Will the other characters ever be playable again?

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Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Yes
18
69%
No
8
31%
 
Total votes : 26

Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby Mobotropolis » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:39 am

The replies to this thread seem to illustrate the challenges that Sega would have to face if they chose to do something like this again. Even having Sonic alone playable can be alienating for people who don't like him. I also think Sonic-only has other flaws but that's something else entirely. You'd have to approach making other characters playable carefully. On one hand there are people who like the Adventure-style. On the other there are people who like the more Classic-style of gameplay.

So I guess the main questions to ask would be:

If we make other characters playable how would they tie into the main story?

How would we handle their gameplay and requirements for 100%?
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby SonicSoul » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:05 am

Until Sega stops listening to game critics and their insipid "crappy friends" stigma, not likely to happen. Though TBF, there is some truth to that stigma. It stems from both Sega shoe-horning gameplay mechanics that don't wholly fit in with speed and platforming the series is founded on (fishing, beat-em-ups) and thus will come off as boring to some, and the, let's be frank here, sloppy characterization various has had over the years (Silver, Shadow, etc.), which will make said people easily annoyed with and easy to hate. Now of course Sega needs to eventually ignore what the media says and take risks with their characters again, but like Mobotropolis said, they need to how before they can think of when. Obviously we the fans will say "better gameplay for them and more competent writing" but even we as a fanbase can't settle on what exactly those two entail and what constitutes as "good" gameplay and writing.

And it's not like we haven't been completely devoid of other characters over the years. There is Runners, albeit it's a mobile game and obscure to the public, and there was the both Boom games, RoL and SC, but those games were critically panned and not just because they had the other playable characters. But since they still bombed sale-wise (moreso than Lost World) Sega's probably taking that loss as another sign that no other characters besides Sonic should be playable.
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby FancyFool » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:27 am

Continuing off from my rather immature outburst, I guess I'm with LBD and linebyline in regards to how the characters should play, being that they should follow Sonic's gameplay with various strengths and weaknesses to set them apart from Sonic himself. Not only have S3&K, the Advance trilogy, and Rush to an extent managed to pull off the multiple playable characters successfully but other successful games such as the recent Mario games, Sly Cooper (in regards to Bentley and Murray at least), and the Batman Arkham series have done multiple characters in a similar way and are praised for it (or at least don't receive harsh criticism for it) and so I think that's how future games should handle the multiple characters if they ever return.

Yes, that does run the risk of making them nothing more than Sonic clones and thus makes playing as them uninteresting, especially if it's a requirement to fully complete the game (a la "True/Last Story"), but then they shouldn't be a requirement to fully complete the game and instead be optional like how Knuckles and his story was in S3&K and they should be tweaked so they retain the Sonic gameplay but be distinct enough from Sonic himself. Besides, being able to play as the characters as their true self is what spin-offs are for. It worked for Tails in both of his games, which are praised despite being very different gameplay-wise from Sonic, and, again, other franchises have done such spin offs and are successful for it (such as the various Mario character spin offs and Metal Gear Rising).

That isn't to say I'm against alternate gameplay in the main games, heck I'm one of the few people who actually LIKES the Werehog levels (though I will reluctantly admit the gameplay really should've been something else), and I think it would actually be a requirement on occasion, such as if Eggman were to be playable again. But the alternate gameplay is pretty much the reason the characters got their unwarranted stigma from the public and, as BlazeHeatnix points out, it forces people to use to a different control scheme and logic to play the game instead of using the one that should be expected from a Sonic game. So it would be best to use alternate gameplay sparingly and if we were to get alternate gameplay again then it should be one that complements the main gameplay and done in a way that retains speed and flow so it doesn't come off as "out of place" in the game.
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby BlazeHeatnix » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:12 am

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep did the "Last Story" thing too, with 3 characters who play similarly and go through the same levels as the others. The key difference is that the game was plot-driven, and each character had an almost completely different story perspective. Sonic Adventure meanwhile is sortof story-driven, but all the characters meet up like 10 times with only minor details separating their playthroughs, the only significantly different one being Gamma, and his story has literally almost nothing to do with the main plot. Sonic Adventure 2 did it better, but by focusing on entire teams instead of one character it became sortof a mess. Same with Heroes, and that was the worst due to all the levels being in the same order and having the exact same design, making it almost pointless to have so many playable teams in the first place.

