Sonic Mania (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

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

  1. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    I'll be honest about this.

    I think we have reason to be optimistic and that signs point Mania being successful, possibly even moreso than Forces, mostly due to the potential to capture a wider audience outside of the typical Sonic buyers.

    But that is the key here, it has that potential.

    Modern Sonic sells reasonably well and to a fairly wide audience that differs somewhat from the core gamer base. Families and modern Sonic fans 'are' a demographic that exists and consistently buys these titles outside of the norm and actually prefer the story driven games and cartoony approach of Modern Sonic over the physics based gameplay of the classic titles. I know of one dedicated deviantart fangirl in person who does not care for the classic games much at all due to her skillset, but still regularly does Sonic art and has invested in the adventure-era franchise onward, meaning she plays even the... lesser loved titles like Black Knight. I'm not criticizing her taste by saying this, merely pointing out that fans like my friend are 'not' actually that unusual. She may be the exception, but the reality is she is not unlike many others who don't generally post here or view Sonic the way we do. This is part of what Iizuka says when he means that this is a franchise with diverse media and a varied audience rather than just one line of games. Sonic does not have a core identity, nor has he ever.

    Genesis Sonic has not been essential for modern mainstream gamers for 20 years. There is an entire generation that has grown up between 1994 and 2017 that would have finished a bachelor's degree in that time. During that era, the N64 and playstation dominated for viability while Sega stagnated into ultimately a niche company, like it or not.

    I myself got into Sonic because I watched AOSTH on TV first before I owned a Genesis. I HAD played Sonic 1 before this, and I very much liked it, but the media blitz was a huge part of my childhood fandom, with the genesis/game gear/saturn games only being something I began to personally collect in 1997 or so.

    A lot of people may not love it, and I do prefer classic gameplay above all other forms (though I still viewed SA2/Generations to be the best quality 3D titles), but the reality is that the buyers of Sonic titles really are a wide and varied market that buy for many different reason. We are in fact one faction of that. Sonic was NEVER truly as popular as Mario globally in terms of sales. Based on what sales data I can find, the best game in the series (3&K) was actually played by maybe 25% of the people who played Sonic 1 (arguably the weakest of the classic titles). I see it as one of the best games of all time, but for the majority of mainstream gamers, they never played it. This is an important fact that I think we often miss.

    I think Mania will do very well, ultimately, and I want Mania 2 to follow the first one very, very badly.. But I can't entirely blame Iizuka for taking a wait and see approach. Even great press reception and critically acclaimed reviews does not automatically equal sales. Youtube views of the trailers are the closest thing we have to a gauge of potential sales success, and luckily, they do weigh in Mania's favor at this time (mostly on the Nintendo Switch trailer).
     
  2. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Yeah, that would be a really cool idea for a Mania followup, although it may require so much work that I'm not sure it would be ready for the 30th anniversary...

    That said, I'd also be up to a new game in the Mania style, if it's made by the same team. But an HD Classic Sonic game that manages to mimic the official artwork would be that next logical step that never happens in the end.


    It's like kids would do better than Iizuka as the head of Sonic Team. :v:

    But hey, at least he didn't prevent Mania from happening, like happened with the Sonic 3 & Knuckles remake.


    No, it's not worrying, like, at all. It may be the opposite of worrying, even.

    Just buy the game and play it with no worries, guys.


    This is Sonic Mania, not Sonic & Worries.
     
  3. My simple and possibly arrogant solution to all Sonic's woes is just create a new 2D game every 2 years with the same physics, maybe add a move (or take away) and have some fresh inspiring tropes. Rinse and repeat for a decade or so.

    Job done. I'd never get bored of that.
     
