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About Sonic's 20th


Machenstein

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With Sonic's 18th Anniversary coming up, there are a few questions that plague my mind about Sonic's 20th. I'll just go ahead and ask them here.

Do you think Sonic Team is currently developing the next Sonic game to coincide Sonic's 20th Anniversary? Mainstream Sonic games tend to come out once every two years so I can only assume that they have a three year development cycle. With 2011 (Sonic's 20th Anniversary) coming in three years, this leads me to believe a 20th Anniversary project is just beginning development. This brings me to my next question.

If this 20th Anniversary game is currently in its conceptual stages, should we try (even if in vain) to interfere with the brainstorming process? For all we know, Sonic Team could be discussing what this game will have at this very second. Just think of what they could be planning. It could be another one of those strange gameplay "twists" that they keep thinking up, which brings me to my last question.

If we decide we want to interfere with the brainstorming process lest Sonic Team comes up with another absurd gameplay twist, how would we go about doing that? We wouldn't want to pester them once they are late enough into the development process, where all decisions are final and it would take too much effort to reverse the progress already made. And even if we were to try, what idea would we agree on? Should we just tell them to keep it simple?

I'm not really serious about these questions, but they are interesting enough to entertain.

Edited by Maruyama
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I think essentially, they have two options in their problem:

Problem 1: What gimmick do we come up with to pad out the game?

Problem 2: We've worked out we can produce a TON of content for just Sonic (Sonic Unleashed ended up with 21 "Full" Day Stages if you include DLC - I treated each "bonus" level as half an act, and Eggmanland as one act - if each of these 21 levels equates to an average of four minutes gameplay, that's a good hour and a half's story mode not including adventure fields, replay due to player skill and cut-scenes). How do we cram it all on one disc?

I'm hoping they'll opt for option 2.

If anything, I think they should have a seemless blend of platformy, physics based levels to please the oldbies and speed-fests to please the newbies. Kinda like Sonic 2006 but... smoother transitions than sudden long loading screens and a bit less crap. Using the old stuff to pad out the game instead of a gimmick.

Frankly, I also have no problem with Secret Rings style missions to extend the first playthrough, but only if they make sense for the storyline.

Edited by JezMM
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should we try (even if in vain) to interfere with the brainstorming process?

Quite frankly, Sonic Team shouldn't listen to it's fans.

We want loads and loads of characters!

Sonic Adventure

We want a serious storyline!

Sonic Adventure 2

We want to play as a team!

Sonic Heroes

We love Shadow, give us more.

Shadow the Hedgehog!

It sucks, bring back Sonic Adventure!

Sonic 06

No, we want to play as Sonic only!

Sonic Unleashed

Three years is a lot of time, and the Hedgehog Engine is already done, so that's something they won't have to worry about. They know what works and what doesn't, they'll know what to do. I don't think the outrageous plot twist of Unleashed was that outrageous. I think the series has more serious problems to deal with, which seemed to be tackled in DLC (more platforming and physics for instance).

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All I'm hoping for is that his 20th is a lot better than his 15th.
Unleashed (hell, even Black Knight) WAS progress for better or worse. Can't say for certain it will be a good game, but I highly doubt it will be any worse than 06 unless Sonic Team was deliberately trying to make it bad.
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"Interfere with the brainstorming process"?

This fanbase, as a whole and by its parts, doesn't have even the faintest idea what makes a good game, and as a group it can't agree on anything more complex than "Sonic should be blue" (and I'm sure it's perfectly willing to argue endlessly with itself on what particular shade of blue he should be). Even if there was some way for us to band together and get our points across in a way that might make a difference, we don't have anything even approaching a coherent message.

I mean, think about it. Even if we did try something, what would "we" say?

