Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, Nov 11, 2020.
And Sonic Rush is 15. We are all now allowed to feel old, apparently :/
? Sonic has had electronic stuff in it since 3, drum & bass beats since Sky Deck in SA1, straight house tunes since CD JP, and rock stuff since CD US. The usage of dnb in Sonic really started showing up in Shadow of all things, continuing in 06 and Unleashed, and then continuing after Colors in Generations and Forces and TSR. What about it is not "Sonic" this time around - as it's been around for over a decade now in the series and is pretty much the only constant at this point?
Eh, it never bothered me personally except for in Planet Wisp on the DS version. I'd take it people "avoid" it because it's not thought about much tho? (does that even count as avoidance if it's not deliberate?) In the Wii version, not many of the Wisp uses are mandatory, and if they are, you tend not to have to use them for very long. There are even parts in levels that automatically "turn off" Wisp transformations.
I dunno, the Colors OST is good but it's like...really good video game music, not really good Sonic music.
Forces and Mania have OST's that are much closer to properly sounding Sonic than Colors' (and Lost World's for that matter) OST, IMO. Obviously, Mania is half classic Sonic songs and original songs are very much in the vein of CD's Japanese OST. Forces on the other hand, while it has a lot of lackluster compositions, it's not as bad as some people say, and the Avatar songs using lyrics is so quintissentially Sonic I kinda love them just for that. Classic Sonic's compositions are, uh, let's just ignore them besides Ghost Town, and Sonic's songs also have this "Sonic-ness" that I can't really qualify in academic terms because I took one year of music theory and that was it.
Stuff like Sweet Mountain and Aquarium Park are excellent songs...but they could fit into any 3D platformer IMO. Asteroid Coaster is pretty Sonic-feeling, admittedly, probably just from the guitar.
Sonic music has always been unmistakable. Even Unleashed has an OST that carries itself with a confident kind of tone that feels uniquely Sonic. You could put Sonic Colors' OST onto a Mario game and it'd mostly fit--hell I'd like if they did that because Mario has always had just plain "eh" music in my eyes and Colors' OST is legitimately really good. But it's "Really Good 3D Platformer Music", not "Really Good Sonic Music".
Yeah I kind of like Sonic Forces ost
Forces' OST is solid, the Classic tracks just have bad instrumentation.
Someone's obviously never played Mario Galaxy :P
You know, the definition for "Sonic music" sure sounds like "music that I like from the series" rather than anything that can be quantified.
What sounds like Sonic music to some isn't for others. It's a rather arbitrary standard to apply
The problem with this kind of standard is that it can be immediately be turned around for ridiculous statements like:
"I think an emphasis on utilizing momentum physics to go faster and reach new areas is, or at the very least should be, an at least important part of Sonic's gameplay philosophy" (I would hope that this is a non-controversial statement the overwhelming majority of people here agree with)
"You only think that because your favorite Sonic games are like that! That doesn't mean you're right!"
And like, I'd hope most people around here would find that conversation absurd. I don't know why some people here are talking to me like the concept of "what Sonic is" is some utterly unknowable subjective entity, that any form of Sonic is equally valid. A series is supposed to have an identity, something that sets it apart from the rest of the examples in its genre or medium. Sonic has survived almost exclusively on being strikingly unique from all other platformer series. Which ties back to my dislike of Colors for feeling that it all but actively rejects that identity and is a completely directionless game as a result. It's just "what do the critics and people like? Uh, Mario? Okay let's uh just copy Mario then!".
Lost World is taking that train of thought and then absolutely crashing and burning into a flaming wreck, admittedly. Sometimes I feel that LW being so catastrophically identity-less and un-Sonic let Colors off the hook for basically being the ancestor to the much worse game.
I know this is gonna suck for you to hear, but not everyone is entitled to feel a certain way about the series as you do. YOU may feel Sonic should be a certain way, but others can feel the opposite. This series has literally been everything under the sun and then some. We've had people come in at different time frames and have completely different contexts for what the series is. There's no one, definitive way that Sonic has to be, and anything that doesn't adhere to that identity isn't suddenly invalid.
