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)
    49.2%
  2. I prefer the pre-Colors kind of dialogue.

    18 vote(s)
    27.7%
  3. I just think Sonic shouldn't talk.

    15 vote(s)
    23.1%
  1. Felik

    Felik

    Member
    1,706
    0
    16
    I think the best plot in modern Sonic games was in first Sonic Riders. For me it just had this perfect balance between story, humor and characters. Well ok, story was a little bit weak but still I think it was perfect for a modern Sonic game. Not too complex, not too simple.
    Also I just can't understand how can anyone like Colors' humor or story. Sonic Colors is my favorite modern Sonic game (and 2nd favorite Sonic game after S3&K) but GOD, it's story is shit. Maybe not as shitty as Sonic Lost Worlds but definitely much worse than, say, Sonic 06 or even Shadow (Shadow was in the "so bad it's good" division, but that's another story). My main concern about it is that at long last Sonic Team made these beautiful original environments and what do Sonic & Tails do there? Talk about how to pronounce "wisp" and make food jokes. There are also these mind control machine and Yacker is missing subplots that go nowhere. I want to see them explore these places, not just sit there and talk about some bullshit no one cares about. They could have made these beautiful places even more memorable by actually having a story related to them.
     
  2. Bobinator

    Bobinator

    My thoughts on your posting Member
    I can see your point, but the thing is, you can probably blame most of that on Sonic Team, since they're the ones who made the cutscenes. I imagine that they just didn't really have much to work with from the start. Same applies for Generations, too, since I doubt you'd get any better of a story from the Japanese version.

    I can't really defend Lost World for the same reasons, though, seeing as apparently the Western writing team were behind that entirely. :/ I did think they put a little more effort into the actual plot of that game, though, at least, with Zavok being a lot more threatening than Robotnik. An origin story would have been nice or something, though.
     
  3. Kyuu

    Kyuu

    Memory Access Violation Member
    The problem I had with Lost World's story was that it never really explained anything, like the Zeti or the Deadly Six or their motivations or anything. Things just sorta... happened. I liked Zavok as a villain, and I have to admit, I think the more serious tone the game took later on actually worked pretty well, it didn't feel as forced as some of the other modern games.
     
  4. FollOw

    FollOw

    Show me da wae Oldbie
    388
    11
    18
    Seattle
    My own music, ask me about it
    100% agree...I have honestly never paid attention to sonic's storyline in any game....I would rather them focus on game play and levels...
     
  5. 0r4ng3

    0r4ng3

    Member
    1,318
    0
    0
    I liked the Adventures, even Heroes and Unleashed. Colours seemed terribly simplistic to me and the least said about Lost World the better (and I shouldn't speak much about the latter since I don't even own it).

    I like this.
     
  6. JoeyJojoJr

    JoeyJojoJr

    Member
    9
    0
    0
    I find it really cool that the "Classic" Sonic games essentially had the same story as Adventure. From Sonic 2 they begin referencing the Chaos story in vague terms, and over the next few games, it gets more explicit until you see the whole thing in flashbacks in Adventure. I know some people like to keep it simple and don't enjoy when Sonic is dealing with all sorts of crazy cosmic gods and stuff, but I love it. As far as I'm concerned, the games from Adventure to 2006 were pretty close in most regards, including story, to Classic Sonic, which I enjoy (though I didn't really enjoy the story as much until later when I found out about the Japanese manuals being so different). They generally managed to feel like translations of the old games' style, but with more advanced tech that allowed things like voice acting and FMVs (plus being in 3D and all that other non-story stuff). Of course, after 2006 was a complete disaster, they kind of threw the baby out with the bathwater, and Modern Sonic, I think, is a completely different beast. I enjoy it, but it's not really the same in most regards. That said, I really appreciated that Unleashed gave Sonic more of a personality than he had in any other game. The plot there was a little lighter (in depth of content, not tone), but not a lot, and that's not really a bad thing anyway, but the characterization of Sonic was much stronger, whereas in other games basically all the characters except for Sonic got fairly strong characterization, but Sonic is essentially a static character. That's fine, I don't mind that, but Unleashed found a way to make him still feel like Sonic while also making him have some more complex emotions and feel like a character with more depth.

    Then Colors and Generations had almost no story. They were alright games, but I do like when they try with the stories. I don't think story is necessary, it should never be prioritized over things like gameplay, but it's still nice. I hear Lost World is better in this regard, but I haven't had the chance to play it yet, so I can't comment on it.

