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Sonic Mania SPOILERS/Impressions Thread

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I like how your reward for going through the hell of the Blue Sphere Bonus Stages...is more Blue Sphere Bonus Stages. They probably ran out of things to add at this point, but regardless, Sonic Mania is an amazing game. The best Sonic game I have ever played.

The Mean Bean Machine boss had me laughing like I a little kid, and playing Mean Bean and Competition Modes with my sister were a LOT of fun. The inclusion of the Debug Mode is great, the &Knuckles mode is too meta, and just...this game, man. I literally screamed when I jumped on an S Item Box with Knuckles and he transformed, I did NOT expect Super Knuckles and Tails to be in this game, certainly, a pleasant surprise. The bosses are a main highlight of this game too, they're so fun to figure out and beat on your first go.  

Everyone seems to love this game, what a time to be a Sonic fan.

After 6 years of mediocre and crappy games, we finally got it. Here's hoping Sonic Forces is good too.

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Mania is an all around great game and one that I'd place close behind S3&K as my favorite, but if I had one major complaint, it's the story. The manual seems inaccurate, for starters. It would have you believe Robotnik sent the heavies and now you're racing to stop them from delivering the phantom ruby. As the game itself tells it, the heavies were Eggrobos transformed by the ruby. They deliver it to Robotnik in Green Hill, and the rest of the game is chasing Robotnik across multiple islands (and Little Planet) to stop him from reaching his base. Cool, great, that's a totally fine story and I like it.

Problem is, numerous levels lack transitions and it starts to get a little confusing just what's even going on. In particular, there's a stretch where you're transported to Little Planet (which the end of the game would have you believe is the location of Robotnik's base/latest mech), then just wind up on Angel Island, then are somehow on West Side island from Sonic 2 for a couple stages before yet again going back to Angel Island with zero transition, then once more to Little Planet with, again, nothing to bridge the gap. One of the stranger bits is how Knuckles apparently joins Sonic and Tails at the start of Mirage Saloon, but they never meet prior to this in the story. Feels like their narrative was supposed to intersect in a more meaningful way but that story beat was dropped.

It almost feels to me like levels were rearranged and they didn't have the time to sort out new transitions, but it results in a story that's more than a little clunky.

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1 hour ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

Mania is an all around great game and one that I'd place close behind S3&K as my favorite, but if I had one major complaint, it's the story. The manual seems inaccurate, for starters. It would have you believe Robotnik sent the heavies and now you're racing to stop them from delivering the phantom ruby. As the game itself tells it, the heavies were Eggrobos transformed by the ruby. They deliver it to Robotnik in Green Hill, and the rest of the game is chasing Robotnik across multiple islands (and Little Planet) to stop him from reaching his base. Cool, great, that's a totally fine story and I like it.

Problem is, numerous levels lack transitions and it starts to get a little confusing just what's even going on. In particular, there's a stretch where you're transported to Little Planet (which the end of the game would have you believe is the location of Robotnik's base/latest mech), the just wind up on Angel Island, then are somehow on the island from Sonic 2 for a couple stages before yet again going back to Island Island with zero transition, then once more to Little Planet with, again, nothing to bridge the gap. One of the stranger bits is how Knuckles apparently joins Sonic and Tails at the start of Mirage Saloon, but they never meet prior to this in the story. Feels like their narrative was supposed to intersect in a more meaningful way but that story beat was dropped.

It almost feels to me like levels were rearranged and they didn't have the time to sort out new transitions, but it results in a story that's more than a little clunky.

I think this is the one thing that is stopping Mania from topping S3&K for me right now. I'm just praying that they patch in zone transitions. Even if it's just Robotnik using the Ruby to teleport Sonic like he did at the end of Press Garden Zone. If they add that, and maybe explain what Angel Island is doing in the ocean and why Little Planet is chained to it, I would be able to call Mania my favorite Sonic game. Hell the story explanations don't even need to be in the game. Have Aaron explain it in the next livestream for all I care, I'd be happy with that.

