Liam Robertson: "if you want a Sonic Mania 2, you're going to have to be as vocal as possible"

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by The Joebro64, Jun 25, 2021.

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  1. Josh

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    I think you guys are getting way too hung up on this Liam Robertson dude. Admittedly, I can't blame you, the thread IS framed around him, but what he said was only the catalyst for me deciding to bring something up in the Discord that I'd been quietly considering anyway. He's not the only one who may have some connections that I've seen say something that's made me concerned about this. Everyone knows about what Zippo said in his blog, and that's been litigated to death, but I also remember what the Chief Brand Officer for the series said about classic versus modern last year, and what Tyson Hesse said here a few months ago about how not even Mania had convinced Sega to go all-in on Classic Sonic.

    Like, quite honestly, my first reaction to these things was to reject them, kind of be in denial about it and figure, "Eh, Aaron Webber's a higher-up now, he's one of us, and LOOK AT THE RECEPTION, I'm sure more Mania's coming," but we're getting comic artists asking us to write in if we want more Classic content, which tells me, again, there's a possibility that someone somewhere needs some convincing.

    And sure, maybe I'm just reading too much into these things. But they start to stack up, y'know, especially when it's been four years and we still haven't heard the slightest rumbling of a Mania follow-up. (That said, I definitely agree that Origins may be an important benchmark for this, especially if Evening Star is involved.)

    Yeah, but here's where the SA3 comparison falls flat: Mania 2 wouldn't need to be an incredibly expensive, incredibly risky sequel to a couple of highly divisive games from decades ago, where most of the people involved in the production (and all of the voice cast) are no longer employed at SEGA. Mania, rather, was functionally the last Sonic game that people outside of us diehards actually remember, *and* it got a better critical reception than anything the brand had done in 20 years. The majority of the team that made it is still both present in the industry AND still working together.

    I'm not talking to BadBehavior specifically here, but rather to everyone: If you want to offer something constructive, that's fine, but if you're just coming in here to cynically remind everyone, "Hey, it's no use, they won't listen anyway," then... I mean, I don't know, you VERY WELL might be right, but some of us would like to try anyway, and what harm is there in that? I'd rather be proactive and fail to make an impact than do nothing and wonder later whether I could have.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
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  2. Beamer the Meep

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    At least in the case of my earlier post, I was trying to be realistic and practical. If you want to try to be proactive in attempting to get Sega's Attention, great. I just don't think that a campaign like the Sonic 3 Remaster campaign is going to do anything. What Sega Sammy listens to at the end of the day, first and foremost, are sales figures and review scores. They have proven to be a bit tone-deaf on what fans want outside of SoA. and even then. a lot of they pass on seems to fall on deaf ears at SoJ. You can try, but what will most likely happen is radio silence outside one mention in a Sonic Social Livestream in the best case, and bring further ridicule to the brand and the fanbase in worst case.

    If you'd like to consider that cynical, I won't be offended. In my eyes, it's just the practical view of the situation.
     
  3. shilz

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    Whatever I don't lose interest in.
    I don't think Mania will get any form of sequel because Mania itself is the "new" Classic content for the old fans. if it's a consistent seller, which you'd think would be counter-productive, why would you ruin those sales with a new, potentially worse performing entry?
    In the future it will be bundled with Sonic Origins and that'll be what SEGA sells to the classic fans.
     
  4. Aesculapius Piranha

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  5. Stranger

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    To be honest, I don't really want a Mania 2. As a celebration of the classic entries, the game is a fantastic package, and the new Stages are also mostly very pleasant additions. I think Mania is enjoyable on its own terms and as an anniversary release, but another entry would probably feel redundant: Mania was refreshing thanks to the time that passed since the Genesis era games it celebrates, but sticking to that foundation for an entirely new entry would likely make for a fundamentally stale proposition.

    Though I don't doubt another Mania or 'classic' entry would be fun, I'd much rather see another evolution of the 2D gameplay in the way that came through the Advance series and the Rush games after them. Moving forward instead of sticking to a kind of inherent tribute format would be more compelling and result in pleasant opportunities for compelling core novelties and/or additions to the side-scrolling format without potentially bogging down the legacy or inadvertently using it as a crutch.

    Anyway, I can't see Sonic Team disregarding the love for Mania -or more specifically, the love of classic Sonic as a whole. It's only been a little while since Izuka had the following exchange in an Otaquest interview:

    It seems pretty evident and in the open that they're paying attention to fan interest in the relevant subset of the series. There's no need to worry much or put unnecessary weight behind something like this.
     
