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Unpopular Sonic Opinions

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Londinium, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. kazz

    kazz

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    Any SA2 stage you can think of is as exaggerated as how you're describing the zones here. How are flooded ruins less realistic than a flooded mine with cartoon ghosts embossed on the walls? Hydrocity is basically a fancy sewer system, hardly "unlike anything that exists in the real world". Actually Hydrocity distinctly reminds me of those flood discharge tunnels in Japan.
     
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  2. Jayextee

    Jayextee

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    Atro City
    I DONE MAKED GAMES.
    As I said above, it's in the execution of any given theme or trope. Said flooded mines don't include criss-crossing neon blue flumes or cartoon hands that grasp the player character whilst a wheel underneath accelerates them to top speed. YMMV of course, I guess, if you live near a water park or drew cartoon ghosts on your own walls.

    I dunno <shrugs> I'm arguing logistics in the unpopular opinion topic. I've told other people off about that. XD
     
  3. Deep Dive Devin

    Deep Dive Devin

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    Actually, Aquatic Mine is one of the only Treasure Hunt levels that does have dash panels in, specifically the tunnel where Knuckles gets the air necklace. It also has actual real cartoon ghosts, not just paintings.

    I guess a tile of moving sidewalk is less inherently-silly than the spinning gear thing? But it feels like we're splitting hairs over this idea that the Adventure games were always designed to exist in a fundamentally-different idiom than the classic games' world, and I just don't think that's true. The only defining, inarguable difference to me is the presence of non-Eggman humans. Everything else is a consequence of the flow of 3D stage design as much as specific artistic intent. Mario 64 was not meant to be a huge shift in art direction or storytelling for the series, but its stages come out generally much more geographically-believable than the surreal levels of 1, 2, 3 and World.
     
  4. Jayextee

    Jayextee

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    Atro City
    I DONE MAKED GAMES.
    Didn't say dash panels. Said cartoon hands. With Mickey Mouse gloves and everything.
     
  5. Palas

    Palas

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    I think it's unfair to describe Sonic stages through what we understand as their tropes anyway. "Hydrocity is just flooded underground ruins" overlooks the fact that it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    And not like what you'd imagine a stock illustration of underground ruins made by AI looks like.

    Like @Jayextee said, it's all about the execution. The art style makes a difference. Geometric patterns, unexplained little balls floating inside pillars, weird little animal mechas floating about and trying to kill you. The lot. Not saying Adventure games aren't like that or don't have such elements (though it should be undisputed that SA2 is less so than SA?) (EDIT: though like Pyramid Cave is a good counterexample), but rock formations and wooden planks might inherently be more realistic than randomly decorated colorful brick walls that seem to extend indefinitely with seemingly infinite waterfalls, cartoon ghosts notwithstanding. We'll always be able to reduce any given level to a trope because the human brain just works like that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2024
  6. Blast Brothers

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    Exactly.

    The 2D games may not be less "realistic", but they're certainly more surrealistic on average. The most surreal parts of the 3D games are on par with the classics in that department, but there are usually other, more realistic elements that pull the "average" aesthetic closer to realism.
     
  7. KaiGCS

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    It's also sort of an affectation of early 3D, spurred on by industry trends at the time.

    Look at Mario Kart 64 compared to any game in that series that came before or after. Almost everybody was striving for "realism" with all their might. Not that MK64 looks realistic by modern standards, just that it's trying to be in a way its predecessors and successors definitely weren't.

    And considering where we were in the late 90s/early 00s - a time when gamers and game-makers alike were trying to shake the image of gaming being for kids, and the most beautiful Zelda game ever was seen as a betrayal for looking too """gay""" - Sonic Team was really just being contemporary with the Adventure era aesthetic, and even the modern redesigns. Nobody wanted video games or video game characters to be cutesy or cartoony at that time.

    And I'd argue there definitely IS a big difference between the Adventure games (SA2 especially) and the classics. Green Hill Zone's appearance in SA2 gives us an easy comparison. It feels wildly out of place with the rest of the game, and Sonic's SA2 character model seems like it doesn't even belong there, an indication of how far he'd come or how much had changed, depending on your perspective.
     
