Bashing Sonic Mania

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

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  1. kyasarintsu

    kyasarintsu

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    I wouldn't have even minded Encore reusing stage themes with new palettes if the level designs were meaningfully different. Object placement barely changes the experience most of the time except for occasionally making things more annoying with some awkward spikes and enemies here and there.
    And for the record, the boss wasn't updated as part of the DLC. It came with the free update that came out at the same time as the DLC.
     
  2. SanicDerpy

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    I completely forgot about the new boss being part of a free update when the DLC came out, thanks! I gotta agree that Encore should've been worked on more to make the levels stand out more with different designs, etc. Also they should've made Encore more balanced rather having many difficultly spikes as with the special stages as I mentioned.
     
  3. Blue Blood

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    I feel like the least that Encore Mode could have done could have been to switch up the level order. Start in AIZ and end in TMZ2, but randomised the level order in between on every playthrough. It could very easily be done with the Ruby warping the characters after every boss instead of the usual act transition cutscenes. If that happened, every playthrough could have been just a little bit different from the last.

    For what we actually ended up with in Encore Mode... Geez, yeah. What a let down. The level layout changes were so incredibly minor most of the time that is hard to notice. I'm not asking for all of the levels to be totally redesigned ala MSZ1 or anything, I just wanted to be able to see a difference between Mania and Encore without scouring for the smallest details.
     
  4. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    I got tons of time overs and close calls to them in my first playthroughs because I like to explore every nook and cranny, and can get quite stubborn if I think I can reach a place no matter how many tries I will need to. That, and bosses who attack you with either boredom of confusion like, again, all boss fights in FBZ, but, sadly, not the only ones.
     
  5. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    I thought there were plenty of differences layout-wise between Mania mode and Encore mode personally. The biggest problem for me was that I had no reason to play it multiple times, because of the way the character mechanic worked, so I pretty much just stuck with the duo of Knuckles and Ray whenever I could.
     
  6. Josh

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    Heh, yeah, I usually play Encore Mode as a single character, and I wish there was an option to make it play like Mania mode. I don't care for the character swapping, either.

    But hey, Sonic Mania is three years old today, it'd be rude to bash it on its birthday!
     
  7. TheOcelot

    TheOcelot

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    I wish Angel Island had been a fully playable zone with two acts & bosses. They could then have used AI instead of Green Hill as the first zone in Encore mode. I can just imagine going through AI where all the trees & plants have regrown after Eggman set it on fire in Sonic 3.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
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  8. Personally I don’t have many problems with Encore mode. I always saw it as a sort of New Game Plus mode with some little changes to spice things up. I would’ve preferred being able to keep the Chaos Emeralds from normal mode, but whatever. I never had much of a problem with the swapping mechanic; it’s not mind blowing, but it does shake things up a bit. Not an improvement but not a downgrade either.
     
  9. Bryn2k

    Bryn2k

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    I've been well and truly out of the Sonic loop (and gaming in general, being a parent and working full time means my spare time is normally measured in minutes) for ages, I had Generations and enjoyed it up until Egg Dragoon where I gave up out of frustration, I just don't like the boost gameplay, it's just "gotta go fast" but trying to whack a shoulder button to avoid death pits or whatever whilst everything flies past... I've always had a thing for 2D platformers, still my favourite kind of game (I refuse to move with the times, OK?) so when I first clocked eyes on Mania and how it originated my eyes opened and I rushed to download it for XBone.

    I need to list some positives before I can "bash" on this.

    OK, yeah, so it's Green Hill and Chemical Plant to kick off, again, but the Act 2 gimmicks more than make up for it. Having the Death Egg Robot drop in at the end of GHZ2 was, for me, a nod to those who grew up with Mega Drive era Sonic that you weren't going to get an easy ride. Still a cheesable boss mind, but it has got some good patterns that you need to figure out, plus the nod to Sonic Adventure when it explodes and removes some of the stage was a neat touch.

    I fell victim to the crush physics in Chemical Plant Zone, but once I figured out the crush mechanic is just Spring Yard on Turbo I got past the obstacle. The water rushing up at Mach 25 teaches those who remember the original that new skills are needed for an old problem, so the gameplay is still fresh here. Act 2 felt like an industrial 'carnival' level with the Wacky Workbench goo that throws you into the ceiling. I didn't mind it at all. Plus the Mean Bean Machine as a boss was simply inspired in my opinion.

    The difficulty curve feels right, the game starts to punish you for being an idiot early on, and you learn the tricks to get by. One thing I will point out, I hate controlling Sonic with the analog stick, I found him much more responsive to the D-pad and he did exactly what I wanted, and when I wanted. Much better gameplay and I didn't get frustrated as a result.

    So my negatives are...

    - Whilst I love the idea of the special stages, I have crap depth perception so nearly always either course out or run out of time. I've still only collected 1 emerald on my current save file. "Git gud" is probably the answer, but the same depth perception causes problems with Blue Sphere (which I detest as a result), and the Sonic 2 Halfpipe.

    - Studiopolis Act 1 is wonderful right up until the boss, which is just bullshit hit and miss. My first ever play through I did it in one life, second time around I Game Over'd. The trick seems to be to not rely on the environment and slow down so you can react, which goes completely against the grain of auto-runner bosses (but as a trope, auto-runner bosses are generally horrible).

