GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

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Psxphile
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GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Psxphile »

Link to part one of a 4 part series.

In what seemed like a foregone inevitability, the gaming industry (or rather a small, almost insignificant part of it) has seen fit to stoke the briskets of nostalgia by invoking a look back at the start of one of the industry's most recognizable (for better or worse) mascots and his creation. Naka, Oshima, level designer Yasuhara and others from the days when Sonic would rise to become a household name give their say on the events that would unfold.

Well, that's enough for the introduction. Suffice it to say this doesn't reveal much we don't already know, but the odd bit about SOJ President's "tantrum" was kind of a shock.

...

Seriously, why hasn't this been posted here yet?

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Kogen
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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Kogen »

You said we all know, then you ask why it has not been posted...

Personally I would have rather not knew that Sonic is the mutated offspring of Micheal Jackson, BIll Clinton, and Santa Claus.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by G.Silver »

Considering Bill Clinton wasn't president when Sonic was being developed, I think a lot of that developer commentary is firmly "in retrospect," even if they aren't saying so. Or that his shoe's color scheme was "intentionally" taken from Santa Clause? I doubt it!

I like how they took the original "cute" Sonic band image and then made it all dark with CG effects, and they talked about how they didn't get how Sonic could be in a band, like that was somehow edgy and extreme? Where all the band members are cute cartoon animals? Seriously? And then the artwork in the western portrayal of Sonic has always had a harsher edge to it right from the beginning, and Sonic's attitude was an advertised feature of the game! There's a lot of stuff in here that I find really suspicious.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by K2J »

Ronald Reagan - is there anything he can't do?

It was funny how optimistic the ending sounded, with the only briefest of mentions to Sonic's eventual whipping-boy status by attributing it to the Dreamcast's failure.

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Crowbar
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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Crowbar »

Oh shit, it never occurred to me that the disparity in the character illustrations styles was regional. Ridiculously obvious in retrospect, I feel stupid now.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Protodude »

I actually rather enjoyed it, though I have to question the validity of certain things that Silv already pointed out even if they did come from Oshima's mouth. Seems better then something G4 would produce, but when it comes to showcasing something videogame related outside of print it usually comes across as....well, hokey at times.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

I found G4's "game makers" (formerly known as "Icons") to be respectable. To bad the rest of the channel is shit.

"Classic Sonic couldn't function in 3-D"

Bullshit.

Also, fangs.

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Post by Isuka »

I didn't expect the Saturn era part to "make sense", and I was right. People watching are dumbfounded by SEGA's inexplicably stupid actions during the fifth generation era console wars and their more than deserved demise.
And, well... I'm not sure the Saturn or even the Dreamcast could've actually been able to hold a "literal translation" of the 2D Sonic formula to a fully fleshed-out 3D world, really. They shouldn't have added extra game genres to it, though.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Radrappy »

Ign also wrote a lengthy retrospective piece on sonic the other day and went as far as to suggest that the megadrive games weren't even that good. I don't understand why critics, facing Sonic's current slump, feel the need to retcon the series' past success out of existence altogether.

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MiraiTails
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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by MiraiTails »

Radrappy wrote:Ign
Well there's your problem!

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by FlashTHD »

They also did this scintillating piece of hack work.

Yeah, they're the worst kind of pro critics: they always claim they're dedicated Sonic fans and are so concerned with the slump in quality, yet for many different excuses reasons they will never publically admit to liking more than about two, maybe three games in the entire fucking thing.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Kogen »

This is not IGN's fault, all the 'professional' reviewers are full of shite. One site, Giant Bomb, claimed people played SEGA games instead of Nintendo because "kids will play bad games instead of no games". They are awkward little fanboys who grew up to get fat and write reviews on the internet in their mid 30s with no spouse.

Also Link #1 to die? IGN better watch out, the anime conventions goers with cardboard swords might storm their office.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Radrappy »

MiraiTails wrote:
Radrappy wrote:Ign
Well there's your problem!
Firstly, Ign is not a singular entity, it is a group of people with differing opinions. Do you honestly believe they share some kind of bias or agenda? Secondly, this retrospective happened to be a round table discussion. Thirdly, Ign is not the only journalistic presence to make these kinds of claims in the past year.
Kogen wrote:They are awkward little fanboys who grew up to get fat and write reviews on the internet in their mid 30s with no spouse.
I think there's some truth in supposing that the people who weren't sega fans back in the day, are now the primary voice in gaming journalism.

