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Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U)

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4 hours ago, FantasticMrRobb said:

Could it be that it's because they're being so overcautious they want to make sure the game will be a success before including them? Just because there's a lot of demand and all.

More likely because they're a shit gameplay extender and have no place outside of the 90s virtual pet craze or mobile free to play market. 

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But people like 'em anyway, I don't see any reason not to include it if your core game's fine and they don't block off large chunks of the rest of the game.

You could make the argument against SA2 for that, but getting 100% completion in that game would be fucking painful without having to spend a few hours on chao raising.

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29 minutes ago, Shaddy the guy said:

But people like 'em anyway, I don't see any reason not to include it if your core game's fine

How long has it been since that's been the case, though.

And even if the core game was fine, adding chao gardens means a whole lot of extra work that they may not have the resources for and that may not actually bring in/satisfy enough players to be worth it. There are people who still want chao gardens back, sure, but not so many that they should be taking the time to develop a whole new game mode for them.

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Besides, I think that the inclusion of a Chao Garden would clash even more with the modern games. I never liked them, but the Adventure games were cluttered with slower gameplay elements, so a Tamagotchi clone was just another gameplay variation. In modern games, where you're all about going fast, imagine having to spend hours standing still and taking care of Chaos. It sounds really boring and out of place, maybe give them their own mobile game and everyone will be happy, but please keep them away from my main Sonic games, I want platforms not Tamagotchis, the games lack of focus too much as they already are.

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9 hours ago, Diogenes said:

There are people who still want chao gardens back, sure, but not so many that they should be taking the time to develop a whole new game mode for them.

I'ma throw a curveball here - why don't we just make Chao play out like the existing gameplay in some form? Like I dunno, keep the emphasis on stat building but make it an actual platformer rather than... whatever the non-interactive hell Chao races and karate were supposed to be. I'm sure there would still be some noticable differences no matter what you do with it, but at least that way it's not a literal genre divide.

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1 hour ago, Blacklightning said:

I'ma throw a curveball here - why don't we just make Chao play out like the existing gameplay in some form? Like I dunno, keep the emphasis on stat building but make it an actual platformer rather than... whatever the non-interactive hell Chao races and karate were supposed to be. I'm sure there would still be some noticable differences no matter what you do with it, but at least that way it's not a literal genre divide.

Generic slow platforming is exactly how Rise of Lyrics is made, and it's general consensus that even if it was polished and completed, it would still have been a mediocre game. There's no place for that gameplay style in a Sonic title, imho... It clashes, like how Amy or the Mechas clashed in the Adventure games.

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1 hour ago, Blacklightning said:

I'ma throw a curveball here - why don't we just make Chao play out like the existing gameplay in some form? Like I dunno, keep the emphasis on stat building but make it an actual platformer rather than... whatever the non-interactive hell Chao races and karate were supposed to be. I'm sure there would still be some noticable differences no matter what you do with it, but at least that way it's not a literal genre divide.

Regardless of what type of Sonic game it'd be, I have trouble imagining the clumsy little water babies plausibly playing anything like the fast, agile characters in the main game. And the amount of effort it would take to make it could easily be even more than the original gardens, having to design and playtest a bunch of levels taking into account the whole range of a chao's possible stats.

Personally I think if chao are going to have any role in a Sonic game beyond cameos, they'd have to simplify and streamline their function. Instead of being a whole separate game mode, maybe make them into a skill equip system like Secret Rings and Generations had. You'd "equip" a chao who would follow you around as you played, they'd level up based on your performance, eventually evolving and unlocking more skills and/or skill slots. No physical garden to wander around in, no complicated chao AI to worry about, no minigames to spend a bunch of time grinding stats for. Maybe just something like Pokemon Amie to scratch the pet raising itch, but otherwise keep it simple and tied into the core of the game.

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Translation of said article (JFC this is long)

The Apollo project begins. 

