TSS Review: Sonic Forces

Note: This review qualifies as mostly ‘spoiler free’, but it does contain information on stages, gameplay elements.

It’s odd to think it’s been so long since the last major Sonic the Hedgehog release from Sonic Team. In fact, it’s just over six years since the release of Sonic Generations for the 20th anniversary. I’m sure there were raised eyebrows as the 25th anniversary came and went without an A-list title, but perhaps the majority let this pass as the fandom became gripped amidst ‘Sonic Mania’.

Reviewer: Adam ‘T-Bird’ Tuff

A year-and-a-half down the line, and after much hype and hearsay, Sonic Forces has finally landed on consoles worldwide. Since writing my thoughts about the game back in May the fandom has further polarised, with gameplay footage trickling into the public domain, appearing at times underwhelming or just downright unusual. Naturally after such a long wait, eager fans are optimistic for the next key Sonic instalment.

Sonic Forces sees Morio Kishimoto take on the mantle of Director once more (with Shun Nakamura, Director of the ill-received Sonic 2006 returning as producer), and a writing team including Ken Pontac and Warren Graff of Happy Tree Friends fame. It is instantly apparent from promotional material that Nakamura may have intended to take Sonic Forces back to a darker storyline as he did with ’06, setting the scene with Sonic’s defeat and capture at the hands of Eggman and his new ally, Infinite. After Modern Sonic’s incarceration, the “Rookie” (an avatar character created by the player) enters into the ranks of Sonic’s friends to fight for the freedom of all animal-kind.

Launching into a 3D Green Hill Zone, you instantly notice that the game’s environments are extremely pretty. On several occasions I felt compelled to come to a full stop just to admire the vistas and the workmanship that has gone into creating such lush stages – an element that doesn’t realty seem to falter throughout the entire game, and very much embellishes the cinematic feeling many of the stages have. While the stage names and themes often feel heavily contrived or uninspired (Casino Forest for example), they are at least glorious to look at.

The scenery in Sonic Forces is impressive, the dialogue not so much.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for the eyes to wander. Your attention is drawn away from the visual elements of the game and on to the protagonist… and more specifically, his ability to move. Moments after pushing up to go forward, Sonic’s motion simply does not feel right. It’s cliché to talk about momentum in Sonic titles these days, but in Forces, something is seriously amiss. Modern Sonic, as well as his classic counterpart, has seen his inertia heavily revised from ‘analog’ to something akin to a gear system. Your choices of speed seem to be either frustratingly slow, a touch-too-fast for platform hopping, and ‘break-neck hyperspeed’. The latter can be fun when utilised in the proper areas, but these always seem constrained to narrow corridors inhabited by armies of clueless enemies – try to boost around anywhere else and Sonic will often fling himself into the abyss. The former two gears make any intricate platform navigation clumsy, and the primary cause of death throughout my playthrough of the game was a failure to clear relatively small leaps over bottomless pits.

The ‘new’ gameplay element of the Avatar seems also seems to suffer a similar symptom, and feels even more cumbersome than either incarnation of Sonic. There is little in the way of interesting platforming here, with each stage essentially a brief chain of side-scrolling 2D and 3D sections (which can be navigated by holding down the weapon trigger and pushing right), broken up by periodical quick-time events to wake the player up. The enemy AI offers little in the way of resistance, occupying one of two states of either of some pre-programmed pattern, or simply standing on the spot, unperturbed by even the player’s proximity.

As I mentioned back in May’s “The Spin” article, the inclusion of the Avatar character in the game feels bizarre – an apparent move by Sonic Team to satisfy the legions of DeviantArtists in the fandom. The player can in fact generate a reasonably intricate custom character from one of seven species, and as such I chose to resurrect a green hedgehog created within the margins of my primary school workbooks to the best of my memory, complete with upturned spikes and rocker getup.

There is a fun element to periodically changing the Avatar’s clothing between stages, upgrading appearances to include more outrageous items and clothing. However, the experience grows tiresome after two or three changes, with most newly-unlocked items constituting re-colours or re-skins of fatigues already unlocked (and for some ungodly reason, the option to equip your character with Crocs). There will undoubtedly be a deluge of screenshots in the coming weeks and months, depicting the monstrosities the character creator will allow players to create. On the face of it however, a lot of younger players will get satisfaction from seeing their own creation fighting alongside their hero, making Forces the closest thing to an interactive Sonic fanfiction.

My OC in all his tie-dye glory. Do not steal.

The stages in which Modern Sonic is paired with the Avatar are wholly uninteresting, with the single difference between these and their separate stages being a “duel boost” prompt in which, following a fist bump (cringe), the duo hurtle headlong through the stage (and enemies) to the game’s pop-punk main theme, Fist Bump (double cringe).

On the subject of music, the soundtrack to the game has its highs and lows. Fist Bump itself feels like a tired reprisal of previous themes such as Endless Possibilities or His World, complete with extremely cheesy and bland lyrics. The Avatar stages are set against vocal songs, some of which constitute the more memorable elements of the soundtrack; I particularly like the theme to Aqua Road, which (like much of the avatar stage themes) channels the Drum & Bass genre, albeit with a contemporary sound that feels like it would be more at home in a video game some five years ago. The “Vs. Metal Sonic” theme reprises a classic track from the US Sonic CD soundtrack, and again is probably one of the few tracks fans will go back to and listen to.

The jewel in the crown of the Forces soundtrack is the nu-metally theme of Infinite, which again will undoubtedly solidify itself as a fan favourite among angsty teenagers (and the thirty-somethings with their musical feet still firmly fixed in the early noughties). Apart from these few exceptions, the rest of the soundtrack falls into a bracket of either fairly generic orchestral manoeuvres stereotypical of swathes of movie and game scores (well performed are not particularly memorable), or some attempt at creating a retro vibe for classic Sonic stages by drawing elements from the 16-bit soundchip. It’s not an awful soundtrack by any stretch, but it is far from Ohtani-san’s finest work.

The final nail in the coffin for Sonic Forces is the storyline. Of course, the narrative in Sonic games has hardly ever been Chaucer, but it is an element that many Sonic fans who have grown up with modern titles come to expect; even if it constitutes something somewhat formulaic it at least adds some small element of character progression. The Forces storyline is however crepe-paper thin and unintelligible at times, peppered with the odd cut-scene but mostly told through dialogue screens in and around stages. Some scenes are even explained via a black screen with white text, in a lazy attempt to plug gaps in the tale.

There are multiple occasions in the story where, given the circumstances, the character’s demeanour seems incredibly nonchalant. Explanations for the inclusion of Sonic’s past nemeses are downright disappointing, and will no doubt leave a lot of fans who were craving for a backstory asking, “is that it?” Infinite himself is yet another cookie-cutter “ultimate” villain, and the climactic battle with him is wholly humdrum. The final few battles in the game fall into being tests of memory rather than those of skill, and in one case I found that I had selected the incorrect Wispon weapon for a stage, the platforms offering only refills for another that I had not equipped (nor was there any indication to). The addition of Classic Sonic to Forces contributes basically nothing to plot – included purely for side scrolling 2D stages and possibly to entice old school Sonic fans into purchasing the game.

Overall, Sonic Forces is a below average outing at best, with fundamental selling points of the game feeling like afterthoughts introduced mid-development – the avatar being the prime example. Regardless of new gimmicks, the use of classic stages has now far exceeded any state of tolerable fatigue, with a complete lack of any originality on nearly every front. I find it frustrating that yet again, backward steps have been made in gameplay mechanics, which once again have taken a back seat, sacrificed for aesthetics and polish. I’m sure that regardless of its subpar gameplay, there will be fans who will like Forces for its stylisation, fanservice and cutscenes in which they live out fantasies of their fan characters saving the day alongside Sonic. Although Sonic fans will undoubtedly be this game’s greatest advocates, they will also constitute it’s greatest critics.

While some will think a comparison of Sonic Forces to Sonic Mania is an unfair one, I must make it because there is one very notable disparity. Both titles have their flaws, sure, but regardless, Sonic Mania still feels like a labour of love driven to success by a team with vision and purpose, and the same fire that saw Yuji Naka et al. create a world-class series in the 1990s. The current Sonic Team, on the other hand, comes across as unfocused – something akin to a chef trying to satisfy a restaurant full of angry customers. I think it’s long past time for the Sonic Team to go back to the drawing board and consider what the menu to their metaphorical restaurant was supposed to comprise – to identify what it was they aspired to create in the first place, and let the natural development process create something original and inspired.

It shouldn’t be Forced.

SECOND OPINION: DREADKNUX

Who would have thought that Sonic’s most visually impressive and canonically ambitious outing yet would also end up being one of his most tedious? In trying for an epic storyline, Sonic Team has fallen into the same trap it made with Sonic 2006 and over-egged the execution of a potentially interesting plot concept. The cutscenes are naff, Infinite is boring and the whole thing plays out like a bad anime.

