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Genesis, Adventure and Modern - which era had the best Sonic games?


Rey Skywalker-Ren
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Bascially, I want to discuss which era had the better games. when I say that, I mean which era had the better quality games or for a personal perspective, which era had more of your favorites and why? I'm asking which had the better either objectively or personally. 

For me, The Modern era has the most games I love and at the same time, these were the games I started out with. Mainly, Sonic 06, then went to Sonic Colors and Generations. When it comes to the modern era, I mostly like all of the games except for the Rushes, Chronicles, Boom, 06 and the Rivals series. I think the highest point for the modern era was Sonic Unleashed. Not only did it test the power of the current gen consoles then, but it was the game that had the most passion and dedication put into it, story wise, character wise and visual wise. 

However, I think the Genesis era had the most quality games. Sonic 1 was a good platformer that used skill, Sonic 2 was deemed a good game and had much replay value (though I am not a fan). The peak of course was Sonic 3 and Knuckles as it had the most passion put into it out of any Sonic game in the series. By sheer content alone, it was a amazing game. CD was also a great game as well and praised for it's portrayal of Sonic. 

Thoughts?

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24 minutes ago, Mikyeong said:

However, I think the Genesis era had the most quality games. Sonic 1 was a good platformer that used skill, Sonic 2 was deemed a good game and had much replay value (though I am not a fan). The peak of course was Sonic 3 and Knuckles as it had the most passion put into it out of any Sonic game in the series. By sheer content alone, it was a amazing game. CD was also a great game as well and praised for it's portrayal of Sonic. 

Thoughts?

Disagree with this point, as I feel the Modern era has had far more quality titles going strictly by sheer number. There was four good titles on Genesis.and a lot more shit (Spinball, and Mean Bean Machine aren't particular popular, and stuff like Labyrinth and 3D Blast were pretty bad. Fair enough, we had Sonic 1/2 on Game Gear, and Sonic Triple Trouble/Chaos, but then we also had the game gear version of Spinball, Sonic Blast, Labyrinth (as mentioned, etc). Going further, there's also Sonic R, which is mixed to negative. Meanwhile, if you really want to get into the numbers game, the Modern era has more quality games in my opinion. Adventure, Adventure 2, Heroes (Debatable) Advance 1-3, Rush, Rush Adventure, Unleashed, Colours, Colours DS, Generations etc. Sure, there was some shit in the mix, but if you want to go by numbers, there was more quality games in the Modern era as opposed to the main four classics we got from the Genesis.

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The classics outdo the Adventure era through sheer quality and the fact that they've aged way better. Both the Adventure and Modern era are huge mixed bags with about as many misses as there are hits. I'd still pick the worst classic game(Sonic CD) over most of the dreamcast era and a few modern titles if given the chance. 

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23 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Disagree with this point, as I feel the Modern era has had far more quality titles going strictly by sheer number. There was four good titles on Genesis.and a lot more shit (Spinball, and Mean Bean Machine aren't particular popular, and stuff like Labyrinth and 3D Blast were pretty bad. Fair enough, we had Sonic 1/2 on Game Gear, and Sonic Triple Trouble/Chaos, but then we also had the game gear version of Spinball, Sonic Blast, Labyrinth (as mentioned, etc). Going further, there's also Sonic R, which is mixed to negative. Meanwhile, if you really want to get into the numbers game, the Modern era has more quality games in my opinion. Adventure, Adventure 2, Heroes (Debatable) Advance 1-3, Rush, Rush Adventure, Unleashed, Colours, Colours DS, Generations etc. Sure, there was some shit in the mix, but if you want to go by numbers, there was more quality games in the Modern era as opposed to the main four classics we got from the Genesis.

Should Adventure 1 - Advance 3 still technically be in the Adventure era? 

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Just now, Dejimon11 said:

Should Adventure 1 - Advance 3 still technically be in the Adventure era? 

I don't really consider it an Adventure era due to it only exisiting for a few years. Modern designs so there, so I consider them part of Modern Sonic's career. I consider them split as Classic, Modern, Boom eras.

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It's a mixed bag, especially for Adventure and Modern. However, the Classic era had some pretty mediocre games too like 3D Blast and R. The difference is, all the main titles were awesome, while the mediocre crap was just side stuff people don't care that much about. The other two eras have main games with more major issues, but also some decent side games (along with crap ones). This makes the later eras more noticeable in terms of lower quality because of the issues the main games have.

 

I'd say Classic is best overall, especially with regards to main games, but for me game favourites are just scattered rather than me saying "Oh I prefer this era of Sonic". I love 1-3&K, but I also love Adventure, Colours, Generations, Rush Adventure, you know. One thing I do wish though is that handheld games could be their own thing. Since Rush Adventure it seems like we're just getting less interesting handheld games due to them being different versions of the same game, whereas back in the GBA-DS era we had the Advance and Rush games. While they had their issues, they were good games and unique.

