Is there good reason anymore to have 2 Sonic designs?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by High Fidelity, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. SpeedStarTMQ

    SpeedStarTMQ

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    What we now refer to as ‘Modern Sonic’ is just Sonic. He’s slightly more grown-up in looks and though that’s mostly down to design it can also be attributed to the passing of time in the games. He’s clearly the same Sonic because he’s referenced as going to Angel Island in Sonic Adventure and other things.

    What we call ‘Classic Sonic’ is from another time in Generations, but from another dimension in Forces.

    Up until Sonic Generations they’re both the same Sonic. After Generations Classic Sonic and Robotnik go back and the split happens. It seems like after this Sonic Mania happens / Sonic 4.

    Then with Forces, Classic Sonic is removed from his timeline split in Mania again and sent to Forces - a removed future for him and thus an alternative dimension. From this point onwards the plot device both in game and for the series seems to now be that Classic Sonic as we know him now is from another dimension and this any marketing can be split for each without ruining the history of the games but at the same time changing the perception of the characters going forward. The problem is now that I don’t think SEGA can create a hybrid between the two designs which I think hurts the games and the character.

    SEGA aren’t also helping by not really coming forward to clarify their decisions. I’m pretty confident that what I’ve said is what the situation actually is, but do I know for sure? :flunked:

    Unfortunately the team don’t know their own game history because they referred to Knuckles’ story in S&K as taking place the same time as Sonic’s which we know is incorrect and makes no sense, and they also haven’t explained the Blaze and Silver situation in any meaningful way though I believe that’s also the same situation. Anything is possible until SEGA clarify and this will probably never happen.

    Personally I’d like there to be a change for the 30th Anniversary. I’d like both Classic and Modern to be dropped going forward (not erased from history), a hybrid design created and the games going forward using this for both 2D and 3D with no distinction. This is how Sonic was between 1998 and 2012 and I’d like that to continue.
     
  2. RDNexus

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    How about reboot the franchise, taking the best of the 2D & 3D games (lore, plot, gameplay) and start a new timeline that might appease all sides?
    Add to that said hybrid design (it could be inspired by Movie Sonic (more points to @Boxer Hockey xD)) and it could be a nice way to start all anew.
     
  3. Lapper

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    A new hybrid redesign (and forgetting the previous designs) means never having a Mania again and would almost definitely result in a far future game featuring all 3 together.

    "All those Old Modern fans complaining at the MordernModern Fans". Lets just make 50 classic to modern to movie progression designs and fragment everything so everyone's happy!

    Branches are the problem, 2 was already too many. Now with the movie we already have 3.

    Clearly the answer is just chop off all the branches, go back to roots, and kill Modern Sonic?

    Anyway
    The 2 Sonics thing didnt have to be a bad thing. Having both in a game, past Generations, is dumb sauce BUT -
    When it was said they might split the franchise into Manias and Moderns I was excited, I had a side I could mostly ignore and I side I could love FULLY, I liked the split, I'd live happily in that dimension but alas we are all doomed.

    Idc if its time passing or dimensions or w/e it doesn't change the fact they are completely different characters - and its way more than just the design to me (tho that does matter) its the games, theming, simplicity, attitude, errythin. They are different characters to me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  4. Overlord

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    No reboots, no movie-Sonic takeover, no thank you.
     
  5. Lapper

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    While I prefer Movie design, having it take over ingame would just split the fanbase again and probably tarnish the movie Sonic's much more likeable character so I'd agree about that never happening.
     
  6. RDNexus

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    I'm not sure if you've already done it, but what do you think could be a good solution to the matter presented in the OP?
     
  7. Josh

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    Eh. I never saw it that way. Even when Sonic Adventure came out, it was too different from the Genesis games for me to see it as the same continuity, and it never made sense to me that "getting older" would cause everyone's eyes to change color. I didn't like that explanation in Sonic Generations, and I don't like it now. I think the current paradigm, where classic is canonically a separate universe, has finally got it right. And in as much as there is a "solution" to this...

    Leaning exclusively on either design at the expense of the other is just going to alienate some proportion of the fanbase. If classic just went away forever, some fans might not care, but I'd think that SUCKED. Likewise, if ol' green eyes was fully replaced by the old design, I'd be okay with that, but it'd really disappoint other fans. The best solution was probably to just NOT redesign the character so much in the first place, but you can't put that genie back in the bottle. So I think they need to make a strength of the brand, and not a weakness.

