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CrystalStorm51

With Mega Man 11 being announced and how it looks...

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Between "3D" Sonic games having tons of sidescrolling sections as far back as Colors, Sonic 4: Episode II, and the 3DS games (Dimps' Generations and Lost World; Sanzaru's Boom: Shattered Crystal and Fire & Ice); it can be safely said that 2D Sonic games with 3D graphics Sonic has arguably been heavily overplayed by this point. I think I'd much rather prefer a fully 2D game.

As for what style of 2D, count me among those who'd want high-res sprites / hand drawn 2D artwork. I do think Mania looks great (and in what's been an aforementioned sea of sidescroller 3D Sonic games, refreshingly novel), but I'd much rather prefer the next 2D Sonic game didn't do the retraux route again and went for something more modern. If the dev team has to use Saturn-era graphics/sprites once more, I hope that they could at least give the artstyle/presentation a significant shakeup from Mania, so the retraux presentation still feels fresh in its own right.

I'm also not opposed to a 2D Sonic game that had a hybrid mix of 2D and 3D graphics. Something like WayForward's games that use 2D sprites in 3D environments (DuckTales Remastered and Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero) would be cool to see applied to Sonic IMO. (Sonic 4: Episode I technically did something like this, by having pre-rendered 2D objects mixed with realtime rendered 3D objects, but none of it looked cohesive and the overall result looked absolutely cheap).

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10 minutes ago, Tornado said:

I would have thought that the amount of completely soulless retro cash grabs last console generation that used 3D models for no other reason than it was cheaper would have killed this notion once and for all.

Totally agreed, especially that it’s going on with some smaller developers too, and is even being used today. And count me in on wanting a hand-drawn Sonic game.

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Mania was gorgeous and if all future 2D/classic games looked that way, no problems here at all.

 

But I'm not gonna lie, I would LOVE for a 2D Sonic game to have the budget to have Wario Land Shake It-esque fully hand-animated HD quality artwork, all done to the same degree of quality and charm as the Tyson Hesse opening animation from Mania.  This'd be a serious all-or-nothing deal though, I'd hate to see such a thing but half-arsed.  I'd rather they stick to Mania-quality sprite-work if they can't go the full mile.

In my mind I imagine it having a bunch of bespoke animations for certain situations if the game can detect it too.  If you're jumping near an enemy, Sonic curls up instantaneously, whereas if you're jumping near a half-pipe, Sonic will do his cute little "leap with limbs outstretched before scrunching up into a ball" thing that he tends to do in non-playable animations to make his jumps look more exciting.  If you stop on the edge of a platform right above another one, Sonic just curiously looks over the edge.  If it's an edge above a bottomless pit, he's in full panic.  There'd be a ton of "bridge" animations as well to tie different scenarios together so he never "snaps" from one body position to another unnaturally.

As said... this'd need a huge budget and animation team, but can you imagine how good it would look.  I feel this kind of "animations aren't necessarily always consistent" would work okay in a game with as simple movement as classic Sonic too, but would prolly still need a bunch of fine-tuning so he feels like he is responding in a natural manner.

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2.5D? That'd be neat. Mega Man 11 as an example tho? Ehh, I dunno, I don't think that would look well for Sonic (and we technically got that already with S4, so...)

However, as some people already said, I'd love if the next game was hand-drawn (or something akin to that, like Sonic AGES - the fan-made game demo thing, or Shantae: Half-Genie Hero). Yes, Mania looks good. Yes, pixel-art can look great. It's just that, if pixel-art is used over and over again, it'll feel less like an evolution and more like "stagnation" in my eyes. Not only that, the major flaw (at least to me) with pixel-art is "the bigger the screen, the uglier it looks". That's the reason why I play Mania at a smaller screen size - it looks uglier when the game is fullscreen. I feel like hand-drawn is more scalable, hence why I can play Shantae Half-Genie Hero on fullscreen and I can t play Mania.

Sure, it's difficult. Sure, it'd take a crapton of time and money, but, if done right, a Sonic game with hand-drawn artstyle would be gorgeous and I think a proper evolution for 2D Sonic games.

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Problem I have with Sonic and the idea of using hand-drawn everything for a game is that Sonic stages have to be absolutely huge by necessity to facilitate the sense of physics-based rolling and speed. You're asking for specific creative art for not just every minute section of stage that Sonic's blitzing through in an attosecond, but specific art x 1000 for every stage. That's an unbelievable undertaking. Wario Land Shake It in comparison is much slower-paced with a focus on adventuring through a stage, rather than traveling through it, so every setpiece matters.

