The Spin: “Words”

spin

Disclaimer: The views in this piece may not reflect the views of TSS or other writers on the staff team. The intention of The Spin is to promote debate and discussion of an issue or something that’s happening in the fandom or the world of Sonic.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUDjRZ30SNo

This is the first thing which came into mind when I read the interview which has inspired me to write this.

Given the reaction from the community, I think it’s worth talking about. At least I’d like to talk about it, mainly because I for one am in the odd position of… not entirely knowing what to think about it, well actually, that’s a small lie. I do but, each time I try to get either angry or ‘oh good on Sega’ I start to think more about it and basically come to the mindset of, ‘yeah yeah…’ Or something which Sega has been doing a lot lately which I’m calling ‘words‘.

If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, in an interview with Marketting Week SEGA Europe’s marketing director Jon Rooke dropped this line.

SEGA has publicly apologised to the fans as the quality of console games in the Sonic franchise hasn’t been acceptable over recent years. It’s been tough translating that iconic side scrolling 2D experience from the 90s into 3D but Sonic is still huge for us so the new games will be more inspired by how it played in its heyday.

Let’s start with this.

“SEGA has publicly apologised to the fans as the quality of console games in the Sonic franchise hasn’t been acceptable over recent years.”

You make two points, one is kinda right, the other is an outright lie.

The first thing I question is, exactly what is ‘recent years’? The quality of the last Sonic game wasn’t acceptable. The quality of Sonic Lost World was questionable, the quality of Generations was… actually kinda good, as was colours, are we including Mario & Sonic titles in this?

So how far does the ‘recent years’ span by, and dare I suggest that we should also include handhelds into that, especially the technical embarrassment which is Sonic Runners, I’m stopping short right now on writing an article about how Sega is auto banning people who reach a certain score but my god the evidence on that is certainly rising.

runnersboob

I could have used any image from Sonic Runners to show the problems that game has…

The quality of console games in the Sonic franchise hasn’t been acceptable over the recent years, if by recent years we’re talking Sonic Lost World and Boom, so ok you have one point.

Now lets talk about this apology. This is written in the past tense, he’s referencing a previous event… When was this? When did you apologise? Specifically about Sonic? There was a general apology about betraying the trust of ‘Sega fans’, several months ago, but I sure as hell don’t remember an apology to fans for spending £45 on the shoddy mess which is Sonic Boom.

I am growing very tired of people in PR at Sega misleading and sometimes outrightly lying just in order to generate hype or another pre-order. So should I add this to the pile?

Don’t be such a cynic, my mind tells me, it asks me to consider ‘maybe this post, this article is the apology from Sega?’ I think for a moment, and come to the conclusion, if this is an apology, it’s an amazingly poor one.

Consider the following if this is indeed the apology.

This is an apology aimed at gamers, at fans, people who buy Sonic games.

So why has it been given by a marketing manager from Europe to a Marketing World website? Other than people who run and manage Sonic news sites, who have an interest in licensing deals, who would have ever read that? Nobody is the answer. Nobody had any idea this interview existed, let alone an apparent apology, if indeed this was one.

Imagine for a moment you ate someone’s lunch, you decide to apologise, so you go to a cave which nobody has heard of and write ‘I’m sorry’ on the wall, then when asked to say sorry they say ‘I did’, you wouldn’t accept it would you. So how is this any different?

Then the cynic in me looks further and I question, even if this were the apology, why is the marketing manager the one making it?

He has no say in the games, he doesn’t have a hand in the games development, so why is he apologising for quality of a product when this would be either Big Red Button (or the people at Sega who made the Nintendo exclusive deal) or someone on Sonic team if we’re going to include Sonic Lost World into all this. This guy is the wrong guy to be making apologies.

So now we’ve pretty much established that this apology is just ‘words’ lets move onto the next part of the quote shall we?

“It’s been tough translating that iconic side scrolling 2D experience from the 90s into 3D but Sonic is still huge for us so the new games will be more inspired by how it played in its heyday.”

Ok we have two points again here, again one is highly debatable so lets start with this one first.

“it’s been tough translating that iconic side scrolling 2D experience from the 90s into 3D”

Sonic Generations Planet Wisp Screenshots 15

What’s the problem here?

