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

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

  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Saying that "playing x absolutely feels like playing y" sounds more like you're implying that you play both games the same way to me, whether they're completely identical or not. So I brought up a few major elements that are exclusive to each game's play style.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
  2. But that's not what saying at all. He didn't say "Sonic plays exactly like Mario", but rather "Part of Sonic's design is rooted in Mario". These statements may sound similar, but they're not saying the same thing.

    It kind of goes without saying they're different, so its kind of useless to point that out in this context.

    ALL platformers have some elements of Mario, because its the UR example of what a platformer is.
     
  3. Blue Spikeball

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    It honestly sounds more like it's you people that are misrepresenting the point of the original poster (Dek Rollins). When he said that playing Sonic doesn't feel like playing Mario, he obviously wasn't saying that there weren't similarities, but that Sonic tweaked the formula enough to feel like its own thing.
     
  4. Zephyr

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    Apparently not as well as I'd hoped. Just pretend I didn't include the word "absolutely". It was meant to emphasize how seriously not up to debate "Sonic built off of Mario's gameplay" is. Too strong of language, perhaps. Definitely grammatically ambiguous.

    In many respects, yes. Crappy Blue Luigi already described it quite vividly. But I also wrote:

    Well, you're using a specific definition for "clone", then, which isn't what people have in mind when describing game genres like this.

    It's not like we're trying to figure out if Sonic is a 100% copy of Mario or if he's 100% original. Neither is true. That's not how art works in any medium. It iterates by taking existing pieces and aesthetic flourishes, and iterating on it. The things that Sonic takes from Mario are interesting. The things that Sonic introduced are also interesting. "X-clone" is not a term of disparagement. It really shouldn't be thought of as a term to denote a "lack of creativity". Using an existing gameplay structure as your base is effectively treating it like a "prompt" of sorts; different people can respond to the same prompt with a variety of different twists. Look at all the different spins the "Souls-like" and "Rogue-like" genres are getting in recent years, as people continue to play around with their respective basic templates.

    But as with my use of "absolutely", but it's just word choice that obfuscates my point. Pretend I said "Mario-like" instead.
     
  5. Josh

    Josh

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    To bring it full-circle, I think this may be partially rooted in a generational issue. Namely, that even most of the oldest Oldbies who grew up with Sonic still weren't old enough to see Super Mario Bros. in its original context. For the longest time, I thought of Mario as essentially the "vanilla" of the genre, the baseline, the origin point of all 2D platformers. But it was, curiously, also one of my favorite Mario games, and I think it's because @Zephyr's exactly right; Naka and company DID build Sonic on a particular aspect of Mario's fundamentals, and given how much I loved that aspect of Sonic, it'd make sense I'd find a lot to love in SMB as well.

    Mario was (at least!) as revolutionary for momentum physics in 1985 as Sonic was in 1991. But I didn't really gleam that until I watched this video by Jeremy Parish, someone who WAS there at the time:



    If you'd rather not watch the whole thing, the most relevant bit starts at 6:22, and particularly this passage:

    "Mario served a master called 'inertia,' and the momentum of one action carried into the next. [...] And inertia didn't just dictate Mario's jump physics, but his movements in general. He would continue to move once players let up on the d-pad, running out his momentum over the space of a ground walk or so. The faster Mario moved, the greater the distance he needed to come to a full stop. [...] The end result turned Mario into the most fluid, graceful, versatile hero video gaming had ever seen."
     
  6. Zephyr

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    Yes! This video in particular totally transformed the way I look at this stuff. I remember back in 2018, I mentioned on another forum that I didn't like how Sonic R and Sonic Unleashed handled Sonic's movement and jumping physics. Someone sent me a DM asking me to elaborate, and I've been trying to do exactly that since. I would spend hours at work thinking of how I would describe the nuances of how Sonic moved in the 2D games. How you could carefully steer yourself in the air. How you could have short hops or tall jumps depending on how you input it.

    Then, when I watched this video, Jeremy Parish was just describing Mario the exact way I was describing Sonic. (at least, the stuff that comes before explaining rolling). And I realized I had to completely shift my focus, because I was running the risk of giving the Sonic games credit for a lot of stuff that the Mario games gradually built. So, in order to give Sonic the proper credits that the game is due, I have to first establish what was done first.
     
  7. Blue Spikeball

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    Fair enough. I apologize for misreading your post.
     
  8. Crappy Blue Luigi

    Crappy Blue Luigi

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    This is kinda fair. I think the responses to Dek's post were valid in that we should acknowledge Sonic's fundamental similarities to Mario in control and momentum as important to what Sonic is (at least for the Mega Drive titles), but Dek made it clear he didn't think the games weren't comparable at all. He added nuance on top of Zephyr's original point, and I think most of the conversation from that point was adding more nuance on top of that.
     
