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Steve McQwark Indeed

Which 3D Sonic Game was the best Attempt and should be improved upon?

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Hello everyone my name is captain q- err.. Steve, and I have a question for the Sonic fans out there,

3D Sonic has been controversial for awhile now and I am wondering what everyones opinion is in regards to not only which 3D Sonic game was the best attempt at Sonic in 3D, but also the one that would benefit the series if it was improved upon the most.

In My opinion, and I actually think may cause quite a stir, is that Sonic Heroes was the best implementation of Sonic in a 3D Space. I understand what you're thinking:

"But Steve, do you remember Shadow The Hedgehog?"

Yes i do.

Keep in mind Shadow had stages that were not designed for the Sonic Heroes movement controls and physics, but Sonic Heroes itself was.

I would even go as far as to say that you should actively try to get rid of 2 of your 3 characters and look at how well just one character alone controls in that game. Sonic Heroes was a game designed with those physics from the ground up, and I think a single player version of that game would work really well. the only major change I would make is to make the speed only a bit faster than the power player excluding boosts. This would allow you to create more open adventure-like stages, but keep Sonic Heroes' incredible precise movement inputs with the analog stick. Also maybe cut down the ice skating just a tad, though it's not as bad in Heroes as it is in Shadow.

 

What do you think? :) Which Sonic game do you think did the best job at transitioning the hedgehog to 3D and would be a benefit if improved upon?

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It's definitely Sonic Adventure both in terms of control and stage style. Sonic controls about as fluidly as you would expect after playing the Mega Drive ones and his moves pertaining to the z axis work well including turning radii affected by speed and such. The one area where this falls flat is when slopes and such are involved as much of his heaviness and responsiveness to the environment is gone. 

His moves definitely could do with some right tweaking including the spammable spindash and the like but it's by far the best he's ever moved in official 3D.

Stages are okay, they are too linear but not as bad as it would get in the future. They definitely feel more like environments compared to the straighter blocky areas you would get in SA2. Everyone has said it 9 million times but Windy Hill Beta is about as good as it got for official Sonic stages, tonnes of great examples of z axis analogs to Mega Drive stages including running on the walls to get to higher locations.

So yeah if any game was chosen to be built on it would be SA1, preferably with the mindset of Windy Hill Beta stages and proper physics implemented. There is still a long way to go. 

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I'll just needlessly echo Diogenes and say, gun to my head, I'll choose the original Sonic Adventure. Its the only 3D Sonic game that made a serious attempt at nailing Sonic's classic gameplay translation to 3D. (Lost World did too but.....we won't go there.) Not only that, there was an awful lot of the game that had the right mix of charm, aesthetic, soundtrack. It carried much of the same vibe given off by Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

 

However Sonic Team (or another development group) would be much better off not constraining themselves to their previous 3D concepts and think out things thoroughly and completely for a fresh foundation, if that were the next step for the franchise. All of Sonic's attempts at 3D so far are fundamentally broken in some respect because the team prioritized a philosophy which undermined the essence and appeal of the original gameplay.

Start by remembering the key aspects of why the original games were as fun as they were and then start testing a fully 3D concept at that point. Think fully 3D! If Momentum based platforming, exploration, and fluid movement mechanics are what are unique about Sonic's gameplay, think about how to create that feeling in a fully 3D world, exploiting a 3D space to explore a higher potential than one can do in 2D.

Do not copy/paste 2D gameplay and force it to work in a 3D plane. Also don't try to mold a 3D space around 2D gameplay (Forces). 

 

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Best attempt at Sonic in 3D is a tough thing to answer for me since, there's things in pretty much every game I wish other games would take a few ideas from and implement them back into the fold. Even Sonic Boom: Rise of Fucking Lyric has one or two things in it that I'd love to see make a comeback.

I suppose I'm a bit stuck between the overall package of what Unleashed was going for and the way 3D Sonic was handling himself in the Adventure games. Really though, I think most of what I love about Unleashed over the adventure games (the hubs specifically) could be applicable to the past games if we're thinking about a hypothetical new game that were to come out in 2018 and beyond.

