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Does anyone see the irony of the old cartoons to the games of old and new like I do?


The_Soul_Gauge
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It's apparent right now that there are many things people would do to fix their vision of the franchise recently, some of it lies around the franchise having large supporting casts, deep, darker story lines that supposedly are unnecessary (I won't add gimmicks cause, I don't know what gimmicks went into any of these shows), and people just want it to be simple Sonic and Tails stop Robotnik type of game?

Would it surprise anyone that that might not actually work? (those with half a brain would (or should, at least ) think yes, but the rest, hear me out)

Think about it, the old AoStH it wasn't considered great, it had Sonic, Tails, light hearted scenarios and a villain who wasn't called "Eggman" yet it is still the same villain. But the show itself was considered illogical, lazy and just all-around silly. While it is considered at times a fan favourite from (wouldn't you believe it?) the fans, it still didn't make up for the show from being... well... silly. And yet it had what every whiny fanboy/dumb side of the media wanted in Sonic games today, who are absolutely convinced that THAT is the only way to go to fix the franchise.

Now I know that some of the people on these boards especially aren't really pathetic as others in the fandumb or has the media would have you believe, saying it isn't the scenarios than it is the execution that makes good games. Which leads us to SatAM...

It had everything that fandumbasses think Sonic games shouldn't have (well, it shouldn't necessarily need it, but doesn't mean it shouldn't). Darker storyline, character development a villain who was... well still not called "Eggman" (but to their credit this was yonks before SA2 where the name change came from) and a large supporting cast (again I can't add gimmicks, but Sonic I believe had something in the form of weapons at one point or more), these are things the fandumb loathes but they are what made the show great, not to mention that the darker take on the story made the show more epic (altho I think the games that tried achieving dark/serious stories and worked (to an extent at least) was SA2 and Black Knight, but that's my opinion).

I know the shows and the games are two different entities to each other, I mean the flaw with just having a large supporting cast in the games is that you'd have to play as them (or knew that you were going to be given that option at least), but didn't anyone who watched the other characters on the show think, "Damn it, shut up, JUST SHOW ME SONIC ALREADY!"

That's probably not a great example but it's because of what Sonic SatAM did have what made the show popular and likable to begin with.

Is it possible that the games, even after the controversies that followed the games including Unleashed and Black Knight, could still make what people think it shouldn't need/have... work?

That's my two cents. Discuss.

Edited by The_Soul_Gauge
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So, you're saying that SatAM / generic grim storyline was the only way Sonic was ever done right, and you're also saying that Sonic's "cool factor" comes from being dark and serious?

Sheesh, SA2, what have you done? =0

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I'm not sure what you're trying to say, exactly. But to me, "dark" is not the same thing as "well-written."

A lighthearted story can be deep, complex, and well-written, just as a dark story can be flat, boring, and stupid. All too often writers think that darkness alone makes their work really deep, when this is anything but the case.

Personally, I found AoStH and SatAM to both be pretty shallow for different reasons- I enjoyed AoStH, sure, but I'd never call it a "well written" series.

The games were never SatAM, and I don't think they should become it. SatAM is a dystopian world, a "bad future" as it were. But the games are more like a classic superhero story- Colorful, happy, superpowered characters battling against an equally-colorful mad scientist for the fate of the world.

Sure, there's room for "darker" aspects to this plot, but the very essence of the game series is this light, happy feel. To lose that would be to lose something very vital to what makes this version of Sonic what it is. Even though this iteration of Eggman isn't as dark, I'd definitely call him WAY more complex than SatAM's flat villain- This Eggman is deeper than "Rawr, I'm evil" and actually has some depth to his characterization. And personally, I like that.

I don't really see why there's a focus on Eggman's name either, but whatever to that! The Eggman of the games has always been rather silly-looking, even in the older games, so I think the comedic route works for him. And yes, comedic villains can still be intimidating if they're written properly to be so, so this isn't a character flaw, nor is his sympathetic side.

By the way, Sonic Adventure 2- the game lauded for being so "dark"- was the game that introduced many of these sympathetic traits in the first place. SA2 is nothing like SatAM, even if it was one of the franchise's darker games.

Edited by El Gran Gordo
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It's easy to separate the cartoons from the games, because the cartoons are off doing their own thing with absolutely no bearing on the overall series.

