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'Sonic Frontiers' Trademarked by SEGA


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I don't think the "leak" being discussed is real, but I do think this ghost girl thing could end up being kind of true just by coincidence, since female characters are usually meant to look at least somewhat "appealing" in that sense, bearing in mind this will be an E10+ rated game at the most and depending on what you would describe as being "very sexualized" for a game meant to be played by kids.

I do seem to remember Zeena from Sonic Lost World garnering comments about how she would be rule-34'd based on her design, as if rule 34 artists wouldn't be coming for her regardless just for being a female character in general, but her design is indeed curvier than Amy Rose if nothing else, so we could just be in for something along those lines.

At the most, I would expect a design like Tawna's from Crash 4, where she's rather thicc but it's not really acknowledged in game...

tawna-redesign-crash-4.jpg

 ...or since we're apparently ripping off Breath of the Wild here, maybe a design very reminiscent of Zelda, though I don't know how humanoid this ghost girl design is really meant to be.

Screen_Shot_2017_05_02_at_12.25.59_PM.0.png

Either way, I do think odds are, if this character is real, we're probably going to be in for some waifu bait, which I'd be lying if I said I was opposed to, to be honest.

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4 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

By the way, are they still called Sonic Team?  I've been hearing rumors that they are going to call themselves Sonic Studios from this point forward and change a few things in the team.

For what I've seen :

- Sonic Studio is an american office supervising the whole Sonic IP. They seems to be the Sonic Pillar rebranded ? For what I've understood in interviews, they're basically the one contracting people who work on Sonic games, not the one who create the game. We don't have info about how much they conceptualize them, but in an interview Iizuka (how is Sonic Studio's Creative Officier) used more "them" when talking about the dev team of 2022, which would suppose that he doesn't include himself as working on the game.

- As Iizuka talked about "dev team at SOJ", we can be nearly 100% sure that Sonic Games are still made by SEGA CS2 (which is since 2018 a fusion between the old SEGA CS2 (Sonic, Olympics games, Puyo Puyo) and a part of old SEGA CS3 (Valkyria Chronicles 4). We don't know how its affect new "Sonic Team-branded" games, there is some theories that this new orientation would be related to the arrivals of people from CS3, so more expert on RPG. The Sonic Team brand is still present, as seen on the 2022/Frontiers teaser.

- In an interview, Iizuka said that "[their] development team at SOJ has over 100 people", which mean some changes, as IIRC Forces had less (not counting external studios, as here Iizuka is talking about the dev team in SoJ). Note that it doesn't mean that they have necesserally hired new person, it might be that a bigger part of CS2 have been devoted to the Sonic 2022 project. We don't know how much of CS2 will be dedicated to the new Sonic games, just that except Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, their last games were in 2019, and where Sakura Wars, Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games and the official Olympic Game videogame.

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7 hours ago, Wraith said:

I don't really know how to feel about it until I see her.  It fits with their apparent initiative to make the series more popular with Japan, but it might rub some fans in the US the wrong way. I'd consider it refreshing after how americanized the series's lore/characterization got in the 2010s, though. I like Sonic Team cringe more than a bland imitation of AOSTH

The series is definitely not moving in a more Japanese-oriented direction by any means. If anything, they're focusing more on America than every before with Sonic Studios. Ever since after Forces, they've been working to make America the headquarters of the Sonic brand.

I'd hardly call the 2010s the "Americanized" version of Sonic. Yeah, America made Sonic Boom, but the Archie and IDW comics, Mania, the movies, and the upcoming Sonic Prime series are what I'd call American Sonic. If anything it should be the opposite, since everything in the Pontaff era was made after Sonic Team moved back to Japan, and the IDW comic mandates were made by Sega of Japan. So I guess Shadow being Vegeta was just SoJ's vision for the series. Yeah, it's probably more complicated than I make it sound, but it certainly isn't "America = bad jokes, Japan = serious anime".

