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Mil-O-Lantern

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Posts posted by Mil-O-Lantern


  1. To those who say "fuck your customer base, do whatever you want (and make it good)" with respect to practically any franchise....I really would like you guys to try and answer the following questions. Where do you think the malicious, unhappy, cursed customer base comes from to begin with? Or in other words, how do you guys think the series got those fans that are now such a scourge to the developers. Do you guys honestly believe people become fans of the games or the series because they don't actually like them or don't actually consider it to be good?

    And those handful of good games the original Sonic Team group developed, before they even had an "audience" to speak of....so those were just pure luck, I guess?


  2. Even putting the current pandemic aside. Compared to the sixth-gen (GC/XB/PS2 baseline) and seventh-gen (360/PS3 BL) eras, where Sonic Team had already put out quite a few Sonic titles and could reasonably stand to move up to next-gen hardware; I envision that this time, Sonic Team opted to be comfortable sticking with eighth-gen (PS4/XBO BL) hardware for at least one more game.

    Lost World and Forces stand as the only two Sonic games by Sonic Team made for the current generation of hardware; and even so, Forces stands as the studio's only Sonic game developed with the industry baseline in mind; as Lost World was developed as an exclusive for the notably-less powerful Wii U. So with that in mind I can envision Sonic Team not being too eager to jump into developing next-gen hardware after production on Forces wrapped.

    I think this notion is supported by Forces' mixed results of enhanced performance for the more powerful PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Xbox One X performance supported better resolution than base Xbox One (which was for some reason, only 720p...) on the whole, but it was rather inconsistent, with 1800p resolution used for some stages and 1080p resolution for others. And the PS4 Pro was practically identical to base PS4, with no resolution bumps whatsoever (although with that said, the PS4 version runs at 1080p and stands as the most consistent/most polished version of the lot). I think if Sonic Team were really committed towards showcasing the best possible performance for the game, they would had done more to accommodate for those mid-gen enthusiast platforms.

    Most Sonic games I'd say have managed to cleanly segregate themselves with hardware generations; only a few titles (Sonic 3D, Unleashed, Riders ZG, ASRT), strike me as being "cross-gen" over the years. Even so, ASRT and Riders ZG were clearly cases where the Nintendo hardware they were released on both close enough in power to other platforms to make ports feasible, and Sonic 3D was only brought to the Saturn as a backup plan for X-treme's production falling out. As a result, I personally doubt the next game will be cross-gen, since that would naturally mean more SKUs to be developed when ST will likely already be working for four (PS4/XBO/NSW/PC); unless they got someone to port them to the newer consoles.

    Speaking of which, that leads me to my final note: I think the most interesting question on this point would be if the Switch will be used as the hardware baseline for the next game, or if ST intend to develop primarily for PS4/XBO hardware. The Switch version of Forces came fairly late in production (since the game started development well before the Switch was announced/released), and it showed with its overall weaker performance and questionable stability in pre-release showings. If Sonic Team intends to bring the next Sonic game to the Switch, hopefully the hardware limitations have been considered earlier in production enough to either develop natively for the hardware, or have a really good port being handled by themselves or another team.


  3. At least one rumor is abound about how Forces as a game was supposedly far more centered on the Custom Hero/Avatar portion than the existing Sonic characters, up until they showcased their game to SoA and SoE and scaled the game back as a result after their response. Forces was also the game where the designers emphasized greatly simplifying the level design and controls to appeal to a new audience. And previous game, Lost World, also made a point of completely throwing out several design conventions and mechanics of Sonic gameplay in favor for new ones. So with all of that in mind, I'd imagine there's a pretty good chance Sonic Team (assuming they're responsible for the next major game) is more focused on making a game built around contemporary gaming trends than making a game built around one essential Sonic gameplay experience.

    3 hours ago, Johnster4 said:

    Here's my take of Nagoshi's comments on sonic in regards to the online play portion, if this is the case and go through with making another multiplayer game, I hope they don't release it and then treat it like abandonware day one just like they did with Team Sonic Racing, and give the game post-launch support for a a year or two at least.

