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Kuzu

Does the series have too many characters?

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2 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

It'd be nice to have an option that was actually good.

Yes, but you still have an option. They're not forced on you like in later games.

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5 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Yes, but you still have an option. They're not forced on you like in later games.

As I've said, they are mandatory. They are just presented in a different way. They aren't side quests.

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4 minutes ago, Plasme said:

 

I don't accept that as an argument. It's good for replay, I'll give it that. But you haven't really played SA1 if 

@Kuzu. Sorry I don't know how to multiquote, so I'll address your point here.

It's a fanatical argument which is made to try to diminish the significance of the remaining stories, because most people think the non-Sonic stories suck. Whether the people who make it are fanatical is not for me to say. Also I have no way of knowing that about people. But it is a very fanboy argument.

By calling this argument "fanatical", you're trying to discredit it as if it's coming from a place that is not rational and therefore, is not worth considering as an actual point to consider.

And literally, what the hell is fanatical about the point that "you have a choice to play as the other characters in SA1"

Nobody is saying that the other characters don't suck, we're just saying that the choice to play them is there.

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3 minutes ago, Plasme said:

First of all, stop the speculating that I don't really like SA1 because I do.

Secondly, you are just wrong. As @Diogenes says, Sonic's story is only 1/3rd of the game. It's completely different to the optional content of Super Mario World. Knuckles, Tails, Amy, Gamma and Big make up the remaining 2/3rds of the game, are essential for understanding the plot, have their own gameplay mechanics, sometimes unique levels and unique objectives. You are missing out on a lot of the game by not playing it.

I've never really thought of it that way because most of the other characters are rerunning Sonic's maps and rooms with objects switched around. It's like counting seperate Tails and Knuckles runs of Sonic Mania as their own chunks of the game when I still haven't done that shit and probably never will. The other 5 characters represent a significant chunk of new content as a whole but calling Sonic only a third is a stretch with the degrees the game takes to use levels designed for him over and over again. 

I honestly speculate that you'd only get one or two more Sonic levels if you cut the others. Quite the anemic experience, but not unheard of for Sonic games even back in the day. 
 

Quote

I don't accept that as an argument.

ok. I don't really care at this point. I don't feel like being talked to like this today over semantics anyway. They're not optional. There. 

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7 minutes ago, Plasme said:

As I've said, they are mandatory. They are just presented in a different way. They aren't side quests.

Dude. Imma keep this real simple.

If you want to just play as Sonic and ONLY Sonic in SA1 as in, you don't go for 100% completion. You can do that. The choice is there.

In SA2, if you want to play as Sonic, then you have to play as Tails and Knuckles as well. There is no choice in matter if you just play the hero side story.

Anything else beyond that is conjecture that I really don't care for.

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12 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

By calling this argument "fanatical", you're trying to discredit it as if it's coming from a place that is not rational and therefore, is not worth considering as an actual point to consider.

And literally, what the hell is fanatical about the point that "you have a choice to play as the other characters in SA1"

Nobody is saying that the other characters don't suck, we're just saying that the choice to play them is there.

I think it's fanatical because it's a fundamentally disingenuous argument. By saying that the other characters are 'an option', you are casting them as 'optional' or content akin to side quests. That's not the case. They are mandatory characters who have unique content which are a significant reason for purchasing the game (as I've already outlined). They are just as integral as Sonic.

Playing Disc 2 of FF7 is an "option". Playing World 2 of Super Mario is an "option". It's stretching the definition of an "option" in gaming.

8 minutes ago, Wraith said:

I've never really thought of it that way because most of the other characters are rerunning Sonic's maps and rooms with objects switched around. It's like counting seperate Tails and Knuckles runs of Sonic Mania as their own chunks of the game when I still haven't done that shit and probably never will. The other 5 characters represent a significant chunk of new content as a whole but calling Sonic only a third is a stretch with the degrees the game takes to use levels designed for him over and over again. 

The asset re-use is just to make development more efficient.

The other characters in Adventure are far more substantial than those in Mania as I've already outlined. I do think the complete Sonic 3 and Mania experience requires a Knuckles run, but I can also understand why some consider a Sonic run as a fulfilling experience because his levels are almost exactly the same. It's not at all like the fundamental differences as in Adventure.

There's also the obvious point that the story is incomprehensible in a Sonic only run.

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8 minutes ago, Plasme said:

I think it's fanatical because it's a fundamentally disingenuous argument. By saying that the other characters are 'an option', you are casting them as 'optional' or content akin to side quests. That's not the case. They are mandatory characters who have unique content which are a significant reason for purchasing the game (as I've already outlined). They are just as integral as Sonic.

Playing Disc 2 of FF7 is an "option". Playing World 2 of Super Mario is an "option". It's stretching the definition of an "option" in gaming.

How you personally feel about it is irrelevant to me; they are an option, if you play as one then you will be playing as that character until you choose to pick another, there is not a point when you will he forced to switch unless you make the conscious choice to do that.

Anything beyond that is on your own personal feelings, and I don't care enough to get involved with that. If that makes me "fanatical" then whatever.

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4 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

How you personally feel about it is irrelevant to me; they are an option, if you play as one then you will be playing as that character until you choose to pick another, there is not a point when you will he forced to switch unless you make the conscious choice to do that.

