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The Lara-Su Chronicles and Ken Penders topic - READ PAGE 164, POST 4096

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You know, as someone who likes the extended cast of characters and want to see them in active roles again that aren't "cheerleader", I can agree with Ken to a degree, but as usual, I have to take into account who's saying this and remembering that he never actually knows what he's talking about in relation to this franchise. That and he really just wants his characters (that SEGA does not own nor want) being prioritized.

While I personally wouldn't argue that the extra characters are, in themselves, part of the "downfall" of the franchise (I'm tired as shit of this scapegoat), I think it's how they were utilized in the games themselves that were a problem. It doesn't help that Sonic himself never has a defined playstyle and it changes constantly every few games. In the end, it's correct to say that gameplay is Sonic's biggest hurdle, and should be prioritized, but that's really not the fault of extra characters so much as it is Sonic Team is incompetent and/or probably overworked from having to focus exclusively on Sonic for so long.

[/rant]

3 minutes ago, horridus said:

And now you know why Penders has never, ever had a real career beyond Sonic. 

I don't think shafting his buddies at Image with his little vanity story (SSS#7) helped matters any.

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15 minutes ago, Zaysho said:

I don't think shafting his buddies at Image with his little vanity story (SSS#7) helped matters any.

Especially given that he tried to make an X-men ripoff at the precise time that Image was getting sick of doing X-Men ripoffs. 

I just find it amusing that he's talking about this like he has some kind of experiance or expertise. Granted, its the same as when he talks about business or the film industry or the comic book industry, but he's very explicitly never worked in games beyond the most peripheral way possible via the Sonic comic. And given that he still insists that Sonic is 'more than a video game character', it becomes clear that his motives have nothing to do with the games or making them better, given his repeated claims about how the Sonic games are somehow less widespread and influential than the comic, specifically the comic during the time he wrote it. 

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On 2017-01-12 at 1:47 PM, horridus said:

 

Okay, sorry about the above. For some reason, it kept my last reply and wouldn't let me delete that part, nor add anything else. (Edit: Then it merged my replies.)

Anyway, what Penders said here isn't wrong. What he means is almost undoubtedly wrong, but what he said isn't.

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  You know, even though I joked about him in the other thread, I can honestly Say I don't hate Ken Penders, heck I still have a nostalgic love for the old Sonic comics despite how silly, convoluted they get.

 

  I honestly believe Penders is genuinely passoniate about being a writer.  The thing is though, passion doesn't equal talent.  Penders may have decent ideas, but he has proven time & time again he does not know how to properly execute his ideas.  He was so sure his Lost Ones book was going to be the next big thing, but it only got one issue.  And despite all his talk he has yet to produce a single full issue of Laura-Su Chronicles in four years or so since it was announced.  Which makes me think he also lacks commitment, and that is not good either.

 

 I will say I agree with him that having a general vision or direction for your characters is always a good idea, but SEGA isn't Archie, image, DC or Marvel.  They are a video game company, and if they want to put gameplay over story, for better or worse, that is their choice to make.

 

 And let's be honest, even if they did have a clear narrative direction, Ken would still complain because it's not his direction. :P

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It's like has been mentioned, when Sega did opt to put more emphasis into the stories and charactization, we got the most critically panned Sonic games in the series. When Sega decided to return to simplistic and light hearted design choices in the more recent games they have enjoyed a more positive reception and even people outside the fan base were looking forward to seeing what the next game would be. Sonic Mania is a prime example, it's concentrating on gameplay, like the original games that made Sonic a worldwide success, and most people, general public and fans, can't wait to get their hands on it!!

Some of the most negatively viewed aspects in recent years by the gaming press and critics were the more edgy or "serious" stories, as well as the creation and overabundance of new "friends" in each game.

While there are fans on both ends of the spectrum you can't really dispute the fact that the general gaming comunity, critics and media all seem to prefer the original/new design aspects over the era where the Adventure games and 2006 etc came about. (I'm aware Sonic Adventure 2 rated well initially as a stand out, but since its re-releases has been critiqued as not having aged well).

It shouldn't be shocking that Penders believes those two areas, the ones that caused such a downfall in perception in the series for a good long while, are the ones Sega should return to. 

While I agree the series could use some better direction, perhaps a unified vision for the world and direction of the games akin to the original games from Sonic - Sonic 3K that all shared similar design and world building. Even the Adventure games had a more unified version of the world and events than the recent games have had. But I still dont personally believe the games need greater stories or charactization. My personal favourites are the ones most people say have very little story (people who clearly haven't read the info in the manuals etc).

