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Scritch the Cat

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Scritch the Cat last won the day on January 8

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  1. March 14th has come and gone. I’m eager to see the results!
  2. Cream, originally. I don’t want to make this out to be a stronger dislike than it actually is, as most games including her have too little plot and characterization to affect much, but the very concept behind her leads to everything I have problems with, and they’re not just narrative. The concept of a playable Sonic character who is too sissy to fight, this deferring that task to a minion, led to a gameplay mechanic that makes irrelevant the normal way of playing Sonic games, and that wouldn’t necessarily be so bad, except it’s so overpowered. Originally, Sonic games had jumping attacking combined into one button, which seems like it may be simplistic but actually lends a lot of nuance when factoring in level design. But to give a flawless homing projectile attack to a character, and bind it to a whole new button, REALLY IS too simplistic. I hate it because it makes the old meat of Sonic obsolete, and the Boost presents a similar problem. Sonic Battle cemented my ire at the character. Wasting a fighting hand character slot on a pacifist character when the Chaotix were revived was a dumb move on its own, and that her moveset just consisted of Cheese doing various things made it really dull, but that the game had text-heavy plot made her personality truly annoying. Her refusal to fight was the cause of problems, and even when she’s supposed to get over that, Cheese is still who’s doing all the work, so it’s fake development. But more recently, the Wisps. It’s odd to say they’re my least favorite character since they’re barely characters at all, but knowing they were created just so characters other than Sonic could be removed from a playable role is enough to get me disdain.
  3. While Sonic media haven’t all been comedies, even at their darkest the character himself has always had a sense of humor. Was the difference back in the 1990s, when he was considered most cool, that his sense of humor was just better? Well, “Robuttnik” being a combination of a pun and toilet humor would hardly suggest that. But Sonic is wasn’t necessarily shooting for clever. Instead, he was often doing it to aggravate his opponents. Not to imply that the humor wasn’t also a genuine part of his personality, but it had a real purpose in keeping his cool even under pressure, to the chagrin of enemies. So Sonic games being more outright comedies isn’t an invalid evolution. It’s not the only valid evolution, and bad writing can certainly make it more annoying than funny, but it does preserve a part of the character from the 1990s, and that’s no mean feat. While talking animals have never been absent from the media, it was only a narrow window of time when there were attempts to push them as serious action protagonists. Sonic struck that iron when it was hot, and that he didn’t get bogged down in it is impressive and fortunate. Also, to beat a dead horse, “cool” is subjective, mercurial, and often quite frivolous. If Sonic is supposed to be cool in the way that children and teenagers define it these days, then he isn’t doing wrong by milking memes. That’s not to say you have to like that, but any one person with unique tastes isn’t what matters here.
  4. I want to offer a hot take here; one that I feel shouldn’t be controversial but somehow seems unacknowledged: I don’t think it’s really that hard to make another Sonic Adventure game. I mean, the bit I noted last post, of Sonic games being hard to make in general, and professional-tier 3D games remaining outside the capabilities of fangame developers, is still true, but SEGA used that formula in five successive games, albeit to varying success, and the speed part of that formula is still in essence the one they’re using, with the addition of some new moves and gimmicks. There isn’t any major hurdle they need to clear in order to make Sonic work the way he had in those games, and if they include other playable characters in the safe way of making them play mostly like Sonic, but with some differences, they, too, could be easy enough to make. The biggest thing I think is keeping them from doing it? For a time it was probably the aversion to Sonic 06, but as fond memories of the Adventure series start to outweigh the bad taste that retconned-out game left, it probably isn’t anymore. Now what’s stopping them is the refusal to get rid of the boost. While it doesn’t absolutely prevent other characters from being playable, it forces them to devote so much more time and effort in level design to focus on moving forward in a hurry, that other facets, like moving vertically, get less focus in turn. It used to be that when people complained about extra playable characters in the Adventure games, what most pointed to as a better way to do things was, once again, Sonic but with a few different moves, ala the Genesis trilogy/quadrology. But for that to work, environments must be made to utilize those moves. TL/DR: Making another Adventure game is not some elusive magical spell; anymore than making another game like the Genesis trilogy. But it just like Mania, you do need to axe the boost to make such a game.
