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Chris Knopps

Concepts/Things In Mania You Dislike

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Haven't played the game, but from your complaints:

-The smoke gimmick in Oil Ocean act 2: I have to say I like it. I liked the Sandopolis act 2 gimmick so I'm pleased they found a way to bring it to Mania. There are so many levels about speed, platforming, etc, so what does it matter that ONE single act has this mechanic? To me it's a welcome variation.

-But talking about acts with cool and different mechanics, I would have liked an autoscroll act, like one of the first acts in Master System's Sonic the Hedgehog. I loved these kind of stages in the Mega Drive days (Rocketknight Adventures or Dynamite Headdy had them, for instance).

-Blue Spheres: I can understand those who are annoyed by having to stop during the game to play it. It might have been a better choice to make this a separate mode you can play whenever you want. It's not bad to me because I love Blue Spheres, but I can see this could be improved for the overall audience, and I'm sure they'll get this feedback seriously for future 2D Sonic games because it makes sense.

-Lack of bonus stages apart from Blue Spheres. Bonus Stages were better in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, in my opinion. But it's not a game breaking thing to me, just something that could be improved in future games.

-Not being able to use insta shield in Save mode :(

-Not being able to use insta-shield AND drop dash. In my opinion, drop dash should be available for Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, as it makes Sonic a bit OP on Competition Mode. How would this be implemented? Well, how about this: drop dash is activated when you are in the air and press down+jump. If you don't press down, then you either activate insta-shield, glide or fly. That is if they wanted to keep controls as simple as always (a single button for all actions). If not, they could just use a second button to activate drop dash.

-I'd like an option to not play the Super Theme once you transform. Sonic games music is awesome, and it's a shame that once you go Super, you can't hear the act music anymore.

-I'd like an option to go back to normal form from Super, as in Sonic 3 Complete.

-And yeah, the lack of cutscenes is a bit of a let down. I hope they fix that with a future patch.

 

But hey, now consider that this is the Mania Team's first attempt, and it's been glorious. Imagine what they can do with our feedback. I know they had a lot of wisdom available from all classic Sonics, but experience is a different thing. Sonic Mania has been a true first experience, and to me they did it really well. 

Also, remember that Sonic 3 was split into two games back in the day. Mania didn't do that. They delivered all the work the team made, instead of releasing half of the game and then complete it. As Mania is being very well received, maybe Sega thinks of giving Taxman's people a bigger budget  next time, so that small "rush" feeling we're noticing doesn't happen again.

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Just in personal defense of things I DID like...

4 hours ago, NoKaine said:

The lack of some stage transitions is definitely weird.

I haven't played the game, I admit, but some bosses while cool as hell look a bit too obtuse or overcomplicated, like Metal Sonic.

Like, why does he have three phrases? It's the middle of the game and he seems more impressive than Oil Ocean's boss. I could see parts 1 and 3 in one zone and an expanded part 2 in another.

Also Titanic Monarch looks like a bitch. Nothing else really looked "fan-made" but that level. Okay, seriously, if you have to disable the timer for the boss because the level went too long, why not just not make the level too long?

Considering it only takes about 2 minutes to reach Metal Sonic, I think the idea they were going for is that the boss battle kind of IS half the stage.  But I do feel Phase 2 goes on WAY too long for how tricky it is.  Apparently there's a trick (just spin-dash into the Silver Sonics when they spin-dash, haven't tried it myself yet) but without that it takes super long.

Overall though I really liked the encounter, and it sort of serves as a good "mid-game climax" in the same way Launch Base of S3&K has three phases to the boss fight (assuming you're playing Sonic 3 Complete or the two games seperately, at least).

2 hours ago, Hottub said:

Mania is overall a really solid game but my main problem with the main campaign is that it feels like it runs out of steam near the end. The theming seems to get a bit mixed up at that point. For example every hard boiled heavy appeared in the original zones EXCEPT up until Lava Reef, the last hard boiled heavy is the boss of that zone. The last few bosses also bummed me out, they seemed to just use the Sonic 1 final boss, the Death Egg miniboss for no apparent reason and the Gacha Machine boss didn't tie in to Metallic Madness in any way at all when the bosses of most of the other zones seemed appropriate. 

This game is making me hate blue spheres, its already bad enough they're the only type of bonus stage and there's 36 of them but you need to perfect all of them and there's no way to access them to try again. You always have to go in to the game and get a checkpoint to just get a random blue sphere. 

also act 1 of Mirage Saloon was a sky chase level. That zone was on track to being my favourite in the game but they just had to make the first act a drag.

