Sonic Frontiers

Bluminescence

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Open world is like the next thing in video games

First Zelda did it, then Mario, then Kirby, and now Sonic
Dude, Zelda didn't start the open world trend, lol, and it has been a trend before Sonic. It followed in the wake of games in the midst of the genre's popularity, following releases of Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, the countless Ubisoft radio tower games, Burnout Paradise, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Witcher III, Skyrim, Xenoblade Chronicles, the list goes on.

Anyway, I can't say I'm a fan of what I've seen so far. On top of being yet another open world game and no gameplay shown off, the environments look pretty painfully generic, it looks like an Unreal base template map. While my impressions of it are better than, say, Pokemon Legends Arceus, there's not really much to glean out of it other than, Sonic is getting chased by robots and there are environments that look like they've been directly taken out of another game. I'd like to ask myself, what is there to do in those environments? Will they be just typical Sonic platforming segments just strewn in huge distances that take forever to get to, like an extreme version of Sonic Adventure's overworld? Will Sonic's sense of speed providing a satisfying way to get across the world?
 

Neku Sakuraba

Currently playing Paper Mario 1
It's obviously in its early stages but I'm very intrigued by the idea of an open world Sonic game. And the story is being written by Ian Flynn, which is a huge plus. I'm cautiously optimistic.

But I gotta say, I have zero confidence in the Switch version running well lol.
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
I'm going to try to be cautious with my hype for this game, but if there's one thing I'm happy about. This is absolutely going the be the most ambitious Sonic game in a long time. Perhaps since the first Sonic Adventure, I know we don't know alot about the gameplay still, but just the confirmed concept of a Sonic going just about entirely open world has so much potential. Now whether it hits any sort of that potential is to be seen and I'd understand the skepticism.

But ever since the failure of Sonic 06. Sonic has coasted on spin-offs, and then played it safe once they found a relatively popular gameplay engine for Sonic and proceeded to use it for more then a decade (That is the day stages in Sonic Unleashed that would later give birth to Sonic Colors, Generations.... and I guess Forces too). But a Sonic game that provides an open world gives the idea that this game will have more freedom then the Adventure games. I love both Adventure games, esspecially SA2 with all my heart, as they are indeed the most freely 3D Sonic games out there. Though I am very aware that most of the levels are pretty linear. Frontiers has the potential to reach new heights for 3D Sonic that surpass the relatively beloved Adventure games. Which comes with it's own fears of Sega's ambittion blowing back in their faces and then proceed to have to try to go into a safe space with Sonic yet again. But the fact they're even trying something we wouldn't expect out of the Sonic franchise, even if it feels like it's following a trend just feels like a massive weight is off.

I know many of the more classic fans are craving some sort of Sonic Mania 2. But I do feel like fans of 3D Sonic are due a new game we're allowed to appreciate. I see no reason why we can't have both a great 3D Sonic game while at the same time those into the classic style still get their branch of the franchise. If Frontiers hits the right notes, it could provide what's felt missing in the Sonic series at least in the minds of those who grew up on the Adventure titles. And having a well-liked writer in the fandom is certainly good news on that front, though I understand completely that it'll come down to gameplay details to see where this game lands.

This is the first time in a while for the Sonic franchise we can't just say "Oh, it's another boost game" or "Oh, it's a spin-off". Lost World may have been different but it felt more so experimental rather then ambitious. It's also not trying to be something from the past. This isn't Sonic Adventure 3. This already feels like the freshest take they're taking 3D Sonic ever since they went with their first try (Not counting Sonic Jam and Sonic R) with Adventure 1. There's reasons to be both excited and concerned. But for once it feels like Sega's actually bringing their mascot into truly new territory,

Perhaps the name of the game is fitting, because this really is... a new frontier for Sonic.

Whether the end of this frontier leads to Sonic being more lost then he was prior, or actually brings him to a glorious payoff at the end of the forest remains to be seen. Either way though, this is going to be one hell of a ride.
 

Bluminescence

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I'd hate to disagree with but I don't think Sonic going open world is necessarily ambitious, especially since open world is a common trend nowadays. Sure, maybe the open world can make them experience new additions to the Sonic franchise as well as potentially take advantage of his speed, but we also had instances where it was poorly pulled off and it was just another open world game that treads on all of the same things typical of the genre. The most jarring example of a series that attempted to shake up its gameplay apart from other games with an open world is Dynasty Warriors 9, and it failed miserably, and I'd really hate to see Sonic Frontiers turn out to be something like that, just another game where you traverse across huge amounts of nothing, doing repetitive busy work with copy and pasted missions throughout the map, and activating "radio towers" to access more parts of the world.
 

Neku Sakuraba

Currently playing Paper Mario 1
I thought people were joking about the BOTW comparisons, but no, apparently Sonic Frontiers is copying Zelda. Okay.

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Bluminescence

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It's not copying Zelda nor Breath of the Wild, it's copying generic open world tropes....
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

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I'm not impressed with the trailer at all and I have fairly low expectations for this game running in. I don't know why the BOTW comparisons when that game was jumping into the open world trend that's been saturated thick by *bis*ft especially during the mid2010s (which BOTW was part of), similar to the FPS saturation that ran amuck in the mid-late 2000s. Frontiers is actually late to the party. Very late to the party. Anyhow, open world games have been trending for the past few years, some hits (Yakuza, GTA V, Red Dead Redemption, Saint's Row, Horizon Zero Dawn, Ghost of Tsushima, Witcher 3, BOTW) but MANY MANY misses (Tony Hawk Ghost Recon Breakdance, Shenmue III, Dynasty Warriors 9, Mafia III, Watch Dogs, AssCreed annual launches, Far Cry annual launches, Fallout 76, Anthem). There's so many ways you can screw up an open world game and a ton of open world games tried to advertise big worlds, but fall into shallowness and also way to reliant on tropes such as signal towers, tons of crafting shit, tedious traveling for doing simple quests, crappy repetitive fetchquests, and bandit camps.

Furthermore, the Sonic Team has little focus on what it wants to do with its games and its lack of confidence and overreliance on gimmicks has shown itself in games like Sonic Lost World and Sonic Forces (and remember Sonic Unleashed, remember Sonic Black Knight). I believe this game is just going further into Sonic games' tendencies to lose a lot of focus and just throw crap at walls and see what sticks. I don't like the visuals, which look pretty bland, or how the game is framed as an "epic" thing. Why should I have any confidence they can pull off something completely different from Sonic, and pull it off well, when they can't even master basic Sonic gameplay?

There's no gameplay shown for this, just a bunch of scrolling offputting landscape with offputting melodramatic music, despite this releasing next year, which I ask, what's going on? I'd expect a later release for what meager footage we have.

I don't actually really care if Iann Flynn is writing the story for this or not. What matters to me is a good game.
 
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SonicMario

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The most jarring example of a series that attempted to shake up its gameplay apart from other games with an open world is Dynasty Warriors 9, and it failed miserably,
There's so many ways you can screw up an open world game and a ton of open world games tried to advertise big worlds, but fall into shallowness and also way to reliant on tropes such as signal towers, tons of crafting shit, tedious traveling for doing simple quests, crappy repetitive fetchquests, and bandit camps.
That's the entire thing though, the fact Sega's even trying a style for Sonic that could easily go wrong. When for more then a decade they generally stuck with what was safe with the Unleashed day stages. (Aside from Lost World, which was more of an experiment more then anything. I didn't personally hate it but I understand it got mixed reception).

And being late to the party isn't necessarily a bad thing... as long as they took notes on what worked and what didn't in the genre. I know having confidence in anything Sonic team is often a fool's errand, and I completely understand the skepticism behind it.

But I still want to say I'm happy enough they're taking this kind of direction that potentially breathes new life into the franchise instead of just trying to have another Sonic Generations or another Sonic Colors. By the time Forces rolled around I was already kind of getting bored of the boost gameplay. I'm not saying I want specifically an Adventure 3, but I wanted a new Sonic game to have a little more freedom in 3D levels then the boost games allow you. Since for the most part you speed through the 3D sections in Colors, Generations, and Forces fast. And you have a good chunk of the game that's actually in 2D.

Meanwhile this looks to be an actual truly full 3D Sonic at a level not even the Adventure games had.

I don't expect to convince either of you or anyone that this is a guaranteed good game. I have my fears as well, but I also think there should be some understanding on why some fans will be hype regardless. Yes there's a chance it results in Sonic fans getting burned yet again. But it actually feels like the biggest gamble Sega's taken the franchise in a long while. Where as much as Forces also didn't get that good of a reception it was more of a slow burn since it was just another average game and if you wanted a better game in the boost style. Those who already owned Colors and Generations could just keep playing those games.

I've never been a Sonic fan too into classic titles, and I understand those who are probably really want a Sonic Mania 2 to happen soon. But for those of us that grew up in the Adventure era where while the Adventure games do have their flaws . Those 2 games are still the closest to a real speedy 3D action platformer. Ever since Sonic 06 failed, Sega's been too scared to death to ever try at something even remotely close to the Adventure style.

For fans like me that have been waiting for Sonic to feel like he's actually running through a world, rather then really long hallways. There's potential we can have some form of hope for. Whether that hope is misguided, only time will tell. And I understand experience and history doesn't currently look too kindly. on the current state of affairs. But Sega could have easily just made this yet another boost game that will at least get generally 5/6 out of 10s like Forces did. But they actually went for something where the general consensus is it's being compared to f'in Breath of the Wild. Even if the open world trend is much older then Breath of the Wild, Just mentioning a Sonic BOTW is going to raise expectations. And I know there's a good chance they don't meet said expectations. But if this can be a solid 7/8 out of 10 kind of game. They can take notes and have this brand new 3D Sonic style that could certainly get improved upon in sequels. I would not be surprised if some things are rough at first with this game just like how Unleashed had the day stages but certain things bogging it down. But this could at least be the start of a new direction that those who have wanted a fully 3D Sonic game have been waiting for.

Again I understand the skepticism entirely, but I also feel like there should generally be some sort of balance in giving reasons why there will be at least some optimistic takes and excitement for what's coming next. I'll be on the cautious optimistic side on this. But for those who aren't impressed yet, I hope they can at least understand how people can be excited nonetheless for what this game could be. I know sharing a skeptical opinion can help a friend temper their expectations. But understand that the game going pretty obviously fully 3D plus hiring a fan favorite writer is enough of a start to make people happy.

If the game turns out as bad as you fear, the time will come for those to vent their disappointment and hopefully comfort after yet another dud. But it'll be ultimately Sega's fault should things go downhill with this. Regardless if you can point out red flags such as not much gameplay yet, the comparisons to BOTW will have an expectation that Sega will have put on themselves. And if it fails spectacularly, This may be the straw that breaks the camel's back when it comes to the future of 3D Sonic on whether Sonic going 3D has something of a future at all. There's reasons to be both excited and scared. Like going through an adventure through a dense forest. There could be beautiful sights of nature and experiences you'll remember for the rest of your life. But understandably being wary of the dangers and downsides of trekking an unknown forest. Where the future of 3D Sonic could find itself lost forever if nothing goes right.
 

Fox McCloud

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It's obviously in its early stages but I'm very intrigued by the idea of an open world Sonic game. And the story is being written by Ian Flynn, which is a huge plus. I'm cautiously optimistic.

But I gotta say, I have zero confidence in the Switch version running well lol.
The Ian Flynn thing makes me a little more optimistic. I'm really just not a fan of Ken Pontac's work, so I'm glad we'll be getting a different writer this time. As long as the story attempts to be sincere instead of hollow or, even worse, excessively cynical and meta, then I'll be willing to accept whatever it is it has to throw our way.

That being said, right now all we saw was a CG-I cutscene, so I think it's a bit too early to judge anything other than the potential general direction the game is going to go. I'm not the most optimistic gameplay wise, and I do think that the more realistic approach to the environment might not be doing it any favors, but I'll wait until I see trailers that actually have gameplay before I decide on whether or not whatever they're going to attempt is a good idea.
 

supermariofan

Dry Bowser
Sonic has done open world-ish games before, but never Elder Scrolls and GTA level which is what this game seems to be going for judging by the trailer. Although being a Sonic game no matter how “open ended” it seems there could be invisible walls and won’t rely on side quests.
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

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But I still want to say I'm happy enough they're taking this kind of direction that potentially breathes new life into the franchise instead of just trying to have another Sonic Generations or another Sonic Colors. By the time Forces rolled around I was already kind of getting bored of the boost gameplay. I'm not saying I want specifically an Adventure 3, but I wanted a new Sonic game to have a little more freedom in 3D levels then the boost games allow you. Since for the most part you speed through the 3D sections in Colors, Generations, and Forces fast. And you have a good chunk of the game that's actually in 2D.
Maybe I'm just an outsider with not enough information regarding the Sonic franchise but they're trying so hard to try to get new ideas and not really using their strengths to their advantages. Generations and Colors were solid games, but not fantastic mind you. Their gimmicks haven't been developed. I don't think throwing the table overboard and going for ambition is going to work in this game's favor. This is far from the first time the Sonic series is doing this, and they're doing this again???

