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Do you consider 3D Blast a "mainline" game?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by JaredAFX, Apr 15, 2023.

Do you consider 3D Blast/Flickies' Island a "mainline" game?

  1. Yes

    31 vote(s)
  2. No

    53 vote(s)
  3. Yes and Chaotix is also a mainline game

    12 vote(s)
  1. MykonosFan


    MODE CHANGE. Moderator
    4's marketing may have seemed more aggressive since it was certainly more...bizarre.
    Colors definitely had more marketing, but boy did 4's stand out, for better or worse. Here 'nor there, of course.
  2. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    It depends upon your interpretation of mainline.

    If you are thinking in terns of marketing as a big release then 3D Blast is unquestionably mainline. Yes Xtreme was supposed to be the big game, but it never released, the layman in the 1990s didn't know a thing about it, and 3D Blast was the big Sonic game for both the Genesis and Saturn. It was inarguably a major entry and I remember it being easier to acquire than Sonic 3. It just shows how malleable a 'mainline' game is if you think about it primarily as a major primary product in the franchise.

    In terms of its story relevance, it doesn't really impact the future games but then it doesn't really need to do so. It has a self contained story that is wrapped up by the end. Sonic games largely only affect the franchise by introducing characters that become mainstays. It is just thar Sonic 3D Blast didn't introduce any major new characters. The game affects the franchise no less than the likes of Unleashed and Heroes which either don't introduce significant recurring characters or none at all. So I don't see why 3D Blast can't be considered mainline in terms of story relevance.

    It's not a traditional 3D game but as @Palas correctly says, no one really knew what 3D was going to be. I guess it feels like a strange isometric spin off now, but it certainly wasn't unusual at the time and was in many ways a logical move. I guess it doesn't feel mainline in that sense but thar just shows how transient the concept of mainline is.

    It's also not developed by Sonic Team but it was assisted by Sonic Team. I also am nor really comfortable with saying that Sonic games are only mainline if they are made by a trademarked company which often changes developers.

    I define a mainline game as a game which is a major release, fits within the traditional gameplay style in at least some form, and influences or at least fits with the story of future mainline games. I don't see why 3D Blast doesn't fit those criteria. I also think that influencing the gameplay of the series is an extra qualifier which can boost a game's chances of being considered mainline. And 3D Blast introduced the homing attack in a primitive form.

    Its why I also consider Mania as definitely mainline. A traditional 2D Sonic game which directly impacts the story of future games and even mechanically (drop dash).

    I consider mainline games as S1, SCD, S2, S3D, SA1, SA2, Heroes, Shadow, S06, Colors, Unleashed, Generations (arguable but I would contend), Lost World, Mania, Forces, Frontiers.

    I think Sonic 4 cannot be considered mainline because it conflicts with the story of the main series, it quickly stopped being marketed as a major entry, and has largely been dropped aa an influence for the series.
  3. Chimpo


    I Gotta Be Me Member
    Los Angeles, 2029
    Don't Forget! Try Your Best!
    I do remember 4's marketing being more out there, and it was a lot more community focused the the traditional marketing run. That's hella true.

    I always considered Colors as a "mainline". The Wii wasn't just some random piece of hardware. It was the best selling hardware of that generation and SEGA wasn't going to let that sleepy giant go by any longer. Most people point back to Colors as the primary influence for the boost games moving forward while Unleashed got the title of "that one weird game where Sonic goes Super Furry". We're still getting Wisps crap to this day.
  4. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    Aside from the stuff mentioned already that got adapted into Adventure nobody's really mentioned how the 'collect the animals after defeating robots and take them to this specific location' mechanic is the most obvious differentiator between the chao garden and the mepian system
  5. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    That’s actually a fantastic point. The system of collecting animals for Chao definitely feels like an evolution of 3D Blast’s Flicky-collecting. They made it optional and tied it to a side mode rather than to progression.
  6. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    But I mean, the Wii was never neglected by Sonic. By 2011 we already had Secret Rings, Unleashed, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games and Sonic @ SSBB. If anything, it was the multiplatform titles that were lacking (and that generally signalled that This Game Is Important). Sure, it was Colors that established Boost gameplay as the definitive way forward, introduced the Wisps and cemented Sola Sonica. But once again, being mainline means being both cause and consequence of a process.
  7. Chimpo


    I Gotta Be Me Member
    Los Angeles, 2029
    Don't Forget! Try Your Best!
    I always got the impression that people wrote those games off. It wasn't until Colors hit that people took a Wii Sonic entry seriously. Hell, SEGA delisted Black Knight just before Color launched to "improve" the brand.
  8. OKei


    OKeijiDragon Member
    Anyone here remember seeing the Flickies in Sonic X, the anime that was co-produced by Sonic Team? Whenever Sonic 3D Blast comes up, I feel like I'm the only one who remembers this specific scene in X. I don't use this as reasoning to believe that 3D Blast is a mainland Sonic game because I consider it a sidestory in my head. However, it does tell me that...

    ...someone high up in the Sonic Team-side of the creative side of the animation cared enough about 3D Blast to have TMS make a visual shout out to those specific green, blue and pink flickies. It would make sense for the people involved in the original development of 3D Blast to want them in that scene in X, even if it amounted to a little cameo.

