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Kuzu

History Repeats: A look at the changing demographics of Sonic the Hedgehog

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8 minutes ago, Wraith said:

You're looking at this all wrong. If you count every minor gameplay shift as a entirely new gameplay style with a niche you have to account for then you might as well count Tails and Knuckles in Sonic 3 as different styles too. Sonic CD has a different take on level geography and a time travel gimmick so we might as well treat them as another base we have to pander to. 

The 3D Sonic games and the problems(automation, lack of polish, shitty controls) they have are largely pretty similar across the board. Maybe some people have preferences but that's like saying that Wind Waker fans and Twilight Princess fans are both different bases you have to pander to when both groups overlap a lot and turned out for the next two games.
 

I find that interesting, as every time I see people complain about these titles it's because they have different styles. If it really is that minor, why did so many people try to say new characters were the problem despite the Classic games introducing new characters? When the reason was instead that they were inconsistent game play wise, and this continued even after other characters were removed?

Back when those games came out there were a ton of complaints though. People hated Wind Waker for not being like Ocarina of Time the same way Sonic fans do against Colors now. I'm not saying Sega needs to pander to all of these different things, I'm trying to explain why 3D Sonic fans aren't unified in their opinions. If someone really liked Silver's game play in 06, too bad there's no games using it besides 06. Classic Sonic had a good base that the characters shared, with the changes mostly being new ways to access different areas. Adventure 1 is the closest 3D Sonic got to this, and even that still had disliked parts. If 3D Sonic was like Classic Sonic, it would mean everyone would have Sonic as a base instead of just Shadow, but with their own minor gimmicks to make them different instead of majorly different game play styles. (again why people dislike the shooting and treasure hunting)

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8 minutes ago, DryLagoon said:

I find that interesting, as every time I see people complain about these titles it's because they have different styles. If it really is that minor, why did so many people try to say new characters were the problem despite the Classic games introducing new characters instead of them being inconsistent?
 

Most people are bad at articulating why they feel a certain way about something and tend to blame the wrong things. 
 

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Back when those games came out there were a ton of complaints though. People hated Wind Waker for not being like Ocarina of Time the same way Sonic fans do against Colors now.

It became obvious over time that Wind Waker was a worthy sequel who's stylistic changes complimented the series and had it's own advantages. Sonic Colors, by comparison, has either been forgotten about or looked upon less than fondly over time since the content and the depth of that content just doesn't match what we had before. It makes changes largely in a reactive way instead of every tweak being bold, deliberate, and measured like with Wind Waker. Nobody will come around to it over time because there's nothing to come around on. 

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I'm not saying Sega needs to pander to all of these different things, I'm trying to explain why 3D Sonic fans aren't unified in their opinions. If someone really liked Silver's game play in 06, too bad there's no games using it besides 06. Classic Sonic had a good base that the characters shared, with the changes mostly being new ways to access different areas. Adventure 1 is the closest 3D Sonic got to this, and even that still had disliked parts. If 3D Sonic was like Classic Sonic, it would mean everyone would have Sonic as a base instead of just Shadow, but with their own minor gimmicks to make them different instead of majorly different game play styles. (again why people dislike the shooting and treasure hunting)

I mean I wouldn't mind if every alternate character was based a whole lot more around Sonic so I can't argue there. I just think that most Sonic games already do base player control around Sonic to a decent degree and just change the level/win condition to match the player's abilities. That would be a valid way to do it too as long as it was done well. 

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7 minutes ago, Wraith said:

It became obvious over time that Wind Waker was a worthy sequel who's stylistic changes complimented the series and had it's own advantages. Sonic Colors, by comparison, has either been forgotten about or looked upon less than fondly over time since the content and the depth of that content just doesn't match what we had before. It makes changes largely in a reactive way instead of every tweak being deliberate and measured like with Wind Waker. Nobody will come around to it over time because there's nothing to come around on. 

I mean I wouldn't mind if every alternate character was based a whole lot more around Sonic so I can't argue there. I just think that most Sonic games already do base player control around Sonic to a decent degree and just change the level/win condition to match the player's abilities. That would be a valid way to do it too as long as it was done well. 

That's a fair point. Maybe a better example would be Adventure itself then. While it has many issues it has it's own fans, while Classic fans at the time were very opposed to it and wanted their style back. I personally am okay with the Classic and Modern split, but not that one is not Sonic. Rather I think having them split helps both fans get what they want and both are Sonic. Older fans get their visual look, classic characters, and the game play they like, less story details. Modern fans get their visual look, new characters, and hopefully in the future a game play style they can like for more than one title, and more story. Think of it like how in the past you had console Zelda titles and handheld Zelda titles.

I think it would be a good compromise for Modern. It's also what these fan demos are doing. I don't see any popular recreations of Knuckles hunting emeralds, but I do see fans trying to make everyone share a base with Sonic but with their own special moves.

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3 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Sonic isn't the only franchise to go through this, but other series manage to handle it much more gracefully. There are a million different Mega Man, but it's nowhere near as fractured and vitriolic.

