Sonic Colo(u)rs: Ten Years Later.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. Josh


    So... what's the proof? The fact that you prefer them? Because that's not how opinions work.

    I wouldn't argue that the classic trilogy and, let's call them the "good" boost trilogy (Unleashed/Colors/Generations) differ greatly in their gameplay design. But it's very much subjective whether that matters. I personally find either trilogy to appeal to me in similar measures, and because either style meets my expectations of what I want out of a Sonic game, they scratch the same itch. They feature high-speed platforming spectacle, a focus on skill mastery, and a well of replayability and depth so deep that I never burn out on them. I've kept all six of those titles in regular rotation ever since I first played them. You might not see the boost games the way I do. They don't scratch that itch for you. That's okay. But my experience doesn't invalidate yours, and I would never try to argue it should. Whatever our opinions are, they don't constitute "objective proof" of anything except which video games we, as individuals, find more enjoyable.
  2. I know this is gonna sound very patronizing, but please consider that this attitude towards Colors is what contributes to heated discussions. I understand it's a sore subject for you, but could you try to tone it down? I really do get what you're trying to say, I honestly do and agree...but you're kind of...overzealous about it, and it's clouding the overall message of what you're trying to say.

    Anyway, I said it before and I'll say it again. Colors is the perfect game for people who want Sonic to be more homogenized as a series. For it to be safe and fun, the same way Mario is safe and fun. It's comforting, because it doesn't do anything to rock the boat too badly. If that's what people like about Sonic, then hey, power to you. I can't change people's feelings and if that's what you feel the series should be, then it is what it is.

    But I do think it's important to remember that Sonic is a series built on being controversial, even as far back as the 90's. Sonic as a concept was designed to subvert the norm established by Mario, so it feels somewhat antithetical for Sonic to become like Mario in being a safe and homogenized series. Now from a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense and it's why Mario is so successful. So Sonic following that same model was bound to be a hit. Colors is the perfect game for people who want Sonic to be more like Mario, for better or worse.

    But I don't feel like games like Colors were making the same splashes similar to the games like SA2 were; Sonic Adventure 2 is either "the last good Sonic game" or "the first bad Sonic game" depending on who you ask, it is a game that elicits strong opinions regardless of how you actually feel about it.

    But nobody really has anything to talk about Sonic Colors besides "Its good", and it's good and nothing else. It doesn't elicit strong emotions either way, it is simply a middle of the road game that sure, lacks all of the controversial aspects of the previous games, but also doesn't really push the series forward in any way either. If the previous decade of Sonic turned you off that much, then it's probably the perfect game but not everyone felt that way, and I feel the amount of praise the game upon release really skewered opinions about it.

    Think about it, if Sonic Colors wasn't preceded by games many felt were lacking, would we even have anything to really talk about in regards to it? Does the game have anything that stands out on its own merits separate from the rest of the series? Like shit, with Sonic Adventure 2, you can at least talk about things like the Alternate gameplay, or the storyline. But what does Colors really have to say as a video game? Let alone a Sonic game.
  3. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    I'm gonna preface this by saying that I was a kid when '06 came out and I played it at the time. Sonic '06 does not contain all the things Adventure fans loved. Obviously I can't speak for every self-proclaimed Adventure fan, but I'll say it had a few of the things Adventure fans liked. Pretty much Shadow. Comparing the gameplay/story structure only means anything when looking at the game in hindsight now, since back then Sonic '06 was just following the same basic structure and gameplay mechanics that basically every other 3D Sonic game did.

    Where did this idea come from that "Adventure fans" don't prioritize gameplay? I understand that there are people who play Sonic games for the story, they exist, but an Adventure fan (meaning a person who likes SA1 and/or SA2, and does not automatically include those who like any of the "Dark Age" games) or a Dark Age fan saying they want the stories in Sonic games to be enjoyable does not mean they prioritize the importance of a good story over quality gameplay. I've always been a fan of the classic games primarily, but I very much am also a fan of SA1, and I like SA2 well enough. I don't like the boost games, any of them, because of the gameplay. Frostav may be needlessly absolutist and hyperbolic, but I don't disagree with his sentiments.

