Sonic Frontiers coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC (Holiday 2022, from Sonic Team)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MykonosFan, May 27, 2021.

  1. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    Loops have always been a shallow spectacle.

    It's been a part of Sonic game discussion for a long, long time now that clearing a loop is a "reward". But a reward for what, exactly? Backing up a yard or two, and then holding forward? Stopping for a moment to rev up a Spin Dash? Either of those things clear basically every loop in the classics with no issue, and that's about as basic to manage as jumping from one platform to the other. Sure, I guess you could call that a reward if you want, but it's hardly a profound one. The most "rewarding" part is learning to roll halfway through one so you gain extra speed from it, but that's a bonus, not really the point of it.

    No, the real reason loops are everywhere in the classic games are to be a way to add to the game's spectacle. I mean look at Sonic 3K and CD for maybe the most prime examples of that, with their surplus of over the top setpiece loops and structures. You go across it because it looks cool as hell, and the games put them directly in your path so you experience them straight away. If the game was truly momentum-first, then many of the crazier ones in the later titles wouldn't have put springs, speed bumpers or a Hydrocity hand-gear thing in front of it. Not even to mention a bigger, sharper slope would've been far more effective for building speed and checking your knowledge of the game design (which they also do many times, mind), but they choose loops, corkscrews and other crazy warped scenery for a reason.

    Now this isn't to say that the severe automation loops get in various 3D Sonic games is warranted. But it is to say that there's this mythology about loops in Sonic discussion (particularly about the classics) that they encourage some greater freedom that needs to be expressed or something, whenever it's really just a cool set-piece that at it's best doubles as a speed-check. You're either fast enough to clear it, or you're not. It's not that deep.

    EDIT: And Laura said exactly the same thing I just typed lol. Well, glad to see I'm not alone here!
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  2. .....What does it say about Sonic that so many people can reach so many different conclusions about the same products...

    I've read "speed is a reward" in Sonic, to "akcshully speed is just spectacle" to varying levels of extremes...

    I'm starting to see why these games are they way they are if Sonic Team have had similar thoughts
     
  3. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    I don't know if it's terribly proactive to look at an discussion and go "well a lot of people think things from both sides, so I guess there's no ultimatum here, anything goes".

    I don't know if that's your point or not, but the way it's phrased seems to imply it's some bigger problem with Sonic as a whole that cannot be helped, lesser than it just being the way fans talk about things online, which absolutely could. lol

    The 'speed is a reward' philosophy thing is something the classics have as a through-line, but is really played loosely since that "reward" is still really quick and easy to obtain. If anything, it's the ability to keep a steady ebb and flow from one thing to the other in-game (via mastering the mechanics) + the game's lackadaisical arcadey nature (dropped all your rings? oh well keep moving) that defines these games far more than that rule. It's just the most notable missing puzzle piece when talking games further removed from the classics, and so it's the easiest to point out (and also maybe sometimes overstate) when trying to decide if such-and-such game design is good or not.

    Now whatever this all has to do with Frontiers, idk, but yeah. Just realized this was the Frontiers topic where this discussion was at..
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2022
  4. Frostav

    Frostav

    Member
    537
    159
    43
    I have to agree with @Laura because loops are just...not difficult to traverse in any of the 2D games. From Sonic 2 onward you had the spindash to make getting through any particular loop a breeze, and besides that, the level designs in these games almost always placed loops in near-automated sections with lots of slopes for spectacle. The idea that loops only became spectacle starting with SA1 is just silly to me because they ALWAYS were spectacle.

    I would go as far to say the amount of times the genesis games (and CD and Mania) actually forced you to struggle with slopes are extremely rare. Even in Sonic 1. There's that infamous section of Spring Yard with spike balls rotating through half-circles and that's, like, the most difficult these games ever get in that regard. Slopes and momentum in the classic games ARE important aspects, but I just cannot get onboard with this idea that these games make you grapple and struggle with cresting a hill or running up a wall or escaping a half/quarter-pipe all that often. Slopes in these games are vastly more common as speed-boosters for spectacle setpieces, places to cleverly use jumps and momentum to scale to new areas, or just for visual variety. The creative methods of traversal slopes allow are the real draw to them, but they are almost never actual progress-halting "nuh uh, get past this to proceed" obstacles.
     
