Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by TomGyroid, Nov 17, 2022.
Wouldn't it be more prudent to ask this question on Wikipedia?
We know that Shadow and the Storybook games are spin-offs because Sega said so. Come to think, I believe there was also some magazine with dev quotes saying that 3D Blast was separate from the main series? Someone had posted a link to it in this(?) forum. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
I'm not taking SEGA's word as law. This is a philosophical question, not an official one.
I don't really like the concept of something being not canon in the series, after all every game is just a new adventure for sonic. If you wanna argue a timeline sure I could get down with that to keep things somewhat consistent, but what would adding or removing 3d blast from canon even do? The story is isolated like many others in the series.
Also I dislike that Sega doesn't consider Shadow mainline when it literally ends the plot of Shadow from the Adventure 2/Heroes story arc.
Mainline and canon are two different things. A game can be canon and not mainline.
Yeah, we've seen that in this series before. 06 gets completely removed from the timeline and is thus not canon due to the game's ending, but you don't see anyone claiming that 06 isn't mainline.
Wikipedia also calls every game with a jump button a platformer (and also a whole bunch without too), I wouldn't put too much stock in it.
I've always cast it aside as 'not mainline' because it wasn't made by Sonic Team and Japan didn't even get the original version. Yes, I know Mania wasn't made by Sonic Team either and that's put me through a crisis for the past 5 years leave me alone
The standards they've set themselves are a bit wibbly-wobbly, so yes, but you'd probably have to fight for it.
Genre classification is a barrel of laughs but amazingly I think Japan got it right 30 years ago - just class everything as "action". According to Sega of Japan, most Sonic games are classed as "action games". "Doesn't that mean most games are action?"
We don't have data for more recent consoles, but apparently, no, the genres were pretty well spread on the Saturn and Dreamcast.
But the debate would never end. Group things by genre, then what? "Console" vs. "Handheld" - Sonic Chaos was a Master System game before a Game Gear one. There's a DS version of Sonic Colours. Sonic Frontiers was released for the Switch - a console/handheld hybrid.
Well, from the sounds of it, I guess Sonic had a hit main game on the Sega Saturn after all. It was basically Sonic's answer to Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot at the time.
Sonic 4 too.
Kinda, but also not quite -- the groundwork for it had already been laid out before Mario 64 or Crash were announced (afaik) and was initially set out to be a Genesis exclusive title. It wasn't decided it'd be ported/enhanced to the Saturn before Sonic X-Treme was canceled. So X-Treme is the answer that never was.
Imagine doing a Home Console Sonic marathon and not including Chaotix, 3D Blast, and R before Adventure 1.
I pity such people.
We had this topic come up in the past, the only games I consider mainline are:
Obviously now I'd append Frontiers to the list. And to the question of "what about games like Sonic 4 or Sonic Mania which continue the story directly?", my response is:
So looking at 3D Blast in particular... actually it kinda does fulfill those criteria. It wasn't a budget title and was marketed as mainline at the time, with the "spinoff" being Sonic Blast on Master System and Game Gear. Maybe I was wrong not to include it.
I definitely agree these standards are a bit... loose. What constitutes "odd gameplay"? Mania and Forces play nothing alike, but both are considered mainline by Wikipedia.
Having said that... I do think their current classification fits the criteria relatively well.
Sonic 3D Blast only has odd gameplay in hindsight, because nothing that came after it plays like it. And that'd never be the case anyway, what with videogames transitioning to 3D in all sorts of ways at the time and all. Back in 1995-6, something like 3D Blast was as much of a "natural evolution" as the Mega Drive could put out. It's a weird place to be, for sure, but I can't not consider it mainline.
Pretty sure when 3D Blast started development, the Saturn version of X-treme was already underway. They knew where the industry was headed, and X-treme was supposed to be the title that brought the series' transition to 3d. 3D Blast was intended to be a side title to X-treme, and was presented as such upon its unveiling.
And slow Flicky collecting was a natural evolution from the classic speedy Sonic gameplay? I don't see it.
Yeah, but Sonic X-Treme doesn't exist.
You said 3D Blast was a "natural evolution" of the classic series if you ignore later games. I don't see where you get that from. From the beginning it was conceived as a side title to accompany the main installment, like the Game Gear games. It eschewed the classic "get to the goal while traversing the levels at high speed" formula in favor of item collecting.
There's overlap between Sonic X-treme's development and the Saturn version of Sonic 3D.
The old story is that the former was cancelled in favour of the latter - in reality I suspect Saturn Sonic 3D entered into development as a back-up once they noticed X-treme was stalling. Which ended up being a smart move.
I could see Sega sitting on Sonic 3D to fill up later gaps in the schedule - it may even have happened with the Japanese release.
Or it might have been a back-up for if the Mega Drive market imploded. If, come winter 1996, retailers were refusing to sell 16-bit stock, there'd be a way to recoup development costs. I'm speculating though.
Yeah, and so did Mario 64. Hard to see your point, because the effervescence of new models, syntaxes and ways to play 3D games, especially from previously 2D franchises, made it so that a lot of experiments and ideas had to be put to test regardless of whether they were successful or not.
I put "natural evolution" between scare quotes because there's no such thing as a natural evolution. They did what they saw as the best options for the franchise to go forward, including cancelling a project and porting a game to their new console. That's how it happened.
Art is an iterative process, with future works building on past works. Art is also an extension of artists, with a person's craft and sensibilities being refined and evolving over the course of multiple works. The works that are "mainline" to me are those that show up when we trace this iterative process and/or this evolution in sensibilities and craftsmanship.
So, NiGHTS into Dreams and Sonic Jam are "mainline" to me, given their place in the development of what would become Sonic Adventure's gameplay, as well as Iizuka's role in them (and Naka's role in the former). Shadow the Hedgehog and the Storybook games are "mainline" to me, given the role Iizuka and Kishimoto played in them, respectively, as well as Secret Rings' existence in hindsight as (I suspect) the evolutionary 'missing link' between 06's Mach Speed sections and Unleashed's Daytime gameplay.
Overall, the Traveller's Tales games, the SNK/Dimps games, and the Tax/Stealth games are all distinct branches from this, to me. However, Yasuhara's involvement in the development of the TT games, as well as the integration of Dimps' Boost and Tax/Stealth's Drop Dash into indisputably mainline games, would make them arguably "mainline" under my own framework.
Separate names with a comma.