    A non-mobile Sonic game that did get substantial post-release support would be interesting to see. But this touches on a big point that ever since DLC / post-launch support has become the norm, mainline Sonic games have been very much been "one-and-done" in this regard. The majority of post-release material hasn't ventured past some bugfixes/patches and using existing/dummied out assets for re-arranged level design of existing stages. I'd say the best example of post-launch material to date for Sonic games is a toss-up between Lost World's Nintendo DLC Zones and Mania's Encore Pack.


  4. On 9/18/2020 at 5:56 AM, StaticMania said:

    If they continue to use the Boost game-play, then yes it very much is too much too ask.

    A Boost game with little-to-no 2D gameplay could definitely be done if the designers got their priorities straight. I think some proper adjustments would need to be done (dropping the pretense of being platformers, namely) but it's not some impossible feat.

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills as I write the following sentence, as I tried searching for it for a good hour or two or so, and couldn't find anything. But I swear I came across quotes from some interview with the developers of Forces talking about how they approached the entire game under the philosophy of designing it as a 2D game, even describing the 3D sections as behind-the-back 2D sections.

    Maybe I am being crazy and the above interview/quotes don't actually exist, but you can definitely see such mentality reflected in the level design. Most of the 3D sections are so rudimentary, linear, and shallow that they may as well be 2D sections with a camera positioned behind them. Especially so when you can create mods that change the camera angle and play through these levels with almost no issue; or play the levels while only using one hand/mostly using one button on the controller.

    The overall point being the developers are not trying and failing to make fully 3D levels with the Boost games. They're simply not trying.

    Moreover, even if all of the above was false and Sonic Team truly was struggling with making fully 3D Boost games. We still saw with Lost World how they took what was supposed to be a more traditional 3D Sonic experience with substantially different 3D gameplay, and still put giant swaths of 2D sections/2D levels in that game as well. As others have said, 2D sections/gameplay are being abused as a crutch when it comes to designing what are supposed to be 3D Sonic games.


  5. For me I feel the big thing most fangames still need to really gun for are better incorporation of stage mechanics and sandbox-style objectives with respect to level design. I say the former because I'd say all of the varied, weird interactivity the gimmicks provided is part of parcel of why the classic games are fun to play outside of speedrunning (and are a key motivating factor for exploring levels). Sometimes they had real secrets and sometimes they're just fun to mess around with; and depending on the gimmick were also good showcases of the momentum physics lying underneath. Meanwhile I say the latter as I'm utterly baffled by the lengths people go to create giant sandboxes for Sonic to run through but they don't take advantage of that space to give the player an a collection of tasks to do inside those spaces. I think a really well-designed mission framework in the vein of some of the better sandbox platformers out there (Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro, etc.) is probably a key deciding factor as to whether a fanmade 3D Sonic sandbox is just a nice novelty/tech demo, and when it is actually offers a genuine argument for a sandbox Sonic game actually being a good route for 3D Sonic games to take.

    11 hours ago, Indigo Rush said:

    Sometimes I'll play through Super Mario 3D Land and World and say "man, why can't translating traditional Sonic into 3D be this straight-forward?" Putting Classic Sonic mechanics onto the Z axis is obviously possible and tenable, with plenty of fan projects doing a commendable job; Utopia, GHP:2 and Islands being some of my favorite 3D Sonic experiences. But as seen in plenty of other fangames, it's not easy to pull off, and as many have said in this thread already, it's not necessarily fun.

    ...

    I guess there isn't one specific best solution to bring Classic Sonic to 3D, but willingness to compromise and accept that it's not as simple as dropping the dude in a big 3D overworld like some fangames tend to do is a start. You can have premium grade physics and it won't mean anything if the level design doesn't take advantage of it. This is something the fangame community is finally starting to experiment with, but we have a long way to go.

