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If Sonic Forces has been commercially successful, what do you want Sega to improve in a follow up?


GentlemanX
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Obviously, we don't know for certain if Sonic Forces has been successful for Sega or not. Webber says it did well and some statements have said Forces performed well, but those aren't hard facts. Still, let's assume that Forces was successful and Sonic Team intends to use Forces as a measuring stick for what to include in future Sonic games. Whether that is boost/classic gameplay, character customization, "serious" storytelling, Sonic's extended cast, less cutesy atmosphere or level aesthetics - what have you.

Still, it's clear Sonic Forces hasn't been received the best from a critical perspective. Whether that be review scores in the mediocre range, fans crying foul when Super Sonic was said to be DLC, fans bemoaning how certain characters acted or were ignored etc. There's clearly room for improvement that Sega should be aware of.

So Sega wants to make a new game that takes what Forces did and do it better. What do you suggest to improve where Forces has left off? To be clear, I'm not saying "make a sequel to Sonic Forces" or that the game has to have Infinite, a war between Eggman and a resistance, or anything like that. But how should the core concepts of Forces be improved for further games? What changes should be made to the gameplay? How should the other Sonic characters be used? Can the serious storytelling and atmosphere be implemented more smoothly? Etc.

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It’s obvious they need a major step-up from the many problems Forces had. Even if you like it, you shouldn’t deny it’s flaws.

However, the notion that literally everything from Forces needs to be scrapped is idiotic because there’s plenty of pros the game offered that I personally want to see return, especially on a visual, spectacle and narrative scale, I’ve already confirmed myself that I desire improvements over abandoning.

-Either train the newbies for better game design, send them into more simpler projects, or merely replace them with more compentent designers. 

-The game itself needs to be longer and the levels need to have a reasonable length to prevent becoming too easy and beatable.

-NO CLASSIC SONIC OR NOSTALGIA PANDERING SHIT

-Controls need more tweaking so you don’t end up accidentally boosting off to your death, so it’s to be balanced with the drift returning.

-Better emphasis on 3D and more open level design with less linearity and blocky platforming.

-More usage of the cast. Forces hit the nail but not close enough to the wall, watching cutscenes with the characters in action and actually fighting on screen was a huge pleasure to see, but less telling and more showing.

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Off the top of my head.

-They need to hire better writers. I know I keep saying this time and time again, but they really need to get someone who has done good story writing for the series before and has a good grasp of the characters. And while I know SEGA of Japan usually are the ones who write the stories, I feel they either need to work more closely with their other branches (IIRC, LW was done entirely by Potac and Graff, I can't remember exactly). In that case, Ian Flynn would be ideal. He's the one writer who's had a grasp on the majority of characters and knows how to make them partake in stories without ruining the characters.

For everything Forces did right for certain characters, like Sonic, Shadow, and Knuckles, they took five steps back with characters like Tails, Rouge, and Silver, to a lesser degree.

-Level design needs to be buffed up significantly. Train the newbies or get old developers back. Get them to learn what made good level design in Generations/Unleashed and have them adapt it. 

-Increase game length. Mario Odyssey and Forces had the exact same developmental period of four years, both starting right after 3D World and Lost World's development retrospectively. Odyssey is a polished game with tons of detail and work in each world, which are all of pretty decent length. There's near 100 hours of gameplay in Odyssey if you choose to 100% it and it keeps giving you new challenges. There's four hours in Forces, maybe eight if you decide to 100% it, and even then, it's just grinding and doing missions on previously completed levels.

-NO CLASSIC SONIC AGAIN.

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Start over. Jesus tapdancing Christ, just start over. Stop for a few years and start again. Re-examine what a Sonic game is supposed to be.

Of course we now know this won't be happening. New games coming soon apparently.

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Just now, RedFox99 said:

How so for Rouge? 

