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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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2 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Not in those words, but he did proclaim an intention to make the other characters irrelevant.

Only for the fans/SEGA to forcibly wedge Shadow back in, even as a little DLC campaign. Guess the character builder also counts, too.

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1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

Only for the fans/SEGA to forcibly wedge Shadow back in, even as a little DLC campaign. Guess the character builder also counts, too.

That whole 'build your own OC character' in Forces feels so much like Iizuka going "Okay, okay, they want other playable characters besides Sonic...but they DEFINITELY DON'T want any of the old, known characters!".

It's like he's holding a grudge against the other characters and only reluctantly gave in to add Shadow, because "Hey, he's basically a Sonic clone anway."

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33 minutes ago, Tarnish said:

That whole 'build your own OC character' in Forces feels so much like Iizuka going "Okay, okay, they want other playable characters besides Sonic...but they DEFINITELY DON'T want any of the old, known characters!".

It's like he's holding a grudge against the other characters and only reluctantly gave in to add Shadow, because "Hey, he's basically a Sonic clone anway."

I feel like yall are personalizing this in a way that's too much. To suggest he holds a grudge seems weird. I dont know the guy but it never seemed like he ever really hated it. If anything he may be too strict on their usage. Shadow being "begrudgingly" seems extra weird because hes partial creator of shadow. And he seems to like his creation.

 

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1 hour ago, Shadowlax said:

I feel like yall are personalizing this in a way that's too much. To suggest he holds a grudge seems weird. I dont know the guy but it never seemed like he ever really hated it. If anything he may be too strict on their usage. Shadow being "begrudgingly" seems extra weird because hes partial creator of shadow. And he seems to like his creation.

 

That's why I said it FEELS LIKE THAT to me, indicating it's just my personal feeling on the matter/situation. Obviously it can be explained many other ways as well.

To say he likes Shadow because he had a hand in creating him, well...looking at the way Shadow was portrayed and handled in the games, I don't really get all that love coming through. He had a good introduction in Adventure 2, the way they brought him back right in the very next game was pretty "Lol, wut?", his origin story and own game was kinda royally messed up on multiple fronts, in Sonic 2006 he was this emo, "I don't really give a damn about anything anymore" kinda guy who felt very different than the character in Adventure 2 and Heroes (and even in his own game), after that he was quickly sidelined with the other characters.

So if that's how you handle a character you really like, then...I guess Iizuka really does like Shadow.

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6 hours ago, Tarnish said:

That's why I said it FEELS LIKE THAT to me, indicating it's just my personal feeling on the matter/situation. Obviously it can be explained many other ways as well.

To say he likes Shadow because he had a hand in creating him, well...looking at the way Shadow was portrayed and handled in the games, I don't really get all that love coming through. He had a good introduction in Adventure 2, the way they brought him back right in the very next game was pretty "Lol, wut?", his origin story and own game was kinda royally messed up on multiple fronts, in Sonic 2006 he was this emo, "I don't really give a damn about anything anymore" kinda guy who felt very different than the character in Adventure 2 and Heroes (and even in his own game), after that he was quickly sidelined with the other characters.

So if that's how you handle a character you really like, then...I guess Iizuka really does like Shadow.

He had ideas you didnt like, and in a (very poor response) to criticism shadow went away for a while but even during that time made statements as to how shadow would return. I may not like his ideas all the time especially these days but I'm not wild to accuse him of hating the characters. Especially as soon as tsr he said shadow was his favorite and he made them get the dialog correct. As @Kuzu says he doesn't have all the say. 

To blame a single dude for that, at least in this case seems strange. This isnt an auteur situation it one where it seems like on creative director/editor/director is running roughshod over the production. Not to excuse the bad choices that he and various executives and other creatives have made, the reason this thread exists is a collective misread on Sega's part. But to personalize that to iizuka just seemed like you are blaming a named guy.

Trust me I would love if I could point to some dude in SOA and go " he is why shadows personality is bad now" and even I could I dont think I'll ever know the guys name because of the system that exists. It allows to blame named dudes instead of executives making bad descions. For example the sonic film.