So if Adventure-style plot-driven games come back, BBS has a nice format it could learn from, I think.
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby Ian PK » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:14 pm

The problem with other playable characters in Sonic is that Sonic Team seems to have forgotten how we want them to play.
Sonic 3 & Knuckles did it perfectly. Three separate characters who all play mostly the same, with certain handicaps and abilities restricted to each.
Sonic was the basic one, equipped with an insta-shield and the ability to use the full capabilities of the elemental shields. Tails played like Sonic, but could fly, and didn't have the insta-shield or the ability to use the extra abilities of the elemental shields. Knuckles could glide, had a lower jump than Sonic and Tails, and also could not use the insta-shield or elemental shields fully.
Come Sonic Adventure, Sonic Team continued with the trend of adding more and more playable characters in each game, knocking the number up to six. However, the amount of characters wasn't the problem. It was the way they approached their gameplay styles. While Sonic, Tails and Knuckles at least played similarly, Amy, Gamma, and especially Big felt out of place. To make matters even worse, rather than letting them all play in the same speed stages like 3&K, everyone but Sonic and Tails got a different level type. Knuckles had to go treasure hunting, Amy had to go through slower levels, Gamma had to shoot things, and Big had to fish. This made only 2/6 of the game really "Sonic-like".
I think Sonic Team acknowledged this, and by Sonic Heroes we had 12 playable characters; but only one gameplay style. However, people were mixed on the team mechanic and Sonic Team decided to go back to the Adventure model for 06. Of course, 06 was met with overwhelmingly negative reception and Sonic Team decided to not use other playable characters anymore.
My point in this novel of a post is that Sonic Team keeps messing up other characters in Sonic games, and misinterpreted the negative reception towards them to think we don't want them at all.
They want to stay as far away from 06 as possible, and since that was the last game to have other characters, they're afraid to try it again. Look at the last console Sonic game to have them... Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. While perhaps not criticized for its other characters in particular, it was very negatively received. Making video games is a business, and SEGA need to make things that they think will sell. And unfortunately, making other characters playable might not be seen as something that will sell for a long time.

So to answer your question, and to also act as a TL;DR, only time will tell. Hopefully Sonic Team will realize we want more characters, just not the way they've been done in 3D so far. Maybe for the 25th anniversary game?
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby Village » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:22 pm

I wouldnt mimd if sega started using their subsidiaries, and companies they have previously worked with.

Like mgr was brought up. Wouldnt...mind them just throwing shadow at platinum like.
" you are good at making edgy things beat up things. Could you do it with that. Please"

Or them throwing tails at atlus like
" make a dective/adventure game with a slight dark twist with tails. Pls thanks"
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby TurboTailz » Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:03 pm

Eventually in time *maybe* Sonic games will feature other characters to be played just like they did in the adventure series. However I don't see that happening anytime soon, but who knows.
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby linebyline » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:57 pm

somehow I always end up writing these huge rants. Oh well, I don't feel like editing it down. Yay, laziness?

Mobotropolis wrote:
not all of them fun *coughfishingcough*

It's things like this that make me feel like a freak of nature.

I really enjoyed fishing -- and didn't like the high-speed Sonic/Tails (SA1) levels. I also liked Treasure Hunting and the levels with Amy. I liked the Werehog levels outside of the required-to-progress mobs. You know. Things that forced me to slow down and look around for a solution.

Honestly? I thought Werehog was way better than daytime, up until the level design devolved into (1) beat up 50 enemies, (2) walk ten feet, (3) GOTO 1. I like slowing down to think occasionally. Sure beats BOOSTBOOSTBOOST gameplay.

Actually, that highlights an important point that I'll keep coming back to: The level design is every bit as important as the characters' abilities themselves.

