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In your opinion, how should Sonic's friends be used?


RedFox99

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It seems that after Sonic 06, most modern 3D games have pushed the extended cast aside in order to focus more on Sonic, Tails and Eggman (especially with the past 3 games). I'm part of the group that would like to see Sonic's friend do more stuff, especially more than Generations. So how what do you imagine would be a good way of doing these characters?

Personally, I think it could nice if we has a setup similar to SA1, where multiple characters had their own story.

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Not that I want to be a killjoy... As it is a interesting thought many of use have had. But I feel like these "What if other characters were playable." type Sonic topics get posted here at least once every couple weeks. And until Sonic Team grows enough backbone to start using them again... instead of avoiding it with multiple Sonics and other work arounds like the Wisps and Avatars... that it's not worth thinking seriously about anymore. I don't count Mania as I feel it's a exception as it's a follow up on Sonic-3&K.

I'll just say that "YES" I hope to see SonicTeam someday start caring about them again and for SonicTeam to stop thinking of them as just cheerleaders to merely make Sonic look cooler. I don't really care much about the details beyond them being playable.

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I think they could work in a fine blend of heroes and 06

You meet up during the stage and they help traverse terrain that he can't alone. With the option of switching between them.

(Example in 2d)

Running through studiopolis sonic meets up with knuckles who punches a tv and opens up a secret path. By pressing the *normally untouched button* you can switch to him and explore even more of the level. (And have something happen to them before the boss so its sonic alone)

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46 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

S3&K/Mania is probably the ideal way to do it.

Design the levels and gameplay for Sonic and, if feasible, add in a few other playable characters for variety as well. Perhaps allow their abilities to open up new routes and - occasionally - even entirely different variants on the stages and bosses.

Mania is proof that a game with "Sonic's friends" can not only work, but can get glowing review scores from the critics. It's just a matter of doing it right, which I think Mania has clearly done.

Thank you, sir.

11 minutes ago, sonicdudeatdawn said:

I think they could work in a fine blend of heroes and 06

You meet up during the stage and they help traverse terrain that he can't alone. With the option of switching between them.

(Example in 2d)

Running through studiopolis sonic meets up with knuckles who punches a tv and opens up a secret path. By pressing the *normally untouched button* you can switch to him and explore even more of the level. (And have something happen to them before the boss so its sonic alone)

That could work as well. 

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The general consensus is: 

 

* Have them be playable.  These characters specifically, not multiple Sonic's, customizable characters, or some new no-name characters. 

* Write them well enough. 

 

As for the "Lame friends" thing, it's starting to fade, but it's still there in some places (like Dorkly). I hope forces shifts blame to the Wisps and Classic.

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24 minutes ago, Miru the Living Planet said:

The general consensus is: 

 

* Have them be playable.  These characters specifically, not multiple Sonic's, customizable characters, or some new no-name characters. 

* Write them well enough. 

 

As for the "Lame friends" thing, it's starting to fade, but it's still there in some places (like Dorkly). I hope forces shifts blame to the Wisps and Classic.

You've figuratively hit the nail, ma'am

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The way Mania did it is most preferable. Each character still moves dynamically in response to momentum, but does not alter their gameplay styles to the point where their levels are nearly unrecognizable for a Sonic game. Tails and Knuckles still move in the same fashion as Sonic does, but their abilities enable them to open up the levels in a way that Sonic cannot, but in return, Sonic is even faster than Tails and Knuckles. This is a nice contrast and was enough for me to enjoy the core gameplay of Sonic with every character while being able to experience something entirely new with each character. Most importantly, the game doesn't slow down to a screeching halt when integrating Tails' and Knuckles' gameplay styles into the mix whereas games like Adventure 2, 06, and Unleashed very much slow the game down and break the immersion by implementing gameplay styles that are simply far too stagnant for a Sonic game.

Give us the speedy gameplay we know and love while providing something new with each character. Mania honestly did it best and Adventure did a pretty good job too by providing us with a level of freedom with Tails that could not be obtained with Sonic, but Sonic had perks that distinguished him from Tails including the Homing Attack and the Spin Dash. Mania and Adventure (in how Tails and Sonic were handled) would be examples of how I'd integrate different gameplay styles while still evoking a dynamic experience.

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In a 3D game context, i'm actually very happy with the way the supporting characters are being used in Forces. They aren't being sidelined completely, they aren't annoying or intrusive and are still being utilized to a degree in the levels for interesting character interactions.  

