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Next Main Game is 30th Anniversary Title, Drop Dash News

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20 minutes ago, Wraith said:

The dev time  doesn't really mean anything until we understand the scale of the project better.

It's not the dev time that matters, it's what you do with it. And it's hard to do anything with it when you don't know what the hell you want to do.

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How much time was Forces actually in development? Just because there was a 4 year gap between games doesn't mean Forces itself was in development that long.

Is there any evidence for how long the game itself was in production, because a lot of elements of Forces seems to give off the impression it was a rushed product (the inconsistent tone aroubd torture and Tails going mad, blatant nullspace scenes being cut etc).

Sonic's always had problems like the above, but it was particularly egregious and badly fleshed out in Forces.

I still think the solution is giving a game at least 3-4 years in production. Wouldn't solve everything, but would be a step forward.

Because I'll be honest, I get the impression they fucked about doing nothing except working on the engine for 2 years and then started production on Forces for 2 years or even less.

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Forces was impressive in that it had an idea that seems almost impossible not to do something interesting with and did nothing interesting with it. Even the genuinely good ideas they had were undercooked.

Infinite was no Scarecrow, I'll tell you that. Playing on the genuine fears these characters may have with illusions during a war to take back the planet from Eggman? Yeah, I guess it did sound a bit too ambitious eh...?

They're in an interesting position right now. They're obsessed with Mania's success and they've largely forgotten Forces was even a thing it looks like. The writing in TSR was significantly better than it's been in a while even though it still wasn't anything ideal. Plus we've got another significantly long gap in time ahead of us with presumably no Hedgehog Engine III in the works to take up the majority of the time once thought was going into developing Forces. Of course, time doesn't mean anything, as Forces also taught us. It's definitely what you do with it that counts and they've not shown they're capable of doing too much just yet. 

It's harder to guess what the next thing is going to be. I'm not sure where you go after you've wasted one of the best ideas you've ever had on drek like Forces. 

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1 hour ago, Plasme said:

What are you trying to say here?

That while Mania and Forces wouldn't be the first games to miss the actual date of the anniversary they were purported to be celebrating, they would certainly be the first ones to miss them by well over a year.

Quote

They were both still anniversary games and heavily marketed as such.

For this to be true we need to sidestep the fact that Forces was in fact barely marketed at all, to the extent of even denying review copies to media outlets. It had its requisite appearances at gaming conventions, but by the time E3 2017 rolled around most of the information about it before launch was buried in Nintendo Directs and livestreams about other games; and most of the information after was talking about the player OC. So, like, lol. "Heavily marketed."

 

 

Now, going back to the game Sega actually didn't seem ashamed of from the start, the extent of Mania's status as a game "heavily marketed as such" was Sega first announcing it immediately after the series' 25th Anniversary, then showing the first trailer shown at ComicCon where Sega was having the series' anniversary party. This was when the game was still a year away from release, mind; so we have a pair of supposed 25th Anniversary games. Neither announced until after the actual date of the 25th anniversary. Neither released until well over a year after the anniversary year they were supposedly always celebrating was already over.

Everything about the game's marketing from that point on was rooted around feel good nostalgia; the likes of which not far removed from what Nintendo trotted out for the first NSMB. They released snippets of the soundtrack between gameplay videos. They showed of spritework. They went so far as to put together an ad that was a virtual remake of a Sonic 2 commercial. If the fact that Mania didn't come out until 14 months after the series 25th anniversary wasn't enough to squash the idea that it was supposed to be the 25th Anniversary game, that they never acknowledged the point again outside of the context of a 25th anniversary party probably should have.

 

 

Compare that to what they did with a game where they actually made a point about it being an anniversary game in the marketing:

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Or the interviews given about STH '06 deep into its development about how them realising early on that it's release window roughly coincided with Sonic's 15th anniversary inspired them to try and start the series anew on the PS360 instead of just another PS2-era game.

Shouldn't even need to go over Generations.

