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DryLagoon

About the future of Sonic Games (Post Movie)

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I've been seeing an increase in the sentiment that with the Sonic Movie reintroducing people to Sonic, that the games should also do so. Note that I don't mean just making a game of the movie version.

It leaves me with some questions. If the games did this, would they be better off keeping "Modern" Sonic, introducing yet another Sonic, or somewhere in between? What would that mean for "Classic" Sonic and Mania? What tone would be preferred as the new default? Which characters would make the cut? Would it also mean reintroducing everyone like Silver was in Rivals?

For me I think maybe giving Modern an update wouldn't hurt, but I'm not sure if splitting it like Boom would be the way to go. I personally think Classic should still exist as it's own thing, like how Mario has both big 3D games and smaller 2D games. For tone probably somewhere around Unleashed where it is lighthearted, but can be serious when the moment asks for it without going full grimdark, also no meta jokes or confusing character tone shifts. I think the safest option would be Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Eggman for the first one, plus whatever Eggman uses for his plot as new robot designs would be cool. Other characters could be reintroduced in later titles and maybe reworked to be less confusing story wise. Just not rushed in all at once and taking time to think about who to use for what game, everyone should not be in every game outside of things like an occasional Generations or mobile title.

I want to hear what your thoughts are about it. Should Sonic do a reboot for the new era, or should they just focus on making a better game with what they have currently?

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I mean I'd say we've had this happen several times already to different degrees.  In fact probably more modern Sonic games try to re-attact old fans than those that don't.

Sonic Heroes - Went for a lighthearted Classic-esque tone with the teams presented as different difficulty modes.

Sonic 2006 - Tried to take popular game design sensibilities at the time and apply them wily-nilly to Sonic (terribly).

Sonic Unleashed - The inclusion of 2D sections was a novel concept that many folks outside of the fanbase saw as a welcome return to Sonic's roots, and the Werehog was specifically designed to capitalise on the popular cinematic brawler genre that God of War popularised.

Sonic 4 - A game that absolutely looked like the classics and was designed for mobile first, where most adults "out of gaming" were playing their games. It, bizarrely kind of worked, Sonic 4 wasn't a complete flop in terms of reviews and sales from casual players outside of the fanbase.

Sonic Colours - Including this just so it doesn't seem like I forgot it, but this one DIDN'T really seem to be made to reintroduce people to Sonic, even though it accidentally did and was recieved better than 4.  It was made at the same time as 4, and came off as if 4 was for the nostalgics and Colours for those who were already on board with Sonic, particularly kids.  In the end it turns out if a game is good enough quality as a general experience, everyone can enjoy it, who'd have thought!!

Sonic Generations - Duh

Sonic Mania - Duh x2, but of particular note is again they seem to reel people in with nostalgic zones upfront rather than the new content.  They could have easily made Studiopolis the first or second stage if they really wanted to, but they deemed it more important to really get people's nostalgia going with the big two everyone knows from Sonic 1/2.

Sonic Forces - Basically Generations + Mania what with the use of Classic Sonic and Green Hill/Chemical Plant, but just with a helping of second-hand embarassment due to how transparent, repetitive and desperate it all feels at this point.  One could argue that it was partially for budgetary reasons, being able to re-use assets from Generations, but... there were 7 other stages that weren't "the big two" if that's all there was to it.

 

All of this said, it's hard to know how I would re-introduce people to Sonic if I was making the next game and that was one of my goals.  But I'd definitely want to lean on the accidental success of Sonic Colours... just... make a really good game that fans and newcomers alike can enjoy and let word of mouth do the rest.

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16 minutes ago, JezMM said:

I mean I'd say we've had this happen several times already to different degrees.  In fact probably more modern Sonic games try to re-attact old fans than those that don't.

Sorry I wasn't clear about that. I think that a lot of these past attempts were to bring back fans of Classic Sonic. In this case I think that is not needed as we now have Mania Sonic to do this. I meant more doing something new to make Modern Sonic relevant and bring in brand new fans who don't know Sonic and all the lore after the increased interest from the movie. I do agree that Colors was this for the 2010s.

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17 hours ago, JezMM said:

I mean I'd say we've had this happen several times already to different degrees.  In fact probably more modern Sonic games try to re-attact old fans than those that don't.

Sonic Heroes - Went for a lighthearted Classic-esque tone with the teams presented as different difficulty modes.

Sonic 2006 - Tried to take popular game design sensibilities at the time and apply them wily-nilly to Sonic (terribly).

Sonic Unleashed - The inclusion of 2D sections was a novel concept that many folks outside of the fanbase saw as a welcome return to Sonic's roots, and the Werehog was specifically designed to capitalise on the popular cinematic brawler genre that God of War popularised.

