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Sonic Frontiers - Final Horizon DLC Spoilers Topic


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3 hours ago, Jango said:

It's kinda of amazing how one dude picked the base of what Sonic Team from 2006 did and made it better than stuff from 2023. Just proves that even with good intentions, they can't program for shit nowadays. Oh, and the P06 has double the number of playable characters... I'm playing Frontiers right now and I will say it again, this is bar none the worst Sonic ever controlled in 3D (in cyberspace at least) and the open zone gameplay is only mildly bearable once you adjust those stupid sliders, and even then, it's still a far cry from the Adventure games... which didn't needed any fucking slider, mind you. I don't even wanna imagine how this played on launch, lol. 

I agree with@DaBigJon this.

To compare a fan passion project to the companies current products is absurd. Especially when you consider what Sonic Team has to deal with, that P06 doesn't.

A time limit, corporate overseers and a budget they dictate. The developers don't always have a say in how the game gets released. Sonic 06 is a perfect example of that. I seriously don't think the developers wanted to release the game in the state it was in.

Hate Frontiers if you want, I don't care. But I dislike the practice of blaming a small group of people when in reality, the suits up the ladder are more deserving of blame. Especially in the 06 example as the devs are the least deserving of blame considering how often they got screwed over. Be it by Sega splitting the team up for Secret Rings or Naka bailing and taking more devs with him.

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Sonic Team can be under awful management but also be completely amateurish in the mistakes they make when it comes to proper gameplay design that no amount of upper managerial brow beating can excuse 

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The biggest win of this update are far and away the Cyberspace stages. They're much richer in design and gimmicks, and feel genuinely distinct from one-another - which is something that a fair number of stages in the base game suffered from. Having differing criteria like a ticking bomb in one stage and a race in another add a good amount of tension that befits boost gameplay nicely. Overall I think the confidence on display in this update is a net positive, even if it does shine a particularly ugly light on the game's utter lack of elegance and polish. Outside of Cyberspace (and occasionally in it), there are many moments where the core design is let down by Sonic Team's utter refusal to tighten ideas up and give their core mechanics a better workout. 

I do think there are moments where the reception of some parts of the game feels like people aren't engaging with the mechanics correctly, but you can't fault the players for this for two reasons. The first reason is that the base game does a particularly poor job of conditioning the player for higher levels of challenge. As someone who plays plenty of hard and fast-paced action games, I acclimated to the much more demanding gameplay pretty quickly - but it is an ungodly leap from the base game. This is only compounded further by the fact that you start at Lv. 1 and the new characters are stripped of core mechanics that Sonic has at the start. I think that's fairly fun in its own twisted way, if largely for the surprise factor, but the game prior didn't really earn that. Even having done a full playthrough of the base game on Hard Mode at Lv. 1, Frontiers is piss easy. 

The second thing is the uncanny lack of any sort of tutorialization in Final Horizon. This may have been yet another case of Sonic Team overcorrecting previous errors, as base game Frontiers has received a fair amount of flack for its unnecessarily disruptive tutorials, but Final Horizon hardly tells you what's what and how things are supposed to work. Fair enough if you're only playing as Sonic, who you know how to play already, not so for characters with different movesets and start off significantly more barebones than Sonic. When I first started out as Amy, I thought my game was bugged because you have to unlock her basic attack function. That's just a step too far. Why the hell would Knuckles of all characters forget how to punch, anyway?

Having said all that, I'll give an unpopular opinion: the Snake Trial is actually pretty fun. The trick of rhythmically parrying the blades in time to keep their weak spots exposed is a good moment and one of the few times that sort of non-boss enemy interaction feels meaningful. The problem with it, again, is that this is the first time ever that the game actually expects that sort of lateral thinking from the player. The one other times you're actually forced to parry something in the entire game before that point is with the Wyvern and Knight boss fights, which might as well be automated since the base game Super Sonic battles have practically no real risk of a fail state involved like the Trials do.

That's sort of the running trend with The Final Horizon's main problem. I don't think what it does is really all that bad or demanding in isolation (besides the final Titan trial, Jesus Christ). But the game prior to that is just too different from it, and adapting to it takes up time. Combine this with important story info being locked behind progressing through it, Frontiers' lack of polish resulting in several failures that are no fault of the player, and it's general lack of any real direction or help - and it's an experience that many players will grow restless or frustrated with. Me? I'm a masochist, so I got a lot out of it personally. A game that is so utterly willing to just be mean to the player is something I'm pretty much always a fan of. You could certainly make a reasonable argument that that's not something Sonic needs, but I like it pretty much exactly because that's the last thing I'd expect out of the series. But Frontiers, again, didn't really earn that. Unlike say, Eggmanland, there wasn't a sense of buildup to this ultimate challenge. It feels more like a hard Mario postgame, except every world before that point was as only ever as difficult as World 1.

