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Sonic Mania: Sequel Speculation (Spoilers)

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1 hour ago, Slashy said:

It gets old for me, it is the reason I wasn't hyped for Mania.

I can understand that people would get tired of them. I haven't touched Mania for a month or so after playing the absolute hell out of it. 2-D Mario is also timeless, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't get tired of NSMB after the one for the Wii U came out, and I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't admit that I'd be of a similar mind in regards to Sonic. But I still can't say that 2-D Sonic is stale due to my belief that Mania breathed new life to the style, so right now I'd like to see Taxman and co. iron out some of the issues with Mania.

And since this thread is about sequel speculation, I'd say it's still too early to call. I'll save my thoughts on that until we get signs that a sequel is in the works. With Sega being as dense as they are and depending on the willingness of Mania's developers, there's still a high possibility that Mania could be one and done, or that a sequel will have to wait a few years.

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I think there is a balance between absolutely new elements and and an evolution for what the series actually is

I mean, if they change too much from the main 'core' game, we won't be even capable of telling what game is this and even if the game is a sequel to Mania, y'know

I think a new art style (that is still recognazible as Classic Sonic, of course) and one more playable character (like amy) would be enough for a mania's sequel for me. 

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On 12/24/2017 at 9:48 AM, Josh said:

Advance is an example of over-complicating things and often falling into pitfalls when adding new mechanics imo. The level design also took a nosedive the deeper into the series they got. They weren't really making classic styled Sonic games at all. They need to be more careful than those games.

Can't agree with this enough. The Advance series are a textbook definition of gameplay bloat. It's the result of designers more interested in how many new tricks they can think of to shoehorn into the game, rather than how they can make moves that fittingly evolve the fundamental Sonic gameplay.

As @FFWF noted with Mario, his added mechanics like wall-jumping, triple jumping (jumps with added height), and the ground pound are still designed around his core jumping mechanics / gameplay focus. But Mario's added moves are also designed in correspondence to Mario's controls (re: they all depend on input combinations with the jump button), and in correspondence to what they offer from other secondary mechanics in Mario's moveset. They fit as additional layers to his gameplay without them feeling too conspicuous, or out of place, or (completely) redundant compared to other abilities. The Advance series' added mechanics however largely fail at all three of these elements.

For some reason, most of Advance's new moves were designed more around combat or vertical movement, rather than rolling/momentum or speed: somersaults for Sonic, tail whips for Tails, punches and uppercuts for Knuckles, Cream's super-abusable Cheese the Chao spam attack, and Amy frequently relies on hammer attacks (which is especially obvious in the first Advance with her different moveset; she feels like she was designed for a completely different game)--and that's before Advance 3 with its partner mechanics reared its head and doubled down on this with more moves that even replaced the existing core mechanics (while also having a bunch of similarly-unnecessary movement abilities). This is despite combat being nowhere near a priority in Sonic gameplay in general or not having any major focus in the Advance series' game design.

This also results in these mechanics also not offering any unique properties from the core mechanics of jumping or rolling, or existing added mechanics like the spindash or the insta-shield. Since combat isn't a focus of Sonic (Advance) gameplay, they aren't anything more than additional flashy-looking badnik attacks, and they do little new or different that the existing primary or secondary abilities don't already do. (Again, Advance 3 took this even further as many of the partner moves were just either cloned combat moves or cloned movement abilities like Tails/Creams' flight or Knuckles' glide).

And most of these moves are also mapped to the B or R buttons....even though all of the core mechanics the game is built upon are tied to the A button. So the player wouldn't even need to bother with those buttons/mechanics to play the game in the first place.

In light of everything above established in their design, it's hard to imagine most people would even remember these moves even exist, let alone use them.

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I think that this is highly likely mainly because of how successful the first mania game was. This also came up a lot last time I talked about future games in the series. But something I thou interesting was that Meta77 that he/she (I don't know their gender) thought it would be another Sonic racing game.  I think that this could be possible what do you think?