 

 

Those games being the ones to celebrate the series' milestones were touched on in interviews and the marketing long after they were announced. It was pervasive to what the games were, even if for STH '06 it was overshadowed by how terrible it was. Hell, the themes of how important it was to Sonic Team to reinvent the series to be the best it can be for it's 15th Anniversary, bigger and more impressive than ever before, were present in interviews for the game so late in development that it was past the point where it would have been clear to the people working on STH '06 that the fucking sky was falling.

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1 hour ago, Tornado said:

That while Mania and Forces wouldn't be the first games to miss the actual date of the anniversary they were purported to be celebrating, they would certainly be the first ones to miss them by well over a year.

For this to be true we need to sidestep the fact that Forces was in fact barely marketed at all, to the extent of even denying review copies to media outlets. It had its requisite appearances at gaming conventions, but by the time E3 2017 rolled around most of the information about it before launch was buried in Nintendo Directs and livestreams about other games; and most of the information after was talking about the player OC. So, like, lol. "Heavily marketed."

 

 

Now, going back to the game Sega actually didn't seem ashamed of from the start, the extent of Mania's status as a game "heavily marketed as such" was Sega first announcing it immediately after the series' 25th Anniversary, then showing the first trailer shown at ComicCon where Sega was having the series' anniversary party. This was when the game was still a year away from release, mind; so we have a pair of supposed 25th Anniversary games. Neither announced until after the actual date of the 25th anniversary. Neither released until well over a year after the anniversary year they were supposedly always celebrating was already over.

Everything about the game's marketing from that point on was rooted around feel good nostalgia; the likes of which not far removed from what Nintendo trotted out for the first NSMB. They released snippets of the soundtrack between gameplay videos. They showed of spritework. They went so far as to put together an ad that was a virtual remake of a Sonic 2 commercial. If the fact that Mania didn't come out until 14 months after the series 25th anniversary wasn't enough to squash the idea that it was supposed to be the 25th Anniversary game, that they never acknowledged the point again outside of the context of a 25th anniversary party probably should have.

 

 

Compare that to what they did with a game where they actually made a point about it being an anniversary game in the marketing:

a3b9275485caebb1a9f1926dbf590fa2.jpg

jK1wU-nsc1TDU2fj1FQukJ1lnDea8OfFIcofMy8g

fYOZoF9ldkA_MDEtQ7LYlsOg8AwF3zv-Xzytwv4u

 

Or the interviews given about STH '06 deep into its development about how them realising early on that it's release window roughly coincided with Sonic's 15th anniversary inspired them to try and start the series anew on the PS360 instead of just another PS2-era game.

Shouldn't even need to go over Generations.

 

 

Those games being the ones to celebrate the series' milestones were touched on in interviews and the marketing long after they were announced. It was pervasive to what the games were, even if for STH '06 it was overshadowed by how terrible it was. Hell, the themes of how important it was to Sonic Team to reinvent the series to be the best it can be for it's 15th Anniversary, bigger and more impressive than ever before, were present in interviews for the game so late in development that it was past the point where it would have been clear to the people working on STH '06 that the fucking sky was falling.

They did a better job celebrating Puyo’s anniversary than Sonics! Schezo, Rulue, and Satan didn’t merely return to die or deliver a letter.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Infinite was no Scarecrow, I'll tell you that. Playing on the genuine fears these characters may have with illusions during a war to take back the planet from Eggman? Yeah, I guess it did sound a bit too ambitious eh...?

It... really wasn't though. Someone, somewhere in Sonic Team full well understood that kind of potential. Stages like Metropolis Capital City (aka Operation Big Wave) and Sonic's Boss Battle against Infinite are absolute showcases of how they should have implemented the phantom ruby though much of the game. Warping the landscape into impossible hellish nightmares that change the dynamic of how you approach each area. Those were set pieces where you could see and feel his power. Presented in a manner where you could believe the gem could thwart the entire resistance army. It spectacle in form and function and allows for the impossible angles and wacky level design while still being grounded and believable. They could build levels within levels. They had free range to make wild transitions without sacrificing the consistency of the locations.

