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Sonic Forces Anniversary~

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Today is the official 1-year anniversary of the release of Sonic Forces and, since I really liked the game, I just wanted to make a thread to mark the occasion. I know most people on this site don't like the game, but hey, I liked it. I'm happy that it came out, I had tons of fun playing it, and I only have positive feelings when I think back on my time with it - it not only got me back into Sonic after not really caring much about the games since Sonic Adventure 2, but it REALLY re-energized my love for Sonic roleplaying and character creation.

It reminded me of just how much I love Sonic as a franchise, and how much it really means to me - Sonic's always been a part of my life ever since I was little and watching AOSTH/SatAM/Sonic Underground on TV every morning before school, or playing Sonic 1 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles over and over again on my Sega Genesis with my family.

And while yes, I definitely agree with a lot of the criticisms that Forces got with regards to level length, difficulty, controls, marketing/hype, etc.... for me, the good far outweighed the bad. I understand why people were let down by it, and I agree that it should've been a much longer, better game than it was.

Still... I loved playing it. I loved the music. I loved Infinite as a character. I loved the darker-but-still-silly story. I loved creating my own character and making him a part of Sonic's world. The controls never bothered me to the point of making the game unplayable, and Classic Sonic's controls didn't feel anywhere near as bad as everyone on the internet was saying they were. Even though the levels were too short, I had genuine fun playing through them. I could go on and on, honestly. xD

So yeah. Happy anniversary to Sonic Forces~!

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Pros: The avatar was an interesting "create your own fan character do-not-steal" idea. There were some nice vocal tracks for the avatar stages and the story - whilst very flawed and rushed -  was more interesting than recent entries. The graphics are beautiful and give Unleashed's visuals a run for their money. Oh and the wisps are better implemented than in SLW.

Cons: Classic Sonic's inclusion, level design, physics are pathetically bad. He adds nothing of interest to the story. The story has some pretty poor dialogue and Tails portrayal was so unlike-Tails it was embarrasing.

Spoiler

tru dat

Modern Sonic's boost gameplay showed no improvement. The avatar probably had the most interesting gameplay style out of all three...

I only play Forces if my nephew wants to play it.

 

Forces is one of those forgettable Sonic games which will fade into obscurity over time.

 

Oh and SEGA can fuck off for linking Forces story to Mania.

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A year later and this still gets a resounding "meeeh" from me.

It's no secret that I was really gunning for this game. Most of the news we got of it made it seem like the Sonic game that I had (and still quite frankly have been) wishing for. It seemed to be calling my name. Everything from bringing back the boost, giving it a story worth a damn, running on an actual successor to the HE after 9 long years, straight down to finally bringing back vocal theme songs. Literally the only thing I was actively against the game from the start was bringing in Classic Sonic which furthered the lack of actual 3D in a 3D Sonic game. Up until the game's release, I was thoroughly in the mindset that the good this game does should severely outweighed the bad we had seen at that point.

Then it came out.

Needless to say, it was far from what I was hoping for. A year later and I still don't think it's anywhere near the levels of straight up hate it brought up from a number of people (and I still like it quite a bit more than LW) but I'd be lying to myself if I could ever call it good. There are some parts I did end up liking, but quite a few more that I didn't.

The boost is everything that critics of it have been blasting it for. The story has about as much depth, personality, and fake humor as the last few terrible showings in this area. That new graphical engine isn't even utilized to it's fullest potential with the levels on display. The levels and gameplay themselves are sparsely ever fun and, even more rarely, ever engaging. The controls are stiff (seeming to have been directly ripped from LW of all things). Classic Sonic's segments are complete trash (which is especially damning after Mania), and the Avatar isn't very well thought out as both a story and game idea. It's a mediocre product riddled with basic game design mistakes, lack of actual depth, and generally didn't do this franchise any favors at the end of the day. Something that really can't be understated after how much of a success Mania was.

I know bringing up Mania in anything Forces related is... quite frankly beating a long worn horse skeleton at this point, but I feel this needs to be said. 2D vs 3D, Story vs. the lack thereof, happy and bright colors vs. serious and more realistic tones, Modern vs. Classic... all that be damned. Mania simply has the heart and effort behind it. Forces, on the flip side, doesn't. That, above everything else, is why one succeed over the other in my eyes.

While I still retain that there's more in Forces that I want to see continued and improved upon over Mania, Mania simply was the better product by a large margin. To this day, I can still pick up Mania for a little session of the handful of zones I actually enjoy in it. I can't say the same with Forces. I've logged hundreds of hours into Generations, Unleashed, and even Colors and the fact that I can't even say I've put in a dozen into Forces is very telling. I'm not crazy about Mania or any of the Classic titles honestly but my Steam version of it alone already doubles that time, let alone when you add in the Switch version. Coming from a guy like me, that's incredibly telling.

