Friday does what Nintendon't

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Upthorn
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Upthorn » Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:46 pm

Blossom wrote:When I was a kid, playing those, I couldn't beat the game as Tails. That part in Carnival Night where you have to hold up and down on a rubberbanding platform to swing it farther and farthhr each time, this was completely unintuitive and I could not figure it out.

Every kid got stuck there for a while at least. I think I got stuck there for a couple of weeks before I tried holding down on the barrel to so I could try to look down to see how far I even needed it to go...
How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:17 pm

I want to say "after Launch Base (which is after Ice Cap) you get into the originally-Sonic-&-Knuckles half of the game and it picks up a bit" but when I try to give examples or quantify that I come up blank

...why am I posting this either look, my dude

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Thad
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Thad » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:18 pm

Blossom wrote:When I was a kid, playing those, I couldn't beat the game as Tails. That part in Carnival Night where you have to hold up and down on a rubberbanding platform to swing it farther and farthhr each time, this was completely unintuitive and I could not figure it out.

Yeah, that would be the "obtuse undocumented control scheme" I was alluding to. I don't remember how I finally figured it out, whether it was completely by accident after jumping up and down on it over and over and over and over again or if somebody on Prodigy explained it to me.

That's not Tails-specific, though; all three characters have to deal with that shit.

nosimpleway wrote:I want to say "after Launch Base (which is after Ice Cap) you get into the originally-Sonic-&-Knuckles half of the game and it picks up a bit" but when I try to give examples or quantify that I come up blank

Mushroom Hill and Flying Battery are both pretty great.

And then some other stuff happens and then (if you're playing as Sonic or Tails) the cutscene after you fight Knuckles in Hidden Palace is legit the second-best wordless storytelling I've ever seen in a game.

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Upthorn
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Upthorn » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:50 pm

I'd call 5 of the 6 levels in the S&K section great. Sandopolis being the exception.
But I also really liked Marble Garden and Carnival Night, so my taste might be somewhat questionable.
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:04 am

Nah, like I said, Marble Garden and Carnival Night have some really solid stage design marred by some stuff that really needed more time in the oven -- the physics on the tops in Marble Garden is great when they're moving and miserable when they're stopped (which I suppose one might extrapolate as a description of the entire Sonic series in a nutshell) and a boss that's downright sadistic if you're playing as Tails; Carnival Night has those fucking pillars and you can get stuck in the walls. But overall they're really varied and well-designed stages with some embarrassing bugs.

I'm probably being a little unfair to Lava Reef in yadda-yadda-ing over the bits after Flying Battery and before Hidden Palace. I'll admit I don't really remember Lava Reef so well but when I played the Sonic Mania version last year I remember thinking "Oh yeah, this is some really cool shit; I kinda remember this from S&K."

HPZ is kinda perfunctory except for the big fight scene, but again, I feel like the cutscene after the big Sonic-versus-Knuckles fight is a high point not just in the series but in silent sprite-based storytelling in general. When I said it was the second-best example of silent game storytelling I could think of, well, no prize if you got that I was alluding to Super Metroid as the best, but there's no shame in being #2 to that.

And then you've got Sky Sanctuary, which I remember being a pretty short hop to the last boss when you play as Knuckles but a little longer and more involved if you're Sonic/Tails, and had some cool bits with teleporters and came around again in Generations. Had a great soundtrack too. Really nearly all the music in S3/K is top-notch stuff, whether Michael Jackson was involved or not.

And then there's Death Egg and the gravity reversal stuff and yeah that's really solid construction too. And then the endgame, well, it establishes a formula for Sonic last bosses, though I think Sonic Adventure perfects it.

(Weird memory I hadn't thought of in nearly 20 years: my brother must have come to visit me at my college dorm and spent the night, because I've got this memory of him playing through the last boss of Sonic Adventure one morning while I was half asleep in my bunk bed.)

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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Niku » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:04 am

Actual praise: Sonic in general has really cool boss design. The actual clunkers are few and far between, while the sheer variety they get out of the Robotnik machines is pretty impressive. There’s that one lava Robotnik boss where you just need to have his mines hit him, or the timing of the spike arms on Sonic 2’s end boss, or the see saw spikes from Sonic 1; I really like the scope and creativity they get throughout the series based on RoundMan in RoundMachine. And some of the mini bosses are even better, like the time the end of level capsule grows big fuckoff arms and you need to make him beat himself to death with them.

Sonic bosses are rarely super difficult or unfair, but they’re pretty memorable and don’t repeat the exact same gimmick several times for an entire game unlike contemporaneous Mario titles.
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Lottel
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Lottel » Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:53 am

The real secret of enjoying Sonic games is playing the first few levels a bunch. You get to learn to use your speed and explore and then turn on debug mode to just fuck around in the later levels when things stop being fun.
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:58 am

Lottel wrote:The real secret of enjoying Sonic games is playing the first few levels a bunch. You get to learn to use your speed and explore and then turn on debug mode to just fuck around in the later levels when things stop being fun.

The cool thing about debug mode in vanilla Sonic 3 was you could see the Knuckles portions of the levels. It wasn't like debug mode in 1 and 2 where you could look past walls and floors and maybe there'd be stuff there but it was just garbage data; in Sonic 3 you can clearly see carefully constructed sections of stage that are inaccessible during the main game. It was pretty easy to figure out that you were supposed to be able to play as Knuckles (you can see his face on the stage-end flag if you pause it while it's spinning, too, though it's swapped to Sonic's palette so he's blue instead of red) though of course we didn't know at the time that they were going to release a cartridge you could stick the first cartridge into to play as Knuckles.

Of course, the rub of saying "play the first few levels" in S3&K is there are two games' worth of levels, and there's a corresponding dip in difficulty from Launch Base to Mushroom Hill.

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Lottel
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Lottel » Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:19 pm

Which is why everyone says S3&K is the best game. Double the first levels.
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Re: Friday does what Nintendon't

Postby Thad » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:05 am

Lottel wrote:Which is why everyone says S3&K is the best game. Double the first levels.

And double the bosses.

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