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So we're really in a second "Dark Age" huh??

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I don't really think we are in a dark age. With the first dark age it felt like there was no end of shitty Sonic games coming out after ShTh, Sonic 06, etc. Right now, I feel like we are just going along a rollercoaster where we have some good games and some lackluster titles. They weren't particularly awful games but just meh and nobody cared for them (Rise or Lyric was awful tho). I feel like Sonic will continue being hit and miss for a LONG time if Sonicteam keeps up with the experiments and hastily put together ideas. 

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51 minutes ago, azoo said:

You're not jumping the gun at all.

Mania may have been the brightest star in the series in a long, long, long time; but the Advance and Rush games were critical darling side-games while the franchise's main series sunk to it's lowest lows. 

Also to anyone saying "why do people think Forces is the next 06", please take a deep breath, get out of the Sonic bubble for a sec, and look outside the box. It's as clear as crystal. And while it definitely isn't as glitchy as that game (not many games ever will be), this is easily the worst game design in a main series title since that game, by far.

There isn't a single thing about this game that says to players "we cared about making this" but rather "you liked ____ so here's ____" brand focus testing, and it's as transparent as from the plot to the concepts to the very gameplay you end up watching for 45 out of the 60 seconds you get to play in the demo.

And with this game releasing not only during the same year as Mania but also a week after Super Mario Oddysey, Sonic Team's about to get a reckoning unprecedented. I'm almost expecting Mania to do like Rush did to them after 06, and influence the next "era" of Sonic, once the team gets restructured and the battle plan changes again. It's definitely coming. The forecast says it all.

I badly want to believe this will happen. Its just common sense at this point. But my confidence isn't as high as yours yet.

If the support base for this game is large enough, it may sell adequately enough to not be a disaster. Historically SEGA has not made drastic moves after middling performances. It seems most likely that Forces will be a middling game---even though that is an insult given the 4 years of development time and the public apologies we've all been given.

 

I don't know what it'll take but SEGA has to realize that their current path for Sonic is a niche path. The Edgy-Grim SA2-'06 style Sonic with the overdone plots, a billion side characters and severe lack of gameplay focus will never allow Sonic to have wide appeal among general gamers like he once had (and Mario has maintained). I'm utterly astounded at how long it is taking this company to realize this. If you're going to do games like that for that subsection of the fanbase, you've got to do it as a smaller spin-off thing. The mainstream has never, ever liked that "dark-age" Sonic because from a pure gameplay perspective, it is trash. This is still a videogame industry. Modern Sonic as it has stood for nearly 20 years should be permanently relegated to a side series. It is not popular; almost every release gets instantly destroyed by critics and even the ones that are "good", are good mostly because they aren't awful like the early 3D games; their design is not intuitive and they have serious fundamental problems as a foundation for a platforming series. 

And Sonic Team themselves, I'm at a loss for words. They haven't had a clue in years. There cannot be a rational explanation for why SEGA would keep them on after this. Even Takashi Iizuka should more or less be in the hot seat.

I still think 3D has the highest potential for Sonic by a long shot but SEGA has to put itself in the best position to achieve that. Throw all the garbage out that has never worked and build on Sonic's strengths and natural appeal.

Ugh....it just turns my stomach when I see the franchise at this point. Its completely unnecessary. 

Sonic is an unsurfaced goldmine just waiting for someone to finally give a sh*t about digging for it.

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@Jar Jar Analysis 1138

 

I know this is your opinion and all and that's fine, but I'm wondering if you live on a different Earth than the one I do....

SEGA literally ordered Sonic '06 to removed from shelves and deleted from its library because of the storm cloud it cast over the franchise.

They have publicly apologizes numerous times about the quality of their games in recent years and in the difficulty they've had in competent 3D design since the 90s. A 10 second google search will bring up dozens of articles that discuss this.

 

Modern Sonic basically IS the dark age of Sonic. A few upward spikes don't change the downward trend he's been on. Everything has been on a steady decline for nearly 20 years, with the franchise slowly bleeding out.

If Forces does well, I'd say its time to let go of the traditions for Sonic and move on from what he was, because Sonic Team cannot be what they once were. 

