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Briraka

So... What's so Bad About the Series' Current Direction?

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Well I've seen the discussion in the Boom thread and thought that I could make a new topic to discuss this particular subject.

 

Apparently, some of us aren't very happy with the way things are being handled with Sonic. As for me though, I'm... okay with it, but I'd thought I'd ask you guys why you think the series isn't doing so hot.

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What Dio said, the gameplay really isn't taking a very predictable path.  It's hard to tell what'll be next in that regard.

 

The writing, on the other hand, seems to just be getting worse and worse.  Colors' writing was tolerable, Generations' was barely there, and Lost World's was atrocious.  There may not be a huge amount of content to judge it on, but if this is an indication of how it's gonna be, I'm pretty worried.

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We had worse games (like more then one) over the course of a longer period of time. Generations (you know, that pretty good game that got good reviews) was literally only two years ago, so I don't know where that doom and gloom is coming from.

They may have been terrible games, but none of the sales have been this bad. Even Shadow the Hedgehog exceeded a million sales. Of course most people don't have Wii U's so that could probably account for a large portion of lost sales.

Edit: Actually fuck that, you could argue that the Wii U's poor sales are the reason for Lost World's poor sales, and you'd be half-right, but the game itself is just a slap to the god damn face by SEGA.

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We had worse games (like more then one) over the course of a longer period of time. Generations (you know, that pretty good game that got good reviews) was literally only two years ago, so I don't know where that doom and gloom is coming from.

 

From disliking things from the games even before the last one. Yes, of course including Generations. Verte pretty much described everything I could think of.

 

And yeah, while its hard to pinpoint where it'll go next game, its still dismaying to know that Sega are so easy to just forget simple game mechanics that made Sonic fun to begin with, and make silly design mistakes/missteps when they're a massive game company with certainly capable developers.

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I like the direction so far but I do wish the other characters would get more of a presence in the story  rather than just being sonics cheering section like verte said, honestly I don't know why reviewers had such a big hatred to sonic's friends in the past (and the many bandwagoners that just agreed without much thought at all) but sega really needs to take a leap and bring them back into the mainstay of things.

 

As for gameplay, while lost  world doesn't beat unleashed for me, I would still like if they expanded on the gameplay a bit more and gave the parkour more thought, maybe mixing in some new elements to it to keep it fresh.

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I'm gonna be the odd guy out here and say I don't have much of a problem with it, story wise. Generations didn't have much going on but at the same time I think it didn't need it. Colors was enjoyable for a small scale adventure and Sonic Lost World proved to me that Sonic doesn't always have to be a total cheeseball and can maybe even be fun to watch. Tails and Eggman are as good as ever. The Deadly Six are kinda lame but most one offs in this series are. At least they play off Sonic well. I'm actually looking forward to what Ken does next.The characters could definitely be used more though.

As for the gameplay, Lost World changing it up isn't an inherently bad idea but all of the flaw with it makes it feel like we're back to square one, which doesn't make any goddamn sense because this is off the back of two GREAT games and it's not like they had to balance making incredible environments AND solid gameplay so this shouldn't be so sloppy. This is where I say get it together.

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I can't entirely agree with the negativity, but I definitely can't disagree either.  On the minus side, pretty much everything that's been said above.  The worldbuilding literally does not exist - I mean, even Colors got that part right! - and there are some serious problems with coherence in the writing.

 

I'm too big of a Tails fan for my own good and have done Olympic mental gymnastics to justify his sulkiness (for example, he's grown confident in his own skills after the Adventure games but still has a lot of his self-worth tied to Sonic's approval, which makes sense for a kid his age), but Knuckles...they quite simply don't even know who he is except for a bad joke anymore, really.  Amy could still go either way - I for one liked her portrayal in Lost World, but that's mostly because she only had about fifteen seconds of screentime.  Sonic I'm really not sure on.  I felt that he was in keeping with his personality from Colors, but that means almost absolutely nothing because he'd a completely flat character.  I can't believe I'm saying this but I can see why Sonic X introduced Chris and the Taismo subplot, because barring Adventure, Storybook, and sometimes SatAM the title character has always come across as almost a self-parody, and when there's legitimate interpersonal drama in a story that can really fragment things.  The only person I was totally satisfied with was, as always, Eggman.  Pulls some impressive quick thinking and long-term planning, hams it up, and actually includes pretty much the only world-building we got in his famous rant.  "I will burn your worlds...destroy everything you love..."  Still, since all of the Zeti are even less developed than Amy I'm not holding out much hope that they'll fulfill that.