In fairness though, Mega Man's gameplay doesn't diversify itself nearly as much as Sonic has over the years. Out of the core Mega Man franchises, you've got Classic, X, Zero, ZX, Legends, Battle Network, and Star Force.

Classic, X, Zero and ZX all largely play the same in terms of the basic gameplay. X and beyond further evolved the gameplay, as X was a much faster-paced version of Classic gameplay, and Zero further expanded that by being a action-platformer mixed hack and slash based on Zero and X's gameplay in X. Despite that, the point still remains that there's a core there that remains the same. ZX then takes the X and Zero gameplay and turns it into a Metroidvania. Again, a bit different, but still retaining a core gameplay loop that people enjoyed.

Battle Network changed it into a RPG card-based battle system, but even then, it remained fairly consistent. Star Force is more or less a evolution of Battle Network. Legends has full 3D gameplay, etc.

Technically, there's different MM series, but at least four out of seven keep the traditional gameplay loop in-place, while evolving and making alterations. It's never been as drastic as it was back in the 2000s and 2010s where you had Adventure, Heroes, Shadow, Black Knight, Secret Rings, 06, Boost, LW, hell - even Unleashed's beat em up elements, etc all running in the main series at the same time, with also Advance and Rush having their own styles on GBA/DS as well. 

You can argue technically Shadow is an attempt to evolve Heroes' gameplay, and the same for 06 and Adventure, but they were so insanely gimped and altered that the core gameplay isn't even really there.

 

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3 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Well, there's a reason I say "2000 era" and not Adventure era. Like you said, there's tons of overlap in that decade.

The biggest divide is definitely between the 90's, 2000's, and 2010's becaus of vastly different the aesthetics of those games were.

And people absolutely defend Lost World and Forces, their voices are just drowned out because you guys spend most of your energy shouting about how terrible they are.

People defend forces, particularly infinite. But that's not a 10's fan exclusive thing. There are a bunch of folks who like forces who were adventure era fans because that's the closest thing to that tone they have had in years. There are also a bunch of people who on that same token think forces is not great and they aren't drowning people out. I think more people think that games not great. Either they don't like it all, or they see someone stuff they like but its surrounded by shit that they can't call the game good. Hence a lot of the " Oh hey the CaC and playing as shadow is neat but everything else is hot garbage " thatt's been seen. But forces does have people who see potential in it

No one is defending lost world any. Its not liked. Lost world is all the things @Wraith said about colors but worse and when the magic of colors wore off, for many its when the magic of colors started wearing off. Lost world is so bad it literally killed the sonic modding community until mania and forces

3 hours ago, Wraith said:

The way you guys break this shit up just doesn't make a ton of sense. at the MOST there's a generational divide between classic fans and everyone else, but other than that there's a lot of overlap.


 

Also this. Sega's most successful, particularly with children, product right now is the mobile games. Kids like these characters and going on adventures with them and there isn't as wide a gap as say with some classic fans who think everything that came after CD shouldn't exist. And actually good gameplay styles like the boost in unleashed and in generations are generally appreciated. The divide between fanbases is " classic " then " everything else" Everything can be divided a bit more obviously there are bits of " everything else" people prefer. But they largely don't think that the rest of the franchise shouldn't exist and have no interest interacting with it.

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18 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

In fairness though, Mega Man's gameplay doesn't diversify itself nearly as much as Sonic has over the years. Out of the core Mega Man franchises, you've got Classic, X, Zero, ZX, Legends, Battle Network, and Star Force.

Classic, X, Zero and ZX all largely play the same in terms of the basic gameplay. X and beyond further evolved the gameplay, as X was a much faster-paced version of Classic gameplay, and Zero further expanded that by being a action-platformer mixed hack and slash based on Zero and X's gameplay in X. Despite that, the point still remains that there's a core there that remains the same. ZX then takes the X and Zero gameplay and turns it into a Metroidvania. Again, a bit different, but still retaining a core gameplay loop that people enjoyed.

Battle Network changed it into a RPG card-based battle system, but even then, it remained fairly consistent. Star Force is more or less a evolution of Battle Network. Legends has full 3D gameplay, etc.

Technically, there's different MM series, but at least four out of seven keep the traditional gameplay loop in-place, while evolving and making alterations. It's never been as drastic as it was back in the 2000s and 2010s where you had Adventure, Heroes, Shadow, Black Knight, Secret Rings, 06, Boost, LW, hell - even Unleashed's beat em up elements, etc all running in the main series at the same time, with also Advance and Rush having their own styles on GBA/DS as well. 

You can argue technically Shadow is an attempt to evolve Heroes' gameplay, and the same for 06 and Adventure, but they were so insanely gimped and altered that the core gameplay isn't even really there.

 

I would at least say that the basic control of Sonic has remained mostly the same. 

What's different is the level design and the degree of control. And in extreme cases, the level objective itself.

Stuff like the Chaotix missions in Heroes, most levels in Shadow, and the Werehog fall into this category.

