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Do Sonic Team even know what makes Sonic good?

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

  1. Metal Man88

    Metal Man88

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    You know, there's one thing that unites topics like this.

    And that's mostly that they waste time and accomplish nothing.

    Who really cares? Sonic Team is a means to an end. It's decided by people higher up than Sonic Team. If they want something they get it--they are people with money and knowledge to assemble whatever they might want.

    The issue is Sonic is a cartoony thing run by a bunch of old Japanese businessmen. That it ever hit gold was mostly happenstance--look into the code of the old games and you can see they're riddled with bugs and potentially bad ideas--and given that Sonic 2 and 3K and CD are like, what, about the only three that got anywhere, and nobody had a Sonic CD so it was more like 2 and 3K... that's about 2.5 games they made that were ever mainstream-appeal.

    So really, did they ever have it? No. They hit a few flashes in the pan, then they lost it.

    I think the problem is the fanbase is in denial about the quality of Sonic. Sonic never really was more than a face invented to sell consoles, and once the consoles vanished, the already questionable quality vanished. What we're seeing now is just the inevitable conclusion of a mascot without a point: increasingly irrelevant, sloppily glued together games. The endgame will be when he joins Crash and Spyro in the "burnt out unsellable property" list.

    And contrary to what people say, the fans have no control over it. It was always in the hands of the fickle mainstream, who, despite the occasional good effort, have NO interest in Sonic.
     
  2. It's not a waste of time if we're enjoying the discussion, I think If I come to a site called Sonic Retro then I'd imagine there'd be these kind of topics to discuss.

    Not to say we should have these discussions all the time, but every once and awhile doesn't hurt anyone.

    And while the classics mostly got popular due to intensive marketing and being bundled with the consoles, they were still very good games, and even if you did dig out the flaws and bugs and point them out they're still fun to this day, while newer games like Lost World will be forgotten and hardly played again because they left a bad taste in your mouth by the end.

    It seems like every time Sonic gets close to getting on the good side of the media like it did with Colours and Generations, they risk it going back to square one by changing everything up again, and here it hasn't paid off this time with critics starting to dislike Sonic again.
     
  3. RetroKoH

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    <br><br>Ah... another one of THESE topics... They aren't without any sort of merit, but I feel like I see one of these EVERY single time a new Sonic game comes out.... and it touches upon the same exact things that the previous discussion did, before it.<br><br>I'll be short and sweet with my opinion... because quite frankly, many of the posts in this thread, especially the OP, make my typically longwinded dialogue look rather tiny by comparison. I think Sonic Team knows exactly what made Sonic good in the past (Many aspects of Generations, as well as bringing Taxman and Stealth on board for classic remakes, suggest this very fact). I think they know that as much as people liked it, they want to try to evolve from it a bit and bring new things to the table... this can be seen in the gameplay style that seems to change about every 3 games or so. I also think that as they try, it tends to take them a few attempts to get a new formula down right (See progress from Rush &gt; Unleashed &gt; Colors &gt; Generations). I for one, don't want new games to stay 100% to the same old formula that they did in 1991/2/3/4. It should get a new coat of paint every few years.<br><br>Now, I haven't played Lost World. IDK if I plan on giving it a chance, as I don't have a system for it... and the things I'm seeing and hearing don't entice me to go out of my way to have said system shipped out to me. That said, I think it's completely unfair for those who have played it to toss Lost World aside as a failure and claim that the series is falling again. People need to chill out. Let's wait and see how the build upon Lost World, in this new "Generation" of Sonic.<br><br>And that's why I really don't like topics like this...

