Misconceptions about SEGA’s 2010 games


Something that I hate is when one someone writes something about a game that gets echoed everywhere I go. These people that keep on babbling on about how this game has these issues or its  a clone of some other mainstream game, most of the time these individuals never end up actually playing the game in question for themselves.

I have decided to give my 2 cents on what I consider false assumptions of SEGA’s 2010 games.

Sonic Colors is aimed at kids

Here is a story that originated as an ‘exclusive’ from the TSSZ News blog, a popular Sonic related website.They stated that Sonic Colors would be aimed at more mainstream Wii owners and younger gamers. In the end the game was marketed like every other Sonic game in existence.

The issue here is that all Sonic games are meant to be easy to pick up and play. There is no “complicated” gameplay. You move Sonic and you jump and run. The game didn’t all of a sudden change from Sonic the Hedgehog we all know and love to Sonic for the SEGA Pico.

That said, the game wasn’t ‘easy’ and one of the main issues reviewers  had with the game was its difficulty spikes. Something that most developers would avoid if you are aiming the game only at a younger demographic.

This leads me to the next misconception…

Sonic Colors copied Mario Galaxy 2

I really don’t know what started this, but sites like Kotaku and other mainstream blogs seem to always hint at this. One of the reasons is that it’s ‘in space’, which makes me question if writers on these sites have even played a game made before 2007.


[Ah! Sonic 2 in space? Must have also copied Mario Galaxy!]

Actually Sonic games have a long history of ‘ending up in space’, From Sonic 2 all the way to newer games like Sonic 06. Seems like a stable of the series, just like Sonic being blue.

Other points being brought up is that Sonic Colors uses ‘power ups’ thus it has to be copying Mario because Mario invented power ups, right? This argument doesn’t hold much weight either, mostly because power ups have been used in games since the start of gaming. Pac-Man had his power up to eat up ghosts, after all.

No matter how you look at it, it’s hard to say that the Wisp power ups in Sonic Colors, are copied right out of Mario’s playbook. Especially since most of the Wisps powers are not even derived from Mario games. Not to mention Sonic Colors is not the first game to have ‘power ups’ of sorts, Sonic 3 had them and the whole series has always had item boxes.

The last point that I hear being brought up is that the game features red coins, which where used in previous Mario games. This is possibly the best argument, but I wouldn’t consider it a complete rip off. It isn’t the ‘core game’ of Sonic Colors. Plus other games this year have used this gimmick without being criticized as much as Sonic Colors. One game that comes to mind is Joe Danger.

Sonic the Hedgehog has been influenced by Mario since the first game launched back in 1991. There is no denying that without Mario there would most likely never have been a Sonic. But to say that ‘Sonic Colors’ is a complete rip off of Mario Galaxy or other Mario games is incorrect. Sonic Colors did not copy Mario Galaxy. It’s built itself off of past Sonic games, but it is still very much it’s own game.

Bayonetta is a sexist video game

I don’t think most people understand what the hell sexism is, they just make up a vague definitions like ‘it has a sexy woman on the cover’ and that equals sexism. So lets get the definition up first.

Definition of SEXISM

1
: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women
2
: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
Webster

Is there a discrimination based on sex in Bayonetta? No. Bayonetta is the name of the lead character of the game. You know when you watch those Hollywood award shows, one of the lead females in the picture gets an award and shes very proud of the achievement, especially since women don’t really have lead roles in many Hollywood movies? That is basically Bayonetta, how many action games have a lead woman as a role? Discrimination? If anything it’s the opposite.

Now about stereotypical behavior. Bayonetta is a woman, that works alone most of the time, kicking the shit out of anything that stands in her way. How is this a sexist stereotype? In a world where the mainstream accept games like Cooking Mama, why can’t hardcore gamers just accept a badass female action hero in their games? If anything, Cooking Mama is actually a million times more sexist than Bayonetta

The last straw that they grasp is that she is ‘slutty’. First of all, a woman embracing her sexiness is not sexist, its a beautiful thing. You are basically saying a woman should be ashamed of herself and wear ponchos because of your own insecurities. Hideki Kamiya designed and directed the game, thus it’s by a man objectifying a woman to be sexy, right?


