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Sonic Mania SPOILERS/Impressions Thread

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One word to describe this game - Fun. I really enjoyed playing this game, all the little tributes to past Sonic games and the new stages are just a joy to play.

I have put a full review on my blog - https://dseay25.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/by-the-mania-for-the-mania-a-sonic-mania-review/

Congratulations to Christian, SImon and all the Mania team for all their hard work in making this game, I hope you guys get the chance to develop another one at some point in the future

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12 minutes ago, The Deleter said:

So Peachy over on the SEGA forums found something:

vbAOakx.png

http://forums.sega.com/showthread.php?536971-The-Sonic-Mania-discussion-thread!&p=9883797&viewfull=1#post9883797

No sign of sprites for her, though.

It wouldn't be a classic game without a wealth of speculation driven by cut content. And honestly that's pretty cool.

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Those tidbits found in the game so far are...sad rather than interesting. Perhaps they were aiming for even more unlockables etc but even with the later release didn't have enough time to finish it all. Especially with it's slight link to Forces perhaps it came from on high that it HAD to be out before Forces in November, with enough of a gap between the two releases, so things had to be cut. Considering the community they come from, cutting content doesn't seem like a decision Tax or Stealth would take lightly or want to do.

Now I'm wondering why there won't be DLC if there were plans for other extras that could potentially be finished and released, especially since Mania has sold so well, if even half the customers who brought the game also brought the DLC pack it would make even more coin for Sega's coffers. It's like the Generations missed opportunity all over again. Its like game company 101 at this point, when no one asks for DLC they plan it before launch and when people are clamoring for more in any given game most of them seem to reply with the traditional "We have no plans for DLC for this title".

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31 minutes ago, The Deleter said:

So Peachy over on the SEGA forums found something:

vbAOakx.png

http://forums.sega.com/showthread.php?536971-The-Sonic-Mania-discussion-thread!&p=9883797&viewfull=1#post9883797

No sign of sprites for her, though.

...

...

NOOOOOOO! Why you forsaken me Mania Team??!!!

Would have loved Mania more if she was added! T_T

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17 minutes ago, Tenko said:

Those tidbits found in the game so far are...sad rather than interesting. Perhaps they were aiming for even more unlockables etc but even with the later release didn't have enough time to finish it all.

To be fair, in the case of Amy and hyper forms/super emeralds, that had to have been shut down early. Izuka and others were very direct and adamant early on that we would only be getting Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles and that super emeralds/hyper forms wouldn't be in Mania.

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1 hour ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

To be fair, in the case of Amy and hyper forms/super emeralds, that had to have been shut down early. Izuka and others were very direct and adamant early on that we would only be getting Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles and that super emeralds/hyper forms wouldn't be in Mania.

Yeah I did consider that too, likely right considering theres no sprite work on the her or the Hyper forms. Amy being shot down is a bit odd tho dont you think, she was mainly in spin-off titles aside from Sonic CD I guess, and was never playable in any early platformers, but she was used a lot after her introduction, just not in the "main" games until Adventure. Was kind of surprising she wasn't in Mania aside from the visual cameo.

Imagine if both made it in...Super/Hyper Amy? Hahahaha I can't even imagine it.

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Just now, Tenko said:

Yeah I did consider that too, likely right considering theres no sprite work on the her or the Hyper forms. Amy being shot down is a bit odd tho dont you think, she was mainly in spin-off titles aside from Sonic CD I guess, and was never playable in any early platformers, but she was used a lot after her introduction, just not in the "main" games until Adventure. Was kind of surprising she wasn't in Mania aside from the visual cameo.

Imagine if both made it in...Super/Hyper Amy? Hahahaha I can't even imagine it.

I don't think it's odd that she was shot down. I'm not sure for what reason she was, though. It could be some executive decision to keep Mania a bit more simplified in its roster by limiting it to the three who were playable in the classics. Could also be that the Mania team realized creating another character who never was playable in the old games would be a lot of work. They would need to come up with a gameplay style unique to her, develop routes that compliment and justify her gimmicks, and also test to make sure her gameplay didn't break anything. They might have decided early on that it would be a bit too much to bite off. Same could be said of hyper forms.

Would love to see what they would do with her, though, and giving her a Super/Hyper form would definitely be interesting. I don't like the idea of an over-cluttered roster in a classic game, but I think the four core characters of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy would be totally fine.

 

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I'm fairly certain that Amy was at least considered early on, but that they opted to keep the game more in line with the actual classics. A return to form before shaking up the formula. Somehow, she'd end up being a bit of a departure from Sonic's moveset, especially if she plays like she does in Advance 1. Amy in Mania 2 has go to happen, but keeping her out of this game is understandable.

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Just now, CleverSonicUsername said:

I really loved that reference and then it sank in that it meant Mystic Cave wasn't in the game.

I was sure that Mystic Cave won´t be in Sonic Mania as soon as I saw this resemblance, so for few months already. The attack pattern and a bit of design is the same.

 latest?cb=20170822090051GENESIS--Sonic%20the%20Hedgehog%202_Jul4

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Just now, superman43 said:

I was sure that Mystic Cave won´t be in Sonic Mania as soon as I saw this resemblance, so for few months already. The attack pattern and a bit of design is the same.

 latest?cb=20170822090051GENESIS--Sonic%20the%20Hedgehog%202_Jul4

You know, I never actually considered that and it's a really good point. Actually reminds me how in the Simon Wai proto the listing for Dust Hill takes the player to Mystic Cave. Wonder if essentially reusing the enemy is slight nod to that.

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1 minute ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

You know, I never actually considered that and it's a really good point. Actually reminds me how in the Simon Wai proto the listing for Dust Hill takes the player to Mystic Cave. Wonder if essentially reusing the enemy is slight nod to that.

