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I'm not trying to argue those points as, again, the passion is clear in those works. What I think I'm trying to work through is the fact that it must've been impossible to craft an experience with the breadth of what they'd envisioned for 06, which was the last time they were truly unfettered to dream of what Sonic was going to evolve into, in an environment that seems to have forbidden them from ever trying again. I don't claim to know what mandates or moratoriums were put in place afterward, but after 15 years, should we really ever expect to see that same level of ambition again? Not that Sonic Team even officially exists anymore...

Of course, I realize we don't all want the same things. But again, I lay that blame at SEGA for refusing to commit to a consistent framework.

I want to apologize if I've come off as antagonistic. I just want Sonic to be the best he can be, and I wish I still had any faith that that were a possibility. Then again, maybe the dissolution of Sonic Team will be the shakeup that breathes some life/sustainability into him again. I just wanted to say that it isn't worth agonizing over.

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Sonic Team has been responding in a reactionary manner to fan pressure since the second Sonic Adventure game, where they made changes to the game's structure to make Tails and Shadow playable characters after they weren't in the initial reveal. It's always going to be something you have to consider when you're working with a franchise like this. 

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In terms of storytelling, ESPECIALLY considering continuity, Sonic 06 was definitly the last big ambitious game.
Altough Unleashed and Black Knight shot for the stars as well. They just feel more episodic.
Which I'm fine with, but right now I feel we desperatly need a big epic game again, we had more then a decade of random low stake filler. About time for a fist pumping grand adventure again. Forces tried to be one, but had the impact of a wet fart.


But yeah, Unleashed and Mania were definitly passion projects. Generations too, even if it's short and only concentrated on gameplay.
I don't know. Honestly, i don't think passion is so much the problem. Even now I still see glimpses of passion, good ideas and respect coming trough.
I just think Sonic is suffering severely from 'Too many cooks in the kitchens" syndrome. As soon as Classic Sonic showed his face in Sonic Forces, you just knew that game reeked of "suits in a boardroom made a grocery list of popular things" rather then any kind of artistic endeavor.
The only thing that would give me more confidence in the next game is if Sega can gurantee they just put a team of visionairies on the project and let them be. Frick, I wouldn't even care if it's a new Classic style game, Adventure game, boost game, brand new crazy thing. Don't care what you do, but DO IT. Have a vision and go for it. Better then trying to please everyone with a half assed uneducated blind grasp at the past.
But with all the other problems Sega's going trough now, you can bet they're desperate for succes with the next Sonic game.
Which to me sounds like we're getting another soulless grocery list Frankenstein game up next.

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You're not wrong. There's been a willingness to appease fans for a while. But I do think there's a difference in altering a game they designed to satisfy fans' concerns and flat out letting their nay-saying rule you into never daring to be big again. If that even is the case. Could be from higher up.

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14 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Sonic Team has been responding in a reactionary manner to fan pressure since the second Sonic Adventure game, where they made changes to the game's structure to make Tails and Shadow playable characters after they weren't in the initial reveal. It's always going to be something you have to consider when you're working with a franchise like this. 

Source? I hear this talked about so often over the year and I'm like... Do we know for sure that that was the case? Nothing about the contents of the final game suggest that this was ever the case. And as far as the E3 trailer goes, it simply could have omitted Tails, Shadow and Rouge. Tails was likely not shown because of the three returning characters he was the only one to see complete change to his gameplay, and Eggman was the more interesting angle.

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19 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Sonic Team has been responding in a reactionary manner to fan pressure since the second Sonic Adventure game, where they made changes to the game's structure to make Tails and Shadow playable characters after they weren't in the initial reveal.

You're not wrong. There's been a willingness to appease fans for a while. But I do think there's a difference in altering a game they designed to satisfy fans' concerns and flat out letting their nay-saying rule you into never daring to be big again. If that even is the case. Could be from higher up.

 

edit: forgot to quote

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56 minutes ago, HPX said:

I'm not trying to argue those points as, again, the passion is clear in those works. What I think I'm trying to work through is the fact that it must've been impossible to craft an experience with the breadth of what they'd envisioned for 06, which was the last time they were truly unfettered to dream of what Sonic was going to evolve into, in an environment that seems to have forbidden them from ever trying again. I don't claim to know what mandates or moratoriums were put in place afterward, but after 15 years, should we really ever expect to see that same level of ambition again? Not that Sonic Team even officially exists anymore...

