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Sonic Mania (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC...Netflix?)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by TimmiT, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. If it's any comfort to you, most of the Sonic fans I speak with on a regular basis (both older and younger than me) actually don't care for the classics too much. I know a good few people older than me who haven't even touched the classics and couldn't be bothered to. I think the prevelance of the classics needs to be recognized, but hot damn is it overstated- and that's coming from someone who grew up with these masterpieces.
    Yeah, exactly. Took the words right out of my mouth. The next games doesn't need to be Mania 2 to be well received- and it's honestly staggering how many people fail to realize that. The game just needs to be good. Mania was good. It wasn't well received because it was classic sonic- it was just a really good game.
    Except that's literally not what he said lmao.
    Ironically, Colors and Forces are one of my best friend's favorite games. Now while I sure can't say the same about Forces, Colors did unbelievably well for being Wii locked, and was one of the highest praised Sonic games at the time. Generations did very well too, and that was before classic Sonic became soulless pandering. Even still, outside of jaded old fan groups like this (including me) Forces itself did really well with casual audiences. My little bro likes it way more than the Classic games.
    By anyone over like, 25. Really, from my own online experience, I'm at the very very bottom of the age ladder when it comes to who really enjoyed Mania or not. I've been trying to get my friends to play the classic games more, but they just can't be bothered to (btw, my friends are all around my age- I think the youngest is 18). Mania performed well with people who knew what the classic games were beforehand, I think. I've yet to meet someone who went into Mania blind and had it rise to compete with their favorite games of all time. Whether anyone likes it or not, Mania was made for the 90s kids (and kids who grew up with Mega collection like me lmao).
    So literally my point, then? Classic is not relevant in a "with the times" sense, if it's relevant at all, it's in a "back in my day" sense.
    And what are the critics complaining about, again? Ah yes, the fact that recent Sonic media seems to be foregoing producing genuinely good products in the name of nostalgia pandering to artificially boost sales. In fact, Sonic movie 2 is reviewing worse than the first one with critics because apparently the family dynamic and interest in a unique premise has been pushed back in favor of persistent game references and "good ol' days" baiting. Go figure.
    You wouldn't happen to really enjoy Green Hill Zone, would you? (jk jk)

    My point is that when most of the Sonic fanbase is pleading for Classic nostalgia to be pushed to the back-burner to make way for genuinely new, exciting, and legitimately good experiences, I don't think it's fair to say Classic alone has been keeping the franchise alive. Also, imo that's a huge disservice to other parts of the franchise as a whole, when the only time in the past 10 years the franchise ever really felt like it was dying was post-Boom.

    Actually, I think it's short-sighted to suggest (intentionally or not) that recent games are bad purely because they're... *gasp*- Modern Sonic games. (Dun dun duuunnnn :eng99:). The games only score low because they're just all around not really great games, and that's not the fault of green eyes or shitty friends- it's the fault of the developers not making a good product. Mania was good. Forces was not. Classic was in both. Did Forces save the franchise too? Or did it help to kill it cause it was a Modern Sonic game?

    I still want another genuine 90s style classic game, but I'm so tired of seeing the same old discourse about how "Classic is the future of the franchise" that started literally only a month after Mania came out and people were already harassing Sega for a sequel. If it happens, neat. If it doesn't, I'm sure as hell not gonna lose sleep over it lol.
  2. foXcollr


    Resident Dolphin Member
    "Make a good game, and the people will come." -Azookara, 2022

    Honestly I'm down to have any kind of 2D game, like a dedicated 2D game that isn't a port of a superior console version, or another re-release / Sonic 4 gimmick game. Loved Advance, loved Rush... I'd just love to see them reinvent 2D modern Sonic again.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2022
  3. I'm still waiting for that rhythm-based Rush successor :eng99:
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  4. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Depends on the version. These days I'm seeing increasingly common criticism of the Generations/Forces Classic Sonic model, as well as the old western design (which inspired some of the features in said model).
  5. Something the fanbase tends to forget among their extremely petty arguments is that nobody outside the fandom circle really cares about the difference between "Classic" and "Modern". Or even "Adventure era" or "Meta era".