 The game had already started development in October 2011. At that time I was in "BlockOut", experimenting with races and LAN Party games with a multiplayer approach. 
 The story planned at that time was about the origins of Sonic: Sonic and a young Eggman were friends, but during a time travel sequence Eggman annoys something in the past, causing his enmity. The elders were very important in this story, because they were related to the origin of Sonic. Eggman was also planned to be a playable character. (Sonic Origins was the tentative title)

One of the pillars of the game was to create an organic and more natural world tailored for Sonic, with hand-painted textures for a cartoon style. Although not ruled out, this can not be seen much in the final game due to Wii U hardware.

The game had a focus of 80% Exploration and 20% Speed. They wanted to do some sort of Jak & Daxter with Sonic, reminiscent of Bob Rafei's work on Naughty Dog. 

After a series of demands by Japan, they worked for 2 ½ years in the Vertical Slice (A technical demo in which all the aspects of gameplay are represented, to advance on them) demonstrating the game's approach to SEGA . The game was planned to be a Cooperative Multiplayer game for 4 people, with digital launch on Steam, also planning a PS Store port and Xbox Live if it sold well. That Vertical Slice is what we know as Synergy. 

 The story at this time was not very important, the game would start in this room, with its corresponding scene.

Decline

Here the problems begin, about the end of 2012, SEGA teaches Nintendo its Vertical Slice, and include Synergy as part of the exclusivity contract on Wii U. To this is added that SEGA asked for a version for 3DS, which had That also occupy BigRedButton until Sanzaru came to save it. 

About mid 2013 is intended to port Wii U, that completely changes the focus of the product, begins "The reform". 
The multiplayer for 4 players was impossible, and the game had to be redesigned to an adventure for 2 players. They also had to eliminate a lot of mechanics due to Hardware and that made the levels have to be redesigned (more linear, buttons to interact with everything). 

To the disaster of Wii U was added another big problem: The television series. 
A designer presents to SEGA the idea of making a Sonic TV show. It was supposed to be separate from the game, but about 8 months before the game's launch, SEGA gave them control of the series, changing big parts of the story and returning Knuckles silly among other things, forcing them to create characters for A richer world that was totally excluded in the series and create scenes and levels stuffed due to the change of history. (I have no information on the previous history, only that the elders would be much more important) Changing big parts of history and returning Knuckles fool among other things, forcing them to create characters for a richer world who were totally excluded in the series and create scenes and levels stuffed due to the change of story. (I have no information on the previous history, only that the elders would be much more important) Changing big parts of history and returning Knuckles fool among other things, forcing them to create characters for a richer world who were totally excluded in the series and create scenes and levels stuffed due to the change of story. (I have no information on the previous history, only that the elders would be much more important)

Discrepancies of Japan

Throughout the development Sonic Team and SEGA Japan forced BigRedButton to change several aspects of the game: 

Playability: Originally the game was going to be based more on exploration than speed, from Japan demanded that it had speed and that reduced the exploration. Originally you could swim, they opposed and because of this in the final game you die on contact with the water. 

Designs: Several designs of Sonic and company were discarded for getting too far away from the "Legacy" designs, making them more similar.Several NPCs had to be changed due to violating Sonic Team design guidelines. (Cliff was originally an inventor, but Iizuka said the only inventors should be Tails and Eggman).

Story: The original story was completely eliminated, they flatly refused to tell Sonic's origins, and said they would explain it someday. 

 Mechanics and ideas deleted or changed

Rappelling, launching your partner like a slingshot, pushing your teammates as you race to give them speed, you could run in the water (Water Ski) with your friends with Sonic being the leader, you could swim and submerge a few seconds underwater. Most of them were eliminated by the Wii U. 

Among the levels that reached the final version, Crater Lake had a big change, it was going to be focused on 4 players Water Ski.

Due to the change to Wii U they had to mix parts of levels to fill the lack of mechanics (The worm's boss took place in Crater Lake). 

They wanted to bring the Chao back, but due to time and hardware constraints they had to abandon the idea. 

Synergy had a "piggy bank" system, when you found one, you deposited your Rings, and then you could improve your characters and weapons with them. The change of focus of the game forced to discard the system.

