Round Table: What direction should Sonic Adventure 3 have taken?

RoundTableSonicAdventure3

Sonic Adventure was the best selling Dreamcast game of all time, so it’s no surprise that we would want to discuss the game on this week’s Round Table. The Sonic Adventure series had two main entries that were both on the SEGA Dreamcast, and both had a very different approach when it came to story and gameplay progression. As the series continued, SEGA took the blue blur in a various directions with titles like Sonic Heroes, Sonic Generations, Sonic Colors and the latest title Sonic Lost World. Despite the long gap between Sonic Adventure 2 and today, a very vocal group of fans still ask SEGA for a third entry in the series. The question we posed to our writers this week was would we want a Sonic Adventure 3? If so, what direction should the third entry take?

Like always you can tell us your own opinion on what direction Sonic Adventure 3 should take in the comment section.

RoundSonicAdventureGene
SonicAdventure1

To be honest, Sonic Adventure 2 left a sour note for me, once I cut through all the sentimentality of “the last Sonic game on SEGA hardware” and “Shadow sacrificed himself to protect the world Maria loved so much.” I didn’t care for the shooting stages, and the treasure hunting stages only got more annoying (though I confess that Meteor Herd is my favorite of them… funny, that.) That effectively cuts two-thirds of the game out and leaves a paltry 10 combined stages from the “speed style” ones, and even those were mostly corridors floating in space. Of those, Pyramid Cave was the only one that tried to be “different” by branching off momentarily.

“I stand firm when I say we had a glimpse of a Sonic Adventure 3 when Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 came out. It was “Adventure” in almost every aspect but the name.”

Anyway, if we’re talking an Adventure 3, I can safely say I don’t want it. The Adventure format, or at least how it was trending, was stuffing a lot of needless fluff into the game while muddling what felt like the main thing that made people play Sonic. I can already hear the, “Oh boy another GATTA GO FAST” fan criticism, but note my favorite SA2 speed stage is the one that tries to be slightly different.

The other common thing I hear from people yearning for an Sonic Adventure 3 is the chao garden. In fact, I’m convinced most of Sonic Adventure 2‘s fans just like the game because of chao. I didn’t care for them from the start and I’d rather the whole thing stay as far away from the games as possible. The fact SEGA hasn’t made them their own little mobile phone brand yet baffles me, but that’s another discussion.

I stand firm when I say we had a glimpse of a Sonic Adventure 3 when Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 came out. It was “Adventure” in almost every aspect but the name. It was also a terrible game for a plethora of reasons, so it doesn’t surprise me that Adventure-loving fans will quickly move the goal post when this point is brought up. I also believe that the critical failure of that title is what forced SEGA to explore Unleashed/Colors/Generations‘ 3D adaptation of the then-well-received Rush style of gameplay, and I was actually pretty happy with that decision, even if polishing was necessary still. (Fun fact: Sonic Unleashed, or World Adventure, did actually have the Adventure 3 moniker very early in development.)

GammaI’ll end with the fact it wasn’t so much Adventure/Heroes/Shadow(Adventure 2.5) that made people sour on the concept of Sonic and his billions of friends so much that SEGA’s Adventure model sapping away from a Sonic experience.

Racing against Sonic? Cool!

Searching for gems because the Master Emerald explodes if you breathe in its general direction? No.

Fishing? Dear god why?

The mech idea sounded awesome when it was just for Dr. Eggman, serving as an expansion of his E-102 robot’s gameplay, and there’s much more to go on about Sonic Adventure 2‘s development to show how it became a much different beast, but again, that’s a more different discussion you’ll likely see on Sonic Retro soon if the people want it. But as it stands, no, I don’t want anything in Sonic Adventure 3 as I think it has no reason to exist. I’d rather SEGA aim for a hybrid of Generations‘ gameplay that seamlessly integrates Lost World‘s parkour and allows for greater exploration rather than railroaded gameplay. Sonic friends can return if they actually serve a purpose to gameplay or the plot and aren’t just there to complicate (read: treasure hunting) things for no reason.

RoundSonicAdventureBarry
SonicAdventure2

I’m of the mindset that we will never, and should never, see a Sonic Adventure 3 in the present day. It’s just too far removed from 2001 to see a sequel, and unlike Sonic the Hedgehog 4 which was the first 2D console title since Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the 3D Sonic series has had more than enough titles between Sonic Adventure 2 and now. What would SEGA do? Have a modern day followup take place between Sonic Adventure 2 and Heroes? Would the SEGA and Sonic Team of today even want to timeline jump back to the Dreamcast era when the series itself has essentially rebooted with Unleashed? Not to mention the many games that are a Sonic Adventure 3 all but in name (which I’m sure other SEGAbits writers will go into). Having said all that, looking at this from my own perspective of the series in 2001 just coming off of Sonic Adventure 2, I really think they should have followed up with a Sonic Adventure 3 rather than Sonic Heroes.