 

As for gameplay, I'm very interested to see where they take this.  I haven't played myself but I have watched playthroughs both online and in person so I can safely say the game looks savagely difficult.  Even setting that aside, though, I'd just finished a no-shooting run of Mirror's Edge the week before I finally saw Lost World on a friend's U and really wished that they'd used that parkour system instead.  Still, I hesitate to say what's "best" for the series, mostly because I've never been entirely satisfied with any of their gameplay models.  In fact, my personal favorite is Unleashed - Werehog and all - so I'm probably even less qualified to speak here.

 

Still, they did get some characterization right.  Like I said, Eggman was pretty much excellent, I can justify Tails's behavior in a way that probably gives the writers too much credit, Sonic was at least bearable even if he was flat as a pancake, and Amy shows some distant signs of progress.  More importantly, though, they took some major risks.  The parkour gameplay was a complete departure from anything they've done before, I don't think there's ever been a legitimate interpersonal conflict between the heroes like that (not since they all ended up on the same side, at least), and they seem to be trying for an ongoing story including Colors, Gens, SLW, and whatever comes next.  Note I said trying, not necessarily succeeding, but it's a longer continuous arc than anything except maybe Shadow's ongoing saga.

 

The reason that's important is that the Team desperately needs to take major risks right now.  Every part of their fanbase wants a different thing - I like well-handled stories with character evolution, other people want Classic or Boost or Parkour or Adventures or whatever gameplay and couldn't care less about the writing, and then you can pick any combination of the above plus change what counts as "well-handled" for the writing itself.  The best thing about Sonic: Lost World is that Sonic Team tried to set their own vision for the series.  Now I just want to see if they've got the collective backbone to stick to it and the skill to fix the undeniable flaws that almost every review, fan and official, has agreed on.  Gameplay, story, world, everything.

 

This being Sonic Team, though, I'm not sure if I dare to be that optimistic.

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Colors was enjoyable for a small scale adventure and Sonic Lost World proved to me that Sonic doesn't always have to be a total cheeseball and can maybe even be fun to watch. Tails and Eggman are as good as ever. 

 

In my opinion, Sonic's been a total cheeseball since Colourse, and he was outright detestable in Lost World. Tails was a hundred times worse than that in terms of being an aggressive, snarky, sarcastic jerk which is worsened by the fact it's even more out of character for him than Sonic's behaviour is for him.

 

Eggman's characterisation was (mostly) the one saving grace about Lost World to me, and even that stumbled in a few places and didn't capitalise well on what few strengths it had. Eggman's 'sacrifice' should have been a much bigger moment than it was, but was handled in such a way that just made it feel so throwaway and anticlimatic.

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In my opinion, Sonic's been a total cheeseball since Colourse, and he was outright detestable in Lost World. Tails was a hundred times worse than that in terms of being an aggressive, snarky, sarcastic jerk which is worsened by the fact it's even more out of character for him than Sonic's behaviour is for him.

 

 

How is Sonic detestable? He spends the first half of the game making grave mistakes, and the next half trying to amend them. Near the end he acknowledges them and is able to save the day before any long lasting effects of those mistakes occurred. I don't really see how the takes him such a detestable character..