    All of that are just fan generated terms meant to divide and segregate fans into these "tribes". "Oh, I only like the Sonic from before 1998, so I'm a Classic fan" it is technically true, but fans take it elitist levels, saying their versions of Sonic are the "true" versions and the others are just pale imitations or relics of the past, or any other buzzword you can come up with to gaslight yourself into believing your own words.

    It's all Sonic at the end of the day. Its different flavors of Sonic sure, and you might prefer one of those flavors, but its still all Sonic. Convincing yourself that "this isn't Sonic" is just huffing on the copium.

    I'm not saying people aren't allowed to have preferences and all, but its important to recognize a franchise that's lasted 30 years is going to change in significant ways from its start. Every franchise undergoes that change. Some more drastically than others, but still.
  6. Spectre23


    Spectre23 Member
    "Make a good game, and the people will come." -Azookara, 2022

  7. I agree what was said in the previous posts. We could have a Sonic Advance "4" and it could be still amazing and everyone would love it despite being Classic or "Modern" Sonic. If done right, of course.
  8. Zephyr


    Also, Mania had the most playable Shitty Friends™ out of any Sonic platformer in recent memory. :eng99:
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  9. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Working on my art!
    Mania brought Mighty back he's my favorite Shitty friend :eng101:
  10. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    Ugh, that bad old tiring discussion again. Both older and newer games stay relevant in one way or another, there's no need to confront them. Bringing this discussion the year that both Frontiers and a first-time S3K remake will be released it's quite useless. S3K was relevant for a number of reasons, so was SA2, and so was Colours, and all of them for different and valid reasons. Add any title to this list if you want, but I think those are enough main games of different natures to support my point. Look: SA2 is more than 20 years old, '06 more than 15, yet Shadow is still one of the most beloved characters among kids despite not being part of the main plot since then.

    So yes, the important thing is Sega should respect the brand they have. Mario can have all those games, retro references, etc. because Nintendo takes care of their IP and invest on it. Now SoA is supposed to be in charge of Sonic entirely, isn't it? Then maybe things are done differently now and it turns to be a good direction for the franchise, maybe not, I don't know, but the past is still there to be taken advantage from and make a great franchise out of everything done right before. If they don't, it won't be worse than before, but if they do, it could be better than it ever was. I'm not optimistic, I'm just being mentally healthy in this regard.
  11. sayonararobocop


    This but for Ray.
  12. Antheraea


    Bug Hunter Member clarify, aside from personal projects that can last however long someone wants, making a game is always a balance of time/money/effort, and the more you put into one thing is the less you can afford to put into others. Engine and tool changes on a small team that doesn't have specific engine and tool people generally means that working on those changes is work that doesn't go into new content. You can see this with certain games that tend to come out early in a console's lifespan when the gist of them is basically "look at this cool thing we can do with this powerful new hardware" and nothing else (hi Knack!), or with total disaster port trainwrecks where they spent too much time trying to get the game/engine to work in its environment at all to spend time getting it to work well. It also tends to explain why sequel games often come out with dev cycles much shorter than their initial games, especially back in the PS1 era I grew up with, because the engine/tech/"how do we solve this problem""solved problems" so the team can go bend their efforts towards content, etc..

    Another example is the current workload I have at my job right now as QA. I keep having to explain to the rest of the team that they can't expect me to finish manually testing all their shiny new features AND keep up on writing automated testing at the same time, putting effort into one means less time to put effort into the other.

