I am worried about this. And no; this isn't about about whether or not a future Sonic the Hedgehog game is going to be good or not. This is about whether the competition in a future Sonic the Hedgehog game is going to be good or not.
Now what exactly do I mean by this? Well allow me to share a little bit of my experience with competing in games. When I first came to the site, I was only interested in one game - Sonic Rush. That is the game that had pretty much built me up to be the competitor that I am now, thanks to various tussles with Ben and Crowbar and SDM. However, the thing that was the most exciting about competing in Sonic Rush in general was that every record you were able to gain was important. You could take the Dead Line 1 Time and it'd be just as satisfactory as landing the Water Palace 2 Score.
Now of course, there was a minority within all of those charts - the Boss scores. They are easily maxed out and are pretty much "gimmie" records. They don't serve any purpose competition-wise except to increase your overall percentage. But it didn't matter; everyone was so busy trying to beat each other elsewhere that it didn't matter.
So then a year later I delved into SSR, and I'm going to say that the competition hasn't been as fun as Rush, but it's still in place. The thing that annoys me about competing in the game though is this - nobody is after the missions that matter (Mission 1's). Instead, people concentrate instead on trying to take one of the shorter records or go for maxing out a particular mission. The most fun competition I had was when I was going back-and-forth with Fadeddreams over Night Palace 1, but of course by my luck he gets banned for "testing the system" and then going to gamefaqs and saying that people can essentially cheat the system here and not get caught, but gets caught in the process of attempting trying to see if he could not get caught.
Now, before that, the Sonic 06 charts were put up. Thing is, nobody really cared about the making of them. Bosses, times, and missions were all clumped together, so when it came time to start competing there, the entire weight of the chart was all shifted to the missions. This was at a time when Very Hard mode was non-existant either, so to look at the chart and to think that all of the competition was weighted on the 66% of the chart that was missions, it was pretty depressing to see and try to compete in (20 second loading screens every 2 seconds for some missions hooray!). Then again.. it is Sonic 06.
But now let me talk about Sonic Rush Adventure.
The thing I liked seeing about the way the competition in this game sprung up is that in about 2-3 months, there were more people submitting stats in the game than every other game that came out after Sonic Riders. Now what annoyed the crap out of me even more is that nobody competes where it actually matters - where it's actually fun.
Let me put it this way. This is the history of the first level in the game for me, Plant Kingdom 1.http://www.soniccenter.org/members/skylights/sonic_rush_adventure/times/plant_kingdom_1/sonic
This is my Hidden Island 1.http://www.soniccenter.org/members/skylights/sonic_rush_adventure/times/hidden_island_1/sonic
I don't know what this tells you, but it tells me that people want the Hidden Island 1 record a whole lot more than the Plant Kingdom 1 record. Why? Probably because it's on a much easier scale in terms of level design. It's not as significant as one of the actual levels in terms of bragging weight... but it's a record that we allow people to compete for. And there are more of these than actual levels.
Now here's the other thing that annoys me about Sonic Rush Adventure competition. Look at this.http://www.soniccenter.org/rankings/sonic_rush_adventure/scores
Over 80% of the chart can be maxed out. It's ridiculous.
Basically, over time as people max out records, you could essentially gain 80%, possibly 90% of the score division just by doing as good as the game would let you do.
That isn't even touching this part.http://www.soniccenter.org/rankings/sonic_rush_adventure/extra
There has been absolutely no
competition here at all. There's been Thorn and I filling in our charts and a few minor skirmishes and RPG posting weird times that I continue to wonder if he subtracted the time he got at the end from the time that was given at the beginning so that it would seem like time was counting up instead of down, which is not how the charts there happen to work. But seriously, these seemed like a good idea at the start... it's just that nobody seems to care about them at all. Personally, I see it as personal 0-score-division material when I feel like it.
So now with those three points being made about Sonic Rush Adventure competition, it just seems to me like nobody cares about the fun competition anymore. Sure, there's an official site, but it sucks and only updates once a day and sometimes just shows me script instead of what I want, not to mention there's no chance of me knowing who the heck Cloud is if I want to find out how he went sub-30 on PK1. Perhaps the official site itself is also a contributor to the problem this game has, but it is certainly true that there is just too much useless competition going on in our Sonic Rush Adventure. It's like Cyberscore where we basically have divisions for everything the game can calculate for competition without concerns for what kind of competitive integrity it will happen to turn into.
Now what I am not saying is to delete half of the Rush Adventure charts. It'd be nice, but the damage is basically done and it just feels like there's nothing that can be done about the competitive integrity of that game. What I am saying is to take greater caution at what charts make up a games "competitive integrity" (if you don't mind me using that label a million times). Gimmie-records are nice but they should not be the basis of a games competition and as a result out-weigh all of the records that have a significant effect on who is the leader of a division. Why? It's not fun. It doesn't create a challenge for anyone except for the person that's trying to tie the record, and when 50% of the game is about tying someone else's record, well, it just doesn't feel like you're doing anything special by competing in it. It's like a bird who's wings are clipped. It's boring.