The Real Sonic 4

Remember the old Sonic Games? Or even the newer ones! Talk about these Sonic games here, whether you are stuck or just want to talk about your favourite game!

Which of these is the real successor to S3&K?

Knuckles Chaotix
1
8%
Sonic X-treme
0
No votes
Sonic Advance
3
23%
Sonic the Hedgehog 4
2
15%
Sonic Mania
7
54%
 
Total votes: 13

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Ivogoji
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The Real Sonic 4

Postby Ivogoji » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:03 pm

Its a simple question: which game was meant to be the true successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles?

Chaotix, arguably the best of the classic games after S3&K, the first to offer any kind of shake-up to the Genesis era gameplay, but a failure in capturing the success of the previous Sonic titles thanks to the game being released on the ill fated 32X-

Or Sonic X-treme, intended to be the flagship of the Saturn, Sonic's pioneering leap to the frontier of 3D gaming, only to meet disaster as one of the most infamous canceled video games of all time, creating a vaccum that the franchise has arguably never recovered from-

Or one of the modern era attempts at capturing the glory of the 2D Sonic games, each contested in its own day, Sonic Advance, Sonic 4, and Sonic Mania?
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Mamkute » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:11 pm

Great question.

I have never played Chaotix, but I really should get on that. Anyway, I think it is not the "real" Sonic 4, mostly in how it seems highly experimental and doesn't star Sonic. Not to say I think it is a poor game, just is more a spin off.

Sonic X-treme seems like it was a contender, but as you said it left a gaping vacuum, and is really the source of the question now. So, despite could have been's, no.

Sonic Advance was a return to 2D, but it seemed like they wanted to go a new path with their 2D. And they formed their own pretty clear subseries.

I remember my hype for Sonic 4 at first, and eventual "meh" response. But despite all of the "meh" I do think this was the first realized version of Sonic 4, in that it was intentionally made to continue the original 2D games, and not just by the marketing. Of course, I have high hopes that Sonic Mania will be the better Sonic 4, but contrary to the wishes of the creators, Sonic 4 did exist.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby chaoadventures » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:50 pm

In technical terms, Sonic 3 is the real Sonic 4, as Sonic CD came out before it. And more technically, Sonic 2 is actually Sonic 4 because of the Game Gear games.
And why isn't 3D Blast on the list? Sure it's a bad mediocre game, but it still came after Sonic & Knuckles and before for X-treme was announced (I think. My history is iffy).

---

I love Chaotix, but it feels too much like it was entirely designed to be an entirely gimmick based game for me to declare it Sonic 4.
Besides, it entirely lacks Sonic as a playable character, not counting his scrapped placement as once the main character and as Mighty.
-
Last I researched, Sonic X-treme was initially being handled by a small team of American developers. I don't think it was during that time that Sega of
Japan really put that much faith in Sega of America. Sure they worked together for Sonic 2, and probably past that too, but the next amazing Sonic game of legend?

I feel like that's not what they wanted, but they invested too much time anyways, and then the Saturn fell apart before they could fix that.
The game itself is relatively fun to mess with in its current state, I must admit. I feel like it would have been a classic, although heavily overshadowed by Mario 64 and its polygonal brethren.
-
Sonic Advance is... certainly Sonic Advance. It has everything one would expect from a Sonic 4. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy all playable in the same game. New levels, new takes on old zone themes,
old bosses used as filler, but also to remind you they remember them. Except.

Why the heck is Dimps making Sonic 4? On the GBA? (note they just had the Dreamcast crash and burn a few months prior).
It's GBA functionality with SA2B makes me say they just wanted two games on Nintendo's system and it happened to come out okay, no more no less.

The Advance series games that followed were radically different, for better or worse, to add to that. But this is all ultimately a nitpick altogether.
Only other problem is the number of zones compared to S3&K and S2 is too low.
-
Sonic 4 never finished. I genuinely liked Episode 2 though. That said, this game's physics are too wonky in comparison to the original games for one to say that
it truly was intended to be the real Sonic 4. It feels... hollow, in that regard. Furthermore, Episode 1, was simply a bunch of reused level and enemy concepts from Sonic 1 and 2 to the core of it.
Was there anything new in that game? No, not really. Episode 2 tried harder, but I feel they were building on a bad foundation at that point.
-
Mania is... well it's not out yet, but people who have been at demo booths have said it's a very accurate game to the Genesis-era games.

That said, going through old levels, especially when going further than levels like Green Hill, and leaking into less pure "icon" ones like Chemical Plant, it feels like someone stopped trying as hard,
just like Episode 1.

