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Art Favourite 2D sprites (Mega Drive / Genesis and add-ons)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by nineko, Jul 22, 2020.


Which are your favourite sprites?

  1. Sonic 1

  2. Sonic 2

  3. Sonic 3 & Knuckles

  4. Sonic CD

  5. Knuckles' Chaotix

  6. Sonic Crackers

  7. Sonic Eraser

  8. Sonic Mania

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. nineko


    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    You know, I keep on seeing people saying "I like these sprites, I dislike those sprites", but we never had a poll about them, afaik (I tried to perform a few queries on the search engine, but I only found unrelated results, such as a poll about GBA).

    So, since a bunch of new topics are being created these days, I decided to took this matter into my hands, and I present you the classic sprite poll.

    Please follow the forum rules, if you can't advocate your choice, please don't post a one-liner just to say "I liek thiz!1!", but if you want to write a 500-word essay, be my guest.

    Some notes:
    • while not classic, I included Mania because I know that many of you played it;
    • I separated CD from 1 in case you particularly like the peel-out, I guess;
    • I added Chaotix for completeness.
  2. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    As a matter of fact I do particularly like the peel-out and the fact that you have two indicators of speed (Sonic Advance 2 also does that and it's great)
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  3. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Lyon, France
    Slice of life visual novel, coming soon...?
    It's a tough one between 3&K and Mania for me, but I think I like 3&K's sprites just a little bit more.
    Mania's sprites have those sweet extra frames that make them so much more dynamic, it's a joy to see. But I still prefer the smug smile of Sonic 3's Sonic, and the way he looks in that game overall.

    Fun fact: I assumed for the longest time that everybody thought the 3&K's sprites were the best, so I was kinda confused when the Mania team decided to go with Sonic 1's sprites instead as a base. As it turns out that's not the case at all, people are very divided over Sonic's apparence in 3...makes you think :P

    Fun fact #2: My absolute favorite sprites for Sonic & co are the one from the Advance games, no contest. They got so much charm and just drip of that early Adventure style. They're the closest we'll ever get to see Yuji Uekawa's artstyle animated, and I'm disapointed they didn't keep that style for Rush.
  4. Starduster


    Can bench press at least two Sonic the Hedgehogs Member
    Fighting my procrastination addiction
    Personally I can't go back to 3&K's sprites after Mania. not only due to the animations, but I think they're the most on-model sprites of the classic games. 1, 2 and CD had that implied mohawk going on which 3&K got rid of but at the cost of the weird hands and shoes.

    In total agreement with SuperSnoopy regarding Advance sprites though. Even without the benefit of the silky smooth animations Mania has, they have the strongest art direction of the series imo and they're superb at showcasing each character's personality. Would love to see remasters of the Advance trilogy with a hand drawn version of those sprites (upping the frame count for animations of course).
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  5. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    S3K for me. Tails and Knuckles looked the best in it, and Sonic's fur was just the right blue tone. And no, Sonic's gloves and shoes never bothered me. If anything, I prefer them to those of the other games' sprites.

    I also liked the Chaotix sprites. I really appreciated how it added more details to Knuckles' animations, such as his dreadlocks flowing when gliding, or the fact he had different climbing sprites for ascending and descending. Mania would be up there too, if it wasn't for Knuckles' awkward animations, especially his gliding and climbing.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  6. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    I personally don't have radical favourites as many people do. I prefer S2 sprites over S1/CD ones because they were reworked from the base the previous title had, and Mania isn't that big of a change, so it's mostly 3K against the rest. Chaotix is technically better, but there's no Sonic to make a proper comparison, so it would amount to which Knuckles do we prefer.

    That leaves us with S2 against 3K, the usual duel. My favourite would be the missing link between both styles: 3K is more on-model and it's true it gets more expressive and has a better perspective at least for the standing sprite, but, while people say S2 Sonic looks angry, I actually find 3K Sonic more pissed off. S2 feels a lot more 3D-ish, less cartoony, and more grown-up, while 3K Sonic doesn't look like a teenager, he's more like a kid, which makes the age difference with Tails feel non-existent.

