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

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

  1. Which is a perfect segue because I just finished Lange's thread about this whole bullshit lol. Imma try to keep it around Frontiers tho, I swear.


    I can understand everything Lange says and even agree with a lot of it to an extent; fandoms in general are all too willing to validate their fan status by dismissing any and all criticism, no matter how constructive, all in the name of "positivity" which isn't a healthy mindset to have at all. And I do agree that Sonic in general has become much more of a "brand" beyond Naka and Yashura's original intent and as a result, has drifted far away from its foundation and become something much more shallow as a result.

    But then I read this post and I saw the flipside to this. Regardless of how anybody feels about Sonic, every "era" holds its sentimental value to someone. So its kind of disheartening to know that a young fan could become a Sonic fan through the movies and then come online and have a bunch of adults talk down to him and tell him the version of Sonic he likes is "wrong" because he did a floss dance or something. Its the same song and dance as when Classic fans gave Adventure fans shit, Adventure fans giving "meta era" fans shit, etc etc. Its the same shit Star Wars fans get for being obnoxiously protective of its property.


    I do agree that we as people can stand to be more critical of the media we consume and not be so adverse to criticism that's meant to help us improves and understand each other better. At the same time, not everybody necessarily wants to consume media with the sole purpose of dissecting and critically analyzing it. Some people get so caught up in that mindset that they kind of forget to actually just enjoy shit. Especially some of us being jaded individuals well into adulthood. And I hate to feel responsible for ruining someone's joy of something they legitimately like. Like fine, even if I don't fully enjoy Modern Sonic games that doesn't mean I have to ruin them for the people that do like them.


    Frontiers may very well end up not being what I and many others want out of a Sonic game. We may never actually get that game and we'll just be stuck in this perpetual cycle of a toxic fandom. But at the very least, I can enjoy what is there and share that joy with the ones who do love games like Frontiers, warts and all. That doesn't make me a blind consumer because I'm still willing to dole out constructive criticism but I can still enjoy these games despite it.

    Yes, there's a foundation of what Sonic is and yes, not all of the changes to Sonic have been necessarily for the best. But I disagree with Lange when he says "fun" isn't a valid excuse when it absolutely is. If I'm having fun with a product then I shouldn't want or have to critically analyze it further than that and even if I did, it shouldn't ruin the fun I'm having.


    This is why I respect Ian Flynn so much; because I feel like out of anybody who has worked on Sonic, he is the only who tries to bridge the gap between old and new concepts consistently and its likely a reason he's one of the least controversial people to work on Sonic, because he recognizes all forms of Sonic are valid in some way and tries to respect that as much as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
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  2. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

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    I agree with Lange almost entirely even if I can find it in myself to enjoy some of the lesser products in the series. Despite what some people may believe, Sonic was never just a corporate mascot designed by committee and slapped into any old platformer, it was the product of creators who shared a vision and worked hard to bring it into reality.

    Video games are works of art. It doesn't make sense to just blindly appreciate any game that features Sonic in the same way it doesn't make sense to like all pieces of art that share a subject. If there is a highly praised painting of an apple, you can't just go ahead and paint an apple yourself and expect the same acclaim based purely on that. It's why people choose to listen to a specific version of a song rather than any random cover.

    This is not to outright dismiss any incarnation of Sonic that diverges from the intent of Naka, Yasuhara, and Oshima, but to just defend the position that there is more to Sonic than a character design/title, and to call for more talented and caring individuals to be involved in the game production.

    Don't tell me what to do! :argh:
     
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  3. i just started this thing, and i am already getting tired of the disclaimers and claims and statements made with no provided basis in a condescending tone. Please just get to the point...

    Is all I was going to say originally. I read (skimmed) the thread. Just sounds like gatekeeping to me. You have to like the things that make Sonic sonic, or your not a Sonic fan. Understandable view. Sonic needs to stick to the things that make Sonic Sonic, or there is nothing to be a fan of. Reasonable. But who decides what makes Sonic Sonic? That's the real issue here, and what he's getting at.

    It's gatekeeping. That's all it is.

