So, hey, let's talk about Sonic's writing

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Bobinator, Feb 7, 2014.

What do you think about the post-Unleashed writing style?

  1. I like it.

    32 vote(s)
  2. I prefer the pre-Colors kind of dialogue.

    18 vote(s)
  3. I just think Sonic shouldn't talk.

    15 vote(s)
  1. Bobinator


    My thoughts on your posting Member
    I wanted to bring this up in the Sonic Boom thread, but maybe it'd be better to give this its own, separate topic. So, we all know that since Colors, Sonic got a new writing team. The way they write Sonic has been rather divisive, and I'd like to see what you guys think about it.

    Here's the thing for me. I'm really not fond of Dreamcast-era Sonic's characterization. The point is, he doesn't really have characterization. For me, he's not much more than a generic anime hero who's personality revolves entirely around friendship speeches and 'REAL SUPER POWER OF TEAMWORK'. Sure, there's the occasional dumb joke like his line about in-flight movies in SA2, but that's about as interesting as he ever gets. The problem is, I'm pretty sure the Dreamcast-era games up to '06 were written by people who really didn't have a good grasp of the English language, and it shows. So you end up with Tails and Eggman's robots, and we all know about that.

    Unleashed, I'll admit, was a lot better about the writing, but for me, a lot of it was just painful to watch. Especially when Chip was involved. I really, really hated Chip.

    For me, I feel like the Colors dialogue just works better with Sonic. He's written as as an impatient jerk, and if you look at the classic games, that's kind of what he is. You've got the finger waving, the foot tapping, and all that general 'tude to support that. So having Sonic be a sarcastic jerk just kind of ties in with that, the way I see it. What I also prefer about the post-Unleashed writing is that I feel like he actually interacts with the other characters better. Take Tails, for example. After Adventure, Tails was just another character for him to say "Long time no see!" to. (They really liked using that line, and it always really annoyed me, I have to say.) The way he's written now, it feels a lot more natural, and it actually gives the impression that Sonic, you know, actually gives a shit about Tails. And while Amy in Lost World got about... three or four lines, at most, at least the writers actually gave her something besides being in love with Sonic as her one defining personality trait, and I appreciate that.

    But that's just my opinion. Yeah, I know the writing in Sonic the Hedgehog is really kind of a stupid thing to get worked up about, but eh, we've argued about dumber stuff. Am I the only one who just LIKES Colors-era Sonic, or is it just me? I can't be the only one, right?

    And then there are the sorts of people who just prefer Sonic being mute, much like how Classic Sonic ended up in Generations. And hey, that's perfectly OK, too.
  2. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Working on my art!
    Sonic shouldn't say a word. Eggman can talk all he wants though.
  3. Shadow Hog

    Shadow Hog

    "I'm a superdog!" Member
    The dialog straddles a very fine line. One moment the snarkiness is awesome; the next it's outright cheesy.

    That said, it was very good in Colors, and had some great moments in Lost World (despite the game's plot ultimately being rather pants overall), so yeah, I suppose I'm good with it.
  4. Captain L

    Captain L

    The guy who likes Shadow the Hedgehog Member
    Waiting for the coming of the Great White Hankerchief
    As long as we're on the topic of writing in the games, I actually think Black Knight's writing is superb. Sonic's clearly still a heroic type, but he's fine with being that determined towards victory even if he might be the bad guy. Also, everything he says between the cutscene before the final boss and the ending was flawless.

    Colors, it wasn't the funniest game, but it was a great step for Sonic. He's suddenly cracking more jokes, both him and Tails are wisecracking, and Sonic both acknowledges how ridiculous how lame Eggman's being, and yet still does his own really stupid stuff (talking to the dead robot that can't hear him). At the end of the day, the cutscenes kept me interested, and that's all I'm asking for. I'm just a little disappointed that, considering it's the same writing team between MadWorld, it wasn't as funny as that. And then Generations goes and has next to no story, leaving very little room to be funny. Lost World seems decently amusing from what I saw, but there's a lot less average humor in the game without that Eggman PA system.
  5. TheKazeblade


    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    This right here. In Generations, before each rival battle, Sonic has a wordless cutscene to set the scene. In Silver's particularly, he exudes cool and being in charge without muttering a word, which harkens back to the Classics where it wasn't what Sonic said that made him seem cool, but his actions and animations. I'm fine with him using grunts and the occasional "All right!" or "Cool!" In-game, but in terms of actual dialogue it should be sparse, or non-existent. Show, don't tell.
  6. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    Any attempt at plot in Sonic games past Sonic Adventure 2 has steered far, far away from my field of interest. And if I were older/wiser then I would have found the Adventure stories embarrassing too (rather than just funny in a The Room sort of way). Pretty much any time Sonic opens his mouth I get douchechills and skip the cutscene and/or look over my shoulder and hope no one else was in the room
  7. Covarr


    Sentient Cash Register Member
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    The issue with the writing comes when they explicitly try to make them funny. I felt like the story worked fine in Colors, and the characterization mostly worked... but the jokes were just either too obvious, or too obtuse.
  8. Kyuu


    Memory Access Violation Member
    I like what they're going for with Colours and Lost World. It doesn't always work, but when it does I think it's great.

    I have to say, I also like the dynamic between Sonic and Tails in the two games. I always pictured them as being bros, with a bit of snark between the two. Colours made me happy in that regard :v:
  9. Bobinator


    My thoughts on your posting Member
    I'll admit the writing's not always perfect, especially when you figure in... eh, let's say anything with Tails's wisp translator in Colors. On the other hand, though, you've got all the PA announcements, which are all pretty much pure gold.

