Sonic Forces Thread

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

  1. Josh

    Josh

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    So, I got curious as to what this might look like, and here's what I found:

    C=Classic, M=Modern, A=Avatar, T=Team. I organized each zone following a "classic, modern, avatar, team, boss" structure.

    GREEN HILL:
    C10: Faded Hills
    M1: Lost Valley
    A20: Guardian Rock
    T7: Arsenal Pyramid
    C11: BOSS - VS. Eggman

    CHEMICAL PLANT:
    C18: Chemical Flow
    M21: Network Terminal
    A2: Spaceport

    MYSTIC JUNGLE:
    C13 - Casino Forest
    M8 - Luminous Forest
    A14 - Aqua Road
    M9 - BOSS: VS. Infinite

    SUNSET CITY:
    C3 - Ghost Town
    M15 - Sunset Heights
    A12 - Park Avenue
    T19 - BOSS: VS. Metal Sonic (the level select doesn't designate this as a boss act, but that's basically all it is)

    METROPOLIS:
    M23 - Metropolitan Highway
    A16 - Capital City
    T24 - Null Space
    A17 - BOSS: VS. Infinite

    DEATH EGG:
    C22 - Death Prison
    M6 - Egg Gate
    A4 - Prison Hall
    M5 - BOSS: VS. Zavok

    EGGMAN EMPIRE FORTRESS:
    C28 - Iron Fortress
    M26 - Mortar Canyon
    A25 - Imperial Tower
    T29 - Final Judgment
    M27 - BOSS: VS. Infinite
    TRIO30: FINAL BOSS: VS. Death Egg Robot

    TOTALS:
    Classic: Six acts, one boss
    Modern: Seven acts, three bosses
    Avatar: Seven acts, one boss
    Modern + Avatar: Three acts, one boss
    Trio: One boss

    Notables:
    Chemical Plant is the only zone without a boss, but Eggman Empire Fortress has two.
    Classic Sonic never fights Infinite, and is the only character "missing" his own act within a zone in Metropolis.
    Overall, Classic Sonic is playable in only 26.6% of the levels, while Modern Sonic is in 50%, and the avatar is in 43.3%.
     
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  2. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    Interesting stats, and this still isn't the full story. Forces has a bunch of optional acts labelled as bonus or extra. The acts themselves are the laziest designs ever, but all of them are for Modern Sonic and the Avatar. Classic Sonic doesn't get a look in for the garbage bonus content.
     
  3. Frostav

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    More rambling.

    Egg Gate is a really synecdoche for the whole game. This is an entire stage about Sonic escaping a massive battleship in space the size of a celestial object and it's a, what, four-minute stage? It should be one of the most heart-pounding intense levels in all of the boost games, and it's the length of Sonic Unleashed's first stage. Even if the actual stage were easy, it shouldn't feel easy. Sonic has been captured for a year at this point. Eggman is the closest he's ever been to winning. He should have practically an entire literal army trying to stop Sonic.

    The result of this is that instead of making Sonic look badass, or Eggman look threatening, it makes everyone look incompetent. Sonic is so incompetent he couldn't escape despite a shuttle bay being literally four minutes away. Eggman is so incompetent that he barely puts up any resistance in getting Sonic back. The rest of the cast is so incompetent that they can't execute a prison break despite Eggman's seemingly-laughable security.

    In fact, exactly one character comes off as anything even remotely competent: the Avatar. Apparently a random civilian who was given a gun like, literally yesterday, can infiltrate the Death Egg and free Sonic.

    Also, the level is just constructed...oddly. It's mostly rail-grinding sections in the middle of nowhere (and these rails are even more egregious than usual, at least the Final X levels in SA2 make them look like power line wreckage or something). The final section with the egg shuttle feels like it could have been an entire Act 2 of a really cool level about searching for one that works or Sonic can get on, hell they look big enough to set a good portion of level inside one. Also how the hell can Sonic control one

    Hey you know what would have been a cool idea for an Act 2? Sonic gets on a shuttle and radios Tails, who guides him through turning on the various power systems, with the shuttle itself being treated as a big self-contained level that guides Sonic through platforming challenges (look it's a Sonic game of course the ship is inexplicably built like a platformer level) in a big loop until he gets the whole thing turned on. That would have taken creativity though.

    Music's pretty banger, though.

    Ever notice how the entire 3D series has not once ever established a cohesive visual identity? Man.
     
