don't click here

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

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

  1. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    So I'm only on the second island. But still I'll use no spoilers.

    - Most of the cutscenes are just characters spouting exposition and saying nothing of value. At least in Amy's scenes. Really short scenes dedicated to world building in a shallow way and not really telling us much at all about the characters. Some scenes are better but they are rare.

    - So far, Sage is very uninteresting. She just spouts cliche AI lines and doesn't seem to have a personality. Maybe some twist later will save it but I'm not buying it at all so far.


    On a more personal note

    - I personally find the very dark themes of Amy's Island very jarring and baffling. I accept that's a matter of taste but I really don't think it's a good fit for Sonic.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  2. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    Seeing the entire fanbase go crazy for this game is wild. I want to be happy for them, but my happiness is not meeting with them. And I wish I knew why it's so out of sync, so I'm left pondering it to death.

    I like the controls. Boost and rolling and parkour work together in a single system and that's very nice. It's got it's problems (momentum related) but I'll resign my issues to say Sonic overall controls pretty well. The moments in the game where I lull into just soaking in the atmosphere and exploring little crevices and crannies is pleasant and unlike any past 3D Sonic game on offer. I appreciate cyberspace being the semi return of special stages, and I hope that trend sticks with a future title. The story is also intriguing; though not necessarily where I'm at in the game. It seems to pick up around island 3, and I'm at the dead end of island 2.

    Either way, I won't say there's nothing I like about this game, becuase a lot of it holds promise. There's certainly something here for me.

    But I just can't get with the way the open zones are designed. I really do think adding pop-in wasn't a technical limitation but a design choice now, because if every spring, floating platform, pulley, zipline, balloon and grind-rail were spawned in at the same time you'd have to see from afar just how littered the maps are with these things. And it's constantly pulling control away from you to launch you somewhere else. I wouldn't mind these kind of things occasionally, but they're the only engagement Sonic Team expected you to have with the maps. No big ramps, loops, curves, or any wacky geometry of note. There's hardly even setpieces! The maps are just too big, too dull, and bide your time with excess automation and romhack-tier object placement.

    The gameplay loop also kinda runs out of steam once you streamline your pattern for "do the trial to get the tokens to talk to the character to fight the robot to get the gear to go to the cyberspace stage to get the key to get the emerald, repeat". That's just kinda all the tricks the game had up it's sleeve, barring the occasional adventure-game puzzle that I don't think belongs here. The game very, very quickly becomes monotonous for this reason. The occasional Koco minigame or Big fishing area is a nice break from the repetition, but it's just not enough. The game just doesn't have enough content or ideas to last one island, let alone several.

    Though the single place where the game does seem to frequently freshen itself up and keep you on your toes is enemy encounters that I don't want to do half the time anyway. Don't get me wrong, I think the combat and enemy variety is fairly good, but this game's lean on it starts to leave "Sonic game" territory and more becomes pure "action game". The game really wants you to interact with enemies at all times, and for that reason floods every 3 feet (that isn't taken up by a rail or spring, that is) with a horde of enemies that steal your camera control, or a massive mini boss that sponges hits.

    They really put all their chips on you spending the whole game fighting big anime robots doing big anime moves, but apparently that's exactly what the fanbase wanted so I guess it was the right call...????

    I just don't get it. I guess I'm supposed to say "this game is not made for me" and be done with it, but I really wanted to see a good take on Sonic in an open world. It was a dream I long had and gave up on, only for this game's existence to rekindle it. But while Frontiers gets the base ideas down pretty well it immediately does everything wrong, or at least in ways I'm absolutely not down for.

    I'm at around 8 hours in at the dead end of Ares Island I just don't think I'm gonna pick it back up. I'll watch the cutscenes on YouTube. lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2022
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  3. RikohZX

    RikohZX

    Member
    895
    228
    43
    Be sure to catch the Egg Memos if you go that route at least, since they help with the characterization/story stuff too. Though in a non-spoiler way, I say we need someone else in charge of these stories besides Morio Kishimoto at this point, seriously. Ian Flynn just manages to put a nice character layer on top of something that has a lot less effort than all the marketing and the game's own internal buzz justifies.
     
