How would YOU "fix" the Sonic franchise?

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#1 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1103 posts) -

Let's go right for the throat in this topic: Most of the recent Sonic games suck. A lot. Though there are a few good games here and there, they are only rare, brightly lit beacons in a never-ending cavern of awful mediocrity. Sonic the Hedgehog hasn't really meant anything to anybody since 2001 (some would argue 1994, or if you're really cynical, 1992). If you don't think the new Sonic games are crap, you're probably too young to understand just what Sonic the Hedgehog used to represent to the game industry - either that, or you're just plain bonkers, if you ask me. Trust me, Sonic has seen better days - much, much better days, and if you're either too young or too crazy to see that, just realize that as good as some of you may think Sonic games are now, they used to be orders of magnitude (translation: "really really lots") better than they are right now. And while the young'ns may not "get" the old Sega Genesis games and what they meant to the game industry 15 years ago, trust us - Sonic, like Mario, used to be a hallmark for the entire industry to look up to. Sonic the Hedgehog was the character, the gameplay, and the franchise everybody wished they'd thought of first.

But not so much, anymore. Sonic the Hedgehog has strayed far from the ideals that made him such an original concept in 1991. So the question becomes: How would you make things better? What do you want to see out of the Sonic series now? If given the reigns for the direction of the next Sonic game, where would you take it? Would you re-invent his control scheme, would you bring him back to the Green Hill Zone, or would you simply fill the game so plum-full of every side-character and sidekick that finding Sonic himself would be similar to playing a game of "Where's Waldo?"

I would strip the game back down to its basics and introduce a new control scheme: to start, a slower Sonic. Essentially, Sonic would have two modes: a "slow" mode, where the game controlled like a traditional 3D platformer (such as Super Mario Galaxy or Ratchet & Clank), including a slower, much more controllable jogging speed. That being said, the game would employ sort of a "run button" (perhaps one of the L or R triggers), that, when pressed down, would shift Sonic from "3D platformer" mode to "full speed" mode, where he would control much more like a race car ala F-Zero GX, Rollcage, or Trackmania, with drifting and all sorts of fun stuff like that. In my opinion, the biggest problem I have with 3D Sonic controls is it's difficult controlling him at high speeds due to the fact he still steers like a 3D platformer character even when he's running at 150mph. Making him steer more like a race car at higher speeds helps to fix that problem.

I would also emphasize a more simple art style; a return to geometric shapes and abstract/surrealistic environments. Not necessarily Green Hill Zone, but I would like to move away from trying to portray Sonic in "real world" environments; "real world" environments feel so uninspired; Sonic used to be about showing gamers something they had never seen before, and re-creating New York City or The Great Wall of China feels, in comparison, uncreative. Anybody can see New York in photographs (or they can even travel there), but showing people a fantastically impossible world - that's what a Sonic game should be doing. I just want to see more artistic creativity and more visual variety in Sonic games like I used to see.

What do the GiantBombers think? What's your ideal Sonic game play like?

#2 Posted by HistoryInRust (6402 posts) -

My ideal Sonic game already exists.  Sonic the Hedgehog 3: where the player holds a single direction and hopes for divine intervention.  Pure adrenaline. 

#3 Posted by Shawn (3825 posts) -

Sonic should just retire to movies.

#4 Posted by Mardarkin (85 posts) -

If I could gain control over the Sonic franchise, first thing I'd do is work on creating a sort of 3D-sidescroller (a la Super Smash Bros. Brawl) for the Nintendo Wii.  Bringing back the best elements from old titles, like springs, spikes, boosts and crazy tubes - as well as some classic jump-on-to-kill bad guys- I'd also try my best to integrate some of the few really cool things from recent years.  Things like the homing attack, the rails to grind on, the monkey bars for swinging on, and so on, and so forth.

I'd make Sonic faster, and for the sake of reinvigorating the mainstay character, I'd knock even Tails and Knuckles off the roster.  So it's just Sonic versus Doctor Robotnik, with some seriously massive new bosses, but every inch the classic.

'Course, I'd make a few flying levels especially for Super Sonic.

