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Candescence

CONFIRMED - Yoshihisa Hashimoto has left Sonic Team for Square-Enix

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I said "better", I know Attitude has a BIT of pre-calculated stuff (almost none, in fact, though I should've noted it), but that's a vast improvement over the HE's smoke and mirrors that only serve to take up copious amounts of space on the disk.

Eh. Even if the HE's GI is not done in full real time I still don't think I'd call it "smoke and mirrors". Pre-calculating it obviously serves more of a purpose than just "taking up disc space".

The Lightsprint demo itself was using rather high-quality models, and it's been licensed for the gorgeous-looking LA Noire and Capcom's Dark Void. The demo itself has broken the 1000 FPS barrier, which means that the current-gen consoles can use the tech.
I know- I'm just saying that running it on your laptop is a lot different than running it in a game, especially one the size of SU.

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I had no idea Unleashed sold so poorly. I mean it might not be the best market for the game right now, but for a while it sold over 1,00,000 copies in it's 1st month (at least what I heard, but I could be wrong). Regardless Unleashed will get my money when I can afford a 360.

Still, it seems that these people leave Sega because they only want the money. I say good because if you're doing it for the money then you're never really going to put 100% of your love of gaming or Sonic into these games. Mario games play well because they look like the staff had fun making them. Yuji Naka left for money and was tired of making Sonic. Just so long as they don't go back to the dumb 2006 or Shadow ideas, this might be just another staff switch in the system.

Edited by Annie-Mae

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Iizuka is a good director. It's just some of the setbacks he's had with low budget games. NiGHTS JoD was a good game. I think the problem there is some of the game design that he okayed from the other game designers. Such as those children levels. Which weren't fun at all. He said in an interview that the simple platforming and roller coaster levels were for children to enjoy. The problem again, just like the werehog, is that, that part of that gameplay wasn't executed so well. It's playable. But the stages offer no intuitivity or excitement. It's just like, Thank God I never have to play that stage ever. But still, the worlds had a lot of content. As well as raising those chao-like things, and online. I felt they actually did try.

It was not a good game. It included none of the things that made the original great. NiGHTS's movement is off, Iizuka stated in a interview that he slowed NiGHTS down for kids or something. He also has no momentum, slowing to regular speeds the moment the drill dash is released, and turning with unatural responsivness regardless of speed (like Sonic 06, pretty much). I have no idea what he was on about, I played NiD just fine when I was six, it felt like the game was reading my mind. Jod, on the other hand, moves at a molasses pace and even going that slowly, and it's a constant struggle to get NiGHTS to fly how you want him to.

This game's level... are empty! This game's levels seem to have been made the wrong size or something, and are way too big. This is compounded by NiGHTS's decidedly slow nature in this game making it take way too long to get between each set piece.

Rather than having the Ideya capture's Score Attack gameplay, you're chasing these freaking birds because NiGHTS never learns that Reala's plan is always to trap him in the birdcage again. Or you can do some crappy gem catching mission or some such foolishness. In order to get A ranks (no S ranks in NiD, folks, Naoto Oshima knew what order letters are supposed to go in) you had to get a score in the tens of thousands. NiD's gameplay is so deep that players have gotten scores in excess of one million on some levels.

And these changes were intended from day 1, it's not like they were strapped for time and threw this stuff together at the last moment. What they did cut were race missions (which probably sucked just as much as the race multiplayer), and some cut scenes, one of which explain a pretty glaring continuity issue. However, the game was better off without them, the cutscenes that are in the game do little more than embarrass the franchise. That's right, Iizuka is so incompetent that rushing this game made it better, or rather, less shitty.

As for what plot that made it into the game, well, to put it simply, the story sucks. The original NiD relied mostly on symbolism, subtleties, and left a lot open to interpretation. The new one... not so much. This game has more than it's fair share of terrible dialog, and it doesn't let you skip it! Probably the worst example is when enetering a level shows you a cut scene and then dumps you right back where you were before, so in order to get to the next mission, it goes loading -> five minute cutscene -> loading -> re enter the stage -> loading-> two minute cut scene ->loading -> actually playing the game.

As for the pians, this is one of the worst implementations of digital pets in a game I've ever seen. The easier way to take out enemies it to paraloop them, but in this game, that sends them to your pian garden, where they will proceed to kill your pians until you go there and stop them.

Iizuka was involved in the development of the first NiGHTS, to put it simply, he should have known better.

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I had no idea Unleashed sold so poorly. I mean it might not be the best market for the game right now, but for a while it sold over 1,00,000 copies in it's 1st month (at least what I heard, but I could be wrong). Regardless Unleashed will get my money when I can afford a 360.

It didn't.

Still, it seems that these people leave Sega because they only want the money.

Doesn't everyone do it for the money? I can't see why you'd spend all the time and energy if you weren't. Thoughtthat was the idea.

Edited by BlackHeroX

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This story remains a rumour until proven otherwise. So far, nothing has confirmed the story to be true. That is to say neither Sega nor Square-Enix has commented on this rumour. Once they do, things will be made clear. However, until they do we must treat this story with extreme caution. It's no use getting worked up over this story and this rumour is certainly not the right moment to be saddened by such news. Sonic Unleashed was a great game; what ever happens in the future will not change that. Most importantly, we don't know the status of Hashimoto, for all intensive purposes he is still working at Sonic Team. It's best to ignore this story and go about our business as if nothing has changed.

...