    Make a fully-modernized update on the Adventure formula starring those incarnations of the characters in a fairly realistic setting, featuring multiple characters and gameplay styles and Chao Gardens. Make more lighthearted, action-oriented boost games, both to satisfy fans of that style and to fill gaps between bigger-budget Adventure-esque releases.

    Meanwhile, MAKE A 3D CLASSIC SONIC ALREADY. It should aesthetically match the classics, and _finally_ bring the more momentum-oriented gameplay of that series into 3D. And of course, we should keep getting Retro Engine 2D Sonic alongside them!

    The issue with all of this, of course, is that it takes a great deal of investment, with no guarantee that these games would be worth their budget. I think that's exactly what went wrong with Sonic Forces, in fact. In an attempt to justify a AAA budget, Forces needed to have AAA sales, and Sega seemed to think the best way to do that was to try to have something for every type of Sonic fan. But I think they were listening to noisy edge cases... I think we all have our preferences, but most of us LIKE good Sonic games regardless of what style they take. A _good_ Sonic game will be well-received regardless of what design it uses, which gameplay style it has, or what bells & whistles it includes. So I think the best way to start is to just release a game that's clearly focused on SOMETHING.
     
  8. I often get frustrated in these discussions because I feel like I'm getting a similar vibe to the time when Batman fans essentially wiped the 1966 series off the face of the Earth for decades because it wasn't "their Batman". It wasn't dark and badass like the comics - the way they wanted it.

    But it was still a Batman that was just as legitimate as other interpretations, be it Burton's, Nolan's, Snyder's, or whatever the hell was going on in Schumacher's movies. Sonic is the same case. Just because Modern Sonic is not the Sonic you're used to doesn't mean it's not a valid interpretation of the character - it's still Sonic. Classic Sonic, Modern Sonic, Boom Sonic, hell, even the pre-redesign movie Sonic - they're all completely valid interpretations.

    Over time, Batman fans grew up and accepted that there can be a multitude of Batmans, be it funny, serious, or stupid. I think that's something Sonic fans need to do too. There are multiple designs, but that's fine because they're still Sonic - the character we all know and love. It's fine to prefer a specific version but to go around harassing others to convince them "your" Sonic is the only legitimate one is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  9. Sid Starkiller

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    The fault in that assessment is that you're assuming there's such a thing as "Batman fans", a hivemind-like group that all want the same thing. There's not. Batman fans can be roughly categorized as Burton fans, Nolan fans, BTAS fans, Adam West fans, etc., and even that doesn't do it justice. I call myself a Classic Sonic fan, for example, but while I have some opinions in common with...let's say Josh just because he posted a few minutes ago, there's ways our opinions differ, too, and to assume we want the same thing just because we're both "Classic Sonic fans" would be wrong.

    And as people have said, franchises like Transformers, TMNT, and yes, Batman have all had many iterations throughout the decades, and that's fine. People can cherry pick their favorite versions (Beast Wars>G1 fite me) and ignore the rest. No one's proposing that those franchises strip down to one version, and we shouldn't either.
     
  10. Wafer

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    I am fully expecting a third design of Sonic to appear in the main series games at some point. I just think it's unavoidable, unless the franchise tanks in some cataclysmic fashion that it can never recover from. And I'm fully expecting that design to (eventually, at least) effectively replace the Modern Sonic for new releases, on account of the fact that Sega would rather keep Classic around to have the option of cashing in on nostalgia, but they just don't have the dev resources or release slots to support more than two mainline Sonics at a time.

    If Boom had been more popular, you can bet your ass that Boom Sonic would be the current Modern interpretation.

    If it happens, that's gonna suck for whatever part of the fandom loses "their" Sonic, and I sympathize. But it's the nature of things.

    At some point, I feel that Sega's going to decide that things need to be changed up, even at the expense of alienating a portion of their hardcore fans, because ultimately, you're talking about a fraction of a fraction of the target demographic.

    I'm fine with that, personally. With the possible exception of the last decade or so of Boost games, if there's one constant to the Sonic franchise, it's that the franchise is always changing (just like Sonic is always moving, geddit?) So long as the new design isn't hideous and the gameplay is fun, I'll get behind it.

    There isn't a long-running franchise under the sun that hasn't changed in some way to stay relevant. Time is the only thing separating the Sonic fandom from becoming something as fractured as eg. the Batman fandom.

