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  1. There's a lot to respond to, so forgive me if I don't fully address some of the points that you consider the most important. First of all, Lost World and Forces are bad not because they don't match fan expectations (although, it is a very much a valid reason to express distaste for), they're bad because of nonsensical quirks that permeate large parts of these games. For example, I don't like the soundtrack of LW, because its nature completely contradicts what I'm used to expect from Sonic games. But I can't deny that the actual work put into it is high-quality and I won't think that other people's tastes are invalid for liking it. Gameplay direction - same thing: there are plenty of interesting ideas and it's clear that Sonic Team tried to make the game as good as they could. But the implementation failed. Hard. Here's just one example of many. Many people will not normally notice that in Lost World your movement direction affects speed as well, and jumping the wrong way can spazz out the entire screen. For others, however, it means they'll be frustrated over and over due to their individual playstyles failing to conform to what is a completely unintuitive behavior (especially when any other game ever and especially past Sonic games functioned without this behavior just fine), something that can't dismissed as being "bad" at the game or whatever. Want more examples? There are soooooo many videos on YouTube talking about them (I personally recommend RadicalSoda's 3-parter on LW for his comedic style and indepth look). You have to understand that this stuff is not nitpicking. People aren't just different in their tastes or skill levels - they're different in their approaches to playing games, and a competently done game does not discriminate on the basis of that. Forces? Same thing as Lost World, really. It's a game that is not for a lot of people in the Sonic fanbase due to really low level of challenge, but that's not what makes it bad. Ridiculously inconsistent art style (as much as I disliked art style of LW, at least it didn't have hyperrealistic trees and cities alongside LW-esque hills and enemy designs), "walk slowly for a bit and then instantly get top speed" physics that are completely not fit for platforming, literal boost2win sections (which is not a "low level of challenge" problem, it's a "playing the game at all" problem) and many, many more. Saying that Forces was "patterned after" Generations is also simply absurd, because, as far as I'm concerned, you can only come to that conclusion without actually looking at these games' level design sensibilities. "Here's a road, go boost on it" is not a level design sensibility. Diversity of engaging level set pieces that fit the level's aesthetics, as well as the impact the player gets when transitioning from set piece to set piece are just some of the things you have to pay attention to when designing levels. The psychology behind this can be really complex sometimes, putting it into words sometimes might even be near impossible, but it's a very real thing that shapes people's perception of the game as a whole. Of course, by this definition Sonic Adventure would also be a bad game. I fucking LOVE Sonic Adventure, but I can admit that its flaws are very much real, they're something that will annoy the everliving shit of people and they're mostly something that can be addressed without changing what is undeniably good about the game (making them actual flaws and not preference difference). Due to certain circumstances things in SA that appeal to me greatly outweight the negativity that I've received from encountering its issues, but that's just my personal experience and I'll still admit that the game is bad/flawed in the grander context of things. You may not have experienced too many of the flaws when playing LW and Forces, but, regardless of whether you personally liked or hated these games, other people will notice their flaws to a much greater degree, and it's a bad thing. Now, onto other points: 1) Fans shouldn't "take over SEGA" and "professional" does not contradict "fan". "Fan", first and foremost, means understanding what other fans want, and this is why Mania is a success. Another example: Devil May Cry V, made by experienced professionals who also happen to really enjoy their own work. If you have a concern about competence of execution of certain parts of games (like, "people can design good engines, doesn't mean that they can design good levels too"), industry veteran guidance is a thing. Nobody suddenly hires a bunch of rookies to replace veterans - they coexist and they (generally) work together to highlight each other's strengths. "Fans" weren't alone on Mania, and they sure as shit won't be alone if they were to make a new 3D game. 2) That's how brands work. It's only natural that people's expectations are defined by their past experiences, and meeting those expectations is a sign of competent brand management. That doesn't mean you just have to copy-paste every game. It means that every thing you add or change in a new entry has to play on strengths of the things that people have found appealing in the older games, as well as cover the areas in which the games are lacking. Of course people will have preferences and the newest game won't appeal to all the fans, but they won't despise it and the fanbase will not be fragmented as a result. It'll be much more united, positive and calm about personal preferences, in fact. 3) I've already covered the "Forces is just Generations" argument earlier. "Lost World is just Colors" kind of speaks to me, because I can see similarities in level design sensibilities (neither games appeal to me with their level designs, really, but that's besides the point) despite massive core mechanic differences. But other people will see it very differently due to mechanic changes, so it's an extremely subjective assessment. Now, onto "this fanbase complains about things too much". What kind fanbases have you been in? Maybe the general platformer-loving populace is positive (because indies are indies and Nintendo is Nintendo), but it's REALLY not the case for many other kinds of fanbases. Some popular examples: Destiny, Overwatch, Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft, DotA 2. Some more niche examples that I've experienced: Phantasy Star (especially PSO2), Paladins, Quake... Especially Quake. Quake has the kind of community where some people will complain that netcode improvements ruin game balance (NetQuake vs QuakeWorld, CPMA vs OSP) and trying to adjust the balance and physics to them only makes the game more boring (Quake Live is just that to Quake 3, albeit it has its other flaws, and its netcode isn't perfect either). Guess what? It's called "passion", it's because we love that we care so much. People who made these games made them extremely appealing to a specific subset of people, but they don't fully understand why these games are actually appealing to people they're appealing to and why they're so appealing that people will sit on forums and complain about every little thing. Because things that are "little" to you are not "little" to them. We want discussions to happen because we want the best for what we love. Just because you feel like someone is expressing their view with overwhelming negativity, it only means that you would have to be outraged to talk like that, and it doesn't mean shit about how they actually feel. And yes, a lot of the time people don't know what they really want, and what they really want ends up being stupid even when the execution is perfect (which, in SEGA's case, never is). That's not a reason to shut people up, it's all the more reason to pay closer attention and discern the reasonable voices from the "ignorant" ones, try to understand the psychology behind "ignorant" voices (as in, what's the actual cause of these people's problems, rather than what they perceive as the cause), and let the resulting games show the light. And if the light is nowhere to be seen... maybe some of those ignorant voices weren't ignorant after all (or some of the "reasonable" voices were really ignorant), in which case - live and learn. Try again and eventually you'll get it. As long as you actually try, that is.
  2. This was... a thing on Russian public television when I was 4. Certainly gave me and millions of other children nightmares. Looking back at it now, though, it's kinda hilarious
  3. For some reason Bethesda insists on making obviously scripted footage of the game that makes it look like a slow mess. Well, a slow mess that is an average modern shooter, that is. If you want to see the sheer depth and intensity of the game that unfolds to you as you git gud at it, here's just one of the myriad of examples:
  4. Actually, it's very difficult to call Arin an "experienced gamer", and it's precisely because he doesn't experiment, he doesn't try to understand games through experimentation. Yes, he ignores tutorials and button prompts, but he still expects the game to teach him things. Some people see his Sequelitis about Megaman X as something genius, but the problem is that his example of "fantastic" design can still be described as a form of handholding, it's just that it's giving him an illusion that he figured things out on his own. Now, of course, it might not be nearly as "obnoxious" as tutorial prompts that completely break your flow, but for some games that kind of approach simply doesn't work. Boost games, for example, give you lots of options to take out enemies. Jumping into them, sliding, homing attacking... But these games are only enjoyable for most people when they get to hold down the boost button majority of the time, and other options, despite leading to a success state eventually, are simply more boring. You can't make a kind of obstacle course that consists of the same elements as everywhere else in the game (without special gimmicks, that is) that'd also demand boost to teach people to boost all the time. You can, however, write a tip: "Boost as much as possible, the bar will go up anyway". But then you'll find some people boosting off cliffs where they could clearly see those cliffs but refused to stop boosting because the game told them to do so (I've legit seen this complaint on Sonic Generations subforum of SEGA Forums). And what's next? Write more tips? People will simply make dumber mistakes and expect more tips. It's important to ease people in and give them extra information, but it's also important to teach people that experimentation is rewarding in itself. This is more so important for games like Mania that attract with their depth and not complexity. All games at a fundamental level of their gameplay are a combination of tests for both mechanical skill and task solving skill, in varying degree for each game (or, to put it more simply, something inbetween Simon Says and chess). Some games are just bound to not be appealing to some people, and that's ok.
  5. As I stated in another thread (alternate playstyles one), Sonic Adventure is the 3D game where I could have fun just running around in hub worlds due to sheer freedom you have with just a few control options. Level design in SA also complements the control scheme well with its use of 3rd dimension (it's both more visually-pleasing and engaging in terms of gameplay), unlike SA2 and everything that came afterwards. The biggest issues with SA1 were janky collision detection (resulting in physics issues and LOTS of clipping) and terrible camera, which can be fixed with modern technologies. An then there are obvious evolution opportunities: proper rolling physics and more expansive level design - although I wouldn't mind an alternative approach as long as it capitalizes on the core's strengths (unlike SA2, which boiled everything down to corridor-like level design and HA chains).
