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What are the positive elements the series can learn from the 3d games for the future?


PhoenixtheJackal
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What I think Sonic Team needs to do is look at every well loved and universally hated Sonic Games and learn what went right, and What went Wrong,

IMO the Adventure Games are loved because of the Freedom of Sonic and Shadows Movement, and the Chao Garden, the worst being The Other characters having Gimicks that slow them down,

for The Boost games in general Boosting through stages is exilerating along with the homing attack having a cursor, and they in general felt pretty polished, and negatives for the boost games being sometimes a decent chunk of levels is hold/press X/Y/Whatever and Win,

and then more Specifically Unleashed Biggest Positive is the introduction of the Boost along with making the humans not so out of place, and for negatives it's the Night Stages it's a much slower gameplay style that just doesn't fit, and the battle theme every 10 seconds.

For Colors the biggest plus was the Wisps were mostly a really fun Gimicks, Swimming wasn't just Slow Juice that you did in they did something interesting with it, and I thought the writing was really fun, but biggest negatives definitely the fact there's so many 2d sections it's hard to completely consider it a 3d game, and the complete doing away with other characters except Tails, and Eggman

Then Generations the biggest Positive is definitely the level design at least the 3d Stages had so much variety in how you could go through with many different routes and secrets to find, and I think the biggest downside is Classic Sonic it's not bad but less fun then the 3d Stages, and also even though more characters showed up they didn't do anything

As for good parts of hated games I'll probably ignore 06 cuz not sure how the no 06 rules work

But Starting With Shadow I thought the Gunplay was well Implemented and fun, and I thought control wise it was a massive improvement to Heroes, and the Neutral Stages usually only last 5 minutes, but the downsides it basically shot Shadow's character and did a little Dance on the grave and then robbed the Grave, and also the level design was really lacking it's not all that interesting, and the missions were so tedius and you have to beat each route twice in order to get the last story

Moving on Sonic Boom I think the biggest win for Boom is giving Amy an actual personality, and it was an Interesting Idea, and the Biggest negative is basically the game, other than Amy it's not written well and even Amy isn't, and the Gameplay is boring, everything is boring in the game the Cartoon Great the game not

And then Forces, the biggest positive would probably be The Avatar it's a neat Gameplay Style and it's cool to make an Official Sonic OC, the Other Positive is having Shadow Playable Sonic's friends finally did something again well at least one, and then the Negative Level Design is terrible it's so Short and as soon as it's the good part "Oh there's the Goal Ring", and the Writing was bad, I like Infinite but he's definitely not a good villain I just think he's funny, and they removed the Drift

I'm missing a lot of games but I was focusing on 3d games with Powerful Opinions so what do y'all think? Also some of the Issues are more on Sega then Sonic Team

Edited by PhoenixtheJackal
The title was real bad, so I made it more concise
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Hey. can I make a suggestion towards a less...wordy topic title? You can just call it "What are the positive elements the series can learn from every 3D Sonic game going forward"  and leave it at that.

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Ok I didn't read the main post because frankly the title got thepoint across but can I be honest? Sonic's been fine for the last decade. 

I'm not counting the Boom games because those are spinoffsbut for the most part all the Sonic Team games have been more or less fine. 

Colors and Generations are great, I haven't played Lost World but honestly every LP I've seen makes it look really fun so I really don't get the problem, Forces...ok I'll give you Forces. It's not a terrible game just kind of a meh game. 

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

Hey. can I make a suggestion towards a less...wordy topic title? You can just call it "What are the positive elements the series can learn from every 3D Sonic game going forward"  and leave it at that.

Thanks it was kinda long I'm bad at compressing my thoughts

24 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

Ok I didn't read the main post because frankly the title got thepoint across but can I be honest? Sonic's been fine for the last decade. 

I'm not counting the Boom games because those are spinoffsbut for the most part all the Sonic Team games have been more or less fine. 

Colors and Generations are great, I haven't played Lost World but honestly every LP I've seen makes it look really fun so I really don't get the problem, Forces...ok I'll give you Forces. It's not a terrible game just kind of a meh game. 

