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Rebooting the Franchise: Good or Bad?

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I haven't read this topic, but considering how often the word "reboot" comes up in relation to Sonic to the point where it's practically as much of a buzzword as SA3, I'm just gonna pitch in my thoughts. I don't think a reboot is the answer, and it kind of pains me to see so many people in general suggesting it when in fact most reboots occur for various other reasons and not necessarily due to the quality of the series or confusing continuity. The majority of reboots occur because of such factors as money, drawing in audience interest for those who are reluctant to get into a story-heavy series half-way, handing the creative reigns over to other creators or studios, trying to appeal to another demographic, so on and so forth.

Knowing this forum I'm certain that this has been stated numerous times already, but Sonic is not a series that warrants a story-related reboot anymore than Mario would. Sega has made some pretty asinine and shitty decisions regarding the story and gameplay in past games, but there is very little overarching story in the series and the gameplay in each succeeding title is switched up considerably or changed altogether. There have been numerous attempts to "reintroduce" Sonic without rendering past games irrelevant, perhaps because Sega hinges on Sonic's past in order to draw in players with the promise that their next game will be better than ever. A reboot means they'd have to acknowledge Sonic's past success as little as possible.

Besides, I think the series has already gotten past its absolute lowest point; I don't think there's anywhere it can go from here other than up, and even though the recent games are still marred with problems, they're nothing that can't be tweaked or thrown out entirely. I don't really care about the story, but that too can be dealt with in a manner that doesn't involve an entire continuity reset.

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A reboot is not at all necessary, but I would like one. There are a lot of things about plot and design that I'd like to see permanently changed in a way that only a reboot could; I'd like the world to be better defined so we wouldn't have new stuff being introduced every single game that has nothing to do with the world as it was established in previous games, only to be thrown out again by the time the next game comes out. Sonic could do with a reboot just so that the rules of the world could be better established. But none of that is necessary, nothing about that is objectively bad, it's just my opinion. I would however say that Sonic Team seriously need to rethink what Sonic games are all about and come up with a better control scheme, style of gameplay and level design. But you don't need a reboot to do that, Lost World is doing it just fine without completely rebooting the series. (Although I don't think they're doing the right thing with Lost World, but it does prove my point that you can change the gameplay without rebooting the series.)

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Yes, sonics world seems very random, some parts look like a city, others look like "wtf am I high?" Plus the stories seem random at this point. Maybe finally having writers for the series will fix some problems (the writers have control of the project now instead of being thrown the concept and majority story now.) Also the games don't seem to childish, but some restrictions on story/gameplay due to the targeted age group should be removed. I mean hell 4 year olds out here play in CoD.

Edited by Insane121

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In my honest opinion it's quite discouraging to see such a strong interest for a sudden reboot of the franchise. While I do see the logic behind wanting a reboot or otherwise revitalization of the Sonic franchise I do find it unnecessary at this point in time.
 
I'm sure one of the main arguments for a series reboot is improving the direction of the franchise, however depending on the extent of the reboot there is a great chance that overall continuity could be compromised. Perfect example being the transition of Classic to Modern. Keep in mind that while the transition from the Classic era to the Modern era did keep fairly true to continuity and plot (the basics really) there were a number of differences between the two (gameplay, plot, etc.), and to this day there is a divide between the two continuities to at least some extent.

 

In addition other ramifications may follow, which could lead to a greater loss of interest in the series which would be detrimental to the fair amount of progress being had at this point in time. At the end of everything it's quite possible the series is in an even deeper hole than the one it started in.

 

Furthermore, I feel that there is a sufficient room to build upon the established continuity in the series. Really though it's up to the developers to do so.

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A reboot is not at all necessary, but I would like one. There are a lot of things about plot and design that I'd like to see permanently changed in a way that only a reboot could; I'd like the world to be better defined so we wouldn't have new stuff being introduced every single game that has nothing to do with the world as it was established in previous games, only to be thrown out again by the time the next game comes out. Sonic could do with a reboot just so that the rules of the world could be better established.

You mean Sonic traveling to a different part of the world isn't enough of an reason to have new stuff?

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Personally, I think that a reboot for this franchise is a sign of defeat. Yes the Sonic world / canon is as organized as Patrick Star's enigma, but that's no reason to throw it all out the window! I'd rather they focus on improving the cast development and have more consistency in the narratives. Have better structured stories and flesh out the plot points. Give people reasons to actually care about the universe that's been created. Acknowledge the past and move on from it. It shouldn't be that hard right?