And I feel like every time I see you and other people post about how you hate Sonic Colors and how it "ruined" the series, that something you can't understand something like not. I don't even like Sonic Colors all that much, but I'm certainly not going to go as far to say that it "ruined the identity" of the series, because the series identity was already shaky long before Sonic Colors came into existence, so it's ridiculous to me to pin this one game on the perceived problems of the series over the other experimental shit that they've been doing with the series.
If you hate Sonic Colors for "ruining" the series, fine. That's how you feel and your entitled to that. But can you please understand that people can and do feel differently than you about that. This is not some absolute black and white issue that you think it is, it's a very nuanced issue that many people feel differently about and there's no one, singular consensus about it. If it was, the series wouldn't be facing these issues to begin with.
I think the idea of "Sonic music" being a specific genre went out the window with SA1. Before that, Sonic music was almost universally funk/pop (even here you can identify multiple subgenres; hip hop, New Jack Swing, jazz fusion, house). SA1 had a soundtrack with rock, funk, pop, jazz, orchestral, and folk music, with several different fusions as well. Then SA2 had rock for all four of the high speed and shooting characters (the increasing presence of rock at this point overshadowing the funk/pop origins creates at least two distinct periods of "Sonic music"), and then rap and jazz for the treasure hunting characters.
As for "Sonic music" meaning a certain kind of melody or mood, I hear plenty of that in Colors. Aside from the aforementioned Asteroid Coaster and Terminal Velocity, Tropical Resort and Sweet Mountain have guitar licks and melody lines that are evocative of the Adventure games (1:40 into Tropical Resort instantly reminded me of the instrumental It Doesn't Matter that opens SA2's Hero Story), and the keys in Planet Wisp and Aquarium Park are reminiscent of several tracks from Shadow, 06, and Unleashed (Lost Impact, Aquatic Base, Dragon Road Night, Jungle Joyride Night, among others). Also, all three of the (seriously good, a recent Egg Shuttle playthrough bought this to my attention) boss tracks are very "Sonic" sounding. Boss 1 sounds very Sonic CD, and Boss 2 very SA1 (Boss 3's mix of Tropical Resort's surf guitar and Colors' general electronic elements almost make me think these three tracks were intended as some kind of meta "series evolution" pattern, but I'm probably overthinking this). I don't think anything in the Colors soundtrack would sound natural in Mario, other than perhaps the Hover jingle.
Sonic music have always sounded kinda eclectic since Sonic CD or Saturn Sonic 3D Blast. And that's what I like about this franchise's soudntrack.
I've been mulling this over for a few days now, and y'know... one of the biggest reasons I've come to believe there's no universal answer to the question, "What is Sonic supposed to be?" is honestly because of you guys!
Before Colors came out, there was a majority consensus even among those of us (like me) who enjoyed a lot of the gameplay elements of the 2000s that this "new direction" the series had taken in the wake of SA2 was absolutely NOT the "real" Sonic. Jason Griffith's Sonic in particular was regularly described in the EXACT same way Smith's is now: "He's trying to be cool instead of just BEING cool! His voice is too cartoony and over-the-top! Griffith isn't even a REAL FAN of the series! And he doesn't act anything like Sonic is supposed to!"
People hated the inconsistent gameplay, they hated the scripts, they hated the stories, they hated the voice direction, they ESPECIALLY hated all the non-Sonic gameplay styles... and this being the consensus is exactly why Sonic Colors was described with phrases like "return to form" and "breath of fresh air." It might not have been EXACTLY what everyone had been hoping for, but it was a huge step in the right direction, and one that we didn't really expect given how far off-the-mark the series had been since the Dreamcast died.
The only exception to that consensus seemed to be the kids on the SEGA Forums arguing about how badass Shadow was and who they wanted to ship, but I think we naively assumed (because we were too inexperienced to empathize) that we had some kind of "truth" on our side, that they'd eventually grow out of liking these "obviously bad" games, and they'd come to appreciate Sonic the "right" way. And when you start arguing things like "objectivity," in video game opinions, this is exactly what I'm reminded of.
Because, of course, that didn't happen! People who grew up with the games of 2000s STILL appreciate them way, WAY more than most of us in the online fandom did back then.
