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Can we pull off another Sonic-based RPG?

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So let's say you're working at Sonic Team/any given division of SEGA, and you've been tasked to help conceptualize an RPG game that uses the Sonic characters. And then you start to remember Sonic Chronicles. Now, Chronicles was known for horrible audio (which was somehow composed by Richard Jacques), okay graphics and worst of all, a broken, and possibly even imbalanced battle system that slowed down the usual Sonic formula by making it a turn-based role-playing game. And then you start to think, should such a Sonic-based RPG be abandoned entirely because of what happened last time?

 

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The question still stands: Can we pull off another Sonic-based RPG? The thing is, if we pull it off, how will we be able to translate fast-paced platforming action onto a usually slow-paced role-playing game formula? How can we even implement the customization systems that many other RPG's have into Sonic's gameplay? If anything, the closest thing we had to that was Sonic Unleashed, simply because of the leveling system, but customization was still rather limited. For all we may know, an RPG like Sonic Chronicles may have pushed the franchise away from stepping into that genre ever again. Such a game was so shitty that it was almost on that of Sonic '06's, causing its status as canon to be nullified some time later.

 

So, SSMB, what's your answer to the question: How and can we pull off another Sonic-based RPG?

 

I'll give my answer some time later, I wanna hear yours first.

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I think we can if we used someone COMPETENT, like Alphadream (Mario and Luigi), Intelligent Systems (Paper Mario, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars) or the people who do the Earthbound games. Or just screw them all and pull a Phantasy Star. 

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Maybe do an action RPG?

Those are a thing you know.

 

I know, I know, I know. :D

However, how exactly can we pull one off? It'd be easy to translate the platforming aspect into something like that, but how about the other usual mechanics of an Action-RPG (think: XENOBLADE.)

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I know, I know, I know. biggrin.png

However, how exactly can we pull one off? It'd be easy to translate the platforming aspect into something like that, but how about the other usual mechanics of an Action-RPG (think: XENOBLADE.)

I'm thinking more on the lines of Odin Sphere. That's the first thing that pops in my head when I think action RPG.

But I will say Odin Sphere's RPG system might work. Like the only thing you can change is the equipment and every character will have different stats and yadda yadda yadda. Only reason why is that Sonic isn't really customizable outside stats and equipment and so forth unless the upgrades from SA1/SA2 are useable or what not.

Oh and dipping into Muramasa with its free roaming style mapping, it can keep Sonic's platforming aspects in tact.

But those are ideas.

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I don't think you're ever going to find a good path from Sonic's gameplay to RPG gameplay. Sonic, like platformers in general, is about movement. RPGs are about storytelling and strategic combat. Even considering Action RPGs there's no way to translate it directly.

 

So don't worry about that. Pay respect to Sonic's gameplay where you can, but above all else make a good game and write a good story. If the designers and the players can accept that, I see no reason there can't be a great Sonic RPG.

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I don't think you're ever going to find a good path from Sonic's gameplay to RPG gameplay. Sonic, like platformers in general, is about movement. RPGs are about storytelling and strategic combat. Even considering Action RPGs there's no way to translate it directly.

Make a game without Sonic and Shadow, and problem is gone.

Oh wait. It's true that platformers are all about movement. But the thing isn't about making a platformer. It's about making an RPG. Platformer rules doesn't apply in different genre.

Edited by crystallize

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Make a game without Sonic and Shadow, and problem is gone.

Oh wait. It's true that platformers are all about movement. But the thing isn't about making a platformer. It's about making an RPG. Platformer rules doesn't apply in different genre.

Well if you look at the Mario and Luigi series, platforming is still present in an RPG setting. Two genres can be utilized if done right.

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Well if you look at the Mario and Luigi series, platforming is still present in an RPG setting. Two genres can be utilized if done right.

A lot of people cite the Mario role-playing games as examples of lighthearted yet story-driven games that are still based on a platformer, but it's a lot easier to make a Mario RPG than a Sonic RPG. Sonic is a fast platformer. Mario is based on precision platforming. It is very difficult to translate the essential gameplay of Sonic into a genre that will necessarily be slower-paced and different. Edited by Dr. Homem

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I'm skeptical on the concept of a Sonic role-playing game. A lot of people cite the Mario RPGs as examples of lighthearted yet story-driven games that are still based on a platformer, but it's a lot easier to make a Mario RPG than a Sonic RPG. Sonic is a fast platformer. Mario is based on precision platforming. 

It could be like Kingdom Hearts and have a separate "Combat Mode" (which is not turn based, like Kingdom hearts) when enemies appear, and regular old Adventure-style Sonic controls for platforming and exploration and everything else. 

Edited by Generations (Chaos Warp)

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Kingdom Hearts 3D's Flowmotion struck me as being right up Sonic's street, actually.  Once you get the hang of it, you spend the whole game zipping about and jumping off things, and even fighting off hordes of foes in a single area doesn't feel like a slow-moving affair.  You could do a lot worse than to just steal that.

 

One thing that would definitely have helped Chronicles, though, would've been making battles ridiculously easier.  In most Sonic games, any thing that's not a boss dies in one hit.  In Chronicles you throw yourself against brick walls for hours in battles.  Heck, a lot of regular RPGs are pretty quick-fire in most encounters, so I'm not sure what Chronicles thought it was doing.  Giving characters multiple turns per round based on speed wasn't a bad idea, but it still required you to spend most of your time sitting around choosing actions before stuff happened.  Maybe something more like an old Active-Time Battle system...?  It would certainly have felt faster-paced.