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I just got the game today. It looks and plays amazing like a game from the 90s. Only thing I hate are blue balls. And so many at that. Of all things to bring back lol lord I probably won't get platinum for a few years but I'm ok with that

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1 hour ago, Meta77 said:

I just got the game today. It looks and plays amazing like a game from the 90s. Only thing I hate are blue balls. And so many at that. Of all things to bring back lol lord I probably won't get platinum for a few years but I'm ok with that

If only it had one :(

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2 hours ago, Meta77 said:

I just got the game today. It looks and plays amazing like a game from the 90s. Only thing I hate are blue balls. And so many at that. Of all things to bring back lol lord I probably won't get platinum for a few years but I'm ok with that

Learn to enjoy Blue Spheres, man! I just started playing Sonic 1 + Sonic & Knuckles to get good at BS :)

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I see some people have already brought it up. I was also confused by how some stages transition and where exactly Sonic is sometimes. Like, the ending makes me believe that from Stardust Speedway going forward, the game took place on Little Planet. But right after Stardust, you're somehow in Hydrocity Zone. Isn't that on Angel Island? How'd Sonic get there and how'd he get back to Little Planet again at the end? Also, regarding the final boss as Super Sonic, were Eggman and Heavy King fighting over the Phantom Ruby? How come? Isn't Heavy King working for Eggman?

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12 hours ago, Psychicmoose103 said:

They seem to be some sort of rock. Maybe perhaps after the events of 3k, they dissipated, and their power left behind statues of them in their place

Yea, that definitely could be possible. I was hoping the main HBH just juiced all of it's power and was caught in the act as Knuckles showed up and he tried to juice up all of the Master Emerald's power as well.

Whatever the case is though, I'm just more glad that they still exist, haha.

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1 hour ago, PKGaming said:

I see some people have already brought it up. I was also confused by how some stages transition and where exactly Sonic is sometimes. Like, the ending makes me believe that from Stardust Speedway going forward, the game took place on Little Planet. But right after Stardust, you're somehow in Hydrocity Zone. Isn't that on Angel Island? How'd Sonic get there and how'd he get back to Little Planet again at the end? Also, regarding the final boss as Super Sonic, were Eggman and Heavy King fighting over the Phantom Ruby? How come? Isn't Heavy King working for Eggman?

 

I really do think that the levels may have been reordered at some point to account for difficulty, and in doing so they had to scrap transitions that no longer made sense. I thought about it a bit and I think this is the order I'd go with if rearranging them for narrative consistency. Spoilered because it's the long winded ramblings of a mad man who cares too much about this shit:

Spoiler

- Phantom Ruby teleports Sonic and Tails to Green Hill. Robotnik arrives to retrieve the ruby from the Heavies.

- The ruby transports Sonic, Tails, the Heavies, and Robotnik to West Side Island. They arrive at Chemical Plant.

- Chemical Plant deposits into the sewers under Studiopolis (which could be the city in the background)

- Sonic and Tails continue to chase Robotnik, leading them to Oil Ocean, where Robotnik is trying to round up fuel for the trip back to Little Planet

- As Oil Ocean is damaged, Robotnik escapes on a train that cuts through Mirage Saloon. This adds in some consistency with the day/night cycle

- With the tornado destroyed, Sonic and Tails use the giant Egg Robo gun to board Flying Battery, Robotnik's mode of transportation to Little Planet

- With Flying Battery out of commission, Sonic and Tails land in Hydrocity Zone

- Hydrocity spills out into Press Gardens. This level looks closer aesthetically to something found on Angel Island, especially with returning enemies and a background evocative of Mushroom Hill.

- Through Press Garden, Sonic and Tails make their way to Lava Reef, where Robotnik had been drilling earlier, possibly in an attempt to find the Ruby, and possibly to uncover another entrance to Hidden Palace (the King obviously wants the Master Emerald.)

- From here Sonic and Tails make their way up to Little Planet, which is nearby and visible from Lava Reef. They arrive at Stardust Speedway where Robotnik has reactivated Metal Sonic in a last attempt to stop the duo.

- Stardust Speedway leads to Metallic Madness, which was always in close proximity based on the level progression in CD.

- Metallic Madness seems to be nearby or where Titanic Monarch takes place.

Obviously the difficulty would be all kinds of fucked if that's how the levels flowed but the story would at least make a bit more sense.

Edit: Also I thought it was pretty cool that the Master Emerald returned after I don't know how many years of being completely irrelevant and forgotten.

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I think the level order was definitely rearranged, too. I remember way early on In Mania's pre release, Aaron Webber in one of his streams mentioned that Studiopolis was supposed to be one of the harder stages way later in the game, but now it's just the 3rd level in the game.

I'll have to go find the quote from him, though as it's been a while since I''ve heard him say that for Studiopolis.

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Rock solid. As solid as Snake. 

This game is so good. We need MORE. Just don't wait another 23 years, okay SEGA? ?

And yeah, sooner or later Taxman and the team will talk about it. Pretty sure they've rearranged the levels order near the end. I also think there is at least one scrapped level, and that is Heavy Rider's, since she's the only Heavy you fight in a returning zone (Lava Reef). It was probably going to be some gothic castle/medieval zone... I really wanted to see this trope. Oh well, can't complain, Press Garden is godlike. 

