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Everything posted by UpCDownCLeftCRightC

  1. I had the same feeling when I replayed it not too long ago. SA1 is one of my favorites in the series but upon reflection the game was extremely rough around the edges. The sonic gameplay contained a lot of good ideas but the actual process of handling sonic through levels was such an unstable one that the heavy automation present in the game was a necessity. As much as I love the game for what it tried to be, I have to admit it was not a proper foundation for a great 3D sonic game. I think many of us love it because Sonic controlled relatively smoothly but his controls fought against the level design in many cases. Its no wonder SA2 took the more narrow approach it did, although that was likely for the worse gameplay experience overall. I think a better foundation for 3D sonic can be built than Adventure 1 but I still love it for its many good ideas and homages to my favorite time in gaming history.
  2. I'm not agreeing with you at all. I do not think that "a game with sonic in it" is an adequate definition for a sonic game at all; even super smash bros has sonic in it and that's clearly not a sonic game. The mario and sonic Olympics stars sonic and his friends....and I dont think that qualifies as a true sonic game. Even sonic boom rise of lyrics could easily fit your technical definition of "sonic game" and then some...but I dont really think it is a true sonic game despite sharing core characters and surface elements of the series.... I'm using this argument as an example to show how your definition is weak. If all we needed was to have the character in it, then any number of games could be considered "sonic games" while not really showcasing anything unique or distinct about the series. But you dont seem to understand this or even want to. This isnt going anywhere, so I'll get off the train here.
  3. This is true. And in general what i used was probably a lazy description because there are in fact many things common to both early and throughout sonic's history. I think people use that description because the tone in SA2 is obviously darker in a way that goes beyond just the basic plot itself, it leaks into the rest of the game's design choices. It does so in a way that feels much different than anything that came before it, despite the fact that one can pick out individual choices that SA2 has done and find them across the series history. Even the "darker" tone with SA2 had been done before, particularly with Sonic CD. But SA2 combined these elements in a completely different way than its predecessors and as a result just felt like a different take on the same character, not just a "darker" sonic. Not a different series altogether, but a different strand and different vibe. And the fanbase is a direct reflection of it. Having witnessed the history of this franchise, I'd say SA2 is unquestionably the most divisive game and theres really not even a close second.
  4. I think in terms of the sonic gameplay, the somewhat linear A to B goal oriented style (disregarding the physics) SA2 actually follows the classic era fairly well. Most of the main series games do, although the nuances of physics and level design seemed to weaken with each entry following SA1. Even the boost games follow the same basic formula in this regard. The biggest differences between the classics-SA1 and then SA2-modern titles are the level design (and physics nuances) and the environment aesthetic. SA1 in particular was almost like a sequel to S3K in terms of the tone, locations used and the palette choice. Even though it had some realistic locations it used practically identical themes throughout with the same lighter, more vibrant tone throughout much of it. And one underrated element that it pretty much nailed as a follow up was in its choice of music; SA1 had a very diverse selection of music that was composed to create a sense of atmosphere, which is a key element that the classic games focused heavily on. This is one element that is often mentioned when people talk about the old school "sonicy" vibe that the classics seemed to have in comparison to the titles from SA2 onward. The level design aesthetic and the musical themes (and SFX) combined in a recipe to create a very distinguishable sense of environment or world from any of other series. SA1 does that nearly as well as the classic games did. This is without getting into the level design, for which SA1 is really the only 3D title in 20 years to make a serious attempt at translating sonic's classic gameplay into a fully 3D context. I think with SA2 sonic team realized they werent totally capable of making that kind of high speed pinball physics gameplay in a fully 3D world, so to compensate they needed to change the focus of their design principles to put more emphasis on spectacle...an element which has always had a place in the series but in the classics was secondary to the slope/level interaction mechanics that were fundamental in allowing the player to control the action. SA1 didnt quite nail this either even with its honest attempt and was also quite overdone with spectacle...but one can immediately tell playing the game what ST was trying to do. SA2 by comparison was much more like a series of hallways sprinkled in between sections of a rollercoaster. Much more on rails and segmented than SA1 which was designed to feel more like distinct open environments, very much in line with what the classics tried to create despite being limited to 2 dimensions. (By the way heroes attempted to copy the aesthetic and stage progression of the classics but completely missed the point in almost every other area. This is why few use it as an example). SA2 used some elements from earlier in the series (crazy gadget/death egg, etc.) but the entire palette was much darker to match the tone of the story and writing, which also significantly diverged from the classics in being more of a