Trying to start debunking the "Generations of Sonic Fans" perception.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Rhythm Raccoon, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. BadBehavior

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    Exactly. No one saying they like Forces wants another hold boost to win hallway simulator with Classic Sonic butting in (but I would be extremely concerned if they did). Likewise people saying they like 06 don't want it's flaws carrying over.
     
  2. Azookara

    Azookara

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    Most “objective” stances on media ie games, film, books, music etc come from a majority agreeing on something. They’re never actually ‘objective’ and never should be, but they are a decent metric to follow reception on. That’s how it’s always worked.

    The point of review videos, especially with controversial opinions, seems to always be a desire to sway the majority in taking it’s reception to see their POV. That’s not a bad thing at all, but it’s worth acknowledging. If the reviewer thought it only mattered to themselves what they thought, I’m sure they wouldn’t have had to make a video about it, especially ones that try to clickbait you into hearing them out like J’s does haha.

    Basically what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think making defense videos for Heroes, 06 or Black Knight is ever gonna sway me or the general public anytime soon. One can call these games misunderstood or masterpieces all they like but I don’t think it can stand any higher than other just-as-valid takes online.
     
  3. Nobody likes being told that what they enjoy is bad, and nobody should feel bad for liking something that's considered low quality is the issue here.

    The problem with using consensus' and scores as a measure of quality is that it completely ignores the human aspect of measuring quality, mainly personal biases.

    Even if a product is generally deemed low quality, if it has traits that resonate with you on a personal level, you're going to give it way more leeway than other people would.

    The problem I see here is that fandoms love dog piling on people who like the "bad games". There's a sense of elitism in looking down on somebody for liking something that doesn't meet a certain standard of quality. To make it simpler, its literally the equivalent of telling someone they have "shit taste" and discrediting any opinion they have.


    So yea, some people might think Black Knight is enjoyable in spite of its problems and that doesn't make their opinions any less valid.


    Think we put a little too much stock into objectivity and ignore the fact that people do in fact have different tastes.
     
  4. Laura

    Laura

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    I don't think people should be shamed for liking bad games. I like Sonic R and that game is dreadful. But I also wouldn't pretend that Sonic R is secretly good. It obviously isn't. It has awful controls, a tiny selection of levels, and is incredibly badly balanced. I think the problem recently is that people try to claim that games they personally like are conventionally good when they obviously aren't.

    And as I've said before, the metrics of quality are obviously subjective, but they are what we largely subscribe to as a community. That doesn't mean they are objectively true, objectivity has nothing to do with this because there is no such thing as objectively good art. It's more that what is generally considered a good game is largely agreed upon and is useful to use as a basis for discussion and critique, even if it's obviously not objectively correct.

    And I should add - as I've said before, I think it's largely harmless when people praise Sonic 06 and Black Knight because they are so irrelevant now. I think it's more serious if someone was to pretend that Sonic 4 or Sonic Forces were actually secretly good all along because it could influence SEGA to continue in that direction.
     
  5. Hahaha this is 100% me. Once I'm done beating a game, if I can immediately dive right back in and figure out all the ways I can break it, that's half the fun :D

    A game to me isn't worth playing more than once if it has no issues.
     
  6. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    The problem here is not with fan opinions no matter how divisive they can be, everyone is equally entitled to them after all. The problem here is how Sega interprets and uses that feedback. If the problem is to be fixed, it needs to be fixed at the source. Thankfully, we may finally have someone who can do that now working at SoJ.
     
  7. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    I feel this way about a few games. SA1 is the most immediate Sonic-related example. I still think it's the best 3D Sonic game to date, which is sad and ridiculous because it's so broken. X-Men for Mega Drive/Genesis is another one. It's not the most well designed game and the difficulty balance is kind of poor, but I love it 'cause it's fun and cool as heck, whenever it isn't frustrating. :V

    Definitely this. Though it's also worth noting that different people will also have different ideas of what aspects of a game is a flaw that should be fixed, when design choices are concerned.
     
  8. I think this is the root of the problem and why it tends to be such a hot topic in this fandom.

    Most companies are willing to ignore parts of a fandom no matter how loud they're shouting; Mario has literally been doing the same thing he's been doing since 1985...now granted, Mario games are actually GOOD, so they can afford to do that. Same is true for Pokemon actually. The fans can complain all they want about the games lack of a features and what have you, but each game is making bank. There's literally no incentive for developers to listen to fans or change up their formula.


