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Should characters get their own sub-series?


Rusty Spy
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So one thing that has plagued quite a few Sonic games as of late is the inclusion of loads and loads of characters. Many people complain for their lack of importance with the plot, or because said character doesn't fit the context of the game they're in, the list goes on. Bottom line, people want a smaller cast in their games. But now, people only except Tails, Knuckles, and Amy as the bare minimum of characters for their importance and "Main Character" status.

But what about the lesser characters? Those who are restricted to spin-off games, forever condemned and never given the kind of attention and development they deserve.

Treading old ground again and returning to the Mario/Sonic comparison, we look at characters like Yoshi and Donkey Kong. In the past, they were lesser characters, mostly living off of spin-off titles, but later on, with the introduction of the SNES, they were given their own games, Yoshi's Island and Donkey Kong Country, later spawning their own franchises, where they were able to evolve with their own characters and were given a chance to be more recognized than if they stayed a minor character, constantly overshadowed by Mario.

Many people can think of a good number of interesting characters that deserve more screen time and character development. Perhaps the main series games aren't big enough for every character. So do some minor characters deserve their own sub-series'? If so, what characters, and why? What would they revolve around?

For me, I think the Chaotix are a great cast of characters that deserve more attention and spotlight for their comedic style and overall unique concept. I'll go in depth later, so I'll leave it here for the time being.

Discuss!

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Eggman could get a tactical RPG series revolving around the construction and maintenance of his robot army (like Disgaea), Big can become the star of Sega Bass Fishing and/or Motorcycling, and Vector needs his own detective visual novel/point-and-click spin-off a la Ace Attorney Investigations. Batapyon can also get his own Zelda-esque game on the DS.

Edited by Jake
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This is a series that can't even get its main games right. This is a series whose extended cast is considered a laughing stock. This is a series that habitually uses new characters as a storytelling crutch rather than expanding on the ones they already have.

None of these points make character-based spinoffs sound like anything other than a terrible idea.

The better option, I think, is to rotate characters in and out more often. Sonic's guaranteed to be in, and Eggman almost definitely, but beyond that they're pretty flexible. Write one game where the Chaotix have a strong role, then one that focuses on Team Sonic, then maybe another that creates some conflict between Sonic and Shadow. Maybe slip Metal Sonic and/or Amy into one of them. Hell, they could pick names out of a hat and write a story based on who came up, as long as the characters get shuffled around and they're all given fair time to grow.

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While I think the main series needs work, this is just speculation so I'm gonna speculate.

I'd say Tails deserves it, but I'm not sure how well he'd sell without it being a really great game. He doesn't have the badassery that comes with Shadow or Knuckles, so he'd need his own thing. I think an action-RPG style fits Tails for his own game.

One character I think could spinoff on his own merits is Vector. He just seems to have enough personality to carry his own title, even if he's been a minor supporting character so far. I could totally see him pulling a Conker. Some kind of music themed action game.

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While I think the main series needs work, this is just speculation so I'm gonna speculate.

I'd say Tails deserves it, but I'm not sure how well he'd sell without it being a really great game. He doesn't have the badassery that comes with Shadow or Knuckles, so he'd need his own thing. I think an action-RPG style fits Tails for his own game.

One character I think could spinoff on his own merits is Vector. He just seems to have enough personality to carry his own title, even if he's been a minor supporting character so far. I could totally see him pulling a Conker. Some kind of music themed action game.

Music theme action game from Sega?

rezboxart.jpg

Yeah, Sega has much better franchises to work with.

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I really think they need to perfect (or at least make one much better then they have been) a normal Sonic game before worrying about giving Vector, Jet, Big, Cream, etc., etc. a shot at a sub series. Besides there are few characters other then the "main" characters that would even stand a chance at staring in a game. I honestly don't think a game staring any of the secondary Sonic characters would cause much interest in the fan base or sell very well for that matter.

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The Mario series has seen some success with spinning off characters into their own sub games(Mainly with Yoshi and Wario).

My theory as to why this doesn't happen with Sonic these days(Shadow's solo game being the exception) is that Sega can't afford to take chances with that sort of thing in addition to the main games, given that they are no longer a lucrative console giant.

Edited by BlazeyBakeneko
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I don't think a spin off is in order, but to see Tails have a more important role like he used to would be so much epic win as far as I'm concerned, these days he's mostly the inventor and the brainy kid and does little to nothing else.

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I'd say Team Chaotix has the most potential for a solo outing as well, since they're lifestyle of taking on any "work that pays" seems perfect for some kind of mission based game taking place in a big city with the player being able to choose between several missions and other things to do.

Ultimately though, ANY character could be the main star in a good game, just like any could be the main star in a bad game. Even Cream could be the hero of a fantastic game if someone just, you know, made a fantastic game and but Cream in as the main character.

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Tails had 2 games... Shadow had a game... hell, even FLICKY had a game!

Knuckles needs his own game. He's been there for just one year less than Tails...

OH WAIT. Knuckles Chaotix...

... but he wasn't THE "Main Character" ...acctually, noone really was there.

Huh.

