Sonic Forces Thread

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

  1. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

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    As an example of just how bland and forgettable Forces is which I found pretty funny: KazeBlade on twitter asked people what was the latest Sonic game to use the phrase "Long Time No See", often assumed a relic of the adventure days and especially 06.

    When it's actual latest occurrence in the series was in none other than Forces. (Relevent moment at 0:26)

    I remember SomeCallMeJohnny's 06 review where he complained about the repetition of this phrase like it was yesterday, so for people to just forget that this infamous line showed up in the latest main release in the series is hilarious and depressing at the same time
     
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  2. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    Yesterday I decided to revisit Sonic Forces and play through on hard mode. Without a doubt, I'm gonna have to say that Sonic Forces sucks. Big time. And no, it's not because of classic Sonic, or the lackluster story/dialogue (I actually used the Japanese voices this time so I wouldn't have to suffer through the English cast), or the underwhelming customization options for the avatar character, or Infinite's edginess and stupid mask, or the tedious boss fights. It's because of the physics and gameplay. This game has terrible physics. The original Sonic games were fun because of the physics. The way Sonic moved was incredibly satisfying and allowed for the flow and rhythm associated with those games. Most of the 3D games have had some trouble with control and physics, and the boost titles especially have pretty bad physics, but Forces takes the cake. Acceleration is weird and feels artificial. Trying to turn or move to the side while running without boost is torturous. Classic Sonic and the other 2D sections all have stilted movement with no flow. The 2D level design is easy, but is an insufferable chore to get through because of the physics. Midair control just sucks.

    None of this is helped by the gameplay and level design in 3D though. The game plays itself half the time, and then occasionally requires thoughtful input from the player to escape an instant death pit. This game is so scripted that I sometimes can't even tell when I have control over the character. And when I do have control over the character, the gameplay is tedious and boring. Homing attack chain these robots, now homing attack chain these robots, now use your clunky physics to jump over this short wall, now homing attack this spring, now homing attack chain these robots, etc. Or just BOOST until you run out or fall off a cliff. Terrible quick time events is the cherry on top.

    I can't believe so many people defend this game saying "it's not bad, it's just mediocre!" Sonic Forces is bad. I hope Sonic Team took a long hard look at what actually made this series great when they started working on the next installment. Not classic Sonic, not Green Hill, but physics, reliable and satisfying control, and level design that compliments those.

    /rant
     
  3. Dissent

    Dissent

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    Figured I'd throw my 29 year old cents in the ring. This is a post of mine from Reddit a few months ago before I got the platinum trophy two weeks ago;

    tl;dr: I 100%'d Forces twice and I've come around on it as being a net positive thing to exist
     
  4. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Art...always art...
    For me, this is arguable. Yes, the cutscene presentation is a step up from Colours and Generations, but only by the bare minimum. There is certainly more action and by god they even have Sonic emote with his eyebrows rather than eyelids, but the action that is there is extremely bland, which is most present in the fight scenes. Silver doesn't use his telekinesis in any meaningful way against Infinite other than to make himself fly, Shadow doesn't use his Chaos powerset against the phantom replicas despite that being one of his defining abilities, and Omega's opening against Infinite (which was a sneak attack mind) is comprised of only a few measly, generic energy blasts rather than the full barrage of mortar and ballistics you'd expect from him. Knuckles could've incorporated digging into his attacks, Vector ought to have bit some of them, etc. To be honest I think this is yet another product of Sonic Team squandering development time, and I reckon if they'd given the game due resources we would've had stuff like this. As it is, we get things like Shadow apathetically hovering into the enemy and Knuckles throwing a couple of punches before coming to a stop.

