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Could a "good" Chaotix remake be done now?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by E-122-Psi, Apr 22, 2023.

Would you go for a remake of Chaotix?

  1. Yes

    73 vote(s)
    80.2%
  2. No

    18 vote(s)
    19.8%
  1. Frostav

    Frostav

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    Chaotix is one of those few games where the basic concept is so inherently Not GoodTM that I'm not sure anything could save it, really. The control scheme is a chaotic mess, the random level progressions means the difficulty curve is completely flat and the thematic progression is absolutely incoherent, and the actual game itself is just like, boring as shit lmao

    The visuals and day/night system are neat, though.
     
  2. Fadaway

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    Anything is possible, except the whole tether gimmick would have to be done away with unless it would have a small role and nothing more. The game itself has some great tiles and sprites and the music is pretty good.
     
  3. Fadaway

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    I've always thought having isometric areas such as in the ‘crackers’ prototype in conjunction with 2D levels could have been quite awesome if brought forward in development to the finished product. Some of those graphics were kind of cool, too, at least for early WIP graphics.

    I postulate the isometric parts may have manifested due to early plans of making Sonic 3 an isometric game (not sure the source but I remember that being mentioned somewhere before). Once S3 was going ahead as another 2D title, perhaps the isometric idea was brought into early development for this. Of course that is purely speculative.
     
  4. Captain L

    Captain L

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    The number of people saying "Knuckles Chaotix can only be saved by removing its core gameplay feature" says everything about how fundamentally broken the game is.
     
  5. Fadaway

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    It's indeed a terrible gimmick. Creative, sure. But, not fun and counterintuitive to playing a speedy platformer. Or, something like that.
     
  6. Battons

    Battons

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    If the one thing people want is for them to change or remove the tether then they would be better off just making a new game lol. Without the tether it isn’t knuckles’ chaotix it’s just a game resembling that. I’d rather just get a straight rerelease at that point.
     
  7. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    I very much think the visuals, music and characters are worth salvaging. And as many grievances as I have with the ring tether mechanic, I do genuinely like the ability to slingshot yourself, as well as the ability to throw your partner. The special stages are also pretty fun.

    Everything I ragged on the game for last page is out of love; I've 100%'d this game like three times lol. I keep coming back because I want to see a lot of what it offers in a better game. So no, even if you start from the bottom, I don't think it's a lost cause. It'd be giving the presentation the good game it deserves!
     
  8. KMetalmind

    KMetalmind

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    I personally loved Knuckles and wanted Chaotix but there was no way I could get a 32X back in the day. After years of looking at magazine screenshots, I ended having to play that damned game emulated, only to find that it wasn't that good and it had tons of wasted potential.

    Some thoughts:

    About characters:
    * Espio is a really fun character to play with. I still don't get why he doesn't get some love in games like Mania or Origins. Is it hard to make him work in the classic engine or does he just ruin easily the level design?
    * Mighty felt like Sonic with a wall jump. It may be redundant if Sonic was actually included, but thankfully Mania Plus fixed that (although it lost the wall jump).
    * Charmy could only work if the dash was limited to one/two times. There's an ok game for PSX/GBA called Pinobee. I seriously think Charmy should control similarly to that game to not be broken.
    * I love Vector design but he just doesn't feel good at all while playing. Something should be made about him.

    About the tether:
    Honestly: Isn't the tether better for coop than the Tails mode in Sonic 2 and 3? Unless you are playing with a young child, IMO the tether is better. So why not keep it but only for 2 players coop?

    I seriously think Crackers began at a Sonic coop game project, after Tails Mode wasn't that good to begin with. But I think it should have been used just for coop.

    About level design:
    Not much to say, it's bland. It's the main reason I don't play that game much at all. It's just boring. Object placement could help, but honestly, it would just feel like Sonic Unleashed extra levels. You cannot just change object placement and expect a better game. Both level design and object placement should be good, and neither are currently. There should be water in Marina too.

    About badniks:
    Wasted potential, as many have said they are easily some of the best in the 2D games. Too bad you can just ignore them while playing because level design and object placement.

