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KingK's 60-Minute Sonic 06 Video Retrospective

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, Oct 18, 2022.

  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Ambition is often attributed to games that a) are expansive in scope and content, or b) go out of their way to innovate and push a series or genre forward. Under those definitions, I would call SA1, SA2, 06, Unleashed, Frontiers and possibly SLW ambitious. Forces sounds like an ambitious game on paper, but its implementation was anything but.

    I honestly don't get people that take issue with games like Colors being deemed less ambitious, as the very thing its proponents often praise it for is having a more focused (ie: less ambitious) scope, trimming down what they deem as fat (extra characters and play styles, hubs, more complex and cinematic stories, etc.) so it could spend most of its effort on polishing and expanding on the main Sonic gameplay.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2022
  2. Wraith

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    Acknowledging the potential of a game is fine, but in the end most people don't want to imagine a great game. They want to play one.

    I just the fanbase didn't consider ambition to inherently be a good thing. Sometimes ambition in game dev is dangerous and leads to overscoping and underdelivering, and I don't find it admirable that Sonic Team/SEGA's leadership kept planning games that were impossible to produce with the time and people they had to work with. It's simply not something I can respect even if the idea is coming from a good place.

    I agree that the series should take risks, but I think I have a different idea of what that means than most people. Like, I consider Lost World a more ambitious game than Frontiers since it tried to rewrite the script on Sonic's movement instead of just settling into tried and true rail grinding and homing attack chaining.
     
  3. Taylor

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    It's not wrong to call 06 ambitious (though I agree with Vanishing Vision in that 06's ambition is overstated, the game is ultimately just Sonic Adventure 3), but if you're dogging on games like Unleashed, Lost World, or Frontiers while also performing 06 apologetics then I think the dislike runs deeper than that. As pointed out, how come almost no one talks about the ambition Lost World had in heavily altering Sonic's core gameplay? Because it doesn't have the tone people want out of Sonic, and that's a big appeal for them. That's not a bad thing, I too find SA1/2 charming.
     
  4. Starduster

    Starduster

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    A valid point, and something I considered with my initial writing. I would certainly call Lost World mechanically ambitious but, given the extent to which the presentation recycles or referenced the series’ past or otherwise strips things back to simplicity (mainly regarding the story and level locales and tropes), I can see why people wouldn’t regard the whole package as being ambitious.

    I suppose in some manner of speaking there’s ambition in every Sonic game if you care to define it, but I do believe that, short of the original Adventure games, Sonic 3 & Knuckles and maybe CD, Chaotix and Mania, 06 is up there as one of the most ambitious titles in a general sense.
     
  5. Blue Spikeball

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    There is also the fact SLW was pretty much a Mario Galaxy rip-off. I can definitely see why some wouldn't deem that ambitious.
     
  6. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    That's pretty reductive. People compare that game to Mario all the time, but Galaxy is one of the Mario games it's least like. Mario Galaxy was like 64 and Sunshine, a collection of progressive hub areas that lead to courses with multiple objectives where 3D gravity platforming and collecting stars to end levels and unlock more areas was the core gameplay loop. Lost World had gravity mechanics, sure, but it rarely used it for much outside of an aesthetic or a way to cram multiple routes onto a single planetoid, and the structure is much more like a traditional platformer. It's already reductive to compare it to Mario, but it's just a surface-level visual association to imply it's anything like Galaxy specifically.
     
  7. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    The word "ambition" has lost all meaning to me because of how people in this fandom have weaponized it to claim that games like '06 are somehow better than games like Colors
     
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  8. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    This is specifically why some call it Super Sonic Galaxy though. Complete with a New Super Mario Bros. Style Zavok boss when people were already saying he looked like Bowser.
     
  9. This is the main reason I can't take the fandom's use of the word seriously, because its simply another buzzword created to divide fandom preferences even more.

    The way most Sonic fans online use the term "Ambition" is simply a catch all term to say "I don't like the current direction of the games preferred how they used to be, but I need a word to define that" and "Ambition" was chosen...despite the fact that many people have different definitions of what's "ambitious"

    Its the same as people who use "Meta era" or "Dark Age". It's a term purely to define a set of preferences from certain games that are popular in the fandom circles.


    I don't mind that by itself, but its parroted by so many fans and that they mistake their personal biases as objective fact. Its just taken for granted that you're supposed to know what "Ambition" means from the people that coined the term.


    Really, I just wished Sonic fans would own up and just realized that they have rose-tinted glasses for their favorite games. I would respect them a lot more for doing that as opposed to making their biases sound like objective fact that everyone should know and understand.

    Like I really don't care if people like 06, but I'm tired of people thinking its some misunderstood Masterpiece that wasn't given a chance. It was a buggy mess of a game and got the reception it deserved, it's fine to like its ideas and think about what could have been, but at least call a spade a spade.


