The younger fandom, and how they learned from exactly none of our mistakes.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Josh, Jan 6, 2020.

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  1. Alright everyone, calm down. This argument is just going to keep going around in circles. There's really no winning from any side here because everyone wants Sonic to be different from what others want, and all of this stems from Sega not keeping a leash on things back in the 90s and early 2000s, which led to the series changing so drastically over these 29 years, so now we're in this bizarre mess. Heck, Sega couldn't even agree on what they wanted Sonic to be from the inception of the first game on the Genesis/Mega Drive, because Sega America and Sega Japan were always at each other's throats. In hindsight, you could say the divided fanbase is a reflection of that.
     
  2. Crappy Blue Luigi

    Crappy Blue Luigi

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    This statement is so baffling to me. I honestly get a lot of your post, because I can sympathize with being frustrated that none of the current-gen Sonic games maintain what you liked about the Adventure era stretch. But this particular idea seems like it's pulled from a narrow demographic, because it does not at all apply on a wider scale.

    I loved every Sonic game I played as a kid, including the Mega Drive games and the Adventure titles, and Colors was the game that drew me back into the franchise at a time when seeing Sonic 06's reception pushed me away, playing Secret Rings bummed me out, and watching Unleashed's reveal left me disinterested. I'm not even here to defend aspects of it as a game, I just think this statement is ill-formed and the sort of thing that unnecessarily wedges groups apart in the fandom.

    Which, really, feels like what this thread is about. Individual discussions in this thread have already run into this repeatedly, and it's still coming up. The irony of this thread being cyclical when it's about different sections and age-groups of the fandom not learning from each other is genuinely frustrating to me more than it is interesting or humorous.
     
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  3. Vanishing Vision

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    Sounds almost exactly like my story. I played Secret Rings up to Levitated Ruin and then just kinda gave up. The funny thing is that I was actually really hyped for 06, I remember that screenshot of Sonic jumping out over that big open field looking so cool. Thing is, I didn't have/couldn't get a 360 at the time, so I "missed out". So when I finally tried it years later, I had already heard everything, and I was never burned by it like so many others must have been.

    After Secret Rings, I ignored Unleashed and 4, but after hearing all the good will Colors was getting, I gave it a shot and had an absolute blast. It must of woken up some kind of second wind of Sonic fandom for me that's never really left, even in the face of recent duds like Forces. After Colors, I went back and tried Unleashed, 4, and Black Knight, and even re-bought Secret Rings to finish it.
     
  4. Josh

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    The problem is, and the reason this cycle is even happening, is this: The remedy is the experience. (And boy, is THAT ever an outdated reference that only someone in my specific age group would think to make.)

    Let me put it like this. 10+ years ago, when we were in our teens and early 20s, my friends and I used to sometimes have genuine arguments and hurt feelings over the MOST inane bullshit. Whether gen 2 Pokemon was better than gen 1, whether Oblivion was a good game, WHO WAS BETTER AT VIDEO GAMES. While this was mostly in person, some of it still comes up in my Facebook memories from time to time, and it's AMAZING to see how annoying, conceited, and self-righteous we used to be.

    I am not, by any means, saying that younger people universally act this way (my friends and I were particularly poorly-adjusted when it came to this stuff), and I'm sure as HELL not saying older folks can't be even _more_ obnoxious and toxic. What I'm saying is that generally speaking, with youth comes a great deal of passion, but sometimes, that passion lacks balance.

    When it comes to Sonic, to say there's a broken base is an understatement. There are fractures in all directions. One way to break the cycle is to try to get _curious_ about trying to understand other perspectives, and trying to see the good in titles or gameplay styles through another fan's eyes, instead of judgmentally dismissing that person as a fan of "not the real Sonic."

