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Sonic Unleashed vs. Sonic Colors Extra Round - Final Thoughts

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Neither are too different from each other, if at all. Just different settings with different motifs. That's the beauty of the current Sonic art style I guess. Generally very Pixar-esque but insanely flexible, due to taking cues from multiple eras of Sonic. Unleashed's humans and everything would've fit in Colors environments just as well as they fit in their own game because at the very least they seem to care about visual consistency now.

 

As for how it was atmospherically portrayed though, Unleashed kinda killed Colors. tongue.png

 

Wraith is gonna get you on that, son.

 

Serious note, I agree. The PIXAR-esuqe, cartoony style of Unleashed just works with Sonic, along with the the more fantasy-like world of Colors. Visual consistency is important in any game, it just has to look different each time, introducing something new to the table.

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I apologize for the short post, but it's hard for me to decide which graphical style is better seeing as both games run of significantly different hardware. I might have to say I'd prefer Colors if it were running on the same engine as Unleashed HD, though. I imagine the bright lights in levels like Tropical Resort or Starlight Carnival with the Hedgehog Engine and I feel like a huge opportunity was missed.

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I apologize for the short post, but it's hard for me to decide which graphical style is better seeing as both games run of significantly different hardware. I might have to say I'd prefer Colors if it were running on the same engine as Unleashed HD, though. I imagine the bright lights in levels like Tropical Resort or Starlight Carnival with the Hedgehog Engine and I feel like a huge opportunity was missed.

 

One of the charming things about Colors (to me anyway), was with how it managed such great and colorful visuals without being on an HD console, honestly. It makes anything to come out of UnWiished look inferior.

Edited by Felix

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I honestly can't decide between these two in terms of art style, I love both. Sonic Unleashed does a great job of making real-world locales transition into the Sonic Universe, and Colours brings back the more surreal areas typical of the classics. I love them both honestly. 

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Unleashed has such wonderful art. It always makes sure to immerse the player, with it's realistic, yet big-budget-CGI-hollywood esque graphics, textures and gorgeous scenery, what's considered to be the best modern Sonic the Hedgehog model ever, and humans that don't look Uncanny Valley-ish! Colors' looks great, everything is bright and cartoony, so many details, character models are just as well made as Unleashed, which is very impressive for the Wii's limitations (impressive graphics despite a Nintendo console's limitations? Sounds familiar....) My final verdict; Sonic Unleashed's art design is my favorite of the two. I'm not beating Colors up for its low-poly graphics, I just think Unleashed is full of more life. I even think the PS2 and Wii versions of Unleashed are pretty.

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While under normal circumstances, I wou,d pick Unleashed for it's wonderful, detailed, world, but honestly the constant graphical glitches and framerate issues that make what could potentially be a wonderfully fluid and detailed game into a cluttered mess. Again, if we were just going by stills and stuff like that Unleashed would be the winner, but Color's graphical style flows with the gameplay and compliments it better. I mean, what's the point of all that beauty if the framerate drops to the point where I can't see it?

Basically, Unleashed looks nicer over all but Colors looks much better in motion, especially with the wonderfully detailed planet wisp and the brilliant, dazzling starlight carnival looking wonderful as sonic dashes through them.

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It depends. I think that the concept of an Interstellar Amusement Park fits the concept of Sonic more, and even with the more cartoonish aspects, I can't help but feel that Sonic looks a bit out of place in earthly environments. However, I've always been a sucker for Sonic exploring around the world, and think that the variety of environments are a lot of fun to explore and see, especially on the superior hardware of the 360 and PS3 that brings better lighting, character models, and just better looking visuals as a whole. I think I'd give the edge to Sonic Colors though, because frankly it's just a cool concept that couldn't be done in any other franchise. I love how original each stage is, and if it wasn't for the fact that SEGA said what each world was gonna be prior to its release I would have loved the surprise of seeing these new locales every time I beat a world.

 

Aquatic Park might be my favorite Sonic world, period, and I love Tropical Resort and Planet Wisp. The game is just such a delight to look at and listen to, SEGA went above and beyond with Sonic Colors. The best looking and sounding Sonic game since the Genesis games. Unleashed is good in its own aspects though, but Colors just takes the cake as far as charm and whimsy go.

 

EDIT: My only complaint with Colors is that a lot of the time the best looking environments were saved for the background as opposed to letting you traverse them as Sonic himself, while in Unleashed you're basically thrown on a roller coaster around the world traversing incredible environments like buildings, clock towers, etc. 