I felt the Gacha Machine boss for Metallic Madness made a lot of sense, the mini Eggmans that pop out directly referencing the mini Sonic antics from the stage (and of course, the Amy Dolls were hilarious and tied it into Sonic CD).  The goofiness of that boss also kind of matched how quirky Sonic CD's bosses were generally, I felt it was perfect.

Mirage Saloon has a proper Act 1 if you play it as Knuckles.  I actually really liked what they did there and I'm glad they did manage to fit a Sky Chase level into the game, it's a pretty fun one.

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This is not exactly something I didn't like because it's not implemented on Mania, but for a sequel it would be cool that you could unlock a "Spinball Mode". I've always wanted a Sonic Spinball remake with Sonic's original engine (the Spinball engine was... well, functional but a bit clunky at times). A single pinball table that you could play from time to time to get 1-ups or shields you could use later in the Story Mode would rock.

Or, it could be a bonus stage like the gumball machine.

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41 minutes ago, PKGaming said:
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I wish turning into Super Sonic was mapped to a different button. Once I have 50 rings, I can't perform a Drop Dash without turning super.

 

Or maybe just press jump button TWICE on air. Once makes the drop dash and twice goes super.

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I'm honestly surprised that they didn't add in a separate transform button. It was an issue back on the Mega Drive, and it's something that even Sonic 4 got right (*gasp*). I'll write up my full list of issues in a bit. But bear in mind that they're little more than minor niggles at worst.

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Echoing the lack of a second button thing. It's actually an odd step back since I think the modern games just map it to its own button.

I loooooooove Blue Spheres, like so fucking much it's actually shocking to me to see how many people find that mode repulsive. That said, I don't think they function well as bonus stages. Bonuses in Sonic 3 were very short diversions, and benefited you by providing you a quick opportunity to gain a shield, 1-ups, or some more rings. Blue Spheres doesn't serve that function, it's just there to unlock additional modes, and while that's neat, its main drawback is just how long it takes to beat a Blue Spheres stage. The reason those were paced as they were in Sonic 3 was because they were special stages, which require more effort on the player's part considering what they unlock.

 

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4 minutes ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

Echoing the lack of a second button thing. It's actually an odd step back since I think the modern games just map it to its own button.

I loooooooove Blue Spheres, like so fucking much it's actually shocking to me to see how many people find that mode repulsive. That said, I don't think they function well as bonus stages. Bonuses in Sonic 3 were very short diversions, and benefited you by providing you a quick opportunity to gain a shield, 1-ups, or some more rings. Blue Spheres doesn't serve that function, it's just there to unlock additional modes, and while that's neat, its main drawback is just how long it takes to beat a Blue Spheres stage. The reason those were paced as they were in Sonic 3 was because they were special stages, which require more effort on the player's part considering what they unlock.

 

Totally agree. I miss that quick way to get a power up.

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Game is great and has some awesome ambitions, but can't say i love it for the following reasons:

1. Level designs, particularly the remastered or new levels, lack focus. The old games kept you on a clear main path with upper and lower routes placed rather sparingly throughout. The defined main path enabled each zone to maintain a unique identity and also aided in the progression and atmosphere of the story as it unfolded. 

Mania zones have this sometimes, however, typically the stage will have mutiple paths entirely throughout.

2. Couple this with the inconsistent story telling (Like others have mentioned) and what we get is a fun night out without any real memory of what actually happened.

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2 minutes ago, Riverstone said:

 

1. Level designs, particularly the remastered or new levels, lack focus. The old games kept you on a clear main path with upper and lower routes placed rather sparingly throughout. The defined main path enabled each zone to maintain a unique identity and also aided in the progression and atmosphere of the story as it unfolded. 

 

I felt this at first too, but the more I've played the game and explored/retained each level's layout, the more I've developed a familiarity that immediately tells me what path I'm on. It's been so long since I played the classics with a fresh mind, but I'd have to believe this is similar to my first experiences with Sonic 3 and Knuckles, which also had very dense layouts with intersecting and winding paths.

Edit: I will say though that Flying Battery Act 2 is the most nonsensical to me still, but that fucker is huge. My first time through I remember thinking "wow this is still going on" as I reached the 8 minute mark.

