Bashing Sonic Mania

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Chaos Rush, Jul 26, 2020.

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  1. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden

    & Knuckles Member
    Ah, I can finally say what I've been saying since the beginning, but collected into a place where others can also agree/disagree. Interesting.
    So, to start:
    • As mentioned above, but the size of levels isn't consistent. Some levels are huge, and others are really short. I know that if you compare it to, say, Sonic 3, Sandopolis Act 2 is huge in comparison to IceCap Act 2, but in general, most of the levels felt the same length. In Mania, you have levels like Mirage Saloon 2 which are so short you can finish in a minute, and then you have Titanic Monarch Act 1, which takes at a minimum 4 minutes. It's very jarring.
    • As a side note to this, it's also the same with alternate paths. Some alternate paths cut out huge parts of a level and once you find them, you very rarely explore much of the level. Flying Battery Zone Act 2 is a good example of this. The short path is a good few minutes shorter, and you miss out on a lot. I'm fine with the idea of shortcuts, and alternate paths, but they shouldn't skip large portions of the level (I feel like this is too much).
    • Hydrocity Zone Act 1's layout is terrible. Lots of stop and start . Reusing the water bubble riding from Sonic 2 SMS (which are slow and tedious) was a bad idea as it goes against the original zone's focus on speed in a water level. Even when you get into a bubble, you have to move around spikes and blocks carefully otherwise you drop/get hurt, and have to try again. Being unable to skip these sections even if you pull off a well timed jump as the water current will drop you because you aren't in a bubble. There's also one of the biggest dick moves I've ever seen on the lower path just before the boss: There's a Blastoid badnik on a set of stairs up to the surface. The Blastoid is firing at a constant rate, so you have to time the jump well. That's fine, but there's a ceiling fan off screen that gimps your jump a little and so you get thrown into the Blastoid nearly every time. The fan is off screen, and makes this jump an absolute pain. Even with the insta-shield, I still struggle to time this jump.
    • Forcing the player to wait during the introduction of the Press Garden Act 1 miniboss. This wasn't even here originally (was added with an update), and makes no sense. It's the only boss that does this.
    • The new second phase of Red Eye is a huge downgrade from Sonic 3. It's also a lot harder to fight this boss as Knuckles due to his reduced jump height, and when I do hit him, it feels like luck rather than skill.
    • The last boss is a joke. It lacks any sort of threat unless it's using the electric attack, and feels like the first phase of something much greater.
    • The change to the lives system in Encore mode actually removes any sort of threat at dying, and also takes away from the original game's formula. I actually wanted to just play through Encore mode as a single character, but I can't. I'm forced to use a team (I usually prefer to play Sonic Alone), and it's more frustrating when I accidentally hit a character swap monitor. I'm then forced to play as another random character.
    • The ending of the Encore mode is non-existant. I remember being sorely disappointed that it just ended with nothing else happening when I'd gone through the trouble of completing this mode. Especially annoying when I went out of my way to get all of the emeralds in Encore mode, too, which had much harder special stages than the original game mode.
    This is pretty much my main issues with Mania. I love the game, and I find myself going back to it and playing it quite often, but I still feel that, even with the numerous updates that were applied, there is still some attention to detail that was lost in a few places.
     
  2. Starduster

    Starduster

    The next stage of evolution for himbos Member
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    Putting aside the much protested return of old levels:

    • Why the hell is Oil Ocean back? This is the first thing that occurred to me because honestly who even liked this stage to begin with? It's got a boring aesthetic, grating music and its level structure is very stop-start with too many gimmicks that require you to wait. The Mania team did their damndest to try and make it enjoyable and I respect them for that but whenever I replay Mania I just reset and level select once I get to Oil Ocean.
    • On that note I think the level selection could've been better. We'd already seen Green Hill and Chemical Plant in Mania and as I've just established Oil Ocean is unfun. I think it would've been a great idea to incorporate some of the Game Gear stages. For die-hards it would've been great to see beloved stages such as Sunset Park and Bridge Zone be rebuilt in the style of the mainline classic games and more casual audiences who don't recognise these stages would've just seen them as more brand-new levels.
    • There are certain stages that could've been remixed more. This is less in terms of the gimmicks and setpieces and more in terms of the locales themselves. I think the feeling many of us got from pre-release press was that we'd be seeing how time had affected the returning Zones and I was really excited for that. We could've been running through the wreckage of a crashed Flying Battery, or seeing how Metallic Madness had become overgrown after being abandoned.
    • Advance styled Amy should've been in the base game to make it the true next step for the sidescrollers imo. Not that Advance would be invalidated by this happening but Mania is the standard in so many ways, it feels odd that this fourth character and her unique control scheme wasn't added to the game.
    • Titanic Monarch has some pockets of Sonic 1 level design that really drag down the Zone both in pace and enjoyment.
    Otherwise I really don't have too many knocks on this game. Easily my favourite in the franchise and a high watermark for 2D platformers in general.
     
  3. Xilla

    Xilla

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    Hydrocity Act 2 is pretty much a copy and paste of....Hydrocity Act 2!