    Sonic's kind of in a tough spot as even if games like Sonic Adventure have charm and love...it doesn't really change the fact that the game is extremely flawed. You can argue that most mainstream media just "don't get" Sonic's appeal, but whether we like it or not, these are the people who ultimate will be buying the games. If the casual audience aren't hooked, the games aren't going to sell, plain and simple. Sega needs to change how they address fan feedback, while keeping the traits that people liked about these games. Something that I will agree is definitely easier said than done, but that requires way more communication than what Sega has honestly engaged in.

    They address only the most surface level complaints.
     
  9. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    That's why I think the fact that Aaron works at SoJ now gives us some hope. From as far as I can tell, he approaches the franchise from the perspective of a fan and manages to balance that with the business decisions that Sega has to make. The fact that he's in a position where he directly affects marketing at SoJ could mean we'll see better reception of feedback.
     
  10. Vanishing Vision

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    About Sonic R, I like it, and would personally call it a good game. Not a masterpiece, but a good game. We obviously have different approaches to this topic, but I wanted to highlight the three flaws you've mentioned.

    I mostly agree with the last two, but with a slightly different opinion on each. More levels would obviously be welcome, but I believe the five levels are each well designed and fun to play, so I enjoy returning to the game. The balance is also a clear problem, but I play Sonic R exclusively for time attack purposes and find that the vastly different characters create different routes for time attack play. Some can cross water, some can for only a short while. Eggrobo, being unable to cross water OR jump, must follow the main route almost entirely. With each character having lap records kept individually, these are welcome, challenging variations.

    It's the first one that I would say I don't get, I don't think Sonic R has bad control. I have never felt that the character was out of my control or not doing what I wanted. Cornering, timing jumps, air control, it's always worked for me. I really think R works good as a hybrid "racing platformer" that plays with an accelerator button and a jump button, a little odd at first, but smooth sailing once you adapt to that.

    I feel differently about the "objective" debate, because I've realized recently how different the meaning of "good game design" is to different people. I love arcade games. I love score competition, difficulty, high tension and punishment for failure. I love short games that can be replayed very frequently, and I believe that a long single session of gameplay should be directly tied to skill and tension (you're only "staying on" as long as you are if you're playing well and constantly escaping danger). I much prefer games that give you a set of lives (and chances for extras) to reach the goal or else you're back to start, than games that give you unlimited lives so you can just keep throwing yourself at the same sequence over and over and over again. When I see such a large chunk of the games media/public discarding this kind of design as "outdated", "objectively bad", "artificial difficulty", or worst of all "gamey", I can't say that I can view objectivity the same way.
     
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  11. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    I do have to agree with Laura, you can't say art is objectively "good" or "bad". You can determine how well a pice meets certain goals or how the technique is used, but even then you can't state that objectively since it changes from a subjective viewpoint. As well established as game development rules are, you can't say any of them are objective or that a game is "objectively good" or "objectively bad" for breaking or following them. Sonic games, even the classics broke all sorts of "objective" rules all the time, especially where level design is concerned.

    tldr; don't use the term "Objectively good/bad"
     
  12. Palas

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    A bit of a side note, but that's a narrative, too. Mario games dictate what makes a game good, due to a multitude of factors (vertical production -- which leads to close relationship between new technologies, new ways to play and the syntax created for games to use said technologies -- and an industry that curates its own history -- which leads to a firm grip on the formation of a tradition as well as a cohesive trademark). First-party games can do that more easily.

    Sonic was once capable of doing that, too, and now it isn't. Sonic (and SEGA games in general) can't get away with anything because they no longer put forward a certain way to make or think about games and gaming. It's a lost legacy, and these kinds of legacies are what constitute intersubjective -- not objective and not individually subjective -- standards of quality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  13. Wraith

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    Objectivity when we're talking about games is nothing more than a really good suggestion. A preconceived notion about what works in a game is a great shortcut that might land you in the right place more often than not, but an idea/mechanic that's great for one game could be terrible in another. I like the boost in Unleashed, but it would sap far too much of the joy out of Sonic Mania to even consider including.

    A mechanic in a singular game can be read completely differently by two different people based on it's objective benefits and shortcomings. I've seen the Ranking system, for instance, maligned by some for enforcing certain playstyles and disincentivizing others, which gets in the way of variety and self expression. This can be true, but it fails to consider the other end of the argument: Putting more emphasis on your performance with an incentive of a gold star or even a tangible reward encourages more people to replay levels, which is, imo, the best way to approach almost every game in the series. Ranks might have gotten more people to get more out of Sonic, or at least, that's the effect it had on me.