Anything beyond that is on your own personal feelings, and I don't care enough to get involved with that.

All arguments are based on personal opinion, so that aside is pointless.

They are an option in just the same way as it's optional to stop playing Sonic 1 after Green Hill. I do that sometimes. I also do Sonic only runs in Adventure. If you mean they are optional in those terms then that's fine. I agree that it's good for the game's replay value when you have already beaten it.

What I have a problem with is those that claim Adventure 2 made them more mandatory by placing them into each Hero and Dark story. This talk about Adventure 2 taking a step forward in making the side characters "forced upon you" is nonsensical. They were mandatory in Adventure 1, they were just presented differently.

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3 hours ago, Plasme said:

I think it's fanatical because it's a fundamentally disingenuous argument. By saying that the other characters are 'an option', you are casting them as 'optional' or content akin to side quests. That's not the case. They are mandatory characters who have unique content which are a significant reason for purchasing the game (as I've already outlined). They are just as integral as Sonic.

Playing Disc 2 of FF7 is an "option". Playing World 2 of Super Mario is an "option". It's stretching the definition of an "option" in gaming.

This feels like a semantics argument. If you can choose not to play something, it's optional. Ergo, the other characters are optional. Honestly, it just feels like arguing for the sake of arguing. You "have" to get all the endings to unlike the true story in Shadow, and you "have" to get the special springs to get the emeralds in Advance, but you aren't forced into doing it. You compared not playing as other characters to not doing whole worlds as Sonic as though they're not just retreads of Sonic's levels in the first place, and that's just a weird take. Not everybody plays the game for the super sonic fights.

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4 minutes ago, thumbs13 said:

This feels like a semantics argument. If you can choose not to play something, it's optional. Ergo, the other characters are optional. Honestly, it just feels like arguing for the sake of arguing. You "have" to get all the endings to unlike the true story in Shadow, and you "have" to get the special springs to get the emeralds in Advance, but you aren't forced into doing it. You compared not playing as other characters to not doing whole worlds as Sonic as though they're not just retreads of Sonic's levels in the first place, and that's just a weird take. Not everybody plays the game for the super sonic fights.

It's not semantics. It's taking the term 'optional', which has a specific use in the gaming lexicon, and stretching it to make a dishonest argument.

Shadow is actually a great example, so thanks for bringing that up. You could choose to stop playing Shadow after beating one run. That's an option like stopping at any point in any game. But your aren't completing Shadow, you aren't getting a complete experience. You aren't seeing the majority of the content. There's a reason Shadow gets lambasted for its terrible structure, despite it all technically being 'optional'.

It's exactly the same as claiming you have gotten a full experience in completing a Sonic run in SA1 and then stopping.

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3 hours ago, Plasme said:

It's not semantics. It's taking the term 'optional', which has a specific use in the gaming lexicon, and stretching it to make a dishonest argument.

Shadow is actually a great example, so thanks for bringing that up. You could choose to stop playing Shadow after beating one run. That's an option like stopping at any point in any game. But your aren't completing Shadow, you aren't getting a complete experience. You aren't seeing the majority of the content.

It's exactly the same as claiming you have gotten a full experience in completing a Sonic run in SA1 and then stopping.

...The credits roll, the game ends, and you get a sense of accomplishment. The fact that there happens to be other stuff you can do is really irrelevant in general. It's optional. 

But I'm just gonna drop this argument here before you start talking about how I cheated not only the game but myself.

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4 minutes ago, Rabid-Coot said:

One thing having things like trophies in games has shown is that most people aren't getting to the end of games.

That's an interesting aspect of those who play games, but it's a different matter than design.

According to Steam, only 9% of players beat FF7! 4% of players beat Ruby Weapon too, so those who beat the whole game tend to go the whole hog!

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16 hours ago, Moose the Cat said:

It's a huge strength, it's just been often poorly executed/leveraged by Sega in the games. The comics, Archie and IDW, have demonstrated how much value is in extracting / extrapolating on the world around Sonic while staying true to the tone/style/specifics of his adventure stories.

The Mario cast is wildly dull. It's bananas how many Mario multiplayer games with big casts there are, that the Mario franchise doesn't really have; it'd be like Buzzbomber and variations of Buzzbomber in Sonic Team Racing. The difference is that Mario Kart 8D and CTR are better games with better, more earned and deserved brand loyalty. Sega still hasn't figured out how to do this with any consistency.

 

"Sonic Team" franchise should operate with 3 consistent teams/objectives, aiming to release 1 or 2 games per year:

3D adventure games (co-op focus)

Cast: Sonic + rotating/various

I think it'd be wise to refocus the 3D adventure games as having optional co-op (couch/online/AI) that can come and go as called. This was a big part of the appeal with the semi co-op of Tails in the Genesis/Mega Drive games that's never really been translated to 3D. And split-screen 2P with SA2: Battle is a style of play that is familiar already. 2nd player controller turns on, choose a character, drop into the level in a split screen (racing) or shared screen (battle). Imagine Sonic Unleashed, but it's optional 2-player co-op. The day stages are Sonic + a partner that can jump in (Shadow or Blaze or Tails in a mini-jet Tornado III so he can boost). The night stages are not all night, but a separate campaign, also optionally 2-player co-op. Werehog or Knuckles or Shadow or Blaze or Tails in SA2-mech. 

