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Sonic Forces Me To Look Ahead: Where does (3D) Sonic go from here after Forces/2017?

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5 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Not outright disagreeing with you, but, I would just like to say that, for the record, none of those things you listed are "excuses".  They're just reasons things happened.

Well, yeah, that's actually what I meant.

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1 hour ago, PC the Hedgehog said:

Totally agree. I miss Sonic games where I know why I'm going through a level. I'm going through Red Mountain to catch up to the Egg Carrier. I'm going through Final Rush to plant the fake chaos emerald and blow up the eclipse cannon. I'm going through White Acropolis to strike a deal with Eggman for the return of Elise. It really feels like there are reasons I'm playing those levels, something that Forces looks to be bringing back. And I love that.

This is why I prefer the games to be written internally. Gameplay and story can intertwine when the writers walk into work every day with the programmers. 

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My guess is 1) the inevitable backlash the game will get from the fans like a week after it comes out and everyone's beaten it will drive ST to think no one likes boost gameplay after all, which will prompt them to try some new weird and experimental gameplay style out of confusion and just plain not knowing WTF to do - you know how ST are ("They wanted us to go back to boost, we went back to boost, they didn't like it, IDFK, just do whatever I guess), for whatever reason people still won't like it, and we're asking this question again. You can bet the story will be super light, too. Also Wisps.

2) they see the people that do like the game - maybe people playing Sonic for the first time - and try to cater more to them. What that involves is anyone's guess. Sooner or later, many if not most of the core fans finally get the hint and jumps ship, and a new base takes it place.

3) They just keep going until we finally do get that 06-tier game that kills boost gameplay completely like that game did with the Adventure style, SEGA finally shafts the current Sonic Team developers in favor of fresh faces, and they try a new style (or maybe even a polished version of the Adventure style) and perfect it until people like Sonic again for five minutes.

4) Eventually Iizuka finally notices how many people are fans of the Adventure gameplay and tries to make a game in that style. it ends up more like the Adventure version of Sonic 4 and no one likes it, and once again, we're back here.

Or finally, 5) going back to the backlash scenario, and factoring in Mani's overwhelmingly positive response, Iizuka throws his hands up and decides Sonic is a strictly 2D series from now on. Fan reaction is exactly what you'd expect it would be.

Or it could be none of these. There's honestly no way to know until the next 3D Sonic is announced. Assuming there'll be one.

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It confuses me why some people think that just because Sonic survived '06 that he will survive anything. This is utterly wrong and foolish.

Are you aware that '06 was a culmination point? Prior to 2006, the Sonic series was not at its highest point of popularity or critical favorability but it had more years of great success by that point than anything else. Prior to Sonic Adventure 2:Battle for the gamecube in 2002, Sonic had a pretty stellar reputation overall. And to an even larger degree in the pre-Sonic Adventure years, Sonic was extremely popular and widely respected.

Prior to 2006, Sonic had never had a disaster of that proportion, even though the games around that time had certainly been building negative reception to that peak point. Bad sonic games were not the norm given the franchise's full history, and this was noteworthy discussion. The common "What's happened to Sonic" conversations that have become today's standard, had never happened before the period from 2002 to 2006.

After 2006, Sonic's reputation was so damaged that many people permanently left the franchise, in addition to Sonic games beginning to sell less based on name alone, something that at one point was a guarantee for the brand. Next to death, this is the worst possible state for big brand name franchises such as this one. The franchise has still not fully recovered from this state, even at the time of Generations in 2011, and 2014's Boom in particular made things even worse.

 

Do not ever underestimate what games like that do, because the consequences are deep and far reaching. If it weren't that big of a deal, SEGA would not have spent the last few years after Boom apologizing every chance they got.

I sincerely doubt Forces will be a game of that magnitude but if it was, you had best believe that SEGA would consider canning the current iteration of Modern 3D Sonic. If something of that magnitude happens again, there will be massive changes and not necessarily for the better.

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

It confuses me why some people think that just because Sonic survived '06 that he will survive anything. This is utterly wrong and foolish.

Are you aware that '06 was a culmination point? Prior to 2006, the Sonic series was not at its highest point of popularity or critical favorability but it had more years of great success by that point than anything else. Prior to Sonic Adventure 2:Battle for the gamecube in 2002, Sonic had a pretty stellar reputation overall. And to an even larger degree in the pre-Sonic Adventure years, Sonic was extremely popular and widely respected.

