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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
cookiefonster
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Default Haunted Heights criticism thread

time gear suggested to make a thread for Haunted Heights criticism in my Arid Canyon criticism thread, so I figured, why not do so? I'll start with some positives and negatives of Haunted Heights Zone.

Positives:

- solid visual design and fun Halloween theming
- plenty to explore in the open areas
- does creative things with goop, much more effectively than either act of Techno Hill
- Amy and Fang's paths force you to make good use of their abilities and present some unique gimmicks
- all three of its enemies are engaging
- the disappearing platform sections don't punish falling off with death, but rather starting over

Negatives:

- excessive use of non-climbable walls, especially in Knuckles' paths; often, a non-climbable wall will have a climbable one right next to it, making it unclear why it can't be climbed
- sometimes useful items are placed in areas where they're far too easy to lose, like under maces or by groups of tough enemies (THZ2 suffers from this problem as well)
- flame shield doesn't fit this level well, because it's destroyed in goop
- rather laggy, more than CEZ2 for me
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
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I would probably enjoy the level a lot more if not for how laggy it is. I could barely play it at all on my old PC, and even my new PC which is significantly more powerful has some noticeable frame drops, and it's enough to impact how well I'm able to control my character in the level.

From what I have been able to play of it though, I do really enjoy it. It's got a lot of interesting ideas that I have seen reused in other levels people have made, I'm especially fond of the "bottomless pits" that teleport you back to the start of the section without causing you to lose a life.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
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It's basically Pumpkin Hill but good.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
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I do enjoy Haunted Heights as a Challenge Stage. A lot of hazards and enemies makes a good challenge. Well I do agree of lack of climable walls for Knuckles but you can still beat it as him still
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
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Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
It's basically Pumpkin Hill but good.
I mean yes but actually no.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
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Okay this is a good meme but let's be honest, the level design of Knuckles' stages in Adventure 2 was just bad, the levels were too large for their own good (even SA1 had the right decision of putting knuckles in the smaller sections of Sonic's stages).


It's even worse when you could only detect one shard at a time.


At least it's not Aquatic Mine nor Meteor Herd level of bad.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
Okay this is a good meme but let's be honest, the level design of Knuckles' stages in Adventure 2 was just bad, the levels were too large for their own good (even SA1 had the right decision of putting knuckles in the smaller sections of Sonic's stages).


It's even worse when you could only detect one shard at a time.


At least it's not Aquatic Mine nor Meteor Herd level of bad.
I didn't make this thread to discuss Knuckles' SA2 stages, I made it to discuss Haunted Heights.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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You made me realize I had never completed the stage as Amy or Fang. I only used Fang to get his exclusive emblem, then left. I'll have to rectify that. I didn't know they had exclusive paths. And those bottomless pits near the disappearing platforms don't kill you? I was always too scared to do that part legitimately. I always had Tails carry me, or I'd climb the walls with Knuckles.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiefonster View Post
I didn't make this thread to discuss Knuckles' SA2 stages, I made it to discuss Haunted Heights.
My original comment was about the stage, then I replied to Revan's answer to my comment.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
Okay this is a good meme but let's be honest, the level design of Knuckles' stages in Adventure 2 was just bad, the levels were too large for their own good (even SA1 had the right decision of putting knuckles in the smaller sections of Sonic's stages).

It's even worse when you could only detect one shard at a time.

At least it's not Aquatic Mine nor Meteor Herd level of bad.
I don't really find anything bad at knuckles' stages at all. Sure some parts can be frustrating due to the shards being well hidden but keep in mind these stages are made only for Knuckles and seems like you forgot that gliding is reusable which slims the chances of death by a long shot. I'm not really fond to Haunted Heights anyway, it's a decent map and has a great song but the level itself won't get past decent. Pumpkin Hill may have a simple design and some shards are hidden in a way to test you but the song, the background, the Boom Boos remained unforgetable and that made the stage special.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revan View Post
I don't really find anything bad at knuckles' stages at all. Sure some parts can be frustrating due to the shards being well hidden but keep in mind these stages are made only for Knuckles and seems like you forgot that gliding is reusable which slims the chances of death by a long shot. I'm not really fond to Haunted Heights anyway, it's a decent map and has a great song but the level itself won't get past decent. Pumpkin Hill may have a simple design and some shards are hidden in a way to test you but the song, the background, the Boom Boos remained unforgetable and that made the stage special.
Listen, I don't want this thread to become a SA1 vs SA2 nor another SA2 discussion thread but let's be honest, SA2's Treasure Hunting and Mech stages are considered by many as bad parts of the game. Even if they got rid of the annoying Big Fishing and the slow paced Amy gameplay the fact they made the other gameplay less good (even Sonic is heavier in SA2 compared to the more platform-friendly SA1 gameplay).


