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Sonic Mania Reviews/Impressions Thread

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15 minutes ago, VEDJ-F said:

Isn't that meant for Ray's ability?

 

13 minutes ago, MainJP said:

Aren't you supposed to use Air Glide?

Yes.

But there was nothing in the game that told you how to do that move before that point.

It's literally the opposite of the bouncy barrel to get up there. But all the moves in Mania didn't do anything like that.

Add only the fact you cannot exit from that section to the title screen to seek help from the main menu, it's a bit of a problem if you can't figure it out.

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@Mayor DNope. I'm going to disagree with you on this. Much like Knuckles' starting point in GHZ, that little part of AIZ forces you to use Ray's double jump to get past (if you pick Mighty, there's another route requiring his double jump instead). Every character in Mania has a double jump, and it's expected that you would figure it straight away because your should already be aware of the game's control scheme by the time you pay Encore Mode. And if for some reason you don't, what other options do you have except to experiment? I didn't know what Ray's ability was before booting the game up for the first time and solved that "puzzle" right away".

Now if you stand right next to the wall and try to use Ray's ability, it could be confusing because literally nothing happens. He doesn't start to glide because he immediately gets knocked back into a ball upon touching the wall. That might be a bit confusing, but did you seriously not try to figure out what his double jump was? @TheOcelot also had difficulty getting the hang of Ray's gliding and I imagine others might also struggle to figure out the control scheme (you press left/right and not up/down to angle Ray's angle). But in this particular scenario you have space to practice and a clear indication of where to go. I really can't imagine how you'd end up stuck the with no idea what to do, unless you tried just the same one thing repeatedly and promptly forgot the double jump control scheme you'd been using previously in the game. Unless you stand directly next to the wall, Ray has both visual and audio indications of his actions. It's nothing like the barrel.

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So question to those who have it already. I'm interested in playing the regular Mania with all five characters but I'm not sure about Encore mode. What would I miss out on if I skipped it?

Bonus: I've always been awful at Blue Sphere. Are any of the unlockables worth that headache?

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29 minutes ago, GentlemanX said:

So question to those who have it already. I'm interested in playing the regular Mania with all five characters but I'm not sure about Encore mode. What would I miss out on if I skipped it?

I just this moment beat encore mode...

My advice. Skip it. It's boring.

Play through mania as mighty and Ray (Ray is bloody amazing).

Encore mode is just dull, nothing much feels different, unless ' that boss and the new transitions are not in Mania mode, Encore mode feels like a pallet swap Rom hack that everybody used to make in the mid 2000's. 

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4 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

@Mayor DNope. I'm going to disagree with you on this. Much like Knuckles' starting point in GHZ, that little part of AIZ forces you to use Ray's double jump to get past (if you pick Mighty, there's another route requiring his double jump instead). Every character in Mania has a double jump, and it's expected that you would figure it straight away because your should already be aware of the game's control scheme by the time you pay Encore Mode. And if for some reason you don't, what other options do you have except to experiment? I didn't know what Ray's ability was before booting the game up for the first time and solved that "puzzle" right away".

Now if you stand right next to the wall and try to use Ray's ability, it could be confusing because literally nothing happens. He doesn't start to glide because he immediately gets knocked back into a ball upon touching the wall. That might be a bit confusing, but did you seriously not try to figure out what his double jump was? @TheOcelot also had difficulty getting the hang of Ray's gliding and I imagine others might also struggle to figure out the control scheme (you press left/right and not up/down to angle Ray's angle). But in this particular scenario you have space to practice and a clear indication of where to go. I really can't imagine how you'd end up stuck the with no idea what to do, unless you tried just the same one thing repeatedly and promptly forgot the double jump control scheme you'd been using previously in the game. Unless you stand directly next to the wall, Ray has both visual and audio indications of his actions. It's nothing like the barrel.