 

Spritework just works for Sonic for me. It's detailed enough to give wonderful backdrops so you've a sense of where you're at, as well as definable characteristics on the stage layout itself, no matter the stage.

3D model stages in Sonic often have to force memorability in them through required sections. Spritework 2D stages meanwhile are vivid enough, consistent enough, and replicated enough to where the memorability of the stages occurs naturally.

 

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11 minutes ago, -Robin- said:

Problem I have with Sonic and the idea of using hand-drawn everything for a game is that Sonic stages have to be absolutely huge by necessity to facilitate the sense of physics-based rolling and speed. You're asking for specific creative art for not just every minute section of stage that Sonic's blitzing through in an attosecond, but specific art x 1000 for every stage. That's an unbelievable undertaking. Wario Land Shake It in comparison is much slower-paced with a focus on adventuring through a stage, rather than traveling through it, so every setpiece matters.

 

Spritework just works for Sonic for me. It's detailed enough to give wonderful backdrops so you've a sense of where you're at, as well as definable characteristics on the stage layout itself, no matter the stage.

3D model stages in Sonic often have to force memorability in them through required sections. Spritework 2D stages meanwhile are vivid enough, consistent enough, and replicated enough to where the memorability of the stages occurs naturally.

 

The stage artwork would still be the same amount of content though, I imagine stages could be built with very simple tilesets and then when the geometry is locked in, the artists get to work converting all of them into high quality assets.  The environments would still be made out of "chunks" as in past games, not drawn entirely by hand in a manner typical of point n click adventures like Oxenfree etc.

Basically like Sonic 2 HD, just original creations rather than "upgrading" old sprite work.

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10 hours ago, Josh said:

Shovel Knight doesn't really look like a NES game. It cheats and uses modern techniques all the time. Sometimes really blatantly. Mania does this too.
 

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DavidDAngelo/20140625/219383/Breaking_the_NES_for_Shovel_Knight.php


They're "holding themselves back" to create a distinct feel. An art style. It's a legitimate take and a unique one within this series. I'm kind of surprised people want it to change so badly when it's been so long since we got something like this.
 

Yes, the important thing is for any self-imposed limitations to be more of a channel for creativity rather than a ball and chain around the ankle.  The abstraction implied in the best pixel art leaves room for the viewer's mind to fill it in however they want, and often technically "better" graphics lack the same charm; 3D in particular falls into the Uncanny Valley when at its most primitive in a way which I've never experienced with pixel art.  At the very least, however, I would be happier if a future Mania-type project at least prototyped alternative approaches to the artwork internally, even if they end up plumping for the Saturn style again.  The Classic Sonic art style is wonderful, but is it really a complete fulfilment of its potential, impervious to improvement?

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I prefer pure 2D again, but better than what Mania did: More animations, details, effects, etc. Something on the same level as these GIFs from Capcom/SNK games with the typical Classic Sonic artstyle:

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3 hours ago, Cayenne said:

I prefer pure 2D again, but better than what Mania did: More animations, details, effects, etc. Something on the same level as these GIFs from Capcom/SNK games with the typical Classic Sonic artstyle:

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Problem is basically all those background examples are from fighting games -where you basically only need one piece of art (though animated) for an 'arena'. They're incredible, sure, but it goes back to an earlier point in this thread - Sonic stages are huge, and that wouldn't be feasible for Sonic without an ungodly amount of resources.

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Perhaps more sensible reference point would be Metal Slug (also more fitting with Sonic's artstyle) - but even the bearing in mind Sonic's own inherent artstyle, Mania already hits much of this benchmark for me. There's also the fact that Metal Slug is slower than Sonic, though perhaps not the exploratory degree of Wario mentioned earlier. In terms of character animation too, Mania is incredibly smooth - perhaps not so much as some of the examples there, but again, there's a reason insanely smooth spritework isn't super-prevalent anymore and that's because time and money is a thing. In fact, I'd argue some of Mania's animation actually does stand on par with the smoothness in those examples. 

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Pixel art is dead at modern resolutions. SNK made the last attempt at it and it destroyed their development team. Really its been a minority of indie teams that can even put out decent low-res pixel art, its mostly been a budgetary crutch that occasionally happens to work.

I do think hand-drawn 2D is way underutilised at this point, and is the proper successor to most pixel art. I was looking at Apollo Justice HD on a 1080p phone, and it blows the contemporary 3D games out of the water, (just needs to double the animation frames), to say nothing of the original. It's hard to say that Sonic 2 HD isn't a massive improvement on Sonic 2 either. It does require a skill set that hasn't been employed that extensively in the industry however, but its not like there is a severe shortage of people that are good at drawing.