Now, I see some people in this tread claiming that Sonic Unleashed has not sold very well. I thought it would obvious by now, but truth be told the opposite is true - Sonic Unleashed has sold very well indeed. Consider this: as of may of this year, Sonic Unleashed has sold 2.4 million copies worldwide. This makes it the third best selling game of Sega's last fiscal year. Naturally enough, this blitzes the performances of numerous other Sega titles such as Madworld and the best selling Empire: Total War. In fact the only games to best Sonic Unleashed were Iron Man (wait what?) and of course Mario and Sonic at the Olympic. Together the combined revenues of Sonic Unleashed and the aforementioned Olympic spin off, have made Sonic a very profitable hedgehog indeed.

Certainly, Sonic Unleashed has sold quite as much as Sonic 06 just yet. But I wouldn't fret, after all Sonic Unleashed has only been available for a sixth of the time Sonic 06 has. The important thing to remember is that Sonic Unleashed is selling much better and much faster then earlier Sonic titles. It is only a matter of time before this superior game eclipses the performance of its predecessors. It will soon outsell Sonic 06 and from there I am certain it will preform comparatively to the phenomenal sales of Sonic Heroes. Regardless, as you all know Sonic is the 11th most profitable video game franchise in America; his future is secure and for good reason - his games remain among the best around.

All of you cursing the name of Sonic Team, asking for it be disbanded, needed to get some perspective. Sega cannot please everyone, least of all those obsessed with vague notions of 'the good old (2D ;)) days'. However, in Sonic Unleashed we have one of the best Sonic games seen in years. This is reflected in the sales of Sonic Unleashed and the largely positive reactions from the fan base. From here, with the foundations set by this game, things will improve further; whether you agree that Sonic Unleashed is a step in the right direction or not is not important. What matters is that Sega has the resources to continue to refine and create new Sonic games. Nothing is certain, yet with Sonic's success; the release of new and improved games might as well be.

Relevant sources:

http://www.seganerds.com/2009/05/17/best-s...year/#more-9715

http://www.seganerds.com/2009/07/01/how-mu...008/#more-10217

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Rumor this may be, there are heavy indications that it's pretty much true, Tristan pointed some of them out on the previous page.

Also... Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't more than half of the the Unleashed sales (if not way more) are of the Wii version? And don't mention Madworld in sales. Anything made by Clover/Platinum games seems doomed to not sell (and Madworld was niche), with Infinite Space being a notable exception.

Certainly, Sonic Unleashed has sold quite as much as Sonic 06 just yet. But I wouldn't fret, after all Sonic Unleashed has only been available for a sixth of the time Sonic 06 has.

Wait a minute, wasn't 06 a a bomb in sales? To actually compare Unleashed and Sonic 06's sales would mean that Unleashed didn't do so well, eh?

All of you cursing the name of Sonic Team, asking for it be disbanded, needed to get some perspective. Sega cannot please everyone, least of all those obsessed with vague notions of 'the good old (2D wink.gif) days'. However, in Sonic Unleashed we have one of the best Sonic games seen in years. This is reflected in the sales of Sonic Unleashed and the largely positive reactions from the fan base. From here, with the foundations set by this game, things will improve further; whether you agree that Sonic Unleashed is a step in the right direction or not is not important. What matters is that Sega has the resources to continue to refine and create new Sonic games. Nothing is certain, yet with Sonic's success; the release of new and improved games might as well be.

Perspective or not, it's my personal opinion that Unleashed was shit (both Werehog and daytime, thank you, and the Wii version was better, IMO) and if the next game isn't headed by Ogawa, Sonic Team might just as well disband and let someone else in Sega do it, because, quite frankly, any other dev team in Sega could probably do a better job at making a Sonic game than Sonic Team themselves.

Edited by The Sniper

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Rumor this may be, there are heavy indications that it's pretty much true, Tristan pointed some of them out on the previous page.

Also... Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't more than half of the the Unleashed sales (if not way more) are of the Wii version? And don't mention Madworld in sales. Anything made by Clover/Platinum games seems doomed to not sell (and Madworld was niche), with Infinite Space being a notable exception.

Wait a minute, wasn't 06 a a bomb in sales? To actually compare Unleashed and Sonic 06's sales would mean that Unleashed didn't do so well, eh?

Perspective or not, it's my personal opinion that Unleashed was shit (both Werehog and daytime, thank you, and the Wii version was better, IMO) and if the next game isn't headed by Ogawa, Sonic Team might just as well disband and let someone else in Sega do it, because, quite frankly, any other dev team in Sega could probably do a better job at making a Sonic game than Sonic Team themselves.

No, no, you've completely misunderstood the statistics. I was merely using Sonic 06 as a comparison because it was already mentioned. However, you neglected to consider that Sonic Unleashed has sold more then 2.4 million copies to date. This is quite an achievement for any game and a testament to the continuing appeal of Sonic the Hedgehog. You wished to argue that Sonic Unleashed did not sell very well; I have shown you that this is not true. Yes the Wii version of the game sold the best; this is almost certainly due to the Wii's dominating market share. Yet it doesn't matter, because overall the combine sales of Sonic Unleashed are spectacular. Sonic remains Sega's biggest earner, his profitability ensures the creation of new Sonic games. Such doom and gloom on your part is unfounded and unnecessary; Sonic is here to say, get use to it and enjoy this fact. He is your hero after all?

Anyway, I don't think you should be so hard on Sonic Team. Even from a purely technical perspective Sonic Unleashed is quite an achievement. The Hedgehog Engine has created a truly beautiful game to behold; the underlying technology of this engine can rival any other software in use throughout this industry. Sonic Unleashed should also be regarded for its new camera system. A mechanism which is a vast improvement over the old camera system used since Sonic Adventure; Sonic Team took the time to improve upon and eliminate the mistakes of the pasts.

