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Sonic Mania SPOILERS/Impressions Thread

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With the game hitting 86/87% on Metacritic, 91% for the Switch version, it's gotten a lot of positive vibes from the press and the public, likely the highest rated Sonic game in a long time, 15 years, if not longer. Job well done to all involved.

But it does make me concerned for Forces and Sonic Team as a whole. If Forces fails to come close to Mania in popularity, if it ends up another mediocre romp with a Generations twist that doesn't really impress, if a basically indie crew can put out a much more well received game on a lower budget, how is that going to reflect on Sonic Team itself? Will Mania end up the catalyst for change in Sonic Team or will they just plod along as usual afterwards? Do you think it might prompt change, possibly spawn a new branch in the franchise or just be ignored by the higher ups because it wasn't a main studio game? 

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1 hour ago, Rodx said:

I fear of Forces receiving low scores not because of his quality but by bias after mania .

I can see criticisms about how Classic plays worse than Mania, especially since they release so close.

I do think that Modern and Avatar though would be free from those criticisms, if nothing else but "no shit".

6 minutes ago, Sonictrainer said:

Did the Flying Battery Zone Act 2 remind anyone else of this?

Sonic-Mania-Flying-Battery-Boss-2.png

sth200_1.jpg

I knew I remembered that spider from somewhere.

1 hour ago, Tenko said:

But it does make me concerned for Forces and Sonic Team as a whole. If Forces fails to come close to Mania in popularity, if it ends up another mediocre romp with a Generations twist that doesn't really impress, if a basically indie crew can put out a much more well received game on a lower budget, how is that going to reflect on Sonic Team itself? Will Mania end up the catalyst for change in Sonic Team or will they just plod along as usual afterwards? Do you think it might prompt change, possibly spawn a new branch in the franchise or just be ignored by the higher ups because it wasn't a main studio game? 

What makes this different than any other time Sonic Team made a bad game.

No, Mania won't supplant Sonic Team.

No, SEGA won't ignore Mania either.

And no, Sonic Team probably won't take much from it either.

Best case scenario is we get two teams of two different Sonic games who work at their own pace. More original Mania zones, less Classic in Modern, more time and budget for both.

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1 hour ago, Tenko said:

With the game hitting 86/87% on Metacritic, 91% for the Switch version, it's gotten a lot of positive vibes from the press and the public, likely the highest rated Sonic game in a long time, 15 years, if not longer. Job well done to all involved.

But it does make me concerned for Forces and Sonic Team as a whole. If Forces fails to come close to Mania in popularity, if it ends up another mediocre romp with a Generations twist that doesn't really impress, if a basically indie crew can put out a much more well received game on a lower budget, how is that going to reflect on Sonic Team itself? Will Mania end up the catalyst for change in Sonic Team or will they just plod along as usual afterwards? Do you think it might prompt change, possibly spawn a new branch in the franchise or just be ignored by the higher ups because it wasn't a main studio game? 

I will give Sonic Team some slack on Lost World. They wanted to try something new and to be fair to them, they weren't responsible for Sonic Boom Wii U. So Sonic's massive fall from grace in the 2013-2016 period wasn't completely their fault. However, if Force falters in any way or fashion, it's entirely on them and them alone. Sonic Team is not just a developer but a brand (thank you people here and on NeoGaf for informing me of this). If a game under that brand (notice how Sonic Team was not mentioned once in Mania?) bombs or is bad after Mania, it reflects poorly on Sonic Team. 

They are the captians leading the Forces ship. If it crashes head-first into a wall, that's just not right. More so considering the Modern formula is proven quality, as seen in Sonic Generations and Colors. I think the real sticking points will be the darker tone, Avatar gameplay and nurfed Classic Sonic. Classic specifically is going to look HORRIBLE next to Mania if the level design isn't good, which footage of Classic Green Hill seems to indicate. It's Classic's first level (seemingly), so hopefully future Classic levels in Forces aren't so damn blocky and boring. 

