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What would you like to see in a Sonic Adventure remake?


Stritix
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Over the past year there has been a lot of discussion about a hypothetical Sonic Adventure remake. Iizuka first said he could see the rough edges the game has and would be interested in remaking it back in January 2019 in an interview with Retro Gamer Magazine. This fueled discussion in the community. Regardless or whether one is happening or not, what would you like to see in a possible remake?

When it comes to the gameplay, I'd like to see the movement and physics made more in line with the classics. Keep all of the new abilities Adventure introduced but make the physics a lot more accurate to the classics. This is kinda what Adventure was going for but didn't quite get right. The movement in Adventure is arguably the best Sonic has controlled in 3D but they can take it a lot further and fine tune it. Make the movement more momentum based and follow the physics rules of the classics, remove the scripting and duct tape holding the gameplay together. Perhaps add the peel-out to Sonic's move set, etc. Sonic Utopia is a great example of what I'm referring to when it comes to translating the physics of the classics into 3D.

When it comes to the presentation, I'd like them to go into the archives and dig-out all of the original design documents and design guides. The proportions of the characters were originally a little shorter and stubbier. The character designs were in between Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic.

SA_Stylebook_Sonic_Concept1.png

SA_Stylebook_Sonic_Concept2.png

These design guides exist for every character. There's no doubt tons of concept art for the HUB worlds and stages in the archives which they could bring out and recreate without the limitations of the Dreamcast. However, I'm concerned they won't and will use the current character designs and art style from Lost World-Forces. A lot of game companies require new games to use the current on-brand character models and design guides. The art style is a big part of Sonic Adventure's charm and a remake would fall flat with the look of Forces.

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I kinda want similar tweaks as what the current Crash Bandicoot remakes do, quality of life improvements and extras that don't completely rewrite how the game worked originally.

Like maybe add some new levels and refinements according to what was originally planned but without changing how the final game mapped everything, and maybe adding the odd extra move or mechanic upgrade but still having the characters largely play as they did before (eg. make Big a bit faster but maintain his relatively slower and heavier feel, and give him the choice of a proper attack move like his Heroes' Body Slam but keep it optional in terms of finishing the game, SA1's use of upgrades really helps with this sort of approach).

Maybe add the extra two missions SA2 offered. If anything a 'Hard Mode' could allow them to map out levels bigger and more fully realised while still keeping the default layouts as they were in the original.

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Go balls-out wild or no deal. I've got basically no interest in a "safe", accurate remake. Even if they did everything "right" with it, there's too much of the game that doesn't hold up on a fundamental level, and I've already played it all to death anyway. Make Sonic Adventure as if it never existed before.

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I really would like the final story to be expanded a bit. The whole thing just felt like a last minute addition that barely tied into the other stories in the original.

Maybe put in a final action stage where all the characters go around the ruined city looking for the drained Emeralds (like the final story in 06, except bearable).

And try harder to have the final story tie in with at least some of the main story. For example, turn the final story’s opening scene, with Eggman finding Chaos again, into a post-credits scene after Sonic’s story or something.

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54 minutes ago, Big Panda said:

I really would like the final story to be expanded a bit. The whole thing just felt like a last minute addition that barely tied into the other stories in the original.

Maybe put in a final action stage where all the characters go around the ruined city looking for the drained Emeralds (like the final story in 06, except bearable).

And try harder to have the final story tie in with at least some of the main story. For example, turn the final story’s opening scene, with Eggman finding Chaos again, into a post-credits scene after Sonic’s story or something.

I do wonder if the original game was intended to more tightly involve the character stories. Like maybe Gamma was supposed to be involved with more of Eggman's scheming before going to Emerald Coast (there is a BIG time gap between his first and second level) or Froggy was possessed to go after more emeralds, thus being more involved in the other characters' gathering them afterwards in their stories.

Even just small details or cutscene additions (like the aforementioned Crash remakes did) could enhance and more tightly knit the storyline better. Let's say in Sonic's Final Egg, we get some intercom of a frustrated Eggman in his base trying to communicate with his E-100 drones to get the emeralds or go after Sonic, but they aren't responding, they're all scrap piles now, thus Amy and Gamma's otherwise detached final missions would have played a small beneficial role to Sonic's story without completely rewriting things in a contrived or elaborate way.

