Sonic Forces Thread

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

  1. khabastos

    khabastos

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    I've just rewatched all of Sonic Forces' cutscenes in one sitting. I'm nearly three years too late, but... they're really good?! And I don't remember thinking that when I played it on release.

    The first thing to be noticed is the major step up in coreography. Gone are the empty spaces where characters stand in a circle talking to each other. They actually move around now. The cutscene where Sonic gets beaten up is a joy to watch. From his entrance and initial punches with Infinite to Tails tapping his screen desperately and Sonic falling to the ground defeated, everything is snappy and doesn't waste time. To accompany that improvement, the animations are also better. However, I think the current models hold the animators back a lot. They feel stiff and aren't very expressive, a lot of people have pointed that out already.

    Second, the camera angles. I might be misremembering, but Colors, Generations and Lost World had an abundance of eye level shots, shot/reverse-shot and overall very bland composition. Sonic Forces constantly implements angles that emphasize movement, scale and even character. For example, Infinite always has the camera looking up at him, like we're at a level below. It's never static and it helps a ton.

    Finally, the voice acting. Nearly every line is delivered perfectly, the cast has really grown into these characters. Roger doesn't have the same energy as Ryan, but neither did Jason, and both still brought the cockyness and heroic nature. But where Roger really shines is the banter: I don't know if it was intentional, but Sonic just barrels through his lines sometimes, like when asking Infinite for the source of his power or when trash-talking. It fits. Heck, he even made me laugh with his joke about Eggman not having any friends because he kept referring to himself in the third person.

    Silver brings the drama and determination, which ties into his role of a more traditional hero, it's refreshing to see Knuckles' new dumb, cocky comic relief personality being properly utilized, etc. Infinite deserves an entire post of his own, but let me just say he is delightfully edgy. Tasting the terror? Smelling the fear? It's purposefully over the top and I love it. Mike Pollock is great as always, but I can appreciate his efforts at sounding more menancing this time. I enjoy listening to every character talk (except Tails, but for different reasons). Only one line felt very off to me, when Rouge sees Omega at the end of the game. You might not like these voices, you might think they don't fit, but you have to admit it's polished work. Voice acting in this game is top notch and I'd be hard-pressed to find someone who can debunk that.

    With all of that said, why hasn't anybody made a video on this topic or something? Have people talked about this and I didn't catch the discussion? I get it, the story is badly paced, it comes and goes too quickly. There is a bit of jank, with the reused models for the rebellion soldiers, Shadow's Chaos Control animation, Eggman and Infinite standing around in Green Hill, etc. But these are few among very well made cutscenes that we haven't really seen since... I don't know, Sonic Adventure 2? People asked for a more involved narrative and Sonic Team delivered, but they got a lot of flack for Sonic Forces' story and I really hope they don't give up on these improvements, like they've done with other good things because the games that introduced them had a bad rep.

    Maybe I'm missing some huge flaw, I don't know. Please feel free to point it out if that's the case.
     
  2. TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64

    TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64

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    I always found Forces' plot to be extremely tonally confused. It's trying to be dark, but at the same time Pontac and Graff are still trying to make it like Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Of course, it didn't really bother me all that much since I don't really play Sonic for the story, but still.
     
  3. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    I can't stand Tails being completely useless turning his back when Chaos appeared.
     
  4. Josh

    Josh

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    I'm just guessing, but it might be because on a second watch, and years removed from expectations you're in a better position to appreciate it more on its own merits, and see what it did well. That's been happening to ME with Forces big time lately. And to wit:

    I remember the night before Forces was released, the mood here on Sonic Retro was, at best, VERY cautious. I wouldn't even say "cautiously optimistic," just... cautious. A lot of us here remember Heroes and 06 and OH GOD SONIC 4, we remember being hyped about a new game and having that hype crushed under mediocrity. So I think for a lot of us, playing Forces was just another case of: "Yep. That's about what I expected."

    HOWEVER. The night before Forces, the mood on the Sonic subreddit, which seems to skew quite a bit younger? UNBRIDLED EXCITEMENT AND OPTIMISM. And it's because for the first time EVER, people nostalgic for Sonic Adventure were actually being targeted. Forces had a more overt focus on story and serious stakes, the edgy, badass vocal themes were back. And yeah, Classic Sonic was there too, Forces was trying to market to EVERYONE at the same time and that was kind of its undoing, but nonetheless. I think Forces was the first time fans too young to have cared about Sonic 4 were let down like that. Just like a lot of us here once acted like DIMPS were literally the cancer killing the Sonic franchise in the wake of Sonic 4, Forces similarly made younger fans WAY more resentful of Forces, and of the elements it embodies.

