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Sonic Stories Scrapped?


SlickEvan

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Okay as we all know whether you like the story or aren't fond of it you can't not admit they're if not just a tad uninspired and three-forths baked. I know Sonic and Stories equal baaad news. But why. Why can't we have simplicity but not watered down. Epic but not over the top? Now this is where the discussion comes in. How do you think a simple yet solid and not simple-minded story would go/work?

My opinion is that Pontac and Graff while "experienced" aren't pasionate enough to fill this role. Of course we don't want some Sonic super fan with fan characters to do this job because over-passionate isn't good either. I feel as if they were the ones to make fun of someone for liking Sonic then got stuck writing for it. Well Graff at least. (See triple ex bmx (typing three x's feels gross) for reference).

I personally think that while Lost World story is garbage, it can be fixed. Nothing convoluted but still hefty enough to where the more than one general audience is catered to. Heck while they're being "inspired" by Nintendo have Amy be- wait. On serious note what do you guy's think if current writing and how it could be improved?

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I'd like the current writing...if there was any.

 

Nah in all seriousness I actually like some of the new writing. The lame stuff like "baldy McNosehair" is kinda lame and the scene where Tails goes on about having fixed this and that with bare minimum this or that while Sonic's asking about the Tornado being fixed, well the "A simple good to go would've been cool"  "Ok, GOOD TO GO" " "COOL!felt cringe-worthy forced.

Also I was laughing way too much at Zazz's dialogue: "I've been dreaming of pounding his spikey blue butt all day" for all the wrong reasons. The fact that line made it into the game makes me question whether the script ever had a proof-reader; that should not have made it into the game.

 

Ok maybe I don't like the new writing. These guys are the same writers that did Colours right? Eggman's dialogue in that was pretty good, at least the theme park announcements were, and I do like the way they developed Tails in SLW. To be fair I don't think it's the writers fault. Despite my initial bitching about the Deadly Six, they actually grew on me by the time I got to play the game. I only wish that they had ya know actually been in the game more. They were built up so much and then were kinda just thrown to the side as the game suddenly ended after the Eggman betrayal. It was like.....um ok but what about the D6?

Seems to me its more like SEGA butting in and limiting the writing by making such short unfulfilling games (and probably telling them to dumb down the dialogue and up the stupid jokes)

Why should the writers care if the game makers don't even seem to? I remember when a new Sonic game meant sitting down for a good few days/weeks on end trying to fully complete it. SLW took me like...5 hours combined all up? (Not including getting stuck on Zavok boss fight

which when I found out how to beat him wasn't a skill thing it was more a..oh you were supposed to knock him off the edge? Then why have the lasers and make it seem like they were used for something when hitting him into those hurt him?

)

For the amount of writing in the game they made work, I did think if nothing else SLW developed Tails character more. That shows some good writing. The stupid humor/jokes and minimal everything else I reckon is due to SEGA making short games now.

I'd like to see what the writers could do if they actually had a decent length game to work with.

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Seems to me its more like SEGA butting in and limiting the writing by making such short unfulfilling games (and probably telling them to dumb down the dialogue and up the stupid jokes)

Hmm, not so sure on that; the Japanese dub has a lot of the forced and irritating "funny" lines removed.

 

What bugs me most about the current writing is that apparently every previous installment of the series gets thorougly neglected. Sure, there are characters, items, enemies etc. from the previous games involved, but the writers provide no reason or context for them to be there. This is a new trend that I neither want nor expect from the Sonic series as a whole.

The previous storylines usually came up with a proper in-world explanation for everything that occured in the game. In SLW, we have Wisps, old fashioned Badniks, Omochao, Knuckles, Chaos Emeralds... but we're never told why they're there or why they might be important. We never even learn where Lost Hex is supposed to be!

 

The dialogue doesn't feel like a natural reaction to the things that are happening, but rather like an attempt to put in as many puns and "witty" lines as possible.

 

I don't need an "epic" storyline, but SLW feels like the writers just picked stuff that they thought fans would somehow relate to, threw a vague plot around it and never once looked beyond the surface. If this is Sega's most recent idea of making the series more accessible to new fans, I'd say it fails miserably. The only thing it does is make Sonic appear incredibly shallow.

