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RTTP: On Sonic Adventure, youth, bridges, and beautiful messes

Poltergust

Member
Nov 8, 2012
7,592
0
0
Orlando
Hm, I wonder... would Sonic Adventure benefit from a remake?

Polish up the gameplay, expand the levels, completely redo the cutscenes, remove Big... and that would fix most of the problems people have with the game. I actually think the stories within Sonic Adventure are pretty good (besides Big's), but the presentation severely hurts their impact because it's impossible to treat it with any sincerity nowadays.

Besides, there has been a vocal aspect of the fanbase hoping for a return to Adventure-style gameplay. A remake of Sonic Adventure would be pretty safe to do since I doubt that the cost of failure would be steep.
 

Guess Who

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
10,409
1
0
Hm, I wonder... would Sonic Adventure benefit from a remake?

Polish up the gameplay, expand the levels, completely redo the cutscenes, remove Big... and that would fix most of the problems people have with the game. I actually think the stories within Sonic Adventure are pretty good (besides Big's), but the presentation severely hurts their impact because it's impossible to treat it with any sincerity nowadays.

Besides, there has been a vocal aspect of the fanbase hoping for a return to Adventure-style gameplay. A remake of Sonic Adventure would be pretty safe to do since I doubt that the cost of failure would be steep.

I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately, and I totally think you could take the foundations of Sonic Adventure and remake it into something great if you put it in the right hands - people who really understand what parts of that game work and what parts don't. The question is, whose hands would that be?
 

Haly

One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
Oct 10, 2006
58,446
0
0
Breath of the Wild meets Sonic.

With Chao garden
 

Poltergust

Member
Nov 8, 2012
7,592
0
0
Orlando
I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately, and I totally think you could take the foundations of Sonic Adventure and remake it into something great if you put it in the right hands - people who really understand what parts of that game work and what parts don't. The question is, whose hands would that be?

Big Red Button!

jk
 

Xist2inspire

Member
Nov 12, 2016
296
5
200
Strangely enough, I only started appreciating Sonic Adventure for anything other than the music and artstyle/aesthetics once I got older. As a kid, I despised the Adventure fields and didn't think Sonic controlled very well. It wasn't until I went back to it years later that I was able to legitimately enjoy it. I really do miss the sheer ambition of both Adventure games. Sega pulled no punches back then, and it was awesome.
 

Cipherr

Member
Dec 15, 2007
28,067
1
1,025
Kansas City Missouri
I still remember hooking my Dreamcast up to the internet for the first time. With a 56k modem, it was actually faster than the 33.6k connection my old Compaq had. I have so many memories associated with the online features of this game (and the Dreamcast in general) that are nearly impossible to recreate now. I remember getting stuck on the Chaos 4 boss fight and learning how to beat it from the Guide. I remember downloading people's Chao from the Daycare, and being blown away at how much better they were than mine. To be fair, some people used a Chao Editor program developed to run on your VMU that could modify your chat's stats however you wished. Yes, even in 2000, people had made homebrew for the VMU. The official #sonic IRC channel was also my first exposure to IRC, and the birthplace of my earliest real internet handle which I shall leave unnamed out of embarassment. On a less personal note, the site was also home to DLC downloads. DLC! In a console game from 1998! There were extra Twinkle Circuit courses, holiday events taking place in Station Square, and even some promotional in-game challenges for companies like AT&T and Adidas. None of this content is fully accessible in any modern release of the game, though thankfully, that hasn't stopped modders from working to bring it back. Does anyone else remember that AT&T-sponsored Knuckles time attack competition?

I'll never forget it.

I won it. Was the first "online" anything of gaming that I won. I was finishing high school that year and god DAMN the PM's when I would log in to IRC in the evening during the time I was leading that competition was crazy. I remember it being nerve wracking wondering if someone would beat my score before the competition closed. JJCool, Mankind23, Acid666, Sp00n, Kik-sama, Metroid, RZA069 and all those guys hanging out in IRC all night trading tips on how to score the best in all the Competitions.

Jesus Christ our handles were edgelordy back then... I mean I can't speak even today going by Cipherr now, but still. Cringey.


Loved the game though, and the World Rankings and AT&T sponsored online contests + the endless waiting for the launch of the "Chao Garden" online content (that I'm not sure ever released?) was crazy. I was a hard hard hardcore Sega fan that lost my fanboy soul when they announced the end of their hardware. I really miss that time.

RIP in peace Interact Quantum Fighter Pad:

 

Guess Who

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
10,409
1
0
I'll never forget it.

