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Sonic Mania (August 15th 2017, Christian Whitehead, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch) - The New Classic

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Just now, Diogenes said:

You said yourself that taking a hated level (Labyrinth) and making it into a universally loved one would be a sign of a god-tier team.

The original Labyrinth wouldn't become any less hated just because a reimagined version was good, any more than Splash Hill or Casino Street made everyone hate GHZ and Casino Night.

You brushed off my comparison to remaking '06, but this is exactly the same mindset, this idea that a "fixed" version would make everyone forget the original.

It's a challenge but it's not going to X-Treme the team working on it.

It might not still be heralded as others, but it would give it a positive light to reflect on/appreciate nonetheless.

A little confused by that statement... I actually loved Splash Hill and Casino Street, not the best stage layout but the designs were pretty nice.

I didn't intend for anyone to forget the original. The idea is to make folks find a way to appreciate it more while loving the new version.

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3 minutes ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

Yo, Labyrinth is my favorite level in Sonic 1 and even I don't think it should be in Mania. We already got a retread of it in Sonic 4, Tidal Tempest is a pseudo-remake too.

Eyy, that's fresh. I like that. Kudos.

I'd like to think that, even though they did take inspiration from old zones, they still had enough of their own look as well as their own names and tracks to make them original enough to warrant not being categorized as remakes of any particular kind.

Although that argument is mainly just to say "I'm speaking in terms of a good/proper remake" basically, I still think that argument stands even without such a meaning of making it in mind.

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I'm far from being a Labyrinth Zone hater, but like CleverSonicUsername, I agree it's gotten enough of a tribute in Sonic 4's ultra-creatively-named Lost Labyrinth Zone. Also, ironically, while it's obviously less liked than Hydrocity Zone, it's also more well-known due to its infamy. Hydrocity is a great zone but doesn't stick in people's minds as much, so I think that's all the more reason to give it another chance. It has so many cool features and deserves another chance to make use of its potential.

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Hydrocity was always unique for being a water level in a platformer that was actually very speed oriented, which is something that I'd always appreciated about it. Although I'd like to see what could be done to re-imagine it for Mania, I'd prefer seeing what Whitehead and his team could do with a completely original water level.

Plus water levels are always stereotyped into having the best music and I'd love to see what music Tee Lopes would compose for one, instead of just having him make another remix of Hydrocity Zone.

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5 hours ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

Edit: What if the rings you enter will take you to a corresponding special stage. So rings in Green Hill take you to the Sonic 1 special stage, with the original levels or Mania featuring a new gimmick entirely?

That's... actually not that bad of an idea to be honest. It'd definitely be a fresh twist on the traditional special stage approach.

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That wouldn't work, because special stages most likely aren't tied to a single zone as in the GBA-DS games. If you can enter any special stage from any zone of the game, the team would have to design 7*5=35 special stages total.

Why *5? Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, Sonic3&K, original.

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42 minutes ago, Ajavalo said:

That wouldn't work, because special stages most likely aren't tied to a single zone as in the GBA-DS games. If you can enter any special stage from any zone of the game, the team would have to design 7*5=35 special stages total.

Why *5? Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, Sonic3&K, original.

Yeah it'd be a lot of work, but either way it seems they're putting some work in with the Blue Spheres special stage, which aren't Mania's special stages. Point being, they're still going a bit above seven stages, though to exactly what degree and what form that may take we don't know.

Like I posted that idea, but I totally doubt that's how they'll handle it. It was just something I thought would be interesting so I shared it. :V

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It is a bit of an enigma due to the different colors of both the sphere/planetoid's surface and Sonic.  Could there be a sprite color option in an official new version of S3K similar to how there are many sprite options in Sonic 3 Complete? 

( Overall I feel that there would be lots of collaborative communication, or at least agreement that it is ok for them to share some or many adjustments and ideas, with the S3 Complete team!  They were able to successfully fix many errors as well as implement quite a few good new features.  )

Or, does the differently colored surface combined with Sonic's coloration suggest that this is definitely somewhere in Mania? ^_^   Could it be used to unlock extras, and would it be that similar to Green Hill, if the one depicted isn't just a test using a familiar layout, that this is like a tutorial first stage, and the others will be all new? ^_^  D.A. Garden for example was able to make 14 entirely new special stage layouts for his version of S3K that really did work to be both newly challenging but always eventually solvable! 

Thankfully it is only basically seven (perhaps eight but this day is already partially complete) days until the panel :lol:^_^ 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, molul said:

We should definitely consider there's a Blue Spheres game mode in Sonic Mania's main menu, apart from the "story" mode. 

