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Sonic Frontiers - Final Horizon DLC Spoilers Topic


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1 minute ago, Kuzu said:

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. 

Personally, I'm of the mindset that a game isn't wholefully judged on it's core mechanics. If a game can just be plain fun enough with what it has, and has enough redeeming factors in it to keep it going, I can forgive controls and physics being a little slippery, or what have you, as long as it's fun. Frontiers, for the most part - is designed around what's there, so that even with the problems, you can have fun, get used to it, and start doing cool stuff. The game knows what it is, more or less. I don't think a game is particularly poorly made mechanically, if the game's mechanics work well enough for what's actually in the game.

But the update then decides to ask you to use those mechanics to go further than it actually can go. That's where the problem point comes in. It's the same thing with say - Crash 4. Crash 4 on a standard run is great fun. Easily the best of the classic games in terms of control, visuals, and gameplay mechanics. For that run, the game's mechanics are perfect.

Then the 100% completion requirements of Crash 4 requires absolute peak perfection, and then the game begins to expose itself with glitches, physics oddities, flaws, and more. The new context of what the game asks of you puts all of the flaws that before - were easy enough to ignore in order to have fun - are now in the context of constantly and consistently screwing you over repeatedly. Which is much the same as Frontiers. In the base game, you almost always have leeway in your actions, multiple paths, routes, and means to get where you're going and do what you need to do, that even if the control and physics aren't fully there, it's easy enough to ignore because the game mostly accounts for it.

But the DLC does not account for it, and therefore all of the problems are laid bare. 

I'm not saying it's a particularly bad thing, but it's kind of a massive shoot yourself in the foot type of deal when you get people who could have fun in spite of the issues now second-guessing themselves because of your own flawed mindset when designing the next update and taking the pieces of feedback that really didn't make much sense, at least in how they opted to implement them.

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If the foundation of the game is flawed, you're gonna have a tough time reaching the people beyond the scope of the immediate fanbase. Sonic fans are mostly conditioned to accept a lot of questionable game design decisions because they like things like the characters, or the story. As long as the mechanics don't interfere with that, people are generally fine with whatever. But that doesn't account for people who aren't already fans, or people like me, who actually do value game mechanics in addition to the story and characters. 

Like I said, if Sonic Team wanna coast off the good will already established within the fanbase, then be my guest. But they've made it rather abundantly clear in interviews that they're trying to aim beyond that. I don't see a reason why we can't have a 3D Sonic game that has all of the epic anime bullshit people love while still being a mechanically well-put together game.

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Most people care about whether something is fun and offers up an experience that is hard to find elsewhere. Game quality is obviously of importance, but in terms of outreach it's usually just about having accessibility and gameplay that can appeal broadly. Frontiers is on every relevant system and chased the open world trend, and so despite all its problems, casuals enjoyed the game and it's the most successful game in the series since the Genesis. You can attribute some of that success to the movies being very popular among small children, but general consumer interest was already high because "open world Sonic" was an appealing prospect to most people - and the game did deliver on that prospect in spite of itself. They do have the potential to carry this momentum into far greater success if they can make something that gets good reviews and gets a lot of heads turning without need for any movies or outside assistance from the broader brand.

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8 hours ago, Soniman said:

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 

 

I don’t know. The game won the TGS Excellence award so they’ve got to be doing something right. 

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1 hour ago, ZinogreVolt said:

Most people care about whether something is fun and offers up an experience that is hard to find elsewhere.

Thing is, I don't think this game really offers that. I know that's pretty subjective, but Frontiers isn't really unique in terms of open world games. Its new for Sonic in particular, but that goes back to my point about reaching people beyond the immediate fanbase. What does Sonic Frontiers offer as a game that can't be find elsewhere that doesn't already appeal to Sonic fans? 

I'm not saying that Sonic needs to have a genre defining game, but I often feel like Sonic Team don't really understand the central appeal of their own series beyond the surface level elements.

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9 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Thing is, I don't think this game really offers that. I know that's pretty subjective, but Frontiers isn't really unique in terms of open world games. Its new for Sonic in particular, but that goes back to my point about reaching people beyond the immediate fanbase. What does Sonic Frontiers offer as a game that can't be find elsewhere that doesn't already appeal to Sonic fans? 

