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Mountaindewandsprite

How would you fix Sonic's lore, gameplay, narrative, and characters?

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Sonic is notorious for lacking an established world. In one game he's in a world dominated by humans. In the next game he's in a world dominated by anthros. The justification for this inconsistency was Takashi Iizuka's "Two Worlds" which came right out of his ass. The lore is a mess are gameplay elements are either used once and completely forgotten about or just milked for all they're worth (Boost Formula). The stories are mediocre at best and the characters have been completely flanderized. At this point, Sonic fanmade works are completely obliterating any of Sonic Team and SEGA's efforts. Some users, such as myself, think Sonic should be rebooted. Others think otherwise. How would you fix the Sonic franchise as far as lore, gameplay, narrative, and characterization are concerned?

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I'll stick with a short response for now, but for as much as I disliked BOOM! and questioned separating Classic from Modern I actually think it isn't bad way to go. Making a new branch of the franchise that is. In my case though the whole point to such a branch would be for the very purpose of working a reboot but without SEGA feeling like their own product is being undercut and let eth sales speak for itself. If an in-universe and gameplay solid and consistent game crafted with care and dedication to what it is and is aiming to be sells then SEGA would have the option to either jump all in or let it continue to be it's own thing so that way they could still experiment with the franchise as they see fit but leave this side branch to do its own thing.

Roughly, my main mindset is since multiple branches of the franchise are already a thing; capitalize on it and use the freedom born of it to make something that actually works.

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38 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

I'll stick with a short response for now, but for as much as I disliked BOOM! and questioned separating Classic from Modern I actually think it isn't bad way to go. Making a new branch of the franchise that is. In my case though the whole point to such a branch would be for the very purpose of working a reboot but without SEGA feeling like their own product is being undercut and let eth sales speak for itself. If an in-universe and gameplay solid and consistent game crafted with care and dedication to what it is and is aiming to be sells then SEGA would have the option to either jump all in or let it continue to be it's own thing so that way they could still experiment with the franchise as they see fit but leave this side branch to do its own thing.

Roughly, my main mindset is since multiple branches of the franchise are already a thing; capitalize on it and use the freedom born of it to make something that actually works.

So like...creating an AU is what you're getting at? If so, that's actually not a bad idea. An opportunity to start fresh.

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First you kinda have to break down what makes a good game in general. In Sonic's case you have to focus on four things: Gameplay, characters, world and tone. 

Next I would write down a checklist in what makes the Sonic series so iconic that separates it from the other games.

Then I would focus only on the things that worked in the past and which ideas and concept where praised by the critiques.

Gameplay: It has to be simple, fun and easy to learn. Players should be in control of the character from the start. I personally would also focus more on the Classic games like Mania, since those are the best received games by fans and critiques. When it comes to playable characters, I would add some more to the mix, but will keep the core gameplay also for them. I wouldn't add some weird, unfitting stuff like fishing, treasure hunting etc. Maybe as some side mini games, but not as part of the main gameplay. I personally would also take the time in fixing the game, if it isn't finished. This was kinda the downfall of many of the modern games, because they rushed it out to meat the deadline.

Characters: The characters should be consistent in their role and personality. I would also stick here with the classic characters, since they are the only characters in the series where their roles and traits where never changed drastically over the years. With the modern characters it is kinda hard to tell, who they actually are and what their role is in this world. Like for example Silver. Is he still from the future, or does he live now in Sonic's time line? Or Blaze. Is she now from another dimension, or from the future? Or what's up with Shadow? Is he a clone, an android, a villain, a good guy, an anti-hero? Even though the Classic characters are not complex written individuals, at least I know who they are and what role they have in this universe.

World: Just like with the characters I will also stick to the classic world, since it is also very consistent. It is a colorful, whacky world inhabited by cartoon animals. The modern world changes with almost every game: First it takes place in the real world, then in an alternative world that is similar to earth, than it is mostly inhabited by humans, than humans and animals than only animals, sometimes it is very futuristic, other times very urban, than very much like modern RPG fantasy world etc.

