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Is this franchise based purely on nostalgia?


nintega137
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So I was thinking about the recent sonic game SLW, (haven't played yet) and I was thinking about how it might compare to to previous sonic games, and my overall enjoyment(won't know for sure until I play it of course.) Then I began to think more about each game and in hindsight...... well I began to wonder if any of the games I once liked were as good as I thought they were. Not just the 3d ones like adventure 1 and 2, but also the original classics. Do they really hold up well? Were they ever really good to begin with? Any of them? I've been thinking about actually downloading the classics and playing them for myself. Now over the years, I've normally been able to squeeze at least a little enjoyment out of the games I play, even the generally hated ones. Since I recently have been hearing the term flowing around quite a bit in other forums recently, I'm beginning to wonder If i could be considered an "apologist" (which I think is a bad thing, at least from what I've heard) but why? Because I may like games that are generally looked down upon? Or because I like the series at all. What ultimately led to me posting this question is this article.

 

  http://www.lesmocon.com/2013/10/was-sonic-hedgehog-ever-good.html

 

Reading it made me think about the situation a little harder than normal. 

 

I'm interested in hearing what all of you think about this.

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"It's kind of odd that every time I read something about how 3D Sonic aren't that bad there's a whiny sort of apologetic tone to the article, it's almost as though the writer knows they're wrong."

 

 

"What I'm saying is everyone who thinks 3D Sonic games are great is TOTALLY into yiffing."

hahahaha

 

hahahahahaha

 

hahahahahahahahaha

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAAHAHAHAHA

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-

 

Well, aherm.

 

The real answer is that while nostalgia may be a big driving force that kept people following the franchise even during its darker years, the fact is that, no, our love for the franchise itself is most certainly not based entirely on nostalgia. The classics may not have been genuinely perfect, but they were absolutely spectacular games with groundbreaking ideas and a brilliant formula for level design. And while the Adventure games may be victims of age, that doesn't mean they weren't amazing at the time, and I still have a lot of reasons why I think they're pretty awesome even now.

 

That article is so stupid and condescending that I couldn't even bear to read the entire thing. It's not even about his opinion - he's just a complete ass.

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No.

 

It's based on bad writing, gimmick controls/gameplay, and Sonic's shit-eating grin lolololol.

 

Overused jokes aside, Generations had an excuse for the nostalgia: It's an anniversary title. So was Adventure 2.

 

I can't really think of any other game that relies on nostalgia.

Edited by Solkia
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Depends on your definition of "nostalgia."  Are we less critical of the things we enjoyed as kids?  In general, yes (but note, we still had to like them first).  But there's also another way of reading a title like that, which is "Is this franchise still going purely because the original three games were good?"  In other words, if Sonics 1-K flopped, would the franchise still exist?  That's a hard question to answer as well.

 

I think the linked article has a few good points, but I also disagree with it quite heartily on others.  If there's a short way of putting it, though, it's to say that I think the classic games had enough good ideas that it didn't necessarily matter if there were a few duff ones or if they weren't always executed perfectly.  That's not necessarily true of modern Sonic games, but in a world of such vastly expanded gaming choice, we have far more room to be critical.

 

That's not to say that "enjoyment vs. criticism" is a true binary.  We can enjoy something whilst still recognising its flaws, but I'd say it's also true that we can't control whether we're going to enjoy something (although I think we can bias it somewhat depending on how we approach a work before personally experiencing it).  As a personal example, I haven't played Lost World yet, but I'm quite looking forward to doing so, not just because I think it will be fun but because I'm looking forward to dissecting it as an experience.

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I'm starting to think that for every "nostalgia goggles" classic fanboy* out there, there's at least twenty million people trying to prove that they're not wearing nostalgia goggles by denying the merits of games that have a genuinely great legacy.

 

"WHAT?  I'M NOT A BLINDLY NOSTALGIC PERSONTHING!  I DON'T EVEN LIKE THE CLASSICS!"

 

I didn't start with Sonic 1, 2, CD, and 3+K, but they're easily some of my favorite games, because their gameplay is still genuinely fun.  The level design is still highly appealing and functional (less so in CD, but I've went on that rant before), the controls are fluid and responsive, and the music is still phenomenal.  Do they have their problems?  Certainly, but they've served as a template for basic platformers for more than 20 years now.  Game developers still want to capture the same energy that the original Sonic games had.  They still aspire to live up to the edge that the series created in 1991.

