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Sonic Unleashed vs. Sonic Colors Extra Round - Final Thoughts

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This seems like an easy point for Unleashed, doesn't it? Being privy of introducing the modern gameplay gave it a leg up on its spectacle, but so did the passion the developers had behind it. Lots of trailers (too many in fact, a negative aspect of marketing that's been carried over), three separate blogs filled with developer insight, concept art, and some candid photos of Sonic Team staff, and an actual quality cartoon just for the sake of promotion, and the thing that best represented what the Werehog was about. Where's your cartoon to be theatrically released, Colors? Where is it?

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But the OP did say to post the effect that the marketing had on you. If he didn't see it, it had no effect, if he caught up and saw it now it wouldn't have the same effect as if he saw it back in 2007/8. And I think it's perfectly fine if he missed Unleashed hype, obviously then it wasn't very successful marketing to him. Marketing/advertising is getting the product seen, if someone hasn't seen it, it wasn't successful marketing to that person (even if it was for 99% of people). So therefore the hype wasn't there, seems reasonable to me.

On topic, I think Unleashed wins this round for me. I remember watching the screenshots and videos and thinking "...wow". I was utterly speechless, I even thought the Werehog looked like a new and interesting idea and I was looking forward to seeing it in action and playing it for myself. I was really disappointed when I received Unwiished (I thought all versions would be the same) and didn't play Mazuri, the first level I saw in the teasers. But yeah the Unleashed hype was real big and I was hyped big! Infact I'm still hyped for getting the HD version when I EVENTUALLY get my hands on an Xbox!

Colours I didn't really see a lot of advertising or marketing, I had to actively look for teasers and screenshots and they were a lot less in number than Unleashed. Although I was actually pretty hyped for Colours too, as it was a Wii game (and unlike Unleashed I knew what I was seeing would be what I would get) and was ecstatic when my dad offered to go out and buy it for me.

But yeah like I said, Unleashed wins this round, I found things a lot more readily and easier, not even the sheer number of screenshots and videos is the problem, more the fact that it was just easier to find, it is pretty obvious Unleahsed had a lot of love and care out into it to evidently show what Sonic Team was capable of after 06's shitting on the series (it almost makes you want to get a train wreck like 06 every other game, but not enough to risk Sonic obviously!!)

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It's obvious that Sonic Unleashed wins this round.

 

Ho boy, the trailers and gorgeous gameplay footage we saw for Sonic Unleashed (especially of the speed stages!) was fantastic! So many details of the game were revealed and leaked, it was ridiculous! There was also the animated short Night of the Werehog which was almost Pixar quality in its execution, yet to my dismay this has never been repeated again. Either way, I was hyped!

 

Sonic Colours on the other hand was very quiet. I remember hardly hearing anything about this game, that's how quiet it was! Not even adverts on tv! Yet it turned out to be a very good game too. I think this is where SEGA started to say Fuck You to marketing and didn't advertise the game enough unlike Unleashed. They've been going at it ever since.

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But the OP did say to post the effect that the marketing had on you. If he didn't see it, it had no effect, if he caught up and saw it now it wouldn't have the same effect as if he saw it back in 2007/8. And I think it's perfectly fine if he missed Unleashed hype, obviously then it wasn't very successful marketing to him. Marketing/advertising is getting the product seen, if someone hasn't seen it, it wasn't successful marketing to that person (even if it was for 99% of people). So therefore the hype wasn't there, seems reasonable to me.

 

He clearly said that the reason he didn't see and trailers was because his real interest for the games had begun almost a year before the release of Sonic Unleashed, which means there was a chance that if he saw these trailers he might have been 'astonished' with the footage.

 

I agree with anyone who says that if the marketing campaign didn't reach someone (regionally), then it was not large enough to contain their region, maybe it is why it had no effect on them.

But the reason why I (for example) didn't see any Sonic Colors trailers, was because I was away from the Internet for quite some time, then when it was released, my cousin told me about it, so I don't think I have the right to blame the campaign itself for not reaching me, while I was the one not trying to catch it in the first place.

