Thoughts on Sonic Forces reception

It's getting panned by reviewers at the moment. It saddens me to see Sonic get this treatment after the success of Mania (I'm a long time casual fan). This game looks just alright to me (not awful) but certainly not as good as it should have been. Not decided whether I'll bother getting it yet. I just wish Sonic Team would stick to one style...

Problem is, no-one can agree on what Sonic should be anymore so his unique selling point, gameplay wise, is now largely debatable. That's why a lot of the modern games are seen by critics as a large mess and that's why going back to basics with Mania was appealing to so many older gamers in their 30s (because that's what they remember Sonic as originally).

Every generation sees Sonic a bit differently now because they've introduced so many different play styles over the years (they were too experimental in 3D) and now everyone wants something different from Sonic. The result is that, recently, Sonic Team have been trying to appease every type of fan from every age group and have ended up with games trying to appeal to too many people.

With this game, I think they should have concentrated on modern sonic's style of gameplay and made the levels longer, more in depth, and a little more difficult. Mania already handled classic (much better) this year and the avatar was basically an in-joke for the fan base, rather than your average gamer.

The only reason I can think of that they shy away from modern Sonic all the time is that the levels must be more difficult to make. When you think about it, colours had short levels, but more of them, and Generations had longer levels, but only 9 proper modern sonic levels.

I'm supportive towards the series and will probably still buy it anyway, but they need to stop experimenting with so many styles all the time because it feels like Sonic Team are still trying to be a jack of all trades but mastering none.

Are any of you going to bother getting it? Any thoughts on the matter?

Edit: Owing to my insatiable curiosity, I've now played and completed the main story of Sonic Forces. My verdict is - it's alright! Just much too easy for me and pretty short considering the hype. It doesn't deserve the panning it's getting though. It's still a pretty fun time.

Sonic Mania was great because it was basically an homage to the old school Sega Genesis games. Sonic does not, and will never, fit into a 3D system. So the fact that Sonic Forces sucks is basically a given at this point.

I don't understand how Sonic still has fans, that haven't learned their lesson with 3D games at this point.

I'm still laughing my ass off that it shared a Steam release with the indie game Hand of Fate 2, and Hand of Fate 2 is kicking its rear in sales. Hell, yesterday Hand of Fate 2 was the 3rd best seller and Sonic Forces was the 4th. Today, Hand of Fate 2 is still holding on to its 3rd position while Sonic Forces has dropped to 8th best selling.

CritialGaming:
Sonic Mania was great because it was basically an homage to the old school Sega Genesis games. Sonic does not, and will never, fit into a 3D system. So the fact that Sonic Forces sucks is basically a given at this point.

I don't understand how Sonic still has fans, that haven't learned their lesson with 3D games at this point.

I really don't know what you are basing that on - the zeitgeist? The Adventure series worked fine and was popular at the time and heroes enjoyed a modicum of success. Colours was great, and Generations was pretty good, both enjoying good reviews. I do agree, however, that Sonic Team are far too experimental and, as I've said, don't stick to one style anymore to try and please everyone.

You can cite shit ones like Boom (a spin off), Shadow, 06 or Secret Rings, but to say every single one is crap in 3D is pushing it a lot.

dscross:

I really don't know what you are basing that on - the zeitgeist? The Adventure series worked fine and was popular at the time and heroes enjoyed a modicum of success. Colours was great, and Generations was pretty good, both enjoying good reviews. I do agree, however, that Sonic Team are far too experimental and, as I've said, don't stick to one style anymore to try and please everyone.

You can cite shit ones like Boom (a spin off), Shadow, 06 or Secret Rings, but to say every single one is crap in 3D is pushing it a lot.

I hated the Adventure games. I don't like any of Sonic's weird fucking friends. (Big the CAT!)

I don't need a story mode in my Sonic games, just let me run to the right and jump on robots very quickly.

While you're right there have been a couple of decent 3D Sonics, they've only been decent at best. That's because the crap pile of other games makes one that at least functions a huge leap ahead.