A lot of Rouge's dialogue sounded like something that Sonic would come out with. Such as "You and Omega go together like Chili-Dogs" or something to that effect. She wasn't in the game much but for the amount of time she was in it, she didn't fit her characterization at all.

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I mean...even if the game is/was successful or well received, I still hate basically everything about it? So my advice would still be to burn it to the ground and start over.

I guess if I absolutely had to work with something Forces-ish...ditch Classic Sonic and focus on making something worthwhile out of Modern Sonic, avoid shallow edgelord villains like Infinite and using an overly serious tone and focus on a story being fun and interesting, put all the effort you can into making Sonic control properly in 3D and actually design levels like that instead of making half the game 2D and the other half incredibly restricted and linear, and don't shove in a bunch of characters that don't actually contribute meaningfully to the story just for fanservice.

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1) First and foremost, the controls definitely need to be tightened up and tweaked so that they're better. I think that's the MAIN one. I never agreed with the people who said that the controls were horrible by any means, but I did feel like they needed more work and polish.

2) The next game needs to be MUCH MUCH longer, and there needs to be far MORE IN-DEPTH cutscenes. I definitely wasn't a fan of how short the cutscenes were, or the black-screen-white-text parts of the game. When I heard that the game could be beaten in anywhere from 3-8 hours, that was MAJOR blow to my hype for this game - I'm used to playing looooong games like the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, so if they could produce a Sonic game with that amount of playtime and in-game content? That'd be beyond awesome.

3)  I hope and pray they bring back the Avatar and character customization in the next game. It sold me on Forces when I first heard it was a feature, and it'd sure as hell sell me on the next game. On that note, I definitely think they should make it a far more in-depth customizer with far more options as far as animal species/quills/eyes/etc., all of the base customization parts that there weren't really a lot of in Forces.

4) I loved the vocal tracks of the soundtrack, so they should definitely keep them in the next game. Preferably, giving full vocal themes to EVERY 'main' character that's playable.

5) If there was a way for Infinite to return, I'd like that. He was an awesome villain who really needed more airtime and more interaction with Sonic/the Avatar.

6) Definitely make the levels less linear and more open, but that doesn't mean they have to turn the next Sonic game into Skyrim or something - some linearity as far as the plot is concerned would be fine for something like Sonic, but I do agree that the levels were FAR too linear. Being able to fully explore a level like Park Avenue or Casino Forest would've been so cool~

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I feel it's pertinent to start with the usual: stop making momentum rise and drop at completely arbitary moments outside of your control, for fuck's sake. It's really aggravating to see boostpads both visbile and invisible having more control over your speed than you do, and being forced to a complete stop whenever you jump on an enemy or a spring or even so much as let go of the d-pad. Not just because it shows a lack of understanding about the most basic principles of Sonic movement but also because they had to have intentionally prorammed some of those things into the game as actual game mechanics and for the life of me I can't understand what part of them thought that was fun.

Beyond that, I'd start making compromises between styles. Sega's got a lot of work ahead of them in mending divides between fanbases, especially now when there remains pretty strong doubts as to whether their in-house development can even make a competent game anymore.

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Get real physics back into the series... let modern Sonic roll into a ball again... There is something very wrong when Mario is beating Sonic on both those subjects... Sonic! which is a series that should be a physics playground more often then not.... which Forces was the exact opposite of. There is way MANY other things need fixing or flat-out replacing too... But I'll leave it at just that for now.

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6 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

How so for Rouge? 

She's out of character and appears to not care for shadow and omega's well being unless its expected of her/ she doesn't care about any one elses well being at all and a weird sadist that withholds information that could help people

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How successful Forces was is of no consequence to what I want to see SEGA improve. Their approach to making Sonic games, on both the design front and the technical front, is rotten. They need an entirely new engine and philosophy to make a good game. Gameplay, physics, art, story, music, presentation... Absolutely everything needs to be re-evaluated. There is nothing about the current setup that wouldn't benefit from a complete do-over.

