Influencial games on Sega hardware?

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Deathscythe, Feb 19, 2022.

  1. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Sure is some desperation to insist SA2 was influential in something here.

    For what it's worth I agree with posters above - if anything can be credited for pioneering grinding in platform-style games it's Tony Hawk and Jet Set Radio, not SA2, regardless of the sales levels.
     
  2. Blue Spikeball

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    Again, THPS might have kick started the trend, but it was Sonic that defined the way it worked in 3d platformers. SA2 didn't just copypaste THPS, it put its spin on the concept, and later platformers kept SA2's version. And again, just because a different genre did a mechanic (differently) first doesn't take away from the game that introduced it to its genre. Otherwise people wouldn't credit Halo for setting the trend for health regen in FPS, or Commando and Ikari Warriors for defining run-and-gun games, or Phantasy Star Online for being an early online console RPG. Try arguing that PSO doesn't count because other genres already had online, or because pretty much all kinds of games were starting to go online around that time.

    And FWIW, the Sonic series was already delving in extreme sports before THPS came out. Sonic 3 and SA1 had snowboarding, the latter also had sandboarding.

    I'm not "desperate" for anything. SA2 isn't even among my top Sonic games. I just say it how I see it. I played both THPS and SA2, and when I played Ratchet for the first time the grinding gave me heavy SA2 deja vu, as it worked nothing like in THPS.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
  3. Deathscythe

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    I mean looking at this video of someone playing Rathcet & Clank and when he does the grind at 11 minutes in he is instantly reminded of Sonic Adventure 2.

    It is all subjective in the end of the day, unless a developer actually goes out of their way to cite Adventure 2 as an influence. I just see the rail stages in those games closer to Adventure 2, and I say this as someone who beat Jet Set Radio way more times than Adventure 2.
     
  4. kitsunebi

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    This seems to be the sort of thing that people have made their minds up about, so there's no point in continuing down this pointless road of trying to convince anyone otherwise. In the admittedly pitifully small sampling which is this thread, there seems to be 2 people for and 4 people against claiming that SA2 is the primary influence for grinding in platform games. But even if it was 2 for and 1 million against, it wouldn't matter. This isn't an Official list of influential games, nor is it a SonicRetro-approved list of official games. It's simply Deathscythe's list of influential games. So as long as Deathscythe is one of the two people who feels it should be included, then it should be included. Anyone who disagrees can simply disregard it.
     
  5. Deathscythe

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    Yeah, looks like we are hitting a stalemate here. So I think we can just move on from the Sonic Adventure 2.

    Funny thing is, Sonic 1 (16-bit) is universally agreed as title that made impact. However, in attutide-animal platformers, it feels like they just took inspiration from the character and not the gameplay.
     
  6. kitsunebi

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    Yeah, Sonic's 2D gameplay only ever seems to have influenced further Sonic games. The wider impact of Sonic is the way he was marketed, appealing to a slightly older demographic of tweens/teens. This gets attributed to Sonic, but really I'd say it was more the influence of Sega as a whole, since their entire advertising strategy from that point on was to make Sega seem hipper and edgier than Nintendo.
     
  7. Azookara

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    Sonic Adventure 2 is definitely worth crediting.

    Tony Hawk and JSR definitely did it before it, but it was Sonic that said you could do it with just your shoes/feet and no specific apparatus (SOAP tie-in notwithstanding). What followed with Ratchet and various other action-platformers were characters being able to grind along rails with just their feet. No boards, no skates, just your shoes or barefoot, whatever. Sonic's the origin point of that being popularized in games*, and most people who see foot-grinding in a game usually call to it.

    * - But if you're desperate to steal the Adventure era's thunder again, you could always say "yeah but Disney's Tarzan did it first". And you'd be right! But it didn't popularize it in games. lol

    I think it's also worth mentioning that Sega were some of the earliest adopters of vocal themes in video games, at least to an international market. Daytona USA is a standout for it's time, and many games by and/or adjacent to Sonic Team (Sonic CD, NiGHTS, Burning Rangers, 3D Blast Saturn, R) were notable major games to feature prominent vocal themes; with all but Burning Rangers preceding Parappa the Rapper, and even that proceding Metal Gear Solid by several months.

    Now to say they popularized it isn't completely true, mind, but I do think they played a big part in paving the way for normalizing vocal themes beyond a novelty. And if any of them are considered revolutionary for it, it should probably be Daytona.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
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  8. Blue Spikeball

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    I wouldn't say that the classic Sonic games didn't inspire other games in gameplay. After Sonic's debut, there was a surge of platformers with a focus on highspeed, like Bubsy, Spocket, Awesome Possum, Pulseman or Buster Busts Loose. Most of them starred a mascot with attitude, making the influence obvious. Some also took more specific elements, like the spin attack and roll (Awesome Possum). The Donkey Kong Country devs even stated its gameplay was inspired by Sonic IIRC.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
  9. Zephyr

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    The grinding in that video as well as this one do remind me of grinding in Sonic games, but specifically those that came after Adventure 2. In SA2 gravity played a big role in how fast you would be moving down a rail; if you were going across a more straight horizontal rail you needed to Homing Attack for some momentum, and that could only get you so far; it remains the only Sonic game where I actually like the grinding, because of this.

