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Can Sonic have a plot?


SuperStingray

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There's a lot of discussion about the extent to which story and plot should play a role in a Sonic game. For many, it's great to have a diverse cast. For others, it shouldn't get any more complex than a hedgehog saving tiny animals from a rotund engineer. Many are fine with the middle ground.

I've also heard the argument that Sonic games shouldn't have plot or depth because it's a game about a cartoon hedgehog and marketed at children so it shouldn't be taken seriously. So... why can't children be exposed to deep subject matters? Ever heard of The Little Prince? Animal Farm? The Lorax? They're all popular, surreal fables made to appeal to children and they have strong meaning and depth. While I've yet to see any Sonic title's plot come close to that quality (at least IMO), why can't they try? Heck, I can relate Sonic to Animal Farm in particular, given the animal cast and Cold War symbolism of the first games.

I've also heard the argument before that Sonic games shouldn't have plot or depth because they tried it in titles like Shadow and 06. So what's that supposed to mean? That if a plot didn't work, it can't work? I want to explain the difference between depth and seriousness. Shakespeare once said "brevity is the soul of wit." Keep it short and simple is the first step to a good story. Depth is cutting out the fat to leave room for interpretation and character understanding rather than having the whole basis for the story handed to you on twenty platters until you just want them to shut up. Sometimes, you don't even need words to get an idea across. You just have to reach in there and find the meaning for yourself. Seriousness is just when the game aims not to be goofy. Sonic 06 and Shadow can both be called serious in tone, but they were shallow as the film of water between the coverslip and glass on a microscope slide.

In my own opinion, plot works, but subtlety is key. I don't think Sonic or any of the characters should be criticized for talking altogether, just when it's unnecessary. Take

"We're Sonic Heroes?" You don't just shit out a title drop like that. If you just blurt what's on your mind like that, it leaves no room for character depth and it just comes off as unnatural and forced.

Now try

from Black Knight. It's short, to the point, and most of all, it doesn't patronize the player. Suicide isn't a concept you would normally see in a game marketed to little kiddies, but it's actually being used to evoke a characteristic theme rather than meaningless narm, so it can hardly be called forced. Also, neither of them just spill their thoughts on the spot. Knuckles gives his input, Sonic gives his input, Sonic leaves. That's all you need. No piled on dialogue, no hearts on anyone's sleeve, (though I like how Sonic lampshaded Galahad's angst in this cutscene.) All the core concepts are left for when it's necessary to discuss them. THAT's how you tell a story.

Now what about a bona fide, classic-styled Sonic game? Can a powerful plot fit in there? The 2D platformer isn't exactly the genre that lends itself to a plot. As a rule, I believe a game's plot should only be as simple as the gameplay itself. BioShock has you traverse a dangerous environment with millions of combinations of weapons and powers at your disposal to use in many different ways. Tetris has you drop and twist blocks to form lines. Guess which one has the deep plot? And between a d-pad and a single button, early Sonic games seem nothing short of simple. At the same time, though, there is an important underlying science to this series that escapes most other platformer series. Most platformers like Mario and Bonk's Adventure can really have any layout so long as the difficulty curve is fair. But some like Sonic, Metroid and, to an extent, Megaman have a strong science behind their world structures. Sonic, in particular, requires a strong psychological consideration for the level structure revolving around elements like momentum, balance and exploration. Going by my own logic (though I could be wrong and might have just wasted a paragraph,) I think this is more than enough to justify a deep plot.

I think cutscenes are fair game as long as they're at least as brief and to the point as the one I mentioned for Black Knight and not, say, Metal Gear Solid's. But most importantly, they must be skippable. Story and flow are of different importance to different players, so why should some developers force us to see them?

