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Ernest the Panda

Would you say we’ve entered a new “era” yet?

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In Sonic Generations, Sonic’s history was split into three eras.

-Classic: 1991-1997

-Dreamcast/Millenium: 1998-2005

-Modern: 2006-2011

The era that started in 2006 is now over a decade old. Sooo...what do you think? Do you think we’re still in that era, or should the 2006-2011 era now be called something else, with the current state of the franchise being the new “modern” era? If so, where do you believe the transition was?

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16 minutes ago, Ernest the Panda said:

In Sonic Generations, Sonic’s history was split into three eras.

-Classic: 1991-1997

-Dreamcast/Millenium: 1998-2005

-Modern: 2006-2011

The era that started in 2006 is now over a decade old. Sooo...what do you think? Do you think we’re still in that era, or should the 2006-2011 era now be called something else, with the current state of the franchise being the new “modern” era? If so, where do you believe the transition was?

2010 till now is the modern era

2006-2008 was part of the dreamcast era.

We're still in the modern era.

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Just now, Heckboy said:

Unleashed is definitely not part of the Dreamcast era.

It had the 4kids voice actor, the story style is not the same as the "modern" era. We're not just talking about gameplay. Even if it had boost, it was very different to today's games.

Lost World is not boost, but it's still part of the modern era for example.

Dreamcast era = adventure era.

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Not yet. We might be between eras at the moment. It depends what the next game brings, but the series is still pretty much the same now as it's been since Unleashed/Colors.

Generations' arbitrary groupings aside, I would consider Sonic 06 to be part of the Dreamcast/Adventure Era. The failure of that game ended the era and Unleashed in 2008 set the stage for everything we've seen since.

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While the Boost is very different gameplay wise to the Adventure-esque titles, Unleashed still shares a lot of design elements with those titles. A serious story (especially when compared to what came after), a new character (Chip), a world threatening monster (Dark Gaia) and experimentation with genre roulette (the Werehog). It also didn't focus on nostalgia nearly as much as the titles which came after.

While it bridges the gap between Sonic 06 and Colours, it has far more in common, in my opinion, with the Adventure era than it does the Modern.

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Tbh, I've been under the impression that the Modern era ended a long time ago. When that era supposedly started, we were getting games that felt absolutely nothing like the one's we're getting now from just about every category. To put titles like Mania, LW, or Forces under that moniker would be to extend Modern's overall meaning well past that of an actual category.

Imo, to say that we're still in the Modern era, we'd have to move it's beginning around quite a bit. Games like 06 and Unleashed, titles that we've taken as completely tied to the era, would have to come into question on whether or not they're even in it. We can't really say that the gameplay itself defines things because the series has been changing itself too infrequently for it. Maybe it would be better to start putting titles like Unleashed under the Adventure/Dreamcast era (and probably Black Knight too) and just have Colors be the start of the Modern Era but something about that just seems... really wrong to me.

We could say that the Modern era ran from 2006-2010 and then call everything after that the "Nostalgia" era. Though then you run into Boom which does throw that off a bit,

Honestly, all I know is that titles like 06 and Unleashed shouldn't really be classified under the same era as titles like LW or Mania. Depending on what the next game is, it might just be better to drop the entire idea of eras in general as they might just no longer be applicable with the changes we've gotten.

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1 hour ago, Marco9966 said:

It had the 4kids voice actor, the story style is not the same as the "modern" era. We're not just talking about gameplay. Even if it had boost, it was very different to today's games.

Lost World is not boost, but it's still part of the modern era for example.

Dreamcast era = adventure era.

Forces's story was more serious, so is it the start of a new era, for instance?

 

Oh, I think we just went through a very short era, before entering another. The "Experimental Era" was Lost World and the Boom subseries, and the "Cheapo Era" is where we are now.

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Depends on how you define the eras. For me, the distinction between Classic and Modern has always been as simple as the designs.