I think The Final Horizon is probably something that will have its reception improved over time. For as much as it frustration as it caused, and for how much it actually winds up exacerbating Frontiers' core problems, I had a lot of fun with it. Usually when it comes to follow-ups, games will fall into a category of "more good, less bad" or "less bad, less good", but The Final Horizon winds up being "more good, more bad" in my eyes. Things like the Cyberspace and the open zone tower climbing are highlights of the whole game in my eyes. I try not to think about games in such binary terms or labels since they're something I think they should aim to be more than the sum of their parts, but Frontiers and it's updates has been a very fascinating experiment and one that I walked away from pretty positively on the whole. That said,  I can understand why others would want more than just that.

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That was truly one miserable experience I never want to put myself through again. From the controls, to the moveset choices of some of the characters (Amy, I am talking about Amy), to the writing. The ending was embarassing and bordering on straight-up "we got Dragon Ball Z at home" shit. You ca read Wraith's spoiler up here and yeah, it's 100% my opinion as well.

All flash, no substance.

 

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I'll give a more detailed review once I'm done, I am currently passed Tower 1 and Trial 1. 

 

Current Impressions, its more Frontiers.... for better and for worse. 

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3 hours ago, ZinogreVolt said:

The biggest win of this update are far and away the Cyberspace stages. They're much richer in design and gimmicks, and feel genuinely distinct from one-another - which is something that a fair number of stages in the base game suffered from. Having differing criteria like a ticking bomb in one stage and a race in another add a good amount of tension that befits boost gameplay nicely. Overall I think the confidence on display in this update is a net positive, even if it does shine a particularly ugly light on the game's utter lack of elegance and polish. Outside of Cyberspace (and occasionally in it), there are many moments where the core design is let down by Sonic Team's utter refusal to tighten ideas up and give their core mechanics a better workout. 

I do think there are moments where the reception of some parts of the game feels like people aren't engaging with the mechanics correctly, but you can't fault the players for this for two reasons. The first reason is that the base game does a particularly poor job of conditioning the player for higher levels of challenge. As someone who plays plenty of hard and fast-paced action games, I acclimated to the much more demanding gameplay pretty quickly - but it is an ungodly leap from the base game. This is only compounded further by the fact that you start at Lv. 1 and the new characters are stripped of core mechanics that Sonic has at the start. I think that's fairly fun in its own twisted way, if largely for the surprise factor, but the game prior didn't really earn that. Even having done a full playthrough of the base game on Hard Mode at Lv. 1, Frontiers is piss easy. 

The second thing is the uncanny lack of any sort of tutorialization in Final Horizon. This may have been yet another case of Sonic Team overcorrecting previous errors, as base game Frontiers has received a fair amount of flack for its unnecessarily disruptive tutorials, but Final Horizon hardly tells you what's what and how things are supposed to work. Fair enough if you're only playing as Sonic, who you know how to play already, not so for characters with different movesets and start off significantly more barebones than Sonic. When I first started out as Amy, I thought my game was bugged because you have to unlock her basic attack function. That's just a step too far. Why the hell would Knuckles of all characters forget how to punch, anyway?

Having said all that, I'll give an unpopular opinion: the Snake Trial is actually pretty fun. The trick of rhythmically parrying the blades in time to keep their weak spots exposed is a good moment and one of the few times that sort of non-boss enemy interaction feels meaningful. The problem with it, again, is that this is the first time ever that the game actually expects that sort of lateral thinking from the player. The one other times you're actually forced to parry something in the entire game before that point is with the Wyvern and Knight boss fights, which might as well be automated since the base game Super Sonic battles have practically no real risk of a fail state involved like the Trials do.