If it does not though, Modern Sonic should be trashed immediately and the series get a fresh start in 3D. Regardless of what a corner of the fanbase thinks, it'll be the straightforward move.

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

@Jar Jar Analysis 1138

 

I know this is your opinion and all and that's fine, but I'm wondering if you live on a different Earth than the one I do....

SEGA literally ordered Sonic '06 to removed from shelves and deleted from its library because of the storm cloud it cast over the franchise.

They have publicly apologizes numerous times about the quality of their games in recent years and in the difficulty they've had in competent 3D design since the 90s. A 10 second google search will bring up dozens of articles that discuss this.

 

Modern Sonic basically IS the dark age of Sonic. A few upward spikes don't change the downward trend he's been on. Everything has been on a steady decline for nearly 20 years, with the franchise slowly bleeding out.

If Forces does well, I'd say its time to let go of the traditions for Sonic and move on from what he was, because Sonic Team cannot be what they once were. 

If it does not though, Modern Sonic should be trashed immediately and the series get a fresh start in 3D. Regardless of what a corner of the fanbase thinks, it'll be the straightforward move.

 

 

 

 

Dude, no. Sega was right to apologize because they not only rushed a game out and ruined the developers progress, they made them re-do the game over. And a struggle with 3D? Bullshit. Sonic 06's levels were designed to where they are more open to run around and have a consistent focus on both speed and platforming. Look no further to Kingdom Valley. They had the adventure formula down finally but SEGA screwed up the process. Not only do they downplay the devs good work on improving Sonic but even the games like Heroes, Adventure 2 and Shadow got better with 3D design than the very first adventure game. Yes, the struggle has been apparent with 3D. I agree. But it isn't as horrible as they want to make it out to be as if the team couldn't grasp anything about it. Just pleasing the masses to make them sound like they are that sorry when they should be admitting what they did to Sonic 06.

 

Sega ordered 06 off everywhere because the fanbase hated the game and overreacts to such a large degree, they will even hold 06 over Sonic's head after 11 years. I agree the game faces many many technical difficulties but I won't justify overreaction like that. I'm sorry but the fanbase wants everything off the shelves except for like, 2 sonic games. 

Quote

Modern Sonic basically IS the dark age of Sonic. A few upward spikes don't change the downward trend he's been on. Everything has been on a steady decline for nearly 20 years, with the franchise slowly bleeding out.

Nope. Again, you imply the Dark Age=Struggle with design focus.

The team that did Sonic 1 knew what they wanted but could not translate Sonic's design in a probable way because of game philosophy conflicts , Sonic 2 struggled less though still having issues in creating consistent levels that fit him , Sonic CD throws everything out of the window in favor of exploration and slower platforming which ALSO goes backwards to Sonic 1 and Sonic 3-K finally gets it 100% right. If I count the game gear/Master systems versions, then they would almost be on par with Sonic 2. But even those were mostly lesser versions unless we are counting Pocket Adventure and Triple Trouble.

Sonic has always since the beginning, struggled whenever there was a new formula introduced.  It wasn't until after Adventure is where things got a lot better but there was still some issues to be had. Once Unleashed hit however, it's been pretty much decided to be the most polished 3D title to knowing what they want to do with him, similar to Sonic 3-K.

 

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28 minutes ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

 

Dude, no. Sega was right to apologize because they not only rushed a game out and ruined the developers progress, they made them re-do the game over. And a struggle with 3D? Bullshit. Sonic 06's levels were designed to where they are more open to run around and have a consistent focus on both speed and platforming. Look no further to Kingdom Valley. They had the adventure formula down finally but SEGA screwed up the process. Not only do they downplay the devs good work on improving Sonic but even the games like Heroes, Adventure 2 and Shadow got better with 3D design than the very first adventure game. Yes, the struggle has been apparent with 3D. I agree. But it isn't as horrible as they want to make it out to be as if the team couldn't grasp anything about it. Just pleasing the masses to make them sound like they are that sorry when they should be admitting what they did to Sonic 06.

 

Sega ordered 06 off everywhere because the fanbase hated the game and overreacts to such a large degree, they will even hold 06 over Sonic's head after 11 years. I agree the game faces many many technical difficulties but I won't justify overreaction like that. I'm sorry but the fanbase wants everything off the shelves except for like, 2 sonic games. 