Of course, I realize we don't all want the same things. But again, I lay that blame at SEGA for refusing to commit to a consistent framework.

I want to apologize if I've come off as antagonistic. I just want Sonic to be the best he can be, and I wish I still had any faith that that were a possibility. Then again, maybe the dissolution of Sonic Team will be the shakeup that breathes some life/sustainability into him again. I just wanted to say that it isn't worth agonizing over.

I feel like Lost World and the Storybook titles (as well as Rise of Lyric) would fit the bill of “trying to be something new”; albeit with less devotion to them, especially Lost World, whereas Forces both buckles to outside pressure AND has no unfetteredness  to it. Colors and Generations did have more dedication than Forces, but far less than Unleashed and Mania.

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14 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

Source? I hear this talked about so often over the year and I'm like... Do we know for sure that that was the case? Nothing about the contents of the final game suggest that this was ever the case. And as far as the E3 trailer goes, it simply could have omitted Tails, Shadow and Rouge. Tails was likely not shown because of the three returning characters he was the only one to see complete change to his gameplay, and Eggman was the more interesting angle.

I've heard this was the case for years but now that I'm looking into it it seems like it's just hearsay. There was a lot of drama around Tails specifically because Sonic Team denied he was in the game for a long time, but that could be explained as them being coy. 


But yeah, I was misguided in that other post. Disregard.

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2 minutes ago, Wraith said:

I've heard this was the case for years but now that I'm looking into it it seems like it's just hearsay. There was a lot of drama around Tails specifically because Sonic Team denied he was in the game for a long time, but that could be explained as them being coy. 


 

Admittedly, Sonic Team were actually more resistant during the period in the early 2010s, as they refused to add additional playable characters or darker storylines until Forces, originally only had Classic Sonic once in Generations, and did some very odd experimental concepts in Lost World.

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10 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

I feel like Lost World and the Storybook titles (as well as Rise of Lyric) would fit the bill of “trying to be something new”

But surely they must have known that straying so far from the core design principles of the series and character wasn't going to be sustainable, right? Did they really expect to redefine and re-establish Sonic the Hedgehog from then-on-out with the Storybook games? Or Lost World?

I just don't look at those titles and see any sort forward-thinking confidence that this was the direction that Sonic should go in. I mean they were just throwing shit at the wall, not even bothering to notice if any of it had stuck or not.

But while I can only ever see Colors as just them waving a white flag, that might have been a point where they said, "Okay we did what they said. This should be enough." And sure enough, Gens followed very closely in its design and attitude. Gens reads as an apology letter, but even then, that game was purely retrospective from the jump! But despite how much fans love it, SEGA hasn't managed to recreate it since.

So they've been frantically trying "new" things, but seemingly for the sake of doing something new instead of really, truly looking inward and deciding--for themselves, what they want Sonic to be.

Maybe with the exception of Boom, which appears to have been an attempt to wash their hands of the series entirely by shoving it into the hands of an overseas developer.

Forces was the most cynical attempt at fan service this series has seen, as it flat-out lied to or monkey-pawed the tired fans they tried to court with things like how much of a non-factor Chaos was and the shameless Episode Shadow. So again, we see the theme of this franchise trying desperately to leverage its past because it's so ashamed of what it's been for the past decade that it has no legs to stand on or identity to support itself.

Classic Sonic. Gotta go fast. Memes. These are the defining traits of this era of Sonic. Do you see what I mean? This is what I mean about 06. It was the last time they dared to be big, to treat it with respect, and to pave a future for the franchise that fans could look forward to. The back of the box, for whatever its worth, welcomes you to the 'Sonic Age.' The last time they used that sort of language was Boom, and that wasn't even them. It was another developer entirely.

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54 minutes ago, HPX said:

But surely they must have known that straying so far from the core design principles of the series and character wasn't going to be sustainable, right? Did they really expect to redefine and re-establish Sonic the Hedgehog from then-on-out with the Storybook games? Or Lost World?

I just don't look at those titles and see any sort forward-thinking confidence that this was the direction that Sonic should go in. I mean they were just throwing shit at the wall, not even bothering to notice if any of it had stuck or not.

But while I can only ever see Colors as just them waving a white flag, that might have been a point where they said, "Okay we did what they said. This should be enough." And sure enough, Gens followed very closely in its design and attitude. Gens reads as an apology letter, but even then, that game was purely retrospective from the jump! But despite how much fans love it, SEGA hasn't managed to recreate it since.

