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How would you fix the story of Forces?

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My thoughts:

 

* Reinforce the link to the acclaimed mania. Introduce the Heavy Spirits; spirit versions of the Hard-Boiled Heavies so that their influence is definitely felt.

* Include a true final battle against Infinite as an unlockable end-game scenario, to finally tie up the ends of the story. He’d initially emerge from the Eggman mech before mutating into a form that reflects the ugliness within.

* Shoo Classic Out earlier. 

* Make Tails’s infamous breakdown have repercussions. Sonic calls him out and forsakes him until he can man up again. Also bring up that he misses and fears for Tikal.

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20 hours ago, Tony Caline said:

My thoughts under the spoiler tag, since, being release day, I'm sure some folks don't want to be spoiled just yet, I just want to be extra cautious / courteous.

  Reveal hidden contents

Honestly, as a whole, my biggest disappointment with what I'd seen so far has primarily been how the whole of the Eggman takeover was presented. It's heavily implied he "took over", but we don't ever really get any glimpses of what that's like. We don't see what it's like in the various locations to be under the iron fist of The Eggman, there's no streets covered in pro-Egg propaganda, there's no crazy amount of flashing lights, neon signs, or anything where he's showing off his Empire's colours, his face isn't really on much of anything, and there's hardly any sign at all that he's securely fastened himself into a seat of ultimate ruling power, it's very much a "Well, we said he took over, so he did, that's all we need! And we're going to keep saying this directly without ever truly showing it, so that way, you can just kind of imagine how serious this actually is." - We don't even see him actively take over the world, we just get a text blurb about it. Not to mention, even when visiting cities and residential locations where he supposedly took over, everything is under attack as if he's still in the process of trying to conquer everything, so it never really feels like the stakes are that much higher than normal. It just feels... typical. And for a scenario like this, everything should be farthest from the status quo.

I think my biggest change would be to give the story that much more of a centered focus around Eggman - how the takeover actually happens, what the resistance is actually doing versus what is implied that they are doing (because we don't even really get to see much of that, either, we're just told the Resistance is a thing that exists, and is "fighting back" without really showing us beyond a flashback where Infinite just kind of won the fight), what Eggman is doing with his newfound power over the 99% of the world he actually has taken over (because, seriously, the world is huge, but I guess all of the levels we see take place in that 1% that he hasn't taken over? That's not particularly interesting, why not visit places that were overtaken to liberate them? And, again, if that's what's going on with the stages presented, they are basically liberating places that are currently in the process of being attacked/taken over, so...)

As another big change, I would probably take the focus off of Infinite entirely. This is an Eggman takeover, why did Infinite get to basically be the key ingredient to making it happen? Why is there a fake Metal Sonic amongst a fake Rogue's Gallery? Why didn't we have the actual Metal Sonic? For that matter, why was there so little focus on Eggman's actual robots in a game like this where he conquered the vast majority of the planet? Why not bring in other Metal robots into the mix? What if the story followed Sonic and Co. hopping from place to place liberating conquered towns and cities from the clutches of crazy Eggman Robots? I mean, even the Hard-Boiled Heavies are an idea for something like that, y'know?

A story focusing on an Eggman-takeover should have strictly been about that, but the way it is now, the narrative feels rushed and all over the place, and it never feels like they were doing anything differently with the scenario than they have done already. The focus is on Infinite, whose backstory and other elements just do not work well at all, and it just feels so out of place with how Eggman feels like he would take control of everything. Honestly, he would've usually just stuck with the actual power source in question, rather than attach it to some kind of not-machine with sentience and an attitude.

The story as-is, I feel, is pretty much a squandered opportunity, and considering the circumstances, I don't think this is a concept they'll really revisit again. This kinda stuff, when it comes to wasted potential, hurts a little bit to think about.

 

Fuckin' nailed it.

