What is it about SEGA...

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

  1. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    Nobody wants Forces to be the future of the series, and IMO Sonic GT and Encore are better directions for the series than any implementation of boost. But, GT and Utopia definitely make Sonic's ability to maintain airtime way more exploitable than it was in the classic games most of the time. Containing the physics a little and allowing various kinds of levels to take advantage of the 3D space, while also being able to keep the level design contained in scale, without it being absurdly easy to take massive advantage of those physics, would be a good thing. I think that being able to take advantage of the physics and terrain is an important part of the classic games, but making it absurdly and easily exploitable isn't a very good thing.
     
  2. Frostav

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    Every single boost game--yes, that includes the airquotes "good" ones--were indeed linear hallways devoid of any real platforming (outside of Color's blocky platforming but that game was 98% 2D anyway) outside of shoehorned 2D sections.

    it is 2020 and SRB2 exists, we can stop pretending Boost Sonic was like, actually good now
     
  3. MH MD

    MH MD

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    [​IMG]

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    Look at all that 2D linear hallways devoid of any platforming :V
     
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  4. Lostgame

    Lostgame

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    That was not my point.

    Once again; I feel the need to be *extremely* clear; here - I am not necessarily criticizing SEGA's efforts so much as...well, comparing them to what this community to produces in their spare time, it's straight-up embarrassing what SEGA actually ends up releasing.

    I posted a screenshot from Sonic 4 that demonstrates the exact opposite of the GIFs you posted - broken physics beyond what we're seeing in any serious fan game, for time. It's embarassing.

    And again; my other point of over-reliance on gimmicks and the ignorance of the existing successful formulae is my other real complaint.

    I am not critiquing recent; or 3D Sonic games in general. I am lambasting SEGA for its continual apparent need to keep going towards a light like a bug in terms of this weird quick release schedule that robs the titles of their potential quality. They've done it for *decades*. It's nothing new. It's the reason Sonic 3 is two games. We *know they do this*. The downfall of the quality of Sonic games is not in question. It's as solidly documented as the downfall of the Simpsons. I surely would not be the only one to say this is definitively a fact, if you observe general ratings over time for both series.

    I...I just feel like I'm being strongly misinterpreted by some people here, or accused of posting just another 'Sonic sucks now'/'jaded oldbie' thread. It's not like that. I'm looking at it from a business sense, and wondering why; mostly how SEGA keeps ramming themselves into a wall like an RPG character with bad physics over and over again when the potential to actually take their time and produce at least one quality product to save face has been there the whole time.

    I have read this article that says SEGA has decided to actually take their time, but *this* is where I will be a jaded oldbie and just say 'sonic cycle' and yawn. When I see results like Mania or Adventure 1/2; I'll perk my ears, eyes, and potentially wallet up.

    https://www.sonicstadium.org/2020/0...opment-higher-quality-for-future-sonic-games/
     
  5. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    I have to admit that my perception of Sonic fangames is largely colored by my first experience with them, which was getting Sonic 2 Delta because it was at least decently-regarded here, only to find that its level design is actually really, really terrible. So while Sonic Team messes up, a lot, I feel that the Sonic fandom also has a tendency to praise anyone who makes things that compiles, or looks nice in a video where you Go Fast, as opposed to something that actually feels good. The exception to that being of course, the works and events that led up to Mania (and even then their Sonic 1 hack has levels that are way too goddamned long).

    I would also like to elaborate that the items I mentioned in my last post really do apply to all video games - they are all things that, to some extent, affect all developers and fan projects. AM2R exists because a dude, and then like, a couple of people who later joined on, worked on it for six or seven years nonstop. I highly doubt Nintendo would've tolerated that amount of development time in their own Metroid 2 remake.
     
  6. Lostgame

    Lostgame

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    tbh; yes. I may be overstating the accomplishments of the community, here. Some people are bitching about the level designs of SRB2 - I've always found it brilliant; almost unbelievable in terms of its quality - and certainly unmatched in terms of the experience of what it would actually be like to experience, say; Sonic 2, in 3D; the way Mario made the jump in 64. It's limitations on slopes until (semi) recently, constrained it - but overall it delivered in 2005 the experience I'd wanted from Sega since 1996 and kinda just got to watch Mario fans enjoy while we got Adventure. Which was good; but not really what we were asking for.

