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Worst period for Sonic?

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I mean, I suppose quality and reception wise, the period during the mid to late 2000s was the worst. They kept pumping out game after game after game with very little polish in a desperate attempt to stay relevant during a period where worrying about that made little sense. In a way, they ushered in this self-fulfilling prophecy where they ended up tanking their own reputation.

After Sonic Rush and Shadow the Hedgehog (games only a month apart) came out in 2005, Sonic Riders, Sonic 06, Sonic Genesis, and Sonic Rivals all came out the same year with trailers for Rivals, a game that took place after 06, coming out during a time where trailers for 06 AND Secret Rings were coming out as well. Than Secret Rings hit in early 2007 with the sequel to Rush, the first Mario and Sonic Olympics, and the sequel to Rivals at the end of the year.

Some good games came out of that period but looking it over it really is ri-damn-diculous just how many fucking games they were making. The fact that they split up the team working on 06 just to make a stand-alone title for the Wii just shows how strange the sweat-shop, assembly line mentality they had during that period was.

If we're talking a more personal note, the period we're in right now is the worst for me. The old broken attempts to be epic and ambitious feel like something I can at least admire and respect. Nowadays it mostly just feels like they're okay with just settling on the bare minimum, bargain basement qualifications for being a video game. It's doubly frustrating considering I feel they ironed out a lot of the issues they used to have back then. If some of those old games were made with the polish some of the newer ones have we'd be in a very different position right now. 

They went too far in the other direction. Now nothing's ambitious, everything's the same, the world is either stale or the same locations over and over... 

I want them to strike that perfect balance so badly. 

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21 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

There is the IDW comic and animated shorts. The horizon has been so apocalyptic since the end of the Boom show, though. TSR didn't know if it wanted to be Riders or ASR, and it ended up being Drift.

I am talking about Sonic in the video game industry. What made Sonic popular in the first place. I personally don’t read the comics and the recent shorts are nice but it’s not blowing people away is it?

15 years ago, the Sonic fanbase was massive in the web. Massive. There were like 15 active Sonic forums before. Now it feels like, SSMB’s the last very active Sonic forum standing. It reflects that as time went by, the fanbase stopped growing and decreased. Because of Sega/Sonic Team’s poor decisions overtime. Terrible/sub-par video games. I just need to look at myself for example. Used to be a huge Amy fan. Everyday I used to think about the Sonic universe. Not anymore, since around 5/6 years ago.

Still upset that since ‘06, other characters apart from Shadow in Forces, were no longer playable and it’s just Sonic in the mainline.

 

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1 hour ago, Ming Ming Hatsune said:

Still upset that since ‘06, other characters apart from Shadow in Forces, were no longer playable and it’s just Sonic in the mainline.

Apart from Rise of Lyric, Sonic has been the sole playable character in all of his mainline 3D games since 2007. That's ridiculous.

Sega is pandering to people who don't even like Sonic in the first place by excluding the vast library of side characters, thanks to that 'Sonic's shitty friends' meme, (which was coined by people who have no interest in purchasing a Sonic game either way, not the fans who are actually purchasing the product and part of the fanbase.)

Sega also caters to the 'Sonic was only good in 2D' crowd by needlessly shoehorning classic Sonic into Forces. He really didn't need to be there.

Sega should stop trying to win over casual gamers who think Sonic is a joke now and was only good in the 90's. Ian Flynn is currently doing a fantastic job with IDW in my opinion, cramming in subtle references, flashbacks, winks, nods, and a wide cast of characters. Sega should be giving Sonic that same kind of love.

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The dawn of time to Sonic 1 was a rough time for Sonic, I'll tell you that.

But honestly, I'll go and say CD to Adventure was the worst time for Sonic, cause all we got were spinoffs of iffy quality and Sonic Underground. 

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I’m gonna throw my hat into the 2010-now ring game wise. On the animation side Sonic Boom is ok, and the animated shorts that got released recently are pretty good though I wouldn’t want a full 11 min series where everyone is mute. As for the comics, not much I can complain about. Archie was a wild ride that kept my interest even pass the genesis wave retcon andIDW managed to maintain the exictement despite being unrelated to its predecessor.

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5 hours ago, Ming Ming Hatsune said:

I am talking about Sonic in the video game industry. What made Sonic popular in the first place. I personally don’t read the comics and the recent shorts are nice but it’s not blowing people away is it?

