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Sonic X Shadow Generations announced, releases Autumn 2024

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by charcoal, Jan 29, 2024.

  1. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    In regards to Pontaff and Graff, I understand that certain things were mandated by Sega, but the "this line is supposed to be funny but really isn't and comes across as forced" stuff is really on them. I haven't seen much of their prior work, but my understanding is that is how they approached Happy Tree Friends. Combine that with their lack of care over the franchise aside from surface level details and what Sonic Team gave them and you get kinda lousy writing.

    Compare than to Ian and it's like night and day. He clearly understands these characters and the lore behind them. The references were perhaps too gratuitous yes, but that is hardly a staple of his writing. Likewise, the way Shadow was handled in IDW was something Ian was mandated to do and he was very vocal about how he hated it. If he's writing for Shadow Generations, I get the feeling that his issues with Shadow's characterization have been resolved, because he has stated he refused to write for Shadow when he was mandated to be brooding, confrontational, and arrogant to the point of stupidity. I wish I could remember which Bumblecast that's directly stated, it was a while ago.
     
  2. Vertette

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    Sonic Prime apparently got Shadow right, and from the clips I've seen (still need to watch past season 1) I'm inclined to agree. That plus recent IDW comics seems to imply the mandates on Shadow have been loosened up at least.
     
  3. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    So I guess Ian is a big fat liar for claiming that the comic was closely supervised by Sega when it came to the game characters? Even when the artists corroborated his account, and possess redrawn panels to prove it?

    Wait, who is the one thinking he knows more than the people who literally worked on these stories again?

    Also, no one was calling Graff a liar. It's just not my fault if you choose to follow such an extreme literal interpretation of his words. You say Sonic Team told Pontac and Graff every "exact word" to write? If you'll forgive my bluntness, that's nonsense and you know it. If the peeps at Sonic Team had written every single word in the script, they would be the game's writers themselves, rather than Pontac or Graff. In which case they wouldn't be hiring them in the first place, having no need for them. What, you think Sonic Team hired them as "Story Writers" just to transcribe their (Sonic Team's) script?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2024
  4. shilz

    shilz

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    Because he doesn't actually understand the characters in some ways / has too much influence from his time on the Archie series, and takes criticism and input from people who also do not understand the characters. He's more famous for not completely fucking things up and being really good in the versions of the worlds he set up for himself (Archie Sonic / Mega Man) than actually being able to play in someone else's sandbox the way he had to with IDW and the franchise as a whole.

    He's not really an issue just through being himself but the reason he is working on the games at all (and why not continuing to work with him could be bad news) is because they want an English speaking writer to make a "likable" script for an English speaking audience, and they don't want to have a very strong grip down to how the characters act out of fear that interfering would spoil that (and probably make something as emotionally numb as the Mario movie in the process), so if he was removed he'd likely be replaced with like, Kiel Phegley or something.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2024
  5. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

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    Admittedly I'm quite tired so I won't be too detailed, but the above is generally how I feel about his writing. My issues with what he's written go beyond the references, I simply just don't like how he writes a lot of the cast and prefer how some other writers do. Nothing wrong about if you disagree, though.
     
  6. jubbalub

    jubbalub

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    How exactly else are you supposed to interpret what Graff said?

    Yes, obviously not every single word in the story is dictated by SEGA or Sonic Team, but there are clearly certain things out of the writer's control. Ian Flynn has a very distinct style of writing and characterization and yet there are certain things he does not get to change. Graff outright said this is the case.
     
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  7. Mana

    Mana

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    My problem with Ian Flynn is that he's hit or miss and sometimes writes really boring generic dialogue when, even in comics, dialogue is supposed to help move the story in an exciting fashion.

    Say what you want about "BBBE" or "Green Hill? More like Sandhill!" Or "Baldy Mcnosehair" but at least I remember them. I can't say the same for Ian's dialogue.
     
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  8. Deep Dive Devin

    Deep Dive Devin

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    Nobody is saying that Pontac and Graff are entirely blameless in their own writing (though it's highly likely that the nature of SEGA's oversight with the comics and games differs), but a lot of the things people got upset about were part of the company's vision, not something any writer could have changed. The fact that different pieces of Sonic media are different is not, alone, a reason to doubt this.