Look at the list of 3D Sonic games. Then set them aside into a good or bad pile, and then look at the good pile. How many of the "good" ones are actually good, and not just better then the really shitty ones. The answer is none imo.

And certainly the 3D Sonic track record is nothing to have had any hope for Forces to be any good. History repeats itself yet again.

Poor Sonic. They should just keep making "Mania" games. That thing was awesome.

CritialGaming:

I hated the Adventure games. I don't like any of Sonic's weird fucking friends. (Big the CAT!)

I don't need a story mode in my Sonic games, just let me run to the right and jump on robots very quickly.

There were only 3 big the cat levels, very few robot levels and you can easily ignore the story and just play the levels if you want. The Sonic (10 stages) Tails and Knuckles levels were pretty solid imo and very re-playable (and were the majority of the game) - that was always enough for me, but it's a matter of how high your tolerance threshold is for extra bits I guess.

While you're right there have been a couple of decent 3D Sonics, they've only been decent at best. That's because the crap pile of other games makes one that at least functions a huge leap ahead.

Look at the list of 3D Sonic games. Then set them aside into a good or bad pile, and then look at the good pile. How many of the "good" ones are actually good, and not just better then the really shitty ones. The answer is none imo.

And certainly the 3D Sonic track record is nothing to have had any hope for Forces to be any good. History repeats itself yet again.

I actually really enjoyed Generations, Colours and the Adventure games and legitimately think those are all awesome. I don't think I'm alone in that POV. Unleashed (the non werehog bits anyway) I really like but as well just for playing the day stages - but it's another case of tolerance for extra stuff to complete it initially. It's more divisive certainly.

The rest have been just ok, bar the ones I mentioned in the other post, which were bad, but on the whole the ratio isn't as bad as you are making out.

I do agree the original 2D games and Mania are the best Sonic games though, obviously. However, I think if Sonic Team could concentrate on one style of gameplay instead and having multiple styles in every game people would warm to them much more.

Poor Sonic. They should just keep making "Mania" games. That thing was awesome.

Maybe they will hand it over to Christian Whitehead eventually.

dscross:

CritialGaming:

I hated the Adventure games. I don't like any of Sonic's weird fucking friends. (Big the CAT!)

I don't need a story mode in my Sonic games, just let me run to the right and jump on robots very quickly.

There were only 3 big the cat levels, very few robot levels and you can easily ignore the story and just play the levels if you want. The Sonic (10 stages) Tails and Knuckles levels were pretty solid imo and very re-playable (and were the majority of the game) - that was always enough for me, but it's a matter of how high your tolerance threshold is for extra bits I guess.

While you're right there have been a couple of decent 3D Sonics, they've only been decent at best. That's because the crap pile of other games makes one that at least functions a huge leap ahead.

Look at the list of 3D Sonic games. Then set them aside into a good or bad pile, and then look at the good pile. How many of the "good" ones are actually good, and not just better then the really shitty ones. The answer is none imo.

And certainly the 3D Sonic track record is nothing to have had any hope for Forces to be any good. History repeats itself yet again.

I actually really enjoyed Generations, Colours and the Adventure games and legitimately think those are all awesome. I don't think I'm alone in that POV. Unleashed (the none werehog bits anyway) I really like but as well just for playing the day stages - but it's another case of tolerance for extra stuff to complete it initially. It's more divisive certainly.

The rest have been just ok, bar the ones I mentioned in the other post, which were bad, but on the whole the ratio isn't as bad as you are making out.

I do agree the original 2D games and Mania are the best Sonic games though, obviously. However, I think if Sonic Team could concentrate on one style of gameplay instead and having multiple styles in every game people would warm to them much more.

Poor Sonic. They should just keep making "Mania" games. That thing was awesome.

Maybe they will hand it over to Christian Whitehead eventually.

Which is the biggest problem. They keep trying random shit, instead of doing the awesome stuff that they know works. I don't know what their obsession with trying different shit randomly through games, if they are searching for a new magic to make the games amazing they are wasting their time. People love sonic for a reason, so develop for that reason don't try to force people to love other crap.

