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

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

  1. Despatche

    Despatche

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    The problem is that games are becoming less and less about challenge with each passing year, and this is not really a good thing. Yes, this really is happening. No, this does not absolve older games of any design problems they might have, but many games are unfairly criticized for being "too hard", and many games are unfairly praised because they're all flash with overly easy gameplay. Look, I'm not speaking as some god at video games, but as someone who's actually quite bad at them and finds that many games are simply too easy to develop any real skill at playing. Why would I play a video game if I'm not interested in a challenge? Why not read a book or watch a movie? Why are interactive toys being called games? What is the purpose of such confusion?

    At the end of the day, there's no need to sacrifice challenge for the sake of anything. "challenge" is a large part of "gameplay", and "gameplay" is the #1 thing you need to take care of in a "game". Other elements are not sacrificed for gameplay, so why should gameplay be sacrificed for anything?

    A very large part of why we have frustratingly easy or frustratingly hard junk design is because there's little respect for challenge anymore. Another symptom of this is that you get people filled with this disrespect who demand that the developers act on it, which we're seeing with this OOZ crap... a fairly benign boss otherwise, especially when most Sonic bosses are fundamentally uninteresting because you can just exploit them to death with minimal effort, and basically never is there an attempt at some sort of multiple difficulty system. Some fan developers have tried to combat this, and I appreciate that, but this is probably a symptom of a bigger problem.

    I really hate how Sonic Mania has made everyone go "well, all these other Sonic games are terrible, the only real sequel is Mania". How depressing to just delete decades worth of actually good games from public consciousness just because of some memes over a few very specific bad apples. All these people are doing is proving that the Sonic series is held to a ridiculous standard that other series are not.

    At the same time, these same people write off "2D Sonic was never good" as a worthless meme itself. It's not. Not really. I'm still not sure Sonic Mania is the "true Sonic game" we need. There are better ways. The "bigger problem" needs to be tackled, no matter how much people swear there is no problem at all.

    edit: It's not bullshit, though. This recent batch of games is a huge anomaly that doesn't even approach challenge in the same way at all. For the vast majority of hard games, there are endless complaints about how hard they are, and demands for developers to "fix" their supposedly broken games.
     
  2. Okamikurainya

    Okamikurainya

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    Beating the OOZ boss is simple... Stay in the oil for the laser, move to the point the giant octopus rises and get in some hits before moving away to avoid shots from the tentacles. I found it one of the easiest bosses in the game. O_O
     
  3. TimmiT

    TimmiT

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    This is bullshit. Yes, video games have become more than just about challenge, that's because it's a very young form of art that is still being explored. But also more and more game designers popping up who make games that are meant to be more than just challenging has also meant that there are game designers trying to make challenging games still a thing. Really we've probably seen more challenging games these past few years than we did about a decade ago. After Dark Souls got big it became pretty apparent that there is an audience for challenging games that don't hold your hand, and since then hard and challenging games have slowly started becoming big again.

    And that success hasn't stopped at all. Like Breath of the Wild is probably going to be the highest rated game of the year, and one of the highest rated ever, and that game is one of the hardest Zelda games yet. It throws you into a world and tells you to just figure shit out with there barely being any tutorials aside from maybe the basics. And it's not criticized for it, if anything the challenge has been praised by a lot of reviewers. There was also Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, a collection of remakes of the original three Crash games that are just as hard (if not harder due to some new design flaws) as the originals. And it's been a huge success.

    Besides all of that there have also been a ton of indie games that aim to be as challenging as classic games. And multiplayer games in general now have a very steep learning curve. Like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds just throws you into the game and doesn't really tell you how to do anything, meaning you mainly get better by trying stuff out or watching others play the game. And that's the most played game on Steam right now, like it had more than a million concurrent players earlier today.

    Video games like What Remains of Edith Finch that don't really do anything except tell a story existing isn't going to stop incredibly hard and challenging games from existing as well.
     
  4. Master Emerald

    Master Emerald

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    As Kunckles you'll have more problems jumping out of the oil than gliding over the laser.
     
