Shun Nakamura: “The Story [For Sonic Forces] Is Being Created In Japan”

Shun Nakamura: “The Story [For Sonic Forces] Is Being Created In Japan”

by August 3, 2017 27 comments

Sometimes, we miss things. And sometimes, we miss headlines of Sonic stories that were…kind of important.

Case in point, Shun Nakamura has been very open about Sonic Forces on his Twitter account. We’ve heard interesting things from Nakamura on there, and it turns out a couple of tweets that we missed a few months ago were something of much note. In fact, the story itself seems to have been known for months now, and we’ve only just caught wind of it (I’m sorry).

You may recall a few months ago (somehow we caught this and not what we’re writing about now…) that Warren Graff tweeted out his involvement in writing for Sonic Forces. Well, it turns out that the writing may not have been what we thought it was. According to Shun Nakamura, the writing is happening in Japan. This means that Pontac and Graff are not actually driving the game’s plot with more creative reign like in Lost World. Since we already know they’re involved in writing, it’s likely that this more along the lines of translating the script, or being given a general list of how the game’s plot progresses and working with that.

Either way, those who have been not so thrilled about the game’s writing, or even the writing in Sonic as of late, may raise an eyebrow from this news.

27 Comments so far

  1. Hero
    #1 Hero 4 August, 2017, 02:14

    Hmmm, well it’s not nearly as terrible as them being in charge of the whole story, but the fact that they’re still involved in any capacity still worries me (even just one of them). Not every line they make is a winner, in fact 2 out of 3 times they aren’t, there’s only a few choice lines they’ve made that actually stick out to me as being at least somewhat enjoyable and good for the comedic direction they’re trying to push Sonic in. My confidence in Sonic’s writing as of late won’t be fully restored until someone more competent than them is given their jobs.

    Reply this comment
    • Axx
      Axx 4 August, 2017, 15:55

      I don’t think each individual line should be assessed that way. Sometimes the majority of lines are just there to tell the story. It’s not about good one-liners vs bad. There are times even in Colors – Lost World where the dialogue is simply what’s going on and that’s fine. “The more your monster tears through time, the more damage you do to the world!” is simply stating a fact. :p

      Reply this comment
      • Hero
        Hero 6 August, 2017, 15:45

        Yeah but I’m not talking about THOSE lines, those are things I would expect from any story. “Hey, story is happening, let’s talk about it so it’s actually relevant”. That’s a no-brainer. What I’m actually talking about ARE the endless one-liners they keep trying to shove in there, the forced padding into a situation that doesn’t really need it, and the overall sense of trying way too hard to make a statement sound comically over-the-top where it doesn’t need to be and falling short of having it actually be effective in being funny.

        Take the scene in Sonic Colors where Sonic and Tails are noticing the destruction of Eggman’s mind control device going haywire right before the gameplay of Terminal Velocity Act 1. First it’s the expected stuff, “Tails, you notice a thing?” “You mean THAT thing?”, but then Sonic goes into this 10-second diatribe of all the stuff the player can clearly see happening, essentially stating the obvious where it isn’t needed because the players have eyes. Then Tails tells him there’s no time for that and the scene ends with them running off to start the level. The whole joke is supposed to be that Sonic is needlessly yapping, Tails tells him to stop needlessly yapping, but the way it’s handled is so poor that really you just subjected everyone to hearing Sonic give a 10-second long version of “THAT TORNADO IS CARRYING A CAR!” without any of the random unintended meme humor that came from it (mostly cause it was the fans who gave that life) and having no real payoff whatsoever (Tails says what the player is likely saying right now but less ragey? Ssssooooooo funny…..) making it seems like an obvious desperate grab for a joke in a scene that didn’t really have room or need for one.

        It’s not the quantity of what types of lines are said, it’s the quality. Sonic Boom’s tv series is literally filled with jokes and one-liners every couple of seconds, and while no one is looking to that series for their taste of intense action or intense narrative, you can at least say that for a show that gives you almost nothing but humor, it at least gives you pretty tasteful and clever humor. It can be just as joke-filled as a playthrough of Sonic Colors, but the difference is that the quality of jokes between the both of them are miles apart from each other.

