Even with the success of recently released 3D Sonic games like Colors and Unleashed fans still clamor for a third game in the Sonic Adventure series. This week’s question asks, “Should Sega develop a Sonic Adventure 3 and if so what elements would it keep and what would be changed and/or added?”
Hit the jump to hear our responses!
Josh Newey: As much as it pains me to say it, no. At least not yet. Even as a huge fan of the first Sonic Adventure, I can’t deny that a lot of Sonic’s biggest flaws and missteps first got their footing in both of these games. Asking Sega to bring back the idea of multiple characters in a semi-open world environment with branching stories and varied gameplay is just playing with fire these days. Back-to-the-basics simplification still needs to be the name of the game. With this new impetus of rediscovering Sonic’s roots, Sonic Team/Dimps are just starting to redeem themselves, and they’ve still got a way to go before they’ve really hit that sweet spot combination of old and new that they’re ostensibly aiming for these days. I’m inclined to encourage these developers to get a bullseye with the skeleton of a great Sonic game before returning to the potentially bloated excess that initiated their downfall in the first place. Complexity will have its time in Sonic’s future. Just not right now.
If Sega insisted on doing it though, my biggest recommendation would be to give Knuckles and Tails something different to do. Finding the crystals and driving mechs didn’t irritate me as thoroughly as it did some, but some of the unique abilities these characters are imbued with felt like they were being wasted. Additionally, if Sega were to insist upon bringing back the sea of characters that we saw in the first two titles, I’d love to see some form of online co-op. It would be pretty killer to play as Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, splitting up and playing different stages, but ultimately working towards a unified goal.
John Doherty: I spent a lot of time thinking about this one. While I have a soft spot in my heart for Sonic Adventure, everything currently wrong with Sonic started there. If they were to do a new Sonic Adventure I’m not sure what it could really bring to the table without completely revamping the style. The current Sonic games seem to be trying to strip away the bad bits and streamline the good ones. I would like them to fine tune this balance before they revisit the Sonic Adventure series. I also wouldn’t want a ton of shitty friends. Streamline it down to Sonic, Tails and Knuckles and I think it could work.
All in all I’m gonna have to say no now, but maybe yes in the future.
Pat Reddick: I would actually love to see Sega have another crack at Sonic Adventure. It seems to me that the last few 3D Sonic games have all had some gimmick (like the Werehog, or the fact Sonic is a knight, etc), so maybe it would benefit the quality of the game if Sega scraped any idea of a gimmick and focused solely on the Sonic experience. Maybe they could minimize the amount of playable others as well, and keep them around as NPCs, maybe cut down on the random humans that for some reason always seem to co-exist with him as well. I also find that the worlds of the Sonic Adventure series need to be denser. I often find myself having to travel between point A and point B and then realizing there is nothing to do in between those points. Even hidden collectible objects or something would improve the experience for me.
Alexander Sargeant: I’m not entirely convinced that they haven’t tried to do it already. Sonic 2006 featured three different playable characters, all of whom were unlocked as you met them during the story the same way characters were unlocked in Sonic Adventure 1. You also chose them from a menu and could complete routes individually, as opposed to Sonic Unleashed where you had to progress through stages in a linear fashion and switched between two gameplay styles as you did so, more closely following in the footsteps of Sonic Adventure 2.
Along with the hub-worlds and hotdog missions I think both Sonic 2006 and Sonic Unleashed are both intended to be successors to Sonic Adventure, even though they lacked the title. While both games had some merit (Unleashed more than the former), they still weren’t quite as enjoyable as the older Dreamcast games. With that said I would still love to see a Sonic Adventure 3, and my reason is that I think steering the title away from referencing the older games even when the gameplay actively reflected them was an indication that Sega hasn’t really ever thought they could recreate that success, and maybe committing to Sonic Adventure 3 as a project would ensure the care and attention it would need to truly live up to the name. Very much the same happened to Sonic 4, and it bared the weight of that title incredibly well. I’d love to see that team attempt to do the very same again.
Stevie Grant: No. The 3D Sonic game series has moved onto bigger and better things. Personally I loved Sonic Colours and making another Adventure title would just be outdated by todays standards. It’s sad but at least the series has moved on. And the original games are always there to enjoy.
Alex Riggen: I would love to see a third Sonic Adventure game but I don’t know if it would be what I expect. While Sonic Unleashed and Colors both have the best 3D Sonic experience to date they feel very different from Sonic Adventure. I think the main reason is that the Sonic Adventure series was meant to be a system seller for the Dreamcast so they packed it full of stuff to do and various content. Especially the first game. It also had a much more lighthearted story than recent games. It was there just to move the game forward and while the voice acting was horrible it never grated on me like 2006, Unleashed, or Secret Rings did. Colors went in a better direction but it still had a much deeper story than the first Adventure did.
So what would I change? You’d have to keep multiple player characters for it to feel like an “Adventure” game but they need to be much more polished. Maybe just slight variations on Sonic’s gameplay rather than some completely different playstyles. I’ve always thought that Tails had the best gameplay after Sonic as it was basically just racing Sonic through his own levels. It added the ability of flighty but overall it was the same and still fun. They’d have to keep an open world that’s fun to explore with the various characters and no Adventure game would be complete without the beloved Chaos.