“That isn’t to say I’d have completely scrapped what Sonic Heroes had to offer. I’d keep the story, but punch up the script and have many of the plot points make more sense…”

That isn’t to say I’d have completely scrapped what Sonic Heroes had to offer. I’d keep the story, but punch up the script and have many of the plot points make more sense and have stronger connections to past Sonic Adventure titles. For example, I’d explain what was going through Metal Sonic’s head during the original Sonic Adventure, and at the end of the game I’d reveal that Shadow was a clone of the original so as to keep Shadow’s sacrifice in Sonic Adventure 2 intact. Shadow 2.0 would let go of the Maria connections and set off to be his own hedgehog, unbound from his sordid past.

Gameplay-wise, Sonic Heroes had an ambitious concept of combining three characters into a team that you could cycle through, integrating Sonic Adventure 2‘s Team Hero (renamed Team Sonic) and Team Dark and then doubling it with Team Rose and Team Chaotix. But the end result just didn’t work for me. Instead, I would have reverted to how the first game had you playing as one character at a time, but I’d do away with the adventure fields so the game had the faster pace of Sonic Adventure 2. I’d also do away with the treasure hunting and mech shooting modes, putting an emphasis back onto the Sonic style of gameplay. Like the classics, each stage would have different ways to navigate based on who you are playing as. Yes, players would replay stages as they did in Heroes, but by being limited to one character, there would be unique routes to explore and secret areas only accessible to certain characters. You’d also have different cutscenes and motivations for characters, and to take a page from the Shadow the Hedgehog game, different characters could have different stage objectives.

sonic-heroes-2-teams-itqlhui2As for the cast, I’d keep it small. A dozen characters was too much in Heroes, even if they made up only four teams. Instead, I’d have liked to see Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, and Espio as the main cast. Eggman would strictly be the unplayable villain, while characters like Metal Sonic, Vector, Charmy, Big, Cream, and Rouge would support the story and would be unlockable bonus characters for the time trial mode. I’d probably give Omega the boot, given he was a rehash of E-102 and was not all that central to the story.

And finally, the Chao garden. If there is one element that separates an Adventure game from any other 3D Sonic title, it’s this mode. While I enjoyed it during the first game, and liked the improvements made for the second game, I have to admit that it is the one element that nearly slipped my mind when dreaming up a Sonic Adventure 3. I would have been fine with it returning, but I’d rather Sonic Team’s efforts went into the main gameplay. Also, given the third installment would have appeared on the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube, there would be no VMU support, which was the one reason I imagine the created the chao garden to begin with.

If I had to sum up my Sonic Adventure 3 in a nutshell, it would take the best elements of the two previous games, shifting a gameplay focus to the Sonic-style with stages reminiscent of the Genesis classics. It would also have released after Sonic Adventure 2 in 2003. For me, Sonic Adventure 3 should remain in the realm of daydreams I had following the second game. Would I like to see a game released by Sonic Team in the future that plays similar to the game I described? Oh hell yes! But I do not need it to be titled Sonic Adventure 3 for it to become a reality.

RoundSonicAdventureLiam
Speedhighway

Sonic Adventure is my favourite Dreamcast game, and my second favourite Sonic game of all-time, so I’d love for whatever form Sonic Adventure 3 takes to be more in the vein of that game than Sonic Adventure 2. As for what exactly I’d want out of it… well. I’d like Sonic Adventure 1’s greater focus on the Sonic style levels to return, since Sonic Adventure 2 kind of pushed that style of gameplay in line with all the other considerably less entertaining gameplay styles in terms of quantity, when it was easily the gameplay I wanted to experience the most.

IceCapIf other gameplay styles do return, I’d be fine as long as they were done well; basically, fix the radar in Treasure Hunting and avoid making the levels too bloody huge, give any shooting levels Gamma’s speedier gameplay style compared to the slow, clunking Adventure 2 mechs, perhaps incorporate more solid stealth elements into Amy’s gameplay to make it feel less like an afterthought, and Big’s fishing… well, that’s something I don’t think reallycan be salvaged.
I’d also much rather they drop the super-linear design of Adventure 2’s Sonic & Shadow levels. Adventure 1’s were linear, of course, but they felt more open and interesting, and I overall have more fun with them.
I wouldn’t mind Adventure Fields returning either to be honest, they were fun to mess around in and they held nifty incentives for explorers such as Emblems and a few of the character’s upgrades.

“If other gameplay styles do return, I’d be fine as long as they were done well…”

Chao Garden… I wouldn’t mind as long as it were made fully optional, i.e. no emblems to gain from it. I’ve played through two seperate copies of Sonic Adventure 1 on Dreamcast, and both times I didn’t go anywhere near the Chao Garden, so I really wouldn’t shed any tears if it got the axe.

I don’t want an Sonic Adventure 3 just for the sake of having an Sonic Adventure 3 though. If we continue to get games such as Generations and Unleashed, well, that’s just as fine by me, since I also enjoyed those games. And if we get a Sonic game up to the quality I feel Adventure 1 held, then I don’t give a flying toss what it’s called.