    Will wholeheartedly agree with you with regards to the voice acting, however. While the English script is pretty bad in places, Roger Craig Smith puts in a great performance as Sonic. As you said, he nails Sonic's cocky attitude (I love his trash talk to Zavok at the start of that boss fight) and while Roger's portrayal is hamstrung by the lack of opportunity to give the character genuine warmth or rage, the quality of what he does give here cements my opinion that he's the best fit for Sonic out of the actors we've had. Kirk Thornton's Shadow hews a little closer to David Humphrey this time, which is brilliant in my eyes (though like Sonic the character is disserviced by the script, as well as SEGA's evident misunderstanding of the character). I think the only characters who aren't up to snuff are Tails and Amy. The former for reasons that have been explored previously in this thread and not really a fault of the casting, but Amy? I have nothing personal against Cindy Robinson but I feel that she's an extremely poor fit for the character. While not as bad as her earlier performances, her voice still feels very rough and croaky and, though she can portray the more mature take on the character, I don't feel that she brings anything to the role that Lisa Ortiz couldn't have.

    As with all aspects of this game, however, I'm optimistic that Sonic Team are genuinely, truly listening this time. We've had almost complete silence from Sonic Team since Forces came out almost three years ago and it seems as though the next game will drop Holiday 2021. That's 4 years to work with an engine that's already been produced now, so a crunched deadline will be one less constraint for them. I'm sure Iizuka will make some of the controversial decisions he's known for at this point, but I at least believe that whatever vision he has for the next game will be executed properly. Honestly, I feel sorry for the guy. I remember reading an article about Forces back before release that implied that Iizuka was proud of the automation present in Forces and it just comes off to me as him doing what he can to deflect heat away from his team, who I'm sure work hard on each game even when said game doesn't hit the mark.
     
  5. Josh

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    This was most likely posted several hundred pages ago, but just in case:



    One of the hardest truths I've struggled to accept about Sonic Forces is this: It is the way it is on purpose. That video just KEEPS emphasizing simplicity, the ease of just pressing a button and having the game play itself, and how appealing that's supposed to be. For as much as people want to dig into Sonic Team's composition, as many people who worked on Colors/Generations who had since transferred to Nintendo, and for as much evidence as there is that its active development lasted for such a short time, Forces is STILL an accurate representation of what the team, from Iizuka on down, was trying to accomplish.

    Sonic Forces wasn't trying be a great game for existing, experienced Sonic fans. It was trying to be accessible to people inexperienced with the series. Remember how awful it is to see people who don't really know how to play Sonic games attempt to perform even the simplest tasks (like "make it through a loop") at trade shows? Or the idea that because Sonic is "all about speed," any obstacle that makes you slow down or impedes you is "bad game design"?

    The levels in Forces are designed in response to that. I'm struggling to find it now, but I've even seen a conference that Sonic Team hosted ABOUT level design, where they showed off how much they had simplified and streamlined the stages like it was a GOOD thing. To us, there's no satisfaction in blasting through a level that takes no skill. But unfortunately, the majority of people who play a Sonic game are never going to replay a level anyway, and Forces focuses squarely on being a breezy, albeit incredibly shallow, singular experience.

    It's the sort of thing that's made me appreciate Sonic Colors WAY more than I ever did in retrospect. Colors also put a lot of focus on being more accessible, but didn't sacrifice its depth or replayability to accomplish that.

    The flip-side of this is that if you're a kid who's mostly unfamiliar with platformers, Forces is probably an excellent Baby's First Sonic Game. And given how cheap the game's gotten and how many people downloaded it from PS+, I think we're going to see a contingent with a TON of nostalgic appreciation for it rise up in 8-10 years.
     
  6. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I never played Forces but I did watch a playthrough of it and thought the story was hilarious. Game is dreadful but it's also the most energised the series has been since Gens.
     
  7. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

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    I mean, that just makes Forces quality even more depressing. Being a bad game because you kept tripping up is one thing, being a bad game on purpose just offends me.
     