So they've been frantically trying "new" things, but seemingly for the sake of doing something new instead of really, truly looking inward and deciding--for themselves, what they want Sonic to be.

Maybe with the exception of Boom, which appears to have been an attempt to wash their hands of the series entirely by shoving it into the hands of an overseas developer.

Forces was the most cynical attempt at fan service this series has seen, as it flat-out lied to or monkey-pawed the tired fans they tried to court with things like how much of a non-factor Chaos was and the shameless Episode Shadow. So again, we see the theme of this franchise trying desperately to leverage its past because it's so ashamed of what it's been for the past decade that it has no legs to stand on or identity to support itself.

Classic Sonic. Gotta go fast. Memes. These are the defining traits of this era of Sonic. Do you see what I mean? This is what I mean about 06. It was the last time they dared to be big, to treat it with respect, and to pave a future for the franchise that fans could look forward to. The back of the box, for whatever its worth, welcomes you to the 'Sonic Age.' The last time they used that sort of language was Boom, and that wasn't even them. It was another developer entirely.

I believe that they did attempt to re-define the series with Lost World, but due to it failing even harder than Unelashed, they set themselves in stone that they wouldn’t be re-defining anything whatsoever for the rest of their run; leading into the hilariously shameless fan-pandering palooza that is Forces. Forces even panders to groups most would see as mutually exclusive; why is Zavok so prominent in what is otherwise an Adventure game, with boost gameplay and Classic Sonic? 
 

This clip from a well-like Disney channel show sums up Forces pretty well:

You have to put in extreme effort to make such disparate efforts work together, and played seriously no less. 

Sonic Team didn’t have that, and so the game is dysfunctional.

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9 hours ago, HPX said:

I hardly think anyone is asserting that the next game makes or breaks the series. But many have expressed that it will make or break their own continued interest/investment in the franchise, which is absolutely valid. I'm not a lifelong fan, I only got into Sonic 3 or 4 years ago now. But I've fostered a really strong love for him in that time. That said, the elements that hooked and inspired me have been completely missing from the series for well over the past decade.

I'm mostly morbidly curious at this point to see how they fail the series again for the next game, as it's crystal clear they aren't interested in catering to fans who miss mastering Sonic's physics to  express themselves in creative ways (which was literally the defining trait that set him apart from all other platformers,) as well as intriguing lore as a backdrop against stylish, endearing, and nuanced characters in plots that respect themselves and the player. I hope the next game features at least one of the above, but I have every reason to doubt it will.

And even if it somehow does manage to rekindle that spark, there's no guarantee that they'll build a stable franchise out of it and consistently deliver. I do wonder if they'll ever earn that trust, but they certainly don't have it now. That's the reason for all the anxiety in the fanbase over the next game. Other series don't have the utterly FUBAR track record of Sonic the Hedgehog. Other fandoms don't have to deal with so many concerns and questions and doubts and tribalism because it's highly unusual to have such an inconsistent output as Sonic has--precisely because it hurts the brand.

The reason we're the laughingstock of video games is largely because of SEGA's failure to respect the brand. The last time this series had any real sort of ambition or passion for what it wanted to be and--maybe more importantly: where it wanted to go, was 06. How sad is that? They are--to this day--ridiculed for caring as much as they did back then. What reason do they have to start caring again? It's immaterial if the games are good or not. Sonic prints money.

So I'm with you, iambitter21; people really should sober up, as it's really not a big deal. I'd much rather try and make something myself that captures the spirit of what endeared me to this series so much, than suffer whatever new embarrassments are sure to come from the mascot franchise of a dying company whose best days are behind it. 

Tl;dr you're right, it's silly to care so much. Sorry for the rant. 

this wasn't what I meant by not caring about your opinions, you're only proving my point instead.

honestly though, I'm done with this thread. have fun making more arguments that amount to nothing in the long run

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10 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

The Sonic franchise is no longer even in SEGA’s top three... the losses may or may not effect it depending on the details. 

This is another "fans panicking" situation.

http://segabits.com/blog/2020/11/09/sega-sammys-latest-financial-report-breaks-down-covid-19-loses-rise-in-home-software-sales-including-sonic-and-persona-franchises/

This Segabits article reports the Sega Sammy's latest financial situation, also with the comparison between quarter 1 and quarter 2 of this year. In Q1 Sonic was 4th with no new games released and not even 1 million sold in 2020, Q2 has Sonic being 2nd closely behind Total war with 2,3 mln units, this includes sales of Mario & Sonic Tokyo 2020 and Team Sonic Racing, I think in 2020.