    The problem is, the perspective to see things like, "The series has been through all this before," or, "I should make sure I'm arguing in favor of what I like and against what I don't, and not insulting or belittling my fellow fans who feel differently," takes, y'know, experience. And even if you have the experience and you SHOULD know better, it can still take genuine EFFORT. If you're not actively working to be _aware_ of this sort of thing, hearing a perspective that's vastly different from your own might make you subject to a blowback effect, where instead of trying to appreciate where someone's coming from, you dig your heels into your own beliefs even HARDER.

    This is, unfortunately, something I've been guilty of recently.

    Around the time I made this thread, I was seeing SO MUCH HATE directed toward Classic Sonic, that I was becoming more ensconced in my _preference_ for that version of the character. I _had_ to take some time away from this, play through some of my least-favorite games in the series, notice what was GOOD about them, or what someone might be able to SEE as good, and remind myself that my favorite character is my FAVORITE CHARACTER, regardless of what he looks like.

    And I _know_ all that, but the vitriol was pushing me in a direction I didn't want to go, and I had to work to get out from under it. And that's me NOW. Ten years ago, fuhgetaboutit, I'd have been WAY TOO PASSIONATELY defending the simple perfection that is the classic design (and hatefully deriding the ugly, stinky, not-really-Sonic modern design) from then on. That's one reason bad faith arguments and dismissive gatekeeping ARE so toxic, because it so easily breeds more toxicity on all sides.

    And when you say something like:

    That's exactly what you're doing. If it was a Sonic game for people who don't like them, why did it bring so many lapsed fans back into the fold? Why do THEY consider it to have done just the opposite, bringing BACK all the elements they'd felt the series was missing?

    Really, try to understand where people are coming from. The other side of that argument is fascinating to me because I _am_ curious. Until a year or two ago, I had _never_ seen anybody hate on Colors like they are now, and while I'll never agree, I do now see WHY those that hate it feel the way they do about it. But I think many of them could temper their perspective on it. I'm not saying we all have to unabashedly love EVERYTHING the series has ever been, I'm not saying you can't vehemently DESPISE some of those things, but there is value in nuanced perspective. If we want a better, kinder, more united fandom, we're going to have to work toward that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  5. Dek Rollins

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    I agree with a lot of what Frostav said in his block of text, but as you guys say, some of the things in there are hyperbolic and kind of disingenuous. When I was younger, I also ate up anything with Sonic in it, even '06, until Secret Rings. That game left me completely disinterested only a few minutes after starting the game. When I played Unleashed, I found it frustrating when it wasn't being boring. The strangest thing is, I missed Colors releasing completely, and played Generations first. It was only shortly before playing Generations and Colors that I finally bought a copy of Sonic 3 (and S&K about a week later), and experienced the follow-up to my favorite game for the first time. I know I beat Generations in particular all the way through and squeezed it dry of anything I could get out of it, but these games lost my interest very quickly after that. They didn't feel the same as the "new" classic game I was experiencing at the same time. They didn't match that game's staying power.

    Now when I look back, I find all the boost games way overrated, since I've spent the last decade hearing the majority of the fanbase declare them to be literally the best Sonic games ever. Every time I've revisited them, I find the gameplay itself to be almost as insufferable as the cutscenes. Playing the Adventure games, complete with jank and broken collision etc., feels so much nicer, and that's saying something. I understand that people saw Colors as a step forward, away from the damage done by '06, but I don't think it was actually a step forward. It was an attempt at course correction that lead the series down a different, but just as bad path.
     
  6. Man, 2007 was one hell of a year, HOO BOY. Sparks were flying everywhere, and the fanbase was at each others' throats at every turn over the dumbest things. The stuff that's going on now is pretty tame compared to back then, tbh, but the main point of the thread, from my understanding, is "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it".

    That said, yeah, I don't like the current direction Sonic is in, if not for the sole reason that we really don't know what they heck they're doing anymore. Waiting for a new Sonic game feels like playing a game of Russian Roulette. Every time you think Sega's finally learned from their mistakes, they go backwards and make 10 more. At this point, all I can do is just sit back, and wait to see what happens.

