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Tara

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Posts posted by Tara


  1. I also don't think it's really fair to say that Shadow was ultimately responsible for Infinite's creation.  At least, if we look at it from the perspective of a skeptical audience and not an audience who just accepts whatever tone the narrative wants us to accept.  I'm sure the writing team would love for us to think "Yeah, see, this is actually Shadow's fault, so that really shows what an antihero Shadow is and what a complex character Infinite is!" even though I doubt they even thought that far ahead themselves.  To any rational witness, Infinite's transformation would easily be seen as a severe overreaction.  Like, that's largely the reason the "I'M NOT WEAK!!!" moment is so often lampooned upon.  That and it being so ham-fisted and melodramatic that it almost makes Full House seem like a shocking exposé of the plight of the American working class.


  2. At first, I thought maybe you were trying to liken Shadow's fandom to, say, the way gay men often gravitate towards Disney villains in spite of the fact that they are offensive stereotypes, which is something I'm not only okay with, but support.  Namely because those people also wouldn't deny that they are personalized attachments and are completely self aware that any relation to the characters is an extrapolation of the text, not what is deliberately put into it.  But no, the argument you're making is even worse.

    Under this same logic, you must also take umbrage with people who criticize...

    • Bright
    • Crash
    • Rent
    • Powerpuff Girls 2016
    • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, season 8
    • The Lorax 2013
    • Pretty much any live action Disney remake in the past ten years.
    • Modern Simpsons episodes
    • Family Guy

    ...which all either directly or indirectly attempt to tackle serious issues but are notoriously panned for doing it in an asinine manner that ranges anywhere from well meaning but misguided to actually invoking the issues they're attempting to disassemble, because I'm sure there are people who will say that they relate to all these works and sincerely believe that they helped them through a difficult time in their lives.  And they're free to do so.  But I'm also free to criticize their reading and interpretation, and while I've never met any Shadow fans who see him as relatable as it pertains to their experiences as a minority, I'm sure most would be inclined to agree because that's how media discussion works.  Particularly when you take issue with a statement like "that comparison is a bit of a stretch" which is not only... quite mild, I have to say, like I legitimately don't think I could have worded it any nicer if I donated a brand new car to every single person who read it... but also silly when most people would agree that a comparison is flimsy when the initial statement is justified in things that literally never happened in the actual games to begin with as an explanation for why the examination of Shadow's relationship with humans is not only a good plot point worth repeating but also an important one socially.

    Or as a counter example, I love Steven Universe.  It's not even like my favorite cartoon or anything, but I've definitely shed a few tears over episodes that have hit far too close to home, and so I have a lot of treasured memories for this show.  And I will cling to those characters and stories because they mean a lot to me.  At the same time, there are also people that have had similar if not identical experiences to me that think the way the show handles it is cheap, artificial, bad lip service, and may find my interpretation of it to be a disservice to the actual issue, that my relation to it is based on questionable premises.  And while I think I'm in a huge majority of people who may disagree with those people, they are ABSOLUTELY in their right to say that.  I do not take offense to that.  In fact, my views on the show have shifted because of those dissenting views.  Not in the sense that I no longer like the show because I still love it today, so much as "oh, that is an issue I can empathize with" or "yeah, you know maybe the show could have handled this better."

    People can like Shadow, if they can use him to relate to their personal struggles as they desire.  That's great.  I encourage that as long as it's done in a healthy and positive manner.  But to say that I or anyone else can not criticize it or find it lacking in actual merit is frankly ridiculous and is not conductive to a good faith discussion on the merits of a story.  Like, this whole conversation could have just ended with "well, Shadow means this to me, it's okay if you don't see it that way."

    With all that said, this thread was not meant for sociopolitical debate, and I feel like we've allowed it to weigh this topic down long enough.  So I kindly suggest we move on, so that people who actually want to enjoy what this thread was actually intended for can continue to do so.  That and I'm not really interested in discussing this any further.


