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Does Sonic Unleashed Stack Up?

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While I wouldn't go as far as to say Sonic games were always about level memorization, I would at least point out that there is not one classic game where you can run straight in every single level that allows it for extended periods of time and not eventually run into something that could hurt or kill you. Despite the fact that these moments are not as potentially recurring as they are in Unleashed's day stages, I would say that serves to make them exponentially more frustrating when they're encountered. After all, if Unleashed's opponents are to be believed, the recurrence of a game element is directly proportional to its inability to elicit an emotional response from the player, ergo fewer obstacles encountered in this fashion are going to be that much more annoying than when they're all over the place. But despite my being pedantic, memorization has certainly been a recurring element in the series' history, although to naturally varying degrees across time.

Edited by Nepenthe

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Sonic 2 perhaps.

Eh,3&K had it as well.

Sure, insane amounts of memorization, skill, and coordination is necessary, but once you've got it down, it feels sooo good to master levels as difficult as these, and that's fun in itself. I think it's more fun than the game holding your hand and telling you how awesome and how much of a big boy you are while you mash the A button. Also, why do people always assume there were never pits in the old games? There were less, yeah, but...man. :Y

The DLC stages are a bad example,the number of spikes are bumped up so much that it becomes completly constrained and forced to play, especially in the one you showed. The Main stages in the game have all quite a good flow to them, outside of the one or two cheap QTE in Eggmanland.

Edited by ChikaBoing

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I'm pretty sure there's a fine line between becoming more familiar with the level layout (original games) and having to memorize the exact thing to do at the exact spot at the exact time as practically automated responses (Unleashed).

That is true.

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I'm pretty sure there's a fine line between becoming more familiar with the level layout (original games) and having to memorize the exact thing to do at the exact spot at the exact time as practically automated responses (Unleashed).

Yeah, that's what I wanted to say in my last post. Thank you.

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The tired fine line you brought up does absolutely nothing to address the varying frustration to be had in encountering obstacles too quickly to react to them in any of these games. Again, I would say that such obstacles are potentially more dickish in a game that doesn't really prepare you for them versus a game that not only uses them more often, but screams about them in nearly 50% of its gameplay. Recurrence of elements breeds familiarity which in turn breeds apathy over the elements in question whether they're rewards or consequences; Again, I've been told many a time that the boost is apparently supposed to be boring because it's overused whereas the speed areas in the classics are much more satisfying in part because of their rarity, ergo it would simply be logically consistent for the people who don't like Unleashed to also conclude that any such obstacles in the day stages are merely par for the course for the gameplay and ultimately as frustrating as getting hit by a Goomba in a Mario game, versus, let's say, that fucking trap in Flying Battery where a launch pad throws you into an enemy, I believe one of the little mouse things, or the downhill areas in Spring Yard Zone, or hey, just plain ol' Sonic 2. Just because the classics rely less on memorization doesn't mean the unseen obstacles in them are just somehow all magically different from any of the ones you encounter in Unleashed and thus to be completely ignored. If anything, their relative rarity in those games makes them even worse.

Edited by Nepenthe

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Getting used to frequent mistakes isn't good design, and it doesn't make it better than "rare" mistakes just because you know it in and out. In most cases the latter can be seen as an anomaly which while annoying, is in part excusable because you're not basing an entire gameplay experience around one misstep in design. Playing through a game with a plethora of poor design choices, sub-par implemented mechanics and shallow layout might make you good at it but it certainly isn't an excuse in it's favor when trial and error is the best difficulty you're put with through and the only sense of reward being "not dying" when you're at top speeds pretty much all the time. Granted you can't avoid that completely since this IS a game about a hedgehog breaking mach speeds. The difference is that Unleashed just rams into that obstacle head first and doesn't acknowledge that, sometimes you just don't need the speed unless you know what you're doing.

I found Unleashed fun at first and still do to some extent. But like Sonic Adventure I'm not going to make an effort defending it's flaws.

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We'll simply have to agree to disagree in regard to the quality of the trial-and-error concept. To me, it is merely a design choice with no inherent effect on the enjoyment to be derived from the work or even the work's technical quality; Design choices, in all works of art, only become flaws or strengths or simply neutral characteristics of the work in question when subjectivity and context comes into play for the audience. This is why it's not "wrong" to like a Roland Emmerich film over something like The King's Speech, or why it's not "wrong" to prefer pop over classical, or in regards to this discussion, why it's not "wrong" to consider Unleashed's use of trial-and-error fine because I come to perceive it as a natural phenomenon of the actual gameplay set up versus its use in the classics where I consider it out of place within the gameplay landscape.