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Forgive me, the word "interfere" is a rather strong word. I meant to ask if there is a way we could give Sonic Team a little bit of our input while they are still in the conceptual stages of the 20th Anniversary game. I can't speak for all Sonic fans, but I believe the best advice would be to just keep things simple. I don't ask for much when it comes to Sonic. I'm just the kind of guy who believes less is more, not less. Even if this philosophy doesn't go far, it will at least be made known that you don't have to add too much to the Sonic formula to make a great game. Only the core basics will do. I hope everyone agrees. It would take a lot of pressure off of Sonic Team.

Edited by Maruyama
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I really don't care what they give me in a Sonic game as long as it's fun. I would prefer mostly, if not, all Sonic speed stages, but if there's an equally, if not, perhaps a little less fun gameplay mode in the game I won't be too upset. The Werehog was probably the stupidest fucking idea ever, and it wound up being... kinda fun. Not bad, it's an average platformer/beat 'em up gameplay type that I'm willing to overlook so I can play the obviously more fun Sonic speed stages. Personally, I'd much rather the next game axe the Werehog and improve the speed and flying stages. Make Sonic's controls a little better, make the flying stages more like Star Fox or any kind of popular rails-shooter out there that's good. That could be fun and probably wouldn't bore people to death. Everyone who plays Sonic probably loves the speed stages, and rails-shooters are actiony and fast-paced enough not to bore people to death like the slow-as-nails Werehog did. Rails shooting mixed with speed/platyforming which be perfect to me, though knowing SEGA the next game will probably be something completely different and unexpected again, which I won't mind as long as it's actually fun.

Regarding plot, SEGA can do whatever they like. I was entertained by Unleashed's cutscenes and impressed by the animation and writing in the, so I'm hoping that they at least keep the good animation and somewhat entertaining writing of Unleashed. If they decide to make the storyline of the next game absolutely fucking ridiculous and overly serious like Sonic '06, go for it. It'll at least be entertainingly bad. Though, one specific request I have regarding the pacing of the story. I liked Unleashed's story and cutscenes, but one thing I found odd was the reasons you found your self going into these hyper-fast, adrenaline filled speed stages. In SA2 and Sonic Heroes the storyline was constantly rushing you from level to level, and you felt a sense of urgency to complete each level as fast as possible. For example, in SA2 you were always on the run from something; escaping the police in City Escape, trying to avoid the island from blowing up in Green Forest, etc. In Unleashed you went into the speed levels with little reason other than to collect a key or some type of item, there was never an actual reason for you to be running so fast. Even in the older games, you were chasing after Robotnik, so it made sense to want to run so fast. I hope the next game gives me more of a sense or urgency, without making the storyline too "hardcore" and whatnot.

Edited by Solid SOAP
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All I'm hoping for is that his 20th is a lot better than his 15th.

This right here is all that matters to me. If they pull another sonic 06/07 again WE ALL WILL BE PISSED TO THE MAX. Hell if they give me an Unleashed 2 with shadow+sonic+knux+great gameplay, music and level design (unleashed was almost perfect not counting a few stages)....I'll be one happy sonic fan. :lol:

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I hope they bring out a combination of every sonic fans idea in one game, release it and let the whole world know our ideas suck worse than sonic teams. :lol:

Serious answer, they will do nothing special and just release another game the only difference is Sonic fans will hype the game to hell and back because it's the Sonic serie's 20th anniversary. Who knows it might be a turning point...

Edited by silencer226
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All I'm hoping for is that his 20th is a lot better than his 15th.
This fanbase, as a whole and by its parts, doesn't have even the faintest idea what makes a good game, and as a group it can't agree on anything more complex than "Sonic should be blue" (and I'm sure it's perfectly willing to argue endlessly with itself on what particular shade of blue he should be). Even if there was some way for us to band together and get our points across in a way that might make a difference, we don't have anything even approaching a coherent message.
God damn it, both of you have already stolen exactly what I've wanted to say in this thread. Actually, I think I've found a new sig quote here. Thanks Dio.

