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Scritch the Cat

At this point, what is keeping other characters from being playable in the main modern Sonic games?

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15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don't know how I'm going to react if this 4-year wait goes by and we end up with another Forces though. Like, I'll never stop being a Sonic fan but I may actually never look forward to a Mainstream 3D Sonic game again. I could actually see that happening.

If that happens, welcome to the club I am a part of since 2006, where I still enjoy the games I enjoyed back when they came out, but pretty much nothing Sonic Team put out since 2006 has even excited me, let alone impressed me.

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15 minutes ago, Tarnish said:

If that happens, welcome to the club I am a part of since 2006, where I still enjoy the games I enjoyed back when they came out, but pretty much nothing Sonic Team put out since 2006 has even excited me, let alone impressed me.

Do you still acknowledge that there was a further dip in quality starting from Lost World? 

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1 minute ago, Miragnarok said:

Do you still acknowledge that there was a further dip in quality starting from Lost World? 

Hard to tell...Sonic was all over the place the past 15 years. What you may call a further dip, I just call another dip. There were times it seemed at least from a technical standpoint they got their shit together, only to mess up again.

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35 minutes ago, Tarnish said:

Hard to tell...Sonic was all over the place the past 15 years. What you may call a further dip, I just call another dip. There were times it seemed at least from a technical standpoint they got their shit together, only to mess up again.

There was DEFINITELY a narrative dip starting with Colors and ending with Forces. And after Lost World, they NEVER crawled out again even once. 

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6 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

There was DEFINITELY a narrative dip starting with Colors and ending with Forces. And after Lost World, they NEVER crawled out again even once. 

If we're talking about narrative and tone, yeah, there was definitely a HUGE shift (and I agree to call it a dip as well) with Colors. Unleashed and the storybook games, for all their flaws, at least felt more or less like Sonic tonally, although they already started going in a more goofy direction with Unleashed. But then starting with Colors, they just went all in.

Colors for me was like "Oh look...they managed to mess up not only the gameplay, but the tone, as well as the voice acting even more...they really deserve a medal at this point."

I wasn't fond of Jason after Ryan, but the saying "You never know what you have until you lose it" turned out to be true yet again with the introduction of Roger.

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48 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

There was DEFINITELY a narrative dip starting with Colors and ending with Forces. And after Lost World, they NEVER crawled out again even once. 

Who are they?

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43 minutes ago, Tarnish said:

If we're talking about narrative and tone, yeah, there was definitely a HUGE shift (and I agree to call it a dip as well) with Colors. Unleashed and the storybook games, for all their flaws, at least felt more or less like Sonic tonally, although they already started going in a more goofy direction with Unleashed. But then starting with Colors, they just went all in.

Colors for me was like "Oh look...they managed to mess up not only the gameplay, but the tone, as well as the voice acting even more...they really deserve a medal at this point."

I wasn't fond of Jason after Ryan, but the saying "You never know what you have until you lose it" turned out to be true yet again with the introduction of Roger.

And does Ben make you miss Roger? For me, I remembered Forces, and then I saw Ben as an improvement, as he can at least change.

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Considering Roger still voices Sonic in promotional material, think it's safe to say that he's still voicing for the games. The movie is it's own beast.

 

Ben is alright tho; I like his tone, but wish he didn't sound exactly like Leonardo or Dewey.

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37 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

And does Ben make you miss Roger? For me, I remembered Forces, and then I saw Ben as an improvement, as he can at least change.

At this point, I don't even care. We don't know whether they're gonna stick to Ben after the movie or not, so why even bother caring. And even if they do, they're gonna replace him too after a few years because "Oh my gosh, look at the time! It's time to get new voice actors again for no real reason!".

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1 hour ago, Tarnish said:

If we're talking about narrative and tone, yeah, there was definitely a HUGE shift (and I agree to call it a dip as well) with Colors. Unleashed and the storybook games, for all their flaws, at least felt more or less like Sonic tonally, although they already started going in a more goofy direction with Unleashed. But then starting with Colors, they just went all in.

