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Plasme

Sonic Mania is better than Sonic Mania Plus

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I don't understand this. Are we going to start complaining when great games get improved upon now?

Is that where this fanbase is now? Sure, Encore Mode is just playing the game again but with Angel Island and a brand new Act 1 for a level with an added boss previously Knuckles Exclusive but considering that it's only 5 US Dollars if you buy it digitally then it's more than easily worth the price because you got two new playable characters with surprising new abilities that were unprecedented for a Sonic title and a new story. 

You're complaining about the Kirby Superstar Saga of the Sonic Series. You've got the Base Game, Blue Spheres, Mean Bean Machine, Encore Mode. This is the most packed a Sonic game has ever been since the Sonic Adventure days in terms of content. 

I get that maybe they could have done more, but at that point you'd be making Sonic Mania 2.

I find this to be extremely insulting as someone who respects game development as an extremely long and complicated process that's a lot harder than Gamers themselves realize it is. It's not just simply slapping some assets and doing ability tree placements in a grid, you have to know code and debug and recode to fix a minor thing. 

And if you bought this physically they gave you a super special box and an art book which is especially fun for someone who loves a good concept art book. I love seeing what all went through the dev team's minds when they make a game like this. This is a passion product for the people who love this series. How the hell do you not respect that and insist that they somehow did something wrong by daring to actually give us more of what we wanted? This is nitpicking at the highest level. 

Yes. The game is now raw as you might put it. But that honestly means it has more personality and charm than before when it was already oozing that to begin with. 

Also wow. Someone else complaining about the pinball tables. I haven't heard this before from all of the major YouTubers at large these days already. Let people have their fun. 

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@LongcrierCat Can you chill pls. There's ways to respond to someone else's opinions (see: every post in this topic that isn't yours) without strawmans, bitter sarcasm, and talking down upon the other party's intelligence. And can you also not bring your personal feelings into the debate like when you mentioned you were "extremely insulted" by his views? Thanks.

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The bonus stages are, imo, one of many small things Sonic 3 does better. There's 3 so you never really get bored. The physics don't change from the main game. Getting the power ups is quick and easy if not a little luck based. You play the game quickly and get back into the main game before you know it. 

There's only one pinball stage and it's kind of slow and clunky to play so I got put off of it quickly. 

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Overall I enjoyed Plus about the same as the original release. Mania's still my favourite 2D Sonic so far, flaws and all. They didn't really change much of what was already there and just added some stuff on top, and for the most part I like that new stuff.

That said I'd be REALLY interested in seeing level design that's 100% built around Mighty and Ray's abilities, because even Encore doesn't do much in that regard. It's odd (albeit understandable to an extent, I wasn't expecting every level to be built from the ground up or anything, but...), and probably the thing that stands out the most, Amy still being MIA aside.

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While I wouldn't say Mania Encore is bad per say, I also do not like it. Personally, even for a small DLC package, I found myself really underwhelmed by it. The palette swaps either decreased the zone's usual graphics for me, or didn't really feel standout-ish, compared to the original palette, and as fun as Ray and Mighty can be, I feel like the stages were absolutely not built for them whatsoever. It took me right til the literal near end-game for me to finally get an idea of how to control Ray's flight for example and by that stage, I didn't really have many chances to even use him anymore.

The additional stuff are cool concepts, but a lot of them feel undercooked and underdeveloped to truly make them flourish. Like going through the effort of putting Ray and Mighty in, I feel like they could've gone ahead and tried to make completely unique paths for the two to take, when in the game itself, it feels like there's only a few. Encore Mode tries to boast about being after the main game and taking place after the story, to the point it throws Mania Adventures in a confusing place canonically, and possibly just a What-If story for what amounts to just running through the same things over and over again.

Like, what if instead of just the altered palettes, we had the HBHs messing around with the stage? What if they added new hazards or even new pathways to the levels. Heavy Magician is the one who revives all of her brothers, which would've made perfect sense for the Encore theme. She's a master showman so it'd make sense she'd be the person headlining a "Encore" mode.

What if we had Heavy Rider chasing after Sonic in a section of Chemical Plant Zone, and if you beat him within a certain time, he opens up a secret area for you (Similar to something like Mega Man X where if you manipulate certain enemies, you can get into secret areas for power ups). All I'm saying is that I wish they would've just went all in on a proper Encore mode, and made a lot of decent changes to make things unique. Having different encounters with the HBH, having new sections for Mighty and Ray. Hell, maybe even small things. Like what if we got extended boss battles with new attacks and gimmicks? Imagine if Heavy Magician could now switch into the likes of Amy, Honey, Espio, Vector etc. There's so many cool little things they could've done to change things up, and at the end of the day, beyond having new special stages that kind of suck, Encore mode is virtually the same thing as Mania, with exception to thankfully making Mirage Saloon better by replacing the horrid Tornado act.

