Zero Punctuation: Sonic Forces

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Sonic Forces

Yahtzee reviews Sonic Forces

Watch Video

Was it just me or was there quite a bunch of references to "rape" this week? Without any coating around, just stating the word aloud?

I might misremember, but Yahtzee normally seems to be more... tactful when that subject is brought up/use other analogies.

I know how to fix EA. Take a page out of Aliens and nuke them from orbit.

As for Sonic, they need to take a page from Mario and pin down a fucking formula and stick with it.

Am legitimately curious as to what goes on in the minds of Sonic Team's creative department. It's fascinatingly vapid as if the only employee left is an ex-finance lawyer relapsing into heavy drug abuse to drown out a severe midlife crisis. Is anyone even there anymore? Or is it an archaic computer with malfunctioning market-research algorithms producing each title?

I was starved for a good old fashioned dilapidatory ZP.

Well I saw that review coming from a million light years away, I liked this game but I knew Yahtzee would hate it.

Lot of bestiality and pedophilia jokes in this one. Sloppy writing

Xsjadoblayde:
Am legitimately curious as to what goes on in the minds of Sonic Team's creative department. It's fascinatingly vapid as if the only employee left is an ex-finance lawyer relapsing into heavy drug abuse to drown out a severe midlife crisis. Is anyone even there anymore? Or is it an archaic computer with malfunctioning market-research algorithms producing each title?

I'm curious about why they're banking so heavily on story in these games. I watched a Lets Play and my first thought was, "If people enjoy playing it, that's fine, but are any of them actually capable of taking these cutscenes seriously?"

Has the Sonic team been paying any attention to the relative success of the other super-old franchise for all ages, Mario? The plot in that still hasn't gone far beyond "Oh no! Bowser kidnapped the princess again!" and most of the fans are fine with it, because I'm pretty sure no one or almost no one, is looking for a compelling plot while playing Mario, unless it's an RPG game.

Not to mention, the positive reception Sonic Mania got, and while I haven't played it, I assume that had a threadbare plot as well.

It's like they're dead-set on getting people to take their cast of goofy furry characters seriously, but each time, it just makes them look completely tone deaf.

I have a hypothesis. Maybe THEY outgrew their characters as well. Maybe they're tired of writing the same simple plots, and want to move onto something that tests their creativity more in the story department, but are stuck with Sonic and his friends, because those bills aren't gonna pay themselves, so they just go "Ok! We haven't been able to do it yet, but maybe this time we can finally write a mature plot for Sonic that the fans will actually enjoy."

It's really kind of sad when I think about it that way. Someone save these poor souls.

Bloody hell, another Sonic game? I had to double check the date to make sure it's not a repeat of the last one.

Bedinsis:
Was it just me or was there quite a bunch of references to "rape" this week? Without any coating around, just stating the word aloud?

I might misremember, but Yahtzee normally seems to be more... tactful when that subject is brought up/use other analogies.

This is Yahtzee, he's not above mentioning cancerous tumors in his jokes/insults.

This was the funniest Zero Punctuation in ages, its always best when he has something to tear apart rather than basically go "its alright I suppose even if it is a bit boring". I think I spent far too much time laughing at the fact that his user character was basically a cat in a hat.

Bedinsis:
Was it just me or was there quite a bunch of references to "rape" this week? Without any coating around, just stating the word aloud?

I might misremember, but Yahtzee normally seems to be more... tactful when that subject is brought up/use other analogies.

Pretty sure you're misremembering. Just search "rape" on the Zero Punctuation Wiki...
http://zeropunctuation.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Search?query=rape

Also most of the references in this one spring from the first one about molesting household animals, that's an old joke at the expense of Sonic fans he's made quite often, although not always with sexual connotations (e.g. Sonic Generations review: "Oh my god, it's actually good! Sonic doesn't suck any more! Our savior has returned! Paint your household pet blue and mutilate baby foxes in thanks!").

Also also: what the actual fuck, it's only been about 2 months since the last Sonic game? Who is buying these in large enough numbers to keep pushing them out like this?