  3. 8 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

    So on the first thing I don't think its been downplayed at all. Shadow hasn't just been around, but the inherent distrust of shadow and his methods is a theme that has been continuous throughout the franchise and would most likely happen with humans if he was around them more often. But its just transformed to the anthropomorphic characters. And sega themselves among many other questionable shadow based decisions have made shadow purposefully more antagonistic probably to play this up, because he might be around more often.

    While it is true that Shadow along with most characters that aren't the main four and Eggman haven't really been around much to judge this accurately, the few appearances he has made since 2010 haven't really revolved around this, either.  Free Riders doesn't have any plot related to Shadow's relationship with humans, nor Generations, nor Sonic Boom, nor Team Sonic Racing, nor Lego Dimensions.  Now to be clear, none of these are examples of Shadow being characterized extremely well, just that they also found things to do with him that didn't involve examining his relationship with humans.  Or at the very least, found something to do with him aside from "Humans bad.  Should kill?  <five seconds later>  Nah they a'ight."

    Now there is the saying "Once bitten, twice shy" that I think would apply to Shadow.  He's been hurt by humans before, so I certainly don't expect him to have his heart thawed and embrace humans with open arms.  But characterizing Shadow as someone who is just one incident away from killing everything in spite of the fact that he literally sacrificed himself in order to protect them is... pretty poor characterization, to be honest.

    8 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

    As for it being redundant. Yeah Kinda? But like every concept in this franchise is redundant. To be blunt its a franchise for children that is most likely going to exist in perpetuity unless sega runs into the ground. There are stories that will be retold, concepts revisited ect. And I personally think its less about these stories being retold, and more so what you do with them. And while I can't and do not want to tell you that you are somehow inherently wrong, I will say it speaks volumes that alot of stories involving shadow both internal and in the community involve this. Its a powerful narrative, to have people hate you despite you doing what you think is right because of who you are and what you look like speaks to a great deal of people. Particularly marginalized people, LGBTQ, people of color, things like that. The sonic fanbase is full of a lot of LGBTQ people and i feel like occasionally going back to that well tell that story is important. I'm one of them, and I appreciate I can relate to character on that level. I don't think anything being " conclusive " matters. Capitalism dictates this will never be concluded, just do cool stuff and don't make the story or characters ass and sure tell whatever story you want.

    Having recurring themes is not the same as being redundant.  We expect a certain level of reliance on a predetermined formula due to the nature of the genre.  We know that Eggman is going to try to take over the world, we know that characters are going to have constant struggles that are consistent with their characters.  And of course, as the series ages and reboots (whether soft or hard) every so often, of course there are going to be retellings of classic scenarios.  But like... most of the recurring themes are not based on resolved issues.  SA2 pretty much brought Shadow's arc with humans to its fullest logical conclusion.  Then he's brought back with amnesia and it's just... status quo as usual.  As though that never happened.  That's, you know, bad writing.

    I'd compare it to modern Batman media's obsession with posing questions like "does Batman create his own enemies?" or "Is Batman's decision not to kill really ethical?" or "Are Batman and the Joker basically two sides of the same coin?"  At one point, I think these were not only valid but extremely powerful takes that really opened the character up for exploration.  But when they've been done so many times over the years to the point where the dialogue is almost line-for-line predictable even before you actually watch the thing in question, that's... redundancy.  And that's... you know, bad.  You do something enough times and eventually it loses its power.

    I also think comparing Shadow to a persecuted minority is a bit of a stretch.  Like I wouldn't put it past Sega to try to code him that way in a retrospective way, but the comparison is so flimsy that I think it's kind of belittling to the people he would be attempting to represent.  You could maybe make the case for it in SA2 where the only thing we really know is that G.U.N. feared what would happen if Shadow were somehow given to the wrong hands, which speaks to the sort of self-fulfilling prophecy of prejudice.  But in Shadow, nobody really disliked Shadow except the G.U.N. Commander (to the point where even his subordinates were like "wait wut") and that wasn't because different but because he was associated with a childhood trauma (which is also pretty stupid, don't get me wrong), and as the game progressed, people only disliked/feared him because he was actually doing violent things.  And in '06, the thought that humans would eventually betray Shadow again was something suggested by Mephiles to manipulate Shadow and little else.  Otherwise, humans play pretty much no role in Shadow's story in that game.

