Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, Oct 18, 2022.
"New characters, tone, style and mechanics" describes nearly every 3d Sonic game.
Exactly, so what makes one more ambitious than the other beyond preferences?
I will admit, Sonic ‘06 is incredibly ambitious in its ability to almost single-handedly demolish the franchise’s reputation in one fell swoop. That really takes some balls.
Like people said, factors like scope and innovation.
And you know, it's not impossible to divorce the concept of ambition from personal preference. Generations is probably my favorite 3d Sonic game, and I consider it less ambitious than the Dreamcast games, Unleashed and 06.
Yeah, I think Colours and Generations are ultimately games that are brilliantly executed but just don’t take big swings. That’s not say they don’t innovate, but they’re iterating on what Unleashed set up in ways that aren’t all that radical. Despite this, they’re two of the best games in the series. Ambition and quality aren’t interchangeable and having one doesn’t mean the other is there too. If this thread needs to bring up every other post that ambition shouldn’t be used to prop up somebody’s love of bad games, I think it’s important to not get cagey at the suggestion that some absolutely fantastic games didn’t have that much ambition.
And as has been stated before, it isn’t an inherently good thing. It can be toxic and lead to scope creep and in fact its probably Colours and Generations’ restraint of ambition that allowed them to flourish in the first place.
I don't see Sonic Adventure 2 being more ambitious than the average. It just follows Adventure 1 with a somewhat more engaging plot and a worse treasure hunting. But I see no one complaining SA2 lacks ambition.
While Colors is a complete departure from the traditional serious tone of 3D Sonic games, and somehow lacks ambition.
Now that I've listened to the video, I feel bad for my ambition comment because it ended up derailing the thread from what KingK is actually saying. KingK's disappointed that Sonic isn't about its characters anymore. The ambition to have a story about multiple characters, thats what he (and his commenters) are talking about. That Frontiers is doing something new for Sonic is irrelevant, because Sonic's friends are once again kidnapped and KingK fears that Sega won't let Ian Flynn do anything cool with them.
He's bitter at the fandom, for saying "That's not what Sonic should be!" But I don't think it's wrong to ask that a series maintains a cohesive identity and tone. Everyone rags on Ken Penders for introducing out-of-place elements to Sonic, but Sega adds in Shadow, a character named literally after Satan, and turns Sonic into a werewolf and suddenly the complainers are just being pissbabies...? It's Sega's fault for letting things get to that point.
And as he hints at, increasing costs of 3D game development probably would've forced Sega's hand in scaling back anyway. Every Sonic game after 06 has had only 2-3 styles. Everyone wanks over a hypothetical, ideal 06 but I'm not sure such a product could exist and still be profitable. It's telling that 06 ended up with less levels than SA1/2.
While I understand this line of thinking, as someone mentioned, there is such a thing as "spectacle creep". There was simply no way that Sega were gonna keep being able to introduce new characters, all with unique playstyles while still being able to make a cohesive game. The cracks were starting to show with Sonic Adventure and 06 was the straw that broke the camel's back.
And if we're gonna talk about Sonic maintaining a cohesive identity and tone, then the conversation should start with the Adventure games because that's when the series really started to drift away from its roots, and that's the era where KingK and many others are talking about when they lament the current direction of the series. He resents fans for rejecting his ideal version of Sonic, but rather than reflect on that and just be open-minded towards the future, he decides to continue the cycle by rejecting the current iterations of Sonic, which may be the ideal for someone else. It's a never-ending cycle.
Its the same toxic environment that exists within Comic Book communities and franchises like Star Wars where the longer the franchises continues to exist, the more resentful older fans become when the series inevitably drifts away from the traits that made them fans to begin with. Its why the stereotypical nerd is synonymous with Star Wars.
And to be fair, this is definitely on Sonic Team as their constant failures has made the fanbase especially resistant to any type of change towards what fans perceive as "essential"...even when the change itself is benign or even beneficial. It's "different" so therefore it's "bad".