    But I'm with ya! Forces' story is still largely written to a level that only kids are REALLY gonna get invested in, but that's kind of been a problem since Sonic games started having stories. It was tonally a little inconsistent at times, and while I generally enjoy Pontaff & Graff's dialogue, the localization did the actual plot NO favors. (In fact, I'd go so far as to say Sonic stories have tonally been MUCH more consistent in Japanese.) But, the voice actors are all SO comfortable and confident in their roles, and the direction was stronger than it had been in ages, so all-in-all it was... y'know, enjoyable.

    And MAN, given the state of things, it's refreshing to see someone else trying to see the GOOD in there, haha.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  5. Mana

    Mana

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    So you inspired me to go back and look at the game again [​IMG]

    It made me realize this actually was said and somehow got ignored by the entire fanbase. Sonic and Eggman have been fighting for decades? I thought he was still 15? What's going on?
     
  6. Josh

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    And that's a good example of what I said in my last post: The localization doesn't do the plot any favors. According to Windii's translation, Infinite doesn't say that in the original script:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Mana

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    Okay that makes sense. The Adventure scripts were like this too where some of the nuances were lost in translation but it was never to this degree. I was actually inspired to watch the entire thing because of that guy so I didn't even bring up "Sonic is being tortured" or "Tails lost it" especially because I know those were English Dub choices.

    Something still tells me someone should have vetoed these decisions though.
     
  8. khabastos

    khabastos

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    I mentioned how I don't like listening to Tails for reasons I didn't elaborate on. Well, thank you, you just did that for me. Tails' behavior is inexcusable. He's been useless for over a decade, and it's awful. Tails is a character I'm not too fond of, so it doesn't bother me that much, but I definitely understand and agree with this complaint.

    Another fair point which I agree with. When it comes to Forces' tonal shift, I think it's mostly due to parts of the script itself. Sonic being tortured, Eggman taking over the world for six months and Tails going insane, these things don't mesh well with the mostly lighthearted storytelling, like you touched on. The cutscenes themselves and the character interactions within them feel consistent, though. In isolation, they work. Sadly, they do not exist in a vacuum and suffer because of it. As I am writing this, people are mentioning the fact that the english translation had something to do with this, so it seems it's less of a problem in japanese. That makes me glad, because it'd mean that at least part of it wasn't intended by Sonic Team.

    You just hit the nail on the head. At its worst, Sonic Forces is a perfectly functional, short game with mindless gameplay and a harmless story, that provides a bit of empty replayability through the collectibles and gear for the Avatar. However, it came after the first drought in a while and had the disadvantage of succeeding Sonic Lost World, an already controversial title (which I personally hate aswell). I like that you compare it to Sonic 4, it's an analogy that perfectly explains what went down, though I feel Sonic 4 was a much, much bigger disservice to Classic fans than what Sonic Forces did to Adventure fans. Not really arguing here, just mentioning.

    Anyway, I can understand and even empathize with those that feel like Forces is a disappointment. However, I find it silly to hold a grudge against it and treat it as one of the worst Sonic games. People often discredit much of what Sonic Forces does right because of the things it did wrong, but won't think twice before defending Unleashed despite the Werehog, Sun and Moon medals, etc. I'm with those people, Unleashed is awesome, but why can't we acknowledge the awesome things in Forces aswell? I try my best to see the good in every Sonic game.

    Besides, I think Sonic Team deserves a little positive reinforcement. These guys have been hard at work for nearly 30 years and have received heavy criticism and backlash for the better part of this decade (I can't fathom how much pressure Iizuka is under). I'm not saying to excuse them for their mistakes, but there are people behind the logo and they get stressed out too, doubt their skills, etc. If we want good games, we have to have faith in them. Sadly, I see most adopting the mindset of "I'll believe it when I see it". It seems like they're just waiting to be dissapointed again. Went on a little tangent there, but I feel like I needed to say this.

    I have to thank you for going along with my optimism!
     
  9. Multi Battler

    Multi Battler

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    Ugh, I don't think so. They might be snappy, for lack of a better word, but my overall impression always was that they were far too uncharacteristic for a Sonic game. Fight scenes in which Sonic doesn't use his speed or spines don't sit right with me. So there's that.

    Then this thing with the camera angles. Let‘s take the resistance hideout as an example. We got the Chaotix, Amy, Knux and Silver, all in one room. Now, is it just me, or does that look a little overcrowded at times? Must be the art style. The background clashes with the new character models, thus the impression of overcrowdedness (or?).

