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SEGA: "Sonic game quality will be fixed over time"


Doctor MK
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Well it's good to see someone over @ Sega acknowledging our complaints, and most of all, who's making them and why lol. Yeah I wouldn't doubt that the kids haven't griped about Unleashed as much as we diehards have. When I was a child, even if a game had a TON of faults, I didn't really notice; I just wanted to play something that seemed interesting (And this was back when Blockbuster wasn't on life support, so needless to say, I've played my share of crappy games).

And we have to remember that Sonic games nowadays aren't really tailored to the older fanboys, but more towards the next-gen of fans that are our ages when we first started playing. The VO's, the lack of speed, the characters we find annoying, not many kids are complaining about it as we do. And if they're happy, why worry? I'm not saying they don't pay attention to us anymore, even if Sega REALLY needs to sit down and read some of these reviews on their products. But I'm starting to realize why Sonic games are still on the route that they are today, especially considering my 11-year-old cousin who adores Unleashed and is genuinely puzzled by why ppl hate it.

That being said, I think it's not a matter of game quality that needs fixing over time. It's their mindset toward making these games that I fear is gonna take a while to develop. Every time a Sonic game comes out that bombs critically or financially, you begin to wonder if they've gotten the message of why yet. And if you see just how frequently they have these Sonic games floating around, you kinda have the answer. Quanity doesn't equal quality. If Sonic Team and Sega would just take their time going over the pros, the cons, the glitches, and all that jazz in the game instead of churning out a new product every few months to a year, maybe then they can get back to the level that's possible with their games. They all have the potential, but it never really comes together fully enough, and I hear about incomplete aspects and clean-ups that weren't possible because of deadlines and it just drives me up the wall.

Lol hope that response was long enough for y'all. I really gotta work on that :P

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What is this I don't even...

It's unusual for a franchise to even get a second chance, much less the five or so that Sonic has had. Seems to me that they're just clueless as for what to do with Sonic.

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I believe this guy.

Quality has already seen a massive spike. Compare 06 (unfinished or not) to Unleashed and it is immediately apparent. A ton more went into the latter of the two. Effort was actually put into execution and it reflected in the production of a new engine and the extra fanservice we got on top of that.

I would also like to throw out there that quality does not equal a good game. Its just one of the aspects of it.

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You lot act like this hasn't happened before.

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If Sega managed to recover from all of that the first time around and make fans happy, I see no reason why they can't do it again. Interestingly enough, if the quote is to be believed...

Given that it takes a couple of years to make some of these games, it's not surprising that we're not going to see the effort that's being put in over the past 12 months until another 6-12 months.
...they may actually already be working on another title. All aboard the hype train. Edited by Blacklightning
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I believe this guy.

Quality has already seen a massive spike. Compare 06 (unfinished or not) to Unleashed and it is immediately apparent. A ton more went into the latter of the two. Effort was actually put into execution and it reflected in the production of a new engine and the extra fanservice we got on top of that.

I'm with this guy here. Unleashed was the best console Sonic game in years and was undoubtedly a step in the right direction, so they are definitely trying to get Sonic on the right track again.

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Perhaps the first sensible step would be to just stop releasing Sonic games altogether while you figure out exactly what you're doing wrong and then work out how to fix it, rather than continuing to churn out dross?

There

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Perhaps the first sensible step would be to just stop releasing Sonic games altogether while you figure out exactly what you're doing wrong and then work out how to fix it, rather than continuing to churn out dross?
Main problem with that, though, is that they lose feedback from the actual critics until they're thrown something to play - and quite frankly, I don't trust Sonic Team's testing department with that. I'm all for them slowing down to tweak and polish games more, but stopping altogether seems more akin to plugging your fingers in your ears to me.

...actually on second thoughts, knowing what fans and critics are like that might be a better idea. Eh, it could go either way, but I'd still much rather play a Sonic game every now and then. We're looking at a minimum 1.5-2 year dev span simply by estimate of what's already been told to us and I'm perfectly happy with that.

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I think there's just too much potential money to be lost with stopping altogether. I mean, we've had stuff like Sonic Rush, Secret Rings and of course Mario and Sonic that have sold in the bucket-loads over the past few years; and I'm sure a good deal of SEGA's income is depending on the money they make from the Sonic games. Even if it only ceases for a short amount of time, it will probably do more harm than good.