It has? I thought that Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 were considered all-right by today’s standards despite their problems and Colours is considered somewhere between a good and a great game as is Sonic Generations, people seem to universally agree that the Sonic stages in Unleashed are the best part of that title so… where does the truth to this quote rest?

Well let’s look at it again, ‘translating that iconic side scrolling 2D experience’ so… does this mean side scrollers? If so… urm… yeah kinda. Sonic 4 has it’s problems, the primary one being the fact they marketed it as a Genesis sequel despite the fact it blatantly isn’t both in terms of appearance and technical execution, everybody went in expecting a like for like Genesis game and got ‘random new side scroller game which we’re calling Sonic 4 because that will sell more copies + terrible level design.’ But those side scrolling segments in Unleashed? Generations? What are you talking about, those are fine, they were getting better with each game, where has this ‘it’s been hard’ come from? The only thing hard is that someone at Sonic Team started to experiment with ‘Tubes’ and the Unleashed – Generations design environment went out of the window… then Big Red Button decided to completely bury it.

So how about we look at the last part of the quote, that second point?

“Sonic is still huge for us so the new games will be more inspired by how it played in its heyday.”

The keyword here is ‘played’, we know this cannot be Boom or SLW, combine this line with all the evidence we’ve seen of a ‘classic focus‘ for the 25th anniversary, I would strongly move towards the notion that the next Sonic game is going to have a very strong ‘classic feel’ you can interpret that as you see fit.

 So lets take away everything and just look at the basics, ‘Sega have apologised to Sonic fans (at some point in time) about the poor quality of previous Sonic games. Next Sonic game is going to have a very strong classic feel.

Sega, you do know that we’re not goldfish? That we have long memories and can go around digging up old press releases in which you say that Sonic 4 will provide fans with an unrivalled classic Sonic feel. Only to then tell us to go and buy Sonic CD or Sonic 3 & Knuckles when people call you out on it.

And how Stephen Frost was going on about how Boom was good/different/unique because it had ‘synergy‘ only for us to discover how bad the interaction between the characters was on release, and to then discover that odds are the only reason then to discover the only reason this was being mentioned so often was because it was one of the many early code-names for the Sonic Boom project, because we gotta have those buzzwords.

What about Ken Balough trying to convince us that having Tails in Sonic 4 Episode 1 would cost ‘millions of dollars,’ *editors note: I screwed that up, thanks Indigo* Or that the excessive use of dash pads is good game design? 

How about we look at any of those outright lies and misleading interviews, quotes, videos, behind the scenes features which Sega put out in which people were reading from a script and bring up the actual truth behind them? Such as comparing those early trailers for Boom which showed this amazingly scenery and the final pathetic excuse for level assets?

Now we have the marketing manager saying ‘sorry’ and ‘classic’. It’s just words, words that Sega say.

I’m done with words, I want to see you doing things, actually backing up these words, not misleading people or saying ‘words’ just to get some lines on a news site.

Sega-Sonic logo

Now that said, there are some great things which Sega PR are and have been doing recently. Ruby Eclipse has pretty much done no wrong since returning to manage the Sonic social media accounts, and the biggest unsung hero so far at Sega is the new community manager Dan, he’s barely been in the position for a month and so far he’s reached out to both large fan sites and smaller youtubers in order to promote Sega games as well as organise a party in which anyone (over 18) can come along to.

This kind of stuff I respond well do, whilst it’s not completely satisfactory since I want to see any play games before I start praising on high (although I want Yakuza 5 so bad!), this kind of stuff is doing you far better service than the ‘words’ which someone in a certain position makes every few months or so.

We’ve been told these words time and time again, I’ve yet to see anyone so far who has said anything in response to this other than ‘yeah right’ or ‘believe it when I see it’ pretty much every reply has been negative.

My advice. Someone who doesn’t work on the game said words, don’t take it too seriously, the only important bit to take from it is the fact that it’s another hint that the 25th anniversary is going to be more classic focused. Apologies are nice, but actually coming out with the goods is better.

So Sega we all.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiJMr9ffdsY

P.S. Since writing this article, evidence is mounting that Sonic Runners, has some kind of ‘auto ban’ function in that which is banning people for reaching stupidly high scores, even if done legitimately, which thanks to the recent broken companions, is quite easy to do. Believe me we’d be talking about that right now had that news come to light sooner.