So I'll choose Sonic Adventure. Even though I'm more of a fan of Sonic Adventure 2 for it's overall package deal, the first one when it came to level design was the ideal mark to hit. I'm one of the few who can actually control Sonic in SA2: B better than in SA1 but I'll take everyone's word that it controlled better. If we make a new game based on it, it wouldn't control exactly like either of those two anyway. Best to just wish for it to control as best it can.

I can't really mirror the sentiment that they should try something entirely new since... I'm not exactly sure what the point of that would be if the Adventure games really were just taking 2D Sonic and implementing them into 3D at it's most basic level. I don't really see why anyone would want or need anything other than that at the moment. It's been gone far too long for it to feel dull and tired and it seems like it'd make the most sense considering I can't for the life of me think up anything new they could do. They managed to find something a bit different with Lost World but... I recall everyone saying it was almost like how the Adventure thing worked except there was a run button and parkour. Take those out and have him increase speed naturally and you've got almost the same basic principle probably. 

If he's to try anything new it should be more aesthetic, levels design, and story element based at the moment. That's kind of where the series needs to focus on being new anyway because I'm sick of seeing Vomit Hill Zone.

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(Hmm, As Sonic I'm sometimes tired how classic Sonic gets all the love. I wonder if there are "Modern Sonic fans" that are tired of everyone praising Adventure titles).

But, yeah. I would go with Adventure 1. SA2 messed things a little putting spin dash, lightspeed dash and that kick thing in one button. Of course, new moves (like a parkour) could be implemented, but with thought and care.

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As I stated in another thread (alternate playstyles one), Sonic Adventure is the 3D game where I could have fun just running around in hub worlds due to sheer freedom you have with just a few control options. Level design in SA also complements the control scheme well with its use of 3rd dimension (it's both more visually-pleasing and engaging in terms of gameplay), unlike SA2 and everything that came afterwards. The biggest issues with SA1 were janky collision detection (resulting in physics issues and LOTS of clipping) and terrible camera, which can be fixed with modern technologies. An then there are obvious evolution opportunities: proper rolling physics and more expansive level design - although I wouldn't mind an alternative approach as long as it capitalizes on the core's strengths (unlike SA2, which boiled everything down to corridor-like level design and HA chains).

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Best attempt? Sonic Adventure seems to be typically be stated throughout the thread because it feels the most "classical" with it's design and I would agree that SA has a similar style to the Classic series(except for CD). Although in terms of content and story..It doesn't seem to feel like them at all.  It did try indeed but Sonic's physics was a bit too much in the low gravity department. He didn't have a sense of weight to him and he was honestly quite broken, especially with how Spin Dash can be used in the most basic actions. 

In the beta stage of Windy Valley, one charged Spin dash can send Sonic over a quarter of the level.  I'm not sure if that is why it was cut but I'm sad to say that it's better off that way. The final stage compliments him better(Beta stage is just too unfocused and clearly unfinished. Would have made for a poor first stage if it made it into the game).

Sonic Adventure was the most genuine attempt in creating that Mega Drive formula to 3D yet the execution couldn't be done and I understand why. Technical limitations and the sheer naivety of the 3D technology lead to some real stumps.

I could care less for the "classical feel" as much of that is derived from the 90's tone or the "edgy" 2000's with SA2. Sonic should have a tone that pertains to his unique characteristics and world as long as it isn't self destructive, rehashed or too flanderized(sad to say that Colors, Generations and games after it fit some of these descriptions). Realistic World settings however, do need more of his bubbling flair rather than loops or rails. 

On 11/28/2017 at 9:18 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I can't really mirror the sentiment that they should try something entirely new since... I'm not exactly sure what the point of that would be if the Adventure games really were just taking 2D Sonic and implementing them into 3D at it's most basic level.

