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Topics I've Started
03 May 2009 - 01:28 AM
11 April 2009 - 12:53 AMIn a recent video, MovieBob - better known as the Game Overthinker, an opinionated video game analyst - listed off things he thinks will "save" Sonic (he made the assertion that Sonic needs saving from his immediately prior video). There are several controversial statements, such as killing off/forgetting most of the supporting cast, switching to a more traditionally Western Sonic in terms of narrative, and other things that makes his opinion look somewhat misinformed.
This topic is not about his opinion on how to "fix" the franchise.
Instead, I refer to this video because of an interesting point - Bob seems to think that the franchise needs a "reboot". But what if we're already undergoing one? A lot of what Bob is proposing - reducing the characters to the main 3 + Amy, using a dash move, etc. - were present in Unleashed. In fact, the Rush games seemed to take a different direction, too, with (once again) the boost move and a traditional ending.
My first Sonic game I played was Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. The "Battle" part is important - I'm a Nintendofag. So, I don't quite have the same amount of perspective on this, but hasn't this type of thing happened before? When SA1 came out, it had a lot of the classic stuff in it, but it was still a decidedly different experience with a new form of attack (the homing attack) and narrative (the multi-part Rashomon story). But what SA1 proposed was solidified by SA2. The Sonic franchise went through a transition from its classic 2D, low-plot, momentum-based formula to a more direct, racecourse-like formula.
So, what can we expect next? Unleashed brought back the 2D perspective to standard Sonic and abandoned the convoluted plots in favor of a simpler one. Rush did the same, and even featured no humans aside from Eggman and Nega. Will the next game solidify a formula? What do you guys think we can expect from this point? Do we need a full reboot, just a change of direction, or are things fine the way they are?
I'm mostly posting this now due to the fact that there are no upcoming Sonic titles.
04 April 2009 - 03:22 AMBecause I didn't think bumping this thread was a good idea.
Ah, Eggman. One of the two characters that's been here from the start (by definition). However, he's always been significantly downplayed, even when he has his brief moments of characterization. His most prominent appearance to date was his playable role in Sonic Adventure 2. Unlike other Sonic games with multiple storylines, Eggman wasn't a certain breed of heroic; he was the active antagonist. I really felt like this was a breakthrough in Sonic storytelling, since you are, essentially, opposing yourself throughout the entire game. Eggman himself was a bit of a badass in SA2 as well - blowing up the moon, nearly killing Sonic, deciding to unleash Shadow as per his grandfather's diary...
But I digress. We've now reached the point where Eggman's feats have been significantly downsized - Heroes, Shadow, and 2006 all made him increasingly insignificant, and he barely appears in the Storybook series. Unleashed attempted to bring back a bit of this, but with a more comedic twist to his still-dangerous antics. Perhaps Eggman himself could use a game? One that explores the nuances of his character, even if it doesn't necessarily relate to a backstory. Just a "Day in the Life" if you will.
I'd especially like to see some customization. Eggman's all about building things himself - whether it be weapons, bases, airships, personal vehicles - so why not incorporate a little bit of that into it? You could even have some throwbacks to previous inventions, or your own group of badnik/egg robo/metal sonic robots to come to your aid. This means the game could incorperate customization, as well as some strategy.
Now, obviously, the stages wouldn't be your general Sonic fare in terms of layout, though they might be in theme. Eggman's creations wouldn't be limited to the ground, so there would have to be a reason for staying near the surface. Would his boss battles play out against other mechanical monstrosities, cosmic demons, or just annoying anthropomorphic critters? Would the doctor ever travel on foot?
What would you like to see in an Eggman/Robotnik game?
23 March 2009 - 08:02 PMSo, now that the darkness of midterms is over, I've started playing video games again, and I finally unlocked Super Sonic in Zero Gravity (disappointment, by the way). But despite this "ultimate" goal being achieved, I felt compelled to continue playing the game, which is pretty strange for me. I felt like Riders got something right about the 3D Sonic that it hadn't before in two ways.
First, the narrative. Sonic games have never been known for their story (though it's still a bit more fleshed out than Mario, for better or worse), but I think the first thing that comes to mind when discussing Sonic storylines for most people is the corniness. For a while, Sonic games have been about things such as teamwork, destiny, love, and forgiveness. Some have been pulled off better than others, but I still feel that a lot of them are quite contrived coming from an anthropomorphic hedgehog. However, I felt that the original Riders had a unique story for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, in that the Chaos Emeralds seemed like just an afterthought to the real plot of Sonic attempting to one-up Jet at his own game. It was a different side, showing a little bit of the Sonic attitude that we've often been told about but always seems to be lost in translation. Not to mention the fact that, at the end, Eggman technically wins.
The difference between the narratives of the two games was akin to the two Adventure games; they both were excellent examples of a compelling plot, but in different ways. The original Riders had traditional settings but a somewhat nonstandard, character-oriented plot; while ZG had somewhat wilder and darker settings but a more traditional, get-the-cosmic-plot-items story. I felt the original was better in this regard, partially due to ZG having some pretty lousy translation abnormalities.
Second - and this is what really sold me over - was the branching stage design. Though not as robust as, say, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the character separation system took the monotony of Heroes' "every team can do everything!" idea and turned it on its head into the much more wanted multiple path setup. This was all and good in parts of the original, but it was limited mainly to short, air-gaining "shortcuts" and the rather unexplained high jump shortcuts. Zero Gravity capitalized on this quite a bit, though, with the three shortcut types (now tied to the gear, not the character), wall-running, on-foot shortcuts, a couple of interesting uses for the gravity mechanics, and, of course, the high jump shortcuts (that could now be more easily accessed by Gravity Dive). The addition of the gear change mechanic also added a thin layer of strategy.
To me, a lot of both games feels like what a modern 3D Sonic game should be. The series has already been gravitating toward being a racing/platformer hybrid, and Riders is just making that explicit. In addition, they bring back some of the long-wanted multiple path idea, even if it's not as immense as the MegaDrive games were. The only complaint I really have is the lack of content - many of the stages seem to be parallels of each other (a good amount of level design is shared in the original game).
So, what do you guys think? Worthy offshoot? Another distraction from getting the Sonic franchise back on footing? Would you want a third one?
13 March 2009 - 10:38 PMhttp://sonic-rpg-ds.sega.jp/
I wonder if there's going to be any changes to the Japanese version, since it's being released so much later. I don't think most will treat it as part of the Japanese canon, of course, just like Spinball generally isn't.
Do you think BioWare is still on track for a sequel? Maybe if it's for a console it'll have actual production values and (gasp) the ability to explore things.
K2J hasn't added any friends yet.