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

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

  1. Azookara

    Azookara

    take it from me, little buddy Member
    3,002
    34
    28
    Meowth's party
    hoboagogo?
    If I'm to be real, Sonic should've never done the "classic" and "modern" split in ideals/canon, nor taken so closely to fans who believed it had to be one way or the other in great specifics. It's led to some undoubtedly good things like Mania but uhh. Yeesh.

    While key defining traits of any great series are it's greatest strengths that keep the ball rolling for years to come (literally, for Sonic..), Sonic fell too hard from grace and in turn got scrutinized to hell and back, making itself a responsibility to call back to old ideals constantly or make games for specific niches of the fanbase without holding an identity forward for the future, nor knowing why those things worked in the first place. It feels like the series' only goal is to ourosboros it's past efforts at this point..

    That's of course not to say it's wrong for people to side with what they like from the series or even ask for consistency, of course, but Sega I believe has taken the wrong angle the past several years with this path; while everyone kind of fell into place further feeding it instead of having any self-awareness. Elitism now exists for basically every era of the series (not just classic anymore lol), and while Sega's own decisions fanned the flames we kind of having to acknowledge the fanbase not checking itself before, erm, wrecking itself.

    I'm not even sure where my ramble is going at this point, but it's def been a subject on my mind for a minute.
     
  2. At this point, I've just kinda grown apathetic to it all. The only thing really keeping my interest in the series at this point are fan projects, tbh. The new games are just so... dull, and I think it needs to be addressed that Lost World, and Forces all lazily rehash the final boss from Colors; down to the attack patterns and finishing move and everything. Seriously, that's some ridiculous laziness. I'd love for Sega to give the 'Adventure style' another go, if they even remember how to even make such a style, but it is what it is.

    Sonic just ain't for guys like me anymore, and I guess it probably never was. In hindsight, the series just seems like something that keeps reinventing itself to chase after whatever is trending with young people at the time, and I think that's part of why the series has an identity crisis; at least in the western markets.

    Everyone has their own opinions on what they want Sonic to be, and I'm no different, I suppose. I honestly always felt that I never truly 'fit in' with any faction of the fanbase, so I usually just keep to myself. I think everyone's better off just not getting too invested in social media shenanigans as it'll only stress people out over nonsense.

    Play what you like, tune out the noise. The world will still be turning with or without Sonic the Hedgehog.
     
  3. lopinjop

    lopinjop

    Vector the Crocodile 25th Anniversary Party 2020? Member
    Some good points all around in this discussion but I'm ready for Sonic to get back to how I know him best, from his true 3D roots, with a sequel to Sonic Labyrinth.

    No honestly I'd just like the next game from Sonic Team to feature at least somewhat fun/compelling gameplay and writing that inspires some kind of emotional response from me other than disappointment. Be it lighthearted or edgy, 2D or 3D, Sonic can be good across a diverse range of styles and gameplay.

    "Can be good" is the operative phrase here though, because under Sonic Team's existing track record, I'm going to assume any future Sonic Team game will be bad.

    Fan games are definitely where it's at these days. Right now the fan gaming discussion forum has so many interesting and awesome projects going on that it truly puts SEGA to shame.
     
  4. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

    Arriving four years late. Member
    4,826
    34
    28
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    I've made this point lots of times, but the problem is that there are completely different types of Sonic games, and they generally have different fanbases.

    Classic - Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic CD, Sonic Mania; this possibly includes Sonic Advance too
    Adventure - Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
    Unleashed - Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colours, Sonic Generations, Sonic Forces
    Advance - Sonic Advance 2, Sonic Advance 3, Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure, DS/3DS versions of Colours onwards; this possibly includes Sonic Advance too

    And that doesn't include any of the numerous spinoffs. You cannot cater to all of these at once - it's like trying to make a game that pleases fans of Rayman, VVVVV, and Fancy Pants Adventure all at the same time (... wait, did Rayman Origins and Legends do that?)

    I still think they should openly separate these groups, and instead of trying to smash all four together to create an incoherent jumble of pandering that nobody really enjoys, focus on pleasing one group at a time. It's much easier to make a good game when you're aiming to please a smaller group, and it's much more likely that people in that group will buy it when they're given more than just lip service.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  5. Palas

    Palas

    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    222
    5
    18
    Thankfully I've always disliked Sonic Colors so I feel pretty good about this turn of events. Well, that and we somehow had it coming? Sonic Team never really did its job when it comes to marketing Sonic as a unified brand of any sort. So they had it coming too.