The Sonic games started out colorful and lighthearted - SatAM did not. The Sonic games gradually sported a darker and edgier look to it (which turned out to be immature and retardedly delivered), SatAM already had that to begin with. That's why complaints made about the games don't and shouldn't pertain to other forms of media, and vice-versa.

The Sonic games are pretty lighthearted (or are meant to be, since that's what made Sonic Sonic), and they don't need dark aspects to make anything "work". For those who care about story and character development, it just needs better writers.

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A lighthearted story can be deep, complex, and well-written, just as a dark story can be flat, boring, and stupid. All too often writers think that darkness alone makes their work really deep, when this is anything but the case.

A perfect example of this is the Paper Mario series. The stories were really lighthearted and dark at the same time, kind of like a balance. I think another good example is Sonic Unleashed cause the story was relatively lighthearted (just about every Sonic game, except for 2006 was pretty lighthearted to a certain extent.

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Well my point was, that just because it's dark (no matter how well written, like you said), it doesn't mean it's bad. It's just that thought I think alot of people don't grasp.

In too many places I've in, many people complain that the series was trying to be too dark when it shouldn't be, when all that was needed is that it just had to be written well. Even if you try to explain that to someone, they'll just shoot it down because it's not their vision of the perfect Sonic franchise. And SatAM was considered a great show because it was written well (I should have expressed that more, sorry XP). It was gritty and dark and had a large cast of characters who eventually developed, but it was successful as a show as a whole because of the writing and the style.

Anyway, I didn't EXACTLY compare SatAM and SA2, but now that you brought it up, it had serious moments, Sonic being his usual self, Eggman was a BADASS villain (sending Sonic down a pod to explode in space, if that doesn't make an awesome villain trait, I don't know what does), good story, and character development (at least, knowing why Shadow is why he is).

Anyway, the point is, just because something is dark, serious and put into a Sonic game, doesn't mean it won't work. And AoStH and SatAM are prime examples of how executions works.

Edited by The_Soul_Gauge
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And SatAM was considered a great show because it was written well (I should have expressed that more, sorry XP). It was gritty and dark and had a large cast of characters who eventually developed, but it was successful as a show as a whole because of the writing and the style

SatAM "worked" as it were because it was the right concept at the right time with a popular licence tangentially related just enough for it to be briefly popular. Not necessarily because it was a fantastic and original take on the Sonic franchise. To say that SatAM worked completely against what the fans say shouldn't completely ignores that point.

Unlike Sonic Adventure 2, SatAM was dark for the sake of being dark because that was the cool thing for Saturday morning cartoons of the time rather than the creative freedom and depth the dark situations allowed. I can rattle off half a dozen shows that had essentially the same concept at roughly the same time (or slightly before), and SatAM ultimately failed because the show was created at the tail-end of the "fad" (if you will). It was gritty and dark, but it was also shallow and nearly all of the characters (bar Bunnie) were one-dimensional archetypes that were never expanded in any way as the show went on (then they added a talking dragon in series 2). Which is pretty much the same problem the "super serious" games in the franchise suffer from (If I was to relate the series to corresponding games in the franchise, SatAM would be like ShtH).

At the same time, AoStH didn't work (which in itself is arguable) because it was a TV show targeted at an age bracket that the actual games weren't targeted at. As such, it really has no bearing what the cartoons were doing that made them successful or not (and as El Gran Gordo opined, the difference in depth of writing was barely any different between the two shows anyways) because there are far more factors that determined their success than merely what they brought to the table; to say nothing of Jake's point of how their paths were completely different from the start.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if a Sonic show like AoStH released now went on to be a smash success and a show like SatAM to bomb completely; to the extent that I would probably expect it to happen.

Edited by Tornado
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Another example, on GameFAQs, there was a guy a hated SATBK before it came out (surprise), and I said, "Well, if it was done right then it shouldn't be all bad, no matter what the concept." But then he went argued that it was a stupid idea altogether. Not to mention I've even tried to explain that it's a spin-off, and he was still being an ignorant twat (which is odd, because he's not really an idiot like most of the people I meet on there).

Again I'm not using a great example but, just because something is out of place doesn't mean it won't work. It's all about the execution.

