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Sonic Mania (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC...Netflix?)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by TimmiT, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Flygon


    I would argue that many people are sick of constantly seeing "groundbreaking" as a way to freshen up the series.

    What many would agree is the pinnacle of the series, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, is the end result of iterative research, development, and enhancements. Not groundbreaking game, not putting in a new style of gameplay. Just simple old iterative refinement.

    Many game series's (And, incidentally, most projects - both entertainment and not) suffer from attempts to break from an iterative approach, and revolutionize itself to become better. It often falls flat on it's face.

    The Sonic series is nothing more than an extremely good example of this problem in effect.

    I hope SEGA allow the Mania team to keep their iterative, evolutionary development up, hopefully, for further game projects. Goodness knows being revolutionary has been nothing but bad for the series. In both reputation and quality of projects.

    EDIT: For a quick and lazy example of a series where an evolutionary/iterative approach has largely been beneficial, over a series of decades, take a look at the evolution of the 2D Mario platformers. Even with the largeish gap from the end of the SNES era, and the beginning of New Super Mario Bros.
  2. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

    Sonic 4 EP1 probably had a budget at least a twice as big, though (for the game itself -- that quality of animation in Mania ain't cheap). They had to port the Rush engine to consoles (including making Wii-compatible midis), and mobile. Let's not forget the 'preredered' art was also finalized in 2D (there's no way someone would apply those shiny gradients on the grass while on 3D --it's just not efficient nor smart). Even with the subpar results I think it's due to people who got bad direction (Iizuka, I'm looking at you!) [and also never got the feel of the 90's Sonic] trying to make a classic sonic game for mobiles that Sega also proposed to be released on consoles.
  3. LowSeasCaroz


    Hessia, Germany
    Desperately trying to make a Turrican clone
    Here's the thing though... Mania isn't exactly an "evolution" on anything. It does some things Sonic 3&K did, it does some things Sonic CD did, and it does some things Sonic 2 did. And unless the levels that haven't been shown are totally different from Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Studiopolis etc. that's all there is. It's about as "new" as the "New" Super Mario Bros games you've mentioned, the difference being that no one wants more of New Super Mario Bros at this point due to its inherent laziness, but we haven't had something like Mania since the 90s. There are definitely ways to evolve upon the MD Sonic formula, but right now is not the time to do so. I get that.

    I personally think the "evolution" from Sonic 2 to 3 was mostly bad, like the game's quantity over quality approach or the horrendous level gimmicks, and Mania's designers seem to know what works and what doesn't, so I'm definitely hopeful that Mania will be a "better Sonic 3 & Knuckles" to me. Rehashing old assets isn't even inherently bad IMO, it saves resources, which is important for a smaller indie production like Mania. It's just something that might impact the way the game is portrayed by the general gaming public and reviewers.
  4. Lilly


    United States
    Shang Mu Architect
    I had this gut feeling there would be a negative reaction if anyone suggested we should keep our hype tempered. Not that I'm keeping my feet on the ground, either. :specialed: It's hard to do when you know amazing people are working on it.

    From what we're shown so far, Mania has a little more meat to it than the classics. While I won't say the classics are devoid of creativity and mechanical depth, (If anything, they still hold up.) going back to them two decades later makes me want to see what would happen if the classics had more games to take themselves to new heights. Mania seems to check that "More" box, like Freedom Planet did for me.

    It doesn't need to be a groundbreaking release, though, I agree with that. However, like Flygon said, iteration is just as good. Mania looks like it will match the play-style of the classics, if not refine it along the way. It's a long time coming for this series.
  5. Beltway


    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    Yeah, I'm fully expecting some 8.8 reviews for Mania to gel against the grain. Primarily on the basis of people who will criticize the game for not being "innovative" enough (as if newer 2D Sonic gameplay has always retained the core Genesis gameplay and Sonic games haven't absolutely gone ham with bringing "new things" to the table over the past 20 years) and missing the entire point on what the game sets out to do, let alone whether the underlying game design is good. Lord knows we already have reviewers complaining about remakes of games for not bringing anything new to the table. And that's not even getting into certain review sites who have reviewers who seemingly can't play a platformer to save their life and blame the game (looking at you, GameStop GameSpot).

    Speaking of which, videogamedunkey recently posted a video about game critics (with a significant part in the beginning dedicated to review sites' revolving door opinions about Sonic), in which I agree with what he says for the most part. Worth a watch IMO.