Besides, I have to disagree with you about the gameplay in Sonic Unleashed - I loved every minute of it! The daytime levels are simply stunning, some of the best Sonic levels I have ever played. Sonic Team introduced several new gameplay concepts such as the quickstep and boost. The implementation of these ideas was successful, showing that Sonic Teams knows how to refine the existing Sonic gameplay. Such innovation is necessary for the future of Sonic. Trying to recreate Sonic 1 in today's world is venture doomed to failure; only new ideas will keep the franchise entertaining and in turn profitable. Sonic Unleashed is a great game; relegating Sonic to someone developer within Sega would be foolish. All of the progress, familiarity and experience of Sonic Team would be lost, as this hypothetical new team would know nothing. Your idea would produce an inferior Sonic game, a situation bad for all concerned within Sega and this fan base. This is why I say Sonic Team should continue to make Sonic games; I look forward to seeing what they create next.

Edited by Kintor

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If VGChartz is even close to correct, the Wii version of Unleashed is closing in on the 1M mark, outselling two of the other versions combined, that includes both the PS3 and 360 versions combined.

Maybe next time, they'll both start on the Wii for the next game, and maybe even get the Hedgehog Engine to work on it, hell SE optimized the White Engine, previously for the PS360 only, to work on the Wii as well, now calling it the Crystal Tools Engine I think it's called.

I highly understand they didn't do this for Unleashed since the HE started development in 2005, a year before Wii dev kits were available.

Hell, Black Knight's got incredible graphics, so they might not need to use the HE, and just use the Storybook Engine (nice name) for it.

What baffles me in a way, is why Sega didn't use Motion Plus at all for BK, you'd think they would've, they should've delayed it to properly use it (Oh wait, probably? More like not).

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Just ignore this if you don't fancy reading any dissent...

Sonic Unleashed has sold very well indeed. Consider this: as of may of this year, Sonic Unleashed has sold 2.4 million copies worldwide. This makes it the third best selling game of Sega's last fiscal year. Naturally enough, this blitzes the performances of numerous other Sega titles such as Madworld and the best selling Empire: Total War.

That's because MadWorld is a niche Wii title and Empire a PC-only game which appeals only to strategy/history fans - both have decidedly limited appeal to wider audiences. Sonic Unleashed is on multiple platforms and appeals to kids (who are ignorant of what constitutes a great game, let's face it) and mothers of kids who don't know any better, not to mention the fans. Its appeal is much broader but as a result of there being no 2D outings on home consoles (which wouldn't be hard to intersperse between the 3D ones) much of (but clearly not all of) the older fanbase has felt alienated and has long since departed.

Regardless, as you all know Sonic is the 11th most profitable video game franchise in America; his future is secure and for good reason - his games remain among the best around.

A lot of poor game series' sell well and prove to be tremendously profitable for their parent companies. A game selling very well is, generally speaking, not an indicator of its quality... and if it is, Ubisoft's Imagine series is the greatest series of games the world has ever known, Wii Play is the greatest individual title of the generation and EA/Activision are modern day gods.

All of you cursing the name of Sonic Team, asking for it be disbanded, needed to get some perspective. Sega cannot please everyone, least of all those obsessed with vague notions of 'the good old (2D ;)) days'. However, in Sonic Unleashed we have one of the best Sonic games seen in years. This is reflected in the sales of Sonic Unleashed and the largely positive reactions from the fan base.

You need to get some perspective too - the fanbase' reaction doesn't reflect on the quality of the game because they're inclined to be far more tolerant of Sonic Team's output than people outside the fanbase, and if that reaction is the only one you listen to and you block out the more reliable voices in the press and gaming communities (many fans still consider the entire press corps to be biased, and rather stupidly my own valid issues with the game were dismissed as 'non-existant' by a certain member of these boards), you're gonna get a pretty skewed view of the world's opinion of the game. It's like a CEO of a major corporation surrounding him (or her)self with a bunch of Yes Men.

Sonic is great in the eyes of the fans, this is good. Kids love Sonic, this too is good. Not a lot of other people rank Sonic all that highly any more, and it's very important that people consider and acknowledge that and don't go off on rants against the press or whatever. The only way to redeem Sonic is to rekindle the wider gaming public's love affair with the little blue guy, and the only way to do that is to build a game that reminds (and indeed screams at) people why they loved the games in the first place. Extra things like Werehogs and Mechs, epic plotz and dark themes, people might like them now but that's not what millions of us first fell in love with, is it?

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Just ignore this if you don't fancy reading any dissent...

That's because MadWorld is a niche Wii title and Empire a PC-only game which appeals only to strategy/history fans - both have decidedly limited appeal to wider audiences. Sonic Unleashed is on multiple platforms and appeals to kids (who are ignorant of what constitutes a great game, let's face it) and mothers of kids who don't know any better, not to mention the fans. Its appeal is much broader but as a result of there being no 2D outings on home consoles (which wouldn't be hard to intersperse between the 3D ones) much of (but clearly not all of) the older fanbase has felt alienated and has long since departed.

A lot of poor game series' sell well and prove to be tremendously profitable for their parent companies. A game selling very well is, generally speaking, not an indicator of its quality... and if it is, Ubisoft's Imagine series is the greatest series of games the world has ever known, Wii Play is the greatest individual title of the generation and EA/Activision are modern day gods.

You need to get some perspective too - the fanbase' reaction doesn't reflect on the quality of the game because they're inclined to be far more tolerant of Sonic Team's output than people outside the fanbase, and if that reaction is the only one you listen to and you block out the more reliable voices in the press and gaming communities (many fans still consider the entire press corps to be biased, and rather stupidly my own valid issues with the game were dismissed as 'non-existant' by a certain member of these boards), you're gonna get a pretty skewed view of the world's opinion of the game. It's like a CEO of a major corporation surrounding him (or her)self with a bunch of Yes Men.

