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Sonic Forces Thread

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

  1. Frostav

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    You must not spend a lot of time around younger Sonic fans because the kids who were five when heroes came out and played it are 17 and on the net now and they will absolutely defend that game like their lives depended on it

    As for the previous conversation, the Avatar alone propels Forces above 06, Boom, Sonic 4, and the other usually accepted nadirs of the series. Shit, in my eyes it basically carries the game to being a weirdly high favorite in my list. But that's just me.

    Same as above: you must spend most of your time around older Sonic fans because in the younger--and by younger I mean like 17-23 age range Unleashed is widely considered as the last hurrah of Adventure Era Sonic. I recently watched Snapcube play through the whole game on twitch (or rather I watched her youtube vods of her playthrough) and half of her playthrough was spent praising the game for its ambition and lamenting how Sonic Team absolutely refuses to ever try that hard ever again, with the chat agreeing with her. For a good portion of the Sonic fanbase--a portion that doesn't really go on here for the record--Unleashed is basically the last good Sonic game. Or, at the very least, it's the last good Sonic game that feels like the Sonic they grew up with, as these fans tend to view Generations and Colors well, but always with the caveat that those two games don't have the spark that made them truly love Sonic when they were first kids playing Adventure 2 (let's be real here these people all played SA2B as kids).
     
  2. Mana

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    That was back when everyone was saying the Wii version was better because DIMPS worked on it and we were all sure there was no way Sonic Team could make good Sonic levels.

    Conversation has just evolved since the game came out. Largely in part because Colors and Generations made people revisit Unleashed and see the good.
     
  3. Josh

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    On release, I remember most people here seemed to prefer the HD version overall. Some people liked the concepts of the WiiS2 version more, especially the fact that it had the spin dash. But as a total package, the way the Werehog stages took up an EVEN HIGHER percentage of the game made it the lesser version.

    At least that's what I remember hearing, and what pushed me into getting it on 360. I've still never played the SD version!
     
  4. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    I will die defending the Wii/PS2 version. I think that while the HD version’s highs are much higher, the Wii/PS2 version is overall more enjoyable because it’s far more consistent. The Werehog levels are actually bearable for me, for one.
     
  5. Blue Spikeball

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    The Wii version's nighttime levels were probably more playable (but still sub-par), but that version had like four times the number of them compared to the HD version. And I'm only counting the mandatory ones. Meanwhile, it had less daytime levels than the HD version, and they had weaker and shorter layouts. It felt like they made up about 25% of the game at most, ugh.
     
  6. Mana

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    See, that's here. The fanbase outside of retro defended the Wii version more.

    IGN even gave the PS3 version a 4.5/10 and the Wii version a 7. If that isn't indictive of that state Sonic Team's repuation was in 2008 I don't know what is.
     
  7. Pengi

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    I don't think anyone in the video game press preemptively decided to give the Sonic Team version a worse review than the Dimps version. I think they just gave their opinions on whatever game they were assigned to review.
     
  8. Sid Starkiller

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    This. Just a few months ago we had a thread arguing HD Unleashed vs SD Unleashed, and opinions seemed pretty evenly split on which one was better. There was consensus that HD had higher highs and lower lows while SD was more even, so it really depends on whether the lows cancelled out the highs, which is a matter of personal taste.
     
  9. Josh

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    I mean, you're basically just describing what some 17-23 year olds are like. Of course, most people will appreciate the things they grew up with. But nostalgia tends to flame up before perspective does. To wit: I thought Sonic 3 was the greatest game ever made a long, LONG time before I ever developed an ability to comprehend why someone might NOT see it that way, haha.

    I thought, at one time, that critics and non-fans were unfairly exaggerating their grievances with Sonic Adventure because they just HATED Sega and wanted them to fail, because I didn't have the perspective to see how someone who wasn't as obsessed with Sega and Sonic as I was might see the game. And tying into that...

    Yeah, that's true for now. But ten years ago, "the last good Sonic game" was Sonic 3, and everything since SA2 was "an insulting perversion of Ohshima-san's perfect vision for the series." Five years ago, "the last good Sonic game" was Sonic Adventure 2, and while Unleashed was as divisive as it ever was, nobody was singing its praises anywhere near to THIS degree. Because now, a generation of fans who played it when they were kids, and are (and this is important) too young to have a firsthand experience with how cataclysmic Sonic 06 really was for the series, have joined the discourse.