  4. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    You made a good point here, Sonic Worries will be the follow-up to Sonic Forces. :v:

    Now, more seriously, "minimal changes since S3&K" is good politics to revive the classic gameplay. If additional games follow Mania, they will have the chance to add new things, but, right now, we need to link the past with the present as much as possible to show real Sonic is back. Adding things merrily is OK for fan games, as they aren't official, but they have to handle with care when Sega pays the bills, which it itself is another thing to take into consideration: Sega pays, Sega decides. Not to mention the main titles have already done too many failed experiments on that field.
     
  5. LukyHRE

    LukyHRE

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    I agree. Keep the same engine, same physics, + - same team   , and I'll never get bored. Keep in mind we're hyped enough with the content we've seen, but we have been told there are many crazy surprises along the way :specialed:/>

    And also, please SEGA, PLEASE, never do that "Oh, we want to please every audience, so the game will have 32 gameplay styles including a shooting level!" thing on 2D. If someone likes shooting games so fucking much, he should be playing fucking CounterStrike, not Sonic. Stop fragmenting the fanbase.

    I lol'ed at Sonic & Worries.
     
  6. HEDGESMFG

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    Ultimately, I think a definitive 16 bit styled series with the retro engine is what we want from this, split from the main franchise and developed by people like Tax and co. who get it. (Tax and Stealth can train successors. They are the best of the best now, but eventually there will be others who get the genesis formula. Possibly even within ST 'someday'.) Doing so would no doubt repair most major damage done to the franchise in the eyes of the worst critics.

    But that is why I'm paying so close attention to the sales. We need to break at least a million downloads between all platforms for that to become possible, I'd say (SA1 sold about a million on the Dreamcast, so this is hardly unreachable). Anything less and the truth is they can regulate us to an unimportant whiny minority rather than the core audience for the character. Our job right now is to simply prove them wrong from a financial perspective.

    Focus on getting not just the old crowd back, but also new players. Prove Mania is a game that 'everyone' can enjoy, and we'll be near guaranteed a Mania 2 of sorts at some point. That is our greatest challenge.
     
  7. Zephyr

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    Yes, the physics, the engine, and the team are pretty much "mission complete". We don't really need to improve there. I can think of plenty of ways to keep the series fresh even while keeping it relatively "the same" and playing it incredibly "safe". These feel rather obvious to me as places where the core gameplay could grow pretty naturally over time, if given said time:

    - Gradually increase the size of the roster. The right way. Where each new character just adds their own new way to play the same game. Adds replay value and shit.
    - Taking a small page from Chaotix and Advance 3. Rather than 2 player co-op simply being Sonic + Tails, let it just be X + Y. No need for convoluted tether or tag team mechanics, just give us the freedom to mix and match which characters we want for co-op. I forget, did the Sonic 1 and 2 mobile remakes allow for that? I feel like I remember hearing that you could, but I could be wrong.
    - Maybe online co-op?
    - If you wanted to go balls to the wall, take 3K and CD's level design a step further (exploration + backtracking + level transitions) and go full blown I pinbawl fizzicks Metroidvania (I'd say "Sonic Metroidvania" rather than those filtered buzzwords, but then someone would just bring up Tails Adventure, and that's not what I'm talking about). Though that might stray too far for some people.
    - And then, years down the road, we can have a fatty fucking physical collection of them all.

    And I'd also be fine with/would prefer this stay a "spinoff series" while Iizuka and co. continue with their zany experiments on the main stage. They can continue their circus show, and take it to whatever bizarre heights they wish, and I won't bat an eye or voice a single complaint if we get this good shit on the side the whole time. If this continued on the side, maybe they could retire "Classic Sonic" from the mainline games, and give the Boost stuff a chance to really breathe finally.

    Alright, that's enough armchair game dev/product manager from me. :specialed:
     
  8. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Speaking of Chaotix, I secretly hope that they add a "Combi ring" monitor that temporarily keeps Sonic & Tails (or the chosen character + Heavy/Bomb) tied together as in that game, even if it's just as a one-time joke/easter egg (or as legitimate help for climbing a tower of half loops).
     