P.P.S: Amazingly, a bulk of this article is about ‘that classic feel’ and Runners has lost so much respect from me that I forgot that I once thought that it was the most classic feeling game we’ve had in years. Only now it’s a buggy technical mess of a game.

65 Comments

  1. Just a clarification, the Ken Balough quote about “costing millions of dollars” doesn’t refer at all to Episode 1, but to having Sonic or Tails playable by themselves in Episode 2. He was likely referring to the amount of work it would take to remake the games level design setup to accommodate for the resulting lack of combo moves which were necessary to complete the game, though admittedly the last part is my conjecture. Nonetheless, it isn’t to do with patching Tails into Episode 1.

  2. You know, I’m getting really tired of your cynicism and pessimism, Hog…

    Once again, you’ve twisted people’s words around into a way that you see as unacceptable. You seem determined to take the slightest sign of hope, and smash it into the ground. And in a time where we as a community need this reassurance, this makes you come off as some kind of sadistic person who hates the sight of people showing even the slightest sign of happiness.

    Sometimes, I wonder if you even like this franchise anymore…

    1. I guess you didn’t read the whole article then? *points to the praise I gave both Ruby Eclipse and the new Sega community manager.

        1. So instead of complaining about me, how about you explain how someone who doesn’t work on the Sonic games claiming Sega has apologised for their quality despite there being no evidence of them doing so is a good thing?

          1. No they didn’t.

            Marketing managers quote: “SEGA has publicly apologised to the fans as the quality of console games in the Sonic franchise hasn’t been acceptable over recent years.”

            He’s talking in the past tense. So lets look for a specific apology about the quality of Sonic games.

            There isn’t any.

            There is a general apology for ‘betraying the trust of fans’ but there is nothing about apologising to Sonic fans.

            Does the guy develop the game? No.
            Does he design the games? No
            Is he involved with Sonic Team strategic thinking? No.

            So who is he to apologise for quality even if you are going to claim it was him who was apologising in that moment?

            I’d like to apologise for the Mass Effect 3 ending, I don’t have anything to do with it, but we can claim that they’ve apologised now right?

          2. You’re an idiot, Hogfather.

            No, you apologising for Mass Effect 3’d ending has no relevancy, but you don’t work for BioWare.

            This dude works for SEGA. Sure, he didn’t help make the game but he still works for Sega. Your example is irrelevant.

          3. “SEGA has publicly apologised to the fans as the quality of console games in the Sonic franchise hasn’t been acceptable over recent years.”

            Uh, I thought that WAS the apology.

          4. How about you try reading what’s said KingIgort that way you might actually leave a comment which makes sense.

            The guy is talking in the past tense, as if Sega has already made the apology, no such apology exists.

            Even if you are going to take it as an apology from Sega, he is in absolutely no place or role to do so, nor does it have any weight since he would be apologising for a systematic failure across Sega… which of course the marketing manager is the right person to make such a statement and analysis of the business.

            But hey why stop at the marketing manager, how about we get the QA guys to apologise for why Runners is a technical mess. How about the canteen tea lady apologises for Boom’s quality? Yeah that’s Sega.

          5. PR is part of his role.

            Making up a fake apology is not.

            His quote references a past apology that Sega made.

            No such thing exists.

          6. If I’m to play devil’s advocate here, while a PR person should not in theory be making fake apologies, his bosses may force him to do so. Its not unheard of for executives to demand PR push buzzwords which barring them from bringing up certain things, which could very well be happening here. Yet at the same time, HF’s criticisms seem to be directed to the company as a whole, not just the PR guy. I think HF knows that PR people are often asked to be vague– he just thinks its a pretty bad thing to do regardless of who demanded it.

            Personally, I attribute the issues with “words” to the leadership of the Sega rather than a few PR people who probably, as mentioned in the article, has zero influence to the goings on at Sega. But if anybody disagrees, I’d be willing to hear him/her out.

