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

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

  1. Josh


    When you share your opinions, you often come across like you think anyone who doesn't see things your way is an ignorant, braindead moron. The fact is, some of your fellow fans did consider Colors a return to form in terms of writing and characterization, among other things. There are people who saw the Adventure games as a break from the classic style, and again I'll throw it out there, the lead writer HIMSELF didn't think Sonic's Mega Drive portrayal "fit his character," and INTENDED SA2 to appeal to his tastes instead! That's not necessarily a bad thing. At the time, I loved SA2 _for_ that and felt like the series was growing up with me. But I can see why other fans weren't into it.

    But it's like all you want to do is push back and de-legitimize why anyone would feel that way. You don't seem to have much interest in finding common ground, or coming to terms with why someone else might see things differently than you do, which kind of belies the point of a discussion like this. We're not trying to CONVINCE each other, we're trying to understand each other, and through that, have a more well-rounded appreciation for this franchise we're all fans of.

    But increasingly, and this isn't just Frostav... I don't know, I feel like lately any discussion of "characterization and tone" or "the current state of the series" just devolves into rah-rah cheerleading for your own side of the argument, and the more partisan the post, the more likes and agrees it'll get from your "side". I kind of worry that system incentivizes that sort of behavior, TBH.

    And like, this shit has gotten SO much worse across the internet ever since the pandemic hit, especially. I get we're all bored and stressed and uncertain, but I think it's led people to dig their heels in and get WAY more defensive about important stuff and video game opinions alike. I'm know I've been struggling with it, too, but lately it's like we're just talking past each other. This is one reason I'm inclined to agree with @Vertekins: A focus on categorical thinking in terms of "eras" and "generations" is doing a lot of damage to the discourse, and that's happening well beyond Retro.

    I think we've pretty well established that while "what you grew up with" definitely carries SOME weight, how you see the series and what you want it to be is largely more a matter of taste. I know teens who exclusively want more Classic Sonic. I know people in their 40s whose favorite game is SA2. MAYBE we need to recognize that some parts of the series are just irreconcilable with others and agree to disagree, haha. Particularly when it comes to discussions of tone and characterization, I think we'd do well to accept and appreciate that other fans aren't WRONG, they're not lesser fans, if they prefer the series to be different than we do, they just might be fans of different ASPECTS of Sonic than we are. But like, from Sonic 1 to SatAM to Fleetway to SA2 to Colors to Boom to Forces, it's all attracted an audience who sincerely loves it, and it's all valid as something that "Sonic" can be and has been.
  2. Azookara


    yup Member
    I'm not gonna back up Frostav for being condescending (no need for all of that), but I do feel like I got a response here.

    How, though? Is there anything specific that Colors-onward does that strikes that familiarity besides what it doesn't do, or what shows or comics or childhood associative memories it reminded them of? It wouldn't have really been a return to what Sonic was, but rather what some perceived Sonic to be. There's a difference there.

    Not to say people aren't valid for liking that aspect and thinking it suits what they like in Sonic, but the problem I think runs in that a preference is spoken as if it actually has weight to the games they all also played, but it doesn't. Meanwhile, the opposing argument's desires for more action-adventure stories and higher stakes does have weight directly related to what the games were, spoken from the intent and plans of the creators themselves, as well as just point-blank observation.

    This doesn't acknowledge that the lead writer for SA1 was not SA2's writer, and seems to actively leave that tidbit out. SA1 is very much by the same people that birthed the classics, and is just as responsible for that era's direction as SA2. And it's not like what Maekawa did with Sonic during this time-span was too far off from what existed before; there's a reason (besides gameplay) most people separate that into a "Dark Age" era.

    And maybe that wasn't your point to dismiss it, but I don't think information should be left out here if it means the Adventures looking better (or worse).

    I don't care for how social media makes us focus on those things, but I'm personally not giving that too much thought.

    On another note, I think it's worth saying that the "side" people are taking that everyone is rallying on is that Sonic doesn't have to be bound by these eras and shouldn't be, and most of the intensity you're speaking of comes down to trying to get that through with people who like and even prefer those walls to be there, and are trying to justify why they should be.

    And I don't think it's worth pretending that hasn't been the angle a good few have taken here, nor an angle the fanbase has a long history of. The standoffishness is a bit overboard (I've even been it a few times on late night half asleep rambles here, and I'm sorry), but there's a reason the discussion keeps reigniting, unfortunately.

    Maybe agreeing to disagree is what's best for everyone's health, and at the very least some should back out and catch some air.

