don't click here

What gameplay features would you want in the next 2D Sonic game?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Jordan91, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    1,681
    551
    93
    No, I actually liked the looks of Generations 3DS and S4E2. I had no problem with their visuals (in fact, Sylvania Castle act 3 was one of the most gorgeous Sonic levels in my book) and I wouldn't mind if the next Sonic sidescroller looked something like that, as long as they keep the classic 2d gameplay and aesthetics. Mania basically showed us what a classic Sonic game would look like on the Saturn, now I would like to see what it would look like on a modern system.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  2. ChaddyFantome

    ChaddyFantome

    Member
    207
    79
    28
    All new Zones goes without saying.
    I would also like playable Amy as well of course.
    I would have her use her Advance 1 gameplay, but have her inherit the Super Peel-Out instead of Sonic. One of the only major problems i had with her gameplay in Advance one is that she didn't have a spindash equivalent to effectively get over steep inclines like the other characters.
    Not having a traditional roll is kind of her thing anyway, so the SuperPeelOut i think is a perfect fit, while it was kind of redundant on Sonic even back in CD. Giving it to her would even be a sort of call back to CD.
    I'd also make her able to destory/hammer down spikes and defeat enemies with spikes with her hammer as a mix up.

    Something I think could be added is an optional Ranking Mode where your score and time are tallied to give you a ranking. I think that would add a whole new dimension to how people view and interact with the levels.
    A better variety of bonus stages is also a must. I live Blue Sphere but I'd be lying if I said I didnt start avoiding it all together because of how much it was breaking up the gameplay flow with how frequently i was in those stages in Mania.

    Game should also have its own story. I dont need voice acting or dialogue but I do want something more thought out than Mania had.
    Artsyle wisez im fine with it being sprite based, but i would like for them to chill a bit with the shininess and neons. A more grounded color pallete I feel would help the game feel more cohesive.
    I feel Tails and Knuckles gameplay needs some tweeks.
    Knuckles for example should transition into a ball state while falling after a glide and carry some but not all momentum when sliding into the ground with his Glide instead of coming to a complete stop.
    Tails should also be able to cancel his Flight to fall as a ball so he doesnt have to wait for himself to land.
    Mighty's ground slam should interact with slopes. Not sure why it doesn'r already.

    People have brought up being able to cancel Super Sonic. I dont know if I agree with that or not but I do think you should be able to turn Super Sonic's music off.

    Maybe optional challenges wouldn't be half bad either. We could have things like beating an act within a time without getting hit or as a callback to CD, have a mission where you need to maintain top speed for a given amount of time to initiate "time travel".
    Could be a neat way to unlock extras.
     
  3. Pengi

    Pengi

    Member
    1,725
    424
    63
    I think this would be the wrong approach to take. Sonic's key features are that he's fast and rolls into a ball. But then they introduced other characters, who were also fast, also rolled into a ball and had their own unique abilities. Tails' flight and Knuckles' glide/climb slowing down the action a bit are the trade-offs to their additional mobility. Taking away the handicaps of those abilities, allowing them to briskly chain together actions and movements, encroaches on Sonic's territory.

    This is another one where I feel the handicap is important. In Sonic 2, the ring counter going down was a limitation to Super Sonic, there was the sense of urgency to keep collecting rings. It also brought an element of risk, since the player would be completely vulnerable once the ring count reaches 0 and they're regular Sonic again. Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic Mania's Super Sonic wasn't as well balanced, since their stages were more generous with rings than Sonic 2's (Sonic 3's Bonus Stages and both games' giant rings being worth 50 exacerbated this). Being able to manually de-transform from Super Sonic would further undermine any sense of urgency or risk.
     
  4. Josh

    Josh

    Oldbie
    2,123
    1,085
    93
    USA
    I'm gonna suggest something I think most of us don't really consider: The next 2D Sonic game, even if it's made as a sequel to Sonic Mania, needs some modern quality-of-life features and accessibility options. I adore Sonic Mania. I finished the whole game in one sitting, never got a Game Over, and had more than 25 lives by the end. I didn't find a single thing in it to be frustrating or unfair. It was a JOY to me. But I've been playing these games obsessively my whole life.