10 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

People defend forces, particularly infinite. But that's not a 10's fan exclusive thing. There are a bunch of folks who like forces who were adventure era fans because that's the closest thing to that tone they have had in years. There are also a bunch of people who on that same token think forces is not great and they aren't drowning people out. I think more people think that games not great. Either they don't like it all, or they see someone stuff they like but its surrounded by shit that they can't call the game good. Hence a lot of the " Oh hey the CaC and playing as shadow is neat but everything else is hot garbage " thatt's been seen. But forces does have people who see potential in it

No one is defending lost world any. Its not liked. Lost world is all the things @Wraith said about colors but worse and when the magic of colors wore off, for many its when the magic of colors started wearing off. Lost world is so bad it literally killed the sonic modding community until mania and forces

You're...not really telling me anything different. I never made any mention of it being a game only liked by fans of the 2010 games , so I don't know what's the point of bringing that up.

Forces and Lost World absolutely have their fans despite their flaws, just like how every game from 15-20 years ago had its fans,  despite theirs. Sonic games tend to sell well regardless of their quality because most people buying these games have no context that these games "suck".  Or like you said, it's the closest thing to what they wanted out of the series and just put up with everything else.

The point still stands; these games have their audiences and some people do like them, because despite their issues, they may have found elements they enjoyed.

 

It's just that the vocal minority who despise everything from the last decade just happen to be the loudest voices right now, and the advent of social media sites makes these voices much more apparent and gives the impressions that these games are more hated than they actually are.

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Damn, the first 8 minutes of that video sorta hit me differently. Pretty much, verbatim, my experience with the series up to that point (though I knew 06 was terrible from the offset so that's something I guess). Hell, outside of a few points, I agree with most of that video...

In general, I feel as though a large part of this uptick in seeing the game before Colors getting more call outs is simply due to such fans growing up. I think back to when I first joined this place some 10 years back. At the time, I was one of the youngest ones on here and wasn't really able to accurately convey any of my opinions. Add in that such opinions were controversial as hell at the time, being met with extreme push back at times (simply implying you liked Unleashed more than Colors got you on more than a few list with people lol), and the internet as whole simple wasn't welcoming to such conversations. Sonic, for lack of a better phrase, "was back" and was receiving good reviews. No one really wanted to look back.

Fast forward a couple of years and, as more and more people from that time started to actively talk online, the basic idea of a number of the 00s games not being bad has basically become common placed.

IIRC, I think back during the lead up to Forces I sort of hinted at this being the case. I believe it was in some topic about "modern" fans looking for youtubers and/ or other social media personalities that weren't "classic biased." Said something along the lines of waiting it out a bit more and seeing how the vanguard continues to shift as more fans grow up. Seeing channels like this start to pop up being the end result.

Though, even as a fan of Unleashed, Rush, and other late 00s titles, I have to wonder what this really means at the end of the day. Are people really just starting to figure out how much the current games are actually lacking when compared earlier titles, or is this just the result to more fans of such games coming into the community now? In the next couple of years are we going to start seeing similar videos pop up for LW or even Forces?

I mean really, it's always surprising to me how long I've been with this series, how long the franchise itself has run, and yet it's still somewhat difficult to see where things are heading. After the debacle that was 2017, I really don't know where ST can/ should go. I know where I want them to go, but I have to keep asking myself if they can even do it. Would it be worth a botched attempt to see them try? Now, with even the movie getting favorable reviews, it feels as though everyone and their mother can make better Sonic content than Sonic Team so I can't even begin to think about what their next project can/needs to do to fix this divide. A problem that's been a thing in the fandom for decades already.

Idk, while I'll fully admit that I love how much I can now talk about what Unleashed did right without a whole crowd telling to me shut up and play LW, I can't help but feel that my own desires for what I believe the series should be are more at odds with what Sega are doing with it by the month. Maybe it is a cycle that will repeat itself every decade or so with every "subdivision" of the fandom. Maybe it's just like I said a couple of years back and it's an age thing. I just don't have the foresight to really say.

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If anything I think the issue with the last few years is that nobody cares anymore. The Sonic movie seems to be popular, but I never hear anyone talk about the games anymore, even to make fun of them.

The only game that had any relevance was Mania and that was short lived. Mania Plus didn't exactly attract much attention. We don't even need to talk about Team Sonic Racing.

But even games before Mania were mostly ignored. No one cared about Lost World. Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric got a lot of rep because it was so hilariously awful and I think that's kind of the point. Sonic has been so mediocre and terrible for so long that people only really talk about the series to take the piss out of it. I don't think it's a shock that the last really popular Sonic media content was the movie, which looked horrendous when it was first revealed.

But even then, Sonic Forces had a hilariously terrible plot and no one really cared because the game was so aggressively mediocre.

For a Sonic product to do well or get any recognition, it has to be absolutely excellent or mind-blowingly terrible. And since Sonic has largely skimmed on mediocre-bad, the series has become largely irrelevant.

Just look at the fan-following. This forum is much smaller now than it was several years ago, the fan community has died out to a large extent (we don't see as much Youtube content or fangames). 

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58 minutes ago, Strickerx5 said:

IIRC, I think back during the lead up to Forces I sort of hinted at this being the case. I believe it was in some topic about "modern" fans looking for youtubers and/ or other social media personalities that weren't "classic biased." Said something along the lines of waiting it out a bit more and seeing how the vanguard continues to shift as more fans grow up. Seeing channels like this start to pop up being the end result.

