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Mario and Sonic


Blazey Firekitty

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I've heard a viewpoint espoused that Mario is better than Sonic and that the Sonic series should take cues from the Mario games.

Do you feel this is true?

I won't mince words- I vastly prefer the Mario series to the Sonic series. I find its lighthearted, whimsical tone far more consistent and far more appealing than the ever-fluctuating story tone of the Sonic series. As a whole, I find the Mario cast far more likable as well. (While Eggman is my favorite character of all time, I still prefer the Mario series over the Sonic series, even though Eggman is from it.)

However, I don't think either opinion is "true", since at the end of the day, it all falls to personal preference. Mario and Sonic, I feel, were once very similar franchises with very similar styles- But today, Sonic has moved on to other things, and it scarcely resembles the lighthearted, bouncy world it used to convey. Mario, conversely, still "feels" the same way it always did, at least I think so.

As someone who prefers lighthearted plots, albeit with fleshed out and lovable characters, the Mario series appeals to me more. However, I can see how Sonic's current direction could appeal to some fans more as well, so I'm not arrogantly claiming that my preference is superior, or any more valid than, any other.

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I suppose the Sonic series has been overly obsessed with trying to stay "hip" and "modern" after the Sonic Adventure redesign. Perhaps as games became more like movies, Sonic Team felt the Sonic games had to change to follow suit.

If I read what you wrote correctly, Gordo, Mario never really changed what it was at its core, even as gaming in general changed.

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If I read what you wrote correctly, Gordo, Mario never really changed what it was at its core, even as gaming in general changed.

That's the gist, yes. Mario has obviously changed over time, as all franchises do, with new characters, new plot elements, etc.

But it maintains that same lighthearted, "timeless" feel. The Mario of today is the same Mario I grew up with. Even as new characters and new storylines are introduced, the central themes and constants of the series remain ever true to their origin, and I take great comfort in that familiarity.

Even the "darker" stories, in the Mario RPGs, still have that playful, optimistic, and humorous tone to them. The Mario series can be dramatic, and very effectively at that, but it never does so in a way that feels overtly gritty or edgy.

Edited by El Gran Gordo
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Even the "darker" stories, in the Mario RPGs, still have that playful, optimistic, and humorous tone to them. The Mario series can be dramatic, and very effectively at that, but it never does so in a way that feels overtly gritty or edgy.

I find that these are my favorite fictional stories in general. Those that acknowledge some amount of darkness in the world, but always emphasize a sense of hope.

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A lot of series are better than Sonic. Does that mean it should take cues from all of them?

Mario is better than a lot of series. Does that mean they should all take cues from it?

Mario is great, but Sonic should be doing his own thing. Looking at other games that are out there, seeing what's been done and what hasn't, what works and what doesn't, that's fine, and every company should be doing that. But I don't see why Sonic Team should focus on Mario in particular. After all, originally Sonic stood out because he wasn't Mario; to turn tail and hide behind Mario's tricks doesn't sound much better than the state the series is in now.

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I see things a lot like Diogenes in this case. Everyone should be looking at their competitors (especially the competitors in the same field) to see whats up and down, but at the same time a series has to make its own marks in order to be great. Following down a path set forth by someone else isn

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The only cue I think the Sonic series should take from the Mario one is simply more self-acknowledgement. And really, that's nothing unique to Mario and he overdoes it to be honest. Seeing tunes return from past games, enemies, locations and all that malarkey would give us a better feeling of Sonic's world. Mario over does this by using the same EVERYTHING each game, but it's does provide fans with a nice sense of familiarity.

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Mario over does this by using the same EVERYTHING each game, but it's does provide fans with a nice sense of familiarity.

To be fair, while Mario does reference the past, almost every game in the series has a unique musical score for that specific game. There's always a few token arrangements of classic tunes, but most of the music is completely new.

Locations tend to change a lot too. The Mushroom Kingdom is a big place, even if most games are set somewhere within it- And of course, many games aren't (Dinosaur Land, Isle Delfino, Beanbean Kingdom, outer space, etc.).

Having recurring enemies makes sense though- I mean, Bowser's troops are a mix of various species native to Mario's world, and unlike Eggman, he can't logically "build" a brand new army for each scheme. So I think having largely the same enemies in each game is an acceptable use of this, anyway.

Edited by El Gran Gordo
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With all due respect, Sonic was made to be the antithesis of Mario to steal/attract attention to himself. Despite how his cute appearance may say otherwise, he was made to be edgier and cooler than Mario while making Mario look square. I'm not saying this to resurrect any Sega vs. Nintendo wars or anything, but they are what they are.