And its honestly sad because if Sonic fans were just a little bit more open-minded about changes in this series, they wouldn't have the reputation of being a bunch of insane man-children who overreact when they aren't being catered to.
This is absolutely a monster of Sega's own doing though...and well...there's no fixing that; either fans like KingK move on from the series and accept they're not being catered to anymore, or eventually we're gonna get the next generation of Sonic fans who make videos exactly like the one KingK made, and talking down to him for rejecting games like Frontiers.
Hasn't he done that? He even says in the video that he's getting the kicks he used to get from Sonic back then from other franchises today, e.g Xenoblade. Not sure what else he can do other than issue some "We're Sorry" video apologising for not being rabidly obsessively excited for Frontiers. Which, if that's a crime, then you can arrest me, you, and most of this entire site for that.
I feel like you're misinterpreting what Sonic5993 meant to say. No one (other than crazies on Twitter) is saying that disliking Frontiers (or any Sonic game for that matter really) is a "crime". He means that the Sonic fans who dismiss a Sonic game simply because it's different and doesn't appeal to them anymore (such as KingK) definitely need to move on and stop being petty and annoying about it (like KingK is being). No one is forcing you or anyone else to like Frontiers, I think he just meant that you can dislike any Sonic game all you want because it doesn't appeal to you without dismissing it as a shitty game, and demeaning the people who do like it. (Which, again, is what KingK did.) Those people are the worst kinds of Sonic fans.
Considering he's making an entire series retrospective about Sonic, no...no he hasn't.
And no, its not a crime to not be excited about Frontiers, I'm not exactly jumping for joy about it either; but if you're gonna bitch and moan about how older fans used to treat your favorite games, then maybe it would do you some good not to repeat the cycle and treat fans who are excited about Frontiers the way you used to be treated.
@Shaddy the guy literally made a meme mocking people who used to feel oppressed, are the ones now doing the oppressing. And the fact the irony is lost on so many people is both hilarious and very very sad.
But whatever, ain't no skin off my teeth. I made my peace with this series ages ago, I just let the kids and adults go at it now.
I wouldn't put the Werehog on the same level as Shadow and Mephiles. Unlike them, he wasn't played straight. He was treated as a silly, cartoony character with stretchy limbs in a silly, cartoony game. Just like Dark Gaia's minions. He also wasn't any more villainous or antiheroic than regular Sonic. If anything, he was a parody of werewolves. Unlike in, say, Shadow's game, where the guns and aliens were played straight, and the tone was super dark and serious.
Don't get me wrong, I think the Werehog was a terrible idea. Just not in an "ow the edge" way.
That aside, even the classic games had dark parts, like the bad futures in Sonic CD, or the bad ending in Chaotix of all games.
I feel like calling Colors 'ambitious' for these things is a little odd considering Unleashed literally did ALL of these things 2 years earlier. It was a soft reboot. It introduced Orbot (Although as SA-55.) It introduced the new comedic style. It introduced the gameplay style in the first place. It reintroduced bright, colorful visuals to the series.
Don't get me wrong, I love Colors a lot, and it's definitely ambitious in it's own ways, but you're attributing all of these things to the wrong game.
...Or are you just demonstrating how stupid the "Ambition" point is in the first place, because then that's actually really smart.
The video itself reflects a lot of what 06 is to me. It's a fascinating take on the subject, and certainly ambitious with it tries to accomplish, and yet it also doesn't know which audience it's for, and it falls monumentally short of validating itself and its point. Of course, some of the most compelling things in life are also the most flawed. So even though he's praising both game design and story beats that are so obviously, visually janky and messy, I also couldn't bring myself to stop watching.
Honestly, I was fine with him praising 06 until he started punching towards the Modern games. Like bro, you can make your point without bringing other games down.
So what? He's not allowed to think Sonic has gone downhill and it's lost its way? He's only allowed to think it's "different"? You say that's the worst kind of Sonic fan. I'd say the worst kind of Sonic fan is one that thinks the way you do, where nobody is allowed to say anything bad about your brand without it being "respectful".