Yeah True Lost World was good, I keep forgetting how Sonic Games are coming out at a more reasonable pace, these days, but Lost World is really polarizing, cuz it introduced a lot of real bad Gimmicks, but it's mostly the 3ds Lost World that's bad, cuz it has the heroes problem of levels taking 10 minutes and more, and the Boom 3ds games aren't terrible but really stripped down, so yeah I guess the newer 3d games aren't all that bad lol

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Not a whole lot, I'd say.

SA's basic movement was ok and the homing attack is probably a necessary evil for 3D Sonic. SA2's grinding was a bit unpolished but still a good addition, and they should bring the balancing aspect back in some form. SatSR adding a targeting reticle to the homing attack was a good move, to make it clear what you were actually about to attack. Lost World's parkour was pretty rough, but the idea of incorporating parkour-like movement into Sonic gameplay is solid. It's...honestly hard to think of much beyond that. I think "fixing" 3D Sonic is going to take more fresh ideas than taking from previous 3D Sonics.

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7 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Not a whole lot, I'd say.

SA's basic movement was ok and the homing attack is probably a necessary evil for 3D Sonic. SA2's grinding was a bit unpolished but still a good addition, and they should bring the balancing aspect back in some form. SatSR adding a targeting reticle to the homing attack was a good move, to make it clear what you were actually about to attack. Lost World's parkour was pretty rough, but the idea of incorporating parkour-like movement into Sonic gameplay is solid. It's...honestly hard to think of much beyond that. I think "fixing" 3D Sonic is going to take more fresh ideas than taking from previous 3D Sonics.

I mean Generations and Colors did pretty well critically (not a critical acclaim but still good), and it was basically the only thing I used my 360 for, and I wonder what a boost game with the parkour would be like but probably a bit of a mess, but I'd be down for that.

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58 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Not a whole lot, I'd say.

SA's basic movement was ok and the homing attack is probably a necessary evil for 3D Sonic. SA2's grinding was a bit unpolished but still a good addition, and they should bring the balancing aspect back in some form. SatSR adding a targeting reticle to the homing attack was a good move, to make it clear what you were actually about to attack. Lost World's parkour was pretty rough, but the idea of incorporating parkour-like movement into Sonic gameplay is solid. It's...honestly hard to think of much beyond that. I think "fixing" 3D Sonic is going to take more fresh ideas than taking from previous 3D Sonics.

Honestly, you got a few solid ideas right there.

 

 

 

Personally speaking,  I think Sonic Adventure's basic control scheme is fine for what it is; just add a few additions from the modern games like the stomp and some parkour from Lost World. Where things get difficult is creating level design that takes advantage of said control scheme. 3D Sonic gameplay tends to be shallow because it tends to revolve one thing, moving forward, and little else. 

2 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Ok I didn't read the main post because frankly the title got thepoint across but can I be honest? Sonic's been fine for the last decade. 

I'm not counting the Boom games because those are spinoffsbut for the most part all the Sonic Team games have been more or less fine. 

Colors and Generations are great, I haven't played Lost World but honestly every LP I've seen makes it look really fun so I really don't get the problem, Forces...ok I'll give you Forces. It's not a terrible game just kind of a meh game. 

If he was fine, we wouldn't be having these discussions :V

Granted, everyone's definition of "fine" is different so...

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53 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

 If he was fine, we wouldn't be having these discussions :V

 

Granted, everyone's definition of "fine" is different so...

I think he's at a potential risk, Classic is on fire (as in doing well), but I want good modern games as well because like I hate when series devolve Mega Man 9 and 10 are the worst (Even if the games themselves were fine) because they were just Basic Mega Man, not any of the stuff he got in later games, the New Super Mario Bros games are my least favorite cuz it's just Mario 3 again etc., And Mania is evolved from classic which is good but it's no Advance 2, but yeah

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2 hours ago, Diogenes said:

Not a whole lot, I'd say.

SA's basic movement was ok and the homing attack is probably a necessary evil for 3D Sonic. SA2's grinding was a bit unpolished but still a good addition, and they should bring the balancing aspect back in some form. SatSR adding a targeting reticle to the homing attack was a good move, to make it clear what you were actually about to attack. Lost World's parkour was pretty rough, but the idea of incorporating parkour-like movement into Sonic gameplay is solid. It's...honestly hard to think of much beyond that. I think "fixing" 3D Sonic is going to take more fresh ideas than taking from previous 3D Sonics.

What kind of fresh ideas are you thinking? Because what you've already listed off sounds exactly like the Sonic game I've spent the last seven years asking for.

