Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MagnusTheGreen, Apr 21, 2021.
This Kingdom Hearts derail isn't going to serve this thread, so let's just cut that here.
Apologies for the digression. The point I was making though is that a similar build-up of hype could just as easily hurt the Sonic Brand. What's keeping it in check now is the fact that Forces is the last major game we had and we're uncertain if Sega learned from their mistakes or not.
The point I was making is that fandom's can't stand waiting years for games and then they come out as trash. It WILL have an affect on the state of the brand and how people take it into their lives going forward.
It's happened many times before. Stand by this.
The notion of an art style shift is only something I can think of as terrifying, anything potentially new is. While the current inoffensive style is really stale you cant help but feel like they'd start taking aspects from something like the movie if they were to do something new.
Preferably I would like it if they went back and looked at previous iterations of the series art style (classic, adventure) and bring back elements of those that worked but unfortunately it isn't that simple.
I just want the character models replaced with new ones that don't look so ugly.
I don’t understand what people mean by Sonic is stiff or stale. Are people tired of his gameplay animations? The modern models are not ugly. Some really think Modern Sonic is actually ugly?
I’d be fine with a design update if it was like Modern (differences that still work as a progression). Honestly all I would really do is add his fur and textures since consoles are capable of it now.
They must NOT be updating him though since that press release pointed out Modern, Classic and Movie are the 3 primary versions.
I’m sure Sega/Sonic Team is not embarrassed by Mania or its developers. Sega backed it and it just sounds silly imo, they’re not thinking...”Mania made us look bad we shouldn’t have had it made”.
I don’t see why being 3rd party matters. It’s not like Sega’s consoles operated drastically different. I mean they know how to develop for the others. It’s like saying 3rd party games would be better if they were made for their own consoles. That’s a weird theory.
Modern Sonic is pretty ugly, he was cool in 2008 but now its just a pretty bland version of Sonic. Same goes for all the other characters, classic Sonic included. Their models really don't do them justice and you need not look any further than Sonic Forces to notice how unappealing they can be. Not only that but the way they're posed in promotional art and animated in-game isn't interesting or eye catching in the slightest and nothing close to how you would expect these characters to move.
Granted, the boring animation could come down to the fact there's nothing going on in the cutscenes in the games anymore, plot or character wise so there isn't really anything to animate but the point still stands.
But that’s like saying he needs a new look just for the sake of it. Because some people just want a different model to look at. How is it ugly now but not then when it’s the same?
Animations and promo stuff are different. It depends what style or tone you give them not what model of Sonic they use. Some promotional art is repetitive but that’s besides the point.
I remember reading during the DC era how they changed his look a bit because they wanted him to have a more edgy/tough appearance (not the exact words, I don’t remember the quote).
His slimmer body, bigger spikes and “older” look was always cool to me. I know other characters get updates and part of it is that I love Sonic but I’ve always admired his Modern design. As silly as that might sound. It was meaningful...to me anyway.
I understand having a preference but to call them ugly is a different thing.
I was ok with Boom Sonic too. Just think his legs were a little too long. It’s basically Modern with wraps and scarf. If they wanted to touch-up Modern I’d be fine with that.
Sonic has been lacking its characteristic dynamism for a very long time now. This applies to both modeling and animation, to say nothing of world design.
As much as I dislike Unleashed's aesthetic revamp, I can at least respect its intro movie because it understands and honors Sonic's visual nature and appeal, with spectacular locomotion emphasized with judicious use of rubber-hose animation principles like squash-and-stretch. It feels like a direct descendent of Sonic CD's opening, which exemplifies everything Sonic should be capable of. There is even an inherent flow to early Uekawa concept/key art, static though it technically is; there is a suggestion of movement, a fluidity to their composition, and an energy that is just not present in the art direction anymore.
We have yet to see this potential fully realized in a game, but I'd argue we're farther from it than we've ever been. Ugly is perhaps the nicest way I could describe the current bulbous, wooden, soulless model with oblong football halves for feet, distracting brillow-pad textured gloves, and with proportions overall that sand off his edge and stifle his range of motion and facial expression.
It's an unimaginative regression of the character's aesthetic core, and it's poorly realized, even at that. Compare even Sonic Rush's idle animation--which alone communicates Sonic's character and interiority--with Forces, which lacks any idle animation altogether, and it's not hard to see that there simply isn't much care or attention paid to presentation anymore, or at least no understanding of Sonic's inherent aesthetic appeal.
I feel like asking for "both" is asking for two mediocre products, and fretting over a redesign at this point is pointless. You crazy mofos all got Paramount to recognize that faithfulness to source and spirit of the original design is important, and few communities love their small details more than this one. I'd welcome a reinvisioning but only as a modernization of the original design, rather than Adventure times extreme or what Boom did but really strange redesigns kind of feel like normal at this point.
