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Sonic Mania has too much replay value?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Djsterdude, Mar 19, 2019.

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  1. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    All those characters are there so that you can play as your favorite through the game. Then, next time you feel like going through the whole thing again, you can choose another one so that the experience will not be exactly the same.
    This is not Sonic Heroes, where you have to finish the game with everyone so that you get the real final boss.

    Huh, that's a really good point.
     
  2. DigitalDuck

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    I think the reason it's not as fun playing as different characters in Mania compared with S3K is that there aren't nearly as many character-exclusive paths, as well as most of the levels playing themselves. There's barely any difference between playing as Sonic in Mania and playing as Knuckles in Mania, compared with playing as Sonic in S3K and playing as Knuckles in S3K. 96% of the game ends up being identical.
     
  3. MartiusR

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    Comparing to Jazz Jackrabbit 2, Mania's replayability is a small speck of sand on Arrakis desert.

    To be brutally honest, I never considered too high replayability of such games as Mania or Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Ok, change of character allows to use some new ability and take a bit different path, but it's still the same pack of levels, with the same bosses (S3&K had there some variety, but AFAIK, that's not the case in Mania).

    Aside from that - Time Attack and Competetive Mode are surely a nice additions, IMO those two are presenting some replayability value. Encore mode... Nothing special, can't say that those humble additions of "new" levels or swapping characters is making too much difference, especially with all those monitors lying around and messing with your available characters.

    Disclaimer - I didn't tried the mods so far, so I'm basing only on "initial" content of Mania and DLC.
     
  4. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Yeah, the next Classic Sonic game needs its levels designed so that Sonic, Tails and other regular characters can go through them normally, while "strong" characters (Knuckles, Amy) can/must use alternative routes that demand smashing things.
     
  5. Blue Blood

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    If there's one thing that I'll say Mania truly struggles with, it's making playing as the 5 different characters worthwhile. In S3K, Knuckles usually had different routes to follow and different boss battles. You got a noticeably different experience playing as Sonic as to when playing as Knuckles, and that was great (Tails differences were fewer and further between). However, in Mania there's not really very much to differentiate the now even larger cast. There are a few optional Knuckles paths in some levels (CPZ2, HCZ1, MSZ2) and the entirety of MSZ1 is unique just for him, but for the most part it's the same campaign as for Sonic. So the cast of five characters play through the game which is virtually identical for the all, differing only when the player explicitly chooses to use their unique skills. The only 'base stat' difference between them all is Knuckles reduced jump height (and kinda Mighty's immunity to spikes when balled up), which is never really used by the level design, enemies or obstacles unlike in S3K.

    It's not that Mania has too much repay value (which is a silly statement to make), but that it doesn't necessarily incentivise you to take advantage of all the options you have.
     
  6. paulojrmam

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    If that's how you feel, perhaps you shouldn't play as all characters one after the other in one playthrough. Give it time, play another game, then come back if you must really finish all there is to finish.
     
  7. Dark Sonic

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    I think Encore mode kind of solves the problem of the lack of incentive for playing through as multiple characters. They do play similarly and unlike S3K there aren't a ton of character specific paths. So just play through the game and be able to swap characters instead when you feel like it. Although I do kind of wish regular Mania mode allowed you to pick like any 2 characters that you could swap back and forth between at any time, because I really just want to play as like Mighty and Ray or Mighty and Knuckles or Knuckles and Ray
     
  8. Prototype

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    Now I wonder if we'd feel the same way if we just had Vanilla Mania? While I love playing as Ray and Mighty, the levels aren't really designed for their movesets, and Encore Mode just feels like a letdown because you're still playing through the same levels for the most part, so if you're going for a completionist-type thing you have to play the game at least two more times in the main campaign and six times in Encore. This wasn't the case in Vanilla Mania. So I think it's natural to get a little burnt out if you don't pace yourself.
     
  9. XCubed

    XCubed

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    Point taken! I'm not sure why FBZ was on my shit list for awhile. The visuals are breath taking. It must have been the boss. I'm happy to see that Sonic (and others) animation was fixed here. In the original release, The sections where you waterfall into a run left out the falling animation completely. I didn't have any other quips about the level except for the transition to Mirage Saloon, which still seems incomplete.
     
  10. Endgame

    Endgame

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    Is that all? I've played 389 hours in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - and I would have played it for even longer had I not messed up the game [made it crash] by accidentally installing mods that are incompatible with others (and not knowing which one it was) :p
    Though SuperSnoopy easily takes the cake.

    But anyway, I think using mods to change the music and some of the levels to S3&K partly gives me the "fix" for that game without the need to play it.
     
  11. Blue Blood

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    For what it's worth, I Iove playing as all the characters in Mania and especially enjoy the way that Mighty and Ray slot into the formula so seamlessly. But unlike with S3K where I'd encourage people to get the most out of the game by trying out different characters for the nuances they bring to the game, with Mania I'd say just stick to your favourite.
     
