Why doesn't Sega ever port Sonic Unleashed to the PC?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by John Chrysler, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. Blue Blood

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    Full agreement with everything you say about context sensitive moves, no question. And the same thing about the gameplay too... kind of. I think it was smart of SEGA to push forwards with a gameplay style more reminiscent of the very well received 2D Sonic Rush. It was something of a reinvention that the series needed to get people's attention. But they undermined their own efforts with the Werehog as I said before.

    The drift in Unleashed was poorly utilised within the level design and didn't control well either. We're all familiar with the unfairly difficult drifting mini level in Savannah Citadel and that egregious turn in Skyscraper Scamper. That's the only thing I'll say that Generations really has over it in terms of control though. Sonic's walking/running movements in Generations are so stiff and awkward. Better than Colours, a million times better than Forces and less slippery than Unleashed, but inferior to Unleashed on the whole.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2021
  2. Dark Sonic

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    I'm guessing they made Sonic stiffer in Generations because there wasn't as much need for 3d movement with the removal of the Unleashed hubs. Also that way you wouldn't veer off course as easily.
     
  3. And I remain the only person who liked Unleashed's drift better :p
     
  4. Frostav

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    The thing is, just because you liked something as a kid doesn't mean you HAVE to grow out of it. You never grew out of loving Classic Sonic because it has so much more worth than just being a pointless kid's game. I wish that Sonic Team could see that there was worth to the ideas, ton, and potential of the stuff from 1999-2008. And when I see things like fans or IDW do things with that base, I feel annoyed that ST is just choosing not to, especially when their alternative is a mess.

    Okay, I'll concede that people like Colors, but, like, you can't look at Lost Word, Boom (yes I know SEGA didn't dev it, they still signed off on it) and Forces and think "yeah, this is a proper direction with intent and vision". The classic and adventure eras alike were clearly focused on a particular direction for the series (in the case of adventure, to its eventual detriment, I have no problems admitting) but everything past has been, well, all over the place.

    To tie this into Unleashed: Unleashed feels like the last gasp of the Adventure era for that reason. It has a clear focus. It introduces new ideas and characters. In tone, it isn't trying to respond to any criticisms. Yes, there are no "shitty friends", but I feel that was more ST wanting to cut back and go back to square one. Rather than get rid of humans, Unleashed focuses on them honestly even more than before. It introduces new locations. Colors did too, but they were on another planet and intentionally alien to Sonic's own world, and were mostly Eggman-created amusement parks. Like, the classics gave us stuff like Green Hill, Angel Island, and the Death Egg that the games still use today. The adventure era gave us GUN, the Ark. What have the games past then brought? Honestly nothing--either one-off locations or just reusing old stuff. Colors' worlds are beautiful, but they are narratively entirely vacous and abandoned the moment the game ends. The ARK is an inextricable part of Shadow. Angel Island and the Master Emerald are inextricable parts of Knuckles.

    That's all I'm saying. People like Unleashed because it clearly is Sonic Team trying to do new stuff. Everything past that feels like they just...stopped. At least past Colors, which I will concede has some gorgeous environments and music.

    I think you may wanna check out Snapcube's stream archive of her playing the game because she conceptualizes her similar thoughts in a much less slapdash and messy way than I do at certain points, though I do understand not wanting to watch eighteen hours of stuff for the like half an hour total she speaks on the subject.

    But, about gameplay:


    The drift has always been a really strange and mostly useless ability outside of random sections that need it....of which Generations and Unleashed each have like...five total. At best. I always thought it was a really odd ability, because it basically exists to make up for the fact that Boost Sonic cannot turn at all while boosting, but they also just designed the levels around that, so why is the drift even there? You rarely have to turn to begin with. I know speedruns abuse it though.

    It also feels really jank in both games and somehow in opposite ways, but when it does work, I actually think it's REALLY fun and I wish they had tightened it up a bit and made it an essential ability you use all the time, as much as the homing attack, with lots of twisty bends and the like. Drifting in racing games is almost always a ton of fun, so it's a really missed opportunity that the boost games don't feature all sorts of fun uses for it.
     
  5. Josh

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    Your opinion is yours. But in my mind, a huge part of the issue with Sonic in the years after Yasuhara and Ohshima left, and before Naka left, *was* how inconsistent and all over the place it was. What came out of that time period, right up to Naka quitting during the development of Sonic 06, seems like the inevitable result of Sega burning out Sonic Team on their flagship character. In the Saturn/Dreamcast years, Sonic Team was able to branch out and pursue other projects (NiGHTS, Burning Rangers, PSO). But after Sega went third-party, and more particularly after the Sammy merger, it was non-stop Sonic games cranked out on terribly short dev times.

