Sonic Prime (2022 Netflix series)

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

  1. I don't even know how to respond to this lol, this is so unnecessarily combative.

    Did I legit not say that Classic Sonic was iconic? I know I did, cuz I can prove it right here.

    I even pointed out what the appeal is about both designs and why they're so beloved, but yes clearly I'm the one who is bitter about Mania.


    Wouldn't it stand to reason that the people who made those comments about Sonic's modern design be people who haven't engaged with the series at all since the 90's to know that the design has changed?


    So I gotta ask...are you alright dude? Because you seem to have selective reading going on.
     
  2. You know what my issue with this line of thinking is; nobody differentiates between Mario wearing red overalls or blue overalls, or the myriad of incarnations of Link. They're all collectively known as Mario and Link respectively and nothing more.

    So why in god's name does the Sonic fanbase have to be this weird ass place where we have to differentiate this? Why do we have to argue with each other over what's ultimately a design choice? I know biases and all, but as I pointed out, NO other fanbase does this. You never see huge fanbase wars over red overall or blue overall Mario, so why in god's name do we have to do this in this fanbase.

    It's one of the most annoying things to deal with, because we're so quick to jump on each other over our preference of a design and that's so aggravating to deal with. It makes me realize insane this fanbase looks to the outside.
     
  3. Josh

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    Because Mario's overalls are just Mario's overalls. Sonic's redesign was something more intentional, and it came to represent something more specific.

    Mario never went through such a substantial tonal shift, alongside by a period of troubled production. If Mario had reinvented itself as something that tried to be more "contemporary" in the GCN era (perhaps basing its main series aesthetic on this style), that alone would've caused a split. If this period ALSO saw the developers pushed harder and harder to crank out yearly Mario releases, resulting in burnout, inconsistency, and the ultimate resignation of Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo, then you can bet we'd still be talking about it. And if, despite how much they were derided at the time, the games of this period still managed to sell well, introducing Mario to a new audience who would define their love for the series based on what it was then, then you can bet Nintendo fans would still be arguing about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021

  4. But that's....exactly what that era did. Most of the 6th generation was experimental as hell all around.

    Sunshine is so drastically different from Mario 64 in terms of aesthetic and everything after (it had voice acting for one), to say nothing of all of the spin offs like the aforementioned Strikers.

    Now you can argue Mario pulled it off better due to the games actually being functional, but the fact remains that Mario was just as experimental yet its fanbase is nowhere near as vitriolic about its changes.


    I dunno, there's just this weird ass double standard about Sonic. Both fans and critics alike scrutinize decisions about the series that they'll let slide in others. And Sega keeps paying lipservice to these complaints and now, everyone is screaming their heads off about what the series and its just made one of the most off putting atmospheres to be in.

    I legit hate talking about this series sometimes because of it.
     
  5. Azookara

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    God, none of this matters. lol

    Sonic is Sonic is Sonic. Classic Sonic is Sonic, modern Sonic is Sonic. We can spend all the time in the world trying to say one is some form of objectively "better" or "more iconic" but it has never made a huge difference. Literally the only reason any of us are talking about this today, in the year of our whatever 2021 is because the games got worse, and we associate the designs with these eras for some reason as if a change in art direction was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    If "classic" Sonic and all it "stands for" were the star of these terrible games and horrible mismanagement, there wouldn't be a leg for this argument to stand on. And I mean, who cares outside of this circle? In all honesty, does it really make a difference?

    You can have your preferences, that's fine. I'm not gonna stop anyone from liking classic Sonic the most, I mean I've got him as my pfp lol. But I don't think people who like the modern style should have to take some eternal L over the inherent inferiority it has in comparison. Yeesh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  6. Tiberious

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    So, what's the state of 2D-animation-styled shaders for CGI in 2021? Is it feasible to do considering budgets?

    Would you object to a CGI series that looked convincingly hand-drawn and was sampled at the same framerate as traditional animation?

    I'm asking this because I know I wouldn't, especially given the fact that CGI animation assets tend to be far higher-polygon than any game models, and we're already to the point you can hardly see angular edges on characters in games without the camera being halfway up their ass and displayed on a 9001" monitor as it is. Make an effort to emulate the 2D style in character motions/effects, and not have it be buttery-smooth 120 FPS, and I doubt I'd be able to tell the difference.
     
