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Sonic Forces Reviews Thread

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1 hour ago, Blue Blood said:

I'm going to echo opinions that seeing this game achieve a 5/10 in its first proper review is satisfying. But frankly, it's the content of this review and the rest to come that are of the most concern to me.

Calling Polygon a "proper journalist" is an extremely misguided statement. This is coming from the same journalist that gave games like N-Sane Trilogy a 6/10, and Mania a 7/10, yet gave a soccer game that is essentially $90 DLC for the one three years before a 9/10, for crying out loud. That being said, I don't take Famitsu with nothing more than a grain of salt either, their reviews are overly positive and don't put out any flaws unless the game is on Ninjabread Man levels of bad, and it has been like this for over a decade. There's a good reason why Polygon gets a bad rap for being one of the worst journalists in the industry.

When other, more respectable reviewers, such as SomeCallMeJohnny, give Forces a try and give their opinion, I'll begin paying attention and that's where Sega and ST should be paying attention also. For the moment, I'll wait for more reviews to get out.

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This was a fair review with it's positives and negatives that will be good in helping sonic games improve. It's the score that I'm not too sure of. This review to me sounds like the game would deserve a 6 or maybe even a 7 at max. Only 2 points up but 5 seems just lower than I expected after reading the review. Of course it's just one dudes opinion on grading it...

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55 minutes ago, Sir Laptop said:

Calling Polygon a "proper journalist" is an extremely misguided statement.

Something tells me you didn't actually read the review and are just going "it's polygon guys". As for the guys previous reviews, oh my gosh, he has opinions and thoughts and doesn't just parrot what fans want him to say! If he personally think crash remastered was just a average "6/10" game, that's his personal professional view. He's not obligated to parrot popular opinion. And if his past reviews make this one less credible, then again, you must not be reading the reasonable issues he takes with Forces, that others have shared.

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6 hours ago, GentlemanX said:

This one is confusing because it seems to contradict itself a lot. It mentions that the player's deaths were due to problems with the level design and obstacles to avoid, but then says that enemies don't do much to actually stop Sonic. So which is it, are the obstacles (are they not talking about enemies? no other specifics are referenced) frustrating or are they not challenging?

It doesn't contradict itself at all. He's saying that trial and error gameplay and the subsequent success by rote memorization is not really a skill based challenge, so when you finish a level with a good rank there is little sense of real accomplishment. That's something people have been vocal about with this series since the back half Sonic Unleashed (STH'06 too, but that was a little different).

 

 

Likewise, enemies being dangerous in a trial and error setup in this series tends to be merely because they were placed in the exact position where them just idling would cause the player to hit them automatically if the player was in a section that their speed is maxed, rather than actually doing anything by their own hand to interact with the player when the player approached them. At that point they may as well not have bothered with the charade of enemies and just placed spikes or a pit, which could be telegraphed so a quick or prepared player could in theory avoid them.

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They also are talking about utilizing high speed and getting S-ranks but complain that you're memorizing the levels in order to do so. Again, this is how all Sonic games are designed, way back to Sonic 1.

No, it isn't. There's a marked difference between the poorly designed Sonic games and well designed Sonic games in that exact regard. What he's describing has been a problem off and on since the series started (Sonic 2 was very nasty in spots), but is by no means inherent to it. It isn't even a problem inherent to the Boost games (Generations was way better than Unleashed), or games with a Boost-like element (Sonic Advance 2 was generally pretty friendly with its enemy and obstacle placement in regards to how the engine was designed to let you play and most memorization was when looking for the emblems for the emeralds. Sonic Advance 3 actively punished you for attempting to go fast at all as early as the second level IIRC, even though it used the same engine).

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2 hours ago, GentlemanX said:

I do have some problems within the review itself.

As someone familiar with Sonic games but hasn't seen any of Forces, I don't know what this means. There's some sort of "timer" in the levels? Are they time trials, because nothing I've seen of the game has indicated that they are. The reviewer complains about the ranking system putting emphasis on how quickly one completes the level, but I think that would be common sense in a Sonic game. Sonic games have always rewarded a player for how quickly they can get themselves through a level, so I don't see why anything else would play as big a role in determining your score for the level as how quickly you were able to do it. He also mentions "hidden tokens" (which I assume are Red Rings) in relation to this, as though exploration and collectables are intended to be accomplished at the same time as a speed run. You'd think it'd be obvious you're supposed to replay the level in order to accomplish these tasks.