Yeah I started that thread because I got fed up of big name reviews/videos trash talking what got me into Sonic in the first place. Seeing fans of the adventure era like JebTube and Ruby of Blue get traction is comforting.

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3 hours ago, Strickerx5 said:

Idk, while I'll fully admit that I love how much I can now talk about what Unleashed did right without a whole crowd telling to me shut up and play LW, I can't help but feel that my own desires for what I believe the series should be are more at odds with what Sega are doing with it by the month. Maybe it is a cycle that will repeat itself every decade or so with every "subdivision" of the fandom. Maybe it's just like I said a couple of years back and it's an age thing. I just don't have the foresight to really say.

I dunno what crowd you were around but you deserve a hug for having to deal with that. I wasn't hanging around on forums back around a decade ago (thank god; I would've been terrible) and never talked about it much in YouTube comments or whatever, so thankfully I escaped that. Unleashed is my favorite Sonic game, always thought it got an unfair reputation even before I had my first full playthrough of it. And that includes some aspects of the Werehog, as well.

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4 hours ago, Strickerx5 said:

I mean really, it's always surprising to me how long I've been with this series, how long the franchise itself has run, and yet it's still somewhat difficult to see where things are heading. After the debacle that was 2017, I really don't know where ST can/ should go. I know where I want them to go, but I have to keep asking myself if they can even do it. Would it be worth a botched attempt to see them try? Now, with even the movie getting favorable reviews, it feels as though everyone and their mother can make better Sonic content than Sonic Team so I can't even begin to think about what their next project can/needs to do to fix this divide. A problem that's been a thing in the fandom for decades already.

 

I agree with your idea is just the audiences aged enough to speak. But I myself wanna speak on this, I feel the same. Even with things like sonic boom (Tv show) where it just wasn't my cup of tea, it just seems like everyone else has a better take on sonic than like the people in charge. Heck in the case of sonic boom, if sega hadn't meddled and forced it on the wii u, it might have been as shit. Obviously I don't think every thing about every take is ok, on that same token i'm not fond of boom shadow. But given how the comic is being forced to write boom shadow but worse, my original fears for characters for shadow and knuckles are kinda gone. Ever since sonic boom I had this fear in my heart that there always needs to be someone with very strict rules for these characters to make sure no one does a ken penders. But nowadays it just seems like in both game play and narrative sega is the one that kinda needs to be restricted. It just seems like they don't get why anyone likes anything and everyone does. Its baffling, sad, confusing a combination of things.

I personally don't think you fix the divide. I think you make different things for different people, and you make the people who get why its good to make them. You don't give them complete and utter creative freedom, but like you give them a lot of it. Because its very clear you ( sega/ sonic team ) have no idea what you are doing .

3 hours ago, Plasme said:

If anything I think the issue with the last few years is that nobody cares anymore. The Sonic movie seems to be popular, but I never hear anyone talk about the games anymore, even to make fun of them.

The only game that had any relevance was Mania and that was short lived. Mania Plus didn't exactly attract much attention. We don't even need to talk about Team Sonic Racing.

But even games before Mania were mostly ignored. No one cared about Lost World. Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric got a lot of rep because it was so hilariously awful and I think that's kind of the point. Sonic has been so mediocre and terrible for so long that people only really talk about the series to take the piss out of it. I don't think it's a shock that the last really popular Sonic media content was the movie, which looked horrendous when it was first revealed.

But even then, Sonic Forces had a hilariously terrible plot and no one really cared because the game was so aggressively mediocre.

For a Sonic product to do well or get any recognition, it has to be absolutely excellent or mind-blowingly terrible. And since Sonic has largely skimmed on mediocre-bad, the series has become largely irrelevant.

Just look at the fan-following. This forum is much smaller now than it was several years ago, the fan community has died out to a large extent (we don't see as much Youtube content or fangames). 

This too, those games aren't really pushing, people do not care for half assed attempts at nostalgia. That nostalgia loosing meaning when you do that too. But I disagree it either has to be mindbogglingly good or awful for people to notice. The film is middling, sonic boom the tv show is middling and people liked that shit fine. It just has to be decent, and as sad as this is, we haven't had a decent 3d sonic game since generations and before that unleashed. Which were 9 and 12 years ago respectively. That's a long time, people go through whole phases of their lives in time like that. Children grew up in that time and stopped caring because they couldn't get a decent sonic game. Not even good, or great. Just decent

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9 hours ago, Strickerx5 said:

Now, with even the movie getting favorable reviews, it feels as though everyone and their mother can make better Sonic content than Sonic Team so I can't even begin to think about what their next project can/needs to do to fix this divide.

I know most people probably don't mean it this way, but I think it's important to remember Sonic Team isn't a consistent group. It's not like it's this same group of people losing their way (at least not all of them), but rather the members of the team changing. Many people involved during the Adventure era left in the late 2000s, which might be partly why Colors onward feels different. I'm not saying it justifies the quality of content, but Sonic Team is smaller than ever (and their budget probably is too). Hopefully after Forces they were able to recruit some new people, or at least get the current members to gain more experience behind the scenes. I don't think it's by chance the first game in years to be highly praised was made by fans instead of Sonic Team. Sorry if it's repetitive, I wanted to remind about it.

