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

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

  1. Sneekie

    Sneekie

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    I heavily disagree with the notion that if a gameplay mechanic isn't "fleshed out" then it shouldn't exist at all.

    How "fleshed out" a gameplay mechanic should be is based on how relevant it is to the game. That's like saying the fishing minigame should be the most fleshed out and complicated fishing minigame ever, or it shouldn't exist at all. Engagement isn't entirely about how complex a system is or how many different buttons I press, I think.

    As somebody who likes that Frontiers has combat, it think it benefits significantly from it as a result. While it could definitely use tweaks, specifically in presentation and have more concrete incentives--and generally Sonic Team should double down on ideas like Squid or Strider where the combat itself is more the conclusion to a platforming segment--the idea of an ultimately optional combat system where, if you do engage with it, is quick and straightforward is not only good for this game, but perfectly suited for Sonic.

    Frontiers' combat succeeds, to me, because it makes you feel like Sonic-- that includes the part where you can run away if you want and that most enemies will die quickly to your overwhelming assault. Making that longer or more complex for the sake of it wouldn't work.

    I'm glad Sonic Team saw DMC and Bayonetta and thought "okay, this is cool, but we shouldn't make Sonic entirely this." Those games have more complicated and complex combat, which is great for those games. Those games are very much about the combat. They also, as a result, have simple platforming and interaction with the world. I would never play DMC for just the platforming, but it would lose a lot if it never had it at all. Basically the inverse of Sonic.

    I like the combat because it's a result of Sonic Team seeing a concept and actually thinking about how it pertains to Sonic, not only as a character but as a game, which is why it works well despite, or even because, its simplicity.

    I also don't agree with the idea that the combat is simple and quick because it "makes it less of a pain."

    My biggest problem with all of the combat mods is that they take far too long to deal with a simple mini-boss encounter: Phantom Rush, Hedgehog May Cry, and New Frontiers all share his flaw. It's cool that I can do these cool combos, but it takes an eternity. These mods fleshed out the combat and it makes the game less enjoyable.

    For another analogy, it's like saying Persona's combat needs to be "fleshed out" by making even basic encounters super long and complicated. Persona's combat is fun precisely because of the relatively simple "find weakness, buff, debuff" formula, and that it's only one part of a bigger game. To say nothing about how Persona and party composition is also a significant part of the combat.

    Some things benefit from being simple and the combat is one of these things.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2023
  2. Sneekie

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  3. I think it's a problem when one of the main selling points of your game feels half baked, yes.
     
  4. Laura

    Laura

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    @Sneekie

    Let me put forward my point because I think I'm probably not communicating it well.

    I'm not saying that mechanics have to be long and arduous to be fleshed out and sophisticated. I agree with you that mods often mistake complexity for making everything long and tedious. I love Total War for example and dislike the fact most overhaul mods (I'm thinking of divide et impera) will make building and recruitment take many more turns. It just slows the game down.

    Instead, I'm saying that games should not have shallow and simplistic game mechanics. Nothing to do with slow or long gameplay. Using your analogy, the Persona games have a very deep and complex combat systems. Especially Persona 5 Royal with its technicals, baton passes, weaknesses, and character switching. The average combat encounters are short but they aren't simplistic. I do think Persona suffers when you can mindlessly sweep the mobs with dyne skills. But on the whole, you strategise to take out mobs, it's just done quickly.

    Frontiers on the other hand has a quick combat mechanic, but it's very basic as @Blue Blood says. On one hand you could say that's good because, as @Blue Blood says, it means that the combat is over quickly. But saying that the mechanic is fast paced is in my opinion not a point in its favour by itself. The mechanic still needs to be deep and satisfying, much like Persona's combat. Otherwise the mechanic is only tolerable because it shouldn't be there in the first place and it's not causing too much irritation for the player. In which case it just shouldn't be there.

    You are right that not all mechanics and interactivity need to be especially deep. The fishing doesn't need to be deep. Although I think Frontiers' fishing is actually a joke and too shallow even by the standards of minigames. To take Persona's minigames as an analogy, I'd say that's about acceptable for a minigame.