    But its fine, that era of Sonic is approaching its expiration date, because these people complaining are either just gonna get drowned out by the next generation of Sonic fans or they'll just leave of their own accord....just like Classic fans :Vvvvvvvv
     
  10. Taylor

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    Yeah I don't think taking influence from other games disqualifies being ambitious, Nintendo has openly admitted to studying other games in making BOTW and that's a game most people would call ambitious. If anything, dismissing Lost World from the conversation because it's allegedly just a Mario rip-off proves my point how its not all about ambition, and more about style :P.

    Which again, those complaints aren't entirely unrelated. You could argue that SA1-06 were ambitious in the sense that they were committed to having a certain, unique style: a melodramatic furry 3D platformer. For better or worse, I can't think of many other games like this. "Baldy McNosehair" has become a meme among a lot of people because it perfectly encapsulates Sonic abandoning something that was unique about it in favor of a more common kind of comedy.

    "Ambition" isn't entirely the wrong word but it doesn't fully capture what's really being felt here, in short.
     
  11. Zephyr

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    I'd place Sonic 1 among the four most "ambitious" Sonic games, alongside Adventure 1, Unleashed, and Lost World, due to the sheer amount of re-invention involved. 3K, Adventure 2, 06, and Mania are much more derivative in comparison. They're polishing an existing template (or, attempting to polish, in 06's case), rather than making the template itself.

    It would be weird if taking influence from another game disqualified it. Art is pretty much inherently iterative. Any creative who claims to not be taking influence from something else is lying.

    It would be extra weird if "ripping off Mario" disqualified it, given the reason Sonic games exist in the first place.
     
  12. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Yeah, that’s an own goal for me lol. Sonic 1 was certainly hugely ambitious given its time of development and release.
     
  13. Blue Spikeball

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    Most Galaxy levels were linear like traditional platformers (and SLW). Nintendo officially put it in the same category as 3D Land and 3D World, rather than Mario 64, Sunshine and Odyssey. It had a few more open levels, but those were the exception to the rule. SLW had a few more open levels too. Galaxy 2 didn't even have a traditional hub from where you accessed levels, but a world map ala SLW -- Starship Mario was more akin to Waddle Dee Town in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. SLW might not have had stars, but you still had to find small animals to unlock levels.

    You could say that SLW still played differently enough from Mario to be its own thing, but how many of its differences came from its own innovation, rather than previous Sonic games? Mechanics like the Homing Attack, rail grinding, etc. were standard for 3d Sonic. The Focused Homing Attack was literally a tweaked HA. Parkour was new I guess, though it was poorly implemented in the HD version.

    The point is that if you're going to label a game as ambitious for innovating, then it loses some point of ambition when most of that "innovation" came from directly mimicking another game without putting interesting spins on it.

    Comparing SLW to BOTW feels pretty ridiculous to me. There is a difference between taking influence from other games and aping a particular game. SLW was deliberately designed to cater to Nintendo and Mario fans, with Sonic Team being told by Sega to make it similar to Mario. That's why its visuals look like a cross between Mario and Classic Sonic, Zavok is a King Koopa Copy, and it had Mario mechanics like a run button and clock powerups that give more time.

    BOTW had its own identity. Its style didn't attempt to evoke any other game in particular. It's also famous for basically redefining the open world genre and influencing later games. It wasn't "Zelda meets X game".
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2022
  14. Shaddy the guy

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    Nintendo is allowed to be wrong, too. In any case, the difference is not so much that it functions as a comparison, especially with Sunshine being such a border case. The nature of the design is just innately different, I don't know what else to tell you.
    ...And? Isn't it kind of proving my point that the first thing you have to jump to to compare these games (actually, you're comparing it to Galaxy 2, which is not the game I or most of the people making the false equivalence said) is to say it has a map screen? A thing that not only most Mario platformers have, but thousands of games in general have?
    I can't believe Sonic Unleashed ripped off Mario.
    These are two separate arguments. Whether the game innovates with Sonic mechanics or not has nothing to do with whether it's "a Mario Galaxy ripoff". The fact that you're even specifying Sonic mechanics instead of looking how it fails to elevate Mario gameplay should make that obvious.
    See, this is what I'm saying about the criticism being completely surface-level. The core fundamental control is totally different to any other Sonic game. You can do things in Lost World that are unlike any other part of the series (things you don't generally need to in other games, but it's not my job to convince you it's good). The parkour system is part of this, so is the different implementation of the spindash (which does infact enable gameplay scenarios the boost doesn't), so is the game's willingness to just randomly throw a completely strange and experimental level or gameplay change into the mix. I'm not asking you to think any of this is good, but none of it is par for the course. That's part of what people didn't like about it, it didn't know exactly what it wanted to be (and the 3DS version which did wanted to be a pile of flaming garbage with a much much worse use of the parkour mechanics).

    Should probably add "impresses me personally" to the list of things "ambitious" doesn't mean.
     