But basically, I'd be working with the formula of the awesome first three games.  Because there's nothing wrong with them.  All they really need is a few tweaks to combat etc, and Sonic is still, potentially, gold.

We're going to have to put up with Werehog before we get back to this, however.

#5 Posted by Kush (8889 posts) -

It's quite simple what I would do...make the game play on a 2D field for the entire game. Gorgeous HD graphics and the same fast side-scrolling gameplay we all love and remember. Throw in a level creator and online versus and I would be all over that game.

#6 Edited by Systech (4078 posts) -

I'd tranq it, jk (but seriously)

 I hear that Unleashed is turning out okay, but I don't like the title at all.

#7 Posted by MattyFTM (14432 posts) -

I think the wii sonic game (can't remember what it was called) was a great idea. It seemed like it would bring back that sense of speed that the games are famous for. It was OK, but not great. Maybe if they did something like that but with better execution?

But in all honesty I wouldn't be disappointed to see 3D sonics disappear all together, and have them release a load of new 2D sonics.

Moderator Online
#8 Edited by Dan (143 posts) -

Pull a Castlevania and realise your strength is in the 2d platforming space, and go DS only. Expand on the Sonic Rush concept, try and bring it back to a simpler, purer experience. Maybe take a hint from Capcom's Megaman 9 and do a back-to-the-old-school VC/XBLA/PSN release. If you absolutely have to make 3d games, Sega's best effort was Sonic Adventure 1. I don't think they can make that game anymore, but if they want to try they need to go back to that title and do a proper assessment of what went right with it.

Frankly I think the most important thing is to hire better talent for Sonic Team. They're past it, it's sad but let's face the facts.

Edit: And if you're getting your hopes up for Unleashed, please, don't be so goddamn naive. How many times do you need to set yourself up for a fall before you learn? The boy who cried wolf is now crying were-hog.

#9 Posted by License_To_Bill (792 posts) -

I would fix what everyone else thinks should be fixed: The speed.

Also, there should be no humans, save Robotnik-- or whatever the fuck they call him now-- because it comes across as very, very creepy.

#10 Posted by Willy105 (4691 posts) -

Make the level design as good as Sonic Robo Blast 2 and the game engine as good as the Sonic engine in Sonic Adventure 2. That's about it.

#11 Edited by lord_canti (1522 posts) -

i would make a new 2d side scrolling platformer like the old ones for xbla and psn but only in full HD

#12 Posted by lordofultima (6282 posts) -

I'd throw it in the garbage. Lock it away, do something. STOP MAKING SONIC GAMES.

#13 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1103 posts) -
lordofultima said:
"I'd throw it in the garbage. Lock it away, do something. STOP MAKING SONIC GAMES.
"

Or, just, you know... cut back a little. There's usually at least one new Sonic related game per year, with major entries in the franchise coming once every two years, and the quality for those titles is in the dumps.

Mario, on the other hand, while we get spinoffs pretty much year round, there's only ever a major entry in the franchise once or twice every generation. There Mario 64 on the N64, Mario Sunshine on the Gamecube, and now Mario Galaxy on the Wii. And for the most part, Mario is a character with a much more stable track record for quality gameplay.

Sonic games, as I've heard, typically have crazy short release schedules and the games seem to be rushed from the moment development starts. The Design Document for Sonic 2006 (the document used to plan out the entire game) was leaked shortly before the game hit retail shelves - the document was created 18 months before the game went gold.

Sonic games aren't being given the time they need to be sufficiently finished. A story I've heard from a QA tester on Sonic 2006 said that every bug report they submitted had to be ignored for the game to meet the Christmas deadline. It's absolutely insane.
#14 Posted by DualReaver (3882 posts) -

Make it a FPS.

#15 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -

Firstly, kill all the furfags that still purchase sonic games and watch the awful cartoons.

Secondly, make sonic a southern US yokel and have him animated by white people.

Thirdly, quit making shitty sonic games and make a good sonic game.

#16 Posted by Meresin (147 posts) -

There's a really easy way to fix the Sonic franchise...Make new Sonic games like old Sonic games, but with 3D graphics. Quit trying to do something "new" and just try to make something good.