They struck pure gold... but only played with it in 1 or 2 levels. MADNESS. Even when they have a good idea, they somehow decide to under utilize it.

 

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So just so I'm clear...I've heard a number of people here say they are okay with a nostalgia product as long as it isn't classic nostalgia. 

Am I correct in this? For years I've just wanted Adventure era fans to finally admit to themselves that they don't mind nostalgia pandering as long as its the kind they want. It is really a simple and obvious thing. The adventure games are 20 years old now and yet I've heard people act like remaking those games is a more forward thinking view for the series. As if a game being 3D automatically means that.

My feelings on this are that, of course, that kind of thinking is nonsense. I wouldn't at all mind a Sonic Adventure remake, particularly the first one which I have a big soft spot for, but I completely understand why SEGA continually recalls the 90s...even if I don't agree with the incredibly lazy way that they do it. And I hope that the series NEVER EVER forgets that 90s era from which it formed its identity and gained massive popularity. In fact, I really think that the one single greatest thing that the series could do by far, is to create a fully 3D game that is totally inspired by that time. I think it would be the greatest game in the franchise if pulled off correctly. So when people say they're tired of the series remembering that time, I just laugh, for I know that nothing could be better for Sonic than to reimagine him that way on a big scale. 

But.... I'm not the only fan in this series and I understand why adventure fans haven't given up pushing for a return to what they want either. I'm not against it at all in principle...I'd just want people to be honest about it and call it what it is. There is no good reason for SEGA to pay attention to that time period over the series other history, other than you want them to. That is fine and I can get behind a remake or nod to that period as well. Just admit it, don't pretend its anything else. I sure as heck don't.

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If they ever get to the point of wheeling out Emerald Coast or City Escape every game the way they do Green Hill then I'll hop right on the "never acknowledge sonic adventure again" train. 

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11 minutes ago, Wraith said:

If they ever get to the point of wheeling out Emerald Coast or City Escape every game the way they do Green Hill then I'll hop right on the "never acknowledge sonic adventure again" train. 

I mean, I get it but the whining about Green Hill Zone is incredibly annoying in my view. Its not anywhere near one of my favorite stages in the series, I prefer many other classic and modern stages over it. But Green Hill Zone is essentially the equivalent of Mushroom Kingdom for Mario. Do people honestly think it will EVER go away? Of course it won't, it is the most iconic level in the series and strongly attached to Sonic's (increasingly fractured) identity. Its more than just a level; it evokes an atmosphere that is paramount to differentiating what Sonic is from other media. Its unreasonable to expect anything else.

Seriously, get over it.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

I mean, I get it but the whining about Green Hill Zone is incredibly annoying in my view. Its not anywhere near one of my favorite stages in the series, I prefer many other classic and modern stages over it. But Green Hill Zone is the equivalent of Mushroom Kingdom for Mario. Do people honestly think it will EVER go away? Of course it won't, it is the most iconic level in the series and incredibly attached to Sonic's (increasingly fractured) identity. Its more than just a level; it evokes an atmosphere that is paramount to differentiating what Sonic is from other media. Its unreasonable to expect anything else.

 

 

A good way of eroding what makes Green Hill special is dropping it or something close to it at the front of every terrible game you put forever. 

Most mainline Mario games don't actually start out in or prominently feature the Mushroom Kingdom outside of the NSMB series. The aesthetics of which everyone agreed to be bland and creatively bankrupt until Sonic started doing it too. Then it was acceptable. Meanwhile the last Mario game dropped you in a ghost village to kick it off and even the usual friendly green level turned out to have dinosaurs roaming around it.