During the port a Wii U was planned to use the Gamepad to move platforms and to control a robot golem, due to technical complications and of time could not be. 

The level of Biplane was discarded because of being very boring, in the control to Tails and persecute to Lyric until the final level.

During the original story, Eggman was going to be playable, after the elimination of history was completely discarded the idea. 

The name Synergy was probably discarded because of SEGA wanting to create a global brand and lose meaning after "reform"

Here's a BigRedButton internal PDF of February 2014, a design guide, in which you can see various concepts and ideas for the game and how it evolved, including several things discarded. You can download it here

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On 4/15/2017 at 9:43 AM, Borvoc said:

I'm no Sonic Boom fan, and I wouldn't ever want it replacing the regular Sonic design or status quo, but looking back on all this stuff, I can't help but reflect on some of the stuff they did right and feel that our modern critic and fan cultures have been overly harsh with Rise of Lyric in particular and Boom as a whole. I think it has a lot to do with consumer mentality, but I'll leave that alone for now.

I can't help but wonder if a Rise of Lyric 2 or whatever could have ironed out a lot of the issues while aligning character design and gameplay elements more closely with their source material. At very least, I wish that Big Red Button could have at least broken even instead of seemingly going out of business after all the work they put into the game.

That would be a nice idea. Maybe have it not be Nintendo exclusive and not have it be rushed. Though who do you think should make itm

5 minutes ago, Fusion Ellipsis said:

Translation of said article:

The Apollo project begins. 

 The game had already started development in October 2011. At that time I was in "BlockOut", experimenting with races and LAN Party games with a multiplayer approach. 
 The story planned at that time was about the origins of Sonic: Sonic and a young Eggman were friends, but during a time travel sequence Eggman annoys something in the past, causing his enmity. The elders were very important in this story, because they were related to the origin of Sonic. Eggman was also planned to be a playable character. (Sonic Origins was the tentative title)

One of the pillars of the game was to create an organic and more natural world tailored for Sonic, with hand-painted textures for a cartoon style. Although not ruled out, this can not be seen much in the final game due to Wii U hardware.

The game had a focus of 80% Exploration and 20% Speed. They wanted to do some sort of Jak & Daxter with Sonic, reminiscent of Bob Rafei's work on Naughty Dog. 

After a series of demands by Japan, they worked for 2 ½ years in the Vertical Slice (A technical demo in which all the aspects of gameplay are represented, to advance on them) demonstrating the game's approach to SEGA . The game was planned to be a Cooperative Multiplayer game for 4 people, with digital launch on Steam, also planning a PS Store port and Xbox Live if it sold well. That Vertical Slice is what we know as Synergy. 

 The story at this time was not very important, the game would start in this room, with its corresponding scene.

Decline

Here the problems begin, about the end of 2012, SEGA teaches Nintendo its Vertical Slice, and include Synergy as part of the exclusivity contract on Wii U. To this is added that SEGA asked for a version for 3DS, which had That also occupy BigRedButton until Sanzaru came to save it. 

About mid 2013 is intended to port Wii U, that completely changes the focus of the product, begins "The reform". 
The multiplayer for 4 players was impossible, and the game had to be redesigned to an adventure for 2 players. They also had to eliminate a lot of mechanics due to Hardware and that made the levels have to be redesigned (more linear, buttons to interact with everything). 

To the disaster of Wii U was added another big problem: The television series. 
A designer presents to SEGA the idea of making a Sonic TV show. It was supposed to be separate from the game, but about 8 months before the game's launch, SEGA gave them control of the series, changing big parts of the story and returning Knuckles silly among other things, forcing them to create characters for A richer world that was totally excluded in the series and create scenes and levels stuffed due to the change of history. (I have no information on the previous history, only that the elders would be much more important) Changing big parts of history and returning Knuckles fool among other things, forcing them to create characters for a richer world who were totally excluded in the series and create scenes and levels stuffed due to the change of story. (I have no information on the previous history, only that the elders would be much more important) Changing big parts of history and returning Knuckles fool among other things, forcing them to create characters for a richer world who were totally excluded in the series and create scenes and levels stuffed due to the change of story. (I have no information on the previous history, only that the elders would be much more important)

Discrepancies of Japan

Throughout the development Sonic Team and SEGA Japan forced BigRedButton to change several aspects of the game: 

Playability: Originally the game was going to be based more on exploration than speed, from Japan demanded that it had speed and that reduced the exploration. Originally you could swim, they opposed and because of this in the final game you die on contact with the water. 