 

So no, it's not based on nostalgia.  It's based on the games, you know, being good.  That being said, I love modern Sonic.  In fact, my love for Sonic has only been increasing since 2010.  But that's not to say the modern games are perfect, and there are very good reasons why some people might prefer the classics.  Although the series has adopted the use of nostalgic graphics, level design, and atmospheric properties, the Sonic series is not the same as it was 20 years ago, and it will never be the same, as far as I'm aware.  That's okay with me, but I can understand that it can be a very polarizing change.

 

What I'm trying to say is people like things because they like things, and likewise, people dislike things because they just don't like them.  It's not rocket science and there's not always some deep-rooted psychological answer to it.  In closing, I'm just getting a little annoyed at the existence of both extremes on the nostalgia spectrum.

 

* Note here that I am not saying that there's anything wrong with enjoying only the classics.  As I said, if that's what people choose to enjoy, that's great.  It's just when people give their opinion solely based off of "when I was a kid" that it becomes annoying.

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I think it certainly plays a part, but it's not all there is to it, no.

 

If that were the case, you could say that about every long-running series of any type of media?

 

Do I still watch The Simpsons out of nostalgia? Of course not, I watch it because I (sometimes) find it funny.

 

Do I still play classic Sonic games because of nostalgia? Well, yeah a little bit. I have played the hell out of those games, but I still enjoy them as they are now.

Edited by MamboCat
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I wouldn't say that it is since the Sonic games keep changing, probably more than most platformers since they usually stick to a pattern excluding 3D Mario until recently (3D World is based off 3D Land but evolved in terms of level design) while only some Sonic games have e.g. the classics, the Sonic Rush series, the Boost trilogy to a degree.

 

The original 3 Sonic games (Sonic 1, 2, 3&K) were and still are quality platformers due to the level design, simple to play difficult to master, the physics were fairly advanced at the time, memoriable music [considering the Mega Drive chip is disliked by many people] and the graphics/colour choice are very good on the Mega Drive with its colour palette limitations (3&K not as much). While there are bugs in the classics, much of the gameplay still holds up today. Sure there are less stages than various Mario games and Rayman Legends however the quantity of stages isn't always a factor since each Sonic stage feels different even in the same zone. Also what makes the classics good as well is that the controls are simple to learn making it an easy to access for any ages (even young children or people who don't play games), all you need to know is the D-Pad to go left and right, the only action button is a jump button (Mario games and some other platformers have a jump button and a run button, in Germany platformers are called Jump and Run*). The only fairly tricky move is the spindash and even that is possible to do with hold Down+Jump and let go in a few seconds. The game can be played on a joystick with one button e.g. Atari 2600 joysticks, much of the Spectrum/C64/Amiga ones. Considering many games for the past 12 years require every button on a controller, clicking on analog sticks and even holding combinations, yeah however there are some games that do still have simple controls and most mobile games just use the touchscreen.

 

* The Modern Sonic games can be considered jump and run, the Boost from the Sonic Rush series/Unleashed/Colours/Generations even though it is temporary and the run button from Sonic Lost World.

 

Having personal nostalgia regarding the Dreamcast/6th generation era Sonic games is more understandable considering the quality weren't the best regarding the glitchy programming, dodgy cameras, more characters added in every game and the games going into a different direction than what some people wanted in terms of the story however it could be considered that Sonic Team were experimenting and much of the staff who worked on the older games left that affected the direction of the games (Naoto Oshima left to work on Blinx and various Yoshi games, Yasuhara left to work for Naughty Dog that themselves had the same problem with Jak II, Yuji Naka left during Sonic 06). Personally it took until Sonic Unleashed that the quality of programming improved in terms of the 3D games, well technically Secret Rings but the controls are iffy on that one and even then still experimenting until Sonic Colours where both some fans and the press are happy on a 3D Sonic game despite Sonic Rush pleasing the press and the fans.

 

If any franchise realies on nostalgia is the Mario series with call backs to Super Mario Bros. (Stage 1-1, the theme music, the sprites, how virtually every game except SMB2 have Goombas and Koopa Troopas, even some of the bosses, New Super Luigi U is like the Lost Levels), Super Mario Bros. 3 (music, Raccoon and Tanooki Mario in 3D Land, the P acorn from New Super Mario Bros. U referencing the P wing, Koopa Kids, much of the NSMB series reference the World Maps) and Super Mario World (much of NSMBU) however the Mario series are still very good games. The only nostalgia that the Sonic series have are Sonic Generations due to being an anniversary game,

Green Hill in Sonic Adventure 2, Sunset Hill in Sonic Advance 3 is pretty much Green Hill remixed, the X zone bosses in Sonic Advance

and from Colours reintroducing the classic badniks e.g. Motobug, Caterkiller, Buzz Bomber.