    I absolutely hate the Encore Special Stages. There's no difficulty curve in them at all. Granted it assumes you've already played through the original 7 but even then....one mistake and you're out. Doesn't help that the special stages themselves are harder to access.

    Would have liked to have seen the 8-Bit Zones get some love outside of some of their gimmicks (and a boss) making an appearance. Imagine if later in the game Robotnik has used the Ruby to transform GHZ into Mecha Green Hill Zone or something.

    A few extra bonus stages would have been nice too. Pinball is ok but S3&K had three unique ones.
     
  4. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    @D.A. Garden I think Hydrocity act 1 is justified in what it does. It has to play the role of a summary of all of Classic Sonic's underwater levels, so they wanted to make Act 1 a bit slower. It's also now level 7 and not level 2, so it has to be a bit harder.

    Press Garden's act 1 boss waiting was added as originally you could hold left and get crushed by the boxes before the fight even started. Granted they probably could have just adjusted that section and maybe lower the ceiling so that was no longer possible, but I get why they did it. Personally I think it's fine, besides I like cinematically looking up at the start of boss fights anyway :V

    My biggest issue with Mania is that I think it suffers from end game fatigue. Like from Oil Ocean onwards I feel like you're in the "end game" so to speak, and the cherry on top is you get Metallic Madness followed by ANOTHER Eggman level, so by time I get to Titanic monarch I'm often too assed to play it.

    Also I really hate the lack of online multiplayer. Sonic 2 mobile had it and it was great! Fucking Generations 3DS had it too and that was kinda fun. Why take that away? Ya split screen is cute but I don't have anyone to play with and even if like my fiance played with me I'd wipe the floor with him. Could have added hundreds of hours of game time for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  5. Roller

    Roller

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    SRB2Kart, LEGO Ideas Sonic Mania
    Giving Tails a Super form for 7 Chaos Emeralds only is perhaps the thing about Mania that's given me the most grief. Everything else I could possibly complain about can be justified as them having indie level resources with mainline developer level constraints, but that was an active choice and one they probably had to fight *for* given the established state of modern lore the game otherwise adheres to, so I feel justified in being upset by it.

    I know, first world problems and all that.
     
  6. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    Why is that a bad thing tho? Tails not having a super form in vanilla Sonic 3 was lame, I'm glad they fixed it here.
     
  7. Starduster

    Starduster

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    @Roller To be fair Heroes contradicted that Knuckles could go super to begin with. Letting Tails go super with the Chaos Emeralds just brought him in line with that. Would rub a little if people who enjoy playing Tails didn't get as much out of getting all the Emeralds as everyone else.
     
  8. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    Plus, imagine if they had stuck with it, then Mighty and Ray gain Supers in the DLC. Tails would be the only one out of five who couldn't transform. I wouldn't care, but his fans would be pissed.
     
  9. Sonic Mania just isn't... original enough for me. It feels waaay too tied to the classics and not enough like its own unique thing. That doesn't mean it's a bad game - quite the opposite, in fact - it's just lacking its own unique identity IMO.

    That's why Sonic Mania 2 will be the greatest Sonic game ever made.
     
  10. Roller

    Roller

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    Ultimately it's subjective and we could probably argue about it for days, months, years; I already have elsewhere, so I'll spare you the hassle in this thread. Only novel thing worth directly addressing is this.
    I am a Tails fan, that's why I respect the character enough to keep things like this consistent :P
     
  11. Sai Start Marker

    Sai Start Marker

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    I don't care that Knuckles is a pinker red (fits the pastel colour scheme of the characters in the game as a whole, and helps separate him from Mighty), but his sprite is a little awkward looking. But I think almost every Classic Knuckles sprite has been kinda awkward. I feel like his design was almost made to be seen in three dimensions. Hm.

    All other criticisms I have that I feel are down to Iizuka/Sonic Team/SEGA being restrictive. Those are:

    - The reused levels (made the best of a bad situation though)
    - The lack of Encore Special Stages inserted into the main campaign retroactively (due to Iizuka's fear of Super Emeralds/Hyper forms)
    - No vocal theme songs akin to Sonic CD (SEGA don't like spending money)
    - No animated ending cut scene (see above)

    That's all I have though. Mania is a triumph, and my third favourite, tied with Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Hopefully EveningStar can do a fully realised sequel (but I doubt it, because SEGA is allergic to good ideas and money).
     
  12. Fred

    Fred

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    That's not why they changed it. They changed it because before you could venture off to the right side of the boss area and completely miss the intro where the boss shows you how to defeat it -- its sawblades are made of glass and break against the wooden containers.

    In general all the bosses are very gimmicky, telegraph badly, and force you to wait too long. Music's good though.
     
