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Marco9966

Even Yuji Naka didnt want a cutesy funny Sonic

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17 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

Colors was released on an older console and it looked better.

That would be a matter of preference in art direction.

You tend to take subjective matters and try to make objective assertions where you shouldn't.

Lost World's art style might not be your cup of tea, but a team of professional designers took years out of their time planning out how the stage would look and what that meant for lighting, shadows and any other way the graphics would be rendered. There are also reasons regarding gameplay for the choice in artstyle; it actually was decided on to help make objects like rings easier to distinguish against the background (whereas the rings blended into the background in Generations and Unleashed).

A whole lot goes into this, and quite frankly for someone who calls themselves a hobbyist, it's actually really insulting to professional developers and designers to have their work be called lazy, just because you happen to dislike it.

Game design isn't easy.

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After reading everyone points, its pretty simple that the series was never meant to be cutesy or overly dark. Its more of a middle ground. Like I said before for a Sonic story to work for me all the characters are in character. The tone is serious but not on the level of 06 and Shadow. Alot of people trash SA2 story being overly dark but I honestly don't see it. The only it got even remotely dark was the last story and even then SA1's last story was kinda just as dark. With Chao being murdered and Chaos wiping out the entire Echidna tribe. 

Sonic as a character is like Dante's character in Devil May Cry 3. He is a man of action. Less words and more do

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3 hours ago, Ultimate Victory 64 said:

After reading everyone points, its pretty simple that the series was never meant to be cutesy or overly dark. Its more of a middle ground. Like I said before for a Sonic story to work for me all the characters are in character. The tone is serious but not on the level of 06 and Shadow. Alot of people trash SA2 story being overly dark but I honestly don't see it. The only it got even remotely dark was the last story and even then SA1's last story was kinda just as dark. With Chao being murdered and Chaos wiping out the entire Echidna tribe. 

Sonic as a character is like Dante's character in Devil May Cry 3. He is a man of action. Less words and more do

tumblr_inline_oqm9c7iDwc1riafjl_500.png

All last stories in mainline games during the Dreamcast era were dark. Be it SA1, SA2, Heroes, Shadow or 06.

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Robotnik's Casino themes in-particular didn't really add levity to Shadow and instead contributed to the grungy aesthetic.

20 hours ago, Ultimate Victory 64 said:

 Alot of people trash SA2 story being overly dark but I honestly don't see it. The time it only got even remotely dark was the last story.

Not to detract from the point, since I will come to SA2's defense at the drop of a hat, but the hostage situation toward the later half of the Heroes story, without making any judgement to whether it belongs in a Sonic game, is hands down one of the darkest plot twists in my mind. I mean it's also one of the best scenes, and comes late enough within the overall story to fit with the rising tension but still.

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3 hours ago, Cuz said:

Robotnik's Casino themes in-particular didn't really add levity to Shadow and instead contributed to the grungy aesthetic.

Not to detract from the point, since I will come to SA2's defense at the drop of a hat, but the hostage situation toward the later half of the Heroes story, without making any judgement to whether it belongs in a Sonic game, is hands down one of the darkest plot twists in my mind. I mean it's also one of the best scenes but still.

Well, if you're open to looking at things in a weird and twisted viewpoint with this franchise, almost any game where Eggman uses animals in machines could be viewed as a hostage situation. While surely nothing as straightforwardly played as Eggman threatening to pop Amy's head like a melon, even in Sonic 1 Eggman is pretty much using the inhabitants of South Island as both hostages and weapons against Sonic. It's fairly messed up if you think about it. Fortunately it is handled playfully and not in straight context like the scene on the Arc in Sonic Adventure 2. Though to be fair, while a playful approach always makes dark subject matter more palatable and inline with the franchise I can't think of how to make that scene playful right now without relying on dialogue free pantomime.

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Is it weird that 06 never really seemed that serious to me? I mean...I look at Tomb Raider and a whole lot of games that have T ratings and aren't like some great drama or soap opera.