    2. To be fair he was pretty stuck on how to feel for a while. And as “Hogfathery” as this article sounds, it’s still pretty fair in how he’s expressing his thoughts. There is a point in the fact that Sega does seem to be sending out the strangest people to make these kinds of apologies, it would have made more sense to have someone more directly responsible for the products in question to come forward about this. But then again, how often do you really hear developers, creators, or even corporate decision makers come out and say sorry themselves anyway? That’s a problem that isn’t necessarily just confined to Sega.

      And as much as I want to put hope behind those words, I will agree with HF, considering where they’re coming from and how they’re being presented, they are for the most part just words. As much as I find the phrases “Actions speak louder than words” or “I’ll believe it when I see it” or “Yeah right” to be rather tired and annoying phrases to come across (especially on this site, which is half of most of the comments I see a lot of the time), there is a point that those who are responsible to living up to these words actually live up to these words and put in the action and effort needed to follow through on those apologies and promises. So positive thinking or not, we still need to see those responsible for delivering on that promised good experience at Sega, Sonic Team, etc. to actually deliver and give us what they promise. Because the more you rely on words, the more you rely on honesty, integrity, and consistency, as well as respect towards who you’re addressing.

      Really though my only problem with that statement that guy made was just by how confusing it sounded. I’m still not quite certain about how I should interpret the whole “play like Sonic’s heyday” thing. It sounds like we’re going to get a classic-like experience, but haven’t we already had our fill of that stuff by now!? It was fine up to Generations and Sonic 4 Ep. II, but with Lost World it just sort of overstayed it’s welcome. And that was still technically the last main title we’ve had, so this means that we’re still going to get something that tries to mimic the classic games to some degree. Sonic’s games have always been derivative of each other, I can understand that, but they still added a lot of new things to make them stand out on their own. At this point I’m just hoping that this statement doesn’t mean that we’ll get another Lost World, something more akin to a Generations or Sonic 4 like experience or something that makes sense of an anniversary title. And after whatever we get, I really hope we’ll start getting more innovative or new-looking things again, because as much as I love the nostalgia, I really feel like they need to start making conscious efforts to move Sonic forward towards an unimagined future.

      1. I can get behind what you’re saying here.

        I really, really hope Sega is committed to change. I think that’s the key to keeping Sonic games consistant in style and keeping Sonic Team’s eccentricities in check. But at the same time, Sonic Team has clearly figured out how to deal with Sega enough that their titles after Unleashed are, for the most part, not terrible by any means. So I think that even if Sega hasn’t changed, the 2016 game is going to be, at the very least fun even if its not as good as it could be.

    1. Proven history with this company’s PR gives enough credence to hesitation of the plain face-value reading of the quotation. There is absolutely no reason why we should accept anything they say without substantial proof at this point.

      1. It’s also kinda weird that Hogfather went on this massive tirade about this quote but caps it all off with “ehh, some guys said stuff, don’t take it too seriously.”

        And I’m just sitting here like “Wait, wha?”

        1. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, though. Hogfather correctly pointed out that this guy said something that we shouldn’t take seriously considering their history of either stretching the truth or lack of evidence for their claims, which Hogfather took the time to point out. That’s basically the point of the article.

          Outline:
          1. Guy said a thing.
          2. Can we trust thing?
          3. History of other guys from same company saying thing.
          4. Thing isn’t true either through ineptitude or deception.
          5. Therefore don’t trust guy yet until substance.

          I don’t think this is reading too much into it. It’s a legit article.

          1. “PR guy says something misleading” isn’t exactly Earth-shattering information. That’s pretty much their job.

          2. PR’s job is to mislead people? Public Relations is a position that has to do with relaying information from a company to the public. If anything, misleading the public should be met with disciplinary action. However, we’re left to assume that the PR manager is on the leash of the developers or whatever in-between position, so this is a moot point, anyway.

            The point of “The Spin” is to offer commentary to the latest happenings in the community. This is causing a flurry of discussion on the Sonic Stadium’s message boards, as well as Sonic Retro and I’m sure many other places on the Internet. This is a relevant topic. Hogfather is throwing his observation out into the ring. And it’s a valid observation that makes absolute sense.