    <div><br></div><div>EDIT - I gave the OP a real read... good god this topic was off to a rip roaring start. Here are some gems I enjoyed:<br>tl;dr Many contradictions IMO and stuff that really make this a rather invalid argument altogether... even if some statements/points are of some merit.<br>
    <br>
    <br>I'm sure they ARE aware of the basic fact that people like different things... as that's exactly what you got in Generations. You got some linear bits, some totally open-ended bits, blindingly fast bits, and parts for exploration. The bolded par tI found funny... I think what you were trying to say was, everyone likes different things, (read: variety)... and then claiming that the team who gave us variety in the last outing didn't realize this very thing.<br>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>I... What? OH... I see<br>
    <br>It wasn't JUST about capturing the spirit of the previous game... but also trying to make a progressive game. You have a valid point here, actually, but I think in doing so, you kinda miss the point of Generations as a whole... by your logic, the first boss of the game should be painstakingly hard as fuck... it wasn't... they tried to find a balance point between capturing the original level, and making it into a Generations level that progressed throughout the game, all the while giving us that variety... I felt the overall difficulty curve went along nicely, which I label as a plus IMO.<br>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>[quote name=Laura]Sonic Team do make their levels progressively more difficult in Sonic Generations ... but they do not make the levels more complex.[/quote] This sentence was already contradicted, but it was soon after followed by</div><div>[quote name=Laura]the complexity of the level designs make absolutely no sense[/quote]<br>Wait... what complexity? I thought there was none?</div><div>
    <br><br>I don't need to tear this apart anymore... It's just way too long and I've got some work to do... My point is... do we REALLY need another one of these damned threads? This is ridiculous. At least, let's get somewhere with the discussion...</div>
     
  4. Machenstein

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    If Sonic 2006 and Sonic 1 GBA didn't kill Sonic, nothing will. As much as I dislike how Sonic 4 and Lost World turned out, the only crime they committed was falling short of expectations. They weren't abominations, just games that promised more than they could possibly deliver. Sonic will always find himself in the hands of different people other than "old Japanese businessmen" and each of those people will always have varying levels of understanding when it comes to what makes Sonic good. The same goes for the consumer, most of whom would never expend the time to look into the code of the old games and find whatever programming flaws were present in the old games. All that matters is if the games function in a way that makes Sonic satisfying to control and that the levels take advantage of his abilities rather than just punish the player for using them. Cosmetic things such as art style and music also help, and the Sonic franchise has no shortage of awesome music anyway.
     
  5. GeneHF

    GeneHF

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    Just going to throw this out there...

    If you're going to cite bad games for examples, Sonic 1 GBA will not do. No one expected it to be good (even if Stealth later proved it can be done and still be pretty damn accurate.)

    If you want to use a higher profile terrible Sonic game, just use Sonic Chronicles. You know, the one which only the biggest BioWare drones thought was good, but the whole game is a figurative abortion?
     
  6. MykonosFan

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    I'll admit I still yearn for a Chronicles sequel. A story where Eggman is king of everything could be interesting, and honestly I still like the idea of a Sonic RPG. Shame it'll never happen (and probably still be bad if it does happen).
     
  7. Machenstein

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    My point was that nothing has soured the public's perception of Sonic enough for Sega to end the franchise. As for Chronicles, most people don't even remember that was a thing. In fact, the general public seems to have short term memory for all things Sonic. Sega releases Sonic games so frequently that no one, not even the developers themselves, has the time to reflect upon the previous game. Even something as monumental as Sonic 4 (on paper) was quickly forgotten in favor of Colors (following Episode I) and All-Stars Racing Transformed (following Episode II).
     
  8. Tiller

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    Can't find the quote, but neo Sonic Team's stuck in their ways despite rewriting the book every few games. They just want to make "Sonic go forward in new ways" as I recall, yet never think how to apply those new ways to make Sonic all the better for it, let alone changing their design philosophy with it. Take Lost World. They ended up building an entire parkour system so Sonic can better navigate his environment and be more controllable at slow or high speeds, which opens up exploration and slow speed areas in conjunction with lightning fast areas. They then build Lost World into a poor man's bogged down Mario Galaxy rip off with very little in the way of using the parkour meaningfully. The game ends up tedious and slow regardless with very little in the way of fast segments, and they regress back into their poor choice in level design staples that shouldn't be necessary in their frequency anymore.