    Anyhoo, if I were to state any problem with Flynn right now, it would be that the nature of his attempts to answer fan questions can fly a little close to the sun with SEGA themselves clearly not being entirely sure what they want from him, and if not, they sometimes demystify aspects of the series that weren't a big deal being left unsaid.

    The thing with The End from late last year is a good example. Like, sure, obviously that purple moon in Superstars is not The End. Maybe it's a reference, but I doubt that, it's probably just a coincidence. But does Ian coming out and saying "it's not The End, it obviously never could be" really add anything to that? People were mostly just having fun and making memes or whatever. Same deal with speculation over The End's nature as an incarnation of empathy. Maybe adding a literal grim reaper to the series is too big a step, but do we really need to go "uhhh actually it's just a big angry rock"? It's not like SEGA themselves ever would have treated it otherwise. Sonic killed the god of time, twice. Who cares.
     
  9. Beamer the Meep

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    In what way does he not really understand the characters?
     
  10. Mana

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    I don't like how he tried to overcorrect Amy's character. She didn't need to become a generic girl boss who goes on speeches about how heroes do the right thing and help others.

    Amy knew when she was allowed to he selfish and when it was time to get serious and help in anyway she could. She literally talked Shadow into helping out and changing his ways in Sonic Adventure 2.

    For example in Frontiers there's this one scene where Sonic realizes they're getting nowhere with just the Koko and she says something to the manner of

    "Are you going to ignore someone who needs our help!" Or something else cringey like that when at this point Amy would either be concerned with herself by now or would have just agreed with Sonic and trusted his judgement.

    In his effort to make her empowered he makes her a bit insufferable. Adventure and Dark age Amy stepped up to the plate when she needed to. But she was still a person outside of that, with flaws, and I feel he felt that was a mistake when it wss a core of who she was.

    A Sonic obsessed girl who is frequently selfish but will always do the right thing in the end, especially because she knows that's what her hero would do as well.

    I miss that Amy.
     
  11. Plorpus

    Plorpus

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    That’s the direction Sega wanted to take Amy in, not something Flynn decided on himself. (Incidentally at least one of her lines in the DLC that people were complaining about wasn’t even something he wrote.)
    You can certainly argue whether or not he’s good at writing this over-corrected incarnation of Amy, but you’d likely be stuck with the same complaint even if Sega had picked a different writer.
     
  12. Mana

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    Nope. I read the IDW Comics. He made it that Amy was the actual leader of the resistance in Forces.

    This is his vision for the character and it clearly has been for years now. If you like that's fine but this is what he's been doing forever.
     
  13. Plorpus

    Plorpus

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    I’ve read them as well but I admit I don’t remember that detail. But you do know the IDW comics are strictly overseen by Toyoda and Sonic Team themselves, right? Not just the overall story but on an actual chapter by chapter basis? I suppose he could have been pushing to “girlboss-up” Amy behind the scenes, but everything about the post-Forces setting and the main characters was decided in meetings between the writers, IDW, and Sonic Team. That decision was not made in a vacuum.
     
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  14. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    The poster I was replying to was acting like Pontac and Graff were blameless and nothing in the games whose story they wrote came from them.

    Despite Pontac stating that he and Graff are the ones responsible for Orbot and Cubot being made into recurring characters.

    He also stated that he and Graff had some influence in how the characters were written too, not just Sonic Team:
    Pontac and Graff obviously answered to Sega/Sonic Team, but they clearly still had some degree of input into what they wrote.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2024
  15. Deep Dive Devin

    Deep Dive Devin

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    I don't think that's true. Within context it's pretty obvious that Joe was commenting on how people assume the writers have more directorial control than they do. Even in your own post, it seems like these are discussions that occurred outside the actual script-writing portion of the games, when SEGA would be more receptive to their input, which means their feedback or control over the scripts within that part of production wouldn't necessarily be 100% identical. I can't know what the culture was like but it sounds like a lot of their influence were ideas that SEGA happened to decide they liked at the time, not a special power or permission they specifically granted P/G to wield. It's certainly an exaggeration to call it "every word controlled by SEGA", but it's not the dichotomy you're presenting it as.
     