        Pontac and Graff’s whole thing is that they supposedly made Sonic “funny” again but they can’t even have a consistent hold on how to actually be funny with Sonic. They occasionally get a good laugh here or there, but most of the time is just comes off as half-thought-out or barely inspired in the first place, and occasionally completely out of nowhere. And the same can go for their attempts at actually covering the story in as straight a manner as possible, a lot of the time it just feels like very bare-bones levels that almost make you beg for the half-assed humor to come back. And then it does, which makes you beg for the straight bare stuff to come back, and then you find yourself caught in this endless cycle between two extremes as opposed to having a true balance in tone and narrative, nothing feels cohesive.

        So yes, not every line they make is intended to be seen as “funny”, some of them are simply “stating the facts of the story”, but that doesn’t excuse those from not being really engaging either. If anything, mishandling those kinds of lines and details can actually damage the base story you have. This shows that they don’t simply have a strange sense of humor that doesn’t mix well with Sonic, it’s more along the lines that they don’t have much of a good grasp on how to either write and balance stories and their tones or even take a story that’s already written and translate it in a way that gets it across the way it’s meant to. Their problems are more than one simple thing, that’s why they’re incompetent.

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        • Axx
          Axx 7 August, 2017, 01:54

          I guess. I can see them being maybe not AS funny here or there, but that game was aimed at a younger audience and so was the humor. So I’m not surprised. I can see a 9 year old laughing at it. It’s honestly not even that bad either, given that it’s NOT that often. Plus we also get childish jokes with Eggman which are pretty great (he might just be easier to write material for) even when Cubot points out that Sonic always beats Eggman like its his job or something, which Sonic restates in Grnerations. I didn’t think it was hilarious, but I felt it was funny enough and gave it a little spunk. I mean I don’t totally disagree with you, I just don’t totally agree either. Probably because the bad jokes are when Sonic’s the most in character.

          Actually, it is the quantity of what type of lines are said. Mainly because quality is one of those types we’re referring to…. The quantity of quality. lol as for Sonic Boom, the humor feels the same with the only difference being the portrayal of the characters. It has a very VERBAL sense of humor. Never hilarious but sometimes funny, sometimes not, and sometimes funny only for kids. Also I don’t think cohesive is the right word for what it lacks in your opinion based on that description. But balance is. Though balance also makes it sound like some forced artificial formula…. Doesn’t mean it is, just that’s how it sounds to me. XD

          Well I mean I guess if we’re accusing the non-comedic lines as not being engaging. I didn’t know this going into the discussion (or I forgot XD) the line I used as an example I felt was decently engaging as much as majority lines in Sonic games in general. See I’m conflicted because I do like certain stories more than others, but none of them are masterpieces, I don’t expect them to be, and I’d even go as far as to say they shouldn’t have to be. It’s Sonic. At the same time, I do prefer an engaging Sonic story, but I think it comes more from the concept and moments that make it INTERESTING rather than the writing itself. The presentation does play a part too tho, so you’re not wrong there. I just can’t help but feel these games’ stories are just not that odd out of the collection. There are things I like, dislike, and things that are just okay. But this is where it all boils for to each their own. lol

          Personally, I think we’ll get more Colors goofiness and a little kiddy tone to Forces, but the concept and presentation are both interesting. And since the dialogue is more natural than in the old days, I feel like that compliments the interesting aspect more than the jokes hurt it. I guess I owe that to the whole team. The designs, the music, etc. infinite is oddly very popular for knowing almost nothing about him. It might not even be much, but it’s just crazy how popular he’s gotten so fast. I think only Knuckles, Shadow and Silver have accomplished that before. Maybe Blaze.