Prior to 2006, Sonic had never had a disaster of that proportion, even though the games had certainly been building negative reception to that peak point. Bad sonic games were not the norm given the franchise's full history, and this was noteworthy discussion. 

After 2006, Sonic's reputation was so damaged that many people permanently left the franchise, in addition to Sonic games beginning to sell less based on name alone, something that at one point was a guarantee for the brand. Next to death, this is the worst possible state for big brand name franchises such as this one. The franchise has still not fully recovered from this state, even at the time of Generations in 2011, and 2014's Boom in particular made things even worse.

 

Do not ever underestimate what games like that do, because the consequences are deep and far reaching. If it weren't that big of a deal, SEGA would not have spent the last few years after Boom apologizing every chance they got.

I sincerely doubt Forces will be a game of that magnitude but if it was, you had best believe that SEGA would consider canning the current iteration of Modern 3D Sonic. If something of that magnitude happens again, there will be massive changes and not necessarily for the better.

 

 

 

 

Case in point; Backyard Sports. Just because it survived the utter crap of 2007-2009 doesn’t mean it survived Sandlot Sluggers and Rookie Rush. Nobody paid attention to the pitiful, crassly commercial revival attempt afterwards. Bubsy was only revived by memes.

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On 10/12/2017 at 1:00 PM, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

It confuses me why some people think that just because Sonic survived '06 that he will survive anything. This is utterly wrong and foolish.

Are you aware that '06 was a culmination point? Prior to 2006, the Sonic series was not at its highest point of popularity or critical favorability but it had more years of great success by that point than anything else. Prior to Sonic Adventure 2:Battle for the gamecube in 2002, Sonic had a pretty stellar reputation overall. And to an even larger degree in the pre-Sonic Adventure years, Sonic was extremely popular and widely respected.

Prior to 2006, Sonic had never had a disaster of that proportion, even though the games around that time had certainly been building negative reception to that peak point. Bad sonic games were not the norm given the franchise's full history, and this was noteworthy discussion. The common "What's happened to Sonic" conversations that have become today's standard, had never happened before the period from 2002 to 2006.

After 2006, Sonic's reputation was so damaged that many people permanently left the franchise, in addition to Sonic games beginning to sell less based on name alone, something that at one point was a guarantee for the brand. Next to death, this is the worst possible state for big brand name franchises such as this one. The franchise has still not fully recovered from this state, even at the time of Generations in 2011, and 2014's Boom in particular made things even worse.

Do not ever underestimate what games like that do, because the consequences are deep and far reaching. If it weren't that big of a deal, SEGA would not have spent the last few years after Boom apologizing every chance they got.

I sincerely doubt Forces will be a game of that magnitude but if it was, you had best believe that SEGA would consider canning the current iteration of Modern 3D Sonic. If something of that magnitude happens again, there will be massive changes and not necessarily for the better.

I get what you're saying, but I guess the reason I always doubt that a poorly received game will be the end of Sonic is because I've heard it so many freaking times. I heard how people thought that 06 was going to end Sonic for good. Apparently it even got the franchise suicide award from an Xbox 360 magazine or something-- which I'm sure is quite ironic these days. It didn't happen. Instead Sonic Team's staff were fired en masse and replenished with newer, more competent developers. I heard from Classic fans so many times that Sonic 4 was going to herald the end of 3D Sonic and usher in the return of glorious Classic Sonic. That didn't work out at all and these days it seems everybody is trying to forget Sonic 4 (for good reason). I heard how Rise of Lyric meant the end of 3D Sonic forever, because it made some people think that Sonic was always bad. It didn't pan out. Hell, I discovered some time ago that people thought that the fiasco revolving around Sonic Xtreme. Namely, its development being a trainwreck spanning several years and ultimately necessitating its cancellation, though people in the mid-90s did not know that and assumed that it had been replaced with Sonic 3D Blast, the spiritual successor to Sonic Labyrinth that nobody asked for (not to say that's a good reason for people to dislike Sonic 3D Blast, but you bet that coupled with people's disappointment and anger at the disappearance of Xtreme colored its perception at the time). Definitely didn't happen, and 3D Blast is considered a footnote in Sonic history these days.