    Classic fans want more stuff like Mania, Adventure fans want full 3D games in that style again, Modern fans want something at least on par with Colors or Generations again, and so on; but at the end of the day, we're all basically thinking the same thing, "SEGA, please don't screw up the next one".

    It's just so baffling how SEGA allowed things to get to this point with all their mismanagement, but here we are.
     
  7. Josh

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    I remember thinking about two years ago, "Man, Forces might've been bad, but at least it was only AGGRESSIVELY MEDIOCRE and didn't pull a Sonic 06, and cause people to retroactively start hating on the GREAT Sonic games that it was trying to follow up on!"

    And yet, here we are again! I do think/hope that the sheer length of time it's been since Mania and Forces has at least SOMETHING to do with why some fans have been so up in arms lately. It took years for Forces' rot to really set in and creep back through Generations and Colors (and bizarrely NOT Unleashed), and I think if we'd had a new game or two to focus on in that time, it might not have gotten to this point. Hopefully, once we DO know what's coming next (and that should be this month!), _everyone_ can take a step back from all this, and we can come back to it down the road with more nuance.
     
  8. Dude

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    No one ever learns from the mistakes of the previous generation. We all have to learn from our own experience. Just part of the human condition, really.

    That said, I think there's a common spirit to all incarnations of Sonic. It can be built off of in any direction, assuming one understands that spirit, has a strong vision, and applies good game design & development practices.
     
  9. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    I think there's reason for many to be hesitant about the way SEGA's been dealing with Sonic.
    More than once have we been duped into thinking they were listening properly to the fanbase and working up a game that brought up the best in the franchise and magnified it, only to get a magnification...of the worst parts of the franchise.

    Sonic has been a part of my and my twin brother's lives since, well, ever.
    It all started when we had a brief chance to play Sonic1 on a Game Gear. We were still too little to get quite committed to it.
    Then came the Master System, and along the way Sonic2. Only a few years later did we manage to play Sonic1 in full.
    We never had a Mega Drive or Sega Saturn, but some close friends of ours did, and they picked up almost every Sonic game that appeared.
    Sonic3 (and S3K) & SonicCD, we only managed to play them in full though emulation, in the 2000s.

    The Adventure games, like a few people here, felt like the apex of Sonic games to me, at the time. Too bad they didn't age well.
    Even the Advance games felt quite appealing at the time, despite not having the same feel as the Classics.
    Then came Heroes and Shadow. Oh man, were those such a departure from the Adventure games to me. We weren't quite committed to them.

    Sonic06 blew me away at the time. What seemed to be amazing graphics, a return to the Adventure formula, and a more realistic Eggman (still my favorite to this day) and a more rad Sonic.
    I didn't get to play the game properly until a few years later. At the time, I didn't have any social network accounts nor did I roam forums much.
    But I managed to find reviews and general opinions about the game. And when I played it myself, I got to understand all of those. Such disappointment.

    My brother picked up Unleashed shortly after it got released. I disliked the cartoony approach to human characters and the return of Eggman's pre-06 design. My brother didn't enjoy the Werehog gameplay, got bored and never finished the game's story.
    We never played Colors, since the only Nintendo consoles we have are the handheld ones (majorly because Pokémon). Who knows, we might've loved it, just like some people here.

    Generations was quite the nice experience to me. It blew away the disappointment that was Sonic4. Revamped Classics stages and shoudtrack, gameplay that even a non-gamer like me could easily grasp (not sure if one should take it as a compliment).
    Still, too short of a story, Classic Sonic's design was "too faithful" to his concept designs and less to the rad Classic game artworks.
    In short, it was great but not amazing. SEGA could've done so much more with it, like Taxman's crew did with Mania.

    Lost World, only now is my brother trying to finish the story, after painstakingly managing to finish Forces. Not the best experiences, for sure.