Haunted Heights is also objectively the better of the two Halloween themed stages, the SRB2 team understood level design better than Sega in 22 years.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayAngel View Post
You made me realize I had never completed the stage as Amy or Fang. I only used Fang to get his exclusive emblem, then left. I'll have to rectify that. I didn't know they had exclusive paths. And those bottomless pits near the disappearing platforms don't kill you? I was always too scared to do that part legitimately. I always had Tails carry me, or I'd climb the walls with Knuckles.
Amy and Fang's paths are probably my favorite parts of Haunted Heights! I highly recommend trying out the stage as both of them, because the zone truly challenges you to make the most of their movesets. I wish the zone also had interesting content specific to Metal Sonic, but I can't complain too much.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
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Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
Haunted Heights is also objectively the better of the two Halloween themed stages, the SRB2 team understood level design better than Sega in 22 years.
No such thing. If someone prefers one over the other, that's their opinion, and is entirely valid. Don't be so arrogant as to push your personal opinions as objective truth.

I don't really want to derail the topic too much further, but I will mention that I for one really enjoyed the treasure hunting stages as Knuckles in SA2. They could be time consuming, but it was a fun change of pace exploring the areas and I didn't find the levels themselves to be difficult in the slightest.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
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The disappearing platforms section absolutely suck aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaass and I hate them.



The rhythms and timings are extremely weird and baroque. I just brute force them with lucky thokking when I do play the stage as Sonic or bypassing them with other characters.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
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So a small update, I just got around to installing 2.2.7 and all the lag I had with Haunted Heights is just gone. I dunno if optimizing it was intentional, I haven't read all the patch notes, but it's really cool being able to play it with a perfectly smooth framerate now.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #16
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This level is fun but feels kind of like a afterthought. The emblem with Knuckles is just kind of bad, the music is great though.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowDan21 View Post
This level is fun but feels kind of like a afterthought. The emblem with Knuckles is just kind of bad, the music is great though.
Knuckles actually has two exclusive emblems in Haunted Heights, both of which are quite challenging. The diamond emblem is the one where you're supposed to do a monitor bounce, but I'm terrible at monitor bounces and ended up cheesing that one by climbing a wall that probably wasn't supposed to be climbable. The club emblem is a more interesting one where you have to make use of the elemental shield's ability, and I had a lot of fun figuring it out. I wonder which one of the two you're referring to?
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So a small update, I just got around to installing 2.2.7 and all the lag I had with Haunted Heights is just gone. I dunno if optimizing it was intentional, I haven't read all the patch notes, but it's really cool being able to play it with a perfectly smooth framerate now.
Wow, you're right. Haunted Heights is so much less laggy than before!
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Last edited by cookiefonster; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:23 PM.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiefonster View Post
Knuckles actually has two exclusive emblems in Haunted Heights, both of which are quite challenging. The diamond emblem is the one where you're supposed to do a monitor bounce, but I'm terrible at monitor bounces and ended up cheesing that one by climbing a wall that probably wasn't supposed to be climbable. The club emblem is a more interesting one where you have to make use of the elemental shield's ability, and I had a lot of fun figuring it out. I wonder which one of the two you're referring to?
I am talking about the diamond emblem, it feels more like a blind jump then anything else, and the fact that you basically have like 3 tries to do it makes it more of a chore then anything else. To be fair I don't play Knuckles, and the club emblem is actually pretty fun to get.

I̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶a̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶m̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶b̶a̶d̶
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #19
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Originally Posted by SnowDan21 View Post
I am talking about the diamond emblem, it feels more like a blind jump then anything else, and the fact that you basically have like 3 tries to do it makes it more of a chore then anything else. To be fair I don't play Knuckles, and the club emblem is actually pretty fun to get.

I̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶a̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶m̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶b̶a̶d̶
Well, kudos to you at least for not cheating with this emblem.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowDan21 View Post
I am talking about the diamond emblem, it feels more like a blind jump then anything else, and the fact that you basically have like 3 tries to do it makes it more of a chore then anything else. To be fair I don't play Knuckles, and the club emblem is actually pretty fun to get.

I̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶a̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶m̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶b̶a̶d̶
IMO, the monitor you're supposed to bounce on should be changed to a respawning equivalent so you can have as many attempts as you need, without resetting. I like that that one makes use of the weird gliding physics, where hitting glide just before hitting a monitor or enemy makes you bounce super high. I'd have never figured it out without watching a video of someone else doing it, though.

---------- Post added at 08:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:02 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiefonster View Post

Knuckles actually has two exclusive emblems in Haunted Heights, both of which are quite challenging. The diamond emblem is the one where you're supposed to do a monitor bounce, but I'm terrible at monitor bounces and ended up cheesing that one by climbing a wall that probably wasn't supposed to be climbable.
WHAT!? Where?

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Wow, you're right. Haunted Heights is so much less laggy than before!
Nice. Now y'all don't have to get better computers. lol
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