    I also think it's kind of weird to view Shadow as a subject of discrimination when he is the ONLY character that is scrutinized in this manner.  Sonic himself, as well as all his friends, never experience such persecution.  So it just comes across as hollow lip service.  At least in Sonic X, for all its faults, had the general perception of Sonic and his friends teeter a la X-Men.  But then, when the subject of human/animal relations is brought up, Shadow is conspicuously absent, so it's kind of moot.

    8 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

    You have summed up my feelings on the matter

    I also don't think Wraith's post necessarily coincides with your point as much as you think it does.  I'm not trying to put words in his mouth, of course, but his point comes less from the position that it's such a powerful narrative that is intrinsic to his character as much as "it's been done pitifully so many times before that I'd like one that actually does it right."  Which is something I can empathize with, even if I don't necessarily agree.  Like, if they're going to do it again, I'd certainly rather they do it right than do it wrong.  But I also think it makes the character a little one-note.

    8 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

    Most people didn't see that. Also IRL people in marginalized groups do amazing shit all the time and people still hate them. Its a relevant narrative for a lot of the audience. Heck if you want to go even further, sometimes those people attribute thier feats to others so they don't have to acknowledge group or person they don't like did a thing. You could probably create an interesting narrative where sonic gets upset because people are trying to credit him with stuff shadow did because they don't want to like shadow. Sonic has always been a series that occasionally dipped its toes into reliability, there is more potential here.

    I mean, that's a pretty shallow and surface level understanding of how social dynamics work.  If Sonic is going to tackle that kind of subjectmatter, I would rather it not be Bright but with hedgehogs.


  4. I honestly don't feel like this is a concept that needs expanded upon.  To the contrary, I'd like to see it downplayed and thankfully it has been.

    SA2 pretty much tackled Shadow's relationship with humans in a fine, conclusive manner.  Shadow initially has no reason to dislike humans, after all they created him.  Then humans kill his best friend and now he hates them.  Then at the end of the game, he realizes that humans aren't perfect but that they are still worth protecting.  I really don't think you can explore it much more thoroughly than that without it being redundant.

    That isn't to say that SA2 handled it perfectly.  There are quite a few things I would change in terms of pacing and delivery, for sure.  Like, I wouldn't make Shadow's redemption solely based on Amy giving a speech that incidentally reminds him of Maria's TRUE final wishes.  But I think conceptually the concept has been explored to its fullest.  Shadow and '06's explorations on the subject just felt unnecessary.


  5. 9 minutes ago, Nova said:

    Apologies for assuming there, I felt my comments could be interpreted as 'Sonic can't work in 3D' but that is completely unintentional if so and I felt the need to clear any potential misunderstanding up.

    With the second part of this quote you answered the point I was going to make to the first - that is just how those games were designed. We both know that, but it's just our own subjective opinions informing which is better than the other.

    It should come as no surprise that personally, I'm more a fan of Unleashed/Colours/Generations as I feel they do a fantastic job of translating some of the ethos of the classics into a modern, 3D game engine - a lot of the stuff that made Sonic work in 2D is, in my opinion, hard to directly translate to 3D so I can see how the boost and your ability to hold onto it for longer periods with repeated plays is intended to be akin to 'earning your speed', especially when combined with alternate routes.

    Again though, these are subjective differences in opinion and we could run circles all day discussing what it is we like about each style. Don't get me wrong though, I still really enjoy playing Adventure 1 and 2 and, in the right mood, maybe even Heroes - but back to the point at hand, are Colours and Generations considered 'bad games' now? No, I really don't think so, I think it's just arguable as to which style people have an appetite for now.