  8. kazz

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    So Hydrocity is more surreal than say Lost World from SA1 because the walls are overly colorful and there's lots of waterfalls? Sounds familiar. The walls in Hydrocity are still just colored clay bricks like the walls of Aquatic Mine are just dirt and wood. This really does feel like splitting hairs. Both Adventure games have animal badniks along with plenty of odd, unexplained background assets, mysterious liminal rooms etc.
    Angel Island Zone also feels out of place next to Green Hill. Where's the checkerboard dirt?

    I don't see what's wrong with those people who don't like Wind Waker's artstyle if we're allowed to be so persnickety over Sonic Adventure's. Wind Waker looks undoubtedly different from Classic Zelda to me.
     
  9. Palas

    Palas

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    It's not "lots of waterfalls". It's "seemingly infinite waterfalls". Not as in, "there are so many you can't count" but as in "some are falling from nowhere". The difference is how impressionistic, imprecise and even surrealistic (though I don't even think these are the proper words) the sense of place can be in classic Sonic (and actually virtually any 2D game), compared to Adventure. And, like @Blast Brothers says, on average. Yeah, there are a lot of liminal rooms in Adventure or 2 (like again Pyramid Cave). Lost World is very much not that. I'm unsure what to tell you if you think the aesthetic differences between Hydrocity and Lost World, of all stages, are negligible and down to splitting hairs.

    Besides, why exactly are you assuming there being aesthetic differences is even something bad? Acknowledging the different art styles between classic Zelda and Wind Waker doesn't automatically imply deriding one or the other. There's a lot to love in bth here. I'm just not sure what's controversial in pointing out Metal Harbor might feel a lot closer to our own reality than Launch Base or something.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2024
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  10. charcoal

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    I mostly agree with your post but tbf I think that's more to do with the fact that it's mostly made up of sprite art literally pasted onto boxy models, it'd look kind of uncanny no matter how similar or different SA2 looked to Sonic 1.
     
  11. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

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    Personally I like it when a Sonic stage makes it so it's still based in reality, but it's also hard to articulate what it is specifically.
    I probably just described surreality there, but what the heck is a Collision Chaos

    I don't think there's really anything like that in SA2, but I don't think that's too bad, it's just doing something different. It goes for Sci-Fi rather than magical strange fantasy bits. (Huge space station instead of floating ruins in the sky, that stuff) I think I prefer the latter of those two approaches, but SA2's aesthetic I still very much like.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2024
  12. kazz

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    Like Lost World's? I'm pretty sure the water in Hydrocity is coming from all the oceanwater flooding Angel Island anyway. It's debatable in of itself to treat it like some surreal infinite thing especially compared to someplace like Lost World which even moreso has water seemingly coming from "nowhere" (the water table I guess).
    Excuse me?
    Please excuse using SADX images as a source but like how is Pyramid Cave liminal but not this? It's not really something to get super stringent over but I'm just baffled you'd compare them so negatively. And it is absolutely splitting hairs to insist that this is more "realistic" than Hydrocity. What is exactly the difference in realism here? Even in SADX the texturing is still pretty cartoony. Is it just that Hydrocity has some surreal stuff like geometry in the background and Mickey Mouse gloves? The main room in this level has a giant magically alive snake statue swimming around. That has happened in real life exactly as many times as a Mickey Mouse hand making you go fast.
    I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying the Adventure games aren't really any more realistic than what came before, which a contingent of fans continuously insist to imply that Adventure's aesthetic is worse lol.
     
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  13. Palas

    Palas

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    But that's your conjecture, which you're free to do in any case. I'm talking about what you can see -- the aesthetic of it. And perhaps by virtue of being 3D, the limits of the environment etc are more readable in Lost World. It's not even actually always the case. Frontiers' cyberspace levels, 4-2 most of all, has the same kind of approach of spiraling patterns that make up a seemingly endless space-- even though it's all highways, cars and rails! Compared to that, and the pictures you posted prove that, Lost World looks fairly... Euclidean. An enclosed space whose boundaries you can readily see. Some S3&K stages are like that! Sandopolis Act 2, I guess. Not every classic stage feels like Hydrocity, and S3&K is closer to SA than, say, CD is. But to say they share the same style goes too far to me.