Honestly, I don't know why they didn't just iterate on/improve the Lost World (3DS) Formula. There was some damn good stuff in there, outside of the forced tilt controls, some puzzles being occasionally really slow and some of the wisps altering gameplay WAY too much.

Seriously, take that 3D parkour style mechanic thing, make more levels that fit that style of game, and make the Wisps behave like Mario powerups which just give you a nifty little extra thing you can do (like an extra jump, or a homing attack that can go through spikes, or shoot out particles that stun enemies, or whatever), and bam, voila, you have a pretty decent game!

sageoftruth:
Maybe they're tired of writing the same simple plots, and want to move onto something that tests their creativity more in the story department, but are stuck with Sonic and his friends, because those bills aren't gonna pay themselves, so they just go "Ok! We haven't been able to do it yet, but maybe this time we can finally write a mature plot for Sonic that the fans will actually enjoy."

Well, they do a terrible job of it. I used to be one of the voices going "I want a serious sonic plot!". After how much I enjoyed the story in Colors and Lost World, though, I realize the series is best when the plot is lots of wacky silly hijinx with juuuust enough danger that you're willing to buy into it. Seriously, Sonic himself is at his best when he's a goofball ADD-ing his way through life occasionally taking the piss out of something and leaping before he looks.

Honestly, the general plot of forces was something I'd already thought of as a neat idea, but the point of that game would have been to point out that "Yo, these plots kinda suck when you try to make it seriously. Look how much better it is when Sonic gets freed from the robot he's stuck in and is now poking fun at everything!"

Some series are able to handle serious plots. Sonic is not one of them. It's brightly colored forest animals saving the world from a fat engineer by running really fast. Dark-ifying that kind of thing almost never ever works. Just don't try it.

If you want to make a good 3D Sonic game, just make it like Mirror's Edge but in third person, which was the only thing wrong with that game's core mechanic. Between this and Mania, I'm tired of the people who insist you can only make a good Sonic game if it's literally a level pack for Sonic 3 being seemingly proven right.

Sonic Dreams Collection was the best 3D Sonic game to come out in years!

aegix drakan:
Honestly, I don't know why they didn't just iterate on/improve the Lost World (3DS) Formula. There was some damn good stuff in there, outside of the forced tilt controls, some puzzles being occasionally really slow and some of the wisps altering gameplay WAY too much.

Seriously, take that 3D parkour style mechanic thing, make more levels that fit that style of game, and make the Wisps behave like Mario powerups which just give you a nifty little extra thing you can do (like an extra jump, or a homing attack that can go through spikes, or shoot out particles that stun enemies, or whatever), and bam, voila, you have a pretty decent game!

I was not aware that Lost World 3DS is regarded fondly.

I wanted to come here to say that it seems redundant to try focusing on Sonic since that was pretty much what they did with Sonic Colors and Sonic Lost World, isn't it?

Yes...where IS the bat with giant tits?!

IIRC the common theory is that the game was supposed to center on the Classic, Modern, and Boom sonics, but the latter was scrapped and hastily replaced with the create-a-character after the Boom game crashed, burned, and exploded.

aegix drakan:
I used to be one of the voices going "I want a serious sonic plot!". After how much I enjoyed the story in Colors and Lost World, though, I realize the series is best when the plot is lots of wacky silly hijinx with juuuust enough danger that you're willing to buy into it. Seriously, Sonic himself is at his best when he's a goofball ADD-ing his way through life occasionally taking the piss out of something and leaping before he looks.

I've heard the comics were supposed to be a lot like that (a mix of serious plot and silly hijinks), at least once they fired the hack that used to write it and rebooted it under the pen of someone competent. That is secondhand info from people who read Sonic comics though, so you may want to keep a small packet of salt at hand.