  4. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    I'm well aware they haven't been trying to replicate classic 2D Sonic and have intentionally aimed the gameplay towards a raw focus on speed. My point is that what was originally a compromise because they couldn't make something better function properly became the core evolution of Sonic's gameplay when it didn't have to. I feel like I need to clarify that I think the physics in the previous boost games are also bad. Controlling Sonic in any of the boost games is super janky. Forces didn't retroactively change anything about those games, it's just an extremely dumbed down version of what its predecessors are already built on.

    I refer to the boost style as a bandaid because they weren't fixing problems with how Sonic controlled and how janky the physics were, they just tried to cover up those problems by changing the context in which the player controlled Sonic, and replacing old bad physics with new bad physics. One thing that can be said about the boost games is that some amount of polish went into them to make them look like good games, but Forces has almost the same.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  5. BadBehavior

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    Basically how I feel about 06 in a way. It's basically the last dying gasp of the adventure style so I'm pretty much forced to, if not like it, then look on it with heartbreak as I wonder at what could have been. I imagine a lot of Sonic Boom-sters feel the same way about Forces.

    Speaking of Forces...

    Purely so I could have it in my collection again (and to pre-empt anyone criticizing my moaning by saying "you traded your copy away, you haven't placed it recently"), I went and bought it off Humble for cheap. I was waiting for a youtube premiere video to come out and I had nothing better to kill 80-ish minutes with.

    I got to Sunset Heights, the stage everyone assumed was the intro stage cos of how tight and linear it was. Here are my observations:

    1. The only time I smiled was when I got to Classic Green Hill. Specifically, the opening few seconds, for this glorious composition. (I think we all owe Jun Senoue an apology for the Sonic 4 OST)

    2. Classic Sonic shows up at literally the worst times. First, we get a Sonic stage then an Avatar stage, you might have fun with one of those two styles... then Classic Sonic shows up to remind you that someone on Sonic Team thought he was a good idea.

    But it's just the one stage. Then we get a smattering of Avatar/Sonic stages. Just as you get into a groove... Classic Sonic shows up again. With a stage. Then a boss fight. Then a brief interruption for the avatar, then another stage. I dreaded having to play two consecutive stages with this thing, so I decided to grind out some missions and EX stages before deciding to rip the bandaid off.

    And the last proper stage in the game is a Classic Sonic stage, and it comes with the auto scroller section. This is the stage that leads into the finale. I hope this goes down in infamy as the Ball Puzzle of Forces.

    3. Everyone's complaints about the controls were right. It's not even predictable at what time a character will shoot off in a given direction. Sometimes it's 3 seconds, sometimes it's 1. How this was never fixed I'll never understand. Glitches I can understand them ignoring, but issues with the controls that make the experience actively less enjoyable?

    I know you say we should judge a game on what it's trying to be (in which case why don't we judge 06 like that? :V) but I just see Forces tried to do something and did it awfully. Again, Generation did the whole "sanding off the edges to appeal to a wider audience" thing a million times better. Without threatening to send me to sleep with how boring and simplistic it was...

    But then again... I am a sonic fan, with certain expectations. Maybe if I was someone who had literally never heard of Sonic before, let alone played his games, and I played this, I'd see some cute little kids game with some tryhard story that could distract my rowdy son or daughter for a few days. Maybe I'd just let them at it without even trying it myself. It's like RadicalSoda said (timestamp is 1:03): if this is your first ever Sonic game, then it's fine. It's... adequate.
     
  6. Laura

    Laura

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    I haven't played Forces so can't comment upon it's gameplay, although I'm assuming we all are in agreement that it's shallow and mundane.

    The story is absolutely atrocious, although it is ironically funny. It easily has the worst lines in the series since 06 and I think lines such as "none of this is good Vector, that is why it is called war" are possibly even worse than those in that game. I like the idea of Infinite. An unremarkable mercenary who becomes stronger to hide his own insecurities and ends up surpassing everyone. There was potential here to tie him to the Avatar, which they kind of do, but also don't. His concept is good but the execution of his character is laughably bad and the power gap between his actions in cutscenes and gameplay is jarring. I also find it contrived that he's far less powerful in his final fight then he is throughout the game and it's kind of funny that he just gets whisked away and is never heard about again. There's hints that he's just a big baby who is insecure about himself (such as his tantrum when he loses his final fight) but they don't nearly follow through with it enough.

