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

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

  1. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    The time limit really isn't part off the story. Nothing is ever happening to push you forwards in the narrative.

    How is it not a positive to remove the timer? These are not linear levels and they're full of secrets. If you're hunting for Blue Spheres, Special Stages or even just rings and monitors, you can quite easily spend a lot of time on that. Even with several points of no return in each level, you can still back track and explore a lot in different places. Nothing in the game makes it important to reach the goal in 10 minutes. Moreover, nothing really conveys that the limit is even there. There's a time attack mode for speed running. Why not give the player free reign in story mode? The timer can still be used for bonus points and would benefit from having different times in every level - having the same limit for GHZ1 and TMZ2 is blatantly not something that's actually been thought about. Just don't kill the player for not managing it. It's worse when a time over amounts simply to a death and time reset, but the same won't happen if you die by other means. A particularly egregious example was posted previously concerning the SPZ1 boss - of you challenge the boss without enough time left, you'll be stuck in an unavoidable loop of death until you get a game over unless you last long enough to time over.

    How is anyone defending that design?

    I would propose this:
    Beat the level: silver medal
    Beat the level in the time limit: gold medal

    That's literally exactly what Advance 3 did and it was a good system. I can't say that a forced, hard time limit actually adds anything to the experience. It just detracts. I'm one of those people who had never enjoyed speed running Sonic games.
     
  2. On that note, I've been meaning to ask why the 50K point bonus has been changed back to 0:30, when in "Mania Mode" that's literally impossible in every level.
     
  3. Blue Blood

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    Does it work if you get a time over? Hit the last checkpoint, time over, beat the boss in under 30 seconds. Just curious. Cause that would be a silly exploit.
     
  4. Sean Evans

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    Because thats how it was in the classics...so? You do realize you get an even bigger bonus for beating the level at the literal last second too right? THATs why the timer's there.
     
  5. Felik

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  6. Yep! It works exactly like Sonic 1 and 2, but with the 9:59 bonus also present.

    S3&K changed the 50K threshold to 1:00 as a result of the larger levels and increased boss frequency. Mania returns it to 0:30 resulting in a situation where, once again, there is not a single level that can be completed in under thirty seconds without either restarting the timer from a checkpoint or playing in time attack mode where score is completely meaningless.
     
  7. Creature SH

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    It's hard to revise the timer in a way that has it remain meaningful without ending up with something resembling the modern games more closely. That doesn't have to be a bad thing, but it IS a gambit.
     
  8. Deef

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    Another case of Mania being more of an advanced Sonic 2 than an advanced Sonic 3.
     
  9. DigitalDuck

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    You can explore a lot in driving games too, especially open-world racers. They usually have time limits during the main story races/missions, a time trial challenge mode, and the option to explore freely when you're not doing any of them.

    Would it be a positive in this instance to not have a time limit during the main story races/missions?

    Is Sonic really that much different?

    I agree with this, the time limit should be more obviously conveyed.

    That "unavoidable loop of death" has absolutely nothing to do with the time limit. If you're "not lasting long enough to time over" (and additionally not stopping the timer by beating the boss) it means you're being killed by the boss.

    If you challenge the boss without enough time left, and you're capable of beating the boss, you'll lose one (1) life through taking too long to reach that point. You won't be stuck in an "unavoidable loop of death".

    If you "die by other means", it's not a time over. How does the absence of a timer prevent you from dying from things that are not the timer?

    This particular argument baffles me.


    Also: wasn't the 9:59 bonus a bug? Why is it present?
     
  10. Xiao Hayes

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    I got that bonus, 100k points, for the first time in my life, in press garden 1.
     
  11. Pengi

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    When Sonic Team implemented the 10 minute time limit, they didn't have Mania-length levels in mind.

    In the classic games, the time limit was practically a non-entity. In Mania it's not tight enough to be a compelling challenge, but it's still strict enough to be an occasional annoyance. It doesn't add anything of value.

    Some form of mission mode could put a time limit to good use. Complete the stage in 4 minutes, get 100 Rings in 2 minutes, and so on. Or a mode where you start with 30 seconds and have to collect "timer up" items as you go along.

    But the main game doesn't need it.
     
  12. Blue Blood

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    Forgive my lack of quote disection here - mobile typing is difficult.

    Sonic is not an open world driving game. The levels have a simple goal of getting from A to B, picking up and finding goodies along the way and then beating a boss at the end of each level. In a driving or racing game, it's implied that your goal is to get to the end as quickly as possible. That's a prerequisite to the genre. But that isn't the case for Sonic. You can speed run it, but there are lots of other options. You're also encouraged to collect rings and pickups constantly to increase your lives and improve your chances.

    My point about the loop of death is a bit off, you're correct. But still, the point that you can end up in an unwinnable situation still stands. The boss fights shouldn't be affected by the time limit in the rest of the stage. SPZ1 requires at least a minute and a half to beat, while something else like GHZ2 has a time limit of its own. They're a separate challenge, but can still be made unwinnable by your previous performance.

    I still haven't heard what the time limit actually brings to the experience.
     