  5. jbr

    jbr

    Member
    47
    9
    8
    Also agreed, although I would add that we are probably blinkered by our expertise with these games. I think the loops and slopes actually are a little difficult for a first-time player, since they are moving more cautiously and probably with far less speed, and end up having to run back the way they came to re-attempt the loop. I certainly remember doing so as a child. And remember those Usenet discussions someone found recently about early user reports of Sonic 1 back in 1991, who often described the game as being challenging? I'm not sure how much this applies to the modern gamer, even if they're new to Sonic, but perhaps there is an argument that they still fulfill a purpose for some of Sega's target audience.
     
  6. _oliver

    _oliver

    mikucore femcel Member
    76
    17
    8
    Oregon
    Yeah. Loops are no challenge to us, but it's definitely not the case for people without finely tuned epic sonic skillz.
    I'll watch someone playing sonic 1 and see them either going through the loop at a pitiful speed with 0 spectacle, or stop, attempt to spindash, fail, then walk back 10 yards and go through it.
    Sure going through a loop in of itself isnt the biggest problem, its that on top of just going through it, its also an objective to get through it quickly and stylishly.
     
  7. Snub-n0zeMunkey

    Snub-n0zeMunkey

    yo what up Member
    In Advance 2 there's this one loop that's big. Like, weirdly big. I think it's larger than any loop in the classics.
    [​IMG]
    As a kid I remember struggling with this so much but there was something genuinely satisfying about finally overcoming it. In that sense I always thought of them as being an obstacle to overcome just like anything else.

    But in the context of Frontiers, I don't think the map needs to be littered with loops just for the sake of it, especially when you can just... walk around it and completely ignore it lol

    It'll be interesting to see what classic hallmarks they've decided to keep and what they've decided to forgo
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  8. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Can't choose a proper avatar Member
    I think loops in 3D could be handled visually with a camera from behind just by maintaining it on the same position instead of reacting to Sonic's rotation and keeping it as away as the back wall allows to keep some visibility and don't get dizzy in the process. To keep the momentum rules but not force automation, they could rail you a bit to not accidentally fall from a side, and of course the rewards would be rings on the upside-down part of it or actually making creative loops that won't allow you to, for example, take an upper path just by skipping it.

    Well, there were those giant loops in Green Hills Zone from 8-bit Sonic 2, but... Guess what? They were automated (and even 1-way only, good luck getting to the top of them to backtrack).
     
  9. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    Loops have already been done in a way I like by Sonic R of all things.

    Stationary-ish camera that doesn't follow you all the way through it (in other words, no "vomit-cam" as we called it in the Blitzsonic days). Checks to see if you're fast enough, only forces you down it at the point it doesn't matter anymore (the halfway point). Lets you lean side to side to collect rings or items, puts barriers around the walls so you don't go flying out (sorry to all three people who think 3D loops need to let you do that). Speed test? Check. Spectacle? Check. Control? Check. Simplicity? Check. That's all the boxes.

    It's crazy that the first attempt did it best. Guess that should say something about the minds at Traveler's Tales.
     
  10. I didn't say that to imply it's some bigger problem with Sonic that can never be solved, its exactly what it sounds like.

    The fact we can have this back and forth about the design philosophy about these games establishes that its not as cut and dry as we like to think.

    Like, its so easy to just take a stance and stick with it, and that's what many of us do, for better or worse.

    But the fact that Sonic is constantly changing itself, once again for better or worse, just tells me there's no set idea on what the design philosophy of Sonic is. Especially since the development team working on these games are constantly changing.

    These constant fandom arguments keep happening because the idea of what Sonic is and how his gameplay is supposed to work is constantly changing; just when you start thinking you've figured out Sonic, Sonic Team throw something else at you and completely subvert that thought. It's frustrating as much as its fascinating.


    That is to say, I have no fucking idea what their ideas was when making loops. That said, I don't care if they're spectacle or not, but I do have a problem with the 3D iterations effectively taking control away from the player.
     
  11. pkderbar

    pkderbar

    Member
    52
    18
    8
    FWIW I've recently been playing a ton of Sonic Robo Blast 2.2, which has absolutely no loops, and it's a lot of fun! In terms of 2D games I think Sonic 3K did the best with the use of loops as a means to pick up speed, or double as platforming objects/gates to branched pathways.
     
