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Is it safe to say that the franchise as a whole is picking itself up?

#1 User is offline Solid SOAP 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:37 PM

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Not even 3 years ago, if you so much as mentioned Sonic anywhere, be it the internet or real life, you'd be slogged with remarks such as "omfg sonuc cycle!!1!" and "sonix dead y do u play ;//". However, ever since Colors was released, I feel like SEGA have been doing nothing but improving the face of the franchise and bringing it to a reputable status once again. While the games aren't getting scores as high as the latest Mario platformer and the sales aren't quite up there with Uncharted, I feel that the series is finally picking itself up, not even necessarily only as far as overall quality goes, but the face of the franchise as well. Colors got 8s and 9s almost exclusively, with high sales and many seemed to have really enjoyed it. Generations was hyped by Sonic fans old and new, bringing back jaded fans who haven't played a game in years, and making once weary fans eager and excited to play a Sonic game again after countless disappointments.

Now, with Sonic CD hitting the top of the sales charts on Apple's app store and many seeming to love it, I think it's very safe to say that, well, the Sonic series is definitely out of the slump it put itself circa 2004. There really seems to be something to enjoy for all fans, old or new, and the overall quality of the franchise has increased dramatically. People are finally clamoring for the next game, and if they aren't super into modern gameplay, there are 2D games out there for them to enjoy as well. Looking at Sonic 4 critically, I honestly didn't think it was all that special. However, it's released marked the first time a Sonic game was praised in a while, and it of all games was among the first to bring old fans back to the series.

Regardless of your personal views of the franchise, I think it's safe to say that SEGA are on the right track to making Sonic a popular and fun franchise that the whole family can enjoy.

#2 User is offline TheLoz 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:46 PM

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Absoluteyl. I was thinking about this the other day - Colours and Generations are actual good games. If you compare them to, say, '06, or The Black Knight, or Chronicles, or Secret Rings...well you get the idea.
It's strange, considering that this turn around in approach appears to have started around the release of Sonic 4 Ep 1, which was more or less trash. Nonetheless, it showed that Sega at least wanted to get back to the franchise's roots, and this showed through in Colours, a modern-style game which payed atention to what made the classics great to deliver a better-than-usual game. And the CD release also shows a new approach to quality. They've also embraced the PC platform a bit more properly (CD SOON PLEASE). Sure, we've still got too many shitty sidekicks (fuck's sake, get rid of Silver already. Series low point there) and the odd off note here and there. Things aren't perfect. But overall, things really are looking up. I'm overjoyed. Let's hope they keep it up.
This post has been edited by TheLoz: 19 December 2011 - 02:47 PM

#3 User is offline nesboy43 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:54 PM

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I would definitely say it's safe to say the franchise is picking itself up. In early 2010 when Sonic Allstars racing came out I watched videos and realized it looked like a fantastic racing game. I was really impressed after picking it up (on launch week) to find out that Sega had made a great racing game that is simple, fun, and really well done. The release of Sonic 4 in fall 2010 had some criticism but either way I thought it was a fun enjoyable game, not even close to the classics though, nothing amazing but its not terrible by any means. Colors released in winter 2010 was a really decent game, I didn't think it was as great as some made it out to be but it definitely was a good modern sonic game that had a simple story instead of stuff like the Sonic Adventure and Sonic 06 ridiculous plots. Also around this time Sega stopped selling and producing more copies of any poorly rated sonic games (06, Unleashed, Black Knight, Secret Rings) all because of them wanting to maintain a quality image for Sonic. This was an amazing decision on their part, showed they really cared about fans.

Generations when it was announced just seemed like it would be fun to see classic Sonic. As more details/screens emerged and more information was revealed the game just looked better and better. It is a Sonic game made for Sonic fans, the levels are short but really well designed and executed. Physics were pretty damn good and close to the classic games. Graphics were brilliant, music was fantastic, great gameplay, being a fan of classic Sonic for about 15 years now it was the ultimate treat. I don't think Sega can ever make anything like this game again. For me the classic stages make the game on-par (but not better than) the classic series. I never could've imagined something like this game happening and it was a great gift.

The Sonic CD re-release is just incredible, they updated an 18 year old game with better visuals, a new engine, and even extra characters. Seeing both soundtracks on the game is also a great bonus (really thankful that they were able to get the American one back in the game). They didn't just simply port the game, they made it better (although there are some bugs that need to be worked out). I would never think a company would be able to do this kind of thing to an old game, I always thought it was always just straight up ports or completely new remake.

As a Sonic fan I feel like Sega is making games for me, stuff I would love to purchase and support. They are treating their fans very well and making what the fans want. I can only hope that they continue to make 2D Classic Sonic games in the future. If not, I am thankful for all the games released in recent years.

#4 User is offline Aerosol 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:00 PM

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Sega has some momentum in the right direction, sure. Especially with the Sonic franchise.

#5 User is offline Afro Thunder 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:14 PM

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View PostSolid SOAP, on 19 December 2011 - 02:37 PM, said:

The Sonic series is definitely out of the slump it put itself circa 2006.


Fixed. *shot* In all seriousness, Sonic is definitely on his his way back to being one of the best video game characters out there. He may not have the same popularity he had in SEGA's heyday, but he's still showing that nothing's gonna slow him down. Even Dimps is starting to improve with some of their handheld ports.

