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Do you think we'll ever see a 3D Sonic game achieve critical acclaim?


BubbleButt TV
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BubbleButt TV

After Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart's reviews came in and critics were raving about it, I couldn't help but think about the next Sonic. 

Do you think that a new mainline 3D Sonic will ever achieve this type high? Is Sonic's reputation too tainted that even a truly great game will always be immediately met with cynicism?

Sonic Mania plus on Switch is the highest rated entry with 91 on metacritic and even that attracted some snark from people who feel like Sonic doesn't deserve that.

Sonic Adventure 2 is the highest rated 3D game at 89. It seems like no 3D sonic game has ever managed to break 90+

Do you think SEGA are even capable of making a truly great 3D Sonic?

anyways sorry for the weird thread, here's hoping that Sonic 2022 will be the one that exceeds expectations

image.thumb.jpeg.f497f3229b3d833df14087878b3e785a.jpeg

(fanart by @supsross on twitter)

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KingMario05

Well, it depends on which PART of Sega we're talking about. Ryu ga Gotoku Studio, even post-Nagoshi, seems like they could knock one hell of a Sonic game out of the park... but Sega doesn't have them develop Sonic games. That's Sonic Team's job, for better or (IMHO) worse.

Will Rangers be the one everyone loves, the one that finally brings Sonic back for GOOD? We really don't know, and I'd love to see it happen. But based off of the track record of this ST, and that it's following BOTW about 5 years too late, I'm... just hoping the score is in the mid/high 70s.

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Unless there's a huge shakeup at the studio it's not going to happen. This team has never made a 90+ on metacritic before so I don't see why they would start now.

Some developers just don't put out critical darlings.

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Polkadi~☆
On 11/6/2021 at 11:00 AM, Wraith said:

Unless there's a huge shakeup at the studio it's not going to happen. This team has never made a 90+ on metacritic before so I don't see why they would start now.

Some developers just don't put out critical darlings.

Sonic Adventure 2's original release got extremely close, with an 89 on Metacritic. But that game was made out of special circumstances in a different time for Sonic Team. Then again, Sonic Team also (if counting international release) scored another 89 on Metacritic that same year with Phantasy Star Online, and another 89 the previous year with Samba de Amigo.
Sonic Team have gotten extremely close, but never quite 90 or more. The start of the 2000s was clearly a special time for Sonic Team regardless, and a time that can't be easily replicated.

Is it possible for a 3D Sonic game to receive acclaim? Absolutely. Do I see modern day Sonic Team creating a 3D Sonic game that becomes a critical darling? Certainly not, something would have to change at that department for any real changes in quality. The highest rated game of the last ten years that Sonic Team has made is Puyo Puyo Tetris at 83 on Metacritic, which is not a hard game to get right.

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On 11/5/2021 at 7:44 PM, BubbleButt TV said:

After Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart's reviews came in and critics were raving about it, I couldn't help but think about the next Sonic. 

Do you think that a new mainline 3D Sonic will ever achieve this type high? Is Sonic's reputation too tainted that even a truly great game will always be immediately met with cynicism?

Sonic Mania plus on Switch is the highest rated entry with 91 on metacritic and even that attracted some snark from people who feel like Sonic doesn't deserve that.

Sonic Adventure 2 is the highest rated 3D game at 89. It seems like no 3D sonic game has ever managed to break 90+

Do you think SEGA are even capable of making a truly great 3D Sonic?

anyways sorry for the weird thread, here's hoping that Sonic 2022 will be the one that exceeds expectations

image.thumb.jpeg.f497f3229b3d833df14087878b3e785a.jpeg

(fanart by @supsross on twitter)

We'll see how it goes from here.

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Rabbitearsblog

It depends on the team working on Sonic.  If they get better developers and better writers for Sonic Team, then I can definitely see another 3D Sonic game getting high acclaim.  But with the recent Sonic Team as it is now, I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon.

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Cosmos Rogue

Not until either there are changes at Sonic Team or the series is handed to a completely different developer studio. The people currently making these games just aren't particularly good at making video games.

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BadBehavior

Has to absolutely knock the gameplay out of the park too. I don't think cowardly hiding behind another iteration of the boost formula or desperately clawing their way back to the adventure formula would be enough (as much as I love the latter.).

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Rabbitearsblog
42 minutes ago, BadBehavior said:

Has to absolutely knock the gameplay out of the park too. I don't think cowardly hiding behind another iteration of the boost formula or desperately clawing their way back to the adventure formula would be enough (as much as I love the latter.).

I agree.  What they are struggling with now is not having good gameplay and that's what's hurting the games right now.  If they could just hire developers who are experienced with making games, then the gameplay will improve.

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"experienced with making games" is honestly a bit vague, and not really useful. Different genre of game needs different skills. It's like saying they need devs that are good with developing stuff, artist that make good-looking art, etc.

( And I'm not sure that that much in the last games are "dev errors", more design issues. For instance stuff like the character being heavy is something that can be handled by messing around with constants, generally, so I don't think that the devs are the problem here. But honestly I might say that just because I'm a dev and that so for me it's always either the designer or the user fault :^D)

 

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FlameStream

Sonic games (at least, as we know them today) has a lot of points against it to be able to reach high numbers. The major one is length vs. sustainability.

The nature of the game sometimes makes it very difficult to achieve.

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The Man On The Inside

This might be a hot take. But here goes - there's a way of looking at the way art is received. In general, there's not really such as thing as objective good and bad, you launch your art or your product into the pop culture and that pop culture will accept or reject it.

Metacritic is more like a gauge of that acceptance. If you're lucky, the game that you've designed and worked on for years will be accepted by the culture into which you launch it.

So what is a 3D Sonic game that would be accepted lovingly by gaming culture as it exists in 2022? Now this is a question. I have two short, totally insufficient answers.

In terms of abstract pop-cultural stuff...

I think that our gaming pop culture still feels that there's an "unfulfilled promise" of Sonic in 3D. The mainstream will always go back to Mario 64 as the comparison point. As far as they're concerned, anything less than Sonic's "Mario 64" moment will not suffice, essentially hard-capping the series at 78 or something until that abstract "promise of Sonic in 3D" is fulfilled.

In terms of gameplay and design...

It is my firm belief that "Classic Physics 3D" is the way you do that. Recreate the physics from the 16-bit titles in 3D, using the fangames that have done this already (and the Tony Hawk remakes) as inspiration. Put Sonic in trope locales, each with interesting uses of these physics - lava, ice, jungle, beach, desert, space, city, temple, mountain, casino, virtual reality, whatever. Fill these levels with things to run on, interactive gimmicks to bounce off, etc. Make the most of "Classic Physics 3D". What I'm describing is not easy, but shouldn't be considered impossible either.

But this is an absolutely huge topic, I haven't even mentioned things like story, characters, the obsession with the number of characters, whether they should speak etc. But all of those things absolutely will factor in mainstream reviews whether they should or not.

TL;DR: I want to see high critical acclaim for 3D Sonic, of course I do. It's just that there are barriers in the way which go beyond the scope of game design, art, production and programming. You have to hit the zeitgeist (not sure if that's the right word here) right on the head too. 

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