    All this to say, I wasn't trying to say that you were disparaging their work, mainly that 1.) there could be technical effort ("tech debt") that influences aspects of the final product and 2.) that even making a "megamix" game still requires more effort than is assumed because of the technical effort behind the scenes that make it more than just "redraw these existing sprites" or "just take these assets from the Sonic 2 mobile remake" and calling it a day.
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  13. LockOnRommy11


    That wasn't what I was alluding to so I'd like to clarify. Even before 2012 when SEGA classified the two designs as separate entities, a lot of people were still aware that Sonic had undergone a redesign since 2006, starting with Sonic & The Secret Rings. It's this design that has been somewhat criticised for being more generic and less outstanding than previous. Before this point, though there were clearly changes from Sonic Adventure onwards (of which there were people who had a distaste for the design), the games were still of a more consistent quality, and the art style across the games, as well as the art work more varied, so it seemed to matter less to people overall. There's no escaping that Sonic's current design is somewhat associated with a lull in quality, as the games it has appeared in are of varying quality from "meh" to "yeah, it's pretty good". This isn't just within the fanbase, this appears to be the case among gamers (and I use that term loosely) in general. Additionally, remember that Generations was going to have the eras split into three before they just decided on two for ease; there are three distinct Sonic designs.

    I would also posit that Sonic's arm colour has been changed specifically to make the CGI easier to fit in with the style of the worlds of Boom and the movies, rather than simply because no one particularly cares. The general public probably couldn't tell you the colour of Mario's overalls, or Mickey Mouses arms either so I'm not sure that's an argument that has much weight to it.

    I would argue that they have simply moved onto Shadow because what else is there after Sonic 3 & Knuckles that isn't pretty much a rehash of the same concept? Shadow is a popular character and easy win, and I don't think that we can definitively say that they're playing up to Adventure-era nostalgia - which I don't think will ever really come, at least not like the nostalgia for the 16bit games - just by including him as he's not just tied to Sonic Adventure 2.

    Prior to release, Mania was already being praised as a return to form, in part helped by Classic Sonic. It's of course impossible to say for sure, but had it been the modern design, might this had altered initial opinion? There is a poor association of design with the Dimps games which use a newer Sonic design, and I think Mania's inclusion of Classic Sonic may have been a way to avoid that in some respect and prove that the game was going back to better designs, not just aesthetically, but also gameplay wise. Classic Sonic isn't just about what the character looks like, it gives a clear indication about how the levels function, the controls are laid out, and how the game operates.

    I loved the advance games, make more of these with whatever design and I'll be happy.

    No, you're right, what I meant to say was that it isn't what has helped the series stay afloat, not caused, that's my bad.

    In terms of what you said about nostalgia I agree to an extent. I'd be keen to see what age groups and audiences bought and enjoyed Sonic Mania, I don't know if we'll ever find out with certainty. In terms of nostalgia versus modern relevancy, I don't think the classic games or the need / want for classic designs are mutually exclusive to either category. If older people like and praise the original stuff, it then gets more airtime, and this itself would / should cause more people who haven't played those to become invested and enjoy them.
    I do have a friend whose 6 year old LOVES Sonic 2, and I also have had family friends children ask if they could play Sonic 1 / 2 / CD on my phone, so it's clear that the classic designs and stylings can still be popular with people who've never experienced them.

    Also, I do love Green Hill Zone, but I don't need to see it, like, ever again. Ever.


    The reason you don't see it is because you didn't live in the 90s when Sonic was actually a true mainstream icon only rivaled by the likes of Mario and Mickey according to consumer surveys from that era ( He was 'huge' in the west from 91-95. Nowhere near the size of Nintendo's total global sales market in the era, but the marketing blitz they put into him alone made him a household name to 'any' western world kid who was even faintly aware of video games. I myself never owned a Genesis until 1997, and only played the games at other people's houses (though I tried to play them as often as I was able. He was always my first pick), but it didn't matter. Between AOSTH, the comics, his constant big ticket advertisements, happy meal toys, and release events, all the kids at my school who played games talked about him and I was repeatedly exposed to the character anyway. It also helped that he was at the time considered a direct rival to Mario, equal in quality all the way up until the 3D era, when Mario 64 revolutionized the industry again. Mario's already massive reputation carried Sonic just by proxy of the fact that kids argued over which gaming icon was better, and there was no real consensus at the time. Classic Sonic games were so good for that era that you can argue for either icon as being "better".