    As I've said before, I quite like Unleashed/Colors/Generations.  I mean, I even liked Sonic Lost World, and you can't even mention that game on this board without people calling for your head.  So I certainly don't think there's anything wrong with preferring the modern games.  They are without a doubt more friendly to play and some of the later sections of Unleashed notwithstanding, a lot less frustrating.  But I don't really feel like the capture the fluidity and style of the 2D games.

    I certainly agree that many things from classic Sonic can't be directly translated into 3D, as can be said for virtually any series that started out that way.  Mario for example is a lot more open and has a much more versatile move set in 3D, for instance, because running and jumping on Goombas doesn't work incredibly well in 3D as a main mechanic.  But I don't feel like the boost games necessarily do that.  To me, they are endemic of a wider problem with many games simplifying their core elements by removing pivotal features, taking control away from the player, and/or relying on QTE's to fill the void where interesting mechanics could otherwise exist.

    But honestly, I think the wider gaming community would probably disagree with me on this.  Core fan sites like this probably have more mixed and varied opinions on the matter, but I think the wider audience finds Colors and Gens to be genuine steps in the right direction, with some people saying that Gens is the first time Sonic has ever been good in 3D.  I think the question should be less "are Colors and Gens considered bad games now" and more "has the good will that Sega earned from Colors and Gens worn off" which is also contestable, but is more a question on how Sega's later games reflect on the perception of their previously released titles, rather than on the quality of the games themselves.


  6. 19 minutes ago, Nova said:

    Tara, I have a feeling you're referencing my post

    Sorry if it came across that way, but I was actually referring to this post.

    19 minutes ago, Nova said:

    Also, to address something else you mention, I don't believe that 'narrow corridor format' and 'linear level layout' are necessarily design problems. The levels are that way by necessity as they service that game design and I would also argue that Generations levels at the very least, despite being glorified corridors, are still less linear than Sonic Adventure 2's levels. But would you really argue that either Colours or Generations have more automation than Sonic Adventure 1 or 2?

    I'm not going to argue which game has quantitatively more automation, but I know that Colors and Gens FEEL more automated in that there are virtually no ways to sequence break or explore areas at your own leisure due to the boxed in nature of the game as well as a physics engine that actively discourages anything but predetermined routes and obstacle courses.  SA1 and 2 definitely had ways that Sega obviously preferred you to play, along with more than a few set pieces where you were forced to play by Sega's rules.  But that's the ENTIRE GAME with Colors and Gens.

    Perhaps I should rephrase "design problems" to mean "design ideas that generally make the game weaker from a personal perspective."  Colors and Gens are well made for what they are, but what they are isn't necessarily what a lot of fans want.


  7. You had precedents but they still weren't necessarily the norm.  For every Mario 64, you also had Zelda, which also had stifling control and camera issues, or Tomb Raider which was infamous at the time for having the worst camera controls ever despite being a much loved game series, or, like, don't get me wrong.  I love Spyro.  But I don't love how it controls.  It's one of those rare examples of a game where every other aspect of the game makes up for the fact that it controls like a broken car.  Those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head that were well received in spite of noted criticisms towards the way they controlled.

    Regardless, my point wasn't even that the way Sonic controls was a legendary advancement that rewrote the rules on how we control characters in three-dimensional space, but that it wasn't even extremely uncommon for games to control like that or worse at the time, and that ignoring the awkward controls and dated graphics, the actual design and concept of SA1 still hold up, even if its execution does not.  Saying the series doesn't work in 3D because the first 3D outing in the series (if you exclude 3D Blast, which isn't what most people think of when they think of 3D Sonic games anyway) hasn't aged well, and then citing the subsequent examples which have been noted ever since they were released how they failed to properly (if at all) follow up on the formula as proof for why Sonic simply doesn't work in 3D just comes across as a bit daft in my opinion.  Especially when we now have multiple fan projects which, while not perfect due to the nature of the medium, demonstrate otherwise.

    I can understand preferring Sonic in 2D and not liking controlling Sonic in a 3D space.  I don't blame anyone who overall prefers the 2D games because they have been the most consistently well polished games in the series or because it's simply how they prefer the series.  But I don't think that the failures of Sonic's 3D outings invalidate it any more than Mega Man X7 being a game that is a complete mess for reasons completely independent of its genre is a demonstration of why Mega Man couldn't work in 3D.


