sonic needs nowadays is a more diverse move set that allows him to move nimbly through his environment.

But I do not believe the boost was a good way of achieving that flow, since it sacrificed nearly every other aspect of what makes a Sonic game great, and it was more about breaking through everything than actually maneuvering around it.

I disagree there. You can still maintain flow by way of destroying obstacles, but even then; as utilized in Unleashed, there were PLENTY of situations where manuevering was important. The best runs involved efficient use of the drift, the quickstep, choosing direction so not to miss short cuts... those are examples of maneuvering.

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YES.

This is the same sort of conclusion I came to when I realized why I liked the Rushes so much, while others rallied against the boost. To me, the fun of Sonic isn't in gaining speed, it's in using the speed, and keeping the flow going. The punishment in being stopped isn't having to regain your speed, but in breaking the flow.

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YES.

This is the same sort of conclusion I came to when I realized why I liked the Rushes so much, while others rallied against the boost. To me, the fun of Sonic isn't in gaining speed, it's in using the speed, and keeping the flow going. The punishment in being stopped isn't having to regain your speed, but in breaking the flow.

That's a pretty concise way of saying what I used multiple paragraphs saying. XD well done.

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A focus on flow and the loss of it being adequate enough punishment is a mantra I can get behind. I've got nothing against classic gameplay, but regardless I don't think I've ever been fond of the idea of relying so heavily on Sonic's environment to gain speed in certain pockets when evidence points to the notion that it should be a naturally occuring ability. I get better thrills and satisfaction when I'm given a very fast lil' sucker and told to run my head off, and pushed to perfect my runs. And I would certainly like for Sega to attempt to move to a point where Sonic is less reliant on rails for this to be possible.

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The problem I have with the Rush games is not the boost - I use that liberally - but that you're constantly punished for not using it. Great to know that there are enemies right in the middle of the road that you won't be able to dodge at top speed unless you're using the boost at that right moment. Playing those games without the boost or trick systems is fucking terrible.

The Rush games fucked up the physics big time. They're really only apparent when you're not playing the game the way you're supposed to, but when you know me, I love fucking around in games in whatever ways possible when I'm bored. And I detest the jumping, rolling, slope, and even spin-dash elements in these games. Really, if you try not using the boost, you're screwed. It really shouldn't have been made mandatory to fully enjoy the games. Basically they're meant to be enjoyed in the way the OP describes, but you can't if you play it any other way.

I still like them though.

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Really, if you try not using the boost, you're screwed.

I have to disagree. I have played through Rush and Rush Adventure MULTIPLE times being careful NOT to boost at ALL. I think I got as far as the spike rails in Altitude Rush in Rush 1 before I boosted, and even then the boost made it HARDER. And it's a lot more fun without spamming boost.

Also I want to know why everyone thinks Rush's jump was horribly broken, I see no problem with it.

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YES.

This is the same sort of conclusion I came to when I realized why I liked the Rushes so much, while others rallied against the boost. To me, the fun of Sonic isn't in gaining speed, it's in using the speed, and keeping the flow going. The punishment in being stopped isn't having to regain your speed, but in breaking the flow.

You do a lot of speed using in Rush, but outside of those funny bungee things, he doesn't really interact with it all that much. He's kind of just skimming along it, it doesn't seem like a place, more a series of ramps. I'm also not a fan of a platformer that makes being stopped a punishment. It seems rather clunky, similar to Mirror's Edge, where a slightly mistimed button press could led to Faith doing all manor of annoying things. I disliked Mirror's Edge, so I'd hate to see Sonic to strive to be similar to it.

A focus on flow and the loss of it being adequate enough punishment is a mantra I can get behind. I've got nothing against classic gameplay, but regardless I don't think I've ever been fond of the idea of relying so heavily on Sonic's environment to gain speed in certain pockets when evidence points to the notion that it should be a naturally occuring ability. I get better thrills and satisfaction when I'm given a very fast lil' sucker and told to run my head off, and pushed to perfect my runs. And I would certainly like for Sega to attempt to move to a point where Sonic is less reliant on rails for this to be possible.

Sonic's dependency on the environment to go fast has been rather exaggerated, he could reach his full speed pretty quickly just be running. The environment allowed him to break the speed cap, though. I (obviously) agree that the reliance on rails and largely scripted sections, but I don't think that functions very well if you intend to use a Rush or Unleashed style of Sonic. 3D allows you to see ahead of you, so Sonic could be made faster than he was in the classics without messing anything up, but the acceleration of the type of boost we're dealing with seems somewhat dependent upon these restrictions. You set it free, and it it just seems to constantly be hitting walls, like a train off its tracks.

