Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoilers)

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big_smile
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Sonic Mania - Game content discussion thread (with spoilers)

Post by big_smile »

Use this thread to discuss everything to do with the in-game content of Sonic Mania (i.e. anything that hasn't been shown in an official trailer).

If posting in any other thread about Sonic Mania's contents (including the main Sonic Mania thread or the Revenge of the nerds) use spoiler tags (but if possible try to keep it in this thread).

The PC version won't be out until August 29th, so let's keep spoilers in this thread until October to give everyone a chance to play it in full.

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

Post by big_smile »

POST BY WOMBATWARLORD777:

I assume that we're not going to talk about leaked content until the 15th, right?

I think everyone here is gonna like what the game has to offer.

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

Post by Malchik »

This will be the first Sonic game for me since Heroes.

EDIT: Wait, never mind, no OSX port. Oh well.

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

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

The game's practically out, right? At least in Europe, I think.

By the way, the game contains one definite shout-out to a fan-game that wasn't mutated beyond immediate recognition (some people claim that Press Garden is a heavily-modified Egg Garden Zone. I can sort of see it.) But check this shit out:

Image

A direct reference to "Motobug the Badnik in Sonic the Hedgehog", made by the late Polygon Jim. That was really sweet of the devs.

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Re: OH YES Sonic Mania

Post by Majestic Joey »

This game is massive! I really like it.

Spoilers below!

The levels are so big. I would beat whole acts without finding a giant ring. There were like 4 levels I could not find any. It may be just because I don't have the levels memorized like I did in Sonic 3 and knuckles. All the levels are really cool. The new levels are especially awesome. I wish they gave whitehead a chance to make a completely new sonic game instead of remixed levels.
I don't know how I feel about the special stages for getting emeralds. they are very unforgiving and this is coming from somebody that's pretty good at games (at least I think so). I still got to collect 4 of the emeralds with sonic.
I'm still not utilizing sonic drop dash well. I'm having some trouble getting the hang of it. I think sonic has to be in the air for a certain amount of time while activating the drop dash. After you beat the game you can select sonic's instasheild but only for no save mode which kind of sucks. Lastly only thing else I want to say is some of the bosses are too creative for their own good. It can be super confusing on how to fight certain bosses. Metal Sonic is a pretty annoying boss. First time took me like 8 mins to beat him. You guys will see what I mean.


But yeah great Sonic game. I was smiling the whole time playing.

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Re: OH YES Sonic Mania

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Yeah, the game is good. Somewhat appropriately, it's also super glitchy. Badniks tend to wander into walls and set pieces, which is pretty hilarious. And then there are times like the game deciding I had to die after beating Robotnik in Puyo, or the camera in the Special Stages acting as though I had fallen out when I had not. If Sega would invest in a patch or two cleaning up the worse bugs, it'd be worth it.

Also, the degree to which they really change up things in the remastered stages varies wildly. Stardust Speedway Act 1 is almost completely unrecognizable (and actually shares more with Marble Garden than anything else).
Meanwhile, Act 2 is practically unchanged aside from the boss fight at the end. The most extreme variance is probably Hydrocity: Act 1 has completely new gimmick and the level design was almost built from scratch to suit it. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure aside from the first 5%
and the boss, Act 2 doesn't significantly alter it's very layout.

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

Post by chriscaffee »

Story-wise it's a bit disappointing.
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)
2) No explanation for why Angel Island is at sea level instead of floating.
3) About 40% of the stages feature no transitions, half the transitions are teleports, the other half involve physical movement from one zone to the next.
4) Sonic's path through the game makes no sense:
a) Angel Island
b) teleports to South Island
c) teleports to West Side Island
d) ????
e) teleports to Little Planet
f) back to Angel Island (no explanation)
g) back to West Side Island (no level transition, but based on context, Sonic flies back in the Tornado)
h) back to Angel Island (no level transition/explanation)
5) The anime opening seems to have no actual relation to the game world or the plot.

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Re: OH YES Sonic Mania

Post by James McGeachie »

This game is really good.

Piloting Robotnik's machine from Hydrocity is an all time classic moment.

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

Post by Majestic Joey »

Beat the game with sonic and knuckles (all chaos emeralds). Still got to start Tails. Knuckles gets some really cool alternate paths. His act 1 of mirage saloon is completely different and has its own bad ass bgm. Overall after playing again, the bosses in this game are actually really good. the bosses I thought were cheap are actually pretty good once you figure out their patterns. I'd say the only really weak boss is metal sonic. Flying battery act 2 is awesome, hydrocity act 1 is awesome (they brought back a water gimmick from a game gear sonic game. I'd like to say it was triple trouble). The new levels are all great. I think of all the new levels titanic monarch is the weakest visually. It doesn't stand out as well as the other new levels. But yeah. fantastic game. Really hope Mania becomes it's own series.

