Complimenting Sonic Colours

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Starduster, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. Ravenfreak

    Ravenfreak

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    I still have yet to play the Wii version, but the DS version is tons of fun! The soundtrack is great too even in this version. I've been needing to get the Wii version, since I do own a Wii U. I guess I could just emulate it but meh. :V
     
  2. EmerlForgotten

    EmerlForgotten

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    Sonic Colors was the game that brought me back to the franchise after taking a hiatus since Unleashed. It's still one of my favorite games in the series even though the abundance of 2D sections can be a little fatiguing.
     
  3. HEDGESMFG

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    Colors on Wii is an Astonishingly beautiful game in HD/4K. They truly gave it some gorgeous designs despite the sub-HD assets, and pushed the hardware as far as it could go. I played it emulated the same time it came out and quickly fell in love with it because I could see it in 1080P as well as the wii port.

    The sub levels with just endless gimmicks are sloppy and not nearly as good as classic designs, but the main stages are ultimately clever and well made when you consider the ways to use the wisp abilities and the paths they can unlock.

    This, Generations, and ADV 2 are easily the best of the 3D games in terms of engine, physics, and design choices. They're not classic Sonic good, but they are enjoyable good games each in their own right. Easily beating our Heroes and Aventure 1 and Unleashed (which are all enjoyable), and crushing Shadow, 06, Lost World and Forces (which are anywhere from heavily flawed to awful).
     
  4. Josh

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    Honestly? It seems increasingly ridiculous to me that Colors, of all games, would even NEED a "complimenting" topic.

    I just played through the entire game in a single go, using the Time Attack rush mode you unlock after beating the game. This effectively fixes one of my bigger issues with the game: Too much downtime between stages. Between the lengthy score tally and needing to navigate the map screens between stages, Colors always felt a little to segmented to me. But Time Attack pulls you through every act and boss in the game in quick fashion, which helped me get into a flow state, and yeah... most fun I've ever had with Colors, by far.

    More and more, I've come to see it as sort of the "Sonic CD" of the boost series. It's slower-paced, more gimmicky, more platformy, and more focused on exploration and variety than pure speed. But for some people, this is EXACTLY what they want out of a Sonic game, and either way, the quality and creativity of its setting and the breadth of its soundtrack and aesthetic are almost unmatched. When I see the way certain fans talk about it lately, it honestly makes me feel like I'm playing an entirely different game than they are.

    And I mean, I do have my issues with Colors. But if you can't at least find SOMETHING to enjoy in a stage like Aquarium Park or Asteroid Coaster, then like, I'm not gonna say you're WRONG... but I don't think you like this series for the same reasons that I do. Either way, I hope you'll at least try to understand where other fans and critics are coming from. It was the first time in about nine years that any 3D Sonic game had anything better than a middling reception for a reason: It was consistent, it was solid, it was accessible, and most fans of platformers could find a lot to enjoy about it.

    Even though I personally like Unleashed and especially Generations more, if I was recommending a 3D Sonic game to someone who'd never played the series before, then Colors would probably be my pick.
     
  5. Nova

    Nova

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    And herein lies a problem inherent to online communities - after the dust settles and a number of years have passed, perception of things shift and unfortunately it colours (hah) people's views of how things were, not just how they are. I've had people vehemently disagree with me that Colours was well-received on release and in fact, more hyped by Classic fans than 4 was.
     
  6. BadBehavior

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    Would you prefer it had a bashing topic?

    All jokes aside, I think it's like I said. People liked Colours as a light, breezy adventure because they assumed it was one. But when it suddenly becomes the bulwark of a whole new era, inspiring crappy games like Lost World and Forces that mimic elements of its design, then people become much more critical of it since it has to be elevated to such lofty ambitions.

    Besides, all games in this series have changed positions on the "Do people like it?" spectrum, much like a game of musical chairs. We're seeing a re-evaluation of games like 06 and Black Knight as we speak.
     
  7. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Nah. Black Knight I could justifiably see a re-eval on but 06 is never going to be anything but a bug-ridden mess with an awful story.
     
