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We expect a lot from SEGA. There's no other way to put it than that. It's no secret that every fan has unique opinions, but there is such a huge multitude of diverse beliefs about what the series should be like that it's no wonder why the company don't know where to begin. We want SEGA to listen to their fans, but we don't make an effort to tell them what we want as a collective.

So, this brings us to the question: what do you look for in a Sonic game? Is it the speed that hooks your interest, or are you more bothered about the graphics? Do you request an upbeat soundtrack? Is collision detection an important factor?

Do tell!

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Good gameplay.

I'm known to be a sucker for good stories and having good stories in a game is really good. But it's really no secret that most games use stories just as a wagon to drift the gameplay and put it into focus.

The thing about Sonic is that few games have had really captivating storylines, atleast for me. Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes and Sonic Unleashed were for me the only games that had stories keeping me glued infront of the screen wanting to know more, so hoping for a perfect storyline in a Sonic game is imo pointless.

And really, while I'm mostly a big fan for Sonic's gameplay mostly and would really love to have a game simply only-sonic and sonic style, I welcome most new additions of gameplay as long as they can be as interesting and captivating as Sonic's core gameplay. The idea of Silver's gameplay was a great one at that and it was pretty fun to play around with him too, if they upgraded the pace and so much more I'd be all over it.

So as long as they keep the good Sonic action intact and have their little pacebreakers between Sonic's gameplay be actually good, then they can add as many unnecessary sidekick characters and stories as they want to. I really wouldn't care, that'd be more a bonus. I found the Werehog actually mildly enjoyable in Sonic Unleashed. For me it was an example of a good gameplay mechanic but sort of repetitive which would have been good if it was only the minority of the game. Some levels were frustratingly boring as well.

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A bunch of buzzwords/phrases and notions of what Sonic SHOULD be according to the popular Internet.

Or not. I go into most games expecting whatever they gave me last time. Whether it's the same or different doesn't matter as long as it doesn't bore me. Sonic is no exception.

Of course, what I want, need and expect are three different things altogether.

Edited by Arcane
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When I play a Sonic game, I play it because of the speedy platforming, ramps and loops, colorful worlds and catchy music. I love holding down on the D-Pad to roll into a ball and gain speed down hills, especially in Chemical Plant Zone. Sonic is the kind of game series that has the ability to give us some exploration while keeping us on the move. Beautiful worlds with lush graphics are important as well. Speed is Sonic's selling point as well, so of course I want that in a game as well. I love running fast and spinning through robots, releasing the little animals inside of them. Mario has murdered countless Goombas and Koopas, so it feels nice to play a game where you're not really killing anything, but rather freeing it. With the newer games, storylines have become more important, and I feel that a story is useful as well. Of course it doesn't have to be any more complicated than Sonic 1's story, but the vastness of the Sonic Universe allows for a lot of development and characterization. I actually enjoyed seeing some of Eggman's past, and learning how the characters met eachother, as well as the many uses of the Chaos Emeralds.

What happens when these things go wrong though? What if they push the speed too much? What if they focus too much on aesthetics and neglect the rest of the game? What if they don't put their effort into a good soundtrack? What happens if they rush the game and don't work out the kinks in the gameplay? What if they don't pay attention to graphics? What if they screw up the story and script? So many things can go wrong in a Sonic game, that any one little dent in the overall game can throw it all out of balance. This has proven itself time and again with more recent titles, and I think that if a Sonic game is to be a "legendary title" so to speak, it needs to get these qualities right...

Gameplay - speedy, wide exploration, "spinball physics", loops and ramps, alternate paths, bonus levels (if possible)

Sound - diverse genres, high effort into the score, high quality sound effects, good voice acting (if any)

Graphics - lush, colorful and detailed

Story - not forced, meaningful, sensible, generally light-hearted tone, good characterization, good script

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When I play a Sonic game, I play it because of the speedy platforming, ramps and loops, colorful worlds and catchy music. I love holding down on the D-Pad to roll into a ball and gain speed down hills, especially in Chemical Plant Zone. Sonic is the kind of game series that has the ability to give us some exploration while keeping us on the move. Beautiful worlds with lush graphics are important as well. Speed is Sonic's selling point as well, so of course I want that in a game as well. I love running fast and spinning through robots, releasing the little animals inside of them. Mario has murdered countless Goombas and Koopas, so it feels nice to play a game where you're not really killing anything, but rather freeing it. With the newer games, storylines have become more important, and I feel that a story is useful as well. Of course it doesn't have to be any more complicated than Sonic 1's story, but the vastness of the Sonic Universe allows for a lot of development and characterization. I actually enjoyed seeing some of Eggman's past, and learning how the characters met eachother, as well as the many uses of the Chaos Emeralds.

