Soft Reboots and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, May 13, 2021.

  1. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    I definitely agree with Wraith. The solution is to improve the execution of gameplay and story, not to throw some or all of it out and start over. One might argue that the latter is what got us into this current predicament to begin with.

    Reboots, or even soft reboots, have the temptation for the creator to overindulge and create something completely unique that doesn't honor the intention and themes of the original work. I think people have bought into the marketing speak when it claims reboots are for "a modern audience" when really an original work can rightfully stand the test of time. Reboots and soft reboots are simply because someone wants to use an existing IP as the jump-off point of their own completely original story #donotsteal. Imo, it's a fairly lazy way to create any story. Either write within the confines of that IP or write something completely new.

    In the case of Sonic, don't break it even more with this sort of thing. The concept of the series is fine as is, it's just the execution that's suffered over the past decade.
  2. At the very least, I can agree that people look at reboots as a quick solution to a long term problem. People are mad and upset and would rather just wipe the slate clean and start over, because it's not like the creators have given us any reason to believe that they can improve. It's a very annoying situation to be in as a fan, and has no real answer to solving.

    Because it's just as likely that we'll just get another Forces as the next game, so you start to wonder what exactly needs to change in order for shit to get better.

    This series fucking sucks man lmao.
  3. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    Not really been the case for just about every franchise I enjoy that's ever been rebooted, but eh, each to their own.
  4. I actually do think Sonic needs a soft reboot and have basically been advocating for it the last 6-7 years or so.

    From a gameplay standpoint, the 3D side has yet to see it's full potential in any formula. It's pretty telling though that the game most commonly referred to as "the one that almost got it right", is the original Sonic Adventure on the DC. From a conceptual standpoint anyway. And it's because it's essentially the only 3D game in the last 20+ years that kept a reasonable gameplay approximation of the original trilogy that made sonic successful in the first place. I think most Sonic fans, regardless of their preference, would look forward to seeing a polished version of that.

    The problem is however....Sonic Team (or whatever they call themselves now) has never shown any confidence in that formula, even going back to the early 2000s. From everything I've read over the years, it appears as though they don't actually believe they can iterate in that style without massive amounts of duct tape. And just looking around at the state of things and the changes across history, the interviews with Iizuka saying almost verbatim "well what do you think we've been trying to do the last 20 years?!" kinda makes one wonder, should we be asking for this at all?

    Or in other words, is this a game that SEGA and it's associated talent can actually make? Id absolutely hate to admit it because it's my dream game, but maybe a game like that can't be created without major fundamental problems with the formula. Or if it can, the right people haven't tried yet and SEGA for whatever reason won't invest in finding those people.

    I say all that to say, IMO if we're going to reboot sonic for any reason, it's to fix the damn gameplay which has been the single biggest problem with 3D Sonic from the start, it's just not nearly as consistently excellent an experience compared to the 2D games. And I literally don't even want to admit that the classic gameplay can't be translated into 3D...I grew up with the original trilogy, but as a grown up still dream often about that perfect translation of Sonic 3k into 3D that may never come.

    So if they can't make it, and we accept that they maybe can't do it themselves, then perhaps a soft reboot isn't really the answer, but rather continuing to make the same kind of games but with far more polish and attention to detail. I could accept that it were the case. If every game for the foreseeable future was a generations successor in style and quality, it wouldn't be a bad thing at all for the health of the series. It's be better for sonic to churn out consistent 7-8/10 games than to have large deviations in quality as it has for so long, hoping by random luck that a 9/10 game comes around once a blue moon.

    ...Actually, we've never even had a 9/10 3D sonic game. It's why Ive thought all resources should be out into finding that long term formula that not just works, but really knocks it out of the park with fans. I refuse to believe that only the 2D games can do it, but if ST are honest with themselves and can't do it, I'd rather them ask someone else or just stick to what they can do and do it their best.

    Long story short: soft reboot if they can hack it and take Sonic to his full potential, or continue with the successes of the boost gameplay, with as much care as you can give each time.
  5. What would a soft reboot accomplish that simply couldn't be done by just improving what they're already doing?
  6. Aerosol


    Not here. Moderator
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    Redefining the direction and quality expectations of the series?
  7. RDNexus


    They could return to the franchise's origins... Platforming with speed as reward, nature vs technology thematic.
    All that while sticking to the primary cast, maybe rebooting the timeline and keep a continuity in mind onwards.
    More than that, I didn't want to repeat what I gave of ideas, on other threads of this kind...

    Isn't there a surefire way to translate the Classics' 2D gameplay to a 3D environment as a starting point?
    I'm not sure if SA1 felt like that at first...
  8. BlackHole


    You're going to need MORE than help. Member
    Sprites for Cybernetic Outbreak
    And yet, including the interesting twist from the classics that technology and nature can co-exist happily, it's only Robotnik's maliciousness that's preventing it, as well as perhaps including a new recurring villain that's the same vice versa for nature, how nature can also be used to smother and destroy same as technology, if used maliciously.

