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

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

  1. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    I thought it was pretty obvious that it isn't happening in real time/space.
    The sky is shown changing to appear like cyber space, and Amy is briefly solid again. Plus the aftermath of the explosion that kills the Ancients in that scene is nowhere to be seen afterwards. Not to mention the whole thing is sepia. I don't know if there's a such a more universally understood rule in visual media than "sepia = the past".

    It's difficult to figure out what or who the Koco are this particular point in the story and I won't spoil that for you. But yeah... The game wasn't trying to hide the fact that it was a memory you were watching.

    Regarding whether or not they explain it later...
    They don't explicitly explain it with the characters figuring out what that scene was. Rather, they assume you already know and have Sonic say that somehow they're seeing memories of something from a long time ago. Sonic cottoned on pretty quickly so it wasn't supposed to be a big reveal.
     
  2. MontiP

    MontiP

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    To be fair, I was mostly zoned out on the story by that point, maybe because I was trying to hard to pay attention that it completely 180-ed on me, so I had no idea what the fuck was going on.

    By now I said "fuck it" and just spoiled myself the rest of the plot... which left me with "Ooooohhh, now I get it" and "Oh that's a neat outcome". I might probably restart the game again now that I understand the plot, and want to properly see it unfold through my own experience.

    (Actually, no. I'll just watch those first cutscenes on YouTube before continuing Ares Island.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022
  3. Dark Sonic

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    I wonder how much worse the character interactions would’ve been had Pontac wrote this game.

    I mean definitely worse but how awful would it have been lol
     
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  4. Hez

    Hez

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    So I'll give my honest spoiler free review. This game is good, but it's really not....Sonic, if that makes sense. This game suffers from the same pitfalls as every game after Sonic Adventure 1/2 does. It's inconsistant, and feels like a bunch of interns were told to come up with cool ideas and they forgot to weed any of them out. You could basically replace Sonic and friends with any generic characters and the game would work. Sonic has absolutely no deceleration, which is jaring. The game itself just feels like a giant proof of concept that was never fleshed out properly. It almost feels like either Sonic Team/Sega treats the franchise as the red headed step child, or they are too afraid to stick with what works. When I play a Mario game for example, I FEEL like I'm playing a mario game. Whenever a new Sonic game comes out, it's like a brand new experience every time.

    Now I'm not saying the game is bad. I actually really enjoy it. It should have spent a bit longer in the bug fix stage, but it's one of the better 3d sonic games to come out in a while.

    One major complaint (and probably unpopular opinion) though -- grinding is the worse thing to happen to the Sonic franchise. It's used mostly to fill gaps in levels now instead of having to come up with actual clever ways to progress. GET RID OF GRINDING. IT BARELY WORKED IN SONIC ADVENTURE 2.
     
  5. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    This isn't a particularly unpopular opinion.

    Imo, SA2 was the only game to get grinding mostly right. It was used relatively sparingly in that game, with optional rails in levels like City Escape being used to great effect. The cracks started in to show in the grinding-focused stages like Sky Rail and Final Rush. Be it because of inconsistent rail switching (a problem that's now been fixed) or balancing being too finicky and temperamental, something often went wrong with prolonged rail sections. But I thought that the concept of grind rails incorporating physics to consider your momentum and angle was great addition to the gameplay.

    Grinding in Frontiers sucks because its the same as its been for the last 14 years or so, whereby the mechanics have been watered down to the point that rails are just auto-running paths that occasionally require you to quick step to the sides. Tell me, what's the difference between grinding in Frontiers and chasing the Squid miniboss? Functionally, they're identical. Since there's no consideration for physics anymore, the boost is used to control speed instead. Balancing is non-existent too. You just get on a rail and the hassle play itself until you either the rail ends or you jump off. And the rails exist fucking everywhere as a stand-in for actual gameplay. A lot of the open zone platforming challenges have grinding on trains for several seconds, sometimes the entire sequence after a homing attack or two. What's the point? Does anyone want that?

