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OBD96

Why I hardly have faith in the Sonic franchise now

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While I'm still and always will be a fan of Sonic The Hedgehog, I pretty much have no faith at all in the franchise now, despite the overwhelmingly possitive reviews the recent Sonic movie got. 

Some reasons for this include the games continuing to get bad reviews, Sega keeps lying and getting things wrong, and writers (especially Pontac & Graff) constantly messing up the characters' personalities, people meming the crap out of the series and making fun of it, and Sega not even seemingly listening to criticism. No matter how long they spend on a game (Forces was in development for 4 years) it'll likely still end up dogshit in the eyes of the general public.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

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The movie came out and surprised everyone. The comics are well on their way, and have even turned the tide and started to bleed back into the games (Hi Tangle and Whisper). Public perception of the franchise is stable considering we haven't had a main series game to drag it down since Forces... and speaking of Forces, it just got a bump of good news. Thanks to a timely release, it ranks among the top redeemed free PSN+ games. Pretty dope. 

Almost all of the reasons to lose faith are coming straight out of Sonic Team. We have no idea what direction they are going to go with moving forward. Being pessimistic about them is one thing, but I see no reason to cast a bleak light on the franchise as a whole when the other factions of it are pretty much smashing homeruns. 

While the videogames will always be the center of the franchise, the movie might be more visible at this point. Which is crazy when you think about it. No reason to lose faith in the franchise when its still printing money like that. 

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7 minutes ago, Sega DogTagz said:

speaking of Forces, it just got a bump of good news. Thanks to a timely release, it ranks among the top redeemed free PSN+ games. Pretty dope. 

What?! But HOW???!!😲

11 minutes ago, Sega DogTagz said:

No reason to lose faith in the franchise when its still printing money like that. 

The only reason the franchise is still printing money is because Sonic is a strong name. If a product has a strong name associated with it, it's bound to print money. For example: Spyro Enter the Dragonfly; that game has tons of technical issues like major glitchs, a choppy framerate, and minte-long loading times, but it got a Greatest Hits/Platinum release because Spyro, like Sonic, is a strong name. My point is, it doesn't matter how broken a product. As long as it has a strong associated with it, it'll sell well.

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5 minutes ago, OBD96 said:

What?! But HOW???!!😲

It had a lot of things going for it. 

1. It was offered right on the heels of the Movie. Good synergy like that helps. 

2. March (the month is was available) was the height of Cv-19 lockdowns, so people were stuck indoors.

3. Sonic is still a name. 

4. Due to rampant Sonic Team pessimism, more people were likely willing to give the game a shot for free, rather than pay for it.  

 

Still a fun feather in the cap for that game tho. Especially considering the other 4 games it shares that distinction with. 

 

Back on topic tho, it does show the overall health of the franchise. ^^  Not too long ago people where worried about the entire thing going under. We can put those fears to bed at least through the second movie lol. 

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1 minute ago, Sega DogTagz said:

It had a lot of things going for it. 

1. It was offered right on the heels of the Movie. Good synergy like that helps. 

2. March (the month is was available) was the height of Cv-19 lockdowns, so people were stuck indoors.

3. Sonic is still a name. 

4. Due to rampant Sonic Team pessimism, more people were likely willing to give the game a shot for free, rather than pay for it.  

 

Still a fun feather in the cap for that game tho. Especially considering the other 4 games it shares that distinction with. 

 

Back on topic tho, it does show the overall health of the franchise. ^^  Not too long ago people where worried about the entire thing going under. We can put those fears to bed at least through the second movie lol. 

And also, I think Sega taking their time to develop a Sonic game is pointless, because Forces had 4 years of development, and it still turned out a disaster. *cough* Tails *Cough*

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1 minute ago, OBD96 said:

And also, I think Sega taking their time to develop a Sonic game is pointless, because Forces had 4 years of development, and it still turned out a disaster. *cough* Tails *Cough*

Forces is a question mark. Its highly likely much of that time was spent developing the engine and not the game itself. Furthermore, there is plenty of speculation that Forces was something else, before changing direction in the 10th hour. Forces doesn't feel like a game with a four year dev cycle, because it probably wasn't. 