If Forces has to be used as a building block, then first and foremost is getting rid of Classic Sonic and the Avatar. If the Avatar must stay, even though I hate it personally, then it ought to be relegated entirely to something that's aside from the Sonic and the main story. The most ideal would be in some sort of online mode. The remaining boost gameplay should...

No... Honestly I just don't want to see it return. Forces' attempts at a more serious story fall flat as well. You can't use this game as a building block for anything. 

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2 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

How successful Forces was is of no consequence to what I want to see SEGA improve. Their approach to making Sonic games, on both the design front and the technical front, is rotten. They need an entirely new engine and philosophy to make a good game. Gameplay, physics, art, story, music, presentation... Absolutely everything needs to be re-evaluated. There is nothing about the current setup that wouldn't benefit from a complete do-over.

If Forces has to be used as a building block, then first and foremost is getting rid of Classic Sonic and the Avatar. If the Avatar must stay, even though I hate it personally, then it ought to be relegated entirely to something that's aside from the Sonic and the main story. The most ideal would be in some sort of online mode. The remaining boost gameplay should...

No... Honestly I just don't want to see it return. Forces' attempts at a more serious story fall flat as well. You can't use this game as a building block for anything. 

If nothing else, Forces is perfect as an example of what not to do.

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1 hour ago, SaberX said:

Nothing really. If Forces, a game that doesnt actually tried to fix any of Modern gameplay problems, is considered a sucess then theres nothing to fix.

Sonic Team is getting the impression that the game is perfect the way it is, while its supporters think the same.

Um... where are you getting this? Here's @Dee Dude's, a guy who likes to play Forces, perspective on the matter

Quote

It’s obvious they need a major step-up from the many problems Forces had. Even if you like it, you shouldn’t deny it’s flaws.

However, the notion that literally everything from Forces needs to be scrapped is idiotic because there’s plenty of pros the game offered that I personally want to see return, especially on a visual, spectacle and narrative scale, I’ve already confirmed myself that I desire improvements over abandoning.

And here's @FriesWithoutKetchup's, a person who loves Forces, perspective on the matter.

Quote

1) First and foremost, the controls definitely need to be tightened up and tweaked so that they're better. I think that's the MAIN one. I never agreed with the people who said that the controls were horrible by any means, but I did feel like they needed more work and polish.

2) The next game needs to be MUCH MUCH longer, and there needs to be far MORE IN-DEPTH cutscenes. I definitely wasn't a fan of how short the cutscenes were, or the black-screen-white-text parts of the game. When I heard that the game could be beaten in anywhere from 3-8 hours, that was MAJOR blow to my hype for this game - I'm used to playing looooong games like the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, so if they could produce a Sonic game with that amount of playtime and in-game content? That'd be beyond awesome.

[...]

6) Definitely make the levels less linear and more open, but that doesn't mean they have to turn the next Sonic game into Skyrim or something - some linearity as far as the plot is concerned would be fine for something like Sonic, but I do agree that the levels were FAR too linear. Being able to fully explore a level like Park Avenue or Casino Forest would've been so cool~

Both quotes come just in this topic alone. As you can tell, liking a game isn't the same as not being able to acknowledge its issues. Forces fans know the flaws are there. Its just a matter of different tastes, and different things they can tolerate and not tolerate in video game. Its also possible for a game to be successful, and for it to be imperfect. People can be happy with Forces, and also want fixes and more in the next Sonic game.

Hell, is that not most of the better regarded Sonics in a nutshell? SA1, SA2, and Unleashed are all held in high regard here and sold pretty well, but all of those games have glaring flaws, some that could be argued as worse than anything Forces ever did, that need to be addressed should another game like them come out. That they are imperfect doesn't mean that they aren't fixable, nor does it mean that their fans can't recognize their flaws while still enjoying the games.