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Now that I think about it, another Sonic game that could be considered close to the action RPG format is Heroes. You've got the levels, the party with different abilities, and maybe even the getting power cores for every 5 enemies you destroy. Of course, the leveling sequence won't be that easy, and the levels themselves wouldn't reset after every dungeon, but perhaps Heroes at its most fundamental level would be a decent basis.

 

That said, a number of improvements could be as such: no fixed party members unless certain situations call for it. For instance, choosing to go through a certain dungeon with Sonic/Espio/Knuckles, and then later switching out Knux for Shadow because it turns out the former is weak against a certain element. I won't put too much thought into it because then I won't ever actually post, but something like this.

 

Another complaint about Heroes I've heard is that while in a formation, the other team members don't really do anything else, effectively making them dead-weight until the party switches to their personal formation. To counter this, you should be able to choose the actions of your party, in case they do something you're not familiar or comfortable with. The closest example I can think of is choosing which artes your party members can use in Tales of Symphonia.

 

This would also be a great opportunity to bring back certain items/abilities not seen since in the Sonic franchise (Tails' Magic Hook, Knux's Thunder Arrow, etc.) as well as add some new ones if necessary.

 

EDIT: Also, while I'm thinking about it, actually have the time to compose proper music. I heard that was an issue with Chronicles, hitting the franchise in the only area that it consistently excels in.

Edited by The Joiner!

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I think we can if we used someone COMPETENT, like Alphadream (Mario and Luigi), Intelligent Systems (Paper Mario, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars) or the people who do the Earthbound games.

So basically let Nintendo take over Sonic to make an RPG? :P

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I actually like the idea of a Metroidvania Sonic game...

But wouldn't that essentially be a 2D sandbox for Sonic?

So basically let Nintendo take over Sonic to make an RPG? :P

As long as Koizumi's on it and not Miamoto, I'm down with that. Although if you're also implying Nintendo should take ownership of the series? What's the word I'm looking for...?

Oh yeah: no.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonic

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I think a Sonic RPG could work.

If you're going turn-based, something like Mario and Luigi and Paper Mario could work: an overworld that contains a simplified version of the main games' playstyle, and a battle setting that is somewhat dynamic and utilizes more player input that a traditional RPG.

An action RPG could work as well, but I'm not exactly sure how, as I'm not too familiar with them.

Edited by SSRGuest98

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Metroidvania isn't a true sandbox per say, it's only really one at the end of the game, the whole game is opening it up via the abilities you get. Progression is usually semi-linear or in some cases very linear (Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia or Metroid Fusion).

 

And I'd love a Sonic Metroidvania too.

Edited by Semi-colon e

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A lot of people cite the Mario role-playing games as examples of lighthearted yet story-driven games that are still based on a platformer, but it's a lot easier to make a Mario RPG than a Sonic RPG. Sonic is a fast platformer. Mario is based on precision platforming. It is very difficult to translate the essential gameplay of Sonic into a genre that will necessarily be slower-paced and different.

True. The metroidvania style that was earlier suggested seems more suitable for Sonic than the M&L style.

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I honestly can't say for certain that an RPG game in its entirety could work for Sonic.  It's surprisingly harder to translate Sonic into other genres than what he's intended for, which is why the spin-off games mostly range from "awful" to "okay" at best.

 

However, I think having some RPG elements would be cool.  I liked how in Secret Rings you could customize four different rings to have unique abilities based on a skill system.  I tended to have one ring for pure speed, another for careful manuvering, one for high ascents, and another for quick and powerful attacks.  If, say, we went the route of SA1 and 2 where you could find items lying around at different points throughout the map, such as the Light Speed Shoes, it would be cool to tweak them to suit the specific needs of the stage.  On the other hand, if we went the every-other-RPG route, you could have a pause menu that would allow you to customize Sonic with different upgrades that would be beneficial at different times and for different reasons.  Then, to emphasize the RPG elements, you could have a level up system that would encourage exploration and the locating of these items so that you didn't end up bulldozing your way to the final boss.

 

I think that could all work, but a pure RPG a la Chornicles, the Mario and Luigi games, etc. I just can't picture it working.  Even a Metroidvania-style game, as some others have suggested, I don't think I'd enjoy in a Sonic title.  In just my opinion, when I play a Sonic game, I want to be able to get to the high-speed platforming sooner than later, so I wouldn't enjoy having to scavenge around the place looking for where I'm supposed to go.  Maybe with a map it could work, but I don't think so.

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The thing is if there were to be a Sonic RPG that played like the Mario-Luigi games, and or Metroidvania then that's exactly what it would be: A blatant rip off of those games but with Sonic's face slapped on there. It'd be shameful.

 

Going back to what Chaos Warp said: "It could be like Kingdom Hearts and have a separate "Combat Mode" (which is not turn based, like Kingdom hearts) when enemies appear, and regular old Adventure-style Sonic controls for platforming and exploration and everything else."

 

 

 

 

The speedy platforming would still be there but when you run into an enemy it could switch to the "Combat Mode". Then again. . . that would kind of break the flow of the speed wouldn't it?

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