SRB2 Message Board  

Go Back   SRB2 Message Board > Sonic Robo Blast 2 > SRB2 Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-15-2020   #21
Ace Dragon
 
Ace Dragon's Avatar
Default

Based on my reading of hundreds of comment sections regarding feedback for a game, it's pretty much impossible to please everyone. There will always be that group that likes level A better and others who say level B is better. If the SRB2 team decided to try to please everyone, the levels would be reworked again and again with no end in sight.

In this case, the vast majority appear to see version 2.2 and many of its levels as a major improvement, that should be enough to indicate the game is going in the right direction. Zone Builder is there for people to rework existing levels to how they think they should look and play (though I'm not what this forum's policy on releasing alt versions are).

Last edited by Ace Dragon; 02-15-2020 at 11:20 PM.
Ace Dragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #22
RascalRosy
Default

Here I go, bumping a month-old topic because I have *opinions*. I think I should preface this by saying that all of these will be colored by the fact that Amy is easily my favorite character, and thus approached from her playstyle.

EDIT: Wanted to clarify that I specifically mainly play with DerpyBubblez's Legacy Rosy, which mainly comes into play for Black Core 1 thanks to the Hammer Vault.

Spoiler:
GFZ Act 1 - 8/10

Greenflower 1 isn't perfect, but it's a strong start. Unlike some other comments I've read, I'm a big fan of fodder enemies like Crawlas in SRB2 specifically, because they're just so fun to bounce off of. The appearance is lovely, lots of greenery and yet still feeling fresh for your typical first zone. I'm particularly a fan of the cute little houses, there's something quaint about the random single homes. The path can get a touch winding for a first level, though.

GFZ Act 2 - 8/10

Another "great but not amazing" level. The extra verticality hurts the appearance a bit with how much brown you get, but it makes up for that in what it adds to the gameplay. In a perfect world, we could have both. Very fun to explore, but also nice to just blaze right through as quickly as you can. Also has my second favorite track in the game! That major -> minor -> major progression gets me every time.

GFZ Act 3 - 8/10

It's fine, and that's about what I expect from a first boss. He shoots a laser, you jump at him, he blows up. I think it's a particularly well-designed first boss, though, and despite how easy he is I have died to him a few times just trying to get extra hits in.

THZ Act 1 - 5/10

I've seen a lot of love for Techno Hill, but I just can't relate; it's easily my least favorite zone overall. The music is thumping, but the more muted palette feels like it's too serious too soon, and the paths here are some of the easiest to get turned around by in the entire game. On the bright side, those slow-moving mosquito robots are fun to lure around to make big jumps, and not only is the purple goop a fun mechanic, but this zone overall introduces it perfectly.

THZ Act 2 - 6/10

Not a favorite, but better than the first act. Suffers the same issue of feeling drab for just the second zone, but all the machinery here does give it a more fun, frantic energy. My biggest gripe is the section where you have to jump down and hit a button to raise the goop level. I only knew how to do this from playing previous versions, and I remember the frustration trying to figure out originally. I'm really not sure why that little bit of frustration wasn't removed. Otherwise the gameplay here is pretty fun!

THZ Act 3 - 5/10

Still feels like a first boss, except significantly more boring. I have not once died to this fight, and I don't think I ever will. The good things I can say for it are that the arena is cool, and it's fun to bat Eggman back and forth in the first phase.

DSZ Act 1 - 6/10

I love the aesthetics of this zone - it feels so chill and gives exactly the sprawling, ancient feel that makes me wanna dig into every alternate path I can find. But my main issue here... Deep Sea 1 feels like it's at odds with itself. In appearance and structure, it's deeply inviting for exploration. But then at least half the time that exploration is in underwater sections which are clunky to control and on an air timer, so you just want to get out onto dry land as soon as possible. It both wants you to explore and actively punishes dawdling.

DSZ Act 2 - 7/10

The main improvement over Deep Sea 1 is that most exploratory sections here have little worry of drowning, while most underwater sections are at least mostly linear, playing to their strengths with big underwater leaps and managing your air. I'm also a huge fan of the outdoor sections and that beautiful blue nighttime skybox, as well as the ending tower climb.

DSZ Act 3 - 5/10

The fight is very simple. The clone thing might fool a new player a couple of times, but after that any extra challenge it added is pretty much moot. The older version wasn't perfect, and while I was initially happy to see it replaced, I'm not sure that this is actually any better, and may even be worse. I do think the idea has potential though.