    Beginning with Heroes, you could just mash a button to move along a rail. The rail switching in particular reminds me of that from Unleashed/Colors/Generations/Forces, where you tap a shoulder button to switch, rather than having to lean to one side and jump.

    So if we're saying that the specific type of grinding that influenced platformers is owed to Sonic, and not Jet Set Radio, then I think it's worth also specifying which Sonic games' version of grinding was influential. And "Sonic games with grinding" that were influential were apparently not the ones on Sega hardware. Splitting one hair invites splitting the other.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

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    I think that was just a result of platformers in general having a lesser focus on physics and momentum than Sonic. The highspeed sidescrollers I mentioned above reflected that too; most of them mimicked Sonic's speed with a lesser focus on ground physics.

    For the record, the first R&C games had you leaning to the side and pressing the jump button to switch rails ala SA2, rather than just hitting a shoulder button or direction like the boost games.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2022
  11. LockOnTommy11

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    By ‘influential’, my understanding is that we’re looking for games that had a lasting impact on gaming design, tropes, themes, the industry or pop culture. Whilst the grinding mechanic in Sonic Adventure 2 may have been the influence for some other handful of games using foot-grinding on rails for small portions of levels, I think calling it influential in the regard we’re thinking of is a stretch.
     
  12. Blue Spikeball

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    I mean, nearly every 3d platformer series had grinding in the early 2000s. You could call it a fad, but the same goes for the mascot with attitude thing from the early 90s.
     
  13. Deathscythe

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    Sonic's Ass 4 had grinding gameplay, and that was very recent.
     
  14. kitsunebi

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    I don't think the purpose of this list is served by saying that Sonic games influenced Sonic games. But I agree with LockOnTommy11's definition of influential: "a lasting impact on gaming design, tropes, themes, the industry or pop culture." You'll notice that most of those things aren't about specific game mechanics, and that should be reflected in the list, I think. Making it all about which games copied which mechanics becomes a web that's difficult to untangle if you're looking to find which was the most influential. So for game mechanics, a list of "who did it first" is fine, but since the first to do something is not always the most influential, it becomes too difficult to determine in most cases.

    So regarding areas where Sonic actually WAS influential, he is credited in this list as the 1st attitude mascot, but I'd say it was more than that. I'd say Sonic is responsible for the idea of the company mascot platformer in general. Sure, it can be argued that Namco had Pac-Man and with platformers specifically, Nintendo had Mario, but while lots of developers were making platformers inspired by the success of Super Mario Bros., their goal was simply to create games, not mascots. It wasn't until Sonic came to represent Sega as a brand mascot that everyone was suddenly scrambling to have their own mascot platformer to represent their brand, and for years afterwards it was felt that every new console NEEDED a mascot in order to define itself and be successful. Sorry, Alex Kidd, but that all started with the Mega Drive and Sonic.
     
  15. Deathscythe

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    Would Gunstar Heroes qualify? Or was run and gun platforming put on the map before that?

    Also by Sonic's Ass 4 I meant Crash Bandicoot 4, not another Sonic game. "Sonic's Ass" was Naughty Dog's nickname for the original game in development.
     
  16. kitsunebi

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    Sorry, thought it was a typo. Also thought we'd put this whole "grinding" thing to bed already.

    For run and gun games, I don't know what the very first might have been, but for influential, it would have to be Contra, from 1987 wouldn't it? That's certainly the game I think of when I think run-and-gun. Maybe it had less impact in the UK, since you guys only got a censored version, but that game defined run-and-gun in America and made the Konami code into the #1-most-useless-information-which-you'll-never-forget-so-long-as-you-live.
     
  17. Deathscythe

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  18. kitsunebi

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    The original Wonder Boy and Adventure Island are the exact same game with different sprites, so that's a bit more than inspiration. :V

    Oh, and Dynastic Hero is the exact same game as Wonderboy in Monster World but with different sprites and music.

    Both of these are because WESTONE, the developer of the Monster Boy games, licensed them to Hudson Soft for other systems. But since Sega owned the rights to the characters in Wonder Boy, Hudson had to change the sprites to their versions of the games. Even so, they're essentially sprite hacks (though Hudson also made original sequels to these licensed game properties).
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2022
  19. Zephyr

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    Ah, good to know. I couldn't tell from the footage alone.
     
  20. Deathscythe

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    Was NFL 2k the first American Football game with first person perspective? Or did that not show up until 2k5?