Ken Pontac and Warren Graff are implied to be no longer writing for the series.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Yes, I do enjoy the writing on its own merit. The Saturday morning cartoon feeling for me perfectly fits the Sonic I knew growing up. I wouldn't say I can't stand the 2000s era games, they were just pretty universally worse to control than the ones previous and the characterisation took a hard left turn. I'll play SA2 without having an awful time but given the choice, I'd rather play the Generations version of City Escape than the one in SA2.

    Not really. As you said, it's always been a franchise for children. I was playing this series when my age was in single digits as well, and was there any edgey stuff like Shadow? Was there anything as overly ridiculous as pretty much anything involving Black Doom, as Nova mentioned? There was still high stakes plot - have a go-over of S3&K's story for example, which is also a great example of showing and not telling due to it being conveyed without even having to utter a single word.

    One thing I do think is funny is that if you sit back and look at Colours' plot, there's a thread there about Robotnik basically wanting to genocide the Wisps for the sake of his new energy source, but it's so well disguised for its child-focused audience you'd never notice it unless you sat down and thought about it. It doesn't need to be constantly hurled in your face - like 2000s writing would - for there to be a higher-stakes plot involved, the jokes are a superficial layer that you can get past if you try. The Saturday morning cartoon presentation just fits better with the Sonic that I know, which isn't one with characters talking about their dark and tragic past all the time like Shadow does. The one thing SA2's plot got right was killing him at the end of the game, and the worst thing Heroes did was resurrect him as it retroactively ruined SA2's ending - the entire point of it was lost.

    Shadow is inexplicably popular with the kids who grew up in the emo era of the 2000s, yes - and by emo I'm not strictly referring to the games, I'm talking society in general. Doesn't mean he has universal popularity or even knowledge by the wider general public.

    I think the core of the issue is this - the Adventure kids are disappointed that "their" games are looked down on in terms of gameplay, writing, critical reception. They're upset by this, moreso because the Classic kids' games aren't. Ask man on the street which if any Sonic games he's played and chances are you're going to get Sonic 1, 2, and then probably nothing after that until Mania - the success of which was another slap in the face to said Adventure kids because it was the best selling game in well over a decade and featured zero of the 2000s era tropes or characters. You're perfectly entitled to feel upset about this but it's still the truth.
     
  2. Mana

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    I always thought that was done on purpose though. Like Sonic is this cocky badass guy who also think he's the funniest person in the room when he's clearly not but his confidence makes the lines work. Nobody else could say "Where you going, you big drip?" and still keep the mystery and drama of the moment so well.

    I'd even argue Pontgraff understood that part of his character too because "baldy mcnosehair" is a joke I could see adventure era Sonic making too. It's just part of his DNA.
     
  3. Metalwario64

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    People keep talking about the 2010s games as being like "Saturday morning cartoon", but if they actually were, they'd be some of the most bland ones with the least funny dialog.

    AoSTH had more clever writing and more action, and better humor with insane slapstick and everything involving Robotnik, and the actual Sonic Saturday morning cartoon had way more effort into characterization, continuity and action.

    Before anyone makes any assumptions, I'm not saying those cartoons are the best Sonic ever had to offer (they both have problems), but I feel like they capture the qualities of a cartoon way better than the games that tried to do the same.
     
  4. ]

    Fair enough. I generally prefer the Generations version myself actually, even if I think Sonic controls a bit worse. But on the whole, it's a complete upgrade.

    Depends entirely on how old are you right now; I'm 27, I played Sonic Adventure 2 when I was 10 years old, and that's when things like Dragon Ball Z were at the height of their popularity over here in the United States. So unless you grew up in an earlier period than I did, or just didn't care much about Anime at all, I don't think anyone who grew up in that period wouldn't know about all of the overt anime references going on at the time. And even them, Dragon Ball Z is a Shonen series, which the target demographic are young children so yea, Sonic was still very much a kids series even when it was indulging in pure Anime tropes. At this point, it feels like we differ in what we identity as "a children's series", but functionally speaking Sonic has always been targeting kids regardless of the content in the games.