    About bosses:
    They need a redesign too. That was one of the most disappointing thing about the game. After the epicness of many S3K bosses (and even some CD bosses), the last boss is just there. It could be easily a second/third zone boss, it's not challenging at all. But it has an awesome art design, like everything in Chaotix.

    About progress:
    Random levels and random characters isn't fun IMO.
    * Changing levels: Some hub would be great, it could be isometric or as barebones as the existing one.
    * Changing characters: Mania Plus tried that better than Chaotix, but I still cannot enjoy it that much. For me the problem is not getting another character when you die, but actually switching characters randomly. I don't find it fun at all. Let me choose at the beginning of the level, let me change them at some locations (checkpoints), and make me lose a character when they dies so I have to earn it again, but please, don't change it at random.

    So IMO:
    * Some characters need fixes to work.
    * Level design and object placement need serious rework. Maybe more objects wouldn't be needed if all beta and final ones were used correctly. More tiles are needed surely.
    * All bosses need a remake and minibosses could spice things up.
    * Leave the tether to a coop mode.
    * Maybe have an Encore mode where you can play as all characters, but not at random. But it isn't required, just a "Plus" ;)

    That would be my dreamed Chaotix game.
     
  9. Ceenlum

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    I think if it's ever to be re-released or remade, regardless of the game itself I'd love to see more stuff from it's development included with something like that. There's just a lot of mystery and intrigue there. Chances of us learning more about it, or even getting another prototype seem really slim right now.

    In regards to the game itself however, definitely would love to see loops. Such an iconic aspect of Sonic just not present in the final game, even though they had them in earlier prototypes.

    Also in 1P, the CPU second character is always a bit frustrating. Some changes in how that works might be nice, since the game definitely plays a lot better with an actual person in that role as opposed to what you get otherwise.
     
  10. Papa Rafi

    Papa Rafi

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    Anything's possible, but it begs the question "is it worth it?". The level progression was poorly thought out and jarring, the level layout is just....weird....with little else to keep you entertained other than the music and actual aesthetic of the level....I mean that music was bangin' and the art looked really pretty, but yeah.
    The badniks may as well have been there just for show, most of the time. And that tether gimmick....wheww chile...lawd...that tether gimmick. If it's not turned into a mere power-up, reserved exclusively for two-player mode or redone completely from the ground up and gone over with a fine-toothed comb then it needs to be completely done away it. When an idea should stay just that. An idea. Beyond the novelty and short-lived fun of slingshotting, it becomes a frustrating mess that leaves one wondering "who the heck thought this up?".
    All in all, as others have said, it could work but after all that would need to be done in order to make it functional and enjoyable, would it even be the same game anymore? As much as I'd love to see it live up to its true potential, I think it'd also be easier and cheaper to just make something new. If someone who isn't me had the patience to put together a playable POC with all these improvements, I might sing a different tune.

    Granted, in all fairness, the first and last time I played this game was sometime in the fall of 2011, so I could be misremembering how bad it was. But I'm just saying...I spent a good 3 1/2 hours navigating that game. I thought I was doing something wrong the entire time, come to find out that that's how the damn thing was shipped.

    Anyway

    This. Chaotix (and its respective console the 32x to some extent) is the video game equivalent of that shiny car you eyeballed as a teenager; you grow up to finally test-drive it as an adult who's been spoiled by 4-cylinder FWD grocery getters and become eternally grateful that your parents didn't surprise you with it on your Sweet Sixteen, because that thing is a hot mess in a shiny package; a Summer and Winter difference between the reality of it and how you hyped it up in your head. Wasted potential indeed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2023
  11. synchronizer

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    All I’d keep are the graphics and music, and none of the gameplay. —and you’d need to reintroduce loops and some kind of blend of Sonic 3 and CD gameplay and feel. It’d be a completely different game that even then would need more levels. So I’d say “no.” That wouldn’t be a remake. That would be recycling ideas. Do I want another game with a CD and Chaotix art style though? Yes.
     
  12. Palas

    Palas

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    Amazing how this thread has been nothing but roasting Knuckles Chaotix for three pages straight, and yet 4 in 5 people said "Yes."
     
