Do Sonic Team even know what makes Sonic good?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Laura, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. GeneHF

    GeneHF

    SEGA-ier than you'll potentially ever be. Site Staff
    8,393
    1
    18
    Scenic Studiopolis
    Complete Global Conquest
    It's some bullshit that wasn't a correct answer.
     
  2. Jason

    Jason

    *Results not lab tested. Member
    Then I'm confused as to what your problem is, as I have only played the demo myself, but have watched a playthrough. Sonic is not consistently fast, and Mario is not consistently slow.
     
  3. STJrInuyasha

    STJrInuyasha

    Member
    16
    0
    0
    Henderson, NV
    SRB2
    If anything I think the problem is that they pay too much attention to it, and try to please everyone at the same time. Generations was practically a "we give up, we don't know what works anymore, so let's throw everything together in this melting pot and dear god please enjoy it" type of game, from how I look at it.



    Sonic was a platformer with a dash of physics, speed was not the main gimmick until later. Honestly, I think people focus on the speed too much; it was more of a secondary effect of the physics than anything else.
     
  4. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft

    RickRotate'd. Administrator
    2,901
    38
    28
    USA
    rom-properties
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    To be fair, the classics were at least heavily marketed towards speed.
     
  6. Aerosol

    Aerosol

    Not here. Moderator
    10,854
    208
    43
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    You have a habit of completely misunderstanding people. Or maybe that's just me.

    I never said I had a problem with anything. I just said that Sonic isn't fast in SLW. He's been significantly slowed down, and the level design language of the entire game has been altered to suit slower gameplay. That hasn't happened before, barring spinoff titles. That's all I was saying.

    No...speed was the thing from the get go. Yuji Naka specifically made him fast because he would always tire of zooming through 1-1 in Super Mario Bros. At least, that's what I remember reading. Let's not get into a debate over what truly makes a Sonic game good, please. I'm just pointing out that Sonic games at the very least encouraged you to go fast. SLW doesn't.
     
  7. Palas

    Palas

    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    299
    54
    28
    Sonic being fast - big deal. Maybe Naka wanted Sonic to be fast, but Yas was smarter and made the games about the player being fast with Sonic, which is an entirely different approach.

    About audiences - where did Sonic Colors sell well? As far as I know Sonic games have sold less and less since Sonic and the Secret Rings and his overall performance has been laughable since SA2:B, Sonic Rush maybe. Wow, Sonic Heroes sold 5 millions units or something! Big deal, it did so across 3 platforms. Is it raw profit numbers we want as a parameter or are we talking about better market share and sales performance? Also are shoutouts really the best way to say you're listening to your dedicated fanbase? Should you be listening in the first place? Probably not, I say. A "fanbase" is too loose a concept to go by when producing something that will sell worldwide.

    That said, I believe Sonic's main problem is also SEGA's main problem, which is the fact that Sonic has swallowed SEGA. Yes, they should develop other IPs, but I don't believe they have enough credibility with their shareholders to risk not having a Sonic game every year.
     
  8. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think it's fair to say that Lost World deviates from even this.

    Lost World isn't about the player being fast with Sonic, the game is about traversing difficult obstacle courses with precision jumping. At times, going fast is a bad thing in Lost World, and towards the end of the game, it's a good idea to not use the run button at all.

    It's much more like Mario, where you have the option to run but it's usually better to be careful and plan your precision jumping.

    I never thought Sonic was about precision jumping, and when he was (like in Flying Battery's underbelly sections) it was usually terrible because of the difficulty of controlling Sonic's speed.
     
  9. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

    Oldbie
    410
    158
    43
    Sonic's problems are very, very simple.

