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MetalSkulkBane

Is Chao Garden still loved?

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Sonic Adventure was one of my first games and I remember being quite fascinated by chao. But theses days when I replay SA1-2 I barely touch them. I like chao as a part of Sonic words (more than wisps or small animals) but as a gameplay thing I kinda lost interest.

Do people still love them? I remember way back talks (among fans) that there should be a Chao Spin-off but now I wonder if this could ever work. At least when they were side activity, rare animals were another cute collectable to look during the actual game.

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I still love them, though I admit that I didn't play Chao Garden in a very long time now (also because I don't play the adventure games much often).

Last time I played a Chao Garden it was a fan-made recreation, in the fangame "Sonic World" by Ozcrash, and even if it was not the original, I still had fun with that one.

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Funny this should come up because I've only really just started to really mess around with the SA2 chao garden. Don't why because I was at the right age when all the virtual pet craze first began. 

The SA2 Chao garden has a ton of depth. So I guess it's a yes, It's still loved.

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Yes, we all love it. BUT it shouldn't be necessary for emblems- because a few weirdos don't love it. It should be optional for other achievements, and perhaps this could be expanded upon with online features... imagine trading Chao online!

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Okay, follow up questions

1) What makes it so great over?

2) Can it work as separate game or it must stay as side activity to main tittle?

3) If it came back in any form, should Cream role be expended in this territory? If so how? If I remember correctly picking heroes or villains as care taker was important to chao growth

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I still love it even though I haven't been on the Adventure games a whole lot in recent years.

It had a very intricate breeding and color system, I just wish behaviors and Chao interacting with each other were easier to accomplish. 

I always wanted the two things mentioned here, Cream to take a larger role with chao, (as a receptionist or breed expert sorta like Pokemon trainers). Or training them to defend themselves, especially in polluted environments. She's a fun character with potential in regards to that at least, so I was a bit disheartened when they suddenly stopped paying attention to her by the late 2000s.

The other thing I've wanted for a while was to keep the chao garden system the same as in SA2, with improved quality of life features (carry more than one item out the garden, more types of gardens etc). However, when transferring chao to a standalone game, you play as the chao itself (send it out of chao world, challenge other chao/animals, or help them find a safe home in chao world while Eggman's wrecking everything in the regular world). It's a bit similar to the VMU feature from the Dreamcast. But you get a secondary adventure from your Chao's perspective. Perhaps meet Chaos in a rare challenge and he grants you powerful stat boosts. 

But that last one is really wishful thinking. Just always thought it'd be a cool idea. Then again, I pretty much described Pokemon, but in some aspects they were already similar.

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I liked it back in the day, but I barely touch it whenever I feel the urge to go back and replay any of the Sonic Adventure games.  I remember I used to use some Geocities website (I think it was called Chao Center), that had pictures of all the evolutions and secondary evolutions of the chao.  I used to be pretty into it back in the day, but I hardly remember any of it now.  I appreciate it for what it was, but to be honest its not exactly on my list of things I hope to see in a future Sonic game.

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It's so beloved that the entire fanbase (and waves of people outside of it) light on fire the moment Chao anything happens. The amount of people who popped off the moment the Chao In Space animation happened was staggering. 

The Chao Garden is the world's easiest money for Sonic Team. Forget literally everything about Speed Battle Whatever, if they dropped a Chao Garden app they will have saved their company from it's arcadeless demise in five seconds flat.

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I put tons of hours into it on Sonic Adventure 2 Battle back in the day, and I treasure those memories fondly, but I don't care at all whether it comes back or not now.  I wasn't interested in going back into it properly when the HD release of SA2 came around - I powered through it as efficiently as I could just to unlock Green Hill and that was it.  Even if I lose my save data for the PC version of SA2 now, it's so easy to obtain a 100% save file compared to back in the console days, I can safely say I will probably never play the Chao Garden again for the remainder of my life - which is a little sad but, as said, it had it's time for me.

Even as early as when Sonic Adventure DX came out, I barely touched that version of the Chao Garden (I tried it out a bit, but the unrefined nature of the the SA1 Chao Gardens bugged me since I played the games in reverse order as a Nintendo player).

