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"Classic" 2D Sonic (1,CD,2,3&K) and "Modern" 2D Sonic (Adv 1, 2, 3, and Rush, RA)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, May 15, 2022.

  1. sonic-origins[1].jpg maxresdefault.jpg


    With the advent of Origins being upon us, I figured this was an interesting topic to have. Namely, talking about the "Classic" and "Modern" Sonic 2D games. How they compare to each other and their differences and similarities.

    Given this site's nature, I think the Classic titles have been kind of talked to death, so I wanna highlight the Modern titles, which I feel like go way more under the radar. Fact that none of them have escaped the GBA and DS respectively is a huge shame imo since those were one of the very few modern titles to have mostly good reception.

    Sonic Advance 1 is probably the safest title, being the most similar to the Classics and probably everyone's favorite as a result. Not much really to say about it, as the only new things it really brought was Amy as a playable character in a 2D Sonic game and actually translated her Sonic Adventure design pretty well. Its a shame she isn't playable in Mania or Origins since they had something going there for her.

    Sonic Advance 2 is when things start getting experimental and we get what I can only describe as a prototype for what would become the Rush and later 3D games. Advance 2 is way more linear and far more about "GOTTA GO FAST", with much less emphasis on platforming. Its arguably the hardest game in the series as a result since reaction time is a bit more important than understanding the layout. Probably why Cream was introduced and given the cheapest Sonic character to date. It also holds the title for the most tedious and obnoxious way of getting the True Ending, as well as unlocking another playable character. That is to say, screw these Special Stages. Hated every second of doing them.

    Sonic Advance 3 is probably the most controversial title, being kind of an in-between Sonic Advance's more classic styled platforming and 2's speed. It also has a Tag gimmick, which I suppose makes sense given this came out the same year as Sonic Heroes. Probably my least favorite of the three, just for the uninteresting level design and the tag gimmick not really reaching its full potential. It gets points for being a pseudo-sequel and conclusion for Sonic Battle's story though, I thought always thought how cool that was.


    Sonic Rush is when we fully go BOOST, and we've kind of been that way since. Game is HARD, especially in the later stages, and probably has the hardest bosses in the entire series. Also introduces Blaze, who probably holds the title for the Sonic character with the most wasted potential. Seriously, her introduction is good and her story, while simple, is effective in what it does. It doesn't help that she actually plays like a Sonic character, so she avoided that stigma. Its no wonder she's one of the least controversial characters, 06 notwithstanding. That said, in hindsight, it probably would have been better had she just stayed in this series and never appeared again cuz....well you get the the point.

    Sonic Rush Adventure, significantly toned down compared to the first game in terms of difficulty...also added a boat gimmick. But I didn't hate it though, actually kind of had fun building new boats and it was a good way to promote replay value. Introduces Marine, and wouldn't you know it, Sega took my advice on one-shot characters...would be nice to get a cameo from her every now and then at least, but at least we know she's still around in some capacity.


    I would say these games kind of deserve to be re-released; they may not measure up to the Classic titles, but I feel like they carve out their own identity much better than whatever Sonic 4 was attempting. Just think its kind of sad how Sega only ever seems interested in the Classic titles. Understandable, but still. What do you guys think about the Modern 2D titles? How do they stack up to their Classic brethren, and do you feel like they deserve a re-release ala Origins.
     
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  2. Hydra Spectre

    Hydra Spectre

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    The DS version of Sonic Colours is also a modern 2D game. It was, in fact, the very last one (until that rumoured Sonic 5/Modern 2D Game actually happens).
     
  3. HEDGESMFG

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    None of the 2D portable games are bad per-se, and I enjoyed each of them as they were released, but they tend to be less memorable due to limitations of their hardware (low resolution, audio quality, and view distance), and the much more gimmicky methods to stage design. I don't feel compelled to explore the stages of Advance 2-Rush 2 at all, which is a big issue and severely hurts my enjoyment of replaying them. Sonic Advance 1 doesn't have this problem, but the engine lacks the sort of momentum based skill the classics have, which I find also makes it harder to go back and replay that one as well. I find that if I want linear roller coaster Sonic gameplay, I get much more from Adventure 2, Heroes, Unleashed and Generations replays. They're not the classic formula, but I enjoy them all in their own rights for what they each try to do on their own merits.