Sonic 4 - A game that absolutely looked like the classics and was designed for mobile first, where most adults "out of gaming" were playing their games. It, bizarrely kind of worked, Sonic 4 wasn't a complete flop in terms of reviews and sales from casual players outside of the fanbase.

Sonic Colours - Including this just so it doesn't seem like I forgot it, but this one DIDN'T really seem to be made to reintroduce people to Sonic, even though it accidentally did and was recieved better than 4.  It was made at the same time as 4, and came off as if 4 was for the nostalgics and Colours for those who were already on board with Sonic, particularly kids.  In the end it turns out if a game is good enough quality as a general experience, everyone can enjoy it, who'd have thought!!

Sonic Generations - Duh

Sonic Mania - Duh x2, but of particular note is again they seem to reel people in with nostalgic zones upfront rather than the new content.  They could have easily made Studiopolis the first or second stage if they really wanted to, but they deemed it more important to really get people's nostalgia going with the big two everyone knows from Sonic 1/2.

Sonic Forces - Basically Generations + Mania what with the use of Classic Sonic and Green Hill/Chemical Plant, but just with a helping of second-hand embarassment due to how transparent, repetitive and desperate it all feels at this point.  One could argue that it was partially for budgetary reasons, being able to re-use assets from Generations, but... there were 7 other stages that weren't "the big two" if that's all there was to it.

 

All of this said, it's hard to know how I would re-introduce people to Sonic if I was making the next game and that was one of my goals.  But I'd definitely want to lean on the accidental success of Sonic Colours... just... make a really good game that fans and newcomers alike can enjoy and let word of mouth do the rest.

You forgot that Forces also added darker elements as a spread to try and attract disenchanted Adventure fans.

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9 hours ago, Whatever the WhoCares said:

If there’s one thing we have any chance of seeing carried over from the movie, it’s the “two worlds” concept that supposedly already exists in the game universe. Maybe the film’s plot will encourage future stories to be less wishy-washy about that. 

Except Two-Worlds only happened to begin with as a way to write-out human characters besides Eggman aka GUN (itself an attempt to pander to complaints on characters like Elise and the "ugh humans don't belong in Sonic except Eggman since he doesn't count we need planet of the furries") and to get away with the visual and/or tonal shifts across the series without actually making any serious attempts to address how radically at odds with past lore said retcon is (namely when it comes to Shadow's past and Knuckles' heritage). Since I don't expect the movie to be notably successful by current standards, I doubt it'll lead to any serious changes to the status quo.

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5 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

You forgot that Forces also added darker elements as a spread to try and attract disenchanted Adventure fans.

As a fan of Adventure it kind of worked... at first. When the first trailer came out I was pretty excited, things seemed tense and it got me curious what could have happened that Sonic seemed actually upset for once. But then Classic Sonic appeared and I could already tell things were going to be off. Not about Classic Sonic himself as I like the actual character, but him appearing with a big grin already showed the tone was going to be a mess, and in hindsight was a sign of things to come. I wasn't super into the Original Character, but it was kind of cool getting some customization in a game that doesn't usually give you any outside of Chao nearly 2 decades ago. After both Mania and Forces came out it made me think even further what the game would have been like if Classic Sonic wasn't in it and they had given development to just Sonic and the OC.

As for the actual game, even with the price cut I didn't feel like I got my money's worth from it. Even if it had been $20 I'm not so sure. Usually when I play a Sonic game it takes me awhile to finish it, but this was the first I had finished in one sitting. It did have some great highs like the water slides, but whenever I was enjoying myself the level would end. A lot of the game had me frustrated from many endless pits and other gameplay issues. I'm not sure if it was worse than normal, but it felt like it. It made me think back to how some levels in Adventure 2 would put you in a setting where you couldn't fall, and how that helped you get used to the controls without worrying about it as much. It made me think more than ever I would like a 3D Sonic game that didn't rely on 2D segments again. I tried going back to Generations, and again any time I enjoyed the 3D it would shift to a slow 2D segment with moving up and down platforms made to feel like padding out the game time.

Story wise I really liked Infinite. He was so over the top it was kind of funny, but at least to me he was the first in a long time to stand out as a new character. The cubes and reality warping were instantly iconic to me. Not only that, but it felt like he was an actual threat to Sonic. All the warping can throw you off, so I'm not surprised it would throw off Sonic too at first. I didn't care for what was revealed in Shadow's episode, and I wish he had more involvement in the later parts. However, I think it was a good attempt, with a bit more planning he could have been really solid. Also while it was kind of cool seeing past villains again, I felt like we already had that with Generations, and some like Chaos didn't do much, so even as a fan who was being targeted I didn't care much for it. Not to mention the English writing was all over the place. (I haven't checked the original Japanese to compare yet) Really was a waste of the premise.