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Oh yeah, I can definitely see a Mania 2 in the future. I just kinda hope they wait a while before then. I mean, I wouldn’t mind a sequel, I'm just kinda tired of Classic Sonic XD

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57 minutes ago, JezMM said:

 

Having said this, if they can keep pushing the creativity on the original stages, they did such a good job remixing the past stages I'd be fine with having more in a Mania 2, as long as they're reduced down.  (I think my ideal list would be like, Star Light, Aquatic Ruin, Mystic Cave, Collision Chaos, Angel Island and Death Egg, each game getting just one zone this time (excluding Sonic 2, which, being the most popular and with the largest amount of zones to cover in redux stages, I think could get away with two).  If they want to start off with an old familiar again, I'd be okay with swapping Aquatic Ruin for Emerald Hill and then doing Ice Cap instead of Angel Island so we're not doubling up on tropical stages).

But I'd have no issue whatsoever with an all-original game.  Just saying I'd be OKAY with pulling the nostalgia card again since Team Mania did such a dang good job.

I agree hard with this. As much as people understandably push for more original content in the next Mania game my mind was blown with what they did with some of the old mechanics. I'd want more of that for other stages.  Even if they weren't 100% new I could tell they really thought hard about how to approach the gimmicks from a new angle.

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I betcha not, Green Hill is gonna be the first level again, because OF COURSE IT WILL. 

Also, if there WILL be original stages they'll probably make it more lost world-y. You know, with floating donuts in the middle of nowhere and all that.

Also, the game's gonna get 9/10's before it's even released, because that's how gaming journalism works. 

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17 hours ago, Josh said:

I agree hard with this. As much as people understandably push for more original content in the next Mania game my mind was blown with what they did with some of the old mechanics. I'd want more of that for other stages.  Even if they weren't 100% new I could tell they really thought hard about how to approach the gimmicks from a new angle.

Yet it's kinda of amazing how Hydrocity, one of my favorite zones ever, is the least fun re-imagined zone in Mania, for me at least. I take my hat off to what they've done with Metallic Madness tho', holy shit, that zone was a mess in Sonic CD, and in Mania is actually really fun and imaginative, I love the playing in the background gimmick. Same goes to Stardust Speedway, which was also kinda of a mess in CD, and it's amazing fun in Mania, especially the more slowpaced Act 1.

I'm fine with the nostalgia card too, I just want that this time the old zones come in less number, the inverse of Mania 1, have 8 new zones and 4 re-imagined.

 

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I honestly liked the Advance series a lot, and while I can see the reason why some people dislike it, I like those games for the variety they offer and for the new gameplay ideas, something that  Mania didn't deliver to me (drop dash was a nice addition but I barely used it because once actived you have little control and it's kinda like using the boost, not very suitable for classic-like level design unless you memorize it, or unless you play randomly and you don't mind occasionally crushing into a trap).

IMO all what the Advance series needed was a better level design. Advance 1's was decent imo, and I don't even have problems with the speed boosters, I feel like there is enough room for experimenting with the physics and the game doesn't feel too automated (I think the speed boosters in that game are mostly there for Amy's lack of rolling); there were a couple of cheap traps but nothing excessively annoying nor anywhere near the amount of cheapness of Metropolis from Sonic 2.

If a Mania 2 is going to come out, there are 2 routes they could take:

-another classic gameplay replica

-innovating the 2D gameplay with new gimmicks

The first option is playing safe, I know that there is still demand for that and it may still work, but personally it's not my favorite option.

The second option is what I'd like the most, and if they go with that option, I hope they will consider taking some inspiration from what was good in the Advance games rather than ignoring them for their bad reputation.

Sonic Advance 2 is my favorite in the trilogy, and I don't think it's over-complicated or over-designed (those words apply to Advance 3 more), IMO it only lacks a better level design that teaches you the new moves, and that keeps the player interested with challenge and variety; with a better level design the game could have been way more enjoyable IMO, but even as it is, I have a lot of fun because it gives me many options to go through the same piece of level design in different ways, it allows creative gameplay and experimentation, way more than the classic games do (occasionally, while playing Mania, there where moments when I missed Advance 2's moveset, air dash, attack or the tricks, and I felt forced to do that part of the level in the exact same way the developers decided to... I think the experimentation and freedom came out more from taking a different route than from going through the same route in a different way, this takes away replay value once you tried all the routes and there is nothing to discover).