Yeah, but, wasn't you who didn't knew you could slide jump in Crash 2 untill 2 weeks ago, which is way more intuitive than Ray's gliding...? :V 

Leave @Mayor D take his time to figure it out :P I didn't knew how to properly use Mario's cape in World untill last month when a friend told me :V I would probably get stuck in the same place if @TheOcelot didn't explained Ray controls like Mario with the cape haha

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26 minutes ago, Jango said:

Yeah, but, wasn't you who didn't knew you could slide jump in Crash 2 untill 2 weeks ago, which is way more intuitive than Ray's gliding...? :V 

Leave @Mayor D take his time to figure it out :P I didn't knew how to properly use Mario's cape in World untill last month when a friend told me :V I would probably get stuck in the same place if @TheOcelot didn't explained Ray controls like Mario with the cape haha

Sure I didn't know that Crash had slide jump until two weeks ago, but that's because I had never played the game until two weeks ago. The thing about Ray's air glide is that the game locks you in place to learn how to use it. It provides you with audio sound effects and animation changes when you use the move. Contrast that to something like Crash's slide jump, which is completely unused until the game suddenly demands it of you and doesn't make any hints towards it. Ray's air glide is so strongly implied and suggested by the level design, and the game forces you to understand it before you move on. I honestly don't get how you can be unaware of how to get up there. Even if the controls aren't immediately obvious, the fact that he has some sort of double jump is.

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On 7/16/2018 at 6:56 PM, Mayor D said:

I have a feeling there might be a few negative impressions when this goes live... due to this.

I cannot figure out where to go. I'm right at the start and I know I'm missing something but no idea what.

I also can't pause the game at this screen to quit out.

I'm completely stuck.

 

Edit: right... after 6 min I finally figured it out.. But... Yeah... that's a problem area they need to fix, mainly that there's no way to quit back to the main menu or move list so you can figure out how to 'fly' as ray.

Glad I'm not the only one who had issues with this. I knew what to do and where to go but not how to get there. A control prompt would've been helpful.

On 7/16/2018 at 7:43 PM, Blue Blood said:

@Mayor DNope. I'm going to disagree with you on this. Much like Knuckles' starting point in GHZ, that little part of AIZ forces you to use Ray's double jump to get past (if you pick Mighty, there's another route requiring his double jump instead). Every character in Mania has a double jump, and it's expected that you would figure it straight away because your should already be aware of the game's control scheme by the time you pay Encore Mode. And if for some reason you don't, what other options do you have except to experiment? I didn't know what Ray's ability was before booting the game up for the first time and solved that "puzzle" right away".

Now if you stand right next to the wall and try to use Ray's ability, it could be confusing because literally nothing happens. He doesn't start to glide because he immediately gets knocked back into a ball upon touching the wall. That might be a bit confusing, but did you seriously not try to figure out what his double jump was? @TheOcelot also had difficulty getting the hang of Ray's gliding and I imagine others might also struggle to figure out the control scheme (you press left/right and not up/down to angle Ray's angle). But in this particular scenario you have space to practice and a clear indication of where to go. I really can't imagine how you'd end up stuck the with no idea what to do, unless you tried just the same one thing repeatedly and promptly forgot the double jump control scheme you'd been using previously in the game. Unless you stand directly next to the wall, Ray has both visual and audio indications of his actions. It's nothing like the barrel.

 

On 7/16/2018 at 11:59 PM, Blue Blood said:

Sure I didn't know that Crash had slide jump until two weeks ago, but that's because I had never played the game until two weeks ago. The thing about Ray's air glide is that the game locks you in place to learn how to use it. It provides you with audio sound effects and animation changes when you use the move. Contrast that to something like Crash's slide jump, which is completely unused until the game suddenly demands it of you and doesn't make any hints towards it. Ray's air glide is so strongly implied and suggested by the level design, and the game forces you to understand it before you move on. I honestly don't get how you can be unaware of how to get up there. Even if the controls aren't immediately obvious, the fact that he has some sort of double jump is.

The issue isn't trying to figure out that these characters each have a secondary ability. The issue is trying to figure out how to use them. Ray wasn't even in the original Mania so even though most of us should be aware that he has a secondary ability that doesn't mean we should automatically know how to use it.

Yes there are cues and for the most part they do give you a good idea of what to do however I don't find Ray's own visual cue helpful. We're supposed to move left and right to control Ray's glide but he moves up and down. When I see a character move in a certain way naturally I'm going to assume that I need to mirror said motion. I thought I was on the right track for a while too because despite the fact that I was playing the game incorrectly I still managed to get to that ledge. All I ended up thinking was maybe I needed to specifically time when I pressed up and down to properly glide. Unless I missed a different visual cue there was no indication that I needed to move left and right.

