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Scritch the Cat

Isn't it ironic that Classic Sonic now has more playable characters than Modern Sonic?

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4 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

I think it is

I actually think, outside of knuckles, You could do some pretty good levels that have variation on abilities that allow people navigate levels differently. It would require more intricate design, but I don't think its impossible. Infact I think its just the natural evolution of that game type.

I don't think this task is impossible. I don't even this task is daunting ( I mean game design from any aspect isn't ' easy ' by anymeans ) , I think a studio with good level designers and and people who understand game design, could have ... and would have come up with that years ago.

I think sega's incompetence has trapped people in some mental space where , everything seems impossible. Nah this is fine,

Again, I'm not saying it's impossible, and if we were dealing with competent developers then they would have figured this shit out years ago, but we're not, and it's not as simple as just "stick Tails in Generations".

I mean shit they haven't even figured out how to stop people breaking levels as Sonic, how well do you think things are going to go with a character who has actual flight?

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Just now, knuckles20 said:

So let’s not try at all and continue the laziness of the modern “3D” games of being dependent on 2D sections for half the time.

They do try but still get called bad at their job and lazy they have TSR being the next 3D modern game for now. 

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11 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

As long as they get other people to make it , its whatever dog.

Shrugs

I don't even care, the horizon of sonic stuff is pretty barren so Eh whatever sure.

The really pathetic thing is I can't agree with that "whatever" opinion.  Since Mania, and even before it in fangames, I've been wide open to the possibility that other people can make a better Sonic game than Sonic Team.  Granted, since Sonic Boom I know they can make a worse game, too, but from Sonic Team I only expect mediocrity.

10 hours ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

I think it is definitely possible but sonic team has to stop taking the approach of trying to directly translate 2D gameplay into a 3D space. Theyve been mostly doing this since SA1 and it will not work. They have to embrace a fully 3D world and gameplay context and the path forward will open up for them. Spiderman, breath of the wild, Sonic Utopia...they have to start thinking about how to create fully 3D environments and translating what is fun about controlling sonic (the momentum gameplay, the exploration, the skill ceiling) into a different context. 

I actually completely disagree with that diagnosis.  Even SA1 wasn't trying very hard to translate 2D gameplay into a 3D space, and they've deviated further since.  I could go for them trying to emulate 2D Sonic more.  I've come to the opinion that loops will almost always be pointless in 3D, but a lot of other things from the 2D games works fine in 3D if it's programmed well.

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13 hours ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Adventure fans have been pretty frustrating on this topic for a while to be honest. I've commented on it recently, but the way the classic series shows clearly that multiple playable characters can be done very well....I just dont know why many fans dont understand this needs to be done for the 3D series.

At the end of the day, it's a very simple matter. No matter how beloved your favorite characters are, most gamers are not going to want to play a broken, boring, crappy game. Sonic Team has to focus on building a playstyle that is both fun and flexible, analogous to the way the classic achieved that for 2D. Once they do, the series will be very very successful and most fans will be happy because they will mostly get what they want. All else with respect to their formula is secondary until they achieve this. They have to realize how critical it is to their future that they execute this and ignoring the whining from fans in the meantime. It has to be first, second, and third priority until it is executed properly because it is the foundation for all else.

That principle also works in reverse, though.  Good gameplay can make a character beloved.  I understand that Sonic fans can be a finicky lot, especially since there's so many of them it can be hard to please all at once.  But these days, I actually have a higher opinion of them than I do of the in-house developers, and I think it's on Sonic Team to start putting efforts into making characters play well, rather than on fans to wait around hoping they do.

13 hours ago, Detective Kaito said:

This is a very interesting topic. On one hand, it's easier to make levels based on a single character like Sonic, but when you have to make levels that accommodate for other characters like Tails and Knuckles (who have quite OP abilities) then you're gonna have a much harder time.

The classics and Mania managed to do this quite well, but since these games are 2D, there's not much room for these flying abilities to really break the game.

In 3D, we've seen how broken Tails is in SA1, that's probably one of the reasons why his gameplay style didn't return in SA2, and also why Knuckles never had traditional levels but instead the Treasure Hunting stages. It's just really hard to make a stage in 3D that works for Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles at the same time. Sonic Heroes heavily nerfed Tails and Knuckles' abilities for example, and Sonic 06 did pretty much the same.

I'm sure it's possible to design levels that work for all these characters, but I have not seen a good example of it yet even in fangames. Then again, I'm not a game designer so I don't know.

3D Sonic fangaming is still relatively new, but they've gotten closer on a technical level than SEGA has.  They're still our best hope.

12 hours ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

I have number of different ways to handle that problem in my mind.

