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MetalSkulkBane

Best (GAME) Story in last Deacade?

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I repeated GAME story. Not Hesse shorts, not comics, not Boom cartoon.

It seems to me that post-Black-Knight stories always get a lot of complains and I do wonder if their reception is really that harsh or it's natural process to point out flaws in stories, but with time people warm up to them.So pick your favorites and maybe runner-up if you can. Share your thoughts.

 

Now assuming you didn't loved  Sonic Runners or Olympics games (Vancouver and London handhelds had actually decent story, for what they were), your choices are

- 4 Pontac/Graff Sonic 3D tittles (Colors, Generations, Lost World, Forces)

- 3 Booms (RoL, Shattered Crystal, Fire and Ice)

- 2 Racers (Free Riders, Team Racing)

- 1 Official Fan Game (Sonic Mania)

 

My prediction is that most votes will go to Mania (even if I argue having Hesse make your intro doesn't count as story. Rest of the story is rather simple and yet confusing)
or Colors (it did get a lot of praise when it came out.)

Personally? Despite it's glaring flaws I go with Forces. I'll always pick game too ambitious, then something that never tried. At least there are stakes, attempts at arcs and twists.
But if I have to pick """objectively""" best story, there is good argument fore Fire and Ice. I know, blasphemy.  But magic-powers-out-of-nowhere aside story lacks plotholes or really stupid moments, comedy is somewhat decent and presentation is pretty good for 3DS (more real cutscenes than console games like Forces or Team Racing. Story isn't epic or anything, but it doesn't tries to be (Eggman isn't even trying to take over the world). Fire & Ice sets it's own bar so low, it easily exceeds it. (Again, I'm not saying I like it. Me trying to be emotionless robots concludes it's best).

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Sonic Mania may not have much of a storyline, but I still got more enjoyment out of its character moments than most other games I can choose from this list. Some of the environmental storytelling was cool too, even if it didn't reach Sonic 3 & Knuckles levels. I also liked the way the final battle went down, with Eggman and the King fighting each other as well as you. But really, the only reason I can choose Mania is that all the other games are either completely nothing in their storytelling or downright offensively poor, such as Forces. I guess my runner up would be Lost World, because they at least made a good hearted attempt at characterization and plot progression, but that's faint praise.

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Looking back, it’s actually funny. From Colors to Forces, the Modern Sonic stories got progressively less interesting. Ironically and hilariously, Team Sonic Racing has the most engaging story of the last decade. And that story wasn’t good. 

I’d imagine many scholars would claim that Sonic Mania doesn’t even have a “story” per se; that’s how straightforward it is. But it’s charmingly conveyed, so it kicks the shit out of anything Sonic Team has done in ages. 

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A difficult thing with Mania is that, like many, I first played it at launch where it was an incredibly disjointed experience narratively.  It still isn't perfect but I wish I could judge the final product with fresh eyes, where the foreshadowing of the Titanic Monarch halfway through would be, y'know, foreshadowing coz I didn't know what the final stage was when I first played - now I do. Etc Etc.

I think Colours, Lost World and Forces are all about on equal ground.  I definitely appreciated the ATTEMPT at something more serious in Forces but they all fell kinda flat for some reason or another.  For Colours, it was nothing becoming of Yacker's disappearance, and the fact that the overall plan is solved by an accident/coincidence that occured in the first zone of the game.  Lost World was just all over the place, with Tails being completely overdramatic and the story sending a lot of mixed signals as to whether Sonic was supposed to learn a lesson about acting before thinking or not.  And Forces just had a bunch of holes and failed to live up to a bunch of promises the promo material implied (like the returning villians being at all significant).

Honestly, Fire & Ice wasn't bad.  It didn't resort to a macguffin plot, instead opting for the overall cut-scenes being influenced by a game-long chase sequence, there was plenty of humour and to the GREAT credit of a handheld spin-off title team, all the cut-scenes were fully voiced and animated, no talking heads and text boxes to be found - a series first on handheld.  It's only downfall is that there isn't anything to be emotionally invested in and no big drama as the game comes to a climax (instead feeling kind of more like you're just playing a more action-focused episode of the TV show), but at least, unlike the mainline games, it wasn't TRYING to achieve that and failing.

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I don't know why everyone suddenly has an appreciation for Black Knight''s story, it's awful and was mocked for being a bad Final Fantasy rip off by the fanbase when it came out.