What happens when these things go wrong though? What if they push the speed too much? What if they focus too much on aesthetics and neglect the rest of the game? What if they don't put their effort into a good soundtrack? What happens if they rush the game and don't work out the kinks in the gameplay? What if they don't pay attention to graphics? What if they screw up the story and script? So many things can go wrong in a Sonic game, that any one little dent in the overall game can throw it all out of balance. This has proven itself time and again with more recent titles, and I think that if a Sonic game is to be a "legendary title" so to speak, it needs to get these qualities right...

Gameplay - speedy, wide exploration, "spinball physics", loops and ramps, alternate paths, bonus levels (if possible)

Sound - diverse genres, high effort into the score, high quality sound effects, good voice acting (if any)

Graphics - lush, colorful and detailed

Story - not forced, meaningful, sensible, generally light-hearted tone, good characterization, good script

Gah, Indigo, why did you have to say everything I said but in better detail? ;P

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I search for X by defeating Mavericks with my trusty Z-saber, bustin' up bots like nobodies business. If I can't find him during the day I go home and bang up Ciel and then do it all tomorrow. One day I find X there with my girl after I come home early. Turns out she just wanted an affair with both of us, so she had me leave during the day and him leave during the night. Of course what really made me mad, cause I coulda gave him mad props for this otherwise, was that he was in on this! Then I went Maverick on them biznatches.

Fo 'real dawg. *manly pose*

Anyway, for me it is the world, the atmosphere and in particular the gameplay. I can't make the distinction of there being any platformer characters around today that have the high-speed gameplay that Sonic contains. Granted he has been getting less and less platformey, though Unleashed had quite a few nice segments, but even then his games are unique in terms of...well, everything but the story. The story is all generic poo poo, and those horrible Crush 40 tracks are too. Then again maybe that 80s cheesy rock stuff is unique because I don't know any other developer that would insert that into their games unless it was some kind of joke. No offence meant to Crush 40 fans, just sayin' 8) 8D. So one - uniqueness. I play it for that reason.

The next reason is because I grew up with the character. A large part of why I am here is because as a child I've been captivated by the series, and most importantly the character. He was cool and different at the time, with worlds that were completely amazing. The game was fast, fun, and definitely had that edge over its competition. Not to say I didn't grow up with Mario either, but when the NES broke when I was 2 years old and we got a Genesis...rest is history lawl. Sonic is just a cool guy, and eh doesn't afraid of any Eggman.

Third thing is the gameplay, I loved the older games a lot for having some amazing gameplay. Sonic 3 and Knuckles is my favourite of the older games due to the scope of the game. It was massive! Each level was fun and stood out from the one before it, and the 'cutscenes' were done very nicely. Not to mention it had the best graphics out of all three games imo. But the gameplay was so nailed down by this point and was expanded upon so much. As much as I love the 3D games, the 2D titles were the ones that drew me in. I just hope in the future each game doesn't seem unfinished in areas and doesn't really have any bugs.

The last thing is the music. I like the instrumental tracks the best, and the classic tracks even moreso. Sonic 3 and Knuckles again had one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a video game. The series though has always had great music though, more or less anyway. I kind of outgrew what little liking I used to have for all the cheesy rock involved with the series during the SA-Shadow era. They seem to be moving away from that and for that I am thankful haha.

Though to emphasise, to sum it all up - I just get an experience that I don't get from any other series, for better or for worse sometimes.

Edit: These aren't in any particular order either, I believe everything adds up though to give me what I described in point 1, but nothing is more important than the other parts.

Edited by Noel Vermillion
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Games should be fun.

First and foremost, above all else, games should be fun. It doesn't matter what they do with anything else, if the game is not fun, it is a failure as a game. I even put "being fun" ahead of "being Sonic".