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I actually feel like the story should be over the top. Kind like Bayonetta, that when you put that on a serious note it becomes stupid, but the way it's made you can take it lighthearted and just go with all the silliness.

 

I do agree that lately the stories have become a little stale. I can't say anything about Lost World because I haven't played it yet.

 

I do give some credit to the adventure era for trying something bold. Now it's like they just given up.

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It would help if Sonic Team probably went over the plot with them when its first being created. In terms of the actual dialogue.....I got nothing, I know everyone's primary criticism is how cringe-worthy it tends to be and I'd suggest toning it down a tad to maybe about the Storybook games levels, but then people complain how the dialogue is too "boring" now, so.....yea, I just take whatever at this point and try to find something good.

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"No superfans"

Ian Flynn and pretty much the entire Archie Sonic team are living proof that superfans writing for Sonic isn't always a bad thing.

 

Writing for Sonic comics you mean. Even there it's still very much "your mileage may vary".

 

Writing for a game is pretty much a whole different kettle of fish.

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The concept of scrapping stories altogether and simply not trying just because the series has had questionable writing in the past is such an ass-backwards concept that I can't garner any grain of support for it in any way, shape or form.

 

Why do fans just bend over and accept mediocrity? Why do they consider an aspect of a game expendable that can serve to broaden it's entertainment value and make it's characters all the more endearing? Why can't fans yearn for better?

 

Say what you want about Sonic games of the early-latish 2000's but Jesus, at least they didn't treat the cast outside of Sonic, Tails and Eggman with such irrelevance and actually had stories that consisted of more than "Sonic goes here, Tails acts like toolbox/Navigator/Obnoxious means of knocking Sonic down a peg, Sonic acts like lame joke-spewing jock/Barely interacts with his other friends/allies, Eggman hangs behind the scenes doing practically nothing". SLW was an improvement but is still lacking in certain areas.

 

I personally would like the series' writing/Stories to go more in the direction of Adventure games and Storybooks, having character mannerisms steer narratives i.e Actually have an effect on plot development as well as bringing life to interactions between the characters involved in the story and the villain(s) providing real challenge and influence in the story. I'd also like to see character development that sticks too.

 

 

Not that I disagree with you, but are pot shots like these really necessary? You couldn't just say "The current games have problems that can easily be fixed" It really makes a difference in getting your point across rather than just coming off as bitter.

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Not that I disagree with you, but are pot shots like these really necessary? You couldn't just say "The current games have problems that can easily be fixed" It really makes a difference in getting your point across rather than just coming off as bitter.

 

Pot shots? Seriously?

 

Some of my complaints regarding current writing direction make me feel somewhat frustrated far, far more than bitter. I'm frustrated that Sonic effectively suffered from character derailment from Colours until Lost World rectified it somewhat especially right after SatBK nailed him. I'm frustrated that Tails is suddenly delegated to acting like a sidelined assistant who now seems to revel in knocking Sonic off his pedestal. Sure I like Tails acting like Sonic's foil in a way but not exactly like that. And Eggman's position as a thorn in Sonic's side, a villain is being undermined by how he's hardly getting his hands dirty and throwing curveballs at the characters before SLW.

 

These characters have shown before that they've been more than what they are currently and they had more substance to them because they actually interacted with other characters in some pretty cool ways. I'm just not fully down with the direction they've taken and how it's facilitating more barebones plots that feel barren.

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Pot shots? Seriously?

 

Some of my complaints regarding current writing direction make me feel somewhat frustrated rather than bitter. I'm frustrated that Sonic effectively suffered from character derailment from Colours until Lost World rectified it somewhat especially right after SatBK portrayed him so well. I'm frustrated that Tails is suddenly delegated to acting like a sidelined assistant who now seems to revel in knocking Sonic off his pedestal. Sure I like Tails acting like Sonic's foil in a way but not exactly like that. And Eggman's position as a thorn in Sonic's side, a villain is being undermined by how he's hardly getting his hands dirty and throwing curveballs at the characters before SLW.

 

These characters have shown before that they've been more than what they are currently and they had more substance to them because they actually interacted with other characters in some pretty cool ways. I'm just not fully down with the direction they've taken and how it's facilitating more barebones plots that feel barren.