Designs: Several designs of Sonic and company were discarded for getting too far away from the "Legacy" designs, making them more similar.Several NPCs had to be changed due to violating Sonic Team design guidelines. (Cliff was originally an inventor, but Iizuka said the only inventors should be Tails and Eggman).

Story: The original story was completely eliminated, they flatly refused to tell Sonic's origins, and said they would explain it someday. 

 Mechanics and ideas deleted or changed

Rappelling, launching your partner like a slingshot, pushing your teammates as you race to give them speed, you could run in the water (Water Ski) with your friends with Sonic being the leader, you could swim and submerge a few seconds underwater. Most of them were eliminated by the Wii U. 

Among the levels that reached the final version, Crater Lake had a big change, it was going to be focused on 4 players Water Ski.

Due to the change to Wii U they had to mix parts of levels to fill the lack of mechanics (The worm's boss took place in Crater Lake). 

They wanted to bring the Chao back, but due to time and hardware constraints they had to abandon the idea. 

Synergy had a "piggy bank" system, when you found one, you deposited your Rings, and then you could improve your characters and weapons with them. The change of focus of the game forced to discard the system.

During the port a Wii U was planned to use the Gamepad to move platforms and to control a robot golem, due to technical complications and of time could not be. 

The level of Biplane was discarded because of being very boring, in the control to Tails and persecute to Lyric until the final level.

During the original story, Eggman was going to be playable, after the elimination of history was completely discarded the idea. 

The name Synergy was probably discarded because of SEGA wanting to create a global brand and lose meaning after "reform"

Here's a BigRedButton internal PDF of February 2014, a design guide, in which you can see various concepts and ideas for the game and how it evolved, including several things discarded. You can download it here

It's really sad what happened to the game during production.  

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Its really upsetting what happened to this game. Even back in 2014, I looked at all the concept arts and I just knew right then and there that end product was but a shell of what BRB wanted for RoL and that calling BRB a bad company that needs to die was incredibly reductive and spiteful. In all the justifiable anger and frustration, and less justified utilization of RoL bombing as an opportunity to push an agenda, not many were to willing to believe me then. I do feel validated, but also rather sad. Or salidated, I suppose.

Hey, at least I now know why RoL did that weird thing where only Sonic and Tails could run on water with no explanation as to why Knuckles and Amy couldn't also.

I get Sonic Team not wanting Jak and Daxter-esque gameplay. It would have certainly been better than what we got as a finished product, but one could argue its not really reminiscent of what people expect from Sonic. I'd maybe go for 50% exploration and 50% speed. But once that got out of the way, the concepts behind the game seem incredibly solid and fun. I would have loved it if RoL made more use of the enerbeam-- I always thought that that was a really cool idea that has never been used to its full potential. Plus having a backstory for Sonic and Eggman would be interesting, though I know little in regards to how it would have ended up being executed. Also, why are only Tails and Eggman allowed to be inventors?

But still, Sega, you do not tell a bunch of people who are not experienced with making video games to seize control of a video game project. You especially do not do this 8 months before said game is to be released with no hope of delay, or let them make a ton of changes when the developers only have 8 months to apply them and are already strained. Somebody who is not experienced with making video games, such as a person accustomed to working on televised animation, wouldn't know that all those changes being asked of BRB are untenable in 8 months, but a video game publishing company executive or manager really should because that is kind of in their job description to make feasible suggestions about the direction of a game.

