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Will we ever get another good 3D entry?

#1 User is offline urlogic 

Posted 01 November 2018 - 09:05 PM

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The last good 3D entries in the Sonic series that feel like they had any amount of effort or passion involved were Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors. Every single game since has been passable at best. Sonic has truly felt dead to me since 2011. There is SO MUCH you could do with a sonic game, and I am utterly clueless as to why SEGA can't pump out one title that doesn't seem completely rushed. I am truly sick of waiting for fans to "fix" the latest 3D titles. They will never put in enough work to fix these games, and they will never have the correct tools to fix these games. Nobody will hire them to do it, so nobody will pay them to do it or give them the tools they need to do it. Sure we have Sonic Mania but it is just one giant rehash that shows how low the Sonic series has fallen. Don't get me wrong I'm happy that prominent members of Sonic Retro were recognized and got to develop their dream game for SEGA, but SEGA themselves also forced them to make 90% of the game unoriginal. It doesn't exactly count as a genuine Sonic game. It's just a corporate funded fan game.

What I'm mainly curious about here is one thing... is there ANY reason to believe SEGA will ever start caring about Sonic enough to start releasing quality games again? Has Sonic Retro done any research that lets them come to the conclusion that just maybe, we will get an actual good game sometime in the next few years? Somebody here has to be snooping around.
This post has been edited by urlogic: 01 November 2018 - 09:07 PM

#2 User is offline Dark Sonic 

Posted 01 November 2018 - 09:21 PM

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I mean that's hard to say. What team is behind the game? What budget? What amount of passion? Maybe we'll get the Mania equivalent of the Adventure series one day.

Now that Mania has done gangbusters I think Sega will probably reevaluate their strategy for Sonic which they basically haven't had prior. Passionate fans with technical knowledge + money = profit. They obviously know people want chao gardens and SA3. I think they're waiting for the right time now

#3 User is offline High Fidelity 

Posted 01 November 2018 - 09:24 PM

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Unfortunately, whether SEGA will release a good 3D title will probably depend more on company politics than actual talent on the current team. This has always been a problem for SEGA.

I think it's a good bet though that we'll see plenty more quality 2D titles from now on as they require less risk and a smaller budget. Which is fine by me.

Imo, the only way modern/3D can be 'fixed' is by ripping up the rulebook and starting again, with a strong creative director as lead.

#4 User is offline tokumaru 

Posted 01 November 2018 - 11:02 PM

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What do you mean "another"? I'm still waiting for the first good 3D game.

#5 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 01 November 2018 - 11:51 PM

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As long as Sonic Team and their attitudes towards design hold the keys to the 3D Sonic kingdom, I'd suggest just abandoning your hopes for 3D Sonic altogether.

Maybe Mania (Plus)'s success might get Taxman/Stealth (and Friends) enough clout to design a 3D game on their own terms, but that's a longshot dependent on whether Sega/Sonic Team would even entertain the idea (and give them the proper resources to pull it off) and whether the former group would even be interested AND available to commit to such a project in the first place.

Sega could also find an external studio to take a shot too; but that's probably even less likely after SoA shit the bed with how they handled BRB and Boom: Rise of Lyric.

View Posttokumaru, on 01 November 2018 - 11:02 PM, said:

What do you mean "another"? I'm still waiting for the first good 3D game.


Also this. The few 3D games that aren't widely considered terrible/subpar (the Adventure titles, Colors, Generations) are stained with at least one of the following qualifications:
> they were games that were "great for it's time," but have aged poorly since then
> "3D games" that are actually mostly 2D/sidescrolling games
> games that aren't so much "good" than they are "good enough/mostly good/have good parts"
> spark controversy on whether they are actually good games or not

There's still yet to be a good 3D Sonic game that can be commonly agreed to be good on core fundamentals alone.

edit:

View Posturlogic, on 01 November 2018 - 09:05 PM, said:

Sure we have Sonic Mania but it is just one giant rehash that shows how low the Sonic series has fallen. Don't get me wrong I'm happy that prominent members of Sonic Retro were recognized and got to develop their dream game for SEGA, but SEGA themselves also forced them to make 90% of the game unoriginal. It doesn't exactly count as a genuine Sonic game. It's just a corporate funded fan game.