It's not unreasonable to expect anything else because "anything else" is exactly what we used to get. They were setting the greenery on fire by Sonic 3 as a "gotcha" and trying to start the game with different tropes entirely by SA2. It's better to start a new game with new scenery. Even with 3D Sonic's affinity for starting near the coastline Heroes gave us a dense ocean ruin and Unleashed a sleepy greek village. The series was never a slouch in terms of new scenery and that's something that should be encouraged. 

 

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Just now, Wraith said:

A good way of eroding what makes Green Hill special is dropping it or something close to it at the front of every terrible game you put forever. 

Most mainline Mario games don't actually start out in or prominently feature the Mushroom Kingdom outside of the NSMB series. The aesthetics of which everyone agreed to be bland and creatively bankrupt until Sonic started doing it too. Then it was acceptable.  

It's not unreasonable to expect anything else because "anything else" is exactly what we used to get. They were setting the greenery on fire by Sonic 3 as a "gotcha" and trying to start the game with different tropes entirely by SA2. It's better to start a new game with new scenery. Even with 3D Sonic's affinity for starting near the coastline Heroes gave us a dense ocean ruin and Unleashed a sleepy greek village. The series was never a slouch in terms of new scenery and that's something that should be encouraged. 

  

Okay...How many games have started out with Green Hill Zone in the history of the franchise? Not many, right? 

Generations did it...8 years ago. Mania and Forces did it as deliberate nostalgia bait titles to celebrate the 25th anniversary. And little else except references here and there. So what is the problem?

Every single series in existence recycles the same tropes with new and fresh ideas sprinkled in periodically and for good reason. Poo pooing Sonic for that is kind of silly.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

I wouldn't at all mind a Sonic Adventure remake, particularly the first one which I have a big soft spot for, but I completely understand why SEGA continually recalls the 90s...even if I don't agree with the incredibly lazy way that they do it. And I hope that the series NEVER EVER forgets that 90s era from which it formed its identity and gained massive popularity. In fact, I really think that the one single greatest thing that the series could do by far, is to create a fully 3D game that is totally inspired by that time. I think it would be the greatest game in the franchise if pulled off correctly.

A fully 3D game that is totally inspired by the '90s era? I... think you just described Sonic Adventure. Moreso than any other 3D game since. No wonder you have a soft spot for it! We haven't seen an Ice Cap Zone remake in years...

I give SA a lot of flak for Big's fishing and all the Station Square stuff, but it's really amazing how much love that game has for the Genesis era - specifically for S3&K.

I mean, it even had a playable Eggrobo. Sorry, sorry... I meant playable E-Series badnik.

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1 minute ago, BaronGrackle said:

A fully 3D game that is totally inspired by the '90s era? I... think you just described Sonic Adventure. Moreso than any other 3D game since. No wonder you have a soft spot for it! We haven't seen an Ice Cap Zone remake in years...

I give SA a lot of flak for Big's fishing and all the Station Square stuff, but really amazing how much love that game has for the Genesis era - specifically for S3&K.

I mean, it even had a playable Eggrobo. Sorry, sorry... I meant playable E-Series badnik.

Yeah if they really wanna please classic fans they need to look at Sonic Adventure instead of Sonic Lost World.

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Team Sonic Racing being modern only and having a story mode using some of the character's more fringey traits & relationships was a step in the right direction.

The next game needs to just be it's own thing, top to bottom. Characters notwithstanding.

23 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

I mean, I get it but the whining about Green Hill Zone is incredibly annoying in my view. Its not anywhere near one of my favorite stages in the series, I prefer many other classic and modern stages over it. But Green Hill Zone is essentially the equivalent of Mushroom Kingdom for Mario. Do people honestly think it will EVER go away? Of course it won't, it is the most iconic level in the series and strongly attached to Sonic's (increasingly fractured) identity. Its more than just a level; it evokes an atmosphere that is paramount to differentiating what Sonic is from other media. Its unreasonable to expect anything else.

Seriously, get over it.

 

 

The key difference is that the Mushroom Kingdom is an actual location with associated characters, locales, and plenty room for creativity.

Green Hill Zone is nothing but that place Sonic ran through as the first level in the first game.