CEZ Act 1 - 7/10

There are some great ideas here, they just need a little more refinement. The new swings are fun, the scale feels fittingly grand, and it's satisfying to traverse. However, something about it feels less fluid than the old version, though I'm glad the chain swings were replaced. I feel like there are a lot more places to get stuck or have your momentum stopped. Also, The Bridge™. I love the idea, but at the moment it's just too cluttered with enemies and spikes, plus those springs feel so bad to hit. A big cinematic piece like that shouldn't actually be terribly hard in my opinion, if difficult at all - it loses its impact when you have to play it several times.

CEZ Act 2 - 7/10

An enjoyable act overall, but it starts to suffer from the dreary palette by this point, I think partly because the castle interior is also dark. Little to say aside from that, its strengths are mainly the same as Castle Eggman 1.

CEZ Act 3 - 7/10

THANK GOODNESS. This was my least favorite boss previously, now I can actually enjoy it. Difficult without being too much of a spike, though the second phase is actually easier than the first. My favorite change: no more fixed-speed chain swing for the second phase. In the original fight, that made it so that custom characters with a slower acceleration or top speed and no extra jumps/climbs just couldn't get on top of the stands. I know custom characters don't get official story mode support, but part of what makes SRB2 so fun and replayable is that very thing, and I love taking custom characters I feel are balanced through the main story. Ensuring that a wide variety of characters can complete every level goes a long way to enjoyment for me.

ACZ Act 1 - 8/10

This stage has one of the best senses of speed I can get in SRB2, despite challenging paths, which is a great balance, and the bright oranges and blues are refreshing after the dark green and gray of Castle Eggman. I'm not typically big on western/canyon style levels, but this one really comes through both in looks and gameplay. The only major issue I take is the rope section right before the end. Only through reading the forums did I ever realize that I could just drop down using the spin button, and even playing through it now it still feels like one of the most punishing parts of the game between the huge bottomless pit and the aerial enemy diving around trying to knock me into said pit.

ACZ Act 2 - 7/10

This act, unlike a lot of previous second acts, feels like a step back from the first. It's still plenty of fun, but in a game where one of the biggest draws is having so many paths to take, the linearity of the minecart sections is a little disappointing. However, when it isn't on rails, this stage plays to the same strengths that the Arid Canyon 1 does and is a lot of fun for it.

ACZ Act 3 - 9/10

I love character bosses, they have a lot of, well, character that standard bosses tend to lack, and with all of Fang's animations he's got it in spades. On top of that, the fight itself is very fun, and I love chasing him around the arena, trying to get extra hits in as he's bouncing around. My only issue with it is his second phase, where the bombs can very easily toss you straight out of the arena. Yes, it might just mean you need to play more safe, but it does feel pretty bad to have him dropping almost guaranteed instakills with every leap, and discourages trying to go for extra hits in that phase.

RVZ Act 1 - 8/10

I really want to give this stage an even higher rating. It's bright and colorful, has varied challenges and terrian, and overall is really fun to play. Plus, the rolling ball gimmick is surprisingly fun when it pops up, it almost feels like a better version of those rolling levels from Super Mario Galaxy. But there is one major source of frustration here, those ridiculous Pterodactyl enemies. They immediately stop any speed you've built up as you try to find just the right way to get past them without being grabbed and dropped into lava with no sense of counterplay. I feel like if I try to destroy them I just get caught, if I try to run past them I get caught, and if I try to escape once I'm caught they drop me just the same. Beyond that, there are some other frustrations, but I think they're reasonable for a penultimate level.

ERZ Act 1 - 7/10

I feel as though I like this stage a fair bit more than some others, even if it is a bit of a gimmick gauntlet. Most of those gimmicks do feel fun and fair, though I would say that some of the outdoor sections aren't so enjoyable, with the most glaring being the first one where the concept is introduced. The 2D outdoor sections are actually pretty fun, and more suited to quick five-second bursts of platforming than the 3D ones. Plus, it does have my favorite track in the game, the piano solo in Egg Rock 1 is killer.

ERZ Act 2 - 6/10

Egg Rock 2 definitely feels at least as dated at 1, if not more so. The gimmick gauntlet feel is in full swing here, but it's still fun to play nonetheless. It certainly does feel like a final level, and the difficulty feels significant without ever getting too unfair. The removals from the previous version help the pacing, but I can't help loving silly gimmicks and setpieces, so I am somewhat hoping for a potential return, especially of the mini section.

BCZ Act 1 - 8/10

So, this section is I think where my Amy bias shines through the most. This race is practically built for her in my opinion, because she has Sonic's lack of a flight ability but a powerful enough hammer jump to make a lot of fun shortcuts, which gives it a perfect amount of difficulty. It may have taken me two dozen tries or so, but they were a fun two dozen… except for the lava section. That particular bit was pretty frustrating and a major bottleneck, but otherwise I love this act.