#1: Change out certain characters problematic abilities for 3D games instead of merely nerfing them. For example take away Tails power to fly and refocus him using gizmos/powerups. Take away the gliding skill from Knuckles and give him a natural drill wisp power. Some games have tried this kinda stuff before, but I feel they just didn't implemented the changes very good.

That sounds like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire; at least when it comes to making the sort of game most Sonic fans want.  Tails functioning like Sonic but slightly slower and able to fly might break level design in the worst cases, but in the best cases it enhances level design.  That, and I still find Sonic himself most fun to play as in 3D, anyway.  In either dimension, though, Tails fits well enough with speed-based gameplay.  Refocusing him on gizmos and powerups would probably necessitate a rather different, slower sort of gameplay; kind of like Zelda or a Metroidvania.  I'm not knocking that sort of gameplay, but it's definitely a different sort.  Vastly more about the Sonic formula would have to be reinvented to accommodate that, compared to simply designing maps with Tails' flight in mind.

 

12 hours ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Didn't say I loved the idea myself, regardless that I suggested it. I never was a fan of SEGA making Tails into the series 2nd scientist, it goes to far from the main concept of Tails in my mind... However there is no erasing history, we are long past that point and SEGA indeed has made him a boy genius no matter if we like it or not. If full flight isn't a option in a 3D Sonic game without breaking it... well even nerfing his power down to a weak hover move is lame and appeals to nobody really. Better to swap out abilities for different ones then it is obsessing over a character power legacy. Or just use different characters altogether as I said already.

Also I said nothing about removing his athletic and physical abilities... only his flight power as that is the problem ability in a 3D game not built to revolve around it.

Note that there is actually a cultural grounding for the more recent developments.  Japanese legends of fox yokais hold that as they get older, they grow extra tails and get much smarter.  Of course, those legendary foxes also can transform and can't fly, so SEGA still played pretty fast and loose.  Still, for all that Tails' flight might break the game at times, clearly fans prefer that to him being stuck in a mech.

Meanwhile for all this talk about how Tails breaks the game, I'd say the boost they gave Sonic does so even more; at least from a challenge perspective, and it looks to continue doing so.  So I don't see a good reason not to include Tails.

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8 hours ago, Fire-N-Space said:

They do try but still get called bad at their job and lazy they have TSR being the next 3D modern game for now. 

I feel most people see TSR as a spinoff game like Riders and the Olympic games.

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8 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

That sounds like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire; at least when it comes to making the sort of game most Sonic fans want.  Tails functioning like Sonic but slightly slower and able to fly might break level design in the worst cases, but in the best cases it enhances level design.  That, and I still find Sonic himself most fun to play as in 3D, anyway.  In either dimension, though, Tails fits well enough with speed-based gameplay.  Refocusing him on gizmos and powerups would probably necessitate a rather different, slower sort of gameplay; kind of like Zelda or a Metroidvania.  I'm not knocking that sort of gameplay, but it's definitely a different sort.  Vastly more about the Sonic formula would have to be reinvented to accommodate that, compared to simply designing maps with Tails' flight in mind.

Note that there is actually a cultural grounding for the more recent developments.  Japanese legends of fox yokais hold that as they get older, they grow extra tails and get much smarter.  Of course, those legendary foxes also can transform and can't fly, so SEGA still played pretty fast and loose.  Still, for all that Tails' flight might break the game at times, clearly fans prefer that to him being stuck in a mech.

Meanwhile for all this talk about how Tails breaks the game, I'd say the boost they gave Sonic does so even more; at least from a challenge perspective, and it looks to continue doing so.  So I don't see a good reason not to include Tails.

Making Tails more powerup based doesn't HAVE to mean slower paced gameplay. It all depends on how the powerups/gizmos are designed... I'm not talking about the idea of him being inside a mech or some nonsense here, he would still be running around, jumping and spin-dashing using his own normal body. And I don't believe it would require a hugely different method to level design much overly farther then they already do in the classic games with multiple playable characters, especially if most of it is momentum based gizmos. And of course if it is actually needed to re-balance the cast, then we likely would have to remove the boost from Sonic too, which I'm guessing many folks would be happy or ok with anyways... fair is fair.

Regardless I personally would first prefer to see SEGA take a shot at something like a semi-open world Sonic game which could support flying characters and other stuff in order so that big changes to characters wouldn't be needed in the first place. Have Sonic Team, the Mania team and the Yakuza team work together on it or something. In theory there is a number of good benefits of a semi-open world Sonic game. No more hallway simulator gameplay. Better possibility for multiple playable characters as the game would probably be less crazy speed focused and more exploration focused while still being roughly as fast paced as the classic games.

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It’s mainly because the Boost formula is so hostile to other characters, and how the Parkour is only slightly less so and also was a faliure. Technically, Classic has as many playable characters as, if not less than, the last Boom game. But they feel more natural and fun to handle. This is because there are no glaring “please put the octagonal peg into the octagonal hole” elements.  These were everywhere in Boom, feeling artificial and contrived, akin to games such as Skylanders. 