    Yeah, I think this is where I am too. I'm with you on that Mario 3D comparison, I think a Mario 3D Land/World approach would be honestly be really ideal, if not outright perfect, in regards to having Sonic stages that were focused on platforming and stage mechanics, as well as allowing for more balanced co-op multiplayer play. But I don't entirely disagree with Wraith in that Sonic's speed outpacing a fixed isometric camera tanks the concept of a 3D Sonic in the vein of those games, and I honestly hate saying that.

    As far as Genesis-styled physics/momentum in 3D goes, by this point I'd say you'd actually have to make Sonic significantly slower than the Genesis sequels (2/3&K/Mania) at best, if not just make him *slightly* faster than other platformers outright to have a good base for designing a 3D Sonic game. More often than not, what I usually see in the 3D fan engines is that all that rolling/momentum speed makes Sonic borderline uncontrollable for turning and just allows people to careen past entire setpieces of design. I'd be more interested in an 3D engine/fangame that actually used Sonic 1/CD as a base for 3D Sonic gameplay, where Sonic actually had significant speedcaps and other limitations in place that kept him from going too fast.

    That's not to say a 3D game that got all of the Genesis concepts correct (rolling faster than running, jumping influenced by inertia, bouncing, etc.) is now not something I want; it's just that nowadays, uncapped classic speed/momentum doesn't actually seem all that worth it for me. It really just convinces me that if you're making a 3D Sonic platformer, the speed should be approached as more as a bonus element on top of a good platforming game, rather than a essential property of the design as it is in the 2D games (Genesis or otherwise) or in the Boost titles.


  6. Another art update, other stuff I did during the summer.

    Squad on the Run. The Postal Squad sets sail to deliver mail!

    squad_on_the_run_by_yeow95_de0m05h-fullv

    Almost Got Her. The rocket came waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy too close for comfort.

    almost_got_her_by_yeow95_de28v8r-fullvie

    Hose Off The Pretenders. "Any last words before you become my next graffiti masterpiece?"

    hose_off_the_pretenders_by_yeow95_de12fn

    Dipped back into animation again! Here's a bouncing ball animation test I did in Opentoonz. Here's the final animation, but you can also see a rough animation in the link.

    de31s2n-1efba108-0ead-4173-b787-b051e69b


  7. 56 minutes ago, iambitter21 said:

    Y'know what I just realized? most of sonic team's criticism's are like "double standards,": you got some people a few months ago saying "WE SHOULDN'T GIVE SEGA ANY MONEY, THEY'LL NEVER LISTEN, YOU'LL ONLY LEARN LIKE THIS SEGA!" and then a few months later you got people going "SEGA ISN'T GIVING SONIC ENOUGH SALES, HE NEEDS MORE MONEY, GIVE HIM MORE MONEY SEGA!!!" I know the "drought" making everyone impatient and easy to anger, but like, pick a protest and stick with it, or don't protest at all.

    Are we sure the same people crying about the series needing more money are the same people warning people not to give Sega money for mediocre/bad Sonic games? People aren't a monolith or a hivemind of opinions. With that said, I'm of a more nuanced take that sees value in both arguments.

    I think Sonic has been lacking in some departments as of late (marketing, production values) and I think it could use some renewed support in those areas. Especially the former, I think Sega giving up on promoting Sonic games in mainstream avenues after the 2015 restructure is a big reason as to why sales for recent games have been especially lackluster.

    At the same time, I recognize that added resources can only go so far for Sonic games if the underlying game design is still rancid with no meaningful improvements and there is still no course correction in the developer's design philosophy. So if the end result still stinks despite more money and more time poured into it, I still wouldn't pay for it and advise others to do the same.


  8. Considering how Sega nowadays is doing the complete opposite of churning out Sonic games left and right, I don't think a compilation of most/all of the 3D games (presumably, Adventure 1 through Unleashed, or up to Colors if the Nintendo-exclusive games were allowed to be brought to other consoles) would be the worst thing in the world.