BCZ Act 2 - 8/10

I liked this slightly less than Black Core 1, but I don't think quite enough to score it any lower. The fight is really fun overall, I love the way he telegraphs his attacks without them being too easy to avoid. Plus, the pinch mode is my favorite just barely ahead of Fang's, I love how frantic it gets. My only real issues are 1) The barriers around the edge of the ring, which feel inconsistent - Metal pings off of them like they're solid, but your character goes right through them, which feels off whenever it happens. And 2) The way he follows you between attacks, which makes him feel like an annoying gnat instead of a threat if he starts too close to you. I also really liked a suggestion that I saw for giving Metal a grounded attack, which I feel would help mix things up just the right amount.

BCZ Act 3 - 6/10

It's a decent boss fight, but it doesn't entirely feel like final boss material. When he flew off the side of the arena, I totally expected the "real" final boss to appear, especially on my all emeralds run. I liked the suggestion that I saw about removing the need to make him vulnerable and just giving him a lot of health, as well as an initial armored form that breaks off partway through. This isn't to say it's all bad, though - the arena itself has great atmosphere and it is a fun fight, just not one that feels as grand or exciting as I would expect.

Last edited by RascalRosy; 1 Week Ago at 04:22 PM. Reason: clarification
RascalRosy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Days Ago   #23
Moose the Fat Cat
Default

Top 5 Favorite Levels in SRB2 campaign

Spoiler:

1) Castle Eggman Zone Act 1
2) Arid Canyon Zone Act 2
3) Castle Eggman Zone Act 3
4) Red Volcano Zone Act 1
5) Castle Eggman Zone Act 2

Those middle levels are (chef's kiss) perfect.


Top 10 Favorite Levels

Spoiler:

6. Techno Hill Zone Act 2
7. Greenflower Zone Act 2
8. Techno Hill Zone Act 1
9. Greenflower Zone Act 1
10. Deep Sea Zone Act 2



Top 20 Favorite Levels
Spoiler:

11. Deep Sea Zone Act 3
12. Arid Canyon Zone Act 1
The bottomless pit rope section isn't fun and drags down a level that is otherwise top 10.

13. Arid Canyon Zone Act 3
14. Deep Sea Zone Act 1
15. Greenflower Zone Act 3
16. Black Core Act 1
I mostly love this boss battle, but the lava room is too unforgiving and requires memorizing the level layout which is annoying.
17. Black Core Act 3
18. Egg Rock Zone Act 2
19. Egg Rock Zone Act 1
Both ERZ have too many bottomless pit + new gravity rule rooms and it's annoying until you memorize it through trial and death.
20. Black Core Act 2
I don't think Sonic is as suicidal as he appears to be in this fight with the Thok only.



Top 5 Specific Suggestions

1) Techno Hill Act 1
Spoiler:

The color saturation is ugly in the exterior sections / the beginning. The walls are a weird color tone and just feels wrong for the series. Chemical Plant is very vibrant with primary colors mixed with a lot of dark tones, but THZ1 feels more like a bad future Sonic CD level but it doesn't really hit that vibe either. It's hard to articulate but it just visually strikes a bad note immediately, even though the level is very fun.

Inside the factory feels totally right, and the purple goo is my favorite mechanic, I think. The city skyline is wonderful -- we should see more of it somehow, maybe earlier as you approach the factory.


2) Black Core Act 3
Spoiler:

Since the character is modeled after the OVA including the machine gun fire, why not also incorporate some of his other abilities from the OVA?

Shooting glue/goo could be a repeat of the blue or purple goo from Techno Hill, or both? The glue is yellow in the ova and could be added as a fourth substance -- but that seems like it'd be a lot of juggling goo colors maybe? But it could work if it comes later in the fight. The mixture of his machine gun fire / bombs + goo it's like he's fighting you with napalm!

He should definitely have a transformation of some kind before a final form. Idk if he needs to add flying with bat wings, but it's there for a big boss squeeze -- it kinda seems like that's what's going to happen when he flies off, you almost expect him to come back with a final form, but he just leaves.


3) Black Core Act 2

Spoiler:
Sonic needs a homing assist option, in addition to overall Z-targeting the camera. Ironically the best way to beat him is the same as THZ3 which is just standing still, which is silly. This level is most fun as Modern mod to just kick Metal's ass. Give Metal a homing attack, too, or a Thok, or a spindash before the final missile form... he should fight more like Sonic. It should feel scrappier... give Metal spin attack and claw/swipe in addition to his hover. Then he starts adding in the blasts, then the kamikaze missile.


4. Greenflower Zone Act 1

Spoiler:
There needs to be a Butterfly robot for the player to practice jump attacking.