It's hard to tell what's going to happen on the 20th anniversary, really. It certaintly wouldn't surprise me if they put all their chips into another "epic" revival, but I'm cautious in my anticipation given that, as mentioned, the last time Sonic Team put that kind of faith into a game it gained a notority as one of the most badly made games in existence. If they tried pulling a Retro, that wouldn't surprise me either, though whether it's a compilation of damn near every Sonic game out there or a brand new game in the Genesis style is anyone's guess (personally, I want to see them pull a Game Gear just to piss people off :P ). All I can be sure of is that they'll try something big. TRY being the operative word.

Eh, I'd rather wait for an announcement. Speculation isn't fun at all.

I hope they bring out a combination of every sonic fans idea in one game, release it and let the whole world know our ideas suck worse than sonic teams.
You know, I'd be all for it if they'd shut the fuck up about it afterwards. Even if they DID cram everything into a single game I still have my doubts as to whether they'd acknowledge it. :rolleyes: Edited by Blacklightning
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I just hope it's well written, and has great balanced gameplay. And about the listening to fanbase thing, eh, I dunno if that's the best idea, I mean we are pretty divided when it comes to what we want in a game, and alot of the fans ideas just don't make sense half the time. *raises hand* I'm guilty of the latter. :unsure: So um, yeah, if they really have lots of new talent coming in like they say they are, and if they brainstorm enough, I'm sure they'll do fine come 2011.

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It's not just that the fans ideas don't make since, it's moreso that they're usually at each other's throats simply for conjuring up their tastes.

Classic fans get chewed up for suggesting to go back to 1994 without watching they come across to newer fans, and whether they mean just for one game or for the rest of the serie's lifetime, it doesn't matter to many folks.

Modern Fans get bitched at for wanting Sonic to either come up with newer ideas, which end up with what we got in a few past titles, or for simply wanting to have their tastes along with the Classic fans. It's the latter that ends up having me shield them from any Classic fans wanting their heads for it.

Fans who are inbetween just want a good game, yet I somehow find them being treated as inferior to a few well-known Classic Fanboys and being treated with warm hands from Modern Fans.

I'm not trying to say that Classic fans are the evil folks here, but trying to show an example of this so called war between certain factions of our fanbase, and it can go even deeper than that.

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If they tried pulling a Retro, that wouldn't surprise me either, though whether it's a compilation of damn near every Sonic game out there or a brand new game in the Genesis style is anyone's guess
I'd really like to see a "retro" style game. Before I give any wrong ideas, perpetually creating genesis-esque Sonic titles with zero deviation would end up creating a reciprocal form of the "Sonic Cycle" with the same effect; virtually no progress seen between titles and perhaps eventually decreasing respect for the originals. What I want is for Sonic Team to create ONE game inspired SOLELY by the framework and elements of the original trilogy (and perhaps CD). Nothing after that. This is not for nostalgia, but rather to give this new Sonic Team a better context of what made those games fun and hopefully allow them to apply these elements to a progressively better series. I guess it sounds overly idealistic, but Sonic Team doesn't seem to be making any progress the way they are going and if they truly want to keep this series going, the best thing I could hope for them to do now is start fresh and take it from there. It doesn't have to be a whole reboot of the series, just a moment to bring them back down to Earth.
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Can anyone honestly say that it would be a bad idea that would result in a worse game for Sega to make a 3D game based off of the mechanics and tendencies of the classic games?

No, we want to play as Sonic only!

Sonic Unleashed

When people wanted just Sonic, they never imagined that Sega would do something as bizarre as the Werehog.

Three years is a lot of time, and the Hedgehog Engine is already done, so that's something they won't have to worry about. They know what works and what doesn't, they'll know what to do.

No they don't. Do you think Sonic would be in this predicament if they did?

I don't think the outrageous plot twist of Unleashed was that outrageous. I think the series has more serious problems to deal with, which seemed to be tackled in DLC (more platforming and physics for instance).