TL;DR Infinite was cool, but not at full potential. Appealing too far to everyone means no one is fully satisfied.
 

1 hour ago, Almar said:

Except Two-Worlds only happened to begin with as a way to write-out human characters besides Eggman aka GUN (itself an attempt to pander to complaints on characters like Elise and the "ugh humans don't belong in Sonic except Eggman since he doesn't count we need planet of the furries") and to get away with the visual and/or tonal shifts across the series without actually making any serious attempts to address how radically at odds with past lore said retcon is (namely when it comes to Shadow's past and Knuckles' heritage). Since I don't expect the movie to be notably successful by current standards, I doubt it'll lead to any serious changes to the status quo.

At first I was very against the two worlds concept. However if it really was a warp ring between the two and it meant we could get adventures from both without having to only get one or the other, I wouldn't mind that. But at the same time lore wise it's confusing as hell. The Adventure games don't work as well with it as you're saying Eggman was born in the human world, at some point teleports to Sonic's world, then they all go back to human for Adventure, and then somehow Gerald makes Shadow with lore from Sonic's World but 50 years before Sonic existed? At least if it was one world you could say he found the ruins. It could be possible he had his own warp, but then what made Eggman choose to go to Sonic's? Actually I can kind of see him being like "this world has resources I can use". Sorry I'm kind of rambling, I still don't know which I prefer. Something about the government wanting Sonic in the movie makes me wonder if they could use that to sequel bait Shadow (changing the lore to do so).

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5 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

You forgot that Forces also added darker elements as a spread to try and attract disenchanted Adventure fans.

I feel like Adventure fans, even if they abstain from newer games, have never really distanced themselves from the series like people who played Sonic as kids and then "grew out of it" did. For whatever reason, the type of fan who loves the Adventure games tend to stay very much in the fanbase, buying all the games in spite of their grumblings or at least keeping close tabs on what the new ones are doing.

My post was more talking about people who loved Sonic at one point, but are almost surprised to hear that Sonic games are still made regularly or that they're any good - like they have no idea what the series is really doing these days at all, other than Sonic is still like... around (well, mostly, I have met adults who genuinely talk as if Sonic stopped existing when the Mega Drive went out of fashion).  I think OP was starting discussion about those types of people, who might be seeing the movie as if it's a revival of a long-dead franchise or even have no familiarity with Sonic at all but are going to see it with children related to them.

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If the Movie does super well somehow (doubt it cause people only care about Disney and Superheroes for Box Office nowadays, with the very occasional John Wick or two and even that has Keanu Reeves for star power) I would personally love an alternate continuity based off of it. Having a fully animated Skinny Robotnik boss fight would be a sight.

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To directly answer the OP, I honestly think that if one was going to reintroduce the characters and the franchise while capitalizing off of the movie as an introduction point, nothing really beats Sonic Adventure which. It's set in the human world retroactively, you have Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Eggman in roles where they are being introduced to the audience as well what their schticks and gimmicks are as well as their relationships with each other. The game also naturally allows you to go into Sonic Adventure 2 and Heroes if you need to add in Team Dark and the Chaotix. Going into Sonic Adventure 2 also allows Eggman to be more fleshed out and if you're going there from the movie then his understanding of the military makes a lot of sense.

In truth, to me at least it is a thought process that lends credence to the Sonic Adventure remake rumors. It is a nice jumping on point for the franchise and even a good status qui restoring game. And to avoid totally cutting out other characters, you could actually use Silver traveling back in time to Adventure 1's events in a more drastic attempt to change the course of history leading to his future. It makes the game fresh, resets the characters to allow for a more efficient introduction to the characters, and gives whoever the current team working on it due to Sega's internal shuffling a good chance to learn who these characters are (using Silver also allows us to avoid fishing with big 😄).

So I guess, if I had to reintroduce everything I'd probably start there; remaking Adventure. Though if you gave me that much power I'd also go back to Amy's classic design just to avoid species confusion for newcomers.

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25 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

In truth, to me at least it is a thought process that lends credence to the Sonic Adventure remake rumors. It is a nice jumping on point for the franchise and even a good status qui restoring game. And to avoid totally cutting out other characters, you could actually use Silver traveling back in time to Adventure 1's events in a more drastic attempt to change the course of history leading to his future. It makes the game fresh, resets the characters to allow for a more efficient introduction to the characters, and gives whoever the current team working on it due to Sega's internal shuffling a good chance to learn who these characters are (using Silver also allows us to avoid fishing with big 😄).

