Best/Worst Sonic Levels

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Retrology
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Best/Worst Sonic Levels

Postby Retrology » January 14th, 2017, 1:48 am

Sonic the Hedgehog is treasured on this site. For all the great memories, there are also bad ones. So with that in mind, what levels come to mind as the best/worst in your mind?

Best

Lava Reef Zone: Great design, great music, great boss.

Oil Ocean Zone: Lot of people don't like this level, which is strange. I think it's excellently designed+the traps make it more enticing

Chemical Plant Zone: Perhaps the fastest Sonic level ever.

Angel Island Zone: Introductory to the best Sonic game ever.



Worst

Metropolis Zone-Painful area in an otherwise unreal game. Too long, tedious, and the enemies are cheap as hell. Also, 3 acts instead of 2.

Carnival Night Zone-First act isn't too bad, but the 2nd one is way too long, especially with that infamous barrel.

Marble Zone-Too slow, spike traps are cheap as hell.

All of Sonic CD *ducks*


Thoughts?

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Atarifever
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Re: Best/Worst Sonic Levels

Postby Atarifever » January 14th, 2017, 7:37 am

Retrology wrote:
Oil Ocean Zone: Lot of people don't like this level, which is strange. I think it's excellently designed+the traps make it more enticing

Chemical Plant Zone: Perhaps the fastest Sonic level ever.



Thoughts?

We have similar tastes in Sonic levels apparently. These two are the best Sonic levels overall, and two of the best levels in any games ever made. As a kid, I found Chemical Plant Zone tough, but it is just a fantastic stage, with strong design, style, and music.

To the best, I'd add Aquarium Park from Sonic Colours. The level is pretty solid (but easy, unless you're specifically chasing score), but the music is just perfect and it has kind of an old-school, Aquatic Ruins vibe to it.
.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhqPY6cmReE

ESauce
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Re: Best/Worst Sonic Levels

Postby ESauce » January 14th, 2017, 12:07 pm

We have pretty similar tastes, except I'm not huge on Oil Ocean. It has one part where I always end up going backwards and getting confused, and I'm not big on the overall atmosphere. It's not in my bottom list, but certainly not my favorite.

Metropolis might be the worst level. Way too long and those praying mantises that through their arms just as you get to the top of those columns where you run on the screws (they're nuts actually but that sounded wrong when typing) are the most frustrating thing in the world.

For favorites, I would say the first level in all 4 Genesis Sonic games. Green hill zone, Emerald Hill Zone, Angel Island Zone (hey, why isn't this level on a hill?), and Mushroom Hill zone are all fantastic intros to the games.

Outside of those I'm having trouble narrowing down so I'll pick one favorite and least favorite from each Sonic game (excluding the always fantastic first levels):

Sonic 1 Favorite: Star Light Zone - This level has a few frustrating pits, but it's so beautiful and the music is fantastic. I could listen to it all day.
Sonic 1 Least favorite: Spring Yard Zone - This level is bland to me, and it requires constantly slowing down and waiting on boxes. The music is frustrating and I've always found this boss to be stressful.

Sonic 2 favorite: Hill Top Zone - What can i say? I'm a sucker for lava levels. This level has cool enemies, a nice atmosphere, and the music is not the best, but fits the level well. It has some great moments when you have to outrun lava too.
Sonic 2 least favorite: Metropolis

Sonix 3 Favorite: IceCap Zone - Just listen to that music.
Sonic 3 Least favorite: Marble Garden Zone - I just can't wait for this level to be over when i play it. You summarized the problems with it well.

Sonic & Knuckles Favorite: Lava Reef Zone - Such a beautiful level. Hidden Palace Zone and Sky Sanctuary are also fantastic and come right after this one.
Sonic & Knuckles least favorite: Sandopolis Zone - I'm not gonna lie, the ghosts always scared me a bit when I was a kid so since then I've never enjoyed the level. It might be great.

Sorry that was long-winded but I do love me some Sonic. Can't wait for Sonic Mania!

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Best/Worst Sonic Levels

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 14th, 2017, 12:31 pm

Personally I always preferred the Green Hill style zones, because they were so forgiving. I was never a fan of the pinball-style stages or the water stages.

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Stalvern
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Re: Best/Worst Sonic Levels

Postby Stalvern » January 14th, 2017, 4:11 pm

I love Metropolis Zone! It's hard, but it's never random or cheap; the obstacles and enemies can always be avoided if you know how. And it looks fantastic.

I'll pick my top and bottom five from the Genesis games:

Favorites
1. Chemical Plant Zone, for its series-defining combination of speed, precision, and exploration, plus its perfect music.
2. Angel Island Zone, for its variety and spectacle.
3. Green Hill Zone, for establishing all of the games' best principles right from the beginning.
4. Aquatic Ruin Zone, for its loveliness and loopiness, along with using water better than any other level.
5. Metropolis Zone, because I'm just that hardcore. :lol: (Edit: Snappy as it was, it was a flat-out lie to have Metropolis here instead of Casino Night. Sorry.)

Honorable mention for the sadly underrated Labyrinth Zone. Love that one.

