What makes a good Sonic game? Breakdown and Analysis

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by Omega Supreme-1, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. Omega Supreme-1

    Omega Supreme-1 Autobot Sentinel

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    Okay for starters, let's break down the original games and their play mechanics.

    Sonic the Hedgehog:
    Running Fast and rolling along
    Killing the occasional enemy
    Platforming sections
    Collecting rings
    Chaos Emerald collection
    Bonus stages
    After completing the level stages, you were presented with a boss
    Two powerups: Running and Invincibility

    Sonic CD:
    Introduced Amy Rose, who was a damsel in distress
    Introduced Mecha Sonic as a rival
    Focus on speed increased
    The first speed upgrade was introduced in the form of the Figure 8 dash
    A new and interesting albiet hard play mechanic was introduced in the form of the past and future forms of the levels
    Performance in a stage, and in the overall game affected the ending

    Sonic the Hedgehog 2:
    All the same as above, except some levels now had 3 stages
    You could now collect a new powerup in the form of a shield
    Figure 8 move, which previously required help, was replaced with a spin dash which could be done by "revving buttons"
    Introduced the Super Sonic state
    Introduced the first side kick character, Tails
    You no longer had to wait until the end to do bonus stages
    Introduced multiplayer races

    Sonic the Hedgehog 3:
    Everything you loved from the above games
    Introduced Knuckles the Echidna
    More powerups
    Flash shield
    New bonus stages that could be done mid-game
    New ways to play with Tails, and team ups against bosses
    Master Emerald introduced in this game?

    Sonic and Knuckles:
    All the features from above
    Game worked as an add-on for previous Sonic titles (Knuckles playable in previous games)
    Expanded the story of Sonic 3 and introduced Master Emeralds
    With the Master Emeralds came powerups for all playable characters

    Step backwards in the series:
    Sonic 3D Blast
    Knuckles Chaotix

    Why do most games dislike them or don't acknowledge them?
    They simply lack the most important feature in Sonic games...speed
    3D Blast started the collecting gimmick
    Knuckles Chaotix didn't feature Sonic, and the teamwork feature was troublesome

    One true unreleased game:
    Sonic Xtreme

    One game that didn't get far beyond initial concept:
    Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM)

    Sonic Xtreme
    -Game seemed to be just like 3D Blast in that it lost the focus on speed

    Sonic Adventure
    -Took the concept of Knuckles Chaotix and brought in other characters than Sonic with main storylines
    -Game no longer had a linear and straight ahead game style
    -Still had some focus on speed
    -Some levels featured more "atypical platforming and collecting"
    -Most cohesive and drawn out storyline in the series today; Game seemed to be a complete departure from the 2D games as if in a new universe/reboot
    -Dr. Robotnik is now addressed as Eggman, much to many peoples regret that were only fmailiar with American media
    -Perhaps the most epic final boss battle to date for the series, with an entire city in ruin against a giant kaiju
    -Bonus stages gone completely, and Chaos Emerald collecting was completely storyline based

    Sonic Adventure 2
    -More of the same from SA1
    -Introduced more secondary characters, while storyline based characters from SA1 seemed completely out of thought
    -New rival character in Shadow the Hedgehog, much to the regret of many...loved by some, hated by others
    -Storylines now condensed into Hero Story, Dark Story, and Last Story than by character
    -Epic final boss battle that surpasses SA1, and a bit of homage to the last boss battle of Sonic 3 and Knuckles

    Sonic Heroes
    -Do I really need to talk about this game? Takes all the worst things from the whole series slamming them together.
    -Bound to a team of 3, not to dissimiliar to the Knuckles Chaotic concept
    -Did have a big cast of characters, such as the return of the choatix
    -Features the return of seperate storylines broken up by teams

    Shadow the Hedgehog
    -I choose not to acknowledge this game...it's just terrible and reviews will agree...
    -Unnecessary focus on weapons, guns, etc