  6. & Knuckles meme being embraced in Mania is funny, because: 1) The meme is based on SEGA's past "mistake" of naming a game in a silly way, which makes it self-aware; 2) Mania actually contributes to the meme by making a special ending for Knuckles & Knuckles mode, where the whole adventure turns out to be a tale retold by Knuckles. It gives some extra personality to Knuckles, even if it's still technically breaking a 4th wall. Inclusion of Sanic and Mt.Fuji is just incredibly lazy and forced (man, these puns just write themselves).
  7. I've been on a sort of nostalgia rush with release of Mania and Forces, so I had been wanting to replay Sonic games I played way back (namely Adventure 1 and 2) and see if my fond memories of them would still hold up (GameGrumps playthrough of SADX encouraged many popular YouTubers to do the same, and even some of the biggest optimists were left disappointed). Anyway, I did notice that I favored Sonic greatly over others, but there are nuances. I'll break everything down in the spoiler box, mostly talking about SA1. Ultimately, everything is up to execution. I personally play Sonic games for fast action and depth that lets you go faster through the levels, and I expect whatever alternate playstyles there are to feel thrilling fast too, even if they aren't exactly close to each other (Classic and Modern Sonic play pretty differently in Generations, but both are still thrilling with their speed and ways in which you can improve). For me Shopper mode from Worms-type games (especially Worms Armageddon and Hedgewars) belongs more to a Sonic game than Knuckles with his emerald hunting, and I'll take the entirety of Quake franchise over Adventures' mech shooting. Heck, I'd most likely enjoy Werehog if they chose Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry as a base instead of God of War. But doing things well requires effort, and modern corporate culture just doesn't allow that.
  8. I can't help but think of Phantasy Star Universe... Made by Sonic Team, released in 2006, "GUARDIANS" being organization you work in. I think it's a cool name for an Adventure-esque Sonic game. Definitely more coherent than Sonic Lost World.
  9. Well, literally everything has legitimate problems, that doesn't mean people shouldn't enjoy anything. But I agree with Roger: it can be fun for you, or majority, but not for everyone. "Shut up, it's fun" is a horrible way to go about things. People should be able to voice their concerns, as long as they are not being shitheads about it. I've always seen memes on Sonic's Twitter as a nice way to pass time while people are waiting for a new game, because Sonic usually gave me "edgelord" feels. But I see why people have problems with it.
  10. Subtexts are subjective, and they are achieved through a series of associations. Every person sees different subtext in things that have them. But, as you said, it can't even be called "sub"-text, but not for a reason you listed. The reason is that Internet memes are pretty much never used in any context deeper than meaning of said meme, so there's no reason to think about anything that wasn't said directly in the tweet. Also, as I said before, GID is a well-known disorder, meanwhile people like otherkin are just highly likely to be pretending. This parallel isn't just not apparent - it's wrong. This is Internet. Someone retweets it, then someone posts it on Imgur, then it goes to places like Facebook, Reddit, this forum... Heck, wanna an example of someone deliberately looking for offense? Have it. Reasons to be a pretend victim? Attention seeking (one of the better reasons), abuse/exploitation of people's emotions (and, sometimes, laws too) for emotional and material profit. Do you wanna be famous, but can't sing/dance/create anything? Then professional victimhood is for you! There are thousands of people doing that, and plenty of naive types blindly believe them (and plenty of people get outraged when authorities like judges decide not to). At which point is that? Did something special happen in the history of this world that made everyone believe exact same things, share exact same views? I see this talk about the joke being transphobic as no more than whining, yet I actually care to explain why those people are wrong. And you can't tolerate my view, because it contradicts yours. Obviously you are right, and clearly I am wrong, there's no other way! You know what that's called? Bigotry. But of course, you are doing this for the greater good, for the well-being of trans folk. However, let me remind you something: you are the one equating people with serious disorder to childish Internet animal-pretenders, not me, not Ruby, not all those people who liked the tweet. The only reason why all of us are now going to have such associations in our heads now is because people like you implied this connection. The joke is not reinforcing any stereotypes, only you do.