Xsjadoblayde:
Am legitimately curious as to what goes on in the minds of Sonic Team's creative department. It's fascinatingly vapid as if the only employee left is an ex-finance lawyer relapsing into heavy drug abuse to drown out a severe midlife crisis. Is anyone even there anymore? Or is it an archaic computer with malfunctioning market-research algorithms producing each title?

I've always been fond of Jontron's rendering of them as a group of incredibly burned-out rockstars. Though the more likely truth is probably just that the people who remember making the good games have all moved on.

Or they're stuck in a really non-committal spot of wanting to try new things but not wanting to gravitate away from the previous entries; resulting in a bunch of half-baked new ideas inelegantly smashed together with all the previous games' ideas in a manner that pleases nobody. If they had just done a Mania (or even Generations) -esque game of level-to-level with no extraneous bullshit between it could have been a good game (depending on level design). If they doubled down on the story idea and made Sonic Adventure 3 then it probably could have been good. But instead they opted to do neither and made it shit.

I've said it for a while now. Sonic just needs to die. They've hit such a low spot that no matter how good future Sonic games may be, I won't be touching them with a 10-ft. pole. And not just that. I literally think besides maybe Five Nights at Freddy's, Sonic has just... The worst fans. Even the bloody furrys try to distance themselves from the Sonic fandom. That's how bad they can get.

For months I looked up the internet and I think I finally found the one person responsible for the image problem of the Sonic fandom: Bryon Beaubien (aka PsyGuy), a guy that during the 2000's had a Deviantart account and a site dedicated to Sonic webcomics. And he recently had to leave the internet because of his accusations of sexually harassing underage girls piled up so much that no attorney wanted to work with him...

If Chris-chan makes Sonic fanboys look like weirdos, Psyguy is responsible for 90% of the jokes Yahtzee made in this video.

Bedinsis:
Was it just me or was there quite a bunch of references to "rape" this week? Without any coating around, just stating the word aloud?

I might misremember, but Yahtzee normally seems to be more... tactful when that subject is brought up/use other analogies.

Generally that is true but only when he doesn't out right hate something. When reviewing a game he absolutely loathes he throws tact out the window and rips into it bone deep.

Ouch, Yahtzee really tore into this one didn't he? The jokes about furries made me a little awkward, due to my... leanings.

Igor-Rowan:
For months I looked up the internet and I think I finally found the one person responsible for the image problem of the Sonic fandom: Bryon Beaubien (aka PsyGuy), a guy that during the 2000's had a Deviantart account and a site dedicated to Sonic webcomics. And he recently had to leave the internet because of his accusations of sexually harassing underage girls piled up so much that no attorney wanted to work with him...

If Chris-chan makes Sonic fanboys look like weirdos, Psyguy is responsible for 90% of the jokes Yahtzee made in this video.

I'd never heard of that guy, and his page on Wikifur has bare bones. Chris-Chan on the other hand... ooohhh this guy! I hate him with a white-hot intensity, not just because how he makes Sonic fans look bad, but Autistic people, which I find VERY personality insulting. I swear to God if I had a Death Note...

Sorry, I have major issues with people who ruin things for everyone else...

One issue I have with the game is the limit of animals you can pick from. I dunno, I just thought they would have more variety. Apparently there were some in the planning stages...

Ass Cancer Awareness Special now featuring special guest speaker John Cena.

What? Visiting kids with ass cancer is, like, half of what the guy does.

CrazyGirl17:

I'd never heard of that guy, and his page on Wikifur has bare bones.

There's a reason for that, in 2014, when the accusations started to surface he went on a take down rampage, eliminating his deviantart, his YouTube channel, Fireball20XL, the webcomic site and Tumblr filled with his history. Now he changed his persona, now he is BitPolar and on Twitter the archives of his wrongdoings as Psyguy continue on Tumblr.

aegix drakan:
Honestly, I don't know why they didn't just iterate on/improve the Lost World (3DS) Formula. There was some damn good stuff in there, outside of the forced tilt controls, some puzzles being occasionally really slow and some of the wisps altering gameplay WAY too much.