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Kogen
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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Kogen »

We all drive ferraris and wear 3D glasses, no time for video game reviews.

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MiraiTails
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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by MiraiTails »

Radrappy wrote:
MiraiTails wrote:
Radrappy wrote:Ign
Well there's your problem!
Firstly, Ign is not a singular entity, it is a group of people with differing opinions. Do you honestly believe they share some kind of bias or agenda? Secondly, this retrospective happened to be a round table discussion. Thirdly, Ign is not the only journalistic presence to make these kinds of claims in the past year.
Sure, I know there are other guilty parties. I was just going for the cheap "IGNorant" joke.

As to why the old games are considered "bad" now, I have no clue.

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Kogen
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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Kogen »

It might involve them not actually playing them and going on what seems cool to say.

Just maybe.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Syntheticgerbil »

That host is such a butthole. "THE TRIPPY UNIVERSE SONIC WILL CALL HOME!" "A FOX BORN WITH WELL-- TWO TAILS!" And what's up with that bitch who's the "Mother of Sonic" who gladly talks about how she removed his fangs, Madonna, and his band?

I don't understand why he was softened up for the US if that's the case. Traditionally characters are made to look meaner over here, most notably Kirby. And Sonic was originally marketed with having more attitude. So why not run with that?

Also as far as American vs. Japanese art on the classic games, Sonic always looked better and was drawn less fat on all Japanese covers, even after his US makeover. I never understood why they didn't just use the same art.

Are those real sketch drawings from Ohshima? They are terrible! What's up with the weird film flashback film? And I agree, that President Clinton reference was bizarre.

The map for Sonic 3 totally wasn't triple the size of Sonic 1 or 2.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Crowbar »

Syntheticgerbil wrote:The map for Sonic 3 totally wasn't triple the size of Sonic 1 or 2.
This may be an exaggeration but the levels were at least twice as large. There's a good reason the 50k time-bonus cutoff was changed from 30 seconds in Sonic 1 and 2 to a minute in Sonic 3.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Sytheticgerbil wrote:
Also as far as American vs. Japanese art on the classic games, Sonic always looked better and was drawn less fat on all Japanese covers, even after his US makeover. I never understood why they didn't just use the same art.
I always was annoyed by how shiny Sonic seemed on the American art. Sound familiar?

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Post by Isuka »

Didn't Sonic go through the same "unjapanization" treatment as Rockman and Mario?

The only particularly wrong thing about American style Sonic is his hand gesture in 3's cover. Looks painful and unnatural.

The fang idea kind of came to fruition with Uekawa's new Knuckles' design for Adventure, too. Not to mention... well, Fang, duh.

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Kogen
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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Kogen »

Knuckles has normal human teeth there, not fangs.

Fang well... yeah.

If anything, the werehog has the Sonic fangs.

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Post by Crazy Penguin »

Isuka wrote:The only particularly wrong thing about American style Sonic is his hand gesture in 3's cover. Looks painful and unnatural.
Knuckles' eyes are wrong on that cover.

It was also in Sega of America's style guide (see the "Sonic Bible" thread) that Dr Robotnik has blank black eyes and no gloves. Those two slight design changes make all the difference.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Syntheticgerbil »

Crazy Penguin wrote:Knuckles' eyes are wrong on that cover.
It's Sonic peeking at Sonic.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by gr4yJ4Y »

Radrappy wrote:Ign also wrote a lengthy retrospective piece on sonic the other day and went as far as to suggest that the megadrive games weren't even that good. I don't understand why critics, facing Sonic's current slump, feel the need to retcon the series' past success out of existence altogether.
That article was so painful to read. It was all over the place and downright inaccurate about a lot of the details. I almost posted the link here last week, but seeing the Sonic Bible and this GameTap video made me feel optimistic and unwilling to give IGN extra hits for something so poorly written.

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Re: GameTap's Sonic Retrospective

Post by Tsuyoshi-kun »

I've never understood all the hate for the U.S. Sonic video game covers. At least he still looks like his character, unlike pretty much every game that got imported from Japan to America well into the late 1990's. Yeah he looks better on the Japanese Mega Drive covers, but those "backgrounds" of random swirling shit around him always ruined for me an otherwise good piece of character art (CD being the only non-portable Sonic game until Dreamcast to not do this crap made me happy).

I'll agree that Eggman looked like ass on the U.S. covers, though. Those eyes always bothered me.

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