 

If there had to be a reboot of the canon though, then I'll have to go with an idea someone (I think it was Indy) had in the beginning. Re - introduce the Classic stories of 1, 2, CD, 3&Knuckles and maybe 4 to establish an origin story. Then place in the cast little by little based on their relevance to the story. For example, there could be a series of games that have Sonic and friends meet Silver during a time traveling adventure a la Ratchet and Clank Future A Crack In Time or Crono Trigger. Things like this that open up future appearances if they wanted to. Most of the origin stories I'd keep the same, Blaze especially with her back story being from Rush and the alternate dimension. All of this in addition to what I said about the cast development and well structured stories.

 

In terms of gameplay, different game styles are nothing unexpected with Sonic, so as long as it's fun and accessible then I don't have too big of an issue. Lost World is a pretty good example. Seeing gameplay and story mixed together a bit more would be nice too.

 

As long as there is no Sonic version of Skylanders. I don't care how many paper stacks they can make from a younger audience and the parents that usually have to fund it. Keep dat shit out of my Sonic game. Buying optional online DLC is one thing, but putting it in the form of a collectable is the most unabashed way for companies to say "We want your money." I may love collectables, but that's for my love of souvenirs not additional gameplay.

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I still think a reboot would be useful if they had writers with a clear direction for the series in mind, so they could go back to the start, take the series' good ideas, strip out the bad, and build something that's more coherent and a better basis for future stories than the 20+ years of stumbling forward blindly and failing more often than succeeding we have now.

If they don't really care about that, though, I suppose there's not much point.

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If all we need are more story clarifications and such, all Sega would have to do would be to release some online documents and such to explain missing areas of the stories. I've known some series that have done that, where they have special documents in places to fill in some of the holes that are not adressed between some of the games and it works fine for those that are willing to go find them. As for the characters and gameplay and all that, as I said before, there is no need for any reboot as things seem fine enough to me. If we are just wanting the story to be fixed a bit, then that is more easily accomplished in other ways than a full reboot in my opinon at least.

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From what I'm reading here it to be the consensus that a full reboot is unnecessary. Lots of people have ideas for things that can be changed, most people in particular seem to think that the story --the lore, if it can be called that-- could do with some improvement, or at least being better defined, as many of the games don't even appear to take place in the same world. Sonic Heroes and Sonic Riders, for example, both take place in extremely futuristic brightly coloured worlds, while the Adventure games are much more realistic and Sonic Unleashed takes place in a sort of caricature of the real world. The Genesis games are much more consistent with eachother, but haven't got much of anything in common with the more modern games. It would perhaps be nice to have better continuity from one game to the next.

 

Since there is basically no continuity a reboot is redundant. When every game is only vaguely related by similar gameplay and character design, without any relation in terms of setting or plot (not to mention all the other little inconsistencies such as Sonic's ever changing height, color, and quill length,) how can anything realistically be called a reboot? They can't change anything any more than they already have.

 

Ironically, that's why a reboot sounds like a good idea to me. The series at this point seems random and while it's certainly fun and refreshing for every game to be different in some ways, there isn't really much to speak of that DEFINES a Sonic game other than the speed, and even that varies a lot from game to game. Adding definition to the plot and rules to the world; what can and can't happen, what does and doesn't exist can be done without a complete reboot of the franchise, but it's certainly the simplest way to go about it.

 

So I'd like a "reboot," I'd like a retelling of Sonic's origin, a reintroduction of the characters, a new control scheme and move set, a new plot, a new world. Everything defined, every location mapped out and every character's every trait nailed down, so we really know where we stand and what to expect when a new Sonic game is announced. I'd like that, but it's not a necessity and most fans seem perfectly happy to do without.

 

 

I still think a reboot would be useful if they had writers with a clear direction for the series in mind, so they could go back to the start, take the series' good ideas, strip out the bad, and build something that's more coherent and a better basis for future stories than the 20+ years of stumbling forward blindly and failing more often than succeeding we have now.

If they don't really care about that, though, I suppose there's not much point.

 

Exactly my point, much more concisely stated.

Edited by MisterMacanulty

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Or you could just show the random places as co-existing in the same world? Remember Heroes where we had a futuristic Grand Metropolis next to Casino Park or Hang Castle and Frog Forest? I don't think it's too far fetched to believe that there are different places with different styles of living in the same world and define it that way. So why not put those realistic looking caricatures of places like Chun-nan and Empire City along with Grand Metropolis or Megalo Station?

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         Im going to throw in my opinion then join the conversation on a later post...

         Generally I don't like Reboots. However, when a story goes on for a long time it needs to evolve in order to keep its audience. New things are added to keep the fandom alive. No one likes to play the same game over and over again. Plus sometimes the creators want to try new things which involves changing a lot of  things in a story. 

         Sometimes reboots are successful, sometimes they are not. Personally, if Sonic is getting rebooted I am going to give the new story a chance. Let the new story settle in my mind before judging it. Sega would not make a reboot without a good reason. If its not successful Sega can just go back to the way things were.