I compare Advance 2 to that Indie game called Defunct, it's a fast paced platformer, a 3D one, in a way comparable to Sonic Utopia... you can't lose in that game, the fun comes from exploring the environments and reaching the goal, the game offers you many different routes and many tools to experiment... you can call it "hold up to win", but the game is fun if you want to explore it and experiment with it... you can finish it almost completely by using the broken engine, at very low speed and with absolutely no fun, it all depends on the player.

I get that this design philosophy is not exactly what Classic Sonic is about, but part of this philosophy is still part of the classic formula, or Sonic in general, so I think that there is still room for inspiration and improvements, scrapping those ideas as a whole would be a waste IMO, along with calling them over-complicated.

Back to Mania, it's not like Mania is free from Speed Boosters or automation, I know that there are a lot of places where you are pushed automatically in a direction, some levels more than others... there are sections such as that one in Stardust Speedway where you are inside a set of pipes for a huge part of a level and all you have to do is hold the D-pad to choice the direction when the pipe branches, and that act of Hydrocity where you are all the time on those sliders running semi-automatically through the stage.

There are also some places where you have the illusion of being free, but instead the only valid option you have is to roll and wait until the slope ends... everything else you do just slows you down and is not useful at all... something like this happens in Chemical Plant and a part of Studiopolis. So I don't get when people say that Advance 1 is different from the classics because of the speed boosters... (I can see Advance 2 being different for all the changes in gameplay, but IMO Advance 1 is close enough to the classics, except for art style).

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4 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Better plot.

HA-HA-HA-HA! 

Plot? In a CLASSIC SONIC game? 

Keep in mind that the closest thing we got to an actual story in a classic Sonic game was this:

Похожее изображение

4 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

More playable characters (Amy, maybe Metal or Modern characters.)

Honestly, the only other characters I want to see in Mania are the Chaotix, cause their gameplay kinda fits. 

Amy never played well in 2D (Having no ability to SPIN JUMP in Sonic Advance/Being slow af) 

Metal Sonic is a villain, why would he be playable? 

And what exactly did you mean with "Modern Characters"? Boost? Just the characters? If it's the second, then sorry, but Shadow or Rouge wouldn't fit into the classics at all. 

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By plot, I would personally want to see a fantastic new location, like Angel Island of Little Planet.

Something mystical, that fills me with a sense of wonder and adventure. You know, that thing Zelda and Dark Souls were doing for years.

Adventure games kinda got it with Echidna Ruins and ARK, even if those locations are only a small part of a bigger journey. Lost Hex and whatever Rise of Lyric  had failed, making the environment either lifeless or too artificial (I  mean Lost Hex looks nice, but I can't think of it as real place)

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7 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Something mystical, that fills me with a sense of wonder and adventure. 

Okay, let's see the examples...

7 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Angel Island 

Yeah, something like that would actually work. Ancient ruins, jungles and mountains? Heck yeah!

8 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Little Planet.

 Eh, to me personally little planet has no wonder about it. Just bright basic shapes and a weird aesthetic in general doesn't exactly scream "WONDER" to me, it's more "Bad drug trip a-la AoSTH" 

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7 hours ago, Iko said:

Back to Mania, it's not like Mania is free from Speed Boosters or automation, I know that there are a lot of places where you are pushed automatically in a direction, some levels more than others... there are sections such as that one in Stardust Speedway where you are inside a set of pipes for a huge part of a level and all you have to do is hold the D-pad to choice the direction when the pipe branches, and that act of Hydrocity where you are all the time on those sliders running semi-automatically through the stage.

There are also some places where you have the illusion of being free, but instead the only valid option you have is to roll and wait until the slope ends... everything else you do just slows you down and is not useful at all... something like this happens in Chemical Plant and a part of Studiopolis. So I don't get when people say that Advance 1 is different from the classics because of the speed boosters... (I can see Advance 2 being different for all the changes in gameplay, but IMO Advance 1 is close enough to the classics, except for art style).

Practically all of the classic games as well as Mania have dash panels and/or automation at some point within them. The big difference between them and later Sonic games is that automation and dash panels are used to a significantly less degree across the entire game; and when dash panels are actually used, their design/aesthetics and functionality are tailored to match the theme and pacing of the level in question.

