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Sonic Dream Team could potentially be my final straw for Sonic Team as developers...


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If this game actually plays as well as people are saying then...to me that's game, set, and match for Sonic Team. There won't be anything left for me to agree with that they have the talent to be the leads on Sonic the Hedgehog development because clearly Sega Hardlight just did it better.

I try to be fair to Sonic Team and even say that Sonic Frontiers is the right direction for future 3D Sonic games but if Sega Hardlight just takes one game to demonstrate that they know what 3D Sonic should play like then why not just let them head it up going forward? Why trust Sonic Team when they're still feeling things out for what works and what doesn't?

It sucks because Iizuka seems like he's finally getting his ducks in order to produce better Sonic games but if Dream Team is what it's being claimed to be then that is too little too late.

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I don’t think it’s fair to compare a Big-budget AAA console game with a smaller game made with iPhones and iPads in mind.

Yes, I agree, Dream Team may well be a great game, and yes it may well be what future 3D Sonic games should be. But Hardlight’s games also tend to be much smaller in length and scope compared to what ST can produce (quality notwithstanding). Not to mention most of their games have been released for mobile devices rather than consoles. I know the gap between mobile and console power is reducing, but still.

At the end of the day, I don’t see how Hardlight have the manpower / resources to produce anything as big as, say, Frontiers. Maybe a game like Superstars, but I don’t expect to see a full-on “AAA” Sonic game from them anytime soon. Sonic Team will continue to be the “Main” Sonic developer for the foreseeable future IMO.

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2 hours ago, MGA_Gamer said:

I don’t think it’s fair to compare a Big-budget AAA console game with a smaller game made with iPhones and iPads in mind.

Yes, I agree, Dream Team may well be a great game, and yes it may well be what future 3D Sonic games should be. But Hardlight’s games also tend to be much smaller in length and scope compared to what ST can produce (quality notwithstanding). Not to mention most of their games have been released for mobile devices rather than consoles. I know the gap between mobile and console power is reducing, but still.

At the end of the day, I don’t see how Hardlight have the manpower / resources to produce anything as big as, say, Frontiers. Maybe a game like Superstars, but I don’t expect to see a full-on “AAA” Sonic game from them anytime soon. Sonic Team will continue to be the “Main” Sonic developer for the foreseeable future IMO.

I think what I'm looking for is more a fundamental understanding of what shape the formula should take as a 3D game. Sonic Frontiers has that but in an unfinished and exploratory way. From what I've seen of Sonic Dream Team it could hit the ground running with its mechanics and feel, which doesn't bode well for Sonic Team's efforts to find a style and competency that they can stick with.

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They've been game set and match since 2017 at the earliest. A mobile game on a subscription nobody cares about isn't gonna do anything Forces didn't already do

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It's a black mark for Sonic Team that nearly every other developer that works on this series consistently produces better work than Sonic Team, from Dimps in the 2000s to the Mania Team in 2017 and now seemingly Hardlight, but honestly we don't need to compare Sonic Team's games to anything else to see that Sonic Team should not be entrusted with the series' future. Sonic Team's games simply don't do a good job at accomplishing the things they set out to do. That's the only standard we need to judge Sonic Team's competency as game developers.

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14 minutes ago, Cosmos Rogue said:

It's a black mark for Sonic Team that nearly every other developer that works on this series consistently produces better work than Sonic Team, from Dimps in the 2000s to the Mania Team in 2017 and now seemingly Hardlight, but honestly we don't need to compare Sonic Team's games to anything else to see that Sonic Team should not be entrusted with the series' future. Sonic Team's games simply don't do a good job at accomplishing the things they set out to do. That's the only standard we need to judge Sonic Team's competency as game developers.

Dimps made Sonic 4 and you HATE that game.

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1 minute ago, SolidSurgeTT said:

Dimps made Sonic 4 and you HATE that game.

Even with Sonic 4, Dimps has a far higher hit rate than Sonic Team.

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You're upset that people don't agree with your point that you posted on a public forum? This isn't an echo chamber.