Nope. Again, you imply the Dark Age=Struggle with design focus.

The team that did Sonic 1 knew what they wanted but could not translate Sonic's design in a probable way because of game philosophy conflicts , Sonic 2 struggled less though still having issues in creating consistent levels that fit him , Sonic CD throws everything out of the window in favor of exploration and slower platforming which ALSO goes backwards to Sonic 1 and Sonic 3-K finally gets it 100% right. If I count the game gear/Master systems versions, then they would almost be on par with Sonic 2. But even those were mostly lesser versions unless we are counting Pocket Adventure and Triple Trouble.

Sonic has always since the beginning, struggled whenever there was a new formula introduced.  It wasn't until after Adventure is where things got a lot better but there was still some issues to be had. Once Unleashed hit however, it's been pretty much decided to be the most polished 3D title to knowing what they want to do with him, similar to Sonic 3-K.

 

You seem to conflate your personal like of things with objective sales numbers and critical reception (which in turn affects sales). There is no defending your idea of "what could have been" with Sonic '06. It was an unmitigated disaster that as haunted the franchise since.

I'm having a bit of trouble reading your post as much of it is incoherent (no disrespect intended) and seems to mumble about things you liked and your opinions about what happened. I'm not sharing my opinions with you; I'm telling you directly what SEGA themselves have said about the franchise due to sales and reception, two common measures that we can actually track (unlike specific fan opinions and how that may correlate to a dark age). There are a bunch of fans like yourself that love the Sonic games from 2002-2008 but that does not mean they were loved by the majority of gamers. Because history says they were not. That's why they're called the dark ages by many. 

There are many things that can be debated with Sonic but this is not one of them.

 

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This would be the third "dark age". Not the second.

 

3 hours ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

Shadow wasn't a bad game. It functioned and improved on the design of Heroes.

Which, even if we were to treat that as an objective analysis above reproach, is wholly irrelevant to the obvious and long lasting damage it still did to the franchise anyway. The series was already severely damaged goods before STH '06 came out, even ignoring your... spirited defense of that title, and very little of that is attributable to Heroes or the half-assed port of Sonic Adventure.

 

3 hours ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

Sonic's modern era is far better than the previous one.

Sonic's current era does not stretch all the way back to 1998.

 

Quote

I will never agree that Sonic hit the dark ages. And it's actually surprising when comparing him to Mario or Zelda. They hit lower lows than Sonic honestly.

What Mario or Zelda game did Nintendo endorse that were worse than Sonic Boom or STH '06?

 

1 hour ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

 Once Unleashed hit however, it's been pretty much decided to be the most polished 3D title to knowing what they want to do with him, similar to Sonic 3-K.

I'm going to be a bit blunt with this, so forgive me; but who the fuck "decided" that?

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1 hour ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

And a struggle with 3D? Bullshit. Sonic 06's levels were designed to where they are more open to run around and have a consistent focus on both speed and platforming. Look no further to Kingdom Valley. They had the adventure formula down finally but SEGA screwed up the process.

Kingdom Valley is not a good level. Even setting aside how severely broken the game is, even taking out the boring Silver section and awful mach speed section, it doesn't amount to much more than a bunch of narrow, flat paths, way too many combat encounters for a character with absolutely garbage combat gameplay, and a lot of heavily scripted or otherwise limited gameplay (in the form of rail grinds, homing attack chains, wall jump segments, etc). Even in the best possible timeline this would only be a passable level, not a good one, certainly not one that any game should aspire to match.

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4 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

What is the term for the much worse thing we are now in?

Sonic is "Dead" as you might have heard it a thousand times.

Okay so maybe not literately dead, but the closest thing to it.

Megaman was allowed to rest in piece after his games slowly decayed in quality. Sonic is like a zombie that's gotten stale and repetitive and that everyone is tired of! If you think about it that's even worse than being "literately dead".

If you want a more nuanced answer the series is lacking identity, thus simplying labeling as this or that won't ever do it justice, but you can't blame people for oversimplifying a convuluted mess. Maybe if it was good...but its not, at least to most people anyways.