For the game itself I have long held the opinion and will continue to assert that Sonic needs to find a stable identity more than trying to please everyone.
another go with the advance/rush style would be pretty cool I think
just a fully 2d or 2.5d game maybe even with multiple characters with different moves
considering how the homing attack worked in the rush games, a new sonic in this style might have both the drop dash and homing attack in the same moveset
no reason to keep things split up when we could have a fast 2d game with all the sickest movement options
Think some of you are being a little too extreme when using the word "ugly" to describe the current use of CG. Its kind of sending the wrong message.
What I think people mean when they say "ugly", is that the animations and character art have become very lifeless and lacking in character, and its been that way ever since Unleashed.
There's a pic running around that describes the different artstyles and models used and after 2008, its literally the same model used for subsequent years.
So what I, clearly, meant wasn't that they felt Mania was a bad game or something to be ashamed of. They were embarrassed they couldn't put out a game HALF as good with more developers with much more experience.
Have you forgotten that Mania was treated as a side title at first? Forces was the one that got the physical release and even cost more. Them seeing Forces get the reviews it did was probably eye opening and may have given some fire to their behind to make better games.
Embarrassment can come from a place of "wow these people showed me that I could do better and I'm not living up to my full potential." Not just wishing something doesn't exist.
Let me clarify what I said about the modern models being ugly. I quite literally think they look ugly, and they lack the inherent visual appeal the modern designs have in 2D art.
I mean, this is not appealing:
He looks like a frickin' dork. He's proportionally weird, tiny body with legs too long, hands and feet too large. The butt brow looks really ugly, and his whole face looks wonky.
And the thing is, it isn't just Sonic's model, the other characters have problems too. The stiff animation makes it a lot worse than it needs to be, and if the next game is actually fun and has decent animations I can forgive the models, but they still look ugly.
Some of the 3D art has been truly dreadful. I'm always reminded of this:
What the fuck is that?
It's not just that the models have aged as @Blue Blood says (although he's right), it's also that the renders they have made have been bafflingly awful.
Some of the renders in Team Sonic Racing are unspeakably horrendous.
To be honest, I'm fine with either Sonic getting an anniversary title. I really just hope the new title has a strong sense of identity. The "classic" and "modern" identities both seem great to me, and the character designs and premises of both still have insane amounts of appeal. Classic Sonic was extremely marketable and charming, and IMO has the potential to be a legitimate direction for the franchise beyond simply nostalgia pandering. Modern Sonic was a brilliant redesign that translated the late-80s/early-90s charm of the character into the millennium, and while donning gimmicky skate shoes and yelling "woah totally tubular dude" (or similar bastardizations) is no longer cool, it's not like the fundamental tenets that made modern Sonic appealing have fallen out of relevance.
"Modern" Sonic just seems to have lost its sense of identity over the years. Sure, modern games are distinct from Boom games, but each modern game is so distinctly different from the next that IMO a lot of them feel like spinoffs. I'd be SUPER down to get a modern game that really simplifies what made modern Sonic appealing. When I look from an outsider's perspective and I put Shadow the Hedgehog next to Sonic Forces, Sonic Boom doesn't even seem like the AU anymore, and Shadow the Hedgehog doesn't seem like the spinoff. When I put any of those 3 games next to the Storybook games, it's hard to tell which one is a "mainline" modern game. It feels like Sonic is an old cartoon character, back when they would often take a loveable character (ie. Mickey Mouse) and insert them into a bunch of different stories and settings because they're loveable. In one adventure Mickey wields a sword and battles a dark wizard and a hologram of King Arthur, in another adventure Pete pulls out a gun and has a standoff with some aliens and also kills the President and also kills Mickey.... then, in a "mainline" adventure Mickey teams up with a fairy to travel around the world and seal off an ancient demon while also learning to control a curse that turns him into a Weremouse, and in another "mainline" title Mickey meets up with Classic Mickey and a Mickey Deviantart OC and the 3 get waterboarded for months and then somehow just pretend it didn't happen and go save the world together.
It's hard to describe what I mean by this, because the Mario franchise goes all over the place, and that has been super successful for them. But while Sunshine, 3D World, Galaxy, and Odyssey are all wildly different, present different concepts, give Mario their own unique sets of abilities, etc... I don't know... I think the key difference is that, while those games all have separate identities, they are comfortable and confident in their identities. It's not the inconsistency of the timeline or anything that bothers me, it's the fact that none of these premises feel as appealing as pure modern Sonic... be cool, be free, and save the world from a crazy scientist who just wants to pump oil into the ocean, blow up the moon, and imprison animals inside robots for science. And also go fast, of course.