 

 

Even so, at least understand that there are people who like the current direction even if you don't agree. I'm not particularly fond of it myself, something which I have voiced many times over, but even I wouldn't go as far and say its outright "Character Derailment", which suggests that the current characterizations go completely against their established traits.

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Even so, at least understand that there are people who like the current direction even if you don't agree.

 

I'm not even saying or thinking that anyone shouldn't like the current direction. I just think it's mediocre compared to what came before because much of what came before utilized the cast fairly well and mostly capitalized on plot points and wrapped-together their stories at the end very well.

 

I'm not particularly fond of it myself, something which I have voiced many times over, but even I wouldn't go as far and say its outright "Character Derailment", which suggests that the current characterizations go completely against their established traits.

 

Character derailment is what I define as the moment a character and their personality/mannerisms go from being very good to inferior very suddenly. I apply it in Sonic's case here because the last game before the start of the current direction nailed Sonic's character whilst Colours took a backstep with it, hence his character became 'derailed' in my view.

 

What you mean is a character being outright OoC. Which I certainly don't think applies to Sonic as of current.

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Everyone here has a game/character/story/moment they dislike, and they have expressed that dislike in various ways without any regard for the respective fans. That's because the freedom to express such a sentiment doesn't actually say anything towards the people who like the thing in question anyway. Everything in this franchise is fair game to be criticized and even hated. If we suddenly have to start taking into account the feelings of those who exclusively like the games with the newer writing direction, those fans should then be expected never to criticize the games with older writing directions.

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Besides, with regards to the word 'mediocre' in my first post in this topic, I meant that a Sonic game without a story and/or without it's characters actually being brought to life really would strike me as being a mediocre game because a thing that stood-out to me regarding Sonic games in the Modern era is the way they portray the characters and the way they factor into stories. That's a big part of the series to me next to the sense of speed and the world the series is set in and I think it would definitely feel like it's lounging in mediocrity if that was sacrificed, done away with completely simply because the writing has not been stellar.

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While Sonic games have kinda been Up, and Down, and All Around in regards to their narratives, I don't think that just scrapping the stories altogether is the way to go.  Gotta have some idea of what's going on, right?

 

Sega and Sonic Team have been trying for well over a decade to find a right way to tell their tales and seem to always get mixed results. "Why is that?" Because the stories tend to fall on the wrong side of simple or the wrong side of grand.  Fans have heavily suggested that Sega and the writers find some kind of middle ground.  A middle ground that may or may not even exist.

 

At this point, I've moved on from desiring stories like those of the Adventure series and the Storybook series (I didn't even play this series so no attachment here).  I mean the writers for those games must be long gone by now and so expecting a future Sonic game with that kind of writing sounds kinda ridiculous (that's how I feel).  With the current writers, I think they're just ok.  The plots are basic but they work (i. e. serve their purpose).  I do find some of humor very humorous but it is true that some of the jokes are kinda juvenile and not funny in some areas; however, I do think the humor is a lot better than the narm that the "Dark Age" Sonic games had.  Pontac's and Graff's main issue is really with drama.  The first two games they wrote for didn't really have much of it and their first real stab at it in Lost World was not exactly a rousing success.  The drama in that game didn't really feel efficient until much later in the story and even then, the stuff in that is questionable.

 

I do have an idea on how things could improve and it even involves some of the other characters a chance to be more involved with the stories (w/o being shoe-horned in and/or being annoying like they were in games like Shadow and Sonic 06) but I'll hold off on that for now.

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Woah, woah. Just to clear something up, I definitely think they should keep stories in the Sonic Games and also gear more towards adventure-esque stories. The topic title was just to draw people in and draw opinions out of them so we could have a discussion. I definitely want Sonic Games to have story!

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I agree with an adventure-esque story. Something that's interesting and gets people debating about the world and characters for years. The problem with the new stories is that they fail in the department that they're focused on, which is humor. The humor doesn't work because frankly it isn't even remotely funny. It's strictly aimed towards little children, as opposed to being aimed towards a general audience. It's such a bore to watch those cutscenes and get no reaction. Not one chuckle. Add to that that the world doesn't even try to draw me in. No engagement. The characters have all become assholes to one another which I really couldn't stand to sit through either. A shame. They need to fire these new writers. Perhaps Shiro Maekawa has moved on? I have no idea what happened to him.

