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Do you think that the Sonic Games will have better quality again?


Rabbitearsblog
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So, when I say about the Sonic games having better quality again, I mean like having better stories and most importantly, better gameplay again.  For the past 10 years, most of the Sonic games haven't been in high quality (with the exceptions of Sonic Generations and Sonic Mania, to name a few) and most of the games either have really bad gameplay or the stories aren't that well written.  

So, do you think that we will get better Sonic games that focus on good storytelling and great gameplay again in the near future?

Personally, I think we will eventually.  It's just a matter of whether or not they change the team who's working on the titles or just get in some new people for Sonic Team who know how to develop games efficiently and some writers who can write really good stories.  Also, I think that SEGA and Sonic Team really need to change their mindset from "let's just put out a random Sonic game out in the market, without bothering to see if it's any good" to "let's check these games out to make sure they are in good condition and then sell them to the market."

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Eh, probably. They got rid of Pontac and Graff but I dunno if they the writing will get magically great depending on the person gets hired next, which I currently do not known.

For games, it is for if Sonic Team had really learned they're mistakes from Forces. Which could entale the games going on a better or worse direction because the furture is the future so we do not know what will happen.  

 

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They'll get better. They'll get worse.

The quality will fluctuate depending on time, people working on it (especially how many they have, because Sonic have often been understaffed), financial situation of SEGA, interest of the upper layer for the IP (which gave the $$$). It's not just a question of the creators "being good" or "being bad". The team have changed a lot since the '98, and the issues have come and back depending on the situations and circumstances. You can get the best dream team of dev ever, if the conditions are shitty, you have a few chances to get a good game. The team will do what they can with what they have.

Sure some people aren't quite fit for the job, like Pontaff imo, but what they need the most is better process IMO. Stuff like not having the script that go a back and forth between USA and Japan all the time, having enough time and especially people on a game, not having too many hands in some process (stuff like the oversea team saying that there shouldn't be lyrics in Lost World is kinda annoying IMO). Being able to delay more their game would be good too.  Also, they tends to subcontract a lot of things, with how many studios are credited in recent game. It add a layer of complexity to the question : What is their contract ? Is it cheap or not ? Are these studio good, with good process ? What do they do exactly ? How SEGA decide to work with them ? Do they affect or not the overall quality of the game ?

The next game is even more complex as they want to do something new. They want to have the new Sonic style for the next decade or more. So does this game have a way higher budget ? If it's good and this new paradigm works, will the next game go lower-budget like they did after each new paradigm ? Will they commit to this possibly bigger game style (if we take the different clues that we can get in the first leak and the interviews) ? Who even decide that ? If it's not as interesting for the public that they thought it would be (let's hope that the testing they done managed to capture a part of their possible buyer base well enough and they target them well), how will they react ?

For the moment, they seem to have gotten a big interest in Sonic again. It could be pretty good, as it's often after crisis that they create some interesting titles, but this time they also have the pressure of the IP being big at the same time. Now let's hope that the next game won't do an Unleashed (it have to be massively appreciated when it is released, 13 years after is a tad too late xD). And there is even the last possibility : what if they're good and have a quite good success, but alienate the current fanbase ?

 

TL;DR: There are a lot of questions. The issue with Sonic games aren't just that the "devs aren't good at making game" but a mixt of process and decisions that doesn't please the public. There are a lot of things we don't know, which make any prediction difficult. Basically : we can't really know. If nothing is done, it'll continue as is, and be basically random. Stuff could get better with better process, and the situation might help the next games… but everything can go wrong to.

And there are a lot of other possibilities than "the next game is good", "the next game is okay-ish" and "the next game is bad", which might be good or not.

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11 hours ago, J.R. said:

Eh, probably. They got rid of Pontac and Graff but I dunno if they the writing will get magically great depending on the person gets hired next, which I currently do not known.

For games, it is for if Sonic Team had really learned they're mistakes from Forces. Which could entale the games going on a better or worse direction because the furture is the future so we do not know what will happen.  

 

That's what I'm concerned about.  I don't know if Sonic Team actually learned their lesson from the mistakes of Sonic Forces.  And if they did learn their lesson, is it the right lesson or the wrong lesson?  Like, do they understand that what made Sonic Forces fall apart was the bad writing and the stilted gameplay?  And do they notice that some fans do like Infinite as a character, but he was just written terribly and he just needed better writing for his character?  We'll have to see what Sonic Team actually learned from Sonic Forces before we can say if the games will get worse or better.

