Trolls, Who’d Have Them?

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I always used to think that there’s a stigma with The Sonic Stadium that I had real trouble shaking off. The perception that myself and the writers here are ‘retrofags’ and that we bash on every new game that comes out without a word of reason. Seeing some comments fly around over the last few days, I’ve come to realise that it’s not me, or TSS, that has the problem. It’s a group of people that are otherwise known as ‘trolls’.

Trolls are people who try to ignite flamewars for no apparent reason other than the fact that they want to get a rise out of you. Their arguments make no sense, and they lower themselves to swearing and incessent idiocy. When you argue back, they argue more, causing a massive flamewar. If you do anything else, they’ll complain that you’re not allowing their opinion or voice to be heard.

Well, after having a brief influx of trolls on this website, I have decided to knock it on the head here and now. Anyone trolling on this website will have their comment removed and their IP blocked. This is a website that celebrates the Sonic series, and we don’t want anyone destroying the atmosphere for the rest of the Sonic fans that enjoy this place. Don’t confuse this with disagreeing with an opinion or review on TSS; you’re still allowed to voice your thoughts. Trolls don’t have opinions though. They have flamebait, and the mind of a basement-dwelling child.

Take our recent review of Sonic and the Black Knight. Apparently, I should not have written anything at all, despite the fact that I am obligated to write a report on it (for one thing, I’m a games journalist as well as a Sonic fan; for another thing I received a copy from Sega on the grounds that I reviewed it). Trolls think that the problem of awkward games will just go away if people stop talking about it. But if you’re not enjoying a game, why should one say it’s good?

Also hilarious is the notion that we hate every new Sonic game that ever comes out. OK, let’s review some of the games that we did enjoy then: Sonic Chronicles was received very well, Thumbs Up for all except Sound. Sonic Rush Adventure got a 10/10. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, 7/10. Sonic and the Secret Rings, 8/10. Even Sonic Riders got an 8/10… it’s really hard to argue that case all of a sudden, isn’t it? Continue reading Trolls, Who’d Have Them?

“TSFs” Follow-Up: A Comment Worth A Read

Yo, we had some good talkin’ goin’ on in the editorial on the “true Sonic fan,” but one comment was so good, that I had to point it out and share it with another post.  No surprise here, as it’s by TSS’ founder, Svend Joscelyne (Dreadknux).

@Umiyuri – “I actually feel like the one person in the fandom who doesn’t deserve to be there because I can never find any reason to say I hate a Sonic game, when all the obviously proper ones such as Svend and you can’t ever seem to find anything you like.”

Cough. Can I ask you to read my reviews on TSS? My review of Sonic Unleashed has been praised as the most balanced review online. And I’m consistently making balanced reviews like this, since the site’s opening in 2000. I don’t like how people seem to think we’re always negative about the series when we have a pedigree of being the most fair and positive.

By the way, a Black Knight review is on the way.  I can’t promise the best, but I can assure that it will be worth a read.  Svendy writes some good shit.  Anyway, as Svend speaks some more, he talks about the misconceptions of people about Sonic Stadium’s direction in this more personal blog system.  If your name is “Edge,” it’s probably relevant to your interests:

You guys honestly think Brad and I keep ‘harping on’ about games’ faults in our posts because we’re being serious? Heck no. We’re just having a laugh. We can write sniping comments about Silver’s stupid head till the cows come home, but that doesn’t mean to say we actually hate the character. You guys have just got to lighten up.

(This isn’t a dig at you, Umiyuri – you’re actually OK, but) I wonder if all the people who take pot shots at TSS actually have any reading comprehension over the age of 12?

The point of the article – and something Brad quite expertly pointed out in his last comment – that there is no such thing as a ‘true Sonic fan’. As others have posted in this comments thread, every Sonic fan out there is going to have a like or dislike that differs to one another. I like Sonic Spinball, but I know people like Brad will likely kick my arse for it. But that’s OK, because that doesn’t make me any more or less a ‘true Sonic fan’ than him or you or Bob up the road. :)

Side comment: the music in “Toxic Caves” is the jam.  I will only play Spinball through that level for the song alone.  Otherwise, yeah, he’s right.  I hate on that game pretty hard, but we’re still friends (despite never meeting in real life).