  6. Did you mean GameSpot?
  7. Beltway


    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    Yeah, that's what I meant to say lol. Get the two mixed up sometimes.
  8. Linkabel


    Yes, those shitty people at Gamestop always pushing their preorders and Sonic reviews :v:/>

    Real talk though, I'm not sure what is it about Sonic 2D games that make certain people play like shit. I understand the people that don't play games, but then there are others which actually do (including platformers) but their skills go down as soon as they play Sonic.

    I basically see this a lot:
  9. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    I keep my hype tempered because if I didn't, the wait would be UNBEARABLE.
  10. TimmiT


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    Not sure why Dunkey's video was posted here since it's incredibly off topic but since it was anyway i'll give my take: it's really obvious it comes from someone who doesn't actually follow games critique, and that Dunkey isn't making these arguments in good faith. It's basically just a compilation of forum arguments about why game critics are bad from the past decade, in which he happened to make some okay sounding points which he so badly argues that he shows why they're actually pretty bad points. Like he says game sites have an identity problem cause they don't have, like, one centralized opinion or whatever. And they have so many different personalities it's hard to follow one voice. Unlike Youtubers who are much easier to follow... except game critics are just as easy to follow. You can just follow them on Twitter and you'll get all their takes on stuff and they'll link the articles they've written. It's not much harder than following a Youtuber you like. That's how I tend to follow game critics anyway.

    Not like having a lot of different voices/perspectives on a gaming site is bad anyway. Video games are incredibly varied with a ton of different genres, and even just counting new retail games that are coming out there are a lot that need to be covered. Otherwise they may not have someone to cover a game who actually wants to cover it and would potentially know if people who are into those games would want it. I mean, imagine if IGN didn't have people who like to play Sonic games to review Sonic games. :v:

    Dunkey also repeatedly shows that it isn't hard to follow who's review or take your getting himself. Half the time when he talks about IGN or Gamespot you'll see the name of the person whose review or take you're getting. It's super easy to understand that guy from IGN who said Sonic is good =/= guy from IGN who said Sonic is bad. There are also a couple of points in the video where Dunkey especially shows that he very well knows they're from different writers, he just doesn't care:

    First one: he shows that IGN gave Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze a 6, and but usually gives the new Call of Duty a 9. This is a really bad example cause A: DKC and CoD are totally incomparable games, B: these reviews are by different writers, and C: the DKC review isn't even from IGN, it's from Gamespot. Dunkey somehow thought a review by a completely different site was IGN's. He used video reviews seemingly from the sites' Youtube channels as well. I thought Youtube channels were supposed to be easy to discern? :psyduck:

    Second one: Dunkey, still continuing to act like it's really hard to discern these different voices on game sites, compares Gamespot's Crash Bandicoot remasters review to their review of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Showing that Gamespot, referring to them as if they're a single person, is bad at platformers.* Yet when he shows the Crash review, in his screencap you can see the "about the author" section showing the review was written by Peter Brown. He uses the video review for Mario, which very clearly shows the review is from Randolph Ramsay. Aside from that, Dunkey quotes the "about the author" section from before to dunk on the reviewer for not finishing the Crash games**. It couldn't be more clear to Dunkey who wrote each review. Yet he acts as if they come from the same person.

    The other points Dunkey brings up aren't great either. Like he mentions that game critics are biased cause they might be pressured to write a positive review from sponsors/ads/getting advance copies... while it has never really been proven that that's actually normally the case. Maybe a few rare examples but nothing indicating it happens much. It's always been more of an assumption made by people mad about biased reviews. Meanwhile Youtubers tend to make way more sponsored videos, sometimes trying to hide the fact that they're sponsored. Which Dunkey doesn't bring up at all, I guess cause it'd hurt his "game critics suck youtubers and me rule" point.

    He also says game reviewers try to rush their review out to be the first... even though that isn't the norm at all. Generally game publishers send reviewers advance copies of new games weeks in advance, and usually reviewers get their reviews ready before the embargo ends. Which is why most reviews go up at exactly the same time. There are times when game publishers don't send advance copies, like with all of Bethesda's games or with certain online multiplayer games like Destiny. And if anything in those cases big gaming websites have shown that they don't rush their review out at all. They might put up an early impressions piece or a "review in progress" to get something up when the game launches. But aside from that they tend to take their time to write a proper review.

    What I did find interesting is his whole Armond White bit. Mainly cause Dunkey doesn't have much reason to treat movie critics as individual personalities while not treating game critics the same way. Only difference is that for whatever reason review aggregator sites like Metacritic prominently shows the writer of each review while they generally don't with gaming critics. Which isn't really something gaming sites can do much about besides maybe complain to Metacritic about it.

