Everyone’s gaming childhood resonates with a particular franchise. There’s Street Fighter, obviously Mario, PacMan, or for the new generation of Emo gamers, Final Fantasy 7.
Me? It would have to be this guy.

It’s the “chubby” one

I don’t think anyone can deny how influential the Sonic series has been when it came to games. Well… maybe you could given his sour reputation in the recent years. But he started the trend of “animals with attitude”. I doubt we would’ve had Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Sly Cooper, the Ratchet and Clank games, etc. if not for the original blue hedgehog.

And we all know he would kick Mario’s fat ass into the curb.

There’s something to be said for a guy whose reputation went down the shitter and still came out as the most requested character for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. And  no matter what, people will not stop buying his games. We can over analyze and criticize people’s tastes all we want to, but Sonic won’t be dead…. yet.

Sega is in a bit of a financial peril. While I attribute it to Sammy buying Sega up and making them develop pachinko machines that lose them money, it can be argued that crap software sales are killing them too. It’s good to hear that PSO2 is doing well for a franchise that’s been getting it’s ass kicked by Monster Hunter on the PSP and abroad.

I wonder why

But aside from that, seeing how Sega is very fickle when it comes to Anarchy Reigns in the West, these financial troubles must be terrible.

It’s not hard to imagine why Sega’s in this mess. Afterall, they killed themselves with the Saturn, and ran out of money on the Dreamcast.

But money is a crap excuse 😛

Truth be told, Sega has been in a financial slump after the DreamCast, so they allowed Sammy to buy them up…. just to continue losing more money than ever before. How the fuck did that happen?

Who knows? Maybe it’s the same reason Ark Systems were desperate to buy the Guilty Gear license from Sammy. Pachinko companies being evil viruses that cannot seem to do good things with arcade companies.

Sega’s money problems are why we would usually see yearly releases of Sonic games from 2004-present. Considering that Sonic Team has to produce several other games alongside Sonic games, the drop in quality is evident. Games are rushed, mass produced, and treated like shit to make money. Sonic Team is like a sweatshop. Just look how close all of these years are. I don’t know who makes all the decisions, but he needs to be fired.

But… that’s not what upsets me.

Sonic 4… is.

Fuck you, Sonic 4

I don’t hate that Sonic 4 isn’t a complete throwback to the originals. I don’t hate that the game is a shallow ploy to get nostalgiatards to break out the jacksons for the game. I don’t hate the fact that the physics aren’t 100% accurate like the hardcore pretend to care about. I don’t hate the fact that Sonic has green eyes.

What I do hate… is this shit.

TORCH PUZZLES!? NOOOOOOOO!

I don’t know… for the life of me… what kind of asshole thought this shit would be fun. In Act 3 of Lost Labyrinth, there is a fucking puzzle where you need to light torches at the right time and order to progress. Do you know how long it takes to get the timing right for this shit!? It’s infuriating! Another thing I hate is this shit.

You will not be find of what comes after he takes a dive in the aquatic mines.

In this part of the level, you are trapped in a water box. You are suspended in the middle of the puddle under water. You cannot move or breathe. So you need to tilt the area to the right so that this can happen.

I CAME!

Sorry. Anywho, this doesn’t seem bad, but after you get passed that god damned torch puzzle, you come to ANOTHER water pit. Whats worse is the exit has a group of spikes pointed right at you. Everytime you tilt, Sonic will move slightly towards where you tilt. So again, you have to be very careful in tilting this section. But those spikes will scare you. You get hit, you won’t be able to retrieve your rings, so what you have to do is tilt to the left to give yourself some room, then tilt all the way back again. If you touch the spikes, you lose rings and the room RETURNS TO IT’S DEFAULT POSITION! Obviously, if you touch the spikes again, you’re dead, but you need to hurry up because Sonic cannot breathe under water.  So this is a puzzle that you are stressed to finish, but it requires some work that takes even more time than usual.

THAT’S NOOOOOOO GOOD!

Then I realized this game was the brain child of Takashi Iizuka, apparently one of the few original Sonic Team members that came up with an idea to challenge gamers back in Sonic 3, his first Sonic game. What was that challenge?

Oh yes!

That fucking drum that became infamous for many Sonic fans back in the day, which could only be solved by moving the Dpad up and down on the drum. Well, that takes care of the complaints for why “game saves are evil”.

Takashi Iizuka was also the main man behind Sonic Heroes. You know, the game where “Team Work” was just an excuse to have you stop rushing through a level because of a locked door, switch to a certain character and solve a bloody puzzle just to progress. He was also the director behind Sonic Adventure DX’s Mission Mode, where every mission was esoteric to the brink of insanity? Shadow the Hedgehog? I think Mad Matrix speaks for itself. That and Central City.

What’s the recurring theme with all the Sonic games made by Iizuka? There’s a puzzle that interrupts the action aspect of the game. Suddenly, Shadow’s bad reception makes more sense than before!

Takashi Iizuka… is the Eiji Aonuma of Sega!

But I doubt he’s the only one.