Calling them "eras" might not be the best way to go about it, either. With things like Sonic Mania, I've taken to calling them things like "the Classic series" and things along those lines, way more clean cut and easier to define.

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Let's get something straight: splinting Sonic on eras is more of a  "Middle Ages to Renaissance" rather than "Squares Vs Triangles". It's not a clean cut, those are arbitrary lines we made because our brains like to box everything.

So to me "Adventure Era" ended in 2006, Modern Era started in 2010, and in between was a transition period (kinda like Flickies Island and Sonic R are transition from Classic)

To me Modern Sonic (who'll one day will need a new name, once we enter new era) is characterized by
- boost gameplay
- comedic tone (bonus points if Pontac/Graff is involved)
- past games used as references and winks rather than foundation for more stories
- because of that no more Rivals/Rush/Advnace, now it's Runners/Dash/Olympics types of game
- BOWING to classic Sonic
- Sonic friends aren't playable

So just  because Boom exists, or Lost World dropped boost, or Forces was slightly more serious, it doesn't mean era ended. Era will end when something (like 3D or or 06) will dramatically change how Sega makes games.

So we'll only know that era changed from time perspective. Imagine for example that Sega stops making 3D games and will focus entirely on Mania titles. Then era ended with last year and we didn't even knew that (with Forces being a swan song to "Modern" Sonic).

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Yes, I would say. But it is kinda hard to say, what era we are now in. We first had the classic era, then we had the adventure era, then the modern era, than for a short time we had the Boom era and now we are in a new era, that doesn't really have an identity yet. It is kinda hard to point out, what era we are now. It seems like an era, that tries to be everything from the past at the same time: lighthearted and edgy, mature and childish, dark and colorful. 

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1 minute ago, Marco9966 said:

I'd go as far as to say that TSR should be considered as part of Adventure era because all the characters and levels from that era.

Ah yes, that famous Adventure-era character, Zavok, and the equally famous Adventure-era level, Planet Wisp.

Anyway "eras" are pretty vaguely defined things since most series develop organically rather than having planned divisions. We're not likely to realize the series has entered a new era until we're a couple games into it, enough to see how things have changed. Considering how most of Forces is still in line with the style of the other boost games, though, I don't see any reason to assume we're entering one yet.

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Unleashed - Present Day = Automated Gameplay era/Boost Era

Whatever you wanna call it. The modern area is well and truly over. I'd say it probably died when just after Sonic 06 came out. 06 Without a doubt pretty much hangs onto Adventure 1 & 2's cape in virtually every respect with even Shadows game stapled to it. 

But unleashed just feels completely different from 06 and everything before it.

Unleashed for me was the start of every Sonic game practically forcing you to go forward no matter what you wanted to do, whilst it had a lot of sections where you still had some control and freedom... looking at every game since, control is reduced with each outing... and now we're at Forces which has levels which are nearly 50% automated.

 

 

God you could even classify TSR into the boost era since it removed all the All-Star moves into just an epic boost move.

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I kinda sort by focus/marketing.

-Classic Sonic Era. The ol bit games. Sonic 1-Whatever the last bit game before the Adventure redesigns came in.

-Adventure era. Which is SA1-Sonic 06. Mostly focused on different gameplay styles/friends, etc.

-The try things era. The story books, unleashed, etc. I hesitate to put Unleashed into Modern era since it's tone is just not in line with what came after. It's the last game with sincerity in it. I feel it's a trial to find footing. But it was considered modern in Generations. I personally hesitate to put it there anyways.

-Modern Era. Colors-Lost World. Forces does count here, but I'll explain in a sec.

-Boom era. The time when they mainly focused on Sonic Boom only, for like 3 years.

-Neo Classic Sonic era. The current era where Classic Sonic is getting the center stage since he's been the best received Sonic in years. Other stuff is going on, but Classic Sonic feels like the face of Sonic now. 