9 hours ago, Plasme said:

If anything I think the issue with the last few years is that nobody cares anymore. The Sonic movie seems to be popular, but I never hear anyone talk about the games anymore, even to make fun of them.

But even games before Mania were mostly ignored. No one cared about Lost World. Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric got a lot of rep because it was so hilariously awful and I think that's kind of the point.

For a Sonic product to do well or get any recognition, it has to be absolutely excellent or mind-blowingly terrible. And since Sonic has largely skimmed on mediocre-bad, the series has become largely irrelevant.

Just look at the fan-following. This forum is much smaller now than it was several years ago, the fan community has died out to a large extent (we don't see as much Youtube content or fangames). 

The reason why people don't talk about it is there's only so much to talk about it. Mania and Forces were both 3 years ago now. TSR's community died quickly. It's different from the 2000s where there were games constantly coming out to try and discuss. The movie and comics are getting more discussion because it's more recent, with the latter being an ongoing release. I'm sure when the next game comes out we'll see a boost in activity again.

Don't forget those games were Wii U exclusives, so anyone who didn't own that console automatically couldn't talk about it. Even as a Wii U owner I wasn't thrilled about them.

It's also the start of a new decade so people are still in the mode of looking back on the last decade of Sonic while waiting for more information on his future.

I don't disagree that stand out titles (in a good or bad way) will be more talked about than mediocre ones.

Funny enough I have more interest than ever despite the lack of games coming out currently. There's always more to learn about past titles and what people think on things. I think content is more subjective, as sites are designed to show you want you want to see. I see a lot of Sonic content coming out, SA2 got a boost in mods once they were able to swap models, and there have been various promising fan projects and demos. (one of my favorites being Sonic Studio)

4 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

people do not care for half assed attempts at nostalgia. That nostalgia loosing meaning when you do that too.

Many do care about full assed attempts at nostalgia. Joking aside, the reception to Sonic Mania Adventures and Chao in Space was very positive.

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Another thing to note is that some of the Megaman incarnations in their day weren’t as beloved as they were now, and not merely in the WW sense of things. Legends was slammed by ScrewAttack and collapsed after two games, a spin-off, and MVC2 due to lacking any of the traditional mechanics. Star Force and ZX were seen as “more of the same” and ridiculed for their character design and plots. Unlike WW, where we learned that it worked when it came out, these games took years to catch on. I’d argue ZX and Star Force helped in the drought of Megaman. 
 

Mainstream gaming saw 9 as a refreshing return to the roots partially because of the glut of alternate versions. 

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I do agree that the reason people aren't talking about the games as much is simply due to larger gaps in between them and the fact that most fans are older and have less time to spend online. It's not like 10 years ago when most of us were in high school/College and had way more time on our hands. So those together just contribute to that. 

And let's be entirely clear; the demographic for this site basically stamps out any positive discussion for the newer games nowadays; we literally just had a topic a few months ago about if Colors and Generations were even good to begin with (You know, the same exact shit that we called out IGN out for when it was applied to the entire series :V) despite the fact that both games had much more positive receptions when they debuted.

This site is filled with mostly fans who grew up on Adventure fans and now they're pushing back, so there's no real room to talk positively about the new games. 

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I don't get the attempt to frame this as a case of the generational gap. Sonic Colors is only two years older than Sonic Unleashed. We're long past the time for the game to get a second wind if it was going to get one. It just didn't happen due to the game's own individual quality. Not everything comes down to patterns and trends. 

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35 minutes ago, Wraith said:

I don't get the attempt to frame this as a case of the generational gap. Sonic Colors is only two years older than Sonic Unleashed. We're long past the time for the game to get a second wind if it was going to get one. It just didn't happen due to the game's own individual quality. Not everything comes down to patterns and trends. 

Because both games are pretty drastically different in terms of tone and presentation, and Colors had much better reception when it came out than Unleashed did. Both games have their individual appeal. People can just appreciate Unleashed more now, and we've talked all there is to talk about in terms of positivity for Colors upon its release, so all that's left are the small minority of people who hate it for the current "dark" era. 

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

I do agree that the reason people aren't talking about the games as much is simply due to larger gaps in between them and the fact that most fans are older and have less time to spend online. It's not like 10 years ago when most of us were in high school/College and had way more time on our hands. So those together just contribute to that. 

I think over the previous decade, there's also been a shift in where exactly people joining the internet are ending up to talk with each other. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd say people are gravitating more towards social media than forums, especially with how former major forums like Sonic Wrecks and Sega Forums have since been shuttered due to lack of activity or shift in management and direction. (Speaking of which...)

17 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

The reason why people don't talk about it is there's only so much to talk about it. Mania and Forces were both 3 years ago now. TSR's community died quickly. It's different from the 2000s where there were games constantly coming out to try and discuss. The movie and comics are getting more discussion because it's more recent, with the latter being an ongoing release. I'm sure when the next game comes out we'll see a boost in activity again.

