Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoilers)

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Yami CJMErl
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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Yami CJMErl »

Emperor Omochao wrote: - Did Sonic actually vanish with the Little Planet? Has this set the stage for Sonic Mania 2? It would be cool to see where it goes and if time travelling could be back in the sequel.
It's actually heavily theorized/hinted that this Sonic is the Classic Sonic from Forces, having been warped there via the Phantom Ruby.

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

I guess if we're going into full review mode, I might as well get it done with. I really like Emperor Omachao's Good / Bad / Wowwed system, so I'll just ape that.

The Good
* A Sonic game with actual classic physics - We've been whining about this for years, haven't we? But here, it's virtually indistinguishable from those titles. There are a few quirks, such as acceleration coming easier when running down slopes, but anything else is far too minor to really merit mention.
* The Drop Dash is a really good new ability for Sonic - It's easy to use, way more intuitive than I thought it would be, and finally gives Sonic something that distinguishes him from the other characters. No longer is he a shitty Tails / Knuckles without flight / climbing / gliding, but is the definitive fastest thing alive.
* Each of the new zones is fantastic - Studiopolis succeeds at being a speedy and nostalgia-filled bouncy zone. Press Garden is probably the best labyrinthian / puzzle-oriented 2D zone in the series. Both Act 1s of Mirage Saloon excel at what they focus on, and Act 2 is short but fun. Finally, Titanic Monarch as a whole has a tremendously omnious atmosphere that I don't think has every really been achieved in a 2D Sonic game, as well as really satisfying gimmicks / level design. In particular, the Sonic & Knuckles Bonus Stage orbs have been implemented wonderfully.
* Certain rehashed levels feel almost entirely fresh - Highlights are Green Hill 2, Chemical Plant 2, Flying Battery 2, Hydrocity 1, and Metallic Madness 1. Comparing this game to Sonic 3, I'd say that even with only 4 new zones, we easily got an entire game's worth of substantially new content.
* The Special Stages are new and good - Thank goodness we didn't get another half-pipe! The Special Stages in Mania control great, get exciting fast, and unlike a lot of other games in the series, never really feel unfairly difficult. I think the hardest one for me was the fifth one, but I managed to snag the last Chaos Emerald after two tries.
* Time Attack mode is awesome - This is honestly something I've never really paid attention to in Sonic games, but the QOL improvements that Mania adds make it pleasant to dive into.
* The Phantom Ruby adds in an exciting new element to Classic Sonic - Like Little Planet and the Floating Island before it, I think the Phantom Ruby is Mania's biggest contribution to the series' lore. It kind of acts like an antagonistic force to the Chaos Emeralds, in that you can access vast powers over time and space without having to collect seven of them. And there's still a lot of mystery surrounding it. After Sonic Forces wraps up, I honestly wouldn't mind the Phantom Ruby becoming a rogue element in the Classic series that Sonic always has to potentially watch out for.

The Bad
* Glitches, glitches, glitches - This might be the 2D Sonic game with the most amount of glitches. Some are harmless, others aren't, and that's kind of frustrating.
* Other rehashed levels add little to nothing new - I honestly wonder if some of these weren't finalized at the last minute. Stardust Speedway 2, Hydrocity 2, and all of Oil Ocean are the worst cases of this.
* Some bosses overstay their welcome - The bosses in Sonic 3 & Knuckles were quick affairs that usually took all of twenty seconds before they were busted and you could get back to speedy platforming. Not so much in Mania! Some are simply really tedious (Chemical Plant 1, Studiopolis 1), while others seem to be intended as the highlight of the acts they appear in instead the levels themselves (Stardust Speedway 2, Hydrocity 2). It makes repeated play throughs as other characters in Mania mode a bit of a slog.
* The final true boss is kinda lame - Especially compared to the one in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Know it's not supposed to be fought this way, but it basically becomes Exploit Invincibility Frames: The Final Boss.
* The Bonus Stages aren't an ideal way to unlock extras - This game's bonus stages, based off the special stages of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, are as exciting and tense as those stages have always been, but unlocking stuff by perfecting them doesn't reflect your actual skill as a player in the main game itself, and can get kind of tiresome if you're like me and sit down to try and unlock everything at once. I much prefer how you unlocked stuff in Sonic CD, where lowering your cumulative time in Time Attack mode was how you accomplished that. Hell, the game has achievements in all the non-Switch versions. Why not make some of the unlockable content based on completing those tasks?
* Some of the story elements are repeative - What do you mean we have to liberate Little Planet again?!

So, overall, a lot of good with some bad, Mania isn't perfect but the main platforming feels great and a lot of my complaints are concerning the game's peripheral content. Go and buy it already.

To complete this compliment sandwich, here's what wowwed me in the game.

