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iambitter21

sooo... what's the deal about sonic... holding a sword?

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just a quick question about this because I simply just don't see what's stupid about this:

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in fact, I find it to be really cool (and what is sonic?: cool! that's what) and what did it do to Sonic's abilities? not much, it did give him a cool spin sword move that blows my mind to this day. Sam from Sam Procrastinates said that it "Handicaps" sonic, or it's "out of left field" like dude, it's a spinoff, not a mainline game, you're on rails for most of the game so what is handicapped? and when you think about it, sonic himself is already "out of left field". secondly, he said that Mario has items that improves Mario, like a cap. just forget that Mario also had THIS in the RPG's:

Mariohammer.jpg

 

and what did it do to Mario's abilities? literally NOTHING. it's literally an attack that you can do and it does nothing to Mario. Sonic's sword is literally the same thing, just on an on-rails game. in fact, Sonic's sword is like the answer to Mario's Hammer if you think about it: RPG'S usually have Weapons of sorts, Mario and Luigi use hammers since their heavier and get the job done easier, but at the cost of waiting. What will sonic use? well sonic is more cocky and impatient, he has no time for a slow hammer, he'll need something more agile, something more nimble, something more aerodynamic, something more....sharp. and boom sonic has a weapon that suits him well: a sword. if sonic ever get's an RPG however, using his hands and feet isn't a bad option either if he doesn't get a sword (but GOD I'd love sonic to get one someday). so how about you guys? what's your deal with sonic holding a sword?

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Because to many YouTubers and critics, Mario can do no wrong but anything Sonic does different is a ‘handicap’ or ‘out of leftfield’

If Sonic used a hammer like Mario he would get criticised for that too.

If Mario used a sword people would be like “That’s cool!”

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Black Knight came out at a time when Sonic was at his absolute nadir: 06 was still a fresh wound, people were still memeing on the werehog so Unleashed was only a slight improvement, this was before Colours "saved the franchise" with it's 2D, Wisps and comedy story. People didn't want swords, they wanted 2D, they wanted Classic Sonic, they wanted Green Hill Zone.

 

And then we got all of those things and nothing changed.

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Luckily, like most of the "dark age", it's seeing a more positive re-evaluation.

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It wasn't because of the idea that he was holding a weapon specifically. A goofy gimmick like that is fine to experiment with as an add on to what's already there.

But as far as people in 2009 knew a regular Sonic platformer without some overwhelming gimmick hadn't even been attempted since the Adventure titles in the early 2000s. Sega leading the marketing of their new game with yet another combat centric gimmick that didn't seem to add to the series or fix any of it's issues was just a bad look.

And don't get me wrong: I'm the first person to argue in favor of rule of cool. I love the art of Sonic holding the sword. I liked the premise of the story and thought facing off with other Sonic characters decked out in armor and weapons was sick. I'm a Zelda fanboy, so I love the idea of taking a weird left turn for the sake of shaking things up. 

 It's just that, what is this adding to the series, substantially, once you get past the flash? Why push for involved combat mechanics after the 6th or 7th time of it not working? Nothing about it suggested that any of the problems from previous games would be fixed and nothing about the things they were actually doing right would be enhanced. If the game had proved this doubt wrong people would be singing Knight of the Wind at the top of their lungs but it just doesn't stick the landing.

They just weren't trusted to screw around at this point in the series's life. On the flipside, once you become so established, dependable and consistent that quality releases from you become boring, people trust you to do whatever you want. People crave big, dumb shakeups from you. Hence, Mario can get permission to go to actual new york and start bodysnatching citizens. Unlike the poster above me I genuinely believe Mario would be trusted with a sword at this point, even if it didn't fit the established series aesthetic. 

I think the trust and good will of the close-minded gaming public is overrated and I love seeing them proven wrong about out there concepts like this, but SATBK wasn't up to that task. I like Sonic and the Black Knight conceptually, but on every front it was just a bad time to try and make it. It just wasn't what anyone wanted to see and they didn't have the time, manpower or talent to make it into a pleasant surprise people didn't know they wanted either.
 

