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Sonic Frontiers Thread - PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC

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

  1. Forte

    Forte

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    This.
    After watching the videos a few times again, it feels just empty and automated in places it shouldn't be.

    It's funny, because at first I wanted this game to come out quickly, and now I would prefer if they delay it for year or something. Just to make it good...
     
  2. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    That's not really true. They didn't even have sloped terrain in the game until 2019. For quite a long time, the problem has remained that the game runs on a dead fork of the Doom engine, which handles walls and floors fundamentally differently. The only loops in the game were either scripted or fudged using workarounds like modifying the climbing and gravity code. Only in the next big update are they adding any semblance of true wall-running, and we still haven't seen enough to really get a clear picture of how it works.

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    For what it's worth, I was talking with some folks on Stadium, and we're pretty sure Sonic does actually accelerate going down hills and decelerate going up them, he just has a low speed-cap and the game doesn't make much use of that speed. I only note this because Forces' Classic Sonic hada similar thing, but he became a lot better (at least on-par with Generations) once modders raised that speed cap. I'm not trying to do a "mods will fix it" of course, but I do want to see how the game will look when something like that inevitably shows up. Thing is, I think that when we then talk about the open world failing to utilize Sonic's abilities, that kinda should have been evident from the terrain reveal.

    This is relevant, just because I think the discussion is muddled a lot right now, between people who believe Sonic is 100% weightless ala Sonic 06, and people who wish the game had a 3D-equivalent of classic's level structures such that momentum actually means something. The guy smugposting about how he made a Sonic engine with slope physics didn't help, because technically, I think every game since Unleashed has already had them to one extent or another, they just haven't done anything with them.

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    What's mainly holding my interest here is the prospect of the cyberspace levels. If these are as promised by the leaks, then we are potentially getting a standard boost game with a really big, slightly-uninteresting set of hub worlds. And...that doesn't sound like the "revolution" we were promised, but if that boost game is solid (hopefully that dev time went to more decent-size stages), then I dunno, still sounds like a win to me. We talked about the younger fans' "passion and effort" argument before the first footage came out, and my conclusion was that the reason they got angry at the games they decided were "meta era" was that good or bad, the games were insubstantial, and the writing sucked. So, the idea of a Sonic game that takes a bit longer to complete due to trucking through an overworld doing combat and leveling up but which also has the kind of gameplay people liked in Generations and such, with a story that hopefully doesn't suck, sounds exactly like it will become the new Unleashed. Which sucks for me of course, since I actually like Lost World way better than most, but I think the weird reddit kids don't really have a right to be upset.
     
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  3. CaseyAH_

    CaseyAH_

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    Honestly I feel like comparing any SEGA-made Sonic game to SRB2 is abit unfair because even with it being a fan project it's been in development for, what, over 20 years? Most Sonic games don't even get 1/5th of that. This is on top of SRB2 being made in the DOOM engine, which I imagine requires being at least a decently high-level programmer to make a decent Sonic The Hedgehog fangame in.
     
  4. Roller

    Roller

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    21331 LEGO Ideas Sonic the Hedgehog, Ring Racers (SRB2Kart 2)
    Worked on SRB2 here. I love it, immense respect for the people I collaborated with, but it is also very much its own thing. I always wince when someone says it's what Sonic Team should be making, or that they should hire-this-man the team to make more of the same.

    The fact of the matter is that 3D game design leaning on the principles that makes Sonic (the character and the original titles) compelling is a ridiculous challenge not faced by any non-indie title today. Yes, Mario the Odyssey has rolling physics and momentum tied to the curvature of the land. He's also a portly Italian plumber whose unaided top speed is maybe a third of Sonic's jogging in Adventure, and you can only really get closer with expert play or those explicitly forced-speed no-acceleration flowers. In practice, they are uncomparable.

    This doesn't really touch on my feelings about Frontiers. My judgement is still forming... I think a vertical slice would help make sure, but at the very least nothing shown has turned me off.
     
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  5. Laura

    Laura

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    I'm not bothered by the fact Frontiers doesn't have momentum physics. I love Generations. Even Classic Sonic in Generations. Im actually very forgiving of this kind of thing.

    I'm most put off by the aesthetic and bland looking gameplay.
     
  6. JW.

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    I think the main thing that I find off-putting about what I've seen of the game so far is that they've made it an open world type deal, but it still feels like a lot of stuff is done for you from what I'm seeing. I get that the boost pads are gonna be there but it all just seems to be in service of guiding you somewhere instead of just letting you do what you want.

    I don't know if I'm making perfect sense here but hopefully people know what I'm trying to say.
     
