Yup, that was me. It's a bit more than "swapping out the odd spring for a moving floating platform" - most of the challenges in the game have been reworked. If you try and play through most of Mania mode stages while holding down and doing the occasional spindash, it'll let you (one of my complaints about the level design). If you try to do the same in Encore mode, you'll get nowhere - you actually have to do platforming. I just did a quick run through of GHZ and LRZ in both modes, and for the most part there's a change every couple of screen-widths (... I really don't know how to measure distance otherwise...), usually to make the game require some player agency instead of just playing itself. Yes, the level structure is mostly the same, that's the point. It's the small changes that make the big difference - a complete level structure change but with the same challenges would look like a different level, but it wouldn't play or feel like a different level. When I make levels I actually just wrote a script that creates the general structure for me. I make some manual tweaks to it myself of course, but I'm confident that the structure itself can be more-or-less anything, it's the micro level that controls how the game plays. Even having said that, there are a few changes to level structure too. A few of the lower areas in GHZ are now accessed in completely different ways, and LRZ actually blocks off a couple of alternate routes in order to make you snake down them instead. But the main reason I like the Encore mode layouts is because they improve upon the Mania mode layouts, which are generally mediocre. Given a choice I'd rather have Mania mode use Encore mode's layout, and Encore mode do something wackier - I'm agreed with you there. Go one step further and use random level generation Removal of boss fights would improve the base game too.