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The "Sonic has had a rough time since going 3D" narrative


batson
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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

As long as Sega keep releasing subpar and mediocre shit, these reviews are going to keep happening. Sure, Sonic has a few good 3D games, but they only last for about a year or two before we get more mediocre shit. 

Sonic needs to have a consistent string of actually good games for a few years before that stigma will even begin to wane. 

I agree with this.  I think that if there was a long string of genuinely good Sonic games, then critics will stop bashing the series since it would be irrelevant beyond that point to do so.

2 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

Well, obviously, making fun of the fans themselves isn't right. Nobody should be made to feel bad about themselves because of their hobbies or what kind of media they enjoy. That's bullying, not criticism, and I won't ever defend that.

However, I also think it's important to separate criticism of art from an attack on the people who enjoy that art. Sonic fans themselves are often highly critical of this series, but few would take those criticisms as attacks on their fellow fans. We should view criticism from outside the fandom more charitably, unless they're just blatantly being shitheads about it and belittling people for enjoying the series.

It's important to not take critiques of the series to heart. To not attach your identity so strongly to any work of fiction (Sonic or otherwise) that people insulting it feels like people insulting you. You are more than the things you enjoy. They may be important to you (as they also are to me), but you as a person are not inextricably tied to your fandoms to the point that criticism of it is an attack on you.

 

I agree that critics making comments like "Sonic was never good" is just basically attacking the fanbase, not really giving constructive criticism on the games themselves.  What these critics need to do is stop bashing the franchise and focus on pointing out the pros and the cons of the games they are reviewing.  Maybe, even give out some constructive criticism on how to better improve the games moving forward.  I feel like some of these critics don't want to help SEGA improve the games if the game turns out to be terrible and that's just causing more harm for SEGA if they don't have good advice on how to improve their games.

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To be honest, I think the semantics here really change the message here more than people think.

Put in a better way:

-“Sonic has sucked since going 3D.”

Technically False. I won’t say every 3D game was perfect, but the Adventure games being the main games that come to mind when Sonic went 3D (unless you want to stretch and include 3D Blast and R) were actually well received at the time. 
 

-“Sonic has had it rough since going 3D”

Technically true, since after the Adventure games, quality started going all over the place and the developers didn’t really seem to have a grasp of where to go. I mean, compare Heroes, ShTH, and Sonic 06 to each other and say with a straight face that wasn’t when Sonic had it rough after the Adventures. Probably didn’t really help that due to the Dreamcast being discontinued (not sure if that is a factor, but I felt it was worth mention) that they didn’t make any Sonic games until years after the SA2’s release (not counting the GameCube port), so...kinda hard to argue against this one. Even then, once people actually played the ports of the Adventure games, SA1 fared badly from its initial reception while SA2 held up a little more stronger than its predecessor, but just barely.

So yeah...

People make really strong reactions to nuances in the narrative. Might be intentional, but I’m at the point where I’m not as bothered by it as I used to be.

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Well, it's just an opinion at the end of the day. Those decade(s) old games aren't going anywhere, the people who need to know they have passionate fans (Iizuka, Hoshino and the likes) already do. A regurgitated, but still perfectly valid perspective to have on 3d Sonic isn't going to change much about that. So I don't really see the point in worrying about it too much. 

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Well, it is not exactly wrong, the statement that is. I shall admit to that. Still, it has been tiring to hear over and over to the point that it is meme-like as someone else said. I did read someone here (I believe it was @Kuzu) saying something like the reviewers who review this game, while their job is to give their thoughts on their game, they do not often give give constructive criticism as to what to fix in Sonic games. Same with Sonic fans, though I can't say all of them. Plenty of them do, but maybe somewhere around half of them do not. I could be wrong on that number, but in the case of reviewers that are said to be professional, saying Sonic in 3D sucks and will never be good will never help 3D Sonic games get anywhere. It is not helping Sega for sure, as they will not know what to fix or improve. I also find these reviewers unprofessional as they are unhelpful. Still, it is not untrue, as in the statement about Sonic games' transition into 3D.