Adding on to all of that:

Spoiler
  • Make the Avatar less "important". I know he's the big playable character and all, but the way they went about it is so...fanfiction that it hurts. Seeing the side characters say things like "you're our only hope" to a kid armed with nothing but a grappling hook and some random wisp technology just makes no damn sense to me.  I'm not saying to cut the rookie entirely. I personally think it'd have been more interesting if the Avatar fought the war on a different battlefront, focusing on uniting his people to stand against the Eggman Empire in the areas that the main resistance can't reach or something like that. You'd still get the accomplishment of helping out Sonic without it being shoved in your face, plus it'd give the OC some depth and a real sense of purpose to be there.
  • Make Sonic's friends more prominent. Seeing as just about all the side characters present are just as strong/talented, if not more so, than Sonic is, they should've been able to do more. (I mean, Silver alone could've liberated an entire area with his broken PK powers). There was virtually nothing in the story that the Avatar did that any of Sonic's friends couldn't have accomplished. Also, it would've helped so much more if the resistance's efforts were more pronounced. The concept of a resistance force isn't bad but I think it was totally mismanaged. I had a chat with a friend a few months ago about our ideal Resistance leadership lineup and we came up with Tails as the Brain and Anti-Eggman Tech Division Leader, Knuckles as the Frontline Assault Commander, Amy as the Delegate and "Voice of the People" and Shadow as Head Commander and Tactical Planner. Something like this that'd play up all of their strengths to bolster their efforts. On a related note:
    • FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SONIC TEAM, PLEASE FIX TAILS. There's absolutely no goddamn excuse for Tails to be acting the way that he has based off of his previously established actions (I mean, it was just a game ago where the little fox was bragging out of inventing complex shit outta toothpicks so what the fuck happened there). You would think that Tails would've been the first person to jump up and say "Let's get the heck out there and save Sonic!" but he's literally the most useless character in Forces. Charmy the Bee got more action than Tails. I mean, shit, he broke Sonic out of fucking prison once before. In that same game, when Eggman (nearly) killed Sonic, Tails started a motherfucking shootout. In space. In a windowed room full of explosives. After that, and hell, his role in the classic games, you can't fucking expect me to buy that Tails just gets depressed and cowers in fear at basic bitch robot mooks and fucking base form Chaos after that.
  • Just axe Classic Sonic. He had no bearing on the story and had just about no reason to be there. Corporate meddling at its finest.
  • The last thing I have, which is pretty much a problem that Sonic Team has had since 2010...Explain the goddamn setting better and expand the plot threads. Why were the wisps there? What did the whole world takeover thing look like? Why doesn't anything look like it's been taken over? Why were the "four returning villains" such a big hype seller point when they amount to jack shit in the story? (still can't believe that two of the four "returning villains" didn't even get boss fights they just got wrecked in like 2 seconds). What was the point of the Nullspace if Sonic and the OC could just run really fast and escape? WHAT WAS EVERYBODY ELSE DOING AND WHY DID THEY HAVE TO RELY SOLELY ON SONIC AND SOME RANDOM KID OFF THE STREET?!

It sucks that they couldn't even bother to flesh out such a promising plot idea and just slapped the whole thing together like that...There's no cohesion, no depth, no structure, no sense of urgency or direction, and most importantly, no soul...just like the last 3-4 Sonic game stories.

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add an actual fight with Chaos and Shadow and make Infinite's final fate more clear.

Other than that I'm mostly good. Maybe Metal and Zavok didn't need to be illusions, also.

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21 hours ago, Tony Caline said:

My thoughts under the spoiler tag, since, being release day, I'm sure some folks don't want to be spoiled just yet, I just want to be extra cautious / courteous.

  Reveal hidden contents

Honestly, as a whole, my biggest disappointment with what I'd seen so far has primarily been how the whole of the Eggman takeover was presented. It's heavily implied he "took over", but we don't ever really get any glimpses of what that's like. We don't see what it's like in the various locations to be under the iron fist of The Eggman, there's no streets covered in pro-Egg propaganda, there's no crazy amount of flashing lights, neon signs, or anything where he's showing off his Empire's colours, his face isn't really on much of anything, and there's hardly any sign at all that he's securely fastened himself into a seat of ultimate ruling power, it's very much a "Well, we said he took over, so he did, that's all we need! And we're going to keep saying this directly without ever truly showing it, so that way, you can just kind of imagine how serious this actually is." - We don't even see him actively take over the world, we just get a text blurb about it. Not to mention, even when visiting cities and residential locations where he supposedly took over, everything is under attack as if he's still in the process of trying to conquer everything, so it never really feels like the stakes are that much higher than normal. It just feels... typical. And for a scenario like this, everything should be farthest from the status quo.