As for a serious one... well, depends on what you expect from it. You could look at it as a blue hedgehog tries to stop a crazy old fat man from stealing animals and taking over the world, or you can look at it as a blue-tainted creature battles a mad scientist to stop him from enslaving the world's animal kingdom and dooming the planet to eternal despair. I highly doubt most people see the latter, so anyone expecting the former would probably end up seeing any unneeded attempt at seriousness as narm.

tl;dr: Sonic games can be deep in nature, but not many people are looking for something too serious in tone. Cutscenes are fine, but just as a SKIPPABLE transition rather than trying to piece the game together at every turn.

Discuss.

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I think that the games' plots shouldn't be too deep, because, yes, the game is about a speedy blue hedgehog trying to take down a round, evil doctor. But I think that Sonic games should have and can work with slightly complex plot if it's done right. For example, I did not like Sonic 06's story at all. It was way too complicated and at times annoying. And IMO, romance in a Sonic game is just out-of-place. But I thought Sonic Heroes' story was pretty childish and didn't really have a plot outside "take down Robotnik and Metal Sonic".

Some games that I was content with the plot are Adventures 1 and 2, Rush, Unleashed, and the entire Death Egg Saga. Those games' plots weren't TOO deep, but they were interesting and I enjoyed following along to something other than the basics. Yes, SA2 was a little plot-heavy, but I don't think it was too much for a Sonic game, and in fact, I really enjoyed that story.

So, I don't think plot and stories should be the main factor in Sonic games by no means, because when it comes down to it, it's about gameplay (duh!). But I like when the story is something other than the simple "beat Robotnik" storyline.

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Only if they can write a pretty good story. Mostly because the last few stories were a bit random. But when we had no story other than beat Eggman than there was some confusion.

I mean until now I didn't knew why the Eggrobo was fighting Knuckles. Thank gosh that Sega solved that. lol

Oh and simple stories seem to do the trick. After all it worked with Avatar....

Edited by Horror Punk Tim
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To counter the argument that Sonic's stories shouldn't be too deep or serious because it's about a cartoony hedgehog, the Mother series LIVES on lighthearted, satirical, and even wacky characters and settings in some of the most deep and emotional stories that rival any Bioshock, Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger combined.

Not that I'm saying Sonic SHOULD have a s00per s3rious story, I'm saying that a story can have depth and complexity regardless of the source material if it's handled well, and there is no better example of that in the Sonic series than the Archie comics.

Of course video games and comics are two entirely different medias when it comes to appealing to their audience, comics NEED some depth and ever growing characters, plots and settings to keep readers interested for a long running series, while games can have roughly the same amount of characters and same plot from when they started *coughcoughmariocoughcough* since their appeal comes from, obviously, gameplay.

If it can be written well, it CAN work, hence why I regard SaTBK as having one of THE best stories in the Sonic series, simply because it was done so well, regardless of the fact that it's Sonic The Hedgehog with a sword in an Arthurian storybook.

Edited by Black Spy
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To counter the argument that Sonic's stories shouldn't be too deep or serious because it's about a cartoony hedgehog, the Mother series LIVES on lighthearted, satirical, and even wacky characters and settings in some of the most deep and emotional stories that rival any Bioshock, Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger combined.

Of course, just to note, by the end of the story, each of the Mother games goes straight into Crazyland, especially Earthbound, and all three of the games have their share of Nightmare Fuel. Not that it's a bad thing, but the Mother series isn't all lighthearted and wacky.

But, really, anyone who says Sonic can't have a "deep" plot is an idiot. The problem is, most of Sonic's stories have simply been CRAP, with some more recent exceptions, such as the Rushes, Secret Rings, and Black Knight. Take Castlevania. Before Rondo of Blood, the Castlevania games barely had a plot at all other than "kill Dracula". Rondo actually had proper dialogue, cutscenes and the discussion between Dracula and Richter Belmont about whether humans are bastards or not. Then came Symphony of the Night. The only complaints about THAT story was about the hilariously bad voice acting and localized dialogue, and even then, people enjoy it because it's so unintentionally hilarious. Then it got a lot better, especially when the Sorrow games came out. Not many people actually complain about Castlevania games having proper stories, really.

