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Sonic Runners - A Missed Opportunity?


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Good evening. Today I'd like to discuss Sonic Runners and its awful sequel.

Information on Sonic Runners leaked at the end of December 2014 with the game being officially announced in February 2015 with a soft launch a few weeks later. Sonic Runners was seen as the best mobile Sonic game to date with a refreshing art style which cel-shaded the characters. Sonic Runners used stages from Sonic Lost World but made small changes to improve the aesthetics and colors which looked great. Gameplay was fun yet challenging with pretty good depth for a mobile title. Most of us weren't expecting Sonic Runners to be this good.

Sonic Runners was finally released worldwide in June 2015. Unfortunately, a new version dubbed 2.0 was released which made a number of awful changes to the game. The huge sudden focus on pushing players to make in-app purchasing was greedy, unnecessary, and ultimately led the game to its demise. Sonic Runners constantly requiring an internet connection also made the game incredibly difficult to play. Sonic Runners servers eventually shut down in July 2016 after how badly the game had failed.

Sonic Runners Adventure was announced in April 2017. Gameloft was announced to be the developer. Sonic Runners Adventure was soft launched in June 2017 and was released worldwide just a month ago. I expected Sonic Runners Adventure to be a refined version of Sonic Runners but it most certainly isn't. They fixed the biggest issues at least. They got rid of the in-app purchases by allowing players to buy characters and buddies with rings earned through gameplay. Sonic Runners Adventure isn't free to play but has been set at a fixed price for purchase. Sonic Runners Adventure is also completely offline with no need for an internet connection at all.

Unfortunately, despite fixing the biggest issues a number of unnecessary and awful choices were made. Gameplay is much simpler than the first with a ton of gimmicks removed and even more automation. There are random 10-15 second scenes during gameplay which completely take control away from the player for what seems to be a flashy springs or rail scene. The amount of playable characters and buddies has been drastically reduced. Graphics also took a huge hit. The cel-shaded style is completely gone. They didn't bother to adjust the character models for this change either and they look quite off as a result. Stages are also incredibly drab and lifeless with limited colors, limited detail, and frankly atrocious backgrounds. Windy Hill and Sky Road have been replaced with Green Hill and Sky Sanctuary respectively, yet Desert Ruins and Lava Mountain remain. Baffling. Even the menus use limited colors and look quite ugly. The presentation of this game is horrific. Sonic Runners Adventure has a mix of Sonic Runners and Sonic Generations tracks. I cannot understand why they didn't just stick with Sonic Runners OST instead of doing an unusual mix of two games

I feel like Sonic Runners is a huge missed opportunity for what could have been a hit mobile Sonic title possibly reaching the heights of Sonic Dash. The original Sonic Runners had all the right traits for a successful mobile title. Sonic Runners Adventure fixes the biggest issues but has made everything else much worse and ruined the appeal. I feel like they should have just made an offline version of the first either available to purchase with the rings system or free to play but with less greed. Frankly, I don't understand why any of these changes were made in Sonic Runners Adventure. Completely unnecessary.

What's your thoughts on Sonic Runners and its sequel?

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  • 1 year later...

I would have loved to have played the first edition with the classic sonic character. I like the art style and simplicity of the gameplay and concept. I only wish his running animation showed his legs cycling like tyres like in the old days. I would have gotten rid of the boss battles too. otherwise, this is the direction i'd like to see the series go in :) 

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Missed opportunity? Kind of, yeah. Sonic Runners was great fun at first. But of course, we all know what happened there.

There's not much that I can say that the OP doesn't already.  I even remember getting SRA on the anniversary and like, somewhere within the span of three days after getting it I published a review on my review tumblr blog and a status here that basically said "Wow this game kinda sucks", and the replies I got were agreeing with me. SRA feels lesser in just about every degree. Sure, they used good music, but Green Hill just doesn't get my blood pumping for a good run the same way that Beyond the Speed Of does.

It's the worst. It's just the worst. They removed the microtransactions, but they ended up charging for a game that looks, sounds, and plays a lot lesser than the game it was supposed to replace.

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