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I'm not even saying or thinking that anyone shouldn't like the current direction. I just think it's mediocre compared to what came before because much of what came before utilized the cast fairly well and mostly capitalized on plot points and wrapped-together their stories at the end very well.

 

 

Character derailment is what I define as the moment a character and their personality/mannerisms go from being very good to inferior very suddenly. I apply it in Sonic's case here because the last game before the start of the current direction nailed Sonic's character whilst Colours took a backstep with it, hence his character became 'derailed' in my view.

 

What you mean is a character being outright OoC. Which I certainly don't think applies to Sonic as of current.

 

Fair enough, I just get kinda ansty whenever a negative opinion is expressed because then we're accused of being "haters".

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I personally blame the fans, or "fans".

So many people seem to bitch about the "drama" in the games or Sonic having too many "shitty friends" or complain that they want Sonic gameplay only and what happens? Ever since Unleashed (excluding Sonic Generations) all we've had is Sonic only gameplay and bare minimum story and a total neglect for the cast outside of Sonic/Tails/Eggman. We've had one-use-throw-away characters added to the games rather than use the existing cast. We've had stories that could be summarised in two sentences.

 

Don't get me wrong I loved Colours and Sonic Generations (without the nostalgia goggles) still stands up as a great game. However I do like my games to have substance and despite being good games they fall short in substance. Sonic Generations had me hooked, had me so excited, like a party I wanting to keep going but then all of a sudden ends an hour in. It left me wanting more and when I thought about it, it annoyed me. I played it for about 8 hours from memory and that was enough to complete everything; red rings and all.

The game I'd been hyping myself up for, for over a year was over just like that. They missed golden opportunities to have cast members interact in endless ways that could've referenced things from previous games that would've been just as nostalgic as playing a revamped classic level, yet the most we got was them saying a few words when Sonic saves them and then them in the background of the opening and ending clip. WASTED. FCKING. OPPORTUNITIES. Was devastated at the waste and it was only because the game was so fun to actually play that I didn't rage more.

 

I feel like this is a dangerous trend they've gotten themselves into. I always loved Sonic games due to their large cast (Sonic Heroes being my top 3D Sonic game) and the fact that SEGA seem to scared to take the chances that they used to in regards to epic storytelling and actually giving the large cast they've created something to do just saddens me.

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After doing some research (and by research I mean going to Sonic Retro), apparently the writers for the Adventure games were Akinori Nishiyama (Adventure 1) and Shiro Maekawa (Adventure 2).  The writers for the Storybook games appear to be uncredited*.

 

So for stories like the ones in those titles to be back the in the newer games, Nishiyama and Maekawa are going to have to become involved with the writing again.  Well, here's the problem. The last thing Nishiyama did for the series was back in '09 where he Chief Producer of SatBK and Sonic Character Supervisor for the first "Winter Games" title; the last thing Maekawa did was for Zero Gravity serving as writer, story board designer, and game mode designer.  The odds of them coming back are pretty slim guys!

 

 

*Also does anybody know who wrote for the Storybook games? I'm actually rather curious.

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We don't particularly need either writer to come back for stories to include the things people have been asking for for years. A story where, say, the levels are actually contextualized by the narrative is not something endemic only to those two people. If anything, the problem is that they're tacking on stories to a game design they created separately, which is the absolute worst.

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 A story where, say, the levels are actually contextualized by the narrative is not something endemic only to those two people. 

This is true, but those two are the last writers who did that kind of story-telling for the Sonic series.  For that to return, they would be the best bet.  Otherwise, Sega would have to hire outside talent (again) and tbh I'm not confident that Sega has the competence on how and where to find that kind of writing talent.

 

I think the current strategy of improving on what they have now is the best way to go going forward instead wishing for things that are simply never going to happen anytime soon or ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Btw, "endemic" is the wrong word for that sentence.  I think "exclusive" was the word you wanted to use there.

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