    There are some problems brought up I agree with. But honestly, as far as the examples e brought up as far as what made Classic good, it really is't that deep. Like yeah. There are a lot of variables on your jump. But i struggle to recall platforming/gameplay challenges that really make you exercise precise control over them like one might think from looking at what is said here.

    https://twitter.com/GreatLange/status/1534358375638745088?s=20&t=_Oa39k6hpKDVrh4DYNfr7A

    Like, Sonic has a spectrum of speed right? But do you ever intentionally slow yourself down to a very precise speed to make certain jumps? To make a jump, it's generally as fast as you can, or almost any speed below that is fine. You don't need to think that deeply about exactly how fast you need to go to get the results you want, because of just how wide the spectrum of speed is that will get you the result you need to accomplish what you intend.

    Not like a racing game such as Trackmania where you do need to exercise precise control over it, letting go of gas, braking, or hitting gas again at the right time to be the exact speed, no more no less, in order to maintain a good racing line.

    Inclines/ramps provide a spectrum of points to jump off of, as was shown here. But again, usually, you don't need to think that deeply about where PRECISELY to jump off of because of just how many of the points to jump off lead to the result you want.

    Like on that thread, there are of lot of options pointed out. But how much of a meaningful distinction is there between all the options this spectrum provides? Can you recall any challenge or situation in Classic Sonic that would require you to choose which of those specific red lines to take.

    It is not that deep. It could be made that way. They have the controls for it. But they don't have the levels for it, so it isn't.

    I'm not saying they are pointless. Classic Sonic's physics feel natural and do what you expect them to. They add some identity. They allow you to do some cool tricks every now and then. Good. But very rarely (never) is true mastery over them required or really rewarded. I mean, I'm sure some world record speedrunner might disagree with me but, yeah. I doubt many are on that level.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
  4. Sonic VR, a romhack is different. Some challenges in that game (been too long to remember specifics) require precise mastery over the physics. In those cases do all the variables matter, because more on the spectrum as far as momentum and terrain leads to a failure to do what you intend, so you need to be precise.
     
  5. FunkySpaceAlien

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    I don't have much else to add about Lange's thread except I think when people go "it's just Sonic" or "Why care", it's less "shut up and stop complaining" and more like "Maybe do something more productive with your time than constantly argue with people on twitter", lol.

    This whole thread comes off as him being very mad that everyone doesn't share his viewpoints. I know I'm not even talking about Frontiers anymore, but I think it's very hypocritical of Lange to complain about everyone telling him he isn't valid when he was saying the same thing about other fans throughout.

    Like it or not, Sonic was made to have a broad demographic. It's why Sega constantly does multimedia stuff with Sonic because he was made for it.

    It's probably why they decided to make Classic Sonic his own branch in the franchise. He appeals to different people like how Movie Sonic appeals to a whole different demographic. If you're only a fan of a particular Sonic, you're still valid and overall, still a sonic fan.

    Yea, he made "good points", but does that really matter if he completely dismisses everyone else? Seems like a lack of humility on his part.
     
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  6. Lange is just a gatekeeper in general. I once had to step in and try to mediate an out-of-hand conversation in the official SFGHQ Skype chat (remember those?) because he was arguing that some young kid there's favorite Sonic game couldn't be Sonic Heroes, that the kid was literally wrong about his own opinions because Sonic Heroes was objectively bad and also not a real Sonic game. A grown-ass man telling a literal thirteen-year-old that he wasn't allowed to and could not possibly actually enjoy a kids' game.

    I don't think his opinions about classic Sonic are inherently wrong or anything but they certainly come from a myopic and often genuinely mean-spirited place. I think Sonic Retro can do better than validating his takes.
     
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  7. MykonosFan

    MykonosFan

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    Gonna be honest, I'm not sure we need to litigate that thread. It is on Twitter if you'd like to respond to it, but I'd like to see the Sonic Frontiers thread remain about, well, Sonic Frontiers. It seems like this is veering to be more about who the person is as opposed to whatever they said.

    Let's just focus on the game here.
     
