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Sonic Mania SPOILERS/Impressions Thread

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3 hours ago, Mayor D said:

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.

Pretty sure you're correct on both the MHZ and S18bit references. I need to go back and look at all seven of the special stage backgrounds, as I wouldn't be surprised if they all have references built in.

I was trying to give some thought to the level progression and where all of the new levels are located. It's relatively easy to place Studiopolis on Westside Island due to the way that it connects directly to Chemical Plant, and Titanic Monarch is on Little Planet (it's basically the canned Final Fever from CD 2011 on steroids). Mirage Saloon is pretty much obviously Westside Island as well with the way it connects to Oil Ocean. I'm only going to guess that there was an aced cutscene between Hydrocity and Mirage Saloon that showed the cast taking the Tornado to bridge the gap.

Press Garden is a real oddity though. Because of the lack of cutscenes, we have no idea where it is. Flying Battery could have been anywhere when Sonic and co left it, so it could very easily be any of the locations except Little Planet. 

It doesn't make a lot of sense either way though for them to be going back and forth so much when island hopping. They dot around from place to place even though Little Planet (which isn't brilliantly explained anyway) is by Angel Island (which isn't floating).

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I think Press Garden belongs in Angel Island. It feels like a zone from there. Love that place BTW, probably my favorite new zone. Titanic Monarch could be in Little Planet, but they got the name wrong :V

It should have had the same initials.

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On 8/17/2017 at 3:14 PM, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Not sure if anybody posted this here yet...

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

I tried this, but it's not quite working for me. I keep running into spikes or falling off a cliff.

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3 hours ago, Jango said:

I think Press Garden belongs in Angel Island. It feels like a zone from there. Love that place BTW, probably my favorite new zone. Titanic Monarch could be in Little Planet, but they got the name wrong :V

It should have had the same initials.

Could have been Massive Monarch but then it would have the same initials as Metallic Madness. 

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I gotta say, back in S3&K, playing as Knuckles was a nightmare. The fact that he couldn't jump very high really messed me up and I kept running or jumping into traps and dying. He just wasn't very fun to play, it made his playthrough very frustrating. But I'm really having fun with Knuckles in Mania. i think it has a lot to do with how the levels are designed. Most of those cheap traps and moments where you run into something you couldn't see coming are gone and the levels generally have a great balance of speed and platforming, so it's just great all around. As far as level design goes, Mania definitely takes the cake for the classic series.

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On 8/18/2017 at 2:42 AM, VEDJ-F said:

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.

Well. It's more peculiar that there's a huge number of coincidences. Remember the marketing of the Sonic Twitter since last year. "Follow the clues." As someone who has been in the fandom since 2005 when I was 12 (by the way, some of these years haven't been fun because I was dealing both with my own family issues and the issues of a hostile internet platform), I've had a lot of time to be well researched and immerse myself in Sonic for short times. Unfortunately for you all, I have a lot of time on my hands. Hahahahahaha

- Problem. It, just like the Archie Spider, has a bumper for the Spider's Abdomen which made Sonic have to carefully target his attacks. Same goes in game. It's just that the bumper on the Archie design is designed as a Modern Sonic bumper while the one in Mania is more retro Genesis Sonic oriented. 

- Yes. It is a very easy to see progression happening. However, Krudzu was a robot that sought out to replace nature itself which it does the moment you bust a capsule and release the flowers. It immediately goes to work to replace the natural organic life on Stardust Speedway. It acts like a roboticized plant. 

- There are a load of references ranging from sound effects being lifted for TV transportation in Studiopolis to some of the level design being fairly heavy in pinball design. Mean Bean is a fair note though. 

- I was being a little silly admittedly. However, the very thing is that this game was made to be a game that came out on the Saturn in either 1996 or 1997. This would have been two to three years after SatAM ended and much like a game made by the West, it has influences leaking out into it. It made the Game Gear games into a much bigger part of Sonic, even making Fang, Bark, and Bean into now series staple characters in a Genesis Sonic game. Yes, they're technically illusions save for the very peculiar transition between acts which feel like the actual Team Hooligan came down to interfere in your journey shortly after your first fight with Heavy Magician. But what's more is that you didn't bring up the SatAM sound effect usage in Titanic Monarch. That point still stands. 

Maybe Games Dr. Ivo Eggman Robotnik is turning into something like his Archie comic interpretation. Titanic Monarch gave me huge Robotropolis vibes but with the Robotnik of the games instead of the Robotnik of the cartoons. Which again, I need to point that this game is in relation to Forces where the Big Egg has become the most serious threat he's ever been in the Games. That speaks to me. 

12 hours ago, Crazizzle said:

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.