  8. LucasMadword

    LucasMadword

    LucasSaturn Member
    You know, I dunno whether I agree with that assessment. It's clear the game was rushed to reach a release deadline, and during interviews you're not going to come out explicitly and say that, nor downtalk your own game. To me, that video just shows them trying to talk up their game whilst not lying about the games content. There's not much they can say that is positive, other than, "it's extremely accessible, and you are able to dash through the stages like a maniac". That's why a good chunk is focused on the customizable character, as that is one of the only unique selling points of the game.

    So, at least to me, it's an interview trying to say as much positive stuff as possible, without lying about the games content. It's commendable really.
     
  9. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    It's hard to say. Nakamura doesn't really have a single director style (Colors, Lost World and Forces all have very different design goals), even if he clearly adore the wisps :V

    The lead level designer worked on Lost World and the other two level designers were brand new. Difficult to say if they had simplicity in mind, although the talk they gave on the game's level design seems to suggest so.
     
  10. TheKazeblade

    TheKazeblade

    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    I still personally believe due to so much time being spent on the engine and framework for Forces, that Sonic Team's intention was to streamline development as much as possible so future titles can be finished with Forces approach of a smaller team and shorter development time. Sonic is still a cash cow, but making future titles even cheaper and faster would pad out the profit margin and viability.

    The problem is, they streamlined it to the point that the gameplay is worthlessly automated. I don't doubt that utilizing it for future titles would give them time to iterate and improve upon it, but I think fans have rightfully raked it over the coals for its corner cutting. They simplified and streamlined too far.
     
  11. Frostav

    Frostav

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    This should have been obvious from a long time ago.

    There's a reason they refuse to look at the classics and take their elements into 3D besides superficial ones like speed. I remember people always treating it as a matter of competence, but guys. Guys. Making a 3D slope physics engine is not hard these days. Amusement Vision, A SEGA STUDIO THEMSELVES, created a near-perfect one on the gamecube with Super Monkey Ball. All of the classic Tony Hawk games people adore to this day have slope/rolling physics as a necessity of their design. Any racing simulator by necessity has to model slope physics since slopes affect how cars handle. If they had really wanted to make 3D Sonic game focused on momentum physics and slopes and all that, they would have done that. The games may have been rushed and under-budgeted, but they would have attempted that by now if they really actually wanted to do that.

    The true answer is the most painful one: they don't do that because they don't want to. They just...don't want to do that.

    A SEGA studio literally made an entire fucking game--TWO games, actually--about rolling balls throughout wildly-shaped obstacle courses and Sonic Team has never even mentioned that game series once. Someone next door made an engine they could have used and no one at SEGA even thought "hey, these guys should work on a Sonic game". Instead they were eventually disbanded and moved to Yakuza and I like Yakuza a lot but yeah. Sonic has been do thoroughly divorced from his roots that SEGA themselves seem to be unaware of them.

    I'm starting to realize that the Adventure games had a physics/slope system less out of an intentional desire to use them in gameplay design, and more just because Sonic Team wanted to make them control like the games they had already been making.
     
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  12. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

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    Just had a pretty apt thought regarding Forces and it's design:

    Forces is Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Hear me out

    Mystic Quest was designed to get a new audience into playing their games, in this case, westerners into JRPGs, this being a time before the RPG dominance of the PS1 era. Square thought that to get new fans into the series, it had to be made accessible to this wider audience, to explain mechanics when they were essential and to trim them when they weren't. This resulted in Final Fantasy becoming a beloved franchise and Mystic Quest especially becoming the harbinger of classic RPGs in the west...

    I'm kidding, of course, they didn't make it accessible, they dumbed it down extremely so. Like Kazeblade said, they went too far.
    Overworlds too confusing? Get rid of them, now you only explore towns and dungeons.
    Random encounters too tiring? Replace them with static dungeon obstacles that you cannot progress until you defeat.
    Managing stats and parties rattling your gaijin brain too hard? Don't worry, you only have 1 party member not including the MC, they're set to A.I controlled by default and your health is represented by a bar. A Bar. Square thought westerners were so stupid that they could not count numbers.