    But not all mechanics are equal. Minigames can be shallow and a mild diversion. A fundamental pillar of the game, such as combat in Frontiers, should be sophisticated and fleshed out.
     
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  5. Wraith

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    I agree that combat should probably be downplayed or removed, but the fact is it's integral to the structure of this game, and thus the structure of future Sonic games. The only real chance we have at a decent game is to give them notes on how to improve it.

    The combat being basic is a problem because it becomes way too repetitive for a 20 hour experience. Anything to shake things up is a plus, whether that involves a more varied moveset for Sonic, more enemies, or more scenarios that the player needs to worry about during fights.

    I think giving Sonic more moves and making more robust is a good call, but it's only a step in the right direction.
     
  6. That One Guy Josh

    That One Guy Josh

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    I feel like the combat in this game just isn't my cup of tea, it can get absolutely tedious after a certain point, what with spamming the same 3 moves or whatever. But since it's a core part of the gameplay, I guess I'll have to give it a pass.
     
  7. Kyro

    Kyro

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    I absolutely agree, I dont want it overhauled to the degree some of these mods have tried, but I would like a bit more complexity. Really, I think the standard enemies need to be better about taking advantage of the potential of the combat system and there needs to be more variables to consider aside from, which flashy cutscene move am I gonna use today.

    That said, after playing Spark 3 last week, its definitely a BIT deeper, but I found its combat much more intrusive, so I hope that they stick with what they have and flesh it out and dont go in the spark direction. With regards to combat, at least. I would be happy if they took other things from spark 3 lol
     
  8. Sneekie

    Sneekie

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    I still can't agree that simple mechanics should not exist, that's honestly really silly to me.

    In the original Persona 5, technicals were actually borderline useless (they didn't grant a One More, and you needed Psychokinesis to get a technical for any status ailment that isn't Burn/Shock/Freeze), baton passes were locked to your progression with Confidants, which would be like if Frontiers locked skills behind completing puzzles--not necessarily obstructive, but if you don't like tile puzzles, or want to spend time hanging out with Haru, your party is worse for no good reason--and character switching is also very similarly a late-option for most players.

    Weaknesses do not make the combat particularly complex (80% of players will just try any and all elements until one works, and halfway through the game, you'll get enough abilities to just be told what works anyway--also, weaknesses and to a lesser extent status effects are made considerably less useful for bosses).

    Persona's own One More itself is actually a LESS complex variant of the Press Turn system in the main Shin Megami Tensei games. It lacks mechanics like how missing an attack gives you an extra turn or game-specific additions like Smirking, Magatamas, or Magatsushi. Persona 5 is also one of the easier SMT games too.

    Despite all of this, you will hardly find anyone who claims that Persona 5 should have had what Royal added or no combat at all. Wouldn't that be kind of silly? Persona 5 is pretty simple in its combat, but it's sleek, quick, cool, and engaging despite that.

    I wouldn't say that Frontiers gives the same vibes as Persona 5, but I also wouldn't say that Persona 5's combat is good because it's complex. It's not complex. As an SMT game alone, you can easily find more complex, harder games. But Persona 5, for various reasons, is a massive favorite, and its simpler combat is one of those reasons. The combat works in tandem with the social and dungeon aspects. Other SMT games are more hyperfocused on the combat in comparison, so it needs the complexity.

    It simply works well with the game it's made for. Which goes for any game, really. Even Classic Sonic in Forces would be good even if it was well made.

    See, unless you're talking about bosses, why would you want basic encounters to take forever? For even a random Jack Frost to need real strategy to beat. By the time you get -dyne skills, you're more than good enough at the game, and powerful, and you should expect to clear out mobs. That's not a flaw at all, unless it gets repetitive, in which case you can just... ignore them!

    By the time you get to Ouranos, even beefed up variants of Ninja or Tower are, comparatively, "easier" to beat than the originals when you fought them, and that's fine! Keeps the pace.