Sonic games have been a bit all-over-the-place for a while, and I'm sure some of that could have been avoided with a bit more thinking time - but I still don't think Sonic Team have it especially bad. Whilst I know it's not the best example; look at sports games like the Fifa and Madden series. They have to release a new game every year with only a year's development time and somehow make it look like it's a new game with new features that people need to buy. Luckily enough Sonic seems to be getting longer than only a single year, in fact if some of this is to be believed they've been working on the next game for 12 months already; which means before Unleashed even hit the stores.

Nice to see SEGA's stance on the situation is a healthy one, though. I can't say I don't agree.

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Sonic just needs better writers. Because of them writing a plot involving evil giant lizards from the the center of the Earth we got the Werehog.

But this does go futher back to Shadow. Hell maybe even Heroes. But Shadow and Sonic 06 was confusing as hell. The writers might had thought they could be cool if they put an epic story line that is way too dark and even going as far as killing the mascot for a scene or two.

Gosh....

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The thing about Unleashed (which was pretty kick@$$ for the most part) weren't even that the Werehog stages weren't that bad IMO; they're just not as refined as the daytime segments. If Sega can just narrow down the aspects of the games and perfect it, instead of trying to implement a hook that hasn't been ironed out, they can get a good game going. The way I see it, they had the formula down since Sonic Adventure 2. People seem to love the aspects with just Sonic; just take those levels and refine them. Problem is that with every game, they always go one step forward with the gameplay potential, and one step back with some gimmick that isn't completely cleaned up. Focus on the simpler aspects and make that the best it can be, instead of filling the game with some new aspect that you know little about implenting. I don't wanna say it's that simple but...what harm can it do to try, y'know?

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slower pacing and more combat-oriented gameplay, but when we go out and test this stuff and sit down with the consumers, kids actually like that.

Time to reinvent Sonic to be about something more than speed!

9.9 Well... I said that was probably the case and I'm not surprised. These kids for the most part grew up on 3D. The running very fast thing is best on a side scroller. In 3D the direction's rather linear because you need to know where to direct your speed to accelerate. It TOTALLY misses the chance to use 3D and if that's all it's going to do it yeah, may as well go back to 2D. I can kind of see where the kids are coming when they say they like the slower, combat oriented part of the gameplay and yeah it does seem like it's the adults who live and die by this idea that he MUST be fast in game because of what they saw during the genesis. It's a 3D game. Not much exploring to actually DO in a 360 degree fashion if he's zipping through stuff all the time. To a degree I agree with the kids. Though they maaay want to think of optional playability though for the folks that honestly won't shut up about the speed like the magazine reviewers.

Edited by Miko
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It kind of annoys me that he played the "kids like it" card. In most cases kids just aren't as critical simply because it has characters they like in it. They usually don't really care about the games problems because it has Sonic in it.

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I don't really think that's the case. Kids like it because they didn't grow up on Sonic being a 2D sidescroller going very fast. They grew up on 3D. In 3D you explore the level in a 360 degree fashion. You don't run through a rather linear made level to focus on the concept of acceleration. Its only natural that they'd WANT Sonic to be slower and to focus on the combat of the game.

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Actually, for the most part, they seem to have stopped showing off stuff on Sonic games for a while... We currently have two games FEATURING Sonic, but they are both crossover games, and spinoffs. Neither of them are even close to Sonic Team. Sonic Team is quite likely working on Sonic's 20th aniversary game right now. And yes, as they've mentioned, the Werehog has a lot of criticism, but it was enjoyed by younger audiences (and others, such as myself, who enjoy a larger variety of games probably enjoy that aspect, too).

Unleashed is definitely a huge step up in quality, as well. Sonic '06 was essentially the bottom of the barrel for that point in time. From then it has been increasing. Slowly, sure, but it has been coming back. Since '06, the console games we've had include Secret Rings (faired pretty well), Unleashed (faired really well, though criticized mainly for the Werehog and required medal collecting), and Black Knight (about the same as Secret Rings... up and down in some areas, though), and then some other spinoffs, such as the Riders games. They aren't necessarily the -best- games, but all are at least better than '06, and from '06 it was a downward spiral since Heroes.

I definitely like this article here, and it reflects my thoughts on the situation. Though, I don't think they should give up on releasing spinoffs. We should see a couple games in 2010... but definitely less than what we've been having in the past. Say, maybe a new Riders game (hopefully better than the past two... its a good concept, but the flow is too difficult for some, while ZG's AI was incredibly easy save for Free Race, which was insanely hard).

