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

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

  1. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    There are trends, yes, but no actual rules. I only bring it up in the event that someone mixes the two up, or in this case, presents (or rather makes a slippery slope argument presenting) the subjective disagreement over a game's art style as a fundamental detriment to the medium, or to art itself. In this case, yes, most people here are abiding by some standards...but clearly not the same standard, and it's not like those standards can be any more-objectively ranked than art itself. So aren't we just kicking the can down the road?
     
  2. Laura

    Laura

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    Agreed, but I think it's important to be aware constantly these frameworks exist. Allows us to be more introspective about our thoughts and why we judge art to be good or bad. Thinking subjectivity is just personal taste, and isn't bound to our own perceptions of established frameworks, is a disservice to our own view of art.

    Whether someone thinks Sonic should head in a realistic art direction is a matter of opinion, but we can judge whether we think the biomes of Frontiers does a good job aesthetically by conventional standards. I think this is what @High Fidelity is trying to get at. And to be honest I agree with him that the overworld environments are bland. The structures are better, but most of the natural environment looks like something out of Unreal stock assets. They just look like realistic environments without much individuality or flair. Matter of subjective opinion whether these environments really are that bland, but I feel safe in saying most people would agree they conventionally are. Not bad, but bland.

    I think people get defensive about saying straightforward things like this because they assume you are trying to establish an objective art hierarchy. I'm not interested in doing that at all. And of course not everyone's going to agree and just because everyone believes something doesn't mean it has objective truth. But again, we constantly live by these frameworks, and I think it's important to ask ourselves if we would honestly say the emvironments look good by how we would conventionally rate them.
     
  3. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    This talk about art reminds me when someone put on FB someone else's post where that person was so pissed off and tired of the "art is subjective" motto, he said a couple of things followed by "this is art" referring to said post, and the funny thing was that post was indeed art following the usual definition of it, and we just argued if the artist was the guy who wrote that or the one who screencapped that and spread the picture. We also talked about the famous toilet which was just a fucking toilet for a lot of people, and we thought that people was very shortsighted for detaching that from the background and intention in which that artwork was conceived.

    Ok, back on topic:

    Of course it's not an NGS thing, but Sega themselves are doing NGS right now, which is what prompted my post. That and NGS feeling like a Sonic game to some degree, with all that running platforming, spring-like elevators, etc. The basic tropes are basic because of course they are, but Lava Reef and Lava Powerhouse are something more than a molten pool inside a volcano without going too far in their aesthetics, and we've had levels in this franchise with a more somber tone and ready to become more photorealistic without losing their spirit.
    Essentially this, but I'll add something: unique doesn't mean it has to be wacky and colourful, and, even if that's the case, there are ways to make those look melancholic, mysterious and photorealistic too. I found Planet Wisp 2 in Generations to look quite sad and serious despite its palette and the game it was in, I liked being in that alien world without feeling I was in a kids' cartoon, which is why I agreed it was a good example of what they could have aimed for (I already said green hill wasn't exactly the best example).

    And I loved Wonder Boy: Monster World which was a game full of generic tropes totally looking like a kids' cartoon, and, as I said, I already like Frontiers as it is, but, also as you'll probably guessed by now, I played NGS recently so I have those aesthetics recent in my mind and the geography of that game is more surreal than the open areas in Frontiers we've seen. To put it in a different way, enemies in Frontiers look as lost there as Sonic is because it doesn't look like their homeland either; their colony maybe.
     
  4. Josh

    Josh

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    I was playing Secret Rings of all games late last year, and I wrote this. We didn't even know much about Frontiers back then, but I think it summarizes my issue with the whole aesthetic of the open zone sections:

    Hopefully, we'll get more of that in the cyberspace zones. That's still the "what if?" I'm holding onto, haha.
     
  5. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Okay, what are these mythical "conventional standards" though? That's something we're just saying everyone already agrees on? Something that wouldn't contradict their opinions on other games? It seems to me like that's just as arguable as anything else, let alone whether an interpretation of them would necessarily lead one to the conclusion of "environments bland". Like I said, we're just kicking the can down the road here.
     
  6. BlueSkiesAM2

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    Slight tangent: Monster World is the most “video game”-looking video game ever and I love it. I think the quality of the sprite art and it being an early 16-bit release lets it get away with the pretty standard visual design. There’s just a genuine, “Hey, here’s a fun, no-frills game we made for you to enjoy,” feeling to the game.