    With this all, I find funny how the evolution of 8-bit sprites was almost the opposite: S1 on the MS and S2 on both MS and GG look chubbier and more cartoony, while Sonic looks taller and more 3D-ish in Chaos, with S1 on GG having a chubby 3D-ish Sonic and Triple Trouble making Sonic again a bit more cartoony but still closer to Chaos.

    Going back to my "missing link", I think Sonic should look 3D-ish and more adult than in S3K, but not as tall or inexpressive as in previous games. 3K asks for a cartoony approach in a lot of levels, which I find an issue because even the zones with an art style closser to that of the previous games would need retouches to really fit with S2 sprites or the middle ground I'm proposing. I'm far from being the best pixel artist around, but, as a reference to what I'm saying, the style I'm proposing is what I was trying to do in that sprite you can see on my avatar; it would need a pro to make it really like I wanted to, but I'll guess it'll be enough.

    Ok, after all this digressing, I think my answer to the poll is "Sonic Studio/Lapper's art".

    EDIT: Since a lot of you posted while I was writing, I must add this: No, please, never the absolutely flat style of the Advance games, I always refuse to play fangames when they come with that art style. For flatness, I prefer the 8-bit Sonic 2 style, at least it's still classic style artwork and quite on-model.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  7. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    3K for the style, but Mania for the detail due to the bigger palette.
  8. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Working on my art!
    Mania's sprites are by far my favorite. They seem like the definitive versions of the classic trilogy sprites. Sonic 2 comes in 2nd though. I prefer Sonic's eye shape in 2 than his eye shape in 1 but it still retains the same feel.

    Sonic 3's sprites are kinda derpy looking and Chaotix is just a stylistic mess. And what's CD save for a more refined Sonic 1 Sprite set?
  9. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    Sonic 2 all the way. Sonic's idle animation is simply iconic. The running animation has so much more dimension to it than the other games, and it's smooth as heck. I love the sort of leap forward the animation starts with. Tails' flying sprite also looks much better than the 3&K one.

    The Mania sprites don't do it for me. Tails looks great I guess, but overall they're too high contrast, with Sonic's lighter blue color being too far removed from the way he looked in the original games. Both Sonic and Knuckles were given bright pastel colors for some odd reason. I wish they didn't base Sonic on the first game. As much as I like Sonic 1 and CD, the Sonic 2 animations are so much better. I don't like Mania's looking up animation either.

    3&K's Sonic sprite is kinda ugly and messy looking. All his animations look really flat compared to Sonic 2. I wonder if the 3&K sprite is the cause of the "classic Sonic is chubby" misconception. :p
  10. Rudie Radio Waves

    Rudie Radio Waves

    Many a game.
    The S3K sprites are my favourite out of the original trilogy, though a S2/S3K hybrid with Mania levels of animation detail would probably be the best one.

    I also love the Advance/Battle sprites as I grew up with a lot of Flashes that used that style.

    I've also got a lot of appreciation for the Triple Trouble and Chaos sprites. They're very tiny and cute!
  11. Mana


    Good! Great! Awesome! Outstanding! Amazing! Member
    Sonic CD has the best style and look of the classic Sonic games to me. That warm SEGASONIC look coupled with cool trippy world designs just do it for me. It's the peak of that art style to me.
  12. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    Sonic 3&K. Anyone who says it doesn't have the best sprites is lying.

    (I would say Mania, but I don't consider that comparison fair since it came out 20 years after at a time when pretty much anything was possible. Advance's sprites were pretty cool too.)
  13. FollOw


    The sun sets forever over Black Water Park Oldbie
    I'm will to take it a step further and say sonic 3 sprites and art in general is better than mania.