    Aforementioned nature and technology co-existing happily.

    Honestly, not 1:1. You'll always have that feeling that something is off in translation, and they'll need to adjust elements to better suit the 3D aspect, since while it worked in 2D it's not quite so in 3D. But it would be a good starting point for a soft reboot of the series.
  9. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Working on my art!
    I'd love if the 3D games started using Mania esq designs for level environments. The classic style actually had personality to it, and while they tried in Lost World it didn't go much past checkerboard patterns and kinda missed the point.
  10. Zephyr


    That feels to me like a twist on the opposition: taking the opposing sides and synthesizing them. Good old dialectics. :eng99:

    A very good twist indeed, but I think a twist works best after some set up. To that I point, and with regards to reboots, it could be neat to introduce a new generation of fans to a multi-game plot across which we go from go from "Technology Bad, Nature Good" to "Nature sometimes Bad too" to "Technology & Nature need to coexist" (largely if not all sub-textually, of course, preferably speaking).
    A poignant message, too, given the real world climate apocalypse we march ever deeper into.
  11. Both of which don't necessarily need a reboot. You raise people's expectations by actually just making a good game.

    On that front, I think we need to come to terms with the fact that Sonic's gameplay isn't going to translate 1:1 to a 3D plane. Some things just don't work because of those additional planes. We can argue that Sega simply haven't tried enough, but I think it goes way beyond that.

    So the question becomes, what can 3D Sonic do to define itself without being beholden to its predecessors.
  12. Aerosol


    Not here. Moderator
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    This is not going to become a "what my dream Sonic game would be" thread.

    My worst fear would honestly be a new game being compared favourably to a previous entry but not bringing anything new to the table. "It's great, like Generations" reviews would just about kill me
  13. I feel like that's something we can't avoid when dealing with the mainstream; people who aren't in the loop can only see the surface level stuff. Its why something like Sonic 4 can get good reviews. The fans know its fucking shit, but as far as everyone else knew, it was just a 2D Sonic game with a 4 in the title.

    That's kind of something that annoys me in how this series is handled. I understand that Sega need to appeal to mainstream audiences since they're the ones who will increase sales and public awareness. But too often it feels like Sega just straight up forget that they have longtime fans too that they can cater to.

    As someone mentioned, even Mario finds that good balance of being accessible to a casual crowd, yet rewarding to a longtime player.

    The only games in recent years to really get that balance were Generations and Mania, and both of them didn't really do anything new for the series but just took what was already there and made it better.

    So maybe....trying to "redefine" isn't the way? Whenever Sonic tries to reinvent itself, it falls flat on its face. But when it just builds on what was there, it tends to at least be better. Even people who hate Boost cannot deny that Generations was a damn good game in spite of it.
  14. Aerosol


    Not here. Moderator
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    Both approaches require Sega to prioritize making a good game over anything else and, in that respect, it doesn't make a difference whether they "build on successes" or "go back to the drawing board and redefine the series going forward". If the resultant game is only as good as "great, but not likely to be a classic" then it doesn't matter.
  15. Does Sonic really NEED a genre busting game that becomes a classic though? Shit, just getting a great game at all is a blessing at this point.

    Which yea, is kind of sad, but it is what it is. Gotta take what we can get.
  16. Jason


    *Results not lab tested. Member
    It doesn't need to be redefining, but it does need to evolve. Forces tried to imitate Unleashed daytime levels. 9 years later. And did it worse.

    As retro as we like Sonic here, he's gotta upgrade. The boy can't be stuck in 1994, 2001, or 2011 forever. So far to stay relevant Sega interested a costume into more popular games and called it a day (ie Fall Guys). What Sonic is in the 20s is hard to define right now. But it will depend mainly on whatever Sonic Team has planned. If that fails, well there's always fan games.
  17. Maybe the right word is 'clarifying', rather than 'redefining' for those arguing that point. As in, Sonic doesn't have to invent completely new things. Moreso reestablish some existing things in new ways by focusing on that design and branding in a more direct way across the brand. An example of that would be if both 2D and 3D games started incorporating not only the art style of Mania and the classics, but also the gameplay design. So across the franchise you have this consistent, distinct style and (assuming) very good quality. You could call that a soft reboot in a way because it is a fairly dramatic shift away from the way Sonic has been for the last 20 years or so, at least in the main series. Sure, in that time we've had some nods to classic nostalgia but there's not been anything close to a full-on adoption of that style until Mania came around. Particularly, we've never had anything close to a Mania in 3D. I think a game like that, assuming it could be made, coupled with the 2D games taking on that style, could make waves for the brand of it were even possible.

