Sonic Forces Thread

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Blue Blood, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. I'm rather confused by what you mean Sir_mihael with the "pressure of wanting to do a proper hardcore anime-plot Sonic Adventure again". The edge factor didn't start til Adventure 2. I wouldn't exactly call SA hardcore, but it did take cues from anime in its presentation.

    I totally agree with the sentiment of the Classic gameplay being the best recieved, but I also have this quirky belief that the CaC gameplay will end up being well-enough recieved once everyone gets completely past the face value.
     
  2. Blue Blood

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    Every time that we see something of this game, it just drives home my suspicion that it's built entirely on executive orders. Colours and Generations so far stand as the only 3D Sonic games to get (and maintain) universally good reception from fans and critics. But following those games we got Lost World and Rise of Lyric. Both bombed on the market, and RoL has racked up an even worse Metacritic score than the infamous '06. Lost World still only managed some fairly polarising, but majorly middling, scores. So without really understanding why those games were such flops - Wii U exclusivity and poor management and direction from both SEGA and Sonic Team - the powers-that-be have ordered "Generations 2 but darker and with fan characters for the children". I don't think that this is the game that Sonic Teams wanted to make at all.

    Mania on the other hand... it's a true passion project. I would love to know the full ins and outs of how it got greenlit, and what SEGA at large make of it. It's getting praise because it's a genuinely good game that's aiming to deliver something special. Forces is a cynical product that kind of seems to be backfiring already.
     
  3. RikohZX

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    I think what bothers me about Forces is a mix of the lack of self-awareness and the heavy scarcity of info. Mania's one thing, a large factor involving that game is the mystery of its contents given that it's straight-up a classic game with a minimal story, but Forces tricklefeeds snippets of gameplay and story as if trying to build up hype. Instead all they've really done is make people lean back on the fence instead of forwards. The entire music video and reveal of Infinite was, as many noted, bordering on self-parody with how on the nose it was, but since it's Sonic Team I get the feeling it's meant to be played straight even despite Pontac's bend for making a saturday morning kid's show with Sonic. Nothing about the Modern Sonic or Classic Sonic gameplay looks much refined, if at all, from Generations or Colors, and that's when they actually show gameplay given that we've effectively seen one Modern stage, one Classic stage, two Custom Hero stages and a boss fight, but still have absolutely no idea as to how the game's structure is going to be overall beyond haphazard guessing at the menus; that it's all from the presumed early/beginning of the game is reasonable, but that it's almost all cripplingly shorter than even the speedrun-emphasized Generations stuff at times is legitimately concerning (personally I get the feeling they're using the three playstyles as a Colors mini-stages excuse setup). And the stage design for that only Classic Sonic level in particular just looks like absolute garbage, which doesn't imply anything good for later things until we actually see them.

    Pretty much every single positive that Forces has shown so far has a consequential negative to it somewhere. There's been no strong, notable reason of why Forces sticks out on its own, why people should really buy it besides the Custom Hero, and what they do release are so minuscule that it's like they want people talking about the game by debating over what all it could be or mean. Yet very little of it encourages positive feelings - just cautiously optimistic ones. Like a tingle in your brain that is screaming that Sonic Team hasn't learned a damn thing but you try to suppress it because you don't want to see them possibly fuck it up. Yet again.
     
  4. Sir_mihael

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    Sorry, I think 'pressure' was the wrong word. What I meant was that Iizuka has wanted to do a more serious Sonic story for a long while, but has probably had to restrain himself for the longest time due to fan reaction. I get the feeling now with Mania coming out, and Sonic's reputation a little better, his team can cut loose and go back to trying a serious story. However due to it being a like a rubber-band that's been held back for so long, the rebound is giving us a beyond serious, absolutely over-the-edge plot with an unironic Mephiles 2.0 type villain and.

    I have no idea really, I'm just speculating one reason for this game being so unusually serious if it's indeed playing it completely straight.
     
  5. Ah yes, the Halo 5 calamity where the marketing is a better story than the actual story itself. I can totally see that happening.
     
  6. RikohZX

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    Not quite sure if it's wholly comparable, seeing as Halo 5 had far more of a budget and the advertising and hype building planned towards storyline bits and dots that ultimately were either underdeveloped in the final product or flatout missing entirely. Pretty much everyone thinks H5 got a rewrite late in development but all the advertising campaign stuff wasn't updated or revised to compensate.


    Sonic Forces is too oblivious and awkward to mislead and botch with all that, seeing as every bit of advertising has directly tied into new reveals and gameplay directly shown to us; even the CGI trailers. About the only possible misnomer is if the returning league of villains really are illusions by Infinite rather than the real deal, given Iizuka's broad and vague confirmation of Shadow being evil again.
     