That's sort of the running trend with The Final Horizon's main problem. I don't think what it does is really all that bad or demanding in isolation (besides the final Titan trial, Jesus Christ). But the game prior to that is just too different from it, and adapting to it takes up time. Combine this with important story info being locked behind progressing through it, Frontiers' lack of polish resulting in several failures that are no fault of the player, and it's general lack of any real direction or help - and it's an experience that many players will grow restless or frustrated with. Me? I'm a masochist, so I got a lot out of it personally. A game that is so utterly willing to just be mean to the player is something I'm pretty much always a fan of. You could certainly make a reasonable argument that that's not something Sonic needs, but I like it pretty much exactly because that's the last thing I'd expect out of the series. But Frontiers, again, didn't really earn that. Unlike say, Eggmanland, there wasn't a sense of buildup to this ultimate challenge. It feels more like a hard Mario postgame, except every world before that point was as only ever as difficult as World 1.

I think The Final Horizon is probably something that will have its reception improved over time. For as much as it frustration as it caused, and for how much it actually winds up exacerbating Frontiers' core problems, I had a lot of fun with it. Usually when it comes to follow-ups, games will fall into a category of "more good, less bad" or "less bad, less good", but The Final Horizon winds up being "more good, more bad" in my eyes. Things like the Cyberspace and the open zone tower climbing are highlights of the whole game in my eyes. I try not to think about games in such binary terms or labels since they're something I think they should aim to be more than the sum of their parts, but Frontiers and it's updates has been a very fascinating experiment and one that I walked away from pretty positively on the whole. That said,  I can understand why others would want more than just that.

I have to disagree with you on the Cyberspace stages....some of them are just darn unplayable! They may be more varied in nature but they're anything BUT a win.  I'd say they're the WORST part by far and they control as such.

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10 minutes ago, SatAMhog said:

I have to disagree with you on the Cyberspace stages....some of them are just darn unplayable! They may be more varied in nature but they're anything BUT a win.  I'd say they're the WORST part by far and they control as such.

Well the control issue is something that permeates through the entire game, so it faded into the back of my mind after a point. I can't really say you'd be wrong or whatever for coming out of Cyberspace negatively 'cause of said controls, but I think the overall level design and level gimmicks is legitimately some of the most engaging 3D Sonic has seen in a very long time. That's a low bar, granted, but I thought it veered towards something a lot more positive and desirable for a fuller 3D experience. Still, they are pretty tough and it's hard to ignore how much of a leap it is coming from the base game, but I've already covered why I don't think that makes the levels themselves bad in isolation.

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I've already posted a brief outline of my thoughts over on Twitter X (hey, that's my compromise, okay!). So, I think I'll go a bit deeper here.

There's a LOT of things I enjoyed, story included! But I'll save that for later and go ahead and address the difficulty.

First of all, let's establish that no matter what game it is, I'm always playing on the hardest difficulty. Whether it be Ratchet & Clank, Spider-Man, and whatever else. I purely enjoy the challenge nonetheless! Heck, I'm one of those people that seen the very 1st ThunderJaw in Horizon Zero Dawn, and didn't stop until it went down, despite how underprepared I was at that point.

Well, that's exactly what happened in this DLC...albeit after nearly maxing out all the characters. 'Cause oh boy, it's brutal! Even on easy (set by accident so I could start a New Game+ save from a few weeks prior)! To the point I even stopped caring about taking on the new Caterpillar (which was already kinda tricky in the main game), and is so far the ONLY Guardian I've yet to beat with any character.

Like, I know Frontiers, practically inside & out. So even on Hard, and not upgrading Sonic's power level beyond 25. The base game was kinda easy, but in a good way, so your not spending too much time on any one thing. But my gosh, I did NOT expect the enemy difficulty & health buffs through the roof! But that might just depend on the chosen character against a given enemy.

Master Ninja+? Perfectly manageable with everyone, same for ghost (so long as ring count was maxed). Silver Hammer? Amy took ages to deal with it, with too many tries. Knuckles, it took about two tries in less than half the time. Spider+ took until the end of the DLC to figure out how to beat (yeah, slow learner moment this was). Could've helped if I utilized lock-on more. Tank+ only did with Knuckles, and discovered an exploit by taking big damage off, by bouncing on top of it.

Tails tho, I didn't even bother taking into combat, outside the platforming fodder. Which carry over from Cyberspace, and I appreciate that! But it makes me wonder what happened to the smaller enemies (Example: Soldiers, which appear during the Starfall event cutscenes) anywhere else on the island? Some of the characters' unlockable boost skills sound like they were intended for use against them, which aren't that effective against most Guardians.