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I was recently thinking, Sonic Lost World added parkours. Vertical gameplay.
That brought 3d Sonic very close to Tails and Knuckles abilities, especially Knuckles.So if they continued in that direction...


But eh, I'm too cynical and distrustful at Sonic Team to have any kind of hopeful thinking anymore.
The careless and respectless way they threw characters and gameplay together in Forces really doesn't make me want to hope for anything anymore, what's the point of getting what you want if it's just violently jammed into a game that has no room, space or purpose for it?

Personally I'm more interested in watching Fangames deal with the problem, especially on that regard. They haven't quite figured out how to balance Sonic, Tails and Knuckles abilities together in one 3d game yet, but it's fun to see them try. That's so exciting, there's a gameplay challenge, and they try to figure it out and try, experiment, improve and get better.

Unlike, say, Sonic Team that'll immedialty give up and burn everything to the ground.
Or they succeed, and then repeat the same trick so often and without respect that it flanderizes into a meaningless goop, and then they'll burn everything to the ground.

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2 hours ago, Roger_van_der_weide said:

I was recently thinking, Sonic Lost World added parkours. Vertical gameplay.
That brought 3d Sonic very close to Tails and Knuckles abilities, especially Knuckles.So if they continued in that direction...

 

Amazingly topical.

 

2 hours ago, Roger_van_der_weide said:


But eh, I'm too cynical and distrustful at Sonic Team to have any kind of hopeful thinking anymore.
The careless and respectless way they threw characters and gameplay together in Forces really doesn't make me want to hope for anything anymore, what's the point of getting what you want if it's just violently jammed into a game that has no room, space or purpose for it?

 

I think it's clear that half of Forces was them dejectedly panicking after the way Lost World was received and throwing in and/or somewhat advertising things that they knew people would like.

2 hours ago, Roger_van_der_weide said:

.

Unlike, say, Sonic Team that'll immedialty give up and burn everything to the ground.
Or they succeed, and then repeat the same trick so often and without respect that it flanderizes into a meaningless goop, and then they'll burn everything to the ground.

Again, I think they made it clear that Lost World was them being interested in trying something new near immediately after Generations was a success due in part to not really understanding why people like the Boost so much and then hastily threw it(and apparently Sonic in general?) into Forces despite the engine and what few level designers they spared not really being ready for it.

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2 hours ago, Roger_van_der_weide said:

I was recently thinking, Sonic Lost World added parkours. Vertical gameplay.
That brought 3d Sonic very close to Tails and Knuckles abilities, especially Knuckles.So if they continued in that direction...


But eh, I'm too cynical and distrustful at Sonic Team to have any kind of hopeful thinking anymore.
The careless and respectless way they threw characters and gameplay together in Forces really doesn't make me want to hope for anything anymore, what's the point of getting what you want if it's just violently jammed into a game that has no room, space or purpose for it?

Personally I'm more interested in watching Fangames deal with the problem, especially on that regard. They haven't quite figured out how to balance Sonic, Tails and Knuckles abilities together in one 3d game yet, but it's fun to see them try. That's so exciting, there's a gameplay challenge, and they try to figure it out and try, experiment, improve and get better.

Unlike, say, Sonic Team that'll immedialty give up and burn everything to the ground.
Or they succeed, and then repeat the same trick so often and without respect that it flanderizes into a meaningless goop, and then they'll burn everything to the ground.

And eventually grab the meaningless goop and spread it on themselves, before trying to burn it to the ground and end up burning themselves in the process of doing such. I bet Sonic Team will implode before anything natural occurs to them again, instead of their dangerously haphazard apologetic measures. 

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3 hours ago, DabigRG said:

Again, I think they made it clear that Lost World was them being interested in trying something new near immediately after Generations was a success due in part to not really understanding why people like the Boost so much and then hastily threw it(and apparently Sonic in general?) into Forces despite the engine and what few level designers they spared not really being ready for it.

I would have accepted that as an excuse if Forces came out a year after Lost world, in 2014.
It had 4 years of development time, even if most of the time was spend on just making the engine.
They should have made their minds up at the time they started.

Man, I don't want to be so bitter about Forces, I kinda like that game, but MAN. Talk about having all the ingriedients for the perfect meal and then just being served an okay but ordinairy sandwich.

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20 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

It’s mainly because the Boost formula is so hostile to other characters, and how the Parkour is only slightly less so and also was a faliure. Technically, Classic has as many playable characters as, if not less than, the last Boom game. But they feel more natural and fun to handle. This is because there are no glaring “please put the octagonal peg into the octagonal hole” elements.  These were everywhere in Boom, feeling artificial and contrived, akin to games such as Skylanders. 

