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September 21, 2020 in Sonic Games
The drift debuted in sonic unleashed, since in that game you can't steer well without it. the concept isn't half bad of an idea, being able to go around sharp corners without losing too much speed or flying off a ledge at high speeds, I kinda gel with it. I've even thought up of a way it can be used and retooled (if you've read my first post ever, which god forbid you didn't, shadow was the one who had it. he was the one who made the most sense using it) for later entries in the series, but I've got a small problem with it. Now I'm not saying the execution is lacking (for the most part), but fangames have proven sonic can steer fine without the drift, see project hero, sonic islands 2019, sonic core, sonic robo blast 2, and much more. now that that's confirmed, what purpose does the boost serve now? can it still be a thing in this series? well I think it still can, just on a different character.
What (I think) could be done with the drift:
As I said before, I made a concept idea about how shadow can be a good candidate for the use of the drift. Shadow has skates on remember, so his ability to do pin-point turns like sonic and the others doesn't really make that much sense to me (I mean like I said in that post, I've went skating before. I know stuff, trust me). instead, how about we make shadow have more looser turns than the others. to understand what that means let's think things mathematically: let's say that it takes shadow about 0.50 seconds to do a 90 degree turn at base ground speed, which is significantly slow than how fast it takes for sonic to turn, which is about 0.1-0.3 seconds on average. at high-maximum speeds (let's assume it's the same speed limit from project hero), shadow can only turn on a wide arc, like generations, just not as stiff. the drift can be an optional move to help shadow steer better. by holding the shoulder button and holding the left control stick left or right, shadow will drift like how sonic does in unleashed. there's a cost to this though, as with this, shadow will slowly begin to lose speed the longer you drift. so you're gonna need to focus on when to drift and when not to drift, which is an easy feat to do, as when going through speedy paths, there will be slight hints on when to drift and when not to. If you're going down a highway, there will be arrow signs. if you're running down a hill on a beach, danger signs akin to the art of most beach signs will appear. if you're doing down a steep mountain, you'll see a busted rail on the edge of a turn to imply that, "ey, you might wanna think 'bout your actions and turn and not end up like whoever fell down there, just saying." other than that, the ability to turn is optional and you can do it in anyway you like to other than just that one scenario. either to redirect yourself to a ramp you can't steer yourself enough to get to it, make a sharp turn to make it to an alternate path you can't get to normally, or a gimmick that requires you to drift in one place (a treadmill for example) to steer something to a certain place (for example, shadow gets to control a simulation to control a bot holding a key into a hole, like Mario Odyssey's mini taxi gimmick).
this is probably a very flawed idea, I'm aware of that. but I hope you find it interesting nonetheless.
Generations made the drift an offensive move, by causing Olgilvie to tuck himself into a Spinball to do it. This could be a delineation point; some characters would drift offensively by spinballs, while others would use the more Unleashed-style, defensive drift.
I only played Generations and its Unleashed mod, and I gotta say I found the drift move basically unusable in it due to how unresponsive it was (At least that's how it always felt for me). So it might actually be a good thing it was underused in Generations. I can only recall 1 instance on Speed Highway where you were actually supposed to use it (and maybe Rooftop Run, but there you could just run to the edge and grind instead).
I much prefer the 'air slide' approach from Sonic Riders, that felt way more responsive, and sounds like @iambitter21 is describing something like that as well.
Making Shadow less responsive has to come with some sort of buff to justify it in the same way that Luigi has a higher jump to benefit from slipping and sliding. I actually like the idea of giving him that to compensate along with a higher jump or a higher top speed to make him feel harder to use than Sonic but more rewarding.
But I always figured the drift could be implemented pretty seamlessly into Sonic's kit too. Just using the input for spindashing while moving could allow Sonic to drift around really tight corners and top it off by releasing the move. It makes the spindash more fluid and easy to use whole moving around and gives Sonic a way to handle tighter turns.
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