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  9. Gestalt

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    From the eyes of someone who played the original Mario Bros. only recently for the first time because he accidentally renewed his Nintendo Online, playing Sonic feels like 'Woah, that's good, I love it!', while with Mario it's more like 'I don't know why, but I can't stop playing!'. I'd also say that Mario is much harder to control than Sonic. For one thing, Mario is smaller than Sonic, for another he's much more vulnerable when he doesn't have a mushroom. But that doesn't matter, because once you're past the stage of trial and error and know how to time your jumps you rarely let go of the run button. Sonic, on the other hand, has the Chaos Emeralds that are required for the good ending and a result screen that encourages you to do well in the stages.
     
  10. XAndrew

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    My introduction with Sonic was with Sonic Adventure 1 on the Dreamcast. It was actually the first game I have EVER played. This was back in 2002, and I was 4 years old at the time. Had so much fun doing nothing but spin dashing. Me being just 4 meant I obviously wasn't good at the game, needed my older brother to help me out and I ONLY completed the first stage Emerald Coast. So yeah. The Early 3D days of Sonic was my introduction to him. Though I do remember playing Sonic Mega Collection Plus in 2004. In which that was my introduction to Classic Sonic. I remember asking my older brother (Who was 14 at the time, so he obviously grew up playing the Classic games) "Why does Sonic look all small and weird, and nothing like he looks on the box art?" and him explaining that it was how Sonic looked when he first came out in 1991. So I already didn't really like his design then and the gameplay of those games made me frustrated at the time due to me just...not being used to Classic Sonic's gameplay (Then again me being 6 years old? I kinda sucked at a lot of games I played, so don't take this as me bashing Classic Sonic games now or something) so with BOTH of those factors I just stopped playing them then. But around...2009 when I got more older and seasoned at Sonic games enough to actual BEAT them, I saw the Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection when shopping with my mom at Target. I remembered me playing the Classics and not liking them 5 years prior, and wanted to give them another shot with me being more older and seasoned. And funny enough? I actually enjoyed the Classics enough to beat them and even start referring to Classic Sonic as my favorite Sonic. That still remains true 12 years after that experience.
     
  11. Xiao Hayes

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    That's why I used to say Sonic has speed and Mario has greasy shoes. It took me a while to enjoy Mario at all, while Sonic got me instantly when I tried it. Not saying Mario is bad, I liked to play err... Classic Mario? But not much more than most random platformers I played. I liked SM64 a lot more.
     
  12. Dek Rollins

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    I like this description. This is part of why I still disagree with the notion that Mario gameplay and Sonic gameplay feel the same. They very much don't. Mario is difficult to control in comparison to Sonic, and "greasy shoes" seems fairly accurate. Mario is slippery and doesn't have very good midair control in my opinion. Sonic isn't just sliding around, he rolls. Sonic's momentum and inertia feels more natural to me.

    The thing is, I've seen lifelong Mario fans say similar things about Sonic. That he's too slippery and is harder to control compared to Mario. So different people will have different experiences and different feelings on how certain games feel to play. It's hard to gauge an objective comparison of two games' unique qualities when two different people will have virtually opposite interpretations of how one game's gameplay compares to another.
     
  13. Zephyr

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    For my part, Sonic 1, Sonic 2, SMB1, and SMB3 were together some of my favorite games as a kid, so Sonic and Mario have always felt incredibly natural to control to me. I don't remember my first time playing any of these four games.

    What is striking to me is that the most success I've had at helping someone I know irl "git gud" at Labyrinth Zone is, in hindsight I now realize, effectively just teaching them the basics of Super Mario Bros.-styled platforming. Steering in the air, controlling jump height, etc. So in a certain respect, you'll have a much easier time playing 2D Sonic games if you're already acclimated to playing 2D Mario games, because all of the basics of your movement carry over, with some modifications and some excellent additions that indeed make the game more distinctive than any of the other Super Mario Bros.-likes I've played.

    That also seems to be what trips up people who are acclimated to the 2D Mario games, but the 2D Sonic games don't seem to click for them. An older cousin of mine is like this. Arin Hanson seems to be like this. Usually, these people somehow fail to know that Sonic can roll into a ball while he's running, or fail to realize how powerful this ability is. Admittedly, I also didn't ever use Sonic's rolling ability (spin dash aside, if you want to count that) until replaying the games as a teenager, and still did fine! But I was also a fan of the character and universe in general since before I can remember, so I'd have been naturally more willing to stick with it and adapt to what amounts to not using my full moveset.

    I think it's also worth remembering that Sonic's not the first platforming game to have a character curl up into a ball; 1986's Metroid at least has a better claim to that. But Metroid, despite coming out after Super Mario Bros., didn't have the "running on butter" feel that made Mario fast. Sonic seems to deliver on a promise that didn't exist, of having a character in a momentum-based platforming game curl into a ball. Mario could duck while running and slide using his momentum. Samus could duck while stationary and roll at a static pace. Sonic could duck while running and roll using his momentum. And he has the Screw Attack by default.

