"Multiple" new Sonic games planned for 2021

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Joebro64, Sep 7, 2020.

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  1. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    People are already trying to say that Unleashed is a misunderstood classic that was unfairly maligned at the time of release, so yeah this sounds about accurate :V
     
  2. At this point, its pretty much inevitable.

    I'm almost certain that you have a bunch younger fans who loved Forces for what it was, and why a bunch of older people are so mad about it and will make video essays on its merits. That and as time goes on, people's perspectives can change.

    Every video game series has gone through this at some point, its just the nature of a long running franchise.


    If 06, a game that is fundamentally broken, can have such feverent defenders, there's no reason why Forces can't have any defenders either.
     
  3. BadBehavior

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    What really stung about Forces was the mindset that "ok, they tried this weird thing that nobody bought, so now they're going back to what had definitively proven to work. They've been working on it for 4 years, plenty of time, what could possibly go wrong?". And it's like we all collectively jinxed it.

    The "4 years" fallacy was disproven basically instantly, and I wonder if newcomers to the series actually thought it was the 3rd (or 4th depending on who you ask) boost game. Without being told, you'd assume it was the first from just how shockingly bad it feels to play. It might look like a duck, move like a duck and quack pontaffism's like a duck but that doesn't make Forces any less of this abomination turducken overstuffed with desperate shameless fanservice.

    A lot of people point to the rookie level designers but I wonder if anyone's done a full breakdown comparison of the credits of Gens and Forces. I wonder if there was any key member of Sonic Team where, having left for greener pastures and without their guidance, the whole thing just flew off the rails and into the sun? Or was the whole time period of 2008-11 really just the biggest 'billion to one' unicorn of a fluke in game dev history and we should expect games like Forces for the Force-eeable future?
     
  4. Yash

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    tbf I was saying this at the time of release :)
     
  5. tylerfoxorwhatever

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    I've been thinking about it for a while, and honestly, I wouldn't mind if they did something similar to Star Fox 2.

    Like they could retool or at least finish what is left of the game and release it as an exclusive for a hypothetical compilation (heck, maybe even the supposed compilation that is coming out this year).

    Not certain if it would end up being GOOD, but just a neat bonus that wraps up the package, y'know?
     
  6. Hanging Waters

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    To be fair, I think most people were. The most common opinion I heard around then (from sonic fans) was that Unleashed was a great game that was bogged down by an incredibly contrasting gameplay style that prevented people from enjoying the real meat of the game.

    The thing I'm moreso noticing nowadays is people praising the Werehog levels more and more. Tbh I always enjoyed them, so I get where they're coming from. I think the main issue people had is that those levels are... in the wrong game. And they are looooong. It's like you have to finish this monster beat'emup game before you're allowed to play the game you paid for.
     
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  7. Josh

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    Looking back on my own posts from back then, that was my exact experience with the Werehog. Early in the game, it was easy to dismiss criticism of those stages. They were very average, but as long as they were over in a few minutes, they were fine! But as Unleashed went on and they got longer and longer, they detracted more and more. I didn't actually finish Unleashed for about three years, and it's not for lack of playing it. It was because making progress was such a chore, so I'd just keep replaying the daytime stages instead. Over time, and especially once the Unleashed Project mod came out, I pretty much forgot just HOW much of a detriment the Werehog (and the medal system) were to Unleashed's progression, but it all came back to me when I tried playing the original game last year. It really is Sonic Adventure 2 on steroids to me. The speed stages are even better, but the other 2/3rds of the game are SO much worse.

    Everyone loves the Sonic they grew up with, because we tend to engage with it well past the point where the flaws bother us, or at an age where we wouldn't have perceived them as flaws. If you grew up playing Sonic on the Genesis/Mega Drive, then will you EVER really think it's a criticism that they run in a 4:3 aspect ratio or have a lives system? I think that's how Unleashed kids feel about the Werehog. They played it at such a formative age, and to such a level of mastery, that I know some of them who can get through even the later Werehog stages almost as fast as the day stages.

    Regarding, "Will Forces be defended as an underrated classic in 10 years?" the answer is absolutely, obviously, yes. Don't underestimate how many kids will herald that as their first Sonic game, or how much its kid-friendly epic plot would've resonated with them. That said, you also shouldn't OVERestimate their impact. Just because games like Shadow, 06, and Black Knight are being put on a pedestal by people who grew up playing them, and just because those people are particularly noisy about them right now, doesn't mean the narrative is substantially gonna change on those games. Anyone who DIDN'T have their childhood experience, and particularly anyone outside the fandom, will STILL find the same problems as everyone else always has. Adults loving what they grew up with is inevitable, but it doesn't invalidate everyone else's experience.

    On the contrary, that kind of nostalgic devotion, especially to poorly-aged or outright POOR games, tends to end up backfiring! I saw a very young fan come into the Reddit community a few months back who said he'd enjoyed Forces a lot, and was hyped to finally play SA2 after hearing so many glowing things about it, but it just seemed so rough, the story and voice acting was so corny, and WAY too much of the game was taken up by mediocre shooting and hunting stages.