I think my biggest change would be to give the story that much more of a centered focus around Eggman - how the takeover actually happens, what the resistance is actually doing versus what is implied that they are doing (because we don't even really get to see much of that, either, we're just told the Resistance is a thing that exists, and is "fighting back" without really showing us beyond a flashback where Infinite just kind of won the fight), what Eggman is doing with his newfound power over the 99% of the world he actually has taken over (because, seriously, the world is huge, but I guess all of the levels we see take place in that 1% that he hasn't taken over? That's not particularly interesting, why not visit places that were overtaken to liberate them? And, again, if that's what's going on with the stages presented, they are basically liberating places that are currently in the process of being attacked/taken over, so...)

As another big change, I would probably take the focus off of Infinite entirely. This is an Eggman takeover, why did Infinite get to basically be the key ingredient to making it happen? Why is there a fake Metal Sonic amongst a fake Rogue's Gallery? Why didn't we have the actual Metal Sonic? For that matter, why was there so little focus on Eggman's actual robots in a game like this where he conquered the vast majority of the planet? Why not bring in other Metal robots into the mix? What if the story followed Sonic and Co. hopping from place to place liberating conquered towns and cities from the clutches of crazy Eggman Robots? I mean, even the Hard-Boiled Heavies are an idea for something like that, y'know?

A story focusing on an Eggman-takeover should have strictly been about that, but the way it is now, the narrative feels rushed and all over the place, and it never feels like they were doing anything differently with the scenario than they have done already. The focus is on Infinite, whose backstory and other elements just do not work well at all, and it just feels so out of place with how Eggman feels like he would take control of everything. Honestly, he would've usually just stuck with the actual power source in question, rather than attach it to some kind of not-machine with sentience and an attitude.

The story as-is, I feel, is pretty much a squandered opportunity, and considering the circumstances, I don't think this is a concept they'll really revisit again. This kinda stuff, when it comes to wasted potential, hurts a little bit to think about.

 

Yeah, it really didn't make any sense for the gang to put everything in the hands of some rookie. Honestly South Park did it so much better with the self-insert character; putting their faith in the character because...well they're ass-holes, and they like making you do the grunt work. But hell at least they throw their weight around.

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Establish Infinite as a threat by having Sonic and all of his friends subdued, minus Knuckles. None of them are tortured. Eggman takes over the world because there isn't a resistance in the first place. Knuckles meets Rookie during an attack by Eggman, and the two agree to help take back their friends. The story proceeds without any Classic Sonic whatsoever. Infinite is beaten down, and he reveals that Shadow insulted him earlier. Shadow is now aware of his role in Infinite's creation, and we see the mental effects of that. Sonic and his friends take things seriously. We see and participate in battles through levels, rather than being told about them. The team decides they need the Chaos Emeralds to get the job done.There is a push and pull to the tide of war, with Eggman actually gaining back some land at one point. The whole bit with that idiotic sun plot is removed entirely. We get boss fights with the fakers, that include help from their real-life counterparts (except Metal). Once Sonic and Shadow face Infinite, you get to play a three-section boss fight where the Rookie helps out. Once Infinite is defeated, Eggman thoughtlessly murders him. Eggman uses an illusion of Perfect Chaos to send them all flying miles away, then retreats to an unknown facility. Days pass as they find the last emeralds, and Eggman makes a violent return from underground with a swarm of enhanced Death Egg robots. He reclaims some territory, setting the stage for a final fight in his capital. Each character takes a turn being Super as the one before tires out from ring loss, culminating in Rookie going Super and finishing him off. Day is saved. Eggman retreats into space, warning Sonic that it might take longer than usual, but he will be back. Post-credits scene shows Rookie and Sonic parting ways. 