----------

As for me, well, I do agree that the levels should be more open. I'm not asking for too much, but maybe more than one or two alternate paths? The first half of Seaside Hill Modern from Generations is the near perfect example of how to handle level design in a Boost game, and proves that it isn't inherently against Boost to have more open stages and exploration.

I also don't want Classic Sonic. I'm not a Classic fan, but I do enjoy me some Generations and boy Forces does not do Gens!Classic proud. If they do want a gameplay style like his, I recommend it be a different character entirely. Gens!Classic gameplay would also be pretty good for a minigame mode-- kinda like the Sonic Simulator in Colors but only 2D platforming and you don't play as recolors of Sonic.

Also story. Granted, Sonic is not known for the greatest stories, but Boom TV has spoiled me a ton with the strong character interactions as well as willingness to put characters besides Sonic in the spotlight at least once. Forces seems just so close, with Sonic's friends forming a resistance without him, and yet so far, because Sonic and the Avatar pretty much do all the work for them. Forces plotwise suffered from excessive complexity which left more plot holes than quality, so I think the next game should scale it back. Go for something simple, but effective. Think like Colors DS or Sonic 3's plots, which were pretty simple but also good at characterization.

I'd like an improved Avatar. The Avatar was a very good idea and the best playstyle in Forces IMO, but it still had some problems. For one, it seems like kind of a cop-out to make the Avatar silent. True, all that extra voice recording can be tedious, but really the bare minimum is doing one male voice recording and one female voice recording, which isn't a lot. It'd also be nice if all Avatars got the double jump, as that seems too basic of a move for only the birds to have. Let the birds jump higher or something instead of having them hog the double jump.

Overall though, I think the next Sonic game has a good set-up for success. The criticism from the professional reviewers are relevant, clear, and constructive, so its good stuff that'll age well should Sonic Team apply it. And if it sells well-- well, hey, now there's less of a chance of Sega and Sonic Team being afraid to revisit older gameplay formulas. This is a good thing because it makes them more open to improving what they have instead of adding random new crap whenever something goes wrong-- an attitude that doesn't only benefit those fond of the Boost formula.

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2 minutes ago, Mad Convoy said:

Think like Colors DS or Sonic 3's plots, which were pretty simple but also good at characterization.

The one objection I have in regards to Colors DS is that the characters still don't help out with the main plot all that much.

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While I understand that there are a number of people here that don't care for Forces, telling Sega to ignore a success and drop everything that could have possibly resulted in that success is not the intent of this topic. By that logic, you might as well tell them to ditch Whitehead's team and not do a follow up to Mania.

Sega is a company, they do what works. Lost World and Rise of Lyric didn't sell - therefore we haven't gotten follow ups to those games. Mania and Forces have - therefore it makes sense to try and replicate that profitability again. If we're getting another Forces-esque game anyway, how can that experience be better? Some users actually have offered worthwhile advice, and that's what I was hoping to see.

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12 minutes ago, SaberX said:

No offense, but I have no interest in what Forces have to offer and neither have interest in what those members said. I didn't bring name of members to the table or whatsoever, I answered to the thread. The game could be entirelly scrapped for all I care, I rather prefer playing Gens and Colors.

I am aware that you answered and am not accusing you of breaking the rules in any way.

Perhaps you didn't say their names implicitly, but they are both fans of Sonic Forces. So when you said that Forces fans are just getting the impression that the game is perfect, you by extension had said that they and everybody else who likes Forces are getting the impression that the game is perfect. So my response was to point out specific instances where Forces fans have expressed flaws and things they want improved, as well as addressing your point that this topic isn't a good stepping point for discussion by demonstrating people who were able to contribute interesting things.

It is fine that you don't like Forces and don't agree with those who do like it, but its good to expand your horizons too and try to see what other people think, which I imagine was at least part of the purpose of the topic. However, if you well and truly don't care what Forces fans say, than why does your post mention that they all think the game is perfect? They don't matter to you, so why bring them up at all?

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