Sonic is great in the eyes of the fans, this is good. Kids love Sonic, this too is good. Not a lot of other people rank Sonic all that highly any more, and it's very important that people consider and acknowledge that and don't go off on rants against the press or whatever. The only way to redeem Sonic is to rekindle the wider gaming public's love affair with the little blue guy, and the only way to do that is to build a game that reminds (and indeed screams at) people why they loved the games in the first place. Extra things like Werehogs and Mechs, epic plotz and dark themes, people might like them now but that's not what millions of us first fell in love with, is it?

I would hardly call the RTS genre 'niche'. Next to MMOs and FPS the RTS are just about the only reliable market on the PC. A fact I'm sure Sega was well aware of when they bought Creative Assembly, which in turn produce Empire: Total War, the fifth best selling game for Sega last year - a truly profitable venture.

Regardless, that game and the others I described are ultimately irrelevant to my argument. I wanted to explain that Sonic Unleashed was a successful game. I have done this by simply stating one statistic; Sonic Unleashed has sold more then 2.4 million copies. Combined with the sales Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, amongst numerous other Sonic titles, Sonic is the 11th most profitable icon in all of video gaming. Thus, any claims that the franchise is in trouble is simply absurd, misinformed at best. Such revelations should be a cause for celebration. Sonic the Hedgehog will continue to star in new games; this is always a good thing. Of course this also means that Sonic Team can improve upon the last Sonic game. Something only made possible with profits brought in from the last game. I consider Sonic Unleashed to be a great game; most at the very least consider Unleashed to be a step in the right direction. With this confidence I look forward to the next game, what ever that may be; because it will be even better then the last. Even you should be optimistic about that.

I am perfect comfortable with how Sega is managing the situation, both as a gamer and an old school Sonic fan. I grew up playing Sonic games, Sonic 1 for the Sega Master System was my first Sonic game, one I enjoy just as much today as I did back then. I mention Sonic 1 because I get distinct but very good feeling whenever I play that game. This same sense of enjoyment is shared by just about every Sonic game I play. Quite simply, I still have just as much fun playing Sonic Unleashed as I do whenever I five up my Master System, Megadrive or Dreamcast. This is all that really matter to me: having fun playing Sonic games. How Sonic Team does it is beside the point. I have been observing similar reactions across the internet; older Sonic fans are perfectly capable of enjoying Sonic Unleashed just like I have. Don't worry about what different; just enjoys the game for what it is. Sonic games are meant to entertain nothing more.

Of course, I am also pragmatic in my view of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega has a business to run; it seems that keeping Sonic profitable is crucial to that objective. I perfectly happy with this reality, Sonic was created to make money for Sega; it should be a shocking revelation for anyone. Retreating from new ideas to please the 'classic fans', whoever they may be, will not work. The Market has changed; doing what worked well in 1991 now in 2009 would destroy Sonic. The only choice available to Sega is to innovate; introducing new ideas keeps the old fans interest and brings in new ones. Last Century, new ideas brought us both Tails and Knuckles; and now this same necessity for change created Sonic Unleashed. Certainly, mistakes were made, but mistake have been made along the road before; which is why nobody talks about Sonic Labyrinth. The important thing it to move forward and improve upon the mistakes of the past. I think Sonic Unleashed encapsulated this mindset perfectly, improving upon the old while also applying new ideas.

As an old school Sonic fan and one who enjoys the newer 3D games, I couldn't be happier with how things are turning out.

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No, no, you've completely misunderstood the statistics. I was merely using Sonic 06 as a comparison because it was already mentioned. However, you neglected to consider that Sonic Unleashed has sold more then 2.4 million copies to date. This is quite an achievement for any game and a testament to the continuing appeal of Sonic the Hedgehog. You wished to argue that Sonic Unleashed did not sell very well; I have shown you that this is not true. Yes the Wii version of the game sold the best; this is almost certainly due to the Wii's dominating market share. Yet it doesn't matter, because overall the combine sales of Sonic Unleashed are spectacular. Sonic remains Sega's biggest earner, his profitability ensures the creation of new Sonic games. Such doom and gloom on your part is unfounded and unnecessary; Sonic is here to say, get use to it and enjoy this fact. He is your hero after all?

Anyway, I don't think you should be so hard on Sonic Team. Even from a purely technical perspective Sonic Unleashed is quite an achievement. The Hedgehog Engine has created a truly beautiful game to behold; the underlying technology of this engine can rival any other software in use throughout this industry. Sonic Unleashed should also be regarded for its new camera system. A mechanism which is a vast improvement over the old camera system used since Sonic Adventure; Sonic Team took the time to improve upon and eliminate the mistakes of the pasts.

Besides, I have to disagree with you about the gameplay in Sonic Unleashed - I loved every minute of it! The daytime levels are simply stunning, some of the best Sonic levels I have ever played. Sonic Team introduced several new gameplay concepts such as the quickstep and boost. The implementation of these ideas was successful, showing that Sonic Teams knows how to refine the existing Sonic gameplay. Such innovation is necessary for the future of Sonic. Trying to recreate Sonic 1 in today's world is venture doomed to failure; only new ideas will keep the franchise entertaining and in turn profitable. Sonic Unleashed is a great game; relegating Sonic to someone developer within Sega would be foolish. All of the progress, familiarity and experience of Sonic Team would be lost, as this hypothetical new team would know nothing. Your idea would produce an inferior Sonic game, a situation bad for all concerned within Sega and this fan base. This is why I say Sonic Team should continue to make Sonic games; I look forward to seeing what they create next.

