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What game would you recommend to start off with for a newcomer?


Drisaac

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This is a question I'm really curious about and wanted to ask to you:

If a person came to you and asked what Sonic game should they play as their first one in order to get introduced to the series, what would it be your immediate/spontaneous answer?

Would you recommend them an older game or a newer one? Would it be one that is considered as a "mainline" title or a spin-off? Would you make a distinction  between 2D and 3D and thus recommend them two different games instead of one for each gameplay style?

Sonic fans tend to have many different radical points of views on many different subjects, and thus I want to see what sort of answers would come out of this community if it was prompted to answer this question.

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Really depends on what game piqued their interest. The 4 boost games all play similarly enough to each other that I can recommend all of them to anyone interested in one of them (though probably start with Colors and Generations since they're the purest). Colors' simplicity certainly makes it the easiest modern game to start with overall. If they wanted to play a classic game, then you really can't go wrong with 2 and 3 (although with Origins I guess I can just tell them to play that + Mania). If it's adventure-styled games they're interested in...well, I'd mostly try to figure out which flaws in those games they can overlook...and whether they'd let me set up SA1 and SA2 for them, since we really need versions of those that just naturally include all the refinements and QOL changes fans have brought to them over the years. It feels like every new Adventure fan is more interested in SA2, though.

So I guess the pipelines would be like this

2D: Sonic Origins (2/3K especially) -> Mania -> Advance/other stuff

Adventure: SA1/2 -> Heroes/other stuff

Boost: Colors/Generations -> Unleashed/Forces/etc

We'll see if Frontiers changes either of those latter two.

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Origins in Anniversary/Story Mode if you want your first experience to be more classic, Colors (Wii version) if you want something modern that is comfortable and simple. You can play them in almost any order, but I recommend playing Mania after Origins and Generations after you've completed at least a handful of the pre-Generations 3D games.

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My recommendations would be separated between 3 Sonic eras:

From the classic era, I'd recommend Sonic 2. I think it's the most balanced game from the Mega Drive/Genesis games in terms of controls, difficulty and level design.

For the Dreamcast era, I'd pick Sonic Adventure 2 since it "cuts the fat" from the first one, making it easier to digest for a newcomer. The improved Chao Garden is a plus too. 

If wasn't for Sega's lack of interest to port Sonic Unleashed to other platforms, it would be my first choice to introduce the boost era. Since non-Xbox players can't have a improved version of that game, Colors is the best thing I can remember now. I don't even like Colors Wii/PC, but I feel that Forces is not the best title to show what that era was about.

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You can start with any Sonic game you want. I'd ask them what platforms they have and what games interest them the most and tell them to go from there. The only ones that stick out to me as a bad choice aren't easily accessible.

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It depends on the type of player really. If they wanna get into the classics, I'd say Sonic Origins and/or Sonic Mania. If they want something a little harder, then the Adventure games and the Sonic Advance titles, even Rush and Rush Adventure (if you wanna emulate it or you have the game on original hardware). If they love combat, the upcoming Sonic Frontiers, Sonic Unleashed, Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Battle could do you some good as well.  And if they just wanna go fast, Unleashed, Colors, and Generations can help you too.

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Either sonic 1 or sonic generations, for differing reasons.

Sonic 1: Its the first, it's the most basic, it shows you what to expect with this franchise. Fast paced, not super difficult, and it's quality is a rollercoaster of ups and down. Again, a representation of this franchise. 

Spoiler

Also it's the best game no I will not elaborate further

Sonic generations: Because it's a celebration of sonic. It's a great starting point because it gives the player a bunch of potential games to play next, depending on what appealed to them in gens.

Did they like the metal sonic boss and want to learn more about him? Maybe they can try cd or heroes next, where metal takes a more prominent role.

Did they like the more realistic culture-inspired stage of rooftop run? Unleashed.

Did they enjoy the more basic-but-taken to the extreme stages (chem plant being a factory, ancient ruins but in the sky with sky sanctuary) then sonic 2/3 are the next path to go.

 

Sonic 1 is the best for simple "it was the first and what the series grew off of" sense. Generations is also the best since it'll show the player a LOT of what this franchise has to offer, and help them decide what to look into next.

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Sonic Mania without a doubt. It has a large amount of levels as Sonic3&Knuckles, and better bonus stages than Sonic 2.

I concur with Generations recommedation, It's one of the most refined booster games aswell, despite Im not fond of that mechanic.

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This is an interesting question, as there's three possible answers in my mind. 

If this was about getting into Sonic in it's most prime form, then I'd suggest either the original Sonic the Hedgehog or Sonic 3 and Knuckles, as both can serve as a good introductory course to the bare basic mechanics Sonic games tend to have; high speed platforming, some extra exploration for goodies, and speedrunning.

If this was about getting into Sonic for 'lore' reasons (say someone wants to know about some of the characters' histories) then I'd suggest either of the Adventure games. Those tend to have some good lore about the likes of Chaos and the echidna tribe. Plus they're still good with the standard Sonic mechanics while offering a decent amount of variety.

If this was about just getting a quick and brief introduction to Sonic's world and gameplay without getting too deep, then I'd suggest Generations. Not much story, and some rather standard boost gameplay as well as a taste of Sonic's 2D roots tightly packaged in about a 2-3ish hour experience.

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I agree that there is no easy answer here as the style of gameplay has changed over the years. For what its worth here are my thoughts:

Firstly for old school gameplay:

Sonic 2, (16 bit Mega Drive) The ultimate classic, takes the original and expands on it in every way. Its easy to understand and play, the levels are well designed, vivid and numerous with only 2 acts and there is a good difficulty spike as the game progresses. No bonus stages, no elemental shields, no need to hunt down hidden giant gold rings to get to special stages, and intoduces many series mainstays such as Tails, Death Egg, Super Sonic, etc.

For more mordern 3d gameplay:

Sonic Colours ultimate (xbox / ps/ switch) - strikes a very good balance between boost and non boost gameplay, is easy to follow with a self contained story, and is very well presented with fantastic graphics and some unuque level designs and concepts. Its also a decent length and showcase sonic's modern gameplay style as opposed to other games with multiple styles (Adventure / unleashed). wisps add an element of exploration and replay value too

 

If i had to say...it would be them which suprises me as neither are my all time fave games. However, for a newbie i think they showcase the franchise best in terms of accessability, replayability and quality. 

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I say the important question is whether your Newcomer likes A.) playing old games, warts and all, to see evolution, or B.) prefers to get straight to the "good stuff".

if former, I say Sonic 1, 2, 3&K, CD, Adventure 1-2, Colors, Generations, and finally Mania.

If latter, Mania or Generations, depending on what strikes their fancy more. Both games are more enjoyable as an evolution, but we're cutting corners here.

And to both, I would suggest IDW Sonic if they want to learn more about characters, stressing out Shadow's problematic situation.

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