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18 minutes ago, Bowbowis said:

What kind of fresh ideas are you thinking? Because what you've already listed off sounds exactly like the Sonic game I've spent the last seven years asking for.

I can't really think of much in terms of 3d platforming Sonic hasn't done, even racing, and mini game collection, unless I'm missing something everything 3d that fits a Speedy Cartoon Hedgehog has been done

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5 minutes ago, Bowbowis said:

What kind of fresh ideas are you thinking? Because what you've already listed off sounds exactly like the Sonic game I've spent the last seven years asking for.

I mean they still need to fill in the space around those ideas (plus coming up with better interpretations of things like parkour). To throw some of my own ideas/thoughts out there:

-Move the homing attack from the jump button to a dedicated attack button and make it work on the ground (probably only against grounded enemies).
-A run button, more for controlling acceleration than top speed.
-The basic parkour wall run shouldn't be stiff and scripted like in Lost World, it should just be an extension of the existing slope physics. Run/jump against a wall, press the run button, and as long as you're moving fast enough parallel to the wall you start running on it. There might still be some use for an extra scripted "push" to get Sonic running straight up a wall, though; it's harder to get enough upwards speed naturally.
-A replacement for the drift, I'm thinking a brake button except you don't just lose your momentum but store it temporarily, and you can release it and blast off once you reorient yourself. Sort of like a manual version of how Sonic takes sharp turns in the storybook games.
-Some kind of midair brake move maybe? Like a micro-double-jump, something like Mario Galaxy's spin, that can stop you from flying off god knows where but doesn't lock you into a drop like the stomp or bounce.
-Level design needs, like...just a completely new philosophy, I don't think any 3D Sonic has a genuinely good approach to 3D level design. The way I see it it feels like they design levels by opening a blank file and immediately starting to draw the individual paths, so even when there are multiple paths they tend to feel like disconnected hallways and catwalks; what I think they should be doing is starting with designing and building the meta-path, the wider playable space that all the specific paths will exist in, and then carve and sculpt the specific paths into that space so that they're organic parts of it and not just a bunch of disconnected lines.
-The levels' collision geometry should probably be as simple as possible; flat planes, smooth curves, no weird little greebly bits to trip on. They could decorate it a bit to look more organic, but the "lumpier" the underlying geometry, the less predictable your interactions with it. Alternatively, I don't know how practical this is (probably isn't), but I've wondered about actually having two different sets of collision geometry; a more detailed one while moving at low speeds that can be more accurate to the visuals, and a simplified one for high speeds to smooth things out.

And of course there's still every other potential playable character to consider. Even basing their core gameplay on Sonic's, you've still got to figure out how to make their unique moves fun but not game-breaking, and some characters have some pretty wild movement options to contend with.

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Figured I'd answer this here to not derail the Infinite thread further. I was in a rush earlier and I don't think I conveyed my thoughts well or clearly. I just roll my eyes when '06 or Shadow enter the picture because, as I already said, it's a dead horse and it feels like the games are used as a scapegoat for why wanting anything out of this series is just asking too much.

I understand now that wasn't necessarily what Kuzu was getting at.

8 hours ago, PhoenixtheJackal said:

I think it's important for Sonic Team to look at every bad Game, to learn why it was bad, to learn even if it's been 15 years , 6, 16, 24 (Sonic Blast), etc. to give Sonic a Better Future

I don't necessarily disagree, but I kind of feel like it's a dead end at this point with '06 specifically.

I admit that's a defeatist point of view, but I don't really think there's any meaningful takeaways from that game. This is coming from the perspective of someone who hasn't played the actual game, so my thoughts on the matter can be discarded if they're inaccurate. I can't comment on mechanics or controls, but stuff like the presentation, the scope of the story, the use of multiple characters are all things that could be improved upon, but the game struck me as a poorly realized continuation of Sonic Adventure. Those aspects were already done better in SA1, and I think you could go from there and build upon the strengths and weaknesses from that game to better fulfill what '06 wanted to.

 

 

If we're just talking in general, I'd still probably consider SA1 a decent basis to build from, but I'm biased and having been playing it recently it's fresher in my mind. I like the smoother control and how the characters can feel similar enough to Sonic, it felt more like a decent attempt to bring the original Genesis formula into 3D. I actually like Diogenes's suggestions regarding the level design and how to approach it.

