Characterization in the Sonic Franchise

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Beamer the Meep, Apr 2, 2021.

What style of characterization do you prefer?

  1. Classic Era Characterization

    70 vote(s)
    56.5%
  2. Adventure Era (SA1 - SH) Characterization

    66 vote(s)
    53.2%
  3. Dark Era (ShTH - SU) Characterization

    16 vote(s)
    12.9%
  4. Modern Era (SC - SF) Characterization

    14 vote(s)
    11.3%
  5. Other

    14 vote(s)
    11.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Josh

    Josh

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    Right, whereas I didn't see anyone say much good about it until the kids of the 2000s came of age. Before that, Heroes was usually seen as the point where the series' downward spiral (which had arguably been happening for several years) became inarguable. Which backs up Laura's point, it seems like in broad strokes, most of the people who really like it played it when they were little.

    That's not unusual, and you shouldn't dare argue that somehow makes their affection for it any less valid when we're ALL adults talking about a children's video game series and MOST OF US probably love a game we wouldn't love were it not buoyed by the context in which we originally experienced it, but I definitely think that's the reason for the split in perception.

    More to Laura's point, that's sort of what I said, too!

     
  2. I played Heroes when I was roughly 9-10 years old and I still thought it wasn't that good, so what does that say about me :V
     
  3. Idk. I've just never personally seen people bitch about Heroes outside of... well... retro, to be frank. Everywhere else I've been I just see people talking about how much they enjoy it and wish more games had its "unique ambition".
     
  4. Crappy Blue

    Crappy Blue

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    I like everything about Heroes except playing it, personally.
     
  5. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Clearly you operate in different circles than me, my experience is entirely the opposite. The only place I've seen defence of Heroes is by certain Retro posters.
     
  6. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    Question for both sides of the discussion: How much, outside of Retro, do you see people talking about Heroes at all? Granted this is the only place I really talk to other Sonic fans, but in retrospect, I don't think Heroes really made much of an impression on the fanbase. After Shadow came out, no one in the places I used to go ever talked about Heroes, barring maybe a quick "I liked it!" or "It sucked!" and changing the subject to either newer games or the classics and/or Adventures.
     
  7. VectorCNC

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    I'll say that, at least for me, Heroes was where I disengaged with Sonic. Obviously Sonic is foremost for children, but I felt there was enough depth to keep me engaged as I matured (even if I wasn't thrilled about the direction). But Heroes was that moment when I just really felt how childish and superficial it was becoming. Right or wrongly, that's was my thought process. Obviously I still keep tabs on Sonic, still collect, but this was sort of a final cut for me where it stopped being a priority and felt like we parted ways in a meaningful way.
     
  8. Crimson Neo

    Crimson Neo

    Loopin' around. Member
    I've played Sonic Heroes on original Xbox when I was yonger and I don't remember disliking the gameplay that much, honestly.
     
  9. Not sure this is even on topic anymore, but I don't think it warrants it's own thread either- regardless, I'll bite.

    I see it a lot, personally. Everyone wants Heroes to come to steam. Everyone wants Gamecube to come to Nintendo Switch Online so Heroes of all fucking Sonic games can come to switch. Everyone's always talking about how great and underappreciated Heroes is. Heroes had everyone's favorite characters. Heroes had fun gameplay and mechanics.

    I just see it everywhere lmao. Not to say I'm not pleased- frankly I agree with these sentiments (besides the NSO one- if sonic's coming to Gamecube NSO it better be the Adventures or Riders first lol), it just comes across as out of left field. I thought most people disliked Heroes. Yet no matter where I go- on YouTube, Twitter, Discord, or just surfing the web, I just see countless praise for the poor game, and honestly I don't expect it. :/
     
  10. Linkabel

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    I just think there are certain games in the franchise that fall in the "first Sonic game I played" for a lot of people depending on their age range.

    Sonic 2, Sonic Adventure, SA2: Battle, Heroes, Unleashed, and Colors seem to be the games that a lot of people played first.

    Though as of now only Heroes and Unleashed are not available in current hardware so it's not surprising people want those games to get ported/remastered etc etc.
     
  11. Gestalt

    Gestalt

    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Sonic Heroes' biggest strength is also its biggest weakness: It requires you to use your brain. It's less about the feel and more about the characters' interactions. I've recently replayed the PC version. Hearing the OG cast after all these years was pure gold. Especially Shadow, Knux and Cream the Rabbit.
     