* The game's soundtrack in general. Both acts of Stardust Speedway in particular are incredibly catchy.
* The first time fighting Metal Sonic. I still contend that this boss gets old fast, but damn did it leave a great first impression.
* Flying Battery Zone. Especially everything about Act 2. The devs really went all out for this one.
* Figuring out that you can change the water levels in Hydrocity. There's something so viscerally satisfying about that.
* Both Act 1s of Mirage Saloon. Sonic and Tails get a worthy successor to Sky Chase, whose music makes the whole thing sound like a thrilling, adventurous. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure that Wildstyle Pistolero counts as a new Knuckles rap. Seeing a boss directly ripped from a Game Gear title was nice too.
* Titantic Monarch Zone. - Honestly, this might tie with Lava Reef as my favorite 2D Sonic level. It's fast, fun, and everything about its aesthetics are spot-on. The penultimate boss is also great, if somewhat on the easy side.

gg Sega

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Frieza2000 »

I'm up to Lava Reef with 4 emeralds and I just want to gush a bit.

Every single person in this topic screamed the equivalent of "holy crap, it's Bean" during MS1. I freaked a little when Fang appeared - I had just finished explaining to my friend who he was and how long overdue he was for a return. I groaned when I realized what he was, but I still give them mad props for finding a way to get them into a main series game - I'm sure it was the most Iizuka would allow.

I love the way the Uni-Uni's change their expression as they lose their barrier! Little touches like that - the game just oozes love!

The use of the bubble vessel from Sonic&Tail was not only a nice throwback, but better implemented than the original! All of the references to the GG games in general are really nice to see.

Being able to destroy Wacky Workbench's electric barriers in Flying Battery 2 was cathartic. There should've been an achievement for it named Vengeance or something.

My game super-glitched at the end of Press Garden 2. I walked right past the boss and hit the animal capsule. He followed me and froze me during the victory pose, which slid me into the transition cutscene with Eggman, which soft-locked. I paused and hit restart level, which took me to the next stage. I'll have to replay that one.

I remembered that I actually hate the S&K special stages after a while. Seriously, I've played over 10,000 of them. They were great for a while, but I'm done.

I echo the impressions about the bosses - some are among the best we've had, others are a little too drawn out.

The level size is incredible. Well, it's what it should be in 2017, but I'm still overwhelmed. At the beginning of Flying Battery 2 I took the first split path, went probably a bit more than halfway through the stage, then restarted because I lost a special stage and wanted another try (which doesn't work, but anyway). I decided to take the other direction at the initial split this time, figuring they paths would converge long before I got to the part with the ring I was going for. I don't think I ever saw ANY part of the original path I took, and ended up finding a different ring.

SUPER TAILS & KNUCKLES - TOTALLY CALLED IT!
chriscaffee wrote:1) No explanation for the magical teleportation rock and why it's buried on the coast of Angel Island. (possibly a tie-in to Sonic Forces based on the teleportation sound effect being the same one that "Infinite" uses)
The manual opens with "a sudden dimensional breach in the atmosphere." In keeping with the usual Sonic manual tradition, this is really vague. But my interpretation is that the Phantom Ruby fell out of this breach and landed on the coast of Angel Island. NEG's first impression was that it was actually the red Timestone from Little Planet. The Timestones have never had this kind of power (note that it transformed the HBHs from regular-looking Eggrobos into Power Rangers) and that still wouldn't explain how that breach opened or why Little Planet crashed into Angel Island, so that's probably not it. Whatever it is, I really don't think we need to be introducing something like this into the setting. We have more than enough mcguffins that accomplish the same thing and that we still haven't gotten a backstory for. Unless Pontac is planning to add sapphires and amethysts and diamonds as part of an arc explaining the origin of the Chaos Emeralds then this is not a good direction to move the narrative.

I'll muse on it more after I've seen the endings. It's a shame they had to get saddled with making a prequel to Sonic Forces. It'll always feel like sort of a stain on an otherwise polished game. Headcannon needs to be handed control of the franchise immediately. I'd love to see what they could do with a 3D game.

Also, the Japanese story appears to be completely different from the English. Can we get a rough translation?
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Wombatwarlord777 wrote:It kind of acts like an antagonistic force to the Chaos Emeralds, in that you can access vast powers over time and space without having to collect seven of them.
Uh...dude? I mean, I know it's been a long time but this was kind of a big thing.

Also, I hope I'm not the only one who yelled ZA WARUDO!

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by G.Silver »

Is there any kind of mode where you can just play the Special Stages, like the stage selects in Sonic 1 and 2? You can go into debug mode and make all the big rings you want, but that feels dirty somehow. I wanna tackle them in sequence, like that Blue Spheres mode that I will never ever use.

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Tsuyoshi-kun »

There isn't a way to just play Special Stages through a menu, as far as I know. Spawning Special Stage rings via debug only gives you 50 rings.

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

I don't think that's entirely correct, Ysuyoshi. I've been accessing the Special Stages using debug in a No Save file. Maybe you were doing that on a permanent save file where you already got all seven Emeralds? I didn't think it was possible to activate debug on one of those.

