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Sonic Forces Thread

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

  1. Laura

    Laura

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    I'm not saying that tastes have changed because our standards have improved. That's our crucial difference of opinion.
     
  2. Mana

    Mana

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    Once again, I didn't bring up anything about Colors except that the levels are mostly 2D which gets ignored a lot when people wonder why the game isn't as well received as it used to. Heck, a lot of people call Color's 3D parts just long corriders which isn't always true but it is for some levels. Didn't mention anything about the story, the music, the designs or anything.

    If that's an argument you feel is fair in addressing these things that is more than justified but it was never my intention.
     
  3. Blue Spikeball

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    I think the point is that people would expect a 3d Sonic game to consist in 3d gameplay for the most part, just like they expect a Sonic game to be mostly made up of speedy stages. SA2 and Unleashed were rightly criticized for their overabundance of subpar non-Sonic levels (the Werehog doesn't count as Sonic in terms of gameplay), but Colors was given a free pass despite most of it being made up of gimmicky 2d sections. That's the difference.
     
  4. Josh

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    Yeah, and mine haven't. I mean, I thought the people yelling 10 years ago about how Sonic hadn't been good since 1994 were ridiculous, but at least I could see where they were coming from. I know what you mean about feeling like you're in a bizzaro world. Lately it feels like the Sonic I'm a fan of is some completely different series than what many of them seem to be fans of.

    An example: I always loved Unleashed, and found Colors kinda "meh," so you'd think the recent re-framing of them by the noisiest fans would be a match for my tastes. However, their reasons for celebrating Unleashed tend to be my LEAST favorite aspects of it, and likewise, their reasons for criticizing Colors tend to be the very things I liked about it. Honestly, outside of Retro, I've never felt like I had so little in common with the zeitgeist.

    It's worth noting that "creating enough 3D Sonic to make a substantial game" isn't really something Sonic Team could ever do. That's one reason we got fishing and Werehogs and all of Secret Rings' padding before.

    To wit: If I total up my times on all of Sonic's levels in Sonic Adventure 1 (discounting Casinopolis as a different kind of level), it comes to less than half an hour of "3D Sonic gameplay." And I bet if I totaled my in-level playtime on most 3D Sonic games, I'd get similar results.

    I don't say that as a criticism, rather a point of comparison. 2D sections allowed Sonic Team to build a more substantial game, without resorting to the unpopular alternate gameplay styles that were seen as a plague on the series. Forces used them as such a poorly-executed crutch for a rushed development, and that's pushed "2D gameplay" to get framed as the same sort of untenable problem that "Sonic's shitty friends," were before.

    And taking it outside of Sonic, it's kind of remarkable, given the soaring costs of game development and the shrinking importance of the platforming genre, that Sonic Team is even still TRYING to make 3D Sonic games. Most 2D series that once made the jump to 3D (Donkey Kong Country, Mega Man, Rayman) jumped right back once 3D platformers fell out of vogue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
  5. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    I don't think this comparison works as well as you think it does. Crash used both 3D-hallway and side-scroller perspectives from the very beginning. That's what defined the series originally. Of course nobody's gonna have a problem with it if a "return to form" game comes out and does that again.

    Sonic didn't start the same way Crash did. Sonic started in 2D, with the only use of 3D perspective being the special stages after Sonic 1, which aren't actually part of the levels. When Sonic finally got a 3D mainline game, it used 3D perspectives for basically the whole game. And regardless of the decline in quality throughout the 2000s, all the main 3D Sonic games remained that way until Unleashed.

    Some fans want to play a 3D Sonic game again. Especially now that Mania exists, I think a lot of people see the existence of 2D sections in 3D games as an intrusion of one good, but entirely separate gameplay style into another.

    I think it would be a lot easier for Sonic Team to achieve something like that if Sonic wasn't so freaking fast.
     
  6. Dark Sonic

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    I think the 2D/3D switch is fine, there's just too much 2D. In small doses ya it's nice, look at like Mario Galaxy it's less than 20% of the game. But they use it as a crutch and it's been getting worse with each game.
     
  7. Josh

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    And it hasn't been that way in 12 years. I get what you're saying, I do, but the use of precedent to argue why 2D sections shouldn't be in 3D Sonic games could be (and unfortunately was) just as easily twisted into, "Sonic started in 2D, and should always stay there."

    I'd *love* an all-3D Sonic game as long as it was executed well. I just don't think Sonic Team has ever had the resources to build a game like that without putting too little focus on "the good part," if that makes sense. And given the state of the industry these days, I VERY much doubt they do now.

    I further think that the 2D/3D boost style is fairly misunderstood, and that's probably Sonic Team's own fault. Like the Adventure style before it, it's at risk now of having been done poorly more often than it's been done well. The truth is, as fine as I am with a game like Colors leaning into 2D more as long as it's still fun, I think the real POTENTIAL of the style is in its ability to blend the unique strengths of 2D and 3D gameplay together, and to do that, there needs to be a balance.