    But yeah I can see Sonic Adventure 3 happening soon.

    Also no way in hell Sonic Advance is a classic game.
     
  6. SpeedStarTMQ

    SpeedStarTMQ

    Here for The Hedgehog. Member
    2,343
    18
    18
    UK
    There’s nothing wrong with having different styles of gameplay or tone but recently it’s become so disjointed it is almost like Sonic is two different franchises. It’s a bit different with Mario, as the look, feel and stylings of both him and his universe remain largely consistent regardless of game or game style. The gameplay also remains largely the same - lots of jumping and platforming.

    Sonic’s struggled because the last 12 years of 3D games have removed platforming elements almost entirely, or chained them to gimmicks such as the wisps or Werehogs to get players through. The boost games have a lot less world-building than even the original games and lack of exploration makes them feel like quick side quest games. At the other end of the spectrum you then have games like Mania that are almost viewed as alternate offerings to the ‘main’ games. So you have two ‘alrernatives’ but no main series? This doesn’t help perception, nor does it drive the franchise forward in any meaningful way.

    Back to the end of the GameCube era - which is in my opinion the end of the ‘original Sonic’ - there were different styles of games and gameplay, but they all seemed to fit in to the wider series in terms of narrative, tone and mechanics. You had the original games which can be viewed as somewhat cute or edgy depending on how / where you grew up with Sonic. Then you had the Adventure games which people mistakenly call edgy when really they’re mostly remembering SA2, which evolved from Adventure which was a mix of both new and old styles and was quite cutesy quite often. Then you had Heroes which was again a bit of mix overall, then Shadow which was clearly meant to end the Dreamcast / Adventure style whilst setting the scene for other games, which have all ignored it since.

    You also had at this time the great Sonic Advance games which again were a good mix between the originals and the newer Adventure style and worked well. It was the same Sonic and these games weren’t pushed as ‘the alternative’, but a continuation of what came before. Games here still had additional mechanics which weren’t as popular, but you could at least explore detailed environments in both 2D or 3D as Sonic or a wealth of other characters if you wished. Admittedly the issue here was that the games often became less about Sonic, but that’s often the way with series that have a large cast of characters in general, many of which fans loved and wanted more of (Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Amy, Rouge).

    Nowadays Sonic games are just split in to being silent cute 2D Sonic (which he was never meant to be completely), or fast trashy grown up 3D Sonic who does little other than run fast in one direction. Both styles of gameplay or game don’t mesh together in any real way and it makes the series as a whole less appealing.

    I thought Generations was great as a starting point but hoped that they’d evolve the next 3D game from there rather than using it as a springboard to copy/paste assets in to what effectively was expensive boring DLC.

    I really enjoyed Sonic Lost World, but felt that the introduction of more trashy out-of-place bad guys was a bad move. I also thought the gameplay direction was half-baked and this why they only released it on Wii U.

    When did Generations even come out? 2012? We’ve not had a proper 3D Sonic game across all platforms in 8 years? Why?
     
  7. Aerosol

    Aerosol

    FML and FU2 Moderator
    10,539
    55
    28
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    I mean Generations wasn't on all platforms either right? It skipped Wii U :V
     
  8. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    Mario also didn't decide to do stories with experimental ultimate life forms, government conspiracies, genetic engineering, aliens, etc and so doesn't have a portion of it's fanbase hungering for more of that, completely at odds with what the series started about and what it's oldest fans want more of.

    Adventure was fine thematically, but Adventure 2, Heroes (in places), Shadow and 06 were and still are totally laughable.
     
  9. Sable

    Sable

    Member
    62
    7
    8
    SEGA Carnival
    I have to agree with the general sentiment that I want a game that gives me an emotional response. Say what you want about the tone, but during 'the dark age,' they had an undeniable passion and drive for what they were doing, and executed it with remarkably consistent results in a lot of ways.

    I cared when Gamma died. I cared when Tikal and Chaos reunited. I cared when Tails and Amy thought Eggman had genuinely killed Sonic. I cared when Shadow sacrificed himself. I cared when Emerl died. I cared when Metal Sonic came back. I cared when we got to see Maria again. I cared when Shadow finally allowed himself to move on. I cared when Mephiles played mind games with Shadow. I cared when Blaze sealed Iblis away. I cared about Shahra and Erazor's relationship. I cared when Chip went back to sleep. I cared when Merlina turned on Sonic. Hell, I cared when Molly died in Sonic X. I cared when Cosmo died. I cared when Tails broke down and Sonic couldn't even comfort him.