    There's a whole lot of other stuff about the video that I don't like, but I don't really feel like those are worth going into. Basically, it's a bad video and there are probably far better takes you can find on game critique. There are definitely ways game critique can improve, just this video doesn't really show what should be improved and instead just focuses on bad thoughtless dunks. Also I recommend listening to Waypoint Radio's recent episode about the video. And also Phil Kollar's Twitter thread about it. (warning he doesn't like sonic games if you can't stand people not liking sonic games don't read)

    *Btw having the perspective on a game from someone who might normally not be good at those kinda games isn't a bad perspective to have at all. Dunkey even argues that himself earlier in the video when he says that since he doesn't like turn-based RPGs his take on Persona 5 is worth listening to.

    **If you think a reviewer should finish a game before reviewing it, that's fine. But also that's why this "about the author" section Gamespot and other sites have is good to have. It lets you know how much the author played of the game or what their usual experience with the genre is. So you can more easily decide if that reviewer's take is something you'd probably agree with.

    EDIT: Oh oops this turned out way longer than I thought oops tl;dr dunkey probably doesn't actually follow game critics and just repeats old forum arguments and uses dishonest examples to make those arguments so it's just a bad video overall
  11. Sean Evans

    Sean Evans

    Professional Dork Member
    Sonic Overture, Sonic Utopia

    Considering that most people have already expressed their disappointment at the remixed levels, and that plenty have drawn comparisons to older Sonic games, you aren't really breaking the mold here. The bigger picture isn't even to be an "evolution" of Classic Sonic quite honestly. The point is to prove that Classic Sonic is even viable outside of just throwing him into a new game every couple of years. Iizuka said it himself, he doesn't see the market for Mania outside of us Classic fans. Why would a kid play 2D Pixel Sonic when they have Classic Sonic with all of his old school stuff in Forces, with better graphics and more content too? Because the controls are weird, or the levels are bland, or the aesthetics are off, or the music doesn't fit. And all of this on top of rehashing stuff without even realizing why it was good to begin with.

    You're looking at this the wrong way. It's not the next step. We aren't there yet. This is more like the proving grounds, that will lead to the next step. Considering the negativity surrounding Sonic in general, you don't want to be "innovative". To the general public, you don't have anything worthwhile to experiment with.
  12. VectorCNC


    CNC Sculpture/Artwork
    Omg, your last sentence sounded so harsh... I loved it!
  13. Lilly


    United States
    Shang Mu Architect
    In most platformers and Metroidvanias, you can walk across ramps, stairs, and slopes without consequence to your base walk speed; they also let you turn or stop on a dime. Whereas in classic Sonic games, you have to approach slopes like you're on a skateboard. (Not a pinball. :v: ) As well, if you're moving too fast during a jump, you can't make a sudden stop by pressing in the opposite direction. You have to lose that momentum first before Sonic will turn around.

    Basically, the momentum based nature of Sonic isn't very common in the genre. (Although indies are improving this.) I think to a newcomer, it's a lot to wrestle with until the player learns what makes or breaks their speed.

    I'm more interested in what way Jimquisition will tear Mania apart, and if he'll give it a ludicrously low score for one reason or another. Or a score precisely low enough to make people mad, like he did with Breath of the Wild. :specialed:

    Because I doubt traditional media outlets will do anything different from what is expected here in this topic. At least people on YouTube are enough of a wild card that, sometimes, the reviews themselves are entertaining to watch. I can't remember the last time I didn't watch a traditional review for anything other than seeing the general consensus of a new game.
  14. JaredAFX


    You telling me a shrimp fried this rice? Member
    Downloading megahertz
    I just don't like ranked video game reviews. I like people like SomecallmeJohnny who review the game without any kind of numerical value assigned to it. I know saying that doesn't change the fact that reviews will generally influence how a game sells, but for someone like me who is already in the know and really only blindly buys Nintendo and Sonic games anymore, I avoid the stress of video game publications by just ignoring them.
  15. Ranked reviews are bullshit, you can't get more arbitrary and then you attract controversy when a remake of an older game that has better graphics and more content ends up with a lower score. Just list out the pros and cons, and state whether or not you recommend it. It doesn't need to be any more difficult. SomeCallMeJohhny is popular because he's very down to earth and genuine, claiming to be looking out for the average Joe.