    Not only do they reinvent the wheel every year, but they also rush out each production to meet a yearly deadline. This is reasonably possible to do when you've perfected the engine like in New Super Mario Bros, but they haven't done that. Instead, they split the team and typically focus on getting each title completed in no less than 2 years, while reporgramming each 3D game again almost from scratch (the exception being that SA1, 2, Heroes, and Shadow all had some engine progression, but then 2006 came along). As a result, they spend the majority of their allotted time and money creating amazingly fluid visuals while the levels are just haphazardly thrown together and rarely tested. Sega operates on the opposite principle of "Nintendo time", in which they rush things out the door, regardless of their status.

    After being lamblasted for bugs and physics in 06, they've now doubled those resources and spend each iteration perfecting the engine and removing bugs... but spend little to no time on actual stage design. You can tell. So many stages seem like they were thrown together with a level editor in 20 minutes and tested maybe 2-3 times. This happens consistently in almost every single iteration, save Generations which either was a fluke, or somehow had the right amount of development time because they actually took a quality 20th anniversary project seriously and started it early.

    Unleashed has a fairly good engine, which is later practically perfected in colors and generations. Really, only the sloppy rushed levels bog down those 2, and only colors in some cases. The key reason is that you can clearly tell the bad levels were designed with very little thought and testing in mind, and with very little feedback. Meanwhile the visuals, soundtrack, and engine are actually all pretty fantastic.

    Then Lost World completely changes things... and you know what? The core mechanics are actually pretty sound. Sure, he's slower, but the engine's very consistent. The few good levels in the game play extremely well, save for a few poor control choices. What is the key issue? The game was rushed like all others. Levels are just haphazardly thrown together and barely tested, and I can guarantee you it's due to a very limited time table, budget, or both. Team competence may indeed be a factor, but it is probably not an irreversible problem.

    Sonic 4 episode 1 more showed that they don't so much understand the classics, but generations proved they CAN learn. S4e2 even showed that they somewhat DID learn, as the problems it has are relatively minor compared to previous outings and designs. Most of the problems in that game come down to simple stylistic choices in design.

    I do sincerely believe that giving more western community members like Tax and Stealth freedom could FINALLY churn out a very good 2D iteration, even with the limited time table, but that's only because as fans they have more experience with the IP than anyone still currently in ST. I also don't believe they need to do this. They instead need to sit back and either simplify the yearly iterations to true 2D outings with the ENTIRE team being fully dedicated to it, and with a single consistent engine, ALA New Super Mario Bros, or they need to fully focus on 3D titles and give them no less than an extra 6 months of polish, testing, and design work.

    Finally, I'd like to point out something else I feel so many people miss. Sonic is limited by 3 factors in 3D, I've so far mentioned time, I briefly mentioned money, but the ultimate one is technical. Building proper faster than fast stages in 3D is quite frankly IMMENSELY difficult, way more than I think any one of us in the entire fandom realizes. An open world Sonic game is no easy thing when you go as fast as our blue blur does, not only because it requires immense work and levels of detail to keep quality consistent through every nook and cranny you'd explore, but there are likely also severe technical limitations that more powerful hardware are required for. Try putting Sonic into a bethesda skyrim/oblivion like immense open world. At the speeds he runs, you could get from one end to the other in a number of minutes... and the japanese industry seemingly lacks the modern technical knowhow, talent, or ambition to even truly tackle super detailed sandbox games. This is why 3D sonic has ALWAYS been so leniar, rather than open world. Because it would take a lot more time, money, and processing power to create that dream sonic game some people seem to want. Heck, the closest fan equivalent I can muster to think of is Sonic robo blast 2, and that uses a very simple engine and has been in development on and off for 15 years. I think creating a truly good 3D sonic game would take far more time, money, and effort than Sega is willing to throw at it, especially with the IP's now limited appeal. That, at the end of the day, is our main problem.
     
  10. Palas

    Palas

    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    299
    54
    28
    I can get behind most of this. The problem of speed in a 3D environment, though, hardly bothers me - simply because Sonic doesn't need an open world. Never did. The linear level design doesn't even solve the problem anyway, as they always make huge ass levels that take some 5 minutes to complete. What's the point? There may be technical problems, but they pale before the economic reasons, which you described, and the concept issues - that go beyond reinventing the wheel every now and again.