Tone: The most important part of a story is in my eyes the tone. A story can be many things, but not all at once. Sega kinda has to decided what genre the story of Sonic should be. I personally would also stick with the tone of Mania. Sonic is in my eyes a lighthearted comedy adventure with a little bit of cartoony action put into the mix. I personally wouldn't focus on some out of place ideas Sonic team came up in some of the modern games like realistic looking aliens and guns, love dramas with humans, fighting a powerful god like creature, necrophilia, turning into a werewolf etc. No story should be all of this at once. If you do this, your story will end up as a complete chaos.  

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A true hiatus leading up to... the series getting a hard reboot. Hard. Reboot. 

 

Also, continue the Classic side-series as normal, tweaking and improving gameplay, narrative, and artwork over time. Maybe keep the comics and movies and SMA going, along with the obvious merchandise. And in one of the games, Modern Sonic suddenly ends up in the Classic universe! This crossover actually serves as an impetus for the hard reboot to come. This crossover is in fact a Fully Absorbed Grand Finale for modern Sonic. Every plothole is finally solved, at the cost of the reboot happening. 

 

Basically, the Classic series gameplay expansion serves as a testbed for what’s to happen in the hard reboot. Probably try a 3D Blast follow-up to experiment with Classic in 3D.

 

Narrative? Strike as many balances as possible. Not too goofy, not too dark, etc. Create and release an official universe bible to keep things in check. 

 

Visuals? Try to match the highest-possible graphic quality, if it fits. But keep stylization in mind; we don’t want totally realistic environments. 

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39 minutes ago, Mountaindewandsprite said:

So like...creating an AU is what you're getting at? If so, that's actually not a bad idea. An opportunity to start fresh.

Pretty much. An official AU with the sole purposes of being kept tidy to begin with built on a strong foundation. It may not be the best idea but I think it's the one that works best with how SEGA wants to always be in control of the main series. A sub-branch that isn't important in their eyes has a much better chance at being what SEGA squandered thoughtlessly over the years simply by virtue of them not caring enough to get in the way of the creatives. The only real downside is the lack of funding, but I find in the hands of truly skilled and creative individuals that is less so a hinderance and more so a boon to get the best of their abilities and problem solving skills to fore.

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59 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

A true hiatus leading up to... the series getting a hard reboot. Hard. Reboot. 

Another one? Isn't this the fourth time they did this? 

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1 hour ago, Rowl said:

Another one? Isn't this the fourth time they did this? 

I'm going to assume "hard reboot" means one that starts with an origin story, in which case no; I can't remember any time that has happened.  It can, in fact, be argued that no official source has ever told a Sonic origin story, and while it could be neat to do so, the baggage of having to retell classic stories with games that would be compared to the original games is probably too much to handle at this point.  Of course they could rely on other media to retell the story of classic games, like maybe a new TV show, and then maybe decide to make their first game an interquel to some still considered basically canon, or a sequel to what they consider the last worthy game, but at this point, I don't think Sonic Team is up to that task--and at this point, frankly, the Sonic series isn't either.  The amount of people who would disagree over what should be brought into the new canon and what shouldn't would generate a lot of negative attention for it...and that's even before we consider whether Sega is even up to the task of creating something better than what came before.  When your reboot's possible results range from angering a lot of people to angering most people, you probably are better off not trying.

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I think 06 was the first real hard reboot of the series. Or at least it tried to be. That would explain why the universe and characters where so drastically changed.

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ok so like @Sonic Fan J already touched on this, but sonic boom was a poorly executed mess. But the idea of separating stuff out into its own universe is a good idea. Seperating the adventure era stuff into its own thing to be rebooted a bit and be as weird as it wants is probably how I would fix... a lot of that. Fix characters stories, the lore, by being a rebooted separate world. As for gameplay, that's more complicated.

 

2 hours ago, Rowl said:

Characters: The characters should be consistent in their role and personality. I would also stick here with the classic characters, since they are the only characters in the series where their roles and traits where never changed drastically over the years. With the modern characters it is kinda hard to tell, who they actually are and what their role is in this world. Like for example Silver. Is he still from the future, or does he live now in Sonic's time line? Or Blaze. Is she now from another dimension, or from the future? Or what's up with Shadow? Is he a clone, an android, a villain, a good guy, an anti-hero? Even though the Classic characters are not complex written individuals, at least I know who they are and what role they have in this universe.