 

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Just now, BaronGrackle said:

A fully 3D game that is totally inspired by the '90s era? I... think you just described Sonic Adventure. Moreso than any other 3D game since. No wonder you have a soft spot for it! We haven't seen an Ice Cap Zone remake in years...

I give SA a lot of flak for Big's fishing and all the Station Square stuff, but really amazing how much love that game has for the Genesis era - specifically for S3&K.

I mean, it even had a playable Eggrobo. Sorry, sorry... I meant playable E-Series badnik. 

Man... I get all up in my feels for that game. Its arguably my second favorite title in the series, only behind S3K. Because I know that's mostly where Sonic Team wanted to go and in many ways they got close to it. I have asked for literally nothing else except for a concept like that to be nailed down right and have wanted the same thing since. Even over Mania, which was awesome don't get me wrong, but not the thing I've been obsessing over.  

I don't think like every game has to have the same aesthetics as the classic games, not at all. But I do think the biggest problem with this series is its lack of fundamental principles. Establishing a fun gameplay concept that is smooth and works excellently is the most important thing anyone at Sonic Team can do right now. From there you can do anything you want as long as it is thought out carefully and in good taste with respect to the character.

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18 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

A fully 3D game that is totally inspired by the '90s era? I... think you just described Sonic Adventure. Moreso than any other 3D game since. No wonder you have a soft spot for it! We haven't seen an Ice Cap Zone remake in years...

I give SA a lot of flak for Big's fishing and all the Station Square stuff, but it's really amazing how much love that game has for the Genesis era - specifically for S3&K.

 

Probably because that was literally the last [main series] game at the time--it WAS Sonic.

Also, Angel Island and the Echidna race were literally a part of the story.

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Just because Green Hill Zone is iconic that doesn't mean it doesn't get tiring seeing it every 5 seconds. And this isn't me hating on the classic era, I would get fed up if they did the same thing with City Escape, Green Jungle, Radical Highway or any other stage in the series. Have you ever seen that fan video of Present day Sonic being unamused of seeing GHZ yet again and explaining to Retro Sonic why the stage isn't all that exciting anymore? If you haven't feel free to do so now:

This may be surprising to hear but there are fans who don't get that special feeling from the stage given how aggressive they have been pushing the stage as if that's the sole way of Sonic of being good which is why fans are expressing their annoyance. The series has been on "Member Green Hill Zone?" as far back as Generations and some of us would actually like the series to actually move forward and that's hard to do when the games have been pretending like it's 1991 for almost a decade.

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11 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Team Sonic Racing being modern only and having a story mode using some of the character's more fringey traits & relationships was a step in the right direction.

The next game needs to just be it's own thing, top to bottom. Characters notwithstanding.

The key difference is that the Mushroom Kingdom is an actual location with associated characters, locales, and plenty room for creativity.

Green Hill Zone is nothing but that place Sonic ran through as the first level in the first game.

 

I take your point but I don't think this is totally true and even then it is beside the point. The theme of nature vs machine is perfectly captured by the progression from green hill to scrap brain zone. Green hill represents the natural world Sonic and his little furry buddies live in, before the interference from the series primary villain. It its highest ideal, the peace the Sonic is trying to save. So while Green Hill was a level, it is symbolic for one of the series primary themes in general.

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20 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Okay...How many games have started out with Green Hill Zone in the history of the franchise? Not many, right? 

Generations did it...8 years ago. Mania and Forces did it as deliberate nostalgia bait titles to celebrate the 25th anniversary. And little else except references here and there. So what is the problem?

Every single series in existence recycles the same tropes with new and fresh ideas sprinkled in periodically and for good reason. Poo pooing Sonic for that is kind of silly.

 

 

Sonic Lost World and Sonic 4 both got away with essentially doing it in name only. 

It's aggravating, as someone who likes most of the mainline Sonic games released since '92, to see them view the iconography of classic Sonic and literally nothing else about it as important. Green Hill Zone wasn't the part of those games I missed. 