    The discussion about 3D level design we have here is fruitful. There are more problems with a 3D Sonic than the eye can catch.
     
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    maybe the real thing™ Wiki Sysop
    6,485
    650
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    terrible Christmas avatars
    aka "post what will make Sonic better. Again."



    Top tip is to stop making games for a bit and let a new generation take control of the series' future when the time comes (should they even feel it's necessary). But people like to counter that idea with dubious business strategies - "oh we can't stop making Sonic games or we'll lose Sega as a force in video gaming". Because innovation and new ideas are for chumps, apparently. We must feast on mediocrity and then... question... why the mediocrity is mediocre.



    Doctor Who is the best example - leave it for a while and the dedicated fans will come in and make it much, much better.


    P.s. there was never a time in my mind where Sonic Lost Worlds looked good - it's just, as with many things, you'll be shouted down until people get a chance to actually play it. Because you can't make judgements about screenshots... even if their existence on the back of game boxes suggest you're meant to
     
  12. STJrInuyasha

    STJrInuyasha

    Member
    16
    0
    0
    Henderson, NV
    SRB2
    Generations still had its share of obvious bugs from Unleashed that never got fixed. M-Speed comes to mind immediately, given how it completely destroyed the game's competitiveness.

    Having said that, time is probably the biggest issue that screws them over, indeed. It is not easy these days to make an entire game in a year or two's time, as things have only gotten more and more complex since the 90's.



    (Sonic 4 stuff ahead; you knew this was coming, didn't you)
    If Sonic 4 Episode 1 proved anything, it's that the fans don't understand the classics or what makes them fun. I'd go as far to say that Episode 1 had the most accurate physics of the three games here, summed up completely; they're all wrong in their own ways, but at least Episode 1 is playable. Generations screws up ramp physics and momentum completely and requires basic event triggers to change the player's momentum to make everything look right, and it still can't get it right all the time. Episode 2 went about fixing Episode 1's instant-stop glitch in the most hilariously wrong method possible and thereby made the entire game control like fucking Ice Man's stage in the original Mega Man.

    But, this is not yet another topic to drag down with the ever-present Sonic 4 debate...
     
  13. Skyler

    Skyler

    Neonネオン Cowgirlカウガール Site Staff
    3,287
    8
    18
    Hellafornia
    The next audtion
    ...what.

    Hi. I'd like you to meet my friends, the Retro Engine and Sonic Before and After the Sequel.


    lol

    All three of them are playable, but how in the world can someone say that Ep1 is the most playable, especially when there are numerous explanations and videos showing off how bad it is? For example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmMuAohJkHA

    + - Miss you, Jim.  


    Yes.

    I just played through the first stage and the running and braking isn't half as bad as you're making it out to be.

    ...oops.
     
  14. Jayextee

    Jayextee

    Monochrome Cat Game Guy™ Member
    3,219
    5
    18
    Atro City
    I DONE MAKED GAMES.
    Skyler, I love you.

    I was about to bring up After/Before The Sequel myself. And also Sonic Classic should get a mention; flawed though it may be, it does still have a couple of moments that really feel like classic Sonic, but are actually new.
     
  15. STJrInuyasha

    STJrInuyasha

    Member
    16
    0
    0
    Henderson, NV
    SRB2
    (because these discussions get ugly quick and I like saving people from having to look at them if they don't want to.)
    Hi. Your friends here, unfortunately, are not representative of the entire Sonic fanbase.

    The Sonic fandom is one of the most downright divisive and nonsensical fandoms I have ever seen in my life, as quite literally anything that can start an argument will. Green eyes! Rehash! I can go on and on...

    What I saw when Episode 1 came out was an actually good Sonic game getting mired by endless nitpicking complaints, and what I saw from Generations when it came out was the very same people focusing on the new shiny thing and ignoring its flaws.