  7. Hamzawesome

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    They don't trust the players to move around the world by themselves so they put rails, boosters, and springs everywhere to move you automatically. It's basically the same design philosophy from Forces but now in an open world, you could probably blame the director Morio Kishimoto for this. I have no idea why they keep this guy around as director when he has only directed one good game. I'm not saying fire him, just let someone else direct a Sonic game for the love of god, we've been stuck with him as director for almost 10 years.

    upload_2022-6-5_14-4-4.png
     
  8. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think Sonic Team should be given freedom to make a different IP game. It must be exhausting making bad Sonic game after bad Sonic game. They always drift off into other ideas too. Maybe this would be better if it were a more traditional open world action game?

    I'm not even saying outsource another Sonic project although I think that could be good. Just let Sonic Team do another project. Even if Sonic has a break.
     
  9. Snub-n0zeMunkey

    Snub-n0zeMunkey

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    I never really like to pin the blame on one specific person but I'll be honest, I would prefer it if they let a new director have the chance to take over in the future instead of Morio Kishimoto for the umpteenth time.

    I always wondered what happened to Yoshihisa Hashimoto, Akinori Nishiyama or Hiroshi Miyamoto. It seems like from 2006-2011 they were opening up more exciting opportunities for new directors to lead development. I wonder why they kind of stagnated on that area nowadays.
     
  10. Hamzawesome

    Hamzawesome

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    Sonic has had a break for 5 years already, and Sonic Team does work on other projects like Puyo Puyo. They need to hire actual talented people and maintain that talent somehow, but nobody wants to work for Sega cause they're such a shitty company.
     
  11. BlueSkiesAM2

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    Completely ridiculous statement when series like Yakuza, Project Diva, VF, Puyo Puyo, Border Break, and PSO are still extremely popular in Japan.

    You know Sega makes more than Sonic, right?
     
  12. foXcollr

    foXcollr

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    On top of the above, I take grievance with saying "Sonic has been taking a break for 5 years" because.... well no, he hasn't. This game has been in development almost the entire time. They wrapped up Forces and were already thinking about the next thing. Nobody gets a break.

    We as consumers might've had a break from Sonic, but you have to realize, for these people Sonic is all they think about for 8 hours a day, 40+ hours a week. I feel like if I worked at SEGA I would grow to hate Sonic, purely because he is the subject of every waking hour of my day, and presumably my nightmares.

    I feel like the "nobody wants to work for SEGA" thing is just pure speculation as well, but ultimately this entire thread is 90% speculation based on 13 minutes of shitty gameplay by someone playing on a DDR pad.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  13. CaseyAH_

    CaseyAH_

    human incarnation of Palmtree Panic 'P' Mix Member
    Sega also owns Atlus, meaning they own the entire Shin Megami Tensei franchise which includes Persona.

    Edit: I also feel like it is important to point out that while Sonic is likely Sega's biggest cash cow over here in the west, I am fairly certain that in Japan it is an entirely different story. And like it or not, Sega generally seems to care about their Japanese base more because they are a Japanese company at the end of the day.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  14. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    You know I just had a thought, I bet your speed, like your strength, will probably be upgradable. If it was in Unleashed don't see why it wouldn't be here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  15. Ritz

    Ritz

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    2011, actually
     
  16. PhazonHopper

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    Can I ask how this really matters in any context other than superficiality? Odyssey has momentum for moving up and down hills just for fun. It is literally never once required you take advantage of it, but it's still there and it feels great. Theoretically, a Sonic game with such mechanics would be built with it in mind from the get-go, but even if it weren't, it's not like Odyssey is full of giant hills just for Mario to catch speed on. You can just tuck into a ball for fun while traversing a level and coming across uneven terrain for a little speed boost. Exactly the kind of thing Unreal Sonic Demo 2014 would benefit from.

    I don't claim to be a game designer, nor do I think Sonic Team has even an iota of the talent or skill that Nintendo EPD has, but to say that Odyssey's usage of momentum is completely irrelevant in reference to how a Sonic game might be developed, just because Mario doesn't move that fast, seems dismissive.

    For the record, I don't think Unreal Sonic Demo 2014 should be delayed to include momentum physics or whatever. It isn't happening and even if it did, if this is what they've got after five years, it isn't getting any better.
     
  17. So is it a bad director, or bad programmers... or both?

    Could be on this weird spectrum, where it's a little bit of "column A", little bit of "column B", a little bit of everything.

    Given the nature of AAA companies versus independent companies, you can see there in two different worlds. Their priorities and focus are drastically different.

    Thankfully and personally, I did expect this so my expectations are as flat as a pancake at this point. Not trying to give them any benefit of the doubt here, but I still want to play this game, and pretty much find all the ins and outs of it as well. (I really want to dissect it, even if it's a buggy or unfocused mess, I actually love games like this)

    Still, with all this being said, that still doesn't mean it can't BE better. Despite how a company operates, or how much I would still like to play it, the bottom line is the criticisms toward the game are still very valid.
     