  12. TheOcelot

    TheOcelot

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    I've played Mania/Mania Plus to death and then some. Although, I haven't done a full playthrough of Mania in one sitting for a quite a while now. Just playing a few zones at a time is more than enough of a fix for me. However, when I play 3K it's different, I always feel compelled to play the whole game in one sitting (or at the very least the Sonic 3 half or SK half) and I enjoy it more.

    I think 3K has the advantage of a much more interesting story. The transitions between acts and end-of-zones probably feel rather basic compared to some of the ones from Mania, but they are more consistent. Whereas Mania's are kind of all over the place; some long, some short, some spectacular (Oil Ocean to Lava Reef), some with the Phantom Ruby, some just very basic like 3K, some feel incomplete (Hydrocity beginning and ending cutscenes in Mania mode) and some where you don't even see Sonic arrive in the next zone. It was never gonna be easy to come up with a good story for Mania with two thirds of the game revisiting old zones. Whereas 3K's progression; The Death Egg landing on Angel Island, trying to take-off in Launch Base, crash-landing again, Sonic confronting Knuckles in Hidden Palace, then arriving on Death Egg etc...is so much more entertaining. The sense of progression and drama/tension they create (like at the end of Launch Base, at the end of Lava Reef, Hidden Palace to Sky Sanctuary, Death Egg act 2 bosses, Doomsday zone etc) feels a lot more exciting/rewarding and keeps me interested-wanting to keep playing more compared to Mania. I like the cutscene from Metallic Madness to Titanic Monarch but it does feel a bit anti-climatic when compared to Sky Sanctuary's transition to Death Egg.

    When doing a full playthrough of Mania, I normally find that once I finish Lava Reef (the 10th zone) I then begin to tire/lose interest from Metallic Madness. I don't think MM is a bad zone, but I think it being the third successive re-imagined stage (after Oil Ocean & Lava Reef) starts to wear thin. I'm craving a new zone at this point. Whilst Mania does have the same number of acts as 3K (25), I find that Mania does take longer to beat; closer to 2 and a half hours which is a long playthrough-time for a 2d classic Sonic game, and when the story is less interesting/engaging I do find it harder to keep going.

    There's no doubt the level design in a lot of Mania's zone is bloody good, but I do prefer 3K's level design more. I think the level design in 3K is a bit more platform heavy-by which I mean you have to work harder to keep the momentum going when compared to some stages in Mania, where level-structure and flow often results in the feeling of automation, which (to quote from the OP) can lead to "I'm mindlessly navigating the zones like it's nothing!".

    ...but like I said, I do enjoy a lot of the level design in Mania. I can't get enough of stages like Studiopolis, Chemical Plant, Lava Reef, Oil Ocean and I actually really like Hydrocity's new design (although I understand why some find act1 being slower compared to the original more of a chore).

    All the above factors lead to Mania being less enjoyable than 3K to keep replaying over and over, and there have been some good points in this thread about Mania Plus' zones not perhaps designed as well as they could have been for all the characters to help keep playthroughs more interesting.
     
  13. Maybe that's how I'm actually feeling. You might be onto something there.

    Lemme just repeat something I said before. You're right, there's nothing stopping me from putting down the controller and coming back another time to play as the other characters. But the thing is, is that I never get tired of playing as all the characters back to back in S3&K, but once I get to Mighty or Ray's campaign in Mania, that's when I start to get sick of it. If I can play as all the characters in S3&K without tiring myself out, I should be able to do the same in Mania, and I can't, because there's 3 more campaigns than S3&K, and as Blue Blood mentioned, they don't have as many differences between each campaign than in S3&K. There's obviously a problem here.
     
  14. I don't know why you or anyone would react like this. This is not an attack on Mania. Its not even really a critique. Mania is clearly excellent and everyone here has given it its due praise. Best we've had in so long. If anything, the fact that it can even be compared at all to S3K which is often considered the best Sonic game ever, is a testament to how good it is.

    It is however worth noting, in a forum of diehard fans, that Mania might possibly not feel quite as good in one area, that is all. I think in regard to level design and overall cohesion, as someone else pointed out, S3K is a little better and that's why the replay value of that game is so ridiculous. I sure had a ton of fun while 100%ing Mania and will certainly again. I hope more games like it will be released in the future and will buy them day 1. Doesnt mean we cant state our observations honestly.

    And the fact that we've had to deal with mediocre quality sonic titles for so long is not the fault of the Mania team. If you notice, this was their first effort and they completely bested SEGA's last 15 tears of work on their first try because they had clearly done their homework and cared. We don't need to go into this again and past games don't have any bearing on the quality of Mania which was made by a different team.
     
  15. Vangar

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    Not because of the opinion, because the topic is not something I'd see on Sonic Retro. This isn't supposed to be a Youtube comment section.

    The point of the topic is "There's too much content in Sonic Mania and because of that I'm not having fun" which is pretty illogical. What the heck are we supposed to get out of that?


    "Damn, I wish Sonic Mania had less content, then I'd play it less and get over it" ?
     