    Having some sort of modern collection of the 3D entries would at least give people something to chew on until the next game is announced (as opposed to the barren wasteland things have been), and I think it would also be worth the effort in terms of contemporary preservation for today's/future consoles. It would be one thing if these games were getting the Sonic 1/2 treatment of getting new ports every one-two years to various consoles, or even ports to Steam like Generations and onwards; but most of the 3D games beyond Adventure 2 haven't received any re-release at all (and only Heroes has received a now long-outdated PC release). And I think for all of the fans who lament that the games could had been noticeably better had they gone back and changed some design decisions or fixed some bugs, I think a compilation project would be the ideal project to do something of that nature.

    But I do think it would have to involve a level of effort and genuine interest that I can't envision the current Sonic Team group even remotely having. At best, I envision them doing a basic port/emulation job that's competent, but nothing more beyond that. At worst, they would invoke the late 2000s Sonic Adventure port and make the games (somehow) even worse than they were on their original release.


  9. Here's a post where I give Mystic Cave Zone some love for a couple of reasons:

    - Both of the tracks it has, for single-player and multi-player, are pretty fire. I really love the "spooky/threatening" music of the former, and the more mystical/ancient feel of the latter (although for some reason, the 2P version also reminds me of sirens from a police car due to some of its droning instruments)

    - It has some of my favorite level design structures/setpieces in the series. I really like how the routes frequently overlap, there's quite a few areas where you could quickly climb your way up towards a higher route or drop down to the lower route, just by utilizing a few springs/collapsing platforms or falling through a hole with careful control. I also really like the red springboards in Act 2 for their unique use and formation, such as the one area where they serve as a sequence of "stairs" and the two "rooms" where you hop around them to grab rings. And it has some areas / routes that are kinda hidden in plain sight, like the checkpoint behind the walls and the platform leading to the five rows of extended spiked platforms. It's level arrangements like those that I feel make Sonic 2 stick out as having more of a "playground" approach to its level design. And it's one of the few Sonic zones in the entire series where due to the different pacing of the level, it does not contain any loops whatsoever.

    I actually think Mystic Cave is one of those stages that, due to its emphasis on slower/more careful platforming with its traps and mechanics; would actually make for a good blueprint for designers figuring out 3D Sonic level design. I'm currently trying to hash out in drawings my own top-down level map based on the zone, but I would definitely be interested in seeing someone with some experience with 3D Sonic engines try adapting the stage towards a 3D environment for themselves.


  10. End-of-summer bump. Something Sonic-related [Junio Julio Agosto Sonic]:

    junio_julio_agosto_sonic_by_yeow95_de3il

    And some non-Sonic stuff. Some character expression sketches with Accel and Courtney:

    accel_expression_sketches__7_21_20__by_y

    courtney_expression_sketches__8_2_20__by

    And very LTTP posting it here, but an anniversary encore piece of my Hexology pieces from last year--A Different Profession of Magic? (Besides the original four witch/sorcerer OCs --Elixy by @Ferno, Jessica by @Spin Attaxx, Liz by kyto, and Elixy by myself-- in different outfits, I also added TornadoMario347's Smugsy and @JezMM's Venus characters as well!)

    hexology___a_different_profession_of_mag


  11. After seeing how great the Dragon's Trap remake and the new Monster Boy looked, this game's graphics feels like a bad case of whiplash. Can't decide between "2010 smartphone game commissioned in the wake of NSMBW's success" and "forgotten PS2 3D sidescroller from 2000" to describe how the game looks. I'm baffled they even did a comparison shot between the old game and the remake because the 1994 game's art direction looks bolder and more cohesive.

    If the game's graphics looked more like the 2D artwork for the characters then they probably would had something decent on their hands. But what they have here honestly looks a bit pants, and outdated pants at that.


  12. Rail grinding has unfortunately become one of those many, many mechanics added to Sonic's repertoire over the years that are there largely for spectacle and not much else, yet are obsessively baked into nearly every level in every modern Sonic game in spite of that. If rails as they currently stand were pulled from future Sonic games, I don't think we would be missing anything at all. Which sucks because it doesn't have to be that way.