I'm not saying that Sonic needs to have a genre defining game, but I often feel like Sonic Team don't really understand the central appeal of their own series beyond the surface level elements.

Sonic, as an entity, is focused on speed. When a prospective buyer hears "open world Sonic", their mind will most likely assume that it's an open world game where you run around really fast and platform all over the place. That's immediately very distinct from 99% of open world games. Though the final game has more than those two elements, platforming and speed is broadly what's in focus for quite a lot of it. That's way different from your Elden Rings, Zeldas, GTAs, or Bethesda games. Some open world games do have elements of speed and platforming in them, but "Sonic" being slapped on the genre implicitly promises that as the focus rather than just something that's in.

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Seems to me that those that liked the base game experience will have a challenging but engaging time (this is presently where I stand), and those that didn't? Then you're certainly gunna burn yourself unnecessarily with more free content. 

What I do find interesting is the developer competency angle being discussed. I don't think any prolific developer wants to ever put out a bad game, they all want their work to succeed. The most common story for unfinished titles is that they lack the time and patience of the publisher who wants to ship a game by deadline. Why do you think Nintendo have a solid track record? They'd have the ability (money) to sit on their game development cycles for 4-5 years until something is ready. This in turn gives their teams the creative time to flex and get things right, and I am willing to bet you anything they get a lot of stuff wrong just as much as Sonic Team do during their experimenting periods. The difference is that they don't have a release schedule to adhere too, whereas the pressure is on at SEGA HQ regardless of where Sonic Team is at in active development. 

There's also the fact that there seems to be this rose tinted comparison for the 3D Sonic games of old. And don't get me wrong, I love the offerings from the adventure series, boost trilogy, or Lost World - but these games aren't perfect and were also full of needlessly exploitative jank and dodgy mechanics as well (which IMO was actually part of the fun when the base game was solid). Frontiers really is no different to me in this area, and once you grasp what it's doing, the game and how it controls can feel incredibly liberating. Sonic is IMO at his best in the Open Zones than in any game that has proceeded this. Sonic Team nailed the zippy feeling of running though fields of flowers or open chasms or forests and in wide open spaces. It's just a joy. No longer does Sonic feel stilted or confined to a track - you're off the leash. I think that there are still improvements to be made (and have him handle this way in the Cyberspace stages too), but the open flow of traversal is a thrill, and the strategies this game forces the player into considering for the win can actually be a hell of a lot of fun sometimes. I keep finding neat little tricks and exploits that actually make me think of shit I used to pull off in SA2 and Lost World to get that win / high rank. I think that's why Frontiers gels with me... and ironically it's because it reminds me of all the loosy goosy mechanics of their older titles. 

If anything I would love to see them take a few pointers from the TOTK developers and find some ways to hand the player their developer tools in a unique or interesting way. Modders run wild with this anyway post release, but it would be cool to see this happen in a gameplay context capacity. Frontiers already presents some interesting ideas on that front with Cyberspace and all these platforming constructs on the islands, but this is more of a visual / superficial thing right now.  

Anyway, I'm getting a bit ahead here and thinking towards their next title. Tails, Knuckles and Amy in this update are very much proof of concepts, and I think it was smart of them to use free DLC updates to gather player data and feedback. It's a strategic use of development time and money if you ask me and hopefully this will feed directly into the sequel. The rest of what this DLC offered certainly pushes into experimentation for better or worse, but once again can work as an informant on their roadmap ahead.

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15 hours ago, DaBigJ said:

I'm like 95% sure it's disrespectful to fan game creators to compare their passion project to a game that costs money. Free update or not, even if it's in favor of fan games it feels a little distasteful in my opinion.

Speak for yourself.  I'd be flattered.