Encouraging us to experiment with the controls is fine and while I don't think the game needs to outright tell us the controls I do think it needs to give better hints. The glide mechanic is easy and fun to use once you know how to use it ^^

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Finished Encore, didn't care for it.

Spoiler

Just gonna break this down into points, I guess.

  • Mighty is a fun addition. His hard shell got me out of trouble a few times and made him the ideal choice for a few bosses. I wish his ground pound had more utility though. I've only played through once but I could only find three paths that looked specifically accessible to Mighty, two of which are impossible to miss.
  • Ray just sucks. People seem real hot on him, and I cannot figure out why. I think his sprite looks terrible. His gliding move felt useless, especially towards the later part of the game where paths become much more confined.
  • The levels are hardly remixed, as far as I can tell. I replayed the game this last week and tried to stick to the same paths I took so I could spot differences, but there were close to none. Most of what I did find were small diversions, or changes to ring/enemy layouts. Nothing really substantial. The most significant change was probably the special stage ring placements, since that actually forces you to reconsider what paths you're taking. That's nice, I like that. I like having to hunt for those again, but I still wish there was more here.
  • The levels straight up look hideous now. The pallet swapping was an outright bad idea, with most levels adopting earth tones, washing out all the vibrancy in favor of drab browns, greys, oranges... it's a desaturated mess, completely unappealing. There are a few exceptions to this. Oil Ocean during the day was a much needed injection of color at that point in the game. Stardust Speedway Act 2 taking on a Bad Future pallet was an obvious but welcome choice.
  • New level transitions are great! It's nice that every level flows into one another now.
  • I sort of like what they were going for with character swapping, but I also would have liked it if I had more control over who I swapped to. The system itself is fine, but the part where I need to find an item box just made it a bit more tedious than I would have liked.
  • The pinball minigame both addresses an issue I had with the main game while still missing the mark. Blue Spheres was both too long and offered little reward, mostly serving as a fine way to break the pace of a level. The pinball bonus stage sort of tackles the problem by actually allowing you to earn shields, rings, and characters, but it falls flat on its face in terms of execution. The pinball physics are bad, they just feel off in this way that makes it closer to guesswork whether a shot is going to go the way you think it will. If you do well, you can actually screw around in there for quite a while, since the further up you get, the harder it is to fall all the way back down short of not trying at all. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the bonus games tried to limit your stay, making them quick snappy diversions that were worth going into if you needed a shield, rings, or a 1UP. The gumball machine was constantly lowering, edging you ever closer to a pit. The orb minigame had a set of beams inching their way up that would catch and expel you from the stage. The slot machine had walls all along the perimeter of the stage that when touched enough would form a "GOAL" block that would eject you. The pinball game lacks this. It has bad physics that will sometimes cause you to fuck up and lose a ball and that's it.

If you love Sonic Mania a whole hell of a lot, then five bucks isn't asking for much. I mostly came out the other end feeling deflated, but at that price point, I don't feel burned or anything.

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On 7/16/2018 at 1:56 PM, Mayor D said:

I have a feeling there might be a few negative impressions when this goes live... due to this.

I cannot figure out where to go. I'm right at the start and I know I'm missing something but no idea what.

I also can't pause the game at this screen to quit out.

I'm completely stuck.

 

Edit: right... after 6 min I finally figured it out.. But... Yeah... that's a problem area they need to fix, mainly that there's no way to quit back to the main menu or move list so you can figure out how to 'fly' as ray.

I loved your playthrough of Cuphead, by the way.  That tutorial part had me in stitches!

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 I'm a very visual person, so I wanna discuss graphics. I'm going to wait until Encore's new palettes grow on me before I judge those (though I love Encore's PGZ1), but what I dislike is the character sprites:

vaj0xs7e4du01.png.731787cde072bbec351ce402d2c9e1c8.png

First, look how different Sonic, Tails and Knuckles look to each other.

