Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Londinium, Jun 17, 2022.
I do not care for Honey The Cat
I unironically love Sonic R, and would consider it superior to Mario Kart 64 if it had a reasonable amount of tracks and a more balanced roster.
Really I like the core engine and controls, they're different but fun when you get the hang of them. The game just needed more expanding.
I dunno if it's superior, but I like it more anyway. And I love Mario Kart 64.
The most intriguing thing about it to me is that it's the only true 3D Sonic game that Hirokazu Yasuhara (director and lead level designer of Sonic 1, 2, and 3, and far and away the most unsung member of the original Sonic Team trio) ever worked on. In its course design, I see a glimpse of what Sonic Adventure might have been like if he'd stuck around and directed it.
Also, this art drawn by Sonic the Comic's Rich Elson a few years back is awesome:
Huh, not seen Elson do new art since the comic, interesting to see it evolve a bit here with more SEGA Sonic influence (also an STC artist drawing the classic Eggman design instead of AoSth Robotnik, that's almost unheard of since issue 10 or something XD).
Elson is a talented guy (he was always the 'A story' artist for STC after all), but I always felt he overused the same poses for his characters over and over. Like I'm pretty sure I've seen Sonic in that exact same pose a billion times in his comic art. :P
Also interesting tidbit about R there. It's impressive how closely Traveller's Tales worked with the original Sonic team. Maybe that's why their stuff still felt true to the classics.
Maybe 'superior' is stretching it, but I definitely think R had potential to be a legit competitor if it got the same development time. Maybe it's simply because I played Mario Kart 64 much later than R (as well as the amazing Crash Team Racing) but it felt a lot clunkier and less immersive to me, especially due to the 2D sprite players. I think Mario Kart DS was the superior low poly MK title, fair enough THAT one would likely blow R out of the water, even with a content increase.
Not only is this a rather rude assessment, it's also a bizarre train of thought. Aren't the visuals, the animation, the soundtrack, the story, the atmosphere, Metal Sonic part of Sonic CD? Aren't they valid reasons to like the game? If the game consisted only of the "actual gameplay", why would anyone need anything other than placeholders and the earliest tech demos?
Everything you mentioned is actual gameplay. They're reasons to change your behavior in the game or even to play the game at all. The idea of Sonic CD is fully expressed in Sonic CD, for better or worse, and you can't pretend the game is "hidden behind" everything else.
Yeah... I've always thought the reason people like [insert game here] was probably because they actually like what's in it, and not because they were ignoring or overlooking the flaws. At best, maybe what you see as a flaw is a plus to them. At worst, they've learned to play around the flaw or otherwise mitigate it. Both of these are often quite valid and even necessary, in my experience, when it comes to enjoying Sonic games.
I think Sonic CD held particular affinity for some fans 10-15 years ago, because it could be looked to as a bastion of a lot of things that, in their view, the series had forgotten. When something like Black Knight was the most recent game, it was easy for fans so-inclined to point to CD and say, "See, this is what Sonic is supposed to be. Beautifully stylized, psychedelic visuals, a focus on exploration and momentum instead of just GOTTA GO FAST, and this was back when Sonic still remembered it was supposed to be an actual PLATFORMER. Sonic has never been cooler than he was in those cutscenes... back before they started stuffing the series with lame characters and filling their mouths with cringy dialogue." At least, that's the sort of stuff I remember hearing a lot at the time. I'm reminded of a comic from the era:
Of course, over time the people who felt this way about Sonic largely grew out of feeling this angry about it all the time, haha. Weirdly enough, I think Black Knight itself is put on a pedestal right now for a lot of the same reasons: It embodies what the people who like it wish the series would bring back. I don't really see it that way, myself. But I have no doubt that the people who're extolling its virtues genuinely mean it.
Honestly, as a certified Black Knight lover, that's probably like half the reason I like it so much. It's definitely not the best Sonic game, far from it, but it represents everything I miss about what the Sonic series used to be. It has creative ideas, good writing, and it's generally the last Sonic game that really felt like it tried to be something. Also, even if the gameplay itself is jank as fuck and objectively pretty poor, I just think it's a really fun game that I'm glad gets more recognition nowadays.
If you like a game you are naturally more willing to look past its flaws in favor of its high points.