Watching the story unfold is a total cringefest, but playing the game is just as bad. Uninspired level design consisting of straight lines that can be completed in seconds with minimal player engagement, with any attempts at casual, slower play rewarded with shockingly poor controls and frustrating physics. Classic Sonic feels like a lead ball, Modern Sonic slips around uncontrollably and Avatar’s stop-start Wispon gameplay is a total chore. Add to that one of the worst Sonic soundtracks this side of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood and you have a surprising hot mess that makes you wonder what Sonic Team has been doing these last four years.

Kids will enjoy it, but anyone looking for a 3D analogue to Sonic 3 & Knuckles’ epic and atmospheric experience will simply find a corny, adolescent yawn-fest that plays terribly and sounds even worse. Mediocre.

REVIEW SCORE

4/10

This review of Sonic Forces was based on a review copy of the XBox One version of the game, supplied by SEGA of Europe.

Correction: The first iteration of the review incorrectly stated Shun Nakamura as Director instead of Morio Kishimoto.

Published by

T-Bird

With a decade under his belt, T-Bird is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. T-Bird is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.

140 Comments

  1. I hate to be that guy, but uh… Told ya so.

    Since day one, I’ve had an uneasy feeling about this game, and it looks like it’s well founded. Honestly, you’d think that FOUR YEARS of development time would result in a better game.

    I just hope that this doesn’t mark the end of Sonic. After all, If I were part of Sonic Team right now, having just finished spending four years of my life pouring what I had into this game, only for everyone to consider it everything from “meh” to “terrible”, I’d just throw in the towel.

    Ah well. At least we got Sonic Mania this year.

    1. I could not agree more. This game is an absolute dumpster fire in the way that it fails to capitalize on almost every single opportunity that it presents itself with. Through all this “Hype” for the game it set itself up for a high ceiling with development starting years ago. YEARS!! How is this the best that they could do??? Honestly can anyone out there tell me that THIS is the best Sonic Team could have done. I refuse to believe this. Very fair review. I guess we will all wait for the next game to either repeat itself as sonic history does and flop, or maybe we will get another gem.

        1. Mania 2? We can hope, right?

          And before anyone says, yes I’d like to see the balance between new and remix zones swing heavily towards new.

      1. I’m still playing Mania, find myself going back to it often, even my older bro who stopped liking Sonic is addicted to Mania its sparked his interest again.

        Shame Forces is putting people off the franchise again…..

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this review, more than I probably will of said game. 10/10.

    I really wanted this game to be good, but it’s been clear ever since the first trailer that Sonic Team don’t know what to do with the series. This wasn’t four years worth of work.

      1. I think he meant that they use the same physics engine haha. Plus, Forces runs on the Hedgehog 2 graphics engine, which is supposedly new.

    1. I believe this actually uses an updated version of the Havok engine physics, which makes that even mlre of a headscratcher.

  3. I think the Sonic demographic is now younger than it’s ever been, changing from 3-15 to now 3-7.
    I once thought that the Boom series was to be the one to cater for the new generation, but it seems like both the Boom show and the Modern games take a similar direction.

    I think now, people over the aforementioned demographic can only indulge in the series through the comics, fan games, and fan art.
    Maybe it’s what all the chaos and discourse within the community has resulted to.

  4. Great review. So sad that people will see this review as just hate towards Sonic when the truth is far from it. Sonic Team needs a new team that had the same vision as Yuji Naka. The current team has lost all sight in what made modern Sonic games great in the first place. Instead they just see it as nothing more than a nostalgia game for young kids which requires minimal effort.

  5. Sonic Forces. I feel as if it’s a “good” game.. but not what it was hyped up to be. I feel as if Sega should be ashamed for hyping it up so much… they literally threw Chaos in the trailer and you don’t even fight him!!! That’s literally insane. Yes it’s beautiful.. i actually LOVE the soundtrack.. But it’s just another Colors or Generations.. the tone isn’t really “Dark”… it’s DARKER.. but not really all that dark. Why are Sonic games extremely fast?? Like, in terms of beating the game? I grew up with the Adventure era.. where beating the game took effort.. i know what people will say “Adventure era sucks” “Stop living in the past” “Adventure era is terrible, & overrated”, actually.. that era taught you how to be a gamer. You actually had to think. Puzzle solving…you know? I know treasure hunting got old… i understand that. So did the Tail’s Mech.. But overall Forces disappointed me. Not because of what it was, but because of what they hyped it up to be. Sega talked Forces up so much my boy! Like you have no idea!! Sonic’s levels are such the statistical boost to win.. yall know how tired i am of that? HELLA TIRED my boy. The controls are weird.. the homing attack is really janky, when you grind on rails, you BETTER NOT jump & move the analog stick at the same time or else instant DEATH. The avatar character wouldn’t get on my nerves as much, if they actually used the cast like they’ve BEEN doing since the classic era. One thing i like about the Avatar character is that the gameplay style reminds me of that Adventure style platforming. The story is too Colors/Generations/Lost World oriented. Tbh, Infinite is a really great concept & i hate to see him wasted in such a corny era of Sonic. He would have done great as an antagonist in the earlier 3D games.. because he’s actually a good enemy but he’s placed in the Disney like world that Sonic has become. Let me shed some light.. Forces isn’t BAD… it’s just not what it was hyped up to be. Next time around.. they need to take the Mania route.. Sega has proven that Sonic is a cash cow now… the series isn’t made with love anymore… we need fans to work on the next 3D game (not fans that want to make stuff like the Archie era canon, or add more American elements to it like “Mobius” or that type of bull) we need fans like Christian Whitehead that will bring back the series for what it’s known for. (Chaos & Master Emerald, Angel Island, characters being important to the series again… GREAT WRITERS, etc.)

    Forces isn’t bad… i’ll give it a 6/10. But Sega/Sonic Team need to add some love to the series… and stop contradicting every single concept in the canon. Also stop trying to make the games so brand new until it’s almost not a Sonic game. Bring stuff back that made the series good… bringing in new concepts/idea doesn’t necessarily mean dump out everything prior to that.

  6. Honestly a damn shame. Always held the release of new Sonic games as milestones in my gaming lifetime and this has just flown by so gently. From the start I was unsure how this would pan out; was happy to see that they hadn’t totally finished with the boost gameplay but at the same time, I looked back on Sonic Generations and thought ‘what more could be done with this?’ Evidently, not much.
    Reading reviews just to confirm my fears and doubts is disappointing. I had little expectations for this game, but what’s presented here is just not for me. The game just looks rushed, unfinished and plain amateur. Lost World looks to be a better game than this, in all seriousness.
    I was hoping they’d realise what the market wants nowadays (open world), look at what made 3D Sonic games great in the past and think what a good solution would be. Personally I think a low-poly 3D open-world game full of lots of interconnected set-pieces would’ve been ideal and could’ve rivalled Mario Odyssey. I say low-poly because Sonic’s speed requires lots of space, lots of geometry and hence the only solution is to scale down on mesh and texture complexity to something minimal but effective. The team could sit down and think of mini levels (a la shrines in Breath of the Wild) and just connected them via large open world levels. Having Sonic being able to scale large structures through an upgraded parkour system or simply running/spin dashing up walls…
    Alas, I don’t work at Sonic Team. And the people that do are clearly panicking and aren’t sure what to do with Sonic in 3D.

  7. I am excited for this game.. but right now I am a bit worried after reading this and how many others agree with how this game is going to be a new flop in the series. :O

    I for the most part, tried to stay away from the shown gameplays that were released. I did enjoy the soundtracks bits that were given to us.

  8. I am too disappointed in the game. It is not the worst game at least and I have yet to finish the story on it. I also can’t find the Shadow Episode to download in the PSN shop. Someone else having a problem with that?

  9. Knew it. Absolutely knew it.

    Iizuka has no idea what he’s doing anymore. A shame, because I love most of the 3D Sonic games, but Lost World was horrible and now this… I’m glad I didn’t buy it.

  10. Another thing- I won’t be buying another Sonic game that Warren Graff writes.

    And they should bring back the 4Kids voice actors IMO, at the very least get rid of RCS as Sonic and KT as Shadow.

    1. Please tell me that last part was a joke. Roger Craig Smith is the best Sonic we’ve ever had. He’s able to express emotions properly, he doesn’t sound like he’s forcing the voice, and he’s super passionate about the role.

      1. No, it was not a joke. Drummond and Griffith are far superior than Smith’s obnoxious Sonic.

        He makes Sonic extremely unlikeable.