    With regards to playing Labyrinth Zone effectively and having fun with it, understanding the Super Mario Bros. movement fundamentals are (in a certain respect) necessary, but not sufficient. Because this ability to roll is also essential: it's Sonic's "melee attack". This is honestly my chief criticism of giving Sonic a "tap to somersault attack" button. He already has that ability as a natural extension of his Mario-like momentum and his rolling ability existing in tandem with one another. And this "melee attack" comes in handy for the enemies who come out of the ground in Labyrinth Zone, for instance.

    This is why the Sonic's ability to roll into a ball would be distinctive and interesting for a momentum-based platforming game, even without the slopes. Not that I'm sleeping on how amazingly the slopes open the gameplay up even further. That's well tread ground in this discourse, especially here.
     
  14. RDNexus

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    Since I think this quote and my reply fit better here, well, here goes ^^"

    I gotta say I can kinda agree with this video's creator.
    As one who also feels like the franchise started falling from Heroes onwards, and the 2010s were kinda the "Meme Era", I think Sonic may not have attracted the right audience and still panders to them.
    Not that Sonic can't be made to appeal to as many types of people as possible, but to make the main line of games in such a fashion feels sad and disappointing.
    And to think this video's 16 months old and still fits the current situation.
    If SEGA's really working on a new game, alongside Sonic Movie 2, I still wanna believe this time may be the charm and Sonic may finally return to a degree of glory of yore.
    Webber kinda agreeing with the video's creator, or giving credence to his opinion, may not amount to much, but seems like a headstart.
    Not sure if @Boxer Hockey would agree with this approach to the matter...
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  15. Video was made about a year ago...
     
  16. RDNexus

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    I said... "And to think this video's 16 months old and still fits the current situation." ^^"

    EDIT: Corrected, thanks for noticing ^^"
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  17. Laura

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    Okay so since people are talking about the above video, I hate everything about it. Sorry for this rant :thumbsup:

    He implies at the beginning that fans grew to hate the likes of the storybook games, and saw Colors and Gens as improvements over the aesthetic of the mid 2000s, primarily because of a dominant viewpoint among older fans and critics. Absolute nonsense. The mid 2000s Sonic games are legitimately dreadful and Colors and Gens were massive improvements. They weren't amazing games, and as time has passed their flaws have become more apparent. But go back to Secret Rings and Black Knight and tell me with a straight face that both of those games are superior to Colors. It's not some brainwashing, it's just blindingly apparent that Colors and Gens were superior. I'm not going to get into it because people have already exhaustively done so.

    I agree that the Adventure games get too much hate. As flawed as they are, they are still enjoyable games. They are also a product of their time, and when you compare them to Spyro, Banjo, and Crash, their contemporaries, I don't think they are uniquely badly designed. But compare Shadow and the storybook games to Ratchet, Jak, Mario Galaxy. I mean come on, standards changed, and Sonic didn't keep up.

    I also find it really hypocritical when these younger fans complain about nostalgia baiting for the classics (Mania) and then complain that the mid 2000s aren't getting enough attention and callbacks. They aren't against nostalgia as they claim, they are against a nostalgia which doesn't appeal to them. I think it's pretty telling that they essentially just want Sonic to go back to a storytelling similar to the mid 2000s. They'd be pretty happy if Forces was a cringe-fest in the same way as Sonic 2006. Just think of how excited people got over the trailer of Sonic Forces, even though that was a clear red flag in how melodramatic it was.

    This is going to be a really harsh statement, but I really think these kinds of fans legitimately liked the awful grimdark storytelling which was sometimes in SA2, Sonic Heroes, Shadow, Sonic 06, and just want to go back to that. I understand that people have different preferences. I do like the story of SA2, despite how flawed it is, but I wouldn't want to go back to it in the future just because I have fond memories of it. I find it funny that people single out Lost World in particular as emblematic of fallen standards when I think it has a far superior story than the likes of Heroes, Shadow, Sonic 06. Not to say it's good, but it has genuine character progression, which is more than you can say for most of the mid 2000s games.

    And I'm going to be fair here and say that of course not all younger fans are like this. There are probably SA2 fans who have similar grievances. But it's definitely a trend I've noticed and I find it irritating and hypocritical.
     
  18. The wording makes me think you're saying the video itself is 16 years old.
     
  19. Would you believe Aaron Webber agreed with the video :V
     
  20. RDNexus

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    Ah! I meant "16 months" xD
    I corrected it all, thanks.


    @Laura, I can also kinda agree with you on everything.
    But the video's creator also speaks true about the sad direction SEGA's taken about Sonic as of late.
    Childish plots, regression of good character developments in the DreamCast era, overusage of memes in the games' plot, too much focus on the social media and communities.
    Those are the kinds of things that irk me about SEGA as of late, even to the point of Sonic Movie being a more family-oriented story with a Sonic before being the Blue Blur, Cool Dude that I knew him to be while growing up.
    I never saw Sonic as a franchise mainly for kids, but for all those that liked a cool, snarky protagonist and engaging gameplay.

    And maybe that's what Webber agreed with, in regards to the video's creator.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021