          Incompetence has nothing to do with it. You wouldn’t make it far as a critic. It’s going kinda too far to insult someone’s intelligence because you don’t like their taste in writing…

  2. Kid Kaos
    #2 Kid Kaos 4 August, 2017, 08:26

    Well, This shows some hope, most American Writers unfamiliar with the series are quick to dismiss Sonic as “Kids stuff” for being a cartoony Blue Hedgehog and don’t feel the need to make a deeper more intriguing storyline, While Japanese writers often make more developed stories out of bizarre themes (just look at One Piece, or Kill la Kill. a Blue Hedgehog is nothing to them.)

    With that said,, judging by the footage we’ve seen so far, at least it seems that Graff has taken some of the heavy criticism he received for the previous games, as there was no signs of his usual brand of “Humor” in the E3 Gameplay or Infinite’s introduction Trailer.

    Reply this comment
    • Raw
      Raw 4 August, 2017, 08:46

      You summed up perfectly my issue with the american writing of Sonic, with the notable exception of the job Ian Flynn and co did at Archie.

      Reply this comment
      • Axx
        Axx 4 August, 2017, 15:57

        And SatAM and even Underground to an extent… So just AoSth and Colors – LW applies to this.

        Reply this comment
  3. Raw
    #3 Raw 4 August, 2017, 08:44

    Great news indeed! Personally I’m hoping their involment is minimal, maybe they will only write some jokes for Sonic and Eggman as part of the translation.

    And I need to give credit were its due, some of my favorite Sonic stories were written in Japan, November can’t come soon enough!

    Reply this comment
  4. Dom Greer
    #4 Dom Greer 4 August, 2017, 10:26

    I remember a time when Sonic fans actually liked Pontac and Graff’s writing. It was during Sonic Colors when people were craving a more simple lightweight story. Games like Sonic 06 ruined the fans love of serious stories at the time. Sonic Unleashed started off as a bad story until people started looking back and now Unleashed is seen as the right balance between the fun and the tension. After Colors and as soon as Generations came around with barely a story at all, people began to realize that Pontac and Graff were horrible for the Sonic series and it became even more apparent with Lost World. Now their writing is repetitive and people are missing the action and thrill of a Sonic story.

    Hopefully Sonic Forces can deliver!

    Reply this comment
    • Hero
      Hero 4 August, 2017, 15:39

      I mean, it happens as cycles come and go. Sega and Sonic Team tend to have this bad habit of keeping around one good thing from one game and either doing nothing new with it or somehow take away more and more what gave it life until fans are sick of it and demand the opposite approach be taken…and then rinse and repeat. Until they can learn to actually develop stuff well (take the humor, take the drama, find that perfect or at least near-perfect balance, and STICK WITH IT, don’t try to fixate on one more than the other), we might have to get used to the idea that Sonic might have “tonal tides” every few years. I doubt we’ll ever get anything as extreme in tonal differences as Shadow the Hedgehog or Sonic Colors and Heroes, but we might still have trouble finding that truly Unleashed-like balance of tone that actually feels “Sonic-y” enough until they figure out what the fans have already figured out.

      But then again, maybe Forces will actually surprise everyone and subvert convention in a good way. I almost doubt it because Sega tends to be very stringent on how Sonic is portrayed in any media, but then again the very idea that they wanted to tease the idea that a character is technically faster than Sonic not once, but TWICE (first Shadow, now Infinite.) shows that maybe they are willing to take a little more calculated creative risk with the series. I mean sure, Shadow had Chaos Control and Infinite probably has time-based powers if his name is anything to go by, but the mere idea of even teasing it is still pretty bold by Sega’s standards (I’m honestly surprised they actually let Archie make Eggman defeat Sonic in one confrontation in the comics…ah, the good ol’ days of better Sonic writing…). I still doubt they’ll go that much farther, they still have an understandable yet still unhealthy need to keep Sonic as marketable as hell, but I guess Forces and Mania really will be the true test of whether or not Sega has learned the lessons it needed to over the last few years of failures and half-failures in regards to Sonic and his wider brand.