    And there you have it. A summarized timeline of my connection to the Sonic games. Never fully disconnected, but never fully committed.
    I still yearn for a reboot of the franchise in full, revamping the Classic storyline in a way NetherRealm Studios did with Mortal Kombat 9, and giving it a proper timeline of events and continuity between games.
    From what we saw of Forces, it's better for us to not expect SEGA to pick the best out of the Adventures' storytelling style and work on it.
    And let us not forget Iizuka's amazing remarks about the moon, the human×anthro worlds and the Classic×Modern timelines. Only the last one is doable to me...a little.
    They could, at least, properly listen to the fanbase, properly research what was deemed best in each game of the franchise and properly work them the best they can into a new series of games.

    I hope I'm being fair to all sides in my assessment of the franchise's current state.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  10. DigitalDuck

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    TIL: despite considering Sonic 3 & Knuckles to be the greatest game ever made, I'm not a Sonic fan because I also rate Colours very highly.
     
  11. Sid Starkiller

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    I think the problem with Colors' change in reception might be at least partially related to something Adventure 1 had against it: they can both be thought of as their era's Sonic 1, a good starting point that needed refinement to shine. But unlike Sonic 1, their follow-up didn't play to their strengths, instead building on the worst aspects of them, leading to something generally considered awful (06 for Adventure, Forces for Colors). Knowing what Adventure 1 and Colors ultimately led to may have turned people away from them (kinda like how the ending of How I Met Your Mother retroactively ruined the show for many, including myself). They just look at the starting point and go "Was it worth it? Was it worth leading to this garbage?"
     
  12. Bandana Dee

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    Except for that people appreciate Adventure even to this day for being a good 3D platformer.

    Colors, at least for me, just doesn't have much going for it, as at least for me, the level design just wasn't very good.

    Also lol, the Sonic 1 of the Boost Era is Unleashed, not Colors.
     
  13. CHRdutch

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    Sonic Colors does have a lot of blocky platforming levels similar to Sonic 1 though, so in that regard it is the Sonic 1 of the boost era. : VVV
     
  14. Overlord

    Overlord

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    No, see, in order for it to be a good Sonic game, it has to have cheesy edgelords in it, being needlessly dark and broody in a game starring brightly coloured anthropomorphic animals. Or something.

    Colours I loved because putting aside the fun of the game play, the fantastic music, the unique level designs and not being weighed down by mandatory game modes that aren't what I play Sonic for (as much as I'm not a fan of Chao Gardens, you can at least ignore them, unlike shit like Security "Five minutes should be plenty" Hall), the plot - yes, it IS light and silly, and reminded me a lot of AoStH which I've always loved (and was the most games faithful adaptation of ANY of the cartoons until Sonic X years later) and felt it captured the tone perfectly. Yes, some of the jokes are bad but that's kind of the point. Sonic's supposed to be a wise-cracking smart-arse, not a broody edgelord.
     
  15. Roebloz

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    The truth is, the fans can never make up their god damn mind about what's the best Sonic game ever. Period.
     
  16. Dek Rollins

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    Hmm. This definitely isn't describing Sonic Adventure, the actual best 3D Sonic game.
     
  17. Sid Starkiller

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    That's because "Sonic fans" is not a hivemind. We all have our own opinions.

    You've clearly missed the point of what I said. I wasn't saying they were "the first games in that gameplay style", I said "a good start, but rough around the edges", as in a game you can see potential in. I saw no potential in Unleashed. Unleashed was the very first Sonic game where, after finishing the story, I knew immediately that I would NEVER touch it again. It wasn't until Colors that I thought the boost playstyle had any merit at all.
     
  18. Frostav

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    I literally constantly stated that I don't think Colors lives up to either the classic or adventure games in tone and setting to pre-empt this kind of sneery strawmanning, but damn, why do I even bother.