Edited by Solid SOAP

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It's a really tough pick for me, since both games excel at their own motifs. I'd be a bit partial towards Colors, since I'm a fan of  the more cartoony/imaginative/wacky style, but in the end, I'd have to go with Unleashed.

The thing that I love about Unleashed is that does a brilliant job with recreating the realistic environments. The use of locations inspired by the world's countries is definitely a big pull for me. It felt like a great touch that linked the real world with Sonic's world, which added a little more visual immersion for me. The cultural diversity, for some reason, gave me this warm, endearing feeling that I can't describe. The little touches that were thrown into each stage, such as the citizens going on with their lives within the city and the landmarks that can be interacted with, expanded that feeling, and made it feel less like a level in a video game and more like witnessing a little piece of the world (pun intended.)

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...you know, coming into this topic I was expecting to post about how much I prefer Colours' fantastic, colourful artstyle over the more commonly used, realistic tones of Unleashed. But looking back on the screenshots, I think that's just how I felt at the time of Colours' launch. After several games like SA1, SA, Shadow, and 06, I was just tired of games with a realistic tone (even if Unleashed got it right,) that Colours' more cartoony, beautiful artstyle of fiction was a breath of fresh air for me. However, at that time I was unable to appreciate the more realistic, yet still vibrant and cartoony graphics that Unleashed had. Looking back on it, Unleashed took what we knew at that time as the real world, molded it with graphics fit for a Sonic game, and turned it into something beautiful, rendered in stunning HD (and with a great deal of light too, something I think Colours could've used more of (though somewhat justified since aside from the various stars, space is rather dark.)) Colours on the other hand, took that cartoony look Unleashed established, mixed it with a good does of fantastical fantasy themes, and just ran wild with it. It had so many different themes, from a level nearly fully underwater, the first we've had since Aquatic Base (or if that doesn't count, the first one we've had in the 3D games at all,) to a world where your surroundings are edible, and the only place where running fast tears up popcorn instead of rubber. And let us not the inevitably-mentioned masterpiece of Starlight Carnival: a bright, vibrant level with space itself as its background. The fact that all of this was made without HD, on a system that can't handle the graphics of consoles like the PS3 and 360, made in the timespan of only a couple years of development (from what I understand,) is truly a remarkable feat.

 

So, tl;dr: While the Unleashed graphics have grown on me to where I now love them (and they are simply perfect for a Sonic game set in the real world,) I still prefer the vibrancy and fantastical themes of Colours, along with the more fictional level tropes like that of Sweet Mountain. I definitely have to give props to Unleashed though for establishing the cartoony tone which Colors built off of, and which will hopefully set the overall tone for the new few games to come.

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how desolate Colors felt, despite the many robots it's plagued with.

 

Eh, It didn't feel any more desolate than any other Sonic game I played.

 

You go from a Thai village on the docks to huge cliff faces to the sea to abandoned ruins to a towering waterfall to thick jungled areas. Jungle Joyride, and the other stages, feel alive because there exists the presentation of a consistent, humongous area and subsequently the implication of even more land beyond it. Colors just doesn't have this.

 

Isn't that sort of the point though? With the exception of Planet Wisp (which you already mentioned) all of Colors worlds were exclusively man made and meant to look somewhat artificial, and it's in space no less so of course you're not going to see sprawling geological landscapes as far as the eye can see, and as a result the levels are very self contained within themselves

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Isn't that sort of the point though? With the exception of Planet Wisp (which you already mentioned) all of Colors worlds were exclusively man made and meant to look somewhat artificial, and it's in space no less so of course you're not going to see sprawling geological landscapes as far as the eye can see, and as a result the levels are very self contained within themselves

 

Artificiality shouldn't equate to lifelessness. Go to a real theme park which is artificial in everything from the perceived danger of the roller coasters to the food you eat, but there still exists an irrational, empathetic view of everything as you live in the moment of visiting that theme park, being genuinely afraid as you ride those coasters and happy and satisfied with the food you're eating, not only as an individual being presented this fantasy but sharing it with the people around you as well.

 

I'm also annoyed with the juxtaposition you inadvertently named: the stages are theme parks, inherently happy and fast-paced locations, and planet-sized no less, but you never get to stretch your legs in them. You're constrained to ultimately tiny areas which does nothing but mar the illusion of space beyond where you exist. Where are the rides, stores, restaurants, stands, and shops? Where are the people? Where are the remaining Wisps in Planet Wisp? Colors is barren, which conflicts with its initial premises.