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         Im going to throw in my opinion then join the conversation on a later post...

         Generally I don't like Reboots. However, when a story goes on for a long time it needs to evolve in order to keep its audience. New things are added to keep the fandom alive. No one likes to play the same game over and over again. Plus sometimes the creators want to try new things which involves changing a lot of  things in a story. 

         Sometimes reboots are successful, sometimes they are not. Personally, if Sonic is getting rebooted I am going to give the new story a chance. Let the new story settle in my mind before judging it. Sega would not make a reboot without a good reason. If its not successful Sega can just go back to the way things were.

   I totally agree!

   I think that a reboot may not be necessary only because it seems to cause rifts in the characters and stories. Many times a reboot causes the series to start over (which is what a reboot is) and that makes everything , no, EVERYTHING that we already knew to be inaccurate info. 

   I just hope that if they do "reboot" the series, that Knuckles isn't made to be more stupid...since that seems to be the road they are taking in each passing game....

  I agree though, I would try it out before judging it completely.....

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I'm not sure how the reboot would be approached. Would you all want a clean slate storywise, acting as if all the games never happened to stream line things and use a more consistent cast of characters? I'm actually be mixed if they took this approach: it leaves more room for a fresh take on Sonic's world and characters, but I'd still feel a little bummed knowing the world and continuity of the old games was gone.

 

How about gameplay? Would you want them to choose or combine gameplay styles from the past to represent it, or would you want something new altogether?

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Or you could just show the random places as co-existing in the same world? Remember Heroes where we had a futuristic Grand Metropolis next to Casino Park or Hang Castle and Frog Forest? I don't think it's too far fetched to believe that there are different places with different styles of living in the same world and define it that way. So why not put those realistic looking caricatures of places like Chun-nan and Empire City along with Grand Metropolis or Megalo Station?

 

As I said; it can be done, but it really doesn't make much logical sense. The simplest solution would be to remake the world with one uniform style/time period or else just to continue ignoring the inconsistencies and let every game be its own thing. That's not necessarily bad, it's just not my personal preference. Seems lazy. But hey, they've kept it up this long, why not keep going?

 

But trying to bring these places together just really doesn't work in my mind. I'd rather they pick a world and stick to it. Personally, my favourite world is that of the genesis games where you have wilderness and ancient ruins being encroached upon by Eggman's high tech fortresses and factories with the whole world seeming to be uninhabited by anything other than small woodland creatures like Sonic and friends. Badniks vs. Nature.

 

It's true, even in the real world there's quite a lot of variety from one place to another, but certain things just can't coexist in the way you're suggesting. How can there be a bustling, entirely modern metropolis full of concrete and glass skyscrapers, cars, trucks and helicopters in the same world as an equally bustling entirely futuristic metropolis of neon metal buildings and hovercrafts?

 

Unless we're messing around with time travel, which isn't out of the question, but good god I hate time travel. That's another story. Anyway this has gone on far enough; the point of this thread is whether or not Sonic needs a reboot and I say yes please I would love one, as long as it's done for the right reasons. But even then it isn't strictly speaking necessary, I just want one.

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Define "logical sense" in a series with multicolored, superpowered, talking animals fighting a super intelligent scientist bent on world domination with superpowerful crystals, monsters, and gods? How does that zany idea make sense in your mind, while applying that towards settings makes no sense? I don't see where logic fits here when cartoons like this generally defy it a lot, and you're trying to put it in where it was never considered in the first place.

 

There is no difference of time period, the places in Sonic Riders exist in the same time period as the places in Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 or Unleashed. So how can bustling metropolises exist next to futuristic cities with hovercars? Because it's fiction and we're suppose to roll with it like that, so it can get away with it as long as it doesn't clash so hard. It's the same reason we roll with have talking animals with super powers being outlandish as it is, and the same reason why whenever the artstyle hit an uncanny valley in Sonic 06 we called it out for clashing. It's the same reason why we had 2 different kinds of aliens, one (the Black Arms) which didn't come off so well while the others (the Wisps) were better recieved. It's one thing to have structure, but as far as settings go why is it a problem for places to be equally outlandish in existing next to each other?

 

Better yet, since you're talking of the Classics: how can you have a place like Spring Yard Zone exist around places like Green Hill Zone? How can you explain how Casino Night Zone coming after Aquatic Ruins, or Chemical Plant after Emerald Hill Zone? How can you explain Oil Ocean around Hill Top Zone and Mystic Cave? How can you justify Carnival Night Zone coming after ancient ruins like Marble Garden Zone?

