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Which "Adventure" like Sonic Game was the best?


Steve McQwark Indeed
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Sonic Adventure 1, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic Advance 3.

These are the more explorative story-driven games in the Sonic series. Most of the time Sonic is light on content and is very restrictive, however, these games do the opposite.

Now my question to you is: Which did it best? Also as a bonus which did it worst.(that's why I didn't include 06, that would have made it easy.)

Imo, this was close for me choosing between Unleashed and Adventure 2, however I must give it to Adventure 2.

Levels in Adventure 2 are more open in general and have better incentives for exploration than even Adventure 1, whose main explorative claim is mostly attributed to it's hub world and not most of its levels.

Adventure 2 gives you a better sense of the world your in and the stages themselves. They are a lot more open, add depth story wise, and give you tons of extra missions or hidden content to really bring it home. Of course the plot is much more connected as well adding to the immersion.

Despite a lack of hub, Sonic Adventure 2 feels much more like an Adventure game where the first game seems to have it's "adventure" element mostly restricted to the hub world with some few exceptions.

 

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Gotta give it to my boy SA1. I felt like that game gave you complete control of Sonic more often than not, and its level design makes the levels (Lost World and maybe Final Egg notwithstanding) great fun to go through. Plus it's probably the only 3D game where rolling matters. SA2's speed stages, by comparison, is a significant step backwards in almost every aspect. The control is far more slippery, and I find the levels more frustrating than fun. Pyramid Cave and maybe Final Rush are the exceptions.

Unleashed is more streamlined, but is arguably even more slippery than SA2 when you're not boosting, and that's outside of Cool Edge.

Advance 3 features Dimps' trademark "make you go fast and then punish you for it" level design, so that's out immediately.

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SA2 levels are incredibly linear - the only real diversions are just 5 second distractions that run parallel to the main 'track', and there's generally not much reward for exploring where possible. Compare that to say, the second section of Sky Deck where there's actually a considerable amount of stuff to find by running around (such as Jump Panel sections or a trench run with spike balls along it), or the hidden tunnels and secret rooms in Final Egg. I'd perhaps say the SA2 Treasure Hunting stages have exploration over SA1, but given they're considerably worse in most other aspects that's not exactly a huge coup. Even Gamma, despite having a time limit, didn't feel as restrictive as SA2's blockier, linear mech level design. 

Weirdly, Big is one of the best examples of the explorative design in SA1 - his Hot Shelter has some surprising depth to it, all things considered. Same for Ice Cap. 

When I criticised Forces' overly 'straight-line' level design, I actually had people moan at me that "SA2 was the same"! And while I don't agree with that, I think it kind of shows the increased linearity and 'track' style design of SA2's levels compared to SA1. 

I like Unleashed but not for it being 'Adventure-style' - I just find for the most part it's a fun time. Advance 3 is a mistake. 

...I'm also confused by the lack of 06 on the list. Like yeah it sucked, but it was absolutely an 'Adventure-style' thing. 

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I'm torn between Sonic Adventure 1 and Sonic Unleashed for different reasons.

Sonic's gameplay and level design in SA1 reminds me a lot of the Genesis titles and I like how open each act is. They are still linear, but you can move Sonic (and other characters) more freely compared to the boost games or even SA 2. 

Sonic Unleashed is an amazing experience in daytime stages. Each level is beautiful, frenetic and encourages you to explore and learn new ways to traverse them to get S-Ranks. Nighttime missions with the Werehog are so-so, though. I don't hate them, but their structure isn't very interesting and combat is extremely dry. They remind me of those generic licensed games on PS2 and Wii. 

Also, imo, Unleashed's hub-words are the best ones in the 3D games and give a good sense of adventure. The NPCs have nice personalities and give you an idea of what kind of country you are.

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Each had their strengths and weaknesses.

SA1 was the first attempt, but certainly not the best given that it's adventure stages can feel quite small and some of the action stages are very restrictive, like Sky Decks first portion or the dark sections in Lost World. Others, like Final Egg have a number of stop and go parts where you have to be careful due to the camera being a bit ass at times. But they certainly do try to make things feel massive, to its credit.

SA2 is a lot more action focus than adventuring, and of course follows a lot of influence from it predecessor. However, the only parts that are remotely exploratory are the treasure hunting. I wouldn't say it's the worst, but it's not really better in that regard. Sure it's story is a lot more connected since it's using two paths instead of dividing them by 6 separate playthrough (which ironically doesn't do it any favors when you switch characters every level), but it could be more open.

