Jump to content
Awoo.

[SURVEY] THE PRESENCE OF SONIC IN THE PUBLIC CONSCIOUSNESS


\Lennox
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey, y'all! \Lennox here, and hot DAMN, I haven't visited this website in YEARS.

I do hope that I posted this in the right subboard, as I'm no longer very sure of which subboard this would be appropriate for. Anyway, I need some help with gathering respondents for this survey on how Sonic's stayed relevant (or not) after all these years. I'm on 65 respondents so far, but I still wanna collect more data for my final presentation for one of my game design classes. Anyone wanna help a fellow Blue Blur Chaser out? I'll be sure to share the data with everyone once it alone is... sufficient.

Also, you folks are welcome to discuss your opinions on the franchise's current direction in this topic--I think it'd be really useful to see some dialogue between respondents and onlookers about how the Sonic franchise has maintained some notoriety in the public, whether good or bad.

Thanks, all!

\Lennox

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BaronGrackle

So yesterday I was at a local Food Truck Festival & Sidewalk Art Contest event in Baytown, TX. There was a section with various mascot characters drawn such as Bowser, Goku, Spongebob, and these two guys:

Db9DXIaV0AAhbk8?format=jpg

The first thing I noticed was Eggman, with his neo-classic design. He has those spectacles that never really existed on Dr. Robotnik in the classic era (just in Japanese concept art and that OVA cartoon, plus a Sonic CD clip). I realized both Sonic and Eggman were in this post-Generations classic style... Sonic himself looking less like he did in his Modern or Genesis games and more like his Felix/Mickey version.

I wonder how widespread this image is becoming in public consciousness.

(I wasn't sure where to post this, but this thread felt appropriate.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As loaded as the question was I went all in. :sweat_smile:

Quote

In your perspective, what sets the Dreamcast-era games apart from other Sonic games? Would you say that they refine or damage the greater Sonic franchise?

Well, the Adventure games feature standard 3D platforming conventions more modern Sonic titles seem to lack, the Boost format has resulted in what is nearly an on-rails style of gameplay that limits the player choice and exploration aspects that I treasure in any style of game.

Compared to the classic era titles the Adventure games aim to flesh out the cast with character growth, or insight into their history, and unique gameplay styles. Adventure 1 answers a long held question Sonic 3 left us with. What happened to make Knuckles "The Last Echidna"? Adventure 2 shows us a family our main antagonist hails from. All told I think the Adventure games have done more good then bad for the franchise.
 

Quote

What to you sets Sonic games apart from other game series (such as the Mario or Crash Bandicoot franchises)?

Mario and many of Nintendo's stable have a lighter approach to story telling and continuity. While Sonic's "Dreamcast" era in particular made it a point to tell continuing plots over their series of games. Though they have voices, the casts of Mario, Donkey Kong, Mega Man, aren't asked to speak in complete sentences all that often within their games, and while Mania with it's glorious yet silent animations maybe bringing the series more in line with Sonic's contemporaries, Sonic has always been the franchise that relished having a voice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Cuz said:

As loaded as the question was I went all in. :sweat_smile:

Well, the Adventure games feature standard 3D platforming conventions more modern Sonic titles seem to lack, the Boost format has resulted in what is nearly an on-rails style of gameplay that limits the player choice and exploration aspects that I treasure in any style of game.

Compared to the classic era titles the Adventure games aim to flesh out the cast with character growth, ... Mario and many of Nintendo's stable have a lighter approach to story telling and continuity.

I'll admit, the questions were loaded, but the Dreamcast-era being 20 years ago by now, I just had to capitalize on that (like an autopsy for an election loss). XD

For the first point, I will say that the Adventure-era games (especially with their cameras that focus more on certain setpieces) are certainly linear in feel. The Boost format's linearity seems to be turned on and off 'at will' through the Boost function, meaning that it is produced by the player and not by the designers, and even then, during certain Quick Step segments--especially in Spagonia, there were other paths to choose from beyond simply maintaining your boost (as shown in this picture here).

The second point is a very, very good point that I haven't been able to put into words, though. I've always wondered about how I always look for story and continuity--more importantly, the lore that they produce--in many high-budget off-mobile games I play. But would you say that with Sonic, its heavier approach to storytelling, continuity and lore is becoming lighter with each of the new installments?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you tried moving around without the boost? I can't speak for Forces, maybe it's been ironed out a little, but I can tell you when not going at speed in Generations or Unleashed, the controls are sort of lacking. I find it particularly noticeable in certain platforming sections like in Chemical Plant's underwater sections, or Sky Sanctuary. Platforming just doesn't feel as natural as in the Dreamcast-era.

ShayMay's video series defined it like this: there are 3 elements to a Sonic game, platforming, exploration, and speed. In the boost games these don't intermingle very well. You're either platforming, from a stand still, exploring in 2D, or speeding straight ahead. None of the other 2 elements are affecting the one that is currently the focus.
 

1 hour ago, \Lennox said:

During certain Quick Step segments--especially in Spagonia, there were other paths to choose from beyond simply maintaining your boost (as shown in this picture here).

It's not really a player choice if it's coming at you in a split second quick-time event. Ideally the player should be able to see a landmark on the horizon and plot a course to that location. That's something 3D collectathons like Mario 64, perfected. Final Chase, Shadow's last stage in Adventure 2, has these long strips of gravity barrels between the track and most people will probably find it stupid that you can just spin vault over this set piece, but it's still immensely satisfying to do just that.