    I think the key problem with the game's story and concept though is that it doesn't follow through strongly enough with the Avatar as main character. If the game went through with the central conceit properly, the Avatar should be the only playable character and the main focus of the game. You should watch the Avatar start off inexperienced, become stronger throughout the game, and finally rescue Sonic near the end when you have become so experienced that you can actually stand toe to toe with him against Eggman. This would give the Avatar a genuine character progression which is more in line with the self-insert RPGs it is aping, rather than the lame Sonic and Avatar BFF vibe with which they end up going.

    I know what you are thinking: "wow, a Sonic game without Sonic as a playable character, how lame". And yeah, yeah it would be lame :V .

    But I think this is the main problem with Forces: they make the custom character the main hook of the game but they know it would be lame not to play as Sonic so they wimp out on it. Sonic has to break out of prison early because how else would you play as him? In flashbacks? That would make the story disjointed. Purely in prison? That would make the level themes bland. The whole reason why Sonic as a series is so endearing is because Sonic as a character is great. I'd say Sonic is more comparable to Crash Bandicoot here than any other contemporary platformer. Can you imagine a Crash game but you play as a custom character and not Crash himself? It would be awful because a key reason why you play Sonic and Crash games is because the protagonists have such likable personalities.

    The game just ends up being this unfocused mess and Classic Sonic's redundant role in the plot and gameplay makes it even worse.

    I also agree with @Blue Blood that the character creation tool is lame and I'm surprised it got praised as much as it did upon release. The game was ten years out of date with the Sonic OC craze anyway, but it could have been some fun guilty pleasure fun to make Sonic OCs with the character creation tool. But what you really get are basic as possible preset options and awful, garish clothes. The characters you can make in the game look nothing like the OCs which the game is paying 'tribute' to (for lack of a better word).
     
  7. BadBehavior

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    I mean, same here. Kind of irritates me that people assume I'm just some edgelord contrarian who only hates Colours because everyone else like it, or only likes 06 because everybody hates it. I might think that Colours is a bit overrated (like, what reason is there to play it in the year of our lord 2020, other than knocking out the backlog during quarantine?) but I can still think it's not enjoyable to me and think it doesn't give me any satisfaction as a fan of the adventure style. And if that makes me some contrarian who thinks that 06 is the best Sonic game, who wants Sonic to return to the dark ages when he actually released games LiTeRaLlY eVeRyThInG wAs GaRbAgE? then... I'll let this picture talk for me.

    [​IMG]

    And as for Forces, I'll let myself speak for myself:

    I only hate Forces because I'm so extremely, incredibly let down by it. Is this how people like Clement feel about 06, to the point where they make 3 hour long youtube sagas about it?
     
  8. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    is Sonic like, even shown to actually be in danger or in a bind outside of what the plot tells us? if I was a kid and my official self-insert found Sonic and he actively winced and admitted needing your help because, say, Eggman is using a one-time-anti-speed field or something, while being encouraging, it would've blown my mind.

    we lost all hope of that the instant SA2 decided that it needed to be """"""""more realistic"""""""" and """"""""darker"""""""" :V
     
  9. You know, when Colors and Generations came out, it actually seemed like Sonic Team had found an art style that worked. Of course, then came Lost World.
     
  10. laughing_sun

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    Not one person in this thread agrees on what games are good and bad, yet everyone has "expectations" that they be better. Better for who? I get the game I want, ya'll ain't going to like it. Vice versa. It's a losing proposition for Sonic Team to chase the desires of picky hardcore fans that talk about Sonic on the Internet for hours, when they can just make something adequate that pushes a couple million units to normies.
     
  11. Frostav

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    Gens is just re-interpreting earlier games. It looks really good, but it by definition cannot have a visual identity of its own.

    As for Colors. Hm. For me, while Colors looks good, it doesn't feel particular Sonic in its visual style. Heroes is the same way IMO--outside of Seaside Hill, Casino Park, and Grand Metropolis, Heroes levels are just kinda "Generic Platformer". Stages like Rail Canyon for instance are just...voids of utterly tepid nothing and generic scenery.