CritialGaming:
Sonic Mania was great because it was basically an homage to the old school Sega Genesis games. Sonic does not, and will never, fit into a 3D system. So the fact that Sonic Forces sucks is basically a given at this point.

I don't understand how Sonic still has fans, that haven't learned their lesson with 3D games at this point.

Yeah, my general take on is that Sonic was at its core, a Runner game more than a platformer game. And while its contemporaries were platformers and transitioned into collectathons. Collectathons are basically antithetical to Runners. One is completing levels quickly at high pace, while the other is a detailed methodical exploration.

I might give it a shot when it comes waaaaaaaaay down in price. I'm not at all interested in creating my own custom Sonic character.

Canadamus Prime:
I might give it a shot when it comes waaaaaaaaay down in price. I'm not at all interested in creating my own custom Sonic character.

This is my barrier. Mania was half the price.

CritialGaming:
Sonic Mania was great because it was basically an homage to the old school Sega Genesis games. Sonic does not, and will never, fit into a 3D system. So the fact that Sonic Forces sucks is basically a given at this point.

I don't understand how Sonic still has fans, that haven't learned their lesson with 3D games at this point.

I'm a persona who doesn't like 2D Mario that much but likes Sonic. BUT switch that over for 3D. For me, 3D Mario is bogged down in flashy sprites covering your screen - which, by the way is already obfuscated by your massive sprite. You literally can't see where your going in 3D Sonic. Mario is better paced for 3D. 2D Sonic is more forgiving, as there are so many levels to each stage that if you screw up, it doesn't matter

Sterling liked it.

trunkage:
Sonic. BUT switch that over for 3D. For me, 3D Mario is bogged down in flashy sprites covering your screen - which, by the way is already obfuscated by your massive sprite. You literally can't see where your going in 3D Sonic. Mario is better paced for 3D. 2D Sonic is more forgiving, as there are so many levels to each stage that if you screw up, it doesn't matter

It's a completely different style of gameplay than mario though. The harder games have repeat playthroughs in mind so it's about memorisation and reaction times. It doesn't suit everyone, but some people enjoy that style.

Sonic Team have never BUILT from what they achieved in Classic Sonic games because it's super fucking difficult with a third dimension. Like it wasn't until the Hedgehog Engine that they had the tools to lay out large stretches of "road" to play in, they are always behind in the tech for a IP that demands some of the best.

However, Forces isn't just bad, it's a bland awfully put together unpolished dumpster fire that you can see the seams barely holding it together every-time Sonic remarks how could your OC character. This was a development NIGHTMARE featuring basically no one of note from previous entries that could carry the experience with such an oddball franchise to keep it together and sort it's shit out. It was doomed from the start and while I've heard scarce sources thus far there is some word that seeing Forces in its 4 year development struggle hard that Iizuka basically greenlit Mania because of it.

I sincerely believe some of these games the developers felt like they nailed it or at least their part, they brought a pretty good level of quality and creativity to the table no matter the entry. Forces however? Feels like a game born out of duty other than desire or joy. It's soulless to me after watching a full playthrough of just.......incompetence unleashed. It shoulda been put down and let Mania have the funding, use it as a stepping stone and creative benchmark for what the franchise needs to consistently do well.

I really think that Sonic Team just needs to sit down and figure out what - at least to them - is the core appeal of Sonic, and stick with that. Keep it clear and focused and be consistent about it. If they want to maintain a more successful track record then they're going to have to maintain a singular vision for the series, even if not everyone will like it.

I think their biggest weakness right now is in trying to appease the entire Sonic fanbase when it is well known that such a thing is nigh on impossible. This wouldn't even be a problem had they just stuck to a central design philosophy years ago like Mario has done since his conception.

It's like that old saying: You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

And hey, if they can't figure it out, just hand the series over to the Mania team. Seems like they know what works best. That and stop setting such tight deadlines every year, that's more of a Sega issue in general.

Worgen:
Sterling liked it.

