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November 19, 2017 in Sonic Games
I remember really enjoying Colors when it first came out, but over time and after playing Generations (which is much better IMO), it seems a lot less impressive to me. Then came Forces which was a disappointment. But a lot of the disappointing aspects of it are also present in Colors.
- Really short levels (although Colors has more of them)
- Very linear and hallway-like 3D sections with little going on
- An overuse of 2D over 3D
- Slow and awkward platforming in 2D with little flow
- A reliance on Wisp power-ups
But most still would consider Colors a better game and it certainly did better critically. But why? What does Colors do better than Forces? Or DOES it do better than Forces? I'll admit, it's been a while since I played Colors all the way through, but the only things I can think of are:
- It's at least more focused than Forces on one gameplay style
- I think they use the Wisps better
- The Wisps were actually new and interesting ideas back then
- The areas you visit are a lot more creative and beautiful (despite being on the Wii)
- It came out during a time when people weren't sick of Boost gameplay
Well, my memory of Colours is a lot fresher than most, since I only got the Wii version earlier this year (owned the DS version from release) and there's definitely a lot that the game shares with forces...
Some of those things I'm okay with here though, since Colours was on the Wii which wasn't the most powerful machine. But here in Forces? There's no excuse!!
Pretty sure the saying "boost to win" also started after Colours :|
But Forces is running on an Xbox One and should have levels that rival Unleashed for length, detail and challenge AT LEAST!
So all in all. I personally feel Colours is the better game, though I have been playing Forces a lot. And Forces has some cool looking levels, especially for Modern Sonic that I could have loved even more if they were longer.
Colours was better because they were actually trying. Not a masterpiece, but they had an idea of what they wanted the game to be, and it met that vision (mostly).
For me, Colors is better because they had a vision and they accomplished it more or less. Apart from that the only positive of Colors was being released 7 years ago, at the time when people were not sick of boost gameplay. Or wisps. Or linear level design that much.
I liked Forces better, for Avatar, Story, playable Shadow, even if Colors had better aesthetics. (music I'm not sure. I thiiiiiiink Forces?)
The problem is I never played Colours, so I can't compare gameplay and that makes my opinion much less significant.
I think in the long run I'll find both to be on equal ground, games I go back to because I love the aesthetics/music etc but then get frustrated that the level design is so challengeless and bland.
Overall though I slightly prefer Forces for it's more exciting tone and sense of grandeur to the plot, even if it still duffed that up in certain ways. I'd say aesthetically they're fairly on par too, with Colours having more variety and creativity but Forces having the full-quality Hedgehog Engine pretties going on, and more stuff happening in the background.
Despite how it fell flat in a number of ways, at least stuff happened in Forces story rather than a continous sequence of missed opportunities/self-solving problems (Tails' mind control, Yakker's disappearance, and the destruction of Eggman's superweapon) and the jokes didn't feel like they had a quota to fill.
Gameplay-wise, Forces DID have a little more 3D platforming, if only a little, and the Wisps were much less intrusive. The bosses are about on par, Colours' were a little more creative but there were only three that were then repeated. Forces had repeats too but to a lesser degree. I'd compare the final bosses too but y'know.
Musically it's a horrifically close call, but I'd side with Forces because I just love the melodies and in-gameplay vocal music as a concept.
Edit: Too busy to edit everything but I don't know anymore. lol
I would probably still put Colors over Forces because for me Colors had better gameplay/controls, music, levels...
With the controls, I've never felt like it was a big struggle playing o something I just need to get used to like it is in Forces with the Avatar where I really needed to adjust to, or Classic Sonic where I feel his controls are a big struggle to deal with. Outright bad if I'm honest. I do like that for Forces it gives you Boost type gameplay more akin to Unleashed/Generations. And Im pretty tied on Wisps in Colors and Forces. Both games handled them well, I think. I think having the Wisps as weapons in Forces is an interesting choice, but I kinda hate that they can't be switched on the fly. For what it's worth, cool that there's different types of the same weapons that does different things from giving your Avatar a shield, giving you rings for destroying enemies, or making your Avatar stop on a dime.