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In terms of marketing, I think Unleashed didn't do much at all. I don't remember seeing one commercial for Unleashed. Colors, on the other hand, had commercials I had seen 2 or 3 times, and a pre-order bonus advertised in the commercial.

 

For hype, while I wasn't too into the Modern games at that time (on the Internet anyway), I think Unleashed wins. I've heard a lot of info was leaked during development, and the fact that one of the people working on the game said it was to be "the best Sonic game ever, including the Genesis ones!"

 

So Unleashed=Colors here.

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I wasn't even a Sonic fan yet when these marketing campaigns were taking place, so I never experienced either of them.. If I was a fan at the time, Unleashed would get my vote. Unleashed just seemed to have more hype for seemingly improving on 06, and offered a new gameplay style that wowed our minds at how fast the blue blur could go. Colors.... not so much, seeing as how it brought a return to the same unleashed gameplay style, and didn't offer many trailers.

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Well the last round didn't really go as planned, no more like that ya?

 

Round 8 - Gimmicks

 

Werehog.png3033990931_1_2_I0V9dpM5.png

 

I guess I put it off long enough, so it's about time we start moving into gameplay elements (though I did bosses so I guess it wasn't that much of a surprise). Were gonna start with an aspect in Sonic games that have more often than not have been met with mixed reaction, and those are what we call gimmicks. Some are conflicting, others are well integrated, which game does which in that regard well lets find out.

       

 

   sonic-unleashed-20081103001510768-000.jp

 

Sonic Unleashed's main hook is that Sonic goes from a fast speedy blue hedgehog to a big lumbering Werehog with stretchy arms. Half the game is comprised of playing as this Werehog completely opposite to the day time Sonic gameplay. As Were-Sonic you partake in very platform and combat heavy levels with various puzzles to solve and enemies to fight. The combat is handled in a God of War-type fashion, with the Werehog you can pull of fierce combos as well as devastating finishers via QTEs, you can level up your skills through experience, which isn't a problem since you're going to be fighting.. a lot. Most of the Werehog's gameplay will be spend fight hords and hord of Dark Gaia enemies and sometimes Eggman Mechs, with even the occasional miniboss thrown in. That's not to say all you do is beat this screaming shit out of enemies, the levels are also inter-sped with platform and puzzle sections, and some of them can get pretty difficult like the Rooftop Run Clock Tower section, and tightrope walking over the city in Skycraper Scamper. I also must mention that these levels go on for quite awhile, even at your fastest they can go upward to 10 minutes. Im kind of saddened that the platform areas didn't make nearly as much use out of the Werehog's stretchy-ness than it should've, it you really see it extend to grabbing ledges and reaching for items somewhat far away.

 

 

 

 

        3lpsvk1qlc5.jpg

 

Sonic Colors tried a different tactic. Instead of separating Sonic gameplay with the main gimmick, Sonic Team decided to combine the two via a power up system using cute alien creatures called the Wisps. They're are seven wisp in all and each of them has a specific function that effects your progress through the level. The white wisp just fills your boost gauge (meaning you have to conserve it more than in Unleashed), the yellow wisp allows you to drill through the ground to access different parts of the level, or drill through the water like a torpedo and cover more ground, the laser wisp has you ricocheting off objects at light speed, the pink wisp serves as an expansion of spin dash but allowing you to stick to walls and crawl on ceilings, the green wisp has you floating in the air and gives you the ability to light dash, the blue wisp turns you into a cube and is mainly use for puzzle solving, and the purple wisp is a berserker that destroys everything in its path and is difficult to control. All of these wisps have specific skills and functions and they are littered throughout most of the main levels, you can choose whether or not to make use of their abilities (most of the time) but it's usually recommended if you want to experience the level in full and get the highest score.

