don't click here

"Sonic Spitball" - a deconstruction of the franchise

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Azookara, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Azookara

    Azookara

    yup Member
    Dunno if this has been seen by anyone here yet.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=-AK3n-srj5E

    Sonic Spitball is a 3-part long discussion on deconstructing the concepts of Sonic and what exactly was going downhill about it, done by Seumidh "Shay" MacDonald, artist from Sonic the Comic Online. This first part covers the topic of gameplay while two later parts will cover story/characters and tone. And yes, you're reading that right: it's about an hour and a half long.

    Now, I wouldn't usually share something like this because these kind of rants and raves are a dime a dozen, but most of the time they are usually either far off the mark, are really light on criticism in areas due to fanboyism, or are overwhelmingly negative schpiels focused on sensationalizing how bad Sonic is (like nearly any ordinary sound-minded critic/game design analyzer usually would do).

    This dude, however, manages to capture every detail with not only what I believe to be extreme accuracy, but also amazing insight on why certain things and don't work. The guy sort of proves that he knows his stuff on how games work, how their mechanics stack up amongst one another, and how people react to playing them. It doesn't beat around the bush or settle for superficial things like "Sonic needs no friends and just speed and no gimmicks and classic designs and robotnik" etc as it's back up argument. Instead, it simply hones in on the genius behind what made Sonic almost universally seen as good, regardless of specific preferences, and highlights just where it started going sour.

    I don't want to end up spoiling it all, but I found myself agreeing with this guy on just about everything he said, and then some. He does an amazing analysis that I feel needs to be shared, because it really does help shush all the arguments of "was Sonic ever good to begin with", "Sonic can't work in 3D", "the best kind of Sonic is just going fast and collecting rings" and various other phrases and ideas that get blabbed on about throughout the gaming community.

    It's the 'Sequelitis' - esque public deconstruction I feel the series has needed (except without the mass bias someone like Egoraptor would have), and I thought you guys would like to sit back for a bit and see it.
     
  2. ForgeCircuit

    ForgeCircuit

    Member
    11
    0
    1
    The world needs to see this. I really like it. I especially like the fact he says we need to let Sonic 2006 die, and that there's enough content on that game on YT as it is. Unfortunately, as well-produced and as correct as it is, I feel like he's just a YouTuber, and the world won't realise that the Sonic IP is generally a good one until the series pumps out two or more 90+Metacritic games (which would have happened in the 90s had Metacritic existed back then).
     
  3. Lilly

    Lilly

    Member
    2,329
    129
    43
    United States
    Shang Mu Architect
    It's rare I ever sit in front of an hour-length YouTube video. :specialed: This was worth the watch; arguably one of the most observant break downs I've seen. I feel like it really emphasized the importance of the finer details in game design.

    Perfectly sums up what's currently wrong with the series : Sonic Team almost never gets to reattempt the same thing and polish it, like with sequels to any other series. (Let alone how little time they have to work on the games at all.)
     
  4. TimmiT

    TimmiT

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    Gonna give this a watch some other time, but...

    ...He's not the first one to point this out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY2HF4Lf9kI
     
  5. Lilly

    Lilly

    Member
    2,329
    129
    43
    United States
    Shang Mu Architect
    I'm not a big fan like I used to be, (Well, never really been a fan of Sonic himself. Wouldn't even want Generations if mods for Blaze didn't exist.) so I missed that.

    Still, Shay made a point besides just Sonic Team reinventing the wheel every time. He wondered if them not getting a chance to work on other IPs, like they used to, also meant Sonic having to be the vessel for trying out risky new ideas instead. Even when a Sonic game's bad, it sells anyway, so it kinda makes sense, and it has been known for years that this is sometimes the case with Mario. (Doki Doki Panic becoming SMB2 in the US, and Super Mario Sunshine originally being something else as well.)

    Might not actually be the case, but it's food for thought, I guess.
     
  6. TheKazeblade

    TheKazeblade

    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    What an outstanding investigation. This guy has a great grasp on the basic tenants Sonic was built on and how to translate it more successfully into 3D. The only thing I really disagree with is his opinion on the controls of Sonic Adventure 2 (I think that Sonic's controls are pristine) but even then, I completely agreed with his assessment of the somersault move.

    Really looking forward to his second and third parts. It's really nice to see a Sonic fan that isn't completely disparaging or completely apologetic for the series for such a prolonged amount of time in review. I'm subscribed.
     
  7. JaredAFX

    JaredAFX

    You telling me a shrimp fried this rice? Member
    875
    23
    18
    Florida
    Downloading megahertz
    + - Now my brain is stuck reading things in his accent but that's my own problem XD  
    Wow. Really well done. I don't agree with his sentiments 100%, but he definitely researched the mechanics of Sonic and explained his positions and reasonings very well.
     