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21 minutes ago, E-122-Psi said:

Let's say in Sonic's Final Egg, we get some intercom of a frustrated Eggman in his base trying to communicate with his E-100 drones to get the emeralds or go after Sonic, but they aren't responding, they're all scrap piles now, thus Amy and Gamma's otherwise detached final missions would have played a small beneficial role to Sonic's story without completely rewriting things in a contrived or elaborate way.

Speaking of which, there are a few timeline inconsistencies that could do with being fixed too. The most noticeable one being Amy’s post-Twinkle Park scene being set at dawn/dusk, when it’s somehow broad daylight from Sonic’s perspective.

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5 minutes ago, Big Panda said:

Speaking of which, there are a few timeline inconsistencies that could do with being fixed too. The most noticeable one being Amy’s post-Twinkle Park scene being set at dawn/dusk, when it’s somehow broad daylight from Sonic’s perspective.

Also Gamma coming out of Red Mountain long before his fight with Epsilon in Knuckles' story. 

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2 minutes ago, E-122-Psi said:

Also Gamma coming out of Red Mountain long before his fight with Epsilon in Knuckles' story. 

You mean when Knuckles follows him to the Egg Carrier launch site?

I think that was supposed to represent Gamma making his way back to the base after catching Froggy. Although that presents its own problems: Gamma gets his vision of the past or whatever at the end of Emerald Coast, and he’s suddenly back on the Egg Cartier when it’s over. So was he on, like, autopilot or something when Knuckles saw him?

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Not too much. Just small improvements like making Knuckles’ drill into the ground like SA2, making Amy a bit faster, a more SA2 light speed dash, maybe even putting beta Windy Valley back in. There is one cool thing I’d like though. 

Basically, the sonic & knuckles versions of Sky Deck happen at the same time, so the reason why the gravity gets screwed in Sonic’s stage is because Knuckles keeps tilting it. So maybe in sonic’s stage, if you’re observant, you see Knuckles tilting the ship, and in Knuckles’ stage, you hear Sonic go, “woah!” or something. Little touches like that would make the game feel a lot more cohesive 

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*inhale*

Better physics, improved level design tweaks and additions, extra levels for the shorter stories, reassess Big, Gamma and Amy with more fun and engaging takes on their gameplay, Tornado levels for Tails only, cutscenes animated and directed very well, dialouge rewrites that flow better and are more clear about the story, models and animations that invoke the dynamic Sonic Adventure artwork, and not erasing the aesthetic and color design of the original like DX did.

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I used to be more on the 1:1 remake side but Final Fantasy 7 has got me thinking about how much more is possible here without changing the root of what you're making. I've played so many remakes that just feel cynical that I was afraid of someone getting the wrong idea with this one, but that game felt earnest. Like a companion piece instead of an apology.

 

Keep as much of the game's mission statement and goals intact while basically redoing the path there from the ground up. Be earnest and reverent when it comes to the old game instead of taking a hammer to it. Target recreating the same emotions and experiences rather than doing a 1:1 remake of the level design or the mechanics IE: Sonic should feel free and fluid even if the level design is completely different. There should be some mystery and dread in tracking chaos throughout the city. There should be 6 playable characters with interwoven stories and oohing and ahing as you snap the whole thing together. The game should be full of funny, expressive interactions between the cast and they should all have learned something new about themselves by the end. 

Tweaks should be made to get the story further to it's goals by taking advantage of stuff that's already there. Sonic should probably  have a character arc since everyone else seems to and this game is about a water villain for an easy example. You can do that without adding a bunch of new bullshit in so you would be selling yourself short by not exploring it. 

 

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1 hour ago, Rabid-Coot said:

Dynamite fishing.

Even better. Put in Big's Fishing Derby as a minigame in Big's story. His campaign mode instantly gains redemption. :D

I have to admit I'm intrigued by the unused level entries in the games code and what place they might have had in the story. 'Desert' definitely leaves suggestions that Sand Hill was meant to be a full level at one point (aided especially by its similarities to Ice Cap's own snowboard section) while there's also entries called 'Mushroom' and 'Jungle'. They really sound a lot like a potential nostalgia level in Angel Island, and given how integral that location was to the story, I wonder how much that level being there might have changed things up.

