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Knuckles' Treasure Hunt spinoff idea


Ajavalo
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After playing through the Sonic Adventure games and remembering about Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker as well as some hacks and fan games on the matter, I've realized that I'd really want an official treasure hunting spinoff game starring Knuckles! What do you think about the idea?

When playing stages favourites of mine, such as Red Mountain and Pumpkin Hill, it's apparent that Knuckles' abilities and speed are ideal for this kind of game: you can explore massive environments no matter how rickety they are and FAST! Gliding around in the sky and and darting down from the heights while searching is an absolute blast IMO! I honestly can't think of a more fun way to do treasure hunting. An entire game focused on such gameplay could be a very good addition for the franchise -though lots of voices would come complaining that it's not "their Sonic", despite being a spinoff and not really deviating much from the Sonic style-.

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Cute idea. Maybe if Sonic was in his popularity prime it could happen.

However I feel like treasure hunting has one huge flaw: it's too easy. You fly around waiting for signal to ping and you go there. Most missions in SA1 can be finished in few minutes. Enemies and obstacles can be easily ignored and flied over. Playing as Knuckles feels awesome, but isn't that engaging.

It could work, but there would have to be serious changes.

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If Knuckles was to get a treasure hunting spinoff based off the gameplay from the Adventure titles, they shouldn't touch Sonic Adventure 2's approach with a ten-foot pole. I'm not against the larger size those levels had, but the radar was neutered to be less useful in spite of their additional size; and the hints were straight up obtuse at best, and arrogant at worst, in their content and even their display ("oaml yya sdrawkcab deyalpsid stinh eht evah s'tel ehehehe"). Needless to say, I'd rather prefer Knuckles to instead get spun off into something akin to a collect-a-thon platformer in the vein of Banjo-Kazooie. I think his abilities, which veer more towards the exploration side, would be better suited to that style of gameplay.

A major stumbling block with both ideas however is that with Knuckles' ability to glide and climb, he comes off as pretty OP in a 3D space. Unless his abilities in such a game were either neutered, were repurposed to be locked to some sort of game mechanic (experience/level upgrade system, skillset system, or special moves), or were dummied out completely (such as SA2 prohibiting him from digging on certain surfaces), he would otherwise have no boundaries whatsoever in terms of level design (worth noting that most of his levels in both Adventure games were either entirely enclosed locations or were a scattering of platforms over bottomless pits).

With all that said, I doubt we would be getting any spinoffs anytime soon, if ever due to Sonic's state as a game series and Sonic Team pretty much tasked to making only Sonic games, with the occasional JP-only Puyo Puyo title. That and I wouldn't trust Sonic Team to pull it off as it is anyway (especially since the one time they did try their hands at a spinoff, we got Shadow packing heat and shouting expletives in a game that unironically tries being as grimdark as it can get).

1 hour ago, Ajavalo said:

An entire game focused on such gameplay could be a very good addition for the franchise -though lots of voices would come complaining that it's not "their Sonic", despite being a spinoff and not really deviating much from the Sonic style-.

How is it not a deviation? The objectives are different (exploring labyrinthe levels for mineral shards vs. get to the goal fast-paced platforming), as is the level design layout and structures are different (referring to Adventure 2 in this case, as several level layouts of Sonic's and Knuckles' levels were shared in Adventure 1). The only aspect you could probably say that isn't a deviation is the way Knuckles controls in terms of movement, but other than that the similarities stop there.

The thread title even outright states that Knuckles' treasure hunting levels should be put into an official spinoff game. Why would this thread even exist if this wasn't the case?

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I think those differences in level design and structuring don't take out the "Sonic style" I was referring to: you spin jump and roll (you could even Spin Dash), you collect Rings, you defeat Eggman's robots, you hit springs, slopes with momentum could be added... In clearer words, look at Green Hill Paradise act 2: an expansive, exploration-based level with Sonic gameplay. If the author implemented Knuckles (and Tails, too), we'd have something pretty similar to what I'm saying here.

And about Knux being OP... not everything needs to be wide open, and some treasures can be put inside enemies/surrounded by enemies and traps.