    So SA1 was mostly following the classics. SA2 went for realism, outside of the admittedly cool surrealism of the Ark. Heroes was kinda just 80% Generic Video Game and 20% following the Classics. Shadow went back to realism and 06 went so far in chasing it that it basically ruined the game's art-style. Unleashed went for a cartoony high-budget CGI film interpretation of...the real world. Colors was a gorgeous game filled with lovely vibrant zones, but without the specific surrealism of the Classics (outside of Starlight Carnival). Gens was re-interpreting older games. Lost World is a soulless Mario clone mixed with the most bland possible interpretation of the classics. Forces is half Gens asset reuse and half utterly tonally incoherent yet still generic stuff.

    The 3D games have never had a consistent visual identity. It is literally impossible for, say, the upcoming 3D game to evoke the same feeling that Studiopolis did when Mania was revealed: Studiopolis is strikingly unlike anything in the classics, yet slots perfectly alongside its much older siblings. Likewise, the fact that Press Garden looks unusual in the context of the classics alone is proof they have an incredibly strong visual identity (personally I love PGZ and want to see more 2D zones like it).What does 3D Sonic look, visually, like?

    The answer is literally goddamn no one knows. At all. And while the gameplay is a mess and more in need of dire action, I feel this is a really big weakness people don't talk quite enough about.

    I actually had these feelings before Forces launched, way back when all we had to go off of was that very first reveal/announcement trailer. With the idea that Forces would not reuse zones (haha...hah...hah....) I tried to think about what the new zones would look like and I realized quickly I had literally no idea. 3D Sonic has no artistic identity.
     
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  12. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    And the weird thing is, they keep changing the art style but keep using the same models. If each game looks different then make new/different models that fit the art style.
     
  13. MH MD

    MH MD

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    This kind of unpredictability in art style and art direction is something i think i actually like, even if sometimes it misfires like Lost World, it at least makes about every new game a unique thing of its own, no matter how long you have been a fan, you can never actually know what the next game will bring and how it will look, and that thought is exciting on its own, regardless of the end result.

    I mean even Sonic 4 Episode 2 had a different aesthetic and artstyle from the first game, and that was an episodic game! you don't really see any episodic games differ in artstyle like that, they usually are uniform.

    Changing every now and then is better than sticking to the same direction for a long time as that can be damaging on its own -see New Super Mario Bros. series- , if anything, they aren't experimental enough imo, would love to see Sonic tackles more wild directions.
     
  14. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    best part is, we have an answer to that, Mania's special stages
     
  15. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    Saying 3D Sonic has no consistent art direction is a weird point to make, since, uh, no franchise has a consistent art direction?

    Mario 64 is drastically different from Sunshine, which is drastically different from Galaxy. You can't seriously tell me they tried to be consistent with the aesthetics here. Shit, Odyssey is a mess of art style with every kingdom having a different art direction.
    Devil May Cry went from an abandoned gothic castle for 1 and 3 to a fantasy/anime direction with 4, and went with a super realistic style with 5.
    And if we're talking about Sonic, Sonic 1 and 2 are somewhat consistent, but then you have Sonic CD with its surrealist aesthetics and Sonic 3 which went with a more grounded and realist style compared to what came before. They couldn't look more different if they tried.

    I mean, I know y'all like to rail on 3D Sonic here, but really? A different art direction over the years? Literally EVERY series does that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  16. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I still don't get why they haven't done cel shading and black outlines. It seems perfect for a series like this, and it doesn't really have to be upgraded constantly like the pseudo-realistic lighting attempts do. Wind Waker and Jet Set Radio still look great.
     
  17. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    Sonic Shuffle says hello...and goodbye... A messy ride, but still somewhat enjoyable.

    Now seriously, I don't think I'd enjoy Sonic anymore if it started being in Cel-Shading.
    Said style ain't bad per se, it may depend on the type of game it's experimented upon.
     
  18. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I was aware of Sonic Shuffle, I just assumed everyone knew I meant, like, real Sonic games. Sorry about that mistake.
     
  19. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    Let's turn this thinking around. What are more fun to jump on? Monitors or item capsules? While we're at it, which do you like more, signposts or goal rings? Everything's so contradictory that I came to the following conclusion: Technology just isn't ready yet for what Sega wants to do with Sonic. And that's the reason why the next game won't come out before 20XX the aesthetics vary an awful lot in the games. It's a matter of the hardware. As long as there are hardware limitations, there will always be compromises in the way how Sega make their games and thus how they sell them.
     
  20. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    I’m... not sure I understand where you’re getting at.