I think this is a complete misunderstanding of why these characters work, and what has been making them work less over time. Simply put, they need to be a bit undefined. Outside of knuckles... everyone else is just kind of vaugley a hero. That openness allows them to be a great many things, knuckles's defined role in the world plays to his detriment because everytime he's not doing hat its basically him not doing his one job. Something that it seems like sega went to active lengths for a good long while to avoid with characters that came after knuckles. So their " roles " in the world are generally fine, trying to define them to one thing is why a lot of people are trying to call them flanderized now. I think you just need to accept the adventure forward characters are a bit different in structure. And that's ok, and that's sort of the appeal there and trying to remove that i feel why people like those characters.

As for who they are, the only one I think needs adjustments is shadow. Because his story has got a bit complicated and its pretty clear when they were changing and even now they wanted and want to go kind of a different direction with his character than originally planned. And in changing that there were a lot of complications, and obligations put on his character that a character like his doesn't really need? I would just simplify it down to " One of his paren'ts was a alien living on earth, a government entity found em, killed em and took shadow and tried to do experiments on em" that sort of simplifies... a lot of unneeded details and pairs it down to a pretty simple story that can get expanded upon fairly easily

As for everyone else. They are generally fine? Silvers OG story retcons itself , so... he can just be the from the future. Blaze is from another world, they have made that clear. And everyone else are either theives, detectives , murderous robots and their stories aren't really that complicated

 

 

2 hours ago, Rowl said:

Tone: The most important part of a story is in my eyes the tone. A story can be many things, but not all at once. Sega kinda has to decided what genre the story of Sonic should be. I personally would also stick with the tone of Mania. Sonic is in my eyes a lighthearted comedy adventure with a little bit of cartoony action put into the mix. I personally wouldn't focus on some out of place ideas Sonic team came up in some of the modern games like realistic looking aliens and guns, love dramas with humans, fighting a powerful god like creature, necrophilia, turning into a werewolf etc. No story should be all of this at once. If you do this, your story will end up as a complete chaos.  

I find this... extremely booring? Not to be rude or nothing, but you got classic sonic for that? I would personally like more crazy action and stories and stuff, sometimes not so funny just cool. I like SA1 and 2 because they weren't trying to be that funny, they were just fun silly anime inspired rides. If you want that sort of thing, I would ask sega to keep making mania. Classic sonic seems to be your jam so... ask them to giving you the jam

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3 hours ago, Rowl said:

I think 06 was the first real hard reboot of the series. Or at least it tried to be. That would explain why the universe and characters where so drastically changed.

I can't help but wonder if the ending of 06, which erases it from existence, was added in relatively late in production, when the developers realized everyone would prefer this all never happened!

However, I think people are confused at just what a "reboot" is; the result of many professional journalists who don't either.  To their credit, basing it on its computer origin, it logically just means turning on something that has been off, but the canon sense of the word has more nuance, and keeping that nuance is important to distinguishing between different sorts of works.  So technically:

A sequel is new entry into a series, which is set after last entry and does not alter continuity.

A retcon is a new entry into a series, which does alter continuity and is usually set after last entry, although infamous exceptions exist in the form of updated superhero origin stories.

A reboot is a new entry into a series, which alters continuity and is intended to be the first entry of a new line of them.

So in Sonic terms:

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is a sequel.

Super Genesis Wave (In the Archie comics, thanks to Ken Penders) is a retcon.

IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog #1 is a reboot.

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20 minutes ago, Rowl said:

I think 06 was the first real hard reboot of the series. Or at least it tried to be. That would explain why the universe and characters where so drastically changed.

This. 06' was meant to be a game changer (no pun intended) for the new generation. 06' (tried to) incorporate shonen elements and replicate games like Final Fantasy and the like, but it just doesn't work with Sonic. Many have suggested that Sega reboot the series and start over from scratch. Hell, there are even some fans who believe SEGA should sell or give up the rights to the Sonic franchise to another gaming company, but it will be a cold day in hell before that happens.

