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Yugi Muto

Sonic's image today

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I think the Sonic of today is catering a lot more towards children than it was in the past. Am I saying Sonic wasn't childish in the 90's? No, it was obviously made for children. However, I think it would be less embarrassing to play through Sonic 2 in front of a live audience than it would be to play Colors (No intro or cutscene skipping). Does this mean I want Sonic to be hardcore and have violence, deep stories, weapons, etc? No way... That would be stupid. What I want from Sonic is a middle ground, something for kids to enjoy as well as something teenagers and adults can play and still feel kind of close to their age. Songs like Escape From The City, Sonic Heroes and Reach For The Stars are all good tunes, but the lyrics are way cheesier than they need to be. Also what they are doing to the characters? I don't mind cute creatures like Flickies, Wisps, etc. But the Deadly Six? What were they thinking? They look extremely jarring next to Sonic, I know they're meant to be from a different world, but it's still bad design to have characters created in an almost entirely different style. They look really goofy and don't have the cute but cool charm Badniks have. Even Motobugs look silly now... 

 

Another thing is the dialogue, it's too simple and even Sesame Street is less patronising in explaining what's going on. How does a child learn to speak like an adult? You talk to them like one. Dumbing things down is unnecessary. I'm not one of those people that regards the Adventure series as the good old days, those games were babyish too. I'm not saying Sonic shouldn't talk, but at least make the cutscenes interesting and put some jokes in for all ages. I mean you watch something like Shrek which is aimed for kids but they cater for older people as well. Sonic today is only focusing on the stereotypical child demographic.

 

So what do you think of Sonic's image today? Do you like it, hate it or feel indifferent? I'll admit it bothers me a bit but I will still buy each game because I love the character and the gameplay. Thanks to anyone that bothered to read my whiny thoughts.

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Nice rant.

 

Anyways, I have no problem with the MODERN sonic. The only thing I still question is the lack of story in each game since Unleashed. I get that Sega is still playing the safe route. But damn. A little more story, for the fans that like to keep track of what's going on would be nice. Could one imagine if Sega put more story influence (how do I properly word this) in Generations. That game would have been better. Not saying it's bad, because it's still a great game that focused on strictly nostalgia but eh. 

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I get where you're coming from, but I wouldn't compare it to the classic games which had no voices or script. The Pixar comparison works much better. We got that kind of style from Unleashed visually, but thematically the series has really yet to catch up. Colors was pretty much gag humor without substance, and not particularly suited for Sonic either, compared to say gag humor in AoStH. Which is on a similar level about as far as story depth goes, but hits a higher mark for characterization at least for me. I'd be embarrassed listening to a Colors cutscene because it grates on me when I'm alone let alone in front of people. I'd have no problem watching a Pixar movie with anyone I know. But like Diogenes said, not exactly because they're kiddy, but because of the substance or lack of. Which is what people mean when they say "maturity" anyways. More capable of handling mature themes, which I think Pixar films do regularly.

Edited by American Ristar

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Unleashed has middle ground, in my opinion. Chip can be annoying but some of his interactions with Sonic were pretty humorous and the story didn't seem dumbed down. Everyone could get a little bit of a laugh out of that game.

 

Colours felt like a kick in the back, the story just felt so... bad. Roger Craig Smith is a great voice actor, his work in Regular Show is amazing! The way they dumbed down the story made Smith look like a bad voice actor, and he really isn't! The only 'joke' in Colours that anyone could laugh at was 'No copyright law in the Universe is going to stop me!' All the other jokes felt too kiddy.

 

Sonic games before that weren't relying on humour. The classics had it because Sonic had attitude, the way he moved his foot up and down could make you chuckle, they only used small bits of humour, and it worked.

 

The Adventure games were unintentionally funny, it was kiddy, but it was nowhere near on the same level of Colours, Colours was too kiddy, it was just a really big punch in the face for the long time fans.