 

---

 

Ahh, back to normal with me voting for Colors without question. The main appeal of the Wisps is that it doesn't take away from the experience rather it enhances it and tries something new without compromising the game's quality. It's fun to experiment to see which wisps do what and to find where they're most effective in the level. Some of the wisps are duds though, the Cube is very context-specific and not very fun, the Hover is a bit to slow and kind pointless, and Frenzy is a NIGHTMARE in 3D, but other than that the rest are good fun and versatile enough to add to the experience. The Werehog is a diffrent story though, other than being completely uncalled for and one hell of a gameplay whiplash, the gameplay itself isn't to fun. The combat is guaranteed to get monotonous and repetitive eventually because there's not enough variety in the enemy designed as well as that FUCKING JAZZ MUSIC THAT PLAYS OVER AND OVER! I would have preferred if the game put more emphasis on platforming and made up cool ways to use the Werehog's stretching abilities outside of combat, it's frequently compared to Ristar, but Ristar was much well thought out in that regard. It's a shame because the Werehog locales are actually pretty damn beautiful and I would have loved a more atmospheric platfrom type gameplay than what we got, what a waste.

Edited by Soniman

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WELL GEE LET ME WEIGH MY OPTIONS HERE.

 

DO I PICK THE SHITTY GOD OF WAR CLONE THAT TAKES UP HALF OF THE GODDAMN GAME?

 

OR DO I PICK THE POWER UPS THAT ADD ONTO THE CORE GAMEPLAY?

 

Ok, so the Wisps win no questions asked, because the Wisp power-ups aren't a genre leap of absolute absurd proportions like the Werehog is.  Oh, we got a fast-paced platformer?  Let's throw the polar opposite into the mix too!  No, of course it won't be incredibly jarring switching from these two completely different genres of games constantly!

 

Say what you want about the Wisps' execution, at least the idea of power-up enhanced gameplay is a sound one.  I personally didn't mind how the Wisps' were used, in fact they were used quite well for the most part despite some missed opportunities here and there.  It's easy to tell which Wisps got the most love (Drill!) and which didn't (Cube!) and some more uses in 3D segments would've been appreciated.

 

But I'll give the Werehog props for being adorably fluffy.

Edited by Nix

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The short story: Unleashed, hands down.

 

The long story: 

 

Despite it's drastic deviation from what some would consider traditional Sonic the Hedgehog gameplay, I enjoyed the Werehog gameplay. Whether it be levels like Rooftop Run and the clock tower, or the bees of Jungle Joyride Night (actually you know what, the bees aren't cool at all, but whatever :U), I was able to have genuine fun playing through the night time levels, which I guess is a major reason as to why I generally prefer Unleashed over Colors in most regards! I had some fun with the platforming elements and I also had fun with the combat system for the most part. So taking this into consideration, I really liked the Werehog in regards to its contribution to the gameplay.

 

Now, the wisps, while not as game-changing as the Werehog, does have its contribution to the gameplay as well. However, I didn't really like using the Wisps at all, primarily due to how context specific they seemed to be. I didn't really think they flowed well with the level design, and I found them to be rather boring. With the exception of maybe the Frenzy Wisp, I honestly can't say that the Wisps really added anything positive to the game for me. 

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Colors without a doubt in my mind. Unlike the Werehog which was decent in it's own right but completely unfitting for a Sonic game, the wisps actually added to the core Sonic gameplay. They were cool powerup-type things that added replay value to levels when you went back to them and used a wisp power you got in another level to ace's a new area, and they weren't intrusive on the main gameplay like the Werehog was. Colors by a incredibly long shot. 

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Unleashed wins this round for me.

 

While the Wisps are the closest things we've had to Elemental Shields, they have time limits, most of them can't be used outside of a 2D area, and the controls for some of them are awkward. Most of the abilities Sonic get from them are old moves he could do before with permanent Power-Ups.

 

A couple of times I wished I could have been using Tails instead of using the Green Hover and Orange Rocket Wisps.