    Would you rather the player be able to use that to zip from one end of the level to the other?

    I don't see that behavior as bad, I actually see it as good behavior. Killing the player would be the most "proper" solution, obviously, but the last thing you want is to go overzealous and kill the player if anything even remotely wrong happens. So thus, you get the monitor pushing the player, which punts them out of the level; and the game catching that and instead of flipping the fuck out like the classic games, it puts the player back in the level properly.



    Skidding to a stop when holding the opposite direction on the control stick should not take multiple seconds and a screen and a half worth of real estate. The leadup to the first boss gives you well more than enough room to mess around and see it for yourself.
     
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    maybe the real thing™ Wiki Sysop
    6,485
    650
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    terrible Christmas avatars
    To be fair, the Retro Engine is... an engine. I don't think there's anyone claiming the fans don't understand how the games physically work - we have a wiki explaining most of it.

    Sonic Before and After the Sequel are great but... they are noticably flawed in many key areas and don't really stand up well against scruitiny. I don't think they really capture the spirit of Sonic from an audio perspective for example (opinions differ... although the fact opinions differ could be a problem - pretty much all Sonic fans like Sonic 2's music), and there are a lot of turquoise levels - things that you can live with if judged as a fangame, but are harder to ignore if you're comparing these things directly to Mega Drive platformers.

    No fans have matched the quality of the original Mega Drive trio of Sonic games. There are many valiant efforts but nothing really in the same league. It's always second best, although second best can still be pretty damned good.



    Also Sonic 4 is an offensive piece of garbage.
     
  17. winterhell

    winterhell

    Member
    1,165
    7
    18
    Aliens Colonial Marines was a good game. If only people stopped pointing out the millions of problems with it!
     
  18. Candescence

    Candescence

    Member
    1,985
    2
    18
    Sydney, Australia
    3D Indie Stuff
    I'd actually say Freedom Planet is a better example of Sonic fans getting it right. Granted, it's still in development, but in many ways, it's the spiritual successor to 2D Sonic that Sega will likely never make, and I'd say it's as good as the classic Sonic games, if not better. It captures the spirit of the classic gameplay perfectly while being its own beast. And having boss fights that completely blow any boss fights Sonic has ever done completely out of the water, too. And, as a bonus, it isn't constrained by the expectation of GOTTA GO FAST that the Sonic brand inherently comes with.
     
  19. Andlabs

    Andlabs

    「いっきまーす」 Wiki Sysop
    2,175
    0
    0
    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
    I am going to regret posting this but

    there's a difference between "this game doesn't quite line up with the classics in the way we want it but it's otherwise a complete and playable game" and "this game was rushed out the door so fast it was half-finished and bugs keep us from beating it"

    just saying
     
  20. I found Sonic before and After the sequel to be pretty okay, liked some of the music but I found some of the level design and art to be questionable in some places. Not saying they're terrible though.

    They're still more fun to play than Sonic 4 episode 1, which is funny because it has the problem of being slow as fuck when you start from a standstill, but then suddenly while running the game decides now is the time to go fast and gives you the circle legs. even the homing attack is slow, stiff, and just a boring mechanic in a 2D game.

    I prefer Generations because the modern Sonic gameplay, while flawed, was still fun to play for the most part, and it looked good too unlike Sonic 4 with it's "everything is like it's made out of plastic" look. And the overpowered as shit spindash for classic Sonic was better than the "what's the point of using this" spindash Sonic 4 had.

    I'm going off topic though, sorry.

    The thing with Sonic Team is when they do make something enjoyable, it really is enjoyable. But to make sure you don't get bored of it they decide to include a bunch of other gameplay styles which doesn't mesh well with the rest of the game, like fishing in Sonic Adventure 1 or fighting as a werehog in Unleashed. That and the level design can really be hit and miss, I know bottomless pits are a staple of platformers but man when they're everywhere it's really discouraging to be reckless with the high speeds you're given.