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Unpopular Sonic Opinions

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

  1. KaiGCS

    KaiGCS

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    Agreed, 110%. It's not like every reviewer and especially every Sonic fan in the 2000s had never played the Dreamcast versions. If they were really so much of a downgrade that they would affect your perception of the game, people would've been talking about it back then. But I can't even find anyone saying the ports are that bad before around 2016 or so, when the SADX mods started coming out. Mostly it's just squabbles over which version of DX had the better models and criticisms of SADX's uneven framerate.

    (And just for the record, I played SADX first on the GCN, I still prefer it in most ways over the DC version, and it's still one of my favorite Sonic games. So I'll try not to take all the "but the ports ruined SA's reputation" talk too personally. :V)
     
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  2. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    It's like when people say the only reason people hate the Star Wars prequels is because of the Plinkett review. As if a solid 10 years hadn't existed between those two events where a majority of fans hated them. Or when they say people only hate Unleashed because of IGN, when plenty of other publications at the time gave it scathing reviews too. Sonic fans sure like to pin their problems on everyone else.
     
  3. kazz

    kazz

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    I think SADX's 48% on metacritic compared to SA2B's 73% really says enough. Is the implication that the reviewers were just being dumb in 1999 giving SA1 positive press? Had the standard 3D platformer formula even changed much from 1999-2003? I think DX is just actually a bad port. SA2B can stay though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2024
  4. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    A game is typically going to be reviewed in comparison to what it's competing against in its market at that time. Sonic Adventure 2 was rated on the Dreamcast in comparison to what else was out on the system at that time. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was rated on the GameCube in comparison to what else was out on the system at that time… which was games like Luigi's Mansion and Super Smash Bros. Melee. So no shit it got worse reviews.

    Likewise, Sonic Adventure has always been notorious for its jank and bugginess, even in 1999. A port years later that didn't resolve any of that was always destined to review poorly.
     
  5. kazz

    kazz

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    I love Luigi's Mansion but it's so weird to me to imply in any objective way that it's a better game than SA2 or even other good Dreamcast games
     
  6. jubbalub

    jubbalub

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  7. Palas

    Palas

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    I do think the standard 3D game (not just platformer) and landscape changed immensely between 99 and 2003, and only some publications use the game's own platform as a level (certainly not ones like IGN), but even then I don't think you can discount how bad a port SADX is.
     
  8. kazz

    kazz

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    I'm just not sure what you'd even directly compare SADX to in 2003. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger?? 3D platformers weren't exactly 'in' in any way in that era and even as a dumb kid I could feel it. Obviously 3D games in general had changed a ton but they seemed to do so in order to lean away from platformer standards and onto more FPSy, open worldy stuff. Point is I don't think SADX reviewed poorly because there were so many other good SADX-like games around compared to 1999, because there weren't. If anything there was less to directly compare it to.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2024
  9. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    SA DX was a terrible port and I think it is part of the reason why SA2B tended to be viewed as the superior game. At the same time, there were many great platformers Sonic Adventure was now competing against: Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Mario Sunshine (ironically also critiqued). And it was even up against SA2, which are the time was largely considered an improvement. It's not surprising why it got lower reviews.

    That said the extent to the much lower critical reappraisal never sat well with me. This was during the time when any previous game series was largely considered obsolete unless it innovated. There were exceptions like Mario and Zelda which were always masterclasses. But I remember critics objecting to Crash Wrath of Cortex not just because it was bad, which if was, but also because it was an old game from the previous generation. I distinctly remember an attitude of we've moved on from that. Similar to how 2D games were treated during PS1 and N64 days. I distinctly remember UK magazines like Edge and Gamesmaster calling SA DX a 'crusty old Dreamcast game' despite reviewing the original positively. I really do believe there wasn't an appreciation of enjoying games for their historical context and if anything being annoyed they were even ported. So while SA DX definitely had stiffer competition I do think there was clear snobbery involved. It should have received lower reviews but I also believe it went way overboard in a way that wouldn't happen nowadays.

