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What if random things stuck around


Eggman Fan

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Here's a quick example of what I mean, and by that I mean a comment I was gonna post on my main feed before thinking it could be a cool topic.

Imagine if Sonic got to keep wielding a sword. That would be awesome, and it would mean Colors' story was written by someone else since Pontac and Graff didn't play Black Knight, and that would mean wisps never existed, and that would mean we would get a different stage in generations than the Colors one, thus meaning we would most likely get a Sonic stage from earlier in the timeline, also since Sonic Colors was written by some one who knew what Sonic is we wouldn't get Lost World since that's tryna rip off Mario, and Sonic isn't a Mario clone, so that means Zavok doesn't exist, and Sonic Forces wouldn't be such a trash game, and Tails wouldn't be a coward, Shadow would be fought, and Infinite would have a cool backstory, Making infinite a cool character.

All of that could of happened if Sonic kept wielding a sword. Makes ya think, what would of happened if other things before colors stuck around.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok lets play along

What if Secret Rings was popular enough to warrant the series including Motion Controls?

If Sonic and the Secret Rings was a smash hit, other Sonic games would be motion controlled going forward. It would be too late to implement in Unleashed, which is 1 year away from release at the time, but possibly in Colours (Tilt the 'mote right to move right. Since the game is 90% 2D anyway, it mostly works)

The storybooks would recieve ports to PS3 to take advantage of Sixaxis and later PS Move. They even port them to Xbox 360 to take advantage of Kinect, which goes as well as you expect. Gens would probably use Sixaxis/Kinect for the trick system, the latter seeing you pull of Sonic poses with maximum confidence like a confused JoJo fan.

(Free Riders would still be boiling hot garbage, for the record)

Lost World's gamepad gimmicks would be even more insufferable. Same for Rise of Lyric if Sega does as Sega do and mandates forced motion gimmicks cos "Wii U Exclusive"

Not sure about Forces, but I imagine since Sonic Team didn't fill the game with much of any substance at all, that motion gimmicks would be chopped out like they did with drifting and harder level designs, despite the fact the Switch and Dualshock 4 both support them (And PC if you have the right setup). And since fans still burned from Lost World didn't protest their absence, they think it'd be safe to keep them out of Frontiers as well.

Maybe the racing games are motion controlled a'la Mario Kart Wii.

Maybe they phase Mario out of the Olympics games sooner and make them multiplat, and also with motion gimmicks.

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If Sonic CD's time travel stuck around and every Sonic game since had past-present-future in it, what a gigantic mess of inconsistencies would the already broken continuity of the series be at this point... Sonic 06 may or may not be indicative of how screwed up everything could have been.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/25/2022 at 1:01 PM, DaddlerTheDalek said:

Hm. I wonder how the franchise would look like  if Shadow with guns would be still a thing today. I mean would that mean "Shadow The Hedgehog 2: Metal Black Doom's Boogaloo"?

Maybe.  At any rate I think that is more likely than Shadow coming back to Sonic’s series with guns.

For what this is worth, if guns were the only thing they tried to add to Shadow‘s solo game instead of just the most infamous, it probably would have turned out better.  As I noted in a recent thread, and as many people here already know, ranged attacks were actually tried in a prototype of Sonic’s first game and were rejected because the time and effort needed to line up your shot would slow the game down too much, and that sounds like a joke about Shadow that writes itself.  However, that’s really only the case when your fast-moving game is a 2D sidescroller; when you can actually see more or less what your character sees, it’s very possible to combine fast movement with projectiles for some slick and stylish gameplay; think the Scout in Team Fortress but expanded.  The problem is that by all evidence, the creators of Shadow’s game didn’t begin with that gameplay in mind; instead, gunplay was just one of many things they put in the game just because they were trendy at the time, only afterwards trying to deduce how it all would play.  It’s not unlike how the Balan Wonderworld developers began with the goal of having a boast-worthy amount of power-ups and thus screwed the selves over trying to figure out how to control them well and how to make them fun, useful, etc.  While I think everything but the pure-evil ending of Shadow’s game could be made to work if given more development time, they’d still have an easier time making the game good if they chose not to try for so many new features at once.

On that note, while I’m not mourning the loss of Shadow’s guns or his swearing, branching level succession happens to be one of the best ideas to never catch on in this series.  It actually fits perfectly as an extension of Sonic having branching routes within the stages, and as a Youtube video said, it could be a solution to the series’ ongoing problem of how to increase its games’ length.  Yuji Naka conceived of Sonic’s gameplay with the expectation of games not having save features, so people would keep having to replay stages so get better and better, and as such, the first to Sonic games also boot the player back to the start if they get a Game Over.  Many gamers from later eras utterly hate that sort of design, though; to them having to replay a game if you’re bad at it feels like an intolerable burden, and it’s arguably even worse in games like Sonic Heroes or Sonic Rush Adventure, when even if you play them really well, you’re forced to replay a bunch to get to the end.  But if there were more in-game rewards to replaying, such as entirely different level goals at the end of different paths, which led to the next level being different, new details about the plot, and new power-ups unlocked by clearing the game in other ways, repeated playthroughs could be kept fresh.  Alas, Sonic Team has a way of blaming a game’s failure on its execution rather than its concept, and is so obsessed with being cool that it chooses to run away from everything about a game that failed.  

