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Scritch the Cat

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  1. The strangest thing to me is how invested people are in all of this. What, at this point, does anyone expect to see? From a design angle, the best we'll get is a Sonic that looks like his game version, plus maybe some better textures, which will make the movie more pleasant to look at but hardly remarkable. From a writing angle, likely nothing has changed; what we saw and heard in that trailer is still a likely microcosm of what we're going to get. It's interesting to speculate how people would have regarded this movie if they'd gone with a more game-like design from the start. I get the feeling most would just ignore it. If not for bad publicity, this film might have none at all.
  2. I disagree with that. Hedonism is a big part of Sonic's personality, but it isn't his motive. If that was all there was to Sonic, he would be picking fights with the proper authorities every time a villain isn't threatening the world, and clearly he doesn't. The simple fact that in many games he has to break a canister of animals in order to beat some stages shows that he has compassion. It's more accurate to say Sonic really likes the feeling of freedom and doesn't like those who restrict it; this isn't just a self-interest but essentially his basis of ethics. Not the deepest of ethics, but they're not just a selfish "So long as I'm happy I don't give a toss"; rather "Everyone deserves to be happy".
  3. I would be okay with SonAmy becoming a thing, but not with many of those results. Back when he still worked for Sonic Team, Yuji Naka was asked if they'll ever get together, and he said "I think it would be better if Amy just keeps chasing Sonic". Back then I was big into shipping so it gave me an aversion to Naka. Since then, I have moved on from shipping and come to see how valuable Naka was to the series' quality, given just how much worse it got once he left...but I still find that opinion dumb. When it comes to Sonic, the only thing Amy pursuing him affects is it causes him to run...which he already does, often without an excuse. Amy herself has done a few other things based on her pursuit, but it's such a shallow motive that others could be substituted for it pretty easily. It is also, for many, a very annoying motive; seemingly plucked out of thin air concurrently with Amy suddenly becoming more prominent, and so I always supported character development for Amy, to at the very least make her less annoying. However, developing it in a way that just puts even more baggage on Sonic isn't a good idea; they need to keep in mind what Sonic is supposed to be about if they get Sonic and Amy together, and that means they shouldn't devote much plot to establishing the relationship. At least not within the games; spin-off media could do a bit more, but not to the extent that it changes genres from action-adventure to romance. The best way for SonAmy to manifest in the games would be spontaneously and unceremoniously, akin to how Dixie Kong was introduced in Donkey Kong Country 2. "Diddy Kong has a girlfriend now", for the purpose of that game, didn't mean any more than just "Diddy Kong has someone else besides Donkey Kong that he can go on adventures with." Same with Sonic; in games where he can have a buddy character tagging along, Amy being his girlfriend doesn't have to have any more significance than that. If there's dialog, they can talk about their relationship, but I wouldn't want it to be something that added drama to the plot; at least not in itself. What I would be okay with is it being used to further incentivize one character or the other in the case that his or her partner is captured or in danger, because again, going and rescuing someone in danger is something that fits with the mechanics of this series. A dating-sim-style conversation tree or slow scenes designed to make Sonic look like an idealized boyfriend don't fit.
  4. I must say if that's true, it could make this movie at least a bit better. But as ever, even if great stuff is in this movie, you can fault the trailer for not displaying it. On that note, you think we'll ever see the "Everybody Dance Now" trailer?
  5. As widespread as that reputation is, I wouldn't call it the biggest problem this series has. While many series have unintended demographics that attain a sort of infamy, Sonic's problem is that it lacks a solid core lately, so inevitably the periphery is more noticeable. By the periphery, I don't just mean the really infamous stereotypes; I mean the people who make fangames and other fan projects, memes, articulate video essays and sometimes written essays about the series and sometimes how to fix it, and if you stretch, the official spin-off games and cartoons. All of these tend to feed into each other, as with the Misery spoof in Sonic Boom satirizing the stereotypical annoying fans and the Sonic Twitter mentioning or sometimes even making memes. This weirdness persists because the core game series is too incoherent and inconsequential to provide much to orbit. Some things seem to have settled into being mainstays, such as (for better or worse) the Wisps, Cubot and Orbot, but otherwise, ideas and characters come and go, and maybe they return but maybe they don't. Their official "continuity bubble" policy, likely conceived just so writers can be lazy but perhaps also because they have so little faith in their games that they might want to boot some out of canon, doesn't help.
