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. I think the main reason Unleashed is also getting a renaissance of sorts is because of the same reason a lot of those 2000's elements are; people are reevaluating their opinions and realizing that elements we thought were bad were probably not as bad as thought and made the game distinct and just weren't executed well, as opposed to what came later on with Colors and Generations.


    Like there's definitely a bit of a divide over whether Unleashed or Generations is the better boost game (Colors and Forces are generally left out of discussion due to both being really watered down versions of said style).
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  2. Taylor

    Taylor

    Member
    93
    16
    8
    This thread really went places, lol...

    1. Sonic 1/2 are definitely the most well-known Sonic titles, but SA2 isn't exactly a slouch either. It's certainly one of the more popular Sonic games. SEGA could definitely cultivate an audience among those fans if they played their cards right...the issue was that 06 crashed and burned, but even then the follow-up game Unleashed still had some of the birthmarks of that era.

    2. On that note, Unleashed's writing is definitely underrated. I personally wouldn't call it "peak Sonic" because it leans too much on the magic elements for my tastes, but it does a lot right.

    3. Someone asked earlier if SEGA has mandates about Eggman not having animal sidekicks. I don't think there is, IDW has Dr. Starline and he genuinely liked Eggman up until he realized his flaws.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  3. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    866
    157
    43
    England
    This is where I disagree with a lot of people because I think the mid 2000s Sonic games are even worse now because they have dated. The controls of Heroes and Shadow are now completely unacceptable and the horrendous voice acting and dialogue is much more jarring now that standards have improved.

    Even Adventure 1, which I do really love, has so much wrong with it even in just its action stages. Gamma's gameplay is fun, shame his levels last about one minute and are barely developed. His Emerald Coast level is absolutely pitiful and represents everything wrong with the alternate characters. Knuckles' stages are also absolutely tiny. Sometimes they are barely more than one room. Tails' levels are dumb fun but broken beyond belief. When people say Adventure 1's alternate characters are implemented better than in Adventure 2 I really can't agree. Knuckles is less annoying only because his stages are miniscule and are over incredibly quickly. His levels aren't 'better' than SA2, they are just over with quicker. So less painful I guess, but that doesn't make them good. Even when compared to the standards of alternate characters in contemporary games Adventure 1 falls short.

    I actually think the game which has aged best is Adventure 2. The game's presentation holds up pretty well, apart from the awful sound mixing. The action stages are linear but well crafted and fun to play. The treasure hunting and mech shooting sections are annoying, so it's hardly perfect. The game also falls apart in its second half, but that's true of most Sonic games :V . It's a very flawed game and on balance isn't very good, but Adventure 2 still has a lot to enjoy.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  4. Starduster

    Starduster

    The next stage of evolution for himbos Member
    129
    27
    28
    Britain
    Art...always art...
    I hope Pontac and Graff move on to successful new projects but I am absolutely stoked for what seems to be a shakeup of the direction of the franchise, albeit saddened that such a shakeup would be at the cost of my favourite Sonic VA.

    In terms of tone and writing moving forwards there are three specific games I’d look to, being Adventure, Rush and Unleashed. I feel like each of these games struck the right balance between taking the world and characters seriously without becoming melodramatic. Their stories are easy to follow (perhaps with exception of SA1’s flashbacks) and can be summarised in broad strokes without losing crucial details.

    Of these games, I feel like Adventure made the best use of the series cast with the intersecting storylines and motivations that fleshed out the world and allowed them to make valuable contributions to the plot (one flaw of the current writing is that the supporting cast is far too dependent on Sonic, who in turn is presented as too powerful to the point of rendering the rest of the heroes obsolete). Rush introduced a fantastic new character in Blaze (arguably the last one that was unequivocally well-received) with an organic and believable character arc with a high stakes plot without being suffocated by complexity or dragged down by melodrama. Finally, Unleashed presented a lighthearted Adventure (though once again with good stakes) and can largely be credited with decluttering the franchise’s presentation at the time, albeit at the expense of sidelining everyone but Sonic. With the exception of the final boss, it brought things back to a core Sonic vs Eggman conflict with the characters playing off of each other arguably the best they ever have (the opening CG is a particularly good example of this).

    And that’s not to say the other games are without merit. SA2 had brilliant ambition let down by a convoluted backstory that was unnecessarily dark. Colours built upon what Unleashed had started while unfortunately indulging deeper in that game’s shortcomings.

    My point in all this is to say I think these three are the games where the tone, scope and characters were best balanced, not only respecting the world and characters but also the diverse demographic of the series’ regular audience, particularly in taste.

    To further quantify and ultimately summarise what I’m saying, I think the writing of the next game should keep the spotlight on the Sonic/Eggman conflict while presenting a plot with stakes that are taken seriously without forgoing lighthearted interactions and comedy. In addition to this, I believe it should avoid introducing any new characters (save for transplanting the brilliant IDW original characters into the main canon) in favour of reestablishing relevancy and utility for the existing repertoire of characters that has been built up over the years, as has been done in the comics.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  5. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

    Member
    168
    43
    28
    What I find weird is how, if people complained about Chip of all things being too kiddy, then why did Sonic Team go forward with Colours, a game that amplified the kiddiness by a factor of infinity? Is every day at Sonic Team offices opposite day or something?

    Edit cos I'm not double-posting:

    Ironically now, with the advent of shows like Star Trek: Lower Decks and Thundercats Roar, the shoe is on the other foot. If Colours was made today, it's meta jokey approach would be seen as, as you say, pandering to a trend.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
  6. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    Joe Mama Member
    1,169
    445
    63
    Lighthearted =/= kiddy. Chip is the epitome of kiddy. He reminded me of one of those characters like Scrappy-Doo or Poochy.
     