The lack of things to talk about regarding Sonic has been especially obvious with the lack of promotion of things to talk about from Sega themselves. Marketing for recent games has largely gone out the window after the 2015 restructure, and announcements for new games have left major showcase avenues like E3 and TGS in favor of the SXSW panels and the 25th Anniversary celebration, smaller venues aimed strictly for the fans. It doesn't help that even within the community, you also have the disappearance or diminished presence of fan conventions that were prolific in the early-mid 2010s, like Summer of Sonic and Sonic Boom. The end of the Archie Sonic comics and cancellation of issues in the pipeline also had a remarkably long stint of radio silence from both Sega and Archie, before it was officially confirmed to be over without minimal.

I think it goes without saying that a big reason for the (current) success of the Sonic movie was that it was the first project to give Sonic seriously widespread mainstream advertising, for the first time in decades, even if it was handled by Paramount themselves. Rather curious if Sega's going to consider putting more marketing dollars in Sonic as a brand again in the wake of the film's performance, or if they're going to continue charting their current course.

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7 minutes ago, Milo said:

I think over the previous decade, there's also been a shift in where exactly people joining the internet are ending up to talk with each other. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd say people are gravitating more towards social media than forums, especially with how former major forums like Sonic Wrecks and Sega Forums have since been shuttered due to lack of activity or shift in management and direction. (Speaking of which...)

Yea this too, social media is basically the go to for internet interaction nowadays; this forum in particular is basically just a hub for members that have been here for 10-20 years, we hardly ever get any new members, so it's just kind of an echo chamber of the usual individuals. 

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3 hours ago, Kuzu said:

And let's be entirely clear; the demographic for this site basically stamps out any positive discussion for the newer games nowadays; we literally just had a topic a few months ago about if Colors and Generations were even good to begin with (You know, the same exact shit that we called out IGN out for when it was applied to the entire series :V) despite the fact that both games had much more positive receptions when they debuted.

This site is filled with mostly fans who grew up on Adventure fans and now they're pushing back, so there's no real room to talk positively about the new games. 

I've tried to praise Team Sonic Racing after playing it, and people still just treat it as a worse Transformed. I think it's unfair to compare them completely as they are aiming for different groups despite both having Sonic in it. Would I like for it to be better? Sure. I would have liked less reused levels and more iconic settings to be used, but the actual game play when playing with friends is pretty fun. I can understand it being more frustrating when stuck with the AI though.

The team gimmick honestly makes me wonder if it'd be possible to have some kind of Sonic Rivals type game with the Team system. Instead of splitting development on a half baked two player mode, maybe a game where that is the focus would help iron it out? It's not the Team idea in Heroes I disliked but the execution. Advanced had a similar duo system after all, Mania later too.

I'm still willing to give the other games another chance, but for me the game play of Modern is frustrating to deal with. Even if I try playing while using boost as little as possible you still have the sudden shifts to 2D, werehog stages in unleashed, wisps, endless pits, short levels, etc. Replaying Generations reminded me of why for me I don't find these as fun to play. Forces I was having a good time on some levels that weren't tons of endless pits, but then they ended before fully fleshing out new ideas like the water slide. Maybe if they did a boost one without the 2D and endless pits I'd enjoy myself a bit more. Even in Adventure having the whole level as an endless pit one hit KO is not fun. They need to be sparingly used or it's only a cheap death trap.

I'd still take this site over ones that insist anything that's not Classic is no good though. Having opinions is one thing, but acting like people who disagree are silly goes nowhere.

1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

Because both games are pretty drastically different in terms of tone and presentation, and Colors had much better reception when it came out than Unleashed did. Both games have their individual appeal. People can just appreciate Unleashed more now, and we've talked all there is to talk about in terms of positivity for Colors upon its release, so all that's left are the small minority of people who hate it for the current "dark" era. 

I think it's a matter of hindsight. At the time Unleashed was around the storybook games so it was easy for critics to bash it for the werehog being odd, the game being different on various platforms didn't help. Now that we've seen other takes on boost and lack of hub worlds, it's easier to miss those things. I'm not going to lie the Tornado segment in the HD version was frustrating as hell, they really should do something different for flying segments beyond button mashing if it ever comes back again. Maybe Tails flying the plane while Sonic attacks enemies, just no more button mashing please. Xbox having flipped buttons made it worse. I always liked the idea of Colors more than execution, as it is a good idea for an adventure. If the writing had been better I think it'd be bashed less.

1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

Yea this too, social media is basically the go to for internet interaction nowadays; this forum in particular is basically just a hub for members that have been here for 10-20 years, we hardly ever get any new members, so it's just kind of an echo chamber of the usual individuals. 

My posts tend to be too long for social media and I prefer long term discussion that is easy to access, so I have always preferred forums. I like Discord, but I don't want everything I talk about to be a real time chat that never ends. It might be an age thing, but I like that forums have a stopping point. I can just leave a message and check the thread later when it has new replies.