    It was the primary thing that reviews knocked Mania for. The fact that it was RETRO wasn't the problem (in fact, it was a huge part of the appeal)! But that it was retro to the detriment of accessibility, that was a problem. It'd be fairly simple to balance this out in a way that would still give us dyed-in-the-wool fans the experience we want, while allowing people who aren't so familiar with games like this to enjoy it, too. I think if you just added an optional setting that disabled the lives system and Time Overs, that'd go a long way. Maybe you could also have an option to lower the difficulty somewhat, sort of like Sonic Jam's Easy Mode: Bosses take less hits, bottomless pits and crusher deaths are avoided, and there are more checkpoints.

    I know so, so many people who bought Sonic Mania and LOVED it, they were singing its praises... and then they hit Flying Battery. They lost all their lives on Act 2, got a Game Over, found out they'd have to start the entire ZONE over from the beginning, and never made it further than that. And that SUCKS. I know it won't make a difference to most of us here, but a sequel needs to offer more considerations for new potential fans. After all, there was a time when I couldn't beat a single Sonic game without Debug Mode or a Game Genie.
     
  5. Beltway

    Beltway

    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    1,580
    127
    43
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    I probably would be more receptive towards another 2.5D game if that particular presentation format hadn't oversaturated the entire series by this point. The past decade alone has had nearly every 2D Sonic game (console, handheld, digital/mobile) made with primarily 3D graphics, and nearly every 3D Sonic game that's been released has had a significant amount of side-scrolling levels or sections. I think Generations remains the best effort out of all of those that have been released. Mainly in that besides its gorgeous (if at times cluttered) presentation, it used the 3D graphics to experiment with multi-plane level design for classic Sonic; where his levels had multiple routes that existed in a 3D environment despite the gameplay remaining in 2D.

    So unless we get a "2D" game that runs with what Generations did and becomes more of a 2D/3D hybrid game (in the vein of Bug! or Crash Bandicoot); or the developers reach for a truly inspired visual look (cel-shaded, going for an early 3D/low polygon look, the WayForward approach of 3D environments with HD 2D sprites, etc.). Going for a 2.5D approach for the next 2D Sonic would be the most boring route to take IMO.

    I've been riding the "modern/HD 2D sprites Sonic" train for years now, and that's still what I'd love to see the most out of a new 2D Sonic visually. Another pixel-art game I wouldn't be entirely opposed to; but it would have to be a new aesthetic approach (without any self-imposed graphical limitations) that's very much distinct from the rest of the Genesis lineup, Mania especially. The retraux "lost Saturn game" direction Mania had was essential to the type of game it was, and I think repeating that verbatim with another game would make it significantly less special.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  6. kyasarintsu

    kyasarintsu

    Member
    261
    85
    28
    I wouldn't mind seeing the return of an easy mode that actually adjusts the level design to make things more friendly. Simplify some moving platform patterns, remove things that could crush you, get rid of the annoying spiked enemies, etc.
     
  7. Myles_Zadok

    Myles_Zadok

    IDK Member
    57
    13
    8
    Actually, the time limit can be disabled in the game options on the file select screen (at least in Mania Plus on PC, I never played the pre-Plus version).

    But I agree with all of what you said. I think more generally, difficulty options would make the game more enjoyable to more people. While an easy mode could help newcomers, I would personally like a harder mode to challenge myself. Mania was easy for me on the first go-around, and it's only gotten easier on replays.

    With so many games adding difficulty options, it would be great if a Mania sequel could add them as well.
     
  8. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    1,681
    551
    93
    Yeah, Mania Plus added the option to disable the time limit. The base game didn't have it.
     
  9. ChaddyFantome

    ChaddyFantome

    Member
    207
    79
    28
    Cant say I agree with this especially when we are all content to criticise Mighty's hammer drop as well.
    I feel Sonic's Drop Dash properly cements Sonic's position as the speed focused character to where this isn't an issue.
    To be more clear, I'm not suggesting these would completely remove any downtime from using these moves, but certainly make them more fluid than they are. I dont see why Tails or Knuckles would need this handicap but Ray and Mighty wouldn't.

    I largely agree about Super Sonic though. Cant say I find Super Sonic in Sonic 2 "better balanced" but i generally agree that being able to transform back at any time undermines the ring cost mechanic which was my main concern.