Next comes speed. Yes, I'm fully aware of how modern games have messed this up, but Sonic without speed is like Mario without jumping. It's more than just top speed, though; Sonic should be quick and agile, in addition to the "fastest thing alive". One of the biggest problems of recent games is that Sonic isn't designed to move well when he isn't at top speed. If you can keep moving you're usually good, but if you have to slow down, whether it's because you've made a mistake or because the level design commands it, the gameplay turns real clumsy real fast. There is no acceptable reason that playing as Sonic the Hedgehog should feel clumsy at any point. That all said, a pure "classic" Sonic isn't ideal either; I think Sonic's abilities can and should be pushed a lot farther than what the Genesis could accomplish.

A connection with the environment, in the gameplay sense. This includes the running around loops and rolling down hills, as well as environmental gimmicks and a general sense that the level you're in is actually physically there, and not just a bunch of scenery. The classic Sonic games didn't feel like a bunch of floating platforms; things were solid, they had actual form to them, and Sonic's gameplay was designed to work with that. The gimmicks, too, were based around the same mechanics rather than separate pieces. The 3D games have gone more towards "look but don't touch" design, where the only things you're allowed to interact with are the preplanned routes, and trying to leave them leads to bottomless pits and invisible walls. Part of that is unavoidable in 3D, I think, especially with a character who can move like Sonic, but it's still way more prevalent than it should be.

That all pretty much sums up the core of the game, I think. There are other things that are important, and I certainly have opinions on them, but I'm not as picky about them.

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As far as I'm concerned, Sonic should push beyond what he established so far. Shooting foes, beating them up, or simply running through the stage in the fastest time possible means nothing if you're not having fun, and I'm one who believes that a game should be so fun you're having a blast even if you just died in the game. It doesn't matter if it plays like the Classics or plays like the new games, if it ain't fun it ain't worth jack.

First and formost should be gameplay. Without it, it can't be called a game, and if it's bad, everything else after it is bad. The player should have a repertoire of abilities that work so smoothly that they don't require a new mechanic to shift from one style to another. If you like to run, then you can run; if you like to explore, then you can explore; if you like to fight, then you can fight; it should be easy to where a simple change of mind is all that is needed (although that just might be asking for a bit much in this case. Who knows?). If there are going to be more than just one playable character, any and all variations of the player's moves should work from a similar base from each other so that it does not feel conflicting, and switching from characters like Sonic to Silver should be purely optional and not forced by the game.

Second would be the Level Designs, and they should be designed to allow both speed and exploration, so should someone find more enjoyment in running from point A to B they can do so without the stage looking like a race track or being akin to running through a hall, whereas if someone favors exploration and jumping over stuff there is plenty to do in the stage to suit their taste. Loops, ramps, springs, etc. all have their place and allow for various ways to go through the levels. If there's one thing about the classics that many have said before me, it's the physics. They were exactly what made the Classics fun years after their creation, and to have that would be a way to preserve the game's life for a long time to come. Although each stage had various ways to use the physics, such as the Death Egg stages reversing the gravity or even rendering it useless in some portions to where you couldn't rely on all you're abilties to get through them.

Next would be the asethetics. Now we seem to have a divide on this, where one has their more colorful, semi-surrealistic worlds while the other has the more real world inspired parts, and I just don't see how it would be blasphemous to put them together. This talk on how these things are "sacred", metaphorically speaking, shouldn't even be what decides everything, and I believe that it's what's keeping things apart. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having Empire City along side a Green Hill Zone, or any of that. The atmosphere should be enjoyable for a series such as Sonic's. There's nothing wrong with it being light hearted, and there's nothing wrong with having some more serious part to be included in said part. If hell breaks loose, it be nice if the characters treated it as if it were something serious and scramble to set things back in order, and if something cheesy is happening I would be great if the characters took notice of that and further made fun of it.

Music should be diverse and fitting. It doesn't matter the genre, if it doesn't fit with the situation or the setting then something is wrong. If you have a stage that looks soothing and calm, it would do it better if the music was just as soothing and calm to compliment it. If there's destruction going about, then the music should emphasize that.