Come to think of it, is it accurate to say Sonic is still making that transition to 3D? I mean, the games have been in 3D for a while now. This does not mean the first few games were perfect or even great transitions to 3D, and it would seem clear that they may have yet to find something that truly works for Sonic. However, Aside from that, while I could be wrong, I do think Sonic is past the transitioning point. It seems more like the statement should be "Sonic has had more not-so-stellar 3D games than stellar ones". something like that?

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13 hours ago, Wraith said:

"Sonic has had a rough time since going 3D" Is still true unless you think Colors, Lost World, Boom and Forces were some kind of a return to form. You only need to look at the lack of enthusiasm around them anywhere on the internet to see that that isn't the case. Some of those games aren't disasters, but that was true last decade too. It's just not enough.

It's not particularly interesting coverage for an enthusiast to read, but that's true most most mainstream coverage of games. If the basic flavor a lot of video game coverage comes in bothers you you just shouldn't be reading it.


I don't care when people make this point and I won't care until it stops being true. Sonic fans need to stop trying to puppeteer everyone else into changing the narrative around Sonic and put the pressure on the people responsible for the narrative in the first place.

Well, Colors was well received at first, and it’s mainly series fans hating on it, not professionals. People also seem to ignore the later 2D games nowadays, with them once having been seen as “unsung heroes”.

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Sonic Team's approach to designing 3D Sonic gameplay has always been unmanageable when it comes actually making a whole game out of "only Sonic" style gameplay; half a dozen playable characters, blocky 2D platforming, and Forces' micro length levels are all "solutions" to the same problem that 3D Sonic levels are extremely resource intensive to make. Sonic's rough transition to 3D is an ongoing problem, so it's totally fair for reviewers to comment on it.

It's also not the reviewers job to offer constructive criticism for Sonic Team to listen to. Game reviewers serve game buyers, not game makers. Their job is to explain in what ways a game is or is not enjoyable, helping people decide if it's worth their time and money.

As for the bullying problem Sonic fans face online... maybe blame the bullies for that? Not the people who simply offer their honest perspective on whether a video game is good or not, even if those opinions are often reductive and trite? If you must spread the blame around, blame SEGA; it's their lousy management of this series that created the toxic environment around this series that attracts bad actors.

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7 hours ago, Snowragnarok said:

Well, Colors was well received at first, and it’s mainly series fans hating on it, not professionals. People also seem to ignore the later 2D games nowadays, with them once having been seen as “unsung heroes”.

Games like Sonic Advance, Rush and Colors aren't disasters, but they aren't good enough to say the series is back on it's feet either. Medicority is enough to keep Sonic from being ridiculed, but what he really needs is a game you'd acually consider buying over Mario Odyssey or Rift Apart or Crash 4 or any of his other contemporaries. 

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3 hours ago, Wraith said:

Games like Sonic Advance, Rush and Colors aren't disasters, but they aren't good enough to say the series is back on it's feet either. Medicority is enough to keep Sonic from being ridiculed, but what he really needs is a game you'd acually consider buying over Mario Odyssey or Rift Apart or Crash 4 or any of his other contemporaries. 

Yes… we do need something that we would buy over games like Crash 4.

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I don't think that's really an accurate assessment of the reception the 2D Sonic games got (and in a couple cases, still get) when they were new. So well received were they, in fact (from Pocket Adventure through at least the first Rush) that they were constantly used as sticks with which to beat all of the rest of the Sonic games on the market at the time; a sort of "this is proof that Sonic sucks in 3D because these 2D games that you should buy instead are so great."

 

 

 

 

I think much more of a reason that they've fallen by the wayside is that even the newest one is approaching 15 years old and all of them are on dead systems and were never rereleased again or compiled together later on despite how frequently some of them were openly wished for by gaming outlets.

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