Imagine this nightmarish alternate universe scenario with Nintendo operating on the same boost formula mindset following the release of Super Mario Bros 3:

Nintendo Employee A: Our game broke records for sales and people love it!  Except for the frog suit, that sucks.

Nintendo Employee B: Well, we can make frog suit not suck next game!

Nintendo Employee A: I think that's too hard to do.

Nintendo Employee B: Well, if we decide it's too hard we could just remove it.

Nintendo Employee A: I agree, but let's go further.  I think the important thing is that the raccoon suit we marketed the game around was very well-received, so let's double down on that.  Make every raccoon suit have a P-wing so Mario can fly wherever, whenever he wants!

Thus Mario crossed the Rubicon, became boring, and died with a whimper.

I cannot vent enough about boost.  It isn't necessarily boring (although it sure can be), but it necessarily yanks Sonic out of what it had been.  It's no secret by now that the Sonic series adds in things that a lot of older fans don't like; this was apparent as early as the Adventure series and if the Internet was more prevalent before, it might even have been apparent earlier.  However most of those things:

1) Didn't continually and thoroughly wreck the games they were in.

2) Didn't last after outcry.

A lot of people don't like Big the Cat, but Sonic Adventure wasn't a universally slow game about fishing.  Security Hall has to be one of the most hated levels in Sonic history, but not all of Sonic Adventure 2 was like that.  Putting guns in Shadow the Hedgehog wasn't well-received, but having them didn't prevent at least some of the game from playing like the Sonic and Shadow gameplay in previous games.  Even Sonic 2006 consisted mostly of that sort of gameplay, and it would have been more tolerable if it wasn't broken.  and again, none of those bad things I just described resurfaced, except for a game that was broken and a game where a character used guns (sort of)--and even those weren't ongoing parts of the series.

The boost, though, because it was a pivotal mechanic in a game that was well-received, keeps coming back.  We got one break in Sonic Lost World, two if you count Sonic Boom, but they weren't well-received, and now the closest we are likely going to get to escaping it is the now probably-separate Classic Sonic subseries.  This means to me that Sega has finally given up on making a true 3D Sonic game, in the sense of having physics and exploration akin to Classic Sonic.  That sucks, because I'd still like to see one.  As good a game as Super Mario 64 was, it was in many regards a different sort of game than past Mario games, so when Super Mario 3D World finally came out, it was a dream come true; I would love to see the same happen with Sonic.

7 hours ago, Roger_van_der_weide said:

I was recently thinking, Sonic Lost World added parkours. Vertical gameplay.
That brought 3d Sonic very close to Tails and Knuckles abilities, especially Knuckles.So if they continued in that direction...


But eh, I'm too cynical and distrustful at Sonic Team to have any kind of hopeful thinking anymore.
The careless and respectless way they threw characters and gameplay together in Forces really doesn't make me want to hope for anything anymore, what's the point of getting what you want if it's just violently jammed into a game that has no room, space or purpose for it?

Personally I'm more interested in watching Fangames deal with the problem, especially on that regard. They haven't quite figured out how to balance Sonic, Tails and Knuckles abilities together in one 3d game yet, but it's fun to see them try. That's so exciting, there's a gameplay challenge, and they try to figure it out and try, experiment, improve and get better.

Unlike, say, Sonic Team that'll immedialty give up and burn everything to the ground.
Or they succeed, and then repeat the same trick so often and without respect that it flanderizes into a meaningless goop, and then they'll burn everything to the ground.

Honest, I kind of miss when Sonic Team was more willing to try this, even if a lot of it was clumsy.  If somehow the easy escape route of ripping elements out of their games was blocked and they were forced to improve what was there instead, we probably would have better Sonic games by now.  Chances are, they would be less frequent, but look at Zelda and Smash Bros and you understand that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  When a very rich company owns a series, they can afford to give a single series quiet periods so when its games actually come out, they're good and in between them people are optimistic for the next.  Sonic games are so frequent, and most often mediocre-to-bad, that the prevailing opinion of the whole series leans negative now.

5 hours ago, DabigRG said:

Amazingly topical.

 

I think it's clear that half of Forces was them dejectedly panicking after the way Lost World was received and throwing in and/or somewhat advertising things that they knew people would like.

Again, I think they made it clear that Lost World was them being interested in trying something new near immediately after Generations was a success due in part to not really understanding why people like the Boost so much and then hastily threw it(and apparently Sonic in general?) into Forces despite the engine and what few level designers they spared not really being ready for it.

I agree with that guy about the homing attack.  It isn't necessarily deep and it isn't necessarily as useful as flying or gliding, but I find it so fun that it puts Sonic ahead of Tails and Knuckles as my favorite character in 3D.  That is, when the boost doesn't make it all boring.

