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February 20, 2020 in Sonic Games
I think topic is pretty self explanatory. I recently watched video that claimed that Sonic Riders is amazing game if you invest enough time to learn all the mechanics. And that got me wondering about all the spin off games Sonic made and which of them are actually good.
Now "spin-off" has some grey area, like "Rise of Lyric" or "Black Knight". So to simplify thing I suggest that for sake of this topic
Sonic Spin-Off == every game WITHOUT platforming
So yes, even Advance games are out.
Logic and gameplay-wise I think All Star Racing was as good as it gets (but I didn't play any Riders games). It's solid game in every area, even if it doesn't breaks any molds. For some reason "Transformed" didn't grabbed me half as much.
But my heart will always love Sonic Battle. The sprites, gizoid customisation, all the playable characters, the great story. Everything about this game was so perfect... except for that whole "game play" thing. Spam super move to win, if doesn't work, spam the second super move. That's it.
As for other games,
Spinball has a lot of personality for such simple game,
Sonic R is really fun in this sorta "ironic" way.
I never played Sonic Fighters, but it l always wanted, it looks real fun.
If I had to talk about smaller platformers, I think I liked Sonic 2 (8 bit) the most, even if some difficult moment were absolutely unfair. It had much more memorable level design, comparing to other Game Gear/ Advance/ Rivals or even Rush games.
Sonic Battle has far more going for it, and far more effort put into it, than any game like that had any right to.
Spinball is similar in that regard. It's far more creative than I can think of any other pinball game ever even coming close to...
And it's something Sega had outside contractors throw together in like 6 months
Sonic Riders (2006) was the first game I've ever 100% percented I played that game for days.
Sonic the Fighters is pretty cool for what it is and it along with Team Sonic Racing is the type of thing I want to see more.
My favorite spin-off is without any doubt Tails Sky Patrol. A bit unfair near the end, but short and fun, with tons of replay value.
If we count platformers too it's either Sonic Advance 2 or Sonic 1 8 bit. Advance 2 is a cool proof of concept that I would have liked to be expanded into something bigger, though both Advance 3 and the Rush series removed some elements that I liked of Advance 2 and went toward a different direction, while keeping the excessive linearity that was the weakest thing in the game. Sonic 1 8 bit is a great classic and has some cool level design. It has flaws too, but it's very enjoyable and I think it's more fun than the original Genesis game; it also has some memorable musics and while it retells the same story as the Genesis version, it has a small additional part at the end (and possibly the first Chaos Control in the series?).
Sonic R, fire when ready, but it's honestly such a short, sweet, racing game. I end up burning through a half hour unlocking everything, zoning out to the music and I feel satisfied by the end.
Sonic Chronicles. Yeah it had bad sounds and music, and the gameplay isn’t all that...desirable, and it kinda was part of that whole Archie thing, but I loved it for its story, especially actually developing the echidnas, and the Gizoids, something you know Sega won’t bother doing. Also I liked that you can chose what Sonic says because many fans have their own interpretation on what Sonic is supposed to be.
Also they brought in the SWATbots as Eggman’s early creations. That was cool
Either Sonic Riders or Sonic Transformed.
Basically any racing game: From Drift passing through R, Riders and up to All-Stars Racing Transformed (Never played TSR). SASRT is easily the best, meanwhile, R and Drift are enjoyable in their principle. Drift is pretty simple, but can give you some minutes of fun (As well have some impressive variety of playable characters for a Classic and Game Gear game). Despite all the criticism, R can be very enjoyable if you take it as a distraction. I always thought Sonic low-poly was cute. Riders seem a series with a lot of loosed potential. I mean, Riders is a cool game, never played ZG and Free but people say they were mediocre.
Sonic the Fighters is also a pretty cool game, but more for a distraction (Is an Arcade game after all) meanwhile I would enjoy Battle more if it was more battling without RPG (Which personally, isn't a genre which joys me much).
As much as I try to like Spinball, it isn't a game which develops me the interest of finish it at all cost. Advance also never caught much of my attention as well I ever see it as "Adventure told in a 2D style".
But yeah, if you take an afternoon and play all those obscure Sonic titles I'm sure you'll get some really good time, maybe even more than playing the main series.
Easily either of the All-Stars games (especially Transformed) would win out quality-wise for me, but I personally also enjoy Riders just as much and wish that the art style from the first game would be brought back in some form, even as a phone wallpaper or something; I dig the absolute hell out of the drawn artwork for Riders.
Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed. There greatest kart racer ever made.
Battle was incredible. Everything from the music and voices to the gameplay to the characterizations to the AMAZING story, one of the best storylines I've ever seen in any Sonic game, even surpassing the likes of Sonic Adventure 2 IMO. An awesome mix of serious drama, silly fun, heartwarming interactions and a heartbreaking ending....I wish we got more stuff like this, the whole Advance 3 G-Merl thing wasn't noteworthy enough for me as a resolution to the epic story of Emerl. Chronicles tried to build more on it, but it failed miserably, and I don't think story in Sonic will ever reach such heights again. (I still prefer happy endings though)
Transformed is the obvious answer. It such a great package as a Kart racer that Sumo could go right back to the well, drop Team Sonic Racing - Transformed two years from now and we'll all be foaming at the mouth rabbid for it.
Still, I want to give a shout out to Battle. No Sonic games has had more lore attached to it then battle.... which is odd considering its a spinoff but whatever. Battle had the customizable character feature, Story modes that revolved around every character, honest to goodness post-game content and even little mini-games you could play with friends. (knuckles minesweeper lol).
A lot went into that GBA game. Couldn't tell you how many hours I spent in the virtual training unlocking Emerls awakened moveset.
Sonic Adventure 2. It was a pretty interesting title based on the Sonic franchise, starring Tails the mech driving fox.
It took the story in more of a low budget sci-fi/anime direction.
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