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Are you satisfied with the direction of the series; if not what would you change?


Kuzu

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The Sonic series is truly one of a kind; its arguably the only series that can say it released one of the worst games ever, and still survived to be acclaimed to this day. That takes a lot of balls. 

 

To get to the point of this topic, this series has been taken in so many different directions claiming which era was the "golden age" of the series and that the series should stick to that direction mainly. We've had the Classic series with its primary focus on gameplay, and improving on the BLAST processing, the Dreamcast Era when the series took a more realistic and darker approach and utilized a large supporting cast, or the current modern era when things are denser and wackier with a very minimal plot, and supporting cast.

 

 

Everyone has got their own view on the ideal path for the series, and it almost never aligns with what the series is. So, are you satisfied with how things currently are? If so, why are you satisfied? If you aren't satisfied, what about the series is currently putting you off? How can it change? What changes would you make if you had a say in how to change the series? Would it be radically different from what it is now? Would it incorporate elements from past games?

 

 

I know topics like these always get heated, but can we try to play nice at least.

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Personally, I absolutely love the direction the series is currently heading. It just seems to sit really well with me, from the art direction to the writing, it all seems very right.

I wouldn't change a thing right now, keep it up Sonic Team.

Edited by DocAzure
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Overall it seems to  be going fine for me, I only have a handful of things, one is story-wise, I wish we would see the return (and recurrance) of forgotten characters rather than one time use new ones, and a new recurring pest, and villian would help shake things up, someone who is annoying and a threat to both sonic and eggman would be great(Nack comes to mind of course!), and of course playable characters, I understand completely it being optional in one player, but I do wish that other playable characters would happen in multiplayer at least!

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I'm satisfied with some things, but not with others.

To be honest this is kind of a poorly timed topic considering we're deep into SLoW's hyping phase; we've got only a fractured understanding of what the current direction even is, so it's hard to say whether we're okay with it. Not to mention we don't know how much of what SLoW does is going to stick around beyond it.

 

Anyway. I'm glad they aren't just sticking with the boost gameplay and milking it to death. i like the potential of SLoW's gameplay, but I don't think it's being used to its full extent; I hope it's a game that they learn from, that ends up being a stepping stone towards something truly great...but there's going to have to be some serious evolution for it to get my thumbs up.

 

The story, from what little we've seen of SLoW, they're getting better at. Unleashed was pretty good, Colors was weak, and Generations was abysmal, but it looks like they're turning it around; the characters have stronger and more interesting personalities, and they're actually willing to play around with your expectations (in ways other than "the monster betrays Eggman in the end...again"). Though I would like to see them expand their efforts to the rest of the cast and maybe make the stories more focused on existing characters rather than having some wholly new thingie every game.

 

The art style, I'm glad they've moved away from trying to be very dark, serious, and realistic, and gone for brighter, more energetic atmospheres. And I think SLoW looks pretty great, in spite of its lower detail.

 

This is all just...really tentative though. We just don't know enough at this point, and the series has been in a state of flux for so long...I can't have much faith in it until I know I've got a good game in my hands.

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Yeah...I think ill wait till I playthrough LW in full before giving a concrete answer for thus topic, but as of what we know so far with a brighter graphical style, less restrictive and better implemented gameplay, possibility of new and uniqe Wisp usage in the furred, as well as a story that seems to actually be trying this time ill say for the moment this new direction has my support.

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I'm currently INCREDIBLY mixed on the direction the Sonic series is going in. On one hand.. his recent games have been really damn good, probably the best he's ever been in 3d. On the other hand... I can't help but feel they're playing it safe, in terms of story and gameplay. Not to the extent they were playing it safe a couple years ago, mind you, but I still feel that why. The main reason I'm saying this is that Sonic is yet again the only playable character, and the stories in Sonic games have been massively downplayed. I know people were getting really sick of other playable characters by the time 06 rolled around, but that was nearly seven years ago. Just because something has problems doesn't mean you need to remove it entirely, just improve and expand upon them. Tails, Knuckles, and Amy will be appearing in Lost World, but why aren't they playable? The whole concept of Lost World involves alternate routes, and Tails and Knuckles are perfect for that. Sure, you may have to alter the level design a bit, but it'd be nice to see them step up to the plate and actually get involved in the action. Also, the stories. I really don't get the love for the Colors writers. I'm sure some of it involves developer interference, but I'd actually like to see a Sonic story that doesn't consist of nothing but jokes for once. Granted, I could be proven wrong if Lost World actually has a competent story, but we'll see.

