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  1. I think that the 2P competition mode does exist but is unannounced, outside of the mention on Steam! Maybe it is in the format of Sonic 2 and includes some of the zones from the main game , or in, or similar to, the format Sonic 3 had it correct that more streamlined and even completely separate zones, that can even have competition specific mechanics and items. If it is the latter, then there will be a good number of zones that are either unique streamlined versions of ones appearing in the game, or unique to this mode!
  2. Here you go: Iizuka said in one of Aaron's twitch streams there's more classic than new stages. Thank you!! I have never seen this full writeup. It is helpful to see that the representative included the word "about"; indicating that it is an fairly accurate proportion, rather than intending to be a statement about the exact percent balance between old and new zones.
  3. I seem to remember it is from a message board post maybe on NeoGAF! I think it was after the specific mention during a video interview that there would be more classic zones than new. I think someone else will remember exactly where it was posted!
  4. There is a fair chance that Iizuka-san would have discussed the concept of Mania containing the most zones informally, and formally, with the team. The number from Mania would most likely have been compared at some point with the specific number from Sonic 3 & Knuckles! A multiple region spanning adventure really fits with the title as well!! I'm glad they have been patient with mentioning this because it adds a lot of excitement all at once! Previously the statements that it is a big game and the ratio, those were exciting too but not the same, they were all still open to interpretation and so it was a measured excitement much more than a hype train overdrive excitement as this certainly comes close to being (It is indeed still a statement that is open to interpretation which is wonderful in its own way )
  5. I think he is implying something still very special exists in this zone!
  6. One wonders if this timeline/universe is actually not going to contain either Ether or Team Skull. However, many people from within each would still live among the islands, and could have different personalities. The creative freedom of an alternate timeline/universe could turn out to be really impressive! With OR/AS they had the task of trying to rebuild an entire region and then implement all of the differences from the original story arcs and mechanics along with that. Here the base of the game is ready to go, and, Alola is not going to be revisited in remakes for a very long time and I think this may be reflected in trying to present as much potential that this region, its special details, and this generation of the programming code and engines, has to offer!
  7. It does really feel like the best possible game to come next as part of the original series' sequence of games; yet, many aspects including this concept probably wouldn't have been floated in the mid 1990s. This is when it was meant to happen! I like the unstated idea that Iizuka-san intended to make each member of the team even stronger in all of their respective crafts, while also bringing an otherwise impossibly good new Sonic experience to life, by providing them this unique, and uniquely challenging, goal! He knew that they could do it. That is one of the core experiences of being human and working together in groups that has happened for millennia isn't it; making the impossible into the possible through foresight and collaborative creative actions and conversations!
  8. Yes I feel like both with the technological leap and also perhaps being able to borrow some of Breath of the WIld's engine? this era of the series will hopefully be the most complete representation of the original inspiration for Pokemon. The tall grass mechanic was a fairly brilliant early workaround that was still needed into recent generations but has begun to gradually change. I am sure the new games will inclulde some Pokemon hiding in grass, but could it be that many of them will be free standing and travelling through their habitats, and that some sort of stealth meter will be gently borrowed from BotW? Is it possible that there will be much more explorable tree canopies, ponds and lakes, hillsides and cliffsides, via different methods? Consider if there were many small, medium and even large types of separate and interconnecting caves, and that many would be optional, similarly with all of the environment types listed above and all that I haven't remembered! I don't expect an excessively more realistic game as much as one where the missing pieces you are describing are prioritized and made amazing, it will be very inspiring in terms of its environments and locations being more fully explorable and rewarding! There will have to be different ways of improving from generation to generation now that the technology is going to be the most modern. To make the environments more interactive, eventually changing the characteristics of other key mechanics of the game, within reason, gives them an area within which to design and place these developments.
  9. It is interesting to consider these writings together! That is, if the zone select is in an accurate order, Flying Battery may appear somewhere before reaching Floating Island. Overall it is a wonderful puzzle to try and guess at how everything will fit together! I like the idea that Studiopolis could represent the West Side Island city seen in the background of Casino Night. Similarly regarding Sonic 3, it feels possible that Azure Lake and Ice Cap could be combined in such a way that Azure Lake itself would be Act 1 and therefore not need to use the original music track, then, Act 2 would be different enough that it also would still be based on Azure Lake's music. The mountains behind Azure Lake look very snowy to me and could represent Ice Cap being nearby!
