Which are you more interested in? Just curious. I used to be all up in that inside baseball stuff, but it bores the life out of me these days.
Discussing games with others is always fun, like discussing movies, comics, books, etc. But discussing business gives me no pleasure. It just leaves me feeling weary and empty inside. Especially since new revelations or opinions are rare, and everyone's just kind of talking out of their ass. I mean, people always assess things confidently with 20/20 hindsight, but nobody really knows what's going to happen in the future.
I dunno. What do you guys think? Do you enjoy endlessly postulating about the fortunes of first-party corporations, or do you just get sucked into the internet flow?
If you do, break the habit and talk games! I just tried the demo for Metal Gear Rising and the new Army of Two. Army of Two was surprisingly enjoyable, mainly due to the arcadey Overkill mode, and Metal Gear Rising was cool, but I'm not sure that I quite got the hang of the combat. I'll still get it, though. In Platinum, I trust.
@nate38 I always thought the long jump was kind of iffy. It's kind of exhilarating to use it correctly, but it's just too much of a hail mary. Mario games should be about precise control.
As for FLUDD, I thought it was a pretty brill solution to the problems of 3D platforming. I don't know why everyone said that the bonus stages were the best part of Sunshine. I didn't think that at all. I was kind of annoyed at how easy it was to misfire on, like, a wall jump, and immediately plunge into nothingness. It was like Assassin's Creed, or something.
I don't think that I like the spin assist, to be honest. Especially in 2D, where the correction isn't really needed. Much like Super Mario World's Drill Jump, it's a superfluous mechanic. I remember playing SMW for the first time and thinking, "What the hell is that jump for? Are they just trying to use more buttons?"
But that's kind of hypocritical, because one of the reasons that I love Sunshine is the redundancy of movement mechanics. There are so many ways to get around. To me, though, that's less about necessity and more about turning each level into a playground. I dunno. I remember Miyamoto talking about how much time they spent developing the FEEL of Mario's movement (in reference to Mario Fried Rice). I can really feel that with Sunshine. Tossing him about actually kind of feels like flipping a pan of fried rice. Tactile and intuitive.
Sonic physics are pretty specific. But I have to admit that I don't really understand them. And certain aspects of the game annoy me so much that I never took much time to try. Like, I realize that the newer games have a totally different physics system, but it doesn't bother me, because I never got used to the classic style. I know that it bothers Sonic fans, though, and I can understand. I mean, physics are the reason that I loved Bionic Commando and Strider and River City Ransom so much. And perhaps the reason why Mega Man always left me a bit dry. I never thought that objects in that game moved and reacted as they should have.
Speaking of which, Havok and the like have seldom impressed me. They may be realistic, but they are kind of uncanny valley and rarely fun. And they usually nosedive the game's performance.
@Jargon Eh, I do kind of suck at it, I guess. I mean, it's predictable. It's just so sloppy, the way he launches up and slides around on the landing.
You'll have a tough time convincing me that it's as easy to use as the basic jumps (particularly in Galaxy). I mean, normal platforming in 3D is already kind of hairy, to say nothing of bombing around like... who's a famous long jumper?
@Anand Yeah I have no problem with the long jump. If you pull back on the landing, you pretty much negate the slide. It's precise when reined in. And chaining them is easily the fastest way to travel. Plus you can get some weird footspeed boosts on the landing if you do it on hills and stuff. Just fun to experiment with.
I agree about Sunshine's bonus stages being overrated, but mostly because they were so horizontal. 3D Mario platforming works beautifully with more vertical, layered stages. It's why Mario 64's mountain-island style stages worked so well, and why I thought Noki Bay to be the best stage in Sunshine by a wide margin. Most of the others were too flat and barren. That said, the tough, precise obstacle course style bonus stages were a nice change of pace.
I actually liked the spin-assist in New Mario Wii because a slight delay can be enough to get you to a farther platform and stay at full speed in a lot of the stages. As for the SMW drill jump, I'm not crazy about it, but it's redeemed by a few smart puzzles stemming from its invulnerability to saws and fireballs and the like, not to mention the block-destruction.
The new Sonic games have physics and level design that are much more similar to standard platformers: much of the actual platforming in new Sonic games is on stretches of entirely flat ground, the loops and hills and valleys are all fairly automatic and disconnected from the rest of the action. The biggest problem is that they don't do anything interesting with the more standard platforming style. It's all very rote jumps with some flashy, automated stunts in between. It's just a shame they abandoned a unique, dynamic style for a more common style that they execute without any real merit.
The pure platforming of Mega Man is very digital and uninteresting on its own, but maybe it was smart to keep it fairly brainless. I imagine if 2D Mario's physics were intertwined with crazy shooting action like Mega Man's, it would be a bit overwhelming.
One of my favorite parts of Sunshine was goofing around on the file select screen. It was like playing a very, very small 2D platformer with the same controls as Sunshine. The bonus stages should've been 2D!
I still enjoyed the bonus levels in Sunshine. I just thought that they kind of exacerbated the inherent problems of 3D platforming.
@nate38 I did enjoy the vertical stages in Sunshine. But the biggest priority to me in that game was having multiple paths through the level. Which is why Delfino Plaza was my favorite 'level'. Damn, I want to play Sunshine now.
The spin-assist in NSMB IS useful, no doubt. But it's useful like snaking is useful. You kind of have to use it all the time to minimize your level time, and I never liked the physical aspect of shaking to perform it. I'd much rather have used the A or B button. Or just had it automatically kick in, like the flutter kick.
Mega Man... I just always found it so stiff and limited. And I don't even mind other stiff, limited controls with no momentum, like Strider or Rastan or Castlevania or Ghosts'n'Goblins. The movement in Mega Man just always left me a bit dry. Maybe it's that goofy sprite that they use for his jumping pose.
Speaking of vertical design, I always wished that the Metroid Prime series had way more verticality (like the original). Platforming was surprisingly fun in that game.
Hey, isn't it nice that we can go so incredibly off-topic here?
The absolute only thing I like more about Sunshine than in Galaxy is Mario's speed and turning radius. Rotate the analog stick in Sunshine, and Mario spins around really quickly. Do it in Galaxy, and he runs in a little circle. I don't think the controls are as tight, but I'm sure it's by design.
In regards to speed, Mario has always felt too slow in the Galaxy games IMO.