  4. kyasarintsu

    kyasarintsu

    Member
    340
    130
    43
    I'm enjoying the game well enough as a strange Mario Odyssey (scattered little tasks) with tons of jank and automation. It's not like I really asked for there to be combat, for there to be any leveling mechanics, or for the writing to be as weird as it is. It's just stuff that I'm ultimately not too bothered by, because while my ideal 3D game would be more akin to SA1 or SRB2, I'm able to just take this game at face value and enjoy roaming around and doing stuff.

    I'd love for the physics to be more fun to use. I'd love for the level design to have more interesting architecture. I'd love for the platforming design and platforming design to be seamlessly integrated. I'd love for the writing to be more interesting and the cutscenes to be more exciting to watch. There's a lot of things I'd rather Sonic Team have given us instead, but I'm having some fun anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2022
  5. RDNexus

    RDNexus

    Member
    Maybe when hacking and modding this game becomes possible some genius mind may manage to play around with it and its tools to make it an even better experience for many folks here ^^"
     
  6. Starduster

    Starduster

    Sonic Retro's resident IDW slut Member
    1,473
    933
    93
    Britain
    Art...always art...
    @Azookara While I’m having much more fun with the game than you are, I do agree with your points on the open zone and I am struggling to reconcile the fact that I’m having so much fun with my ability to see that the game really doesn’t have that much going on under the surface. Hunting for all the memory tokens on Kronos Island was an exercise in going to where the icon is on the map and running around to find the spring or rail that would take me to the token. There were a couple where I couldn’t for the life of me find said gimmick and I had to get creative with using other rails and platforms in conjunction with the boost and double jump, but such moments are rare and don’t feel intended given how much I failed before getting the tokens. I don’t think momentum is the singular correct answer, but Frontiers should take notes from Mario Odyssey. That game is very good at getting the player to use every tool in their kit, be that for regular play or speedy sequence breaking. Of particular note are the scarecrow challenges in the overworlds, which temporarily spawn in blocky structures and take Cappy away from the player when activated. Mario then has to navigate these obstacle courses using his basic move set to get to the Power Moon at the end. I don't think I can quite articulate what makes these work as well as they do, so I'll just let this video do the talking:



    A lot of these are really straightforward, but that also makes it plain to see what they're testing the player on. Meanwhile, Frontiers' timed challenges (as far as I have played) are generally just about boosting from point A to point B and/or taking the level automation. I don't think this is necessarily a problem with the boost, but with Sonic's options not being used well. As far as traversal goes, we have the boost, double jump, stomp, slide and drop dash. Of those, the double jump is finnicky, the stomp is too sluggish at the end of the end of the move and there's never any reason to use the slide or drop dash when you'll have Power Boost and unlimited boost active at almost all times anyway. While conceptually I love the open zone, I think Frontiers could've benefitted more from following in the footsteps of Odyssey's more gamified sandboxes rather than a Breath of the Wild-esque map with game elements put in over the top of it.

    And while I do enjoy the combat, I understand why it's contentious for many. Sonic certainly has various moves with distinct functions that mean that most moves have a clear use case (though some have overlap, leading to redundancy), but they are largely cutscenes and I feel like the enemies are design in such a way where, even if there isn't only one possible way of defeating any given enemy, each enemy generally has an optimal intended strategy that leaves you asking yourself why you'd bother using anything else. I like the guardians for this reason because they have enough health that you can unleash the full extent of your moves on them, not to mention they each have their own gimmick to give their fights more identity, but even their issue is that they don't have additional phases that adapt to your strategies. Also, one thing that bothers me is that Sonic doesn't really have a crowd control attack. Sure, you can Cyloop around multiple enemies, but that's more of a guard breaker/launcher than anything else and there's no point in looping around multiple of anything but the weakest enemies.

