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

    57 vote(s)
    58.8%
  2. Adventure Era (SA1 - SH) Characterization

    51 vote(s)
    52.6%
  3. Dark Era (ShTH - SU) Characterization

    13 vote(s)
    13.4%
  4. Modern Era (SC - SF) Characterization

    13 vote(s)
    13.4%
  5. Other

    12 vote(s)
    12.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Yea, I'm almost certain the people who hated Sonic's redesign was a vocal minority as tends to be the case when a series undergoes a controversial shift; if it was truly as controversial as some say, the game wouldn't have done as well as it did.

    We spend so much time in our enclosed fan circles that we kind forget that the general public doesn't really give a damn what the fanbase at large cares about. They're casuals, they just wanna play a game. And the same is true for the current generation complaining about the modern games.
     
  2. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    ...not really. There are people who will take the smallest changes and blow them way out of proportion. There are people who complain that movie adaptations of their favorite book/comic/whatever are RUINED FOREVER just because one actor's hair is the wrong color, even before the movie's out. All that reaction says is some people, vocal minority or not, take Sonic WAY too seriously, to the point that even the slightest change awakens their inner fury. I mean, there's a reason GREEN EYES has come to represent unpleasable little bitches. It may be mean, but it's 100% fair.
     
  3. Josh

    Josh

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    Heh. Maybe this is only tangentially-related, but I was at my parents' the other day, and I mentioned Sonic's 30th anniversary to my mom...

    Mom: Oh, remember when they gave him green eyes?
    Me: Wha-, YOU know about that!?
    Mom: I mean, it did look awful. They made him look too mean! I love green eyes, but not on Sonic!
    Me: That happened when I was 10! I talked about it so much that you remember it?
    Mom: Yes! You just kept bitching about it!

    :V
     
  4. @Josh okay that's funny :D

    As for everyone else... I pretty much just got echoed what I initially said. There was a huge fuss about green eyes- enough to the point that people outside the sonic scene were aware, apparently. :p
     
  5. I'm gonna echo what @Sid Starkiller said and agree that Sonic fans care about the most insignificant of details. Sure, I understand WHY people complain about redesigns and whatnot, but that doesn't mean I empathize with them. Unless the redesign is drastically different from before, it's not worth complaining about.

    Characters are literally subtly redesigned all of the time. But fanbases, being the absolute shitholes that they are, get personally offended at the most minor of details.
     
  6. Linkabel

    Linkabel

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    I was also part of the group of people that liked the redesign. I thought that Sonic and the rest of the cast looked cooler and grown up.

    I do remember hearing that Sonic "looked evil" here and there. But it mostly came from adults or people that didn't play video games. Maybe there's something there that causes people that feeling?

    Modern Sonic is more sharper when it comes to his design, but I wouldn't consider those traits to make him evil looking.

    The other smaller complaint I heard was about how the music was outdated, but this complaint was thrown at the vocal songs and not the stage music. And yeah, by 98/99 that kind of style was not popular anymore but I didn't mind it because I liked it.

    Saying that, for me the perfect sweet spot for Sonic characterization was the OVA and SA1. But it might have to do with me watching the OVA and playing SA 24/7 for a straight year.
     
  7. Josh

    Josh

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    I was never one of those people saying Sonic 4 was ruined unless it had Classic Sonic, and true to what you were saying about a vocal minority, I don't think many people actually were. (Actually, I was one of the weirdos vocally defending Sonic 4 at launch, because how could a game called Sonic 4 not be at least pretty good!? I was silly.) If anything, the fact that they were SO vocal about it that it reached beyond the community just allowed other, more substantial criticisms of the game to be swept under the rug as nitpicky fans whining about "green eyes."

    I never hated the modern design (at least, past the age of 10 when I apparently did take it personally, haha), and I'd never base my enjoyment of a video game on what Sonic looked like, I just never liked the Adventure designs half as much as the original ones, wished the old style would come back, and was very happy when it did.

    @Sonic5993 called it a "subtle" redesign. And I guess maybe that's the difference to me? Sonic 1 to Sonic 3, or Sonic Adventure to Unleashed were examples of subtle redesigns. Sonic Adventure was an overhaul, and given interviews at the time, it was an intentional move to freshen up Sonic's image and redefine him as less of a "cute" mascot. But that was done through a lot more than just character designs. To me, pre-98 Sonic versus Adventure era, especially SA2 on, is sort of like comparing the tone, setting, and even game design changes of Mega Man classic versus Mega Man X. It's recognizably the same idea, but it's through a different lens, and that's inevitably going to lead to some people preferring one over the other.
     
  8. I don't know if that makes sense, but I always thought Sonic in Sonic 3 had a bit of 'Modern' feelings... I don't know the reason, maybe that was his sprites? Heh.
     
  9. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

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    Upgraded form of metal? Lawl, what did they think, that the bendy Yuji Uekawa arms was cos he was suddenly molding like the T-1000?
     