    For that matter, I also cared when Tails caught Sonic with the Tornado in Sonic 2. I cared when Angel Island got bombed. I cared when Knuckles found out he was being deceived. Even games without dialogue or cutscenes have managed to stir an intense emotional reaction in me better than almost anything to come out of the franchise since 2009 - the exception being certain parts of Forces. Despite its incredibly sloppy writing and tonal mismatch, I have to admit - I cared when Tails 'lost it', even if the execution was awful and out-of-character. I cared when I got to see Team Dark together again. I cared when Infinite had his breakdown. I cared when Operation Big Wave failed. That game at least tried to have stakes, and I'll never deny it that.

    I cared about these characters developing throughout the span of several games. Tails gradually blossomed from an anxious and insecure youth into a genuinely competent mechanical genius who could take anything that was thrown at him; now, he just jerks off behind rocks while playing on his tablet. At the heart of Knuckles as a character was a conflict between his duties as the Master Emerald's guardian and his desire for freedom and friendship. He was a genuinely thoughtful and clever character despite his naivete; now, he's just Sonic's dopey rival - not to mention, Mania was the first time the Master Emerald had even been mentioned since Chronicles. Amy went from being rescued to being a rescuer. She became an independent and empowered character with her own identity outside of her obsession with Sonic, a maternal and empathetic friend to anyone who needed a helping hand; now, she's... actually, I don't even fucking know. She's the techie in Forces.

    I don't want that zoomer argument thrown around, it's a really silly and pedantic way of silencing people who have differing opinions. The reality is that Sonic has always tried to be a franchise with cinematic appeal and emotional investment since day one and the reason why these arguments are happening is not because people 'prefer edgy Sonic.' Even if it's being articulated in that way, it's very rarely the case that someone specifically wants to go back to, for example, vore aliens and poorly written interspecies relationships. They just want the franchise to stop being a ridiculous meta joke that can't even muster up the courage to have an ounce of genuine care about what it's presenting to the audience beyond memes and irony.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  10. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    Hard disagree here. They were just doing whatever seemed popular and would make the most money.
     
  11. Palas

    Palas

    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    222
    5
    18
    Honestly, a loosely-associated group of extremely heterogeneous people with the same opinion about a product produced by a single company which holds all rights over said product can't be blamed for the company's decisions. The fandom didn't make a single mistake because it never acted as a unit.
     
  12. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

    I like Sonic Advance Member
    806
    46
    28
    France
    Learning how to draw, studying Japanese
    Yeah, I got so used to the trash talk it actually became part of my vocabulary. But as Sable said, I don't want Sonic to games to try super hard to be edgy and mature or anything like that. I just want to CARE about something. You can't care about anything in Colours and Generations because the game themselves don't.

    And as Sable said too (which might make my post a little redundant but whatever), that's one of the reason I don't consider Forces a complete failure. It's awkward and doesn't know what it wants to be, but dammit does it try. I cared about stuff in Forces, just like I cared about stuff in the Adventure games.

    This general sentiment that's been going on recently in the fanbase is probably happening because younger fans finally had enough of the constant abuse they've received over the years for simply liking games older fans have decided they're not supposed to like. Even in this very thread, we can see the "these games are shit" or "I don't understand how anybody could like these games" messages that have been said a thousand times before. No wonder people are salty now.
    I could argue it's more of the fault of the older fans that the younger ones, but it's pretty easy to shift blame when you're under heat, so I'm probably not 100% objective here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  13. Sable

    Sable

    Member
    62
    7
    8
    SEGA Carnival
    Oh, yeah, no, because giving Sonic a talking sword in a two, nearly three-year late sequel to a Wii game about the Arabian motherfucking Nights with middling to negative reception was going to have them rolling in it. Making a weird, isometric arena fighter/RPG hybrid on the GBA was just going to absolutely line their pockets. And who could forget the time they made mad bank on a team-based platformer/brawler hybrid which was explicitly stated to be a passion project by the development team? :eng101: Not to say that they sold poorly, but moreso that there's not exactly a market precedent for those kinds of titles printing money.