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1 hour ago, Diogenes said:

I mean they still need to fill in the space around those ideas (plus coming up with better interpretations of things like parkour). To throw some of my own ideas/thoughts out there:

-Move the homing attack from the jump button to a dedicated attack button and make it work on the ground (probably only against grounded enemies).
-A run button, more for controlling acceleration than top speed.
-The basic parkour wall run shouldn't be stiff and scripted like in Lost World, it should just be an extension of the existing slope physics. Run/jump against a wall, press the run button, and as long as you're moving fast enough parallel to the wall you start running on it. There might still be some use for an extra scripted "push" to get Sonic running straight up a wall, though; it's harder to get enough upwards speed naturally.
-A replacement for the drift, I'm thinking a brake button except you don't just lose your momentum but store it temporarily, and you can release it and blast off once you reorient yourself. Sort of like a manual version of how Sonic takes sharp turns in the storybook games.
-Some kind of midair brake move maybe? Like a micro-double-jump, something like Mario Galaxy's spin, that can stop you from flying off god knows where but doesn't lock you into a drop like the stomp or bounce.
-Level design needs, like...just a completely new philosophy, I don't think any 3D Sonic has a genuinely good approach to 3D level design. The way I see it it feels like they design levels by opening a blank file and immediately starting to draw the individual paths, so even when there are multiple paths they tend to feel like disconnected hallways and catwalks; what I think they should be doing is starting with designing and building the meta-path, the wider playable space that all the specific paths will exist in, and then carve and sculpt the specific paths into that space so that they're organic parts of it and not just a bunch of disconnected lines.
-The levels' collision geometry should probably be as simple as possible; flat planes, smooth curves, no weird little greebly bits to trip on. They could decorate it a bit to look more organic, but the "lumpier" the underlying geometry, the less predictable your interactions with it. Alternatively, I don't know how practical this is (probably isn't), but I've wondered about actually having two different sets of collision geometry; a more detailed one while moving at low speeds that can be more accurate to the visuals, and a simplified one for high speeds to smooth things out.

And of course there's still every other potential playable character to consider. Even basing their core gameplay on Sonic's, you've still got to figure out how to make their unique moves fun but not game-breaking, and some characters have some pretty wild movement options to contend with.

Rush had a Dedicated Homing Attack button although that's a 2d game and everyone completely forgets it exists,

Lost World and the Boom 3ds games have a run button

I think the parkour was more free in Lost World 3ds but it's been a while

The Drift is amazing, and they did remove it in forces

I think you're really underestimating Generations

I don't remember many places to trip in the boost games except unleashed

And that last one is a lot more difficult, although looking at the 2d games the not Sonic's would have unique Paths in levels, and a limit to the abilities Tails gets tired, Knuckles can only glide for so long, but Silver I think a meter (for holding and flying), only certain throwable objects and have enemies drain more meter then objects could work

40 minutes ago, Zaysho said:

Figured I'd answer this here to not derail the Infinite thread further. I was in a rush earlier and I don't think I conveyed my thoughts well or clearly. I just roll my eyes when '06 or Shadow enter the picture because, as I already said, it's a dead horse and it feels like the games are used as a scapegoat for why wanting anything out of this series is just asking too much.

I understand now that wasn't necessarily what Kuzu was getting at.

I don't necessarily disagree, but I kind of feel like it's a dead end at this point with '06 specifically.

I admit that's a defeatist point of view, but I don't really think there's any meaningful takeaways from that game. This is coming from the perspective of someone who hasn't played the actual game, so my thoughts on the matter can be discarded if they're inaccurate. I can't comment on mechanics or controls, but stuff like the presentation, the scope of the story, the use of multiple characters are all things that could be improved upon, but the game struck me as a poorly realized continuation of Sonic Adventure. Those aspects were already done better in SA1, and I think you could go from there and build upon the strengths and weaknesses from that game to better fulfill what '06 wanted to.

 

 

If we're just talking in general, I'd still probably consider SA1 a decent basis to build from, but I'm biased and having been playing it recently it's fresher in my mind. I like the smoother control and how the characters can feel similar enough to Sonic, it felt more like a decent attempt to bring the original Genesis formula into 3D. I actually like Diogenes's suggestions regarding the level design and how to approach it.

