The prelude week of Gamer Christmas

As a note, the recent Pokemon Direct won’t be mentioned here as I already spoke about it in its own post as I ended up having more to say than expected.


June in a sense is also Sonic month as we’ll be getting more information about Sonic Frontiers throughout the month. From what we’ve seen the first two days, I’m not sure how to feel just yet. I will say the gameplay looks similar to what I liked from the Sonic Adventure 1-Sonic Unleashed era which is nice, though I don’t know how I feel about a more open concept especially as some of the more float-y areas almost feel out of place. I kind of like having actual levels in addition to a hub world over everything just being out in the world.

I’m still hoping for Chao to return though. If there’s Chao gardens, I am already sold. I’d also love if we could unlock other characters to play as and just… use their normal abilities for different playstyles. I do want to highlight I don’t mean needing specific characters for specific things, but just so we can play who we want to. I always loved playing as Amy in SA1 with the only issue being constantly chased. It’s also why I am excited to see more puzzles as I did have fun doing them.

While the next parts are technically after the State of Play, as it’s all still part of Sega, I’m including it in this first section anyway. For one, Sega had its own little press conference announcing the Mega Drive 2 Mini. I think the minis are nice for consoles maybe you didn’t have or if it’s a system you really like (We got the NES one as it reminded me of how you could get games in AC. I don’t think we were able to get an SNES one, but it would’ve been nice as that was my first console. For SEGA though, I’d mainly just want a Dreamcast mini, though I had a Genesis too, but I have… so many fond memories of Dreamcast), but as I don’t replay games, it just kind of sits there looking nice so I don’t really feel excited for them. I will say when they mentioned something “new” though, I was kind of expecting a game or even more stuff for Sonic Froniters and not… a mini console announcement.

We also got to see the next first look for Sonic Frontiers showing off some of the combat. Obviously, maybe a later clip will show it better, but I do feel like we need to see everything together and not just essentially demo clips. I also just… don’t think the overhead shots look that great and I’m not even a fan of graphics, just again, something feels slightly off to me.

The combat looks okay I guess? But it almost feels more like PSO and less like Sonic if that makes sense– both in the way he moves and the enemies itself. Something about the movements just look slower, even if he has some fast skills, which feels weird. It looks more like if Sonic was in a fighting game (or some kind of MMO Class) than if Sonic was in his own game. The biggest thing is how many hits a lot of the enemies take– outside of bosses, they’re usually relatively quick to beat so you can keep speeding along, but everything about it feels slow. I’m fine with breaks for puzzles, but the combat shouldn’t feel like a slog. There’s a reason Sonic is compared to like… Mario and not Megaman.

Finally, while last chronologically of everything here (I’ll likely put any other future Sonic Frontier stuff, if I have any opinions on it, in future entries as we continue along the month), there was a Sonic Central on the 7th… and it was… something. The only long trailer were things that we’ve already seen before with anything new being so quick, you learned pretty much nothing new. Shadow for the Netflix show where we’ve barely seen anything isn’t surprising. Seeing that Knuckles will be part of some storyline with Frontiers (or what leads to it) is neat, but you could literally blink and miss it. I get that it was a preview, but when everyone is waiting for more on Sonic Frontiers, it just felt kind of frustrating.

I know there’s been a bit more information shared recently, but most of that just… doesn’t sound too fun for me. It feels a little convoluted and while I’m glad the Open World may just be some zone that does lead to levels, it still feels rather empty, and I don’t really care for the “beat bosses to get to the levels” angle. I also kind of hated the red ring collecting and haven’t been as fond of the 2D-style levels, but if it’s at least more like Unleashed in the levels than Colors, that’s certainly some kind of upgrade.

But I still find a lot of concerns specifically this tweet:

The flow of the game is basically:
Explore open world > solve puzzles to open up map > find collectibles to improve stats > fight world bosses to earn portal gears > use portal gears to unlock linear Sonic levels > complete linear Sonic levels to unlock chaos emeralds

That doesn’t sound like a fun gameplay loop to me. It feels too slow and repetitive which isn’t really what I play Sonic for? And I say that as someone who likes puzzles and collecting things! I’m curious how the “find collectibles to improve stats” will work as I was fine with like… upgrades, but I’m curious if this is like a stat selector where you pick what you want to level (Edit: Apparently there’s skill trees so yeah, not as fond of the collectibles now). It also feels odd that the more linear Sonic levels will be more towards the end of this loop and the entire way it kind of works up feels so strange to me.

Maybe I’ll like things more when we finally see more gameplay that isn’t super focused on one thing or barely a glimpse at all, but right now, it just feels kind of a let-down to me. I don’t feel I’m fully able to word why it just doesn’t seem to jive with me, but something just feels off I guess. It’s also possible I’ll like it more in practice as I did like exploring Station Square and finding upgrades and doing puzzles to unlock levels, but I also think the areas in Sonic Adventure looked a lot more interesting than what we’ve been shown of the “main hub” of Sonic Frontiers.