 

Due to indecisive opinions of Sonic Lost World, people are trying to put down the entire Sonic series even going as far back as saying the classics are rubbish. Maybe disliking Sonic is "cool" again but then again classic games are getting harder and harder to like when younger people only care about the present and the future. Will people play Call of Duty Modern Warfare in 10 years time? Not many, the earlier Call of Duty games have been mainly forgotten now. There have been many large and fairly popular series that have been forgotten except by older people out of nostalgia such as Medal of Honor, Renegade (in the UK), Dizzy, Micro Machines, Syphon Filter (one of the few Sony series not in PSABR), Pitfall, Sprint/Super Sprint (one of the oldest game series around), Gauntlet, Midtown Madness/Midnight Club, the Strike series, Sensible Soccer, TOCA being some of them. Crash Bandicoot, Project Gotham Racing are in danger of being forgotten and Rainbow Six will be in the future. Then again for many of them, their last games were years ago and some their final games killed the series (Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Renegade 3, Sensible Soccer 2006).

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Not really, I think it's more of a guilty pleasure series than anything else. It's a series we keep playing because it had no plot, the when it did it was so bad that it was good. I like a good campy game every once in a while (See Kingdom Hearts, MGS, FF7) and sonic is one of the campiest. I thinks that's why we all hated sonic '06 because it took itself to seriously and we couldn't enjoy it like SA1 or SA2.

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Long post ahead but I feel this is as good a topic as any to express my general disinterest in the series now. I tend not to post in the Sonic section anymore for a reason aha.

 

I don't think the series necessarily runs off nostalgia, certainly it has quite a few new-age fans that are being brought into the fold with the new games. I mean the series likes to throw us older fans a bone from time to time and try to appeal to a lot of the sensibilities and tastes of the old fans while switching it up for the new - nothing wrong with that although your mileage will vary on how well that works out. So although it will at times incorporate a few elements that could be considered nostalgic each game is more or less a new beast.

But I can definitely say that I'm starting to realize that my love for the series is running purely on a sense of nostalgia by this point. Don't get me wrong- this isn't to say all new releases are awful or anything I actually enjoyed Unleashed, Colours, and Generations. Just as a whole I think the initial spirit and identity the series had for me as a kid has been long since thrown out and I think the only real reason I pay attention anymore is due to the fact that I still have fond memories of the classic titles more than anything else. Call me what you like - I definitely prefer the classic titles tenfold to anything they've been releasing lately and the older I get the more I feel like that. I guess a lot of it has to due with what I feel is the series constant attempts to reinvent itself - nothing ever seems to stick and even if there is a concept there that might be satisfying to redefine what the series is, it always feels half-assed the first few attempts and is then ditched once they start to polish it up. To me that is kind of unacceptable for a franchise that has been around almost the same time I have been around on this planet, especially considering for all intents and purposes they got the formula right in one release back in the day and it only got better with each installment while still giving each game its own distinct identity from the last. I liked the fact that it was basically taking the type of game that as a kid I was good at (Mario) and giving it a fresh spin and I was so blown away as a little kid by just how fast shit was moving across my screen. As I got older obviously I was able to start beating the levels and I still go back and play Sonic 3 and Knuckles routinely to this day because it scratches an itch that no other platformers have been scratching for me. It was unique.

I've been called out on looking at things through rose tinted glasses before, or nostalgia goggles or whatever the hell people want to claim it to be. But I simply prefer when the cast was smaller, the game was more about inventive/creative level designs filled with slopes and loops and not so much the recent trend towards corridors and blocks. As I said, I still find some level of interest and love for some of the newer titles but I don't find myself going back to replay any of them anymore. The lasting appeal, the gimmick so to speak of those games is fairly uninteresting when you start to break down the level design to amount to almost a copy paste of the one before it. So while I find new games okay at first, they don't become games I replay a whole lot. Adding to this, I am not even going to pick up either version of Lost World to boot, it seems like the style is just another blocky romp judging by all the videos I've watched and that too doesn't appeal to me. Also the writing in the games has totally gone down the drain, not that it was ever a series strong point, but I remember being more in awe at how Sonic 3 and Knuckles handled things at the time and that had pretty much no cutscenes and no dialogue. I could figure out what was going on and the levels felt like they connected and the game was telling this story for me as I was playing it - It felt adventurous without trying so hard. The series at the time just felt really cohesive and wasn't so horribly contrived. Everything now script wise almost feels extremely forced and filled with corny jokes with very little context to why the characters would even be saying what they do etc.

