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Sega: Sonic Quality to Be 'Fixed Over Time' Also, possible new main Sonic game in 6-12 months?

#1 User is offline STHX 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 12:16 PM

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Sega: Sonic Quality to Be 'Fixed Over Time' (industrygamers)

It is known Sonic passed a bad period, and that Unleashed (even if I enjoyed it a lot) was not the game of redemption. However, this time I would like to point your attention on that article above.

I found it by complete chance. There are a few lines which caugh my interest. Of course they could mean anything, or they are not what everyone thinks at SEGA, but I would like to discuss them:
QUOTE (Sean Ratcliffe (Sega of America's VP of Marketing))
The quality is something that will be fixed over time. It's not something where you wake up one morning and say, 'You know what, we're going to improve our quality on this franchise,' and it magically happens. A lot of hard work goes into striving for quality. Interestingly, I think Sonic Unleashed was very well received by the kids. There was some talk about the werehog aspect, the slower pacing and more combat-oriented gameplay, but when we go out and test this stuff and sit down with the consumers, kids actually like that. I think older, die-hard Sega fans who grew up with the franchise and the first Sonic the Hedgehog associate Sonic more with 2-D side-scrolling super fast, and they liked the daytime gameplay, but when it came to the slower paced gameplay they were fairly critical of that, and that's fine – they have their opinions,

Hmm...
Reading it as a whole, it may sound like something like: "Sonic games sucks but kids like them". It is not surprising SEGA is trying to please kids, but this also means most of the new gimmicks in recent Sonic games were made only to please kids. I'm betting the sword too falls in this category. However, what worries me most is the last sentense. If this is what the actual developers think. then they really need to play the classic games more.
Many fans would like Sonic to return to its origins. It could be with a new game following the style of Mega Man 9, or a full 2D HD game. The problem is, there is a very slim chance this game may like the classic. Actually, there is a very slim chance any game may ever return to the Sonic roots because, maybe, SEGA thinks Sonic roots are like the daytime stages of SU.

It seems clear SEGA doesn't have a clear idea of what Sonic should be today, and releasing a new games every year won't help.
Because yes, we can expect a new Sonic game to be released in the next year, even if we don't know anything so far:
QUOTE (Sean Ratcliffe (Sega of America's VP of Marketing))
The point in terms of quality is that we're constantly trying to improve the quality. When we were in Tokyo recently there was talk about several Sega properties and how we can best make sure we're constantly pushing that quality bar on Sonic. ... Yes, it's always a challenge to raise that quality bar, but our competitors are trying to put the best product out there and we're no different. Given that it takes a couple of years to make some of these games, it's not surprising that we're not going to see the effort that's being put in over the past 12 months until another 6-12 months.

SEGA hasn't lost the habit of developing new Sonic games one after another, however, if we want to trust what he said, then SEGA is still trying to make a great Sonic games. But it doesn't matter how much they try, a game needs time to become great. How many Sonic games could had been better if they only had a few more months of time? Actually, every game can benefit for some additional months of development, so why SEGA is still pushing every release? Wouldn't it be better to wait a bit more?

QUOTE (Sean Ratcliffe (Sega of America's VP of Marketing))
The answer is yes; we're constantly looking at our classic IP, be it Sonic or anything else. And now we have different avenues open to us to deliver that. On iPhone, for example, we launched the original Sonic and consumers loved that. ... So we no longer have to think in terms of consoles and packaged goods and we can look at digital downloads. From a mobile and iPhone point of view, we've been very successful with Sonic. So we can look at XBLA and so on, and it means we can give those core fans experiences in different ways now. So that's a big part of our strategy, in terms of taking classic IP and making it available digitally, rather than spend a huge amount of money trying to re-imagine that IP on 360 and PS3; there's a lot more financial risk attached to that

Hold your horses. When he speaks of iPhone and XBLA he is referring to ports. However, the two sentences "we can give those core fans experiences in different ways now" and "rather than spend a huge amount of money trying to re-imagine that IP" could actually means the possibility of a brand new XBLA (and similar things) Sonic game may not be outside of the realm of the reality.
However, the sad truth is obvious: old fans can enjoy their loved games with these ports, while SEGA will try to get kids into Sonic by adding some additional and/or unneded gimmick. However, the need to please the old fans may still mean they still don't plan to ditch them completely.

So? Did SEGA learned the lesson or not?

Let's wait 12 months and then see.

#2 User is offline Chimpo 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 12:46 PM

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That last bit sounds more like just putting shitty ports on the service.

I rather they view it like Capcom does with Mega Man. He's not going to be a mega-seller with a big console game anymore, what with all the brown and grey. So they stick him in handheld games and digital titles, still representing, still good.

#3 User is offline Armada 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 12:56 PM

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Sonic is for kids? I really don't think that SEGA is designing games with the players who grew up with it in mind. I think they need to look at that more.

#4 User is offline Chimpo 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:03 PM

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QUOTE
Sonic is for kids?


STOP THE PRESSES!



THIS IS GOING ON PAGE 1!


