I like Sonic 4.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Winins, Dec 12, 2021.

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  1. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    I thought Secret Rings was considered... bad?
     
  2. Zephyr

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    I think Unleashed deserves a spot in that group as well, somewhat. It was the first mainline console Sonic game to play in 2D since 1994. Wow! And honestly, I think those 2.5D sections have always held the Boost gameplay back from seeing its full potential. A nostalgia-flavored crutch.

    I think in some cases they definitely learned the wrong lessons. The wiki's page on Unleashed's development process paints quite a picture of their jumbled priorities:
    "Sonic's Shitty Friends™" were the target of so much ire because they embodied alternate playstyles that people who simply wanted to play a Sonic game didn't get the game for. Stripping the friends away, but giving Sonic himself multiple gameplay styles, one of which might as well star someone other than Sonic given how it plays, dodged whatever substance that criticism may have actually contained, and kept the problem alive.

    "Classic Sonic" in Generations and Forces barely remedies this, if at all, in my eyes. Sure, it's not Mech Shooting, or a 3D Beat Em Up, it's at least a facsimile of a Sonic game on the Genesis (and for joe shmo game reviewer, that might be enough, as it apparently was for plenty of Sonic 4: Episode I's reviewers); but it ultimately is just a facsimile, and one whose time and resources might have been better spent on the proper core of those games (ie: the Boost levels).

    This is all more puzzling given how well Sonic 2 and 3K did by giving very little, if any, mechanical variance to the non-Sonic playable characters, something that easily could have been done for Unleashed, Colors, and Generations. It was finally done in Forces, with Shadow.

    At the same time though, it's hard to blame Sonic Team for taking the wrong lessons to heart, when they do, given how disingenuous some of the criticism can be at times; see: IGN's Unleashed coverage, for instance. Or, how mutually exclusive different bits of criticism from different parties can be; different fans want different things, and like you said, trying to please everyone can be a mess.
     
  3. The Joebro64

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    It's generally viewed as "meh" nowadays, but it was seen as a huge breath of fresh air after '06, Wiimote controls notwithstanding - a 3D Sonic game where you play as Sonic, with friends relegated to the weird Mario Party multiplayer mode.

    And people were a LOT more tolerable of the Wiimote controls back then. The Wii was still new and a lot of developers were doing similar things with Wiimote controls in their games, so you couldn't really fault Sonic Team for trying to take advantage of the newfangled motion control tech.
     
  4. Forte

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    Oh Sonic Lost World... I will always remember you as my breaking point with Sonic games. The 3DS version was just so bad I rage quit the game on some snow level, and PC version which I played a few years back was just... bland.

    I'd play Sonic 4 over Lost World anytime. It's better game in my opinion.

    It's actually pretty funny. I remember Sonic 4 being literally the worst thing on earth back in the day. The flame wars on internets, the physics analysis, people hated this game with a passion. And now? People admit they kinda liked it. That's pretty cool.

    And to think that all Sonic 4 drama could have been easily avoided if they had just stick to the game's initial name - Sonic The Portable.

    That's all it was, a portable iPhone Sonic title, but SEGA saw the success of MegaMan 9... And the rest is history.
     
  5. Josh

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    This has been, and eventually will be, the fate of most of the "hated" games in the series. Not that all those criticisms leveled at Sonic 4 were invalid, but vitriol like THAT tends to come from the dark side of nostalgia, where expectations (as defined by childhood memories) are betrayed. But it eventually runs out, people calm down.
     
  6. Blue Blood

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    Just quoting this for truth. Opinions on SatSR had soured after a year, but when it was new the game was getting positive press from fans and critics. It was Sonic only and fundamentally just running and jumping, which is exactly what people wanted after all of the previous 3D Sonic games. I never agreed with the criticism of "Sonic's shitty friends" but it was definitely a thing. Because it's repeatedly flawed Sonic games, criticisms got confused and shallow. What should have been a criticism of unlikeable characters, bad stories and unfocused gameplay was diluted down to "Sonic's friends are shitty and therefore removing them will make the games better". SatSR addressed such unconstructive criticism and got praised for it.

    Nah, I personally wouldn't put it there. Unleashed is kind of a half-step. It's the first mainline game the was strictly Sonic only (or second if you include SatSR) and it had a much lighter tone than any previous 3D Sonic game. But it was very intent on doing its own thing still: there were dozens of human characters, the world was realistic and there was still plot that ended with a battle against a gigantic monster. And, most importantly, it still kept up the idea of multiple gameplay styles, but instead of using different characters it just had Sonic and Sonic in a new form.

    I dunno. Unleashed was like SEGA's attempt to keep the series going in the same direction as for the decade preceding it, but also with some course correction for its biggest missteps. After both it and Black Knight bombed with critics, they kind of just went ham on turning the series into a nostalgia fuelled, very causal affair, but they didn't try to understand why people wanted those things in the first place. That worked out well for Colours and Generations, and horribly for S4, Lost World and eventually Forces.