They do show up in some of the Tower Trials, albeit more sped-up. Did NOT expect this, as it kept me on my toes the whole way through! And was SO satisfying! Tho the Shell enemies I had no idea you could keep parrying the shield before it comes back, until reading through this topic. So I would up cutting things very close instead with constant Cyloops.

In regards to the towers themselves, I actually liked them! Except the 1st one, that one can fade out of existence for all I care. But the others were nowhere near as difficult to climb.

But that final tower challenge...Oof!

Spoiler

I liked the idea of going through the Titan fights again, but with base stats, 'cause even keeping to power stats to lower than 15, they were still a tad bit easy. But boy, oh boy! It took me three times to do this trial (and somebody switching my difficulty settings to Easy when I wasn't looking). By running out of rings, and giving me war flashbacks to learning how to parry during my very 1st Wyvern playthrough.

On the plus side, it did prepare me for the new Final Boss! But outside these instance, I'll still resort to the usual parry timing.

The new final boss I will say took a bit of experimentation to figure out just what to do. Yes, the tree's were a bit annoying, and the camera zoomed in too far to the head at certain points. Making incoming obstacles harder to see. So that was a bit frustrating. Also ran out of rings the 1st try (buzzkill moment), but managed on the 2nd & still enjoyed it! Despite the issues.

Spoiler

Still think The End's monologue could've still been included, but considering they had a new remix of I'm Here (FAR better than the OG by the way), I can maybe see why it was cut. Would've added more to the villain like the main game did, nonetheless.

Also, say what you will about the writing, and the new ending. I don't care, I loved the narrative aspect of this DLC! Even the added lore & character interactions!

Spoiler

Not gonna lie, seeing a battle damaged Super Sonic was not on my bingo card. The least his friends could've said was "Are you alright?". Minor nitpick, but eh.

Sage getting a happy ending is all I wanted honestly! And definitely had me near tearing up, 'cause it's just so wholesome! Either way, both endings imply Sage will be sticking around, but I'm curious which one they'll go with.

Looking forward to her interacting with Orbot & Cubot in the future!

Sonic's VA might've drifted more into Roger's normal voice here, but there's still traces on his Sonic voice present at different points. Much like the main game, just more noticeable here.

Knuckles overhearing Eggman talking about the Master Emerald, and believing Eggman when he says he won't steal it. Classic!

Concerning how the other playable characters control. I really enjoy them all! Their all able to cross the island in satisfyingly broken ways, especially at max speeds! Making that island-wide, three destination race possible!

Knuckles' glide is a bit wonky when turning, and I fell off multiple walls 'cause he was a bit too fast while climbing. In the correct instances, it's comical how fast he does it. But overwise, really enjoyed Knux here!

Amy tho, feels a lot more precise. But again, not great for combat outside a few Guardians and platformer fodder.

Tails is equally as fun as the other two. He breaks the game upon unlocking the Cyclone! Essentially skipping a ton of platforming & puzzles. Confused about the lack of a homing attack, 'cause I thought he could do it at some point in the series.

Cyclone's laser, again, took till the end of the DLC to figure out it was to be used on the special holographic walls. But that was one of the few moments of lack of communication on what to do. But it was definitely an "Aha!" moment when I finally figured it out.

I like figuring things out on my own, but others might not like the idea so much, given the number of things introduced.

I actually don't hate the Starfall events this time, confused as to why collected items started multiplying. But shoulda been like this from the start, instead of the stupid slot machine!

Music: Fantastic as always! Love the new ending theme!

Cyberspace stages: Major improvement to how varied they can be from one another with gimmicks! Something the core game lacked, which the Spin Dash already made better! Which kept getting me to do them...despite getting all the needed items by just exploring. Probably won't do the Flicky challenges tho.

Not saying every Cyberspace stage needs these types of gimmicks, but I'm not lying when I say I had stupid smile on my face for some of 'em while spending an hour mastering them! Just wish the gimmicks were explained, 'cause the one with mines wasn't communicated that well.

Overall, and while considered an unpopular opinion from what i've seen, it's a great DLC! It has issues, like the busted deceleration for anyone outside of Sonic. And cutscene audio cutting at random points before being restored next line. But I enjoyed my time with it, and I'll be playing again soon, to do it even faster! Just like I did with the main game!

Hoping there can be an adjustment patch for this DLC tho...despite the possibility there won't be another patch, since their likely focusing on the next game at this point.

Alright, this took too long to type, honestly could've been made into a whole video. So I'm gone now!😅

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4 hours ago, Danj86 said:

I agree with@DaBigJon this.