I actually have been thinking there's a possibility that Blue Sphere might be a mode entirely separate from the main game, bur just having it be another option on the main menu feels kinda...anticlimactic, in a way. I mean, even in its original release Blue Sphere was slightly "hidden", considering the screen originally acts as though the cartridge is incompatible ("No way? No way!") until you press the 3 letter buttons simultaneously. So just including it on the main menu would seem a bit too mundane, IMO.

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11 hours ago, Chris Knopps said:

JAPANESE Sonic, big thing right there. The west put their spin on him for a reason and Japan made the total Western switch in Sonic 3 because it worked so well compared to their "cute" Sonic.

1470733884-sonic-comparaison.png

I'm not saying it's completely bad to see Mania go back to the Sonic 1 design, but it DOES look weird for Mania to be a sequel to Sonic 3 and have Sonic looking like an even younger version of himself compared to Sonic 3, you don't age backwards. It's too much nostalgia pandering to the point you forget about continuity/consistence and its importance.

(Edit)

Not sure why they're so obsessed with having Japan's preference for a lighter colored Sonic either, it's overkill.

Opinions much? He doesn't look younger it's just a different art style... A very nice style too at that. Furthermore outside of mostly the box art and some of the old TV series... Sonic's style used in the mainline games was always the japan style in the past even with Sonic 3 and never used the honestly pointless western style. if the western look worked so well... why did they drop it later? That's right because it was unneeded and not canon. The normal style from japan was always the right mix of cool and cute. Is just bad stereotyping joke for companies to think westerners only can care for 1000% cool & edgy designs. Also it's the strangest thing how you are saying them basing the look after Sonic 1 is nostalgia pandering... but if they did the Sonic 3 look instead it wouldn't be???

Actually nearly everyday I look lately on the new Sonic game topics I see you wishing for random design changes and calling everything you don't want nostalgia pandering while ironically at the same time are wanting designs from old aspects of the series... AKA only wanting things mainly because of nostalgia. You can ask for what you want, but I'm just saying. :V

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@Diogenes I don't recall Sky Sanctuary been anything special in S&K, but look at Generations. It was probably the most controversial choice when the leak happened, as SSZ was a very short/transition/single act zone. Anyways, I'm all for giving a -not so liked/obvious choice- zone a new face and make it awesome. I see nothing special with Mystic Cave, but a lot of people seen to want it. I much rather have Oil Ocean, now with clean water (as if Sonic actually saved that place in the past). It would also convert it into an water park (there's those slides and stuff), which, Hidrocity basically is. I say pick Launch Base on ice and deactivated for Sonic 3, get creative, go crazy. What they could change in Hidrocity? And if it's so beloved, there's always a bigger chance for disappointment... The music is awesome, can't deny it tho, just like Ice Cap, but Tee is creative, and he could add little pieces of these songs (melody, tempo) into new songs of similar tropes/zones.

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1 hour ago, Jango said:

@Diogenes I don't recall Sky Sanctuary been anything special in S&K, but look at Generations. It was probably the most controversial choice when the leak happened, as SSZ was a very short/transition/single act zone.

Well, considering that the original Sky Sanctuary was designed by Iizuka, we can assume that he chose to include it. It's also a pretty good representative of Angel Island generally, what with it being floating ruins.

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3 hours ago, Jango said:

@Diogenes I don't recall Sky Sanctuary been anything special in S&K

It's like, the climactic chase after Eggman, after he reveals himself in Hidden Palace and steals the Master Emerald. You've just made up with Knuckles, he's counting on you to set things right, you're rushing through ancient Echidnean ruins in the sky, fighting off Eggrobos and Mecha Sonic to reach the Death Egg before it enters space. It's not the longest level, it doesn't have the best level design in the game, but it's a really memorable place, in a good way.

Labyrinth is memorably only for being slow, constantly trying to drown you, and having an awful boss.

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1 hour ago, Pawn said:

Well, considering that the original Sky Sanctuary was designed by Iizuka, we can assume that he chose to include it. It's also a pretty good representative of Angel Island generally, what with it being floating ruins.

Eh? You have a source for this?

If you're referring to his role as senior game designer in the game, I'd recommend not looking too much into it. He shared that role with another staff member (Hisayoshi Yoshida), and --more importantly-- they were both working under Carol Yas/Hirokazu Yasuhura's watch, who was the lead game designer for Sonic 3&K (as well as the director). If Iizuka has/had the ability to create level design like in Sky Sanctuary (or any other level in Sonic 3&K for that matter), it certainly doesn't show in later Sonic games he did serve (alongside Eitaro Toyoda) as a level designer for (Adventure 2, Heroes, and Shadow the Hedgehog, all of which Iizuka also directed).