Unleashed, I'd say, is the best when it comes to exploration, but only outside of the daytime stages that encourage you to blast through than explore. Good thing we're not factoring in quality gameplay, because otherwise that would have taken a hit for this very reason. But Unleashed encourages exploration much differently than the others--its adventure stages are about as small as SA1, but it encourages the soaking of the atmosphere more than looking around. Not that it doesn't encourage looking either given that it rewards you with medals, CDs, and cutscenes when you go out to find them. The amount of love and care put into it really makes one wonder what more could have been done beyond the constant boostfest they've succumbed to as of current.

I'll given the worst to Sonic Advance 3, which is a shame because I really liked what it was going for. It encouraged multiple combinations of characters and partners beyond the standard Sonic and Tails to the point that it's a wonder why it took this game to consider it--it's basically 2D Heroes with more freedom to choose your characters (even if restricted to just five of them), so you can have Tails and Amy partner up, or Knuckles and Cream. That said, while it encourages exploration through the use of different character pairs, it's level design seems like it's trying to much to kill you or just halt you momentum abruptly given it focuses more on verticality a little more than it should.

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Well, Heroes and Shadow are more Adventure-like than Unleashed, due to the latter’s cheery story and musical style, and the very small cast and complete disconnect from prior lore (beyond in-jokes), to the point of digging out a now-retired plane to be used instead of the Cyclone. But unlike Colors and Lost World, it didn’t go as far as to strand the cast in a nonsense world or remove even the emeralds. Shadow’s multiple path system is another factor. 

 

In the end, Shadow is the funnest and most arcade in gameplay. I love collecting all the guns.

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The individual Adventure titles(that is "World Adventure" to you sir:P) are all around good in the gameplay that compliments Sonic's core design to an extent. How much of this potential was realized? Not much as I would have liked yet they did well enough for what they had.

Also, I will be willing to flat out say all 3 are too different from each other to deem which handled Sonic "best". Physics, level design philosophy and mechanics etc vary from game to game.  Sonic World Adventure felt more realized in it's execution on how they wanted to present Sonic's core gameplay although Adventure 2 was similar in that regard. Subjectively, I prefer SWA but I can't say SA2 was bad either because goddamn was it badass, especially with rail grinding.

Adventure 1 was the first iteration with the least execution in design but I can't fault them for all of that since it was the attempt to make Sonic 3D.

12 hours ago, Cayenne said:

Sonic Unleashed is an amazing experience in daytime stages. Each level is beautiful, frenetic and encourages you to explore and learn new ways to traverse them to get S-Ranks

Agreed. Playing Sonic World Adventure to it's full extent that it allows is sorta crazy.

Many of the levels seem simple enough where you can hold boost while attempting minimal input but say you decided to play around with the physics, stages and' mechanics....You'd get something flashy yet a bit difficult to pull off.

Barring the use of Sonic broken glitches(M-Speed) the use of stomp>sliding is pretty slick and is something I do all the time when wanting to keep the momentum or my air boost, using it on an incline(literally like spin dashing down hill) or saving myself from an overshoot. Even boost can be used in a more complex manner(essentially this games "spin dash" and it's quite frankly used almost in the same manner. Just about actually). I friggin miss Sonic's broken ass mechanics...And to think it's mostly because of his physics...

 

EDIT: Sonic Advance 3 is also one of my favorite Sonic games all due to the mechanics of the partner system. Simple yet very complex. Each characters get different and new skills...So much that knuckles gets to spin dash up walls(he's actually really fun to play now).The replay value of this game is higher than the of other Sonic titles imo. While the level design is much harsher(a little unpolished than the other advance series...Not enough to break it for me), mastering it is not actually incredibly hard considering it plays exactly like the MD titles(sorta). Gah..I could gush about this title all goddamn week. 

Sad that I'll never probably get something so mechanically deep in a Sonic game.

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I liked Adventure 1 better mostly for Sonic's gameplay and levels. I liked controlling Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, but I hated their gameplay. It would have been fun to be able to play as Tails, Knuckles, and Amy in the same levels as Sonic, and I wish Amy was faster. I also liked the levels and hub worlds a lot better than the ones from Adventure 2. Adventure 2 really overdid it with the shoot out and treasure hunting levels. I also hated how Adventure 2 got rid of a lighting engine. The shading and coloring in Adventure 2 looked too dark and strange at times. I thought the lighting looked better in Sonic Adventure (both the original and DX version.) 

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