  7. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

    I Have No Idea What I'm Doing At Any Given Moment Member
    624
    136
    43
    The Twin Cities
    trying to not fall asleep while writing Selenium tests
    Mania doesn't count as mainline? He shows up in Generations too, because he has a boss theme on the soundtrack that uses Stardust Speedway Bad Future JP for one game and the US version of that track for another. He also appears in TSR, though, that doesn't really count as mainline.

    Starline. At least I mean, he worked with Eggman, I actually haven't read the comics but, yeah, I was under the impression the two of them were working together?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
  8. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Member
    13,079
    453
    63
    Working on my art!
    Metal Sonic was also in Forces as a boss. He's used a lot these days (since Heroes he's been in S4 Ep 1 as a teaser, both Sonic Rivals games, all 3 Sonic racing games, Generations, Sonic Free Riders, Episode 2, Mania, and Forces, so really he just wasn't in Colors or Lost World but barely any characters were in those games. He also wasn't in the story book games, but unless they made a Star Wars esq one he wouldn't make sense in those games as they lack robots). But Sega refuses to let him speak, so he makes a bad lacky. He's more an assassin/weapon.

    And yes, Starline worked with Eggman but eventually Eggman fires him. Starline was trying to win back his graces but he eventually realized that he could probably surpass him and he could take over the world. But he still has a respect/admiration for Eggman, really wishing for them to be partners.

    I'd say Starline/Eggman share a very similar dynamic to Grimer/Robotnik in Sonic the Comic. But Eggman also had animal lackeys in Sonic Underground... but that doesn't really count. I suppose the deadly six count. They suck and they're not bowser with his 5 not kooplings, but they aren't robots and they kinda worked for Eggman.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  9. Starduster

    Starduster

    The next stage of evolution for himbos Member
    129
    27
    28
    Britain
    Art...always art...
    If we are getting the big shake up we’re speculating about, folding the IDW characters into the games is absolutely my biggest wish in terms of plot and world. I think all the significant recurring characters they’ve introduced have been fantastic and brilliantly fit in Sonic’s established world (bar the new introduction of Belle, unfortunately). Starline and Mimic are great villains in their own right and while I doubt they’ll ever take center stage in a main game, they’d be a great way to switch up the dynamic of having Eggman present the entire game. Rough and Tumble’s gimmicky antics would just be straight up fun to see.

    In terms of the heroes, Tangle is just a great presence who feels like she could’ve been introduced organically at any point in the franchise’s history while Whisper has an engaging story and her use of the Wisps is far more mechanically cohesive and satisfying executed than anything yet seen in the games. You could replace the avatar in Forces with her as an established character, substituting Mimic for Infinite in her backstory, and the game as a whole would be that bit better for it.
     
  10. Frostav

    Frostav

    Member
    382
    101
    43
    I'm pretty sure it's the other way around: Whisper is the comic's play on the Avatar concept, turned into an actual character. She's one of the species that you can choose, uses wispons, etc.

    (also personally the Avatar part is the only really fun bit about Forces--replacing them with an established character would just mean that Whisper would be stuck in a mediocre flash in the pan of a game. She and Tangle deserve better than that, and I do not want either of them to be in a Silver situation where they're introduced in a crappy game and then spend five years in jail only to get dragged out to fill out spin-off rosters while also giving the "Sonic's shitty friends" people even more ammo)
     
  11. ChaddyFantome

    ChaddyFantome

    Member
    59
    26
    18
    I think its important to remind everyone that Maekawa was actually the one that wanted Shadow to remain dead at the end of SA2.
    The decision to bring him back was made by the rest of Sonic Team, so to accuse him of bias here seems rather shortsighted.
    Whatsmore is based on the release schedule of the games that came after SA2, it seems obvious that an overaching narrative regarding Shadow's return was thought out and planned in that period.
    Heroes leads directly into Shadow and Battle mentions Omega from Heroes and logically follows Shadow's events despite its release date.
    It seems the use of the character as a narrative focus during that period was a collective decision and Maekawa was mostly just doing what he could with the lot he was given, so accusing him of bias in that respect is rather unfair.

    With Heroes in particular, the game wasnt even written around the story but the other way around.

    As for the addition of characters, it simply makes no sense to put that on him. New characters are conceptualized internally and then the writer is given them and told to write the scenario around them.
    Its rather silly to think Maekawa came up with Emerl, Omega, Rouge, Silver, Blaze, etc all his own and shoved them into the game, especially when we have it on record who the creators of these characters are, and why they were introduced to begin with, namely it usually being tied to new gameplay gimmicks.

    This isn't to say i dont think he is capable of bias, but I think we should practice more rationallity in this regard.
     
    • Informative Informative x 6
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • List
  12. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

    Member
    168
    43
    28
    Much like how just cos Pontaff wrote the story for Lost World doesn't mean that they created the Deadly Six. It was likely they were made by the Sega cabal and they just forced Pontaff to cram them in, no matter how it affected the narrative or the other characters.
     
  13. I thought that was something that was generally known? Characters are created in service to the gameplay, and have their story scenarios written as secondary. Like how Silver was conceptualized around the Havoc engine of 06, and his story was secondary.

    Sega/Sonic Team very clearly constructed Shadow to be as popular as he possibly could; it was definitely bias, but not on the part of one man. He had the entire company giving him a push at that point in time. If they didn't they didn't give the same treatment to anyone else at the time, then that simply means they didn't see the same potential in any one else besides Shadow.

    The writers just write whatever scenario Sega gives them