    The response, completely predictably, was not, "Wow, I'd never thought of it that way, but it's okay if you don't like it as much as Forces! I've never really enjoyed Forces, but I'd love to hear more about how you see it. As for SA2, maybe I can offer some perspective on it as someone who grew up with it, and we can both find more appreciation for this series that we both love!" No, they tore into this kid, and the top-rated comment was just dunking on him for being a "zoomer."

    That's the way it goes!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  8. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    So then what objectively distinguishes a "poorly aged or outright poor" Sonic game where nostalgia "backfires" from a good Sonic game where it doesn't? As far as I can tell, time has nothing to do with it, it just changes at what age the antiquated smugness of thinking you know the difference sets in.
     
  9. One of my favorite pastimes as a sonic fan is to dunk on SA2 and SA2 fans. It's a guilty pleasure lol.

    I'm not even sincere about it, I happen to enjoy SA2, but I realize that the SA2 generation are "the little brother that has grown up" (for me) side of the fan base, and I'm one of the old curmudgeons. And in a literal sense because I have a younger brother in that group that loves shadow and played the shit out of SA2 final story on full blast on a small ass tv in his bedroom...and I had to watch and agree it was cool, since he was always tails while we played the classics.
    I've witnessed the changing of the guard multiple times and find amusement in it...or when I'm actually paying attention. Since the series doesn't actively cater towards me anymore, I take breaks from sonic every few months and check back in to see what's happening.

    The Sonic series over the course of it's history is an interesting case study in nostalgia. More than most game series I've seen, it generates such powerful emotional attachment to its new fans, for so many different reasons while being the same series and starring the same character. I understand it to a degree but it always finds ways to surprise me, particularly when some young fan point out to me

    "Now THIS is Sonic"

    While referencing some janky gameplay or some other completely irrelevant (to me) thing.

    ...But I get it.
     
  10. Josh

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    For one, I said it could happen ESPECIALLY with "poorly-aged or outright poor" games, not that anything else would be immune to it. I grew up seeing NES kids older than me heap mountains of praise on the genre-defining games of their childhood, and then I'd finally play, say, Bionic Commando for myself... and not really see what the fuss was about. It just felt OLD to me. By the same token, I've talked up how Sonic 3 feels from my perspective, blasted it with glowing, nostalgic praise, and seen people who played it BECAUSE of the way I talked about it not really "get it."

    There is no way to measure something like that with any objectivity. If anything, I'm arguing just the OPPOSITE. People a little younger or a little older than you are unlikely to see your formative games with as much reverence as you do. They can't share your nostalgia, they're not playing them in the same context, and that's okay.

    My point is that in the long-term, we shouldn't over-estimate the effect that "people having nostalgia for what they grew up" will have on the narrative, because no matter how much noise they make about it, they're the only ones with their specific experience. Nostalgia is wonderful for the people who have it, but it doesn't invalidate, excuse, or overwrite criticism for anyone else, and we shouldn't sweat these pendulum shifts. Just because 10 years from now, there might be people who'll passionately insist Forces was an incredible game and dismiss the flaws many of us see as "nitpicking" doesn't mean it will actually be that. Anyone new to it will still experience those same faults, and if it's hyped up as some underrated gem, it'll underwhelm them that much more.

    Eh, I don't really think that's a good idea. Mock the games you don't like, sure, but mocking the people who like them, even if you MEAN it to be good-natured, probably doesn't do any good. Unless of course it's literally your younger brother and you have that kind of relationship! One of my best friends grew up loving Sonic Heroes, the very game that 15 year old me saw as the "moment Sonic stopped being cool" and the "downfall of the franchise," and we dunk on each other about it all the time. :V
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  11. I'm not actually antagonizing or mocking anyone. More like poking fun and I don't mind when people poke fun at me either. Definitely not a personal attack either way. It's all in good fun and it's really just to chat with sonic fans that I know are very different from me, and ultimately we end up appreciating aspects of others tastes. That the best that can come from this for me anyway. Otherwise, my fanhood is sort of isolated from everyone else, in my experience.
    I don't do the whole bubble chamber thing that seems to be common across fandoms (and larger society) with extreme preferences and views. I have mine, but I like to venture out and see what's going on.

    Other people aren't like me necessarily in how they choose to do things, and that doesn't bother me one iota.
     
  12. Xiao Hayes

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    A chunk of it also went to Colours, just check out the plot Yasuhara suggested for Xtreme with all those planets and some aliens called "Mips". No wonder why some classic fans got a classic feel from that game.
     
  13. BadBehavior

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    I think another reason people look fondly on the werehog today is without it, as games like Forces proved, the games were like 4 hours long. And for the price you were paying, you weren't exactly getting something on the quality of say, Klonoa or Mega Man, games of a similar length.