  11. They were talking about hedgehogs and attack helicopters - there was nothing ambiguous about it. "Offended" people had to got out of their way to draw this parallel. When people are specifically looking into things to be offended at, it's clear they either haven't gone through an actual offense or plainly enjoy victimhood status. I am all against actual offense, I'm not willing to tolerate hatred, but believing in emotions of random people on the Internet who can't stand things that are perfectly normal for others (including other trans individuals) is naive at best and harmful at worst. Also, apparently people like John Cleese and Stephen Fry have no sense of humor. Who would have thought? Sorry, but I expected better from a person who generally tries to keep discussions civil here.
  12. I'll be brutally honest: gender dysphoria is a serious issue and not a thing to be messed with, but the ones messing with it are ones who equate trans people to otherkin. The "phenomenon" of fox/whale/fiction/goddess deity people is not yet explored outside of the Internet (specifically Tumblr), so there's every reason to think these people might not be serious. Even if science eventually discovers that otherkin really preceive themselves that way due to differences in brain structure (just like genuine trans people do), most of them might just be bandwagonners. It's always a hip thing to be different, whether it's about being a punk, hipster, bisexual - anything, even being trans. A lot of people identifying as trans went through neither surgery nor HRT (which aren't a walk in the park, mind it), they just feel like "hey, I cut my hair and dress in pants, look at me - I'm special!" And now we have transethnic multisystem Fluttershy-kin added to the equation. If anything, that's mocking trans people, and not what Ruby did. Why did anyone have to draw the implication that the joke laughs off trans people when it's clearly about inhumane things? These are completely different things, and drawing associations to that kind of extent might just mean you have a problem. Heck, if you know you are different and you can't take a joke this mild, you should question your life choices. People naturally have differences, and all kinds of differences have been joked about, so why does this have to be different? Because you can't adapt to the society, so you need it to bend over you? As for "check your privilege" thing, it's a phrase designed specifically to not let people speak on certain subjects. It dismisses potentially important opinions based on person's identity, even denying their life experiences. It is an ad hominem at its finest, and it shouldn't just be mocked - it needs to die out.
  13. As long as people are buying and enjoying the product developers should be allowed to do whatever they want. "Ideology" is a really wide term, which can mean things from political visions to preferences in food. Saying that ideology in art is harmful implies that people are so brainless they'll blindly accept everything they see. Art is supposed to expand one's worldview. The only reason to remove ideology from art is when it's so pervasive it's annoying, because that hurts people's enjoyment of it. If it's presented in a right way, it's perfectly acceptable.
  14. This post might not say much on topic, but... SEGA's brand policies and quality principles taught me to not care. The whole concept of Sonic is just so attractive and relatable for me that I see it on a conceptual level, with ability to ignore stuff like execution flaws. It's actually difficult to like Sonic for what it is, but this franchise gives you a huge field of opportunities to imagine what it could be. Sonic games are diverse, fanbase segmentation is a huge issue thanks to that... But if you just sit and think: why do I (not) enjoy this? What's similar between games I hate and ones I love? What are the reasons other people love it (when I don't)? Finally, what changes could make me love it while not making others hate it? I got this mind game of my own, I haven't even played actual Sonic games for a while. ...My brain is a mess. That said, I think these games complement each other. Each of those games gave me some new feeling, some new way of thinking about Sonic and gaming in general. I don't pick - I want a full experience, a vision as a whole. Besides, what do you consider classics and what can be considered Adventure? Because I sure think SA1 is closer to S3&K than it is to SA2 in terms of general experience (flow, variety, artistic components). Should the next game be 2D or 3D? Should it be more like Adventure or classics, or maybe Unleashed? It doesn't have to be any of those, as long as it's recognizable as a Sonic game (unlike Lost World, hurr hurr. j/k) and has Sonic-like flow and drive in every bit of its essense. Forget about retro vs modern, edge vs comedy, rivalling franchises, mass appeal, broken fanbase - let hedgehogs rock out, and everything will come together.
  15. 1) An action RPG similar to modern Phantasy Star titles would really be something. Certain Photon Arts look like they are taken straight out of Sonic characters' movesets, so combat might feel really natural. 2) More tricky (non-)platforming sections which look cool and give you great sense of accomplishment after you've beat them. Basically, what Jet Set Radio Future did. 3) Synergetic parkour + boost mixture. Just look at Cloudbuilt. 4) An anime with Sonic Riders-esque futuristic setting, except without Sonic riding a hoverboard.
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