06 was a high stakes game that I really don't see a whole lot of difference between it and a game like Sonic 1(since it's the most basic of Sonic games)

I never felt a problem with Sonic having one game that Sonic didn't crack a joke or something. Because when you think about it, Solaris/Memphilis/Iblis are probably the most dangerous villains in the Sonic series to date...imo A literal creature the was gonna return the world to nothingness.

 

Now if you wanna talk gameplay...NO. I'll leave that for my homie with the Unity remake.

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In 06's case, I think it's more about how ridiculous it looks for what are clearly cartoon character trying to get dramatic. It's as silly as Team America's puppets doing the same thing, except that the directors Trey Parker and Matt Stone were self-aware of it, while the people at Sonic Team were not as they unironically played the whole thing straight.

Also I frankly don't think Sonic works that well with epic scale stakes since the characters are hardly affected by them in a personal level, something that I feel is important for the audience to really connect. Despite it's flaws, I think that SLW did a better job with that one scene where Sonic loses contact with Amy, as it also suggests the grim idea of her and Knuckles having been drained of their life energy offscreen (aka death), which can be a little disturbing as these are not your average one-shots nor a sacrificial lamb like Tikal or Maria... they're long established characters who are sympathetic and who have fans that are invested in them, not to mention that they're familiar faces in Sonic's lives, especially Amy who for all of the annoyance she might ocassionally cause, is as much of a close friend as Tails. Plus the way Sonic seems to take it by placing the camera behind him to hide his expression from the audience's eyes is a subtle touch that adds to it.

I think there is no more darker and subtle theme than the idea of Sonic failing to keep his friends safe, and probably the one that fits the most with the franchise original tone as you don't need any of that gratuituos edgy stuff like realistic guns, violence, blood or swearing to make it happen.

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35 minutes ago, Skull Leader said:

Also I frankly don't think Sonic works that well with epic scale stakes since the characters are hardly affected by them in a personal level, something that I feel is important for the audience to really connect.

Then have it affect them on a personal level?

You make it sound like that isn’t possible to do...

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2 hours ago, WakanoBaka said:

Is it weird that 06 never really seemed that serious to me? I mean...I look at Tomb Raider and a whole lot of games that have T ratings and aren't like some great drama or soap opera.

06 was a high stakes game that I really don't see a whole lot of difference between it and a game like Sonic 1(since it's the most basic of Sonic games)

I never felt a problem with Sonic having one game that Sonic didn't crack a joke or something. Because when you think about it, Solaris/Memphilis/Iblis are probably the most dangerous villains in the Sonic series to date...imo A literal creature the was gonna return the world to nothingness.

Really? You really don't see much difference between a game where a time-travelling embodiment of darkness convinces a naive idiot to go back in time and kill the hero, ostensibly because it would prevent the release of a fire demon that caused the apocalypse, but in actuality he wants to make the princess cry to release the fire demon so he can fuse with it, become a god, and destroy all of space and time...and a game where a mad scientist captures some animals and turns them into robot animals and the coolest animal has to go bop his robots to save them?

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2 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Really? You really don't see much difference between a game where a time-travelling embodiment of darkness convinces a naive idiot to go back in time and kill the hero, ostensibly because it would prevent the release of a fire demon that caused the apocalypse, but in actuality he wants to make the princess cry to release the fire demon so he can fuse with it, become a god, and destroy all of space and time...and a game where a mad scientist captures some animals and turns them into robot animals and the coolest animal has to go bop his robots to save them?

But in Uneashed too Eggman destroyed the earth in pieces to awaken a demon, hurting Sonic in the process.

And SA1 had an entire civilization (and thousands years later a city) destroyed by Chaos.

Even in recent games, Lost World shows a dark premise masked by comedy, the Deadly Six are draining the life out of Earth, as shown by Amy's last video call to Sonic.

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50 minutes ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

Then have it affect them on a personal level?

