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

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All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)

OohBurn.gif

 

Poor Dimps, it's not their fault, they make good games, tho :P

 

Anyways, going with retro graphics was the best choice IMO. I'm thinking if they have gone Rayman Origins style, or even Sonic 2 HD, people would not have... I dunno, as much faith that the classic Sonic really returned? Either way, these 16~32-bits graphics are gorgeous, no doubt about it. I'm also really glad that they are doing a CD quality soundtrack, instead of 16-bits. Don't get me wrong, I know how awesome 16-bits songs can sound, I love me some chiptunes too, but you can't deny that just Studiopolis' music ALONE is already better than a lot of tracks out there.

 

I bet there will be unlockable characters, like the Chaotix, Taxman knows what we want. Like, he really knows.

 

And one thing I haven't said yet, Sonic Mania is a freaking AWESOME name. It's on point with what this game is.

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Graphics look really nice, and are perfect for this project's purpose, but I wouldn't mind hd graphics, not Sonic 4 style, but Rayman Origins style, which are anything but forgettable.

Also, day by day I'm liking less that pre-Sonic 3 sprite. It's the only "error" I can think of about this project. If they use Knuckles sprites from Sonic 3&K, Sonic and Knuckles will look weird together.

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4 hours ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Like her or not, Amy would be the only real first logical choice to add to Sonic Mania or other new retro Sonic titles later for multiple reasons. Playable Metal-Sonic would a nice choice too in a possible future retro title. The Chaotix are also possible... but are less likely considering SEGA doesn't see them half as important as they do Amy or Metal. 

 

I was kinda surprised Amy wasn't announced to be a playable character, she was very unique compared to the other playable characters in the Advance series, and we've seen how well her playstyle there can translate to the genesis games with the Amy in Sonic 1/2 hacks.

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2 hours ago, molul said:

You realize that you're one of those fans that can't never agree on anything, right? I mean, if you weren't, you wouldn't be so pissed off for Shadow not being there. Think about it.

A part of Sonic fandom has been granted their long time anticipated wish. It's something to be happy about. I mean, I don't like Sonic Adventure, but if Sonic Adventure 3 had been announced, I'd be very happy for those who wanted it so bad, and I wouldn't get angry for suggesting a Classic Sonic skin and seeing how people dislike it. Call me crazy.

...sigh, that's a fair point.

HOWEVER. You're being Magneto (in his better days) to me being Xavier.

I want a game that would satisfied both groups, while you suggest separated coexistion with Great Wall of China between us. And your side is getting a fertile lands with Petroleum, while our side gets volcano (metaphor got complicated by the end. I mean the fact that no one tries to appeal to Adventure fans since...2009 I guess). I didn't like Pontac/Graff storytelling, but I was happy that Sonic gets a good review. That was 6 years ago. Since then my "I'm getting nothing, but I'm glad you're happy" fuel was running out. And I'm still happy about Sonicmania, but with "Resistance" having Classic Sonic too, I'm having this very bitter feeling that this birthday cake isn't divided equally.

And I wouldn't mind Classic Sonic skin in SA3. Adventure games are all about many characters, I doubt anyone would mind.

(Also, I'm withdrawing my graphics complain. If it's needed to make more levels, then by all means, go nuts).

 
 

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I love that they came out and said this game is Saturn inspired. Right when I saw this game I thought it looked like a 32X game and I loved that. You can tell this game really takes a lot of cues from old Saturn platformers. It's so pleasant.

The Chaotix would fit right into this game so I'm keeping a finger or two crossed they'll show up as unlockables. Though I know I'm reaching.

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2 hours ago, molul said:

Graphics look really nice, and are perfect for this project's purpose, but I wouldn't mind hd graphics, not Sonic 4 style, but Rayman Origins style, which are anything but forgettable.

Also, day by day I'm liking less that pre-Sonic 3 sprite. It's the only "error" I can think of about this project. If they use Knuckles sprites from Sonic 3&K, Sonic and Knuckles will look weird together.

But they haven't recycled any sprites.  All the sprites have been made/remade brand new.  These clearly aren't the Sonic 2/CD sprites for Sonic, but rather a new sprite modelled primarily after that appearance.  I trust that when they make Tails' and Knuckles' sprites they'll remain cohesive with Sonic's as well.

