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  1. While it is a rather odd change to years of precedent of always inventing a full set of new zones every game, I actually wouldn't mind starting to see more zones return from game to game. I think there are a few key conditions to such usage, though: There should always be a decent selection of new zones, the use of old zones should be meaningful and innovative - and they shouldn't just use exactly the same ones over and over again!
  2. I'm going to sound a cautionary note and suggest that the similarity in sound effects between the Phantom Ruby and Infinite is only a reference, rather than a clue. It may well be a clue, and the gem in Infinite's chest may well be the Phantom Ruby, but the possibility exists that it is not.
  3. It's the underdog factor, plain and simple. Most characters in the series, if they have "powers" at all, have abilities which look very narrow and restrained; Sonic is the fastest thing alive, Tails can use his tails to fly, Knuckles is very strong. These powers are rarely ever even presented as being useful in a combat context, because Sonic is a platforming-based series rather than a combat-based one, so they actually end up looking rather modest even if rationally they could be used in ways that make them unbeatable, again because the player is rarely given the opportunity to use them that way. And then there's Shadow, who has more powers than you can shake a stick at and which are consistently presented as trivialising most encounters Shadow is faced with. Sure, Sonic could technically use some of the same abilities, but he pretty much never does, and with Super forms generally reserved for the finale these days then they're basically not a factor. The result is that people remember Shadow as an extremely powerful character because that's the way the series sells him, and the series doesn't do the same thing for Sonic. This tends to create an innate favouritism towards Sonic. It's partly nostalgia, partly the fact that he's the title hero, but it is mainly that he is generally shown as being less powerful - and people do love an underdog. When a powerful character wins a battle, it's not interesting; it's the expected result. When there is no challenge, nobody cares. But when a less powerful character wins a battle, it's against the odds, it's more difficult, and that makes it more satisfying. People are generally predisposed to seeing victories by less powerful characters or forces; this is probably another reason, actually, why there have been more calls for Eggman to take the final boss role, because quite aside from his popularity and the nostalgia factor then after seeing him be trivialised by all sorts of monsters of the week it feels like more of a success for him to take the top spot. It's likely that Shadow was made so powerful in the first place to make it more satisfying to defeat him; he's a force for other characters to react to, for other characters to be made more interesting. That also extends to some of the battles he's been involved with in the comics. Throw Shadow against anyone, and the baseline assumption is that Shadow will win; if it turns out to be an actual challenge, then that's more interesting even for Shadow fans than if he just instantly defeated his opponent easily.
  4. Amy controls in future Mania title

    Can't argue with that; the hammer would probably be in, then. I do think designing her without it is an option, but if the hammer has even classic-era associations with Amy as a playable character then it's much harder to justify its omission. I think the spin attack and spindash are a must, or else she wouldn't play very much like a Sonic character at all and would miss out on the aims of much of the level design. To integrate her with the one-button style, perhaps she could have a normal spin attack when jumping, and a further button press would produce the hammer - either as an insta-shield or as a momentary or permanent expansion of her attack range, in which case she might be read as a kind of "easy mode" character. You could add onto that that landing on a spring with the hammer out would increase the height of her spring ascent, as per the Advance games, which could conceivably introduce a risk-reward element. Maybe have her bounce once when hitting the ground to make things, conversely, harder?
  5. Sonic Mania: Instruction Manual

    Thanks for posting this; I know some of this has already appeared in the spoiler thread, but I think it's fair for it to exist outside of there as well. I'm thrilled with the true appearance of the Hard-Boiled Heavies we spent so much time speculating over; had we but known that Heavy Rider was perched upon a Motobug all this time...! Such inventive takes on the standard Eggrobo design.
  6. Amy controls in future Mania title

    The big question is whether or not to give her the hammer, which is arguably only associated with Modern Amy (Edit: See visual evidence below). If you don't, it's much simpler to have her play like Sonic - I recall her Advance moveset as being perhaps a little too technical - and add some other special power. Maybe she could have a mid-air dodge, a kind of reverse insta-shield where she passes right through enemies as if they weren't there. Simpler options like a double-jump are also on the table, though something more original would obviously be better. I definitely think she should have the spin attack and spin dash. Those are based on the way a hedgehog (or echidna) can roll up into a ball, so it actually makes more sense for Amy to have these moves than it does for Tails.
  7. Humans in Sonic