Sonic 3&K's Carnival Night Act 2 is arguably the most automated level in the classic Sonic line of games due to the rows of chutes that shoot Sonic through them; but hardly anybody complains about them because a. their designs match the theme of the level (bright vibrant technicolor funnel shapes), b. their implementation/function matches the pacing of the level (Carnival Night is arguably the most extreme interpretation of a bumper level you could find in a videogame) and c. their implementation is absolutely unique--they are only used at the beginning and at the end of the act(with a few of them sparsely added in-between); and you don't see anything like this for the rest of the game. The next zone that follows it, Ice Cap, is more easygoing and doesn't have any dash panels in it. Same also goes for Marble Garden, the zone that comes before Carnival Night. Skip ahead to Launch Base and you have dash panels there, but they have a spring-like design that appear from the ground, and their placement can only be found around the zone's less hazardous level layouts. Skip back to Hydrocity and the same logic applies there, weird dash panels with hands that hold the player in place before shooting them away to give them speed, and they're usually placed before the zone's loops or vertical wraparound chutes.

This is a big difference from Advance 1 having a handful of speed boosters in practically every zone with the same orange design and the same functionality, with their placement in levels being largely random. There isn't much thought to their use, and from that point forward later Sonic games only managed to get worse with that element.

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1 hour ago, A person, that exists said:

HA-HA-HA-HA! 

Plot? In a CLASSIC SONIC game? 

There's always a first time for everything.

Anyway, here's what I want:

  • More playable characters. Amy and Fang would be a good start.
  • How about some innovation? Mania didn't really add much to the Classic formula. I'm not asking for 3d gameplay (yet) but give us something new!
  • Since this is a parallel world, I think it would be cool to see what the Modern characters are like.

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7 hours ago, Space☆Yeow said:

Practically all of the classic games as well as Mania have dash panels and/or automation at some point within them. The big difference between them and later Sonic games is that automation and dash panels are used to a significantly less degree across the entire game; and when dash panels are actually used, their design/aesthetics and functionality are tailored to match the theme and pacing of the level in question.

Sonic 3&K's Carnival Night Act 2 is arguably the most automated level in the classic Sonic line of games due to the rows of chutes that shoot Sonic through them; but hardly anybody complains about them because a. their designs match the theme of the level (bright vibrant technicolor funnel shapes), b. their implementation/function matches the pacing of the level (Carnival Night is arguably the most extreme interpretation of a bumper level you could find in a videogame) and c. their implementation is absolutely unique--they are only used at the beginning and at the end of the act(with a few of them sparsely added in-between); and you don't see anything like this for the rest of the game. The next zone that follows it, Ice Cap, is more easygoing and doesn't have any dash panels in it. Same also goes for Marble Garden, the zone that comes before Carnival Night. Skip ahead to Launch Base and you have dash panels there, but they have a spring-like design that appear from the ground, and their placement can only be found around the zone's less hazardous level layouts. Skip back to Hydrocity and the same logic applies there, weird dash panels with hands that hold the player in place before shooting them away to give them speed, and they're usually placed before the zone's loops or vertical wraparound chutes.

This is a big difference from Advance 1 having a handful of speed boosters in practically every zone with the same orange design and the same functionality, with their placement in levels being largely random. There isn't much thought to their use, and from that point forward later Sonic games only managed to get worse with that element.

I got it, but to me this is not enough to prove that Advance 1 is conceptually different than the classic games, such as other people said above.

Advance 1 may have some problems, but it fits the classic formula IMO.

Maybe it lacks some creativity and originality (all the zones are based on existing ones, some gimmicks are used again in different zones, with or without a reskin, and the game has a lot of generic platforming), but it still plays with the momentum based gameplay of the classics, and the level layout, while smaller and more limited (I think this may be due to hardware limitations, and may be the reason why 2 and 3 have bigger level but they are also more empty), still introduces some original gimmicks; the bossfights are also very classic-esque.

I would say it's a classic game with less effort put into, but definitely a classic game. Advance 2 introduces tricks and a different level design philosophy (the one that originated the Rush games and the modern/boost era), and that's definitely something different... but IMO Advance 1 is not.

