Forum Posts Following Followers
12114 917 615

SuperfastSonic Blog

5 RPG Traditions That Should Be Broken.

Traditions aren't meant to be broken, and neither are video game traditions, but if it's a bad tradition to start out with then the future of traditional games looks bleak. And when video games are constantly evolving it seems that some of the old-school traditions are just dragging the games down. We're in the age of copy cats, me-too's, me-three's, knock-off's, cash-in's, etc., so if a tradition becomes a recycled cliché...it needs to die. The main offender of sticking too close to cliché traditions is the RPG genre.

Here's 5 examples of traditions and clichés from RPG's that have run their course. And all of them could be easily avoided today.

5. Restricted to save ONLY at save points or when the game allows you to.

save point

Evil.


What? - Some RPG's, especially one's made by Square Enix, will only allow you to save at various times. Commonly, save points are at various locations within the game which is the only time you can save your progress.

Why this tradition should be broken
- You've been cruising through a dungeon like nothing, spent hours upon hours finding hidden loot while leveling up your characters - and then the boss kills your entire party with one attack. All those hours you put into the game are GONE. You'll now have to restart where you last saved (when you could) because apparently putting a save option in a game's menu would be a chore as opposed to finding the right locations to put save points in? Or maybe Square Enix is trying to make the game harder for you, because, you know, cheap bosses that kill you without even flinching haven't made the game more angst-y enough? And nothing is more annoying than having to back track through a dungeon in order to save your progress. Hope you learned Teleport/Warp, otherwise that Flan is going to wipe out your White Mage for the fifteenth time and you're going to have to either binge on that last Pheonix Down, or backtrack through that 15 floor dungeon in order to revive your party member. Thank goodness you saved before your White Mage died right? Oh wait, you couldn't...

save point next 4 hours

Communism!

Biggest Offenders: (Almost) Every Square Enix game imaginable.

4. Cut-scene Overload.

cc

Whoa, this cut-scene is so amazing I wish it will never end!


What? - It's required by state law that an RPG of today's standards must have a cut-scene every 5 minutes. That's fact...I didn't make it up.

Why this tradition should be broken - Yes, I agree that cut-scenes are a way to advance the plotline in a game, but must we advance the plotline every 10 seconds with no breaks in between? Do we really need that many cut-scenes? And it's even worse when you can't skip the cut-scenes. Remember in Metroid Prime 2 (Which is not an RPG of course, but it's a good example) where you had to watch a half minute cut-scene every time you went into the dark world from the light world and vice-versa? As if that wasn't bad enough the worst unskippable cut-scenes yet are from games like Crisis Core that precede before a tough boss battle: if you get beaten by the boss then you have to watch that whole unskippable cut-scene all over again. Cut-scenes were once cool little short clips that showed off the console's best graphics capabilities, but now it seems we're watching more of them than we're playing the game.

cc

Whoa, this cut-scene is so long I wish it would just end already...

Biggest Offenders: Chrono Trigger's second to last battle(s), Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy. (No, I am not making fun of Square Enix RPGs, it's just that they have too many cut-scenes. :P )

3. Underage Heroes...that might be orphans.

vc

The Official Japanese militia looks a lot like this.


What? - The world is in the brink of being destroyed! Who's there to save our planet? 16 year-old years...that are orphans.

Why this tradition should be broken - It's becoming so predictable in JRPG's its not funny. The odds that a bunch of 16-year old's are the only hope for humanity is low in itself, but did I mention that they're all orphans? We're saved! And let's not forget the moms in Pokemon that send their 10 year-olds out in the wilderness, which is full of monsters and evil gangs, because the justice system is on crack and won't go to the evil gang's secret hideout (which is right under their nose the whole time) and arrest the bums. But why would they? Just let the 10 year olds do it! If that's not bad enough, developer's also feel the need to stereotype the young female characters with abnormally large...yeah, because when you turn 17 you automatically get a B cup, girls.

sheena

Level up!


Worst Offenders: Valkryie Chronicles, Final Fantasy III, Pokemon.

2. Multi-Colored Enemies/Blobs.

paint

If you squint you'll be able to see that there's a big differnce between the mummies and the birds.