  9. Chaud

    Chaud

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    I think the fundamental difference here is that in the case of Mario, he made a "universally accepted" transfer to 3D while Sonic wasn't nearly as successful. The essence of Mario, so to speak, is something much simpler to transfer and change without losing its identity - not detracting from the (undeniable) competence of Nintendo, of course. So Mario worked well in 3D, and some adjustments to the gameplay are simpler to do without losing the basic nature of the game.

    On the contrary, Sonic has an essence that, most people would agree, hasn't been able to be transferred to 3D in an acceptable way. (Although there are good 3D games of Sonic, they are "different" from the 2D ones.) In addition, Sonic also received several 2D games that failed drastically in keeping what made the originals such a remarkable series. We don't even need to talk about Sonic 4, right?

    So, with Mania, the first step isn't really to innovate, but to solidify the base. First, the series needs to go back to the basics and do it competently. After we achieve this, I believe that we can start thinking about some level of innovation - I would say it would even be necessary: if the team has the opportunity to make a new game after Mania, I don't think that the fans would receive well another game with remakes of classic levels and things like that. At the very least, I think most fans would expect a game with completely original levels - and new features in gameplay, powerups or characters would be a natural second step.
     
  10. Zephyr

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    I feel like that's conjecture no matter which way you look at it. There's no uniform agreement on what Sonic's "essence" is. You have, in one camp, the actual development team (for the most part) and many consumers who bought wholesale into the fucking marketing memes of "SO FAST GUYS". This camp believes speed is the essence, and no matter how superficial the gameplay experience is, as long as they deliver THAT, then shit's kosher. I guess. If you're in the former camp, then I think you're likely to agree that Sonic's essence has transferred to 3D just fine. I mean, he goes fast, man. The fuck else could you want? Who gives a fuck about player control? All about that SPEEEEEEEEED.

    In the other camp, you have communities like Retro, and the devs for Mania, who understand what actually worked about the gameplay of those original games, what kind of challenges and skills rendered the series distinct and unique and interesting on its raw gameplay merits, and find that to be Sonic's "essence". If you're in this latter camp, then you're definitely going to agree that Sonic's not had the best time moving into 3D.

    I'm honestly fine with both approaches. I think it'd be nice if the latter camp was also pandered to for a 3D game, but as it stands I'm ultimately satisfied not having a 3D version of my preferred approach to Sonic's "essence", because we're finally getting a continuation of what we want in 2D, at least. And that's more than I ever thought we had a chance of truly getting.
     
  11. Beltway

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    Sonic 4: Episode I was able to clear one million downloads in a year across five platforms, and that was a game that got mediocre review metascores and was widely criticized by fans as a disappointing --if not outright poor-- sequel to the Genesis games. A game that's being widely praised from reviewers and fans alike as a proper return to form should easily do much better in comparison.

    I'm not expecting Mania to do blockbusters right out the gate, since its a digital exclusive and has retraux graphics. But I honestly think you're underestimating / low-balling the historic appeal of the Genesis Sonic gameplay, and the value that exists from Taxman/Stealth/PWG bringing that gameplay back in a new game for the first time in years.
     
  12. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    It wouild still be interesting to see a proper implementation of the 2D physics on a 3D environment... Maybe as a Special Stage in Sonic Mania 3. =P
     
  13. LukyHRE

    LukyHRE

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    I don't think that retro pixel graphics = low sales/small market. Take a look at Terraria, a pixelated game, that already sold 20 million copies. Starbound, a more recent pixelated space-exploring game, sold 2.5 million copies. Both are excellent games that I continually recommend to all my friends. Fortunately, the "gameplay > graphics" market is still pretty big, and because of all the 80' nostalgia wave, I expect that market to continue growing.

    I honestly think that Sonic Mania is WELL MADE throwback to the Genesis era, and as such, is gonna bring WAY MORE sales that Sonic 4.