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1 hour ago, CertifiedNobody said:

 

I'd hardly call the 2010s the "Americanized" version of Sonic. Yeah, America made Sonic Boom, but the Archie and IDW comics, Mania, the movies, and the upcoming Sonic Prime series are what I'd call American Sonic. If anything it should be the opposite, since everything in the Pontaff era was made after Sonic Team moved back to Japan, and the IDW comic mandates were made by Sega of Japan. So I guess Shadow being Vegeta was just SoJ's vision for the series. Yeah, it's probably more complicated than I make it sound, but it certainly isn't "America = bad jokes, Japan = serious anime".

SOA were able to spearhead projects like Sonic Boom while american writers took over the scripts for the games, american film studios got their hands on the IP and american interpretations of the characters became the default. Iizuka even admitted the overseas offices are why we stopped getting vocal themes. They got more sway over the series in the fallout of 06-Unleashed and largely blew the opportunity imo. The brand was stagnating instead of growing until the film came along.

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32 minutes ago, Wraith said:

SOA were able to spearhead projects like Sonic Boom while american writers took over the scripts for the games, american film studios got their hands on the IP and american interpretations of the characters became the default. Iizuka even admitted the overseas offices are why we stopped getting vocal themes. They got more sway over the series in the fallout of 06-Unleashed and largely blew the opportunity imo. The brand was stagnating instead of growing until the film came along.

Isn't that all the more reason for them to double down on the "Americanization"???

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13 minutes ago, Wraith said:

SOA were able to spearhead projects like Sonic Boom while american writers took over the scripts for the games, american film studios got their hands on the IP and american interpretations of the characters became the default. Iizuka even admitted the overseas offices are why we stopped getting vocal themes. They got more sway over the series in the fallout of 06-Unleashed and largely blew the opportunity imo. The brand was stagnating instead of growing until the film came along.

Sonic Boom was a cartoony alternative to the Japanese-led Sonic series.

The American writers were told to write based on what Sega wanted for the series at the time.

The film remained in development hell for the majority of the 2010s and only actually released after they ended.

The American interpretations did not become the default, otherwise the whole series would be a lot closer to the IDW comics or the animated shorts. 

What does that even mean? How does that affect vocal themes? Besides, the only game without any was Sonic Lost World.

They got more sway back when Sonic Team moved to the USA for Sonic Adventure 2. And yeah, some of that potential was wasted, but a lot of it was well done.

That sounds like more reason to lean more towards American Sonic.

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SoJ have influence on the last games, but we can really see that there were an idea that Sonic for Japan and Sonic for USA had some differences in how they're handled. If you look at the last few games and translation of the japanese script, you can see some differences between the japanese version and the USA version (mostly on characterisation). Even if the japanese team get the "initial ideas", there is this idea that Sonic had to be adapted to the occidental public. It's more americanized than before (another small element that go in that direction is that the cutscene were lipsynced since the 2010 for the US script more).

We can also see a bit of that in interviews :

- In a Japanese interview Kishimoto said that he isn't against lyrical theme, but that the oversea teams were against. Some other elements seems to show that the oversea team have a lot to say on "how is Sonic".

- On twitter, Nakamura talked about how the script had to go forth and back between USA and Japanese team.

- The question of Forces being "japanese enough" or not come back in the same interview.

 

Sure, last game aren't 100% the effect of the american teams, and the japanese team also had some ideas (especial on Forces). But honestly, it's not a stretch to think that since Colors, the US teams have more influence over what the IP is than they had before. And I would say Iizuka going on the USA again doesn't mean "Sonic going back being more american Sonic" (far from it). It's not because the japanese team where on the USA that they were making "American Sonic", I would say that on the contrary, it gave more power to the "japanese Sonic", as basically it gave them more control.

Now of course, the difference aren't that big than in the classic era, and IDW Sonic is really similar to what would be "japanese Sonic stories", for instance (like the Sonic Channel stories) and not only because of the "mandates".

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29 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Isn't that all the more reason for them to double down on the "Americanization"???