5. Castle Eggman Zone Act 1

Spoiler:
CEZ should come before Labyrinth (edit: I meant Deep Sea) Zone, because it's such a knockout level and I feel like it's smart to put your big new idea zone in the third spot, like Studiopolis in Sonic Mania comes after Green Hill / Chemical Plant.

It also teaches/tests platforming and jumping in a way that sets the player up better for Deep Sea Zone more than the inverse is true. Nobody really loves water levels in Sonic games but everyone can agree CEZ is fantastic.

Also it makes more narrative sense that Eggman's castle would follow his factory, and then the player would find themselves sent underground to a labyrinth/dungeon/temple, emerging into Arid Canyon. Going from Factory to Labyrinth to Castle to Canyon just doesn't really follow logically as much as Factory to Castle to Labyrinth to Canyon.

Last edited by Moose the Fat Cat; 3 Days Ago at 08:11 AM.
Moose the Fat Cat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Days Ago   #24
Unknownlight
 
Unknownlight's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose the Fat Cat View Post
CEZ should come before Labyrinth Zone, because it's such a knockout level and I feel like it's smart to put your big new idea zone in the third spot, like Studiopolis in Sonic Mania comes after Green Hill / Chemical Plant.

It also teaches/tests platforming and jumping in a way that sets the player up better for Labyrinth Zone more than the inverse is true. Nobody really loves water levels in Sonic games but everyone can agree CEZ is fantastic.

Also it makes more narrative sense that Eggman's castle would follow his factory, and then the player would find themselves sent underground to a labyrinth/dungeon/temple, emerging into Arid Canyon. Going from Factory to Labyrinth to Castle to Canyon just doesn't really follow logically as much as Factory to Castle to Labyrinth to Canyon.
You know what? I like this idea. It's not going to happen, but I support it.

I like that it would give a very nice three-act structure to the game. Every three zones is a little mini-adventure. It would feel a lot better, especially for new players, than just zone after zone of unrelated levels where you don't necessarily feel progression.

It also ties in nicely with my idea that Amy should be unlocked by beating Castle Eggman. Say that she's hanging overhead in a cage during the Castle Eggman boss fight, and the reason Sonic and co. stormed the castle in the first place was to rescue her.

Act 1: Rescue Amy.
  • Greenflower
  • Techno Hill
  • Castle Eggman
The theme of the levels is starting in nature and progressing further and further into Eggman's territory.

Act 2: Get something / destroy something at the heart of a volcano
  • Deep Sea
  • Arid Canyon
  • Red Volcano
Again, we get to end on a climatic "final level", in this case the classic lava level. I haven't thought of what the story goal would be, but the idea is similar to Lord of the Rings-ish "get to the volcano to do something".

The theming of this set of levels is the elements. You've got your water, ground, and fire levels.

Act 3: Defeat Eggman
  • Dark City
  • Grand Eggship
  • Egg Rock
The theme of this is "ascension". Start in a city, move to the sky, then move into space.

Additionally, I think SRB2 shouldn't have such a linear difficulty curve. Right now, every level is more difficult than the last one. There are no moments of "de-stress" whatsoever. It's just constant ramping up. From watching new people play on YouTube, a lot of people seem exhausted later in their playthroughs.

A more staggered difficulty curve might be beneficial. The first zone of each "act" should be a bit less difficult than the level immediately prior. So Deep Sea would be a bit easier than Castle Eggman, and Dark City would be a bit easier than Red Volcano. It gives players a chance to take a breath after a difficult challenge.

I've been kind of making this post up as I go along. I'm not sure if any of this is actually a good idea.
Unknownlight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Days Ago   #25
SoupBowler
Default

So I was gonna post my thoughts on each level with a general overview of each zone and what I enjoyed/disliked about them. However, I feel like I would have to take a bit more time to fully go over these thoughts since a lot of effort was put into these levels and I am not even sure which level is my favorite yet. I can at the very least go over one level, and it's the one that I find to be the absolute worst level in the game.


Azure Temple Zone is just awful as a challenge level when compared to the others, and has a bunch of design takes that either bring out nasty game flaws or seem way too dickish. Before I break down these issues, there are some positives here.

This place has some nice textures (too bad some of them are a bit hard to tell their coloration because of the color mapping). Despite being very square in design all through it, this feels like a prison-esque water temple you would find probably in a Zelda game of some sort. It also uses a remix of Deep Sea Zone's theme which is rather calming. This acts as a neat little opposition to the full stage itself, which is anything BUT calm. There's also some neat gimmicks in some places too, like leaps of faith riding currents that push you up, moving gargoyles to avoid being shot or to light up crystals, and the whole stage being underwater. Srb2 tends to be more methodical in it's platforming sections, so it being a slow paced level in a Sonic game doesn't bother me at all.