I...I just don't know here. I think Mania is going to be the big 'wake up call' SEGA really needs for Sonic. If they can get this outside team to put out one of the highest rated Sonic games in 15+ years, why do they need Sonic Team for? They could give Sonic to other talented developers (both in and outside of the Sonic community), with Mania showing that it leads to great results. 

It all hinges on Forces being a good game or not. I'm NOT expecting it to get amazing scores like Mania, but I HOPE it's at least a decent/good game at the very least. 

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So what exactly is the "canon" version of Super Tails if any? Seems like all the taxman ports + prototype of Sonic 3 had Tails being able to transform with just chaos emeralds without flickies.

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On 8/17/2017 at 4:52 AM, CleverSonicUsername said:

I tweeted Taxman but doubt I'll get a response. Regardless of the reason, the game is still really solid.

I actually asked during a stream on Tails channel (he had Brad, Stealth, and a few others), and the answer I got was something along the lines of "Just focus on the time of day, use your imagination". Indigo was there during the stream, he could probably clarify on what was said a bit further.

Honestly, if I really had to use my imagination, they're chasing the good doctor wherever he is along with that ruby. Going from Hydro City to Mirage Saloon makes some sense, if only because the Tornado was left on Angel Island during the intro. CleverSonicUsername's theory on how transitions might have been sounds really good too.

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I wonder if anything will be done with the "missing" transitions, or if it will just be minor bug fixes etc from here on out. Seems a shame to not fix what most perceive to be a bit of a flaw on an otherwise brilliant game. Clearly they aren't afraid to do a bit more tinkering, the PC version is proof enough of this, and Taxman has mentioned certain things being fixed in the next patch they are working on, so I wonder if it's not out of the bounds of possibility to throw those in with one of the patches that are incoming. Would certainly add more reasons to replay to see the added scenes, not that most of us won't be revisiting as often as we do with the other classics anyway haha.

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Oh good, @Sonictrainer brought up the Egg Spider from the comics being the Flying Battery Zone boss before I did. There's a lot that's interesting in this game that have me thinking how much the Comics' Cancellation is going to reverb through the series. It's certainly been felt by a lot of people including big name artists like Ian JQ. People liked those comics a lot. 

That's not the only interesting thing I've seen noted though. Remember, Krudzu is in Stardust Speedway Act 1. That robot plant rampaging through the level? It's Krudzu. 

latest?cb=20100417012729

3013119-as+metal+knuckles013.jpg
It even has the same colouration as Krudzu Hybrid Alpha (pictured above). 

Knuckles-in-Sonic-Mania-Stardust-Speedwa

But aside from this are other hints. The Krudzu plant makes an Infinite reference noted pages back here in topic. The game also loves to reference the more obscure Sonic games. Notably, Sonic's Game Gear outings and.... Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine? Sonic Spinball? Why are we getting references to the Western Sonic games? Eh, if they work they work though. Has anyone lost on the Mean Bean Machine boss yet, by the way? It feels like we'll get a surprise if we lose to Ol' Eggface.

Another hint is in the Special Stages (which I always thought were vaguely Void like) where a crystal world with a planet is being destroyed. 

maxresdefault.jpg

A World that is being destroyed to make room for another? This is sounding vaguely similar, and it just looks cool so maybe they did it because it looks cool and not because it means anything. A lot of series do things just because they're cool. 

But then there's Titanic Monarch with the Egg Robo ships which make a particular noise that sounds suspiciously like it's from Sonic SatAM. I'm not able to pin point the sound at the moment but I know it's extremely familiar. 

But I mean. It could be nothing. After all, that Sonic Void, I was talking about? It's not like Naugus's Void at all.  It's just vast and empty and... crystalline. But that's just a common visual cue. Lots of people like that imagery. There can't be a relation to that. 

"The Void can be accessed by means of portals. These portals are pinkish-purple vortices, with yellow rings or spirals radiating inward. These portals provide incredible suction into the Void, making the dimension almost impossible to escape. Only someone with Sonic's level of speed is able to break free."