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Ok, When I see a bunch of randomly placed all caps emphasis words in a post, it becomes tl;dr.

I did skim it though, and from what I can tell, you're arguing in favor of darker story lines. Your pining for dark storylines in Sonic games is tantamount to asking for a plot sequel to Shadow the Hedgehog.

A perfect example of this is the Paper Mario series. The stories were really lighthearted and dark at the same time, kind of like a balance. I think another good example is Sonic Unleashed cause the story was relatively lighthearted (just about every Sonic game, except for 2006 was pretty lighthearted to a certain extent.

I would call Unleashed story an example of a "deep, complex and well written" story. It was actually pretty bad. It seems for most of the game that they didn't bother doing anything past an excuse plot, then it suddenly decides that it wants to try and be serious and symbolic. It managed to fail at both, because you still have a bunch of pointless stuff to wade though up to that point and their attempt at being serious afterwards falls flat... Just like SA 2's entire story.

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The Sonic games started out colorful and lighthearted - SatAM did not. The Sonic games gradually sported a darker and edgier look to it (which turned out to be immature and retardedly delivered), SatAM already had that to begin with. That's why complaints made about the games don't and shouldn't pertain to other forms of media, and vice-versa.

Yeah, the games started off the light-heartedness of the franchise that everyone holds so dear, but imagine you found the Sonic SatAM show after a year or two playing the games, and found it heavily contrasts to what you see when you were playing the games and shun it for being that way (the fanboyism). Now, imagine the exact same thing only this time with AoStH and you enjoy, no matter the laziness of it, everyone would be on it like magnets on a fridge door. (Note: this doesn't include people who look love anything with Sonic's face on it, which I'll admit are smarter people because they are at least giving the show a chance).

I'm not saying that they should make Sonic dark, I'm not saying that they HAVE to follow the examples of the shows, I'm saying with everyone always jumping to conclusions with Sonic recently, saying that, "Sonic shouldn't be close to anything like that", or "shouldn't be looking like that", or "shouldn't be holding that". I'm just saying that the SatAM show did alot of those things and was a hit, regardless. Would it be possible that (if done right) Sonic can achieve that as well?

Again, I'm not saying they SHOULD, I'm not hinting to Sonic Team to get better writers (although they should, regardless), I'm saying that because he's in a different environment, doesn't mean he won't survive. I believe in going forward instead of going backward just because people can't accept it. But still, Sonic needs to be careful of what he's stepping into. Still, Sonic Team is capable of great good, no matter how absurd (okay, maybe they need to cut a bit back on the absurdity pills), but they should at least try to make it as good, enjoyable and subtle as possible, so people can stop bitching about it.

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Actually, SatAM has its share of criticism because of those factors - it's not exactly the most beloved cartoon among the fanbase (from what I've seen, the OVA by Studio Pierrot and AoStH tend to hold that reign).

I'm the kind who views each medium as something that mostly should be judged by itself. I hold only a few ideals that I want to see widespread among the different Sonic media, such as "no romance," but I don't necessarily mind it when one Sonic medium does something that contrasts another (unless it's something dumb like Sonic Underground).

I enjoyed SatAM. It's one of my favorite Sonic animations, despite a number of its flaws. I'm saying this as someone who would rather not see game Sonic tread the same path. I would prefer to keep them separate, and I don't want to see the games deviate from what makes their core so enduring.

Sorry if I'm misinterpreting what you're saying (it's a tad hard to follow), but anyway, I still stand by my points.

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Ok, When I see a bunch of randomly placed all caps emphasis words in a post, it becomes tl;dr.

Force of habit, I'll work on it, but I redone it so you can read through (except for abbreviations like SA2)

I did skim it though, and from what I can tell, you're arguing in favor of darker story lines. Your pining for dark storylines in Sonic games is tantamount to asking for a plot sequel to Shadow the Hedgehog.

I'm not arguing in favour of it, I'm just pointing out that Sonic has been in dark material before the 3D transition. I know it shouldn't need to, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't have to.

But I see where everyone's coming from, so maybe I'm going about it the wrong way. By the end, we all want something that's well-written and well thought out, whether or not it is dark or not.