 

I mean, Twinkle Park and Eggmanland, despite their artificiality as theme-park levels and lack of visible inhabitants, feel more alive as actual locations because of their bustling nature and utilization of many different obstacles, set-pieces, and activities to do that they come across as having a much greater dedication to the "amusement park" theme than Colors does.

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Gotta go with Colors on this one. Only thing that held it back was weak hardware. Unleashed may have its vibrant real world locations that are beautiful to boot, but in the end Colors' vibrant fantasy locations appealed more to me and I don't know about you but the Eggman announcements made it feel alive along with the traffic of hovercars you see in Tropical Resort and the Parade in Starlight Carnival, and I don't know, the fish in Aquarium Park gave the place a bit of life... Other areas admittedly did feel desolate though. When it comes to hardware limitations though, Planet Wisp in generations showed made all I needed to see what Colors would look like on proper hardware. Also, I really can't see how Twinkle Park is any more lively than any area in Colors, nor Eggmanland which felt like the most desolate area in the game by a long shot.

Edited by Lil' Wayne

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Unleashed.

 

Hands down.

 

The life that comes with it is so wonderful. I'm amazed nobody (I think so at least) has talked about the little hub worlds. Those things are like your little albums of best pictures. 

 

 300px-Unleashed_dev_011.jpg

 

Look at that, it's not the Great Wall of China, it's full of life. The waterfalls, the bridges, it's all full of detail. They could have easily done something like the level and have that kinda things but no, it's just full effort. 

 

And Unleashed gave us the Modern Sonic design, so duh, plus points.

 

A bit off topic but Unleashed really takes advantage of many things and renders wonderful things that Colours and Gens couldn't. 

 

Also the art design of Eggmanland. PURE WIN.

Gates_of_Eggmanland.png

 

A crazy evil carnival with crazy lighting fit for a crazy egg...man.

 

It's the carnival you want to go to (or never want to go to). But it has that awesome art design no matter what.

 

Before I end this off, I'll just say that it's just spectacular and jaw-dropping. At every moment of the game. Colours kinda falls flat in some areas. While I do like Colours too, Unleashed has that effort. That philosophy. That energy. It's like the only game to have gotten real world and Sonic right. 

 

(Yeah, I'm prolly gonna support Unleashed a lot through this, but if it comes to like... zone variety and gameplay, Colours might get me on that)

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That's not gonna be easy is it?

Let me say first that I hate Unleashed humans and I'm not going to start that argument again. That's just how I see it. But I don't really like how most of the wisps look either..

Alright. Speaking of art style. First of all, it's not right to give concept art as an example of awesomeness. Concept art =/= what you see in the game. Screenshots from the actual games are way to go. And I don't think it's right to call Colors barren. It was on Wii and it already pushed everything in graphics department. Though I agree with the point that even Twinkle Park felt MUCH, MUCH more lively and theme park-like than any level in Colors. That's the truth.

 

With that said, let's see what I think of the art style of both games and compare the levels.

Sonic Unleashed.

Aside from Adabat (which is one of my favorite stages in the whole series art style-wise. It's GORGEOUS!) and maybe Holoska (we all love Ice-themed levels, admit it!) I don't find other levels all that jaw dropping in terms of art style. Sure, they al look pretty and full of life but they are nowhere near as amazing as Adabat.

Concept art for Unleashed is amazing but as I've said it's not right to give it as an example. So..Comparing the actyal levels' art style, I think I'll go with Sonic Colors.

Aside from blasted Sweet Mountait (which can go to hell with it's food theme), every other level looks gorgeous and unique! I think art style-wise Colors beats Unleashed for sure despite it being on the Wii. Sure, the graphics are better in Unleashed (HD version, of course) but art style.. I do think Colors is much better in that department.

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Alright. Speaking of art style. First of all, it's not right to give concept art as an example of awesomeness. Concept art =/= what you see in the game. 

 

STOP. Right. There.

 

Now. Now. Now.

 

What matters the most in a game or anything's art design is the art design philosophy. The ideas and philosophy have to be good, to allow the game's art design to be good. And duh, it's art design, not just art. There's quite the difference there. 

 

Twinkle Park went for an actual circus feel, the only other actual level that did that that I can remember are Eggmanland.. and that one level from Shadow. Starlight Carnival goes for a disco galactic parade feel.

 

I still say Sweet Mountain is the best concept in recent times and more unique ideas MUST be presented in newer games. 

 

chinaunderwaterisrealcoolbutjunglejoyrideisbetteri'msorry

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