It's not like we've seen a pinkish purple portal, have we? That'd be absolutely ridiculous. SatAM was 24 years ago. The same time we had Sonic 3 and Knuckles. That wouldn't mean a thing. Why would we see a pinkish purple por-

 

Spoiler

Screenshot_20170812-144813.thumb.png.906a31feea6ba3a94ebb93b3932eff9c.png



That means nothing. He's simply going into another Dimension after all. One where Eggman just so happened to.... win. And Sonic leads a Resistance. A team of.... Freedom Fighters if you will. And it's not like Sally's there or anything. It's like Sonic is working with his friends and recoup back at an HQ. That has nothing to do with SatAM or the Archie or Fleetway Comics. Totally because Infinite doesn't fit anywhere in the description of being a Cybernik. Those things are robots with living batteries via animals like Sonic. That totally... doesn't... sound like Infinite. 

This sounds crazy. Right? 

 

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Just had a shower thought.

Omega level final boss ending spoilers shenanigans.

Spoiler

hqdefault.jpg

Look at this. Egg Reverie. Eggman and what seems to be Heavy King fight each other for the Phantom Ruby but end up joining forces to battle Super Sonic in turns.

But the Heavy King looks odd. 

maxresdefault.jpg

maxresdefault.jpg latest?cb=20170815170546

The symbol is another colour, the "horn" I'm not even sure how it's holding the Phantom Ruby, seems like the horn opened up or something for the final boss. Obviously the legs are gone and were replaced by some twirly... Ruby things. the arms are different, the cape seems to be shorter.

I know the Phantom Ruby can transform people/machines as seen in Mania's intro, but... There's something odd about Heavy King's transformation. It seems out of place and/or random. The last time we saw Heavy King we fought him as Knuckles in Lava Reef Act 2, he looked normal there. And the Phantom Ruby couldn't have transformed him, Eggman had it with him the whole time until we reach the true final boss, which is where the Heavy King appears out of nowhere.

Okay, hear me on this. Reverie means "a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; A daydream.a state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing: lost in reverie."

The name must mean something to what the fuck is going on. 

So hear me on this. 

What if, the Heavy King we face in Egg Reverie isn't the real Heavy King at all? What if it's the Phantom Ruby taking a shape for itself? What if the Phantom Ruby is making an illusion to Eggman and Sonic, making it feel like the Heavy King is there, but it's actually Eggman and Sonic facing against a magical representation of it? It would explain why the Heavy King appears out of nowhere in a brand new form, and why after you beat EGGMAN (the last hit is ALWAYS Eggman from what I can tell), the Phantom Ruby makes a portal and teleports Sonic somewhere coughforcescough? We know the Phantom Ruby must have some degree of consciousness, considering it transformed the Egg Robos into the Hard-Boiled Heavies. 

It's a reaaaaaally big speculation, but it makes sense once you think about it. The Heavy King we defeated in Knuckles's story was the real Heavy King, considering we don't see the Hard-Boiled Heavies die onscreen, they must have survived and must be bidding their time. 

 

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Just a response to a small detail in there:

Spoiler

I swear I've seen footage where Heavy King was the one to take the last hit. Each of them seems to have a set number of HP so you can beat either of them first.

Regardless, that and Longcrier's posts were really interesting reads. I love stuff like this, haha.

 

On another note, not sure where else to say this and someone's probably pointed it out already, but I think it's adorable how, if a signpost is already on the ground (as opposed to the variant that falls in after defeating the boss), it bounces up into the air when you pass by it ala the Master System / Game Gear games.

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2 hours ago, LongcrierCat said:

Oh good, @Sonictrainer brought up the Egg Spider from the comics being the Flying Battery Zone boss before I did. There's a lot that's interesting in this game that have me thinking how much the Comics' Cancellation is going to reverb through the series. It's certainly been felt by a lot of people including big name artists like Ian JQ. People liked those comics a lot. 

That's not the only interesting thing I've seen noted though. Remember, Krudzu is in Stardust Speedway Act 1. That robot plant rampaging through the level? It's Krudzu. 

latest?cb=20100417012729

3013119-as+metal+knuckles013.jpg
It even has the same colouration as Krudzu Hybrid Alpha (pictured above). 