  5. Hanging Waters

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    I'm gonna have to take the side of not being able to see how the OOZ2 boss is unfair, other than that you can't recover your rings once they fall in the oil. I think the problem may just be that too many people are deliberately staying in the oil because - let's face it - we all have the tendency to get greedy and try to throw in as many hits as possible so we can cheese the boss before the platform comes back up. The real strategy here is to just take out the arms first. Then the boss becomes infinitely less complicated. I think part of the reason it's perceived to be unfair is the fact that people think they should be able to just get into the oil and hit the boss without taking out the arms, but the arms are there SPECIFICALLY to prevent you from doing that. You take out the arms to eliminate the threat of being shot at, and then it's as simple as racking up hits. You don't even need the optimal strategy mentioned before. I honestly think the problem may just be a matter of people trying to end the game rather than play the game, trying to knock it out quickly by just running into it rather than properly strategizing. Honestly, I think it's a good step toward taking the cheese-ability out of Sonic bosses in a series where sometimes you can really just get hit once and then damage boost every boss while you're still invincible. I think this boss conveys really well what you're supposed to do and how you're supposed to compartmentalize the fight. If we're talking about bosses where the difficulty is just UNFAIR or the boss doesn't convey what you're supposed to do, I'd name OOZ1 for the off-screen insta-kill spikes. Sure you can beat it easy once you know they're there, but they make it almost impossible to beat it if you only have one life because you don't get that second chance. If also note that the PG1 boss, while not particularly difficult, would be much easier to understand if the screen locked while the boss hits the boss in the beginning. Sure, it hits itself on the box so you know what to do, but for some of us standing JUST off-screen can cause you to miss the whole thing and be clueless. The OOZ2 boss really does not suffer from this proble, with the only unfair bit being that you can't recover rings once hit in the oil, but that gives you at least one free hit before death.

    However, when it comes to people saying you can't jump up as Knuckles, you gotta hold the jump button to gain maximum height, rather than just tapping it. If you are, then I'm not sure what you're doing wrong but it wasn't difficult at all in my playthrough to clear that hurdle.

    Also: Has anyone with the vinyl album figured out what the secret message is that Tom Fry was talking about in his tweet? I'd love to see some art scans, but more importantly I'm curious to see if the message is anything important.
     
  6. Dark Sonic

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    Since we're on bosses, one thing I've found interesting with all of the Taxman bosses is that they're all very over the top and they have few opportunities to land a hit. The classic trilogy for the most part had pretty simple bosses until the end. Eggman strapped on some weapon to his eggmobile that has some attack and you find a way to kill it. Taxman has always seemed to lean towards more elaborate bosses. Hell even dating back to Retro Sonic, the boss was this Eggman mech that gave you few opportunities to hit it. This is seen in the Sonic 2 mobile release as well with it's HPZ boss. This game continues that trend with bosses like those found in HPZ Act 2, LRZ Act 1, SOZ Act 1, CPZ Act 1, etc. Very few bosses you can just rush and kill within 5 seconds, in fact the only boss I feel like this applies to is OOZ Act 1's boss and GHZs bosses.
     
  7. Creature SH

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    I agree with TimmiT - Demanding that games are hard is unnecessary gatekeeping. Fact of the matter is that video games are a form of entertainment, and those just change over time. A movie released in the 70s looks very different from one released in the 30s and just as different from one made in 2000. Same with music, same with books, etc.

    In the early days of games, a challenge was pretty much all they had to offer. You certainly weren't about to squeeze a compelling narrative and varied gameplay out of Space Invaders. Then, difficulty as a cornerstone was upheld artificially when games moved from the arcade into living rooms, as Nintendo and Sega as well as the various publishers stood to gain from making games harder. They needed to make sure that you couldn't just beat a rental over the weekend, and expensive guidebooks and helplines were an important revenue stream. However, with the advent of the internet and digital distribution, those factors ceased to matter. Now, games finally have the freedom to explore different ways of being entertaining and accessible to all audiences. This doesn't take anything away from us, as there will always, always be difficult games. Instead, it offers us a greater variety of ideas and innovations to make games stand out from the crowd.
     