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SonicAdventure2Nux

There’s no denying that a Sonic game that outright used the Sonic formula from 2001 wouldn’t fair particularly well today. Though on that note, there’s also no denying that some other legendary SEGA franchises released around the same time would need to be completely reworked to live up to modern standards (Shenmue for instance). The Sonic Adventure formula has some great ideas. The speed stages are still a lot of fun, most of the game play modes remain decent diversions, I love Sonic Adventure 2’s Chao gardens, and I still enjoy running around the adventure fields and re-solving the original Adventure’s very basic environmental puzzles.

MetalharborThe Unleashed formula is too fast and too linear, not allowing for nearly enough platforming. Sonic Lost World was a step in the right direction, but was too often hamstrung by poor level design, a focus on combat, and an underutilization of the parkour mechanic.  It would be a healthy exercise for the next Sonic game to take a back to basics approach to Sonic’s game design rather than trying to reinvent the wheel again. For all of the Adventure series’ flaws, Sonic’s stages are still a lot of fun even fifteen years later, and would make for solid basis for a new game. What Sonic needs is solid stage design and polished mechanics, not a new gimmick, and to me the Adventure series represents Sonic 3D game play  in its purist form, without any of the issues I mentioned above.

So yeah, bring back the slower speeds of the Adventure games. Bring back the adventure fields so we can have something to explore and sink some time into (optionally of course). Bring back the chao gardens with all of the depth they had from Sonic Adventure 2. Bring back Sonic’s friends. A lot of these things worked backed then and still work now, and what doesn’t work could have if they had been implemented more intelligently.

“The Unleashed formula is too fast and too linear, not allowing for nearly enough platforming.”

For instance, be sure to give us plenty of alternate paths and places to explore (optionally) in these slower Sonic stages. Inject those adventure fields with some interesting secrets, like some hidden 2D stages or boss encounters. Allow us to grow and modify our chao gardens and trade and compete with others online. Design all of Sonic’s friends around Sonic’s game play style rather than trying to pack 3-6 different genres into one game (Tails’ racing stages are a great example of this). Finally, don’t put too much emphasis on combat or enemy rooms or convoluted mechanics. Sonic games are at their best when they flow at a continuous, brisk pace, and this is something the Adventure series’ Sonic stages mostly excelled at.

RoundSonicAdventureBen
ShadowRadical
Sonic Adventure was a series that was very much a product of its era. Conceived while the PS1 and N64 were the prominent systems in the marketplace, the approach to gaming during that time was to embrace all that was exciting about 3D. It was a change most notably seen in platformers, with these traditionally 2D-playing games being greatly expanded, their sidescrolling being replaced by free-roaming worlds and a variety of different styles of gameplay offered in lengthy quests.

” Though I don’t want to say that Sonic Team has become totally devoid of creativity, I think it’s pretty valid to say that while they still know how to deliver quality Sonic gameplay, they’re hopelessly detached from the pulse of modern gaming when it comes to branching out and attempting to develop new styles of play.”

Sonic Adventure took clear inspiration from this blueprint. The idea of multiple characters, each with their own distinct styles of play, along with an explorable hub world between levels, was something very new to the series and something it hadn’t really ever attempted before. And for the most part, the excitement of exploring Sonic’s universe in 3D for the first time and the still somewhat fresh concept of platforming in 3D allowed many to overlook the “not always as fun” gameplay of the secondary characters. What helped in both Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adveture 2‘s case was that each character’s story fit well into the puzzle, combining to form a sense of epic scope and to create a real storyline that you got to explore from each character’s perspective.

The concept was a little less novel by the time Sonic Adventure 2 rolled around, but Sonic Team seemed aware of this, eliminating the hub world entirely and decreasing the amount of stories to two. But they still managed to shake things up by allowing the villains to be playable, something that actually turned out to be a major breath of fresh air. They kept the clockwork plot, and of course, the greater prominence of the Chao and the Chao Gardens helped to increase the replay value and to keep you playing as the different characters.

Route101What would make a Sonic Adventure 3 difficult, though, is that 3D gaming is no longer new to us. Playing as Amy Rose is no longer, on its own, an exciting feature, so it’s important to make sure that her gameplay is actually foundational and adds to the experience, not detracts from it. Unfortunately, I don’t think Sonic Team knows how to do this anymore. Though they’ve had separate groups within the studio work on series’ like Phantasy Star Online and Puyo Puyo in recent years, along with the occasional Saturn sequel, (Nights Journey of Dreams on the Wii) the team has been mostly glued to Sonic for something like a decade.

They’ve created only 1 new IP (Billy Hatcher) and one licensed game (Astro Boy on the PS2) but that’s really it as far as their chances to branch out and experiment with new ideas that they could have then taken back to Sonic. They’ve instead been existing in something of a bubble, and though I don’t want to say that Sonic Team has become totally devoid of creativity, I think it’s pretty valid to say that while they still know how to deliver quality Sonic gameplay, they’re hopelessly detached from the pulse of modern gaming when it comes to branching out and attempting to develop new styles of play.

PyramidcaveAs a result, I think the best strategy that could have been used for a Sonic Adventure 3 would be for Sonic Team to simply not try to branch out. The idea of the other characters with their own storylines is now dated and isn’t really necessary. Instead, Sonic Team should focus on pure Sonic gameplay, but with strong adventure elements included. Bring back the hub worlds, bring back the Chao gardens, bring back the epic scope, but don’t bring in the filler gameplay unless you really have a solid vision and idea for it. The question Sonic Team should be asking itself is whether all the gameplay being introduced into one of their titles would stand on its own, in its own video game.