    Note, that this mostly applies to USA and Europe markets, where Sega had the strongest home console market outside of arcades. In Japan, the Mega Drive never even came close to the Super Famicon's success. Sega was considered an arcade developer who just happened to have a "cool" mascot with some fun games, while Nintendo's IPs were unrivaled kings and their home console sale numbers were untouchable for Sega. Despite all the merchandise that Japan produced for Sonic, he never reached the same level of household hype there. To them, he was just another mascot character for a gaming company.

    Despite having strong sales in titles after that and the video game market as a whole growing exponentially since then, he has never been marketed to the same degree as back then (partially because of the sheer expenses of it, and partially because the video game space is so crowded now with hundreds of different titles and characters).

    It really is one of those "you had to be there" things. Modern Sonic is well known now, but has never approached the cultural icon that sonic was from 1991-1995. Maybe the movies will do it, but even then I'm not totally sure if he'll ever be that big again. Only game sales have increased along with the size of the market itself.

    Because of this massive marketing blitz from the 90s, a huge number of gamers have a perception about what Sonic should be that aligns with the classic design. It's a mix of nostalgia and truly effective marketing from an era long gone. There's also a lot of people who subjectively view modern titles as bad, and that's nonsense. Some were bad. Many were super enjoyable, good games in their own right even if not identical to classic Sonic. Personally, I've enjoyed a number of Sonic games after the classic era. SA1, SA2, Heroes, all 3 Advanced titles, Colors, and Generations are all solid efforts in their own right (though SA1 aged poorly, but was quite impressive for its day), with Generations and SA2 being the top titles for me. While I have the strongest love for the classic "style" of gameplay, I'd rather just have a good, solid high quality engine for running through Sonic's world at top speed and exploring cool, complex 2D or 3D environments with fun abilities while listening to amazing music. And all of this without ever needing to touch Mania.

    The question is can Sega/Sonic Team still deliver those experiences themselves? I honestly don't know anymore. Forces wasn't it, sadly. Lost Worlds was fun but too experimental and didn't have great stage design in its latter half. But Frontiers might deliver. I can at least hope. I want Mania 2, but less because I must have a classic title and more because I at least know a Classic title produced by the Mania team will be good. With the rest of Sonic Team, it's a total gamble. It really is that simple for me.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
  15. Wraith


    The classic games never stopped being relevant. Sonic 1 and 2 are still rereleased all the time because they're still decently large revenue drivers for the company. This can't just be because they're old shit, because the other Sonic games are also pretty fucking old at this point and yet the same demand for them just doesn't exist. The classic games are retaining their value in a way that the other games just aren't. Why is this? It's worth seriously engaging with and not just writing off as pandering.

    I fell out of love with Sonic not because of some misplaced nostalgia or because they made too many changes change is scary oh no. It's because as I got older I slowly got more of a taste for tighter games with top notch mechanics, and with that came the realization that 3D Sonic has always put style over substance. The visuals are awesome, the characters are eternally cool and the music usually tops out over most other titles released that year. All of that can(and usually is, going by the younger sonic fandom I see on youtube and reddit) be experienced secondhand though. If I'm buying a video game, I want it to be a worthwhile interactive experience.

    Mania fucked me up because it convinced me I could love Sonic games again, but it also reminded me why I don't. It wasn't just a return to form for the classic formula, it was a return to honest to god good game design, period. No alternating between 2D and 3D without taking meaningful advantage of either angle. Many places where engagement, smart decision making and level knowledge help you succeed instead of letting the boost button play the game for you. It was a Sonic game made by people who like GAMES and still see the character's potential as an action hero for a game. That's all I want.