TL;DR: Classic Sonic would be sick because I like the direction they were going and I'd love to see them expand upon that world as an actual direction for the franchise... not just as a gimmick or nostalgia pander. Modern Sonic would be sick because it feels like it's been a while since the series really honed in on what makes modern Sonic appealing. Either way I'd be happy, but I wish they'd have faith that both "versions" of Sonic have the potential to work if you don't water down the initial premise in favor of tacking on some bells and whistles.
Also: I agree the big hands renders are pretty unappealing. The modern design was never bad, but the mascot syndrome is getting REALLY horrendous in a lot of recent incarnations IMO. Another reason why I think they don't necessarily have to abandon the "modern" Sonic, just stop bastardizing it. Advance-style artwork honestly still looks super appealing, and I think that aesthetic could EASILY be adapted into a new artstyle for modern audiences. The big-hands Pixar stuff isn't just out-of-touch, it's getting ugly and being done very, very wrong.
They could absolutely refresh the art style without going the whole DirtyDayunn route. There's plenty of material to draw from in Sonic's past, and the character and main premise of the series seem super flexible. Not to say it would be easy.
I'm going to have to echo the others and make abundantly clear that I was not exaggerating. What I find in these contemporary models and renders is the polar opposite of appeal.
I think Sonic ought to embrace the fact that he was born from classic animation and later informed by graffiti art and street culture, and capitalize on that instead of trudging on with this milquetoast at best, ugly at worst look they seem so committed to. Especially when we've seen games from ArcSys look the way they do, there's really no excuse anymore. A cel-shaded Sonic that's confident in itself and understands its potential could be everything this series needs aesthetically. It could realize the heights of CD and Unleashed's openings by affording Sonic the possibility-space to be as expressive and agentic as he was always meant to be.
This comes from someone who was evangelized to Sonic via CD. So you might understand why I hold Sonic to such a high standard regarding style. There's never been a game that looks like that, such a singular artifact that is so proudly dreamy, vivid, and imaginative that it could have only come from the mind's eye of a visual artist as wonderful as Oshima. It's so distinctly 90's in a way that is fascinating to inhabit and experience. Where has that cutting-edge embrace of zeitgeist gone? The only thing that characterizes the past 15 years of Sonic's style is a distinct lack of one--a very deliberate desire to be unremarkable, inoffensive, merely recognizable.
Please stop laughing at us, please stop writing articles declaring the death of Sonic, we concede, we accept, we give up, etc. It's past pathetic, it's just tired.
How about we move on and accept that the damage is done and now the work has to be rehabilitating the brand to your core constituency, which you've left to splinter, fester, and bicker about green eyes, blue arms, classic, modern, boost, momentum, etc?
I'm so mad. im gonna play Sonic Adventure 2 so i wont be so mad.
Out of all of the things about Sonic's aesthetics that can be described as stale, I think the biggest offender of that is the environment art direction. Not a fan of the super-saturated, artificial look that's been going on since Lost World. Too lacking on details and too much emphasis on plasticine-esque aesthetics. A fair amount of environments have also been very limited in use of colors, with them being built around only one-two color palettes/tones, and very bright colors at that.
It's especially bad when this aesthetic is either mixed in with or forced onto recycled assets / environments that are clearly gunning for a more grounded aesthetic. It makes the production values of the game feel like they were made on a limited budget, for lack of better terms. Which probably wouldn't be too bad if this wasn't a series historically known for being a visual and technical showcase.
I find myself agreeing somewhat with what’s being said here on art direction, but I think most of the issue comes down to how ST hasn’t put effort into animating anyone since 2008. The modern style looks built to be squashed and stretched like Marza’s CGI or rendered with high fidelity like all of Unleashed, but they’ve been pretty averse to making these characters do anything but stand around and do the lamest poses and expressions ever. lmao
As for the environments, I wouldn’t be averse to their direction either if they didn’t spend 90% of the time reusing assets or trying to remind me of something else. The city level in Forces looks cool, for one, but it’s kind of all that game has going for it. The rest is either extremely bland or the same locales we’ve been to in both Gens and Mania.
Basically I’d be down for the high end CG look for Sonic if they had more than $3 and a jazzed up director behind it. But it’s pretty clear they don’t. It’d be better to do more with less and go the stylized route.
Stylization can bring its own problems though. While I think it would be a great direction to go artistically, if Sega isn't willing to put in the work, it's going to be just as bland and hollow as the CG renders have started becoming. Can we really trust Sega to put in the effort to fully realize a stylized art style with Sonic?
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