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How would you improve Knuckles gameplay in 3D games?


celsowm
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Hi,

Something that bother me since long time is the the Knuckles playabilty on 3D games

Emerald pieces hunt was not well received in the past and I think Knuckles abilities deserves a more rewarding use in 3D games like Mirage Sallon did in Mania

So what style of stages and challanges would you think that could improve Knuckles play in 3d games?

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I think some knuckles segments could be added like:

- "auto" climbing towers or similars where the player only needs to avoid enemies, spikes, falling boulders etc going to left or right.

- gliding sections combining time limit puzzles (fly trough different spots to activacte swtichs) and maybe some rewarding "pass throug giant rings on the air" sections too

- a real and useful combo system that really could be smooth and precise to defeat enemies 

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Remember his and Rouge's segments of Cannon's Core? Take a page from that book.

That, or maybe linear stages like Sonic, but mostly taking place in the air, maybe even needing to climb up.

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Am I the only person who dearly, faithfully enjoys and loves Knuckles’s stages and gameplay in Adventures 1 & 2? 
 

I just played them both again and stages like Speed Highway from 1 and Wild Canyon and Death Chamber from 2 are great. Meteor Herd is like its own thing.

 

Like this was great everything about this was great. I wouldn’t change a thing. Some people naysay everything.

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Knuckles always felt like a character with a lot of combat potential.

I would focus on the combat system and enhance it. In Sonic Heroes, you could tap B, and he would spam tens of quick punches. So I would bring back a bit of Sonic Heroes moveset plus a little more. Give him a button that moves him backwards really fast, to dodge incoming attacks, so he can go forward with a good one two.

Then I would set Knuckles up with facing giant robot opponents with a fist fight. Or a room with small robots, but if you successfully land a good combo, Knuckles moves get a lot more firey for some AOE.

I like treasure hunting as Knuckles, but it's a bit of a running gag. Looking for the Master Emerald pieces is a joke.

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Probably combat based. I liked Knuckles in SA1 but in SA2 he was unbearable most of the time. I think a big problem with the treasure hunting style of gameplay is that it can be very easy to get lost sometimes, especially when the map is really big. Despite all that even my idea isn't too grounded, I said combat based but that obviously can't be it. Maybe what could happen is that Knuckles will do puzzles then after that he'd have to  do a boss fight at the end and he'd get 3 shards for the level. But It's still got problems, I guess I'm just not totally sure.

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  • 4 weeks later...

His control style is nearly perfect in SA2, and as mentioned before, Cannon's Core is a great example for level design. Every bit of Knuckles and Rouge's skills are tested there. I would dare say some bits of 06 had the right idea for them in some aspects as well. Keep the stages goal based.

I do like to imagine a combat system similar to Heroes just less slippery. But what I imagine deviates a bit too much from the core Sonic gameplay and may be better suited for a combat spinoff. (If Sega EVER makes it to that point again). Exploration akin to the treasure hunting stages can work much better there as well.

Just please, no low jumping Knuckles. I can't stand low jumping Knuckles. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just put him in Sonic's SA1/SA2 stages but give him a bar that limits how long he could glide and climb for.

I know it wouldn't make sense considering he could do these things infinitely in previous games, but you have to make some sort of compromise if you want to maintain his main abilities without breaking the game. The whole reason why Tails has a limit on his flight is because it would be game breaking if he wasn't limited.

Coincidentally, games like Breath of the Wild and Ys IX both have a sort of climbing and gliding mechanics and they both limit them despite being more open than your average Sonic level.

 

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I seriously wonder if Breath of the Wild  isn't (almost) perfect Knuckles game

- climbing and gliding

- combat as one of core mechanics

- focus on survival in the wild

- treasure hunting

- starts at landmass that is a bit above rest of the map, kinds like IDK, a island that float

Even dress up sounds fine with Knuckles, Sonic is all abut speed and rolling into ball, putting any clothing feels odd on him.