        1. I couldn’t disagree more. I never liked Sonic as a character before Smith came along. He was just some stock anime protagonist who never displayed any form of emotion beyond “adventure is cool!”, and cared more about whatever Mary-Sue oneshot character was introduced in each game than his friends. Seriously, I never bought that Tails was his best friend, since they did nothing to affirm it.

          Roger gave Sonic a range, and gave him an actual personality with actual flaws. He’s a cocky bastard, but he has a heart. And no game showed that more than Lost World.

          Remember the scene where Eggman pushed Tails out of the way of a malfunctioning robot with Cubot’s head attached? Sonic actually reprimands Tails for doing something stupid, as he should. And when Tails is captured, Sonic drops the snark, and focuses all of his energy on getting his friend back.

          Not just Tails, Amy and Knuckles too. Sonic shows genuine fear and concern for them when their transmission cuts off, and looks outright depressed when he can’t contact them again. He shows more emotion and caring for his friends in one 12 second cutscene than ANYTHING in the Drummond and Griffith years.

          Ever since day one, Sonic has been promoted as having “attitude”, but I never got that with either Drummond or Griffith. Roger Craig Smith gives us the Sonic we deserve, and not just Goku Clone #4187.

          And if you still don’t believe me, go watch literally any episode of Sonic Boom. That shows just how good he is in the role, and how much better the voice acting front for the Sonic series has been ever since Colours. (I especially recommend the episodes The Meteor, Designated Heroes, Bro-Down Showdown, and Late Fees.)

          Roger Craig Smith IS the best Sonic we’ve ever had, and Sonic is better as a character with Roger voicing him. PERIOD.

          1. Ryan Drummond IS the best Sonic we’ve ever had, and Sonic is better as a character with Drummond voicing him. PERIOD.

            “What you see is what you get! Just a guy that loves adventure! I’m Sonic the Hedgehog!”

            Sonic in his most natural and sincere characterization. No smug self-referential/corny millenial puns and one-liners like “Baldy McNosehairs”, “Best boss beating ever!” and “The plan had holes”, or out-of-character lines like “I did something stupid”.

            Sonic is a proud straight-forward character who’s more about the adventure than his own ego.

            Take a fan base chatroom scenario for example: Even among all the criticism and flak from titles such as this one, RD Sonic would remain hopeful and excited over future adventures, while appreciating the love and passion his fans have towards him, hoping not to personally disappoint them.

            Meanwhile, RCS Sonic sees each jaded and snarky comment and would respond to each with every cliched new tens phrase and meme in the book, bragging about how awesome he is and that they don’t know what they’re talking about. next thing you know, the scenario turns into another episode of Regular Show or something out of Deadpool.

          2. And if it’s all the same, I’d RATHER have Goku Clone #4187 (excluding DBS).

            At just he isn’t smug like the rest of the internet.

          3. @AManFromDeclan

            Well that settles it then. We shall never see eye to eye.

            I never liked Sonic before RCS took over his role. Like, not once. At all. In fact, I have an entire essay written up for why Sonic pre-colours was the worst hero you could have in a franchise. And here it is.

            WARNING: REALLY LONG READ AHEAD

            First, what is Sonic’s generally accepted personality? He’s usually portrayed as cocky, but compassionate. He has a love for adventure and thrills, but cares deeply about his friends. But in the Adventure era… Well, they got the first part right.

            The fact of the matter is, Sonic pre-Colours didn’t care about his friends, and never cared. He only cared about having fun, not what happened as a consequence. And he would also abandon his friends at the drop of a ring, not caring about how they feel. Now, this would be fine if he showed some character development around this, but there never is. He ends every game the same way he starts it: cocky and uncaring.

            I’ll rattle off some example that stick out in my mind.

            Sonic Adventure: At the very start of the game, Sonic witnesses his best friend Tails crash a plane, and potentially be killed. His response?

            “What am I gonna do with you?” Awkwardly animated shrug

            Uh, Sonic? You best friend crashed a plane right in front of you. You should be showing a bit more concern than just “Oh, that kid…”

            Sonic Adventure: In the aftermath of the Perfect Chaos fight, the city’s been destroyed. Buildings have been levelled, streets flooded, more than half of its population are most likely dead. What does Sonic do in the wake of this catastrophe?

            He runs. That’s it. He doesn’t help anyone who might be trapped, he doesn’t help with any kind of relief effort, he just abandons this city to its fate. He doesn’t give a damn whether people are hurt or dead. As long as the monster’s been taken care of, that’s good enough for him.

            Sonic Adventure 2: In his final battle with Shadow, Shadow asks who Sonic is, and he replies “What you see is what you get. Just a guy who loves adventure!”

            Oh yeah, and you also save the planet and make sure it doesn’t get enslaved by a maniacal, egg-shaped doctor. But hey, that’s not important compared to HAVING FUN, right?

            Sonic Heroes: Right at the start of Team Sonic’s story, Eggman sends what is essentially a terrorist threat, claiming that he will conquer the world with his fleet of fish themed battleships. Sonic’s response?

            “Looks like an invitation to party!”

            Really? That’s what stuck out to you, Sonic? Not the fact that the world is in jeopardy, but the fact that it’ll be good for some cheap thrills?

            And yet somehow, Sonic’s attitude gets worse in Sonic X. There are multiple examples, but here are the ones that really stuck out to me.

            Episode 19: Chris has to place an hourglass on a pedestal to get rid of some ghosts. However, he puts it the wrong way up, meaning the ghosts will keep haunting the castle. He laments about how he blew it. Sonic’s reply?

            Winks, grins, and thumbs up “Ya sure did.”

            Yay! Making fun of your friends for their failures is acceptable now!

            Episode 42: Sonic skips out on a date with Amy because he’s battling a robot. Now that’s fair enough. But when he finally meets with her on the beach at sunset? He flat out IGNORES her, just to get a race in with Sam Speed. He doesn’t apologise, he doesn’t show any regret, he doesn’t even acknowledge her existence. He just leaves her there to cry her eyes out.

            Episode 51: Chris, not wanting to say goodbye, turns off the portal that would’ve sent Sonic back to his home, and drags him on a cross country trip. Sonic shows no concern about this. He doesn’t think about his friends, who are most likely worrying themselves sick about him, he doesn’t worry that Eggman is essentially being left to his own devices, and he doesn’t worry about the space-time continuum being thrown out of whack. He just thinks “eh, I’ll go with it”.

            Episode 78: Sonic’s closest friend has been forced to kill the one he loves to save the universe. When Sonic brings Tails Cosmo’s last seed, Tails breaks down into tears. What does Sonic do?

            Nothing.

            He doesn’t try to comfort Tails, nor does he show any signs of compassion. He could’ve done anything to help Tails there, maybe tell him that he’ll be there for him, and he’ll help him through this tough time. But nope! He’s too busy being a selfish git.

            When you put all of this together, the evidence is insurmountable. Sonic of the Adventure era was the worst person you can think of. Unsympathetic, uncaring, and not giving a damn if his friends get hurt. He doesn’t save the day because it’s the right thing to do. He does it for the thrill of it. Nothing more than that.

            And yet, no one ever calls him out for this. His friends all just think “Wow! Sonic’s the coolest! Don’t you just want to marry him?!”

            This is one reason why I like Tails balling out Sonic in Lost World. Someone finally got sick of his devil-may-care attitude, and tells him to shove it. Plus, Sonic drops the wisecracks after Tails is captured, and becomes surprisingly serious about this whole thing, determined to save his friend, as well as expressing shock and sorrow when it looks like Amy and Knuckles are dead.

            Say what you will about Pontac and Graf’s writing, but they made Sonic CARE. There should be more moments like this in future games. Make Sonic realise that he’s a dick, and work to better himself. That’s called character development, something the series desperately needs.

            In a way, P&G Sonic would be a precursor to Boom Sonic. He’s still kind of a dick, but he does something that his pre-RCS counterpart rarely did.

            He CARES.

            Episode 1: Sonic sees Tails crash his plane, (Sounds familiar?) and is visually distraught about it. He cries out Tails’ name in shock, and his face is a genuine look of “Oh god, no…” When he reaches his friend, he checks for a heartbeat, shows relief when he hears one, and carries Tails back to his home, promising that he won’t let him get hurt again, and spending the rest of the episode trying to keep that promise.

            Episdoe 41: Sonic accidentally ruins Amy’s couch, and goes to great pains to get a new one to replace it, competing in a game show with Eggman. Granted, the ending to this one wasn’t exactly positive, but at least he tried to make things right. Said episode also nicely shows his bromance with Knuckles.

            Episode 50: The gang is crashing at Amy’s house to shelter from a storm. Sonic, in a fit of boredom, finds a screenplay that Amy’s been working on. After the group end up trashing the place, Sonic, feeling bad about the whole thing, actually brings the screenplay to life, and organises an open air showing for the whole town to see, (and even getting Dave the Intern to dress in drag.) and brings Amy to see it as his way of saying sorry.