Oh god, XD thats funny, what I remember, the boost is NOT new. Rush was being MADE even before the HE was thought of, which took a long time. Besides, what 2 abilities do you use in the 360 version the most? Boost & Quickstep. Why? The stages are to linear. Apotos was the only stage I saw that you don't use the quickstep much.

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Ok, now I'll try and keep this post brief.

I consider the boost a new gameplay feature because this the first time we have seen it in a 3D Sonic game. Creating something in a 3D environment is certainly a very different task compared to Sonic Rush. Besides, it was made by an entirely different development team (Sonic Team not Dimps); as such it is similar to Dimps' version of the Boost but ultimately an entirely new game mechanics. Besides, the Quickstep remains an entirely new concept. It was used quite extensively, in several stages such as Roof top Run. I mentioned these concepts because I was trying to explain that new ideas in Sonic games both good and achievable. They really add something to the game and make Sonic Unleashed stand out from other great Sonic games.

Oh and I know I'm going to get attacked for this one, but let me make one thing clear - Sonic Unleashed is not a linear. Sonic Team took great care to make each level with multiple branching path ways. Depending on the circumstance you can go through many alternative routs both vertical and horizontal. Accusations of linearity were amongst the shrillest criticisms of Sonic Adventure. Fortunately, it would seem that Sonic Team has listened in this respect, making levels much more diverse then they have in the past. If you still aren't satisfied by these already impressive levels, I suppose you'll just have to wait for the next game. Hopefully, as they improve the level designs, they will include enough paths to finally meet your expectations.

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Excellent post Kintor, but there's just one bit I take issue with (well, ):

Retreating from new ideas to please the 'classic fans', whoever they may be, will not work. The Market has changed; doing what worked well in 1991 now in 2009 would destroy Sonic. The only choice available to Sega is to innovate; introducing new ideas keeps the old fans interest and brings in new ones.

I'm not suggesting Sega completely retreat from trying on new ideas for size (though I do wish the devs would listen to Sega's other divisions, who IIRC were crying out against the Werehog idea), as you say the only way forward is to experiment and innovate, but... well... I find the idea that Sonic Team (or Sega) can't intersperse 3D Sonics with 2D ones on PSN/XBLA/WW completely baffling. They've easily got the manpower, and lord knows it would take up far less in the way of company resources. They don't even need to be 16-bit (though that would be awesome), something like Castle Crashers' glorious cartoony visuals would kick the proverbial arse.

It'd also be a place for Sega to try out ideas they're knocking around for the 3D games.

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Just ignore this if you don't fancy reading any dissent...

That's because MadWorld is a niche Wii title and Empire a PC-only game which appeals only to strategy/history fans - both have decidedly limited appeal to wider audiences. Sonic Unleashed is on multiple platforms and appeals to kids (who are ignorant of what constitutes a great game, let's face it) and mothhttp://www.sonicstadium.org/board/index.php?showtopic=1864&view=olders of kids who don't know any better, not to mention the fans. Its appeal is much broader but as a result of there being no 2D outings on home consoles (which wouldn't be hard to intersperse between the 3D ones) much of (but clearly not all of) the older fanbase has felt alienated and has long since departed.

A lot of poor game series' sell well and prove to be tremendously profitable for their parent companies. A game selling very well is, generally speaking, not an indicator of its quality... and if it is, Ubisoft's Imagine series is the greatest series of games the world has ever known, Wii Play is the greatest individual title of the generation and EA/Activision are modern day gods.

You need to get some perspective too - the fanbase' reaction doesn't reflect on the quality of the game because they're inclined to be far more tolerant of Sonic Team's output than people outside the fanbase, and if that reaction is the only one you listen to and you block out the more reliable voices in the press and gaming communities (many fans still consider the entire press corps to be biased, and rather stupidly my own valid issues with the game were dismissed as 'non-existant' by a certain member of these boards), you're gonna get a pretty skewed view of the world's opinion of the game. It's like a CEO of a major corporation surrounding him (or her)self with a bunch of Yes Men.

Sonic is great in the eyes of the fans, this is good. Kids love Sonic, this too is good. Not a lot of other people rank Sonic all that highly any more, and it's very important that people consider and acknowledge that and don't go off on rants against the press or whatever. The only way to redeem Sonic is to rekindle the wider gaming public's love affair with the little blue guy, and the only way to do that is to build a game that reminds (and indeed screams at) people why they loved the games in the first place. Extra things like Werehogs and Mechs, epic plotz and dark themes, people might like them now but that's not what millions of us first fell in love with, is it?

I do not post here too much, but I thought this was very well-said. You have great perspective on that issue, in my opinion. I find it very blind for anyone to base their thoughts of the Sonic fanbase on just a couple of specific areas, like these message boards. Sonic fans on these boards (especially on the SEGA.com boards) are definitely a bit more tolerant on the hedgehog than people outside of the boards, and the press.

EDIT: Okay, apparently I don't post here at all. :P Was the post count reset in the past? I noticed the new board design.

Oh and I know I'm going to get attacked for this one, but let me make one thing clear - Sonic Unleashed is not a linear. Sonic Team took great care to make each level with multiple branching path ways. Depending on the circumstance you can go through many alternative routs both vertical and horizontal. Accusations of linearity were amongst the shrillest criticisms of Sonic Adventure. Fortunately, it would seem that Sonic Team has listened in this respect, making levels much more diverse then they have in the past. If you still aren't satisfied by these already impressive levels, I suppose you'll just have to wait for the next game. Hopefully, as they improve the level designs, they will include enough paths to finally meet your expectations.

They have improved. Levels are much more forgivable thanks to alternating routes, which makes gameplay more fun.

Edited by serpx

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Protip: most of Unleashed's sales come from the WiiS2 version. I don't think the HD version even hit 1 million.

Edit: It also had the highest budget of any Sonic game.