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A sneaking mission? An Espio-Rouge team up would be interesting, actually. Have those two ever even spoken, canonically?

And in addition to spinning off the Mario series, the game Donkey Kong is responsible for the Donkey Kong Country games, spinning off Diddy Kong Racing, which spun off both the Conker game and the Banjo-Kazooie games. Who says spin-offs aren't good.

Edited by Badnikz
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I fail to see how that means anything. If a game's good enough to sell on its own, what difference would the franchise its a part of make?

You need to realize how many of the extra Sonic characters exist only as a subject of ridicule to most people.

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I kinda wanted to talk about that, because that's got a lot to do with what makes a spinoff good, IMO.

When I say spinoff, I mean the game should be a game of its own, yet familiar with the main series. For Sonic, I think that means being a general action-adventure-platformer (which is a vaguely defined genre anyways) while developing an entirely separate style. The game could even be a genre knockoff starring a familiar character. The familiarity is all that really matters, and for us that character's familiar face is just candy from Sega. The new MGS game for example, is either gonna be called a spinoff for changing gameplay, or a true MGS game with a new protagonist. Neither make or break the game alone, IMO.

Like Banjo and Kazooie or Donkey Kong before that, they brought new life to their characters. Their title games like DKC made it feel like these characters were only making cameos throwing barrels at Mario or driving a racing kart, even if those games came years before. Because their own worlds created in their games were so much bigger and more alternative than the originals.

Edited by Badnikz
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I'm going to say both yes and no for this. Yes in the sense that it actually might be neat to see the core Sonic characters at least have one lead title to themselves (i.e. Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Eggman). But no in the sense that I very well fear that if SEGA did go in this direction, I'm fairly certain they might take to some crap cookie cutter formula that lowers the quality behind said sub series to the point where it may or may not look worse than the current status quo that a majority of folks feel towards current Sonic titles. =/ I also wouldn't want the sub series to blow up into something to the point where it overshadows the current games to the point where SEGA may not opt to create a new Sonic title. I personally don't think that would happen, but you never know given the continuously changing tastes in the gaming world.

While those are just some reasons why I don't think it'd be a good idea, I do actually like the concept of each character having their own little spin off title that maybe flows into the current status quo of the Sonic mythos, a la Sonic Rush/Rush Adventure. Or they could be simple little genre specific things like a mystery/puzzle solving game (Tails meets Prof. Layton LOL), shojo/drama game with Amy or even a detective mystery/drama for the Chaotix.

Or hell, even maybe something that tells a Sonic story through the viewpoint of another character, like Eggman. I always thought that SA2 did something rather interesting by letting you play as the bad guys, so an entire game where you're trying to get him to succeed while stopping Sonic doesn't seem half so bad IMHO.

Besides... Mario seems to have done it with titles like Luigi's Mansion and Super Princess Peach, so what's the harm, right?

Edit: I'd also love for the sub series to possibly expand a bit into the back stories of some of these characters, though overall I really, REALLY don't want the end result to be another Shadow the Hedgehog. While I love the fact that Shadow has a hell of a lot of back story and development, the explanations that Sonic Team came up with bother the crap out of me. Aliens = quick explanation to everything, and that gimmick is enough to turn me off fairly quick.

Edited by KittyNakajima
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You need to realize how many of the extra Sonic characters exist only as a subject of ridicule to most people.
I'm certainly aware that many do, but I doubt most. Regardless, I'm not specifically referring to alternate characters in particular. Hell, I've had ideas of such a game starring Sonic. Edited by SuperStingray
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I read in Nintendo Power awhile back that Sonic Team WAS gonna make a Shadow the hedgehog sub-series if the first game was received well. But we all know how that turned out...

I dunno, I think if done right, a Shadow the hedgehog sub-series could work if they gave it another shot.

Edited by Inferno
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I read in Nintendo Power awhile back that Sonic Team WAS gonna make a Shadow the hedgehog sub-series if the first game was received well. But we all know how that turned out...

I dunno, I think if done right, a Shadow the hedgehog sub-series could work if they gave it another shot.

I think they should try to improve the main series first.
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I read in Nintendo Power awhile back that Sonic Team WAS gonna make a Shadow the hedgehog sub-series if the first game was received well. But we all know how that turned out...

I dunno, I think if done right, a Shadow the hedgehog sub-series could work if they gave it another shot.

Yeah, I thought for sure Shadow would get a sub-series after that...

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It is a bit too risky to go in start a sub-series since Sega should try to improve the main series. Though Sega should try optional char gameplay in the main games as a way to determine what a their sub-series gameplay would be like if it is well-received. However, there are genres that already match with the chars already such as Knuckles being a beat 'em up like Streets of Rage, Tails would be like a flight simulator or mech fighter, Eggman would be the same as Tails and have an RPG as well, Amy would be a date simulator like Rub Rabbits or something like that, Big with fishing, the Chaotix in a mystery, and Rouge with a thief/stealth game or something like Tomb Raider. Though Sega shouldn't try to go overboard with sub series and just choose those who deserve it or at least, who are popular enough to get one.

Still they should keep focusing on making the main series better.

Edited by AdventChild
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