    But it also somewhat defeats the purpose, as if any discussion on the matter is moot since there's no agreement to be made. If there's a convo about continuity or tone, it seems fair that the people who care about either of those things are gonna speak their mind and probably not be too keen on people who won't take their thoughts seriously. If people don't want their stances challenged, maybe a forum, particularly a topic centered on said debate, isn't the place to be.

    There's a narrative a lot of the inner Sonic community believes (for pretty well-founded reason) where oldbie fans and classic-heads (particularly in a place like Retro) are all people who only look at the classics highly and will always see outside of those games as lesser in some way, hyperfocusing on what's different rather than what's similar and never moving on their beliefs. There's also an uprising of people who grew up in a different era, now old enough to desire conversations like had at Retro and unhappy for their own reason with where the series is, but finding themselves averse to the classic-head angle, and further bothered by how often that audience is catered to these days (whether reasonable to be or not).

    I think that unspoken tension is kinda what sparks the flame here, and is ultimately why the "generations" even come up as often as they do. If that flame can be quelled, then maybe things wouldn't feel like they ride so high so often.

    How do we fix it? Uhh idk man, I'm just a commoner. If you excuse me, I'mma go play some Crazy Taxi 3 or something. It's pretty dope.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  3. I created this thread

    I kinda feel it's my responsibility to say this

    The intention here was not to spark another long winded debate/argument about what sonic is, has been, or should be. I asked a question. I mostly got my answer. Hell, overlord could lock this thread after this post and I wouldn't bat an eye (but I do think it would be somewhat unfair to those of you who still have valuable things to say). I do appreciate though that those of you who drifted into other topics took the convos to appropriate threads lol, but the fact that that happened in the first place illustrates my initial point.

    Are we discussing how the "generational divide" isn't as prominent as the internet depicts? Or are we pointing fingers again? My last reply in here was longer ago than I usually leave them. Why might that be? :/
  4. Vaiz


    I'm still here for some reason! Member
    Pretty much every single thread devolved into that these days. We're so starved for a new game that we just keep circling around the same conversations no matter how a thread starts.
  5. Josh


    I wasn't trying to leave anything out. And I think that's indicative of the point. Most game fans had nothing but love for SA1 in 1999. It was SA2 where the split happened.

    Why does it matter where the perception came from? Even Naka, Ohshima, and Yasuhara saw the series in different ways and wanted it to be different things. Sonic isn't a series dictated by an auteur, and it never was.

    Right from the start, the intent was always to localize it differently to appeal to the tastes of different regions, because that's what you did at the time. It wasn't an accident, it was a feature. The classic games were so light on characterization and narrative that they were open to interpretation: An AoStH fan could see Sonic & Tails adventuring around Mobius to take down Robotnik, and a SatAM/Archie fan could take the comic adaptation as canon, and a Fleetway fan could imagine Sonic dunking on Tails when he couldn't keep up. There was nothing in the western world that contradicted Mobius, which is why Sonic Adventure was such a sticky wicket at the time. It didn't match most English-speaking fans' perception of Sonic, or of the classic titles. But just as easily, someone can view the classics through the lens of the Adventure games and see continuity there.

    ...however, you could also view them through the lens of Sonic's post-06 characterization, and they're still just as cohesive. The classics can fit just about any lens you look through.

    Now, of course, I guess you can argue that the people working on the games have more of a claim to canon, what with this being a video game series. And I agree, there's a ton of connective tissue between Sonic 3 and Sonic Adventure that went largely ignored and unappreciated in 1999, because it didn't match with how the series was portrayed in the west. But that wasn't the fans' fault. On the contrary, I'd argue they could've done more to make that transition smoother. Canonizing Robotnik was something, anyway, haha. Nonetheless, merely giving the character voices and having more of an overt story focus was ALWAYS going to go against a lot of people's idea of what Sonic had been, so I'd say it was unavoidable.

    Buuuut, if the litmus test is, "game canon," I mean... there it is. We've had epic games with high stakes and lighthearted games with lots of jokes. We've had cheesy Saturday morning cartoon plots and stories where Eggman's conquered the world and convoluted stories about time travel and it's ALL still Sonic. In canon, Sonic has been a confident, laid-back adventurer, a cheesy teamwork-obsessed hero, and a cocky, attitudinal jokester. But Sonic's personality has been portrayed as that last one more consistently over the past decade or so than it was EVER anything else, and you can't say, "Well, the creators didn't intend it that way," when the games ARE that way.