Colors has arguably the most upbeat and poppy soundtrack among all 3D Sonic games and to this day still remains one of my top favorite 3D Sonic soundtracks of all time. In the top 5. It's hard to top classics like Sweet Mountain or Planet Wisp. This isn't to say Forces has bad music. Oh no. Definitely not. FAR from that. It's music is really darn good and brings back a personal favorite thing I've been wanting brought back for a long time and that's vocal songs. I just think as of this moment there's only a handful of songs I can remember/go back to listen to. Talk to me within a few more months and Forces may have the better soundtrack to me in the end. Maybe.
I honestly find myself loving the level selection more in Colors than Forces. Forces has some really nice stuff like two city levels (I'm a sucker for those), but that's really all I care for. Everything that aren't the city levels are like...alright to me. I don't care that much to replay them. Some levels I outright forgot existed and only could remember the song for them, and when I realized the song was played for that specific level I forgot, I ended up going "No wonder I forgot, the level isn't that memorable or special." It never felt that way with Colors. I'm not the biggest fan of a big level being broken up into acts, and there's some acts I don't find to be that memorable in Colors, but I play the majority of acts and find them mostly memorable.
I'm not sure on story anymore. Because on one hand I quite enjoy the nice light story Colors had with its funny dialogue and nice character interaction between Sonic and Tails, along with Orbot and Cubot. The latter two are big favorites of mine and I'm glad they've been with Eggman to give him company since I find them to be hilarious. They didn't really do anything in Forces but did have some funny moments. Though, with Forces I appreciate the more serious story and it being more action packed. It brings a ton of characters back and give them funny lines and nice character interactions. Episode Shadow DLC was great for more Team Dark interactions. Maybe I'm leaning more towards Forces on this one.
While typing this all up, I honestly see how very close both games are... I like them almost the same or like one a tad bit more than the other in the grand scheme of things? At first, I was going in with a solid Colors > Forces attitude and now I'm walking out going Colors ? Forces. I enjoy both for what it's worth. Both have meh boss fights but Forces are more exciting to look at, and while Forces is has dropping beautiful thanks to the Hedgehog Engine 2, I still find myself loving the look of levels much more in Colors because of the bright colors and it's impressive how gorgeous the game looks on the Wii.
I'd say expectations and disappointment would play a huge part in how you perceive Colors vs Forces.
Colors, despite me not personally liking it for numerous reasons I've stated in the past, was a game that at the time was not expected to be much, but steadily gained good word of mouth as a result of appearing to be a Sonic game without any bullshit attached (even if I disagree immensely), on top of being a sequel to a mixed game (Unleashed, although I'd prefer that any day over Colors). It also helped that the stakes of the game in-universe, as prone to wasted and missed opportunities at every corner, were ultimately fairly low with a lighthearted (badly done granted) tone to it, so people didn't really mind to the degree they might now.
Forces on the other hand, was a game that was presented as having a lot of major events happening in-universe (Eggman taking over the world successfully, big war between Sonic, friends and Eggman, etc), and was also a sequel to a popular game (Mania). As such, expectations were much higher and thus had more room to fall harder if something went wrong.
AND A LOT WENT WRONG.
Bad marketing, shoddy displays of gameplay (and half-assed looking gameplay in general), the huge number of development issues that clearly went on behind the scenes, a story with characters that they clearly didn't seem to have any coherent idea of what to do with despite having the motherload of opportunities on their plate...the list goes on and on. As a result, combined with the steadily worsening word of mouth and the lukewarm responses at the end, you have our current situation.
Colors is a much better game than Forces when you compare the two. From controls to level design. Aesthetics like atmosphere and visuals. Even things like story-line and writing. Forces maybe has things that aren't really tangible over it like "ambition" but imo it's hardly something to judge a game by, and this is coming from someone who thinks Unleashed is a better game than Colors. Forces is a game literally designed in the vein of Colors but runs back the things Colors did right for the most part and adds things on that just bog down the experience. It's hard for me to seriously say it's better in any way to be honest. Out of the two, Colors is more sure of itself and knows what it wants.
Let's not forget though that Colors also had these things...
Fuck these things.
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