Sonic Forces Thread

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

  1. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    I think all the boost games are bad but Forces is definitely a special case. Even the slightest bit of competence the previous boost titles had is gone in Forces.
     
  2. Josh

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    You guys make me tired.
     
  3. This. I'm sick of people pretending Colors (especially) and Generations are bad games.
     
  4. Josh

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    Oh, I've got no problem with people saying a game isn't to their tastes. They have a very different perspective on this series than I do, but I'm sure they're not pretending. However, it does sometimes come across like they're over-compensating for how widely-celebrated Colors and Generations have been, like they feel the need to tear them down. I don't often feel like they're making a good faith effort to understand what these newer games were trying to be, or for that matter, why other fans might enjoy them.

    There's also sometimes this strict value judgment wherein, basically, WHATEVER SONIC WAS AT SOME POINT IN THE PAST was correct and wonderful and the way it should be, and anything that moves Sonic AWAY from that ideal is automatically wrong and insulting and an offense to what the Original Creators intended. Nothing can be examined, criticized, or celebrated on its own merits, only in terms of how much it resembles the Sonic You Grew Up With. And THAT'S what makes me tired. That's what's ALWAYS made me tired. Framing it like that makes you look like the modern-day version of this bozo, and I got tired enough of that shit back in the mid-late 2000s.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  5. Oh, I totally agree. As someone who holds some unpopular opinions myself (Unleashed Wii forever, baby), I wasn’t trying to imply “you’re wrong for not liking those games”. I was trying to be lighthearted when I said they “pretend” the games aren’t good.
     
  6. laughing_sun

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    Different people get different things out of the franchise. If you are acknowledging that the new games are different, then you must accept that they are leaving SOME fans behind by neglecting features or design choices that they prefer. It's not up to fans (read: customers) to adjust their preferences to meet the new product. I don't lose any sleep over the modern Sonic games not being to my taste. I have made peace with the fact that the aspects of the franchise that I fell in love with are no longer present. I think it's weird. If I'm asked about it, I don't mind to opine about it, but it is what it is. I don't control Sonic. Not the end of the world. I get out of new games what little they can offer, and then I move on. Not a big deal.

    But no, I don't "pretend" to not like Colors. I couldn't finish it because I was not enjoying it in the slightest. It's not a game I like. I don't care "what it was supposed to be." I buy Sonic games for my own personal enjoyment. They are entertainment products, and for this fan, that product failed to do the job.

    Generations? It had some superficial elements that I enjoyed. But when I see the direction it started to steer the franchise into, I find it to be incredible damaging. Regardless of its merits as an individual game, its the start of a direction that I do not overly appreciate. Moreover, while I did beat the game, I never had a desire to replay it.

    Forces, however, I have played through twice. Once on Switch, and a second time on PC. There were some aspects that I liked about it. There were some aspects that I didn't like about it. I probably won't play it again in any serious way. But I think it would be dishonest of me to say that the game I cleared twice was not more enjoyable than the game I only cleared once and the game that I did not finish.

    I still play the Genesis and Dreamcast games to this day. They offer something that no modern game does and I'm not just talking about game mechanics. The first ten years of Sonic introduced us to a surreal fantasy world with mystery, wonder, continuity, excitement and storytelling. Act transitions start with Sonic 1. We get those "victory" poses at the end of the game. Sonic 2 had those black and white story cards. Sonic CD had animated scenes. Sonic 3 & Knuckles expanded zone transitions throughout the entire experience. These are the things that resonated with me: an actual world was being built with these games.

    Those aspects of the series are not a focus anymore. Titles are episodic. Each game breaks the canon more then the last. Characters are no longer allowed to have arcs. When I play Sonic 3 & Knuckles, I'm not just enjoying the peak of 2D Sonic platforming in terms of mechanics or level design: I'm exploring Angel Island, as if it was an actual place. I'm imagining the story play out. When I play Sonic Adventure 2 I'm not just doing fun tricks off of ramps, I'm playing as a cool Evil Sonic trying to take over the world and smash up the police and the military.