It would be extremely outdated as are the adventure titles(far more applies to Adventure 1 than 2). Sort of relevant, I don't even know why Mario Odyssey is praised "revolutionary" or new in platformers despite it being...Somewhat typical all around. It's not outdated per-say but I don't see it as highly innovative... 

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12 hours ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

It would be extremely outdated as are the adventure titles(far more applies to Adventure 1 than 2). Sort of relevant, I don't even know why Mario Odyssey is praised "revolutionary" or new in platformers despite it being...Somewhat typical all around. It's not outdated per-say but I don't see it as highly innovative... 

I don't understand why. I haven't played Odyssey but I've seen a lot of footage from it. The innovation seems to stem a lot from what it's doing with it's level design and level gimmicks but the way Mario himself controls and functions is using something that's simple and easy for maximum comfort and enjoyment it looks like. The only thing that's different seems to be the Capture ability where he throws his hat and can temporarily function like something else for a bit. It's similar to what Sonic does when he grabs a wisp. It's not ideal but it doesn't ruin anything either.

I don't see how just playing as Sonic in a normal and basic manner would be outdated. I just want to push the analog stick forward and have him increase speed naturally in a 3D space. That seems to be all you did when it came to controlling Sonic and the level design took care of the rest, which it had more freedom to do since they were allowed to be more open because the Adventure Sonics weren't designed to burst past the landscape in a straight line.

I also don't understand what "outdated" entails in this context either. Does adding the boost, or parkour, or a run-button, or whatever else make it not outdated and therefore stands as the reason we should do it that way? Why though? So far I'm just getting that it's an older mechanic but so what? If it's a game coming out 2018 or something it's not going to function or look like it did back in 1999 or whatever anyway. 

If people are worried about innovation, let the level design, the aesthetics, the story, the music, the level gimmicks, the set-up, and the presentation handle that for the moment. When it comes to how Sonic controls and functions, doing something for innovations sake makes no sense to me. Especially now in a Post-Forces and Lost World era.

That's what I believe anyway.

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Obviously School Schoolhouse. Yes that is right Sonic Schoolhouse was the perfect 3D game! Just look at this video of epic Sonic Schoolhouse action!

Yeah I am not serious about that game being the best. In fact that is not even the real actual Schoolhouse. Actually I will go with Sonic Adventure 1 but please leave out Big fishing adventure. And have all the characters with a final boss... well they kind of did have a final boss but it seems like Sonic and Tails had the serious final boss with Sonic having the final boss with Chaos.

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Sonic Adventure for Sonic's gameplay, hub world exploration, and replayability. If they could make a new game that fixes up the visuals, gets rid of glitches, and allows more characters to be playable upon completing the game, then that would be great! Maybe bring back the Chao Garden and revise it to be more fun. Instead of having the Chao be stuck in automated races or battles, it might be nice to actually be able to control the Chao ourselves, and see how better they move with stat improvements upon raising them in the garden. Maybe some online multiplayer as well for both regular levels and Chao Garden mini games. 

On 11/28/2017 at 3:22 PM, Josh said:

Sonic Adventure.

The most important part of transferring Sonic into a 3D space is control, with level design in a close second. Sonic Adventure does both of these things  better than any of the games after. Sonic has a nice gradually increasing speed that's still controllable and affected by the level design and the level design itself is a lot more vertical and has more variety in style, structures and gimmicks than the other games, which too often lean on hallway type design that might as well be 2D if it's not outright 2D. This includes Heroes. There's a sense of freedom to how I can approach a lot of the levels in the game that just doesn't exist int he others.

That's not getting into the hub world system, which is controversial but I think is a fine enough extension on the idea of centralizing the action to one location and connecting the levels like the classic games used to do. The story, which expands on some previously established bits of Sonic lore and introduces new characters that are charming and make sense while also giving the series mainstays their due.

There's some questionable bits and flaws. The other styles have different level objectives which is off putting for a lot of people, but I can at least follow why they designed the game like that. If you have to choose between nerfing Knuckles so he can't just fly over everything or just giving him something else to do that suits hits kit but doesn't stray too far from high speed platforming, I can see why you'd choose the latter, for example. Some are a bit too different like fishing but thankfully Sonic has over twice as many stages as any other character in the game, so we know where the overwhelming majority of focus went.