15 years ago, the Sonic fanbase was massive in the web. Massive. There were like 15 active Sonic forums before. Now it feels like, SSMB’s the last very active Sonic forum standing. It reflects that as time went by, the fanbase stopped growing and decreased. Because of Sega/Sonic Team’s poor decisions overtime. Terrible/sub-par video games. I just need to look at myself for example. Used to be a huge Amy fan. Everyday I used to think about the Sonic universe. Not anymore, since around 5/6 years ago.

Still upset that since ‘06, other characters apart from Shadow in Forces, were no longer playable and it’s just Sonic in the mainline.

 

Exactly. It is sad and yet also understandable why those outside materials are neglected, for the same reason that, while once presented as unsung heroes and still often forgotten to this day, the handheld games are now considered to be pallid, corporate imitations of the originals. 
 

These media adaptations and side games are too little, too late to have much of an impact in the end. It’s similar to how Megaman was considered to be as dead as Crash and Bomberman despite his comics and crossover appearances. 

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In terms of game quality, the worst era was probably the mid 00s. However, as others have pointed out, that era ironically happens to correspond with a sort of golden age of the online fanbase. Nowadays we live in an era of mediocre games and a dwindling fanbase, to the point where if I am to be completely honest I actually feel a large dose of nostalgia for the aforementioned 00s period...

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Like some have said, definitely the mid 2000s, from like 2003-2007. The downspiral and then rock bottom the series has still not recovered from 15 years later. Having witnessed the entire history of this franchise, I can say that the was by far the worst things have gotten, watching Sonic spiral down the drain like that. 

 

....but the last 4 years have got to be among the most boring in the franchise history for me.

I realize this is a weird statement with the outstanding Mania.....Part of it is because I'm an adult now but also because I have really no idea what to expect out of this series now. I know what I think makes sense and can only guess where SEGA will take sonic next but....that means little without consistency which we havent seen a lot of in this franchise in a long time. The only thing I basically expect is for games to be of middling quality, while hoping for that long awaited 3D game that finally nails the translation of Sonic's classic gameplay.

So that's basically it for me. I was never really looking for a reboot of 2D sonic. 2D sonic peaked for me with S3K and I dont think it can practically be topped, it was as close to perfection as possible for the formula. I just want a 3D sonic that approaches that quality, even if it takes a few games to build towards like with sonic 1, sonic 2, sonic cd, etc. But building a good foundation is the primary thing I've wanted. With the exception of unleashed-gens we havent gotten that and definitely not as a 3D platformer which is what I've always wanted sonic to be, rather than a 2.5D hybrid (although fun in it's own right).

Boring is better than 06 like disaster but as a fan.....not by much.

 

 

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2012 - 2016. Lost World sucked, there were too few mainline games, and then there was that one period in 2014 where it looked like Boom Sonic was going to be the future of the franchise. I personally would extend this period further both into the past and the present, but Mania was quite good and Generations had some great content if you ignored the story and take mods into account (the game on its own was fine but it was too short). If I had to pick another worst period it would be 1995 - 1998. Almost nothing noteworthy or good from Sonic in that time period. Its especially jarring considering that in the previous four years there was a major title every single year, with each one improving on the last in some way.

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24 minutes ago, Mark_The_Dephiles said:

2012 - 2016. Lost World sucked, there were too few mainline games, and then there was that one period in 2014 where it looked like Boom Sonic was going to be the future of the franchise. I personally would extend this period further both into the past and the present, but Mania was quite good and Generations had some great content if you ignored the story and take mods into account (the game on its own was fine but it was too short). If I had to pick another worst period it would be 1995 - 1998. Almost nothing noteworthy or good from Sonic in that time period. Its especially jarring considering that in the previous four years there was a major title every single year, with each one improving on the last in some way.

There was also Forces and its effort to recapture a more mature story (that blew up in their face, but there was an attempt).

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On 11/5/2019 at 8:37 PM, thumbs13 said:

The dawn of time to Sonic 1 was a rough time for Sonic, I'll tell you that.

But honestly, I'll go and say CD to Adventure was the worst time for Sonic, cause all we got were spinoffs of iffy quality and Sonic Underground. 

Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were released in that period.

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2005-2010 maybe? I'm not talking from a personal standpoint as one of my favourite games was released during this time period- 'Sonic Unleashed'.

Though from a performance and general outside perspective of the series it was a low point.

Shadow the Hedgehog (2005) was percieved as a bit of joke. 

Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) well is there anything I could say that already hasn't been? 

Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007) Nice idea but could have been better. FANTASTIC soundtrack though.

Sonic Unleashed (2008) To encapsulate every reviewer at the time of its release: "Those day levels , yeah!!!! but......... warehog"

Sonic and the Black Knight (2009) Tried to fix the issues that Secret Rings had and ended creating a bunch of its own problems. 

As for the riders games I've not played athose much but as far as I'm aware they have their fans but didn't set the world on fire.

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On 11/7/2019 at 5:21 PM, Miragnarok said:

There was also Forces and its effort to recapture a more mature story (that blew up in their face, but there was an attempt).

But the game itself was even more watered down than the boost games, and the serious elements felt forced and out of place with the current art-style and voice cast. It honestly feels a bit like those clickbait youtube videos that pop up everywhere. "Look at this trailer its got this powerful new villain and look at all these random fan favorites that will be returning! Oh and your character here!" And then you actually play the game and all of the villains Sonic has to fight are soulless copies, if he even fights them at all. (Chaos boss battle anyone? Not even a Shadow boss battle? Then why even show them in the first place?) And infinite himself has practically no goals or backstory to speak of, and he isn't even a final boss. He just leaves quietly before the end of the game, and his conflict with Shadow is never resolved. (Also gotta love how his "squad" is never even shown in episode Shadow, as you just slide down a waterslide with helpless motobugs for the entire stage). It feels like these elements are all just tacked on to make the game look interesting from an outside perspective, but in reality none of the things that it promises are actually there (or they are just afterthoughts), and the game ends up being just another colors/lostworld style of game in disguise. (A particularly watered down one at that) As to whether this was the intent or not is hard to say, but I find it hard to believe that they were cutting out tons of content to meet a deadline given that the game took four full years to be developed as it is.

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14 minutes ago, Mark_The_Dephiles said:

 It feels like these elements are all just tacked on to make the game look interesting from an outside perspective, but in reality none of the things that it promises are actually there (or they are just afterthoughts), and the game ends up being just another colors/lostworld style of game in disguise. (A particularly watered down one at that) As to whether this was the intent or not is hard to say, but I find it hard to believe that they were cutting out tons of content to meet a deadline given that the game took four full years to be developed as it is.

Actually, half of that time was spent developing the Hedgehog Engine 2.

In other news, there's a rumor that the game started as a spinoff game where you could create your own character before being reworked into the next anniversary game. The fact that the Phantom Ruby was originally an engine called Valtron in the leaked script is also a factor.

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Probably 2004 to 2008.

Almost everything about the franchise was mediocre.

The comics, the merchandise and especially the games.

Things have definitely picked up lately but not by a lot. 

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3 hours ago, Mark_The_Dephiles said:

But the game itself was even more watered down than the boost games, and the serious elements felt forced and out of place with the current art-style and voice cast. It honestly feels a bit like those clickbait youtube videos that pop up everywhere. "Look at this trailer its got this powerful new villain and look at all these random fan favorites that will be returning! Oh and your character here!" And then you actually play the game and all of the villains Sonic has to fight are soulless copies, if he even fights them at all. (Chaos boss battle anyone? Not even a Shadow boss battle? Then why even show them in the first place?) And infinite himself has practically no goals or backstory to speak of, and he isn't even a final boss. He just leaves quietly before the end of the game, and his conflict with Shadow is never resolved. (Also gotta love how his "squad" is never even shown in episode Shadow, as you just slide down a waterslide with helpless motobugs for the entire stage). It feels like these elements are all just tacked on to make the game look interesting from an outside perspective, but in reality none of the things that it promises are actually there (or they are just afterthoughts), and the game ends up being just another colors/lostworld style of game in disguise. (A particularly watered down one at that) As to whether this was the intent or not is hard to say, but I find it hard to believe that they were cutting out tons of content to meet a deadline given that the game took four full years to be developed as it is.

The watering-down/disguising was done so that all of the more gratuitous elements of Colors/Lost World were removed, like “Baldy McNosehair” and purely nonsense levels. This resulted in something that pleases no-one, and Infinite being more akin to the Ifrit than either Mephiles or the Hard Boiled Heavies. He’s on the borderline of a notable failure like Black Doom or the Deadly Six, but if it weren’t for Episode Shadow, he’d definitely be in the Ifrit’s tier.

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Are we really going to have this talk again? Can people who see few good things in Forces, don't have to listen all the negatives that everyone knows already?

