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

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

  1. Snowbound

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    I agree with Laura that a lot of the automation is an intentional design choice. Now what I’m about to say reflect the fact that my opinion of Sonic Team pre-frontiers was very low… BUT the fact that they even included the drop dash gives me a tiny bit of hope that they might include more slope/terrain-based design in a sequel. There’s no doubt that modern Sonic team views automation as good deaign, but the inclusion of the drop dash indicates that they may be willing to learn and try new things.
     
  2. Shaddy the guy

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    For anyone who was waiting like me, the mod to keep physics consistent between open zone and cyberspace is now released.

    Which makes it all the more frustrating that MY GAME WON'T FUCKING LAUNCH AFTER THE PATCH

    EDIT: It's one of Hedgemodmanager's codes, but I don't know which. It's not the boost filter disable though, which means the game is still playable.

    EDIT 2: It's "disable ingame letterboxing" and "disable fixed camera notifications". There might be more codes that cause this, but they're not codes I use.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2022
  3. lupinsmask

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    If sonic team refuses to design levels without half of it being boosters and rails in place of shuttle loops I run through by my own effort then I won't be purchasing future 3D sonic games.
     
  4. Beltway

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    Minor note, but Ragnarok was actually given a 7/10 from Edge. There's a thread that said Edge gave them a 5/10; but that was a troll review posted before Edge's publication to rile people up, the content fudged from their reviews for other games.
     
  5. Laura

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    Sonic Team do address fan feedback but always in a way which fits with their philosophy as game designers. It is why they often seem to listen to fan feedback but not understand what people are asking for. The irony is that Sonic Team actually have a lot of artistic integrity and never just do exactly what fans want. I just completely disagree with their design philosophies.

    The one constant in their design philosophy is automation and I don't think they will ever change it. Nakamura's interview is famous but there is also the development talk about Forces' level design which I will one day dig up.

    In fact with the popularity of Frontiers I don't even think they would have a motive to change the automation. They've interpreted non linearity as open zones which give you different approaches to automated challenges. Fans have largely praised the game and indicated that they like it. So Sonic Team have probably interpreted the fan response as a good job on their behalf!

    And if people like it then fair enough! I get some enjoyment out of it. I did complete Frontiers!
     
  6. GerbilSoft

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    It looks like today's update for the Steam version fixed one notable issue on my system at least: The ground textures flickered quite badly at certain parts of the day/night cycle. This seems to affect certain systems with AMD APUs, possibly Linux-specific but I'm not sure. (In particular, I've heard it affected Steam Deck, and it also affected my ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 AMD, both of which have similar iGPU components.)

    Framerate also seems to be more stable (holds at 60 fps more), though I still can't go over 1280x720 without it dropping frames. (Again, AMD APU; Ryzen 6850U with Radeon 680M, so not a powerhouse, but good enough for most things.)
     
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  7. Yeah automation in the 3D titles isn't going anywhere, the series has been doing it for the past 24 years and its not gonna be something Sonic Team will address because it looks like as far as they're concerned, its not an issue. I imagine it makes 3D level design much much easier and less resource draining being able to just guide the player along set paths instead of trying to build multiple levels of something like Sonic Utopia (as an extreme example).
     
  8. Sneekie

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    Automation will be kept because even as the games are a lot of people have trouble playing them. A lot of people, and I've seen this from streams of Frontiers, are barely able to grasp the mechanics of a Sonic game even when directly instructed.

    A game that relies 100% on execution, if that's even possible which I don't think it is, sounds fun, in theory, to hardcore fans who instinctively understand how rolling mechanics work,

    but in practice, for games that are ultimately still for children and families, it's not going to appeal to a lot of people.

    Forces is the extreme opposite, where there is too much automation that it feels like you're barely playing the game. Too busy being fast than feeling fast.

    Frontiers is a good middle ground between automation and execution, which is why you don't hear people complain about the former in this game.

