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What if Sonic Adventure was the beginning? Sonic Adventure Origins!


KHCast
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So a lot of people I know, both inside and outside the Sonic fanbase like a lot of the blue blur's older adventures. And with good reason, they're a blast to play through. However a lot of them have admitted to not starting with those games in the series. Many of them instead got into Sonic around the time of the Dreamcast. And why? Sonic Adventure of course! MANY apparently started there. Many people even here at the SSMB have stated they started their fandom with that game.

So this got me thinking: would the Sonic franchise be as powerful or as much a icon or be as popular as it is now without the classic titles? The adventure titles were massive for there time and was the origin for many fans, and even at the time rivaled the competition, so I don't think it would have died with the Dreamcast. It still IMO would exist. But just how prevalent or known would our furry friend be if that were the case?

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Not even a fraction as popular, I'd expect. Sonic rode for a long time on the goodwill he built up on the Genesis. Trying to stake a claim in the era of 3D animal mascot platformers (ignoring for the moment that many of them likely wouldn't have existed without Sonic in the first place) with a game of as flaky quality as SA...it might have managed a small cult following, but I expect he wouldn't have fared any better than Crash or Spyro in the long game.

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Honestly, I don't think it would be nearly as popular.  Now I'm not saying it absolutely wouldn't be, because there are many factors one has to take into account when assessing this, but what makes me think it wouldn't is that a big part of Sonic Adventure's success was the already established identity of Sonic as a character.  If marketed correctly, Sonic Adventure would have been a very successful game, but I tend to think the rest of the series would have gone the way of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro had that been the starting point.

 

After all, mascot wars were already starting to diminish in the late 90's, so in cases like Sonic, his start in the Genesis era was a very big point of advantage for him.

 

EDIT - And Diogenes beat me to it. =/

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Would it hell.

 

The classic quartet of mega Drive Sonic games are one of the main reasons as to why this series became so utterly acclaimed. If the series got it's start with Sonic Adventure, I honestly can't envision the long-term survivability of the series because when you take into consideration that many critics at the time forgave SA's issues most likely because it was Sonic and the first-time return of the franchise to prominence (Hence hype) then the game would likely not have gotten that sort of reception had it been a newbie series because critics and fans would not have been as willing to overlook the game's shortcomings. Add the fact that the games industry at the time had quite a large amount of cartoon platformers and you wonder how Sonic would've staked a rise to popularity if SA was his first game.

 

That's the way I view it.

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Interesting question!

 

I'd say that it depends on the condition that Sonic Adventure came in. Sonic really only got as popular because he was in the right place at the right time. His signature game was good enough to compete with the definitive videogame character. That means that Adventure would have had to be really fun, accessible, and advertised by the crapload. At the time, Mario already would have made his mark for a while, and Mario 64 would only cement his rule. If Sonic Adventure was the very first Sonic title, camera, fishing and all, there's no way it would have been nearly as popular.

 

I'm sure it would have gotten a lot of fans, and of course it would be worthy enough to compete with Mario 64, but a lot of its charm came from the fact that it was the evolution of the Sonic series. The big transition into the third dimension. The next step of a journey that had already begun.

 

Part of Sonic's success as an icon came from just how long he was competing with Mario. The two may not have considered themselves rivals, but gamers and consumers around the world considered them to be so. I have no doubt that Sonic would be remembered, but if the course of history would remain the same (including everything with the Dreamcast death and the problems with 06 later down the road), then Sonic would probably not have survived.

 

That's my two cents anyway.

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Man I don't even think Sega would have lasted as long in the console business as it did without Sanic. I mean Sanic was the game that made people say "hey the Genesis doesn't look so shitty today". It's like the 90's Halo. So I would wager and say Sonic Adventure wouldn't even exist without the classic titles.

 

Not to mention the segmentation of gameplay. Sure you have the main Sonic gameplay. But most people wouldn't know Sonic at that point, causing them to view the other gameplay styles as equally as Sonic. Resulting in an average, forgettable opinion.

