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Sonic X Shadow Generations announced, releases Autumn 2024

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

  1. Wraith

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    Sonic is an episodic series and Shadow is always "doing his own thing" so the continuity part of that is easy. Just give him a bigger, badder threat to handle that he deals with before Sonic even catches wind of it. They've got an entire planet full of space between eachother potentially, it's not that hard to buy unless you buy into the way overzealous fans perceive continuity.

    I like the idea of Shadow spinoffs being where the boost gameplay camps out. The power fantasy aspect of that would suit him super well and with the right approach they can keep dev costs down compared to the open world games. I don't like the idea of a huge combat focus because I don't think Sonic is ever going to gel with that. Erratic movement doesn't gel much with the fun of precisely aiming guns so most Sonic games that feature shooting mechanics never ask you to juggle both, but that just makes the whole thing feel shallow.

    Then again you get the sense that the series is probably going to have a huge combat focus going forward either way, so maybe Shadow can be B sides on whatever the new open world games are that are more combat focused? There's technically a lot of angles to take here.
     
  2. kazz

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    Relegating Shadow to the era he was barely present for doesn't make a lot of sense to me especially considering he's being specifically distinguished here as not that, and Frontiers still has boost anyway. Why can't the Adventure style have its niche back after almost two decades? Is the Unleashed formula just so precious that we immediately need it back even though it just recently backfired in Forces' case, and is going to be retreaded in the very game this thread is already about?
     
  3. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    In Sonic Team's eyes, the "Adventure formula" and "boost formula" are one and the same. Unleashed's developers made it clear in contemporary interviews that they considered the boost gameplay an evolution of the Sonic/Shadow gameplay from SA2 (and playing them back to back, I can see why - they're both about achieving a flow state in which you constantly move forward and make zero mistakes to obtain the best ranking), and Iizuka said during Frontiers' marketing cycle he thought all the 3D games up to then were still working in the Adventure mold.

    And like... they've been bringing "Adventure" elements back to the main series for a while now. Lost World's non-gimmick gameplay is pretty similar to the Sonic gameplay in Adventure 1, Forces' story uses the same format as Adventure 2 of swapping between three different gameplay styles throughout the campaign, Frontiers is basically Adventure 1 hub worlds with actual gameplay in them and the extra playable characters in The Final Horizon had tons of Adventure-era fan service/callbacks in their movesets. Adventure hasn't really gone anywhere.
     
  4. Wraith

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    Sonic Adventure 2's speed stages and the average boost stage are similar enough to me that it's not actually worthwhile to make a distinction. There's barely any "niche" being cultivate. Most of SA2's exclusive mechanics can be grafted back onto the Boost formula without disturbing much of anything. I was thinking more in terms of a stricter focus on linear, arcadey action game mechanics vs the open world stuff.
     
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  5. kazz

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    What little we've seen of Shadow's gameplay here doesn't look Unleashed-style to me but certainly looks SA2-style. Not sure what the point of this remake would even be if there's apparently no difference in ST's eyes. It's possible someone there just changed their mind. Frontiers still has boost. Boost hasn't really gone anywhere.

    Really if there were no difference, you yourself wouldn't be pining for an Unleashed-style game. Why not want an SA2-style game? Because there's obvious differences?
     
  6. Wraith

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    There's visual callbacks to all Shadow focused content, but mechanically it has a boost, fairly straightforward level arrangements, the homing attack that's been present in every game and the inclusion of some kind of new shooting mechanic that will probably function similarly to the shooting in Shadow's solo outing with the alienating firearm system sanded off. None of that screams "Sonic Adventure 2" more than any of the countless other Sonic games that borrowed stuff from it does. It seems more akin to Unleashed or Frontiers with some elements of Shadow's solo game grafted onto it.

    And the point of the remake is to reinforce and capitalize on the Shadow push.
     
  7. Spamitex

    Spamitex

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    I'm not sure if hyper-long analysis is something fine on Sonic Retro...ok well it is, but I hope this isn't any trouble!

    SPAMITE'S SONIC + SHADOW GENERATIONS SPECULATION STUFF

    I went back through the footage for Sonic x Shadow Generations and decided to use it as a chance to go over what the game looks like so far, what it's currently doing, and how it might turn out.