 

Thank you. I've been thinking like that myself and I have been curious more and more if Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania are a two part crossover event much like Marvel Comics' Secret Wars is. In that we're going to see the best elements of Sonic come together into one whole cohesive vision and this is what we'll be working with from now on. Comic books have made this kind of event very viable and there's no other game franchise that would benefit from an event like this than Sonic the Hedgehog. It might even... make Sonic easier to put to film since those comic books sure have been pretty well streamlined. I've heard a lot of non fans and casual fans who are big names like Arin Hanson and Ian JQ make so much reference to the Sonic of the Comics as being part of the whole of Sonic that made them familiar with the series. And why not? The Sonic Comics ran alongside the games for 24 years, outliving even Classic Sonic before he was retired in 1998 and being around longer than Modern Sonic has been. If that's not a series tentpole attraction then nothing is. These ideas are here to stay now. 

So it would be making a huge amount of sense that the comics and cartoons are now having major effect in the series itself (even if I still think his love of chilidogs is pretty gimmicky and would only work if there was an ad deal with a restaurant that sells the things. Though it also make him out to be a common guy who likes simple pleasures, so maybe it was a surprisingly smart thing in the end). Now is the time of the Comic Book Film Adaptation. Sega is doing what makes sense. They're possibly adapting the Comics to the Games via a space time force of rebellion in the Phantom Ruby. I'm sure that Zonic the Zone Cop is going to have a field day with that. 

Hey, X-Men: Days of Future Past rewrote the X-Men film series. Who's to say Sega won't do that now that it's a trend? They tend to go with what works and by that have accidentally taken on a huge risk. A risk that I'm intensely interested in seeing play out. And if you don't believe me, remember that games as art are also inspired by the culture around them. Shadow the Hedgehog happened in response to the popularity of violent gun heavy movies, alien invasion movies, and The Matrix. It was part Independence Day, part Super Sentai by the end, part The Matrix in the computer framework levels, and part amnesia storyline which seemed to be pretty popular at the time. Sonic '06? Wasn't Final Fantasy super big in the pop culture eye at the time as the future of cinematic games at the time? Sonic Unleashed? A response to Pixar and making a well crafted world with a fleshed out lore. And these days since Sonic Colours? We've been on an episodic storyline of sorts that's had a mild continuity for better or worse. It isn't just Sonic either. Metroid owes its own influence to Alien and Prime even focused in harder on the H.R. Giger aesthetic. 

Sega is a pop culture machine like a lot of other game companies. Sonic is a pop culture sensation that gained its following via everything it could get its hands in. 

They would do well with heeding the popularity of the comic book adaptation. And I'm sure that's what's happening right now. 

Even in your Classic Sonic game that just so happens to be tied to the other major Sonic game this year, yes. 

There has never been a better time to do an Archie/Fleetway Sonic game than right now. And really, I was asking for a celebration of the series as a whole in not just games but in comics and TV since... well... Sonic Generations. It looks like we're getting that too. 

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Seems like The Completionist really enjoyed his time with Sonic Mania. It got his highest rating too. It seems the fans aren't the only one noticing the random missing zone transitions near the end of the game either, it was one of the few negative points he brought up.

Im really glad Mania is doing so well with fans, reviewers and the general public. I hope Sega decides to let Tax/Stealth and the rest of the crew, if they are up for another so soon after, have a crack at a totally original game. Even if just to tie up the lose ends, such as where the HBH ran off to.

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7 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

Press Garden is a real oddity though. Because of the lack of cutscenes, we have no idea where it is. Flying Battery could have been anywhere when Sonic and co left it, so it could very easily be any of the locations except Little Planet. 

It doesn't make a lot of sense either way though for them to be going back and forth so much when island hopping. They dot around from place to place even though Little Planet (which isn't brilliantly explained anyway) is by Angel Island (which isn't floating).

Press Garden must be in Angel Island. The biggest hint I can think of is the end cutscene of Press Garden which shows the diagram of Little Planet and Metal Sonic there before the Phantom Ruby takes us away. It rules out Little Planet and it can't be Westside Island unless the Flying Battery went in circles.

It'd make sense for Eggman to have a base in Angel Island to monitor Little Planet if LP is indeed anchored to Angel Island as hinted. 

Also, that's something I brought up before. Assuming Press Garden is Angel Island, it goes Press Garden -> Stardust Speedway -> Hydrocity -> Mirage Saloon -> Oil Ocean -> Lava Reef -> Metallic Madness 

That'd mean that Sonic went from Angel Island to Little Planet due to being teleported there, from Little Planet he went back to Angel Island for some reason only to get to Westside Island to... Return to Angel Island and then return to Little Planet. 

Yeah something's off here. 