 

The thing is I used to be inspired by Sonic games as a kid. I watched all the cartoons, I played all the games, I drew all the characters. Hell I drew Sonic fanart exclusively almost up until 2008 which says a lot to just how hardcore I was into the series. I roleplayed I did all that sort of shit - it made me want to make games. Now I feel almost embarrassed to like the series still at times :/. I like the old-school designs of all the characters too. I'll reiterate too that its not that I hate the modern stuff at all, because its quite the opposite. They're just a lot more hit and miss for me and nothing is out that I'd consider to even be remotely on par with the classics. Every year that goes by this just becomes more and more true for me, considering that I've been caught up in the hype before and screamed out how much I really loved a game only to look at it later and go "why? why did I love this? It's average at best".

So yeah...long story short my like for the series runs on nostalgia. Nostalgia also doesn't mean I'm only liking the old games because they are what I grew up with either, they are still genuinely well designed games with fantastic replay value - but the games from that era are all that I have left to love about the series. I'd say over the last few years my love of Mega Man kind of took over now because up until recently the series had been doing so well and I was constantly having fun with the new titles being put out (now they just get cancelled :v). They still felt, looked, and played (barring spinoffs) like Megaman. I will concede the X series had some stinkers though but there was enough elsewhere (Z series, ZX and 9/10) that I was satisfied. I have no idea what I perceive Sonic to be anymore. The series has changed far too much for me to really care anymore almost :x

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Speaking of which what is the fan-base general opinion on lost world(those who played it through)? I hear opinions across the map, but those are usually only from normal people, average fans, or critics and reviewers. Some forums are full of people who hate it and vice verse. So what is the general consensus? 

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I can't speak for anyone else but growing up with this franchise has created a certain attachment to it for sure, which can be explained as nostalgia, but that doesn't blind me to what faults these games can have and be logical about making a purchase if they produce another trainwreck like Sonic 06. Deep down, really, I just want Sonic to become a high quality game series that gamers look forward to seeing the next highly polished title from. I don't want one of my favourite game characters which has so much potential in both character and gameplay departments to just stop - I want to see the franchise I grew up with develop and become a hard hitting contender within the gaming industry in both terms of his games and his sales. 

 

Maybe one day, we'll reach that level. But until then, I'll wait excitedly for the next game, hoping it really can show others how great Sonic can be, and continue to support the character. :)

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@Thread title: Basically, yes. I still OCCASIONALLY find myself getting sucked into the Sonic cycle (Game announced --> Hype --> Game released --> Massive disappointment), but most of my love goes out to the games I played when I was younger. The characters themselves, however, I've always liked. Well, most of them, anyway.

I like Generations minus its somewhat over-slippery controls. Truth be told, the most excited I've been for a Sonic related title in years was the fangame Sonic 2 HD. Got more hyped for that than for Sonic Lost World by a factor of 10. Its a shame that it met its end the way that it did.

 

Edited by Cyalume
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Depends on the game, honestly. Games like Generations and Sonic 4 felt like one huge nostalgia trip, but the difference was that Generations had an excuse, being an anniversary title and doing new things with the level design. Sonic 4 just felt like a huge rehash of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2, so I guess you can say Sonic Generations was the nostalgia card done right where Sonic 4 didn't really feel like that much of an upgrade from 3 & K.

 

While the Sonic series does love to revisit old level tropes, it's the originality of the gameplay that matters most. Sonic 2, CD, Adventure, and Unleashed feel like the best examples of any Sonic game that didn't rely on nostalgia too much and delivered a fresh experience. 

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No.

 

It's based on bad writing, gimmick controls/gameplay, and Sonic's shit-eating grin lolololol.

 

Overused jokes aside, Generations had an excuse for the nostalgia: It's an anniversary title. So was Adventure 2.

 

I can't really think of any other game that relies on nostalgia.

 

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sonic1episode1.jpg

 

tl;dr Sonic 4. Both episodes, but Episode I in particular.

 

Sorry I couldn't find a higher quality pic for the last picture. :(

Edited by Yeow the Baneful
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I think Sonic Team learned the value of a throwback in this console generation with all the retro business since Mega Man, and the value of Sonic's classic legacy, but as could be expected they milked that shit until it got old.

 

I used to think we were fans because we loved fighting for a lost cause. Some of us in this community got less vocal after the success of Colors and Generations, ha ha. Can that be the next game? Sonic Lost Cause?