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I'd like to raise a few complaints about the story myself, as I agree it is the one thing keeping the game from being better than 3K.

The game is going great with zone transitions, and then they just stop. Until there is one in mirage saloon again, but then they stop for the rest of the game. Whats even weirder is that Knuckles has a transition from Metallic Madness to Titanic Monarch, but sonic and tails dont? Why?

Also, without any transitions, they go from Little Planet, to under angel island, to above westside island, to under angel island again and then back on little planet. All with no transitions. Im also kind of sad as how the Heavy King had so much build up. Hes in the mirage saloon portraits, the middle of the windows in Titanic Monarch 2, and then all of the sudden he just appears out of nowhere in some weird new form for the true finale.

And again, why is angel island in the ocean? It makes no sense! And knuckles just appears above Westside Island on a plane with Sonic and Tails after they were both under Angel Island. Its very weird, and feels unfinished. I hope it gets patched.

1 hour ago, Jango said:

Rock solid. As solid as Snake. 

This game is so good. We need MORE. Just don't wait another 23 years, okay SEGA? ?

And yeah, sooner or later Taxman and the team will talk about it. Pretty sure they've rearranged the levels order near the end. I also think there is at least one scrapped level, and that is Heavy Rider's, since she's the only Heavy you fight in a returning zone (Lava Reef). It was probably going to be some gothic castle/medieval zone... I really wanted to see this trope. Oh well, can't complain, Press Garden is godlike. 

There is definitely at least 1 scrapped new level. Every heavy has their own new zone but Rider.  Also I do agree, Press Garden is fantastic! My favorite new zone, with Studiopolis close behind.

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1 hour ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Not sure if anybody posted this here yet...

Hohoo! But seems it's possible to cheese the special stages.

Wow... That's Sonic '06 level of cheese.

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2 hours ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Not sure if anybody posted this here yet...

Hohoo! But seems it's possible to cheese the special stages.

Doesn't seem difficult to fix. It seems the UFO slows down when Sonic is facing against the track boundaries but doesn't check if it's moving forward. Just make it take that into account and adjust speed accordingly.

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So I just finished the game as Sonic & Tails (With only 3 Chaos Emeralds - I need to improve my skills!). Obviously, I loved it. Thoroughly. It was brilliant. So much joy. etc etc. Only now wading into this thread to clarify a couple of things.

I'm vaguely aware that I haven't seen the true ending just yet, so regarding Emerald Collection - Can you just replay stages in Mania Mode from your "CLEAR" designation and then access the final final boss from playing Titanic Monarch Zone or does the Emerald collection need to happen before completion? 

Also, it seems I've got the same questions about the zone transitions here as others! It definitely feels like something isn't quite right - After the initial zone transitions I expected they'd be in all stages, and then when I wound up on Little Planet and then not on Little Planet and then... somewhere with little explanation and then.. the ending with Little Planet I uhhh.. It's a little opaque and not too clear what's going on.

Although, Phantom Ruby - Infinite?

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Stephenb19 said:

I'm vaguely aware that I haven't seen the true ending just yet, so regarding Emerald Collection - Can you just replay stages in Mania Mode from your "CLEAR" designation and then access the final final boss from playing Titanic Monarch Zone or does the Emerald collection need to happen before completion?

Yes, you can do it this way. Unlike The Doomsday however, you can't pick the true final boss from the save select screen. You'll have to play through all of Titanic Monarch and its bosses to reach it.

Also, man, I love Blue Spheres, but I kind of wish the bonus stages were handled a bit differently. Playing through bonus stages for unlocks is a concept i'm 100% down for, but Blue Spheres is rather time consuming and messes with the flow of a level. I think it would have been cool as a stand alone mode with something smaller in place of the bonus stages, wherein you earn shields, 1-ups, continues, etc. That said, nothing is forcing you to play them so that's good. And, again, I really do love me some Blue Spheres.

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3 hours ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Not sure if anybody posted this here yet...

Hohoo! Seems it's possible to cheese the special stages.

Considering he took a few hours to figure this out...I'd say it doesn't need to be patched. None of this is obvious to a first time player.

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10 minutes ago, Alienrun said:

Considering he took a few hours to figure this out...I'd say it doesn't need to be patched. None of this is obvious to a first time player.

I didn't post this because I think it should be patched. I just found it funny. Honestly I think they should leave it in.

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The Special Stage controls are so disgustingly bad on PS4 that I'm shocked they released it in its current state.

I can only assume the PC version was delayed for the sole purpose of doing the controls right on at least one port.

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