And lastly, storyline. To me, a story that keeps you glued to the game makes you want to dive further into the game just to find out more, and further makes a game better than watching a movie. You control how the character interacts with the environment and the people, so if you want to throw that rock off the side of the stage simply for the hell of it, then no one is stoping you. A story should also be something that isn't predictable and entertaining. If you already know what's gonna happen, or who the character is gonna be with, that just makes things seem bland and not as exciting as it sounds to me. I know people would expect Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to team up, but I honestly think it's been done to death. Nowadays I would like a story to be something unexpeceted and new. You'd expect Sonic to always fight Shadow or Knuckles, and then team up with later, but what if Knuckles and Shadow fought each other and teamed up together and then fought Sonic and Tails later on in the game? What if Tails teams up with Rouges and Amy and Shadow worked together in the plot. What if Big the Cat inadvertedly saves the day and not Sonic? What if Shadow suddenly turned out to be an antagonist working from a different angle from Eggman, with Eggman still being an antagonist of the game as well? With what we have, there are millions of ways to arrange it, yet we seem to follow the same one thing for quite a while. So much material for a story, and it doesn't seem to jump out anymore after all this time.

I may really just be speaking for myself saying all this, but I just see a series that can be so much and yet does so little.

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Next would be the asethetics. Now we seem to have a divide on this, where one has their more colorful, semi-surrealistic worlds while the other has the more real world inspired parts, and I just don't see how it would be blasphemous to put them together. This talk on how these things are "sacred", metaphorically speaking, shouldn't even be what decides everything, and I believe that it's what's keeping things apart. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having Empire City along side a Green Hill Zone, or any of that. The atmosphere should be enjoyable for a series such as Sonic's. There's nothing wrong with it being light hearted, and there's nothing wrong with having some more serious part to be included in said part. If hell breaks loose, it be nice if the characters treated it as if it were something serious and scramble to set things back in order, and if something cheesy is happening I would be great if the characters took notice of that and further made fun of it.

Agreed on all of this. It was nice to be able to see a weird, classic-esque setting like Pumpkin Hill alongside the more realistic levels in Adventure 2, and it's been a bit disappointing to see the games since take an either/or approach to level aesthetics.

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Highly important: Good game play. In order for a Sonic game to have good game play, imo it is necessary for it to achieve the three Fs. It must be Fast, Fluid, and Fun. Sonic and other characters should have fast and speedy game play. But it shouldn't be too fast where platforming becomes a chore or is considered very little in the level design. The game play should be fluid to point that nothing hinders the player except for occasional hazard, platforming challenge, or enemy. That means I should be able to go from platforming to running to platforming again with breaking the flow of the game. The game play should not use disengaging events often such as scripted events. And above all, the game play should be fun.

Highly important: New game play styles. There are many things that sonic can do in other media that has not showed up in the games. Also, I don’t believe that the classic sonic formula is the only possible successful one. So I am not going to limit the sonic team to classic sonic game play as long as it meets these rules: 1) the new game play is refined. 2) the new game play is not genre breaking. 3) the new game play must be sonic-ish or used in a sonic context. 4) it should not break the flow of the game. 5) it should give me more or the same amount of control over sonic as the classic sonic formula, not less. 6) above all it should be fun.

Important: Good level design. I judge a level based on its unique level gimmicks, hazards and enemies. These three elements (for me) increase the fun factor and level design possibilities. The more the better as long as they are fun and dosn’t break the flow of the game.

Kinda important: Character inclusion (beside Sonic and Eggman). I expect Sega to make use of its current cast so that I get to play a certain character every once and awhile. However, each character would be required to have unique game play that conforms to rules I stated under game play styles in order for them to be in any Sonic game. The result would be character rotations with merit. If the sonic team comes up with interesting game play idea with tails, then they should either create or wait for tail to have plot importance to star in game. In the mean time, they would use other characters.

Low importance: Level themes. Whether it is surreal or not doesn’t matter to me, as long the level design is good and doesn’t break the flow of the game.

Low importance: Music, VA , and other unimportant things I can not to think of.

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I've discussed this before and I think Sonic is defined by four elements.

1. Dynamic - Springs. Tubes. Pits. Loops. Grind rails. I could go on. When you run through a true Sonic level, your world isn't just an obstacle course. It's a playground. In any platforming game, you can jump on enemies and collect items, but Sonic really offers much more than that. I doubt that there are many platformers that are so versatile; I don't see any other game where you ride the San Fransisco-type streets like snowboarding down a mountain, run down a building and get chased by a semi in one five-minute level and still have time for the basic stuff.