That also said, Mania may or may not have a story, either told through CD-like cutscenes or S3&K like sprite interactions, which might explain these reused levels.
Attempting to make a coherent story from start to finish, regardless of if it's silent, would put it ahead of most of Sonic 4 as far as building off of Sonic 3's foundation is concerned.
-
Final Answer: Mania if they stick to the script and don't stray too far from S3&K's flow. Sonic Advance 1 if not.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Ivogoji » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:17 pm

I have two compliants with Sonic 4 that I feel disqualify it from its title: Knuckles' gameplay isn't represented, and elements unique to S3&K aren't used or expanded (on like the Blue Sphere stages or the three shield powerups).
In Episode 1 only Sonic is playable, and the Zones and Special Stages are a homage to Sonic 1. For me, the true sequel to Sonic & Knuckles has to have at least those two characters' gameplay styles.
Episode 2 has the same flaw. It is more like a sequel to Sonic CD with elements of Sonic 2, it lacks anything connecting it to S3&K.
If Episode III was released, most likely these problems would have addressed, but as it stands Sonic 4 is only a throwback to other classic era games- it owes nothing substantial to S3&K.

In the absence of the other options I'd consider Chaotix the strongest candidate.
- Knuckles is playable.
- Sonic's gameplay is satisfyingly represented by Mighty.
- Additional playable characters and the more complex partner gameplay builds on Sonic 3 the same way Sonic 3 built on Sonic 2.
- The plot serves as an epilogue to the Death Egg Saga, connecting it to S3&K in a clear way.
- Other gameplay aspects introduced in S3&K are expanded on; for example, the Special Stages are an improved version of the Blue Sphere stages, with a larger 3D area to move around in and more obstacles to navigate.
On the other hand, it also lacks certain features like super forms, and the level design as well as the overall aesthetic is a lot closer to Sonic CD.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Mamkute » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:17 pm

I see the points chaoadventures was going for. I do agree, I hope to see story telling done in a similar way to S3&K.


I guess as a whole I wasn't taking into account the fact that the true Sonic 4 should build off of the classic games. And Ivo is right, Sonic 4 didn't really add to the table, it just used much of the same things. And I definitely agree that not having Knuckles/more playable people in general is a huge poor side of Sonic 4 (among others.)

This is just hyping more up for Mania. So many hopes.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Nano » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:55 pm

I think Sonic 4 Episode 2 was worthy of being called Sonic 4. Episode 1 was straight up terrible, but Episode 2 got it right, albeit still not being as great as the classics and other games similar in style.

If we're talking about the actual spiritual successor to the title, I would argue Advance by far is worthy of the title of being the actual Sonic 4. What it lacks in amount of levels it makes up in for being incredibly fun, having tight controls (aside from those pesky rails), the ability to pick levels, and I think the shortened amount of zones worked in its favor to make it feel more replayable (at least for me).
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Ivogoji » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:09 am

I think Sonic Advance hits most of the points I'd look for in a sequel to S3&K, especially since it even preserves things like Sonic's insta-shield, but it isn't quite ambitious enough to beat Chaotix for the title.
chaoadventures wrote:Last I researched, Sonic X-treme was initially being handled by a small team of American developers. I don't think it was during that time that Sega of
Japan really put that much faith in Sega of America. Sure they worked together for Sonic 2, and probably past that too, but the next amazing Sonic game of legend?

SEGA of Japan gave SEGA Technical Institute the job of creating the flagship Sonic title of the Saturn era so the Japanese developers could focus on other projects like NiGHTS into Dreams. Far from being a small group, STI had too many people working on the game at once, without a clear idea of what they were expected to do. Its not a fun story.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Ivogoji » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:14 am

chaoadventures wrote:And why isn't 3D Blast on the list?

Because Traveler's Tales games don't count.
For all the same reasons Sonic the Hedgehog 4 isn't the real Sonic 4; it's just not an actual sequel to S3&K.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Sable » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:32 am

Spoiler:
Sonic Mania's preorder trailer did not include Sonic 4 on the elevator numbered 1-3K. Additionally, its fight with Metal Sonic clearly contradicts what was shown to happen after CD in Episode 2. In the good ending, Sonic enters a portal in pursuit of a reality-warping crystal - likely ending up in Forces, in which he's called a "pint-sized Sonic from another dimension".

Thus, the conclusion I've reached is that Sonic 4 and Generations have been retconned and the classic series now takes place in a separate timeline. Therefore, Mania would be the real Sonic 4.

Either that, or Sonic Team is just trying to introduce the concept of other timelines into the franchise to give a potential avenue to rectify past plot holes and continuity errors.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Ivogoji » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:03 am

Knuckles' personal history would make 0.00% sense in that case.