    Going back to Adventure 2 where they did increase your momentum if you were good at balancing on them would definitely be a good start, but there's definitely more that could be done. Rails greatly suffer from a lack of novelty in their implementation, where they are not only in every world/location (regardless of pacing and theme), but also function the same and visually look identical across the board. This also applies in terms of level design, where they're practically never used beyond setpiece bridges from one platforming section to another above bottomless pits. Addressing all of these elements would go a long way towards making them much better for Sonic games.


  13. This game being a Bakugan game wouldn't had been so bad if it didn't look like a student group project's first 3D game in late development. I don't mean to be harsh....but....yeah. The environments and assets were pretty basic, and both of the two "battle system" showcases were largely just the kids running around to pick up orbs on the ground and throwing them at their monsters in a closed environment. Eventually each monster can get powered up enough to fire a flashy attack in a cutscene...and then you rinse and repeat until one monster finally falls. The simplistic and repetitive gameplay is exemplified by the dramatic score playing during those fights as well too, which is very unfitting for what's actually happening.

    I really do imagine that had this been a 2D game or 2.5D game, a lot more would had been done with this. WFT still makes some solid 2D games, either licensed tie-in games (like The Mummy Demastered from a few years back), games based on other IP (River City Girls), or based on their own properties (the recent Shantae game, Seven Sirens). But this feels like the studio's very first 3D project and it's the only reason I can imagine them signing on to make a project like this; to start a foundation for 3D development and use it for making more 3D games in the future.

    Maybe I'm wrong, WayForward has made a fully 3D game before; but based on this game it doesn't look like they have. That, or this is one of those "B-Team" projects done by newer or less experienced staff in the company; done specifically to feed the meter. Either way-- attaching this to the Treehouse and promoting it as a surprise reveal wasn't the best move with regards to expectations. I know they probably needed to attract some publicity for a game that normally had been immediately dismissed as a shovelware game not worth covering, but the result is now you have to deal with backlash instead of what normally would had been apathy.


  14. Might want to brace yourselves a bit.

    the_ultimate_lazeform_by_yeow95_de08ry7-

    The Ultimate Lazeform

    "It all starts with this...a food satisfying the ultimate hunger..."

    (The character crossover I'm sure forty-two people in total have asked for! Demands for apologies are not accepted.)

    Anyway, some other stuff...

    where_the_wind_flows_by_yeow95_ddzq9ag-f

    Where the Wind Flows

    Someone needs a serious hair trimming....

    deu_on_wood_by_yeow95_ddzkuwq-fullview.j

    Deu on Wood

    Remember that elf character I posted a year back (if these posts are both on the same page, just scroll up a bit)? Yeah, this is her (and the one in my avatar right now). Her backstory is that she's a fish that's...not out of water, but in an quite different pond. She's from the North Pole and more specialized in building toys and wrapping packages, but you wouldn't know it from her current residence (an elf village located in a fantasy forest).


  15. 12 hours ago, iambitter21 said:

    then again, taking his time also "killed" him in Forces, but that's only due to the fact that SEGA was Full of inexperienced developers, now that that fiasco is over, SEGA will probably bring fresh new blood, who are experience and in love with sonic as much as everyone else. fans like taxman whitehead got in, so why can't other inspiring fans who are in love and concerned for this franchise and after that, sonic will be back on his feet.

    Do you have any evidence of this actually being in the works for Sonic? Nobody really knows if Sega's even considering making changes in the staff responsible for making Sonic games.

    And I'm pretty sure a case can be made that Sega has more than a few development teams outside the Sonic Team group that have been doing fine. The Yakuza team in particular has been renowned for their namesake games as well as Judgement. I'm sure @Tracker_TD could probably elaborate further if he wanted.


  16. Really surprised Toys for Bob is developing this, really thought for sure Vicarious Visions would had been called back. Guess all hands are on deck for the THPS1+2 remaster I suppose.

    Personally I would not had gunned for naming this a belated direct sequel to the ND games. Seen more than a few games do that and fall on their face.