2 hours ago, Wraith said:

Tweaks should be made to get the story further to it's goals by taking advantage of stuff that's already there. Sonic should probably  have a character arc since everyone else seems to and this game is about a water villain for an easy example. You can do that without adding a bunch of new bullshit in so you would be selling yourself short by not exploring it. 

 

That's a good point really. Even just adding little tidbits of acting for Sonic like creeped out or nervous expressions or him struggling a little around Chaos' form early on could add a new life to the whole rivalry.

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You could have Chaos visibly destroy shit around him too to give Sonic some extra motivation in fighting him.

 

I think the FF7R approach is a good way of looking at it; a game that's still fundamentally the same as the original, but does enough to be it's own thing without changing too much about the original. Don't be afraid of changing the way Sonic and Co play as well if you feel you need to overhaul that shit. 

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Again even just changing or upgrading how the old script is handled can give a completely new look at how the story flows. Sonic X admittedly was pretty good with this, a lot of the dialogue in the original edit was just a refined take of the Japanese script of SA1 but with the bonus of more developed acting and fluctuations compared to the games' cutscenes. I loved how in the anime version Birdie/Lily was actually an emotive character that bonded with Amy and not just a basic prop, which gave us far more investment in Amy and Gamma's storyline. Even just something akin to say Cream and Cheese's gameplay where they interact in gameplay animations and what not can spruce up the dynamic the same way.

The Crash remakes are again another example of this. They pretty much use the exact same script as the original games, but use the animation upgrade and occasional deviations in acting sometimes change up how the characters personalities reflect. Take Oxide's more cocky, pompous demeanor while monologuing in Nitro Fueled for example, or Tropy's unimpressed smirk while talking about Dr Cortex in NST Warped. They add more to their personalities and dynamics without changing the story. They also add in the odd extra scene when it doesn't completely alter the continuity, like Tawna actually putting a fight against Cortex's henchman in NST Crash 1, or Crash and Coco playing around in the NF ending (seriously, Sonic and Tails could use this kind of extra detail a LOT in SA1, they're just WAY too formal in that game).

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13 minutes ago, E-122-Psi said:

(seriously, Sonic and Tails could use this kind of extra detail a LOT in SA1, they're just WAY too formal in that game).

This honestly depends on if it's developed by SoJ or an American company; Sonic & Tails being formal to each other to a fault is very much in-line with how SoJ writes them, because you know...Japanese politeness and all that. 

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27 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

This honestly depends on if it's developed by SoJ or an American company; Sonic & Tails being formal to each other to a fault is very much in-line with how SoJ writes them, because you know...Japanese politeness and all that. 

I dunno, I feel like they could still muster a proper bond between them. I've seen plenty of Japanese media that can establish playful friendships (the OVA is a decent in-franchise example). There was just something so damn BLAND about the two in the earlier 3D era.

It's something that kind of undermines Tails' arc really. Until that final hurdle he comes off pretty professional and expositional. They could do a better job demonstrating how much more insecure he is and how it is Sonic that serves as a crutch for his confidence up until that transformative point.

There's other details as well that feel like they should be more key, like Knuckles seeing other echidnas in the flashbacks. Even just some awestruck or dumbfounded shots of him could give this scene WAY more effect, rather than just a flat "Hmm, this is very strange".

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I'm not saying they can't do more, but don't expect them to be throwing fist bumps and slang if it's SoJ writing them is all, as opposed to Ken Pontac or Warren Graff.  That's kind of something I've noticed about the way they write the characters, they're way more subdued and less over the top than how Western media usually portrays them.

You could have some moments of showing Tails` insecurities (Maybe he feels bad because he lost the first Emerald to Eggman, he was the one who had it after all), and yea Knuckles should have more of a reaction to seeing his own people as well. 

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Make Big's campaign entirely optional. Maybe even convert it into less of a campaign, and just straight up a side quest, where you can just go and fish in some of the levels only if the player wants too. You shouldn't have to fish so you can unlock the Super Sonic fight.

Overhaul Amy's gameplay style. Find a way to make her interesting, rather than being a generic platform character in a Sonic game.

Make Tails/Knuckles/Amy/Gamma's feel less like side quests while Sonic's campaign feels like the main quest of the game. More exclusive content for these characters.

Ditch Tails' gimmick of having to beat an AI partner to the finish, maybe except for his final level against Eggman. Expand Knuckle's gameplay idea of having an open area to explore. Take some lessons learned from the mech levels in SA2 and apply it to Gamma.