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

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Majestic Joey wrote:Really hope Mania becomes it's own series.
Me too, although I do hope that The Taxman and Co. continue to innovate. For as subtle as it is, I think the Drop Dash is a fantastic addition to the series.

I've played up to Lava Reef, and everything has been fantastic so far. The only rehashed level that I don't think surpasses or at least measures up to its original counterpart is Lava Reef Act 1. It doesn't change a whole lot but does have a 20-second plus speed section that is nice visually, but feels awkward in Sonic Mania in general and Lava Reef in particular. You might be able to avoid it, I'll have to see if you can.

Act 2 is great, the Quartz Quadrant conveyor belts do add a lot to the level imo.

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

Post by Majestic Joey »

yeah the drop dash is sick now that I know how to use it. It really makes sonic feel more unique, which is great because I always felt Sonic came off as weaker than tails and knuckles gameplay wise. But with the drop dash he can just go so much faster and keep momentum way better than the other characters.

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

Post by Grant »

Finished it tonight. I have to say, it's the definitive Sonic game and the best game in the series, imo. That seems crazy but it's really just because the previous high water mark was from 1994, and it's the first time in over 20 years that a developer has clearly understood and loved the game without trying to force it into being some other thing.

Not only does it just totally nail the vibe and fun and creativity of the Mega Drive titles, it thoroughly surpasses them in every conceivable way. I feel like that sounds hyperbolic but again it's really just because there just hasn't been any true attempts at a game like this since S&K and there were only 4 of them. Best special stages in any Sonic game. Best level progression in any game. Best music. Best boss fights by a country mile.

Here's how I'd rank the series:

Sonic Mania
Sonic 2 = Sonic 3 & Knuckles (equally good for different reasons)
Sonic 1
Sonic CD
I guess Adventure 2?
Maybe Colors?
The rest of them

I hope Taxman & Stealth get the opportunity to own the "classic" series for as long as they want it. I'd love to see them make a full game of all original Zones without revisiting any previous ones. Even in Mania though, they did an amazing job of making the Zones feel entirely new, particularly in the Act 2s.

It's just crazy to me how effortless the game feels. Compare how this game approached doing a pass through Green Hill or Chemical Plant to how Sonic Generations handled them. Generations felt like they were trying so so so hard to get it right, but despite mimicking the level design and conjuring all the nostalgia possible, it never felt exactly right. Generations was a polished try-hard turd, whereas Mania demonstrates complete mastery and then creativity on top of it.

I never thought I would post here again but this game is just so good.

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

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Grant wrote:I hope Taxman & Stealth get the opportunity to own the "classic" series for as long as they want it. I'd love to see them make a full game of all original Zones without revisiting any previous ones.
Me too. All the original zones were fantastically realized. Titanic Monarch might be my favorite final Sonic level.

I know that, at least with me, the going theory was that there'd be a new zone for each of the Hard-Boiled Heavies. If it were up to me, Oil Ocean would get the cut and be replaced with something new for Heavy Rider to tool around in.

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

Post by Grant »

Wombatwarlord777 wrote: Me too. All the original zones were fantastically realized. Titanic Monarch might be my favorite final Sonic level.
100% agreed. I like how it took the main gameplay cornerstones — fast slopes, bouncing, branching pathways — and just went completely insane with them, while still having a new unique level element in the Sonic 3 bonus stage gravity sphere combined with the Metropolis springs. It had the thoughtful design of a Nintendo game.

Final levels are usually a slog through bland backgrounds and spikes, but Titanic Monarch was shockingly fun and fast. It was maybe a little too long but it felt justifiably epic, and it definitely wasn't longer than Metropolis.

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

Post by chriscaffee »

This game is definitely growing on me. The back and forth between West Side Island, Angel Island and Little Planet is a bit jarring still, but it does kind of work if you map it out, it's just not very intuitive in-game because half the zones have no transitions, and you don't realize that Little Planet is directly above Angel Island until the tail-end of Lava Reef Zone. (Still no explanation for why Angel Island is not airborne, and how it drifted so close to West Side Island that Oil Ocean can bridge the gap between the two islands, but oh well. And if Knuckles' opening is any indication, he doesn't even seem to be worried that the Master Emerald is either missing or not doing it's job.)