    That's the main problem with Frontiers, and it's the exact same problem we've seen increasingly from Unleashed to Colours to Generations to Forces: more and more of the "gameplay" is made up of entirely- or majorly-automatic sequences that see Sonic getting pushed from pillar to post by springs, boosters, dash hoops, zip lines and rails. That shit isn't gameplay. It's barely even level design. It's basically interactive cutscenes, and that's long since lost its lustre.

    Just to circle back, this isn't what rails were like in SA2. You could afford to be a bit more hands off on longer rails perhaps, but you couldn't just go into autopilot mode. And there were benefits to learning to grind well. I'm almost glad that Frontiers includes neutered recreations of Metal Harbour, Green Forest, Radical Highway and Sky Rail because they all do an excellent job of showcasing why rails in their current state are mindless filler for proper level design.
     
  6. Londinium

    Londinium

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    "Hey Toothface! How about you get a mint before battle?"

    "First snakes, now robotic dragons? Why does everything think I'm tasty?"

    "Fighting's not your thing, how about trying for the demolition derby?"

    Among other one-liners.
     
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  7. Sonic Warrior TJ

    Sonic Warrior TJ

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    And then on top of that we'd have some "You don't have a GHOST of a chance" type one-liners aimed at his friends and Sage, repeatedly.
     
  8. jubbalub

    jubbalub

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    The issue with that is that in those games it's almost ALWAYS just that. Just witty one liners with nothing else. Sonic still has a mouth in this game, like when SAGE asks him what his end goal is and he gets sarcastic. But it feels better this time because there's actually a story worth a damn.

    Does that make sense? Probably not lol
     
  9. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    That's funny because just the other day I was playing SA2's multiplayer against myself (Grind Race, Pyramid Cave) and almost lost against the character I was not actively controlling during that race. Such a classic.

    But I agree, grinding in SA2 felt pretty satisfying if you knew what you were doing.
     
  10. Crasher

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    One thing that I was disappointed on is that Unleashed does have the controls for SA2's rail grinding. You can duck, lean left/right, and you can even swap the way you're facing (which could've factored into the way you had to balance). However, it's entirely visual - if they had a gameplay impact (even if it's not "keep your balance or you die", but more like "keep your balance for more speed"), then rail grinding would've been much more interesting.

    They removed the leaning come Generations/Colours, since they swapped the rail switching from the shoulder buttons to the joystick (which makes little sense from a control perspective, but whatever).
     
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  11. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Honestly I do think auto switching on rails is a godsend because rails in SA2 cause far more frustration than is reasonable. I do think that stuff like ducking and leaning should be brought back and expanded on, as well as pilfering from Crash 4 the ability to hang from rails. I think Frontiers in particular needed this badly given that you’re grinding in this game far more than any other. It’s pretty much the same all the way through with any escalation of the mechanic quickly plateauing because there’s just not a lot that can be done with it in its current form.
     
  12. Laura

    Laura

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    Pontac and Graff both wrote character dialogue far better than Flynn did in Frontiers. In my opinion of course lol.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
  13. RikohZX

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    I don't usually do this sort of thing, but no matter how many references Flynn throws around or how robotic and stiff the character conversations in Frontiers can be at times, hell no the character dialogue in the Pontaff games was not better. Just because Frontiers is the new thing a week fresh off the oven and has its issues doesn't magically undo the 12 years of Baldy McNosehair and writing that was more focused on jokes than the actual characters themselves, unless that character (Cubot) was the joke.

    Back when Colors came out, a lot of people liked the Eggman PA announcements, copyright law gag and so forth, and yeah, I can still get a laugh here or there from Colors, but no one's going to pull wool over the problems that exist.
     
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  14. Laura

    Laura

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    I don't think people portray Pontac and Graff fairly. It's true that they over-relied on silly jokes and melodrama but they also greatly improved the character dialogue so that Sonic, Tails, and Eggman talk to each other like people who have real conversations. People object to the direction in which they took Sonic and Tails, but they still gave them clearly defined personalities who bounce off each other.

    Flynn's writing in Frontiers is far worse on a fundamental level in my mind. Flynn mostly has the characters talk exposition at each other or even just speak exposition out loud. In the vast majority of the cutscenes the characters are saying nothing of value. Just speaking words about what the player should do or just bland exposition about the island. There are some standout scenes which break this mould but they aren't the standard.