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1 hour ago, Ajavalo said:

I think those differences in level design and structuring don't take out the "Sonic style" I was referring to: you spin jump and roll (you could even Spin Dash), you collect Rings, you defeat Eggman's robots, you hit springs, slopes with momentum could be added... In clearer words, look at Green Hill Paradise act 2: an expansive, exploration-based level with Sonic gameplay. If the author implemented Knuckles (and Tails, too), we'd have something pretty similar to what I'm saying here.

And about Knux being OP... not everything needs to be wide open, and some treasures can be put inside enemies/surrounded by enemies and traps.

If we're going to use this list as the barometer of what defines "Sonic style" gameplay we might as well say the gameplay in titles like Sonic Labyrinth, Sonic 3D: Flickies Island, and Shadow the Hedgehog also count as "Sonic style" games too. If a handful of similar things you see in virtually every Sonic game is really what defines "Sonic style" gameplay for you...well then, go for it I guess; but I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that certainly doesn't apply for me.

And I didn't say every level needs to be wide open in regards to Knuckles' playstyle, I was pointing out that his abilities do put limits on what can be done with the level design and structure. You don't want to end up making levels that allows a player to easily go out of the game's boundaries simply by using Knuckles' basic abilities.

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I'd believe that a good game can be made out of the basic ideas of Knuckles and treasure hunting, but I really don't think it would resemble the treasure hunting gameplay from the Adventures. Wandering around waiting for your radar to start beeping never made for compelling gameplay. And Knuckles' abilities made him blandly overpowered for exploring; to get anywhere, you make the same slow climb up the nearest tall object and the same slow glide through empty air between here and there. You'd need to rework the whole idea from the ground up to get something solid enough to base a whole game on.

e: the idea of an open-world Sonic game comes up from time to time, maybe crossing that with Knuckles' treasure hunting would be a way to go...

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Knuckles the echidna ,Emerald Raiders. I would love a game like that.  It would be so much fun!  I think it is high time knuckles gets his own game, and that would be the perfect kind of game!  It could be an adventure type game , where knuckles finds different treasures to try to learn about his past, it would be really cool if Rouge could make an appearance or two as well as a fellow treasure hunter.  I like it :) 

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I think to preserve difficulty you'd need a combination of stages set in tight quarters underground to keep Knuckles' OP abilities in check - perhaps even with mostly linear layouts, and big wide open spaces where the thrill of going wherever you like is the entire point.

This is actually one of the few cases a Sonic game could work with a wide open overworld rather than a linear level structure of going from zone 1 through to final zone in the order presented.  I'm thinking something like The Great Cave Offensive from Kirby.  Wide Open areas would be huge and sprawling, full of small optional tasks that you can spot that lead to treasure or other bonuses, but also the way you would access entrances to dungeons with more linear setups and puzzles and tricky platforming that harness Knuckles' abilities, which would play more like traditional action stages, or like a more fast-paced Zelda dungeon.

The goal would be to beat the game with as much treasure as possible, rewarding thorough exploration of both the wide open stages and the more focused linear ones.  For novice players and speedrunners, the option to effectively glide over most of the overworld is there.  For the curious player or the completionist, there'd be plenty of stuff, high and low, to catch your interest and convince you to try another route.

 

 

All just thoughts of course that would require plenty of workshopping and tight design to play well.  The key factors for me though would be to make it feel like part of the game design to utilise Knuckles' abilities, rather than just feeling like I'm soaring over a bunch of more interesting stuff on my way to the objective.

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As some of you have proposed, it might be a good idea to give levels some linear progression, or even to make some "get to the goal" levels in which the treasures are bonus stuff. One problem the Adventure levels have is that there is sometimes near-zero action, especially when having to revisit areas multiple times in the search for the items. If the need for revisiting places can be reduced in some way, go with it.

And then there's the story... It could be something related to the Master Emerald (of course) or the Chaos Emeralds, or ancient relics... Rouge could show up as a rival and playable character. Or maybe she has changed hearts and actually wants to help!  

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