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Risk ideas vs. play it safe


Rowl
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This is kinda a topic that a lot of fans in the Sonic community are arguing about lately. Or at least I do. Risky ideas vs. play it save...Sonic, like any other popular series that exist kinda tried both different directions at one point. Like Mario. Should we try a really risky idea like Sunshine, Galaxy and Odyssey or should we play it save with more Super Mario Bros like games? Same with Zelda. Should we try a new direction like with Breath of the Wild or should we play it save with another OoT like game?

So just like with those two mentioned series above, which of those two direction do you want the Sonic series to go from now on, or at least for the next couple of years. I'm personally very split on this one. 

Very single time they try out something new, which I respect Sega and Sonic Team for at least trying, the games in the end will turn out not really good or mediocre at best. Examples for me at least are games like SA, SA2, Unleashed, Lost World, Boom, Shadow and 06.

But than you have the other direction, with games that are playable and polished (sorta), but are pretty boring, because the reuse many old ideas. Stuff like Sonic 4, Forces, Team Sonic Racing etc. Even Mania, as good as it is, has more reused ideas from past games than new ones and plays it very, very save.

I always have this problem with any game series that has gone on for so long. And with Sonic I really do not know which direction I would prefer. I want new worlds, ideas, more playable characters and game mechanics, but than I risk getting stuff like fishing, guns, broken gameplays, out of place settings and glitches, but on the other hand, if I want to have a game with no risky ideas that will break it, than I get a very boring game with the same old ideas recycled over and over again.

Hard to say... but If I have to choose one of those two, I kinda at the moment at least do prefer a game with risky ideas. Sure it will be a broken mess, but maybe I could find something enjoyable out of it and at least my eyes have something new to see.

Which game would you prefer? Risky but glitchy or very save but boring?

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I already answered this when you said it in the other thread, so copy paste a go go:

Why is there suddenly this assumption that the next thing the Mania Team do has to reuse levels or whatever and therefore is doomed to be “safe” or “uninspired” or just “nostalgia pandering”? One of the loudest, biggest critiques of Mania is that it should’ve had all original levels. Do you think they’ll just gloss over that? 

Unless you’re suggesting that just using a consistent, proven to be not-shit gameplay formula like the Classic formula is itself nostalgia pandering just because it happened to be made a long time ago in which case

 

hahahahahahahahahaha oh god 

I think under any parameters, expecting a Breath of the Wild style nigh-reboot every game is absolutely absurd. 

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I don't really understand why those two options at the bottom of your post are our only two choices. You bring up Mario as an example of a series that takes risks and plays it safe but in both of those categories, those are all considered to be good games right? People don't consider Sunshine, Galaxy, and Odyssey to be risky but glitchy. When it comes to Mario, the answer's a lot easier since they make all-around good games anyway. Why settle for something boring and safe when they can get accolades by doing what Odyssey did? They actually have a choice because they know how to make good games. And this is assuming that the general public finds New Super Mario Bros. to be boring. I don't play them because to me, they look boring, but that's only because the playstyle doesn't appeal to me. It's the same reason Classic Sonic's playstyle doesn't appeal to me. 

It feels like the reason Mario's able to do what he does is because when it comes to Mario's character himself, they don't try to reinvent the wheel in terms of how he moves. Each game they make doesn't revolve around figuring out how his new playstyle works AND how to create levels around it at the same time. 

He's a little fat guy who runs and jumps on stuff. 

They add in a little gimmick or two to spice him up a bit, like that water machine or that cap with the eyes, but generally he's a little fat guy who runs and jumps on stuff. In the gameplay I've seen of him, it doesn't look like that's changed much.

What changes from game to game is the structure of the world and the creativity in the design though. The levels, the music, the story, the atmosphere, all of that makes up a much bigger percentage of the game then just how Mario runs a certain way. I'm sure they work hard on how Mario runs but it's not a radical shift from game to game because it doesn't need to be. 

Sonic should just choose a general way to play for 2D games (which he already has) and a general way to play for 3D games and worry about all the other stuff that goes into making a creative and interesting looking product. Tweak how he moves a bit from game to game when necessary but stop messing with the playstyle. 

