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Your outlook for the 3D series

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It’s quite understandable why Sonic Mania has dominated the discussion as of late. But I want to focus back on the mainline series, which of course left off with the lackluster Sonic Forces. Simply put, do you have high hopes for the next game, or do you see them just shoveling out another decent-at-best title with limited development funding?

Im personally more in the latter camp, but there’s some part of me that wonders if ST has been working on something huge that we just don’t know about. I won’t hold my breath. 

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The optimism I had for the series growing up was at an all time high even after the likes of Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic 06. I was rewarded with my patience with Unleashed but afterward, things began to go south in terms of content, character, and adventure. 

I was about to give up on ever seeing those qualities come back in a meaningful way but then Forces was announced and the lead up to it did well in tricking me into thinking that was coming back. When it ended up being a fake out, I think that officially sealed the deal on my pessimistic attitude towards the state of things.

I never thought I'd be one of the people exposusing how much the series has fallen and how little faith I have in them to fix it back when I first started going onto forums in 2006 but here I am. I've got no faith in what they're going to do for the next 3D Sonic game and after today, it's also hard to be appreciative of what little we do get since wrapping my head around their decision making is ultimately a frustrating endeavor no matter what bone is thrown our way.

The upside to not expecting anything good is that it means I can't be disappointed. That means, if by some miracle, they make A Super Sonic Odyssey, I'll be over the moon instead of just happy.

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I used to have some hopes for 3D games, but after Forces?

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I just have no trust in Team Sonic. They had years to copy-paste Sonic Generations gameplay and they messed it up.

They made story which actively tried to appeal to me and they messes it up.

The ironic part is that I don't hate Forces. It was good enough, I'll take it's story over anything since Colors. But that's because I'm starving for Adventure-like story and take even cardboard copy of it. Hopes for actually good game that will match or surpass SA1&2 (which really shouldn't be that hard)? Nope, I lost faith.

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I'm not expecting a good or even "decent-at-best" 3D Sonic game unless Kishimoto stops being a game director or just stops being involved in game design of Sonic games in general. He was the lead game designer for the Storybook series - that flopped hard in terms of gameplay. He was the director of Lost World - that game was pretty mediocre in pretty much every aspect. He was the director and apparently lead game designer of Forces - we know how that turned out. The only "good" game he has under his belt is Sonic Colors, where he was both the director and lead game designer, and even that I consider didn't age well when it comes to gameplay.

I know game development is a team's work, so I can't blame everything on him, but I feel like if there's one change that could benefit this franchise, giving Kishimoto a different role that doesn't involve him being in full control over the game design would be a good start imo. Until then, well, there's always older games.

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It's bad!

It's bad, and I don't think Sonic Team has the slightest idea how to fix things, and they probably don't have the resources to try to figure it out. I like to think that after Mania's incredible success and Forces' poor reception, they're going to step back, look at what the series has become, look at what it could be instead, and genuinely try to sort out their problems and do better...but that's the same desperate hope I've clung to after every mistake and failure over the last 15-ish years, and the same promise they've made and broken again and again. I just do not believe they have what it takes to make great Sonic games at this point and I struggle to imagine how they'd change that.

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I have absolutely no faith in modern Sonic anymore lol. And this is coming from someone who loved Unleashed and thought Sonic Lost World was a good game (but don't really blame people who don't like it and can see where it failed)