But yeah, a Special Stage Mode kinda seemed like a pretty obvious inclusion. Like I said, they're really fun. I wouldn't mind seeing them come back for a sequel.

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Tsuyoshi-kun »

You can't even use debug mode outside of a No Save file in Mania. Spawning Special Stage rings through the debug just gives you 50 rings.

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Huh, that's weird. I wonder what's causing us to get different results. I've only tooled around in Debug once, with the Insta-Shield and & Knuckles Mode activated, and never left GHZ 1, if that possibly has anything to do with it. Maybe it has something to do with the character you're using? Maybe it's a difference between different console / PC versions?! Who knows?

btw, it's possible to spawn those rolling orbs in GHZ in Debug. Heh.

It's kind of odd how so many of the toggleable features in the game are only accessible through the No Save file. If I've heard right, it's a precedent the Taxman remakes have already established. But space on the controller shouldn't theoretically be an issue if you wanted simultaneous access to the Drop Dash, Insta-Shield, and Super Peel-Out. And it's not like you can access extra moves in Time Attack, either.
Frieza2000 wrote:The use of the bubble vessel from Sonic&Tail was not only a nice throwback, but better implemented than the original!
Yes. The only thing I personally would change about that would be to have those sections only be accessible if you had the Bubble Shield, to give it something special to do like the other elemental shields. But at that point you're splitting hairs / arguably making the game too difficult.
Being able to destroy Wacky Workbench's electric barriers in Flying Battery 2 was cathartic. There should've been an achievement for it named Vengeance or something.
Only thing bad about that is that you never bounce back after destroying those things back onto the propeller shaft you originally launched yourself off of. I'm thinking that's how it's supposed to work, but it still caused quite a few unexpected deaths for me.
I remembered that I actually hate the S&K special stages after a while. Seriously, I've played over 10,000 of them. They were great for a while, but I'm done.
I can see why!
The level size is incredible. Well, it's what it should be in 2017, but I'm still overwhelmed. At the beginning of Flying Battery 2 I took the first split path, went probably a bit more than halfway through the stage, then restarted because I lost a special stage and wanted another try (which doesn't work, but anyway). I decided to take the other direction at the initial split this time, figuring they paths would converge long before I got to the part with the ring I was going for. I don't think I ever saw ANY part of the original path I took, and ended up finding a different ring.
It seems like the levels sizes are roughly that of Sonic 3 & Knuckles. We even have a couple Carnival Nights / Sandopolises.

The level design does a really good job of emulating the basic original structures of the rehashed zones. GHZ has easily-accessible lower, middle, and upper paths, SSZ is a spaghetti bowl, and as you mentioned FBZ has a few large unique paths that split early and rarely intersect after that.

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by chriscaffee »

Frieza2000 wrote:The manual opens with "a sudden dimensional breach in the atmosphere." In keeping with the usual Sonic manual tradition, this is really vague. But my interpretation is that the Phantom Ruby fell out of this breach and landed on the coast of Angel Island.
Yeah, I figured out there was a manual after my first couple playthroughs. Presumably the Phantom Ruby is interfering with the Master Emerald (similar to how the 6 Chaos Emeralds conveniently did the same thing in Sonic Adventure). But Knuckles seems...really chill about this whole situation, just relaxing with the animals right after a "sudden dimensional breach in the atmosphere" that evidently causes Angel Island to no longer float. Eggman and his EggRobos got the memo. Sonic & Tails got the memo. & Knuckles is just...having a good time, being the worst guardian ever. I get that his intro is sort of a reference to his introduction in Sonic & Knuckles, but in S&K the island was floating in Knuckles' story. It just doesn't really work for Mania's plot.

On another note, when fighting Metal Sonic in the arena with the "Silver Sonic" trash mobs, it appears in the background there are two Sonic Adventure-Final Egg-style tubes/capsules with previously destroyed Metal Sonics. One could be Sonic CD-Metal Sonic and the other could be Chaotix-Metal Sonic? That's kind of a cool reference.

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Emperor Omochao »

I managed to access Knuckles portion at the beginning of GHZ act 1 with Sonic by going down and left where the spikes are and jumping down past the spikes. It was weird, the background changes suddenly from overground to underground.

I feel like the super emeralds being grey in this game is also gonna open a can of worms. If they'de only come up with a more epic plot, but still lets hope SM2 builds on this.

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Re: Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoil

Post by Emperor Omochao »

Emperor Omochao wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:40 pm
What they could have added:
- Another type of bonus stage (I would have liked the pinball bonus stages from Sonic Spinball) to collect rings/lives and maybe have missing characters such as Mighty make a cameo.
:shock: I just looked back at this out of retrospective curiosity. Whelp, if they're listening to me, I'd like a follow up to Sonic Mania with all new levels that also has something truly innovative like Sonic Colors did. And a stronger plot!

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