The people who call themselves ‘True Sonic Fans’ or similar are in fact closer to non-fans than any of us, because they exist to force you or others into thinking that “you must like all new Sonic games irrespective of actual quality” or “you must hate all new Sonic games irrespective of actual quality”. And as I stated before, that claim cannot be levelled at TSS because we’re funny with it, not serious.

I never thought that we’d have to “clear the air” with this format, but I guess we’re in the Sonic community after all.  I got tired of firing back at the reactive members (mostly the TSFs) of the community through stories a while back and it has been much more enjoyable.  Take my advice on that one and let’s start to have some fun here.  Pretend that it is Summer of Sonic and everybody’s nice to each other.

Back to partying, O.K.?  Who likes “Kool & the Gang?”

Oh, and since we’re all about misconceptions here.  “Slingerland’s Corner?”  A character (and not an original one at that).

Editorial: Paging True Sonic Fans

tsfWhy do people in the Sonic community take such offense to low review scores?  Anything 69% and lower is like a kick to the nuts to some.  I’ve seen people react like the reviewer had just murdered their parents.  While video games are an expensive endeavor, cashing in at $50 or $60, that doesn’t seem to be the point of contention with the “true Sonic fan,” which, by the way, is a derogatory term to the lot of us here.  The “TSFs” are more concerned with the reputation of their furry, blue idol than whether or not it’s worth a purchase, rental, or pass.  They probably have already bought the game and have beaten it three times over before the review is out, so they could care less for a recommendation.

It begs the question: Why do the TSFs care so dearly about other people’s opinions, especially the dissenting ones?

The TSFs have played the game and absolutely love it, so what does it matter to them that everybody else hates it?  If I could capture one of these creatures, put on a lab coat and study its ticks, then I would know the answer.  Sadly, it remains a mystery why these embarassments of Sonic fandom do what they do.  We can only assess from the asinine things that they post in forums and comment boxes.

A recent trend in the community is this obsession with whether or not a reviewer finished the game or not.  While I agree that a reviewer should play the game thoroughly, the need to 100% complete a game is asking too much.  How many review sites finished Grand Theft Auto IV before reviewing it?  I doubt that any of them did.  Most times, if you’ve seen first half of a game, the second half is bound to be similar.  Does IGN’s Matt Casamassina have to play the final moments of Black Knight?  Would the game’s true ending redeem all of the game’s shortcomings?  I highly doubt it.

A much more prominent argument of the TSF is the necessity to call people out on their preference to the classic titles, going as far as stating that the Genesis Sonic titles “suck.”  It’s always amusing to read that comment, as it lacks any context whatsoever.  Without Sonic’s successful Genesis days, which were popular for their innovations to platform gaming and contrasting attitude to Mario, the new-generation Sonic wouldn’t exist.  By referring to those games as “absolute crap,” one basically erases Sonic’s current lineage of games.  Sonic would be lost in the 16-bit generation, like Bubsy, Sparkster, and other attitudinal, platforming mascots.

What’s funny about the TSF’s cries for respect to the new-generation is that us editorial folk have to love every Sonic game.  When the TSFs preach that to us and follow up with “the Genesis games suck,” they’re contradicting themselves.

The “classic backlash” from the TSFs could also be attributed to the perspective of the authors of the Sonic-related articles and reviews.  The people who are articulate enough to write for these “important” websites are in their late teens and beyond.  Most of us are in our twenties.  As a result, we grew up with this character.  It’s something that has to be understood by the chronic complainers.  When they’ve reached a point in their life when they’re old enough to have a firm grasp on their respective languages, they can write articles about how Sonic Unleashed was a triumph of this generation for TSS, IGN, or some other video game website.  Secondly, the “too old for Sonic” argument doesn’t really work.  The charm of the character is supposed to appeal to everyone, regardless if you’re 12 or 40 or whether or not the game is “designed for kids.”

Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.  If IGN does not like the game, that’s their prerogative.  If you like the game, then that’s your prerogative.  Telling a site how to do its business is an exercise in futility.

Not everybody is going to be happy with Sonic all the time.  One cannot coarse a fanbase so large to think uniformily.  So, if you like Black Knight, then good for you.  Don’t go looking to pick fights with the opposite viewpoint, because nobody wants to see that.

Better yet, nobody cares.

Brad wrote this review not in defense for IGN or review sites, but for the sake of peace and sanity.  Picture credit goes to “Sonic-Fan-Rater” at DeviantArt.