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Here are my gripes with Mania

- It really does feel like the devs ran out of time with the zone transitioning and explanation. The game starts out strong with them, with even little polishes like Sonic wiggling the mega mack off of him to help feel like he's really apart of his universe. But then, as the game goes on, you begin to learn we just get no more of that, like at all. At first, I was guessing if the devs assumed we thought we've gotten the rundown on how the game was gonna go, like "Oh, they just Phantom Ruby warped again. You get the idea at this point."... but then when you have moments like Knuckles just appearing in a cockpit and the Tornado out of nowhere, or just having levels based on different planets / islands / time zones transitioning to other levels with no explanation whatsoever... you can't help but think that they just ran out of time and they wanted to flesh out some things more.

Another point is the Opening Animation. Don't get me wrong, I fucking love the animation for it's beautiful art style and fluidity, but that's just what it is, really. It's not really conveying a narrative on what the HBH and Eggman are up to in the grand scheme of things. I just know that the HBH are the enemy because they're with Eggman. I'm not really getting a main goal here for Sonic and friends, which is what I've got from Sonic CD's intro, which was to save Little Planet. From what little that I received from the intro and what the game tells us in game, it looks like Eggman and the gang already won and got the Phantom Ruby from the very beginning, so now are they just fucking with Sonic now? Unless I'm missing something here? If that's the case, Titanic Monarch should've just happened in the beginning, really, haha.

I'm still questioning what time period Sonic and the gang are even set before and after in Mania because they entered Stardust Speedway from the past (Not even the present timeline, mind you), left that same zone in the future, yet Angel Island is still set in the sea during the future and past...even though the Master Emerald is sitting perfectly neat and tucked in Lava Reef Zone apparently in all timelines thanks to Knuckles' run through lol. These are questions that need to be answered. If it was Sega, id just let it slide since I've came to expect that from them at this point sadly enough, but here, these are thriving devs and I feel they actually do want to give a reason for why they did what they did.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

- Another is some of the glitches and over sights. I'm not even running into the "good" glitches either. I at the time had what I presumed to be the world record for Green Hill Zone, but I can't even check that because of the completely glitched Leaderboards for PS4. Then I have to constantly worry about the music glitching out, having to reset the game. Then I found out at times your Super forms have the of chance of not working. Sure, you'll get the animation of it and the theme plays, but you'll still get hurt and the music never turns off until you die.

As for the oversight, I just wish they mapped the 1P Sonic & Tails flight / Super Transformation to anything but the jump buttons. It should've been mapped to the triangle button (Y for Xbox / X for Switch) or at least one of the shoulder buttons. When trying to 1P fly, your shield abilities, particularly the fire shield, makes this near impossible unless you're bashing Sonic into a wall so you can keep his jump vertically straight. Then you have the Super forms that interrupts your abilities which is a big no no. I was trying to jump over and glide a huge gap with Knuckles, but then his super form canceled all of that in between, and I plummeted to the depths of hell since Knuckles can't even glide immediately after transforming for whatever reason.

In the end though, I still really appreciate this game. It's just that if the devs had the ability to kink out just a little bit more errors and plot holes, I honestly wouldn't have minded if they announced another delay, because something is telling me they wanted to give us a little bit more than what we have here now for whatever reason.

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I love the game, so these are just minor things.

1. Sonic CD gets two levels, and Sonic 1 and 3 get one? As someone who actively dislikes CD, this was a disappointment to me. I know someone will bring up S3&K is one game, but weighing in favor of S&K after S3 got shafted in Generations irks me.

2. Stage transitions. Everyone has covered this.

3. A lot of the stuff included was very meta for fans and it's fantastic, but having a Puzzle match as a boss makes no sense.

4. I would have liked more layout differences for Knuckles.

5. No real Amy appearance. It would have been cool if she was at least in Stardust Speedway.

Mostly minor quibbles. Now bring on Forces.:thumbsup_tone2:

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2 minutes ago, Crazizzle said:

1. Sonic CD gets two levels, and Sonic 1 and 3 get one? As someone who actively dislikes CD, this was a disappointment to me. I know someone will bring up S3&K is one game, but weighing in favor of S&K after S3 got shafted in Generations irks me.

True that. At least Starlight Zone.

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I absolutely despise the plasma balls in Titanic Monarch Zone. Controlling Sonic's direction on them isn't so much challenging as it is tedious, and having Time Outs doesn't exactly help.