    One of the major points is the fact that SEGA can't get the physics right for the life of them, even in 2D; while the fans seem to consistently understand this is one of the most critical points in their creations.

    A one-level tech demo such as Sonic the Hedgehog DVD, Sonic GBA, Sonic 2 HD; etc - is better *de facto* than a POS like the turd SEGA had the audacity to name 'Sonic the Hedgehog 4'. Because they fundamentally work.

    I'd repeat the image of Sonic standing 90º on the side of the loop, because I think that's what makes my point most effectively, but I've already posted it.

    Sonic standing 90º idle on the side of a loop is not the result of any team of programmers worth investing in, and certainly indicates a lack of any possible QA. This is not something that you *can't* see or wouldn't *immediately* catch on to if you had played any of the previous titles.

    It is *not* possible any testing went in to Sonic 4 the way they hired testers for Sonic 2, 3 and K, etc.

    The physics are obviously, ludicrously poor; right off the bat. If anything - if Sonic 4 is supposed to be a direct sequel - they should be *improved* from previous iterations, such as the way Spin Dash improved on Sonic 1, and the shields improved on the physics in Sonic 3. Iteratively.

    This is not to mention the art, which not only so often gave me issues with depth perception; and understanding what was in the foreground or background; but was also some of the most bland, imaginative, and stylistically confused bullshit I've seen in a 2D platformer since Tempo 32x. (sorry, Tempo!)

    I can't...I can't fathom their process. I can't imagine paying these engineers. I can't imagine what management or team divisions exist. If a team of kids in their spare time can literally rewrite assembly code and understand the original routines that made his physics rock; why the *hell* can't these paid engineers do it?

    I can't imagine having such a low level of respect for my work, or my brand; that I would let a game where Sonic stands idle 90º on the side of a loop come out, much less dare to market it under the 'Sonic 4' name just to make a quick buck. (Again, I can reproduce this from a fresh install, off the App Store on my iPhone, and have been able to since release.)

    What kind of lack of self-respect makes people actually sell what they definitely know is a turd to people when they are fully capable of producing quality content?

    Honestly, Sonic 4 was a direct insult to anyone who actually grew up playing 1, 2, 3 and K as they grew up and as they came out. That's...something I could literally write an essay about. I can easily, certainly say I have never before or after been more disappointed by a video game release, or felt such a low move from SEGA. Nothing short of shameful.

    I think the only title worse by a small margin is Sonic Genesis (GBA). Even Sonic Labyrinth is at least just a poor game and not a total insult to the series as a whole.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  7. Andrew75

    Andrew75

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    Omg!! Thank you for reading my mind and turning it into a topic!
     
  8. Lostgame

    Lostgame

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    Thank you, @Andrew75; for your *fantastic* work with Project AXSX, which I have shockingly neglected to mention in this thread so far (genuine apologies; you *seriously* deserve it! EDIT: Added to my first post!) - and your help with XL2(?) on his early Z-Treme Jo-Engine efforts! What a gem XL2 is as well! I kinda wish he'd (they'd?) kept going on with the 'X-Treme' side of his engine, but I am extremely glad he open-sourced it, and I've considered dozens of times building my own little X-treme-ish game off it.

    I am doing some experiments myself with Jo-Engine; I love the Saturn's architecture. Sonic X-Treme was always my favourite...moment...of what Sonic could've been - and likely epitomizes the essence of the inter-company issues that I have been desperately trying to convey here.

    I got my first Genesis in Christmas 93; so I was a SEGA kid. Every once in a while, my parents would let me rent a Saturn from Blockbuster for a weekend; I'd rent NiGHTS and Bug!, but I waited and waited for X-treme and it never came. We literally bought Sonic 3D Blast for the Genesis instead of buying a Saturn at all. I did eventually get a DC, but there was a void that X-treme left, that was never filled - that I think is almost unique to this fanbase. As if Star Wars VI just never came out or something because Lucasfilm couldn't get their shit together. It was unfathomable!