Seriously, take that 3D parkour style mechanic thing, make more levels that fit that style of game, and make the Wisps behave like Mario powerups which just give you a nifty little extra thing you can do (like an extra jump, or a homing attack that can go through spikes, or shoot out particles that stun enemies, or whatever), and bam, voila, you have a pretty decent game!

sageoftruth:
Maybe they're tired of writing the same simple plots, and want to move onto something that tests their creativity more in the story department, but are stuck with Sonic and his friends, because those bills aren't gonna pay themselves, so they just go "Ok! We haven't been able to do it yet, but maybe this time we can finally write a mature plot for Sonic that the fans will actually enjoy."

Well, they do a terrible job of it. I used to be one of the voices going "I want a serious sonic plot!". After how much I enjoyed the story in Colors and Lost World, though, I realize the series is best when the plot is lots of wacky silly hijinx with juuuust enough danger that you're willing to buy into it. Seriously, Sonic himself is at his best when he's a goofball ADD-ing his way through life occasionally taking the piss out of something and leaping before he looks.

Honestly, the general plot of forces was something I'd already thought of as a neat idea, but the point of that game would have been to point out that "Yo, these plots kinda suck when you try to make it seriously. Look how much better it is when Sonic gets freed from the robot he's stuck in and is now poking fun at everything!"

Some series are able to handle serious plots. Sonic is not one of them. It's brightly colored forest animals saving the world from a fat engineer by running really fast. Dark-ifying that kind of thing almost never ever works. Just don't try it.

Maybe I should watch more of that Lets Play I was following. I got just past the stage after Sonic was released. At that point, it was super-jarring, mainly because Sonic's behavior was hammering how just how much he didn't fit into a plot like this, as you had mentioned. Anyway, I agree. Team Sonic really needs to realize that grimdark themes do not suit the Sonic franchise at all.

Then again, I did see a video talking about Moe in anime and how the innocent appearances of the victims can making disturbing scenes all the more nerve-wracking or heart-wrenching. If they were to pull something like that off with Sonic, though, they'd have to completely de-radicalize Sonic and the others. Basically reduce him to a gibbering mess. I have to admit, the thought of seeing a completely horrified, Sonic, too terrified to even make a radical quip, would be pretty disturbing and might just work if used properly, but of course, this is Team Sonic we're talking about.

sageoftruth:
Basically reduce him to a gibbering mess. I have to admit, the thought of seeing a completely horrified, Sonic, too terrified to even make a radical quip, would be pretty disturbing and might just work if used properly, but of course, this is Team Sonic we're talking about.

Hilariously, they actually did something like that (Albeit not that intense) in Lost World, and it was pretty damn good IMO.

Short story is that Sonic epically fucks up twice during the game (Releasing the main villains from Eggman's enslavement which put the entire world in danger, and being careless enough to get tails captured and nearly turned into a badnik), and by the time he confronts the villains at the end, alone, all he can muster up is a "Ughh...I'm gettin' REAL tired of you guys..." instead of his usual silly quips.

Fortunately, tails grew a spine in that game and proved himself to be cool under pressure and got himself out of the predicament Sonic's carelessness put him into, which was nice to see.

Seeing Sonic realize "Oh shit I fucked up" to "Oh shit I fucked up again and tails sacrificed himself for me, god I suck" to "I am just really pissed and not up for your shit, bad guys" back around to "Alright, I'm good! I should seriously listen to tails more often, he's definitely smarter than me" was a pretty good arc for him, with no need for serious business grimdark.

aegix drakan:

sageoftruth:
Basically reduce him to a gibbering mess. I have to admit, the thought of seeing a completely horrified, Sonic, too terrified to even make a radical quip, would be pretty disturbing and might just work if used properly, but of course, this is Team Sonic we're talking about.

Hilariously, they actually did something like that (Albeit not that intense) in Lost World, and it was pretty damn good IMO.