I never really thought of this but now I kind of want it to happen. Although I'm not sure how that would effect the plot. I do think Adventure is a good point as I'm very biased, but I still think something fresh would also be good to have.

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You have to rework Adventure 1 and Adventure 2 with the other Adventure Era games to fit with Two-Worlds or anything using it like Sonic X (which happened in that show anway). Adventure One has echidna ruins be within train distance of Station Square and more or less has Knuckles' heritage be the Sonic world's answer to Mesoamerica. Adventure 2 has Gerald at least knowing about Angel Island enough to model the Biolizard's container after the emerald alter. Shadow the Hedgehog talks about the Black Arms being on Earth millenniums ago and has the president hold a photo with Sonic and Shadow. Sonic 06 has Silver live in a post-apocalyptic verson of Elise's kingdom while the Rivals games have him and Eggman Nega come from one future (complete with Nega dragging a future Angel Island back with him).

2 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

At first I was very against the two worlds concept. However if it really was a warp ring between the two and it meant we could get adventures from both without having to only get one or the other, I wouldn't mind that. But at the same time lore wise it's confusing as hell. The Adventure games don't work as well with it as you're saying Eggman was born in the human world, at some point teleports to Sonic's world, then they all go back to human for Adventure, and then somehow Gerald makes Shadow with lore from Sonic's World but 50 years before Sonic existed? At least if it was one world you could say he found the ruins. It could be possible he had his own warp, but then what made Eggman choose to go to Sonic's? Actually I can kind of see him being like "this world has resources I can use". Sorry I'm kind of rambling, I still don't know which I prefer. Something about the government wanting Sonic in the movie makes me wonder if they could use that to sequel bait Shadow (changing the lore to do so).

You're showing how little proper thought went into the decision.

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Honestly, with how generally starved of meaningful character inclusions and world building the series has been since Colors, plus what a dead end Forces is, you can honestly just have a game where Tails, Knuckles, and maybe a sixth character(not counting the Shapebots) have more involvement in a story that has more establishing twists & turns. That'd act as a naturally bridging point for the hypothetical new fans while refreshing the old after all the weird Classic/Nostalgia emphasis.

7 hours ago, Sonic Fan J said:

To directly answer the OP, I honestly think that if one was going to reintroduce the characters and the franchise while capitalizing off of the movie as an introduction point, nothing really beats Sonic Adventure which. It's set in the human world retroactively, you have Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Eggman in roles where they are being introduced to the audience as well what their schticks and gimmicks are as well as their relationships with each other. The game also naturally allows you to go into Sonic Adventure 2 and Heroes if you need to add in Team Dark and the Chaotix. Going into Sonic Adventure 2 also allows Eggman to be more fleshed out and if you're going there from the movie then his understanding of the military makes a lot of sense.

In truth, to me at least it is a thought process that lends credence to the Sonic Adventure remake rumors. It is a nice jumping on point for the franchise and even a good status qui restoring game. And to avoid totally cutting out other characters, you could actually use Silver traveling back in time to Adventure 1's events in a more drastic attempt to change the course of history leading to his future. It makes the game fresh, resets the characters to allow for a more efficient introduction to the characters, and gives whoever the current team working on it due to Sega's internal shuffling a good chance to learn who these characters are (using Silver also allows us to avoid fishing with big 😄).

So I guess, if I had to reintroduce everything I'd probably start there; remaking Adventure. Though if you gave me that much power I'd also go back to Amy's classic design just to avoid species confusion for newcomers.

Yeah, as much I'm err on the remakes, that is the first thing that comes to mind.

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21 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

I would like a 3D Sonic game that didn't rely on 2D segments again

To be honest, that was always a stupid thing once you stopped and thought about it for 5 seconds. If you want to put in 2D segments to remind us of the good old days when the series wasn't shit, at least make it so that it plays like the good old days when the series wasn't shit. Give us physics, momentum, the rolling ability. But nope, it's just the same boost trash, basic bitch block platforming, homing attack chains, making the 2D segments even more limited than the 3D segments, making them little more than eye candy nostalgia bait.

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37 minutes ago, Tarnish said:

To be honest, that was always a stupid thing once you stopped and thought about it for 5 seconds.

When Mario Odyssey did it I didn't mind as it was minor sections, but with Sonic I feel like at least half of the game is those segments. I agree it was never really anything exciting like the opening of Chemical Plant but more like the parts people would complain about like Marble Zone. Now I'm wondering what it would be like if they had done it as special stages instead, it'd be a flip of how the old ones were in 3D. Then again I don't think they were too liked in Heroes either.