  8. I also think "Sonic should stick to 2D games" is a bit of a stretch of reasoning, when "all the 3D games are either bad or haven't aged well" is the sole reason and fails to address why many of them haven't aged well.  Sonic Adventure was released in an era where getting 3D controls half-way right was practically a miracle on its own, but these days many of its innovations are not only commonplace but heavily improved upon.  But much of its level design, gameplay designs, and core concepts hold up extremely well today.  There's nothing conceptually wrong with SA1, at least in regards to Sonic's stages.  Maybe not so much the others, particularly Big.  I'm not a huge fan of SA2 these days, but I'd argue the same is true for it.  There's nothing terribly wrong with the game itself; it just needs more polish.

    Fast forward to Colors and Generations and while they are seen as notably better than the games that were being hailed as the worst just a few years prior, there are core design problems with the game that can't really be fixed without completely reworking the game.  The narrow corridor format, the linear level layouts, the reliance on automation and 2D segments.  Even as much as I personally enjoy these games, there's no doubt that there's a multitude of things that would make them much better experiences.

    If we're saying "Sonic should stick to 2D games" because we can't trust Sega to deliver a competent 3D game, then... yeah, I guess.  But that's different from "Sonic works best in 2D" or "Sonic only works in 3D" by concept alone.


  9. I quite like both Colors and Generations.  They're not the best games ever made or even the best Sonic games ever made, but they're fun games.  I don't mind the shift in tonality to lighthearted stories, and I generally quite like the aesthetic of the two games.

    But even at the time, I always felt that they were sort of like Sega giving us the bare minimum in order to achieve a satisfactory review score.  Colors specifically feels like they took out all the controversial aspects of Unleashed, but didn't do much to actually improve upon its strong points.  And it continues to annoy me that moving in four cardinal directions like a normal game is still a chore.  And the way the game is compact to the point where it demands that you play it the way Sega wants you to play it and only that way is something that I've given up all hope that Sega will ever improve upon.

    I don't hate the stories for Colors and Gens, since I'd rather have a simple story that's well contained than a complex one that's riddled with problems, but I do understand the frustration some people feel when plot points and introduced and then dropped often within the same cutscene, and especially if it's not your idea of what Sonic should be, I'm fine with people having that opinion, too.  I don't even mind the immature writing too much, but I understand it's not exactly compelling drama.

    Basically, I'm saying, I like them.  They're not BAD games, but still rather flawed.


  10. 1 hour ago, Ryannumber1Santa said:

    Thinking about it - wasn't the original design from the Fast Friends poster that leaked before the teaser poster of the horrid manhog design (the one that showed a Sonic that was much more designed like the new design, and where he and Tom were laying against a cop car) from the Sony era of the movie? 

    If it was, that would mean that Paramount saw the original design from Sony, decided "this ain't it chief", redesigned it into the horrid as hell manhog design, before the backlash struck, and they had to redesign again in order to give us the current design.

    I don't recall if that was ever confirmed to be real.  Someone found out that the poster was made entirely of edited together stock photos, which dealt a blow to its credibility, but the possibility that it was a placeholder image was also there.  My memory is a bit fuzzy, so I may be getting things wrong.


  11. 10 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

    Yeah, it was Sony originally. Expectations were widely low just because it was announced as a live action CGI hybrid. The studio wasn't a big a factor, and a studio that wasn't involved definitely wasn't a factor. 

    I mean, yeah, I get that.  I'm just saying, his overall point that people were skeptical about the quality of the film because of media trends still stands even if the particulars are questionable.

    9 minutes ago, AstroSeed-P said:

    It was just Sony Pictures. Their animation studio had nothing to do with the project, which was actually pretty weird considering that they worked on the live action Smurfs.