As for best story, probably Mania, even if it still is very disjointed and nonsensical at times, even now.

The best Modern stories are Colors and Lost World, as they both have good writing (albeit Colors is better written and isn't plagued with the Deadly Six).

The worst story is definitely Forces. Generations is bad, but only because it basically has no story, what was there was harmless. Forces on the other hand, is laughable with its inconsistent dark tone.

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12 minutes ago, Plasme said:

I don't know why everyone suddenly has an appreciation for Black Knight''s story, it's awful and was mocked for being a bad Final Fantasy rip off by the fanbase when it came out.

Huh, Black Knight IS only a decade old. Okay, I change my vote. Sonic and the Black Knight is my favorite Sonic story of the last decade. It attempted something thematically and committed to it. It had beautiful presentation due to the moving artwork cutscenes, and I'm going to count that as a point for the story because storytelling methods deserve just as much attention and praise as the writing itself. Seeing familiar characters reappear in new and strange ways was fun, and the game successfully matched tone with its environments and aesthetics. The fake-out ending worked better than it had any right to, and while the true ending doesn't have the same pathos as Secret Rings, it still managed to mean a lot to some people here who played it. Not perfect by any means, but then again, what Sonic plot is? 

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A-a-a, Black Knight is 10 years + 4 months old. I excluded it on purpose, as I knew some people really like it, (for reason nicely summarized above).

I wanted to focus on time after major shift in Sonic's writing. Since 2010. Since Graff and Pontac. Since 4/Generation/Mania nostalgia wave took over. Since Sonic's new voice actor.

You have to admit 2009 and 2011 are drastically different times for Sonic.

(With that said I agree with everything in post above. Black Knight isn't story I ever wanted, but it's a good story. With personality, theme, twist, stakes, ideas, atmosphere....let's just say VISION not avenger. It feel like story someone actually had idea for story he wanted to tell.)

 

...Next game I wanna praise. Sonic Colors DS. Yes, I'm praising Chaos-damn cameos of Sonic cast. They were cute. If they really have to sit in a corner and show up for fanservice sake, this is one of better ways. I like that Omega was actually going after Eggman's robots. Or Shadow leave main fight with Eggman to Sonic but contributing in his own way (gathering data on Mother Wisp), kinda like Proto Man in Mega Man games. I like that Knuckles got tricked by Rouge to meet her, last ship-tease we had for them in eons. I like that Cubot isn't getting dinner and Cream felt bad for him since 'even evil robots must eat to grow big ans strong'.

This is exactly the stupid junk I want to see.

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3 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

-1 Official Fan Game (Sonic Mania)

Thank God for that. The other developers/writers are clearly not fans of Sonic. Sonic Mania wins this easily, it tells a better story on its intro animation than these other games in full.

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In terms of coherence/consistency, probably Colors. In terms of structure, I say Lost World. In terms of substance, I suppose Team Sonic Racing does more in general despite the third act just kinda petering out--again. 

The problem with Sonic stories as of late is that they had a habit of not really doing much with their setups and by extension, the plots and circumstances don't get much payoff. 

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1 hour ago, Plasme said:

...suddenly...

Using the word suddenly shows where you've been.

It's not sudden, people have been using Black Knight as an example of decent Sonic story telling for years and not even just from people here.

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1 hour ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

 I like that Cubot isn't getting dinner and Cream felt bad for him since 'even evil robots must eat to grow big ans strong'.

 

Wohoho, wait, wtf?  :lol:

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Since Black Knight apparently doesn't count, I'm going with Fire and Ice for the same reasons @MetalSkulkBane said. It isn't an outstanding story by any means, but it's inoffensive at worst.

52 minutes ago, Jango said:

Sonic Mania wins this easily, it tells a better story on its intro animation than these other games in full.

What story did it tell?

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1 hour ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Man man man, that DS soundfont.

I forgot how active Orbot and Cubot are from what I've seen in the DS version. Granted, that's sorta what they were supposed to be doing to begin with, but there was obviously.

 

You're absolutely right though. Those are the sort of extra interactions and character moments we've been missing for the most part outside of TSR. That's not to say the Modern games don't do that, given that's around 70% of the cutscenes, but its mostly comes from Sonic himself, with Eggman occasionally getting some room in his scenes.

Gotta love that ironic foresight to the next game there, though.

 

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2 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Eggman can still be cruel these days.