 

This is why I'm not very excited for Lost World. The recent games have been aimed at children, plus, the Nintendo exclusive deal is just going to make that continue. I have no problems with Nintendo, they are my favourite 1st party gaming company. The problem lies with Sega. They make sure to dumb it down for Nintendo, and it bugs me so much! The Sonic and Eggman team-up could have had a lot of funny jokes, but we have the Colours writers working on it so the child feel is going to be in it and the team-up will have so much lost potential.

 

The current 'image' is a really childish series and that image is making the series have lots of lost potential. 

Edited by Crash

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I really enjoyed the writing of colours, I feel that it suited the style of Sonic. I enjoy it when the series deals with darker situations too, but for all the wrong reasons, I find it hilarious, brightly coloured anthro animals in serious situations, it just looks dumb. The way they write Sonic now is very fitting, and I hope they keep this up. 

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A talking blue hedgehog is pretty "kiddy", no matter how you slice it. Obviously when people see Sonic in advertisements and other media they are more likely to think that it's a series geared more towards kids than adults and Sonic can't really shake that image off, even if he does have a sword or a gun in his hands. 

 

As Dio said, what could make it embarrassing to play Sonic games in front of others is the writing. Now this is just me, but I'd probably be less embarrassed to play Sonic Colours in front of others than almost any other Sonic game on the market, the storybook games being the sole exception. Heck, I'd be more embarrassed to play Metroid Other M than Colours even though people probably wouldn't think of it as "kiddy". Childish or not, at least the writing in Colours is decent for the most part, which can not be said about a lot of the other Sonic games or even Other M. Sonic's image has far more serious problems right now than being "kiddy". If other people tease you about you playing Sonic because it's "kiddy", then you should be more embarrassed for them than for yourself. 

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I quite like Sonics image at the moment, although at times it can be a bit cheesy but like others have said that is more the writings fault than the game itself. The series has always had an underlying dark plot, but it puts it in a child friendly way that adults can also understand ( a mad scientist turning cute animals into deadly killer robots and using them against their will is slavery and all sorts of dark tones there). And that's how I think the image has always been or at least tried to be with both colours and gens being about creatures being captured and altered against their will. Put in a way that children can understand but not find too scary but underlying a deeper message of freedom that adults can understand. Most cartoons are like this, Disney is the most profound at this and both adults and children enjoy and take something away from it. SA2 I think would probably the series best attempt at being more mature and I don't think it was too bad, but maybe still a bit too serious for Sonic.

Yeah I wouldn't really be embarrassed playing a sonic game infront of people (I had to play Mario Galaxy in TRU once infront of a group, it involves my father showing off my completion of the game and being better than the Nintendo guy who was playing it as a demo) although I would cringe at some of the lines in colours!

Edited by Jolt_TH

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I have no problem with Sonic games being bright and kiddy in the same way that, say, the Mario games are. But what I do have a bit of a problem with is that the newest Sonic games focus way to hard on being a comedy. The Sonic games always had lighthearted aspects but they were never intended to be all-out comedies, which is exactly what games like Colors and Generations are. I wish the makers of the newer games didn't feel the need to try to make us laugh in every single cutscene. There should be allowed to be entire cutscenes with no jokes, cutscenes that instead focus wholeheartidly on trying to give the audience a feeling of, say, tension, terror, joy, awe, sadness or some other mental state that fits the narrative at that moment.

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I have no problem with Sonic games being bright and kiddy in the same way that, say, the Mario games are. But what I do have a bit of a problem with is that the newest Sonic games focus way to hard on being a comedy. The Sonic games always had lighthearted aspects but they were never intended to be all-out comedies, which is exactly what games like Colors and Generations are. I wish the makers of the newer games didn't feel the need to try to make us laugh in every single cutscene. There should be allowed to be entire cutscenes with no jokes, cutscenes that instead focus wholeheartidly on trying to give the audience a feeling of, say, tension, terror, joy, awe, sadness or some other mental state that fits the narrative at that moment.

 

I think they're trying to be too much like the Ratchet and Clank or Jak and Daxter games with their cutscenes, to be honest.