    Ideally, I'd want something with the general tone and feel of Unleashed, but with the use of continuity seen from Sonic 2/CD-2006 (each game there really does reference and build off the previous one, with CD and Adventure 2 being the exceptions that only refer lightly to the game before them). Modern Sonic at least has fairly good dialogue, though, not as cringe worthy as some of the other games in the series, so if we can keep that quality of dialogue but mix it with what I've described above, I think that would be ideal.

    Incidentally, Ian Flynn does a pretty good job at reaching what I'm talking about, especially after the Super Genesis Wave, AKA legal issues, forced him to let go of most of the comic's original characters and concepts, which were really just dragging him down for years. If they just let him write the games, I'd be one happy camper. The current Shadow Arc in Sonic Universe is exactly what I want out of stories in this series. Just do more like that.

    Also, since people have been talking about Shadow, I liked that he actually had a character arc. Sure, I get that people didn't like how angsty he was at first, but he solves that in his solo game, and in 2006 you're essentially seeing the epilogue to his story (especially as you look into the future in it). I thought his story in there was neat and his characterization was exactly what I would want to see out of him in the future. But then he hasn't really shown up a whole lot since then, so we haven't gotten to see him like that again.
     
  7. Tiller

    Tiller

    Member
    836
    0
    16
    HDK & World Runner
    I've disliked nearly every speaking role Sonic's had in the games. Partly due to writing, partly due VA, and partly due to delivery. Most of the time its how he generally doesn't act or move like you'd expect while he's talking. He's over exaggerated in the wrong ways, or way too static. Take that "emerald race" cutscene where modern Sonic wins by boosting to the chaos emerald. It's just grating. If we ignore the cheese and stupidity from pre 2006, modern Sonic does come off as THAT GUY and is borderline self parody.

    That doesn't mean I hate the idea of a yappy Sonic. Far from it. I'd imagine more of a Spiderman sort of wise ass who banters the whole time he's fighting and gets under his opponent's skin. Only the banter is actually entertaining because its funny, and not Sonic Heroes "so bad its good." I immensely enjoy a lot of his dialogue in the Modern comic run for instance, though that might be more due to no VA or delivery getting in the way of my reading voice.
     
  8. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    Pontac and Graff's storywriting just seems so poor. Not that the concept behind a more light-hearted plot less constructed around some big mythos is bad, but mostly that it just felt badly done in the past three games. Colors, Generations, and Lost World all felt as what others have said: a bunch of jokes and instances that loosely make a 'plot' of sorts. The jokes kind of last too long and aren't necessarily clever, the characters stagger between feeling like they have some depth to being flatter than they've ever been, and the plot's events go nowhere. It just feels like filler to go between levels, instead of something that actually matters to the player.

    For Sonic Adventure, I look at it now kind of cringing since it's script and delivery are both so poor, but the story's heart was in the right place because it honestly wasn't a bad one. Events pushed you forward through the stages and characters had interactions and developments that pushed it along. You at least felt like the story (and thus the game) was going somewhere instead of "oh we're here at this level now".

    For a Sonic story to be good you have to give good reasons for the player to care about the characters and the events, as if they matter. You have to give the main characters depth, give the main antagonist some "oomph" so that they are seen as a big enough threat, and give the main protagonist (or side characters too) some struggles to make it seem like it's not as one-sided of a story as it usually is (where the good guys win). Otherwise, it's just as it seems to be played: filler between levels. And that's no fun.
     
  9. JaredAFX

    JaredAFX

    SonicManEXE Member
    844
    0
    16
    Florida
    Downloading megahertz
    Not much besides the music has aged well from the Adventure games. However, I think some of Sonic's lines from those games, lines like "Look! A giant talking egg!" "Talk about low-budget flights... I like running better!" "I don't know what this space colony's about, but I'll find and destroy that cannon and then kick their imperial butts!" and so on characterize Sonic as wise-cracking and impatient, which I think they should focus more on. As far as storytelling, we all most of us don't want those serious stories. As far as SA1 and SA2 go in the consistency department, there's barely any reason to call SA2 a sequel except for that one part where the newspaper mentions Tails saving Station Square which was desperately shoehorned in just to make the connection between the two games. No one has any of their (little) character development from SA1. Even Tails who actually learned a lot about being confident and independent reverted to how he was in the beginning and just relearns it in a forced, sloppy fashion. So, basically, those couple of lines are good, but not much else.