    Really, if they've ever been solely motivated by the popularity and money-making potential of an idea, it would be now - shoving Classic Sonic in Forces for literally no reason, and trying to profit off social media presence to carry a dying brand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  14. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    Okay, first, most of those examples are arguable at best. Second, nice cherry picking - are we going to completely ignore a Shadow the Hedgehog mainline game heavily featuring vehicular combat and guns at a time when GTA and similar titles were dominating the charts? Are we going to forget the completely all-over-the-place tone of Heroes attempting to please anybody with a passing interest in the franchise? Are we going to forget the edgier, more adult stories that were clearly trying to retain an audience of aging kids, desperate to hold their interest?

    Yes? Okay, let's go with yours. Swords are cool, kids love swords. Give Sonic a sword. Easy bank from kids. That's one. 4-way arena fighter on the GBA, well, Smash Bros is doing gangbusters so let's try our hand at a party fighter. There's two. I'm really not sure which game you're referring to with the platformer/brawler hybrid?

    Let's get something straight - me saying that Sega were grabbing for cash during the 2000s and them doing it now are not mutually exclusive.
     
  15. Sable

    Sable

    Member
    62
    7
    8
    SEGA Carnival
    I would argue it's just as much cherry-picking to jump on Shadow for having purely cosmetic similarities to Grand Theft Auto when the game plays nothing like it in the slightest. Also, I fail to see how Heroes has an inconsistent tone - for one, you can count the amount of cutscenes in that game on one hand. That doesn't exactly give them room to fuck much up when the levels themselves are all thematically and artistically consistent. In fact, at the time - and even to this day - I remember people complaining that Heroes didn't take itself as seriously as Adventure and Adventure 2. Your viewpoint on these titles is clearly extremely cynical and you're more than set in the idea that they couldn't possibly have any motivation beyond money, so I don't see any point in continuing this discussion. Sure, money; that's why the Japanese Sonic Channel website is continuing to update monthly with new content revolving around Adventure-era characters and sensibilities for no profit whatsoever.

    Also, I was referring to Heroes.
     
  16. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    Cosmetic similarities are all that was needed. You're looking back on that time through a 2019 lens and your view is tainted by it. Putting guns in things back in 2005 made them cool and made kids want them. That's just how it was.

    And I fail to see how Sega producing content now means they weren't grabbing for money back then, that's a big fucking :thonk:.
     
  17. Sable

    Sable

    Member
    62
    7
    8
    SEGA Carnival
    There is more than enough evidence to support the claim that if the Japanese side is making content heavily inspired by the sensibilities of that point in the franchise's history that they were more passionate about it then than they are now. Again, I point to Naoto Ohshima literally, verbatim, saying on Twitter that Iizuka is fighting alone for Sonic - Shiro Maekawa talking about how there were arguments in the office about what kind of personal pronouns Shadow should use in Adventure 2 because of how dear to him the character was, or how torn he was on the concept of bringing him back in Heroes because it would undermine the emotional impact of his character arc. About how he wanted the Sonic of the Storybook games to be a continuation of his own take on the character, or how he envisioned a long-reaching story for Shadow as a character far beyond what was shown in the games; how he would love to work on these titles again if SEGA gave him the opportunity. Money motivates that for sure! :thumbsup:

    In specific, with Ohshima and Iizuka, these are people who have been there more or less since the start, and what Iizuka is most known for is being at the franchise's helm during the 'dark age.' It's not a coincidence that ever since Kishimoto took over as director and Pontac/Graff started writing, Iizuka's public appearances have gotten fucking weird - at SXSW 2018, he was practically a wallflower in stark contrast to the kind of stupid PR speak that everyone knew him for in the 2000s. In all likelihood, it's probably because he's had to sit back and watch the world and characters he and the team built be turned into shitty caricatures of themselves.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  18. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    That tweet was in 2018. After Iizuka attended numerous fan events, met the community and saw the genuine passion for the series from a dedicated fanbase. Not really good evidence.

    Also, a writer, being passionate about one of his characters? Say it ain't so!

    EDIT: You also admit it was 'stupid PR speak' - likely because he didn't really give a shit about the product he was producing, no?

    The fact you look back on the series' 2000s run with reverence and believe they 'had a genuine passion' is honestly fucking laughable to me, but go off.
     
  19. Sable

    Sable

    Member
    62
    7
    8
    SEGA Carnival
    Then I don't see what we're arguing about, because what you initially disagreed with me on, in your own words, was whether or not there was passion involved in the production of those games. So, er...
    EDIT: Sick incognito edit! I like the part where you latch onto small things that I say in jest and act as if they dismantle my entire argument!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  20. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    One writer is your smoking gun? :ruby: