Sonic the Hedgehog thread

I beat the first island boss last night and am working through the second island now. That first boss was an amazing spectacle it must be said. Bodes well for the rest of them
I put 5 hours into the second island yesterday and am coming to the end of it, i think. Ares island is an amazing playground , way bigger than Kronos, with some excellent mini bosses and platforming challenges. I love how the music gets more layered and detailed the more of the island you unlock. Makes it feel like it is coming back to life with you. Some real sweaty palms platform challenges in the floating islands over the sea. The time just flies in this there is so little downtime and so much to do.

Also best track so far:

Still on Kronos, but yeah, really digging the big playground aspect of the open world. I get complaints about floating rails and whatnot from an artistic perspective, but when you're actually in control you don't especially notice because you're enjoying using them as a means of getting around, doing platforming challenges, finding collectibles, etc.
This isn't just "good for 3D Sonic", it's an outright great game.

I think it's great for the same reason that 3D Mario and the Tony Hawk games are great, it's just incredibly fun and satisfying to move around. The act of getting from point A to point B is just so much god damn fun. Great controls, great physics, great level design. I love this game.
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I agree, @Down by Law ; the Cyberspace tunes are especially slick. A good mix of Sonic CD and Sonic R vibes while also bring in the more modern elements of EDM and drum and bass.
The jazz drummer in me surely appreciates the chords of tunes like 2-1, and I also like the space-like quality of 2-7. Feels like a remix of a FREE track from Shenmue 1.

For any interested, all Cyberspace tracks:
Despite my weariness I decided to give it a shot…and really just feel like I’m living on another planet from the majority. But then I guess it’s just the same thing as what happened with mgsv, with the more casual crowd praising it for its barebones open world and supposedly godlike control scheme.

I’ve just got to the desert area and so far the level design has either been shamelessly reused from previous games for the cyberspace levels, or stuff that looks like it’s straight from Halo Reach’s forge maps with random assets just haphazardly thrown together with little time, thought, or effort on the devs part. Thing is I see this get compared to BotW, in favor of this, and just have to facepalm, when this is far worse for engaging content and finding things that actually serve to make the game better. Never mind that RPG elements and upgrades fit Zelda far more than Sonic.

The combat is not great to start with but really shouldn’t even be a thing for most Sonic games. I remember thinking it was neat in Heroes when I was young, and at least there it still had to be simple enough to where you could get enough power in a single level to steamroll everything. It even made some sense in Unleashed with the werehog, but everyone complained about that. Suddenly it’s ok here with incredibly spongy and tanky enemies, especially if you play on hard mode just to see some extra content at the end. Going at a snails pace doing the same shit over and over to generic enemies is not fun.

The mini bosses and bosses are especially terrible. Discount Shadow of the Colossus, or not even that. Think there was some indie game called Prey of the gods or something? Whatever it was, this is even more jank and nowhere near as exciting with how static they are. Hell, those bell towers in Elden Ring are even just a tad more dynamic. I didn’t even bother with the squid things, having seen from others they are basically Unleashed bosses but more boring. The big boss to top off this first section of the game, perhaps aside from the end of Generations has to be one of the worst I’ve played in the series. All spectacle, boring as hell for engagement.

The controls are a little bit worse I’m finding, with no good configurations I can seem to get. Why boost can’t also be the homing attack like it was in Unleashed is beyond me. Light speed dash was on L3 by default, what kind of ignoramus made that decision??

The most backwards thing I’ve read are complaints about Sonic’s voice. It’s not my favorite for sure but I don’t find him any worse than any of the other games he’s done so far. What I find weird is Amy’s…just sounds nothing like what I think her character should sound like at all. But then her character has become much more bland anyway, just like the art direction and level design. I don’t even enjoy the music, a first for a Sonic game for me.

Lost World had promise but didn’t deliver in quality, Boom was legitimately terrible all around, Forces was appallingly abysmal, even the port of Colors was bad. Long gone are the days of great art direction, level design, decent story or plot, great music from a lot of the better, much more polished games of the series, all to chase these dumb trends regardless of whether they fit or not. It gives me confidence to make my own fan game, perhaps an FPS or a gacha or some bullshit that people would eat up.
Please bear with me, I promise that this isn't a hate post, but I just don't really get what people are seeing. When I look at Sonic Frontiers stuff online, all I see is a bland, empty, nothing game with no real storytelling or iunique dentity. Everything just seems so... surface level and janky?

it almost looks like a prototype that they haven't quite gotten round to fleshing out yet

People seem to be having a really good time with the game which is great! But I can't help but feel like I must be missing something given the exceptionally positive reception I've been seeing. I'm almost tempted to buy it out of curiosity at this point despite being 90% sure it's not for me!

Anyone else feel/felt this way? Did anyone's opinions change after playing it themselves?
Anyone else feel/felt this way? Did anyone's opinions change after playing it themselves?
Close to 6 hours in, can comprehensively say it plays better than it looks, but there are issues. I think Sonic Team have mistaken genuinely user-unfriendly aspects for not being hand-holdy, and it's dragging down some genuinely really good ideas like expanding Sonic's moveset for the first time in over a decade.

That said, can't help going back to it. Best comparison I've seen is weirdly to the Tony Hawk games, where there's like a hypnotic, rhythmic quality to playing that you just don't get by watching it.
it almost looks like a prototype that they haven't quite gotten round to fleshing out yet

Anyone else feel/felt this way? Did anyone's opinions change after playing it themselves?
Tried a bit this morning-- my brother bought it, but I'm holding out to buy for myself. In short: I likewise treat this more like a prototype, and I'll definitely wait until it's in the $20-30 range. Pop in is egregious and it appears the game is a bit short, but what's there is good, but surely for a lower price.

That said, in terms of control, @Spaghetti is right: there's something oddly pleasant about the Tony Hawk-esque control (esp. as you can tweak the controls quite a bit). It just feels right.
13 hours in now. Second island boss is an absolute spectacle. I actually cheered when
super sonic grabbed the boss by the tail and spun him around like a dog toy before yeeting it straight into a fucking mountain with no fucks given

Hilarious and brilliant. About half way through the 3rd island, music's super chill and there are lots of nice callbacks to the adventure games.

Really pleasant surprise this. Glad I picked it up, at 41.85 from base in the UK feels like good value to me, especially when God of War is like 60 everywhere
On the last island wooooooo.

Can safely say this is the best 3D Sonic game since the Adventure titles and probably beats them to be honest, since every level in those that isn't a Sonic/Shadow level sucks.
Caved in and bought Frontiers. I've not played too much yet, but first impressions haven't been bad honestly. It seems like there's more to it than I first thought.

Only real gripes are that the Cyberspace levels are kinda samey and I don't like all the random floating shit everywhere. Wish they could have blended the rails and platforms into the environment more.

I do think this formula has potential for future titles if SEGA are willing to iterate and listen to feedback/criticism.
I kind of surprised myself by getting this game on release day, mainly because I saw people mentioning it being really chill, and I felt like that could be helpful for an election night. I went in with pretty low expectations, since it's such a departure from the typical Sonic game and looks kind of like it was somewhat referencing some of the tech builds for Sonic Xtreme. I play PSO2/NGS daily, so I knew going in that any comparisons there were pretty baseless. However, that didn't keep me from expecting similar movement tech, which is probably my only real complaint (well, compounded by the camera at times). It's partly just a mental shift I have to make. Sonic has a lot of momentum that has to be overcome in a lot of situations (primarily with the boost and jump) that can make it feel a little out of control when near cliffs and ledges. Still pretty true to form, though. I had to kind of get used to Sonic being able to stop on a dime while running on the ground, but this is also pretty reminiscent of the character's animated iterations.

I honestly don't see how people can get so worked up about pop-in. Personally it doesn't effect me in the least, but I guess if I had worse reaction times, it could be a minor issue. I saw someone mention that it's immersion breaking, because you don't see these things when looking out into the distance, but that ignores the fact that actual landmark objects are visible across practically the entire map, along with a lot of the rails and platforms. I don't think it's really that apparent to people just how much visual clutter there would be if the draw distance on all objects were set to max, along with the performance hit for a potentially worse visual experience. I am playing on PC, but it seems it's pretty similar visually across platforms (well, aside from the Switch).

I really enjoy the open stage design, a lot more than I really thought I would. It's very easy to get sucked into just jumping through obstacles and rollin' around at the speed of sound while picking up collectables, and the Kokos! Oh those adorable little MF-ers! I suppose the thing I'm a little let down by so far (I'm about 8 hours in, a little bit of the way into the second island after finishing 100% of the first island) is that I have the difficulty on, I think, the highest settings possible, and it's kind of extremely easy. I have huge stockpiles of unlock materials and seem to be almost through the skill tree. Everything seems to die about as soon as I even look at it, which is nice in the sense that Werehog stages in Sonic Unleashed were so repulsive for being snail like in pace. There's almost too much combat variety here, which when abusing something a particular enemy is weak against it simply causes them to melt. That has its pros and cons. Really I find that weakness abuse to be a bit of a pro, but it's kind of a symptom of the entire experience so far offering very little in the way of resistance.

On that note, Cyberspace levels! They're great! They are still very easy to clear all missions on (red rings basically aren't even hidden in any way, nor do they require hitting top route). A couple months ago when I saw that they looked like just reused Generations levels, I was a little dejected. I was very happy to find that they are actually new stages, with familiar assets and a handful of very similar sections. They are very short so far, but what I most enjoy about them is how much fun they are to play for speed. Being only ~1min stages on your lazy runs makes going for shorter and shorter times, testing routes, etc all the more addicting. Also shout out to the music. Goodness, this OST is top notch all around (possibly the most complete soundtrack of any Sonic game, I feel). On a couple occasions (especially just before fighting the first colossus) I've felt like I've heard some leitmotifs from Shenmue of all places, but the music in the Cyberspace levels just goes so hard:

I am pretty happy to know also that my assumptions from the teasers that there would be some influences from Shadow of the Colossus were correct. Scaling massively oversized bosses is really tragically underutilized.

All in all, I was looking for something relaxing to play, and Sonic Frontiers has been that. It's been really good to chill out with, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the open zones. It also has some great increases in tempo with Cyberspace levels, and some of the Guardians and Zone bosses. The sound logs from fishing, and a cutscene or two have made me very interested in how the story seems to be tying heavily into the first Sonic Adventure. More than anything, it's just fun. It's fun to play. It's not that deep; Score's be damned. For some reason it feels like a lot of people are hellbent on not giving this game credit for being a fun game, and concocting lists of trivial annoyances to try to take away from the fact that it's a fun game. Anyway, thanks for joining my TEDTalk. I'm gonna go play the fun game some more.
Apparently some youtuber called Dunkey is having his fans review bomb the user metacritic score for this game because he doesn't approve of how much some fans enjoyed themselves. Does anyone know anything about this?
He's sorta done it through the backdoor though I confess I've not watched it.

He's basically showed games with lower user scores than Frontiers and asked why they're lower..... following shitting on Frontiers for his whole video.

I despair at the point that people parrot/act like this on the whim of a youtuber. Critical thinking is dead and quite frankly this shit gives a bad name to gamers. There's some proper toxic fucks out there who cannot form their own views and will latch onto anything to take it down. Its pathetic. It really is.

This meme I saw on the Shenmue United Discord is appropriate.

Dunkey doesn’t have anyone do anything…but isn’t it always this way when people get upset others don’t view their precious game in the same way. Just blame the haters. Same thing the Saints Row reboot devs thought would be a good thing to do. Dunkey is just a funny guy and people with a more discerning taste happen to be finding this game not up to par with much more polished and well designed games like BotW.

I finished this game yesterday and I’ve got to say it’s incredibly lackluster, and I fear very much for the series if this is supposedly a “step in the right direction”. Boss battles are style over substance garbage, rails and basic platforms and 2D sections that make the original Super Mario look advanced plague the entire game while the environments themselves serve only as a backdrop, when they should actually be serving as the level and let you gain or lose momentum. Levels ripped from past games should not be praised, and the ones from SA2 are actively worse because of the botched physics. This game is bad.