    So there are many factors to our apprehension and experience of an aesthetic that I think it's way too reductive to go "underground ruins = underground ruins = literally the same".

    Again, why negatively? The difference is absolutely clear to me, and I really don't know how we could convince the other. I get what you're saying, and it's not like Lost World is photorealistic or 1:1 to something that actually exists in real life. Maybe my words fail me, but you could definitely make a "Classic" Lost World and an "Adventure" Hydrocity because they... are different even though they share tropes.

    Sure, but I haven't seen that contingent here. Personally I've gushed about Adventure's aesthetics before. I just don't think the style is really that close to S3&K, let alone the wackier ones that came before.
     
  14. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

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    I don't particularly like Lost World, I think it's neat and I'd rather have it than nothing, but it doesn't really get any strong positive emotion out of me. I think a good part of that is how it makes me strangely claustrophobic, like I'm actually in some old box-y ruins. When I word it like that, that actually sounds kinda cool, but I'd rather feel like I've got some good legroom. This is why my favorite part of the level is the brief moment where I'm outside. Finally, some fresh air!
    So, yeah, I prefer Hydrocity's vibe.
    Personally, I don't really see how the two levels could have the same type of aesthetic. Hydrocity's has some Sonic statues in the background for no given reason, you zoom down slides like you're at a water park, (I know you do that in Lost World, too, but that's less like a water slide and more like a natural rapid current) and it's much more colorful in my eyes... actually, I think that point's rather objective. While Lost World is more clearly based on real life ruins, being all foggy and lonely.
     
  15. kazz

    kazz

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    I can easily see euclidean walls and a euclidean ceiling everywhere and in the background of Hydrocity. It's not any more boundless or non-euclidean than Lost World, which stretches impossibly deep underground in just the same way. Neither are at all comparable to the setting-less floating voids of the Cyberspace maps. Is it different because your imagination just pretends the walls go on infinitely? OK, Lost World is now more non-euclidean because it's literally surrounded by a 3D void that goes on forever. That's just conjecture? So is your conception of Hydrocity! It's a physical place under a physical island in a game that goes out of its way to establish time and place.

    TBH my idea of "Classic Lost World" is pretty much just Hydrocity lol. It's literally lost echidna tribe ruins deep underground. Has water slides and everything, which Charla seems to have forgotten about in Lost World. I don't recall any magic gravity walls or living snake golems in real life temples but that's just me. I guess "realism" comes down to the paint job.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2024
  16. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

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    I mean..
    Yeah, your assumption's right.
    I'm just going off how I perceive things here, and the more fantastical elements of Lost World you mentioned did pass my mind when I typed that earlier. So I will admit Lost World's cooler than I remembered. Apologies if I'm misreading your tone, but you seem really upset, so I'm sorry I did that


    Also even after looking it up, I still dunno what euclidean means, sorry about that too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2024
  17. Palas

    Palas

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    I'm not sure if this just come down to us perceiving things so radically different, but I'll admit this was a frustrating reply to read. Yes, Hydrocity is euclidean, as is every stage in every game ever that isn't Superliminal, probably. We've been using all terms very liberally but now you decide is a good time to be literal? Anyway, it's not that my imagination pretends the walls go on indefinitely. It's that you literally can't see where Hydrocity ends because it's a self-repeating background in which you can't judge the distance from where you are to what you can see because background and foreground bear less spatial relation to each other than what a 3D space could offer, and that stage in particular makes a point of repeating patterns to make that even harder to judge.

    I don't imagine the waterfalls are falling from nowhere. It's just you can't go further up than an arbitrary number of pixels, so you can't see where they begin. It really is that simple. I made no conjecture of what Hydrocity is. I'm saying it presents its space differently from Lost World. The pictures you posted, except the last one, are very much that.

    And that's one aspect of one stage. We could debate every minutia of each game, but this seems more and more fruitless every post.