    My point is kind of round-about, but basically SEGA's thought process behind S4 is the same thought process that brought us everything else that came after it. Chasing nostalgia and and not understanding criticism. Unleashed was a bold, solid-attempt to fix the series, but the inclusion of the Werehog gameplay and the game being released with such an unpolished state with a naff framerate were smriti very foolish moves that undermined almost everything else.
     
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  7. Forte

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    You know what? I feel like Frontiers might be a "bold, solid-attempt to fix the series". Hopefully, it gets treated better than Unleashed back in the day.
     
  8. Josh

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    If chasing nostalgia defines the issue, surely Heroes should be the start of this "era," haha. We reverted to a "two acts and a boss" structure, the tone was so kiddie that it felt in no way like a sequel to the Dreamcast games, the story was out of focus, it brought back a ton of characters for the sake of fanservice, and it wore the classic aesthetic because this was the first multi-platform Sonic game and the 16-bit titles had been more successful.

    It was also the first title really promoted with phrases like, "return to form," and, "We're going back to the roots of what made Sonic great," which nearly every game released over the next half-decade would repeat.

    I don't actually think Heroes was the start of anything (except maybe the downfall of the series' perception among the fandom), I'm just saying. :P

    But Unleashed? That was the first mainline game developed without any of the original members of Sonic Team at the helm, created by a new team of mostly youngsters, many of whom had grown up with the series.

    It felt like, for the first time in ages, the team actually WANTED to make a Sonic game, and got to make something they were passionate about, breaking new ground and redefining the series. It was the first game since SA2 whose plot didn't revolve around Shadow, and it set so many trends that have carried through to Forces. Most importantly, it premiered the gameplay style that's defined most 3D Sonic games ever since.

    It was absolutely the start of a new era, every bit as much as Sonic Adventure was. And to lump it under the same banner as Heroes, Shadow, and 06 (which many reviewers at the time unfortunately did) is and was selling it short.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
  9. Dek Rollins

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    I know kid me considered it bad. My brother and I shut that game off after probably just the first level and returned it.
     
  10. Forte

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    I remember disliking the game because of the autorun. I wonder if it can be emulated in dolphin with some hacks, to disable it.
     
  11. I tried to like Sonic 4, but the overall physics in that game killed it for me. Sonic felt very stiff to control.

    Granted Rush felt like this, but the boost gameplay made it bearable for me to play, and was deviation from the Genesis titles so I feel that it's not too fair to compare.

    Sonic 4 shouldn't have been a deviation control-wise imo, especially since it's supposed to be a sequel.
     
  12. Dark Sonic

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    While Sega took a hard turn around Sonic 4 and Sonic Generations away from the Dreamcast/GC era stuff, I feel like they got themselves into that mess by taking such a hard turn away from the Genesis titles in the 1st place. Adventure 1 tried a little but SA2 said fuck that completely, bring on the rails and the edgelordness. Heroes was a slight exception, but then Shadow and 06 came out and carried that SA2 tone with it.

    Maybe if they didn't go so hard one way back with SA2 they wouldn't have had to take such a hard turn back. But by the time you got to like 06, yea the characters are reminiscent of their old selves but how they play, what they're saying and doing, the world they're in it looked so fucking stupid of course they had to change things again. Mario changed too when going into 3D, but at least everything still felt grounded in the universe. They looked and felt like Mario games. Sonic at that time was busy having an identity crisis.
     
  13. Beltway

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    That only makes it a bigger shame they didn't carry the physics over from the first two Advance titles to Sonic 4 and added the necessary salt. Not that most of the staff who did the Advance titles worked on Sonic 4 anyway IIRC.

    And I'm putting emphasis on the first two games, because I wouldn't call the physics in Advance 3 good. It's like the values for movement got slapped with a treacle stick, so movement was bizarrely floaty and laggy compared to the previous titles. It's maybe a step up above Rush (which Sonic 4 shares far more of its characteristics with more than anything else) and that's about it.

    It's a "feature" but there's not really much to the co-op element that it's supposed to have. It's really more about giving player one some flashy gimmick abilities they can access anytime without a second player. Not because those new abilities actually expanded on the gameplay that's there, but more so the level designers could force you to use those moves in order to progress. Hats off to them though for adding the Rolling Combo though, it's probably one of the few times a development team directly gave the player a tool-assisted speedrun / Game Genie ability at just the press of a button. It's that hilariously broken.

    ...

    OP, if you like the game, well, more power to you I guess. There's about fifty-four more of you out there on the internet that feel the same way.

    Speaking for myself, I was one of those that stuck up for Sega and Sonic 4: Episode I, all the way up to release. It didn't take long after I bought it and played it for me to realize that was a big mistake and I was a total mark for falling for the hype. There's not much else there to say about this game that hasn't been covered already, and MD fans eventually got Mania as something of an apology/consolation prize.