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Toward the end I want to see them all slowly "killed" off by Infinite in a ploy to anger sonic or drive him to despear. To make it seem he will lose driving sonic to transform into Super Sonic with a Serious look and start the final boss fight. Of course they would come back and id like if Infinite escapes but I think that would be a pretty fun ending.

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1 hour ago, Meta77 said:

Toward the end I want to see them all slowly "killed" off by Infinite in a ploy to anger sonic or drive him to despear. To make it seem he will lose driving sonic to transform into Super Sonic with a Serious look and start the final boss fight. Of course they would come back and id like if Infinite escapes but I think that would be a pretty fun ending.

I would rather not

I'd like them to be of use

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Not through random and poorly written lines midway through levels. I get where Forces is going with this but give me an option to mute them, don't make me listen to Charmy

Very much along the lines of 3K and Mania. Perfectly executed approach. But seeing that in 3D would be very exciting.

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3 hours ago, Mark1 said:

Not through random and poorly written lines midway through levels. I get where Forces is going with this but give me an option to mute them, don't make me listen to Charmy

Very much along the lines of 3K and Mania. Perfectly executed approach. But seeing that in 3D would be very exciting.

I mean I get that Forces wants them to be part of the plot but the way that Vector keeps saying how there are a lot of Robots without them being show is a bit groan inducing as it felt like they were trying too hard tell you how serious things were without showing it. Though I do hope that they actually help out like with Amy giving information on Shadow or them actually coming in as reinforcements from time to time.

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2 minutes ago, Detective Kaito said:

B-B-B-But Big the Cat! Edge the Edgehog!  It's No Use the Pothead! We can't have a game with these characters playable, it's too stupid! /s

Yeah it seems the whole "Sonic's friends are dumb" argument was at a peak at Sonic 06, incidentally the last Modern 3D game (not counting Unleashed) to have them as playable characters. 

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1 minute ago, Blue Blood said:

I like this point so much. Has anyone complained about Tails and Knuckles in Mania? Nope. Either you appreciate and enjoy their presence, or you don't notice it at all. They compliment the existing and expected gameplay rather than change it. They don't impose on the story either, and nowhere does the game tell you to do anything silly and superfluous.

Mania doesn't have Sonic's shitty friends. It just has alternative playable character choices. 

Forces has shitty friends constantly beeping in over the radio and narrating your gameplay, and they aren't even playable. 

I wouldn't say s@#$$y per say, but it can probably get frustrating *Has Time Eater flashback*

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Since everyone's already talking about this in a gameplay sense, I'll talk about them in a narrative sense.

Really I think one way that it could work was if there was a rotating cast of characters, with one character serving as the central main character that shows up most of the time (Sonic in this case, although in an ideal situation any character could be the main character if they were written well enough, but I 'm not holding out for that considering Sonic Team's overall incompetence), but the supporting cast of characters would rotate based on not only the circumstances, but also on the types of character interactions that could occur. There's the standard Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, but Black Knight showed a possible combination of Sonic, Shadow, Knuckles and Blaze (granted they didn't do much with the interactions, but the idea was definitely there). Or maybe instead of Sonic and Tails it could be Sonic and the Chaotix, exchanging Tails' technical knowhow and brotherly bond with Sonic with the more dysfunctional and oddball, but ultimately reasonably competent detective skills of the Chaotix.

This also provides the benefit of keeping the main character Sonic, but also allowing for lesser known characters to shine while keeping the cast small enough so that the focus isn't all over the place (and to avoid pissing off the "too many characters WAAAAH" crowd).

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12 minutes ago, RedFox99 said:

I mean I get that Forces wants them to be part of the plot but the way that Vector keeps saying how there are a lot of Robots without them being show is a bit groan inducing as it felt like they were trying too hard tell you how serious things were without showing it. Though I do hope that they actually help out like with Amy giving information on Shadow or them actually coming in as reinforcements from time to time.

This is my main issue with the dialogues. Every single line is "Too many Eggman robots" "More than we can reasonably defeat" "You're doing great" "We're in *insert zone name* we'll take care of it".

Nothing of that makes any sense or is at the very least interesting to hear. It's just annoying babbling.

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1 minute ago, SenEDDtor Missile said:

Since everyone's already talking about this in a gameplay sense, I'll talk about them in a narrative sense.