I'm not denying that bad games have a negative impact that lasts long term. If anything, I would agree that 06 has had a long term impact on Sonic that we see today. Its just that people's speculating that "this is the game that will end [3D!Sonic/2D!Sonic/Sonic franchise] for good!" the moment things are bad for Sonic have been proven wrong so many times and on so many levels that I won't believe it until I see it. Nothing can last forever, of course, and something will kill off the Sonic franchise for good eventually, but again, I'll believe it when I see it and I expect nothing but something that nobody saw coming or knew about to bring about the end of Sonic.

----

As for what the future holds, who knows? I sure don't. And I don't want to litter my expectations with fantasies and wishful thinking. All I can say is that if I think a game looks like something I'd enjoy, I will buy it. If I think a game looks like something I won't enjoy, I will not buy it. If a game I thought I would enjoy turns out to not be enjoyable to me, I can handle it and move on. If a game I thought was not enjoyable to me turns out to be fun, then I'll go get it and have fun.

I mean, its possible for Sonic Team to do the usual Sonic Team thing of completely divorcing from everything that's criticized, but it could also try to improve on stuff or take fan criticism. Nothing's out of the picture at this point. I'm firmly neutral at this point and will remain so until I find reason to feel otherwise.

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2 hours ago, Detective Kaito said:

It will be the same, nothing will change. There will be many mediocre games followed by one or two good games if we're really lucky. Rinse and repeat.

And plenty of people to defend those mediocre games, dividing the fanbase more.

Can't be considered bad game developers if most of your fanbase think most of your games are good even if they admit to only liking half or 1/6 of it

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I've never been the type to think Forces is destined to bomb hard, at worst I think it'll be received as well as Lost World did a.k.a mediocre, at best maybe within range of Colors. For that alone I'll agree with that Sonic Team is unlikely to reevaluate themselves because after so many years of phoning it in like they have, at this point a reception like that is just status quo.

However that doesn't mean that some form of reevaluation isn't going to happen. Sega has claimed since the 2015 (or 2016 I can't be bothered to look it up) restructuring that they "want to be a brand again" which could mean many things, most of them vague as you'd expect from them. What I believe it means is thus: If Forces doesn't do well financially and Sonic Team decide they don't want to get their act together, Sega will do it for them. They won't overlook Sonic Mania. It's sold very well, especially in comparison to other Sonic games released in the past 5 years, and it's positive reception has done more to help the Sonic brand than Sonic Boom ever did even with the show being well received.

So if Forces does release with the reception we expect it to, I think Sega will take some form of action (or just more empty promises) in order to ensure the likelihood of more games like Sonic Mania are made, perhaps not so much in gameplay but in reception definitely. If that means hiring new blood to Sonic Team including a new director or outsourcing projects to talented developers like Taxman and Stealth then so be it.

Although I think it would be nice if that were to happen, I highly doubt it'll play out anything like that, especially since I'm just spitballing here. Lost World sold like crap for a Sonic game primarily because it was a Wii U exclusive for so long; Forces is releasing on all major platforms and that's probably going to ensure that it at least meets whatever bottom line Sega has for it. So the takeaway from this is like always, don't support the game if we don't want more like it (yes I'm still banking on the whole "speak with your wallet" thing, I actually believe it has a small chance of working this time thanks to Mania).

We can prattle on and on about how we don't think Sonic can continue with the boost gameplay due to diminishing returns with how difficult and expensive it is to construct unique levels with the gameplay it has, but Sega doesn't read these forums nor other places Sonic fans talk. They only look at what critics say (a.k.a reviews that carry the most weight on Metacritic and are written by people that know jackshit about Sonic gameplay as whole and aren't the most reliable when it comes to a proper assessment of it) and what the sales figures tell them.

I'm opting out on buying Sonic Forces if it's as shallow a Sonic game most of us expect it to be. Hopefully there's some big changes on the horizon (but probably not).

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11 hours ago, soniclegender said:

Am I the only one here who really likes 3D/2.5D Sonic? I know the games have problems, but I hope I'm not the only one who finds them really enjoyable.

I like them too, but we have 5 games with this same formula. IMO, It's time to move on and do something different.

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Kind of amazed this thread hasn't been revived given the leaks. 

Anyway, it's clear now that Sonic Forces is a rudimentary 2D game with meaningless filler 3D sections. An obvious rush-job from top to bottom. I don't know if this is more Sega's fault or Sonic Team's, but I have to think both parties had a hand in what we've ended up with. Of course, the game isn't even out yet, and it's hard to tell if it will sell. It's cheap, multiplatform, and has a license that's kind of irresistible to kids.

