New Sonic Adventure Album

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Radrappy
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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Radrappy »

Neo wrote:
Radrappy wrote:They're just terrible power ballads.
How can one man alone have such bad taste.
I blame my having listened to these tracks on repeat one too many times as a kid. They're just so annoying to me now.
G.Silver wrote:I am curious what you'd define as a "good" power ballad. Is there such a thing?
Nope. I'm super glad the franchise has seemingly moved on from that nonsense. Varied instrumental music is where it's at. Electric guitar shredding reeks of desperation and an overwrought attempt to be "cool." If used sparingly, it can work well enough (as evidenced in the SA1 soundtrack) but used too much it can simply be nausea inducing. I hate all of the "modern" tracks from Generations. Each track is like the composer took a jackhammer to my head.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Esrever »

I have a soft spot for unrepentantly cheeseball over-the-top guitars blazing riff rock. So I kind of like the old vocal themes... especially after the fact, as a now-safely-gone historical curiosity. If anything, every Crush 40 song post SA1 felt like a step backwards... less crunch, less distortion, less overdubbing, less rampant effects pedal overuse. What fun is that?

Unfortunately, SA1's songs were also blessed with the worst english lyrics of the series. I will enjoy listening to that wailing guitar riff of Tails' theme without being told to believe in myself in the most stilted, awkwardly worded way possible.

I wonder if we're done with vocal themes forever, now? It was always kind of an odd direction. I think Endless Possibility and Speak With Your Heart are the only ones that didn't really feel out of place in a Sonic title.

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big_smile
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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by big_smile »

I really like the vocals as well (even if they do sound dated). The lyrics generally gave a unique insight into the character minds. You get a sense of their thoughts and feelings and so acted as a nice compliment to the story lines.

Generally on the whole Sonic music tends to be of a high standard. There's only a couple of games were the sound was truly bad.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

I just don't think cheese alone can redeem a song (I think I've written about this before). Unknown to M.E. isn't a song I enjoy on any level. It's not particularly clever or catchy. It just grates (and he does chuckle, dammit). Compare it to Right Said Fred's Wonderman as a song that does silly tongue-in-cheek right.

I think the best character-specific lyrical song is Howard Drossin's Metal Sonic. It unnaturally subdued and hostile. The lyrics are abstract, almost Lewis Carroll-esque. The pharse "he's put together the wrong way" is both apt and ambiguous. Is it "the wrong way" in the sense that all of Eggman's creations are only good for destruction, or is it in "the wrong way" that Eggman himself didn't intend. Foreboding stuff right there.

Too bad it was never used in a game! (and I don't even like grunge)

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Radrappy »

Dr. BUGMAN wrote:I just don't think cheese alone can redeem a song (I think I've written about this before). Unknown to M.E. isn't a song I enjoy on any level. It's not particularly clever or catchy. It just grates (and he does chuckle, dammit). Compare it to Right Said Fred's Wonderman as a song that does silly tongue-in-cheek right.

I think the best character-specific lyrical song is Howard Drossin's Metal Sonic. It unnaturally subdued and hostile. The lyrics are abstract, almost Lewis Carroll-esque. The pharse "he's put together the wrong way" is both apt and ambiguous. Is it "the wrong way" in the sense that all of Eggman's creations are only good for destruction, or is it in "the wrong way" that Eggman himself didn't intend. Foreboding stuff right there.

Too bad it was never used in a game! (and I don't even like grunge)
THANK YOU. People who claim songs like Unknown to M.E. are witty or tongue in cheek are giving Sega/Sonic Team way too much credit. These people wouldn't understand satire or humor if it came up and bit them in the face. It was only with Colors and by hiring outside writers that the games developed something resembling a sense of humor.

Has Takeshi Iizuka ever even cracked a joke? Attempted a joke? Laughed or smiled?

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Rob-Bert »

He does look like his face got stuck in a perma-frown a long time ago.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by cjmcray »

I liked Unknown from M.E. The rap parts were dumb, but I liked the jazzy melody, and the lyrics "Born on an island in the heavens, the blood of my ancestors flows inside me.." it made Knuckles seem a bit wise and mystical, unlike the idiotic jock he is now.