What? - Due to the grueling task of creating individual enemies, developers have opt to creating multi-colored versions of the same sprite. And no RPG is complete without a couple of different colored blobs right?

Why this tradition should be broken - Nothing is more lazy than slapping a new coat of paint on an enemy and calling it new. Sure, this was tolerable back in the NES days where RPG's were still in infant form, but now it's like an 18 year-old blowing bubbles out of his mouth...people are going to say "Stop that! It's not funny any more!" It's even more pathetic when they use this cheap trick on every enemy in the game, and the bosses. And blobs. Blobs, really? If a JRPG doesn't have a cat-feral-thingy it has blobs. What could be worse than generic looking balls of slime? Multi-colored balls of slime that's what. At least the slimes of today have mustaches and stuff...

slimes

Politically incorrect slimes of today.



Worst Offenders: (Original) Dragon Quest, and every single old-school RPG and remake of those games ever made.

1. Random Encounters.

again!

Why so serious?

What? - You're in a dungeon for less than 10 seconds, and a group of enemies jump out of nowhere and attack you. Fun.

Why this tradition should be broken - The one thing that drives a lot of people I know away from playing an RPG is those random encounters. It's annoying to not know what you'll be up against: could be a whole group of weak enemies, or could be a rare dragon enemy that's going to whoop you senseless. Unlike other genres where you have the option to bypass an enemy you don't like, random battles in RPG's force you to battle whether you like or not. Yep, communism. And if the encounter rate is high...let's just say that dungeon with 5 floors in you're in right now is going to take at least an hour to get through. The idea that RPG's need random encounters is dumb, since there is a much better alternative. In the Mario RPG's the enemies appear out of battle and you have the choice of either run from that enemy or fight it. Heck, we're in an era where RPG's let you pretty much do anything; customize your characters to extremes, shape the game from the beginning to the end, etc., so why can't we choose not to fight when we don't want to?

flee

And think of all the calories you'd burn!


Worst Offenders: Every Final Fantasy game, Dragon Quest, Mega Man Battle Network, Pokemon, and to infinity.

Other RPG/JRPG clichés:

Amnesia as a plot device: Seriously, they're still using this!

Spike-y haired protagonists:
Because using bleach makes you look bada**. With all those fancy swords and technlogy you'd think they'd invent a hair brush...

Your best friend is a traitor plot device:
That b*st*rd burned down my town and killed everyone in it! I trusted him too!

What RPG tradition-turned-cliché do you think needs to be broken?

~SFS

The Big 5 - Tales of Abyss 3DS and...Obama is dead???

I just woke up, have a lot to do to day, so let's get this over with. -__-

5. Confessions...

http://www.halolz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/halolz-dot-com-pokemon-doctorwho-lastofthewailords.jpg

Full of win.

4. Now Playing: Kingdom Hearts.

http://www.gamershell.com/static/screenshots/4855/92896_full.jpg

Well I recently decided to replay Kingdom Hearts on my PS2 in expert mode this time, since I got frustrated with FFIII and threw it across the room after being killed in the final dungeon and having to start 2 days worth of leveling up over....GRRRRAAAAGGGGHHH!!!! ...I don't normally start games over, but KH was so fun in expert mode that I only played 5 minutes of FFX-2 in order to play some more of this...which proves that no FF game can interest me more than KH. :P

3. Tales of Abyss is coming to the 3DS!

http://www.watchanimeon.com/images/1091.jpg

Well here is a surprise: in my new NP magazine they previewed Tales of the Abyss which will be coming to the 3DS! Take that you greedy used game store near me that sold this game for $50 used! Now all I need is a 3DS...

2. E3 is coming in one month!!!

http://images.thekoalition.com/2010/06/E3-logo.jpg

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?!?!??!

1. Obama is dead.

http://shavarross.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Fox-New-OBAMA-Bin-Laden-is-Dead-Picture.jpg

I can't believe it myself! :o

SFS's song pic:

Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show

~Super-last-of-the-Wailords-Sonic

Nintendo is FINALLY reducing the prices of their Wii games!

http://kotaku.com/#!5797802/and-so-we-enter-the-wii-budget-age-with-the-arrival-of-wii-select

IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!