    I love mania but it has too many familiar levels
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  14. Swifthom


    A Friend Remembers... Member
    Sonic 3, if remade with a higher frame rate, would be undisputed. As it stands Mania is better in motion, but comparing screenshot I would plump for Sonic 3 every time.
  15. LockOnRommy11


    I absolutely love the Advance games style and think it’s on par with Sonic 2’s for me. They’re very expressive and colourful and have a wide range of movements that make them feel really animated.

    I chose Sonic 1’s sprite style. I love the simplicity of it and the more dull hues. The art style is more or less the same for Sonic CD too, which i love equally.
  16. Beltway


    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    I wonder if people who use this term against Mania actually know what "rehash" actually means.

    But I do agree with the general sentiment that Mania's heavy use of old content hurts it in regards to striking out its own identity. The fully original stages are really nice but dwarf the remixed stages as a whole; although I do think an argument could be made to also lump in either the heavily remixed acts that have new material made for them (I think the manmade/city levels --Chemical Plant 2, Oil Ocean 2, and Metallic Madness as a whole-- really shine in this regard), and/or the Encore Mode versions of the zones with different color palettes.

    With that said, I'll be damned if I could pick one Genesis Sonic game in particular in regards to stage art. I really like the more simple aesthetics of Sonic 1 and 2 just as much as the more detailed approach that CD and 3&K brought to the series; and I feel Mania does a good job of accentuating these positive qualities for each of the returning stages for their respective games. This also goes for the console spinoffs too, I do like the super-surreal Chaotix, and Sonic 3D I'd say is a good midway approximation of Sonic 2 and Sonic 3&K's aesthetics with a three-dimensional look in mind (given that Sonic 3D Genesis is largely pre-rendered sprites). I guess I'd have to pick CD due to how fantastical and distinct it is, especially the stage art for the time-specific zones. It really helps it standout as the "oddball" in the series, but in a really good way.

    In terms of character sprites, it's a hard toss-up between Mania and CD (I do like the more specific blue hues both games have) for Sonic; S2 for Tails, 3&K for Knuckles, and Mania for Eggman. Badniks I think probably looked the best in regards to 3&K, although Mania puts up a really good fight in regards to the new and the enhanced old with their added details and animations.

    With respect to picking one game overall, in terms of the overall package/which looks the most cohesive...again, a hard pick. Honestly, I'd cheap out and vote for Mania in that regard, specifically because it has a piece of each of the other classic games represented in it in addition to its own offerings.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  17. Ravenfreak


    2 Edgy 4 U Tech Member
    O'Fallon Mo
    Sonic 1 Game Gear Disassembly
    IIRC we did have a "what's your favorite sprite?" topic I think at some point about a decade ago but the thread was closed because the no list rule was placed directly after. To be fair, I think most people were just listing their favorites and not really explaining why. With that said, S3K has always been my favorite. I'm honestly shocked to see that it's currently winning because I've seen more people complain about Sonic's sprites in that game. I love his sprites in S3K because of the shading, and the large hands. Plus I think the smirk on his face gives him more personality rather than just looking like someone pissed in his cheerios all the time like in the other games.
  18. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    Right? For all people's complaints about the hands, if you look at the official art...SONIC HAS BIG HANDS. It's the tiny ones from earlier games that are off-model.
  19. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    Sonic 2:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sonic 3:

    The previous games are definitely not off model, but Sonic 3's sprite isn't off model either because they made his hands and shoes bigger in the artwork.

    And Sonic without a mouth looks badass.
  20. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    I'm pleasantly surprised to see Sonic 3's sprites be so highly regarded (based on the votes at time of posting). I too like Mania's extra frames and unique animations, but fortunately modding exists so you can have the best of both worlds. I regularly run the game with the same palette but Sonic 3 style sprites mixed in with his waiting, victory, and other original sprites that I custom modified to match.

    The thing about Chaotix & Mania sprites is that they're so colorful and have depth to them. I'm a sucker for bright vibrant colors.

    I honestly don't get the issue some people have with the hands. It looked fine in both versions. That said, I don't like Sonic without a mouth, he's much less expressive. The 1,2,CD sprites that work the best are where he does have one imo.