Rambling, point being. While there are certainly situations in entertainment where you can blame a single dude. This isnt really one of em

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1 hour ago, Shadowlax said:

He had ideas you didnt like, and in a (very poor response) to criticism shadow went away for a while but even during that time made statements as to how shadow would return. I may not like his ideas all the time especially these days but I'm not wild to accuse him of hating the characters. Especially as soon as tsr he said shadow was his favorite and he made them get the dialog correct. As @Kuzu says he doesn't have all the say. 

To blame a single dude for that, at least in this case seems strange. This isnt an auteur situation it one where it seems like on creative director/editor/director is running roughshod over the production. Not to excuse the bad choices that he and various executives and other creatives have made, the reason this thread exists is a collective misread on Sega's part. But to personalize that to iizuka just seemed like you are blaming a named guy.

Trust me I would love if I could point to some dude in SOA and go " he is why shadows personality is bad now" and even I could I dont think I'll ever know the guys name because of the system that exists. It allows to blame named dudes instead of executives making bad descions. For example the sonic film.

Rambling, point being. While there are certainly situations in entertainment where you can blame a single dude. This isnt really one of em

That's huge corporations in a nutshell to be honest: the ones really pulling the string are usually always in the shadows, while the poor bastards they force their sometimes absolutely retarded decisions on get most of the blame because they are the ones whose names are actually associated with the product and in the public eye.

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I personally think that outside of the corporate problem, part of what leads to an absence of other characters is level design. As is, since Unleashed Sonic Team has focused solely on designing levels to highlight Sonic's speed instead of designing levels to challenge players to use Sonic's abilities to gain and maintain speed, it's only natural not to have other playable characters. How can you expect to play as other characters when every level is just designed to highlight Sonic. You have to change the level design to challenge the player to use the abilities at their disposal to go fast. When you switch up the design that way suddenly the tools at other characters disposal aren't game breaking (bar bad design in and of itself) but rather options you have at your disposal to figure out how to use for the results you want. It's what makes the whole focus on Sonic's gameplay so erroneous as even though his should be the basis for everyone, if all you do is design levels to highlight Sonic's speed it never matters what you do gameplay wise as the level design betrays anything but Sonic going fast for a prebaked highlight reel.

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52 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

I personally think that outside of the corporate problem, part of what leads to an absence of other characters is level design. As is, since Unleashed Sonic Team has focused solely on designing levels to highlight Sonic's speed instead of designing levels to challenge players to use Sonic's abilities to gain and maintain speed, it's only natural not to have other playable characters. How can you expect to play as other characters when every level is just designed to highlight Sonic. You have to change the level design to challenge the player to use the abilities at their disposal to go fast. When you switch up the design that way suddenly the tools at other characters disposal aren't game breaking (bar bad design in and of itself) but rather options you have at your disposal to figure out how to use for the results you want. It's what makes the whole focus on Sonic's gameplay so erroneous as even though his should be the basis for everyone, if all you do is design levels to highlight Sonic's speed it never matters what you do gameplay wise as the level design betrays anything but Sonic going fast for a prebaked highlight reel.

And when Sonic Team does stray from Unleashed's formula, we get the Werehog and Avatar at best and the gimmick levels from SLW at worst. Wouldn't be too hard to have more mech levels as Tails from there. If they decided to take cues from FPS games like Overwatch, it could work. 

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Basically, yeah. Any other playable character since 06 has been ironically a different version of Sonic. Werehog, Classic Sonic, the Avatar, Shadow. They didn't even made Tails fully playable in Sonic 4 Episode 2, but guess who they made playable? Metal Sonic. Sonic Team are fucking cowards, that's what they are. Maybe, just MAYBE, those guys at Japan saw that people are no longer "affraid" of playing with Tails, Knuckles or other characters after Sonic Mania. People actually want to play as them. For years. Sometimes I wish Sonic Team would make all these characters playable again, even if it's not very polished, but fun and different, I'll take it. Try something different and bigger. Then I remember that Big Red Button tried this and their team had a lot of Naughty Dog veterans, so.........

I just wanna play as fucking Knuckles.

 

 

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Sorry if it's shifting the topic a little, I had meant to post it before but didn't want to double post

Quote

Games always reuse assets and stuff, and that's fine, but it looks and feels like we've been going through the same areas for quite a while now and dedicating less and less time to doing so.