Sonic Adventure definitely has some of my favorite music of any Sonic game. Open your Heart has some dumb lyrics, but I like it's serious epic nature. (I can't stand how silly and cute Sonic games have gotten. I like stories where the stakes are high and the fate of the world is at risk)

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Rob-Bert »

And the only one who can save the world is a cute little cartoon hedgehog, right?

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Apparently so.

I used to like pretty much all of the Sonic game vocal tracks (except for "We Can", Team Sonic's theme from Heroes), but the only one I really like nowadays is the first "It Doesn't Matter". It just sounds simultaneously heavy and inspiring and unlike a lot of the Adventure songs I think the lyrics are good enough to stand on their own as an individual song. Plus there's that awesome guitar solo near the end.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by big_smile »

Rob-Bert wrote:And the only one who can save the world is a cute little cartoon hedgehog, right?
Granted it's silly, but no more so than having a cute hedgehog collecting rings and battling robots.

I agree with cjmcray, the series has lost something by being too cute. Granted, the earlier stories were too complicated for their own good, but surely there's a happy medium between epic and cute?

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by cjmcray »

I don't see how a fast hedgehog battling evil is any more ridiculous than robot cars from another planet fighting each other in the middle of New York, a machine gun toting raccoon saving the galaxy or a group of pizza-eating turtles in combat with a japanese samurai.. there's plenty of ridiculous fictional heroes out there that are portrayed in a serious manner.
big_smile wrote: I agree with cjmcray, the series has lost something by being too cute. Granted, the earlier stories were too complicated for their own good, but surely there's a happy medium between epic and cute?
I liked how Sonic Adventure 2 did things. The first one was a bit too complicated with all of the storylines, but the sequel did a good job, IMO. There were moments of levity here and there to contrast the whole "Maria, NOO! I will avenge you!" stuff. Upbeat music, humor with Eggman, Amy tagging along and what-not. And the Dark Story's intro with Eggman blowing up the G.U.N facility was awesome

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Rob-Bert »

cjmcray wrote:I don't see how a fast hedgehog battling evil is any more ridiculous than robot cars from another planet fighting each other in the middle of New York, a machine gun toting raccoon saving the galaxy or a group of pizza-eating turtles in combat with a japanese samurai.. there's plenty of ridiculous fictional heroes out there that are portrayed in a serious manner.
You do realize that TMNT is almost always roughly one half comedy right? Even the original Mirage comics were a direct parody of Daredevil. They were never meant to be totally serious.

Similarly, Guardians of the Galaxy flips back and forth between serious and comedy on a dime, and even the serious parts turn out happy and uplifting in the end. The comedy is a necessary element.

Despite being a fan, I consider pretty much every iteration of Transformers aside from Beast Wars and Transformers Animated to be absolutely laughable, and in the case of the latter, that's largely because unlike literally every other Transformers series ever, it actually knows how ridiculous its premise is and injects a much needed dose of comedy and self-awareness into the show's atmosphere.

Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 are way too fucking serious for their own good. A series of electronic toys staring a rubber hose cartoon hedgehog in big floppy red shoes and a punk hairdo who spouts slang quips, collects floating golden rings, runs around on landscapes that look like modern art pieces, and fights against a big fat walrus-faced scientist in a red suit and his army of googly-eyed neon-colored animal-shaped robots has no business being that level of animu grimdark. Period end.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by cjmcray »

Rob-Bert wrote:
cjmcray wrote:I don't see how a fast hedgehog battling evil is any more ridiculous than robot cars from another planet fighting each other in the middle of New York, a machine gun toting raccoon saving the galaxy or a group of pizza-eating turtles in combat with a japanese samurai.. there's plenty of ridiculous fictional heroes out there that are portrayed in a serious manner.
You do realize that TMNT is almost always roughly one half comedy right? Even the original Mirage comics were a direct parody of Daredevil. They were never meant to be totally serious.
I'm not asking for Sonic to be 100% serious. I agree, Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic 2006 were shit and part of the reason is they were too damn serious. Like I mentioned, I feel SA2 got it right because it didn't feel completely grimdark, it had moments of silliness to contrast all of the Maria/ARK drama.