God lord, I can't believe I had to wait freakin' three years for a price reduction! I have blogged and ranted about this since 2008...I was patient...then I waited three more years...I have to slap myself to believe it's true! The one major thing I HATED about the Wii...now I can actually afford their games!!! To all of you who had said to me that "This will never happen" and Nintendo likes my money, and that we'll be paying the same price for Wii games when I humbly declare: NYAH! NYAH!

On the downside you get this ugly boxart...

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/media/26202/4/1.jpg

But I would trade in a boxart for cheaper games ANY day. Though I find it dumb that they're only doing this for Wii games. Seriously, Mario Kart DS, Pokemon Pearl/Diamond, and Super Mario 64 DS are STILL full priced! And wtf, they're rereleasing...Wii Sports???? And they didn't even bother to put in Motion Plus controls??? I still argue that the President of Nintendo is Wario who's sitting on his fat arse all day collecting money by rereleasing the same game. :roll: City Folk wasn't worth $50 in the first place IMO.

Smash Bros. Brawl has also been rumored for Nintendo Select. I especially hope they'll add:

Pokemon Battle Revolution

Wii Music

Wii play

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Mario Kart Wii

Punch Out!!

And for games that are not Nintendo:

Sonic Colors

Monster hunter Tri

Arc Rise Phantasia

Tutsunoko vs. Capcom

Three f***in' years with dealing with "Hey, have you played (this Wii game)?" "No, I'm waiting for a price reduction" *Gets laughed at* This is the best news of the year yet. A bit too late, but I really don't care.

~Super-can-finally-afford-Mario-Kart-Wii-Sonic

My Game Wishlist for the new gen Nintendo system.

Well since it's offical that the Wii 2 (or the Wii Wii. snicker) will be shown this E3 I think its about time I put in my game wishlist for what games I'd like to see on the system. Note, that these are just my opinions and predictions, and does not determine the future of the console, and I'm not a fortune teller. ...you can all take a sigh of relief now that you know a SEGA fanboy is wrong. :roll:

Wishlist:

5. A new Kingdom Hearts. Yes I said it before that I am continually becoming less of a fan of the series because it takes so freakin' long for ONE game to come out. seriously, are they even making the game(s)??? However, I want at least some news of a new KH game, because since it takes them over 3 or more years to make a game (not to mention all the delays) I want it to be annoucned as soon as possible to know that they're working on the title and we don't have to wait for an eternity to see more screenshts. And PLEASE don't make it another filler. I can't stand one more look of Agrabah!

4. The next Mario game. Mario has run across the Mushroom Kingdom multiple times, has been to Sarasland, traveled game boards, jumped under on a tropical island, been to outerspace TWICE, and is going to be in 3 dimensions in his next adventure - but what's after that? Miyamoto is a genius at coming up with clever ideas that no one else has thought up, so I wouldn't doubt that it's going to be nothing short of amazing. I would run out of ideas by now if I were Mario's creator! Yes you can rest assured that a SEGA fanboy is not making Mario games.

3. Four Swords Adventure. I'm surprised they haven't made a sequel to this game yet. It's been 6 years since the last game and connectivity with consoles and handhelds is now wireless and MILES easier - so why haven't we seen a sequel yet??? And of course the Wii 2's rumored controller would be PERFECT for the job. I would be very surprised if this wasn't shown at this year's E3.

2. Smash Bos. Please Nintendo, amaze me this year like never before. It would be awesome if this were shown. If not on the new console, put it on the 3DS - I don't care, I'll find a way to get the system! And the guest character could be- :shock: BATMAN! ...no, I'm not joking...I really think Batman would be awesome!

1. Sonic Generations. If you're not going to release it on the Wii despite all the sale percentages of all the other Sonic games on the system and graphics, yada, ydad, yada, then please SEGA - release it on the new Nintendo system! If it's HD ready like the rumors say, then you have no excuses. I'm waaaaaaaaiting!