            Sonic shows more compassion and love for his friends in three 11 minute episodes than he has throughout 15 years of games.

            And it keeps happening throughout the show’s first season. Whenever a friend’s in danger, Sonic realises the danger, and doesn’t hesitate to save them. In episodes where he acts kind of dickish, he either apologises, or gets his comeuppance. Neither of which happened to Adventure Sonic.

            Sonic before Colours is not the hero we should be cheering for. He’s little more than a generic anime hero, who doesn’t care about what happens. And if he doesn’t care, then why should we care?

            Anyway, that’s my piece done. I’m going to do myself a favour, and not even bother looking at any reply you make to this. Because I know for a fact that there is absolutely nothing that you could ever say, or do, that will make me change my mind. I just wanted to make my stance on this clear.

            Roger Craig Smith’s Sonic > Every other Sonic in existence. End of story.

            Peace out.

          4. Have fun with Forces (it has RCS) replaying Colors and Lost World, and watching the entire Sonic Boom series.

            But FYI, there’s a difference between the writers having Sonic DO certain things (like going out his way to keep is friends alive/trusting them to stand on their own two feet, in situations played to be either casual or serious), and sounding like a snarky asshole or preachy self-deprecative out-of-character-wangst.

            *Ryammond Drummond Sonic cares too, or they’d be dead!!!!!!!!!*

            Meanwhile, Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to! Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to! Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to! Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to! Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to! Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to! Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to! Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to!

            Roger Craig Smith Sonic is grating to listen to!

            And from this point on, I will be ignoring every last future comment you post.

            YOLO-gusta, bro!

        2. Roger Craig Smith Sonic: BALDY NOSEHAIR :cringe:

          His Sonic absolutely sucks, I could write an essay on why, but I’m not going to because I know Sonic fans can’t handle opinions.

      2. I dont know, his voice is unfitting to the point it doesn’t sound like its coming from the character.

        Roger is a great voice actor, its just he isnt right for Sonic, he’s too old sounding. Sonic’s profile still states hes 15…..

        besides his voice is abit forced too, Ryan actually had love and passion for Sonic, willing to re-locate just voice him in Sonic x but they refused him.

        Ryan never got to grace his full potential due to voicing in a time where voice work was new in gaming and wasnt as deep as it is now.

        besides Ryan won the role back but he had to turn it down when Sega asked him to quit his union, which was unfair seeing as that was where he made his living from.

      3. Disagree, I think Jason was great 2008 and beyond, also able to express emotions properly. Unfortunately when he was starting to really get into the role he got replaced.

        I do love Roger though

    2. You know, I expected lots of controversy in this comments section, but absolutely did not expect the old voice actor replacement complaints to come back up again. Kudos on surprising me at least.

      1. A lot of people do have a downer on RCS as Sonic’s voice, which I just don’t understand. But to each their own (and to be fair, Ryan Drummond was pretty damn good at the job).

  11. Sonicteam has spent the past four years sharing the same bong while looking at western AAA games to get an idea of what people in the west likes and like the “geniuses” they are, they picked the one thing from them that don’t really matter in the games, the “customize your own character part” of the intro.

    They then took this part and promoted it to the most important section, followed by a quick Q&A among themselves of what people like in the old games, which was then followed by a Q&A open to only to those who speak Japanese of what they liked. This was then finalized by a drunken craze before starting work.

    1. You can show a little bit of empathy for people who feel betrayed by SEGA (who are known for ignoring fans, but put out stuff that result in such hostility), and fear that they’ll either downgrade Sonic back to his early days, make Sonic a shallow mobile series, or just end the franchise altogether, all because you guys don’t like this game. There’s constructive honesty and then there’s relentless bashing. Guess which one is present in this article.

      Maybe SammyClassicSonicFan was right about you guys.

  12. So Sonic is dead?

    Good job fans. Now SEGA won’t want to make another, because you guys hate it! And this is supposed to be a Christmas Day game for me. Meanwhile my fucking copy won’t arrive to my fucking door because UPS are full of stupid fucks!

    1. Except Mania exists and scored good reviews and sales numbers…but wait, hating on Sonic games is only allowed if you exclusively like the new ones and it’s the 2d style you’re complaining about – I always forget that rule! You can say Mania isn’t that good but Forces will be great, but not the other way around, EVER, or you’re breaking the law.

    2. Uhh…Mania came out this year to widespread acclaim.

      Just because the future of 3D Sonic is in limbo doesn’t mean Sonic is dead. Let the Mania team keep knocking out sequels and get some fresh talent at Sonic Team and see how it goes.

  13. So strange how they managed to take steps back from the generations gameplay despite all this time…now that they’ve pandered to the vocal minority’s deviantart dreams, maybe they will put forth a singular focused entity…It completely deserves to be compared to Mania.

  14. It’s funny they used a restaurant analogy for Sonic Team serving the game cause I’d been thinking of a similar analogy for the game itself. You’ve come to your favourite restaurant, the place looks the best it has in a while, still decent music in the background, good atmosphere. The menu sounds good, your old favourites are on it plus some slightly knew interesting sounding stuff. So far all good. Then the meal actually comes and it’s just dissapointing. The portions have got way smaller, and the quality is worse too. You swear there’s side dishes you ordered that are missing as well. You’re just not satisfied at all. They can keep the same management in place but they need a new chef to actually make the meals.

    1. I’ve actually relented abit on the game. I think the secret good thing about it might be replay. Slowing down in levels does reveal different paths and abit more depth. The short levels lend themselves to more or instant replay to retry what you missed. Once you get past the initial disappointment and accept the game for what it is, it can be quite fun. All the criticisms still stand but it’s not so bad after all.

  15. The game isn’t THAT bad.

    Though I bet Sonic Team would remake the game from the ground up or hit the reboot button in the entire series

    1. Does have to be the ENTIRE series, just certain titles that sounded like decent ideas, but were poorly executed, such as:

      -Sonic Heroes
      -Shadow the Hedgehog
      -Sonic and the Secret Rings
      -Sonic Unleashed
      -Sonic and the Black Knight
      -Sonic Colors
      -Sonic Lost World
      -And maybe the Sonic Rivals series (given Eggman Nega’s presence)

        1. -Heroes – The game with so many linear excuse plots, and kickstarted the whole “Sonic’s shitty friends” by everyone outside of the fanbase. Who is going to seriously defend the involvment of fluffy (lack of better word) characters like Cream and Big (tiny wittle girl and lovable simpleton) and the (Ed, Edd, ‘n Eddy/Three Stooges) antics of Team Chaotix, as they go on about “getting work again”. Sadly enough, Espio (who has the most potential of the three) gets dragged down by association.
          -Shadow the Hedgehog gets flak for being too edgy, with a narrative that makes no sense and forcefully shoehorns all of Sonic’s friends, who all look sugary in comparison to Shadow and the overall plot. It’s like a group of parents and children going to a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheeses accidently showing up right in the middle of CIA bust operation on a satanic cult. Wrong place at the wrong time. X-Play and others tore this game to shreds. I still remember their review to this day.
          -Once the “rule” of solo-Sonic and 2D segments (what’s the point of these!?) kicked in as of Unleashed, the tone of plot in future Sonic games started taking a slow transition towards Western Saturday morning cartoon humor (Chip and the human character designs are a blatant example of this). This was also the first game to introduce Orbot, who would be fleshed out in colors. Sonic robots arent supposed to have that level of personality, especially those of western portrayal. Gamma and Emerl were the best examples of how to develop robots as characters (as opposed to penultimate hanger-ons). But overall, Unleashed was just a precursor to games like Colors and Lost World (games written by Pontac & Graff: Cartoon Jokers).
          -Speaking of Lost World, the entire game was a mess, especially down to the characterizations of each character (minus the Deadly Six who where new and out of place to begin with). But if the plot wasn’t bad enough, they managed to muck up the gameplay with so many bad level designs/difficulty (Lava Mountain Act 3) and pointless mechanic, some of which feel like they where stolen from Super Mario 3D World. Never have I raged so hard in a Sonic game, to the point where I was miserable. The only thing they got right in this game was Sonic/Tails/Knuckles/Amy/Eggman’s designs, which is more than I can say for a certain series/BRB/Sanzaru game.

          But despite these issues, these games can be rebooted and told differently in a way that makes sense, even fixing the gameplay to a more traditional Adventure style. No unison teams (where you play as team formations, instead of individual characters who follow each other), no guns and good or evil branching paths, no 2D segments in 3D games, and no parkour.

          1. I hate to say it, but “Sonic’s shitty friends” existed way before Heroes. But hey, no one is forcing you to play the “shitty” Sonic games. Just stay with Mania and the old games and aaaaall is good, right?

