I think the things that cause people not to click with the story is how it's told, it's purpose for general audiences, and what seems like like a last minute shuffle. 1. The game has general scenes that play as you progress, then there's the scenes you get as you talk with Sonic's friends, and then there's optional scenes with them as well. Plus stuff like the memos. Obviously you'll encounter what's mandatory, but I've already seen some people missed a lot of context by not going for the optional content. We can blame the developers for going this route or the player for not completing everything all day, but this is an issue I've seen. Frontiers is also in this awkward spot where it's in between how stories used to be told in games like SA1&2 and how stories were told in games like Colors and Forces. And this shows in why people feel Sonic getting saved by the corruption is a bit anticlimactic. It's the Tails gets brainwashed/turn into a robot by the Deadly Six issue from Colors/Lost World. As you're playing the game you do think to yourself, "Oh shit, am I going to fight Tails now? How am I going to get him out of this one?" Only to get resolved in a 1-3 minutes cutscene. And the same thing happens in that particular moment in the story. You start thinking to yourself, "am I going to play as the others now? Or am going to get sucked into a Cyberspace level? Or a get stuck in a small Cyberspace world looking for my memories while the others help me? A boss fight?" But no, the issue gets resolved in a 5 minute cutscene. Despite being a problem that has been plaguing you the whole game. Yes, your friends sacrifice themselves for you again and this leads you to work together with SAGE. But it could've been solved with more stakes and input from the player. Savor the moment more if you will. A better way to explain what I mean is by putting it this way, imagine that in SA2 during the scene where Eggman captures Sonic and ejects him into space played out like what I mentioned. Eggman would gloat he killed Sonic, Tails and Amy get sad BUT Sonic would Chaos Control immediately back into the room again, have Tails beat Eggman in a cutscene and then just have Sonic go directly into Final Rush after talking to Amy and Tails. You get some of the same plot beats, but this way it's an issue that gets resolved quickly and without you. At the same time, there are great things in this story. I especially love some of the moments with Sonic and his friends. In my opinion Knuckles really shines. SAGE suffers though because there's this disconnect with how we see her in the general cutscenes and the bonus scenes. She also doesn't get to shine as an antagonist like say Eggman, Chaos, and Shadow. She gets in your way, we do see her motivations but somehow it feels like we needed to spend more time with her and clicking better with her. She's better than Infinite, but can be improved more. I do hope we see her more in the future. And that the future games take a more straightforward way to tell the story like Adventure 1 which I still think did a good job of telling the story. Which brings me to... 2. Frontiers has to work as both a reboot/introduction for a new audience (Sonic Team mentioned how they're going for more fans, especially after the success of both movies) but also satisfied the feedback and criticisms of longtime fans. This is a hard line to walk on since you have reintroduce characters and beats for new players, but not lose them completely when you start mentioning stuff that they haven't played. I don't think Flynn is a bad writer, there is a reason why he is where he is now and has done stuff outside of Sonic. But one criticism I do agree with that is that sometimes he tends to overdo the "remember this..." dialogue. At the same time, this game does need that for reasons stated above. There some scenes that are perfect like when they reference the Tikal visions. It feels natural and not forced because they have experienced something similar before. Not saying there are some that feel like a slap in the face or make your eyes roll, but I get why they're in the game. And I also understand that there were some missed opportunities (is really no one going to mention the Ancients look like Chaos?) 3. As from what we've seen from the data mining, seems like unfortunately they had to change what they had in mind during the last part of the game which no doubt had to have an effect on the story.