Angel Island was a cool idea, but it's so insanely underused that it's stupid. They force you to only pick Mighty and Ray and that means you only get one tutorial for the entirety of the game. That's a big reason why I got so screwed with Ray and ultimately had bad feelings with him, I picked Mighty as my tutorial character, unsure what would happen, and got a 2 second tutorial and that was it.

Why not make Angel Island a full stage? Even better, why not make it a Sonic/Mighty/Ray stage, doubling as a tutorial for Mighty and Ray. What if Sonic got captured at the start and you swapped control to Mighty (who plays nearly like Sonic with a few additional moves), and Ray as a team, so that way you can get introduced to multiple situations, and given the time to learn what's needed to proceed with both of them. This would personally go a long way to making Ray a lot better.

At the end of the day, I get it. It's a cheap DLC, sure, whatever. But man, I still can't help but be disappointed by the fact we got a whole new mode that might as well just be running through the main game again only with a different life system and two characters at once.

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9 hours ago, Plasme said:

Hortinus' sprite hacks are far better than this official output. 

What sprites? I tried searching "hortinus mighty and ray" and found nothing. I agree that Ray's sprites look rather off and low quality compared to the others, but you can't just say that someone else's sprites are superior without showing us.

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I assume they're talking about this guy's work...

There's some videos on his channel and such...

He also does do the sprite artwork mentioned...

Me don't think he did any Ray and Mighty stuff...

image.png.f43a8381e69fc25d63808fc19570d7da.png

I wonder if they wanted Ray's sprite to look something like this...or whateva.

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I disagree. As someone who didn't like Sonic Mania for its excessive relying on nostalgia at expense of innovation, I think the Plus add-on is infinitely superior compared to the base game.

The innovative lives system of Encore mode and Ray's new flying skill are what I enjoyed the most in the whole game, and I didn't like Mighty at all, because I think he is a Sonic clone with passive skills, and that's boring (his stomp move is something that Modern Sonic did for years and the bubble shield acts very similar to it too, in the same game).

With Ray I agree that it can be trial and error if you fly randomly in the sky, though it all depends on the player: if you risk and fly too much, you know that you are going to end into a trap, it's your fault. Ray's glide is made in a way that you can use it for precision platforming too, you can alter your jumps, gain height and reach higher platforms, and other stuff. That's what makes him a nice character, and one of the best characters in 2D Sonic so far. Though, maybe that was not even intentional, maybe the developers just wanted to copy Mario, and it came out this way for a coincidence, who knows; anyway, so far, it's a Cape Mario clone only in concept, because its gameplay usage is completely different (you don't need to build up speed in order to fly, it's not hard to control, you can use it to gain speed in air, it's very precise so you can use it for platforming tricks, if you release it you can attack, so you have interest in flying into enemies instead of trying to avoid them).

Honestly, I think that Ray makes both Knuckles and Tails obsolete, as he has their same ability (more or less) but way better executed.

Though I agree about Ray's sprite looking bad... and his victory animation is bubsy level of cringy.

About the pinball, I haven't played it too much, but I have the feeling that the physics are allright, the problem is the input lag that makes impossible to control the ball in the way you want. Though I may be wrong, as I said, I played it only a few times. Special Stages though have bad physics and controls, that has not changed from regular Mania (they only made it more frustrating with harder levels).

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The only way this makes sense to me is if we're grading on an average.

Like, Sonic Mania gets an A, Encore Mode gets a C, so Sonic Mania Plus gets a B as a result, which is down from Mania's original score.

Except I don't think many people tend to rate games that way?

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20 hours ago, Diogenes said:

Not even remotely true.

The new Metal Sonic fight is a little awkward, but no more than the original was, with its entirely unnecessary second running section, the ease of getting bounced into the spike wall if you end up behind him in the last phase, and the lack of any windup on his attacks leading to cheap hits. And I'm pretty sure the new fight was part of the free update, not Plus, anyway.

Mighty and Ray's sprites are fine. Yes, they look like edits of Sonic...because they basically always have been. Their depiction in Mania is true to their depiction in SegaSonic. Not every sprite may be unique or entirely gorgeous, but overall they're just as well made and expressive as the sprites of the main trio. And Ray's gliding is actually incredibly good; you don't need to have memorized the stages to make use of it any more than you need to have memorized the stages to go fast as any character. It's riskier to use than the absolutely braindead easy abilities Tails and Knuckles have, but that comes with being faster and more dynamic, and thus way more fun.