There was talk about level and character design, and I think that SA2 had an interesting solution to this. Originally they were only going to have Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman, while Shadow and Rouge would be story only characters. (Source) You can still see this in the game in more subtle ways (such as every Shadow stage BGM having backing vocals except for Sky Rail and Radical Highway. Sky Rail was originally a Sonic stage before being turned into a Shadow stage. (Image) Every other character has a consistent theme for their levels, yet these two tracks sound more like Sonic's theme than Shadow's in his other stages).

Eventually it's likely they decided they would add Shadow, Rouge, and Tails and they did this by reusing the game play from Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman. (this isn't 100% confirmed that I could find, but would explain why they weren't shown in game at first at all) I understand why some don't like this change, more so with Tails being limited to his mech. I just think it's an interesting part to look at considering Forces also had many characters that were story only. I also think the theme, music, and levels differed enough that both sides were worth playing, compared to Heroes where the same stages were reused with some differences.

Speaking of which SA2 also would reuse assets in more subtle ways. Part of this was by having a consistent theme for levels they could use to make it feel different without actually making new assets for as much. (one stage theme in day vs night, the space stages, etc.) As a quick example, this area in Eggman's Iron Gate's lost Chao section can also be found in a different layout in Rouge's Security Hall stage. I only found this out recently and was pretty surprised about it. They even had to add platforms since Eggman lacks Rouge's wall climbing ability.

Spoiler

GkrhCZU.png

 

9 hours ago, Tarnish said:

To say he likes Shadow because he had a hand in creating him, well...looking at the way Shadow was portrayed and handled in the games, I don't really get all that love coming through. He had a good introduction in Adventure 2, the way they brought him back right in the very next game was pretty "Lol, wut?", his origin story and own game was kinda royally messed up on multiple fronts, in Sonic 2006 he was this emo, "I don't really give a damn about anything anymore" kinda guy who felt very different than the character in Adventure 2 and Heroes (and even in his own game), after that he was quickly sidelined with the other characters.

So if that's how you handle a character you really like, then...I guess Iizuka really does like Shadow.

That's because the other co creator of Shadow (Shirou Maekawa) left Sega in 2008. (who had nothing to do with the writing in Shadow's game, oddly enough) Outside of Sonic Battle (which seems to be one time staff in general), other writers besides Maekawa seem to struggle at writing him. Here is a translated interview that shows about what he thought about the series (pre Sonic 06).

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3 hours ago, Jango said:

Basically, yeah. Any other playable character since 06 has been ironically a different version of Sonic. Werehog, Classic Sonic, the Avatar, Shadow. They didn't even made Tails fully playable in Sonic 4 Episode 2, but guess who they made playable? Metal Sonic. Sonic Team are fucking cowards, that's what they are. Maybe, just MAYBE, those guys at Japan saw that people are no longer "affraid" of playing with Tails, Knuckles or other characters after Sonic Mania. People actually want to play as them. For years. Sometimes I wish Sonic Team would make all these characters playable again, even if it's not very polished, but fun and different, I'll take it. Try something different and bigger. Then I remember that Big Red Button tried this and their team had a lot of Naughty Dog veterans, so.........

I just wanna play as fucking Knuckles.

 

 

SEGA was responsible for a lot of why Rise of Lyric stank; mostly in the form of constant meddling with the developers to change it, culminating with demanding they move it to the Wii-U and forcing it to be rebuilt in large part on a tight deadline.

Of course, some are going to blame the other characters, but nothing about playing as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy in one game necessarily ruins it technically; Dimps proved that three times.  In fact, the other Boom games aren’t technically broken and they have all those characters.  Well, one has Sticks instead if Amy, but another has both.

People have started arguing that a rougher game with more playable characters is a lesser evil than a smoother game with just Sonic, but that really shouldn’t be a choice we have to make, and that people are discussing it at all just shows unreliable SEGA has gotten with their mascot.

I think the issue here is it’s one of those “because they can” things.  So long as SEGA has Yakuza and a Total War and Megami Tensei; not to mention the massive arcade revenues, Sonic games being good is optional.  They’d rather Sonic games be good than bad, but they aren’t investing the big bucks into Sonic being an amazing killer app, and if they think a gimmick alone can sell the games, they won’t mind if the gimmick isn’t well-made.