    Like their insistence on packing stages to the brim with boost pads to "keep pace" and give the game direction when they specifically built a new system that eliminates the need for any of them. In addition to this they've added hidden springs which less obviously direct Sonic's path through a level since they aren't confident in their own level design or mechanics to simply let the player use the tools given to them to do it. We still have homing chains across death gaps, the floating trio parallel rails form Heroes regardless that the team mechanic is gone, and 2D areas of stages for the same reason. It's not that it's good, it just worked to some degree before so they think its a staple mechanic, so they toss it in there just because. Hell even the wisps in this game scream this, which is a shame because they took something fun and butchered it.

    Lost World gives players a toolset that's actually pretty nifty. Just look at those speedrun videos abusing the level design and avoiding much of the intended paths because they just bog the player down. Instead of making the game so directed, the focus should have been letting the player loose in an environment that actually makes use of that skillset. Instead they still brought their design mentality from the boost games over for a picnic with misguided attempts at injecting unwanted gimmick diversity into every nook and cranny of the game. It's been like this for a while now, but I doubt that's going to change.
     
  9. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    Short answer, no, hell no, they couldn't be further.

    Long answer, they're incapable of doing everything from how to create Sonic's physics to producing FM synth sound. The original games had organic physics, sprawling well designed levels, spectacular music, and a rich artistic aesthetic. There is so much quality going on in the original titles and Sonic Team is oblivious to all of it. Occasionally they seem to create something with similar appeal, usually flakes of it in a game, but I'm quite positive at this point that all of these incidents are accidental and they're stumbling in the dark. They've repeatedly proven they can't produce physics even close to the original titles and have to frequently depend on pre-animated scripted movement to compensate. While the music is still good, they seldom produce a track that can be compared in style to the classics. The deeper implied stories and powerful soul of the artistic beauty in the original games has long since dissolved with the original team and what's left is a hollow rotting shell. The newer teams are totally blind to everything that made the original games good.

    And I do believe many of their responses to the criticisms in each game have been cruel sarcasm. The fans send mixed messages and often the result is a plea from fans who don't quite know how to verbalize what's wrong with the series.
    "There's too many unnecessary characters..." the fans say. They respond by making Sonic the only playable character and reducing the rest of the cast to embarrassing inconsequential roles.
    "It's not all about speed..." say the fans. They respond by putting a strict cap on Sonic's speed and creating a very awkward control scheme and rigid platforming experience.
    The rest of what they do in the games is mediocrity spread so thin that holes show up everywhere. They take the pathetic amount of ability and awareness they have and scramble it around with each game, calling it fresh and new, with an interesting looking coat of art wrapped around it to create the illusion of an appealing game. I could go on about this subject but it's becoming too tiring. Eventually I'm just going to have to create things myself to illustrate the point. Besides that, it's already being done by others. Sonic After the Sequel, Retro Sonic, Sonic Fan Remix, these are all great examples that even some of the fans are more capable than Sonic Team in both style and gameplay. They make a statement that is both inspiring and tragic.
     
  10. STJrInuyasha

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    Please no, let's not ever mix these two phrases in the same sentence. Sonic Fan Remix is the very definition of visual oversaturation and how it negatively affects gameplay.

    And on the other hand, mentioning Retro Sonic is rather pointless since Taxman's engine is getting used for officially released games anyway.
     
  11. Mr Lange

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    I'll agree with the visual oversaturation, but in terms of a more Sonic-like game in style and gameplay, it's better than the official attempts. It's closer to how an evolution of the classic games should've been.
    Taxman's engine is being used for enhanced remakes of the existing classic games, not for new main games in the series. Taxman should be reshaping their games completely, but instead they're keeping his work sorely limited and underwhelming. This has ended up being more sad to me than if he was not involved at all. Retro Sonic was a new, original experience, that's why it counts.
     
  12. Machenstein

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    There's also Stealth's E02 Engine which, last time I checked, was being used for a fan game called Project Mettrix. There was also that demo for Sonic Zero Remastered at SAGE 2012, but I don't know what's become of that game. I think it used an advanced version of Sonic Worlds, but I remember really enjoying it.
     
  13. Metal Man88

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    Belated response, but the issue is that Sonic fans can't usually have enjoyable discussions about these things, and especially not on Sonic Retro. The Classics also remain flashes in the pan that were mostly due to an unusually good set of circumstances--not something SEGA ever really figured out. Keep in mind they totally changed the development team up between 2 and 3K--and see that, obviously, they didn't have any means to keep things going as a sequel-based thing. It was all on each team to basically reinvent everything.