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You've got good points Razorsaw, but I don't think it can be called momentum. The upkeep of momentum is the upkeep of speed. Sure, what you do with that speed is important. That's why level design is often a point of criticism. It's also why people complain about automated sections, because that takes control of speed away from players. I'd even say that upkeep and control of speed have everything to do with environment. Advance 2 was speedy because all levels were oriented downwards on massive hills. Take that away and you still have the sound barrier limit and tricks, but no chances to use them. Without environment you're forced to fall back on gimmicks, like the dash pads. Sonic doesn't mesh with his 3D levels too well, and dash pads are plenty there. Rush is interesting in this case, because the gimmick is attached to Sonic, making level design second to speed itself. Because Sonic is the speed. The trick system can be seen as an evolution on earning your speed. Not through momentum here, but through tricking. If Sonic's momentum in the classics scored on a meter, it might look like the boost bar. Maybe that's why I like tricking so much. But yeah, high speed maneuvering is a part of every Rush level, and I have a lot of fun doing it. But I don't think whole games can be built around it. The basic effort-reward system is crucial to any good game. In Sonic's case it's a "momentum" game.

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I agree Razorsaw, this is why I like the Rush games, especially Rush Adventure. It just needs to be realised that typical classic stuff isn't what this game is about, and that it has a different style of play. Also there is loads of environment interaction, loads of level specific gimmicks and shit. The spin dash is a bit fucked though yeah, especially when playing as Blaze. Some of the physics are awkward but the jumping to me is perfectly fine, if a bit different to the old games. It's a bit limiting in how you can only play it well by boosting, but that's kinda the whole point of it to me. You can't say there's no environment interaction though, there's still some platforming, loads of jumps, ramming through enemies, and level specific gimmicks. People overlook this so much in the Rush games. There are so many gimmicks in the levels it's not even funny. And alternate routes. Maybe not to the extent of Sonic 3 and Knuckles, but you know.

But yeah, spin dash is pretty bad though, it's weird as well, you can jump after doing it and you'll suddenly run a lot faster along the ground :S They should have kept useful rolling physics as a failsafe if you haven't got any boost juice (lol). Rush 1 had some fairly bad design at times, but Rush Adventure was piss easy, which is good because it just meant the lack of pits through most of the game. And they have some amazing bosses as well, much more unique than most of the classic bosses (CD and 3&K aside).

As for Sonic CD, I like it because you can manipulate the speed once you get used to the levels, and know where shit is, and so you can control the flow. Well that's just my thing anyway. Some levels are a bit slow regardless, but the peel-out did wonders for that game.

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The reason why I like the classics more gameplay wise:

Sure, using speed is fun indeed. It's fun to blast through stages at high speed and knock stuff out of the way. However, like said, you shouldn't feel bad for taking your own pace, or even slow down, which is the problem with the newer games in overall design. Why should you be told you didn't do your best just because you wanted to explore some or backtrack and take a better route? And while some of you may complain with the counter-argument "but the scores in the old games are like rankings!", the difference is that there is no barring limit to the scoring like the grading system. There is no true "top score" you can make, which means there's nothing to really feel bad about when playing, especially since the fact that Sonic was never meant to played for scores. If you wanted that then a more arcade-centric game should be played. Sonic is all-in-all a platformer, and forcing too much of moving fast and moving forward to get a high score can lead it to where it feels more like a racing game, where you get ranked for what place you made.

Also, back to what I was first getting at, yes, using speed is incredibly fun, but what if you had to gain it like the classics? I think it gives a whole other layer to the gameplay that doubles the fun and satisfaction of playing the game. It feels good to get something rewarding, right? Well that's the thing with momentum; you use the levels and environment and rolling correctly (which isn't hard btw), you are rewarded with over-the-top speed. However, the super speed is kept in sort of small portions, making the speed scenarios more interesting and wanting to keep going for more (remember, Sonic is a platormer with speed, not a speed game with platforming). Constant speed can be made if you know how to go the right routes in the levels, which leads to a perfect-flowing playthrough; which makes the player feel like a king. Really, anybody could boost through a level, but can they keep pace and flow through momentum? And also if you want your uberspeed and invincible boost mania, then you mus earn that too. That would be Super Sonic. Doesn't it feel great to hit the speed of light after working through so many special stages to get the Emeralds? It really feels like something special to blast constantly through stages.

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YES.

This is the same sort of conclusion I came to when I realized why I liked the Rushes so much, while others rallied against the boost. To me, the fun of Sonic isn't in gaining speed, it's in using the speed, and keeping the flow going. The punishment in being stopped isn't having to regain your speed, but in breaking the flow.

I agree. One of the reasons i love Rush and Rush Adventure was because of the constant pace you had when you pulled the level off. It was kind of exhilarating while at the same time fun.

