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Sonic Mania/Classic Criticism & Knuckles from Knuckles May Chuckle


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Ignoring this wonderful art of a meme aside, the former half before Knuckles is what I would like to focus on.

I have been posting a bit more threads than a typical new user(who isn't new per-say but whatever). A lot of what I'd like to express is some of the things in Sonic Mania. Now I know...Many believe this to be a true sequel to S&K3 and a return to a more pure form to what Sonic once was, aka "it's been x amount of years since a good Sonic game" statements. While I actually agree this to be true, I only go so far back to 6 years, 2011(Generations).

To those who love this game because it gives you that kind of emotion, good. I'm very glad you Mania caters to you. I specifically wish those great happiness over at Sonic retro who have a highly romantic affiliation with "Retro" Sonic games and have been wanting something like this published by Sega for over a decade, creating many attempts to fill a void they felt was gone.  However, I am the type of Sonic fan who has been cynical to Sonic games for quite a few years, even the Classics. Upon replaying these games, realization struck me that each of them bring about their positives and various flaws that get ignored or not really mentioned more than I thought(this goes for the modern Era also). It's incredibly common to see heavy criticism against it but what about the classic games?

Shifting focus; I find it funny a critic in this magazine actually wasn't too far from the truth with Sonic 3.

Sonic3hypermarch941.jpg

SegaMagazine1994_2.jpg

Yet I am not surprised Sonic&Chuckles was better received. Sonic 3 did a lot of re-uses.

A little filler-y at the start but on to the main point.

One of the greatest aspects of Mania was was the graphical effort that went into it. Hell, the LOVE that went into it was quite lovely and isn't always evident in video games. At least it doesn't always feel like it.

One of my issues with S&K3 was that Knuckles in general wasn't that fun to play as(thank you bugs for making the experience worse) and it was the same for tails(to a lesser degree). Sure they shared Sonic's move set, although they couldn't use the shield abilities tailored for them like Sonic at all. By going into Mania, I expected the result was to keep the framework from S&K3 for no other reason to not mess with the formula(Don't know why). This became a major disappointment due to Tails and Knuckles now having more focus and making up a god chunk of the content, even going so far not to give anything similar to a drop dash. Genesis era Sonic is a simplistic platformer I get it but even back in his day, other platforming characters had more moves available to them.

I'd also add the gimmicks and overall level structure gave away a bit of a bland taste. I can tell now that the formula is starting to run it's course..

You probably have noticed this by now but Sonic's levels from 2 onto 3 have been made on the stride of consistency. This means that every stage no longer has more of a specific layout like 2 and 1, rather they have all have loops, similar long stretches of running, etc. Even the gimmicks roll over(Ristar's Monkey Bars lol)

One example; Metropolis Zone and Flying Battery Zone. Flying Battery is literally Metropolis Zone, Mystic Cave, the stage shift frpm Hill top and Wing-fortress Zone put into one.

22:19 and 16:26

While I can't say this choice to design the stages this way is inherently flawed... This can make the levels bleed out, with the only thing making them different are the gimmicks(which if you're speed running, much of these are going to be largely ignored depending on the stage).

It's worse that both of these levels are in the game because all Hydro-city really amounts to; Is Chemical Plant but less visually interesting and longer running segments. Water portions is improved by far but that is really all I can give it. 

I could go a bit further but these are one of my main gripes in general. I think people forget/don't know Sonic 3&K were rushed games. It's clear that they wanted to expand on Sonic's level design but it comes off regressive, slightly unpolished and too ambitious for the time constraints they had.

And with Mania using not only 3K's mistakes but also CD's inspiration of all games...

Just comes off more messy in result.

 I'm not bashing the classics/Mania I swear. I love these games:o

 The Sonic Adventure/Adventure 2 epidemic just as rampant in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 format. Sonic 2 is more speed/skill based, has unique layouts to each stage while Sonic 3 is flashier, slower, more automated, focused on exploration, bigger stages and more complex with shortcuts and paths(which isn't hard to do seeing Sonic 2 was similar). Someone said this before but Sonic 3 really acts more like Megaman mixup rather than a speed running game. Sonic 3 also seemed wanted to provide more elements of Sonic 1 into it's formula.

EDIT: I think it is hard for me to put my criticism in good places because I genuinely am having a hard time attempting to choose what can be criticized and what is misplaced without acting as if these games don't improve in some way. 

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To me, Mania’s tone is less appealing than that of the classic games. It seems a bit too goofy at times, but if this is the tone they want for this sub-series, so be it. Also, even though they probably were not allowed to use non-Sonic Team zones, why aren’t there more features taken from them? Chaotix got the most love, with some of the 8-bit games getting nods too, along with Spinball. How about a Tails Adventures Reference as well? I think there were some Advance references as well, but maybe they were coincidences. Tributing Sonic’s whole 2D history, including Pocket Adventure, Rush, Rivals, 4, The “ports” and Boom (not to mention the only mostly 2D games... %}) would have been unneeded but nice.