Again, it's just that I've seen people complain mainly because it was simply dark, not because it wasn't written well (they do blame that, but they blame the serious take on that), and while it's excusable to say that about games like Shadow and 06, alot of why those stories didn't work, while they were heavy contrasts compared to their predecessors and unnecessarily dark and serious (altho given the priors' main character, it was something I expected), it wasn't well constructed.

Shadow's story was all over the place, and 06's story, quite frankly should have been more subtle (altho Silver's story had a pretty good concept which unfortunately contained a lot of plot holes concerning Blaze).

Alot of that subtlety that was seen in SatAM.

But, of course, it shouldn't necessarily mean it should be dark, it's not why we know Sonic. I'm saying it's worked before, why can't it work again? And I do acknowledge the show and the games from being to different entites, but it doesn't give them the right to not actually try getting something well developed. Altho I'll admit that I'm probably asking too much.

Sorry if I'm misinterpreting what you're saying (it's a tad hard to follow), but anyway, I still stand by my points.

I'll admit, I sometimes find it hard to follow myself sometimes. But I do know what I'm talking about, and I won't make Sonic an exception to anything even if it's as out of place like holding a sword. Even with my clear knowledge that other franchises manage to get away with it. But that doesn't mean I won't find it absurd to begin with. Regardless, I was actually interested with the Werehog because it did contrast to the regular Sonic gameplay, and I also find that a gameplay focused on slow platforming to be a good concept no matter how afraid of the Werehog people might be.

Edited by The_Soul_Gauge
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I'm just saying that the SatAM show did alot of those things and was a hit, regardless.

Again, because it was the right idea at the right time. Not because it was a particularly good take on the series, something the fanbase has backlashed against it for in recent years.

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Another example, on GameFAQs, there was a guy a hated SATBK before it came out (surprise), and I said, "Well, if it was done right then it shouldn't be all bad, no matter what the concept." But then he went argued that it was a stupid idea altogether. Not to mention I've even tried to explain that it's a spin-off, and he was still being an ignorant twat (which is odd, because he's not really an idiot like most of the people I meet on there).
And I stand by what I said.

Assuming it was me who said it. It sounds like me...

As for the actual topic at hand, first off I'd argue that, between AoStH and SatAM, AoStH is the more entertaining show. Hell, I think AoStH Robotnik alone is better than anything SatAM produced. And I don't see why it would need to "make up" for being silly. Silly isn't in itself a negative trait, and AoStH used its silliness for humor's sake.

In any case, I don't think either show is what the games should be like. If they're going to be like any Sonic show, it should be the OVA. *nod*

As far as "dark" just needing to be written well to work, I don't necessarily agree. I have no faith in the idea that anything can work as long as it's written well. Mario in GTA would not work. Nor would Master Chief in the Mushroom Kingdom. Or at least, not without making serious compromises to the underlying structures of those series. And that's the key; people believe (IMO quite rightly) that, if Sonic were to do well-written "dark", it would be compromising some of the things that make Sonic Sonic. And if Sonic isn't going to be Sonic, why even bother having it be a Sonic game in the first place? Things should be made to make use of the qualities they have, not just shoehorned in without regard for what it's made of. Going back to the shows for a minute, the reason SatAM can get away with it is because SatAM Sonic obviously isn't game Sonic. The former is based on the latter, obviously, but SatAM builds a whole other universe from the start, and is very obviously separate and incompatible with the game universe. It's allowed to go off and do something different because it is something different. Saying game Sonic can do "dark" because SatAM did is like saying AoStH can do dark for the same reason, or that SatAM can do lighthearted and goofy because AoStH did.

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Well, to make it a bit easier to understand where I'm coming from (without having to compare the TV shows this time), I'm going to quote Tristan Oliver from TSSZ News in his Black Knight review, about his take on the very concept of the game itself and analyzes the media's/fandom's take on it...

"I subscribe to the philosophy that all things must evolve at some point, and that each individual stage of evolution should be judged on its own merits. Current Sonic is not classic Sonic, and I

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As far as "dark" just needing to be written well to work, I don't necessarily agree. I have no faith in the idea that anything can work as long as it's written well. Mario in GTA would not work. Nor would Master Chief in the Mushroom Kingdom. Or at least, not without making serious compromises to the underlying structures of those series. And that's the key; people believe (IMO quite rightly) that, if Sonic were to do well-written "dark", it would be compromising some of the things that make Sonic Sonic. And if Sonic isn't going to be Sonic, why even bother having it be a Sonic game in the first place? Things should be made to make use of the qualities they have, not just shoehorned in without regard for what it's made of.