[Put on a shirt you slut!]

When he directed Devil May Cry, a game that featured a ‘sexy’ man flaunting his abs, no man complained about it, but when a woman sticks up her butt a bit it’s sexist. Don’t tell me that Dante from Devil May Cry and Bayonetta are nothing alike, they are quite alike in concept. They are supposed to be over the top, cool and sexy. The  only difference is that one is a woman and the other is a man.  Maybe the ones crying sexism are just sexist themselves?

Yakuza 3 is a crappy Grand Theft Auto clone

This ‘comparison’ actually started when the first game was announced to be released in America. The first publication that I read referred to Yakuza as a GTA clone. Game Informer magazine called it the ‘Japanese Grand Theft Auto’, which is an incredibly misinformed if nothing else.

Do the games share similarities? Sure, Yakuza and Grand Theft Auto both revolve around lives of ‘criminals’ or gangsters. But does sharing this ‘similar’ plot point make one game a clone of the other? With this thinking, Godfather would be a clone of Clockwork Orange.

One of the main points in Grand Theft Auto is right in the name, stealing cars. They are about driving from point A to point B. Most of the missions in Grand Theft Auto III where about driving around, thus comparing it to Crazy Taxi makes more sense than comparing it to Yakuza in terms of gameplay, mostly because Yakuza doesn’t give you the ability to drive cars.

Grand Theft Auto also has a large focus on gun play. To defeat most of the missions you have to keep yourself well stocked with guns. In Yakuza, the game revolves around the fighting system. You can use guns, but they only have 2-3 bullets. Most of the game will have you fist fighting and dodging enemy attacks.

Grand Theft Auto is known for ‘creating’ the sandbox genre. Meaning you can drive around wherever you want and do missions when you want all over a city. Yakuza does feature something like this this, but its not really like Grand Theft Auto’s cities, where you can steal cars, commit petty crimes, and kill random people on a whim. In Yakuza you aren’t really allowed to kill random people and hookers, thus the overworld feels more like something out of an RPG game than a sandbox game.

Vanquish is basically Gears of War

I will start off by saying that comparing Vanquish to Gears of War is like saying Gears of War is a Kill Switch clone. Vanquish’s only similarity with Gears of War is that it’s a 3rd person shooter.

when Gears of War came out it was praised for its cover system and co-op gameplay. First of all, Vanquish doesn’t offer co-op gameplay, the focus of Vanquish is ranking up points through-out the levels, not working with someone to get past hordes of bad guys.

Vanquish does have a cover system that is similar to Gears of War, but unlike Gears of War, Vanquish punishes the user for using cover. It will deduct points in the end of the stage depending on how long you stay in cover. Using it a lot is not something the game encourages.

Just because a game is a FPS or a third person shooter, doesn’t mean its copying whatever is popular at the time. Could they have been influenced on how they did the cover system? Yes. Did Vanquish outright plagiarize Gears of War? Well, unless Gears of War has an elaborate scoring system, giant bosses, and jet packs…no.

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23 responses to “Misconceptions about SEGA’s 2010 games

  1. Wilhelm says:

    Well, my goal is to create a new site that writes reviews based on the opinion of the writer.

    I'm doing my best to fulfill this by not letting other games influence the outcome of the game I'm reviewing…

    Mario and Sonic: psh fanboys always bitch about the other game series..

    as for that sexist thing, that's bullshit, FF7 Tifa, thats more sexist.

  2. CrazyTails says:

    I think there were some obvious things that sonic colors took from mario. For instance those boss battles on airships with cannons and the second rehashed version with rockets that follow you that you abuse to open glasses with. Both from mario

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWQtP-_-m4A

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-Qw1ClCVN8

  3. Chaosmaster8753 says:

    Nice article, George. And that bit of Vanquish punishing the player for covering makes me wonder what Yahtzee would think of the game (he's apparently played it, but hasn't reviewed it).