I just don't think it's exactly fair to Judge the game because it's incomplete, but there are fan projects working on finishing it so eventually they'll be a not broken mess to judge, but Silver as a whole can have a lot of really interesting gameplay if they executed him well

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7 minutes ago, PhoenixtheJackal said:

I just don't think it's exactly fair to Judge the game because it's incomplete, but there are Dan projects working on finishing it so eventually they'll be a not broken mess to judge, but Silver as a whole can have a lot of really interesting gameplay if they executed him well

I specifically didn't comment on the mechanics or whatever gameplay shortcomings the game had because I lack the experience (and I'm frankly uninterested in it). I've tried the '06 project, but it didn't do much to sell me on the game. Any improvements feel minor and without a proper frame of reference I don't think I'm able to appreciate it. That said, I also don't care for the story, which I think is fair to say regardless of what state the game shipped in.

Not to say '06 had all bad ideas, and much of it was poorly executed, but I don't think everything that was done poorly can only be excused with the game being rushed out for Christmas. I like aspects of the story, but it was written and plotted poorly, and the characters either feel like half of them don't need to be there and feel kind of dull outside of a few moments of interesting characterization. Sure that stuff could salvaged and reworked, and maybe a game could approach a Sonic story with its scope to make a more tightly written plot that better utilizes the characters, but I think you can just as easily find reference for successful Sonic stories elsewhere.

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1 minute ago, Zaysho said:

I specifically didn't comment on the mechanics or whatever gameplay shortcomings the game had because I lack the experience (and I'm frankly uninterested in it). I've tried the '06 project, but it didn't do much to sell me on the game. Any improvements feel minor and without a proper frame of reference I don't think I'm able to appreciate it. That said, I also don't care for the story, which I think is fair to say regardless of what state the game shipped in.

Not to say '06 had all bad ideas, and much of it was poorly executed, but I don't think everything that was done poorly can only be excused with the game being rushed out for Christmas. I like aspects of the story, but it was written and plotted poorly, and the characters either feel like half of them don't need to be there and feel kind of dull outside of a few moments of interesting characterization. Sure that stuff could salvaged and reworked, and maybe a game could approach a Sonic story with its scope to make a more tightly written plot that better utilizes the characters, but I think you can just as easily find reference for successful Sonic stories elsewhere.

But Psychokinetic Hedgehog from the future/au, but for real The 06 project is still WIP, and there's like 10 completely different projects recreating/modding 06, but I think as a whole I just really like Silver's concept and want to see him done right, because I mean they've Improved Shadow's character in Forces and TSR and so I don't see why the same couldn't happen to Silver, although Silver wasn't ever great as a character where Shadow had Strong beginnings, so I hope a well done mashing of Adventure and Boost Styles eventually happen because that executed well could be so amazing

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2 minutes ago, PhoenixtheJackal said:

But Psychokinetic Hedgehog from the future/au, but for real The 06 project is still WIP, and there's like 10 completely different projects recreating/modding 06, but I think as a whole I just really like Silver's concept and want to see him done right, because I mean they've Improved Shadow's character in Forces and TSR and so I don't see why the same couldn't happen to Silver, although Silver wasn't ever great as a character where Shadow had Strong beginnings, so I hope a well done mashing of Adventure and Boost Styles eventually happen because that executed well could be so amazing

 

I didn't say anything regarding Silver or that I'm against improving him. I'm talking about the game's presentation as a whole and how it fell flat for me as an outside viewer. Silver's fine in most of the media I've seen him in, I just don't care about the game he's from. Not sure why you think otherwise or why I need to defend one character from that game when all I'm saying is I don't think it executed much well despite having some decent ideas and not everything can be excused by it being rushed.

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5 minutes ago, Zaysho said:

 

I didn't say anything regarding Silver or that I'm against improving him. I'm talking about the game's presentation as a whole and how it fell flat for me as an outside viewer. Silver's fine in most of the media I've seen him in, I just don't care about the game he's from. Not sure why you think otherwise or why I need to defend one character from that game when all I'm saying is I don't think it executed much well despite having some decent ideas and not everything can be excused by it being rushed.

