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Did Sonic Unleashed did more bad than good for the series?


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No, I'm not saying that was Unleashed a bad game but did its gameplay helped the franchise at all, that is my question. To be more specific, the boost gameplay.

 

First of all, let's talk about the origins of the boost.

 

In 2005, Dimps made Sonic Rush for the Nintendo DS, it was a good game but a lot of people were impressed by how fast Sonic and newcomer, Blaze the Cat, were in this game and how it was faster than Advance 2. So at 2007, Dimps made Rush Adventure and with a few touches made it my one of my favourite Sonic games due to its fast-paced gameplay, better story and etc.

 

Now let's go back to 2006.

 

We all have heard this before, 06 was the worst the series has gone and Sonic Team wanted to pick up their slack and make Sonic good again. Secret Rings was pretty good, had a nice story and a fun Party Mode but had bad controls, but the thing is Sonic Team decided to apply two moves Sonic can use in this game: Time Break and Speed Break. Speed Break is pretty much the Boost from the Rush series so when people liked the Speed Break, Sonic Team decided to make a Sonic game based on the Boost and what was their outcome?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-CJ3kPrZrU

 

Sonic Unleashed! 

 

Considered to be the last game in the "Dark Age" of Sonic the Hedgehog. My god, this game was really fun! I mean there is no doubt that Sonic Team put a lot of effort and love into this game. It had a great story, while it did got a bit weak in the middle but I digress, had one of the best soundtracks in the series, beautiful and breath-taking visuals and had very good gameplay.I mean you know this game is going to be good based on the intro alone, note that it is also the best intro in a Sonic game ever. But enough praising, let's talk about that boost!

 

In Unleashed, you can play as Sonic in the Daytime levels of the continents and his gameplay was based on going really fast through a level by using the boost and other skills Sonic can acquire throughout the game. The feel of going through a Daytime level in this game is really exhilarating and blood-pumping. Basically, the Daytime levels is pretty much a 3D Sonic Rush although there is not a huge emphasis in Trick Combos. 

 

Despite most people loving the game, the critics were mixed about Unleashed. It did have issues like the mandatory Sun/Moon medal collecting to progress through the game, the levels being too linear in the Daytime levels, Eggmanland and the Werehog in general. But that didn't stop Sonic Team from improving the boost gameplay and they did so with Colors and Generations, which both got a lot of praise from critics and fans alike and rightfully so.

 

But then came 2013, where Sonic Team decided to try a new gameplay formula for Sonic in Lost World and it got mixed reception. It wasn't phenomenal by any means but it was pretty good, well at least I think so I have yet to play it, but the problem with a lot of critics with the game was how slow Sonic was in this game.

 

It certainly wasn't super fast but it was still fast-paced, so how did they came up with such an issue?

 

They compared the speed in Lost World with Unleashed and the like. But Lost World wasn't trying to be anything like those games, it was its own style. Not only that but I remember one reporter saying that Adventure 2 was a "slow" game during the hype of Lost World. 

 

Adventure 2? Slow! What on the earth happened here?!

 

I thought about this for a while and I may have gotten the idea that maybe we were spoiled by the boost gameplay Unleashed introduced to us. I'm sure not everyone in here thinks SA2 wasn't a slow game by all means, basing it off of Sonic/Shadow stages for this, but maybe, just maybe, that we wanted Sonic to go fast and that's alright but I think that Unleashed took it too far.

 

I'm not a hater on the Boost gameplay but I can see that maybe it didn't help us but created a new problem, gamers and critics will have with future Sonic games. I'm beginning to wonder that critics will not like a Sonic game because it's not fast as Unleashed.

 

But from the looks of it, Boom might have some of that fast-paced gameplay we wanted but things are not always what they seem.

 

So at the end, did the Boost did more bad than good?

 

I would highly reccommend posting your thoughts below!

 

P.S. Woohoo! I finally have 100 posts and made my first topic! Today is a good day!

Edited by SoniTH
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Ultimately, while I don't consider Sonic Unleashed a very well designed game in the slightest, it did a lot towards straightening the series the fuck out in a time where it desperately needed to be straightened out. Colors and Generations ironed a lot of the kinks and are generally much better designed games, they're just too short. 