Knuckles-in-Sonic-Mania-Stardust-Speedwa

But aside from this are other hints. The Krudzu plant makes an Infinite reference noted pages back here in topic. The game also loves to reference the more obscure Sonic games. Notably, Sonic's Game Gear outings and.... Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine? Sonic Spinball? Why are we getting references to the Western Sonic games? Eh, if they work they work though. Has anyone lost on the Mean Bean Machine boss yet, by the way? It feels like we'll get a surprise if we lose to Ol' Eggface.

Another hint is in the Special Stages (which I always thought were vaguely Void like) where a crystal world with a planet is being destroyed. 

maxresdefault.jpg

A World that is being destroyed to make room for another? This is sounding vaguely similar, and it just looks cool so maybe they did it because it looks cool and not because it means anything. A lot of series do things just because they're cool. 

But then there's Titanic Monarch with the Egg Robo ships which make a particular noise that sounds suspiciously like it's from Sonic SatAM. I'm not able to pin point the sound at the moment but I know it's extremely familiar. 

But I mean. It could be nothing. After all, that Sonic Void, I was talking about? It's not like Naugus's Void at all.  It's just vast and empty and... crystalline. But that's just a common visual cue. Lots of people like that imagery. There can't be a relation to that. 

"The Void can be accessed by means of portals. These portals are pinkish-purple vortices, with yellow rings or spirals radiating inward. These portals provide incredible suction into the Void, making the dimension almost impossible to escape. Only someone with Sonic's level of speed is able to break free."

It's not like we've seen a pinkish purple portal, have we? That'd be absolutely ridiculous. SatAM was 24 years ago. The same time we had Sonic 3 and Knuckles. That wouldn't mean a thing. Why would we see a pinkish purple por-

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Screenshot_20170812-144813.thumb.png.906a31feea6ba3a94ebb93b3932eff9c.png



That means nothing. He's simply going into another Dimension after all. One where Eggman just so happened to.... win. And Sonic leads a Resistance. A team of.... Freedom Fighters if you will. And it's not like Sally's there or anything. It's like Sonic is working with his friends and recoup back at an HQ. That has nothing to do with SatAM or the Archie or Fleetway Comics. Totally because Infinite doesn't fit anywhere in the description of being a Cybernik. Those things are robots with living batteries via animals like Sonic. That totally... doesn't... sound like Infinite. 

This sounds crazy. Right? 

 

I...think that's a whole load of coincidences to be honest. 

-The spider boss shares nothing in common with the Archie thing aside from being based on a spider. 

-The Stardust Speedway Plant is just a progression of the idea of flowers being released when you bust those machines in Sonic CD. 

-I haven't heard or seen a reference to Spinball yet, but in any case that wouldn't be exclusive to Mania as Generations had a Spinball track. Mean Bean is probably allowed as an elaborate cameo due to its Puyo roots. 

-The SatAM talk is just stretched way beyond believability.

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A question to the people who have already finished the game: Do you think it's worth it finishing the game without the emeralds and then collect them to play the final zone?

Pros:

-You see both endings (are they very different?).

Cons:

-You loose the "momentum" of playing the final battle in the same run.

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I think if the Heavies are not souls that is locked inside the Ruby but they use the Eggrobos in the intro as vessels, /creepypasta .

I know that sega don't will elaborate on that,Phanton Ruby is just a a thing they come to explain the level transition .

What people's opinion about Titanic Monarch ? I see some criticism online but I absolute love the level,people wants another Death Egg but we already go to space in Sonic 2 and 3K,We need a new thing,I see that maybe Christian take 3D Blast's Pannic Puppet and put him in a ''canon'' title .

 

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39 minutes ago, molul said:

A question to the people who have already finished the game: Do you think it's worth it finishing the game without the emeralds and then collect them to play the final zone?

Pros:

-You see both endings (are they very different?).