    Sonic Colors may have been the game the franchise needed, but not the one it deserved. ;)
  4. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Astolfo will never be your BF Member
    Beaverton OR
    Thinga Comic
    We're just falling back into "X type of fan just has lower standards" territory, circa Always, But Mostly 2013
  5. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I get the idea of liking a game that's low quality or rough around the edges. I'm a huge Dynasty Warriors fan, a contested game, but one I like and think does have good quality. However, I played a game called Fate Extella Umbral Star...

    There's no getting around it, the game wasnted very good. The graphics were poor, the design was very badly communicated, the story was convoluted and atrociously paced, and it was just really weird, like a dating sim meets dynasty warriors.

    The sequel Fate Extella Link was a huge improvement in every respect. Better and clearer gameplay, a less dumb story, and the weird, baffling dating sim stuff taken out.

    But you know what? I preferred Umbral Star! It,'s definitely a subpar game, but it was so weird, earnest, and unlike anything I'd played that it was far more memorable.

    I think people like Frostev feel the same way about mid 2000s Sonic. Because Heroes, Shadow, 06, (arguably) Unlesshed are poor quality games or at least very flawed but they are also so hopelessly earnest in whar they do that they are admittidely more memorable than the games of recent years.

    I know many people will disagree with me, but I feel similarly about Lost World. I think Sonic Team were really trying hard with that game, and despite the game's many awful flaws, I do like quite a lot about it.

    So it is definitely possible to like bad or very flawed games because they resonate with you. It'a perfectly legitimate. I just also think we should acjnowledge that the Colors-Gens-Transformed-Mania punches of the last ten years have been qualty games. They certainly aren't perfect and are showing their age, but they are mostly well-designed.
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  6. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    Sonic was never art deco.

    It's always had a groovy soundtrack based on pop music of the time, and that's absolutely there.

    Never went away.

    The main acts follow this system to a T.

    Neither Sonic 1, Sonic 2 nor Sonic CD had this.

    0/5 must troll harder next time
  7. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Astolfo will never be your BF Member
    Beaverton OR
    Thinga Comic
    See, again, we're getting into this sentiment of "you just like parts of it in spite of it being bad as a whole", like people can't just genuinely believe something is good or bad, it has to be a personal bias separate from some objective idea of quality as if there's such a thing. The only reason a game is good or bad is because enough people liked or disliked it.

    Whenever I hear "I like this even though it's bad" or "guilty pleasure", I kind of get exasperated, because I think the real intent of those phrases is "I like this thing for a different reason than I like other things, or most people like a thing". If you like something, if it has value to you, that is literally the same thing as that thing being good. The idea that there's some global good to compare it to is just the force of other people's personal values mashed together.

    So, like, no, I actually do think Lost World is a good game. There's nothing about it that irks me the way the very worst Sonic games do, and the way it feels to move and explore levels is just less restrictive, less reactive than any of the boost games, including Colors, which is the best boost game because it employs a lot of the same techniques. Do I just like either of these games for the things they do right in spite of the things they don't? Obviously, because that's what having an opinion on game quality is. It's all its ever been.

    It annoys me to no end whenever Sonic discussion runs into thought-terminating cliches, like "you can like it even though it's bad", or "just admit it has problems", which a lot of the time are just new ways of saying "agree with me or you don't get to hold the rationality card anymore". We've long since left behind critics opinions, the base is so fractured that it's hard to decipher what counts as consensus anymore, so what do we even mean when we "admit" that a game we like or don't like is good or bad in spite of, or because of, it's supposed merits or failures? How are we judging anything anymore outside of simply ourselves?
  8. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    Joe Mama Member
  9. The only metrics to judge are tangible things like sale numbers and critical scores and Im sure that's where the contention arises.