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Resigning that a true reboot (ie, one that restarts the story) is probably impossibly complicated and that the closest we can do is a retcon that will be the last retcon for a long time...I would retcon out every game that took place after Sonic Battle.  Events similar to them could be canon in my "fixed" continuity, but they would not have happened exactly alike.  My reasons are thus:

*Shadow the Hedgehog screwed things up.  I'm not going to attack it because I feel guns and grit don't belong in this series; in fact I would like Nack back, I love Omega and I'm fine with doing serious plots if they're done well.  The problem is that ShTH muddied up what had been a serious plot done well in Sonic Adventure 2; not to mention a plot about the important characters in this series.  Maybe some people can explain its amendments to the Robotnik and Shadow backstory in a way that fits with Sonic Adventure 2's, but they can't excuse it ignoring that as of Sonic Battle, Shadow had completely recovered his memories and was definitively a hero.

*Sonic Rush added the boost, which has its fans but forces Sonic games to be something completely different than they had been, despite what they had been being widely beloved.

Sonic 06 was, as stated above, erased from continuity, but that doesn't necessarily erase the lore change from Blaze living in an alternate dimension to living in the future.  Big no no.

*The Mario and Sonic Olympics games are an insult to both series.  It's not just that they nerf Sonic's speed so that Mario can possibly beat him in a race; lots of games nerf abilities.  These games flat-out remove abilities; until Mario and Sonic are little more than a label.  Not that I oppose crossovers between the two series; I just oppose these sorts of crossovers.

*The Wisps were added to Sonic Colors specifically to remove the need to play as other characters, and that's really crummy, because I liked the other characters.  So for as many fans as that game has, the foundation of this series and its key plays take precedence.

 

If there's griping at these removals?  Again, I wouldn't be opposed to adding some things back in.  A game could exist that features the Wisps battling the Black Arms, so long as this didn't screw with the series' lore or quintessential gameplay elements.

Speaking of gameplay, going forward, I'd probably do something that's a combination of Classic Sonic's mechanics, the Adventure fields in Sonic Adventure 1, and the class-focused level-designs in Sonic Heroes.  Characters would all share some abilities--for example, none would be as slow as Big the Cat was in Sonic Adventure--but also have some abilities that help them access certain parts of their world that others can't.  Speedsters could get the most distance jumping off ramps or running up walls, provided said walls had inclines at their base.  Flyers could ascend vertically, although probably not for too long.  Power characters could break through obstacles that others couldn't, smashing boulders to explore caves, etc.  Characters wouldn't be running together as teams, but could be switched at the start.

Did I mention there wouldn't be a boost?

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Honestly I don't think there's much that needs "fixing".  Lost World and Forces created some minor plotholes that have never been concretely confirmed, in writing, within the series as to what is going on in them:

Wisps still being around (this is answered in Runners and the IDW comics, but has never been concretely stated in the mainline games, it bugs me)

What the heck Lost Hex is (in another series this might not be a big deal, but Sonic has always done a very good job explaining the backstory for new/mysterious locations such as Angel Island and Space Colony ARK)

Just what the hell Classic Sonic is, if there is a split timeline or what (there are fanon answers to this that make sense, but the developers just don't seem to give a crap and it's annoying)

 

Granted we've kind of gone beyond the point of no return on these now - unless they do another game in which any of the above are a MAJOR element of the plot, there is no reason to revisit and clarify these points.  Other stuff, like humans vs anthros, I'm not bothered by.  Some games they are represented, some games they aren't.  Fuck the two worlds thing, it adds nothing and was never necessary to begin with.  Sonic's world is a world where both futuristic cities and rustic cities can exist in the same game, I can believe that some areas are more human populated and some are more anthro populated easily.

All I really want is some consistency for future games, and a little more care put in to not contradict past games or leave things unexplained.  Sega of America appear to be full of Sonic fans - surely it'd only take an e-mail or two to get some of the nerdier staffers there to read the script or playtest the game and just send a few notes back on what things need explaining/tidying up a bit?  Maybe it's more complicated that I imagine, that sort of thing in game development is a bit of a question mark to me.

1 hour ago, Rowl said:

I think 06 was the first real hard reboot of the series. Or at least it tried to be. That would explain why the universe and characters where so drastically changed.

2006 definitely wasn't a hard reboot, Shadow's role as a GUN agent seems to follow directly on from him burying the hatchet with the GUN Commander in the aftermath of Shadow the Hedgehog (if we believe the Hard Mode dialogue to have some canon material in there).  It was definitely intended to give the franchise a new, more realistic aesthetic (an utter failure in both idea and execution of course), but that no more makes it a hard reboot than Sonic Adventure was when it... basically did the exact same thing compared to the classic games.  Past events in the canon still apply in 2006, even if that self-contained chapter of the overall Sonic story got erased at the end.