    Sure, a platforming challenge relies on rails and springs but you can choose how to approach those rails and springs if you know how the game plays. Get clever and you can skip it entirely. For basic A-to-B sections, you also have quite a few options.

    Additionally, there is also a good feeling as to how Frontiers designs its levels so you're immediately going to another platforming challenge without losing momentum (as in, the feeling of speed; the actual speed varies).

    Even Cyber Space benefits from this. Even when the levels are literally the same as other games, the physics as well as the "floating platfoms" design of the levels allow more freedom than usual, makes them feel different. Speedruns are wild.

    You can beat 1-6 in a fifth of the time with a well-timed M-Boost and it doesn't feel like you're just glitching the game.

    In comparison to Utopia, where the entire game is just the concept of momentum-via-execution, there's a higher hit of serotonin, to me at leas, when I'm "not" supposed to reach a Memory Token or platform by launching off of a ramp than when I "am" supposed to.

    If they make the dash panels two-way and have more platforming sections and sloped terrain, then what they got with Frontiers will achieve more of both Sonic Team's vision and fans' desires without sacrificing much of either at all.
     
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  9. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Scripting, like everything else in Sonic's arsenal, is a tool. Every Sonic game has it, it can be used well, and it can be misused. The issue is that the things automation has historically replaced are fundamental to the series' gameplay for a lot of fans.

    The Adventure games are full of it for Sonic, but there were still bits of the smooth physics-based gameplay that people loved in the stages. I'd say that Heroes is where it really went away, where even though that game technically has the engine to support a lot of the same acrobatics as the Adventure games, it's mostly made out of flat planes connected by rails and slopes too steep and isolated to get use out of. All the loops are scripted, and there's nothing like Pyramid Cave or Emerald Coast's waterfall area where you can use Sonic's momentum to run up and/or along walls. From Shadow and 06 on, it never really recovered, and then Unleashed onwards was the boost gameplay, where it doesn't really matter whether Sonic has physics or not.

    Frontiers manages to scrape by, I think, because it's full to bursting with gameplay. Even if it's not quite the game people want it to be, it works its balls off enough that the rails, dash panels and springs, while certainly annoying, are more filler between player interaction than a substitution for it. Of course, you could still remove them and it would result in a much tighter experience, but inefficient padded design is a stable of open-world games.

    What probably makes all this very frustrating though is that the tools for creating the perfect Sonic experience are showing their face in Frontiers, but it is unlikely the devs are going to know what they've actually got and take advantage of it.
     
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  10. I just hate how unnatural Sonic feels when controlling him.

    One of the main factors that are important for a 3D platformer is how they control; if the character doesn't feel right, the game just will not come together.

    I guess what bothers me the most about how Sonic Team design these games is that they have probably never once asked themselves "how should Sonic control in an open space"


    And if the game is just going to be heavily automated and strip control away from the player, then what's the difference between playing the game and just watching runs on YouTube?

    Its just frustrating because this feels like it shouldn't be difficult to do, but they make it difficult.
     
  11. synchronizer

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    Unless they invest in some constraint-based procedural generation to help with this.
     
  12. Snub-n0zeMunkey

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    I just watched this video by MatthewMatosis and it's pretty interesting, it's about context specific actions and player control. I think the 13:38-14:50 minute mark of the video is pretty relevant here, but the whole vid is worth a watch.

    The reason Sonic Team opts for automation is probably because it's simpler to design and you don't have to accomodate for every possible decision a player might make and every possible problem they might encounter. At this point I don't see Sonic Team ever going through any major paradigm shift in this aspect.
     
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  13. Wraith

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    This video and that reasoning ultimately outlines why I don't respect this game, or Sonic Team as developers. Context sensitivity is, imo, the biggest thing holding back 3D Sonic. Everything, from the automated setpieces to really fundamental things like the homing attack being Sonic's main mode of interaction with the world, are ideas that hold the series back and lead to rigid, automated gameplay.