    Fighting bosses in Persona take strategy. Similarly, bosses in Frontiers take more effort, such as needing to find a weakness. I would definitely agree that the next game can probably skip basic enemies like Soldiers outright, though--if the combat was based on enemies like Asura or Fortress.

    A more diverse moveset for Sonic and more enemies that react and fight against certain strategies would work, I'm not against improvements. It ain't perfect.

    I just don't necessarily count these as "complexities," though. That's more like having a combo score system like the mods do. I think once Frontiers or Frontiers 2 starts having tipping too far in throwing mechanics in the way of combat, there's going to be a problem. On paper, that may seem good, but as part of the game...

    I'm pretty sure this place is one of the very few in all of the internet in which "the combat in this Sonic game is fast-paced and isn't required if you're not a fan" is considered a negative, or somehow reads as half-baked, lmao.

    As someone who closely checked reactions to Frontiers, people liked the fact that enemies didn't actually need to take 10 minutes to fight and thought that Sonic's moves still looked cool.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2023
  9. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Now I want to see The End getting decked by the Gaia Colossus and Dark Gaia blasting a hole through it after it ripped open the Earth.

    Though there's another thought: did Uraia have its own 'Gaia's, or is it a Earth-only thing?
     
  10. kyasarintsu

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    I really don't like having to ignore large swathes of the game's design and progression curve. I'd rather they have designed the game without a crappy battle system at all.
     
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  11. Londinium

    Londinium

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    This is similar to the question I raised a while back. How do the Chaos Emeralds fit with Light Gaia, Dark Gaia, and the Gaia Temples if the Chaos Emeralds come from another world? From what I gathered, Light and Dark Gaia have been at it since the beginning of time, with the Chaos Emeralds playing a major role in it.
     
  12. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    They never actually say that the Chaos Emeralds have been involved in the cycle, just that Sonic may be able to use them to heal the planet, and Chip notes he's the one whose job that usually is. The Gaia Temples and Chaos Emeralds seem to be 'recent' additions to that formula.

    But even if an Emerald is needed, there's a single, more powerful one that WAS on the planet and drew the seven in...
     
  13. Roller

    Roller

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    The Gaia Temples were built after the emeralds came to the planet. This is text AND clarified via Bumblekast, with the arbitrary example numbers of 90 thousand years for the arrival of the Ancients, and 85 thousand for someone to nab them from Angel Island and use them to make the temple, although the real-world timeline of humanity beginning to venture out of Africa, at roughly 60 thousand, has also been thrown around. By that alone, there's only been one Gaia cycle that involved the gems and the temples.

    With that in mind, you can make some informed guesses. Was the planet always unstoppably ravaged and one tiny fairydog have to Death Stranding all over those guys? Did early humanity look at their fate and cheat it with their unlikely gift from the heavens, giving Chip the leg up to take the big boy at the planet's core on? The Colossus staying underground at the end of Unleashed actually supports their artificial role in the cycle, rather than the plot hole it was all the way back in 2008.
     
  14. That's nice, I don't care what other people think. I care about what makes the game good to me and what can be done to build on its foundation, not about pleasing people.

    I'm willing to bet most people praising the game for "enemies not taking a million hits to beat" have either never touched a character action game or just don't care about them to begin with.

    So why should I care about the opinions of people who have no interest in actually making the game interesting?
     
  15. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    That feels a bit like a straw man. love Devil May Cry. Love it to bits. I also love that I can steam roll enemies in Frontiers.

    I don't want Frontiers to be Devil May Cry.
     
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  16. I'm saying that you can still steamroll enemies while also offering something that's a little more in depth too.

    These are not mutually exclusive things.
     
  17. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    So you want to raise the execution complexity and expand Sonic's moveset, then?
     
  18. While still making it easy for people to just mash if they so wish, yes.
     
  19. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    I guess. That's what easy mode is for I suppose.
     
  20. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    That's what the game already does once you unlock the auto combo option.