  12. Aerosol

    Aerosol

    Not here. Moderator
    10,900
    269
    63
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    I think 3D loops taking all control away is a side-effect of the game being 3D. It just feels like you should have more to do since the rest of the game has tasked you with a lot more than just going left and right.

    I was pretty satisfied with finding ways to roll through loops in SA2, even though exiting the automated sections often launched you into the Shadow Realm doing that. I won't lie, though, a little more control would be nice.
     
  13. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Member
    13,733
    932
    93
    Working on my art!
    Oddly enough, Sonic Speed Simulator in Roblox does probably the best job with loops in 3D I've ever seen. The sides of the path are given slight invisible edges so you don't fly off the loop, but you have control over everything. If you're too slow you can't get through the loop but on the flip side you can loop through loops at like light speed if you're fast enough. It's pretty satisfying. But at no point does the game remove control from you like every other 3D Sonic (except Sonic R, I'll give them props, it wasn't perfectly executed but you could move left and right while you automatically moved through the loop. At least it was A level of control)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  14. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

    I Have No Idea What I'm Doing At Any Given Moment Member
    789
    230
    43
    The Twin Cities
    trying to not fall asleep while writing Selenium tests
    Yeah, I disagree that the Sonic R loop is "good". It's a waste of time, and too easy to mess it up and lose your standing riiiight at the end of the race. The one in Regal Ruin is also the worst too. Basically, loops in Sonic R are time wasters that were put in "because Sonic"...in a racing game, where cutting down your time is everything.

    IMO, non-automated loops in 3D are too much work for too little reward. If you can't get consistent momentum physics working while going down or up a slope, you're absolutely not going to be solving the physics problem of working loops.
     
  15. Aerosol

    Aerosol

    Not here. Moderator
    10,900
    269
    63
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    Hard agree. The other problem is that a lot of of the loops in 3D games are in places you really don't want to be able to fall out of.

    Like...do you really want full control of the loops in Green Forest? I certainly don't. More reliable control of being able to enter and exit in a roll (or roll mid loop) would be nice but...
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  16. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    I'm not sure what that complaint has to do with non-racing games though. They're completely serviceable otherwise.
     
  17. Yash

    Yash

    CHOCOLATE! Member
    627
    191
    43
    Worth remembering that the only times loops actually show up in Sonic 1 are in Green Hill and Star Light (unless I'm forgetting something). It's one of the most iconic features of the first game yet it barely appears anywhere other than the first, most show-offy stage.

    The fact that every stage in Sonic 2's first half has at least one loop feels like a symptom of the whole thing with Sonic 2 drilling down the game formula to speed, speed, speed compared to 1's more balanced approach.
     
  18. Snub-n0zeMunkey

    Snub-n0zeMunkey

    yo what up Member
    I'm happy you used Green Forest as an example because whenever I think of loops in 3D Sonic games being shallow spectacle, these are always the first thing to pop in my mind
    [​IMG]
    but I'm not gonna lie... I kinda love it lol. It's iconic to me.

    Maybe in Frontiers the different islands could be connected by loops or something
     
  19. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Member
    13,733
    932
    93
    Working on my art!
    I never said Sonic R's attempt was good I was simply giving them props for trying. And I'm only mentioning R because it's the only 3D game that doesn't completely automate loops. Every other 3d loop is automated.

    I'm just shocked they never really took a crack at it, because I'm inclined to agree otherwise they aren't much beyond spectical (although some well timed jumps in the classics while on loops can give you good speed, so in the 2D games I think they're fine for that and other reasons). They try everything else but never that? Idk did Sonic R's loops spook Sonic Team when they were making Adventure? Or did they possibly try non automated loops and they just thought they were awful and then never really felt like revisiting?

    EDIT: Hey should this loop chat be it's own topic what's this have to do with Frontiers again?
     
  20. Snowbound

    Snowbound

    Member
    167
    69
    28
    It appears that Mike Pollock’s confirmed that Frontiers will have new characters:
    10794F3E-D78C-4519-BF3C-99CB35FE7B66.jpeg
    B8F613B0-5CB0-4FB7-B491-4406BF4C2DB8.jpeg
    4D88BA3B-15FF-4EF5-96A5-5CDF38948AD8.jpeg
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List