Think of any longrunning series in this world. Games like Resident Evil, Metal Gear, or Final Fantasy. Think of The Simpsons, Spongebob, Family Guy, or huge franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars. All of those series' have changed dramatically in the 30-40 years they've been around. Their focus, and their audience, have completely changed. And if you think the new stuff is comparatively shallow, then naturally you're going to think of its audience as enjoying shallow things. You're going to think of the new content as appealing to the lowest common denominator. Is it rude and dismissive to say such a thing out loud on a public forum? Maybe. But you'd be lying if you claimed to have never thought this of any longrunning series you're a fan of. I may not agree with the sentiment that new Sonic is shallow and its fans are too, but I can understand that mindset. I certainly feel that way about Star Trek. So when someone comes out and says what so many others are thinking, I know how liberating and validating that must feel.
It's not really about "ow the edge" or "dark", its about theme. 2D Sonic's theme was about protecting nature from exploitation. The 3D games moved from this, adding stuff like alien invasion, the apocalypse, government corruption, and going much further on the mysticism aspects. And all these additions come with sharp changes in aesthetic (compare GUN robots to Badniks). The Werehog is more defensible yeah but after nearly a decade of Sega going off the rails, I don't blame people for not wanting to give the Werehog a chance.
At risk of sounding arrogant, people are bad at describing why they feel a certain why. It's why focus group tests ask many different questions to isolate the actual problem. People know Shadow doesn't fit in Sonic, they just can't put it in words, so they say he's "too dark" or "too anime" when its something deeper. Remember that a lot of the adults who were turned off from SA2 grew up on stuff like SATAM or Fleetway and enjoyed them, which can get darker than a lot of 3D Sonic games. It's because those media stuck better to the "exploitation of nature" angle.
I never said any of that. I said that criticizing something for the sole aspect of being different is dumb, which is what KingK did. Something different can be bad and you can definitely criticize it for being bad, but criticizing something purely because it's different is dumb. That's what my point boils down to. I never said you have to be respectful to the brand, either. I just said that you shouldn't disrespect people for liking the Sonic games they like (i.e. calling them 'fans of mediocrity' or something). Don't put words in my mouth.
You can have these thoughts and express them without being a condescending dick about it. I know many who hold such thoughts probably don't intend to come off that way, but because so many people on the internet just lack basic communication skills, it manifests as this toxic ass mindset.
A mature adult can harbor these feelings and express them in a non-toxic way.
The whole theme of SA2 is the dichotomy between what's real and what's fake and how that defines Sonic & Shadow; Sonic the natural born hero and Shadow the artifical lifeform, and the whole story hammers home their similarities despite their differences. Feels right home with the nature vs
Technology angle to me.
In any case, the 3D games definitely veer more into science fiction than mystical with its focus more the urban environments and concepts like bioweapons and aliens.
But given the main villain is a mad scientist who uses technology, science fiction felt like a logical next step after mysticism.
It's also possible for something to be bad because it's different. That's MY point. Sometimes one idea or direction is inherently more compelling than another, or maybe it doesn't respect the ideals that were established from day one. It's not wrong to think that way. Usually, when there are radical changes in a series, it's indicative that said series had nowhere else to go. When that's the case, the solution is for it to end, but unfortunately in this day and age, neverending franchises that endlessly reboot or remake themselves are the norm. And it's especially egregious when there was a lot of potential in the series prior to said radical changes, and it in fact had plenty of places to go.
Ok, but did you actually watch the video? He wasn't a condescending dick about any of it. Being a condescending dick would be calling the fans mindless sheep who only want to consume product and get excited about next product, but he didn't do that, he simply said he didn't understand where they were coming from. It only feels condescending and dickish because it's directed at you, therefore it feels like a personal attack.
And sometimes, being a condescending dick is necessary in order to make your point.
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