I would post on reddit, but my rambling wasn't really welcomed as even there it wasn't short enough. I try not to get too long, but I find it's naturally how I tend to post. Thankfully others here can understand that, we can talk all morning sometimes if we let it. Also long term discussion isn't as possible on reddit due to the front page and archive systems. It also leads to too much spamming for upvotes. Forums have it's own form of validation, but thankfully it's mostly through contributing posts instead of getting the most clicks.

Most of the forums  I used to frequent in the 2000s died out, so I took a break for awhile. I stumbled across this forum while reading from the news side and saw it was still active so after lurking for awhile I decided to join in myself.

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On 3/5/2020 at 2:04 PM, Ryannumber1gamer said:

You can argue technically Shadow is an attempt to evolve Heroes' gameplay, and the same for 06 and Adventure, but they were so insanely gimped and altered that the core gameplay isn't even really there.

 

On 3/5/2020 at 2:36 PM, Kuzu said:

I would at least say that the basic control of Sonic has remained mostly the same. 

What's different is the level design and the degree of control. And in extreme cases, the level objective itself.

Stuff like the Chaotix missions in Heroes, most levels in Shadow, and the Werehog fall into this category.

I tend to think of Heroes-'06 as being to Adventure games what Sonic 4 and Classic Sonic's gameplay in Generations and Forces are to the Classic games. They're imitations. They have many of the same trappings as their inspirations and generally resemble them enough to not warrant separate consideration when talking about gameplay styles writ-large; they may even be decent games in their own right. However, they also lack, to varying degrees, the nuances of their predecessors; enough so as to deserve an asterisk next to their names to indicate that their gameplay is more an offshoot of the Classic/Adventure style rather than a true representative of it.

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I'd like to talk about what I think the "REAL" Sonic is for me.

My first game was Sonic 1 on Master System, I played all the main classics (except CD, I played that later) and I liked them. After that, I lost interest in the franchise until I had a chance to play Sonic Adventure 2 on Gamecube, and that along with the Advance games reintroduced me to the franchise and made me gain back the interest that was lost.

Regardless, I can see the flaws in all the Sonic games that usually get criticized, and I'm not blind just because a specific game is my childhood game. I just don't care much of the flaws as long as the game is enjoyable... flaws can be fixed in the next game, but if the gameplay concept is fun and the flaw is not gamebreaking, I go over it.

For me the closest thing to a "REAL" Sonic is what the series was around the time of the Adventure games, but this is mostly about the world and story, mood and so, not gameplay-wise. Sonic Heroes already starts to feel off to me, and so is Shadow the Hedgehog (game). Take Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, the Advance games and Sonic Battle, that's how I see Sonic. Those games have tons of flaws, but I'm not talking of gameplay now, nor about plotholes and stuff, just the overall mood. They felt like sequels to the classics (there are some nods that hint at the classics being part of the timeline, such as Amy mentioning the events of Sonic CD, and Green Hill in Sonic Adventure 2), but at the same time they felt like something new, deeper, more complex. I'm not really a fan of the overly edgy stories, but I admit that I like them being at least superficially serious, with some gags here and there, but serious and coherent (the Adventure games tried, kinda failed at coherency but tried at least).

And despite this, Sonic Colors is my favorite modern Sonic game, because I also like simple stories and classic-like fantasy environments, I prefer them over realistic human world ones honestly.

Gameplay-wise, I can play anything... I even partially enjoyed Forces despite all its problems. I like when a game tries to innovate the formula...

-I liked Sonic 1 for its innovative gameplay, and for some innovative elements such as the air bubble gimmick in Labyrinth that inspired many other games;

-I liked Sonic 2 for adding multiple characters, multiplayer and the spindash as a new way to explore;

-I liked Sonic 3 for the new way of storytelling, the elemental shields, the world building and each character having their own skills;

-I liked Sonic CD's time travel gimmick, especially the way how it's actived by running and keeping the momentum;

-I liked the art style and most of the musics in all the classic games, including some 8 bit ones.

-I liked the boost mode in Sonic Advance 2 and I see it as an evolution of the Sonic CD time travel thing... I wish it was integrated more in gameplay like Sonic CD did... and I also liked being able to do tricks mid-air, and the fast paced level design with a lot of flow that still gives you full control of Sonic;

-I liked the minigames in the series, starting from the classics' special stages, to the more recent Chao gardens... I liked having a side game (chao garden) where you can spend the stuff that you collect during the main game, it gives a motivation to replay levels too;

-I liked the quickstep in the modern games, though as long as it's not overused since it's on-rail... I liked Unleashed's attempt to make the quickstep doable everywhere and not only in the designed level sections;

-I liked having a true ending for completing the game in a specific way;

-I liked the playable characters being used as lives in the encore mode of Mania;

-I liked being able to stick on a wall and do parkour, even though I wish it was more natural and influenced by physics; and so on...

What I liked of Sonic comes from several different games, of all eras, and some of them are even criticized by most people. Because there has never been an ideal Sonic game yet to me. The "TRUE" Sonic for me is a mix of all the things I liked from the series as a whole, the things in which I see some potential and innovation.

-----------------------------

I see that some people just want Sonic to be like it was when they were children, and honestly I'm happy that the new generations who grew up with the early 2000's games are starting to let their voice be heared, because I don't like this trend that Sonic should be classic at any cost and everything not classic sucks. Though, I don't want the series to become a continuous recreating old games that people feel nostalgia for.

