Sonic Prime (2022 Netflix series)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Joebro64, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. I mean, I do agree with you; my introduction was the games, and even something Sonic X was heavily based on what they were at the time. To me, there was literally no difference between what Sonic was pre or post-Dreamcast until a bunch of people on the Internet said so and then Sega kind of validated those people with Generations.

    But, what can you do. We're human at the end of the day, and we can't help our biases; if someone's interpretation of Sonic was through any of the alternate continuities, or they just felt that strongly against the post-Dreamcast designs and aesthetics, then that's on them. Sonic's multiple demographic appeal is both its greatest strength and it's biggest curse at the same time.



    But to bring this back to the Netflix series; since we know its not going to be based on any existing continuity, my bet is that it's gonna be another Sonic X scenario where its a world heavily based on the games, but like the games similar to what IDW is at the moment.
     
  2. SystemsReady

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    This in particular made me think...in Adventure there were certainly people but they were largely a backdrop. Honestly they didn't factor in the plot very much aside from justifying the more realistic setting (trains, hotels, etc), or raising the stakes (Egg Walker fight, Perfect Chaos). It wasn't til Adventure 2 where they started being more important - GUN arresting Sonic, their different robot designs, having to fight GUN, saving the President, Eggman having relatives who did/do things.

    Possibly not coincidentally, I'm still not particularly fond of SA2's aesthetic...
     
  3. Sonic Adventure 2's aesthetic was very much intentional, and part of the series' shift towards the dramatic. The story it was trying to tell simply would not feel the same with SA1's partial Classic aesthetic.

    And whether people liked it or not, Adventure 2 was certainly the adrenaline shot that the series needed given how popular and influential the game was at the time.
     
  4. Josh

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    I know I've brought this up before, but it relates to the ongoing discussion, and also to the idea that there's some kind of consistent, core ideal that Sonic should aspire to...

    The first game Shiro Maekawa wrote for was Sonic Adventure 2, and he'd go on to write Heroes and Black Knight, as well as some scripting work on 06. His ideas, especially his focus on Shadow (his favorite character), really came to define that era.

    In 2006, he was interviewed on the official Sonic Team website. It's all in Japanese, but I have a friend who lives in Japan and teaches English to Japanese kids, so I asked him to translate it:

    Now, I don't think it'd be right to read TOO much into this. Tone and intent can't be heard through text, and especially not through a language barrier. But, if Maekawa set out to define a Sonic that was intentionally different from what he'd been before, and particularly if he didn't even LIKE what Sonic had been before, then it's no surprise whatsoever that SA2's story and tone was so divisive. Nor that with its success on the GCN, that SA2 continues to be the most definitive fault line in a fandom that sometimes seems like it's nothing BUT fault lines. SA2 appeals to a different audience than the previous games do, and perhaps some of that was by design. As much grief as the current localizers get for "not being REAL Sonic fans," the writer who defined the 2000s admitted he wasn't, either!

    Of course, being different doesn't necessarily mean it's BAD. Sonic had over a dozen different continuities across various media even BEFORE Adventure. The point is, even if you JUST restrict your lens to the games, Sonic's had too many different, divergent tones, settings, and even characterizations to definitively say any one thing is the "real" Sonic. It's not a bad thing: Just look at series like Spider-man or Batman, and how much range they have across different forms of media and multiverses. Regional adaptability was baked into the series' DNA from the very beginning.

    Nonetheless, changing to a more realistic, grounded setting and overwriting every other region's continuity with the Japanese canon with SA1, then immediately pivoting on THAT with SA2, then immediately jostling us BACK to a lighthearted tone with Heroes, then doubling back on SA2's style and running it into the ground with Shadow... I mean, we were in a constant state of flux even before 06, and we all know what THAT did to the series.
     
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  5. Azookara

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    I also think Maekawa was a bad writer after SA2, and I didn't like most of the content he created past that point. His work on 06 was by far the worst of it.

