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November 8 in
It's officially been one full year now since Sonic Frontiers released (November 8th 2022), and throughout the months, it's a understatement to say a lot has changed about the game. Not just with the usual feelings that can change when a honeymoon phase with a brand new game ends, but quite literally, as Sonic Frontiers is the first mainline game in the series to get frequent and substantial content drops that significantly altered aspects and elements of the game, for better or worse.
There's now a new barrage of costumes for Sonic to wear within the game. There's new challenges for Sonic to run though. There's the complete overhaul of the memory tokens from refreshable collectibles that were dime a dozen now turned into a full-scale collectable required for island completion. There's a unlockable spindash that breaks most of the game in half, yet is necessary for a certain update. There's now full-on island completion requirements. There's even three full brand new characters who haven't been playable in a 3D space for over 15 years.
There's also of course the Final Horizons DLC that it of itself is only just over a month old at this point, adding in the adforementioned three additional characters, a brand new ending, and a heap of more content than anything could really reasonably expect from a free update, again for better or worse.
We've already begun to see the lasting impact Frontiers will have on the series, with characters like Sage appearing in The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog earlier this year, and the new ending in Final Horizons very much solidifying that. We even have what may be our first appearance of a Modern character within the Classic series in literal years - as The End made a cameo in Sonic Superstars just last month.
With the game seemingly now in it's most complete form following the Final Horizons update, the impact of Frontiers' additions, both lore wise and gameplay wise starting to become more evident as time goes on, and a chance for the dust to settle following the release of the game, and following the release of the Final Horizons update, now seems as good a time as any to ask - what is your thoughts on Frontiers now that a year has passed? Has your impressions remained the exact same since launch? Have they changed now that the honeymoon period is over and you've had a chance to more closely consider the game? Has the updates' many changes changed your opinion on the game any? Has Final Frontiers left you delighted, or given the game a rather untasteful cap off after all was said and done?
Either way, here's to the one year anniversary of what is most probably the biggest game in the series in a very, very long while, and for a lot of different reasons. It's hard to believe that Frontiers is a year old already, and a brand new Sonic game has already come out to take the title as the most recent release.
Nov 8 2023
Nov 10 2023
I feel like the Giganto boss fight is the first real water cooler moment the game series has had since..... the first few trailers for Unleashed went live pre-Werehog? Or failing that, at least since
I just 100%ed the entire game/final horizon on extreme two days ago... this game has literally kept me busy for a full year! Time well spent lol
I really hope this game acts like a stepping stone
I still think it's dogshit from start to finish, with maybe its only worthwhile "innovation" being that the game is not entirely limited to boosting through corridor-style levels again...not that they
I still think it's dogshit from start to finish, with maybe its only worthwhile "innovation" being that the game is not entirely limited to boosting through corridor-style levels again...not that they've shown much idea of what to do with him in a more open space, retreating back into that same kind of design for the majority of its platforming challenges. And with its inexplicable success I can't even reasonably hope they'll bury this shit and go in a completely different direction so I feel like I'm just waiting for the next car crash to gawk at.
I feel like the Giganto boss fight is the first real water cooler moment the game series has had since..... the first few trailers for Unleashed went live pre-Werehog? Or failing that, at least since Sonic was announced for Smash.
That's what really sticks out about Frontiers to me. There are so many nagging things about the game itself that should have been done better, and effectively hold it back, but even a year later its impact is still being felt, which is more than I can say about any Sonic game in the last 10+ years. It did the impossible, and cast the games side of the franchise in a generally positive light, and pushed the games into relevancy beyond its launch window. And it did all that even when the scrutiny against Sonic Team was at its peak following Forces.
Frontiers faced an uphill climb from the start and still exceeded all expectations. It was staring down the barrel at S4 epII levels of pessimism before it was even revealed.
The game certainly kept me entertained for nearly a full year, what with the content drops and the random urge to pop the disc in and play again.
All in all, I've had a blast with it! It's definitely got its downer moments from time to time, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fun through and through. My real big complaint is how samey the game looks after a while. Only 2 of the 5 islands actually look different and the action zones cycling through 3 different level types... Also, the generic, cyberspacey floating platforming elements just look dull. Wish they would have made them look like the island elements.
This is definitely a game I'll go back to and play through from the beginning again when I've let it kinda recede to the back of my mind, and it'll be a fresher experience playing from the start with all the DLC and content updates.
I guess this is as good of a time as any to post this Interview from Kishimoto reflecting on the game's success a year later.
Frontiers has rapidly shown its age and where it needs to improve.
It was fun for while it lasted, but the fun doesn't really last after you beat it. A year later, and I'm not that interested in going back to play it again. And the DLC seems to be torture to where folks wish they didn't come back to it after a year, but it did bring back a lot of ideas that I think were a long time coming with multiple playable characters.
That said, I hope they do take notes from what worked and integrate it into a better game. It's not perfect by a long shot, but it has a promising direction that could actually become a boon for the franchise if they can better refine, improve, and add to what they have.
And it seems to be that way if the Apple exclusive Sonic Dream Team is any indication. So they may have just found their working formula for an open world...er, open "zone" format.
The combat needs serious work tho. It has its fun when it comes to the Guardians that serve as the bosses of the stage, but I've said this before plenty of times that mook-level enemies shouldn't take more than 1-2 hits to down--some actually go down easily, but those Soldiers should not be damage sponges in the slightest. And if they're going to stick to their guns and make them damage sponges, I'll at least give Frontiers the benefit of the doubt in that it tried to do more than homingattackhomingattackhomingattack on the enemies by giving you an arsenal of offensive abilities. But this is more of a downgraded Devil May Cry game when it comes to combat.
