HeartAttack, on 26 May 2012 - 07:45 AM, said:
I think your "article", if I may, is full of wonderful insight with regards to keeping already-existing brands relevant, even if they're beyond their prime. It seems to me that you do have some wisdom to share that companies of all sorts could use to help keep their brands relevant in many ways. In the spirit of keeping this relatively short, I'll spare specifics - but I do agree with a number of things you outlined. However, it's already evident that some people don't agree with some of your critiques or proposed potential fixes to the "problems". I quote "problems" because many of these "problems" are not problems at all to some people. When you say that YOU don't think X game was an improvement over Y game for reason Z, that's simply your opinion in a sea of infinite other opinions, each one just as valid and relevant as the other. I see a whole lot of "well, no, this is why you're wrong" coming from you in your responses to those who don't agree with you on certain things here. You can't really throw out opinions and treat them as fact, it just doesn't work out that way.
I think this very thread and the way it has progressed is quite symbolic of the real "problem": the fact that the Sonic fan base is so divided. Some of us love what they've given us in the 3D games, and others hate it. Some of us like Sonic 4, and others hate it. Some of us like WereSonic, and others hate it. There's this situation where we all think we are "right" in what a "good" Sonic game is. The interesting part is that none of us are actually wrong. If you think game X is vastly superior to game Y then there is no one that can change that. Your opinion cannot be wrong. We have all these separate camps of people who prefer specific styles of Sonic gameplay, and the fact of the matter is that it's IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone all at once. It's this sort of unique situation where, no matter which camp Sega caters to in any given game, there will ALWAYS be that separate camp who opposes that style...and the cycle goes on and on and on and...
The only way to cater to everyone is to attempt to mix the styles together in one package and you get stuff like Sonic Generations. Same story, one package. It "fixes" nothing. Maybe it's all just Sega's fault because they happened to create so many different game styles that people would like and just as many would loathe. I'm really not sure. What I do know, though, is that it's hard to point to who's at fault for a "problem" which is more of an illusion than anything. Ah - but there I go with my opinion again. Silly me - I really should try harder to remember that this debacle is just as much of a real problem to others as it is an illusion to me
Main point: we all have a different view of what a good Sonic game is. Sega, as a business, has made a model that does more good for it than bad. They reached out and grabbed different gameplay markets. Most would consider that to be a smart model. It's either die by loss of interest due to repetition or take a gamble on variety and manage the resulting opinion wars.
I see, and I'm sorry for being this aggressive.
However, can we agree that we only have such a large number of styles to compliment because they were created in the first place? Not only gameplay-wise. That's why, imo, it is SEGA's fault indeed, and for the reason you've mentioned. The route SEGA chose, it seems, was the third option - dying by loss of interest due to repetition of gambling on variety. The opinion wars are inevitable, but they could at least have put everything under the same universe.
I understand that some might say it's everything due to the fact that Sonic is no longer the mascot of a notorious company, but this doesn't exclude the possibility of Sonic not having been managed properly since then.
Thing is: a stance of middle ground doesn't work just so well as a stance of a single ground imo - and there's not much room for different views of what a good Sonic game is if you create many Sonics.
That's not to say that Sonic should never change, that's not it. I don't like Sonic Rush (I REALLY don't) but it sold well, was praised by the critics and had the potential to create a new Sonic without mixing everything together. The boost, Blaze, the cohesive art style, this could all have been used as a landmark, a starting point. There's a distinctive Sonic Rush feel, that's what I mean. The problem would be if, for example, Sonic 4 had the name of "Sonic Rush 2" or something. Or if Sonic Unleashed had the name of "Sonic Adventure 3".
I do think moving on is important. Forget the classics if you want. But do it with a long-term project in mind and don't try to please specific groups - focus on making Sonic pleasing, this much I find important - it's essential. I doubt Tetris had a specific target audience (having been developed in USSR, even moreso) like "children" or "Americans" (having been developed in USSR, even moreso), let alone both with different sequels.