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  6. Sid Starkiller

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    Evolve how? Because there's no rule that says Mania 2 can't be exactly that. I've also seen a lot of people say they don't want a Mania 2 because they don't want returning levels, and it's the same deal there: there's nothing inherent in the title that says a Mania game has to have returning levels. Mania 2 can be whatever the devs want it to be.
     
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  7. Trickster's Joke

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    Its kind of astounding another group of fans finds itself in this situation again. "Why won't sega do more with this thing people very clearly like"

    It keeps happening. For me it was the entire concept of sonic battle, Chao world, how the running sections of sa2 worked (and tbh sa games in general at this point) , the boosting in Generations and in unleashed concepts and characters too like blazes world and more. And for others it might be other things. But it's wild it's actually, very wild that this company seemingly can't be bothered to iterate on a thing people like.

    And what will make this worse is if sonic rangers isn't very good. And then after the fact getting more interviews with people in charge saying "we didn't know you wanted mania and whatever else much" as I assume the the community manager staff stand there head in hand knowing they were told extensively and it fell on deaf ears again.
     
  8. Stranger

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    Advance brought a wealth of new mechanics to the table including its aesthetic/distinct visual identity, the secondary offensive inputs, aerial leverage and momentum inputs, and the mobile Chao Garden. Rush similarly brought its own evolutions and novelties. Neither of these series were constrained to the hard foundation of the classic games or expectations thereof in their various changes and additions.

    Mania on the other hand was never built to go beyond the fundamentals of the classic era, even in its initial pitch before being given the "Mania" name and direction as a celebration of the titles it was inspired by. It was presented as a sort of classic Sonic sequel before Iizuka approved and suggested that it revisit classic stages. The Mania we know was built on the basis of genesis era games and the Mania we didn't get would have been as well. Not only is Mania inherently not something that's meant to take big forward leaps, but stepping notably outside the boundaries of the foundations of the classics while presenting the game in a way that innately implies tradition would probably have contentious results with regard to fan expectations.

    It's already been said by someone else earlier, but it's also possible that the return of older levels is intrinsic to Mania's identity as a project. It's a commemorative title and the demand for another 'Mania' game as opposed to another entirely new classic Sonic game may reasonably be seen as asking for another tribute/remix filled title.

    There are no rules saying another game given the Mania name can't be all these things and more, but there's little context where it makes sense to assume such things are a given or align with what Mania actually is -and as a known quantity, it is not those things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  9. Aerosol

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    I think that when people say they want a Mania 2, they don't mean exactly more celebratory Classic-style games. They mean something that has the same gameplay foundation, but given room to explore more original concepts and ideas.

    Mania itself evolved the core gameplay of the classic titles and did so deftly. Why else do you think everyone is dropping the drop dash in everything from hacks to A.I.R mods to even 3D fangames? To suggest a Mania sequel would be stale by definition is rather disingenuous.

    That being said, who knows what message Sega will take from the success of Mania? Yelling desire for a sequel at them may result in something nobody really asked for...Sega is good at delivering that :V
     
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  10. Ritz

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    You don't need insider info to figure out Mania 2 isn't happening. Headcannon just published Pier Pressure and there's no reason to assume Evening Star aren't still working on their Undisclosed 3D Project.
     
  11. Stranger

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    Mania's additions/changes are very minor and particular, with the drop-dash being the most prominent difference to preceding titles mechanically. If what people mean when they say that they want a Mania 2 is what you've suggested, then what they want is a new classic Sonic game, not necessarily another Mania in particular.

    Also, suggesting that a Mania sequel would be stale is not disingenuous, it is both a recognition of Mania being far more particular and potentially constrained in internally established identity than the alternative and my sincere opinion that a game adopting the direct-tribute format both in retaining the structure of its Mania predecessor and largely remixing/remaking older levels preceding it would indeed be stale by way of taking up that potentially defining foundation.
     
  12. If there's one thing I've figured about Sega and Sonic...they just kind of do their own thing. Iizuka said himself that he doesn't want the series "to be defined by Sonic Adventure sequels" despite fans practically begging him to do just that. And I'd imagine the same extends to Mania. *WE* may know its a good idea, but Sega quite honestly does not give a damn. They want to do new and exciting things with Sonic and not beholden to one specific "style" so to speak.