    Had a feeling where this was going.
    I don't think an option to straight up remove lives in really a reasonable option.
    Too many systems are tied to the lives mechanic in the games, such as holding on to rings, and providing a reason to explore those nooks and crannies for goodies, etc.
    In a system without lives, your ring count stops mattering and there is now no reason to collect them and hold on to em. Same thing happens to score. Extra life monitord get axed, etc.
    That doesn't mean accesibility can't be addressed though.
    Something you could do for example is make it so there is a mode that lets players start at the begining of an Act instead of a Zone when they game over, as well as make it so a game over at a boss brings players back to the begining of the boss instead of the act/zone. Could even introduce a special "Boss Post" for it and everything.

    This would mitigate frustration for these people without trivialising mistakes and disincentivising mechanics entirely.

    I know its popular to accuse lives systems of being this "outdated mechanic from a bygone era that doesnt have a place in modern gaming" but I don't really agree and find it overly reductive, especially in the case of Sonic which itself has a ton of arcade-y sensibilities.
    I don't think most people have a problem with the TimeOver system going in general, though this could be a mode based thing as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  10. Frostav

    Frostav

    Member
    591
    180
    43
    I absolutely do not want hand-drawn sprites or 3D models or anything. Nope. Sonic Mania 2 or whatever they call it needs to continue the "2D Saturn game"/"Expensive high-end sprite-based arcade game" look. Pure pixel art, but with full-on color palettes that old hardware physically could not do, vastly more complex background elements (as in Press Garden Act 1), and ACTUAL pixel artwork, none of that fake stuff every one of these pretentious 2D indie games use now:

    [​IMG]

    Mania is one of the very few games released this decade that ACTUALLY uses real pixel art with immense craft and care and then enhances it with modern day horsepower to create unbelievably gorgeous places like Studiopolis and Press Garden. I do not want to lose that.
     
  11. I'm noticing a lot of people seem really reluctant to any real changes and prefer to stay as close to what Mania established as possible. I get it, cuz this series' experimentation almost never ends well for it, but I'd rather for things to not stagnate. You could probably get away with another game that's basically a mission pack sequel to Mania, but after that you definitely would need to change it up in some way or risk being accused of being stale.

    The biggest challenge is figuring out what are good ways of "evolving" this style of gameplay while still staying true to it's roots.
     
  12. Even if the next 2D entry isn't a proper sequel to Mania, I'd still prefer for it to have Saturn-esque spritework. I wouldn't mind if they went with a more arcade-y look if the devs didn't want to be pigeonholed into strictly sticking to Saturn specs however. So long as it is bright and fun and solely 2D in the foreground. If they want to use 3D models to accentuate the background or certain boss battles like with Metal Sonic Kai, then that'd be fine too.

    Sometime down the line I'd like for Sonic Team or auxillary devs to experiment with a 3D classic Sonic, just not right after Mania and Forces. The 3D games obviously need some work, and to settle on one idea of what they're meant to be, but the 2D games have never fallen into a rut to crawl out from. I'm not sure how many of us appreciate 3D Blast outside of the music, but I strongly believe that it could be used as a template for a Classic 3D Sonic.
     
  13. Beltway

    Beltway

    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    1,580
    127
    43
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    Eh. Two-button philosophy, level progression/branching, altering character mechanics, adding/removing particular characters, adding anti-frustration features/removing lives, different art direction/graphics (although that one doesn’t correspond to gameplay). All of those have been offered in the thread and they can each qualify as pretty big changes to the status quo when applied wisely.

    If all of those are still not “evolutionary“ enough, then I guess we’ll have to sit down and elaborate what each of us thinks evolution should mean in respect to Sonic. I imagine most of us replying here are on the same page though.

    Anyone who isn’t satisfied with what’s been offered is probably looking for revolutions, rather than evolutions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
  14. Josh

    Josh

    Oldbie
    2,123
    1,085
    93
    USA
    By giving us a sampler of all-new zones alongside a lot of reimagined ones, Sonic Mania left more than enough meat on the bone that they could do another game in that same style. Like I've said before, it seems like the #1 comment I see on Sonic-related articles the past few years is, "Why haven't they done a sequel to Mania with nothing but new stages?"
     
  15. I know a lot folks here would be dissapointed, but I wouldn't care if a Mania sequel didn't wholly consist of new levels. I'd just hope that a significant majority of the game was brand new. The act 2's of Mania were mostly fresh anyway, and such gimmicks as the fire shield breathed new life into the acts that were recycled. A Mania 2 could get uplift some classic Zones, like the first did for OoZ.
     