But even watching the video itself gave me some concerns with highlighting the “somber” atmosphere (The energetic music, especially the songs from Crush 40, have always been my favorite part of Sonic) and highlighting of Sonic’s friends are gone and he’s all alone just… make it feel like a… I don’t know, if you wanted to go gritty but instead of making it dark, you just made it sad. At least the world looked a bit less empty in this video? But there goes my hopes for possibly playing as other characters which is still part of why I loved SA1 and SA2 so much (though, I don’t think SA2 handled it as well as it could, and yes, I actually had no issues playing as Big). I also just… have never enjoyed “hey, race this random character to *insertplacehere*” as a game mechanic so can’t say anything about that excites me. I just don’t think Sonic needs to be complicated to be interesting. At least we got to hear some music, even if it was relatively somer.

Ironically, the “best” part of the Sonic Central for me was a code to finally unlock the Amy Chao in Sonic Speed Simulator:

The Amy Rose Statue was neat too, but unfortunately the company making it has… not had the best quality, especially combined with the cost, so I probably won’t be getting it. :(

And if the Sonic Symphony happens to be playing here, hopefully we can manage to go.

Playstation State of Play

I get that Resident Evil is a big franchise for Playstation, but ignoring my own little zombie phobia, I just… don’t understand the constant need for them. I guess remakes are fine and all? I think most people who like RE are happy– my only relief was that in the remake trailer, they didn’t really focus on zombies at all– it was entirely atmospheric. Unfortunately, none of the other horror trailers followed suit.

We also had some VR trailers as well and while thankfully there was nothing I was interested in, I just… wish VR exclusives weren’t a thing. There’s a lot of reasons I’m not a fan of VR from general motion sickness, not being a huge fan of first person in general, and even just my general issue with things on my head as just… some of the reasons, but it always bums me out because there are some games I’ve really wanted to play and would work… fine with a keyboard and mouse so it kind of makes me sad I’ll never get to play them.

Stray looks really neat and I’m so curious how the plot is going to go, but I am a little worried because my stealth skill in games is kind of non-existent and part of why I was initially excited was the lack of combat which is… clearly part of the game in this trailer. I’m still mostly looking forward to it though and it’s even releasing the day after my birthday which is neat, but I may hold off a bit on getting it right away now.

I didn’t expect to see a trailer for Street Fighter 6, but I am curious about the story gameplay as it seems like… you can do more than usual? At least from what they showed of them going around New York Metro City. I don’t know if I’ll pick it up or not (I’ve been kind of burnt out on fighting games– that said, if the story mode really is much more expanded, I definitely think I am more likely to go ahead and pick it up), but Chun-Li is my favorite SF character, and she continues to look awesome. I hope the pink version of her costume still exists.

We also got to see more of Season which I have been looking forward to, but this trailer felt a lot more ominous. I’m still really interested in exploring and collecting trinkets and things, but I have a feeling it’s going to make me cry and I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

It did throw me off that it was only 30 minutes as I feel like they usually have longer shows, but I guess it makes sense as State of Play have happened more often lately.

IndieCade Horizons Showcase

Fishing with the Homies seemed kind of neat– I liked a more relaxing fishing thing… But I am very concerned about the whole fishing up body parts thing. I guess at least they help you fish once you get all the parts? But these poor people.

Pastoral was another that stood out to me, though, considering the person who made the game kept avoiding certain sprites, it kind of scared me a bit too.

Disaster Golf looked really silly, but pretty much anytime I play golf it’s a disaster so I feel like having to be fast paced would make me even worse than usual.

Bellissimo was so pretty. I really loved the art style a lot.

Broombot Battleground was another that stood out to me. Possibly because I genuinely just really want a Roomba and it made me think of playing Battle mode in Mario Kart 64.

Honestly, even though I’ve only mentioned a few, there were so many impressive games, and it really makes me want to turn some of the ideas I’ve had into something. I ended up playing a few of the ones I did mention though over on my Youtube channel. There were even several games in the trailers I thought looked interesting too, but wasn’t always able to find much information on them, unfortunately.

Acquire Game Show

I don’t have too much to say for this show, but I will say that the graphics for Adventure Academia: The Fractured Continent are really pretty. I like the character designs/art a lot. I’m not particularly good at those types of games, though.

Limited Run Games Show

This Showcase is kind of all over the place, but it still felt pretty fun. I always love seeing games getting physical releases (or re-releases) and generally prefer physical copies myself.

Also, the music during a lot of the trailers is just really great? Very catchy.

This adorable dance gif was made by Diggehpls!

DANGEN Entertainment

If anything, I really liked the music for the Show’s introduction. Very catchy.

While Lost Ruins isn’t my type of game, I always enjoy when I can just smack things with a cute plushie if I do have to fight in a game.

Abomi Nations genuinely does look pretty cute– I liked several of the Abomi designs I saw.

OneShot intrigues me more every time I see the trailer again.

Anyway, that sums up my thoughts on this first packed week! Next post will likely be Day 0 and Day 1 of Gamer Christmas Week, though, possibly more days if it feels kind of short.