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Most inspiring and frustrating things about Sonic's future


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As someone who doesn't play a lot of video games in general and doesn't have many new game systems, I haven't personally experienced Sonic's newest games. But I love that blue hedgehog (and his friends) and am always curious about how well he's doing, if you get me. Lately Sonic's reputation has been...not great, to state the obvious. I get the feeling that the Boom games are a huge factor to this, but it often seems to go a bit deeper than that. And I guess I'm just curious: for you, what's the biggest thing that makes you feel pessimistic about Sonic's future, and what's the biggest thing that gives you hope? Even if you feel like nothing really "gives you hope" about the games' direction right this very minute, is there anything in Sonic's relatively recent past that would give you hope if they utilized and/or built on it some more? Is there something in particular that inspires you in a recent game that, if included and developed in the future, would make you happier about Sonic's current direction? 

 

I'm not trying to create a new "Sonic pessimism" topic, to be sure. I'm trying to get down to the specific things that bug and/or inspire people about where this series is going, beyond just the general goodness or badness of a recently-released game. Like, do you think the games aren't trying hard enough to innovate, or that they're inconsistent, or what? But I'd like to really be specific about it, like what particular games showcased what specific good and bad signs, and that sort of thing. And - perhaps more importantly - how they could "get back on track," in your opinion. Or, to put it another way, what would you take as a sign that the series is headed in the right direction?

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Most Inspiring: "I'll probably like the next game!"

I keep an open mind on these games. Either that, or I have a low sense of quality. I only hate 3 Sonic games and I haven't played Boom yet. I enjoyed everything else. They may not be "good" but I usually have a enjoyable time. Another thing that makes me happy and optimistic is thinking of who's gonna be in it, and what's gonna happen. I wonder if Silver will return or if the next game is really gonna be something special!

Most Frustrating: "Everyone else will hate it though."

No matter how much I like a game, it ain't making Sonic's reputation any better if everyone else thinks the next game is crap. The hope and wishing for a certain character or style to return being crushed if we have another Sonic-only game also doesn't help either.

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Frustrating side, the simple fact I haven't really enjoyed the games since SA2. That was the last game I liked. So I haven't enjoyed a Sonic game for over a decade. I can only imagine the pattern repeating.

If something was to give me a shred of hope, it'd be the way there hasn't been a Sonic A team game since Generation so I like to believe they're giving themselves a lot of Dev time.

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Frustrating side; The belief that we're unlikely to see a game of the sort of scope that HD Unleashed had, one that truly feels as if it had an effort of love lavished on it, something that feels as if Sonic Team were really passionately invested in the development of their games. I don't have high expectations that the series will break out of the annoyng trend it's abided by since 2010. I'm also pretty frustrated by how far the writing quality, characterization and storytelling has fallen as well. Sonic just isn't...Sonic, Tails has derailed into a self-entitled brat and Dr Eggman has seen far better portrayals.

 

Most inspiring thing about the future; The 25th anniversary. I'm trying to keep my chin up and hope that it'll be done justice :)

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If something was to give me a shred of hope, it'd be the way there hasn't been a Sonic A team game since Generation so I like to believe they're giving themselves a lot of Dev time.

 

Yes... it seems very likely that they may be creating a new game for next year based on the classic style in Generations.  the potential to expand on that especially given multiple years seems to me to be absolutely something they would recognize. :)  they were able to bring Sonic back to being one of the most impressive 2d platformers in just one game. 

 

then also the potential blueprint that Mario maker is providing for Sonic, especially now that Nintendo and Sega are on good terms with eachother, that an eventual Sonic zone and level pack creation engine is now a matter of when not if, and that it would possibly include graphics from the Genesis games..!  that is the best realization in a while.  once created and released, new 2d innovation and creativity would be occurring probably every week for several years!  fan games and hacks have been and will continue to be really special, but as implied with the Worlds project, the potential to have many zones and level packs becoming part of a growing library will be a new frontier for Sonic. :)

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What has frustrated me most about the past few Sonic games was seeing the handheld entries I enjoyed get steadily worse after Rush Adventure - fewer features, less originality, and finally no good features to mark them out at all.  My frustration with the future is that I see no reason for this situation to improve, especially since the handheld games have now been farmed out to a different company entirely that can't even equal the worst titles.

 

The most inspiring thing in Sonic's future... well, I'd like to say that it's been a long time since we've actually seen a Sonic Team game.  They could do anything, and we really have no idea what to expect.  But this just turns into a source of frustration again, since I have a very hard time believing that the Generations team has been working on a new game since 2011.  The way the series has been managed in the past few years gives me no reason to believe Sega would let them work on a game for that long.  I think it's far more likely that a game from them was cancelled or that they've retired much of Sonic Team's staff entirely.  But if I did beileve that they'd been working on something, that they had a new non-mobile game in the works, then that would be inspiring.

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The biggest thing that makes me feel pessimistic about Sonic's future? It's the lack of consistency that makes me pessimistic about Sonic's future. You think Sonic Team would have learned by now that no one likes all these stupid new gimmicks they keep trying to shoehorn into every game. I thought they had learned their lesson with Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, but then Sonic Lost World came out to remind everyone that Sonic Team hasn't learned a god damn thing... although, those gimmicks could have been influenced by Nintendo... Then there's SEGA, who, again, prematurely released an unfinished game, showing they haven't learned from Sonic '06. Beyond just a lack of consistency and inability to realize releasing an unfinished game isn't a good idea, I'm also sorta annoyed by the solo Sonic approach to games, which just goes to show that they don't understand what their fans want. People don't just want Sonic, they want the other characters to play like Sonic. Lastly, I really don't like the writing for these newer games. I miss plots akin to the Adventure titles and Unleashed. Those games had character development, engaging stories, and world building. 