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It's "A Troll in Central Park" kinda writing.

 

...yeeeeah, I think that might be exaggerating it a bit much.

 

TBH, while I'd be down for funnier cutscenes, I'm fine with the way things are now.

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Sonic is a blue cartoon hedgehog.  There's only so serious you can make his games before the contradiction becomes absurd and laughable (as has been aptly demonstrated).  With that said, internally coherent aesthetics would go a long way towards making a darker plot justifiable.  The world should always be as colourful and exaggerated as Sonic himself, but there's nothing stopping you from making a fairly involved and tense adventure with world-menacing threats within that setting.  Based on my first impressions of Lost World, I'd say Sonic Team are getting closer to getting it right (Deadly Six aside, but I'll get to that elsewhere), but the next step is to put other characters and contextually-relevant villains in that world and ask what kind of a story would evolve there.  In other words, a middle ground should be established between the "babyish" and the "realistic," or, if you like, the "plotless" and the "overplotted."  I don't think either extreme really suits Sonic, although when push comes to shove he shades better towards the more simplistic end - but with an established world and body of characters comes, I think, an obligation to use them and to preserve the possibility of their existence in-context (that is, don't start writing the setting as one in which major characters like Eggman or Knuckles could never have arisen).

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I think it all depends on your age and social setting.

 

I was raised by two parents that are convinced that growing up means literally abandoning every aspect of your childhood.  In middle school and early high school is when it temporarily stopped being "cool" to like Sonic and instead favor things that we thought were adult, but were instead vapid, uninspired works that cashed in on our rebellious teenage minds. (coughmichaelbaycough)  In the late high school years is when everyone just stopped caring about what people thought, and now I think it's becoming accepted by my peers to embrace my childhood as long as I remain an adult in terms of intellect and maturity.

 

That's why, to my continued annoyance, the only people who have ever chastized me for my unwavering love of Sonic has been good old mom and pop.  I'm not trying to speak ill of them by saying this.  They're loving parents who have raised and taken care of me, despite having a drastically different frame of mind, and I love them for that.  The fact of the matter is that they have completely opposite values of mine.  They believe in growing up to the point where no trace of your original childhood shines through, while I believe in the aforementioned embracing your childhood as long as it doesn't cripple you and doesn't prevent you from moving forward.

 

However, when I say my parents are the only ones who ever get onto me about it, I mean they are literally the only people who get onto me about it.  My best friend's mother doesn't enjoy cartoons or anything particularly geared towards kids, but she respects me and she respects my love for the innocent and escapist experiences of children's programming.  I have friends who are both much older and some that are slightly younger than I who encourage me to love Sonic and other kiddy media, even if they don't like it themselves, and of course, while I don't know many Sonic fans in real life, I do know plenty of people who are into franchises that are also aimed at younger children, and they're not exactly the "sit in their mother's basement and browse porn all day" types, nor are they developmentally impaired mentally or otherwise.

 

If you were raised around more people like my parents, I can see why you'd be embarrassed at the more child-friendly approach.  In that instance, people will be more judgmental on the matter.  However, even though I was raised around two parents who refuse to believe that my adoration for a cartoon, blue hedgehog is actually fairly normal, I would hardly be embarrassed to be seen playing Sonic games or reading a Sonic book or anything of the like in public, because I've been treated to little else but understanding from other people.  Sure, I know that there are undoubtedly others who may watch under the same mindset as my parents, but you know what?  Let them!  That's them!

 

In short, I really don't care what people think.  Watch out, we got a badass over here.

 

But that all being said, I disagree with the notion that the Sonic games are becoming more "childish."  I'd say they're more targeted toward a "general audience," as the aforementioned Pixar analogy would suggest.  Though children are definitely the primary demographic of most, if not all, Pixar films, it's common knowledge that there are plenty of adults that enjoy Pixar films.  Flashback to 2003 when Finding Nemo first came out.  Kids, teens, and adults alike were singing that obnoxious "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming" song, and I don't recall a single person being told, "Hey, you need to grow up!"