This is within Sega's capability. 

2D/3D Mania games

Cast: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles + rotating/various

This is simple. Keep the Mania team together -- reunite them, apologize for not doing this earlier, pay up -- and have them go about making the best Sonic games they want to make, in 2D or otherwise. They can also be in charge of the simpler mobile games, or they oversee them, maybe, idk. Just keep them together and tell them to continue the 'classic Sonic' adventures.

I'd love to just see them make a new full campaign of unique levels and a new story, for one thing. Just more of what they were doing. But you can see there's so much potential for spin-off solo games for Tails and Knuckles with full campaigns of levels specifically designed around their unique abilities, as opposed to being alternate routes through Sonic levels. What does a "Tails game" with alternate Sonic routes look like, how would that work? It'd be interesting to see them explore things like that.

This isn't beyond Sega's capability.

Multiplayer games

Cast: Sonic, everyone

Again, easy one because they've been on the right track a number of times. Just not in a focused way. Beat the Nintendo Mario multiplayer titles by being more inventive and different. The main cast should be the GIGANTIC roster of Sonic characters (ideally from ALL MEDIA -- why not?)  Leverage the Sega version of Smash Bros just with "Sonic Universe" characters alone. There's a deeper bench of Sonic IP than all other Sega IP combined, I'd bet.

Racing/Mario Kart style All Stars Racing Transformed = this was the right direction. The Sega "all stars" and Ralph or whatever can be unlockable but Sonic Team Racing had the right idea to center the Sonic cast, but for some reason, with less interesting gameplay. Be the "Diddy Kong Racing" everybody wants you to be!

Fighting/Smash Bros style Sonic the Fighters as a "kids Virtua Fighter" is a good idea. Sonic Battle was awesome. It can be simple. "Brawlhalla" for Sonic IP that works like a combination of Sonic Battle and Power Stone.

Minigame/Mario Party style This could be so much more fun in the Sonic world if they were playful. Instead of the monopoly-style board game of Mario Party, do Risk with minigames (that's essentially what Sonic Forces was, in a clumsier way). Different players control different teams (Dark, Chaotix, etc) and rotate between racing/hunting/battle style minigames. Sonic Risk. There you have it.

Microgames/Wario-Ware style would be wacky wonderful for minigame collections starring Eggman, and Mean Bean Machine is still a fun name, could bring that back, but just totally reinvent the gameplay beyond Puyo. There's a lot of fun bad guys and robots in the Sonic franchise, it would be fun to do a game that puts them all under stupid tests of different kinds of gameplay. 

Having opportunities and reason should also encourage Sega to continue introducing new characters and not stopping with Silver/Blaze/Cream. Comic/cartoon characters like Tangle / Sally Acorn / Bunnie / Antoine / Chuck / Sticks theoretically already belong to Sega in some capacity. Not to mention Nack/Bean/Bark and so on. This deep, wacky world should continue to expand. As long as Sonic + Eggman are centered, the rest of the cast are all just "Sonic's Friends" with their own quirks/histories, and they're at least accessible in new multiplayer kart/minigames if not in the adventure games. 

Build the "Sonic Universe" up and out. In addition to being interesting tweaks on the Nintendo establishment in the game design (and spoiler is a good role for Sega to play), it's also fitting for the Sonic lore to be compelling as a contrast to the intentional dullness of Mario. Sure these elements can be skipped. But Mario Party has a ton of lore that can't be skipped and is incredibly boring, even to young children.

Sonic's relative scale of epic-ness in storytelling makes "Sonic Risk" so much more engaging and unique than "Sonic Shuffle" or doing some pale imitation of "Sonic Party" -- it zigs instead of zags, being only slightly older in demo but also holding even more broad appeal if done well. And it has been done well, in the comics certainly. This all rests on the idea of being able to translate that good storytelling into the game writing.

Okay this is maybe beyond Sega's capability. Sonic Team Racing wanting to be story focused was horrible. Sonic Olympics, same thing. Just a ton of bad text/voice acting, terrible scripting, repetitive. They shouldn't continue on the path they're on, but having a story is nice if it's a good story and told well. 

I type things like this out for my own satisfaction to think it through, and then start getting annoyed they're not already doing this! Sheesh!

In addition, Mario does have a fairly wide pool of semi-interesting characters they could end up using, but never do in favor of those type specimens, recolors, etc. Examples include Merelda and Shokora, as well as Captain Syrup. I agree about Mario lore being boring. It's a crying shame that the writing in the last two Olympics has been a ton of bad text, given that the first two ones that had actual stories actually being fairly good. I'd argue Puyo could be a close second to Sonic in depth, though a good chunk is Madou, which may be owned by D4/Compile Heart.

11 hours ago, I-EM-EI said:

I believe the problem with the series' characters lie on the specific roles each of them are supposed to fill.

Knuckles is the most affected by this, as he goes on with adventures with Sonic quite regularly, and is considered the muscle of the team, which is certainly incompatible with his task as the guardian of the Master Emerald and Angel Island.

Then you have others such as Shadow (does his own thing separate from the others), Silver (is from the future), Blaze (is from another dimension), and Team Chaotix (are tied to their job as detectives), who, similar to Knuckles, need to have a particular reason related to their roles for them to appear. Rouge and Omega are kind of Shadow's sidekicks, they won't turn up independently either. 