#17 Posted by FalseDeity (229 posts) -
keyhunter said:
"Firstly, kill all the furfags that still purchase sonic games and watch the awful cartoons."
Furfags? Right, because furries are keeping this franchise afloat.
#18 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -
FalseDeity said:
"keyhunter said:
"Firstly, kill all the furfags that still purchase sonic games and watch the awful cartoons."
Furfags? Right, because furries are keeping this franchise afloat.
"
Yes. There's more sonic porn out there than anything else. By far. By that sarcastic seeming comment you made I'd bet you're one too.

#19 Posted by FalseDeity (229 posts) -
keyhunter said:
"FalseDeity said:
"keyhunter said:
"Firstly, kill all the furfags that still purchase sonic games and watch the awful cartoons."
Furfags? Right, because furries are keeping this franchise afloat.
"
Yes. There's more sonic porn out there than anything else. By far. By that sarcastic seeming comment you made I'd bet you're one too."
That's interesting you know that. My comment just deals with how ridiculous it is to hate an internet sub-culture somehow being the culprit to why they keep making Sonic games. Sonic has a lot of fans that go deeper than that.
#20 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -

No. People that like sonic are all furries at this point. Everyone else is just dissapointed at how shitty the franchise has become.

#21 Posted by Blazer74 (186 posts) -

I'd fix it by not making any more. The series was born on the Genesis and it died there as well and with Sega being a terrible developer these days you really expect them to be able to revive this series that didn't really have much creativity in it in the first place? Nope, expect more to be that coninue to suck. Sega's best bet though will to be to let it die and move on.

#22 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1103 posts) -
keyhunter said:
"FalseDeity said:
"keyhunter said:
"Firstly, kill all the furfags that still purchase sonic games and watch the awful cartoons."
Furfags? Right, because furries are keeping this franchise afloat.
"
Yes. There's more sonic porn out there than anything else. By far. By that sarcastic seeming comment you made I'd bet you're one too.

"

This is totally not a subject I want to discuss, but dude, that's just the rule of the internet (specifically, "Rule 34"). There's plenty of frightening porn out there of tons of stuff; while you may have encountered a lot of gross Sonic porn, there's a terrible, terrible world of other subject matter out there that dwarfs it. Like, let's take for example, Pokemon or it's partner in crime, Digimon.

Yet it's a much rarer occurance you see people pin the so-called "furfag" claim on those guys (at least, as far as I've ever seen).

It's getting rather tiresome to consider people have to be cautious of what they enjoy for fear they'll be labeled a "furfag", even if said franchise or material doesn't get anywhere near that realm of possibility. It's going to be to the point where you won't even be able to watch a Bugs Bunny cartoon anymore without every 14 year old on the internet screaming "YOU'RE A FURRY!"

Though to be honest I don't actually know where I'm going with this train of thought. Consider it a knee-jerk reaction to "HUR HUR FURFAG".
#23 Posted by sizu (391 posts) -

I wouldn't even attempt to fix Sonic.  I would let the mascot retire.  Sonic Team has been one big clusterfuck since Naka left.  Poor Sonic games, and a very disappointing Nights does not give me much confidence in that team's ability anymore.

#24 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1103 posts) -
sizu said:
"I wouldn't even attempt to fix Sonic.  I would let the mascot retire.  Sonic Team has been one big clusterfuck since Naka left.  Poor Sonic games, and a very disappointing Nights does not give me much confidence in that team's ability anymore."

But... Naka left Sonicteam midway through development of Sonic 2006, and the Sonic franchise had been faltering long before his departure.
#25 Posted by lord_canti (1522 posts) -

i enjoyed sonic adventures 2 battle for the gamecube when i played  it i gained hope after the 1st one but then the ps3/ xbox came out now all hope has been shattered  and its gonna be hard for anything to fix it  other than what i said b4 a new  one like the old ones but in hd on the virtual stores

#26 Posted by Pezjulo (224 posts) -

Hmm i would probably start by changing the type of music in the game, for something less corny :P

#27 Posted by Will1Lucky (408 posts) -

I would put it too rest plain and simple.

#28 Posted by ZimpanX (420 posts) -

As much side-scrolling as possible, some kick ass music something in the Sonic 2, 3, CD direction, good sense of speed, good platforming, totally get rid of some of the newer character additions, very colorful graphics but with a sense of style, change Eggman's name back to Robotnik, no other humans among other things.