Considering that the film had to be ridiculed viciously before it was retooled into being watchable at the last second, not really. It was almost a failure until they injected more of the actual Sonic series into it. I wouldn't be surprised if SOJ was actually holding them on a tighter leash this time.

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9 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Considering that the film had to be ridiculed viciously before it was retooled into being watchable at the last second, not really. It was almost a failure until they injected more of the actual Sonic series into it. I wouldn't be surprised if SOJ was actually holding them on a tighter leash this time.

The only major issue was the old design for Sonic, which Paramount forced the movie crew to go with. The redesign is a very Americanized Sonic too.

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3 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Considering that the film had to be ridiculed viciously before it was retooled into being watchable at the last second, not really. It was almost a failure until they injected more of the actual Sonic series into it. I wouldn't be surprised if SOJ was actually holding them on a tighter leash this time.

The backlash was mostly against the design itself, but I understand what you mean. 

 

Its hard to say, the movie was successful in spite of lack of input from SOJ, so trying to restrict them similar to IDW might shoot them in the foot. 

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4 minutes ago, CertifiedNobody said:

The only major issue was the old design for Sonic, which Paramount forced the movie crew to go with. The redesign is a very Americanized Sonic too.

It is much closer to Sonic's modern design than the old one. They clearly heard the feedback and made it closer to the classic design from japan that everyone already likes.

2 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

The backlash was mostly against the design itself, but I understand what you mean. 

 

Its hard to say, the movie was successful in spite of lack of input from SOJ, so trying to restrict them similar to IDW might shoot them in the foot. 

The difference between IDW and the film is that IDW is developed by people who love and respect the Sonic IP already, so they don't actually require as much micromanaging as they get. Even when left to their own devices they wouldn't intentionally change Sonic's design, origin and personality like that.

The film was made by people that thought it was broken and they could do a better job. It bit them in the ass, and even in the "fixed" version there are still a lot of issues that need to be worked on, so hopefully next time they either come correct or Sega keeps them in line.

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TBH, "american" vs "japanese" doesn't mean that much in "what is good". Both can make shit stuff like good stuff. And it's more complicated than to just look at "this is made by american" and "this is made by japanese". IDW is made by american but is extremely "SEGASonic" (even with some inspiration from US media too, it's mostly based on the japanese side of things). For instance, if you look at the Sonic Channel stories, IDW way of characterising the character is more similar to Toyoda's than Pontaff are in some games, even if the game are supervised by SoJ too.

Things are complicated. There is no one "good perfect side" that'll save us against the "bad ones".

11 minutes ago, CertifiedNobody said:

The redesign is a very Americanized Sonic too.

Not that much ? I mean, there isn't anything inherently "american" in the redesign, neither there is anything "japanese".

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10 minutes ago, Kazhnuz said:

TBH, "american" vs "japanese" doesn't mean that much in "what is good". Both can make shit stuff like good stuff. And it's more complicated than to just look at "this is made by american" and "this is made by japanese". IDW is made by american but is extremely "SEGASonic" (even with some inspiration from US media too, it's mostly based on the japanese side of things). For instance, if you look at the Sonic Channel stories, IDW way of characterising the character is more similar to Toyoda's than Pontaff are in some games, even if the game are supervised by SoJ too.

 

Yeah I didn't mean to imply otherwise. Like I said in the IDW thread there are people that understand Sonic everywhere. Most of them aren't involved with the bigger projects, but they're out there.

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We have to also consider what works in a Comic or video game doesn't necessarily translate to a feature length Film; we've seen so many video game adaptation films fail for decades due to simply not appealing to the mainstream audience. Like, it's pretty easy to scoff at how the Film characterizes Sonic and establishes its setting when we're looking at things from a Fan perspective, but the bottom line is that the film makers created something that appealed to the mainstream audience in spite of its deviations from the source, whether we like it or not. 

