Single Status Update
So this is kind of out of the blue, but here's an idea for a Sonic Utopia-esque game I've had on the back of my mind for a while now...
One of the big issues with 3D Sonic is translating the simple control scheme into 3D, right? So what if to start off, all you had was your jump, your Homing Attack and your Spin Dash... But as you play, you unlock "skills" that can be assigned to the face buttons and triggers.
All you really need to beat the game are the good ol' jump and spin, but let's say the double jump is screwing you up and you'd rather have the air dash? How about swapping the Y button out for the Bounce Bracelet, the X button for the Lightspeed Dash, and the bumpers for the Quick Step? Maybe you wanna really challenge yourself and go in with just a Spin Dash on the triggers and an Insta-Shield on all four buttons?
The controls are as simple, or as complicated, as you want it to be. You could have a fully decked out Sonic if that's your thing, but you're putting yourself on a steep learning curve, and it's your responsibility to keep up.
i don't think leaving the problem up to the individual players to solve is a great way of handling this. even though sonic team has struggled with it, sonic gameplay isn't some weird outlier that makes it impossible to design satisfying 3d gameplay, and it's not fair to pass on the responsibility of figuring it out to people who have even less experience designing sonic games.
plus if they don't know what moves the player has available, it's hard to design a level around them. you can't include a mandatory light dash if you can't guarantee that the player can light dash. you don't want to include quick step sections because, even if a player can complete them without it, they likely can't complete them well, and then they feel punished for not using it.
so by "the 3D moveset is too complicated" here in the context of the classic games, are we just referring to 3D games having more than one action button to do every ability at your inherent disposal? designing the 3D games to support every mechanic on only one button like those games is possible but not very practical in concerns to finding and jumping through every hoop needed to do so.
besides, how many of the 3D sonic games frequently (or even occasionally) demand, let alone even allow, for various mechanics to be used during gameplay? unleashed has a light dash, sweeping kick, and a crawl ability but they're pretty much an afterthought (which is obvious with how they were either scrapped or taken out of the moveset with generations). even the mechanics you'll use more occasionally, like the slide, stomp, drift, and quick step; they are only useful for the very specific situations the game tells you to use them for.