To compare a fan passion project to the companies current products is absurd. Especially when you consider what Sonic Team has to deal with, that P06 doesn't.

A time limit, corporate overseers and a budget they dictate. The developers don't always have a say in how the game gets released. Sonic 06 is a perfect example of that. I seriously don't think the developers wanted to release the game in the state it was in.

Hate Frontiers if you want, I don't care. But I dislike the practice of blaming a small group of people when in reality, the suits up the ladder are more deserving of blame. Especially in the 06 example as the devs are the least deserving of blame considering how often they got screwed over. Be it by Sega splitting the team up for Secret Rings or Naka bailing and taking more devs with him.

Dude, the last game before Frontiers was Forces, from 2017. 5 years and they couldn't even program 1 character right. I get your point about fangaming and all, but it just doesn't fly as an excuse. Adventure 1 to 2 was 2 years, Colors to Generations was 1 year. In both cases the base gameplay was refined and expanded. I'm incredibly happy I didn't gave current Sonic Team the benefit of the doubt and bought this only now AND half the price, because it just is a badly designed, unpolished, unfocused and visually sterile game. The beginning of the game is hands down possibly the worst in the series, and it doesn't get better. I'm not hating the game for the sake of hating the game, it has some cool ideals, but nothing of real substance. 

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I just finished the update, it was really a chore to play at parts, I can just make a list of the things I enjoyed, some I found very frustrating (the difficulty spike is unfair at times and sometimes unbalanced and quite a joke, all over the place, overall? Still the most fun I've had playing a Sonic game since Generations, probably the amount of play time alone for the Update 3 on pc was 14+ hours, because... it's fucking hard and really not enjoyable at times, and it's really spectacular and fun at other times, overall a mixed experience, I can't say I'm impressed but I can say it was fun, and tiring, I'm tired now... In general I played Forces for 40 hours total, Mania 50+, TSR 40 something, out of the recent games, Colors Ultimate the least, and Frontiers is currently 90 hours on switch and 30 on pc which I bought last month, just to say how much I played Frontiers compared to the rest.

In particular, the most fun aspects in the update to me were the playable friends and skilltrees, the big new thing, and I don't regret saying that while I was lost at first, it was something to learn to use these characters for the first time in 15 years while playing in a tough DLC.

Amy is probably my favorite character of the trio, I just felt like she's so floaty and then you go to play as Knuckles who is really slow, jumps low and is rigid in his glide and movements, to Tails which is the most different character due to not having a homing attack and fighting with wrenches, but the platforming sections were really exploiting their skills which made it fun for me, Tails has the best and most exploitable ability though, the perfect air boost (Cyclone flight). Just builds upon the vibe of the game to wander, explore and collect stuff. Thankfully, while you are lost at first in the map, you can easily upgrade the characters.

The controls and physics are all over the place here as well, it takes time to get used to as well as to play in a difficult zone, but that made it all the more fun, as Sonic would say.

Then there is Sonic... the tower shit is totally my most hated part in the game, the trials are just weird, the snake one (second trial) is ridiculous, and so are the climbs to the towers, but the other 3? It was kind of a joke, then there is the Master trial where I actually found the difficulty level between easy - normal - hard was better thought, in fact this is where the difficulty changed helped, with the perfect parry duration, I just couldn't do it on hard because it lasts 1 second. But the perfect parry kinda makes sense, they really addressed every negative feedback and then created new problems.

The parts I kind of ignored were: the guardians and cyberspace, I intend to fix the latter because, I did try some cyberspace stages and they were a lot more fun than usual, plus the extra side missions look a lot of fun.

Then I want to mention the challenge: I specifically thought the game was too easy, 10 months ago, these updates gave me honestly what I wanted, to get my hands dirty in a Sonic game, I really wanted to fight to get the ending.

Overall, the climax is what I wanted from Ouranos in the first place, I'm really glad they got to finish the game in a meaningful manner, with other characters, remixes, more fun cyberspace, a proper final boss that is bigger and majestic compared to a minigame. I can go on and on saying again how much Ouranos in the base game disappointed me, it's my biggest criticism in Frontiers overall, so I needed this update personally, and I found the playable friends to be a starter for the next game.

The ending... I love how it's basically a "good ending vibe" vs the games' bad ending, Sage needs to stay, it's a parallel and I love when they do that, and for some reason I was scared the Cream and Sticks mention would receive changes or be removed (my own paranoia), it's still there and canon!