Then, look how Mighty and Ray look like a Sonic clone. This is important, because in Encore (the main meat of the DLC) we'll change characters often and the Sonic/Ray and Mighty/Sonic pairings look very odd, and from the beginning you're forced to pair Sonic with either of them anyway.

I can forgive Mighty because we have a precedent of him being a Sonic clone (Chaotix) and because his shell gives him a lot of uniqueness. However, Ray looks like a yellow Sonic without spikes. You might say "but from that arcade game he's basically also a clone". Uh, no, Ray looks wildly different to Sonic and Mighty even there:

sonic.png.896d3c93391b6fd1a1fbcbc1b24bd10b.png

 Look at how happy this guy is. Also I just notice his skin is darker than the rest of the cast, is he a man of color?

Also, why is Ray as tall as Sonic and Mighty? I wouldn't have a problem if the cartoon didn't depict Ray as shorter:

Screenshot_20180717-235932.thumb.png.68f81470340f8cfbcb86c5e0b3967960.png

(What is this, Steven Universe?)

In-game, it looks weird that Ray looks identical to Sonic. Compare it to, for instance, this fanmade sprite:

648354107_ray_the_flying_squirrel_in_sonic_1_style_wip_by_truebluemichael-daotc49(1).png.6db47e58b9025bb0dd7e0ceaadf13ac7.png

Sure, Ray's stance here may be a strange and the work certainly isn't Mania quality, but it certainly does a better job at making Ray's face different from the rest of the cast.

I complain about this because in the dev diary, Tom Fry stressed that Ray isn't a recolor.

Also, Ray only looks like a Sonic clone when he's standing, walking, or running, but other animations (balancing on a ledge, gliding, trapped in the AIZ capsule, waiting, pushing) depict him as unique and with a lot of personality:

sonic_mania_plus___ray_sprite_rips__by_eli101gamer-dcajnwu.png.e72b81bd2b4052ac0af367475e33a962.png

His face looks really smaller and more fitting when gliding for instance.

Why couldn't they just paste his face in one of those animations where he looks good in the main sprites?

ALSOOOO. This fanmade spriteset for Mighty has his CPZ cutscene animation as him taking out his shell and cleaning it. This is a nod to his dying animation from the Arcade game.

Whyyyyy couldn't this game make a nod like that?

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3 hours ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

Finished Encore, didn't care for it.

  Reveal hidden contents

Just gonna break this down into points, I guess.

  • Mighty is a fun addition. His hard shell got me out of trouble a few times and made him the ideal choice for a few bosses. I wish his ground pound had more utility though. I've only played through once but I could only find three paths that looked specifically accessible to Mighty, two of which are impossible to miss.
  • Ray just sucks. People seem real hot on him, and I cannot figure out why. I think his sprite looks terrible. His gliding move felt useless, especially towards the later part of the game where paths become much more confined.
  • The levels are hardly remixed, as far as I can tell. I replayed the game this last week and tried to stick to the same paths I took so I could spot differences, but there were close to none. Most of what I did find were small diversions, or changes to ring/enemy layouts. Nothing really substantial. The most significant change was probably the special stage ring placements, since that actually forces you to reconsider what paths you're taking. That's nice, I like that. I like having to hunt for those again, but I still wish there was more here.
  • The levels straight up look hideous now. The pallet swapping was an outright bad idea, with most levels adopting earth tones, washing out all the vibrancy in favor of drab browns, greys, oranges... it's a desaturated mess, completely unappealing. There are a few exceptions to this. Oil Ocean during the day was a much needed injection of color at that point in the game. Stardust Speedway Act 2 taking on a Bad Future pallet was an obvious but welcome choice.
  • New level transitions are great! It's nice that every level flows into one another now.
  • I sort of like what they were going for with character swapping, but I also would have liked it if I had more control over who I swapped to. The system itself is fine, but the part where I need to find an item box just made it a bit more tedious than I would have liked.
  • The pinball minigame both addresses an issue I had with the main game while still missing the mark. Blue Spheres was both too long and offered little reward, mostly serving as a fine way to break the pace of a level. The pinball bonus stage sort of tackles the problem by actually allowing you to earn shields, rings, and characters, but it falls flat on its face in terms of execution. The pinball physics are bad, they just feel off in this way that makes it closer to guesswork whether a shot is going to go the way you think it will. If you do well, you can actually screw around in there for quite a while, since the further up you get, the harder it is to fall all the way back down short of not trying at all. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the bonus games tried to limit your stay, making them quick snappy diversions that were worth going into if you needed a shield, rings, or a 1UP. The gumball machine was constantly lowering, edging you ever closer to a pit. The orb minigame had a set of beams inching their way up that would catch and expel you from the stage. The slot machine had walls all along the perimeter of the stage that when touched enough would form a "GOAL" block that would eject you. The pinball game lacks this. It has bad physics that will sometimes cause you to fuck up and lose a ball and that's it.