      1. I agree, NSMB has overstayed its welcome. Fans are exhausted at this point from having to play through FOUR versions of the same rehashed crap.

  16. Whoa, hold on now. I WISH this game’s plot was a bad anime. I’d been holding out on that since the day Infinite was revealed. Give me some contrived bonkers bullshit and I’m happy as a clam.

    This was boring. Infinite is less “overpowered melodramatic OC” and more “Power Rangers monster of the week”. Nothing very interesting happens aside from hearing that Sonic was tortured (not that it is reflected in his demeanour or anything beyond the sound byte that states it) and the probably unintentional implication that Classic Sonic is an illusion. No moons blow up, no time travel, no magic conch, no guns, nothing to even mock. It’s milquetoast and safe despite billing itself otherwise. I can’t even admire it’s flawed ambition since there isn’t any.

    It won’t be as beloved as Colors, it won’t be as reviled as ’06. It’ll fade into obscurity within the franchise once a few more games come out and remove it’s only temporary point of interest as most recent release.

    1. Are you drunk? Sonic gets enough mockery across the internet. We don’t need intentional narm bait. This isn’t Bubsy.

      As long as the plot isn’t convoluted like Shadow the Hedgehog, wangst like Sonic 2006, or dense like Colors, Lost World, and Boom, it’s fine. Gameplay however is another story.

      1. People KNOW what the plot is to ’06 because even if it’s terrible, it’s sure as hell interesting. Sonic kisses a human! The game writes itself out of existence! Shadow roundhouse kicks Silver in his dang head! Sonic dies!

        To be clear, the story isn’t good. it makes no sense and is wildly inappropriate for a game about a cartoon hedgehog. But it was ambitious. They went all in on that story and you can’t help but respect that. It’s the same reason some MST3K movies are beloved.

        This game is a big heap of nothing though. It isn’t elegant and simple like the plot of Mania or S3&K, it isn’t off the wall like SA2 or ’06. It’s dull. It’s derivative. It’s disappointing. There’s no weight to the few “edgy” events that do happen, or frankly to any of the non-edgy ones. It’s a lot like Wrath of Lyric’s plot. It’s bad, but not in a way that’s any fun. Things just sort of happen until the game ends and you’re left wondering why.

        (Also Bubsy plots are threadbare (heh yarn joke) and really have nothing in common with the sort of bad anime goofiness I want. All he does is quip during levels, not unlike Wrath of Lyric now that I think about it.)

        1. Then maybe Jax & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, Rayman/Raving Rabbids, and a bunch of licensed Spongebob games would be up your alley.

          Also, nothing from Japanese writers falls under the category of goofy, cartoony (I HATE that word), or corny. There’s humor, there’s weird, but not THAT brand of humor or weirdness.

          1. My dude if you think, for example, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure isn’t goofy, cartoony, and corny then you’re nuts. Same with like, Mob Psycho 100, Dirty Pair, Kill la Kill, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo… Like I can’t even fathom how you think anime isn’t just the goofiest shit in the world.

            Also Jak 2, nailed it. That’s exactly the level of weird edgy nonsense I was expecting from this game. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Real strange you think Spongebob falls into the same category as that though.

          2. You obviously don’t know the definition definition of goofy (especially when a certain dimwitted, clumsy, lanky, Disney dog comes to mind). Also, cartoony is related to cartoon a term that originated from the west, around the same time classics like the early Disney shorts, Bosko the Talk Ink Kid, Looney Toons, Felix the Cat, Tom & Jerry, Tex Avery, and many slapstick cliches came into existence. In short, goofy/cartoony = slapstick.

            And judging by your logic: Sonic Adventure 2/Jojo/Kill la Kill/Mob Psycho 100 = slapstick (eye-poppin’, wolf whistling, TNT, anvils, stars circling around someone’s head, dim-witted characters (duuuuuh….), and large buck teeth, iris out, standing in mid-air right before deep fall).

            Sonic Adventure 2 IS NOT on par with The Wacky World of Tex Avery! That’s insulting.

            Also, how old are you?

          3. I mean you’re right, SA2 is nowhere near as good as classic Tex Avery. Still, I do like the bits that would fit in there like Knuckles popping out of a manhole and nearly getting run over by Tails, Sonic knocking aside cars like tissue paper while he snowboards, and Eggman’s boxing-glove-on-a-spring weapon in his mech.

            Similarly, I think the scenes of Joseph Joestar making Caesar Zeppeli kiss/swallow a pigeon or also Joseph’s eyes bugging out of his head when he thinks the magnetic stand user is going to show her tits is pretty cartoonish. I don’t think I really need to explain why Bobobo is cartoonish. Maybe the others aren’t literally Cuphead-esque shapeshifting, but they’re still equally if not more absurd using the medium to make exaggerated visual jokes and slapstick which is how I was taking the word to mean. Cartoonish might mean Daffy Duck’s bill getting shot so it’s on backwards, but it might similarly be Mako dedicating a few minutes every episode to a nonsensical prop filled act/rant in a spotlight from nowhere. It also might be Orbot looking at the camera and shrugging at the start of Sonic Colors and firing his laser without aiming, or the entirety of Night of the Werehog. It might be every cartoon or anime (and it’s very common in both) where a character gets hit in the head and immediately an enormous lump swells up where they were hit only to be gone a scene or two later.

          4. Oh man, and I completely forgot about One Piece. Literally the most popular manga in Japan and the main character’s power is to bend and stretch like rubber. If you don’t think that show follows in the traditions of slapstick that Tom and Jerry or Loony Toons started then there’s simply no way we can see eye to eye on this.

  17. ~!!! SPOILERS !!!~

    “Kids will enjoy it, but anyone looking for a 3D analogue to Sonic 3 & Knuckles’ epic and atmospheric experience will simply find a corny, adolescent yawn-fest that plays terribly and sounds even worse.”

    Sonic 3K? Epic? Atomspheric? Not corny?

    The game where you start by being punched out of Super Sonic by a gullible rival with no explanation, go through a dense carnival on a deserted land mass, revolving around a giant space station that we know absolutely nothing about falling from the sky, bouncing, and returning to space only to be blown up, featured shill instrument choice,
    and suffered severe pacing issues due to being split between two games?

    Oh, yeah, so much better than a game where Sonic gets defeated in a believable way, the MacGuffin creates illusions so lively that they cause physical effects, Eggman’s the smartest he’s been since SA2 to have a backup power source, and the rival isn’t tricked into evil but willingly lends his allegiance to Eggman.

    Yes, Forces as a complete package has a lot of flaws (ultimately pointless Classic Sonic, initially underwhelming reveal of how the villains are there, a Force Awakened version of the Fake Emerald climax in SA2, and Heroes-caliber controls included), but that bit irked me due to how nostalgia-blind it was. The classic games were corny, had bugs, and some dull and annoying level design (Labyrinth, Oil Ocean, and Sandopolis, anyone?) too, so it’s all the more aggravating when people put rose-tinted glasses on the classics when talking about new installments.

    1. Actually, now that I think about it, Forces’ plot as a whole is basically a Force Awakened version of SA2.

      – The dark story starts before the events of the hero path, teasing the origins of the dark, edgy animal rival
      – Shadow’s first level is a city with red metal architecture and second one is a jungle with Rhythm and Balance as stage music
      – After intro stage, Sonic is confronted by the edgy rival, who shows off his unique power; Sonic is shortly thereafter captured
      – Upon learning of Sonic’s capture, his allies create a plan to break him out
      – The next time we see Sonic, he’s in a prison cell and in the same scene released
      – Sonic next encounters his edgy rival in a jungle, which leads to the first boss fight against him
      – Characters infiltrate evil metal bases to gain information on the edgy rival and disable the space station with Eggman’s face
      – The edgy rival confuses the public with someone else’s visage
      – The heroes obtain an inferior version of the driving MacGuffin, featuring near-identical power but still being off-brand
      – The inferior MacGuffin is used only by one hero, who uses it on a hunch to escape from certain death
      – The first use of the inferior MacGuffin causes a surprised reaction from the edgy rival, and the second use causes it to break
      – Neutralizing the space station does create a setback for Eggman, but it proves to only be minor and the largest threat has yet to come
      – Said largest threat is an object from space being thrown towards Earth, which would probably kill everyone on the surface
      – The final boss is seemingly the edgy rival, but is followed-up by a two-phase fight against the true final boss, which is both related to the edgy rival and the space station
      – One of the two most similar heroes leaves the group after defeating the final boss, causing a bittersweet ending

    2. You’re entitled to your opinion, but for me it’s all about the delivery. Sonic 3K pulled off atmosphere perfectly through interactive in-level story scenes, and the story was told during the action. Forces… its execution isn’t good at all, sorry.

      1. Agreed, I also think S3&K was epic and atmospheric. And I don’t really think pacing issues are really there considering you can just lock on the two games.