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I'd personally consider the eras something along the lines of; Classic (1991-1998), Adventure (or 'Transition', as Sega games start coming out on other consoles, 1999-2005) and Modern (2006-). I suppose a separate Boom era would make sense, if only so I can completely ignore it.

In regards to that, I'd say the Classic era would be the best, objective or review wise at the least, perhaps because they're the most straight forward. 1-3&K and CD are fantastic games and though the quantity is lower relative to other eras, the quality is higher. My problem with Modern games is that there's always some kink to it, like the Werehog nonsense in Unleashed, even though the day stages were great. I really liked Generations, but even then there's some messy designs of challenges and a god-awful final boss. Then there's the Adventure era, from which games have not aged well at all, unlike the Classic era. I like Adventure 1/2 as much as the next guy, but trying to go back to them can get pretty rough.

But then, each era has good and bad games, whether console, handheld or spinoff. The Sonic Advance games are great, Sonic Rush is great, hell going into spinoffs Sonic Racing Transformed is probably the best 'kart' racer I've ever played. So I suppose picking an era depends on what games you're considering, if you let the bad ones 'drag' the era down in terms of quality, or how you even determine an era in the first place.

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To be honest, while we tend to arbitrarily split them by console generation (compounded by Generations doing the same), really I would almost consider 2006 to be part of the "Adventure era" myself.  It has all the design ethos of the Adventure era, setting out to continue the sort of games they had been making.  Unleashed is really the true start of the Modern era, the point where they decided "okay we need to entirely rethink this" in the same way SA1 would've been after meandering around with 3D experiments like 3D Blast, Sonic R, and Sonic Jam's Sonic World.

 

As for my personal response to the topic's question,  tallied up all the platforming games in what I consider to be each era and calculated percentages based off how many games I liked and ended up with Classic and Modern tied with Adventure being only a little bit behind.  But I did include turds like Sonic Blast in classic but likewise I considered Boom a "modern platformer" since like it or not it kind of is.  This was going by my personal opinion of the games though, not whether I think they are objectively good or not.

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I see it as Classic (1991-1998), Adventure (1999-2007) and Modern (2008-present) while their main titles in the original games are the strongest in quality over the years, their spin-offs and handheld library are a near opposite to just below average.

The Adventure era I'd would say had a much stronger handheld quality then the previous one (Advance series, Battle in some ways, both Rush titles, Sonic Pinball Party, Rivals in some aspects) but the home console quality began to wane. 

Modern era is the most interesting to me personally, because both it's home console and handheld libraries have a few positives but few defined negatives. Plus if we're to add the smartphone/mobile games then that's another span in the works, although how you feel about Jump(Fever), Dash, Runner and such could depend on you stance towards mobile gamig anyway. And then there's the Boom subseries...

So I wouldn't say one specific era is outright 'the best'. Besides personal outlook may skew what you feel may be the best due to your personal enjoyment and/or attachment to certain games in that era.

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7 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Disagree with this point, as I feel the Modern era has had far more quality titles going strictly by sheer number. There was four good titles on Genesis.and a lot more shit (Spinball, and Mean Bean Machine aren't particular popular, and stuff like Labyrinth and 3D Blast were pretty bad. Fair enough, we had Sonic 1/2 on Game Gear, and Sonic Triple Trouble/Chaos, but then we also had the game gear version of Spinball, Sonic Blast, Labyrinth (as mentioned, etc). Going further, there's also Sonic R, which is mixed to negative. Meanwhile, if you really want to get into the numbers game, the Modern era has more quality games in my opinion. Adventure, Adventure 2, Heroes (Debatable) Advance 1-3, Rush, Rush Adventure, Unleashed, Colours, Colours DS, Generations etc. Sure, there was some shit in the mix, but if you want to go by numbers, there was more quality games in the Modern era as opposed to the main four classics we got from the Genesis.

The modern era had more passable titles. These titles very few titles were worthy of an S or A rank and most were praised for being safe. The classic era wasn't like that.

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Genesis era (1991-1995) is best, followed by Dc/GCN (1998-2007), followed by Modern(2008-2012), and then the Saturn down period (1996-1997); and then wherever the fuck we are now (2013-now). Genesis had several well-crafted games and every mass-market effort never dipped below mediocre, the down period was a quagmire of mediocrity with two utterly horrid minor games,  Adventure went from great down to crap in main releases while side games were generally good, Legacy/Modern went from bad to decent, and now it's only utter and total shit (plus some mediocre spinoffs). I'll have to do a lengthy analysis later, bringing in other media and fan-games.