Now while there are somethings that can be learned from one another, they both need to make their own paths that lead them to success. For either one to try and be like the other in terms of their style wouldn't do either one of them any better, because then they would be nothing but an obvious shadow of one another, and we don't want that now do we. :P

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With all due respect, Sonic was made to be the antithesis of Mario to steal/attract attention to himself. Despite how his cute appearance may say otherwise, he was made to be edgier and cooler than Mario while making Mario look square. I'm not saying this to resurrect any Sega vs. Nintendo wars or anything, but they are what they are.

Now while there are somethings that can be learned from one another, they both need to make their own paths that lead them to success. For either one to try and be like the other in terms of their style wouldn't do either one of them any better, because then they would be nothing but an obvious shadow of one another, and we don't want that now do we. :P

Yeah, Sonic really needs to play up the cool-angle again. That was a HUGE part of what made people like him in the first place (and please, dont give me the old "that was only due to western marketing"-comments. Sonic was created specifically as a cool character with attitude, and was supposed to come of as cool in Japan as well, it just didn't sit very well with people over there.)

And sure, he cant compete with goory FPS's in terms of "maturity", and he shouldn't try to (or else we end up with more of Shadow the Hedgehog), but there are other ways to convey coolnes and attitude. A cool techno or rock soundtrack, a cool, flashy aestetic with lots of slick shapes and neon colors, cool dialogue filled with witty remarks and smart-assery, ect. You know, something like, say, Jet Set Radio, or the F-Zero games. Sonic Team has shown in the past that they are really good at this stuff, like how they maxed up the coolness level in the two Adventure games with awesome soundtracks, and by consistently having Sonic coming up with sarcastic remarks. Certain newer games like Unleashed however doesn't seem to even try to come of as cool in any shape or form. God, i sure hope they at least bring back the electric guitars for the next 3D game.

Edited by batson
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If you want geniune 'cool' in a Sonic game, you better hope to God that Sega gives Sonic to Platinum Games. The guy in charge of Bayonetta originally created Devil May Cry, and that series is brimming with sheer awesome. If there's anyone you can compare Sonic to, it's Dante, he's practically the M-rated version of Sonic. And if there was anything Devil May Cry was fantastic at, it was style. Dante has absolutely no quams with fighting with a piece of pizza in his mouth, and even answers the phone stylishly!

That being said, I wouldn't mind if they took a couple of cues from Mario, like, say, taking the non-linear route. But for all this talk of Sonic being Mario's opposite, isn't it interesting that they can stand beside each other in, say, the Olympics and look like they were never seperate entities to begin with?

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If you want geniune 'cool' in a Sonic game, you better hope to God that Sega gives Sonic to Platinum Games. The guy in charge of Bayonetta originally created Devil May Cry, and that series is brimming with sheer awesome. If there's anyone you can compare Sonic to, it's Dante, he's practically the M-rated version of Sonic. And if there was anything Devil May Cry was fantastic at, it was style. Dante has absolutely no quams with fighting with a piece of pizza in his mouth, and even answers the phone stylishly!

Well seeing that Sega has worked with Platinum Games recently, it isn't entirely unlikely that they may do more projects in the future. Though it doesn't look likely that they'll actually let them make a Sonic game.

That being said, I wouldn't mind if they took a couple of cues from Mario, like, say, taking the non-linear route. But for all this talk of Sonic being Mario's opposite, isn't it interesting that they can stand beside each other in, say, the Olympics and look like they were never seperate entities to begin with?

And here I thought I was the only one who thought that. :blink: Hell, he even fits in with everything in Brawl!

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Well seeing that Sega has worked with Platinum Games recently, it isn't entirely unlikely that they may do more projects in the future. Though it doesn't look likely that they'll actually let them make a Sonic game.

I would not comment on that just yet. Platinum is making some good games, but last I checked MadWorld isnt flying off the shelves. We will see how Bayonetta fares in sales and Infinite Space is off to a promising start (but what isnt on the mass market of the DS).

If Platinum is making critically acclaimed tittles that are having trouble in sales, than giving them a Sonic tittle to work on could be the perfect solution. Their past is proof that they can do more than blood and gore after all.

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I would not comment on that just yet. Platinum is making some good games, but last I checked MadWorld isnt flying off the shelves. We will see how Bayonetta fares in sales and Infinite Space is off to a promising start (but what isnt on the mass market of the DS).

If Platinum is making critically acclaimed tittles that are having trouble in sales, than giving them a Sonic tittle to work on could be the perfect solution. Their past is proof that they can do more than blood and gore after all.

Platinum Games has a history of making games that never sell terribly well, even when they were Clover Studios. Mainly because the games they make are 'niche'. Infinite Space was the only real exception, besides perhaps Viewtiful Joe. I agree, Sega would not regret handing over Sonic to Hideki Kamiya.

Edited by The Sniper
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