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I wasn't as bothered by Tails as the rest of you. However, that's probably because I was grateful he wasn't an asshole in this game.

That said, I feel like going for the depressed Tails angle could have worked had the focus been entirely on him trying to work through Sonic's defeat and him coming to grips with it. That Eggman fight in Green Hill should have been the point where he snapped out of it on his own and took the man on himself, resolving to follow in Sonic's footsteps and reclaim the world from Eggman as someone determined to carry on his legacy. 

Then AFTER that, he finds out Sonic is still alive.

Granted, another reason the Tails thing probably didn't bug me is that he stops it after Sonic is confirmed alive. Afterward, he actually is providing useful info and input for what we need to do and how we need to do it. One thing probably just stands out more than the other here.

Of course, having the focus on Tails there would mean no Classic Sonic and making Tails playable... 

...So do it. 

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Editing it out in my head all day at work saw to a lot of things being expanded upon and not a whole lot being necessarily taken out. I feel like that's the biggest issue here.

Tails - The idea behind his focus in the story working as a fallout from him "losing it" when Sonic is defeated in front of him can definitely work. It's not even just that Sonic was presumed dead, it's also that the entire world was taken over afterward and his reaction as a child who looked up to Sonic as someone who irrefutably influenced his life for the positive more than anyone else stands a chance at shattering his world view. That's the starting point for him and he needs to go through the story learning again what it means now that Sonic's gone and how to crawl out of that darkness he was just thrust back into when Sonic left his life again. It'd be an example of him taking what he's learned from Sonic and applying it to himself in a time where not only was he gone but the absolute worst happened on top of that. Not even just him getting mad and fighting to stop Eggman from completing his plan like when he thought Sonic was dead in SA2 but actually overcoming his entire worldview shattering due to Eggman having taken over the WORLD.

That would have been an adventure worth following Tails' side of the story on. And after he comes to grips with himself, he then learns that Sonic is alive and tries his best to be at his best for the Metropolis and Eggman Empire Fortress Finale. I'd also make it a little more clear that Tails was initially protecting those citizens before Sonic showed up in that opening cutscene. He definitely was since why else would he have spoken about rallying to the city and Sonic being late. Putting more emphasis that he was backed into a corner would have done a lot more to help sell the struggle though.

Eggman and Infinite - I disagree that focus should be taken away from Infinite. More focus should be given to Eggman. As well as making sure to clarify all the things about Infinite that were left out of the game that were essential to understanding who he is. Eggman being the big bad who took over the world is something that should be played up a lot more through the scenery and the cutscenes provided that show how he meddles with people's lives with his weird ass Empire. Probably have him showing stuff like that Eggmanland Propaganda commercial on a TV overlooking one of the more rundown cities for a hilarious contrast or something. Have him make the animals in the prison draw their best art of him in different poses for a laugh. Something. 

Infinite's position as an enforcer would and should work well to enhance Eggman's dominant position. The idea of Eggman having Egg Bosses or commanders under his belt to help him achieve his goal is a good one. Having the main enforcer get a nice round of backstory to him would also do him well so long as Eggman isn't overtaken. Play up how Infinite came to be who he was by showcasing the events of that comic within the game and provide more tidbits about what his life was like when he was apart of the Jackal Squad. Inform us on why it got started and who he was before so that we can have more an informed opinion about who he becomes later and why abandoning his former team in search for power could lead to a drastic change in character as well as something that makes that mask an instrument he uses to hide his "loneliness" but is "blinded" by the pursuit of power to notice it.

The game did good on making it clear that Infinite was subservient to Eggman despite his attitude but they could have done well to sell the relationship a bit more. 

Now, giving Eggman and Infinite more focus would require a longer game and more cutscenes...........and after 3 years I'd think we'd probably have something a little more, or at least on par with, what Rise of Lyric did. That game, as shitty as it was, didn't resort to dealing out information through text boxes...