I also love how they dedicated the update to the fans, you know the ones who have felt something with this game and gave feedback, negative, positive, but regardless, passion.

A lot of fans want "Paid DLC" but I think it's time to move on to other games, not just Sonic, and ST and SEGA need to move on from Frontiers anyway.

So basically, my recommendation for the DLC 3 is: if you don't care about Frontiers, don't bother, it's just too much of a pain if you don't feel the passion, if you like exploring in Frontiers and playing as Tails/Knux/Amy in 3D like in the Adventure style and you're looking for Frontiers but to play a tough Sonic experience, then go for it.

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from what I gather I see a pretty much near 100% confirmation rate of people who didn’t like the base game to begin with not liking this DLC, and about 50/50 for those that did like the base game, so overall not great.

Honestly this whole release  is probably the most Sonic Cycle-like journey I’ve seen since Unleashed, I think because I didn’t see anyone on social media entertaining the possibility that the third update might be actually bad (again, unless they hated the main game so had no reason to be excited to begin with), everyone just saw new playable characters and thought it’d be peak lmao, kinda unfortunate but it’s a very good wake up call for next time.

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Say, I have a question about the story mode...

Spoiler

Does One Way Dream play in the credits after the last cutscene with Sonic and his friends if you clear the game and final boss on Hard mode?

EDIT: And is the ending for the story mode the canon ending for Sonic Frontiers now?

 

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6 minutes ago, ShinyGems said:

Say, I have a question about the story mode...

  Hide contents

Does One Way Dream play in the credits after the last cutscene with Sonic and his friends if you clear the game and final boss on Hard mode?

EDIT: And is the ending for the story mode the canon ending for Sonic Frontiers now?

 

Yes to the 1st, but we're not sure about the 2nd yet.

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2 minutes ago, Blueknight V2.0 said:

Yes to the 1st, but we're not sure about the 2nd yet.

Looks like I will complete the game's update again, on Hard.

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31 minutes ago, Soniman said:

from what I gather I see a pretty much near 100% confirmation rate of people who didn’t like the base game to begin with not liking this DLC, and about 50/50 for those that did like the base game, so overall not great.

Honestly this whole release  is probably the most Sonic Cycle-like journey I’ve seen since Unleashed, I think because I didn’t see anyone on social media entertaining the possibility that the third update might be actually bad, everyone just saw new playable characters and thought it’d be peak lmao, kinda unfortunate but it’s a very good wake up call for next time.

This 3rd DLC update definitely feels extremely experimental. Like, feedback intake or whatnot, I do get the feeling they only went this wild with things since it's free DLC and not the main game itself. Feels like a testing ground, and one they put in with parameters to keep any potential damage minimized.

1 hour ago, Jango said:

Dude, the last game before Frontiers was Forces, from 2017. 5 years and they couldn't even program 1 character right. I get your point about fangaming and all, but it just doesn't fly as an excuse. Adventure 1 to 2 was 2 years, Colors to Generations was 1 year. In both cases the base gameplay was refined and expanded. I'm incredibly happy I didn't gave current Sonic Team the benefit of the doubt and bought this only now AND half the price, because it just is a badly designed, unpolished, unfocused and visually sterile game. The beginning of the game is hands down possibly the worst in the series, and it doesn't get better. I'm not hating the game for the sake of hating the game, it has some cool ideals, but nothing of real substance. 

Regardless of the opinions you have on the game, the take of Sonic Team supposedly being hacks who can't program anything is a tired and worn out one that simply isn't true. Frontiers isn't spotless, but it definitely has more structure to it like an actual game should. It's not just some mess of programming that doesn't function.

Trying to compare it to fangames that don't pull on as much in 3D is never really going to work for a multitude of reasons.

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As someone who hates the DLC and kinda sorta think a little incompetence was involved (or maybe just too much ambition), the game itself was a positive step and I believe is proof Sonic Team does know what it's doing when making Sonic FEEL like Sonic. Just maybe they shouldn't try to make action combat.

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I feel like the DLC's main and biggest issue, is how it goes beyond taking the training wheels off. It throws you into the pool with weights on, given how suddenly you've got stuff like perfect parries, and very little tutorials to explain stuff, let alone, insight on what you need to do.

The main feedback to take would be, patching it so the character controls are better while the movesets themselves are fine, and not to ramp up difficulty so suddenly, without at least some form of accommodation.