shonen or 'knock off' sci fi vibe. And the music choice sharply diverged as well, with the focus being more on character themes rather than creating a sense of atmosphere in each of the environments. This is an underrated thing because in the classic games the environment/aesthetic plays a big part in making the player feel like they are actually in some fantastical alternative universe home to Sonic and his critter friends; while SA2 goes for more of the "realism" vibe, even though it too has some wacky design choices sprinkled throughout. I think SA2's choices based on the plot and characters made perfect sense for what it was... but theres no question its direction was very different than even its immediate predecessor. It really should be considered the beginning of modern sonic, while SA1 feels somewhat like the swan song of the classic era....although technically being the first major 3D title in the series. *this post might be redundant in parts, I apologize in advance. But I'm not going to edit it cause I dont feel like it, and I'm not apologizing for that 😁*
  5. You certainly dont have to. I just think it adds nothing to the conversation when you answer like that. It's your right but it's kind of a pointless post. It's kind of interesting to see what is important to many different people in this series and why. That's why I made the comment. And I think the spirit of the thread is to find those specific things, maybe/maybe not obvious, that define the spirit of the series for you. That's how I interpret the question. As for that being a fact, I'd have to ask "which characters define the sonic series?" Because the sonic series has existed with many different characters with varying number throughout its history. The only character that has been in every single sonic game is sonic himself, and the cast has varied quite a bit throughout history. So the series being defined by its characters is fairly meaningless. Whoever you think the most vital characters are...if they're not sonic, one can make the argument that you're objectively wrong because the series has existed (and even thrived) with only sonic and an antagonist (usually "eggman" but not always) as the cast. By your definition, a sonic game only needs to have Sonic the hedgehog in it to be considered a sonic game, there's no need for plurality. So no, what you said is not fact if you use the phrase "defined by its characters". What you really state by your definition is "defined by its titular character"
  6. Exactly my point. There is nothing interesting about your answer because nearly every series does the exact same thing. What differentiates sonic from anything else in that regard? At least mention something specific in regards to the characters beyond their superficial appearance that provides a unique experience.
  7. This can be said about literally any game with a titular character and his/her friends. What makes sonic different or unique to other series that have their own characters other than their mere existence? Your answer is basically: "sonic is sonic because it has sonic and his friends in it". For me it is not only the sense of adventure that sonic is constantly seeking and the vibrant colorful worlds he travels through....bit also how he does it. Sonic runs, spins, jumps, grinds, surfs, all kinds of movement smoothly throughout the varying landscapes he moves through. He not only chases freedom and adventure, he embodies it in his movements. And when I as the player get to control that "smoothness", it feels like I'm playing a sonic game. It is uniquely sonic to me to have a character do this while blasting across so many colorful worlds. And the worlds have such a great atmosphere, they are inspiring in their own way. Sonic's design is also timeless, particularly the classic version although I like both classic and modern.
  8. I just dont think any of us truly understand what is going on at SEGA enough to determine whether or not ST needs to be "replaced". I've thought about this for a long time but as much I've as dug and tried to find any concrete information, it doesn't really seem clear who is at fault for the inconsistency between titles. What has seemed to be clear is the miscommunication between SOJ and SOA; in recent days that seems to be changing as the company has recently restructured. Maybe something good will come out of it, who knows. Utimately who works on the games is not the primary issue anymore. I believe takashi Iizuka is one of the people remaining who have cared about fans and the franchise; he wont be around forever but it is important that sonic team always retains someone like him, or else Sonic could change into something frankly unrecognizable. I think what really matters right now is for someone with a vision for a great sonic game to come forward and for the company to allow it to breathe. Regardless of how talented people are, if there isnt a clear vision for what sonic should do next, the game wont be any good regardless of who works on it. So it could be someone old or new, there just has to be a clear gameplan and vision to move on. Mania had a clear vision. Forces sorely lacked one. I wish I had a way to channel some of my ideas to the right party, to be truly honest. I dont want to be a developer because I'm working on other more important things in my life. But I have some ideas I'd like to get considered by people with the resources and time to develop a concept. If I could I'd contact someone there and write up what I've thought about and let them have at it. I just want to see something like it see the light of day and dont care about whether or not my name is attached to it, or money comes my way. I have the same dream I've had for sonic in 3D I've had since the 90s, and want to see it in action.
  9. I'm getting something wrong here. I do know for a fact that some sonic team people left for Nintendo around that time. Think I may have gotten the project wrong. Have to check again.