    I'd be all for updated ports of all of these games with better visibility and high resolution assets, personally, but sadly even getting proper emulation of these titles seems next to impossible. The closest thing I've seen is a fairly high quality set of multi-stage mods for Mania that adapts the Advance 2 levels.

    https://gamebanana.com/mods/148278
    (Also, you forgot Sonic Pocket Adventure, which is a modern era title, but spiritual predecessor to Advance 1 in almost every way. I actually purchased it on real hardware and beat it entirely way back in 2000.)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2022
  4. Hydra Spectre

    Hydra Spectre

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    To me, at least, there are three kinds of 2D Sonic games.
    You have the Classic 16-bit 2D ones (Sonic 1, CD, 2, 3&K and Mania), you have the Classic 8-bit 2D ones made for the Master System and Game Gear (Sonic 1 SMS, 2 SMS, Chaos, Triple Trouble, Blast), and then you have the modern 2D games (Pocket Adventure, Advance Trilogy, Rush, Rush Adventure, Colours DS, and Sonic 4).

    Despite Sega marketing Sonic 4 as a throwback to the Classic 16-bit 2D games, it was more of a simplified version of the modern 2D games made for smartphones.
     
  5. Roller

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    21331 LEGO Ideas Sonic the Hedgehog, Ring Racers (SRB2Kart 2)
    One thing I'm surprised isn't really a common part of the discussions about these games is that even before Colours DS and Unwiished, almost every modern handheld title by DIMPS seems to "rhyme" (in the George Lucas style) via common ideas and presentation with a specific Sonic Team-produced title.

    That sounds a little abstract, so to be specific: Advance 1's locales are heavily based on Adventure 1. Adventure 2's speed stages, with their increased focus on action and stylish tricks, are reflected in many of the core design decisions of Advance 2, and SA2B's eponymous Battle mode with its breadth of returning characters seems to have been core for Sonic Battle as well. Advance 3's teamwork system is a different interpretation of the same concept as Heroes. And Rush Adventure reflects both the globetrotting nature and double-down on the Boost formula that World Adventure/Unleashed has.

    Rush is where it gets a little more complicated. Because it's contemporary with Shadow, but seems to have been part of some galaxy-brained, imperfectly-articulated story concepts for 06 -- and manages to lead it by a year too, whereas all prior tie-ins tended to trail or match release dates. What does this mean? I'm not quite sure.

    But yeah, just some analysis of how and why we got the handheld titles we did and not just Pocket Adventure on repeat like a less ambitious partnership might have resulted in.
     
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  6. Hydra Spectre

    Hydra Spectre

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    Sonic Battle was actually made by Sonic Team. In fact, it is canon. Its story was adapted into an arc in Sonic X, placing its story after the Adventure games.
    I also think Sonic 4 (which is produced by DIMPS) has many things in common with Sonic Generations, being a partial throwback to the Genesis era.
     
  7. astroblema

    astroblema

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    Alright, this thread made me re-play Sonic Advance 3, might as well post some observations:

    1) Either the game shit, I'm shit at the game. I feel like the layouts constantly have speed boosters that put me right below a crushing trap without warning. I don't have enough time to react to almost anything if I haven't seen it before, and that's ridiculous imo.

    2) This game is definitely inspired by Chaotix in almost many ways. Not only with the buddy system and being able to grab and throw your character, but also that the level design doesn't always have to lead you right, it's a labyrinthic shit-show that betrays traditional classic Sonic level structure, and they make sure every character combo has at least one ability related to vertical ascension.

    Also, Tails can fly underwater which isn't consistent with the classics. I hope they fired someone over that blunder.
     
  8. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

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    I'm pretty sure Advance 2 did this too, to be fair - I remember reading that Cream was actually created during early development of Heroes, and they intentionally integrated her into Advance 2 once her design was finalised so that folks would already know her by the time Heroes eventually launched.

    Though unlike the Blaze/Rush situation, Cream's early handheld appearance felt mostly in-step with her main console debut story-wise. I think Chocola is the only real oddity as he didn't appear in her Advance 2 debut, and Cream's other appearances contemporous to Heroes were mostly on handheld and stuck with the Advance 2 status quo, ignoring her second Chao entirely. This then seems to have become the status quo for all future appearances. Poor Chocola - wonder whatever happened to the little guy...?
     
  9. Snub-n0zeMunkey

    Snub-n0zeMunkey

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    Sonic Mania is great and I know that game was all about being an accurate authentic recreation of the classics, but I've always been interested in exploring ways that 2D Sonic could evolve beyond the classic series. I love the Advance series for attempting to literally advance 2D Sonic gameplay lol

    The Advance games were my real introduction to Sonic and basically everything I like about this series can be found in them.

    Advance 3 is a bit of an oddball in the sense that it controls worse and has some really bad level design/enemy placement but I actually kinda love this one the most weirdly enough. I think it has the most potential and I love the level aesthetics and soundtrack in that game.

