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Mr. Stinkhole

Sonic Adventure Remake: Best Case Scenarios & Worst Case Scenarios

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Just throwing an idea out there that probably won't be popular, but why not take the approach of just making Big's story Hub World restricted where you walk from one story event to the other with fishing entirely optional? That isn't to say not to refine it, but this way you get a chill relaxing break from all of the action without the stress and get a chance to really take in the hub stages. You could also throw in all sorts of goodies if you do decide to go fishing. Emblems power ups for the other characters that are from other games like Sonic's Magic Hands or Wall Jump Shoes. Like this you have totally optional content that can be quite rewarding, without sacrificing Big's place in the narrative or forcing an extremely unpopular gameplay on the audience most likely to buy a remake. Just a thought anyway.

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49 minutes ago, Wraith said:

There shouldn't be any optional content for unlocking the last boss. Redesign big to be more engaging if you must but I draw the line at upending the progression of the game entirely.

That's why it's optional--not required.

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20 hours ago, Jango said:

Let's be honest and just say Team Sonic Racing was the best music album that included a free game inside. The game itself is really inferior to All-Stars Racing Transformed. Budget limitations? Sure, but why? It's the only Sonic game SEGA put out that year (and 2018 as well, and probably also 2020). TSR is abandoned right now. Not a single DLC. It's as gift as a pair of socks can be. And no, I don't hate the game, eventhough I haven't played it, but let's face it, it's super underwhelming.

It was also a downgrade from Riders, basically the worst of both worlds in one. While it had a story as thin as ASR, it also had only Sonic, and thus no excuse. The level selection was like ASR.  It handles the most like a generic kart racer game in the series. 

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My argument for Big's gameplay used to be that I'd prefer it to be made into a traditional platformer.

That consisted of the (already brought up) idea that his fishing hook was a grapple and his big size / shape made him tumble down slopes automatically for cartoonish effect. I like both of these ideas, but ultimately it just reminds me of two bigger things: one that I want to see Tangle in the main series to better utilize this, and two that I really just want another Billy Hatcher game.

But nah, my biggest argument now for Big is to just make the fishing levels easy as hell. Or well, easier. Make Froggy much easier to spot, make the fishing part less of an exercise in tedium (nobody came here for an authentic fishing experience, like the idea or not), and maaaybe intersperse some platforming between Big and the fishing area.

Just.. make it quick and painless. Big's levels shouldn't take anyone's time or energy. It should just make you chill and laugh.. even if you gotta get all the emeralds and gems.

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15 hours ago, Sonic Fan J said:

...without sacrificing Big's place in the narrative...

Big doesn't have an actual place in the narrative.

Him getting the most important Tikal cutscene is most likely so the player wouldn't feel his story is pointless and Froggy having Chaos' tail means nothing outside of the Chaos 6 boss fight.

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Spoiler

All they need to do is make Big’s fishing optional yet fun. Do the Red Dead Redemption 2 method, except faster. Make the fish look varied and fun to catch, one after another, racking up rings. Maybe you can bring some fish back for your Chao, too, and they give them extra skill points when eaten. 
 

 

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20 hours ago, Sonic Fan J said:

why not take the approach of just making Big's story Hub World restricted where you walk from one story event to the other with fishing entirely optional? That isn't to say not to refine it, but this way you get a chill relaxing break from all of the action without the stress and get a chance to really take in the hub stages. Like this you have totally optional content that can be quite rewarding, without sacrificing Big's place in the narrative or forcing an extremely unpopular gameplay on the audience most likely to buy a remake. Just a thought anyway.

I really like this idea. It would both give Big a purpose and give you something else to do in the hub area. It reminds me of the Big cameo in Emerald coast too. It's probably my favorite so far beyond keeping it as is but better.

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6 hours ago, StaticMania said:

Big doesn't have an actual place in the narrative.

Him getting the most important Tikal cutscene is most likely so the player wouldn't feel his story is pointless and Froggy having Chaos' tail means nothing outside of the Chaos 6 boss fight.

Actually one of the biggest things Big's campaign does is show how the actions of Eggman and his conflict with Sonic can affect even the most isolated of people. His decision to take action at all is what prompts Tikal to engage with him and helps him accomplish his goal. It may not be narratively engaging, but Big's narrative does support the overall world making him useful as a world building character. Considering one of Sonic Adventure's main aims was to reintroduce and establish the world and conflict it makes him pretty darn important all around even if the execution was questionable at best.

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7 hours ago, StaticMania said:

Big doesn't have an actual place in the narrative.