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... nnnno, those clearly aren't "new sprites modelled after that appearance". They added more frames, different animations, and reshaded it all, but it's still at its base very clearly the Sonic 2 sprite. We can even specifically say "Sonic 2" and not "Sonic 1/CD" due to how his head is highlighted. From that, jumps to logic Tails will probably be an expansion on the sheet Taxman made for his CD port, and Knuckles, much as I'd wish they did him based on Chaotix, will be based on Sonic 3.

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A quick comparison between old and new Green Hill Zone

cVwqgGc.png

The hillsides seem to have changed very little (if at all), but the real changes are in the background. Look at the detail in the trees, bushes and mountains in the background. It's just hard to tell because of the almost identical checkerboard pattern.

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11 minutes ago, The KKM said:

... nnnno, those clearly aren't "new sprites modelled after that appearance". They added more frames, different animations, and reshaded it all, but it's still at its base very clearly the Sonic 2 sprite. We can even specifically say "Sonic 2" and not "Sonic 1/CD" due to how his head is highlighted. From that, jumps to logic Tails will probably be an expansion on the sheet Taxman made for his CD port, and Knuckles, much as I'd wish they did him based on Chaotix, will be based on Sonic 3.

With how much the sprites have been reworked and with how much has been added they're essentially new.  It would be incredibly pedantic to say otherwise.  

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You mean the animations are new, but it's not pedantic to point out it's not new when at any given point, unless it's a new animation, it literally looks like the old ones just with additional shading.

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3 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

That was 6 years ago. Since then my "I'm getting nothing, but I'm glad you're happy" fuel was running out. And I'm still happy about Sonicmania, but with "Resistance" having Classic Sonic too, I'm having this very bitter feeling that this birthday cake isn't divided equally.

 

12 years (longer if you count from the release of Sonic & Knuckles itself as a main story title), that's how long fans of the classic era had to wait for what was meant to be a proper continuation of the series. Then we got Sonic 4 : Episode 1, which by the way used the modern design for Sonic. Then a year later we finally saw the classic design return in Generations.

12 years full of modern games and elements for modern fans, and fans in general to enjoy. But even then Sonic appeared in his modern design in Sonic 4, even then Generations had more modern stages than past, and half the game was played in the modern style with Modern Sonic.

So 19 years after the last fully classic era game with no modern elements at all, a chance for classic era fans to finally get a fully classic title.

You talk about feeling like the modern era games have had a lot of classic inspired things for the last 6 years and want a proper modern style experience but don't take into account that's it's the same for classic era fans but it's been a whole lot longer than 6 years since there was a fully classic game with no modern elements at all. It is a pretty big deal.

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1 hour ago, Indigo Rush said:

A quick comparison between old and new Green Hill Zone

cVwqgGc.png

I'm really liking the lighter blue - sllightly torqiouse - color Sonic has in Mania.

Makes me wonder what Tails and Knuckles will look like.

Will Knuckles color be a bit more pinkish to resemble his looks from Chaotix and will he have the animations (from Chaotix) where he looks more like an 'Echidna' when he climbs?

knuckles-chaotix-03.png

As for Tails what will his flying animations look like? Hopefully different from Sonic 2&3.

What about Eggman? I'd like to see more along the lines of how detailed he looks in Choatix:

BotanicBaseBoss.png

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10 minutes ago, BenderMania said:

I'm really liking the lighter blue - sllightly torqiouse - color Sonic has in Mania.

Makes me wonder what Tails and Knuckles will look like.

Will Knuckles color be a bit more pinkish to resemble his looks from Chaotix - and will he have the animations (from Chaotix) where he looks more like an 'Echidna' when he climbs?

knuckles-chaotix-03.png

 

sonics_standing_b.png

 

I prefer Sonic 2 or 3's blue tone, and much more Sonic 3's look, specially the face, feet and mouth. But hey, Sonic Mania's sprite is fine. It looks like what Sonic would have looked like in Chaotix.