  10. I think having more time IS necessary to making a great game. Certainly, trying to churn out a new big 3D game in a year or so is not enough time to make something great. This is partly why forces was so shocking. I was at SXSW 2017 and saw the live gameplay reveal. Instantly I knew that the game was not close to done and it blew my mind. I still gave it a chance before fully writing it off, but I knew instinctively it would not hold up in the same year that Mania came out. ST said they had 4 years to work on this game, but there is absolutely no way possible it took them 4 years to make that game considering how unfinished it was only 7 months before released and the product we actually got. (Well, you suckers that actually bought that sh*t ) Having more time to make a game when you actually have a vision would be incredibly helpful to making a better product. But when you have no idea what you want, you can waste the time. And it sadly does seem like that may have happened. Hopefully theres some part of the story that is missing but if we find out that nope, they're just tired and uninspired, I think that would be as good a time as any to finally check out on this series. (Not encouraging people to do that, just saying.)
  11. Yeah if I recall correctly, some of the staff went to work on Mario games, I think galaxy 2. Have to verify but it definitely happened.
  12. First off....Great post! I share a lot of your feelings, particularly the bolded. I actually had to laugh out loud when I read it...but then 5 seconds later felt terrible haha. The timing of announcing an anniversary game after the previous game was an anniversary game...and the last good game before that was an anniversary game....just seems like a lot of thought isn't being given to marketing here. I think the reason a lot of us feel that way, outside of any evidence, is that Sonic Generations showed what this modern Sonic Team could do when focused and funded. Sure it didn't win any awards but it was clearly the best Sonic game in over a decade, arguably the best 3D Sonic title to date...and I'm aware that's not saying a whole lot but the game was THE love letter to Sonic fans before Mania. The level design, the soundtrack... brilliant stuff. It and Colors were like a defibrillator to the state of the series at the time, which a lot of fans too soon seem to forget. Obvious quality and love. (Hey, no one @me about Colors ok?! It was a solidly made game, and the public and media agreed which means something in the videogame market). Its seems unconscionable that that same team cannot produce something near that level again after doing it twice in a row, and this is forgetting Unleashed which while only half a good game, did get notable praise for its better half. And really, it IS unconscionable. These games may be difficult, but they're not rocket science.... and ST have already proven they could do it. So there are only three plausible conclusions to take from this IMO: 1) Sonic Team is not actually Sonic Team anymore: This one we know is true based on information that has surfaced in the last few years. Much of Generations staff left for Nintendo after that game, so it makes sense that the braintrust for the next project may not produce something of similar quality. 2)Sonic Team is burned out: This has been rumored to be the case since 2006 actually. Many people have said that the series has been something of a zombie since Yuji Naka left (even before that) and many long timer staffers want to be working on other things. Iizuka has actually admitted this himself, with the Nights series. So this may be a factor and why it seems impossible that we can't get that one title that is the 3D equivalent of Mania in terms of quality. It is no coincidence that Mania happened only after a group of extremely passionate and very capable fans took on the job. (And that's not intended as a slight to ST, who are not some talentless group). 3)There actually was a game in the works: Again, I do kind of think this based on many things I've read since 2013 but its not provable at the moment. I think we are living in a reality (haha) where some combination of all 3 has happened. So why do I have any optimism for this series at all? Why haven't I just left? Well, I definitely have downgraded my fanhood quite a bit in recent years. In the past I would support Sonic with my dollars in most ways I could and keep daily tabs on the series upcoming projects for any news. Since Forces release a lot of steam has left that wagon for me. The one and only thing that serves as my lifeblood as a fan right now, is the simple fact that Mania itself exists, and that team who created it exists and wants to work more ( I'm assuming), and that SEGA has clearly noticed what Mania accomplished for them. This means that all is not lost and there is the potential that the next project can see improvement based on what was just learned in the last big outing...Mania and Forces. One was outstanding, the other mediocre. Lots of immediate lessons to learn about what to do and what not to... and lessons spaced so closely together, you just can't miss the point there.
  13. Soon as I saw it, thought it was quite stupid. Running out of ideas, they are. Haha, alright now. Sure I'll leave it alone. I never said it was YOU who said that. You made your point and I don't disagree. There are a few posts I can quote a few pages back that literally did say that though and I brought it up because I've seen it quite a lot, especially elsewhere. Otherwise wouldn't have said anything.
  14. This is a valid point but the reason I made that post is because I have seen people in this very thread say that they are okay with nostalgia pandering as long as it is the Adventure kind, as well as other online forums. Again, I dont think nostalgia pandering is inherently bad and think it can be good when handled appropriately and not overdone. I also would be fine with some adventure era pandering. In fact, when some of the trailers for Forces came out and we saw some of the adventure era stuff like chaos, I cracked a little smile. Definitely cool to see some of it again because there were some cool and interesting concepts from that era. I would be okay if the series decided it wanted to revisit some of that again (although for sure I'd be a little wary in some ways) because I was also a fan in that era just like I have been in the boost era, or any other era. I just think people should admit this when they talk about it. I admit it all the time as a so called classic fan, although I think the classic era has a strong and somewhat natural argument for being reused or seeing many callbacks, since it was by far the most successful time period in the franchise.