    For instance, you say Lost World is a good game but critically speaking, it got mediocre reviews and a vocal portion of the fanbase hate it. So by what metric are you judging the quality of the game to say its good?

    9/10 its your own personal biases, and that's why we have these arguments. The standards by which we measure these games are all over the damn place because Sonic has been so many things at this point. Just look at how many people mock Frostav for (his admittedly very hyperbolic) his own opinions just because people disagree with him.

    We're all just a bunch of cranky old people who want what we want, but this series never gives it to us so it just causes us to lash out and scapegoat people because its just easier that way :V

    If you're a classic fan, then "Adventure fans" were "part of the problem". If you're an adventure fan, then "Modern fans" are "part of the problem"

    These discussions are always going to happen because we all love the same series, but not necessarily for the same reasons. It's just what happens when you have a three decade series with so many different ways to enjoy it.

    I don't think anyone can say Sonic Colors is, on purely technical level as a video game, a bad game. It has plenty of merits, but to a very vocal part of the fanbase, those merits don't matter since this game started the exodus of what many fans considered staples of the series. There's valid points for and against the game, and that right there illustrates just how differently this fanbase sees these games.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  10. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Astolfo will never be your BF Member
    Beaverton OR
    Thinga Comic
    Yeah, that's why I brought up the review scores, because I don't think people tend to trust them, especially not in an era where Unleashed is praised so much despite scoring worse than Lost World.

    I'm just saying I think a lot of statements are loaded with this assumption that a significant enough portion of the entire rest of the fanbase agrees with you that it's safe to condescendingly proclaim to someone else that it's okay to like bad things, instead of just letting them decide their idea of good and bad.

    I've been thinking about this shit a lot lately. A while back, Ross Scott made a video about Sonic Heroes, and at one point outlined his four criteria for liking Sonic games: Good environments, good gameplay, high speed, and not being cripplingly broken. Out of a sense of something between obsession, boredom and narcissism, I tried seeing how I could map the main platformers across those.
    But of course, that was just as difficult as trying to map them out by general quality. Ross said Heroes met the first three criteria, and got an "I don't know" on the fourth, where I'd consider it one of the jankiest games in the series. I mean, there are a lot less horribly unfair deaths in Sonic Boom, so can I recommend that one? Emulating the game recently showed way better performance than on the Wii U, and the technical issues were my biggest problem with the game. I was actually thankful the game was a slow beat-em-up so I didn't have to find a real way to rank it, and people still got mad at me for that on reddit. Even still, what are good environments? Do Shadow's computer levels look good? Air Fleet is a cool stage, but do the sunset vistas make up for the drab military hallways? Ross tolerated the overly-long stages of Heroes, would he tolerate the overly-long stages of Lost World 3D?

    It was a mess trying to figure it out, because ultimately the only standards anyone cares about are their own. The notion of quality, or any sort of objectivity, is just between those that overlap in the right ways with the right number of people. That might be the reason I stan Colors. Not because it fills the chart out the best of any of the 3D games, but because it is the most recommendable 3D Sonic game, especially for a casual fan like Ross. It's like recommending a really nice local sandwich place.
  11. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member

    You can like games while being aware that they are poor quality. I like Fate Extella Umbral Star but I wouldn't recommend it to many because it isn't very good. I like the game because of it merits and enjoyable, weird aspects. There's a difference between attributing value because you enjoy something and attributing value to something because it's actually good. Throwing tomatoes at a wall is fun, doesn't mean it's smart or good.

    It's perfectly possible to like a game and be aware that it's bad. I like Sonic R, but it's terrible.
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  12. Yup, everyone's standards are all over the damn place and that's why none us will ever really see eye to eye. The nature of the beast.

    Sonic Colors is a good casual game for anyone to pick up, but its not the game parts of the fanbase wants. But because it was so popular with the general audience, Sonic Colors dictated the series direction at the expense of what a lot of people liked about it.