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      • AManFromDeclan
        AManFromDeclan 7 August, 2017, 03:02

        It seemed like everything was going fine for Sonic, until the Dreamcast ended and SEGA went casual with Heroes and multi-platform games. On one hand, Sonic was finally made available for Nintendo fans who never played or owned Sonic games, but at the expense of consistent plot tone and gameplay. Although people hate to admit this, the Adventure games were decent (outside of 2D Genesis nostalgia). Sure there were flaws, but SEGA could’ve fixed those in future games as time went on. But no, they abandoned that brand in favor of experimental hit-and-miss gimmicks. Then those two games are brought back into light in an era of social media and people who turned their backs on platformers in favor of Call of Duty and the like.

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    • Kid Kaos
      Kid Kaos 4 August, 2017, 22:02

      Giving credit where it’s due, Sonic Colors was indeed a nice break from all that was happening before. After ’06 and Unleashed, there’s nothing wrong with a lighter adventure with less seriousness and lower stakes.

      the problem is that was the Extent of Pontaff’s writing. If Colors was a break, to pick up the pace, Generations should have been the return to action, and while it did in gameplay, it failed in story. giving us the most forgettable of all anniversary tittles in the narrative aspect. (say what you will about ’06, but at least that had a lot of Ambition behind it, and while the story was bad on Sonic’s side, I still think Shadow and Silver’s stories are pretty well done.)

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      • Raw
        Raw 5 August, 2017, 09:05

        Same here, I appreciate the ambition and world building behind Sonic 06 story and I actually like Shadow and Silver’s stories.

        Personally I never liked Pontac and Graff writing, I agree a lighter adventure is nice every now and then but they could use stories similar to the Sonic Rush games for that.

        Reply this comment
    • SSF1991
      SSF1991 Author 5 August, 2017, 04:37

      “I remember a time when Sonic fans actually liked Pontac and Graff’s writing.” Oh. Good. So I’m not alone.

      “Sonic Unleashed started off as a bad story” What’s funny: even after Unleashed had just came out, I loved the story. I don’t think that many people hated Unleashed’s story either, it’s just the Werehog kind of ruined things at the time.

      “After Colors and as soon as Generations came around with barely a story at all, people began to realize that Pontac and Graff were horrible for the Sonic series” After Colors, there was a lot of high praise for them. After Generations, people didn’t necessarily hate the writing. It was flawed, sure, but I never saw anyone hate the story. There was definitely criticism though. People felt the story was a missed opportunity, missing a lot of jokes about Sonic’s past that they never took advantage of (such as Sonic’s Secret Rings/Colors references at the beginning and Tails’ nervousness at the Mega Mack purple liquids at Chemical Plant). Colors and Generations had a low amount of story because, well, one common complaint at the time was that Sonic games had way too many cutscenes. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of people who were surprised to see that Colors would put you right into the game, with no opening cutscene or any real story until a few levels in. So no, the lack of a story in those two games didn’t upset people. It excited them.

      Badly Nosehair was hilarious when Colors came out. However when Sonic says he’s “totally calling him” that, nobody thought he’d actually do that in later games and kill the joke. Sonic and Tails’ friendship was so nice to see in Colors. Just to see the BFF dynamic between them was nice, something sorely missing after years of the obnoxiously serious tone that people were very grateful to see vanish in Colors. And it seemed in Colors that Sonic was actually cocky and his attitude came back, something that, again, we didn’t see much of in years. There’s a reason that Colors did so well, it nailed writing just as much as it did gameplay for a lot of people back then.

      Then Generations came out. People didn’t hate the writing, as I said in the past, but they were critical. It felt like a missed opportunity, rather than the writing being bad. It could’ve been even better. Much better. And the writing was still new at the time, too. They didn’t have a lot of the jokes that Colors had either, like Badly Nosehair. There were some flaws, but absolutely no indicator that the writing would take the route it did in Lost World. Few Sonic fans had reached a point where they felt “Pontac and Graff are crap writers and SEGA should stop bringing them back”. That just wasn’t a prominent thing at the time.

