I need to make an admission. Yes, I have been just rushing out a lot of my posts lately. Even to this day, I have limited internet access, usually about 3 days a week. Lately,7on’t have the energy to write. I dont enjoy writing short posts as it’s a waste of space and time. Many of you all will find trailers of these games on your own anyway. 😛 I haven’t really given much time to reflect on anything last week.

With E3 going and so much…. crap to talk about, there usually isn’t a lot of time to discuss these games and what they’re doing right or wrong in such a short window. But I notice that often times people don’t want to hear about old news or games unless there’s a specific format for it, or if the game is actually released and playable. And as it stands, the only areas I care about as of right now are Sonic and Nintendo, so unless something catches my eye otherwise, those 2 areas will be the focus of my next few posts.

I look at videos for Sonic Mania pretty often. More so just skimming through comments of what I now see as hyperbolic praise. Then I find one commenter critcisizing Chemical Plant, which I personally felt was the only old zone that had any effort put into it. He went on about how pointless most of the new additions were (the sticky walls, I think), and that the developers were wasting their talent on nostalgia. I don’t see it his way, and I think he or she is speaking from the standpoint of baggage. A decade of being served crap does that, though his/her points shouldn’t be discounted. Any info you gather either it be analyzed or purely opinionated can be useful. Regardless, you have the usual nonsense bickering going on as a result of this. And of course one commenter goes on with the tried and true rebuttal of “Sonic fans complain too much! Why can’t they just be happy!? Sega is givin ’em what they want!”. 

I… am utterly… sick of this same catch phrase being spouted everywhere you go where even the slightest hint of negativity is met with derision. Now we’re getting to a level of parody where criticizing a sonic game is taboo simply because… one game, one that hasn’t officially hit store shelves even, looks so familiar to the shit we hold so closely from our childhoods. This estranged stance comes from being easily satisfied and rarely ever swayed. Coming from one with an untrained mind to see what is right or wrong with anything. But more so, it’s evidence of a lack of empathy. Gamers don’t care why other people like things so long as it doesn’t step on their toes. Entertainment is an ego driven industry, it has everything to do with making you feel good. Anything that’s intrusive that feel good experience is met with unbridled hostility. This is why you have more players complain about ugly women in Mass Effect Andromeda than the actual problems the game, because they can’t make believe they’re having sex with someone who is attractive. But that’s another issue altogether.

 I will admit, to this day I’m still baffled by how anyone can enjoy Mario Puzzles to the degree that they wait 5 hours standing in long lines just to play five minutes of a game, but i’m not completely blind to see why many enjoy the Last of Us so much. A gripping story, stunning visuals, zombie apocalypse, most of the enemies being blackeven the ones with obvious white redneck voice acting (fuck you, Naughty Dog) but understanding why people don‘t like something is actually pretty easy. I’ve said in the past that people don’t think when they see no problems. Their brains are turned off temporarily. A problem is something humans instinctively attempt to resolve. So of course, people explain the problems they have with certain media more astutely than those who enjoy, they take the time to think about these problems. If you have no problems with Sonic Mania, and you’re on a medium by which you do not care about other’s problems with the game. These catch phrases are merely a result of you trying to resolve a problem that you see by way of deflecting critcism. Because to you, this guy stepped on your toes. 

As for the rare individuals who find this catchphrase to be a legitimate question, this is for you.

The latest trailer for Sonic Forces was released showing gameplay segments from a video where Webber and some other morons dressed up like sexually repressed nerds try to demonstrate the 3 styles of gameplay. Essentially being a trailer of a recompiled video… along with new cgi footage of old villains as well as one new character who seems to be a combination of Mephilis and Midna from Twilight Princess. And that is simply confirmation that… this year is the year of Sonic Fanservice

This is possibly why we still haven’t seen much of the games as fanservice titles don’t have much in terms of an incredibly thin premise as an excuse to pack as many crowd pleasing elements as possible… with the exception of Zavok. I suppose that’s fine, I just don’t know how to feel about it, honestly. I get the sense that the plot will be a repeat of Generations. Robotnik finds some magic fuck and messes with the fabric of the universe just to beat Sonic. Doesn’t leave much to anticipate if Green Hill and Egg Dragoon are any indication. Idk. Before this trailer, I figured this might’ve been an alright Sonic game. Now, I don’t really know. 