    The most value I see out of Sonic 4 is to use as a reference on what happens when you try and swindle your target audience with a trojan horse. (The last bit of which is not hyperbole, by the by...)
     
  14. Overlord

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    For what it's worth as someone who had it pretty much at launch day, I hated Secret Rings pretty much from the get-go, simply because of the control setup. It got to the point that out of 06 and Secret Rings, I was flipping back and forth which I hated most based on which I'd most recently played. By the time you were getting to the point where you were literally making masturbation motions to kill bosses, I nope'd out, and never finished it.

    An awful time to be a Sonic fan, things didn't start to clear up until Unleashed came out.
     
  15. corneliab

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    Secret Rings is a more interesting game than Sonic 4 across the board and I did actually enjoy it a lot when it came out. I still don't even think it's a bad game, but it is an extremely experimental and heavily flawed one. Probably my single biggest issue with it is that you start out with compromised movement and are sluggish as hell until you can... upgrade your movement sensitivity. So the game purposefully nerfs your controls and turns you into a slippery jackass until you gradually earn upgrades that improve it. That is baffling to me since it ensures that you're going to be struggling to accurately control Sonic for awhile in a game where you have to move him around with the Wii remote. It's a terrible combination and guarantees that the game is going to feel like shit to play for a good bit.

    If you can get past that fairly steep initial hill the game becomes a satisfying challenge, particularly if you seek out gold medals and gain more powerups. For an early Wii game it was also quite pretty and was a real spectacle at times. But yeah, I haven't returned to it in ages and have no desire to considering its very unfun start and it being stuck on the Wii.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
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  16. Nope

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    When I was a child I played Secret Rings and in the first level I began to wish they would just make a Sonic game with a normal control scheme.

    They have still not made that game.
     
  17. Ravenfreak

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    Okay cool, you're entitled to your own opinion. I enjoy the music in both games and I feel that Episode 2 fixed some issues that Episode 1 had. I was hyped for this game back when it was announced, so much so that when Chimpo made signatures for Sonic 4 and Mega Man 10, I used the Sonic 4 signature because I wanted it to be a great game and I was looking forward to it. But the physics are just terrible in Episode 1... This game definitely doesn't capture what made the classics amazing, thank god we got Mania 7 years later.
     
  18. BadBehavior

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    To continue from what Josh said about them doing what was necessery after 06, I wonder if Frontiers is the start of them doing what's necessery after Forces: For them to finally listen and do what people had been begging them to do for what felt like ages and pull the series out of the rut it's is in right now (in terms of games at least. The comics and movies are in a good place, hopefully Prime is too)
     
  19. Laura

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    I think the irony when it comes to critical opinions on Sonic in the 2010s is that the games were actually getting generous reviews by critics rather than the 'hating' which a lot of fans used to make out. It's true that the Sonic Adventure re-release and Unleashed reviewed poorly and are now popular, but Secret Rings reviewed slightly above average, Sonic 4 was reviewed relatively well, and I think most people nowadays are opposed to the positive feedback of Colors. Even Generations is probably less popular now with fans compared to the positive critical reviews. And while Lost World's mediocre reviews were originally very unpopular because of the (initially popular) wave Colors and Generations seemed to be showing, fan opinion very quickly lined up to critical reviews.

    I think critics were actually generous about the newer era of Sonic games because their criticisms were fairly superficial. They were lenient because Sonic was the only playable character, the new games ditched the genre roulette, and the story had been stripped back. Which made it funny when fans used to keep claiming critics hated Sonic when they were really only angry over a handful of reviews (specifically IGN's Sonic Unleashed and Adventure re-review).

    Looking back at it, I think the real divide between fans and critics were expectations of the franchise. Fans essentially wanted Sonic to continue in the direction Sonic 06 was going in, just done in a competent rather than horrendous manner. Whereas critics wanted the complete opposite and that's where the franchise headed. But a lot of fans couldn't parse this and irrationally lashed out at critics hating Sonic when they were reviewing the games relatively well. Of course, when the critics kept falsely saying Sonic hadn't reviewed well in decades every new game release it didn't help matters.

    And when I'm talking about 'fans' here you know who I'm talking about.

    I think it's especially funny now because critical and fan opinion have closely lined up in more recent years. Fan and critical opinion on Sonic Mania, Forces, and Team Sonic Racing are almost exactly the same. If Sonic Adventure re-released nowadays I imagine it would review fairly differently (although I don't think it would get anything higher than a 7) because of changing critical expectations. I do think that critics have largely departed from the Solo Sonic' position which they had in the past, for example. the multiple characters weren't criticised in Sonic Boom and even Mania Plus' (imo) bizarre additions of Mighty and Ray were treated fairly. Forces' Episode Shadow was also not really mentioned much at all and even it's genuinely poor handling of many characters in its plot was largely overlooked.
     
  20. The Joebro64

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    I'm sorry, what? Colors and Generations are still pretty popular among Sonic fans. It's just a vocal minority that dislikes them.
     
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