        1. Sure it’s fair. The answer is to get rid of those 3D cutscenes and dialogue.

          Whether it’s 2D or 3D isn’t the point – a well-told story is a well-told story, and Forces isn’t a well-told story. Super Mario Odyssey in comparison is dripping in atmosphere, charm, expressiveness and age-agnostic accessibility (i.e. both kids and adults can enjoy it) – and there’s barely a line of dialogue spoken. Compare with Forces, which has poorly written dialogue targeted solely at kids and early teenagers and scenes that can make anyone cringe into oblivion (there is a ‘large-scale combat / war scene’ towards the end which is particularly embarrassing to watch).

          You simply don’t need reams of corny dialogue and cheesy cutscenes to tell a story – this is what Sonic Team is failing to recognise. Consider that the only enjoyable part about Sonic Forces’ delivery of story/plot was exclusively Classic Sonic’s expressiveness, and he didn’t speak a word in the entire game.

          1. Yes, I do have fun with Sonic Mania and Sonic Rush Adventure, just as much as I have fun with 3D games Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations. You see, as I said before, 2D or 3D is never the point – it’s whether it’s good or not. You keep trying to paint me as a ‘2D’ guy. I’m just a ‘good game’ guy.

          2. And apparently, 3D Sonic can never be good, even if it WAS.

            Just what are you people trying to accomplish anyway. I somehow doubt SEGA is going to fix this game based everything you people bitch about. You guys must be really special if SEGA suddenly decides to end all 3D Sonic games, due to everyone’s carrying on, especially on this site alone.

            Stop ruining it for everyone else, especially peole who haven’t had a chance to play it during the holiday season.

    3. :/

      Not to gush too much about S3&K’s execution, but Knuckles immediately felt like he belonged in the Sonic universe. He had a distinct look, presence, and attitude, all of which were apparent from the very beginning. It might be a tad odd that he’s just able to stop Sonic like that right away, I’ll give you that. But it was at least enough mystery placed into this brand new character for you to want to learn more about him.

      Infinite has no presence. It’s just some floaty, grim, create-a-character. I don’t want to know anything about it. It’s a non-factor. Especially when introduced into a story where Eggman actually takes over (can’t he just take over on his own?). Infinite is rendered fairly pointless from the beginning. Just as pointless as Classic Sonic is in Forces. Everything about these new characters is pointless. They have no uniqueness, no execution, zero mystery, and only serve to bloat a roster of characters that has gotten beyond ridiculous. This is all on top of a game where you have to create your own character to fit into the Sonic universe. This isn’t Pokémon. How many characters do we need? At least with S3&K, you can understand the desire to shake up the formula and introduce ONE new character. At this point, Sonic Team has vomited out enough characters to where Sonic becomes secondary in his own franchise. I know a lot of fans like these characters, but it’s gotten to the point where it seems completely overdone. I mean, it’s a 3-4 hour game. How many characters are in this? At least a dozen? I know you don’t play as all of them. But it’s too much.

      And yes, S3&K was atmospheric beyond belief, especially considering when it came out. It boggles my mind that Sonic games these days aren’t oozing with atmosphere, when they have the technology to make truly unique worlds in 3D. If anything, Forces tries to copy the same kind of concept, but with half-assed attempts at world-building. It reuses older levels, combines several levels into one (Casino Forest… really?), and mixes them up, hoping for some unifying context. Unfortunately, the story told doesn’t give us any kind of context to hold onto.

      Not that 2D Sonic doesn’t have flaws, but the classic series told its story through its worlds. The 3D Sonic games try to tell you the story through ridiculously horrible dialogue. Sure, that might be game design for modern times, but it just doesn’t work when it’s constantly constructed with one-liners like some C-tier movie. Who wants to play through all of that? Certain people will say that you can turn the dialogue off, but then you’re just giving Sonic Team an out. They should actually try writing half-decent dialogue, instead of making me choose whether or not to turn it off.

      The classic series really wasn’t corny. I don’t know how you get that from a side-scrolling game. It’s definitely built around a concept for children, but nothing about the classic series is all that corny. At least, not when compared with modern Sonic’s one-liners:

      “Oh, we’ll get you, Eggman!”
      “Once we capture Eggman, we’ll win!”
      “Not if I have anything to say about that!”
      “Wow! Green Hill should be renamed to Sand Hill!”
      “You don’t know what you’re in for, Eggman!”

      If you really think the classic games are as corny as that fluff that I just said, then I don’t know what to tell you. It’s a night and day difference. The classic series told its stories through its atmosphere, music, and challenge. The modern games force feed it to you through the most ridiculous set-piece storytelling ever conceived. A lot of fans are fed up with it. It’s a loss of focus. A loss of focus that has been apparent for a long time now. Sure, Sonic Team has made some decent games in recent years. However, they always seem to fall back and get too comfortable with their lackluster decision-making.

      I’m just ranting now, but if the classic series is considered corny, then I’ll gladly take that kind of corny any day from the Sonic series. Not this tripe.

  18. Just wanted to stop by and share my opinion.
    Overall good at times but mostly meh…
    Its just unacceptable that this is what we get after such a long wait. Is there ANYONE out there that can agree that Sonic Lost World’s gameplay was FAR superior to this when it was at its best?
    I always see that game getting crapped on but Sonic Forces is a joke compared to Lost World in my opinion.

    1. Yes I agree actually. Lost World has its flaws and very frustrating moments of gameplay, but it tried something new, a Mario Galaxy approach to toying with an idea per level. Having played Sonic Forces actually makes look more fondly on Lost World now, at least you felt like there was some ambition in the gameplay design. Sonic Forces is more of the same but some how even less so and worse than before.

    2. That is a good point about Lost World: for all its flaws, the core gameplay was actually pretty solid. The parkour was trash, and the ‘run’ button was a bad choice, but the fundamentals were good. What’s more, the physics in Lost World were consistent and predictable, whereas Forces keeps throwing you curveballs.

      I got frustrated with Lost World, but to nowhere near the same degree I got with Forces: the latter sometimes felt like it was *trying* to screw me over, the former did not.

  19. I’m sorry do you… like Sonic games? Like seriously is this a Sonic fan page or a Sonic hate form? No wonder Sega is struggling, they give in to fan demands and still no one is happy -_-

    1. This is a Sonic fan site. Which makes this review even more important, actually. We feel it’s our responsibility, more than other general gaming sites, to accurately assess whether we feel a game/product is good or bad to our fellow fans. I don’t see what is confusing about that.

      Feel free to check out a number of our other game reviews, and you’ll find we’ve been rather positive about most of them. https://www.sonicstadium.org/tag/reviews/

      1. Paradoxically, the opinion of Sonic fans is actually the least valuable of all. In general you’re a bunch of fickle, irredeemably biased tools – one of the worst fandoms in all of video games.

          1. Over the last few years, I’ve come to learn that there are those who will always see criticism as hate, no matter how fair the criticism is. They just can’t handle the fact that other people don’t like what they like. I’ve also learned the hard way that there’s just no reasoning with them: they willingly blind themselves just so they can remain in their perfect little world where nothing can hurt them.

            Just leave them to it, I say.

  20. Apart from noticing some editing errors, I enjoyed reading both reviews. It’s important that when a game doesn’t get something right, a fan is willing to state the case and that’s clearly what is done here. The review seems totally fair and gives adequate reasoning for its review score.

    After nearly finishing Sonic Forces, it seems that I’ve come to the same conclusion as most reviewers and that is the game is mediocre at its best. It’s kinda boring, without love, lacking in purity and simple fun. It tries to be something it isn’t while also trying to mimic what it should be. As someone who’s an adult now, the avatar means nothing to me and the entire time, I wished I was playing as Sonic instead and that’s my biggest complaint about the game apart from the lacking OST (a first, really, for a Sonic game), awful controls (not as good as Generations, even), lacklustre storytelling (particularly as the game goes on), plain and flat level design, and poor overall execution of its vision. God, what is wrong with the folks at Sonic Team? Don’t they get it? Of course they don’t. Completely blind. It’s so frustrating being a Sonic fan sometimes.

  21. meh I like it. I kinda like the storyline better than what we’ve been getting for the last few years.
    The last thing I wanna see is Sonic go back to story telling of Colors, Lost World, Generations.

  22. So what I’m reading is; it’s terrible but at least it’s still better than boom.
    Eh I’ll take it. At least its a step (albeit a baby one) in the right direction.
    I’m sure I’ll get some sort of enjoyment out of it at least.

    1. IMO the plot is about on par with Wrath of Lyric, but the game is more stable. Probably more fun too, but they both kinda suck so that’s hard to say. Honestly I feel like it’s more similar to Wrath of Lyric than any other Sonic titles.