And it's not anyone's place to say "why" someone likes something. It's like saying "you don't like chocolate ice cream you just like the chocolate flavor" and it's like. Yeah? I like when ice cream is chocolate flavored.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this so I'm just gonna end with another unpopular opinion: Ice Cap is not that great of a zone. The level design is very straightforward compared to other levels in S3K, it doesn't have many unique gimmicks, and to me the only thing it has going for it is the music.
Its a platformer. Level layout and visuals are important. While I have heard people complain about it having too many speed traps, what I always enjoyed was that with time travel it added a dimension of exploration to it. I think it is still a very fun momentum game. My only real criticisms of it as a Sonic game is that the badnick to space ratio is low and Time Stones should have done something when collected, but it really was more of a successor to Sonic 1 than 2 was in terms of flow, gameplay, and visuals. It also had my favorite Special Stage of the 90s era. I cite it as one of my all time favorite games for a reason. I can see where you are coming from since saying it had time travel doesn't actually explain why it was fun, but the fact is it was a unique way to invite players to explore levels that I really want to see again. Now I don't think it was perfect, but the whole feel of the game was pretty great. Also the boss design was really thoughtful in general rather than the standard 8 hits and done, though its most climactic boss fight was definitely the next to last.
I just don't want the series to ever go back to being like it was when it almost totally lost me. Black Knight, and more particularly the aspects of it that I most often see brought up as positives, reminds me of a time when I genuinely didn't know if I'd ever really love a Sonic game again. To me, Unleashed was the first Sonic game that actually "tried to be something" in ages, and even it wasn't a game I could recommend to anyone who wasn't DEEPLY invested in Sonic games. For a long time, it seemed like that was the only way I could enjoy new Sonic games, because I was willing to find and cling onto a silver lining. There were very few games I could just enjoy without compromises, and I was, at least I think, a lot more willing to look for those positives than a lot of the people around me.
Then Colors happened, and Generations, and (too many years later) MANIA. People who'd fallen off the series ages ago were popping back up. My IRL friends who'd never been particularly into Sonic were actually PLAYING it. For a while, it felt like Sonic was an A-lister again.
Of course, it's not lost on me that the way I felt at 21 is exactly how a lot of 21-year olds seem to feel now, and that's another contradiction that Sonic Team has to deal with. Any direction they go is going to abandon SOME not-insignificant group of fans' idea of what Sonic's supposed to be. I'm extremely put off by Frontiers' realistic visuals in the "open zone," a lot of what Ian Flynn has said about the story worries me (and it'd worry me a lot more if it wasn't him saying it), and the last thing I've ever wanted is a modern AAA open world Sonic game. But I know a lot of folks are excited about those exact things, I'm glad they're happy and I hope it can live up to their hopes if nothing else, and I'm holding out hope that the cyberspace levels can be that silver lining for me.
That's the kind of perspective I find it's useful to take to enjoy the series most of the time, haha. You can't let yourself get TOO invested in the expectation that it'll totally live up to what you want, or you start missing the forest for the trees... or would that be the other way around?
Yeah. We both grew up with completely different versions of the character and have completely different hopes for what a "Perfect" Sonic game could be. Nothing will ever truly bring back what was special back then, even if it does come close like Mania. You've just gotta accept that things change, but I just hope it'll be for the better this time.
Funny then, how the last "Ideal" Sonic game to me, Black Knight, has a story all about accepting that nothing lasts forever and you just need to live life to the fullest. I guess Sonic really was right in that game.
Id be much more accepting of what Sonic is if it wasn't constantly changing what "it" is.....and now I officially sound like Abe Simpson goddamn it...
But yea, I'm fine accepting Sonic isn't really appealing to me anymore. Its just kind of frustrating because so many other franchises I follow can still satisfy their audiences every now and then but Sega actively and vehemently refuses to do that.
Sonic 06 already has a great soundtrack. If it had a great story, great voice acting, and great graphics on top of that, would it be a good game? Not even a great game, but just good in general? Because none of that would have any effect on its bugs, load times, and awful level design.