At this point, all I can do is just laugh at comments like these. The way certain fans go out of their way to shit on Mania and its undisputed success for being an "nostalgia-pandering glorified ROMhack" in light of how the "official" 3D Sonic games have fared (especially Forces) is outright cathartic.
This post has been edited by Yeow: 05 November 2018 - 02:41 PM

#6 User is online Laughingcow 

Posted 02 November 2018 - 12:23 AM

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I would hesitate that Sonic Unleashed was the last game to see the proper scale of a big "Oh my god this is AAA" even if the Werehog dragged it down.

Having carved my way through Sonic's entire 3d catalog recently, the Adventure era suffered from every game being worse than the last which showed a severe lack of refinement from game to game that is baffling. Sure they cranked these games out every two years but that itself is plenty of time with enough staff. Things didn't start improving until Yuji Naka left and the reigns were taken over by Akinori Nishiyama who was the interim leader of Sonic Team before Takashi Iizuka took over. Granted I don't see what came afterwards as true 3d.

If I'm gonna be honest, a good 3d Sonic game can be made if and when Sonic Team establishes a simple rule book of gameplay fundamentals for them to follow. I mean, when it comes to Luigi's Mansion, Nintendo as the strange but rational rule that, "Luigi isn't allowed to jump". I made a thread awhile back trying to decipher just what the core fundamentals of a Modern Sonic game would be to which EVERYONE came to a unanimous conclusion that there aren't any. This is compounded by Takashi Iizuka seeing all 3d Sonic games from Adventure to Forces as just "Forward Moving 3d Sonic".
http://forums.sonicr...showtopic=38184

Edit: On that note, can someone confirm to me if the current Sonic games use hit detection instead of say old fashioned Hitboxes? I bring this up as this is the reason Street Fighter 4 still plays like the previous game despite using 3d models.
This post has been edited by Laughingcow: 02 November 2018 - 02:37 AM

#7 User is offline DigitalDuck 

Posted 02 November 2018 - 07:15 AM

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It depends entirely on your definitions of "good", "3D", and "entry" are.

If you're asking for a 3D game that plays like the original Mega Drive games did, then there's yet to be one, at least with the "Sonic" name on it.

If you're asking for a competent 3D platformer, we have Unleashed, Colours, and Generations which are all incredible in my opinion; but they're very different from the classic games, and generally more frequently 2D than 3D. I still think they should focus more on what Unleashed did with the level design instead of the awkwardly shoe-horned in stop-start platforming that the latter two games did.

#8 User is offline tokumaru 

Posted 02 November 2018 - 11:28 AM

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Elaborating a bit on my previous post: while there might have been (subjectively) enjoyable 3D Sonic games in the past, none felt like actual Sonic games as established during the Genesis/MD era.

What I'm waiting for is a proper Sonic game that takes the game mechanics from the classic era and makes them work in 3D.

#9 User is offline Qjimbo 

Posted 02 November 2018 - 11:35 AM

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View Posttokumaru, on 02 November 2018 - 11:28 AM, said:

Elaborating a bit on my previous post: while there might have been (subjectively) enjoyable 3D Sonic games in the past, none felt like actual Sonic games as established during the Genesis/MD era.

What I'm waiting for is a proper Sonic game that takes the game mechanics from the classic era and makes them work in 3D.


Sonic Robo Blast 2 is probably the closest we'll ever get to that. SEGA just don't seem very interested in going that route. Generations got close though.

