Sonic Mania Plus SPOILER THREAD with UNMARKED spoilers!

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Hinchy, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    [​IMG]

    Hmm, I guess you're right. Ray's head is massive compared to the rest of the cast.

    Well I guess the sprites are accurate then :v:
     
  2. 360

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    I'm super happy this is reviewing so well (as glowing as last time it seems for the most part) but these revelations on Encore Mode are disappointing. Seems like it suffers from difficulty spikes particularly with bosses which was a major problem with Mania last time and has been amplified this time. I do understand it. It's meant to be a more challenging mode for Mania veterans and hardcore fans so it's meant to be harder but ditching the lives system to refresh the game/mode does seem to have backfired. The IGN review for example gives the games a lower score than the others centrally because of this issue.

    Ultimately it seems that even with limited time the Mania team did pull off a miracle with this more so than any development team could - which is commendable. But it is disappointing to read that the issues with the original are more so here. I loved Mania. But reaching almost impossible progress-blocking bosses was its greatest flaw and it seems it's the same here. At first I was like "7/10 from IGN? What the fuck?" but then I actually read the review and was like "Oh right. Same problems as last time" so understand why they gave it the score they did. It's probably the most honest review of the lot.

    To be fair it does seem like the bosses in standard Mania mode have been tweaked/fixed and in addition to the restored level transitions that does make Plus the ultimate version of what was already a stunning and amazing game that is better and superior to the original which is awesome. Seems the recurring issues with the game are isolated to Encore Mode whilst standard Mania is superior.

    To be honest I'm more interested in the impressions from you guys when we actually play it because that'll be the most accurate prognosis. Looking forward to release.
     
  3. I won't pretend it's not strange, but it definitely matches his artwork prior to his reappearances/cameos, and of course it lines up with the Mania Plus artwork as well. It's just much easier to notice his head being big in-game than it is in the art, haha.

    The only other thing I can comment on is his arm flaps sometimes not being there and I think that's mostly so they can animate his arms moving around more robustly without it looking awkward or adhering too much to the squirrel anatomy. The way his hands are pulled in for the handlebar grab for instance, with flaps it would actually end up concealing bits of his body sprite and probably look a lot uglier. Not trying to blindly defend, but just making some observations based on what's being said. He does look a lot like Sonic in stills but in animation he is thankfully much more robust in appearance so I doubt we'll notice come release time.

    Also 360 I'm not sure where in the IGN review it mentions that boss fights are any cheaper in Encore mode, it simply mentions there are significant changes and that a lot of the egregious bosses are less annoying? Unless I missed a keynote, it seems the boss issue is something that has evidently been improved upon here.
     
  4. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    IGN's review brings up an interesting point though. When this game is being reviewed what are they reviewing? Just the new stuff or the entire package? Because IGN's seems to lean towards the former but the higher scores tend to lean towards the latter. This game falls into a very weird gray area, as it's not quite DLC but it's not exactly a new game either.

    Oh and look here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax8WSnrq7XY

    Mighty and Ray both have Super forms (I figured as such, otherwise Encore mode would be weird). Unfortunately they both go the "glow lighter shade than their base color" route that Knuckles and Tails go on. Ah well
     
  5. 360

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    Ah right yeah. I was referencing a different review in my post and didn't realise. It was in the Ars Technica one:

    So yeah, same problem Mania had last time. Unexpected difficulty spikes primarily from the bosses (and elsewhere?) which seems repeated in (and isolated in?) Encore Mode. But other reviews say the bosses have been tweaked/improved so guess they're referring to vanilla Mania? Not sure yet for definite. Mixed signals from different reviewers.

    EDIT: Could be just this boss in particular? When he references surges in difficulty he does seem to generally be referring to Encore's campaign/lives system it seems.
     
  6. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    I mean when it comes down to it Mania is just Classic Sonic at it's core with a few modern bells and whistles. I think a lot of it just comes down to personal preference. Some people just aren't good at or don't like Classic Sonic games. Doesn't mean the games are bad, just that they're not used to it and that makes it harder.

    Hell Sonic 2 took me 9 years to beat legitimately. Granted I first played it when I was 4 but still.
     