      1. You mean Rise of Lyric 😛

        I have the PS4 version, which from what I’ve read is the most stable and consistent. And you know what? It really is stable and consistent: no lock-ups, no glitches (that I’ve found), zero screen tear, and a perfect 60fps at all times. I’ve heard the XB1 version suffers slightly from the console’s lower power, but only just. The Switch version runs at 30fps and with less detailed textures, so in theory it should be smooth if a little fuzzy, but I’ve heard that has the occasional framerate issue too. The XB1Pro and PS4Plus versions are technically solid though, even if they don’t actually look any better than the standard versions.

        The PC version had a pretty major bug where it would crash after stage 2, but they fixed that very quickly (*too* quickly IMO: I think they knew about the issue, but released anyway). The cutscenes can still be choppy though, from what my friends tell me.

  23. I got the game yesterday… and completed the story today. Truthfully I don’t think it’s a bad game but because of the anticipation and all the hope I feel we’ve been let down. I thought this game would focus on the two Sonics while avatar was a fun third character, not to be taken seriously, and I really hoped that with all the old villains turning up we’d have an epic fight, but we didn’t even get to do that with Shadow or chaos. There was so much potential and it sadly didn’t deliver.
    And I already know the hate is coming but I don’t care. Sonic Unleashed was by far the best Sonic game for me of all time. Why? Because the day levels were stunning, they weren’t over in a couple of minutes, everything was themes beautifully to the country it represented and you had a sense of purpose with the story. What I loved about the night stages is that they were challenging, they weren’t simple and you wouldn’t finish the game in hours. Hub worlds as well. A hub world would have made a massive difference in forces, it would have widened the game and given better interaction between the characters, but as it is there’s no side missions, or real achievements after completing the stages, other then the custom stuff. It would have been better if the other characters were playable and you were able to customise all of them with the difference things. All in all, it was enjoyable for what it was, but I don’t see how it can be classed as a major Sonic game, it just didn’t seem long enough. On the pluses though, it was nice to see all the old characters again, and the voice acting was spot on. I think Boom really helped with that.
    At this point I wonder if it was just this game they spent 4 years working on or if there’s something bigger yet to come. Man I really hope so 😞

  24. Okay people, just stop. It’s just a game. Sonic forces may not be as good as we expected, but let’s give SEGA some credit. They were making 2 main series sonic games(Mania may have been mostly created my fans but it still counts) and Sonic Mania is one of the best Sonic games of all time! Sonic Forces should at least get some good reception! This is just my opinion.

      1. I know you’re trying to make serious Sonic games look bad because you love Boom so much. Don’t worry, Boom will be over soon and serious Sonic will be the only Sonic 🙂

        Yours Truly,
        A True Sonic Fan

  25. I don’t think the game is bad bad its just that they haven’t took advantage of the potential.
    the story was fine but felt too fast paced even for a sonic game.
    the classic gameplay was alright but the controls were a little stiff and clunky and no momentum was added to the run.
    modern sonic was a fine start to the new engine
    Avatar was good but needs more options during creation
    also sonic team are taking notes from mania so i hope the next game would be an improvement

  26. If nothing else, this game serves to remind us all that the standards of Sonic games have come far in the last few years. We shouldn’t settle for okay anymore. Mania has proven that, in the hands of passionate developers, there can be indeed great Sonic games. This game ranks lower than 3D Blast and Secret Rings because we’ve come just that far with only a single game. Sonic can do better than this.

    (Thanks for helping me see that, Dreadknux)

    1. Yes! Sonic games can be amazing. Otherwise none of us would be here. The fact that we’re getting a subpar game, mere months after Mania, is no longer tolerable. It’s even worse because they have worked with this gameplay style before. At this point I have to conclude that Sonic Team is incompetent, uninterested, or some combination thereof. SEGA should take a cue from there own game and revolutionize.

  27. I am on board with all of the YouTube reviews I’ve seen, who all feel pretty neutral about Forces, and even some of the critic site reviews, who don’t necessarily hate it but acknowledge that it’s a letdown.

    Forces is in this weird limbo where it’s not bad, but not good either. The visuals are beautiful; the music objectively is okay, so some people hate it or love it; the avatar customization is fun; the base mechanics are good; and the story is a nice comeback for making Sonic’s world feel like it has more life in it. But while all of these good things are present, the actual use of them/the execution is what isn’t good.

    Level design: way too linear (for Modern, Classic, and Avatar), not enough challenge, and no variety. Don’t need to beat a dead horse with this; just go back and look at all of the past Sonic games. They asked more of your skill as a player that Forces does not. Forces had too many short stages instead of a balanced number of stages with enough depth of challenge and fun.

    Avatar elements: they invested a lot into this, and clearly it was too much. They meant for the avatar features to be the ‘meat’ of this game, so it feels like they neglected many other things in lieu of that. And the different Wispons that you get are pointless since level replayability and collecting/doing everything doesn’t mean much.

    Classic Sonic: there was absolutely no need for him to be there—story and gameplay wise. They didn’t hit the nail on the head with his physics in Generations, but did a good enough job. For some reason though, they made his physics worse in Forces; he feels like I’m playing a superspeed ball of lead. And his presence does nothing for me: I don’t feel more excited to get some old school 2D platforming because “muh nostalgia”, I just feel like I’m completing a chore when playing him. I’m not a 90’s Sonic junkie like most of his modern critics, but I still like playing 2D Sonic, and I enjoyed Classic in Generations, but not at all in this game. He is pure fanservice.

    Payoff: not at all does the game make you feel like your skill has improved, that you are working your way up to even more fun, or that you’ve earned anything worth having. As one reviewer said, it feels like one big interactive cutscene.

    Story: some people thing it’s cringey, cheesey, or trying to hard to be edgy, but that’s not what I want to point out. I cite the story’s flaw of offloading some of its weight off on Episode Shadow and the prequel comics. On top of that, Sonic Team still sorta halfassed the story by not showing much and leaving a lot of dialogue and development in those popup window conversations or to our imagination.

    I don’t like doing number ratings for things, but if I had to, I’d give Forces somewhere between 5 – 6/10, out of personal opinion; but in regards to the critics’ perspective, definitely between 4 – 5/10. I prefer to say whether a game is great to own, worth a play, or should be skipped; in the end, I personally feel Forces is worth a play, at least for a little, tiny, unbelievably small bit of fun/time-killing, but think in the long run is totally skippable.

    TL;DR: Sonic Forces has me feeling the most neutral I have ever felt about anything. It isn’t terrible, but most of it’s worth is to kill some time rather than have a great time.

  28. I like the game. It’s the only boost game I like. Not as good as Lost World though. I still hope we get another game with that playstyle in the future. Overall though Forces is good. Classic Sonic feels weird though to me. But I’ve never liked him so mo surprise there.

  29. Yeah, couldn’t agree more with this. It was a resounding “meh” for me. One of my favourite parts of the Adventure era was the character banter, and I was so looking forward to seeing all my favourite characters again, but their interactions were… nothing. No Rouge and Knuckles poking fun at each other? Nobody really giving much of a crap about HOLY HECK, CHAOS? I was kindof expecting a plot twist where it turned out all Sonic’s friends were clones made by Infinite, hence their lackluster personality.

    Also, I’m fairly sure every surface in the game is coated with butter given how often I nonsensically slipped into pits.

  30. I’ve been wondering for years how Sonic team looks at their plots and calls them good… Some of them have been, or they had great potential, but the execution just hasn’t been good in my personal opinion–but it’s just an opinion. Which apparently I’ve been told is way too nitpicky and makes me the ‘fun police’ for caring about continuity and proper character development.
    But yeah. Shame. I honestly was hoping this game was going to be a new favorite. Unlike the reviewers i’m sort of having some fun with it–not honestly sure why when my copy lags like hell for no apparent reason no matter what i try to do to fix it. But yeah, it definitely has its issues, (lag for me, aside) which can make it a rather poor gaming experience and the cut-scenes I’ve found to be… I’m not sure, something about them just feels off I suppose.
    I’m only 30% through, but I have doubt I’ll have any real change in opinion, particularly considering just the nature of my copy of the game and other’s reviews. I’m not going to bother stating which system I have the game for, as I haven’t seen anyone else experiencing my lag problems. But yeah, a bummer. I have no idea how i’m having any fun lol. The first boss took me over an hour to defeat due to control and lag issues. Don’t ask how i had the patience to listen to the villainous taunts and smug quips from sonic over and over again–I ended up eventually muting the voices.

  31. There is no way Forces has been in development since 2013. It’s half-arsed as fuck. Effort has been made with the story, but the levels are so overly simplified that there’s nothing really to them. Big step back from Generations.

    Not a bad game, but just meh.