2. Freedom - When you have fun with a Sonic game, you should get that feeling that you can do what you want and go where you want because the world's your bitch. This feeling can come in many ways; you could be finding new paths through a level, exploring and finding secrets, breezing through a wide open space, perhaps even playing around in a hub or ideally: all of the above. (The hubs are probably the most controversial, but I think they could work if they're optional, at least more so than in Unleashed.)

3. Unity - As stated before, you should feel like the world's your bitch, but the best part is when the reciprocal can be felt at the same time. Whether you're running through a loop, getting chased by lava, riding through a pipe, or just overall succumbing to the effects of pinball physics, you can feel threatened or controlled by your surroundings while you conquer and move through them. This not only adds more to the thrill, but it gives a sense of attachment to the level rather than an opposition to it.

4. Flow - This is where speed plays its hand, but it's not the only part of it. It's also perhaps where the division in the fanbase has its core. Flow is similar to freedom, but the main difference is that it has more to do with the desires of the player than with what the game offers. Some people may like cutscenes, stories and hubs, but when people just want to move right through the game unhindered by the restraints of complicated adventures (and loading screens), why shouldn't they? Even as a person who enjoys storylines in my games, I still think Sonic is a series where such things should be optional at best to contribute to the feeling of flow that is a necessity to the games (at least the mainstream ones.)

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Oh dear, I'm going to be shot for this...

But what I search for in a Sonic game is something that really immerses me in the world of Sonic - great storyline, script, characterisation, that sort of stuff. I want to play a Sonic game and feel like I'm living it.

So yeah, mostly the story elements for me. This is the part where I am shot into many small pieces.

Secondly is the gameplay, because that's what will keep me interested in the game and coming back for more. I don't think I could describe what it is I look for in gameplay, but it's mostly something fun that makes me go "Woah" when I pick up the controller. Everybody else has covered the "exactly what I search for in gameplay" part already, anyway.

In the end though, it comes down to immersion, which to me is a combination of the two. Boring gameplay will not make me feel immersed. A bad story won't, either.

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That DAMN fourth Chaos Emerald.

But seriously though, just a sense of speed without the disadvantage of human reflexes or murderous level design, whilst still maintaining actual platforming as a feasible, hassle-free possibility. Some gameplay variety in the form of additional characters (unique story arcs for each are okay, but I'm not too picky about it), alternate completion methods (including multiple diverse level routes and yes, special-stage assisted Chaos Emeralds) and graded scores are neat bonuses though, as long as it's all optional and not a mandatory goal. Physics I could hardly care any less about by this point - all the talk of it I see about the place is incredibly difficult to take seriously anymore, and I really begin to question why it's inexplicably a mandatory part of a decent Sonic game all of a sudden - well, in the case of the 3D games, anyway. The 2D side of things is at least an understandable context and I can't really imagine a sidescroller without it.

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Actually simulating player physics has the benefit of making what direction Sonic is going to go in and how he will respond a lot more predictable. I also believe they make the game more fun on their own.

I also don't like constantly worrying if there's going to be a bottomless pit pat that next rise.

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Whenever I play a Sonic game I always hope for these three factors.

1. Character interaction: I just simply adore every member of the Sonic family, I believe each character has great potential and I enjoy seeing them interact with eachother and be involved in the story. (This is one of the reasons why I enjoyed Sonic 2006, despite how horrible the game was, seeing all those characters together felt really heart warming to me.)

2. The game is Fun: I don't care what the game is about or what characters are in it, as long as the game is fun, I'll continue to play it for years.

3. Sonic's heart warming, true blue, and way past cool attitude: I believe Speed and attitude are the two most important characteristics that make Sonic who he is. Nothing warms my heart more than to see Sonic's carefree lifestyle. Whether he's knocking a robot twice his size down with the tip of his shoe. Fearlessly striking down foes while standing on the edge of an air-plane's wings while in the sky, or selflessly putting others before himself whether if it's to save the world, or simply give a young girl flowers, Sonic's attitude towards life never ceases to amaze me.

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