Classic Sonic has always been my preferred gameplay for Sonic, and I think classic is in good hands, but unless Sega completely restructures how they approach general Sonic development (and tbh I have my doubts that Sonic Team is looking at Mania and actually comprehending why people like it so much, at least to an extent that they can reasonably apply it to their own philosophy), modern Sonic is gonna rot away 'cause I don't feel like there's anyone left at Sonic Team who truly cares about it anymore. Sonic Forces is fucking terrible. I played half of it - no, more than that since I got to stage 20 or so, and I could not fucking bring myself to finish it at all. Like, it's weird, I don't hate it in the sense that I have very much emotional investment in it to truly hate it in the first place (my most hated 3D Sonic is probably Heroes, and I managed to finish that one few times over the past decade). But it's positively without a doubt one of the worst 3D Sonic games ever made. It's one of those games that's so bad that it made me lose complete faith in the developers and I can't comprehend at all how they can turn around from this without getting someone who cares about 3D Sonic about as much as Whitehead and Thomley care about 2D Sonic. Which means kicking every higher-up out the window and starting fresh with a new team of passionate individuals who actually know a thing or two about good, interesting new ideas

Bring on Mania 2. It upsets me but I can't bring myself to care about modern anymore because I am not part of whatever audience Sega thinks they're trying to target with shitty output like Rise of Lyric or Forces.

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I'm not really upset about it anymore bit I've basically decided to assume that if it's a Sonic Team game it's not going to be worth playing unless they prove otherwise. Didn't enjoy Lost World and Forces at all and theyre too sterile to be the interesting kind of bad unlike the ST games of old. They offer no interesting ideas in any department. I'm interested in what happens next but I'm not excited. 

Mania's great, but I got a hunch that that's going to get old fast if they do the Sega thing and overload on a good thing they have going on.  And also... if any other franchise's future looked to be a regression to it's earliest titles it'd probably be considered pretty laughable to be honest. I really just don't see a future for sonic in just this.

I dunno. The thing about Sonic is that there's somd batshit insane left hook every few games so we'll see. Series will probably be quiet for a little in the meantime though.

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Who can tell? I know its easy to take the negative route, but remember that Sonic Team isn't just this amorphic mass. The developers are changing constantly-- the people who made Generations aren't the same people who worked on Forces, for example-- and of course Sega's role can't be discounted as executive meddling is far more important than developer competency or whatever the buzzword of the week is in determining if a game is good or not. I mean, its easy to point fingers and hate a label, but that's (hypocritically, in some contexts) super lazy and uninformed. The branding on the employees' name tags isn't the problem-- individual people are, and well, I've gotten the impression for awhile that most of the really big problem causers have "Sega" on their name tags anyway rather than "Sonic Team".

I dunno. It seems like every time something's remotely disappointing the fans cry "RUINED FOREVER!", but that disappears the moment something people like comes out and people carry on like they weren't just crying doom and gloom a few months ago. Just two years ago, people were saying that third parties have no right going anywhere near Sonic because Rise of Lyric proves only Japanese Sonic Team truly understands Sonic. Now its the opposite-- only third party developers are worthwhile because Sonic Mania proves that only they can truly understand Sonic and not Sonic Team. In other words, trying to push for developer relationships with long term implications, but only basing it on whatever's just been released without considering the history and context. Which I mean, that's the exact kind of shortsightedness that tends to bring Sega and whoever its working with down, and its more harmful than helpful to encourage this kind of attitude. A single game doesn't prove crap about what label works best for Sonic development-- its about running themes and patterns throughout the games.

(And as a side note, its almost always framed as deliberate, like Sega meant for Rise of Lyric, etc. to come out the way it did, which annoys me too. And well, no, it isn't. Outside of scam companies, which Sega is not, developers don't set out to make bad games. Things happen. Unexpected hurdles appear, as many a fan trying to make a 3D Sonic game have found. Decisions that seem poor were actually the best option given the time frame and budget, another thing 3D fangame makers have found. Good or bad, a game is generally a product of hard work, if only because games development isn't easy. "Work harder" in general is a very dismissive and lazy bit of advice when it comes from somebody who doesn't have a deep insider's look-- it often ranges from being woefully uninformed about the complexities of situation at hand to outright blaming the victim when things go wrong, and is only correct by coincidence rather than by good evidence/reasoning. If the problem with 3D Sonic was truly rooted in a team that didn't care, I wouldn't be able to count on one hand how many 3D Sonic fangame are decent, let alone good, because nobody is going to dispute a fan's passion for their work without good reason.)

