Day StagesI'm no good at day time Sonic. My reaction time is horrible. Even memorizing the stage doesn't help (besides who wants to memorize a stage I'm not doing a speed run.)
Windmill IsleAct 1-2 A hard mode of Act 1. Or really an extended version of the tutorial stage. Its a very nice touch as you could make a video out of certain areas as the gimmicks are setup in such a way that it looks really flashy. The worst area out of this is the setup of slow moving platforms and spikes. To give a 2D Mario game feel.
Act 2-2 A hard mode of Act 2. A ton of more spikes lying about. The rail section is probably the worst. Giving little time to react correctly. The rest of it is just a ton more spikes lying about.
Act 4 A true challenge mode. One that test your reaction time and trains you not to overshoot your jumps. Every area is just trouble. Especially the last stretch. Flames you can't jump over, bottomless pits, and prayers....
Dragon RoadAct 1-2 Hard Mode of Act 1. Areas that were once easy have been turned to hell. The auto-run section of running away from the robot is rather trolling. Although you're 1 area over....the laser still manages to hit you. Yep you thought you dodged...nope no you didn't....
Act 2-2 Yep they made a hard mode of Act 2. As if it wasn't hard enough already. Pretty much if you don't react properly and if you don't know how to use Stomp properly...you're dead....Yep pushed to you're limit.
Act 4 Not bad...but easy to screw up cause of various areas. If you don't jump a certain way you're dead. yep.
Act 5 My favorite one. Just speeding across water. Avoiding obstacles. Don't worry about how you'll get to the end just get there.
Rooftop RunAct 1-2 As if I didn't hate this stage already. Here's a hard mode of it. Those rails you used to take instead of drifting. Lined with bombs pretty much you're dead if you take that rail. Be ready to run into more spikes than ever...Yep EVERYTHING's BETTER WITH SPIKES!!
Act 2-2 I hated act 2...now here's a hard mode of it. Homing attack proper use or die.
Act 4 Somewhat fun but requires some memorization or godlike reaction time.
Act 5 Serious Leaps of faith here. Better be ready with that homing attack or fall to your death.
Arid SandsAct 1-2 Ugh....Already not good at this stage...and to find out this stage is also glitchy with invisible spikes from.
Act 3 Find the chao...10 of them...its not bad...if you know where they are.
Act 1-2 Not fun this made me hate Ice/Snow levels.....I can't stand it.
Act 2-2 More proper homing attacking at the right time or die....
Act 3 I HATE THIS ONE!!!....Speed and a non-functional useless drift gimmick. Lets drift on Ice good idea.
Act 4: Instead of overshooting jumps can undershoot jumps now....
Savannah CitadelAct 1-2 Hard mode but its not bad. Nothing really changed.
Act 3-2 Grab 300 rings and make it to the end. Easier said than done. If you don't take note that the only way to the goal is to actually backtrack a bit you'll never get it.
Act 4 Wall jumps will work. Very fun.
Act 5 I actually enjoyed this a bit. Rather hard but lots of paths to take with a lot of high risk high reward moments.
Skyscraper ScamperAct 1-2 Hard Mode I think the real hard mode parts is the running up the building, and the first part of the stage. Otherwise...nothing of note.
Act 3 OMG I love this! This is just pure fun.
Jungle JoyrideAct 1-2 Hard mode....I generally hate the water sections. More things placed there to stop you in your tracks and pretty much kill you since you're on the water.
Act 4 If you haven't memorized it. Or you're just not ready...You're gonna die. Especially the last section cause for whatever reason Sonic doesn't wanna run in a straight line...
Act 5 Run straight over the water avoiding spikes of doom. I only hate the troll goal as its lined with spikes and the only way to avoid it is to line yourself perfectly with the goal ring.
Night StagesPerfect for gaining EXP. Generally expect the enemies to hit you very hard. Hard if you're not good at combat or using werehog. There's 1 or 2 jumps (or entire stage) that pretty much require precise jumping or death.
Windmill IsleAct 1-2: Pretty simple If you know your platforming. I mean seriously nothing here that can't really take you out except the saws and fire.
Act 1-3: Survival...and OMG these dudes hit hard. Use you're 3 HP restore rings heck rings in general sparingly. FYI if you see a HP Restore ring come out and don't use it after a bit it will disappear.
Dragon RoadAct 1-2: Platforming and small brawls here and there.
Act 3: Even more platforming. There's 1 jump that can be a problem if you're not holding the stick in the right direction otherwise done deal.
Rooftop RunAct 1-2: Its only long due to finding the switches to open the door. Otherwise....seriously simple.
Act 2: Ok this can get a little hectic. enemies can send you flying to your death. The jumps are rather hectic and don't get burned...
Savannah CitadelAct 3: This isn't bad but the fire does a ton of damage quickly. The jump before you reach the Big Mother enemy can be hard to reach. Literally double jump at the very height of your jump or you'll miss and fall to your doom.
Act 4: I love this one. Just watch out on those 2 Titan enemies so not to fall to your death.
Skyscraper ScamperAct 2: OMG Too much platforming. Titans make for annoying enemies. But that's not the worst of this place. The section where you have to use the Dark Bats to make across the bottomless pits then backtrack the same way can be easily messed up. Either get shot midair unable to recover or get electrified and fall too far to even save yourself.
Act 3: No problems...till the very end. 2 Titans....Both of them likely to jump or smack you with there giant hitbox and when you get smacked...your goin off the top of the skyscrapper. There's some safe spots at the corners but doubtful you'll get there....
Jungle JoyrideAct 1-2: Camera angle not fun. 2 Titans at the end...along with a lot of bees...not fun.
Act 3: Platforming fun.
Arid SandsAct 2: Fire hurts....Fire hurts a lot.
Act 3: Platforming hell with a Titan at the end. That Titan pretty much ruins all S ranks.
Cool EdgeAct 2
Moving quickly on ice...not exactly fun.
More ice platforming that well...jumping in place doesn't work so well.