    Now from the start we need to determine just what kind of experience we need to compare it too. We're not talking the next-gen Sonic experience, we're talking about a remaster + side mode. So ultimately it's fair to compare this experience to Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury!

    [​IMG]

    If needed, zoom in...now for the remaster portion. Right now we're looking at an experience that compares to 3D World + Bowser's Fury, as it's mainly focused on upscaling textures / the area itself rather than making major changes. You can see in the center image that there have been lighting adjustments, but overall we're looking at something that shows faithfulness which unlike other Sonic remasters is great.

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    This isn't an outright downgrade thus far. There's no obvious blemishes. The extra content for Gens waits to be explained but otherwise this has been faithful so far.

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    As for the Graphics and Art Direction, I would have to say that Shadow Gens is the continuation that Sonic Unleashed deserved. It uses the improvements of technology and graphics that Frontiers had but uses it to expand upon a creative art direction rather than realism. I understand if some still prefer the art direction / graphics of Unleashed, but to say that Shadow Gens doesn't hold up when put next to current-gen Platformers such as Mario Odyessy, Crash 4, and Ratchet & Clank would be underselling the clear visual growth that Frontiers' success brought to the series.

    Now as for the level design, that's where I can get into the nit and grit so far.

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    Whereas some would call this section linear, I prefer narrow because this portion contains various pathways so to say. To be exact you have two pathways but three branches. There's an upper and lower deck in the distance past the Rail-Loop and you have various means of reaching a choice.

    1. You can take the lowest route with no rewards but also without action to be had.

    2. You can leap onto the furtherest rail and reach the lower deck where the GUN Robots await your arrival but take the choice for branches.

    3. You can use the furtherest rails to launch yourself onto the highest route with a well-timed jump and Boost combo. Presuming we're using Frontiers as a basis.

    [​IMG]

    If you find yourself using the Lower-Deck you have two options to progress

    1. You can either bash into the GUN Robots using Homing Attacks to reach a further lower-route via Horizonal Springs, most likely targetted towards newcomers due to the kindly placed arrow sign slightly above camera.

    2. Use a Boost / Slide command to bash through the crates and enter into a passageway that has vertical Springs, allowing you to reach the higher deck.

    I appreciate how despite it seemingly narrow, it does allow for players to make choices and for experienced players to make riskier choices for a faster time.

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    I predict that this Steam Screenshot of the ARK Level takes place later on, with some details among the area

    1. In the far distance there's a rail section HOWEVER what's curious is that the arrow-symbol across the rails is pointing EAST / Right implying that the railway itself is headed away from the camera. HOWEVER-AGAIN, it doesn't matter the prior series of rails shown in the opening portion of the gameplay. Meaning that this railway occurs past that portion, meaning we're dealing with a level in which you'll slowly curve or progress in an Arch of sorts...

    2. There's a lower portion on the far right in which you'll need to use Dash Pads located on a floating platform to reach the Tube Rail section in focus. Whether or not there's another pathway into the Tube Rail focus remains to be seen but ultimately could be possible.

    3. The Tube Rail portion itself has 2 main pathways. Players can either use the side rails / lower ground to progress ahead or leap onto the higher railway for what could end up being further reward and possibly some form of other passageway across the level.

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    The Black Doom portion of the ARK I would wager would fall under either of these three outcomes.

    1. Instead of having a Goal Ring, this level ends with Black Doom warping you into the next level which can either be progressed further or halted to pause.

    2. After going through the prior areas, you'll eventually encounter Black Doom and will progress into a Modern-Day Act Transition

    3. This is the opening to the City Level which just so happens to begin with the ARK

    Either way this leads me to consider that this ARK Level would act as one of the opening levels if not THE first level as it seemingly sets up Black Doom here and now. Which if so, would make it in my eyes one heck of an opening and certainly outdoing the first levels of Frontiers and Forces

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    As for how come to the City Portion here appears so linear, I think there's a reason behind it. A good one at that. So what we need to consider first is that Black Doom and Shadow will interact within this in-game cutscene here, which afterward leads into destroyed parts of the City nearly colliding into Shadow before it cuts to the first City level portion. I believe that the linear area on the right is how the level will open or otherwise transition from one area to the next and as to why I feel this way...

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    During this portion of the City level, you can actually see Black Doom fly ahead of Shadow. Which to me implies they wanted to design a transition portion within the level in which they could make Black Doom a noticeable presence for the player. That he's ahead of you and that you need to catch up to him, giving the player a goal without having to say anything.