 

Is the Sonic series aiming for a more colorful, light-hearted approach.  Most definitely, and for the better, in my opinion.  But in doing so, is it being treated along the same lines as Blue's Clues or Barney or shows for very small children such as those?  Absolutely not.  If anything, I think they're more mature now than they were in the early to mid-2000's.

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Gettin real tired of the word "kiddy" being thrown around as if its some type of insult. You know what I find "kiddy" denouncing things that are deemed childish simply because they don't fit with some standard of adulthood that people have set for themself. If you have to try and act like an adult by denouncing anything childish then you probably aren't one at all.

 

 

If the recent games are embarrassing to play its because they are terribly written and structured and does not have anything to do with its tone. 

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It's unfair to say that the tone is completely irrelevant in this issue. Specifically, I think it is helping service the writing. The dialogue is always written after the fact, when a general story and atmosphere has been established for the game. Warren and Ken- the guys who were instrumental in Happy Tree Friends of all things- wouldn't write forced jokes and puns if they weren't already knowledgeable that they were servicing an audience that skews really young. But ultimately, when it comes to an art that relies on the convergence of many different disciplines like video games, everything goes towards a single goal. If a game is going to be childish, the art, music, writing, and gameplay are going to skew towards kids; likewise for teens and adults. Tone is relevant in this discussion, as is everything else.

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Well i think no matter what type of sonic game you play classic or modern you shouldn't be ashamed at all. whether it's in front of a live audience of people or in your own home. If you're a fan then enjoy it. Forget about what people think of you. 

Edited by SegaSuperStar

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Yeah i agree it doesnt matter, unleashed was in the middle for me as its quite violent in ways, how werehog kills enemies and stuff, I deeply think that sonics for everyone, I dont want sonic to be just for kids as its kinda embarassing i mean anyone can play sonic weither youngsters or over 30s, I do think though that sega is trying to make sonic more childish, with all this new merchandise like scooters, bikes, sleeping bags, folding chairs coming out i'll bet you its for 6 to 12 year olds.

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I do think though that sega is trying to make sonic more childish, with all this new merchandise like scooters, bikes, sleeping bags, folding chairs coming out i'll bet you its for 6 to 12 year olds.

Sonic has had his face plastered on all sorts of junk ever since he got popular, this is nothing new.

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Yeah i agree it doesnt matter, unleashed was in the middle for me as its quite violent in ways, how werehog kills enemies and stuff, I deeply think that sonics for everyone, I dont want sonic to be just for kids as its kinda embarassing i mean anyone can play sonic weither youngsters or over 30s, I do think though that sega is trying to make sonic more childish, with all this new merchandise like scooters, bikes, sleeping bags, folding chairs coming out i'll bet you its for 6 to 12 year olds.

Sonic has had his face plastered on all sorts of junk ever since he got popular, this is nothing new.

That, and the fact that being for 6 to 12 year olds never stopped the older fans from buying it anyway.

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There is no question about it, Sonic has definitely become more of a kid's character than ever before as of the modern era.

 

Maybe if their attempts to pander to older fans weren't so poorly received, the writing wouldn't be what it is now. Given the choice between the two of them, I'd actually choose the Adventure era writing, but both styles are equally embarassing to play in front of people. I'd much prefer a balance.

 

As someone said, Unleashed as a pretty good balance, but Chip and Professor Pickle's dialogue pushed it a little more towards childish imo.

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From what I can tell, Sonic's general image is, "That stupid blue hedgehog game for 6 year olds." Ask any 12 year old.

 

Is Sonic not KEWL and EDGY enough for 12-year-olds?

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*Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh* I honestly can't stand it when even the target audience thinks it's too kiddy.

 

I suppose going on Call of Duty and cursing other people's mothers is the way to go these days (seriously, it's so sad to hear little kids cursing me out on a game that they're WAY too young to be playing in the first place).

 

I honestly don't know if Sonic's image will ever be fully restored, his past has been stained with a lot of bad blood. It's going to be a LONG time until people might start respecting him again.

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