Trying to reconcile WHY so many fans of that "next generation" seem to argue these elements that many of us quite ardently viewed as "absolutely not Sonic" are actually the TRUEST form of Sonic leads me to conclude that either:
A) We were right! Sonic was what he was "supposed" to be when WE were kids, and changed into something worse when YOU were kids. You were just too young to see the difference, and now you're too blinded by your own nostalgia to see it any other way.
B) You were right! Sonic didn't actually get worse when you were kids, WE were just too blinded by OUR nostalgia to appreciate those games! In reality, it actually changed for the worse around 2010 which was, strangely enough, RIGHT when many of us felt like it was finally getting back on track! Weird!
C) Nobody's right! But nobody's wrong, either. What Sonic is "supposed" to be has no definitive answer, because it's tried to be too many things and therefore caters to a ridiculously wide array of preferences. Gameplay, tone, setting, characterization, story focus, character designs, it all changes over time. Something consistent in one era might be missing in another. The tone of some parts of the franchise might be in direct opposition to other pieces. But it's all still Sonic! Even from the beginning, this series was radically different depending on your region. Preferences tend to depend greatly on what an individual fan experienced during their formative years.
So, yeah. You might see Colors as "actively rejecting" Sonic's identity, but plenty of us here saw it as a redemption, at least to a degree, of that very same identity. Accepting that we're all equal fans of something called "Sonic the Hedgehog," it must be the case that Option C holds at least some merit.
The new Sonic Cycle™: Become a fan of the series as a kid, when the games are being actively marketed to you. → Play Sonic games as they come out, enjoy them. → Sega changes up Sonic to appeal to people younger than you. → Complain online that Sega doesn't understand Sonic. → Repeat with another generation of kids.
Growing up with multiple generations and subsets of sonic has helped me to acknowledge that sonic is really whatever you want him to be.
I wonder if it's possible to define sonic not as a franchise, or an image to be kept, but rather as an outlet for introducing people to new concepts and styles they might not've considered otherwise. I know for sure that if Sonic Chronicles (say what you will...) hadn't introduced me to RPGs, I never would've tried Mario & Luigi. It's apparent that the constant shifts in style throughout the years are to appeal to wider audiences, but I can't help but appreciate the idea that it's to get people to dip their toes into unfamiliar water.
I definitely agree that sonic is whatever you want him to be. What sonic means to me is different from what sonic means to all of you, and I think that's a great thing, since it gives us the opportunity to share our love for the blue blur, and reminisce about all the new experiences we've had (for better or worse)
Just my two cents though...
Could've worded this part better (It sounds to me like "you're the guys ruining Sonic for everyone!"), but otherwise I agree with this. Sonic's been contorted, mutated and pulled in so many different directions that everything could be someones preferred incarnation. Archie comic, Fleetway comic, classic, adventure, SatAm, Underground, X, even modern stuff like IDW comic, Forces, Movie and even Boom as much as it boggles the mind.
It's easy with the benefit of hindsight to say this was a terrible idea for brand cohesion and identity, but really, could anyone at Sega in the 90s have predicted the rise of the Internet and all these previously isolated communities suddenly discovering how much they liked Sonic, or more accurately how much they didn't like their preferred incarnation of Sonic? It all reminds me of this.
(You know, if the rabbit god was giving cringey dialogue about the power of friendship and the duck god was giving cringey dialogue about copyright law)
You seem to have forgotten that the duck god was also giving cringey dialogue about the power of friendship.
Don't forget; "after years of maturation and thinking, the generation that used to complain the loudest realize how stupid they used to act and were indirectly responsible for poisoning the following generation after shitting on the games they grew up with for so long" In other words, we all suck and we're responsible for our own shithole of a fandom
Strangely enough, I feel like I wasn't affected too badly by this because I feel like there's always something to enjoy from Sonic, even if it's not catered to your specific tastes. I didn't formally consider myself a fan until Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, so stereotypically, you'd think I'd only prefer games from that era. Hell fucking no, I bought Mega Collection the next year and spent hours unlocking every game and going through the series history. It's why I can play S3&K almost blindfolded, I repeated that game so many times... I didn't really see it as "not my Sonic", Sonic was just Sonic to me.