  18. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    Thank you. This is what I've been trying to say.

    But that's not all...

    Sonic won't work in 3D without Dashpads or scripted guiding items. Ever. Frontiers is the compromise and it's actually a lot better than you're all giving it credit for.

    Yes, I mentioned physics, but that goes hand in hand with the other things everyone complains about, scripted sequences. That's actually the real core of my argument.

    Sonic's top speeds do not work in 3D without dashpads and player handholding. THAT is the main thing I'm trying to say. All of you complaining about automation really need to take a step back and realize that the freedom you want is not going to be fun for the vast majority of players for more than a few minutes at best. So even if they can implement low key versions of classic physics that don't entirely break the game, automation is the real requirement for 3D because very few players will have the precision to control Sonic at anything resembling high speed without automation.

    That's why all of you complaining about this actually makes me angry. Dash pads and grind rails help guide the player through various set pieces. You no longer just have to go along a straight path, and at least some degree of momentum control is likely still possible. This is not traditional boost gameplay either. There's a ton of freedom shown in this demo and it truly baffles me that you guys don't see that just because they player rides on a few rails, hits a few dashpads, and bounces off of a few preprogrammed springs.... most of which you will STILL be able to jump out of in real time anyway like usual, and most of which no longer send you plunging to your death by doing so.

    The problem with Sonic's past automation is that it kept you going in a straight line and often limited your control, giving players the rush and sensation of speed with less of the satisfaction of controlling Sonic well. There were several technical and logistical challenges that made this downright necessary, and like it or not, the style became popular too. Those games all sold well, yes even Forces, which took it way too far. These elements exist in a much smaller capacity in this demo and simply help Guide Sonic along much smaller set pieces that you can opt in and out of at any time. That's not the grand sin that a lot of you guys seem to think it is. It makes the game easier for anyone to pick up and play without restricting the open world freedom to explore the map itself. Hell, if you break it down, any game terrain that a player must interact with in a specific way (a wall to climb) relies on a script of sort, so it's always been a staple of 3D design.

    Sonic's speed in 3D means he must inevitably be scripted to at least some degree to be playable by anything wider than a very niche audience. None of that means elements of skill, exploration, or good player control cannot or will not be a part of Frontiers. Heck, it doesn't even mean for sure he'll have no momentum physics, I'm just saying that you can't pragmatically make a high speed Sonic game without some level of scripting, especially with classic physics, which break stage design very easily in 3D, and especially in an open map with no practical guidance from setpieces. A game without any direction or guidance will not be fun for a lot of people to play, period. This is why Sonic Utopia is nothing more than a fancy tech demo. And games like SRB2 are still linear and not open world, though as I said I consider it closer to the ideal.

    And SRB2 is great, perhaps even my favorite 3D title conceptually, but it's not a sellable title. Even that game, well made as it is, is too hard and frustrating for your average Nintnedo/Sega demographic kid to pick up and play. It's made for experienced Sonic players who want the classic formula in 3D, and it's a product of nearly 25 years of development.
     
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  19. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

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    - Current gen consoles are powerhouses. What are you even on about?
    - Even 2D Sonic had ways of cheating the physics. The problem with 3D Sonic is they haven't figured out how to cheat it well enough to feel fluid in over 22 years. Moreover Sonic having areas you can skip if you go fast enough has been a thing since Sonic 1. This is a natural reward of speed.
    - I have no idea what the current situation is with talent and budget with Sega in house. Clearly they feel PSO2's engine is enough to get them most of the way there.
    - If scripted as it is doesn't work then you either need to find a better way of scripting or treat it as an engineering challenge and find a more fluid feeling way of doing it.
    - The problem with this one is that there are literally too many solutions to list. We live in an era where procedural generation is used not just as a game mechanic but a design tool going on just brute forcing it. But there are many. MANY. progression models that would help with this.

    Difficulty of making games has never for any developer ever in the history of gamedev been an excuse for releasing a product that misses the mark. At this point you are saying it can't be done because of these factors but more that it won't be done because of these factors. Blaming new players who hate challenge is easy and yet a game like Elden Ring finds massive success. Your assumptions are largely based on linear ways of looking at level design and to a lesser extent technical problems and saying that things can never change for the better.

    I disagree.

    With that in mind despite its flaws I see Frontiers as a positive trend and am still hyped for it. But to act like "welp, this is as good as it gets." Ya kinda gotta side with the perpetually angry fans there. They could do better. It reminds me a lot of a Bandai Namco anime game, which I love those. It has a lot more of a modern Sega aesthetic, but it has that feel. A little janky and oddly paced but it will at least be solid and fun in a consistent way. I think that is what I will get from this and I am here for it.
     
  20. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    I hope Sonic Frontiers is good