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The DLC just kind of highlights what most critics were saying from the beginning. We're past the honeymoon phase now, so hopefully people are a bit more willing to be open to the criticism and talk about the things that can be improved. 

Didn't think it would take removing the training wheels so to speak for people to start rethinking things a bit, but it's nice to see people reevaluate things as opposed to just going off blind adrenaline.

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3 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

The DLC just kind of highlights what most critics were saying from the beginning. We're past the honeymoon phase now, so hopefully people are a bit more willing to be open to the criticism and talk about the things that can be improved. 

Lol?

I'm still seeing people on Twitter go and try to "ratio" tweets that say that the update made the game worse, as well as see people throw around "skill issue" as a rebuttal. We ain't ever entering a honeymoon anytime soon

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9 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

The DLC just kind of highlights what most critics were saying from the beginning. We're past the honeymoon phase now, so hopefully people are a bit more willing to be open to the criticism and talk about the things that can be improved. 

Didn't think it would take removing the training wheels so to speak for people to start rethinking things a bit, but it's nice to see people reevaluate things as opposed to just going off blind adrenaline.

Easiness in games is an easy way to smooth over mechanically questionable or otherwise undesirable elements. It's hard to complain about that stuff when the game is easy because mechanical oversights are less likely to get in your way of completing it. Games lose that benefit of doubt the second they choose to become challenging, because that means laying mechanical depth and polish bare - neither of which Frontiers has much of. I speak as someone who really likes both the base game and the DLC, but Final Horizon really is a case of being both better and worse simultaneously. The design is a lot more ambitious, but enjoyability is unstable because the foundation itself was already so rocky. I still appreciate it for what it is (it's a big chunk of game and its free, so I can't really come down on it too hard in good conscious) - but they should have waited for the sequel to go so buck wild with things. 

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5 minutes ago, DaBigJ said:

Lol?

I'm still seeing people on Twitter go and try to "ratio" tweets that say that the update made the game worse, as well as see people throw around "skill issue" as a rebuttal. We ain't ever entering a honeymoon anytime soon

Doubtful. The main game still has overall good reception. The main blows are to that of the DLC. And it's not like it wiped away the good the game brought in the first place.

And if a patch comes that irons out the kinks in the DLC, all for the better in the end.

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44 minutes ago, Jovahexeon Jax Joranvexeon said:

This 3rd DLC update definitely feels extremely experimental. Like, feedback intake or whatnot, I do get the feeling they only went this wild with things since it's free DLC and not the main game itself. Feels like a testing ground, and one they put in with parameters to keep any potential damage minimized.

Regardless of the opinions you have on the game, the take of Sonic Team supposedly being hacks who can't program anything is a tired and worn out one that simply isn't true. Frontiers isn't spotless, but it definitely has more structure to it like an actual game should. It's not just some mess of programming that doesn't function.

Trying to compare it to fangames that don't pull on as much in 3D is never really going to work for a multitude of reasons.

I agreed on what you said on the second part of your post. Not to call out anyone, but I do think if the Sonic game in question is bad to someone to the point that the developers are hacks, can't program anything or deserve anything is not only disrespectful itself, but I do think those people's expectations are too high, too unrealistically high, or had their expectations shattered in past games that it made them overly negative about things, or that they can't move on or learn from setting their expectations too high, or that the game does not cater to them/they just won't like it/are just too disappointed or are too easily disappointed, among other potential reasons; no offense to anyone, of course. Either way, that does not mean developers like Sonic Team are automatically as bad as such people say. Things, as well as reality, are not necessarily so much black and white here.

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To be honest, I feel like trying to attribute the failure to "just taking off the training wheels" isn't really being fair to the problem. In my eyes, the issue is this DLC is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Frontiers - in terms of most people's reception is that it's a good, if not great game but also heavily flawed. But a lot of it gets by on both positive attributes, and the game knowing what it is. When the game focuses on it's strengths of exploration, fast-pasted combat, quick and simple Sonic stages, quick snappy challenges, and giving you more than enough leeway with where you're going and how you get there - that even the flaws with Sonic's moveset is easy to accept because there's a lot of fun that can be found in getting to max speed, figuring out how it works, and how to use it to move around.

It's not even a problem that's relegated only to the DLC. Chaos Island and Rhea Island both had shades of this. Chaos Island for being so utterly confusing for where you had to go and how to get there, on top of the only way to explore being specific enemies or rails that lead you out to particular islands, while Rhea Island's already existing towers did have a pretty mixed reception to those who found it a fine change of pace, or those who didn't like how pigeon holed it all was. 