    And modern Sonic games are not about story telling or continuity. They are not about world building. They are not about characters that grow and develop. And the game play mechanics are *less* desirable than both the full-3D style of the Adventure games or the dedicated 2D style of the classic trilogy. If a boost game offered the sort of narrative continuity, serious story line and some semblance of respect for previously established lore and characters, then yeah, sure, boost is fine. It's not my preference, but it's an adequate method to get from A to B. And maybe a way to differentiate Sonic from Tails and Knuckles when you play as them.

    But modern games don't offer that. Ever since the disaster of Sonic '06, the Sonic franchise has gone back to basics. And those basics don't work for me. So no, I am not being stubborn and hating things because other people like them. They just don't interest me.

    Forces does a couple of things that other games haven't done though recently. Shadow the Hedgehog is playable. It's been a while since we could play as someone who wasn't Sonic. A new character was introduced that actually looks like he belongs in a Sonic game. And the story to the game is something that somewhat takes itself seriously. Is this a turning point where the series goes back to a more Adventure-style format? Maybe not. But maybe it is. It's enough to pique my interest. Though at this point, so much damage has been done to the aspects of the franchise that I value, I'm not sure how one begins to repair that. Either way, I'm interested in what Year 30 will bring if only for curiosity's sake.
     
  7. Frostav

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    I...weirdly kinda agree with laughing_sun here now that I think about it. Colors and Generations may be better games, but I honestly think I kinda almost like Forces more than them despite its massive flaws just because...it's unique?

    Like, Gens and Colors have literally no reason to be played now that Sonic Robo Blast 2.2 exists. And the Sonic GT Demo. And there are more 3D fangames on the way like Utopia. And Spark the Electric Jester 2 and eventually 3.

    Forces? Forces...well, hm. The Avatar is unique. I actually grew to like my green hedgehog. Hell, I tried to get S-ranks just to unlock new stuff. I also want to make a few more. Now, that's an admittedly shallow reason, but it's there for me. And the plot is stupid, and awfully written, and...bad, but hey, I almost kinda appreciate the effort in some twisted way. I like how FINALLY Sonic Team made a new damn animal character and I like his design, even if his actual writing is awful. And I appreciate how the cast that had been thrown aside into nothing but cameos for nearly a fucking decade straight actually showed up in the plot! Badly! Not very well! But they were there. They were there. I'm just glad that they appeared at ALL in the plot. Fuck, they even let us play as Shadow.

    But hey, I can fix that. Forces actually inspired me to make an Archive of Our Own account and maybe write a few Sonic fanfics. And I know that that sounds absurdly cringy to a Genesis old-head. I am the definition of the younger part of the fanbase. But hey, what can ya do.

    I know it's weird to say "I have a sort of begrudging affection for this game because it does some of the things I like about my favorite era of Sonic But Shitty" but accurately describing my feelings is hard. Real hard. I both absolutely hate Forces yet also feel a fondness for it at the same time. It's an awfully-controlling mess with horrendously short levels, a middle soundtrack, an absolutely laughable plot that tries to be edgy while also being a completely paper-thin video game excuse plot, it blatantly reuses stuff like assets from Generations, and it has Classic Sonic for no reason other than cynical nostalgia-pandering that Sonic Team has whored out to oblivion.

    But somewhere, deep down, Forces feels like it has glimpses of my Sonic. Gens and Colors don't. Hell, even Mania doesn't. Those games are good games (excellent, even, in the case of Mania). But they aren't my Sonic. Forces...is a shallow shitty effigy of my Sonic. And you know what? After basically a decade of my Sonic being utterly non-existent, it's kinda good to see any glimpse of that.