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10 hours ago, Mikyeong said:

Bascially, I want to discuss which era had the better games. when I say that, I mean which era had the better quality games or for a personal perspective, which era had more of your favorites and why? I'm asking which had the better either objectively or personally. 

For me, The Modern era has the most games I love and at the same time, these were the games I started out with. Mainly, Sonic 06, then went to Sonic Colors and Generations. When it comes to the modern era, I mostly like all of the games except for the Rushes, Chronicles, Boom, 06 and the Rivals series. I think the highest point for the modern era was Sonic Unleashed. Not only did it test the power of the current gen consoles then, but it was the game that had the most passion and dedication put into it, story wise, character wise and visual wise. 

However, I think the Genesis era had the most quality games. Sonic 1 was a good platformer that used skill, Sonic 2 was deemed a good game and had much replay value (though I am not a fan). The peak of course was Sonic 3 and Knuckles as it had the most passion put into it out of any Sonic game in the series. By sheer content alone, it was a amazing game. CD was also a great game as well and praised for it's portrayal of Sonic. 

Thoughts?

 

It's difficult to compare them because each game was produced in a different period, there being huge differences in basic elements such as: technology, graphic definition, engine's processing capacity, etc. And all these criteria are dependent on the evolution of the gaming industry, which was still a toddler in the late 80's. Studios back then had a very reduced staff and almost no capital. Nowadays, in the 2,000's, companies have thousands of employees, dozens of directors and plenty of departments to develop games down to the last detail.

Each period had its own criteria for "quality", and quality means something very different for each era. So someone born in the late 90's looking today at a a game produced in a time before he was born will judge said game according to quality standards of games he first played in his life - made from 2005 onwards, for example - and therefore will hardly understand (and most times, completely fail to understand) why games like Sonic 1 were all the hype back then.

 

It's like trying to compare Dumont's airplane and Virgin Galactic's spacebus. A man born in 1910 will look at the spacebus and think: Wow, technology is so advanced!

A kid who's watched Star Trek, played Mass Effect and flew in planes all his life will think: When oh when are they going to build something like the Enterprise or the Normandy?

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And who's your favorite Samus, 2-D, Gamecube or Modern Samus? Ow wait, no one splits Metroid like that.

Then why on Mobius we do it? Those splits don't work at all, how 06 (multi characters, serious story, HUB) is in the same era as Colors (one character, boosts gameplay, comedy). Shouldn't advance title be part of classic era, due to 2D nature and lack of narrative? Where are rules to this madness? Do we divide by gameplay, narrative, visual style, consoles or what?

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Yeah sitting back on this now, to me with this is that there's a list of criteria that in of itself separates certain period of games from each other, but their general place within the standards of the industry at their time of release. Not to mention getting into how each sect of games are categorized under (is 2006 Modern, or we basing this over from Unleashed onwards, is Classic just the four Genesis titles, what about 95-97 aka the Saturn era), generation of console, etc.

I'm not into the Marios or Metroids or the like, and excuse me for my ignorance for this and someone is more than welcome to correct me, but I usually see people just divide those series' games based on strictly 2D and 3D aspects (Super Metroid/Prime, SMB3/Super Mario Galaxy for example)

 

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Controversy plays a big part in it, as does consistency. If we're going off Metroid as an example, nearly everything important to the formula is preserved between games, even if some of them are mechanically different - they're all Metroidvania by design, reward backtracking after collecting more potent equipment, contain many if not all of the same standard set of items, and generally follow a similar set of themes and tropes between games. And regardless of what differences they do possess, the games are good enough to be critically acclaimed regardless most of the time - the only exceptions off the top of my head are a spinoff title that was based directly off an existing style anyway (Prime Hunters) and a collaboration from which has produced exactly one main title and was never heard from again (Other M).

For all the praise that any split in Sonic gets, they often don't have a whole lot important in common, just the brandname and iconography. Classic, for example, is a style in which exploiting a unique set of physics is a key part of gaining and maintaining speed, but no other games in the franchise follow its rules and mechanics, to the point that it's arguably a detriment to many of them. When it's that intergral to how the game works at its core, it's tantamount to making a Metroid game in which there is no exploration involved, just a stage ladder with nothing to interconnect them. The rest of the splits in Sonic are similarly dissonant - the Boost was a game mechanic that made most previous rules of the franchise either impossible or redundant, and the Adventures often function in ways that don't make any apparent sense in the context of either of them. So when there's so many mutually exclusive gimmicks and mechanics going between games and eras, there's often no choice but to refer to them with mutual exclusivity. Sometimes other games get bundled in certain groups just by virtue of the time period they came out in (like the Advances being lumped in with the Adventures for example), but hey, nobody said the labelling was perfect. =V