#29 Posted by Valkyr (669 posts) -

Like Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 with a few side-scrolling levels and only sonic and knuckles as playable caracters for specific levels. I loved Sonic Adventure 2 for the DC and i don't know why it has a lot of bad reviews in the GC port but it was a great game, do not pretend it to have a complex story or anything new, just an enjoyable Sonic game like de Genesis/DC ones

#30 Edited by CapnCloudchaser (77 posts) -
So much Sonic bashing and negativity. Every series has it's highs and lows, if Nintendo started churning out crap Mario games, would we want to see them end the series too, would we remember that they used to make quality Mario titles and will return to form eventually? I would be really saddened if Sega dropped Sonic altogether. He has done so much for Sega as a business and will continued to be marketed as such.

I think the daytime stages of Sonic Unleashed represents everything that people want from a Sonic game, and if they manage to pull off the gameplay mechanics, then it will work. A mix of 2D and 3D platforming and speed. The trailers so far have really impressed me. The only thing that was drastically wrong with the Sonic Adventure games was a bad camera angle and a few gameplay glitches, other than that they were both enjoyable games. If Sega could make a game engine which ironed out those kinks and introduced a camera system that worked well with Sonic's speed and gameplay, then we're pretty much there.

The recent storylines AKA Sonic 06 have been somewhat dire though. But do people really play platform games for the story?
#31 Posted by Pazy (2601 posts) -

My ideal sonic game would essensially be Sonic Unleashed without the werehog (Man-hog? Hes already a man hog! He stands up and talks!) and town sections. Then again I still love sonic games, Im still playing all the old games quite often and Sonic and the Secret Rings on Wii as well as having Sonic Adventure DX installed on my PC to play when I want. Im not the kind of person who will just buy anything Sonic (like the plushy's there selling in GAME now) but I still love the Sonic games, even the Sonic the Hedgehog on 360 game me pleasure.......

#32 Posted by Jixashauser (238 posts) -

The demo for Unleashed was pretty sweet actually :)

#33 Posted by Satune (477 posts) -

I still have my Genesis with all the old retro Sonic games from when he was popular, and I still play them often enough, and I love them.

I think what Sega should do is do like what was done with Mega Man 9, just remake a new Sonic game just like the old ones, with the same graphics and the side scrolling and everything, just to get interest back in old fans looking for a good Sonic game. Then maby release another game later, only side scrolling, but with good graphics. Then find a good idea and go with the 3d platforming game.

Sega just needs people to get interested in Sonic games again, and see how popular he used to be back in the day.

#34 Posted by ColumnBreaker (1164 posts) -

I really don't think there's any way to fix.. or make the sonic franchise work in today's world. Unless you want to appeal to nostalgia and make it just like the old games, but I think enough people hate it now who previously loved it to not even care to check something like that out. I do have a feeling though, given Capcom's success of revitalizing old franchises in a very retro way, that they will atleast consider attempting the same deal.

#35 Posted by dsplayer1010 (2227 posts) -

Keep it in 2D.

#36 Posted by LiquidPrince (16175 posts) -
Kush said:
"It's quite simple what I would do...make the game play on a 2D field for the entire game. Gorgeous HD graphics and the same fast side-scrolling gameplay we all love and remember. Throw in a level creator and online versus and I would be all over that game.
"
QFT.
#37 Posted by Demokk (167 posts) -
BlazeHedgehog said:
I would also emphasize a more simple art style; a return to geometric shapes and abstract/surrealistic environments. Not necessarily Green Hill Zone, but I would like to move away from trying to portray Sonic in "real world" environments; "real world" environments feel so uninspired; Sonic used to be about showing gamers something they had never seen before, and re-creating New York City or The Great Wall of China feels, in comparison, uncreative. Anybody can see New York in photographs (or they can even travel there), but showing people a fantastically impossible world - that's what a Sonic game should be doing. I just want to see more artistic creativity and more visual variety in Sonic games like I used to see.
I completely agree. I like old-school Sonic environments A LOT MORE (Hydrocity anyone?) than those of newer games.
I'd like to admit though that the space stages in Sonic Adventure 2 where pretty interesting to me.
#38 Posted by guiseppe (2842 posts) -
Meresin said:
"There's a really easy way to fix the Sonic franchise...Make new Sonic games like old Sonic games, but with 3D graphics. Quit trying to do something "new" and just try to make something good.
"
This is basically what I would do. Maybe try to add something new, but no hip skip hopping wherewolf Sonic.
#39 Posted by thedeusmachine (39 posts) -

Take it out back.  This is one franchise we don't need to save.  It's been stale and irrelevant too long.