I wasn't saying that you said that, just I'm not the best at explaining so thought I like messed something up about what I said so clarified, and stuff, and I wasn't really mostly looking at the story because that's like the least important part of a Platformer, and stuff and was mostly looking at the gameplay potential of each game that could be grasped, so sorry and stuff (that sounds insincere it's not just seems like it is)

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An easy one I always like to draw attention to is Shadow the Hedgehog's open ended structure. Using multiple exits to go to different levels and progress through the campaign how you want is an idea that would improve most Sonic games IMO. It'd add to replayability to to pick and choose what leveld you want to play this time. 

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23 minutes ago, Wraith said:

An easy one I always like to draw attention to is Shadow the Hedgehog's open ended structure. Using multiple exits to go to different levels and progress through the campaign how you want is an idea that would improve most Sonic games IMO. It'd add to replayability to to pick and choose what leveld you want to play this time. 

Yeah you're right I never thought of the missions as open ended structure cuz most are so tedius, but yeah and you can get to almost every route through a bunch of different levels, and I do genuinely like the idea of multiple endings in a Sonic Game, just not terribly lol

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1 hour ago, Wraith said:

An easy one I always like to draw attention to is Shadow the Hedgehog's open ended structure. Using multiple exits to go to different levels and progress through the campaign how you want is an idea that would improve most Sonic games IMO. It'd add to replayability to to pick and choose what leveld you want to play this time. 

As much as I give Lost World flack for copying Mario, Mario Odyssey's way of handling it was interesting to me. You had big hub worlds that were almost like mini levels in itself, and then various sub levels and hidden things to find in them. It makes me wonder how Sonic would be if it took that approach. We kind of had that on a smaller scale in SA1, but I think it'd be interesting if special stages came back too. Unleashed kind of did it too, which I honestly didn't mind. I still think that Forces story would have more impact if we saw these places being rebuilt over the course of the game (similar to the zone changes in CD, honestly would have been cool to bring back in Forces if not for being such a short game). The bunker would also feel more like a hang out as you'd be using it to talk to everyone and head out on missions. The globe model is cool too, but for me hub worlds adds another layer to things.

Speaking of which, I think something that would be good is some kind of return of the playlist mode from Colors. This way you could still have areas to explore for story and secrets, but for those who just want to replay levels in a various order have the option to, without it impacting the story timeline like in Shadow. Hub world or not, it's always a good option to have quicker access to levels.

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29 minutes ago, DryLagoon said:

As much as I give Lost World flack for copying Mario, Mario Odyssey's way of handling it was interesting to me. You had big hub worlds that were almost like mini levels in itself, and then various sub levels and hidden things to find in them. It makes me wonder how Sonic would be if it took that approach. We kind of had that on a smaller scale in SA1, but I think it'd be interesting if special stages came back too. Unleashed kind of did it too, which I honestly didn't mind. I still think that Forces story would have more impact if we saw these places being rebuilt over the course of the game (similar to the zone changes in CD, honestly would have been cool to bring back in Forces if not for being such a short game). The bunker would also feel more like a hang out as you'd be using it to talk to everyone and head out on missions. The globe model is cool too, but for me hub worlds adds another layer to things.

Speaking of which, I think something that would be good is some kind of return of the playlist mode from Colors. This way you could still have areas to explore for story and secrets, but for those who just want to replay levels in a various order have the option to, without it impacting the story timeline like in Shadow. Hub world or not, it's always a good option to have quicker access to levels.

Blurring the line between hub and level is the main thing Mario Odyssey does to push the genre forward. I've actually been thinking a lot about how an Adventure game could implement stuff like that: Little towns and resting spots in levels that you can either explore or rush past. 

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While I do love the idea of trying out the branching paths thing for a short game, that's very replayable, like Shadow, I would want some kind of solution to the fatigue of playing the early stages more often than the later ones.  Not sure how you'd fix this other than to make it so literally there isn't a single first stage - imagine Shadow's level select but just knock Westopolis off of there - you choose one of three stages to start on (which is justified in the plot somehow... or maybe there are three playable characters that play similarly (Sonic/Shadow/Blaze for example) but each have their own starting stage) and then progress from there.  Or go hog-wild and don't even have the triangle shape to progress - there's 5 stages in every single column from the off!  Maybe even go totally non-linear and have a style like Wario Land II where you can branch off in random directions and have a long or short game depending on your route taken, with the locations of possible last stages and endings being unknown to the player the first time through.