    Needless to say, it flopped and Final Fantasy would stay a niche franchise until FF7 with it's cinema adverts and fantastic visuals omnislashed its way into popularity. It was simple but engaging and that's where Forces fails. It's simply not engaging.
     
  13. Multi Battler

    Multi Battler

    real lifed to death Member
    I find it's the other way around. Engaging, but not fun. That's how I'd describe Sonic Forces. You remember that Japan-exclusive 1-minute time limit demo, right? I had fun trying to figure out how to beat Lost Valley under a minute (even though I never managed to do so), until I realized that the whole game is like this: You pull off a near perfect run and then you try to beat your own time by MILLISECONDS and bam, pro gamer. :V
     
  14. Josh

    Josh

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    Haha, yeah, I had a good time doing that in the demo, too. I also defended the game a lot in that time, noting that Generations' GHZ was pretty simple and straightforward, too, because the game needs to give the player a safe space to get acclimated to the controls, and show off how fun "going fast" could be (and by extension, how much MORE fun going fast will be later, when your skill is what drives it). "It's only the first level!" I said!

    Sonic Forces is like an entire game of a not particularly good "first level."
     
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  15. CHAnga

    CHAnga

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    Hey so this is my first post in these forums, I don't really plan on doing this super regularly, but I just felt like making a contribution here for some reason. :p

    Originally I was going to make a "complimenting Sonic Forces" thread, in accordance with the trend going on here lately, but I kinda chickened out seeing as how the main thread is still active and I thought it would be redundant and maybe a bit spammy, and I kinda figure that any positives people would list would mainly be parroting the ones I'm already making, so for now, I'm just gonna post this here.

    Anyways, about the positives as I see it.

    ...Yeah, I can't really deny this game's mediocrity when taken as a pure Sonic experience, especially given what came before.
    By that same token I've put 61 hours into it on Steam (Partly because I had to restart my game after already beating it thanks to my sister trying to start a new file on my PC and overwriting my save, EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS USING HER OWN STEAM ACCOUNT), as well as 15+ hours into the Switch version (Which I bought so that I'd be able to play it while bed-ridden for a week due to being overworked, as well as a means for my sister to play it without...YOU KNOW...). I guarantee that would not have been the case at all if not for this guy.

    [​IMG]

    There's a reason why there are so many Sonic fan characters out there. Traditional Sonic character design follows a template that's incredibly simple, appealing and easy to adapt your own custom twist to. Heck, I'm approaching my 30s and I'm still fully into it like the rabid manchild that I am. So for Sega to acknowledge this about their fanbase and integrate a means of not only taking advantage of this naturally customizeable template, but controlling your character in an actual game, is quite frankly a stroke of brilliance, and imo highly elevates what is otherwise a fairly bleh product. Even THESE forums, of all places, had a thread for sharing your custom characters, and that's really saying something.

    So seeing as how the avatar plays a huge role in my overall outlook on the game, most of my positives are linked with that character in particular. The incredibly short length and low difficulty of the stages makes it faster and easier to complete the challenges and unlock all of the avatar items, I love the addition of a cutscene viewer that lets you see your different avatars in the story scenarios after you beat the game, and simply the act of creating a new avatar or wardrobe for an existing avatar makes booting up a stage to see them in action and control them an appealing prospect for me. And of course, I love that you unlock the ability to create multiple avatars after you beat the main story.

    Tl;dr, the customizeable avatar is an amazing feature that, as far as I'm concerned, NEEDS to be a recurring, albeit optional, element in future installments. I mean, the work was already done with this title, right? Just plop it into the next game and bam.


    Outside of that, I don't think Forces is completely absent of positive elements which I feel deserve to be acknowledged.


    For the first time in over a decade, we got playable characters in a main 3D Sonic game besides Sonic only.