    Ultimately, I think traversal and a lot of combat issues can be solved in one fell swoop by revamping Sonic's core move set. I'd finetune things so the stomp can be acted out of quicker (think boost cancelling like in Generations) and the bounce that you get for holding the button functions identically to Sonic Adventure's bounce, the slide can also be acted out of quicker (maybe turn it into a true roll but I'm unsure on this for reasons related to the drop dash) and make the drop dash Sonic's only way of gaining momentum down hills as well as having much tighter turning than the slide at the cost of being more committal, forcing Sonic to remain curled for longer (though I would tweak it so you don't have to do a double jump for a drop dash, just hold the button on any jump). Oh, also give Sonic a Generations style air dash by pressing jump and boost at the same time for platforming and reinstate the wall jump.

    Looking at combat, I think we start by making the traversal moves useful in combat. Obviously we have the basic homing attack, that's fine and doesn't need much change (though maybe the three hit combo would look better if replaced by sequential homing attacks or something more stylish akin to Sonic Battle). I think the boost could have a combat application of doing heavy damage when Sonic contacts an enemy, proportional to how long Sonic's been boosting for before contacting said enemy (this should cap very quickly though and should only be a one hit kill when Sonic is overlevelled, EarthBound style). The sequential stomp attack (now a bounce) can stay but shouldn't stop the play from bouncing again when triggered - maybe every bounce has a shock wave that gets bigger with each consecutive bounce in order to give Sonic a crowd control attack? Slide could perhaps have super armour that tanks one attack for free per use, at which point the player can either boost cancel or keep the slide going for decent damage, maybe tripping up enemies. Finally drop dash is basically the tried and trusted rolling of old. I think you can keep the cutscene moves, but only as finishers when the combo meter is filled (which should probably be more lenient to accommodate this new combat setup, perhaps even being a charge meter like the Team Blast from Heroes). Once the meter's filled, you do your special input and get your flash move. Of what we have, I'd change the Homing Shot to be a crowd control finisher, Phantom Rush targets one enemy but automatically moves on to the next one that's nearest if the first target is KO'd, I'd combine the two spinning moves and give the resulting move the same shield breaking properties as Cyloop and I guess the Wild Charge or whatever it's called can stay as it is. Final point on combat is that I'd keep giving the Cyloop context sensitive applications like in the Asura fight where you can Cyloop the legs to lift them up.

    After implementing all this, I'd say the "only" thing that needs to be done is to go forward with a level design ethos that encourages the use of these moves, both in combat and traversal. Give us more big enemies with shields whose legs you can slide between to reach their weak point at the back (something like the Egg Hammers would be good for this), a greater functional variety of enemies in general and variety within the strategies that can be applied to any given enemy and make environments less realistic but more stylistic in service of requiring the player to use all the tools in their kit for high level traversal, with more small nooks and crannies to give the drop dash and slide better use cases.
     
  7. sulphurmarketing

    sulphurmarketing

    Member
    113
    33
    28
    To give my quick impressions, I disagree with the opinion that the Starfall Islands don't look like Sonic, I think the stylistic direction is very nice. The gloomy lighting and rain give Kronos island at night a beautiful ambience. The Cyber Space levels look disjointed but I appreciate the contrast given between the Sonic levels and the realistic environments of the islands. The graphics are about what can be expected for last-gen consoles: they look decent. I can't say the performance is great but maybe that's fair since the game was developed for eight different console variations. The render distance is quite short, objects fail to load, and the pop-in can't be missed. However, these limitations can be overlooked for solid gameplay.

    The gameplay overall is fairly positive. The overworld is expansive and is randomly dotted with activities and littered with rails but I find it genuinely a nice experience to explore. Sonic controls fairly well in the big open map; I'm not a fan of mindless boosting, automation, or combat but the gameplay feels like Sonic. There is a lot of jank while moving the character over terrain like others have said but it doesn't stop me from enjoying the game. It may make the game feel unpolished but it might be one of the most polished Sonic games to date in my opinion. The physics during the Cyber Space levels feel worse than in the overworld; they are so bad compared to the boost games that I thought my shoulder buttons were broken at first. The 2D sections especially continue to be as bad as Forces if not worse, I'm not sure why Sonic Team can't just seem to make classic physics work in modern Sonic. But overlooking these shortcomings, the game shows a lot of potential.