TMNT has had plenty of dark stuff throughout its history. The new TV series implies that Shredder murdered Splinter's wife, then brainwashed his daughter into wanting to kill him. And The 2003 cartoon series was pretty dark. Baxter Stockman was brutally tortured everytime he failed the Shredder, first by losing an eye, and as the series progressed, became nothing more than a head on a robot spider.

Guardians of the Galaxy is billed as a big action movie, despite featuring something as ridiculous as a raccoon with a machine gun. And that's really all I desire out of Sonic, just to be treated like a serious, action-filled adventure story, with bits of comedy dispersed throughout. The problem I have is that recent games lost all sense of adventure and drama and feel like a Saturday morning cartoon. Robotnik is a joke now, I can't take him seriously as a villain anymore. His own machines mock him.

Call me crazy, but as a kid, I always felt like the Genesis games had dark undertones to them. And that's part of what drew me to Sonic in the first place. I mean, turning animals into machines and making them your slaves? Wanting to establish a new world order? That's pretty messed up. Robotnik was basically a technology-obsessed Hitler. Now he's a bumbling clown who can't do anything right. Don't get me wrong, I like him as the comic-relief now and then, but it's just sad how pathetic he has become.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Rob-Bert »

cjmcray wrote:Robotnik was basically a technology-obsessed Hitler.
lol

No really, are we talking about the Genesis/Mega Drive games or SatAM? You sound like you're searching for what you want in all the wrong places. Or perhaps you're one of those people who seek out "dark undertones" in children's properties in order to justify staying interested in them into adulthood.

And the comedy in Sonic Adventure 2 honestly kinda sucked as much as the serious stuff. The game's story is a mess. It's like one of those awful bargain bin OVA dubs you'd find in a kiosk at the mall some time in 1998. Actually pretty appropriate given the time it was released.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

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I'm talking about the Genesis games. I hated SatAM.

Maybe I was going a little out there with the Hitler reference, just saying he used to be a more competent villain with aspirations of a world-dictatorship.

I liked some of SA2's humor. Amy mistaking Shadow for Sonic, and Eggman scratching his butt whilst watching TV made me crack a smile.

The Hero Story was very lighthearted right down to the upbeat "It Doesn't Matter" remix. So I don't think it really can be compared to later games like Shadow the Hedgehog or Sonic 2006. (It was also a much more polished, though slightly linear, game than those turds) I guess that's why I liked it so much. Hero story was fun and lighthearted, Dark story had the drama and (attempt at) emotional core, and it all blended together.

I don't want Sonic 100% serious, like Shadow or SatAM, nor do I want it sugary-sweet and goofy like recent games. Balancing both elements is key, IMO. And SA2 did that well.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

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cjmcray wrote:just saying he used to be a more competent villain with aspirations of a world-dictatorship.
Please realize you're saying this about a trilogy of games where the character in question is depicted as a static sprite with two frames of animation at most and absolutely no in-game dialog, plus an instruction manual that only says "he builds animal-powered robots and wants the Chaos Emeralds" and not a whole lot else. His level of competence nor his exact aspirations are touched upon in the light you're making them out to be. You're projecting. I've seen people do this a lot with old games devoid of direct explanation.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by cjmcray »

Well, the very idea of enslaving something to be a mindless zombie to do your bidding is pretty sinister. And the music helped set a dramatic tone. Final Zone, Doomsday Zone and the Death Egg boss (Both Sonic 2 & Knuckles versions) had a very climatic, good versus evil feel to them. Though there was no dialogue, the music really set the scene. I remember as a six-year old kid, when the words 'Final Zone' appeared and that intense drumming was heard, it really got my adrenaline going.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Rob-Bert »

They never said he "enslaved" them or made them "mindless zombies". They simply sit inside the robots and power them. This is made especially obvious in Sonic Adventure 1 when Gamma blows himself up to release the little bird inside of him. Once again, you sound like you're mixing the games up with SatAM.