    I think we're probably more on the same page than we think. This sort of adaptability is one of the reasons I find this series so compelling. I have my preferences, but the anti-3D elitists who'd bully people (including me) for liking Adventure or finding redeeming qualities in 06 were just as insufferable back then as the... I don't know, "anti-2010s" elitists who'll tear into people for liking Generations and Mania now. :V
  6. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    There's a lot of talk about SA1 being made by the original team and I don't think that matters honestly. The game either follows the tone of the classics or it doesn't. Who made the game is beside the point.

    I will say that SA1 is very different largely because it's very influenced by RPGs. It has a lot more time devoted to storytelling than anything which came before it.
  7. RDNexus


    Kinda true, indeed. While giving a Classics-like feel, it's still different in its own right. I love it for that.
    But in comparison to SA2, it's like day and night. And I feel that's other members' point on the matter.
    SA1 still kinda gives that classic vibe, but SA2 changed things quite a bit. To many, that was the divide.
  8. I think what they're trying to convey is that this idea that any post classic stories are somehow "less" sonic than the genesis ones are forgetting that at the very least, those guys made SA1- and that story, with all it's nuances, is 100% up there in validity with the genesis games, maybe even more so since the hardware allowed for bigger and better things.
  9. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    But that's a super weird thing to say, as if the way stories were told before SA1 are supposed to be taken as a reduction of something else or a compromise rather than a craft in its own right and terms. Kinda like I'm supposed to believe sprites are a lesser form of 3D models.
  10. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Lyon, France
    Slice of life visual novel, coming soon...?
    What this thread has shown, more than anything, is that Sega need to hurry to fuck up and announce the next game SOON.

    I'm all for that "Take all the time you need <3" mentality but I've noticed an increasing amount of hostility between Modern fans and Adventure fans lately and I think everyone would calm down if we knew what the next Sonic game is about at the very least.

    As it stands, this is the first real chance Adventure fans have in a very long time to get back the Sonic they loved and they feel like they need to validate the reason they love the Adventure era so much (And I've been guilty of this too, I'll admit)
    And Modern fans are the opposite; the de facto 3d Sonic gameplay style is being questioned more than it ever has before, and they find themselves having to justify why they like Sonic Generations all of sudden, no wonder they're getting agressive lol

    Like for real, pretty much every thread for the last few months ended up devolving into "Adventure good/Modern bad" or "Modern Good/Adventure bad". Overlord had to lock so many of them we might as well start to call him the keymaker :V

    Seriously Sega, I know I'm beating a dead horse at this point but jesus fucking christ just give us a teaser or something. It's seriously not funny anymore.
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  11. RDNexus


    While I accept one's need to defend their preferred games and playstyle, I think such arguments may easily get blown out of proportion.
    Both Adventure and Modern games have the pros and cons.

    The Boost gameplay is cool for speedy thrills. Speedruns thrive on such gameplay, while the Classics kinda depend on level design bugs.
    But this gameplay depends too much on quick button-mashing and straight-lined level design. Even yesterday, YouTuber BlueVivacity demonstrated how Generations's Modern Green Hill can be S-Ranked only by mashing the boost and jump buttons.
    And I'm only talking about the one I deem the best among the Boost games.

    The Adventure gameplay is nice to who enjoys platforming and exploration, to a certain point. I still remember how I thought SA1 might be hiding cool stuff out-of-bounds or somewhere ultra secret or hard-to-reach.
    But such gameplay, as I just stated, is quite susceptible to boundary break and the thrill comes majorly from not falling down a hole or body of water during a stage. If one ain't good enough at the game, it may never achieve the top rank and/or unlock secrets the game has, as in DX's case.

    Of course, these are just at the top of my head when it comes to gameplay styles.
    I already opinated more than once about plot and lore of the games ^^"
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  12. Forte


    I speak better after three beers Member
    You know, I'm starting to understand why Nintendo restrictions on Mario are a good thing. Nobody screams Classic Mario or Modern Mario. Mario's just Mario. He's consistent through all of his games, even the alternate reality ones, like his paper counterpart.

    Nobody even gives a damn that he's a doctor. Can You imagine the flame wars if there's a Doctor Sonic kind of game?

    I just wish we could keep a Ryan Drummond iteration of the character. Now we have Classic Sonic, Adventure Sonic and Meme Sonic...

    PS. I always liked Ian Flynn work. Sonic seems mostly like his Adventure version in post genesis wave continuity and in IDW comics.
  13. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    Would Sega's typical dripfeed of info really help? If we got a silhouette logo with a single letter visible ala Team Sonic Racing and nothing else when the game's still 3 years away really satiate anyone and put an end to the arguing?