LBD_Nytetrayn wrote:linebyline has what I'm thinking. Adventure style tends to be too divisive; allowing people to conquer the obstacles laid before them and find their own routes seems to go over better.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"

Really, though, Adventure style is my favorite. Knuckles controlled awesome in those games; I just felt like he was wasted on doing nothing but crawl all over levels looking for stuff, instead of uncovering secrets as he traveled through levels.

I definitely agree about letting people find their own routes. The 2D Sonics usually have a fair amount of branching paths in them. The 3D ones don't seem to have done that as much; maybe a shortcut here or there, and a few extra places for the different missions in Shadow, but by and large there just aren't that many options.

I understand it's harder to develop like that, as developers have to build 3D models for all the levels instead of just placing pre-made sprites. I'd think it would be worth the effort, though.

GentlemanX wrote:I actually have the polar opposite opinion of linbyline and LBD; having the other characters control like off shoots of Sonic in the same levels is how I'd hate to see other characters come back. Though I acknowledge that's personal preference, I find that game play gimmick overly repetitive and makes me disinterested in playing as other characters. When you're little going through Sonic Advance as Knuckles or Amy is fun because it's a different sprite and some new moves to utilize. But playing through all of the games recently with friends, we never want to go back through those levels with another character; it feels almost the same and there aren't enough in the levels to offer a unique experience; we'd much rather just play another game. The worst offender is easily Sonic Heroes which we did play through again with every team, and since they're all identical basically meant we just played the game four times. When we started with Team Sonic they were okay with it, but by the time we finished Team Chaotix they wanted to break the disc in two.

That's a level design issue, though, not a mechanics issue. There needed to be (a) more places that only one character/team could access, (b) more logical methods of gating than just having stuff suddenly be there/gone/moved for certain characters, and most importantly, (c) more interesting things to do in the different locations once you get there--that is, a compelling reason to come back as different characters to fully explore the levels.

GentlemanX wrote:While I prefer SA2, I'll admit SA1 is my ideal in terms of how to handle multiple playable characters. Each character acts as a unique experience and none of the levels feel like retreads of what Sonic does. The gamer's individual mileage for each of these play styles is obviously subjective, with the popular opinion being against it, but in truth five of Sonic Adventure's six game styles are platformers that offer unique situations based on the differences of one character to another (Big is the only one that doesn't reflect platforming, so while I actually enjoy is gameplay I acknowledge it misses the point of Sonic - it would have been better if promoted as a mini-game ala the Chao Garden). 06, while unfinished, was trying to streamline this even more by fitting multiple gameplay styles into the 3-D Sonic style, essentially doing what linebyline and LBD are suggesting utilizing the Adventure; then contemporary, gameplay style.

I don't disagree. Making the most of the differences between characters is key to making an Adventure-style Sonic game successful. I just think it's possible to push those differences too far.

Let's take Gamma as an example: To me, he still felt like a Sonic character. Sure, he had a gun. That was different. But at the end of the day, he was still running and jumping. He didn't feel way too slow like Amy and Big did. He wasn't stuck in a playpen like Big and Knuckles. He had a different goal at the end of the level (a mini-boss fight) but it's not like Sonic games have never had boss fights at the ends of levels before. S3&K was made of that.

The mechs in Adventure 2 stretched it further by adding the health bar and making the movement feel much more different from Sonics than Gamma's was, but even then I didn't feel they were totally out of place. In other ways, they were more similar to Sonic than Gamma was: They had the same "reach the goal ring" objective, and they didn't have Gamma's timer gimmick.

For that matter, I loved Big in Heroes, and I wouldn't have minded playing as him so much in Adventure if he'd just had levels to run through with a lightweight fishing minigame as the end goal, instead of a more complete fishing game bolted onto a Sonic game. (And I doubt I'd have enjoyed a more full-fledged fishing minigame alongside the Chao Garden, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt anything, so if the development resources allow for it I say throw it in!)

I don't think every Sonic character needs to be "Almost Sonic but not quite" to the extent that Blaze is, much less a clone like Shadow. I just think there are limits to how far you can push before you end up with characters that don't feel like they belong in a Sonic game anymore.