The Resistance - This game really needed to be longer. We could have had something similar to what Shadow the Hedgehog did where some characters would individually or in groups be off accomplishing their own missions. The Chaotix, as detectives, could have followed whatever character you were currently playing as on a mission to uncover information about the origins of the Phantom Ruby. Perhaps a mission with Team Dark to uncover something that would fix Omega. And if you still want your "Omega appears at the end to help all cool like" then maybe have it not work at first and then have him show up to land an actual FATAL blow on Infinite that we can then exploit in the ensuing boss battle. Something that utilized the characters a bit more. 

The best way to do this, of course, would be to have more of them playable but Sonic Team would rather you fiddle around with wisps, parkour, and werehogs then do that. I'll just say, they're strategy of sticking to 2D and Classic Sonic for their 3D Sonic games doesn't seem to be providing the results they want regardless. On the flip-side, I haven't heard a word of discontent coming from Shadow's playability. Despite essentially being a skin, him being around at all allowed for more expansion on the story and room for the narrative to breathe a bit without being restricted to just the characters who couldn't be there when Team Dark's mission was going down. If we were allowed to play as Knuckles we could have had that Chaos 0 fight in the Pachacamac village illusion like in that prequel comic. Just sayin.

Eggman Takes Over the World - We need more Eggman propaganda. We need more stages that look like they were infected by Eggman's rule. That doesn't necessarily mean that everything has to be covered in machinery or look the same either. Different locations can have different things done to them depending on what's happened. That city was just straight up destroyed because it supposedly served no purpose. Metropolis, on the other hand, was beautifully white but lacked a significant amount of Eggman faces to sell me on the state of it being an important base. The Eggman Empire Fortress needed a bit more of that too as well.

Honestly,  if any game needed the hub system that Unleashed had, it's probably this one. At the end of the Spaceport level, I was marveling at how beautiful the environment looked with the snow falling and the Eggman warships shining in the background. It would have been a great place to freely walk around and explore but most importantly, it would have sold me a bit more on the state of the world. 

Get rid of Green Hill Zone entirely by the way. That was unnecessary, even with there being sand everywhere. Chemical Plant should also be modified even more to the point where it's an entirely new stage. The only returning stage I feel I could tolerate is the Death Egg. That really gorgeous level where Modern Sonic is escaping from Prison is one of the highlights of the game for me. Most of Modern Sonic's stages are (when the controls in 2D aren't sending me zooming over a platform at least). 

The Uprising Fights to Take the World Back - Last but not least, it needs to feel more like an actual war. More cutscenes and more perspectives from the characters is one thing but the pacing is also a matter that needed serious work at the beginning. It literally just threw you into the conflict and two cutscenes later 99% of the world was taken over. We don't get to see it. We don't get to experience any of the initial struggle some of the characters might have gone through during the lead up to it's take over. It's just told to us that it happened. Afterward, the game has a really decent flow until after the failed attempt to take out the base at Metropolis. After that, the story decides it's had enough of being awesome and just tells you to jump from stage to stage while it relays what everyone's doing through text boxes. You wouldn't even KNOW you'd taken out Metal Sonic in the middle of that if you were to just watch the cutscenes. 

The story doesn't pick it's steam back up until we revisit Metropolis followed by the awesome Null Space level and then get ushered into the Eggman Empire Fortress sequences that have the army going up against multiple climaxes before the final end. It's a better ending than simply reaching the power off machine and having a meaningless boss with Eggman, to be certain, but it suffers from the fact that it feels like it cheated to reach where it was. That climax was something that belonged to a much better handled story. 

As for the Avatar, I'd probably keep things as they are. For those concerned about how the OCness of them relying on him feels off, I wasn't too bothered considering how they always made sure to give a reason in level as to why he was always the only one left who could handle things when everyone else was either preoccupied or closed off. That said, I'd probably change the dialogue a bit to make it a little less reliant on him/her. However, for the most part, I don't have too much of a problem with how the Avatar was handled. If the game was made longer and had more cutscenes, I'd keep the amount of focus he got the same and improve upon literally everyone else though. Sorry to say, but I don't care THAT much about my character. *Shrug*

There you go. How I'd fix the story in a nutshell. Despite how long this is, I actually didn't go in-depth at all here.