    Next Gen Sonic Games
    Sonic the Hedgehog
    -Failed attempt to reboot the franchise, and basically more of the same elements that made Heroes, Shadow, and Adventure fall from grace

    Sonic and the Secret Rings
    -No spin dash T_T
    -Game too non-linear, and too mission based
    -Feels way too self contained and disjointed from the series
    -Return to a focus on speed, which is a good thing
    -Focus on collecting, stealth, racing, and other missions=bad

    Handheld Sonics
    Sonic Advance titles
    -Closest to classic Sonic in concept, though many dislike the art style
    -Haven't played them so I can't say much more

    Sonic Rush
    -Bonus stages back YAY ^_^
    -Speed focus back YAY ^_^
    -Enemies put in areas just interrupt speed and progress...iffy
    -New play mechanic in the Rush, though unfortunately makes it harder to enter bonus stages
    -Random new secondary character, Blaze the Cat

    Games that I really don't care about and are just cash ins
    -Sonic Rivals (Don't waste your time on this game...seriously...)
    -Sonic Spinball (I take it back, I care about this game, this is a fun game but it's a spinoff)
    -Sonic the Fighters
    -Sonic R (Dear god this game is garbage...)
    -Sonic Riders
    -Probably forgetting some games

    What's good about Sonic games?
    -Speed
    -Chaos Emeralds
    -Rewarding collecting
    -Linear and fast gameplay
    -Returning characters, and not just introducing new characters every game
    -Good platforming

    What's bad?
    -Lack of speed
    -Pointless collecting
    -Too much non-linear gameplay

    Anyone else want to rain in on this? Anyone disagree, or agree...give me input and using what i've listed, present your own game proposal for what you think would be a successful Sonic title.
     
  2. EvaUnit13

    EvaUnit13 REBUILD

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    Ehh, I liked Sonic when I was 8, but these new games are plain shit. No free roaming takes a lot from the game, IMO, which is why SA1 is my favorite Sonic game, though that's not saying much. Not too fond on the old games, either, it focused all on speed and that was it. SatSR sucks IMO, the controls are horrible, the plot is bad, and it's turning into an RPG which isn't what Sonic was meant for. Not to mention the constant replaying of the same level to get to the next one, it makes the plot even worse
     
  3. Greenshadow0

    Greenshadow0 Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    What makes a good Sonic game in General, and how should they change?

    1. Good Music. No Crush 40 crap like we've been having, how about some nice ol' music like in Sonic 2.

    EDIT for Chaosbringer_00: Well, maybe it's not crap, but it doesn't fit the whole Sonic theme.

    2. Sonic is not an EXPLORAN GAEM, it is a RUNNAN GAEM.

    3. CUT DOWN ON THE CHARACTERS. I remember when there were five, now I can't count how many there are.

    4. Too many humans. How about the good Sonic vs. Robotnik?

    5. Character design: Not too bad, but was better.

    There's probabily more, but I'll leave it at that.

    The only good Sonic game nowadays is Sonic Mega Collection. A boatload of Win in one disc.
     
  4. TJOmega

    TJOmega The Plastic Addict Content Contributor

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    I'd agree with this... My biggest gripes with the series:

    #1 - No focus on speed. The developers are more concerned with making "cool" segments like rail grinding where there should be speed zones like Sonic 3 had. Platforming elements that take a lot longer to navigate in 3D than they did in 2D. I also remember how many paths that more speed allowed you to take in previous Sonic games, lower path, middle path, get enough speed on the ramp and you can go across the top of the stage. Speed was a reward. Newer games... it's just an occasional thing you get to do between platforms and enemies.

    #2 - New characters every time. You gave us Shadow and Rouge, mascot characters for older players, thank you... now STOP! If you can't think of a game concept without a bunch of new characters every time, it shows how weak of an imagination you have. Nobody cares about princesses, jetboarding birds, time traveling cats, and even more hedgehogs... you don't see a new plumber in every Mario game, do you? Sonic's cast has many good characters with histories that can be developed out and that situations can build around. And they let it waste away.