That only leaves us with Tails and Amy so far as the only characters who could act as regulars in Sonic's adventures, as both were designed to follow him around.

If you want to keep some consistency with the established lore, then you can't really ignore all these things. However, as we most know, the Sonic canon is very loose regarding this stuff.

 

9 hours ago, Wraith said:

The topic title and the question being asked by the OP are completely different. We'll start with the title.

Short answer: No.

Long answer: 
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It's a dumb question. It's illogical. What does it mean? That too many Sonic characters currently exist? Well, that can't be. There are over two thousand Mario characters on the Mario wiki as of this writing. Too many characters in a given Sonic game? Sometimes? That's case by case thing, but this is usually a question directed at the entire franchise as if it might be a long term issue. How many playable characters did the last Sonic game have? 

Normally I would not care to make these points again, but let's make sure everyone who scrolls through this topic sees this and save ourselves some time.

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Five playable characters.

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Four playable characters. I guess the number four is unlucky in some cultures. Maybe they would have gotten a higher meta-critic if they pushed for more.

So we've established this doesn't mean anything. Why does it keep getting asked? It's just designed to be provocative. Ooooo. Are those characters you like actually the problem, sonic fans?It's also intentionally designed to blame other Sonic fans who aren't really doing anything but enjoying controversial characters and games for the series woes.  It stopped making sense to ask this because Sonic games have functionally had two or three characters since 2008, but as long as there are still Silver and Charmy fans out there we have to put them on trial, right?


Now onto the actual question being asked:

I don't think anyone really considers Mario the gold standard for character writing. Most people I know wish they would do a lot more them. This is a question that wouldn't really be humored in other fanbases, so I don't know why it's happening here. It's repetitive setting and bland characters are one of the few parts of the franchise that are actually derided by fans and critics alike, so it has to be succeeding in spite of this issue, not because of it. 

Doubling down on this for Sonic would really only be taking away one of the few advantages this series has over that one. The fact that Sonic Team dared to risk pissing you off by putting a bunch of different characters in front of you and asking you to emphasize with them beyond their gameplay features paid off in spades in the long run and it would keep paying off if they kept doing. They annoyed people at the time but created long time fans at the same time just by having a character that dared to be quirky enough to click with them. 

The truth about making something for the average consumer is that the average consumer doesn't exist. Every person in this world is different. It's possible to create broadly appealing concepts but you can't truly be loved without getting specific, and you can't get specific without ruffling some feathers. I'd argue that even though Mario is a beloved franchise, it's characters really aren't. It's gameplay is usually why it's successful with it's characters designed to serve that. 

And while Mario's gameplay is popular, I'd argue that part of that is because it's not concerned with being for everybody. It's designed to be easily accessible and understandable but it's not bloated with features or constantly cribbing from as many other popular releases as it can. It based around jumping around and it does that well.

If you want proof that this approach wouldn't work out for Sonic...look at some of the franchise's blandest characters.

 

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Information fairy who's species also serves a mechanical function like the Luma.

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"Master of ceremonies" character ala Ballyhoo from Mario Party 8

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Boss team ala the koopalings. Personalities strong enough for them to have banter with Sonic but nothing that they don't already know is safe from other kids shit. 


 
They've already tried this and it's just lead to characters nobody is particularly fond of. You could probably argue that the likes of Shadow and Blaze are stereotypes in their own way but the fact that you're asked to play from their perspective means the game had to dig deeper into who they were. There was nuance beyond their function. They were given goals and purposes beyond being a tool or an obstacle for Sonic. Can you say the same about any of the Mario cast? Don't you think that might be holding them down a little bit?

And I don't know about you all, but I would be heartbroken if all the quirks and wrinkles that defined all of these characters went away for them to better serve as raw, inoffensive gameplay functions with cute faces attached. It's not why I'm here and I imagine a lot of other people feel the same way considering the vast majority of discussion on this board is centered around characterization. 

The only reason I even remember Ballyhoo is because I played Mario Party 8 a lot. Even then, Ballyhoo has pretty much nothing that sticks out whatsoever. I remember when I though DoDonpa would in fact be Classic Eggman, or some other sort of Phantom Ruby user. I remember when people on the Sega Forums praised Yacker and his little dance. Nowadays it seems nobody really cares.

9 hours ago, E-122-Psi said:

The main issue was that the series eventually became so obsessed with getting in as many of these guys as possible in playable roles that this issue occurred anyway. Tons of shoehorned characters reduced to undeveloped roles with little agency for the sake of token appearance. Take Knuckles and Blaze shoved into Next Gen, their backstories and motives completely ignored for the sake of a handful of playable moments. Even worse the characters that WERE getting developed properly were going the other direction and skewing Sonic and Eggman's role and universe to work more according to them, reducing to the main characters to almost out of place padding.

But of course the developers came to the conclusion that fans didn't want ANY secondary playables. It wasn't that they were handling it wrong or were harmfully overindulgent with it, oh no, never, it was just the concept itself that had run stale. It's like any concept they think sticks with fans. They like chocolate? They'll give them a dozen helpings of chocolate for EVERY meal, and when they complain they're feeling sick they'll come to the conclusion their readings were misleading and they don't like chocolate at all. It's not them dragging any good idea they have into the ground as a crutch without bothering to refine on it, the consumers just won't make up their mind.