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The only reason why Classic Sonic has more characters right now is because people have so much hostility to the idea of the characters "not playing like Sonic."

If only people would stop with that rhetoric, we would still have Treasure Hunting, Shooting, racing with Flight and such to make room for the other characters.

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4 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

That applies to many characters, but it need not apply to Tails and Knuckles.  They originally played close enough to Sonic, and can again.

Yeah, but their flight and gliding puts everything into question. It's easy enough to balance out Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles' core abilities in 2D because of the verticality, but 3D can't have that luxury.

This is why the 3D games favor giving them their own levels that change the game entirely, since they at least have their full skillset. And honestly, that's objectively the best way to have multiple characters in Sonic, since instead of trying to cram three very different characters onto the same set of stages, they can give them specially tailored challenges to their mechanics that make legitimate full use of them.

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2 hours ago, The 3rd Option said:

The only reason why Classic Sonic has more characters right now is because people have so much hostility to the idea of the characters "not playing like Sonic."

If only people would stop with that rhetoric, we would still have Treasure Hunting, Shooting, racing with Flight and such to make room for the other characters.

The only thing I really have a problem with here is can you answer the question of what type of sub-genre within platforming is a Sonic game when every character belongs to a different sub-genre.

My problem with such an approach aside, it also kills brand unity and identity when every single playable character is built or has to be built as if they were staring in their own game, and that isn't even taking into consideration the strain on a development team to have to build multiple full games at once and cram them into a single game. It sounds like utter madness to me and demanding too much out of a team no less dividing their attention and focus all over the place. From there, if you compare Sonic to his original rival, every character in Mario still has eth same fundamentals in most main titles where more than Mario is playable.

Coming back around to my own perspective, I come to Sonic games for Sonic gameplay and the cast of characters who entertain me in their own ways and can never wrap my head around why the two can't coexist in the eyes of so many despite the success of games like Mania. Maybe it's because I've been playing games since like 1989 and just generally like my differences in platformers and run and guns to generally be in character animations and design instead of gameplay.

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I think a big problem is that there are many divided opinions on how characters other than Sonic should play as. Some people want the other characters to play similar to Sonic, while other people want them to play much more differently. I feel this is one of the few issues in the franchise that is pretty evenly split down the middle with a good compromise being a bit fuzzy to achieve. But I suppose if they play good (which I know is a really vague term and I'm sorry), then it should be okay. Then there's also the issue of if they should be optional or not...and then on top of that, there's also the issue of stages. Should each character get their own stage or should it be the same stage but with different pathways? On one hand you have mech-shooting and treasure hunting stages mixed in with running stages, on the other hand you have the same game being played through four times.

Just as a side note, does anyone here think that a similar system to some of the stages Sonic '06 could possibly work? Where the stage is sort of divided into "sections" with one character taking over once the player completes a certain portion that is more tailored to them? I'm kind of "eh" about it myself but I wonder if it could work if done in a certain way.

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38 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

The only thing I really have a problem with here is can you answer the question of what type of sub-genre within platforming is a Sonic game when every character belongs to a different sub-genre.

My problem with such an approach aside, it also kills brand unity and identity when every single playable character is built or has to be built as if they were staring in their own game, and that isn't even taking into consideration the strain on a development team to have to build multiple full games at once and cram them into a single game. It sounds like utter madness to me and demanding too much out of a team no less dividing their attention and focus all over the place. From there, if you compare Sonic to his original rival, every character in Mario still has eth same fundamentals in most main titles where more than Mario is playable.

Coming back around to my own perspective, I come to Sonic games for Sonic gameplay and the cast of characters who entertain me in their own ways and can never wrap my head around why the two can't coexist in the eyes of so many despite the success of games like Mania. Maybe it's because I've been playing games since like 1989 and just generally like my differences in platformers and run and guns to generally be in character animations and design instead of gameplay.

It is a platformer with variety. Shouldn't that be good enough?

What if people started accepting that variety is part of 3D Sonic's identity? The issue with 3D Sonic is that the characters have such diverse abilities that you can't really constrain them to the basic Sonic mold without them encountering major design and balance issues. With things like Treasure Hunting, Shooting, and Flight-racing, we can see those abilities being used to their fullest potential, and not just to cheat across Sonic's levels.

If you want more characters that just play like Sonic, how about you start asking that the characters' abilities to be changed to be more like Sonic, and less of shoehorning flying characters onto Sonic stages?

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5 minutes ago, The 3rd Option said:

It is a platformer with variety. Shouldn't that be good enough?

What if people started accepting that variety is part of 3D Sonic's identity?

You don't find your use of the word variety here to be a little on the vague side I take it, which is a shame since you also go on to specifically state Sonic who is known for speedy platforming (not that anyone really knows what that means either).