I wouldn't call adding darker undertones to the Sonic series a compromise of what makes it enjoyable (nor would I compare such additions to obviously conflicting crossovers), especially when some of the story, level design, and musical elements we've seen from its earliest days have held a sinister air about them. Regardless, even if the Sonic series had always been as bright and cheery as the average Dora episode, this doesn't necessarily indicate that completely opposing tones cannot be done tastefully. If anything, the positive reaction to the Epic Mickey game attests to that. And conversely, sticking to what one considers the "right tone" doesn't always guarantee success if Heroes and its cheesy motifs have anything to say about that.

It's come to my attention that while certain fans have it firmly ingrained in their own minds what a permanent or overlying aesthetic mantra for this series should be, it's still ultimately subjective and thus the issue is hardly as solidified they would like to have me to believe. From my own observations, the Sonic series in the majority of its mediums has traveled to both ends of the spectrum, from manic to mature, in the past and in the present, and thus I'd like to imagine that it's actually always encompassed a focus on variety and depth in its tones instead of only the highly popular Green Hill Zone-esque classic atmosphere.

Nevertheless, I will agree that the use of other mediums in the franchise to justify the game's tones is a little odd. They're separate universes after all; They can get away with it much more easily. xP

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Well, to make it a bit easier to understand where I'm coming from (without having to compare the TV shows this time), I'm going to quote Tristan Oliver from TSSZ News in his Black Knight review, about his take on the very concept of the game itself and analyzes the media's/fandom's take on it...

"I subscribe to the philosophy that all things must evolve at some point, and that each individual stage of evolution should be judged on its own merits. Current Sonic is not classic Sonic, and I’m not sure it’s trying to be. That’s fine by me. Equally acceptable in my eyes is that Sonic and the Black Knight is almost purely based on a “gimmick,” and while it and Sonic Unleashed may be the equivalent of snake oil salesmen, the former is being honest about what’s being sold. Those trying to blast the game on the basis that it’s not classic Sonic likely were in the same group appalled at the game’s initial announcement, and were never going to give SBK a fair shake from the beginning." ~Tristan Olver

That's mainly the kind of point I was trying to get across with the style of the games. It's not totally what I've been trying to say this whole time, but it's a good statement nonetheless.

I dislike new Sonic games because they aren't fun, not because they aren't like classic Sonic. The reason I'm such a proponent of the classic games is because they contain solutions to most of the problems Sonic faces. Adventure 1 also contains a few, leaving only the camera to be sorted. If you want a more detailed explanation, well, I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

I wouldn't call adding darker undertones to the Sonic series a compromise of what makes it enjoyable (nor would I compare such additions to obviously conflicting crossovers), especially when some of the story, level design, and musical elements we've seen from its earliest days have held a sinister air about them. Regardless, even if the Sonic series had always been as bright and cheery as the average Dora episode, this doesn't necessarily indicate that completely opposing tones cannot be done tastefully. If anything, the positive reaction to the Epic Mickey game attests to that. And conversely, sticking to what one considers the "right tone" doesn't always guarantee success if Heroes and its cheesy motifs have anything to say about that.

You seem to have misread Dio's post, because you're response has little to do with it.

If you try to add darker elements into a story that once held a sense of wonder, that turns that amazement in the face of creativity into fear of the unknown.

You know you cited a game that all we know about it is a few sentences from a press release and a handful of promotional drawings, right? I already didn't like them when I saw them and think that the novelty of that idea is going to wear off pretty fast. It's just exploiting the shock value of seeing Disney characters horribly deformed.

Also, Heroes is not the right tone, it was the clumsy attempt at the correct tone.

It's come to my attention that while certain fans have it firmly ingrained in their own minds what a permanent or overlying aesthetic mantra for this series should be, it's still ultimately subjective and thus the issue is hardly as solidified they would like to have me to believe. From my own observations, the Sonic series in the majority of its mediums has traveled to both ends of the spectrum, from manic to mature, in the past and in the present, and thus I'd like to imagine that it's actually always encompassed a focus on variety and depth in its tones instead of only the highly popular Green Hill Zone-esque classic atmosphere.