  6. Something has gone horribly wrong when that sentence is part of your defense. Let me clarify why I said that and what I meant. I'm not going to deny that Sega can make good games. In fact, it's been demonstrated that Sonic Team can make good games even when they are Sonic games. However, Sega has also been willing to release blatantly unfinished games, and Sonic is unfortunately a sore spot for that. Sonic 2006 was glitchy and terribly optimized, but the real problem with it wasn't technical; it was ethical. Lots of games are that crappy at some point in their development, but with say, Nintendo, they get fixed before getting released. Miyamoto's dictum that "A delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever" keeps Mario and Zelda from having such stinkers on their record. Sega, though, forced out their game as a fifteenth anniversary celebration and Christmas gift, making quick bucks at the expense of Sonic's reputation. It may have been over a decade ago now, but the damage that game caused to this series still hasn't healed, and it doesn't help that they repeated that mistake of releasing an unfinished game with Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. The reason I bring that up in this particular context is that I can't accept, in good faith, that the reason this movie turned out the way it did is that Sega had the humility to leave filmmaking to the "experts". It's far easier to assume that it's because Sega doesn't mind letting Sonic's reputation take a nosedive, since they've let it do so with the very media they claim to be their expertise.
  7. Dora comes with lower expectations than Sonic. Yes, that might sound weird, but Sonic has been to more different sorts of places, and has been allowed to do things like be in real danger and fight. For all the wipeouts he's had, people still remember his moments of glory. A Dora movie wasn't a surefire success, but it was going to surpass some expectations simply because of being willing to do things that the original show didn't, but things which, as movies go, are not new. People expect more of Sonic, as he's been catered to adventurous tastes from game one. As for Patrick Casey's advice, from a business perspective it basically translates to "Let us take the money and run." The mere fact that "Keep an open mind" is their operating principle here says just how much they lack any other drum to beat. The approach they took with this was fucked from the moment Detective Pikachu opted for a similar premise but much more fanservice, and designs that, though not always as appealing with realistic textures, weren't altered away from what made them iconic. Plus even before then, when both game movies and Sonic had a bad reputation, we still had base expectations of their franchises. With Sonic, we at least had come to expect lots of eye-candy, iconic characters, and nostalgia. I refuse to lower my standards to judge this movie when we've had decades of the Sonic series at least clearing that bar consistently. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, Sega, you always find a way to turn even the most dubious scenarios into a chance to suck your own dick. You had to have known this would face skepticism, and nobody is buying your pose of humility when you've been negligent with game quality to an extreme most AAA game companies wouldn't allow.
  8. Team Sonic Racing Overdrive, if it counts, goes a bit deeper and also references Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes. A few games between those and Sonic Colors might as well not have happened. One canonically didn't. I can accept that for the sake of a positive episode, KO would focus on what Sonic was before the dark ages. But it still seems really weird to do that in a show aimed at children, to whom it doesn't really explain the jokes.
  9. Now that you mention it, the idea of Sonic being a celebrity is quite anachronistic at the moment. To the older viewers, the sort whom this episode seems most made for, he is mostly a has-been. To many of the younger viewers, who probably are the bulk of this show's audience, sadly Sonic is a never-was. That doesn't mean I would have wanted them to reflect that by playing Sonic more like Bojack Horseman. I'm fine with them deciding to make this a celebration of the Sonic franchise at its best. However, I think a better way to have done that would have been to make the plot about KO visiting Sonic's world instead; that could provide a formal introduction for more of those things that they just referenced here.
  10. I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of that either. Sonic’s abilities don’t have to be 100% unique to him, but balling up is the entire reason the hedgehog was chosen as the mascot for a speed-based platformer, as it allows him to attack while moving. If any creature can do it, it undermines the strangely-brilliant whimsy of a hedgehog as a super-speed action hero. It wasn’t a big deal to me in a surreal comedy cartoon, and let’s be real; KO will probably never spin-dash again, but I don’t like that direction being taken in Sonic Heroes, Sonic World, and the many ________ in Sonic the Hedgehog hacks. Sonic characters should play more uniquely, provided they’re fun.
  11. Well, I was partially right and partially wrong. I was wrong that Sonic would be a dick here and was wrong that it wouldn’t be funny. I quite enjoyed this. However, I think I was quite right that it’s made for Sonic fans at the expense of people who don’t know about Sonic. There were some good outsider-friendly jokes, like KO getting Wile-E Coyote-style injuries trying to spin-dash, but overall it’s a constant stream of things that just feel weird if you weren’t there for their inspiration. Sadly it’s pretty hard not to be cynical about Sonic. Even if you have the same affection for it’s better moments that they’ve displayed here, for most of us that just made it hurt more when Sonic hit the really bad times. This series still has not recovered from 06, even if most of its games aren’t that putrid. I will not consider it to have recovered until Sonic Team, or whoever these games now, concedes that multiple characters weren’t that game’s problem; releasing it unfinished was, and makes a 3D game with at least Tails and Knuckles playable, well-made. Until then, this series will be haunted by the perception that it jumped the shark and is now running on fumes, as will many references.