Him getting the most important Tikal cutscene is most likely so the player wouldn't feel his story is pointless and Froggy having Chaos' tail means nothing outside of the Chaos 6 boss fight.

Define "actual place". Realistically, Sonic and Knuckles's campaigns are the only ones that matter. Tails is a rehash, and Amy, Gamma, and Big's are all self contained stories. 

Big's actions impacting the plot are enough for me to say that he does have a place in the story. I'd argue his crashing the Tornado 2 allowing Chaos to steal the emerald was a pretty big deal too. 

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7 hours ago, StaticMania said:

Big doesn't have an actual place in the narrative.

Him getting the most important Tikal cutscene is most likely so the player wouldn't feel his story is pointless and Froggy having Chaos' tail means nothing outside of the Chaos 6 boss fight.

Tails doesn't have an actual place in the narrative either going by your metrics. Most of the important things happen when he's with Sonic. 

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The only three stories I consider to have significant places in the narrative is Sonic, Knuckles and Gamma. Sonic because yeah, Knuckles because the entire game's backstory, and Gamma because we get an "inside looking out" glimpse of Eggman's empire.

That said, the other three also contribute small chunks to each of those plots (making them also valid) so you might as well have all six playable. Should you need to play all six of their stories to get the ending? Uh I don't know, probably not, but also it'd feel weird if you didn't. Caught between a rock and a hard place on that decision.

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2 hours ago, Wraith said:

Tails doesn't have an actual place in the narrative either going by your metrics. Most of the important things happen when he's with Sonic. 

Wouldn't have said it before, but yeah...I personally would have made his story optional along with Big and Amy's. Instead of Gamma's just going by what happens in it, he gets the Chaos Emerald from the frog (which is something actually more important to the narrative than the tail thing)...but when Tails isn't with Sonic it just becomes about growth.

His growth is disconnected from the Chaos stuff, it's still pretty interesting on its own though.

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38 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Wouldn't have said it before, but yeah...I personally would have made his story optional along with Big and Amy's. Instead of Gamma's just going by what happens in it, he gets the Chaos Emerald from the frog (which is something actually more important to the narrative than the tail thing)...but when Tails isn't with Sonic it just becomes about growth.

His growth is disconnected from the Chaos stuff, it's still pretty interesting on its own though.

The logistics of the emeralds being prioritized over Tails's growth is a grave misunderstanding of what this game's story was actually about.

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3 minutes ago, Wraith said:

The logistics of the emeralds being prioritized over Tails's growth is a grave misunderstanding of what this game's story was actually about.

Big's story...the Emerald being why Eggman's after Froggy matters more to the story than Chaos' tail.

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I actually really like the idea of Big cameoing in everyone else's stories as kind of a "wtf" moment where something comical happens and then they move on, and once you've seen say, 3 out of 5 of them (or met some other condition) Big's Story unlocks as a bonus campaign.

But what really got my head spinning from there was the concept of... what if they threw in some extra optional bonus campaigns of similar mini-length for other characters too?  Something for Tikal that expands her backstory a bit, something for Eggman with a couple of mini stages where you get to play in one of his boss machines.  Obviously this is getting a bit into "they should really be spending that budget on the proper stuff" but as long as we're throwing out neat ideas for a ground-up remake, why not lol.  Would add some exclusive special new content to the experience and would mean Big's Story isn't an outlier.

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I recently played through Adventure 1 again over the past week or so and I'm actually surprised at just how much of the story is irrelevant to the main Chaos conflict, and how some of the themes of the individual stories are actually kinda underplayed.

Sonic is obviously fine enough. Not much character study stuff going on but he's constantly tied up with Eggman and by extension Chaos. He's also, of course, central to the game's finale.

Tails, I can't decide if his character arc of becoming more independent is undercooked or not. There is a broad progression of being saved at the beginning, fighting capably as a sidekick and then going on to save the day on his own. However, it feels like this arc comes out of nowhere half way through after the Tornado 1 crash and then doesn't really show up again until the missle situation and final Eggman attack.

Knuckles, I'm surprised how his story gives almost no attention to his connection to the flashbacks throughout the game. The player can obviously see the relation but Knuckles gets as much interaction with the past as any other character and it doesn't seem to have any real impact on him. The master emerald shattering likewise never plays into the Chaos situation after he's initially released.

Gamma's story is probably the best told but it's again very much disconnected from the main plot outside of a brief mission to capture Froggy.

There's also the issue of character meetups across multiple storylines, which everyone has commented on by now. Fighting Chaos 4 multiple times, Play Sky Chase 4 times across 2 stories, the cutscenes for the Gamma fight on the Egg Carrier get seen in FOUR seperate campaigns etc. 