      Pre-Lost World, there was still plenty of people fond of the writing. In fact, when people found out that the Graff and Pontac had been given some more creative freedom with their writing for Lost World, it raised interest. “The writing was so good, and it turned out that SEGA was keeping them contained, so to speak? Then who knows how good the writing would be now”. Then we got Lost World’s writing. And…well…it was still comedy, but the character development and personalities seemed to have changed. Sonic was painted as the incompetent butt monkey who couldn’t do anything right. Tails was a moody, spoiled brat. The only two cutscenes that people praised: Eggman’s anger against the Deadly Six when they taunted him, and Sonic’s depressed feeling of being alone near the end of the game. And of course, they brought back Baldy Nosehair. In terms of humor, it was lacking. You didn’t have Cubot’s voice problems in Colors. You didn’t have people poking at Classic Sonic’s appearance throughout Generations. Lost World’s writing had nothing, except Zor’s writing. And I honestly forgot a lot of his lines. At least with Colors and Generations, I can quote things.

      The problem isn’t that the writing is repetitive. It’s that the actual humor has been lost and it doesn’t have the appeal it did 7 years ago. I’m not sure why, however, people go after every game that Pontac and Graff wrote in. Just because times have changed and Lost World’s writing bombed doesn’t mean Colors and Generations are badly written games. Flawed, yes, but it was brand new writing, brand new humor, brand new everything at the time. It had charm, and man were people very glad to see this writing style after so many writing flops that Sonic had before Colors. Are they bad writers? Well, Lost World gave us their full potential. So their writing is definitely more flawed than we originally thought post-Generations. And it highly depends on your preference of humor. But they have shined. In Sonic Colors, they were part of the “return to form” Sonic had back then.

      It’s like saying Sonic Rush is a bad game because of the boost gameplay it has, due to what became of the boost style in later games. Yes, how things eventually turned out doesn’t please everyone, but that doesn’t negate the charm that the game itself had. I don’t judge Sonic games with other Sonic games. That’s not particularly fair, as times will change no matter what direction Sonic goes and not every game is going to be the same. Even comparing Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 isn’t fair, considering the many things they changed. If a Sonic game is good, it’s because that particular game stood out. It seems the mentality with Pontac and Graff is that, instead of “their writing isn’t as great as it used to be”, it’s “I can’t stand their writing anymore, so everything they did is now crap”. To a degree, I can understand how the writing of Colors and Generations would sour people nowadays after Lost World and the Boom games. But Colors and Generations were almost a decade ago. It was a different time, different SEGA, different Sonic Team, and a radically different situation that the Sonic brand was in. It’s the same reason why I think people are being too harsh on these two games for “too little 2D”. Again…different time, different situation Sonic was in. I just don’t think it’s fair to scapegoat Colors and Generations for later actions that SEGA/Sonic Team did for other games.

      Simply put, Pontac and Graff were new in 2010/2011. Not anymore.

      Reply this comment
      • Sir
        Sir 5 August, 2017, 14:16

        “There’s a reason that Colors did so well, it nailed writing just as much as it did gameplay for a lot of people back then.”

        Colors did well because it was billed as “Unleashed without the werehog.” Its safe to say the writing and overall direction of the game didn’t go over well, considering Lost World (stated to be its direct successor) flopped. And Boom continued the trend of poor performing Sonic titles. You can’t really say it was because of the Wii U either, considering the 3DS versions didn’t do well either. Generations was an anniversary title heavy in Adventure and pre-2010 content, which is why that did well.

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        • SSF1991
          SSF1991 Author 5 August, 2017, 18:28

          “Colors did well because it was billed as ‘Unleashed without the werehog.'” Except no it wasn’t. People actually enjoyed the game.

          “Its safe to say the writing and overall direction of the game didn’t go over well, considering Lost World (stated to be its direct successor) flopped.” Lost World has absolutely nothing in common with Colors, except Wisps, and the Wisps were very poorly implemented in comparison with Colors. So no, it’s not “safe to say” at all.