If you love Sonic Mania a whole hell of a lot, then five bucks isn't asking for much. I mostly came out the other end feeling deflated, but at that price point, I don't feel burned or anything.

I agree with every other bit instead that I loved Ray so far. I'm around middle of Encore Mode and I have to admit I'm a little disappointed how little or any new the stages offer. 

45 minutes ago, kergo said:

 

vaj0xs7e4du01.png.731787cde072bbec351ce402d2c9e1c8.png

First, look how different Sonic, Tails and Knuckles look to each other.

Also, why is Ray as tall as Sonic and Mighty? I wouldn't have a problem if the cartoon didn't depict Ray as shorter

If something bugs me is Ray's height. He just doesn't seem right.

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@kergo That entire analysis of Ray's sprite set is spot on. He looks strangely oversized compared to the rest of the cast. He looks like he's supposed to be smaller than Sonic or Knuckles, but towers next to them in Encore. He chalky uses Sonic as a base, and our doesn't work very well. Indeed the totally original animations (gliding, hanging, ledge, idle etc) look much better than the rest. I find it particularly strange that his ball and spindash sprites are as large as Sonic's. Ray is a lot of fun to play as and his sprites do have a ton of personality, but they look like sprite edits. Sonic was clearly used as a base (either directly or indirectly) and it doesn't work.

6 hours ago, Shiroi said:

Glad I'm not the only one who had issues with this. I knew what to do and where to go but not how to get there. A control prompt would've been helpful.

The issue isn't trying to figure out that these characters each have a secondary ability. The issue is trying to figure out how to use them. Ray wasn't even in the original Mania so even though most of us should be aware that he has a secondary ability that doesn't mean we should automatically know how to use it.

Yes there are cues and for the most part they do give you a good idea of what to do however I don't find Ray's own visual cue helpful. We're supposed to move left and right to control Ray's glide but he moves up and down. When I see a character move in a certain way naturally I'm going to assume that I need to mirror said motion. I thought I was on the right track for a while too because despite the fact that I was playing the game incorrectly I still managed to get to that ledge. All I ended up thinking was maybe I needed to specifically time when I pressed up and down to properly glide. Unless I missed a different visual cue there was no indication that I needed to move left and right.

Encouraging us to experiment with the controls is fine and while I don't think the game needs to outright tell us the controls I do think it needs to give better hints. The glide mechanic is easy and fun to use once you know how to use it ^^

It's outlined in the digital manual. This wasn't the case when Mayor D made his original post because the update had yet to go officially live, and the point still stands that you can't access it without returning to the main menu, and the game explicitly prevents that here). I guess I just found the controls of his air glide to be incredibly intuitive and logical; you either push forwards or you hold back. It just made perfect sense to me without any need of an explanation. As I said before, I didn't know what Ray's ability was before getting to that point in the game (I hadn't watched trailers), so my immediate course of action was to experiment.

There are a few solutions I can see to this issue. One would be to have another "thought bubble" appear that explains Ray's control scheme, similar to the one that shows you how to swap characters. Another would be to change the path entirely. Instead of just having a single ledge for Ray to ascend to, there could be a a pit (not a bottomless pit) he needs to glide across with platforms to land on and rings to collect along the way. Hopefully that would better encourage the player use left/right and teach them the basics of his flight.

I maintain that getting stuck there for a few minutes and comparing the whole thing to the barrel is taking it too far. It's the most complicated move in the game, but it's not rocket science.