 

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13 minutes ago, Gabz Girl said:

Just show us that Sonic was tortured damn it! 

 

I would remove the suggestion that Sonic was tortured. It's way too "yeah, this a serious game" move.

Anyway, most good ideas were thrown, so not to repeat them

1 Get someone better to write dialogue. It's so lifeless and without personality. I dare you, try to quote any character, maybe minus Sonic, Infinite, and Eggman.

2 It goes double for in-stage dialogue. With exception of operation Big Wave (one of few good moments in the story), they just spot out the obvious or things they talked about before the stage started.

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Make Infinite the final boss. Have him have no other boss fight with than the final boss. Build him up as this unstoppable obstacle that Sonic has a hard time going up against him. Then have a Super Sonic boss fight with him as the final boss fight with him. Seriously implement the Chaos Emeralds in this story. Were they necessary in Generations? No. But here in Forces where the war aspect is present why not implement them in

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1. Knuckles isn't the leader of the Resistance. It's obviously from him being a fan-favorite.  Just make the Resistance more of a partnership if we can't have Vector lead.

2. The Chaos and Master Emeralds need to acknowledged. 

3. More info on the Jackal Squad or just more on anthros who serve Eggman.

4. You get to join the EE.

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Here's my thoughts on how to fix it. 

Spoiler

Point 1: Sonic needs to be shown more before and during the capture.

During the beginning of the game, you play the first stage of the game and Sonic is randomly in a sandy Green Hill, long before Eggman's takeover began. You run through it while Tails tells you about needing help. You go there, Sonic gets his ass kicked, and that's that. 

But you see, looking at it from a story viewpoint, we really should've got more before the capture. If we're talking in a hypothetical game that's around Unleashed in length, then I would've had the story start off with Sonic and Tails doing a few levels together as a group, chasing down Eggman as if it's a normal thing. Establish what the usual dynamic between Sonic and Eggman is, show Sonic taking down Eggman a few times. 

Dragon Ball Xenoverse does a great example of this in it's opening where you start in a 15 minute prologue that features the player taking control of Goku and fighting Frieza, Cell and Kid Buu, the iconic fights of the series so to speak. This establishes to us how Goku won these fights and how the dynamic is meant to go before shit hits the fan and time begins being altered so they turn the tables on Goku. Maybe they could've had a few quick levels where Sonic takes down a Eggman operation with Tails, Knuckles, and Amy's help and beats Eggman. This prologue establishes Eggman finally having enough and snapping, finally got for his showstopper plan.

This then leads us to Sonic's capture. Trying to lead us - the player into thinking Sonic is dead is completely stupid. It's fine to have the characters believe that, but we know for a fact he's alive. But we don't know for how long he's alive. What they should've done is then have a few levels of the resistance going up against the Eggman Empire, and losing horribly. Show us Eggman building up his empire slowly but surely as the heroes keep getting beaten until it reaches a new low as Infinite wipes the floor with them. Have them get to the point of losing hope because Sonic is gone and even with Sonic, it'd be touchy if they could win. That way when they actually discover Sonic's alive, we know what a relief it is.

But even better, show us Sonic captured. We're told that Sonic is tortured for months on end, and then when we see him again, he's in cuffs and cracking jokes. Why not show us something similar to Deadpool? Show Sonic being forced to watch his failure daily as Eggman forces him to see his empire slowly build while he hurts Sonic's friends. Sonic as a character is a free spirit, someone who cares deeply for his friends and for freedom. How do you torture someone like him best? You don't hurt him physically, you keep him trapped and show his beliefs being tramped on while Eggman gloats daily and Sonic is completely helpless to do anything. Archie Sonic does this a lot, so it would've been perfect here and explain perfectly why Sonic would be pissed off by the time he's freed. 