I can't even take him seriously anymore. I feel like he's just taking the piss and waiting to see people's reactions.

As a person who quite enjoyed sonic adventure 1 & 2...though 2 aged better...i believe they started giving up after then. It's something I've accepted long ago.

My thoughts are that I think it's a great game, I was tired of the hate for it which started long before it actually came out, and I'm even more tired of it now that people seem to be taking every little thing they can from the game to use as proof of how they were right all along that it would suck.

shrekfan246:
My thoughts are that I think it's a great game, I was tired of the hate for it which started long before it actually came out, and I'm even more tired of it now that people seem to be taking every little thing they can from the game to use as proof of how they were right all along that it would suck.

I got it shortly after I did the post. Curiosity got the better of me. It's OK, but I've already completed the main story (took me 3 hours). It's incredibly short and easy (and that's on the supposed 'hard' difficulty). It's not awful, just very underwhelming. Despite it's mixed reception, I enjoyed Lost World more tbh because it was significantly longer and more challenging. This is coming from someone who owns and has completed every sonic game though.

dscross:

shrekfan246:
My thoughts are that I think it's a great game, I was tired of the hate for it which started long before it actually came out, and I'm even more tired of it now that people seem to be taking every little thing they can from the game to use as proof of how they were right all along that it would suck.

I got it shortly after I did the post. Curiosity got the better of me. It's OK, but I've already completed the main story (took me 3 hours). It's incredibly short and easy (and that's on the supposed 'hard' difficulty). It's not awful, just very underwhelming. Despite it's mixed reception, I enjoyed Lost World more tbh because it was significantly longer and more challenging. This is coming from someone who owns and has completed every sonic game though.

The length really isn't something I'm going to hold against it. I can beat Sonic 1 in under an hour. Sonic 2 doesn't take me much longer if I'm not bothering with chaos emeralds or anything. Sonic 3 and Sonic Mania are a bit longer, but I can beat them in a few hours as well; I beat Sonic Mania the same day I started playing it. Sonic Generations isn't much longer, and most of that is because of its cutscenes and the padding that it has in the form of the missions you have in each level.

Conversely, Sonic Adventure and Adventure 2 take me longer than ten hours, and only one-third of that time I actually find fun to any significant degree, with the rest being either passable or outright frustrating. Once I have the story missions cleared out on a new save (which usually only happens because I'm playing for the first time on a new system), I generally only ever replay Sonic/Shadow missions, and that's why I play the games, to replay the Sonic-style missions. That's why I play the original Sonic games, it's why I still play Generations.

Forces hasn't had a single level I haven't enjoyed. While I think the controls could do with tightening up, and I wouldn't mind some longer/more in-depth levels, it has everything that I expected and wanted out of it. Certainly other people are perfectly entitled to find it underwhelming, mediocre, not their cup of tea, etc., but I've literally seen people saying that it's worse than Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, and that sort of thing happening for the months since around the time Mania came out has just tired me out.

(For the record, I think most of Lost World is fine as well, though I think they made some pretty poor design decisions in certain places, like in the gimmicks for the snow levels.)

Sonic team don't want to make sonic games anymore it's the industry's worst kept secret. But people keep buying them. I hope this is the final nail in the coffin and Sega stop trying to make it happen with them, hand it off to Whitehead and crew who clearly actually have some passion left in them.

Mediocre is not good enough in the industry. Sonic is coasting off passionate fans, nostalgia and Aaron Webbers insatiable shenanigans.
He needs a smash hit, a big one, and I don't think Sonic team has or will ever have it in them. They are not passionate about what they make.

shrekfan246:

The length really isn't something I'm going to hold against it. I can beat Sonic 1 in under an hour. Sonic 2 doesn't take me much longer if I'm not bothering with chaos emeralds or anything. Sonic 3 and Sonic Mania are a bit longer, but I can beat them in a few hours as well; I beat Sonic Mania the same day I started playing it. Sonic Generations isn't much longer, and most of that is because of its cutscenes and the padding that it has in the form of the missions you have in each level.