#10 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 02 November 2018 - 01:48 PM

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View PostQjimbo, on 02 November 2018 - 11:35 AM, said:

View Posttokumaru, on 02 November 2018 - 11:28 AM, said:

Elaborating a bit on my previous post: while there might have been (subjectively) enjoyable 3D Sonic games in the past, none felt like actual Sonic games as established during the Genesis/MD era.

What I'm waiting for is a proper Sonic game that takes the game mechanics from the classic era and makes them work in 3D.


Sonic Robo Blast 2 is probably the closest we'll ever get to that. SEGA just don't seem very interested in going that route. Generations got close though.


Generations is a fine game, but it doesn't really follow on the Genesis Sonic parameters to a meaningful degree. Classic Sonic has gimped Genesis physics and mechanics (albeit with, IMO, not-quite-classic but still solid level design), while modern Sonic is firmly established with the Boost playstyle (which while fun is aiming for a clearly different format of gameplay). And all of the 3D sections the game does have also belong to modern Sonic anyway.

The original Adventure still remains the only official 3D title to visibly incorporate elements of the Genesis playstyle into the gameplay; and even so, they exist more as a background element, rather than the core focus. I guess Adventure 2 might "technically" also count, but whatever Genesis properties exist in that game are buried and/or butchered to the point that they barely matter.

#11 User is offline tokumaru 

Posted 02 November 2018 - 09:15 PM

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The fact is that Sonic became something else when he transitioned to 3D. Some like the new iterations, some don't. I remember being super hyped when Sonic went 3D, and I bought a Dreamcast exclusively to keep up with Sonic, but the experience was... well, less than exciting. While I didn't hate the Adventure games (the only Dreamcast games I ever bought), I wasn't impressed by them either, and that was enough for me to stop caring about Sonic.

The couple of PS2 games I tried (Heroes and Unleashed) didn't help, instead they made me firmly believe that the Sonic I used to like was gone for good. I recently tried Generations, because it was cheap on Steam (which I started using because of Mania), and unfortunately I didn't think it was that good either. Better than it's predecessors I guess, but it didn't keep me interested for long.

I honestly don't know what the problem is... I fell in love with Sonic because the levels were captivating, and interesting to explore, but now it looks like you're supposed to zip through while basically ignoring the levels. And badniks became boring as hell, they don't have memorable designs or behaviors, they mostly just stand there from what I could see. Going through the levels is just no fun.

#12 User is offline High Fidelity 

Posted 02 November 2018 - 10:28 PM

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View Posttokumaru, on 02 November 2018 - 11:28 AM, said:

Elaborating a bit on my previous post: while there might have been (subjectively) enjoyable 3D Sonic games in the past, none felt like actual Sonic games as established during the Genesis/MD era.

What I'm waiting for is a proper Sonic game that takes the game mechanics from the classic era and makes them work in 3D.


This. I Can't believe SEGA never had a proper stab at it.

I lost interest really after SA1 due to number of things - mostly Sega consistently disappointing me with sub par hardware and a decline in quality Sonic games.

Plus I was coming out of my teenage years, and SA2 was just too damn cheesy for me - I already struggled with the music and dialogue in SA1. I also thought that the nice balance SEGA had between western and Japanese audiences had been ditched for a purely US aesthetic, which left me feeling alienated. Wank-rock and San Francisco references? No thanks. Would have felt the same if it was UK garage and London. Real world Sonic is just awkward.

Would be interesting to know if anyone else felt that way back when it came out...

#13 User is online Laughingcow 

Posted 03 November 2018 - 12:42 AM

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For all the times of "adapting the Genesis/MD gameplay" comes up, does anyone have any concrete meaning of what that means? Simply stating it doesn't feel right doesn't do the argument justice. This is a bit off topic, yes but I'd actually like to hear the people with that complaint actually explain what that means in gameplay terms. If I were to make very surface comments on what that means, it would be:

1) Sonic rolls into a ball and reacts accordingly
2) Levels have multiple paths (using verticality in a 2d space)
3) Platforming
4) Levels have slopes of varying degree
5) Short action set pieces
6) Speed used as a tool for shortcuts/to get to a different path

Yes, this is an oversimplification but in the absence of in-depth criticism, this is better than nothing. I've yet to see anyone give any thought to just what it means to adapt Sonic in a 3d space with things like Sonic Utopia/Green Hill Paradise coming off as modest attempts but I don't see viable video games being built on them.