13 hours ago, Wraith said:

Sonic Team in their childlike approach to feedback heard you guys making fun of them for the parry mechanic but didn't go back and fix any of the bad tells and animations on the boss fights, so you're sometimes challenged to land a fame perfect parry on a boss who's body you clipped through and thus the animation you can't actually see. I've always thought these fights looked like shit to the point where it affected how fun they actually are and the strictness of the challenge just amplifies that. The first rule of a good action game is clarity, and good tells combine with a good camera to facilitate that. Sonic Frontiers has never had either of these things in the best of times and that godawful boss rush challenge has laid it so bare that nobody can deny it anymore. I'd be thankful if I didn't play it.

Which leads me to my polite suggestion for the next game. I get it, Frontiers is peak, it's an excellent foundation for the next game yadda yadda I lost that fight, whatever. But if you aren't going to hire a combat designer, just chop this shit out.  I don't think anyone wants to go through another six games of you guys "finding yourselves" by slowly adding features action games figured out on the PS2. Double down on the cyloop but otherwise the rest of this shit is just unnecessary. Add some flashy finishing QTEs to regular Sonic boss fights and it'll go over just as well, I promise you.

Yeah, I think I agree.  I read their rationale for making a parry system that not only missed the point of being a parry system but suspended Sonic in mid-air.  According to someone, Kishimoto I think, parry did originally work the way it did in most fighting games; that is, required timing, but many test audiences couldn't get it down, so they just removed that requirement.  This made me remember that I myself made use of how stupidly liberal it was, not because a parry is normally a big deal for me, but because having to press two buttons to do it is awkward and making progress through some boss sections absolutely dependent on parry makes me want to cheese through to get back to the sort of gameplay I want.  And these two things brought me to an epiphany: When the developers find that many of the sort of people who come to play Sonic games can't master a parry mechanic, instead of dumbing down that mechanic, maybe they ought to ask themselves why they're putting in the sort of gameplay that would require it.  In this case, they probably were so far along and involved fighting so heavily in their game structure that they couldn't get rid of it, but it feels like (in an echo of past ideas they've had) putting this in a Sonic game is more trouble than it's worth.  As I said about shooters last night in another thread, I don't think it's possible, or at least easy, to find a happy medium between such a mechanic being too easy to be interesting and so hard it'll make many players rage-quit.

And to put that in perspective, this is coming from someone who actually prefers enemies with HP in his Sonic games.  I don't necessarily have anything against Sonic having long martial arts fights against tougher enemies; I'd certainly rather that than the toothless garbage we got for most of the boost era.  But why is Sonic the Hedgehog, of all characters, parrying in those fights?  It would make more sense for him to hit and run, whittling enemies down while avoiding injury himself, and furthermore, would be more of what most Sonic fans want to play.  That dichotomy between what should be and what actually is only gets more severe when he goes super.  I don't want to play a Sonic game that freezes Sonic in place and makes me wait to do some specific thing exactly the way they say.  Super Sonic should be able to do more.  I have a very firm axiom by which I judge any kind of fiction other than comedy; any plot points that would pose a "Why can't he just ____" question, should be rewritten so they either answer that question or no longer pose it.  That is even more true of video games.

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So, continuing my run through, and came across a character conversation that piqued my interest. Was there a conversation in the base game about all the rails everywhere?

ran into Sage as Sonic, and..

Spoiler

He said he was gonna grind the rail and asked if she wanted to give it a try. And the conversation turned out that she scanned nothing there, but apparently his connection to the Cyberspace was creating those things and it leaking into the real world for him to interact with.

It was weird, but kinda neat to see those details. Kinda like Amy asking Sage about the little rock towers 

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3 hours ago, televoxica said:

I don’t know. The game won the TGS Excellence award so they’ve got to be doing something right. 

Means nothing to the people who played the game one on one, any accolades don’t really matter as the issues are staring at you in the face

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42 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Speak for yourself.  I'd be flattered.