It's less the length of game as a whole and more the size of the levels for me I think. There are 30 tiny levels rather than between 8 and 12 big levels - with no bosses at the end - making them feel like they are ridiculously easy. I suppose Colours levels were quite short, but I found those levels more challenging. In general, it's mainly just waaaaay too easy for me. This might be the easiest Sonic game I've ever played I think, and I don't think any are difficult.

However, if you loved it, that's fair. I didn't dislike it, I just found it pretty lukewarm. I don't think it deserves the panning it will inevitably get from critics. As a reference point, if I'd give Mania, Generations and Colours a solid 9 or above, and Lost World a 7 and I'd probably give it this game a 6.5 I think. I'll probably return and replay the levels to get better scores so can't dislike it that much.

dscross:

shrekfan246:

The length really isn't something I'm going to hold against it. I can beat Sonic 1 in under an hour. Sonic 2 doesn't take me much longer if I'm not bothering with chaos emeralds or anything. Sonic 3 and Sonic Mania are a bit longer, but I can beat them in a few hours as well; I beat Sonic Mania the same day I started playing it. Sonic Generations isn't much longer, and most of that is because of its cutscenes and the padding that it has in the form of the missions you have in each level.

It's less the length of game as a whole and more the size of the levels for me I think. There are 30 tiny levels rather than 8 big levels - with no bosses at the end - making them feel like they are ridiculously easy. In general, it's mainly just waaaaay too easy for me. This might be the easiest Sonic game I've ever played I think, and I don't think any are difficult.

I mean, I probably have a pretty skewed measure for this myself because all of my best times for every stage, Classic and Modern, in Generations except Planet Wisp is well under 4 minutes, with many of them being 2-2.5 minutes as well. For as large as the levels are, I still don't find them particularly difficult or lengthy. And Planet Wisp also happens to be the level I've played the least, precisely because I think it drags on far too long.

Like, I get what you're saying, I'm certainly not trying to change your mind or anything. And I wouldn't mind if the average time for stages in Forces was closer to 3 or 3.5 minutes than the 1.5-2.5 I've been getting on them, but many of the stages in Colors could be completed in under a minute without even knowing them and I still loved that game too. The length just isn't one of my priorities, since I can already say that I've enjoyed replaying many of the stages.

I actually kinda liked the way that Jim Sterling put it in his video, that the highs of Forces don't reach the same level as Generations, but it doesn't dip out as low either.

I don't think it deserves the panning it will inevitably get from critics.

Honestly, at this point I'm a little surprised that people actually even gave Mania positive coverage, since it seems like enjoying Sonic games is just not the cool thing to do anymore.

shrekfan246:
snip

I get what you are saying. I just wish I'd found it more of a challenge I guess. It was just such a cakewalk that I came out feeling like I hadn't done much tbh. Definitely felt like I got more out of previous games.

Have you tried out episode Shadow yet? More of the same?

Sega may not know how to do Sonic in 3D, but I was pretty impressed by what I saw of Sonic Utopia:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5paaz16Nw20

It acknowledges what made the Genesis 2D Sonics good:
Not necessarily speed, but multi-tiered levels that encourage exploration.
It's also pretty much how I'd imagine Green Hill zone to be like, if it were 3D.

So, no, it isn't that Sonic can't work in 3D. It's just that Sega doesn't know how to make Sonic work in 3D.

dscross:

shrekfan246:
snip

Have you tried out episode Shadow yet? More of the same?

I haven't played all of it yet, but more or less. It seems to use slightly tweaked versions of, or templates from, stages in the main game, but they do have more obstacles in them than the standard levels had. Also it has a bunch of Shadow and Infinite trying to out-edge each other, which I find absolutely hilarious.

EDIT: I think it's also super short if you're just playing it to finish it, but since it was free that's again not something I'm really going to hold against the game.