But Knuckles? I would love to put that OVA hat on him. Or Shovel Claw from SA1

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Honestly just going the Sonic 3k route of having Tails, Knuckles and whoever else run through the same levels with alternate paths those characters' abilities act as keys for. The problem with Tails and Knuckles in 3d Sonic isn't their controls, it's how the levels are built. It's not that they're built for Sonic, it's that they're built as  relatively narrow, singular paths with a single prescribed method of traversal. Putting Tails or Knuckles in Emerald coast or Windy Valley means they can fly/glide over any and all level geometry below them, If levels were wider and taller, built with walls acting as obstacles (and the tops of walls being level paths in their own right) there wouldn't really be a problem. Sonic GT (fan game) does this well. Right from the start level paths are wide and numerous enough (designed with 3 dimensions in mind) that a flying character like Ray the flying squirrel doesn't break the levels so totally that all challenge is ruined. Design your levels with exploration in mind, funneling your paths down at the end to the single level exit so players can optimize speedrunning paths (Sonic's core philosophy) and flying characters won't break your levels, it'll just be a different way to play. There are some nerfs you can apply to a character like Knuckles so he doesn't break levels should this method not play out. Having his glide start falling exponentially faster the longer he goes so he can't just skip the whole level by climbing high up and gliding over everything. You could do something similar with Tails, having him fall exponentially faster after he gets tired from flying puts a cap on how much of the level he can skip by flying over it and makes it so if you DO want to skip parts of the level, you've gotta be smart about it. All this is assuming the game is built using Sonic's foundational momentum/terrain physics design philosophy and not the Unleashed, Colors, Gens, Forces boost philosophy (which works differently at its core to the likes of the Rush games, which is why I specified and is a whole other topic). If you're using the modern boost mechanics, I got nothing. Those games are BUILT for Sonic and characters with his abilities like Shadow and Metal Sonic. 

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I feel like a 3d collectathon would suit Knuckles' gameplay in 3d. Climb and glide your way toi find stuff that's in plain sight in preset locations, rather than rng-based like the emerald radar nonsense. Basically, something that plays like a mix of Spyro the Dragon and Knuckles' Adventure gameplay.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Assuming the popular choice of having all characters play the same stages (though even in 2D Knuckles doesn’t always): Make the hunting a power instead of a burden.  Knuckles’ stages can be about reaching the goal, but in any good Sonic level there’s stuff to find, hidden to some degree, and Knuckles could have an edge in that his radar would beep when near them.  Also, his digging could allow him to access more goodies still.

My opinion of the treasure hunting stages: Well to address the elephant in the room, Security Hall can suck a four-headed dick, but I don’t think searching for things is innately bad gameplay and Sonic games have always utilized it to some extent.  It’s just that when all of the search objectives are given to one character, the plot constantly written so that character has to keep searching, even if they’re good they make the adventure feel really fake.  There should be other causes besides hidden macguffins for characters to visit more parts of the map than just the ending, and it should be done with more characters.

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Knuckles' glide in 3D should take a little from the wing cap in Mario 64 (or for a Sonic comparison, Ray's flight in Mania). Push forward to dive downward and gain speed, pull backward to ascend and lose speed. Maybe limit the utility of ascending some so that it doesn't become OP, but otherwise I feel like doing this would add some much-needed depth to how he moves through the air.

As for gameplay itself, I like the treasure hunting approach but I actually think it could use being less.. random. Before you tear me apart, what I mean is that if finding the shards wasn't randomized in each playthrough, then you could make each shard be a reward for completing a chunk of level design rather than something that has no sense of purpose in the level layout. Stages would be less about aimlessly meandering around to find where they spawned this time, and more about beelining your way through defined sections in any order you choose.. or maybe a middle ground could be met here, where the shard could spawn in a random area but it's within a small circumference of a set location.

Also to emphasize the "hunting" element a bit, you could put in a lot more goodies into these stages. Treasure chests with hordes of rings, random items that you can pawn off for the bounty in a hub-world, et cetera. All secondary stuff, but would definitely keep the theme of finding treasure within the gameplay while helping streamline design.

 

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3 hours ago, azoo said:

Knuckles' glide in 3D should take a little from the wing cap in Mario 64 (or for a Sonic comparison, Ray's flight in Mania). Push forward to dive downward and gain speed, pull backward to ascend and lose speed. Maybe limit the utility of ascending some so that it doesn't become OP, but otherwise I feel like doing this would add some much-needed depth to how he moves through the air.

