What is it about SEGA...

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Lostgame, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. Wildcat

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    That's what I wanted to touch on.

    I think people are judging the more recent stuff based on the Adventures/Heroes/Unleashed/06 format. Yes those games were larger scale games with multiple characters and whatnot. Really though the original Genesis games were not like that either (I know 3K was meant to be 1 big thing). Of course the technology was a factor but they were actually more straightforward. I think they've just gone back to a more simplified format.

    Personally the only problem I have with more recent games are the length. Forces being noticeably shorter than normal. I think Lost World did a good job with that. Seemed to have a nice assortment and balance. I don't think the Avatars were "stuffing" the game though. They fit alright.

    Even Sonic Mania is not a "large scale" game. The main game is very much in line with the Genesis era. Which is a good thing. It just it does not bother people here because it's a throwback game and I guess it can get away with it being 2D.

    Will they take 3D Sonic back to those big scale...look at all the stuff we included...days? Maybe. Its ok if some prefer that but saying they've downgraded it into a kids series is wrong imo.
     
  2. big smile

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    The problem with an avatar system is that it requires so many assets to be made to work. They'd have been much better dropping the modeling artists they had for making all those assets and redirecting the money spent on that to having more level designers.

    Plus, they had to differentiate the avatar from Classic and Modern Sonic, which again eats up resources. Although I had fun with the avatar, it wasn't an unmissable part of the game. I'd have much rather they just dropped the avatar altogether (and maybe Classic Sonic as well) and focus their efforts on Modern Sonic, just like they did for Colors.
     
  3. Wildcat

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    Oh. Well considering how short it is I do not think that would have made much difference. They definitely should have been able to do both. A decent length and Avatars.

    Even the options were limited for them. Which is ok being the first time. I hope they include more species if they bring them back. How bat and fox were not choices surprises me. Echidnas too but I guess they wanted to keep in line with Knuckles being the last.
     
  4. big smile

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    Also, another big difference between Classic and post-classic games is development costs. Making animated 2D sprites for SD displays probably is less work than making animated 3D models for HD 4K screens. And in the classic era, they didn’t have to spend money on things like voice actors or orchestral quality music.
    Plus in the Classic era, they were only writing for one console. Now Sonic is multi-platform, so that means more time spent debugging and less scope to optimize the code to get the most out of the individual hardware.

    Sonic games also seem to get discounted at a much faster rate than they used to back in the day.

    So basically, the revenue seems to be falling, but the work is going up and up, so it's no wonder the quality has suffered. Again, that's why Sega need to slim down the feature list. Less really is more.
     
  5. Fadaway

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    I may be in the minority here but I don't consider Sonic kissing a human to be a major fault. I actually thought the scrapped idea of Sonic having a human love interest named Madonna sounds pretty cool. If Roger Rabbit was into a human woman, why can't Sonic? Just saying. Sonic '06 has a ton of problems but I'm not miffed about a human love interest at all. I do think the way it played out with Sonic dying and being brought back to life was cringe worthy as fuck (way too overdramatic for a game about an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog) but the the hedgehog-human relationship sounds weird and irreverent enough to fit right into the series'lore. I mainly have a problem with 3D Sonic titles in general. Boost gameplay, homing attacks, etc. I think the concept is broken and Sonic '06 was the nadir of it all.
     
  6. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    While I'd be the first to say there's no contest between classic and modern games because everything run better on 123KCD, there's stuff in SA2 no classic game could give me, and I'm actually eager for more of that now that I've had Mania. We went from 2D to 3D and that means a lot more than just adding a dimension in every aspect of game development, but it's also true 3D games haven't innovated the industry of their time as much as the classic games. Before I start going around in circles, what I want to say is we must judge each game individually considering what was going on at the time they were developed and released.

    Of course there's someone or something somewhere within Sega making the games go worse than they should, but then we have the opposite case of Nintendo doing stuff right but forbidding any fandom activity as if they ruled them instead of being ruled by them through sales. Nintendo seems to think fans should buy their games just because they're making and selling them, while Sega does this thing of throwing something and check out if it sticks, not worrying too much as long as it sticks enough to give profit. Different approaches, but the results are the same: companies trying to ensure money out from what they do, customers being important only if enough of them stop paying. And don't forget companies that work like shit are everywhere and still not bankrupting, Sega probably isn't that bad if this only happens to them with Sonic.

    What I really think it's wrong with Sonic games is the people behind them are quite confused on what they should do with them because there's to much to pay attention for and circumstances don't seem the best to stop for a moment, breathe and think thoroughly on what really needs to change. If you ask me, the abundance of buttons used in Lost World and their arrangement in the controller is a clear sign of this: they could have put the same controls in less and better placed buttons, and the game would have improved a lot just with that. Configuring the gamepad differently wouldn't have taken more time and effort, but they're so used to rush things and patch everything on the go, they probably don't know how to work properly anymore. And it's not their fault, it's how they learned to work in those circumstances. This hiatus we've had since 2017 makes people optimistic because, if the statement of Mania making them rethink their methods is true, said hiatus is meant to be that time to breathe.
     