I used to be right there with everyone that making it into a mobile game is a genius move, but with each passing year the nostalgia for the chao gardens by casual Sonic players grows smaller.  They're not the MOST marketable creatures to non-Sonic-fans - they're cute enough but I don't think they have the most widespread appeal - and tons of people don't even know how to pronounce their name properly.  I'm not sure if it would be the hit it once had the potential to be.  And I think casual mobile market has different priorities to the hardcore gaming market, which most diehard Sonic fans who want Chao Gardens back are.  I feel appealing to one would alienate the other, and unfortunately the former is more likely to earn revenue for them.  I'd be impressed if a mobile Chao Garden game could capture both audiences.

As for bringing back Chao Gardens for a mainstream game, I think that'll only work out if the main game is high quality too (or at least percieved as high quality enough by the fanbase... Sonic Adventure 2 is not a high quality game in objective terms or widespread opinion, but, as history proves, it was definitely good enough).  Can you imagine if Sonic Forces had been the game to finally bring back Chao Gardens?  How annoying that would've been if the chao garden was decent but it was tied to this uninspired hallway simulator of a platformer for your resource gathering?

 

So... yeah, it's tricky.  And with the limited resources that it seems Sonic Team have available to them, no surprise that they don't take on the challenge of reviving the Chao Gardens.  But yeah, for me personally, I'm completely indifferent.  If the trailer for the next Sonic game dropped and chao gardens were confirmed, it'd get nothing more than a look of surprise and an "oh they actually did it huh?" from me, not a gasp of excitement.

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10 hours ago, JezMM said:

I put tons of hours into it on Sonic Adventure 2 Battle back in the day, and I treasure those memories fondly, but I don't care at all whether it comes back or not now.  I wasn't interested in going back into it properly when the HD release of SA2 came around - I powered through it as efficiently as I could just to unlock Green Hill and that was it.  Even if I lose my save data for the PC version of SA2 now, it's so easy to obtain a 100% save file compared to back in the console days, I can safely say I will probably never play the Chao Garden again for the remainder of my life - which is a little sad but, as said, it had it's time for me.

Even as early as when Sonic Adventure DX came out, I barely touched that version of the Chao Garden (I tried it out a bit, but the unrefined nature of the the SA1 Chao Gardens bugged me since I played the games in reverse order as a Nintendo player).

I used to be right there with everyone that making it into a mobile game is a genius move, but with each passing year the nostalgia for the chao gardens by casual Sonic players grows smaller.  They're not the MOST marketable creatures to non-Sonic-fans - they're cute enough but I don't think they have the most widespread appeal - and tons of people don't even know how to pronounce their name properly.  I'm not sure if it would be the hit it once had the potential to be.  And I think casual mobile market has different priorities to the hardcore gaming market, which most diehard Sonic fans who want Chao Gardens back are.  I feel appealing to one would alienate the other, and unfortunately the former is more likely to earn revenue for them.  I'd be impressed if a mobile Chao Garden game could capture both audiences.

As for bringing back Chao Gardens for a mainstream game, I think that'll only work out if the main game is high quality too (or at least percieved as high quality enough by the fanbase... Sonic Adventure 2 is not a high quality game in objective terms or widespread opinion, but, as history proves, it was definitely good enough).  Can you imagine if Sonic Forces had been the game to finally bring back Chao Gardens?  How annoying that would've been if the chao garden was decent but it was tied to this uninspired hallway simulator of a platformer for your resource gathering?

 

So... yeah, it's tricky.  And with the limited resources that it seems Sonic Team have available to them, no surprise that they don't take on the challenge of reviving the Chao Gardens.  But yeah, for me personally, I'm completely indifferent.  If the trailer for the next Sonic game dropped and chao gardens were confirmed, it'd get nothing more than a look of surprise and an "oh they actually did it huh?" from me, not a gasp of excitement.

Tbh I agree at some parts.

They can't just port over the same Chao system. I think it would need major changes to really draw people in. The virtual pet craze has been long gone, and nothing has really brought it back- even retro-inspired indie games haven't really been solid with it.

If they really reinvented it, I'd be hyped for it.

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On 11/27/2020 at 5:34 AM, MetalSkulkBane said:

Okay, follow up questions

1) What makes it so great over?

The idea of raising a small creature and watching it grow over time scratches an itch for me that hasn't been scratched since.

The common argument for this is go play (insert name of monster raising sim here) but even Pokemon & Digimon are different from how Chao work, even when we got the chance to pet them in 6th Gen and Digimon started copying of Pokemon's elements in the PS4 games.