    SA2 being written by someone who didn't like what Sonic had been, Heroes sanding off all of Sonic's edges, Shadow leaning way too hard in the opposite direction... 06 wasn't even conceptualized as a Sonic game, and was only turned into one when Sega assigned the team to make yet ANOTHER game in their namesake series. The era was full of mechanical dead-ends. The team reinvented the wheel on a game-by-game basis, possibly just to keep things creatively interesting for themselves. An insider put it this way in early 2007: "There’s no doubt that Sonic Team have lost their quality touch. They are worse than talentless: they are without passion. Bored, weary, closed-minded and out of touch with any sense of what makes games good anymore.”

    I've never blamed Naka or anyone else for walking under those conditions. He said he left because he didn't want to just make endless Sonic games forever. I still found a lot to enjoy about some of those games in spite of all this, but taken as a whole, they DO come across to me like they came from an increasingly burnt-out and rushed team, some of whom would really prefer to work on something else.

    This is exactly WHY Unleashed was such a breath of fresh air. For the first time since at least SA2, it felt to me like the dev team actually WANTED to make the game they were making, and actually cared about making a Sonic game. There was a spark behind it that I hadn't seen in ages. To you, Unleashed was the last whisper of your favorite era, but to me, it was a brilliant kick-off to a MUCH-needed new era. (And in a lot of ways, much like SA1 had a foot in the classic era where SA2 didn't, Unleashed was both!)

    And here's the thing: In their own time, the games of the 2000s were spoken of exactly the same way you speak of the series' newer titles: Pointless kids' games, setting aside everything that actually made Sonic good in the first place, abandoning and undermining the potential of the series even as fans like Taxman, Stealth & the Megamix team, Cinossu, ColinC10, MarkeyJester, and countless others proved over and over just how great Sonic COULD be, and just how badly Sega was missing the mark.

    But those games resonated with you guys ANYWAY. You're living proof that despite how many times I heard it back then, Sonic wasn't dead, those games DID have value, and the series DID still matter, even during the most tumultuous times. As much as I might resent the fact that some of you are doing to the 2010s exactly what fans before you did to the 2000s, I'm STILL really glad you're here, shining a light on why you love the things you love, and giving the rest of us the opportunity to see them through your eyes.

    When I say things like, "Y'know, Forces is going to mean every bit as much to kids right now as Unleashed, or SA2, or Sonic 2 meant to us," the reason I say that is BECAUSE of you. I haven't loved every game in the past 10 years, but I know for sure that plenty of people have, and I'm willing to try and see them through a kinder lens. Heck, I know a guy who grew up with Sonic Boom, considers RoL his favorite game in the series, and wishes desperately that THAT universe would come back. And more power to him!

    We've had 20+ years of cynicism. I don't want to be cynical about my favorite series anymore.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  6. raphael_fc

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    I have absolutely no doubt that 15 years from now people will say "Forces had neat ideas, like the Avatar and the Phantom Ruby, and I had a lot of fun blasting through the enemies. Look what we have today? I miss those days!"
     
  7. Crasher

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    The combat was bad when you didn't level it up.

    As you got more moves, the combat starts to open up since you have more combo strings and different moves you can pull off. It really, really shouldn't have been tied to a leveling system, but gated by story progression. I can kinda see what they were going for (encouraging replayability: the concept of locking moves behind a currency has been in the genre since 2005), but the base moveset is pretty boring to play with. You have two combos (light and heavy), you can pick stuff up, do finishers, and that's about it.

    The SD version sidestepped this issue by cutting the move list down heavily, giving it to you from the start (from memory, it's been a while), and making what was there fun to mess around with.
     
  8. Frostav

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    Werehog combat was long, tedious, often required randomized QTE's to finish off bigger enemies, and had absolutely no impact or punch to it. I think the latter is really one massive flaw not many people mention--every attack in that game feels so comically limp and weightless. It's just not satisfying in the way, like, God of War or Metal Gear Rising combat is. In general I think the 3D Sonic games have always suffered from this weightless combat flaw, except MAYBE Shadow and only because guns make you shred through enemies with really satisfying speed. The classic games at least hav that satisfying pop sound effect, bouncing off of enemies, and the speed cut you get when jumping into them from below.

    If the Werehog at least felt satisfying to beat the shit out of enemies with, the night stages would be so much more bearable. The egg robos do have some mildly satisfying clanks and clangs, but the gaia creatures are just these completely boring squishy sacks to beat up.

    I have played games with WAY simpler combat that nonetheless are fun to just mash buttons in because the hits have impact and weight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  9. Wraith

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    Every Sonic game is going to have it's fans I guess, but I think thellarge dreamcast fandom niche caught on for a couple of really specific reasons that modern Sonic doesn't have going for it. There was no consistency or quality at all mechanically but the games were also easy enough that you could just put that stuff in the back of your mind and enjoy the sights and sounds IE the stuff Sonic Team actually did a good job on. That might sound a bit silly to some of you, but once I had someone seriously argue with me that Black Knight's combat was good purely because of how cool the spinning slash animation was I knew certain segments of sonic fandom were worlds apart in priorities.