On 4/15/2017 at 9:43 AM, Borvoc said:

I can't help but wonder if a Rise of Lyric 2 or whatever could have ironed out a lot of the issues while aligning character design and gameplay elements more closely with their source material. At very least, I wish that Big Red Button could have at least broken even instead of seemingly going out of business after all the work they put into the game.

I'd buy a game that contained what BRB intended for RoL. Sounds fun.

Actually, I've had this idea of making a digital choose-your-own-adventure rewrite of RoL for awhile, but its never gotten off the ground.  But I'd be curious as to what you guys think of a rewrite.

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For the record, BRB lived on. They are working on an AR game that will be shown off at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con.

 

Its hard to shoulder too much blame on the developers of this one. Being forced to port the incompatible engine over to WiiU architecture at the last second is enough to trash almost any project. The game we saw in the development, from a graphical, from a conceptual, from an implementation standpoint was a far cry from what we got as a finished product. The end result was just something that was barley held together with duct tape, and there are a billion mismanagement issues you can point to that caused it.

Its a shame. It helped set a nasty pedigree for the Boom franchise.

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Man this story is just awful I really feel sorry for the developers. You can tell that they actually wanted to make a good game but hot damn they were in the worst situation possible, I don't think it would of been this super amazing experience or anything like that but I think it would of been a decent game or at the very least miles better than what we got. I do hope that the guys at BRB get another opportunity to make a game they want to make without executive meddling.

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Geeze, this might be a more fascinating and tragic development saga than even Sonic Xtreme.

I want someone from BRB to write a tell all book, this shit is nuts. I dunno if I like the idea of a Sonic origin story, but it sounds like they had in mind a game with a clear vision, and the balls to stand by it- something Sonic Team hasn't been great at. Such a shame the whole thing devolved into such a massive clusterfuck.

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Source: http://www.tssznews.com/2017/07/11/tons-of-new-info-on-sonic-boom-rise-of-lyric-development-found/

You guys know how this works by now...We've gotten hints of this in the past but now we finally got what seems to be the full package! A LOT of new info that we haven't seen before is shown off in this article. I'll copy paste the bullet points in this spoiler, but there is a lot more info on both the visual PDF and the website link in the link above!

Spoiler
  • The game started development as “Project Apollo”. Around October 2011 it was at a “Block Out” phase, with a huge focus on LAN party online multiplayer gameplay and racing.
  • Storyline wise, it revolved about Sonic origins: Sonic and a young Eggman were close friends, but during a time travel sequence Eggman messes with something at the past, breaking their friendship.  Ancients were very important in this storyline, because they were related with Sonic’s origins. Eggman was once planned as a playable character but it was discarded. Tentative title for this was “Sonic Origins”

 