#14 User is offline Prototype 

Posted 03 November 2018 - 03:47 AM

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I think that Lost World was the best attempt at rejigging the 3D Sonic gameplay style, and while opinion varies on the game, I think the parkour system was actually pretty good. It would've been cool to see that style of gameplay improved over successive games. I was disappointed that they went back to the Boost gameplay in Forces.

I'm glad that they released Mania as it sort of stood as a modern comparison of the various gameplay styles for Sonic Team to draw on, as any previous attempt to recapture the past only did so superficially (to diminishing returns). While I'm not a fan of the 3D Sonic games going to 2D sections, I'm glad that they did in Forces purely for comparative purposes.

The biggest thing that I think needs changing is just a consistent direction for the series or subseries, both in style and gameplay. I think that they need to pick a visual identity for the series outside of just adding Rings and Springs into ill-fitting locations.

As to what they could do for 3D Sonic to improve it, I'm not actually sure.

#15 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 03 November 2018 - 04:14 AM

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View PostLaughingcow, on 03 November 2018 - 12:42 AM, said:

For all the times of "adapting the Genesis/MD gameplay" comes up, does anyone have any concrete meaning of what that means? Simply stating it doesn't feel right doesn't do the argument justice. This is a bit off topic, yes but I'd actually like to hear the people with that complaint actually explain what that means in gameplay terms.


The highlight of the core gameplay of the Genesis games has been about the focus of building, maintaining, and essentially playing around with momentum; and this is very important to note because this style of design was what set the series apart from many other platforming games back then and even today. The ability to toy with momentum is reflected in Sonic's base controls, his mechanics, and the level design; and the underlying physics engines allows these elements to work in tandem with each other.

Rolling's the main star that showcases this best (and not without good reason--in the original games, rolling is the only way to hit maximum speed in the classics, this is most visible with the running speed caps in Sonic 1 and CD have; but it's true for all of the original games), but this extends to Sonic's basic movement (walking, running, rolling while jumping*, jumping, and bouncing) as well as secondary mechanics (the insta-shield, the drop dash, Tails' flying, Knuckles' gliding, Mighty's ground pound, Ray's flight). They allow Sonic to interact with the general environment in a wide array of options.

Where the post-Adventure games differ from the Genesis games is that there is not only hardly any interest in momentum-based play like the original titles did; the gameplay is highly static and and heavily directed by the designers. Genesis-era mechanics like rolling, the spindash, etc. have been gradually dumbed down and/or stripped out entirely. Level objects that offered some sort of dynamic activity have been changed so interactions are entirely scripted (i.e. springs that players needed to jump on >>> springs the players just need to run into). The various new mechanics that have been introduced do not provide any meaningful momentum play in their design whatsoever (homing attack, light dash, grinding rails* boost, slide, etc). The structure of the level design has zero say on how Sonic reacts; they are also at parts even scripted--ramps that the player could freely move off of in any way they pleased, are now programmed to have the player move in a pre-defined arc.

*Grinding rails gets a special mention here because in their debut in Adventure 2, they did actually provide some momentum-based properties--similar to rolling down slopes, you would build up speed the longer you could manage to stay on them. They are one of the few, if not the only, post-Genesis mechanics to actually take momentum into meaningful account. Alas, these properties was effectively nixed come Heroes.

It's a bit hard to explain these differences without proper gifs/video footage (Lange has a great collection of classic Sonic gameplay examples, but I can't recall where they are) or particular; but this image summarizes things pretty well.

Posted Image

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