  13. Ceenlum

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    I think the tether/rubber band is Chaotix, the entire game is designed around it. Without it, it's not really Chaotix anymore. And it definitely can be fun if you know how to utilize it.
    This video is pretty good at explaining the mechanics (and demonstrating it):



    I think people suffer in this game because it does not convey its mechanics very well. The tutorials feel like they're in the way of the game rather than apart of it, so a lot of people tend to skip it. So a lot of players find themselves lost, or not even being aware of the greater mechanics at play. You can really control how fast you want to be, go anywhere, if you know how to use it's mechanics well enough.

    But these issues could very well be a product of just a rushed development cycle. Chaotix seems to have had a very strange development cycle, and I would argue that the game we got is a "lesser product" in a sense, since what I read in this post paints a very interesting picture of what the game was, and what we got instead. (if it is to be believed) I guess I'd be more interested in seeing what that vision of the game was rather than the admittedly rushed and sluggish version we ended up getting, as fun as the one we got may be for me.

    I also have to say on this note, that Knuckles is a VERY horrible first character for a game with this kind of mechanic. Mighty (effectively Sonic) serves this role much better especially once you learn the walljump. But I guess that's the main issue with the game, it feels very rushed, and not as well thought out as it should've been, especially in regards to actually teaching people playing the game how to best utilize the mechanic.

    But if it's a remake? It doesn't have to deal with whatever weird circumstances the original Chaotix development had. So it would definitely have the potential to be better.
     
  14. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    There seems to be a divide in three different groups here:

    1. "Chaotix should get remade, but the gameplay should be converted into a more traditional Sonic game."

    2. "Chaotix should get remade, but the existing gameplay has potential and should be expanded on."

    3. "Chaotix's gameplay is unsalvageable, and starting from scratch removes the point. Why bother?"

    That makes the discussion on a Chaotix remake feel really disorganized, since there's no strong consensus. lol
     
  15. Papa Rafi

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    Right? lol It seems like in the grand scheme of things, flaws aside, we all have a soft spot for this game at least. If I saw it and a 32X at a garage sale or at Disc Replay tomorrow, please believe I'd swipe it up. xD
     
  16. Beltway

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    I feel like when you look back at other Sonic spinoffs of the era like Sonic 3D, Sonic Spinball, and Sonic R, they have a better grasp about what their core gameplay mechanics were and how they were able to use them to build a game with substance, even with their shortcomings (physics, content, controls, et. al.). Chaotix strikes me as the odd one out of the bunch, where the development team had an idea they liked enough to make the focus (at the expense of the traditional Sonic abilities), but didn't really know how to develop it into something that could carry an entire game.

    And I could buy the idea that the development team ran out of time to develop the tether mechanic further; if the level design didn't commit both sins of being rudimentary/repetitive in direction, and being bloated in content. I feel like at least one of those two faults could had been forgiven if the other fault didn't exist. At best, the tether mechanic as it stands feels like it should had been a standout mechanic for one of the zones (Speed Slider presumably), if not just one stage in its entirety.

    I guess all of this is to say that I'm of the general camp of that would like to see a "remake," but it would definitely have to be on the more extreme side of the term. Definitely not a remaster or faithful 1:1 recreation, at least on the gameplay side of things. Otherwise I would just be satisfied with a spiritual successor/new game that channels the presentation and brings back the characters.
     
  17. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Any remake of Chaotix has to retain the whip, as far as I'm concerned. The solution is to make more vertical levels. It's not at all, I think, a coincidence that Techno Tower is the level with roots most closely recognizable in the Crackers beta, with Speed Slider coming in second. Chaotix without the whip is just a worse version of Sonic Mania.

    The obvious solution to the problem of the stages having a pretty mediocre difficulty curve due to the randomness involved in stage selection is simply to require the player to complete a round of each act before progressing forward. I would much rather see the levels redesigned than the main mechanic done away with completely. Yes, this would suggest that the power-up bonus from the special stage would be rendered mostly-redundant. I would be fine doing away with it, as it's otherwise not very useful and it's not like you hold onto it between play sessions if you quit the game anyway.

    I would also suggest that, given the resort/carnival vibe that the game goes for that there are a few fairly-obvious concepts for additional levels that could allow the game to get a bit more breadth. A haunted house seems the obvious addition to me, with a similar ghost mechanic to what we saw in Sandopolis (some will argue that's too similar to what's happening in Techno Tower -- fine). At the risk of biting off from Sonic Colors (I mean, if Colors isn't the answer to "what if we took Chaotix and removed its central gimmicks but retained its basic concept" I don't know what is) another one would be a food court/kitchen kind of idea.