    This may be Clement brainwashing me, but I legitimately like the storytelling in Unleashed. It tells a story without taking themselves way too seriously and they throw in both visual and verbal humor into the mix. Chip is refreshing. His constant worrying of other's hunger makes him cute (which would explain why not everyone likes him). It's a shame that those few cutscenes like Sonic and Chip fighting over the dumpling in Chun-nan are only unlocked by giving Chip food. Those really bring out the playfulness that the whole storytelling has to it; even if the world is split into pieces, Sonic can still have some fun. That's who he is.

    I appreciate that Colors, Generations and Lost World made him a bit of a jerk, but Generations and Lost World didn't really have stories, LW more so. What y'all have been saying really sums it up. I think Colors is great, though. For something as high-concept as "Sonic in space amusement park" Pontac and Graff did their jobs extremely well and I wouldn't have it any other way. Generations, though, isn't has high-concept as that. Not many other Sonic games are, really. Is their style of humor fitting for Sonic? Definitely, but I don't think their storytelling is.
     
  10. I don't even know if I get the terminology right here, so I'm sorry if I end up getting it wrong.

    In terms of Sonic's script, ie: what he says. I like it, the relationship between Sonic, Tails and Eggman really has been improved in the recent games. However I do wonder what they would actually do with a bigger cast. Doesn't even need to be Sonic 2006 big. Wanna see what they would do with Amy or Shadow really. We pretty much know what they would do with Knuckles and I do dread it. I do like most of Sonic's buddies (YEAH!) so I am kinda surprised they haven't rotated the Tails role around a bit in the games. But oh well.

    (And yes I liked Shadow's story in 06. And Silver's. Yes the game is arse gravy of the highest quality but their half of the game was better for the story anyway. Thats enough of that.)

    In terms of Sonic's story, Ie: what is going on. It just feels quite limp when compared to Adventures, Shadow, 06 and Unleashed. I guess I was spoilt in those games lol. I guess Colours does pick up towards the end with the revelation of the hyper-go-on energy.
    SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE
    And even though Generations screws around with TIME ITSELF, storyline wise it feels weak.

    I think a lot of what I dislike is still fallout from Sonic 2006. Unleashed probably was a chunk through development so some of the old ways was still in there but come Colours and beyond its "Sonic Only, No Friends, Limited Cutscenes and storylines, [ban this user for use of meme]".

    Its a shame, because I was kinda wondering about some of those bizarre little things that was popping up. Blaze's dimension, Sol Emeralds, Silver's ruined future. And like I said I like a good chunk of Sonic's friends. I always thought it was weird in Unleashed. That you didn't see anyone who wasn't a stylised human. Apart from Amy and Tails. I mean why not have Big fishing in every one of the cities and the only thing that pops up when Sonic tries to talk to him is a text box with Sonic thinking "How does he always get here before me?" or a cartoon thingy with Rouge enjoying pasta and wine in Spagonia before looking out of the window seeing WerehogSonic running around on all fours outside and just slapping the wine off the table. Just little things that makes fans of said characters feel a bit happier before Sega go and make Sonic Adventure 4 and fuck up the franchise again for the next 15 years.

    Sonic Boom could be an interesting little story. Hopefully its fun. Touch wood and all that.
     
  11. JoeyJojoJr

    JoeyJojoJr

    Member
    9
    0
    0
    Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 actually do have strong continuity, just not to each other. Adventure 1 really caps off the story that began in Sonic 2 and was continued in 3&K. Adventure 2 starts a new story that goes through Heroes, Shadow, and '06. But yeah, despite the names, they don't tie into each other all that much. There's also the connection of using the Emerald Shrine and stuff, but it doesn't change your point that it's not all that much. As for character development, that's essentially how it goes in any long running series. They do the illusion of development but nothing really changes. Superman's been around for over 75 years, but aside from getting some new powers, he's still basically the same person he was back in 1938. Frankly, I'm surprised Shadow got the development he did, but once he did, he was really only in one game before being shuffled away and not heard from much after that. In series like this, it's usually better to try to focus on having cool plots rather than worry about long term character development, because eventually some other writer will be in charge and ignore all that development to make things the way they perceive it. Tails learned to be independent twice, but even if it stuck when it happened, it still would have been moot come Colors, when the entire tone of the series changed entirely.