Arf, on 27 February 2012 - 11:51 AM, said:
Stages are too long and consume too much dev time as Sonic alone. And then on top of that adding extra paths and rebalancing them for T & K? I'd rather have stages designed to play with the intended character. Super Meat Boy had a billion characters, but the core game was designed for Meat Boy, so playing as any other character made it impossibly frustrating. Fuck this noise.
Wouldn't it take more development time to make 18 individual character specific stages, set of objects, set of enemies and separate art (considering there are 3 characters), than to just make 6 highly versatile, and detailed stages that would accommodate different characters' abilities in its geometry and design? I would definitely want the latter (regardless of how long it would take). I greatly valued stages like Speed Highway, Red Mountain and Sky Deck, because both Sonic, Tails and Knuckles had different ways of navigating each stage. At Dawn specifically, had a ridiculous amount of ways one could reach Sonic's goal; as Sonic you could go by street, or by the roof tops and building walls if you were good enough, and as Knuckles you could climb around and explore the place (though I wish that his stages had an actual end goal). At certain points in Tails' version of Speed Highway, I felt a very different experience than with Sonic, because there were super-platformy sections that utilized his flight ability (flight rings notwithstanding), yet I knew visually that I was still in Speed Highway. Red Mountain did this well by having places that Sonic could run freely, while still giving Knuckles much room to go anywhere he could glide or climb; those two components coexisted beautifully within one stage. I can also imagine that it would have been fun to fly around and take shortcuts in the stage as Tails, as there was much room for his flight as well. The concept of Sonic's stages being longer (or his 'goal' being further into the stage, in some cases) should also be carried over, to make up for Sonic's now ridiculous speed difference over most characters. This way, the Tails and Knux stages would be kept from being boring and too drawn out.
Also, Viewtiful Joe had 4 (or 5 on PS2) playable characters in the original, and it was never frustrating (perhaps just a bit more difficult) going through the game as anyone other than Joe, because every other character's gameplay was basically Joe's (even down to the stages and their order), but with some slightly different moves and stats/abilities. This is a very possible thing to do if done correctly, and based on your account of the game (I have never played it), Super Meat Boy apparently did it wrong.