    #3 - Forced gameplay. Since Sonic 3 we've had options, play as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles. This concept was extended in Sonic Adventure, the best 3D Sonic game, where each character had a different gameplay style, level designs, and stories that interlinked. Then Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes forced you to play as certain characters at certain times. And the stories were no longer deep enough for all characters, they had to share stories. They threw away what worked the best in the franchise for the sake of reinvention, they didn't even try to expand what worked so well before and what made Sonic Adventure good. Now they give us the option to play through as one character again... and all three are hedgehogs. Thanks a lot. Really.

    They need to go back to the Adventure formula, different methods of gameplay and interwoven storylines, and they need to do it without new characters. And if they need new ones... where's Mighty, Fang, Bark, Bean, Chaos, all the characters that have been left to collect dust that you can do anything with? We're getting ready for Sonic Rush Adventure, the only good Sonic games these days, and we're getting another new one in there as a raccoon... Focus on speed, focus on variety between different characters, focus on development of characters, maybe people would give a damn about the series if you didn't brush aside good characters like Chaos, Emerl, and Rouge before they can even become popular enough for people to care about, all for the sake of Sonic's next poor storyline and the new characters that have no imagination to them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  5. Hyperion

    Hyperion Well-Known Member

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    Complaining about the new characters is essentially pointless, as every Sonic game has featured a new character of sorts.

    Sonic 1 - Sonic, Robotnik
    Sonic CD - Amy, Metal Sonic
    Sonic 2 - Tails, Super Sonic
    Sonic 3 - Knuckles
    Sonic Triple Trouble - Nack/Fang
    Knuckles Chaotix - Espio, Charmy, Vector, and "Mighty" (Sonic in a goddamn shell, srsly)
    Sonic R - Tails Doll, Metal Knuckles
    Sonic 3D Blast - Flickies
    Sonic the Fighters - Bark and Bean
    Sonic X-Treme (unreleased) - Tiara
    Sonic Adventure - Chaos, Tikal, Big, E-102 Gamma, Pachamach (Tikal's father)
    Sonic Adventure 2 - Shadow, Rouge, Gerald Robotnik, Maria Robotnik
    Sonic Heroes - E-123 Omega
    Sonic Riders - Those three forgetable bird characters
    Sonic Battle - Emerl
    Sonic Advance 1 - Robot Knuckles
    Sonic Advance 2 - Cream the Rabbit (UGH!)
    Sonic Advance 3 - Gemel (Emerl 2.0)
    Sonic Rush - Blaze the Cat, Eggman Nega (the nifty old school design with a pallete swap)
    Sonic The Hedgehog - Princess Elise, Mephiles (doesn't exist anymore though) , Silver
    Secret Rings - Shara and the other purple genie.. whoever it was. I never played it.

    It's just a constant thing to make new characters for every game. It's what they've always done and will keep doing, despite how stupid it is.

    The problem with the latest installment, the 360/PS3 game, was that the game was built around Silver's gameplay using the Havok physics engine. As a result, everyone else suffered in terms of gameplay. Not to mention how slow everyone was aside from Sonic in those minute long (glitchy) Mach Speed stages.

    Not to mention it's rather upsetting when you get to really research the game and find all the stuff they removed because of laziness. (Ingame Super Sonic and playable Metal Sonic download are noteable) Plus some of the stories from people who did beta testing and noted SEGA ignored their complaints.

    SEGA needs to treat Sonic somewhat like Nintendo. Create *one* mainstream Sonic title every 3-5 years. That way they have plenty of time to iron out as many bugs as they can, maybe even work at making a title someone could be proud of, rather than release a new one every year with a side-game at the end of that same year.
     