    You see this happen ALL THE TIME in various fandoms. The new Pokémon is always the worst one, the one from ~10 years ago was the best ever. The spotlight of nostalgia shines brightest on whatever the current crop of ~20 year olds were growing up with 10-15 years ago.

    This group tend to be the ones with the most passion and the least perspective. They're not at fault for it, we all went through some degree of it, it's just part of growing up, and most of them WILL. And when they do, I'm not saying they won't still LIKE what they like, and I'm not saying their reasons for liking it aren't perfectly valid even now. They just won't be SO invested that they take person offense that not everyone sees it the same way. Eventually, you learn to wield your nostalgia for good, haha. It just takes time.

    This is why folks like me who've seen this happen before keep saying... just you wait. If the endlessly-derided Sonic games of the 2000s like Heroes, Black Knight, and even 06 itself to a degree can hit a wellspring of appreciation when the kids who grew up with them get older, then I have no doubt that Sonic Forces will be in the same place before the decade's out. They might even be MUCH WORSE about it! That's what Forces was built to be: Baby's first Sonic game. So of COURSE they're gonna love it way more than anyone else ever has.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
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  10. Jay T.

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    Wasn't the guy who reviewed the PS3/360 version doing a terrible job of playing it, tapping the boost, somehow missing a jump without even going that fast, and criticizing the controls afterwards? I don't remember the review that well, but I know it was pretty dumb.
     
  11. Vanishing Vision

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    Unleashed Wii has something specifically frustrating for me in it. It implements something I've wanted to see in Sonic for a long time, a general combo system. The "Action Chain" connects many different actions, enemy kills, trick rings/ramps, rails, boost pads, and springs. However, the game doesn't even have a score, so there's no competitive challenge in actually getting a big chain. You get boost, but you'll get boost from just grabbing rings and other basic actions.
     
  12. Laura

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    I might sound mean for saying this, but I attribute very little value to the fandom's hierarchy of Sonic games. I know there's debate, but you can sketch a general outline of which games are considered the best and I usually find the arguments very shallow.

    I think Unleashed is a textbook example of why I don't listen to the discourse. The game is usually praised purely for its story and tone being serious, which a lot of fans discuss as if that approach is objectively better and 'more Sonic' than that of Colors onwards. Its problems in level design, controls, framerate, gatekeeping of levels behind medals, voice acting, etc, are all glossed over, because all these fans care about is that Sonic was still serious back then. And some fans aren't cringey about it, but I think a lot just want Sonic to go back to the grim, edgy, style of the mid 2000s. That's why they value Unleashed. Because it was the last time Sonic still had some of that style.

    And even the conversations around the titles I like are very facile. It's become dogma that Sonic 3 is better than 1 and 2 because it has more alternate paths, bigger levels, minibosses, multiple playable characters, etc. But fans discuss these points as if they are self-evidently the pinnacle of Sonic design. No one argues about why Sonic games should have multiple routes, encourage replaying levels with multiple characters, exploration, rather than the more simple and linear designs of Sonic 1 and 2. Sonic 3's placement on the hierarchy has become an orthodoxy.

    Tied to this point is the dogma that Sonic games shouldn't be linear. Sonic's levels in SA1 are better than in SA2 because they are 'less linear' and 'more open'. But why does that make the levels better? No one really discusses this, but just argue for it, again, as if it's self-evidently true.

    And I used to be guilty of this too. I thought Sonic 1 was obviously worse than Sonic 2 and 3 because it was more linear in levels like Marble Zone. But upon playing it again recently, I gained a lot of appreciation for it. Because it has more linear level design, the secret routes in Marble Zone, Labyrinth, Scrap Brain are much more directly useful for getting through the level quickly, and help you when replaying the game when trying to win. It's something Sonic 2 does sometimes but Sonic 3 doesn't really do much at all. In Sonic 3, the secret routes are for big rings, but in Sonic 1 they are more directly linked to actually winning the game. It's just something I've thought up on the spot, but it's completely ignored because no one even thinks about the strengths of linearity in Sonic.
     
  13. Josh

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    That's a really astute point. The discourse reinforces itself to the point that basic statements like (to use an old example), "Sonic doesn't need a story," are treated as given, self-evident truths. And I think the evolution of the discourse around the boost games is a great example of that.