      • Axx
        Axx 5 August, 2017, 18:09

        A few people didn’t really like the Saturday morning cartoon direction in colors but most people did like it as I recall. So I’m not too surprised that part of the bandwagon happening now includes people saying they never liked that writing since a few of them really didn’t. In generations I think people mainly had an issue with the lack of story rather than the story itself. And I remember commenting about the story and getting a response from the writers revealing that they have more creative freedom in lost world. My comment was in their defense for not having total freedom of the game which they corrected me on. And my original comment was in response to criticism towards them. But it wasn’t really a majority criticism at the time until after sonic lost world. I’ll sonic lost world they’re technically or less jokes but more one-liners and people didn’t like that direction. Some liked that they acknowledged sonics leap before you look demeanor and also those things you mentioned before. But the storytelling was also kind of melodramatic. I mean I wouldn’t say that tails was a spoiled brat but he was a brat for slightly good reason but I’m not a convincing reason. I am also not fond of that sing with egg man you referred to. But that’s me personally, because I just saw that as attempting to be dark and edgy when it was the exact opposite.

        With sonic forces so far the vibe that I get is something like sonic generations if it had more of a plot like sonic colors with a hint of sonic lost world and influence from sonic Adventure two. It’s odd but despite the character models in the game play style that should make having more of a story like this comparable to sonic unleashed, I don’t find this very similar to sonic unleashed at all.

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        • SSF1991
          SSF1991 Author 5 August, 2017, 18:38

          “A few people didn’t really like the Saturday morning cartoon direction in colors but most people did like it as I recall. So I’m not too surprised that part of the bandwagon happening now includes people saying they never liked that writing since a few of them really didn’t.” See, that’s the thing. I’m not saying everyone loved it. It’s just that so few didn’t like it at the time that you really didn’t see much of that. I do recall seeing a little distaste in the game, but you had to dig to find it. So if some people are saying “hey, I didn’t like it from the start” then good for you. But I’m talking about the community as a whole. You appeal to a majority and not to a minority, and it seemed at the time that the majority was okay with things. Hell, there was a lot of love from reviewers about the game’s writing, too. Especially with Colors.

          It just seemed like the general vibe back then was that they liked what they got.

        • Hero
          Hero 6 August, 2017, 16:25

          Instead of just endlessly quoting everyone for the rest of time, I’ll just focus on one thing here. The quality of Colors writing is probably the “best” example of Pontac and Graff’s writing for the series. That said, if you, like me, never cared for their writing, that statement only gets you so far. At best, you either love Colors’ writing or you hate it…or very occasionally, find yourself in some kind of middle ground.

          That’s kind of where I find myself. I like the IDEAS they had going in. I liked the overall vibe of Sonic and Tails’ “bro-ness” through the whole story after Tails took a bit of a backseat in 2006 and Unleashed. Did I like the actual substance that made it up? No, it could have been handled much MUCH better, it didn’t feel natural in most cases, it’s like they had to make up stuff to talk about and half the time it didn’t sound like what I would look for in a “Sonic story”, it honestly felt like a different series at those moments (“I somehow doubt it’s ice cream he’s shooting from those generators”? Where the-I don’t-I can’t- WHAT!?).

          I liked the idea of Sonic having a more or less straight-forward goal that could take him from point A to point B then C and so on without any need for backtracking. I did not like how it was executed. Yeah sure, injecting cutscenes into every little part of the game need not be necessary (especially when the writers you’re working with barely know how to fill out the ones they have already sometimes), but if they were going to try and go for quality over quantity…well, I wanted to actually SEE quality. A lot of these scenes just don’t work for me, a lot of the time they just feel like excuses for jokes that have a loose chance of working half the time. It gets to a point where either I want a better attempt at the scene or I want more scenes to make up for what I feel is lacking from what is already provided.

          Like Planet Wisp? They don’t really do much to fixate on how it’s the Wisp’s homeworld that much, it feels like a footnote. That copyright joke got more attention and coverage than actual interesting lore got in that whole chapter. And where the hell was Yacker during the whole last bit of the story? The tone was getting dark and Tails was actually expressing a legit concern about the little guy, and then he just randomly makes his presence known in the last cutscene after the climax, without any explanation about where he was.