So yes, I'm ready for E3 as I can ever be. I'm also pretty tired of the awful crappy concept designs of the supposed controller that fans make every other day. See for yourself...

http://cdn2.ubergizmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/wii-hd-controller-ign-mock-up.jpg

Either that screen is super tiny or that controller clunkier than a DS Phat and a Sbox controller combined.

http://cdn.gamerant.com/wp-content/uploads/Nintendo-Wii-2-Project-Cage-Touchscreen-Controller-280x157.jpg

Sorry, grey was over 30 years ago.

http://dvice.com/uploads/wii2-controller-mk-22.jpg

KILL IT!!! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!

http://joonbug.com/media/m51UiF6Z3qb/wii2-controller-mk-17.jpg

Yeah...real deal right here...

http://wiihdrumors.davidturnbull.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Kotaku-Mockup-2.jpg

........ :|

http://files.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/267660_S/wii-2-mock-up.jpg

*goes to throw up in bathroom*

http://i51.tinypic.com/wa0x1y.jpg

Okay..just...just...stop...

http://www.sitsam.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/New-Nintendo-Controller-Wii-2.jpg

...E3, where art thou to melt the faces off these amateurs with Nintendo's new controller?

~Super-can't-wait-for-E3-Sonic

Is THIS leaked image Nintendo's new console? + My KH/Nin fanfic.

Ladies and gentlemen...you could be looking at the next gen Nintendo console...

1

Source: GoNintendo.

This baffles me though:

1. Why is the light turned on when there is no cords connected to the system?

2. Either the Nintendo logo is huge, or the system can fit in your hand.

3. AND OH MY GOD is that a cartridge slot?!?!?!!? :shock: ...Well I doubt it, but a man can dream. :P

Fake or could ths be the real deal?


Well I quit the Sonic Smash! fanfic half-way through, because (A, I ran out of ideas and (B, I don't have the time to go on wikipedia constantly just to learn about one character's history. I might bring it back but who knows. Any way, I started a new fanfic that combines Kingdom Hearts and Nintendo together in a crossover. I'll be posting it on DeviantArt whenever I have the time. It took me forever to download the first part since I never downloaded fanfics on the site before, and DevArt's stupid: "You can't post this file in that category!" made me redo it billion times not to mention rewrite the whole freakin' fanfic....made me feel kinda stupid. -_- Plus whenever I submited it a Retry screen popped up every time and...grrrrraaaaghhh that stupid site took out all the italics! :x Makes me so mad I want to drink a pint of Powerthirst and kick the website with my ENERGY LEGS!!!! :x :x :x

Well here it is if you're interested.


If you haven't already added me on DevArt you're welcome to do so, since I need more feedback.

I'll pop in once and awhile, but I'll mostly spend my time at Nintendo 5 Star. Make sure to join the site! It needs more members!^^

~SuperfanficSonic

I'm the Easter Hedgehog.

http://crazytownmayor.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Easter-funny-Garfield-cartoon-image-222x300.gif

Just a short blog to say Happy Easter to all, because I don't have anything else to say. Dinner will be in a little while so if I did have something to say I won't have time to say it... And sorry, you're not invited. :/

Been a rough night; delivering baskets all around the world, but luckilly I'm faster than Santa Claus, so it only took 10 minutes to deliver them all. 8) Though I had to deal with cops...and dogs...and water. :| There's that darn Atlantic ocean...the drowning theme still gives me chills. :?

Happy Easter, and you better appreciate those chocalate eggs! :x

~SuperEasterHedgehogSonic

Mario and Sonic at the...oh who cares any more...

Well I finally accepted the reality that Sonic Generations is NOT coming to the Wii. Yeah I was pretty ticked because I don't want to get an Xbox360, and the PS3 is still expensive, so I have to wait next gen when the PS3 gets cheaper before I can actually get it. Okay, I got over it. I still have to play Colors and Unleashed, and then I heard SEGA was working on something special for the Wii. I was hopeful...until they revealed it...

1

A game for the hardcore old school Sonic fans! All 20 characters from the last game, new unexciting Wii remote mini-games that probably don't use Wii motion plus, and best of all its...oh f*** it. It's just another boring mini-game compilation on a system with too many boring mini-game compilations that already plague it to death and shun out the actually good games. Its like releasing another FPS on the Xbox360 or releasing another emo-play-as-a-bad-guy game on the PS3. Yeah, these genres were fun and all when they came out and I usually get stuck on a genre too- WHEN IT WAS GOOD (remember WarioWare?). But after looking at the shriveled cow you begin to wonder, "Why keep milking it?" or better yet: "WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP BUYING THE MILK?!?!"