 

I was kind of hoping they'd throw in one last Boost game that cleans everything up but then Lost World happened. I was excited for that but it was pretty janky in a lot of ways. Not sure if it helped or hurt the series since it didnt sell well or do that well with critics, but it sure did fuck up my expectations on whether or not Sonic Team could consistently deliver solid games. 

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Good and bad is subjective, but I would say that overall, it did more good than bad.

 

The Werehog has obviously become the butt of jokes in the online gaming community, although it's more polarizing within the fanbase. However, bringing the boost in paved way for the successes of Colors and Generations with critics and fans alike, and it was on its way to putting the series in a good place for the short time that gameplay element was around. 

 

There was a lot of unnecessary elements that brought the game down (Sun+Moon medals can go die in a fire), but overall, despite being branded as part of the "dark age of Sonic", its legacy did a lot more positive things for Sonic than negative, IMHO.

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For me personally, Sonic Unleashed felt like a comeback for Sonic.

 

The Sonic Adventure style story with the fast gameplay, beautiful graphics, awesome music, and a ton of quests makes it one of my top 10 Sonic games of all time.

 

Unfortunately, since then it seems like no other Sonic game can compare or surpass it, except for Sonic Generations.

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As much as I hate Unleashed, I have to say one thing. It was definitely a step in the right direction. I mean, yeah, it did a bunch of stuff wrong, but what it established in the boost stages was well expanded upon in Colours and Generations, two games that I love. So, without Unleashed, I wouldn't have enjoyed those games. So, yeah, I think it did more good than bad, as shitty as the game may be.

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It did more than enough good regarding quality in regards to game concepts, polish, and effort. Buuuuut, it featured just enough bad to not really be able to share it with peers as a definitively good Sonic game. So the title lands 50/50 or 60/40.

 

But honestly? Those good elements were great, and for some fans, the amount of intricate detail and passion that was put into a decent chunk of the game's content was sort of like a love-embroidered apology for 2006, and the general downhill spiral the series had been taking.

 

And really I'm glad that Colors and Generations took the good gameplay elements of Unleashed and improved them, even though it leaves me disappointed they didn't follow in the steps of how they handled the extra content of Unleashed in those games either. I can understand why, given the public's nasty perception on Sonic being anything but a thinly glued level pack, - __ - but those qualities really shone through for me, and you could tell its where (besides the gameplay) the most love was poured in. 

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I don't even like Unleashed much at all, but its good aspects far outlived its bad ones in terms of series lifetime. We got a couple of games that saved the franchise's reputation. I should say that's a pretty good legacy for a game with a werehog in it.

 

As to your comment about Lost World, such a matter is more-so the fault of the fans and Lost World itself than the boost games themselves. The fans, because there will always be a contingent who just want the same game on end for the rest of time; I'm sure everyone remembers those Adventure fans, for instance. Lost World, because it did a poor job of showing the public what was worthwhile in the game's style. It's nothing that can't be refined later and better in another game, much like a certain world adventure gave way to a Wisp world adventure. No need to take this momentary frustration as anything but what it is.

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In my honest opinion I really dislike the hedgehog-engine behind the back gameplay as it's just too hard to control.  If there was a definitive way to handle Sonic in 3D it would pretty much be SA2 with Lost World's parkouring.  I'm only saying what I have experienced seeing that before my Wii's memory was reformatted my worst grades were in the Day stages while the Night stages barely went below B-level.

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hedgehog-engine

THE HEDGEHOG ENGINE IS A GRAPHICS ENGINE! GET IT RIGHT!!!

 

Also...

 

 I'm only saying what I have experienced seeing that before my Wii's memory was reformatted my worst grades were in the Day stages while the Night stages barely went below B-level.

 

 

That is because the Wii version is developed by Dimps. Sonic Team designed the HD version. And only the HD version has the Hedgehog engine.

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Unleashed really felt like Sonic Team got what many of us felt at the time; no multiple shitty gameplay styles, no Sonic that is SLOW, no bland hub world, and no broken game. What Unleashed did was take the best elements of the Sonic franchise as a whole and blended it into something flawed, but otherwise an amazing experience that more than made up for the crap fest that was Sonic 06.