Overall, while I'm glad Sonic Team is introducing a new gameplay style, and his recent games have been really good, I'm hoping a bit more effort is placed into the story and character department.

Edited by Chaos Incarnate
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I am, I like the level variety they've got going in Lost World
Act 1 - Adventure esque gameplay.
Act 2 - Side scrolling gameplay
Act 3 - Secret rings/Unleashed gameplay

They should keep that structure for a while, there's something for any Sonic fan there.
There's not a whole lot I'd change except the writers but they don't really effect the gameplay which is what I look forward to in a Sonic game.

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Hmm, I guess I didn't have to post anything in the end since Nepenthe seems to share the exact same sentiments as me.

 

In short, the Sonic series seems to have lost a particular charm I can more or less describe as world building. There used to be that feeling where you felt that where was a world active beyond what was seen on the screen. The lack of settings details, character development (doesn't have to be Sonic) and meaningful interaction pretty much deters that. That void used to be filled with doujins, but there are much less of those today due to that problem, since those creative people were attracted to that aspect to begin with. A vicious circle.

 

That said, most of the replies you'll get will probably be mostly positive here. Most people who aren't satisfied moved on to other things.

 

Edit: I just realized I only talked about the unfortunate state of the settings of the series. I never really had a problem with the gameplay. Present or past. Ultimately, I treated it as a mean to direct the world progression or the story. I suppose I value the storytelling as much as the gameplay.

Edited by FlameStream
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I love it.

 

The only thing I would change would be to use older characters more often instead of creating new ones for each game. It's starting to make the cast really big.

 

For example: They could've used Bark, Bean, and Fang in Sonic: Riders instead of the three new characters. Jet looks almost exactly like Bean anyway...

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I may as well post my thoughts...probably should have did this in the OP. :P

 

While I do like the direction of the current games, I don't like how they're going about it. I grew up on Sonic Adventure 2, that was my drug when I was 8 years old. I enjoyed essentially everything about that game; from the plot, to the characters, to the gameplay. Looking back, I completely understand that the game hasn't aged very well and that its littered with problems that the current games no longer have.

 

 

I know almost nobody on this site is going to agree with this, but I felt Sonic Adventure 2 had a certain charm that the current games just lack(Aside from Unleashed arguably). Back in the Adventure games, I felt the characters had direction, purpose, and a reason for doing what they were doing. It felt like the series was setting them up for some lovely development; You had Tails coming into his own as a hero and not just a mere sidekick to Sonic, and then Adventure 2 had him coming up with the plans to save the day, Amy's path to get Sonic to acknowledge her as both a hero and a close friend and becoming apart of his life, and the mystery of Knuckles` tribe and shit. I was so hype about all of this, and its what kept me into the series; to see where all of these plot threads go and where these characters are going to go. They all had their own unique gameplay to offer which, for better or worse, added some variety merely using the same level layout and objective. 

 

The series wasn't afraid to tread into darker themes; We went from Eggman using robots to try and take over the world, to trying to use ancient means of doing so which were on a much larger scale. The games dealt with death, despair, revenge, and never once tried to sugarcoat it, and still had a certain Sonic charm to it(Don't lie and say you didn't love some of the lines the character's said, whether unintentionally or not). They knew when to be lighthearted, and when to take themselves seriously.

 

 

I just miss when I had an actual story arc to look forward to, speculating what happens in the next part of the adventure, what will X character do next time? And then being rewarded with tons of action and character building. Its why I don't really care for the simplistic approach to the storytelling nowadays. I mean I like the dialogue that's being written, but that's about it. The plots themselves are self contained, so there's no overarching plotline to look forward to. The cast has been cutdown to the bare minimum, and the ones that do get to appear don't get to do much, and the only character I look forward to seeing and playing as nowadays is Sonic, whom while I love immensely is just making me question "Why can't I play as Tails and/or Knuckles". I

 

I love the Sonic & Tails bromance as much as the next guy, but I miss seeing Sonic & Knuckles` clashing egos, Amy's attempts at trying to woo Sonic, Knuckles` & Rouge's back and forth rivalry/sexual tension, what antics the Chaotix will get into, how is Blaze taking care of her world, Shadow's darker ideals clashing with the more pure heroes. All of this is what kept me interested and if I only have one of these dynamics to look forward to in every game, then I'm sorry but that's just not good enough because then its just wasting potentially interesting plotlines.

