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Does Sonic Team Think It Can Do No Wrong? (Taxman Ports)


Jambone
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I recently downloaded Sonic 1 & 2 for the Android, since I enjoyed Taxman's Sonic CD. I love what he's done with these games. They have so much love and care put into them!

However, I did some digging, and found out that Taxman actually planned more features, such as new levels in at least Sonic 2 and CD. However, Sonic Team denied him on every front.  I'm surprised they allowed him to include Hidden Palace.

So...like...WHY?  He wanted to add two unique zones to CD, and at least one to Sonic 2, for FREE, that would've done nothing but increase the value of the game. I've seen Chris's level design, and he's good at what he does. How can ST be so afraid of an intrinsically good thing while being completely unafraid of repeatedly destroying their own franchise every time they make progress with a new style?

Is this indicative of ST's destructive policies? Does ST/Sega think it can do no wrong?

Just wondering what you guys think about this, sorry about being brief, I'm writing this on my phone. I can flesh it out more, if you're interested.  Thanks!

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13 minutes ago, Detective Hogfather said:

Wasn't the reason for this given?

Wasn't it something along the lines of they didn't want to detract from the original game or something?

That's true, but how would adding optional levels detract from the original any more than adding new characters or items? The fact that Hidden Palace was included at all in Sonic 2 is testament that ST is comfortable with adding new things as long as they had a hand in creating them, despite new content being of equal or greater value. The reason for turning down the Egg Gauntlet was that "Sonic Team didn't like the new environments" and literally had him half-ass the Boss Rush for no reason beyond that.

Im sure there's a precedent for not tainting the original experience, but when you're adding entirely optional content of consistently high quality to give the game greater appeal and value, where's the harm? Especially when Sonic Team itself doesn't mind churning out entire GAMES of dubious quality, to add insult to injury. Would anyone have cried foul about Desert Dazzle or Final Fever? Sure, a couple of maniacs, maybe, but the App Page of Sonic 2 SPECIFICALLY mentions Hidden Palace as a selling point, and it's actually buried in the game!  Where's the sense in that? Where's the consistency?

Edited by Jambone
Misspelling.
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1 hour ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

That sounds pretty stupid, but maybe we don't know whole picture.

You sure he was giving those features for free?

Considering he was doing them of his own accord and ST told him to stop, I'm sure he was.  Unless you mean to say they might have been DLC, in which case Taxman would've had no control over that.

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because there comes a point where your port is just supposed to be a port and if you start adding too much you're not really offering the same product any more. Can't fault ST for going "that wasn't in the game, aren't you supposed to be working on the game instead of making a new one?" than I'd be, say, the Tolkien estate for refusing a print of LoTR that had a modern translator add new scenes to the book.

 

Not everything has to improve and iterate. Sometimes what's needed is simply a small update of content to fit the new media, a movie digitally remastered, instead of adding a load of new content and actively altering it, Greedo shot first.

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Adding new levels and features changes the experience. When porting a game, it's not an unreasonable goal to keep the game as close to the original as possible, save for cleaning up a few bugs; it assures the audience that they will get the same experience that they had with the original (which, if they're looking to buy a port, was presumably positive). Also anything like a new level would have to be vetted by the people in charge to be sure it's up to the standards of the rest of the game, and it's a lot easier for them to just...not.

I don't see any reason to assume this is due to some kind of huge ego problem with Sonic Team.

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Hidden Palace Zone is kind of an exception to the rule, and I imagine Tax-Stealth had to push hard when they ran it by Sonic Team to have it included. It's honestly a miracle that its in there, considering they needed to re-design the level layout from scratch and include new elements; and it's pretty much certain that the only reason it was green-lit was because someone in Sonic Team actually realized the significance of finishing and including that one level as a hidden extra; it's more of a love letter to the technical/hacking/research side of the fanbase than it is anything else. They probably wouldn't have done the same for Dust Hill or Cyber City, so we're happy that HPZ is even in.

On that note, did Yuji Naka ever make any comment on it's inclusion? I wonder how he would have reacted to seeing that level in a finished state.

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I think Sonic Team wants to have the very original Sonic 2 and CD for mobile phones, that's why they denied him. And I can understand them: they wanted to bring the official classic Sonic games to phone, and they don't want to see new content in them.

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2 hours ago, Indigo Rush said:

On that note, did Yuji Naka ever make any comment on it's inclusion? I wonder how he would have reacted to seeing that level in a finished state.

Maybe this would be a question worth asking at the 25th anniversary panel!

Don't think there's any official comment. Taxman did confirm that both Naka and Iizuka had to approve StealthTax's version of Hidden Palace before it could be given the greenlight to be included. What impressed me was how StealthTax were able to get away with making the dreaded pit in Mystic Cave (act2) the access point for Hidden Palace! It was a stroke of genius! I guess Sonic Team were aware how annoying the pit was in the original version!

 

Hidden Palace was allowed to be included because it was the most complete cut-level from the original game and by that time Taxman had earned Sonic Team/SEGA's trust that they could do excellent remastered versions-faithful to the originals.

If it had been the other way round; if Sonic 2 had been done first, then Sonic 1 followed by Sonic CD, you can guarantee SEGA would never have trusted Taxman with doing Hidden Palace. However, they probably would have greenlighted Desert Dazzle or a close recreation of the cancelled R2 stage from Sonic CD once he earned their trust.

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