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Jar Jar Analysis 1138

Sonic Adventure & Sonic Adventure 2: Difference in design.

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The title makes it seem as if it will be a long post but it's actually going to be a short one, and more of a question than large sums of statements.

Why is Adventure and Adventure 2 revered as sequels to each other, or more so "natural progression" from the core game to the sequel, both in terms of gameplay and design philosophy?  I understand the numerical meaning, though what about the content? Observing SA1, It's clear the developers wanted to transition his classic style from 2D to 3D but had trouble doing so(it was his first 3D game after all). The levels and game progression took a more non-linear/open level approach, with big hub worlds in-between to make the game interconnected. You would think that this would be refined for Sonic for SA2....

When looking at Adventure 2, this entire design was not only tweaked but it is a newly formulated Sonic game being vastly different from It's "first" iteration.

There are of course, similarities to them. Which is to be expected...

Differences here are interestingly astounding. I won't say "bad"....Jarring is a good way to describe it.  SA2 not only took a complete linear route but redesigned 3D sonic in this fashion to be more inline with a racing game right after Adventure 1 establishes something else entirely to be built upon. 

I'm less disappointed  in the decision to change him...Quite interested on why they changed him so early in the game. 

In a way...Adventure 2 isn't a sequel... This will cause others to oppose the thought but I don't mean to say it doesn't exist...A sequel(when speaking of video games) normally means that it will employ many improvements than it's first installment, take those designs it put forth and refine them greatly.

Look no further than Mario 64 to Mario Sunshine.

Or hell, his own franchise(Sonic 1 to Sonic 2).

Less of a sequel and more of the situation being akin to giving Sonic to Dimps or Big Red Button..Which isn't too far off the truth as SA2 was developed by the USA Sonic Team in San Francisco(hence City Escape).

I guess you can say Sonic Next Gen is the true sequel as it "attempts" to improve on the first adventure game. Hub worlds, Bigger and more open levels, non linear progression etc. Although that might cause some triggering...

Anyways, I just thought to share my outlook on them even though it isn't really a new topic brought up..

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SA1 and SA2 are VERY different games. The level design and mechanics of SA1 felt like a logical evolution of the classics, which is probably why it's the only 3D Sonic game I truly love. The visuals I also thought were a downgrade in SA2. While the art is more detailed and the models are higher poly, geometry and assets are reused throughout stages a lot more, making the levels feel very repetitive and bland - particularly the shooting levels. SA1 doesn't have this problem at all, with unique art all over the place (see: Twinkle Park, Sky Deck, Speed Highway, Lost World). Lastly, while the story of SA2 was more complex and felt more 'epic', it just wasn't executed anywhere near as well as SA1's story. In SA1 you felt like you were Sonic going through an 'Adventure'. The story slowly built upon itself to reach a satisfying climax and all the characters felt important in their own way (yes, even Big). SA2 story was a mess - on paper it sounds nice, but the way it was integrated into the gameplay and paced was really all over the place.

 

On a side note: I wonder what people want when they ask for SA3. A sequel to SA1, or a sequel to SA2? If you want an SA2 sequel, you have Sonic Heroes which is honestly a straight ripoff of SA2 in many aspects (Rail Canyon - > Sky Rail, Green Forest -> Frog Forest, character cast).

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This post makes a lot of sense. Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 are different in the approach to level design and the pace at which you progress through a level. Adventure 1 is much more adventure oriented, which is why it's my favourite game. Adventure 2 definitely does remove quite a lot of this concept, not least through the removal of Adventure Fields but the levels themselves are.. I was going to say more linear but that's not really fair because there's a lot of exploration to be had.. they're more straight and narrow, a greater sort of emphasis on highways and roads and pathways as opposed to Adventure 1 which (even in the Action stages) the environments were a bit more open with a more organic variety of terrain shapes.

I'd also agree with your point that Sonic 06 is the true sequel to Sonic Adventure, as it retains many of the hallmarks that defined that game. Likely why I can't bring myself to dislike the game as others do.

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The only thing I like about Adventure 2 more than Adventure 1 are mechanics like the bounce attack, the improved light dash and the nerfed spin dash. Other than that, I think SA1 controls more slick and the environments are more complex and more inherently "Sonic".

Sonic 06 doesn't really feel much like a sequel to Sonic Adventure because the core game mechanics feel entirely different and even if the concepts are kind of similar, the way the environments are designed are also really different.

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Good thread. I agree with the other posts in here as well.

OP brought up an interesting point that I hadn't thought about quite the same way before, being that Sonic Team USA was almost effectively a different team than the SA1 group because their inspiration and goals were different.