    I miss the old Sonic Team. I miss the Sonic Team that was this utterly baffling weird-ass group of people that wrote utterly wild shit like a black hedgehog calling himself the ultimate life form and wrote a game where everyone raised a robot-kid
    and then he fucking dies and Sonic does his best to keep him happy in his dying moments fuck Sonic Battle was some real shit
    . I don't even like the Storybook games at all, but fuck, I miss the Sonic Team that was high enough to think THREE GAMES OF THAT (I know they only made two three were planned) was something they should seriously do.

    I don't expect them to be back. I don't think they can be back. That kind of earnest unironic sincerity is basically impossible to have more than just once and even if it could, I don't trust contemporary Sonic Team to do that well anyway. But man. I'm just glad that we got even a shitty parody (and I mean in the sense of "an imitation or version of something that falls far short of the real thing; a travesty.")

    This is long and rambling because trying to accurately state "I hold a bizarre sense of affection for Forces because it's a god-awful parody of Sonic stuff I actually like and I'm so starved of that I'll take even this" is hard to state without sounding like a deranged deluded apologist for a bad game.

    Forces is bad. Generations and Colors are not. But the former is my kind of shitty Sonic and the latter aren't. They are much more competent games, yes, but they don't have the spark that SA1 and SA2 and their surrounding era had. When they came out, I was fine with them, enjoyed them, even. But now that my shitty Sonic has appeared even in the faintest of mirages in the series, and fans are developing far stronger 3D frameworks than the boost ever could be, I find myself less and less interested in Gens and Colors, because I no longer can just be "well, at least they're fun to play" when I'd rather just play Spark 2 or Sonic GT or SRB2 or...you get the picture.

    Forces reminds me of when I played Shadow a few months ago and my feelings on the game were "wow, this is a mess, but damn I miss when Sonic Team unironically made this kind of stupid shit". I've never been more mixed about a Sonic game in...forever. Maybe any game in general.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  8. Josh

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    Just say, "It's my Sonic 4," and pretty much everyone who grew up with a Genesis/Mega Drive will get it. :P Most of what you loved about the series was (at best) out-of-focus or (at worst) actively opposed for 10-15 years, and when some semblance of it finally made a comeback, it was executed so poorly that you feel like they completely missed the point, but like... at least they're TRYING, maybe? That's definitely how a lot of fans felt after Sonic 4.

    And just like you find Colors and Generations difficult to go back to despite enjoying them at the time, I've felt similarly about SA2 _ever since_ Unleashed, Colors, and Generations. I still think SA2 is above-average, but the boost games modernized what I really adored about it (the speed stages), and executed them in a way that's even more to my tastes, to the point that the older game has been superannuated for me.

    So yeah, we're kind of cross-referencing two very different takes on these two very different eras, but I can relate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  9. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    IMO Sonic Team never made Sonic work as well as he could in 3D, they just kept trying to put bandages over the problems they encountered. In Sonic Adventure, they weren't able to make Sonic move exactly like he did on the Mega Drive/Genesis, presumably because of limitations. They remedied this by using booster pads whenever Sonic would normally use the physics to his advantage. After the Adventure games, they jumped to third party with Heroes. Super Monkey Ball is a perfect example showing that really good ball physics were very possible on the GameCube, but no, Sonic Team didn't improve the gameplay. They just continued to tweak the same basic idea (and make Sonic control worse and worse) with each consecutive game.

    The boost style is the ultimate bandaid. They found a way to streamline Sonic's gameplay, in the same "just run fast" idea, by giving Sonic the boost. That allowed them to turn the majority of the game's actual 3D portions into basically autorunning, which meant they could continue to ignore garbage physics. Of course, this is the Forces thread, and that's what I'm getting to. Forces was the finish line. It's the perfect example of automating the game so nothing has to be improved. Who needs satisfying physics when the game can just script itself?
     
  10. Josh

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    While I agree that there's every indication that the abundance of speed boosters and linear spectacle setpieces in Sonic Adventure 1 absolutely was the result of a compromised vision (there are test stages featuring unscripted loops that don't work reliably), I think every gameplay change to make the 3D series more speed-focused since Sonic Adventure 2 was made with intent, because high-speed spectacle WORKS DIFFERENTLY on a 3D plane. The boost style isn't a "bandaid" because they _can't_ make momentum physics work in 3D, it's not even PRETENDING to be that. I've got to get to bed right now, but my thoughts on why boost works line up very well with this episode of Errant Signal.