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What have we seen of the next game to declare a change in Era? Nothing.

Maybe Lost World might have marked that change, but Forces regressed back to a worse version of Generations/Unleashed's gameplay. So we're back to that again.

 

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2 hours ago, Wraith said:

The "era" classification is just a marketing thing. In reality the changes were pretty gradual and hard to define. I don't think the series fits into neat little boxes like that.

This definitely.

As much as people want to draw lines in history, it doesnt actually work out that nicely in hindsight. 

For me, as much as some adventure fans complain about the linearity of the modern era games, I see the progenitor of this very clearly in SA2. There are many other elements that have carried over throughout the years as well. The main difference between the games in the early 2000s and late 2000s is the tone of writing and character inclusion really. It's also weird to call that era "dreamcast" when it was dead by 2001 (which significantly affected the development of sonic games from then on).

It's not for no reason that people want to segment history like this but I don't think it really works out as cleanly as people want it to. This is part of the reason why SEGA doesnt acknowledge that there even was an adventure era (especially considering there were only actually 2 sonic adventures, and the first was very different from the second), and instead says there was a 2D pixel sonic, and a 3D forward moving sonic. This to me allows for more flexibility, even though I personally advocate for just one sonic.

The next "era" I think would be defined by pretty wide and sweeping changes across the board. Maybe a redesign for sonic, completely different style of game and new engine. Like if Sonic Utopia were to become a real thing (for example's sake) and be the blueprint for how games were going forward, that'd be something totally different to any 3D game we've seen until now. 

9 minutes ago, dbzfan7 said:

I kinda sort by focus/marketing.

-Classic Sonic Era. The ol bit games. Sonic 1-Whatever the last bit game before the Adventure redesigns came in.

-Adventure era. Which is SA1-Sonic 06. Mostly focused on different gameplay styles/friends, etc.

-The try things era. The story books, unleashed, etc. I hesitate to put Unleashed into Modern era since it's tone is just not in line with what came after. It's the last game with sincerity in it. I feel it's a trial to find footing. But it was considered modern in Generations. I personally hesitate to put it there anyways.

I dont understand this statement by some fans. I have seen it fairly often.

What part of Generations didnt seem sincere to you? That game was definitely a love letter to sonic and fans and had considerable effort put into it. The climate post generations was definitely one of hope, that the franchise was finally turning things around.

Colors also was a game that was not sloppily made and showed that SEGA cared about restoring Sonic. Both games, regardless of your personsl taste, are well made games that one can tell SEGA set out to finally get some wins with sonic after a long downtrend period. 

If you happened to be a fan of the more serious, darker tones games with more story focus, then they may not have been for you. Doesnt mean SEGA wasn't trying. They clearly were, which is why both games did well, even if not amazing.

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20 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

I dont understand this statement by some fans. I have seen it fairly often.

What part of Generations didnt seem sincere to you? That game was definitely a love letter to sonic and fans and had considerable effort put into it. The climate post generations was definitely one of hope, that the franchise was finally turning things around.

Colors also was a game that was not sloppily made and showed that SEGA cared about restoring Sonic. Both games, regardless of your personsl taste, are well made games that one can tell SEGA set out to finally get some wins with sonic after a long downtrend period. 

If you happened to be a fan of the more serious, darker tones games with more story focus, then they may not have been for you. Doesnt mean SEGA wasn't trying. They clearly were, which is why both games did well, even if not amazing.

I mean more from a story perspective than a gameplay one. And I like Generations so don't get me wrong. As a game it's one of the series best. I'm not really gonna argue a case here as a thread can be made for that if you're curious as to why I, and others who feel the same way think that. More serious or not doesn't mean much. Sonic Riders has the same light hearted tone as current games, but feels more sincere about it's characters and story.

Disagree on Colors though. It's level design feels far more Mario than Sonic like. Taking it's cue of love of blocks from Tales of Symphonia. 

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