Instead of reinventing the genre like Rhythm Heaven did to the rhythm genre (seriously, you MUST play this game), SEGA is too lazy to do anything special and poison what could be the Wii's last year with shovelware, because apparently what is left of the Wii is casuals. They're not even TRYING to make a good game. It's not only poisoning Mario's reputation of good games, but it's also poisoning Sonic's recently excellent reputation. What a waste of a once in a lifetime partnership. Shame on you SEGA! Shame to my wallet that I can't buy an PS3 to actually play Generations on!! Shame to you developers that produce the same crap every year on the Wii!! And shame to my blog banner and header that I worked so hard on to look cool when Sonic and Mario actually get a decent game together!!! Kill it with fire!!!!

http://docsbill.com/Flamethrower_5.jpg


Oh and btw...I bought TWEWY for $10 on-line and it's coming in the mail 4 to 14 days from now! Whoopee!!!

SFS's song pic of the week:

1985 - Bowling for Soup

~Super-wished-they-would-stop-making-bad-Mario-&-Sonic

On Topic of Universal Handhelds.

Admit it, we're spoiled gamers. We live in an era with three home consoles at once each with a huge library of the best playing and visually impressive games out there, retro returns of forgotten games like Bionic Commando, and we have not one, not two, but three different handhelds to take with us where ever we go - and another handheld is coming later this year! So you can imagine that we expect everything to be pixel perfect. We want every game to have great graphics, on-line play, and all the bells and whistles that go with it. And then we go too far. By comparing systems with systems we've created a System Wars monster around the whole internet that cannot be stopped (A.K.A. my system is better than your's). Handhelds like the DS were safe at first, because gamers were more concerned about the games rather than what the system itself could do as opposed to the PSPzilla Sony pulled out of the dungeon that had an MP3/video player, and provided an internet browser. But then Apple released the iPhone with it's many many apps that did everything plus the kitchen sink, and our viewpoint of handhelds changed forever. So now we expect gaming handhelds to do everything that the iPhone can do. What does this all add up to mean? It's that we expect waaaaay too much out of handhelds then we should.

iboard

Every App plus the Kitchen sink!

I am very sick and tired of every journalist in the known universe comparing the iPhone with the 3DS, and then later commenting that the 3DS is inferior because it can't do everything that the iPhone can do. Let's think for a minute here: do you go to the store to buy a 3DS expecting to be an iPhone? Of course not! You don't go and buy a toaster expecting it to be a microwave - you buy a toaster to toast toast! You buy an iPhone, you get an iPhone. You buy a 3DS, you get a new gen Game Boy with 3D visuals and a camera. Everybody wins.

Does off-game console features really matter in the long run? Look at the DS and PSP: which had more features? The PSP of course. BUT who got the most third party support? Aye, the DS it may be! So the next queston is obvious: did the MP3/video player and internet browser save the PSP? It DIDN'T. Since we're still on the topic here's some more questions for you to answer: did you buy a 3DS just for the AR cards? Did you buy a PS3 for the bells and whistles, and then shunned the games? And when a new console is announced do you care about what the system will feature off-game or do you care about what games the system will have? I do hope you answered those questions correctly.

Off-game handheld features in my opinion only give you a couple moments of goofy fun, but after that the charm has gone away, just like how no one barely even touches (pun unintended) the DS's PictoChat any more. I admit that I still use the PSP's MP3 player from time to time, but only because I don't own an ipod, iphone, or ipad. If I had one of those Apple products, then I would take off every song file I had on my PSP in an instant to make room for game save files and PSN downloads. It's cool to have everything on one system, but if I wanted a real camera, and/or a real MP3 player then I would buy a real one, because I don't have to worry about deleteing pictures/song files when I want to play more games on the system. Basically what I'm saying is I buy a gaming system to play GAMES. If the handheld's features contribute to the games like the 3DS games then fine, I don't care, but if it's an excuse to jack up the price of the handheld then forget it. That's why I'm super skeptical of the NGP. Yeah an updated browser and screen resolution for better video files is nice and all, but come on - a GPS????? Really???? Do we really need that?

