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Sonic Forces Thread

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

  1. Amnimator

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    It's clear that whether you like boost gameplay or not, it has a lot of potential. I'm not saying boost gameplay is bad (although it's not my cup of tea), I'm saying that to meet its potential or at least to make it a product worth $60, development costs sky rocket.
    Like Dark Sonic said, Sonic games usually drop down to like $30 in 2 months. That is not good under any standard, and it's clear that padding out the game with cheaper to develop content simply isn't sufficient. They can't keep using the boost gameplay if they always have to pad it out every game, and that's where the issue is at, not if boost gameplay has potential to grow or not.

    And in terms of game length without padding out content; I'll just leave this here. [Linky] [Linky2]
     
  2. Dark Sonic

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    EDIT: Whoops both gameplays were included in that post eventually :v:/>

    Generations might have felt longer if the S ranks were challenging to get. What the hell was going on with those S ranks in that game? Can you beat the level in 8 minutes without dying? Good for you, A+, MLG Pro over here. Yea, Unleashed was sadistic but there's a middle ground (Colors)

    But even the Adventure games suffered from padding. A playthrough of just the pure levels would also be over in an hour. Adventure 2 gave each level 4 additional missions where you pretty much did the same thing over and over (at least Generations tried to add some variety in its side missions, I'll at least give it that). Both of those games included a chao garden which was the ultimate padding. Has there ever been a 3D Sonic game without padding? I'd say the closest to that oddly enough was Colors and Lost World.

    Like I get that making the side missions and all the padding is easier, but if all that time was invested in making 1 or 2 more actual levels I think we'd all be happier. Hell, just drop the padding and I'd still be happier.
     
  3. Amnimator

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    Edited my post right before you posted and added the second link :V
    But yeah, 1 hour is way too short for what they were charging. There's also the fact that you could very easily get all S ranks on your first playthrough. I liked the ranking system in Unleashed way more, albeit a bit harsh.

    And now that you mention it, you're totally right. Every 3D Sonic game had some form of padding. All of Sonic's levels with hub world padding included is around 1 hour 30 minutes. [Linky]
    But to be fair, in Adventure 1, Tails and Knuckles levels were actually a different experience and really didn't feel like filler. If we count those, Adventure 1 was looking at around 2 hours 45 minutes with Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. All in all I'd say even that's more value than Generations.
     
  4. Zephyr

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    I agree that the Boost gameplay is woefully shallow and would be best replaced by an actual 3D platformer (seriously, the Boost gameplay would work fine as a spinoff series of multiplayer racing games, or as the Special Stages to a more nuanced and varied game), but I think Tails and Knuckles could be integrated just fine. The key is to replicate what 3K did: more paths and small secrets accessible through unique character abilities (flying, gliding, and climbing); all you have to do is "boostify" them.

    Have some paths locked behind walls that only Knuckles can boost through; give his mid-air boost much more horizontal momentum to "boostify" gliding; program it so that anytime he boosts into a wall, he can launch himself upward super high with a boost, to "boostify" climbing.

    Give Tails' mid-air boost more of an upward diagonal arc to "boostify" flying, and position some alternate paths so high that generally only his specific mid-air boost can reach it.

    Nonsense. Tails in Sonic 2, Tails and Knuckles in Sonic 3K, Tails in Adventure, etc. all showed that characters can go just as fast as, or certainly more than close enough to, Sonic's speed.

    No, but it certainly helps the game acquire depth when they don't have to spend time making multiple games for a single commercial release every single time. "Jack of all trades, king of none" is the limbo this current model has had Sonic Team trapped in for ages at this point.
     
  5. rebelcheese

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    I would say Blaze, who co-originated the boost and can also set things on fire, would be worth bringing back as well as Shadow for obvious reasons.

    In general I wouldn't mind seeing Sonic's supporting cast become playable again.
     
  6. Dark Sonic

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    I'd say Tails and Knuckles were padding in some ways. They played through the same levels, and while Knuckles had more of an exploration goal, Tails was basically just "play shorter versions of Sonic levels but less of them and race a character because why not." They almost would have been better off with the Sonic 3 approach, letting you choose a character to go through Sonic's story but not forcing you to play as anyone. Granted it wouldn't work plot wise (well Tails might have worked), but it would have been more fun IMO. Then there's Amy, E-102, and Big... right :specialed:/>

    Maybe if these games had more non-mandatory features, like characters, alternate routes, time trials, boss rushes, Generations esq equitable powers, online 2p (why is that not a thing all the time? Sonic 2 2P was awesome, SA2 had a great 2P mode, just do that but at the same time allow those characters to be playable in 1P). Hell even that feature in Colors where you played through every level in a row like the classics to try and get the best time or score possible. That was great. Like they seem like easy things to add, they spice things up a little, they make it seem like there's more content even if there isn't, but it doesn't detract from the core Sonic gameplay. And characters like Shadow, Metal Sonic, and Blaze could easily fill Sonic's shoes. Even Tails, Knuckles, and Amy could work with some tweaking. Just adjust some values and give them some unique moves and there ya go, extra character.

