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

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So, I’m a bit late to the party on this, but I just pre-ordered Sonic Mania on PS4 and got the themes and avatars. The Rolling Landscapes theme is really nice, and that’s what I set mine to. I was a bit disappointed by the Heroes theme; I would have otherwise definitely set mine to that, but that red background on the main screen is way too bright and clashes with everything in the foreground, and even hurts my eyes a little. The avatars are pretty neat too. Definitely a nice little bonus for putting down a pre-order.

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10 minutes ago, mikeblastdude said:

So, I’m a bit late to the party on this, but I just pre-ordered Sonic Mania on PS4 and got the themes and avatars. The Rolling Landscapes theme is really nice, and that’s what I set mine to. I was a bit disappointed by the Heroes theme; I would have otherwise definitely set mine to that, but that red background on the main screen is way too bright and clashes with everything in the foreground, and even hurts my eyes a little. The avatars are pretty neat too. Definitely a nice little bonus for putting down a pre-order.

It sucks the Switch doesn't have more avatar support at the moment and has yet to add in theme support the way the 3DS has it, otherwise they might have been able to include this pre-order stuff on the Switch too, that would have been awesome, especially if Mania music plays on the menu.

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8 hours ago, FFWF said:

Conversely, it was actually established a little while ago that it was SoA which asked for more ports of the classics and Iizuka felt that the fans would be more interested in something new.  A game which mixed new stages and remade classics was his idea (source).  Iizuka is the reason why Mania exists and has new levels in it.

Iizuka isn't the reason Mania exists. The interview has Iizuka saying that Sega of America (which also included Whitehead at the meeting) approached him about making new ports of the classic games, prior to March 2016. Iizuka nixed the idea of more ports on the basis that they were already several ports, and then pitched the idea of a game with remixed levels and new levels. He's responsible for the concept of Mania in terms of its content; but he didn't start discussion on a new project pertaining to classic Sonic (whether it be a port, a remake, or a new game). (Compare to Miyamoto and Tanabe deciding to make a Mario game that returned to its original principles, Miyamoto later approaching Kensuke Tanabe about making a new Donkey Kong Country, or Michael Ancel deciding to use the UbiArt Framework engine to make a 2D Rayman game.)

This is especially true on how the game has largely been billed as a Sega (of America) (co-)production rather than a Sonic Team (co-)production; while Iizuka is cited as a producer on the game, the statements he gave in the interview largely paint his involvement as a supervisory role over the gameplay ideas and level design, rather than having direct input into the gameplay design (especially since he says the dev team comes up with the concepts first and then relays it back to him for approval). Outside of him coming up with the game concept and his alterations to what the dev team pitches and presents, he and his studio are largely hands-off on Mania.

He's the reason why we're getting the game as it exists (again, by this I'm referring to the remixed levels/new levels concept), but isn't responsible for the game existing. (Or to put it another way, because I like food analogies: Iizuka is the reason we're getting a supreme pizza for lunch, as opposed to a pepperoni or cheese pizza; but Sega of America is the reason we're specifically having pizza for lunch in the first place, instead of a sandwich or a salad.)

---

As for talk about another classic Sonic project, I like Mania's retraux approach of Saturn-era graphics, but I wouldn't want that to be the ceiling of where classic Sonic can go from here. I'd still love to see a classic Sonic project with a modern 2D presentation like the recent Rayman games, or the Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap remake. A classic Sonic game that had the look of Sonic CD's animated cutscenes, or Tyson Hesse's illustrations / Sonic Mega Drive, would be flatly unbelievable. (Though that's not to say I wouldn't appose to a 2.5D approach like Retro's DKC games or Generations, either. Just personally prefer seeing a modern 2D approach more, the latter is arguably the norm when it comes to current 2D revivals.)

Moreover, going in a different route in presentation would help Mania's retraux approach stay novel. An (immediate) sequel that took the same approach verbatim wouldn't feel as fresh as the first time. Though not nearly the same situation, it's part of the reason why Forces' main premise being another classic Sonic/modern Sonic teamup is getting complaints as being "more the same" from Generations as it is. (Or for a non-Sonic example, people's reactions to Megaman 10 compared to Megaman 9.)