  7. VectorCNC

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    You know, the other day I went into my local H&M, and I saw a sweater with Mickey Mouse on it, I’ve also seen lots of other well-known cartoons given this treatment, like Bart Simpson. You know what, that apparel looks great. I don’t even care much for Mickey Mouse, but that charming timeless design just looked so good that I wanted the sweater anyway… I’m 33, but I could still wear it, and so could a child that’s 8. Now, imagine putting Modern Sonic on that sweater, it would look like shit. It would be acceptable on a child only, and wouldn’t be at H&M, but would be at Walmart.

    Modern Sonic is an ugly ass design, and the only people who ever defend it, are people who never actually experienced true Classic Sonic (not modern-iteration-classic-Sonic). I’m sure they will respond to this and say that I am just blinded by nostalgia, but that is a cop-out answer. The fact is that I can look at both models objectively and determine that the one is ugly and always has been. I’ve asked a lot of professional artists that I know, and I have YET TO EVER have someone say they prefer the “Modern style”, or his shit-eating-grin. Do people who like Modern actually not see how bad the character looks? Do they not see how even weirder is looks alongside humans?

    You get the strangest defenses of Modern Sonic design too, like, “well if it’s so bad than why has it been around for 20 years?!” These aren’t legitimate responses, as though time somehow equals quality. Like, if we want to go there, and talk about time vs quality, that is really an argument they are set to lose, if based solely on the decline of the brand...

    What’s even more telling, is that when you push the “modern” proponents further on their opinions, they eventually fall backwards and say some iteration of, “it doesn’t actually matter”, or, “It’s actually a benefit to have all these competing interests”, that’s delusional, conversation over. I mean, that response about Mario’s overall color being analogous was embarrassing. It feels to me like the truth is slowly fading away and newer fans climb onboard and refuse to look critically at the current path of diminishing returns.

    Here’s my basic truth on this subject: I’m not claiming Sega should go back to classic, although I would like that… I’m saying that Sonic is due for another redesign, and it should be a blend of the 2. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

    But it’s not just Sonic either. Sega is actually very competent at making good looking games, but they clearly lack a signature style. Again, Classic Sonic used to have this. Modern games look nice, in the way Pixar looks nice, but there is nothing to ascribe to on an individual level. It’s just plastic.

    Modern fans usually want to claim that these aesthetic choices are just “art”, and is therefore only subjective, so there is no way to know what’s better. It’s the final ace up their sleeve. And yet, anyone who works in these fields knows that is just crap. They know we can evaluate the health of the series and its aesthetic choices by many valid metrics.

    The arguments with the Modern proponents usually feel like an argument with someone who really doesn’t care very much about aesthetics. Whereas the classic proponents tend to be people that have thought very long and critically about the subject.

    Here is a little example of how stylistic choices have consequences on the greater story and appeal. Badniks… It used to be that Robotnik was taking the animals and the natural environment and turning it into a machine. The robots were unique mechanized varieties of animals, and when you destroyed a robot, you also saved an animal. It spoke to a greater narrative. I used to look forward to what new creative robot-animal hybrids I would find in the next game, how would they relate to the Zone, and the palette choices. All these things build into an interesting world that a person can invest themselves into. So… what great new idea did Sega replace the badniks with? Just completely bland generic trashcan robots. They usually aren’t tailored to a specific zone. When you destroy one, nothing comes out, nothing builds upon a unique interesting narrative. Robotnik is then just one step closer to the generic techno authorities we see in many other games. Sega just needlessly neutered one of the most creative story-telling devices of the game, and replaced it “orb-bot” and “cube-bot”, and other bland robots. I never see a modern fan bring up ANY of these sort of points, and if I’m being honest, I think most of them have a more superficial view which fails to understand the importance. They just want more of the same generic Boost formula, and are willing to make poor arguments to get it.

    Modern proponents want to say that we who favor Classic are just nostalgic, and yet we are the ones defending a much richer experience with wider critical acclaim. I submit it is the Modern fans that are actually suffering from nostalgia, because they are the ones who joined later, and they are the ones defending a blander, uglier, less successful formula.