    I don't think Flynn is necessarily a bad writer. The plot is good conceptually. It's better conceptually than anything Pontac and Graff came up with. It's just amateurish in execution, which very well could be the constraints of writing for an open world game.
     
  15. jubbalub

    jubbalub

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    Leave it to Sonic fans to portray the "other side" as awful and the worst thing ever, almost dehumanizing them in the process. :V
     
  16. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    Oh god yeah no, don't let Pontac and Graff ever touch this series again.

    I'm not even kidding when I say I was on the verge of tears with several cutscenes, just because my childhood heroes were acting like their old self again and not the one-liner spewing flesh puppets we've had since Colours.
    I think it's telling how long we've been going without decent writing that a lot of people complain about the characters "spewing exposition" when it's just how...plots works?
    Like actual, real plots that need to tell an actual story, y'now? And don't get me wrong, Frontiers' plot is aggressively passive (from what I've seen so far anyway, haven't beaten the game yet), I'd definitely love for shit to actually happen in it, like in both Adventure games.

    But plot-wise, characters standing around talking has been the standard for this series ever since Colours so I don't see how this is a downgrade in any way?
    Only difference is that this time I don't have the knee-jerk reaction to punch my tv everytime someone opens their mouth :V
     
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  17. Laura

    Laura

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    I really do feel like this is the only reason why people like the story of this game. And while I understand why people like to see Knuckles acting like he used to do, I don't think it's fair to claim the writing is better than something like Pontac, Graff, or Boom just because Knuckles acts more like his traditional incarnation.

    Good stories don't just have characters standing and spouting exposition at each other. Good stories weave exposition subtly into character interactions which focus primarily on characterisation. Sometimes stories will inelegantly front the exposition so it's out the way as soon as possible, which is actually better than Frontiers which puts it front and centre throughout the whole game.
     
  18. Linkabel

    Linkabel

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    Ngl, I think these are decent one liners, definitely give a Spider-Man vibe and now I wished they were in the game.
     
  19. Ian Flynn, Ken Pontac and Warren Graff all have their own issues as writers that we can scrutinize.

    If I was forced to pick though? Ian Flynn any time, anywhere and I say that as someone who doesn't hate Pontac and Graff anywhere near as much as the fanbase does.

    Yea, they do get an intensely unfair reputation and the fanbase has effectively demonized them into public enemies number one, with some of the fanbase displaying among the most obnoxious and immature behavior I've seen, ironically more than the writing they accuse of being juvenile.


    That being said, I feel like they simply did not understand or care about what made fans like these characters in the first place. Sure, I'd agree the dialogue feels way more natural...because they weren't writing Sonic & Tails, they were self inserting as Sonic & Tails.


    The whole "characters standing around doing exposition" has been a staple of this series since Sonic Adventure 1, and was still prominent when the other writers came in. That's a consequence of Sega's poor presentation of these games in conveying narrative and characterization, the writers are just there to fill in the blanks.
     
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  20. RikohZX

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    Yeah, a central problem with basically any stories for most of the franchise is sheer presentation. Adventure 1? Technical limitations kept them from being all that dynamic. Adventure 2 had some of the most cinematic sequences in the franchise. Unleashed had the actual polish, animation effort and presentation, and so forth.

    But they're all just people standing in rooms or overlooking areas rambling about the plot before slipping in one-liners and visual gags, a couple exceptions like Sonic vs. Shadow on the ARK aside or a character jumping into action for a boss fight. And every major CGI bit for most of the franchise usually is exempt by being a big showcase animation one way or another.

    The thing with Frontiers is that the vast majority of cutscenes didn't get any presentation at all and are just MMO or Open World standard "characters bobble their heads to emote and occasionally change their idle animation" shorthands. Things for dialog to speak through, but not enough time to actually develop and make a real cutscene.

    The few cutscenes that do put in the effort do feel great to me, even if they're still characters being passive just a little visual character in and of itself goes a long way. But that's not most of the game.
     
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