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To me, the kind of momentum you can keep up via boosting is the best type of momentum. What I loved about Unleashed in regards to this was that you were effectively praised and aided if you made good use of the boost. That is, doing one boost and keeping it going. Not only is the Ring Energy gauge slow in it's consumption if you do this (As mentioned by Professor Pickle, you get more bang for your buck if you use the boost with skill and don't keep spamming it by constant button presses) but with the way the boost pulls in rings, you can keep going and going.

The above was one of the reasons why I think Unleashed 360/PS3 versions got speeding in day sections so right. The Wii/PS2 versions were offset by the fact that the way the boost was designed meant that you couldn't really keep it going due to the segmented nature of the boost gauge.

Of course it doesn't really mean anything if the level design isn't good and isn't kind to speeders but Unleashed's day level design is absolutely phenomenal save for annoying QTE's that bear no resemblance to what Sonic's actually doing and I dislike Shamar's 1st day act because it's got such a tricky layout. Phenomenal for good players. One of the only reasons why Unleashed got low scores was because the blatantly unskilled could not and/or would not accustom themselves to the game.

Edited by Verte
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Sonic's dependency on the environment to go fast has been rather exaggerated, he could reach his full speed pretty quickly just be running. The environment allowed him to break the speed cap, though. I (obviously) agree that the reliance on rails and largely scripted sections, but I don't think that functions very well if you intend to use a Rush or Unleashed style of Sonic. 3D allows you to see ahead of you, so Sonic could be made faster than he was in the classics without messing anything up, but the acceleration of the type of boost we're dealing with seems somewhat dependent upon these restrictions. You set it free, and it it just seems to constantly be hitting walls, like a train off its tracks.

The second statement was generally what I was referring to: the notion that a supersonic character can only significantly break his speed cap through use of the environment. I expect arbitrary physics to come into play when traversing various landscapes, but slowing to a comparative crawl after exiting specific set-pieces is irksome and begs a humongous question. I see no reason why a boost feature has to be relegated to scripts and straight lines either (beyond perhaps coding issues). I feel that, theoretically, Sonic's speed, acceleration, and maneuverability should be just about fully controllable by the player regardless-- an in-game CD or Unleashed intro, if you will. And while neither style has achieved this, the fact that there is any reliance on the environment to gain or sustain the highest possible speeds in the first place makes the classics more of an antithesis to my vision than either Rush or Unleashed.

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The thing that still bothers me and what not many people acknowledge is that Sonic is a platformer. And sure, Sonic may not exactly be going the speed of sound all the time in a game built around speed via momentum, gimmicks and level design; but Sonic's point was to be a platformer that's faster paced than your ordinary, not a hedgehog version of the Flash.

I find it hilarious that Sega sort of (nonintentionally, I presume) supported my opinion by titling Unleashed as an action game rather than a platformer.

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Platformers can easily cross into the action genre anyways because the latter's parameters are especially broad. But regardless of whether the overall franchise is action, platformer, racer, platformer-racer, action-racer, racer-action, or whatever you wish to classify the games as, what does it matter? Seriously, I don't understand why people say this, as if such measly labels will ever have some direct effect on my intrinsic enjoyment of a particular installment, or as if Sega was ever obligated to suitably keep the series nestled comfortably within the platformer genre anyways. Seriously, so long as I'm controlling a blue hedgehog that moves fast through landscapes, I couldn't give a damn what the genre is. I care about whether or not the gameplay is fun.

Edited by Nepenthe
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The second statement was generally what I was referring to: the notion that a supersonic character can only significantly break his speed cap through use of the environment. I expect arbitrary physics to come into play when traversing various landscapes, but slowing to a comparative crawl after exiting specific set-pieces is irksome and begs a humongous question. I see no reason why a boost feature has to be relegated to scripts and straight lines either (beyond perhaps coding issues). I feel that, theoretically, Sonic's speed, acceleration, and maneuverability should be just about fully controllable by the player regardless-- an in-game CD or Unleashed intro, if you will. And while neither style has achieved this, the fact that there is any reliance on the environment to gain or sustain the highest possible speeds in the first place makes the classics more of an antithesis to my vision than either Rush or Unleashed.

I understand this, but one thing that should be kept in mind is that Sonic is a platformer at heart. Being able to go at the kind of speed as CD or Unleashed is easy in itself, but doing that while playing through a platforming game is a whole different story. The main goal is finding where to draw the line between speed and platforming for a good mix, and that is something that would not be achieved the best if you used either extreme.

It's times like this that I refer to the boost from Advance 2, which made use of the environment rather than worked against it, and allowed Sonic to break his speed cap without sacrificing level design or gameplay. Couple that with some moves to enhance his maneuverability and you've got gameplay that's very close to those intro sequences.