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1 hour ago, Scritch the Cat said:

and it’s arguably even worse in games like Sonic Heroes or Sonic Rush Adventure, when even if you play them really well, you’re forced to replay a bunch to get to the end.

Ok but...branching level progression still does that. Regardless of how well you played you still had to play Westopolis a minimum of 10 times to unlock the Last Story. And it was not fun.

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1 hour ago, Diogenes said:

Ok but...branching level progression still does that. Regardless of how well you played you still had to play Westopolis a minimum of 10 times to unlock the Last Story. And it was not fun.

It is true that branching level progression still does that, but a big part of the problem with Westopolis is it’s not very fun to start.  The neutral path is a mess but a mercifully short one; but the others are tediously long search-and-destroy missions.  Here is why I said it’s pretty clear that gameplay was an afterthought to them; they were banking so hard on players finding the use of guns cool in itself that they forgot to tie the guns to exciting, high-stakes fights instead of tedious scavenger hunts.  Not every mission utilizing guns is that bad; for example the ones about chasing and shooting something that has a lot of health until it’s destroyed really does seem like it was made for the combination of high speed and guns, but with all of the shallow trends they appropriated for that game, not every mission in every level could be that good.

Of course, my previous post doesn’t presuppose that guns are necessary to bundle with branching level progress, because they’re absolutely not.  


A good example of a game that avoids all of the pitfalls of that formula is Super Mario World.  The stages are all built with Mario’s abilities in mind, the alternate branching level paths are unlocked simply by finding different paths within the stage, at points in the game you can unlock things, like Switch blocks and blue Yoshi, which can be useful for exploring older stages again, and there’s a level select so no need to suffer the tedium of redundant stages on the way.  


Sonic Adventure 2 was also experimenting with such things by giving the characters upgrades new abilities that would incentivize them to try new things in old stages, but so far as I recall that backtracking never essential to beat the main story, and Sonic Team all-but abandoned it since.

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12 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

It is true that branching level progression still does that, but a big part of the problem with Westopolis is it’s not very fun to start.  The neutral path is a mess but a mercifully short one; but the others are tediously long search-and-destroy missions.  Here is why I said it’s pretty clear that gameplay was an afterthought to them; they were banking so hard on players finding the use of guns cool in itself that they forgot to tie the guns to exciting, high-stakes fights instead of tedious scavenger hunts.  Not every mission utilizing guns is that bad; for example the ones about chasing and shooting something that has a lot of health until it’s destroyed really does seem like it was made for the combination of high speed and guns, but with all of the shallow trends they appropriated for that game, not every mission in every level could be that good.

Chasing a damage sponge through a level isn't much less tedious than search and destroy missions. It's basically normal Sonic level design, but now you hold down the fire button whenever a specific enemy is on screen... which really isn't much different from what you do when any enemy is on screen.

My $0.02 on branching level progression:

Shadow 2005's branching level progression was Sonic Team's latest effort to solve a problem that has vexed them in nearly if not every single 3D Sonic game they have ever made: producing enough content to justify a $50/$60 price tag. Reusing levels has always been one of their favorite tactics to extend the length of their games; every level in SA1 is used at least three times, every level in Heroes is used four times, and every level (except the final one) in Shadow 2005 is used at least twice. The player being required to play Westopolis ten times to finish the game was just content recycling taken to a self defeating extreme.

And it's a shame Shadow 2005 screwed up the branching level progression so badly, because I think that sort of structure could serve a better Sonic game well. Sonic games have always emphasized an arcadey gameplay style that treats getting better at the game as an intrinsic goal for the player to pursue. 

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55 minutes ago, Cosmos Rogue said:

Chasing a damage sponge through a level isn't much less tedious than search and destroy missions. It's basically normal Sonic level design, but now you hold down the fire button whenever a specific enemy is on screen... which really isn't much different from what you do when any enemy is on screen.

Tedious is a matter of opinion, but it's at least fair to say those objectives weren't as long and confusing as the ones that required you to search for things.  As you said, normal Sonic level design, except with arguably a stricter time limit. 

To a point, because there actually isn't anything wrong with exploration also being in Sonic levels, and it's been a big feature of some past games that were well-received.  Shadow the Hedgehog's levels were mostly badly designed, though, and the difference between finding warp rings in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and finding the many things Shadow the Hedgehog demands, besides the sheer amount of the latter, is that in the former you weren't absolutely mandated to it at any point so the game never degenerated into dull searching.  It's not unusual to find Warp rings completely by accident, so they can just be something you come back to on purpose in repeated playthroughs.  So while both games require you to do a bit of replay and exploring to see the true ending, S3&K doesn't completely wreck the pace people expect of a Sonic game.

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