I was also disappointed with Sonic's Mirage Saloon Act 1. MSZ2 is a great stage and I would have preferred we got more of it instead of basically a Sky Chase palette swap. The train at the end felt like such a missed opportunity too. I would have been interested to see more of a railroad theme in Act 1...and I really would have been thrilled if we got a proper Sunset Park remix out of it somewhere.

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8 minutes ago, Spooky Mulder said:

I absolutely despise the plasma balls in Titanic Monarch Zone. Controlling Sonic's direction on them isn't so much challenging as it is tedious, and having Time Outs doesn't exactly help.

Do you mean those balls taken from one of Sonic & Knuckles bonus stages? They are gorgeous!

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16 minutes ago, Spooky Mulder said:

I absolutely despise the plasma balls in Titanic Monarch Zone. Controlling Sonic's direction on them isn't so much challenging as it is tedious, and having Time Outs doesn't exactly help.

I was also disappointed with Sonic's Mirage Saloon Act 1. MSZ2 is a great stage and I would have preferred we got more of it instead of basically a Sky Chase palette swap. The train at the end felt like such a missed opportunity too. I would have been interested to see more of a railroad theme in Act 1...and I really would have been thrilled if we got a proper Sunset Park remix out of it somewhere.

Major gripe here. I wish more of MSZ 1 was the train and not the plane. Having just the beginning and boss be the plane, and have the main stage be set on the train with tons of exploration might have made it my favorite new zone.

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Hard to say, since I had such a great time.

Aside from the ones everyone is saying (Blue Spheres being too frequent, inconsistent narrative) I can't really think of any personal nitpicks.

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21 hours ago, Chris Knopps said:

Oh, it does? I never noticed...

I was trying to clear it away so much so I could see what was happening in the background so much I never let it stay thick long enough to pay attention to the ring count...

I'll edit my OP then.

Just for the record, the fog can't actually kill you. Your ring count will drop, but once it gets to zero the gas has no effect. So the smog  will affect your vision and make things riskier, but it's not a death sentence. I think it basically took the very tedious concept of Sandopolis 2 and made it much more fun. 

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1 hour ago, Crazizzle said:

I love the game, so these are just minor things.

1. Sonic CD gets two levels, and Sonic 1 and 3 get one? As someone who actively dislikes CD, this was a disappointment to me. I know someone will bring up S3&K is one game, but weighing in favor of S&K after S3 got shafted in Generations irks me.

 

They were likely very limited in what they could take from 3, considering the legal issues with half the music tracks in that game, and Angel Island being somewhat redundant as it's another opening level. The choice was always going to boil down to Hydrocity and Marble Garden, realistically.

Also most of Sonic 1's tropes were taken, or done better in other classic stages. Spring Yard and Starlight are both too close to Studiopolis, Marble Zone is outshined by Lava Reef, just as Labyrinth is by Hydrocity and Scrap Brain by Metallic Madness. The problem with Sonic 1 is that almost every idea in that game has been iterated on and done better even within the other classic titles. Personally I'd even say Palmtree Panic and Emerald Hill are better than Green Hill.

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Yes; thankfully Press Garden, from what i have seen in videos, reminds me of a zone that is pretending to be from Sonic 1 concept art!  Then, Titanic Monarch is being noticed by many people to be like the most magnificent reimagining and expanding of Chrome Gadget that anyone could have imagined! 

Overall I would be disheartened if there are never any additional zones made for DLC, but, I am considering that it is actually possible where they did put so much time and energy into a very impressive and replayable, weird and wonderful interactive audiovisual experience (aka "video game").  ^_^:):)   It just seems like a very good opportunity that would not have to happen any time soon, just, hopefully eventually!  Mania seems to be the perfect base for potentially a half or a whole decade's worth of occasional (perhaps every two years?) new zone packs....!!

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Potential spoilers, so I'mma spoiler it just in case.

Spoiler

Act 1 boss of Studiopolis is annoying and harder than the Act 2 boss tbh. I personally found it rather difficult to reliably jump over the red missiles unless you happen to be near an incline to give you a higher jump. That and when you get hit your rings fly offscreen so you can't pick them up.

 

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Just now, Scar said:

Potential spoilers, so I'mma spoiler it just in case.

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Act 1 boss of Studiopolis is annoying and harder than the Act 2 boss tbh. I personally found it rather difficult to reliably jump over the red missiles unless you happen to be near an incline to give you a higher jump. That and when you get hit your rings fly offscreen so you can't pick them up.

 

I honestly also had a difficult time with the boss, but I actually found the boss to be breath-taking because it was so dynamic.

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