Sonic ..Excursion?

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Crazy Penguin
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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by Crazy Penguin »

I still love Sonic Colours, it was the purest platformer game in the series since Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The Wisp power up system added a lot of freedom to the usual Sonic experience, and encouraged (but rarely forced) you to slow down and interact with the environment in new ways. I even liked the short stages - they added variety, much like the stages in Mario games that would focus on one specific gimmick. They still felt like actual levels, still had hidden areas with Red Star Rings, and the objective was still simply to reach the goal. I think it also helped that two Zones were opened up at a time, so once one Zone was becoming repetitive you could always switch over to another. The missions in Colours DS (and half the missions in the home console version of Generations) felt more like hastily designed death traps and weren't particularly fun.

Its one most notable flaw was that Sonic still didn't control quite like Sonic, particularly with the removal of his signature rolling and spin dash attacks. And not mapping quick steps to L and R on the GameCube/Classic controllers was a huge oversight.

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by Radrappy »

This proto footage from SA made me really sad. Why can't sonic games have big open levels with platforming to explore?! Why can't we have great playgrounds to roll around in and discover secrets?? When did everything become about blistering speed and linear twitch gameplay? The camera doesn't even take over when he goes into a loop de loop for crissakes!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... QXU9qunIt0

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by G.Silver »

Oh, oh, oh man! And check out this one! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQZWa-LLL5E

These are obviously "gyms" built to test out what they could do, and it really illustrates how they needed a smarter or scripted camera, and that Sonic's physics or surface interactions or whatever weren't quite capable to handle all that geometry, but if they'd pushed it more, or came back to this today, there's no doubt that they could have made it work. All those unique shapes and platforming potential! It really does look like classic Sonic turned 3D. I kinda want to cry.

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by FlashTHD »

Radrappy wrote:This proto footage from SA made me really sad. Why can't sonic games have big open levels with platforming to explore?! Why can't we have great playgrounds to roll around in and discover secrets??
Budget, time, and what I affectionately refer to as "give-a-damn". In 1998, they only had so much of the former two to work with to make SA1 a launch title. (To their credit, they still missed the window in japan, and launched on time in the markets that mattered.) These days? The budget's dicey, time depends on how long Sega lets them work on something and... well, the answer to the last one is obvious to me.

Anyway, those videos are f'ing amazing.

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by big_smile »

I don't think budget or time has anything to do with it. The narrow platforms we have are a conscious design choice.
Also, doesn't Sega have project managers? Surely if they were short of time, then it would have made sense to omit superfluous ideas, such as fishing cats and pet raising.

Plus, at the risk of being overly repetitive, Sonic R (and, to a degree, Sonic Jam's Sonic world) is a playground of secrets (its scale is limited by its hardware) and it was probably made on a much smaller budget compared to Sonic Adventure.

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by G.Silver »

Yep. Making a bunch of levels like these ones we're seeing here is easy, the "expensive part" is picking the best ones/turning them into the best ones and dressing them up all pretty-like.

I can see why they would have gone the route they did, though. These test levels would have been similar to Mario 64 levels, and I'm sure they wanted to differentiate themselves from that as much as possible to not seem like a "me too" platformer, you can't deny that the long, speedy tracks make a unique impression. But it's not as if Sonic Adventure doesn't have any sections that are at least a little bit like this, and as said before there's a lot more variety in it than in future games. It really changes my perspective on the "progression" of these games, it isn't so much that SA2 started to ditch those elements, it's that SA was already moving away from them as its own development progressed. Sad.

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by big_smile »

It's like I said earlier, Sonic Adventure was the worst thing to happen to the series!

I think part of the problem is that they skipped a generation and so came back to Sonic thinking they had to re-invent it into something new (which is probably where the cat fishing/pet raising etc came from). If they had gone straight on to a Saturn Sonic game after Sonic & Knuckles, they probably wouldn't have felt the need to differentiate by having such an extreme focus on speed (as moving into 3D would have been a big enough differentiator, especially if it appeared before Mario 64).

Plus, I think people would have had lower expectations of a 3D Saturn Sonic, so they probably would have had more room for experimentation.

Of course, it's debatable if the Saturn would be capable of producing the large play fields that a 3D Sonic game would need to work.

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by G.Silver »

Oooor they could have made a gorgeous Astal-level 2D Sonic. xD

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by Rob-Bert »

Did big_smile forget we almost had Sonic Xtreme? Then again, it's hard to say how good the final product would've been...

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by Radrappy »

Rob-Bert wrote:Then again, it's hard to say how good the final product would've been...
No it isnt. The game always looked like shit.

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by big_smile »

Xtreme would have come out after Mario 64, so they would have still had the temptation of using gimmicks for differentiation. Plus, I think the reason it was so bad looking was due to the Saturn's limitations.

It's sad really: Sega pioneered 3D with games like Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter. You think some manager type would have realised that this new technology should be used for the company's most popular franchise and built the Saturn around the goal of making a 3D Sonic game.

Instad it was Nintendo who capitalised on the glory of making the first 3D platformer even though they hadn't had as much 3D experience as Sega did (and in turn forced Sega into the difficult positon of making sure their 3D Sonic title wasn't a me-too effort).

It's like I said earlier, the most tragic aspect of the Sonic series is that if it was just treated as pure business vehicle for making profit, it would have probably fared better than it has.

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by Rob-Bert »

big_smile wrote:if it was just treated as pure business vehicle for making profit
Shadow the Hedgehog?

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Re: Sonic ..Excursion?

Post by Popcorn »

Neo wrote:
Gaz wrote:What's that supposed to mean? The Adventure games are little more than a couple of sub-par(and even that's being pretty generous) games that have aged poorly. Colours and Generations had their issues but personally I thought they were pretty good games that were far superior to either of the Adventure titles.
SA1 and SA2 have aged poorly so they suck, Colors and Generations haven't aged poorly so they're good. Flawless logic. Except Colors came out two years ago and SA1 over twelve, so how the fuck can you compare them over the merits of how they've aged when one set of games hasn't had time to age at all.
This doesn't make sense. The only honest way to assess something's quality is to ask how good it is today. Anything else is just historical.
It's a bullshit argument, anyway. A game's crippling features are always crippling no matter how old the game is, and the only thing that actually changes with the years is your perspective due to having other experiences in the interim. Which is exactly the phenomenon seen where different people have differing opinions on something because of their personal past experiences.
That's all anyone's opinion ever is, though: the culmination of an infinite sea of experiences, prejudices, genetics, circumstance and luck. I've long since given up trying to identify and expunge what's "colouring" my judgement. That's all a judgement ever is, by definition: a colouring.

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