Again, I can't stress enough how much I pray ST learns from this game and actually improves upon the many good ideas I believe it genuinely has while putting the heart into it that Mania clearly had. To me, the worst thing they can do now is turn and run away from everything in it with their tails between their legs... again. I know there's an argument to be made for that methodology, but I've had well over a year to think on it with quite a number of discussions to go along with it and there's one thing I still firmly believe in. You simply don't get better if you stop trying after a misstep. There's a lot of things in Forces that I can already see myself disliking the next title for not including/ going against. Take the ideas here, refine them. That's literally what 95% of other critically acclaimed series do.

Also, retain your fucking talent ST and Sega. The team that made this game is barely even the one from Generations. Funny how a lot of the core team that made Unleashed, Colors, and Generations went on to work on games like Odyssey, FF15, and BotW...

 

Though, at the end of it all, the lead up to this game was infinitely worse than any of the bad parts of the product itself. I'll just leave it at that.

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It is easily the worst modern Sonic game after Sonic '06, not including spin-offs like Rise of Lyric.

It's sad because it has so much wasted potential, the story, the Avatar, the setting, the returning villains, Infinite, the music, the zones being conquered by Eggman, playable Shadow, etc. Damn.

I wouldn't say it was polished because it wasn't, Lost World was super polished on the other hand, I enjoy that game. The mistakes it did were basically to add Classic Sonic instead of focusing on the resistance, it felt pointless because there was already Mania for Classic fans, and obviously designing the whole thing as a "basic and simple straight line", who thought that was a good idea?

So yeah, it's a pretty sad and disappointing situation, and I dislike those who just say "haha, I was right, it sucks, fuck you who thought this shit was gonna be good". No, fuck Batman this attitude, you don't have to be a dick to criticize a game.

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While I found the game boring and at times frustrating there were some aspects I enjoyed ^^

I liked Egg Gate and Metal Sonic's fight. The Avatar stages were alright too. Definitely the better stages in the game. I also really like the final sequence of Null Space although I would have definitely liked it a lot more if the story leading up to that point was good enough to warrant that moment.

I like the inclusion of an Avatar and I'm surprised something like this didn't come sooner lol 

As for the OST I love the majority of the vocal themes, Infinite's theme being my favourite. The remixes of Zavok's battle theme and Metal Sonic's US battle theme were pretty good too. Nice to see CD's US OST get some love. My favourite stage themes are Egg Gate, Luminous Forest, both Arsenal Pyramid themes and Ghost Town despite it's honestly bad instrumentation.

Everything else was either boring of a flat out train wreck. A shame really since the potential was there.

 

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It's absolutely no secret that I can't stand Forces, and arguably to an unreasonable extent at that. The game in my eyes represents everything that's gone wrong with the series since it went 3D 20 years ago. Initially it seemed like it was going to be interesting and exciting, with SEGA themselves creating a very positive and reassuring vibe before the game was revealed at the 25th Anniversary event and up until the gameplay was finally shown off almost a year later.

There's just so little I can say about it that's actually positive. In terms of execution and design it's just terrible. And what few good ideas it does have are pulled off in the worst possible way. It's not the worst mainline Sonic game ever made, but that's only because the bar has been set so low by a handful of previous titles; it's not a good game by its own merits. The game has cemented my total lack of faith in SEGA and Sonic Team to design and then create a good Sonic game. If it wasn't for the total curveball that was Mania, I'd probably be writing off the series until something changes in a big way.

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I've long-since added Forces to the pile of Sonic games that I desperately want to love, and occasionally get the urge to go back to, but every time I am disappointed by their shallowness.  In the end it's better to just relisten to the soundtrack if I want to re-experience my first playthrough in my imagination.  Still love the soundtrack to Forces, but yeah, overall the experience was a disappointment.  Loved my first playthrough, including 100%ing the game, but now that's done... there's nothing there.  It was the satisfaction of checking off objectives and unlocking everything, coupled with the new additions to the Sonic franchise's wonderful library of music and aesthetics, that made that first experience good for me.  Now that those things are no longer fresh, there's nothing holding the game's lame level design up.  The cardboard facade has fallen flat, alongside other Sonic games I had the same experience with, Heroes, Colours and Lost World.  A real damn shame, coz I was so gunning for this one.  I'm at least thankful for that first playthrough, just sad that it couldn't join Unleashed, Generations, the Adventures, and hell even Shadow the Hedgehog - as a game I enjoy at it's core enough to play more than once and feel like I'm having a meaningful experience each time.

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I hope one day to make a video covering Forces and my feelings towards it, but to put it simply...

I'm glad this game came out, and I seem to come back to play it often for shits and giggles. It has its flaws, as the game can be pretty shallow in terms of how it plays. But the overall atmosphere, ambition and the feeling I had playing through a game with the scale of Forces... it reminds me of how much I love Sonic, and why i loved him to begin with.

It didn't hit a bullseye on every point, but it hit them where I thought counted.

Happy birthday, you neglected Autumn child of a game, I still love you.