And I would argue that most of Forces problems have to do with direction, rather than execution - which is less of a problem of dev time and more of a problem of who they put in charge of the dev. 

Either way, Sega has gone down the quality control path before, with middling results, so there is no reason to take them at face value here. But if they are going to take their time moving forward, it can only help. It ducks the issue of rushing games out the door, which is the noted downfall of games like 06. It allows time for more development tweaks and polish, which never hurts. And most ironically, it actually protects the franchise from Sonic Team themselves. Worst case scenario they can only hurt the franchise once every 4 years. The movie, comics and videogames not made by ST can clean up that damage and build a positive rep in the meantime. Best case scenario, they fall backwards into a masterpiece. win, win. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Sega DogTagz said:

Forces is a question mark. Its highly likely much of that time was spent developing the engine and not the game itself. Furthermore, there is plenty of speculation that Forces was something else, before changing direction in the 10th hour. Forces doesn't feel like a game with a four year dev cycle, because it probably wasn't. 

And I would argue that most of Forces problems have to do with direction, rather than execution - which is less of a problem of dev time and more of a problem of who they put in charge of the dev. 

Either way, Sega has gone down the quality control path before, with middling results, so there is no reason to take them at face value here. But if they are going to take their time moving forward, it can only help. It ducks the issue of rushing games out the door, which is the noted downfall of games like 06. It allows time for more development tweaks and polish, which never hurts. And most ironically, it actually protects the franchise from Sonic Team themselves. Worst case scenario they can only hurt the franchise once every 4 years. The movie, comics and videogames not made by ST can clean up that damage and build a positive rep in the meantime. Best case scenario, they fall backwards into a masterpiece. win, win. 

 

Sorry, but nothing anybody says will make me think otherwise. Especially after seeing how Forces turned out after having FOUR FUCKING YEARS in development, my hope and faith in Sonic has been permanently killed. Please don't bother trying to change my mind, it won't work. 

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Sad truth is that we can't trust Sega ever again. They made Sonic 06, felt rrrrreally bad about it and did everything to apologize.... only to publish Rise of Lyric. That basically means we can never trust them with quality.

But talking about it doesn't to much good. Just don't buy next Sonic game until positive review show up and try enjoying Mania 2, IDW, movie, fan works... pretty much anything but Sonic Team work.

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51 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Sad truth is that we can't trust Sega ever again. They made Sonic 06, felt rrrrreally bad about it and did everything to apologize.... only to publish Rise of Lyric. That basically means we can never trust them with quality.

To be fair, that was an entirely different form of mismanagement. Forcing that project to the WiiU ensured that it would be DoA. 

I think its perfectly reasonable to take a "lets see some proof" stance given their track record on quality. But I'd rather them allocate more years to development than be stuck in limbo with the alternative. 

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3 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Sad truth is that we can't trust Sega ever again. They made Sonic 06, felt rrrrreally bad about it and did everything to apologize.... only to publish Rise of Lyric. That basically means we can never trust them with quality.

 

I think you mean severely gutted Rise of Lyric.

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We have to face the facts here; despite a surprisingly successful recent movie (which even then, might easily have been a flop, come out at another time, and/or not come out at all, if not for a few factors), Sonic is to SEGA what Mickey Mouse is to Disney, for both better and worse: A one-time flagship property that became a mascot as a result but whose actual importance declined as the company expanded and circumstances changed.  I can’t imagine Disney ever parting with Mickey, and I expect them to do enough to keep him in the public eye, but they would, in fact, still do just fine without him.

Sonic is like that, which is why people impressed that he’s managed to recover from extreme lows such as 2006, really shouldn’t be.  Sonic has been able to bounce back from that sort of depths for the same reason he’s been allowed to hit them: Because he’s the property of a company so rich on other properties that it doesn’t have to worry much about the damage such a flop will do to its bottom line, and can keep Sonic games on life support so long as it has those other properties to pay for it.  This sort of messy corporate alienation should go a long way toward explaining the Boom sub-series, which was planned excessively, had its flagship game bomb, and yet still sputtered on for a bit just because because they’d greenlit multiple parts.  I’m not assuring people here that we’ll get another memetic turd like 06 or RoL, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we did, either.