    When Unleashed came out, "3D Sonic is bad," was the self-evident thought of the day, and so the daytime stages were criticized by some for still featuring 3D gameplay, for leaning EVEN HARDER into the heavily automated spectacle style that Sonic Adventure, and especially SA2, had trended toward, instead of bringing back Momentum Physics(tm). More recently, "2D Sonic is bad," has been more en vogue, and so all the boost games, but especially Forces and Colors, are criticized for not being "real" 3D Sonic games, like the incredible Adventure games were.

    Essentially, the boost style has lasted long enough that it's run the gamut from being criticized through the lens of the Genesis games for continuing the trends of the Adventure games, to being criticized through the lens of the Adventure games for not being ENOUGH like them. That's not an invalid way to view them, comparing the series against itself. but it's too often been treated like the ONLY way to view them. In both cases, what the mix of 2D and 3D might be trying to achieve, what the gameplay is like in each style, and how/whether they balance against each other isn't discussed nearly as much as a blanket assertion that "it's bad because it has 3D/2D sections."
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  14. Blue Spikeball

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    Or maybe others just don't share your view? If you want people to discuss the merits of linearity, or any other area, you could just start the debate yourself. What I gather from your post is that you take issue with the fanbase having common preferences for some reason (because they differ from yours, perhaps?), so you choose to dismiss their opinions.
     
  15. Sid Starkiller

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    Specifically regarding the linearity thing, there's a lot of people who apparently believe that linearity in ANY video game is automatically a bad thing. Some of the best games ever made are mostly or entirely linear. Nonlinearity is nice to have, but it's not a requirement for game to be good.
     

  16. This isn't just a Sonic thing mind you, this is an industry wide thing; since the late 7th generation into the 8th, open world games have become extremely popular that give the players choices to explore and have a world to interact with. Naturally, the industry will start moving towards seeing those types of games as the pinnacle of gaming and treat anything less than that with disapproval. Bloodborne, Demon's Souls, TLOU, Breath of the Wild, all of these got critical acclaim for their open worlds.

    So it stands to reason that's where the industry would be moving towards; So Sonic sticking to linear based gameplay can be seen as the series being behind on the times and lagging behind it's competitors. It's a trait that forced the series to make the jump into 3D when it really wasn't ready to, and it's a problem that plagues Sonic to this day, the need to "keep up with the joneses."

    Video game storytelling has evolved to be more developed and character driven, and given that Sonic used to do these things, dropping them can also be seen as being behind on the times, and that's not even going into the fanbase's opinions.

    I can very much get your frustration if your opinions don't align with the mainstream or fanbase's, and this is one of the biggest issues in being a Sonic fan; what you prefer and like about the series isn't necessarily what everyone else likes and prefers about the series. And add to the fact that Sonic as a whole, will change itself inside and out to accommodate for the shifting trends makes it even more frustrating.


    But this is hardly unique to Sonic either; every fanbase has to deal with that to be honest, so we're not really special in that regard. The only thing I can tell you is just stick to your guns and like what you like, and not be afraid to push back against the popular opinion when you feel the need to.
     
  17. Blue Spikeball

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    But were those games good because they were linear, or in spite of it? Not a rhetorical question.

    I honestly find it hard to get into overly linear games. I like exploration and freedom, and hate feeling like I'm on rails. Excessive linearity kept me from enjoying games like Uncharted or Zelda: Skyward Sword.
     
  18. Sid Starkiller

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    Just because you personally find it difficult to get into them doesn't make it a hard and fast rule. I hate trying to aim a gun with twin sticks (I'm a pointer controls guy), but that doesn't automatically make every twin stick shooter bad.
     
  19. Blue Spikeball

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    Likewise, just because some people don't mind, or even enjoy linearity (for whatever reason), it doesn't mean I or others aren't allowed to dislike it or consider it a bad design choice. If you hate twin sticks and find that they make the games less enjoyable, you're perfectly entitled to criticize them, just like others are allowed to disagree with you. People criticize and complain about things like motion controls all the time, and they're entitled to, even though there are people who like them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  20. Sid Starkiller

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    OK, I thought it was quite clear that
    was just my opinion, but I guess not.