I won it. Was the first "online" anything of gaming that I won. I was finishing high school that year and god DAMN the PM's when I would log in to IRC in the evening during the time I was leading that competition was crazy. I remember it being nerve wracking wondering if someone would beat my score before the competition closed. JJCool, Mankind23, Acid666, Sp00n, Kik-sama, Metroid, RZA069 and all those guys hanging out in IRC all night trading tips on how to score the best in all the Competitions.

Jesus Christ our handles were edgelordy back then... I mean I can't speak even today going by Cipherr now, but still. Cringey.


Loved the game though, and the World Rankings and AT&T sponsored online contests + the endless waiting for the launch of the "Chao Garden" online content (that I'm not sure ever released?) was crazy. I was a hard hard hardcore Sega fan that lost my fanboy soul when they announced the end of their hardware. I really miss that time.

RIP in peace Interact Quantum Fighter Pad:


Holy shit, that's awesome! I was actually reading through that mirror of the game's website while I was writing the OP, wondering if any of the players who won some of those competitions Sega hosted were still active in gaming communities these days. Your post just made my day.
 

Blackpuppy

Member
Mar 4, 2016
420
2
285
I bought the game on PS3 during a sale... and then erased it after 30 minutes.

I have no nostalgia for SA apart from glancing at demos back in the day, so I just see it for what it is: a pretty looking game but one that is just fundamentally broken gameplay wise. I suppose an HD remaster fixing these issues might be the way to get me to try it again.
 
Jan 6, 2016
1,848
1,509
535
New York
First time I saw this game in person was Best Buy with a demo kiosk. I was absolutely amazed at the colors and speed of the game and the whale part. They had reservation cards for the console and the game.

They also had a short lived “vhs magazine” that focused on the Japanese dreamcast launch. I stared at my reservation cards for weeks leading up to launch imagining myself playing it.

I had my mom pick it up while I was in school and came home to my beautiful sega baby. Other than ps2, I don’t think I’ll ever be as hyped or excited for a console as I was for those two.
 

Village

Member
Jan 21, 2013
29,047
0
480
Hm, I wonder... would Sonic Adventure benefit from a remake?

Polish up the gameplay, expand the levels, completely redo the cutscenes, remove Big... and that would fix most of the problems people have with the game. I actually think the stories within Sonic Adventure are pretty good (besides Big's), but the presentation severely hurts their impact because it's impossible to treat it with any sincerity nowadays.

Besides, there has been a vocal aspect of the fanbase hoping for a return to Adventure-style gameplay. A remake of Sonic Adventure would be pretty safe to do since I doubt that the cost of failure would be steep.

I totally think they should do that.

They should do that instead of 3

Remake Sonic adventure 1 and 2 an fix shit up,
 

Falk

that puzzling face
Aug 26, 2013
20,816
0
0
www.vgo-online.com
Personally, I’ll always prefer a beautiful mess to plain perfection.

Sonic Adventure is an incredibly ambitious project compared to what came before and is special just on that merit alone.

That fact is harder and harder to appreciate with the distance of almost two decades and the precognition of everything that follows after, for better or worse.
 

woopWOOP

Member
Jun 1, 2014
5,027
31
415
Back then I was just happy that they bothered porting SA1. I was kind of going through a Sonic phase, really enjoyed the SA2 port and was psyched to be able to play the previous entry from a console I never owned. The extra glossy character models looked like shit compared to the SA2 port, but I was happy with it.

Didn't know they fiddled with more stuff tho. Those comparing screens are pretty damning. Gotta remember those mods exist if I ever decide to replay this.
 

Guess Who

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
10,409
1
0
Aesthetically I agree. Adventure is a great looking game. Gameplay-wise, I can't gloss over how twitchy the movement is. :|

You know, I've wondered about this. I've heard some suggestions from multiple people (which is why I give the idea some plausibility) that later ports of the game essentially dicked up the analog sensitivity compared to the original release, but I haven't played the original Dreamcast version on the original hardware recently enough to personally judge that for sure. I know this for sure, though - the Sky Chase sections of the PC port are way more sensitive than they ever were on a Dreamcast or a GameCube.

I bought the game on PS3 during a sale... and then erased it after 30 minutes.

I have no nostalgia for SA apart from glancing at demos back in the day, so I just see it for what it is: a pretty looking game but one that is just fundamentally broken gameplay wise. I suppose an HD remaster fixing these issues might be the way to get me to try it again.

I think "fundamentally broken" is a bit of an overstatement, though there are definitely some major issues. There's a reason I didn't talk much about the actual gameplay in the OP, haha. Obviously, I've played the hell out of the game since 2000, which puts me in no real position to judge how it seems to anybody coming to it fresh today. It does put me in a position to know how randomly the game can occasionally decide to mess up a scripted event or clip you through the floor to your death, or how the camera can just decide it's more interested in staring at the wall than letting you see your character.