 

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Useful Eurogamer article about how to unlock all extras:

Don't know if you guys are aware; you access level select on PS4 and Switch via different methods. I've tried level select on PS4 and it works.

For PS4 you need to:

Go to no-save mode - click options - enable Debug Mode - then go back to the stage select screen and press and hold down the Square button & PS4 controller "options" button (you don't need to press triangle like it says in the article).

For Switch you need to:

On the title screen (back out of the main menu to reach it) press Y + B buttons together".

 

I've gotten the good-ending with all four characters and also beaten &Knuckles mode and unlocked the secret ending (a nice little easter egg):

DHduMXzXsAEbUFm.jpg

 

I also decided to try and beat the first special stage by running in the opposite direction!

I've still got three PSN trophies to collect. Other than that I'm pretty much done.

I've also tried the unlockable Blue Sphere Mania "Blue Sphere 2" stages which are...confusing

 

If I purely rated Mania on the 32-bit pixel, opening animation, physics, playable characters, unlockables, special stages, references to previous games, unused beta ideas implemented, 2-player competition, boss-fight creativity and soundtrack then Mania would deserve a perfect 10/10. The amount of love and effort which has gone into this game  - by the Mania for the Mania - is so impressive.

image.jpeg.d7349cf3f2eae3de6ed40c2fe9dfc61b.jpeg

However, as a hard-core classic Sonic fan I can't ignore Mania's short-comings. Some of the level design (at least 25%) is questionable; such as Flying Battery act2, Press Garden act1, Metallic Madness, Titanic Monarch which feels almost fan gamey-amateurish and ranges from repetitive level design to a mess of poor-platforming sections & too many fast corners which take away control from the player-feels quite frankly automated. Some of the level background visuals like in Place Garden act 1 & Titanic Monarch are a mess of colors-not nice to look at and some bosses are too protracted. In contrast we have levels like Green Hill, Chemical Planet, Studipolis, Oil Ocean, Stardust Speedway, Hydrocity and Lava Reef which have mostly have excellent level-design. The 32-bit visuals in some of levels like Oil Ocean are breathtaking!

Hey SEGA if you ever green-light Sonic 3 Remastered can it be made in 32-Bit which looks fucking beautiful :P

Mania is very glitchy, so much in fact that it makes Sonic 3 feel like a perfectly polished game ;)

The story is incomplete. There's about seven cutscenes (four warping scenes and three level transitions) which is very disappointing. I mean, what the hell happened, why is it so incomplete? Considering this game is a mix of old and new stages it was essential it has a good story to explain how they move from each location; for example from Stardust Speedway to Hydrocity, or from Oil Ocean to Lava Reef. I would have been happy if at the end of every level if Sonic & Tails just warped to the next one (the warping animation when the screen goes all weird is really good). At least then the story would feel complete.

Mania's level structure also feels incomplete. Feels like some of the levels have been swapped around. Why does Sonic, Tails (&Knuckles) start off Mirage Saloon act1 on the plane? Why is act1 (which has an amazing piece of music) for Sonic & Tails so linear and short? Why couldn't the train sequence be longer? Or perhaps they could land on the ground halfway through act 1 and then continue on foot in a normal level lay-out like in act2? Mirage Saloon feels like it should be a really stage rather than the eight zone. 

Things like this feel rushed/incomplete.

I admire the creativity of the bosses, especially the Hard-Boiled Beavies. The boss-fight (S&T) at the end of Lava Reef when the HBH rides the moto-bug is a lovely reference to Sonic Retro member "Polygon-Jim" (who created a moto-bug hack) who sadly died several years ago. Knuckles boss-fight in act2 of Lava Reef-more specifically the cutscene before it (when Knuckles experiences deja-vu) made me laugh so much! The epic Metal Sonic boss is another highlight, as is the Mirage Saloon's Fang, Bean and Bark boss fight! Is it random whether Fang, Bean or Bark appears in the cutscene at the start of act2 to shoot down the plane?

 

I love this fight: Sonic & Tails gain revenge on Eggman for what he did to them in S&K!

DHXmdudXsAAz3t9.jpg

 

 

Once you've collected the gold medals in the blue sphere stages there's no point in visiting them again, which effectively means Mania doesn't have a bonus stage. Surely it would have made sense to have one like the gumball-machine from Sonic 3 where you collect rings and elemental shields.

Why isn't super transformation simply mapped to a separate button? Why isn't there an option which allows you to transform back from Super Sonic to normal Sonic? Silly little oversights.

Mania was clearly a very ambitious project. I know the game was delayed for three months, but it still feels incomplete, that they needed more time. I really hope some of the missing cutscenes are patched in, but I doubt this while happen.