SA2 for me, though I don't hate the game, is definitely where the Sonic series began its downward slope away from things that are classically and traditionally Sonic, losing a lot of focus on the natural appeal of the series. That is not to say that it in no way improved upon Sonic Adventure 1 but just that it broke so far left of the continuity that it felt like a radically different Sonic; one that had FAR less gameplay focus, a bit overdone on the story side, and less of its surreal fantasy appeal...trading for a more modern but bland sensibility. The music, the environments, the level design were all a big step down from SA1---which by comparison did seem a lot more like a natural evolution of Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

If SEGA had prioritized nailing Sonic's gameplay transition with the existing Sonic Team at that time, Sonic Adventure 1 might be looked back upon more positively, nearly in the same way that Mario 64 is as the progenitor for Mario's big 3D titles. For certain, there'd be a lot more to improve upon with its sequels. Part of the problem though, of course, is that SEGA was also a different company then which did not give Sonic Team the proper amount of breathing room to create something like that. Another constraint is that the existing technology in 1996 (when development started) was probably not adequate enough to properly handle a fast pace 3D Sonic game to the extent it needed, especially with things like collision detection. A similar team with today's technology could probably churn out quite an impressive game (granting that they focus heavily on Sonic and not the silly alternative gameplay filler).

I'd love to see what a Christian Whitehead lead team (he's a big fan of SA1, from what I've heard) given more resources and talent to assist the 3D translation could do with that original concept (Not an SA1 remake exactly, but the same goal of translating Classic Sonic to 3D). Well, I'd certainly pay to see that happen. 

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1 hour ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Good thread. I agree with the other posts in here as well.

OP brought up an interesting point that I hadn't thought about quite the same way before, being that Sonic Team USA was almost effectively a different team than the SA1 group because their inspiration and goals were different.

SA2 for me, though I don't hate the game, is definitely where the Sonic series began its downward slope away from things that are classically and traditionally Sonic, losing a lot of focus on the natural appeal of the series. That is not to say that it in no way improved upon Sonic Adventure 1 but just that it broke so far left of the continuity that it felt like a radically different Sonic; one that had FAR less gameplay focus, a bit overdone on the story side, and less of its surreal fantasy appeal...trading for a more modern but bland sensibility. The music, the environments, the level design were all a big step down from SA1---which by comparison did seem a lot more like a natural evolution of Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

If SEGA had prioritized nailing Sonic's gameplay transition with the existing Sonic Team at that time, Sonic Adventure 1 might be looked back upon more positively, nearly in the same way that Mario 64 is as the progenitor for Mario's big 3D titles. For certain, there'd be a lot more to improve upon with its sequels. Part of the problem though, of course, is that SEGA was also a different company then which did not give Sonic Team the proper amount of breathing room to create something like that. Another constraint is that the existing technology in 1996 (when development started) was probably not adequate enough to properly handle a fast pace 3D Sonic game to the extent it needed, especially with things like collision detection. A similar team with today's technology could probably churn out quite an impressive game (granting that they focus heavily on Sonic and not the silly alternative gameplay filler).

I'd love to see what a Christian Whitehead lead team (he's a big fan of SA1, from what I've heard) given more resources and talent to assist the 3D translation could do with that original concept (Not an SA1 remake exactly, but the same goal of translating Classic Sonic to 3D). Well, I'd certainly pay to see that happen. 

I agree to an extent...I'd rather not see it as a decline but a shift in focus on how Sonic should be made until the next idea hits.. When you put it into perspective, Sonic going at high speeds like Unleashed, Team based like Heroes, parkour like LW, pinball physics like Genesis and open levels like SA1...These all fit Sonic's character and I'd think you'd agree with me.  Sonic has a lot of interpretations go by because of how he has been presented throughout his lifespan. Speed, velocity, physics and momentum are limitless to Sonic. One simple shift in his physics can change everything entirely.

Sadly, one simple ideal focus should not overtake Sonic for such a long period of time. 

SEGA seems to have a problem when it comes to development management and organization. None of those elements I listed, should have taken precedence over one another. SEGA needs to rearrange the team and expand the divisions in gameplay.  That way, we would have different teams for different gameplay(An example would be say...Sega USA does more of the speed based/ultra arcade-y Sonic games while Sega Japan would take a more slower approach ala Adventure 1. They would each even have their own 3D and 2D departments for this.). I'm not a guy who understands much about business culture or knows how Sega works but the point is....

Organize yourselves.

Also, I would love for Taxman to do a 3D sonic game. I do hope however that if he does, he doesn't make the same mistakes and Adventure or 06 just because people loved them. I love SA1, don't get me wrong. But I'd be lying if I didn't say the game was incredibly rough like Sonic 1. Not just in Sonic's levels but in everything else(many of Sonic levels like Casino Night, That one city level I can't remember or Ice Zone feel like other 3D plat-former levels like Mario rather than tailored for Sonic).

 

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