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Sonic Forces | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC "The Next Generations"


Badnik Mechanic
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Yesterday was kinda crazy here, hm? Now that the things are more... calm, I'll give my thoughts,

I still can't put my finger on Sonic Forces, we've only seen just a bit of it, and personally, that bit wasn't enough to make me excited at all.

Game's looks playable, looks beautiful and the music is nice and catchy. But there's 2 things really rubbing me the wrong way (the former is a general agreement -I suppose- and the later is my personal gripe actually):

- Classic Sonic being advertised as "Platform" (as if Modern and the OC didn't had any of that, right?) just solidifies the fact that Sonic Team don't know or don't care about what Classic Sonic truly represents, and it's funny because they now have the best example literally working for them... And what sucks even more is that I'm not expecting Sonic Team to explore him in other ways, like making him speak and do heroic and cocky stuff (not cute and funny stuff).

- The OC is a huge deal breaker to me, because I find it... childish. The idea of customizing a furry animal is too childish to me, I was never into that kind of stuff, really... And now they make it official? Deviantart jokes aside, I really didn't liked. None of it. Would rather give Sonic custom stuff and gadgets, sorta like the Sonic Adventure upgrades.

The game still looks promising, if not too much, like, they want to deliver everything, and I fear that none will be great. There's also so much in the air yet, like, now with 3 playable characters, are we gonna have to play Park Avenue 3 times, or could I just beat it with one character and move on? Or some times only a level could be playable by X character? Will the OC speak? Wisps can only be used by the OC (save for the white wisps for Modern Sonic)?

Again, this game, man. IDK.

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I've just had a thought. Remember Sonic calling Shadow a fake hedgehog? With this creator, who wants to bet someone will actually try to make Sonic and post a badly edited video of that line being used in numerous places within Forces' cutscenes?

 

As for the extended cast, I just assumed that Sonic Team only wanted to do small scale stuff, so reeled back the cast. Even if it is only three playables in Forces, we've heard that the other cast will be back in some capacity. If this game is going for a larger scale again, perhaps we might see those characters do something for the first time in ages. It's unlikely, but if it happens, it might be a way to reintroduce the extended cast in a way that both makes sense and isn't going to rub people the wrong way.

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9 minutes ago, Nepenthe said:

I didn't actually make the argument here that cutting characters was the silver bullet, rather that your framing for why was weaksauce in light of the fact that Sonic even by your own sometimes melodramatic admission is not anywhere close to where he should be in terms of quality and hasn't been for at least a decade regardless of the roster size in any given game at any given time in history, meaning it is obvious by now in the Year of our Lord 2017 that the continued insistence that no member of the extended cast- even folks with good standing like Tails and Knuckles- can be playable anymore because they're anathema to sales and reputation is false to the arguable point of delusion.

Again you're still framing this in terms of absolutes, that either limiting the cast solves everything or it solves nothing. That Sonic Team hasn't yet managed to solve this series' myriad problems doesn't mean that limiting the cast hasn't been helping overall. And no, I don't believe that including Tails or Knuckles would instantly kill the series, but considering all the other problems the series is struggling with I don't see this as the right time to reintroduce them. I would rather the series stabilize around a more solid identity and gameplay style before it worries about something that is fundamentally optional like multiple playable characters (and that goes just as much for Classic Sonic and the create-a-character as it does for Tails, Knuckles, and everyone else). Mania obviously is a different beast because it is working with tried-and-true gameplay that the developers have plenty of experience with at this point.

9 minutes ago, Nepenthe said:

Also notice that when Tornado made a correction to my post that Unleashed started many of these aesthetic trends that I admitted it with understanding that it was in reasonable response to Sonic 06- the poster child that people, including you, keep drudging up from the dead as an automatic shutdown towards anyone asking for other characters back- so clearly I'm not so dumb as to literally believe that the scale-back didn't initially have basis, but rather the basis at this point is not convincing or relevant anymore as an explanation for why certain trends continue to exist.