  4. Chaosmaster8753 says:

    Another thing, I think Iizuka himself denied that Colors was inspired by Galaxy in an interview I can't recall.

  5. Sharky says:

    Good article, great idea and very true.

  6. Sega Uranus says:

    Vanquish is not a Gears of War clone in any shape or form, but there a tons of similarities. There are four whole sections of the game that are directly inspired from the games too, as well as much of the level layouts being clearly similar.

    And as for Sonic Colors not being a kids game… lol. Older Sonic games were usually marketed at families, or in the cases of some, MTV viewers. Since Sonic Heroes and Sonic X the series has taken a much more childish approach overall, and that is some of what people really hate, more than all of that homing attack or Shadow commotion ever could be.

    I agree with everything else though. Especially the Bayonetta part.

  7. Autosaver says:

    At the end of the article, there is a big DOWNLOAD button. What is it for?

    Anyways, I'm sure the whole "Sonic Colors for kids" was spread by Shadi at the Sega forums in every thread. 😮

  8. Sharky says:

    If Sonic Colours is for kids, I'll take all of my Sonic games for kids… Because it was a hell of a lot better then pretty much every other Sonic game this decade.

    Frankly I'm SICK of Sonic games trying to have some hardcore save the world from the evil time traveling, world ending, magical time traveling monster bullshit. If thats the COOL, OLDER sonic then fuck that.

    Bing back silly jokes, bring back Robotnik as the bad guy with his no brain side kick robots… I want to save little creatures and I want to play wacky levels.

    I don't want Radical Highway… They should have called that level 'my drive back from work' because it wasn't the bright colourful Sonic worlds I want to play in… It was tar-mac roads from start to end.

  9. Here here! Way to stand up to Bayonetta! Might I add, the SEGAbits female members seem to have no problem with the game or the character.

    Cooking Mama, on the other hand, is a step back for female game characters.

  10. cube_b3 says:

    [quote]Is there a discrimination based on sex in Bayonetta? No.[/quote]

    Why not? Is there a male character in the game whose outfit is composed of his pubes so that he can strip down – butt naked – so that his hair can turn into monsters to kill enemies?

    When you all will be able to accept Dante as sexy + bad ass while doing this, Bayonetta will be free of her stereotypical discriminating shackles as well.

    Dante is showing off his abs, she can do it too, I am proud of my 4 pack, I love Dante's six pack. I admire abs regardless of gender or my sexual orientation. I am secure enough to call a man or a woman sexy. What I don't want is a CGI ass in front of my face, with the girl moaning and saying shit like, "do you want to touch me".

  11. Sharky says:

    Everyone please note, Cube has never played Bayonetta…

    So… Way to back up Georges point completely.

  12. George says:

    1. Bayonetta's hair suit is no pubes, its the hair on her head that is long.

    2. Women =/= express their sexiness in different ways. You are OK with males being sexy but not women. That is sexist.

  13. -nSega54- says:

    It can be argued (not that I'm arguing it) that the developers seem to be under the impression that you can not create a video game starring a female character without making her pretty much a porn star. Bayonetta's a lolipop-sucking, pole dancing, promiscuous-looking, and shallow female character who always seems to have the camera pointing at her ass or her crotch.

    The fact that Dante doesn't wear a shirt is nothing compared to Bayonetta's over-sexed personality, and her sexiness is really all that her character has, there's nothing else to her. I don't feel that the developers were necessarily sexist, I think they aimed to make a somewhat satirical statement with the character, but I can see why people (especially women) may look at this character and wish that fewer developers who make video games starring women feel it's necessary to make the women total sluts.

  14. Sharky says:

    I've yet to come across a female gamer that found Bayonetta to be in anyway disrespectful.

    The fact of the matter is, many woman like the 'strong woman, isnt scared to show sexuality' stuff.

    If ANYTHING they are sick of the princess in destress videogame cliche.

    Bayonetta isnt BEING exploited, she isnt a weak character that is being looked down on by men, she is strong and 'sexy'… of course she isnt actually sexy to most men but the point is that is how woman see her.