Either their marketing is a complete failure, or they have no idea how to draw people to the franchise. You don’t simply rely on cheap fanservice as a means of drawing in old fans. It worked for Street Fighter 4 because at the time, Capcom actually built trust with their fans by making quality games (or so their fans say). After 12 years of mediocrity, Sega has no such leverage. What exactly is gained from shoving in Chaos 0, for example? This… “character” has no established popularity with the fandom. Neither does Zavok or anything resembling that godawful title of whence he came. Is it some petty acknowledgement that SA1 merely existed? Is it some cheap way to pander to the now labeled “Adventure” fans? And I’ll get to why that denotion irritates me so much. Having Shadow would be enough. I’m expecting Tikal at some point, perhaps as some side mission to rescue Chaos from mind control or some shit. 

But therein lies an issue that’s been bugging me. You see, Chaos 0 and Metal Sonic, Shadow… these guys were all introduced around the same era. Zavok is the only fresh kid on the block. Sonic Forces was touted as a game that would… appeal to newer audiences, yet they shove in content that only the shrinking, existing audience would be familiar with. I don’t know what the plot would be, but one would guess that it could be a more in-depth Generations or something akin to Hyrule Warriors where you get summarized chapters of each Zelda game. Meaning for Sonic, you get content that only the old guard would recognize. Xenoverse comes to mind, as those game also include a CaC and brief chapters of all the different saga’s. 

Still, this isn’t anything close to being offensive unlike the last 4 insults of 1 lost mind and 3 busts. And its refreshing to see people looking forward to the games, even if it’s just the old guys. But the inclusion of Chaos, Shadow, etc. Is iffy for a number of reasons. This brings me to Sonic Mania… again….

As has been stated before, Mania and Forces were blatantly intended for 2 different audiences. Mania for those who grew up in the 90s, and Forces is for everyone else. You wouldn’t know it with the shit music they use to promote Mania. The whimsical music is not at all appealing to anyone who grew up in the 90s or anyone that was raised on more than Disney crap. The 90s, for kids, was when everything was trying to be XTREME!!! Everything was all about being cool, being edgy. The only whimsical horseshit you got was from Disney cartoons, PBS or otherwise. But for many of us who lived and breathed that era, everything was XTREME!!!! Sonic the hedgehog, whether it started it or relished in it, was absolutely a product of the times. And the music and happy meal atmosphere of the pre-order trailer alone is an unfamiliar stench. 

It would be appropriate to say that this game was geared toward the “Classic Hipsters“. These college bred, pseudo intellectual dipshits who thinks Disney, Pixar, and Nintendo are the only standard of all cartoon animals, and who probably fawn over the rebooted Ratchet and Clank movie/game. These hipsters who only see Sonic 1 and 2 as the only games that matter when representing the classic era. The only justification (no matter how much of a stretch) being that those 2 games were and still are the most successful Sonic games in history. And the games themselves didn’t start getting “edgy” until 93 with Spinball and CD, but if all you listened to were these damned hipsters, you’d think Sonic 1 was the only game that existed! However, the way this series was presented in those first 2 years along with Sega’s own identity as the cool kids were validated via future games, SATam, the archie Comics, and yes…. the Adventure series. These hipsters, and SOJ, would have you believe that the Classic era was just rainbows and fuzzballs. SOJ is probably being passive aggressive if that interview is to be believed. 

The logic behind Mania and Forces assumes that fans who played the 2D games instantly gave up on the series… in 1998. Where they got this logic, I will never know. None of us found shit wrong with Adventure to any degree that would make us say piss to this franchise. Many of us loved Sonic Adventure! The music, the visuals, the story, the feeling of a Saturday Morning cartoon that you could play… and because giga pets were a thing in the 90’s, we LUV’D Chao Garden. For a 3D Action Platformer in a world surrounded by Mario 64 ripoffs, it was the right kind of deviancy we loved and expected out of this series. That was Sonic’s real quality. It’s ability to stand out from the rest and still manage to captivate. Sonic of the 90’s and early 2000’s was a deviant little franchise. At least until Mega Man X, most action platformers didn’t have an edge to them, or content that was anywhere near as interesting as Sonic.