There are so many very little references that it would need a new topic to find them all, really.

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This game is the most fun I've had with a Sonic game since Generations. I'm currently stuck on Titanic Monarch act 1 but I'm working on it. Because I desperately want to play "& knuckles" mode. Btw, which was the hardest boss for you guys? It was definitely Oil Ocean act 2 for me.

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5 minutes ago, Johnny Boy said:

This game is the most fun I've had with a Sonic game since Generations. I'm currently stuck on Titanic Monarch act 1 but I'm working on it. Because I desperately want to play "& knuckles" mode. Btw, which was the hardest boss for you guys? It was definitely Oil Ocean act 2 for me.

Hydrocity boss, act 2 (That crazy underwater part at the beginning) heavy gunner (took me a few tries) and the final boss I'm still stuck on it. I beat The oil ocean boss under 30 seconds.

It's amazing how much more useful they made tails in this game.

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47 minutes ago, A HyperKING heavy engine said:

Hydrocity boss, act 2 (That crazy underwater part at the beginning) heavy gunner (took me a few tries) and the final boss I'm still stuck on it. I beat The oil ocean boss under 30 seconds.

It's amazing how much more useful they made tails in this game.

By final boss do you TM2 or ER?

For the former, Eggman can't hit you with anything except rockets of you stand on the very left or right of the arena. And for the latter, for the love of God don't waste time flying out using the dash attack. Just land on the ground and jump to attack.

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I don't think I ever wrote my impressions and since it's the hot thing to do here you go:

Spoiler

 

Pros:

  • Contrary to my biggest concern about Mania, the returning stages largely feel fresh and varied. I always found Stardust Speedway to be a confusing mess in CD, but in Mania it's my favorite. I immensely dislike Wacky Workbench, yet all of its returning mechanics proved to me that it wasn't so much the gimmick but the implementation.
  • Drop dash feels really good, to a point that while replaying the originals a couple days ago I continually forgot I lacked it. It's excellent for quickly gaining speed up short inclines and dodging attacks. As happy as I am that the insta-shield and peel out did return, I cannot see myself compromising the drop dash for them.
  • There's some really good boss designs in here. Chemical Plant Act 2's being such a great cut that I had to just get up and walk around the room before fighting it.
  • The soundtrack is fantastic. Between this, Persona 5, and Splatoon 2, it's an extremely good year for game soundtracks. Lava Reef was always one of my favorite tracks from the original games and Act 2 has by far the best rendition of the theme I've ever heard. Stardust Speedway and Metallic Madess so perfectly capture the tone of the 90s.
  • Special stages are a lot more responsive than they were in the past, and special stage rings don't feel too plentiful or too difficult to find. Also I legit love them aping bad Saturn 3D. It's not overused and really helps sell the whole design of the game being a forgotten Saturn title.
  • Knuckles and Knuckles mode is everything I never knew I wanted.
  • Three of the four new zones are incredibly good and proof positive that Taxman and his team have the know how and talent to make completely original stages. Hopefully they get to do more of this, like a whole game more of it.
  • The game just looks so so good, like holy cow the sprite work in this thing is lively, bursting with color and style, and I love it. I'm not normally a fan of CRT filters but the two on offer here are actually pretty dang good.
  • Additional modifiers and modes are pretty solid, time attack with a restart button is fantastic, and I think the competition mode is hilarious (though the lack of an online mode that doesn't constrict the screen is lousy and means I'll never play it.)
  • There's more blue spheres and I love blue spheres...

 

Cons

  • But I also don't think they work well as bonus stages, which before were momentary diversions used to get power ups. The reward for completing these being more blue spheres is fantastic for me, but also a raw deal for anybody who dislikes them.
  • There are perhaps more nefarious traps in this game than Sonic 3, and by that I mean there's too many issues of clpping, soft locking, and AI freaking out. Honestly I feel Mania would have benefited from another month of bug testing.
  • Although the re-inclusion and reworking of many classic gimmicks largely works out, being the same as the originals isn't always better. Some gimmicks I would have preferred not to see or have in the more egregious cases been fixed to be a bit more fair (I'm looking at you blocks in Chemical Plant that are simultaneously large enough to get wedged between yet small enough to kill me.)
  • While I like all the modifiers on offer, I think it kinda stinks you can't start a save with them. I understand this might be due to their potentially game breaking nature, but I also feel if you activate them while making a save you kind of know what you're getting in for. At the very least, it would have been neat to allow them on a completed save since those seem to just reset progress when you back out anyway (except for lives and whatnot but at that point who cares.)
  • As much as Mania made good on returning stages, with what I saw from the new ones, I still would have preferred more in the way of all new content.
  • My largest issue with the game is how poorly the narrative was handled. Missing transitions make me think levels were reordered and transitions were cut due to time constraints. Considering Sonic 3 & Knuckles offered up even the flimsiest reasons for going between one zone to the next, this feels like a notable step backwards. It's especially unfortunate, because the incredibly fluid sprite work conveys so much energy and charm that I just want more of it. Somewhat related, I'm actually fine if the Phantom Ruby and ending tie into Forces because I still think connecting the games that way makes for an interesting narrative device and could lead to a sequel about Sonic's return to his own world, which I think would have a lot of potential.

 

  •  

8.5/10 - Sonic Mania's highs are tremendous and its lows are tolerable if unfortunate. There's a lot for me to get hung up on with the game but good god I've just had so much fun playing it.

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36 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

By final boss do you TM2 or ER?

For the former, Eggman can't hit you with anything except rockets of you stand on the very left or right of the arena. And for the latter, for the love of God don't waste time flying out using the dash attack. Just land on the ground and jump to attack.

The titanic monarch final boss. Thanks for the tips though.

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