    Even if I know Sonic Colors is a functional and perfectly fine game, and even I would recommend it as a casual experience. There's a part of me that resents how it spelt the end of things that defined the series for me as a child. All of the crazy ass experimentation and ambition had its own charm to me on a personal level, and I'll never completely get over that but I recognize that's not something you can sell to a casual player.

    You think Unleashed is objectively a worse game than Colors mostly on its technical merits, and you're completely an extent. But I vastly prefer Unleashed because its presentation just resonates with me on a personal level. Its a very messy game I'll admit, but it elicits more of an emotional response from me as a Sonic fan. But I also recognize that the game isn't something a casual gamer can just pick up, and that likely contributed to its mixed reception.

    Just look at its metacritic score; the review scores are mixed, but the user score is on par with Colors.
  13. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    I replayed Colours' back at the beginning of 2020 and it was the first time that I'd played the game in years. I used Dolphin and a 60fps code. Barring a few minor glitches caused by running at 60fps, it was by far the optimal way to play the game. SEGA are really doing themselves a disservice by keeping this game on only the Wii. It's popular and was well-received. Why they choose to port things like Lost World and not the games that people actually care about is beyond me.

    When I played it this year, I discovered that the game wasn't quite as bad as I remembered. Like, I never thought it was bad. I loved the themeing, the art style, new voices and whatnot, but back in 2010 I remember being sorely disappointed. It wasn't bad, but the gameplay sure was dull. Incredibly dull. Sonic's controls are stiff and rigid, whilst the level design was bland and there were so many filler acts. It's officially a 3D game and yet we all know that in practice it's actually largely a 2D game with moments of 3D gameplay. My opinions on those factors haven't changed. However I think that the fact that this time I only bothered with the main story and completely ignored both Red Rings and the Sonic Simulator meant that the problems weren't being exacerbated quite so much. I was playing a lukewarm game and leaving out the parts that dragged it down. And the cutscenes? I skipped most of them this time. I'm the sort of person who loves story or a narrative in any game I play, but in recent years I've learned that there's nothing worse than a boring story and narrative. Colours has the latter unfortunately, so like 2D acts where you just stand on switches and wait or excessively recycled 3-lane running sections and platforming so stunted blocky that it would make Q-bert blush, it's best to get it out of the way as quickly as possible until you get back to the alright bits.

    Colours' reception both when it was new and amongst the fandom now really highlights how different groups view Sonic games differently. Nobody can argue in earnest that Colours is bad, but if you say that you don't like it at all then I could think of a million valid and fair about reasons why that might be. And the opposite is also true; even if you love the game, it's points of contention are understandable when outlined to you, regardless of whether or not they're issues to you.

    Personally I think it's a shame that Colours is held up in many circles as the gold standard of 3D Sonic games (and this also applies to Generations). Colours gets so much wrong without being offensively wrong like the games before it. And everything it gets right it is just okay. Apart from the graphics and soundtrack, which I usually set aside when I'm analysing a game anyway, Colours just feels so tepid. The game doesn't elicit any emotions from me. It doesn't leave an impression. This is in stark contrast to every other 3D Sonic game, which give me a range of positive and negative feelings. I will always maintain that a large part of the reason for Colours' positive reception amongst critics and jaded fans was the fact that it was the first 3D Sonic game without major downsides. In the five years before Colours came out, we were given Shadow, '06, Secret Rings, Unleashed and Black Knight. Colours stands out from the crowd simply by not looking dubious from the outset. If for whatever you lost interest in Sonic before, Colours was just mild enough to be palatable.

    Also there was a DS version. I actually played this first when it was new, and the Wii version a week later. It's basically Rush 3, but feels cheap and tacky. It's severely watered down compared to both it's Wii counterpart and other DS contemporaries. And it has some of the ugliest visuals I've ever seen in a Sonic game. It's forgettable all in all.

    Hard disagree. Colours is still a widely liked game. It's simply not treated with the same excessive praise that it got back in the day. I said it in 2010 and I'll say it again now; "Sonic Colours is the worst good Sonic game". After the very sketchy 2000s and sharing the same hype and release window as Sonic 4, Colours was cast in a very positive light. It ticked every single box a glance. This was kind of the perfect storm for the game to hit the ground running. The praise that Colours got when it was new always bothered me because it always felt like it was being oversold.