  3. I understand how you feel Hogfather.

    Look Sega, you want to wait until 2016 to make an official announcement for the Sonic anniversary game? Fine, I get that. You usually announce games on the year of release for Sonic anyway. Its expected at this point. But could you maybe not make a bunch of vague statements that do nothing but infuriate your fans about what exactly you mean beforehand? I mean, I’ve seen a lot of people immediately jumping to the conclusion that the next game is going to spit in the face of Adventure fans and be nothing but Classic Sonic pandering because of this, and that BS would not be nearly a prolific if this PR guy had just gone into specifics as to how recent games fell short and what ways cool things from the Classic era are being incorporated. Or heck, even just the former if Sega didn’t want to reveal too much about the new game. I don’t think this apology did you any favors here Sega… I honestly think it would be better if Sega had just stayed quiet until January.

    Actually, it is sort of a fantasy of mine to do an interview with a Sega employee for my little Facebook fanpage. I have quite a few questions that I feel like people aren’t really asking when given the chance to interview somebody from Sega. Alas, it is but a dream as I lack the connections to arrange such a thing.

  4. To me the only recent Sonic game that is ‘unacceptable’ in terms of quality is Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. I enjoyed Colors, Generatons, and I even like Lost World despite it’s shortcomings. It’s funny all because RoL turns out to be one huge steaming pile that now all of Sonic’s recent games are unacceptable and they’re going to focus on making the games more ‘classic inspired’ even though that’s basically what they’ve been doing since Sonic 4 in some way, shape or form.

  5. These articles always put things into perspective for me, though I do wish Hogfather would stop bashing Sonic Lost World, it may not be for everyone, but it’s quality is definitely not poor.

    1. I know, right? Sure, it’s not Generations, but it’s very polished, and it’s a good game in its own right.

    2. It’s….not 2006 or Rise of Lyric level-poor, but it is a bit of a mess of ideas. There were some good ideas in there, there was a lot of creativity put into it. Likewise though, there was just as much rehashing and disorganization in the whole thing too. It sort of feels like a lego set that someone was working hard on but then got pressed for time and had to put some bricks in areas or ways that they were never meant to be in, while a large amount of those bricks never got to be placed anywhere. It had potential, but I think they were trying to work with too much to manage this time around, in terms of both gameplay, level design, and story. It’s not god-awful, but it certainly feels a bit under-finished to me.

    3. Lost World has quite a few problems. For one, its control scheme is way too difficult to figure out, poorly explained, and at times counterintuitive. I almost put down the game before even finishing the first world because of how difficult it is to learn how to run on walls. Don’t even get me started on the gimmick levels– I mean, seriously, snowball Sonic? Annoying floaty air Sonic that comes out of nowhere and was previously optional? The only gimmick level I actually liked was the casino one and even that’s mostly for its giant pinball table. Plus the Wisps feel forced. I liked them in Colors, but in that game they almost always controlled well and had a clear place to enhance each level. Lost World, on the other hand, has easily some of the worst controls in the game assigned to its Wisps (seriously, the way the 3D Drill and Rocket Wisp control is unnecessarily tricky and time consuming respectively) and doesn’t incorporate them well in the levels at all.

      Yet at the same time, I actually like Lost World a lot anyway. I don’t regret picking it up again as I found it much more enjoyable once I figured out the controls and learned how to work past its quirks. I’d like to see parkour fixed too as I feel it has the potential to be good. Its kind of like how people love Adventure and want it to be built off of, despite its awful collision detection even for the time and a lot of annoying gameplay styles.

  6. While I’m usually the optimist vs. Hogfather’s pessimism, I have to agree with him this time. This guy didn’t work on any of the Sega titles, so all he has is just a bunch of words. Sega’s history of telling us “this will be more like the classics” and “this time it will be better” is constant. Does anyone remember when Sega said they would de-list a Sonic game if it scored too low on Metacritic? Check out this article. http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/12/sega-looking-to-improve-sonic-strategy-reducing-supply-of-old/

    Well…….. http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii-u/sonic-boom-rise-of-lyric http://www.metacritic.com/game/3ds/sonic-boom-shattered-crystal Still for sale! XP

    I don’t want words. I want results.