    At the same time, FWIW, Mega Collection would come out the year before this episode aired in Japan in 2003, and I'd imagine the Flickies were there as fun little details for the younger players/viewers everywhere to gawk at ("oh look it's those little birdies in that Sonic game in that collection I got for GameCube").
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2023
  9. Swifthom


    A Friend Remembers... Member
    As far as marketing in the UK was confirmed - this WAS the next mainline entry.
    And it was treated like that until about 2006, after which all the retroactive delistings started.

    For anyone who lived through the Sonic-lite Saturn era - this 'was' the next gen entry.
    And thats why SEGA struggled against the N64 and PS1 so badly in the west
  10. RDNexus


    I'm 35 and I lived through the Saturn era.
    I knew of Sonic 3D as both SMD & SS title, but I never considered it a mainline title.
    I even gave Sonic JAM & R more recognition than Sonic 3D, since those were transitioning the franchise to the next era of gaming.
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  11. Zephyr


    Originally voted 'no'. Typically I find it difficult to think of 3D Blast as "mainline". This is partly because of the isometric perspective, which is shared by neither the indisputably-mainline games before or after it. There's also its place relative to the gradual attempt at bringing Sonic's 2D gameplay into the third dimension, which is more-or-less:
    Sonic 3 & Knuckles -> NiGHTS into Dreams -> Sonic into Dreams -> Sonic World -> Sonic Adventure. ​
    Looking at it from the perspective of developing an engine that can translate Sonic's movement physics into the third dimension, 3D Blast seems to sit completely on the sidelines.

    However, Iizuka's role definitely has it in-part being cut from the same cloth as the Adventure games and Heroes. Not to mention Tetsu Katano, the lead programmer on the Adventure games and Heroes, basically picked up the torch from Naka with the Special Stages in 3D Blast's Saturn version. In a way, the Katano-Iizuka combo was to the "Adventure era" of mainline games (which would include Adventure 1's antecedents on the Saturn) as the Naka-Yasuhara combo was to the "Classic era" of mainline games, and the former was present to an extent on 3D Blast. The points about the Homing Attack and collecting small animals also can't be ignored. So I've changed my vote to 'yes'.

    I certainly did. I still haven't played either of the Storybook games or any of the Olympics games. Didn't even give Colors a shot until after Generations.
  12. Chimes


    NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO Member
    I used to say yes but looking back with experience Sonic 3D is more like a gaiden game focusing on the animals than Robotnik.
    Think Donkey Kong Land, Rockman and Forte, or Cotton 100%. Technically it's always been a part of the games but fitting them where it happened in the continuity is a fools errand. It was just a regular day in Sonic's world.
  13. BenoitRen


    Tech Member
    I remember that at the time Sonic and the Secret Rings was well received. That's why we got a second storybook game.

    Sonic Rush is the game that introduced the boost mechanic, and Sonic Unleashed was the first home console title to implement it. Seems strange to say that Sonic Colours was the title that made it a part of the franchise.

    Speaking of Sonic Unleashed, I thought the Wii/PS2 version was the better of the two because of the better level design and being more streamlined.
  14. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    A trend isn't established by the first one to do something, but by the first one to copy it!

    (The serious answer is that by the end of the 00's, and once Sonic '06 was so widely panned it effectively destroyed the Adventure formula, we had no idea what "Sonic gameplay" was like. Unleashed brought the boost gameplay, sure, but it also brought the Werehog gameplay and the take du jour back then was that the Sonic franchise lacked focus and a distinct gameplay style, and if only they made a Sonic Unleashed featuring only the daytime stages... and then they did it. Sonic Colors was the game that sent the message that the Boost gameplay was what the franchise would use as its signature, because after Unleashed and Secret Rings, we might as well have gotten something completely new yet again.)
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2023
  15. BenoitRen


    Tech Member
    So on the one hand we have people saying that Sonic 3D introduced the homing attack (and is therefore important), and on the other hand we have people ignoring Sonic Unleashed's introduction of the boost mechanic on home consoles because it didn't set the trend?

    What are we arguing about, again?
  16. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    These aren't really mutually exclusive points. A (main)line must have at least two points. One is important for introducing mechanics, another is important for continuing their usage.
  17. sayonararobocop


    Gaiden game was my exact thought response to the question in the OP except it was not a poll choice.
  18. Gaiden does mean supplement/spin-off (literally gai = outside, den = legend) so I don’t know if it is technically a meaningful difference, though I get the intention.

    I think I’d characterize the Sonic Advance games more in that way, however. Like the examples listed, gameplay has not been vastly altered compared to the main series but the actual timeframe/context of the setting is vague.

    Regarding 3D, it was a departure both in terms of gameplay and storytelling. There is no clear through line from Sonic 3 -> 3D -> Adventure like there is from 2 -> 3 -> Adventure.
  19. Rafa Stary

    Rafa Stary

    Last edited: May 16, 2023
  20. charcoal


    Be Cool, Be Wild, and Be Groovy Member
    Wouldn't this logic discount Frontiers as a mainline title then because the very point of the game is to go against that very status quo?

    I think 'mainline' is a pretty abstract thing tbh. As I said earlier in the thread I just take Sonic Team's word for it with Generations' definitions of what's mainline, and everything after that game should be fairly obvious.