  15. Taylor

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    Oh don't get me wrong, there are differences between BOTW and SLW but to me, the differences come down to BOTW both being ambitious and doing it *well*, hence why it ultimately has its own distinct identity. SLW had ambition and failed to pull it off, something which I think applies to 06 as well. I think the only real strength 06 has over SLW is that it has a somewhat more unique identity (by virtue of it being Sonic Adventure 3, it's recycling from within the franchise and not outside of it and thats easier to swallow), which has been what I've been saying all along. It's people preferring a certain conception of Sonic and justifying it via the word "ambition" to give it this air of superiority over the modern titles.
     
  16. Blue Spikeball

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    Nintendo isn't wrong though. Mario Galaxy had linear levels. 64, Sunshine and Odyssey had open levels. When Galaxy came out, it was widely accepted as linear by contrast to its predecessors. It was only after 3D Land and World came out that people started grouping it with the previous 3d games.

    You're the one who brought up the hub as one of the differences between SLW and Mario Galaxy.

    Again, you're the one who brought up the item collecting as an argument for SLW being different.

    See:

    I guess I see where you're coming from. Even if they didn't work in most people's eyes, SLW had its own mechanics that set it apart from previous 3d Sonic games, which is what makes it ambitious in your mind.

    Personally though, I don't think those are any more remarkable than Heroes' team mechanic, Shadow's guns or Colors' Wisps. New mechanics are basically par for the course in 3d Sonic games.

    How did the 3DS version have a "much worse use of the parkour mechanics"? They controlled much better than in the HD version.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2022
  17. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Not really? It's only since those games that it's been regarded as any kind of break with 3D Mario tradition.

    Yes, because it is in fact a difference between Lost World and Mario Galaxy, and not a different Mario game. If people were saying it was a ripoff of Mario Galaxy 2, they'd still be wrong, but they'd be much more correct, as that's an answer that actually takes fundamental thought and distinction between Galaxy 1 and 2. Unfortunately, it would also imply that the comparison runs deeper than "has gravity platforming", which it doesn't. That's why, in calling it a Mario Galaxy ripoff, people constantly need to bring up games that did things Galaxy didn't do.

    Because it is different. I don't actually think Sonic Unleashed is a Mario ripoff. It was sarcasm.

    But the game does do interesting things. Just not with the idea of being "a Mario Galaxy ripoff", because it mostly isn't one.

    I don't think those things are necessarily lacking in ambition, it comes down to how concentrated they are. Literally my original post was about how the things people call "ambitious" in 3D Sonic games mostly just come down to length and having lots of stuff. Lost World isn't that long, and doesn't have that much stuff overall, but the holistic experience it produces feels completely different from any other Sonic game. Maybe that's a way of saying it's completely inconsistent, maybe not. It doesn't even matter if you think the game's good, I'm just saying that both these approaches to criticism feel shallow.

    Not really, no. In the HD version, you could be certain with any parkour action you performed exactly where and how Sonic was going to move. It was repeatable, and wrapped around the level design as one of the tools in Sonic's moveset without really being required most of the time. The 3DS version turns it into a "momentum"-based system where Sonic's weirder acceleration curve makes it way less reliable at any given moment, and it's a tedious chore having to navigate the awful (and incredibly LOOOONG) obstacle courses built for it as if it were 100% consistent like in the HD version.
     
  18. MykonosFan

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    I think the Sonic Lost World/Galaxy discussion is outside the scope of this thread, for what it's worth. Let's keep it related to 06 please.
     
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  19. Taylor

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    So on Sonic 06 and ambition, this might be interesting info:

    When I read that, I went "Yeah, that checks out, Sonic 06 is very Hollywood", but I couldn't put in words why I felt that way. I think it's because 06 is all about the spectacle. Sure, spectacle has always been a part of Sonic, the difference is with the classic games, spectacle was used in tandem with Sonic's themes of environmentalism. In 06 it's just kinda all over the place. Iblis destroys a city, Shadow kills a billion hedgheogs, Elise turns Sonic into Super Sonic by kissing him*, yeah it's all cool, but there's no unifying theme or vision behind it all. It's just a mishmash of cool shit. It wows you at first and you forget about it a week later. I guess to my mind, that makes me think "Hollywood". After all, it's how I feel about the movie King Kong vs Godzilla (2021) :V

    *It seems like 06 was trying to create a love triangle between Sonic, Amy, and Elise, but it didn't get off the ground. Remember how one of the "missions" is literally just "Pick who you like more, Amy or Elise"? I kinda fear where they would've gone with that if they had the time...
     
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  20. Laura

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    Sonic Colors was a very ambitious game. Soft reboot. Introducing de facto new characters (Orbot and Cubot). Whole new comedic style. New power ups. Refining Unleashed to make a newish gameplay style even on Wii hardware. Unique visual identity.

    But it's the wrong ambitious so it doesn't count. Lol.