Basically, all Sonic Team need is to, well, write their stories better. That's all. And have them not interfere in the freakn' gameplay.

Edited by Masaru Daimon
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Basically, all Sonic Team need is to, well, write their stories better. That's all. And have them not interfere in the freakn' gameplay.

I don't see how stories can interfere with the gameplay at all for Sonic. As bad as they were, they were the only things that actually compelled many fans to actually complete games like Shadow and Sonic 06, and actually lead others to completely obtain all the Chaos Emeralds in Heroes despite how terribly executed that game was.

In this case, stories have kind of been a driving influence for Sonic games.

Nonetheless, just because Sonic is a hedgehog trying to stop a scientific madman is not reason enough for why there shouldn't be a plot or a deep one either. As a matter of fact, there's really no reason at all other than preference as to why Sonic shouldn't have a plot. Yes, he's a hedgehog, but Mario is a plumber, Fox McCloud is...well, a fox, Sly Cooper is a racoon, Ratchet is a lombax. What exactly is the point in Sonic not having a deep plot because he's a hedgehog? Deep doesn't mean serious, and even then that doesn't dictate what should and what shouldn't be for Sonic.

Even though Sonic did well without a plot-heavy game in the Classics, that doesn't mean that he shouldn't have them now. It's that kind of minimalist logic that falls in on itself, because it all boils down to "The classics weren't plot heavy and they were good, why should it be now?" instead of pointing out any actual flaws in having an expanded plot to begin with that actually do the game harm.

There have been terrible stories in the series, yes, but you'd be a fool to think that because they were terrible shows that Sonic doesn't work with stories. In reality, it boils down to the fact that the reason why Sonic didn't do well with an expanded plot was because the writers did a terrible job at making one.

In conclusion, of course Sonic can have a plot, be it serious, lighthearted, dark, goofy, etc. Whether it will be a good plot boils down to how good the writers are in making one, and it is far from impossible to work for Sonic.

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Sonic can have a plot

Robotnik: I'mma doin' evil deeds.

Sonic: Oh no you f***in' don't.

And then Sonic is put through the ringer on some kind of cinematic journey where he goes through zones with the sheer determination of a hero *tear rolls down face*

In all seriousness, Sonic can have a plot. I mean look at Chronicles, probably not the best story in the world, but it drove the game along. Sonic can have a story, it could be a simple thing told in a paragraph in the game manual (which is something I've been more partial to), but with the eve of Sonic looking like Pixar, you could go for a goofy, cooky, alternative story and I'd like that, as long as it was well written. I have gained an appreciation for longer, more in depth Sonic storys that go beyond "Eggman's being a dick, go deck him", the Sonic '06 storyline I could see what they were going for and I approve of a big, epic storyline. But I felt while a lot of the pieces were there, it was a bit off and porrly written, but nonetheless was an attempt.

I think Sonic should take the traditional "Eggman's being a dick, go deck him" storyline and try and expand on it. MAYBE he teams up with someone else and they get decked by Sonic on their way to Robotnik. Sonic Heroes had good framework, I liked Sonic Heroes' general storyline (for Sonic anyway) and with them being on some kind of planet-traversing journey to stop Robotnik.

Now, I'm spitballing here, but I say get folks like Nigel Kitching in there to make a storyline, now I'm not saying that out of STC pride, I legitimately think that if you asked Kitching to make a basic story where Robotnik is the villain then he would deliver. Although, if it's Sega Sonic, he'd obviously have to tone down the characters to their Sega versions, but Sonic team would no doubt do that. Or even Ian flynn, whose coming up with storylines and using more Sega sonic properties.

Obviously they'd have to make the stories more towards Sega Sonic, but I think if you brought in the writers from Sonic media where the storyline HAS to be good because there's no gameplay to rely on, and got them to work on the story while Sonic team focused entirely on the gameplay. Then chances are you'd get something different.