          There’s good footnotes of how to make a good story here but the ultimate execution is very lacking. Sonic Colors to me feels more like a good example of what COULD have been a great Sonic game in regards to both story and gameplay, but for those like me who saw Unleashed as a good balance of both, Werehogs and all, this felt like a watered down version of the best of Unleashed that kind of fought against the player sometimes and good idea of a story and tone with uninspired execution that feels sloppy in many areas.

          It wasn’t doomed from the start but it has a lot of things going against it and it feels like a bit of a disservice to Rodger Craig Smith and Kate Higgens as far as an introduction to new voice actors goes (although it is still better than Free Riders at least). It made it very hard for me to get used to and admire Sonic’s new voice direction when most of the lines he had to say didn’t come across as “Sonic-y” to me. Sure I was able to separate the good lines from the bad over time and now his voice actually works for me pretty well, but I still feel like that game made the transition more awkward for me than it really should have been.

          The argument that it was what was “needed at the time” only works when the problem you claim it’s a solution to is still relevant and recent enough to need recovery for. I feel that period has passed. You only take cold medicine when you have a cold. If you’re cured but still taking the medicine, you’re not only doing something unnecessary, you’re also risking your health and well-being by taking a solution to a problem that’s no longer, well, a problem. The problem with this mentality is that it will just result in the reverse problem happening, people being tired of the lighthearted comedic tone and wanting a darker more series one, which if mishandled to the extreme will make people crave the lighthearted extreme again and the cycle will keep going. Variety is important, I’m not arguing against that, but we have to stop relying on complete 180 degree turns to make things “better again” every 3-5 years, it’s just going to keep making us dizzy.

        • SSF1991
          SSF1991 Author 6 August, 2017, 16:57

          “And where the hell was Yacker during the whole last bit of the story?” Captured by Eggman, I believe. Until you save him in the final boss, that is.

          “The argument that it was what was “needed at the time” only works when the problem you claim it’s a solution to is still relevant and recent enough to need recovery for. I feel that period has passed.” That’s my entire point, though. Half of the things people loved about the writing of Colors didn’t apply to Lost World, onwards, because it had become the norm by then. It didn’t help that we actually got to see the “full potential” of the writers in Lost World either.

          “Variety is important, I’m not arguing against that, but we have to stop relying on complete 180 degree turns to make things “better again” every 3-5 years, it’s just going to keep making us dizzy.” The thing is, it’s hard to not do that when you have built a fractured community that has different tastes and standards on what a Sonic game should be. I do agree that they should be consistent again, but then fans will just ask for something new. So it’s not that simple, unfortunately.

        • Axx
          Axx 8 August, 2017, 02:21

          I don’t know. I don’t really see an issue with that ice cream line Hero pointed out. Not because I don’t have an issue with the line, but it’s also because I can totally picture any of the characters saying that in any of the other games thus far. It also felt like the stuttering reaction typed was a bit exaggerated. Not to be dismissive of that opinion of course. I just see it differently. If that’s how one sees it and how they see all the writing of this style, then to each their own. That opinion is valid to that person’s self because that person can only speak for themselves and the rest of the Fanbase liking or disliking something is not going to have any relevance on whether this individual likes it or not.

          I’m also not sure that I would preferred to lost world as their “full potential” just because they had control over the story. Every story one person makes can be good or bad or somewhere in between. If they wrote a good story they can still write a better one later and vice versa. It doesn’t matter if they have it for creativity or not, whatever they do might be well received or might not. If people generally like to sonic colors with a few people disliking it, and then sonic generations garnered similar response with the story really being criticized as lacking, then the only one that really put them under fire in such a popular way is sonic lost world. Now given that there are key elements to the game that these two riders do not control and the fact that not only is the story with viewed by others and probably tampered with sometimes, and probably follows a Bible of whatever is necessary for the series, plus they actually did research and look up information on past games as well as videos ( which is more than they need to do since they’re not paid for that, despite fans being this please just because it wasn’t more), you also have to consider the direction they were obviously already going and when you look at sonic unleashed, secret rings, black knight, The model designs and art style, and even the CGI animations, that they were obviously going for a more cartoony direction. Sonic unleashed was more like some Pixar film and all the games since then have been like episodes of the show that came after. I’m sure it feels a little different because of that, because of the jokes, and maybe because this is also when we voice actors changed. But aside from that, it feels like this is the direction they were planning to go in with sonic in general with or without these writers.