  5. I definitely think the Sonic fandom is fragmented, and the impression that the bulk of the fandom is changing its mind and will never be pleased is actually a misinterpretation of certain fragments becoming more or less vocal depending on circumstance. If that’s not the case, I’d be very surprised. It’s understandable that fans of the 2D Genesis games would resent parts of the Adventure games as an unwelcome diversions. It is understandable that fans of the Adventure games would resent the games that strip away all playable characters besides Sonic. It is understandable that people who valued the momentum challenges of the Genesis games would be mad at how momentum has mattered less and less starting with the Adventure games and culminating in Boost games. Then, it also works in reverse; obviously Sonic Mania appealed a lot to people who saw the 2D games with momentum physics and minimal plot as the highest point in the series. They’ve gotten what they want. The fans of the Adventure series have not, which is why they’re the segment of the fan base that makes the most noise these days, and SEGA has started to notice. But so far their noticing hasn’t taken any form but fanservice; no return to anything in the Adventure formula yet. Then, in defense of the vocal segment that pleads for a more open-world approach in 3D Sonic, it must be allowed that SEGA has never given it a serious attempt. The most commonly cited argument against this concept is that fangames utilizing it tend not to get past their engine and demo stage phases, but at least part of that should be blamed on the fact that they are fangames. Making a good Sonic level isn’t a short or easy process, and the single biggest reason for this is that Sonic moves quickly. Even in 2D, where people have been doing it for three decades and at least some fangames have met the professional standard, level designers have to utilize various techniques to make levels that are still of substantial length and challenge even for a highly mobile character. This task has gotten even longer and harder when that character has an instant acceleration button, which is why every boost game has 2D segments, generally employed so Sonic can be locked into segments where his speed isn’t really useful. That’s a shorter and easier level design choice than giving Sonic more room to move and filling it with more stuff. It’s another reason I, along with many other people, wish the boost would just be thrown out, yes; games that use it put Sonic’s signature element on full display but they also yank it away arbitrarily when it’s time to do whatever other thing they want to put in the game. I think they should throw out dimension-shifting for the same reason; it’s too arbitrary. Playing as Sonic should feel liberating, but as it exists in its current modern form, it’s a rather obvious ordeal of playing a prepackaged experience exactly as those who packaged it intended. Fully 3D and more open Sonic stages will take a lot more time and effort to make, but I continue to argue that the player experience will be more worthwhile if the level creators can get it down. And for what this is worth, I think the boost formula has reached its peak so I would rather SEGA puts in the time to make a fully 3D and more open Sonic game. If they want to release another Sonic game in the interim, make it another fully 2D, Classic Sonic game.
  6. I think people’s thoughts about this are still colored by the old design. Because of the constant escalation of bad press it got from the silhouette poster right through the first trailer, everyone expected this to be more than the sort of generic children’s movie that has likely been described hundreds of times here; they expected it to lack the one saving grace such movies sometimes have due to being not endearing to children but scary. That post-redesign it swung to being better than the genre standard gives some idea of just how thin the line is between a a safe movie and a risky one. Especially when nothing is exceptional about it and a little push in either direction can swing it far.
  7. @azoo Theatrics are one thing, but did you really need two references to anal sex? That aside, I acknowledge your point. This movie will likely bring a lot of people to Sonic, but there’s certainly the chance that SEGA will change Sonic based on it, maybe for the worse. I’m not bothered by it now, but originally I also wasn’t bothered by Sonic Rush. Then the Boost formula stuck around and prevented Sonic from being what I wanted it to be, and because it has its fans, there’s no reason to believe it will leave.
  8. Maybe, but graphics companies jack up prices when they know people are willing and able to pay Disney-level cash. Another for the pile of reasons companies should not be allowed to get that powerful. Also, regarding how “safe” this movie is and the formula of putting a cartoon character in the real world is, remember that there are different sorts of success. The type of success that’s safe to assume from that formula is getting the budget back in profits; not getting good reviews.