So I guess I'll say that I don't really know beyond that I personally don't mind the direction the series is taking right now. And, well, that's okay. I'm not afraid of what I don't know, and while I would be disappointed, I can handle it if the series goes off on a direction I don't like. Its not like that isn't happening right now with Mania as I don't even like Classic Sonic games all that much, but I still got Colors and Lost World and all those other Sonic things I love so much and they aren't going away just because of Mania.

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Given what’s been happening with Sonic Team behind closed doors with glass windows, I don’t even think there will be one again... 

 

Even if it does happen, I expect to to be made on the cheap again. 

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I hope we'll see something good out of the 3D games again someday, but I'm honestly not holding my breath.

I have very little faith in Sonic Team, if any at all. Whenever they do release something good, it then becomes a game of "living in fear until they start screwing up again". I've always been partial to the Classic series, and yeah, it definitely seems like Classic Sonic is better off with the Mania team since Sonic Team either doesn't remember why he was good or isn't interested in it, but that's another matter for another time.

 

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My outlook on future 3D Sonic games is entirely apathetic; especially after Forces, which sealed the deal for me in the wrong way. Unless another Mania scenario magically happens in which Sega/Iizuka give someone else with a proven track record a legitimate shot at designing a 3D Sonic game on their own creative terms (whether it be Taxman/Stealth and Friends, and/or some other studio/division); there's nothing for me to be excited about.

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Me being me I'll follow this franchise until it dies, but that doesn't mean I have much faith in future 3D entries.

Now, I won't play the blame because frankly that would require having some kind of knowledge as to what is going on inside SEGA and Sonic Team and about the only thing I know is that Iizuka was surprised that Mania sold well to SEGA's target audience for Sonic (not surprising to me since I was in that demographic when the first game game out and have been hooked on the franchise since). Even without playing the blame game though it seems blatantly obvious that something is not working out right in the process between Sonic games. I don't know what that is and frankly I can't say that SEGA has it pinned down either since there always seems to be something totally off base with the 3D games. However, it is almost always something different that goes wrong and that hints at to me that a lot of what goes wrong is in preproduction and concept as well as being able to actual execute what was planned in preproduction during the primary development cycle. Now looking at the problem like that it starts to become easier to guess where the trouble might be brewing, especially if looking at successful franchises like Yakuza, but if it was such a simple to find and address problem I'm certain a noticeable change would have transpired already. As it hasn't, that tells me that the problem with 3D sonic games is spectacularly more convoluted then it seems to outside observation and in light of that I have little faith that anything good will come out anytime soon. Perhaps Sonic needs to take a console generation break again like with the Saturn so that way the franchise can be reevaluated and the problems it has properly addressed so that way the next 3D game will be able to be developed to the best of the abilities of the teams working on it.

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I don't want to lose my faith in the future of Modern Sonic, but it's quite clear that 3D Sonic hasn't been doing well as of late, and I don't even know if the next 3D game will even reach the amount of success that more well recieved 3D titles such as the Adventure games and Generations has garnered. However, I don't think 3D Sonic should be dropped in favor of 2D games, because the 2D format alone will just get old and repetitive. For 3D Sonic, Sonic Team and SEGA either needs new blood to run the series or let someone with a better understanding of 3D Sonic handle the games for a while.

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I have been saying this for a while but now after forces seems like everyone is on the same page.

It is indeed time to stop making 3D Sonic games, Sonic team should be dissolved and Lizuka fired.

Lets Chris Whitehead and far more competent developers take things over and make followups to Sonic Mania, 3D sonic is too much of a mess.

 

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44 minutes ago, MadmanRB said:

It is indeed time to stop making 3D Sonic games, Sonic team should be dissolved and Lizuka fired.

No one said to stop making 3D games. There are good 3D Sonic games.