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The series is too old to be based on nostalgia for the Genesis games. The game that people will most likely wax nostalgic about these days would be the Adventure titles or (especially) Heroes.

The interesting thing about "nostalgia," in a non-literal sense is that you don't even have to be born in the era to enjoy it.  People claim to be "nostalgic" for old Bond movies, even though many of them weren't even alive in the 60's when Sean Connery first took the role.  I think the atmosphere of something appearing old has become increasingly popular as of late.  With that said, I think even those who grew up on the Adventure era games could still still seek "nostalgia" in the sense that they look for something that worked before they were around to see it.

Edited by Spooky Akita
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Nostalgia? Part of me wants to say yes and yet part of me wants to disagree. Let's say both!

 

A lot of the fandom just LOVES the series for what it is!!! I just get excited to play a new Sonic and see his new moves, listen to his snarky dialog, and everything else that comes into the series. It's not really a nostalgia thing for me, it's a, "Hot damn, Sonic is fun!!!" thing. There's a ton of people who get excited to see the evolution of Sonic. People who like SA2, Heroes, Secret Rings, and Unleashed don't love them because they're a blast from the past, but because they were enjoyable games in their own right.

 

Though you can't deny that things like Sonic 4, Sonic Generations, and even the SA2 version of Green Hill (maybe even SA's Ice Cap), are obvious throwbacks. Hell, they have been using the same stage themes throughout the entire life of the franchise. They know how to use nostalgia to the series advantage, but it's not the only thing keeping it alive. Especially considering a number of people who play the games are kids. Young kids at that. They're not reliving the days of the Sega Genesis. They just think Sonic is cool and wanna the games.

 

If Sonic Team decided to no longer do throwbacks, I'm sure people would STILL buy Sonic. Let them cease making Green Hill type levels, I'll be good with that. 

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Im glad to see someone post that article. I think a lot of us at some point in our relationship with sonic have though this.

Why is it so hard for sega to make a good game?

Was sonic ever actually good?

At this point I don't know anymore. I dont think its just nostalgia, cause theres a new batch of kids that get into Sonic with each new game.

What I do wonder is if those old 2d games and this whole whatever actually makes a sonic game at this point is part of the problem.

I mean Segas just about listened to most fan requests and tried a bunch of different gameplay ideas with sonic. Some worked, others not so much. I personally think if they just gave it to a new team that didnt worry too much about sticking to the genesis feel, we would get

better made sonic 3d games. I dont think we will ever get like a Mario 3D world, thats this amazing combination of 2d and 3d mario, simply because I think sega doesn't really know what the hell sonic is anymore. All I know is Sonic should go fast and spindashing is cool, but do the controls for 3d sonic really have to be so fuckin difficult! I still think its too many buttons and just a pain in the ass to make those drift turns. I hope they release a demo for sonic lost world in the US.

 

I was thinking about what was the last sonic game I just played the shit out of, and Sonic Rush really was it.

I know its mostly a boost to win game at times, but it was so much fun. I personally think the new 2d Rayman Games are in a way

What modern 2d sonic should of become. 

 

Sorry if this makes no sense. Its 6 am and I cant sleep so I am freakin writing about sonic...... YOU SEE WHAT HE DOES! DAMMIT

If only if my parents would of bought me a super nintendo instead...I would never be in this abusive Relationship with Sonic

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I think a lot of us at some point in our relationship with sonic have though this.

Why is it so hard for sega to make a good game?

Was sonic ever actually good?

Nope, I'm pretty sure you're alone in that regard.

 

 

I mean Segas just about listened to most fan requests and tried a bunch of different gameplay ideas with sonic. Some worked, others not so much.

Listening to fan requests and implementing them properly are two different things.  Giving Shadow his own game might not have been such a bad idea if it hadn't been so vapidly immature and exploitative of "edgy" tropes like guns and swearing.  It might have also helped if the story wasn't so disconnected and the gameplay was actually... well, fun.

 

 

but do the controls for 3d sonic really have to be so fuckin difficult! I still think its too many buttons and just a pain in the ass to make those drift turns. I hope they release a demo for sonic lost world in the US.

Aside from Wii Unleashed and Black Knight, modern Sonic is the most pick-up-and-play game I can think of next to the original Mega Man titles.  The controls are incredibly simple, in my opinion, but to each their own.

Edited by Spooky Akita
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I mean Segas just about listened to most fan requests and tried a bunch of different gameplay ideas with sonic. Some worked, others not so much.

 

I doubt people asked for Werehog or a sword totting gimmick.

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