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7 hours ago, Jango said:

Why exactly you think the next step should not be a game in pixel art? Sure it won't have the same impact as Mania, I mean, this IS a mark in Sonic's story, but... I can totally see more classic 2D games in pixel art from Taxman, Stealth and Pagoda West. This is both a genre and an art style that would never get "old".

 

With that said, I really hope a sequel to Mania happens, adding only original levels, more characters, more bosses, more power-ups, gimmicks...

Call it Sonic Fever, instead of Mania 2 (which sounds kinda weird).

In "my roadmap" there should be another pixel Sonic game :) I just think that Mania is the Sonic 4 we deserved for years, but I'd also like the classic branch to evolve to hd sprites at some point.

By the way, I didn't know the starting point of the Mania project was "making more remasters". I really hope that idea is recovered soon enough. After Mania, everybody will want Sonic 1, 2 ,3&K and CD remasters on every gaming system.

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An interesting post that I think was missed, comes from a Lab Zero Games employee, they helped with the pre-order trailer:

http://m.neogaf.com/showpost.php?p=238590492

"We've seriously considered making a Sonic prototype and just putting it in front of Sega to see what happens, because they were talking to us about pitching another game at one point.

Then Sonic Boom happened, and Sega wanted nothing to do with American-developed games, and all pitch plans were canceled."

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Still that Japanese "We do games better than any other country" attitude? Weird...

The problem with Sonic Boom wasn't ONLY the developers. The concept itself was flawed, and the time constrains didn't make it better.

Was Sonic 06 developed in Japan?

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Mmmm not sure. Actually, I'm not really fond on that "Sonic Mania is what Sonic could have been in Saturn". Maybe true for the effects (sprites rotation, opacity and stuff), but not the resolution. I think Sonic Mania could be the Sonic that never released for MD32X.

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Nice, Chemical Plant is back in action. It's a fan favorite so there's no surprise there, but that pick was a little too predictable. And it returned in Generations, so I can't help but feel this pick is a bit redundant. Still, though, it looks like absolute blast.

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16 hours ago, molul said:

Maybe the 2D road should be:

-Sonic Mania sequel with only new levels. 

-New 2D game like Mania but with HD sprites. Maybe even an option to switch pixel or hd spriteset.

-2.5D game by Sonic Team, like Donkey Kong Country Returns and far from Sonic 4. Of course, with the classics physics.  

-S3&K remastered between the first two projects.

And a SatAM game. xD

Fixed. :)

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5 minutes ago, Sgt Jack V said:

I honestly thought the water was purple or something in the original.

It is; looks like there's different colours/properties of the stuff in this one (kinda like Portal 2?) 

The purple stuff's back anyway:

vtg36Zz.png

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I haven't looked at the footage since I'd rather see for myself when I play the game, but I would still rather they didn't lean too much on old levels. It's a bit disappointing and the original stuff (Studiopolis, Mirage Saloon) has looked great so far. 

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I'm actually somewhat disappointed by the choice of a level. Like, why not Aquatic Ruin? Or Oil Ocean? Chemical Plant was already in Generations. Oh well, at least the second act looks like something completely different, so w/e.

 

Also, Chemical Factory, huh? That's weird to see a classic level being renamed (unless it's a mistake on GameInformer's part, which I somehow doubt)

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Crosspost from the other topic.

Well, the level itself looks good, but I wished we got some other stage, since we already have Chemical Plant in Generations.

I'm here for a new remix though, it sounds very good.

The Tails footage looks VERY good. I'm hyped. I guess that's act 2?

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I adore Chemical Plant Zone like no other, but I definitely would have preferred another pick from Sonic 2. Aquatic Ruin, Mystic Cave, Casino Night, etc.

The footage itself contains some neat new mechanics with the bouncing/sticky goo and the directional pipes. Really seems like it'll facilitate interesting level design. Also the remix is wonderful.

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