    Sonic Frontiers doesn’t have the luxury of being a generational leap ahead in visual fidelity and what we’ve seen gives the impression of just aping current trends in both gameplay and art direction. I don’t hate the look as viscerally as I did the first time I saw it (I even found myself enjoying the look of the new JP trailer lol) but I don’t blame people for turning their noses up at what we’ve seen so far.

    As for this whole objectivity vs subjectivity in art discussion, there’s no objective measure of whether a work of art is “good” as a whole. However, it’s not subjective to say that the majority of the public don’t find a piece of art appealing! And that is ultimately what matters to most game creators.

    Though again, I must stress that I don’t hate the design as much as everyone else anymore… but I may be getting Sonic-cycled.
     
  7. Wraith

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    I don't subscribe to artistic frameworks or objectivity myself. The only criteria for what makes good art to me is emotional fulfillment , which is why I can give something like, say Sonic Adventure 2 a higher rating than something like Horizon: Zero Dawn. The latter just about meets every standard for what makes a great action game compared to the former being kind of a mess in most regards, but only the former gets revisited by me.

    I think it's much more honest to just get to the core of how a game makes you feel and work your way outward from there. Feelings are usually able to be explained by facts, much as we like to pretend that they're separate things. If you really love something, you probably have a good reason for it even if it's not a conventionally constructed piece that hits all the notes it's supposed to. That's half the fun of being a Sonic fan in the first place. They've been breaking the rules of what actually makes a good platformer since the very beginning. The games are still so alien that very few people can emulate their appeal compared to the hundreds of indie games and thousands of video essays breaking Mario's design language down to a science.

    Rules, objectivity, frameworks and trends are just shortcuts that happen to land on the right answer more often than not. Maybe breaking from them is scary or ill advised but I think the fact that good things occasionally come out of them being disregarded entirely means that they can't be considered objective, but I guess that's subjective too?

    I don't know. Sonic Frontiers looks bad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2022
  8. Yeah, the pisser was a bad example on my part, but I was hammered. What I was trying to get at is that Sonic is not conceptual art, so we must have some sort of standards of what we want out of a Sonic game in regards to art direction. I'm assuming we all don't want laziness and uninspired tropes, but this is what we are getting, and I feel some are trying to defend it. But you know, each to their own.

    Like I said, I'll still play it. I'm not ripping the game apart, just stating what I believe to be true of the art direction. I feel kinda bad for kicking up heated discussion, although it's nothing like the good old days arguing over the fucking hill top tree lol. Those that know will know
     
  9. charcoal

    charcoal

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    I'm a filthy zoomer who has no idea what you're talking about, link?
     
  10. Mookey

    Mookey

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    Just go check the Sonic 2 HD section in Archives lol.
     
  11. This is an extremely difficult topic to talk about, and not just because "lol art subjective" but yea, it really does just come down to how you feel. Which is both good and bad and why Sonic tends to be such an annoying topic to discuss.

    So many people feel so many different things about Sonic, and even trying to look at it "objectively" doesn't work because Sonic has never followed any type of objective scale of quality.

    I can say Sonic Adventure 2 is one of the best masterpieces ever, but then I'll have just as many people tell me that's it overrated trash since it just didn't hit them the same way. Neither side are wrong, but man it really fucking stings when somebody dismissed something that had such an emotionally resonant response with you.


    And just judging by how polarizing reactions to Frontiers has been, its just gonna be another one of those games that some people like, and some people don't for whatever reason.


    I don't think I've ever seen a series as polarizing as Sonic in my life. Like everything is polarizing to an extent, but there's usually some objective popular opinion about them. Sonic doesn't even have that because the popular opinion flip flops every couple of years.


    My prediction is that the reactions to Frontiers are gonna reflect each other; if critics like it, fans will probably vocally oppose it and vice versa. If it gets middling reception, you're gonna see fans singing its praises. Unless this game is 06 levels of unpolished, or just as bland as the last few games have been, I feel there's never gonna be a real consensus about Sonic.

    Like we have fans legitimately saying Mania wasn't good enough. If Mania, of all games, isn't good enough, then I have no idea what even is a good Sonic game anymore.
     
  12. charcoal

    charcoal

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    Oh boy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2022
  13. MontiP

    MontiP

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    Well, of course you would know.