    In that way nothing has ever changed--they're always reinventing the wheel, they just haven't had luck with their latest thing. So the wheel turns some more, and nothing changes except for what the current thing is.

    That's what makes it seem pointless to me--Sonic fans are divorced from the objective reality: Sonic Team wouldn't know consistency if it bit them in the face. Acting like they would listen to 'advice' for more than 15 seconds is a pipe dream. Success would still not be enough, because any temporary success would be erased by next game, rendering the entire thing... pointless.
     
  14. Palas

    Palas

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    MetalMan does have a point, but here's something to consider - if Sonic's redeeming quality was being in the right place in the right time, shouldn't that be studied anyway? Even moreso considering that's what he was created to do in the first place? How many games haven't failed commercially because they weren't marketed as carefully? And even if the classics could have been bad games and are full of bugs, the general perception even nowadays is that they aren't. In fact, no one even remembers the flack Sonic 3 got for being the same as the previous installments anymore. The games were successful and influential.

    So what happened? On addition, why the contempt for Sonic 1? It accomplished more for Sonic than Sonic 3 & Knuckles. I don't mean to be defensive, because I do agree Sonic being SEGA's face was what gave him so much investment and screentime. But even the virtue you dismiss as insignificant is important, because in the end it brought us here and serves as lesson for who wants to understand the industry and all.
     
  15. Jayextee

    Jayextee

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    I DONE MAKED GAMES.

    Quoted for motherfucking truth.

    Before gamer-entitlement kicked in and "FERPADERP WHERE'S MAH SPEED? I WANT MOAR LEVELS AND CHARACTURS AND POWRUPS" began to dominate the series' evolution, Sonic 1 offered some solid platforming delivered with a great character and sense of style. There was speed, and it was good. But it was teased and presented sparsely enough to make the player crave more, instead of beating them over the head with it until they were numb.
     
  16. corneliab

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    The current Sonic Team absolutely knows what "made" Sonic good. They just don't want to do things that way, or are too afraid to try.
     
  17. Ell678

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    Sonic 1 is still my favorite Sonic game. I mean, I love 2 and 3K of course, but the first has a bit more platforming than the others. I try to use Sonic 1 for inspiration with any Sonic related project, as opposed to 2 or 3K. That's just my preference though, and the latter games were certainly barrels of fun.
     
  18. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    >barrels.

    No. No they weren't.
     
  19. Dark Sonic

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    I respect Sonic 1 for what it did but at the end of the day it's just not all that fun for me. Even outside of the things like gameplay and level design, I don't like the music as much as the other 2 Genesis Sonic titles and I don't like the environments (Green Hill is the exception for both of those).
     
  20. Laura

    Laura

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    Hi Metal Man! Thanks for your post, let me answer to the best of my ability :) .

    You are right, it doesn't really accomplish anything, but does any post on a forum truly accomplish anything? Unless we are talking about fangames, hacking, or research, then all forum posts don't really accomplish anything other than interesting discussion. Sure, you might not like the discussion, or find it needlessly negative, and I can respect that.

    I do think you don't give the Classic Era Sonic Team enough credit though. Sonic 1 may be flawed now, but I still think it's a great game that is deserving of credit. As for Sonic 2, 3AK and CD, (with the possible exclusion of CD, but I do think it deserves mention) they are all absolute masterpieces that deserve the acclaim they get. Sure Sonic's had a lot of bad games, but it's important to keep that in mind. I also think that, despite being very flawed, Sonic Adventure is enjoyable. I love Sonic Generations too, even though I'm unsure if Sonic Team can replicate that success.

    And yeah, the classics might have had poor coding, but the developers never intended anyone to see the coding did they? Is it really fair to accuse the team of incompetency from coding that always supposed to be internally seen. And yeah, the coding might have been potentially bad, but since the games all turned out great I don't think it's fair to accuse them of a hypothetical situation.

    Hopefully you like my post :)