    And this is what I mean; you're praising Sonic Colors, while also taking the opportunity to make passive-aggressive criticism towards Sonic Adventure 2 when nobody prompted that to begin with. Shadow was brought back because he was popular, in the same way Tails was popular, and how Knuckles was popular. Nothing more, nothing less.

    He's literally the most popular character in the franchise besides Sonic himself, and the only other character to have an entry in a Guinness World record book.

    Based on what? I'm not saying you don't have a point, but what makes this take any more valid? You have a survey or something to provide?

    Most of the negative critical reception towards the older games is generally from Classic fans like yourself, who for some reason feel the need to put those games down at almost any opportunity, even when nobody has prompted you to do so. If you noticed, I have not once taken Umbridge with your own preferences and talked down towards what you liked. I even praised Generations because I genuinely do like that game for the most part. So yea, I think Adventure kids have a bit of a right to be a little peeved off when, for a long time, you couldn't even talk about those games without getting a constant reminder that those games do in fact suck.

    And the irony is that Classic fans were literally in a similar position roughly about a decade ago when we had Sonic 4 as our representation for 2D gameplay, and this entire forum was losing their minds over it. At the end of the day, we're all here because we like Sonic, we might like different things about him but they all stem from the same source. I'm just over needing to justify what I like about the series, only to be told by a bunch people older than me that what I like was terrible and I should just go in a corner and eat my peas. Its needlessly toxic and that more than anything is why the Sonic fanbase as a whole has the reputation that it does.

    I love Sonic 3, I love Sonic Adventure 2, and I love Sonic Generations, and I love Sonic Mania. I don't need anyone telling me the things I liked about the series are "wrong". In any case, I at least understand your position better, so thanks for taking the time to respond.
     
  5. I want you to think about how many Sonic imitators that Sonic had in the 90's, and how many of them made it past the 90's. When your character is nothing but a bunch of snappy one-liners, it makes it really hard to actually take them seriously, go figure.

    The reason Sonic's character works is because he's heroic to a fault in spite of his "attitude"; he can be a cocky jackass one second, and then give you lessons on how to live your life the next. That juxtaposition is why his character has endured for so long.

    Sonic is either too boring, or just straight up annoying if you don't properly balance his traits very well. The Pontaff's games aren't the worst of it mind you, but I feel like the general controversy about them is that Sonic went from a larger than life hero who was taking on eldritch gods with a cheeky grin on his face, to a stand up comedian. I feel like if the games just properly balanced those two traits out (and ya know, made the dialogue actually worth a damn) it'd be a lot easier to sell Sonic's personality without it coming off as too boring or too annoying.
     
  6. SystemsReady

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    I actually thought she kicked ass in 06, straight up standing up to Silver and hanging out with him to help him out instead of tailing Sonic everywhere, and supporting Elise like you said, which made her way more interesting without her being ostensibly unrecognizable. Like with Shadow's character in that game, they somehow managed to get that right in a game where very little was.
     
  7. SystemsReady

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    Re: Sonic's characterization. To an extent I always enjoyed "epic" Sonic in the sense of, S3&K is still quite possibly the quintessential Sonic to me. I think what makes S3&K work without being melodramatic or needing a lot of in-game explanation is that there's a lot of clear visual stakes, which the game establishes in the very first stage by literally having Eggman set this pretty island on fire. In prior games (excluding CD and its FMVs), you never see an area Eggman hasn't touched before you got there, or clear purposeful destruction by him on a scale of, again, literally S3&K's Green Hill analogue.

    And, throughout all of that, Sonic is largely unfazed. The impact on this in the story is how the player feels about it, not how Sonic feels about it. He still smiles at you and wags his finger even as the rainforest is literally burning around him, and the juxtaposition of the kind of cocky reassuring attitude and intense devastation I kind of feel is how that all works. You get this with Tails and Knuckles too when you play them, and Knuckles actually being desperate, hurt, and angry at the end of S3&K is basically what lets you know explicitly "wow this is bad" without also having Sonic stop dead in his tracks and try to emote to the player how bad things have gotten.