    So yes, I’m willing to be the dick that speaks out at the nonsense. You know what happens when people like me are actually listened to? Mania. You know what we get when we buy into this argument that everything is valid and there is no objective truth? Forces.
     
  8. Beltway

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    It's hard to say, because unless I've missed a major work that's done this already, I can't really think of a television show that's done this approach yet. The most triumphant examples are in animated film, the recent Peanuts and Captain Underpants movies. If this upcoming Sonic Netflix project was a miniseries; I could probably see it pulled off with the right budget, assets, and art direction.

    Personally, unless the first footage/screenshots show me otherwise, I'm not really expecting much out of the art and animation direction for the new show. I'm mainly expecting it to be on the same level of CG television fare that Boom and the Mega Man: Fully Charged shows were.
     
  9. Prototype

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    There's been a number of 3D "cartoons" with Cel shading, from years ago. I can't remember what they were called, but they definitely had a 2D stylized focus despite being obvious 3D models.

    I think that approach would work fantastically for Sonic, especially given that the earliest designs in the series were sort of 2D-3D mashups (which was really more due to hardware limitations), like the angular Palm Trees.

    It's a unique visual identity for the series borne of constraints, but a unique visual identity nonetheless.

    I can't see why something like that wouldn't work. Only thing that would be difficult would be maintaining the flow of the animation, due to the rigidity of models.

    Tyson Hesse's work on the Sonic Mania animation is my favourite style, but I can't imagine it having the same flow with cel shaded models, at least not without traditional animators storyboarding it properly.

    All I ask from the series is a bit of fluidity and motion.
     
  10. You know its funny, because there was a time when CG was all of the rage and everyone was doing it, but we're transitioning back to 2D drawn shows for most shows nowadays.
     
  11. Dark Sonic

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    @VectorCNC I think the issue with the modern Sonic merchandise aesthetic comes down to the fact that their default style... kinda sucks and is also kinda stale. Most of the modern merchandise use aesthetics we've seen for years, Adventure style shading and renders they've been recycling since 2008. They're often not great at posing these renders either, the only game in recent memory that had good Modern Sonic renders was Team Sonic Racing. They're capable of more though. Like look at this Sonic Channel art

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    It's stylized, it's different, the poses are dynamic and looks like there's implied motion. Then look at these:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Stiff, lifeless, and ugly as sin. The elements of the modern design can be good but they have to be willing to try something different. And they've done this without changing everything before. Like Classic Sonic. There's the standard Japanese art but also variants like Toei Sonic or Tyson Hesse's kinda hybrid, but all that is still classic Sonic. Same can apply to modern if they're willing to try.
     
  12. SystemsReady

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    Hah, someone posted a render of Sonic from Unleashed in the discord and I commented that if they didn't tell me it was from Unleashed, I would've assumed it was from last year. It's bonkers how Sonic's aesthetic and posing has basically been supremely static and basic for this long.

    man, like, reading you mention the idea of it popping back to station square...I'd love to see the characters just chilling in a coffee shop (or..the burger place ;)) in between Stuff Happening. Like, we basically don't even get the smallest amount of location continuity in the series proper (Tails' workshop in SA1 seemed like it could be really important as a consistent place in the series and then it just never showed up again?), and I didn't even really think about that until just now.

    Because Sega literally fed it with their own games. I don't even remember an explicit delineation between "modern" and "classic" in the fandom, just "ugh, I hate the latest version of Sonic" until after Generations came out. And then they did it again with Forces!

    This was my exact problem with SA2. You saw these issues start there - while SA1 certainly reused badnik designs, GUN bots have the same basic two designs: floating ufo and stiff humanoid that shoots things. And the game populates the vast majority of the stages with those two types (sometimes hundreds of them, like in Eggman's levels), and they drop samey "chaos drives" instead of animals. It went for more realistic locations, which they also reused over and over within the game (the levels can basically be largely divided into clusters due to the asset reuse), which made them more samey. And then after Heroes, they went "nah, let's just double down on that since Heroes wasn't as successful as SA2" and that has practically been all the series has been ever since - this same aesthetic philosophy with an occasional different surface-level coat of paint over it.
     
