Sonic Forces Thread

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

  1. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    Yeah, you picked the one very brief moment where his moustache is partially obscured by a shadow. You can even see it in that screenshot if you look closely. Nowhere else in that scene does it look like he only had half a moustache.
    9C2813C4-4700-4A7C-9578-E45DF0C723B9.jpeg
     
  2. Blue Spikeball

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    I'm not sure what you're trying to get at with the bolded part. That because SA1 is an old game, it should be ignored?
     
  3. Jay T.

    Jay T.

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    I do find the criticism of Tails being scared of Chaos a bit odd. I understand that he's shown that he can be brave and capable of taking on some serious foes (SA and SA2 in particular), but considering that Sonic was so easily beaten by Infinite, taken captive for months (who was presumed dead, iirc), Eggman takes over 99% of the world, morale would be pretty low. The fact that he was confronted by "Chaos," who has destroyed an entire tribe, a city, and is apparently fighting alongside Eggman again, I can see Tails being rattled.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  4. Josh

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    Of course not! There's a lot more nuance to it than that, and it gets back to what I was saying earlier about how a lot of the factors that made Forces so unpalatable to hardcore Sonic diehards may have made it more accessible and enjoyable to people who aren't so "Inside Spinball" about this stuff.

    One constant with Sonic fandom over the years is that EVERYTHING about Sonic only tends to get analyzed or appreciated by how it compares to other, previous iterations of Sonic. In other words, "canon" is held to a higher standard than anything else.

    This is not to say that "how does this measure up and compare to previous games/stories in the series" is an invalid lens. But it's often held up by fans as the ONLY valid lens, and that's where it becomes an issue. And to be fair, this is not at ALL unique to Sonic. Fans often fall into a trap of only being able to see the thing they're a fan of through the lens of their FANDOM. I've done it plenty of times, too!

    For example: Many fans to this day claim that 3D Sonic games are bad because they don't follow the momentum-focused design principles of the Genesis games. Likewise, many Adventure fans claim the boost games are bad because THEY don't follow the design principles of THOSE games.

    Other examples I've seen over time include:
    • Sonic Adventure is bad because Mobius and the Freedom Fighters aren't there.
    • The new character designs are bad because the old ones were better.
    • Heroes is bad because Adventure was better. (I was particularly guilty of this one!)
    • White/Burke/Drummond/Griffith/Smith sucks because White/Burke/Drummond/Griffith/Smith was better.
    • Stories in Sonic games are bad because the Genesis games didn't have overt storytelling and therefore Sonic doesn't need a story.
    • Stories in recent Sonic games are bad because their tone isn't like the older ones.
    Again, it's not invalid to say, "Here's why THIS way of doing it was better," but you shouldn't lean exclusively on that instead of examining how well a game executes on what it's ACTUALLY trying to be. Criticize a piece of media on its OWN merits, don't _just_ compare Sonic to itself. Put another way, if you're going to criticize the story of a game like Shadow the Hedgehog, criticize its _execution_, not the mere fact that it _has_ a story when the Genesis games didn't. If you're going to criticize multiple playstyles in the Adventure games, examine why that gameplay doesn't work, not the fact that it's THERE.

    This approach of trying to see games through a different lens is what really started to change the way I saw Forces. Initially, I wanted a game that matched the elements I loved so much about Generations, and I was incredibly disappointed that (despite the promises of the marketing and our very reasonable assumptions) I didn't get anything LIKE that. Once more, I'm not saying it's WRONG to do that! But I've tried to find more nuance than that over time, and while I still don't think most of it was executed very well, I can at least appreciate what it was GOING for.

    Let's bring it back to the scene with Tails & Chaos.

    At this point, the story had Infinite wipe the floor with Sonic, the world has fallen into Eggman's control in his absence, Knuckles has formed a resistance, and Tails is too shellshocked and disillusioned to join. After all, Tails feels COMPLICIT in the reason Sonic was captured, he feels like he failed, and that his failure is the reason the world is in the state it's in.

    Tails is threatened by a Phantom illusion of Chaos, but is saved by... Sonic!? Oh, but it's that OTHER Sonic! His showing up gives Tails a renewed spark of hope.