We just don't trust Sonic Team (or Sega, depending who you blame) to keep quality consistent, yet alone capture the what made older games good (like writting).

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6 hours ago, Stephen Rodriguez said:

I don't want to lose my faith in the future of Modern Sonic, but it's quite clear that 3D Sonic hasn't been doing well as of late, and I don't even know if the next 3D game will even reach the amount of success that more well recieved 3D titles such as the Adventure games and Generations has garnered. However, I don't think 3D Sonic should be dropped in favor of 2D games, because the 2D format alone will just get old and repetitive. For 3D Sonic, Sonic Team and SEGA either needs new blood to run the series or let someone with a better understanding of 3D Sonic handle the games for a while.

This is not a specific criticism of you or anything, but I hear this said so often and do not understand it. So many modern sonic fans for some reason think there is an inherent superiority of 3D gameplay to 2D gameplay, just by virtue of the number of dimensions. I would really like someone to explain this because to me it is complete nonsense. If theres anything that this franchise has taught us since the beginning, it's that context is most important in regard to gameplay, and sonic has been FAR better in 2D, always has been since day one, for numerous reasons. Regardless of your personal preference, this is not even arguable, the entire gaming world knows it.

Note I'm one who often says I think sonic has great potential in 3D if done right (I really want to see it happen), but where are people getting this idea that 2D gameplay will get stale just by virtue of it being 2D? Why does the same thinking not apply to 3D? Do you 3D modern sonic die hards really believe that the wider public wants to wait around for mediocre title after mediocre title just because you can control a neat looking character in a 3D space? These games, although a few good entries exist, have never reached the great heights the way the 2D entries have, and it is preposterous to claim that anyone should prefer the perpetual crapshoot of quality 3D titles to a quality and always fun 2D formula. Especially since these games aren't annual releases anymore and theres much less risk of fatigue. Also, ironically, the classic 2D games are still being played by millions of people 25 years after their release, still rated very very high even now, because they just have quality gameplay. Why would this suddenly not continue to work?

 

Again, I'm rooting for the 3D series as much as anyone to finally get on track in a serious way, but I also am not deluded to believe that the 3D games should exist as the main series 'just because'. Its a foolish notion that has gotten this series primarily in the dumps where it has been for well over a decade. Nobody but diehard sonic fans are interested in a perpetual crapshoot of games in regard to quality.

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34 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

but where are people getting this idea that 2D gameplay will get stale just by virtue of it being 2D? Why does the same thinking not apply to 3D?

I agree with you there. I never understood the idea behind people without much context saying how 2D games will get old and boring... yet 3D games doesn't have this curse somehow? Doesn't make any logic to me. A good game is a good game and a bad game is a bad game, being 2D or 3D don't change that by itself. If the 2D games got boring to everybody later-on then it's simply because the new titles don't have enough interesting good ideas put into them and or good enough execution of ideas... and going 3D instead wouldn't fix that problem.

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3 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

No one said to stop making 3D games. There are good 3D Sonic games.

We just don't trust Sonic Team (or Sega, depending who you blame) to keep quality consistent, yet alone capture the what made older games good (like writting).

Yeah but in the wake of mania being so popular and Forces met with lackluster reviews its kind of clear where to go for me.

3D Sonic is very tarnished and its perhaps best to leave it be for now.

Let 3D Sonic take a nice rest, sure still have him appear in side games but let the mania games be the new focus at least for a little bit.

I just hope team Sonic racing is the last we will see of 3D sonic at least for the next two years at bare minimum.

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Sega's Sonic Team will always be the best at making Sonic games there characters are funny, witty, sassy and loving they aren't to serious and don't try to force out a joke like the american writers do. Sonic Heroes was the most enjoyable 3D Sonic game they put out and the Sonic Riders series displayed some great character interaction with there personality but things like the Sonic Boom games and show really ruin how the characters acted both the show & games tried to "fix" Amy's personality so much that she ended up doing nothing at all with the comics getting better after going to IDW but unfortunately Ian Flynn is still there a person known for trying to "fix" Amy's personality.