  13. BadBehavior

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    Agreed, it's not because the design is bad on principle, it's because Sega/Sonic Team are just not trying or being crushed under executive mandate or any other possible combination of reasons. When the life is being squeezed out of them, that lifelessness shows in the final product. I can guarantee that if Classic was the default style and stuck around to this day with little artistic innovation, people would be calling that ugly too and be demanding change.
     
  14. That's kind of happening right now with the way people treat the current Classic Model. I'm not really the type to scream "OLD GOOD, NEW BAD" like most millennials my age.

    But this:
    [​IMG]

    Ain't got nothing on this:

    [​IMG]


    I have no artistic eye at all, so I can't even really critique well, but there's just something about the current Classic model that they use that doesn't feel right. I don't see "Sonic" with the former with the way I do the latter, I see "Sonic's kid brother".

    The latter really does make me think "Sonic" in the same way the Modern design does, and I can't explain it.
     
  15. VectorCNC

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    So to be clear, my issue isn’t with “Sonic merchandise”, it is specifically with the ugly Modern Sonic model. Taking the ugly model, and putting it through a graphic filter, so it looks different, is the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. That isn’t the solution. The model needs to stand on its own, but when you referenced the un-filtered Modern model, you were correct… on it’s own it, “kinda sucks and is also kinda stale”. I would go further, it doesn’t look good, certainly not compared to Classic Sonic.

    Why are we trying to let this model off the hook? “They have to be willing to try something different”, but they have had 20 years, and they have tried things, and it’s still an unappealing model. For that matter, they don’t need to change everything, they just need to be willing to make some changes. I’m pretty sure that EVERYONE wins if they create a hybrid model of Classic and Modern. It is way too convenient to say “Sega/Sonic Team are just not trying or being crushed under executive mandate or any other possible combination of reasons”. You basically stated that, it could be anyone’s fault the design is bad, except the design. It’s just a bad model, it’s that simple, or at the very least, it is a lesser model when compared to Classic Sonic.

    All of these convenient excuses are just beating around the bush, and masking the stubbornness and poor choices by Sonic Team. And no, you cannot “guarantee that if Classic was the default style and stuck around to this day with little artistic innovation, people would be calling that ugly too and be demanding change”. This is once again, just more “gut feelings” put to work defending the status quo. If Classic Sonic us so equally unappealing, then why is it still relevant despite being cast aside all these years? If Classic Sonic is so unappealing, then why does his image on clothing always look terrific without the need for filters and excuses about being stale? Why does Modern Sonic need 3 fucking parabolas to form a smile?

    I would agree that it’s entirely reasonable to think that if Classic Sonic had been the model all along, it would have had some minor iterations. But it would nonetheless be understood as continuous, just as Modern Sonic, despite also have minor iterations, is still understood as continuous. The argument that Classic Sonic would be stale by now too, is actually an argument against Modern Sonic. You just said that if a model sticks around too long without much iteration, it falls out of fashion. And that’s exactly what I’m saying about the 20 year old model you are trying to defend. Do I even need to play the Mario card again? Mario is regarded as continuous, has had minor iterations, and yet no one is claiming it’s ugly and demanding change… but I guess this logic only applies to Modern Sonic because…?

    Does anyone here really think that Sonic can ever rise above mediocrity if we all continue to pretend that the problem is with everyone else? Modern Sonic has always been divisive, but it’s had a loooooooooong stretch to prove itself. This feels a lot to me like sociology 100, like how some people are so embedded in their society or culture, that they aren’t able to extract themselves and consider it critically, instead everything is viewed through the lens of the status quo. It’s a failure of the imagination.
     