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My bias tells me to go with Unleashed, but I can't really be fair to both gimmicks since I've only ever played one of the games. Therefore, I shall instead give my general impressions instead.

 

Yes, I will admit that the Werehog is jarringly different from Daytime Sonic, and yes there were issues with the Werehog's pacing in terms of level design. That being said, I don't really consider the actual gimmick a bad one, mostly because it controls rather well, and it's reasonably fun. Also, I'm somewhat baffled by the idea that the Werehog was flow breaking, because if you look really closely, you actually have a reasonable amount of time BEFORE you enter the actual Night Stages to get used to his control scheme and gameplay style, namely that small Act Selection place after you leave the hub world, and even then the hub world itself can at least allow you to use the most basic techniques, gimped as they are. And frankly, compared to certain other games where you get dumped into an alternate gameplay style with no real warning before hand, this is pretty tame by comparison IMO.

 

The Wisps, at least from impressions alone, ironically seem to fit the "flow breaking" thing much more accurately, since they:

 

  1. Generally operate differently from Sonic in some form or fashion.
  2. Are littered around the levels and become increasingly mandatory to use at the later levels of the game, thus proving the "They are optional" thing somewhat wrong (although then again my memory is faulty, so correct me if you can prove otherwise).
  3.  Still thinking of something to add about them.

 

The other thing I feel is that even though they didn't do enough with him, the Werehog seemed to be better integrated into the plot, while the wisps feel kind of one note and shoehorned in (ironic since the Werehog was LITERALLY shoehorned in to pad out Unleashed).

 

Thus, I'd say Unleashed, based on impressions, would win by a tiny margin.

Edited by 743-E.D. Missile

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The Werehog was a far more engaging gimmick for the game and the series as a whole than the Wisps were, which I ironically feel is an utter shame because the screenshots of navigable water and towering construction zones got me excited and think of a shitload of ways the Wisps could've been utilized far better than what they were. None of the Wisps are particularly all that exciting or fun because they act like context-sensitive blue keys. There's no real thought to using them because they're placed directly before the one or two obstacles they're useful for, foreshadowing way too much for the puzzle element to be thoughtful, and subsequently you can't use them in unique ways around a level. Basically, I wanted a Kameo and yet we got Heroes, a game which I don't find all that endearing. The Werehog however is more involving by its mere nature of being a brawler and an old-school 3D platformer, and one that actually increases in difficulty as the game goes on, and has some involving bosses too. He's not setting the world alight through originality (granted, neither are the Wisps), by I felt like I was actually in more significant control of him. Speaking of which, he has commendable control, probably one of if not the best instances of a 3D character in the series so far- and the complete opposite of fucking Frenzy- so that's always a plus.

 

Furthermore, the Werehog possesses some actual story significance in the plot, while the Wisps themselves are tossed aside as basically the new Small Animals regardless of the fact that they had some official development by Sega themselves. They have actual personalities, for Pete's sakes! Did you know that Blue Cube's actually the genius of the species? Of course you didn't because the game doesn't bother with it, or any of them. They're disposable power-ups and nothing more. We can call the Werehog's development botched for a multitude of ways, but at least the game had the good graces to let me know that it made Sonic sad.

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The Werehog was a far more engaging gimmick for the game and the series as a whole than the Wisps were, which I ironically feel is an utter shame because the screenshots of navigable water and towering construction zones got me excited and think of a shitload of ways the Wisps could have been utilized far better than what they were. None of the Wisps are particularly all that exciting or fun because they basically act like context-sensitive blue keys. There's no real thought to using them because they're placed directly before the one or two obstacle they're useful for, foreshadowing way too much for the puzzle element to be thoughtful, and subsequently you can't use them in unique ways around a level. Basically, I wanted a Kameo, and yet we got basically Heroes, which I don't find all that endearing or engaging. The Werehog however is more involving by its mere nature of being a brawler and an old-school 3D platformer, and one that actually increases in difficulty as the game goes on no less. He's not setting the world alight through originality (granted, neither are the Wisps), by I felt like I was actually more significant control of him. Speaking of which, he has commendable control, probably one of if not the best instance of a 3D character in the series so far- and the complete opposite of fucking Frenzy- so that's always a plus.