    I said this exact thing in another thread but if I ever got a chance to make my dream Sonic game, it would be Advance 4 or a spiritual successor designed to look like the Sonic Riders intro
    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't put any faith in those rumours, they seem completely fake tbh
     
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  10. Azookara

    Azookara

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    This is pure conjecture, but I've always seen Rush as using ideas that spun off of 06's development. A princess who has to remain emotionally distant to do her job but softens up when she meets Sonic, has a literal fire inside of her, the Sol Emeralds's name correlation with Soleanna/Solaris, as well as how the Gems you buy in 06 look like the Sol Emeralds.

    It really feels like one of two possibilities:
    1. someone at Sonic Team was scoffing at 06's ideas and decided to do their own version of it in a side-game, or
    2. this was what 06 was built on before they went the ghastly route they took.

    Both seem possible, but you could definitely make a stronger case for #2 being why Blaze is in the game for seemingly no reason (other than to tie-in Rush).
     
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  11. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

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    There is Generations 3DS as well. I played it for the first time earlier this year and it was completely forgettable. And I think Sonic 4 Ep 2 came after it, so wouldn’t that be the last one?
     
  12. LockOnTommy11

    LockOnTommy11

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    Sonic Advance 2 and my red GBA SP at Christmas 2003 is what got me back into Sonic, after not playing the games since at least 1998. I have a big love for the game and both the prequel and sequel. I love how each game keeps the rough template of the classic games but shakes it up somewhat, and how each game tries something new.

    Sonic Advance is built to play like Sonic 1-2, with some expanded locations from 1 and 3, as well as Adventure. It adds some interesting concepts, such as a timed climbing level, and a boss rush style final stage. I loved the added replay value by being able to play as four characters, and then being told the secret code to play as both Sonic and Tails. An excellent game, 10/10 for me for the console.

    Sonic Advance 2 took the concept of time attack and stretched it into an entire game. Every level feels like an early game level in linear design, and to balance out the speed vs exploration they added 7 special tokens in each act for the player to find in order to access the special stage. I thought this forced exploration was novel and it’s not something that players often bring up. I loved the special stages and got some good at them I not only did them five times each for my own game, but each for my brothers, and also school friends, meaning I beat the game as each character at least 6 times back in the day. Sonic Advance 2 is an excellent title and one I think is massively overlooked on the basis that it’s “hold right to win” which is a massive oversimplification of the gameplay. I first beat the game as Cream as I was pretty rubbish at it when I started, then moved onto playing as Sonic. Another 10/10 for me.

    Sonic Advance 3 is a mix of Heroes and Chaotix, and looking back it feels like this is what they originally intended back when creating the concept of Knuckles Chaotix, but couldn’t seem to quite get. This game has the most replay value out of three. Mixing and matching characters was interesting, the levels were massive and finding the special stage keys and chao was a real time-consumer. What let me down back in the day was how light the characters felt which made platforming sections precarious and the engine just felt a little… off. I loved playing 2P on this one but I felt they could also have integrated that a bit better. Having the other player call you to help with a platforming section that you had already breezed through was really annoying, and having one player reach the goal post leaving the other behind just felt like you should just play 1P instead. I guess that’s why they added the rubber bands in Chaotix but still. Overall though I really loved the game and the story and music really enhanced the game for me. That end boss at the Master Emerald was fantastic; there’s nothing like a large ground shaking boss with heavy hip hop / rock mixed with alien music to end a game. An 8/10 from me.

    The Super Sonic levels of each game were fun too, but it’s a shame that you couldn’t become super in the levels themselves. I think that’s partially why people don’t mention these games enough, because players feel less value from obtaining the emeralds which impacts replayability.

    The mini Chao Garden was awesome and I spent hours on it and using the Chao in SADX and SA2B but I consider it separate to the actual games.

    SEGA, remaster these games in the Taxman engine please, add Super Sonic in the main stages, and fix the SA3 multiplayer and I’ll die happy.