    Obviously that doesn't work in a more realistic or 3D environment at all, but yes, to me Sonic is a Chaotic Good trickster who knows things will all turn out in the end even if right now they are terrible, and I think that was missing a lot post SA2 and even mid-SA2 (think Last Story) to some extent. He's so damn serious in 06 when the writers aren't having him try to cheer up the quiet waifu girl. And to that extent, Sonic exclaiming "there is no copyright law in the universe that's going to stop me!!" in a cheesy voice is closer to how I felt Sonic in the original games was than him screaming "ELIIIIISE" when the Egg Carrier-Adventure-Pandering-Version explodes, or even the Super Sonic story in SA1 where he's basically just standing there while Perfect Chaos wrecks everything until his friends give him the emeralds.
     
  8. I'm starting to feel like people really over-exaggerate how boring Sonic is post-SA2, and using 06 as the scapegoat for that; let's ignore 06 for a second, just try. How would Sonic's personality be evaluated then? Because Heroes, he's more or less consistent with how he was in SA1 and SA2, and obviously he's going to take a backseat to Shadow in a game where Shadow is the main character, and Unleashed he is once again, more or less consistent with his portrayals from before.

    So uh...are we just gonna judge his entire personality from that era on one game? Ironic, I know because people actually do that for Pontaff's writing, but like I said, I can at least give them a fair shake with Colors, and Forces wasn't actually written by them. Lost World is their worst work, but that's just one game, just like how 06 is one game.

    I feel its important to judge Sonic's character on a case by case basis rather than just using one game as a representative as a whole.
     
  9. Suddenly veering waaaaay off-topic, but wasn't there some LinkedIn stuff for these guys that said they stopped writing for the series around 2018-2019? Did they write (or assist) with team sonic racing at all? Cause if so, I'm willing to bet they don't have any influence on this new game.
     
  10. Frostav

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    That is surprising, especially since Metal Sonic was a pivotal part of Heroes' story. He just came, and then...disappeared. He wasn't in any mainline game since.

    What I find equally as odd is that in the ENTIRE series, there has been exactly one 1 animal character on Eggman's side: Infinite. Besides him, Eggman has never been assisted by a character who's an animal like the rest of the cast. Surely there has to be one animal character who's on the side of Eggman? I think that's an interesting idea that they've done once, and it was so badly and paper-thin that it was pointless.

    This might honestly be a mandate from SEGA because I don't think even the comics did this, as far as I can remember. I'm nowhere near as familiar with them, but I can't think of any important animal character willingly working with Eggman because they share similar goals without being tricked or decieved.

    (Knuckles doesn't count, in all instances he was tricked by Eggman. I also don't count Shadow in SA2 under this because he was simply working with Eggman and didn't really care about his goals in the end. He was fulfilling an obligation thanks to Eggman freeing him. His own game doesn't count either because the whole point is you can choose who to ally with and even then I don't think that in any ending Shadow actually works with Eggman? I just checked and no he doesn't lmao. Also even if you count this that's still only 2 characters)

    As a Sonic fan, I unironically simply do not give a flying fuck what non-fans like, and this series would be far better off if SEGA ignored them and just catered to its fanbase (in a proper way, not cheaply whoring out nostalgia pandering mockeries of what fans liked about the series). You know what we get when Sonic Team pays attention to non-fans? Heroes and Lost World.

    You know what we get when they do? Mania. QED.

    (His writing, btw, literally created an entire solid third of this entire fandom for the record)

    You never fail to make embarrassing posts.