    Do more of that and less of Generations' Vector Frye music festival games please.
     
  7. VectorCNC

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    Honestly, Sonic is too recognizable of a name to be wasted on these extremely niche Boost games. I understand that a lot of people enjoy them, but it's just not enough for their focus to be a smart business decision for Sega. Furthermore, as more time goes on the brand recognition will continue to diminish so long as they focus on such a small group of consumers.

    Sonic Boost-style games should probably become downloadable, $10 per track or something like that. Then Sega could stop padding the games in an attempt to create a worthwhile experience (worthwhile from an average consumer perspective). Obviously it simply takes too much time and resources to create an entire FULL game of Boost-style Sonic. And this isn't news, I recall Sega admitting this years-years ago, about how laborious it was to create miles and miles of track for each level.

    It would be like if Nintendo turned Mario into a primarily tennis experience, and then they padded the game with all kinds of half baked ideas to fluff it up. You'd end up with a game that hits the discount bin 2 months after release. Then as time goes on less and less people would care about Mario. Eventually they forget...

    Sonic Boom would be a perfect genre for Boost Sonic.
    Classic Sonic should become the main platformer.
    Then they should release an adventure style game every 5 or 6 years with more exploration elements.

    This whole half modern/half classic, and then another classic series is just too much brand identity confusion. And let's be honest, 3D "Classic Sonic" is really "Retro Sonic" in Sega's eyes. Whereas Mania is the true Classic Sonic. So in effect you have, Modern Sonic, Retro Sonic, and Classic Sonic at the moment. There is room for 2, but not 3. And what is Sega's next plan of action, another Generations sequel, that's not a so-call-sequel?

    I know a lot of you guys love the Boost-style, and I'm not saying to throw it away, it's very good for what it is... But it as obvious as hell that it isn't technically feasible to create a game that is full enough by modern standards to stand on it's own legs. And as a playstyle it isn't marketable or even playable enough for most people to justify being the mainline series for a giant gaming icon like Sonic.
     
  8. DigitalDuck

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    As a fan of the Unleashed-style games... I actually like this idea. I bought all of the DLC for Unleashed for more content.

    This is an excellent way to get me to part with what little money I have. The other way is Chao Garden Mobile.
     
  9. I think that the Boost gameplay would work with other characters, just borrow a bit from the Wii version of Unleashed, and change what the button actually does. If you remember, the Wii version of the game split the Boost Gauge into chunks, and you got a predetermined amount of Boost by spending individual chunks.

    Tails could play identically, but instead of speeding up and gaining near-invincibility from enemies by spending a piece of the Boost Gauge, he stays the same speed but gains upwards movement. For Tails, you could even make the Boost Gauge work identically to Sonic, with a smooth drain instead of spending pieces, with no issues. Tails would be able to reach higher paths and places with strategic use of his flight ability. The only real difference between this and how he worked in the classic games is that you'd have to defeat enemies and collect Rings to refill the gauge instead of it refilling upon landing. It would encourage more experimentation on speed-runs, because you'd have to not only find the upper routes, but know which ones are actually worth taking. Chances are, you aren't going to always have enough energy to reach every single one, you're going to have to pick and choose.

    Knuckles would be the same way. Spend his boost gauge, and rather than gain speed or gain vertical movement, his vertical movement stops in mid-air to signify his gliding ability. Because it's less versatile than flight, it would drain the meter slower than Tails would. To make designing levels easier, probably replace his climbing ability to being able to cling to walls indefinitely and wall-jump easier, or make climbing drain the meter just like gliding. (I would assume that a character that can climb anything would make it a pain in the ass to design coherent levels for without the player hitting invisible and unclimbable walls.