The Japanese seem to have a hard on for puzzle games. They inject some bullshit “mystery” for the players to solve when all people really want to do is go through a game without having to stop the action.

Why can’t I just run away from zombies!?

I said this before in a previous post. Action-stopping puzzles are NOT FUN! AT ALL! A gamer’s WORST and ABSOLUTELY LOATHED MEMORIES FROM A VIDEO GAME… is a puzzle. THere’s a reason that fucking drum is so infamous to this very day. We couldn’t progress not because of a particular jump, not tough enemies, not a challenging boss… but because no one knew how to solve the mystery of that fucking drum.

And they just kept doing this. Action games DO NOT NEED PUZZLES! If I play God of War, Lords of Shadow, or even the damn Werehog, DON’T MAKE ME SOLVE A PUZZLE TO PROGRESS THROUGH THE GAME!

Puzzles like Tetris… are fun. Puzzles like Panel De Pon… are fun. Puzzles like Total Collapse on Iphones…. are fun. Why? Because they are puzzle games AT THEIR CORE! Needing to figure out what paintings I should mix and match to open the next area in RE4? LOATHE ENTIRELY!

And may Ra strike vengence upon they who put THIS SHIT in an action game. Right RE4 Ashley chapter?

These bastards just CANNOT HELP THEMSELVES! Why do we need this shit in action games? Hell, even the small, not so puzzily puzzles ruin the experience. How many mech levels require you to search for a switch back in SA2? Why were the Gamma levels way better than the mech levels? Gamma just went through everything blowing shit up… aside from the Hot Shelter Stage.

No one likes Treasure Hunting because it’s a fetch quest (amplified by needing to change gravity or use rockets to get to high places or raising water levels…. that kind of shit.) Silver’s levels in 06 were the definition of puzzle action (whatever action there is). Werehog levels. Why does no one like them? How many levers did you need to pull? Switches you needed to press just to get a barrel of water to kill enemies a certain way?

Why was Sonic Colors and Generations more well received than Unleashed? Why is Sonic 4 being shat on? I think the answer is obvious. Action is being halted just for the developers to experiment with puzzles. Puzzles in certain levels kill the desire and motivation for a player to play through a game again. At least most of the time. I know some people are children and can’t articulate what’s wrong with a game until they hit puberty, or they’re fanboys that outright deny that something is making them shelve the game.

But… that’s not what really bothers me.

I received this interview via email about Takashi’s development of Sonic 4 Episode 2. As typical of Nintendo’s horse shit, Takashi waxes poetic about how they made the game, that kind of shit. At first, I wanted to play Episode 2, until I read this shit.

“Whether you’re playing alone or in co-op, the Tag Action is a necessity for you to clear the game. The design of the levels have been created with Tag Actions in mind. That really shaped how we designed levels.”

Great. Thanks for saving me money. I would NOT want to play Sonic Advance 3 all over again. What was this asshole thinking!? The Team system wasn’t the most loved aspect of Sonic Heroes. Despite that it could’ve been the Sonic game everyone would love, this team system caused the game to have mixed reactions due to the team play being a necessity to complete levels. Infact, that’s where most believe the true rot of the franchise began. That’s not even including that you have to play through the same 7 levels 3 more times just to complete the whole game, the “cooperation” of one player action is driven home.

But read on.

“When playing with a friend in particular, you have to time these moves just right – it really encourages communication between players and we think that will be a very fun experience.”

Except that isn’t good coop gameplay. Another game had something similar to this, I think it was “Cookie and Cream” for the PS2. Not a lot of people remember that game, but both players had to do things on their side of the level to ensure the OTHER player could progress.

Yeah, it’s not exactly similar, but that’s the impression I’m getting when he says this part. Good coop would allow both players to strategize different ways of tackling a level, not ensuring they time specific moves right in unison. It’s probably fun for a kind of “Genuis World Records” gong show for people to show off, but as a general game you just want to play to pass the time? No. Just no.

But this is the good part.

“Sonic CD is a game that the fans had always asked to be brought back… the problem is that it’s a really difficult game to port or emulate!”

So difficult, you ported it to the PC, Gamecube, PS2, and remade it currently for digital release (why you needed to make a new engine when thegame was ported to Gems wonderfully is BEYOND ME!). Why is Sega the only company that has problems porting their own shit? Capcom had no problems porting SF2 to the Commodore 64! Does it look and play like shit? Yes. Does that mean you can’t port to consoles like this? NO! They built the damn shit from ground up. Infact, why haven’t they ported Knuckles Chaotix yet if they can go and remake this?

I’ve never seen a game company that has bitched and moaned about not being able to port their own shit. It boggles my mind. You have the software and technology, and you should have knowledge of your own hardware to make it work on a different platform. How did we get Sonic Championship and  Sonic CD at 60 frames per second!? Don’t give me that clear water bullshit from Tidal Tempest, the game runs smoothly!