As for gameplay itself, I like the treasure hunting approach but I actually think it could use being less.. random. Before you tear me apart, what I mean is that if finding the shards wasn't randomized in each playthrough, then you could make each shard be a reward for completing a chunk of level design rather than something that has no sense of purpose in the level layout. Stages would be less about aimlessly meandering around to find where they spawned this time, and more about beelining your way through defined sections in any order you choose.. or maybe a middle ground could be met here, where the shard could spawn in a random area but it's within a small circumference of a set location.

Also to emphasize the "hunting" element a bit, you could put in a lot more goodies into these stages. Treasure chests with hordes of rings, random items that you can pawn off for the bounty in a hub-world, et cetera. All secondary stuff, but would definitely keep the theme of finding treasure within the gameplay while helping streamline design.

 

I mean at this point, you may as well just go with the collect a thon approach 

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/15/2021 at 11:23 AM, sassytassie said:

I never really minded Knuckles' gameplay in the Adventure series and I've never understood the hate towards it either. I find it fun and a nice change of pace from simply running towards a goal.

Sames, idk why it was so hated.

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Throw me in the camp with those who think Knuckles' digging abilities should be explored a bit more beyond what the Adventure games did. If Knuckles is going to ever be playable in a 3D action game again, I'd like to see him preserve momentum by diving into the ground and drilling across the surface as if he was swimming in a body of water (which is also something I'd like to see return from SA2). I think there's some potential to be had there, especially in conjunction with his usual climbing, punching and gliding abilities. If you've ever played Super Lucky's Tale, you'll know what I'm going for. Basically Lucky's burrow ability, but faster and effective on walls as well as the ground. 

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Like other have said, his core 3D gameplay is fine; but a little more polish wouldn't hurt. Make attacking enemies be more strategic besides just mashing B; like having to find openings to land a hit and whatnot. Having optional upgrades (better shovel claws, a more advanced radar, hats!) for combat and/or treasure hunting would be cool too!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/4/2020 at 5:05 PM, LeviTheGreat said:

Knuckles need's his own game in general(and i'm not counting dark brotherhood)Knuckles need to go solo and we need him to have his own rival.

I second this! I am a huge fan and would LOVE to see this happen.

Glide

Punch

Tackle

He's a character of strength - this needs to be showcased better. :)

On 3/18/2021 at 8:45 AM, SB Party Knuckles said:

Knuckles for me is nearly perfect if not complete. Like when I played as him in sonic mania for steam he was so awesome I mean his own game would be sweet too and could emphasize his character. 

I agree wholeheartedly with this. I'm often so sad that Knuckles character has been so poorly interpreted to the younger generations.... 

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In my opinion, in a SONIC ADVENTURE perspective, I think Knuckles' gameplay was great but the levels were too short in SA1 and too long in SA2!!...
In SA2, Sonic Team should have made levels like in SA1 but with at least five C.E. fragments to find in each level instead of only three...

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On 2/3/2021 at 7:21 PM, Scritch the Cat said:

Assuming the popular choice of having all characters play the same stages (though even in 2D Knuckles doesn’t always): Make the hunting a power instead of a burden.  Knuckles’ stages can be about reaching the goal, but in any good Sonic level there’s stuff to find, hidden to some degree, and Knuckles could have an edge in that his radar would beep when near them.  Also, his digging could allow him to access more goodies still.

My opinion of the treasure hunting stages: Well to address the elephant in the room, Security Hall can suck a four-headed dick, but I don’t think searching for things is innately bad gameplay and Sonic games have always utilized it to some extent.  It’s just that when all of the search objectives are given to one character, the plot constantly written so that character has to keep searching, even if they’re good they make the adventure feel really fake.  There should be other causes besides hidden macguffins for characters to visit more parts of the map than just the ending, and it should be done with more characters.

Oh my goodness I just got to Security Hall with Rogue and I gave up after my fifth try. I don’t know how I ever beat this as a kid.

 

And Eggman’s kind, soft, loving voice buzzing in your earpiece every 30 seconds telling you to “hurry it up!” was surprisingly not very helpful.

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