Maybe I'm misreading what you are trying to say, but that could be because I approach things from a different angle. Where I see people like yourself who say cram as many full fledged games into a single game as possible regardless of the feasibility of such a task, I prefer the approach of tasking the level creators with actually designing levels that work with the extra abilities in mind. It is a much smaller task and allows for a particular type of focus compared to having to make a unique game for each included character.

12 minutes ago, The 3rd Option said:

If you want more characters that just play like Sonic, how about you start asking that the characters' abilities to be changed to be more like Sonic, and less of shoehorning flying characters onto Sonic stages?

As for this I personally have nothing against it, but it doesn't address the problem at hand still; addressing the other characters abilities. To do that Sonic Team to date has typically chosen one of two options; either cram in as many gameplay styles as possible with typically mixed to poor results, or just omitting it in general. Strangely, no one ever seems to take an approach that starts with looking at the fundamental functionality of the character's abilities. For example, Tails' flight can coexist with Sonic gameplay if you consider that it is typically a short lived ability that compromises the ability to attack in exchange for trivializing platforming. In a boost game with minimal platforming it is fairly useless, and considering it's short lived time and usually reduced speed and lack of momentum it can't cover a lot of horizontal ground effectively. It is actually far less over powered than it seems and Knuckles' glide is the same way. Without first gaining height to build up the horizontal practicality it really serves as little more than a way for Knuckles to continue scaling walls that are normally too far apart for him to use a regular jump to make. Combine that with his slow climbing speed, weak jump, and again the more horizontal layout of recent games and Knuckles' "flight" is fairly useless as well. If anything, in a boost game at least flight abilities are kind of useless, bar Ray who with good play could potentially just glide over everything if his abilities were translating 1 to 1, due to the more horizontal nature of the stage layouts and lack of platforming and verticality. Tails can't trivialize platforming if there almost isn't any and Knuckles can't glide over everything if there isn't any high points to climb to first.

In short, the over powered nature of Tails and Knuckles' flight abilities are only over powered if one forgets the drawbacks and weakness of those abilities as well as what purpose they actually serve in gameplay. To note, Tails could not just fly over the entirety of any Sonic Heroes levels simply due to the levels being designed to accommodate for his flight being a means to simplify platforming or cross large level or ascending gaps and its inherent limitations without compromising the core Sonic gameplay. It is a fine example of levels being designed around character abilities without having to build a second, third, or even fourth game within the first to pull it off. No completely overhauling the characters (bar Knuckles' in this case since Tails actually makes his core abilities rather unnecessary), no reason to separate them from Sonic's playstyle, and no cramming multiple games into a single game. Just reasonable level design that takes into account the characters' individual abilities from the get go. Frankly, I can't figure out why Heroes seems to be the only example with Sonic in 3D where level design is determined by the character abilities and how they all interact with the same level. If choosing to cram multiple games into one or discarding other characters in general is the best solutions they have been able to come up with it speaks volumes about the skill, or lack thereof, of the level designers they have had work on the franchise over the years. After all, good gameplay regardless of style is valueless with out good level design to take advantage of it.

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6 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Imagine this nightmarish alternate universe scenario with Nintendo operating on the same boost formula mindset following the release of Super Mario Bros 3:

Nintendo Employee A: Our game broke records for sales and people love it!  Except for the frog suit, that sucks.

Nintendo Employee B: Well, we can make frog suit not suck next game!

Nintendo Employee A: I think that's too hard to do.

Nintendo Employee B: Well, if we decide it's too hard we could just remove it.

Nintendo Employee A: I agree, but let's go further.  I think the important thing is that the raccoon suit we marketed the game around was very well-received, so let's double down on that.  Make every raccoon suit have a P-wing so Mario can fly wherever, whenever he wants!

Thus Mario crossed the Rubicon, became boring, and died with a whimper.

I cannot vent enough about boost.  It isn't necessarily boring (although it sure can be), but it necessarily yanks Sonic out of what it had been.  It's no secret by now that the Sonic series adds in things that a lot of older fans don't like; this was apparent as early as the Adventure series and if the Internet was more prevalent before, it might even have been apparent earlier.  However most of those things:

1) Didn't continually and thoroughly wreck the games they were in.

2) Didn't last after outcry.

A lot of people don't like Big the Cat, but Sonic Adventure wasn't a universally slow game about fishing.  Security Hall has to be one of the most hated levels in Sonic history, but not all of Sonic Adventure 2 was like that.  Putting guns in Shadow the Hedgehog wasn't well-received, but having them didn't prevent at least some of the game from playing like the Sonic and Shadow gameplay in previous games.  Even Sonic 2006 consisted mostly of that sort of gameplay, and it would have been more tolerable if it wasn't broken.  and again, none of those bad things I just described resurfaced, except for a game that was broken and a game where a character used guns (sort of)--and even those weren't ongoing parts of the series.