    Combat is the only thing I feel doesn't belong. Comparing this game to Unleashed I see a significant improvement. But it also worries me that Sonic Team will shoehorn combat in future games. I also don't like the animations but they might be a step-up from Forces. There are only two animation cycles for running and Sonic doesn't even animate into a curled ball when jumping. I also hate seeing the same Forces character model with short quills and awkward stiff pose although I do like changes like the fur texture. In most cutscenes characters behave like lifeless bodies but sometimes the animations really shine like during the mini-game results segment. Maybe the script doesn't help much although the writing might seem a bit better. The soundtrack is also quite better than I expected, I love hearing a wide range of musical genres.

    I'm happy with the direction the franchise took in this game and I see a lot of room for improvement for a sequel that builds off of the foundation of this game. This could be what Unleashed was to Colors, a flawed but otherwise good game that led the franchise into a greater success. Or, what Generations was to Lost World, a successful game that led the franchise into a weird, experimental title. I could see Sonic Team building a successor to Frontiers or something completely different (Iizuka did allure to an Adventure-type game).

    Random list of thoughts:

    1. The UI looks very pretty although the usability is slow and unintuitive at times.
    2. I hate having to adjust the camera with the analog stick while keeping my fingers on the face buttons, I wish the camera followed the action automatically or the control scheme better accommodated for this. The movement axial dead-zone while playing is also quite large.
    3. The voice direction is odd, Sonic sounds almost like Kyle Crane (Dying Light) or Mirage (Apex Legends) and the other characters don't sound much better. I wish we had better voices. There is also a high-pitched sound that plays when collecting every item that sends a screech of pain into my ears.
     
  8. Mana

    Mana

    Good! Great! Awesome! Outstanding! Amazing! Member
    660
    246
    43
    I doubt it. Game might be flawed and for sure isn't perfect but it's charming and a start to hopefully something more polished and more original, with a bigger team next time.
     
  9. corneliab

    corneliab

    Isn't it about time you played some VIDEOGAMES? Member
    1,586
    142
    43
    Zero Mortals
    This is seriously on track to be my favorite official 3D Sonic game... the fuck is happening.

    Between this and Pokemon Legends: Arceus, I am two-for-two this year on technically-rough "revival" type games endearing me completely with some strong-ass fundamental design. What a time.
     
  10. Mana

    Mana

    Good! Great! Awesome! Outstanding! Amazing! Member
    660
    246
    43
    I'm actually with Laura here. Maybe it's a result of how the cutscenes are done but every single line said in this I've heard in something else and typically with better execution.

    Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 went out there way to have iconic lines and moments and this has nothing I see breaking into pop culture osmosis. No "Talk about cheap flights! No food or movies? I'm out of here!" No "What can I say? I die hard." Not even a "Where you going you big drip!:

    It's competent and functional but do you really see people quoting this dialouge in 5 years? And if they do will you even recognize its from sonic?

    For Pontaffs flaws at least I remember "BBBE" or "Baldy Mcnosehair" or "Green Hill? More like sand hill!" Even if it's not because it's amazing.

    I just see this as middle-of-the-road dialogue that does it's job but doesn't leave you with something to carry with you.
     
  11. Flare

    Flare

    Member
    886
    152
    43
    I hope they stick to this format, and expand upon it because it could really define what 3D Sonic is.

    If teleporting was something you could do between Cyber Stages stations that would make things much easier. I like the big maps, I just wish they had more landmarks so I could tell areas in them apart. I couldn't tell you what was north or west of any map so far.

    The story has me so invested that I am now rushing through the game so I can get to experience the conclusion. To the points that it's not quotable, ok? I don't think it needs to be. I quite enjoy the more somber tone this game is taking.

    Sonic is very toned down, he isn't making too many jokes but for what is worth I am enjoying the story they are laying out so far. I much prefer this to Colors, even if I could quote Colors.

    In a years time it is clear to me that people will recognise the games achievements.
     
  12. Mana

    Mana

    Good! Great! Awesome! Outstanding! Amazing! Member
    660
    246
    43
    Now this is something I don't agree with at all. Adventure 1 and 2 had a literal genocide and on screen death of a child and they're considered by many to be the peak of writing in the sonic franchise.

    The difference between Adventure 1 /2 and Shadow/06 is that if you took out the Sonic characters and replaced them with humans the former stories are still incredibly entertaining.