Colors for me was like "Oh look...they managed to mess up not only the gameplay, but the tone, as well as the voice acting even more...they really deserve a medal at this point."

I wasn't fond of Jason after Ryan, but the saying "You never know what you have until you lose it" turned out to be true yet again with the introduction of Roger.

I don’t feel Colors messed up those things so much as it changed them rather definitively and the series has never looked back from there in many regards.  Not that this is much of a defense at all.  If multiple failed attempts at reinventing a brand can look stupid to fans, a successful attempt at reinvention can put them off permanently due to it seeming like the version of the brand they liked has been murdered and replaced.

That a game like Colors, for which Takeshi Iizuka has flat-out stated he invented the Wisps just so you don’t have to play as other characters (so much for him being blameless in this), was successful might have been more harmful than if it had sucked.

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8 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

That a game like Colors, for which Takeshi Iizuka has flat-out stated he invented the Wisps just so you don’t have to play as other characters (so much for him being blameless in this), was successful might have been more harmful than if it had sucked.

Well he was definitely successful at making me hate the "Sonic the swiss army knife character" concept where he can now basically do everything that made the other characters unique and stand out.

I wonder how many other game franchises had the balls to do that. "You know what? Let's just throw every other character fans knew and loved for literal decades now into the trash can and just have the main character have all their abilities!"

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41 minutes ago, Tarnish said:

Well he was definitely successful at making me hate the "Sonic the swiss army knife character" concept where he can now basically do everything that made the other characters unique and stand out.

I wonder how many other game franchises had the balls to do that. "You know what? Let's just throw every other character fans knew and loved for literal decades now into the trash can and just have the main character have all their abilities!"

They did try to undo this with Forces, but in a VERY wrong way. 

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2 hours ago, Tarnish said:

And even if they do, they're gonna replace him too after a few years because "Oh my gosh, look at the time! It's time to get new voice actors again for no real reason!".

The reason is because the contract with 4kids expired. 

 

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38 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

The reason is because the contract with 4kids expired.

Well they could have renewed that contract if they really wanted to, now couldn't they? And from what I heard (in an interview with Ryan Drummond if I recall well), they could have used the voice cast from the games in Sonic X, but SEGA said "Nah, fuck that.", so 4Kids had to hire their own people. Then SEGA was suddenly "You know what, let's use that voice cast now for the games too.".

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2 hours ago, Tarnish said:

Well he was definitely successful at making me hate the "Sonic the swiss army knife character" concept where he can now basically do everything that made the other characters unique and stand out.

I wonder how many other game franchises had the balls to do that. "You know what? Let's just throw every other character fans knew and loved for literal decades now into the trash can and just have the main character have all their abilities!"

It’s a milder example, but the Mario series might be starting by introducing power-ups that turn a character into another character.  Such as Toadette into Peach.  Of course, extra playable characters have almost always been less important than power-ups in that series but if they’re going to have multiple playable characters, at least the ones important to the series should be fully playable instead of just approximated by newcomers.

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1 hour ago, Scritch the Cat said:

It’s a milder example, but the Mario series might be starting by introducing power-ups that turn a character into another character.  Such as Toadette into Peach.

Super Mario 64 DS remains ignored yet again.

No, the Mario series isn't doing that. Sonic getting power-ups that emulate other characters is no different from Mario's ever changing glide based powers that'd make Peach useless if she was playable...but they don't.

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3 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Super Mario 64 DS remains ignored yet again.

No, the Mario series isn't doing that. Sonic getting power-ups that emulate other characters is no different from Mario's ever changing glide based powers that'd make Peach useless if she was playable...but they don't.

Only the rabbit ears functioned roughly akin to Peach’r gliding, and Mario could still lose them by getting hit.

Meanwhile, Wisps don’t work like Mario power-ups except for the Star, in that Sonic can keep them after getting hit but they have a time limit.  There also isn’t much chance for Sonic to collect a Wisp, carry it elsewhere, and activate it, so it’s not quite as if a Wisp would make Tails useless any given area.  Wisps are mostly mini games confined to a section of the level; think the Donkey Kong Country bonus rooms.  But the fact remains that Wisps were stated to be made just so the game didn’t need other playable characters, and in fact, there hadn’t been any for multiple games.