Really I think one way that it could work was if there was a rotating cast of characters, with one character serving as the central main character that shows up most of the time (Sonic in this case, although in an ideal situation any character could be the main character if they were written well enough, but I 'm not holding out for that considering Sonic Team's overall incompetence), but the supporting cast of characters would rotate based on not only the circumstances, but also on the types of character interactions that could occur. There's the standard Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, but Black Knight showed a possible combination of Sonic, Shadow, Knuckles and Blaze (granted they didn't do much with the interactions, but the idea was definitely there). Or maybe instead of Sonic and Tails it could be Sonic and the Chaotix, exchanging Tails' technical knowhow and brotherly bond with Sonic, with the more dysfunctional and oddball, but ultimately reasonably competent detective skills Chaotix.

That could work. Black Knight did have an interesting idea.

1 minute ago, Sonikko said:

This is my main issue with the dialogues. Every single line is "Too many Eggman robots" "More than we can reasonably defeat" "You're doing great" "We're in *insert zone name* we'll take care of it".

Nothing of that makes any sense or is at the very least interesting to hear. It's just annoying babbling.

Yeah, you've got a point there. Hopefully they actually say important stuff

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When it comes to gameplay, I'll say something that will look weird coming from me, but I think out of the 3D games, the only ones that handled alternate characters well are SADX, Sonic 2006 and Black Knight.

Before everyone jumps at my throat, let me elaborate:

SADX had Big which was a pain to play as, so that one counts as a bad implementation, but the other characters felt like an extension of Sonic gameplay, not too out of place. Tails and Knuckles especially really felt at home. 

Now, I don't like when in Sonic games the objective changes from "Go to point A to point B" to something else like "find objects" or "defeat X enemies", but from a strictly gameplay perspective, Tails and Knuckles were pretty good. Amy was weird, but acceptable, Gamma was fun, arcadey, but it did feel a little unsonicy at points.

2006 has the shitty friends stigma, but, if you ask me, it handled them pretty well. Contestualizing them in that game, of course.

Conceptually every single character was meant to be a clone of Sonic with different abilities on top of that. The issue there is that... well... controls and physics sucked for everyone in that game, so slower characters felt more like a chore to play as. And the level design was bad, the combat was bad. Everything was kinda thrown together.

But that, implemented correctly, would've been a good way of handling them. Maybe don't make them that much slower than Sonic. I think they should have the same speed cap as Sonic.

Black Knight has good alternate characters as in they handle exactly like Sonic, but have some little differencies here and there. That's how it should be.

Summing it up, it should be a bonus for people that like it, and not a chore for people that don't like it. It's something that you notice it's there when you appreciate it, and can completely ignore or play the same way you would with Sonic if you don't want any of that. 

Silver the Hedgehog was too far out there, for example. Vehicles for Shadow too.

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2 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

When it comes to gameplay, I'll say something that will look weird coming from me, but I think out of the 3D games, the only ones that handled alternate characters well are SADX, Sonic 2006 and Black Knight.

Before everyone jumps at my throat, let me elaborate:

SADX had Big which was a pain to play as, so that one counts as a bad implementation, but the other characters felt like an extension of Sonic gameplay, not too out of place. Tails and Knuckles especially really felt at home. 

Now, I don't like when in Sonic games the objective changes from "Go to point A to point B" to something else like "find objects" or "defeat X enemies", but from a strictly gameplay perspective, Tails and Knuckles were pretty good. Amy was weird, but acceptable, Gamma was fun, arcadey, but it did feel a little unsonicy at points.

2006 has the shitty friends stigma, but, if you ask me, it handled them pretty well. Contestualizing them in that game, of course.

Conceptually every single character was meant to be a clone of Sonic with different abilities on top of that. The issue there is that... well... controls and physics sucked for everyone in that game, so slower characters felt more like a chore to play as. And the level design was bad, the combat was bad. Everything was kinda thrown together.

But that, implemented correctly, would've been a good way of handling them. Maybe don't make them that much slower than Sonic. I think they should have the same speed cap as Sonic.

Black Knight has good alternate characters as in they handle exactly like Sonic, but have some little differencies here and there. That's how it should be.

What about the Rush and Advance games? I know they're not 3D but apparently they did alternate characters well.

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5 minutes ago, RedFox99 said:

What about the Rush and Advance games? I know they're not 3D but apparently they did alternate characters well.

Yeah, how could I forget?

The Advance games handled those perfectly, if you ask me. Blaze did feel perfectly at home in the Rush games too. Those and the classics did it the right way.

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2 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Yeah, how could I forget?

The Advance games handled those perfectly, if you ask me. Blaze did feel perfectly at home in the Rush games too. Those and the classics did it the right way.

Honestly, I hope Taxman remake those games. It's interesting how the handheld games did fairly well during the Dork Ages of the series.

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