#40 Posted by Arkthemaniac (6535 posts) -

I would give him less badditude. Somethimes, I think he's gonna give me an aneurysm with it.

#41 Posted by StaticFalconar (4850 posts) -

Give Sonic more Cowbell.

#42 Posted by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -

they need to fire the guys who have been destroying my childhood memories and those who worked on the sonic teen wolf whatever levels in SU. And then they need to give a raise to the guys who worked on the daytime levels in in SU because, even though they needed to be better, they're the right direction for a sonic game. 

#43 Posted by glyn (382 posts) -

The way I would improve the Sonic games is by adding in a co-operative mode and a competitive multi-player mode. Think about it.
 
The co-op could be quite fun and there would be certain puzzles and bosses which require two players to work together to complete. I am thinking of sonic 3 where tails was flying and holding sonic in the air whilst sonic was hitting dr robotnik and then jumping back into the safety of tails. Another cool level was in sonic 2 where tails was in the plane and sonic was riding ontop. That would be cool if the two were completely controllable.
 
The multiplayer would be a sort of race mode- where players compete to get from the start of either the single player levels or a specially designed multiplayer level to the end of the level the fastest.  Points are earned for killing the a.i enemies, I think this would be very hectic and fun.   Also it would be cool if the players could hurt each other somehow by picking up powerups or laying down traps or just plain knocking each other around.

#44 Posted by stealthman (27 posts) -

I don't like Sonic.

#45 Edited by Tru3_Blu3 (3243 posts) -

I would create a dark, morbid, heavy universe taking place in SATAM. It wouldn't focus on linear levels involving time, speed, reflex, and status. It would be open-ended with an adult story full of side quests that you gain in Nuthole--or whatever the base of operations was in the SATAM cartoon.
 
The only way for Sonic games to be great again is to start from scratch and change him. Sounds bad for the fans, but it's the only way.

#46 Posted by glyn (382 posts) -

I would also add in those scary water levels, where when sonic is about to drown the music changes. Those were absolutely awesome when I was younger.    Your their sitting on those bubbles and the music is like dun du u du du dun dun dun dun ,   and suddenly a big bubble pops up and sonics fully relieved.
 
Also there should be more times when you are being persued by an environment or even another evil baddy who is set out to kill you. And you have to play the level as quickly as possible otherwise you will die.

#47 Posted by AaronAlex (182 posts) -

I would probably just stick sonic in Mario Party and leave it at that. 
 
But seriously, i like kush's idea alot, thats pretty much the thought i had as well. 
You could also throw in a 2P race mode over internet play etc. 

#48 Posted by tutuboy95 (90 posts) -

Sonic 4 has the right idea - forget Sonic Team. The new one sucks. Dimps, the producer of the Sonic Advance games, are the most "modern classic" Sonic games, and easily amongst the top. 
 
The story has to become better. Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 had some really compelling stories. Sonic Unleashed had some good points, but I really didn't care by the end. Sonic and the Secret Rings' story became dull half-way through. 
 
Gameplay-wise, Unleashed had some of the right ideas, but ruined it with the action-based levels of Werehog. Sonic is speed. Period. Run to the end of the really long level in less than 2 minutes. Sonic Team has forgot it. They are made up of idiots now. Hopefully, Dimps would be smart in Sonic 4.

#49 Posted by Gabriel (4081 posts) -

A point and click adventure Who dunnit featuring Sega Characters all trapped in a manison. 
 
Who killed Tails?

#50 Posted by AgentJ (8778 posts) -

Nuke a dimension. Make more of the 2D games they've been putting on handhelds for years now.

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