Jump to content
Awoo.

Serious vs LightHearted


DBZHedgy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Back when Sonic Adventure 2 was released it caused the Sonic Fanbase to sorta split apart. There were the older Genisis Fans who wanted their old Cartooney Sonic Back, and there were the Newer Adventure Fans who expected Sonic to be Serious.

 

My question to you is: Which is better?

 

I feel as if the Sonic Video games have always liked to carry that Darker more Serious tone, so I'm not really sure how people got a lighthearted tone from the Classics or Adventure for that matter. All of the Classics had to do with Sonic freeing Enslaved Animals, (as well as Adventure and Adventure 2) and Sonic CD primarily focused on how nefarious Dr. Eggman's plans were, especially once the succeeded.

 

I may be classifing it wrong and it may very well be just Stories that barely talk about their Story, Like Sonic Colors or Sonic 1/2.

 

Why is it that people hate the Serious/More indepth plots, or Vice Versa with Lighthearted/ Less indepth Plots?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So which out of all of the Sonic games do you say do this the best? 

 

The Storybook games and Unleashed as I already said.

 

Let's take SatSR for example.

 

It's narrative had rather dark aspects such as emotional abuse, blackmail, demonic summoning and even a character getting murdered on-screen. But have those aspects of it's story ever really been singled-out for criticism as if they detracted from the story? Personally, I have never once seen this. Why? I'd hazard a guess that it's because they're themes that are well-incorporated and/or subtle and are not dark for the sake of being dark, they're not beaten over your head. And what also balanced the dark themes out were the lighthearted aspects such as Sonic's largely non-serious and playful nature and the little gags such as Sinbad's and Sonic's inhospitality towards each other and Sonic only grudgingly saving King Sharyar by stepping on the hem of his cloak as he dangles over the side of a cliff.

 

The story is serious when it needs to be and such elements are not pulled-off in an awkward way and the story progression is not shafted to the side for the sake of exhibiting one specific tone. And the lighthearted moments balance-out the dark elements. Hence I consider it a game with a story that has a good balance of tones.

  • Thumbs Up 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since when were fans divided over SA2 being too serious? I don't remember any big debates like that. I remember debates like that when Shadows game, Sonic 06 and Unleashed came out. But never have I known SA2 to be criticised to the point of splitting the fanbase for being too serious.

 

just about everybody said no it wasn't. 

 

Shadow and 06 were probably too serious, though the writing in both those games is atrocious so you can't blame the debate for kicking off since you had two dark tone games in quick succession which were both abysmal, one of the things people turn on instantly is the tone... though to be fair, the way tone is executed in those games is equally terrible so it's not surprising.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since when were fans divided over SA2 being too serious? I don't remember any big debates like that. I remember debates like that when Shadows game, Sonic 06 and Unleashed came out. But never have I known SA2 to be criticised to the point of splitting the fanbase for being too serious.

 

just about everybody said no it wasn't. 

 

Shadow and 06 were probably too serious, though the writing in both those games is atrocious so you can't blame the debate for kicking off since you had two dark tone games in quick succession which were both abysmal, one of the things people turn on instantly is the tone... though to be fair, the way tone is executed in those games is equally terrible so it's not surprising.

Generally, people trace back to Sonic Adventure 2 when considering Bad stories like Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog, forgive me for my mistake.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

SA2 was popular for its grimdarky story. There was alot of death and one implletion of tourture/execution (Eggmans grandfather). The story didnt take it self too seriously and you actually feel for the characters. Shadow the Hedgehog was a dark story done wrong. It took itself too serioulsy to where it was comedy mine rather then a story that makes you feel anything for Shadow.

  • Thumbs Up 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm itching for something I can take seriously, but to be quite honest my expectations have gotten so low with this series that I'll take any semblance of well-written narrative. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really mind if it's serious or lighthearted, but there's just some things I want to see, regardless of whatever tone they decide to adopt. One, understand that dark =/= mature and lighthearted =/= childish. It depends on what someone does with tone and writing in general that shifts intended audiences. Two, make choices in tone and narrative purposeful; don't put serious/lighthearted stuff for the sake of putting serious/lighthearted stuff. If it fits, great. If it has some meaningful contribution to the overall narrative, great. If it helps deliver a certain message, great. 

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like both when done right. Both can be done badly, and I agree that Sonic 2006 had one of the worst plots in the franchise, if not the worst.

 

I feel Colors was done right in the lighthearted department, while most of the other good Sonic stories were more of a balance between light and dark.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since when were fans divided over SA2 being too serious? I don't remember any big debates like that. I remember debates like that when Shadows game, Sonic 06 and Unleashed came out. But never have I known SA2 to be criticised to the point of splitting the fanbase for being too serious.

 

just about everybody said no it wasn't. 

 

Shadow and 06 were probably too serious, though the writing in both those games is atrocious so you can't blame the debate for kicking off since you had two dark tone games in quick succession which were both abysmal, one of the things people turn on instantly is the tone... though to be fair, the way tone is executed in those games is equally terrible so it's not surprising.