    I'm not trying to crush anyone's dreams of an Adventure 3 or Mania 5, because I share those same dreams! But I think it would be the height of hubris on Sega's part for them to resist change indefinitely.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  11. Frostav

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    I don't see why we can't just have a game that does...both. Why not just make a 3D game with the aesthetics of the classics, the modern designs (maybe with slight tweaks to look a little more "classic") and chao gardens.

    I think the two designs should just be confined to the two kinds of games--that is, 3D games get modern, 2D games get classic, and that's that. As I said earlier, both styles of game should have the same classic aesthetics and emphasis on momentum and complex level design. Modern's games would just look and play like Sonic Robo Blast 2, and classic's games would be like Mania. It'd be a similar situation to the early days of Mega Man X, where X ran concurrently with the classic series and each one used different designs, but the two clearly shared a very extensive foundation gameplay/design-wise.

    Either the 3D games and 2D games would be treated as separate universes, or just a matter of art-style; when in 2D sonic is just drawn Like This and when 3D Sonic is just drawn Like That for the same reason 2D Mario has a different design than 3D Mario. In addition, classic characters could appear in 3D games but modern characters (i.e Shadow/Rouge/etc.) would never appear in 3D games. This is pretty arbitrary, but I know if Shadow appeared in like Mania 5 or something there'd be riots in front of SEGA HQ in a day lmao

    Also Classic designs should be unlockables in these hypothetical 3D games for beating the main campaign. Just as a little extra.
     
  12. Beltway

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    Because what you're describing is not actually doing "both." What you're describing is taking some properties of one style of Sonic and then applying it on top of another style of Sonic; and I doubt that's going to appeal to any specific audience you may or may not be aiming for. General/casual audiences that might be favorable to any flavor of Sonic might like that, which is perfectly fine; but that's not going to be the case for everybody else.

    If you're a fan that wants a game that is focused on continuing a particular direction of Sonic (whether it's Genesis, Adventure, or Boost and all that entail each of them--gameplay, art/animation, music/sounds, story/writing, etc.); you're probably not going to be all that jazzed that you're getting a Sonic game that has some elements that you want out of the series but otherwise has a different format of Sonic going on that you may not care for or outright dislike. We already have case studies of games in this series attempting to do so (Sonic 4, Sonic Forces) and the results proceeding to backfire into divisive responses.
     
  13. Beltway

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    *glances at the recycled assets, lack of content, muted advertising campaign*

    I'm still wondering where exactly did the AAA budget (and four-year development cycle) for Forces went...

    (double post)
     
  14. Frostav

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    Sonic 4 and Forces were bad because they didn't actually appeal to anyone. Like using them as an example against my idea is borderline nonsensical.

    What I'm talking about is taking the things people actually like about classic, the things people like about modern, and properly combining them into one game. I already discussed this on the previous page: Modern is a shambling mess devoid of any coherent identity after nearly 20 years. The only way to fix it is to go back to the classics, take their elements, and mix them with what good ideas modern did have for a new paradigm. I believe that such a thing would work if done properly.

    "Some people would complain" who cares, the whiny kids will stop complaining once they see Shadow :V (man I sound like a classic grognard more and more with each passing day)

    But really I am tired of the idea that Modern and Classic have to be these two entirely separate...things so incongruous with each other that they cannot be combined. Like, they are right now, but that's from Sonic Team's cumulative fuckups, not because they have to be.

    (Admittedly, a lot of my weird viewpoint is being the pretty rare mixture of a Modern fans who's slowly become a classic grognard over the years. Because of this I'm like the sole person in the world who wants to see the modern games just be, like, Sonic Robo Blast 2 but with the modern cast and a plot :V, rather than be some kind of Adventure 2 sequel)
     
  15. DigitalDuck

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    I guarantee the things I like about classic and modern are different to the things you like about classic and modern, are different to the things someone else likes about classic and modern.

    And what about people who don't like classic Sonic games at all? What about people who don't like modern Sonic games at all? All you're doing is ruining what could be a great game for them, by forcing in things they don't like.

    I don't think taking two very different games and smashing them together works. Hell, it's already what they've been doing since Sonic Adventure...
     