    I said a few months back that marketing is a bit of a double-edged sword. Market too early and there's nothing real to show, but wait until there's stuff of substance to show and the fans get antsy. There's no real good answer there. I've been staving off the boredom by indulging in my other hobbies: other video game series, building model kits, trying new shows or rewatching beloved old series, etc. I know the world's going through some tough shit right now, but Sega can't shoulder the burden of our frustrations by itself.
  14. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Lyon, France
    Slice of life visual novel, coming soon...?
    That's a fair point, and I don't want to come across as that spoiled fanboy that thinks gaming companies owe us something because we buy their games or something:V

    I just can't help but wonder why they're not showing us anything. We're not talking about a GTA V type of game that takes 5 years to make, it's a 3D platformer we'll most certainly be able to complete within 4 hours.
    We know they've been working on it since 2018 (I think?), so what's taking them so long? I just don't get it.
    idk I just wish the twitter account would say they're working on it or something instead of just posting memes.

    Went a bit topic tho, sorry. To talk about my experience with Sonic for the sake of this thread, I more or less played all the Adventure and Classic era Sonic games at the same time like a lot of kids that grew up in the early 2000's, thanks to emulators and Sonic Classic Collection on the DS.
    (I got stuck in Aquatic Ruins in Sonic 2 because I didn't know you could use the bubbles to catch your breath)
  15. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    Who cares though? Just because Adventure was made by the same people doesn't mean it has any special legitimacy. I love Life is Strange 1 and hate Life is Strange 2. They had the same developers, writers, etc, doesn't really mean much to me when I dislike the game. I preferred Before the Storm and that had a completely different dev team to LiS1. I was actually relieved when I found out that Deck Nine and not Don'tNod were working on the next LiS.

    I actually do like Sonic Adventure a lot, despite how flawed it is. But just because it has the same developers as the classic games is beside the point as far as I'm concerned.
  16. Josh


    This is true. It was also the first mainline game in the series to be directed by Takashi Iizuka, who initially set out to make a game called Sonic RPG. This would have followed a trend of taking a series usually known for a different genre (Mario, Panzer Dragoon), making an RPG based on the property, and putting the genre at the end. If Iizuka sees the modern universe as separate from the classics, the dividing line is the first game he had that degree of influence over. And I think that debate is probably where this sort of "purity test" by way of creator intent carries the most weight. Where it breaks down is when we take it a step or three further and argue something as open-ended as "Which modern games are most in-line with the classics?" like that would make them any more or less legitimate.

    You're right on the money for why things have gotten so contentious. I always came to Retro as a bit of a refuge from how the rest of the fandom could be, but yeah, it's definitely seeped in here, too. Boredom, lockdown, worrying about other things, a lack of stability... we feel like we NEED the comfort food of a series we love and we NEED that sense of place and community, but we're out of new things to talk about and paradoxically, we end up at each others' throats. And yeah, it's been long enough now that even the guys who started with SA2 Battle are no spring chickens, haha. I've noticed them more and more getting annoyed with the people behind THEM who don't always inherently see the appeal of THEIR childhood favorites and just think they're "old games", and I'm like... "Ah, see, now we have more in common!" :V

    The tension is gonna change as soon as we have something new to discuss, but I do want to emphasize... the social media team has just as much power as WE do in controlling when a new game gets released, and harassing them isn't going to change anything. I know the unease in the fandom can be exhausting, but keep it in perspective: It's JUST video games, and the news will come when it comes.
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  17. Azookara


    yup Member
    I’m backing out of the convo if we’re gonna act like hardware limitations and dev time weren't a thing that plagued most games’ sense of scope (including Sonic, a series with a big history of that). Or that we can try to argue in favor of the classic series’ “vision” but conveniently decide when that doesn’t apply anymore even if the same boxes are ticked, just because it doesn’t suit what you like.

    The arguments that rise in these topics come from people who are set in their ways, and maybe I’m set in my own. Thing is, my ways are pretty chill, and my patience pressed to keep microanalyzing differences in the eras of Sonic as if it’s worth the barriers is not only tiring but a waste of time lol.

    (also on the side not sure why we’re blaming this all on lack of sonic news, the fanbase has been having conversations like this for a good 10-15 years now.. it’s not gonna magically go away, in fact if the mania/forces double whammy taught me anything it’s that it can get worse. Oy.)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  18. Oh I'm perfectly aware, and I agree, I'm just saying that I've spoken to people before who act like the genesis games are the only ones that actually followed what sonic was "meant to be" (usually with extra emphasis on little to no story, 2- maybe 3 characters max, and obscene amounts of lightheartedness), and I'm just saying that those same creators, continuing with the vision they had for sonic, went and created the unholy sonic adventure.