    Again, this is just an example, very crash bandicoot 4 in a way. Not clamoring for it, nor do I see it happening anytime soon... although I suspect I would probably be happier with that direction than many of you if it had to happen...
    The series more or less did this during the 'adventure era' and while the adventure era was not as popular as the classic era, it did experience its own respectable level of success.

    I also don't think this is the only way forward. I actually do think ST can continue on their current path and find some success and if that's what they decide to do, there's nothing wrong with that.
  18. Aerosol


    Not here. Moderator
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    Well, yea. You may be satisfied with a game that's just "good" but Sega kinda needs a game everyone ends up talking about for the better part of a year. Not a game we end up bitching about twice a year, every year.
  19. David The Lurker

    David The Lurker

    For some mysterious reason... Administrator
    The original Sonic the Hedgehog set the expectation of getting games that would become instant classics. Great platformers that challenged just what a platformer could be. Sonic Team wanted to continue pushing this envelope when they jumped to 3D. Regardless of how one feels personally about Adventure, it was a game that tried to push the genre, and for many it did become an instant classic.

    To go "well, Sonic will never be that great again, let's be thankful when a game is good enough" isn't the best way to look at the franchise. Not every Sonic game ever will be an instant classic, I accept that. Nothing in any franchise will reach such lofty heights every time. But there is also a reason why Mario and Sonic were compared so early on. It's not just because Sega wanted to compete with Mario. It's because they actively were competing with Mario. Even though Sega is no longer a console rival to Nintendo, you can still try to reach those same lofty heights. Make a 3D game that tries to be everything that Super Mario Odyssey was to the Mario franchise. This does not mean "Make Sonic Odyssey," but to make something that gives off that same feeling, that same energy in the context of Sonic.

    Refining and redefining the mechanics of a 3D Sonic, or Sonic in general, does not mean you have to reboot the series. Or soft reboot it. I dunno, I guess when I think of the word "reboot," my thought goes immediately to the storytelling, the world building. Sonic Adventure certainly wasn't the same gameplay style as the classics, but I wouldn't call it a soft reboot. It's still a story about Sonic and Eggman, with the story's backbone being a direct sequel to Sonic 3&K, with explicit references to CD and Sonic 2. Does the fact the gameplay changed make it a soft reboot? Or is it simply a continuation with a different artstyle?

    I guess that's why I'm a little confused about this topic. If the next 3D game introduces yet another new way to play as Sonic, that wouldn't automatically make it a soft reboot to me. Even the phrase "soft reboot" is a bit mushy to me. If it's a jumping on point but it's still a sequel, then why call it a soft reboot? Why not just call it a jumping on point? Soft reboot, to me, implies things are being outright ignored and changed in the continuity and storytelling. Terminator: Dark Fate was a soft reboot, because it ignored everything after the first two films. Sonic Adventure didn't ignore the previous games Sonic Team made, it embraced them, even if they went with a redesigned Sonic and a more realistic art style to show off the Dreamcast's graphical capabilities.

    If you want to make a Sonic game but don't feel like explaining why Tails isn't in constant communication with Professor Pickle, it's easy. Just don't bring it up. But he can still exist, and Unleashed can still have happened. He can sit there and wait until another story pops up where it would make sense to use him.

    This is also important to note. If you keep something static, it is trapped in that moment of time. If you are making something new that is a continuation of something, it's important for things to evolve and change, but it can do that while still keeping true to the core aspects that make it special.
  20. I guess I'm just speaking from a pragmatic and realistic POV. I never bought into the whole Sonic and Mario rivalry; I play both franchises and love them for different reasons. So I never understood why there was this constant incentive to compete. Especially when the platforming genre as a whole isn't as popular as it used to be.

    And going further, Sonic stopped being a competitor to Mario the second Sega dropped out of the console race. There hasn't been a single Sonic game that has come anywhere near close to the commercial success an average Mario game gets. Even as much as we praise Mania, it wasn't gonna compete with Super Mario Odyssey.

    I'm not saying that I don't want Sonic to aim for greatness, because I do. But I'm not looking for a game that's gonna suddenly taking the gaming community by storm, and that's what I get sometimes reading these posts. Which I get because a lot of you probably grew up in a time when Sonic was a legitimate competitor to Mario and want that back. But most of the people who worked at Sega at the time aren't there anymore, and its not like Sega has anywhere near as much money to toss around as Nintendo. I'm at a point in my life where I just want something functional and keeps my interest and feels like a Sonic game.

    That said, I do agree that Sonic needs to evolve. We can't keep clinging to the glory of past games and hopes that carry us forward. Sonic needs to strike a good balance of respecting its history without leaning too heavily on it as it has been the case, while also innovating enough without losing sight of the spirit of the series. I'd say the last game to strike that good balance was Sonic Colors hilariously enough; a game that brings something new, but in a way that feels fresh for Sonic.

    And that's...hard. Even Nintendo lean into their classic iconography a lot in their flagship games (Take a drink for every SMB3 or SMBW reference in the past decade) despite their quality.