Personally, I'm a fan of pushing forward on the control stick and watching Sonic move and gain speed. It sounds like what the Adventure games did which to me was basically just "How video game characters in 3D games tend to move period but with Sonic so he's a bit faster at it". It sounds simple but that's fine. Playing as Sonic should be simple, fun, and easy. I shouldn't be jumping through hoops trying to figure out how a mascot platformer moves.

The creativity should be in everything else in my opinion. 

Unfortunately, we're in a bit of a reverse situation. They keep messing with how Sonic moves  and at the same time they're creatively bankrupt when it comes to the levels, stories, characters, and even the music a bit.  It also doesn't help that they're so incredibly scared of Modern Sonic too. They keep throwing in wisps, and Classic Sonic, and Run buttons, and wisps again, and fan-characters, and Classic Sonic AGAIN, without thinking. Modern Sonic, boost or no boost, should be able to handle himself fine so long as everything else around him is well-made. 

The reason "Boost to Win" became an actual problem in Forces wasn't because of the Boost formula itself. The fucking stages were neglected. They became literal straight lines! Unleashed wasn't structured like that. Adabat is one of the most interesting stages in the series in my opinion, and it was created under the boost formula. What's the excuse of... I'm blanking on the name of the stages in Forces. Pick one. They're all equally forgettable.

In short, there's times to be risky and times to play it safe. Sonic Team's got their priorities wrong. They're being risky in an area where they should be more consistent and playing it safe in the area that NEEDS to be different each game in order for their games to stand out and be cool. That's my take. 

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There is a time to play it safe, and there is a time to take risks. The point is to establish a formula before taking risks. If you're "shaking up the status quo" every game, however, well, as one put it, it's no longer shaking up the status quo; it is the status quo.

You have to establish a formula to shake up, or else it comes off as not knowing what you want out of it. It is essential you have a general idea of what you want, and failure to have that just makes you look clueless.

There may be growing pains; that's gonna be a natural part of the process, but if you really are convinced it's the direction you wanna go, then look at what works, and what could use refining, and who knows? Maybe it'll find its footing.

 

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5 minutes ago, MadmanRB said:

Well one can do a little of both.

Play it safe by not introducing gimmicks that radically alter gameplay but take risks in introducing one or two new mechanics.

What exactly is the difference between a new gimmick and a new mechanic?

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12 minutes ago, RedFox99 said:

What exactly is the difference between a new gimmick and a new mechanic?

A new gimmick is stuff like the wispons or the werehog.

A new mechanic is the vines in Sonic 3 or the transport tubes in sonic 2

Dont get me wrong not all gimmicks are bad but sometimes a new gimmick can ruin gameplay (the werehog is a great example).

New mechanics on the other hand can make a game feel more fun or challenging.

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2 hours ago, SurrealBrain said:

There is a time to play it safe, and there is a time to take risks. The point is to establish a formula before taking risks. If you're "shaking up the status quo" every game, however, well, as one put it, it's no longer shaking up the status quo; it is the status quo.

 

This, so much this. Sega/Sonic Team trying to reinvent the wheel every single fucking game is part of the reason this franchise is such a mess. Sonic isn't exactly the most accessible series in the world, and that's because every game has the mentality of "Okay but let's do something radically different".

How about we get a string of consistent, solid games in one formula before we decide to try and shake things up again? We've already had an entire era of really weird, really bad experimental Sonic games.

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It's Nintendo DNA to meticulous craft gameplay experiences.

It's SEGA's DNA to try fast and fail fast.

It's come to bite them in butt but I will say the vast variety of SEGA IPs offer something more substantial than Nintendo's IPs due to their strategy.

This is why I still defend Lost World and Colors to this day.

The annoying thing about Lost World if they had opened up the map like they did with Hyrule Field, this game would have been better rated by fans.

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52 minutes ago, kalion said:

The annoying thing about Lost World if they had opened up the map like they did with Hyrule Field, this game would have been better rated by fans.

Yeah, I found myself thinking something to that effect as well recently.

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