What does bother me is everything else.

The level is mostly tight hallways with sharp 90 or even 180 degree turns. The camera gets stuck on these turns a lot. In situations where it's just a plain tunnel to another room, it doesn't matter. In cases where it leads you straight into a room where you have to react quickly to the fish badniks or shooting flames is when it becomes an issue. I cannot exactly prepare for the challenge up ahead if my view is obstructed, and in cases like Tails' emblem, they really push the camera to the very limit of how fast it can try to remove itself from walls.

These fish badniks aren't too bad to deal with if you are on safe ground or can just swim around them, but most of the other times they can be tricky or annoying. Firstly, you are underwater so knockback stun lasts twice as long. Secondly, if you kill them they drop an air bubble. Sounds good if you need a refill, but terrible if you kill them over a pit since 7 out of 10 times you'll fall into the bubble and be locked into falling into the pit. According to developer MascaraSnake this is intentional...



...and honestly it shouldn't be. This is the most underhanded way this level is designed to kill you. Doing an action that is suppose to be a positive towards you (killing an enemy, overcoming an obstacle) should NOT cause you to sometimes receive a strong punishment (being death of all things) unless you were careless on the rebound of your own accord (like thokking at a flying badnik far out and away from platforms). A mechanic where killing one of them would release a poison gas you have to avoid or even causing the rest of them to target you faster would be way more fair and interesting than this. REMINDER: Tails' specific emblem in this stage requires you to blindly swim in tight corridors where you can't predict or see where these guys are and they move super fast. This is cheaply made rom hack levels of bad placement.

Late in the stage there are these current sections where you have to follow flame patterns on the ground and then "glide" with them to the other side. These are nice, when you don't get your head bonked against a lowered ceiling. If your momentum wasn't so heavy and you could accelerate faster when hovering above these currents then situations where you bonk your head could be saved at a cost of speed, instead of a perceived cheep death.

Some people say the green flames the gargoyles shoot have too big and/or deceptive hitboxes. I really don't have this issue. Sometimes I will admit it is hard to tell where they are in 3D space, because they are sprites and often moves towards the camera (and sometimes you move towards them at the same time). However, I am more so concerned about their placement and overuse. There are just some straight corridors where you have to run down and carefully jump over the flames to make it across. Their timings can be a tad strict, and they can be mixed with bottomless pits. They can be chained one after another in a series of diagonal hallways leading you to get blind-sighted by more flames if you're not careful (some of these turns have ledges that prevent that, but some don't and just surprise you). It makes the obstacle get old really fast since they get used in pretty much the same way every time (barring one Knuckles pathway where you climb up). Reminder that the only normal enemy type in this level are the bubble fish.

Lots of the challenges in this level get repeated one after another that their gimmicks overstay their welcome. If they were mixed together more often this would help. Say the first room you dodge some fish and reach another room with gargoyle flames. Then you get a current ride section followed by more fish and an (optional?) crystal puzzle. It would really shake up the pace and be way more engaging then just me wanting to bum rush the stage.

If I ever feel the need to either take a pity damage boost to cross an obstacle over trying to learn the timing and beat it fairly, then you have lost my interest in said obstacle. And if I lose interest over several different obstacles, similarly designed or otherwise, then the level is no longer fun. At that point I don't want to play it.

You may be thinking, "Most of the reasons that people dislike the stage are things it's doing on purpose." Yup. Doesn't make it good level design though. A kid kicking the back of my car seat endlessly is also a frustrating thing they could be doing "on purpose" to me, and I end up not liking them doing that for that very reason. In Aerial Garden, it felt like the level wanted me dead but it still mostly felt fair and how it went about that. It hits a certain type of difficulty design that fits the tone and style of Srb2 level design in general. Even Haunted Heights matches this quota despite being much easier than the other two. Azure Temple leans closer to the "Kaizo" spectrum of difficulty for the reasons I have stated, and in that case it sucks as it feels out of place comparison wise.

3/10
It needs some major reworks. I have gotten all the emblems in this level a while ago and I have no compelling reason to ever want to go back. Even if it returns unchanged in another major update similar to 2.2, I refuse to go back through it. The concepts are fine, it's just poor execution.
SoupBowler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Days Ago   #26
Moose the Fat Cat
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownlight View Post
You know what? I like this idea. It's not going to happen, but I support it.

I like that it would give a very nice three-act structure to the game. Every three zones is a little mini-adventure. It would feel a lot better, especially for new players, than just zone after zone of unrelated levels where you don't necessarily feel progression.