  12. Sonic Heroes was thr first multiplatform game in the series. Its kind of natural its many people's first Sonic game for that reason and as such, tends to be fondly remembered.


    Its us old curmudgeons who hate it :V

    Heroes hate is pretty fascinating because its from both Classic and Modern fans who's first game was probably SA2:B. Heroes is nowhere as mechanically interesting as the 2D games so Classic fans hate it, and its nowhere near as interesting of a story compared to its two predecessors and so hated by early Modern fans.

    Its honestly the precursor to the reception that Colors would eventually get for being seen as "too childish"
     
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  13. Josh

    Josh

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    There's definitely something to this. The complaints that some people under 25 have about the past decade or so of Sonic games usually read like they were extracted directly from my adolescent brain while I was playing Sonic Heroes for the first time.
     
  14. Frostav

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    To be completely honest, I was one of those SA2B kids who started with that game, and I absolutely remembering finding Heroes to be a completely tepid and utterly joyless affair, for pretty much the same reasons Josh went over in his video on the game: the levels were INSANELY LONG, but only because they were filled to the brim with mind-numbingly repetitive copy-paste sections where you had to use the game's myriad of paper-thin mechanics with absolutely zero creativity or thought. And there was nothing outside of the core gameplay either: no secrets, no upgrades, Heroes is as paper-thin on content as the classics--except what content the classics did have was an exceptionally higher quality so it was fine for them. I got the game as a kid and shelved it about as fast as Josh said he did in his video because it was just so...empty.

    Also it had no chao garden. BAD GAME.

    Kid me FUCKING LOVED Shadow though he thought it was THE COOLEST SHIT EVER because there was GUNS and CURSING and the first level was a CITY GETTING ANNIHILATED OH HELL YEAH so, to be frank, kid me didn't always have good opinions :eng99:

    Even to this day I don't understand its defenders. I'm honestly shocked it isn't more lambasted given how much of a downgrade in ambition it is from SA1 and SA2.
     
  15. I think my brain was wired differently at 12, because I fucking hated Shadow's levels. No amount of unironic edge made 100% that game fun for me.


    Its telling that I never felt the urge to replay it ever; even Heroes satisfied that itch for me. Shadow? Fuck that noise.



    .....is this topic still about characterization?
     
  16. No

    P.S. IthinkStHhasmeritsokbye
     
  17. Laura

    Laura

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    I have met a few people who like Heroes in their early twenties. About three people in my personal experience. I think it's certainly more popular than the average Sonic game and I agree with @Linkabel that it's an entry point title for some people. It was the first Sonic game on PS2 and so those who didn't have a SEGA console or Gamecube got into Sonic through it. Same for Xbox.

    But I also don't think it's got the same cultural capital as Sonic Adventure 2. That's a game which I think it's uncontroversial to claim has the same kind of generational sway as Sonic 2. I just don't see that for Heroes online or in person.

    I personally don't hate Heroes but I also don't really care for it. Haven't played it since it first came out.
     
  18. Childish

    Childish

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    What is the average sonic game in terms of popularity though?

    I don't think that such a concept exists (and if it did it would be meaningless). From my understanding forces has resonated a lot with more casual fans that don't play enough sonic games to compare it to anything. To be honest forces is quite inoffensive if we disregard our precognition of what the series should be. The same is probably true for every game ever. Personally I like sa1 so I put in enough effort to install the dreamcast conversion or play it on real hardware. However the casuals play the buggy port of a port of a port of a port (accurate number of ports if you play the steam version) because it's easy to set up. They'll likely encounter a bug where they fall through the floor and give up. Not that these bugs aren't in forces, it's just that forces is so watered down and automated you likely won't encounter any unless you try. Thus in the eyes of the average casual, forces is a more popular game than sa1.

    To loop this back to characterisation, casuals don't give a shit. How many people just skip through all of the cutscenes to get to the next level? It doesn't matter how the characters are characterised because the majority of people won't notice.
     
  19. This is an extremely reductive reasoning, you may as well just apply it to literally every video game ever.

    There's not even anything concrete to suggest that casuals "don't give a shit". Most of us here didn't just start off as die hard fans, we started off as casuals just like everyone else and stuck around because clearly something in the series resonated with us and we wanted more.

    If you go in with a mindset that "casuals don't care" then you're gonna have a hard time actually hooking people on any series for the long term.
     
  20. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think really good characterisation transcends cutscenes. Music and animations ay a big role in it. I feel like characterisation in SA2 is carried much more in the music than in anything else.