    I maintain that the stages should have central gimmicks that relate to the time of day mechanic. Haunted House has less ghost activity / more light during the day. Food court/kitchen (I dunno, fuck, Cagey Cafeteria) has fewer robots at night because they've finished the breakfast, lunch, and dinner shifts. Marina Madness has high and low tide. Botanic Base's plants grow in whatever direction the sun is facing, so depending on the time of day the direction of the sun affects what paths are available. Amazing Arena is more of an arcade/movie theater thing with more VR/cinema minibosses than just the one Eggman projection, and their intensity also depends on the time of day. I don't yet have a good idea for Techno Tower or Speed Slider, and I'm mostly going off the top of my head for this post. Building the levels with this in mind would fix the issue of trying to get the user to find the stage select slowdown item from the bonus stages if retained, to pick the most appropriate level or levels for the given time of day.

    Another possibility: every ## stages completed there's an "Eggman's Challenge" akin to the Metal Sonic challenges in Sonic Colors Remastered -- compete in a randomly selected (off the stage roulette) wheel to pick a stage and type of challenge like defeating more enemies than metal sonic, beating the stage within a certain time limit, or getting above a certain number of rings. Wouldn't even need to add a bunch of new text for it.

    Isolated Island is interesting, but obviously could use fleshing out in its own right. With 4 sections (one for each time of day) and 4 main characters who aren't Knuckles, there's an opportunity to both integrate them all into the story better (by needing to release them all from the combi catchers) and to introduce their abilities (include an auto-respawning character switch monitor and introduce an obstacle that's best suited to the abilities of the partner character). Unlike with the game as-is, Eggman is trying to shove the last character into the final section, and after freeing that character (maybe it's Espio) we see Eggman and Metal Sonic escape to the resort island while Knuckles and co. must follow.
     
  18. Josh Cristan

    Josh Cristan

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    Imagine the buyers remorse if you’d bought a 32x just to play the bastard. Christ!
     
  19. Andrew75

    Andrew75

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    The game felt like it was unfinished and tacked together at the last moment as if it were aiming to be more grandiose with its its story and gameplay. To me, it felt as if the development team ran out of time and couldn’t produce what they had envisioned. (similar fate shared with sonic 2) and Coming out on the heels of the more polished/fleshed out Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Chaotix felt incomplete lacking any real satisfaction upon completion, with it’s 2 very empty feeling endings and lack of unlockable post game content.

    I think reimagining the game with the same graphics and new map layouts tailored as a single player experience without forcing the rubber-band and the stage select feature on player in story could be a really super cool experience!! I think reusing the same bosses and bonus rounds/special stages are ok too. Although the bosses seemed too easy and need some toughness added in for good measure.

    Perhaps there could be an online mode for 2 player keeping the original layouts and mixing them into score and ring gathering competition mode. Or just keep the game the same and add online play lol

    In all actuality, I’d like to see what the original team wanted to do if they had more time! Would be nice to at least see the original developer documents, concepts, story boards ect. I’m sure what we got was a far cry from what they had intended,

    I know I’m going to regret bringing this up, but I head a rumor that there was also a Saturn version in the works at one point as well. I think it had been heavily debated in regards to whether or not the Saturn version pre dated the 32x version.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2023
  20. Eggomaticwaffles

    Eggomaticwaffles

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    Love the art direction AND the soundtrack (Door Into Summer remains THE jam...it kind of strikes me as THE farewell song to Sega's glory days!) but man, that core tethering mechanic really sucks any joy (and momentum) right out of it. I remember renting the 32X back in the halcyon days of 1995 and putting such hope on the game -- even then, it was frustrating and made the entire experience seem plodding.

    I would agree that you couldn't really re-release the game as is WITHOUT the tethering, as so many level elements are built around its mechanics -- but it WOULD be interesting to reimagine these level layouts without the mechanic dictating the form. As the style and overall feel of the game IS quite unique in those moments you FORGET you're tied to your partner.