    And the fact that it had a lot of crossover appeal with casual players and kids warmed my heart. It proved that Sonic games didn't have to be mindless spectacle to appeal to a wider audience. Casual players are accounted for by the fact that Sonic is inherently fun to control. The developers need to trust that people will have fun even if they get frustrated along the way. The amount of times I've heard Forces's level design is fine because kids like it as if they also don't like Sonic Mania has been pretty frustrating since it doesn't account for what will happen when they get older. Some will still look to Forces for a good time, but most won't.

    And honestly, I just get kind of wary reading about how it's fine to move on and that we won't even need Classic Sonic if Modern gets it right because of that. That's technically true, because they'll sell enough to justify making another one and they probably won't review terribly, but a franchise that's asleep at the wheel isn't really worth my time. We'll see how all these kids who love Forces so much feel about it in 5 years. Sure, another Sonic game will be around to replace it and enrapture those kids, so they'll be fine. They could sustain this forever, but do you want them too? I'd rather have a few games I can play for the rest of my life than a shitton of frequent ones always hopping on the newest trend to get your attention for a few minutes.

    All that being said, here's my take: there's no good reason there isn't another, bigger classic Sonic game in development. There just isn't. Sonic needs good games. They had a structure, formula, and team with which to deliver good games. They threw it away. When you strip all the fandom politics away it just doesn't make a ton of sense to me. At my most cynical I wonder if they know Sonic will do fine as long as the game is okay.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
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  16. Azookara


    yup Member
    My post was really just to speak to the community and how it gets in a tizzy over aesthetics in the eras of Sonic, but yeah. If we were talking to Sega, then yeah it's stupid that they just let the Mania team go, and it's more than valid to be cynical over whether they even feel secure about their brand.

    That said, I never really super-fell-out with the boost games. In fact I used to swear how they were inferior to the classic and Adventure gameplay (which I still believe), but I've warmed over the years seeing them as a valid direction for Sonic if they try hard enough with the concept. Granted, Forces gives me no hope they know how to even do that right, but whatever.
  17. Here's really the only thing that gets me worked up. This reads as "Only Classic Sonic games can be really good- Modern Sonic games are inherently flawed because they're not Classic Sonic" which like- no???

    Calling the franchise "asleep at the wheel" solely because the next game isn't Mania 2 or something comes off as very petty to me. As many of us have stated, a Sonic game does not need to be a Classic Sonic game to be good. That literally boils down to the developers, their competence, and the deadline. How much ya wanna bet that the Mania team could easily make the best Modern Sonic game to date? Or would it be the first blemish on their record simply because it's a stinky Modern Sonic game?

    You know what, I'll give it to you- I'm pretty sure Sega is acutely aware that new Sonic games only need to perform just well enough to pull a profit and nothing more, so they don't feel the need to actually put much effort into the newer games unlike the og Sonic Team of the 90s. But this just circles back to my point, Modern Sonic as a concept is not why newer Sonic games are bad in various ways, that's just poor development and game design.

    (Also is no one gonna mention the fact that the classic games are regularly slammed by casual players and non Sonic fans for having unfair object placement and not being able to see where you're going? What do they call it again...? "Getting punished for playing the game how you're told to- i.e. 'go fast'")?


    Very few people here think throwing "Classic Sonic" alone into a game makes it good, or else Forces would've been better received. It's not the art style (although that can be a factor), it's the moumentum based mechanics and multi-tiered stage design that made the classics so good. All of which could be done in a "modern" game with a talented enough team, even in 3D.

    It simply comes down to the fact that, for whatever reason, Sonic Team has lost sight of the design philosophy that made the classic games critically acclaimed, something which Mania perfectly recaptured. Generations got closest to it, and even transitioned those elements successfully into 3D in some ways (layered, multipath level design in 3D, for example). I would've been very happy with a Generations 2 which evolved the boost formula to have "more of that". Sadly, Forces proved that they never really took those lessons to heart and ended up being a much more shallow clone, and SEGA letting Team Mania go after they nailed it is frustrating to most fans.