  7. Dek Rollins

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    As a younger fan I'm gonna say that there have been very few good mainline Sonic games since SA2. In fact, Heroes is probably the only one since SA2 that I really even like (aside from Mania, which I'm very conflicted on, and probably shouldn't be considered a mainline game).

    I still don't understand why everyone gets so pissy about comparing fangames and fan made demos to Sonic Team's games. The fact that most fangames are incomplete or are single-stage tech demos doesn't matter. When people say "fans do better than Sonic Team" they're usually talking about concept and potential, along with the distinction that they're amateurs working in their spare time. Yes, we all know that a fangame isn't gonna be a complete professional quality product. That's freaking obvious. If I see a single-stage fan made demo that controls better than any official Sonic Team game from the past fifteen years, and has level design that is conceptually strong and has loads of potential if refined, then I'm going to wonder why Sonic Team, the professional dev team who are responsible for "real" Sonic games, can't do better.
     
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  8. Yeah, when I see an impressive fan game, I'm not thinking, "Sega should release this exact game, exactly the way it is," I'm thinking, "Why can't Sega make something fresh and creative like this?" The feeling is that we would get better Sonic games if they recruited some fan game creators and gave them a budget and some support, and well, Sonic Mania is basically that. For that matter, Freedom Planet and Spark the Electric Jester are also basically that.

    Frankly, there are a lot of indie developers releasing inventive new platformer games all the time that Sega could commission to make a Sonic game as well. I think there's a general sense that there are a ton of people besides Sonic Team and Dimps who could be developing these games and giving us something new and potentially great rather than giving us something predictably mediocre. They don't have to be better than S3&K, just better than what we've gotten since then, which isn't an unrealistic bar to set.
     
  9. Black Squirrel

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    Core members. A good chunk of the process (audio, the CG movies, motion capture etc.) was outsourced, and much was already produced in the original Sonic Adventure.

    For 2000 that's probably not an unreasonable team size for Sega for the average Dreamcast game, but I guess the argument is whether Sonic Adventure 2 should have been treated as "average".


    I was going to say a sequel might not generate many new Dreamcast owners, because if you were keen on Sonic, you'd have already bought the system, but the argument falls down when you consider Sonic 2 might have sold more Mega Drives than Sonic 1. I don't think it has anything to do with market pull-outs though - the project would have started in 1999 or early 2000.
     
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  10. Frostav

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    The reason is that a lot of modern Sonic fans have staked their fandom on the idea that Boost Sonic was the best we could get. That Sonic Team wasn't using it as a crutch, but that it was the best 3D Sonic gameplay formula possible and everyone should just shut up and take it. That means that all these 3D fangames that are very clearly not using the Boost style, but instead using other styles, are a borderline threat to their psyches--because if these other formulas, from the Bumper Engine to Sonic Utopia to Sonic Robo Blast 2 to Sonic Project Hero, prove themselves to be far stronger frameworks than Boost Sonic, then the whole "Sonic Team is doing the best they can guys! Stop being mean" argument completely falls on its ass.

    So they moved from "Boost Sonic is the only workable 3D Sonic formula" to "well, there's no fangames with REAL levels, these new fan-created gameplay formulas can't support a whole level".

    And if you go check out the various Sonic youtubers that cover fangames and mods, you'll see that on the videos of fangames with actual levels, the goalposts have shifted once more to "well, that looks really dumb because you can use the physics to skip too much stuff and levels are too wide open and confusing omg stop being mean to Sonic Team!11!!1 >:C"

    And when these fangames get more levels and get finished, the goalposts will move once more--until they can't move anymore.
     
  11. LucasMadword

    LucasMadword

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    Or... just maybe... some people actually really enjoy that style of gameplay? The Sonic fanbase is not a hivemind, they don't have to like the same gameplay style that you like. Some people enjoy when the boost formula is at it's best, and want to see that fleshed out. It's clear there is a fair bit of potential of that style that hasn't been tapped into, so of course people want to see more of that style, a style proven to work with games like Unleashed, Colours and Generations. There's untapped potential there, so people want to see the best that it can offer.

    This is a fairly poor characterization of the people saying that, to be honest, it's a strawman argument. Nobody at all is saying that Boost Sonic is the only way that it can be implemented. What people *are* saying is that a tech demo is fairly different from a fully-fledged game, which is true, and until a few levels have been fleshed out, you cannot tell whether it will create a cohesive experience overall.

    The whole "levels are too open" is a completely different argument, which *is* a valid critique, based on what people actually want from the game. I personally do prefer the more open style of Sonic Utopia (where you don't have to hit enemies, but if you have quick reflexes you can work them into your route to maintain momentum), but that doesn't mean that will be everyone's cup of tea, so to lump everyone who says the former argument with the latter, that's just mischaracterizing people's actual opinions, and doesn't help the actual discussion at all.