"Hey, I'm the annoying and out of place Navi Rip off who won't go away, guess what, I'm the most important character."

It's still the wrong kind of platforming and physics. This site does a great job explaining the distinction.

Edited by Phos
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Can anyone honestly say that it would be a bad idea that would result in a worse game for Sega to make a 3D game based off of the mechanics and tendencies of the classic games?
I don't think anyone is arguing it's a bad idea, per se. Moreso that they could be doing better things by now either way. Hell, I'm still waiting on a decent fighting component.

EDIT: Okay what the crap, seriously. How do I always keep getting the first post on a new page? XXD

Edited by Blacklightning
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Can anyone honestly say that it would be a bad idea that would result in a worse game for Sega to make a 3D game based off of the mechanics and tendencies of the classic games?
It's not an inherently bad idea, but it's no guarantee of quality either, plus I feel they should be aiming for more than that anyway.
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I don't think anyone is arguing it's a bad idea, per se. Moreso that they could be doing better things by now either way. Hell, I'm still waiting on a decent fighting component.

Something I've always found fascinating about Sonic as a character is that he uses no weapons or combat specific techniques, but to a certain extent, he is a weapon. What makes this interesting is that it isn't readily apparent from listening to his dialog or even playing as him that this is the case. Compare that to, say, Alex Mercer, and you realize how unique this trait is. I feel like if you were to give Sonic a subset of fighting moves, it would make him seem a bit like a psychopath. Take the Sonic CD credit sequence, for example. He really reminds me of Kratos when he tears that one robot's horn off. In Black Knight, suddenly he has to be careful to not massacre the civilian population while he's on his way to kill the king.

It's not an inherently bad idea, but it's no guarantee of quality either, plus I feel they should be aiming for more than that anyway.

Now, this parts to both of you:

It seems to me like that's part of the problem. They're starting out with these gigantic ideas that this game need to be the most amazing thing ever, even though one of Sonic's defining traits in the old days was simplicity. As Sakurai said,

The original Sonic the Hedgehog game used only one button. I think its simple yet exhilarating play was its virtue.

I think the creator of Smash Bros and Kirby knows what he's talking about.

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Can anyone honestly say that it would be a bad idea that would result in a worse game for Sega to make a 3D game based off of the mechanics and tendencies of the classic games?
Yes and no. In terms of basic player psychology, I'm sure it can be done and done well; the factors behind Sonic's appeal is complicated, but most of them can be replicated in a three dimensional environment. That said, certain elements may need to be changed as there are things that work very well in two dimensions don't do so well in three and vice versa. I can name a few things, i.e. pinball physics. One of the reasons it's called "pinball physics" is because it acts like a pinball and, frankly, I don't want to try to run in a straight line and end up ricocheting back and forth just because I hit a wall or unfairly slide off a platform because I'm moving too fast and can't slow down properly. I mean, look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o23Gf5mHif0. It captures the appearance and superficial essence of the 2D games in 3D, but I can't play it or even look at it and say the controls don't seem awkward and the camera doesn't sit right. I'm sure Sonic CAN do well in 3D and still maintain the appeal of the 2D games, but it still would need some drastic reworking.

"Hey, I'm the annoying and out of place Navi Rip off who won't go away, guess what, I'm the most important character."
He's still far better than Omochao and, well, the real Navi. And I seriously can not understand what's "annoying" about him in the slightest.

This site does a great job explaining the distinction.
It would probably be more convenient for you if you just put that link in your sig or something. Just saying.

It seems to me like that's part of the problem. They're starting out with these gigantic ideas that this game need to be the most amazing thing ever, even though one of Sonic's defining traits in the old days was simplicity. As Sakurai said,

I think the creator of Smash Bros and Kirby knows what he's talking about.

I really don't think that you truly think that "simplicity" is what the series relies on if your idea on what makes it great is as intricate as that Sonic Science site dictates. Edited by SuperStingray
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