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. The annoying part about all of this is that with how people have reacted to Sonic's attempts at storytelling in the past, it probably just reinforces to these people that it is in fact a waste of time and not worth maintaining.

    Makes me want to bash my head against the wall to be honest as a fan.

    I completely understand why Flynn is so fucking frustrated having to adhere to Sega's fickleness; he's been a fan long enough to understand the ins and outs of the series, but he's completely at the mercy of a company who just do not give a damn about any long term characterization or storytelling beyond just selling the next product. I would be pissed too.
     
  2. Wraith

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    Yeah I definitely agree that the people that care should just be given space to do their work. If Sega don't want to do that, they should just stop making references to older games like SA1 if they don't intend to honor anything they set up there. Seems like they want all the benefits that come with a 20 year long continuity but don't want to do any of the work required to maintain it.
     
  3. Pengi

    Pengi

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    This paints an incomplete picture, and puts everyone in a bad light. Fans often blow up the negative and ignore the positive. Ian Flynn has been open about finding it difficult to write Shadow under the current direction. He's also said that the majority of Sega's guidelines make sense, that he thought it was cool that Sega gave direction for G-merl, provided them with reference material for Metal Knuckles, gets involved with the creation of new characters (Whisper etc.) and so on. He's frequently said that he has a lot of creative freedom and was pleasantly surprised when things he pitched that he thought wouldn't get approved (Neo Metal Sonic, Metal Virus), did in fact get approved. He's a professional, he knows there's always going to be give-and-take working on a licensed property. From everything he's said over the years he's working on his dream comic and he's for the most part happy doing so. Taking the things he's been critical of in isolation, and putting the idea out there that he's "so fucking frustrated" and "pissed" doesn't do him any favours. Just the other day he felt the need to clarify something that was being taken out of context.

    Ian is open with the answers he gives on his Q&A podcast. He treats his podcast audience with respect and gives honest answers. As the audience, we should in turn treat him with respect and not spread narratives like "Ian is so pissed and frustrated with Sega" around the Internet.

    We know he's right about Shadow. We know he's right about a bunch of other things. The best we can do is let Sega and IDW know that we like what Ian's doing with A, B and C. That we dislike X, Y and Z (Shadow, loose continuity, take your pick). And frame it in a way that doesn't pit it as Ian vs Sega. Frame it in a way that will make Sega realise "This guy is boon to our flagship series, we should keep him around and listen to his ideas".
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
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  4. I'm not ignoring the positives; IDW in general has been praised as one of the few bright spots in terms of characterization and storytelling by the fanbase at large in spite of its issues. I'm mostly just venting my own frustrations and I've watched Flynn's own podcasts where he sounds similarly frustrated. Yes fans tend to take a lot of things out of context, but consider how most of the information we get through Flynn is from Sega and how some of it tends to just outright contradict stuff that's happened before, it's kind of hard to not just be a little frustrated.
     
  5. Pengi

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    I think it's best not to use hyperbolic language (fucking frustrated, completely at the mercy) when talking about real life people and their relationship to their work life. Otherwise you risk taking something like "X decision annoyed me at work the other day" and inadvertently turning it into "They're fucking pissed and frustrated with their job".
     
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  6. It's not my responsibility if people take my words out of context. People constantly misinterpret words to mean things that have nothing to do with their original meaning at all, and this is especially true for Sonic fans on Twitter, in which there's only so much you can explain in 220 characters.

    I really shouldn't have to put a disclaimer of "Do not take my words at face value" when I'm simply venting about an issue I don't like and I feel like anyone who has good reading comprehension skills should understand that.


    Like, obviously Flynn loves what he does. If he hated the job, he would have moved on to something else.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
  7. Josh

    Josh

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    You said it right there: You're venting about an issue that you don't like. And that's fine! But you're projecting the breadth and depth of your head-pounding-into-a-wall frustration onto Ian Flynn, and speaking as if you know he, too, is just as fed up with it as you are.

    I don't mean to single you out, here; LOTS of people mangle his words far worse than just turning up the volume on them, which is why he constantly has to try and clarify his position.
     
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  8. ChaddyFantome

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    I don't really appreciate the incendiary response, but okay. :/

    I'd rather not get into the minutia of what constitutes towards the canonicity of certain games, but games like Sonic R and Sonic the Fighters in particular are very much canon and have been confirmed to be very much so. That said, it doesn't really matter at all. They are still games with a story outline where the issue presented itself nonetheless, showing that the issue existed long before and independently of Sonic Heroes, and thus pinning it all on "This is heroes fault" is just very misplaced and shortsighted. These games don't stop existing in the zeitgeist or stop acting as pieces of game media that have to tackle these aspects of writing the character just because they don't have the semi arbitrary label of "mainline console game". At that point it becomes a "who to pin blame on" game as opposed to an actual evaluation of the character, the writing around the character and the consequences of how that character exists within the universe.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
  9. Ok, fair enough. I'm not Ian Flynn so I shouldn't try to speak for the man. I can only go by his words and what he in general says.