Anyway, I like Sonic with big storylines or Small storylines, SA2 and S3&K are prime examples of each.

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I see no issue with the series having a plot as long as it's reasonable, consistent, and makes use of--and subsequently develops--character personalities in a realistic and sensible way. The Adventure series started a solid storyline that was well expounded upon in games such as Battle, and Unleashed had its own charming storyline as well. As long as it's not intrusive and it's logically structured, there's no real problem with it.

Remember--the original Sonic games had a fairly developed plot too, even if it wasn't made inherently obvious until Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Still, despite some things that don't make a lot of sense, Sonic has a pretty reasonable continuity that can be coherently followed sequentially for the most part.

Edited by Tweaker
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Of course Sonic can have a strong plot! The Adventure games, in my eyes, were amazing examples of this, taking characters who had never spoken before or had very little established backgrounds (in the game's canon) and made them into likable characters with their own personal problems that we might even relate to (such as Tails trying to come out of Sonic's shadow). The plot itself was also quite well done in terms of tone and scale.

Same with SA2, though it was a bit more gritty. Sure, it focused more on the baddies, but the execution was nicely done. It felt mature for a Sonic game, but done right enough where I could take it seriously, thanks to attention to detail.

The storybook games also were pretty good... It's all up to execution in my mind. Even Sonic 3 had a pretty big plot, but it was portrayed rather simply (in a good way I think).

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Simple charming story - Classics, SA1, both Rush games, Unleashed, and the Storybook Series.

Serious story but fun - SA2, Chronicles.

Overwrought drama or terrible cheese - Heroes, Shadow, '06.

Most games fall into the acceptable range for me. Shadow's game had such a bad story that it crosses over into comedy.

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I think we can all agree that Sonic, as a character, is appealing (maybe not now, if you're a diehard classic fan, but at some point he was). You wouldn't be happy if they replaced Sonic with someone else, even if everything else stayed the same, right? And you can probably say the same for some of the other characters. And for other elements of the Sonic universe, as well. Well, that's where story comes from, to explore and make use of the appeal of the characters and setting. I don't believe for a second that a series that provokes such outrage over a character's redesign is one that shouldn't be able to tell a story.

The real question is what sort of story is appropriate. Sonic has more to offer than the barebones excuse plot "go fight the bad guy", but there's also an upper limit. This is a lighthearted actiony series; we shouldn't be seeing MGS-length cutscenes or ultradark story tones. Specifically where it should fall is up for debate, but my ideal would be somewhere around the SA-Unleashed-Storybook range. It stays relatively upbeat and doesn't tend to drag, but there's also plenty of room to write an interesting story, both in characters and events.

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I think we can all agree that Sonic, as a character, is appealing (maybe not now, if you're a diehard classic fan, but at some point he was). You wouldn't be happy if they replaced Sonic with someone else, even if everything else stayed the same, right? And you can probably say the same for some of the other characters. And for other elements of the Sonic universe, as well. Well, that's where story comes from, to explore and make use of the appeal of the characters and setting. I don't believe for a second that a series that provokes such outrage over a character's redesign is one that shouldn't be able to tell a story.

The real question is what sort of story is appropriate. Sonic has more to offer than the barebones excuse plot "go fight the bad guy", but there's also an upper limit. This is a lighthearted actiony series; we shouldn't be seeing MGS-length cutscenes or ultradark story tones. Specifically where it should fall is up for debate, but my ideal would be somewhere around the SA-Unleashed-Storybook range. It stays relatively upbeat and doesn't tend to drag, but there's also plenty of room to write an interesting story, both in characters and events.

How about a chance at a MARVELesque storyline where it is Robotnik vs. Sonic with major enhancements and the creation of Sonic? I mean, it went well with the DC and Marvel superhero movies(Have it serious at action, funny where its calm, and epic when it needs to [Queen Sally FTW!!]).