Why is "Sonic Team can hardly get one thing right, they shouldn't be put under the pressure to get multiple things right" no longer valid?

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Indigo Rush

If this game somehow falls onto my doorstep or in any other manner that doesn't require me to give Sonic Team any of my hard earned money, I'd try to make Boom Sonic first, since we know scarves are an option and grappling hooks are a thing. Then I can hate the game the way it should have been hated.

Alternatively I'll make this little dork

sonic-rabbit.png

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Wisps can only be used in limited places, based on both the wisp being present in the first place and whether or not Sonic Team allows you to use it in any particular area. That's a bit different from an innate power that can be used anywhere, any time. Not so radically different that it would be impossible to make, of course, but it's still an extra step beyond what they've done.

The real problem is that everyone hates the wisps so the game would be bad so why do it at all?

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3 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

Don't call them Wisps, then?

From what I've gathered people hate the wisp mechanics as much as they hate the wisps as characters.

Quote

And don't put them on a timer? 

So don't do things like the wisps at all, which makes the whole comparison kinda fall apart...?

e; I mean, like, no one's going to argue that you can't just stuff another character in with some vaguely reminiscent mechanic bolted on, but is that really what's good for the series?

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4 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Again you're still framing this in terms of absolutes, that either limiting the cast solves everything or it solves nothing.

No, I'm framing it as you specifically said they took them out to stave off falling sales and widespread outcry. The only thing they fixed was toning down the outcry. But in general,  Sonic is still a joke and sales haven't recovered by much. So at what point do we finally say that there's no reason Tails and Knuckles can't be playable again?

4 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

And no, I don't believe that including Tails or Knuckles would instantly kill the series, but considering all the other problems the series is struggling with I don't see this as the right time to reintroduce them. I would rather the series stabilize around a more solid identity and gameplay style before it worries about something that is fundamentally optional like multiple playable characters 

It already did settle into a single gameplay identity eight years ago. The fact that you don't like it is a different matter to whether or not the act of programming even a second person in is developmentally feasible.

4 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Why is "Sonic Team can hardly get one thing right, they shouldn't be put under the pressure to get multiple things right" no longer valid?

I disagree that they haven't gotten one thing right. I also disagree with babying professional artists under the assumption that they can't multitask. With Unleashed, they made a new lighting engine that took a generation to finally beat, a new gameplay style that proved fun and popular, and fixed the tone, plotting, and script issues of the game prior. Under this Baby Step routine, we would've been lucky as fuck to get even half of that.

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10 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Again you're still framing this in terms of absolutes, that either limiting the cast solves everything or it solves nothing. That Sonic Team hasn't yet managed to solve this series' myriad problems doesn't mean that limiting the cast hasn't been helping overall. And no, I don't believe that including Tails or Knuckles would instantly kill the series, but considering all the other problems the series is struggling with I don't see this as the right time to reintroduce them. I would rather the series stabilize around a more solid identity and gameplay style before it worries about something that is fundamentally optional like multiple playable characters (and that goes just as much for Classic Sonic and the create-a-character as it does for Tails, Knuckles, and everyone else). Mania obviously is a different beast because it is working with tried-and-true gameplay that the developers have plenty of experience with at this point.

I agree with you. I want to see Tails and Knuckles back as much as anyone else, but there's still too much room for improvement on the current formula.

And that saddens me since we've had the boost for almost 10 years now, and they still haven't perfected it. There's only so much you can excuse a dev team.

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Indigo Rush
2 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

e; I mean, like, no one's going to argue that you can't just stuff another character in with some vaguely reminiscent mechanic bolted on, but is that really what's good for the series?

Did you like Sonic 3?

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7 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Not so radically different that it would be impossible to make, of course, but it's still an extra step beyond what they've done.

So it's possible and not a radical departure from what we did in Colors. Glad we found common ground.

7 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

The real problem is that everyone hates the wisps so the game would be bad so why do it at all?

Clearly everyone doesn't because the bastards keep showing up everywhere.