1 hour ago, Scritch the Cat said:

I can't help but wonder if the of 06, which erases it from existence, was added in relatively late in production, when the developers realized everyone would prefer this all never happened!

However, I think people are confused at just what a "reboot" is; the result of many professional journalists who don't either.  To their credit, basing it on its computer origin, it logically just means turning on something that has been off, but the canon sense of the word has more nuance, and keeping that nuance is important to distinguishing between different sorts of works.  So technically:

A sequel is new entry into a series, which is set after last entry and does not alter continuity.

A retcon is a new entry into a series, which does alter continuity and is usually set after last entry, although infamous exceptions exist in the form of updated superhero origin stories.

A reboot is a new entry into a series, which alters continuity and is intended to be the first entry of a new line of them.

So in Sonic terms:

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is a sequel.

Super Genesis Wave (In the Archie comics, thanks to Ken Penders) is a retcon.

IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog #1 is a reboot.

Your definitions are correct, but I think the examples are a little off.  There are two different types of retcon - the Super Genesis Wave, if I understand correctly, is a retcon that happens IN-universe.  An actual thing physically changed the universe, erasing the events that came before for the characters, but not for the audience, similar to 2006's ending.  A more typical retcon is something more like Classic Sonic in Forces.  The writers just decided "look, it's the Sonic from the other dimension!"  As if that was always the case.  Nothing in-universe was explicitly the cause of that shift, they've just decided "yeah, he's from another dimension now", and the audience is expected to overwrite the old events with the new clarification.  I might not be happy about it, but Sonic Team's decree is that Classic Sonic in Generations also came from another dimension now, that's how it always was, etc.

IDW Sonic isn't really a reboot, but more of a timeline split.  A reboot starts off with a fresh circumstance typically, but IDW Sonic considers all the main series games to be canon up until the end of Sonic Forces, at which point the IDW comics begin.  I consider it more of an alternative timeline (well, I will once a new mainline Sonic game clashes with it anyway, right now you could consider the IDW comics canon easily, and heck they explain the Wisp plothole to boot by doing so).  I guess you could argue it's a "reboot" where the "new backstory" just happens to be entirely identical to the game canon so far, but at that point "reboot" vs "branching path" is just tomayto vs tomahto.

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1 hour ago, Wraith said:

I'm not interested in a reboot. I think that both the franchise and especially the fandom's obsession with the past is detrimental. The romanticizing of the older games. The need to go back and pour over these games and their flaws again and again and see how we can fix them. I'm over it. Sonic happened the way it did and if you're not a hardcore fan you're probably over it by now, too. I've not seen one convincing argument on how a reboot or a mass retcon benefits the franchise at large aside from appeasing these core fans and I think sega has thrown them enough bones to last a lifetime. 

 

So...fuck a reboot. I'm more interested in going forward. If a character or concept doesn't have any use to whatever the franchise is doing next just don't use it. It's simple.

On a whole it's why I'd rather go the different branch, or AU if you will, route. No matter how broken and janky things are in the franchise it is sill going to go forward, but if the opportunity existed to make a clean, unified, and as consistent a structure as possible for the franchise I think a branch off from the main games would be the way to do it. Of course SEGA at this point doesn't have the track record to pull it off, but it avoids the whole reboot fiasco and simply builds a new branch that worries about those things that certain fans crave but the main series doesn't cater to. Bad of an idea as separating Classic from Modern is, making games dedicated to the playstyles and aesthetics of the two is not itself a bad thing since Mania and Forces both supposedly selling well in SEGA's eyes implies that different branches of the franchise can coexist. If that's the case, why not say tap Atlas' writing talent for a story and lore dedicated third branch? You'd appease the three major factions of the fanbase in regards to Classic, Adventure, and Modern, in the case that one goes south you still have two other branches keeping the franchise alive and bring in money. Really the biggest problem with this pat his the funding to get it started.