    Spreading out a bit, character-wise, you could include a coherent play-style for Amy. She would play just like Sonic without the boost, but can spend a piece of the Boost Gauge to swing her hammer. If she strikes an enemy, she launches herself high into the air. Striking a spring would launch her twice the height as the spring would normally launch a character. (Obviously, we'd need to bring back yellow springs from the classic games, and set it up so that the scripted springs that go to set points are red. Her spring-launch would only work on yellow springs.) You could also give her the ability to slow her fall to about the point as the sky-diving sections by spinning with her hammer out like a propeller. This would only be giving the player more direct control instead of opening new areas usually, so this would probably not cost any of the meter to do. Amy would be more of an exploring character as well, and could count as an "easy mode" if played in the same manner as Sonic, as she has more vertical control.

    Shadow could be a Switch-exclusive character. Using the Joy-Cons, with one in each hand, you could control the character like normal. However, he uses his guns instead of jumping on enemies. You would shoot his gun much like any other rail-shooter game, by pointing the Joy-Con at the screen and firing. Shadow would point at the selected enemy and shoot. You want to get a high score, you're going to have to decide on either staying at high speed for the time bonus at the end of the level, or intentionally slowing down to make it easier to line up shots. His Boost skill would probably be something like Time Break in Secret Rings, where everything slows down (including the timer) so you can shoot all the enemies in the surrounding area without losing time.

    Instead of padding out the game, do something like Sonic Rush. Each character's story still visits the same levels, but in a different order that would make sense for that particular story. Maybe not every level will be visited by every character, so for five characters who each visit 10 Zones, you would design 13 to 15, and freely mix-and-match. (Hell, add weather effects and activate a different one for various characters, and even the repeat levels would seem more unique without actually changing anything.) The gameplay would be similar enough that you don't need variations on every level, (although Shadow would benefit from adding more enemies to shoot), but each character played differently enough that players would be encouraged to play as each one. We get all the padding benefits that Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 had from multiple characters, but none of the issues from how differently they played, and nobody wanting to play as Tails/Eggman or Knuckles/Rouge, or fishing as Big when they wanted to play a fast-paced game as Sonic. Stretching out the game from 10 Zones to 13 isn't a lot more work in order to get five times the length, and it's easier than ending up with 20 because Classic Sonic needs an exclusive version of each Zone while only doubling the length rather than quintupling it.
     
  10. The fact that the boost gameplay style gets so much discussion hammers down in my mind that it's just not good enough.

    And it's all because of 1 semi popular handheld title that Sonic has somehow settled on this style.

    I'm no game designer, but I know there's hundreds of ways you can exploit physics to make a fun game. Why Sonic Team have become so unsure of themselves that they have had to settle on a convoluted, over-designed gamestyle baffles me and pisses me off in equal measure.

    Why make it so fucking complicated? Just make decent, beautiful 2.5D Sonic games every few years and be done with it.

    It'll be a hell of allot more profitable. Well, maybe not now as the majority of Sonic fans still with the franchise are probably mainly SA2/Unleashed heads. And in that case that makes my rant null and void.
     
  11. DigitalDuck

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    It gets so much discussion on Sonic Retro because this is a site for people who like Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and/or Sonic CD.

    If you were on a site called "Sonic Modern" dedicated to the Unleashed trilogy you might see discussions on the classic gameplay style in much the same way.
     
  12. XCubed

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    I wept with absolute joy, even more so since the Splash Hill Act 1 tribute was CUT OUT :v:
     
  13. 360

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    Have to agree with this. I've been a fan of Sonic since the Genesis days, like most of everyone on here and I think the boost gameplay was the wrong direction for Sonic. The gameplay feels too automated and limits the design of the levels to this strict linear path. This might be an unpopular opinion (or possible a popular one?) but I think Naka got it right with Sonic Adventure 2 - complete, tight, full control of Sonic that actually took skill to master. Once you learnt how to control Sonic it felt rewarding. It was the last time I truly enjoyed Sonic in 3D. SA2 had Sonic perfected in 3D and then when Sonic 2006 bombed catastrophically with the same design and Naka left, Sonic Team just abandoned it for the boost gameplay and Hedgehog Engine. A mistake in my opinion - the gameplay style, not the actual engine which was industry-leading and wonderful.

    I think Sega might be in for a shock when Sonic Mania sells millions and Forces under performs due to mediocre reviews and a tepid reception.

    Then again would this scenario be that disastrous? If Mania succeeds and outshines Forces then we can expect Mania 2 and 3D Sonic will probably be revamped for the next game.
     