A license that Sega and Sonic Team evidently do not deserve. If the key players in Sonic Team have any respect for the character and the franchise, they should ask to be delegated to a different wing of Sega's massive development umbrella. They are not the same spirited people who traveled to South America in search of inspiration for Sonic Adventure. It's time to clear house and bring in some new blood (and give them some freedom, too).

But I fear that's not going to happen. I fear that all future games will be Classic-style. That's not what I want. Even when they're brilliant, 2D platformers simply don't resonate with me the way 3D ones do. I want to play something like Sonic Adventure, but smooth and polished. I want to be able to explore a level and interact with the environment around me. And when I'm done with it, I don't want to be kicked back to a map screen before the next cutscene (could you imagine if SA2 had done that?). 

I have no idea what's going to happen if this game fails. Or if it succeeds, for that matter. Neither scenario seems to logically effect Sonic Team's philosophy; they're equally likely in either case to throw it all away and start with something new. But again, I want them gone. Not just new ideas. New people. A new beginning. 

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I think the next 3D Sonic game will finally answer the call and bring playable characters back by introducing 5 playable characters as follows: Classic Sonic, Adventure Sonic, Modern Sonic, Boom Sonic, and Schoolhouse Sonic. Your best hope is fan games probably.

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2 minutes ago, TailsTellsTales said:

I think the next 3D Sonic game will finally answer the call and bring playable characters back by introducing 5 playable characters as follows: Classic Sonic, Adventure Sonic, Modern Sonic, Boom Sonic, and Schoolhouse Sonic. Your best hope is fan games probably.

You're right, but fan games have just never appealed to me. They lack story or production values... kind of like Sonic Team's recent games. Things are looking so damn gloomy. 

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On 11/10/2017 at 5:09 PM, Dr. Mechano said:

I'm not sure how Forces is focusing any more on story than, say, Lost World did.

The tone is darker, but is the story really any more complex or well-crafted? To me the story seems just as simple and flat as the last few games, except more stuff is on fire this time and the bad guy has a deep echoey voice.

And all this turned out to be true in the end! Oy...

After all these leaks I really don’t know what’s going to happen next with the Sonic franchise. Another four year break with the release of yet another mediocre game with wasted potential? God I certainly hope not!

I know I’ve said it before but Sonic deserves so much better than “just good” or average. It’s better than nothing and all that, no. Sonic deserves better! I hope that after Sonic Forces’ release we get a major shake up in Sonic Team’s office. Start new, get some new developers in and do something fresh and exciting with Sonic! 

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1 minute ago, Gabz Girl said:

I know I’ve said it before but Sonic deserves so much better than “just good” or average. It’s better than nothing and all that, no. Sonic deserves better! I hope that after Sonic Forces’ release we get a major shake up in Sonic Team’s office. Start new, get some new developers in and do something fresh and exciting with Sonic! 

For real, this sums up how I feel pretty nicely. Sonic Team lacks passion, and it's clear they have zero idea what the identity of their franchise should even be. Sonic Forces reeks of them throwing a bunch of ideas at a wall and asking us to tell them what works, but what's going to work in the end is getting some fresh blood in there that actually has an idea and the heart to pursue it. Mania is proof positive that the right talent with the right dedication can do amazing things. Sonic Team needs that kind of energy and focus.

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7 hours ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

For real, this sums up how I feel pretty nicely. Sonic Team lacks passion, and it's clear they have zero idea what the identity of their franchise should even be. Sonic Forces reeks of them throwing a bunch of ideas at a wall and asking us to tell them what works, but what's going to work in the end is getting some fresh blood in there that actually has an idea and the heart to pursue it. Mania is proof positive that the right talent with the right dedication can do amazing things. Sonic Team needs that kind of energy and focus.

Yes. That’s why I think we need something akin to Mania, but for the Adventure games instead of the classics. With, again, at least five games to choose levels from, not counting Storybook and handheld games, which give us fourteen (and unlike Triple Trouble or Chaotix, these were all Sonic Team games, making them more likely), plus 21+ characters to feature. Hero/Dark system would work well for the story. And let’s feature infinite as a boss!

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So far I been thinking a lot of things and those things are about the next sonic game. We now need to wait 4 years for a new game so I want to discuss of what should be in the newest sonic 

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