    I don't believe the games themselves are without their faults and moments of tonal whiplash (that's left unsaid), but it's really reductive to think and say "oh see, this isn't good! Nothing about the games matters now! Sonic is just whatever!" like the conversation tends to move in every time games past the classics come up. There's a lot worth keeping or elaborating on, I think!

    If there's anything on-topic for me to say about this matter, I think I really just want a new show that isn't afraid to pick up more traits from the core Sonic series. The existence or importance of Chaos Emeralds, locales like South Island, Angel Island or Station Square, things like the Tornado or badniks, recurring characters and their dynamics (the Chaotix, Cream, Shadow, etc), similar iconography, etc.

    Even other series with other wide reinterpretations like superhero series etc have stuff like this that will come in and either be adapted or twisted into new ways. Sonic usually keeps "Sonic runs fast and fights Robotnik and maybe there's rings?" and that's about.. it. You're lucky to even get a single badnik, or even a Mario-movie tier callback to something that exists in the games, and that's maybe my biggest problem with how they're usually handled.
     
  6. Fadaway

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    Struggled a bit with how to word this, but here goes. With regards to Classic Sonic vs. Modern Sonic, I do believe Tyson is right. Make Modern Sonic right and that is great. Here is my thought process: Modern Sonic in many iterations is super campy as opposed to something timeless like Classic. I think, in the end, an amalgamation would reconcile previous designs. When I say campy, I mean in terms of trends in animation. Like Monster High campy. Teenage schlock campy. If it can sidestep this, then that is wonderful. Still, the classic design is on point and I say timeless because it is simplistic and simplistic designs go way farther in the long run. I can remember around 1990 when He-Man was redesigned. It didn't go well. Modern Sonic is OK but it appeals to a lot of trends. I am an artist and animator myself and this is my opinion.
     
  7. If that's the case, why has the Modern design endured for so long then? By this logic, it should have faded into irrelevance ages ago, but it's still the primary face of the franchise to this very day.
     
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  8. MykonosFan

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    Just want to say I agree with pretty much everything you've said lately in this thread, but it's the bolded that really gets to me. I've been hoping for that stuff in the main games since like, Generations. It's gone a bit too far in some places when it has been done; we're all ready to give GHZ a break for a while and if CPZ pops up again someone might pop a gasket. But why not pop back to Station Square? Have a cutscene take place in a portion of the hub world we're familiar with as a fun thing, and then run off to a stage that's a whole different part of the city? We have all these great locations from over the years and it's only a few that ever get brought back (for the sake of this conversation we'll act in good faith that returning locales would be fun levels in these hypotheticals :v:). Like there's been a lot of talk about Adventure remakes over the last few years years, but at this point I'd prefer to see new interpretations of places from those games once in a while going forward. Just weave it in naturally as part of a new game's narrative. It'd be great to see it in the show too. I'm hoping the show takes better advantage of grappling things like the Chaos Emeralds and character dynamics, too. I've lost faith over the last decade that I'll sincerely enjoy the characters the current Sonic Team entity can provide.

    Idk. Like I don't want this show to have to be cuffed by the ankle to 20+ year old video games or anything. But I'd love to see it show some reverence and readiness to adapt from the best of the games from over the years.
     
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  9. Fadaway

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    It hasn't been around too long honestly. 20 years isn't very long.

    I think it would be better to have a design that is a bit in-between. Modern in some ways, classic in some ways.

    Green eyes are fine.
     
  10. Fadaway

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  11. Dek Rollins

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    I don't think this is an accurate statement. Not only is two decades a long time, but considering the character has only existed for three decades, the majority of the character's existence has been in "modern" form.

    I'm not arguing that the modern design is better, I just think that's a silly thing to say.

    I like the classic design more, but they need to make a 3D model that actually looks like not crap if they were going to use that design. I freaking hate how he looks in Generations/Forces (modern isn't any better though, he hasn't had a good model since SA2).
     