  16. Dek Rollins

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    This thread reminded me of something that I've thought about for a long time now. While I think both designs should still be used (in separate games), I think the "modern" design should be changed. By that I mean it should return to form, in a way. Back when the redesign actually happened, the new design then was different from the current model being used today.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    In the 1998 design, his body is still round, but tapered at the bottom, making a sort of fat egg shape turned upside down. In the current design his body is a tiny, flat, kind of rectangular human-like shape. In addition, his legs are too long. The disproportional construction of the current design looks awkward in my opinion. Regarding the head, Sonic's center brow crease (whatever it's called) looks stupid. SA1 and SA2 used a simple brow in the center for 3D models, and they look better for it. Not only that, but compare the rest of the face of the current design to the 3D '98 design, and there is a lot more expression in the old one. The '98 model's eyebrow ridges are more pronounced, and his 'snout' retains a proper dip and rise from cheek to nose. Everything on the current face is flat and straight, lacking the personality that classic Sonic and early modern Sonic both had. Also, his spike in both '98 renders look like spikes, but the current model's look like massive tubes coming out of his head. Ultimately, modern Sonic looks like a dork and I hate it.

    I think they should make a new model, inspired by the design of that Adventure era model. Maybe make the hands and feel a bit smaller, and perhaps give him new shoes (something shaped like the Puma shoes, with a simpler design and a proper buckle).
     
  17. Beltway

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    Actually, Sonic 4 did appeal to some people. It's just that the people it did appeal to wasn't the target audience Sega said they were aiming for. That game had plenty of vouchers (casual reviewers/fans and some people that actually didn't like the classic games) before and after release who thought the game was perfectly fine and that classic fans were being overly critical, unpleasable whiners ("GREEN EYES, BAW!"). I'm not sure if you were there back in the day, but check the old threads here, Sonic Stadium, Sega Forums (through the Wayback Machine archives, anyway), and elsewhere. You wouldn't get that type of broken base reception Sonic 4 did from a game that didn't appeal to anyone.

    Forces is a more downplayed example in that while it did get a mostly tepid reception all-around, it too has got some people who were able to have some fun with it; whether it's through the Custom Hero, the 2000s throwback of edge or a serious story (or at least, the attempt at doing so), or if you just needed anything to scratch an itch for a new 3D (Boost) Sonic game after Generations/Lost World. Some of them are still even here if you know where to look or who to talk to.
     
  18. Josh

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    Gah, I got sick of that. It SO quickly became a sort of nuance-destroying shorthand, dismissing perfectly valid and well-thought-out criticisms as if everyone was just mad about Sonic's EYE COLOR. Sure, people wanted and expected the Genesis design to come back for a game called Sonic *4*, and were disappointed when it didn't happen, but I never once saw anyone argue that was the REASON they didn't like Sonic 4.

    But there was something that made me SUPER happy today. I saw one of Sony's official PlayStation groups talking about Sonic Forces on Facebook (free for PS+ members!). The comments were full of people saying how much their kids loved playing it, praising it for being so streamlined, offering infinite lives so they didn't get frustrated, and having so much action that their kids felt AMAZING playing it. And at the end of the day, THAT is so much more important than how tall the main character is or whether it "achieves the potential" of the "boost formula." Nothing makes me happier than knowing that kids STILL LOVE SONIC. :D

    Regarding the multiple designs, there was someone confused as to why the image had two Sonics, and someone excitedly explained that you can play levels with "3D" Sonic, and old "Sega"-style levels with "2D" Sonic, and they bonded over HOW COOL THAT IS. And it is cool! I feel like I could take something from their example, and BE LESS CYNICAL. I just wanna love this series, and celebrate everything that makes it special. All this squabbling between entrenched fanboys and fangirls like us don't really amount to a hill of beans, which is fine by me.
     
  19. Sonic Forces is honestly a guilty pleasure for me. It's certainly not a great game, but you know what? It's fun to go back to it every once and a while. I always thought its soundtrack was great, it had a few fun levels, speedrunning is fun, and its bosses were inventive even though they were flawed. Am I saying Sonic Forces a good game? Hell no, objectively it's a dumpster fire and an undercooked mess, and I think Mania and Lost World were much better. But I can't help but like it.

    Speaking of Lost World... anyone think that game would've been better off if they'd just used the classic designs in it? It wouldn't have fixed the other aspects of course, but I think it suits the aesthetic and gameplay much better (if you see the classic mod for the Steam version, you'll get what I mean).
     
  20. Rockman Zero

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    I don't want any reboots or design merges either. I'll take an "Into-The-Sonic-Verse" more than anything: a completely self-aware adventure and parody of itself.

    Sega knows the demand for Classic Sonic is now an asset, and won't be retiring him anytime soon. Thanks to Sonic Mania, Classic strengthens the brand.