    SA2’s Sonic and Shadow levels were great. Do a more polished version of that with interesting hub sections and an epic story (which, for all its silliness, this game has!) with modern day improvements and SEGA have a winner. Basically they should do what fans have been asking for since 2001… make Sonic Adventure 3 next (and Sonic Mania 2 obviously.) SA games were buggy with a dodgey camera, but at their core they were solid.

  32. Did Sonic Team Was Trolling/Lieing to us the entire time?

    If is this logs of fan are going to get annoyed

    At least Sonic Mania is still a blast to remember (awesome classic sonic game), along with Sonic 1, 2, CD, 3 & Knuckles, Colors and Generations

  33. I mostly agree with the main review (except for finding Fistbump “cringe worthy”, it’s actually pretty good and catchy once you get used to it. I mean what, Sonic Heroes gets a pass but Fist Bump doesn’t? Come on guys). Dreadknux, not so much, it sounds like the cookie-cutter “the current sonic game is the worst evar made” I’m used to hearing from less informed sources. T-Bird clearly put a lot more thought and consideration into his review beyond gut-reactions. I know the second opinion reviews are supposed to be much shorter and abridged compared to the fleshed out ones, but it’s still not an excuse to make your argument about as 2-dimensional as the game you’re criticizing. All in all though, yeah mostly agree with the assessment here, I just cared for the Avatar inclusion a bit more than everyone else it seems like, I’m completely fine with them catering to that audience…considering I’m part of it, lol. I only complain that Sonic Team went out of their way to make the Avatar experience as bland and boring as possible so that no one would ever dare “look cooler than Sonic”. If they have to nerf a feature to keep Sonic cool, maybe the Avatars aren’t the real issue…

  34. Nobody has any direction on what they want anymore.

    Not the fans. Not the creators.

    Heck, even I don’t know what I want out of a game at this point. There is just so much expectation that it sets a goal far too high to be logically obtainable. Yes, there have been past projects that have gotten fairly close to that goal. But with all the overwhelmingly mixed signals constantly requested for newer projects, the slew of “better” games will never stay consistent.

    It’s sad. But it’s just the folly of being involved with Sonic.

    1. I just say this.

      I have direction on what I want. At this point, I don’t care about anyone else. And maybe its better that way. Every Sonic fan for themselves.

    2. I think many Sonic titles have direction, and I don’t think its having high expectations that prevents anyone from enjoying a new game. If you take a franchise like Mario or Zelda, each new title rarely disappoints as it takes a core concept of what has made the game fun in the first place, and iterates on it. Equally I think Mania accomplishes this as it takes a winning formula and then embelishes it with new gimmicks that add to the experience rather than tinkering with the very soul of the game. I think a lot of modern Sonic games try to mimick other successful franchises, but end up as poor clones with a Sonic skin.

      As I conclude with at the end of the review, Sonic Team should go back to doing what they know and love, rather than attempting to make something they think fans want by listening to their every minute desire.

  35. I probably going to get a lot flack for this but I disagree that the story is bad, while it doesn’t reach the Adventure titles or Unleashed in quality, it is still a major step up from Colors. Generations and Lost World.

    1. I find the story suffers the same issue the Colors story does: the core concept is good, but the execution seriously lets it down.

  36. The only positive I can say is that maybe SEGA will add DLC to Mania as compensation (kind of how Nintendo updated Neaf Leaf after Amiibo Festival tanked hard).

    Otherwise, …….nothing after this.

  37. Interestingly, I thought his control was much much better than it has been recently. I was really impressed with the game, specifically the dialogue between characters, but some of the design choices were just bizarre, and wrong. The soundtrack is stunning, however.

    I’m personally excited to see people who are more talented than I am create mods of Unleashed stages for this game, because that will really show how much of the problem with this game was in the level design.

    1. I personally found the physics pretty terrible. Well, OK, Modern isn’t terrible: they just need to smooth out the acceleration curve, improve responsiveness at speed, and restore the drift manoeuvre. Do those things, and Modern becomes the latest refinement of a style that’s been honed over the last decade.

      With Classic however, they went backwards from Generations. He feels even heavier than before, his horizontal momentum just vanishes for no good reason, and his top speed is woeful. And don’t even get me started on Avatar’s aerial manoeuvrability (there’s none whatsoever).

      But maybe I’m biased due to growing up with the Genesis Trilogy. Maybe if I’d started with Colors, my opinions would be different. And that I feel is the major issue with trying to get this fanbase to come to a consensus: the eras we all grew up in are just so different from each other, the chances of coming to a consensus are minimal.

  38. Well it’s better then Lost World but after Generations, Colours basically any game that used the Hedgehog engine has way better gameplay/control then what we have here.

    Just hope SEGA remake Generations (or Unleashed) for the Switch.

  39. Beat it today. It really just sucks, and I feel like it has something to do with budget. The fact that so many assets are recycled is very evident, and I feel like there’s some shifty business going on behind the scenes.

    In short, the PROS:

    -Good soundtrack

    -Some nice easter eggs, like the return of old game elements and songs from past 3D Sonic games.

    -The Shadow voice actor fixed his voice. It sounds like Shadow now, for what it’s worth.

    -Ironically the Shadow episode is the most interesting, because it tells more story in 3 stages than the rest of the game does in 30.

    That’s about it. The cons offer up a much larger list, so here it goes…

    CONS:

    -Game plays itself for 30% of the duration, be it on-rails, in-level cutscenes, or just taking control away from the player in order to progress. This game is the biggest offender, so far, of a Sonic game “playing itself”.

    -Homing attack is somehow more difficult to use than it was in the past.

    -Drift has been removed, despite offering hair-pin turns in the stages. Instead, just let the joystick go and Sonic will go on rails to take a turn.

    -Controls are terrible. If you let go of the joystick mid-jump, you will drop like a brick. There is virtually no momentum. Precision-platforming in this game is tedious, and you will die needlessly. It’s not challenging-fun, either…..it’s eye-rolling in its level design and controls. Overcoming a challenging obstacle will not satisfy you, it will just make you angry.

    -Create-a character is limited and kinda terrible. The items you obtain are numerous and interesting, but your base character is uninspired and bland.

    -Classic Sonic serves no purpose to the story. He’s shoe-horned in as an excuse to have classic-style stages.

    -Each stage averages at 2-3 minutes long, or shorter if you’re speed-running. These are the shortest stages in the history of the series. Each level feels like a demo of what the level SHOULD be.

    -Interesting concepts and story elements are squandered or brushed off. As far as story goes, they took a fine steak and made hamburger meat.

    -Infinite is set up to be interesting, and he’s shrugged off after you beat him. He has no character arc or redeeming qualities, outside of whether or not you care for his design, his voice actor, or his edgy dialogue. It’s heart-breaking to see him wasted. He’s essentially a whole-lot-of-nothing.

    -Cutscenes suck. They explain very little, considering this game was going for a high-concept premise (essentially a World War).

    -Hub is bland and unimaginative.

    -Rewards are near non-existant, unless you just want more crap for your Avatar.

    -The whole game feels like it’s just rushing you through it. Between fast-paced music, short stages, and an overall short campaign with no reason to re-play any of it, it feels like Sega just wanted your money as fast as it could get it while offering little in return. It pulls you into the alley, robs you, and leaves you scratching your head.

    I’m the guy who’s basically on the 3D-Sonic spectrum of the fandom. I loved Sonic Mania, but I’m ready to move on from that. I want a modern Sonic game to impress me. I want a story, I WANT the whole roster of characters to interact, and I want to PLAY as the other characters.

    But I cannot defend this game. This game was SUPPOSED to be the game for me, and they outright ripped me off. This game was borderline theft of not only my money, but my faith in Sega that they valued Sonic as an IP.

    This game is disrespectful to the brand, and to the fans. Some people will like it…. and I wish I could be that content with mediocrity. There’s so much more I could say, but it’s like screaming at a dead body to get up and dance. This game feels like the end… and that scares me.

    1. U made some great points and I agree. The controls were awful and I also thought the custom characters gameplay was the worst. U said the stages were 2-3 minutes. I would honestly say they were 1-2 minutes and some stages can be beat in under a minute. Lost World was made in 2013 so how the heck is the game so short???

  40. I just finished playing the game on the Switch. In my opinion the game sucked. I would give a 4/10 as well. The controls were awful, the story was awful, and the levels were very short. I am very disappointed

  41. Yo peeps, Episode Shadow I finally up in uk ps stores 😀
    Also tbh as much as I was disappointed before, the more I play the more I realise actually it’s a nice change. I hope more add on’s come in the future though.

  42. 5/10 it does seem rushed and the gameplay is just a downgrade from generations the music is not that great either i though but personal choice. funnily enough ive found that its seems really enjoyable playing it on my switch (handheld) for speed runs and replaying stages to find red coins the shorter level design seems perfect for quick sessions on switch.

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