  12. Fadaway

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    It is quite obvious Modern Sonic has been the face of Sonic for longer than Classic, but what I'm saying is in terms of a long-term brand. Like Popeye, or Mickey Mouse. There will be a time in the future when the last 20 years was just a blink of an eye in the lifespan of the character and brand.
     
  13. But you literally have no way of knowing this. What are you basing this on? What metric are you judging timelessness?

    And no, a thread from resetera does not support your point.
     
  14. Fadaway

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    There is no reason to get too worked up over it. What I am saying is I believe (as in, this is my opinion which I'd previously stated) that Classic Sonic has a simpler design and those tend to fare better traditionally as per what I've seen. For instance, take the Ninja Turtles. They tried to redesign them. Some people liked the newer designs but they still sell stickers in various stores for kids to buy with the original designs. This is because it is more immediately recognizable. I do not have much time right now to give you all the bullet points, but you are very welcome to have your own view and opinion on it.
     
  15. Azookara

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    I don't think it's accurate at all to say that modern Sonic isn't as sustainable as classic Sonic whenever the style has been the definitive look of Sonic for, at this point, nearly 3-4x longer than classic Sonic ever was. Not to say a marriage of the styles isn't my ideal, either, but it's worth bringing this up.

    Classic Sonic is iconic and great, yes. It's the easiest to treat as a marketable mascot, and the easiest one to shorthand; both obviously because the design is simple and cutesy with a face and personality you can slap on nearly anything and it all but screams the "SEGA" chant and checkered hills. But most people who know of Sonic know him just as well in his modern design, and the majority of the audience into Sonic (or not!) have been pretty fully accepting of it. There's tons of children's apparel with the modern style on it, teens eat it up as they always have, and adults now also have strong love for the Adventure games since the new millenium was.. well, 20 years ago.

    Modern Sonic is pretty much the standard Sonic, and has been for a long time now. And for good reason! The slightly longer proportions, greater anime influence and somewhat-more-grounded environments have done a lot for the series to have a wider appeal than just "cute little hedgehog in wacky cartoon worlds". And since those ideas are just further elaborations on what groundwork Sonic was already laying, I think it was a more-than-valid direction to take, and has long since stuck.

    Cuz here's the thing: The modern style was never what got the public eye disinterested in the franchise anyways, it was the game quality and ideas getting progressively worse. Feel like that should be pretty obvious at this point, but this community (and gamers as a whole) have an issue with separating art direction from other issues, I think lol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  16. I was just merely asking what your opinion is substantiated with is all; do you have records, numbers or anything? Its not like I'm asking for you to make an essay, but saying that Classic is just inherently more iconic with no real evidence to support doesn't really help me take this point seriously.

    This isn't even me saying that I dislike Classic Sonic, because he absolutely is iconic and I would never suggest otherwise. But once again, the modern design has been the face of the series for nearly two decades at this point time, which is way longer than when the Classic design has been used. When Tyson Heese redesigned Sonic's movie design, it's pretty obvious which design he borrowed from, because he knew that's the design that's been in the public consciousness. There's been an entirely new generation of children who have grown up with the Modern design, and as someone who works in a school, I see children wearing Sonic merch every day. Bookbags, masks, etc etc all with the Modern designs.

    Once again, this is not saying that Classic is not iconic, but even as an opinion, there's just no evidence to support your idea that the Modern design doesn't have the same iconic status when that's demonstrably false. Modern Sonic's games may not be up to par more often than not, but that hasn't really damaged the character's image outside of us adult gamers who expect better because as I mentioned, Sonic's merch still sells with the modern design on it. If Modern Sonic was not selling, Sega would have retired the design ages ago.