    Apart from the classic stages (And even then, a couple of those tracks have decent composition, if not instrumentation), the soundtrack is really solid, especially in the modern Sonic stages, Metropolitan Highway being a highlight for me.

    The lighting in the exterior segments of Modern Sonic's Death Egg stage is flippin' GORGEOUS, and offers a glimpse as to what a true next-gen Sonic could look like.

    I actually don't think the level design in the classic stages is that bad, they're at least more winding and branching than in the other gameplay styles.

    As tired as Green Hill and Chemical Plant are, I at least admire the attempt to mix them up visually.

    There are moments in the cutscenes I like. For example, Sonic acting all cocky when asking about null space, but still gesturing to Tails to keep his distance, Rouge teasing Omega for showing up at the last second, and they did this thing with Eggman where his mouth occasionally goes all lopsided like this:
    [​IMG]
    or whenever he smiles. It's a classic anime-styled twist I really appreciate.

    The unlockable in-stage collectibles help the replay value a bit.

    The game is not difficult to get through; I'd rather have something that's too easy over something gruelingly frustrating/frustatingly grueling.


    And to wrap up my first post, I just wanna share a handful of the avatars I've created:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Oh wait.

    You mean to say I made those with a GMod tool by VicenticoTD?

    ...

    Nevermind, game's trash lol.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020 at 7:11 AM
  16. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    I think I've already said this on this very topic, but I still find pretty funny that Sonic Team gave Eggman a half-mustache at the beginning of the game, because of the end of Lost World, like look, we pay attention to details! but they give fans a laughable explanation about the fricking moon.

    (and yet in the very first scene Eggman has a full-grown mustache, they forgot to shave it then)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020 at 7:43 AM
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  17. Josh

    Josh

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    Listen. Tails gets scared of Chaos at one point, which doesn't match the character arc he went through in a game that came out 19 years before this one. Stop trying to give it partial credit for anything.

    And what do you MEAN, the moon!? Um, hello? Sonic X clearly explained that Eggman rebuilt the moon. The Adventure Era had no plot holes or bad dialogue, boomer.

    (On a more serious note, I really loved CHAnga's "other side" perspective, thank you for sharing it! I think I've read that early in development, the team wanted to make the Avatar the only playable character, and with the benefit of hindsight, I really wish they had. It would've probably made for a more focused Forces that knew what it wanted to be.)
     
  18. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    On the subject of the custom characters, I just posted this over on SSMB:

    I dislike character creators in games generally and especially don't want to see such a thing make a return in a Sonic game, but that's not going to be my point here. If a game has a custom character, fine whatever. Let's talk about the merits of such a feature. Forces only lets you choose from a few different head shapes and a limited preset of eyes. Further customisation is limited to dressing your character in messy accessories that invariably result in a clusterfuck design that clashes with every other character you see. You can't even choose the colours of the gaudy accessories, with each item instead coming in just three presets that must be unlocked individually. It's a game of dress-up instead of character design. The avatars in Forces just don't look good and stifle the potential for creativity. They all look like they came out of a Deviant Art doll maker.

    All of that says nothing about the plot and the custom characters' involvement therein. If there are no choices to go be made that allow you to tell your own story even in a small way regarding the custom character, what's even the point? Your character can't have even an ounce of personality. It all feels so hollow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020 at 5:07 PM
  19. Frostav

    Frostav

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    Yeah the Avatar is so bizarrely limited. I hang out around a lot of people with Sonic OC's and it wouldn't let you make anything like them. Something like this is just impossible (spoilered for size):

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Avatars don't even use the same design language as the actual Sonic characters! WHYYYYYYYYY it's like they're scared of them being confused for official characters so they intentionally made them look weird as hell

    It's just so...limited and half-baked. Like everything in this damn game is. I'm so tired of Sonic Team just half-assing ideas that COULD have been cool.
     
  20. Pengi

    Pengi

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    The rest of his moustache is there, it's just covered in a very dark shadow for some reason.