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Would you change the placement of the levels in Mania?(spoilers)


KHCast

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Is it just me, or does the difficulty for many of the levels jump all over the place?

Spoiler

Like, tbh I found levels like Mirage Saloon and Lava reef to be some of the more easier levels whereas levels like chemical plant I found to be a bit jarring as a second stage. Honestly I would have swapped a few of the stages and their placement. Like for example, I'd have studiopolis be the second stage while chemical plant is the 3rd, followed by mirage saloon. What are your thoughts?

 

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I'd disagree and say the difficulty raised pretty gradually actually. The higher/alternate paths become harder to take to the point where the game felt more linear as it went  on and overall the obstacles become more vicious. 

I'd only tweak things so the old/new levels are spaced more evenly but that's about it.

The bosses are only weird because they tend to tackle really different and weird mechanics so they tend to have their own learning curve, if that makes any sense. I think I died the most to outside of the final boss to Heavy Gunner because it took a while for me to get how the physics were throwing off my jumps.

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Well... I was thinking about the stage placement few days ago.

Just say that Green Hill as the only stage from S1 would have number "0".

Chemical Plant is after that = 1, Studiopolis = 2, Flying Battery = 3, Press Garden = 4, Stardust Speedway = 5, Hydrocity = 6, Mirage Saloon = 7, Oil Ocean = 8, Lava Reef = 9, Metallic Madness = 10, Titanic Monarch = 11

So as you see: S2 stages have numbers 1 and 8

S3&K stages have numbers 3,6,9

CD stages have numbers 5 and 10

I see it as a solid pattern.

 

Now let´s look at the "original placement"... Green Hill is first as in S1, Chemical Plant second as in S2... Press Garden is fifth as Ice Cap in S3. Stardust Speedway is sixth as in CD.

Hydrocity is just after the middle (7/12), like Labyrinth in S1 (4/6). Oil Ocean is ninth as Sandopolis in S3&K, Lava Reef retains its tenth position.

Let´s say that Studiopolis is placed 3rd like Spring Yard.

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4 minutes ago, Josh said:

I'd disagree and say the difficulty raised pretty gradually actually. The higher/alternate paths become harder to take to the point where the game felt more linear as it went  on and overall the obstacles become more vicious. 

I'd only tweak things so the old/new levels are spaced more evenly but that's about it.

The bosses are only weird because they tend to tackle really different and weird mechanics so they tend to have their own learning curve, if that makes any sense. I think I died the most to outside of the final boss to Heavy Gunner because it took a while for me to get how the physics were throwing off my jumps.

Yeah the bosses I'll agree are probably the biggest noticeable thing when regarding the difficulty spikes. Chemical plant and studiopolis act 1's bosses gave me more trouble than they should have 

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I do feel placement definitely isn't the issue, just "difficulty" is.  I feel the team could've done a slightly better job of balancing the difficulty of stages that were hard in their original incarnations, namely Chemical Plant and Flying Battery which are very early on in the game.

These two zones in particular have gimmicks that are re-used "as is" which are fine for a veteran this early in the game but are surprisingly challenging to someone not overly familiar with them.  The memorable climb in Chemical Plant Act 1 (2 originally) should have absolutely been eased via air bubbles or just some other support to bring back the memories without being as retro-unforgiving as the original was.  Flying Battery was definitely an utter assault of concepts for a new player, and the Act 2 boss is very technical and finicky.

I don't mind a scattering of dips in difficulty throughout the game though.  Mirage Saloon Act 2 reminds me of Star Light after Labyrinth in Sonic 1, in that it kind of serves as a nice breather level where you're allowed to just have fun flinging Sonic around without much resistance.

 

While Chemical Plant was absolutely the right aesthetic for our surprise Mean Bean Machine boss though, I do feel "the fourth level" was way too early to throw such a non-typical boss at the player.  I THINK... if push came to shove, they could've done the Mean Bean Machine boss in Oil Ocean instead.  Maybe as a replacement for Act 1's boss, which was absolutely fine but kind of strangely unmemorable (despite the fact that the character design for the Act 1 boss seems WEIRDLY familiar to me).  But with every boss being either a throwback or a bombastic, original creation, the bosses that are just straight up S3&K-esque big badnik minions almost feel out of place.

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Assuming you keep all the level layouts exactly the same then I probably wouldn't change anything because the game's difficulty curve ramps up pretty smoothly, pretty much in the way you would expect from a Sonic game (or any decently designed game in general).

If it was in terms of mere aesthetics I probably would have put Chemical Plant sometime later in the game just because when it comes right after Green Hill it feels a bit repetitive when you remember Generations. I also get weirded out by Flying Battery being so early in the game, but perhaps that's just on me being so conditioned to expect that zone pretty late in Sonic 3.

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Funnily enough, before release, I thought there was going to be all remade levels first and then 5 new levels. 

Storywise, I think they had the right idea putting stardust speedway in the middle of the game and have metal sonic as sort of the disc 1 final boss. I just wish there was buildup to it though. I would put: 

Greenhill>studiopolis>flyingbattery>pressgarden>hydrocity>stardustspeedway

Chemicalplant>oilocean>miragesaloon>lavareef>metallicmadness>Titanic monarch.

Dificulty wise, I agree with the above posts.

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For the sake of story consistency I would go:

Green Hill - Chemical Plant - Studiopolis - Flying Battery - Mirage Saloon - Oil Ocean - Hydrocity - Press Garden - Lava Reef - Stardust Speedway - Metallic Madness - Titanic Monarch

The idea being that from Green Hill the player is warped to West Side island, they chase Robotnik across it and eventually head to Angel Island, where Little Planet is anchored. Robotnik obviously has a pretty big operation going in Lava Reef, so you'd find a way up to Little Planet from there. Maybe at the start of Stardust Speedway, where you arrive, Robotnik tries to impede you by using the ruby to warp you to the past. You get back to the present and chase him to Metallic Madness and finally Titantic Monarch.

Problem is difficulty would probably be super inconsistent. Frankly I don't have an issue with the difficulty curve as is.

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