So yeah, if you ask me, I think they need to really take a look at Sonic Adventure and polish it to a fine sheen.
 

One thing they could do to improve the hubworld, is to add warp spots, either via location based, or pause menu based. That was one thing that made games like DK64 or Banjo-Tooie enjoyable, the fact that you could warp from one place to another, instead of being forced to constantly traverse to locations on foot. 

I loved the hub worlds in Adventure, but it was a chore when it came to trying to get certain items for the Chao Garden. I would have preferred keeping all of my Chao in the Egg Carrier Chao Garden for instance, but hated how it was separated from all the other levels in the game, and the quickest shortcut to getting there is through the short cut from the Station Square Chao Garden. However, that got real annoying, because upon entering the Chao Garden, all your collected animals get dropped, so you're basically stuck having to keep you Chao in the Station Square Chao Garden, instead of leaving them in the Egg Carrier Chao Garden. 

Sonic Adventure 2 definitely improved upon the idea by making the Chao Gardens an actual zone, all connected by a lobby that connects with each other. However, while the Chao Garden was greatly improved for Adventure 2, I thought the main game was worse. I only liked Sonic and Shadow's gameplay. I would have rather been able to play as Tails, Knuckles, and Rouge in levels similar to Sonic's. I hated the shoot out stages, I would have been fine with Eggman being the only character with shooting stages, and having Tails only need his Cyclone for boss fights with Eggman, but being forced to play as Tails in a clunky machine was annoying. When people play as Tails, they want to run on foot as Tails, and fly as Tails, not watch Tails sit around in a clunky mech walker. I loved Knuckles and Rouge's controls, but hated how it was only used for treasure hunting stages... 

I want a new Adventure inspired game that takes what many loved about them, while avoiding or reworking what others disliked about them. Make Sonic games last again, give the games a reason to keep players replaying the game to unlock more content that allows the game to keep being fun. 

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7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

If people are worried about innovation, let the level design, the aesthetics, the story, the music, the level gimmicks, the set-up, and the presentation handle that for the moment. When it comes to how Sonic controls and functions, doing something for innovations sake makes no sense to me. Especially now in a Post-Forces and Lost World era.

That's what I believe anyway.

To say nothing that regarding a series like Sonic, a lack of innovation is honestly the last thing the series is suffering from. If anything, it's the complete opposite.

This series has spent the majority of its life trying out "new things" to varying success; and half of the time, the need to be "different", "fresh", and "new" apparently equated to the need to throw out the existing foundation and rebuild it from scratch, and/or just slapping the Sonic brand name on whatever unrelated project the developers conjured up. There are only a handful of mainline games in the series that are not about hamming up the whole game with "innovation"; and in regards to the original formula, the only real attempts have been Sonic 4 and Mania. And Sonic 4 itself is an example of being too "evolved" from its prequels as it is.

We even saw this same train of thought spewed out as means of damage control for Boom: Rise of Lyric, barely three years ago. That game and its developers being "ambitious" did absolute horseshit for what turned out to be a monumental turd of a game that had almost nothing to do with the series' namesake. Outside of having the actual Sonic name on the box, because --as I said before-- that sometimes really is the only condition needed for a game to qualify as "a SonicTM game."

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8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don't understand why. I haven't played Odyssey but I've seen a lot of footage from it. The innovation seems to stem a lot from what it's doing with it's level design and level gimmicks but the way Mario himself controls and functions is using something that's simple and easy for maximum comfort and enjoyment it looks like. The only thing that's different seems to be the Capture ability where he throws his hat and can temporarily function like something else for a bit. It's similar to what Sonic does when he grabs a wisp. It's not ideal but it doesn't ruin anything either.