There's tons of great ideas in here, and disconnect from the main conflict is not automatically a negative but I feel there's as much potential reworking to the story presentation as there is to any gameplay stuff.

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Yeah, Knuckles barely reacting to seeing his people is a bit of a waste.

Tails kinda feels like a bit of back and forth with Sonic's story, since his arc really gets it's due when he's not overlapping.

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For the repeated boss battles, I'd say you just need to do something to make them different each time.  Rework the Chaos 4 fight so Sonic, Tails and Knuckles each have some discreet task to do to aid each other (Eggman fighting alongside Chaos is an easy way to give at least one of them a seperate thing to do), and have it so you perform that role when you play it yourself.

For Sky Chase, have it so Sonic occasionally jumps off like in Sonic 4 to take down some smaller aircraft defending the Egg Carrier, and he fights off enemies in a seperate way - essentially make it a 3D "Classic" Sky Chase stage, while only Tails does the shmup stuff (also: make the shmup gameplay better, natch lol).

Now that I think of it, those are the only two big offenders aren't they?  The only other crossover content would be the Character vs Character bosses, which could definitely be beefed up a bit but would play differently enough due to different skillsets.

 

The only other thing I'd say is cut-scene-wise, perhaps make it so all cut-scenes are the same for each story, no more of this weird arbitrary dialogue differences that were just a waste of voiceover budget and time.  You can still insert little moments that only occur for individual characters, but other than that, having the cut-scenes be exactly the same across multiple stories would mean you could safely make it so the game smartly abridges cut-scenes you've already seen. There could be a setting in the options menu to disable this for those who want to, but by default it should play the shorter versions on repeat viewings.

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17 minutes ago, JezMM said:

The only other thing I'd say is cut-scene-wise, perhaps make it so all cut-scenes are the same for each story, no more of this weird arbitrary dialogue differences that were just a waste of voiceover budget and time.  You can still insert little moments that only occur for individual characters, but other than that, having the cut-scenes be exactly the same across multiple stories would mean you could safely make it so the game smartly abridges cut-scenes you've already seen. There could be a setting in the options menu to disable this for those who want to, but by default it should play the shorter versions on repeat viewings.

This is something I was thinking about last night when I was writing my last post. I was going to talk about skipping scenes that have already been played but then realised that the game has to account for the possibility that someone might not necessarily play Sonic's story all the way through first so what might be the third viewing of a scene for one player could be the first viewing for another.

If smart abridges aren't a viable option then they could skip repeated cutscenes (just have the game keep track of this in the background), go straight into gameplay but have a couple lines of dialogue play for characters to say "Let's head to / let's do XYZ".

Sonic 06 actually does this quite a lot where you'll go into the hub world and the characters says what their next move needs to be. It's often too vague but the concept itself isn't bad.

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31 minutes ago, JezMM said:

The only other thing I'd say is cut-scene-wise, perhaps make it so all cut-scenes are the same for each story, no more of this weird arbitrary dialogue differences that were just a waste of voiceover budget and time.

Not all of the shared cutscenes play out the same way in each story...

Wait...does that actually apply to the Japanese version too?

Sonic and Tails share the most amount of cutscenes and even their scenes are paced so noticeably different they couldn't have just kept them the same.

I don't understand why they need to be the same, it doesn't hurt nothing.

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5 hours ago, StaticMania said:

Not all of the shared cutscenes play out the same way in each story...

Wait...does that actually apply to the Japanese version too?

Sonic and Tails share the most amount of cutscenes and even their scenes are paced so noticeably different they couldn't have just kept them the same.

I don't understand why they need to be the same, it doesn't hurt nothing.

My hypothetical "smart abridging" would account for differences, like, it'd show Knuckles spotting Sonic and Tails holding the emerald before approaching them even if you've seen the Sonic & Tails versions of the cut-scenes already.  But after that, (just as an example of what I'm imagining), the cut-scene shows Knuckles attacking them so everyone is in position, but then the remainder of the cut-scenes dialogue "hand over those emeralds" "no way" etc would play during the boss battle.

But yeah, while it doesn't hurt anything, I don't really feel it added anything either. It's sort of a cute idea that, with Tails' cut-scenes, it kind of plays him up to be the hero instead of Sonic, but to be honestl I don't feel it adds enough to be worth all the extra money/time spent recording extra lines - there's particularly no need to record lines from NPCs like Eggman differently for every story.

There should definitely be little extra bits and pieces unique to shared cut-scenes across different stories, but only where it makes sense, in my opinion. The cut-scenes shouldn't literally clash with one another across stories.

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