It also ties in nicely with my idea that Amy should be unlocked by beating Castle Eggman. Say that she's hanging overhead in a cage during the Castle Eggman boss fight, and the reason Sonic and co. stormed the castle in the first place was to rescue her.

Act 1: Rescue Amy.
  • Greenflower
  • Techno Hill
  • Castle Eggman
The theme of the levels is starting in nature and progressing further and further into Eggman's territory.

Act 2: Get something / destroy something at the heart of a volcano
  • Deep Sea
  • Arid Canyon
  • Red Volcano
Again, we get to end on a climatic "final level", in this case the classic lava level. I haven't thought of what the story goal would be, but the idea is similar to Lord of the Rings-ish "get to the volcano to do something".

The theming of this set of levels is the elements. You've got your water, ground, and fire levels.

Act 3: Defeat Eggman
  • Dark City
  • Grand Eggship
  • Egg Rock
The theme of this is "ascension". Start in a city, move to the sky, then move into space.
Yesssssssssss, exactly. I love the idea of rescuing Amy at the end of CEZ, that fits perfectly.

Putting CEZ third is a perfect "act break" in the larger story the way it sort of plays with your expectations. It's almost like the twist in, say, Avengers or Dark Knight or Mission Impossible where it feels like you've reached the ending earlier than expected— only to realize things are just getting started. In the Woolie youtube playthrough, he initially assumes it's the final zone (even though he said he'd completed the campaign once as Knuckles but I guess he forgot; I digress).

Sonic 2 and 3K are so great in part because of the narrative progression & world building that's happening with the backgrounds through the stage progression. Mania does a pretty good job with all of the level cutscenes, too — although it doesn't actually make sense with where Hydrocity and Lava Reef are placed in that game.

Quote:
I've been kind of making this post up as I go along. I'm not sure if any of this is actually a good idea.
I think it's an excellent idea. The other reason it's fun for the overall campaign to have a three act structure is the symmetry of each zone being divided into three acts.

That beat rhythm is satisfying in a lot of forms. Think about if you're making a music playlist. You know these rules; they're even in High Fidelity

Track 1 - Something short, welcoming and probably familiar
Track 2 - Take it up a notch
Track 3 - Escalate to your best song.
Track 4 - Slow it down. Reset your heart.

And so on from there.

Quote:
Additionally, I think SRB2 shouldn't have such a linear difficulty curve. Right now, every level is more difficult than the last one. There are no moments of "de-stress" whatsoever. It's just constant ramping up. From watching new people play on YouTube, a lot of people seem exhausted later in their playthroughs.

A more staggered difficulty curve might be beneficial. The first zone of each "act" should be a bit less difficult than the level immediately prior. So Deep Sea would be a bit easier than Castle Eggman, and Dark City would be a bit easier than Red Volcano. It gives players a chance to take a breath after a difficult challenge.
I think it's also that the level's design / music / presentation kind of reset to a lower intensity.

Difficulty wise, imo, Deep Sea is arguably as difficult or more than CEZ, or at least it feels more frustrating when you die underwater in Sonic games, generally.

But it's a calmer feeling. And then the vibe gets playful again with Arid Canyon, then intense again with Red Volcano.

Following this, then it would maybe dial down for a quieter Dark City, ramps up intensity with Grand Eggship, climaxes in Egg Rock.
Moose the Fat Cat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 3 Days Ago   #27
Moose the Fat Cat
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownlight View Post
Act 1: Rescue Amy.
  • Greenflower
  • Techno Hill
  • Castle Eggman
The theme of the levels is starting in nature and progressing further and further into Eggman's territory.

Act 2: Get something / destroy something at the heart of a volcano
  • Deep Sea
  • Arid Canyon
  • Red Volcano
Again, we get to end on a climatic "final level", in this case the classic lava level. I haven't thought of what the story goal would be, but the idea is similar to Lord of the Rings-ish "get to the volcano to do something".

The theming of this set of levels is the elements. You've got your water, ground, and fire levels.

Act 3: Defeat Eggman
  • Dark City
  • Grand Eggship
  • Egg Rock
The theme of this is "ascension". Start in a city, move to the sky, then move into space..
Again, this is not going to happen, but it's a fun distraction to think about.

Spoiler:

How about this:

Each of the Big Acts are bookended by cutscenes. The beginning prologue is condensed, and the cut parts can be pasted in later scenes with some slight changes for new context.

Prologue:
We just begin with Eggman suddenly arriving to bully South Island and blowing up Greenflower Mountain without warning. This is a distraction for two things: Amy Rose is kidnapped by Metal Sonic, and the Crawlas and other badniks begin searching for Chaos Emeralds.

Sonic needs to save Amy and get the emeralds before Eggman!