    A loose sense of an ongoing story along with rapid releases meant that you could just engage with it like a shonen anime. What new, flashy combatant was Sonic going to meet this week? Where would his adventure take him? What insane setpieces and epic battles did we have to look forward to this time? It wasn't a particularly great story, but neither were it's inspirations and they're international successes.


    It's also important to note that Colors is 10 years old. Old enough to get a nostalgic remaster. I've been hearing about how Unleashed is secretly a masterpiece since Colors came out the first time. If more people were going to come and bat for something like SLW I think it would have happened by now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  10. BadBehavior

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    I wonder if Sonic Team are getting similarly burnt out now. Rumor has it that Forces was meant to just be an Avatar game before Sonic was forced in (2 Sonics at that.), maybe Frontiers is a similar story, that theyre making the game open world not because they honesty want to, but because theyre just checking off the box of popular things to get the Sega Suits off of their backs, like the character creator was.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  11. Wraith

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    We'll never know how much of this stuff is Sonic Team and how much of it is SEGA, but Sonic Team has always tried to "innovate" ' shoehorning mechanics from other titles in. "Sonic Generations with a character creator" tracks with that mentality. I actually doubt it was SEGA.
     
  12. John Chrysler

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    Is the reason why SEGA haven't ported Unleashed to the PC is because they lost the source code for the Hedgehog Engiene 1?
     
  13. Roller

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    How would they issue patches for Unleashed to improve the performance/backwards compat if they didn't have the source code? I've seen some patches for outdated programs be hex-edited, but that doesn't particularly track with some of the gains we've seen. It's more likely the ROI isn't seen as worth it when you don't have Microsoft to subsidise or completely cover the development costs..?
     
  14. I missed all of the interesting discussions lol. Something that I think we all need to get used to is that Sonic means something different to so many people. Some focus on the gameplay and mechanics, some focus on the visuals and storytelling, etc etc. You could ask 10 different Sonic fans what the series means to them and you'd likely get 10 different answers. Its a 30 year franchise that has had multiple incarnations and interpretations and each one of them is someone's "ideal" Sonic. I think some of us could stand to be just a bit more open-minded and understand that this series isn't always going to appeal to our specific tastes at any given time. It literally cannot.



    Anyway Unleashed; I honestly have very mixed feelings about it as a video game and as a Sonic game. The things that appeal to me specifically about Sonic (spectacle, the environments, the storytelling) are great, and have sorely been missing from the series.

    But the gameplay can be somewhat naff. Even if I prefer the daytime stages, they are brutal without taking the time to master them, and once you've done that, you're more or less just doing a time attack each time. Werehog is ok, nothing special but it definitely drags the game down in terms of pacing.

    Ita very funny seeing the reactions to this game are just as polarizing in 2021 as they were in 2008 tho lol. It really is a love it or hate it experience.
     
  15. Yash

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    I mean, I felt the same way about Heroes that I did about Forces (didn't hate it, but wasn't impressed and had zero motivation to beat it - in both cases I did during the pandemic, leaving 06 and Lost World the only mainline titles I've never beaten), and there's a ton of nostalgia for Heroes now with people saying it was their favorite game and wishing the newer ones took more inspiration from it. That's subjectivity for you.

    I will say in Forces' defense, there was a point where I was last playing it where I thought "you know, I bet if I was 8 years old I would have thought this was the greatest game ever made," similar to how I felt about say, SA2. Not to defend its quality, I can just understand why it has (or will have) its fans.
     
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  16. Zephyr

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    Just popping in to say that I enjoyed the Daytime stages of the SD version quite a bit. Would be cool to see both versions ported.
     
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  17. AdventureEnjoyer

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    No? I think everyone is forgetting that the game got D-listed alongside 06, Riders Zero Gravity, Secret Rings and Black Knight (due to the review scores on Metacritic)
    You can watch SomeCallMeJohnny's video on Sonic Colors (the 2020 version) I got this from there
     
  18. Sid Starkiller

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    Secret Rings and Black Knight were delisted from what, exactly? They were Wii exclusives, and I don't remember full Wii games being available digitally (especially with that pathetic 1/2 GB of storage space).
     
  19. Josh

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    They weren't, but I believe Sega stopped producing copies for retail. The only one that's been re-listed since is, in fact, Sonic Unleashed. The Xbox 360 version has been available brand-new at Wal-Mart as part of the Xbox "Platinum Hits" for a few years now, and it's also once again available digitally on Xbox platforms.