Yeah, I think I agree.  I read their rationale for making a parry system that not only missed the point of being a parry system but suspended Sonic in mid-air.  According to someone, Kishimoto I think, parry did originally work the way it did in most fighting games; that is, required timing, but many test audiences couldn't get it down, so they just removed that requirement.  This made me remember that I myself made use of how stupidly liberal it was, not because a parry is normally a big deal for me, but because having to press two buttons to do it is awkward and making progress through some boss sections absolutely dependent on parry makes me want to cheese through to get back to the sort of gameplay I want.  And these two things brought me to an epiphany: When the developers find that many of the sort of people who come to play Sonic games can't master a parry mechanic, instead of dumbing down that mechanic, maybe they ought to ask themselves why they're putting in the sort of gameplay that would require it.  In this case, they probably were so far along and involved fighting so heavily in their game structure that they couldn't get rid of it, but it feels like (in an echo of past ideas they've had) putting this in a Sonic game is more trouble than it's worth.  As I said about shooters last night in another thread, I don't think it's possible, or at least easy, to find a happy medium between such a mechanic being too easy to be interesting and so hard it'll make many players rage-quit.

And to put that in perspective, this is coming from someone who actually prefers enemies with HP in his Sonic games.  I don't necessarily have anything against Sonic having long martial arts fights against tougher enemies; I'd certainly rather that than the toothless garbage we got for most of the boost era.  But why is Sonic the Hedgehog, of all characters, parrying in those fights?  It would make more sense for him to hit and run, whittling enemies down while avoiding injury himself, and furthermore, would be more of what most Sonic fans want to play.  That dichotomy between what should be and what actually is only gets more severe when he goes super.  I don't want to play a Sonic game that freezes Sonic in place and makes me wait to do some specific thing exactly the way they say.  Super Sonic should be able to do more.  I have a very firm axiom by which I judge any kind of fiction; any plot points that would pose a "Why can't he just ____" question, should be rewritten so they either answer that question or no longer pose it.  That is even more true of video games.

The more action and fighting games you play the easier it is to see how hard this team fumbled the fundamentals. A big one that I didn't talk about in the first post is that every action the player character can take is a ripe opportunity for characterization, so building the gameplay systems around your character or vice versa creates the strongest connection between the action on screen and the player. The easiest example is Dante. He's a risk taker that likes to play with his food, so to speak, so taunts, flashy dodges, juggles, and rewards for doing all those things are baked into the gameplay. To contrast, Raiden is a principled samurai suppressing a deep bloodlust, so his combat system is clean, efficient and defensive until he gets a good opening to rip his opponents apart.

Frontiers has a few things, but it's not really having much fun with the idea of 'playing an action game as Sonic the Hedgehog' on the whole. The generic "swat" parry just might be the biggest symptom of a larger issue. Telling also that the most fun I had with the combat system usually involved weaving in and out of danger with the cy loop, landing a circle and knocking enemies into the air with a gust of wind. That at least gets part of the fantasy across. Laser beams and waiting around in a parry stance though, not so much. At the very least the animation could have been an insta shield or an axe kick or something. Most of Sonic's power comes from his feet, not his arms!

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1 hour ago, Sonicka said:

Seems to me that those that liked the base game experience will have a challenging but engaging time (this is presently where I stand), and those that didn't? Then you're certainly gunna burn yourself unnecessarily with more free content. 

What I do find interesting is the developer competency angle being discussed. I don't think any prolific developer wants to ever put out a bad game, they all want their work to succeed. The most common story for unfinished titles is that they lack the time and patience of the publisher who wants to ship a game by deadline. Why do you think Nintendo have a solid track record? They'd have the ability (money) to sit on their game development cycles for 4-5 years until something is ready. This in turn gives their teams the creative time to flex and get things right, and I am willing to bet you anything they get a lot of stuff wrong just as much as Sonic Team do during their experimenting periods. The difference is that they don't have a release schedule to adhere too, whereas the pressure is on at SEGA HQ regardless of where Sonic Team is at in active development. 