    No Switch/PC release is a bummer, but whatever, maybe they'll be released later. I'm still playing through Cortex Strikes Back, and have yet to get to Warped (the PS1 originals, not the N-Sane versions), so I can wait I suppose. Besides, Crash 4 being an (initial) PS4/XB1-only release I imagine is the least worst thing that can happen to this game considering this is an Activision joint. The Trojan horse microtransaction nonsense Acti pulled last year with CTR: NF is still fresh in my mind personally. I also still don't like how Acti never bothered with putting the entire Spyro Re-Ignited trilogy on one cart/disk for the physical console releases.


  17. So at the end of April (27), I requested some characters a Six Fanarts Challenge on my Twitter, and this my result after working on it after some weeks.

    ddz0q7o-0d43d049-8607-4f85-9306-382a4ee1

    Also, my latest piece: She's Kinda Cheeky Like That. With "She" being Betty--you get used to the quips she makes if you lounge around with her long enough.

    she_s_kinda_cheeky_like_that_by_yeow95_d


  18. 3 hours ago, DabigRG said:

    I honestly don''t remember that one. Must've been smack in an awkward middle of Season 2.

    I can't recall which season it's in (maybe the second season) or the title of the episode, but yeah it was something where they found an ancient mech suit that has special powers. Sonic claimed it and used it for fighting enemies, but staying in it over time causes his ego / attitude to take over hard and he starts causing problems. IIRC they actually have to go to Eggman find the machine's weakness and set up a plan for to get Sonic out of the mech suit and bring him back to normal.


  19. The show was mostly alright, but I would actually say it was getting better as time went on when they actually did start getting into non-episodic plots. I think my preferred episodes of the whole bunch was arguably when Sonic as a character was taken out of his element, namely the one where the townspeople were treating him like crap to the point he decides to quit saving the town, and the one with the machine that made him more self-absorbed and turned him into a villain. Both of which for me were interesting concepts that genuinely got me interested to see how they played it. I'm sure someone can rebut me that these ideas have probably been explored in other Sonic works (the comics, past television shows) but I'm not familiar with most of those at all. And Eggman on the whole was pretty fun, namely with his more casual interactions with the other people in the village and Sonic's team, and how those interactions led to some of his plans that were more petty / personal. All that aside, though--this may come off as mean-spirited, but I'd honestly say the best thing about Boom for me was that I feel the failure of the games (namely RoL) was a major contribution towards bringing the Genesis department back from what was arguably the brink of falling back into irrelevance.

    The Boom series was announced on the heels of Sonic 4 having been quietly abandoned and the TaxStealth remasters of the original games ending with the 3&K remaster pitch being rejected (on the eve of that game's 20th anniversary no less). This is on top of Lost World underperforming with all of its classic-era derived surface decor (Green Windy Hill, classic badniks and animals, etc.) and the initial panic around the Boom franchise's announcement that it would be used to replace the entire mainline series before Sega said otherwise. The writing was definitely on the wall if you ask me. I absolutely believe that had the Boom games not flopped as badly as they did, the window of opportunity that was there to get Taxman's Discovery pitch considered would not had been open; and we'd more likely than not be in a timeline where Mania [Plus], Sonic Mega Drive, Mania Adventures, all of it would not exist.


  20. On 2/4/2018 at 10:35 PM, Milo said:

    Was pretty much without a working printer/scanner/copier for all of 2017, so there was some stuff I drew on paper in 2017 that I was unable to upload to my computer. That finally changed today, so now I can post these two pieces:

    huevopolis_zone__workprint__by_yeow95-dc

    Huevopolis Zone (Workprint)

    A somewhat futuristic city, with some of Eggman's personal touches added to it. The weird metal detection-esque devices (one of which is holding Sonic miles high in the sky) are actually supposed to be teleporation devices. (As for what the name of the zone has to do with Eggman--consult a dictionary or translator on what "huevo" means in Spanish. ;] ). Plan to make a final version of this with colors later this year.