    I'm not saying this is particularly deep, but it makes sense within the context of the story the game's telling. The meta-reason Tails needs to be threatened is so Sonic can save him, and this is the mechanism by which Classic Sonic is brought into the story. (And honestly, I kind of think that alone is the reason some fans who abhor Classic Sonic even BEING here get so hyper-focused on this one scene.)

    It wouldn't be useful or relevant to call back to a character arc that a large swath of the audience either won't remember or won't have ever EXPERIENCED, and even if you do, Tails's demeanor can be explained by the trauma of what's happened to him in the past few months. Tails, in canon, is scared of Chaos in this instance. Fans' interpretation of how he _should_ act in doesn't change that.

    What got me thinking about all this was an episode of Renegade Cut that challenged some widely-held aspects of Star Trek fandom, and it's been rattling around in my brain ever since. I'm probably paraphrasing (or plagiarizing!) quite heavily from it here, so let's just quote it directly: "Canon is a tool, not a trap. If it is useful, it should be used. If it is not useful, then you don't have to step in it."
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  5. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    You know I was just thinking about Forces recently, and I remembered this:

    As someone who never really hated Forces but never loved it either (I've always considered it nothing more than a slightly above average platformer), Capital City is a really creative level with elements I'd love to see return. It honestly makes me wonder why Sonic Team didn't make more levels like it, where Infinite is constantly screwing with you and suddenly changing the level in seconds. Also I really like how Capital City shows you a story rather than tells it, which is a major issue in Forces.

    Also, I'm gonna join in on the complaints about how Forces is too automated, but in a different way: I don't think the issue is that it's automated, it's that the developers didn't do anything creative with the automation. Playing Sonic and the Secret Rings - a game that is very similarly automated - with a normal controller in Dolphin is a lot of fun because the levels actually feel generally complete and challenging.
     
  6. Blue Blood

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    I think you're misunderstanding the concept of automation. SatSR is on-rails; Sonic automatically follows a path, but the player is in full control. Forces is not on-rails - it just plays itself with minimal input from the player.
     
  7. The Joebro64

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    I'm not misunderstanding anything. They're very similar. Of course, Forces' controls need some tweaking to rectify the issue, but I'm just pointing out that I don't think the automation would've been as much of a problem if it wasn't for the level design.
     
  8. Blue Blood

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    The automation is the level design. Take out the boosters/scripts and nothing changes. They're just there to facilitate the empty coridor-like design.

    SatSR is a completely different type of game.
     
  9. The Joebro64

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    That's what I'm saying. I'm not exactly sure why you didn't pick up on that. I clearly said in my initial post:
    I'm saying that if Forces' level design was better there wouldn't be an automation issue. That's it.
     
  10. Blue Blood

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    "If Forces' level design was completely different then the level design wouldn't be an issue."
     
  11. BadBehavior

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    Can't wait for 20 years in the future for some new Sonic game (if it even gets released by then, you never know with this drought) and the fans go "Ugh, why is Tails brave here? He should be acting like a sniveling coward like he was in that one scene from that 20-year-old game Sonic Forces. #PlotHole #NotMyTails"
     
  12. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    Please don't straw man my argument; I said if Forces' level design was BETTER, not if it was completely different.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  13. Blue Blood

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    I'm not straw-manning your argument here. Please define "better without completely changing the level design".
     
  14. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    "Better" would be taking the basic framework and fleshing it out. Like, at the beginning of Lost Valley, add some turns instead of just having a straight path. Make the rings and white Wisp capsules more scarce. Those are minor changes but would go a long way to make the game seem less like "boost to win". I really don't get why that's so difficult to understand...
     
  15. CHAnga

    CHAnga

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    One thing I actually kinda wish Sega did was set up a service, maybe as a partnership with Build-a-Bear or something, where you could order a custom plush of your ingame avatar.

    Another thing I forgot to list among my positives was seeing and playing as other peoples' avatars in your game during the SOS missions. That is, assuming you're playing the game on anything other than the PC where they were all starters with no unlocked outfits for some reason...Anyone know what was going on with that?

    Well yeah, obviously you don't have the same amount of creative freedom you would if you drew the thing, heck I draw things myself. Doesn't mean it's not a dang fun toy to mess around with.