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More like I'm unhappy with the escalation of tone. I wanted to have a low-key back and forth about Sonic Team stacking up to Hardlight but instead I attracted responses that make it seem like Sonic Team is an absolute disaster and to "enjoy" a Sonic Team game now means you'll be making more excuses or downplaying the things they still can't do right than mentioning anything actually worthy of praise.

Edited by SolidSurgeTT
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To be fair, even New Order and Oasis had a few duff albums, but i would still want them to keep making new ones as opposed to listening to tribute acts.

I think both can co-exist. Tbh if Sonic Team became the "console" arm and Hardlight the "mobile arm" of the franchise i think that would be ok as it allows each to specialise and refine and we get the best possible experience

 

Edited by castell-neath
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Sonic Team has made 13 3D Sonic games so far, of which maybe six (SA1, SA2, Unleashed, Colors, Generations, Frontiers) are good games. That means in the past decade Sonic Team has made 1 good game in three tries. In the past two decades they have made 4 good games in 11 tries. In the past quarter of a century they have made 6 good games in 13 tries. Less than half of Sonic Team's 3D Sonic games are good! Sonic Team has struggled to put out quality Sonic games consistently for a very long time. They aren't in some sort of slump, this is just who they are.

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On 11/16/2023 at 6:39 AM, MGA_Gamer said:

Yes, I agree, Dream Team may well be a great game, and yes it may well be what future 3D Sonic games should be. But Hardlight’s games also tend to be much smaller in length and scope compared to what ST can produce (quality notwithstanding). Not to mention most of their games have been released for mobile devices rather than consoles. I know the gap between mobile and console power is reducing, but still.

And there's the problem, right there.  Sonic Team has spent decades trying to figure out how to pad out the length of their games in a way nobody will hate, and the best you can say about their track record is they never again did it in a way as hated as Big's gameplay in Sonic Adventure.  In the process, they have often declined to maintain what worked for them in the past, flat-out giving up on things that people like doing because they assumed it would be too hard.  For decades Sonic Team just gave up on maintaining the approach to multiple characters that worked for them in the nineties, while with regards to maintaining gameplay, they have either constantly given up, constantly faltered, or both.  Sonic Team (Ie, not Headcannon or Arzest) has never again made a 2D Sonic that moves and controls as well as in the SEGA Genesis games, nor have they ever made as much attempt as they had in Sonic Adventure 1 to translate the Genesis level design to 3D, nor have they been able to maintain the heights of the Boost gameplay they reached in Sonic Generations.  This company has what seems like a self-imposed identity crisis, seemingly born of a belief that Sonic, in itself, is not important as an ideal to shoot for.  Instead, Sonic is a property that they perceive a need to keep afloat and use its enormous clout as a way to test out questionable ideas.  Even when they don't absolutely suck, they just make the identity crisis worse.

For the same amount of time, it has basically been everyone else, from Dimps (to a point) to fangame developers to Traveler's Tales to Headcannon to Ian Flynn to the Sonic movie writers to Arzest, who have placed any value in this brand's history and tried to get it back down to the essence of what has been proven to work.  This is now the third time in a row someone else other than Sonic Team has made a game that does what many people have wanted Sonic Team to do, namely, roughly the same physics as in the Genesis games and with the same approach to multiple characters and level structure.  When you apply that approach to a game, yes, you're probably going to get a shorter game.  But that's okay.  A lot of people would rather play a game that's short but they completely like, than play one that's long but the good bits are constantly being interrupted by filler and reckless experimentation.  You could argue those more experimental Sonic games are more memorable, but not necessarily for the right reasons.  And mind you, I am not against experimentation in this series.  I don't want it to be just the basics forever, but we need to break out of Sonic Team's self-destructive mindset that the basics are acceptable sacrifices when they've got a new idea they want to try and new bandwagons to jump on.  Innovations should go on top of the basics, not replace them.