There's also the fact that there seems to be this rose tinted comparison for the 3D Sonic games of old. And don't get me wrong, I love the offerings from the adventure series, boost trilogy, or Lost World - but these games aren't perfect and were also full of needlessly exploitative jank and dodgy mechanics as well (which IMO was actually part of the fun when the base game was solid). Frontiers really is no different to me in this area, and once you grasp what it's doing, the game and how it controls can feel incredibly liberating. Sonic is IMO at his best in the Open Zones than in any game that has proceeded this. Sonic Team nailed the zippy feeling of running though fields of flowers or open chasms or forests and in wide open spaces. It's just a joy. No longer does Sonic feel stilted or confined to a track - you're off the leash. I think that there are still improvements to be made (and have him handle this way in the Cyberspace stages too), but the open flow of traversal is a thrill, and the strategies this game forces the player into considering for the win can actually be a hell of a lot of fun sometimes. I keep finding neat little tricks and exploits that actually make me think of shit I used to pull off in SA2 and Lost World to get that win / high rank. I think that's why Frontiers gels with me... and ironically it's because it reminds me of all the loosy goosy mechanics of their older titles. 

If anything I would love to see them take a few pointers from the TOTK developers and find some ways to hand the player their developer tools in a unique or interesting way. Modders run wild with this anyway post release, but it would be cool to see this happen in a gameplay context capacity. Frontiers already presents some interesting ideas on that front with Cyberspace and all these platforming constructs on the islands, but this is more of a visual / superficial thing right now.  

Anyway, I'm getting a bit ahead here and thinking towards their next title. Tails, Knuckles and Amy in this update are very much proof of concepts, and I think it was smart of them to use free DLC updates to gather player data and feedback. It's a strategic use of development time and money if you ask me and hopefully this will feed directly into the sequel. The rest of what this DLC offered certainly pushes into experimentation for better or worse, but once again can work as an informant on their roadmap ahead.

Indeed. While the DLC does have issues, I don't think it reflects the be-all end-all.

One of the reasons that the base game turned out as well as positively received as it did was from heavy play-testing, as they've mentioned.

And it managed to nail the fundamentals pretty well. I'd argue, in terms of moveset, they nailed the fundamentals of the other player characters as well (although Amy's moveset could've used her hammer more). The issue lies in how those controls were conveyed over.

Again. I get heavy testing field vibes from the DLC. In a sense that, like with previous stuff, they'll take the feedback to heart as they've shown that they can do with Frontiers already, and work more into fixing what doesn't work while improving what does.

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23 minutes ago, Soniman said:

Means nothing to the people who played the game one on one, any accolades don’t really matter as the issues are staring at you in the face

They would have to have played it in order to award the darn thing. It seems like they see something in the devs that people like you don’t. I for one am willing, even with the flaws of this game and DLC, to give them the benefit of the doubt. “Hacks” don’t get awards for excellence. 

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46 minutes ago, Zadent said:

So, continuing my run through, and came across a character conversation that piqued my interest. Was there a conversation in the base game about all the rails everywhere?

ran into Sage as Sonic, and..

  Hide contents

He said he was gonna grind the rail and asked if she wanted to give it a try. And the conversation turned out that she scanned nothing there, but apparently his connection to the Cyberspace was creating those things and it leaking into the real world for him to interact with.

It was weird, but kinda neat to see those details. Kinda like Amy asking Sage about the little rock towers 

There was no conversation about it, to my knowledge. It's a funny way to retroactively justify why there's so much shit scattered in the sky and whatnot, and why that stuff just apparently disappears during cutscenes. Wonder if that's also supposed to explain the pop-in...

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Oh, and something I forgot to mention when it came to issues. Uhh...for some reason Guardian OST's wouldn't stop playing, even after finishing them, or leaving the area. And the character themes would start playing over it, and if you trigger more Guardians, the more music tracks keep getting piled on until you exit to the main menu.

Doesn't happen everytime, but it's something we've come across, least on the PS4 version. So...kinda hoping there'll be a patch for it.

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7 hours ago, ZinogreVolt said:

It's a funny way to retroactively justify why there's so much shit scattered in the sky and whatnot, and why that stuff just apparently disappears during cutscenes. Wonder if that's also supposed to explain the pop-in...

It's actually quite interesting that you say this is retroactive, as I actually thought that this explanation from Sage of the random traversal junk scattered about the island was always intended and supposed to be the case.

From a story perspective I just assumed that Sonic’s connection to cyberspace and the islands is why he sees all this stuff as it allows him the physical interaction to proceed. It’s the island (or The End to some extent) that is helping you to traverse the landscape in an achievable way that only Sonic could. Other than the use of dash pads for mobility of their vehicles, It’s unlikely the the ancients traversed the island on grind rails, and springs and so forth.  