"Surrealism vs. "Realism" is not on the same scale as "maturity/menace". Both the new games and the classics hav wide varieties of environments, but the classics had an extra dose of the impossible. For example, Ice Cap Zone. Regular mountain, right? I don't know how many mountains contain several story high caverns made from ice that lead to swooping glaciers. The classic games have quite a bit more creativity about them than anything out in the last ten years.

As for my specific opinion on darker/more serious elements in Sonic games, it's a case of there not being any pieces with which to make a serious story. Batman works in less serious scenarios because he's a grown man dressed like a bat who fights crime. He works in more serious scenarios because he fights crime because his parents were killed by a random criminal and he dresses up like that so he can use fear as a weapon. Sonic doesn't have anything like that, he's a cartoon hedgehog. If you try and make a serious story about Sonic, you're shoehorning in something foreign where there's no place for it.

Edited by Phos
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When people talk about "dark" aspects of Sonic games, they often fail to discern between two completly different kinds of so called "darnkess" . Namely, there is the kind of, shall we say, more "shallow" darkness found in games such as Shadow the Hedgehog, which tries to make something come of as mature by incorporating blood, guns, curse words, "cool" music (like metal and such) and often a litteraly dark color palatte. And i personaly think that such things should mostly be kept out of Sonic games (except the music). The other kind of "darkness" though has more to do with storyline, and this is a kind of darnkess that i for one do not oppose to the Sonic series having. Serious themes like death and war have been touched upon in the series as early as the two Adventure games, and i never felt that i was inapropriate or contrasted to much with the look of the characters and their world.

So yeah, i like serious storylines, but as for bad language and guns and such, it should only appear if it is really necassery to the plot. Shadow as we all know had a lot of that stuff fore the sole reason of trying to make the game look mature, and that's stupid. I dont however support the notion that things like that MUST be kept out of Sonic games NO MATTER WHAT. Sonic's universe just gets a litte TO suggary if we are to believe that such things as guns or cursing simply doesn't exist. So if there is a good reason to include those things, the series should be allowed to do it.

Edited by batson
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A perfect example of this is the Paper Mario series. The stories were really lighthearted and dark at the same time, kind of like a balance. I think another good example is Sonic Unleashed cause the story was relatively lighthearted (just about every Sonic game, except for 2006 was pretty lighthearted to a certain extent.

Agreed 100%. Sonic can be lighthearted fun, yet complex just like Paper Mario. A good-ish Sonic example would be SA2 (and SA). Yes, the story could be called 'dark', but it had so much more. There were well-delivered jokes ("Having Knuckles fly the ship is more dangerous than you'd ever be"), quirky elements (skating down the hill), and the story just felt like it was a bunch of super heroes saving the world from a bunch of villians. Simple yet complex. Lighthearted yet dark. Just as a Sonic game should be.

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I dislike new Sonic games because they aren't fun, not because they aren't like classic Sonic. The reason I'm such a proponent of the classic games is because they contain solutions to most of the problems Sonic faces. Adventure 1 also contains a few, leaving only the camera to be sorted. If you want a more detailed explanation, well, I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

Believe me, Phos, I think this way too. You (and the Sonic Science site) are not the only ones.

As for my specific opinion on darker/more serious elements in Sonic games, it's a case of there not being any pieces with which to make a serious story. Batman works in less serious scenarios because he's a grown man dressed like a bat who fights crime. He works in more serious scenarios because he fights crime because his parents were killed by a random criminal and he dresses up like that so he can use fear as a weapon. Sonic doesn't have anything like that, he's a cartoon hedgehog. If you try and make a serious story about Sonic, you're shoehorning in something foreign where there's no place for it.

Very well put. Sonic is a bright cartoon character from a bright cartoon world, and why some people here believe that giving Sonic dark themes and complexity is beyond me. I mean, sure, storylines shouldn't be really goofy like an AoSTH episode, but neither should it have to do with angst and post-apocolyptic worlds. Think of the OVA. Not exactly too serious, but not too silly either.