  16. I’ve stated that personally I prefer a brand new game will all new zones, but if old zones do make a return, then I really hope the ratio tilts in favor of new zones (8 or higher out of 12 zones is my preference). I would have complete faith in Evening Star (if they are assigned to develop) anyway because the remixed zones from Mania made them almost unrecognizable and completely fresh and that just shows how creative the team is.
     
  17. Pengi

    Pengi

    Member
    1,725
    424
    63
    It would veer too close to Sonic for my liking. He's the character who's most about non-stop movement. The drop dash is already something that takes more practice than Tails and Knuckles' abilities, especially for newer players. Tails and Knuckles' advantages are immediately obvious in a way that Sonic's aren't, so I think it's a good thing that their abilities have some inbuilt slow down and pauses. Mighty's Hammer Drop also brings the action to a brief pause. Ray's glide is fine because it's a more advanced maneuver.

    The relative frequency of in-level rings is debatable, but in S3&K you can easily get over 250 rings in the glowing orbs Bonus Stage, which essentially makes Super Sonic "free". The Bonus Stages also serve as a roundabout way to de-transform Super Sonic.

    It's all real pixel art, good or bad. The minimalist stuff is just as valid. The purpose of pixel art isn't always to mimic games from the '80s and '90s. Shovel Knight and Hyper Light Drifter are equally as valid in their use of pixel graphics.

    People have been crying out for more "normal" Sonic games for decades. It's brought up a lot how Sonic Mania was the highest reviewed Sonic game in 15 years. What isn't brought up as often is that the previous game was Sonic Advance, the last "normal" 2D Sonic game before Dimps started changing up the mechanics and physics and design philosophy.

    After a roller-coaster ride with all manner of ideas being thrown against the wall, with very little consistency or discernible trajectory, I think there's an audience that would welcome more "back to basics" Sonic Mania style games, where the innovation comes from the levels and what Sonic can do in them.

    Sonic CD's time travel is the biggest feature of the core classic Sonic series that has never returned, but still has so much untapped potential (like no loading screens and actually having a gameplay purpose/incentive to visit the future). If it's ever felt that a new 2D Sonic game needs a secondary hook, I'd want to see an evolution of that.
     
  18. And I know that. What I'm saying is that a series cannot sustain itself on just Mission pack sequels, at some point things will HAVE to change or risk stagnation.
     
  19. Pengi

    Pengi

    Member
    1,725
    424
    63
    I think it's dismissive to call them mission pack sequels. Like Beltway says, there have been plenty of ideas put out in this thread to give a Sonic Mania sequel a fresh spin, without changing the fundamental gameplay. By the definition you're using, Sonic 2 and 3&K could be called mission pack sequels.

    I don't think getting stale is something the 2D branch of the series needs to worry about until "Sonic Mania 4", at the very earliest. That's just not been a problem the series has faced the past two decades. The series has become infamous for the poor games outnumbering the good and a complete lack of consistency in gameplay. Mania was not just a good game, but a great game. So now is the time for stability and consistency.

    It's not like Sega is going to completely abandon 3D games, which are now at a point where a new direction is needed. It wouldn't make sense to start mucking around with both branches of the series at the same time, when one of them has just gotten back on track.
     
  20. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

    I Have No Idea What I'm Doing At Any Given Moment Member
    902
    294
    63
    The Twin Cities
    trying to not fall asleep while writing Selenium tests
    Sonic as a series is stagnant right now as we speak, because in their efforts to make the series not stagnant they have...made it stagnant, largely by keeping the same flaws in all of their approaches regardless of what "new" feature they decide to bring in. Mania is considered a breath of fresh air even by non-Sonic fans for that reason, and acting like "ohh whoops we can't do another one because it'd be too samey" is how we've somehow gotten the same feel in Sonic games for a decade now despite them ostensibly "adding" new things each game.

    Also, I think that the aesthetic and gameplay Mania brought in is, if anything, more fresh than the classic games were past the first one in the current landscape, because we no longer have droves of imitators attempting to copy the gameplay or the early CG/surrealist/90s aesthetic. It's alone in the current industry, even more so when just looking at games put out under the auspices and properties of big/old companies.