I think overall Sonic Mania is a very good game but it's unfortunately held back by the remixed leves. Two thirds of Mania is a "greatest hits anniversary nostalgia celebration" game and that's basically been Sonic Team's go-to gimmick for the last 6 years (and with Sonic Forces capitalizing on this as well, there seems to be no end in sight). What makes it worse is that the four original zones are absolutely fantastic, so the talent and creativity is definitely there. I would love to see what Christian Whitehead and Headcannon could do with classic Sonic without relying on remixed zones. Hopefully Sonic Team gives them that opportunity because they have more than proven themselves with this title. (And unless I missed something, it seems that the Hard Boiled Heavies all survive this game, so...potential sequel hook?)

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

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

I think nearly all the rehashed zones are very well chosen. Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Stardust Speedway, Hydrocity, and Flying Battery are among the first things people think of when thinking of their respective games, and each has at least one act that drastically changes things up. Lava Reef is, among a lot of the more hard-core crowd, the best 2D zone in the whole damned franchise, and while I do think that Mania's LRZ Act 1 is slightly inferior to the original, Act 2 more than makes up for it, both aesthetically and gameplay-wise. Metallic Madness is great as a penultimate zone in this game. Everything about it is colorful and fun, extrending to it's boss, and then we move onto the more serious and somber Titantic Monarch. If we had, say, Scrap Brain in its place, we would've had a double-helping of dour, and we're better for that not being the case.

The one zone I can't really get behind in the whole game is Oil Ocean. The original zone wasn't really that great (at least anecdotally, I've heard many people say it's their least favorite level in Sonic 2). We've already had enough Eggman strongholds / Chemical Plant already. Mania's Act 1 adds nothing new. Act 2 adds nothing substantially new (Subs? Okay, enjoy your simplestic platforming section. Oh, the toxins in the air build up? Cool, you just added another timer to this mediocre platforming). Why can't the Flame Shield catching everything on fire actually cause real destruction and open up new paths in the zone?! Honestly, the bosses are the most original and enjoyable part of those levels. Down with Oil Ocean Zone. Boooo.

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

Post by Majestic Joey »

Oil ocean had a pretty cool boss though. Probably one of my favorite bosses in the game.

Instead of Oil ocean I would had liked to see a ruins level. I would have liked something like aquatic ruin or tidal tempest. Hydrocity doesn't count for me for some reason.

Also the true final boss theme is crazy good.

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

Post by Grant »

Wombatwarlord777 wrote:The one zone I can't really get behind in the whole game is Oil Ocean. The original zone wasn't really that great (at least anecdotally, I've heard many people say it's their least favorite level in Sonic 2). We've already had enough Eggman strongholds / Chemical Plant already. Mania's Act 1 adds nothing new. Act 2 adds nothing substantially new (Subs? Okay, enjoy your simplestic platforming section. Oh, the toxins in the air build up? Cool, you just added another timer to this mediocre platforming). Why can't the Flame Shield catching everything on fire actually cause real destruction and open up new paths in the zone?! Honestly, the bosses are the most original and enjoyable part of those levels. Down with Oil Ocean Zone. Boooo.
In defense of Oil Ocean, I think it does add something new. Narratively, it's different from the Eggman strongholds — Oil Ocean is the one place where we see the devastations caused by the industrialization, whereas in Chemical Plant, we see that his plants make strange things but we don't necessarily see them ruining the environment. Press Garden shows him ruining the environment to fuel his propaganda newspaper plant, but doesn't emphasize the destruction like Oil Ocean's burning oil fields and polluted air.

Gameplay wise, idk, as soon as I saw the fire shield light the oil on fire, I was pretty on board. That said, I agree with you, it's probably my least favorite Zone in the game.

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

Post by Grant »

Well, it's that or Lava Reef for least favorite. Lava Reef was just okay.

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

Post by Crazy Penguin »

Wombatwarlord777 wrote:By the way, the game contains one definite shout-out to a fan-game that wasn't mutated beyond immediate recognition (some people claim that Press Garden is a heavily-modified Egg Garden Zone. I can sort of see it.) But check this shit out:

Image

A direct reference to "Motobug the Badnik in Sonic the Hedgehog", made by the late Polygon Jim. That was really sweet of the devs.
And according the in-game manual, the Moto Bug is named Jimmy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPAksNP_TsY&t=8m37s

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

Post by Majestic Joey »

Two things:

1. So I figured out what the cool bonus is at every act. Basically you get 10000 points if you don't get hit during the act. For every hit you take, you lose 1000 points from the cool bonus. I really like this feature because I have never been really that into playing super speedy and have more been into collecting rings and not taking damage. I think it's a great way to balance out the point system.

2. If you get an electric shield on titanic monarch, you can use the shield to ride of those dangerous electric current hazard. It's little things like that, that make this game awesome. speaking of shields, the normal non elemental blue shield does not block projectiles but it still can work underwater (at least I think so).