  8. BadBehavior

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    Maybe a re-eveluation compared to other games in the series. I mean, what is Forces other than a plays-itself mess with an awful story? It's just the other side of the 06 coin at this point. One had too little time, the other had too much. One was full of ideas, the other had no ideas. One was worked on by people who were tired of making Sonic games. The other was worked on by people who had never made Sonic games. Both are the nadir of their respective gameplay styles, with non-Sonic gameplay styles which are simply not fun, and even Sonic himself has been horrifically butchered.
     
  9. Josh

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    This felt like it was getting a little too off-topic. I wanted to respond, but I decided to put the bulk of my thoughts over in the Forces thread instead. But I'd say there are a lot of differences between 06 and Forces, and one of the most significant is that by all accounts, Forces is actually representative of the game the team was trying to make. Forces was definitely rushed, but it wasn't broken. What they have in common, though, is that they were both flawed enough at a conceptual level that no amount of dev time could have saved them.

    A "finished" Forces might've given it more 3D sections and better mechanics and physics, but it wouldn't have fixed Sonic Team's vision for simple, streamlined level design. They wanted Forces to be "boost to win," and made it that way on purpose. On the flip side, a "finished" 06... well, I'm about to ramble even MORE off-topic, so I'll just say that Blaze summed it up effectively.

    And to get more on-topic... I don't see what's happening to Colors as a re-evaluation. I don't think many of the people who celebrated the game when it came out are saying, "Actually, in retrospect, this is where it all went wrong."

    I think what's happening is that the loudest, most impassioned members of the fandom are increasingly "Adventure kids," people who were growing up with the series when they were kids circa 2002-2010. And just like we did, they want what they grew up with.

    This is the long-term issue with all of Sonic's spitballing over the years. Some of the ideas put forth in those two images are in direct opposition to each other.

    Shiro Maekawa, who wrote a lot of the stories from SA2 to Black Knight, said in an interview, "Actually, I did not like the Sonic in Genesis era. Honestly, it did not fit his character. So, when I was put in Sonic Adventure, I was enthusiastic, 'I’ll create the Sonic that I like!'"

    Because of this, and so many other factors (Ohshima leaving Sega was a big one), the Adventure Era/Dark Age was so different in so many ways from the Genesis games and western continuity, and to a lot of us, ol' green eyes didn't seem anything like the Sonic we'd grown up with.

    The Adventure games did, however, make an impression on a NEW generation of young fans, many of whom now see the thing WE saw as "not Sonic" as EXACTLY what Sonic is supposed to be. So when Sega finally started LISTENING to us, made the stories more lighthearted and fun, replaced the voice actors we cringed at with a new cast, focused squarely on Sonic's gameplay, and even BROUGHT BACK the old-school Sonic we'd known growing up, what was a "return to form" for us was an abandonment of Sonic's ideals for younger fans. And hilariously (or depressingly) "an abandonment of Sonic's ideals" is EXACTLY what SA2-06 felt like to many of us!

    You can also see this at work with the growing contingent of "modern" fans who started with Colors or Generations. They tend to have a lot more in common with us Genesis/Mega Drive boomers than they do with the Adventure boomers. (And in at least one case, I've even seen a teen fan who is a Sonic Boomer, that is, his favorite incarnation of the series is Sonic Boom!)

    I'm not saying anyone's right or wrong here! But that's the broad issue. People tend to have the most reverence for what they grew up with, and what Sonic was in YOUR childhood might be something completely different from what he was in MY childhood, which was different from someone else's childhood.

    Comparatively, if an 80s kid grew up with Mario 3, and a 00s kid grew up with Galaxy, they're both still fans of what is recognizably the same series. But if my childhood favorite is Sonic 2, and your's is Sonic Adventure 2, then what I want Sonic to be is probably much more at odds with what you want it to be.

    MAN, I wish Sega had just stayed consistent.