    Not to mention I noticed that the Rings ahead don't outright stick to the road, which to me is either is a technical issue or could imply that the bridge itself is split. Meaning Shadow will fly off and head into a new portion of the area.

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    I theorize that this portion of the City level is actually the ending of the level. In which Shadow is surrounded by swarms of GUN Robots summoned by a strange distorted portal from the ground.

    Now it would seem combat for the Shadow Gens experience will go back to standard Boost Sonic, in which you'll need to use a Homing Attack and Slide to defeat enemies. Or well, boost right into them.

    [​IMG]

    However later on the footage it's quite obvious that Shadow can use Chaos Abilities, or at least Chaos Spear. So apart of me wonders if either Chaos Abilities will be used during Frontiers-like or Boss-Based combat encounters or if we can Upgrade Shadow across his journey to recieve further abilites or movement improvements. Regardless we need to go back to what we can see for ourselves.

    [​IMG]

    When you're destroying the GUN Robots, they aren't being blown up for the sake of destruction. You're not just supposed to defeat a swarm of enemies, no...you're supposed to take out that orb of darkness ahead of us. Because that Orb is hiding someone we just met.

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    Prior to the scene switching over you can see black tendrils within the Orb, which as we saw earlier was Black Doom's eye.
    For some reason this Orb is holding or encasing either Black Doom's Eye or something of a similar object within it. Would that make it an ally or an enemey, is it helping the Black Arms or is it trying to help us? And above all if this is Black Doom, how did he get stuck within it supposedly moments before being free to roam across the Ark and City?

    My theory is that in order to end each level, Shadow must destroy an Orb containing Black Doom or similar properties to him, and only then can he enter the Goal Ring. Which if so, would mean at the end of the Ark Shadow would release Black Doom and would have to go on a chase after him. Or that he had already escaped and caused the events of this game...but still got encased somehow? Regardless, it's something I had noticed.

    Overall if this is the Goal Ring, that would mean either the Ark and City are one combined level which if so would be stunning to say the least or that we've gotten a glimpse at the first two stages of the game. Narratively speaking at least!

    In the end I really have to say this is better than when I first saw this, I got to notice aspects I hadn't the first time.

    [​IMG]

    Though how will this hold up compared to other Boost / Boost-like Sonic experiences? Well at the moment there's no 2D Sections, so I'd already have to give it a step up over Colo(u)rs at that! Forces wise, well if these aren't 60 seconds or less than that would already make it a vastly better experience.

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    Really we just need to see how these stack up to Unleashed and Generations, which are to most the best Boost Sonic offered and well fittingly attached to the latter.

    Though if we end up with a more polished Final Horizon Cyberspace experience (clearer level design and no pop-in) then I'd be willing to find myself enjoying this a whole lot.

    [​IMG]

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    I'd say the biggest flaw so far is that the Environmental detail of the levels so far have more to be desired as they don't seem to add much in terms of landscape compared to the original Boost games (Colo-u-rs, Unleashed, Gens). It's a lot more like an obstacle course than a location that just so happens to be ran across. Think of it like Landscapes vs. Levels. Unleashed is a Landscape, while this is more like a level.

    [​IMG]

    Even then I can't say that's a major flaw as when compared to the original ARK Levels, it's actually of a similar "flaw"...so the City would determine if this is exclusive to the Ark or an overall design detail.

    [​IMG]

    Furthermore this actually is something that 3D World compared to Odyessy would have in common, as 3D World's levels are more so obstacle courses with themes and concepts rather than lush landscapes that happen to be explorable. So if push comes to shove, this is something that's happened before I suppose!

    [​IMG]

    In the end I'd like to thank anyone who was willing to read all this and I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on my general speculation regarding this side-mode / game. I'm not sure what will come out of this, but I know we're in for something one way or another. We'll just have to see how it all plays out!

    Also if there's a Dark Rider section using the new bike design for the Fearless Shadow campaign I will cry tears of joy :oldbie:
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2024
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  8. Solid SOAP

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    For the Generations portion, I'm really expecting like a 1:1 port of the original game with minimal changes. I'd like to see some QOL updates, perhaps make the ranking system a bit tougher than the piss-easy system they had in the original game. But yea, like you said it's probably best they dont touch anything so it doesn't turn out like the Colors port lmao

    As for Shadow's stages, they're probably going to feel like an extension of the Cyberspace level type of level design; more obstacle course than "lived in" environment as you said.