1 minute ago, Indigo Rush said:

Did you like Sonic 3?

Also this.

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41 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Are we talking about the same Sonic Team? Their past 20 years of games were full of "not properly" developed mechanics and ideas. Even their last game, Lost World and its core mechanic was not developed properly.

They can be wrong about what "properly" is while still intending to do it.  In this case I'm suggesting it's possible that from the off they decided this gadget focus wouldn't be "proper" for the existing cast.

Of course we have no idea what came first, the make-your-hero idea or their specific gameplay - or whether both were ideas that were developed simultaneously.

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Indigo Rush

It's certainly going to take more than re-skinning Sonic and adding a permanent "Hover" ability or a "Drill + Spikes" ability, but I mean, it's a start?  I don't trust the Sonic Team of today to craft a multi-layered experience ala S3&K these days, but the least they can do is attempt the former. It's better than relegating any variety to a customizeable fursona gimmick and Classic Sonic lite.

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58 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Nepenthe, honestly, this is the worst argument you've ever made, and I don't know why you keep trying to make it. No one ever thought that scaling back the cast in itself would solve every problem with the series. It's a shameless strawman. What is ridiculous is acting like the character bloat played no part in this series' problems simply because addressing it didn't solve everything. Cutting back on the cast meant more focused gameplay and more focused stories, rather than sprawling messes of poorly designed/polished gameplay and overwrought stories. Did it always work perfectly? Obviously not, Sonic Team can hardly do anything right even under the best circumstances. Would any of the post-'06 games actually be better if they had a bunch of other playable characters? Not unless you place the number of playable characters far above every other aspect of a game.

Half of Sonic Unleashed is devoted to a beat em up that's honestly pretty bad by any real standard for beat em ups and Sonic Lost World, mechanically, is as unfocused as it gets despite having Sonic as the only guy.  


Sonic Team removed the characters but still designed their games in the same unfocused ways and got slapped down for it accordingly. It's pretty clear to me the problem goes beyond whether the model is Sonic or not.

Colors and Gens are better about this, sure, but if "focus" means more 3 hour games with not much substance I'm not sure if I want that for the series either.

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Snowragnarok

I find if karmically funny how the new character apparently uses Wisps as ammo. They've been stealing the roles of other characters for years and the first Non-Sonic playable in over a decade is now using them as ammunition. 

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Radiant Hero Ike

Modern Sonic's stages are all pretty linear anyways, right? I don't think Tails' flight would really break anything... in my head I'm using Chun-Nan as an example. It'd make those spinny parts with the spike rollers much easier, but other than that I don't see the problem.

Of course, I'm saying this without making any changes to the stage whatsoever. I'm uh... Not very good with level design, but I personally don't see much of a problem. At most they'd maybe have to add those flight extending rings from Adventure for parts like the boosting on water segment.

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Just out of interest for those who do want this stuff back, how would you feel if characters like Tails and Knuckles were in, with their abilities for free use, but the levels remained as restricted as Modern Sonic's design?

Like Tails can fly to this high ledge they designed to be flyable to up above you, but if you try to fly on top of the city buildings lining the path it's just an invisible wall all the way up.  Sure you could leap off the top of the hill overlooking the city at the start of Modern Sonic's level and glide down, but as soon as you're above the fence overlooking the city an invisible wall starts curving you round to keep you on the path.  Or worse, you keep gliding and steadily descend down towards the streets below... but just as you're getting close enough for them to reveal their low-detail nature, knuckles stops and drops down like a rock and dies as he falls straight through the cityscape.

Like there would be areas that ARE compatible with their abilities because the level is designed for it, hell maybe we can go full Sonic Heroes and there are dash rings and coloured walls or whatever to show you which specific areas you're supposed to be using their abilities, with secret areas just being guesswork as to whether this wall is climbable or not etc.

 

Like... how would people feel about this situation?  Multiple characters with multiple abilities sounds very doable in this case, would you consider this better than nothing?  I won't judge either way because I'm a little undecided myself.