    It was easier to accept this when 3D games were early, but as more and more of Sonic Team's peers figure out alternatives to exploring the 3D space it becomes harder to justify. They don't want to accommodate for a wider variety of outcomes because it's harder and riskier than what they're currently doing. They don't trust the player to figure things out about the mechanics on their own on the off-chance that someone might not jive with the game immediately and drop it. It's hard to spin any of that that in a positive way in an era where developers seem to be pushing the boundaries of interaction left and right. It might have been excusable back when the deadlines for these games were harsher, but five years is more than enough time to iron these problems out.
     
  14. Starduster

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    Cherrypicking on my part, but this is an issue endemic to “triple A” games in general these days, with GMTK reasoning that God of War: Ragnarok’s puzzles give the player too many hints because games these days have all their teeth focus tested out of them in an effort to generate high user retention levels.
     
  15. Wraith

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    I understand that, but I don't really respect it in the context of those games either. I really don't think it's necessary for a game to be a success and it ruins the fun for a lot of players.
     
  16. xbloodywhalex

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    I mean I don't necessarily disagree - I think that artistic integrity is more important than shaving everything down to be as bland and accessible to everybody ever (reeks of corporate uncreativity in desperation for profit and all that) but I also think its a little harsh to say its not necessary for a game to be a success - developers are obviously going to want to rake in as many players and as much cash as possible to give them funds and an audience for their next project. Naturally there's usually a balance to be had but...
     
  17. Wraith

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    Handholding to God of War: Ragnarok's extent? No, I'd argue that it's not necessary for your game to be a mainstream success at all lol. I feel like the reactions to that game and Elden Ring being a big success in the same year prove that.
     
  18. Sneekie

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    The industry is rife with gacha, free-to-play, money-sucking games and remakes, remasters, remasters, remakes, and sequels.

    Who's pushing boundaries? Crash? Whose last game was "remember how good Crash 1 - 3 were?" Twice? Mario? Mario's pushing boundaries?

    People already talked about God of War, but the complaints of its (and Horizon, for that matter) handholding nature, I don't see for Sonic Frontiers.Indeed, being told directly how to solve a puzzle is certainly different from an obstacle in a game not requiring much interaction... and I would even debate that idea for Frontiers.

    To make another example, Elden Ring... well, I haven't played it, but in its heyday, people were praising the fact that it didn't have a quest log, which isn't exactly "pushing boundaries of interaction left and right" and was met with equal parts praise and derision for basically every reason you think it would be.

    Elden Ring is already occupying its own extreme niche that people argue if games should be fundamentally hard at all whenever a FromSoft game is announced, but I don't think that's the point you're trying to make.

    I can think of a few games with some new ways of interaction, but they certainly aren't comparable to what Sonic is and does at all (also, they aren't 3D, or platformers).

    Who's "pushing boundaries" in a way that makes Sonic Frontiers "unjustifiable?" How is Sonic Frontiers itself not pushing boundaries, for Sonic in particular especially?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2022
  19. Zephyr

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    What boundaries does Frontiers push?
     
  20. Sneekie

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    For Sonic? An open world Sonic game is a pretty big boundary to push, it changes how a Sonic game plays in a fundamental way.

    For a game that is traditionally linear in design and goal, even in its most "non-linear" gameplay, a fundamental non-linear approach is pretty big.

    Comparing its reception to other games, you'll find many people agree that it's a new and interesting take for Sonic, and one people didn't expect to work out, even besides how it was marketed.

    In general? I'd say pretty much none, but I'd say the same for many, many games released today as well. When I think of the good and great games today, I don't really think about how ground-breaking they are. I love Xenoblade Chronicles 3, but it is indeed the third* game in the Xenoblade Chronicles series. Incidentally, that is pretty tutorialized, but that is also a direct result of people complaining that the previous game having too few tutorials.