    Well, isn't Taxman a friend to pixels and polys alike? :rolleyes:
     
  14. LowSeasCaroz

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    So basically do the Megaman X/Battle Network strategy with Sonic?

    Sorry, but this won't work. Eventually Tax, Stealth and PagodaWest will get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. And you can see what happened when developers get tired of their own games with stuff like MMX6/7...
     
  15. To be fair, X6 and on weren't really the same team anymore. Keiji Inafune and a team left to go make Megaman Zero and the X series was supposed to end. So the team on X6 and beyond really wasn't the same. Using many of the same assets, certainly. We all know from Sonic Team how changing teams up can really change the dynamics of a game.

    Passed that though, after mania which is a throwback to the classics, I really see the Mania team trying to organically grow their gameplay style. I don't think they will get bored if they are allowed to cut loose.
     
  16. Sean Evans

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    But that's the rub. If this starts to become a big thing for Sonic, to the point where it's conceivable as it's own entity of the franchise, various aspects may be tampered to appeal to the widest audience possible and meet within brand expectations. We can already see hints of this in Mania with the old remixed stages. I honestly doubt the Mania team will be let off the leash more and more should they start developing bigger titles. Sega adheres to what sells well, which is why Sonic Team rarely ever makes anything more than a passable game. When they're let off the leash too much we get Lost World. But when they're restricted to playing it safe, we get something like Forces. It's when they fit in that middle spot that we get an okay game, and even then it's devoid of any soul or passion because it is the most bare-bones thing Sonic Team is allowed to do. If Tax and Stealth have this wacky idea for the series which would keep the same foundation, but change up the gameplay, Sega might see that as skewing the classic brand.

    Course this is all speculation on my part, I'm not claiming to actually know how Sega operates, but given the track record and information we have it seems like this is the case.
     
  17. VectorCNC

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    If only Sega was self aware enough to mitigate their own shortcomings…

    The best thing Sega could do would be to just leave their mitts off of Classic Sonic. I can already see Sega saying, “oh-wha-wait-what-er, Classic Sonic is relevant again for some reason, so thanks for all the pixels and bleep-boop stuff guys, but we can handle it from here!” Then the same group-think/focus-group corporate mechanisms will take hold just as before. Classic Sonic should be handled by a real “Sonic Team”. A small group of talented veterans that understand the history and DNA of the brand, not just as it was but how it felt at the time. I don't get that feeling from Sonic Team, and what makes the current Sonic Team exclusive anyway? Is it not more or less a revolving door with most of their structural decisions being influenced by Sega's executive body?

    The Mania team haven't exactly broken the mold. Often small teams are able to find success by charting their own course. I look at what they are doing and I see integrity at the core. Then, I look at what Sonic Team does, and I see the profit motive at the core. Sonic Team, based on their own statements, are most interested in making a game which tries to please everyone, and perhaps above all else, young children. But pleasing children can be accomplished with marketing almost exclusively. Obviously Mania needs to care about turning a profit as well, but the issue as I see it, is that Sonic Team have been focusing so hard on turning a profit, and merely surviving, that they lost integrity, and without integrity profit diminishes. How the hell can you expect to keep any brand running long term without integrity? It's as though Sonic Mania is making Teslas or limited run bespoke sports cars, whereas Sonic Team is making compact Chevrolets, or Buicks. Every year we hear, this is a new Buick, this isn't like your mom's Buick, but eventually it will go the way of oldsmobile.

    Edit: LOL Chevrolet makes a car called "Sonic". OK, from now on Mania is "Sonic Team", and the former Sonic Team will be "Chevy Team".

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Dark Sonic

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z-JhQmoFWQ

    Tee Lopes made a 16 bit version of his own song because why not :specialed:
     
  19. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Hello I can see the future better than you and I say that this will work and they'll never get tired of making cool and fun games.
     
  20. JcFerggy

    JcFerggy

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    I really enjoy the top comment on the video "So, is there gonna be a unlockable genesis sound font?". Kinda makes you wonder.