Anyways, might as well address the OP while I'm here. Honestly, the original classics seem like the obvious answer here - most of the worst games of the time are only guilty of not being borderline perfect by the bar the main trilogy set, like Spinball. Of the games that are truly bad, none of them are legendary for it, most being Game Gear games that faded into obscurity. The Adventures have some widely celebrated games, but they've both aged poorly and have the misfortune of being related to two of the worst and most infamous games in the series, ShTH and '06 respectively. A lot of the games after that bar Generations tend to have cult followings at best, and even at the best of times have baffling design decisions that hold the rest of the game back as "disappointment with potential", if that.

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Just now, MetalSkulkBane said:

And who's your favorite Samus, 2-D, Gamecube or Modern Samus? Ow wait, no one splits Metroid like that.

Then why on Mobius we do it? Those splits don't work at all, how 06 (multi characters, serious story, HUB) is in the same era as Colors (one character, boosts gameplay, comedy). Shouldn't advance title be part of classic era, due to 2D nature and lack of narrative? Where are rules to this madness? Do we divide by gameplay, narrative, visual style, consoles or what?

I think the most obvious answer to your questions...is that the divide is in the years. The style of the games doesn't matter, just the era separation provided by Generations. Then whether or not "Sonic the Hedgehog", "Sonic Riders", and "Sonic Rivals" are apart of the modern era is subjective thought processing, though may matter for the sake of a discussion.

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Modern has the best ost. 

It's different for everybody's taste, but can we all agree that Modern has the most variety?

Genesis composers had it hardest though, with hardware limitations, and they still did it.

Adventure seems the most in line with Sonic, but outside context it isn't as popular. Maybe because a bunch have rap or lyrics. 

In all, it's all quality soundtracks and Sonic already has reputation for it. 

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5 hours ago, StaticMania said:

I think the most obvious answer to your questions...is that the divide is in the years. The style of the games doesn't matter, just the era separation provided by Generations. Then whether or not "Sonic the Hedgehog", "Sonic Riders", and "Sonic Rivals" are apart of the modern era is subjective thought processing, though may matter for the sake of a discussion.

Ok, but what's the point of this divide? It just encourages fandom to split into factions. And I wouldn't even mind, if it was clear what they stand for. I like Genrations/Unleashed gameplay, but not Lost World, I like Unleashed & Storybook series plots, but hate Pontac/Graff writing. So do I like Modern Sonic or not?

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7 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

And who's your favorite Samus, 2-D, Gamecube or Modern Samus? Ow wait, no one splits Metroid like that.

Then why on Mobius we do it? Those splits don't work at all, how 06 (multi characters, serious story, HUB) is in the same era as Colors (one character, boosts gameplay, comedy). Shouldn't advance title be part of classic era, due to 2D nature and lack of narrative? Where are rules to this madness? Do we divide by gameplay, narrative, visual style, consoles or what?

I guess it is because the Sonic games have styles that separate them from each other and plus it has been inconsistant. The Genesis games had one playstyle through out which was the skill-based speeds and rollercoaster physics. That transitioned into the Adventure gameplay where you just hold up to win, but still keeping SOME of the Genesis gamestyle in mind. Then Rush/Unleashed came and started introducing the boost and ridding everything Genesis-styled and making everything automatic, this the modern Sonic era.

With franchises like Mario, you don't see this because while the styles to change, the core gameplay has always been consistant. Same with Metroid to where they don't drastically change the core concept to be "reborn".

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2 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Ok, but what's the point of this divide? It just encourages fandom to split into factions. And I wouldn't even mind, if it was clear what they stand for. I like Genrations/Unleashed gameplay, but not Lost World, I like Unleashed & Storybook series plots, but hate Pontac/Graff writing. So do I like Modern Sonic or not?

Mayhaps it has to do with the quality of the games and the mentality of the developers when making the games. You separate based on the significant differences that happen in a franchise, in regards to the mindset of the developers: People seem to refer how the Adventure era games were more experimental with a noticeable quality drop, while Unleashed onwards in this modern era...games have been very safe, but also have had stagnant quality. In terms of programming they may be as polished as can be, but not designed very well.

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13 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

And who's your favorite Samus, 2-D, Gamecube or Modern Samus? Ow wait, no one splits Metroid like that.

I kinda do, though? I mean, it's not hard to see 2D Metroids, the Prime games, and Other M being three distinct kinds of games.

I feel like you're making a mistake in thinking that these are categories being forced onto the series, rather than categories created to describe the series. They may not always be clearly distinct and thoroughly defined, but the divisions already exist, in both the games and the fanbase.

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