And while I say that a Mania 2 should take inspiration from what was good in the Advance series, I'm obviously not refering to those flaws, but to all the little innovations in gameplay that it added; I'm mostly refering to Advance 2, there are many interesting little things in that game, such as the fact that you reach the boost mode faster the more rings you have (find creative ways to make the rings more useful), or Cream's ability to cancel the fly (make Tails able to do it as well), Knuckles' ability to roll directly after a glide instead of doing the slow landing animation, etc... and even level design gimmicks and level themes... I think that those windmill fans in Sky Canyon are very interesting, they launch you in a different direction depending on where you come from when you hit them, adding a bit of puzzle element... or the whole concept of Music Plant.

There are already a couple of Advance 2 references in Sonic Mania (intentional or not, it's unknown, but probably they are), such as the announcer when you select the character in time attack mode, or the afterimage effect when you have a speed shoe, or the boss battle of Studiopolis Act 1 (the boss even explodes with the same flash effect as the bosses in Advance 2), and the piano bumpers in Mirage Saloon... and in Studiopolis Act 2 there is a gimmick that's inspired by Advance 1, it even does the same sound when you enter it (those glass funnel at the entrance of those lotto machines), so it's not impossible to get some more inspiration from the Advance series.

I wouldn't mind (well I actually would like it a lot) the Boost Mode, the melee attack, the air dash and the R-tricks to be unlockable moves in Mania 2 such as the Insta-Shield and the Peel-Out are in Mania 1.

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4 hours ago, Iko said:

I got it, but to me this is not enough to prove that Advance 1 is conceptually different than the classic games, such as other people said above.

Advance 1 may have some problems, but it fits the classic formula IMO.

It's not radically different from the original games, but the first Advance does mark a midway point between what the original team established with 2D Sonic gameplay and when Sonic Team/Dimps started to refocus the gameplay in favor of other ideals. Even putting aside the differing level design philosophy and the focus of the new mechanics, Advance's gameplay didn't function much further than being an straightforward reincarnation of the classic gameplay. While getting Amy as a playable character was a plus; the game otherwise doesn't mark much new territory in gameplay features, content, or modes (at least, not in a way that naturally evolves the classic games IMO), and even skips over a lot of innovations Sonic 3&K brought to the formula. The Advance feels more akin to a spiritual successor, rather than a direct installment.

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One thought came to me today as I was playing some Sonic Mania. I love finishing an act with the most rings possible, but getting every single one is almost impossible within the 10 minutes time limit. A Ring Attack mode (without any time limit) would be much appreciated! 

Another thing I wish to be implemented is the ability to transform back into normal form. Sometimes I just want to go Super to avoid loosing all my rings in a tricky path, but once you go Super, the only way to go back to normal without dying or running out of rings is by entering a bonus stage. Also, going Super makes you loose some secrets that can only be accessed/obtained with a specific shield on (Press Garden, Green Hill has these). A brief time limit to transform back could be added as well. I don't think it's impossible to implement, right?

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Yes; I feel as though for this specific game the team was not sure whether to change from the canonical/familiar situation where the transformation cannot be switched back. 

It could end up being an interesting and simple plot point; that in the next game, receiving the seven emeralds once again, that the different characters (whichever are chosen to be able to switch in and out of the transformation) learn how to do that!  In the original story of which Mania is a continuation, emerald transformations appear to have only happened once for Tails and Knuckles, until Mania, and twice for Sonic, so it makes sense that it would not be easy to switch off just yet, but hopefully in the unannounced but generally possible next expansions if it includes recollecting the emeralds, or, during the next new game which feels more likely!!

 

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2 hours ago, expansivelovestories said:

Yes; I feel as though for this specific game the team was not sure whether to change from the canonical/familiar situation where the transformation cannot be switched back. 

It could end up being an interesting and simple plot point; that in the next game, receiving the seven emeralds once again, that the different characters (whichever are chosen to be able to switch in and out of the transformation) learn how to do that!  In the original story of which Mania is a continuation, emerald transformations appear to have only happened once for Tails and Knuckles, until Mania, and twice for Sonic, so it makes sense that it would not be easy to switch off just yet, but hopefully in the unannounced but generally possible next expansions if it includes recollecting the emeralds, or, during the next new game which feels more likely!!

 

I'm still convinced Super Tails and the Flicky Army of Death were mere possibilities that didn't actually happen.

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