Least favorites
1. Marble Garden Zone, for being aimless, sprawling, gimmicky garbage that takes forever to get through. Gorgeous, though.
2. Carnival Night Zone. I never had a problem with the barrel; the garish clutter of the rest of the level is bad enough on its own. The Jim Belushi to Casino Night's John Belushi.
3. Sandopolis Zone, for those friggin' ghosts and for lasting a million years. (Edit: And the sandfalls; can't believe that I forgot about those. They're straight out of Bubsy.)
5. Marble Zone. A bore that has none of what makes Sonic great or even good.
4. Wing Fortress Zone, which plays OK but has a messy layout and a lame, cheap-looking tileset.

Dishonorable mention for the finely polished turds that are all four games' Chaos Emerald bonus stages.

The only other Sonic game that I've played is Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, which I bought after a friend showed me a few of the Sonic and Shadow levels. They're fun, but they're only a third of the game, and the other two thirds (Tails/Eggman and Knuckles/Rouge) are pure poop. I gave up and sold the game when I got to Pumpkin Hill.
Last edited by Stalvern on August 26th, 2017, 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Retrology
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Re: Best/Worst Sonic Levels

Postby Retrology » January 14th, 2017, 5:05 pm

ESauce wrote:Sonic 3 Least favorite: Marble Garden Zone - I just can't wait for this level to be over when i play it. You summarized the problems with it well.


Actually, I was referring to Marble Zone from the first Sonic game. I actually love Marble Garden despite how mixed its reception is.

Anyway, to take form your list, I'll actually give my favorite/least favorite levels from the Classic Sonic games (doing it quick because I'm watching the Seahawks-Falcons playoff game).



Sonic 1

Best: Green Hill Zone (Perfect introduction to a storied franchise)

Worst: Labyrinth Zone (Do I need to say it?)


Sonic 2

Best: Chemical Plant Zone (Loads of alternate routes and you go insanely fast here. So fast the camera can't keep up)

Worst: Metropolis Zone (Terrible enemy placement, too many obstacles, and 3 acts instead of 2 just to torture you)


Sonic 3

Best: Launch Base Zone (Really fun to explore and a great finish to the first half of an epic game)

Worst: Carnival Night Zone (Barrel in act 2. Also the music sucks, the only such case in Sonic 3)


Sonic and Knuckles

Best: Lava Reef Zone (Terrific design, terrific graphics, terrific music, and a terrific end boss)

Worst: Sandopolis Zone (Duh. Act 1 is great in my opinion even if the skorps are kind of annoying. And it's not the ghosts that I have a problem with. They are the least of my concern. It's the damn switches and looping sand falls that drive me crazy. The boss itself is great, but the game just barely gives you enough time to beat it.)


Sonic 3D Blast

Best: Rusty Ruin Zone (Music is fantastic+love the gadgets and gizmos in this area. Great color scheme too)

Worst: Spring Stadium Zone (I don't hate any stage in 3D Blast really, but the color scheme of this area hurts my eyes)



Sonic Adventure

Best: Emerald Coast (Perfect introduction to a great game. Whale part is sensational)

Worst: Sky Deck as Knuckles (Good God I hate playing as Knuckles in this level. Trying to steer the direction of the ship to find shards of the Master Emerald is painful. This is because it takes too damn long and it's easy to forget where you're supposed to go.)


Shadow the Hedgehog

Best: None

Worst: The entire thing sucks.


Sonic Rush

Best: Night Carnival Zone (Who knew reversing the name of the Sonic 3 stage would make it better?)

Worst: Altitude Limit Zone (Screw this zone. Too many leaps of faith and bottomless pits galore.)


Sonic Rush Adventure

Best: Plant Kingdom (Nice intro to the game. Traveling through water to get there for the first time is great fun too)

Worst: Coral Cave (No air bubbles+kind of tedious)


Sonic Colors

Best: Aquarium Park (A rare fun water level, along with Hydrocity Zone)

Worst: Asteroid Coaster (Absolute mess of a level in an otherwise really good game)


Sonic Generations (3DS)

Best: Mushroom Hill (Great rendition of a great level)

Worst: Final Boss (Really boring and I don't get why people like it)

ESauce
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Re: Best/Worst Sonic Levels

Postby ESauce » January 15th, 2017, 1:46 am

Retrology wrote:
ESauce wrote:Sonic 3 Least favorite: Marble Garden Zone - I just can't wait for this level to be over when i play it. You summarized the problems with it well.


Actually, I was referring to Marble Zone from the first Sonic game. I actually love Marble Garden despite how mixed its reception is.


Oops. I forgot that level's name. Funny that I think the same criticism could be applied to Marble Garden Zone. Marble Hill definitely is not one of my favorites either. Does anyone else notice how when you jump while you're riding the block when the lava column shoots you up, you don't spin. Sonic's legs just awkwardly keep running in the air. When I was a kid It made me think there was a way to jump without spinning and I spent a while trying to recreate it. I didn't know what a glitch was at that time.

CharlieR
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Re: Best/Worst Sonic Levels

Postby CharlieR » January 16th, 2017, 9:30 am

Retrology wrote:

All of Sonic CD *ducks*



I agree. I have the game on the gems collection on GC. I haven't played it in a while, but I remember the levels being pretty all over the place and lacking focus. I'm on wacky workbench now. You bounce around like crazy, and it isn't even a pinball stage! And some people call this the best sonic game...

I like a lot of levels in Sonic 1. I used to think marble zone was a drag, but now I kind of like it.


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