Act I[*]Greenflower[*]Techno Hill[*]Castle Eggman
At the end of CEZ-3, Amy Rose is rescued from a cage and hugs you. She becomes playable.

Act Break

Cut-scene begins. (This also helps the "fake out" aspect of thinking this might be the last level in the game). The part of the prologue we cut about the comet goes here instead, but now the background is in Eggman's castle.

You* find out why Amy was kidnapped, and it's because she knew about the comet (it ties into the old Sonic CD characterization of Amy as a tarot card reading astrologist; it's also possible that the comet was once part of Little Planet but broke off when Eggman chained it!)

Eggman is in search of the power from the Black Rock; he knew it would be reappearing, and that part of the Black Rock broke off the last time the comet appeared and supposedly resides in a mountain (which, in addition to the distraction, is why he blasted Greenflower Mountain). Amy says comets that land on earth is how volcanoes are formed. Eggman says that's definitely not true, and frankly kind of stupid, even for a child. How old are you now? But then he realizes she could be right. So, after Amy very helpfully told Eggman about the comet's potential powers, Eggman very rudely imprisoned her in his castle.

Eggman confirms her story, but says it's too late. He presses a button destroying the ground in the jousting pit, sending Sonic into the Deep Sea.

*
Spoiler:
If you are playing as Amy, then Sonic is the one who was kidnapped, and it was to lure Amy to CEZ.


Act II
[*]Deep Sea[*]Arid Canyon[*]Red Volcano

In DSZ3, we replace the Eggman sprite with Egg-Robo (fits with the fake-eggman gimmick) because we're trying to catch up to Eggman in this Act. (Edit: could be cool to adapt the great Eggman character mod as an Egg Robo playable character)

In Arid Canyon, we find Fang looting a train and defeat him.

Red Volcano 3, the boss is Eggman again, presumably, with whatever is in development for it. But now the intensity is raised inherently, since it's been 8 levels since your last meeting.

From this point, I'm going into pure speculation mode on what could follow, but I'll give it a swing.

Act Break
You destroy Eggman's volcano mining/fracking operation. Eggman did indeed find the Black Rock piece encased in granite, and first encounters/develops the green energy that will help defeat him later in BC3. But now Sonic's destroyed his machines and it's fallen deep into the lava, possibly destroyed.

Eggman curses you, but says it doesn't matter. He'll simply go to the source himself, in this case. And so now you're off to the space race!

Act III[*]Dark City[*]Grand Eggship[*]Egg Rock / Black Core

Dark City, I'm picturing it like a more bustling version of Eggmanland from the OVA + Robotropolis from SatAM + the real world from The Matrix but with a lot of neon lights. It hasn't been since Techno Hill that we've seen Eggman's technology, and we realize now that was just the tip of the iceberg. Here, it's a city completely deserted except for Egg-Robos.... in the background, we discover the Egg-Robos have been completing more ambitious projects than we might've guessed! It's like a real city with no real life anywhere, just robot slaves.

Sonic tracks Eggman to his launchpad in the center of the city, and pursues aboard the Grand Eggship into Egg Rock and finally the Black Core. He catches up with Metal Sonic and defeats him, who was running the space operation while you ran around with Eggman and his lesser creations. Then he finds Eggman in his Metal Eggman form in BC3 and defeats him with the help of the green energy flows and wrecks Eggman's operation.

Mirroring how the game design offers multiple pathways, Eggman's scheme involved multiple routes to getting to his endgame, but thankfully, Sonic dashed all of his plans at each turn! Sonic has now restored freedom to the planet!

Ending
The player is rescued from the exploding space base on the comet, which is restored from Eggman's machinations by the power of the Chaos Emeralds. Tails rescues Sonic as he falls back to earth in the Tornado; Sonic rescues everybody else.

Each cleared character joins a party in Greenflower Zone with the freed animals.

Once all are cleared (only 1 needs to have cleared all 7 emeralds), the bonus final ending — Amy Rose points out a shooting star. Tails looks through his binoculars and sees it's actually debris from Eggman's destroyed space bases... it crashes into Greenflower Mountain, removing his face from the side.

Sonic takes the binoculars and looks to space. We see the final image we see now -- the comet shedding the space station with the Chaos Emeralds, and then a star constellation as a wink from the universe saying "thanks so much for a'playing my game!"

The End.

Last edited by Moose the Fat Cat; 3 Days Ago at 09:44 AM.
Moose the Fat Cat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 3 Days Ago   #28
cookiefonster
special stage 8-bit coverer
Default

I don't think Castle Eggman should be moved before Deep Sea. Castle Eggman is such a grandiose zone and feels fit as a halfway point zone, while I think it's reasonable to put the water zone early on in the campaign before the game gets too crazy hard.