You make it sound like that isn’t possible to do...

And you oversimplify the solution into a very vague suggestion.

It's like the difference in Sonic Adventure 1 where Tails saves a city full of extras that hardly matter in his life, and Amy saving a bird with which she bonds and cares for because like the bird, she once was a victim of Eggman.

Large stakes IMO feel flat if the characters that fight for it do not have any personal involvement, and risks turning them all into a group of heroes that fight for a very generic cause just because they're the good guys rather than for something that has a significance in their lives. Even in SA1, when Amy gets captured you see how this affects Sonic, who in his story texts that you're giving when continuing the campaign, he expresses annoyance, concern and even desperation.

You can have stories where the world is at stake, but I personally think that should only be the setting, with the ficus being placed instead on Sonic's personal stakes, especially when Tails and Amy are involved as these two are what best represent what Sonic fights for. In case of characters like Knuckles, I'd too would rather see him face personal conflicts and even insecurities, like coming to doubt about his performance as the guardian of the ME or what it's like to be the last of your kind instead of focusing on the backstory of his civilization. A character like Blaze's stakes would be about her living up to the legacy of her ancestors and struggling with the expectations that are placed on her as what motivates her to be so fierce about her job to the point of it even turning into a flaw.

This is why stories that take place on larger events have characters that are appealing, because the large conflict is just the background, while the story focuses on the personal stakes of each character, and only after their personal arcs are solved, is the large conflict issued and given a resolution. This is something that the first Sonic Adventure had and which it's sequel did not deliver, as there was more focus on the plot than on the characters themselves, and why despite there being similar stakes, the first had a better, more engaging story.

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1 hour ago, Skull Leader said:

And you oversimplify the solution into a very vague suggestion.

Because it’s actually that simple and open-ended...

Put something personal that the characters value at stake. It’s not hard to do.

Have them interact with the world and grow personal connections with people for instance. That in itself is the bare minimum of how you can do this.

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They should reintroduce Hub worlds and have citizens, I don't care if it's human or animal citizens, have the playable characters interact with them, have interesting little side stories, some mini missions to help them.

What I loved about SA1 is all the little stories with the citizens that progress as we progress in the game, if we take our time to explore and interact with them, and not only play the levels fast to finish the game as soon as possible.

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I personally think that if Sonic Team were to try and do something more 'dark and serious' in the future, something along the lines of Sonic Adventure 2's plot would be a nice template to follow. I remember being pretty invested in what was going to happen in that game, and even though it was FULL of silly moments (some intentional, some definitely not... which made them even funnier), I thought that a lot of the dramatic moments actually worked really well. Particularly the stuff with Shadow and Maria, as well as Gerald Robotnik's ultimate plan. I thought the game did a pretty good job of having thing seem suitably epic and 'serious' in the right kinda way.

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Knowing when to be playful with the subject matter and when to treat it seriously is the important part that Sonic Team doesn't seem to understand unfortunately. If they were to write Adventure 2 today most of the game would see like Sonic Colors style of comedy interlaced with Infinite edge moments. the tonal dissonance would be utterly unbearable and potential the narrative had would be squandered on cheep jokes with all of no regard for any meaningful pathos at those times when the story truly needs it.

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3 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

Knowing when to be playful with the subject matter and when to treat it seriously is the important part that Sonic Team doesn't seem to understand unfortunately. If they were to write Adventure 2 today most of the game would see like Sonic Colors style of comedy interlaced with Infinite edge moments. the tonal dissonance would be utterly unbearable and potential the narrative had would be squandered on cheep jokes with all of no regard for any meaningful pathos at those times when the story truly needs it.

I actually think in Forces, the mixture of silly and serious was handled pretty well. For the most part, at least... there were definitely some SUPER cheesy/shmaltzy moments that made me cringe xDD But the stuff with Infintie, for example, I thought it worked just fine. Sonic cracking corny jokes around Infinite while Infinite was being super serious... it all worked just fine in my opinion. Eggman doing the whole bring-down-the-sun thing was SUPER overly dramatic... but because it's a Sonic game, it didn't seem out of place or taking things TOO far in my opinion. I like Sonic when there's a mix of cheesy jokes and cheesy drama, I just always hope it doesn't go TOO far in either direction.

