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Do preferences "ruin" the series?


Rey Skywalker-Ren
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Inspired by a conversation surrounding this video on other parts

(I thought there was a kids react but yeah)

Most of the conervations around this that I hear is that "this is why Sonic 4 exists, these kids want more speed etc". It's not just this, I see it a lot when the modern games are criticized for giving unskilled players a hand. Of course, I am someone who came into the series, very late and started off with the later games before playing the classics. 

To be honest, I had this question in my mind ever since and I did some thinking; if the series started out one way and that way is what got people to love the series, why didn't they stick with it in the first place? I am guessing it is to draw more fans, however them experimenting did get them on the wrong track. They tried to reboot with Sonic 06, was a failure. They tried to reboot with Sonic 4, was a failure. 

So, simply speaking, going back to Sonic 3 and Knuckles' play style, wouldn't that be the right thing to do? I know we have our preferences however most preferences don't align with that Sonic is, that is the problem. It took my some time to realise that. That what I wanted in a Sonic game and others, are not what Sonic is all about. Thus, I am starting to think that fans and prefrences are kinda what is killing the series.

What do you think? Do you think preferences kill the series?

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Not really. More like poor implementation hurts the series.

Everyone's gonna have their preferences, some rigid, some flexible. So the only thing it would kill in that regard would be a particular fan's interest in the series. But this series is still going strong for 25+ years, and ShTH, Sonic 06, and Boom seem to show that the only thing that will kill this series is whether Sega loses interest in it.

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No media can survive for 20+ years without a little bit of change and experimentation, especially when its most pivotal years are in a decade as chaotic and constantly-changing as the 90's.  Sonic needed to make the transition into 3D, for example. It would have been financially suicidal not to follow a trend that was rapidly evolving from a novelty to a standard.  Yes, it was a gamble, but it was necessary if Sonic were to survive in a changing market.

Having preferences isn't really a bad thing, and while the fragmented fanbase can be a problem, I don't think it's what ultimately hinders Sega from making a competently-built game.  I think a lot of that boils down to mismanagement, lack of communication between branches, and just an apparent lack of skills in general.  Bad ideas don't have to automatically equate to a bad game. 

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For a quick moment there I thought this was my old topic.

But I will say that while personal preferences can ruin our own enjoyment of a series, I don't think offhand they hurt the series itself… unless fans get crazy out of hand in someway by sending the company strong mixed messages how to make their products. I don't think it's wrong for the company to try new things and evolve... I dono about you but I don't want 100 of more or less the same exact game in a row. Change for the sake of change isn't good of course... but that doesn't mean any form of change or new ideas are automatically bad and should be thrown away. I understanding wanting more stability out of the series... but I think many fans take that idea to the far extreme where they basically are just asking for DLC/extension packs for past games pretending it's a new game while thinking that‘s how it should be and anything else is wrong. My opinion is the series indeed needs to have more consistency... while still not trapping itself inside a tiny box of allowed ideas, and at the same time the fans need to loosing up a bit and stop crying every single time a Sonic game is made that doesn’t perfectly match their wishes… that last part is basically impossible at this point however.

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Would a Sonic Advance 4 be as appealing as the first 3? Would a 5th Rush like game be as cool as the first 3? If there were a few dozen Sonic games similar to each of these styles, most people would get bored at around the 5th installment. A few people wouldn't (I'd take on 6-8 Sonic Rush games with pleasure), but most would get bored. The only reason there are new games revisiting the classic system is because its a 25 year old, nostalgic system. 

Sonic has to change every so often to be fun and interesting. There is nothing wrong with this, because the vast majority of the time, he is hugely successful at changing, with successful and well made systems almost everytime. Sure, fans may prefer different systems, for example, I prefer the Sonic Rush style over the classic and Advance style.  But these main games are similar enough for me to hugely enjoy all these systems. In the end, these systems are only slight modifications, and their gameplay is largely the same. I'm not talking about spin-offs, like Sonic Boom and Black Knight BTW.  

If you don't enjoy the system Sonic uses, than you wouldn't exactly play it (unless you want fuel for mindless hate). A lot of hate Sonic gets these days is literally,  "I enjoyed this as a child, but I don't enjoy it anymore therefore it's bad". Preferences change A LOT, but your preference doesn't mean something is working, or will continue to work. Not to say there is anything wrong with preferring something, like the old Sonic games, especcially when they are mostly great games. 

Also, as for the people complaining about the hand-holding, It's mostly because of the haters that Sonic has become like that. Do you know how many state that the classic Sonic games are "bad" because they require several playthroughs to go fast and do well in? Even though there is absolutely not one thing wrong with that. So many people expect to be able to go at high speeds (and pretend to be pros) without actually being good enough to go fast. What's is the point of having speed as a reward, if it only takes 3 playthroughs to goddamn perfect a stage?! Anyone heard of bullet hell games? You have to do a few dozen playthroughs to do decent in them.

Oh yea, it's completely fine to bash Sonic Adventure series for being outside of your preference. Especcially SA2, since that forces you to play other gamestyles. It's like being forced to buy a multipack of pens just so you can get your favourite blue pen, and for a lot of people, that is not ok. I enjoyed the other gamestyles though :P

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Well, for people like me, its a matter of being open-minded. Just because a style isn't your favorite doesn't mean that you can't find it enjoyable or good. I know that Boost is my favorite style, but I also enjoy Parkour and respect the Classic and Adventure formulas. Likewise, I find that most fans tend to be forgiving of stuff they normally dislike if its done properly-- for example, if Sonic actually does dark stuff right, the fans will still be happy even though darkness in Sonic has a massive stigma attached to it. The general public tends to feel similarly, though the positivity tends to be delayed by a few years.

Yet on the other hand, if your preferences change, you might not like to play games you used to enjoy anymore. As of right now, Sonic Colors is my favorite Sonic game, but if I decided that I preferred slower paced games or games that don't demand good muscle memory, I probably wouldn't like it anymore.  I'm sure preference changes have happened with lots of other fans too.

So no, I don't think preferences have to ruin your experience with Sonic, but it can. They're not bad to have on their own though-- its a natural part of being a human to form them so you might as well embrace them.

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Personal preference can ruin your own enjoyment as with the case with most things.

Though personal preferences for good video games might ruin your enjoyment of bad games. Which is Sega's segas mass problem made of other big problems many of them mentioned by tara already

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