 

I will be writing a full review of my thoughts, but not for a while yet. Need to play Mania some more :)

 

Mania is a stellar effort and I'm so glad it's had an excellent reception. I hope this leads to more 2d games by Team Mania, but it's not quite as good as it could have been. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles is comfortably still king IMO.

 

 

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I absolutely loved how this game turned out. Everything from the presentation to the gameplay and the music, it was all so lovingly crafted and well put together. Surely even the most cynical and jaded of Sonic fans can find something to love about this game?

I go into a bit more detail here, but I am astounded by the beauty of this game.

And seeing Nack/Fang, Bean, bark, and the Sonic 2 Master System/Game Gear Silver Sonic almost brought tears to my eyes :joy:.

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i beat the game last night. it was amazing. I loved it. Hated blue balls and honestly it was fun. Though tough toward the end. Id love to see more and glad its been rated so high but its kind of hard to mess up a 2d game.

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I just got the last gold medal expecting something awesome. Sadness ensued.

Now that I've probably 100%'ed the game and let it go to make me think about it for a while, I figured that I'd share a few things about it. If I were to describe the game in a few terms, it would be "Sonic Generations: Classic Edition". Which carries both good and bad connotations. Sonic Mania is a great game, but not one without many flaws.

The plot was a little all over the place. Having played the game fully, I know I was amused, but I can't recall anything about it. It kinda fell flat in terms of attachment in that aspect. The level choices/transitions were sometimes pretty hard to justify. The first cutscene depicting the retrieval of the ruby on what seemed to be a non-floating Angel Island beach was one of the few things that raised an eyebrow. I also think that there were a little too many familiar revisited stages. As a result, with this incoherence, it might be best to not think too much about them and treat it as a "fungame", "best of" kind of game. It's a little sad because this affects greatly how memorable it will be.

When I first played the first stage, I immediately felt the Mega Drive physics. While it didn't take that much time to adjust, I can't say I missed it that much, heh... (I can hear the blasphemy cries) Now, I understand why it was perfectly emulated, but not a single time did I think "these controls are tight!", I always found myself wrestling against them. The Mega Drive feel is okay, but I feel that it can be improved.

Another thing what felt Mega Drive-y was the button controls. The characters had a few moves I though would best mapped to other buttons. People have been complaining about the uncontrollable Super Sonic transformation, and I agree. But what probably irritated me the most is how difficult it was to initiate Tails for flying while you had the fire shield, and how I'd accidentally flash dash during the final boss. It also took me a while to realize why Sonic would sometimes dash after landing. I feel that clinging the the old one-button ways really hurt the game in that aspect.

Some game design choices were a little odd. I really love blue sphere and find it easy (I was the kid that did X + & Knuckles to try all the combinations), but I don't think that it was the best choice for a bonus stage. It's a little heavy and I think it didn't feel rewarding to a lot of people.

But anyway, these are the criticism I have with the game. Taken as a remix game, it's great. I was happily surprised by a lot of the stage gimmicks, stage design, the varied bosses.

Again, I enjoyed it, but it felt a bit too much like the old. For many aspects, it's likely intended, but I hope that if a new 2-D game comes around, a lot of what was mentioned here will be taken into consideration.

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I'm not sure if I'll bother getting all gold coins in blue spheres. My dad and I played randomly generated versions of these over and over and over and over thanks to plugging Sonic 1 into Sonic and Knuckles. I can play through them easily enough but... they kind of give me a headache now lol.

It sucks a bit that they didn't include the slot machine or my favourite, the glowing sphere bonus stages. Although I understand why they didn't use the latter, with the gimmick being a part of a zone itself.

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1 hour ago, Chameleon of the Spoilers said:

I think Sonic 4 (another digital 2D game) was the reason Iizuka was not sure Mania would be received well.

But... that's a bad... right right, dealing with sega.

A company who cant differentiated between bad ideas and bad gameplay, criticism is a mystery to them 

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12 hours ago, Hard-Boiled Wisp said:

 

Press Garden must be in Angel Island. The biggest hint I can think of is the end cutscene of Press Garden which shows the diagram of Little Planet and Metal Sonic there before the Phantom Ruby takes us away. It rules out Little Planet and it can't be Westside Island unless the Flying Battery went in circles.

Whats wrong with Flying Battery flying a set circuit?

To me, the aesthetics of Press Garden render it a poor fit for Angel Island. At the end of the day, that is Eggman's propaganda printing press. What's the point of establishing something like that on the 99.9% abandoned Angel Island? Unless you want to rain newspapers from the sky, it doesn't makes sense for a stage like that to be so far removed from civilization. Like Studiopolis, it only makes sense that a base like that would be close to some kind of populated area. 

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