Today’s question posed to the Sega Addicts staff is:
“Which character in the Sonic universe should get a spin-off and what would their game play like?”
We got a huge variety of answers with some really interesting ideas! Feel free to share your own in the comments below.
Tom Kyzivat: I’ve always liked Knuckles’ play style, being able to glide and climb–it always felt very freeing in Sonic Adventure, being able to pretty much go anywhere. I can see a lot of potential for that type of style nowadays, with how elaborate the levels could be. Maybe even do an open world like the Spider-Man movie games, where Knuckles can just go anywhere and do anything he wants–that would be fun! It could even be like Sonic Colors, with a combination of old and new-school platformer play styles, too. And of course there would be a good amount of fast running incorporated, too.
But I could definitely do without the half-assed “gansta” rap aspect of Knuckles, though. I think Sega tried to hard to make him marketable, when all you really need is just a fun character to play as. Just keep him simple, like he was in Sonic and Knuckles–a bit of a dick, but good at heart.
John Doherty: This is a hard one. Besides Tails and Knuckles there are no characters in the universe I can stomach for more then a few minutes. If I had to go with one however I would probably go with a Big the Cat Fishing game. Not that I particularly like Big, in fact the opposite is true, but I miss Sega Bass Fishing. It would be nice to get a game that played like that, but had the Sonic tie in to help move units.
Now that I think about it I would love a game focused around Dr. Robotnik. Maybe a Rampage style game where you drive around in one of Robotniks crazy machines and destroy cities. Destroying more cities could give me points to unlock machine parts, and then I could use the parts to build my own crazy death robots. The more I think about this one the more fun it sounds.
P.S. I want a Mean Bean Machine sequel as well.
Alexander Sargeant: Oh hell, I’d love for Sega to pull a ‘Raiden’ with a member of the cast. I vote for a game starring Metal Sonic, who until this point I don’t think has been given a starring role really. The game will play out on battlefields, as part of Robotnik’s robot army. Metal Sonic will be entirely customisable the way that a mech in Armored Core would, so you’d effectively run the Eggman Empire’s R&D division. You’d spend your budget developing support badniks to charge in to battle with you as well as various bits and pieces to alter your Metal Sonic to the mission statement. Maybe he’s tough as hell but can’t really run all that fast, or maybe he takes a few hits and goes down but he’s as fast as the blue blur that he’s copying. Taking missions and completing them would award you money money to develop the R&D and build newer and better equipment.
That way even Gamma (Was that his name?) from Sonic Adventure could make an appearance. I’d love pretty much a game where all the enemies from the Sonic series were available to use. I’m also pretty sure that tiny animals would be a form of currency, with maybe them being a kind of deployment cost. You need at least four squirrels to power a boss, but just one could be used to power a monkey that lobs explosive coconuts. Yep, there’s a reason I do not make games for a living.
Brett Hatfield: Allow me to blow your minds and say quite possibly the most disliked non-human character in the franchise: Silver. Let’s go over some things here. Sonic 06 was a rushed travesty in every form except for its soundtrack. This is common knowledge. But Silver was the one glimmer of hope in that game. While Sonic and Shadow’s segments were horrible beyond comprehension, and let’s not even speak of the sidecharacters, Silver was the first thing that felt, gasp! Tolerable! And sure, levels like Dusty Desert with that billiards puzzle were the worst thing ever, he was by far and away the only almost-playable character.
Also, I just really think they had something with his abilities, feeling similar to the gravity gun in Half Life. It was actually sorta fun picking up an insane amount of barrels and chucking them at every robot in sight. With better execution, a better story where, here’s a novel concept, Sonic and the others from that timeline don’t show up, and just more time and love put into it, I think a Silver game could be a damn fun experience.
Pat Reddick: Like Brett, I think I’m about to shock and appall everyone reading: I’d like to see a Rouge the Bat game. My reason also comes from my experience with Sonic 2006. I really enjoyed her flying sections, and I think you could make a very Arkham Asylum-esque game out of that mechanic. She could definitely use a more classy character redesign, but I think it could be made into a fun game. I can’t think of a whole lot of games with a fun gliding mechanic like that. The possibilities are pretty large as well. You could do some pretty interesting angle and wind based puzzle platforming in 2D or 3D, you could do some shoot-em-up sections, you could do some FPS sections…I can’t think of anything that wouldn’t be made better by this gliding mechanic.
Now, I’ve never played Shadow the Hedgehog, but I assume she’s in that game as well since she’s Shadow’s sidekick in Sonic 2006, so I apologize if my ideas have been tried in that game and failed miserably. I still think that this could work if done right though.
But first they definitely need to redesign her.
Sven Wohl: I think I have found the perfect answer:
‘Big the Cat: Torture Chamber Adventures’
Now, the title might mislead you into thinking that this game is aboug Big the Cat torturing other characters from the Sonics universe, or worse, you (like he did in Sonic Adventure for example). But no, this is a game about other Sonic characters torturing him, in the most gruesome ways possible. Just think of the possibilities: Sonic has Spikes, Knuckles has his fists and Amy has a friggin’ hammer! Add in some classic torture chamber tools and you will have a rich and satisfying experience for the whole family!