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I would say that even knowing it has bad "writing" and/or "gameplay" isn't really understanding tho. Because they might understand that it have a bad story for instance, but decide that the very thing they tried with Forces (darker edgier story) wasn't right to begin with and to go another way (and some would agree with them) or that it was simply a matter of not trying it enough (and some would agree with them²). (I don't think that much that they'll make that conclusion, Iizuka IIRC recently said that darker/lighter story basically will depends of what the game is trying to do, they greenlighted the Metal Virus and they weren't afraid to have some feeling-based moments (and some lore-related moments) in the Sonic Channel Story. All that makes me think that they at least didn't make the conclusion that they should just do lighter stories).

And it could happen again even if they understand, for instance they could have yet again a confusing storyline if they can't make their writing process more streamlined (because I'm not sure that having an initial back and forth between a japanese and US script THEN another japanese script is really a sound writing process).

 

For gameplay, I'm not sure much lesson from Forces can be really used that much if they working on a whole new vision of Sonic. I mean, the "the levels are two linear with not enough to do" is here pretty contextual to the boost gameplay, and it wouldn't adapt well to a new style (especially if the "open world" is confirmed). Maybe even some issue of Forces (how long is a stage) wouldn't be as bad for potential "smaller action stage" within an open-world, for instance - if they're common enough.

 

 

So IDK how much they can "learn" from Forces for the next game. I mean, even going to another style might not be related to Forces reception, they might themselves want to do something else (which would be the best case scenario, imo).

Sure they might be some lesson that they can adapt to what they're doing. I just don't know how much.

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Yes. Sonic 1-3 is a once in a lifetime run that's probably never going to be matched, but people who only want something that's as good as Sonic Unleashed will probably get what they want eventually,, I think. I can see Sonic Team shaping up to the point where they can reach that bar.

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20 hours ago, BadBehavior said:

This is the first I've heard about this.

It's in a japanese interview with Kishimoto, Othani and maybe Nakamura (not sure about him), I'll try to find it again. They discussed various aspect of Forces, like it being more story-centered again, how they redid the wispon system from scratch because the old one wasn't adapted, and the choice of lyrical music (and how Othani at first thought that Kishimoto wouldn't greenlight that, and Kishimoto talked about that point).

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1 hour ago, Kazhnuz said:

It's in a japanese interview with Kishimoto, Othani and maybe Nakamura (not sure about him), I'll try to find it again. They discussed various aspect of Forces, like it being more story-centered again, how they redid the wispon system from scratch because the old one wasn't adapted, and the choice of lyrical music (and how Othani at first thought that Kishimoto wouldn't greenlight that, and Kishimoto talked about that point).

I believe I found something. Not exactly what you were talking about but close enough. https://imgur.com/2npxhky

The relevent section is:

Quote

At the start of the project, I (Takashi IIzuka) approached Ohtani and said "this time, lets have vocals in the main theme song". Since Sonic Generations in 2011, I held back on including vocal tracks at the request of our overseas offices, but it always felt to me like something was missing.

He goes onto say that the positive reception to Fist Bump took him by surprise, especailly from overseas fans.

So Japan 1 - 0 West, it looks like.

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I think it could go either way. I think Wraith's post was very accurate, we probably won't ever get the golden streak that was the Classic Days (or Adventure, some would argue), but there's a chance it could be good. Forces wasn't necessarily offensively bad, per se, just aggressively mediocre. I think Sega is putting some modicum of effort into the game, and given the backlash from Forces they could make something genuinely good, Boost or otherwise. I think Boost has kind of run its course as the main gameplay style, but they could make it work with those open-world elements that people mentioned in the leaks. I think it would also be cool to throw in some of the RPG elements from Adventure, like for story progression (but obviously not within the level). As long as the gameplay is tight, or at least decent like Colors, I mean Sega probably couldn't mess this up too bad, right?

(In a year I will regret my previous statement).