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Well when your go to a medieval fantasyland, it's a given your hero will be given a sword or something, as is it a given that a dark schütt game like Shadow gives you guns. I will say I don't considered Sonic have swords a handicap, and does kinda fit his flavor. If Sonic had his own Mii Outfit in Smash, I think he'd work as a Swordsman just fine, if not more than as a Brawler. I just think its just... redundant.

 

What could Sonic really do with sword that he couldn't already do with his raw skills?  A cool spinning sword attack, is that it? He's a spiky hedgehog, he's sharp enough as is and spinning is his tool of trade. Take away the flash, it looks like it just accomplishes stuff like the Insta-Shield and Humming Top could do just fine, just with more range I guess.

 

It just comes down to your perception of these types of concepts, whether it be good as gameplay element, or thing that's just something for a movie or comic. Do you want more complex abilities and control setups that gives Sonic more flair and style to him, or think that's too complicated and want something with simpler controls and is easier to play.

 

Are y'all about this:

 

Or just this:

 

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Simply put, the game was not very fun to play, and among those reasons include the swordplay mechanics itself. Sonic has to come to a dead stop to slash through enemies, and I found the rushing mechanic to be particularly unintuitive. It provided a poor experience with unsatisfying flow. The concept itself of giving Sonic a sword didn't offer anything especially notable, and surrounding it in a mediocre game didn't help it's case.

Besides that, Sonic has almost never used any sort of weaponry in his adventures. Sonic always used his speed to curl into his spin attack to deal with the bad guys, so when the series is performing terribly, the last thing they need is to shake things up further with a half-baked gimmick, spin-off or not. It's as if saying the solution to making a better Sonic game is to make him play even less like Sonic.

So yeah, not a big fan of the sword.

And for the record, Mario's had a hammer in his arsenal since Donkey Kong, so that's hardly a sensible comparison to make. Mario's a handyman, what's more interesting to me is the lack of a hammer in the main series, but this isn't the place to discuss that. 

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It may come down to whatever the public thinks of a certain character and what traits are generally associated with them. As in, their most memorable traits from their most memorable games. Sonic has never used a sword before and is a living buzz saw on his own so ergo, for a longtime fan or observer, this may seem a little jarring: kind of like what if you see Goku suddenly using swords instead of his fists or kamehameha. Or the existence of Werehog for that matter.

That is a minor nitpick though, sometimes it just comes down to whether the game impresses or not. Sonic and the Black Knight still suffered from it's carryover gameplay from Secret Rings, although it had been improved a lot. It's tough to stand out in a console where actual sword wielding heroes like Link excelled, and ultimately a consensus was formed unconsciously upon "Sonic+Sword = bad". The game was even de-listed just one year after release with Sega's decision in 2010 to remove Sonic titles with poor critical scores, cementing the impression that this was "just as bad" as 06.

Welp, perhaps in an alternate universe where this game succeeds, maybe having Sonic running around with a sword is acceptable.

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Games like this have long been frowned apon because the core foundation of Sonic's gameplay has grown increasingly shaky since the likes of SA2, and a game that centers around an unorthodox gimmick is often seen as trying to reinvent the wheel instead of the refinement of basic values that the series desperately needs. And while in some cases this can be up to debate, the weapon-based games (this and ShTH) represent this argument at its absolute most literal state, where the introduction of the gimmick actively HARMS the normal functions of Sonic gameplay in its introduction.

As some have inferred in one way or another, Sonic's normal abilities makes the introduction of a weapon redundant. Sure, you can hurt things with a sword, but Sonic already has an attack that almost never misses and almost always destroys things in a single hit anyway. For what reason would you use a sword over that? Black Knight's answer is "make the HA not actually do that". Another example is that Sonic can use the sword to help climb sheer vertical faces, which at first sounds like a good application on its own until you remember that he can walljump already, if not just straight up run up the wall with the right setup. Why would you need a sword for that if Sonic can already handle it on his own? Black Knight's answer is "design levels in a way that enables the sword climbing mechanic to progress and nothing else".