The encore mode palettes aren't all winners, but I wouldn't consider any of them bothersomely bad, and they're certainly not "desaturated". The fundamental level design isn't significantly changed (Mirage Saloon 1 aside), but there's enough done with object and enemy placement that it still has a different feel from replaying the main game. The special stages are a step up in difficulty, but it's a reasonable step up, requiring the same sort of practice that the stages in the base game took. And while I'm not a huge fan of the pinball bonus stage, it is absolutely an improvement over only having blue sphere stages that you've already beaten and thus offer no reward.

Plus's additions aren't revolutionary, it's not going to be considered one of the greatest DLCs of all time, and there are definitely a few rough patches and missed opportunities. But there's nothing in it that I'd consider outright bad, and plenty that I consider to be enjoyable additions to an already great game. There's no way I can take seriously the idea that Plus has made the game worse.

Completely true.

The new Metal Sonic fight is more than just 'awkward', it's a clusterfuck. It looks cool and is a great idea, but the execution is terrible. You keep glitching/clipping through the enemy's core, even though you are supposed to bounce off it. And once you've fallen behind Metal Sonic, it's very difficult to recover yourself because his arms and projectiles get in the way of your sloooow movement when it sidescrolls. It's a mess. The Metal Sonic spikewall wasn't very inspired, but at least it wasn't aggravating as all hell. When I play Stardust Speedway I dread encountering Metal Sonic Kai now, because of how glitchy and messy he is. I know thisn't part of Plus, but it is part of the update which came out on the same day as Plus and was advertised with Plus. I consider it as part of the same brand as Plus.

Ray's sprite is atrocious. 

Image result for Ray sonic mania spriteImage result for sonic sonic mania sprite

Because he's a straight up edit of Sonic, he just looks like a boring, flairless version of Sonic. His unique animations are quite good, but his base movement sprites are lazy. He actually had personality and expressiveness in the Mania Adventure animations, and his smaller size and proportions made him look cute. He just looks like a bad original fan character here.

And while Ray wasn't great in SegaSonic either, he was at least more expressive and had a bit more uniqueness there. 

Related image

He doesn't pull any such faces and expressions in the game, despite pulling them in the animations. He's just boring in Mania Plus.

Mighty's sprite is better, mainly because he's a slight edit of an existing spriteset. But again, he's hardly the most inspired choice. The real problem here was why they picked Mighty and Ray, the most boring characters in the Classic Sonic universe, when they could have picked literally anyone else, with Amy being an obvious example. And as I said, even the rest of the Chaotix would probably have been better choices. They could have even created their own character, that would probably have been more interesting than this. 

Ray's moveset is frustrating due to the nature of the level design, as I've stated extensively. The simple fact is that Mario's cape was created with clear airs and secret areas in mind. Mania Plus just steals an ability from another game with seemingly no understanding of why it worked in Mario World, and expected it to work. Virtually every level intentionally stops you from flying over it due to Tails' moveset breaking the levels otherwise, and Ray's gliding completely clashes with this. There's no point gliding at maximum speed and colliding into an enemy you had no time to react to when the vast majority of levels place blocks and ceilings in your way every 5 seconds. Ray's slower gliding is safer to use, and you can jump cancel more reliably, but it's too slow, and you might as well just run. His gliding is only really useful for recovering failed jumps and speedrunning. Tails and Knuckles' abilities may be braindead, but they actually play well with the levels far more dynamically. And they are supposed to be slower than Sonic anyway, Knuckles is for more methodical playing and Tails is the slower, easy mode. 

Some of the pallette swaps are downright ugly. Studiopolis and Metallic Madness come to mind. And I Know Metallic Madness was that way in CD, but that hardly excuses it. Most are boring, such as Flying Battery, Hydrocity, Lava Reef. The ones which do actually look good, such as Chemical Plant, Mirage Saloon and Press Garden are all just the levels at night. They look exactly the same. And in some cases, like Press Garden, the rest of the level objects become desaturated and ugly as a result. Yes, some are good, such as Oil Ocean and Green Hill, but the majority are a failure in my opinion, due to being either samey or downright ugly.

So, in my opinion, Plus has been very subpar. I'd actually say Mania Adventures is better than Mania Plus. And I know all of this optional, it doesn't need to be played. But it's there none the less. It's been put into the game and has reduced the quality of the overall package. Mania was consistently excellent outside of the odd choice of blue spheres as bonus stages. But now, Plus has put in a lot of half-baked ideas, such as the pinball bonus game and Metal Sonic Kai, downright poor ideas, such as Mighty and Ray and a dull encore mode which is of inferior quality to the main game. I'm aware this isn't as huge a detriment to the game as Spec Ops' multiplayer was, but it is reducing the quality of the overall package with a lot of fluff. The game is no longer consistently excellent, it's mostly excellent with some introduced side baggage. And as I've said, this is the only way to own Mania physically.