  15. Wrong. Green Hill Zone is a general setting with an aesthetic. Sonic technically didn't even have 'levels' in the classics like Mario did, he has Zones with 'acts' which are meant to be full environments that appear to have their own history (although you dont experience that fully as a player). Read into hirokazu yasuhara and more of the development history of the classic games for more on this.
  16. I have to agree. Final Egg is one of my favorite levels for that very reason. Feels like some combo between Death Egg and Scrap Brain without actually being either. And in general this is all I'd advocate for in future games that are not deliberate remakes or anniversary titles. You can keep within the thematic boundaries of the series and still find ways to remain fresh, and that is a good example of how to do it. Note, I also liked Crazy Gadget in SA2 (one of my favorite levels, even though many other people hate it) for its difficulty and nods to Death Egg, while doing something totally new. Compare this to the actual Death Egg from Forces. I mean, I'm flattered that they were supposedly thinking of guys like me when they made that but it didn't do much for me. Why did the death Egg have to exist again when it was knocked out of orbit several times and then destroyed? Just nothing satisfactory there, even though it looked good.
  17. The actual Green Hill itself being overused is an issue (although I don't think it is as big a deal as many are making it out to be at the moment). But again, Green Hill adaptations (like Angel Island) as a trope to highlight the themes of the series are always going to be used. Sonic games are unlikely to find themselves on a place like, for example, Pandora from Borderlands. At least initially and definitely not in a way that centralizes the entire setting and atmosphere. Sonic travels all over the place but he and his little furry buddies clearly live in Green Hill like environments and most often he finds himself fighting to protect that. So if it isn't green hill, its going to be another lush Greenland full of hills and waterfalls. And that should be expected, I think it is unreasonable not to. Outside of that, I can agree that Sonic Team has dialed a bit heavy in the way they constantly reuse classic nostalgia in only the most surface level ways. Only in Mania (which wasn't even them) did they finally do it in a way that actually stayed on point. And I agree that every title should not do that, even a Mania sequel or spiritual sequel should consider refreshing the formula in some way.
  18. I understand this completely and don't disagree. I do not approve of how SEGA has been using their nostalgia...although nostalgia pandering is not an inherently bad thing. My point is that SEGA ha not reused Green Hill as often as people pretend they do. They have in recent year marketing and they did 8 years ago in generations. Outside of that, the majority of content released in this series has had very little green hill in it.
  19. I take your point but I don't think this is totally true and even then it is beside the point. The theme of nature vs machine is perfectly captured by the progression from green hill to scrap brain zone. Green hill represents the natural world Sonic and his little furry buddies live in, before the interference from the series primary villain. It its highest ideal, the peace the Sonic is trying to save. So while Green Hill was a level, it is symbolic for one of the series primary themes in general.
  20. Man... I get all up in my feels for that game. Its arguably my second favorite title in the series, only behind S3K. Because I know that's mostly where Sonic Team wanted to go and in many ways they got close to it. I have asked for literally nothing else except for a concept like that to be nailed down right and have wanted the same thing since. Even over Mania, which was awesome don't get me wrong, but not the thing I've been obsessing over. I don't think like every game has to have the same aesthetics as the classic games, not at all. But I do think the biggest problem with this series is its lack of fundamental principles. Establishing a fun gameplay concept that is smooth and works excellently is the most important thing anyone at Sonic Team can do right now. From there you can do anything you want as long as it is thought out carefully and in good taste with respect to the character.
  21. Okay...How many games have started out with Green Hill Zone in the history of the franchise? Not many, right? Generations did it...8 years ago. Mania and Forces did it as deliberate nostalgia bait titles to celebrate the 25th anniversary. And little else except references here and there. So what is the problem? Every single series in existence recycles the same tropes with new and fresh ideas sprinkled in periodically and for good reason. Poo pooing Sonic for that is kind of silly.
  22. I mean, I get it but the whining about Green Hill Zone is incredibly annoying in my view. Its not anywhere near one of my favorite stages in the series, I prefer many other classic and modern stages over it. But Green Hill Zone is essentially the equivalent of Mushroom Kingdom for Mario. Do people honestly think it will EVER go away? Of course it won't, it is the most iconic level in the series and strongly attached to Sonic's (increasingly fractured) identity. Its more than just a level; it evokes an atmosphere that is paramount to differentiating what Sonic is from other media. Its unreasonable to expect anything else. Seriously, get over it.