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Hmm. It's funny. As much as we talk about the problems with sonic's lore, theres really not much that needs to be fixed. In my opinion, sonic already has a good enough foundation in some of the things hes tried. It's really about application at this point. To me, the events between Sonic 2 and Sonic Adventure 1: what could anyone honestly say is "wrong" with that? If the franchise would stay consistent with that kind of world and tone, we'd be fine. (This does not mean every game has to be about angel island or the emeralds.) This applies to the narrative as well. The only difference I think is really that characters should not be brought back every game like they started doing with knuckles and shadow. Just wait for an appropriate opportunity.

The gameplay is a more complicated question, one that might be a pretty lengthy post. Since I've commented on this in recent threads already, I'll just say that the main offering of 3D sonic needs to return to being a 3D platforming series. And I think the best way to do that would be to focus on utilizing sonic's gameplay in a fully 3D context rather than trying to port his classic 2D linear style directly into 3D like has been almost every poor attempt so far. All this means is taking the fundamental appeal of the classic gameplay (gaining momentum through use of the environment, exploration of many paths, and both horizontal and vertical platforming) and building a foundation that takes full advantage of a complete 3D world....instead of just molding a 3D space around mostly 2D linear gameplay, the difference in the latter being that sonic faces forward instead of to the left or right. A very natural solution to this is to put sonic in a very expansive 3D environment playground and build a world with things to do and places to go, with a narrative/story built around it. So instead of worrying about building one narrow path (heavily constrained and suspended over excessive bottomless pits) you have many paths to go depending on what sonic is trying to do. Instead of worrying about building many smaller self contained levels, build 7 huge island "Zones" and fill them with fun stuff to do and accomplish, allow sonic to run back and forth, up and down between them as many times as necessary to save the day.(and actually, for the boss levels I would use the classic linear self contained path to compliment the experience.)

So in general, the proper use of what they already have rather than trying to come up with some wild new ideas that once again heavily conflict with what sonic basically is.

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Just reboot everything with modern cast to fit in mania/classic verse. The main problem with the series the modern characters baring shadow and sonic females, is too divisive for a broader range of adult sonic fans that grew up with classic characters. Re establish and prepare for characters like shadow, rouge, omega, silver and blaze in a more simpler and more successful context that is well established to being able to incorporate all the fans of the classic and modern fan base.

I'm sure most Shadow fans like myself want Shadow revive the same reception that classic sonic gets when he plays in a better game than just Sonic forces. Modern Sonic and the modern sonic classic characters just play a older version of their classic established roles, they are basically the same way we loved them in the genesis/game gear games but we can't say the same for shadow and the other modern cast being that their stories clash in less iconic ways with Sonic and the main 3s type of story telling.

So it's vest to consider that along with everything after sa2, the series needs to restart itself again to fit a more successful platform and only fit certain established roles for modern characters when being a part of classic/mania Sonics world and cast. 

Or like Sonic Fan J said, create a permanent sonic at, incorporating sonic eras into one consise product where sonic and the main gang and shadow and Eggman are the key roles in everything involving other characters later.

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5 hours ago, Sonic Fan J said:

On a whole it's why I'd rather go the different branch, or AU if you will, route. No matter how broken and janky things are in the franchise it is sill going to go forward, but if the opportunity existed to make a clean, unified, and as consistent a structure as possible for the franchise I think a branch off from the main games would be the way to do it. Of course SEGA at this point doesn't have the track record to pull it off, but it avoids the whole reboot fiasco and simply builds a new branch that worries about those things that certain fans crave but the main series doesn't cater to. Bad of an idea as separating Classic from Modern is, making games dedicated to the playstyles and aesthetics of the two is not itself a bad thing since Mania and Forces both supposedly selling well in SEGA's eyes implies that different branches of the franchise can coexist. If that's the case, why not say tap Atlas' writing talent for a story and lore dedicated third branch? You'd appease the three major factions of the fanbase in regards to Classic, Adventure, and Modern, in the case that one goes south you still have two other branches keeping the franchise alive and bring in money. Really the biggest problem with this pat his the funding to get it started.

An AU is still functionally a reboot to me. Even if the old Sonic still exists I would rather not have 3 branches fighting for resources and attention. If there's some sort of new writing talent we want to get what would be the benefit of not getting them to do the main series? Any Sonic fan who seriously hates well written stories and cutscenes can just skip them. 