Shit, I liked Sonic Colors when it was coming out; I didn't laugh out loud at any of the jokes and what not, but I enjoyed them in a somewhat ironic sense; they felt tongue in cheek. And I recently just replayed Generations and I forgot how fucking GREAT that game was, to the point where it honestly rivals the Adventure games as my favorite 3D game, and I'm 100% sincere when I say that.
There was a time when I almost thought the series was losing its touch too, but I think I just let the fanbase toxicity get to me. Really, and this is a problem with any fanbase with a large enough community, everyone is just too married to the ideas of what they think a series should be and refuse to accept anything less than that. It's both admirable and extremely fucking annoying at the same time; it's good for people to have passion, but that passion means they're very quick to should when they feel like they're being ignored.
And now that we have legitimate fans who have worked on official games, the floodgates are opened; now the fanbase KNOWS they can, with a lot of time, get to work on the series and potentially morph it into what they think the series should be. We're gonna get a situation of where soon, the inmates will be running the asylum. I will not be surprised in the slightest, where in a couple of years, we're gonna get militant adventure fans onto Sonic Team, and we're gonna get every single bad cliche from the Adventure games.
This is probably why I appreciate your perspective so much. We have different preferences, but we're kindred spirits. I always felt the same way: I could almost always find something to appreciate and enjoy even in the games the community considered the worst in the series (06), and even in the ones that went harshly against what I ideally wanted Sonic to be (Shadow, Lost World). The stark elitism, the refusal to consider any redeeming quality of a game if it didn't perfectly match what Sonic USED to be, or what you WANT it to be... yeah, I always found that exasperating. All the more so when it's used to tear down or gatekeep other fans.
Man, I hope that doesn't happen. And it's not because I dislike the Adventure games.
If we take it as given that the cycle so far has looked like this:
1990s: Sonic debuts, and is initially so successful he reshapes the video game industry.
2000s: Sonic changes enough that fans of the previous era feel like the series isn't what it used to be.
2010s: Sonic returns to a form more reminiscent of its initial success, earning critical acclaim (with Colors, Generations, and Mania in particular), but now fans of the 2000s feel like the series isn't what it was to THEM.
...then suppose Sega were to now go back to the style of the 2000s. All that would do now is CONTINUE the cycle. Say what you will about quality, but Sonic has had a pretty consistent tone and characterization the past 10 years, even in Boom. If you reshape it AGAIN into being more like it was 20 years ago, then you've once again abandoned everything the youngest generation of fans loves about Sonic, in favor of appealing to nostalgic 20-somethings.
Of course, you could argue that this is EXACTLY what they did circa 2010, right? But here's the thing. It didn't happen because JUST hardcore elitist Sonic fans were complaining. It happened because their desires aligned with the way the mainstream saw the series.
Take Sonic 4. Long-time Sonic fans who obsessed over the Genesis games were, at best, pretty let-down by it, and more often, they were over-the-top offended by it. DIMPS was lambasted in the same tone as Iizuka and Pontac & Graff are now. However, the game reviewed incredibly well, because it was what the mainstream had been begging Sonic Team to do for years anyway.
Classic Sonic specifically coming back was absolutely meant to be a treat for the fandom, it's what we'd been begging for for ages. Mania, of course, was officially by fans, for fans.
But the reason any of this could happen was because decades later, the Genesis games are still so well-remembered, highly thought of, and iconic. "If Sonic was ever good," they say, "THIS was when it was good." They're still far and away the most successful, well-known part of the series.
Green Hill doesn't come back in every new game to appeal to classic fans, I promise, we're as sick of it as anyone. It comes back because Sega's number one priority has always been to push Sonic as a mainstream icon of gaming on the level of Mario, and GHZ is the most recognized element of his iconography. (This is also, by the way, why even smack dab in the middle of the Adventure era, when Sonic Team wanted to reach for a wider audience with Heroes, they used the classic aesthetic.)
But that's the tough thing about going back to the Adventure style, now. A lot of elements of it go against Sonic's established brand identity in 2020. That whole era wrecked Sonic's mainstream reputation, and the repudiation of those elements has weighed heavily on the direction of the series ever since.