This goes back to my original proposal that the conversation regarding controversial games is tainted with the assumption that one's negative experiences are objective and true, in turn based on the implied belief that these elements have a naturally objective quality, and that proponents must essentially prove them wrong in that manner when that's just not how art criticism works. Seriously, there's no use in this conversation going on if I'm just stating "flaws." xP

Edited by Nepenthe

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^ I agree. I enjoyed the trial and error gameplay because as a trade-off it made Sonic feel REALLY damn fast due to not just percieved but REAL danger to avoid.

Sonic Unleashed Wii was the same speed but without the constant obstacles, and the result was very very bland.

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^ I agree. I enjoyed the trial and error gameplay because as a trade-off it made Sonic feel REALLY damn fast due to not just percieved but REAL danger to avoid.

Sonic Unleashed Wii was the same speed but without the constant obstacles, and the result was very very bland.

Exactly how I feel. I can't speak for the Wii version, but as far as the 360 version is concerned, the trial-and-error is par for the course. You're running through narrow landscapes blind at 300 mph; What do you expect to happen? The obstacles to move for you? It's common sense, it's simple, it's arcadey goodness, and satisfying to master.

sogood.gif

Edited by Nepenthe

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This forever. I agree with every word, heck it's what I was saying earlier, but much more wordy.

I know I've linked to this several times but...

Sure, insane amounts of memorization, skill, and coordination is necessary, but once you've got it down, it feels sooo good to master levels as difficult as these, and that's fun in itself. I think it's more fun than the game holding your hand and telling you how awesome and how much of a big boy you are while you mash the A button. Also, why do people always assume there were never pits in the old games? There were less, yeah, but...man. :Y

Now that was pro! I've never moved that great in Unleashed.

Hmm guess I'll add my 2 cents into this conversation. Unleashed HD was great. I mean just like everyone said, there were things that held the game back from being AMAZING. Stacking up to Heroes, SA, SA2 and other past sonic games.....It stacks well if you ask me. Sonic3&k > SA2/B > SUHD > Sonic Rush(either game) > Sonic advance series > SA > SH > Sonic06.

I haven't played Colors nor unleashed SD yet so I can't or wont say anything about that. Unleashed did have it's major downsides....Werehog battle music is the number one thing to me. Then came the medal system. I mean after you get use to it, it's not that bad. The Hubs were boring just like in 06 and SA. (and this is coming from a guy who also loves exploration; AC series) Um Except not giving the werehog enough combos to play with and Sonic more love or the random bad framerate drops that happen, I really can't go farther into this with negative stuff.

Positive stuff, the graphics at the time (HD version) were amazing and blew me out of the water the first time I saw adabat (sp?) for the first time. And the Difficulty for for the final stage was just perfect. I mean I hated playing it because the checkpoints were not placed in the best locations but that's how most final stages are. As much hate as the werehog got, i can say I agree and disagree (remember this is the HD version). Yeah a very hairy, stretchy armed hog was a weird idea for a sonic game but it did work. The platforming parts of the stage were actually very well designed, and I had no problem beating up anything after Werehog went KAOKEN (rage). Instead of listening to the normal gawd awful battle music, i put on some System of a down or something else to fit the mood better.

The music in the game was at Sonic's best day or nighttime. The level design, even though it was great could still use some tweaking. I'll admit, I did get a lil tired of grinding in every level just for the sake of level developers. All in all, Unleashed HD was a decent game that did what it was suppose to do, but got underrated by most.

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I think the day stages were pretty fun. I still find myself going back to them every once in a while when I just feel like playing something. Their fast paced and I think they had good level designs, even though it was mostly based on boosting than anything else, but it's still good just to go back every once in a while and play it again for fun.

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Does it? Sure does. Still like it waaaay more than Colors. Werehog and all.

Granted after playing Colors, I did realize that Colors has better handling (though quickstepping needs to be its own separate buttons again) and Sonic is a little slippery in Unleashed, but I still have more fun with it.

Speed, DLC, QTEs, better music, and, more in-game content make it stay fresh.

