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August 21, 2017 in Sonic Games
As discussed in the Comic Con panel for Sonic Mania a while back, with more details from Whitehead in a Sonic Retro post even further back, the Mania team initially pitched a game that was a bit different from the final product.
Basically, their initial pitch to Iizuka consisted of a Studiopolis demo, and the idea to make a short, fully original game, and bundle it alongside their existing remasters of Sonic 1, 2, and CD for consoles. Iizuka then followed up the pitch with a suggestion of his own: Instead of simply bundling the existing remasters alongside Sonic Mania, why not remix them from the ground up? And as a result, we have the game that Mania is today.
But what if that hadn't of been the case?
With Mania, on one hand, it allowed them to create a longer and grander game, and fill it to the brim with original designs and remixes at (probably) half the effort it would take to develop entire new zones and concepts. Considering the team's size, this is especially helpful, as it automatically puts the game on the same level as Sonic 3&K in terms of scale; all the better for Mania as a game to hopefully follow it's predecessor up or even surpass it in the public eye.
But on the other hand, while the nostalgia-fueled remixing of the zones and fanservice may be amazing for the core audience at first, something about it loses it's appeal slightly with time. Look at Generations and how people are either forgetting or even turning on it when so many absolutely loved it in the first place.
An all original Mania, even if it were only say an act or two more than the original stages we got in the game, would at least be free from that kind of a stigma or potential downside, and wouldn't necessarily lose it's appeal as fast as remixes could. It'd also potentially prove the team's worth as game designers even further if this was all there was in the spotlight.
Though, that would be at the cost of length, as well. How much of an impression it leaves on the public, how much it proves they can handle game size as a team, and how notable a release it'd be as a small-scale side game are all factors that could contribute to such a game's results and success.
It's somewhat theoretical as we don't know for sure how the fully original Mania would turn out in length or public opinions for sure, but regardless, what are you're thoughts on the matter?
Do you personally prefer the idea of one over the other, or think one would've been a better choice as a business or game design decision?
Nah I wouldn't trade Mania for anything tbh
Definitely Mania over the original pitch because we don't just have new content, we also have re-imagined levels with new designs as well as nodes to previous games and unused beta ideas. It's pretty much the size of 3&K so it's a decent length (about the same size as Sonic 1 & Sonic CD combined).
By the sound of the original pitch; "a relatively small game". So would probably have been four-new zones the same size as a Sonic 4 episode? Difficult to say but that's my hunch. Don't get me wrong I really want the mobile remasters brought to consoles, but Mania having a full-length game (about three hour campaign) with a new story (even if the story is only half bloody finished ) is a much better idea to appeal to a wider audience than just including the remasters of games we've played a hundred times and a new small game which would likely not impress a big enough audience, whereas Mania has made a massive impression.
Count me in the camp that prefers what we actually got, especially since we already have 110 ways to play the older games already so I really thank lizuka for suggesting it since seeing all these old zones (despite my initial skepticism) being built upon and remixed in new ways was definitely worth the wait.
Seeing the big picture, I stand for Mania as it is. It's a better way to:
-Show the world how great the classics were.
-Finance the S3K remaster.
-Set the ground for a sequel.
-Let the team get experience on a full game.
As much as I want the S3 remaster and brand new 2d games, Mania is the more clever move.
I think the franchise needed a Sonic Mania, as much as I would prefer something that stands on it's own.
The reused levels probably helped catch a lot of eyes and helped people remember why the classics were so great. It's also probably how they managed such a big game.
I wish there were more original levels but that may never have really been on the table, so I'm glad we've got Mania as it is. The remixed GHZ, CCZ, LRZ, and MMZ are all worth it.
This is where Iizuka did good for Sonic, his idea definitely benefited the final product more. The remixed stages are nothing short of spectacular
I feel like Whitehead wanted to make Mania, but was afraid to ask for such a huge undertaking.
Yeah Mania was the best way to go here. I feel no matter the quality of original style Mania, it would be seen as a "bonus game" with the remasters being the "main attraction" due to their proven worth.
I definitely hope we one day see the remasters come to consoles, and for 3&K to get one, but Mania really was a genius development of the pitch on Iizuka's part.
I'm happy we received Mania instead of the other idea
I feel that a fully original new classic game can still happen, now more than ever with the success of Mania
A 5 / 6 zone completely new game released together with the originals would not have been this successful i feel and it would not have necessarily warranted a sequel like Mania does, it would have just been a little bonus game
tl;dr: Mania will probably spawn a series of sequels that may be completely original while with the original concept this would probably not have happened, it's a lot better in the long run
Given what we got, yea Mania was the better outcome. This way, the game can at least stand on its' own rather than feeling an afterthought to three games we've played already. Additionally, it led to ne of the biggest games we've had since forever.
As someone still waiting to play Mania and has managed to be largely spoiler free regarding the new zones...this was the best outcome. While I would have preferred that Mania was 100% new zone material, what we got managed to really put Christian Whitehead and the crew on the map.
I'd imagine that the success of Mania would give Sega / Sonic Team enough confidence to greenlight such a sequel. Hopefully, anyway.
I'm happy with the Mania we have today. I'm not greatly interested in a classic remaster bundle, and Mania, while outstanding, is already fairly short, so I'll take the full game over an even shorter, demo-length game. Plus, I love the remasters. I'd love a Mania-sized game with all original new zones, but seeing as this is an anniversary game and we haven't had a high-calibur classic style Sonic game since 1994, I think the returning zones were appropriate.
Mania happening was probably for the best, but I would still like the Sonic 1 and 2 remasters on consoles and PC.
The only time I want to see a remaster of the Genesis games is if they look like Generations and play like Sonic 3 / Mania. So Mania was the better choice.
Iizuka suggested Mania be the way it is?
Huh. For all the hate he gets, that is a brilliant move on his part. You would have thought he would have said no to something like that, but wow.
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