Point 2: Tails

Tails is a complete disgrace in this game and he needs to be fixed ASAP SEGA. You've literally ruined the entire thing that Tails stood for in the first place. He was a Sonic fan who was courageous enough to keep up with him and jump into danger with him. He's someone who had to learn the hard way that you can't just rely on Sonic to save your ass every single time something bad happens. He's someone who had to grow up quickly and learn how to defend himself and be a hero in his own right, as well as being a humble genius inventor. That is Tails as a character. He is the protege of Sonic, he is someone who grew up with Sonic as his friend, his brother and his role model.

Tails as a character would never just stand there letting himself get attacked by Egg Pawns, nor would he do the same for Chaos.

Tails is one of my favourites in the series and I'm so pissed off that they've screwed him so badly. They've completely rid him of agency in a sad desperate attempt to shoehorn Classic Sonic into the game when it makes absolutely no sense. Tails wouldn't just "lose it" when Sonic is supposedly killed. He'd be livid, and sad, and mourning, but he'd be right alongside Knuckles in starting the resistance up as a tribute to his friend. He'd see it as being up to him to maintain the legacy Sonic had as a hero, not running around for six months like a complete coward, shivering in fear of fucking Chaos 0. Considering Tails had the guts to go against Chaos 4 even with Sonic and Knuckles backing him up, that shows he is fully capable of dealing with Chaos 0, even if it's simply holding him off. 

The end result of this nonsense is showing Tails so completely out of character that it practically hurts the character as a whole. Instead of a confident, humble inventor learning to stand on his own two feet as a hero and potentially having an interesting arc with picking up the pieces of the death of someone he cared about a lot and held to high regard, but nope, we need him to be useless to justify Classic.

Point 3: Shadow, Chaos, Zavok, Metal

I already discussed this on another topic, but I'll quote what I said there:

Quote

Why on Earth were these cut? They would've added a lot more story to the DLC considering it has Shadow actively question what's going on, ponder if it's truly a trap or not, and have a lot more hints that Infinite is impersonating Rouge and Omega as opposed to just Omega shouting "I'M NOT WEAK" on loop. 

But this drags up something else that pisses me off. It shows that even if the person trapped in the illusion questions if it's real or not, they can be lured into believing it. Which leads to the sheer fact that would've given the perfect reason to have the villains join with Eggman for real. Why? Because the Phantom Ruby has been keeping them trapped in their own retrospective illusions and has been using that to bend them to Eggman's rule. We could've had the Ruby create illusions of Gerald and Maria and have them constantly defend Eggman's actions, convincing Shadow to join him in order to better the world.

Zavok would've been trapped in an illusion where he believed he and the Deadly Six were on top while Eggman played second fiddle to them, meaning that they would've been all too happy to do what they did. Chaos, perhaps could've been freed from the destroyed Master Emerald as established in the Prequel comics (preferably, alongside Tikal), and then perhaps Chaos is neutral to begin with, but ends up getting trapped in an illusion where the heroes begin attacking Chao causing him to go into rage mode while the ruby creates an illusion of Tikal who insists the world must be destroyed to pay for their crimes so to speak, since in Adventure, she's the one who calms Chaos down. 

I mean like, it's not the perfect setups, I'm sure, but fucking hell, it's something and actually gives credible reasons for the villains to work under Eggman until Sonic manages to knock them out of their illusions.

The villains right now feel absolutely wasted. No personality outside of a few lines from Zavok's illusion, no reason for working for the villains outside of "oh well they're illusions". etc. It all feels super wasted.

Point 4: World Building

This game should have good world building, because it's entire plot hinges on the world being at stake because Eggman successfully took over. Compare this to say Sonic Unleashed, which had the player explore every single part of the world you went to. You got to meet with locals who all had names and personality traits, you got to see how the world is with and without Dark Gaia's influence. You get to experience how different each part of the world is. It's so well done with it's world building and makes sense considering the game is literally about the end of the world if Sonic can't beat Dark Gaia.

They really should've done the same here. Have different hub worlds with side-missions from citizens who have been caught in the crossfire between Eggman and the Resistance. Show us what they're lives are like now with Eggman in control. Show us the world when it isn't under attack. Where there's tons of Eggman propaganda, and egotistica statues to show off Eggman himself. Better yet, make each world have the personality of Eggmanland, where it was a massive country just to prop up Eggman's ego. Actually make us give a shit about these people and wanting to stop Eggman.