 

Hell he doesn't even act like a jokester in the period when Tails was gone. In his encounters with Zor and Zavok he doesn't crack any puns or anything, he simply asks where his best friend is and his pretty damn serious until he's rescued again, I would agree with him being out of character if he DID act like he usually does while Tails was MIA, but that wasn't the case

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I think Colours is the worst offender regarding screwing-up Sonic. In Gens, he was almost as bland as the narrative and IMO, SLW really excelled in certain areas such as not being dominated by needless exaggeration. If there's one thing I can outright criticize SLW for regarding Sonic it's the fact that Sonic is all "I should've listened to you Tails" after the Conch-kicking incident and yet not only does he outright say that he'd go and smash the planet energy draining machine with as much reckless abandon as possible but he jumps right at that that capsule after Tails indicates that something isn't right and then tells him to leave it alone, indicating that no, he isn't paying heed to Tails whatsoever and hasn't learned from the first incident at all. So when he starts expressing regret about what has come-about as a result of his actions, that loses a bit of impact.

 

This is why I am so concerned about the possibility of Sonic basically "doing a Knuckles", the potential direction his character is going to take in future games and continuing to act like an impulsive idiot who gives off little to no indication that he's truly learned something, developed.

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More the cringe-inducingly juvenile and completely unprovoked insults against Eggman and various members of the Deadly Six. In particular the early 'raise your hand if Eggman's a bonehead' remark and insulting Zeena for 'having nothing better to do with her time'.

 

Even if you make the argument 'they're his enemies', Sonic has never acted like such a stupid playground bully.

 

The Japanese scripts at least (mostly) fix the characterisation, but they can't save a terrible story since they're still dubbing over the same cutscenes.

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I think Colours is the worst offender regarding screwing-up Sonic. In Gens, he was almost as bland as the narrative and IMO, SLW really excelled in certain areas such as not being dominated by needless exaggeration. If there's one thing I can outright criticize SLW for regarding Sonic it's the fact that Sonic is all "I should've listened to you Tails" after the Conch-kicking incident and yet not only does he outright say that he'd go and smash the planet energy draining machine with as much reckless abandon as possible but he jumps right at that that capsule as Tails tells him to leave it alone, indicating that no, he isn't paying heed to Tails whatsoever and hasn't learned from the first incident at all. So when he starts expressing regret about what has come-about as a result of his actions, that loses a bit of impact.

 

 

 

But Tails only warned Sonic while he was in like…mid leap to hit the capsule, I doubt Tails had enough to time to finish his sentence or Sonic had enough time to react that he would have stopped in time, signaling that Tails quick intervention was the only way to save him.

 

Even if you make the argument 'they're his enemies', Sonic has never acted like such a stupid playground bully.

 

It's a thing a lot of snarky heroes do to villains because yes, they're the villains and they feel that they don't deserve much in the way of proper etiquette. The Deadly Six can get away with taunting and shit talking Sonic through entire levels, so I don't see how it's such a big deal that Sonic tosses a minor insult their way once.

 

As for Eggman, well Sonic and Tails have at him in the beginning because obviously he just tried to kill them with the D6, but they DO lighten up when they see his resolve against them when he managed to punch a large tv screen

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But Tails only warned Sonic while he was in like…mid leap to hit the capsule, I doubt Tails had enough to time to finish his sentence or Sonic had enough time to react that he would have stopped in time, signaling that Tails quick intervention was the only way to save him.

 

Ah! But Tails indicated before Sonic ever leaps that something wasn't right about the capsule. But Sonic goes for it anyway. Which still confirms that Sonic isn't making any real indication that he's paying heed to what Tails is saying.

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Anyone remember when Sonic was supposed to be the cool, edgy alternative to Mario? When he was a spiky little bundle of attitude who did things his own way no matter what anyone else thought?

I guess I just imagined all that.

 

Yeah, it was called Sonic and the Black Knight and it was the game that directly preceded this current direction.

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The 'Eggman is a bonehead' thing was just what seemed to be another dig at childish insult-based humor. :v I didn't mind his remark to Zeena that much though since I actually thought it was decently funny.

 

Anyone remember when Sonic was supposed to be the cool, edgy alternative to Mario? When he was a spiky little bundle of attitude who did things his own way no matter what anyone else thought?

I guess I just imagined all that.

 

Sure he was! But not as meatheaded and overexaggerated as western audiences made him, right? :v

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I'd rather they go overboard while trying than leave him bland as a stump.

e: vvv It's more "I've gotten tired of beating my head against the brick wall of other peoples' opinions trying to get it recognized as anything but heinously out of character so I won't even bother".

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