  10. Josh

    Josh

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    I believe it was when all we had to go on was this image:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Laura

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    I love reading these old posts. It reminds me of this awful video review of Sonic CD from Gamesmaster.



    The Classics were criticised a lot for barely changing the game formula, and while I can see where it was coming from, it's an opinion which has died out in the public attitudes to the games now.

    I'm sorry, I just don't think there was. I literally never heard a word about this until Sonic 4, and even then, I barely heard anyone say it in seriousness. It's one of those tedious trends where people spend more time attacking those who apparently believe in it than the amount of people who seriously espouse it.

    The whole joke in the Sonic 4 controversy was that people were utterly baffled that anyone had a problem with Sonic's redesign, which implies that hardly anyone knew it was a popular criticism. The whole tedious Sonic 4 green eyes thing, which I think was barely even real, is best summed up in Jim Sterling's awful article about it, where he makes a big play of how absurd and shocking it is that anyone believes in it.

    https://www.destructoid.com/stories/why-sonic-the-hedgehog-4-will-suck-166221.phtml
     
  12. Josh

    Josh

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    Ugh, that Sterling piece is exactly what I'm talking about. Actual, worthwhile criticism against Sonic 4 was mocked under the same banner of, "Oh, you're just mad about green eyes." It sucked.

    But I mean... regardless of how much of a popular criticism it was, there was at least enough of a push for it that Sega/Sonic Team thought there was something to it. I agree, the mainstream didn't care, but Classic's return in Generations was meant as a love letter for long-time fans. We wouldn't have had people talking about how they had tears in their eyes when that trailer dropped (just a few days over 10 years ago, woo) if it the distinction wasn't important to 'em.

    (As a certain mod put it at the time, "Whiny fanbase alters direction of series." :V)
     
  13. Azookara

    Azookara

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    Bashing the modern design was only ever a scapegoat at best for people outside of the deepest parts of the fanbase.

    Most people who were upset or smarmy that Sonic was “bad” or “uncool” weren’t paying attention to the design at all, just the game quality or what they thought the series meant to pop culture at that time. Some fans just clung onto what they thought could explain these criticisms, and it was conveniently something they already were against.

    Most people reacted that way because of what classic Sonic started to represent to them, not because it was a design they actively preferred. It made people think they were gonna touch on making Sonic fun or relevant again, not specifically that the design made it either of those things. It was only really, again, the fanbase (whether deep fans or long-left oldbies) making statements more than that.

    EDIT: ah shit double post. Meant to edit the existing one. may I have a merge please
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2021
  14. Laura

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    I think a lot of people were happy to see Classic Sonic again because it was a nice throwback too. i like the Classic Sonic design and have fond memories of it, which was why I liked the trailer. I didn't like it because I'm angry about Sonic's design in Adventure. I think a lot of people were the same.
     
  15. Beamer the Meep

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    While I think the discussion on the reception of Sonic's redesign in Adventure is interesting, it didn't really affect characterization that much. The design change was done to make the cast look "cooler" and less "cutesy" right? If anything that just reinforces the characterization choices made for the Genesis games. I'd say that the addition of voice acting, if anything played a much bigger role than the change in design.

    With the Genesis games, the players really had to fill in the gaps themselves, while with Adventure you're suddenly being given the direct interpretation of these characters and their personalities.
     
  16. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    When Generations was coming out, I was 11, and the idea of Sonic's classic design returning in a new game is what excited me most about it. I still like the classic design more than the modern design, but now that I'm not 11 years old anymore, I could ignore whether Sonic is classic or modern (in 3D graphics) if the game is fun. I will also say that the classic models from Generations/Forces look bad and I don't like them, but I feel the same way about the modern Sonic models of recent.
     
  17. Hmm...

    I think why sonic's redesign looked evil to some people was all in the mouth. That toothy, curled, almost fanged looking grin. Give sonic his smile from the advance 2 box art and I guarantee you the entire tone of the adventure art will shift.

    I mean seriously, when I was designing Tempo's art (my pfp rn lol) I was trying to figure out how to help give him a wild, slightly sinister look on his face, and guess where my inspiration came from :p
     
  18. Looking at the poll, it's kind of funny for as many people who claim the Modern characterizations are superior, the overwhelming majority of votes are for the Adventure era lol.

    I think you'd get the same results if you posted this poll on other sites too.
     
  19. Josh

    Josh

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    Psh, I think it'd be even MORE skewed that way on other sites.

    I really wish I could poll the community years ago and compare & contrast. The closest you can get is probably just digging through opinions in topics like this. I probably WILL make it a point to run polls like this (and that "favorite games" poll) again in the distant future if I'm still around and still have the time, so we can see how the discourse evolves.
     
  20. BadBehavior

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    And then the Forces teaser dropped and the only tears being shed then were accompanied by cries of "The game's gonna suck!". Same reaction, different meanings. :V