The PC version of Sonic CD was STILL GOOD! Just because it had lower frame rates doesn’t detract from it’s quality. And hell, the Wii isn’t underpowered to the point of absurdity, yet every new Sonic game produced for it runs at about 30-40 frames per second! Even Sonic Unleashed which is just a broken old hand me down! Cut the bullshit, Sega. You didn’t care!

“[Painful laugh] Hmm… probably not. People aren’t as vocal about Chaotix as they have been about Sonic CD. So at the moment I don’t really have any strong feeling or obligation to do that.”

Not many people even know Knuckles Chaotix exists. That’s another reason.

I like how he talks about obligation while continuing to shove puzzles into Sonic games, ruining the reputation of the franchise.

But here’s the quotes that break the camel’s back.

“So we really wanted to drive home the idea that this is a continuation from the Mega Drive era, in a way that was really easy to understand. To do that, we thought the best way was to present familiar stages, and show some consistency in that sense. That’s probably why Episode 1 likely came off as something of an homage to the past games instead.”

I think he’s confusing Sonic 3 as being the only Mega Drive game out there. How the fuck is a TORCH PUZZLE consistent? It’s consistent with the drum in it’s frustration and deterring difficulty. Many people just gave up after that shit fest. I don’t recall any shitty puzzles in Sonic 1, 2, or CD. And before all you jackoffs come in here with your corrections, yes, I KNOW CD wasn’t on the MegaDrive, dipshits.

“In Episode 2, we think that players really got that message. They now know that this is a continuation of the Mega Drive games, so we can do new things. If you think about it, it’s a 50/50 split between making sure we’ve got stuff in there that people will recognise as classic Sonic design, and also providing completely new experiences.”

Oh Amma! Sega must really want to be like Nintendo! They’re actually taking inspiration from the company’s practices during the Wii cycle! “Lets give gamers want they want, just to get on their good side!”

“Ok! Now everyone loves us! Lets go back to doing shit WE want to do now!” *Makes Wii U*

“During this period, that was missing – there were too many branches of play styles and mechanics, and as a result people didn’t know what was going on with Sonic or what he was really about. I think that caused a lot of confusion with the fans.”

And that was your fault, jackass. Weren’t you the director behind Sonic Adventure that started the trend of branching gameplay styles?. Your fucking name was listed TWICE just so people would understand! You were also the director for Sonic Heroes, which just furthered that crap. You want consistency, yet you’re going to change up the gameplay of Sonic4 Episode 2!? I… don’t… erg…. WHAAAAAAAT!?

And what confusion? People were just getting PISSED OFF! They ask for one thing, you give them that and then something else that sets them off! People wanted Shadow to have his own game. NO ONE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A GUN! They weren’t confused just because they hated what they asked for! You gave them a nasty surprise that ruined what they wanted. Same thing with Sonic 06. You decided to RUSH THE FUCKING GAME FOR THE HOLIDAYS! And ruined everything. Now thanks to that busted ass Amigo system, people were DEMANDING that Sonic be the only playable character. But the real reason was because THE AMIGO SYSTEM IS SHIT! So now you give Sonic fans Sonic as the only playable character. But then you secretly add Sonic himself as a new playable character IE Werehog. People were pissed off again! And then Sega had the gall to say they can’t please their fans. WHAT… HORSE SHIT!

Personally, I liked Shadow and Unleashed, but I cannot overlook the facts. The games were flawed… heavily. And that’s because Iizuka wanted to experiment with Heroes. Other devs in the sonic series were the ones really confused. THEY didn’t know what the fuck to do. But here’s the truth. You want to go on about “consistency” now because you have no choice. You find something that the Sonic fans actually love and now you’re giving them what they fucking want. And you know why?

BECAUSE YOU’RE LOSING PROFITS!

You NEED to make Sonic fans happy because your own stupidity is costing the company billions! Consistency my ass! Look at this shit!

“Ever since getting involved with Sonic Colours, going through to Generations, Episode 1 and now Episode 2, I’ve tried to make sure that this question of what Sonic fundamentally is has been answered, and is consistent. The essence of Sonic is what we’ve been trying to clarify, and drive home to people. Now that we’ve done this, I think we can actually start thinking about spin-offs and branches of the Sonic gameplay.”

What an arrogant son of a bitch! He’s essentially saying “good, we made them happy, lets go back to not giving a fuck anymore!” You… fucking… jackass! He’s poppin all this good shit about consistency, BUT THEN GOES ON TO SAY “Fuck it! Lets jut do what we want again!” He practically ignored his entire interview and said fuck it. He doesn’t even care anymore!

How DARE you call yourself a game designer! I expected this shit out of Nintendo, but YOU!? NO! When Nintendo fucked up, Sega was a company I could go to for relief! But this is just low. I’ve never seen or heard of someone so blatant in his insulting and arrogant attitude! Sonic fans, though retarded, deserve better than this shit. What this means is we won’t get more Sonic Colors or Generations. No, we’re going to get more Heroes, Advance 3, Tag Action bullshit so he can experiement with his own desires of game design.

I swear, the more I learn about Sega, the more I want to quit gaming forever.

Advertisements