    I guess SEGA was able to at least negotiate what animation studios were going to be involved. I'm a believer of that while SEGA clearly didn't have much control in regards to all decisions, they still had control over who was actually brought in to make the film.

    My mistake.  I apologize.

    I imagine Sony's partnership with Sega was only in talks at the time and not in writing.  By the time the first design came around, they had probably already signed an agreement.  I'm sure there are clauses in whatever agreement that give Paramount a lot more creative control over the movie than we would like, but I don't think whatever contract they have means that Sega can't pull the plug on the project.  More likely, I think, is that they calculated how much money that would be lost if they did, and decided it was better to let it go and hope for the best than to cancel the deal out right.


  12. 7 minutes ago, Gamecuber64 said:

    I really like that film. It's not great, but I find it decent. It's been gaining a cult following throughout the years and is now considered underrated and that critics treated it harshly. It was one of the few live action adaptations at the time that uses this formula that stayed more true to the original property (character wise) while also doing its own thing (story wise). It was pretty clever I its humor, and when it wasn't, it was self aware. I would recommend everyone to watch it, along with movies like Paddington, Peter Rabbit, and Dora since people are constantly scared of these types of films and don't realize that it's actually been able to work before.

    I mean, fair enough, I'm not going to tell you which movies to like or dislike.  But I actually don't think Rocky and Bullwinkle was particularly clever or interesting even while it is slightly more faithful than most adaptations, and I don't think I'm alone in that.  I haven't watched Paddington (need to because people I know say it good) or Dora, but I  thought Peter Rabbit was pretty bland at best, too, so that doesn't do much for me either.


  13. 2 hours ago, Ryannumber1Santa said:

    Sonic Live is one of the most infamously bad comics from Archie Sonic, period. I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people who'd claim even that is better than the movie.

    If anything, the fact that we have that comic is precisely WHY so many people didn't like the concept for the movie in the first place.


  14. On 11/28/2019 at 10:45 AM, PeterPancake said:

    And this is what I've been trying to communicate all along. It's crazy how Paramount's rationale is EXACTLY what I've been saying it would be for the past 2 years.

     

    This movie was made to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. The average schmoe who played Sonic when he was younger and the kids and family audiences are the main demographics and they are the ones who will carry the box-office. Sonic fans make up such a tiny percentage of whom is going to see the movie and Paramount was under the impression that most of them would see it regardless. What happened though, waa that the targeted demographic rejected Sonics design so forcefully that it spooked the execs into bringing him back to the little blue furball that we all know and love. 

     

    This Is what they do, this is how their minds work. They wanted to appeal to the general audience, they rejected the movie forcing them to change 

    And we've been arguing for the past two years that it's a BAD rationale.  I'm not sure what you think this changes?


  15. 8 hours ago, Candescence said:

    Also FFS you do not need the Valve Index for this game. Any reasonably decent PCVR headset will work just fine. The Samsung Odyssey+ WMR headset is on sale on Amazon for about $230 USD right now. Sure, the tracking isn't amazing but the controllers are better than the Vive and the headset itself is really fucking good in terms of visual quality. You want an entry-level VR headset that's of sound quality? Buy the Odyssey+

    >stating that like $230 isn't still a hefty investment.


  16. I'm probably not going to be able to play it both due to my computer not being good enough and the prohibitive cost of VR, but as both a game and a proof of concept for how VR can be implemented to deliver high quality, AAA titles, I will definitely be watching the progress on this game very closely.  I really excited to see how this turns out.


  17. I'm sort of meh on it.  It looks all right; not hugely offensive.  But I don't really care for the voice cast.  This is particularly jarring since Scooby's voice is more or less as it's always been, but is a lot more vocal.  When he delivers like... extremely coherent sentences with that kind of delivery, it only highlights how out of place it seems.

    It looks like it could have some cute moments, though.  Particularly, I'm always a sucker for origin stories surrounding Shaggy and Scooby meeting for the first time.  And I loved A Pup Named Scooby Doo and all its stupid, late 80's nonsense, so if we have segments that are in a similar vein, I'm all for it.

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