Yes, Forces was huge letdown from what it promised in story, length and gameplay. No one denies that. But can I say "Infinite has cool song and design and I admire attempt to give him depth and being thematical foil to Avatar, which is waay more than i can say about Zavok or Lyric" without people listing why he sucks? It never looks like discussion, it's putting a rock concert when I'm trying to have my piano lessons.

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9 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Are we really going to have this talk again? Can people who see few good things in Forces, don't have to listen all the negatives that everyone knows already?

Yes, Forces was huge letdown from what it promised in story, length and gameplay. No one denies that. But can I say "Infinite has cool song and design and I admire attempt to give him depth and being thematical foil to Avatar, which is waay more than i can say about Zavok or Lyric" without people listing why he sucks? It never looks like discussion, it's putting a rock concert when I'm trying to have my piano lessons.

I agree about this. Forces was a honest effort, constrained by budget.

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On 11/13/2019 at 3:00 AM, Nintenboi said:

Probably 2004 to 2008.

At least we had Sonic Riders. The only Sonic game I actually enjoyed from that period. It was flawed and silly, but at least it was fun and had a cool factor to it.

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Best period was definitely Tuesday. Mostly for the popularity, seeing Sonic trending and people talking about him, the live reactions to the trailer are priceless, some even heartwarming. And all the positivity of course. I'm not gonna say best day to be a fan was the Mania/Forces reveal, because I woke up in the morning for that but at the time I was having health issues so… I don't have good memories of that, but still, Mania I felt like had a fangame vibe so I wasn't really excited for the announcement, although a return to old school for Sonic plus playable Tails and Knuckles were welcome, as for Forces… it was just a teaser, it didn't do much.

Meanwhile with the film, there were 3 full minutes of fun footage, cool action scenes and acting, I'm definitely looking forward to the full thing, it was good content. Yes, I dare say I'm more excited for the movie than the games, because you know the movie is gonna be a bigger thing, probably not better (with the games' quality you never know…), everyone is gonna talk about it.

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On 11/12/2019 at 7:07 PM, DabigRG said:

Actually, half of that time was spent developing the Hedgehog Engine 2.

In other news, there's a rumor that the game started as a spinoff game where you could create your own character before being reworked into the next anniversary game. The fact that the Phantom Ruby was originally an engine called Valtron in the leaked script is also a factor.

That explains some of it then, but it still leaves them two whole years. Sonic Unleashed also needed a new game engine but that game only had two years to be developed instead of four, and it still looks better than Forces does (in 2008), and remains the most ambitious of the boost games.

On 11/13/2019 at 2:54 AM, MetalSkulkBane said:

Are we really going to have this talk again? Can people who see few good things in Forces, don't have to listen all the negatives that everyone knows already?

Yes, Forces was huge letdown from what it promised in story, length and gameplay. No one denies that. But can I say "Infinite has cool song and design and I admire attempt to give him depth and being thematical foil to Avatar, which is waay more than i can say about Zavok or Lyric" without people listing why he sucks? It never looks like discussion, it's putting a rock concert when I'm trying to have my piano lessons.

His design is indeed good. I think that's why a lot of people were so disappointed in him. It overhyped him basically. People complain about Infinite a lot because they wanted him to be good. Nobody expected (or wanted) Zavok or Lyric to be good so there is not as much backlash. And yes I did say 2017 was a better year than 2013 and 2014 were, didn't I? It is possible he can be salvaged if they can come up with a more finished backstory for Infinite in a future game that justifies his motives better. Since its Sonic Team though it is quite likely that we will never see him again.

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31 minutes ago, Mark_The_Dephiles said:

That explains some of it then, but it still leaves them two whole years. Sonic Unleashed also needed a new game engine but that game only had two years to be developed instead of four, and it still looks better than Forces does (in 2008), and remains the most ambitious of the boost games.

 

I kinda suspect that's because they put a huge budget into that game that may or may not have stifled them afterwards, but yes. Maybe they'd been working on it in the background during 06? 

 

31 minutes ago, Mark_The_Dephiles said:

. Nobody expected (or wanted) Zavok or Lyric to be good so there is not as much backlash. 

Why would you want anything to be bad, though?

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On 11/14/2019 at 2:13 AM, Tarnish said:

At least we had Sonic Riders. The only Sonic game I actually enjoyed from that period. It was flawed and silly, but at least it was fun and had a cool factor to it.

And in THIS era, we have;

 

Comics and shorts. That's about it. Some games are marginally less bad than others.

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