Also, though this isn’t a new sentiment: It seems like SEGA doesn’t have a solid concept of what modern Sonic should be. (They may well not have one of what Classic Sonic should be, either; good thing Taxman did.)  This wouldn’t be as big of a deal if they weren’t also terrified of it being things they think it shouldn’t.  When I look at a game like Sonic Forces, with what a bizarre mix of elements it is, my easiest explanation for why is that they’re too afraid to bring back elements they torched after 06, but also frantically trying to fill the voids left with whatever they can, in order to make a game that doesn’t feel empty.  The result has such a flimsy identity, both ludologically and lore-wise, that I doubt it really drew many new players to Sonic.  Certainly, there’s probably nothing that game does that other games don’t do better.

So yeah; I don’t have faith in the Sonic series on the whole right now.  The one thing that we’re guaranteed—if the pandemic doesn’t get too much worse—is a second Sonic movie.  It seems like the next safest bet is a tie between Sonic Mania 2 (since the first was a success) and Sonic Generations 2 (since it will be the thirtieth anniversary).  Qualifying that further, the two could be merged.  Hopefully, the Mania vets will be there to work on physics.  

Past those predictions, there remains little indication that this franchise has either a vision, passion, or talent behind it.

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C'mon, you lot. Chin up! Sonic's never been about staying in a rut filled with negative vibes.

I remember reading that SEGA has been doing A LOT corporate restructuring and rethinking their strategy from 2015 onwards! 

You people must've noticed this; 

  • They made a poll for games that Japanese fans wanted a revival of (which resulted in New Sakura Wars and Panzer Dragoon Remake),
  • The absorption of ATLUS in 2016 was a big, BIG win in their hands because Persona 5 is critically acclaimed and immensely popular, a SEGA rep said in an interview that SEGA would learn from ATLUS on how they create quality games that will please fans,
  • A really warm welcome for indies to handle their IPs, hence we got Mania, New Wonder Boy, Space Channel 5 VR, Streets of Rage 4, and even NEW ALEX KIDD!
  • You notice the recent poll? I'm pretty sure they admitted to be distant from fans and it's an honest attempt for them to get back on track!

These past 5 years, i think SEGA is just playing it safe with Sonic because they're not ready for another big gamble yet. That's why Forces, TSR, and the mobile games, while being so-so games were actually a very safe move with decent reviews and sales. Mania and the Movie brought back interest to this franchise again, and while i'm not saying we will definitely get an actually "good" or "groundbreaking" Sonic game next time, the state of this franchise (and SEGA in general) has never been better for the past 10 years! 😃

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Sonic may never have been about staying in a rut, but with how many things Sonic Team all-but gave up on after 06, like fully 3D environments and more playable characters, I’m not convinced they’re ready to make something that wows me.  The best they’ve managed for over a decade is avoiding failure by aiming relatively low. (And they don’t even always manage that, as witness Sonic 4: Episode I.) Even Sonic Mania, though a well-made game, is a fairly safe one in how it uses a formula that is (if you know how) easier to make than a good 3D Sonic game, and also the majority of its levels are rehashes.  And the series hasn’t gotten better from there; far from it.  Team Sonic Racing cries out for more content than it has, being again fine, but not ambitious.

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11 hours ago, OBD96 said:

Especially after seeing how Forces turned out after having FOUR FUCKING YEARS in development

As far as we know, Forces didn't get 4 years of developpement.

Seems that it got 1 dev year (the dev certainly worked on other project before), while 3 years were made to develop the HE2 (which is a cross-game project, as it's supposed to be the main graphic engine for the Sonic Team, and maybe the whole SEGA CS2 Studio, as they used it in Sakura Wars) ?

But nope, the "game" Forces isn't the result of 4 years of development. And it seems that even in the small time it got, it got some changes and stuff like that.