 

The most inspiring thing about Sonic's future is that we haven't seen a game developed by Sonic Team in a good while, which would imply they're putting time and effort into their eventual game. 

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The things that still inspire me about Sonic are its artistic qualities and the gameplay and narrative facets I enjoyed years ago. Sonic games have been privy to some of the strongest art design and musical compositions in gaming history, and while the stories are thoroughly less so, I enjoyed their ability to string the events along just well enough to emulate the feeling of going on an adventure. I also still like the extended cast enough to actually want to still see them playable.

But what frustrates me, honestly, is nearly everything happening to the games now, and the lack of assurance that reasonable change is actually coming. While the last three games have all been different in major ways, none of them seemed to break out of the confines of the most basic design principles. The games lack a definitive sense of progression and difficulty, leading to them feeling repetitive and without challenge, like you're utilizing the same skill threshold over and over until the inevitable final boss. On top of that, the storytelling has done a complete 180 from the narrative facets I used to enjoy.

Sonic games are thoroughly unappealing to me now, and with the future being uncertain, particularly with the Japanese console market all but dying, I can't see a convincing reason to personally invest in the future beyond curiosity. Why pay lip service to the 25th anniversary game when the 20th anniversary game had these same issues?

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I think it's become increasingly clear that no one, not the fans or the people responsible for the series, knows what Sonic is supposed to be anymore. Even as far back as the Adventures things were starting to come apart, and it's only gotten worse. Gameplay and story both have been all over the place, never good enough to stick with, and unfortunately often outright bad. I still think the best option would be a reboot...but I honestly don't trust anyone to do it well anymore, and it's a hard sell so soon after Boom's stunning failure as a pseudo-reboot anyway.

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Not even wanting to sound like I'm being overly snarky here, but at the moment the most optimistic I can basically be is "Well, it probably can't get any worse than it is at the moment, so hopefully things will get better from here".

 

Admittedly, as others have said, there is the fact that the main Sonic Team group hasn't done a game since Generations, which was good. So hopefully the next time they put out a game it'll be good, too. 

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Inspiring: The fact that Sonic is still going at this point.

Frustrating: The fact that no one has a goddamn clue what Sonic SHOULD be, ignores what he COULD be capable of, and how badly the quality of the narrative and worldbuilding of Sonic has degraded and that people think this is a good thing somehow.

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I have not owned a game console in a long while, so I do not know much about Sonic's latest games, apart from what I read on the Internet.

Then what I find most inspiring right now is his comics. I find heartwarming to see the characters portrayed in a believable way, and I like the interactions between them, especially the best buddies relationship between Sonic and Tails.

The most frustrating thing? Maybe it is the cancellation of the Boom comic, though I was not too attached to this one.

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The most frustrating part for me with the Sonic series is that there is no cohesion between gameplay mechanics or even the setting from game to game.  It just leaves me with the impression that Sega isn't clear on where they want want Sonic to go.  Ever since Sonic Adventure, they've been experimenting with game play and settings for the series which on it's own isn't bad.  But for almost 20 years, there hasn't been a sequel game since Sonic Adventure 2 unless you count the portable titles.  People were getting used to the Adventure formula and world, then they switch it up with Heroes.  People were mixed on Heroes, but instead of making a sequel to improve upon that game, they give us Shadow the Hedgehog which used some assets from Heroes but added a whole lot of other things a majority found questionable.  Leaving Shadow behind, they seemed to go back to the Adventure formula with Sonic 06, but that was the adventure formula on crack with 9 playable characters and about 16 different (and aggravating) game play styles and was a reboot to to boot.  And so on and so forth.  Really, I get that you don't want a stale franchise, but the alternative shouldn't be one with multiple personality disorder.

 

The most inspiring thing I have for this franchise is that Sega has said they are sticking with the Lost Worlds aesthetic which I find very charming in a cartoony retro sort of way and gives me confidence and security in knowing Sega is picking a style and staying with it.  Also, I'm happy Sega is finally understanding that Sonic's friends aren't as toxic as they were under the impression of.  If this means more playable characters in future Sonic games (I LOVE RUNNERS FOR THIS),  then I can't help but be hopeful for the franchise.  I think it took them to hit rock bottom to realize what happens when they let their most profitable franchise off the reigns and hopefully they've learned to be more careful with Sonic.  Sega of America I'm a little more worried for with Fire and Ice.  But if that game turns out better than the last ones; which lets be honest, it's hard to do more worst than absolute worst, then I can afford to be a little more optimistic.

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I have not owned a game console in a long while, so I do not know much about Sonic's latest games, apart from what I read on the Internet.

Then what I find most inspiring right now is his comics. I find heartwarming to see the characters portrayed in a believable way, and I like the interactions between them, especially the best buddies relationship between Sonic and Tails.

The most frustrating thing? Maybe it is the cancellation of the Boom comic, though I was not too attached to this one.

 

Gotta agree that the comics are probably the best and most promising official Sonic things being produced right now. It's nice that at least one small part of the franchise is going well.

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 Also, I'm happy Sega is finally understanding that Sonic's friends aren't as toxic as they were under the impression of.  If this means more playable characters in future Sonic games (I LOVE RUNNERS FOR THIS),  then I can't help but be hopeful for the franchise.

Wait, weren't Sonic's friends playable in mobile titles even during the peak of Solo Sonic?

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Wait, weren't Sonic's friends playable in mobile titles even during the peak of Solo Sonic?

I guess I should be more specific.  I meant more playable characters for the home console games.  Portables were usually outsourced to other companies like Dimps and Bioware and those games post Sonic Rush didn't do well.  Runners is made by Sonic Team and it makes me happy they are now making other characters playable in a sonic game that is not just sports.

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