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Sonic Mania vs Sonic Generations


manoffewwords
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For me personally, I liked Sonic Mania more.  It actually harkens back to the gameplay of the original Genesis series and it actually brought back Ray and Mighty after so many years of them being absent from the games.  While I liked the concept of Modern Sonic meeting up with Classic Sonic in Sonic Generations, it just started up this trend of Classic Sonic being shoehorned into the main game series and it just didn't work out in the long run.  Even though Sonic Forces wasn't written that well to begin with, trying to put in Classic Sonic in that game just felt forced and it didn't really bring anything to the game.

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I'm not a big fan of Sonic Mania, but I was pretty disappointed by Generations (unlike most people who seem to consider it a good game), so Generations vs Mania, Mania wins, no contest. At least Mania's Classic Sonic plays like Classic Sonic, while Generations' does not.

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Minus the narrative (and the badly forced tie in ending to Forces), Sonic Mania was the "Generations" I wanted, easily. Some level surprises that I wasn't expecting, along with some damn good new ones, and more characters and content. Captures the feeling pretty much how I remembered it, with some slight noticeable tweaks.

 

The classic gameplay in Generations always felt like a cheap imitation, and Sonic's jump arc and height feel off. And some levels are straight up not fun and take too long (classic Crisis City, Planet Wisp). Even less of a worthwhile narrative. There are some great level nods like Hydrocity in Seaside Hill or City Escape's "Endless Mine" music bit, but that didn't come with the substance I was looking for.

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Sonic Mania takes the cake in all possible ways; gameplay is on point, level design is top notch, music is a bop, there's more levels, more extra content, more playable characters and even has Mean Bean Machine in there just to drive the point home. 

That said, I still have a special love for Sonic Generations. It's a bit light on the content for supposedly a big anniversary celebration, but you can't deny the levels of pure unbridled excitement leading up to the release. Remember, Classic Sonic wasn't an overdone meme at this point; some select members on this board literally cried during that reveal teaser early 2011. Another lost their bloody mind seeing Sky Sanctuary in glorious HD; and I don't think a single Sonic fan was upset at a remake of City Escape. Mania was just classic, Generations was all of the series up to that point.

So, while Sonic Mania is more comprehensive and has that special title of being the game made by fans for fans, Sonic Generations is absolutely no slouch and has just as much sentimentality to it. 

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I liked both games a lot but even with how lean Sonic Generations was it feels like there was some fat that didn't need to be there. The modern levels have some of the best level design Sonic Team has ever put out but it makes the Classic levels feel like a drag in comparison. They have some clever moments in their own right and are a decent step up from Sonic 4, but it still feels lacking.  The boost mechanics overall take a hit from the previous outing which means I can't shake that nagging 'one step forward, two steps back'  feeling. Sonic Mania feels a lot more streamlined and focused without sacrificing much playtime.It focuses on doing one thing and does it excellently versus doing two things 'well enough'. It was also bold enough to introduce new features, characters and mechanics, making it feel more like a true sequel and not just a victory lap. Sonic Generations's mostly pretty good level design can't compare to what's probably the best set of levels in the entire series from Mania, either. 

Mania wins, but I don't think it's a complete wash in it's favor. Comparing both game's boss fights I think Sonic Generations comes out a lot better even with the setback that is Time Eater. Mania's bosses are just too plentiful and too grating. 

Sonic Generation shows an open hearted affection for the series even at it's lowest that makes it feel like a better celebration for someone like me. The levels and setpieces are designed excellently to tug at your heartstrings while mostly being a blast to play. Sonic Mania has many well constructed moments like this and the idea to laser in on a specific time frame gave way to a lot of really deep cuts but i don't think they had a chance at beating the wow factor of seeing classic levels and moments in such high fidelity. 

Both are pretty good though. 

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On 12/20/2020 at 6:33 AM, Rabbitearsblog said:

[...] it just started up this trend of Classic Sonic being shoehorned into the main game series and it just didn't work out in the long run. [...] 

He's crossed over with modern twice. The first time it was the best-regarded Sonic game in at least a decade. Forces was bad, but it was bad because of how poorly all three gameplay styles in it were executed. It didn't completely fail to live up to its potential because Classic was in it.

Honestly, the fandom has made him into an "overdone meme" way more than Sega has. He's been in a grand total of three mainline games in the past 22 years, yet a substantial portion of the fandom seems to resent him on principal, similar to how they resented Shadow in the 2000s. In both cases, I think fans turned on the character specifically BECAUSE he was so popular, successful, and beloved with a demographic that wasn't their own.

Anyway. I love them both, but I prefer Generations. Mania is definitely the better game, but the boost style is my favorite, and it's sadly never been done better than it was in Gens.

 

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1 hour ago, SonicBoom said:

He's crossed over with modern twice. The first time it was the best-regarded Sonic game in at least a decade. Forces was bad, but it was bad because of how poorly all three gameplay styles in it were executed. It didn't completely fail to live up to its potential because Classic was in it.

Honestly, the fandom has made him into an "overdone meme" way more than Sega has. He's been in a grand total of three mainline games in the past 22 years, yet a substantial portion of the fandom seems to resent him on principal, similar to how they resented Shadow in the 2000s. In both cases, I think fans turned on the character specifically BECAUSE he was so popular, successful, and beloved with a demographic that wasn't their own.

Anyway. I love them both, but I prefer Generations. Mania is definitely the better game, but the boost style is my favorite, and it's sadly never been done better than it was in Gens.

 

Hopefully, SEGA will try to use the boost style a little better in later games.

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