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3 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

@kergo That entire analysis of Ray's sprite set is spot on. He looks strangely oversized compared to the rest of the cast. He looks like he's supposed to be smaller than Sonic or Knuckles, but towers next to them in Encore. He chalky uses Sonic as a base, and our doesn't work very well. Indeed the totally original animations (gliding, hanging, ledge, idle etc) look much better than the rest. I find it particularly strange that his ball and spindash sprites are as large as Sonic's. Ray is a lot of fun to play as and his sprites do have a ton of personality, but they look like sprite edits. Sonic was clearly used as a base (either directly or indirectly) and it doesn't work.

It's outlined in the digital manual. This wasn't the case when Mayor D made his original post because the update had yet to go officially live, and the point still stands that you can't access it without returning to the main menu, and the game explicitly prevents that here). I guess I just found the controls of his air glide to be incredibly intuitive and logical; you either push forwards or you hold back. It just made perfect sense to me without any need of an explanation. As I said before, I didn't know what Ray's ability was before getting to that point in the game (I hadn't watched trailers), so my immediate course of action was to experiment.

There are a few solutions I can see to this issue. One would be to have another "thought bubble" appear that explains Ray's control scheme, similar to the one that shows you how to swap characters. Another would be to change the path entirely. Instead of just having a single ledge for Ray to ascend to, there could be a a pit (not a bottomless pit) he needs to glide across with platforms to land on and rings to collect along the way. Hopefully that would better encourage the player use left/right and teach them the basics of his flight.

I maintain that getting stuck there for a few minutes and comparing the whole thing to the barrel is taking it too far. It's the most complicated move in the game, but it's not rocket science.

The manual wasn't available at the time I was playing Encore Mode and I had to switch off the PS4 long before I made this post so I didn't know that the manual had been posted. It's good that those who might have difficulty figuring out Ray's controls can look them up now ^^ Not being able to pause or quit that particular section of the game is still a bit of an issue though.

I like the idea of a control prompt or just the ability to quit to look up the controls ^^ I don't think changing the route is necessary though that might help some ^^ Those of us who got stuck did try to figure things out but we just couldn't quite get the hang of it.

I never had an issue figuring out the barrels because they follow the logic I was trying to use to figure out Ray's controls. The barrels move up and down so I assumed I was supposed to move up and down either by jumping or using the up and down controls and I was right. Again Ray doesn't move left to right he moves up and down so I assumed I needed to match his movements and I turned out to be wrong this time. Maybe I was just thinking too literally about it.

I think this is just a case of people using different logic.

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Just wanted to throw my hat in regarding the Ray tutorial area. I'm definitely with @Blue Blood on this, I only just got Plus last night so sorry for being a couple days slow!
 

To me, the big distinction between Ray and the Sonic 3 Barrel IS the difference in control scheme. Similar to what Blue Blood has said about the Crash 2 slide jump, Sonic 3 never requires you to use up and down inputs until the barrel roadblock and, as far as I can remember, won't ask for it again until the pulleys in Mushroom Hill; a far more intuitive situation I'd add.

Meanwhile, left and right are probably your two most used buttons in 2D Sonic outside of jumping. If you jump in the air as Ray then surely your next move has got to be pressing either left or right anyway. Even if you don't grasp the glide mechanic at first it's immediately clear that Ray has some sort of aerial ability and considering you have a wall to get over they're indicating to the player that he has some method of gaining height. 

I'll admit that it's a bigger ask of the player than Mighty's one-button ability but given that Ray's glide has a lot more potential scope than Mighty's Hammer Drop I think this sort of thing is always gonna happen. In fairness, the game doesn't require the glide at all really so it's maybe a little odd forcing it at the very beginning. Perhaps as a compromise they could have additionally added a few floating diagonal rings to help indicate that you can indeed get up there. The only downside is potentially confusing players who picked Mighty into thinking they're supposed to be able to go both ways.

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8 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

It's outlined in the digital manual. This wasn't the case when Mayor D made his original post because the update had yet to go officially live, and the point still stands that you can't access it without returning to the main menu, and the game explicitly prevents that here). I guess I just found the controls of his air glide to be incredibly intuitive and logical; you either push forwards or you hold back. It just made perfect sense to me without any need of an explanation.