  6. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    Well, I enjoyed Sonic Rush, and my only complaint was how often you could die by falling. I think one of the main reasons Sonics were so much better back in the day was that Sega banked of of him to keep their company in league with Nintendo. Now, most sonic games since the Dreamcast were not as focused and lacked true fun. Here's what I like about sonics:

    Catchy music- it's a must for me
    Great control
    Great replay by collecting chaos emeralds through bonus stages that are hidden but not SUPER hidden.
    Different paths for different levels
    Charming visuals for whatever respective platform it is on
    Not 3D, except maybe bonus levels
     
  7. ZecksKitty

    ZecksKitty Banned

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    After replaying the old games, I find they aren't very good anymore, they're just as boring and filled with cheap deaths.
     
  8. Greenshadow0

    Greenshadow0 Well-Known Member

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    Fixed.

    :( 
     
  9. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    The thing about Sonic games is they used to represent cutting edge game design and high production values. When you play Sonic 1 now -it may seem like just a product of its time, but it really represents the best of its time.

    Believe it or not, but the element of speed was an innovation in and of itself.
    Also take into account the music on Sonic 1. Sticks in your head, doesn't it?
    Consider that at the time the Genesis\Mega Drive was consistently criticized for its poor audio capabilities.

    Sonic CD -the existence of any game on a CD was an innovation at the time.
    And, as far as I am concerned, the "Lock On" feature of "Sonic and Knuckles" was a blast! I could not believe that I could go back and play Knuckles in previous Sonic games.

    Unfortunately Sonic's success lead to the Sonic name being a brand. The focus on quality and innovative games faded. Based on November's "Sonic the Hedgehog" disaster I would say it has died completely.

    I don't blame Sega for taking the blue guy to 3D. They had to. They had to show the Dreamcast was a 3D machine and they had to show it with Sonic.
    But I completely blame them for failing to successfully transition the series to 3D nine years later.

    There were issues in the first Sonic Adventure with collision detection, clipping and camera position that have never been addressed and in some cases gotten much worse in more recent games.

    I was forgiving of those issues on September 9th, 1999 but they are inexcuseable now. Plus, those issues were kind of offset in the first Sonic Adventure by quality game design. Seen that level of quality game design in "Shadow the Hedgehog" or "Sonic the Hedgehog" for PS3 or 360? I don't.

    The innovation is gone. The desire to mold the genre has been replaced by a desire to emulate the genre just to keep the brand alive.
    Had we never seen games like Jak and Ratchet, I doubt we would have ever seen the weapons based Shadow the Hedgehog. They could have somehow combined the speed with the weapons in some unique way.
    It's almost like they had a checklist. Dark Hero. Check. Good\Evil path. Check.
    (Another instance of the lack of quality -your enemies and allies are only for the cut scenes. They each attack you in the game.) Guns. Check. 3D Camera. Check -ship it.

    The same thing happened to the Next Gen Sonic.
    Do we have "physics"? Yes, but the game needs more work.
    Do we have "lighting"? Yes, but the game needs more work.
    Ship it. Sir, the game needs more work. There are sections where you can't even walk from one area to another.
    I said "ship it!"

    Sega needs to grab a developer who can make quality titles and have them work on a Sonic game. They have butchered it in-house.

    Maybe their using Bioware to make the RPG is a good sign.
     
  10. Greenshadow0

    Greenshadow0 Well-Known Member

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    Also, I love how they're adding Another character in the New Sonic DS Game.
     
  11. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    I agree, but this is what I said in my original post, just edited down a bit!
     
  12. chaosbringer_00

    chaosbringer_00 I am indescribable.

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    WARNING:

    <----Long time Sonic Fanboy



    I could go on and on about Sonic games, but I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

    Here's the deal: the older games had speed, a reasonable amount of characters, and were pretty unique. They suffered from that same speed, though: you'd go along at crazy speeds, but because you could only see a little ways in front of yourself, you'd end up running straight into an enemy or chasm unless you had ninja reflexes. As for the new(er) games, you could actually see where you were going, you still had great platforming, and you had (relatively speaking) better storylines. However, you lost the speed. There wasn't much flow.