    1. I do agree with HF here. Admittedly I did at first take the Rooke’s apology as being valid in referring to the recent general apology of SoJ, but when you break it down some more it really isn’t. At the risk of basically paraphrasing what Hog said in his article, SEGA only apologised for the general let-downs towards the fans, not specifically for the poor games between now and 2006 (which I think is probably the meaning of the statement here). Now, I don’t really follow any other SEGA franchises, but I don’t think it’d be foolish to assume that the kind of screw-ups that are 06 and Rise of Lyric are limited to the Sonic franchise.

      While it is certainly a tired sentiment by now, I’m really not giving this any stock until I’ve seen at least a trailer for the upcoming anniversary game, and I don’t mean like that Runners teaser which just used more or less irrelevant stock renders/footage. I think I’ll be happy with whatever playstyle we get, so long as it feels like Sonic and plays well. Unless it’s an Adventure playstyle…or a Boom playstyle…or a Heroes playstyle (sorry, just not a fan of those). At the end of the day, we know nothing about the next game as of now, and that puts a lot of people at risk of a big let-down if they put too much into these “apologies”.

    1. Who Blocked my link to the video?
      It was intended as a Joke, I had a warning didn’t I?!

      Staff Edit: Do not spam the comments with stuff like this.

  7. I don’t think Hogfather is being negative. He’s clearly supporting his claim with details. Though I really hope that these apologetic words will actually mean something this time. SEGA is still restructuring, right? Maybe during this they realized their problem of releasing too many rushed/non-polished games, and that it needed to change. SEGA always likes to release anniversary Sonic titles, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to stop anytime soon. When Sonic 2016 comes around, Sonic Team A(?) will have had about 4-5 years of creating this title, assuming they started working on it after (or even before) Generations was completed. I really hope they are taking their time to finish it. Heck, release it in 2017 if you have to. Just show us that you’re serious about Sonic’s future.

  8. Huh…well I feel incredibly dumb at this moment.

    I feel sorta bad about making that comment, insinuating that the Sonic fanbase where a bunch of fools for taking the words of a marketing goon at face value for the umpteenth time. I should try to be more intelligent next time.

    ….Oh no, I’m not apologizing for the comment. Everything I said rings true, if history and this comment section is to be believed.

    Nah, I’m apologizing for wasting a post on a dated topic, when Hogfather did a better job of writing it. Everything that needs to be said on the subject is right here and if you still don’t see what he’s talking about, then maybe we should get Michael Mondo to come here and recite quotes from Far Cry 3 on the nature of The Sonic Fanbase.

    An apology from the CEO of SEGA? Worthless.
    An apology from a European Sales Cog? Even more than worthless. That’s practically MUDA MUDA MUDA!

    Forget about the apologies, and just be patient until something more substantial comes along, like a developer interview, trademark info, or just anything that shows some progress. Let the results speak for what SEGA wants to do with Sonic.

  9. I am very appreciative of at least somebody apologizing… but at this point, I am so tired of speculating on what they MEAN by it. I want to see by now. It’s very similar to how I felt about Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for a bit.

    I don’t want to come off as someone who is just going to bash SEGA for anything they try, and say that they “can’t make good games.” I don’t want to just say “I’ll believe it when I see it, but until then, SEGA is trash.” Yes, I am alluding to a particular YouTuber I generally like, but of course, he doesn’t seem to realize now that one bad game does not a bad company make. I think public apologies are good, at least… and honestly, with the exception of Sonic Runners being nutty as all hell, I think SEGA’s been making fine decisions with Sonic lately. …. But I want to see what they mean. I’m not dismissing their apologies or current actions, but I kind of want to see what’s going on.

    Oh yeah. I forgot. Insert generic comment I have of… “We’ve been doing nostalgia for like, three main games straight.” But I have hope that they’re going to incorporate something fresh while keeping Classic ideas. Maybe.

  10. I agree that SEGA have promised “back to his roots” on a number of occasions before, to varying levels of results ranging from Sonic Generations awesome to Sonic ’06 travesty. However everyone chanting “No words, I want to see action!”: No you don’t. Right now, you want to see inaction. You want to see Sonic Team take the time to get the 25th anniversary game right – not rushed, not buggy, not full of “what are the kids playing now” terrible marketing-decision alternate gameplay styles. You want to see them be careful and patient with the next game.