The issue I had was pretty much the following.

Every move in Mania which makes the character perform a signature move or shared move is tied to the buttons on the controller, the buttons are what essentially activates the move, not the D-Pad.

Now with Ray, when you jump and press any of the buttons, Ray either tries to glide up or instantly crashes down. So I figured that it was a tapping of the two buttons to make a rhythm, similar to how you do things in games like Track and Field, so for the majority of the time I was trying to see if that was how it worked. 

Then when that wasn't working I tried to quit to the main menu in the hope there would be a move list or some kind of manual, I then discovered that you can't quit from this section without completely closing down the game.

It took me so long to figure it out because... well...

 

Can anyone name a main Sonic title where you use the D-Pad in such a way to perform a move? With the exception being the bouncy barrel in Sonic 3?

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13 minutes ago, Mayor D said:

The issue I had was pretty much the following.

Every move in Mania which makes the character perform a signature move or shared move is tied to the buttons on the controller, the buttons are what essentially activates the move, not the D-Pad.

Now with Ray, when you jump and press any of the buttons, Ray either tries to glide up or instantly crashes down. So I figured that it was a tapping of the two buttons to make a rhythm, similar to how you do things in games like Track and Field, so for the majority of the time I was trying to see if that was how it worked. 

Then when that wasn't working I tried to quit to the main menu in the hope there would be a move list or some kind of manual, I then discovered that you can't quit from this section without completely closing down the game.

It took me so long to figure it out because... well...

 

Can anyone name a main Sonic title where you use the D-Pad in such a way to perform a move? With the exception being the bouncy barrel in Sonic 3?

The hang gliders from sonic 2 on game gear do I believe but I don't think many people today have played that one.

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8 minutes ago, Mayor D said:

Can anyone name a main Sonic title where you use the D-Pad in such a way to perform a move?

Exactly like this? No. But it's not as if using the Dpad in combination with a midair move is some radical new idea; you still use the Dpad to control Tails while flying, Knuckles while gliding, the direction Sonic's drop dash goes, and the direction of Hyper Sonic's air dash back in 3&K, alongside it just being the most fundamental way of moving the character around. If you try pressing left and right while gliding the effects are obvious pretty much instantly, and it shouldn't take long to figure out how to get up that ledge.

Also what Sonic game has you performing a move by alternating buttons like in Track and Field? Classic Sonic games have operated on a one-button system from the start, and (super form/character swap button aside) Mania is no different.

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1 hour ago, Diogenes said:

Exactly like this? No. But it's not as if using the Dpad in combination with a midair move is some radical new idea; you still use the Dpad to control Tails while flying, Knuckles while gliding, the direction Sonic's drop dash goes, and the direction of Hyper Sonic's air dash back in 3&K,

You know precisely what I mean so I don't get this reply at all.

Tails and knuckles flight direction is controlled by the d-pad. The activation of the flight and with the case of tails maintaining his flight is done with the buttons.

There no move in any Sonic game which requires you to constantly use the d-pad in that way to maintain or activate it. So why would I instantly assume that was the case now?

 

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7 minutes ago, Mayor D said:

You know precisely what I mean so I don't get this reply at all.

Tails and knuckles flight direction is controlled by the d-pad. The activation of the flight and with the case of tails maintaining his flight is done with the buttons.

There no move in any Sonic game which requires you to constantly use the d-pad in that way to maintain or activate it. So why would I instantly assume that was the case now?

Apparently I didn't know what you meant...and I guess I still don't? You don't need the Dpad to activate or maintain Ray's gliding (unless you consider controlling yourself to not hit walls part of maintaining it, but then that's true for Knuckles too, so...?). And you don't have to instantly assume how it works, but it's simple enough that you should be able to figure it out with, like, 30 seconds of playing around with it.

And this still doesn't explain why you jumped to and got stuck on some kind of 2 button control in a game that doesn't actually have 2 different control buttons. You certainly had no reason to instantly assume that's how it worked, and when it did nothing for you that should've been enough for you to realize that isn't how it worked.

