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

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

  1. kazz

    kazz

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    The boost games are moreso what I'd consider the opposite of "moving freely". Sure Sonic can run faster in them but SA2 Sonic running out of a charged spin-dash seems pretty fast to me. And of course SA1 Sonic can spam-dash up, down and all around the map if you so please, which makes comparing just the running speed even more arbitrary. The "free movement" system Hasimoto introduced in Unleashed apparently required turning the level paths into a bunch of walled-off tubes where you just forcibly burst in one direction no matter how you maneuver. Not to mention the plentiful level sections that remove an axis of movement entirely. I agree with Shaddy that Sonic should be restrained to about his SA2 speed in Frontiers 2, but mainly because I'm not sure if that'd be much of a nerf to begin with. The level design would just have to facilitate actual free movement! I feel like I'm beating a dead boost horse here but point is I don't think I want Hasimoto directing muh Sonic lol.
     
  2. Iggy for Short

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    Maybe I'm biased as a boost-game-liker, but level design aside, I think Unleashed's additions to the moveset had merit. Boosting works well as a "go forward button" akin to holding down to roll in the 2D games, quick-stepping was a nice idea for more decisively dodging obstacles on straightaways, drifting was a fun way to round corners, and stomping... I guess wasn't exactly new, but it didn't hurt and wasn't bad for precision landings.
     
  3. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I think that the boost games have a lot of good additions, but the way players are encouraged to use them isn't necessarily the best.

    The boost totally can be compared to rolling, with the explicit issue being that there's no real downside to using it. As long as you have the rings (and you will almost always have the rings), it becomes braindead easily.

    Quick-stepping is a useful tool, but it's one that the games near-exclusively use for specifically-designed sections rather than something the player should naturally want as a way of improving their own performance.

    Drifting...I'ma be honest. I think that Sonic should always turn well enough naturally that there's no need for drifting. It's a mechanic to cover up a problem in the base control, one that Frontiers somehow managed to solve in the open zone and make unbelievably worse in Cyberspace. Like with the speed, was anyone really wanting for a drifting mechanic in SA1 or 2? I wasn't, I can maneuver Sonic perfectly well around tight turns in those games as-is.

    The stomp is good, with the exception of Unleashed. I've heard people say they love how it's "physics-based" for not cutting your horizontal momentum, and I want those people to be thrown out a window. This thing is damn near unusable for anything but jumping at a standstill. The game exclusively asks you to use it for precise landings, and no speedrun tricks will fix how terrible it is for specifically that. Outside of that, I feel like its main struggle is just that a lot of people like bouncing better, and the two would really struggle to co-exist. I sympathize with this, I like using the bounce to reach higher spots or angle off of slopes, but I think having a proper and definitive air break is a more important tool for general play.
     
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  4. Childish

    Childish

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    I don't think boosting in analogous to rolling at all, rolling allows you to take advantage of the environment boosting lets you ignore it. It's more akin to super sonic IMO. Tied to rings, makes you invincible to enemies and makes you faster so you can just run past and ignore everything. I'm glad frontiers made it so you were still vulnerable, it's still a go fast button but at least not boosting is useful for platforming. In gens Sonic turns like a car weather you're boosting or not. It feels like you have more control when boosting when it should be the opposite. I'm fine with a go faster button as long as there's a point to not holding it all the time.
     
  5. Starduster

    Starduster

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    I find it interesting that you've advocated for the empty space in Frontiers before going on to pitch a city open zone, when that's pretty much the most densely packed locale you could choose for a Sonic level. As I think about it, the philosophies of city planning and designing a Sonic level are kind of one in the same - every bit of space has to serve a purpose. Even wide open city plazas should do this, either being that way to accomodate a large flow of people, or hosting benches, bins, food trucks, etc. At the same time, a city open zone makes me think of an area that's densely packed with no area existing simply to take Sonic from one part of the map to another. Take your highway idea for example. You've already suggested peppering that with gimmicks such as ramps and rails to actually give the player something to do on the way to a suggested destination, but suppose we make the edges of the highway curve upwards into a half-pipe - now we've got a thoroughfare that can also act as a springboard to other areas for players who can skillfully utilise Sonic's speed and the terrain.

    I think the map design of Frontiers 2 would sit comfortably somewhere between Frontiers and the Sonic Utopia demo. This seems like a strange thing to say at first, because Utopia seems like worlds away from Frontiers, but I think there's a relationship in their flaws. Frontiers is a checklist game that has a variety of content, but your forward progress in the open zone comes from doing what effectively amounts to minigames that don't really ask you to master the map or Sonic's movement, not to mention that said challenges exist between swathes of empty space that has no purpose other than to be traversed. Conversely, Utopia has this massive map with a lot of deliberate level designs and paths that can be very organically strung together, but the only reason you're ever going to explore any of it is for its own sake. This sounds good on paper and works for that demo but, in the context of a full game, that wouldn't hold up. In the classic games, levels have myriad branching paths, but they all lead to the goal no matter which you're on, with the distinction being the challenges you face and the rewards you receive on each path. Utopia has all these different paths, densely packed and interwoven into its map, but you don't really need them, in a manner of speaking. There's a singpost at the end of the level, but the attraction of Utopia's Green Hill is simply as a playground for the player to dick about with momentum physics in. That's the beginning and end of its purpose, with little challenge to speak of besides what might be self-imposed.