  13. Beltway

    Beltway

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    The following is pretty much the "Part 2" of my dialogue against minibosses from the Bashing Sonic 3&K thread: except whereas in 3&K I'd say the problem is that 3&K largely cycles between having the player wasting time and just being too identical in design and strategy, Mania really tips the scales in gunning for the former category. 3&K at least gets by partially in that during the waiting cycles, a good amount of bosses would actually just damage themselves; Mania however really wrings the player out in having to do the work themselves, just to get two or even one hit in for what are very narrow windows for safely attacking bosses. Moreover, if the boss cockpits/hitboxes aren't being out of reach/off-screen during boss attack patterns; they were turned off altogether during attack patterns--something I'm pretty sure the Genesis games rarely did, but was present in the some of the TaxStealth remastered versions. And speaking of which, I honestly would not be surprised if the boss in the restored Hidden Palace Zone from Sonic 2 Remastered was used as a guide to designing at least a third to one half of Mania's bosses; as it has all of these aforementioned design tropes and then some.

    This emphasis on wasting time is really compounded by how if you didn't blaze through the stages and/or were excellent at fighting Mania's bosses right off the bat, they would easily send the player into dying against the clock due to how they (and some of the levels preceding them) drag on for so long. Partially remedied by the 2018 patch/physical releases that turn off the classic timer (and IIRC, sets it to default), but it's something to keep in mind for future titles.

    The bosses are not only I feel the worst part of the game (far more egregious than the game mostly being reused content --which everyone has complained about-- or certain creative deviations from collective classic games --complaints more specific to diehard Genesis fans--), but I'd also say serve as a good argument against the concept of having bosses after every stage. The other classic games with Sonic 1, 2, and CD largely avoided the problems 3&K and Mania collectively share in this department.

    Besides these and other complaints (which I'll probably elaborate on in later posts), I still consider Mania to be still a great game though, and I'll consider myself among those that tries to be more forgiving among these issues than others given the limitations/scope of its production. I still think we honestly lucked out on getting this game at all (let alone it turning out to be good); given where Sonic Team/Sonic games in general have gone in over the past two decades.
     
  14. Mana

    Mana

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    The Puyo Puyo boss fight was cute the first time I did it but it got annoying the 10th time. Let alone the 100th time.

    Someone here made a suggestion that it should have started as a Puyo Puyo battle but if you took too long (say over 90 seconds) to beat it then it devolves back into a classic boss battle. I don't even want to imagine how many speed runs this section has ruined...
     
  15. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    • I think that the returning stages inherently undermine the game, even as I enjoy seeing the new art and twists on them. But that seemed like it was out of their control...
    • Related to this, even at the time when I was giddily playing through it, I feel that there are too many "industrial" zones. Chemical Plant, Flying Battery, Press Garden Act 1, Oil Ocean, Lava Reef Act 2, Metallic Madness, Titanic Monarch...it has the Sonic 2 problem of just having far too many zones like this.
    • I hate the general western aesthetic in general, so Mirage Saloon doesn't do much for me. :V love its color scheming though, and how bright it is. They could have made it drab and ugly as hell like most western "levels" in games, but they didn't, thank god.
    • The pinball minigame needs more tables; just having the one makes it extremely repetitive. Better pinball physics than Adventure tho :V
    • Titanic Monarch is too long.
    • Both Titanic Monarch's Act 2 boss and the final boss both suck and are honestly probably the one aspect of the game that is a letdown for me. It's not epic enough. Somehow we got the epic boss we needed at the end of Stardust Speedway and not here?
    • Speaking of which, I feel that Metal Sonic Kai should have been Encore exclusive, to add a little bit more surprise there in that mode.
     
  16. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    I mean it could be both? Why would they add something just for that, you can control yourself in every other situation like this save for the hydrocity cutscene.
     
  17. Crappy Blue Luigi

    Crappy Blue Luigi

    mighty is my son. thanks Member
    Could be both, yeah. They added the control loss at the start of the Metallic Madness 1 boss to prevent the player from getting crushed by the doors slamming shut, so that makes a bit of a pattern. I think the fact that they made your character look up at the Press Garden 1 boss is enough to show they intended for the control lock to help players notice the boss gimmick, at least.
     
  18. AeroGP

    AeroGP

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    I distinctly remember watching lots of streamers play the game on launch, and almost none of them figured out how to properly damage the Press Garden 1 boss. Damage boosting was the most common method I saw of defeating the boss. The Mania team probably also noticed this and decided that limiting movement was the simplest means of forcing the player to realize they need to be paying attention, precisely because of how unusual it is to have your controls locked in that manner.
     
  19. Palas

    Palas

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    On the topic of returning zones: Stardust Speedway is the one stage they couldn't improve. Not in terms of music, not in terms of level design and especially not in terms of the boss. I'll never get why, after Sonic CD, there was never an actual race boss. Even Shadow in SA2 was a race-but-it's-actually-a-battle. It's especially aggravating if it's against Metal Sonic.
     
  20. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    My main use of super forms in both S3K and SM has always been "deleting" most bosses, so to speak. I like bosses as act separators, but I don't want to spend my life fighting them or have a hard time figuring everything out except maybe for the final boss because it's the fucking final boss. There are too many bosses in this game where not even going super will be enough remedy, though.
     
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