  7. Beltway

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    It's especially a bit weird considering that the QoL updates to Mania mode does provide some more gameplay options to the original, so Encore having this new co-op system and not the traditional lives format does seem to be a step back from that. The notion of players needing to keep the playable cast around to survive instead of stocking up on lives is an interesting pace changer; but if the IGN review is to go by, it doesn't quite gel with the pacing/difficult of the game.

    I'm also not really surprised about the IGN reviewer's critique about Encore Mode not being substantially different; though a small part of me is wondering if what we're getting is a result of design decisions or time constraints. The changes in level layouts --the biggest change aside from the color palettes-- are mostly conservative, but then Mirage Saloon Act 1 is (reportedly, based on 1.0.4 leaks) a new level map entirely. Were new acts for each zone (with the new color palettes) originally supposed to be the plan until something changed?
     
  8. HEDGESMFG

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    A lot of the changes I'm noticing in the IGN Encore mode video are effectively a "hard mode", with spikes and moving platforms being added to a lot more spots in chemical plant to disrupt the flow a bit. A skilled player can still overcome them, but they are a notable change.

    Interesting that the Ars Technica review seems to imply multiple new bosses (even though he was complaining about the Metal Sonic update, which we know is beatable). Can anyone else confirm this?

    Also, if you didn't already catch it... IGN features 6 minutes of playing as Super Ray, alone, in what seems to be Mania mode (with lives counter). His Super form is just... brighter yellow. Still, this means Ray/Mighty are indeed Mania mode accessible, for those who were wondering.
     
  9. Hanging Waters

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    I personally like the look of the difficulty buff, especially in the IGN Chemical Plant footage. The way that spikes are placed in trickier areas looks it it'll give Mighty some more utility over the rest of the cast. The extra buzzbombers and other badniks in Green Hill look like they add some balance to the game to accommodate for Ray being able to fly everywhere.
    This looks more along the lines of the Sonic Jam hard mode settings, and I definitely don't mind. A recurring complaint seems to be that the levels aren't different enough from Mania mode, but new levels were never promised or even used as a selling point for the DLC.
    Angel Island is just a nice little touch of fanservice and even that wasn't advertised as a new level. The acts we saw in the IGN playthrough have a good amount of small difficult obstacles added in, and aside from the early leaked version we have yet to see any of the Mighty and Ray routes in later stages. Combine that with the new “lives” system and the more difficult special stages and you have something that is genuinely challenging for players who have beaten the game to try their hand at. I don't want to seem like I'm blindly defending against these criticisms just because I like the original game, but it feels like their expectations were much too high for this DLC bundle, and It seems like many of the reviewers are having trouble deciding if they're going to review this as DLC or as a whole separate game. I don't understand why reviewers are mentioning “lack of new stages” or saying things like “Don't expect this to be Mania 2!” It's not a new game, so I don't think anyone should expect it to be.

    And I don't know who had played the leak, but can anyone confirm if the Metal Sonic Kai boss is really that difficult? It looked pretty easy in playthroughs; perhaps they tweaked it in later development?
    The IGN review only focuses on the Metal Sonic nods when they talk about difficulty spikes, but they mention that there are other bosses where the difficulty is spiked. This to me sounds like a criticism of the base game rather than the DLC, although if the Kai boss really is that cheap then I can see how it can be a problem.
     
  10. 360

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    Yeah this does seem to be the primary issue here. I don't mean to focus on the negative or be too critical about the game. I am still looking forward to it and hope everyone else is too and we all have a blast with it. I mean Mania mode itself is substantially improved what with the restored level transitions, subtle improvements and new playable characters - and everything we wanted from Plus when it was announced - but Encore Mode in particular is pretty much the focus of the critique from every review with the Ars Techinca guy going in to more detail as to why in particular.

    Completely agree with you on the theoretical time constraints. From what we know the team had mere months to produce this so what they've achieved is extremely impressive given the time they had to work with - but Encore Mode seems like it definitely needed more development time with the changes being either sporadic, quite limited and overly subtle - with the lives system change being particularly counter productive. At a guess Sega probably thought if they'd waited too long once the Mania fever and hype had died down (say Winter 2018) then sales would be significantly lower so went for a rapid production schedule instead as opposed to one that would have allowed the project to breathe more.