    Generations came around a year later and is generally seen as roughly as good as Colours (better or worse depending who you ask). But the 3D Sonic series inarguably hit a peak in terms of general reception with those two games and has had mixed to negative reception ever since. Forces, Lost World and Boom all had varying reception and the general consensus appears to favour Colours and Generations.

    The "hate" seems to me like it stems from the fact that the series hasn't progressed much in 10 years. There have been very few new 3D platformer entries in they timespan, and they learn a lot of the wrong lessons from Colours. It set the trajectory of the series as one that lots of people aren't too keen on. Colours isn't the first good 3D Sonic game anymore; Colours is the first in a of middling Sonic games that marked the turning point for the worse.

    If you loved Colours in the past, you probably still do now. If you loved what Colours represented, you probably don't love it so much anymore. And if you were never too keen on it in the first place, it's probably been a rough time ever since.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  14. LucasMadword


    LucasSaturn Member
    This quote sums up exactly how I feel about Sonic Colours. I can't bring myself to call it bad, but it's just not what I want in a Sonic game, the filler feels forced (which, seems like it was forced in from what we know about development). But, it's a fully functional game, with some enjoyable levels, strong visual design, a story that is servicable, and music that is pretty decent.

    Opinions are just that, opinions. They're not objective. Opinions are messy. To boil it down as, "this generation of people don't like [xyz]", or even to imply that Colours doesn't have some elements that make Sonic be Sonic, well that's also wrong.

    What you consider important from the Classics may not be what someone else considers important in the classics. And that's okay. Colours does some things, whether you like it or not, similarly to the Classics, and to imply that those people's opinions aren't valid is just not okay.

    The fact you imply your opinion is objectively correct means that we shouldn't listen to anything you say. Because opinions aren't objective. As I said, opinions are messy and sometimes something you like in one product you might not like in another, and that's fine too. You can enjoy what you like, as can everyone else. Context around the product, and who you were as a person when it released, can greatly influence how you feel about it, and that's okay. I like Sonic 06, I get a huge amount of enjoyment out of it, but I'm not going to pretend as if it's a game lacking flaws. Just don't be elitist about your opinion, people should be able to like what they like without being worried about judgement. It's a video game for crying out loud lol
  15. There's some funny irony in saying a game isn't what you personally want out of Sonic, but then say it's wrong to imply a game is less Sonic than others.

    I'm not disagreeing mind you, I 100% see your point.

    Sonic is a franchise that's enjoyed by many people but for very different and that's exactly why you get such different responses about the series.

    There's no way "right" way to enjoy this series but what people enjoy out of this series may not be what the game is focused on.
  16. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I'm not really interested in what the "right" Sonic is. How do we even define such a term? Is Sonic 1 the most correct Sonic because it's the original?


    Is this the real Sonic and what the franchise always should have been? Did we not even get the real Sonic before the first game even released?

    Is Sonic 2 lesser because it was rushed? Is Sonic 3 a separate interpretation because it had a different composer to one and two? A similar claim can be made about CD. They both do feel different to Sonic 1 and 2 in their own way because they had some different staff members working on them.

    Sonic Adventure is obviously very different tonally and is a reinterpretation of the character, but I think you can keep going down this rabbit hole.
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  17. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    Haven’t Batman and Godzilla fans made peace with the fact that there’s been a billion different renditions and takes on those characters over the years? Can’t we do the same, while recognizing our preferences as entirely subjective and based on personal experience?

    If anything, I’d like to see MORE creative freedom with Sonic in general. The movie existing has officially made yet another off-shoot of Sonic prevelant so let’s just go nuts. I miss when the comics were batshit crazy.
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  18. Crasher


    Why hello there! Member
    I feel like Colours is overrated. It's not a bad game - but it was massively oversold. The expectations are incredibly high for the game, to the point that all of the meh parts of the game are hightened. I believe the same thing is happening with Unleashed now (even though I personally really like it, so I am biased :V) - people were told that Unleashed was absolute garbage, and now people are realizing that it's not bad, but it's not a masterpiece, either.