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I guess I should give an opinion on the e of the actual topic, since I either don't recall doing so or it simply got lost amongst the bitter politics.

So about having different characters to play as, bring that back please and make it at least a little more common between/during annual releases. It's really sorta hard not to miss that despite Forces, Boom overall, and the mobile games taking advantage of a few appreciated excuses to sneak them. If Team Sonic Racing's original release couldn't really be a blowout, at least have it be a nice first step to having that be a notable feature again. 

Now don't be mistaken, this isn't a call to do another--...a mainline game with 9+ different characters right out the gate. This doesn't even need to be something that's done everytime, even if to fill in for the technical three-five games that were primarily the opposite. All I'm saying is experiment a little more with not only what works, but with what has almost worked anytime in history. In addition to an occasional fresh idea or take on an idea that they're inspired to try, of course.

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14 hours ago, Tarnish said:

That's why I said it FEELS LIKE THAT to me, indicating it's just my personal feeling on the matter/situation. Obviously it can be explained many other ways as well.

To say he likes Shadow because he had a hand in creating him, well...looking at the way Shadow was portrayed and handled in the games, I don't really get all that love coming through. He had a good introduction in Adventure 2, the way they brought him back right in the very next game was pretty "Lol, wut?", his origin story and own game was kinda royally messed up on multiple fronts, in Sonic 2006 he was this emo, "I don't really give a damn about anything anymore" kinda guy who felt very different than the character in Adventure 2 and Heroes (and even in his own game), after that he was quickly sidelined with the other characters.

So if that's how you handle a character you really like, then...I guess Iizuka really does like Shadow.

And the way he’s written starting from Free Riders...

 

“faints”

 

In Boom, he goes through the same wringer of nefariousness as Penelope Mouse, Risky Boots, and Sindel, but otherwise he merely exists to be mean and nasty to people, just showing up approx or nothing to provide a bonus fight for the sake of tradition. 

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IMHO, the fanbase. Believe it or not, SEGA actually listens. How do you think we got the custom character in Sonic Forces? The fanbase used to complain about Sonic's "shitty friends". Now that they've been reduced to cheerleaders and spectators, all of a sudden the fandom wants them to be playable again. While I agree that a company should listen to the people, they ultimately have to do what is best for business.

The series also suffers from what I call "Toriyama Syndrome".

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41 minutes ago, Mountaindewandsprite said:

IMHO, the fanbase. Believe it or not, SEGA actually listens. How do you think we got the custom character in Sonic Forces? The fanbase used to complain about Sonic's "shitty friends". Now that they've been reduced to cheerleaders and spectators, all of a sudden the fandom wants them to be playable again. While I agree that a company should listen to the people, they ultimately have to do what is best for business.

The series also suffers from what I call "Toriyama Syndrome".

I don't think the fanbase every really complained too much about shitty friends. I think a bunch of olderfans and reviewers did that. I was a kid at the time, we just wanted better games. The " fandom " isn't a unified force, the " fandom " is different age ranges demographics and interests so it wasn't " all of a sudden " those people existed the entire time. Sega was never listening to those people,  they listened to a very specific group of people because they thought it would be profitable. And those people didn't buy shit, except a classic sonic game and bounced and the people who were buying the 3d games dwindled over time.

There is no " toriyama Syndrome " , sega didn't understand you could have different demographics and versions of a character untill just now, and they are scrambling to unfuck the situation they have spent years due to corporate incompetence putting themselves into. Blaming the fanbase for this to me speaks of a fundamental misunderstanding of what the issue is and treats sonic like he exists in a vacuum. And not like he exists with a myriad other series that have multiple versions of itself with out driving away an entire section of its fanbase for a cash grab that didn't work for over a decade. They aren't listening now because " all of a sudden the fanbase changed " they are listening now because they realized that market they wanted didn't give a shit about their normal product

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2 hours ago, DabigRG said:

And how would you define that?