I just want the series to evolve, to innovate, without losing the good thing that made it great and that people loved. I believe Sonic can still be one again.

This is why I don't like when the modern games get bashed and made fun of, because it gives the wrong feedback to Sega, it results in stuff like Sonic 4 and its character elimination thing, and there's nothing good that could come out from this type of practices. Let's be constructive when we criticize a flaw in a game, and don't fear to praise something good in a game that people usually consider bad, because good ideas and gameplay are often hidden in titles that people overlook, they just need some creative mind to implement them in the correct way.

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I'm one of those old classic fans who felt disowned by Sega during most of the 00's. However, I have to say that during the past few years, I've started developing a nostalgic longing for that precise era. I've started to miss both the ambition, the attitude, and the emphasis on storytelling that the franchise had back then. Sonic Mania was amazing and a wonderful love-letter to fans of my generation, but now I'm ready for something like the Adventure games to make a grand return.

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I think the reason why modern Sonic doesn't have so many vocal fans (yet) is for several reasons

A ) Modern games are still on-going, so there's no need to fight for them yet. Abscense makes the heart the heart grow fonder.

B ) I suppose it takes a decade for people who grew up with these games to become the bitterly betrayed fans that Classic and Adventure are now. The kiddies coming into the series with the modern games consider Modern games to be normal and have no reason to think it'll be swapped for something diffrent soon. Or at least didn't have the experience to fully understand what it means when Sega burns everything to the ground to blindly chase after a new shiny direction.

C ) These games are selling a lot less then the Classic and 2000 era games did. Lost world and Rise of Lyric both scored under a million copies (And that's including their Handheld twins) while most Sonic games including the notoriously bad ones managed to hit over a million copies (Usually between 2 and 3 million even) without relying on a handheld twin.

D ) It also doesn't help Modern Sonic games muddle their own identity by being so desperate in relying on the past, so much that I consider Modern Sonic to be just a distorted evil twin of Classic Sonic with some mild Adventure Sonic thrown in.
What are the key memorable locations from Modern Sonic like what Green Hil Zone, Angel Island, Station Square and Space Colony Ark are to Classic and Adventure? Sonic Colors is the only one with a legit setting of it's own. Lost World should have but just feels like a bunch of random junk thrown together.
And memorable cahracters representing the era? Where's the Mighty the Armadillo or Shadow the Hedgehog from the Modern age? Anyone give a hoot about Yacker? Zavok? Sticks the Badger and the IDW characters are the only succesful characters and none of them are from Modern Sonic proper.

The Boost, Wisps and the detached post modern sense of humor are the only truly unique Modern Sonic elements. And the Boost technically already appeared in the Adventure era in Advance 2 (And Unleashed if that counts)

E ) While being innovative in and on itself doesn't mean the game is better, especially in hindsight, then a "merely" well executed fun game...
But pioneer games doing something impressive for the first time tend to leave the biggest footprint in the human conscious. Hence why the original is always better remembered then the sequels, even when some sequels are more refined and also "fun". Classic Sonic and Adventure Sonic were big innovators. Even if the Adventure games "didn't age well", they had a moment in time where they were hugely relevant and thus gotten their foot in the door of cultural relevance. But when's the last time Sonic was at the forefront of technology?


That said, I do notice some specific Modern Sonic love. In particular I see more and more fan games emulate the 3d/ 2d Swaps from this era. I can't imagine why you would do that in your own fangame that doesn't have the Pressure to succeed of and indecision of Sonic team involved, unless the game designers genuinely like that sort of thing.
So I'm sure there will be a group of vocal Modern fans demanding a Sonic Colors 2 or Lost world 2 half a decade after Sega entered whatever insane incomprehensible new direction they'll drunkingly stumble into next.  So they will join the Sonic mania 2/ Adventure 3 protesters soon enough.

Altough I still wonder if this Era will be referred to as the "modern" era then, since it would sound weird if there's a more "Modern er" era after it. Unless the fans of the current direction will share the great pleasure that Adventure fans have when their preferred direction is denied it's own identity and just absorbed into one general "all those filthy impure games that came after our lord and saviour the 16 bit era died" Modern Sonic identity.

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On 3/7/2020 at 10:13 AM, Kuzu said:

Because both games are pretty drastically different in terms of tone and presentation, and Colors had much better reception when it came out than Unleashed did. Both games have their individual appeal. People can just appreciate Unleashed more now, and we've talked all there is to talk about in terms of positivity for Colors upon its release, so all that's left are the small minority of people who hate it for the current "dark" era. 

...I dont even you believe this my dude. Folks outhere making videos about classic sonic and the adventure to this day. Folks talking about unleashed or generations now. Folks are still talking about mania. It's not "talked out" it's not looked back fondly upon. And it's not a minority,  it's a majority.  The older crowd who praised it got their 2d sonic and have long since stopped pretending to give a crap about 3d sonic. And the younger crowd grew up enough to be able get on the net to call colors trash. Colors just dropped at the right time.

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