    I personally don't like Colours - I got halfway through the game, wondering when it'll all click, and just... stopped playing it. However, I can see why people do like it: the game as a whole is inoffensive, the level tropes are fun, the music is good, the acts that aren't gimmicks are generally all fun. And after a decade of terrible Sonic games, and the critical paddling that was Unleashed, it's easy to see why Colours was so highly revered.
  19. Pengi


    The original work is always the foundation. Everything else is reinterpretation. Sometimes the new additions, omissions and changes are for the better, other times they aren't. Sometimes a new installment in a series can become something markedly and intentionally different, while still retaining some of the defining characteristics of the original.

    When a long running series loses its way, it's often a Ship of Theseus ("Trigger's Broom", if you're a scholar) situation - each installment tweaking, changing, removing and replacing elements of the previous installment, gradually, piece by piece, until nothing of the original remains. That's why it's best practice, when assigned with reviving an old series, to take a fresh look at the original work and examine what the core ideas and characteristics were, what made it appealing in the first place. (This doesn't mean slavish adherence, or ignoring everything that came after, of course.)

    It's all subjective and everyone's mileage is going to vary, but you'd be hard-pressed to argue that Sonic Darts made as good use of the Sonic IP as Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

    Sonic Colours is definitely a product of iteration, one that couldn't have existed without Sonic Unleashed. And Sonic Unleashed couldn't have existed without Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Rush. And they couldn't have existed without Sonic 1. But Sonic Colours itself only retains a few elements that trace directly back to Sonic 1. So a fan's reaction to it is going to depend on which elements of the original work they value, how much they value the new additions and what they make of the execution of those ideas.

    It's not Sonic in its purest form (it was never intended to be), but it's still clearly a Sonic game. If it had been released under a different IP, people would have instantly recognised the Sonic DNA. If Sonic Darts had been released under a different IP, nobody would make a connection to the Sonic series.
  20. Frostav


    Yes it did. It was mostly discarded with SA2 but the engine retained a physics system by sheer inertia through that all the way to Shadow. I dunno what engine 06 uses.

    The boost games have the principle of "speed gets you new routes" but the speed is artificial and comes from boosting or automated things like doing a qte to arbitrarily make sonic go higher off an automated ramp.

    No they don't. Colors' zones are 4-6 acts each--3 was the max amount any zone had until then and they are designed like Mario levels: short, and each level focused on a particular gimmick, which unlike the previous Sonic games, do not theme themselves to the levels. The wisps are just copy-pasted. There is nothing like the genesis trilogy's unique gimmicks per zone (hell, mania has unique gimmicks PER ACT), or even stuff like Final Chase's rotating gravity drums or Bingo Highway' highways (and yes, the latter sucked but at least they were unique gimmicks themed to the level).

    hahah omg wow.

    Dude, Sonic 1 and 2 were stepping stones to what is widely considered the pinnacle of Sonic. I legitimately do not know how you could pretend otherwise. This is like responding to someone saying "2D Mario is based around having a set of unique powerups with different skillsets that the player can utilize" with "BUT MARIO 1 ONLY HAD THE FIRE FLOWER". No one thinks Mario 1 is the gold standard for 2D Mario. They think Mario 3 and World are. Sonic CD is a spin-off.

    This argument is absolutely ridiculous. I cannot believe you actually unironically made it. There is a reason Mania follows in the footsteps of 3&k; why Sonic Advance 1 rolled back the clock to roughly Sonic 1 yet still had four playable characters; why nearly every single 2D Sonic has at least 2 playable characters; why most fangames that aren't straight-up romhacks of Sonic 1 or 2 use 3&K's character structure.

    Some of you hate my gay furry ass so much y'all just fling whatever at me in hopes that something will stick, lol