    Shadow and 06 stories are just BAD and that has nothing to do with the fact that there are talking animals as the focal point of the narrative.

    I think mature stories have a place in Sonic when well written.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2022
  13. sulphurmarketing

    sulphurmarketing

    Member
    113
    33
    28
    You can by uncovering the map fully if I recall correctly. You can also get scrolls by fishing to allow fast travel between elders.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  14. Flare

    Flare

    Member
    886
    152
    43
    @sulphurmarketing Thanks though this still works in my annoyance haha. The map reveals itself slowly, and I don't think they are designed well enough for fast travel. They are designed great for challenges and having fun, but if you need to get from the bottom of the map to the top then its more annoying as springs and rails are there for rewards not for speeding through the map.

    Maybe if it was more like BOTW or Odyssey then it would help. Not a game breaking decision just weird they didn't. Hopefully in the next one.
     
  15. JaxTH

    JaxTH

    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    10,047
    460
    63
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    100% the current map.
     
  16. LucasMadword

    LucasMadword

    LucasSaturn Member
    I am incredibly frustrated and angry at Sonic Frontiers right now. I'm about four and a half hours into the game, been playing it whilst I've had the flu to take my mind off of it. I now no longer can play it, because I was running it through Proton, and to troubleshoot it, I swapped my Proton version quite a few times. I am now locked out of the game, with no way to play it. I paid full price for this game SEGA. Do better. I have the flu, and it's really bad. But that can't measure up to my frustration with Sonic Frontiers right now. You're harming your *paying* customers. This is quite honestly unacceptable.

    My opinions on Frontiers is a lot better than it was during the previews, minus Denuvo. Game is fairly enjoyable. Incredibly flawed, but incredibly enjoyable. Probably a 8/10 in my books. I am surprised which how much I am enjoying it, and also surprised which how much I enjoyed the cyberspace levels (given I was expecting just entirely reused level design, but somehow it felt fresh enough that it didn't feel like I was just playing an old game). Decent game, terrible DRM practices.
     
  17. Flare

    Flare

    Member
    886
    152
    43
    I do wish they had more themes though for Cyber Stages or even just 4 completely different ones than reused assets. They are more pushed than I originally thought... and yet they are the least enjoyable for me. Maybe its the control shift - I like playing Sonic slower (ha) with more control on turns so find myself just running all over the place. Maybe ranking would be tougher?

    Also kinda a game within a game figuring out the stage you are playing... I see you Green Forest.
     
  18. Gestalt

    Gestalt

    Sphinx in Chains Member

    "Hey, it's the song from Donkey Konga!"
     
  19. Snub-n0zeMunkey

    Snub-n0zeMunkey

    yo what up Member
    508
    470
    63
    I'm enjoying the game a lot so far but at the same time I think I agree with you in certain aspects lol

    I think my biggest gripe is that the terrain doesn't feel like it was made with Sonic in mind.

    There are some moments in the game where you can launch yourself off of ramps and get some cool airtime. It's pretty fun to send yourself flying through the air.
    https://i.imgur.com/VRl8VE0.gif
    https://i.imgur.com/tidgdZG.gif
    The problem is that these moments are so few and far between and the actual terrain isn't really built with this in mind. Would've been cool to see more traditional Sonic geometry built into the actual environment.

    It's also kinda funny that they included a speedometer in the HUD, I feel like that would be a really good addition if the game was built around gaining speed through momentum.
     
  20. Seeing mixed reactions is why I can't get hyped for Sonic games anymore. I learnt my lesson, been burned too many times.

    I will pick this up when it comes on sale, and stay away from gameplay vids until then so I can go in with no expectations, maybe I will enjoy it.

    Some pointed out that this might be a good foundation for future Sonic games, while I agree to some extent, Sega should get this right from the get go. Especially when it's being sold as a £50 game.

    Anyway, I am actually looking forward to playing it, I just can't justify the price right now if it's not a certified banger. I like to get really involved with a new game over the Christmas period, but nothing has really interested me this year (was going to be botw2 before that got delayed) I heard Stray is great, although I'll probably just end up playing Okami again. Always good fun.