Agreed. Heck, Blaze even DIED in 06. Even Puyo handled the returning cast in 15th better, though they did make an odd choice with Nasu Grave, a character mostly known as a caricature of the series' creator Moo Niitani.

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Concerning SA1, while I do admit it's not as fine knit as the classic games, you have to unlock all the non-Sonic characters first and indeed the final boss is hidden and it still kinda heavily persuades you to play every other character to make sense of its story structure, at the end of the day though, it still let's you enjoy them at your own pace. It acknowledges some characters and gameplays will be favoured more than others and you can play each one at your own pace, switching between them at whim as soon as they're unlocked.

Sonic doesn't make a dominant percentage of the game to himself maybe, but he gets a pretty fully fledged campaign with access to nearly every level (10), hub (3) and minigame level (6) the whole package offers. That's almost equal to his campaign in Sonic 3 and Knuckles or Mania, which you can get through uninterrupted, and sure the ending isn't the final bit of the story, but it still serves as a decent close off to his self contained arc and as a satisfying enough congratulations message to the player (you get the 'jump towards the screen' celebration cutscene and credits just like the old games, with not even a message to clear the other campaigns, that is a signal from the game that you can end here if you want). The fact Sonic plays most of the game himself and still isn't the bulk of the package if anything just says more for its content.

If anything it was the other characters that got screwed over, but even then Knuckles, Tails and Gamma's campaigns almost reach the same amount of gameplay as Sonic 1 (5 levels, three hub worlds, a few bosses and the odd minigame level).

I mean S3+K does still in a way heavily ASK you get the 100% mark to see everything it can offer. It teases hints in front of you quite often, the Tikal flashbacks are quite comparable to Knuckles' obvious shortcuts, the more developed special stage activation, and the Hidden Palace mural, and the non-100% endings for not getting all the emeralds are arguably far less gratifying than any of the single character endings for SA1. The point is that you still got a full campaign with each character and you could choose them at whim. You could customise the order you played through all these activities. In SA2 and Next Gen, if you just wanna figure out how to play as Sonic for a while, you got one level AT BEST before that approach was nulled and not even that if you wanna start off with another character.

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6 hours ago, Plumbers_Helper said:

I dare say that the Koopalings were the most popular characters in the entire Mario fandom...because of there relationship with Bowser.

So when Shiguru Miyamoto revealed, just three years after New Super Mario Bros Wil, in an interview that "Our current story is that the seven Koopalings are not Bowser's children." fans...didn't take the news very well. Most people at first just ignored this, but the damage slowly crept it's way in.

Reminds me of "Classic Sonic is from another dimension instead of the past" "There are two worlds instead of one with both anthros and humans" etc. Probably missing some. Still sad to see, I hope that doesn't happen here.

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18 hours ago, Moose the Cat said:

"Sonic Team" franchise should operate with 3 consistent teams/objectives, aiming to release 1 or 2 games per year:

3D adventure games (co-op focus)

Cast: Sonic + rotating/various

I think it'd be wise to refocus the 3D adventure games as having optional co-op (couch/online/AI) that can come and go as called. This was a big part of the appeal with the semi co-op of Tails in the Genesis/Mega Drive games that's never really been translated to 3D. And split-screen 2P with SA2: Battle is a style of play that is familiar already. 2nd player controller turns on, choose a character, drop into the level in a split screen (racing) or shared screen (battle). Imagine Sonic Unleashed, but it's optional 2-player co-op. The day stages are Sonic + a partner that can jump in (Shadow or Blaze or Tails in a mini-jet Tornado III so he can boost). The night stages are not all night, but a separate campaign, also optionally 2-player co-op. Werehog or Knuckles or Shadow or Blaze or Tails in SA2-mech. 

This is within Sega's capability. 

2D/3D Mania games

Cast: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles + rotating/various

This is simple. Keep the Mania team together -- reunite them, apologize for not doing this earlier, pay up -- and have them go about making the best Sonic games they want to make, in 2D or otherwise. They can also be in charge of the simpler mobile games, or they oversee them, maybe, idk. Just keep them together and tell them to continue the 'classic Sonic' adventures.

I'd love to just see them make a new full campaign of unique levels and a new story, for one thing. Just more of what they were doing. But you can see there's so much potential for spin-off solo games for Tails and Knuckles with full campaigns of levels specifically designed around their unique abilities, as opposed to being alternate routes through Sonic levels. What does a "Tails game" with alternate Sonic routes look like, how would that work? It'd be interesting to see them explore things like that.

This isn't beyond Sega's capability.

Multiplayer games

Cast: Sonic, everyone

Again, easy one because they've been on the right track a number of times. Just not in a focused way. Beat the Nintendo Mario multiplayer titles by being more inventive and different. The main cast should be the GIGANTIC roster of Sonic characters (ideally from ALL MEDIA -- why not?)  Leverage the Sega version of Smash Bros just with "Sonic Universe" characters alone. There's a deeper bench of Sonic IP than all other Sega IP combined, I'd bet.

Racing/Mario Kart style All Stars Racing Transformed = this was the right direction. The Sega "all stars" and Ralph or whatever can be unlockable but Sonic Team Racing had the right idea to center the Sonic cast, but for some reason, with less interesting gameplay. Be the "Diddy Kong Racing" everybody wants you to be!