  5. DTH1971
    #5 DTH1971 4 August, 2017, 15:39

    The stories for the upcoming IDW Sonic the Hedgehog comic book reboot won’t be outsourced to Japan, I guess.

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  6. SSJSonicXX14
    #6 SSJSonicXX14 4 August, 2017, 23:48

    Pointless it doesn’t matter what names are attached when you listen to the horrible endless dialogue during gameplay and that cutscene they put out, it’s the same awful shit no matter what. Stop blaming Graff that’s exactly what Iizuka what Nakamura want instead of fans actually analyzing where these trends started and how the games before Graff were just a different shade of bad writing, you’ll only get better stories and writing in these games only if these 3 individuals aren’t involved, my personal solution is that storytelling through lengthy cutscenes and dialogue should be nuked from orbit, there are other methods of telling a story then just repeating how SA did it, why does a arcadey platformer based around speed need boring cutscenes where characters just stand around talking to each other, the gameplay tends to be more cinematic and action packed than anything ever shown in their fully scripted cutscenes and that’s hilarious when you think about it, if they can only fix this by having a studio like Blur do them like Unleahed’s opening then limit them to be the only cutscenes.

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    • Axx
      Axx 5 August, 2017, 18:22

      Since it is a video game I kind of sort of makes sense that we don’t like the cut scenes of more than the gameplaying so I’m not sure what your point is. The only way that I can see the cut scenes really needing to be that great on the standard you were talking about is if half of the cut scenes are interactive like you are playing a movie which is something more like the last of us. However, when you said that there are other ways of executing cut scenes besides just how sonic adventure did it, it did have me thinking that occasional interactive cut scenes would be interesting as well as cutscenes that seamlessly transition from gameplay to cutscene and back rather than all cutscene being in unplayable locations. In that case hub world’s would still be cool in a Bioshock or Green Hill Paradise kinda way.

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      • Tomoki
        Tomoki 5 August, 2017, 19:02


        Seamless transitions between gameplay and cutscenes, I feel, would be a good solution for the pacing in the stories of Sonic games. The closest we have to that in a 3D Sonic game is Sonic Adventure 1, though even then, it wasn’t quite *there*. A great example of games with seamless transition between gameplay and story would be the later entries of SEGA’s own Yakuza series; Yakuza 5, Ishin!, 0, and ESPECIALLY Yakuza 6. There’s some quick set up and dialogue, and then you’re quickly thrown straight into the action.

        Just look at this early demo for Yakuza 6, the transitions between gameplay and cutscenes flow pretty much seamlessly.

        I think if Sonic Team can pull off a similar seamless transition in Sonic games, the games would flow better in general.

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        • Kenan
          Kenan 6 August, 2017, 17:15

          While I do have a fondness for some of the more ‘slowed down’ cutscenes in Sonic games, I think the sentiment of seamless transitions might be worth looking into. Heroes and the Adventure titles were quite like that, where the characters were already in the stage but they always kept things moving, while spouting the story relevant dialogue. Sonic characters, designs make them very dynamically stable and the animators on the team have gotten much better over time.

          A mix of CG scenes; either outsourced (Blur) or in-house (Marza Animation Planet), in addition to dynamic ingame cutscenes balancing the dialogue with the movement might be an interesting direction to go in. That doesn’t mean throwing out any slower cutscenes entirely. They add quite a bit to a story if used well. That’s just my two cents though, theory and practice are two very different things.

  7. paulojrmam
    #7 paulojrmam 6 August, 2017, 15:14

    This is good news. Or, at least, hopeful news.

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