1 hour ago, SBR2 said:

Hey here's an idea maybe wait until we've actually played the Damn game before declaring we're in a "Dark Age".

You must be new here...

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Eh, it feels more like we're still in the previous dark age, rather than starting a new one. Mania's a great game, but it alone won't end a period of forgettable-to-terrible games; and Colors and Generations, while decent, look more like flukes in retrospect when you consider how fast Sega and Sonic Team were still fumbling the ball even back then, let alone losing the plot shortly afterwards. 2010 saw solid games like Colors and the first ASR released alongside misfires like Sonic 4(: Epi. I), Sonic Classic Collection, and Free Riders.

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3 hours ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

You seem to conflate your personal like of things with objective sales numbers and critical reception (which in turn affects sales). There is no defending your idea of "what could have been" with Sonic '06. It was an unmitigated disaster that as haunted the franchise since.

I'm having a bit of trouble reading your post as much of it is incoherent (no disrespect intended) and seems to mumble about things you liked and your opinions about what happened. I'm not sharing my opinions with you; I'm telling you directly what SEGA themselves have said about the franchise due to sales and reception, two common measures that we can actually track (unlike specific fan opinions and how that may correlate to a dark age). There are a bunch of fans like yourself that love the Sonic games from 2002-2008 but that does not mean they were loved by the majority of gamers. Because history says they were not. That's why they're called the dark ages by many. 

There are many things that can be debated with Sonic but this is not one of them.

 

Quote

I'm having a bit of trouble reading your post as much of it is incoherent (no disrespect intended) and seems to mumble about things you liked and your opinions about what happened.

Most of this I do on phone. I'll try to search for the translation errors...
 

Quote

 

Modern Sonic basically IS the dark age of Sonic. A few upward spikes don't change the downward trend he's been on. Everything has been on a steady decline for nearly 20 years, with the franchise slowly bleeding out.

 

 

 

 

 
Dark Age
a :the primitive period in the development of something usually plural 
b :a state of stagnation or decline usually plural
 
So we're talking about just sales figures? 
 
 
Sega has publically apologized to the fans as the quality of console games in the Sonic franchise hasn’t been acceptable over recent years,”
 
How many years? When this statement was made, it was 2 years ago in 2015. Lost World came out in 2013 and Generations 2 years before it. Is he referring to Boom? Lost World? I'm pretty sure Generations was well received game by critics and fans alike but why would he make implications of the quality not being acceptable unless he's talking about sales numbers.
 
You mention the decline of games within 20 years when really it started with Sonic 2.
Mega Drive Sonic the Hedgehog 2 6.03        
Master System Sonic the Hedgehog 2 2.96

 

When the first sold over 31 million.

Even the most acclaimed Sonic 3 didn't sell as much as 2, nor CD. Although this did happen, the Sonic Franchise never hit rock bottom. 
 
Quote

 

here are a bunch of fans like yourself that love the Sonic games from 2002-2008 but that does not mean they were loved by the majority of gamers. Because history says they were not. That's why they're called the dark ages by many. 


 

You have the Advanced Series, Heroes/Shadow, Secret rings, Adventure series(which did much much better on the GC. Except for the first Adventure), Mega Collection/Plus and Unleashed(the Xbox version was panned but the PS2 was critically praised as the best version of the game...This one is a bit weird).

They all sold well over 1 million(RIP advance 3) in sales and Unleashed was the 3rd best selling Sega game during the fiscal year(I don't have the total amount! I've looked everywhere and folks say it was up to 5 million but I can't find the source on this. I guess it is 2.45 million). 

The side titles are the side titles. They didn't sell well but I'm sure they didn't take a lot of effort unless you are talking about Secret rings.

If we go on the based on this, these games weren't bad. Sonic 06 was said to sell way over 0.87 but I can't find more data on 06's TOTAL sales or more sources. 

Annoying....

If we are looking by reception....You'll get a mixed reaction. 

Anyways, I still don't see your perspective(Mainstream never loved sonic anyways lol).

The Dark Ages never really existed. You could say Sonic 06 was when the dark age hit but the rush series, Rivals and especially Unleashed, which was released within that same timeline(2002-2008) so 06  was just a bad game that Sega happened to release sadly. 