  8. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush

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    It's universally agreed that the only "good" main series 3D Sonic games are Colors and Generations (and maybe the Adventure titles, but because of the fact that that's debatable in and of itself says enough). That's two games since S3&K that people generally agree that are good games. While it's true that there are some unfair reviews that formed an opinion based on Sonic's reputation alone rather than the quality of the game itself (like Game Informer's Generations review, which I thought was a very poorly written review with stupid logic - whoever wrote that review should have been fired), I think a lot of the bad reviews are legitimate and they didn't come from nowhere - there ARE bad 3D Sonic games: Heroes, Shadow, 06, Unleashed, Lost World, Boom - that's A LOT (regardless of what your specific opinion of these games are, lots of reviews and fans hated them). I don't think reviewers are holding Sonic to a ridiculously high standard, and I don't think there's some big conspiracy going on with reviewers trying to sabotage Sonic games - I think the majority of the main series 3D titles we've had are quite simply, rushed and unpolished bad games. There are far better games to play than shit like Shadow and Lost World. And I'm not some dude that actually wants modern Sonic to be bad nor am I bothered by shit like his eye color; I want good 3D Sonic games featuring green-eyed modern Sonic. Even the games that fans universally agree are good, like Colors and Generations, aren't up to the level of polish and content that the string of successes in the Zelda and Mario franchise have had (and this is coming from someone who loved Colors). You could argue that that's too high of a standard, and while it's clear that SEGA just doesn't have the budget to produce games with the level of polish shown in Odyssey, I don't see anything wrong with wanting Sonic games with that level polish and content, and hopefully someday they'll be able to produce a killer-app 3D Sonic game after enough smaller successes like Mania.
     
  9. Chimpo

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    This is simply not true as posted earlier.

    There is nothing wrong with the Oil Ocean boss. Everyone is mashing buttons without thinking things through that they end up killing themselves.
     
  10. VectorCNC

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    Here are some thoughts on current topics of discussion from a guy that is obsessed with all things Classic Sonic (design/music/identity/etc), but is also a casual gamer, and probably plays the games less frequently than 95% of the people here. I loved Mania, this is sort of a wish list.

    Drop Dash: Seems like a natural fit for Sonic but I would like to see it utilized more. Mania seemed like a taste, but it would be nice to see instances where it was required. How about Sonic only routes (a la Knuckles’) that required timed jumps and drop-dashes to maneuver obstacles to gain access. Frankly, each character should have their own unique routes, here and there.

    Secrets: Would have enjoyed seeing more hidden areas and reasons to explore. Say with Mario or Donkey Kong, it seems like every time you take the effort to backtrack or look around a corner you are rewarded for doing so. This adds loads of replay value. I spent a lot of time looking around for hidden areas, but rarely would it actually pay off.

    Bosses: A little more gimmicky than I would have preferred, as compared to the classics. In the classics each boss had a gimmick/theme, but it didn't feel radically different in terms of approach. Back then I would enjoy seeing the new “flavor” of each boss, like “how would Robotnik rig-up the egg-o-matic this time?” Whereas with Mania it was a real mixed-bag, and the most obvious example would be CPZ, but I can forgive this because Mania is more of a celebration/anniversary sort-of title.

    Story: I would like to see more effort put into transitions and story. It is incredibly exciting seeing the story develop with sprites and special set pieces. It does a lot to flesh out the narrative, and lights up the imagination, especially for children. Like remember when you were young, and after beating the boss of WFZ in Sonic 2, you could walk to the right and see the colorful cockpit? It contrasts with all the repetition you see in the zone construction, and makes you feel like you're getting a glimpse behind the scenes. That sort of thing adds an incredible amount of value. This idea that Classic Sonic should have as little story development as possible is nonsense, and was likely an overreaction to what Sonic Team did following the classic trilogy. So long as the method of expression remains pantomime, I don't think increasing the story elements will be risky at all. In fact, I think they should up their game and create transitions with limited interaction, similar to the events following LRZ in S&K. Or, how about a fork in the road, head up and go to Sky Chase transition, and down to go to a river obstacle transition.
     