    When we come to the late 2000s and mid 2010s I think everyone largely moved past that problem. But I also think there was tendency to exaggerate how bad both Sonic Adventure games were. Especially SA1. If you go back to the old PS2 games then you can see both SA1 and SA2 are superior to most of the game catalogue. They certainly have their problems and I'd say a 6/10 is reasonable. I think the reviews of SA2 were fair. But for some reason SA1 got this appraisal of being a completely broken mess. And sorry it just isn't. I'm tired of entertaining that opinion nowadays. I don't really know why this exaggeration started. I do think popular YouTube critics had a role in shaping popular opinion, even if just a small one, but it was a clearly transparent problem. The previous reception of SA DX being a sub par and obsolete game probably also didnt help. And Sonic Teams own embarrasing handling of the series at this time made the series even more of a mockery. As much as I'm an IGN defender, their review of SA1 and general appraisal of Sonic during this time was atrocious. Culminating in their absolutely embarrassing video that Sonic was never good. I think they said the silent part out loud, and as much as Egoraptor was annoying he was at least open in largely thinking this. IGN are much fairer on Sonic now and if anything I'd say they are too positive! Lol! I think there's been a general calming down of reception of Sonic lately. Just because of how nakedly opinionated it was in the late 2010s.
     
  10. What happened to the Adventure games felt like the culmination of many factors; the natural changing of values and cultures over time, Sonic Team's own mishandling of the franchise, and the context the game's were coming out in. The gaming hemisphere changed a lot, between 1999 and 2003, and especially between 2003 and 2010. There's a very big tendency for people to look at games from modern standards, and not in the context they were released in. If you've never played Sonic Adventure or its sequel before, and you picked them up for the first time, 9/10 you are going to see a lot of its mechanics as archaic. It's easy for the older guard to see these games for what they are because we grew up with them and understand the times they were released in.

    By the time the games were released on 7th Generation hardware in the early 2010s, the general perception of Sonic was extremely low. Yes, the effects of 06 were still felt and Sonic Team had yet to really climb out of that hole they dug themselves into yet. Its was all too easy to slander Sonic because it was simply popular thing to do at the time. Yes, the releases of Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 had tons of issues, but they were hardly game-breaking, but that didn't really matter. Sonic was an easy target, so it was simple to just take the game's flaws and exaggerate them.


    Look at it like this; I think we can all agree the Origins versions of the Classics aren't very good, but would it be fair to say that the Classic games are shit now and never were good because of that? No, and if someone tried saying that, they'd be rightfully criticized for it. The Adventure games should get the same courtesy.
     
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  11. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Time for a reality check.

    People look at the positive ratings SA1 had at launch and think the critical consensus was that it was a good game all around. But is that really true? Let's actually look at some of the top publications of the time. Almost every time 1999 reviews talk about SA1's gameplay, IE the level design, control, and camera, they are never very positive.

    Gamespot:
    IGN:
    Game Revolution:
    Next Generation:
    Arcade:
    Even the UK's Official Dreamcast Magazine, which you'd expect to have nothing but a glorified ad in place of a review, can't help but point out that the core gameplay can be frustrating:
    This isn't even counting other flaws they mention, like the voice acting, or how the game sometimes plays itself, and even the soundtrack was hated by some. That isn't to say all of the reviews are like this; some publications really are entirely positive. But even among the most glowing reviews, they all focus on three things: the variety of things to do, the sense of speed, and the cutting-edge visuals. All of these things were brand new in 1999; not so much in 2003. By 2003, when games like GTA: Vice City were hot, the platformer scene was dominated by Jak, Ratchet, and Sly, and SA1's sense of speed was dwarfed by SA2 while Heroes was on the horizon, what SA1 had to offer wasn't as impressive anymore, and its flaws were suddenly a lot harder to ignore. So even if DX had been an absolutely perfect port with no flaws, it would not have helped SA1's review scores much. I'm confident about this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2024
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  12. Laura

    Laura

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    The point isn't that SA1 and SA2 are perfect games and were seen as such. They weren't. They aren't near perfect. But they are at least decent and not utterly broken messes.
     
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  13. Qjimbo

    Qjimbo

    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    Kind of reminds me of Star Wars, the prequels still had George Lucas, similar to how Adventure 1 & 2 still had Yuji Naka. But they weren't to everyone's liking at the time. But in hindsight maybe they should be valued because they weren't completely corporatized and still had some soul at that point.
     
  14. Now granted, you can argue that if the Adventure games were truly good, they'd stand the test of time better like contemporaries Mario 64 and OoT.