  • One of their main goals was to create an organic and natural looking environment for Sonic, using handmade textures for a cartoonish look. It was not rejected, but result is poor at the final game because of Wii U’s lower capabilities.
  • Game was 80% exploration, 20% speed. They were trying to do a sort of Jak & Daxter styled Sonic, reminiscent of Bob Rafei’s past as a Naugthy Dog developer.
  • Due to a series of requirement from Sega Japan, they worked for 2 years on the “Vertical Slice” build, a tech demo of sorts that demoed all the gameplay gimmicks, in order to work on them and show their ideas to SEGA.
  • Game was planned as a 4 players Co-op adventure, set to release as a digital title at Steam with a PS Store/Xbox Live port planned if sales went as expected. That Vertical slice demo is what we know as Synergy.
  • Synergy started at this room, after a cutscene played.Sonic Synergy first scene
  • Around late 2012, Sega shows this Vertical slice demo to Nintendo and include Synergy as part of their exclusivity deal. Sega asks Big Red Button for a Nintendo 3DS port, until Sanzaru games came to save the day.
  • Wii U porting came around mid 2013. This makes a full change on the product focus. 4 players co-op was impossible, so game was turned into a 2 players adventure. Many mechanics were changed due to Wii U hardware, making them reworks the levels into more lineal ones, with lots of interactive prompt buttons for almost everything.
  • TV show also helped destroy their original idea. A designer pitched Sega the idea of a Sonic Tv Show. It was unrelated to the game, but 8 months before the game launch SEGA gave total control to the show team to change the game, making big changes to the storyline and making Knuckles dumb. They also asked for a richer universe with lots of characters that were totally absent in the series, along with filler cutscenes and levels due to the storyline change. No info on the previous storyline was revealed, except that ancients had a huge importance there.
  • Sega and Sonic Tems asked for several changes during all the developing process:
    • Gameplay wise, asides for asking for more speed and less exploration, they also eliminated water moves. Initially, Sonic and friends were able to swim, but due to Sonic Team exigencies they made them die on contact with water in the final game.
    • Design wise, many changes were made on the characters to make them more similar to “legacy Sonic” look. Several NPC characters had to be radically changed due to them violating Sonic Team design guidelines. One of them was Cliff, originally an inventor. Only Tails and Eggman can be inventors.
    • Storyline wise, they made them discard the Sonic origins storyline as SEGA denied it, due to them planning to tell Sonic origins in the future ( or at least, that is what they told Big Red Button.
  • Many gameplay gimmicks were removed. Rappel rock climbing, using friends as a slingshot, water ski, run fast to boost other characters while using Sonic, swim and dive for a few seconds… most of them were removed due to Wii U limitations.  Crater lake level was hugely changed too, as it was focused on 4 players water skiing. They had to take parts of other levels to put a full crater lake level. Mecha worm boss was going to be part of Crater Lake originally.
  • Chao was initially included at the game, but later removed due to time and hardware constraints.
  • There was a piggy bank gimmick, were you banked your rings to later use to upgrade the characters and weapons. It was removed due to the change of game focus.
  • Wii U build was planned to include several gamepad gimmicks such as moving platforms with the touch screen and controlling a golem robot, but was discarded due to tech issues and time constraints.
  • There was a bi plane level that was removed due to being too boring. You controlled tails to chase Lyric into the final level. Voice clips from that level were dubbed into other languages. (Link to an audio video is in the article)

 

  • Synergy name changed due to SEGA wanting to make a global brand, thus making no sense.

I'll post my personal thoughts on this later, but for now I'll keep those to myself in order that I don't clutter up this OP too much. Really though, what do you guys think of all this?

If the game was finished would it be better? Exactly HOW screwed over do you think this game was? Any ideas here get your attention? Let me know!

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6 minutes ago, Alienrun said:

Storyline wise, they made them discard the Sonic origins storyline as SEGA denied it, due to them planning to tell Sonic origins in the future ( or at least, that is what they told Big Red Button.

 That has me VERY interested. Hmm

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Um...wow. The majority of that sounds so much more interesting than what we ended up getting.

Man, Sega and Sonic Team are so full of shit. I would've absolutely loved a game with the ideas they initially had. Well, minus the "80% exploration 20% speed" part.

Oh, and for the record, I'm definitely not going to praise the old visual design of everything. Yeah, that looks...weird.

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I really hate how they forced BRB to completely change their original vision cause of the TV show people getting creative control, cause it all sounds very interesting and has potential. Much more interesting than what we're getting in the 3DS games and cartoon.

Why would you get BRB to make a game with interesting new ideas for a Sonic spinoff only to take their creation away from them and turn it into something completely different near the end?

SEGA is such a shitty company it actually goes beyond belief.

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2 minutes ago, pppp said:

I really hate how they forced BRB to completely change their original vision cause of the TV show people getting creative control, cause it all sounds very interesting and has potential. Much more interesting than what we're getting in the 3DS games and cartoon.

Why would you get BRB to make a game with interesting new ideas for a Sonic spinoff only to take their creation away from them and turn it into something completely different near the end?

SEGA is such a shitty company it actually goes beyond belief.

While do I find the show to be decent, it's clear that the show's crew probably shouldn't have been given creative control over the game.

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