    + - Modern Sonic's Square Face(TM)  
     
  14. Yeah it is difficult. I feel like I'm treading on eggshells these days talking about Sonic, where as the fandom was more unified in the past.

    I definitely think the split is a generational thing.

    Us people in the old folks home that grew up in the classic/adventure era had the luck of experiencing the franchise at it's peak. The younger fans that unfortunately grew up in the wake of Sonic 06 seem to be more tolerant to Sonic Team's more recent design choices.

    Hear me out before you raise your pitchforks, by that I mean if your first introduction to Sonic was with Shadow holding a gun, the fucking solaris thing or whatever that was, or seeing Sonic as a Werehog, the stuff that makes us old folk rage is not going to bother you as much. And that's cool, I'm kind of envious of that.

    Other franchises like Mario or Zelda don't really have that problem because whatever era you grew up in, the games where consistently good.

    It's now the younger fans that keep this franchise alive, and if it wasn't for you this franchise would probably be dead. As long as we can try to respect each other and understand the generational thing then we will be ok. I know allot of people my age (39) that just buy Sonic stuff for their kids, and are just not interested in playing modern Sonic games in any way. And when those kids grow up, I'm sure they will be nostalgic to games like Forces and it will be even more divided.

    Even when the last star of the universe has died, The Sonic cycle of fans will live on.

    Weird random dig there. I won't take it personally.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2022
  15. MontiP

    MontiP

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    Oh, don't take it personally, of course. If was meant to be a comical jab more than anything else, especially since you seem more chill compared to that 6+ year old trashed discussion. :shobon:

    maybe I should have added a :V at the end lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2022
  16. Sorry then, my bad :) I'm still jumpy after those days lol

    mods feel free to delete
     
  17. foXcollr

    foXcollr

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    I think you were just called old. I suggest blowing up the entire planet, that's probably the only way to come back from this.

    In other news, this entire conversation is driving me insane. I'll confess I'm mostly just skimming it, because it was about level tropes but somehow became about the subjectivity of art. In other OTHER news, 2 days until Gamescom. :)

    In other OTHER other news, I saw someone on Twitter suggest that the giant snake robot in the desert image may be a building and not a robot at all. Especially because it doesn't have any eyes or glowing dots like the giant mechs / titans seem to have.
     
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  18. I mean sure, but whenever I try to make it that simple, people just get really fucking mad about it for some reason :V

    It should be noted that Zelda has a similar cycle of old and new generation of fans being divided; 2D Zelda, 3D Zelda, Early 3D Zelda, Modern 3D Zelda etc etc. The only difference is that yea, Zelda's games get nowhere near as much polarizing reception with the critics, and Nintendo are not as reactionary with addressing criticism as Sega tend to be. Nintendo will do whatever the fuck they want regardless of how anyone feels, while Sega just kind of bend backwards to whoever is screaming the loudest at the time.

    Which makes Frontiers kind of unique actually because I feel like this is the first time Sonic Team are just doing their own thing; like they're very clearly being derivative of other popular games, but they're not the only ones who are guilty of doing that. But Iizuka even gave the impression that everyone should play the game before judging it and that everything seen so far is entirely by design.

    It may not necessarily work out, but that's a level of confidence I haven't really seen from since the early 3D games. As controversial as those games are, they do scream confidence. You have to have some brass balls to release a game like Shadow and 06 with a straight face, and Frontiers kind of gives me a similar vibe.
     
  19. '...You have to have some brass balls to release a game like Shadow and 06 with a straight face'

    Or completely fucking bonkers haha. Love that lol. Yeah I haven't really seen that split as much with Zelda, but then maybe I haven't gone as deep like I have here on retro. Yeah, there are defiantly things I like the look of in frontiers - art aside, I love how expansive it is, and the more surreal aspects get me going.

    I'm gonna go on a blackout now I reckon like I am with botw2 until release, and I'm filling up this thread way too much. See you all later
     
  20. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    I've noticed this too. Especially with Iizuka's dismissal of fans' reactions, it feels like they don't give a fuck anymore, and I mean that in a good way for once. Like they're sick and tired of trying to keep up with what the fandom wants and are just like "fuck you, either buy it or don't". I think Forces was the straw that broke the camel's back on that front. And that kind of attitude is honestly refreshing.
     
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