These are hardly issues exclusive to Sonic Adventure, though, even if it had a rougher time than most. Tons of early 3D games suffered from exactly these kinds of issues. I could name a few sacred cow classics that fall in the "play 30 minutes and delete" bin for me, haha.
 

GamerJM

Banned
May 19, 2013
11,840
2
0
California
Amazing topic OP, and I echo a lot of the same thoughts. SA1 and 2 are hugely flawed but I'll be damned if they aren't immensely charming and memorable. The amount of variety in SA1 was kinda nuts; even if a lot of the game felt somewhat unrealized and not really fleshed out, part of the charm and quality of the game for me is in its flaws. Well, that, and I also think that some of the game not being fully realized is for the better.....for example, an actual huge open world would be tiring for me to navigate as I feel about almost any open world, but the adventure zones are compact enough to the point where I can enjoy exploring them. I agree that taking a platformer and breaking it down into its controls, level design, art design, etc. doesn't really do it justice. SA1 is a daring game that tries like four different genres and tell one big interconnected story. It's a game that doesn't quite stick the landing in terms of the base elements of gameplay but it's a game that gets all the details right.

The only thing I think I really disagree with is that SA2 is more polished and cleaner....if anything it has more charming jank, though you can tell the development team looked at the parts of SA1 that didn't really work that well or serve much of a purpose and gutted them instead of improving them so I can see where you're coming from there. I can agree that SA1 is a lot more grounded in Sonic's roots than basically everything that came after until Colors/Generations, though, aside from maybe the handheld games.

Also, I grew up playing the Gamecube version, but while the game's visuals didn't bother me when playing it, whenever I'd stumble upon screenshots of the DreamCast version I knew that it looked better. It's a little disappointing that I never experienced the game's online features though, but eh. They sound pretty cool.
 

Guess Who

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
10,409
1
0
The only thing I think I really disagree with is that SA2 is more polished and cleaner....if anything it has more charming jank, though you can tell the development team looked at the parts of SA1 that didn't really work that well or serve much of a purpose and gutted them instead of improving them so I can see where you're coming from there. I can agree that SA1 is a lot more grounded in Sonic's roots than basically everything that came after until Colors/Generations, though, aside from maybe the handheld games.

SA2 has a lot less "obvious" jank, I think. The lip-syncing and facial expressions are a lot more subdued compared to the ridiculous jawflaps and brow movements of SA1, the characters control and move way better, there's no Adventure Fields to get lost in so the game flows smoothly from one level to the next. Even some of the best setpieces in SA1 can seem pretty unpolished because things often don't animate smoothly, or your character's movement twitches a little bit while they're happening. SA2 smoothes a lot of these kinds of things out.

It still has plenty of its own jank, of course. The camera, while improved from SA1, still often likes to fuck up and clip through walls and whatnot on a frequent basis. Sometimes the homing attack just doesn't lock on to what you want (bless modern Sonic games for giving you a reticule that confirms where and when you've locked on to something), or you end up bouncing into a pit when you try to Light Dash. They also deeply fucked up the treasure hunting stages in SA2 - they are much larger (so pieces are spread way further out), and the radar is both less sensitive and only lets you track one emerald at a time (compared to all three emeralds being active on the radar in SA1). Those changes make SA2's Knuckles/Rouge stages much more tedious and miserable.

Still, the fundamentals are better, which is a big part of why I think SA2 holds up better for most people. I mostly dislike SA2 for more superficial reasons, like the more grounded/real-world aesthetics, the more boring level design in the Sonic stages, and a story I can't even appreciate in the broadest strokes. SA1 has a story that I can like in concept, even if it falls all over itself in the execution. SA2 doesn't even pull that off for me.
 

delta_reg

Member
Nov 11, 2013
143
0
370
I agree with the notion that what's appealing or not appealing to a person as an adult can be very different than what's appealing or not appealing as a kid, and I think adult gamers can be quite dismissive and forgetful of this when analysing game design. The open nature of Sonic Adventure is a perfect example really, where as an adult you might find stuff like the Mystic ruins and station square a waste of time, but as a kid there's just more of an immersion factor being able to explore the environment, find items and meet these various people. For a kid playing Dreamcast in 1999 there's much more of a sense of wonder there. For many it was likely mind blowing, even.

Sonic Adventure was a game of ambition and heart for sure, in its story, in its gameplay, in its sound design, and down to its very core. Imo when it hits its notes correctly it still is a better 3D Sonic experience than anything we've gotten since. And I didn't play the game until after Sonic Generations, so I don't think its nostalgia making me feel that way.