Umm, very fun elevator ride? (shrug)

Arguibly better than the fanfic that is Sonic Forces :V

Colors and Lost World's stories are nearly unbearable to me these days. "Baldy McNose Hair" jokes aren't what I would consider a "good story". Maybe it works for the kids, but to me, they're just cringe.

Unleashed has one of the better stories in the franchise. It's not childish or cringe, Sonic is more charming and Chip's antics are actually funny. But since it's from 2008, it doesn't count here.

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6 minutes ago, Jango said:

Colors and Lost World's stories are nearly unbearable to me these days. "Baldy McNose Hair" jokes aren't what I would consider a "good story". Maybe it works for the kids, but to me, they're just cringe.

If you could stop acting as if that's literally the only joke those games had, that'd be totally positive.

There are other bad jokes, worse even. Why not go for something fresh?

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3 hours ago, StaticMania said:

Using the word suddenly shows where you've been.

It's not sudden, people have been using Black Knight as an example of decent Sonic story telling for years and not even just from people here.

No seriously, when did this start?

I vividly remember the game getting absolutely lambasted for its terrible story by both critics and fans upon its release. The awful Final Fantasy rip off villain who has no foreshadowing, the weird way the Sonic characters are like the round table (but also not really - its actually a really bad adaption of the Arthurian romance) for the story book gimmick, Caliburn's annoying lines. 

When did the game start getting appreciation? A few years ago?

I swear the Sonic fanbase starts re-appreciating the worst picks. Unleashed is pretty popular now too, despite also being awful and lambasted at the time.

I bet in ten years time, the fanbase will keep saying how great the story of Forces was and how the game wasnt that bad.

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9 minutes ago, Plasme said:

When did the game start getting appreciation? A few years ago?

It's been around since Generations...

It's just more and more prevalent over time.

I can't really think of a time where people don't bash Colors, Generations, or Lost World's stories without one of the comparisons being Black Knight. (I can, but exaggerations)

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18 minutes ago, Plasme said:

 

I bet in ten years time, the fanbase will keep saying how great the story of Forces was and how the game wasnt that bad.

Dude, it there ever becomes a time when that happens, we'll really be in the shit.

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21 minutes ago, Plasme said:

No seriously, when did this start?

I vividly remember the game getting absolutely lambasted for its terrible story by both critics and fans upon its release. The awful Final Fantasy rip off villain who has no foreshadowing, the weird way the Sonic characters are like the round table (but also not really - its actually a really bad adaption of the Arthurian romance) for the story book gimmick, Caliburn's annoying lines. 

When did the game start getting appreciation? A few years ago?

I swear the Sonic fanbase starts re-appreciating the worst picks. Unleashed is pretty popular now too, despite also being awful and lambasted at the time.

I bet in ten years time, the fanbase will keep saying how great the story of Forces was and how the game wasnt that bad.

I mean... I know this is a story thread, but Black Knight let me play as Knuckles and glide through levels.

In the time period between Sonic 06 and Mania, that was RARE.

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Lost World's story is far from perfect, but it's still one of the few games in the series to treat the main characters like actual people and not just walking archetypes and actually try to explore their relationships and mindsets.

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9 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Lost World's story is far from perfect, but it's still one of the few games in the series to treat the main characters like actual people and not just walking archetypes and actually try to explore their relationships and mindsets.

That's another aspect as to why I vote for it. Sorta.

 

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12 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Dude, it there ever becomes a time when that happens, we'll really be in the shit.

Well, I like it  in 'fine enough' way since it came out, so don't loose your mind if I repeat that sentence few years later. I'm kinda surprised it's that hated, but whatever. I  heard reasons often enough.

I see no one defends Rise of Lyric. Unsurprising, it's generic at best, string of terrible jokes  bounce pad comments and Hate Letter to Shadow at worst (that rips part of it's plot from Sonic 06 of all games).

I will say something crazy though: it had actually decent Eggman. Despite acting like bumbling idiot he's actually very competent. He manipulates Sonic into releasing Lyric, learns from his mistakes trying different methods to take down Lyric, actually gets shoot him, saving the day and by the end of the game he got new Ancient Tech, which was his primary goal. Technically speaking he won and actually contributes to that (unlike Lost World Eggman, who just kinda hangs around).

I mean, look at this scene. If game was actually good, people would remember it as one of best Eggman moments, good mix between cool and funny.

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