    I'm actually not jabbing at anyone in here tbh, it's mostly people in other places that do this I've noticed.
  19. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I've always thought Sonic was a flawed and messy series, even going back to the original games. Sonic 1 is fun but it's also got a lot of tedious levels like Marble Zone and even the fun ones like Springyard have annoying obstacles like those slow moving blocks. Sonic 2 falls off at the end with the dull Oil Ocean-Metropolis-Sky Chase-Wing Fortress punch. And even the holy Sonic 3 has a lot of slow and boring levels like Marble Garden, Sandopolis, and levels which are fun but have irritating sections (Ice Cap, Flying Battery). I also think the very nature of Sonic as a series, a fast paced platformer, is in some ways counter intuitive and messy in itself. You don't tend to go through Mario stages blasting at full speed but that's what Sonic encourages.

    So in that spirit, I think Sonic Adventure is a logical continuation of what the Classic games had laid out. It's a game which is also messy and not perfect. It puts storytelling front and center even though the team aren't talented at it like contemporary studios (Squaresoft for an obvious example). It has probably double the amount of playable character playstyles that can be accomplished in a fleshed out way. It's buggy because it's the kind of game which would prefer to give you crazy and ambitious levels rather than tone them down to be more practical. It's why I like the game despite how obviously flawed it is. It's fun and it's messy to play in a way like the Classics. Stages like City Escape, Speed Highway, Emerald Coast, Metal Harbour and Radical Highway are highlights in a way which isn't really much different to Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Hydrocity, and Casino Night.

    I just also think that Sonic Adventure is very clearly different to the Classics too. It's much more heavily influenced by RPGs, it aims for realism (I think it's very obvious that the developers took field trips and photographs for inspiration), and it's tonally very different to at least the games which came before it. So when people say that Sonic Adventure started the downfall of the series I think they are being very melodramatic but I can see where they are coming from too. Both SA1 and SA2 laid the groundwork for what came after, but I don't think they can really be held responsible as games for that precedent. Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 don't change in form because of how awful Shadow the Hedgehog (game) is. I talk to my friend about this sometimes (he probably finds it tedious) and I'm always telling him how both are obviously flawed but they aren't broken, horrible, and unplayable messes in a way that the internet can make out.

    I guess when it comes to the somewhat facile Classics-Adventure divide that I want to be even-handed while also acknowledging that the series did change a lot when it moved to Dreamcast. I really love Adventure 1 and 2 actually, I probably have an affection for them which is similar to Sonic 1-3. I always get hyped when @Speeps makes a video about either game lol. I just view them as kind of separate too. Part of the same series but a different interpretation of it.
  20. Asagoth


    Behold! The mighty, the flawless, salted cod eater Member
    wiki stuff... and a beer... or two... or more...
    I had more luck at the time ... I was ten years old when SEGA arrived in our beloved country, and I was lucky enough to own a Mega Drive shortly after that. I had the privilege of playing a lot of Mega Drive games including all the classic Sonic titles. Living in a small town where everyone knew each other was the main factor. There were many kids of my age who also owned a Mega Drive and despite the fact that most of us had only 8, 9, 10 or a few more games, we used to borrow each other games. One of my best friends had a school mate who earned a Game Gear from his father who worked in Canada (from where the Game Gear came from) ... one Summer his father took him to Canada on vacation and my friend convinced him to lend us the Game Gear ... something like "Oh... you will spend some time with your father in Canada this summer? So... can you leave your Game Gear with us? I mean... he's your father... he wants to spend some time with you... the Game Gear will just distract you and that way you will not enjoy a good time with him... don't do that to him... he will be disapointed..." :)... I don't know what kind of spell my friend used on him but it worked like a charm :) ... he had Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic Chaos plus Chakan, Streets of Rage, Surf Ninjas , R.C. Grand Prix, World Cup Soccer, World Cup USA 94 and Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (we played the shit out of this game)... it was the best Summer of our lives :) ... a friend from my neighbourhood was also the proud owner of a Menacer and a Mega CD (with Sonic CD and a few more games) and he used to lend both to me... :) ... I only played Chaotix through emulation because nobody I knew owned a 32X (and nobody had the "balls" to beg their parents for one... it was basically buying a Mega Drive twice)...
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021