Really Hope that the game will go on sale today.
Been waiting some time to play cause i didnt want to buy it before all three updates. The game looks pretty fun too.
It's still "fine" to me. Not one of the best in the series like some make it out to be but certainly not some trash that others like to believe it is. Really, I'm just sort of melancholy about it and the franchise atm.
There are a lot of things to like about the game. Simply having Sonic run around these environments is fun in it of itself. The soundtrack, for the most part, is next level. The characters finally talk and act like themselves. The super sonic fights are (when they're not being haphazardly strung together in some jank trial) superb. Sage's addition to Team Eggman is a welcomed one. Not to mention just the general aura the game gives off is of a ST that is finally starting to understand what fans have been asking for and making a game that doesn't feel embarrassed to be in this series.
These are all things I love.
But, with that being said, I just can't help but look at the end product and still think "... is this honestly the best we can do atm?" This was the game ST thought would put them back in the upper ranks of the industry? The game looks (and often plays) like a pre-alpha tech demo.
There is a level of jank to just about everything (that somehow only got much worse with the DLC), cyberspace levels (pre-spindash) were often a mess, Chaos Island is trash, ect. Not to mention the story which, while the dialog is written well, often just feels like an aimless, dull experience. I'm hype to be finally moving on from whatever the fuck the last decade has been in this category but really. All of the action for the game is reserved for the Super Sonic boss fights which just makes the actual narrative portions come off as lacking overall. This compounded with questions raised by the game that are never actually answered (a lot of telling but rarely ever showing) and it leaves me feeling a lot less satisfied with the story than I expected to be.
All this wrapped in a technical presentation that still doesn't push the series far past where it was over 15 years ago.
I mean at this point there's only so much I can wave off. ST should be well past this phase of staggering along and need to start running. Frontiers was a long time coming and, honestly, I just don't think what we got was good enough. Again, I don't hate the game like I've stated above with all my pros, but I'm tired of this budgeted, half baked stuff.
I just 100%ed the entire game/final horizon on extreme two days ago... this game has literally kept me busy for a full year! Time well spent lol
I really hope this game acts like a stepping stone... much room for improvement in certain areas, especially the combat, but the main template is there. I loved the gameplay style and hope to see it return with more characters in the future. I've always known Sonic would be great in an open world type format and this game proves it's true. No wasting time getting from point A to point B because of the speed. It's closer to the Adventure titles than we've had in a while!
So yeah, can't believe it's been a year already. Definitely one of my more enjoyed Sonic games, but Unleashed and Adventure 2 are still my top faves. I hope Sage is here to stay with Metal, Orbot and Cubot.
Man, its been a year for Frontiers? DANG, man, where has the time gone?
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, FRONTIERS!
Oh, I still feel like it was released just yesterday... Frontiers gave us warm memories, cool characters, mystery vibes and much more! Congrats!!!
Best Sonic game imo. Especially New Ouranos
Was very dissasappointed with the game at launch, played to the end of the story and felt so let down by only having 4 themes for the cyberspaces, with the majority of them being linear, short, and horrible to control.
Didn't help that the game looks outright awful on the Switch. Might have spoiled some of the magic of running round the environment as it wasn't really enjoyable with the lack of detail, low res, pop in issues etc. Plus to my taste the vocal music was awful, cringey faux metal rubbish.
Updates helped a little, but the actual content of Final Horizons was so unenjoyable. Hated how the new characters controlled (Knuckles climbing especially), the difficulty spike, the imprecise platforming that meant pure luck at times...
Overall very let down. Would take more modern Generations style stages over this any day. One thing I can say is at least its better than Forces.
Time has passed people. Congrats!
I don't think anyone should have expected a perfect game (that never) or even something that stands out compared to other AAA titles by major companies, but the game, while not in top quality, managed to actually sell as a block buster, for Sonic at least, coming from Forces that's pretty big, Kishimoto was still at the helm of mediocre titles, Frontiers is his best attempt at nailing a Sonic formula, that's the compliment I can give him.
I like how they actually took their time to develop the game, and even after it released thanks to the fan response, we got so much more, in fact the base game after you finish a walkthrough looked pretty empty and a "done game", this is what the updates served the most, to me.
The game sadly looks bad on Switch, I can't believe I bought that version at launch just for the sake of getting a physical release, I have it on Steam now and it's so much better,this version really spoiled me and I didn't even play update 3 on Switch.
The game has its ups and downs, but it did a lot right IMO, besides what I always say about the game (limited budget, limited resources and assets) even update 3 was good, I actually wanted to say I'm surprised by the approach they took with the other characters, I expected different stages for each character, but I actually think making them play like Sonic at the core but keeping their own skills (Tails's flight, gizmos, Knuckles's gliding, climbing, Amy's 3 jumps, hammer and tarots, etc.) but also keeping the base Frontiers type of moves, was the best decision, instead of doing Adventure style alternate playstyles which at this point, I kind of hope they never do again, this was more like a "classic 2D Sonic approach", because all the characters are playable on the island, which is what I wanted, and they have their own platforming sections with their own skills, it's win win to me.
I also believe this update is the basis for the next game, that it experiments to elevate the next game even more. I get it, it's too hard and unfair to finish for some players, but besides it being a DLC hard story, I reiterate that it is much easier if you just lower the difficulty, it's not embarassing to do that, I did it and I enjoyed it more, particularly the perfect parry technique, but reaching the towers is also manageable on easy difficulty.
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