Oh and another disaster is the Steam update fucking the game up, introducing black and white cutscenes and horrendous slowdown in various parts of the game at random. And again, I associate this update with Plus, so another example of Mania Plus being inferior.

 

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1 hour ago, Plasme said:

Ray's sprite is atrocious. 

Image result for Ray sonic mania spriteImage result for sonic sonic mania sprite

Because he's a straight up edit of Sonic, he just looks like a boring, flairless version of Sonic. His unique animations are quite good, but his base movement sprites are lazy. He actually had personality and expressiveness in the Mania Adventure animations, and his smaller size and proportions made him look cute. He just looks like a bad original fan character here.

While I do think Ray's sprites can be inconsistent at times, all you've done with this comparison is shown that he's not a Sonic edit. Almost every aspect of the sprite - hands, eyes, muzzle, shoes - are drawn almost completely differently to Sonic's sprite, just within the same style. Take that with the literal confirmation from Mania's art team that it wasn't a case of copy/paste and edit and uh, yeah. Dunno what this stands to prove. 

Ray isn't an edit of Sonic, his design is just more based on Sonic because as Dio said, that's his original design. If anything I'd say his sprite does a fairly good job differentiating itself from Sonic, though as I said at the cost of some inconsistent sizing on some frames. 

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2 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

While I do think Ray's sprites can be inconsistent at times, all you've done with this comparison is shown that he's not a Sonic edit. Almost every aspect of the sprite - hands, eyes, muzzle, shoes - are drawn almost completely differently to Sonic's sprite, just within the same style. Take that with the literal confirmation from Mania's art team that it wasn't a case of copy/paste and edit and uh, yeah. Dunno what this stands to prove. 

Ray isn't an edit of Sonic, his design is just more based on Sonic because as Dio said, that's his original design. If anything I'd say his sprite does a fairly good job differentiating itself from Sonic, though as I said at the cost of some inconsistent sizing on some frames. 

He is literally an edit of Sonic. 

Image result for sonic mania knuckles idle

Tails and Knuckles look very different, don't they, because they aren't actually edits of Sonic. Their sprites are made from scratch. Ray objectively is an edit. It's not a debate. 

Image result for sonic mania sonic spriteImage result for sonic mania ray sprite

Yes, they made very minor edits, but it's a yellow Sonic. Tom Fry's comments on that video were a joke about Mighty and Ray being obvious copies of Sonic from their original design in SEGASonic. And while Diogenes is right that it was the original designer's fault, it's the fault of the Plus Team for putting these hopeless characters in.

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1 minute ago, Plasme said:

He is literally an edit of Sonic. 

Image result for sonic mania knuckles idle

Tails and Knuckles look very different, don't they, because they aren't actually edits of Sonic. Their sprites are made from scratch. Ray objectively is an edit. It's not a debate. 

Image result for sonic mania sonic spriteImage result for sonic mania ray sprite

Yes, they made very minor edits, but it's a yellow Sonic. Tom Fry's comments on that video were a joke about Mighty and Ray being obvious copies of Sonic from their original design in SEGASonic. And while Diogenes is right that it was the original designer's fault, it's the fault of the Plus Team for putting these hopeless characters in.

...he's still not an edit of Sonic's sprite. It's just his design is similar to Sonic. That is what I'm saying. On the contrary it's objective that he's not an edit due to the considerable difference in how they're sprited (which was inevitable due to the fact Tom handled Sonic's sprites and Paul handled Mighty and Ray's). 

If you actually look at the details I mentioned, it's very obvious it's not an edit job. 

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8 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

...he's still not an edit of Sonic's sprite. It's just his design is similar to Sonic. That is what I'm saying. On the contrary it's objective that he's not an edit due to the considerable difference in how they're sprited (which was inevitable due to the fact Tom handled Sonic's sprites and Paul handled Mighty and Ray's). 

If you actually look at the details I mentioned, it's very obvious it's not an edit job. 

You are objectively wrong, it's obvious he's an edit, look at his sprite compared to Tails and Knuckles.

Never mind, I give up.

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22 minutes ago, Plasme said:

You are objectively wrong, it's obvious he's an edit, look at his sprite compared to Tails and Knuckles.

Never mind, I give up.

That is because his design is far more akin to Sonic than those two. The sprite is still not an edit for the specific reasons I already mentioned. It's just stylistically consistent. 