  16. SuperSnoopy

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    I have to say, seeing this thread going from "Cool! A Netflix series :)" to "Classic Sonic good Modern Sonic bad" in real time has been ridiculously entertaining.
    Entertaining, but also kind of obnoxious. Can we leave the modern Sonic bashing to the early 2000's and go back to discuss what plot elements we'd like to see in the Netflix show that will most certainly use Sonic's default design?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  17. What I'm hoping for: Sonic Boom TV series 2: Electric Boogaloo
    What I'm expecting: Sonic the Movie: The TV Series, with none of the expensive actors
     
  18. Frostav

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    This is an impressively terrible post, really something I'd expect to see on 4chan or gamefaqs. I don't have the time to go through it all but I really wanna point out this:

    I like how you completely ignored the current IDW artists. Or fanartists. Most "professional artists" are as boring as sin as the corporate offices they work for. Of course they don't like a design like Uekawa's late-90's-as-fuck design. If anything that's the problem with Modern--he's intentionally designed be a radical cool late-90's character but has been sanded down into a generic cartoon character. There's a reason Uekawa's art for the Adventure series is iconic as hell to the point where I still see parodies/homages to that wild pose Sonic has on the original SA1 cover art.

    Personally, I much prefer modern in design to classic, but SEGA wastes the former greatly. Divorced from the completely unironic 90's cheese of the Adventure games he was made for, modern Sonic lost a lot of visual identity. The proper response is not getting rid of him--because if they did I and a large amount of my friends would just walk out of this fandom, no joke, classic Sonic is fine but he isn't my Sonic--but actually figuring embracing that aesthetic he was made for.

    The problem is that SEGA is too corporate. When they were the scrappy underdog console maker, they willfully adopted that punk-ish attitude that so heavily defined 90's pop culture. And that attitude, that aesthetic, that tone is something that a bunch of suits in 2020 would never willingly embrace. Classic Sonic is saved by his retro cachet--and for the record, the sole reason that Classic holds more weight in the broader cultural sphere is simply because he was one of the first video game characters/franchises to become a big thing, and early stars always remain big through that cultural osmosis (my parents know who Mario and Bowser are...but they sure couldn't tell you who any Mario character post the N64 is for the same reason).

    But that punkish attitude never died. SEGA would just never willingly embrace it again--much as how Nintendo once allowed SEGA to make them a brutally hard futuristic racing game, or let Intelligent Systems create two Mario RPG's with loads of original ideas and truly insane plots (especially Super Paper Mario), but nowadays keeps a tight chain on Mario. The Nintendo that let Super Paper Mario, Mario Strikers, Metroid Prime, and Melee exist will never come back, because Nintendo wants to be Gaming Disney. Likewise, the SEGA that let Sonic Adventure 1, Sonic Adventure 2, and Sonic Battle exist will never come back. That attitude does live on in fanworks, but it by definition cannot ever come back.

    It should be very telling that the moment SEGA stopped making consoles and no longer became the underdog console maker, but one of the bigger video game developers, Uekawa's art was no longer front and center. They went from the underdog to another corporate company.

    SEGA would never make something like this again--that Sonic Channel art is too "edgy", too overtly stylized for SEGA to ever make again. It literally has too much charm for a multi-billion dollar corporation to willingly make.

    Sonic is unironically too big. Mario survived Nintendo becoming a lameo corporate no-fun-allowed charisma void because Mario was always devoid of character to begin with. Sonic is too edgy and 90's to not become bland as hell without that edge.

    I still like the design more than Classic though. Classic Sonic is a very good design, but a bit too cartoony--Modern's a bit more versatile. I can see Modern talking and doing stuff and telling a black hedgehog similar to him that "what you see is what you get: just a guy that loves adventure!" but Classic? Eh. Not really. He can do "mute 2D platformer character" superbly and that's...it. Then again, I prefer the Adventure era redesigns of every character Tails to Amy to Knuckles to Eggman and the "adventure template" that all the new characters (Rouge, Shadow, Tikal, Infinite, Silver, Blaze, etc.) use, as opposed to the older classic animals like Fang (I really would love to see an Uekawa redesign of Fang ngl).
     
  19. I wish I could I say that I'm surprised, but this is Sonic Retro. "old good, new bad" from a few users is about what I expected.

    And all of this started because of a desire to return to the Classic aesthetic....
     
  20. Dark Sonic

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    @Frostav that Sonic Channel art isn't that old actually. That was the style they used in 2019, 2020s style was also pretty neat, even if not as stylized. They just need to apply these aesthetics where they count, the games.