    If there's a silver lining here, it's what I said on the first page: This "Colors was the start of the REAL Dark Age!" movement makes a lot of noise lately, but it's a LOT more niche than it seems. Even on the r/sonicthehedgehog subreddit, which as far as I can tell skews WAY younger than we do here, Colors is considered a good game by a wide majority. Negativity is dense, it sticks with you, and it makes it look like there's been a sea change when there really hasn't. The Sonic fandom hasn't had much to talk about aside from the movie in YEARS now, but this won't be the focus once we've actually got SOMETHING new.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 12:27 AM
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  10. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    If we don't blame Generations, or complain about it, for the existence of Forces (because it is not its fault), we shouldn't blame Colors or complain about it for the existence of Lost World.
     
  11. BadBehavior

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    I find what Josh linked here interesting.

    too many characters stealing Sonic’s spotlight, a lot of which simply aren’t fun to play as. Nobody wants to hunt keys as Rouge the Bat, nobody wants nonsensical stealth sections as Amy Rose, nobody with any sense asked for Shadow the Hedgehog to drive trucks, etc.

    Well nobody wants a mindless Avatar robot destruction fest that makes Musou games look engaging. No one wants Classic Sonic's rotting carcass stinking up everything it touches (everything that isn't Mania at least). Like I said: two sides, same coin. One just had mach speed sections while the other has Double Boost sections. And one is dubbed by certain sects of the fanbase as worse than the devil's devil while the other is simply, merely, mediocre. For reason's I'll never comprehend.

    Back on the topic of "complimenting" Sonic Colours, the soundtrack is OK I guess. Lots of variety in instruments and melodies, unlike Forces mono-synth OST.
     
  12. Vanishing Vision

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    Not to mention SA2's continuing escape of the same criticism for its' direct, very strong influence on Shadow and 06.
     
  13. Dek Rollins

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    I find it funny that Colors was supposedly the savior of the franchise but it totally passed me by at the time of release. I didn't know Colors existed until I played Generations. Went straight from Unleashed to Generations, and the big reason I had fun with Generations was because I was a classic Sonic fanboy and I was 12.

    About complimenting Colors, I suppose I can echo the obvious "soundtrack is nice" that seems more like a given when considering Sonic's reputation. I guess some of the levels have nice art design.
     
  14. Josh

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    The ridiculous thing about that sort of phenomenon is that, y'know... it's not like those sentiments WENT anywhere. The reviews are still online. The Sonic Colors reaction thread on this very message board is still there, and they could go see how positively people reacted. Colors wasn't _supposedly_ the first well-received 3D Sonic game in many years, it factually _was_ that. Or heck, just read the game's Metacritic page...

    [​IMG]

    It's also notable, digging back through this, that even those that disliked Colors (Jim Sterling et al) at the time disliked it for being too _much_ like previous 3D Sonic games, not for breaking away from them.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64

    TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64

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    I do feel like Colors flew under the radar somewhat because it didn't have all that big a marketing push behind it. I actually thought it was a DS-exclusive game until my birthday one year, when my parents bought me a copy for the Wii. (They had been looking for Unleashed because that was the one I wanted because it looked cool, but it had been delisted at the time. My aunt came in clutch with an Unleashed copy that same year though.)

    The fact it managed to sell two million on both platforms may prove me wrong, but that's just how I felt.
     
  16. Nova

    Nova

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    The problem being that people like to pick and choose which bits of the past they actually take in to justify their own viewpoint - I'm willing to bet that the 'Sonic Adventure was universally loved before Game Grumps' crowd have checked the Wikipedia article for Sonic Adventure, seen that it received good reviews at release and decided 'that's it, nobody had any problems with the game until 2012'. It'll be the same here. They'll pick a few choice quotes about the game from people who happen to agree with them then roll them out as some sort of mark of validation.
     