Less repetition. We don't need 3 characters fighting Chaos 4. Don't need Tails and Sonic both flying the Tornado.

Either expand or drop elements that feel like flab. For example, maybe just get rid of the short vehicle section from Twinkle Park. Maybe make snowboarding into a proper side element, like say have 6 courses, rather than just the 2 in the game.

Make the action fields far more like modern open world sections. Hell, maybe even just have the forest next to Station Square and just make it one big open area tied together. Maybe have a few decent side quests. Hell, I think it would be great to have characters like the Chaotix, Cream, Blaze, and anyone else that could theoretically turn up be in Station Square to hand out side quests.

I think the story can be improved on. One element I want to bring up actually is how (maybe unintentionally?) each character's campaign seemed to show their point of view, and how they remembered a scene. Like Chaos 4, where Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles each remember it slightly differently. Wouldn't mind that element remaining.

We never fight Chaos 1, and we never see Chaos 3 or Chaos 5, so I wouldn't mind taking the opportunity to perhaps introduce new bosses based on those 3.

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Really realistic graphics like that Perfect Chaos shot in the original opening sequence.

Give Big the Cat real stages. They don’t have to be platforming. They could be combat. The fishing rod could be like a grappling hook to pick up enemies and objects. Keep actual fishing down to 2 or 3 times.

Make Knuckles stages more puzzle/obstacle based so the goal is to reach the emerald pieces instead of wondering around for them. Sure in-story his radar tells him where they are but they’re not random. He locates them and you make your way to them.

A boss fight with that other Robo-Sonic behind glass.

Rework Chaos so it’s easier to raise them. I don’t know I never got into it. Maybe custom gardens.

Of course extra stages, side quests and other characters showing up. Expand the hub world.

 

 

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One thing about the different cutscene variations however is that they were mostly a dub creation. It's actually intriguing how in spite of its cheesier script, the dub does actually add some effective touches here and there. Stuff like Eggman's more sinister tone in Tails' story and Big's more philosophical moment in the Egg Carrier are not really in the Japanese version. I suppose this might be where it would be handy to have a writer who was aware of both translations of the script to try and gather the best out of both of them.

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Mildly rewrite the script so it's less disjointed (Honestly get rid of the different dialogue for shared cutscenes it's always been distracting), Tighten up the gameplay especially Amy I don't know what the original was like but Amy was so stiff to control, Put in some ideas that never made it into the original game like the dragon boss in Sky Chase.

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3 hours ago, Wildcat said:

Give Big the Cat real stages. They don’t have to be platforming. They could be combat. The fishing rod could be like a grappling hook to pick up enemies and objects. Keep actual fishing down to 2 or 3 times.

I think maybe the best compromise would be a refined version of his last level, where there's a bigger platform sequence with a more fleeting fishing minigame at the end. Have Big able to unlock a power based move like say his Heroes body slam and smooth out the fishing mechanics so they are easier and quicker to figure out and do. I'm not against fishing being in every level if they can make it less tedious, but making it the bulk of his campaign wasn't really the best idea.

The character specific quests as a whole could use more refinement. Gamma's bosses could do with having faster more aggressive AI (though not to the cheap degree of SA2's where they can just block everything), Knuckles' emeralds could do with a larger more explorational amount of hiding places (again without getting to obtuse like SA2) while Tails' racing I feel needs to be more intuitive, it shouldn't feel like you just cheesed the whole level. Maybe replace some of the boost pads with proper short cuts and pathways only Tails can reach. As a whole the campaigns need to feel like the gimmicks complement the characters' platforming mechanics rather than just turning them into dumbed down minigame. Only Sonic and Amy's (and the last half of Gamma's) really feel like they're fully developed and less reliant on one gimmick.

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9 hours ago, Kuzu said:

I'm not saying they can't do more, but don't expect them to be throwing fist bumps and slang if it's SoJ writing them is all, as opposed to Ken Pontac or Warren Graff.  That's kind of something I've noticed about the way they write the characters, they're way more subdued and less over the top than how Western media usually portrays them.

Y'know I know it's popular to hate Pontaff but can I just say I actually prefer how they wrote Sonic and Tails as friends? They feel more like real friends who occasionally rag on each other playful and not like Hero and Sidekick.

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