    You seem focused on what exists in real life vs. what doesn't, but this isn't about that at all. A realistic drawing of a dragon isn't less realistic than Steamboat Willie because rats and boats exist in real life whereas dragons don't. It very much is down to the paint job. It's actually what the concept of art style is all about.

    Nothing to be sorry about, it wasn't even a technically correct word to use. This isn't the actual definition per se but a space being Euclidean means, unless I'm grossly wrong, the shortest distance between two points in a plane will always be a line, or in short, how geometry in our world works. I used it more in the sense of "spaces that makes sense". The counter-examples might interest you, it's pretty dope stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2024
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  18. kazz

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    Yes that is what I'm focusing on, because it's relevant and what I take issue with. And no, what I was saying there is you could easily paint a wall yellow and blue in real life, whereas everything actually surreal about Hydrocity has its equivalent in Lost World. We don't have to agree but I don't see how this isn't about realism (or lack thereof) when it's the whole framework we're using in comparing Classic to Adventure, one that I didn't even originally bring up in this thread. I think it's at least more relevant than whether you can see where waterfalls come from or not. Not to mention 3&K literally tells you where the waterfalls come from. You fall down one of them to get into Hydrocity. In contrast all the water in Lost World is totally unexplained in-game.
     
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  19. Palas

    Palas

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    Oh. I see it now. Yes, Sonic Adventure and 2 have as many fantastic elements as the classic. Which, of course they do --they're still about a blue hedgehog who can run at the speed of sound, jumps on springs to defeat a 300 IQ human who builds robots. Then again, every Sonic game ever does. It doesn't mean, necessarily, they evoke, as Wikipedia says, "the depiction of illogical or dreamlike scenes and ideas". Not as much as the games that came before anyway.

    Mirror houses exist in real life, and can be perfectly explained, but they evoke that kind of sensation nevertheless. You can paint a person in green, but if you see a green person in real life, you'll find it weird at first. Likewise, you can physically paint brick walls in purple, yellow and blue. But even if you find a giant palace built and painted like that in real life, that'll feel more of a dreamlike scenario than anything.

    They're related, but ultimately different, and both are opposed to two related, but different realisms. So it doesn't matter at all that you can guess where the water is coming from in Hydrocity. What matters is what you see and how that's recognized. You could maybe build a boat with butterfly sails, but the curious proposition of form and function is what matters in the painting by Dali because it evokes a certain feeling of "unrealness", and that's the point. I don't need to know where the water from the Atlantic Ocean comes from to feel a beach is real, whereas even if you explain how the water seems to flow upwards in a pump like this it'll still look surreal. When people say Adventure is more realistic than its predecessors, that's what they're talking about: fish that turn to birds, unnaturally colored terrain, distances you can't judge, etc. Ice Cap in Adventure still has bridges that appear from nowhere, but long gone are the unusually regular and prevalent crystal formations, and little rotating pillars that would still be surreal even if you explained them.

    And again, it's on average.

    So if you want to argue Sonic has always been fantastical and presents things that don't exist in real life, go ahead. I don't know what the point of that would be, though.
     
  20. Deep Dive Devin

    Deep Dive Devin

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    Where is any of Twinkle Park supposed to take place? You go through the entrance and show up in the vast expanse of nowhere-space. The whole stage is just floating in a void. And hey, you're saying a house of mirrors evokes that feeling? Twinkle Park is one. If we stay on Lost World, how is this underground? What's up with the giant stone snake that endlessly and arbitrarily orbiting one room for centuries? Yeah sure, I guess it doesn't have the cylinders (okay well it kinda does) but there's elements of unreality all over these stages, and it has nothing to do with explanations.

    Even if you want to argue that one or another has more or less on average, all that would verify is that some of the places depicted in each game happen to have a more or less-outlandish aesthetic, in a world that naturally contains ample amounts of both. Star Light Zone doesn't have anything that crazy going on, but nobody's going to be arguing it's not a true classic Sonic level. Neither does Angel Island, really. The exceptions to the rule are much closer to just being part of the rule.

    And I mean...this whole thing spun off from the argument that these games were too different to conceivably take place on the same planet. Under that context, it shouldn't be surprising that "the blue cylinders count but the pumpkin spires don't" is a pretty hard sell.