If not, then they should really consider not including it at all.

I don’t think the idea of an adventure-themed Sonic game is a bad one; in fact, I think there’s a sizable portion of the fanbase who would love to see it. Expanding the gameplay will help the series to reach a wider audience than just die-hard Sonic fans. But the gameplay has to be well thought out, in the spirit of Sonic, and most of all, it has to be fun. Sonic Boom represents the complete wrong way to go about this, and if this is really the benchmark that Sega is setting for their most famous series, then Sonic Team may not even be remotely compelled to attempt to raise the bar and make the character once again a serious contender.

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BigCat

I will say that I’m in the camp where I liked Sonic Adventure way more than Sonic Adventure 2. It wasn’t because of Shadow or the more serious story, but it just didn’t feel as fun as the first one. I would play both games back to back and came to a decision that the reason Sonic Adventure was just a better game is due to the pacing. While I liked playing as Sonic and Shadow (which basically play the same), I didn’t like playing as the other characters that broke up the action. I bought a Sonic game to play as Sonic, not his friends. I know that the first title also had ‘friend characters’ but they actually handled it quite well, not forcing you to play as them as the main story mode. They where extras and you knew it wasn’t Sonic and weren’t forced to try them if you didn’t want to. Sadly, Sonic Team went and changed this in the 2nd game.

“Sonic Team should also really work on the ‘Adventure’ aspect of the game, while Sonic Adventure offered a few hub worlds, they all felt very empty.”

Sonic Team should also really work on the ‘Adventure’ aspect of the game, while Sonic Adventure offered a few hub worlds, they all felt very empty. I loved exploring what I could with each character and trying to see if I could find secrets. If Sonic Team ever makes a Sonic Adventure 3, a nice big open world to explore and find new areas  and unlockables is a must. The whole hub world idea was scrapped from Sonic Adventure 2, which is a bit tragic. I understood the idea was getting the people as fast as possible to the next stage, but I think allowing the option of exploring a hub world or just playing the stages back to back would have been the best solution.  I think the hub world could also serve as a place to have some of Sonic’s friends as NPC but not playable. We don’t want to have playable characters just because it will be better marketing. Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations and even Sonic Lost World proved that gamers are willing to buy a Sonic only game.

SonicPounditBut there is the thing, I don’t think it should be a Sonic only game. The adventure series has always had more than one playable character and I think it would be pretty awesome to continue that with a realsitic number. I say keep it at three playable characters: Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles “Tails Prower and Knuckles the Echidna. But how would each character and each of their stories fit into the larger puzzle? Personally I think they should all have their own motivation and not just be following an adventure along with Sonic.

I think Sonic the Hedgehog’s gameplay should take all the best pieces that they have built over the years in Sonic Generations, Sonic Colors and Sonic Lost World to make really tight feeling 3D game. Offer up multiple paths per stage to to add to the replay value and actually have some sort of level design instead of just ‘set pieces’ and hollow paths that make you go one way.  As for the storyline, does it even matter? Sonic speeds stright to Eggman to stop him from unleashing an evil plan.

As for the other playable character Knuckles, I think we should just drop the whole treasure hunt gameplay. Its lazy, not well planned and not fun to play. I think he should be more ‘grounded’ in speed and focus way more on creating a fun platforming game. One of the issues with Sonic the Hedgehog is that you always have to balance speed with platforming, make Knuckles the character that offers pure platforming bliss. Knuckles’ story can deal with him figuring out how to restore Angel Island to its former glory and what happen to his people, which was briefly touched upon the first game and later abandoned.

KingBoomBooAs for tails I would make it more of an action platformer where you use various tools of Tails to reach new areas where you platform around finding new technology which allows him to upgrade his weapons. Have some stages where you get to do some rail shooting in the tornado. The story for Tails can simply be that he is tired of being a side kick and wants to venture on his own and have his own adventures.

But who are all the baddies? Easy, just make them robots from Eggman. But at this point it might as well be a new title, since having ‘Sonic Adventure 3‘ on the box will probably hurt sales seeing as how its been over a decade since the last game came out (not counting ports). But there is a lot they can do, Chaos can even have connectivity with smart phones so you can always feed them.

But now I’m just getting ahead of myself, I think Sonic Adventure 3 should take more aspiration from Sonic Adventure and much less from Sonic Adventure 2. But those are my two cents.

RoundSonicAdventureBartPachacamac_Tikal

The two core elements of Sonic Adventure that I would like to see is the ability to play as other characters, a deep story and finding areas to go and explore. The trouble is, the core Sonic element that Sonic Team abides by doesn’t see the same level of polish, let alone Sonic’s friends who suffer from boring gameplay. All of these mixed perceptions of what people think should define a Sonic game have been mixed with every new iteration. Because of the sense of speed established since Unleashed, the other characters will have a hard time complimenting Sonic’s gameplay while creating a unique and engaging experience. While I would be okay with playing as Amy, the pace of her gameplay, assuming they don’t try to go the Sonic Heroes route where everyone suddenly moves just like Sonic, but their levels suffer from…the fact that you already played those levels that Sonic Team created through the use of copying and pasting level geometry.