    Was ghost girl / Lah ever actually a human, or was she born a ghost, like Casper?
  8. Do you have any evidence to back up that statement? What if, when Forces comes out, nobody references Generations, nobody acknowledges the existence of a younger Sonic who resembles Classic Sonic, nobody mistakes him for Sonic's past self, and everyone instantly assumes that he must be from another dimension rather than another point in time?
  9. Pokemon Sun/Moon PLUS ULTRA (Alola Region Games)

    So it's basically the, what are they called, Notch-Eared Pichu and Pikachu-Colored Pichu, just a one-off gimmick event form based on the anime. Only this one has lore which suggests that it should be possible to obtain ordinarily, but considering they already refuse to make Rockruff evolve based purely on time of day like it should, then I guess being absurd about it is only consistent. (Well, maybe Rockruff will evolve properly in US/UM, I suppose.)
  10. Pokemon Sun/Moon PLUS ULTRA (Alola Region Games)

    It's implied in the B2/W2 Iwata Asks that they had to do something more ambitious for those games precisely because they hadn't moved to the new system. Of course, B2/W2 also had an extra year in the oven.
  11. Pokemon Sun/Moon PLUS ULTRA (Alola Region Games)

    The initial hype crash is an anomaly which Nintendo and GameFreak can't have any idea what to do with, as the fault is really not in any respect theirs. Rationally, there was never any reason to think, based on past experience, that they were going to switch consoles mid-generation. It's never happened before and would in all likelihood have been an unnecessarily complicated process, porting the 3DS code over to the Switch just for the director's cut versions, when of course they will already have been thinking about the next generation which they could build from the ground up. The only reason anyone had to believe that the new versions were coming out on the Switch was because of false rumours which unfortunately had relatively credible backing; I believed them, too. In retrospect, Nintendo should have come out early and quashed those rumours; if they had, things would have been quite different. But perhaps nobody could have predicted just how widespread this misapprehension had become. With that said, Nintendo/GameFreak have absolutely compounded the problem since. Clamming up for months was never going to get anyone more excited about the game, and following it up by introducing a virtual recolour of a Pokemon which was already a letdown is not going to help. I'll be happy if they don't plan on spoiling most of the game the way they did with Sun/Moon, but they have to show something. If they want to sell these games, they have to go on the attack rather than withdrawing.
  12. Well, they did include the drop dash, as opposed to fixing anything else. Possibly they already had a certain amount of the level design in place by then, and didn't want to have to redo it all for tweaks to the physics, whereas the drop dash they could justify as essentially a shortcut move that didn't really change how the levels needed to be designed... This all goes in line, of course, with the theory that Sonic Forces was originally a big anniversary crossover title between Modern, Classic, and Boom Sonic; hence this nonsense about Classic being from another dimension, because that made more sense when they had a third playable Sonic with a similar background. They had the physics all in place for Modern and Classic straight from Generations, and for Boom they coded in an Enerbeam-grappling high-speed gadgeteer, and as a celebratory anniversary crossover they rounded up a bunch of old big-name villains for nostalgic purposes. In this light, Infinite is really just Time Eater Version 2. When Boom went belly-up, they quietly delayed the game but couldn't waste all the work they'd done coding physics and levels for someone who played like Boom Sonic. Needing a generic character to take his place, they invented... a generic character, effectively throwing up their hands and asking the fans to fill in the gaps. More and more, it all lines up.
  13. I wouldn't take that wording too literally; it's mentioned so casually that it's almost certainly just a wonky translation for something more like "enemies from the past" or "past enemies," i.e. previous villains.
  14. Meanwhile, my favourite part was: Take your pick: "Oh, so Sonic Forces will reproduce the pure bad points of a 2D game?" "If Sonic Mania is meant to be the 2D game, what does that make Sonic Forces?" "How is playing Mania more leisurely than playing a game which plays itself?"
  15. Humans in Sonic

    I actually quite like the use of Sonic's friends in the Storybook games. It diminishes the sense of Sonic being in a story that really has nothing to do with his world (which is frankly true), and I feel it speaks to the way we can find comparisons to characters in stories in our own lives, or the way we filter a story through our own experiences. Granted, I don't actually know much about the Storybook games, but I think it's good to keep Sonic's friends "out there," to ensure that they still play a role.