The same is true for the "American vs. Japan" argument; I love Japanese Shonen Sonic to death as well, but I can't really ignore the fact that all of those games are hella questionable in terms of content and were slowly destroying Sonic's rep all through that decade. The worst you can say about Sonic in the last ten years is that the series was stagnant and didn't evolve, but that didn't tank its reputation anywhere near as badly as the stuff from before did despite the fanbase's misgivings about the whole "meta era" 

 

Sonic is still a brand at the end of the day, and Sega will go with what gets them the most profit and commercial success, even at the cost of creative freedom. That's not to say these rumors aren't legitimate, but just going by the reactions to them on social media, you can already see people going for the immediate 06 comparisons and Sega intentionally doing that would just attract uneeded attention. 

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15 minutes ago, BadBehavior said:

ghost girl leak sounds fake af. It sounds way more interesting than anything Sonic Team could come up with. Even if it is real, can't wait for them to ruin it by forcing Classic Sonic in it somewhere.

The Forces team couldn't, but they merged with Sega's RPG team in 2018.

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For the most part I picture the ghost girl rumor as being the one from Night of the Werehog, but that'd probably be dependent on Marza being involved since she's basically their mascot and what the game is going for thematically. Alternatively could even just be something similar to Tikal who points you where you need to go and is gradually revealed in the story. It's not exactly "new ground" in this series, just depends on how they're implemented and written.

At the very least I like the idea even if I don't know how true these rumors are and how much of them are piggybacking off of the 4chan rumors from last year.

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I wouldn't call just the concept of "a phantom girl that helps Sonic" enough to really say that is far more interesting or not than what they do : we don't have enough to really know if it's interesting or not. For me, it's like saying "Sonic Forces have as an enemy a masked bastard believing in the law of strong, able to manipulate illusions and create duplicates of heroes" without its context (and knowing Forces) we could say "it's far more interesting that what Sonic Team does".

It's easy to make a concept sound cool in theory, so honestly I wouldn't said that a simple concept is "better than what the Sonic Team does", because when it's just a concept, it's nothing. Ideas haven't any values in themselves.

 

Now, if they manage to create a cool mystery around her, and a good pay-off, it would be nice, and honestly I'm kinda neutral on their ability to do that : it's not like it's a magical curse or something that make the current issue with writing, it's more a question of "when would happen a change helping things". It'll depend of their main writers and/or the US localisation.

For the first one, I'm kinda curious. Toyoda is good, but handle way more characterization, and IIRC haven't written a full Sonic stories (and TBH, he might have enough work with basically having to supervise every Sonic story). Makoto Goya might have interesting ideas, depending of what is from him in Forces (I kinda liked his work in Rythm Thief). Now if they get writers from Valkyria Chronicles 4 it could be nice, as it was a really nice game. IDK about Sakura Wars writers, I haven't play this game, I don't like this IP.

About the localization... I really would love Flynn doing the "last work" of the localization (basically the one made by Pontaff), I feel it would really be an improvement. Or having a more streamlined localisation process might be nice, because for the moment it seems to be a trainwreck, I mean, Forces having a "Script Writer", two "English Script Writer" and a "Japanese Script Writer" is kinda messy.

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1 hour ago, CertifiedNobody said:

The Forces team couldn't, but they merged with Sega's RPG team in 2018.

There was a restructuring, but the same people who always work on Sonic games are working on Frontiers.

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3 hours ago, Wraith said:

There was a restructuring, but the same people who always work on Sonic games are working on Frontiers.

And who are the new people? What was the size of the development team prior to the development of this game? You don't just go and jump from linear on rail platformers  to an open world platformer. They had to have hired new folk or brought outside help to make this possible, in a similar fashion to Monolith Soft helping helping the core Zelda team with BOTW. It's pure logistics.

Edited by Zoomzeta
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4 hours ago, Razule said:

We aren't supposed to know the game is open world yet. If they've hired people who specialize in it we aren't going to know for a while.

I know that, but still, it's only common sense that they would be hiring new talent for a game of this scale with that sort of expertice.

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