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10 minutes ago, knuckles20 said:

Just because Gren Hill Zone is iconic that doesn't mean it doesn't get tiring seeing it every 5 seconds.

I understand this completely and don't disagree. I do not approve of how SEGA has been using their nostalgia...although nostalgia pandering is not an inherently bad thing. 

My point is that SEGA ha not reused Green Hill as often as people pretend they do. They have in recent year marketing and they did 8 years ago in generations. Outside of that, the majority of content released in this series has had very little green hill in it.

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27 minutes ago, Wraith said:

A good way of eroding what makes Green Hill special is dropping it or something close to it at the front of every terrible game you put forever. 

Most mainline Mario games don't actually start out in or prominently feature the Mushroom Kingdom outside of the NSMB series. The aesthetics of which everyone agreed to be bland and creatively bankrupt until Sonic started doing it too. Then it was acceptable. Meanwhile the last Mario game dropped you in a ghost village to kick it off and even the usual friendly green level turned out to have dinosaurs roaming around it.

It's not unreasonable to expect anything else because "anything else" is exactly what we used to get. They were setting the greenery on fire by Sonic 3 as a "gotcha" and trying to start the game with different tropes entirely by SA2. It's better to start a new game with new scenery. Even with 3D Sonic's affinity for starting near the coastline Heroes gave us a dense ocean ruin and Unleashed a sleepy greek village. The series was never a slouch in terms of new scenery and that's something that should be encouraged. 

Also going to add to this and note that regarding Sonic; the series has a history of establishing each new location as existing in a different location of Sonic's world/universe, whether that is on a new island or a different area of a country or on a different planet entirely. They were designated to be their own thing, not just in the context of whatever story/adventure they were a part of but also in relation to other settings in the series. So seeing Green Hill aesthetics (if not Green Hill itself outright) constantly crop up used in what are supposed to be new environments stories comes across as really uninspired. At least with the NSMB Mario games, they don't hold any pretensions of being games set in new locations (even given a lot of Mario games have actually been asking for that from the 2D games for quite some time now).

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9 hours ago, knuckles20 said:

Just because Green Hill Zone is iconic that doesn't mean it doesn't get tiring seeing it every 5 seconds. And this isn't me hating on the classic era, I would get fed up if they did the same thing with City Escape, Green Jungle, Radical Highway or any other stage in the series. Have you ever seen that fan video of Present day Sonic being unamused of seeing GHZ yet again and explaining to Retro Sonic why the stage isn't all that exciting anymore? If you haven't feel free to do so now:

This may be surprising to hear but there are fans who don't get that special feeling from the stage given how aggressive they have been pushing the stage as if that's the sole way of Sonic of being good which is why fans are expressing their annoyance. The series has been on "Member Green Hill Zone?" as far back as Generations and some of us would actually like the series to actually move forward and that's hard to do when the games have been pretending like it's 1991 for almost a decade.

This video should also be of interest. (The part that’s most relevant starts around the 3:06 mark and ends at around the 4:12 mark, FYI) And yeah, at least we got a break from Seaside Hill from Dash up to TSR. Most of GHZ’s other appearances are in comics, merchandise, apps, social media... 

 

That’s why it’s getting tiring. 

 

Another aspect to this “Franchise Key Jingling”, as Rerez calls it, is “validation”, or swipes at things about the IP that the target audience of the references dislike, such as Knuckles tossing the gun of Shadow aside or Sonic offhandedly mentioning Elise in Dimensions (or heck, arguably even the barrel of doom getting destroyed in Archie) for Classic fans, Zavok getting effortlessly pummeled in Forces for Dreamcast fans, etc. This has also happened in a lot of Star Wars things. 

 

Imagine they wheel out Final Egg and have players blow up Wisp, Deadly Six, and Orbot and Cubot dolls, for one thing. Or Sonic getting punched in the face for saying “Baldy McNosehair”

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