Edited by Azukara
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When people talk about "dark" aspects of Sonic games, they often fail to discern between two completly different kinds of so called "darnkess" . Namely, there is the kind of, shall we say, more "shallow" darkness found in games such as Shadow the Hedgehog, which tries to make something come of as mature by incorporating blood, guns, curse words, "cool" music (like metal and such) and often a litteraly dark color palatte. And i personaly think that such things should mostly be kept out of Sonic games (except the music). The other kind of "darkness" though has more to do with storyline, and this is a kind of darnkess that i for one do not oppose to the Sonic series having. Serious themes like death and war have been touched upon in the series as early as the two Adventure games, and i never felt that i was inapropriate or contrasted to much with the look of the characters and their world.

I second that notion. It's actually the reason Pixar's movies are so appealing to nearly any demographic. They carry the lighthearted, fun and cartoony tone, look, and atmosphere, but underneath it, has a deep, interesting, and involving plot that goes beyond your ordinary saturday morning cartoon.

As for my specific opinion on darker/more serious elements in Sonic games, it's a case of there not being any pieces with which to make a serious story. Batman works in less serious scenarios because he's a grown man dressed like a bat who fights crime. He works in more serious scenarios because he fights crime because his parents were killed by a random criminal and he dresses up like that so he can use fear as a weapon. Sonic doesn't have anything like that, he's a cartoon hedgehog. If you try and make a serious story about Sonic, you're shoehorning in something foreign where there's no place for it.

Take a movie like Up.

"A sprawlling, adventurous film with thrilling action, hilarious comedy, real scares, effecting emotional depth. It has the guts to occasionally be profoundly sad, but the skill to parlay that sadness into jump up and cheer moments of reclaimed joy."

-Escape to the Movies, Up

Like baston said, there's a difference between gritty and deep. Sonic can have a deep and interesting plot, but that doesn't mean having to sacrifice tone and atmosphere.

Another example, and probably a better one at that, take the Mother series. Lighthearted, fun and kid friendly tones, but underneath have very deep, and even dark plots that have often have very bittersweet, gut wrenching emotional depth to it. But it has the skill to have both cartoony, lighthearted themes and dark, deep, and emotional themes without sacrificing either and without having too much of the other.

I'm not saying that Sonic should have the kind of depth as Mother, but my point is, it can have it and still stay true to what it really is, a fun and cartoony action adventure franchise and that there can be a place for it.

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So... what problems did Sonic Adventure cover that other games fail to grasp? I find Sonic Adventure to be pretty crappy overall. Mildly entertaining, but its tedious with numerous glitches, bad controls, and horrible camera, and the character's moves don't really work that great, either. I do think it had a couple things right, such as playing as one character throughout the game, but otherwise, I found SA2 to be superior on all levels (especially plot and music). The plot in SA isn't that bad... but the voices and cheesiness of the dialog completely ruin it.

As far as the "darkness" goes, I don't mind a lighthearted, but still dark plot overall (SA2, Sonic Chronicles, and Unleashed), but SatAM is a horrible example. It is absolutely incomparable to modern Sonic games, and frankly, I don't even care for the plots I've heard about to begin with. Shadow and Sonic '06 are definitely overly dark... I didn't mind 06's plotline that much, but it still needs more of a lighthearted feel like in other titles. SA just has horrible dialog, but the plot isn't half bad.

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If you try to add darker elements into a story that once held a sense of wonder, that turns that amazement in the face of creativity into fear of the unknown.

If we're focusing strictly on the story itself, then I must ask you where was this sense of wonder in the first place? As far as I'm concerned, the story was an afterthought, a barebones good guy vs. bad guy scenario arbitrarily added to give the boss fights some context, and something that could be easily ignored in the experience of playing. The Knuckles debacle added a new element, but overall the narrative was such a small part of the package and subsequently underdeveloped and lifeless that I'd argue it didn't even have a tone beyond generic, which is perhaps a good thing. Sonic going through various environments to stop Eggman is a highly pliable outline; You can add nearly anything to it, dark elements and light elements, without sacrificing the foundation of the story.

You know you cited a game that all we know about it is a few sentences from a press release and a handful of promotional drawings, right?