Edited by Novelty
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I don't see how stories can interfere with the gameplay at all for Sonic.

Easy. They try to make their stories expand to multiple views using different characters with different mechanics and whatnot.

Would Sonic 06 have played the same if it just had a Sonic vs Eggman story? And Shadow's spin-off would not have even existed if it wasn't for storyline purposes.

Story isn't a direct cause for gameplay of course, but a correlation does exist.

As for Sonic's plot, I just want it to be sensible (not overly goofy or gloomy) and to actually focus on Sonic instead of how important every fuzzy person he meets is. That's not to say the others can't have significance, but when what they do is more important than what Sonic does (SA2, Shadow, Sonic 06) then there's a problem.

Edited by Tentomon
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I've alwayse thought the deep plots in Sonic were cool and made it a bit better than other franchises like Mario or Kirby where very little plot is presented. I believe that Sonic can have a very epic plot as long as they look at it in an upbeat and slap-stick kinda way(i.e. Unleashed).

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Easy. They try to make their stories expand to multiple views using different characters with different mechanics and whatnot.

That's more expanding it that interfering with it. It's really only a problem when you make those multiple stories mandatory to play.

Would Sonic 06 have played the same if it just had a Sonic vs Eggman story? And Shadow's spin-off would not have even existed if it wasn't for storyline purposes.

Yes, and not for the better, because the Sonic vs Eggman story in Sonic 06 was the most shallow section of the game. To be fair, Sonic 06, glitchiness aside, would've actually done well with having more than just Sonic vs Eggman if like I said before, the other parts weren't mandatory.

And as much as Shadow's spin-off wasn't necessary to come into existance, that had more to do with bad execution of the concepts than the story interfering with the gameplay.

As for Sonic's plot, I just want it to be sensible (not overly goofy or gloomy) and to actually focus on Sonic instead of how important every fuzzy person he meets is. That's not to say the others can't have significance, but when what they do is more important than what Sonic does (SA2, Shadow, Sonic 06) then there's a problem.

Now there's a problem with the two examples you just gave out. SA2 didn't have any of the characters doing anything more important than Sonic. Everyone had an equal role in everything, Knuckles Master Emerald was what could stop the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic had to try to destroy the Eclipse Cannon, Shadow had to execute Prof. Gerald entire scheme, Amy would be the one to convince Shadow that he was wrong, Eggman would be the main instigator, Rouge is the spy for the military, Tails provides recon and intel. Everyone had a role that was no better than each other, while Sonic and Shadow would be the main two characters who would ultimately stop the major threat of the game.

Shadow's game was exactly suppose to be that. It was his own game, so he has every right to be more significant than Sonic because he was the main focus of that game, not Sonic.

Sonic 06 I will give you credit, because Sonic was on a wild goose chase with the Princess and Eggman while the other characters were concerned with the true threat.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonic
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...SA2 didn't have any of the characters doing anything more important than Sonic. Everyone had an equal role in everything, Knuckles Master Emerald was what could stop the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic had to try to destroy the Eclipse Cannon, Shadow had to execute Prof. Gerald, Amy would be the one to convince Shadow that he was wrong, Eggman would be the main instigator, Rouge is the spy for the military, Tails provides recon and intel. Everyone had a role that was no better than each other, while Sonic and Shadow would be the main two characters who would ultimately stop the major threat of the game.

That is why SA2's storyline is so successful. Since everybody had an equal role in everything, It brought the characters together and sets them apart through their personality. This...This...this is the greatest storyline [in my opinion] that SEGA created because every fanbase: Sonic, Shadow, Tails, Knuckles, Rouge, Eggman, Amy, and etc. shows that you don't have to rely on the quality of the game but the storyline that brought us together.