And saying that it isn't linear doesn't make it the case. In Sonic Unleashed, having even so many as two routes is the exception, in the older ones, it basically all the time in most levels.

Edited by Phos

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Protip: most of Unleashed's sales come from the WiiS2 version. I don't think the HD version even hit 1 million.

Well it has been an established fact that Sonic seems to sell the best on Nintendo Platformers. Actually now that I think about it, he just seems t sell the best on the most popular console of said generation. Which makes sense.

Edit: It also had the highest budget of any Sonic game.

You sure about that/ I do remember reading an interview that had Sega state (I think it was with that Tetsu guy on BK) that the budget for Unleashed wasn't that high, at lest compared to other Sega games. Unless (I guess) you include the making of the hedgehog engine.

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Well shit. This is the first I'm hearing of this, and it hasn't been denied by anyone yet. I feel this is likely true.

This irritates me because out of all the Sonic games in the past five years, Unleashed was one I could honestly say had some great ideas in it that were actually seen through and implemented, and I enjoyed it. It was fresh and I wanted sequels to be like it. Then we were told about the "new Sonic Team" and all the talent in it, and I really hope this man's influence is not lost on the next game. His interviews were great for one, and the game was the most polished thing out of Sonic Team since almost forever. The Werehog was a bad move, but alternate characters are a signature of the series by now. The God of War clone was fine with me if it came with what I think was the best Sonic action since SA2.

With Sonic's 20th anniversary, who's even planning this thing? Are we gonna get a game patchworked together at the last minute?

Edited by Badnikz

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Well it has been an established fact that Sonic seems to sell the best on Nintendo Platformers. Actually now that I think about it, he just seems t sell the best on the most popular console of said generation. Which makes sense.

You sure about that/ I do remember reading an interview that had Sega state (I think it was with that Tetsu guy on BK) that the budget for Unleashed wasn't that high, at lest compared to other Sega games. Unless (I guess) you include the making of the hedgehog engine.

I believe his words were that it was the biggest budget a Sonic game has ever had, but he doesn't think it was that much compared to other HD games. There's some pretty vague language in that second part, but regardless, it was still the most expensive Sonic game with the least return.

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Excellent post Kintor, but there's just one bit I take issue with (well, ):

I'm not suggesting Sega completely retreat from trying on new ideas for size (though I do wish the devs would listen to Sega's other divisions, who IIRC were crying out against the Werehog idea), as you say the only way forward is to experiment and innovate, but... well... I find the idea that Sonic Team (or Sega) can't intersperse 3D Sonics with 2D ones on PSN/XBLA/WW completely baffling. They've easily got the manpower, and lord knows it would take up far less in the way of company resources. They don't even need to be 16-bit (though that would be awesome), something like Castle Crashers' glorious cartoony visuals would kick the proverbial arse.

It'd also be a place for Sega to try out ideas they're knocking around for the 3D games.

Well, to be honest I have nothing against this sort of low budget downloadable game. The relative success of Megaman 9 shows that a market might exist for this sort of thing; although it remains to be seen if consumers will respond to that sort of gimmick more than once. Nevertheless, while a new 2D game would be cheaper to make, it would also be less profitable then something like Sonic Unleashed 2. Sega continues to make expensive, cutting edge Sonic games because they also make a lot of money from the venture. So, while a downloadable game would be profitable, it would not be able to match the kind of profits Sonic Unleashed has raked in. This is why the creation of new 3D games, with new gameplay ideas, remains necessary.

Well shit. This is the first I'm hearing of this, and it hasn't been denied by anyone yet. I feel this is likely true.

This irritates me because out of all the Sonic games in the past five years, Unleashed was one I could honestly say had some great ideas in it that were actually seen through and implemented, and I enjoyed it. It was fresh and I wanted sequels to be like it. Then we were told about the "new Sonic Team" and all the talent in it, and I really hope this man's influence is not lost on the next game. His interviews were great for one, and the game was the most polished thing out of Sonic team since almost forever. The Werehog was a bad move, but alternate characters are a signature of the series by now. The God of War clone was fine with me if it came with what I think was the best Sonic action since SA2.

With Sonic's 20th anniversary, who's even planning this thing? Are we gonna get a game patchworked together at the last minute?

Don't panic, this news isn't the end of the world and certainly not Sonic the Hedgehog.

You must remember that Sonic Team is comprised of more then one person. Even if they have a new director for the next Sonic game, the team which created Sonic Unleashed still remains. When Sonic Unleashed was finished, the philosophy used to create it was not forgotten. The success and experienced gained from this game will certainly have a positive influence on all future Sonic games; we will be seeing similar experiences in the future. If nothing else remember that Sega still has the Hedgehog Engine. This graphic engine was critical in making Sonic Unleashed what it is to day and I'm certain Sega plans to make use of it in the future. With the existing artists from Sonic Unleashed, using the Hedgehog Engine, it is clear that any future Sonic games will look just as good as it's predecessor. Sonic Unleashed was a great game, the same Sonic Team that made the game is still here; they will continue to make game like Sonic Unleashed, refining the gameplay as they go.

Just relax; Sonic's 20th anniversary is a long time away. It is no use worrying about something which doesn't exist. Wait until Sega reveals this hypothetical 20th anniversary game before you start worrying about. At best, we can make predicts of the future based upon what we already know. Now considering the quality of Sonic Unleashed and the foundations established by it, I'm not concerned about the future.

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I should have mentioned it earlier, responding to one of your points - the HD version had little to no critical acclaim, the reviewers absolutely destroyed it. Meanwhile, the Wii version ended up getting better scores, somehow. I think it's right, personally. Fan acclaim or not, the reviews could well have discouraged Sonic Team from making another Unleashed-type game. So it sold millions, the other 3D Sonic games have sold way more, and yet that didn't stop them from trying to do something different next time around. Amusingly, the more critically acclaimed version got way better sales.