    Firstly, your anecdote is almost certainly due to your age: I guarantee you if I polled college students about my age (25, and therefore around 5-7 years old when SA2B dropped), a lot would say that they played SA2B. That is a pretty non-negotiable fact: certain aspects of this game from City Escape's lyrics to the chao garden to that infamous faker scene to Pumpkin Hill's song are incredibly recognizeable memes amongst gamers, and people do not meme on games no one actually played to this extent. This isn't really something I'm willing to debate: SA2(B) is an iconic game for a reason. This has nothing to do with its quality or lack thereof, whichever you believe. It's just a fact. It was the best-selling non-Nintendo game on the Gamecube, it created an entire group of Sonic fans to the point where they are named after the game itself. This game was popular. Even people who dislike the game often say they played it as kids. Maybe not amongst your older fellows who were kids in the Genesis era, but sorry grandpa, just because you boomers don't care for it means that it wasn't a well known quantity of gaming culture, for all of its flaws and all of its positive traits.

    Secondly, for the love of god, you are really trying to force this "adventure kiddies hate muh mania" thing, holy shit. This didn't happen. And no, some random ass youtube comment with five likes doesn't mean anything. I and my fellow Adventure fans pretty much loved Mania without question. There is no cadre of butthurt Adventure fans hating on the game. One of my friends is an artist who is the definition of a modern Sonic fan: when Mania came out he 100% the game five times over (in a month where he was trying to draw as much Sonic fanart as he could and therefore had little time to play games) in like three days and said it was one of his favorite games of all time. Stop. Just stop. Goddamn.

    If anything, Mania was a hopeful sign that SEGA was actually listening to their fanbase again, so if anything it's the reason Adventure fans finally perked their ears up and wondered if we would get anything later. I guarantee you all those rumors of SA1/SA2 remakes wouldn't exist if Mania didn't exist--nor the idea that SEGA might finally one day return to the Adventure formula in both writing and gameplay direction.

    Yes this is a double post, no I don't give a damn. I can't let clownery of this level go unchallenged.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2021
  11. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Oh do fuck off. I'm not even justifying the rest of your tripe with a reply.

    Sonic5993 - I'm nearly 36 so there's a good decade gap. Fair enough, I disagree with you but you're entitled to that view.
     
  12. Huh, as a fellow human being I wish them the best. Never had a strong option about their writing, but the series as a whole's never been good on the writing front; as much as I loved SA1 the "our POSITIVE emotions can activate the chaos emeralds" stuff was hot garbage. SA2 wasn't much better and the writing got worst from there through '06, with Heroes being a stand-out example of a game that promised a simple plot then it was some stupid over-complicated bullshit about Metal Sonic kidnapping Eggman and making a clone and all that. I didn't play many of the games these two were writing for, but Generations' plot was.... inoffensive at best/worst, and what little I played of Colors was okay. Forces was bad, but I feel like even saying that much is beating a dead horse so I won't go into further details there.
     
  13. BadBehavior

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    To be fair, when Sonic Team tried to pay attention to fans, we also got the pandering disaster-fest that was Sonic Forces. So it's not an entirely foolproof plan. Just like "they need more time to work on the games" didn't give us a good game cos they spaffed it all up the wall, "listening to the fans" has to be something that's done with a clear goal in mind rather than just doing it and hoping everything works out.

    On a less serious note, why has this topic bought out all the clowns who think that "Giant Sandwich" is the creative peak of Sonic writing?

    See, I can use more examples than Baldy Nosehair :V
     
  14. JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    >Listening to non-fans gave us Heroes

    You serious? Fans were requesting games to be more like the classics, bringing Metal Sonic back, and wanting characters like Shadow and the Chaotix back for years at that point. Would non-fans care about that stuff?

    Listening to fans was the only thing Sonic Team did up until '06 after the first Adventure game.
     