    There seems to be this idea of the "Ideal Sonic Game" which to some fans would be: Sonic only, high production values, plenty of content and a decent length. Honestly it's a juggling act which seems to be outlandishly impossible. They've outright abandoned the first two and the latter two are in a constant state of flux. Length and content can wobble between "agonizingly long werehog sections" and "Forces levels I can beat faster than I can input the Sonic 3 level select"
     
  14. If you want to know about another fanbase that is deeply entrenched into nostalgic biases, then look no further than Pokemon lol. I have been a Pokemon fan for damn near the entirety of the series, so I gotta say, its been...interesting, to see the constant changing of the guard as the series goes on. At some point, it really starts to feel like every new gen is "the worst" by the fanbase that came in with a previous one. When Ruby/Sapphire came out, my generation which grew up on Gen 1 & 2, ragged on it and left the series behind leaving behind the new blood. Then that new blood ragged on Diamond/Pearl (Good lord, the special/physical split contention), and so on and son.

    Like Josh said, there's no objective way of measuring this and there's no real point in trying to be objective. The best you can do is to simply try to understand what is it that people like, and do the best you can at respecting that. The Sonic series is at a point where no matter what it does, nobody is going to be completely satisfied even when it seemingly addresses the perceived issues people have. Some fans are just completely married to their specific ideals about Sonic and reject anything else, it happens.

    Sega's biggest problem is that they always try to aim too high and appeal to fans and non-fans alike, because they don't want people to hate their games. But the fact is, it doesn't matter. They could literally release a Sonic Adventure remake tomorrow that's as close to the original as possible, and you'd still have people find SOMETHING to nitpick about and mark down points from the game. So all they really CAN do is just put their best foot forward and let the chips fall where they may.

    We all got our ideals on what Sonic should or shouldn't, and some of us just aren't gonna see eye to eye on that, so all we really can do as consumers is scream as loud as possible and pray that Sega listens to one of us.
     
  15. Josh

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    God, I hope Sonic Team doesn't listen to the people screaming the loudest. :V That's been a big part of the problem over the past 20+ years. Nintendo (and most successful developers) are good at filtering out bad faith criticism and not letting it affect their products. But Sonic Team often seems like they DO take their most vocal critics to heart. I think that's at least partially to blame for all the "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" scenarios we've had over the years, as the most impassioned, easily-repeated criticism tends to lack both perspective and nuance.

    Breaking down why (and which!) alternate playstyles were detracting from Sonic gameplay was a complex issue. But screaming about how the series was being ruined by "shitty friends" and insisting that "Sonic should just be about SONIC," was easy, and that's the message Sonic Team heard.

    I really hope we're not on the cusp of a similar overreaction.
     
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  16. SystemsReady

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    the idea of bringing in anything related to X-treme makes me queasy even thinking about it...because video footage of any of the demos manages to convey that knowledge that they would absolutely make me violently ill if I were to play them :V

    gonna be honest, it's not that far of a stretch given that Sonic 06, a game that involved a lot of "shitty friends" gameplay that......was indeed really shitty (think of Knuckles being physically unable to jump off a pillar because jumping up a surface and jumping away from a surface are treated as the same action). And then when they dropped that...the games were not disasters like 06. Not having to handle multiple game styles means fewer ways to mess up, and more time, polish, and money going to "the main game".

    re: "man I wish they did this for the next game", I'm going to echo the sentiment I had a while back and actually kind of wouldn't mind something taking a lot of influence from arcade games like Crazy Taxi. Someone here had likened the philosophy of the early Sonic titles to games like Outrun (where Sonic even had a cameo before his games ever came out), focusing on better times and memorization of a given level/track. Going for an open-world map for each stage with a place you need to get to and lots of goodies/special stages to find by wall-running/parkouring, while having similar physics to a car otherwise (weight, momentum, a sense of acceleration, drifting etc) would be a fascinating idea.
     
  17. BadBehavior

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    The "shitty friends" never went away. Sega just skirted around it by making Sonic himself the primary avenue of gimmicky gameplay style. First hes a werehog. Now he's mario. Now hes with his younger self. Now hes mario but but even dumber. Forces and the avatar is the first to break that mold since 06 and irony of ironies: many people such as Josh think that its the best part of the game. The non sonic part of the game is the best. Tell that to the guy who just woke up from a coma he went into after playing 06 and he'd just be like "I'd rather be in the coma!"

    Speaking of 06, theres only an 11 point difference on Metacritic between it (Satans Abortion that nearly destroyed Sonic permanently) and Forces (resounding meeehhh). Its not too unreasonable to assume that Sega's frugal, backwards attitude ("they'll be fine with X amount of less time, X amount of less money, lets pull Iizuka off the team so he can reboot Burning Rangers") will drag the next games score down to that threshold.

    edited for clarity.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
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  18. DigitalDuck

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    I'm down with that.
     
  19. Shaddy the guy

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    I never played Burning Rangers, but I kind of want to. Wish it didn't have antiquated saturn controls.
     
  20. Only thing I know about Burning Rangers is the theme song that my boys would karaoke whenever we were together. And sure enough, its the most Sega sounding thing ever and probably should have served as a pre-cursor to what we would get in later Sonic games.

     
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