Cons:

-You loose the "momentum" of playing the final battle in the same run.

The ending you get for beating the game with all Emeralds as Sonic is very different, even though it uses some of the same animation. So yeah, I think as long as you can pull it off, getting all the Emeralds in one go is the "ideal."

28 minutes ago, Rodx said:

What people's opinion about Titanic Monarch ? I see some criticism online but I absolute love the level,people wants another Death Egg but we already go to space in Sonic 2 and 3K,We need a new thing,I see that maybe Christian take 3D Blast's Pannic Puppet and put him in a ''canon'' title .

(Disclaimer: I haven't played the game myself yet but I watched a stream of someone's first run of the game.) I honestly really loved the final Zone. It seems decently tough without being unfair, and the gimmick in Act 2 is actually really neat in my opinion.

Spoiler

I like that you need to clear each section for the last portal to appear, and having portals that take you to earlier in that section instead of bottomless pits was a really neat idea to avoid making it too frustrating.

And as for the setting and atmosphere and all that, well...it kinda reminded me of Carnival Night in places which, combined with it being an Eggman base and all, means I got a strangely similar vibe as EggmanLand from the whole thing? Is that just me? Either way, I love it.

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10 hours ago, -Robin- said:

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.

Wha-? They control fine on my PS4?

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7 hours ago, Jetronic said:

I actually asked during a stream on Tails channel (he had Brad, Stealth, and a few others), and the answer I got was something along the lines of "Just focus on the time of day, use your imagination". Indigo was there during the stream he could probably clarify what was said a bit further.

Honestly, if I really had to use my imagination, they're chasing the good doctor wherever he is along with that ruby. Going from Hydro City to Mirage Saloon makes some sense, if only because the Tornado was left on Angel Island during the intro. CleverSonicUsername's theory on how transitions might have been sounds really good too.

So I suppose if I really wanted to make it all work in my mind, Sonic and Tails are teleported via the Ruby to Stardust Speedway in the hopes that Metal would stop them (though idk why Robotnik wouldn't then just teleport himself to the Titantic Monarch), they try to get back on the trail by returning to West Side Island, which would require the Tornado, which was left at Angel Island Zone which is located near Hydrocity. They go back to West Side picking up Knuckles at some point we never see, then their trip just... loops them back around to basically where they were when they were last on the Little Planet.

And idk that just seems so clunky to me and like not enough was done to communicate what was happening, and perhaps it's just a stupid thing to complain about, but Sonic 3 did a fine job giving even a loose thread between levels, and it's very odd to see Mania lacking in any way when it otherwise is so damn good. Still just seems like something went down with the level order and they can't really talk too much about it.

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16 hours ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

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.

Yeah same...this is gonna do wonders for Any% Speedruns! :D

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so, anyone else noticed that once you defeat the boss of Studioopolis act 2 the TV signal is lost and we get a number "072216" and a buzzer, which sounds way too similar to the buzzer we got on the 25th anniversary stream?

because that's...

AWESOME

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Unsure if posted yet but...

 

The 2nd special stage ring in Green Hill act 2. Is this supposed to be 8bit Sonic 1 GHZ reference? We fall into water then climb a flooded area within a cave to reach it.

Also anyone spotted the Mushroom Hill reference in one of the special stages? And anyone got a theory on that city in the sky in the final special stage.

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14 hours ago, LongcrierCat said:

@Sonictrainer

  Hide contents



That means nothing. He's simply going into another Dimension after all. One where Eggman just so happened to.... win. And Sonic leads a Resistance. A team of.... Freedom Fighters if you will. And it's not like Sally's there or anything. It's like Sonic is working with his friends and recoup back at an HQ. That has nothing to do with SatAM or the Archie or Fleetway Comics. Totally because Infinite doesn't fit anywhere in the description of being a Cybernik. Those things are robots with living batteries via animals like Sonic. That totally... doesn't... sound like Infinite. 

This sounds crazy. Right? 

 

I've been comparing Forces plot to DC comic book fare like Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour, but this is a fascinating read. Good analysis here.

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