However... although it’s a nice nod to have this written in as confirmation, they probably should have done that a year ago really. 

You could stretch it to justify pop in as well, but I do honestly think this is something Sonic Team could have been a bit smarter with. It wouldn’t surprise me if they did experiment during play-testing and ultimately settled with what we have as being acceptable. But, I reckon that implementing digital fades or "scans" or something to make the traversal skyways smoothly meld into your visibility (that isn’t distracting to the eye) would have been the better way to go here - on a visual level it would further cement Sonic’s connection to the Starfall islands. 

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I will say thins: It is fine to have different preferences about things like the third update. However, it is not fine to call developers like Sonic Team hacks and incompetent just because you heavily do not like it, as they did put in more work in this game than some may realize. Plus, while the third update for Sonic Frontiers may be hard and have flaws, it is not, nor does it mean that the update was that bad, especially just because it was not liked by some. It is not even like the likes of Sonic 06, at all. If it were, the hate from some would be more warranted. There is a huge difference between this game's last update and games like Sonic 06 and Rise of Lyric. Now, not to call anyone ignorant, but some people do not seem to realize the difference between preferences and how much work is put into a game. That, everyone (again, no offense) is a lack of knowledge about game development, to, in the case of some, the point of calling them incompetent when it is not so. In fact, I dare say some people's preferences and lack of knowledge blind them from seeing, especially, but not limited in the case of Sonic Frontiers' last update, how much work is put into something like this. Not everyone is a game developer, sure, but things are never just simple as some may think, nor are they truly black and white, so it is not really right to assume things like it is simple about developers of a game just because they made an update or game overall that you do not like. Plus, as average as some Sonic games are, we have had very few Sonic 06 or Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric games in terms of quality. I do not think some people are able to differentiate between preferences and actual information and facts about how a game is made. Again, no offense here.

If Sonic Frontiers did not win the award for excellence at the Tokyo Game Show, it would be because the game was much worse, which would make the developers (Sonic Team) really incompetent and hacks, but it won that award, which shows it was not so bad, and it shows that Sonic Team is not so incompetent and are hacks. I also think some people (again, no offense) that some people are just selfish in terms of what they want, and it blinds them from seeing how much effort was actually put into things like this game. I also think even if there are improvements made for the next game, people will find reasons to complain, nonetheless, whether or not they want to open themselves up and accept things or not.

It is as if some people just don't want to be happy, as they are too stubborn to try new things and accept them. To me, that is a problem with the Sonic fanbase and some of its members.

One more thing: I would like to say to those who think Sonic Team is incompetent and are hacks; while the update may have its flaws still, Sonic Team does not revolve around one, or a small group of people, at all. They have to take everyone into account, not just a limited amount of people.

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Most games that make it to release had someone working hard to get it there, but it'd be foolish to assume effort = value. Replace Sonic Frontiers with any old shit this board doesn't care for like Forspoken. undoubtedly had a lot of hard work into it, even has a similar metacritic score, but no one would blink if I called it a bad game.

And yes Sonic Team is working under strict circumstances and has a wide amount of groups to please but so does anyone else working on a major Franchise. It's not a unique situation, but Sonic Teamn's games are uniquely middling in quality with no upturn in sight despite changes to development time, management and scope. At that point the consistent through-line is the developers. It's obviously fine to call their competency into question at this point. You would for anyone else.

You can call anyone you want a hack for any reason, but it holds more merit if you back it up with a good argument. Maybe my argument for them being hacks is just too solid and that frustrates some of you, but in that case you need to provide a counter argument, not just say it's never okay to call anyone a hack as long as they worked hard!

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Another thing, I am sure placing higher than needed expectations, as well as being strict on what one wants from a game and Sonic Team, being overly hopeful that it be good, the best thing or whatever, may have a negative impact on how one enjoys a game. I have seen some do that here as it seems, BUT doing things like expecting them to nail it with something like an update, especially while being very strict about it, can affect fun. In fact, I am sure some people here are not in it for fun that much, and they are just in it for what they want from a Sonic game, or an update like Sonic Frontiers' last one. Even being strict in expectations to the point that they want it highly or near perfect, but not perfect, has negative effects in enjoyment.