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Hoo boy, you know i debated about starting a topic like this myself but said no as I was afraid to be shot down.

However now the cat is out of the bag I guess its time for my personal approach to how to fix this franchise.

7 hours ago, Wraith said:

So...fuck a reboot. I'm more interested in going forward.

The thing is that the way forward is a huge concrete wall 10,000 miles high, 10,000 miles long, 10,000 miles thick.

Sorry dude but this franchise needs a serious reboot in my not so humble opinion.

 

I will post up something a bit later as well... its Christmas but i will let others chime in first.

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1 hour ago, Dash Speed said:

Just reboot everything with modern cast to fit in mania/classic verse.

That's really a bad idea , classic fans are gonna riot and outrage over this . They consider modern characters a symbol of Sonic downfall . There is possible way of redeeming the characters with similar classic style , sub-series 2d games that take inspirations from classic games , kinda like advance trilogy .

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5 hours ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Hmm. It's funny. As much as we talk about the problems with sonic's lore, theres really not much that needs to be fixed. In my opinion, sonic already has a good enough foundation in some of the things hes tried. It's really about application at this point. To me, the events between Sonic 2 and Sonic Adventure 1: what could anyone honestly say is "wrong" with that? If the franchise would stay consistent with that kind of world and tone, we'd be fine. (This does not mean every game has to be about angel island or the emeralds.) This applies to the narrative as well. The only difference I think is really that characters should not be brought back every game like they started doing with knuckles and shadow. Just wait for an appropriate opportunity.

The gameplay is a more complicated question, one that might be a pretty lengthy post. Since I've commented on this in recent threads already, I'll just say that the main offering of 3D sonic needs to return to being a 3D platforming series. And I think the best way to do that would be to focus on utilizing sonic's gameplay in a fully 3D context rather than trying to port his classic 2D linear style directly into 3D like has been almost every poor attempt so far. All this means is taking the fundamental appeal of the classic gameplay (gaining momentum through use of the environment, exploration of many paths, and both horizontal and vertical platforming) and building a foundation that takes full advantage of a complete 3D world....instead of just molding a 3D space around mostly 2D linear gameplay, the difference in the latter being that sonic faces forward instead of to the left or right. A very natural solution to this is to put sonic in a very expansive 3D environment playground and build a world with things to do and places to go, with a narrative/story built around it. So instead of worrying about building one narrow path (heavily constrained and suspended over excessive bottomless pits) you have many paths to go depending on what sonic is trying to do. Instead of worrying about building many smaller self contained levels, build 7 huge island "Zones" and fill them with fun stuff to do and accomplish, allow sonic to run back and forth, up and down between them as many times as necessary to save the day.(and actually, for the boss levels I would use the classic linear self contained path to compliment the experience.)

So in general, the proper use of what they already have rather than trying to come up with some wild new ideas that once again heavily conflict with what sonic basically is.

The inclusion of an event system would fit there, too.  Like a new cutscene and boss spawns when you've completed certain objectives.

3 hours ago, MadmanRB said:

Hoo boy, you know i debated about starting a topic like this myself but said no as I was afraid to be shot down.

However now the cat is out of the bag I guess its time for my personal approach to how to fix this franchise.

The thing is that the way forward is a huge concrete wall 10,000 miles high, 10,000 miles long, 10,000 miles thick.

Sorry dude but this franchise needs a serious reboot in my not so humble opinion.

 

I will post up something a bit later as well... its Christmas but i will let others chime in first.

Your assessment might be crucial if this was a heavily plot-oriented series.  It isn't.  Or at least, it needn't be.  So long as they can manage plots that don't annoy people and the games are enjoyable, many people won't dwell on things being worse in the past, even if it leaves that past riddled with plot holes.

3 hours ago, Gumbit said:

That's really a bad idea , classic fans are gonna riot and outrage over this . They consider modern characters a symbol of Sonic downfall . There is possible way of redeeming the characters with similar classic style , sub-series 2d games that take inspirations from classic games , kinda like advance trilogy .