Quote

 

I'm telling you directly what SEGA themselves have said about the franchise due to sales and reception, two common measures that we can actually track


 

 

I can only find things the Marketing director said about Quality and transition to 3D. Not sales. 
 
Quote

They have publicly apologizes numerous times about the quality of their games in recent years and in the difficulty they've had in competent 3D design since the 90s. A 10 second google search will bring up dozens of articles that discuss this.

 

I see multiple articles on the same subject from the same marketer.

 

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5 hours ago, ShroomZed said:

Honestly what does "dark age" even mean at this point? This series has been going in and out of ruts since basically 1994. It's more like a permanent dark period with brief glimpses of light (and even that is depending on who you ask) before going back into the dark. 

Huh, well when you put it that way..

Maybe people just call certain periods of Sonic "dark ages" because the idea that Sonic has been in a dark age (or at least lower quality age) for the vast majority of its existence is too harsh..

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10 minutes ago, Razule said:

Huh, well when you put it that way..

Maybe people just call certain periods of Sonic "dark ages" because the idea that Sonic has been in a dark age (or at least lower quality age) for the vast majority of its existence is too harsh..

Even so this would be the third dark age, not the second. I always thought people considered the 1994-1998 period as the first dark age.

Also yeah it's completely subjective depending on who you ask anyway. I don't even like Boost so the 2008-2011 stuff does nothing for me, so mostly everything after 3K is one long turd stream for me. Classic purist master race 

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11 minutes ago, ShroomZed said:

Even so this would be the third dark age, not the second. I always thought people considered the 1994-1998 period as the first dark age.

Also yeah it's completely subjective depending on who you ask anyway. I don't even like Boost so the 2008-2011 stuff does nothing for me, so mostly everything after 3K is one long turd stream for me. Classic purist master race 

Thats the thing...Everyone has an opinion on what a "Dark age" is for Sonic games. Was it 1998 to 2008? Was it 2002-2010? Was it after 3k?

Was Sonic always bad?

 

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5 minutes ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

Thats the thing...Everyone has an opinion on what a "Dark age" is for Sonic games. Was it 1998 to 2008? Was it 2002-2010? Was it after 3k?

Was Sonic always bad?

 

And that's the line of thought that led to these lines:

"Sonic was never good"

"This was never really a great franchise"

"We've been chasing something that was never really there"

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Just now, Razule said:

And that's the line of thought that led to these lines:

"Sonic was never good"

"This was never really a great franchise"

"We've been chasing something that was never really there"

Quote

 

"We've been chasing something that was never really there"


 

No...We've been chasing something that is just too fast for us to catch..

We're not phast enuffff.....

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7 hours ago, ShroomZed said:

Honestly what does "dark age" even mean at this point? This series has been going in and out of ruts since basically 1994. It's more like a permanent dark period with brief glimpses of light (and even that is depending on who you ask) before going back into the dark. 

So what you're saying is......Sonic was Dark Souls before Dark Souls?

jack_torrance_6_by_carriejokerbates-d9hd

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The Dark Ages spawned by releasing several bad/mediocre games followed up by an over-hyped savior that was downright broken and unfinished. 06 was such a gut punch because after its initial reveal, people had supremely high hopes for it. Then that kind of came crashing down in a wall of fire.

 

Not only has Sonic Team not pushed out overtly broken or massively unfinished games in recent history - but Forces never achieved that artificial savior status. Hype in the fanbase was nearly dead on arrival after they showed us the first Modern Footage of Park Avenue and it became clear that the game didn't attempt to build on anything and was the worst incarnation of Colors and Unleashed. It won't hurt as much because we've been expecting this for as long as we've been allowed to see it.

I've seen nothing out of Forces to indicate that it'll be a broken, unfinished mess of a game. Until Sonic Team pushes another one of those out the door, I think its ill advised to claim another dark ages. We can question the series direction, the overall quality of the game even the intent of the devs, but I'm not about to accuse them of polishing a beta demo and trying to sell it off a finished product.

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One big difference between this period of Sonic and the Dark Age: the games in this era are actually, well, playable.