From picking a Egg, to deciding how to hatch it, watching it grow, seeing them turn into Cocoon and change from a Child into an Adult, and compete in challenges and watching them finally win that one race or Karate Challenge is a special kind of experience.

I don't know if this is because I personally like working with children, but I really enjoyed it...even though I would like to have some control over the Chao instead of being a parent watching their child play sports.

Quote

2) Can it work as separate game or it must stay as side activity to main tittle?

On 11/28/2020 at 4:03 AM, azoo said:

The Chao Garden is the world's easiest money for Sonic Team. Forget literally everything about Speed Battle Whatever, if they dropped a Chao Garden app they will have saved their company from it's arcadeless demise in five seconds flat.

This.

Every Chao cameo after Adventure 2 was almost torture, especially when they showed up in Rooftop Run Day Act 3 in HD.

On 11/27/2020 at 5:34 AM, MetalSkulkBane said:

3) If it came back in any form, should Cream role be expended in this territory? If so how? If I remember correctly picking heroes or villains as care taker was important to chao growth

Maybe?

In Chao World, Omochao and other Adult Chao usually take the roles of NPCs so I'm not sure what she could do except maybe cameo as an opponent in challenges with Cheese or Chacola.

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On 11/27/2020 at 11:34 AM, MetalSkulkBane said:

Okay, follow up questions

1) What makes it so great over?

2) Can it work as separate game or it must stay as side activity to main tittle?

3) If it came back in any form, should Cream role be expended in this territory? If so how? If I remember correctly picking heroes or villains as care taker was important to chao growth

For some reason I missed this post at first, so I will reply to the qestions now.

1) like Sonictrainer said, it's a different experience compared to all the other pet sims, it's more immersive, in a way it's closer to being realistic.

When I take care of chao, I don't focus on the technical aspects such as stats and evolutions. I enjoyed playing with them as if they were real pets. Trying to understand what they like and what they want to make them happy, was very satisfying to me.

I can see why some people can't get into it, I also ignored or rushed it a couple of times, those times when I just wanted to finish the main game in the smallest amount of time possible... but this doesn't mean that I lost interest into it. It's just that it requires a lot of time, the right mood and mindset to get involved into, and the conditions aren't always there.

2) Probably with the right marketing it could be a decent smartphone app with microtransactions and such. Though, I really don't want that to happen... I don't want Chao Garden to be one of those ignorant loot box money grabber games with unfair mechanics like Sonic Forces Speed Battle and similars. It would be really disgusting.

Honestly, I think that if a phone app is ever made, it should be a replacement for the VMU/Tiny Chao Garden, where you can extract a chao and bring it with you wherever you go. It would also be nice if it had augmented reality features that would allow you to see your chao in real world and play with it.

The main Chao Garden would probably be better as a tie in with a main Sonic game, since part of the fun was the fact that the side mode was a way to make the main game's collectable resources more useful, and also an incentive to replay some levels (replay value). Using smartphones as a tool to expand the thing and connect your Chao Garden to other people's however would be interesting (though now that Internet is everywhere maybe that's not even needed anymore).

3) I wish she some day will become playable again, so she would be one of the many characters who you can play as to raise your chao... though if it doesn't happen, offcourse I would like if she got a more relevant role whenever chao are involved. Sonic Advance 2's Tiny Chao Garden handled it well, by making her part of a minigame... maybe she can be the equivalent of Mario's Toad in Chao Garden... the major NPC that appears in most minigames and does a lot of side stuff even without ever getting the focus.

Sonictrainer's idea of making her an opponent in the challenges would also be nice... maybe she is the master chao trainer that you have to defeat in order to get a platinum medal or wathever.

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Chao are possibly the most recognizable things about Sonic besides Sonic... their hype has always had a surreal quality, going back to the Chao movie posters in Adventure.

 

I personally love Chao and interacting with them and playing mini-games. Adventure 2 added a lot of depth to Chao Garden but I never realized how immersive Adventure 1’s gardens could be. I just love all of the different gardens, maybe especially Eggman’s Island. It really gives me that tropical archipelago vibe.

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I've recently bought Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and I have to say, the Chao are probably my favorite part of that game. Not only are Chao adorable, but it's also satisfying to level them up and watch them destroy the other Chao in Chao Race and Chao Karate. They're a great break from the action as opposed to Big, who was just boring in comparison.

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