The HE, I don't mind, but I would prefer if they actually updated the bloody thing because there's already tech out there that can do what it can do and better. However... If another Sonic game like the HD versions of Unleashed is created, I will despair, I really will, because I don't think Unleashed-style was the way to go. Provided that they get rid of the Werehog and the bloody medals, it would help, but IMO, even classic Mega Man games were fairer than Unleashed's later levels, and they're hard as hell. If I see more trial-and-error gameplay, the devs placing lives in places where people die a lot, QTEs with unforgiving timings and insta-death, and God forbid, and another level like the abomination that was Eggmanland... Of course, this is all personal opinion, but dear lord, I found the Wii version, ya know, actually more fun. And to put this into perspective, I actually enjoyed the other 3D Sonic games more. No joke. Except Sonic 06, that was a sin against nature.

That's more or less why I'm hoping Ogawa will take the reigns, because another game more like Secret Rings or Black Knight, except better, would be welcome, I thought those games were better than both versions of Unleashed. Mind you, I'd personally take the series in a completely different direction (AKA, nowhere near either Unleashed or the storybook titles) if I hypothetically was put in charge of a Sonic game, but still.

Edited by The Sniper

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The HE, I don't mind, but I would prefer if they actually updated the bloody thing because there's already tech out there that can do what it can do and better. However... If another Sonic game like the HD versions of Unleashed is created, I will despair, I really will, because I don't think Unleashed-style was the way to go. Provided that they get rid of the Werehog and the bloody medals, it would help, but IMO, even classic Mega Man games were fairer than Unleashed's later levels, and they're hard as hell. If I see more trial-and-error gameplay, the devs placing lives in places where people die a lot, QTEs with unforgiving timings and insta-death, and God forbid, and another level like the abomination that was Eggmanland... Of course, this is all personal opinion, but dear lord, I found the Wii version, ya know, actually more fun.

That's more or less why I'm hoping Ogawa will take the reigns, because another game more like Secret Rings or Black Knight, except better, would be welcome, I thought those games were better than both versions of Unleashed. Mind you, I'd personally take the series in a completely different direction (AKA, nowhere near either Unleashed or the storybook titles), but still.

I think your underestimating just how powerful the Hedgehog engine really is. This graphic engine really is amongst the best around. Sega created it to be a very high quality engine, using the newest technology. This way they could use it for several games without the engine being seen as dated. Apparently Sega is also trying to market the engine to other developers, although I do not know how successful they have been. Anyway, few engines can do what the Hedgehog Engine can; in fact, only the Unreal Engine can really compare right now. The graphics in Sonic Unleashed were one of the stand out features of the game. Sega's plan to continue using it in future games is a very good thing. The use of this technology is one of the reasons I am confident about the future of Sonic.

As for the difficulty of Sonic Unleashed; I don't really seem what the problem is. As far as I'm concerned, all platformers rely on trial and error gameplay. If you fail at some point in a game, simply practise until you get better at it. Learning the location of secret items and routes has always been a major part of how platformers are played, for me at least. Besides, most of the QTE events in Sonic Unleashed are perfectly benign; if you fail the QTE then it's no big deal, you just have to take another route through the level. I can only think of two instances in which QTEs turn deadly, but because they are part of latter levels it is perfectly understandable. These sort of things are part of the learning curve. Games get harder as the levels progress, the idea being that players enjoy the challenge. Now, developers run the risk of making a game so hard no sane gamer would want to beat it. Yet, Sonic Unleashed is not that sort of game. It isn't even the hardest Sonic game ever made; I still consider the early Master System games the hardest Sonic games to date. Sonic Unleashed's gameplay while difficult at times was a good balance of difficulty.

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I think your underestimating just how powerful the Hedgehog engine really is. This graphic engine really is amongst the best around. Sega created it to be a very high quality engine, using the newest technology. This way they could use it for several games without the engine being seen as dated. Apparently Sega is also trying to market the engine to other developers, although I do not know how successful they have been. Anyway, few engines can do what the Hedgehog Engine can; in fact, only the Unreal Engine can really compare right now. The graphics in Sonic Unleashed were one of the stand out features of the game. Sega's plan to continue using it in future games is a very good thing. The use of this technology is one of the reasons I am confident about the future of Sonic.

Have we been down this road before? Because I remember this exact argument being spoken before.

But before, I had my reservations. Now I can say with confidence that I do not agree with you. The HE is a good engine, yes, but one of the best in the industry? Hardly. I have seen games with better graphical detail (especially in environments) that don't actually use Unreal 3, I've already noted that real-time GI is already emerging and eclipsing the HE's method of GI, and the use of CGI for real-time graphics may be an interesting idea, but it ends up being ultimately a show of smoke and mirrors. In fact, one thing the HE does, fur shading, was done in the previous generation and BETTER, Fox McCloud had way better fur shading in Star Fox Adventure than the Werehog. Hell, it's missing notable several shaders and effects, some that even the Wii can do.

As for the difficulty of Sonic Unleashed; I don't really seem what the problem is. As far as I'm concerned, all platformers rely on trial and error gameplay. If you fail at some point in a game, simply practise until you get better at it. Learning the location of secret items and routes has always been a major part of how platformers are played, for me at least. Besides, most of the QTE events in Sonic Unleashed are perfectly benign; if you fail the QTE then it's no big deal, you just have to take another route through the level. I can only think of two instances in which QTEs turn deadly, but because they are part of latter levels it is perfectly understandable. These sort of things are part of the learning curve. Games get harder as the levels progress, the idea being that players enjoy the challenge. Now, developers run the risk of making a game so hard no sane gamer would want to beat it. Yet, Sonic Unleashed is not that sort of game. It isn't even the hardest Sonic game ever made; I still consider the early Master System games the hardest Sonic games to date. Sonic Unleashed's gameplay while difficult at times was a good balance of difficulty.