  13. Naean

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    Speaking of reaching bosses while near the end of the time limit, Sonic Mania did actually take this into account, but only during one instance: for + - Titanic Monarch Zone Act 2, the time resets once reaching the boss area   .

    If that kind of thing was implemented game-wide, I think that would be a great improvement for some players. :)
     
  14. Josh

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    I would disagree here. The time limit was practically a non-entity in Sonic 1 and 2, but due to 3&K having MUCH larger levels, same as Mania, it became an issue. I remember managing to glitch through the Carnival Night barrel one day, only to run out of time and get a Game Over before I could make it to the boss.

    While I don't usually explore or take my time in these games, I know plenty of other people enjoy doing that. For that reason, I think I'd agree that there's really no reason to keep the time limit around. Especially with such sprawling level design.
     
  15. DigitalDuck

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    It's implied that your goal is to get to the end as quickly as possible in Sonic too. What's the point of having a character that can go fast if going fast isn't part of the game? The fact that there's a timer there in the first place implies that it's important, and you get rewarded for going fast - if you weren't supposed to get to the end quickly, why would you be rewarded for it?

    There are plenty of driving/racing games that don't have time limits, especially when they put emphasis on the open-world aspect. Typically you're free to explore the world in your own time - but not as part of the main story/mission mode. Which is why I suggested having a mode that doesn't force a time limit on you, perhaps unlockable, that has focus on exploration.

    I agree, especially when bosses in Mania tend to be much longer (and more tedious) than in other games in the series.

    Then you weren't reading. I said it's an additional challenge to overcome (if you're slow). It keeps you on your toes, much like having to recollect your rings.

    Would you argue in favour of taking damage just reducing your ring count by a certain amount? It can sometimes be irritating to pick up lost rings, especially if you're hit on the edge of a boss area or in an auto-scrolling section, but it otherwise does effectively the same thing.


    Also I have to make note of the irony of people complaining that the timer discourages exploration while simultaneously praising the level design that basically sends you from point A to point B. Perhaps if the level design encouraged exploration I might be seeing things differently, but for the most part it seems geared towards getting you to the end with minimal effort on your part.
     
  16. Didn't the Game Gear/Master System games do a bit with the HUD, where during boss fights it would scroll off-screen? Egg Reverie shows that they're willing to use the HUD for dramatic trickery, why not combine the two ideas?

    Let's say the player reaches the boss fight with a timer at 05:34:67. The boss fight begins, and the HUD scrolls up off of the screen. All that remains is the RING counter in the top-left corner. (Want to get more dramatic, have black bars close in on the top and bottom of the screen at the same time that this happens for a more cinematic wide-screen effect, but that's beside the point) The player fights the boss and wins. As Eggman flies away in defeat, the HUD returns, with the timer locked in at 05:34:67, just the same as it was when encountering the boss.

    Want to remove the timer entirely? When you beat the game, you have a CLEAR save file. Just like how you can normally replay levels at will with a CLEAR save file, you can give the player a free-play mode as well. Either make it so that selecting the CLEAR screen lets you start from the beginning like a New Game Plus where you keep your Emerald count, with picking a specific level does the same but starts you at that level with the timer restriction removed, or unlock something where selecting a level with "A" gives you a standard set-up, and selecting the level with "B" gives you free-play activated.
     
  17. tokumaru

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    One of the reasons I love the classic series is that it doesn't tell you HOW to play the game, like every game nowadays does. You can go fast, you can go slow, you can collect every item, you can kill every badnik, you can blast through everything... there's no wrong way to do it. I always find it funny to see videos of other people playing Sonic because nobody plays like I do.

    It's true that a timer implies that you shouldn't waste time, but in Sonic 1 and 2 it was usually possible to explore everything in under 10 minutes, so the timer hardly ever got in the way. Things changed a bit with 3&K, and now Mania.
     
  18. Strife

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    This reminds me of analogy I heard some years ago.

    Suppose a family has a tradition of cooking ham for the holidays, and before they stick it in the oven, they slice off the ends of the ham. Nobody really knows why they do this, they just figure it makes it taste better. After a bit of sleuthing through the family tree, it's discovered that this tradition started with the grandparents, who used a bread pan that was slightly too short to fit the ham in it and thus necessitated cutting off the ends. It made sense to do it in the past, but less sense in present where a much larger variety of cooking pans are available. Even though there's no practical reason for them to keep cutting off the end pieces, they still do it anyway because they feel like it's part of what makes their traditional ham dinner special.

    The classic formula didn't stop Mania from advancing in a number of key areas such as the even larger levels, the Drop Dash, improved Time Attack, etc, and yet the changes and additions fit right in. If we get more classic games in the future, it's reasonable to assume that they'll have even more tweaks and additions. Removal of the time limit in future Classic styled games honestly seems like a very trivial thing to me, and if anything, stubbornly keeping it in despite the stages growing bigger and more intricate just because "it's always been there" will end up turning it from a minor annoyance for new players into a deal breaker.
     
  19. NioZero

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    So this happened...

    [​IMG]

    The boss somewhat got bugged...
     
  20. SystemsReady

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    Carnival Night Zone Act 2. Death Egg Zone Act 2.