    As for what makes the designs iconic, it's as you said, they're just very simple and appealing which makes them very easy to sell for kids. Classic's smaller proportions make him look "cuter", but has the capacity to look "cool" too. Modern's design looks "older" and leans way more to that Shonen Protagonist vibe, but still has that good-hearted nature that makes him endearing. The inherent appeal of Sonic's design is the perfect blend of "cute" and "cool" and both Classic and Modern capture that despite one being more emphasized in each design.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  17. Boxer Hockey

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    I mean, I designed him to look like Modern Sonic because right now that's just Sonic. "Classic Sonic" is a time capsule, but "Sonic" by default is his modern look now. But you'd be surprised how many general test audiences responded to it with some kind of comment about how long his legs and spikes were because the last time most of them had even seen Sonic was in the 90s.
     
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  18. That pretty much just tells the entire story right there lol.

    Literally the only ones who remember Classic Sonic were the ones who grew up with him in the 90's, and fell out of the series past that.

    Still, that is pretty shocking how some people aren't familiar with the Modern design even with social osmosis. I mean, its been featured in the Macy's Day Parade, you'd think people would have known by now.
     
  19. Sid Starkiller

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    Did you read the same post I did, or are you just that bitter about Mania bringing the classic love back? He said that there was a significant amount of people wondering why Sonic was different. Not "Classic Sonic", "Sonic". You just love belittling Classic Sonic at every opportunity, don't you?
     
  20. Josh

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    Heh, yeah, I walked away from @Boxer Hockey 's post with the same, "that says it all" feeling, but I reached the dead-end opposite conclusion. Biases are fun!

    What I took from it was: Despite all of our fandom bickering, despite claims of the post-97 aesthetic having a "wider appeal," the series itself has still never been anywhere near as relevant as it was in the early-mid 90s. That's the era that persists in the public consciousness. And while I think it'd be WAY too much of a stretch to blame this entirely on the aesthetic changes (rather than the games themselves not having as wide an appeal, Sonic being a smaller fish in a bigger pond once Sega went third-party, etc), it IS still notable that a redesign that debuted more than 20 years ago still hasn't reached the point of cultural osmosis.

    It reminds me of how people who don't watch wrestling will still talk about "the WWF," even though they changed their name almost 20 years ago. But in that time, wrestling has only appealed to an increasingly-niche crowd, and has never regained a fraction of the popularity it had in the 90s.

    I may be reading too much between the lines, but it sounds like the issue is this:

    Classic Sonic is still the same consistent, mostly-cohesive vision it always was, back when we called it "SegaSonic." It STILL, all these years later, persists in the mainstream consciousness in a way that later titles don't. But Sega's decision-makers aren't going to go "wholesale" on it, they're never going to treat it as the face of the brand, and they're not going to let it grow or evolve beyond what it was before. It exists, right now, as a nostalgia wing. And if not even SONIC MANIA could convince them to take it further than that, it seems like nothing will.

    Modern Sonic is... still the same confused amalgamation it's been since as early as Heroes, and bizarrely, it's only leaned MORE on pre-Dreamcast iconography since Generations canonized the split. Sonic Team hasn't done a good job defining what, other than character design, makes that universe distinct from Classic's.

    So Classic is this incredibly well-defined branch of the series that can't grow, and the "main" series, which CAN grow, is nonetheless ALSO defining a lot of its identity on the 16-bit games. That wouldn't be a problem in a vacuum. After all, that WAS when the series was its most successful. But as long as Classic Sonic exists as a separate branch, IT'S representing that legacy.

    If it was more of a "two pillar" strategy, where both Sonics were equal, the "classic universe" branched off from pre-98 elements, and Modern could find a cohesive identity without that, it'd be different. But what's the point of separating them if "Sonic" is just a more tonally-inconsistent talking version of "Classic Sonic"? (Answer I suspect: Merchandising. But that's a whole 'nother can of worms.)

    And I'm saying all this as someone who's always had a strong preference for the Classic aesthetic. That's my favorite version of my favorite character, I waited 13 years hoping Sonic Team would return to that style, and I don't want it going anywhere. But despite how much I enjoy it, at the end of the day, it's JUST a preference, and I can see where Tyson's coming from in saying that the split, at least as it's defined now, may be doing more harm than good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021