On a Sonic Team note, traditional 2D-ified  versions of 3D Blast and R stages would have been great. Probably one Zone from each. Also, seeing a new Mecha Sonic would have been cool. Probably in Titanic Monarch. And why is Amy’s only role as a bomb used by one boss? And I admit that not having the US soundtracks for the CD stages is a bummer (though Metal Sonic’s theme is in Forces).

And another thing; the sense of place fades away halfway through the game. It’s obvious Studiopolis is on Westside Island, but... where is Press Garden supposed to be? 

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17 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

To me, Mania’s tone is less appealing than that of the classic games. It seems a bit too goofy at times, but if this is the tone they want for this sub-series, so be it. Also, even though they probably were not allowed to use non-Sonic Team zones, why aren’t there more features taken from them? Chaotix got the most love, with some of the 8-bit games getting nods too, along with Spinball. How about a Tails Adventures Reference as well? I think there were some Advance references as well, but maybe they were coincidences. Tributing Sonic’s whole 2D history, including Pocket Adventure, Rush, Rivals, 4, The “ports” and Boom (not to mention the only mostly 2D games... %}) would have been unneeded but nice.

On a Sonic Team note, traditional 2D-ified  versions of 3D Blast and R stages would have been great. Probably one Zone from each. Also, seeing a new Mecha Sonic would have been cool. Probably in Titanic Monarch. And why is Amy’s only role as a bomb used by one boss? And I admit that not having the US soundtracks for the CD stages is a bummer (though Metal Sonic’s theme is in Forces).

That´s what I always wanted to see. 

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18 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

To me, Mania’s tone is less appealing than that of the classic games. It seems a bit too goofy at times

You mean the game with the 1920's cartoon character that fights the evil egg-shaped man and his army of googly-eyed animal robots is pretty silly...? I would have never guessed.

Seriously tho, I don't see anything out-of-tone with what we saw from the classic universe, it's just the upgrade in technology allowed for more wild stuff.

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I'm curious about what precisely was out-of-tone in Mania compared to the classic games. We had the occasional goofy moments like Sonic being able to hit Eggman one last time after destroying his Final Zone machine, Knuckles being Knuckles (seriously, nearly every scene with him in S3K has some comedic edge to it, especially the part where he falls into the water in Launch Base), and Eggrobo accidentally getting himself killed by Mecha Sonic. Mania has a larger quantity of those moments, but it's not like the game goes full AoStH either.

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3 hours ago, Sean said:

I'm curious about what precisely was out-of-tone in Mania compared to the classic games. We had the occasional goofy moments like Sonic being able to hit Eggman one last time after destroying his Final Zone machine, Knuckles being Knuckles (seriously, nearly every scene with him in S3K has some comedic edge to it, especially the part where he falls into the water in Launch Base), and Eggrobo accidentally getting himself killed by Mecha Sonic. Mania has a larger quantity of those moments, but it's not like the game goes full AoStH either.

Well, it’s better at this than Lost World, which went into full on donut levels that made zero sense whatsoever, 90% non-threatening villains, and absolutely terrible verbal gags. And... well... just compare the plumber droid to Hey Ho. Or the versions of the Death Egg Robot. And Knuckles’s flashback about the electrical shock. Another thing is that there wasn’t quite enough darker content to help balance it out. And that we’ve come off a succession of purely comedic titles, it’s hard not to suffer at least a little bit of shell-shock.

 

In the end, I don’t think the increased comedy is that bad. 

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2 hours ago, Sean said:

What darker content was in the classics that wasn't in Mania? Not every cutscene in the game was comedic.

The HBH in general don’t really have the fear factor of Mecha Sonic. And unlike in S3K, we only see one place where Eggman is shown to cause destruction. 

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6 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

The HBH in general don’t really have the fear factor of Mecha Sonic. And unlike in S3K, we only see one place where Eggman is shown to cause destruction. 

And every other place (except for Green Hill and Hydrocity) being under his influence.

 

In what way does Mecha Sonic have fear factor exactly ? I don´t see any.

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5 hours ago, superman43 said:

And every other place (except for Green Hill and Hydrocity) being under his influence.

 

In what way does Mecha Sonic have fear factor exactly ? I don´t see any.

Well, I can give it that. But simply seeing places built by Eggman or being subtly overrun by him doesn’t have the visceral impact of a burning forest or an earthquake induced by drilling. Though the enormous mech emerging from the tower was nice as well.

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8 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

Well, I can give it that. But simply seeing places built by Eggman or being subtly overrun by him doesn’t have the visceral impact of a burning forest or an earthquake induced by drilling. Though the enormous mech emerging from the tower was nice as well.

I agree to some extent. But literally every other aspect apart from this was done better in Mania.

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I think Oil Ocean was really unexpected considering it's not that great of a stage, I would have personally perfered Mystic Cave Zone, they totally missed a chance or even an opportunity to make it a into a Haunted themed level. And it could do with more transitions, like for example, after Flying Battery Zone it just fades out then loads Press Garden Zone act 1, with no fucking explanation on how the player got there.

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