If we were talking cartoons like SatAM or other more visual and non-interactive media like the comics etc then yes, yes they should concentrate on the stories and characters, SatAM for example did do this while it was around, and it did it very well. Gaming as a medium tho should always concentrate on having a solid gameplay and interaction experience first and foremost above all else, it's what you buy a game for in the first place. To play it. Becoming immersed is important, story and characters are important, ans without them I qgree, a game can suffer, but enjoying yourself playing the game will always trump any other aspect, it's the thing that has you come back for more after all!!

/end long rant 

P.S. Didn't Penders pride himself on having never played a Sonic game, and he wasn't really into gaming, it was his son's thing. I recall in a recent back and forth between him and I he still said he didnt know much about the games when I pointed out that Knuckles did have a backstory originally and the early games did have world building in the manuals when he was going on about the characters and world being barren in the begining. Now he's telling someone on Twitter a list of games he has played and Sonic is listed..has he since opted to actually try one of the games? Or is this more inconsistency in his online posts?

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3 minutes ago, chaosjam said:

You know, I'm done with this dude. It's clear he wants the comic to fail because he NEEDS to be right. He needs to be justified in his reasoning. There is NO correlation between Riverdale and Sonic!  NONE!

I am so done with this guy.

 Don't let him get to yea.  He's not worth even getting mad about.

 

 Although I won't say he's completely wrong.  I doubt anything will end, but if Archie does lose money over Riverdale it could cause even more annoying delays with Archie books for all their lines/imprints.

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At this point I'm not even angry, just baffled. Out of all the claims he's made about the imminent cancellation of Archie this one is the most bizzare yet, and that he clings so tenaciously to this almost makes me worried about what will happen when it doesn't pan out that way. This isn't clutching at straws, this is clutching at the frayed shreds of what *used* to be a straw. 

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Just for a point of reference - at the time of this post Riverdale hasn't premiered in the US yet. This means that Penders has absolutely no data to base his claims on.

Personally I'm still sceptical of the whole Riverdale concept. So it will be curious to see how the show actually preforms in the rating. Although, it might be several hours or even a couple of days before we know  the initial ratings for Riverdale, good or bad.

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1 hour ago, Kintor said:

Just for a point of reference - at the time of this post Riverdale hasn't premiered in the US yet. This means that Penders has absolutely no data to base his claims on.

 

Personally I'm still sceptical of the whole Riverdale concept. So it will be curious to see how the show actually preforms in the rating. Although, it might be several hours or even a couple of days before we know  the initial ratings for Riverdale, good or bad.

For primitime shows ratings come out pretty quick.  We could potentially know Riverdale's by tomorrow or Saturday, though Monday or Tuesday is probably more likely IMO

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1 hour ago, Kintor said:

Just for a point of reference - at the time of this post Riverdale hasn't premiered in the US yet. This means that Penders has absolutely no data to base his claims on.

 

Personally I'm still sceptical of the whole Riverdale concept. So it will be curious to see how the show actually preforms in the rating. Although, it might be several hours or even a couple of days before we know  the initial ratings for Riverdale, good or bad.

Early reviews were actually positive and I gotta admit, it just finished up and it wasn't that bad. Certainly not as dark as they promoted it.  I think it was a successful premiere but then everything comes down to numbers. 

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2 hours ago, chaosjam said:

Early reviews were actually positive and I gotta admit, it just finished up and it wasn't that bad. Certainly not as dark as they promoted it.  I think it was a successful premiere but then everything comes down to numbers. 

  I didn't hate it, but I didn't really love it either.  Betty is the only character I like in this incarnation of the series so far and to a lesser extent Veronica.  And they could have picked a better Jughead.   

 

 Also making Ms. Grundy young & have a crush on Archie just creepy & weird.  I get Archie wants to branch out with its characters but compared to the comics, even Afterlife, the show just seems out of place for the franchise.

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19 minutes ago, SonicComicFanboy said:

  I didn't hate it, but I didn't really love it either.  Betty is the only character I like in this incarnation of the series so far and to a lesser extent Veronica.  And they could have picked a better Jughead.   

 

 Also making Ms. Grundy young & have a crush on Archie just creepy & weird.  I get Archie wants to branch out with its characters but compared to the comics, even Afterlife, the show just seems out of place for the franchise.

So when can we get a TV adaption of Archie's best thing I've read in years: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina?

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Just now, Sen said:

So when can we get a TV adaption of Archie's best thing I've read in years: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina?

I read somewhere Sabrina would be introduced into Riverdale later on, I wouldn't be surprised if they used the Chilling Adventures Version.

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Since we're talking about Riverdale: it was decent.

It's nicely shot, and it was just the right amount of dark, and I gotta admit I'm curious to see what happens next time.