“With these complaints, you’d think Sonic Boom would take the gold. You have exploration elements, all of Sonic’s friends are not only playable, but they’re more integral to the story”

Have you ever noticed the philosophical undertones in Sonic Team games? They don’t seem to make for the most exciting mythos. Or at least, they’re told vaguely through different perspectives, and when translated to other languages, sometimes the meaning isn’t brought over exactly, possibly to ensure Sonic gets that E rating. We’re not missing out on some juicy f-bombs uttered by Sonic to Dr. Robotnik, nor is it going to be among the greatest works of our time. Sonic Adventure‘s war is hell message with the Chao and Knuckles’ rage-induced ancestors and Shadow’s internal struggle to find out if his existence matters and whether or not he is real, these made for some interesting, if overshadowed aspects of the story., which is meanwhile tied to Sonic fighting Robotnik who has thwarted his plans for over 20 years, it can make for a hard time to try and surprise people with a new story as Sonic Team struggles to appease seasoned fans while attracting new players. Oh yeah, remember when the moon exploded? Continuity is also a real issue for Sonic, and the origins for some of these characters doesn’t really seem to matter, so why be invested in a story that loses its importance entirely with each new iteration?

Chao_statsWith these complaints, you’d think Sonic Boom would take the gold. You have exploration elements, all of Sonic’s friends are not only playable, but they’re more integral to the story, and on top of that, Sonic and friends have to take care of a new enemy that could potentially be more threatening than our tried and true mad doctor. That said, its certainly not the same style of Sonic game I’m used to, and certainly not a Sonic Adventure I would expect. That doesn’t make it a bad game, but at this rate each new Sonic game will have this amalgamation of ideas and concepts that people like out of all the Sonic games all the while trying to come up with something new.

So that Sonic Adventure 3 may not be coming anytime soon, but lets say if we were highly likely to get one today. The process of English dubbing in video games from Japan have improved, 3D Sonic games have gotten to be in a better style, and perhaps we can see a better incorporation of Sonic’s friends while combining skill and speed together to build an interesting story, plus with mobile devices and better access to downloadable apps, maybe we an even get a Chao Adventure 3 to go along with it? My personal feeling is that no matter whose hands you put Sonic Adventure 3 in, it’ll have a difficult time hitting the nostalgia people want, the gameplay will have these one or two quirks that hold the game back just enough to prevent it from hitting the right notes due to the pacing being all over the place. The same problems Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 had back then wouldn’t be resolved due to a clash of ideas of what people like and dislike about the franchise.

 

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16 responses to “Round Table: What direction should Sonic Adventure 3 have taken?

  1. Daniel Dwyn says:

    There are so many things that I agree with on this article. For starters, the unpopular opinion that SA1 is actually superior to SA2. Even though I love both games to death, SA1 always felt more like Sonic to me.

    I could write a wall of text here about my opinions on SA, but I’m gonna opt to keep things simple.

    What I would like for SA3:

    1) Characters: The only characters I really need are Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. Each should have their own set of abilities. Sonic can run, can do parkour and use flame/lighting/water shield (I would LOVE for these to return). Knuckles is much slower/heavy, but he can glide, climb walls and deal much more damage than the other two to enemies with his fists. And as for Tails, I would like him to use his smarts, his “mechanic” side, besides being able to fly. Like being able to hack into doors, remotely control Robotnik’s robots with a special ability which can be earned, etc. Lots of possibilities there.

    2) Stages: I would prefer for there to be more stages than usual, but have them available for every character. Like, each character can go their own unique path (or take the same if possible for that character), much like Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It would require less work from developers, possibly making the game easier to handle.

    3) Music: I would very much prefer for Jun Senoue/Crush 40 to be present on every title, but Tomoya Ohtani is a good alternative.

    4) Chao Garden: To honest, I never did spend much time with this, but what I can conclude is that this side-mission thing calls for the collector inside all of us, trying to gather all the items to level up our pet chaos. I don’t believe there could be a standalone game of Chao, all you ever really do is watch races of these creatures that you don’t actually control. For me, this could be removed and replaced for something else. Something that is fun and incentives the player to keep on playing the levels to collect items in an entertaining way.

    5) Story: Many people seem to think this is very important, but it really isn’t. All you really need is to have Robotnik plot an evil scheme to conquer the universe one more time and have Sonic and friends try and stop him. All that really matters is to keep things cool and not turn the whole thing into a comedy show, which is what Sonic Boom now seems to be trying to be. Although Sonic really is a funny guy, it’s better not to go overboard.

  2. Blues says:

    At this point, all I associate with the Adventure series are bad voice acting, hammy stories, and terrible vocal tracks. SA3 has no place in 2014 and I don’t understand why so many people are clamoring for it.

    It should have been apparent how bad SA2 was when the mini game was more fun than the core experience. Yuck.

  3. Daniel Dwyn says:

    Well, you sure like to claim your opinion as facts.