To better explain my point, here's a sprite I did for my ridiculous Sonic Mania & Hatsune Miku mod.

ynn1lCc.png

Yes, there's a new face and pants and stuff, but the arms, hands, spikes, ears, etc - it's still obviously based off Sonic. And this is the more updated version of the sprite! I'm not getting paid for this so I've no shame in just editing, but that's an example of an edit.

Image result for sonic mania sonic spriteImage result for sonic mania ray sprite

Now let's go back to Sonic and Ray. They look similar due to their design and the Ohshima-orientated design methodology of Mania, sure - but Ray's sprite isn't an edit. Look at the hands, which are completely redrawn compared to Sonic - the differently shaped muzzle, nose, eyes, head shape, higher socks (giving the stubbier legs impression) different shoe shape (whereas mine are just edited from Sonic's base shoes, the strap indicates these are completely redrawn). I could go on. Even the arms and stomach are redrawn, altering Ray's proportions slightly.

It's not an edit. To dub it one fundamentally misunderstands the spritework. And this is just his idle! 

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I made a gif just so people can draw their own conclusions.

jFVgGt.gif

To me it seems likely that they might have sprited Ray's idle using Sonic's sprite as a template in the background, but only because his original design was also similar to Sonic.  It's definitely not like they started with Sonic and edited it into Ray.

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Ray isn't an "edit" of Sonic but he's clearly based off of him way more heavily than even Tails and Knuckles and that's one part why he's kind of a dud of a character for me. That's not a thing that started with Sonic Mania Plus, but I think they could have changed up Ray's design to not make him seem so samey if they wanted. 

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I'm confused here.

Are you seriously trying to argue than an optional side mode that didn't even exist until last month somehow makes the game worse? I'm not sure I follow the logic in that one.

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Man, if words weren't so hard this would be easier to follow. Ray's got various things about his sprite different enough from Sonic that just being an edit wouldn't make sense...

It'd probably look more similar to the fan sprite I posted above...besides the face anyway.

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16 hours ago, Diogenes said:

Then it sounds like you need more practice. I'm certainly not going to call the new fight great, but I haven't had even a fraction as much trouble with it as you're claiming to have.

There's no way to defend that bossfight, it's terrible, and it's not the only terrible bossfight in the game (all the Hard Boiled Heavies are atrocious, especially the ones at Studiopolis and Lava Reef, and the worm fight in the Sky Chase act, the annoying spider boss, the Super Sonic boss, the Oil Ocean boss... not to mention the unnecessary Puyo Puyo alternate gameplay). I agree with him, especially in Encore mode: it happend that I lost 3 characters at once because I died and the other characters spawned on the left corner of the screen, instantly falling into the pit too. The previous version of the boss wasn't better though, they are just equally bad IMO.

With practice, you can become good at any game, doesn't mean said games are polished and well designed. There are some glitchy games with bad gameplay around, for a novice player they are atrocious, yet, some hardcore players will always find a way to play it well and do speedruns of them avoiding the glitches, or in some occasions, even using the glitches at their advantage. This doesn't justify the bad designed gameplay or the glitches, that's just the player getting good.

This said, I think we are talking about an highly overrated mediocre game that's so overrated only because Sega released a lot of terrible games and this is the first decent one in years, the game has still a lot of issues and it's nowhere as good as people say.

Though I'm still convinced that Encore mode is the superior mode, and that the Mania mode shouldn's even exist, the game should have been like Encore since the start (color palettes aside). And by the way, I don't think there is an huge difference between the two modes, level design wise... there are differences but they are barely noticeable, IMO it's the same game but with a different, more innovative, lives system, and without that atrocious Super Sonic boss at the end (and the horrible Sky Chase act in Mirage Saloon).

Also I'm surprised that people think Ray is bad, I guess I'm the only one who learned how to use his ability to take advantage of it in level design. Getting on the top of loops with it, even rushing those tiny lamp-platforms sections in Studiopolis act 2, gain speed even if the terrain is flat, and overall precise and controlled fly.

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The Metal Sonic Kai boss is " bad" because despite being designed after the Death Egg boss from Sonic 3, it requires you to come at it differently...

It requires you to spin dash or roll into it instead of jumping at it...not so apparent...so people will jump at it and bounce behind it, dying in the process...

It's not actually bad once you know what to do...whether or not people still find it annoying is whatever...but that can be said for a lot of bosses...

 

I think this works as adequate defense.

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Personally I like the new game play that mighty and Ray bring to the table as both have some neat abilities.

Besides i dont know why you are so hung up on Rays sprite Plasme when sega has done that sort of thing before as Shadow and Silver are just sonic recolors.

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