Henyo wrote:also, it was only thanks to a comment that i discovered the dive shaft makes car sounds instead of the usual magical whooshes! is this where Subaru the company came in? XD
That actually is the case. It's odd that they don't make the staffs more carlike, considering Houkago no Pleiades was initially (and I'm not sure if it still is) sponsored by Subaru.
Calling Force a natural evolution of Nanoha is like calling GT a natural evolution of Dragon Ball. What, in a word, are aspects that made Nanoha what it is? Well, you can easily pinpoint those by looking at what they changed when making the Movie 1st. The franchise didn't really get a firm grasp its identity until A's, so when remaking the first season they changed things to make it more in-line with what people expect from Nanoha. Sympathetic antagonists, even if they're objectively bad, is one of the most important parts of the franchise. There are only two characters who the series didn't try and make us feel some sort of affection for, Scaglietti and Quattro. Plus, there's the balance of sci fi with fantasy elements. No matter how technological a Device looked, it still was very simple and fantasy-inspired, and there were people using things like regular staffs or spears as well.
Changing the MC to a male isn't about yuri stuff, it's that when you have a magical girl series it's expected that the MC is a female. I got nothing against the dudes. I like Yuuno, Zafira, Chrono, Zest, and Vice. In fact, I'd probably have liked to see a spinoff with one of them as the lead (and was really happy about Zafira's getting slightly more attention in Vivid). But Tohma's being an idiotic, cliched, Gary Stu with a bland personality, universally poorly written relationships with other characters, and a completely submissive role in the plot doesn't help his case.
As for the issue of focus, the grand question is: if you don't want the character to have a role in the plot, don't put them in. Basically every returning character in Force is superfluous, so why are they even there? It forces you to BS things just to make the antagonists a legitimate threat, mostly because of the fact that the three Aces are
the strongest in the TSAB. The Book of Darkness was the largest known threat in the entire continuity, and they befriended it. They were on power limiters through all of StrikerS, at that. In Sound Stage X, they didn't even have Nanoha appear and nobody complained. If they wanted to up the stakes, they can't really use anything from the Warring Ages of Belka, since they've topped the greatest magic that Belka had to offer.
I guess they're around because if the old cast wasn't in Force, there would be literally nothing
in it that would make it a Nanoha series. If you want characters who haven't developed to get their time in the spotlight, it isn't like StrikerS didn't introduce about two dozen characters who got almost no screentime. Nope, we have to focus on another thirty characters, some of whom are literally faceless (and some, like the Grendel family, give nothing to the plot).
The overarching theme of Force is that there's nothing wrong with the ideas in CONCEPT (outside of the absurd shift in visual design to just make it a Powered Armor Sci Fi series instead of having anything to do with magic), but it's heavily the EXECUTION that is abysmal. The writing is simply boring, the pacing is absolutely awful, the tone is vastly inconsistent (trying to be super srsbzns then having goof-offs), most of the fights have no real weight or consequence (even VITA doesn't seem to be the least bit upset about Signum and Hayate's situation), a lot of character designs are uninspired (with a few being practically plagiarized), the Huckebein are presented as if they think that by virtue of trying to look cool that they'll be likeable (though they aren't, they're all just jerks), the attempt at an adventure story is completely downplayed since none of the worlds are distinct or memorable and if you said everything took place on Mid then nothing in the plot would change. I haven't seen Force in a while and it's most definitely cancelled by now, but I can say that in looking at the chapters I remember I could practically find something bad on every single page.
...I didn't mean for this post to be a five paragraph essay on why Force is bad. I really didn't, I just started going and I can't stop myself.