  15. NiktheGreek

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    Okay, let's take a quick look at the core contention of Overlord's post:

    People are asking, what right do you have to say this? and they're right to question it. There does seem to be a flaw here, but it's not that OL is underappreciating the popularity of the Adventure-era games. The simple truth is that Sonic 1 and 2 were vastly more popular games not only in terms of raw numbers, but in terms of their numbers relative to the size of the gaming market at the time. Sonic 2 sold over six million copies - over double SA2/SA2B combined, based on the best numbers we have (and for what it's worth, Heroes actually sold better than SA2's versions anyway). Sonic 1 was packed in with millions of consoles. The sales numbers of the Mega Drive games are much more impressive when you consider that the overall gaming market was far smaller in 1992 than 2002. Ultimately far more people have played those early games, so that part of the argument holds, no matter how vehemently certain people may wish it wasn't true.

    The flaw in the argument, if there is one to be had, is an overestimation of Mania's popularity. It sold a million copies within a year, which is great, but unless there are some more up to date numbers on Mania that account for its physical release and long tail that I'm not aware of, we don't know how far past that it got. With that in mind, it's hard to say that an average player is more likely to have touched it than the Adventure-era games. For what it's worth, Sonic 4: Episode 1 also sold a million copies within a year. Sonic Generations sold 1.85 million in six months. Sonic Colours did over 2 million in about four months. OL, I think you might have confused "best selling game in well over a decade" with what Mania actually was, which was the best rated game in well over a decade. Of course, if anyone has the numbers to contradict me I'd be happy to concede the point.
     
  16. Overlord

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    No, you're right, I did make that confusion. I'll happily concede that point.
     
  17. Mana

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    I don't think you're stupid or don't make good points sometimes but you do realize you can get your points across without being a jackass right? We're talking about games man.

    Everyone is starting to get tired of it. The fact that you're 25 doing this makes it hard to empathize with too.
     
  18. TheInvisibleSun

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    This demographic is changing, as there is an entire generation of children who played SA2B (as it was a rather popular title for the Gamecube) that are now adults. It is very possible for 'man on the street' to recall that as their foundational Sonic memory. I've witnessed this first hand as someone 'in-between'; my older brother, who is 35, really only remembers playing Sonic 1 and 2, maybe Adventure at best (he has Mania, but doesn't play it much). Some of my friends in their mid-to-late twenties on the other hand, venerate SA2B as the best Sonic game (and I know that they have not played that many Sonic games other than that), and laud Escape From the City as one of the best video game songs ever (and I know that they haven't listened to much other Sonic music outside of that).

    Edit: whoops, messed up the quotes
     
  19. Azookara

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    For the sake of continuing the discussion without it being on the level it was several posts back..

    I don't feel like raw numbers help a whole lot whenever the fans of a series and what they want is purely dependent on it's attach rate. Sonics 1 and 2 have sold more than any other Sonic game ever and still get recognition, but how many people who played those stayed Sonic fans? And if that metric is still held up despite that, what do we say of how Sonic 3 & Knuckles did in comparison? If those didn't sell as much as S1/2, then does that mean they too are lesser games?

    I feel like the argument also doesn't address the amount of people who jumped in on various titles in their rereleases, enhanced ports, and (dare it be said) emulation. With the sheer amount of means to play these games both on and off the grid, it's kinda hard to measure which ones are definitively the most played.

    IDK. All I know is that there is an entire generation of people who, whether they stayed Sonic fans or not, will herald Sonic Adventure 2 just as Sonic 3K ten years prior. And no, not for irony's sake. The Adventure era has roughly as large of a zeitgeist as the classics do, and a lot of that has to do with those younger generations now being older and more prominent in the public forum.

    The 20-somethings that were on the internet in the 00s - early 10s who preached the word of the classics are now in their 30s, and the kids who grew up on the Adventure era are now those 20-somethings. C'est la vie.
     
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  20. As noted above, my first major exposure to the classics was after playing SA2B with Sonic Mega Collection, so there's probably a significant group like me who only became fans of the Classics after playing their many rereleases, which only reinforces the public reception of them.

    You can argue the same is true for the Adventure games since they've also been rereelased as many times as the Classics, which is arguably why they have such staying power in the public consciousness right now.