    And just as a side rant while we're mildly on the topic of it- I freaking loathe GameStop. In this day and age, there is absolutely no need for them when (1) you can easily buy your games online or in another retailer like Target, and (2) why would I ever consult those so called "professionals" when YouTube is exploding from game reviews from people who actually know better and aren't just there to make a sale. At least twice those people tried to burn me- once when I was around 15 buying the new Pokemon Black, and the woman at the counter tried to make me give her my email address for "discounts and free games" and when I said no, aware of the scam, she tried to guilt me by being a smart-ass saying "You don't want savings?" Then, a couple years later, I had the most recent COD Ghosts, and I tried selling that piece of shit to a local Gamestop and the best they could offer was $10 in store credit. I don't think so.

    How are they still around? I'm fairly certain that Q1 of this year was there only stand-out quarter in the last few years, and that's only because of all the deals they had for the Nintendo Switch.
  16. LukyHRE


    The only one who has a Portal-themed avatar Member
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Bitching and complaining about my country -.-'
  17. Glaber


    Has Beaten Sonic Genesis for GBA Oldbie
    how are they still around? They haven't lost enough money to start closing everything yet.
  18. Beltway


    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes

    + - Don't worry, I'll take the blame for the derail. Just thought it would be interesting to bring up given the recent talk about the game's potential reviews.  
  19. LewiG


    London England
    Modding game controllers to be self contained gaming units.
    Hi guys. I don't know if this has been mentioned before but I have a theory on how to spot zones we won't see in Sonic Mania. If elements of an original zone has been used elsewhere in Sonic Mania it probably means that zone won't be in Mania.

    For example

    Marble zone batbrain badnik in Green Hill zone

    Emerald Hill loops in Green Hill zone

    Marble garden zone vertical columns in Stardust Speedway

    Spring yard zone roller badnik in Mirage Saloon.

    Spring yard zone words COPE and CPU in Studiopolis.

    Mushroom Hill Zone sound effect in Chemical plant zone 2 (rebelcheese)

    Wacky workbench bouncing floor mechanic in Chemical plant zone 2 (rebelcheese)

    Wacky workbench thornbasket badnik similar to microphone badnik in studiopolis

    Angel Island Caterkiller Jr. Badnik in Chemical plant zone. (McAleeCh)

    Mushroom Hill's uncurling vine platforms in Stardust Speedway (McAleeCh)

    Metallic Madness directional tubes in Chemical Plant zone (ApocalypticSalad)

    Carnival Night spinning tubes in Chemical plant zone (ApocalypticSalad)

    Star Light zone step-blocks in Chemical Plant zone (ApocalypticSalad)

    Parts of the new Green Hill layout appear to be inspired by Palmtree Panic (ApocalypticSalad)

    In Green Hill zone the pushable rock and ziplines similar theme to Angel Island. (ApocalypticSalad)

    Metropolis zone rotating cylinders and deadly springs in Flying Battery zone (ApocalypticSalad)

    Labyrinth zone Burrowbot appears in the trash of Flying Battery Zone. (ApocalypticSalad)

    Marble zone beta UFOS in studiopolis (ApocalypticSalad)

    Pinball flipper themes of Casino night and Collision Chaos in Miarage saloon. (ApocalypticSalad)

    Sandopolis probably not in as desert trope used by mirage Saloon. (ApocalypticSalad and saintminya)

    Wing Fortress similar trope to Flying Battery zone (ApocalypticSalad)

    Carnival Night is a similar trope to Studiopolis (ApocalypticSalad)

    Can anyone see/think of any else?

    List of zones probably not in Mania

    Marble zone - Sonic 1
    Spring Yard zone - Sonic 1
    Star Light Zone - Sonic 1
    Emerald Hill Zone - Sonic 2
    Casino Night Zone  - Sonic 2
    Wing Fortress Zone - Sonic 2
    Metropolis Zone - Sonic 2
    Angel Island zone - Sonic 3
    Marble Garden zone - Sonic 3
    Carnival Nighthe zone - Sonic 3
    Mushroom Zone- Sonic and Knuckles
    Sandopolis zone - Sonic and Knuckles
    Palmtree Panic - Sonic CD
    Collision Chaos - Sonic CD
    Wacky workbench- Sonic CD
    Metallic Madness - Sonic CD

    It's not an extensive list so far but the more teasers we have we may be able to grow this list.
  20. rebelcheese


    The BRAWK sound effect from the mushrooms in Mushroom Hill is present in Mania's Chemical Plant Act 2 along with a modified Wacky Workbench bouncy floor, so that likely rules out both of those zones.