 

Ain't no logical sense in those places, there's nothing consistent with them either since they're different from the stages before and after them, yet you question it in the games that come later on? That is being so arbitrary and nonsensical in it's own right to the point of being hypocritical. Tons of fiction out there, even non-cartoons, do the same thing, Sonic is no different.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonîc

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So pretty much, it is as I said and people more want a story reboot that follows a constant story line or continuity instead of a game reboot most likely. As I said before, this could be solved simply by them going back and filling in the story holes or making an official time line or world map for us to work from and stick everything into place rather than rebooting. I can understand people wanting the stories to be more clear and fit in the time lines better though. When things are all over the place it can definately get confusing for people.

 

I've over time though come to the realization after archie showed me that there exists multiple timelines and alternate universes that this would be one of the best way to explain alot of these differences. What if some of the games follow one time line or set universes and others are in different universes, so these games are their own continuity that is different from this other game. It would allow the games to fit more nicely to those related to each other rather than trying to lump them all into one huge group. Zelda did it when they split theirs into three time lines, and it seems to have pleased their fans.

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I wouldn't mind a more coherent and consistent story, but we don't need a story reboot for it. You could at the very least retcon pass stories and refine them that way while keeping the continuing with the story elements as they have been and reference the previous ones.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonîc

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I wouldn't mind a more coherent and consistent story, but we don't need a story reboot for it. You could at the very least retcon pass stories and refine them that way while keeping the continuing with the story elements as they have been and reference the previous ones.

 

The only problem I have with retconning is you run the risk of upsetting your past audience. If you can find a way to fit those confusing things better, then that would work. Trying to fill in those gaps in the story and make things fit better, be it in the ways I said or in some other way, I feel would be better than retconning and just throwing some of the games and stories out totally.

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You run an even bigger risk of upsetting your past audience by rebooting things. A retcon is less of a complete do-over as a reboot is because it essentially takes the previous elements and refines it much better and replaces certain things to make it work better. Imagine if you will, Shadow the Hedgehog being retconned where Shadow doesn't wield any guns and instead of an alien invasion it's a global insurrection of the military involved with his creation. Not that I would expect it to happen, but it's a lot more inline with previous establishments. Or imagine Sonic Heroes being retconned to have its story far more fleshed out without things being so disconnected and incoherent. That is essentially a retcon.

 

Yes, some things may be taken away, but a reboot does that to an even greater extent by nearly starting completely from scratch while a retcon just fixes loose screws in the frame.

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I wouldn't mind a more coherent and consistent story, but we don't need a story reboot for it. You could at the very least retcon pass stories and refine them that way while keeping the continuing with the story elements as they have been and reference the previous ones.

If they decide to just write better stories from here on out, well, that's certainly a thing they can do. But personally I'm more wary of retcons than reboots. A reboot is a clean cut, it's saying "forget all that, here's what's what:". Retconning is sloppier, you've gotta remember all those games, but also to ignore parts of them and replace it with information from entirely different games. And you can't retcon anything that's deeply embedded without retconning a million other things that are connected to it.

Imagine if you will, Shadow the Hedgehog being retconned where Shadow doesn't wield any guns and instead of an alien invasion it's a global insurrection of the military involved with his creation. Not that I would expect it to happen, but it's a lot more inline with previous establishments. Or imagine Sonic Heroes being retconned to have its story far more fleshed out without things being so disconnected and incoherent. That is essentially a retcon.

How would they actually go about doing this? Would they make new, "fixed" versions of those games? Would they have future games refer to events as if they had happened in a game, even though they didn't? Would they just announce that this, this, and this are different and just, well, who cares about anyone who isn't aware of that announcement?

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If they decide to just write better stories from here on out, well, that's certainly a thing they can do. But personally I'm more wary of retcons than reboots. A reboot is a clean cut, it's saying "forget all that, here's what's what:". Retconning is sloppier, you've gotta remember all those games, but also to ignore parts of them and replace it with information from entirely different games. And you can't retcon anything that's deeply embedded without retconning a million other things that are connected to it.

Retconning is like doing surgery or prescribing medicine on a narrative than it is sloppy work; yes you have to remember all those games, but it does so with the intent of fixing the bad. You only have to retcon a million things connected to if you can't make those million other things fit with the new retcon. A reboot may be a clean cut, but because you can do practically anything I'm wary of it taking out the stuff that I happen to like when they could actually fix what's broken. To me, it's not always going to bother to fix anything, it's just leaving what's broken and throwing it away in favor of something new. It's like taking out organs in order to cure a mild sickness instead of prescribing medicine to treat it first, or knockind down a whole building to start a new one just because you were missing some bricks on a wall.

 

How would they actually go about doing this? Would they make new, "fixed" versions of those games? Would they have future games refer to events as if they had happened in a game, even though they didn't? Would they just announce that this, this, and this are different and just, well, who cares about anyone who isn't aware of that announcement?

Yes; somewhat; and depends on how relevant it is to the narrative given.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonîc

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