    So I propose level design that's as dense as Utopia's, though with much better verticality and of course toning down the stupidly powerful effects of having momentum (the more I see it, the less fun I think it is - to me, the joy of classic Sonic has never been about seeing how much time I can spend in the air, gliding over and ignoring the level design), combined with Frontiers' checklisting, albeit completely overhauled to actually exist in parity with the open zone. Block puzzles, quickstep challenges, kicking balls through hoops - get rid of all that shit. Instead, I think each open zone should have quest-givers, with those quests testing skills that the player has developed in their exploration of the open zone. Ask players to reach a certain spot or destroy a given amount of badniks in a set time limit (Frontiers does already do this, but it'd work a lot better with more densely packed level design and actual choice of routes rather than empty fields and one obvious path), or to chase something down as it navigates dynamically through the open zone (think the pigeons or Taskmaster drones from Insomniac's Spider-Man), etc.

    My hope is that this allows the player to experience the best of both worlds. First, they can enjoy the freedom of exploration through the open zone, experimenting and seeing what routes they can create for themselves by using Sonic's movement to hop between various sections of level design, before finding the quest-givers that reward the understanding of these maps and Sonic's skills in authored challenges that give context and purpose to that exploration, as well as providing forward progress towards unlocking the boss(es) for that open zone. I think if Sonic Team can pull this off, they probably wouldn't even need to do the cyberspace style levels in addition to the open zone, because challenges could be designed in such a way that uses the map as an A-to-B level, through the placement of specific, ordered goals rather than forcing the players down automated paths and splines.
     
  6. Wraith

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    This quote just shows that Hashimoto was only worried about evolving the spectacle of Sonic, which works for some fans but for me it ended up sacrificing the gameplay to achieve that. A strong sense of speed is only one part of the pieces that make up Sonic. It's not worth taking hits literally everywhere else to achieve it.
     
  7. They kind of let the genie out of the bottle with the Boost because I don't think fans could ever accept a Sonic that moves "slower" as many would say it's antiethical to what the series promotes itself as.

    In hindsight, I think the over emphasis on speed and fast movement has been a detriment to the franchise as its incredibly difficult for Sonic to branch out because people always expect and want it to be "fast".
     
  8. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    It's all about framing. Someone brought up before that Frontiers's default speed isn't exactly the fastest, but because it still identified itself through the language of the boost (and wasn't slow per se) people were willing to accept it in a way they wouldn't with, for example, Lost World and its run button, even though that's almost the exact same thing. I honestly have to wonder if being able to upgrade it at all was a mistake, since again, they could have gotten more mileage out of their terrain if they'd used it better.
     
  9. Wraith

    Wraith

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    Sonic fans are down for anything as long as it's framed in a "cool" way.
     
  10. Trippled

    Trippled

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    Hashimoto was a down right amazing programmer. It was these skills that got him scooped up by Square Enix. Should of waited until Iizuka came back from the US to be game design lead. Yeah, I said it. At least with Iizuka you can count of actual platforming. Its what we saw with Colors and 4 Ep1. But Sega was in "a Sonic game every year mode"
     
  11. bombatheechidna

    bombatheechidna

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    I went back and played Sonic Adventure. Oh boy I used to say Frontiers was my favorite 3D Sonic title but I got a reality check. Then when you add the modding to the equation, it takes Adventure through the roof.

    Sonic Adventure is not perfect by any means but I get that tedious feeling when playing Frontiers but not with Adventure. I see a lot of people like this style but i think it will go stale if there is a sequel, because it’s getting away from the roots of what Sonic is. I honestly had more fun in the treasure hunting stages of Adventure than any island in Frontiers because it’s more fast paced.

    I just don’t care for combat in a Sonic game. It’s too slow paced. It feels out of place. You can bring the same level of difficulty to an adventure styled game. They should go back to the first Adventure and build off of that. None of that crap from Adventure 2. For Knuckles, they should give him action stages too but he should find pieces of the master emerald as he goes or he could fight a boss that has a piece of the master emerald. When you mod Knuckles into Sonic, Tails, Amy, or Gamma’s stages you see so much missed potential in his gameplay. I can tell they tried because he’s able to climb every wall.