So please, stop this comparison of handheld consoles with Apple products, heck just stop comparing anything with Apple products because its always going to be inferior. Not every system was meant to do everything. So when the NGP comes around, treat it like a video game handheld, not an Apple product. And if you can't remember that always remember: All Toasters toast toast.

~SFS

Guitar Hero Returns: Should We Care?

Think the supposedly dead Guitar Hero fad is over with? Think again. Yes get ready to take out those beat up plastic guitars once more for Guitar Hero is making a comeback sometime in 2012. BUT WAIT, should we be ecstatic over this news? Is it worth it to take out those guitar peripherals once more? NO. Activision should've ended Guitar Hero as soon as gamers stopped buying it, and for plenty of good reasons:

1. Gamers are sick of the series. CASUAL gamers are sick of the series. This is why Warriors of Rock sold poorly.

2. Ubi-Soft already announced plans of a rhythm game called RockSmith that uses the plastic guitar peripheral AND a real guitar.

3. You can only do so much with the genre before it becomes stale: Guitar Hero has crossed that line.

Should we be happy that GH is returning? Should we welcome it back with open arms and say, "We missed you so much!"? The answer is again NO, and as a gamer I hope you picked the right answer. Triumphal returns are all fine and dandy if we had good memories of the original game(s) - Kid Icarus, Bionic Commando, and NES Mega Man to name a few - but hearing this news just over a month after GH was supposed to die would make anyone groan. It's like Activision bringing back Bubsy - would you really be hopping for joy for the return of a game series with an annoying bobcat that didn't even deserve a 3D sequel let alone star in his own game? I do hope your answer is "no" again.

Guitar Hero is now the Ty Beanie Babies of the video game world: first we can't get enough of them, and then we hate them when they keep making more while our supposedly valuable collections of the toys become worthless garage sale material. As much as I loved the series when it was popular, enough is enough. I'd rather remember the series as a fun fad that I enjoyed at the time rather than an infamous shovel ware crapper that continually got worse over time. And its just going to get worse from here if Activision refuses to kill the series already.

This next GH is not going to be drastically different than the rest of the series no matter how you look at it: if the game is the same as the prior games in the series then it will fail miserably like WOR; if its anything different then it will copy RockSmith's real guitar gimmick, but even then it will still be the same GH we grew tired of. The only thing they can do is add more new songs, but I whole new song list didn't help WOR now did it? If you buy this game then you are supporting a hopeless cause of same-y games that will eventually die and be brought back again, because Activision likes their money and you're dumb enough to buy the games to continue the cycle. In fact, there should be a screen that pops up when you start up the next GH game that says, "Congratulations! You're officially a moron for buying this game!"

Now I repeat the question: Is it worth it to take out those guitar peripherals once more? The answer - as opposed to if you haven't played the series yet - is simply an N-O. Simply put, other than slightly new bells and whistles, GH 2012 will not be any different than the other Guitar Heroes you've played before. Fortunately, you can rest assured that Bubsy isn't returning any time soon…hopefully.

~SFS

Got Rhythm Heaven for only $8!

Well its still in its packaging, but I'll soon try this baby out later today.

heaven

I'm a sucker for weird rhythm games, and seeing as this was only $8 on sale at my awesome local Shopko (where I also got my 4 GB flash drive for only $3.81) I couldn't pass up the deal. I still love the rhythm genre even though Guitar Hero poisoned it with the same games over and over until we all started to hate the sight of the genre. Rhythm Heaven got rave reviews however, and I loved Patapon, Elite Beat agents, and DJ Max so I have high hopes for this game than I would with a new GH.

Hard to believe that the last time I bought a Nintendo game was in 2008 when I bought that !@#$@ Pokemon Pearl for full price that pretty much made me hate the series and made me Mr. grumpy pants extreme when Heartgold/Soulsilver came out...but yeah, you probably know that already.


I'm also ecstatic since I got two FREE Death Note manga at a book sale!~ :D

http://i823.photobucket.com/albums/zz156/KingMickey51/P4110336.jpg?t=1302810290

I can't wait to r-

2

FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

What is this I don't even...this sucks I'm going to play Rhythm Heaven! :x

~Super-can't-read-Japanese-Sonic