    And then, after the abysmal Sonic game for the 360, we get the Secret Rings. This, IMO, solves the two big problems of the two gaming formats: you get the insane speed of the 2-d games, but because the camera is right behind sonic, you see what's coming up in front of you with ample warning. the game's not perfect by any means, do mostly to a poor braking system and an absolutely horrific way of backtracking, but I can honestly say that it is the most fun Sonic game I have ever played.
     
  13. Greenshadow0

    Greenshadow0 Well-Known Member

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    Someone needs to play Sonic 2 again. ;) 

    I see your point about the old sonic games, but that's what made them exciting. Not knowing what was coming up and in store for you.
     
  14. ZecksKitty

    ZecksKitty Banned

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    Er, what I mean is Sonic games are exactly the same as they were back in the day, it's just that isn't fun anymore. I really enjoyed Sonic when it was fun, but then it was just the same thing over and over again, and it still is today.
     
  15. EvaUnit13

    EvaUnit13 REBUILD

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    Sonic is starting to develop the Megaman Effect
     
  16. ZecksKitty

    ZecksKitty Banned

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    lol wut?

    At least the megaman style of gameplay has withstood the test of time, unlike Sonic.
     
  17. Samana Rombuca

    Samana Rombuca Well-Known Member

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    I love Sonic, and no matter how bad it's gotten, I keep playing (well the main games anyway). I beat StH next-gen this past spring and let me tell you: it's not a horribly game, it's just that things that have been broken do not get fixed and more oddities are added to compound the problem. I don't mind all the different characters, I actually enjoyed that, but it doesn't solve things like camera, controls and other bugs.
     
  18. EvaUnit13

    EvaUnit13 REBUILD

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    It's when they keep making games over and over, even if critic responses to the games are negative.

    IMO, even recent Sonic gameplay is better than Megaman. They recycle the same format over and over, at least Sonic shows promise
     
  19. ZecksKitty

    ZecksKitty Banned

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    But critical and commercial response to the latest Rockman games has been pretty good, and far above what the Sonic series is hitting.

    How does Sonic show promise? I haven't seen a single innovation pay off, Hell, even the spin offs fail horribly. At least the EXE/Starforce series is somewhat good, and the Zx/ZxA series is fantastically fun.
     
  20. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    I don't type so fast.
    I was going to be the third reply when I started typing it. :wink: 

    Everyone is entitled to his opinion, I guess, but it is a horrible game. How bad does a game have to be before you would consider it horrible?
    Even without the stupid city missions where you have to find the dog or guess who is the captain you have a fractured game that reeks of an unfinished product.
    The game is so bad that I think it is close to franchise suicide.
    You can't see 90% of your enemies -you just air dash into the direction the gunfire is coming from. You are forced to play as different characters for no reason at all. On the level where Sonic is riding the whale's dorsal fin and suddenly you are Tails and you have to open the gate, do you ever see a gate control? Do you have any indication that Tails did anything? There is no cut scene -nothing. You just fly Tails around and if you get to the area the game wants you to get to, then Sonic gets to continue the level.

    And its not just that they didn't fix what was wrong with the other games, they made them worse.
    The camera is never your friend.
    They broke Tails' flight control.
    They broke Sonic's air dash -he now drops right to the ground after you air dash.
    They broke the control on the snowboarding levels.
    They removed the tricks after Sonic slammed into an enemy.
    Not to mention the facts that you can't play the game for more than a few minutes without finding a genuine glitch or that the city sub missions might spend two minutes loading the exact same map so you can play for 30 seconds.

    My opinion is that the New Gen "Sonic the Hedgehog" is the very definition of a horrible game.
     

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