Now, I am not saying Sonic Frontiers is flawless, but I do think the hate from some is exaggerated. To me, I think this was the first time Sonic Team worked on playable characters for years, so there was bound to be flaws. Apparently, people also said the base game of Frontiers was too easy, so they made it harder. Maybe unrealistically, but they did listen to that feedback. Now, I know Sega most likely did place a strict release date that could have affected the quality of the game. That happens with every game, but I do not find the update that bad, to be honest. Plus, while the reception may have been mixed, I have seen plenty who liked or even loved the update.

If the update had big time fans, or if the reception was mixed and divided, I would hardly find a good argument to call Sonic Team hacks and incompetent, as not everyone feels the same way about it. It was apparently good enough, despite flaws it had that needed to be addressed. Still, I think the reasons of calling Sonic Team incompetent and hacks are based not only on lack of knowledge of how they made it or how strict one's preferences are, but also selfishness and stubbornness, as, again, no offense, some people just tend to live in their own little world. I just think the reasoning, while there may be some valid concerns, is exaggerated, or otherwise, not nearly good enough to call Sonic Team hacks or incompetent. One can still point out flaws in the game, which is better if done constructively, but they did work hard. Some people are just focused on their preferences and emotions that they may not know exactly why a game or its update is not as bad as they think or say, and they may lack realization of things about the game or its update, too.

But still, being negative so much in the ways I previously described isn't always going to get you anywhere, nor will it make you right, let alone more right than others.

Again, I don't think it is okay to call Sonic Team hacks and incompetent just because you did not like the game or its update, and on personal opinion alone without solid reasoning or knowledge, even though it did have its flaws.

Besides, if they worked hard, then they can't be hacks or incompetent because that is not what hacks or incompetent people do.

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Sonic Team have delivered nothing but half-baked Sonic games for the last decade, including ones that are both technically inept and riddled with sloppy gameplay fundamentals. Their vision for what a Sonic game should be changes on a dime, but they constantly fail learn from their past experience. Frontiers was the product of 5 years of work, and the end result was widely criticised for unimaginative artistic design, shamelessly recycled assets, unfavourable controls that are inconsistent between different parts of the game and pop-in that's so egregious that it comprises both artistry and gameplay. It got it's share of praise too, but the cracks started to show early and have only gotten bigger with time.

11 months after release, Sonic Team have issued a handful of messy patches that only underline how poorly conceptualised the game was in the first place. They've patched in a number of control modifier options that break the game and allow you to do effortlessly skip content, because it was only ever designed with the original rigid controls on mind. They've added in multiple new characters that are incapable of engaging with the game's combat system, and all have traversal abilities that make engaging with the environment pointless. They also created said environment by hastily throwing down generic assets because the actual map is entirely unsuited to the gameplay they envisioned. This isn't a problem exclusive to the DLC either, as it was one of the biggest criticisms of the entire game from day 0. The final update is difficult largely not by design, but because the game is far too sloppy to accommodate the level of precision that it demands, and is also entirely obtuse in it's expectations. It alienates the majority of the audience who were otherwise forgiving of the game, including children. 

Frontiers started development 6 years ago. After 5 years of development, they released a product that was divisive and heavily flawed at best. And almost a year after release (even longer since the feedback first started rolling in), they've delivered updates that fail to address any of the underlying issues, instead choosing to focus on ill-conceived quick-fixes that are contrary to the game, or even ignoring the feedback entirely. 

I am the customer that paid for Frontiers and all of the other problematic Sonic games that Sonic Team put out. I'm also a customer that plays a number of other video games, from both previous incarnations of Sonic Team and dozens of other developers. I know what I'm talking about. 

Sonic Team are incompetent. They don't know what they're doing. 

Sonic Team are hacks. They're boldly confident in their absolute mediocrity.