Hell, the Adventure games are more “classic” than half the piss that came out. If anything, the Adventure fans are Classic fans. They enjoy these games for the same damn reasons we do. When the content was still good…. And wasn’t trying to rip off Mario or Ratchet, other 3D platformers that are enjoyed for reasons people go to play those games, not to play Sonic, it was an enjoyable franchise for all the factions. And I’ll get to why in just a bit.

There was no real hard division amongst the fandom until Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors. The real split Is hard to say as being a generational phenomenon as newer fans haven’t come in to compensate for disinterested fans, which would explain why Boom was made in the first place. So what is this split? Why, the Classic fans, the Modern fans, and recently, the Adventure fans! We’ve categorized ourselves into different sectors which detail our likes and dislikes. And… it’s honestly the biggest fraud we deluded ourselves into thinking was legit. You see, the fandom didn’t diferentiate itself with the desire to identify each other’s preferences. It was to identify scapegoats for our pent up frustrations with being ignored by game companies.

Back in 08 or 09 I can’t fucking remember, Megaman 9 was released to much undeserved (and looking at those sales, invalid) fanfare from the industry as well as the fans. The amount of hype where MM9 was… mythologized if you will, was no short of outrageous. And Capcom was this unstoppable trend-setter for game developers, we had Capcom to blame for enemies with long health bars to show off sweet combos (DMC), those QTEs people are sick of (RE4), the increased frequency of fighting game update packs (SF4) and damn sure they are responsible for the hipster retro indie craze that’s long overstayed it’s welcome. By now, everyone was expecting their favorite developers to give their franchises the same treatment. And Sega was no different. This was when Sega stopped being original in their content and started copying business trends and gameplay from their competitors. This was when Sega stopped relying on the deviancy that Sonic games thrived on.

When Sonic 4 was announced, there was also a level of significant fanfare from the fandom and the media alike… before the game was released. After Unleashed became an embarrassment and a crushing blow to Sonic fans, everyone was desperate. S4 came as this beacon of hope for jaded fans, much like Mania today. But…  not….everyone was happy. Some fans had stated that Sonic didn’t need to go this route as there were 2D games were already on handhelds (an unspoken rule at the time as people didn’t take 2D games seriously anymore simply because of technological bias, I guess) and did not need to take priority on consoles. And this is where the back and forth BS begins. Or escalates. Classic fag, Modern fag, w/e the case may be, you had fans that wanted 2 different things. One wanted the series to move forward, change for sake of, and the other wanted validation from an industry that openly shuns them online. You see, all this crap about “gameplay” that the ahem…. Classic fans parade about these days isn’t out of some actual belief about a game’s quality, Sonic games don’t sell on gameplay, but because they wanted to act like they knew what they were talking about… to a community and an industry that knows fuck all about why people play games in the first place. Mega Man 9 and Nintendo games at the time were being praised for gameplay rather than relying on graphics to sell to people, even though graphics saved Nintendo from a perpetual ass beating in the early 90s, something that Nintendo fans gleefully deny out of delusion. Because Nintendo was finally successful again despite having an underpowered console that was ridiculed left and right. Mega Man 9 being reduced to 8bit graphics was, to the idiot Nintendo fans, validation of their purchase of a Wii console. Capcom was huge in the 2000s. If you didn’t love Capcom, something was wrong with you. Having them validate their choice in the Wii was a huge win for the nintards. And the Sonic fans looked with pure envy. They saw all the shine that Capcom was getting, and after the embarrassment of Unleashed, the Sonic fans wanted that.

you see, sonic fans didnt care about getting a Sonic game to go back to it’s roots. As everyone will tell you, we were still getting 2D Sonic games on handhelds. Sonic Rush even sold well. But because they were devoid of any real content, they go ignored. 