Short story is that Sonic epically fucks up twice during the game (Releasing the main villains from Eggman's enslavement which put the entire world in danger, and being careless enough to get tails captured and nearly turned into a badnik), and by the time he confronts the villains at the end, alone, all he can muster up is a "Ughh...I'm gettin' REAL tired of you guys..." instead of his usual silly quips.

Fortunately, tails grew a spine in that game and proved himself to be cool under pressure and got himself out of the predicament Sonic's carelessness put him into, which was nice to see.

Seeing Sonic realize "Oh shit I fucked up" to "Oh shit I fucked up again and tails sacrificed himself for me, god I suck" to "I am just really pissed and not up for your shit, bad guys" back around to "Alright, I'm good! I should seriously listen to tails more often, he's definitely smarter than me" was a pretty good arc for him, with no need for serious business grimdark.

That IS interesting. I honestly cannot for the life of me picture a "Tired of all your shit" Sonic.

Silentpony:
Lot of bestiality and pedophilia jokes in this one. Sloppy writing

Don't like the jokes, blame the fanbase, they're the ones supplying the material.

Johnny Novgorod:

Silentpony:
Lot of bestiality and pedophilia jokes in this one. Sloppy writing

Don't like the jokes, blame the fanbase, they're the ones supplying the material.

Eh, the furry angle maybe, but in my experience Sonic fans don't come off as child rapists.

sageoftruth:
That IS interesting. I honestly cannot for the life of me picture a "Tired of all your shit" Sonic.

It pretty much just lasts for one scene and two lines (Plus one earlier scene where he wigs out at them threatening to turn him into a robot), but it was enough to make me go "oh, neat! Characterization!"

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:

Silentpony:
Lot of bestiality and pedophilia jokes in this one. Sloppy writing

Don't like the jokes, blame the fanbase, they're the ones supplying the material.

Eh, the furry angle maybe, but in my experience Sonic fans don't come off as child rapists.

Now that you mention it, Sanic does make out with an underage human girl at the end of 06.

Johnny Novgorod:

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:

Don't like the jokes, blame the fanbase, they're the ones supplying the material.

Eh, the furry angle maybe, but in my experience Sonic fans don't come off as child rapists.

Now that you mention it, Sanic does make out with an underage human girl at the end of 06.

Wait, there are people in Sonic games? I thought it was just cheap Disneyland knockoffs with that one Dr. Egg trying to do whatever.

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:

Silentpony:

Eh, the furry angle maybe, but in my experience Sonic fans don't come off as child rapists.

Now that you mention it, Sanic does make out with an underage human girl at the end of 06.

Wait, there are people in Sonic games? I thought it was just cheap Disneyland knockoffs with that one Dr. Egg trying to do whatever.

Oh yeah there's people everywhere. And sometimes they make out with Sanic.

The darker tone was a big mistake just as it was with Shadow the Hedgehog. Its a game about cartoon hedgehogs and their animal friends. The main character getting tortured for a few months doesn't mix with that.

I don't think darker tones and Sonic inherently are at odds with each other. Sonic adventure 2 did a decent job of adding a darker tone at the end of the game. But it worked because it was introduced so gradually and the darker tone only truly got into the plot at the very end of the game.
Because the game was such a Saterday morning cartoon before Gerald's appearance it actually worked. Gerald and his little speech where more chilling because it was unexpected and it was a good way to raise the stakes and force everyone to work together for a bit.

Silentpony:
Lot of bestiality and pedophilia jokes in this one. Sloppy writing

No one seemed to care in so many of his past cartoons when it came to Dolphins and Horses so I don't see why it's suddenly an issue now when hedgehogs are arguably about as attractive as putting one's dick in a toaster

iller3:

Silentpony:
Lot of bestiality and pedophilia jokes in this one. Sloppy writing

No one seemed to care in so many of his past cartoons when it came to Dolphins and Horses so I don't see why it's suddenly an issue now when hedgehogs are arguably about as attractive as putting one's dick in a toaster

It felt different I guess. Before it was 'this game was so draining, it was like fucking a dolphin'. This episode was just 'fans of this game molest dogs'
It just felt sloppy.

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