    Chao Garden is not the highlight of SA2 for many people. Also, the vocal tracks were amazing to me.

    What exactly do you want, besides bashing other people’s desires?

  4. Nuckles87 says:

    Who says Sonic Adventure 3 would need to have any of those things? That may be what you associate with the Adventure series, but there was far more to the games then that.

  5. Daniel Dwyn says:

    @Nuckles87

    So? Can you elaborate on that? What else is there to the games besides what has been mentioned here?

    And to answer your question “Who says Sonic Adventure 3 would need to have any of those things?”, me, and many others.

  6. Blues says:

    @ Knuckles87

    Because they’re the Adventure games’ defining qualities.

    the things you asked for, hubworlds to explore and slower, more deliberate platforming can be done without the SA brand. Unleashed and Lost Worlds have proven this well enough.

    All SA has to its name is buttrock, grimdark stories, unwanted alternative playstyles, and chao gardens. This kind of nonsense was all well and good in the past, but moving forward I’d like to see more things like Colors and Lost Worlds (done better, mind you).

  7. Nuckles87 says:

    @Daniel Sorry, I was referring to Blues. I forget the reply function does’t work.

    @Blues

    And the things you point towards existed in numerous games after Sonic Adventure 2:

    Poor voice acting? Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog.

    Grimdark, overly dramatic storylines? Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog BOTH did this way worse then the Adventure titles. Sonic Lost World easily had one of the worst and most out of place dark and dramatic moments of any Sonic game story period.

    Terrible vocal tracks and buttrock? Again, ALL THREE of those games as well as Sonic Colors and Sonic and the Secret Rings. Hell, let’s throw Sonic Generations in there too since that game not only included loads of vocal tracks from past Sonic games, but also included remixes of many of those tunes from the same bands (like Open Your Heart and Escape from the City).

    So no, they are not the Adventure game’s defining qualities and have in fact been present in most 3D Sonic games since Sonic Adventure. So it’s kind of funny that you point out that what I want could be done without the Adventure branding. XD But you know what? You’re completely right. Thing is, I never actually said I needed the Adventure branding. The reason why I associate this stuff with a potential Sonic Adventure 3, though, is because the elements were done best in the Adventure series.

    Pretty much what I’m asking for is a game that ignores all of the changes made in the Sonic franchise since Sonic Adventure 2, and instead get something that focuses on polishing and building upon what both Adventure games did right and throwing out what I think they did wrong. I didn’t even actually mention Adventure 3 in my entry because I don’t really care about the branding, just the game play.

  8. Blues says:

    and I agree heavily with you for the most part. But there’s no denying that the SA games had a certain distinct flavor (that is the result of the combination of the aforementioned elements) that one could understandably find very distasteful these days. Sure, latter games had cheesy vocal tracks themselves or terrible narratives, but the very DNA of this sensibility was bred from the first two Adventure games (also Generations is not a fair example, given that it’s an anthology game of sorts, but Secret Rings did indeed have some goddamn insufferable tunes).

    I think there were some good ideas in SA1, especially from a level design point of view. But the game does too many things wrong for me to look at it as any kind of guide for the series going forward. Im worried that any association with the Adventure series at this point will just mean tons of awful crush 40 songs and a chao garden.

  9. Sigma says:

    I don’t think SA3 would be a good idea, and SEGA seems to agree. Especially after SA2, which was honestly not a very good game. 2/3rds of the game was not fun at all and the 1/3rd that resembled a Sonic game was dumbed down that it resulted in some of the most linear, automated and corridor based stages in the series.

    And as always, proponents of SA3 just put the SA3 label on their ideal conceptional Sonic game. Thus no consensus are reached on what SA3 would actually be like amongst even its supporters. Except vague things like; other playable characters, but how they should play, genre roulette or uniform gameplay, is not discussed much.

    Which isn’t really all that surprising, since the two games are highly inconsistent compared to each other. So we end up with wildly different proposals, with little of substance in common, to what SA3 should be. With the proponents conveniently ignoring what they didn’t like about SA1 and 2, despite it being a consistent element between both, e.g. treasure hunting gameplay.

  10. Nuckles87 says:

    And as I said earlier, that may be what you associate with those games, but there is far more to them then that. I associate these games with the numerous things I’ve mentioned, as do many in the Sonic community, which is why you see so many people crying for “Sonic Adventure 3”. They want to see a return of those elements. I don’t go so far as to say such a game NEEDS to be attached to the Adventure series, but I agree with the sentiment that I would like to see a game revisit many of the Adventure series’s elements.

    Two thirds of what you associate with the Adventure series, terrible voice acting and storyline, are elements you’d find in the era the Sonic Adventure series developed in.

    Keep in mind that this was the same era where many of the best game narratives contained lines like “What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets”, “You were almost a Jill sandwich” and Otocan’s “Can you find love on the battlefield” question. This stuff ranged from overwrought to downright stupid, and delivered with the sort of hammy, awful voice acting that it would make an Ed Wood movie jealous.