    We're from slightly different periods, I think you kinda came in as I started to phase out of my efforts with Crackers and Chaotix hacking and stuff; but for my years as a lurker until recently I've always monitored your progress with AXSX and I am insanely grateful for your efforts towards X-Treme. You're a gem! <3

    I wish there was a 'love' react, here; because you, sir; are an exemplary piece of this fantastic collage that represents the very talented people who I've been blessed to see in this community. I genuinely hope you find success in whatever ventures you move forward on, personally!

    EDIT: Also; all - I am glad this seems to have been able to turn into a healthy conversation, and not classic or retro fans shitting on each other. We all love Sonic, we're 'all in this together'; and it's honestly our voices that are going to influence the future of where he goes. These kinds of conversations are healthy and fun when constructive, and this community is great at doing that. 'Keep it classy' ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  9. Wildcat

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    Well you’re the only one that seems to be crapping on stuff and stating it as absolute facts. It all still comes off as another “Sonic sucks now” post.

    You can’t wrap your head around anyone enjoying anything after Adventure and fans apparently deserve 100% of the credit for reproducing Genesis physics.

    Ive never played Sonic 4 because I hoped they’d release it on a compilation or something but even if it is that bad I don’t think that matters for 3D Sonic.

    No SRB2s levels are NOT brilliant. They’re room based stages where running is mostly a choice. Utopia and GT are the equivalent of Grand Theft Auto minus the missions and interactive city.

    It’s odd that people complain about boost being automated but praise these 3D fan games where Sonic has the ability to cheat the environment because literally nothing around him matters either way.

    Elements from these wide open stages could probably be used for certain parts of an official game. It depends. A hub world, boss fight, special stage but not the main quest.

    Even Sonic X-treme seem to have some kind of restriction in how you traveled through the stages.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  10. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    See, that's something a lot of people tend to forget about game design: limitation can make things more fun. Now I'm not saying that everything should be automated, there is after all a fine balance, but building a structure in which only certain things can happen creates a challenge that can be engaging. Further, and more relevantly, it allows a developer to control the experience better and actively set up challenges for the player rather than let the player completely break the system.

    Unleashed was all about reacting effectively to the stage and platforming at high speeds and it can be tremendously difficult to a first-time player (I died so often in those daytime stages I kid you not). In order to make that style of gameplay effective and fun, you need to build levels that take advantage of the structure you've set up and present challenges effectively. Colors, Generations to a lesser extent, and Forces did not create level design that effectively utilized this playstyle imo, and essentially broke the system they had created in Unleashed. Be this because of inexperienced level designers (very much so in Forces if no where else) or rushed development, the problem still remains.

    3D Fangames on the other hand, such as GT, Utopia, and Hero, have not effectively created that structure because they try to allow so much freedom. By not restricting what the player can do through level design or moveset, the player can effectively break what little there is of a system. GT's level design, while impressive, can prove too expansive for its own good which results in players getting lost and enemies being sparsely laid out. Utopia, while admittedly more of a tech demo, suffers from similar issues even though much more thought was put into the expansive level design and I would say this is also due to sparse enemy placement. I believe the reasoning in both fangames is to give the player a greater sense of control over movement and momentum, but it can really come at the expense of good level design. 2D fangames don't suffer as much for this simply because it's easier to control an experience in 2D than 3D, especially for open world games which requires a masterclass of level design talent. I do think eventually these games will get there, but we are still in the really early days of 3D sonic fangames and 2D fangames took almost 2 decades to come as close as they have.

    Each have their own problems, their own pros and cons, but I would not say that either has fully figured out 3D Sonic. Sega hasn't because of their corporate structure and culture which I've already talked about, and fangames due to their inability to create solid game structures or level design yet. I think Sega's also too focused on trying to please every single fan of their franchise that they're too scared to stick to just one thing out of fear of another sonic 06, and maybe fangames have contributed to that with everyone saying "Sega needs to do this".
     