Although Generations appealed to old and current gen fans alike, Colours was the proverbial fresh canvas that SEGA needed to re-launch Sonic's worldwide status. All SEGA needs to do is keep coming out with games with good quality levels, graphics, storylines, and few bugs. Another thing they shouldn't do is keep re-hashing the original trilogy the way they do. Hell, they could pull an SA2 and re-release all the levels from the original games in a 3-D landscape.
This post has been edited by Afro Thunder: 19 December 2011 - 03:17 PM

#6 User is offline Namo 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:15 PM

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Not really. I still can't mention I like Sonic games around certain people without ridicule. These people are considered "core gamers" too. The ones who play the most mainstream games. Sonic is selling well, though, but that's not really anything new.

#7 User is offline Lobotomy 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:17 PM

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Yeah, it seems once the reviewers at IGN and Gamespot started to give Sonic games fair reviews, the sheeple viewers of said sites decided to once again hop on their bandwagon.

#8 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:17 PM

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View PostAerosolSP, on 19 December 2011 - 03:00 PM, said:

Sega has some momentum in the right direction, sure. Especially with the Sonic franchise.

That's just it. Now that they've got momentum, the games are good again. :specialed:

#9 User is offline DDCWGD 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:46 PM

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I don't think Sonic is out of the hole just yet. He's dug himself in pretty deep, and has only just started to pat the dirt falling on him.

At this point, I think what needs to happen is that Sonic games need to be much bigger and more refined, or available on most downloads at a cheaper price. I know plenty of people who were more pleased with Generation on the PC than either consoles because of the price tag and accessibility. If SEGA can start releasing Sonic games with the current content on PSN and Xbox Live, and eventually the Wii-U network thing, at that kind of discounted price-point, I'm certain that Sonic will once again see the respect and admiration he once held. Of course, I personally believe they should do the Mario and release one really amazing and refined game that will last several years, with some smaller spin-off-esque things in-between like side-scrolling handheld games and such. I know I'd buy more Sonic Games at launch if I knew they wouldn't be replaced around the same time next year.

Sonic is getting back on his feet, but only just. Its going to be awhile before all of the crap smeared on his face is wiped clean, but it's definitely getting harder to see.

I would completely agree, however, if they just RELEASED THE FRIKKIN' SONIC GENERATIONS COLLECTOR'S EDITION IN AMERICA OR AT THE VERY LEAST GAVE US SOMETHING NICER THAN STUPID PINBALL!!!

#10 User is offline Sir_mihael 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:52 PM

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I definitely agree.
If we look at the big console releases since Sonic 2006, you can see that there's been big improvements with each title (whether you're part of the Colours > Generations camp is a whole different story, for arguments sake, let's call Generations a step up).

The only real bad eggs we've had in the past few years have only been minor titles (Sonic 4, Black Knight, Free Riders), all of which you wouldn't see on game store shelves anyway.
My only gripe is that Sonic 4 gave itself a lot of attention before revealing itself to be... not quite the return of the king as everyone had hoped, which did hurt the franchises' image for that short period of time.

Still, we can rest easy in knowing that the age of Sega deciding that "Shadow the Hedgehog" was a worthy game addition to the series, and releasing Sonic 2006 when it had barely been taped together was an acceptable thing to do.

Only time, and the next big Sonic console adventure, will tell.

#11 User is offline Jayextee 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:55 PM

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I said in a post a couple of years back that Sonic looks to enter his twentieth year a better fellow than he was during his awkward teenage years; which are now over. Metaphor still stands. Let's hope the teenage identity crisis is over, huh?

#12 User is offline The Growler 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:01 PM

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View PostDDCWGD, on 19 December 2011 - 05:46 PM, said:

I personally believe they should do the Mario and release one really amazing and refined game that will last several years, with some smaller spin-off-esque things in-between like side-scrolling handheld games and such. I know I'd buy more Sonic Games at launch if I knew they wouldn't be replaced around the same time next year.


Which makes me wonder if that "Sonic Dimensions" thing would be akin to 'New Super Mario Bros. Wii' (having 4 'Sonics' on screen in a Mario-esque multiplayer game)? I suppose I'm only half-joking here...

#13 User is offline DDCWGD 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:59 PM

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View PostThe Growler, on 19 December 2011 - 06:01 PM, said:

View PostDDCWGD, on 19 December 2011 - 05:46 PM, said:

I personally believe they should do the Mario and release one really amazing and refined game that will last several years, with some smaller spin-off-esque things in-between like side-scrolling handheld games and such. I know I'd buy more Sonic Games at launch if I knew they wouldn't be replaced around the same time next year.


Which makes me wonder if that "Sonic Dimensions" thing would be akin to 'New Super Mario Bros. Wii' (having 4 'Sonics' on screen in a Mario-esque multiplayer game)? I suppose I'm only half-joking here...

I think the Sonic Colors Multiplayer has shown that multiple Sonics on one screen is a bad idea. Heck, Knuckle's Chaotix kinda proved that as well. Or at least, it doesn't work in the traditional way. And I think the developers could find a way to make it work if there was a guaranteed Sonic adventure that will sell and guarantee that there would be fans who will try out a Sonic experiment. Keeping things fresh with new ideas that won't detract from a well-made experience will definitely help create a stronger following. Just look at Portal. It was just snuck in to the Orange Box as bonus, and now it's one of Valve's biggest franchises. And everyone knows what the companion cube and space core are, so there is an unquestionably dedicated fandom. There just has to be an excellent product that brings everyone else in to it

#14 User is offline SpeedStarTMQ 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:01 PM

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I think Sonic is actually back on form. SEGA and Sonic Team have had some mix ups internally, and it seems as though the personal and company problems they had have been resolved, and they've structured their development schemes better, and also broadened their teams- they'e even collaborated with Taxman for christ sake. I couldn't have ever imagined that happening in 2006.

#15 User is offline Metal Man88 

Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:02 PM

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They have moved away from their idiotic phase. Whether they will keep up quality or just get lazy again has yet to be seen...

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