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The 3rd Option

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  1. Since you brought this up, it seems that the fans (and non-fans like Game Grumps, ironically) are doing a better job keeping Sonic alive than Sega itself is doing. A lot of the success at keeping Sonic relevant is very grassroots. Hell, the biggest success in keeping Sonic alive with Sega's hand in it was produced by a group of hired fans. That's what impresses me about the Sonic fandom. They may fight and argue and complain all the time, but they're doing the best job of keeping Sonic in the public eye when Sega's output is very hit-or-miss. Maybe that really is the solution for Sonic. Hire more fans like Taxman and Stealth who can build the series out of what they loved in the first place. It might lead to stagnation, and it won't work forever, yes, but perhaps it's the best thing to do for now.
  2. It all boils down to how Sonic Team just needs to make the other characters just "play like Sonic" for them to be well-received. Hell, people actually liked the Avatar for that very reason.
  3. I kinda feel Generations coasts on being "inoffensive" in much of the same ways as Colors, though. The alternate gameplay is just another form of Sonic (as in gameplay, not the werehog), the story is non-existent, and the game is very light on game-exclusive gimmicks. The game is just rather lacking in content, but the levels for both styles are top-notch. If this makes sense, Colors has a great overall structure but mediocre content, while Generations has great but meagre content and a bland overall structure.
  4. They can either do that or keep repeating scenery and terrain over and over again. But we need to give them credit, they won't resort to that to pad out the "main" gameplay.
  5. I'm honestly starting to think that 2D sections are little more than a budget saver at this point. The Boost games are so intrinsically fast that they need very long "racetracks" in order for them to feel substantial at all. Add up the visual flash that is outright part of Sonic's image, and the boost games become a money sink for so little content. This is why they need 2D to cut down on complexity while adding a way to extend the level. Is it any wonder that Unleashed and Generations have so few day/Modern stages despite them having the best levels of the boost games? On this point, I have to concede that despite how thrilling the boost style is, it's just an inefficient style development-wise.
  6. It's not that simple. How are they supposed to accomodate Tails and Knuckles into 3D when they can pretty much fly everywhere? Are they going to shoehorn them onto Sonic's stages like 3&K and Mania? Or are they going to tailor their own stages to their abilities a la the Adventure games? It's admittedly a tricky question.
  7. Alright, I can grant to you that the game is centered around the Wisps and that you should master them to get higher scores. But what I'm trying to say is that said mastery doesn't involve speed or precise jumps at all. The mastery is just too centralized around the Wisps and not enough around the boosting and jumping mechanics.
  8. Because said "mastery" is just about as engaging as Wii-era Zelda asking you to master pointing and shooting the Clawshot on its dedicated targets while making it useless on everything else.
  9. It is a platformer with variety. Shouldn't that be good enough? What if people started accepting that variety is part of 3D Sonic's identity? The issue with 3D Sonic is that the characters have such diverse abilities that you can't really constrain them to the basic Sonic mold without them encountering major design and balance issues. With things like Treasure Hunting, Shooting, and Flight-racing, we can see those abilities being used to their fullest potential, and not just to cheat across Sonic's levels. If you want more characters that just play like Sonic, how about you start asking that the characters' abilities to be changed to be more like Sonic, and less of shoehorning flying characters onto Sonic stages?
  10. Yeah, but their flight and gliding puts everything into question. It's easy enough to balance out Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles' core abilities in 2D because of the verticality, but 3D can't have that luxury. This is why the 3D games favor giving them their own levels that change the game entirely, since they at least have their full skillset. And honestly, that's objectively the best way to have multiple characters in Sonic, since instead of trying to cram three very different characters onto the same set of stages, they can give them specially tailored challenges to their mechanics that make legitimate full use of them.
  11. Yeah, but those "mechanics" are done in such a way that it flows really poorly with the core gameplay. And it's not like alternate paths were even challenging to find. You see vertical walls? Spike. You see refracting diamonds? Laser. You see a whole mess of "wisp blocks" everywhere? Cube. You see rings that point to a vertical area? Rocket. The game always gives you the right Wisp for the right situation; it doesn't let you experiment and use them in different ways. It's the same reason that holds back the Spinner in Twilight Princess from being a great mechanic as opposed to Breath of the Wild's Stasis.
  12. The only reason why Classic Sonic has more characters right now is because people have so much hostility to the idea of the characters "not playing like Sonic." If only people would stop with that rhetoric, we would still have Treasure Hunting, Shooting, racing with Flight and such to make room for the other characters.
  13. I'm not saying they were useless; hell they had the opposite problem: the game forces you to use them in order to experience the game to its fullest potential. It just feels like accessing alternate routes was no longer based on observation, exploration, nor tricky jumping. Unleashed's day stages, Generations in both styles, and even Forces had at least some of that. Colors' idea of alternate routes was just using the right Wisp at the right time. That's not skill; that's the same lack of gameplay depth that killed point-and-click puzzle adventures.
  14. I don't buy this. None of the Wisps aside from Laser are all that fast, and although the Wisps are largely optional in regards to complete the stage, you NEED them in order to actually replay the levels. The latter point makes Super Sonic rather underwhelming since he disables all the Wisps.
  15. Because looking back, it really feels like that was the reason. The level design meshes really badly with the boost style, and the mechanics emphasizing the Wisps (to the point that they're outright required to take the series' famed alternate routes) really don't either. But people were desperate enough for "Unleashed without Werehog" so much that they took whatever they could get. And even then, why don't we point fingers at the Wisps as "alternate gameplay" as much as we do Treasure Hunting, Shooting, and the Werehog?
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