  14. The problem with "Boost" gameplay lies in the level design as a consequence, as many have outlined previously. There is little potential to extract because every stage has to be designed as effectively a series of long corridors that are semi-automated, or else Sonic will be nearly impossible to navigate through the environment (and unpleasant). Tank controls are tanky...which can't be further than what Sonic should represent at his core gameplay, fluid, smooth, fast.


    I like 1/2 of Unleashed and Generations overall but they shouldn't return as the foundation of 3D Sonic gameplay. Sonic Team (whether the current iteration or some new post-Mania/Forces group) needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink the entire 3D Sonic experience from origin (Sonic 1-3K) to a new, strong derivative concept. It can be done with an intelligent, patient, creatively energetic group. Heck I'd love to contribute conceptually just because I'm the kind of loser guy who has thought about this far too much.


    For this reason.....ehhh, I'm not rooting for Forces to fail at all, certainly not. But Mania outperforming it on both ends could definitely send a strong message to the company that may allow Sonic to eventually reach his full potential which has been a dream of mine since the inception of 3D gaming. So I'm not rooting for it simply because it seems fairly likely at this point. Mania could be the return of Sonic's climb to greatness.
     
  15. VectorCNC

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    DigitalDuck's response is accurate but deceptive, in that Sonic Retro is analogous to a beacon or filter accumulating users with pro-"Classic-Sonic" attitudes. However, this does not correlate with the same likelihood of negative (or indifferent for the matter) attitudes toward "Modern-Sonic".

    That is, just because I like Coke, does not mean I dislike Pepsi. But Vector, you say, "don't many Sonic Fans identify their support for one Sonic, buy adopting an oppositional stance toward the other?" Certainly! BUT, this does not make both arguments a wash, there are substantive differences.

    FACT: Prior to 3D gaming Sonic and Mario once stood on an arguably equal footing in terms of popularity and sales.

    FACT: Nintendo was tremendously successful adapting Mario's gameplay into 3D, whereas Sega has floundered to adapt Sonic's for 2 decades inviting extreme criticism to this day.

    FACT: Nintendo releases New Super Mario Bros in 2006, reintroducing Classic Mario gameplay, which goes on to sell 31 Million copies worldwide, illustrating a huge market exists for "classic-style" platforming remains present.

    FACT: Sega sold less than this across all of its mainline 3D titles combined in the last 2 decades. (Sonic Boom 310,000, Sonic Lost World 390,000, Sonic Colors 1.7 M, Sonic Unleashed 4.9 M, Sonic (2006) 1M, Sonic Adventure 3.95 M, Sonic Adventure 2.4 M)

    FACT: The modern 3D Sonic gameplay-style has been an unmitigated disaster, receives negative criticism EVERYWHERE on the internet, and generally receives mediocre-to-poor game reviews.

    Therefore, this response:

    ... is disingenuous and absurd, while technically true,
     
  16. Beltway

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    I still think the Boost gameplay would be better off if Sega dropped the pretense of trying to make it the 3D platforming playstyle for main Sonic games, and just spun it off as a racing series. Fully embrace the flashy setpieces and spectacle and go absolutely ham on how you can obtain boost, like how the first Riders had several ways you could gain air for Extreme Gear (performing tricks off ramps, capsules, character-specific routes, and various transitional level setpieces within courses). A full racing game of point-A to point-B levels would probably still be hard to do, but I presume having the majority of courses being traditional looping racetracks would make the game much more palatable to design. Having Act 1/Act 2 "alternate" versions of racetracks would also allow existing level assets to be re-purposed for further extending the game's content. As for playable characters or having old levels or new levels? They can go nuts on that, honestly.
     
  17. Dark Sonic

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    I like how people point to adventure 2 as perfection when it too had very linear levels. Some exceptions sure, but those were mostly levels where you grinded everywhere.

    Ok here's a thought. Can 3D Sonic ever actually work? The 2D Sonic's all were non linear affairs even if they were point A to point B things. 2D Mario was always linear. Some pipe offsets yea but still.

    Then when 3D comes around, Mario goes more open ended. Places to explore things to search. It worked. Sonic continued point A to point B but became a lot more linear. It was just paths and side routes became little short cuts and offsets, kind of like warp pipes. And boost or no boost, pretty much every 3D Sonic game has been linear. Long levels of paths and hallways floating over an abyss. And linear can be fun but it's always been a step back for Sonic. Crash Bandicoot was linear but that was it's foundation. Sonic had a complexity that was taken away from it. You can have all the control you want but it's still just straight line zone with one way turns. Its dull and lacks any sort of identity. I think Sonic Team even knew this back in the day, and then we got all of those weird alternate gameplays because they knew the levels wouldn't stand on their own. Then we come back to padding again.