They're talking about how when you replay to get these bonuses, you get smacked in the face with a grade at the end that says "HEY YOU DID A BAD JOB".  It is a clash of mixed messages towards the player, when there are much more elegant solutions that promote positive player feedback.

A simple solution would be how Kirby Blowout Blast on 3DS does end of level rankings - you get medals for each of four achievements (no damage, speedy, all collectibles, all enemies defeated) and doing so will always add to your overall rank.  You CAN go for these challenges individually if you want, but successfully doing everything in one run will pretty much assure you a top-ranked score, rather than you having to choose one or another.

For Sonic though, I feel the best solution would be, like Unleashed Wii/PS2, on replays (don't pressure the player the first time through a stage) display the target time at all times on-screen, so you know what you're going for.  Whenever you collect a Red Ring, the target time gets bonus time added to it, thus you can get an S Rank even when you stop to get all the red rings, and can choose whether to do just a straightforward speedrun of the level, OR do the Red Ring speedrun for bragging rights.

And, unless it's like Sonic Rush Adventure where different ranks mean something... they should just drop the ranks and replace it with a singular "target", considering S Ranks are the only one that ever matter really.  If you don't meet the target on the end of stage screen, it doesn't come off as "you did a bad job" like a low rank does, just "you didn't do this optional challenge" instead.  You could even make it so, much as the "target time" only displays once you've beaten a stage once, the first time through it will only mention the target at all on the end-of-stage screen if you happened to beat it that first time without even knowing.

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The avatar levels are dull, but I personally think it's the best levels in the game (and it can be a little more fun) depending on which Wispons you choose. Hover, Void and Lightning are my favorites.

Not to mention the music playing in the background. Loving the Avatar's music in most of the levels. Better than both Sonic's. Need that OST.

 

P.S - Never use a Cube Wispon unless you need to use it for a challenge mission. A terrible weapon.

 

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6 minutes ago, Jack the Rookie said:

Reminder that Polygon gave Mania a 7, they are harsh on Sonic games, just like Famitsu is... I don't even know anymore, I don't trust either of them, reviewers in general, but these 2 are either messed up or against Sonic.

A 7 isn't harsh, a 7 is a fine score for a game like Mania. Not as high as other publications, but the review raised relatively fair points. This is bearing in mind my personal distaste for the writer.

And again, different reviewers. The writer of Polygon's Mania review doesn't even work there anymore.

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There is nothing in that Polygon review that hasn't been raised by half of this forum in the lead up to Forces anyway. My hopes haven't been high, and this hasn't helped. Looking forward to getting it tomorrow and just finally seeing how it is for myself. Either way, reviews like this are what the franchise needs.

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25 minutes ago, Tornado said:

36/40 Lost World.

33/40 Unleashed

34/40 Colors

35/40 Generations

31/40 ShtH

30/40 STH '06

 

 

I was implying "Just like Famitsu is awfully generous"... I don't even know anymore what to think of their reviews. I feel like the other reviewers will follow Polygon's trend and score, but I still don't trust either Famitsu or Polygon, in particular.

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3 hours ago, Rummy said:

After How Refreshing Mania was, it's a good idea to give Forces some Tough Love to be honest.

Maybe i'm in the minority but i want to actually play a game and not a interactive movie.

You’re definitely not in the minority there. It’s why I hate games like The Order 1886; sometimes it forces you to walk through a stage while characters are talking and then control is finally given back to you after a couple of minutes. It happens ad nauseum and I never want to touch the game ever again because of it.

Sonic Forces isn’t really comparable, but it does do that thing in the Boost segments where it almost takes control away for you. Just keep boosting and holding up on the analog stick and you’re good to go! And now with the removal of drifting it’s even less exciting than it was in Unleashed, Generations and yes, even Colours. Some people might like it, but personally it’s boring as hell. 

Doesn’t help that once you get to the 2D segments it’s all blocks and no substance! 

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5 minutes ago, Jack the Rookie said:

I was implying "Just like Famitsu is awfully generous"... I don't even know anymore what to think of their reviews.