I doubt a mere reference to a modern character would annoy them too badly, but the truth is that many of these characters owe their existence to gameplay styles introduced afterward, quite different from anything developed since.  Hence trying to put some of them into a Classic Sonic format would be no-win; either the classic fans would be too mad if they weren't sufficiently retooled, or the modern fans would be mad if they were, because it would remove what at least some people originally liked the character for.  Could you make E-123 Omega work as a Classic Sonic protagonist?  Maybe, but he would barely be himself anymore.

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20 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Your assessment might be crucial if this was a heavily plot-oriented series.  It isn't.  Or at least, it needn't be.  So long as they can manage plots and that don't annoy people and the games are enjoyable, many people won't dwell on things being worse in the past, even if it leaves that past riddled with plot holes.

The thing is too many times I have heard "its for kids" waved too much around for its own good, its a bullshit statement.

A story and setting can be as complex as you want it yet still be targeted at younger audiences.

I am not saying Sonic should be more like Game of Thrones but at least it can be on the level of something like Avatar the last airbender

 

Here have a nice edit opf what i would do, i am keeping it short for now as again... its Christmas

 

How I would reboot The Sonic franchise:

 

Rebooting Sonic is not an easy task, there are many aspects to the franchise that are either loved or hated by the fandom and there is no way to please everyone.

However there is a way to build bridges so here is what I personally do:

 

1: Limit the main cast to perhaps 6 characters.

I would limit the main characters to the following six characters:

Sonic

Tails

Knuckles

Amy

Rouge

Sticks

 

This is similar to the Boom formula that actually had a good idea by limiting the main cast.

 

2: Make the boost an earned skill and not handed out.

The boost formula has sadly become played out, now since its still a popular gameplay style I feel it should be used as a reward for good gameplay.

If the player passes a level with a A rank or S rank the level is unlocked to speed boosting.

Plus one can earn the speed boost in other ways, perhaps by collecting 100 rings as incentive to just not rush through a level.

 

3: Have a cohesive lore

If this means using some of the lore we have already then fine but make it fit the universe and the narrative, this way we wont get random bullshit like “Sonic meets King Aurthor” or “Sonic becomes a werewolf” again, this will also avoid a repeat of Sonic 06.

 

4: Have a balanced tone

The biggest issue facing Sonic Storylines is that they are either too serious or too silly, why not make something in between?

One can learn from series like Avatar the Last airbender of having a series with a serious backstory but have some fun to not make the story boring.

One can have humor now and then and yes there is plenty of room for drama too, a balance can be achieved.

 

5: Have diverse game play again

 

Now in terms of gameplay you will only have a handful of game play styles.

Sonic is speed (obviously)

Tails and Rouge flight

Knuckles, Amy and Sticks for melee, now this does not mean they all play ther same as Amy would use her hammer and Sticks her boomerang and Knuckles with his well… knuckles.

One can add in targeting mechanics for Sticks like she can throw her boomerang at foes at long range.

This will diversify gameplay but not overwhelm it, at base the characters play the same but still have unique abilities similar to the adventure formula.

 

So what about Shadow?

he can be playable but in gameplay style he is just a black version of Sonic.

 

What about other characters like Blaze or Silver?

Non playable, but can make cameos, same with other characters like the Chaotix and the fandoms most hated Sally and the Freedom fighters.

 

I will add more and will respond later, I rather enjoy myself getting drunk from egg nog thank you very much

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36 minutes ago, MadmanRB said:

random bullshit like “Sonic meets King Aurthor” or “Sonic becomes a werewolf”

Both of these are vastly more entertaining and interesting than any "cohesive lore".

36 minutes ago, MadmanRB said:

The thing is too many times I have heard "its for kids" waved too much around for its own good, its a bullshit statement.

A story and setting can be as complex as you want it yet still be targeted at younger audiences.

I am not saying Sonic should be more like Game of Thrones but at least it can be on the level of something like Avatar the last airbender

 

You could also just engage with art meant for grown-ups.

And before I get snarkily reprimanded by a mod for being snarky or whatever, I'm being serious. Why continue to obsess over "fixing" a series that has clearly not been aimed at you for like 15 years? Like if you want to do some sort of creative exercise by trying to revamp an old series that's one thing, but these threads always devolve into "WHY CAN'T THE CORPORATE FRANCHISE FOR SEVEN YEAR OLDS CATER TO ME!?!?!" There's plenty of other quality stuff out there for kiddies and adults that you could spend your time with instead. 

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