    Also newflash bro: Sonic was literally always supposed to be radical/edgy/whatever in comparison to its peers. Like, Sonic 1 sold itself--the entire Genesis marketing in the US sold itself--as the "cool kids console" unlike that babby Nintendo stuff! The recent historical revisionism that Sonic was originally a wacky fangless cartoon series and then Adventure 1 came and ruined everything is so self-evidently wrong seeing a mod of this forum espouse it is frankly, highly worrying.

    Also I never said Sonic fans couldn't enjoy Colors. Colors is totally enjoyable in ways totally orthogonal to what Sonic actually is supposed to be (by the standards of either the previous two eras), but sure, it's not a bad game.

    But I have noticed that plenty of people who simply do not like Sonic in any of his forms like Colors. There is a reason for this. And no, the answer isn't "Colors is just that good", it's "Colors actively endeavors to remove all of its Sonic heritage so all the people who don't like the series like it because it doesn't include any of the elements that define Sonic and which they dislike". No momentum physics, no creative stage gimmicks, no goofy ass camp plot, blocky level design, 3D being so atrophied it's functionally useless, no charming characters.

    No one critiqued my final words about Colors being the direct source of literally every single one of problems of Lost World and Forces. Like, y'all, I just do not like Boost Sonic's general feel. Colors, Lost World, and Forces simply do not have any of the elements that I like about classic Sonic or Adventure sonic. Even the music was on a steady decline (Colors' music is good, but definitely lacking any of the extremely bold and distinctive flair of both the classic and adventure eras--it was Good Video Game Music, and some of its tracks are amongst my favorite in the series, but it's not Good Sonic Music--Mania's OST is a much better example of what it should have been. Lost World and Force's tracks are almost completely forgettable phone-ins.).

    Generations was an aberration because the entire game was a throwback so they had to make the level design not 2-minute hallways that are 90% bad 2D and they could rip off the aesthetics and music from their better days. Though as Forces shows, they can't even fucking do that these days.

    also the worst level in Generations is Planet Wisp (both versions) hmmmmmmmmmmmm...

    Amazing how "wow, Modern Sonic Team sucks ass and is just passionlessly phoning it in with no vision or direction" is somehow a controversial statement on this forum after Forces (FORCES!) released.
     
  19. MH MD

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    Funny thing is, there is actually a sonic game i would call it "not a real sonic game and its aimed to people who don't like sonic" but its not colors, that would be Lost World -and also Boom but that was a spin off basically so its ok and more "forgivable" there- ,but if Lost World was actually good this distinction wouldn't matter anyway

    Forces is 2017 game, you used that wording to describe a 2010 game, that's a 7 years gap, imagine someone said the exact same thing to describe Adventure 2 , "soulless passionless" whatever, and then cite Sonic 2006 as a proof for their word? a game that came 5 years after Adv2? -even LESS gap-, things don't work like that i am afraid
     
  20. Vanishing Vision

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    Equally worrying is the revisionism that Sonic was always supposed to be dark and edgy, and that all the ridiculous things that happened plot-wise from 2001-2008 are "Real Sonic" because the American Genesis marketing gave Sonic an attitude, so it's okay. How does anything in classic Sonic line up with:

    A young girl with Space AIDS being shot dead
    A deranged man being executed by firing squad
    An evil Sonic swearing to punish "pathetic humans"
    That same evil Sonic wielding guns and helping Space Satan assassinate the president
    Sonic and friends slowly being killed by flesh-eating aliens
    Silver contemplating the ethics of killing Sonic to prevent the apocalypse
    A character named after Mephistopheles killing Sonic
    Sonic transforming into a dark alter-ego fueled by rings of "rage, hatred and sadness"
    Sonic transforming into another dark alter-ego fueled by "the dark energy of the Earth"
    Medieval Knuckles attempting suicide

    So when there's a game about Dr. Eggman capturing little creatures to steal their energy, and turning natural landscapes into industrial factories so he can rule supreme, and THAT'S the game that's antithetical to Sonic, you've lost me.
     
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