    At this point, I can only hope Frontiers ends up being something new entirely that's inspired by the classics in gameplay while taking modern elements organically evolving into its own thing in 3D. If it's a well made AAA game that has a solid gameplay engine that recaptures Sonic's speed+exploration spirit in 3D, many of us will be happy with it. Still, none of that means we shouldn't have a secondary Classic game to enjoy either.
  19. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I'll wade into this discussion. Probably ill-advised. Lol. I will preface my post by saying I recognise it's just my opinion. Just because I know a lot of people will strongly disagree with me. Some of you might find this tedious but I hope some of you will see the position us people are coming from (I think @Josh for example largely agrees with me here). We aren't just nostalgia blinded fans or gaming critic fans or anything. I always get the impression some Sonic fans think people like us are like that.

    I do think the Classics aesthetic is better and I don't completely agree that Sonic just needs to be good in any form. I mean that's technically true, but in my opinion it's just kind of a bland truism. What I mean by that is lets say Secret Rings was actually a good game. Yeah it would be good and would have helped the franchise back on its feet, but I don't think that would have been preferable to having a good Sonic game that plays to the series' strengths. And to me, the series' strength is Sonic 1-3AK in gameplay and aesthetic. Yeah OK it's cliche, but I do think those are the best games. As much as I do like SA1 and SA2, those games are very flawed and not where I think a new game needs to look for a strong foundation.

    I've never really agreed with recent criticisms of Sonic 'nostalgia pandering' in Lost World and Forces because it's really just the series playing upon established tropes. Which is what literally every single good game series does, from Mario to Devil May Cry, Halo, and Resident Evil. Sonic has redone exactly the same tropes too often but honestly I'd say it's an improvement over the different art directions of every game in the 2000s (realistic in SA1, anime in SA2, realistic bad anime in Shadow, realistic and bland in 06). I know some people like the fact Sonic's identity kept changing but I wasn't too big on it. Not to to say those art changes were bad. SA1 and SA2 look good in my opinion. But they aren't as original and 'Sonicy' to me (which I'll get into below).

    I actually like the fact Sonic was starting to get more consistent in using Sonicy aesthetic tropes. And that's the kicker to me, I feel like the Classics aesthetic is really unique to Sonic and it's completely understandable why people like myself prefer it. Even putting aside how popular Sonic was in the 90s, there's just nothing else that looks like that. I don't think you can say that about the other games. SA2 has a strong art direction but its realistic anime tone can be seen in many other products. Unleashed looks great but is very obviously reminiscent of Pixar. What makes Classic Sonic aesthetic great for me is that nothing else looks like it and it's so obviously Sonic to me. In the same way the green pipes and mushrooms are Mario.

    There's a reason why Sonic became so incredibly popular and I think the unique aesthetic is a big part of it. So I always find it kind of odd when fans seem to shrug it off or are even disinterested. It's not like this is unique to Sonic. When DMC and Halo departed dramatically from the established art direction I think fans were correct in calling for the games to settle back in. Those games had strong visual identities which are part of the series charm.

    Hope this post made some kind of sense!
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  20. Wraith


    Well that's not what I said so try reading it again and getting back to me.

    At some point I just realized that instead of trying to design around a win button it'd be easier to just take it out. "Instantly gaining top speed" just kind of breaks Sonic fundamentally in a way that's hard to work your way back from. It's not impossible to make a fun game out of it, but sometimes taking an axe to things like that is better for designers and players alike even if you risk losing people by taking the instant gratification away.

    Not having it would also force them to confront some gaping wounds that the boost put a band aid over like "Why does Sonic feel terrible to control unless he's running at full tilt?" The answer now is that he's never not running at full tilt so they don't need to worry about get rid of the crutch and let's worry about it. Solve the problem instead of leaving it so you can get the next game out quicker.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
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