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Just now, Indigo Rush said:

It's certainly going to take more than re-skinning Sonic and adding a permanent "Hover" ability or a "Drill + Spikes" ability, but I mean, it's a start?  I don't trust the Sonic Team of today to craft a multi-layered experience ala S3&K these days, but the least they can do is the former. It's better than relegating any variety to a customizeable fursona gimmick and Classic Sonic lite.

I can't give multiple likes so I will just quote this for posterity.

I'd also like to reiterate that customizable fursona lite is the smoking gun at this point that having someone else in the games has long since been feasible as a developmental task. He ironically sticks better to the general feel of the boost games than Classic does from what we've seen so far.

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Just now, Nepenthe said:

No, I'm framing it as you specifically said they took them out to stave off falling sales and widespread outcry. The only thing they fixed was toning down the outcry. But in general,  Sonic is still a joke and sales haven't recovered by much. So at what point do we finally say that there's no reason Tails and Knuckles can't be playable again?

When the series is good again. When it can actually sustain itself on its core merits and not flounder around with a bunch of gimmicks propping up an unsustainably shallow core style.

Just now, Nepenthe said:

It already did settle into a single gameplay identity eight years ago.

That's why we've had the werehog, wisps, Classic Sonic, and the create-a-character, right? This solid, sustainable identity that they can't even make one whole game out of. 

Just now, Nepenthe said:

The fact that you don't like it is a different matter to whether or not the act of programming even a second person in is developmentally feasible.

Again: Not saying it's impossible for them to include a second character. Obviously they can, as they have been, even if that "character" is another Sonic or a character creator. What I'm saying is that it's not actually doing the series any good.

Just now, Nepenthe said:

I disagree that they haven't gotten one thing right. I also disagree with babying professional artists under the assumption that they can't multitask. With Unleashed, they made a new lighting engine that took a generation to finally beat, a new gameplay style that proved fun and popular, and fixed the tone, plotting, and script issues of the game prior. Under this Baby Step routine, we would've been lucky as fuck to get even half of that.

If you want to pray for miracles from a developer who has routinely, consistently, almost universally failed to deliver even on basic premises you're free to do so. I'd rather aim for something reasonably achievable.

9 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

Did you like Sonic 3?

3 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

I don't trust the Sonic Team of today to craft a multi-layered experience ala S3&K these days

Answered yourself.

1 minute ago, Josh said:

Half of Sonic Unleashed is devoted to a beat em up that's honestly pretty bad by any real standard for beat em ups and Sonic Lost World, mechanically, is as unfocused as it gets despite having Sonic as the only guy.  


Sonic Team removed the characters but still designed their games in the same unfocused ways and got slapped down for it accordingly. It's pretty clear to me the problem goes beyond whether the model is Sonic or not.

Yes, I'm well aware that the other characters are not the only problem. I have acknowledged it, repeatedly.

1 minute ago, Josh said:

Colors and Gens are better about this, sure, but if "focus" means more 3 hour games with not much substance I'm not sure if I want that for the series either.

Colors and Gens aren't what I want from the series! I hate the boost! It needs to die, so we can actually get good, sustainable gameplay for the series! That has always been my argument! Do I not, in fact, have a reputation for that around here or what?!

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Radiant Hero Ike

You know, I wonder if they'd bring customization back, but for main characters. I love giving characters in video games different outfits and colors, so being able to put hats and masks and different shoes on Sonic or Shadow would be really cool. I dunno if you'd be able to change the color or not but, yeah.

It'd be cool if you could unlock them by finding hidden stuff in stages, like the Records and Books in Unleashed.

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At this point, we're basically arguing what's beneficial for the series or not lol

 

What Nepenthe wants and what Dio wants are fundamentally different. So the question begs, what are we actually willing to compromise on to satisfy our desires?

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10 minutes ago, JezMM said:

Just out of interest for those who do want this stuff back, how would you feel if characters like Tails and Knuckles were in, with their abilities for free use, but the levels remained as restricted as Modern Sonic's design?