    Not to mention she was designed by a woman…

  15. MadeManG74 says:

    I dunno, I find that the biggest thing about Bayonetta not seeming offensive to me is that she is by far the strongest, smartest, most stylish person in the whole game. Nobody else in the game comes close to her powers with the exception of Jeanne, another woman.

  16. -nSega54- says:

    Yeah that's why I don't support the sexism argument. Bayonetta is very capable and a strong female character. I just wish she didn't act like the type of girl who would fuck every guy at the party in one night. She acts like a slut. Which is just as bad a cliche as the "damsel in distress."

    Final Fantasy XIII featured a strong female character who wasn't a total slut, for example. But like I said, I think they were aiming to make a very over-the-top game, and Bayonetta's sexiness was taken over the top like everything else was. So I don't believe that the developers were being sexist. But I do find her personality extremely annoying.

  17. MadeManG74 says:

    But that's the other thing, does she act like someone who is going to 'fuck every guy at the party'? I don't think so. She usually teases them rather than making any suggestive moves to any of them. It's more like she knows they find her attractive and she plays on that to piss them off. Like calling Luca 'Cheshire' andher line 'Do you want to touch me?'. It seems more like a sarcastic comment rather than a come-on line.

    Maybe we are all just overthinking this and she's just a wacky character.

  18. -nSega54- says:

    ^ That's possible, I suppose.

    Like I said, my problem with Bayonetta wasn't really her sexiness but the fact that she was annoying.

  19. Sharky says:

    I'm with Mademan on this one, I didn't get the feeling she was going to have sex with everyone. In fact I got the overall feeling her standards would be so high nobody would ever get a crack at her. Which I think was the point.

    I think honestly if she is designed by a woman and all the girls I know seems to really like the character… Well I think we can stop worrying about it being degrading or sexist. I think it is the complete opposite and some 'men' just don't like to see the strong female lead and hide behind the 'but but but it's sexist' BS.

  20. cube_b3 says:

    I think Alys from Phantasy Star 4, Aika from Skies of Arcadia, Sayama from Yakuza 2 are all excellent strong, inspirational and in their own way sexy characters.

    Bayonetta on the other hand, just makes me sick.

    You can have your opinion, you can ask the people around you and they'd eco the things you said that is why they are your friends (you guys & girls think alike) similarly all of my company finds it repulsive.

    Your from England right? Have you seen Sir Alan Sugar "The Apprentice Season 2" did you see how much he yelled at the women, for using their sexuality for selling fruits in the first episode He fined them several pounds stating he won't have a whore as an executive, they weren't sleeping with men, they were only teasing.

    Even Donal Trump who tolerates this much more eventually told the girls in Season 1 to cut "selling your sex" out, cause female executives of Trump Org got pissed off. Same thing happend with Ivana in Season 2, she stripped down to her panties to sell chocolate and got fired. You can't justify it as teasing.

    I was talking to some Dreamcast developers about Bayonetta, who really love the game for it's gameplay I showed them the TGS teaser and they were also like yeah the character has the whole porno flavor and had they seen the trailer, they too would've passed on the game.

    The gameplay is awesome, and in game the whole sexism is comparatively much less. It doesn't change the fact that it is their and it was marketed around an exploitative angle.

    You don't want to agree with me that's fine.

    End of Discussion.

  21. Aki-at says:

    Bayonetta is not trying to be a sales executive, your examples literally makes no sense.

    It's also pretty bad you used Alan Sugar as an example, anything linked with Tottenham must put down as completely wrong.

    Therefore, it is wrong.

    End of discussion.

  22. cube_b3 says:

    Well said, sir.

    Although I like Alan Sugar, and quoted trump as well but like you said end of discussion, boss.

  23. Phantasos says:

    Kamiya didn’t direct Devil May Cry 3, in which Dante pops out of the shower and into a Demon Tower. Bad example.

    I also don’t know know anyone who thinks Vanquish is like Gears of war. If anything they mistake for Binary Domain due to the similar setting.

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