 

The increadabley detailed hub worlds, the cartoon-like humans that complement Sonic's style, the amazing presentation, the more or less solid controls for both the Day and Night stages, and introducing or for many, RE-introducing Sonic's speed into a fresh new gaming experence that felt like nothing we saw before. Sure, it was a fusion of Sonic Rush + Sonic 06 Mach Speed Zones, but it was pulled off in such a way that felt great to play and while it was rough around they edges, it was refined into two great Sonic tittles latter on.

 

The game is far from perfect, but not in the SA1 or SA2 type way where the gameplay felt lacking with the game having 3-5 different gameplay styles; just two solid, but flawed ones. Even if the Werehog really didn't need to be in Unleashed, at least he felt satisfying to play as with good control, fun levels to fight in, and not being a broken mess to play as.

 

I look back at Unleashed as a great learning point for the series; Sega and a NEW Sonic Team knew that Sonic needed new life and something to revitalize his image after a huge train wreak. But they did it, taking some great new ideas and meshing them into some fimilar ones, making a good game that laid a solid foundation that was built upon for stronger, better Sonic experiences.

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In my honest opinion I really dislike the hedgehog-engine behind the back gameplay as it's just too hard to control.  If there was a definitive way to handle Sonic in 3D it would pretty much be SA2 with Lost World's parkouring.  I'm only saying what I have experienced seeing that before my Wii's memory was reformatted my worst grades were in the Day stages while the Night stages barely went below B-level.

 

Wait wait wait.. did you play the Wii version? Because that's what I'm getting from this.

 

 

 

Because I mean... they're quite different.

(also holy CRAP Unleashed!HD is a fast game, it really hits hard after playing other Sonic games then looking back)

 

That said, I can't disagree with SA gameplay + parkour being where the series should go, but that's a different topic altogether.

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I had forgot the embarrassing amount of rings that game had.  

 

But Lost World's slow movement was its own problem.  Even ignoring Unleashed and the games like it, Lost World is a clear outlier and it's kind of hilarious that they attached the peel out animation to it.  Unleashed's speed was no greater than the genesis games, Unleashed just mapped the concept of going fast to a button.  

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Unleashed is undeniably the game that began the earning of goodwill back Sega underwent for a few years as a result of being better than Sonic 06 (not that hard not an act to follow) and establishing the brighter aesthetics and lighthearted writing the games continue to use. So it deserves credit in that vain, but as the years go by it feels more like a footnote than a claim to fame, mainly because people are really fucking determined not to give Unleashed any credit at all unless prompted by matter-of-factly topics like this, and because the level of detail that went into the game as well as the tonal balance it had that gives it its identity has been completely dumped to the wayside; the preceding games follow in its stead in the most superficial way possible to me, so any good the game did thus feels sadly meaningless most of the time.

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I really hate this game as a whole, but atleast it's better than Shadow and Sonic 06 which doesn't say much sadly, and it kinda saved Sonic's reputation. So in one way I'm glad this game exists, my only complaints are the shitty gameplay(both day-time and night-time stages)and the boring story telling. Oh and Chip.

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As to your comment about Lost World, such a matter is more-so the fault of the fans and Lost World itself than the boost games themselves. The fans, because there will always be a contingent who just want the same game on end for the rest of time; I'm sure everyone remembers those Adventure fans, for instance. Lost World, because it did a poor job of showing the public what was worthwhile in the game's style. It's nothing that can't be refined later and better in another game, much like a certain world adventure gave way to a Wisp world adventure. No need to take this momentary frustration as anything but what it is.

 

On one hand, it is nice to think "Okay I loved Unleashed, but even the haters were happy that it lead to Colours and Generations, once they had become refined".

 

So I thought, as someone who hated Lost World for the most part... maybe I just need my refined, Lost World sequel, and then I'll look on Lost World like the majority here look on Unleashed.

 

 

Except the fundamental difference for me was that Unleashed fixed what Heroes, Shadow and 2006 gradually ruined.  Lost World tried to fix something that didn't need fixing.  Generations was great, I was really hoping for a game at least close to that gameplay with new environments as caringly developed as Unleashed's.

 

With Unleashed, no-one questioned the bold new direction because what came before was crap.  With Lost World, the bold new direction is very questionable because what came before was working.  Sure as hell wasn't in the vein of classic Sonic but neither is Lost World so yeah.

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