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Plots? Yeah, but nothing too deep. Too much inconsistency and plot holes. That's why I always laugh at people who are like "is this canon?" when discussing Sonic storylines. The stores are made specifically for each game and are not meant to be 100% consistent. Yeah, they make references to other stories, and sometimes a direct follow-up (IIRC) to a certain story, but not like a huge timeline or anything. I enjoy each game in its simple, repetitive tales as a story on its own.

And if Sonic tried to do this and start anew with a long story, I wouldn't be able to take it seriously when we've got this large, blue, mickey mouse-looking hedgehog chasing some round old fat dude capturing animals, throwing them inside robots, and generally making an ass of himself for the lulz.

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I've alwayse thought the deep plots in Sonic were cool and made it a bit better than other franchises like Mario or Kirby where very little plot is presented. I believe that Sonic can have a very epic plot as long as they look at it in an upbeat and slap-stick kinda way(i.e. Unleashed).

And yet both Mario and Kirby are doing much better than Sonic.

Yes, and not for the better, because the Sonic vs Eggman story in Sonic 06 was the most shallow section of the game. To be fair, Sonic 06, glitchiness aside, would've actually done well with having more than just Sonic vs Eggman if like I said before, the other parts weren't mandatory.

Sonic's story may have been the worst, but it doesn't mean that everything else was any better. In a selection of terrible things, just because one is the definite worst doesn't detract from all the rest still being bad. I do agree that Sonic had it the worst out of all the Sonic 2006 storylines, but it didn't stop Shadow/Silver/Last Story all still sucking IMO.

Anyways, I'm pretty much on the same scale as most of the guys here - that is, a lighthearted storyline with depth. In terms of the 3D games, I'd say SA1 and Unleashed got it spot on. SA2's plot was fine, and I liked it...but it just didn't feel right. Heroes was mostly just the Care Bears dressed up as Sonic characters, and ShtH and Sonic 2006 took a 180 turn soonafter and were two big fat silly drama-fests.

I actually think, despite being for a different genre entirely, that the Mario RPGs are a good example of how a Sonic plot should/could be. You go and stop the bad guy, with one or two twists along the way, and everyone, from main heroes and villains to even the smallest of NPCs (if there are any), have emotion and character. And yet the focus is still on Sonic without being overshadowed by anyone else.

Also flesh out Robotnik's plans. He doesn't need to summon Godzilla ripoffs all the time. He's a mad scientist. Make him use his brain more often, and use his own material.

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Sonic's story may have been the worst, but it doesn't mean that everything else was any better. In a selection of terrible things, just because one is the definite worst doesn't detract from all the rest still being bad. I do agree that Sonic had it the worst out of all the Sonic 2006 storylines, but it didn't stop Shadow/Silver/Last Story all still sucking IMO.

Actually everything else was better than Sonic's story, especially when Sonic's is the definite worst. He was doing nothing but chasing Eggman and the Princess around, while Silver and Shadow were trying to take care of the two real threats in the plot. Sonic basically had the most unimportant task in the whole plot.

But being better doesn't mean it is good. It just isn't so bad.

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Uh, I actually made pretty much the same topic not too long ago:

http://board.sonicstadium.org/do-you-care-about-the-storyline-t3665-pid-109704.html/page__p__109704#entry109704

Talk about a recurring argument. ^_^'

Since we're talking Sonic06, I'll say that Shadow's story in that game is pretty close to my ideal of storyline: if you discount the various time paradoxes and plot holes, you had a very united Team Dark (as opposed to Team Sonic) where each member played an important role, and supported each other; there's a certain degree of depth in some cut-scenes, like Omega's Confession.

Mephiles was also a nice villain, being creepy and manipulative instead of a random, super-powerful, brainless monster.

Also, it followed the series continuity by having Shadow not concerned about his past anymore, and especially not willing to be manipulated by someone else: notice the parallel between Black Doom's temptation and Mephiles's temptation, and how Shadow's character has matured.

And the final part was just perfect, as Shadow's mind is made up, he has trust in his allies and faces Mephiles in character-defining

This kind of emotions and interactions is what I'd love to see for Sonic and the other supporting characters as well.