    Whether 3D Sonic SHOULD have kept striving to replicate the style of the 2D classics is subjective (and I'd say some kind of attempt is long, LONG overdue), but they clearly haven't been trying to do that since at least SA2. It's like I said before: Judge a game on what it's trying to be. Treating Forces like it was some inevitable evolutionary finish line of the concept makes about as much sense as saying the Genesis games were bad because Sonic Advance 2 happened. Yeah, Forces sucks, it's like it was made to prove the point of the worst critics of the earlier games saying they were "boost to win." But that's no more true than critics similarly saying 2D Sonic was "hold right to win," and Forces is that way because the dev team intentionally rounded off all the complexity that previous games in that style had in pursuit of accessibility.
     
  11. Blue Spikeball

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    Ditto. As much as I loved the Sonic Adventures back in the day, they feel so bland nowadays. SA1 is incredibly unpolished and over-automatized, whereas SA2 plays like a proto-boost game. In the Sonic/Shadow levels you're running nonstop, dodging obstacles, homing-attacking stuff, rail-grinding... just like in the boost games. It's like Unleashed and Generations took that play style and ran with it, focusing on quick reactions and adding moves for dodging obstacles, while also expanding the levels in terms of length and possible paths. SA2 feels like a simpler, more primitive incarnation of that formula to me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  12. Frostav

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    Also I'm going back through this thread and reading it through the beginning and omg

    We all thought that Classic Sonic's GHZ was the first level. (or at least his first level).

    Oh how naive we all were.
     
  13. Frostav

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    Lord almighty some of the meltdowns in this thread when the Avatar got revealed are embarrassing but also hilariously thespian

    EDIT: Oh god, I am waiting with bated breath to come upon this thread's reaction to Infinite :specialed:
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  14. Laura

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    I atill think Generations is good and really fun but it is a 10 years old 360 game and it's starting to show its age. The controls are really clunky when you are going slowly and some of the levels are quite simple and shallow. Classic Sonic is still good in Gens and I like playing his levels but he doesn't hold up against Mania.

    On reflection I'd say Generations is probably a 7/10 while Mania is probably always going to be a 8 or 9/10.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
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  15. James Smith

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    I'm surprised Generations is getting heat recently. Like yeah it has the same writing issues of the other Pontac written games and it did bring back classic sonic. However I still think the gameplay holds up really well when it comes to the boost games. Unleashed was more skilled but it did have issues Gens fixed like the drifting. Going from Gens to Forces really shows just how much polish and effort has gradually disappeared since Gens.
     
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  16. Laura

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    I think Generations is far superior to Unleashed. The fact Unleashed has the same button for boosting and homing attacking is such an awful decision that it completely kills the game for me.

    I'm very biased though, I hate Unleashed.
     
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  17. Dark Sonic

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    Working on my art!
  18. Josh

    Josh

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    I like how even on a post like that, there's someone taking the opportunity to complain about how Classic Sonic upstaged Tails. :V This is becoming the "but why isn't Knuckles guarding the Master Emerald!?!?!?" of the new era, haha.

    But yeah, I actually use that Classic Sonic Improvement mod, and I'm hyped to see 'em fixing one of Forces' biggest missed opportunities. Classic Sonic in general is pretty under-repped in Forces, contributing to why he feels tacked on. He has fewer bosses and stages than anyone else, by several orders of magnitude.

    Speaking of which, I kind of wish there was a way to organize the level list by location, instead of following the story order, and to make a sort of "level playlist". It'd be cool to, for instance, play all the Death Egg stages back-to-back without going to the menu.
     
  19. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    Absolutely! Not only would it add to the replayability, it would also give the players the opportunity to make up their own little "narrative", so to speak. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020