 

It's always a tricky thing though, because sometimes I just think to myself "Well I want to play all the stages anyway so they might as well just make one, really tightly paced campaign" than risk a player having an odd batch of levels in their playthrough.  Of course though, you could go the Star Fox Zero route and have it so without foreknowledge, most players are REALLY likely to take a particular path through the game their first time, and then only upon replaying will they even notice opportunities to go other ways (which... worked to SFZ's detriment since they frontloaded all the new gimmicky vehicles into that "obvious" first-play path, leaving a lot of people annoyed at the lack of Arwing levels lol.  Likewise, you'd need to balance it so you aren't just putting ALL the "best" levels in the critical path, nor are you saving all of them for the secret stuff - but you gotta save SOME for the secret stuff so it's rewarding!!  It's tricky, lol.).

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The funny thing is 06 did kind of do that. But since 06 bombed, even any good ideas must be avoided by Sega it seems. But we also kind of had this with Sonic 3 (partly due to being released as two games), and SA2 (but per story). I agree that it makes for more variety. I always forget Radical Highway isn't the first in Dark as it feels like it balances out Sonic's City Escape, but it makes sense story wise as Eggman breaking in is the first part. So yeah it'd be nice if that was brought back. Even scrambling the order per character helps it feel a bit more fresh.

I don't know I just find the idea of being rewarded for taking an alternate path that's harder to get to with a level as interesting. Maybe it could be more like a mini stage instead of a full one? Like a special stage, but in the regular style. Pretty much like Sonic Forces at times.

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While I like the idea of taking inspiration from Shadow the Hedgehog for different story routes, if they ever do multiple characters again (lol), I'd much rather they do it in in a SA1 kinda fashion. SA2's constant flipflopping between characters makes sense for the storyline, but a constant perspective and gameplay style woud feel more fluid and give less whiplashes. I didn't really mind the Amigo characters in 06 too much because they mostly were really short sections and it wasn't a wildly different playstyle like mechs.

That said, honestly Colours and Generations are among the shorter games of the series and I find it really fun to just play through those again (Egg Shuttle is great), so a short game that's extremely solid is okay to me.

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4 hours ago, JezMM said:

While I do love the idea of trying out the branching paths thing for a short game, that's very replayable, like Shadow, I would want some kind of solution to the fatigue of playing the early stages more often than the later ones.  Not sure how you'd fix this other than to make it so literally there isn't a single first stage - imagine Shadow's level select but just knock Westopolis off of there - you choose one of three stages to start on (which is justified in the plot somehow... or maybe there are three playable characters that play similarly (Sonic/Shadow/Blaze for example) but each have their own starting stage) and then progress from there.  Or go hog-wild and don't even have the triangle shape to progress - there's 5 stages in every single column from the off!  Maybe even go totally non-linear and have a style like Wario Land II where you can branch off in random directions and have a long or short game depending on your route taken, with the locations of possible last stages and endings being unknown to the player the first time through.

 

It's always a tricky thing though, because sometimes I just think to myself "Well I want to play all the stages anyway so they might as well just make one, really tightly paced campaign" than risk a player having an odd batch of levels in their playthrough.  Of course though, you could go the Star Fox Zero route and have it so without foreknowledge, most players are REALLY likely to take a particular path through the game their first time, and then only upon replaying will they even notice opportunities to go other ways (which... worked to SFZ's detriment since they frontloaded all the new gimmicky vehicles into that "obvious" first-play path, leaving a lot of people annoyed at the lack of Arwing levels lol.  Likewise, you'd need to balance it so you aren't just putting ALL the "best" levels in the critical path, nor are you saving all of them for the secret stuff - but you gotta save SOME for the secret stuff so it's rewarding!!  It's tricky, lol.).

Just make every level equally good lol, but I do like the idea of the Star Fox Style Paths, like have each path lead to a different Goal Ring, and instead of the Structure Top Good, Middle Fine, Bottom Bad, it's Hard, Easy, Medium and stuff like that, but have the same story throughout the levels would be kinda neat and have those paths open through the whole levels you'll always be able to get to the easy, hard, or medium levels until the last stage, but that also hurts ramping difficulty if there's easy levels, medium levels, and hard levels, but I guess you could still ramp the difficulty while still keeping it easy, but yeah

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