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Whatever the WhoCares

Do you want a long, drawn-out game?

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This game looks like it could be as short as Colors or as long as Unleashed. If all we're doing is playing levels and watching cutscenes, it'll definitely be more like the former. But if there's anything to do between the levels, along with a big, epic story, we could get something similar to Unleashed. I very much hope we get something at least 5 hours long, and ideally, I really would like a story as long as Unleashed's. It's rare that I say this about a modern game, but Sonic Forces could do with a bit of fluff. 

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Noh

Sonic go FEST

 

Bring me back, don't force me to stay.

I'd rather replay Generations with different skills, or Mania with the Insta-Shield or Knuckles, than replay the entirety of Unleashed or Lost World.

I'd rather Forces has a short, concise story and levels with replayability, than an overly long story and too many levels.

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1 minute ago, Mark1 said:

What makes you say Forces could be as short as Colours? Source?

We haven't seen a stage go far beyond 3 minutes, and it looks like the interface will have us selecting levels that we constantly unlock. If you only had the daytime stages in Unleashed, with no werehog or hub worlds, it would actually be shorter than colors. 

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Why would anyone want a game to be "drawn-out"? That's kind of inherently a negative trait.

I want as much good, solid content I can get out of a game, but if it turns out that's only, say, about 5 hours worth of content, I'd rather have that 5 hour game and finish it in a good mood than have it padded out to 10 hours and it becoming a slog.

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8 minutes ago, James Cloud said:

The fact there's now 4 types of gameplay its definitely not gonna be short at all.

The game could have a small amount of levels, or not every character goes through every level.

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Long game are you kidding me? Do you want Sonic 06? Because that's how you get Sonic 06.

Not that being short is an innately positive boon either. Order 1886 was short and gamers thrashed that game thoroughly. There was no interesting mechanical reason for that game to be as short as it was. Whereas with Sonic and most other action games such as from Platinum, there is an emphasis on replayability in the form of extra missions and ranking systems.

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I'd personally like the development team to try and put out a game with a quite a bit of content, but maybe not a storyline as long and deep as Unleashed? 5-7 hours seems like a kind of sweet spot I'd think. Maybe 100% could be 10-14 or at least twice as long as the main campaign. 

I'm not sure though. I feel like the trend with the past few times Sonic Team implements a new game engine is to try something a little bit bigger and a little bit bolder. I feel like that's held true with new engines have been introduces at least since Sonic 06. Actually one could possibly make the case that every new engine is on a main console sonic game is met with a big/longer debut since Sonic Adventure. SA1, SA2, Heroes, 06, Storybook games if you count them, Unleashed, and Boom have all been games that pushed a new game engine (I think), or at the very least major gameplay style shifts. Forces could be the latest iteration of that effort, albeit similar to the Hedgehog Engine, but if my hypothesis is correct, then I personally welcome the new effort with cautious optimism.

The one exception I can think of (and I might be totally wrong so someone please tell me if I am) is maybe Lost World, but I thought that ran on the Hedgehog Engine.

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5 hours ago, Whatever the WhoCares said:

This game looks like it could be as short as Colors or as long as Unleashed. If all we're doing is playing levels and watching cutscenes, it'll definitely be more like the former. But if there's anything to do between the levels, along with a big, epic story, we could get something similar to Unleashed. I very much hope we get something at least 5 hours long, and ideally, I really would like a story as long as Unleashed's. It's rare that I say this about a modern game, but Sonic Forces could do with a bit of fluff. 

Awkward controls. Quick time events galore. Sun and moon medals that are like Knuckles' treasure hunting levels only if you go super fast and can't back track unless you restart the stage. to be able to get the actual game part of the damn game. A mediocre story that has a one time character that takes Tails' role and side lines him for the entire game.

 

Yeah. I rather not have Unleashed again.

It's bad enough we have classic Sonic still. Just like Sonic the Hogwolf being an unnecessary gimmick for fighter/brawler stages when we have Knuckles.

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36 minutes ago, Azure P said:

Awkward controls. Quick time events galore. Sun and moon medals that are like Knuckles' treasure hunting levels only if you go super fast and can't back track unless you restart the stage. to be able to get the actual game part of the damn game. A mediocre story that has a one time character that takes Tails' role and side lines him for the entire game.

 

Yeah. I rather not have Unleashed again.

It's bad enough we have classic Sonic still. Just like Sonic the Hogwolf being an unnecessary gimmick for fighter/brawler stages when we have Knuckles.

Or it could have actual good content to fill it out. 

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Slightly OT: This is one area in which I think an open world concept like Sonic Utopia (with much more polish) could really shine for a AAA Sonic series. Big, beautiful playground environments with many, meaningful actions to do, coupled with specific smaller, traditional A to B action segments could make for a truly full, big budget game experience without gimmicky fluff (comparing with your Mario Odysseys, or BOtWs). Then we don't have to have padded 3D games anymore. It just needs to be placed within the right framework of gameplay progression and it can really, truly work. It'll expand Sonic's gameplay in a way never done before, even in the excellent classics. 

(I've actually been meaning to write out some specific ideas that could support that larger concept.)