Edited by eboni

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I just really never enjoyed sonic unleashed that much. I went from the wii version to the HD version, and I expected the game to wow me after all those awesome trailers. Just as my little brother told me whenever each trailer showed up, the game was indeed a boostfest. I was like, no they're just showing the good parts, but I was wrong. I was really underwhelmed by everything about the game. I actually found the wii version better in some factors.

Well anyway I finished the game and this was me > :huh: <. Yeah it was a total mess for me. Dying was almost never my fault but the game's for it being designed that way.

I don't know about you guys but I hate dying in video games. What I hate more is when a game delibiratly kills me. I am the kinda guy that will do his best to quickly become very skillfull at a game and be rewarded for it. This was never the case in sonic unleashed. The game just kept on bringing these awful obstacles that I was just not having fun. And to make things all worse, the whole game was basically based around that concept and they just became worse the more you progressed. As someone else said in this thread allready, sonic unleashed felt more like those oldschool arcade cinematic QTE games rather than an actual video game. I fucking hated it.

Sonic Colors was a whole different story though. I loved that game from beginning till the end. Sonic colors really did it for me.

Edited by Jaouad

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I just really never enjoyed sonic unleashed that much. I went from the wii version to the HD version, and I expected the game to wow me after all those awesome trailers. Just as my little brother told me whenever each trailer showed up, the game was indeed a boostfest. I was like, no they're just showing the good parts, but I was wrong. I was really underwhelmed by everything about the game. I actually found the wii version better in some factors.

Well anyway I finished the game and this was me > :huh: <. Yeah it was a total mess for me. Dying was almost never my fault but the game's for it being designed that way.

I don't know about you guys but I hate dying in video games. What I hate more is when a game delibiratly kills me. I am the kinda guy that will do his best to quickly become very skillfull at a game and be rewarded for it. This was never the case in sonic unleashed. The game just kept on bringing these awful obstacles that I was just not having fun. And to make things all worse, the whole game was basically based around that concept and they just became worse the more you progressed. As someone else said in this thread allready, sonic unleashed felt more like those oldschool arcade cinematic QTE games rather than an actual video game. I fucking hated it.

Sonic Colors was a whole different story though. I loved that game from beginning till the end. Sonic colors really did it for me.

BTW you die if you try and boost through in one go. The first time around, boosting like a lunatic is a bad idea. If you do it and die, that is your fault, not the game. We gamers have become way too soft. Sonic games were games that you rarely died in. When all of a sudden you start falling down pits or running into enemies it becomes "unfair" and "cheap".

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BTW you die if you try and boost through in one go. The first time around, boosting like a lunatic is a bad idea. If you do it and die, that is your fault, not the game. We gamers have become way too soft. Sonic games were games that you rarely died in. When all of a sudden you start falling down pits or running into enemies it becomes "unfair" and "cheap".

Unleashed does have moments where you die and its not your fault, mainly when you attempt to do homing attack and it ends up being an air boost, but I've never considered it to be cheap and/or unfair. I went through most of the game in a week (I saw the game over only screen at Eggmanland).

As stated above, boosting through a level you've never played will result in death. The challenge in playing Colors is finding the path you like the best. The challenge in playing Unleashed is the same but with way more speed. QTEs were never an issue to me because they get harder as the game progresses obviously; its expected. And there's so many by the time you have to do that insane one in Eggmanland (you know, the 5-button one) you ought to know where your buttons lie on your controller.

The only levels that seem hard are Eggmanland and Arid Sands. Eggmanland is SUPPOSED to be hard and Arid Sands is freaking stupid! Seriously!!! That level requires sheer perfection that I just can't acquire!!

...so when are we going to have the "Does Sonic Colors Stack Up?" topic? :P

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I'll be frank about this:

We'll simply have to agree to disagree in regard to the quality of the trial-and-error concept. To me, it is merely a design choice with no inherent effect on the enjoyment to be derived from the work or even the work's technical quality; Design choices, in all works of art, only become flaws or strengths or simply neutral characteristics of the work in question when subjectivity and context comes into play for the audience. This is why it's not "wrong" to like a Roland Emmerich film over something like The King's Speech, or why it's not "wrong" to prefer pop over classical, or in regards to this discussion, why it's not "wrong" to consider Unleashed's use of trial-and-error fine because I come to perceive it as a natural phenomenon of the actual gameplay set up versus its use in the classics where I consider it out of place within the gameplay landscape.