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1 hour ago, Mr. Ion said:

I think it could go either way. I think Wraith's post was very accurate, we probably won't ever get the golden streak that was the Classic Days (or Adventure, some would argue), but there's a chance it could be good. Forces wasn't necessarily offensively bad, per se, just aggressively mediocre. I think Sega is putting some modicum of effort into the game, and given the backlash from Forces they could make something genuinely good, Boost or otherwise. I think Boost has kind of run its course as the main gameplay style, but they could make it work with those open-world elements that people mentioned in the leaks. I think it would also be cool to throw in some of the RPG elements from Adventure, like for story progression (but obviously not within the level). As long as the gameplay is tight, or at least decent like Colors, I mean Sega probably couldn't mess this up too bad, right?

(In a year I will regret my previous statement).

I hope that SEGA doesn't mess the next game up.  They really need some good games with this franchise again.

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No.

I've been waiting since Sonic Heroes for Sonic games to get better. And they never do. Oh sure, sometimes we go into a period of a few years were it looks like Sonic have left his worst days behind him. But he never does, not permanently.

Sonic Forces kinda sucked. Maybe Sonic Rangers will be really good. And maybe even the next game after that will be good. But then the games after that will be bad, maybe even absolute garbage. That's how it goes with Sonic.

I'm tired of waiting for some new golden age that never comes (or, alternatively, that does come but then go away almost immediately), and so instead, to protect my sanity as a Sonic fan, I've just come to except Sonic to forever remain a wonky ass franchise where even the most promising seeming game can turn out to be shit.

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45 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

Honestly, I know I'm going to get shit for this, it won't matter if it does. Most fans won't want to see any positives if the next game has any flaws at all that's all anyone will ever focus on. 

I keep forgetting that there are going to be fans who will never be satisfied, no matter what you do, even if the franchise is hitting a high point.  I would say that if you enjoy any new Sonic games coming out that's actually good, then don't let anybody else tell you otherwise.

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1 hour ago, SBR2 said:

Most fans won't want to see any positives if the next game has any flaws at all that's all anyone will ever focus on. 

This is not remotely true. Literally every single game that is generally agreed to be good has significant faults that the fans forgive. Few people really, truly care about all of the different directions the series has gone in either; most Sonic fans like games from the classic, adventure, and boost eras, and if there is any merit to Sonic 2022 they will quickly accept that game too.

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2 hours ago, batson said:

No.

I've been waiting since Sonic Heroes for Sonic games to get better. And they never do. Oh sure, sometimes we go into a period of a few years were it looks like Sonic have left his worst days behind him. But he never does, not permanently.

Haha, yeah, I was gonna say, it always kinda throws me when I see someone raise a point like this, like, "Oh, Sonic's really gone downhill over the past 10 years!" Because I've been hearing constantly how the bottom's dropped out and Sonic's on his death bed for more like the past 20. I think we're hitting the point where some younger fans have no memory of just how far Sonic's reputation fell in the 2000s. But in my case, there's been no shortage of games I loved in either decade, which may be why it's easier for me to be cautiously optimistic.

I feel like I've got a good handle on red flags to watch out for, and I can keep that in mind without getting my hopes up. I'm always holding out for another Rush, Generations, or Mania, but even the Sonic games that bomb always have SOMETHING I can sink my teeth into. When it's good, there's nothing else like it, and when it's not... there's still nothing else like it, haha. I'm keeping an open mind, and looking forward to whatever ups, downs, and all arounds the future will hold!

Having said that, I *do* agree with batson that I'm well past the point of really thinking the series is ever gonna be consistent, at least without a fundamental change in Sega's (not Sonic Team's) philosophy toward the series. A lot of the executive meddling that plagued Heroes also plagued Forces, and I get the feeling that when Sonic Team has hit a home run, it happens in SPITE of those circumstances. As Naoto Ohshima put it, Iizuka is fighting alone.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

Having said that, I *do* agree with batson that I'm well past the point of really thinking the series is ever gonna be consistent, at least without a fundamental change in Sega's (not Sonic Team's) philosophy toward the series. A lot of the executive meddling that plagued Heroes also plagued Forces, and I get the feeling that when Sonic Team has hit a home run, it happens in SPITE of those circumstances. As Naoto Ohshima put it, Iizuka is fighting alone.

Do you think that the people who are currently running SEGA will ever be replaced?

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1 hour ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

Do you think that the people who are currently running SEGA will ever be replaced?

I mean.... obviously eventually that is an inevitability. Nothing stays the same forever. Now, will it happen immediately, in response to the reception Sonic games have been getting lately? Probably/most likely not.