This mindset of valuing games for their ambition and ideas, or things that they represent, rather than their execution, is something I only see from SEGA fans, and I've never understood it. I'm not going to be an asshole and call it "wrong", but I still don't get it. Maybe I don't have to...but Jet Set Radio is a clunky mess. Billy Hatcher is a clunky mess. NiGHTS is a clunky mess. SEGA's entire catalogue is littered with games that have some neat and unique ideas, but are so janky it makes experiencing those ideas a chore at best. Charm and originality only get you so far. Story and soundtrack are very important to me, because in many ways, a game has to be interesting in addition to being fun, otherwise Mario wouldn't be boring to so many people. But the only time I've ever been able to excuse annoying gameplay flaws in favor of things like story and soundtrack is when they're either a product of the times, or a product of an indie developer with less manpower and a lower budget. I would rather play New Super Mario Bros. U, a game devoid of any unique and interesting ideas, than Sonic CD, a game with tons of ambition and potential and style but with some of the most irritating and nonsensical design tropes I've seen in a Sonic game.
Sonic CD is far from a bad game. Despite everything, it's still better than most games released in 1993 and is decently competent as a platformer. But its reverence to fans as one of the best in the series makes zero sense to me.
It did however give us the best game subtitle that ever existed, "God Bless The Ring", which goes hard
My friend and I bought Sonic the Fighters and played a few rounds
we immediately uninstalled it and went back to Tekken
While I see why many find the "evil monster overlord" Eggman of side medias appealling, I think it has one key detriment:
EGGMAN IS PROTECTED BY THE STATUS QUO.
I feel like making the villain a truly detestable piece of work that the heroes are the continuous underdog against only really works if you can give them their ultimate just desserts in the end, but we all know that's never able to happen to Eggman.
We see this issue from the very start with SatAm, with tons of fake outs concerning Robotnik being defeated and the heroes finally being liberated. The only reason it subverts this is because the show was conviniently cancelled at a point he was seemingly overthrown AGAIN, when in reality they were just gonna toy around with a new villain before likely bringing him back. Same deal with Archie, where the original Robotnik DID meet their sticky end, but only because the team assumed the comic was nearing its end, and when that wasn't the case SEGA demanded Eggman be brought back in some form.
Even with Ian Flynn's attempts to deconstruct this never ending war with Sonic, I think his Archie/IDW versions ultimately have the same problem, he's a dog kicking machine that we know will never get anything more than a small roadblock for the truly heinous things he's done to the characters we root for. After a while there's a bit of lethargy in their efforts against this guy.
I guess this might be why I prefer the semi-sympathetic Eggman that is instead the guy stuck never able to win but can at least sometimes give Sonic a real challenge. S3K shown this Eggman can still be EXTREMELY threatening while also offering Sonic a proportionately gratifying victory.
My personal unpopular opinion is I find Sonic 1 better than Sonic 2. I fine with the people who prefer Sonic 2, but this is my own opinion and I stand by it.
I guess one other is that I am fine with Sonic Colors Ultimate where most others do not seem to be. Though I do agree, it should not have been rushed as it was.
A great game soundtrack isn't just a collection of good songs put together while a game plays. The music has to fit in with whatever is going on and be a part of playing the game. For it to have a great story, it'd have to be rearranged entirely, and you don't get to know a game story if not by playing it. You can't dissociate any element from the fact that it's in a game. The technical aspects of it wouldn't affect a great story either, tld thrugh playing the game.
Because you do realize Sonic CD's soundtrack, art, story and atmosphere aren't ideas or ambition, right? They're things that exist, and that were made by actual human beings, and that you can experience by yourself. If you don't like the whole experience of the game, fine. But that's on you. I don't see anything to excuse in Sonic CD and genuinely love everything about its level design. It's my favorite Sonic game and I do wish more games were like it in a lot of ways. But it wouldn't be any less sincere if someone were to say they go through Wacky Workbench just to reach the boss versus Metal Sonic.
I dunno how people on Retro feel about this, but I know I'd get flamed everywhere else, so...
I don't like Mania's art. At least not as much as the classics.
I guess this extends to Chaotix too. I know more colours is technically a good thing, but something about seeing that wider range on such small sprites just looks ugly. It doesn't blend as well as the simpler colours imo.
Ridiculous take. The original NiGHTS is one of the most perfect score-attack gaming experiences out there. Please describe what’s clunky about the game.
The only people I see dissing NiGHTS are people who ran through the 8 levels with C ranks and thought, “That’s it?” It’s never someone who actually grasps the gameplay.
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