Edited by Scritch the Cat
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2 hours ago, Cosmos Rogue said:

Sonic Team has made 13 3D Sonic games so far, of which maybe six (SA1, SA2, Unleashed, Colors, Generations, Frontiers) are good games. That means in the past decade Sonic Team has made 1 good game in three tries. In the past two decades they have made 4 good games in 11 tries. In the past quarter of a century they have made 6 good games in 13 tries. Less than half of Sonic Team's 3D Sonic games are good! Sonic Team has struggled to put out quality Sonic games consistently for a very long time. They aren't in some sort of slump, this is just who they are.

This is the sort of thing I perceive as dictating values to others. The whole "nostalgia doesn't excuse shoddy design," mentality and that "good" Sonic fans need to accept how broken the games they grew up with are. I actually harsh on Sonic Heroes and Shadow pretty badly but I keep encountering people who say they really cherish those games and they aren't as bad as I make them out to be. I let them have that, it just doesn't gel with me when I play them and see the myriad of control and physics problems they suffer from. I actually wish I could enjoy Shadow because structurally it's the sort of game Sonic Adventure 2 could have been without those other gameplay types besides Speed.

And then for my part calling Sonic Lost World "bad" is underselling it. It's a little strange but it feels worthwhile. I come back to it every so often because I like the setting. The parkour controls are janky but that's probably my biggest complaint other than how the Wisps feel superfluous.

And honestly coming from the other side I'm convinced people hold Sonic Colors dearly because it's a Sonic game that isn't crap. To me the game is forgettable and unengaging.

Universally speaking I really only think Sonic 360 and Sonic Forces meet the mantle of being undeniably reviled. Every other 3D Sonic game has its occasional advocates. And really if you want to be frank you have to admit Sonic Adventure 2 probably deserves to be called out for its lopsided design and how Generations doesn't really hit it out of the park by its component pieces, just taken as a whole does it deliver as a compelling Sonic game.

Edited by SolidSurgeTT
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2 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

And there's the problem, right there.  Sonic Team has spent decades trying to figure out how to pad out the length of their games in a way nobody will hate, and the best you can say about their track record is they never again did it in a way as hated as Big's gameplay in Sonic Adventure.  In the process, they have often declined to maintain what worked for them in the past, flat-out giving up on things that people like doing because they assumed it would be too hard.  For decades Sonic Team just gave up on maintaining the approach to multiple characters that worked for them in the nineties, while with regards to maintaining gameplay, they have either constantly given up, constantly faltered, or both.  Sonic Team (Ie, not Headcannon or Arzest) has never again made a 2D Sonic that moves and controls as well as in the SEGA Genesis games, nor have they ever made as much attempt as they had in Sonic Adventure 1 to translate the Genesis level design to 3D, nor have they been able to maintain the heights of the Boost gameplay they reached in Sonic Generations.  This company has what seems like a self-imposed identity crisis, seemingly born of a belief that Sonic, in itself, is not important as an ideal to shoot for.  Instead, Sonic is a property that they perceive a need to keep afloat and use its enormous clout as a way to test out questionable ideas.  Even when they don't absolutely suck, they just make the identity crisis worse.

For the same amount of time, it has basically been everyone else, from Dimps (to a point) to fangame developers to Traveler's Tales to Headcannon to Ian Flynn to the Sonic movie writers to Arzest, who have placed any value in this brand's history and tried to get it back down to the essence of what has been proven to work.  This is now the third time in a row someone else other than Sonic Team has made a game that does what many people have wanted Sonic Team to do, namely, roughly the same physics as in the Genesis games and with the same approach to multiple characters and level structure.  When you apply that approach to a game, yes, you're probably going to get a shorter game.  But that's okay.  A lot of people would rather play a game that's short but they completely like, than play one that's long but the good bits are constantly being interrupted by filler and reckless experimentation.  You could argue those more experimental Sonic games are more memorable, but not necessarily for the right reasons.  And mind you, I am not against experimentation in this series.  I don't want it to be just the basics forever, but we need to break out of Sonic Team's self-destructive mindset that the basics are acceptable sacrifices when they've got a new idea they want to try and new bandwagons to jump on.  Innovations should go on top of the basics, not replace them.