  17. Josh

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    Eh, some of them will, for now. I'm sure some of 'em ALWAYS will. But I optimistically like to think that the reason some fans who became fans between, say, 2005-2009 are so intentionally blind to history and context right now is an affectation of their age. Not that people in that age group are all stupid (though I sure was!), just that they tend to see this stuff in very stark, black-and-white terms (and I sure did). In other words, I'm hoping most of 'em will mature past it, and be able to celebrate the games of their youth _without_ feeling the need to overlook or misrepresent their reception, as KingK (who started with Adventure 2 Battle like so many others) put it recently:



    Yeah. I hope more fans, more of US will be like that.
     
  18. I have a maybe unique history with the likes of Colors and Unleashed that's relevant to what I'm about to compliment Colors for: I remember looking at Unleashed trailers and being really excited about the game, but didn't realize most of what they were showing in the trailers was exclusively content from the Xbox 360/PS3 version. So I ended up getting the Wii version of Unleashed and was a little disappointed with it because it wasn't what I expected, and I wouldn't get 360 Unleashed until some point after I got both versions of Sonic Colors.

    But yeah, with Sonic Colors, I got the Wii version first, and for a while, it was just really cool to have a better approximation of the 360/PS3 Unleashed gameplay that I wanted to experience. With the hindsight of having played PC Generations and 360 Unleashed now, I recognize that it's definitely the most basic of these three games, but that works to its benefit in some ways. For one, it's the most accessible of them. Compared to Generations & especially Unleashed, levels don't really press you to go forward as much. There's also only one core control scheme to learn (unlike both Gens & Unleashed), and progression through the game is straightforward (unlike Unleashed). Oh and re-implementing Super Sonic as a bonus was just great!

    Anyway, then, maybe like 3 months later, I got the DS version. The DS version takes a different approach to Wisps than the Wii version; while in the Wii version levels are usually designed for the Wisps to feel more optional, the DS version uses them relatively more often for brief set-pieces in a way that can enhance the flow and even the "identity" of a level in some cases. For instance, in Sweet Mountain, you can use the Burst (fire-based) Wisp to cause hot-air balloons to rise. The DS version also does some pretty creative stuff with Starlight Carnival compared to the Wii version. I think the only level that's definitively weaker in the DS version is Planet Wisp, as it forces you to use the Drill Wisp a LOT, and the Drill Wisp also handles worse than in the Wii version.

    Last thing I wanna say is to iterate this vid by SKMaric that I posted in the "Topic of Other Knowledge" thread a while ago; they analyze the level structure of Sonic Colors (Wii) with regards to how levels are described and designed internally. Unsurprisingly, the levels they point out as being the "main" ones checks out pretty well with the levels I enjoyed the most haha
     
  19. Josh

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    Thank you so much for posting this. I just played through the whole "original" game by following this, and it was a BLAST. And it makes so much sense! Unleashed and Generations would've been considered way too gimmicky and 2D if they had made you play all their gimmick stages as regular acts, too!

    I always adored Colors' themes and aesthetics, but felt the level design held it back from being much better than a C+ as a complete experience. I liked it, but I feel like you've given me the blueprint for the game I would've LOVED that I KNEW was in there.

    I made a cheat sheet of where the original acts are:

    Tropical Resort:
    1: 1&2
    2: 3

    Sweet Mountain
    1: 1&2
    2: 3&5

    Starlight Carnival
    1: 1
    2: 5

    Planet Wisp:
    1: 1&4 (the video said 3&4, but I think he might've misspoke)
    2: 6

    Aquarium Park
    1: 1&4
    2: 6

    Asteroid Coaster
    1: 1&2
    2: 6

    Seriously. This is effectively the "real" Colors to me now, and I'm gonna be replaying it a lot more from now on.
     
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  20. I'm glad you enjoyed the video! It's a really good look at the game, and gave me a new appreciation for it too. I'd say the difficulty of the game even scales pretty well when you play it this way, and the pacing feels a lot better. Probably not a coincidence that Super Sonic is also the most fun to play in a good amount of these levels!

    (oh & yeah it looks like the creator did misspeak on the Planet Wisp thing; in the captions they made, it says "Acts 1 and 4" so you're right about that!)