  7. @Sir_mihael that makes sense. It is good for Iizuka to have a project he can truly let loose on, perhaps something of a swan-song for him. I may not care for too much seriousness, but the Sonic franchise since its inception has balanced rather serious themes with whimsy. The core concept really is the environment vs. rampant industrialization. Just because Iizuka/Sonic Team want a more serious plot this time, it doesn't mean it will lack some of the comic whimsy. It just won't be full blown as Colours and Lost World, as well as to some extent Generations, all took the more comical route.

    To be perfectly honest, I hope Sonic Team get everything they wanted to out of this game, regardless of its reception.
     
  8. Qtheman

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    Speaking as someone who was definitely in the "too early to judge" crowd when Forces was formally revealed... Yeah. Original the Character was one thing, but Noivern the Hedgehog Infinite... Like others have said, if it weren't for Sega/Sonic Team's track record I'd think this were a deliberate parody, especially after hearing Infinite's theme.

    I had entirely too much fun with games like Shadow and '06, so I'll probably enjoy Forces too, but... Yeah, definitely getting a lot of mixed signals here.
     
  9. TheKazeblade

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    I'm very curious at this point what kind of feedback is getting back to Sonic Team about Forces. So many people are just confused or indifferent they probably have no idea what to expect in terms of release reception.
     
  10. SystemsReady

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    Aaaaannnndddd I'm checked out :(
     
  11. Sir_mihael

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    I think that's the bottom line. I would love to see Iizuka 100% unchained, and although I doubt that would ever happen, I feel Forces might be the closest we'll get to it for a long time.

    I feel like the reception to this, if negative, will give us another wave of 'safe' platform games (Sonic Lost World) that don't take any real risks, but end up catering to not really anyone. (of course, not counting Sonic Mania's reception, which will no doubt pave way for another 2D adventure!)
     
  12. RikohZX

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    I would never call Lost World safe. Thematically and in terms of writing, story and setting, yes. But it created a permanent art shift, cemented Iizuka's urge to make a long-running power up out of Wisps for no good reason besides "Colors was good". It also tossed out three game's worth of building and refining for an entirely new gameplay style that fucked up just about every single thing they could've possibly done for a Sonic game, all the while tossing gimmicky stage designs and hazards all around like they're throwing darts at a board tinier than the average hedgehog's head. They even used the Tornado not for transitioning between zones like Unleashed, but for a single plotless post-game gimmick stage, like they had the idea and yet couldn't cement it in time so they just shoved it in at the last second. It's like the background was safe so they could use that to experiment with new gameplay as they pleased. But they fucked it up.


    Despite being Generations 2.0 regardless of Iizuka keeping up his track record of 'in a manner of speaking' claims and wording, Forces bringing back Classic Sonic and doing little beyond the Custom Hero to try to change up the formula while bringing back a bunch of past antagonists rather than simply Eggman and Infinite? Forces is the safe game, even if they're trying to be more serious about the plot (which I have doubts about since it's hard to take Pontac writing and Roger Craig Smith's surfer dude Sonic voice very seriously).
     
  13. Dark Sonic

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    The name says it all guy. It's Sonic Forces. They're forcing all of this :specialed:
     
  14. Sir_mihael

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    You're definitely right, but I also felt the gameplay was very 'safe' by sticking to what Iizuka probably thought Wii U owners would want to play, and not what would work best for Sonic. (i.e. 'take every Nintendo platformer and put them in a blender and see what grey paste comes out). certainly not safe in regards to Sonic's legacy and his future, but more in regards to "Let's market this game to kids and parents as a light hearted not-Mario", and ended up acidentally just making what could have been Mario.

    Maybe I should have said 'bland but marketable' instead of safe but yeah, I feel like Lost World is the complete antithesis of Forces right now. Even more funny to see Zavok being included in all of this. :v:

    Also Iizuka's misguided approach seems to have included keeping Pontac around to write in his thought process of "Well people liked Colors therefore...". Like, no. Stop it man. Think about WHY people liked the thing before you go and make the next thing.
     
  15. FTFY
     
  16. Lobotomy

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    If there is ANY franchise that exists where that first statement is untrue, it's the Sonic franchise. Sonic has had over a decade now of shit PR and public image. If "GAMING JOURNALISM" (and I stress that I don't think gaming journalism is a real thing with merit) decides upon release that Sonic Forces is an A+++ would buy again game, then the world would probably stop spinning for a brief second.

    SEGA need good PR. Find me a single article about Sonic in "GAMING JOURNALISM" that doesn't start off with "Sonic's funereal past" this, or "A long time ago Sonic was good and now it's bad the end where's my paycheck." that. Could you imagine what would happen if the monotony of Sonic articles on throwaway game news sites suddenly stopped? Casualfags would have no whipping boy. GAMING JOURNALISTS would have nothing to write about. It would start raining up. Cats would marry dogs. Communism would work. It would be absolute insanity to see Sonic actually make his way back to the top of the pecking order. With a franchise this beaten down, yes, I think that Critics could actually give money to SEGA, because the reviewers basically tell people what to buy, and people are sheep.
     