    And yeah, I think the dynamic between Sonic and Tails works a lot better in Colors and beyond, and it's much easier to believe that Sonic and Tails are actually as close as they're stated to be. That always felt really off to me in the Adventure era.
  10. Dude


    Tech Member
    Southbridge, MA
    Random VR/AR trash
    I'd like to see Shadow brought in as a chaotic and whimsical villain, someone who is competent and actually dangerous as a foil to Eggman's incompetent genius. Somebody who just breaks stuff because he's bored, a villain because he can be. I can even see Sonic rubbing it in Eggman's face that Shadow's boredom is more dangerous than his megalomania. Anything is better than the blank slate of an existential crisis they left him as in previous games.
  11. Nova


    Shit, I thought there wasn't anything that could make me like Shadow. This right here, I could totally get behind.
  12. Kyuu


    Memory Access Violation Member
    I hate to be that guy, but what about Shadow in '06? He just sort of runs around helping people when it serves his own goals, but I kinda thought the "stoic guy" kinda worked for him.

    Wasn't great, necessarily, but a lot better than the angsting around he did in Heroes and ShTH IMO.
  13. Super


    The ever vigilant GSWAS. Member
    You're fine to be that guy. I liked Shadow's story in Sonic '06, as horrible as the game was as a whole. There were some good moments(some horrible ones, too, but Sonic '06). He was moving forward and basically refusing to be an angstying pile of crap. He takes a moment, which you think is gonna turn into an angstfest, and he trns around and he just says he's gonna do what he's gonna do, and right now that includes wrecking your shit.

    Haven't played Lost World, so I can't comment on that, but Sonic writing so far hasn't reached the cringe-worthy awkwardness that was Dreamcast Era and beyond. This post-Colors world has been doing quite well s'far as I see it.

    Although I have to say I know some people love the cutscenes in SatBK, but seriously after a line like "It's like Halloween all year long!" I can't see how it's defendable. But, alas, I defended Sonic '06, so there must be something to it.
  14. SpeedStarTMQ


    I like the writing of the more recent games. Whilst I thought Unleashed was okay, I did like Colours more, as well as Generations and Lost World. I can't tell whether it's just the writing or the fact that since Colours Sonic has been voiced by someone much more competent, but it seems to have stepped up again since Griffiths did the voicing. Granted, his last couple games were good, but were subpar prior to that.

    I do have a soft spot for the Ryan Drummond era though. The writing of the time was more to just let the audience know what direction the story was going to take after the cutscene, and the story unfolded around that. I did think that those character voices were the best, though the writing often was minimal, and some parts of Heroes is now looked back at as cringeworthy.

    Talking of cringeworthy though, what's up with all the dudebro talk lately? It's a fad and when the games are played in 10 years time it's going to sound terrible. "Buddy" should suffice rather than dude, eurgh.
  15. Aerosol


    Not here. Moderator
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    I love the writing we've got now. At least, the banter between Sonic, Tails, and Eggman is great. How they handle other characters remains to be seen.
  16. BlazeHedgehog


    A "Community Enigma"? Oldbie
    I don't entirely like Ken Pontac.

    He hits on some funny, silly stuff every now and then, but his writing is very fluffy. He doesn't write stories, he writes individual scenes, and sometimes those end up looking something vaguely like a plot.

    Lost World's story was alright until you used any modicum of brain power to actually think about the sequence of events. Story beats are brought up and then immediately thrown in the garbage and never mentioned again. It's all in service of a few jokes that miss more often than they hit.

    I've been saying it in various places for a while now, but Sega should probably try hiring Ian Flynn to write a game plot. Might work out pretty well.
  17. TimmiT


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    I much prefer what they are going for with the writing in modern Sonic games than what they tried to do in Sonic Adventure - 2006. The actual quality of the writing is pretty bad though. The little plot there is in each game isn't very well done and the jokes go on for too long and are poorly timed. I agree with that Ian Flynn would probably do a better job than what Ken Pontac and Warren Graff are currently doing.
  18. Nova


    Agreed, mostly because Flynn can do serious storylines while still keeping it relatively light-hearted and jovial.
  19. To me, there's nothing wrong with Sonic being an impatient jerk, being a wise ass an' all that.

    My problem with how these games are being written nowadays is that he feels more like a parody of himself than a believable person who actually does act that way. It's like.... how do I put this...?

    He feels like a guy who dropped out of college and spent most of his time there partying with his fellow fratboys. That kind of guy who says things like "That's how we roll!" well into his thirties, that kind of guy who, in desperation, deludes himself that he's still "all that" when all the kids are snickering at what a dork they know he really is.

    It's that he REVELS in being a jerk and seems so self aware about it that it feels like an act, like if you were to ask him WHY he acts this way, classic Sonic would say "What's it to ya'?", whereas Roger the hedgehog would say something like "Oh yeah, that's kind my thing. Heh."

    You see how much more blunt and.... REAL that first response feels? To me, THAT'S the kind of character Sonic ought to be. Blunt, and kind of an asshole, but he can't help it and he still has a heart of gold. Now, though... he's more like some chump who THINKS he's much cooler than he actually is.
  20. TheKazeblade


    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    I think that's the closest explanation to what's happening to the writing that I've heard so far. Well said.