    But I agree with everything else you said, except that Sonic 'Wars' was a bad idea to begin with. Lol
     
  10. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    While this "mistranslation" is a very interesting thing actually, I always thought this "decades" as an hyperbole. Like Infinite knows that the actual duration is not decades but he uses the word to emphasize for how long Eggman have been defeated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  11. TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64

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    You guys know that the concept of a "floating timeline" is, right? I'm 99.9% sure Sonic takes place within a floating timeline.
     
  12. Sid Starkiller

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    To me it seems like a crappy attempt at a 4th wall break, like Modern's line to Classic that it's been "generations" since they last saw each other. But it's too corny to work in that capacity.
     
  13. Mana

    Mana

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    That's what I thought it was too. Especially because it's the anniversary game.
    You're giving these writers way too much credit in their ability for being subtle.

    yea almost every major franchise has one. it's the game making things confusing not us.
     
  14. AstroSeed-P

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    Don't mean to interrupt, but just wanted to share this here too.
    From "The Sonic Video Archive Project" forum:

     
  15. Beltway

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    Considering how much of the game they were constantly hiding in the shadows up until the game was actually released, I can totally buy the idea that the 35 seconds of Sonic running/boosting in a straight line was almost all they had to show after months of nothing but a CG teaser. I’m only surprised it was the name/logo they wanted to pull, and not the gameplay footage altogether.
     
  16. TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64

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    I just started playing Sonic and the Black Knight and it shocks me: the way Sonic plays in that game is extremely similar to how the Avatar plays in Forces. I almost wonder if Sonic Team was trying to reincorporate Black Knight mechanics in the Avatar? The similarities are so substantial that I personally find it hard to be just a coincidence, even though it probably is.

    EDIT: been playing a bit more and holy moly a LOT of Forces seems to come from Black Knight (and Secret Rings, to a lesser extent). The quick-time events, how everything feels so automatic, and the way rings worked pre-patch is ALL shared by Black Knight. Morio Kishimoto, who designed Black Knight, directed Forces, so I think it's a very real possibility he was looking back to Black Knight for inspiration. I know this is sort of baseless but it sure would make sense.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  17. BadBehavior

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    Maybe something clicked in his head during development and he remembered: "Hey, I used to make good games" and so tried to desperately crowbar some storybook elements into Forces.
     
  18. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    To be honest, I wouldn't blame Kishimoto for looking back at one of his better games when directing Forces. Apparently he was from the Sammy side and switched over following the merger. He designed levels in Secret Rings and Black Knight, but moved up to Director for Colors (still serving as a level designer for this one), Lost World, and Forces. Honestly, it makes a lot more sense why there's so much automation and basic platforming in 2D sections, he probably thinks that's what Sonic is. Having very green level designers probably didn't help matters either, but I would say it's likely he may hold a lot of the blame for how bland the stages in the game can be.
     
  19. BadBehavior

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    As one of the biggest Forces haters I know, I think I've actually remembered something I like about them: The Menus

    Maybe it's only cos I'm binging Persona 5 (Royal, specifically) but there's a certain style to each game's menus, how they pop out with each thing you highlight and select. Not nearly to the same level as P5 but you can definitely tell it's there. It almost makes me think Sonic Team asked for advice from that particular person at Atlus since, hey, they both work for Sega now.

    Shame they couldn't have also asked for tips from the writers, or the level designers, or the composers, or literally anybody else. But it's something at least. Sonic Forces is not without positive qualities.

    Still doesn't mean I like it though.
     
  20. Tiberious

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    Having finally played it for a bit, I still stand by my criticisms of the Avatar creation.
    I can only imagine how much hype that actually had among fans, and to see how limited it was is just annoying and probably hurt the game overall. I get that they couldn't do everything, but why have the avatar character so out-of-proportion to the rest of the cast? I get that he can't 'be cooler' than Sonic (whatever the fuck that means), but could he at least fit in? His torso is just way out of line with everyone else, and he sticks out, even when not using stupid-looking accessories.

    I think they should instead have either offered a few body shape options, or made a 3-slider system that controlled upper, middle and lower, and just having the avatar model and accessories set up for such a base and system.

    They also dropped the ball with regards to some of the body patterns, as those could have really helped make things people wanted with fairly little effort on their end. Take one that puts stripes on the body, tail and head, changes the muzzle to white and has a white spot on the stomach, and you can make the cat a tiger with whatever base color you chose, or maybe make something neat with the wolf or dog, patterns intended for bird avatars could work on other species, etc.

    I also think that tying the passive abilities to species makes sense, but further limited the game, and there's quite a bit you can do with the weapons to replicate some of these.

    When I played from a fresh save, I just made the standard trailer wolf and went with it.