Basically when a series (like DBZ and DBS) begins to ignore equally integral (or at least beloved) supporting characters to focus on the MC and maybe a another character (i.e. Vegeta). On paper this doesn't seem bad due to the main character being the central focus, however, when supporting characters who were once competent and independent become useless damsels who rely on the MC to save their tails, that's when you have a problem.

1 hour ago, Shadowlax said:

The " fandom " isn't a unified force, the " fandom " is different age ranges demographics and interests

I understand that, however it is evident that SEGA also cares about the classic-era fans' opinions considering the last 3 or so games have pandered to them by having Classic Sonic, Green Hill Zone, etc.

 

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15 minutes ago, Mountaindewandsprite said:

...when supporting characters who were once competent and independent become useless damsels who rely on the MC to save their tails, that's when you have a problem.

Outside of tournaments this was always the case.

For Sonic this...just randomly started happening.

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30 minutes ago, Mountaindewandsprite said:

Basically when a series (like DBZ and DBS) begins to ignore equally integral (or at least beloved) supporting characters to focus on the MC and maybe a another character (i.e. Vegeta). On paper this doesn't seem bad due to the main character being the central focus, however, when supporting characters who were once competent and independent become useless damsels who rely on the MC to save their tails, that's when you have a problem.

 

Ah! That's right!

Fitting name, there.

14 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Outside of tournaments this was always the case.

For Sonic this...just randomly started happening.

Technically, it arguably happened around Heroes with Knuckles and then Amy. Hell, even Sonic himself had running jokes about how weak and/or irrelevant he was compared to the others for a while.

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29 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Outside of tournaments this was always the case.

For Sonic this...just randomly started happening.

Randomly? It’s been a problem with the games since Colors.

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4 hours ago, Mountaindewandsprite said:

IMHO, the fanbase. Believe it or not, SEGA actually listens. How do you think we got the custom character in Sonic Forces? The fanbase used to complain about Sonic's "shitty friends". Now that they've been reduced to cheerleaders and spectators, all of a sudden the fandom wants them to be playable again. While I agree that a company should listen to the people, they ultimately have to do what is best for business.

The series also suffers from what I call "Toriyama Syndrome".

 

4 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

I don't think the fanbase every really complained too much about shitty friends. I think a bunch of olderfans and reviewers did that. I was a kid at the time, we just wanted better games. The " fandom " isn't a unified force, the " fandom " is different age ranges demographics and interests so it wasn't " all of a sudden " those people existed the entire time. Sega was never listening to those people,  they listened to a very specific group of people because they thought it would be profitable. And those people didn't buy shit, except a classic sonic game and bounced and the people who were buying the 3d games dwindled over time.

There is no " toriyama Syndrome " , sega didn't understand you could have different demographics and versions of a character untill just now, and they are scrambling to unfuck the situation they have spent years due to corporate incompetence putting themselves into. Blaming the fanbase for this to me speaks of a fundamental misunderstanding of what the issue is and treats sonic like he exists in a vacuum. And not like he exists with a myriad other series that have multiple versions of itself with out driving away an entire section of its fanbase for a cash grab that didn't work for over a decade. They aren't listening now because " all of a sudden the fanbase changed " they are listening now because they realized that market they wanted didn't give a shit about their normal product

While SEGA responding to complaints is certainly part of the equation, I think that rather than the complaints being irrational and/or coming from people who aren't really fans, the problem has been that SEGA doesn't make the best sense of complaints.  Like the cat that gets burnt by sitting on a hot stove and then avoids stoves, even if they're cold, SEGA understands what, but not necessarily why. 

It's easy enough to see why some older fans don't like playing as the vast majority of Sonic's cast.  Most debuted either in spin-offs that play differently than the core platformers, or core platformers from Dreamcast onward that also incorporated some play styles rather different from those of the Genesis Sonic games.  People don't like other characters primarily because of that, though this isn't the only reason; Big and Amy also have their detractors because their personality's annoy some people.  However, by the same principles, it should be easy to see which characters should be safe bets to keep in.  Characters who can play without Sonic without it feeling forced, and without bringing in a less appealing personality, didn't have a valid reason to be removed.

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10 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

And the way he’s written starting from Free Riders...

 

“faints”

For me he will always remain the "YU GATTIS, SAWNIK!" guy.

SEGA should sell a T-shirt with that written on it...

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