    Still doesn't change how I feel tho.
     
  10. Wraith

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    The games that were made by the core Sonic Team probably carry a little more weight than the joke spinoff made by a different team at sega where there was 8 chaos emeralds, and the spinoff made by an outside european studio where the chaos emeralds were bigger than Sonic's head.

    Once you acknowledge that then, yeah, Sonic Heroes was the first game where they were all out of fucks to give. No way around that. Flanderization for the sake of duct taping their absurd, underdeveloped scenario together pairing with the worst physics and level design they had ever had up to that point outside of fringe cases like Knuckles Chaotix and you have a turning point. The point where "Get it done" took priority over "Get it right."
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
  11. Boxer Hockey

    Boxer Hockey

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    It's time to inspect the implications of why Mario and Bowser just play tennis together sometimes I guess.
     
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  12. Sometimes you gotta blow off a little steam in sports ya know. Saving Princesses gets kind of tiresome.



    To get this back on topic; as far as characterization and defining traits, the spin offs don't carry as much weight as the mainline titles.

    The expectations of a spin off are a lot different than the ones from a mainline game. So yea, it's completely valid to disregard them because 9/10's out of ten they have no bearing on the series timeline.

    Sonic Heroes is a canon sequel to Sonic Adventure 2 that continues the plot points set up in previous games, and Sega made a conscious decision to prioritize their gimmick over whether it fit or not.



    Like yo, I like Sonic Heroes a lot but it started the trend of Sonic Team changing canon details on a whim because they can't be bothered to stay consistent with their lore.
     
  13. Boxer Hockey

    Boxer Hockey

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    It's not incendiary I am just out. You are welcome to your interpretations of the weight things carry canonically or otherwise. I know for a fact you're wrong on basically... everything you've said over the last few pages but it's incriminating to discuss the how's and why's so I am just out.
     
  14. Wraith

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    TBF, Sonic is a game first so I wouldn't mind Sonic Team sacrificing some character integrity for the sake of the mechanics if it was a good idea. Sonic Heroes's team gimmick is just a terrible idea from top to bottom and the amount of characters they roped into mostly just resulted in a lot of padding. They really are there just to be there. If it was just Sonic Tails and Knuckles it would be a much better game just because it'd shave a dozen hours of repetition off.

    The fact that they're all here, act like shrill caricatures of themselves and don't contribute positively to the playing experience? Not only was it terrible, it was the start of a trend that would lead to the degeneration of all of them as characters.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
  15. Damn- one thing I will never do as a person is claim that I am definitively right or someone else is 100% wrong.

    I don't care how right anyone thinks they are (not to mention any names, multiple people have done it), but just telling other people in here that everything they said or thought is wrong, whether they like it or not, when you have literally no authority to is honestly sickening and baffling to be coming from several people I know for a fact are grown adults.

    This topic is getting way too hostile, and I'm just fucking tired of watching people get bullied for sticking up for something they like. This is literally about a game with a blue guy who goes fast, who happens to have red and pink friends. Just because the game is targeted towards kids doesn't mean we should act like them while we're discussing it. Good God...
     
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  16. ChaddyFantome

    ChaddyFantome

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    ...Well if that's how you want to view it. Sorry if my posts resulted in anything...frustrating/annoying for you? I hope it is clear there was no intention there. Just trying to engage in some good spirited discussion.
     
  17. Wraith

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    :ruby:

    You sure about that?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
  18. ChaddyFantome

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    For things like AllStar's racing or Tennis or something sure, but when it comes to things like R, Fighters, or handheld games like Triple Trouble etc, which are written with the same kind of respect any other of the games in terms of story content, it becomes a lot more nebulous to just ignore it, especially when talking specifically of the utilization of the character in relation to their intended job/post.
    There...isn't any real reason to say "it's okay when Sonic Triple Trouble does it, but not Heroes" that isn't completely arbitrary. It is still 2 games falling symptom to the same issue as a result of the complications that come from the utilization of the character.
    Like, do we dismiss Adv1 and 2 as well, which came out before Heroes? Knuckles' presence in those is not much more deep than in Heroes. It just doesn't make sense to me to insist "this is all Heroes' fault", as if it just happened on a whim and no complications with using the character exists at all independent from Heroes.
     
  19. Boxer Hockey

    Boxer Hockey

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    I know you didn't have any ill intent, I don't hold it against you. It is frustrating, but that's on me for engaging in a forum where I can't actually lay all my cards on the table.

    There is no "think" in this equation. We are not communicating on even terms, which is why I'm backing out of it.
     
  20. Actually wait, you can end this here and now-

    Did Sega actually confirm that Amy was written to be Sonic obsessed in Heroes, or was she supposed to be a capable leader who cares for her friends? You actually do have the power to end this once and for all if you want.