    I don't like objectivity to be flung around to brow beat discussion because of this, even when we're talking about pretty poorly conceived ideas in Sonic games. Some of the greatest mechanics ever made have been the result of glitches or oversights. Some of the greatest games ever made were completely misunderstood or underrated by mainstream audiences and critics. The fundamentals of game design, as we understand them, are good guidelines to follow if you want to make a hit, but they're just consensus, and the consensus isn't always right.

    Maybe very little in Sonic in the Black Knight is worth this level of consideration, but we might as well be thorough as long as we're all here discussing it after all this time.


    There's at least one thing that J's video reminded me of even though I disagreed with most of it. Sonic characters generally look better in 2D and as long as they're going to cheap out on cutscenes anyway, why not try for something more stylish like that? Almost every 3D Sonic game has it's cutscene animation dated so quickly by surrounding games. Going for a different look entirely that has it's own appeal might alleviate some of that.

    The reality is that Sonic and the Black Knight, like many critically maligned Sonic games, has no public sway. Even if it became a fanbase darling, sega doesn't make Sonic games for the niche that discusses him online. They make them for general audiences too, and this game was rejected soundly by that audience 12 years ago with no signs of it getting a reexamination by them. This is to say there's such a small chance of it influencing any upcoming game ever that there's probably no danger in discussing it in a positive light, even if it was your life goal to make sure another game like Black Knight never exists.

    I honestly feel the same way about Forces. It's only "recent" in that it's the last Sonic game. In reality it's going on 4 years old and hasn't been in the public zeitgeist since, what, the week it came out? It's one of the most downloaded games on PSN ever and I barely hear a word online about it. It's over. The people have spoken with a firm tumbleweed. It's probably my least favorite Sonic game ever released mechanically but I don't really care that it has people discussing it's merits. Maybe they'll catch something I missed.

    TLDR: The rules of game design are just consensus and not objective. Consensus can be helpful but it can also be stifiling. Exploring games outside of that consensus can be about as helpful if done with the right mindset. I think Black Knight is largely an L but don't see a problem with going "dumpster diving" so to speak.
     
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  14. Aerosol

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    It's quite obvious that the phrase "this game is (objectively) bad" is short-hand for "this game could not reasonably meet the satisfactions of the vast majority of it's target audience".

    If you bring a hand-drawn circle to a Square Appreciation Gallery they'll all call it a bad drawing except one doofus in the corner going "It's got no corners and it's stupidly round but fuck it, I like it".

    Someone remind me what this thread is about again? Cause I feel like it's gone way off track.
     
  15. I started it. It's supposed to be us realizing that the supposed differences we all have with what we like from Sonic aren't as overblown as the internet makes out.

    How we got to the definition of objectivity is beyond me.
     
  16. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

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    Not going to dig through to find the start of this but I don't mind talking about Forces

    Loved Forces, but did not love its bugs and camera especially fighting it for short cuts, and awkward tie-in to Mania which I feel helped neither game.

    Avatar and Avatar's pretty damn fun game mechanics, the SatAMish plot (which needed to be fleshed out and had many flaws that I would want to see improved), time attack, INFINITE(unhinged JP voice, baby), the alive-feeling environments, nonlinearity (shortcuts did exist), and the OST, which was fire even for a Sonic soundtrack, were all things that made me love the game.

    Also like how Tails's story plays out as though he imagined Classic Sonic lmao (My headcanon, don't get too excited.)

    I am indifferent on the design on boost levels. I see what makes people upset about them but also find flying over chunks of land with a fast character to be fun, and never was big into the boost gameplay anyway. I remember being kind of indifferent about Generations as a whole and just kind of thinking it was fun so I'm not really someone who can talk to it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
  17. Nova

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    I absolutely wouldn't mind this if the levels were just a little bit longer and it didn't feel like you were absolutely haemorrhaging what little length there was by doing this. I like high level Generations and Unleashed play where the 2D sections can be done really fast with little zippy boosts and stomps all over the place, it feels very twitchy and once you get into a groove with it, it has a certain hyperactivity to it that just works for me. Forces also didn't have enough of that and the 2D sections felt like they borrowed more from Colours, or even at times, Generations 3DS.