 

It's not because a game is released n years after the previous, that it got n years of devs, especially in a big studio like SEGA CS2, they can do some other stuff (reinforcement on other projects, working on future techs, etc).

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45 minutes ago, Kazhnuz said:

Seems that it got 1 dev year (the dev certainly worked on other project before), while 3 years were made to develop the HE2 (which is a cross-game project, as it's supposed to be the main graphic engine for the Sonic Team, and maybe the whole SEGA CS2 Studio, as they used it in Sakura Wars) ?

But nope, the "game" Forces isn't the result of 4 years of development. And it seems that even in the small time it got, it got some changes and stuff like that.

Yes, that absolutely seemed to be the case. The basic ideas and concepts were thought of after Lost World, but i think the actual Development Team just gathered in 2015/2016 to work on the game.

Allow me to relate to what i have said here:

1 hour ago, mechagical said:

I remember reading that SEGA has been doing A LOT corporate restructuring and rethinking their strategy from 2015 onwards! 

These past 5 years, i think SEGA is just playing it safe with Sonic because they're not ready for another big gamble yet. That's why Forces, TSR, and the mobile games, while being so-so games were actually a very safe move with decent reviews and sales. 

SEGA did a HUGE restructuring in 2015, closing down an office, employee layoffs, absorbing ATLUS, dissolving CS2 back into Sonic Team, and changing course for how franchises are handled including Sonic, one of the indications were the change of direction with Sonic PR/Social Media by Aaron Webber. Just think, they would have had an obvious shortage of staff if it wasn't for cheaper new talents. HE2 is developed as a foundation for future SEGA games, it was an investment to make. New Sakura Wars is also partly developed by members of Sonic Team, so they were busy and did have something to do during the gap from Forces to now.

If anything, Forces felt like a TEST GAME for HE 2, that the team can build in one year to generate enough profits for another big title in the future. It may sound harsh, but Sonic is the perfect test franchise because of its appeal.  They also don't want to risk any losses so Mania and TSR were made to be as safe as possible.

Let that sink in. 

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Creating 1 "worst game of all time" is horrible embarrassment and betrayal that we'll never recover from.

Creating 2nd is just proof that Sega is a abusive boyfriend that promised he changed, but he's lying through his teeth.

I won't change my opinion unless Sega makes cure for cancer or something. And Forces and Team Racing aren't bad, but are not "cure for cancer". I'm not gonna instantly believe in them just because they doing slightly better, that's exactly how abusive relationship work.

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2 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Creating 1 "worst game of all time" is horrible embarrassment and betrayal that we'll never recover from.

Creating 2nd is just proof that Sega is a abusive boyfriend that promised he changed, but he's lying through his teeth.

I won't change my opinion unless Sega makes cure for cancer or something. And Forces and Team Racing aren't bad, but are not "cure for cancer". I'm not gonna instantly believe in them just because they doing slightly better, that's exactly how abusive relationship work.

Dude. SEGA is not your boyfriend.

Calm the fuck down and find other interests.

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Sonic games are more off than on, but you know what? At least the other media around him is good. 

All things considered, Sonic may be in a crappy place regarding his games, but as just a media icon, he's probably the strongest he's ever been. And in many respects, the fanbase is stronger than before. We have so many fan initiatives, in incredible comics, fangames, and conventions, which definitely is more than other failing franchises can say for themselves. 

It would be nice for the games to be better. But Sonic isn't completely chained to them for relevance, unlike someone like Megaman.

Its definitely a weird place to be a Sonic fan now. 

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28 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Creating 1 "worst game of all time" is horrible embarrassment and betrayal that we'll never recover from.

Creating 2nd is just proof that Sega is a abusive boyfriend that promised he changed, but he's lying through his teeth.

I won't change my opinion unless Sega makes cure for cancer or something. And Forces and Team Racing aren't bad, but are not "cure for cancer". I'm not gonna instantly believe in them just because they doing slightly better, that's exactly how abusive relationship work.