Fighting/Smash Bros style Sonic the Fighters as a "kids Virtua Fighter" is a good idea. Sonic Battle was awesome. It can be simple. "Brawlhalla" for Sonic IP that works like a combination of Sonic Battle and Power Stone.

Minigame/Mario Party style This could be so much more fun in the Sonic world if they were playful. Instead of the monopoly-style board game of Mario Party, do Risk with minigames (that's essentially what Sonic Forces was, in a clumsier way). Different players control different teams (Dark, Chaotix, etc) and rotate between racing/hunting/battle style minigames. Sonic Risk. There you have it.

Microgames/Wario-Ware style would be wacky wonderful for minigame collections starring Eggman, and Mean Bean Machine is still a fun name, could bring that back, but just totally reinvent the gameplay beyond Puyo. There's a lot of fun bad guys and robots in the Sonic franchise, it would be fun to do a game that puts them all under stupid tests of different kinds of gameplay. 

Having opportunities and reason should also encourage Sega to continue introducing new characters and not stopping with Silver/Blaze/Cream. Comic/cartoon characters like Tangle / Sally Acorn / Bunnie / Antoine / Chuck / Sticks theoretically already belong to Sega in some capacity. Not to mention Nack/Bean/Bark and so on. This deep, wacky world should continue to expand. As long as Sonic + Eggman are centered, the rest of the cast are all just "Sonic's Friends" with their own quirks/histories, and they're at least accessible in new multiplayer kart/minigames if not in the adventure games. 

Build the "Sonic Universe" up and out. In addition to being interesting tweaks on the Nintendo establishment in the game design (and spoiler is a good role for Sega to play), it's also fitting for the Sonic lore to be compelling as a contrast to the intentional dullness of Mario. Sure these elements can be skipped. But Mario Party has a ton of lore that can't be skipped and is incredibly boring, even to young children.

Sonic's relative scale of epic-ness in storytelling makes "Sonic Risk" so much more engaging and unique than "Sonic Shuffle" or doing some pale imitation of "Sonic Party" -- it zigs instead of zags, being only slightly older in demo but also holding even more broad appeal if done well. And it has been done well, in the comics certainly. This all rests on the idea of being able to translate that good storytelling into the game writing.

Okay this is maybe beyond Sega's capability. Sonic Team Racing wanting to be story focused was horrible. Sonic Olympics, same thing. Just a ton of bad text/voice acting, terrible scripting, repetitive. They shouldn't continue on the path they're on, but having a story is nice if it's a good story and told well. 

I type things like this out for my own satisfaction to think it through, and then start getting annoyed they're not already doing this! Sheesh!

Expanding on this....

Quote

 

3D adventure games (co-op focus)

Cast: Sonic + rotating/various

I think it'd be wise to refocus the 3D adventure games as having optional co-op (couch/online/AI) that can come and go as called. This was a big part of the appeal with the semi co-op of Tails in the Genesis/Mega Drive games that's never really been translated to 3D. And split-screen 2P with SA2: Battle is a style of play that is familiar already. 2nd player controller turns on, choose a character, drop into the level in a split screen (racing) or shared screen (battle). Imagine Sonic Unleashed, but it's optional 2-player co-op. The day stages are Sonic + a partner that can jump in (Shadow or Blaze or Tails in a mini-jet Tornado III so he can boost). The night stages are not all night, but a separate campaign, also optionally 2-player co-op. Werehog or Knuckles or Shadow or Blaze or Tails in SA2-mech. 

 

 

Here we go. Building a game from available assets, meaning this is possible as a mod, theoretically. (How do you find a programmer for such a thing??)

Using available boost levels (a selection of the better ones from Unleashed / Colors / Generations / Forces)  plus the fighting levels from Unleashed in re-skinned stages with new characters and co-op. We'll adapt the story loosely from Archie's version in Worlds Unleashed, adjusting for what's already available in the games. Since we're rewriting the story, the text will change the most — so voice acting is eliminated or replaced.

...

...Opening cinematic from Unleashed is perfect. No need to cut the voice acting here since it's great, but following this scene, all dialogue is cut (except for Eggman threats in battles). Title screen is new: Sonic World Adventure or maybe Sonic & Knuckles 3D 

Choose Campaign:

Rescue (Speed stages)

Hunt (Battle stages)

Final (Unlocks after both are completed for first time)

Rescue is the day/boost stages, following Sonic on the trail of the Gaia Temples (to restore the world with the Chaos Emeralds) and, along the way, rescue humans/animals in need with Tails keeping up in his transformable T-3 hovercraft, with Chip in his passenger seat. Blaze and Agent Shadow are both on the trail too, each with their own motivations, but all having the same end goal, so they team up with Sonic along the way while otherwise keeping a separate path. 

Sonic is the default character, and best/easiest overall. In co-op, 2P co-op is instant split screen (vertical as default) , with the 2P character dropping out of a Warp Ring at the same place as the 1P Sonic if it's mid-stage out of the pause menu. If 2P co-op is from the beginning, then obviously split-screen from the start. Co-op character has infinite lives, but their progress counts equally toward completing the stage — whoever finishes first completes the level; the second player can finish or choose to Warp Ring to the end. You can easily cheat by playing 2P alone, keeping 1P Sonic tapping his foot, and play the overpowered 2P co-op to completion. The game shouldn't bother with any effort to prevent that, because it's just obviously a bit... pathetic to play that way; so if you really want to then more power to you. The idea is for the girlfriend/sibling/roommate 2P to be able to have fun and contribute without getting frustrated needing to learn how to play. They can just press buttons and do okay if they're terrible, and if they're even a little skilled, it can be a lot of fun to team up throughout the level.