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13 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

And this still doesn't explain why you jumped to and got stuck on some kind of 2 button control in a game that doesn't actually have 2 different control buttons. You certainly had no reason to instantly assume that's how it worked, and when it did nothing for you that should've been enough for you to realize that isn't how it worked.

Jump in the air as ray.

Push a button.

Ray glides up but gains no height.

Jump in the air as ray.

Bush different button.

Ray instantly plummets in a dive.

 

Based on That, I figure it's some kind of glide move, you have to dive a little to build speed so you can pull up to gain heigh.

And you have to push these two buttons to that. But if you try that it doesn't work, but based on the two unique reactions to those button prompts, that gives the impression that's what you're supposed to do.

Since every characters primary move in history is tied to the buttons and not the d-pad to both activate and maintain their move.

 

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6 minutes ago, Mayor D said:

Jump in the air as ray.

Push a button.

Ray glides up but gains no height.

Jump in the air as ray.

Bush different button.

Ray instantly plummets in a dive.

It doesn't actually work that way. Pressing more buttons doesn't affect his glide at all. You must've brushed the Dpad without realizing it...and then at no point stopped to think that it might have some kind of effect on how the character controls, in spite of it having an effect with every other character.

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Encore mode was a fun novelty, but I have to say it devolved into "Lets watch Tails break the game" faster than I would like it too. That two tailed menace makes a mockery of 95% of the games difficulty curve. Its ridiculous how much you can cheese levels and bosses with a few seconds of flight.

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My two cents:

£3.99 (or brand new for the whole package at £24.99) is that you get an incredible package that is well worth the asking price.

Encore was an excellent addition. The team up buddies approach was a welcome change to how you approach the game forcing you to consider options at various points - and adds excellent replay because of it.

Whilst not Hard Mode, the level tweaks and new routes or changes where certainly welcome and made for a nice challenge in a few areas. Pallet swaps on the whole were mostly excellent - a few zones felt washed out but you can tell the team really thought about the changes made and how they’ll impact the levels feel. Highlights were definitely Sunset Hill, Nightime Press Garden, Bad Future Stardust Speedway, Sunset to Nightime Mirage Saloon, Daytime Oil Ocean, and Shut Down Mode / Rebooting Titanic Monach (Genius!).

I think the newer levels probably benefited more from some Redesign, And they were the best in Mania Mode anyway, although I am glad Titanic Monach wasn’t touched too much, that’s a perfect final level.

The Tease of Angel Island was nasty, but we got a whole brand new level in Mirage Saloon which was wonderful to play about in so we got something at least.

New Bonus Pinball level was awesome, I didn’t have much difficulty adjusting to the control scheme or physics here, every pinball game has different weights to it, it’s just a matter of learning it. 

The addition of Mighty and Ray though. Wow. Mighty is a fan favourite of mine since the old days when he was part of the Chaotix Crew and his drop down and spike Hit got me out of some tricky scenarios. But Ray - he’s my new Boi. Every time I hit a switch box I hope that it randomised to him, I looooove plying as Ray - easy to get a grasp of (sorry Mayor D, I don’t really see where you went wrong here either at the beginning...) - the MARIO Cape inspired control scheme is relatively easy to master but not OP despite it being incredibly useful in many areas and boss fights.

Overall, a smashing great package.

My only complaints are minimal - story wise - it doesn’t really go anywhere or finalise the original mode like an epilogue as I expected. Also, No ultimate final boss against the Monach was disappointing.

Special Stages are HAAARD AF - but this incites challenge to return I guess.

Because it’s encore, I also think they should have randomised the Level selection every time you play though the game - so at the end of every zone after the boss the Ruby randomly warps you to the another zone which the game decides at random.

And finally, Ray should definitely be Tails height - I love him but he looks a little weird to be as big as the other boys.

 

9.5 / 10 from me.

 

Side Note: The quality of life improvements to the base game are appreciated as well on many aspects - one boss fight is more interesting, and another is not stupidly hard. The new level transitions are excellent, I think the Hydrocity —> Mirage Saloon makes more sense in Encore Mode and Mania, but then you would have to assume MSZ is on The Floating Island as well as OOZ... unless it crashed into the ground and not the sea.

 

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