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Is having good stories in the Sonic Games as important as having good gameplay?


Rabbitearsblog

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So, do you think that having good stories in the Sonic the Hedgehog games is just as important as having good gameplay?  For me, I think having a good story is just as important as the gameplay.  I mean sure, you can have a good game anyway, even if the story is not quite there, because the gameplay is really good.  But, I always like it when the stories in the Sonic games were good because they made me relate more to the characters and their situations.

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Nope. There isn't a single good Sonic game that doesn't have good gameplay, and I'm not sure there's a single title that I'd say has a good story anyway. 

But! The idea that gameplay and story are separate, or need to be, is a false dichotomy. The few successes the Sonic series has had in storytelling have come when the story is told during gameplay e.g. the environmental themes of the classic games being expressed through the level theming, Radical Highway serving as an establishing character level for Shadow, or Sonic Battle using it's character customization system to invest the player in the story of Emerl.

So, this series hasn't had success when trying to tell stories without utilizing the gameplay to help tell those stories (and should stop trying to do so), but if they actually get the gameplay right then a good story is, if not likely, at least possible.

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A good story is more motivation to play the game further. It’s like icing on the cake so to speak.

It shouldn’t have to come at any kind of sacrifice if you have a decent writer to make it, but for some reason that’s one that isn’t always given the polish needed.

All in all, I like having stories in games. It’s not the only reason to play them, but it shouldn’t be shunned from being part of the experience.

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No

It breaks my heart to say it, but absolutely not. If Sonic 06 had very good gameplay, then we would just casually laugh at all silly story points.

I mean sure, some games sell themself on story first. Undertale with only gameplay is fleeting distraction at best. But Sonic is ain't no Undertale.

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49 minutes ago, BadBehavior said:

To all the people saying no, would you prefer Sonic not have a story entirely? If the next game just didn't have cutscenes or voiceacting etc?

I wasn't answering the question with my preference in mind, just stating the reality of things. We've got enough examples to know that they don't need it to do well.

My preference is that they do add them, because I'd rather games do more than just stick to what works.

 

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41 minutes ago, BadBehavior said:

To all the people saying no, would you prefer Sonic not have a story entirely? If the next game just didn't have cutscenes or voiceacting etc?

There's a big difference between story not being the most important factor in Sonic's success, and it not being beneficial at all. As long as it doesn't get in the way of actually playing the game, a decent story will be appreciated. But no story is going to save a game that isn't fun to play, and a fun game can still succeed in spite of its story.

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I love good stories in Sonic games.

All 3 or 4 of them.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH

Seriously though, good story is great. I want more stories from Sonic.Preferably involving many if his friends. But deep down I know that not the important part. When people want story they go to the cinema or watch Netflix. They play games for gameplay. Sonic Mania has little of no-that-great story, but it's amazing. Sonic Rivals 2 had a lot of little interactions that I enjoyed, but I haven't touched that game in years.

(And yes I know, RPGs, horror games. Yakuza, there are games that sell themselves on story or merge it seamlessly with gameplay. But Sonic doesn't do that, not to significant degree)

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I've been of the impression that this fanbase prioritizes storytelling over gameplay given the praise the likes of 06 and Black Knight get.

 

Like, if you weren't savvy to the fanbase at all, you would think those games are among the best when their praise is primarily for their "well written stories"

 

It's understandable a fanbase cares about the story and characters than the general audience will, but I don't think the fanbase really understands that most people aren't playing Sonic for the story, and having one has no real effect on its punlic reception. 

Most Sonic game narratives are simple by nature. They're not BAD, but pretty much what you'd normally find in the genre.

 

A bad story is something only the fanbase cares about, a bad game is something everyone is going to care about. There's no question which one is more important.

 

 

Ideally I'd want both, but if I had to prioritize I'd choose gameplay over story any time.

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2 hours ago, Kuzu said:

I've been of the impression that this fanbase prioritizes storytelling over gameplay given the praise the likes of 06 and Black Knight get.