There's a lot more that could be discussed, but there are a few starting points at least.

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The game's plot doesn't really need to be expanded imo. It needs to be streamlined  a lot.

As much emphasis needs to be put on Sonic and Eggman as possible if you want Forces's story to work. This is what Sonic(and the player) have been fighting to prevent and what Eggman has been pushing for for years, so the story really should have been about the two of them and what that means rather than pushing a bunch of new characters at the forefront.
 

This doesn't mean other characters can't appear. On the contrary. It'd only help the scale of the conflict and Sonic putting a team together to help fight Eggman only makes sense. Keep them in character but don't put a whole lot of emphasis on their individual baggage and backstories. There's no time for that both in and out of universe and it would only alienate newcomers.  The most important thing though is that you show them actually doing something. Classic, infinite, and the avatar need to be fde-emphasized if not outright removed. I don't even really hate these characters as concepts, but this isn't the game for them.


The biggest problem with the story though is the "show, don't tell" stuff people have mentioned above. The game likes throwing a bunch of text around and otherwise being a completely standard Sonic game. Mechanics are part of a game's story telling and even should be put at the forefront. We should be able to see what Eggman's world is like in the levels around us. The game should be a bit harder since Eggman has control everywhere. There should be a notable difference in an area with Eggman's presence in it . You could bring back one or two old zones to hammer this point home if you wanted. Sonic CD was way better at what Forces promised than Forces is, since you can see the contrast in every level.

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19 minutes ago, Josh said:

The biggest problem with the story though is the "show, don't tell" stuff people have mentioned above. The game likes throwing a bunch of text around and otherwise being a completely standard Sonic game. Mechanics are part of a game's story telling and even should be put at the forefront. We should be able to see what Eggman's world is like in the levels around us. The game should be a bit harder since Eggman has control everywhere. There should be a notable difference in an area with Eggman's presence in it . You could bring back one or two old zones to hammer this point home if you wanted. Sonic CD was way better at what Forces promised than Forces is, since you can see the contrast in every level.

I feel like the forest stages in Forces is probably the only example of what the world would actually be like if Eggman had taken it over. Because a lot of the design of that world is replicating something akin to Eggmanland where there is a bunch of neon, and lights, and egocentric pieces like Eggman's slot machines, but like everything else, it's nowhere near expanded enough. 

Personally, I do like the idea of Chemical Plant because not only is it iced over, but it shows us the kind of scale Eggman's empire has with massive warships, cargo holds and more flying around the place. That's the kind of stuff we should be getting here to give us an idea of the scale and scope Eggman has managed to achieve. But even then, neither are anywhere near expanded enough.

I actually kind of would've loved to see some humour to the stuff Eggman has done in control too. Like sure, display the central conflict, but why not have a bit of fun with the levels themselves and place in small jokes? Why not have Egg TV playing on massive screens in the levels? Or if you want to take it a step further, even have a bit of radar slip humour in there. I imagine Eggman's ego being so big that he'd start doing some of the things Cortex from Crash Bandicoot has done in terms of establishing his rule and placing his face everywhere, to the point Cortex even has something like this:

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Why not have stuff like that but Eggman themed? There could be fashion shops where it's just a generic Eggman uniform, or there could be nightclubs that's based after Sonic villains, or there could be theaters that show Eggman's life story. Just run wild with it and throw some gags about the lengths Eggman would go to just to show off and show how much he's won. But instead we get generic destroyed city and that's really it.

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There's a great deal about Forces which needs overhauling in a serious way, but the one thing I don't think I've seen suggested yet is the following: The whole plotline of Sonic's capture and subsequent rescue feels like a finale.  Instead, it's just the beginning, and nothing which follows really ever convincingly feels like it has the same stakes.  So I would shift that whole plot arc to the end and use it to lead directly into the final level.  Like maybe the Death Egg was effectively guarding the Empire Fortress, threatening to blast down with overwhelming force any Resistance invasion.

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