I don't see how just playing as Sonic in a normal and basic manner would be outdated. I just want to push the analog stick forward and have him increase speed naturally in a 3D space. That seems to be all you did when it came to controlling Sonic and the level design took care of the rest, which it had more freedom to do since they were allowed to be more open because the Adventure Sonics weren't designed to burst past the landscape in a straight line.

I also don't understand what "outdated" entails in this context either. Does adding the boost, or parkour, or a run-button, or whatever else make it not outdated and therefore stands as the reason we should do it that way? Why though? So far I'm just getting that it's an older mechanic but so what? If it's a game coming out 2018 or something it's not going to function or look like it did back in 1999 or whatever anyway. 

If people are worried about innovation, let the level design, the aesthetics, the story, the music, the level gimmicks, the set-up, and the presentation handle that for the moment. When it comes to how Sonic controls and functions, doing something for innovations sake makes no sense to me. Especially now in a Post-Forces and Lost World era.

That's what I believe anyway.

Adventure Sonic had a difference in physics and mechanics. Although similar, Light dash and homing attack are new to him. Even the physics, while retaining the sense of momentum was too strong as due to Sonic's inherent low gravity, lead him to feel as if he had little weight to him and is sorta broken in general. Spin-Dash jumping is too powerful, stronger than Sonic 2 spin dash. Adventure Sonic was an attempt to make him translate to 3D(Fun little note: All 3D/2D Sonic games have very similar control/physics scheme. Even if you go from Adventure to World Adventure, a lot of the techniques are still present in that game. Major changes but not alienating ones).

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I don't see how just playing as Sonic in a normal and basic manner would be outdated.  That seems to be all you did when it came to controlling Sonic and the level design took care of the rest, which it had more freedom to do since they were allowed to be more open because the Adventure Sonics weren't designed to burst past the landscape in a straight line.

If this was the 90's, I'd have no problem with that. This isn't the 90's anymore, and the scope for Sonic is far greater than something like his Sonic 1 days, which I assume you were referring to in terms of basic design. 

 

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1 hour ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

Adventure Sonic had a difference in physics and mechanics. Although similar, Light dash and homing attack are new to him. Even the physics, while retaining the sense of momentum was too strong as due to Sonic's inherent low gravity, lead him to feel as if he had little weight to him and is sorta broken in general. Spin-Dash jumping is too powerful, stronger than Sonic 2 spin dash. Adventure Sonic was an attempt to make him translate to 3D(Fun little note: All 3D/2D Sonic games have very similar control/physics scheme. Even if you go from Adventure to World Adventure, a lot of the techniques are still present in that game. Major changes but not alienating ones).

If this was the 90's, I'd have no problem with that. This isn't the 90's anymore, and the scope for Sonic is far greater than something like his Sonic 1 days, which I assume you were referring to in terms of basic design. 

 

Of course he had different physics and mechanics. I wasn't being literal. The basic idea is that he moved forward when you pushed forward on the control stick, sped up at a natural pace, rolled into a ball, could jump into enemies, had spacious design and alternate paths... you know. Really simple stuff like that. It seems like a nice, easy thing that could be really beneficial to try for a 3D game again without the hassle of trying to force in an entire new gameplay style. That's what I'm referring to when I mention the core of what he was being relatively basic. 

There's always going to be pivots to the design like the homing attack and if other characters are playable, then of course they're going to function different. However, that's not really enough for me to say it's a new gameplay style. It has a new element to the old style which is fine. I'm not being super strict about it in that way. 

I'm not understanding still how this supports the notion that he should hunt down something entirely new though. I don't really get why it being the 90s or not makes any difference. Something being old doesn't bother me if it still works. Game companies think their fancy new motion controls and VR are hipper and cooler than those old and boring buttons on your controller but pressing a button still feels better than using those. Why does it matter that it's not the 90s when it comes to this?

What is this scope for Sonic that's far greater that he should be heading for and why can't it be achieved by going back to something where I can just make him run normally and go through an open 3D stage without worrying about some weird new over-complication in the design? Wouldn't they just need to let it evolve naturally with each new game afterward? If it even needed to in the first place?

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