    Sonic, Tails, Gamma, and Amy stages were great, they just needed to add more paths to beat each level. It seems they are going with this format in Sonic Dream Team but unfortunately it’s not releasing on consoles. If Dream Team does great numbers which I know it will, they need to reconsider the direction of Modern Sonic because this current gameplay just feels like a harder version of the treasure hunting stages. It’s good for one game but I don’t want it to come back.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2023
  12. shilz

    shilz

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    I played back through the Cyberspace stages through the Cyberspace Challenge, man, I really don't know how they'd be able to beat this selection. The one stage in the whole set I don't care about is the drift one, but even then I've learned how to avoid its bullshit. Otherwise just going through it all for 40 minutes is really fun even if you don't get the S.
     
  13. muteKi

    muteKi

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    I certainly thought so the first time I played SA2, which was with the HD port, long after I'd played the PC versions of SADX and Heroes. SADX's ability to chain the spin dash constantly is such a wonderful feeling once you realize you can do that, and so much of the awkward control scheme of SA2 seems to be designed to prevent you from doing that, to the point that it took me forever to realize that there even were circumstances where using the spin dash actually was fast.

    i think there's something to be said for the relatively restrained control of SA2, especially with the way the terrain in levels like Pyramid Cave tended to force you to really engage with the physics engine, but ultimately it took me a very long time to appreciate it and not feel like something was constantly off in how it handled.

    While this is mostly me thinking about the Sonic/Shadow stages, I also never really fell in love with the mech segments for a lot of those reasons. But then -- who did?
     
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  14. jubbalub

    jubbalub

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    Thought I'd share this mod here as it's pretty bonkers and pushes the game to its absolute limits

     
  15. HammerKirby

    HammerKirby

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    I had no idea Gens had a different title in Japan. Looking it up it had the subtitle "White Space-Time", so it's kinda similar to Mario World, where it has the same base title in Japan, but a unique subtitle (Super Mario Bros. 4 in this case).
     
  16. Antheraea

    Antheraea

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    my CD copy of the Final Horizons OST came in and it's SO GOOD

    I still haven't played Final Horizons yet so I went into all of these tracks blind. I appreciated the "Beatmania-ing" of other tracks (Arrow of Time, Rumble Rave) and genre changes of others (like Dropaholic becoming a drum and bass track!), and also the new version of I'm Here with Kellin Quinn is honestly what this song should've been from the beginning LMAO

    But somehow the real standout to me is Amy's overworld theme, which I cannot get out of my damn head. The other ones are really good too, and the same was also true of the remixed miniboss themes!
     
  17. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    Oh, I agree, the real star is, though, the Find Your Flame instrumental. The rhythm section is fantastic, and oh my words, the guitars!
     
  18. Ehfvanteis

    Ehfvanteis

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    So, a few weeks in, and I have to say that The Final Horizon has still left me feeling pretty flat.

    The Titan boss rush before the "real" final boss is really cheap, and the whole thing feels undercooked. The aesthetics are really messy and the pop in seems much more of an issue now: it's an eyesore. As fun as it is to have more of the cast playable in 3D, none of them feel right at all. This might sound like hyperbole, but I'm genuinely torn on whether they feel worse to control here or in Sonic 06.

    This will be an unpopular opinion, but I vastly prefer the original Ouranos island. It may be anticlimactic, but at least it feels cohesive and far less cluttered. The new Ouranos just feels like a nightmare to explore - both in terms of gameplay and visuals.

    Overall, The Final Horizon has retroactively damaged my perception and goodwill towards the base game. I still want to see Sonic Team stick with and develop this formula, but it really needs to be tidied up going forward.
     
  19. Blue Blood

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    I don't agree with all of your points (like saying that the characters may control better in 06 than in Frontiers) but the overall sentiment is one I can get behind.

    The Final Horizon is dreadful to actually play through. In large, it amplifies and draws even more attention to many of the base game's worst attributes. It's got:
    • Pop-in that can't be ignored and regally hinders your progress because he entity of Ouranos is now littered with asset spam. It's borderline impossible to navigate to some areas.
    • Rigidity in character movement, where controls don't feel natural and end up being incredibly un-fun to work with. Amy and Tails' max ring boosts are fun on paper, but Amy's is basically impossible to control and Tails is a game breaker. And gliding and climbing as Knuckles... Christ, no.
    • Combat that's comprised of button mashing and watching cutscenes, except none of the additional characters get any "cutscene" attacks and Tails can't even HA so combat is a nightmare to engage with.
    • All of the "difficulty" feels artificial and cheap.
    I appreciate what the Final Horizon tried to do and the fact that it was free, but had it been the original and only ending to the game then it would have been a worse experience overall. I'll take the anti-climax of the original Ouranos over the mess of the Final Horizon any day.

    At least the soundtrack was still top notch. And some of the egregious lore dumping was fun. Like, Big the Cat in Frontiers isn't real, he's just a cyberspace illusion the same as all of the asset spam on the Starfall Islands. Kinda broke my heart to learn that Big didn't actually just somehow end up fishing in Cyberspace though.