This is topsy turvy fucking backwards game design. When you're making a game in a series with a brand new spin, the questions on your mind should be some variation of "how will this coexist with the character's existing kit", NOT "what will I have to nerf in order to justify this" - because for the series to evolve as a whole still requires you to preserve what values of the series still remain, so that you can continue to learn from the mistakes of the last try and build apon what worked best in the process. Mario is a very tired comparison, as Diogenes says, but it still needs to be said that even Mario Sunshine - which from the outside looks incredibly gimmicky in much the same way Black Knight, ShTH and even some extent of Unleashed does - is still at heart, ultimately Mario 64 with a water jetpack.

Can a sword work in tandem with Sonic's normal moveset? Fucked if I know! Honestly you could have just replaced the impact animation of the Homing Attack with a sword swing and that would have worked fine on its own, but that probably wouldn't have satisfied the fake ass "iT's JuSt LiKe SwInGiNg A rEaL sWoRd" corporate speak that plagued Wii shovelware of the day. Personally I would have made it function as a pseudo instashield and called it a day, because requiring Sonic to swing a sword any other way - in that it interferes with his ability to jump, roll or otherwise interact with the level design as normal - is way more trouble than it's worth.

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12 minutes ago, Blacklightning said:

 Personally I would have made it function as a pseudo instashield and called it a day, because requiring Sonic to swing a sword any other way - in that it interferes with his ability to jump, roll or otherwise interact with the level design as normal - is way more trouble than it's worth.

I think there could be more creative ways to use it, like you could probably use it like a pole to do a sharp 180, or hold on to it longer to go off into any direction at the cost of losing speed the longer you hold on it, could be a nice move to turn sharper without losing most of your speed (using SS3 rules here). you could also use it like the spike wisp, but would maintain your momentum, so you would need to gain speed to fully get up the wall. The sword could be used to do cool things you probably wouldn't expect. Maybe if we stretch our imagination, he could go full cappy, and use it like a boomerang stepping stone, gaining more height the faster you go.

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Being able to hitch it in the ground was a good idea. Not only is that a way for Sonic to wall jump, but swing on like he would a bar. Maybe he could hitch it into the ground to quickly stop and swing around it to change directions. 

 

The real appeal of this thing though is slicing things open, and to give Black Knight some credit the one move I thought was satisfying to execute was when Sonic used it to enhance his spinning ability and slice enemies clean open instead of bouncing off of them. It's important to note that he hasn't actually had that buzzsaw functionality in ages so there might be some gameplay opportunities in the way a player chooses to dispatch an enemy. Tapping the sword button during the homing attack would turn it into a spinning slash. During the bounce it could turn it into a downward stab. 

 

That's not all they could have done though. If you're willing to leave the platformer genre then it becomes much easier to justify. There was talk of a sort of hack n slash/action game spinoff for the series a few weeks back. That's the perfect justification to include a weapon like a sword because Sonic's limbs are so short and stopping to fight enemies is now the point of the game and not a hindrance. 


 

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16 hours ago, iambitter21 said:

What will sonic use? well sonic is more cocky and impatient, he has no time for a slow hammer, he'll need something more agile, something more nimble, something more aerodynamic, something more....sharp. and boom sonic has a weapon that suits him well:

A knife?

33d4ede501b933dcc39a2a133b9101d70a1a3450

Gotta shank fast™

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Answer for 2009: Sonic's reputation is at it's lowest. Weird gimmicks like Werehog smell of desperation and game is not fun to play. Ergo: sword is a bad move.

Answer for 2020: Ironically sword might be only weapon that can work with Sonic movement. Sword is just exertion of his spikes, sorta Insta Shield. And while I don't think sword works with Sonic's design it can work A) For different character, like Antoine B ) For a single game set in very specific scenario, like well, Black Knight.
Only problem is that Complex Combat DOESN'T work with Sonic speedy platforming. It's either
- pace breaking like Heroes and Shadow and of course Black Knight
- or is laughably pointless like Wispsons (and Rise of Lyric combined both)
So sword couldn't be that complex or it's use would be mainly movement-based.
 

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Combination of fan expectations at the time, and the game just being very badly designed around said gimmick.  Sonic with a Sword SOUNDS like a great idea, but in practice it was a fucking mess and that was on top of people being skeptical of how gimmicky the series had gotten. 