  12. Regarding OK KO's art style, I'm alright with its character designs, but it's gratuitous use of deformation, ala the above-mentioned Jon K, is hit and miss with me. In both this and Jon K''s work, it seems to miss the point; cartoons are supposed to exaggerate facial expressions to convey a mood; not put on random extreme expressions just to be funny. Sometimes the weird faces characters dawn are funny to me, but when they're so constant and individual expressions are prolonged, the novelty wears off. People here are probably acquainted with the many, many viral images spawned from goofy Sonic facial expressions. I collect them, and might make a GIF cycling through them. The thing is, these are funny because Sonic's appearance is usually so iconic, recognizable and clean. The Syndrome Principle applies if that isn't the case; a character who always looks funny never looks funny. Regarding the crossover's Sonic references: Another mixed bag, but biggest issue for me is that they aren't funny. A smaller issue is how confusing references can be to those outside the target audience, and not all are created equal in that regard. A character like Boxman can get away with being a pretty thorough reference to Eggman because it doesn't require outsiders to know about Eggman for the comedy of a manchild scientist with goofy looking robot minions to work in that new form. KO striking iconic poses from Sonic won't work as a joke to people not familiar with said poses, but it won't cause the unfamiliar to think, "I don't get it"; especially since KO is still engaging in natural conversation while doing it. Where it gets bad is the fanart bit; then KO is eating up time with references to things outsiders won't get, and the references are the only thing going on at that time. Let me illustrate this further with a past joke from Sonic Boom , Tails calling a machine he invented the "Dream Caster" and describing it or another machine--I forget which--as having Blast Processing. References pitched at Sega fans, but they're inserted directly into the dialogue that keeps flowing, so they aren't prohibitive to people who don't get them. But here's a hypothetical example of those jokes done worse: Sonic: Hey Tails! I heard you developed a new machine that actually has more than 64 bits! What's it called? Tails: The Dream Caster! [COMEDIC PAUSE] Sonic: Cool! So that means it's fast, right? Tails: Well, let's put it this way: It has blast-processing!
  13. Sorry to be the downer here, but while I have nothing against this crossover existing, that newest preview didn't really look too good to me. It's like the same medium-aware narrative style present in Sonic Boom but much less funny. There's not really much humor from KO since he's just doing what he usually does; raving about superheroes he venerates and wants to emulate, except this time it's Sonic. The fanart should have been potential for all sorts of jokes, but they're more just references, and weirdly, they're references that many modern children won't get. Naturally, that was true of the other crossovers this show did, too, but those at least had the advantage of being really, really weird, compared to this umpteenth moment of KO being a fanboy. I don't know what's weirder, that he somehow knows of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic Adventure 2, or that he somehow considers the Olympics games equivalent moments of glory. Then there's Sonic himself: He seems like a cocky jerk. Sonic's had shades of that in the past, but usually what made it work was he was more facetious about it and was bouncing it off of antagonists who deserved it. Just brushing off Tails on a knee-jerk is...not the plot point I would have wanted in an episode intended to celebrate Sonic. Obviously the episode will end with them reconciling, but it's still a bad choice. Who knows, though? It could surprise me. Except the biggest surprise, and thus the main draw, is just the fact that this exists, and will likely remain so. The episode can be utterly underwhelming now that it's guaranteed that people will watch it.
  14. As an origin story, this film seems ill-equipped to establish the characters as they are in the games. Robotnik/Eggman is supposed to have motives beyond just wanting to stop Sonic; it's really Sonic who's supposed to try to stop him. The backstory they wrote, with Sonic having convenient world-warping abilities and electrical powers that cause EMP blasts, rests on factors that aren't even in the games. They're taking things out that are near and dear to the brand identity, and adding things in that make it something else entirely; something with so much weight as to potentially hold it back from becoming what people want. Oh, and before anyone says something like "Adaptations that change things up are valid; just look at Into the Spider-verse", do bear in mind the real circumstances behind that. Both in graphic novels and movies, the more zany takes on the mythology were added only after the core version was well-established. Before the first Raimi movie came out, Spider-Man may have been a broadly identifiable cultural icon, but I'm guessing most people didn't know his origin story or much about his enemies. We got that and the short-lived "Amazing" reboot to retell his origin; only after those did they try to go wild with things like Peni Parker and Spider-Ham. You need to do a conservative version of the story in any medium before you can do a subversive version in the same medium; that may not be an objective truth, but it is the way that series actually happened.
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