 These fans were tired of sonic being a laughing stock for 3 years. So they went on tirades trying to justify the mediocrity that comes simply by talking about how “gameplay matters”. This was a bad habit they picked up from Nintendo fans and the industry at large. Gameplay only mattered because Nintendo had nothing else to show for it except blind devotion. No CD format, “gameplay matters”. No dvd playback, “gameplay matters”. No decent online features, “gameplay matters”. It didn’t matter to Sonic back in the 90s, and it doesn’t matter today. Sonic games are gameplay focused and no one buys them.

Because Nintendo was merely being praised at the expense of Sonic, and the fans are sick and tired of it. I sure as hell am. And with Nintendo fans carrying baggage from all the asswhoopins their favorite publisher got from Sony, all the trolls from Sony fans, and the pent up frustrations from being laughing stocks for several years, any easy target they can get is good enough for the salvation of their egos. All these tropes in internet game communities come from frustrations that gestate and explode at a moments notice. And no, I’m not justifying death threats to game developers, that level of insanity is it’s own can of worms.

Either way, Generations comes out and the same fans who want the series to move forward are again pissed and start targeting the fans who want validation, blaming them for turning the series into a nostalgia fest. Gamers tend to butt heads with each other, vying for the focus and attention of game developers like some sick mating ritual because they think developers honestly make games based on what the fans want. Regardless, Generations became this template for how the fandom divides itself into 2 groups. The Classic Fans just want 2D Sonic, and Modern fans want 3D Sonic. This is/was a very narrow-minded way of looking at themselves, being as disgruntled as they are, they only create this divide to sever any associations they have with each other, and all they do is beef. 

Recently, an “Adventure fandom” was officially designated by the fans. Maybe cause of 2 lousy HD ports, maybe cause of a Facebook page, somewhere in there is more passive aggressive slants against themselves. Mark my words, there will be “Edgy fans” for hearing praise for Sonic Unleashed or cries of wanting the series to grow it’s balls back. “Pussy fans” for chanting that Sonic is for kids.

All the while…. the ones who enjoy more than just a fraction of the games, no matter how unfeasible that may seem with the horse crap from 2010 and up, are left without a voice. They’re either categorized or ignored. And people of all groups have  natural desire to belong. But in doing so, they subject themselves to tribalism, and begin disassociation from people they consider undesirable. “Choosing sides” if you will.

You may say “So what? The fans are being knuckle heads, how does that affect anyone?”

I don’t know. It shouldn’t be a concern of mine or anyone else’s.  Fandoms are always an endless pit of debates and stupidity where common sense is considered a fool’s errand. And yet… Sega is feeding into this nonsense! 

Thats the entire point of both of these games. Because Sega has bought into the fandom’s delusions that all Sonic fans want super-specific styles of games! It would’ve been simpler to maintain a level of consistent content, but idiots don’t use logic. Here, they feed into this nonsensical lie that classic fans don’t like Sonic Adventure and all the shit that came after, and because Sega themselves have such a low opinion of the Sega genesis, Mania is stagnate in everything except the visuals. Meanwhile, Forces, being intended for the rest of the fandom, includes a post-apocalyptic future with returning enemies and a character creator. This is all to o reminiscent of Nintendo’s treatment of 2D Mario, especially in terms of the “dress physics” debacle. 

But that’s neither here nor there, the problem is the intent of appealing to broadly defined fans. Nevermind that other companies who have tried this usually end up with one brand selling over the other 90, Sega openly declares that the games are designed with specific tastes in mind. It sounds nice on paper, but that creates an assload of issues. One side might get jealous of the perks the other side gets and maybe try the game to find that they don’t enjoy the gameplay, physics, level design, lack of playable characters, lack of customization, etc. Or worse, you have one game selling more than the other, and then you are left with the option of killing off one series over another for less resources used and more money gained, and that creates more division, more baggage/frustration, and you’re left with less customers than before. Trying to please everyone will never be a substitute over knowing how to please everyone. Sega shows no capacity for doing just that. Knowing your audience is one thing. Dictating them is another. You’re essentially defining what the fans enjoy with a move like this. And we all know why this is terrible. A business exists to make money, but it isn’t out of thin air. It is from living, breathing people.