    I'd be surprised if there isn't a motorcycle segment considering the push they've had for that goddamn bike lmao.
     
  9. Update the fucking joystic / imput configuration, please. It was the worst thing for the original PC port.
     
  10. DigitalDuck

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    I want a motorbike section that's like the warthog section at the end of Halo.
     
  11. Vertette

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    Having all the options be in-game would indeed be very nice, as well as some fixes for stuff that broke during the port conversion like the walljump and quickstep sound. Considering every PC port that Sonic Team has been directly involved with (read: not SCU) has at least been competent, I don't think that's too much to ask for.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2024
  12. HammerKirby

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    The Sonic movies have the word hell in them multiple times which is still more profanity than most Sonic games have.
     
  13. Yash

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    Speaking to the "are boost games in the same line as Adventure" discussion, the fact that Frontiers reused SA2 maps for Sonic's boost levels certainly suggests Sonic Team thinks so.
     
  14. MH MD

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    and they worked just fine too
     
  15. Zephyr

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    I mean, yeah, clearly the Boost gameplay is an evolution of Adventure 2's speed stages, but Sonic Adventure 1 was also an evolution of the classic Sonic gameplay. You can trace a mechanical evolution from Sonic 1 to Sonic Frontiers, but that doesn't mean that you can't cleanly mark points of significant change. And, frankly, I think it's insane to mark those points at Adventure 2 and Frontiers, and not, say, Adventure 1 and Unleashed. Adventure 2 didn't have the Boost, it didn't have 2.5D sections, grinding and rail switching functioned completely differently.

    So, Sonic Team trying to imply that Frontiers is where they really broke from the "Adventure formula" or what have you, I think they're mad tripping just like when they suggest that the largely 2.5D Sonic Colors is when "Sonic found his footing in 3D" or something.
     
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  16. Yash

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    Honestly, if anything the SA2 levels were the best ones of the reused maps just because they weren't quite as "run in a straight corridor" as some of the boost levels are. Sky Rail is ridiculously short but is packed full of secrets and extra routes and stuff like that.
     
  17. charcoal

    charcoal

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    I find Sky Rail unironically more fun in Frontiers than SA2, since Frontiers' slower grinding places an emphasis on jumping from rails route to route rather than just holding crouch and watching Shadow go once youre on a rail.

    having grind rail swapping/jumping that actually functions doesnt hurt either
     
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  18. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

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    No need to worry about saying that SA2's grinding is awfully jank, it's the truth
     
  19. kazz

    kazz

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    Frontiers' approach to boost is in of itself significantly different from Unleashed's though.
    I can't even imagine how this section would work with Unleashed-style boost, because it obviously wouldn't. The fundamentally different controls do in fact make a big difference.

    Oh no I forgot that Sonic Team doesn't think Adventure Sonic is a thing, just like how they thought Classic Sonic wasn't a thing in the 2000s.
     
  20. Blue Blood

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    I find the movement in Frontiers (and all of the boost games for that matter) to be so deeply unsatisfying that the SA2 levels in Frontiers all hit worse than the originals. It's the way that he turns on the ground, handles in the air, behaves when hitting objects like springs and interacts with the geometry underfoot that's so binary and rigid in Frontiers. About the only thing I can say in favour of Frontiers over SA2 is that changing rails is no longer a crapshoot. But that's basically just an issue of button mapping - it doesn't have anything to do with the mechanics of the game and is a surface-level issue that could theoretically be fixed very easily. If SA2 used a button other than jump to switch rails, it would be fine.

    A great deal of the "refinements" seen in the newer 3D games compared to the older ones ultimately amount to a simplification of the underlying mechanics.

    Maybe veering into hot take and off-topic territory we're though...
    If there's no nuance and less depth, it's a lot harder to go wrong. But it's almost a lot more difficult to impress or leave much of a lasting impression. I feel like that's why even the better recieved 3D Sonic games of recentish years such as Colours, Generations and most recently Frontiers all fail to set the world on fire. People like them a lot, but they don't seem to remain relevant outside Sonic communities for very long.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2024
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