For fans like me that have been waiting for Sonic to feel like he's actually running through a world, rather then really long hallways. There's potential we can have some form of hope for. Whether that hope is misguided, only time will tell. And I understand experience and history doesn't currently look too kindly. on the current state of affairs. But Sega could have easily just made this yet another boost game that will at least get generally 5/6 out of 10s like Forces did. But they actually went for something where the general consensus is it's being compared to f'in Breath of the Wild. Even if the open world trend is much older then Breath of the Wild, Just mentioning a Sonic BOTW is going to raise expectations. And I know there's a good chance they don't meet said expectations. But if this can be a solid 7/8 out of 10 kind of game. They can take notes and have this brand new 3D Sonic style that could certainly get improved upon in sequels. I would not be surprised if some things are rough at first with this game just like how Unleashed had the day stages but certain things bogging it down. But this could at least be the start of a new direction that those who have wanted a fully 3D Sonic game have been waiting for.
Their expectations are way too high IMO, I fear is setting up for failure, and also the comparisons to BOTW again highlights general lack of awareness regarding open world games. (one article says the towers are like "sheikah towers" and I was like "..... you mean Ubisoft radio towers") BOTW follows several blueprints of open world games, as I said earlier, but it introduces new ideas and is praised for its puzzles and physics manipulation (at least from Great Plateau as I think most of the game is just brute forcing lol) as well as combat. Why isn't this compared to like Horizon Zero Dawn? I don't think people are even aware of it, that's why.

Open world games require a lot of thought and care being put into the entire world's structure. It's a really ambitious project to undertake and it's probably going to require really intensive development and deliberations that I have very little confidence the developers will be able to pull off. If you do expect sequels to improve on this idea, well it's optimistic, but Sonic games have never really been able to stick with an idea and roll with it and refine it in later games, usually just tossing out everything next installment. Imagine if they actually build on Sonic Generations than do this Forces nonsense with SOME of Generations's stuff but introduce a new villain and an avatar with the crazy weapons or whatever.
 

Redktan the Robeless

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I was always someone who saw Sonic: Lost World, specifically the 3DS version, as at least the best Sonic game I’ve played, although that isn’t a high bar to clear because the other Sonic games I played the most too were Generations 3DS, Secret Rings, and Boom: Shattered Crystal, as Lost World 3DS still had a feeling of completeness that each of the other games didn’t have as much. I didn’t even mind that the levels were much longer, as it added a feeling of a larger scale to them as well as depth even though some of them had flaws. So I am going to have the same attitude here; I will outright like if a lot of this game isn’t based on being quick and easy to beat, but want Frontiers’ areas to have more depth than say Generation 3DS or what I’ve played of Forces so far.
 

Bluminescence

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Some gameplay footage. I'm still not too impressed with the game, I have fear it's going to be this big open world with nothing to do in it. It's also already copying open world tropes, you see that hamster wheel thing as the Ubisoft to open up new areas, so I can't wait to see inevitable bandit camps and spread out collectibles that can be cryptic to find, as well as copy and pasted busy work. Plus the combat...not sure what to make of it so far, it could have the same issues as Sonic Heroes making enemies a bit too bullet spongey for their own good and slow down gameplay considerably. Also, no other playable characters is a bit of a let down too, let me also explore the world as Tails and Knuckles.

At least the music sounds like a nice change of pace.
 

Matz

Super Star
The game looks rough, though they'll probably flesh this out a bit. I think they should step back a bit with that art style and go with a more Generations art style. Also, the popping seems to be a big issue.

But what I'm worried about the most is the actual gameplay. The world looks empty. I mean, half of the gameplay they showed off today is just running. There doesn't seem to be a lot to do. I don't care if they have to delay the game, but they should make the game more fun. Just take Sonic Utopia as an example: first off, there's actual momentum, and there's a lot to do, even in these open world areas. They should give Sonic more to do than just... run through the island's terrain. We don't want the game to be a faster Death Stranding with better controls.
 