Recently, Black Knight had some really nice Sonic moments, and an overall lovely storyline, light-spirited and colorful, and I suppose Unleashed was the same, but they both lacked strong dramatic/emotional moments, and most of all they lacked important roles for other side characters, who are always used in trivial ways.

Have we ever seen Tails get really mad, or really sad, or having character growth overall? Last time I saw it was in Sonic Adventure, and even then it was a minor thing... and don't get me started on Knuckles.

Cheesy lines are fun, but they lack variety and the characters become boring if they always behave the same way.

I loved how the last season of Sonic X portrayed Tails, having him go through very hard moments and display a wide range of emotions, it made him feel like a more complete, fleshed out character.

These are just my personal views on the matter though, and I understand if some people are more confortable with simpler storylines. :P

Edited by ilcane87
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I support mature plots in Sonic games as long as it's done right.

I often feel that the Sonic series is often ridiculed for it's 'serious business' plots because of the endless comparison to Mario games, which typically have lighthearted, non-mature storylines. The Sonic series has hardly ever been like that and shouldn't conform purely because of that.

SA2 had a very mature plot full of themes like mass murder (What happened to Gerald's colleagues and Maria), attempted murder (Eggman attempting to slaughter Sonic and nearly succeeding), contemplation of suicide (Gerald's utterly disturbing diary), planetary destruction (Moon goes blammo), hostage-taking, extremely threatening use of a weapon (Both Eggman's use of a gun and the Eclipse Cannon being used as a threat) and yet SA2 seems to be highly regarded story-wise and is hardly ever used as an example to justify making the series kiddier.

It's when it's done wrong that leaves such a nasty taste in peoples mouths. Like the unintentional hilarity the 'serious business' in Shadow the Hedgehog provided as well as the utterly misguided and convoluted storytelling Sonic '06 portrayed. It's as if they tried to emulate the general feeling of maturity SA2 had and they failed miserably at it. I honestly think it's those games that turned some people off the 'Mature Sonic games storyline' approach.

What I liked about Sonic games that had 'serious stories done right' was that for all their maturity, most of the main characters (Sonic especially) had their personalities bang on the nail. SA2 Sonic may have been undeniably badass but you can't say that he had to degrade to a state of characterisation completely contrary to how he was shown before and how he has been described character-wise. SatBK had a pretty serious story especially near the end, we got an wonderfully characterised Sonic in all of his carefree-ness, short-temperedness and air of plain but no-less-important-for-that wisdom.

If you ask me, the only real times when Sonic and co showed characterisation blatantly OOC to cater to the story tone was in Shadow and Sonic '06.

I'll use Sonic as an example.

To me (In Shadow the Hedgehog), Sonic was Flanderized into a character like an annoying little brother who looks like he got into a sweet shop (Chili Dog Stall?) and ingested all the sugar/Chili Dogs in there, turning him into a hyperactive, easily-excitable little raggamuffin who seems to have been characterised this way to provide a complete contrast to Shadow instead of a subtle one. Endearing in a weird way yes, but certainly Flanderized.

Whilst in Sonic '06, Sonic was just flat.