  16. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Weird thing to cherrypick. Like what else could be done there? He could only work with what Forces presented - Knuckles may have been the figurehead but clearly isn't an admin/briefing guy and Tails had gone AWOL. Also, consider that Amy's grown as a character over the years? She started out as having no character traits outside of loving Sonic, then became something of a bit of a pushy brat with a heart in the Adventure era, and now she's grown out of that brattiness and is somebody who still crushes on Sonic but not to the point that it stops her on focusing on the situation at hand. In Frontiers, the islands have gone to shit and she's trying to reunite someone with what's effectively a missing person, and is indignant with Sonic suggesting that's not a worthy cause compared to putting Amy first. I'd say that's completely in line with trying to protect the flicky from Zero in Adventure.

    And, as a reminder of what we had before:
    • Amy's entire impetus for setting out in Heroes was to...force Sonic into marrying her? Which they came to blows over.
    • Amy introduce herself in Rush as Sonic's girlfriend, and once again psychopathically chases after him in the ending.
    • In 06 she meets Silver by mistaking him for Sonic, hugging him then slapping him for not being Sonic. And then after suggesting she'll help Silver look for the Iblis Trigger, she immediately sidelines him in her own search for Sonic.
    And this is just off the top of my head. Amy as she was represented a trite and frankly inappropriate pastiche and stereotype of female characters that was outdated when it was current. Sure, there's some stuff I'd like to have back, like her crush being more present and and a bit more impulsive, but what we have now is still far better than the screeching stalker of yesteryear.
     
  17. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Of course their influence was stuff Sega agreed with. I never said that Sega was blameless or that Pontac and Graff had "special power". Sega obviously approved of the final scripts after all.

    But it was still stuff that came from Pontac and Graff. If it wasn't for them Orbot and Cubot wouldn't have returned in Lost World onwards for instance, as Pontac stated. The games do have influence from them.

    He could just, you know, not have pointlessly retconned Forces. Neither Knuckles nor Amy were tactical leader material, so I wouldn't call it any more sensible than what we got in the game proper.
     
  18. Mana

    Mana

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    Didn't I just say I was cool with ALL of that because she still stepped up and wss a hero when it was time?

    I don't care about her Sonic obsession because she's a hero when it counts. And it's not cherry picking I'm showing he's consistently done this "girl boss" thing and will continue as long as he has an involvement in the series.

    I was going to let it go but you quoting me after i stopped replying and clicked that the other guys post was informative but now I return to actively blaming Ian Flynn for his ruining of Amy and wish he'd get off writing the main franchise becase of you.
     
  19. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

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    Personally I don't blame Ian for Amy's somewhat-recent change in characterization. Maybe he prefers this take on her, who knows, but all I know is he wrote the old characterization just fine in Archie with no issue if I recall correctly. And this has been a very clear and very intentional change in her character since at least Boom. I am of the opinion that Ian doesn't write this version of the character all that well, though. I think Evan Stanley strikes a better balance in traits, from what I've seen.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2024
  20. Beamer the Meep

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    I have to concur with what everyone else here is saying. The change in Amy's character occurred long before Ian took over. It should also be noted that Amy left the role as leader of the Restoration (though I can't recall if that was something that happened when Ian was still lead writer or not). He may not have done a lot regarding her attraction to Sonic in Frontiers, but he obviously played into her inherent compassion for others that's been present well since the Adventure games, and arguably a forgotten trait since Heroes. Her primary trait isn't that she's Gaga over Sonic, it's that she has a big heart.

    I'd argue Ian has done a lot more to course correct characters. As clunky as it might've been, he addressed the elephant in the room with Tails. I don't think Sonic Team on their own would have directly referenced Infinite without Ian. They may have touched on the inconsistency in Tails character, but probably not as directly, and in this case I think they needed to in order to get him back on course with the "stepping out of Sonic's shadow" arc he had in Adventure.

    Knuckles has to be the best written he's been in years starting with that first arc with Neo Metal in IDW (which predates movie 2 I believe). His tie in short for Frontiers was absolutely phenomenal and his rivalry with Sonic has been properly restored since being absent since SA2.

    More relevantly to the Shadow Generations topic (that we may have veered off of) I think we're about to see a restoration of Shadow's character for the first time since 06. Sonic Team may be motivated to do it because of the new movie, but it's up to Ian to nail the execution. I think it really depends on how willing Izuka is to let go of his vision of the character, but I'm pretty optimistic here.