And again, it's a combination of the characters themselves and their unique mechanics, the basic gameplay style each character gets, and how well the level design supports these mechanics and styles. It all has to work together to make a good game.

SonicSoul wrote:And it's not like we haven't been completely devoid of other characters over the years. There [...] was the both Boom games, RoL and SC, but those games were critically panned and not just because they had the other playable characters. But since they still bombed sale-wise (moreso than Lost World) Sega's probably taking that loss as another sign that no other characters besides Sonic should be playable.

This is one thing that irks me about Sega: They keep blaming the wrong things. They seem to assume 06 failed because it had lots of characters and focused on story. In reality, it failed because it was so broken that none of the characters was fun to play, and the story was badly written, edited, and acted.
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby LBD_Nytetrayn » Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:16 am

Agreed with some of linebyline's points (in response/relation to me) above.

I do love how Knuckles controls in Adventure, and I'd be cool taking that into a more Sonic-style course. But then, I enjoy it enough that I could take a full Knuckles game in that style.

Per GentlemenX, I don't know if Sonic Heroes is a good example. For one thing, Knuckles' inability to glide/climb like normal was a huge turn-off for me, and didn't the four teams pretty much work more similarly than how S3&K sets its playable choices apart?

S3&K, Advance, Rush, that's the kind of stuff I'm thinking (even though Blaze doesn't offer much different than Sonic).

--LBD "Nytetrayn"
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby Arkus0 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:45 am

I mostly just miss the acknowledgment of the other characters and seeing them interact with each other in the stories. But yeah I do agree that the gameplay for these characters need to be similar to Sonic on a basic level but have their own abilities that make replayability more fun. While I did enjoy the different gameplays of the Adventure series, it did lead to flaws as the programmers had to develop multiple different styles rather then focus and perfect a singular one.
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby overthinking » Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:38 pm

I'd quite like for other characters to be playable once again, though if it were just a reskin of Sonic then that'd make it a bit cheap. You could have levels involving precise platforming and flying for Tails, beat-em-up mechanics for Knuckles and a more Ninja Gaiden vibe from Amy. Heck, the Werehog stages could've worked quite well for Knuckles or Amy, but they made it more Sonic. It's a shame, really. Sega is far too afraid of actually doing something with the characters they have, it seems.
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby NxtWaltDisney » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:22 pm

I wouldn't mind some Heroes-Style gameplay. Actually, I wouldn't mind a Sonic Heroes sequel (If we ever get one, that is).
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby Mr.Unsmiley » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:13 pm

I honestly would take playable characters as just reskinned Sonics, that's already how I play Generations mods. Make em unlockable or whatever and usable for replays rather than part of the main storyline, I dont care how we get em, I just wanna be someone not Sonic
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby Mavrickindigo » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:50 pm

The problem was never that here were too many friends. The problem was that SEGA never put a realistic limit on things. Sonic 06 was the worst,but really, why shove 15 different playstyles into a game, when you can make 2 or 3 that work really well?

Heck, why not branch off and try a game featureing popular characters, like Knuckles? A sequel to Shadow the Hedgehog might not be so bad, if they make it more like a regular sonic game with 06 Shadow as a protagonist
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Re: Will the other characters ever be playable again?

Postby MetalSkulkBane » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:51 am

Mavrickindigo wrote:The problem was never that here were too many friends. The problem was that SEGA never put a realistic limit on things. Sonic 06 was the worst,but really, why shove 15 different playstyles into a game, when you can make 2 or 3 that work really well?

Heck, why not branch off and try a game featureing popular characters, like Knuckles? A sequel to Shadow the Hedgehog might not be so bad, if they make it more like a regular sonic game with 06 Shadow as a protagonist


Meh, Sonic Unleashed had 2 styles and many people still don't like Werehog.

Also, I'm not sure if Shadow or Knuckles could get their own games after so many years of being neglected. First we would need a game (or a movie) that gives them a bit of focus.

Lastly, making Shadow 2 even more like Sonic? I don't know, if Shadow is to ever has he own spin off series he need to be different from Sonic. Like Wario to Mario.
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