Tails in T3-Jet, Shadow, and Blaze (the co-op characters) aren't playable in 1P solo until after the campaign is concluded once as Sonic; then all 3 are unlocked. Any of the CPU can called in to join you from the pause menu -- Tails, Blaze, Shadow -- and can be set to one or two modes "Help" or "Compete." This becomes an instant difficulty modifier for the stage in 1P solo, while keeping things fun and interesting. If you call any CPU character to Help, they come in and act like a souped-up version of Tails AI from Mega Drive, killing enemies for you, and offering to carry/warp you in whatever direction you like. If they're there to Compete then it's a race to the finish, instantly making the level more difficult. If you play entirely solo, it's simply you as Sonic through a full campaign, the other characters appearing in skippable cut scenes, then the others are playable as unlockables.

Two buttons, Two sticks, Two triggers 

B -Jump (twice for Homing; down+jump is roll/crouch, then jump again begins Spin Dash charge)

A -Boost (down+boost is stomp) 

L stick - forward/backward/strafe

R stick - camera/vision

L1 - sidestep left (hard left if L1+left)

R1 - sidestep right (hard right if R1+right)

The co-op characters vary in how those moves look and rate of speed / damage they possess (Sonic is best, meaning the other characters are all a bit more difficult to play as because they're relatively less fast/powerful), but functionally they're the same. 

Quite simple.

(If "Rescue" is completed first, the Gaia Temples are marked by the player character with Warp Rings. If "Hunt" was completed first, then the Emerald is placed in the altar.) 

Hunt is the night/fighting stages. Knuckles is on the trail of the Chaos Emeralds. He's coordinating with Amy Rose (borrowing/recontextualizing scenes from Forces), and she's coordinating Sonic & Tails on their quest to find the temples from HQ. The story is simple. Knuckles + all of the heroes are searching for the Emeralds, while also defending the world from attacks by the Dark Gaia creatures.

Co-op in this mode doesn't require a split-screen. Knuckles is the default character and best/easiest overall. Because the Hunt stages are slower beat-em-up action stages, the 2P co-op characters can be much more expansive to spruce up the fun. Tails in T3-Mech (upgraded SA2), Shadow, Blaze, and just really any character can work as a puncher, especially in this worldwide Dark Gaia apocalypse with demon creatures from the pits of Hell. Amy Rose, Silver, Rouge, Vector, Espio, Big the Cat, Mighty.  Truly pretty wide open. The only character who cannot be there is Sonic the Hedgehog, only Sonic the Werehog

Without a 2nd player, the 1P/Knuckles can choose any 1 partner CPU with 3 options of behavior/difficulty adjustment -- Compete, Help, and Assist (default). Assist means the CPU will help out a little bit, but not much; they mostly serve as a distraction. Help makes the CPU aggressive in clearing the way for you. Compete ups the difficulty by requiring the 1P to end the stage first/with a higher score from that point to the end of the level.

The stages don't need to be all at night. Instead, if Sonic comes in as the CPU/2P co-op, it's the presence of strong Dark Gaia energy that brings out his Werehog transformation. So when Sonic uses a Warp Ring to join Knuckles, he transforms into the Werehog because of being in the stage. 

Two buttons, Two sticks, Two triggers 

B -Jump (double jump is Glide/Climb)(down+jump is roll/crouch, jump again to charge Spin Dash)

A -Attack -- for Knuckles, this is punch. (tap, hold, etc for different types of punches)

Jump+attack -- for Knuckles this is Drill Dig. (specifics of this and attack/double jump vary by character but are functionally the same).

(If "Hunt" is completed first, Knuckles holds onto the Emeralds until Sonic can find those Temples. If "Hunt" is second, Knuckles takes a Warp Ring to the nearest Temple to place the Emerald.) 

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On 5/2/2020 at 9:28 PM, DryLagoon said:

Reminds me of "Classic Sonic is from another dimension instead of the past"

Oh, Mario already has an equivalent of that. Now Paper Mario and regular Mario are two separate characters from different dimensions thanks to Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. Like with the Koopalings retcon before, most fans are ignoring this...but for how long I'm not sure.

Paper Mario fans probably have it the worst out of all the Mario fans. There hasn't been a traditional Paper Mario game since 2004 and there hasn't been a Paper Mario game that most consider to be good since 2007.

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A big difference between Mario's retcons and Sonic's retcons is that something like the Koopalings not being Bowser's legit children doesn't clash as strongly with what you see in the games as something like Two-Worlds.

TheKoopalings appearences in the games proper before the retcon instead of cartoons/comics either didn't give them dialogue or just had them as Bowser's thugs. If anything, it was the games post-retcon that gave them more character. If you're going in SMB3 blind today and not aware much of the Koopalings' other appearences you can easily see them as just Bowser's generals instead of family.