    The fact is, Sonic is a lot of different things. Fangames will, and always will have, a tonne of potential. And, it would do SEGA some good to take some inspiration from some of the concepts in those fangames. However, to try and pretend that the arguments critiquing those fangames have no merit, that completely misses the point. And to lump those people in with the same people who just want to see their favourite variant of Sonic return, that completely misses the point too.
     
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  12. I feel like there's two sides to this debate; while it's true that fangames have much more unique and interesting concepts than official Sega games, something we're ignoring is that Sega is a billion dollar corporation. They're not just selling a product to you or me, they're selling to millions of people, most of which are not Sonic fans. Fan game developers have the luxury of creating whatever the hell they want, because they're not trying to sell a product, they're just doing a thing they thought was cool.

    It feels like fans who have grown cynical towards the franchise have somewhat convinced themselves that Sega is intentionally screwing the franchise over, when the reality is probably they're just at a loss on what to actually do. It's not just a simple case of "Just do X" as many assume, because we know there's tons of troubled development within these games, and anyone who knows Sega's history should be aware that they do not make the most business savvy decisions. It's less malice or apathy, and more just mismanagement and poor decision making. That doesn't really improve the state of the franchise if you aren't fond of it, I'm just trying to explain the situation.

    Lastly, the fact of the matter is that Sonic has been around for almost three decades and a lot of us are older now and kind of set in our ways; we want what we want, and aren't willing to compromise. In other words, we've become boomers :V In all seriousness though, it's just how long running franchises like these work; at some point, they are going to shift in a direction that you aren't going to like, and you have to make a decision to stick with it in hopes of returning to the things that you liked, or just accepting this new direction regardless of how you feel.

    Fan games are appealing because like-minded fans are making things specifically catered to your tastes, you start internalizing "The franchise would be much better if THESE guys were in-charge" but that's just confirmation bias. You liked it, so of course it has to be good right? But that kind of ignores the fact that not everyone is going to like what you like. Despite how much Twitter loves to complain how terrible the franchise is now, I'm almost certain there are plenty of younger fans who have no issues with the series as it is, and are wondering why a bunch of grown adults are throwing fits about it. And I can guarantee you that we will be hearing from those fans in about five to ten years from now when they're old enough to use social media like the Adventure fanbase are right now.
     
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  13. SystemsReady

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    Fangames have:
    • infinite time
    • people who do it for fun (so no salaries)
    • no higher management
    • and are often producing on provided tools for PC.

    Sonic Team has:
    • limited time because games are expected to come out within a few years
    • a budget they need to adhere to, so they can't hire too many people or take too much time
    • higher management that can do things like split your team mid-development multiple times to work on other games or just...throw them halfway across the world, insist that your game cannot be delayed for polish, mandate certain characters or aesthetics to sell better
    • and are often making their own engines, which takes time, money, and manpower, or using other people's engines such as Havok, with varying degrees of documentation or ease of integration into their own, custom, existing engines, for a variety of consoles with different architectures and behaviors;
    • and if you take too long to make it (see: Persona 5) you have to support the new ones coming out with all that would entail, including: lack of documentation due to newness or language (which was a thing in the early PS1 days), different architecture that can mess with how your existing code works, licensing and money for that, terms for the other engines you're already using that might not cover that, plus also manpower and time for polish, which could've been spent on the "original" set of releases that you meant to release
     
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  14. Frostav

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    Those excuses are getting thinner and thinner with each game. At some point, Sonic Team has to be brought to task about their catastrophic inability to create a core gameplay formula that doesn't have to be intubated with life support gimmicks to barely hobble around, much less do well.
     
  15. Beamer the Meep

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    This is something I touched on a while back in the continuity thread as an explanation for certain things. It does really seem as though higher management has repeatedly interfered with what Izuka and Sonic Team try to do and it's been backfiring.

    I think this is honestly where the problems are stemming from. Sega management, be it Sonic Team themselves or the higher ups at Sega Sammy (which I believe is more likely), have been making bad decisions. They've shot themselves so many times in the foot that they're not even sure how to stop the bleeding much less reattach the foot. I think Forces in particular just didn't have the resources it needed (be it time or manpower) and that's a problem that lies with management.
     
  16. SuperSnoopy

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    Yeah, just wait for the day when these awesome fangames are magically gonna get finished and be better than official Sonic games. We'll see who'll be laughing then!
    Except it's been 20 years and it has yet to happen... but keep holding on to that hope, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  17. Crasher

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    Do people not think Sonic: Before the Sequel and After the Sequel are any good now? And Chrono Adventure?
     
  18. DigitalDuck

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    I thought Unleashed, Colours, and Generations were really, really good.
     
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  19. MH MD

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    They are really good and i like them, but they are not Mania good, it just shows that official professional involvement from large companies make the difference, even for thing some people deem as "official fan-game"
     
  20. Vanishing Vision

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    Same. I would initially hesitate to group Unleashed with the other two because of the night stages (mostly problems with how they're executed, not the idea of the Werehog gameplay itself), but the environmental detail, level design, and sheer adrenaline of the day stages shines through, and I've been having a lot of fun going back to it recently.