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51 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Slightly OT: This is one area in which I think an open world concept like Sonic Utopia (with much more polish) could really shine for a AAA Sonic series. Big, beautiful playground environments with many, meaningful actions to do, coupled with specific smaller, traditional A to B action segments could make for a truly full, big budget game experience without gimmicky fluff (comparing with your Mario Odysseys, or BOtWs). Then we don't have to have padded 3D games anymore. It just needs to be placed within the right framework of gameplay progression and it can really, truly work. It'll expand Sonic's gameplay in a way never done before, even in the excellent classics. 

(I've actually been meaning to write out some specific ideas that could support that larger concept.)

I've been mulling over some similar ideas recently, too.  I think there's a certain compatibility between Utopia and Odyssey; the big criticism people make of Utopia is that it's a wide-open playground with no objective and no incentive to do anything, but if you scattered the whole area with collectibles (say, Chaos Emerald shards) with a bar for how many are needed before Dr. Eggman shows up and the next area can be unlocked, then suddenly both the openness and the choice have purpose.  You would adventure around using physics and stunts to access hard-to-reach areas and explore nooks and crannies entirely at your own discretion, going where you wanted how you wanted until you'd done enough to move on.  It's easy to see how multiple playable characters would fit into this model, too, with certain collectibles being gated by particular abilities or maybe just easier to reach with other characters; Tails and Knuckles's sometimes-game-breaking abilities just become another mode of exploration and interaction with a non-linear landscape.  The requirement for "speed" has often led to Sonic's 3D games really just being a kind of dolled-up 2D, but by giving his speed purpose without direction in an open and omnidirectional landscape he is finally free to move in meaningful ways in three dimensions.  Well, that's my theory, anyway.

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6 hours ago, FFWF said:

I've been mulling over some similar ideas recently, too.  I think there's a certain compatibility between Utopia and Odyssey; the big criticism people make of Utopia is that it's a wide-open playground with no objective and no incentive to do anything, but if you scattered the whole area with collectibles (say, Chaos Emerald shards) with a bar for how many are needed before Dr. Eggman shows up and the next area can be unlocked, then suddenly both the openness and the choice have purpose.  You would adventure around using physics and stunts to access hard-to-reach areas and explore nooks and crannies entirely at your own discretion, going where you wanted how you wanted until you'd done enough to move on.  It's easy to see how multiple playable characters would fit into this model, too, with certain collectibles being gated by particular abilities or maybe just easier to reach with other characters; Tails and Knuckles's sometimes-game-breaking abilities just become another mode of exploration and interaction with a non-linear landscape.  The requirement for "speed" has often led to Sonic's 3D games really just being a kind of dolled-up 2D, but by giving his speed purpose without direction in an open and omnidirectional landscape he is finally free to move in meaningful ways in three dimensions.  Well, that's my theory, anyway.

I agree. It seems like the key would be to design it in a way that is not a full on collect-a-thon like Mario, and maybe make his actions/goals working towards something based on a rather simple and straightforward narrative. Instead of primarily collecting items, for example, Sonic could travel to new areas to defeat Eggman's (robotnik :D) presence as he's attempted to take over the region and free the animals there. Maybe Eggman has trapped a village of creatures that need saving and Sonic needs to work to destroy a system of machines. The larger framework in which I might do it is having Sonic travel to a series of islands/sub-islands in order to restore their natural environment from Eggman having taken over or preventing his incoming onslaught. But this can happen in many different ways as well, with different tasks depending upon what machines Eggman has built there or is attempting a take over. 

Maybe there's a sub-island designed like a small city (Starlight Zone/Casinopolis) in which Sonic can go try the slots. There, exists an outdoor skatepark in which Sonic is challenged by someone to a contest for some meaningful reward. Or Sonic for some reason needs to knock out a group of robots that have tried to hack the casino slots, etc.

This is kind of where I'd go with it, and there's almost unlimited potential in the amount of things you can create for Sonic to do while having it naturally progress toward some ultimate goal of "saving the world/islands" like Sonic typically does.  What makes it work is that you design the game's physics to be rewarding to control and master like the classics, and thus the player is motivated to reach new areas by mastering Sonic's smooth movement mechanics. And not only make Sonic naturally fun to control and toy around with, but design the environment to have many interactive pieces that complement Sonic's natural movement and make him perform simple actions in new ways. 

The narrative/story can be written in almost an episodic format, so that as you unlock and reach new areas you have reasons to occasionally return to old ones, while working towards a final episode segment. And the bosses, I can imagine might even be done in a way that mimics the traditional A to B level progression of the classics. Think: boss levels could be your traditional "Act 1" and "Act 2" level runs with bosses at the end; act 1 serving as sort of the mini boss for the area and then Act 2 being the main boss but these bosses appear at different, appropriate times. Maybe Act 1 for a new zone happens when you first reach a new island or sub-island and then you can explore the area after defeating the mini boss; then Act 2 happens while finishing or traveling to the next area and you face the main boss for that area. So the game still connects the essence of the classics but expanded in a new framework. 

 

And I agree, Tails and Knuckles can easily exist and complement this kind of gameplay, though my main focus would be on establishing Sonic first and proving that it is excellent. Done well It can make for an experience that has enough meaningful, motivating content to warrant a AAA budget and rival other game competitors like Mario and Zelda.

 

But um... yeah all this sort of jazz. :D

 

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1 hour ago, Mayor D said:

Thank god it only costs $30.

Sonic Forces is $30 dollars.

I expected that price for Mania or the Puyo Puyo Tetris.

But you're telling me. Sonic Forces. Sega's next big "3D game" is gonna be thirty American dollars.

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