  23. So just so I'm clear...I've heard a number of people here say they are okay with a nostalgia product as long as it isn't classic nostalgia. Am I correct in this? For years I've just wanted Adventure era fans to finally admit to themselves that they don't mind nostalgia pandering as long as its the kind they want. It is really a simple and obvious thing. The adventure games are 20 years old now and yet I've heard people act like remaking those games is a more forward thinking view for the series. As if a game being 3D automatically means that. My feelings on this are that, of course, that kind of thinking is nonsense. I wouldn't at all mind a Sonic Adventure remake, particularly the first one which I have a big soft spot for, but I completely understand why SEGA continually recalls the 90s...even if I don't agree with the incredibly lazy way that they do it. And I hope that the series NEVER EVER forgets that 90s era from which it formed its identity and gained massive popularity. In fact, I really think that the one single greatest thing that the series could do by far, is to create a fully 3D game that is totally inspired by that time. I think it would be the greatest game in the franchise if pulled off correctly. So when people say they're tired of the series remembering that time, I just laugh, for I know that nothing could be better for Sonic than to reimagine him that way on a big scale. But.... I'm not the only fan in this series and I understand why adventure fans haven't given up pushing for a return to what they want either. I'm not against it at all in principle...I'd just want people to be honest about it and call it what it is. There is no good reason for SEGA to pay attention to that time period over the series other history, other than you want them to. That is fine and I can get behind a remake or nod to that period as well. Just admit it, don't pretend its anything else. I sure as heck don't.
  24. Something I sort of think has been happening but have little substantive evidence for...is the idea that Sonic Team has in fact been working on building a new 3D playstyle for sonic for some time. It's hard for me to escape this idea because we have seen some rumblings about this all the way back to lost world in 2013. Many people may not remember now, but Sonic Team was actually quite excited in the time between generations and lost world because they had wanted to go back to a more traditional 3D platforming formula for some time. Both Aaron webber and Iizuka publicly boasted about the playstyle created in lost world before release, thinking that it was getting closer to sonic's momentum based gameplay in 3D. They were at least a bit wrong obviously, but if you read interviews from that time it I'd clear that they did want to do it and even after the game came out and didnt review or sell too well, they still spoke as if they had found a great idea with a lot of potential. Aaron in particular said this verbatim. And it is clear from the production of that game that even though the execution was lacking, they were not cutting corners and seemed interested in returning to a more traditional platforming sonic ala the classic games. This on top of some of the well sourced rumors that came out about a game being developed around the time of forces that had a completely different engine and gameplay. So what I suspect may have happened is that sonic team has some kind of prototype or concept they had been working out for sonic for sometime but due to the failure of boom and probably due to their lack of confidence in its readiness, they stuck with what they know works well...which is the boost formula. This has been my theory since 2013 based on many interviews and direct public statements and well sourced rumors I've heard since then. Of course I could be totally wrong but I doubt that to some degree. It just makes total sense that sonic team would explore that kind of direction because theyd really have to be stupid to not do it. Even the media has been commenting on the topic of "does sonic work in 3D?", or "the glory days of 2D" for almost 2 decades now. Of course theyve been thinking about how to recreate that in 3D and Iizuka has said this innumerable times. So assume this is true for a moment: what could possibly change now that all this time has passed and no title like that has seen the light of day? Well...I'd argue that Mania has changed the potential of sonic going forward. Now Soni Team not only has a current example of a sonic game done completepy right...they also now have people around who know exactly how to do it. This is no disrespect to Iizuka who probably knows a great deal about the classic games since he was on the Sonic 3K dev team. But they now have something current to learn from. The only question is, did they learn the correct lessons in order to properly apply some of the fundamental appeal of Mania and translate it into a 3D formula?
  25. I definitely dont want that. And I'm quite positive that a heroes 2 would not be a top priority anyway given that a sonic adventure remake or outright SA3 have more demand and are more likely to happen (not saying they are likely independently of that). Heroes was a fun concept but execution was pretty awful. So I'd rather sonic team focus on establishing an excellent 3D playstyle first (assuming they would actually move away from the boost formula) before making a teamwork game. I'm trying my best not to be pessimistic but I kind of agree here. I think Sonic Team knows what they should do here now after the reception of Mania, it is very obvious. I can only be confident however when I start to see real evidence of a change in development philosophy. Or something like Whitehead assisting or joining production. Or Yuji Naka coming back to help. Something like that that clearly indicates a different trajectory will get me excited. I cant be out because I already was out on forces. Didnt support it. If this is a philosophical sequel to that I'll remain out.
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