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  11. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    Just curious, but is there a reason you keep bringing up Robo Blast 2?

    I mean, yes, it IS 2020 and SRB2 existed before the boost games, it existed before '06, and it existed before Heroes. Hell, depending on what month in 1998 it first came out it came out before Adventure officially released.

    I'm just not sure what you're trying to get at.
     
  12. Wildcat

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    Ha, I typed phrase instead of praise. Fixed it.

    Anyway ya there needs to be some kinda of limit otherwise it's pointless. It'd be like using Super Sonic for the entirety of 2/3K/Mania.

    I know I should not be contributing because you can pretty much always tell when something is being done on purpose. I'm usually very good at leaving such stuff alone but I'm tired of the same Sonic complaints. Plus this all over the place. Time to bring up Sonic Genesis GBA Sonic Advance series. Mortal Kombat also had a bad GBA port.
     
  13. Trying to point at it as if it has the answers to how Sonic should work in 3D, I assume. But even then while I get the sentiment, I still don't agree.

    SRB2 is a very good 3D fangame (if not the best out there), but it's level design in the later stages is severely held back by it's excessive amounts of pits and labyrinthine layouts.

    It also only recently started considering how it should play for anyone not using mouse+keyboard (something it probably should've been doing long ago if it wanted to set any example), and is still clinging to a move that is antithetical to the entire premise of a 'momentum based platformer' (the thok). Not even to mention the game is incapable of loops and other inversions.. which I mean, I don't mind for what it is, but if we're talking about ideals.

    Point is that SRB2 is also not quite "there", or at the very least not much moreso than other attempts.
     
  14. VisibleConfusion2.jpg
    Don't get me wrong - SRB2 is good - but after playing it a few times it is honestly one of the last things I'd want an official Sonic game to be. It just... doesn't feel all that much like Sonic.

    also Boost Sonic will always be good :specialed:
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  15. LucasMadword

    LucasMadword

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    I thought the whole reason people like Sonic fangames is because of the potential they hold, same as the reason people want to remake Sonic 06 because of all it's wasted potential by the mismanagement.... So why can't we look at Boost Sonic in the same way? It's just a silly argument, Boost Sonic has it's upsides and drawbacks, just like any other style, so to pretend as if it doesn't have any merit whatsoever is reductive to the conversation.

    Besides, it's clear now Lostgame isn't talking about how any particular gameplay style is better than one another, but mismanagement at SEGA causes issues throughout their product stack of Sonic games.

    That being said, I do feel as if most of the issues that comes down to physics in Sonic Team's attempts to recreate Classic Sonic aren't really valid. If Sonic 4 wasn't intended to be a mainline game, then that explains a lot of it's issues. That explains the homing attack, to streamline gameplay on a mobile device. It also would explain why they weren't intending on replicating the physics entirely, if that wasn't their intent. Then if we look at Sonic Generations or Sonic Forces Classic Sonic, the former wasn't intended to be exactly the same (because it still had to fit within the style the rest of Sonic Generations had), and the latter was based off of Generations (to me it feels like it was mandated by management to tie in with Mania, so it was just shoehorned in). The way you word it makes it seem as if Sonic Team *couldn't* remake the physics, which they most definitely could if they wanted to... but they haven't wanted/needed to perfect the physics, so they just haven't.

    I just feel as though the problem SEGA has is a team who are burned out, with mandates to shoehorn in content. Green Hill sells, so shove that in. Classic Sonic sells, so shove that in. We have Lost World assets, so shove him in as a boss-fight. That worm thing, shove that in Green Hill to reuse assets.

    The benefit the community has is there's nobody to tell you what you have to make, or what you have to put in, or a certain timeframe to make the game in, other than yourself. You can perfect the physics of the classics, because if that's what you want to make, then you'll do everything you can to make it accurate. But when you're Sonic Team, with a million and one requirements by management, some appearing near the end of development, you have to make the best of what you can do.