That being said there are still some aspects I can't help but take issue with: most of the adult characters have been "glamourised" (Archie's dad and Veronica's mum are younger-looking than their comic counterparts), the whole thing with Miss Grundy, and Kevin Keller being reduced to the token gay.

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Technically speaking, yes, 'today' he did actually say more than a few stupid things, namely confirming that he didn't bother to do ANY research on Shadow despite being given access to the game in 2005 and just ignoring it, as well as elaborating on one of his asinine reasons for trying to kill off Sally and revealing the true limits of his imagination and understanding of others in doing so. 

More pertinent to the specifics of this thread, are the following- 

1) Penders really, really isn't a reasonable guy as he claims, particularly in the face of the revelation that he tried to use the lawsuit as leverage to get a Knuckles film made, and has at various points indicated that he feels entitled to a great deal more than royalties. 

2) SEGA only allows Archie to make Sonic comics if everything made for the comic is owned by SEGA. Penders desire to retain copyright will always make any return of his work impossible regardless of what he says, and the same goes for any creator who demands similar. Again- not very reasonable, especially since he is well aware of this. 

3) And finally, we once again have him insinuating that Archie has wronged him in some capacity, but he still refuses to actually specify what it is that they have done. I've never heard of anyone with a legitimate grievance against somebody or something refusing to spell things out, especially when the possibility of being killed in retaliation wasn't a factor in things. 

So yeah, pretty much the same song and dance. 

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2 minutes ago, horridus said:

1) Penders really, really isn't a reasonable guy as he claims, particularly in the face of the revelation that he tried to use the lawsuit as leverage to get a Knuckles film made, and has at various points indicated that he feels entitled to a great deal more than royalties. 

Wait, what?! Where was this shown? 

 

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14 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Wait, what?! Where was this shown? 

 

In the Penders Movie thread. Penders was once again hee-hawing about how 'clearly' the Sonic film is doomed or not being made, and somebody brought up a lot of his own failed film pitches and pointed out how he was in no position to talk. Penders made a long-tweet to 'address' the points (not really), and brought up how in during the lawsuit he tried to use it as a means of getting a Knuckles film made-

Quote

3. The KNUCKLES film was pitched as part of a settlement for the lawsuit as an alternative to cold hard cash. SEGA would have still received a piece of the action had events gone in that direction.

Sufficed to say, the guy has something of a one track mind to put it lightly, one that does a lot to discredit his claims of being 'reasonable'... among the many, many other things he's said and done, of course. 

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1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Wait, what?! Where was this shown? 

 

I honestly didn't believe it either at first, but...

Quote

3. The KNUCKLES film was pitched as part of a settlement for the lawsuit as an alternative to cold hard cash. SEGA would have still received a piece of the action had events gone in that direction.

"SEGA would have still received a piece of the action..."

It should probably be the other way around. His intent is obvious and I'm a little surprised that, in the midst of all this, he tried to pitch a fucking movie to continue pushing his own works.

 

 

EDIT:.... I did not see another page when I was posting. Ninja'd

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Now Ken is ranting on Twitter after watching Riverdale talking about how in the 90's Archie was racist and wouldnt let Betty date a black guy and his story about Jughead starting a website gother rejected. Good lord. This man is just making sh*t up now.

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On 1/26/2017 at 3:00 AM, Tenko said:

It's like has been mentioned, when Sega did opt to put more emphasis into the stories and charactization, we got the most critically panned Sonic games in the series. When Sega decided to return to simplistic and light hearted design choices in the more recent games they have enjoyed a more positive reception and even people outside the fan base were looking forward to seeing what the next game would be. Sonic Mania is a prime example, it's concentrating on gameplay, like the original games that made Sonic a worldwide success, and most people, general public and fans, can't wait to get their hands on it!!

Some of the most negatively viewed aspects in recent years by the gaming press and critics were the more edgy or "serious" stories, as well as the creation and overabundance of new "friends" in each game.

While there are fans on both ends of the spectrum you can't really dispute the fact that the general gaming comunity, critics and media all seem to prefer the original/new design aspects over the era where the Adventure games and 2006 etc came about. (I'm aware Sonic Adventure 2 rated well initially as a stand out, but since its re-releases has been critiqued as not having aged well).

It shouldn't be shocking that Penders believes those two areas, the ones that caused such a downfall in perception in the series for a good long while, are the ones Sega should return to. 

While I agree the series could use some better direction, perhaps a unified vision for the world and direction of the games akin to the original games from Sonic - Sonic 3K that all shared similar design and world building. Even the Adventure games had a more unified version of the world and events than the recent games have had. But I still dont personally believe the games need greater stories or charactization. My personal favourites are the ones most people say have very little story (people who clearly haven't read the info in the manuals etc).

