It happens often in real life but rarely on these pages however the article that my esteemed colleague; MrJohnSherry, published the other day had me frowning in disagreement. He gave a valid and candid critique on the state of the Sonic franchise, but at the same time I feel that he misrepresented the loveable scamps adventure and so I’m here to try to add balance and to give you guys another take on the ‘Sonic Forces’.
First up was his analysis of ‘Sonic Forces’, the game previously known as Project 2017, while he was spot on in saying that the control of Sonic looked absolutely minimal; what he failed to mention is that the scene that was shown was chosen because it is graphically impressive. I look back to days gone by and I remember my first peak at ‘Sonic Adventure’ – the first thing I saw of this game was a sizzle reel made up of set pieces and intro sequence. I was blown away by the Orca chase; words cannot describe what this one scene did to me as a gamer. It seemed as though the future had finally arrived. Incredible!
Why am I talking about this?
Because SEGA knows spectacle is what moves units; they choose their set pieces as show reels of their Sonic titles – not because they show a vertical slice of gameplay but because they look amazing. The ‘Sonic Adventure’ series often robbed the player of control in exchange for amazing set-pieces; what I saw from ‘Sonic Forces’ wasn’t a “simple runner” but a spectacle section in an adventure platform game; a modern take on the orca chase if you will.
The creators of ‘Sonic Forces’ have real experience with the franchise too; they designed and made the two best 3D Sonic games (Colors and Generations) and while neither were flawless they were undeniably good games. A combination of their pedigree and the time they have been afforded in the creation of ‘Forces’ means that I have no doubt that there will be detailed, complex courses that will challenge platforming skill as well as reflexes.
The scene they have chosen looks incredible! It’s not mind-blowing like the orca chase was but it was impressive and exciting; imagine what they could create here – a rollercoaster style Sonic that we fans have been crying out for!
Finally I think that sherry has done SEGA a real disservice in the last paragraph of his article – specifically when he states that “SEGA want to tell Sonic fans what they want”. I do not believe this to be true, at all. SEGA have listened to us on numerous occasions; first was with ‘Sonic Unleashed’ and the side scrolling sections, then they attempted to build on this with ‘Sonic 4’, they ditched the unnecessary “friend” characters with ‘Sonic Generations’ and now with ‘Mania’ they are (hopefully) delivering a golden age Sonic title.
SEGA have paid attention to what we want and they have tried to deliver! Sure there have been some questionable decisions thrown in there, but this is SEGA and it has always been the most idiosyncratic of all the games companies (yes even Nintendo) in fact; it was this trait that led to its demise as a hardware manufacturer.
Furthermore I truly believe that somewhere in the DNA of modern Sonic there is a great game!
If we could get a team together who truly love SEGA’s heritage and Sonic the Hedgehog we could get a truly great game out of the character. We know that’s the reason Taxman & Stealth were hired for Sonic Mania – but maybe, just maybe SEGA has seen something in this current Sonic Team that suggests they have the ability to create a classic game.
All that I know is that I am absolutely confident that between these two games, we will see a brilliant Sonic game in 2017…
…we may even see two…
…one of us will be wrong here, and while the victor will enjoy the spoils the loser will eat humble pie.
How do you view SEGAs two Sonic games this year?
Are you confident or worried?
Do you even care anymore?
Tell me in the comments/facebook/twitter!