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1 hour ago, DryLagoon said:

When Mario Odyssey did it

I haven't played Mario Odyssey, but judging from videos, those sections at least it played as the old games did, so it was familiar and you felt right at home if you played the old games? The 2D sections in the 3D Sonic games play nothing like the old 2D Sonic games. So, here's something that looks familiar, but doesn't feel familiar...makes no sense.

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9 hours ago, Tarnish said:

I haven't played Mario Odyssey, but judging from videos, those sections at least it played as the old games did, so it was familiar and you felt right at home if you played the old games? The 2D sections in the 3D Sonic games play nothing like the old 2D Sonic games. So, here's something that looks familiar, but doesn't feel familiar...makes no sense.

They even used the same visual style. They’re basically mini-games. The 3D sections don’t play like the old 3D games either. Eventually, they stopped even looking like the old games. 
 

Well, Forces at least tried a story akin to older games; but the dark elements come off as shocking and disturbing rather than cool and engaging.

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I really do think people are giving this film too much credit. It'll be a trash film everyone laughs at and then the series will pretend it never happened.

It'll be Sonic Boom all over again.

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I don’t think anyone’s believes this’ll smash any box records—it might break even, and I’m not saying that to be nice. But that they got some heavy criticism, took it note, and endured the memes to somewhat redeem their first attempt is refreshing and a good deal of optimism when the actual main series seems to falter in it attempts.

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2 hours ago, Plasme said:

I really do think people are giving this film too much credit. It'll be a trash film everyone laughs at and then the series will pretend it never happened.

It'll be Sonic Boom all over again.

Except at least Sonic Boom had the TV show as a redeeming trait. What about the movie? What good impact could it possibly have? 

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11 hours ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

I don’t think anyone’s believes this’ll smash any box records—it might break even, and I’m not saying that to be nice. But that they got some heavy criticism, took it note, and endured the memes to somewhat redeem their first attempt is refreshing and a good deal of optimism when the actual main series seems to falter in it attempts.

All they did was change Sonic's model and a few scenes. It still looks cringeworthy and awful.

This isn't going to have some big impact on the games going forward, it's been virtually ignored by the game social media since it started.

It might have one or two games like Boom did and then be discarded forever.

 

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10 minutes ago, Plasme said:

This isn't going to have some big impact on the games going forward

I wouldn't put it past SEGA/Sonic Team to draw the wrong conclusions, it's one of their signature moves.

But of course in order for that to happen, this movie would have to do super well. My prediction is it'll make money, but not enough for them to gamble a huge change in direction. Tho at some point the game franchise might reach a point where they're like "Screw it, what else do we have to lose?".

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1 minute ago, Tarnish said:

I wouldn't put it past SEGA/Sonic Team to draw the wrong conclusions, it's one of their signature moves.

But of course in order for that to happen, this movie would have to do super well. My prediction is it'll make money, but not enough for them to gamble a huge change in direction. Tho at some point the game franchise might reach a point where they're like "Screw it, what else do we have to lose?".

People said literally the same thing about Boom and it didn't happen.

Boom at least started as a game, and while mocked online, was only known about in gaming circles.

Everyone knows about the Sonic movie and thinks it looks hilariously terrible.

There might be a Sonic movie game or two, the games will probably be terrible, and then we'll get another confused Modern Sonic/Classic Sonic mess from Sonic Team like Sonic Forces.

Let's be honest, we all know this is what will happen, people just don't want to admit it.

 

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2 hours ago, Plasme said:

Everyone knows about the Sonic movie and thinks it looks hilariously terrible.

There might be a Sonic movie game or two, the games will probably be terrible, and then we'll get another confused Modern Sonic/Classic Sonic mess from Sonic Team like Sonic Forces.

Let's be honest, we all know this is what will happen, people just don't want to admit it.

 

I wouldn't say that everyone thinks it looks hilariously terrible. After the design change, I started to see a lot of fanart, excited people and profiles with movie Sonic on Twitter. I also know people from other gaming forums that cannot stand anything after the Mega Drive/Genesis games that want to watch it with their kids.

Honestly, I think some people really underestimate the power of Sonic the Hedgehog as a franchise, the size of the Sonic fanbase and the nostalgia around it. IMO, the movie won't be perfect, but will attract many fans and even ex-fans to the cinema.

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Its pointless speculating how well the film will do based on personal feelings and annecdotal evidence at this point. Tracking will start updating in a week or two and give a better indication of how things are likely to pan out.

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