    Two-three years later...

    huevopolis_zone_by_yeow95_ddxiph5-fullvi


  21. I can't image it's ever coming back with the current direction of Sonic Team/Sega; a lot of the spinoff stuff that Riders came from have been culled over the past decade and Free Riders' failure likely ensured they wouldn't even think about making another one. And while the first Riders did sell decently, it and the series overall never got the best reviews. The ASR games didn't sell quite as well as the original, but they got significantly better reception.

    My personal wish is that the next Boost game (assuming another is made) is reworked into the racing genre and takes a copious amount of notes from the first Riders in the process. Mechanics like upgrading character abilities with your ring count during races, speed/flight/power-specific shortcuts, and performing tricks off ramps to increase your gauge/access shortcuts, among other things, would fit the Boost gameplay perfectly with some needed tweaks. I feel it would also help flesh out the existing gameplay that is there immensely and really help further accentuate it as a unique fun racer.


  22. 2 hours ago, Wraith said:

    The odds are stacked against him but of course sega's poor handling of the series doesn't help. This is anecdotal, but while poor quality releases are usually to blame, I've actually seen more people express that they didn't know that the series was still going or that a Sonic game had come out than anything else. The marketing is too low key. Even if the games were supposedly mediocre or even poor, they should be treated like they're gold by marketing. 

    I can't say for sure since I don't honestly know, but I imagine whatever staff there that handled their more mainstream marketing avenues were cut during Sega of America's layoffs and relocation out of San Francisco as part of the 2015 restructure. Namely because the layoffs and restructure were done as part of the company's broader refocus more towards digital games (PC/mobile), with streamlining overseas operations of packaged games listed as a specific goal. So I think there's some definite truth in what you say, starting from that point.

    Although with that said, I'd say Unleashed was the last mainline game that got a really big push marketing-wise, which I feel goes hand-in-hand with how it's also said to be the last Sonic game handled with high production values. My anecdotal takes are that for Black Knight through Lost World, the advertising space on television, print, product/store tie-ins, physical floor space, etc. were drastically cut back. They tried to improve this with the launch of the Boom series, but that blew up in their faces and was probably what was the final straw for any future mainstream marketing. (Not like that approach has worked out all that great, based on how games like TSR and Forces to a lesser extent have performed.)


  23. Speaking as someone who grew up with the PC/prototype soundtrack, I definitely prefer Carnival Night and Launch Base from that version over the Genesis versions, primarily because the melodies actually differ from each act, in addition to the songs themselves being good compositions. Conversely, I feel the Genesis version of Ice Cap is well ahead of the PC/prototype version away for similar reasons.

    Meanwhile with respect to the tracks outside the main zones, I feel the prototype/PC version of the Credits music does a very good job but it's still outshone a bit by the Genesis version. The Super Sonic music in proto/PC wins hands down over Genesis for going the Sonic 2/Mania route of being an original track, instead of reusing the invincibility music. I think I like the more basic, droning version of Knuckles' Theme in Genesis more, but do feel the more maniac proto/PC version deserves more recognition (IIRC, it was used as a theme for Fang the Sniper in the the first Sonic Classic fangame, and it worked really well there). Can't quite remember the Competition music in the proto/PC version to definitively pick which one I like more.


  24. Regarding the Mirage Saloon Heavy Magician boss fight, I don't really see it as pandering because it's not a property the stage or the game really dwells upon or builds up as a major selling point. It's a one-off cameo that isn't referred to anywhere else in the rest of the game. 

    Moreover, it's hard for me to be upset because it's the first use of those characters in the official games in....anything beyond a poster since their last appearance in Fighters from over two decades ago. An argument could definitely be made that the Heavy Magician fight could had been designed so that the characters weren't used at all, but I'm not mad that the development team made the effort to get them in there in some way. (I imagine the Mania developers had to make the effort get them included, much like they did with getting Ray and Mighty as playable characters for the Plus DLC--Iizuka for the latter is on record for saying they never had any intention of doing anything with those two characters again.)

    I'm probably being very blindly optimistic with the following, but it gives me some a bit of hope that the actual characters could get a more prominent / proper role for a hypothetical future classic Sonic project. 

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