  10. If Mirage Saloon is later, I somewhat think that Studiopolis would be ever later, Act 1 of Studiopolis appears much harder than Mirage Saloon Act 2! However, i do like the idea that there is no specific format for zones to only become more complicated/ longer time to complete them in a linear sense. Star Light was and is for example a very good change of pace before Scrap Brain; Hill Top has this effect too!
  11. Yes; it is quite a good intentionally self referential cliffhanger for the full game! I definitely follow what you are saying, that it is certainly not an area of the island that was accessed in the original. While Sonic's path was never specifically shown on a map, one can suppose that he travelled above ground beyond the oceanside region to reach Marble Zone.
  12. Yes; each character also being a fully functioning "physics object" added a third dimension to the original games and will to Mania, allowing creatively, flexibly travelling through the zones to substitute a Z-axis being rendered graphically which can really water down the sense of speed as well as precision of control that is more effectively rendered in 2D! I think many people noticed the difference, though not in a state of disappointment per se, when jumping onto new ledges and platforms in Adventure did not necessarily feel better or more real than in 2D! Building up speed and wildly traversing the Adventure fields did feel very good but certainly less cohesive even as using the curved floors in Spring Yard. In essence Sonic Mania is putting back on course a still unsurpassed peak of game design and coding! Not everyone will see that because it does take some amount of time with any of the original 16 bit games to really feel how reflexive and immersive just the simple combination of controlling a living, expressive physics-responsive character within dynamic, impressive and nuanced environments becomes!
  13. I was surprised to see that as well, but it may make sense just under the surface. My guess is that they wanted both zone acts to be fairly easy to navigate and enjoy! With the game release coming so soon I think maybe this specific selection of two acts is to make sure not to discourage people who are just trying it for the first time. I think the Mania team, as Sonic fans and having watched playthroughs of previewed games over the years, wished to be trying to meet players who are potentially really unfamiliar with how to navigate and interact with a 2D Sonic zone halfway. This way there may not be an undue amount of videos of people struggling to pass through the zones, instead hopefully many of people simply enjoying them!
  14. Yes; it is fantastic to see that the Mania team really was able to carry over from 3K ( which I would say personally is the first time it was really present due to designing most of the bosses and arenas to be more dynamic) the unique capacity for players to, once learning how to maneuver the characters, experience Sonic, Tails & Knuckles each as very genuinely wise and agile, capable of meeting many of Eggman's challenging machines as though they are toys. That specific range of senses of control and ability wasn't really able to translate into the 3D games as far as: how fast in this case Sonic can transfer from being on the ground, to in the air moving quickly towards landing a hit, bouncing off just as fast, to suddenly back on the ground ready to try again. Surely in Sonics 1 and 2 it is possible to play against each boss a little differently each time, but in 3 & Knuckles the players/we can really feel it and notice it. To see a clear indication that it is definitely still happening in Mania is to receive confirmation that one of the most interesting, well designed processes out of basically all games (Of course there are many of these, many per each series, but this one has been missing for decades!) is returning!!
  15. Yes; it turned out to be a streamlined segment within a larger 45 minute block; but it was quite positive and fun; somehow I didn't expect the presenter to just walk over to a large screen with Aaron waiting for him there! I'm not a console or PC gamer, at least in terms of most modern games' specifications, unfortunately, but I am beginning to become excited about Forces anyway. It certainly helps when Aaron presents it, rather than when it is gameplay footage with no human context. This specific short playthrough helped click/suddenly make much more sense for me why the game is in three styles and how the full game might actually feel to play through, and why it is exciting for Sonic Team to be creating this. It does sound like they may already also be working on something for 2021? Will this E3 come and go without any more distant future new games being teased I wonder? Knuckles travelling through Chemical Plant is some of the best revealed footage yet, it does show, I think, most clearly, how all of the classic games' zone layout styles are being combined into a format that works exceptionally well to sort of fill in what potential was "missing" for additional depth to a zone layout in each of the original games; of course often due to tileset and then-current game code limitations. It is almost as though each of the earlier games' differences in zone layout were like a puzzle waiting to be solved by combining them!