    Just because their torsos are slightly longer...?

    It's not invariable. There are plenty of examples out there of people managing to pull together fairly cohesive looks for their avatars with the limited toolset, as I'd hope I demonstrated with my previous post.

    Which, again, can still be fun in of itself for some people.

    In my experience, limitations can in of themselves lead to creative workarounds to said limitations.
     
  16. Blue Spikeball

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    Thank you for the elaborate response. However, I don't think it's fair to put all those complaints in the same category. When people criticize Tails' characterization in Forces, they're not complaining just because they can't handle change, as tends to be the case with complaints about things like character redesigns, VA changes, etc. They're complaining because they see Tails' characterization as a regression that ignores certain pivotal character development he received in a prior major game in the same continuity. I don't think it's a unreasonable reaction. Character development is something that is expected to be kept as long as you're dealing with the same characters and the same continuity, not something that writers are generally free to randomly ignore or throw away for plot convenience.

    You may say that Tails' yellow streak was justified by the events that transpired in Forces. You may think that him feeling so useless after failing Sonic was an understandable response, and that's a fair view. But it's obviously not a universal one. Many see it as an inorganic development that goes against Tails' established character in this continuity. For instance, he was put in a somewhat similar situation in SA2. His carelessness and naivety resulted in Sonic being launched into space (seemingly) to his death before his eyes. How did Tails respond? Did he wallow in anguish and guilt and quit the fight? No, he took matters into his own hands and fought Eggman until the end.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  17. Josh

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    Sure, but let's look at that scene. Tails' resolve comes from not wanting to let Sonic down.

    [​IMG]

    In Forces, Tails is disillusioned specifically because he feels like he did let Sonic down. Heck, given how close those reasons are, I might argue this is consistent characterization, it's just done in a way that doesn't lock players who haven't played old games out of continuity.

    The Adventure games came out within a few years of each other, and on the same (unfortunately niche) piece of hardware. You could take it as given that almost everyone playing SA2 was probably familiar with SA1. You can't make the same assumptions about a story that's being told several generations later, and I don't think you necessarily NEED to adhere to it or address it. In fact, trying to shoehorn such ancient continuity into the story could be a detriment. ("I let Sonic down, just like that time on the Space Colony ARK when I revealed to Eggman that the Emerald was fake and then either lost or did not lose a fight with him depending on whether you were playing the Hero Story or the Dark Story." That's a joke, of course, but it would be difficult to make the connection elegantly, and it's not really supposed to be the point of the scene, anyway.)

    Again, I'm not saying it's not a VALID criticism, either, just that it's not this unholy abomination of unacceptable characterization that it's very often made out to be. It arises not from anything functionally wrong with Forces itself (and there's A LOT wrong with Forces), but from a reading of canon that only the hardest of the hardcore fans would even notice. And even analyzing it through that lens, I don't think it's inconsistent, but either way, I also don't think it's fair to expect it to carry THAT much weight at this point.

    Most people know Tails as Sonic's little buddy, and if he's sad and scared when his best friend is taken away by his worst enemy and the world falls into chaos, doesn't that make sense?

    This is a long, long, LONG running series. At some point, it's okay to accept things like the Koopa Kids aren't Bowser's kids anymore, or Toadstool is now (and always was) named Peach, or Shadow is alive again, or there used to be six emeralds and now there are seven, or Blaze is now from Silver's future instead of another dimension, or Classic Sonic is now from another dimension instead of the past, or, like, "Knuckles is here again. He's a popular character, and we can't finagle a reason for him to NOT be guarding Angel Island without making the Master Emerald central to the plot, but we want to use him for this game so he's here."
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  18. BadBehavior

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    I dunno, if we follow that line of thought then all continuity is irrelevant because the developers can't be sure players have played one game before another.

    "Hey, why don't they just collect the Chaos Emeralds and go super to defeat Infinite? They appeared in Generations so they're not some ancient history."

    "Who cares? People are gonna by this anyway. Besides, how else are we gonna sell Super Sonic as a microtransaction?"
     
  19. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    No she's not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  20. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    I think most agree that this is the best level in Forces. It is also the longest.