I don't think you quite got my meaning of "trial and error". The sort of trial and error I mean is, more or less, stuff you will never see coming until it kills you. Memorising a level to perfect it is one thing, but when you have to memorise it just to bloody well PASS because of deaths that were by no means your fault, that's a problem. And it seems Sonic Team was aware of this problem, because I tend to find lives directly before the parts that I die a lot from (and quite often due to things that are not my damn fault), and guess what, they're in plain sight and easy to get to. Sure, QTEs are harmless at first, but later they get deadly, and Eggmanland is full of them. And even then, they're random, have strict timing, and made use of 6 buttons. The Wii version had no killer QTEs, and limited itself to A, B and waggle. Also, the learning curve in the HD version was more like a learning wall - it just shoots up at some point with no warning.

I'd tolerate it if it was well-designed difficulty like, say, Mega Man 9, but dear lord, was it unfair, almost I Wanna Be The Guy level. No, seriously. The Wii version, now THAT had a good learning curve and fair level design. Maybe it was because the drift more or less almost replaced the quick-step (the drift was practically useless in the HD version just for completion). Eggmanland in the Wii version was still hard, but nowhere near the abomination that was the HD version. The Wii version was fair and actually fun (not to mention it did the medals right and actually provided a challenge for the Werehog, and got the better final boss), while the HD version was more or less IWBTG Lite in the later levels.

Edited by The Sniper

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Have we been down this road before? Because I remember this exact argument being spoken before.

But before, I had my reservations. Now I can say with confidence that I do not agree with you. The HE is a good engine, yes, but one of the best in the industry? Hardly. I have seen games with better graphical detail (especially in environments) that don't actually use Unreal 3, I've already noted that real-time GI is already emerging and eclipsing the HE's method of GI, and the use of CGI for real-time graphics may be an interesting idea, but it ends up being ultimately a show of smoke and mirrors. In fact, one thing the HE does, fur shading, was done in the previous generation and BETTER, Fox McCloud had way better fur shading in Star Fox Adventure than the Werehog. Hell, it's missing notable several shaders and effects, some that even the Wii can do.

I don't think you quite got my meaning of "trial and error". The sort of trial and error I mean is, more or less, stuff you will never see coming until it kills you. Memorising a level to perfect it is one thing, but when you have to memorise it just to bloody well PASS because of deaths that were by no means your fault, that's a problem. And it seems Sonic Team was aware of this problem, because I tend to find lives directly before the parts that I die a lot from (and quite often due to things that are not my damn fault), and guess what, they're in plain sight and easy to get to. Sure, QTEs are harmless at first, but later they get deadly, and Eggmanland is full of them. And even then, they're random, have strict timing, and made use of 6 buttons. The Wii version had no killer QTEs, and limited itself to A, B and waggle. Also, the learning curve in the HD version was more like a learning wall - it just shoots up at some point with no warning.

I'd tolerate it if it was well-designed difficulty like, say, Mega Man 9, but dear lord, was it unfair, almost I Wanna Be The Guy level. No, seriously. The Wii version, now THAT had a good learning curve and fair level design. Maybe it was because the drift more or less almost replaced the quick-step (the drift was practically useless in the HD version just for completion). Eggmanland in the Wii version was still hard, but nowhere near the abomination that was the HD version. The Wii version was fair and actually fun (not to mention it did the medals right and actually provided a challenge for the Werehog, and got the better final boss), while the HD version was more or less IWBTG Lite in the later levels.

Ok, now I’ll be as polite as I can about this. Sonic Unleashed is not impossibly hard; you just need to practise a little more.

To illustrate my point, let's talk about QTEs. In my view Sonic Unleashed is one of the few games to implement this sort of gameplay mechanic successfully. This is because Sonic Team has been very fair on the players when implementing their placement. Most importantly, as a general rule QTEs don't kill you, they merely redirect you to an alternative path; this is a very good use the game mechanics. Besides, most QTEs are very easy to complete, usually you are faced with only three buttons to press, this is not a hard task. Certainly, the QTEs do get more complex as the game progress but that is all part of the learning curve. Sonic games are designed to be played by a wide audience, as such the game is relatively easy to control or play; presumably this is for the benefit of younger players. I don't expect anybody to beat the Eggmanland on their first go; it is the last level after all. Yet at the same time, anybody with reasonable hand eye coordination and a little patience should be able to beat it eventually.

I'm honestly surprised you’re having so much trouble with this game. Yes, the game does have a notable learning curve but I would hardly call it a jump. Being able to beat each successive level should be able to prepare you for the next. It seems to me that you would enjoy Sonic Unleashed a lot more if only you could master the later levels; this is easy enough to do. Normally I would suggest practising the levels until you improve but I don't think you would want to do that. Instead, why not play some earlier levels instead? Playing some of the earlier levels like Rooftop Run will go a long way to improve you skill anyway. This way you can be better prepared for when you finally try those levels again.

Sonic Unleashed is a great game; I think that you need to give it a second chance. I mentioned the Hedgehog Engine purely to help explain this. Sonic Unleashed is one of the best looking games around; this is proof enough of the Hedgehog Engine's impressive capabilities. Combined with the excellent level design, Sonic Unleashed is certainly a game worthy of recognition. At the very least, I think that you need to give this game another go. Who knows, it could even change you outlook on the whole situation.

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