    This is machine-translated from Unleashed's development blog and so it's pretty clunky, but it shows the dev team saw that concept as crucial to the formula.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Mana

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    All I have to say is the fact that the mere mention that Sonic Colors has very little 3D and thus is a valid criticism of the game for it's praise as a "Daytime only 3D boost game" got this type of response with many of the defenses being literally "okay but I don't care" shows why the fandom is so divided on this formula and this game too.
     
  9. Man, what isn't this fandom divided on, it's like every game in the series after 1998 goes through a roller coaster of reception; 3D Sonic games have some of the most bizarre receptions I've seen among a fanbase. Every fanbase is like this to an extent (see Zelda), but because the quality of 3D Sonic games tends to lean more towards the mediocre side of things, they're so much more vocal about it, which heavily skewers an accurate consensus on the game.

    Sure, Zelda games tend to be divisive too; if you grew up in the previous decade, you had to deal with people who preferred OoT/MM style of being more "realistic and darker" versus people who preferred WW's more cartoony style. And when Nintendo leaned too hard into either direction, you naturally get split reception. WW went from being "Cartoony crap" to being one of the more beloved titles after TP came out, which subsequently became the fandom's new target for people who preferred WW. And that target went to SS, and so on. Things seemed to have evened out fortunately, probably due to releases of WW and TP, which pretty much satisfied both parties.

    But man, Sonic HAS to be the one who's different huh. Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 were decently popular upon release, but by the time Heroes rolled around people had started to turn on the things that were initially praised in the Adventure titles. We all know the story after that, so I'm not gonna repeat it. So then we shift things to being more simple and focused as critics and fans requested, but now we have people complaining about that too, and we've gone back to praising the Adventure titles that were initially divisive.

    Its so bizarre and honestly mind numbing how opinions in this series flip flop; sure, you can chalk it up to younger fans growing older and making their voices heard now, but the sheer VOLUME of it is honestly astounding. Sonic fans aren't just vocal about their distaste for certain things, they're downright hostile about it which gives you the impression that something is a bigger problem than it actually is.

    The characters themselves were never the problem, but the gameplay that they were saddled with was. 2D was never the problem, it was once again the way it has been implemented. Sonic fans miss the forest for the trees in their attempts to vent their frustrations, and straight up misunderstand the problems but because these opinions are often parroted on social media sites, forums, and the like, it starts becoming accepted as fact regardless of its actual merit, and god forbid you try to fight back against the popular opinion.

    Its such a mess of a fandom, and it honestly makes it even more difficult than it should be to actually find common ground because everyone's priorities are different; some people feel the gameplay is the most important part and needs to be addressed, but then you have an equally vocal group who feels the plot and characterization is just as important and needs to be addressed, and neither often find common ground. So you have the gameplay people scoff at the ones who focus on the plot and you have the plot and characterization people find the gameplay "bullshit and unfun" and there's just no end to it.


    Until the game qualities start to improve, fans will never really find a common ground because there's equal merit to both sides given how mixed 3D Sonic games tend to be. About the only consensus there is in is that the classic games are the best, and even then you have some fans who find them overrated and just prefer the post-Dreamcast titles.
     
  10. Josh

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    Haha, you ain't kidding. I'm sorry if it seemed like I was jumping down your throat, specifically! It's just that like you said, given how divided the fandom is, the implication the video is making is pretty obvious.
     
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  11. Mana

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    Here's the thing. I bet if we kept getting boost games after Generations that kept getting better and better instead of how things ended up, I feel Colors reception now would still be lower than it was back in the day.

    However, instead of being seen as the start of all the problems the Sonic franchise has now it'd be seen as the first experiment into full daytime Sonic that it was and still be appreciated for everything it did for the fandom. I will defend the game and what it did for Sonic over a decade ago even now but it's Sonic Team's fault that public perception on the game isn't as universal as it used to be.

    Kind of beating a dead horse at this point pushing that point though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
  12. Josh

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    I think that's fair. Colors' reputation in 2012 wasn't even what it was in 2010, in that nobody really talked about it anymore, one way or the other. The consensus I remember was that Generations effectively blew it out of the water in every measure, with the notable exception of story quality.

    This was back when people were excited that the scriptwriters for Colors would be returning for Generations, and then, as now, Pontac & Graff seemed to get credit for WRITING the story when they'd actually localized it. So the fact that Generations' story was so understated and out-of-focus coming out of Colors was a bit of a surprise.

    I think you're right, too, in that if the games after Generations had continued its trajectory, or even if Forces just hadn't been such a monumental letdown for the people yearning for the return of SOME elements of the Adventure style that the game was advertised to include, then the "anti-2010s" sentiment wouldn't have been able to hit the critical mass it has. I mean, even AFTER Forces, it seems like it took a good year or two to really set in.
     
  13. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows, this is as much of a take as the people who say Sonic 06 would have been an amazing game if it was actually finished. We can debate until the end of the time about the what ifs, or if onlys but it's not gonna change the reality of the situation.

