If I could redesign any kind of game, it would be a Sonic the Hedgehog game. Sonic the Hedgehog is a game series that was created in 1991, starting with the titular SEGA Genesis game. The most recent entry in the series, Sonic Forces, has met mixed reception and is considered the most mediocre game. One of its main criticisms is towards its level design, which is notably more linear than previous entries. This is somewhat of an issue, because nearly every level can be beaten in a minute or under due to how shorter they are. Also, there are two newbie game designers and a lead designer from Sonic Lost World who worked on the game design. If I was the lead designer Forces, I wouldn’t have made the levels linear. I would’ve opened up more alternate pathways, lowered the amount of boost pads and springs, put less rings in areas they don’t need to be, and have shorter 2D sections. The more I compared Forces to other games, the more I began to realize how much those problems show, and I began to understand why they’re part of criticisms. Sonic Team may be too late to realize this (or at the very least, not realize it very soon), but having two newbies and a guy who worked on Lost World didn’t do Forces much good in terms of game design, and it won’t do much good to future games, either. Take 2008’s Sonic Unleashed for example. The daytime levels have some linear sections, but they were mainly used for stepping left or right while running. There were things like jumping poles, wall jump sections, and occasionally their own gimmick, and little 2D. The nighttime levels were completely 3D, had things like puzzle solving, and made themselves completely open with the idea of walking around, fighting, and searching for collectibles in mind. The near end stage of Forces, Mortar Canyon, is one of the few stages that isn’t linear; this, unfortunately, is semi-undermined by the fact that is less than a minute long, like all other stages. The beta version is much longer than the final version and has more platforms and obstacles present; it takes less than two and a half minutes to complete by just running. One might argue that another popular platforming game, Crash Bandicoot, is just as if not even more linear than Forces is. As a player of Crash Bandicoot, I can wholeheartedly agree. However, Crash Bandicoot at least takes some interesting turns and opens itself up more. It occasionally has bonus stages and encourages you to break open every box to earn gems and relics. Forces, on the other hand, had little to offer at the end of the stage besides several pieces of avatar clothing that you earn after completing each stage. Comparing that with Crash, you can see that Forces at least has good intention to reward you at the end of each stage, but fails, and the placement of the rings doesn’t make it better at all. To be fair, though, Crash gives you significantly less than Forces at the end of a stage, which can count as a pro on the latter’s part. So, in every way I see fit, I wrote this argumentative essay to express my dissatisfaction with Sonic Team’s way of thinking in this area, as they are the main reasons why I would redesign a Sonic game. Sonic the Hedgehog was one of many things I enjoyed during my childhood, and unless they suddenly decide that they don’t care about putting effort anymore, I still put my faith in SEGA and Sonic Team to learn from their mistakes and hopefully do better on their next project.
Just a random though of mine. Who agrees?