  11. DigitalDuck

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    The OOZ2 boss is fine. I think the bosses are the weakest point in the game, but not because of the OOZ2 boss. The only complaint I'd have is that maybe it should be later in the game (e.g. the MMZ2 boss is much easier, swapping them round would make more sense difficulty-wise), but it's far from unfair.

    OOZ1 is an unfair boss. FBZ2 is an unfair boss. SSZ2 is an unfair boss. LRZ2 (ST) is an unfair boss. Other bosses are unfair as far as randomness goes, especially as Knuckles. OOZ2 is fine, if a little boring for all the waiting.
     
  12. Master Emerald

    Master Emerald

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    I made that post in the context of answering 'Stay underneath the platform to dodge the laser'.

    If you do so, just before the laser comes down the tentacles will start pulling the platform and you can either get crushed by the platform or hurting yourself on the --now at ocean level -- laser head.

    And again, I hate Oil Ocean 2 boss because it's just like 'Contra'. Unfun and too much different gimmicks and projectiles coming at you at the same time. Titanic Monarch boss is way easier.
     
  13. Dark Sonic

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    People say OOZ Act 1's is unfair. You maybe get like, 1 cheap death and then you know to avoid the sides. I don't see how that's so terrible.
     
  14. Master Emerald

    Master Emerald

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    OOz1 boss is a bit too easy for me but I'd still change that platform gimmick to a 'lose your rings' instead of crushing to death. Like the wind in Studiopolis.
     
  15. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Ya that's fair, some kinda laser would have been better than just "hey you're dead." Actually that could have mixed up the boss a bit more, since as it is it's always the same areas hurting you. They could have randomized the laser and you could have moved to a different platform to avoid it (of course in this scenario you'd have seen it in advance).
     
  16. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    1 cheap death too many.
     
  17. Dark Sonic

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    I've gotten more cheap deaths from those launching platforms themselves over the years than I did from that boss :v: But yes, fair, you should be able to at least see the spikes prior to launch.
     
  18. NoNameAtAll

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    Actually, the Underground Zone boss would've been easy even in the Game Gear with the screen crunch. The issue with the GG version is that the metal balls have varying heights and speeds. The Master System version kept the metal balls at a constant rate and height.

    Add in the screen crunch along with that added bit and the GG version is a mess.

    Also, add me to the list of folks who really had no issues with any of the bosses in this game. Even OOZ didn't kill me. I just took hits because I'm a reckless fuck. :v:
     
  19. HP Zoner

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    I wouldn't even say the ring loss is unfair, really. It's just that Sonic bosses have a history of being laughably exploitable since you usually have infinite health for all intents and purposes. So when something like the octopus boss shows up, people get caught off-guard. It might play with your expectations the first few times, but it's a totally fair challenge, and I, for one, appreciate that it forces you to mind your ring count and come up with a more strategic approach. This sort of thing is rare for classic Sonic.

    The one boss that gets on my nerves is the Titanic Monarch mini-boss. Not because it's hard (though safely landing a hit with Knuckles does test you), but because the elevator phase, clever as it may be, gets pretty annoying when it randomly decides you're going up several times in a row. I was also disappointed to see the same mini-boss reserved for last again, especially given how creative the bosses in Mania generally are.
     
  20. Zephyr

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    Going to also defend "git gud". Challenge, adversity, adapting, learning, and consistency are inherent, fundamental, and essential to interacting with the medium. That's where its artistic merit lies. If that bothers you and you don't have time for that sort of thing, go watch a movie (and I'd hope nobody making that excuse has put a dozen hours into Mania).

    If you want the OOZ2 boss to have a "toddler mode", just keep a Fire Shield or use Super Sonic.