If we were talking cartoons like SatAM or other more visual and non-interactive media like the comics etc then yes, yes they should concentrate on the stories and characters, SatAM for example did do this while it was around, and it did it very well. Gaming as a medium tho should always concentrate on having a solid gameplay and interaction experience first and foremost above all else, it's what you buy a game for in the first place. To play it. Becoming immersed is important, story and characters are important, ans without them I qgree, a game can suffer, but enjoying yourself playing the game will always trump any other aspect, it's the thing that has you come back for more after all!!

One of the reasons I desire for a good story to return to the format of the games is because nowadays I have more confidence that it can actually come packaged with a universally well-liked game this day and age. I feel as though if that were to happen and it were to be consistent, the distinction between a more developed story with better written characters and bad Sonic games could dissipate. Perhaps not entirely considering the stubborn nature of a lot of the fans and the critics but it would at least provide a tangible argument against the assertion that the focus on the characters and story alone was the heavy contributor to whatever downfall the series may have had and prove that it was the execution and handling of those elements that was at fault. No matter how many existing examples there are of the characters being able to play similarly to Sonic one might bring up, whenever a lone critics thinks of Knuckles it isn't the gameplay he was bred with in Sonic 3 and Knuckles but the one he was slated with long after his conception when it came to treasure hunting.

I'm often jealous of the people who do find good gameplay to be enough for them and indeed the thing that keeps them coming back for more. However, my introduction to video games and what I took away from them was entirely different then a lot of other people it seems. Sonic Adventure 2: Battle wasn't the first game I had ever played but it was the very first one that introduced me to how powerful an interactive narrative experience can have on a person. Often I found myself playing through it because I either really wanted to see what was going to happen next in the story or, if I was lost within the level, the merit behind what my objective was and how I was the one controlling the character to accomplish it made me feel exhilarated in a manner that I wasn't privy to at the time. I also liked the aesthetic and feel of the world more than I do now. The fact that it was also the most memorable bonding time me and my younger brother had ever had made it what I still consider to be the best Summer Vacation of my life.

I love Sonic Generations purely for it's great gameplay, certainly. However, I find that I treat that game a lot like my dad would treat a Tetris app on his phone where I would turn it on from time to time, play a level or two, get bored, then turn it off. The drive to play through it in its entirety hasn't hit me like it has countless times with the Adventure games, Unleashed, or even Heroes (which had a simple narrative but made up for it in my opinion with a heavy focus on character interaction). There wouldn't be anything for me to re-experience. Not really. All the stages are lined up in a row against a white background. It's like walking through an art gallery rather then running through an adventure.

I'd like a game that could combine the two for once. Something that treated all the elements it had as equally important even if in reality the gameplay truly was the thing that needed to come first. Often I feel so weirded out by myself when I'm sat here not really caring about a game like Sonic Colors and not going back to it at all despite it playing fine and it not being a bad game and conversely finding myself putting in Shadow the Hedgehog, of all things, more often just so I can derp around in the levels, run alongside the other characters, hear them say stuff, watch the cutscenes with them (the ones with just Shadow and Doom are boring though. Not very compelling watching those two talk), and contemplate if I'd ever waste enough of my time to actually try and fill up that library of all the pathways from this really bad game. 

I'm not SO desperate for all that other stuff that I'd resort to going back to 06 of course. Those "characters" feel more like walking, emotion-less dolls. 

The initial spark I got from SA2:B is what drove me to grow up and finally nab that English degree I wanted. It wouldn't be far-fetched at all to say that the story, world, and characters are what allures me to the series probably more than the gameplay. Admitting that always worries me because I always feel like an alien saying so, especially considering that the stories I do like within the series still aren't what I'd consider universally excellent material. But they worked well for what they were. Some even better than I remember when I revisit a few of them (some of them worse). I'm exposed to all of the series's non-game elements on a wider scale anyway. There were TV shows and now comics I have that allowed me to become more in-tune with them. Not to mention, I pretended my Pokemon toys were Sonic characters when I was a kid and made like 5 new seasons of Sonic X with them (all without Chris). Totodile was Sonic. And Mew was Rouge.

Despite all of that though, the interactive experience that I got, that old flame that ignited my passion is what I wish to see made real once more. I'd like to feel it again and I'd love for it to be attached to a game that won't be universally panned by everyone. 

Just once before I die, please. I'd take at least one of those and I'd be happy to wait another 10 years for another or maybe even longer. 

It's especially painful for me since my favorite characters are often ones that need a stronger narrative in order to appear. Not every story needs a gang of misfit detectives after all. That said, there's certainly no shortage of ideas for their use either. Not about to make excuses for them, that's for damn sure.

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