And as much as I love the music from all three games, I don't think the final boss tracks are any more "dramatic" than any other final boss track from any other platformer of the time. If I really wanted to exaggerate I could say the "Ultimate Koopa" theme from Mario 64 made me feel like hell was breaking loose, but Mario isn't that serious.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Neo »

I think the problem you guys have is that you're playing a video game but what you want to do is enjoy a story. I don't care about plot in Sonic games, and the cutscenes in the Adventure games are more of a fun diversion between stages what with the jerky animations and bad voice acting, and all the story elements in the classic Sonic games (particularly Sonic 3, which is much more cinematic) are just "cool" things that happen and look cool.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by big_smile »

Please realize you're saying this about a trilogy of games where the character in question is depicted as a static sprite with two frames of animation at most and absolutely no in-game dialog, plus an instruction manual that only says "he builds animal-powered robots and wants the Chaos Emeralds" and not a whole lot else. His level of competence nor his exact aspirations are touched upon in the light you're making them out to be. You're projecting. I've seen people do this a lot with old games devoid of direct explanation.
While cjmcray is perhaps taking it too far with the Eggman/Hitler comparison (as he acknowledged), the Mega Drive games did do a good job of conveying Eggman's competence. Just look at the scale of things like the Death Egg and Launch Base Zone. It was amazing to think this was all built by one guy!

Like Neo touched on, I think you have to give a bit of leeway when it comes to video game stories. There's nothing to stop the medium from telling a good story, but most games just don't have the budget or talent to do it properly. Hence, the story assumes a secondary role and is just there to enhance excitement instead of providing it.

Take the DC era games. The stories are bad, but they do make the game more enjoyable (provided the player has some interest in Sonic. I'd imagine non-Sonic fans would probably skip the cutscenes).

One thing past Sonic games were vaguely good at was foreshadowing things in the designs of the levels (such as the Sonic statues and murals in S3), so the level gets worked into the story making the game feel more like a 'world'. It's not the same as the fictional world of a novel, but it does again enhance enjoyment.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Rob-Bert »

Actually I don't care about the story in Sonic either, which is why I found it ridiculous that one would want it to be serious so badly. I was merely speaking about how an inherently silly character shouldn't be "miscast", so to speak. I find the very idea of caring about story in a video game absolutely ridiculous, unless the game is specifically tailored to effectively tell a good story by using the medium to its advantage (one of my favorite examples being Mother 3. I'd also count Sonic 3, as it manages to be non-intrusive and fitting enough that it works perfectly without coming off as stupid or forced).

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Jingles »

Call me crazy, but I always liked the plots of the episodes in AoStH. They were just about funny characters doing funny things. You could tell it never took itself seriously, which is quite refreshing compared to, say, every Sonic game past 1998.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Rob-Bert »

I legitimately really like AoStH and I was really happy that Sonic Unleashed onward began taking after it so much. I only wish Orbot and Cubot really were Scratch and Grounder, though.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

AoStH is really fun to listen to because of the voice talent given to Robotnik, Scratch, Grounder and Sonic. They fit the tone of the show wonderfully.

I really liked Orbot back in Unleashed when he would just rip into the obsurdity / stupid oversights of Eggman's plans. Mike Pollock does such a great bombastic / arrogant Eggman that it's almost more fitting that his robot lackeys are more aware of the immediate situation than he is, rather than being dimwits. That's also why I like Bocoe and Docoe so much as well. It's also why I'm bummed that Orbot has never quite been so brutally honest since.

I never got the appeal of Cubot. I'm sure the kiddies love his wacky accents, but I wouldn't be sad if he stopped appearing in stuff.

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Re: New Sonic Adventure Album

Post by big_smile »

Eggman (at least the game version) is in love with himself. He brands his creations with his own face. There's no way he'd put up with backchat from his own creations. Sonic Team knew this and initially dropped Ken Pontac's idea for Cubot & Orbot but somehow he managed to convince them to include them. It was a mistake. They just serve to make Eggman look incompetent.

Worse still, they only exist for plot exposition purposes so Eggman doesn't look mad by talking himself to explain his plans. However, Eggman is a bit mad, so the self-talking suited him perfectly.

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