On this topic, I guess I should say that CEZ2 and DSZ1 are my two favorite zones in the main campaign.

CEZ2 is just plain mind-blowing in its scope, filled to the brim with rewards for exploring and an unbelievable amount of alternate paths, and the fact that it's unfinished and has a few rough spots only makes me more hyped for what's to come.

DSZ1 is by far the best water zone I've ever played in any Sonic game; it looks gorgeous and has lots of exploration value and alternate paths, plus doesn't lay the obnoxious water gimmicks too thick at all. SRB2 is the only Sonic game where I think the water zone (or at least the first act) is not just tolerable, but one of the highlights of the game.

Last edited by cookiefonster; 3 Days Ago at 02:44 PM.
cookiefonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3 Days Ago   #29
Mystic
チェン!
Administrator
 
Mystic's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupBowler View Post
This is the most underhanded way this level is designed to kill you. Doing an action that is suppose to be a positive towards you (killing an enemy, overcoming an obstacle) should NOT cause you to sometimes receive a strong punishment (being death of all things) unless you were careless on the rebound of your own accord (like thokking at a flying badnik far out and away from platforms).
So, Azure Temple definitely has some cheap shots and problems. The Tails emblem in particular is a major problem which has become significantly more obnoxious with Tails's statistics buff in 2.2. It's something that I'm planning on fixing in the future. However, this is completely intentional behavior, and I strongly disagree with your assessment that this is unacceptable behavior.

The rules involved here are clearly demonstrated to you, the player, long before you have a chance to die to attacking it. The very first thing in the stage you interact with is a Buggle, and it teaches you pretty clearly that you grab the air normally when you defeat it. There is also a very early location in the stage where two are next to each other and if you just attack straight in, you'll grab the air from the first and the second will hit you because you uncurl when you grab the air. If you later mindlessly grab air over a pit and die, that's on you because you were clearly shown all the rules beforehand. This fits under the same category as rebounding badly.
Mystic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Days Ago   #30
Seaball
this is fine
 
Seaball's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiefonster View Post
DSZ1 is by far the best water zone I've ever played in any Sonic game; it looks gorgeous and has lots of exploration value and alternate paths, plus doesn't lay the obnoxious water gimmicks too thick at all. SRB2 is the only Sonic game where I think the water zone (or at least the first act) is not just tolerable, but one of the highlights of the game.
I couldn't agree more. I've vocalized my love for the new Deep Sea ever since my first time playing act 1, and it really shows; alongside Castle Eggman, it's the most atmospheric zone in the game, with gorgeous visuals, gimmicks that don't overstay their welcome, an extremely fair and consistent difficulty curve, and a banger of an act theme that makes the ride through this ruined temple so much more appealing. It's only the third zone and yet it's one of the big highlights of the game as a whole and I don't see anything topping it any time soon.

Deep Sea 2, on the other hand... really drags down the zone for me. It's just so much more boring than the first act and doesn't really feel complete in a way. With those weird reused rooms from 2.1, an "outside the temple" area that appears like twice and is completely forgotten, that ending room that doesn't really feel like an appropriate ending room, and the level being so much more overly open and disjointed makes act 2 feel like it was shoehorned in. It's not bad, but it definitely doesn't live up to the first act.
__________________
Quote:
[12/15/2019] seaballer:
and then the title card opens again and Dark City becomes Dice City
oh god
i can see it
a casino level
Seaball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Days Ago   #31
cookiefonster
special stage 8-bit coverer
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaball View Post
I couldn't agree more. I've vocalized my love for the new Deep Sea ever since my first time playing act 1, and it really shows; alongside Castle Eggman, it's the most atmospheric zone in the game, with gorgeous visuals, gimmicks that don't overstay their welcome, an extremely fair and consistent difficulty curve, and a banger of an act theme that makes the ride through this ruined temple so much more appealing. It's only the third zone and yet it's one of the big highlights of the game as a whole and I don't see anything topping it any time soon.

Deep Sea 2, on the other hand... really drags down the zone for me. It's just so much more boring than the first act and doesn't really feel complete in a way. With those weird reused rooms from 2.1, an "outside the temple" area that appears like twice and is completely forgotten, that ending room that doesn't really feel like an appropriate ending room, and the level being so much more overly open and disjointed makes act 2 feel like it was shoehorned in. It's not bad, but it definitely doesn't live up to the first act.
DSZ2 is much weaker than act 1, I have to agree here. It feels kind of like a bunch of ideas tied together with duct tape without having a good connecting theme, almost like an intermediate phase between the level design style of 2.1 and that of 2.2.
cookiefonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.