Due to the unique way Famitsu aggregates ratings, to determine a score estimate is generally very simple.

 

 

Is it anime-esque?

Add 25 points.

Is it, specifically, shonen-y?

Add 5 more points.

Is it actually any good?

The remaining ten points go here.

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Even if Forces doesn't do well review-wise, I doubt it'll actually do poorly in sales. Outside this forum, there are still plenty of Sonic fans really hyped for Forces and have stayed hyped with each new piece of info. For example, many people on Sonic Reddit are very excited and see themselves enjoying the game a lot, in spite of all the negatives others bring up. They're prepared to form their own opinion only after playing the game themselves (which, good on them, honestly). So if Forces does end up being yet another mediocre or bad Sonic game that the community will thoroughly discuss and make analysis videos on, that consensus will happen only after it's sold a bunch. 

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20 minutes ago, PKGaming said:

Even if Forces doesn't do well review-wise, I doubt it'll actually do poorly in sales. Outside this forum, there are still plenty of Sonic fans really hyped for Forces and have stayed hyped with each new piece of info. For example, many people on Sonic Reddit are very excited and see themselves enjoying the game a lot, in spite of all the negatives others bring up. They're prepared to form their own opinion only after playing the game themselves (which, good on them, honestly). So if Forces does end up being yet another mediocre or bad Sonic game that the community will thoroughly discuss and make analysis videos on, that consensus will happen only after it's sold a bunch. 

Forces may well sell a bunch, but I can't see it turning a massive profit given the budget price (reduced even further by many stores). The sales figures may not wind up actually meaning much.  

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5 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

I'm going to echo opinions that seeing this game achieve a 5/10 in its first proper review is satisfying. But frankly, it's the content of this review and the rest to come that are of the most concern to me.

The core gameplay is primarily 2D, which is a problem itself but also is worse that Mania in every way from layouts to control. The 3D sections tend to be linear boost fests that are somehow put to shame by its predecessors. We've also ended up with yet another nonsense story that leaves the player to deal with a great deal of confusion. And really, the use of other characters in the story isn't the best. Set pieces in the levels might look nice, but they amount to very little and the everyone is often talking about things that we never even see nor experience. Plus it's a really strange and very unfitting tone that Sonic Team went for; Why on earth did they choose to make this story about a war? I hope that other reviews will pick up on all of these, particularly the gameplay. 

One thing that does worry me is the avatar. I loathe the concept of a custom character being involved in the story of a Sonic game. Their gameplay isn't fun here either. But I'm already prepared to see the customisation being praised as one of the high points. 

Middling scores are one thing, but to really send a message to SEGA about what's wrong with Forces, this game has to sell poorly and be criticised for the right reasons. If all we get  "Sonic friends won't shut up and Sonic doesn't need a story, but the graphics are good and the gameplay is very fast", then things are hardly going to improve. Mania was praised for all the right reasons and duly criticised for being yet another trip down memory lane, so I hope the same will be the case for Forces. There's a lot less to praise in Forces and a lot more to criticise.

If the customization system is being praised, doesn't mean the Avatar itself will return. Maybe next game could feature customization for Sonic and friends? Who knows.

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25 minutes ago, PKGaming said:

Even if Forces doesn't do well review-wise, I doubt it'll actually do poorly in sales. Outside this forum, there are still plenty of Sonic fans really hyped for Forces and have stayed hyped with each new piece of info. For example, many people on Sonic Reddit (who apparently aren't very fond of us) are very excited and see themselves enjoying the game a lot, in spite of all the negatives others bring up. They're prepared to form their own opinion only after playing the game themselves (which, good on them, honestly). So if Forces does end up being yet another mediocre or bad Sonic game that the community will thoroughly discuss and make analysis videos on, that consensus will happen only after it's sold a bunch. 

I feel like the Sonic fanbase is a smaller minority then people say it is. Granted I have no way of really proving it, but I'm pretty sure Mania didn't get good sales just from the Sonic fanbase alone. The casual crowd also gave that game a lot of attention because of it's incredibly fun and simple gameplay. Sonic fans keep this franchise on life support, but they can't afford to pay for the live saving operation to get the series healthy again.

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