    But yes, the fault does lie squarely with Sega for letting things get like this in the first place and not making any actual improvements to the games. They've been always been so reactionary to criticism, and would rather just scrap an idea entirely than just refining it further. Reminds me of a quote by Iizuka where he said that the reason he doesn't wanna return to the Adventure style is because "he'd find it boring" would prefer giving people a new experience every time. I'm paraphrasing it a lot, so don't quote me, but that's the gist of it that I read.

    That's honestly not a bad mindset to have...in theory. Sonic games, for better or worse (often worse tho), do tend to offer much more different experiences than the much more consistent Mario. But that's only assuming the games themselves are actually good to begin with, and more often than not, they aren't. At BEST they're serviceable if a bit unremarkable, and at worse they're just mediocre. I'll be the first to say that I love different parts of 3D Sonic, but they're definitely games with high highs and very low lows, so when the reception of the series devolves into mediocrity, it starts becoming a matter of what do you prefer among the mediocrity.

    When a lot of older fans would honestly prefer much more consistent quality than the constant paradigm shifts we've had to endure.
     
  14. Josh

    Josh

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    This reminds me of something a friend of mine said a while back. He was kind of joking. But I think he kind of wasn't.

    "2D Sonic fans get to discuss which title is the greatest in a series of highly-regarded games, so historic and impactful that they made SEGA a household name and forever changed the industry.

    3D Sonic fans get to argue that the bullshit they like isn't as bullshit as the rest of the bullshit. It's no wonder where the toxicity lies."
     
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  15. Its a weird ass chimera of polarizing opinions.

    To bring this back to Sonic Forces; the PR for this game was so bad lmao. People like to act like the game is some type of abomination, but before it actually came out so many people were hyping it up and saying "give it a chance" and "the game isn't even out yet" to deflect all legitimate criticism people were giving the game. Everyone who played the game knew it was going to be mediocre, but fans were so desperate for this game to succeed that they basically did the equivalent of a child sticking its fingers in their ear and shouting loudly. So naturally when the game came out and was met with mediocre reception, those same fans stayed quiet or were disappointed, and as we can see nowadays, disappointment eventually led to feelings of betrayal and resentment.

    These younger fans practically have bipolar disorder, which is ironically pretty reflective of the games themselves. People either love them like they're the Holy grail or hate them like they stole something from them, and neither is an accurate representation of the game's actual quality.

    3D Sonic games just run on a scale of hot or cold, and where they lie honestly depends on a person's current mood and mental state, which makes discussing them a bigger chore than it should be.
     
  16. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    *if you ignore bosses and Game Land, and assume a single playthrough

    I'm going to say keep ignoring the bosses as it's different gameplay, but go ahead and throw in Game Land. That makes about 30 minutes of 3D gameplay. But Colours also only has about 30 minutes of 2D gameplay too by the same metric. The game is extended firstly by cutscenes and bosses, secondly by red star rings, and finally by score attacking and speedrunning, but if you're just running through everything it's only an hour of gameplay.

    Sonic 3 & Knuckles similarly has about 30 minutes of 2D gameplay, and 15 minutes of 3D gameplay if you're going for the emeralds. It's extended firstly by long score tallies, a few cutscenes, and an obscene number of bosses (30 for Sonic alone, if we're treating multiple phases as different bosses), secondly by exploration, and finally by score attacking and speedrunning again, but if you're just running through everything it's only 45 minutes of gameplay.

    You could quite easily take the same argument and go "lol S3K only has 30 minutes of 2D gameplay". Now imagine you had to buy two games to get that much gameplay.

    Standards haven't slipped. They've improved. We now have higher standards and expect more gameplay than we used to.
     
  17. Mana

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    Majority of player won't use Game Land it's an added bonus mode and it's not much better with the amount of 3D in them. I bet it adds an extra 4 minutes so great there's 26 minutes now.

    Sonic 3 and Knuckles is a 2/3 hour video game even with a complete emerald run. Majority of levels run for 4-5 minutes and I'm talking about separate acts. If you can show me someone beating the game FAIRLY in 45 minutes I'll bite my tounge but if you're going to link a speed run then don't bother. Also I'm going to laugh at you calling Blue Spheres 3D gameplay because no one in the history of this site has done that before and it's such a reach that Mr. Fantastic and Luffy would be impressed.
     
  18. Swifthom

    Swifthom

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    Umm...
    Blue Spheres is as 3D as the original DOOM and Castle Wolfenstein games are.
    Are they not 3D? *offtopic*
     
  19. Mana

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    The game isn't even a 3D platformer. The Special Stages are not 3D platformer stages. Nobody cares how much 3D it has. Are you being serious right now?
     
  20. So moving on, I decided to check out this video that gives probably nuanced take about this game.



    Was pretty skeptical about this at first, because I felt this was just another one of those Sonictubers who rant about the stuff they want and nothing else.

    But no, he actually goes into detail about why the game has such vehement hatedom despite it being a middle of the road game, how it could have utilized it premise, and what the finished product represents for Sega and thr fanbase.


    Specifically, the part about how this is the Sonic game critics have been asking for; a game with none of the "bad" stuff from previous 3D games, but is, as a result, creatively bankrupt due to Sega's lack of understanding of nuanced criticism, and have, as a result, have likely burnt themselves out.