Two-Worlds on the other hand requires you ignoring or reimagining key details in the core games like the obvious presence of the Echidna's ruins. Bring in stuff like offscreen portals or spaceships.

And finally, Mario never tried to have any more continuity than something like Disney's Classic Canon. Sonic obviously tries to give the illusion it has plots that are serious enough and consequences.

 

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8 hours ago, Almar said:

A big difference between Mario's retcons and Sonic's retcons is that something like the Koopalings not being Bowser's legit children doesn't clash as strongly with what you see in the games as something like Two-Worlds.

TheKoopalings appearences in the games proper before the retcon instead of cartoons/comics either didn't give them dialogue or just had them as Bowser's thugs. If anything, it was the games post-retcon that gave them more character. If you're going in SMB3 blind today and not aware much of the Koopalings' other appearences you can easily see them as just Bowser's generals instead of family.

{...}

And finally, Mario never tried to have any more continuity than something like Disney's Classic Canon. Sonic obviously tries to give the illusion it has plots that are serious enough and consequences.

 

While I can understand that viewpoint, I can't help but disagree as it requires ignoring so many things. The Koopa Kids did have personalities, but like most video games from the 20th century you had to read the manuals to learn anything about them or how the events of say Super Mario Bros 3 and World connect. I don't think it's fair to say information from the manuals aren't canon because they weren't actually in the games themselves. By that regard, 70% of the story from the classic Sonic games doesn't count either. South Island, how Tails and Sonic met, the Death Egg crashing into Angel Island and Eggman tricking Knuckles, etc, that's all information you only learn through the manuals. I'm not even sure what you mean by "consequences", when has Eggman's actions ever had a permanent change to the status quo of Sonic? At most, Sonic meets a new friend that may or may not make an appearance in a future title, same with Mario. If your opinion is that Mario doesn't have enough stakes in his stories then I can understand what you mean. Mario's dealt with mind control, death and loss, ancient demons and even the fate the entire multiverse itself and yes these events are taken relatively seriously...but most stories outside of the RPGs and spinoffs are basically Princess Peach has been kidnapped, go rescue her. Sometimes they play around with it, Super Mario Bros 3 doesn't have Princess Peach kidnapped until the final World and Super Mario Sunshine doesn't have her kidnapped until close to the halfway point of the game. Three of the Paper Mario games plus Super Mario RPG show her taking matters into her own hands and Super Mario 3D Land shows she tried multiple times to escape from Bowser.


I think the difference between Mario's retcons and Sonic's is that Mario at the very least has a pretty good game to play at the end of it while Sonic is usually lucky to have an ok game. An annoying retcon for most players can simply be ignored if the game is fun enough, but if a game isn't then the retcons and other flaws within will just end up sticking out even more. Just a few years ago it was announced Mario & Luigi were no longer plumbers, after many articles about this it was quickly backtracked just a few months later that Mario & Luigi are indeed still plumbers. For as much as people say story doesn't matter in Mario or is just nonexistent, everyone seemed surprised to learn Mario retired from his day job.

But what can I say? I am a long time Mario fan after all. There is definitely going to be some bias with that.

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Replying to the thread's title, I think that yes, Sonic actyally has too many characters, but I don't want them to be removed... instead they should stop adding new ones and use more the ones they already have.

Not only they should use them more, but also they should use them in a better way, with more effort and creativity.

I said they should stop adding new characters, but one time characters are exceptions... stuff that appears only in one game is fine if it's needed in order to tell a new story (Yacker, Chip, the Avatar and some others); but characters meant to appear only in one game should never return outside of nerdy cameos and minor references (or maybe in spin-offs with big rosters like olympic games and other not-canon stuff). Also it would be better if the one off characters aren't playable, because when a character is playable and plays good, people will ask for that character to come back in another game. Their role should be connected only to the plot of that specific game where they appear in, and they should have little effect on the general canon outside of that, so that if the character is missing in the next game it feels perfectly normal.

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This reminds me of the “Character Jihad” topic I made back around 05-06 on the old forum.
 

Reading through the topic, I don’t exactly have much to say, but if I can summarize how ridiculous the question is at face value: tell anyone who genuinely believes that to play Overwatch, League of Legends, or hell even Pokémon with it’s several hundred types of Pokémon and then come back and say Sonic having too many characters and really mean it.

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24 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Multiplayer games where the focal points are characters interacting with other characters are terrible examples to use when Sonics genre and design goals are completely different. 

Then let’s make a Sonic multiplayer game then.

At the bare minimum, I honestly couldn’t care less about the genre and design goals. If anything, we can learn from multiplayer and find a way to focus it into a single player experience.

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15 hours ago, Plumbers_Helper said:

Now Paper Mario and regular Mario are two separate characters from different dimensions thanks to Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. Like with the Koopalings retcon before, most fans are ignoring this...but for how long I'm not sure.

Neither of these things actually matter...

Ignoring what's said in the manual has less of an impact on what is actually portrayed in the games whereas with Sonic's retcons are of character defining features.

Classic Sonic being a separate character is nothing like Paper Mario being separate, nobody actually cared about that the worlds were obviously different so why wouldn't the Marios? M&L and Paper Mario were never gonna have overt level references.

Classic Sonic no longer being the younger Sonic and all the new mandates means that Modern is locked off from old characters that could've been made into more too many characters.

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