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Sonic is incredibly inconsistent in terms of quality, I highly doubt we will be consistently getting good - great games for like 10 years, Sonic tries to do new things a lot, which makes the series more lively and exciting, but it can backfire sometimes, I don't buy in to Frontiers yet, so I need to see some uncut gameplay (2 mins meyb) atleast

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3 hours ago, Pumkin_22 said:

Sonic is incredibly inconsistent in terms of quality, I highly doubt we will be consistently getting good - great games for like 10 years, Sonic tries to do new things a lot, which makes the series more lively and exciting, but it can backfire sometimes, I don't buy in to Frontiers yet, so I need to see some uncut gameplay (2 mins meyb) atleast

Even though I agree that SEGA constantly trying new things does make the franchise interesting, I think doing so many different things with this franchise also hinders the series a bit.  Because SEGA is constantly changing the formula for the games, they don't really learn from their past mistakes on the bad games.  Like say that the constant glitches in Sonic 06 was a major problem with the game. Well, even after SEGA changed the formula for the franchise by the time Sonic Colors Ultimate came around, the recent game Sonic Colors Ultimate still had a lot of glitches like 06 did, meaning that SEGA didn't learn their lessons from the mistakes of Sonic 06.  If we want the Sonic games to get better again, then SEGA needs to stop trying out new things with the franchise and just try to improve on the gameplay and the stories they already have.

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16 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

Do you think that the people who are currently running SEGA will ever be replaced?

They got replaced multiple time, they are not ever the same as some may led you to believe, i mean just recently, Nagoshi left SEGA and he had such a big creative role there for SEGA titles in general, even the CEO was replaced few years ago.

 

It's not like this big force that shackles the poor Sonic Team every time that needs replacing as soon as possible and once it's changed you will see higher quality of games or something, it doesn't work like that

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There is no logic in thinking they will be better/worse overall because the truth is every game has different team members and circumstances around it. Every game is a different case.

Colors was remastered by Blind Squirrel. That along with Frontiers have been developed during the pandemic.

With Forces they wanted to recreate the magic of Generations and add more to it to get the whole fandom's attention, and as we know the result was a mess. It also had the leftover design direction from Lost World.

If I can think of anything as to why Sonic games most of the time are bad for one reason or another, it's because of SEGA's bad management, rush for the deadlines, bad decisions in general with Sonic, lack of comunication between Japan and America. This is the only thing that is constant when it comes to new releases. 

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2 hours ago, Red Hot Jack said:

There is no logic in thinking they will be better/worse overall because the truth is every game has different team members and circumstances around it. Every game is a different case.

Colors was remastered by Blind Squirrel. That along with Frontiers have been developed during the pandemic.

With Forces they wanted to recreate the magic of Generations and add more to it to get the whole fandom's attention, and as we know the result was a mess. It also had the leftover design direction from Lost World.

If I can think of anything as to why Sonic games most of the time are bad for one reason or another, it's because of SEGA's bad management, rush for the deadlines, bad decisions in general with Sonic, lack of comunication between Japan and America. This is the only thing that is constant when it comes to new releases. 

How come SEGA's management continues to be bad, despite changing many teams and heads over the years?

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6 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

How come SEGA's management continues to be bad, despite changing many teams and heads over the years?

The same exact way that Sonic Team is "bad" despite it's actual members changing a lot over the years.

 

That is ..if we even consider SEGA management to be bad in the first place these days, they are actually doing great in last years, consistent quality of Yakuza games, revival of beloved classics like Virtua Fighter and Streets of Rage 4 and SMB  etc, Atlus continued success, football manager continued success, even regarding Sonic...you see that they actually recognized Mania quality, and they actually released an expansion for it 1 year later, a treatment that not any Sonic game had it really, with them actually releasing it physically, and producing amazing animation shorts for Mania, and basically letting the mania brand continue to exist in various forms

a bad management would let Mania release and be done with it forever and won't even recognize it

 

i won't put Sonic struggle on management, or "Sonic Team" alone, cause even the failings comes from different places and good intentions, Lost World? they wanted to try something new and creative and avoid being stale and safe, Forces? people liked Generations, and like creating OC, and like edgy stories of Adventure era, so let's make creating OCs a reality in a generations style game , with a serious story, surly the kids would love it! also the engine needs upgrading for next gen, can't use outdated engine forever! which then took longer than expected, but what it failed to achieve in Forces will make up for it in next games since the engine will be "done" by then and won't eat much of development time

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