    1. That’s not what we’re saying.
      Who would possibly ask for a rushed game? We’re asking for when SEGA actually do something related to what they said and promised. We’re not saying “rush your game”, we’re saying “you better stick to your words.”

  11. When you apologize for recent years, YEARS is the keyword. Other than RoLe, what game has been downright horrible is the last, say 5 years. Non of them are! Sega, don’t give us empty apologies like this,(Also, Sonic 5 may have just been confirmed)

          1. 1: There is nothing in the comment to suggest this was a joke reply.

            2: Someone, not sure if it were the same user, posted a serious topic on our forums saying that Sonic 5 had been announced.

  12. They can’t keep using the “going back to it’s roots” as a selling point to lure people in and buy their games. Besides the Boom games, don’t act like that games Post-2010 aren’t attempts to bring Sonic back to his roots in some way, shape of form. Basically to me this only confirms that they’re going to continue the nostalgia/making classic inspired games direction cause it’s not like they wasn’t already doing that.

  13. Yeah, it’s just Sega PR guy being told to say something as both damage control and perhaps to build up hype for the next game. Everytime I hear the word “classic” I get worried because it usually means just putting references to the old games in the newer ones instead of focusing on making a good game.

  14. I do agree with HF here. Admittedly I did at first take the Rooke’s apology as being valid in referring to the recent general apology of SoJ, but when you break it down some more it really isn’t. At the risk of basically paraphrasing what Hog said in his article, SEGA only apologised for the general let-downs towards the fans, not specifically for the poor games between now and 2006 (which I think is probably the meaning of the statement here). Now, I don’t really follow any other SEGA franchises, but I don’t think it’d be foolish to assume that the kind of screw-ups that are 06 and Rise of Lyric are limited to the Sonic franchise.

    While it is certainly a tired sentiment by now, I’m really not giving this any stock until I’ve seen at least a trailer for the upcoming anniversary game, and I don’t mean like that Runners teaser which just used more or less irrelevant stock renders/footage. I think I’ll be happy with whatever playstyle we get, so long as it feels like Sonic and plays well. Unless it’s an Adventure playstyle…or a Boom playstyle…or a Heroes playstyle (sorry, just not a fan of those). At the end of the day, we know nothing about the next game as of now, and that puts a lot of people at risk of a big let-down if they put too much into these “apologies”.

  15. I agree with the majority of this article but Lost World’s not even a bad game… It’s not the best but it’s certainly better than just mediocre or ok. It’s an enjoyable game, with really nice, if slightly basic, visuals for the WiiU and some interesting new characters and mechanics. I mean, people complain the level designs are bland? Then what about Mario Galaxy, one of the most highly acclaimed Mario titles? What about previous Sonic titles which have mostly had the same quality of level design? Get from A to B, kill some enemies, collect some stuff and you have 3 paths to take, take your pick!
    I will, however, admit the story’s severely lacking (not that that should be an issue for a Sonic game) as is the soundtrack and character choice but that’s my only real complaints. You don’t even have the exclusivity complaint anymore, now it’s coming to PC.

    1. Aw, really? You think the soundtrack is lacking? I rather like it. But yeah, I agree. I think people are a little too judgemental about Sonic Lost World. It’s not a true masterpiece, but I don’t think it needs to be deemed “the start of a new dark age” as some will say.

      1. Some people deems Sonic Lost World ‘the start of a new dark age’? That’s a over-exaggeration. Yeah, the game has some issues but it’s not THAT bad! To me the game is above average and not the “Oh no, the Sonic series is terrible again” and “lol Sonic 06 2” like some people call it before we even knew about Rise of Lyric.

        1. You’d be amazed how many people, at the time of its release, compared it heavily to Sonic ’06.

          1. I know, but people seem to compare every Sonic game to Sonic 06 even if a game is just mediocre at best. I bet now they’re going to compare the 25th anniversary title and every upcoming game to Rise of Lyric even if the games looks nothing like it.

        2. Eh, I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a new 06, but if the trend of not hitting the mark like 2008-2011 did continues, I would still kind of see it as the change of pace that is a less steep slope down. I would say LW may have started heading down, but not in a real aggressive manner, where as Rise of Lyric is more clearly fitting of that kind of position, having transitioned from gradual sloping to near 90% waterfall ride. Lost World may not have harmed the series in a significant way as 2006 or RoL did, but it didn’t do it as many favors as Unleashed through Generations did.