  9. Yeah, while I can’t say the movie will do much to improve Sonic’s franchise as a whole, I don’t think it will be hurt by this and most of what could be blamed on the movie could be more solidly blamed on SEGA’s attitude toward Sonic lately. They want it to be good but they aren’t putting the big money behind making it good. So they might cash in on the movie as a chance to be mediocre, but they might cash in on other things for that, too. The movie is what it is; a generic plot that Sonic and Robotnik got shoved into and managed to elevate it above other movies with that generic plot. I still think it was the wrong way to make a Sonic movie, but the sad thing is that I’m not sure Paramount can be blamed for cutting so many characters out when SEGA’s own minds see them as dispensable. The unfortunate truth is that Sonic fans are used to being underwhelmed by now. They’re happy for something that’s not totally broken.
  10. While a limited budget would have been a valid, if depressing reason they couldn’t show more of Sonic’s game things, that we got a very detailed depiction of South Island, plus , invalidates it. 3D assets are expensive to make, but once you have them you can keep reusing them and repurposing them in a way you can’t with 2D assets. They had them, and so the lack of much more done with them is hard to forgive. If nothing else, they should have spent a bit more time in that home world to establish more of what makes Sonic tick; both in terms of what his powers actually do and what memories haunt his psyche.
  11. There’s maybe some truth to that, but it also is missing some nuance. Some early concept art by Naoto Oshima also gave Sonic a bit of an edge, with Shadow-like angular eyes, fangs, and of course, Madonna. SEGA of America initially made Sonic LESS edgy when they got ahold of him; getting rid of all those things and only ever drawing him with one smiling expression. It’s merely the marketing that played the idea of edgy Sonic back up. Granted, Sonic’s Japanese portrayal didn’t retain those original ideas either, except that Sonic was still allowed to have multiple expressions. But edginess isn’t alien to Japanese culture, and certainly not to Shonen literature. There are heroic but still edgy examples of “Japanese delinquents”, Kunio Kun being the best known in video games.
  12. It seems like Jim Carrey is the most divisive element of this movie, which given it’s Jim Carrey, isn’t surprising. I admit; I have not liked any of his movies that I’ve seen, though I haven’t seen many, but the common statement of both positive and negative reviews is that he’s channeling his performances from those ones I disliked. The one thing that might save it for me here is that this time, Carrey’s character actually is supposed to be a madman that a lot of people would love to punch, and at least one person actually does.
  13. That Slant review overall feels disparaging to and ignorant of the property and gaming culture as a whole, but I must admit that I had been worried about this bit ever since that fluff scene, and am sad to be proven correct: To add to that, if we've been given that A: Sonic has been able to move at Mach speed since he was a baby, and presumably has good control and reaction time. B: Sonic's home base has been Green Hills, Montana, for almost that long. There is no reason to believe that Sonic can get lost that easily. He would have to have a good sense of direction just to be what he is. Also, I'm pretty sure something has to go much faster than sound to wind up in the Pacific ocean mere seconds after it starts heading west from Montana, but even if Sonic actually is that fast, there's no way he lacks fast enough reaction time to steer away in that process. Even if he doesn't know the exact way to San Francisco, he'd still be able to avoid that sort of accident. I get that this might be a "turn your brain off" movie, but this isn't so much an example of the writers not thinking enough about what Sonic is as it's an example of them thinking too much about making Sonic something else. It's one thing not to think of every last physical implication of Sonic's speed when it's actually happening, because so long as we're enjoying the adventure of Sonic being fast we need not worry about what makes it impossible. They can bend or even break rules when it's to allow Sonic to be Sonic. However, if Sonic has be made unrealistically, unfathomably stupid just so we can have an excuse for him not to go fast and instead stick around to befriend a human, it's everyone's prerogative to remind them, loudly, that they're ripping Sonic away from being what he was intended to be and shoving him into a template-built family movie story. Never, so far as I recall, because go-figure, the entire bit about Sonic having any reason whatsoever to be lonely stems from writers reinventing his powers as something others can steal, thus making him and those close to him a target. It feels almost like they wrote it that way specifically so they could make a subplot about Sonic being lonely, thus justifying shoving in their original char--wait no; even then there's no excuse for Sonic's first friend not to be Tails.
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