So far I really like where Team Sonic Racing is doing with the characters personality and interactions so I can't wait to try it out for myself.

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10 hours ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

This is not a specific criticism of you or anything, but I hear this said so often and do not understand it. So many modern sonic fans for some reason think there is an inherent superiority of 3D gameplay to 2D gameplay, just by virtue of the number of dimensions. I would really like someone to explain this because to me it is complete nonsense. If theres anything that this franchise has taught us since the beginning, it's that context is most important in regard to gameplay, and sonic has been FAR better in 2D, always has been since day one, for numerous reasons. Regardless of your personal preference, this is not even arguable, the entire gaming world knows it.

Note I'm one who often says I think sonic has great potential in 3D if done right (I really want to see it happen), but where are people getting this idea that 2D gameplay will get stale just by virtue of it being 2D? Why does the same thinking not apply to 3D? Do you 3D modern sonic die hards really believe that the wider public wants to wait around for mediocre title after mediocre title just because you can control a neat looking character in a 3D space? These games, although a few good entries exist, have never reached the great heights the way the 2D entries have, and it is preposterous to claim that anyone should prefer the perpetual crapshoot of quality 3D titles to a quality and always fun 2D formula. Especially since these games aren't annual releases anymore and theres much less risk of fatigue. Also, ironically, the classic 2D games are still being played by millions of people 25 years after their release, still rated very very high even now, because they just have quality gameplay. Why would this suddenly not continue to work?

 

Again, I'm rooting for the 3D series as much as anyone to finally get on track in a serious way, but I also am not deluded to believe that the 3D games should exist as the main series 'just because'. Its a foolish notion that has gotten this series primarily in the dumps where it has been for well over a decade. Nobody but diehard sonic fans are interested in a perpetual crapshoot of games in regard to quality.

Huh, I guess I never really thought of it that way. Now, it's that not I'm a diehard Sonic fan or anything. This was just me talking on the grounds that I don't want to see a future where all we will ever get from Sonic is Classic Sonic related stuff and absolutely nothing Modern related. 

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Shadow the Hedgehog didn't have an Eggman Empire ending. That alone makes it a letdown. Well that and making Sonic use GUN Commander's help in the boss fights with them (instead of Shadow facing Sonic alone).

18 minutes ago, Stephen Rodriguez said:

Huh, I guess I never really thought of it that way. Now, it's that not I'm a diehard Sonic fan or anything. This was just me talking on the grounds that I don't want to see a future where all we will ever get from Sonic is Classic Sonic related stuff and absolutely nothing Modern related. 

We shouldn't have a line between "Classic" and "Modern" to begin with. That's just from Sonic Team's failure to keep the franchise's identity solid.

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38 minutes ago, Stephen Rodriguez said:

Huh, I guess I never really thought of it that way. Now, it's that not I'm a diehard Sonic fan or anything. This was just me talking on the grounds that I don't want to see a future where all we will ever get from Sonic is Classic Sonic related stuff and absolutely nothing Modern related. 

I mean, I dont really want that either just because I know there are a lot of modern fans that really love that stuff and basic business sense says that if there is demand for something it has a reason to exist. But also remember that classic sonic suddenly disappeared for a long time after 1998, and diehard classic fans were left to watch the series decline from then on; it's the same thing modern fans think they have to deal with, even though modern has been the main character for the last 20 years and literally just released a game last year. I dont think Sega wants to get rid of modern (I have no idea, just spitting here) but would it really be the worst thing in the world if classic were to retake the reigns of the series? What if classic sonic were to also star in the 3D titles with extremely.polished, fun and interesting 3D gameplay, as well as have the mania series run along side it? I'm not clamoring for an all classic future but if that's where were headed, I really don't see the problem considering where we've been since 1998. Whether it is classic or modern, sonic badly needs a consistent run of excellent games.

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