          1. How did it harm the franchise in any way though? The only thing to blame for its negative feedback is the crappy part of the fanbase that hates anything that’s not a Megadrive-style title, SA3 or Nintendo as a whole (of which there isn’t even that excuse anymore)… The game itself is a solid entry into the series that unfairly gets far too much negativity.

  16. I only consider the problem having Sonic in a alternate reality of Earth instead of a fantasy world. When you have humans there’s a 95% of guns (only robots should), beastility, a human child shot to death, alien invasions, and shoving someone into Sonic’s spotlight to make them better than the main blue blur himself interacting with military humans.

    In the first Sonic Adventure, the characters hardly interacted with the humans and nothing really had anything to do with them. Precisely, just Eggman getting his hands on something major to do his work and create a land of his own then for Sonic to stop him. No important person or their relations with the characters. I think SEGA should’ve kept that concept than what they did in Adventure 2.

    Speaking of which, Eggman’s grandfather was executed, yes? And the punishment was by shooting him? Another way of using guns in the series. If SEGA wanted a dark side of the story could’ve had the grandfather dying of old age and using his last breathe in the message about destroying the world in his deathbed. Something they would have done differently.

    Only a theory.

  17. I manage dot get about one paragraph into this then quit when the tone turned into the usual acidic negative complaint and my mind just went, great, it’s Hogfather again. So, I scrolled down and lo and behold it is Hogfather who wrote this so I’m skipping the whole bitching about his bitching thing. (Sorry for the foul language but someone had to call it what it is.)

    Yes, the quality of Sonic hasn’t be A plus material, but how can it ever be A plus material when SEGA is a struggling company whose majority of remaining fans can’t be assed to buy the games yet has zero issues complaining about them for decades on end thus driving away potential buyers. No income = no budget for new game developments.

    Yes Hogfather, fans feel let down and betrayed and why? Well golly gee, judging from what I’ve seen online the past six years its because the games are not just simply a carbon copy of Sonic 2/S3&K. In fact they feel so betrayed about that, that they like to issue out death threats to the developers and PR crew, engages in online harassments of anyone with a positive opinion about the new games and seems to love to scream at the other fans who wants more then speed to go home and play the four genesis games before talking about Sonic ever again.

    I can personally vouch for that since I had the great misfortune to be active on SEGA’S forum doing the Sonic 4 Ep:2 development phase and the Sonic Lost World announcement and subsequent flame hell that erupted. If the fans want better games they should consider not constantly spamming SEGA with hate mail, links to old Sonic games or refer to the PR/development crew as a collection of retarded idiots.

    In short, the vocal fandom feels a lot like a giant army of Chris-Chans doing their best to not only not purchasing anything SEGA/Sonicteam puts out, but to also make sure no one else buys their products because it fails to meet their standards/nostalgia.

    And even SEGA thinks that way, why else would they lunch Sonic Lost World as an attempt to capture new fans and start up a whole new sub franchise with different gameplay if they hadn’t had enough of their current fans.

  18. I get what Hogfather is getting at and maybe some of you young uns who don’t remember the Genesis days don’t understand, but over the last 10 or so years every time a subpar Sonic game was released, we’d get this song and dance from Sega saying “we’re sorry. We promise the next game will be the best.” I remember when Sonic ’06 was promoted as a “rebirth” and then “Sonic Unleashed” was promoted as a return to form, then we had Sonic 4 being a “return to roots” and so on and so on. It’s 20 effing 15 and a lot of the long time Sonic faithful are tired of this. Many felt the series was going in a good direction with stuff like Colors and Generations being generally well received then Sega went and tossed it all out the window and is shoving this whole Sonic Boom thing down our throats.

    If they want to get back to classic gameplay and make a solid 2D sidescroller that actually plays like the originals than great. If they want to make a proper Sonic Adventure sequel? Fine. Just make the other characters fun to play. Give us an epic Sonic game with new levels to explore and play. No more bad anime melodrama story. No more insulting five year old humor. No more games made by focus test groups. Just make a good game that’s fun to play.

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