  8. Shockwave

    Shockwave

    Member
    26
    0
    1
    LA, CA
    Sonic: South Island Warped
    This was a really fantastic watch. It's kind of disappointing that a lot of people outside of this community will most likely ignore a video like this in favor of more "lolSonic06" shit. I could think of at least four people off the top of my head I would want to see this, but they wouldn't set aside the patience for it when it's so much easier and quicker to look at Sonic '06 or Sonic Boom and leave it at that.

    Regardless, I'm happy that I at least was able to view this as it was indeed a very well presented analysis that deserves much more attention.
     
  9. amphobius

    amphobius

    doing more important things with my life Member
    2,120
    0
    16
    life
    Definitely worth the watch. Was a bit long for me, but I'll keep my eyes peeled for the next one! Found myself internally disagreeing with some of his points, as I think the Sonic formula can adopt to allow the thrill of speed that the Unleashed playstyle innovated, but I agree on his assessment of the flaws of the system that was implemented.

    Also, holy fuck that's a deep Scottish accent. God help the world's English speaking population if he was from Fife, the accent there is near unintelligible. :v:
     
  10. Felik

    Felik

    Member
    1,736
    10
    18
    Meanwhile this exists for quite some time.
     
  11. SF94

    SF94

    Tech Member
    This was pretty great! And as someone who loves Sonic Adventure, I certainly agree with at least most of his points regarding its flaws.

    I did notice a seemingly contradictory point though. Please do correct me if I'm wrong, but: When he went over Sonic Adventure 2, he mentions (iirc) that there are too many actions assigned to a single button, and I absolutely agree. However, he later complained that the controls in Sonic Generations were too complex as a result of all of the actions it split onto separate buttons. But here's the thing...

    Firstly, the two triggers do the exact same thing--that is, drift, and the sidestep is rather intuitive in the fact that it sends you to the left if you hit LB, etc. (although that's somewhat beside the point)

    Aside from those two, let's compare the actions you can perform in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Generations:

    • SA2's spindash can be attributed to the boost.
    • SA2's somersault can be attributed to the slide. In SA2's case, you could argue that it's useless when you could just roll (as in, spindash), whereas in Generations it's a necessity, and I agree.
    • SA2's bounce can be attributed to the stomp.
    • And obviously, the lightdash and homing attack are direct translations.

    Considering these similarities, Generations basically did what he wanted. It took SA2's actions and distributed them across the rest of the buttons on the controller. X for the spindash equivalent, B for bounce/somersault equivalent, and Y for lightdash, whereas ALL of those were assigned to a single button (and optionally, a secondary button if you feel so inclined to push that one instead =P) in Sonic Adventure 2. The only thing it really did to "complicate" this is by adding two new actions which are essential for control with the new type of gameplay (those being sidestep and drift, as mentioned before).

    Other than this minor point which was so minor that I just wrote a wall of text about it (:v:), I generally agree with what he had to say. I now wonder how Wave Ocean would play in SA2, seeing as it has most of the required gimmicks. It has the swingy pole thing and rails, complete with similarly themed robots. All it's really missing is the piers and whales :specialed:

    Needless to say, I am now subscribed.
    also obligatory mention that windy hill != windy valley
     
  12. TimmiT

    TimmiT

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    I haven't seen Sonic Spitball yet but I'm willing to bet that it's much better than Roger's awful series.
     
  13. Felik

    Felik

    Member
    1,736
    10
    18
    Haha, NO
     
  14. Spinksy

    Spinksy

    Member
    221
    0
    16
    UK
    It always amazes me how Sonic fans can make better sonic games, know the characters, know the basics etc etc better than probably ANY Sega employee!
     
  15. Nova

    Nova

    Misfit
    3,713
    136
    43
    Glad to see this posted here, Shay is a top dude. Hung out with him for a few days at the tail end of last year and he's hilarious - also knows what the fuck he's talking about. I fully endorse Spitball, and you should too. :v:
     
  16. Dissident

    Dissident

    Sami Member
    143
    2
    18
    Roger's stuff is pretty bad imo. He's not really very insightful, he just kind of throws ideas at the wall.
     
  17. Felik

    Felik

    Member
    1,736
    10
    18
    Except he is?
    Anyway I'm not going to start a debate, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just wanted to point out that this guy is not the first person on the internet to make a thoughtful depiction of the series. Mine just so happens to be the same as Roger's on many occasions and I find his stuff entertaining and on point.
     
  18. Let's just say Roger discusses things his own way, 'kay? Same could probably be said about NickonAquaMagna.
     
  19. Skyler

    Skyler

    Neonネオン Cowgirlカウガール Site Staff
    3,289
    28
    28
    Hellafornia
    The next audtion
    This is great, but it feels like stuff that's already been done before. Still, looking forward to parts 2 and 3.

    That was pretty bad, especially the yelling bits.
     
  20. JaredAFX

    JaredAFX

    You telling me a shrimp fried this rice? Member
    875
    23
    18
    Florida
    Downloading megahertz
    I was under the impression that he was saying Generations was too complex in its own right and Sonic shouldn't need that many buttons to begin with. I do see how he was inconsistent in explaining that, though.