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JamesMcNasty responded to AnAuldWolf comment in
2 Years ago
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is a deep fighting game nestled inside a gorgeous JRPGShiness: The Lightning Kingdom is a deep fighting game nestled inside a gorgeous JRPG
AnAuldWolf Avatar
I... like this. And yet I'm torn. I feel that they're doing something weird to appeal to an audience that would never be interested in this sort of game and it harms it.

The aesthetic clash.

The animal characters are very typically a certain kind of anime from sometime around the '80s/'90s, when that kind of aesthetic was a thing. It gave rise to Sonic the Hedgehog.

And then Sonic also tried this but it didn't exactly work to the strengths of the franchise as the clashing aesthetics were jarring. I understand, to a degree, that it's because of crossing a dimensional barrier but as someone with artistic inclinations I couldn't ignore it. And I felt that the humans in it were of a more realistic sort (for anime, at least) to appeal to a demographic that didn't fit SEGA.

As contrarian as it might seem, I think the best rendering of the Sonic Universe is seen in the Sonic Boom cartoon, which has both a unified aesthetic and brilliant writing to back it up. I was stunned by how funny, subversive, self aware, and intelligent that show was. Then again, I didn't even hate Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, so I think I'm something of a black sheep.

Now, I'm not saying 'remove all humans!' because Eggman is present in the Sonic Universe and he's one of my favourite characters. I adored him in Sonic Boom. Well, I adored everyone. Knuckles for using the intelligence he had to play on and troll what each person's view of stupidity was (he used quite a different flavour of intentional stupidity when dealing with each character that believed they had a superior intellect); I enjoyed Tails being the straight man of the bunch, along with his odd enthusiasm contained only by his scientific cynicism, which lead to some great deadpan humour; And... well, they were all great.

I need to stop talking about Sonic Boom.

Point is, I think that clashing aesthetic styles actually hurt the game. You either need more realistic were-animals to accompany the humans, or you need the humans to look more like the people from Skies of Arcadia, Wind Waker, or the youths of Grandia to match the streamlined, exaggerated look of the anime characters.

That's not to say that I won't like the game. I can actually see this being something I'd love. I'm just not sold on that aesthetic, I wasn't from the first moment I saw it. And I do think it treats the game unfairly and gives it an unprofessional look that might turn people who'd otherwise be fans away. They're trying to cater to both the 'edgy anime hard arse' and the 'kawaii desu ne' niches in the same game. I don't know if that can work.

It'll be interesting if it can. But I have my worries. I wish they'd picked one aesthetic and stuck with it, rather than trying to cram two into the same game. A discordant aesthetic can be a killer.
JamesMcNasty Avatar

Cool story

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