Honestly, I concede that neither the Adventure games or Boost titles have really captured this ideal but I think Adventure is closer to it. I mean in the Boost games I usually only perceive a binary choice, choosing to switch rails or quick stepping left or right, and in the Adventure games you've got light dashing* down one path or homing attack chaining down another, and continuing down a straight path or deciding to run up the wall. By time you see a landmark in a modern game you're usually already halfway through running over it.

and yes I would totally agree that Sonic's recent titles are lighter in story to put it mildly. XD

It would be laughable for me to say Sonic currently cares about continuity all that much given the recent shake ups SEGA has thrown our way with:: "two worlds", "Classic dimension", etc.

 

* (Ignoring the fact light dashing is completely gimped in Adventure 1; that's more a point in Adventure 2's column)

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Cuz said:

Have you tried moving around without the boost? I can't speak for Forces, maybe it's been ironed out a little, but I can tell you when not going at speed in Generations or Unleashed, the controls are sort of lacking.

Forces probably has the worst controls out of any platformer I’ve ever played. At least not counting awful NES platformers obviously.

You get this disgusting burst of speed out of nowhere when you move. It’s so jarring and absolutely uncontrollable unless you’re literally moving straight forward. It makes platforming extremely uncomfortable and you’ve got to like come to a stop and just tap the control stick so you don’t get this awful burst of speed. It isn’t gradual at all. And honestly I don’t understand how Forces could’ve even gotten off the ground without someone at Sonic Team correcting this. Platforming is abysmal in this game. 

During the Zavok boss fight as Sonic though your controls are sort of locked to this relatively comfortable jog and honestly it’s so pleasant especially coming off of the terrible movement you’ve gotta put up with normally. I think it’s comparable to Sonic’s movement speed during Lost World when you’re not holding the run button. Maybe a little faster, idk it’s been years since I’ve played Lost World. Though locking your movement to a speed like that obviously wouldn’t be ideal for Sonic and I’m thourougly against a run button in this series. Platforming and super speed don’t make for a good mix unfortunately. At least, it’s hard to get a good balance. 

The clostest Sonic Teams ever gotten is SA1, and that game didn’t have very intricate platforming. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Strong Guy said:

The closest Sonic Teams ever gotten is SA1, and that game didn’t have very intricate platforming. 

Yeah, I get the appeal of SA1's wider stages but the downside to them is a much looser platforming experience, and enemy placement that just doesn't matter. I'm apparently in the minority for preferring SA2 precisely because it's narrower environment results in arguably tighter platforming. That and the Bounce Bracelet and Light Speed Dash are stellar upgrades.

 

@BaronGrackle

5ae65addb118b_ClassicDoctor.thumb.png.0c195ec2512a463caa1104ce1ba882ab.png5ae65ae849d9a_CDDoc.png.c47d56c6770834d3b89c38690b68a30a.png

Not sure if you're joking or not but the good doctor has always had those spectacles (in the games).

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

BaronGrackle
4 hours ago, Cuz said:

Not sure if you're joking or not but the good doctor has always had those spectacles (in the games).

 The first image is the Japanese concept art I refer to. You'll also spot glasses in the OVA. And also Sonic CD's ending cutscene has the Dr. with two lenses, separated, one on each eye. But separated lenses isn't normal. Just two lenses, one balanced on each eye? C'mon.

That second picture you posted just looks like a man with two bluish eyes. He always looked that way in pixel form. That's why he had no glasses on the Sonic 2 and 3 covers, or in either cartoon depiction.

Japanese Eggman had spectacles in the anime art. But American Robotnik (where Sonic was actually successful), they were just two dots that we called eyes. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That first image is a step closer to official rather than concept art. What about higher res classic games?

5ae67027283ca_SonicFightersEggman.thumb.png.2303c2d500bd051b175657653a03c7af.png5ae6702d9c40c_SonicREggman.png.d1cf38ea6cd6ba7f1530da9e369a6bbc.png5ae6708f806f2_DocEggmobile.thumb.png.16b5d0bec2e6e5491b0029b706fc2a97.png

(Fighters, Sonic R, and Drift, feel free to discount that one it's not an in-game render)

Even if Sonic is, more successful in America, he's sported an appearance in game closer to his Japanese appearance for far longer then Generations. Calling it "neo classic" sounds a little disingenuous. :sweat_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dr. Detective Mike

Alright. I did it. That was interesting.

As always, whenever taking a survey like this, I always wonder if I haven't expressed what I was writing in a more eloquent manner in the past before. It's always something that leaves me with a strange feeling inside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BaronGrackle
30 minutes ago, Cuz said:

(Fighters, Sonic R, and Drift, feel free to discount that one it's not an in-game render)

Even if Sonic is, more successful in America, he's sported an appearance in game closer to his Japanese appearance for far longer then Generations. Calling it "neo classic" sounds a little disingenuous. :sweat_smile:

Fighters was barely in North America. Sonic R was a Saturn game, which was later... by that time you had Sonic Jam exposing Western audiences to the more Japanese art.

But Sonic Drift is a case I didn't know about, so thanks for sharing it! I see it and raise you a Sonic Triple Trouble. :)

I'm just saying... if you lived in North America and played SEGA Genesis in the '90s? You saw in-game sprites of a man with two pixelated, unconnected eyes. You saw cover art of that same man for Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 with no glasses (and also no eyes, so just black holes?). You saw three cartoon series and a comic book depicting that man, no glasses. And if you bought a happymeal toy from McDonalds at the height of Sonic 3's marketing, then there he was:

04d267f7ed3ed8fb2311bc599991736a.jpg

All I'm getting at? This thread's about Sonic's perception in the public consciousness. In 1995, no kid in North America would have drawn Sonic or Robotnik in the way that kids will draw Classic Sonic or Classic Eggman today. That's all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.