    But I think something important to note is that Nintendo were always innovating and building off what 64 and OoT established. It wasn't always good, but there was a level of consistency that helped people stay familiar and recognize the small improvements in each game.

    Sega were doing the exact opposite and essentially just flying by the seat of their pants and experimenting with various gimmicks to see what stuck. Made for a very uneven gaming experience, especially if you were more familiar with the 2D games, which were all pretty consistent with each other. Very love it or hate it for Sonic games at that time.

    Sonic games weren't necessarily bad, just extremely different and kind of an acquired taste, for better or worse.
     
  15. Jaxer

    Jaxer

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    Oh my fucking god, we're still doing this?
     
  16. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    If you can accept that a 6/10 for SA1 is a fair rating, then you also need to accept that there are going to be opinions that the game is a mess and/or flat out sucks. We're not talking about a groundbreaking classic that consistently gets 10/10 scores across the board, like Breath of the Wild or Resident Evil 4. If you said those games sucked ass, then yeah, that'd be a little absurd and I could question your taste in video games. But it's perfectly fair for someone to have an irritating experience with SA1 and not think it's a good game, as plenty of players have been having those kinds of experiences for 25 years.

    I'm tired of Sonic fans not being able to accept other people's opinions. They want to believe that 3D Sonic games exist in this niche where only the "true believers" understand. That anyone who doesn't love these games just needs to shut up and accept that a game like SA1 isn't bad, it's just "different", and that it just isn't "for" them. They talk about how everyone throws stereotypes at Sonic fans, while hypocritically throwing stereotypes at anyone who doesn't like a certain game, like "oh, you must've seen that one IGN review". They want to believe that no one can dislike these games and understand their appeal at the same time. Impossible.

    Sonic Adventure is not some two-bit indie game. It was never intended to appeal only to a niche hardcore audience. It was meant to light the world on fire with mass appeal the same way Mario did with its first 3D outing. That's the whole point of a killer app, and a system seller. That's what the entire Sonic franchise was meant to be since day one of its inception. And 1999 reviews make it clear that SA1 only did that on the visual side of things. Once its spectacle was taken away, as the years passed, it became clear that no matter what you think of Sonic, SA1 failed at what it was trying to be. It never had that mass market appeal Sega wanted, and it was never going to. SA2 is a much more focused, polished video game, even if its skill ceiling technically isn't as high and even if many of SA1's flaws still haven't been addressed much.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2024
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  17. Qjimbo

    Qjimbo

    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    In a thread called "Unpopular Sonic Opinions", sure.
     
  18. This a bit of an extreme opinion, even if I would agree that Sonic Adventure is a 6/10 even in the context it came out. Never blame the fans for what ultimately falls onto the developers. Like yea, I hate how annoying Sonic fans can be too, but the fact of the matter is that quality or not, Sonic Adventure holds a special place in the hearts of the people who came up with it. And even Sega still hold it in high regard, because its influence is still felt in the franchise to this day.

    That being said, yea I really wish people would stop treating Sonic like a Triple A franchise in the same league as Mario or Zelda when it's so clearly not. I don't think the series anywhere near as much scrutiny if it didn't have the legacy it had from the 90s as a competitor towards Mario and Nintendo, because that sets up a huge amount of expectations that this franchise clearly cannot live up to, but people still expect to this day.


    There's never going to be a Sonic game on the same level as Super Mario Odyssey or Breath of the Wild/Tears of the Kingdom, and I feel like this franchise would be in a much healthier place if people didn't expect that. But this is the hole the Western marketing dug itself into.
     
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  19. Antheraea

    Antheraea

    Bug Hunter Member
    legit I'm not even sure if this ideal is possible for Sonic-as-we-know it, in part because Odyssey but especially BOTW/TOTK themselves had changed a lot from prior games to make their concepts work. Making a Sonic game as groundbreaking as these games would involve a similarly drastic change of concepts and gameplay loops, which of course would make people mad ahahahah
     
  20. Mario Odyssey and BOTW exist as they do, both as callbacks to earlier iterations of the series, but also as deliberate subversions of what they had built up to that point. Not to mention, both franchises had the goodwill to get away with it, AND the games are still considered good despite it.


    Sonic has not had a consistent identity for decades at this point and it's constantly changing itself to chase trends and please whatever audience Sega is aiming for. And that's just on top of the team simply being incapable of producing a consistent string of quality games.