    That said reviews being mostly positive and as glowing as last time is all we could have hoped for. Hopefully that'll translate to strong sales like last time as it's imperative Plus does well (for the series' future).
     
  11. Beltway

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    VEDJ-F (SSMB) said something to the effect that it's likely some implementation of Sonic Team's stipulations on Super forms in effect--namely the "only Sonic can go super" rule. Which considering the changes made from Tails and Knuckles' Super forms from 3&K to Mania (no longer changing colors --S.Tails being yellow and S.Knuckles being very pink, Tails losing his Flicky army) is pretty plausible.

    It's probably been retconned a la Heroes, where most of the cast's "Super" forms for most of the casts are more akin to power boosts (like the super shields Tails/Knuckles got with Heroes' final boss), but Sonic is the only character that actually has a empowered form with physical changes. Adding to that is that Super Sonic is also the only Super form with his own sprite set (which wasn't quite the case in vanilla Mania but is now mostly fixed with the update, IIRC).
     
  12. TheOcelot

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    Mania's metacritic score For PS4 & Switch was 86. Mania Plus' metacritic score also currently stands at 86 for both platforms.

    Good to see Plus doing well, which it deserves thanks to the improvements and extra content.

    The pinball stage is a way better bonus stage than blue sphere. Being able to earn elemential shields, rings and characters makes it worth revisiting (unlike blue-sphere which was pointless revisting once you'd collected all 32 medallions) and I really like the trap tower remix. It's a decent sort-of nod to Spinball and the combi catcher is of course yet another reference to Chaotix.

    Less than a week now until Plus releases. Can't wait!
     
  13. Dark Sonic

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    https://twitter.com/Tracker_TD/status/1016804462046990337?s=19

    IGN has clarified that their 7/10 only covers the new plus content, not the original game.

    That's what I thought and it makes more sense. It does make getting a review average for this game kinda weird though, as others are reviewing the game as a whole.
     
  14. TimmiT

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    Fix for this is that everyone stops using review scores so everyone can stop fixating on them instead of the actual content of reviews.

    (Alternatively just stop caring about review averages)
     
  15. 360

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    So to add to Dark Sonic's earlier review post - more reviews are coming in. You can keep an eye on them here via OpenCritic. Plus has a score of 88 so far. Higher than Mania (87).

    GameSpot. 9/10
    CG Magazine. 10/10
    Nintendo World Report. 8.5/10
    Game Revolution. 7/10
    COG Connected. 8/10
    EGM. 9.5/10
    We Got This Covered. 9/10
    Twinfinite. 8/10
    Attack of the Fanboy. 9/10
    Dual Shockers. 9.5/10
    Gameblog. 9/10.
    Game Space. 9/10

    Extremely strong performance reminiscent of Mania's original release. A mass of high scores. 9/10 from GameSpot. 9.5 from EGM and so on. The 7s are outliers by the looks of it.

    We are discussing the actual content of the reviews. We were initially fixated on IGN's 7 but then that evolved in to why it's a 7.
     
  16. Beltway

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    Hardcore Gaming did an unboxing video for Mania Plus (PS4. US); has a few glances of some of the art pages (which included among other things--sketches, concept art for the opening intro, and an entire for Sonic sprite sheet for the logo animation on the title screen).



    Since we've covered OpenCritic and MetaCritic aggregate, I'm also throwing in GameRankings. Current standings:

    Mania Plus (NSW) - 87.14% (7 reviews)
    Mania OG (PS4) - 87.02% (40 reviews)
    Mania OG (PC) - 86% (2 reviews)
    Mania OG (NSW) - 85.73% (11 reviews)
    Mania Plus (PS4) - 85% (6 reviews)
    Mania OG (XBO) - 83.3% (10 reviews)

    (Again, no counted reviews in for Mania Plus on XBO yet).

    There's still likely plenty of reviews to come in, but it's a good start for Mania Plus nonetheless.
     
  17. Sid Starkiller

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    Yeow, I think you posted the wrong video.
     
  18. Beltway

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    whoops I did lmao, will fix

    thanks for the tip
     
  19. TimmiT

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    That's still fixating on the review score lol
     
  20. jubbalub

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    ENCORE MODE DOES NOT HAVE A TRUE FINAL BOSS LOL