  17. Sirius-R

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    Something tells me it won't.
     
  18. RikohZX

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    Well there's also the fact that Mania is $20 versus Forces' probable $40-60 dollar range (likely $50 at the very least and most probably gonna be $60 as per triple-A standard), and combined with a four-year development cycle and higher budget more than likely, Forces would get more money per copy sold but also need to genuinely sell very well alongside or exceeding Mania to hit it big and make that profit back. Something a game like Sonic Lost World completely and utterly failed to do on a worldwide scale between both the 3DS and Wii U once initial sales dropped off (though that had a multitude of reasons why).


    Just by digital sales and a more affordable price alone, Mania is more likely to succeed financially. Combine that with its near-unanimous praise and positive reception / hype train and it practically sells itself. Meanwhile every other reveal and new thing for Forces has yet another split between optimism and hatred for it, and I genuinely don't want to buy Forces at day one because of how badly they've tried to hype and sell it.
     
  19. Beltway

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    If we were talking, say, ten years ago, HedgeHayes wouldn't be exactly wrong. While Sonic 2006 was both a clear critical and commercial flop (contrast to popular belief--2006 didn't even break a million in its fiscal year), Shadow the Hedgehog sold over one million (two million if going by cumulative sales) and Unleashed sold over two million (though I'd say its hype marketing and being a crossgen release --PS2/Wii version as well as the PS3/360 version-- were a large element to that) despite all of the flack those two games received. Though not gangbusters, those are still relatively modest sales.

    But it's 2017. Unleashed was the peak of Sonic's sales last generation, sales slid downward with the subsequent Colors and Generations despite being considered better games; and Sonic's sales on the eighth-generation have been, to put it mildly, lousy. While this can be largely blamed on the ill-thought Nintendo-exclusive partnership (especially the console games released so far being on the flop that is the Wii U), the Wii U's high attach rate for its games and all of the Sonic games on the 3DS (70M+ installbase) bombing as well doesn't put the platforms as the sole cause of the poor sales. Almost all of the glut of spinoffs that were squeezed out over the past ten years (original handheld titles like Rush/Rivals, Riders racing games, Wii Storybook series, the initial retro-revival downloadable approach with Sonic 4) have vanished. The only one still around is Mario and Sonic Olympics, and that hasn't been a sales hit since the Wii version of London 2012, Sega even skipped picking up the license for Pyeongchang 2018 (though a game for Tokyo 2020 is in the cards). And it goes without saying Sega's attempt to launch a new face of the series with Boom crashed and burned at the stake.

    Sonic can't sell to the mainstream on brand legacy alone anymore, and the franchise's market is nowadays restricted to only his most diehard fans. Mania at least has a good chance of averting this on the basis of it being the first assuredly great Sonic game in years, compounded by all of the praise, E3 awards/nominations, and general high anticipation it has received leading up to its release. If Forces is "good enough" in the same vein of Colors or Generations (which I highly doubt will be the case, especially with the mixed previews), this may be downplayed; but I'm sure if/when the final consensus on Forces is that it's mediocre (if not outright bad), this will be heavily reflected in Forces' sales.
     
  20. 360

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    Excellent post Yeow. I'd say that's quite the accurate run-down of the situation and a good reflection of Sonic's position in the market. Sonic's downward trajectory in recent years, coupled with the Sonic Boom disaster and ill-thought out Nintendo partnership that quite frankly should never have happened, have dramatically dampened its sales potential. The days of Sonic hitting like, two million and above in sales on name alone are long gone - and it really doesn't help that there seems to be this hive-mind mentality in the press to be negative and down on Sonic - though on a more positive note that seems to be turning around with Sonic Mania's universal love, adoration and positive reception.

    Personally I think Sonic Mania will surprise the hell out of Sega in sales, receive glowing reviews, a high Metacritic score and do exceptionally well. There's just too much positive hype and attention around the game for it to not be a success. Forces however, I see it doing another Generations sales-wise. So basically a million or so, at best and then it'll just fade from existence. I think this is partially down to the damning reviews it's likely to see, and also partially due to the destruction of Sonic's legacy of which only Colors and Generations were glimmers of hope. There's just been too much damage done to the brand. Lost World ultimately needed to be a much better game, and Sonic Boom really needed to not happen.

    I still remain optimistic however. I'd say Sonic Mania 2 is a safe-bet as Mania 1 is likely to do extremely well. As for Forces, we'll just have to see how the final product turns out.