 

Of course this is just my outlook, it could go either way, but that's the fun of these topics I guess.

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That...would not be the case at all. Sega was very lucky with Sonic, as many of his greatest games spawn from the Genesis and Sega CD (Sonic 1-3K + CD), and after those games came out....it was a VERY LONG time until the his games were at that quality (I suppose Unleashed, Colors and Generations represent this). The two adventure games were quality games, but they were very flawed as well; over-usage of gameplay styles really hindered those games quality and many games onwards were just good, and if we were lucky, mediocre (Shadow the Hedgehog glaring comes to mind).

 

If they was no Classic series and the series started with SA1, there WOULDN'T be a Sonic franchise at all, as if Sonic only stood on SA 1 and 2.....he would have been looked at very differently at the time when they originally came out. Compare the Adventure games with other platformers at the time (Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Mario 64, Banjo Kazooie), then the game looks quite mediocre in comparison.

 

But as others have mentioned, between Sonic coming back after a long hatus with a great history behind him (and a cancled game no less), combined with the factors of SA1 being a launch game really pushing a new system and having a Sega that gave a dam about advertising made Adventure 1 a huge hit. If any of those factors were missing....we would have gotten a game that left a disappointing taste in many gamers mouths.

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What made Sonic strong was that he was heavily marketed in the 90s with 4/5 games seen as people now to be classic games (Sonic 1, 2, 3&K, CD if someone had a Mega CD) due to the mechanics, level design and to show that the Mega Drive can do colourful games with its limited palette as well as taking the advantages of the console such as the speed of the processor and sprite/polygon capabilities. Even though there weren't as many Sonic games that came out in the mid 90s, his reputation carried on in comics. I think that's why one reason why Sonic Adventure did well was because it was a while since the last big Sonic game so people were waiting for his next game, the hype of the Dreamcast and that it was his first entry into 3D.

 

If Sonic Adventure didn't have the previous Sonic games under its belt, then best case scenario would be its own series getting a few games and Sonic itself might have seen in a different light whether it is character design, personality and that his friends would also been seen as the main characters. It would have been seen as a quirky game having a small fan base like Jet Set Radio however would have also been seen as buggy and unfocused by reviewers due to no reputation at that point. Since if it wasn't for Sonic being at the early 90s, games such as Crash Bandicoot, Sly Cooper and other series wouldn't have existed so it would have went against Mario and possibly Rayman so less competition however on the other side of the coin platformers might have become a niche much quicker especially if Rare didn't make their 3D platformers (Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64). Whether it would have continued to this day, I can't see that happening since Sega apart from a few series such as Yakuza release one or two games and be done with it but it would have at least got the Sonic series running for a couple of years.

 

Worst case scenario would be that it was a Dreamcast launch title and would end up being a forgotten game like many launch titles (such as Blue Stinger using a Dreamcast example) and since Sonic helped Sega getting the reputation of the company (that and the various high quality arcade titles that they released) when the Dreamcast stopped, there would have been a chance that Sega itself might be bankrupt and no one to take it over or Sega themselves get out of the gamng industry and become a bank, an insurance company or something else like manufacteuring.

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Iv had sonic 1, 2 and 3 for at least 11 years now and i cant complete 2 and 3. on 3 im stuck on the second zone, cant remember what its called but its an underwater zone.

 

On 2, im stuck on the last zone.

 

The classics are hard dang it.

I love the adventure games, they were great!

There was nothing wrong about them except the treasure hunting stages.

Wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to sonic adventure 2 and they were fantastic. No, in fact they not only deserve a sequel but they just need a sequel.

 

There are three Eras.

 

 

Classic era- 1991 to 1998(where it all started, sonic 1, sonic 2 etc.)

Modern Era- 1998- present(This introduced a modern sonic look and 3d sonic games)

Boom Era- 2014- present(Not quite here yet but this introduces a new look for sonic and his friends.)

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