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My biggest problem with Forces presentation is it never felt playful. Sonic's jokes seemed to undermine most of what was going on around him to the point that it didn't just seem like he was being cocky, but like he honestly didn't care. He was just the hero so he had to save the day and crack some jokes for the audiences benefit. perhaps if the other characters reacted to Sonic's antics it would have worked better but they were too busy being dead serious resistance group with the end of the world hanging over their heads that only Sonic the savior could prevent. Their was nothing that tied the two together making Sonic's every action seem insincere and uncaring. About the only scene where Sonic seemed sincere was when he was bidding the Avatar adieu, but that scene also fell flat to me as the Avatar still had that cluelessness about them inherent in most such characters when handled halfheartedly. It was nice that they brought in the ingredients, but it seemed like they just dumped everything in a pot at once and turned the heat to high without bothering to stir.

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3 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

My biggest problem with Forces presentation is it never felt playful. Sonic's jokes seemed to undermine most of what was going on around him to the point that it didn't just seem like he was being cocky, but like he honestly didn't care. He was just the hero so he had to save the day and crack some jokes for the audiences benefit. perhaps if the other characters reacted to Sonic's antics it would have worked better but they were too busy being dead serious resistance group with the end of the world hanging over their heads that only Sonic the savior could prevent. Their was nothing that tied the two together making Sonic's every action seem insincere and uncaring. About the only scene where Sonic seemed sincere was when he was bidding the Avatar adieu, but that scene also fell flat to me as the Avatar still had that cluelessness about them inherent in most such characters when handled halfheartedly. It was nice that they brought in the ingredients, but it seemed like they just dumped everything in a pot at once and turned the heat to high without bothering to stir.

Huh. I guess we just see the game totally differently, 'cuz the way he kept making jokes despite what was going on... I don't know, it just WORKED for me. It seemed totally appropriate. I think maaaybe if there'd been MORE cutscenes that were longer and more detailed, perhaps involving Sonic's friends reacting to his antics, sure, that would've been much better. I wish they'd have just made the game much longer and filled it with more storyline content.

 

And the ending where Sonic says goodbye to the avatar... that effing GOT me right in the feels. That moment made me cry and feel incredibly happy all at the same time.

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2 minutes ago, FriesWithoutKetchup said:

Huh. I guess we just see the game totally differently, 'cuz the way he kept making jokes despite what was going on... I don't know, it just WORKED for me. It seemed totally appropriate. I think maaaybe if there'd been MORE cutscenes that were longer and more detailed, perhaps involving Sonic's friends reacting to his antics, sure, that would've been much better. I wish they'd have just made the game much longer and filled it with more storyline content.

 

And the ending where Sonic says goodbye to the avatar... that effing GOT me right in the feels. That moment made me cry and feel incredibly happy all at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, I had fun when I played the game and actually felt the narrative flowed fine. I just think that Sonic was too detached from the how the narrative was effecting everyone and it was only made worse since Sonic didn't really interact with the cast. To me, the best scene in the story was Sonic assuring Tails after everything was over. It actually showed he was aware of what was happening and subsequently made his lack of communication throughout the rest of the game that much worse. Outside of the story, the most rewarding thing to me in the game was once it returned to the new title screen and showed a single flower standing in the abandoned Resistance HQ.  That moment alone brought me back to the good ending of the original game and Sonic CD in general, overwhelming with a sense of nostalgia that reminded me why I love this series so darn much. If Sonic just would have talked to everyone more and the Avatar was provided slightly better pantomime acting I don't think any flaw the game has could have stopped me from loving it. It really is such a shame they  didn't stir the pot just a little bit .

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