Sonic Forces… Well that game wasn't as well recieved as Mania, even now it still gets hate on Twitter and this very subreddit, which I completely understand and sympathise with those that were dissapointed with the game as a whole, believe me at first, I had the same mindset as you guys and I also felt a bit dissapointed but at the same time I'm scared of it, I feel like praising any aspect of Forces(even its soundtrack) in any capacity will automatically get me downvoted in this subreddit for even mentioning that the game's exists. Which is why at first I felt scared to talk about this game in general and hesitated to writing this post. One thing stuck out to me about the game, one that I really loved about the game, the Custom Avatar.
I love Customisation Options in video games as a whole, I like creating things in video games every now and then, which is why I love games with Steam Workshop support or Create-A-Wrestler in WWE games. When I was first playing Forces I wasn't expecting much, I though it would be a barebone mechanic, only allowing you to change the species and colour of set character, but what I was discovered was one of the suprisingly fun experiences I had in a Sonic game. The developers put in the most effort and clearly had a lot of fun making this and it shows (maybe a bit too much fun *cough, cough* SANIC T-SHIRT DLC *cough,cough*) It's suprisingly in depth and the character itself suprisingly fits right in with all the official made characters like Sonic and Friends (Unless you make it ugly of course.) And for the most part the Avatars levels are the most creative out of the entire game, even with its flaws.
For the first time in a while Since Colours, the Wisps are suprisingly implemented in a fun and unique way compared to Lost World, where in Lost World they were scattered all around the level with no rhyme or reason, Forces not only implements them in a unique way that makes them fresh but in a way that it actually has a reason for their apperance in this game, for the Wisps are used as weapons to fight in the war against Eggman. Forces, Colours and TSR are better implemetations for the Wisps than Lost World in my opinion.
As for the story, while not Mass effect or Skyrim levels of immersion, I still had fun with it as a whole, I can't help feel giddy inside when Sonic Fist Bumps my own OC in the game. And it was really cool to hear that the Avatar Stage all have vocal track, which is awesome because the all the vocal tracks are bangers. I really love how as you progress through the game, you unlock more items which make you stronger.
As for the Custom Avatar creator itself, it's great, there's a lot you can tinker with…
- You can select your species, which give you different attributes that affect gameplay. Ex. The Bird species allows you to double jump and the Cat species allows you to store some rings after getting hit.
- You can select which Wispon to use which also changes gameplay. Ex Lightning Wispon allows you to Lightspeed Dash.
- You can equip different clothes for your avatar as you progress though the game. The higher the rank is the more clothes you unlock which you can equip during the game.
- You can change the head shape, eyes, eye colour, body colour as well as the gender, victory animation and voice.
- You can unlock more character slots after the game which allow you create more custom characters.
All these factors make the game that much more replayable and intresting to me as I could try out mutiple things for my character and get a different experience with the game every time.
Gameplay wise, it's really fun to play in my opinion, it's not perfect by any means, when you jump, it kinda weirdly arcs which reminds me of Bubsy a little bit, which scares me but otherwise I have no complaints about the gameplay (*with the custom avatar).
One thing that I love about the custom avatar, is to see other peoples avatars, both in game and online, in the game there is this system called the Rental Avatar which is used to use other user created Avatars online in-game to help you out during the game which I found to be a neat feature. Also I seen some drawings of the Avatar Gadget and what I saw was very wholesome. If there is one thing that is good with the Sonic fanbase is that, the fanbase is talented, and this is no different, some of the stuff I've seen is amazing. Long ago, There was a contest by Nibroc-Rock, to see who can create the best Avatar I'll post the link right here…
You guys are really talented and I wish the community took notice of the creative side of the fandom instead of the loud, vocal minority that complains constantly about the franchise.
I could go on and on defending this aspect about the game but I worry my post would be too long for anyone to read, that being said there are some final things I would like to say. I love this 'gimmick' and I wish it was expanded apon in future, like for example, give it new species like the echidna, fox, bat, panda or lemur, more clothing options, more body changes. Or make it so if you played Forces before, you can implement it to whatever future Sonic game you want to play. Or combine it with the Chao Garden and make it an MMO so that you and your friends with the custom avatar as your playable character, can play with each other. I wish this really was exapnded and improved apon, but knowing the hatred this game gets from hardcore fans as well as Sonic Team themselves ignoring the game's existance due to the mixed reception the game got, my dreams will never become a reality, and that may be fine, even if it saddens me that yet another great idea was thrown in the garbage. If you amde it this far, you're awesome, have a great day.
TL;DR, I love the Custom Avatar and I wish it was expanded apon in future Sonic games.
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