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4 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

It’s a milder example, but the Mario series might be starting by introducing power-ups that turn a character into another character.  Such as Toadette into Peach.  Of course, extra playable characters have almost always been less important than power-ups in that series but if they’re going to have multiple playable characters, at least the ones important to the series should be fully playable instead of just approximated by newcomers.

Earlier, we had Double Soul in Megaman Battle Network. On-topic, I’m unsure as to how Forces’s attempt will play out in the future.

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6 hours ago, Tarnish said:

Well he was definitely successful at making me hate the "Sonic the swiss army knife character" concept where he can now basically do everything that made the other characters unique and stand out.

I wonder how many other game franchises had the balls to do that. "You know what? Let's just throw every other character fans knew and loved for literal decades now into the trash can and just have the main character have all their abilities!"

Wait, he said that?

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Ok so a lot of different opinions on what people want from the series, a lot of people flaming Sonic Team, and a lot of the usual answers like "no one liked playing as other characters" or "no new characters until they perfect the main gameplay".

What I'm about to write isn't my opinion, just my understanding of why Sonic Team has decided to do things the way they have over the past 20-30 years. I'll keep it as brief as I can.

Extra playable characters in the classic series were included in order to add replay value to existing levels. This was during a time where cartridge sizes were too small to allow for additional/larger stages. Generally speaking, most gamers don't play through a game more than once or twice, but since games were so short, they needed ways to make additional playthroughs more interesting.

Now that discs allow for much more content to be included in a game, players are far less willing to play through the same stages over and over again with characters that only make the game slightly different (major reason why critics disliked Heroes), so they're given their own levels, as well as unique gameplay styles that give the game more variety, which modern gamers are also demanding more of now then they were in the past, when games had more limitations placed on them.

Because of this, almost none of the modern games allow you to play the same levels as different characters, and I highly doubt that'll change in the future. Instead of doing the "different characters, same stages" thing, they prefer to just include additional levels. In my honest opinion, that seems fair enough.

While the Adventure games were well-received at first, critics started to show signs of dislike when they were released on GameCube. Characters other than Sonic had more complex gameplay, and it took a lot more practice (multiple extra playthroughs) to get good at those stages, whereas Sonic's were more straight-forward. Heroes and Shadow remove the additional gameplay styles, but are still pretty complex games that require far more practice to get good at, hence why critics/players who only played them once or twice likely had bad experiences. Even Sonic 06 can be somewhat acceptible—even fun, for some people—with enough practice.

That explains why we have the boost games. Those stages are much easier for first-time players to get into, and much of that is because the game is so automated/restricting. They've especially gotten more casual post-Unleashed. Because of this, they usually lead to better critical reception.

It is true that the boost games came out during a time when extra characters meant "filler" content (especially in the eyes of critics) that distracted from the main gameplay. I would argue, however, that Generations more or less perfected the boost formula, and that explains why Forces moved ahead by adding a new gameplay style/character choice: the avatar player with the wispons. While Forces is pretty hated, most critics actually praised the avatar character and the depth it added to the gameplay. It was fun to customize, didn't play too radically different from Sonic so that players would wish they could skip the levels, and added some extra action to the gameplay, which meant more variety.

After Forces, I'm willing to bet they'll keep adding new gameplay styles into the mix, which will inevitably mean they'll add other playable characters. Don't expect the next game to have like 17 playable characters, but it looks like they're finally ready to start adding some variety into the traditional modern Sonic formula, and I think fans who want to play as other characters should be hopeful.

 

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2 minutes ago, bumhole_the_tom said:

Extra playable characters in the classic series were included in order to add replay value to existing levels. This was during a time where cartridge sizes were too small to allow for additional/larger stages.

What? Those stages weren't small, they were as large as they could be at each point where they better understood system limitations. And since the only time they cut stages were due to rushing or goals changing during development I would assume the amount of levels + cartridge space wasn't much of a problem either.

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