The last Sonic game I really played was Shadow the Hedgehog. I love both the game and the character himself immensely and I can't understand all the freaking hatred (well, I agree about the motorcycle controls but the rest of the vehicles worked just fine and the cycle was only in like 1 or 2 levels) it gets. So much innovation, the story, the gameplay, the different objectives that changed the way the story went that gave it so much replay value (and is really still the only "Good or Evil choices" game that actually changes the story depending on what you do in a real fashion,) so much of it just worked so brilliantly and the complaints seem to boil down to Shadow being too "edgy" as though that was a bad thing or even really true (dark maybe, but edgy, not really and if so so what?)

I then tried Secret Rings and 06 and honestly I couldn't get more than an couple hours into them. The first for the godawful motion controls (like pretty much every other game on the Wii) and the other for this really stupid plot and visuals that made my eyes bleed, and I just lost interest in Sonic entirely. I've kinda wanted to try some of the games since then but the quality has near unanimously agreed to have been up and down for a long time and there's so many worthwhile games I still have yet to beat I just can't be assed to play any of them.

dscross:
It's getting panned by reviewers at the moment. It saddens me to see Sonic get this treatment after the success of Mania (I'm a long time casual fan).

Ditto. :(

I haven't played a Sonic game since Unleashed/Rush Adventure (one of them, forget which was the last one), but I'd like to see him do better than he's currently doing. :(

CritialGaming:
Sonic does not, and will never, fit into a 3D system.

Except Sonic Adventure 1/2, Heroes, reportedly Generations and Colours, etc. (do isometric entries count as 3D?)

I'm not disputing that there's some absolute Sonic turds (Secret Rings for instance, at least in gameplay), but 3D in of itself isn't the problem. It's easy to find 2D stinkers as well (e.g. Sonic Blast).

dscross:

I don't understand how Sonic still has fans,

Speaking as a casual fan:

*Old games were part of my childhood, so there's that.

*Sonic's remained very much alive in comics, cartoons, etc. I ended up quitting the Archie comics series for various reasons, but the cartoons have always been fun to varying extents. Boom is arguably a microcosm, in that we have a pretty good cartoon stemming from a reportedly mediocre game.

*Very much a third tier reason, but as someone who writes fanfiction, Sonic as a multiverse is very easy to write for. How and why could fill a topic in of its own (note: it's not slash, so don't get any ideas), but that is arguably part of the reason for me.

As I said, very much a casual fan, and I can't see myself getting Forces anytime soon given how it's been panned, but let's just say my interest isn't completely dead.

CritialGaming:

I hated the Adventure games. I don't like any of Sonic's weird fucking friends. (Big the CAT!)

No-one likes Big, but that's like shooting fish in a barrel.

CritialGaming:

Look at the list of 3D Sonic games. Then set them aside into a good or bad pile, and then look at the good pile. How many of the "good" ones are actually good, and not just better then the really shitty ones. The answer is none imo.

Do isometric ones count? Assuming they do, and confining this to "good" or "bad," and limiting them to the ones I've played:

THE GOOD

-Sonic 3D
-Sonic Adventure
-Sonic Adventure 2
-Sonic Heroes
-Sonic Battle

THE BAD

-Sonic Labyrinth
-Shadow the Hedgehog
-Sonic 06
-Sonic and the Secret Rings

I'd have preferred an "average" option as well, (I've played some of Unleashed, but I can't honestly put it in "good" or "bad") but if I'm left with those ones, that leaves me at around 50/50 as far as 3D entries go. If you cut out the isometric entries, that has me at 3 good, 3 bad.

So, yeah. I don't buy the idea that Sonic in 3D is inherently a bad thing.

Xsjadoblayde:
As a person who quite enjoyed sonic adventure 1 & 2...though 2 aged better...i believe they started giving up after then. It's something I've accepted long ago.

I don't think they gave up per se. I mean, looking at the mainstream Sonic entries, it seems to me like there's a flow:

-Adventure 1 & 2 are congruent. 2 has changes for better and worse, but it's still basically the core ideas.

-Heroes is an oddball that I'm mixed on. Different gameplay, different tone, different everything (well, almost). I can't see it being an evolution of the Adventure formula.