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By now, I prefer a new game with hand-drawn 2D rather than 16-bit style or 2.5D...I'd love to see something in the likes of Rayman Origins/Legends...I think something like that with Sonic environments would be outstanding.

 

 

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Here is another approach for making the games feel less nostalgic.

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We can get one more Mania game with all original levels before putting Classic Sonic to rest and just continuing the classic gameplay with Modern Sonic.

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5 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

I'm officially declaring all enjoyment of the Advance series to be nostalgia, so Sonic Team is barred from ever making another.

Good, so the Mania team can make it.

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41 minutes ago, Slashy said:

Here is another approach for making the games feel less nostalgic.

1503896724627.jpg

We can get one more Mania game with all original levels before putting Classic Sonic to rest and just continuing the classic gameplay with Modern Sonic.

No thanks.

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I've gotten more strict on the idea that its probably for the best that a game commit to being what it is to get the most out of what its trying to do with its..."perspective" I'll say.

In other words, if you want to be 2D, then be 2D.

If you want to be 3D then be 3D or be made by someone other than Sonic Team.

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That would only apply to Sonic...and only recently(9 years).

No other game really has to be limited to be one perspective, especially since...you can only do certain things in either perspective and developers would rather be able to use both to offer challenge/variety.

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If any game ever played off nostalgia hard it was mania. While beautiful it looked liked a genesis game.  11 reminds me of the episode series but hopefully plays better.im giving some hope to it. But it's nice that capcom is trying to move forward and embrace new things that than going back to 9 10 to use nostalgia to sell

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21 hours ago, Slashy said:

Here is another approach for making the games feel less nostalgic.

1503896724627.jpg

We can get one more Mania game with all original levels before putting Classic Sonic to rest and just continuing the classic gameplay with Modern Sonic.

You never consider like... maybe folks like Classic Sonic? And kinda want him to stay around?

I much prefer Classic to Modern for instance - that's not nostalgia, I grew up with Modern Sonic. I just find the design more timeless and think it's utilised more expressively in an aesthetic that's more consistently interesting. I'd rather just let Modern get the 3D stuff and have a separate 2D series for Classic to do his thing in. Pleases both crowds, innit. 

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21 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

You never consider like... maybe folks like Classic Sonic? And kinda want him to stay around?

I much prefer Classic to Modern for instance - that's not nostalgia, I grew up with Modern Sonic. I just find the design more timeless and think it's utilised more expressively in an aesthetic that's more consistently interesting. I'd rather just let Modern get the 3D stuff and have a separate 2D series for Classic to do his thing in. Pleases both crowds, innit. 

Expressive through the marketing and spin offs or are we using the actual main product of games here? He didn't get REALLY expressive until the Advance series, which I loved imo. The sprite work in that game was definitely one of the best I've seen for Sonic(it even gives Mania a run for its money).

But I see what you mean. I'd say that classic Sonic, like Mario, have had a simplistic consistency in design since he was created. Although I wouldn't say "timeless" if your referring to his Sonic 2 look. His design can definitely evolve a little bit as he did for his updated Sonic 3 look. Less cute and perhaps more mature looking(I love his Sprite except for the out right horrid bulgy-ness of...Everything. Lost his spikes). I'll be the first to admit his Sprite now does feel outdated. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

Expressive through the marketing and spin offs or are we using the actual main product of games here? He didn't get REALLY expressive until the Advance series, which I loved imo. The sprite work in that game was definitely one of the best I've seen for Sonic(it even gives Mania a run for its money).

But I see what you mean. I'd say that classic Sonic, like Mario, have had a simplistic consistency in design since he was created. Although I wouldn't say "timeless" if your referring to his Sonic 2 look. His design can definitely evolve a little bit as he did for his updated Sonic 3 look. Less cute and perhaps more mature looking(I love his Sprite except for the out right horrid bulgy-ness of...Everything. Lost his spikes). I'll be the first to admit his Sprite now does feel outdated. 

 

I'd say in outside media mostly, but I think Mania really nailed the expressiveness of the character in-game, even in subtle ways. 

I honestly prefer Mania's style of sprite to the Sonic 3 sprite  - I feel the added detail and even the controversial colour palette result in it looking more defined and generally cleaner than the S3 style. I think Mania's animations strike a nice balance between Classic's somewhat cute demeanour and his attitude-based personality too. 

I like the Advance series' art, but I think putting down folks wanting Classic back down to "nostalgia" is naff - I and many others just genuinely think he's the better form of the character, and that's while bearing in mind I like Modern Sonic too. 

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