    Also, I’m interested to see peoples time attacks for Sonic Advance 2. I’m fairly confident that I’m top or fairly near the top of a few of the levels :thumbsup:
     
  13. Sounds like a similar situation as Cream. Conceptualized for a 3D game, but debuted in a side game a year prior.
     
  14. Pengi

    Pengi

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    Shiro Maekawa talked very briefly about Sonic 2006's connection (or lack thereof) to Sonic Rush: https://twitter.com/mizuhano/status/1010563445068976128

    ノンノン。ブレイズの生みの親はアドベンチャー1のシナリオを書かれた西山さんですよー。 ラッシュと繋がりある感じにできればいいなと思って新ソニの話を書いたのは事実ですけど、おそらく公式的には何も明言されてないんじゃ無いかと思います。

    DeepL translation:
    Nononon. The creator of Blaze is Mr. Nishiyama, who wrote the scenario for Adventure 1!
    It's true that I wrote the new Soni story in the hope that it would feel connected to Rush, but I don't think anything has probably been officially stated about it.
     
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  15. foXcollr

    foXcollr

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    That's extremely interesting, given that I've always personally viewed 06 as retconning Blaze's entire character / backstory. I genuinely felt like they lifted her character design straight out of Rush and threw her into 06 just for shits and giggles. She also went from being a deuteragonist second only to Sonic, to being just a side character, which I thought was kind of silly considering that Rush portrayed her as being on par with Sonic in vertically every aspect. I wonder what Nishiyama would have done if he had any input on 06's story.
     
  16. Obviously some things probably slipped through the cracks and I don't want to throw around accusations or anything. But it's kind of interesting how Nishiyama wrote Blaze as an equal to Sonic and the deuteragonist of Rush, but Maekawa decided to just make her a sidekick to Silver, 06's tritagonist.

    There was some probable miscommunication there, but jeez.
     
  17. LockOnTommy11

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    I think it’s less communication issues, more story changes retrospectively. Sonic 2006 clearly shows the bad future which is retconned and then Rush and Rivals show the good future. Yes, there’s arguments from the staff since about what’s canon or in the same world etc, but that’s clearly what they were going for at the time. Onyx Island being future Angel Island, the Sol Emeralds linking to Solaris, it all adds up.

    On the subject of Rush, I realised I didn’t mention those in my earlier post. I played both quite a lot, but they were never a spot on the Advance games to me. Something about Rush just makes it feel more like a side game. I’m not sure if it’s the change of art, musical, gameplay and physics, or just a combo of all of it, that makes Rush and Rush Adventure feel like cheap spin offs in a way that Advance 1, 2 and 3 never felt.

    Actually, maybe it’s that, and that you can only play as Sonic and Blaze, which is a massive downgrade from 5 characters.

    I’m going off topic a bit now, but I kinda feel like that about the games from Rush / Unleashed, minus Generations. Being Sonic only, and the games being pushed into a linear style really limits the games for me.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2022
  18. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    So the conclusion I've come to is that Nishiyama should've wrote 06 and Maekawa should've gone off somewhere never to return. :eng101:
     
  19. Yea, but then we wouldn't have gotten Shadow's story. Blaze was a necessary sacrifice for salvation :V
     
  20. foXcollr

    foXcollr

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    Tbh though, even if some parts of the stories link up, it always felt like a retcon to me. They were very selective with what parts stayed and what parts didn't, and the world / future Blaze is from in 06 is so incredibly different from Blaze's world in Rush. This seems intentional though. I mean he says, "I wrote the new Soni[c] story in the hope that it would feel connected to Rush". Feeling connected doesn't necessarily mean it's a continuation of the same canon, and I feel like the changes pretty much had to be intentional. There was a Sonic Channel wallpaper released somewhat recently that shows the "Sol Empire", looking more on par with what they depicted in the Rush series, which further reinforces the fact that SEGA wants to pretend 06 just never happened... and maybe that's for the best. It's actually a nice wallpaper if anyone's looking for one. Lol.

    Anyway though, I absolutely agree that the Advance series needs some kind of love in some form, or even the Rush series. The last time I played Advance 3 it was not nearly as fun as I remembered it, and Advance 2 obviously has a bottomless pit problem. But Advance 1 and 2 are incredibly solid games that I think would only need some minor tweaks to salvage their archaic design choices, and I have always LOVED a lot of the concepts that Advance 3 put forward. The chao collecting, the character duo powers, several of the stages are incredibly well-designed and super aesthetically pleasing. Plus, they could do a lot more with the hidden paths / chao collecting motif if they just made the levels less labyrinthine and made the duo abilities more satisfying and intuitive to use. A remastered SAdv3 soundtrack would absolutely kick ass, since nearly every track in that game is a banger. I know a lot of people / reviewers shit on its level design and general gameplay, but I feel like that game had SO many great ideas that were just thrown out the window and never put to good use afterward. It's a real shame, and I would love to see them pick up where they left off and take the best qualities of each Advance game. Makes me wish that Zippo leak (which is almost certainly fake) alleging there's a new Advance/Rush style game were true.