Let me explain just how awkward the Dark Age was, and how much happened in the span of 3-4 years. We got three Advance games that didn't gain any interest at all. We got a Shadow game that was broken, confusing, way too grim to the point of feeling forced, and contained arguably bad writing. We got Rush games, but that didn't really gain any interest either. We got two Riders titles, which are...there. We got a port of Sonic 1 to celebrate Sonic's anniversary that was broken and sluggish, containing a bad framerate, bad physics, and bad hitboxes. We got Sonic 06, a broken, poorly executed, unplayable mess. We got Secret Rings, a confusing game, story-wise, with awkward controls and repetitive music. We got Chronicles, with its horrible music and poorly executed gameplay. And then we got Unleashed, where half of the game was a slow, tedious, grindy Werehog fest. The Dark Age was riddled with unplayable, buggy, crap. It makes games like Rise of Lyric look competently developed in comparison.

So what about the current time period, with that same 3-4 year time span? Well, we got a divisive Sonic game with questionable controls and writing (Lost World). We got a broken, button-mashy game (Rise of Lyric). We got...Shattered Crystal and Fire & Ice, which didn't really get any interest. We got Sonic Mania, arguably the best Sonic game in years. And we're getting Forces, which looks to be a divisive title. As concerned as I am about Forces, I don't think it will be that harmful towards the franchise.

I'm just going to be blunt. The Dark Age was called the Dark Age for a reason. And we are far from there being another one.

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18 minutes ago, SSF1991 said:

One big difference between this period of Sonic and the Dark Age: the games in this era are actually, well, playable.

Let me explain just how awkward the Dark Age was, and how much happened in the span of 3-4 years. We got three Advance games that didn't gain any interest at all. We got a Shadow game that was broken, confusing, way too grim to the point of feeling forced, and contained arguably bad writing. We got Rush games, but that didn't really gain any interest either. We got two Riders titles, which are...there. We got a port of Sonic 1 to celebrate Sonic's anniversary that was broken and sluggish, containing a bad framerate, bad physics, and bad hitboxes. We got Sonic 06, a broken, poorly executed, unplayable mess. We got Secret Rings, a confusing game, story-wise, with awkward controls and repetitive music. We got Chronicles, with its horrible music and poorly executed gameplay. And then we got Unleashed, where half of the game was a slow, tedious, grindy Werehog fest. The Dark Age was riddled with unplayable, buggy, crap. It makes games like Rise of Lyric look competently developed in comparison.

So what about the current time period, with that same 3-4 year time span? Well, we got a divisive Sonic game with questionable controls and writing (Lost World). We got a broken, button-mashy game (Rise of Lyric). We got...Shattered Crystal and Fire & Ice, which didn't really get any interest. We got Sonic Mania, arguably the best Sonic game in years. And we're getting Forces, which looks to be a divisive title. As concerned as I am about Forces, I don't think it will be that harmful towards the franchise.

I'm just going to be blunt. The Dark Age was called the Dark Age for a reason. And we are far from there being another one.

Quote

 It makes games like Rise of Lyric look competently developed in comparison

 

Rise of Lyric>Sonic Unleashed? 

That's a new one...

Sounds like you left out Colors and Generations(both versions).

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35 minutes ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

Rise of Lyric>Sonic Unleashed? 

That's a new one...

Not sure why you're nit-picking one game out of the many others I listed, but okay. Either way, I was talking about the Dark Age as a whole. Not one specific title.

Quote

Sounds like you left out Colors and Generations(both versions).

Because I clearly said the past 3-4 years. 2010/2011 wasn't in that time frame. In fact, that was the very first thing I mentioned before talking about the current era.

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3 minutes ago, SSF1991 said:

Not sure why you're nit-picking one game out of the many others I listed, but okay. Either way, I was talking about the Dark Age as a whole. Not one specific title.

Because I clearly said the past 3-4 years. 2010/2011 wasn't in that time frame. In fact, that was the very first thing I mentioned before talking about the current era.

You said this era was playable then went on about the past 3-4 years going to LW. I was just wondering why you left out those games and never commented on them.

Quote

Not sure why you're nit-picking one game out of the many others I listed, but okay. Either way, I was talking about the Dark Age as a whole. Not one specific title.

Any game would have been marginally better than Lyric....

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