The boost, though, because it was a pivotal mechanic in a game that was well-received, keeps coming back.  We got one break in Sonic Lost World, two if you count Sonic Boom, but they weren't well-received, and now the closest we are likely going to get to escaping it is the now probably-separate Classic Sonic subseries.  This means to me that Sega has finally given up on making a true 3D Sonic game, in the sense of having physics and exploration akin to Classic Sonic.  That sucks, because I'd still like to see one.  As good a game as Super Mario 64 was, it was in many regards a different sort of game than past Mario games, so when Super Mario 3D World finally came out, it was a dream come true; I would love to see the same happen with Sonic.

Honest, I kind of miss when Sonic Team was more willing to try this, even if a lot of it was clumsy.  If somehow the easy escape route of ripping elements out of their games was blocked and they were forced to improve what was there instead, we probably would have better Sonic games by now.  Chances are, they would be less frequent, but look at Zelda and Smash Bros and you understand that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  When a very rich company owns a series, they can afford to give a single series quiet periods so when its games actually come out, they're good and in between them people are optimistic for the next.  Sonic games are so frequent, and most often mediocre-to-bad, that the prevailing opinion of the whole series leans negative now.

I agree with that guy about the homing attack.  It isn't necessarily deep and it isn't necessarily as useful as flying or gliding, but I find it so fun that it puts Sonic ahead of Tails and Knuckles as my favorite character in 3D.  That is, when the boost doesn't make it all boring.

The spindash in SLW was effectively a boost, albeit one without a limitation meter. Players could use it indefinitely. The rest of the design also had a tendency to cling to traits akin to those in the Boost games. Such as frequent 2D sections and HA chains. I agree, however, with the Parkour engine being a waste of time in the end, that got thrown out for the wrong reasons,  despite the potential for new adventures using it. 

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5 hours ago, Fire-N-Space said:

Thinking about it Classic Sonic has less playable characters than modern Sonic with Sonic Heroes, Sonic Battle, Sonic Chronicles, and Sonic Advance 1-3 all having way more characters.

That's why I put the word "now" in the title and included a recap of history in the first post.  Also, when I say "Modern Sonic" I'm effectively referring to the games that play like the Modern Sonic sections in Sonic Generations, which for gameplay purposes are Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventures, Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors, and Sonic Forces.  By the same gameplay-based designation, Classic Sonic is all of the Genesis and Game Gear Sonic platformers, Sonic Pocket Adventure and Sonic Mania.  The games you mentioned were made before Sega started to consider Modern and Classic separate entities, have no games made akin to them since 2006, and Sonic Battle and Sonic Chronicles are spin-offs, which I don't count.  Also, the Sonic Advance series had at most five characters, which now Sonic Mania does too.

4 hours ago, Sonic Fan J said:

The only thing I really have a problem with here is can you answer the question of what type of sub-genre within platforming is a Sonic game when every character belongs to a different sub-genre.

My problem with such an approach aside, it also kills brand unity and identity when every single playable character is built or has to be built as if they were staring in their own game, and that isn't even taking into consideration the strain on a development team to have to build multiple full games at once and cram them into a single game. It sounds like utter madness to me and demanding too much out of a team no less dividing their attention and focus all over the place. From there, if you compare Sonic to his original rival, every character in Mario still has eth same fundamentals in most main titles where more than Mario is playable.

Coming back around to my own perspective, I come to Sonic games for Sonic gameplay and the cast of characters who entertain me in their own ways and can never wrap my head around why the two can't coexist in the eyes of so many despite the success of games like Mania. Maybe it's because I've been playing games since like 1989 and just generally like my differences in platformers and run and guns to generally be in character animations and design instead of gameplay.

 

3 hours ago, The 3rd Option said:

It is a platformer with variety. Shouldn't that be good enough?

What if people started accepting that variety is part of 3D Sonic's identity? The issue with 3D Sonic is that the characters have such diverse abilities that you can't really constrain them to the basic Sonic mold without them encountering major design and balance issues. With things like Treasure Hunting, Shooting, and Flight-racing, we can see those abilities being used to their fullest potential, and not just to cheat across Sonic's levels.

If you want more characters that just play like Sonic, how about you start asking that the characters' abilities to be changed to be more like Sonic, and less of shoehorning flying characters onto Sonic stages?

I think that ship has sailed thanks to too many low points in such games and then too many games with less playable characters.  3D Sonic differs from 2D Sonic in that it hasn't found a formula that nearly everyone accepts is the right way to do 3D Sonic.  The closest we come is the way Sonic himself plays in 3D; generally considered the highlight of every official 3D game and in fangames gotten very close to analogous to how he played in 2D.  Even then, though, there isn't a consensus on whether the boost is a good thing; the one objectively true thing is that when it's there, levels simply can't be designed in the same way they are when it's not.