It would be the first game from Sega to get an ‘Adults only’ rating. It would also be banned in at least half Europe and in Australia. The best way to enjoy this game would be to use some nice motion control features in order to slap that cat in the face! Just think about the possibilities! It will sell millions!!
Stevie Grant: I’m probably gonna get some hate from this but if any character should get a spin off, I would suggest the chaos. Yes I know technically they aren’t really a character, but they have a lot of potential as a group of, whatever they are. And if there’s anything the Sonic Adventure games were good at, it’s using the chaos. In fact you can hardly imagine those games without them. And it wouldn’t be hard to deepen that mini game and develop it into it’s own beast.
Imagine that. A chao game where you can raise your own and even meet your friends monsters. It would be Animal Crossing spliced with Nintendogs. If anything I think at least they show the most potential of a spin off in the Sonic world.
Alex Riggen: I think I have to go with the obvious choice of Tails. When Tails was created Sega hadn’t yet created these hundreds of characters with slight variations from the original Sonic design. In fact, the addition of Tails was pretty exciting for Sonic 2 but as time has gone on Tails has become more and more annoying. A game with Tails as the main character would hopefully remove the whiny Tails we’ve come to expect and bring him back into the spotlight.
The game itself I imagine would be more of an adventure/puzzle game with Tails having to build and create devices to progress in the adventure. In many of the games Tails is always in the background creating and fixing machines and vehicles for Sonic to use. This time you get play the adventure from Tails’ viewpoint as you adventure around looking for parts and then piece them together to make something wonderful. Kind of like Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, I imagine.
Josh Newey: Well, it’s almost a knee-jerk reaction at this point, but my first pick would have to be Knuckles. Sure, he had his moment in the spotlight with Knuckles Chaotix, but that experimental failure managed to castrate Knuckles of just about everything that made him cool. What I’d really love to see is a Knuckles-based game whose level design is honed directly to his unique skill set. Since previous games have always been developed with Sonic’s speed in mind, a lot of Knuckles’ abilities often felt like a tacked-on novelty. Climbing walls to find new areas was satisfying, but it still felt like I was just cheating at a game that was built to be played in a completely different manner. Give me a 2D game that requires skillful climbing, gliding, punching through walls and precision jumping to traverse the environments. Or, better yet, give me a 3D re-imagining of Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles played solely from Knuckles’ perspective. I’d love to fight on Robotnik’s side for a while, setting traps for Sonic and eventually joining up with him in the end.
Another character who got completely gypped by the buddy system mechanics of Chaotix is Espio the Chameleon. Of all the throw-away characters that populate games like Sonic: The Fighters and Sonic Heroes, Espio’s design and skill set seems to carry the most potential. His color changing ability would allow him to temporarily evade enemies, his horn could be used for charging or digging attacks, and his spin attack could act as a more lethal form of the spin dash. I really want to see Espio’s reserved demeanor and mysterious past explored, too. We know next to nothing about him, so a spin-off could be the perfect opportunity to flesh him out as a character.
Mike Kyzivat: I’m gonna have to play devils advocate here and say I would love a game based on Dr. Robotnik, that’s right I said it!! I think it would be cool, kinda like a Ratchet and clank for the other systems. or it could be patterned after Banjo and Kazooie Nuts and bolts, where you build machines and vehicles and then try them out on sonic. Anyway I’d like to see the whole sonic universe from Dr. Robotnik’s point of view, not that I want to humanize him, he is still a villain and should stay that way, but I think all his tech and gadgets and know how would make for a bunch of cool game mechanics (no pun intended). Imagine flying around in one of his little egg pods as a basic ship, and then being able to fly over a landing zone and connect to different vehicles, robots, or planes using the pod as a cockpit. (kinda like a fat transor Z) I can see it now, there you are chasing sonic with the giant wrecking ball from sonic 1?s first boss, knocking over buildings and mountains, only to have sonic destroy it. Not a problem, I’ll just quickly jet over to that car shell (like the 1st boss of sonic 2) and land on that, lock in, and run that little rodent over. But wait is that talis in the sky? well now, let me just disconnect from this car and connect to my b52 bomber attachment and go all Hiroshima on tails. but what about knuckles you say? not a problem, I’ll just slip into something more comfortable, how about the giant Dr Mecha from the end of sonic 2? Now I can rain napalm on that rapping, dread lock sporting, skateboarding, dew slamming, demographic hitting, jerk wad. Lets see, that only leaves, cream the rabbit, silver, the whole catoix crew, big the cat, Amy, those little marshmallow headed chao, awww screw it!!!!! I’m climbing aboard the death egg and blasting that planet into particles so small science hasn’t even found a name for them yet. I don’t see this selling any less then 4,000,000,000 copies. And I know I may sound a little strange but what do you want it’s almost 2 o clock in the morning.