 

 

 

 

However like I said, I DO like the current direction of the series despite it lacking things I feel it needs; I'm glad the series has decided to lighten up since Unleashed and not take itself so seriously like they were up until 06. Like I said, Sonic Adventure 2 knew when to lighten up, and knew when to be serious, the latter games just tried too hard and reeked of pretentious writing, it didn't know how to have FUN anymore. Unleashed fixed that, it was whimsical but still had time for some softer moments.

 

Colors kinda took the lighthearted approach too far, and it ended up being something of the complete opposite of Shadow's game. That said, I did like it because it focused more on the characters themselves and their actions, and gave them some much needed personality after being what felt like faceless avatars who spouted generic phrases now and then. Lost World seems to have finally hit that balance given the recent scene wasn't crammed with humor, and stuff was actually happening; the characters weren't just spouting exposition, they took action. And it just shows so much strength of character; Sonic's impulsive irreverence to Tails` warnings, Eggman's calm and collected mannerisms, and the Deadly Six's complete disregard for life and chaoticness.

 

Seriously, if the current writing was able to accommodate for more characters beyond Sonic, Tails, and Eggman and able to develop an overarching story, combined with the gameplay, I'd be giddy like a school girl.

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Can't say I'm satisfied, because there are things I think we can do better. But I'm not too disappointed.

 

Let me start with the story. I miss the intensity we had from the classics up to SA2 when there was something serious that needed to be stopped, and the variety that didn't treat everything as too straight faced or caricatured of its tone. Funny moments would happen, chill moments were given room, but when shit got real, everyone mobilized whether the heroes were trying to stop it or the villains were trying to keep things on schedule. SA2 often blended these moments together, humorous moments when things were grave, grave moments that smacked away said humor, and relaxed moments when things were settled in the climax while having a tender moment after someone almost died in the process of ending it. Now, yeah, it could have been done better looking back on it, but that game is still held up to high standards.

 

Then there's characters, which further adds to the story. It's amazing how much people will just refuse to want even the most miniscule attempt to try to improve these characters, whether it is trying to fix a bad reputation or to carry decent characterization into a grander one. I can understand waiting until a better moment to reintroduce these characters, but then there comes a point when you ask "when the hell will that time come?"

 

Another thing I don't like about this direction is how one-sided the tone has been, which is so light hearted that if you throw in the words "Die" or "Genocide" and all of a sudden people are shocked at how such dark words were put in. That says to me that we have a knee-jerk reaction to anything dark every since we started going lighter and softer.

 

So what direction would I want?

One where the story is a blend of relaxed and intense moments, more specifically Mood Whiplash; characters to be fixed up and used in a decent context; and although I didn't say this at first, some greater worldbuilding. I would love to revisit locales (other than GHZ) just to show how consistent Sonic's world is while leaving room to show there are other places we have yet to explore.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonîc
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I also miss the mystery aspect of the series too; Like back when Sonic Adventure 2 came out, and I saw all of the advertisements my eight year old brain was focused on "ZOMG, WHO IS THIS BLACK HEDGEHOG AND WHY DOES HE LOOK LIKE SONIC" "HOLY CRAP, SONIC GOT ARRESTED, WHY? HOW?" "WHO IS THIS BATGIRL?" I didn't know what the fuck was going on, but I wanted to know more and why it was happening.

 

The series is just so broad with everything; no mystery, nothing about the plot you have to figure it out, things just happen as is, and its more like "Here's your plot, go home" Hell even Unleashed gave me more of a sense of mystery, not as much as Adventure 2 but I was at least interested in what was going on even if it wasn't particularly interesting.

Edited by Azure Yakuzu
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My feelings are meh atm.

 

Don't get me wrong, I am slightly happy that they are improving some stuff with that recent Lost World cutscene, but part of me is still feeling cynical considering the past two games. For all we know, they could somehow royally botch it and we'd be back at square one. Also, at the pace things are going, I don't expect any characters other than Tails, Sonic, and Eggman gaining any notable role outside of cheerleader for at least another decade (50 years being the worst scenario). Overall, mostly cynical, but mildly hopeful things will turn out alright for Lost World.

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Without putting much thought into the topic at hand, the biggest problem I've had with the series in the past few years is its tendency to play itself. For example, random sections where you run into a zipper which shoots you into 3 more sets of zippers into a spring that shoots you into the air into an animation as you go to the next area is one example of several different moments in the level design designed to add content... without actually adding content.