  8. foXcollr

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    What thread? I don't know what you're talking about, I didn't see anything :)

    As far as SGF goes, I hope they show something pretty substantial tomorrow. The drip feed is great and all for focusing everyone's attention on Sonic and I'm sure the exclusivity deal is raking in impressions and CTR for IGN, but I assumed they'd have something more special planned for SGF to mark the occasion.

    Unless I'm mistaken, we haven't heard anything yet about what the heck they're going to show there, if anything. Aside from IGN telling us in advance when the past few videos would go live, most of this stuff seems to follow a pattern of "oh by the way Sonic Frontiers gameplay is premiering tomorrow", or "oops lmao I forgot to tell you guys but Sonic Central is in 14 hours whoopsies". It's like everything is a surprise, which kind of defeats the purpose of a surprise.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
  9. Starduster

    Starduster

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    I think SGF is probably the place to show a story trailer. Hopefully whatever Frontiers has is more involved than Breath of the Wild’s being told through flashbacks and there not being much happening in the present.
     
  10. FunkySpaceAlien

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    Sorry about that, Chris. I feel kinda stupid for contributing to that discussion now orz

    Anyway, I mean I can see them dropping a story trailer in the Summer Fest tomorrow... but we all said that about Sonic Central and all they did is be like "sneak peek!" and throw a picture of Shadow in Prime in our face, so I don't have high hopes, lol.

    I'll probably just skip the stream and wait to see if there's any actual news that isn't just out-of-context clips.
     
  11. Palas

    Palas

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    Going on a tangent to talk about classic Sonic here, but yeah, you have to exercise precise control over your jump all the time. You'll just never really think about it. It's a lot more kinesthetic than mental, so you might not think of it as a challenge. This is super especially evident in stages that have ceilings, such as Marble Zone or Mystic Cave. But, like you said, it isn't even that deep, or even exclusive to the classics I guess.
     
  12. Frostav

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    We have examples of games build around rolling physics and momentum that were published and well-liked--the classic Tony Hawk games. These kinds of physics are not something that the average gamer has trouble wrapping their heads around.

    SRB2. No, it's not finished. But it has like six full zones already and uses basically every aspect of classic Sonic except loops. It even shows that you don't need to go ham on momentum physics to build something unmistakably Sonic, and it's mostly devoid of the "flying over everything syndrome" that people accuse stuff like Sonic GT having (which I don't even think is a bad thing but I digress).
     
  13. SRB2 is the only 3D Sonic game I actually like, official or fanmade, though GT is alright.

    The thing here about n ot "flying over everything" is not just the physics but the level design. Put simply, SRB2 doesn't spam ramps and hills everywhere no reason. I notice that when they are there, there is usually a higher/farther part of the level you need to go to. So you're not flying OVER level design every time you press jump but going TO level design.

    Also kind of reduces hang time, where you aren't doing much as you just fly through the air.

    I personally don't think there's any point to loops in 3D games outside of "legacy" or because it's "Sonic." In the Classics you can jump down halfway for more speed, but you can't even do that in 3D games so it's just a glorified setpiece you press forward and run through...

    ...when it's automated. It can potentially just be a nightmare.

    Trackmania has non-automated, non nightmare inducing loops in 3D. They're fine I guess. Not something I'd lose sleep over.
     
  14. VectorCNC

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    I found Lange's thread to be brilliant. I think his thread and a discussion regarding it are entirely topical and relevant, I don't know why anyone would be apologetic for discussing it here... I'll also say that so so-so many of the responses to his thread in here have literally proven his point, especially those who state they briefly skimmed it, or whatever. It's honestly a little upsetting to see how logically and cogently he walked through it all, only to have people immediately brush it off as jaded, out of touch, or just-another-opinion. But that isn't unusual at all.

    I know first hand that I've tried to address the lack of depth and continuity in the IP many times in the past, only to be entirely misunderstood despite all attempts otherwise (perhaps on purpose). I've literally been told such absurdities as, "Sonic was never about environmentalism", and "it doesn't matter if Sonic battles against robots or aliens", and these responses simply don't compute with me... What is a Sonic after all!