You’d think they would take cues from Yuji Naka, him wanting all audiences equally to enjoy the games he makes, in regards to Sonic Heroes. Unlike the errand boy Iizuka who’s balls are about as cruked as his teeth.

Sure, it’s not a big issue. Nothing is stopping you from buying both games (except maybe internet access), but it says something when the people making the games are outright proclaiming who they are for. That is something for the Market to decide. Not to mention such proclamations assume there’s even a market for the games in the first place. And with damn near every bridge Sega’s burnt down thanx in large part to their blind love of Nintendo and chasing a failed merchandise venture, I doubt either of these games will make a penny. There is simply no faith in Sega.

So if Sega says that Mania is for the “Classic fans”, I would hope they recognize how tall of an order that is. Most of us are reaching our 30’s. 2-3 jobs. Rent costing 1 Grand a month for most apartments. We don’t have the time or money to validate your narrow-minded views of your customers. That is if you haven’t chased the last bastion of them away trying to pony off of the latest business trends in merchandise to stupid kids like Cartoon network and their mantra of “sell toys to dumb boys“. And then when your genius scheme failed, you come running back with some fan production with a price tag, hoping to win back your now jaded fans for a quick buck, and then have the gall to declare that…. a specific game wasn’t meant for us. That just says to me that you still don’t respect your customers. And when you don’t respect money, you don’t deserve one cent. 

We go out and bust our asses everyday for what measly chump change can get us through the year. All of which usually go to food, supplies, children! The fact that anyone has any care in the world to hand you $60-70 dollars for a plastic disc or gigs of data that doesn’t contribute one rat cent to their lives outside of junk entertainment… should be treated with gratitude! Instead of being swapped in and out for who you think is gonna make you easier money. Where’s the respect in being a substitutional commodity? I know we love the excuse of “it’s a business”, but far too often we use this excuse for practices that, 9 times out of 10, don’t make much of a profit anyway. This is just doing anything they can to make money. Mania and Forces lack ambition, meaning there is less risk. None of this horse shit about “oh Sonic can’t be as popular as GTA!”, it’s manipulative marketing to tell the fans to lower their expectations because theyre not gonna be bothered making an unforgettable experience. But they want up to $70 for some goddamn toys! Why can’t Sonic fans just be happy“? Because dammit, we’re tired of being jerked around!

Also, if Sega really cared about making a good 2D Sonic, they wouldn’t be so carefree as to pawn off Mania’s development to foreigners. They’re far too racist and bigoted to allow some random baka gaijin to come in and “show them how it’s done”. But that tells you how little they really care. 2D Sonic has been pawned off on random developers since 2003, they clearly don’t enjoy 2D Sonic games, or hell, 2D games period. People like Koji Igarashi are a rare breed in this industry. 

People like to chant “Sega should hire Taxman permanently!” Or something along those lines. They see some pretty visuals and assume he’s good for the company. Nay, good for the franchise. If his interview wasn’t reading off a script, I wouldn’t trust him to save anythingHe admits defeat the moment he is pegged for questions about what he thinks is best for the series as a whole. You want to build good faith for this series, and you can’t do that with someone lacking in confidence about the viability of the series hes involved with. No one puts out the time, energy, and money on a game they didn’t think would make a decent profit. Except perhaps Nintendo. 

 Don’t take this as me attacking the games, i’ve said enough about them (for now), and as i’ve said before, they don’t look like bad games. They may be better than what I’m giving them credit for. That remains to be seen. am criticizing the logic and intent behind these games. There may be people within Sega that have the consumer’s best interests in mind. It’s the top brass that usually holds em back. Course, with such a Severe lack of transparency with the company, that is still hard to prove.

And of course Capcom puts black panther in the deluxe edition, using thr movie hype to boost sales of the more expensive version of the game. Seems those bastards are having a relapse.