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

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

One thing I was going to say about the game is that some of the bosses feel very cinematic for a Sonic game, and while that leaves a great initial impression, in subsequent playthroughs it feels kind of tedious to play through yet another drawn-out boss battle when what I really want to do is explore the levels themselves. The first Studiopolis boss and Metal Sonic's fight are good examples of what I'm talking about.

HOWEVER, I did just discover that in Time Attack, there are no bosses to fight, which is a good compromise.

On a more positive note, I think it's totally possible that I'll still be discovering new routes and caches in Mania for years to come, just like my experience with S3&K.

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

Post by Emperor Omochao »

Good points:
Overall, I’m very impressed with this game. I always found it really frustrating that Sega could have made this game 5, 10, 15 years ago on handheld devices but chose to ignore it. I appreciate games like Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure and to some extent Sonic Colors (3DS) for being their own thing, but Genesis Sonic would have been a nice counterpart series.

The game is basically Sonic 4 as it should have been. The physics, music, level design and special stages are fun. The special stages actually do get easier with practice and I liked the fact that I only managed to get a few Chaos Emeralds the first time around. I actually didn't notice any kind of glitches in the PS4 version I have.

Bad points:
I totally agree having a good epic storyline similar to S3&K’s would have made a big difference. It felt like they added a few zone transitions last minute when the levels could have been threaded together with the same passion as they had for the level design. What is the Phantom Ruby and how does it work? Why are they going back and forth between the Little Planet?

I was hoping the anime intro they showed was just another promo (because that’s what it looks like). The real anime intro should have shown the ending of S3&K with the Death Egg and Mecha Sonic II being destroyed and Dr. Eggman discovering the whereabouts of the Phantom Ruby. The ending anime sequence also felt a bit ‘tacked on’ rather than focusing on the plot.

Wow Moments:
- The biggest for me is probably having a playable background in Metallic Madness.
- The boss of Chemical Plant act 2 being Mean Bean.
- The music of Stardust Speedway act 2; I would say the flagship tune of this game.
- The first few seconds of Chemical Plant Zone with Sonic being genuinely charming.
- Hydrocity act 1 boss and Knuckle’s Lava Reef act 2 boss.
- Mirage Saloon’s intro, I was not expecting this but this is the type of transition every zone should have had.
- Fang the sniper making a ‘sort of’ appearance and the sound effect of losing rings from Sonic: Triple Trouble when you hit him.
- References to Sonic 2 gg, with the rising bubble gimmick and Mecha Sonic 2.
- Mini Amy dolls.

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.
- The Ice Cap zone! I know they couldn’t fit everything in there, but I thought that one was a given.


Here’s my interpretation of major level remixes:
1. Green Hill Zone
2. Chemical Plant Zone + Wacky Workbench Zone
3. Studiopolis Zone
4. Flying Battery Zone + Wing Fortress Zone
5. Press Garden Zone
6. Stardust Speedway Zone + Marble Garden Zone
7. Hydrocity Zone
8. Mirage Saloon Zone + Sky Chase Zone
9. Oil Ocean Zone + Sandopolis Zone
10. Lava Reef Zone + Quartz Quadrant Zone
11. Metallic Madness Zone
12. Titanic Monarch Zone + Scrap Brain Zone
13. Egg Reverie Zone

Unresolved Questions
- 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.
- In Lava Reef act 2, I assumed the large spherical body in the background was the ruins of the Death Egg. Other people say it’s the Little Planet. Which is more likely?

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

Post by Emperor Omochao »

*Mecha Sonic.

I also notice that the boss has a similarity to Knuckles' Chaotix. I'd also add this boss as a bad point and knowing when your going to land a hit involves a lot of random waiting. It's a shame, because a screenshot of this would have built up a lot of hype over it.

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

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Emperor Omochao wrote:In Lava Reef act 2, I assumed the large spherical body in the background was the ruins of the Death Egg. Other people say it’s the Little Planet. Which is more likely?
From a story perspective, it makes sense that it's Little Planet. It can be assumed you left Lava Reef for Metallic Madness. Backing this up is that Knuckles actually has a level transition where he jumps on one of those pink teleporter dealies and warps away to Metallic Madness. In Sonic and Knuckles, those only ever teleported you upwards.
Emperor Omochao wrote:*Mecha Sonic

I also notice that the boss has a similarity to Knuckles' Chaotix. I'd also add this boss as a bad point and knowing when your going to land a hit involves a lot of random waiting. It's a shame, because a screenshot of this would have built up a lot of hype over it.
*adjusts glasses* Actually, the robot that pops up in Sonic 2 for the Game Gear is called Silver Sonic. And yeah, that portion of Metal's fight is tough as balls at first. It took me a few tries there for me to realize that you're more or less guaranteed a hit on Metal if you Spin Dash into the little bastards.

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