  16. XCubed

    XCubed

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    I'm certain that if this forum existed fresh off the release of Sonic and S&K, the comparisons and the hype around why Sonic 2 is better would be deafening. Like all 2D Sonic games before Mania, things were a little rushed, even with the extension. I never said ones observations couldn't be stated, but I can also make observations of those observations. Either way, classic universe confirmed, so that's where I'll choose to live ;)
     
  17. Blue Blood

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    Is pretty illogical, sure. And that's why the at least the entire first page of the thread has been dismantling that statement and trying to find out what the OP could actually be getting at. This topic had brought up some legitimate criticisms of Mania in a place where it's normally nothing but sheer praise. And don't get me wrong; Mania is bloody phenomenal and the various criticisms being raised here don't diminish from that.

    It could be nostalgia speaking, or just the fact that I binged hard on Mania for, like, a while year, but I agree that it's a game better suited to working through in 2 or 3 sittings than S3K. All the different characters and Encore Mode are fun to use. However, the experience doesn't change enough from run to run, so there's something that could be improved.
     
  18. Laughingcow

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    That sucks, reminds me of losing my Xenoblade X save file because my brother saved over my file because the dumbass didn't switch profiles when starting a new game. Going from memory though, I've clocked a good 400 hours on the Xenoblade series collectively, that number spikes up if I include Xenogears and the Xenosaga series.

    Life? What's that?

     
  19. paulojrmam

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    The truth is, the more characters you add to a game like 2D Sonic, the less they'll be relevant. S3&K had three characters, Mania has five. You can't keep adding things to the levels, otherwise they become cluttered and unintuitive. And you also can't keep adding alternate paths all the time, or players will feel too restricted because any character they chose will have a lot of paths they can't take. Both being restrictive and unintuitive are two things that I think are unfitting of a Sonic game. I think the best they can make is different skills for the characters, like they do now. This way is better for a Sonic game than constant alternate paths.

    Encore Mode, I agree, solves the "completion problem", you now only need to play the game one or two times to say you experienced everything it has to offer.
     
  20. Pengi

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    I think alternate paths and bosses for particular characters is a great idea, one of the best features in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. There are a few things to consider though:

    1. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is the only game in the 2D Sonic series that did this. Sonic Advance 1, 2 and 3 had more characters to play with but didn't bother. Rush had only two characters to handle, but still didn't bother.

    2. Tails' game was 99% the same as Sonic's, so there may be three characters (and Sonic & Tails mode) but there are only two playthroughs.

    3. Knuckles' game is shorter, with no Act 2 bosses in Carnival Night or Lava Reef, a "do nothing" Hidden Palace, a boss-only Sky Sanctuary and no Death Egg or Doomsday. Flying Battery doesn't really offer any character exclusive routes.

    So looking at Sonic Mania:

    1. The initial character roster is the same as Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

    2. Ray and Mighty are bonus characters released after the fact, so there wasn't much the devs could do to implement new routes. Their move sets are different and enjoyable enough to still add value to the game.

    3. Like S3K, Sonic and Tails' games are near identical, whilst Knuckles gets alternate paths.

    4. There are significantly fewer Knuckles exclusive paths in Mania than S3&K. However, this time Knuckles' campaign is the same length as Sonic and Tails'.

    5. Knuckles' bosses don't have the minor variations seen in S3&K, but he does still get two exclusive bosses.

    6. Knuckles has his own alternate Mirage Saloon Act 1.

    7. Sonic Mania is the dev team's first Sonic game. S3&K was Naka, Yasuhara and co's third go.

    So all things considered, I think the Mania team did a good job. And the character abilities themselves certainly feel more varied (but still Sonic-esque) than Chaotix, Advance, Rush etc. That being said. there's always room for improvement and there are a few different ways to make each character's campaign feel unique:

    1. Have at least one unique "bit" exclusive to each character. It could be a memorable alternate route. It could be a boss. It could be an alternate Act. It could be a unique story element or ending. It doesn't have to be anything drastic, just at least one unique thing that you can only see when playing as that specific character.

    2. Certain alternate routes can be shared, to accommodate the larger roster. A tall passageway could be Tails or Knuckles only (using flight or climbing). A large chasm could be crossed only by Tails or Ray (Knuckles' glide wouldn't have enough altitude). A tough wall could only be destroyed by Knuckles or Amy. So alternate paths would be shared, but because of the mix-and-match nature, no two characters' campaigns would be a 1:1 experience.

    3. In S3&K, Knuckles' story takes place after Sonic & Tails' story. This wasn't immediately obvious to everyone, because he was available from the start. Sonic Mania Plus also did this with Encore Mode. A sequel could have it so that after you beat the game as Sonic, you unlock (for example) Vector. Then Vector's play-through could have different things going on visually and an alternate storyline, showing what happens after Sonic has defeated Eggman. Like Sonic CD, it could have damaged badniks that behave differently. If an airship crashed in Sonic's campaign, then Vector's campaign could have him exploring the wreckage. Even if the level layouts are mostly the same and there aren't many alternate paths, there would still be a sense of freshness and added value.
     
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