I hope that you won't call your boyfriend (or gf idc) abusive if he make an horrible tasting meal twice lol

More seriously, relationship abuse are really more serious than just bad game (SEGA didn't abuse the player by creating a bad game), comparing the two here is kinda tone-deaf to me. I can understand not trusting SEGA with creating a good Sonic game, though, that's just the comparison that irked me a lot.

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I've been pessimistic about this franchise for 15 years.

The fact that I keep coming back to it probably says more about me than about the franchise.

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11 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

I hope that you won't call your boyfriend (or gf idc) abusive if he make an horrible tasting meal twice lol

More seriously, relationship abuse are really more serious than just bad game (SEGA didn't abuse the player by creating a bad game), comparing the two here is kinda tone-deaf to me. I can understand not trusting SEGA with creating a good Sonic game, though, that's just the comparison that irked me a lot.

The severity of that offense seems a bit more if you liken it to a partner pledging to cook something that is dangerous to consume if undercooked, and that partner undercooks it out of sheer laziness.  Granted, a Sonic game is not consumed like food so won’t poison you like bad food, so the analogy still isn’t great, but as less-than-great analogies go, it’s still an easy one to understand.

It’s not just that they made 06, and then RoL, both blatantly glitchy due to rushed release and problematic corporate politics.  It’s not just that they did that again after it clearly wrecked a project once.  It’s that RoL was their first attempt, since 06, at a Sonic platformer we wherein you could play as Tails and Knuckles.  SEGA (technically Sonic Team and then Big Red Button, but both were due to SEGA’s policies) failed twice at doing what they used to do just fine (see also, failure at momentum physics from Sonic Adventure onwards), and when the only times they don’t fail are the ones when they don’t attempt such things, that is not a sign that this company can be trusted to deliver greatness.  Not that playable Tails and Knuckles and momentum physics are the be-all-and-end-all of this series’ greatness, but has anything else besides graphics really been improved in the last ten years?  If it had, I didn’t notice.

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11 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

The severity of that offense seems a bit more if you liken it to a partner pledging to cook something that is dangerous to consume if undercooked, and that partner undercooks it out of sheer laziness.  Granted, a Sonic game is not consumed like food so won’t poison you like bad food, so the analogy still isn’t great, but as less-than-great analogies go, it’s still an easy one to understand.

Not really, as a bad games is way more akin to what I said (a bad tasting meal) than something dangerous. It's edible, but it's not a good piece of work. Like the game won't do anything dangerous (or even just bad) to you, you will just be unhappy to have played it. A "dangerous" game would be mostly something that can damage the software/hardware you are playing with, or be harmfull psychologically in some way or another. It's not impossible for a game to be harmful, but those aren't, imo.

And it's still not abuse, which is the point I'm discussing here. I can understand why people are unhappy of the game, I am too, but I feel that comparing that to abusive relationship is still extremely tone deaf. All in one, these games are still just shitty games and no player where "abused" by that.

( But it's still perfectly okay I suppose to be angry at SEGA for doing bad games and to not improve up when they say they'll do. )

 

I'm not really discussing the rest of the discussion about "trust" and stuff like that (because the internals are very complex, and I prefer not really deciding if I trust or not something until I've got enough information in how it really works, which might be never), it's mostly this comparison that I found really… strange.

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I tend not to have "faith" in the corporations and the products they put out, particularly with entertainment. They are in the business of making money and they are not my friend.

However, I am yes disappointed in the brand. The last two things of decent quality in the past...since generations put out by sonic team are not made by sonic team. And that's just games we can go into how the other media again not made by sonic team also have this quality . The IDW comic stands a testament because the one thing that sega is strict on is literally the worst thing in the book.

Whether its people, time , or talent or a combination their of, there isn't an environment at sega conducive to making good sonic stuff and they have yet to prove to me this has changed at all.

So I have not lost " faith" but I'm lead to believe that the corporate entity that owns the IP has no idea what to actually do with the IP. Yet there are people there for whatever reason, maybe its pride I have no idea really need to manage the IP. And as of currently that management is " self deprecation  without any meaningful improvements "

Which only works for so long

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