#5 User is offline Granville 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:18 PM

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There are three very very stupid points in this subject-

#1- Sega is once again making excuses in an attempt to get fans to stick with them and buy their shitty games. In the end, they probably don't intend to do anything.
#2- "You can't just magically improve quality spontaneously". Uhhh, yes you can. Sonic games used to be good. I suggest firing the people responsible for all the criticized aspects of their games and bring back some old developers. Go back to simple 2D Sonic games, revive the old engines, scrap all characters besides Sonic and Robotnik (and only maybe Tails and Knuckles), don't do voice acting at all, don't use any gimmicks besides speed and platforming, and just don't focus on a story at all. Making a good game is as simple as going back to what DID work. I'd understand more if they NEVER made a good Sonic game, but the proof and resources are right in front of them. It's sad when this community has made games these days that blow anything Sega makes away.
#3- Remakes and ports. Sega needs to realize that no one wants 300 versions of the same game in various flavors of crappiness that can't compare to the first game. That's like duplicating a piece of homework and expecting an A+ for it despite handing in the same thing a while back.

#6 User is offline Vendettagainst 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:28 PM

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QUOTE (Armada @ Jul 31 2009, 12:56 PM)
Sonic is for kids? I really don't think that SEGA is designing games with the players who grew up with it in mind. I think they need to look at that more.

That's not the way to sell games, unfortunately. If you try to sell to the core fans, you would actually have to work hard at it. Selling to kids is much easier because they won't notice if it's not high quality. There are also more kids than core fans, so do the math there - which one earns more money? It is the gaming industry, after all. They're more after money than anything else.

#7 User is offline Yash 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:52 PM

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Au contraire, developing the games with core audiences in mind would actually be a good thing. There's a reason why Mario games are so much more successful than Sonic games, and that's because Mario games are "everyone" games while Sonic games are "kids" games.

There's no need to sacrifice one group of fans in order to win another. If classic Sonic appealed to kids back in the 90s, there must be some way Sega can make that gameplay appeal to today's generation without adding a bunch of dumb shit.

#8 User is offline JDAdams 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 02:04 PM

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I think older, die-hard Sega fans who grew up with the franchise and the first Sonic the Hedgehog associate Sonic more with 2-D side-scrolling super fast

There it is right there. The problem with Sega is that they don't believe their francises represent anything. While Mario remains true to this origins, Sonic's are ignored as they're more interested in what they can slap the brand on. Yes, I know Mario has been whored out to all sorts of titles, but the core games remain essentially pure. The same thing has happened to my other favourite Sega franchise, Shining Force. The mutations that series has been put through defy belief. The stupid thing is there were differing game styles there to begin with, and they still felt clearly related. Nowadays it's another "slap the brand on this" deal. I actually liked PSO (never tried PSU) but where's the new single-player PS? We get a new Zelda and FF every couple of years, more frequently if you count the portables - where the hell are all the classic Sega RPGs (Yes, I know, Zelda != RPG)?

#9 User is offline GagaMan 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 02:27 PM

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By 'Over time' what they really meant to say is 'in another time'. Only Doc Brown will get to see the results.

#10 User is offline Phos 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:30 PM

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QUOTE
It's not something where you wake up one morning and say, 'You know what, we're going to improve our quality on this franchise,' and it magically happens.

So, does this guy not realize how bizzare it is for a franchise to get a second chance, much less the four or so Sonic has had? Is Sega so wanting for talent that the idea of making a good game on their first try a concept that is completly alien to them?

#11 User is offline Sonic Warrior TJ 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:36 PM

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QUOTE (GagaMan)
By 'Over time' what they really meant to say is 'in another time'. Only Doc Brown will get to see the results.


So SEGA needs to figure out time travel, and go back to the early 90s to see for themselves what made Sonic great?
This post has been edited by Sonic Warrior TJ: 31 July 2009 - 03:38 PM

#12 User is offline trakker 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:57 PM

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Us oldies, I don't think will ever be truly happy with new Sonic games from the perspective of nostalgia. But it still dosent excuse alot of the poor design choices that just make these overall bad games, not bad Sonic games, just bad games.

As for taking time to fix, thats just a load of hot air, they have the devs, they have the directors, they have the programers. You don't need time persay, you just need one totally solid idea and one direction. And with that idea the next 2D/3D Sonic game could be the best game ever. They just take too many idea's from too many pies (focus groups) and end up diluting the overall experience.

No point prancing round the issue, In 1991, the one idea was "like Mario but faster". Today the idea should be more "like Klonoa, but faster", you play Lunatea's Veil or the door to Phanomile wiimake, and you'll see it, open up the levels a bit, tweek the speed by 50-60%. Add some loops, slap Sonic and CO in.

Done, fun in a barrel.
This post has been edited by trakker: 31 July 2009 - 03:58 PM

#13 User is offline GT Koopa 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 04:04 PM

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Can't argue with this logic.

#14 User is offline Sith 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 04:29 PM

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Well in 12 months we'll see that Sega is still making Sonic for kids, milking out classic Sonic with shitty ports and forgetting the older fans.
Will they have learned their lesson? Hell no!

Just my 2c.

#15 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 31 July 2009 - 04:52 PM

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QUOTE (Granville @ Jul 31 2009, 01:18 PM)
don't use any gimmicks besides speed and platforming
Wait a sec. Almost every level in the old Sonic games used to have unique gimmicks that made them stand out.

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