 

Nintendo can get away with doing stupid shit like that because they know how to design their gimmicks around their character's movesets; there's no question that when you boot up a Mario game, it's going to play like a Mario game. When you boot up a Sonic game, then you best be prepared for whatever the fuck the game throws at you, because consistency isn't something this series seems interested in...for better or worse. 

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20 hours ago, Diogenes said:

This is nonsense. People are fine with Mario using a hammer because using a hammer is one of the first things Mario ever did. It's an established part of his repertoire, calling back to the original Donkey Kong.

And to expand on this, Mario had a hammer power-up because he was working as a carpenter and the game was set on a construction site.

Sonic's spines are his blades, so a sword is redundant. 

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Makes me wonder how it would be recieved today. Back then it was "oh great, another piece of mediocre trash"

I think it'll be "oh great, another piece of mediocre trash. But the story's kinda nice."

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6 hours ago, Pengi said:

And to expand on this, Mario had a hammer power-up because he was working as a carpenter and the game was set on a construction site.

Sonic's spines are his blades, so a sword is redundant. 

To be fair, Mario using a hammer is also redundant. Mario already smashes, crushes and squashes enemies to the ground naturally with his feet and butt. Gigantic ones, even. The hammer doesn't do it any better than he already does. It just looks cool. Same goes for Sonic with a sword.

It's like a classic rule of cool/young mind way of thinking. "Sword sharpness + Sonic's spikes' sharpness = TWICE THE SHARPNESS! AWESOME!" That kind of fun and silly thinking. I apply that to Mario's hammer as well outside of Donkey Kong.

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6 hours ago, Waveshocker Sigma said:

To be fair, Mario using a hammer is also redundant. Mario already smashes, crushes and squashes enemies to the ground naturally with his feet and butt. Gigantic ones, even. The hammer doesn't do it any better than he already does. It just looks cool. Same goes for Sonic with a sword.

He couldn't jump on enemies in Donkey Kong.

And the Hammer is made for spiky, fire, or metal enemies.

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3 hours ago, StaticMania said:

He couldn't jump on enemies in Donkey Kong.

And the Hammer is made for spiky, fire, or metal enemies.

Two types of enemies which normally ain't a problem for Sonic as he can spindash under fiends that're only spiky from the top and he's regularly pitted against metallic robots. So a badnik be too tough for him to break, he'll often have Knuckles accompanying him to do the trick, but I digress. A sword is more excusable regarding Black Knight's setting, where "the rules are different from Sonic's world". You fight a dragon, so it's a little hard to imagine taking it down bare fists, and the knight enemies' armor is probably too strong for any of his normal attacks. Since Caliburn is an enchanted sword, as are the blades of the Round Table crew, that may explain how they could pierce through said armor with ease, but again, different setting, different rules.

 

So I don't really know what Sonic has to gain if he carries a sword around in the regular world, where most of Eggman's robots are pretty flimsy are easily dealt with.

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On 7/19/2020 at 7:13 AM, mechagical said:

kind of like what if you see Goku suddenly using swords instead of his fists or kamehameha.

This is kind of a bad example because at this point people would praise it since a lot of people are sick and tired of the "Lasers" fights 

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11 hours ago, ComeAsYouAre said:

This is kind of a bad example because at this point people would praise it since a lot of people are sick and tired of the "Lasers" fights 

Haha, swords do exist in Dragon Ball though just saying.

What i mean is that he DOESN'T need swords to fight as he's powerful enough without one, it also compromises his fighting style that so many people have known and loved him for, so it seems out of place.

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On 7/20/2020 at 3:08 AM, BadBehavior said:

Makes me wonder how it would be recieved today. Back then it was "oh great, another piece of mediocre trash"

I think it'll be "oh great, another piece of mediocre trash. But the story's kinda nice."

It wasn't received as a mediocre game back then. It was received as a bad game.

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If it came out today, it wouldn't be on the wii and using motion controls which would be a huge step in its favor. Same with Secret Rings. If those games came out a few years later or earlier they would have been way better recieved.

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