Considering no new games were released this year, and these are 2 spin-offs, I'm surprised they sold this much. But I still think it's the work of the movie success mixed with digital sales.

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On 11/9/2020 at 11:47 AM, Roger_van_der_weide said:

In terms of storytelling, ESPECIALLY considering continuity, Sonic 06 was definitly the last big ambitious game.
Altough Unleashed and Black Knight shot for the stars as well. They just feel more episodic.
Which I'm fine with, but right now I feel we desperatly need a big epic game again, we had more then a decade of random low stake filler. About time for a fist pumping grand adventure again. Forces tried to be one, but had the impact of a wet fart.


But yeah, Unleashed and Mania were definitly passion projects. Generations too, even if it's short and only concentrated on gameplay.
I don't know. Honestly, i don't think passion is so much the problem. Even now I still see glimpses of passion, good ideas and respect coming trough.
I just think Sonic is suffering severely from 'Too many cooks in the kitchens" syndrome. As soon as Classic Sonic showed his face in Sonic Forces, you just knew that game reeked of "suits in a boardroom made a grocery list of popular things" rather then any kind of artistic endeavor.
The only thing that would give me more confidence in the next game is if Sega can gurantee they just put a team of visionairies on the project and let them be. Frick, I wouldn't even care if it's a new Classic style game, Adventure game, boost game, brand new crazy thing. Don't care what you do, but DO IT. Have a vision and go for it. Better then trying to please everyone with a half assed uneducated blind grasp at the past.
But with all the other problems Sega's going trough now, you can bet they're desperate for succes with the next Sonic game.
Which to me sounds like we're getting another soulless grocery list Frankenstein game up next.

What makes this even worse is that Lost World already tried to add more dramatic elements, but when the game overall was so silly, these moments come off as a wet fart (as opposed to the whole game, comedic or otherwise, being one, as in Forces), sorta like a lot of Dreamworks films such as Home and The Boss Baby. They did this with scenes such as Eggman breaking the ice wall and the Deadly Six trying to get personal with Sonic, culminating in him being all alone, which were applauded at release and forgotten now. It’s entirely possibly they were trying to be more like the Mario RPGs in tone with Lost World, but I feel it’s too late for Sonic to use that approach, given that it would come off as underwhelming compared to the more in-your-face drama of earlier games. There was even some continuity between the filler games, which Forces intentionally tried to smash to make themselves look more grandiose. 

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As I think I already mentioned in this thread, SEGA's losses are related to COVID hammering their arcade business. It has nothing to do with Sonic. 

2.3 million in the last quarter for a year with no new releases is pretty damn bonkers. I'd worry less about pointless milestones like where it is on the sales podium (SEGA's sim and strategy games are big sellers in Europe, you have to make peace with this) and more on the numbers, which are actually very good. 

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14 hours ago, Tracker_TD said:

As I think I already mentioned in this thread, SEGA's losses are related to COVID hammering their arcade business.

Didn't they report record losses last year

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2 hours ago, HPX said:

Didn't they report record losses last year

I was talking about the current one everyone's crying doomsday over. Even in that case, the article outright says packaged games made a profit. The digital games suffered, but I'm still not seeing a huge cause for concern here even then. 

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15 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

I'm still not seeing a huge cause for concern

The company is contracting. That much is clear. Whether or not it will have a negative impact on the quality and variety of their games output remains to be seen. What concerns me is that, with less resources to go around and after how well a game of Forces quality sold, why should SEGA feel the need to allocate more resources to Sonic?

Then again, maybe it isn't necessarily a question of x resources, but of inspired developers and competent management. SA2 was made by a team of less than half of what Sonic Adventure had, after all.

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6 hours ago, 8ther said:

What are the chances that the next 3D game will have at least Tails and Knuckles as playable characters?

I'm gonna be optimistic and hope that Sega realizes that the Classic & Modern Sonic gimmick can only go so far for the 3D games.

I'd say 50% chance.

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7 hours ago, 8ther said:

What are the chances that the next 3D game will have at least Tails and Knuckles as playable characters?

I could see another playable character or two but I'm not sure if they'll try and tackle a flight gimmick next time. 

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