Kishimoto's delivered failure after failure, from the Storybooks to Colours to Lost World to Forces to Frontiers. What is a failure? A failure is a a game thats got numerous design problems baked into it, especially ones that keep getting repeated in subsequent games. A failure is a game that can only manage a divisive reception after almost two decades of trying. Kishimoto is trying. Sonic Team as a whole are trying. I don't care. That's irrelevant. The products aren't up to scratch, and they haven't been for far, far too long. 

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The "award for excellence" isn't much of a defense people are making it out to be, because Sonic Frontiers was not the only game to receive it. There were plenty of games and developers that deserved the recognition they got, but they also awarded it to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, which is not exactly a game I'd look at and call it "excellent." And this is coming from someone who smiled hearing about Xenoblade 3 receiving it before being utterly confused as to whatever the hell Sonic fans were talking about the day after.

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20 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Most games that make it to release had someone working hard to get it there, but it'd be foolish to assume effort = value. Replace Sonic Frontiers with any old shit this board doesn't care for like Forspoken. undoubtedly had a lot of hard work into it, even has a similar metacritic score, but no one would blink if I called it a bad game.

And yes Sonic Team is working under strict circumstances and has a wide amount of groups to please but so does anyone else working on a major Franchise. It's not a unique situation, but Sonic Teamn's games are uniquely middling in quality with no upturn in sight despite changes to development time, management and scope. At that point the consistent through-line is the developers. It's obviously fine to call their competency into question at this point. You would for anyone else.

You can call anyone you want a hack for any reason, but it holds more merit if you back it up with a good argument. Maybe my argument for them being hacks is just too solid and that frustrates some of you, but in that case you need to provide a counter argument, not just say it's never okay to call anyone a hack as long as they worked hard!

 

I don’t think it’s that black and white though. Again, this game won an Excellence award at TGS. When was the last time a Sonic game received any type of award ? 

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Speaking of hacks, here's a mod:

You can swap characters any time, they keep their stats on Ouranos Remix but not on the other islands.

There is also the glitch effect removal for the friends (99% of it)

Aka things SEGA should have done, but this nice anyway

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I would like to point out that Colors was not a bad game, and in fact, there are plenty of people who loved it. As for Forces, that game had to do be redone all over, maybe more than once, and they did not have time to finish polishing it. Another thing I would like to point out is that quality does not always mean failure, as quality is subjective, and quality does not reflect a game's sales. In the case of Colors, it was successful, even if some had gripes with it.

I do not think the update is filled with numerous design failures. There are some flaws, and the difficulty could be better, but aside from being doable and beatable, which I will not go into much depth into, I do not think some realize that there may be good things about the update. It is not like there was absolutely nothing good about the update. No offense on this as well, but some fans are seemingly acting like customers who buy a product the first time, and getting angry with it, whether or not it has something redeeming in it; all without being truly supportive and acting like a neutral customer like a fan would. I know people have limited money, but being a neutral customer vs. being a fan, those are two different things, and not everyone is acting like a fan, not only for the game, but for Sonic as a series. I know there have been some not so good games, but still...

I would also not say Sonic Team fails at everything they do. There are lots of people who loved Colors and Frontiers, not to mention Generations which probably wasn't made by Kishimoto himself, but to call most or all of what they do based on preferences and emotions alone is, well, not a good approach.

I do not mean to offend anyone with anything I say here. Still, I think Sonic is a series that has become no longer something for some people, and there are many things in life where something is not for everyone. Aside from being not supportive, and maybe, in the case of a smaller amount of people, ruining things for everyone, I would advise that if the past games are not something you want from Sonic, maybe just move on, hope the series is successful and let others enjoy the game. I am not telling others what to do here, just giving advice.

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19 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

Kishimoto's delivered failure after failure, from the Storybooks to Colours to Lost World to Forces to Frontiers.

Getting into subjective territory here I know but Colors being trotted out as a “failure” by the same metric the rest because it’s a Kishimoto game doesn’t fully sit right me . Like the game had an idea and executed it adequately enough to please fans, critics and casuals at the time of its release. It controls, it functions, little to no bugs and was short and simple enough that it ended before it overstsyed its welcome

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