Edited by Verte
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I often feel that the Sonic series is often ridiculed for it's 'serious business' plots because of the endless comparison to Mario games, which typically have lighthearted, non-mature storylines. The Sonic series has hardly ever been like that and shouldn't conform purely because of that.
This is a good point. The plot of pretty much every Mario game, from SMB to SMW to SM64 to Galaxy, can be summed up in one sentence ("Mario, rescue Peach from Bowser!"), with a very slight twist ("Now Bowser has kids! Now you're in space!"). But while Sonic definitely has recurring themes (the Chaos Emeralds and Eggman's search for something to help take over the world), even early on they were expanding the story. Sonic CD introduced a clingy fangirl and an evil robot double, along with a planet that could travel through time, which Eggman took advantage of to conquer seemingly instantly, and which Sonic has to use in much the same way to set things right. Sonic 2 gives us a mechanically-minded sidekick and introduces the Death Egg as a potentially planet-dominating force that gets expanded on in the sequel. And S3&K...I am constantly impressed by how much detail they managed to squeeze into the story. The backstory of the island (later used as the basis of SA), Knuckles' actions while believing Sonic to be evil and then finding out the truth, the Death Egg's failed launch on ordinary fuel (as opposed to when it's running on emerald power later), blundering into Lava Reef to find the Death Egg still functional and then into Hidden Palace to find that the Doomsday had been prophesied long in advance, Mecha Sonic not being destroyed in Sky Sanctuary (later returning, and being destroyed, in Knuckles' story), the after-credits stinger foreshadowing Knuckles' story, to the little details added to Knuckles' story to show that it's after Sonic's...the game struggles against its nature as a platformer and the limitations of the technology at the time to tell a surprisingly complex and detailed story.

Y'know, looking back, I'm kind of annoyed that people would point to S3&K as an example of keeping the story simple. There's so much in there that they're apparently missing, to use it to argue that Sonic should be just "Sonic fights Eggman, THE END" is missing the point so badly...

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Y'know, looking back, I'm kind of annoyed that people would point to S3&K as an example of keeping the story simple. There's so much in there that they're apparently missing, to use it to argue that Sonic should be just "Sonic fights Eggman, THE END" is missing the point so badly...

I am inclined to agree with you. Many of the older games are much more complex than people give them credit for.

But for the sake of picking a fight, I will say that much of what makes it deep are the unintentional openings left open in any story. Not so much the complexity of the original, but the skill of interpretation of the writers whom worked after the fact. The stuff we knew about the origins of the island could have stood alone in their simplicity before SA came along and expanded on them. The mural could have been just that, insetead of an eerie double whammy foretelling of the future when it comes to the theory of Shadow's design.

I wont argue the complexity of the older games, but instead I remind that we must take it with a grain of salt, considering the significant amount of detail pumped into the back story from games like SA1, SA2 and Battle that serves to blur the lines a good bit.

When you think about it. If I were to tell the tale begining with me getting up only to skip to the end with me standing at the fridge, and then release the sequel which sheds light on the 3 years of fighting chores, dragons and picking through frostburn... does that make the original plot "complex" or simply just "accommodating"?

extreme example, but you guys get the idea.

Edited by Sega DogTagz
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I wont argue the complexity of the older games, but instead I remind that we must take it with a grain of salt, considering the significant amount of detail pumped into the back story from games like SA1, SA2 and Battle that serves to blur the lines a good bit.
Well, the backstory of Angel Island is really the only point that was expanded on in later games (and even then, it's not just empty space that's filled later, it's the framework that SA builds on). Everything else is contained within the classics, and, with the exception of the Death Egg connecting 2 and 3&K, contained within the game it's introduced. They aren't things that are being reexamined in the light of new evidence; they existed, fully formed, in the games they appeared in, but were subtle enough that you'd miss them if you weren't looking for them.
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Y'know, looking back, I'm kind of annoyed that people would point to S3&K as an example of keeping the story simple. There's so much in there that they're apparently missing, to use it to argue that Sonic should be just "Sonic fights Eggman, THE END" is missing the point so badly...

This. I really think it gets a lot deeper than that. Two entities fighting each other. One is red, white and blue, promoting individual freedom and natural rights. The other dressed in red and yellow, has an eastern-European name, promotes strength in numbers, industry and to have his followers fighting for a unified cause. They each try to gain control of powerful objects that can control or cause chaos on a global scale depending on how they are used. See what I'm getting at? Why can't more Sonic stories be like this? Simple enough for any child to enjoy even if the meaning is overlooked, yet deep enough for any matured mind to appreciate?

Edited by SuperStingray
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