-Shadow and 06 are the 3D entries' 'grimdark' phase, and the point where the 3D entries went downhill. Even if 06 played perfectly, there's some choices in there that are just bizzare (e.g. Elise). 06 is more in sync with Adventure than Heroes, but it's flawed at its core.

-Storybook games aren't mainline entries (arguably Shadow isn't either, so...)

-Unleashed strikes me as a reaction to 06 - more kiddy tone, a more basic approach. Then we go into Colors, which strips things down even further (no Werehog), even in plot (an even more kiddy tone).

-Generations and Forces are congruent in that we're in the realm of really leaning on nostalgia. Lost World is the odd one out in this series - not sure how it fits in.

Honestly, it strikes me that as of Shadow, the 3D games have been chasing their tail. Adventure 1, 2, and Heroes knew what they wanted to be, but after that, we're either going down the 'dark and gritty' route, then going to 'back to basics,' then going to nostalgia.

immortalfrieza:
The last Sonic game I really played was Shadow the Hedgehog. I love both the game and the character himself immensely and I can't understand all the freaking hatred (well, I agree about the motorcycle controls but the rest of the vehicles worked just fine and the cycle was only in like 1 or 2 levels) it gets. So much innovation, the story, the gameplay, the different objectives that changed the way the story went that gave it so much replay value (and is really still the only "Good or Evil choices" game that actually changes the story depending on what you do in a real fashion,) so much of it just worked so brilliantly and the complaints seem to boil down to Shadow being too "edgy" as though that was a bad thing or even really true (dark maybe, but edgy, not really and if so so what?)

Shadow the Hedgehog has a good idea in it (the branching pathways), but I can't say I'm fond of it. Looking back at the 3D games, Heroes felt like a step down from the Adventure games for me, but I still enjoyed it. But playing Shadow...that was where things just felt wrong. And I can say I don't like it for the following reasons:

-The branching paths is a nice idea in theory, but it's just so tedious (for me) to go through all of those paths to get the true ending, especially when there's often no congruence between them. As in, Shadow might be a jackass in one path, then go paragon the next second, and go on what feels like an unrelated sub-plot. It also means I have to play Westopolis over and over. I'd have much preferred it if there were just three paths (good/evil/neutral) that allowed for more refined experiences.

-Didn't affect me at the time, but looking back, Shadow pushed the 'dark and edgy' route too far. This partly stems from my issues with Shadow as a character post-SA2 (which is another matter), but, yeah.

-Don't find it fun to play. Guns are tedious, and the controls feel slippery. Heroes had this problem as well, but not nearly as bad.

Overall, just found Shadow tedious. And eventually I got 06 afterwards and...well, I don't think it's the worst game in the world, but like Shadow, it's more dull than anything.

ProfMcStevie:

However, Forces isn't just bad, it's a bland awfully put together unpolished dumpster fire that you can see the seams barely holding it together every-time Sonic remarks how could your OC character. This was a development NIGHTMARE featuring basically no one of note from previous entries that could carry the experience with such an oddball franchise to keep it together and sort it's shit out. It was doomed from the start and while I've heard scarce sources thus far there is some word that seeing Forces in its 4 year development struggle hard that Iizuka basically greenlit Mania because of it.

Yeah I've played it now. It's ok. Just ok. It's waaaaay too easy and I found the stages much too short (not short and challenging like Colours - short and easy). There's nothing objectively wrong with it, but nothing really surprised me, gameplay wise, emotionally, or story wise and I didn't get excited about it. I don't think I like it as much as any other recent Sonic games tbh (except Boom, obviously). But then I like Lost World and Unleashed so what do I know. But it's not awful. It's a decidedly mediocre game, but it doesn't deserve the panning critics are giving it. As I've said further up it gets a 6.5 from me.

Another year, another shitty 3D Sonic game. Business as usual as far as I'm concerned. 3D Sonic games are a lost cause but they'll never go away due to the severe stockholm syndrome that hardcore Sonic fans have.

 

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