Actually it would contradict almost every game in the series.

In general messing with the status quo set up with Sonic Generations sounds bizarre, what would even motivate them to do that
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Sable » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:48 am

To be entirely fair, Generations brings forth its own set of problems - in Jam, Sonic is explicitly listed as being 16 and in the design document for Sonic 1, he's supposed to be "18-19 years old." Neither of those fit with Generations' depiction of Classic as being a younger Sonic.

About Mania, another possibility is that the timeline split at some point during Sonic CD, with one leading into Mania and the other leading into the Dreamcast games and onward.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Ivogoji » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:30 pm

Yeah but we've known for years that the older games have to feature younger characters anyway. Before Generations came out everyone used Amy's age up (8 to 12) to calculate how old the rest of the cast was supposed to be in the classic era. Besides that's no where near as problematic as this alternative set up.
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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Jeffery Mewtamer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:01 pm

Honestly, it's probably easier to assume the Sonic games have negative continuity or that Sega just doesn't care about continuity with the Sonic franchise(and similar can probably be said for most platformers that last more than a trilogy or have stories more complex than an excuse plot). Not that it isn't fun trying to fix Sega's screw-ups in this regard.

Though, this is the first I've heard of Amy's age being bumped up from 8 to 12 in Adventure being interpreted not as retconning her age alone, but retconning everyone from the Genesis era as being younger in those games. Then again, I haven't played a Console Sonic since Heroes or a handheld Sonic since Rush 3 Colors DS, so I'm probably missing important details from later games plots.

Though speaking of age retcons, has anyone tried using the decade Charmy lost between Chaotix and Heroes to place that game when Knuckles, Espio, and Vector are in their twenties?

And now that I think of it, did all the Timey Wimey stuff on the Little Planet in Sonic CD have any effect on the rest of Sonic's Universe?
Just so you know, I am blind.

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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Triert » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:05 pm

On the question of sonic's age it sounds like different writers throughout the years made for a lot of confusion that would throw anyone trying to follow the continuity.

We can trust what generations is telling us the most for now, it's all we've got that seems ready to be built upon.

Also, from where Ivogoji's standpoint is, that sounds like the most plausible.

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Re: The Real Sonic 4

Postby Ivogoji » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:40 pm

Jeffery Mewtamer wrote:
Though speaking of age retcons, has anyone tried using the decade Charmy lost between Chaotix and Heroes to place that game when Knuckles, Espio, and Vector are in their twenties?

And now that I think of it, did all the Timey Wimey stuff on the Little Planet in Sonic CD have any effect on the rest of Sonic's Universe?

Charmy was never 16 in the Japanese continuity, his age was invented for western media, so no issue there.

Vector simply aged four years like Amy.

Espio technically lost a year but the difference (17 to 16) is small so I just ignore his original age.

Knuckles was always 15 in the classic era but 16 post SA; except for the fact that other characters aged more, this wouldn't be problematic.

The chronological theory most fans accepted back in the day was:

Sonic 1 happens shortly before Sonic CD
Sonic CD happens four years before Sonic Adventure (Amy is officially 8; Sonic's age is reconstructed to be 10-11).
The Death Egg Saga either happens shortly after Sonic CD or just one year before Sonic Adventure (in the first case, Sonic is around 12, Tails is around 5 and Knuckles is around 13; in the latter case Sonic was about 14, Tails was 7 and Knuckles was his official age of 15).
Moving the Death Egg Saga closer to CD allows Vector to age normally between Chaotix and Sonic Heroes.

Putting S3&K a year before SA based on Knuckles' age was the most popular option, since it made the ages listed for Sonic and Tails easy to reconcile if they were only taken as approximations (ie Sonic was "about 15 or 16" in the classic era and in SA he's still "about 15", reasonable if only a short amount of time passed). But, following that logic, Sonic and Tails only knew each other a year before SA. I preferred the four year time gap implied by Amy and Vector's ages for that and other reasons.

When Sonic Generations came out, it implied everyone had physically aged considerably between the classic and the modern era, which I feel supports the Amy's age calculation.

As for the Sonic CD's time travel, I don't see how that would effect anything. Eggman built badnik generators and Metal Sonic projectors on the Little Planet in the past so he could mold it into Eggmanland in the Bad Future... then Sonic goes back in time and erases Eggman's influence from the history of each Zone. Nothing either of them do has any impact outside of the Little Planet. We'd be appealing to the vaguest evidence trying to derive split timelines or whatever from the game.
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