Classic fans wanted a lot of the same things mainstream gamers wanted from Sonic, but the audience looking for an Adventure revival specifically is not as wide as the audience that wanted a Sonic 4 ten years ago.
Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if something Adventure-y is in the works, and like anything else, it'd have a lot of potential! I loved Sonic Adventure, and I think a modernized version of it could be something REALLY special! But I think some fans who weren't there at the time are underestimating the amount of scorn and derision those elements garnered at the time. And I worry that if it was executed the way some Adventure fans would WANT it to be executed, it'd be setting us up to go through this same song and dance AGAIN in about 10 years, as a new generation laments what they lost. "Sonic used to be so cool and cocky back in Forces and Boom! Why is he so bland nowadays?"
I want Sonic to be better than it's been, of course. But reinventing it, or reshaping it into something it hasn't been in 15 years, is probably not the ideal way to handle that.
But more than anything, I hate the idea that the ONE AND ONLY WAY Sonic can ever be good is to be exactly like it was before. I found it exhausting when cynical Genesis kids disavowed every 3D Sonic game because they didn't feature "momentum" or "pinball physics," I disagreed with the argument that Sonic didn't NEED a story, just like I hate when cynical Adventure kids disavow Colors and Generations for having the wrong KIND of stories. Everyone has their preferences for what they would LIKE Sonic to be, but I think a consistent problem in this fandom has been a minority of toxic elitists taking the stance that just because something doesn't perfectly match with their preferences, it has no value, it's insulting, it's not "really" Sonic, and you're not really a fan if you like it.
When I was still in school, I used to rage-quit quite a lot when playing Sonic (doesn't matter which one, really). That's because they have always tried to cater towards people of all ages and skill levels, I suppose. I wouldn't say we all suck, after all, it's their job to make games that people can enjoy and have fun with (and not flat-out break them!!). But we're definitely having a hard time sometimes finding out what these fun and enjoyable things are.
The thing is, nowadays I'm able to play games I thought I'd never be able to. Beating Sonic Unleashed's daytime stages? No problem. Grinding the heck out of a JRPG? Also no problem! And part of the reason why is that Sonic games always kept me interested enough to hone my skills and find a comfortable way of playing rather than giving up. Pretty cool and all, but that's not what we — or at least I — primarily play video games for. In such cases, it's alright to complain.
I watched this video yesterday about Shadow's game, and the quote at the end kind of sums it up. I feel this attitude from the fanbase was born because Sega adopted the mindset that whatever "doesn't work" should be tossed out and never worked on again. They keep trying to reinvent Sonic into something else, and inevitably move on from it when it doesn't work out. Even when it does work out, they usually never improve or refine on what actually worked leading to a corrupted version of the traits that people liked, and turning people against them. Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 were divisive sure, but it's not like they had the same level of scorn their successors got. As far as the mainstream were concerned, the Adventure games were considered a success, fandom discourse be damned. But by the time Shadow's game rolled around, those same elements people praised were almost non-existent and the flaws just became more apparent. And the same thing occurred in the 2010's, albeit to a much lesser extent within the mainstream.
And this is where the fandom division came in; because Sega is all too willing of throwing things out rather than just refining them for the future. So this creates a fear that Sega will, at any time, get rid of the things people like over time if they're deemed "not good". Remember when they delisted all of the games that got low metacritic scores, and fans practically had to beg them to put Unleashed back on PSN. And that's the thing, despite the games being mediocre, fans saw SOME good in them and don't want to lose it.
And there's where we are; there's tons of division about these games, but only because they have things that we all like despite their flaws and it's anxiety inducing to think you can lose all of that just because Sega refuse to ever revisit those things because of the flaws. If Sega actually bothered to sit down, really examine these games and kept what worked and removed what didn't, I don't think fans would be as up in arms. Sega are more than willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater, and that's very troubling. Because if all you're ever doing is reinventing yourself and throwing away what didn't work, what are you honestly left with after it's all said and done.
And I think that's why people have such a problem with Colors; it didn't just throw out the bad parts of the 2000's, it threw out the good too. Sega assumed the characters themselves were the problem, rather than the playstyles they were associated with, so they're gone and now we're just stuck with Sonic.
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