It's an excellent point about shorter games. I frankly don't have the time for open world monstrosities. I just finished SA1 recently, and that was like 10, 12 hours? Same for SA2. And even those were padded with Big and Mech Tails gameplay. Tried to like Generations, but half of it was Classic, and half of Modern was Classic too. Presumably to lad it out? Goddamn, just give me a short, well polished 3D game.

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Meh, I want a game I can start and stop across several sessions. If it's good I'll put the time in, don't shave off the runtime just to keep the game concise so players see it to the end.

For me perception of length is paramount. Just make the game feel like you spent a long time on it by the end and that'll suffice.

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On 11/16/2023 at 1:30 PM, Wraith said:

*2003

I was barely above the age of a fetus at that time. At least a year old, so I wouldn't know what drugs Sonic took then

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The 10 min tricky final level and then the 15 min (at least) tricky boss without a starpost save for Trip is criminal. Even sonic 4 had that feature. Sonic 2's Death egg / Crystal egg was a straight to the boss affair. This final boss is not an enjoyable or fair experience.

 

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On 11/16/2023 at 3:11 PM, SolidSurgeTT said:

Meh, I want a game I can start and stop across several sessions. If it's good I'll put the time in, don't shave off the runtime just to keep the game concise so players see it to the end.

For me perception of length is paramount. Just make the game feel like you spent a long time on it by the end and that'll suffice.

I'm not saying that brevity is ideal, just that it's the lesser evil when the other choice is a game that pads itself out via contrived means.  Likewise, if a character's abilities make that character fun to play as, then that should take far more priority over whether that character's abilities don't make it too fast and easy to cheese through a level if you know what you're doing, especially since, in many Sonic fans' opinions, learning to cheese your way through a level quickly is part of the fun.  Though for what it's worth, I get the feeling this game's level design will have the foresight that flying and gliding don't feel too overpowered, since it's being designed from the ground up to accommodate three different types of characters.

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11 hours ago, SolidSurgeTT said:

Oh, I didn't know we were talking about Dream Team specifically there. I was just making a generic statement about my feelings on game length.

Well, currently I am, but the same also pertains to Sonic Mania, Sonic Origins (Plus), and Sonic Superstars.

However, bringing counter-examples of why things work less well when they don't do that is also useful.  Most recently, the widely despised killing of Sonic's airborn speed in Sonic Frontiers.  It feels like the only reason Sonic Team did that is that they wanted people to play that game in a very pre-packaged way, being forced to rely on whatever sequences of grind rails, homing attack chains, springs, and other doohickeys that Sonic Team decreed were the way to get to almost any given thing in the game.  Being able to maintain Sonic's momentum in air allows players to bypass a fair amount of that, so the result is a game that is shorter, and arguably easier...but it's also a lot more fun. 

What makes it even more pathetic is that a game with lots of mission objectives is already pretty well-primed to compensate for a character being so fast that normal Point-A-to-Point-B design doesn't last long.  It's likewise little wonder that lots of mission objectives are also part of Dream Team's design.

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So it's probably worth prefacing my remarks here by saying that I have never played a 3D Sonic game.  (Actually, that's not true - I played Lost World 3DS, which had 3D gameplay sometimes.)  But my point is I can't personally attest to the poor game feel of 3D Sonic games... though my suspicion of it is exactly why I haven't played most of them.

Anyway, whilst I'm sympathetic to a lot of the arguments made in this thread and the criticism of Sonic Team... right now, it seems a little presumptuous.  The fact is, whilst Sonic Dream Team looks the part in a way games like Frontiers can only dream of... it's not out yet.  None of us have played Sonic Dream Team, we only have a general idea of how its gameplay works.  The fact is, it might be a disaster, or even simply boring.

And yes I know the premise of the thread is "potentially", but I really just think it's a bit too soon to be judging the gameplay like this.  The visuals, maybe.

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