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SLW doesnt looks so bad now eh fandom 😛
 

Anyway I hate this game, worst 3D Sonic game I personally played. I pretty much dont like almost anything about it. Bad story, unintersting levels in both design and asthetic (egg gate is the only one I kinda dont sleep at), weakest 3D Soundtrack (though there are some goodins in there), shitty conntrols for al three characters, none of which are particuarly fun. Levels themsselves only last 1 minute and encourage empty repeat playthroughs that you get noting out of.  Not even 3 hours long, its a fucking shit show man. Not being glitchy is it's only sucsess. Im embarassed ST felt like this game was okay to put out, it makes me so mad this is what they think their flagship franchise deserves

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Never played the game and I have no intentions to.

 

Forces represents pretty much everything people mock 3D Sonic for; shallow gameplay, clunky controls, and a laughable plot that desperately wants you to take it seriously.

 

But some some people liked it despite that, so I think I've just reached the point of realizing that 3D Sonic isn't for me, especially if it's under Sonic Team. Mania had everything I've wanted out of the series for years, so I'd much rather support that instead of whatever doomed product Sonic Team puts out.

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I dunno if it was ever mentioned here but I recall someone at ERA a while back making a thread about Forces' Custom Hero component and highlighted that it didn't have any gender restrictions on clothes. Never really thought much of it at the time, but in hindsight I can give the game some credit on that as a honest positive. I also actually liked the main theme, even with the Hoobastank lyrics added. And the core concept of a game in which Eggman did succeed in taking over the world is admittedly interesting.

...that's all I got. I'm drawing blanks on any other positives I can think of. From the March reveal all the way up to and past release, all Forces served to do was just double down on my complaints I've had about Sonic Team and modern Sonic games for years. I still think Forces' gameplay in particular is just straight-up terrible across the board, and its only because it's not a technical disaster that I think Forces escapes the realm of being a outright bad game and merely stands as thoroughly mediocre. For a game in production for four years (semantics aside), Forces is pretty much inexcusable IMO, especially when you have superior games with similar development cycles coming out around the same time. *side-glances at Mario Odyssey* 

At this point I'm just straight up exhausted with Sega/Sonic Team to the point I really couldn't care less about what they're doing next with Sonic. @Blue Blood nailed it for me in that Mania's existence and subsequent success is probably the only reason why I even care about what happens with this series in the future. 

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One year later and I’m still puzzled with Classic Sonic’s involvement in Forces. He shouldn’t be in the game. He served nearly no purpose. Nobody asked him to return. Focus your efforts on Modern Sonic only PLEASE. Not to mention his controls suck.

What disappointed me the most is that I finished the game in less than FOUR HOURS. This is the shortest Sonic game I’ve ever played. It’s like this game was developed in late 2016, not 2014 or so. Unless I’m speed running, I’ve never finished a modern level under 1:30 first time until Forces.

Modern Sonic in this game is so barebones as well. Missing skills compared to previous titles, walljumping, drifting etc. Story was mediocre at best. So predictable and boring. 

Sonic Team needs to pull themselves together or let a GOOD (and I mean good, not some rookie) developer take the reigns.

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Personally, I think this is still the blandest Sonic game I've played so far.

I remember playing through Sonic Forces back when it came out. By the end, the only feeling I had of the game was... nothing, really. There was nothing in it that I loved, but nothing I outright hated either. (...Well, besides Classic Sonic's inclusion, I guess.) It was just a big ball of nothing to me.

However, that blandness did start to leave me feeling increasingly uninterested in Sonic's future, be it games, comics or movies. Even now, the passion I once had for the blue blur is nowhere near what it used to be.

I guess the only way I'll really remember Sonic Forces is as "that game which made me distance myself from the franchise," for better and for worse.

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Speaking for myself Sonic Forces will always be the game that proves Sonic Team is creatively bankrupt and incapable of learning from their errors or building on their successes. Everything introduced in Forces was a done better in previous installments. The game play mechanics and level design? Generations did it better (shit, you could argue it did stage progression better too, and it takes place in a white spacial void). The introduction of a new enemy? 06/SA2/CD did it better. There's no distinct style or consistent tone to the game. It will forever be the game that Sonic Team slapped together in panicked reaction to Lost World, and Rise of Lyric.

I'm sort of with @NegaMetallix in that I'm pretty much finished with the Sonic games at this point. The only thing keeping me interested is that the Comics are a fun read.

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Never played it, don't want to. But hey, at least it served as backstory for the stellar IDW comics. Also, as edgy as Infinite's theme is, it totally slaps.

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For as bad disappointing as I think Forces is, I will admit that I had fun while playing it even if I think it very poorly of the game on a whole. However, for all of its problems I still found finishing it worth my time as that flower in the Resistance base in the post game title screen and the sense of nostalgia it brought me was one of the greatest reminders of why I love this franchise. For that reason alone I can look back fondly on Forces even when everything else was handled poorly.

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