    Lange's assessment wasn't "just another opinion", it was an opportunity to gain insight... but this isn't the place for a nuanced understanding. That's why I don't say much around here aside from the occasional bump in activity, if you aren't going to line up behind the big players, you're irrelevant if not shouted down. Sorry folks, just this jaded old man's opinion.
     
  15. Ritz

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    A toy is what you make of it. I'm going to put words in Lange's mouth and say we both share the same pathology. You have this experience as a child, before you can even speak, and that thing then forms the bedrock of your entire identity: The games you like, the music you listen to, the way you think, your entire life trajectory and all the relationships you're ever going to have. It's all one causal chain spawned off the first thing you saw as a kid that made you think "WOW." Like a baby duck imprinting on the wrong mother and starving to death.

    For me personally, Sonic and '91-'97 Sega in general established my entire visual language as an artist- my shapes, my color choices, my lifelong obsession with solid geometry and motion that eventually lead me towards the calculus and graphics programming work I'm doing now. There was no other event of greater consequence to my life, and that's fucking EMBARRASSING. It feels like I've inherited an art movement that's long dead, that I've been made irrelevant before I even began. What's worse, this core component of your identity is now this unflushable turd that bobs back up every 3-5 years for everyone to point and laugh at. You get put in this position where everyone's misunderstanding of the nature of this Thing is an affront to your very soul. You can't resist railing against that, even if it's futile and a waste of time. The only cure for this obsession is to become an artist yourself and pay that initial inspiration forward.

    That said, everything Lange said is correct and I'm ready to concede that he's a way bigger Sonic fan than I am. I don't have that rage in me anymore. Homie's down horrendous. Show this tormented soul mercy.
     
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  16. Snowbound

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    Guys it’s time that we stop beating around the bush. Modern Sonic team is an embarrassment. Sega needs to dump them and replace them... and I know a passionate young man that can fix this game before release:
    742D7CDB-B87E-4292-972A-6D7DB92B3448.jpeg
    SEGA HIRE THIS MAN... er MUPPET
     
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  17. Crimson Neo

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  18. foXcollr

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    So, in another attempt to change the topic of discussion to something we weren't explicitly asked not to talk about (also I thought this was interesting anyway)....

    Did anyone else catch that green item-box-looking-thing in the fourth screenshot here?

    https://twitter.com/TailsChannel/status/1534069860510183424?t=59CCi0-_gW4X7yyJ-1kQ1g&s=19

    Any ideas on wtf that is? I was under the assumption that items weren't gonna be a thing in the overworld, so maybe it's some kind of XP capsule? There are similar green boxes in the footage where Sonic grabs the 4 purple coins on the tower, when the player rotates the camera you can see them floating up above. I didn't see anyone talking about those, but I don't know if that's because they're easy to miss or because there's ostensibly nothing there to talk about.

    Edit: I really hope this interview isn't just a whole bunch of nothing statements... and please, show us more gameplay pls pls pls
     
  19. Palas

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    Although Lange is absolutely not correct in a lot of things he says, starting from "a game is as rich as the sum of its potential interactions.", I agree with you so, so much with what you said about how Sonic defined people's aesthetics preferences (and indeed foundations!) for a lot of things. I only played Sonic for the better part of my childhood (I didn't have a good PC or consoles that weren't a Master System), and playing games basically meant playing the way Sonic entails. The game syntax of Sonic is the one I learned first, and is the one with which I approach every new game.

    And classic Sonic's syntax is often at odds with what became dominant in every genre, not just platformers. Today's Sonic games are written with other games' language, and that's mostly irreversible. It is what it is.
     
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  20. Alright, so if what Sonic was established as from 91'-97' so integral to your personal identity as a person and makes you feel entitled to rally against what it has become post-98'.

    You didn't really address Wraith's point; what makes your opinions more valid than say, a Sonic fan that came in 2001 with Sonic Adventure 2 and defined their identity and preferences in the same way the 91'-97' period defined your tastes?

    If your answer is "I'm older/was here first" then congratulations, you've officially become just like every other adult who assumes they know more than those "dumb kids".

    A toy is what you make of it, but its still a toy at the end of the day. And I dunno, I just think its kind of weird for a grown adult to have a problem with how children are playing with their toys because its not like how they played with them.