    That's the only reason why they would do something like follow up Sonic Generations with something like Lost World. They'd rather take risks and experiment than settle on a new "foundation" for anything beyond just a few games.


    Which uh...is obviously maddening if you're a fan of one particular style and want to be expanded upon. Kind of reminds me how Pokemon comes up with all of these different mechanics per generation and then they're dropped immediately, with their reasoning citing that "they want every region to have its own identity" Game devs don't always have ideas that align with what the majority of it's fanbase want.
     
  13. HEDGESMFG

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    It's honestly a tough act to balance. The classic Sonic formula was so solid, and yet every major entry had a good number of upgrades to it too (much bigger stages in Sonic 2, 2 player compatibility, Every new ability in S3&K, Time Travel in CD).

    In a sense, Sonic games have always been evolving in some pretty radical ways, even in the 90s. They just didn't toss out the core engine and gameplay while doing it. Mania is relatively stale compared to how the classic trilogy+CD kept innovating (though as others have pointed out, Drop Dash was a GREAT addition that fits wonderfully in the other 2D games).
     
  14. Azookara

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    I'm pretty sure a new 2D classic Sonic game would need to pull some wild new shit for Iizuka to go "yeah, we should make a new one". Just asking them for the same thing as Mania but new levels only likely won't move them. Sega's never been as willing to sit in sameness as say classic Mega Man was back in the day, and hell even MM11 felt a need to shake it up to justify making a new one.

    If you really want to see a sequel happen, then prepare yourself to accept more extreme changes to the formula, whether that comes to moveset, game progression, visual style, musical style or even a major new gimmick or two. Things that justify the time, money, and effort a company would take out of their pocket to spend towards furthering a brand or exciting a salivating audience outside of this huddle.

    If you're comfortable with that then cool (I am!), but if not then its time to acknowledge a series can't move forward if it actively sits still, and that we shouldn't take the passion project fangames/mods that scratch that itch for granted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
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  15. I still hold the belief that Mania isn't as good as S3 as a sequel. It's a damn good game mind you, but its not really as big of a jump as the trilogy kept escalating was. It's more like a "Sonic's greatest hits" collection like Generations than a full on sequel. Plus definitely pushed things with brining back Mighty and Ray however, so I'll give it that.

    And we gotta keep in mind that technology has evolved too; expectations in our lord and savior 2021 are kind of different from what they were in 1994. In their backwards ass world, Sega probably considers expanding on Mania as "going backwards". And it's not wrong but it's also really fucking annoying too lol.



    God, it's reminding me of that small but vocal discourse ever since Metroid Dread was announced, with some people claiming "$60 is too much for a 2D indie game" and I just...wanted to hurt people. Its even funnier because Dread is literally the most pre-ordered game on Amazon right now.
     
  16. HEDGESMFG

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    This. Mania is great, but it has neither the creativity of CD, nor the sheer expansive quality of S3&K. I love it and for a game that recycles old stages, it does it pretty darn well, but it's always been more of a proof of concept that making another proper 2D concept is 'possible', than it was that fully new 2D Sonic game I dreamed of.

    However, mods like the Mania 2020 Sage Misfits pack prove that the concept still has more room to grow even with fully recycled stages, so I'll take it if Mania 2 is what I need to ask for.

     
  17. Aerosol

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    I just don't see Mania's identity as being tied up in it's status as a tribute. It was at its best when it was doing its own thing, and I fully feel that people asking for a "Mania 2" actually want "Mania, but less held back by any kind reservations Sega had about letting outside developers fully make their own Sonic game for them".
     
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  18. Pengi

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    It certainly wouldn't do any harm to send Sega a polite letter and/or tweet saying how much you'd like to see a sequel to Sonic Mania.

    Maybe the community could work to get a hashtag trending on the game's 4th anniversary this August?
     
  19. Zephyr

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    Not just fangames, either; the drop dash is in M2's "Sega Ages" versions of 1 and 2 on the Switch.
     
  20. I wouldn't say a Mania sequel would be stale by definition, but it would need to expand in a way that doesn't make the game feel like an expansion pack sequel.

    That's the difficult part of sequels; ideally, you need to build off what made the original great while also being innovative enough to set yourself apart.

    Id say Mania mostly did that well enough with additions like the Drop Dash and Mighty/Ray, but its biggest complaint is that its too derivative of the older games and doesn't expand as much as Sonic 3 did.

    A sequel would need to strike that good balance of maintaining what the original did well while also pushing it forward.
     
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