Like Tails can fly to this high ledge they designed to be flyable to up above you, but if you try to fly on top of the city buildings lining the path it's just an invisible wall all the way up.  Sure you could leap off the top of the hill overlooking the city at the start of Modern Sonic's level and glide down, but as soon as you're above the fence overlooking the city an invisible wall starts curving you round to keep you on the path.  Or worse, you keep gliding and steadily descend down towards the streets below... but just as you're getting close enough for them to reveal their low-detail nature, knuckles stops and drops down like a rock and dies as he falls straight through the cityscape.

Like there would be areas that ARE compatible with their abilities because the level is designed for it, hell maybe we can go full Sonic Heroes and there are dash rings and coloured walls or whatever to show you which specific areas you're supposed to be using their abilities, with secret areas just being guesswork as to whether this wall is climbable or not etc.

 

Like... how would people feel about this situation?  Multiple characters with multiple abilities sounds very doable in this case, would you consider this better than nothing?  I won't judge either way because I'm a little undecided myself.

 I wouldn't really be satisfied with this but I guess multiple ways to play a level would be a start on making the boost levels even more replayable/fleshed in their own right even if it's just more character specific routes. We might get a full game at some point if they start thinking about it like that.

5 minutes ago, Kuzu the Boloedge said:

What Nepenthe wants and what Dio wants are fundamentally different. So the question begs, what are we actually willing to compromise on to satisfy our desires?

It wouldn't be hard at all to satisfy both of them.

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2 minutes ago, JezMM said:

Just out of interest for those who do want this stuff back, how would you feel if characters like Tails and Knuckles were in, with their abilities for free use, but the levels remained as restricted as Modern Sonic's design?

Like Tails can fly to this high ledge they designed to be flyable to up above you, but if you try to fly on top of the city buildings lining the path it's just an invisible wall all the way up.  Sure you could leap off the top of the hill overlooking the city at the start of Modern Sonic's level and glide down, but as soon as you're above the fence overlooking the city an invisible wall starts curving you round to keep you on the path.  Or worse, you keep gliding and steadily descend down towards the streets below... but just as you're getting close enough for them to reveal their low-detail nature, knuckles stops and drops down like a rock and dies as he falls straight through the cityscape.

Like there would be areas that ARE compatible with their abilities because the level is designed for it, hell maybe we can go full Sonic Heroes and there are dash rings and coloured walls or whatever to show you which specific areas you're supposed to be using their abilities, with secret areas just being guesswork as to whether this wall is climbable or not etc.

 

Like... how would people feel about this situation?  Multiple characters with multiple abilities sounds very doable in this case, would you consider this better than nothing?  I won't judge either way because I'm a little undecided myself.

I think some linearity is necessary to keep Sonic characters focused in a 3D environment. I'd rather they mainly contextualize the linearity with level design (reasonable corridors and enclosures) or just limits on characters' abilities (make it so Tails simply can't get to a place you don't want him to even with his flight) but if I have to settle for invisible walls, then so be it. Beggars can't be choosers. I'm just trying to advocate for getting these characters' feet back in the door in a way that doesn't infringe on people's sensibilities.

4 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

When the series is good again. When it can actually sustain itself on its core merits and not flounder around with a bunch of gimmicks propping up an unsustainably shallow core style.

So never.

4 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

That's why we've had the werehog, wisps, Classic Sonic, and the create-a-character, right? This solid, sustainable identity that they can't even make one whole game out of. 

Boost gameplay and Wisps have been staples for seven years. Classic Sonic is looking to be one as well. This is a consistent identity in that we can expect certain things from the games going forward. Again, the fact that you don't like it doesn't mean anything to that point.

4 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

If you want to pray for miracles from a developer who has routinely, consistently, almost universally failed to deliver even on basic premises you're free to do so. I'd rather aim for something reasonably achievable.

Fuck outta here. If a miracle is asking for Wisp powers to be exclusive to a different character models they already have on file then you must honestly think Sonic Team is composed of actual children.

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