    That's my theory as to why Classic Sonic is always so poorly implemented; Sonic 4 wasn't supposed to be a sequel and was supposed to stand by itself (still doesn't excuse some bugs, mind you), Generations was supposed to fit with the rest of the game and possibly rushed, and Forces was just forced into the game end of the development cycle. Remove management issues, and Sonic 4 with a bit more dev time would be the spiritual sequel to something like Advance or Rush series, Sonic Generations could have had more time to balance the physics, and Forces just wouldn't have Classic in it ;)
     
  16. Pengi

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    Exactly. Without constraints (rules) there is no game.

    The 3D segments of Sonic Unleashed/Colours/Generations/Forces are essentially platformer/racing game hybrids - running down roads, avoiding hazards on those roads, accelerating at the right time, drifting around corners etc. This is combined with rhythm game style fast reactions and timing with the rails and homing attack. The 2D segments are where most of the traditional platforming comes into play, the precision and navigation stuff that can't really be done in a high speed racing game. But because 2D Sonic has to move and feel consistent with 3D Sonic, those segments feel compromised, so unnecessary things like the homing attack are maintained while 2D Sonic trademarks like rolling into a ball are absent. It's a perfectly valid (and unique) approach to a video game about a character who runs fast, but it's understandable why it doesn't scratch the itch for people who want a true platform game.

    A lot of 3D Sonic fan games try to take the racing game ultra high speed of Sonic Unleashed (with the addition of rolling into a ball), but put into huge open Breath of the Wild style worlds. Sometimes these open worlds will have micro-level platform challenges, but Sonic is navigating the environment on a macro-level, so the end result is like playing Mario 64 with turbo speed and moon jump GameShark codes, but with a camera that wobbles with every bump in the road. The addition of the ball rolling physics is made moot, since Sonic is rarely interacting with ramps and half-pipes on a micro-level the way you would in a Tony Hawk game (or the Mega Drive Sonic games). The end result is something very unlike a 3D version of Spring Yard Zone or Collision Chaos.

    Basically, it all ends up incongruous, not fit for purpose.

    Each time a new one comes along I'm more and more convinced that the best way to do a 3D interpretation of a traditional style Sonic platform game would be to slow Sonic down and take a fixed camera Super Mario 3D World obstacle course approach. Platforming would become more of a focus and the game would no longer have to be reliant on the homing attack, making Knuckles, Tails and Amy viable characters again (Super Mario 3D World already shows exactly how Knuckles' climbing would function and lead to alternate routes).

    Sonic DVD fundamentally works because it's a mod of Sonic Mania. The team intends to use their own engine eventually, but as far as I'm aware that engine hasn't been shown off yet.

    Do QA testers even do this?

    It was my understanding that video game QA testers reported bugs and glitches, not "back to the drawing board" stuff like crappy physics and game mechanics.

    Going by memory, Sonic 3 was far buggier than Sonic 4. It just also happened to be a significantly better game.
     
  17. Sid Starkiller

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    Hang on a fucking minute here. How come you're allowed to shit on the boost games, but when I called Adventure 2 anything less than an 11/10 masterpiece you threw a fucking temper tantrum? Double standards much?
     
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  18. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    Generations is the best of the boost formula and arguably one of the best 3D Sonic games, so no I'm not gonna IGN and be like "boost formula was never good".
     
  19. MH MD

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    Of course it wasn't your point, cause i was not replying to you here, sorry for confusion! i have no problem with your thread or what you are saying
     
  20. Mana

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    After watching the Console Wars documentary it's pretty clear to me Sega of Japan has never really had a good idea of what they were doing in the console/gaming industry and it for sure has effects we feel now.

    The pettiness between Sega of Japan and Sega of America literally killed their consoles and it's effects on Sonic are rather obvious too. It's telling that most Sonic media that comes out is Western, especially the ones with positive reception. This is even with the classics. 2 and 3 and Knuckles were produced right here in the States (ableit with a Japanese only team on 3 and K so the other teams could work on the spin offs).

    It's also why I don't think we'll see a Mania 2 until Sonic Team in Japan is able to produce a Sonic game with a similar reception. They hate being one upped by an American team and they'd rather sabotage everything than live with it.