So at this point, I think we've come too far to accept that everything can be reconciled into a neat, universally accepted 3D Sonic whole.  As I said above, Modern Sonic is not Sonic Adventure Sonic, any more than it's Classic Sonic.  Peripheral characters with gameplay variety have a lot of detractors, so does the boost, and seeing as the two of those don't really share any games between them (I'm not counting the Werehog or Classic Sonic, though maybe I should count the avatar), I think it might be best just draw a line between them and start to see Sonic Adventure as a third sub-series that has its own fandom.  Check the front page; the first Sonic Adventure is now two decades old, and it may be high time to start capitalizing on nostalgia.  That presumably means more playable characters and the characters being more diverse again, since it's probable that big fans of the Adventure series like that to an extent.  That's not to say the other characters and gameplay styles shouldn't be improved, but hey; Sonic's gameplay there could use an improvement, too.  No boost though.  Please, no boost.  We've kept it out of Classic Sonic's revival so far, so let's keep it out of this.  Working momentum physics are the way to go.

3 hours ago, Sonic Fan J said:

You don't find your use of the word variety here to be a little on the vague side I take it, which is a shame since you also go on to specifically state Sonic who is known for speedy platforming (not that anyone really knows what that means either).

Maybe I'm misreading what you are trying to say, but that could be because I approach things from a different angle. Where I see people like yourself who say cram as many full fledged games into a single game as possible regardless of the feasibility of such a task, I prefer the approach of tasking the level creators with actually designing levels that work with the extra abilities in mind. It is a much smaller task and allows for a particular type of focus compared to having to make a unique game for each included character.

As for this I personally have nothing against it, but it doesn't address the problem at hand still; addressing the other characters abilities. To do that Sonic Team to date has typically chosen one of two options; either cram in as many gameplay styles as possible with typically mixed to poor results, or just omitting it in general. Strangely, no one ever seems to take an approach that starts with looking at the fundamental functionality of the character's abilities. For example, Tails' flight can coexist with Sonic gameplay if you consider that it is typically a short lived ability that compromises the ability to attack in exchange for trivializing platforming. In a boost game with minimal platforming it is fairly useless, and considering it's short lived time and usually reduced speed and lack of momentum it can't cover a lot of horizontal ground effectively. It is actually far less over powered than it seems and Knuckles' glide is the same way. Without first gaining height to build up the horizontal practicality it really serves as little more than a way for Knuckles to continue scaling walls that are normally too far apart for him to use a regular jump to make. Combine that with his slow climbing speed, weak jump, and again the more horizontal layout of recent games and Knuckles' "flight" is fairly useless as well. If anything, in a boost game at least flight abilities are kind of useless, bar Ray who with good play could potentially just glide over everything if his abilities were translating 1 to 1, due to the more horizontal nature of the stage layouts and lack of platforming and verticality. Tails can't trivialize platforming if there almost isn't any and Knuckles can't glide over everything if there isn't any high points to climb to first.

In short, the over powered nature of Tails and Knuckles' flight abilities are only over powered if one forgets the drawbacks and weakness of those abilities as well as what purpose they actually serve in gameplay. To note, Tails could not just fly over the entirety of any Sonic Heroes levels simply due to the levels being designed to accommodate for his flight being a means to simplify platforming or cross large level or ascending gaps and its inherent limitations without compromising the core Sonic gameplay. It is a fine example of levels being designed around character abilities without having to build a second, third, or even fourth game within the first to pull it off. No completely overhauling the characters (bar Knuckles' in this case since Tails actually makes his core abilities rather unnecessary), no reason to separate them from Sonic's playstyle, and no cramming multiple games into a single game. Just reasonable level design that takes into account the characters' individual abilities from the get go. Frankly, I can't figure out why Heroes seems to be the only example with Sonic in 3D where level design is determined by the character abilities and how they all interact with the same level. If choosing to cram multiple games into one or discarding other characters in general is the best solutions they have been able to come up with it speaks volumes about the skill, or lack thereof, of the level designers they have had work on the franchise over the years. After all, good gameplay regardless of style is valueless with out good level design to take advantage of it.

Sonic Heroes was my thought, too.  The game certainly has its faults, but they did manage to break it down into neatly working speed, flight, and power sections.  If you could broaden level designs to make multiple paths in the stages, with a better camera to match, you'd have levels that could be played by different types of characters by themselves, all the way through.  Making such levels would take time, but the result would be a game that had replay value, compared to Sonic Heroes, which got repetitive.

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I'm not surprised by this. I think for a 2D game it is much simpler and also not as complicated to program in some more additional playable characters. Plus the classic games where also much more simpler in structure compare to the modern games.

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