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Sonic is, or was, a platformer. But as I said, I don't believe a focus on speed or the 'action' or 'platform racer' label can be considered damning evidence to such an extremely significant departure from the series' general ideas to align myself with the bad feelings it's caused. Not that I ever particularly cared-- I don't see an objective issue with main Sonic gameplay not conforming to the standard, classic platform label though spins or evolution of the main formula. Objectivity only comes into play when Sega fails to realize the potential with their final products, when an idea, classic or otherwise, falls apart due to poor development.

Now unfortunately, I haven't played Sonic Advance 2 (or any handheld for significant periods of time), so it's very difficult to comment on your notion. However, I do have some vague idea on what you're commenting on and how it works, and that's not entirely what I'm getting at. I honestly wish I could qualify my general idea better than this, but... imagine Sonic with the maneuverability, flexibility, and acrobatic repertoire of Faith Connors and Mario in environments that can be scaled and conquered in innumerable ways by use of your speed, spinning, or mere physical prowess-- However you feel best exploring and moving, uknowwutimsayin'? tongue.gif

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The second statement was generally what I was referring to: the notion that a supersonic character can only significantly break his speed cap through use of the environment. I expect arbitrary physics to come into play when traversing various landscapes, but slowing to a comparative crawl after exiting specific set-pieces is irksome and begs a humongous question. I see no reason why a boost feature has to be relegated to scripts and straight lines either (beyond perhaps coding issues). I feel that, theoretically, Sonic's speed, acceleration, and maneuverability should be just about fully controllable by the player regardless-- an in-game CD or Unleashed intro, if you will. And while neither style has achieved this, the fact that there is any reliance on the environment to gain or sustain the highest possible speeds in the first place makes the classics more of an antithesis to my vision than either Rush or Unleashed.

It's not that the boost needs to be restricted to straight lines and scripting, it's that it needs to be confined to topographically simple environments. The properties of the ability make it substantially less useful in more physically complex areas where more complex maneuvering needs to be performed. Think of playing through Sonic 1 with the spin dash, there's about one spot where it will maybe be useful.

Platformers can easily cross into the action genre anyways because the latter's parameters are especially broad. But regardless of whether the overall franchise is action, platformer, racer, platformer-racer, action-racer, racer-action, or whatever you wish to classify the games as, what does it matter? Seriously, I don't understand why people say this, as if such measly labels will ever have some direct effect on my intrinsic enjoyment of a particular installment, or as if Sega was ever obligated to suitably keep the series nestled comfortably within the platformer genre anyways. Seriously, so long as I'm controlling a blue hedgehog that moves fast through landscapes, I couldn't give a damn what the genre is. I care about whether or not the gameplay is fun.

If you make a game that doesn't have much to do with Sonic's classic gameplay, why have Sonic in it at all? There's also the matter of no other games really scratching the same proverbial itch as the older style Sonic games. Also, going at a constant speed for a large amount of time has a tenancy to desensitize you to that speed.

I honestly wish I could qualify my general idea better than this, but... imagine Sonic with the maneuverability, flexibility, and acrobatic repertoire of Faith Connors and Mario in environments that can be scaled and conquered in innumerable ways by use of your speed, spinning, or mere physical prowess-- However you feel best exploring and moving, uknowwutimsayin'?

This sounds pretty good, except for the Mirror's Edge comparisons. I found Mirror's Edge to be a rather awkward game to play, but it's very hard to describe why. I guess the best way to explain it is "Jumping into corners". It just seemed that doing simple things required too much precision, and if I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do, I would end up with the camera pressed into a corner or a wall or something, and that was when it didn't splatterdeath me on the pavement below. Oh, and aside from her ability to wall run (for a bit), she doesn't have any ability that Mario does not.

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Not that I ever particularly cared-- I don't see an objective issue with main Sonic gameplay not conforming to the standard, classic platform label though spins or evolution of the main formula.

That depends. To what extent "spins/evolutions" are you referring to?

I honestly wish I could qualify my general idea better than this, but... imagine Sonic with the maneuverability, flexibility, and acrobatic repertoire of Faith Connors and Mario in environments that can be scaled and conquered in innumerable ways by use of your speed, spinning, or mere physical prowess-- However you feel best exploring and moving, uknowwutimsayin'? tongue.gif

Yeah, that's what I was getting at before. A free-running platformer would perfectly suit Sonic's free-running abilities.

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I don't understand why people complain about the speed in Sonic games. Sonic games from the start have had speed in their core. Speed is a trademark in Sonic games. Sonic games are supposed to be highspeed platformers. Each and every mainstream Sonic game has platforming of some sort.

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