    - Flying Battery Act 2 boss is just about patience and timing, if you cheese it and damage boost you can get through fast, but you're eventually going to be impaled with 0 rings or crushed under the spikes if you just blindly throw yourself about.

    - Stardust Speedway Act 1 boss always hits me when it swoops across the screen. Don't like that but I put it down to "git gud".

    - Stardust Speedway Act 2 boss was easier with the spike wall, but the replacement Mecha Sonic is a much more fun, if not tricky timing wise, battle. I lost two lives here when I downloaded Plus and the boss updated, one was bad timing, the second was getting trapped behind it and falling off the screen. Lesson learned, nailed it third time. That star post before the final phase was a welcome addition, the original was too much of a marathon boss and sucked.

    - The Hydrocity Act 2 boss was fun (although if you hit spikes you are screwed as you're likely going to drown before you can score the next hit against Eggman) until phase two, the return of the washing machine added nothing and could have, in my view, been removed to no detriment overall.

    - Mirage Saloon Act 1 is a nice breather level for me, but I can see why people don't like it. But let's be honest, Dust Hill and Collision Chaos had sex and this was the love child. It shouldn't work at all as a concept but it does.

    - Oil Ocean Act 1 boss with the insta-death is a bit Capcom level cheap, but you can work out it's coming if you're fast enough. This didn't get me, but on my first playthrough the Act 2 boss... oh the Act 2 boss. First death? The platforms being yoinked down. Dead. Second? Trying to kill the Lava Reef roto-gunner instead of focusing on Eggman because I thought you had to take those out first. I Game Over'd here on my first playthrough and nearly wrote off the whole thing. Once I realised you just rail on Eggman... easy.

    - Metallic Madness Act 1 can be hard to work out what's going on when you're in the background layer but the general mechanic is fun. I did notice the Plus patch made it impossible to crush death yourself when the pistons seal you in the boss room. I saw a YouTube video of this crush death and basically split my sides laughing as you would have to be an idiot to fall for it, but glad it was fixed.

    - Titanic Monarch Act 1. My first playthrough, I timed out because I sucked with the glowing spheres. Then I got crushed on the elevator with the spikes. Then I Game Over'd because of another time out. Likewise with Oil Ocean I nearly gave up but using the D-pad strats instead of the god-damned analog I managed to beat Titanic Monarch (and its boss) with a grand total of 9:24 on the timer and 1 ring having reached the boss at about 8:47 so went for damage boost cheese on toast. So even a complete n00b like myself can beat that level. Not sure what the hate is.

    - Titanic Monarch Act 2. I fell victim to the Spring Yard Turbo Elevator Crush. Entirely my own fault because I knew I would die there and tried walking between platforms instead of jumping. Other than that, I got through this intact and managed to keep 1 ring to defeat Phantom Eggman. The GameFAQs boards are full of "this is impossible"? It would be impossible if the timer didn't reset once you clear the 4 rooms and leap into the final portal but it does reset so... no.

    All in all, I love Mania. It has flaws but they're not deal breakers.
     
  10. Mr. Fox

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    Not sure if it's a glitch (or a feature added in one of the patches), but you can press Y once to get to Mach 2 instantly and then one more time to get to Mach 3. This allows you to beat the vast majority of special stages in under 5 seconds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  11. Bryn2k

    Bryn2k

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    I'm going to try that tonight now. See if it helps or if I really am that bad at the pseudo-3D. I don't know if my depth perception problems explain why I keep dying in Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy as well, whereas I was fine with the PSX versions.
     
  12. tokumaru

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    Wow, that depth perception thing in special stages is definitely a problem for me too! I don't think I ever got a single emerald in Mania. I also can't hit the UFO's in Sonic CD to save my life, I don't think I ever beat one of those special stages either.
     
  13. Xiao Hayes

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    I've played it on Steam using the keyboard because my XBox-type controller didn't answer properly. PlayStation gamepads seem to give a better result, but I don't have one of those. Have also tried it in Switch and I had similar issues, so fuck modern controllers.
     
  14. SystemsReady

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  15. Mr. Fox

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    From that TCRF article:
    Seems like it's PC only.
     
  16. I find the way Titanic Monarch Act 2 is structured to be annoying, confusing and tedious. Also, in general there are a lot of places in Mania's level design where it feels like your character is being flung around everywhere at rapid speeds because of springs or other stage props, which isn't necessarily horrible, but can be a little tiring and makes me feel less in control.
     
  17. Mana

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    I think Sonic 3 and Knuckles is paced better. There's a clear mid point (Launch Base Zone) a breather level (Mushroom Hill Zone) then the game jets you into the intense finale stages.

    There's no clear mid point level in this game or even clear breather because Mirage Saloon Act 1 gets me killed often during the boss.

    That's small but worth mentioning.
     
  18. XCubed

    XCubed

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    I still want a “The making of” with Tee Lopes talking about his music compositions for the game. Like his thoughts, influences, a demo track or two that’s not Studiopolis or Mirage Saloon, etc.
     
  19. TheInvisibleSun

    TheInvisibleSun

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    Maybe then we'll find out why he doesn't like talking about the sped-up rapping part of MMZ 2.
     
  20. XCubed

    XCubed

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    I never knew he was adverse to that. Does he actively avoid questions related to it?
     
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