 

Furthermore, the Werehog possesses some actual story significance in the plot, while the Wisps themselves are tossed aside as basically the new Small Animals, regardless of the fact that they had some official development by Sega themselves. They have actual personalities, for Pete's sakes! Did you know that Blue Cube's actually the genius of the species? Of course you didn't because the game doesn't bother with it, or any of them. They're disposable power-ups and nothing more. We can call the Werehog's development botched for a multitude of ways, but at least the game had the good graces to let me know that it made Sonic sad.

 

For all of 10 seconds :V

 

 

So yea, I'm kinda torn here; on one hand, the Werehog is interesting in concept but horribly flawed in execution. The Wisp should be more interesting as they aren't required for completing the game, but don't really add much to the gameplay outside their specific areas.

 

 

I need more time to think about this.

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The Frenzy's control is fine in 2D because you can only go in two directions, and the frequency where it's 3D is so small it's not even an issue, not to mention it's called Frenzy for a reason.

Edited by Soniman

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The Frenzy's control is fine in 3D because you can only go in two directions, and the frequency where it's 3D is so small it's not even an issue, not to mention it's called Frenzy for a reason.

Werehog can go into Unleashed Mode and it acts like a frenzy, although he controls just fine.

Edited by 743-E.D. Missile

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Wasted Potential is worse than zero potential.

 

The Wisps were already wasted potential when Sega decided to give them bios; subsequently, the extreme lack of their elaboration in game (Hell, even Yacker goes away for no reason) is more egregious.

 

The Frenzy's control is fine in 3D because you can only go in two directions, and the frequency where it's 3D is so small it's not even an issue, not to mention it's called Frenzy for a reason.

 

Frenzy's control in 3D is not fine. His turning ratio is non-existent in 3D, and turning and jumping in 2D feels laggy and slow. As a result, there's no precision, which I really do desire from my wild combatants because it's satisfying being able to destroy stuff without fighting with the controls to do so. And since when did a chaotic-sounding name excuse bad control? When did anything excuse bad control?

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The Wisps were already wasted potential when Sega decided to give them bios; subsequently, the extreme lack of their elaboration in game (Hell, even Yacker goes away for no reason) is more egregious.

 

And the Werehog is just as, if not worse, because its treated as a big deal in story at first and seemed to setup some internal conflict for Sonic only to ignore that, and resolve it with no resolution.

 

And the Wisp get more character in the DS version anyway.

Because criticizing something that was supposed to have bad controls for having bad controls doesn't make a whole lotta sense.

 

This logic makes no sense; bad control is a terrible design choice, especially if its intentional.

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If the game was designed around or put real emphasis on Frenzy's control scheme than it would be an issue. But it for a wisp that is invincible and can kill anything it touches, unwieldy controls is a decent way balancing that out for an ability that doesn't last for very long.

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And the Werehog is just as, if not worse, because its treated as a big deal in story at first and seemed to setup some internal conflict for Sonic only to ignore that, and resolve it with no resolution.

 

The internal conflict is effectively resolved in Adabat, where Sonic admits that he'd been doubting his ability to ward of Dark Gaia's influence the whole adventure and Chip reveals that this is not the case. Meanwhile on Planet Wisp....

 

And the Wisp get more character in the DS version anyway.

 

I reeeaaallly don't believe I should have to look at an entirely different version of the game to understand simple plot points like a character's personality.

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Because criticizing something that was supposed to have bad controls for having bad controls doesn't make a whole lotta sense.

 

And I'd argue that criticizing something that was supposed to be crap for being crap is totally rational. I couldn't really care less about the name of all things, the point is, if a certain gameplay element controls poorly, it should be criticized regardless of intention. Game design with the intention of making a particular compartment poor is especially bad, and should be criticized as such.

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