Indeed I did, and I hoped to make it known that I knew the game is in early development stages by citing that people's mere reactions were positive. Nevertheless, I hoped I would have made my point: While many fans immediately reacted to the image of the silly-looking Werehog with loathing, another company has taken a creation that was arguably more cheerful and bastardized it far worse, yet some of these same people are falling head over heels for it. This is irrational to me and only serves to make me question how the controversial, if comparatively tame elements of even Sonic '06 are going too far if we can manage to enjoy a two-faced, three-armed, Mickey Mouse spider android. xD

Both the new games and the classics hav wide varieties of environments, but the classics had an extra dose of the impossible. For example, Ice Cap Zone. Regular mountain, right? I don't know how many mountains contain several story high caverns made from ice that lead to swooping glaciers. The classic games have quite a bit more creativity about them than anything out in the last ten years.

I think you underestimate the newer games' implausibility. I mean, look at Casinopolis. How many casinos do you know carry pinball machines where you yourself not only become the pinball, but can also enter extra dimensions and rooms somehow stored within the machine? And how many casinos would have the legal grounds to drop any losers of their games into a sewer and trash system that is possibly four or five times larger than the entire establishment itself? And if you want a natural environment for a better comparison, then what about Green Forest/White Jungle? That entire section on Prison Island was impossibly high and littered with vines with the elasticity of bungee cords and the strength of a rail, floating chambers of rock and vegetation, moss covered half-pipes, and waterfalls actually pouring from the trees. I wouldn't say that either level is too realistic despite each game's overall atmosphere, would you?

Edited by Nepenthe
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I'd say the issue isn't making the series more "dark", but making the characters more relatable.

To it's credit, I don't feel that the game series has completely screwed up at this. Sometimes the characters feel shallow and stereotypical, but for me they feel like real, likable people about as often.

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So... what problems did Sonic Adventure cover that other games fail to grasp?

SA 1 handled on the ground movement the right way, apart from the way touching a wall brought you to a halt.

If we're focusing strictly on the story itself, then I must ask you where was this sense of wonder in the first place? As far as I'm concerned, the story was an afterthought, a barebones good guy vs. bad guy scenario arbitrarily added to give the boss fights some context, and something that could be easily ignored in the experience of playing. The Knuckles debacle added a new element, but overall the narrative was such a small part of the package and subsequently underdeveloped and lifeless that I'd argue it didn't even have a tone beyond generic, which is perhaps a good thing. Sonic going through various environments to stop Eggman is a highly pliable outline; You can add nearly anything to it, dark elements and light elements, without sacrificing the foundation of the story.

Indeed I did, and I hoped to make it known that I knew the game is in early development stages by citing that people's mere reactions were positive. Nevertheless, I hoped I would have made my point: While many fans immediately reacted to the image of the silly-looking Werehog with loathing, another company has taken a creation that was arguably more cheerful and bastardized it far worse, yet some of these same people are falling head over heels for it. This is irrational to me and only serves to make me question how the controversial, if comparatively tame elements of even Sonic '06 are going too far if we can manage to enjoy a two-faced, three-armed, Mickey Mouse spider android. xD

I think you underestimate the newer games' implausibility. I mean, look at Casinopolis. How many casinos do you know carry pinball machines where you yourself not only become the pinball, but can also enter extra dimensions and rooms somehow stored within the machine? And how many casinos would have the legal grounds to drop any losers of their games into a sewer and trash system that is possibly four or five times larger than the entire establishment itself? And if you want a natural environment for a better comparison, then what about Green Forest/White Jungle? That entire section on Prison Island was impossibly high and littered with vines with the elasticity of bungee cords and the strength of a rail, floating chambers of rock and vegetation, moss covered half-pipes, and waterfalls actually pouring from the trees. I wouldn't say that either level is too realistic despite each game's overall atmosphere, would you?

1. The sense of wonder came from the environments. The best example is arriving at Sky Sanctuary Zone. You arrive at a floating ruin via an ancient teleporter (With

playing, of course), and see the Death Egg emerge from the clouds. That's by no means the only example. Flying Battery Zone has you running all over a giant airship that manages to feel almost alive with all the stuff going on inside of it.

2. EVERY game seems great at the concept art stage.

3. Yeah, Sonic is the ball, but to the player, it's just another pinball table.

Green Forest/White Jungle's altitude are most likely lazy game design rather than an intentional artistic decision, but would still fall flat because the environment isn't at all convincing. It seems that the designer (probably Iizuka) forgot that the player should be able to move in more than two dimensions without coming to a bottomless pit.

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