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I always thought with relevance to S3&K that Sky Sanctuary was a pretty big deal. You see the Death Egg finally get off the ground for real this time and you have to fight Mecha Sonic, both those moments I would consider pretty intense moments in the storyline. Its one of those zones that's really more more about moving the story along than the level itself, but it's memorable for that reason. 

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16 minutes ago, Gabe said:

Eh? You have a source for this?

If you're referring to his role as senior game designer in the game, I'd recommend not looking too much into it. He shared that role with another staff member (Hisayoshi Yoshida), and --more importantly-- they were both working under Carol Yas/Hirokazu Yasuhura's watch, who was the lead game designer for Sonic 3&K (as well as the director). If Iizuka has/had the ability to create level design like in Sky Sanctuary (or any other level in Sonic 3&K for that matter), it certainly doesn't show in later Sonic games he did serve (alongside Eitaro Toyoda) as a level designer for (Adventure 2, Heroes, and Shadow the Hedgehog, all of which Iizuka also directed).

Sorry, I should have checked for a source before but I am unable to find one now. I was sure it was confirmed sometime around the lead-up to Generations that he at least had something to do with the visual design, but maybe it was just speculation after all. As far as the level design goes, I'd argue that there isn't a great deal to S3&K Sky Sanctuary's in comparison to the other stages anyway.

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4 hours ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Opinions much? He doesn't look younger it's just a different art style... A very nice style too at that. Furthermore outside of mostly the box art and some of the old TV series... Sonic's style used in the mainline games was always the japan style in the past even with Sonic 3 and never used the honestly pointless western style. if the western look worked so well... why did they drop it later? That's right because it was unneeded and not canon. The normal style from japan was always the right mix of cool and cute. Is just bad stereotyping joke for companies to think westerners only can care for 1000% cool & edgy designs. Also it's the strangest thing how you are saying them basing the look after Sonic 1 is nostalgia pandering... but if they did the Sonic 3 look instead it wouldn't be???

Actually nearly everyday I look lately on the new Sonic game topics I see you wishing for random design changes and calling everything you don't want nostalgia pandering while ironically at the same time are wanting designs from old aspects of the series... AKA only wanting things mainly because of nostalgia. You can ask for what you want, but I'm just saying. :V

Yes... They are my opinions. That's... A bit obvious.

They didn't. They dropped BOTH designs with the modern titles with something more balanced in various ways so NEITHER was needed/canon basically by that argument/logic.

Gonna argue that and say no, just too much cute.

Basically because it's following the natural process of evolution over time. I'd be up for an evolution of the Sonic 3 sprite but they devolved back to the Sonic 1 sprite with a different color/detail.

I don't say everything I don't want is pandering. Bit of a lie there... Also nothing wrong with wanting a new round of designs for a new generation. Just feels like a good evolution to me, at least in the case of Sonic and Eggman in particular.

I want things to continue a steady process of evolution. I consider using most recent designs and building on them evolution whereas something like the Mania sprite for Sonic is not.

Put it this way... Look at Tails and Knuckles, this is another thing that makes the Mania design for Sonic a bit awkward because their designs are built off later looks, Knuckles looks like a proper continuation of his character as it takes his designs from S3&K and Chaotix and merges them together in a very satisfying way. They took too many steps back with Sonic and made the best steps forward with Tails and Knuckles, especially Knuckles.

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I don't mind that they didn't base Sonic's sprite off his look in 3. It makes Sonic 3 & Knuckles more unique. The best game in the series and that will never change in my opinion, no matter how great Mania is. 3&K to me was a once in a lifetime event. Also a lot of people make Sonic look like that because the prototype for Knuckles' Chaotix had this futuristic feel to it, and they used Sonic 1/2 style sprites there. Weirdly even though I love 3&K whenever I pictured some sort of sequel I actually expected Sonic to look like this.

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Just now, Diogenes said:

Evolution doesn't go in one set direction or at a set speed.

Mmm... I can certainly give you that one. That's pretty nicely said and I do agree.

I want to emphasize Sonic Mania is doing a FANTASTIC job of evolution all around save Sonic himself. By and large I consider Sonic the only thing that's trying too hard, going too far back, but everyone and everything else is going forward in such an excellent way I can only applaud it.

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