    That's kind of why I support the boost gameplay. Yea it's still pretty linear but it gives 3D Sonic something unique to stand on. It trades a level complexity that was lost a while ago for something fast that makes for good time trialing. Would Sonic have been successful continuing down the Adventure path? I don't know but I honestly don't think so. Not unless they figured out how to make the levels more complex without making them confusing (those sonic gdk GHZ paradise things are confusing as fuck, is that what you all want?). So unless they can figure out, after 20 years, how to make non linear complex levels in 3D that aren't confusing, then I think the boost is the best they got. Maybe get rid of some of the scripting.

    Like I can't think of a better 3D gameplay for Sonic outside of boost, and if it doesn't work my vote is to go the Kirby route and stick to 2D. It's not the 90s race to 3D anymore and there's no shame in being a 2D series these days.

    Also, fun thing I just thought of. From what you all are saying, Shadow the Hedgehog is the closest to a pure 3D Sonic experience we've ever had :v: too bad it was edgy and awful.
     
  18. RikohZX

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    The thing about classic Sonic levels in the Genesis days was that you could travel back as you please, and they had the whole route pathing. Usually a high, a low, and sometimes a mid, with various interchangeable shortcuts and paths up and down and all around. But while you could go exploring, you were generally encouraged to push forwards and maybe sidetrack a little to find a special stage in Sonic 3, a good place to build up speed for a time warp or a machine generator in the past on Sonic CD, or just a neat little alcove with goodies in any classic title. They were still linear, you just had free reign to go wherever in the stage so long as the design doesn't funnel you forwards through a setpiece.

    Sound familiar? Adventure 1 often does the same thing, except instead of a high, middle and low, you sort of had either open-ended stages with various routes, or used the 3D space to zoom about to a different, roundabout method of traversing the stage; a lot of stages were more linear, but weren't afraid to reward you for circling around to find goodies. Heroes sort of does that to a degree, even Shadow the Hedgehog and the rare moment in '06 did it (though in Shadow's case, it wildly varied between either an objective being off the beaten path, or missing an objective for going off said path). The Boost formula from Unleashed onwards consolidated the level design into one primary path, with various shortcuts or side-routes along the way, which Generations expanded on by having shorter and less challenging stages but plenty of neat little secret pathways and routes you get by experimenting or risking a fall by waiting until the last second to go a different path than normal. Colors is a bit of an outlier in that they had alternate routes and secret spots all over the place to promote Red Ring hunting and Wisp usage as a core design mechanic, and while Lost World had alternate routes here and there, at best they were solely for a Red Ring, and at worst they just sort of propelled you over the main route because you found a spring or cannon. It was basic and automated level design at its worst.

    Just because Unleashed and Generations are more like a racing game than a platforming game at times doesn't mean the platforming disappeared, it just became integrated with the speed in a way the previous 3D games hadn't done.
     
  19. DigitalDuck

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    You've completely misrepresented my argument.

    I never said that being pro-"Classic Sonic" meant it means people are negative or indifferent on "Modern Sonic"; I'm saying there's a lot of differing opinions because these are two different things. The Coke vs. Pepsi analogy is completely wrong because Coke and Pepsi are more-or-less the same thing; most people who like one like the other.

    I'm saying you'll get discussion because the boost gameplay style is not the classic gameplay style. If you were on an Unleashed fansite, you might see discussions over whether the multitude of different monitors in the S3K make it convoluted and over-designed. I mean, what's the point of three different shields, right? Why have Eggman monitors when you could just have spikes? You might ask what's the point of having three different characters that all play pretty much the same, and then ask where all the style and flair of doing tricks went, concluding that all that with the lack of the boost just makes the game a crowded Mario.

    And if you were on a site about games that had nothing to do with Sonic? You'd see both sets of complaints. The same way if you went to a site about, say, Gran Turismo, you might find negative comments about Call of Duty, and vice versa. They're two different games.

    And on that note:

    I'd go for that too. The main reason I prefer Unleashed's stages to Colours and Generations is that there isn't that ham-fisted attempt to shove slow precision platforming segments in when the character control and gameplay style of the game just isn't really meant for it. Mario has Mario Kart alongside the Mario games, and while All-Stars Racing was a good competitor it should be uniquely Sonic.

    I guess what we're saying is that we need Sonic R 2.