Anyway, again, Unleashed = pretty good, just in the future, improve quality and drop the Werehog. Add a few more platforming sections to Sonic stages, though don't worry about slow puzzle... fast-paced puzzles are a different story, though. I'm sure they could think of something there.

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I like little snippets from companies like this. I understand that for the most part this is just Sega saying what they should, but they could always take the vow of silence and say absolutely nothing. In that regard then I like that they take the time out to comment on their mascot.

The whole "kids" comment is a touchy one. I think you kind-of have to agree with them for the most part. Kids make up the balk of the series' sales (as many have pointed out). Yeah, we can say how much kids don't know or how they'll play anything, but regardless, they buy the bulk of the games so you can't really be angry at Sega for tailoring the games towards that particular demographic. Now does that mean they can't make a game that would appeal to both kids and old school Sonic fans? Definitely not, but I guess that's a gamble in itself. If they attempt to do that and it completely loses it's appeal to kids, then they've cut out their largest customer.

Regardless I like this quote. It doesn't really answer much or help us figure out how/what Sega is thinking, but it is reassuring in some regard. After Unleashed and then how SSASR is shaping up, it does seem like the franchise is improving. Hopefully the next mainstream Sonic game will continue this trend.

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Keep the Sonic gameplay as it is in Unleashed. (Ease up on the hardness of some of the later levels.)

Replace Werehog with high jumpin', wall climbin', robot punchin', air glidin Knuckles! Because unlike Sonic, he don't chuckle.

There ya' go.

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I'm glad someone at SEGA is listening. I'm also glad they are speaking some sense into the community. It's true, you just don't wake up one day and say "I'm going to improve the quality of the franchise" or even "I think I'm going to make a crappy game today". Many Sonic fans tend to think that's how it happens, so they go to say "I can make a better game than SEGA can!" Ignorant, aren't we?

My question is, what is SEGA's target audience? Is it tweenage boys? Young children who watch shows on Saturday morning? Newer Sonic fans? All of this can fall into the 'kids' category. Which means even then the werehog is a missed bag.

Sonic Unleashed was a step up in quality (IMO). Here's my order of quality for 3D Sonic game:

SA=SA2 (SA2 does have a BIT more polish though)

SU (slippery controls, framerate hiccups but better than...)

ShTH (Kind of a meh-ish game, weird camera)

SH (GC version, glitchy as heck! I always run through the floor)

S06 (self explanatory)

Perhaps the first sensible step would be to just stop releasing Sonic games altogether while you figure out exactly what you're doing wrong and then work out how to fix it, rather than continuing to churn out dross?

There

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Because unlike Sonic, he don't chuckle.

And yet one of his first appearances is of him chuckling! Some would argue it's a snicker, but that is a chuckle in my eyes.

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I'd love to see a Sonic & Knuckles direction for the next game. I'd also like this release schedule:

Early 2010 - Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

Mid 2010 - Another storybook game for the Wii-Wii's... Sonic in Wonderland??

Christmas 2010/January 2011 - Sonic Unleashed 2 or whatever it is

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Reading this made my morning. I'll be the first to admit that I got pretty excited when they implied another game had already been in development for a year. And about the kids comment... I don't see why people are so irked by that when the article also said:

"I think older, die-hard Sega fans who grew up with the franchise and the first Sonic the Hedgehog associate Sonic more with 2-D side-scrolling super fast, and they liked the daytime gameplay, but when it came to the slower paced gameplay they were fairly critical of that, and that's fine

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Sonic just needs better writers. Because of them writing a plot involving evil giant lizards from the the center of the Earth we got the Werehog.

No, not true. Sonic Team wanted to make a monsterish Sonic before they had any idea of the plot. They said this over at the blog when they showed some concept design for the Werehog. Dark Gaia was written around the Werehog, not the other way around.

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Perhaps the first sensible step would be to just stop releasing Sonic games altogether while you figure out exactly what you're doing wrong and then work out how to fix it, rather than continuing to churn out dross?

There

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^ I think that's what they're trying to do. Hence why they're -trying- to improve the games. Yes, '06 was horrible, we know. They're trying to fix that. Hell, '06 wouldn't have been so bad if it had some of the problems (glitches included) fixed up in it (more development time to get the stuff in they wanted to get in...). I personally thought the plot was pretty good overall.

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