 

Can't help but imagine that SA2 would be seen as more serious if its storytelling wasn't so bad.  Lines running over each other, characters frequently doing things for no apparent reason, very few characters have any reasonable motivation, and nothing about it really looks very good.  Shadow apparently has amnesia but you mistake it for an ordinary flashback (I did), making everything he does during the game very confusing.  Even knowing that, how is it that he got "kill everyone" from Maria saying "Do it for me"?  We're never privy to his altered memories so it just seems like he's acting in spite of Maria the entire game.  Then there's Rouge, who I think was completely rewritten halfway through development without changing whatever they'd made of her so far.  In spite of ostensibly being on a mission, she spends a huge chunk of time doing things wholly unrelated to her objective.  I have a suspicion that they wrote themselves into a corner when they realized that Rouge just being a double agent left Knuckles with no reason to be there so they just had to leave in the scenes where she's a jewel thief.  This can't be a case of "Do this mission for us or go to jail like in the movie triple X with Vin Diesel", because Shadow recognized her name as that of a secret agent near the end of the game.  She literally has quantum motivation and exists as having been both a jewel thief who has aligned herself with Shadow with the intent of stealing the chaos emeralds and an undercover agent on the side of the law.  

 

So basically as that wall of text shows, What I think was meant to be dramatic is instead a comedy of errors.  I could format it better, but it really isn't the point.  What I'm on about is that tone doesn't matter when the story has bigger problems.  

 

Talking about the classics, they have about as simple of a thing as you can really call a story.  Basically just a series of events, the total length and scope of which was defined by how far Sonic or whoever had to go, even in 3 where they started stitching it all together.  Not exactly a strength in its own right, and I can appreciate their desire to expand this, but their reach exceeded their grasp.  

 

But really, I could write something like that about any game after it up until Unleashed came out and established the plot -> unplot -> plot structure we've seen more recently that came to a head in Generations, where they made a game that can't really seem to decide if it was supposed to have an actual story or just be a collection of remade levels.  

 

The storybook games, their strange tendency to show the credits halfway through and all, have always seemed like the odd men out.  What I've seen of secret rings seemed ok, but that game is very not good, so I never finished the story.  I've seen several playthroughs of Black Knight, on the other hand, and it has several problems.  One of the smaller ones is the weird peasants and the swing meter ring donation mechanic makes the world... strange.  The bigger problem is that the game never has the Tuck Everlasting moment where they explain why immortality isn't necessarily desirable.  That's never established and I think it kinda needed to be for Sonic's motivation to make sense.  Tone wise, it seemed ok.  It was simple without being juvenile, but seemed afraid of being heady at all.  It seemed to stop just short of actually putting Sonic's motivation together.  

 

Going forward, I think the method of putting the entire story into cutscenes doesn't do great favors for Sonic.  For a while I thought that a Sonic game with individual levels that end up being connected into a single open world could work together with a more environmentally conveyed story.  Yes, that is kind of like Dark Souls but I think that style could work for more that just horrible things happening to people.  It's basically an extension of the mini stories seen in games from the days before cutscenes. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a key problem was that a lot of Sonic's previous 'serious' stories involved warping the series away from it's roots to emulate old cliches that they can copy off of. The SA1-2006 era basically had them transport Sonic into a rather realistic anime world, making the main cast look like aliens in their own world (Sonic X even semi lampshaded this in it's premise). SA1 at least still maintained the basic mythos of the old games within it's story (most of it was just adding a Cerebus Syndrome to old concepts like the badniks for Gamma) but after that it seemed like most of the stories could be placed into any dark anime sci fi without much needing to be compromised at all. While we've already been through a long argument as to whether this works out as a story, I still don't feel at least that this really shows the potential Sonic has for a serious story as much as it is just 'following the leader' and trying to skew a franchise to cash in on the popularity of a very different premise. If anything they imply the franchise needs to be altered heavily from what it is just to make the story work.

 

The Storybook games do this too, but at least in their premise they admit 'this isn't standard Sonic, we're trying something new for a one off'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While we've already been through a long argument as to whether this works out as a story, I still don't feel at least that this really shows the potential Sonic has for a serious story as much as it is just 'following the leader' and trying to skew a franchise to cash in on the popularity of a very different premise. If anything they imply the franchise needs to be altered heavily from what it is just to make the story work.

That's because some of them were skewing the franchise to cash in on a popular premise, on purpose in the case of ShTH and Sonic 06.

 

ShTH tried to cash in on the Halo-GTA fad, and recognizing that they succeeded in making a dark plot for Sonic and thought they could turn it up a notch by having the characters swear and Shadow use realistic guns.

Sonic 06 tried to be more like Final Fantasy, which unlike ShTH had a better shot at working (although not guaranteed) were it primarily not for the game being an obvious beta and it had cleaned up a lot of its narrative and gameplay problems.

 

Everyone knows that after Heroes, Sonic Team was trying to emulate other franchises in order to keep its "cool" image that they probably felt was dying as time went on, trying to build a new one so that it could stay relevant in a market that had diverse tastes as it was. It's understandable that they would want Sonic to be more flexible, and I won't deny that some of their general ideas had some merit to the series. But things were less about Serious vs Lighthearted in Sonic and more about a serious identity crisis it was trying to manage and stay relevant to its audience, including the Storybook titles which worked because, unlike the previous examples, they weren't done in a forced manner.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.