    I mean, hell, look at Shenmue: the “Do you know where I can find some sailors” meme perfectly personifies the poor voice acting and awkward translation that seep through most of Shenmue. Hell, House of the Dead 2’s relevance these days mostly stems from the line “Suffer like G did!” which is probably the worst combination of scripting and delivery that I’ve ever heard in anything, period.

    I’ll definitely concede that corny buttrock was most definitely a stylistic choice in Sonic Adventure, but it wasn’t even the Sonic game that started corny vocals in the franchise. You want corny vocals? Check out the Sonic R soundtrack. Check out the American Sonic CD theme. Corny vocals have been a part of the Sonic franchise for almost as long as that franchise has been on CD, and continued to be a stylistic choice for the franchise long after the Adventure series. Sonic Generations didn’t HAVE to include cheesy Crush 40 vocals after all. It could have gone with instrumentals instead. So you can’t excuse Generations for that just because it’s an anthology.

    Rest assured, cheesy vocals will probably be back in a few years, too. Sonic Lost World is, at the moment, something of an anomaly.

    And while I say all this, I have to say I enjoy these vocals quite a bit. I’ll often have Super Sonic Racing, Open Your Heart playing in Sonic Generations. I featured “It doesn’t matter” on Tuesday Tunes not too long ago. I get why you don’t like it. I just don’t think you can reasonably associate it only with the Adventure series when we got soundtracks predating it with what I’d argue as even worse cheesy vocals.

    Haha, I wasn’t even going to really say that much, but I’ve been playing a lot of retro games lately. I had to make the point that when it comes to a lot of what you associate as horrible about the Adventure series specifically was pretty common for the time. Video game storylines and voice acting didn’t really begin to get good until the early 2000s, after the Dreamcast was dead and the sixth generation was in full swing.

  11. InTheSky says:

    I am glad that Sonic Adventure 2 went in the direction in did regarding handling the story (2 long chapters featuring three characters) if only to do something different. In the hand I think the format is problematic (how can you really connect these three characters’ stories, Knuckles was mostly by himself and the Dark situation was a teeny bit contrived) but novel at least.

    In any case were SA3 to come out this is what I’d like

    -Return to individual story modes a la SA1. Give characters not named Sonic more stages (3 stages for Amy WTF)

    -No new characters. Too many already.

    -Chao Garden is essential, as are racing and school

    -No horrendous individual modes like Big the Cat’s one. Gamma’s mode was pretty dull but serviceable. Amy’s was quite unique.

    -Mission ranking system and special emblem goals are a must. Varied goals would be great.

    Past that I don’t really care. Tone-wise they’re going to keep all the cheesiness intact and I’ve resigned myself to it even though I expect some cringeworthy moments. so it’s better that, than they go with either something overly moody or something pretentious. As for hubworlds, I don’t have much of an opinion on them. They’re both fun to explore but also possibly restricting for what sort of stages they make available.

  12. RegalSin__ says:

    To keep things short since I need to study or fail. Their can never be an SA3. SA=Sonic Vacation. Shadow the hedgehog was the last real Sonic game and all. Like the climax to life.

    Born , Have fun , big climax , then settle down and have children. That Shadow the Hedgehog was the apex of the Sonic line of games when it came to SONIC STORY. No Sally or Snively, or Grounder, Scratch. Just Shadow is a robot and their is a bunch of robot clones of him. That is it.

    As “System Shock 2” Zombies say. “It can never be”. “It will never be”. The world does not need another pile of 3d bs Sonic rubbish. The world needs new games from new people. Not the same ole same ole.

    Sonic is out played and has gone the way of the original fans. scattered all over the place; since 2001. Sonic is like memorizing the Twin Towers. You expect it to be their in the morning sunrise; but it is not. In fact it is like “Chrono Trigger”; where you have to “Ocean Sea Palace” sitting in the sky in one time-line. Maybe in another world Sonic is alive.

  13. Dreamakuma says:

    If I had the keys to the kingdom and could make sonic adventure 3….

    For starters, I’d stick with SA1’s storytelling and character selection. For fans of the pure blue blur aspect, they could pick sonic(or shadow too) and play pure sonic styled gameplay similar to Sonic adventure, classic sonic, or generations/colors/unleashed. Using both 2d and 3d gameplay with differing level design.

    Then I’d add vastly different play styles like SA1 with the story told from the other characters aspects. Characters Like Big Probably wouldn’t make a return, although I love the big guy. Tails, knuckles, amy, Shadow, and Vector would be something I’d like to see. make shadow’s level design different in play style , maybe like racing meets jet set radio with guns(lotsa grinding, and quick shooting) but everyone play differently.

    Beat everyone’s story, get the true ending, blam!

    I’d also add a Nights Easter Egg in there.

  14. Trainer Blue says:

    Sonic’s original theme of fighting wildlife exploitation, environmental degradation, and Dr. Robotnik’s unbounded capitalist-esque escapades could definitely strike a chord with modern audiences. Finding a way to weave these into a realistic, post-apocalyptic, dystopian setting could provide for a very entertaining and moving gaming experience. Speed could be used to convey the impending urgency of addressing environmental concerns as the game’s world decays and Sonic races against the clock to avert complete cataclysm. The fact that environmental change is not really a partisan issue and affects everyone and all aspects of life could also be explored as one of the game’s themes. Sonic may watch some of his animal friends perish as the fail to adapt quickly enough to their changing ecosystems.