Redktan the Robeless

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This game looks like it could be good, but I don’t care for that it does the “piano must play without any sort of melody” cliché
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

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Welp it's not like the footage I've seen alleviated my fears or changed my sentiments since my posts a while back (in fact my post seems spot on) but I guess I wasn't shown a bandit camp. The pop-ins were something I immediately noticed. Bad vibes. The footage also bored me, with mostly running, some basic puzzles, and really bland (though pleasant maybe, like a windows xp wallpaper) landscaping with really contrived looking distracting rails to indicate obvious areas of interest, which take you out of the game kind of. The way the player approached these obstacles even seem planned ahead; just imagine tackling these obstacles at different angles and also missing rails and stuff.

Sonic doesn't seem to translate well into the format, or at least the developers have done nothing to convince me it can work
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
I'll just say this. It's already been confirmed multiple times that this 7 minute clip is not all we're getting this month. In fact, Friday will give us a look at the game's combat. And who knows what else they may show off the game.

I understand of course that Sega doesn't deserve the benefit of a doubt. But I feel the reaction that I've vaguely heard about is a little too extreme (Not calling out either Striker Mario or BLOF's constructive criticism. But I've heard that there was quite a bit of overreactions to it elsewhere.) Like I said before, I'm under no belief that this game is going to be like a new crown jewel of the Sonic series. But I love that Sonic will finally be free-roaming in areas rather then the tight hallways of the boost games where even in the best of the games (Generations and Lost World) it's a lot of hallways and not much wiggle room to have fun Sonic running in any more places in the so-called 3D space other then forward.

Even if it's obviously a little jank as of right now, it's so refreshing to see what seems to be an actual fully 3D Sonic game again. Though admittedly once again, I haven't played all that many true open world games in recent times outside of Lego games like Lego Jurassic World and as of recently Skywalker Saga. So I might not be as aware as the cliches and/or traps of a open world game. I'm still on the cautiously optimistic side for this, and once again. This isn't the last of the footage we're getting this month and probably let alone the lead-up to release. Still time for Devs to address the actual worrisome flaws before it's out. And Sega is actually more willing to delay things if need be then they were many years ago.

I'm under no belief this is going to be the best Sonic game of all-time, it being a new attempt at Sonic I expect it to have it's shortcoming here and there. But I would like Sonic to take a direction like this for the foreseeable future. I don't want Sega to fall back on more comfortable engines that just happen to work by going back to the boost games style again. And while I appreciate why people love the classics, and beg for a Sonic Mania 2. I must admit it's not what I got into Sonic for since I was very much an SA2 kid that loved the more open controls of Adventure games (Even if the levels themselves aren't too much more derivative then the boost style.
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

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The developers will have to delay the game. Six months isn't enough to iron out the many, many problems I've seen with the trailer (which is supposed to showcase the game's strengths). I don't agree that it's "a little jank". They are multipronged problems ranging from Sonic's stiff jerky animations, obvious pop-ins (it's a few seconds when gameplay starts when I immediately saw a pop-in of one of those massive black buildings), lackluster 3D design, dull puzzles, barren world, and lackluster exploration. Looking over, if that's exploration, then it's shaping up to be an extremely repetitive game where you hunt for these heart crystal things and figure out which rail it's on. It seems like the hearts will be missable, or you if misinput or miss a jump, won't you have to find the beginning of that rail again? I don't expect the combat to be much better, it'll probably be repetitive too.

I know you want Sonic to be in a fresh perspective, but, again, I have little confidence the team can do even a great traditional Sonic game. I understand they're trying something, but the novelty it offers has a risk of burning out really quickly.

I forgot this game is supposed to have a story too. I'm not expecting it to be good either, but they could write a work that'll be remembered fondly by generations and that wouldn't matter if the game's boring.
 

Bluminescence

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here's the 7 min gameplay footage for those interested in what we're talking about
 

Googoogaga Spaghetti

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And... right at 0:49, giant landmark pop in. The gameplay part starts at 0:43. 6-7 seconds in.
 

Bluminescence

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Combat footage.

Again, this looks...very mediocre. Like, some of the enemies are way too bullet spongey for their own good, especially that bubble cloud robot thing that took forever to kill. It's not as bad as the exploration showcase because it looks like there are things you could actually do (it's not clear what the items you collect after defeating the enemies are. EXP? Currency?) but the combat looks very janky, reminds me too much of Sonic Heroes's janky combat and animations at points. To me, it looks like the combat system is a bit pointless and a way to pad out the time you spent playing the game, plus it looks like a button masher type game against enemies with bloated HP. At least that boss at the end was pretty cool, completes the whole Shadow of Colossus vibes this game has.
 
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