Otherwise, I don't like the current implementation of Homing Attack at all and feel it dumbs down the interaction between Sonic/the player and the enemies. Dunno what the problem is with rewarding finesse and proper spacing over jumping and pressing a button to kill everything. :/ I didn't mind SA1/SA2 homing attack much though, it was pretty finicky to aim which I liked.

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As plenty of others have said, I like the direction the series is taking in terms of gameplay, but in terms of pretty much everything else, far less so. 

 

I'm really not keen on the direction the series has taken in terms of tone or writing/ characterisation in general. Sure, I don't want another Shadow the Hedgehog, but I'd happily welcome back the SA1/SA2 style of writing. I just miss actually having a plot and characters I could actually invest in. Something to keep me interested, something made me want to find out what happens next.

 

Lately it feels like Sonic is becoming more and more like Mario, and in turn is losing his identity as both a character and a franchise. Sonic was always the slightly more serious, cool 'alternative' to Mario that always had one foot at least partially grounded in reality. Sonic levels were generally romanticised versions of real-world locations; either natural or factory/ city, whereas Mario threw this to the wind and just went for the surrealism which has now crept its way into Sonic. 

 

The characters and writing have become shallow, one-dimensional and boring, doubly so for the English scripts since Colours. The scripts are pretty much completely rewritten between the English and Japanese versions now, which is really frustrating considering how cringeworthy much of the English dialogue is as of late. This isn't helped by the fact that playing the game in Japanese simply uses the dub script for subtitles, which isn't very accurate at all. 

 

Want to know something? I'd happily take Sonic 06's plot over anything we've had since. Sure, it ultimately failed, but at least it tried. It was still more accomplished than Colours and Generations plots managed to be, in my opinion.

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Want to know something? I'd happily take Sonic 06's plot over anything we've had since. Sure, it ultimately failed, but at least it tried. It was still more accomplished than Colours and Generations plots managed to be, in my opinion.

 

I don't think we should be advocating shitty writing of any kind.

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>Implying the writing recently hasn't been shitty

 

So, wait, you wish to replace something that you think is "shitty" with another shitty thing because at least the latter "tried" to be more than that?

 

I'm sorry, but I simply can't agree with that. I want actual good writing in my games, and "tried to be good, ultimately wound up bleh" just ain't good enough for me.

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I don't get how current Sonic, at least character wise is becomming anything remotely similar ro Mario honestly. He's cocky, impatient, cracks puns, like, you don't have to like it but saying its anywhere on the same level of non identity as Mario is just not true imo.

Edited by Soniman
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Long answer cut short; No, I'm not satisfied with the current direction of the series because it in no way monopolizes on the potential the series holds as a whole on multiple tangents. The games can be so much more than what they currently are.

 

The characters other than Sonic are being sidelined, Wisp forms shunting them sideways gameplay-wise because they fill-in for their abilities. They don't factor into the games to any real degree and are delegated to acting like generic cheerleaders or walking toolkits.

 

Sonic's character has taken a huge step backwards after games like the Storybooks and Unleashed, being in no way well-utilized as a character and not being given any room for development or an interesting portrayal because he's being shoehorned into inhibiting roles that don't monopolize on the plethora of traits he has. Eggman is an ineffective villain and all pomp regarding his final boss status is utterly undermined by the fact that he's never treated as the threat that he is, his villainy is never worked up to in the narrative in any decent manner and because the final bosses lately suck royal donkey balls anyway.

 

The feeling that I'm playing in a living, breathing world packed with loving intricate detail is now practically non-existent. Instead we get a generic map screen and a white void with a few disjointed levels dumped into it with no real grace to it at all.

 

The storylines are completely threadbare, Generations' story being labeled even as a narrative being a huge stretch because like it's world, it's practically non-existent. With other games, I had the distinct impression that I was working towards something due to the way the story progresses, that there was characters with depth and whose predicaments I was intrigued by (Shahra, Chip, Merlina) and they held my attention despite many of the story's problems. Can't say that about the current stories because they take their tones far too seriously and are clearly not focused on actually telling a cohesive story and because the characters are just mostly 1-bit versions of their former selves who aren't utilized in any truly creative way (Sonic being delegated to being a vehicle for crap humor, Eggman being delegated to being behind the scenes and barely given prominence) or are simply not interesting at all/Not developed at all (Yacker, the rest of the Wisps, the extended cast)

 

Regarding Lost World, well, I'm not entirely qualified to comment on it am I? It has me extremely intrigued and pretty excited but telling the truth, I don't expect the game to satisfy my expectations.

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