I've never gotten that idea.

Sure people harp on Sonic as a character a lot, and praise the handful of games that do a good job of storytelling (*cough*BlackKinght*cough*Rush*cough*) but its more so because there is a lot of meat on that bone to chew and there is nothing wrong with having high expectations for both.

I mean, even using the two games in your post as an example, 06 is an unmitigated disaster and Black Knight is still in the lowest tier of Sonic games in terms of public opinion. Story sure didn't help those two. You can't float bad game mechanics. Sonic games have consistently rocking soundtracks, some of them have inspired visuals, some of them even have pretty good stories to tell. But the only thing that separates the good games from the bad ones is the gameplay. That's all their is to it. Any other approach is misguided.

 

I seriously doubt that there is any significant number of people that would claim with a straight face that the story behind a Sonic game is as important as the gameplay itself.

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21 minutes ago, Sega DogTagz said:

 

 

I seriously doubt that there is any significant number of people that would claim with a straight face that the story behind a Sonic game is as important as the gameplay itself.

In my experience there are some fans that feel that way, but they used to get shit so they either left or don't care to admit it now.

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34 minutes ago, Sega DogTagz said:

I've never gotten that idea.

Sure people harp on Sonic as a character a lot, and praise the handful of games that do a good job of storytelling (*cough*BlackKinght*cough*Rush*cough*) but its more so because there is a lot of meat on that bone to chew and there is nothing wrong with having high expectations for both.

I mean, even using the two games in your post as an example, 06 is an unmitigated disaster and Black Knight is still in the lowest tier of Sonic games in terms of public opinion. Story sure didn't help those two. You can't float bad game mechanics. Sonic games have consistently rocking soundtracks, some of them have inspired visuals, some of them even have pretty good stories to tell. But the only thing that separates the good games from the bad ones is the gameplay. That's all their is to it. Any other approach is misguided.

 

I seriously doubt that there is any significant number of people that would claim with a straight face that the story behind a Sonic game is as important as the gameplay itself.

I dunno. I'm not saying fans don't care about gameplay, but outside of places likea Retro, people tend to treat it like an afterthought.

Or merely something you do to experience the story.

 

 

How many topics on this site have we had that go into actual game discussions versus the millions of story and writing debates? Its perfectly fine to love Sonic its story, but I do legitimately think some people forget that this is in fact a video game series and not a story driven one.

37 minutes ago, BadBehavior said:

Good thing Sonic Team are so talented and Sega higher ups care so much that they're giving us neither of those things.

The topic asked a question and I answered it.

 

Like yo, I'm so fucking tired of being miserable about this series. I've done that to death.

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21 hours ago, Kuzu said:

I've been of the impression that this fanbase prioritizes storytelling over gameplay given the praise the likes of 06 and Black Knight get.

Like, if you weren't savvy to the fanbase at all, you would think those games are among the best when their praise is primarily for their "well written stories"

I think there is a general tendenccy for video game fanbases to value the stories in the games much higher than a casual player would. Even within the Mario fanbase there are people who place a very high priority over things such as "I wish the games explored Mario's personality more" or "There needs to be a game where Bowser is taken more seriously by other characters", things that most casual Mario players couldn't care less about because to them the enjoyability of a mario game pretty much begins and ends with the gameplay.

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Even though I think that the developers should value the gameplay first before the story, because that's what gamers are here for, I still think that having a good story can enhance the game a bit.  If I'm playing a game, I would love to be able to connect with the characters while I'm playing as that character.  That's why I love games like Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts, because even though the gameplay is fantastic, the stories are what ultimately got me interested in those games.  However, I also loved games like the classic Sonic games and Sonic Mania, as they don't really have any stories to work off, but the gameplay is fantastic for all of these games.  I'm not necessarily saying that all Sonic games should have a story, because some of the best Sonic games don't have stories, but have fantastic gameplays.  However, if said Sonic game does have a story, then they better make the story worth it, as well as the gameplay.

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