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1 hour ago, Tenko said:

12 years (longer if you count from the release of Sonic & Knuckles itself as a main story title), that's how long fans of the classic era had to wait for what was meant to be a proper continuation of the series. Then we got Sonic 4 : Episode 1, which by the way used the modern design for Sonic. Then a year later we finally saw the classic design return in Generations.

12 years full of modern games and elements for modern fans, and fans in general to enjoy. But even then Sonic appeared in his modern design in Sonic 4, even then Generations had more modern stages than past, and half the game was played in the modern style with Modern Sonic.

So 19 years after the last fully classic era game with no modern elements at all, a chance for classic era fans to finally get a fully classic title.

You talk about feeling like the modern era games have had a lot of classic inspired things for the last 6 years and want a proper modern style experience but don't take into account that's it's the same for classic era fans but it's been a whole lot longer than 6 years since there was a fully classic game with no modern elements at all. It is a pretty big deal.

...I guess you had me there. I could argue that Advance series or Sonic Heroes were made to appeal to classic fan (or that pre-06 no one divided fandom into sections), but that would be missing the point.

Still my point stands: You (classic fans) waited longer then we're waiting now (adventure fans), but why anyone has to wait at all, when we could just compromise? Putting Shadow in classic game wouldn't be weirder than Batman Beyond skin in Arkham or Metroid Fusion in Prime 1, etc, etc. I'm not writing that again.

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I'm guessing Knuckles will have a brand new sprite to match with Sonic and Tails' height (I think Sonic 3's sprites are taller than 1,2, CD), running animation and style. I mean, I'm sure they will not simply pick the Sonic 3&K sprite, change the shading and call it a day, this is Taxman we're talking about. And also, all 3 will have new animations, 100% certain.

 

 

ALSO. SONIC + TAILS, PLEASE.

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Imagine my surprise when I found out Tee Loops was doing the soundtrack. I always thought his remixes were phenomenal and unusually good, now I know he's working on Sonic Mania!

Also, interesting tidbit, he started calling his tracks 'Reimagined' a year ago. Coincidence or something to work from? 

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Having no interest in Boom and with Mania a good 8 months or so away, I kind of wish they had announced plans for a nice collection set for the 25th too, something they could have released a little sooner, put one of the excellent remastering/porting companies out there on it, or at least port Stealth/Tax's current remasters onto current home consoles.

I'm hoping when we get closer to release there's a nice 25th collectors set like with Generations too, likely with 2017 since Mania is likely going to be digital download only sadly. Skipping release on the enhanced "New" 3DS is a shame since we could have possibly gotten a physical release.

The more I think about it Mania would really suit being a digital hub of sorts for the remasters, probably a bit too ambitious when they are working so hard on a whole new game, the name Mania would suit a collection or Sonic HUB tho, kinda like the old Sonic Jam.

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1 hour ago, Jango said:

I'm guessing Knuckles will have a brand new sprite to match with Sonic and Tails' height (I think Sonic 3's sprites are taller than 1,2, CD), running animation and style. I mean, I'm sure they will not simply pick the Sonic 3&K sprite, change the shading and call it a day, this is Taxman we're talking about. And also, all 3 will have new animations, 100% certain.

 

 

ALSO. SONIC + TAILS, PLEASE.

his Chaotix sprite is roughly the same size as Sonic 3's (and Sonic's size is the same in all five games - 39 pixels, IIRC), he just somehow looks shorter visually- I think something to do with the longer torso.

 

Anyway, what I wish they'd do is, as you say, use the Chaotix sprite as a base (although it'd need a lot more work than Sonic 3's- the ring throws a problem in the animations, and the sprites often times are just very rough and kinda crappy, with shades blending together and a person not managing to understand where an arm is and a dreadlock is). The Sonic 3 sprite is more recognizable though, and it's already what ended up used in Sonic 2 and StealthTax' ports, so I think they'll really probably go with it.

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I'm gonna hold out hope that Classic Amy will be unlockable in Mania, with her functioning as the Hard Mode like she was in Sonic Advance. No automatic Spin Jump, she can't Spin Dash, she has to press the action button again in order to damage enemies and activate switches and boxes and such, but she's given a higher jump and higher acceleration to get going. It's honestly the best way to make a Hard Mode in Sonic without compromising with the level geometry.

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