    As a side note, the game could also explore where Sonic himself came from: how he became a speedy, anthropomorphic hedgehog and why he uses his abilities combat villainy.

    Additionally, I think the game would be incomplete without a cameo from Nights. During part of the open-world gameplay, Sonic could have the ability the explore some of the abandoned suburbs and ghost towns that once flourished but have now been ruined by the multi-faceted affects of climate change and an associated devolution of society. He may walk into an abandoned house and see “relics of the past” – pictures of a family, an empty dog bowl, a dilapidated kitchen, and, in the living room, an analog television with a still-functional Sega Saturn. Sonic could then have the option to turn it on and play a level of Nights into Dreams, commenting on how different life was and how surreal and fantastical the game feels in contrast to the abysmal hell that the world is actually in.

    Urgency and decisive action should be regular motifs throughout gameplay.

    The game could begin with the menagerie of typical Sonic characters (maybe about 2 or 3 of them actually playable aside from Sonic (Perhaps Cream and Tails could have a converging sub-story within the main story-arc that examines the important role youth have in making climate-conscious decisions now, since both of the characters are younger; the timid Cream could be thrust into a climactic ultimatum in which she has to make a pivotal, controversial decision, representing the environmental crossroads that young people today are at; Tails could be used to portray the important role technology plays. Aside from these two, the independent Ms. Rouge (no, not Knuckles) could be used to show that selfish pursuits would eventually have to be put aside if useable solutions are to be found to address this global problem. She would illustrate how disparate groups with often different, even conflicting agendas would at some point have to put their qualms aside and find ways to collaborate so as to make a change. Maybe she would be introduced to the story working along with an inhumane, amoral third-party that plans on ditching Earth and using what remains of its scarce resources to settle elsewhere in the solar system; by the climax, she could come to see value in having a more altruistic outlook and decide to help Sonic and friends)); as the story progresses, though, it would become more and more focused on Sonic. Robotnik would not be the main antagonist; he would either be a red herring or just the catalyst for the real issue (maybe one of his experiments or creations develops beyond his control).

    Among the disaster, the protagonists may discover an Isolated population of Chao that, because of their simplicity, have evolved to live contentedly and peacefully. The player could have the option to raise and breed Chao, competing in mini games with other players through online connectivity. Cream could also swap Cheese for one of the specialized Chao that the player has raised, or even breed Cheese. Each Chao could have slightly different abilities or stats and could be raised or bred to enhance certain traits. Cream could also have the option to not bring a Chao with her, and could have a slightly different moveset as a result.

    The game would have a very gothic theme, not having a target audience but, rather, focusing on conveying the rich stories and message. There would be deep character development (which would be easier to achieve with only a handful of main characters). Ideally, the game would have a “T” rating. Gameplay for all of the playable characters would emphasize speed, adrenaline, level design, adventuring, puzzle-solving, swiftness, strategy, and a moderate amount of roleplaying, with each individual character’s nuances contributing to slight variations in gameplay (for example, with Rouge being a bat, she may be more at-home in dark, foreboding, or ominous settings than the other characters may be; she could be used to juxtapose Cream).

    For inspiration, designers could look at games such as Ico/Shadow of the Colossus, the Metroid Prime Series (particularly Echoes), the 3D Zelda games (excluding Wind Waker), the Batman: Arkham series (particularly Arkham City), The Elder Scrolls III through V, and the Witcher series, but, of course, with a focus on long stretches of land and/or complex level design for high-speed and suspense-building platforming. As fas as Sonic games go, Sonic Adventures 1 and 2 (especially 2), Sonic 1-3 (Genesis), 4-1 and 4-2, and Sonic Chronicles should be used for creative direction. The game should have a legitimate soundtrack, with music composed by actual artists (this was one of may favorite features of SA2). Finally, the gangly, long-legged, awkwardly-running model of Sonic used from Sonic 2006 on should be completely ditched; a version more akin to Sonic’s appearance in the Sonic X TV show should be used.

    As an addendum, chaos emeralds could play a secondary role rather than a main role. Each character may have the ability to find one or two emeralds hidden throughout the course of their story. If all seven are found, they could be used to unlock some ancient mystery that is perhaps connected to the main story. (Maybe they provide the key for resurrecting the ancient creature Chaos, who then becomes playable and introduces its own side story. (Perhaps the player could also have the option of finding the master emerald (if using Rouge) after Chaos has been resurrected. The player could either use the master emerald to corrupt Chaos again and unleash a dark, malevolent death upon the world, or could inform the organization that Rouge had been affiliated with of the emerald and its capabilities, allowing them use it as a back up to carry out their plans (which, at this point in the story, would have already been stymied.) Conversely instead of resurrecting Chaos, the player could also have the option of using Tails to create a machine that can harness the seven emeralds’ energies to give each of the characters a special ability (like chaos control) that could open up new doors later on in the game.)

    This is all just speculation.

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