This goes back to my original proposal that the conversation regarding controversial games is tainted with the assumption that one's negative experiences are objective and true, in turn based on the implied belief that these elements have a naturally objective quality, and that proponents must essentially prove them wrong in that manner when that's just not how art criticism works. Seriously, there's no use in this conversation going on if I'm just stating "flaws." xP

You are trying to play Devil's Advocate for a situation for which it doesn't apply.

BTW you die if you try and boost through in one go. The first time around, boosting like a lunatic is a bad idea. If you do it and die, that is your fault, not the game.

Except when the game obfuscates what the "proper" way to play it is. Then it is the game's fault.

Let me put it this way:

You ring a bell. You get a piece of candy. You ring a bell. You get a piece of candy. You ring a bell. You get a piece of candy. You ring a bell. You get a piece of candy. Etc.

One day, you ring the bell and you get a piece of candy. When you go to put it in your mouth, I punch you in the face. Now, is it your fault for ringing the bell, or is it my fault for deliberately defying your expectations after spending so long purposely building them up? Because that is basically Unleashed's difficulty curve in a nutshell.

Edited by Tornado

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BTW you die if you try and boost through in one go. The first time around, boosting like a lunatic is a bad idea. If you do it and die, that is your fault, not the game. We gamers have become way too soft. Sonic games were games that you rarely died in. When all of a sudden you start falling down pits or running into enemies it becomes "unfair" and "cheap".

That is in my opinion no excuse. I like my moveset balanced out and useful. Look at games like donkey kong country returns, or even the recent sonic colors. I do not even have to argue about this after sonic colors making it so much more controllable and not spammable. Also the level design doesn't encourage you like the large straightfoward levels in unleashed. Edited by Jaouad

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BTW you die if you try and boost through in one go. The first time around, boosting like a lunatic is a bad idea. If you do it and die, that is your fault, not the game. We gamers have become way too soft. Sonic games were games that you rarely died in. When all of a sudden you start falling down pits or running into enemies it becomes "unfair" and "cheap".

When the game advertises the day time stages as "running faster than ever before at breakneck speeds" or some other nonsense like that, I'm not going to go "oh hey, the game says the stages are really fast, let's go slow". I'm definitely not going to say that after playing Windmill Isle where I can go extremely fast and not be punished, and I'm absolutely sure I'm not going to say that after playing as the Werehog for an hour or two.

Anyways, I don't particularly like Sonic Unleashed that much, the daytime stages were rather boring, and when they weren't boring they were pretty cheap and unfair. There might of been one or two cool platforming segments; the only one that really stands out in my mind is Dragon Road's spinning disc things. The Werehog was... well the Werehog. The level design was rather poor, the fighting dull (some pretty wicked looking combos, but they generally don't serve a practical purpose and I can't be bothered to memorize the Werehog's combo list), and the platforming was decent, but then they stopped letting you catch yourself when falling off of those balancing bits, and that was just... horrible.

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I'll have to put my 2 cents back in. I died more times in Colors my first run than I died in Unleased, Heroes, Sonic adventure 1/2 and SHTH. I mean most of my deaths were because of fairly bad enemy placement and his floaty controls. Yeah he had them in the past but it seemed worst this time around. What i do like about Colors v unleashed HD was it wasn't as some say "boost fest". You had to earn your boost, and then there were a few levels where i didn't even get the chance to boost. Unleashed, you grab a ring and boom your gone! I don't know each sonic game has it's best and worst moments but that's SEGA for you.

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I wouldn't like Colors if I didn't already like Unleashed. Real talk. All Colors does is just take what Unleashed already did, refine/expand on it a bit and add power ups.

I say give credit where credit is due. Sonic Unleashed was a step in the right direction, I think.

Edited by Chooch

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I wouldn't like Colors if I didn't already like Unleashed. Real talk. All Colors does is just take what Unleashed already did, refine/expand on it a bit and add power ups.

I say give credit where credit is due. Sonic Unleashed was a step in the right direction.

Amen to this.

Sonic Unleashed was something brave on the part of Sonic Team. It did something to make Sonic unique, not everyone will agree, but you'd be hard pressed to find any game that is quite the same as Unleashed. They probably knew the daystages would be a bit iffy, but they went forward. That is the way they should be moving. None of this going backwards bullshit.

It may not be perfect, but its certainly the biggest step forward in terms of Sonic in a good long time.

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