It's just the DLC takes it up to eleven by taking what is probably the worst types of feedback they could've taken, and trying to apply it by making it some uber-tough expansion that's trying to push the game in ways that it clearly was not designed to be pushed in. Sonic Frontiers was not build for perfect split-second frame perfect parrying. Sonic Frontiers was not built for combat intensive level 1 no stat runs. Sonic Frontiers was not designed for lengthy, spongey enemy design. 

Take Trial 5, for example. Yes, it is doable. But stop and think for a moment. With all of Sonic's moveset, all of his attacks - the best (and frankly - probably the only means) of beating the bosses is just attacking, and spamming either Sonic Boom, or Stomp in order to get the Cyloop meter built up, and then proceed to pray you land a janky perfect parry, and continue to spam these two attacks over and over again. Does that really sound like good design for a combat encounter?

Hell, the DLC literally goes against the very core design of Frontiers' open-zone nature by immediately pigeon-holing you out of the gate to finish the story off before you're allowed to attempt 100% completion of the island. God help you if you make the very foolish mistake of trying to put any of the new characters against a Guardian right away. 

Mix in the fact that in general, the item balancing is worse than the main game. Guardians are even harder to fight and Cyberspace levels even more tedious to finish, yet their rewards are insanely easy to find around the island. So not only are the challenges greatly enhanced, but the reward is massively decreased, even compared to having Big's fishing holes in the main game.

But the point is, most people were already happy with what was there. Most people weren't complaining about the difficulty or complaining that the parry was too easy to achieve (and if they were - it was more a comment on the overall combat, not just this one random point). The majority weren't itching for bosses taking eons to fight, or cyberspace stages requiring multiple runs to 100%, or towers that require such precision platforming with such punishing results, or a perfect parry. 

And frankly - even if they were asking for that - Extreme Mode was already added to the game to accommodate them. Making this update how it was, as some big uber-challenge for no good reason was the critical downfall. Because it's so against everything that made Frontiers work to begin with that of course it was going to end up splitting people like this.

The people who already hated Frontiers are going to hate it more because it's flaws are even more apparent. And a significant portion of people who loved Frontiers (myself included - might I add), are now forced to take off the rose-tinted glasses and critically evaluate the game because Sonic Team have basically asked us to do so

Good game design is meant to make your failures feel like your failures. When the game is evidently not up to the task of accommodating asking it's players for perfection, or high-end gameplay, it means when we fail, it doesn't feel like your fault, it feels like the game's fault for not working with a homing attack, or the physics being jank.

And please don't get me wrong - it's a good thing that the type of tower design is being explored. Having more precision based platforming and challenging things in Sonic games isn't a bad thing (Hell, Unleashed is one of my favourite games in the series). But the problem isn't that they exist, the problem is that they've been plopped into a game that downright doesn't work well with them. Frontiers' gameplay, physics and engine does not play well with the kind of platforming the towers and the Cyberspace stages ask of you, and it shows in how it feels like you downright abuse and break the physics in levels like 4-B, or keep slipping off the towers because of the game's own failings.

It's trying to force Frontiers to be something it isn't, and that's all on a critical misunderstanding on Sonic Team's part.

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24 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

The people who already hated Frontiers are going to hate it more because it's flaws are even more apparent. And a significant portion of people who loved Frontiers (myself included - might I add), are now forced to take off the rose-tinted glasses and critically evaluate the game because Sonic Team have basically asked us to do so

Not for nothing, but this is a good thing. Ignoring the fact that I wasn't too keen on Frontiers to begin with, why shouldn't people critically analyze the games they're paying money for? Its fine to want a relaxing experience that you don't have to put much thought into, but that shouldn't excuse the game being poorly made mechanically. 

If Sonic Team are adamant about getting high review scores and putting Sonic's name back on the map in the gaming community, then they're going to have to learn how to actually make a well-structured video game and not just rely on the good word of a fanbase who are already generally accepting of the series as it is. 

And that means that people are going to have to get off the hype train and start critically thinking about a bit about how these games are made and why it ended up the way it did.

 

Time will tell where it goes, but if you didn't enjoy this DLC and felt burned by it, this is the chance to voice that opinion and get it out there, so that you can get something better next time that can satisfy most people's expectations. 

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